Recently in Medicine and Health Category

The numbers look good - from Tech Startup:

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko has now treated 699 coronavirus patients with 100% success using Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, Zinc and Z-Pak
Last Wednesday, we published the success story from Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, after he successfully treated 350 coronavirus patients with 100 percent success using a cocktail of drugs: hydroxychloroquine, in combination with azithromycin (Z-Pak), an antibiotic to treat secondary infections, and zinc sulfate.  Dr. Zelenko said he saw the symptom of shortness of breath resolved within four to six hours after treatment.

Now, Dr. Zelenko provides updates on the treatment after he successfully treated 699 COVID-19 patients in New York. In an exclusive interview with former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Vladmir Zelenko shares the results of his latest study, which showed that out of his 699 patients treated, zero patients died, zero patients intubated, and four hospitalizations.

Dr. Zelenko said the whole treatment costs only $20 over a period of 5 days with 100% success. He defines success as “Not to die.” Dr. Zelenko first posted his Facebook video message last week calling on President Trump to “advise the country that they should be taking this medication.”

There are many other success stories about hydroxychloroquine across the country. Last week, Dr. William Grace, an oncologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said they’ve not had a single death in their hospital because of  hydroxychloroquine. “Thanks to hydroxychloroquine, we have not had a death in our hospital,’ Dr. Grace said.

Also, in a study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) also confirmed some of Dr. Dr. Zelenko’s findings. The study by NIH showed that Zinc supplementation decreases the morbidity of lower respiratory tract infection in pediatric patients in the developing world. A second study also conducted by NIH titled: “In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxychloroquine for the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),” also showed hydroxychloroquine to be more potent in killing the virus off in vitro (in the test tube and not in the body).

Now we just need to get it out there - they should have kits available at WalMart for $4.27.

From Louisiana’s The Hayride:

Gov. Abbott Seals Texas-Louisiana Border
On Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered that travel be restricted between Texas and Louisiana.

The order, which went into effect midnight, did not give Texans much time to stock up on boudin balls or Western Lousianans to sneak in a quick supply run to Houston.

Abbott’s original order restricted air travel to New Orleans and New York, requiring travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days. The new order covers vehicle travel if not for “essential activities.”

This is a developing story.

Good move - New Orleans "Katrina'd" themselves again and kept Mardi Gras running with no restrictions - they ignored the warnings. They are now paying the price and Governor Abbott has no desire to spread the love. A very wise call.

This is going to escalate quickly - from Breitbart:

CDC: Japanese Data Show Indoor Coronavirus Transmission 18.7 Times Likelier, as Garcetti Moves L.A. Homeless to Rec Centers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a paper reporting that Japanese data showed that coronavirus transmission was nearly 20 times more likely indoors than outdoors.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is moving hundreds of homeless people into recreation centers in residential areas — a policy that is receiving increasing scrutiny and criticism from residents and the media.

The Los Angeles Times reported this weekend that there is growing discord in California about Garcetti’s plan to help the homeless:

There has been pushback to using the recreation centers, though, and a fear that they could be incubators for spreading the novel coronavirus among an already high-risk population. While most health experts, advocates and some politicians agree that quick action will require using multiple types of shelter, they say single-occupancy spaces such as motel or hotel rooms are safer.

The CDC paper, dated Mar. 18, 2020, has surfaced amidst debates about whether to move homeless people indoors to protect them from the coronavirus pandemic — or whether doing so would actually expose them to more risk.

The LA Times page is behind a pay-wall so not linking to them. This is going to rip through that very fragile community like a hot knife through butter. The Wuhan Virus is transmitted through body fluids of which poop and pee are perfect examples. Talk about a bad decision - Garcetti is going to have to live with these consequences.

Today's message:

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Tip of the hat to Vanderleun for the link.

COVID-19 common sense

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Some good thoughts on the Chinese Flu - all of the hype is showing to be just that, hype. From Real Clear Politics:

Dr. Birx: Coronavirus Data Doesn't Match The Doomsday Media Predictions

White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx warned the public not to panic when they hear about models and projections of the pandemic's spread.

"Models are models," she said. "When people start talking about 20% of a population getting infected, it's very scary, but we don't have data that matches that based on our experience."

She said the media should not "make the implication that when they need a hospital bed it's not going to be there, or a ventilator, it's not going to be there, we don't have evidence of that."

"It's our job collectively to assure the American people," she also said. "There is no model right now -- no reality on the ground where we can see that 60% to 70% of Americans are going to get infected in the next eight to 12 weeks. I want to be clear about that."

Much more at the site. The politicians are using this crisis as a way to advance their agenda. These a**holes need to be voted out of office ASAP.

And, as a reminder, the stock market at its most recent low point is STILL 20% higher than when President Trump took office. We are doing just fine.

Some numbers from this article at Vox by way of Bellingham geologist Dan McShane:

How we know ending social distancing will lead to more deaths, in one chart
People will die if we end social distancing early. This chart proves it.
President Donald Trump already wants to pull back social distancing policies and guidances implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But we know, based on the nation’s history with past outbreaks, what will happen if we do this too early: People will die.

In 1918, the world was ravaged by a horrible flu pandemic, which was linked to as many as 100 million deaths globally and about 675,000 deaths in the US. In response, cities across America adopted a variety of social distancing measures to combat the pandemic. Based on several studies of the period, these measures worked to reduce the death toll overall.

But many cities, also worried about the effects of social distancing on normal life and the economy, pulled back their social distancing efforts prematurely. When they did, they saw flu cases — and deaths — rise again.

Consider St. Louis. The city is now heralded as an example of how to do social distancing right because it took an aggressive and layered response to the flu pandemic early on. But as a 2007 study published in JAMA found, St. Louis in 1918 pulled back its social distancing efforts prematurely — and that led to a spike in deaths.

Here’s how that looks in chart form, with the line chart representing excess flu deaths and the black and gray bars below showing when social distancing measures were in place. The highest peak comes after social distancing measures were lifted, with the death rate falling only after they were reinstituted.

The usual obligatory Trump bashing in the first paragraph - President Trump wants to restore businesses sometime around Easter, he has said nothing about stopping the basic prophylactic measures - hand washing, social distancing, etc... Here is the chart:

20200325-social.jpg

Right there in black and white - you are looking at the black bars at the bottom for School closure and Public gathering ban. They relaxed these measures mid-November and saw a large uptick in deaths. The paper also:

Analyzing data from 43 cities, the JAMA study found this pattern repeatedly across the country. Howard Markel, an author of the study and the director of the University of Michigan’s Center for the History of Medicine, described the results as a bunch of “double-humped epi curves” — officials instituted social distancing measures, saw flu cases fall, then pulled back the measures and saw flu cases rise again.

Notably, the second rise in deaths only appeared when cities removed social distancing measures, the JAMA study found: “Among the 43 cities, we found no example of a city that had a second peak of influenza while the first set of nonpharmaceutical interventions were still in effect.”

Common sense - you can't catch it if it can't reach you. Good basic science.

The N95 mask - a bit of history

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The N95 mask has a fascinating and long history - from Fast Company:

The untold origin story of the N95 mask
The most important design object of our time was more than a century in the making
It’s hard to think of a symbol of COVID-19 more fraught than the N95 respirator. The mask fits tightly around the face and is capable of filtering 95% of airborne particles, such as viruses, from the air, which other protective equipment (such as surgical masks) can’t do. It’s a life-saving device that is now in dangerously short supply. As such, it has come to represent the extreme challenges of the global response to COVID-19.

How did a flimsy polymer cup become the most significant health device of the 21st century? It all started in 1910 with a little-known doctor who wanted to save the world from one of the worst diseases ever known.

The genesis was a virulent illness in 1950 in Manchuria - a Chinese doctor came up with a prototype and showed it to someone:

The Chinese Imperial Court brought in a doctor named Lien-teh Wu to head its efforts. He was born in Panang and studied medicine at Cambridge. Wu was young, and he spoke lousy Mandarin. In a plague that quickly attracted international attention and doctors from around the world, he was “completely unimportant,” according to Lynteris. But after conducting an autopsy on one of the victims, Wu determined that the plague was not spread by fleas, as many suspected, but through the air.

Expanding upon the surgery masks he’d seen in the West, Wu developed a heartier mask from gauze and cotton, which wrapped securely around one’s face and added several layers of cloth to filter inhalations. His invention was a breakthrough, but some doctors still doubted its efficacy.

“There’s a famous incident. He’s confronted by a famous old hand in the region, a French doctor [Gérald Mesny] . . . and Wu explains to the French doctor his theory that plague is pneumonic and airborne,” Lynteris says. “And the French guy humiliates him . . . and in very racist terms says, ‘What can we expect from a Chinaman?’ And to prove this point, [Mesny] goes and attends the sick in a plague hospital without wearing Wu’s mask, and he dies in two days with plague.”

Heh - showed the Frenchman a thing or two...

Lynteris is Christos Lynteris - a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews and an expert in medical mask history. Much more at the site - some interesting reading for a quiet day at home.

A failed city living off the tourist dollar. All show and no substance. From NBC News:

New Orleans is an epicenter of coronavirus. Mardi Gras could be to blame, doctors say.
Health experts say it's no surprise that New Orleans is the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in hard-hit Louisiana, after over a million people flocked to the city to celebrate Carnival for more than a month, culminating in Mardi Gras at the end of February.

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday requested a Major Disaster Declaration for the state as the number of cases rose to 1,388 cases in 43 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, according to the state's health department.

At least 46 people have died.

“It is still impossible to know exactly how long the COVID-19 pandemic will impact Louisiana, but what we do know is that we have more cases per capita than every state, except for New York and Washington," Edwards said Tuesday. On Sunday, he issued a stay at home order in an effort to slow the rapid rise of cases.

While some parishes appear to be unaffected, Edwards said testing just hadn't caught up. "We shouldn't delude ourselves. It's in every single parish," he said.

And the Mardi Gras crowd tends to be the young 20-30's - most likely to be asymptomatic while still being highly contagious. Perfect for bringing home to Mom and Dad.

Elder health in Italy

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Italy is one of the epicenters of COVID-19 with a higher than usual percentage of fatalities. They have a higher than usual number of elderly people so that explains part of it - this is borne out in this paper from August 2019 looking at the Influenza season of 2013/14 and 2016/17 - from the International Journal of Infectious Diseases:

Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons)
Highlights

    • In the winter seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17, an estimated average of 5,290,000 ILI cases occurred in Italy, corresponding to an incidence of 9%.
    • More than 68,000 deaths attributable to flu epidemics were estimated in the study period.
    • Italy showed a higher influenza attributable excess mortality compared to other European countries. especially in the elderly.

A lot more at the site. Something to consider when looking at the overall mortality of the Chinese Flu.

And, something to consider if looking at retiring to Italy - medical care does not seem to be oriented towards us old farts.

BOHICA

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Bohica - has a nice Carribean ring to it. Actually, an acronym for the following: Bend Over, Here It Comes Again. From India's english language site NEWS18:

Hantavirus Kills Man in China; Here's What You Should Know About This Disease
At the time when the world is grappling with coronavirus, other diseases like swine flu and bird flu have also started troubling a few countries. One such disease which is rearing its head in China, which is still battling coronavirus, is hantavirus.

On Twitter, China’s Global Times wrote that one man in the country had tested positive for hantavirus. According to the state media, the man, a resident of Yunnan Province, died on a bus while travelling to Shandong Province for work on Monday.

Carried by rodents - there are several dozen cases reported in the US every year so not common but not unusual.

The disease has a name

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It is called Panic - a great examination of President Trump's strategy dealing with the Chinese Flu - from Don Surber:

Trump's end game on COVID-19

"Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the corona virus outbreak in China. My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat."
-- President Donald John Trump
State of the Union
February 4, 2020

What is President Donald John Trump's end game with COVID-19? He never engages in battle without winning the war first. From the moves he has made, we may be able to predict his end game.

Vox reported this weekend, "Top health officials first learned of the virus’s spread in China on January 3, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday. Throughout January and February, intelligence officials’ warnings became more and more urgent, according to the Post — and by early February, much of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA’s intelligence reports were dedicated to warnings about COVID-19.

"All the while, Trump downplayed the virus publicly, telling the public the corona virus 'is very well under control in our country,' and suggesting warm weather would neutralize the threat the virus poses."

His first move was a restriction on travel to Red China on January 31. Red China and its agents in the United States labeled this racist and xenophobic, but the president gave cover to worried airlines to shut down flights to Wuhan and Beijing.

President Trump mentioned the virus briefly in the State of the Union but other than that, he did little publicly. I believe he was preparing for battle. His worse nightmare -- according to conventional wisdom in Washington -- was about to come true. The stock market tanked, a harbinger of what the American economy could do.

Turns out that in order for Doctors to be able to use chloroquine, they have to do... nothing...

FDA approval is not needed under the the Right To Try law that President Trump signed in May 2018

Again, something that completely turned the tables on how big pharma was done in the USA but passed without a ripple in the mainstream media. Now that it is needed, it is in place. Don also looks at some history:

To put this virus in perspective, let us look at what happened with the flu last winter.

The CDC reported, "CDC estimates that the burden of illness during the 2018–2019 season included an estimated 35.5 million people getting sick with influenza, 16.5 million people going to a health care provider for their illness, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths from influenza."

Like I said - the disease is panic, not a virus.

Not surprising - no long-term vision with that one. Thinking ahead to the next four years was all. From PJ Media:

It’s Barack Obama's Fault There’s a Shortage of N95 Respirator Masks
Last week Bloomberg published a story about the mask shortages and how that was making it difficult for hospital workers in various states to take alternative measures to help protect themselves during the coronavirus pandemic, including making masks out of office supplies, and taking masks home to bleach them so they can be reused. It paints a horrible picture of chaos in our nation’s hospitals, and attempts to blame the problem on the Trump administration, because the Strategic National Stockpile, which is maintained by the Health and Human Services Department, is insufficient for the current crisis.

Back in 2005, the Bush administration published the “National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza.” The strategy called for plans to distribute medical supplies from the national stockpile and to assist state and local efforts to handle an outbreak, but last month, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Congress that the national stockpile of N95 respirator masks was 12 million—a mere fraction of the 1.7 billion masks government scientists estimated back in 2015 would be needed in the event of a severe flu outbreak.

How did we end up with such a low stockpile? It used to be much larger. What happened to it?

Buried several paragraphs deep in the aforementioned Bloomberg story we find out that “after the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009, which triggered a nationwide shortage of masks and caused a 2- to 3-year backlog orders for the N95 variety, the stockpile distributed about three-quarters of its inventory and didn’t build back the supply.”

That's right, the shortage of N95 masks can be traced back to the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic of 2009... when Barack Obama was president.

Much more at the site - more links and corroborating data. Not Trump's fault. Obama's fault - kicking the can down the road as he did on so many things. This one happened to come back to bite him.

Or any illness that comes along. Masks? JoAnne Fabrics

Help Support our Country’s Medical Personnel
Making protective masks & gowns is a great way to help during this critical time

A bunch of resources (patterns, fabric specifications) for making medical N95 masks.

For all things food - from Serious Eats:

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide
As the father of a young toddler, the son of two senior parents in the at-risk age group, and the chef/partner of a restaurant that up until recently employed a few dozen people and fed hundreds on any given night, knowing what is and isn't safe in the current environment is of the utmost importance to me, especially as it relates to food and dining.

Like many densely populated metropolitan areas, the Bay Area is now on complete lockdown. All non-essential businesses are closed, gatherings of large groups of people are banned, and residents have been told to leave their houses only if necessary. Among the businesses still running—at least in limited capacity—are supermarkets and restaurants, the latter of which are solely allowed to operate as take-out and delivery venues. I expect more cities will follow suit in the coming days and weeks.

Even so, plenty of folks—myself included—have been confused or curious about the safety of allowing restaurants to continue preparing and serving food. Is it actually safe? Should I reheat the food when I get it home? Is it better to support local businesses by ordering food, or am I only putting workers and delivery people at risk? And if I’m cooking my own food, what guidelines should I follow?

To answer these questions, I referenced dozens of articles and scientific reports and enlisted the help of Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist from the North Carolina State University and cohost of Risky or Not and Food Safety Talk.

Whether you managed to stock your fridge and pantry, or were left staring at empty supermarket shelves, there's good news: you can still eat safely, even from restaurants, provided you follow a few basic guidelines.

I'll start by going over what we know about the virus, followed by some basic rules to safely shop, cook, and order food.

This is an incredible resource not only for the Chinese Virus but for all food safety. Sending this link out to a bunch of people I know - well worth spreading around.

Glad I do not live in a major city

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The Chinese Virus is going to really highlight the difference between the well-run and poorly-run cities around the world.

Last night, I was mentioning how New York City Mayor Warren Wilhelm, Jr. Bill DeBlasio was handeling the city and what his own people thought of it (not well). This morning brings news that things are worse - a lot worse.

Here it is in a few headlines:

And, of course, the narrative must be preserved and promoted:

And, it is not just New York City - looks like the other major progressive population centers are about to get hit too:

Once this hits the homeless population, watch out. The homeless will catch it and die but all the people who take care of them will catch it as well and during their two or three weeks of asymptomatic walking around, they will spread it the rest of their cohort, their friends and family, fellow grocery shoppers, commuters, etc... What most people are doing now is Kabuki Theater at best. This is going to get a lot worse before it will get better.

Speaking truth to power - China

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From Pat Condell:

Tip of the hat to Vanderleun

More about China - not nice people:

And the next pandemic from China?

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This is wonderful - from Voice of America:

Mystery Illness Kills Ethiopian Nomads
More than 2,000 nomads in Ethiopia’s Somali region have died since 2014 after falling ill from a mysterious disease that caused bleeding from their mouths and noses.

Other reported symptoms include swollen limbs and green or yellow eyes.

The affected people roam with their cattle around the Ogaden Basin region, which is being explored by companies looking for oil and natural gas.

Reports of the mysterious illness and deaths have drawn Western reporters and researchers from rights groups to investigate.

Residents of Calub, Ethiopia, have accused a Chinese project that includes construction of a pipeline from Ogaden to Djibouti of destroying the environment where their animals are grazing.

Sounds more like chemical toxicity than an infective disease but still... Not good.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Truckers 'extremely disappointed' PennDOT closed rest stops
A national organization representing truck drivers is upset that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has closed rest areas and welcome centers due to the COVID-19 virus.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said Tuesday it is “extremely disappointed” that the state has closed the areas, where drivers stop to sleep and use restrooms. PennDOT announced Monday it was closing the areas to limit social interaction to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“We understand this decision was likely made in an effort to limit passenger vehicle movement, interaction among travelers, and the state’s administration and supervision of these facilities during an emergency declaration,” the association said in a news release. “However, rest areas are vitally important to truckers, who at this time are being heavily relied upon to transport critical supplies across the country.”

A perfect example of doing something that sounds good as opposed to something that actually DOES good.

Pennsylvania is interesting in that it has alternated between Republican and Democrat governors since the 1980's - it was strongly Republican before.

The title? From Mr. B. Bunny

President Trump just did it again - a perfect solution to a problem. He is a businessman and successful businessmen do that on a daily basis. From PJ Media:

Trump Orders Military Hospital Ships 'Mercy' and 'Comfort' to New York
Donald Trump ordered "two yuge ships" outfitted for treating patients and currently used by the military to set sail for the most heavily infected areas of America.

According to Trump's press conference statements on Wednesday, the ships are set for rapid deployment. "They're getting ready to come up to New York," he said. "Those two ships are getting prepared to go." The ships are floating hospitals that are normally used near war zones but are being repurposed to aid in the coronavirus outbreak that experts fear will overwhelm U.S. hospitals. Currently, no hospitals are reporting being overwhelmed with cases.

Each ship has 1,000 beds and 12 operating rooms - perfect. A proactive and immediate response.

It is also the perfect finger in the eye for demagogues like Chuckie Schumer who puts down anything that Trump does just to advance the liberal narrative. New Yorkers are not stupid - they can see the two huge floating hospital ships in the harbor. They will know who is really taking care of their friends and family and will remember next November. There is a big difference between a handful of free trinkets and an act of forethought and substance.

From Pakistan's English language newspaper Daily Times:

China, Philippines detects bird flu outbreak
China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported an animal outbreak of the often fatal H5N1 bird flu in thousands of chickens in the Hunan province, which borders the Hubei province to the south.

“The farm has 7,850 chickens, and 4,500 of the chickens have died from the contagion. Local authorities have culled 17,828 poultry after the outbreak,” a statement by China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said.

Likewise, Philippines has detected an outbreak of avian flu in a northern province after tests showed the presence of the highly infectious H5N6 subtype of the influenza A virus in a quail farm, the country’s farm minister said on Monday (March 16).

Worry much?

...the outbreak is a cause for concern because this avian flu has a 60% mortality rate among infected humans, according to WHO. Additionally, the H5N1 bird flu can cause severe respiratory illness, including pneumonia, and neurological changes such as an altered mental state and seizures.

Just wonderful. The good news is that we are already locked down so spread will not be as bad or as rapid. A lot of nasty stuff out there and we as a planet are woefully under-prepared. It is not IF, it is WHEN

Taking the treasure

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A Wuhan Virus meme:

20200317-treasure.jpg

I can see it - we have not really had a serious pandemic since polio in the 1950's. Sure, swine flu was bad but not "OMFG We're all gonna die" serious. Because of this, it has become each administrations' play-toy. From Daniel Greenfield writing at Frontpage Magazine:

The CDC was Fighting Racism and Obesity Instead of Stopping Epidemics
The Centers for Disease Control has a $6.6 billion budget and one job which it messes up every time.

The last time the CDC had a serious workout was six years ago during the Ebola crisis. Back then CDC guidelines allowed medical personnel infected with Ebola to avoid a quarantine and interact with Americans until they showed undeniable symptoms of the disease. There were no protocols in place for treating the potentially infected resulting in the further spread of the disease inside the United States.

At the height of the crisis, confidence in the CDC fell to 37%. Meanwhile, CDC personnel had managed to mishandle Ebola virus samples, accidentally sending samples of the live virus to CDC labs. And the heads of the health bureaucracy blamed the lack of funding for their failure to have an Ebola vaccine.

The self-quarantine measures adopted in response to the coronavirus outbreak are partially a response to the lessons of the Ebola disaster.

But during the Ebola crisis, Democrats tried to shift responsibility from the Obama administration by blaming Republicans for cutting the CDC’s budget from $6.5 billion to $5.9 billion. Sound familiar? Where do those billions for the CDC actually go? Among other things, pushing gun control. The terrible budget deal from December allocated $25 million to the CDC and NIH to study gun violence.

During the Ebola crisis, the CDC had been spending a mere $2.6 million on gun violence studies. But the CDC has a history of wasting money on everything from a $106 million visitor's center with Japanese gardens, a $200K gym, a transgender beauty pageant, not to mention promoting bike paths.

The occasional outbreak only calls the CDC’s general incompetence to everyone’s attention. The rest of the time its incompetence, like that of other government agencies, just ticks along wasting money.

Excellent essay and a lot more at the site. Daniel calls out each administration and their "pet" projects all of which failed. We need science and not social justice. Disease Control is 2/3rds of their name.

A class act - Louis Vuitton

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I have never seen the fascination with fashion but I respect it as a big business. Supports a lot of people all up and down a very long food chain. Ran into this article at The Beeb:

Coronavirus: Louis Vuitton owner to start making hand sanitiser
Louis Vuitton owner LVMH will use its perfume production lines to start making hand sanitiser to protect people against the coronavirus outbreak.

The luxury goods maker says it wants to help tackle a nationwide shortage of the anti-viral products across France.

"These gels will be delivered free of charge to the health authorities," LVMH announced on Sunday.

Very well done Louis Vuitton. Very well done.

Most restaurants are barely keeping afloat. Any interruption in their operation would be fatal. And here it comes thanks to our clueless soon-to-be EX governor (hope hope hope!!!!!) From the office of he who shall soon be unemployed:

Inslee statement on statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars and limits on size of gatherings expanded
Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement tonight that further expands protections against COVID-19.

“Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.

“Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.

“The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.

“Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.

“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.

“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning.”

Going out to eat is the poster-child for Implied Consent. You know there is a pandemic out there, you know that you may catch the Wuhan Flu but you decide to eat out anyway. Therefore, there is no claim against the restaurant if you get sick.

This is just a stupid decision and one that will hurt or kill many small local restaurants. It is Kabuki Theater instead of proper pandemic management. Doing something for the sake of doing something. Something that sounds good instead of something that actually does good. The large chains will tighten their belts and recover. I wonder how much money Gov. Inslee gets from them in campaign contributions...

UPDATE: Just checked here (Public Disclosure Comission) and he has gotten money from two branches of the SEIU union which is food and hospitality and from the United Food and Commercial Workers union. This is just the first page - a lot more here.

Vitamin D supplementation

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Always been a big fan of taking it - usually do about 10,000 units/day during the winter tapering off to 5,000/day in summer. Feel better and it has a lot of benefits. Add respiratory health to the list. From E. M. Smith writing at Musings from the Chiefio:

More Vit-D & Immunity Antiviral
This is an interesting video from 7 months ago. It details how Vit-D activates immunity, including an antiviral protein we produce. (Cathelicidin) Talks about how the nasal mucosa have an enzyme to activte, then use, Vitamin D. How it acts as an inhibitor of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibits the cytotoxic effects of T cells and B cells. (Slide at 8 min) Like maybe that young Chinese M.D. who first called out Covid-19 then died of it might have had a better chance had he not been indoors treating patients all the time, then tossed into a Chinese dungeon for interrogation… /snark; it also helps with allergies.

I think this goes a long way toward explaining the cyclical mature of Influenza and “winter colds”. His chart of vit-D levels by region, with the middle east low, might also help to explain the degree of outbreak in Iran. Covered head to toe in cloth year round, and indoors, now, to great extent. So a low vit-D level and lowered immunity. Below 20 ng/ml is very deficient, and the Middle East has 90% of their population below that level. (Slide at 9 min.) Then a bit of a hoot when Australian dematologists are at 83%. Sunscreen much? (Slide 10:40) At 12 minutes walks through a series of papers / references. I was especially interested in the slide at 20 minutes showing IL-5 cytokine down modulated from about 550 pg/ml to just under 100 pg/ml, and “essentially non-allergic”. The airway contriction vs. not constricted IMHO has significance for Covid-19 treatement.

Good stuff - we have some incredible people working 24/7 on this.

A perfect name for the job - Aptronym

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From InfoGalactic:

Aptronym - rarely-encountered neologisms for the concept of nominative determinism, used for a personal name aptly or peculiarly suited to its owner; essentially, when someone's name describes what they are or what they do.

The entry gives some examples:

Add to this list - from Arab News - meet Dr. Corona Rintawan

Indonesia picks Dr. Corona to lead coronavirus response
JAKARTA: It seems he was born for the job. Emergency medicine expert Dr. Corona Rintawan is heading a task force set up by Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah, to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“The Muhammadiyah COVID-19 Command Center (MCCC) is set up to consolidate all Muhammadiyah assets in an integrated effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” Rintawan told Arab News on Thursday.

Rintawan was appointed to lead the MCCC, an interdisciplinary task force with 13 experts educating the public on how to stop the spread of the virus.

His emergency experience includes being in medical teams responding to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013 and the 2015 Nepal earthquake. He also took part in a humanitarian mission for the Rohingya in Myanmar in 2017.

“We are taking a proactive approach to assist the government in early diagnoses or early treatment for patients that show initial symptoms of infection,” Rintawan said.

His naming story is cute:

Asked about his name, the doctor said his parents would name their children in alphabetical order. Being the third, his name had to start with “c.”

“There was no such thing as baby name books at that time, so they decided to take my name from the Toyota Corona car, which was a popular model back in the 1970s, and as they also found that it means a crown, which symbolizes something good,” he said.

Right place, right time. Perfect name.

Was this intentional? From Newsmax:

Chinese Reporter With Temperature Denied Access to White House Briefing
Hours after it happened on Saturday, White House correspondents were still discussing intently what several called “the incident:” a Chinese correspondent from the state-run CGTN television network was the lone reporter barred from a White House briefing on that afternoon after he was found to be running a high temperature.

The taking of temperatures for reporters as a requirement to enter the briefing as well as the refusal of admission for the Chinese correspondent made as much news as anything said at the briefing by Vice President Mike Pence and the members of Coronavirus Task Force, including a short appearance by President Trump.

Before allowed entrance to the White House Briefing Room, correspondents were required to have their temperatures taken by someone from the White House Physician’s office.

All reporters passed the “test” except the correspondent from the English-language CGTN. According to several reports, he was tested three times but each time was found to be running a temperature of 100.4 degrees—far above the 98.6 degrees that the Center for Disease Control considers normal.

Questioned by reporters, Pence and other members of the Task Force all said they had their temperatures taken before they entered the Briefing Room.

100 is more than a bit high - something is going on and the guy had to know that he was not well. Was this intentional and what disease does he have?

...and one who has lost its fear of people. From the London Daily Mail:

Planet of the apes! Hundreds of hungry monkeys swarm across Thai street as 'rival gangs' fight over food after tourists who normally feed them stay away because of coronavirus
Hundreds of hungry monkeys were seen fighting over a single banana in Thailand after coronavirus caused a huge drop in the numbers of tourists who feed them.

The primates are normally well fed by tourists in Lopburi, central Thailand, but visitors have plummeted because of the COVID-19 virus which is gripping the world.

The animals were reported to be part of two 'rival gangs' made up of the monkeys who dwell in the city and those from the temple areas who were fighting over food.

Footage shows hundreds of monkeys crossing a road and then chasing a single monkey which has got hold of a banana.

As one of the commentors said: "We're only three meals away from anarchy ourselves."

Maybe time to think about thining that herd before nature does it for us with unknown consequences.

What I just said - error rates

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From Gateway Pundit:

Brazilian Leader Jair Bolsonaro TESTS POSITIVE for Coronavirus… Update: Is Awaiting a Second Test to Confirm the News — WAS WITH TRUMP LAST WEEKEND! Update: Second Test NEGATIVE

The headline says it all. The test had a high error rate and Bolsonaro's results were, in fact, in error.

Not good for anyone and especially not good when setting public policy and dealing with world leaders.

Press conference

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Sounds really good so far - very rapid mobilization. I could not imagine it being done any better. What is also really good is that the major retailers are working together and not competing. This is all being done for the benefit of the United States citizens.

An interesting comment - some other nations were able to roll out tests for the disease but they have error rates of several percent. Not a good thing. The tests being distributed here are less than one percent.

I am starting to monitor some of the emergency management frequencies for any updates. Not expecting to be called but ready if needed.

Really happy that we have actual leadership in this nation. The Democrats are be-clowning themselves trying to use this for political gain. Say goodbye to the House in about 200 days - cannot happen soon enough...

Something to remember:

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No laughing matter

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A coronavirus joke - cute and true:

20200313-coronajoke.jpg

Should be fun - noon my time

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President Trump is hosting a news conference today. Planning to watch it.

He had some choice words for the CDC earlier:

So true... Fortunately, we have some adults in the room now.

Social distancing in one photo

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Authorities are advocating that people distance themselves from others to limit the transmission of COVID-19

A perfect meme:

20200312-distance.JPG

A pandemic goes case, case, case, cluster, cluster, ka-boom. We do not want the ka-boom.

One of WA State's clusters is in the town of Stanwood. You pass through Stanwood when you drive on to the island. From Seattle station KOMO:

Statewide death toll from coronavirus rises to 30
The statewide death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 30 on Wednesday, after a third Snohomish County man died along with three others in King County, health officials said.

The Snohomish County man, who is in his 80s, was one of three residents of the Josephine Caring Community in Stanwood who previously were confirmed to have the virus and were taken to a local hospital.

No further details were available about the three additional King County deaths.

So far, 26 people have died from COVID-19 in King County, three in Snohomish County and one in Grant County.

The number of confirmed cases in Washington state is now 366, according to new numbers posted Wednesday by the state Department of Health.

See how this plays out over the next 30 days. Feeling just fine here.

This recursive plague - coronavirus

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Recursion: Recursion is the process of repeating items in a self-similar way. For instance, when the surfaces of two mirrors are exactly parallel with each other, the nested images that occur are a form of infinite recursion. The term has a variety of meanings specific to a variety of disciplines ranging from linguistics to logic. The most common application of recursion is in mathematics and computer science, in which it refers to a method of defining functions in which the function being defined is applied within its own definition. Specifically, this defines an infinite number of instances (function values), using a finite expression that for some instances may refer to other instances, but in such a way that no loop or infinite chain of references can occur. The term is also used more generally to describe a process of repeating objects in a self-similar way.

From Quartz:

A scientific meeting on coronaviruses was cancelled due to coronavirus
The latest event to be cancelled as a result of the spread of the novel coronavirus is, ironically, a scientific meeting on coronaviruses.

On March 9, Nido2020, the official meeting of the International Nidovirus Symposium, was postponed to 2021. The meeting, which happens only once every three years, was set to take place this May 10 to 14 in the Netherlands.

“We started noticing that people were hesitating to register due to all the uncertainty,” said Marjolein Kikkert, a microbiologist at the Leiden University Medical Center who was leading the conference’s planning committee, in an email to Quartz. “The expanding outbreak in Europe in the last week made us feel we should take responsibility and set the good example as coronavirologists to not further spread the virus ourselves.”

Good idea - they will have a vaccine soon enough but until then, limit its spread.

COVID-19 to the north of us

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Had a cluster of fatalities to the south of us and now we have the first one to the north. From Canada's Global News:

COVID-19: B.C. announces Canada’s first coronavirus death
British Columbia has announced the first COVID-19-related death in the country, along with five new cases of the virus.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the man is one of two people at a North Vancouver care home who was diagnosed with the virus last week.

Henry said the patient, a man in his 80s with underlying health conditions, passed away Sunday night.

What we are watching for is this progression: case, case, case, cluster, cluster because after that comes
the Ka-Boom. We do not want the Ka-Boom.

Such a bundle of joy - COVID-19

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The gift that keeps on giving. From the Chinese government's "official" news outlet (ie: the communist party house organ): Global Times

Autopsies offer key clues for early stage COVID-19 patients
Autopsies show severe damage to COVID-19 patients' lungs and immune system, according to a doctor in Wuhan reached by the Global Times, who called for measures to prevent fibrosis of the lungs at an early stage of the disease.

"The influence of COVID-19 on the human body is like a combination of SARS and AIDS as it damages both the lungs and immune systems," Peng Zhiyong, director of the intensive care unit of the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, told the Global Times on Friday.

Peng said he had just talked to Liu Liang, a forensic specialist from the Tongji Medical College at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Liu's team has reportedly conducted nine autopsies on deceased COVID-19 patients as of February 24.

"The autopsy results Liu shared inspired me a lot. Based on the results, I think the most important thing now is to take measures at an early stage of the disease to protect patients' lungs from irreversible fibrosis," Peng noted.

If irreversible damage is done, other measures, like those to prevent patients from oxygen deficit, will not be of much use, he said.

Liu's team published a paper on an autopsy they conducted in the Journal of Forensic Medicine on Tuesday.

Such happy news. The Chinese government outdid themselves when developing this. It will be interesting to see what reperations they will be made to pay - this is going to cripple their plans for expansion which is a very good thing.

Of course, no link to the paper referenced and no word on US or Italian autopsies so this is only hearsay for now.

A good point - COVID-19

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20200306-soap.jpg

Here's how to do it - hand washing

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Not just for coronavirus - this should be the routine for any regular hand washing:

20200304-corona-texas.jpg

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