The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.

Squonk.

[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

17,284 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/pandemic-lasts-18-months-will-change-geopolitics-good/609445/

    However, in a long crisis, countries will emerge profoundly changed. No one knows how exactly, but educated guesses are possible. A collection of massive domestic crises will collide, as health systems collapse or come close to it and governments struggle with double-digit unemployment, a severe recession or depression, plummeting revenue, increased expenditure, and mounting debt. Intermittent shutdowns, returns to work followed by retreats, and the continued suppression of demand are likely. The recession will look more like an L or W shape than a V. Companies and governments will run out of cash. They may default on debts, which will have ripple effects for other companies and could destabilize financial institutions.

    Those countries that can afford to will be forced to turn to a stimulus package multiple times. Voters appear to be understanding of their leaders now, but the mood in six months or a year will be very different. As Warren Buffett once remarked of the markets, you see who is swimming naked when the tide goes out. A long crisis exposes which countries are truly competent. Which states can undertake the extensive, massive testing needed to have broad public-health surveillance and tailored isolation? Which will allow for the least restrictive economic measures? And which states can scale up industrial production to maintain resilient health-care systems and personnel all at the same time?

  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-52163523

    16:39
    England death figures ‘will be higher’

    NHS England Director Stephen Powis has clarified that the number of deaths reported only includes those in hospitals and health facilities.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) records deaths in the community, he says, adding that he “expects deaths will be higher” and fuller numbers will only emerge in the coming days and weeks.

  3. From Glenn’s link:

    “Masts were set alight in Sparkhill, Birmingham, on Thursday and Melling, Merseyside, on Friday.”

    Great. So we can sit at home doing social distancing, but now without telephone and internet. Thank you David Chandler.

  4. Ben has laid out what bodes for the world, good and bad, but doesn’t indicate what will happen to individual states.

    Basically it is the developed, European, North American states which can deal with the costs of the pandemic versus the under develoted and developing ones in Africa, southern Asia, Southern hemisphere which don’t seriously have the problem so nothing to detl with. It follows the basic pattern of those which want action to slow or stop climate change, and those who aren’t bothered by it. So they are bound to take action which helps the have nots.

    The important change in developed states will be improvement of their infra-structure which will have their residents traveling more locally ,expanding agriculture, and restricting population growth. Organized religions will be reduced in influencing events. States will become more centralized. The West will be less able to try to rule the world.

  5. Google translated

    https://www.ecodibergamo.it/stories/bergamo-citta/coronavirus-the-real-death-tool-4500-victims-in-one-month-in-the-province-of_1347414_11/

    Coronavirus, the real death toll: 4.500 victims in one month in the province of Bergamo

    This is the result of the analysis carried out by L’Eco di Bergamo and InTwig using the data provided by local municipalities.

    What the official figures don’t say. They don’t say that in March 2020 more than 5.400 people have died in Bergamo province, 4.500 of which due to coronavirus. Six times more than the previous year. Of only 2.060 of them, the «official» certified deaths caused by Covid-19 in the local hospitals (data as at yesterday), we know everything: age, gender, pre-existing conditions. We do not know anything about the other 2.500. Many of them are old people, who died at home or in assisted residential homes. In spite of the unmistakable symptoms, as recorded by physicians and relatives, they were never tested for the disease. On their death certificate you can just read: interstitial pneumonia.

    Bergamo Province has a population of about 1.1 million people.

    Some of the worst hit smaller towns in Northern Italy have had between 1% and 2% of their population die in just over a month. There is some tentative evidence that the very worst hit towns might be getting towards herd immunity but that is based on only limited anti-body screening with a wide margin of error at this stage, and it could be they are still some way off. There is evidence from China and now Italy that some might be silent carriers for a lengthy period, which is troublesome for herd immunity. Italy is conducting wider screening now.

  6. Here’s an article on how our European partner (for now, at least) Germany is getting it right:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/04/world/europe/germany-coronavirus-death-rate.html

    The NYT is offering its articles on Covid-19 free for the duration.

    A decent health system, lots of testing and tracking, and a trust in their government which has actually acted rationally and consistently at the highest level from the start.

    Very early intervention as soon as anyone starts feeling unwell – not leaving them until they are half dead, and not bothering to test even then. Testing people who show no symptoms at all, because they might have been exposed, and shutting down any sources of contagion.

    This is what has brought about the remarkably low death rate. Are we likely to start following this model, even now? Nah. Germany is performing 350K tests/week now. We’ll be lucky to meet the 100K target for the end of this month.

  7. Trowbridge: The positives can be Legion if we dont hoard the resources of the West. Third-Worlders will need our help and since our resources dominate, it would behoove us to share them.

    The transformation of the status quo is what we’ve all been seeking for some time.

    Let’s not fuck it up, shall we?

  8. And the very worst hit town

    https://www.lastampa.it/topnews/primo-piano/2020/04/02/news/coronavirus-castiglione-d-adda-e-un-caso-di-studio-il-70-dei-donatori-di-sangue-e-positivo-1.38666481

    Coronavirus, Castiglione d’Adda is a case study: “70% of blood donors are positive

    When Avis volunteers summoned them for blood donation, they were confident that they would find a high number of Covid positives19. Confirmation came from the results of tests and swabs: out of 60 citizens of Castiglione D’Adda, one of the municipalities in the former red area of ​​Lodi, 40 tested positive without knowing it.

    …Avis and the universities that are working on the experimentation did not randomly choose the Codogno hospital and the donors of Castiglione D’Adda, with its 80 deaths out of 4600 inhabitants: «We already knew that in the outbreak area we would find a high incidence of asymptomatic positives, with antibodies », explains President Briola, who does not exclude that the experimentation will also be extended to other areas such as Bergamo and Brescia.

    This is mixed news. The bad, already 1.7% of its people are dead and others are still in serious/critical condition. The good, well that 2/3 positive for antibodies would be good if it really is that in the town population over all as that would be approaching herd immunity. However epidemiologists have warned it could be much lower across the town in general and caution needs to be applied pending more extended testing

    One thing is it was not a random sample of the population but rather a subset of regular blood donors. where there’s a higher percentage of donors that are medics etc. more likely to have come into contact with infected. Also some of the asymptomatic may have just been caught early or false negatives on PCR and/or false positives on antibody screening. There’s also the question as to whether some have only partial immunity from trace exposure. Some could be carriers who may test positive and/or re-develop symptoms later. They’ve all been quarantined as of now.

    Castiglione D’Adda does not appear to have an especially elderly population. Appears to be about the Italian average.

  9. Sorry for all these references to the NYT, but they really are doing some outstanding journalism right now. And the Covid-19 articles are there for you freeloaders too. (Joke)

    So with that in mind, Clark in particular should enjoy this one:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/opinion/coronavirus-fake-news.html

    The fear and uncertainty around the coronavirus is, of course, fertile ground for extremists and hucksters. Alex Jones of Infowars is pushing a conspiracy theory that the virus is an American-made biological weapon and is directing viewers to purchase any number of overpriced vitamin products from his stores. People who believe the myth that 5G wireless signals are harmful to health have falsely linked the technology to Covid-19.

    The anti-vaccination movement is also capitalizing on the pandemic. The New York Times used the analytics tool CrowdTangle to survey 48 prominent anti-vax Instagram accounts and found that video views spiked from 200,000 in February to more than two million in March, just as the pandemic took off globally. Another Times analysis of anti-vax accounts showed a surge in followers during the last week of March. In private groups on Facebook, junk science and unproven treatment claims proliferate.

    “Misinformation is a spectrum. The most outlandish claims — that the Obama administration engineered and sold the coronavirus to China — don’t require a medical degree to debunk. But much of the pernicious false news about the coronavirus operates on the margins of believability — real facts and charts cobbled together to formulate a dangerous, wrongheaded conclusion or news reports that combine a majority of factually accurate reporting with a touch of unproven conjecture.

  10. Just can’t believe the scaremongering that is going on with Big Mouth being believed by harping on about the worst is yet to come with no sign of exponential growth in deaths that he keeps repeating, thanks to Dr. Fauci’s fiction about the relationship between catching the virus and deaths.

    We w ill be told that the USA suffered the deaths of over 1,000 residents for the third day in a row when the model is calling for about 14,000 deaths.

    Bozo Johnson is not worrying about the pandemic continuing to see his infected, pregnant girl friend without paying any attention to public health precautions recommended.

    We should institute sanity tests for our leaders.

  11. Glenn, thank you for a message to me, which really helps in these difficult times.

    I wish I could endorse the NYT article but I can’t; it seems to epitomise the problem, which I see as a particular form of polarisation – subtle polarisation on the establishment side, versus wild overreaction among the some in the newly connected minorities. Take this line:

    “People who believe the myth that 5G wireless signals are harmful to health have falsely linked the technology to Covid-19.”

    “Myth”? A real, justifiable complaint is that the safety of the higher frequencies used as a minor but significant part of 5G has not been demonstrated to the public. Government permit the industry to investigate its own products, very often behind non-disclosure agreements. Industry has not been forthcoming with its complete data, and government hasn’t insisted upon it, exactly as in the pharmaceutical sector.

    There is also the matter of whether deployment of 5G is justified. Do we really need to deploy infrastructure to increase data capacity by orders of magnitude, to connect all new toasters and fridges to the Internet with all the security and privacy concerns that involves, against the backdrop of global warming / energy usage and the pollution produced by manufacture and disposal of huge piles of electronics? We know precisely how the profit-oriented system will go about this; obsolescence for the sake of profit, and send the old circuit boards to the third world where children can poison themselves recovering the precious metals. Yeah, 5G will be bad for health, but merely because Mammon is the modern god rather than some beyond-top-secret plot.

    Of course, the ‘establishment’, ‘mainstream’ side can afford to be subtle because it has the most amplified voice, but it actually provokes the conspiracy theories, precisely by deploying that dismissive word “myth”.

    It further encourages the conspiracy theories by jumping onto the bandwagon of referring to the SARS-CoV-2 virus as ‘coronavirus’ – I am so disappointed that ‘coronavirus’ is catching on so. The majority of coronaviruses are merely common cold viruses. Most people intuit that the corporate media’s role is to control and pacify rather than inform, so they resort to the Internet – and when they search on ‘coronavirus’ they’re going to get very mixed messages, around half of which are going to seem consistent with the conspiracy theories currently being woven around covid-19.

  12. Trowbridge – “We should institute sanity tests for our leaders.”

    We need to do away with the concept of “leaders”. If we truly accept our equality as people, the burden of leadership falls upon every one of us. It’s impossible to find a fully sane human, anywhere.

    “Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.” – M Scott Peck.

    The cost to me seems to be losing most of my friends. I really don’t know whether I’ll be able to withstand the coming months of isolation.

  13. I know it’s hard but we all must make the effort and stay at home, our sacrifices will save lives, it’s very important.

    Catherine Calderwood says so and she should know, she’s a gynecologist.

  14. Google translated

    https://www.welt.de/vermischtes/live206935325/Corona-aktuell-Helge-Braun-Deutschland-steht-das-Schlimmste-noch-bevor.html

    According to the chancellor’s office, Germany is facing the worst

    Kanzleramtsminister Helge Braun (CDU) has emphasized in view of the corona pandemic that the height of the crisis still was imminent in Germany. It is now up to the federal government to “prepare ourselves for our population for the most difficult part of this crisis,” Braun told the “Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. “The time with the highest infection numbers is still ahead of us.”

    Before the current restrictions began, there was a “doubling every three days”. So that the healthcare system is not overwhelmed, doubling times of significantly more than ten days are necessary, Braun told the newspaper. “Probably even twelve or fourteen days.” The idea that we might not be able to care for some sick people in Germany soon because the number of infections is so high is so serious that he says: First of all, the most important thing is that we avoid this . The economy is a big step behind that.

  15. Fred; You and clark live a Spartan life…Brian as well.

    Do you all have what you need so far?

  16. I’m OK for now Ben, I got a shipment of bootleg Lidls cider shipped across the border just before the lockdown started. I stocked up with curry powder and flower so whatever food I can get my hands on makes a curry. Hens and ducks are laying well, I usually manage to swap eggs for fish. I can always get a meal off the seashore if I have to but haven’t needed too yet.

    I’m used to living like this, I’ve been doing it all my life.

  17. Ben, that’s very kind of you; thanks. I think I’ll be OK now, though it was a bit touch-and-go over winter.

  18. Blimey guvna, the Met Office are predicting 23 centigrade at mine on Wednesday.

    I let the fire in the stove go out day before yesterday. I was sunbathing today; fourth time in a week. I’ve caught the sun a bit and I’m getting a tan. The primroses and the brilliant white sloe blossom are out.

    I live under the Heathrow approach flight path on alternate weeks. Any clear afternoon, it’s unusual to see less than a dozen passenger aircraft in the sky here, half of them all in line crossing London, queueing to land, and there’s never a moment, 24 hours a day, that I can’t hear an aircraft. Now? About one every half hour, and a wonderful absence of aircraft noise.

    Aircraft cause global dimming; their SO2 and water vapour reflect sunlight away from Earth, somewhat counteracting global warming. The effect has been quantified empirically twice; after 9/11 grounded all flights, and after that Icelandic volcano filled the atmosphere with fine, abrasive dust that jet engines couldn’t tolerate.

    Likely another uncomfortably hot summer on the way.

  19. My niece working in New York City , and working in its hospitals caught the virus and has recovered from it and gone back to work, so she has been living a much harder life than any of us.

    She had at least taken the precaution of living separately from her husband and their two young daughters. She doesn’t think that she is abetter predictor of her future than Bozo and Big Mouth.

    Don’t know what else my family medical doctors are doing and experiencing.

    Thanks for mentioning ,Clark, what Peck said about the subject of leaders. Wonder if he would like to hear what happened to my father?

    My son-in- law dealing with my taxex has called saying that I shall be getting $1,200 in my small refund for the year 2019.

    I too have been living a Spartan life too for years.

  20. The tax man is my nephew-in-law. I have no sons of any sort. That’s why I talk about things, knowing that it will all die with me if I don’t speak out.

  21. T: “Wonder if he [Peck] would like to hear what happened to my father?”

    I very much doubt it, Trow. Peck died a few years back 🙁

    Read one book of his – The Road Less Traveled. Pretty good.

  22. Thanks Glenn, just shows that I don’t know enough.

    M. Scott Peck started his college education at Columbia. and must have done his graduate work when I started teaching there. It was the best teaching I ever did, just one page ahead of my students. They were a very exciting group and i remember several of them. Peck could have even been one of the more quiet ones, but I doubt that he was.

    He died 15 years ago in Warren, CT. Will look up more about it, and may consult his son Christopher.

  23. I read The Road Less Travelled; the quote above is from that book. I swap-lent my copy to Squonk, in exchange for A Different Drum – the Creation of True Community, the First Step to World Peace. I think Squonk may have People of the Lie; time for another swap.

  24. Sure Peck was interested in my Dad’s fate, and not surprised that I never heard of him.

    Warren is a bastion of the Revolution, and West Point painter Herbert Abrams, noted for painting of decent Presidents like Jimmy Carter, and vile Americans like President G.H. W. Bush, and loonies like General Westmorland. It was also a home of the New England based 43rdNational Guard Division who my father became the Artillery Commander when it was called up during the Korean War.

    Dad didn’t hit it off with its Commander, a Major General Strong as I recall. He was hated by his troops, breaking them for failing to miss saluting him, and living in a grand house while they were in tents. Ultimately the Inspector General was called in, and he essentially broke both of them for causing the ruckus which either Newsweek or Time reported.

    I never met Peck as far as I can recall. and Columbia was not friendly towards graduate students having them all live off campus. Columbia was best for the availability of professors like Garrett Mattingly and Lindsay Rodgers I was fortunate in renting apartments with a distinquidshen graduate, MM Goldsmith, and having friends Like international affairs professor Robert Rothstein at Colgate, and psychologist professor Frank Dumont at McGill.

    Dumont. an ex Marine and straight-arrow type, never even mentioned Peck in his history of the field.

  25. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52177125

    Coronavirus: PM admitted to hospital over virus symptoms

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests, 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus, Downing Street has said.

    He “continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus”, a spokeswoman said – including a high temperature.

    It was described as a “precautionary step” taken on the advice of his doctor.

  26. How can going to the hospital and staying there be a”precautionary step”when one has already tested positive for the disease?

    Must say that Bozo recovering is last on my list.

  27. For Dr. Fauci being correct in saying that this will be a bad week he will have to account for the 28,000 additional deaths today and some 56,000 ones tomorrow.

  28. Trump expiring from anything will set our recovery back 10 years or..never.

    You’ll survive the loss of Boris.

  29. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/06/national/japan-state-of-emergency-covid-19/

    Japan state of emergency to cover Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures

    After weekslong pressure from public health officials and lawmakers, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday the government would declare a state of emergency as soon as Tuesday covering Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures amid the growing outbreak of COVID-19, in a step that will empower prefectures to take restrictive measures.

    The prime minister is slated to designate authorities in the seven prefectures subject to emergency measures. The declaration also will cover Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures, Abe said in a briefing at the Prime Minister’s Office.

    “(The declaration) is estimated to last a period of one month,” Abe said. “This state of emergency declaration is to ensure the medical care system stays intact and to ask for even more cooperation from the public to avoid contact with each other to reduce infection as much as possible.”

  30. Strangely, it seems I’ve been preparing myself for this since the 70’s

    It gives me no pleasure to be right in my musings. It’s like watching yourself go over a cliff in your new Ferrari with a doobie between your lips. Mellow but harsh..

  31. Brian: Cheers food. Avoid people as much as possible. It’ll hurt but sometimes it has to hurt before it gets better like when you use iodine.

  32. Everyone is already declaring ‘mostly clear skies’ in the US.
    Still have 9 Red States not shutting down.

  33. Wonder if Bozo while on a ventilator will call Big Mouth telling him that he is willing to take the medicine for malaria to deal with his coronavirus?

    Would prove that Anglo–American government has descended into an insane asylum.

  34. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024…

    10 doublings get us to over a thousand…

    2,048, 4,096, 8,192, 16,384, 32,768, 65,536, 131,072, 262,144, 524,288, 1,048,576…

    20 doublings get us to over a million…

    2,097,152, 4,194,304, 8,388,608, 16,777,216, 33,554,432, 67,108,864…

    26 doublings get us to the population of the UK…

    134,217,728, 268,435,456, 536,870,912, 1,073,741,824, 2,147,483,648, 4,294,967,296, 8,589,934,592.

    33 doublings exceed the population of the world.

  35. Over a quarter of all confirmed cases are in the USA. The Trump administration has truly excelled itself.

    Götterdämmerung. Ragnarök.

  36. Ben,

    Any local peaks now are because measures have got R below 1 – that is for every person that catches it they will, on average, pass it on to less than 1 other person. As soon as you loosen the measures then you go back up again. That goes on until sufficient people have had it that there is effective “herd immunity”

  37. Just weeks ago, Trump was calling covid-19 “their latest hoax”. How many of his supporters will learn?

    Ben, I’m truly sorry that you compatriots are suffering this, but there does seem to be a certain poetic justice about it. Trump exploited conspiracy theories to get elected. He hinted that he’d reveal those who supposedly rigged the Twin Towers with explosives. He surfed the popularity of Q-Anon; he’d “drain the swamp” and “take on the deep state”, and the Alex Jones crowd lapped it up. Now all that’s left are the conspiracy theories, as people drop dead all over New York.

    Republicans have been undermining public trust in science for decades. Fuck’s sake.

  38. “Gazing down at the city in which my father was raised, I take to heart one of his most uttered expressions, ‘This too shall pass’. ”

    I thought those buggers on the space station would be feeling smug.

  39. “Still have 9 Red States not shutting down.”

    Yep. Still they shut their eyes and stop their ears.

  40. Sweden is now doing worse, as measured by deaths/ 1M population, than Iran, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, the USA, Austria so on. Just a few days ago some denialists were smugly referring to Sweden’s casual attitude to Covid-19, and claiming this will prove their case.

    Sweden was a bit late to the game, but are catching up very fast indeed.

    Will the denialists have the intellectual honesty to come back and admit it, that they were wrong, specifically that they were wrong to bank on Sweden to prove their case?

    Naaahh! Of course not.

  41. See no mention of the UK, most unexpected from a poster who identifies himself from there where its PM and possible many of his Cabinet are dying. Bozo has apparently been placed in an iron lung to do his breathing. unconscious and paralyzed.

    He was heard to say apparently when he fell unconscious: “Who Me? Tarzan!”

    The Queen has been informed of his likely demise.

    Must say it’s hard to be sorry for him when he has deliberately put his own life, those of the Cabinet, and his ailing pruner at risk of destruction.

    Let’s hope that Dominic Raab fares better.

    The Swedes are incredibly slow to face any real disaster, just think of how they reacted to the international plot which assassinated PM Olof Palme or the sinking of the Estonia.

  42. Taiwan

    https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2020/04/07/2003734129

    Virus Outbreak: Holiday crowds trigger CECC warning
    SELF-MANAGEMENT: The numbers of people at some places were far worse than the center had expected, posing a risk of cluster infections, Chen Shih-chung said

    People who visited crowded areas or activities over the Tomb Sweeping Day long weekend should start practicing 14 days of self-health management, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.

    The large crowds at popular scenic areas and tourist spots over the four-day holiday that ended on Sunday triggered concerns about the risk of COVID-19 transmissions.

    “In order to enhance the nation’s disease prevention capacity, we require people to make advance preparations for flexible working hours and working spaces,” said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.

    …The CECC would not ban all business activities, but it would adjust policies according to the current situation, with “disease prevention the priority,” he said.

  43. Hong Kong seems to be preparing for a lockdown now

    https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3078844/what-we-need-citywide-lockdown

    What we need is a citywide lockdown

    The enforcement of social distancing rules has been lax, so it’s time to bite the bullet and close all non-essential businesses to defeat Covid-19

    It’s hard to know how the Hong Kong government decides when to be lenient or forceful in enforcing the law. It has countered anti-government protesters and rioters with great, some would say brutal, force since last June. Yet, when it comes to fighting Covid-19
    , it has been dragging its feet. Arguably, the epidemic is even more dangerous to public safety than violent protests.

    The enforcement of social distancing rules has been haphazard. Since the measure was introduced late last month to keep public gatherings to no more than four people, various departments had carried out 11,745 inspections across the city.

    …Executive Council convenor Bernard Chan has warned the government might have to impose a citywide lockdown and close all non-essential businesses, just as Britain, some Canadian provinces and many American states have done.

    You know what? It’s time to do it.

  44. https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1184832.shtml

    Challenge only beginning as storms lie ahead: Global Times editorial

    The crisis triggered by COVID-19 outbreak has only just begun: The pandemic and the international political situation bode further and more severe challenges. As a major country that was also among the first to bring the novel coronavirus under control, China must prepare to face an extremely complicated situation.

    The pandemic seems unlikely to end quickly. The epicenter has been shifting as coronavirus has spread across the globe.

    In addition, certain animals that are in close contacts with human beings are becoming new hosts for the virus. In all probability, the coronavirus will repeatedly strike at society. It may only be brought under control rather than eradicated.

    …Timing the resumption of work in China is now connected with both public health and international politics.

    China has two major goals in resuming work. First, it is to maintain normal life by ensuring the basic functioning of the country’s economy, reducing the number of bankruptcies and guaranteeing employment as much as possible.

  45. A tiger was infected by his handler. Rumors of February were Chinese dogs were being rounded up and killed because of belief they are carriers

  46. “It may only be brought under control rather than eradicated.”

    That’s been the case for months. It may not even be “brought under control”.

  47. California finally getting test kits sufficient for expanding qualified subjects. Now maybe the Pandumbics will see the vast number of Asymptomatics running around.

  48. Swedish government given powers to tighten restrictions.

    https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/riksdagspartierna-stoder-okad-regeringsmakt

    The decision: The government gains more power

    The government has now negotiated a new bill that gives them increased power to make decisions on corona-related issues.
    – We must be able to make quick decisions about closing down a ferry terminal or shopping center if it saves lives. This ensures both rapid action and Parliament’s influence, said Social Minister Lena Hallengren during a press conference.

    …The new law applies for three months ahead – from April 18 to June 30. Stefan Löfven was clear that this should only be linked to things that apply to the corona pandemic when the Infection Protection Act is not enough to limit the spread of infection. The government is given more power, for example, to shut down various activities such as gyms, shopping malls or restaurants.

  49. https://gothamist.com/news/surge-number-new-yorkers-dying-home-officials-suspect-undercount-covid-19-related-deaths

    Staggering Surge Of NYers Dying In Their Homes Suggests City Is Undercounting Coronavirus Fatalities

    If you die at home from the coronavirus, there’s a good chance you won’t be included in the official death toll, because of a discrepancy in New York City’s reporting process.

    The problem means the city’s official death count is likely far lower than the real toll taken by the virus, according to public health officials.

    It also means that victims without access to testing are not being counted, and even epidemiologists are left without a full understanding of the pandemic.

    …Statistics from the Fire Department, which runs EMS, confirm a staggering rise in deaths occurring at the scene before first responders can transport a person to a hospital for care.

    The FDNY says it responded to 2,192 cases of deaths at home between March 20th and April 5th, or about 130 a day, an almost 400 percent increase from the same time period last year. (In 2019, there were just 453 cardiac arrest calls where a patient died, according to the FDNY.)

    That number has been steadily increasing since March 30th, with 241 New Yorkers dying at home Sunday — more than the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths that occurred citywide that day. On Monday night, the city reported 266 new deaths, suggesting the possibility of a 40% undercount of coronavirus-related deaths.

  50. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52202700

    Coronavirus: Paris bans daytime outdoor exercise

    Authorities in Paris have banned exercise outside during the day, as deaths from coronavirus continue to rise in France daily.

    The new rules are in force between 10:00 and 19:00 local time, and come into effect on Wednesday.

    The death toll in France has risen above 10,000 – the fourth-highest figure after Italy, Spain and the US.

    The toll in French hospitals – not counting care homes – was 607 for the past 24 hours, health officials said.

    The total now is 10,328, a rise of 16% compared with the Monday total. However, the latest data for care homes is not complete.

  51. Mexico – “Neumonia atipica” covid-19 but not tested.

    Google translates as

    The graph is from the General Hospital of Tijuana, taken yesterday. 19 patients with atypical pneumonia and only three cases of # Covid_19mx. Today it amounted to 25, two doctors, one of them cased, serious. There is no information to test these patients with #PneumoniaAtipica.

  52. https://www.elmundo.es/ciencia-y-salud/salud/2020/04/07/5e8c38b1fc6c83204d8b45e7.html

    This criterion could shoot the number of deaths due to the pandemic in Spain to more than double the official data. The Government blames García-Page, says that the competence to collect data is his and asks him to explain it

    The problem is that this system provided by Health to all the Autonomous Communities, as the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla-La Mancha has denounced , can cause an insufficient count of the number of cases, so that the actual deaths by Covid-19 could almost tripled those accounted for, as has happened in this region.

    Following the same reasoning as the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla-La Mancha, the 13,798 deaths due to coronaviruses recorded to date could actually be between 27,000 and 41,000 killed by Covid-19.

    MORTALITY SOARS

    In addition, the mortality data for these first months of 2020 is multiplying the 2019 data by up to six, making it very likely that many deaths are due to the coronavirus, although they are not being incorporated into the official figures.

    In Madrid city , for example, between March 15 and 31, 2020, 5,950 people died, almost six times more than in the same period last year, when 1,100 died, according to regional government data.

    The TSJCM released data from Castilla-La Mancha on Monday in a report according to which of 3,319 burial licenses that were issued in March, 1,921 were related to Covid-19, but only confirmed deaths were counted, as requested by the ministry, that is, 708 deaths, almost a third of those possible.

  53. “…and, critically, closed its borders to non-residents”

    That’s like what South Korea said, weeks ago; that there were more cases coming in through the airports than there were cross-infections within the country. They knew, because they were doing so many tests.

    Many celebrities, politicians and famous sport personalities got infected before I heard of any cases through people I know. It’s pretty obvious that it’s the jet set who have spread this so fast.

  54. The Conservative Party is in full spin in revealing how sick Prime Minister Johnson really is.

    Dr. Richard Leach is overseeing his treatment but no word from him about how he is, though he is now on a ventilator to help his lungs work. Soon a machine will be doing all the work.

    Of course, there is still all the baloney about his being in good spirits and in a stable condition.

    It will take two months to make any kind of recovery, and it may never be. He will be considerably weaker, and lose a lot of weight.

    You might think h on Mars for the lack of serious details, but he is in central London.

  55. Than you for your concern Trow.

    The latest information I have is that Boris was taken into hospital because a routine test showed he had a lower than normal oxygen content in his blood. Last I heard he was on oxygen but not on a ventilator.

  56. https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/08/coronavirus-live-news-us-trump-threatens-who-funding-uk-boris-johnson-global-cases-latest-updates

    Amid reports that life in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus outbreak began in December, is returning to normal, a reader has written to give his experience of the easing of the lockdown.

    Life for residents of Wuhan is still more restricted than UK’s so-called lockdown. Each district is controlled by its own local authority so it’s not entirely uniform but the basics are the same.

    To leave the community residence you need a green health code via an app on your phone. This is tied to your Chinese ID card and logs who you are and where you are. Your temperature is also taken.

    To use the limited public transport you also need to log in and out using the app. Foreigners don’t have an ID card so they can’t use it.

    Anyone returning to work also needs a special certificate verifying that the business has been given permission to restart. Otherwise you’re expected to return to your home within two hours.

    Restaurants, cafes, stores, anywhere that people might gather are still closed. I can get to the supermarket five minutes walk from my apartment block, that’s all.

    One hour a day exercise? No way.

    So nobody should be mistaken that life in Wuhan is back to normal. And people in the UK need to think about what lockdown really means.

  57. I see some are trying to take advantage of the crisis to further their own political agenda.

    https://twitter.com/GreenRupertRead/status/1247598331385262081

    Money paid out by the government to affected businesses is not a “bail out”. It is compensation for losses attained due to government legislation. It is there to protect businesses and their employees. It should be available equally to all affected businesses across all sectors not applied selectively for political reasons.

  58. F: “The latest information I have is that Boris was taken into hospital because a routine test showed he had a lower than normal oxygen content in his blood.

    I don’t think someone gets confined to intensive care indefinitely just because of an anomaly in a routine test, Fred. Still, you will completely overplay or underplay any situation as it suits you.

  59. “I don’t think someone gets confined to intensive care indefinitely just because of an anomaly in a routine test, Fred.”

    And I don’t think anyone gets described as “in good spirits” if they are on a ventilator Glenn. I’ve been on a ventilator, the keep you under heavy sedation for obvious reasons.

  60. I see loads of folk on twitter are saying Boris is on an ECMO machine – which so far nobody has officially denied.

    You can be awake and talking on an ECMO machine it seems.

    https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/what-is-ecmo.pdf

    Once connected to an ECMO machine, the cannulae are not painful. People who are on an ECMO machine may be given medicines (sedatives or pain controllers) to keep them comfortable. These medicines may also make them sleepy. Some people are awake and can talk and interact with people while on an ECMO machine.

    I post this purely to note people are saying he’s on this on twitter – so probably false then 🙂

  61. Thanks Fred, Rupert Read’s Tweet led to a petition which I’ve signed:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/302992

    “Cease any investment and subsidies in the aviation industry and support the employees to transition into roles in ‘greener’ transport.”

    It’s all very well for you up there in the wilds you’ve run away to. Here on the Heathrow, Luton, and Stansted flightpaths I’ve been enjoying the quiet; just the third time in 27 years that I’ve been free of aircraft noise 24 hours a day. My friends say the same.

  62. “Thanks Fred, Rupert Read’s Tweet led to a petition which I’ve signed”

    Then you agree in principle to the government using emergency legislation to combat the coronavirus crisis to bring about political changes not related to the crisis.

  63. Breaking news.

    “Downing Street said Mr Johnson was in “good spirits” as he continued to receive standard oxygen treatment. He was breathing without any assistance, such as mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52208156

  64. Ben, here’s a petition for you:

    Several senators may have engaged in an absolutely shameful — and possibly criminal — insider trading scheme around the COVID-19 crisis, according to new reports.

    – Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had access to insider information about coronavirus as members of Congress. And at least two of them — Senators Burr and Loeffler — publicly downplayed concerns about an outbreak.

    – But in private, these senators were selling off their portfolios — unloading millions of dollars in stocks right before they lost huge amounts of market value. That means their inside information as senators let them dodge the market crash that’ll shrink millions of Americans’ retirement savings.

    https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/investigate-these-senators-profiting-off-of-a-pandemic

  65. Fred,

    I’m not sure what to make of that “He was breathing without any assistance, such as mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.”

    Shouldn’t it be “He was breathing without any assistance, such as mechanical ventilation or invasive respiratory support.” Or perhaps remove the word “invasive” as well.

    First way seems to imply he might be on “Invasive respiratory support”. Anyway comments online suggest what they are denying is that he has a tube down his throat. It is perfectly possible to be on ECMO without that.

    I’m just commenting on it as something that is out there on twitter.

  66. ‘Shouldn’t it be “He was breathing without any assistance, such as mechanical ventilation or invasive respiratory support.’

    No, ventilation is invasive respirator support. non invasive respiratory support is air under positive pressure applied through a mask.

    He will just be getting added oxygen through a nose tube.

  67. Fred,

    That is your assumption and let’s hope it is true.

    Difficult to see why you’d be several days in ICU if all you are getting is a little extra oxygen support. Anyway perhaps they’ll issue a denial of ECMO explicitly as they’ve done for a ventilator.

    Also my experience of visiting people in ICU is they are not usually in “good spirits” either assuming they can communicate at all.

    I don’t like the man but I do wish him all the best whatever treatment he is getting.

  68. Fred, it’s a petition. I think the people have the right to influence their government at any time, and reducing (preferably rationing) passenger air transport is a change I was advocating anyway.

    The airlines should insure against a pandemic, especially seeing as it’s their business activity that spreads it across the globe. They were probably insured already, and public money is either a bonus, or effectively a “financial stimulus” to the insurance sector.

  69. I think the ICU will be for their superior monitoring facilities Squonk.

    Plus with the state of the NHS that could well be the only place they could find a bed.

  70. You agree in principle to the government using pandemic emergency legislation to bring about unrelated permanent political changes Clark.

    So now if the government uses emergency legislation to make permanent changes which they consider important you have no right to complain.

  71. Sanders is dropping out of the race, and endorsing Biden. At least it means the end of Big Mouth short of a miracle or some October Surprise.

  72. Fred, the government exists to serve the people. Not business, the corporate sector or their shareholders; the people. Predictably, this government committed to helping big business, while leaving the people to struggle on whatever meagre portion “trickles down”. Even small businesses only get loans whereas big business get grants in the billions.

    We don’t even know if there will be a solution to CoVID-19. We don’t know if recovery imparts immunity, and we don’t know if a vaccine is possible. So what’s the point of giving billions to the airlines to “tide them over” when we don’t even know if they can ever return to how they were? It could well be public money down the drain, or rather to the already very wealthy, just like the bank bailouts.

  73. And as for my “right”, I don’t care. Most governments have no rights with me because they already broke the social contract by hurtling humanity towards extinction with their incessant prioritisation of big business.

  74. F: “And I don’t think anyone gets described as “in good spirits” if they are on a ventilator Glenn

    And I didn’t say anything about Johnson being on a ventilator, Fred. Why do you have to make stuff up? Is it because the real point at hand is too tough for you?

  75. No, Glenn I saw that baloney somewhere, in the Daily Mail I think, and that Boris was on ventilation.

  76. “Fred, the government exists to serve the people.”

    Then they can serve the people who fly on aeroplanes.

    They could also decide that diseases are spread by large numbers of people grouping together and permanently ban demonstrations and protests to protect the people.

    Once you accept in principle that the government is justified in using emergency legislation to achieve unrelated political goals they could do anything they want for the good of the people.

  77. “…they could do anything they want for the good of the people.”

    They already do; I could fill a page with examples.

  78. “And I didn’t say anything about Johnson being on a ventilator”

    Where did I say you did?

  79. Britain learned well over two hundred years ago to control of public discussion. lying if it is convenient.

    Henry Brougham got Thomas Barnes of The Times on board to help promote his reform agenda.

    Having enough oxygen in your blood is essential to keep living.

    Boris wasn’t getting enough in infected No. 10. so he went outside, clapping wildly as if he was greeting well-wishers while sucking in the fresh air. Breathing was becoming a big problem which had to be covered up, and it was and is.

  80. Fred: “Where did I say you did?

    You argued against that point as if I’d made it. Now you’re just arguing the toss.

  81. @Squonk: I don’t support Johnson’s policies, and by all accounts he’s something of a cad. However, I certainly agree that it would be very sad if anything serious happens to him, and I definitely wish him the best.

    However, wouldn’t it be a real shame if anything bad happened to this shower:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/08/world/coronavirus-live-news-updates.html

    The epidemic hits the Saudi royal family hard.

    More than six weeks after Saudi Arabia reported its first case, the coronavirus is striking terror into the heart of the kingdom’s sprawling ruling family.

    As many as 150 royals inside the kingdom are believed to have contracted the coronavirus, including members of the family’s lesser branches, according to a person close to the family.

  82. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending27march2020

    Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 27 March 2020

    The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 27 March 2020 (Week 13) was 11,141; this represents an increase of 496 deaths registered compared with the previous week (Week 12) and 1,011 more than the five-year average.

    …Of the deaths registered in Week 13, 539 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, which is 4.8% of all deaths; this compared with 103 (1.0% of all deaths) in Week 12.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-52214177

    Coronavirus in Scotland: Who is dying and where?

    The Scottish government has changed the way it reports coronavirus deaths in Scotland.

    The daily figures from Health Protection Scotland will still be published, but additional figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) will now be released every Wednesday.

    These new figures include all cases where Covid-19 is mentioned on a death certificate, even if the patient was not in hospital and had not been tested – and even if the virus was just one of a number of factors.

    There will also be additional details, including the age and gender of the patient who died.

    The wider definition of what constitutes a coronavirus death means that Scotland’s death rate is higher than has been previously reported, as this graph shows.

  83. Don’t even take seriously, Glenn_uk, Bozo going to the emergency room at Saint Thomas’s?

    Who’s the looney now?

  84. I hate to say it but certain races and cultures are devolutionary.

    Cairo: Saudi actress Maram Abdul Aziz has sparked an outcry after she proposed using prisoners “instead of rats and monkeys” for testing new medicines.

    “If it were up to me, I would not just imprison and waste food, drinking and rehabilitation for those arrested especially in cases related to security,” the 35-year-old said in a tweet. “I would turn them into a testing field for new medications even if the results were not guaranteed to punish them. Thus, the country would benefit from them. They should be used for testing instead of rats and monkeys that have done no harm to us,” she added.

  85. https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/news/2020/deaths-involving-covid-19-statistics-published-by-national-records-of-scotland

    Deaths involving COVID-19 statistics published by National Records of Scotland

    As at 5th April, 354 deaths have been registered in Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned in the death certificate, according to statistics published by National Records of Scotland (NRS) today. The first mention of COVID-19 in a death registration was the week beginning 16th March 2020.

    Between 30th March to 5th April, 282 deaths relating to COVID-19 have been registered. There were 62 in the previous week, 23rd to 29th March, and 10 in the week before, 16th to 22nd March.

    To place these statistics in context, the total number of deaths registered in Scotland from 30th March to 5th April was 1,741. The average number of deaths registered in the same week over the last five years was 1,098.

  86. It’ s Rare to see such truth telling in the Media..That’s why RT..are so important. Fuck the BBC.

    John Pilger in Blistering Form – uk inaction Re Covid is a Crime – He talks about Julian in Belmarsh Hell ..at around 16 mins in…AL FACTS –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt58it26jCs

  87. Squonk, do you know anything about why developing a vaccine against HIV has been proving so difficult?

  88. “It’ s Rare to see such truth telling in the Media..That’s why RT..are so important. Fuck the BBC.”

    Yes Brian, it’s nothing short of a miracle how Russia has only had 76 deaths when somewhere like Italy has had 17,669.

    How do you think they achieved this?

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