Shortcut to the full report for Saturday.

The global number of new cases was up 18% over last Sunday.

The USA’s number of new cases was up a terrifying 30% over last Sunday.

France was the big story of the day, with 52,000 new cases in one day – more than India, which has 21 times as many people. (If India had the same rate, it would have has a million new cases in a day.)

Only the best people.

Scott Atlas is a radiologist. He has no training in virology, epidemiology, public health management, statistical analysis, or any other field that would be relevant to the COVID crisis. It appears that he knows far less about viral diseases than laymen who have been cramming on the subject. You would be better off listening to a witch doctor. They always wear masks. And at least garlic poultices and incantations can’t do any harm. It is also believed that Atlas is nudging President Trump in the reckless direction of using a herd immunity strategy with no vaccine on the horizon.

As the director of the CDC pointed out bluntly, “Everything he (Scott Atlas) says is false.”

To repeat the math on herd immunity: scientists estimate that successful herd immunity would require about 2/3 of a population to carry antibodies. In the USA that is about 220 million people. At least 1.4% of Americans who contract the virus are expected to die from it (currently about 700 dead per day, and 50,000 infections per day), so the death toll would be three million.

And that’s if it works.

It probably won’t work because the immunity seems to be short-lived, which means that, lacking a vaccine, a population might never get to a point where 2/3 of the people have antibodies, because by the time the last people are infected, the immunity might be wearing off in those infected early. Let’s suppose that the antibodies last only four months. In that case, the only way to achieve herd immunity is to get antibodies into 220 million people almost instantly, and the only realistic way to do that is with a vaccine. Infecting 220 million people through community spread in three months may not even be possible, but if it were, the health care system could not possibly handle the number of hospital patients that would emerge from the strategy.

At this point I don’t know the actual average duration of immunity, nor does anyone else. Top researchers throughout the world are still learning about COVID-19. But if it is truly as short-lived as four months, we will have a decidedly difficult time with the logistics of fighting it – even with a vaccine, let alone by community spread.

Investigators probe ‘possible ecological catastrophe’ in Russia’s Kamchatka region

“Russian investigators said Saturday they were looking into “a possible ecological catastrophe” in the eastern Kamchatka region, after scores of dead sea creatures washed up in one of it bays and surfers reported burns to their eyes and throats.”

What more can go wrong this year?

It’s difficult to imagine anyone in the future looking back at 2020 with nostalgia.

This sounds kind of silly, but …

Africans and East Asians don’t have any to this gene to speak of. Europeans have a lot, as do the people of the Indian subcontinent.

This is not good news for me. Here’s what it says on the top of my “23 and Me” page: “Hey Greg! You have more Neanderthal DNA than 75% of other customers.”

I did not make that up. It’s an exact quote.

That is Tucker Carlson’s take on the murder of the Kenosha protesters.

Actually, he’s right to say we should not be shocked by their actions. He’s just wrong about the reasons.

I’m not shocked at all that a teenager committed an act of violent mayhem in public with a powerful weapon in a country where a teenager can roam about with impunity in public with a powerful weapon. It’s completely obvious that it’s not a matter of whether these sorts of things will happen, but merely of when.

Shortcut to the full report for Saturday:

The USA’s national indicators are still looking much better than they were before this week:

  • New cases are down about 8% from last Saturday. That is the fourteenth consecutive day of declines, and the 17th decline in the past 20 days.
  • Fatalities are also down, about 13% less than last Saturday. That’s the fifth decline in the past six days.
  • The first decline in new cases began twenty days ago, and the first decline in new deaths began six days ago, precisely 14 days later.
  • Hospitalizations dropped again, and are at the lowest point since July 9.

It is important to note that these current declines are not happening because we ARE doing so well, but because we WERE doing do poorly. Even after that short-term improvement, the USA is still one of only four countries in the world in the red zone for both its new case rate and its new death rate. The four countries are Peru, Colombia, Brazil and the USA. This is not a list we want to be on. We have to do better.

There is also a major negative to consider, America’s testing rate. Positive tests are now more than 8% of all results. Ten states in the USA were above 12% on Saturday.

Note further than five states in the USA are in deep trouble because ALL of the following are true: (1) their new cases rate is higher than any country in the world; (2) their new fatality rate is higher than any country in the world; (3) their rate of positive tests is above 12%. Those states are Mississippi, Florida, Nevada, Georgia and South Carolina.

Per the site:

In a new theoretical study appearing in Nature Scientific Reports, a pair of statistical researchers have warned that rampant human consumption has sent us on a tailspin towards a rapid catastrophic collapse — which could happen in the next two to four decades. Forest density, or the current lack thereof, is considered the cataclysmic canary in the coal mine, according to the report.

Frankly I don’t know how seriously I should take this, and I don’t have the time to study it, but this and the recent “covid could last for decades” news, with its corollary implications for our new normal routines, lead me to wonder if my generation was the one to experience “peak human life” and that it will never be as easy again.

“An outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total cases in recent days to at least 14

Although life can feel normal some days, this serves as a reminder of just how far we really are from returning to life as usual.

For example, Fauci says he won’t go in a plane or eat in a restaurant. (Nor will I!)

Attorney General William P. Barr will nominate Jay Clayton to serve as the new U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

There is a criminal investigation into Deutsche Bank currently occurring in SDNY. Deutsche Bank is Trump’s principal lender and possesses all of his financial data. Jay Clayton counted Deutsche Bank as a client and defended them in a massive money laundering scandal.

There is also an ongoing criminal investigation into Rudy Giuliani, which will presumably disappear when a Trump sycophant takes over the office.

So … usual corrupt shenanigans.

Except for one thing. The current guy did not actually step down!

So … usual chaos.

UPDATE:

UPDATE #2:

Berman has cleaned out his desk. Barr and Berman seem to have reached a compromise. Berman’s trusted deputy will continue in the US Attorney position until the Senate can confirm a replacement. I assume the Democrats will delay the confirmation of Jay Clayton as long as possible

Nothing to it. He’ll snap his fingers like Thanos, and …

racism … gone
bigotry … gone
police brutality … gone

Just as he made the coronavirus go away “like a miracle.”

President Trump praised the use of tear gas and other force to disperse Minneapolis protesters, calling it a ‘beautiful scene’ and describing the National Guard’s actions ‘like a knife cutting butter.'”

This is a joke that starts with the punchline.

Yes, this guy. The one on the left. (The one on the right was not available.)

I just became aware of this today. I looked it up after having seen it used without any clarification in several internet articles. The fact that it is used without explanation seems to indicate that I missed the memo.

“In dozens of YouTube videos, they promise armed rebellion if the government tries to take their guns – a civil war, or Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo.” The name is spun off a Golan/Globus movie from about 35 years ago, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. That I remember. It’s basically a multi-cultural “slobs vs snobs” movie about street dancing. The plot is the usual cliche: girl’s dad wants her to study dance in Paris, but she opts instead to help some street dancers save a community center from an evil developer.

The stats: Coronavirus mapped and quantified.

ADDED 5/19: New polling shows that 49 of the 50 governors have a better approval rating than Trump for their handling of the pandemic. The one exception: Kemp of Georgia. How would that feel? “Well, governor, people think you’re the only leader in America dumber than Trump.” It’s interesting that Republican governors dominate both the top and the bottom of the list, with all the Dems in the middle: six of the top seven are Republicans; seven of the bottom eight are Republicans.

ADDED 5/19: Monday’s fatality numbers. Things are going well in the USA in general. Monday was below last Monday – only by five deaths, but down is better than up. It appears that we will soon see a day in which Brazil takes over the top spot, because the gap is quite narrow and the two countries are moving in opposite directions.

2 Weeks Ago Last Week This Week
Friday 1,897 1,687 1,595
Saturday 1,691 1,422 1,218
Sunday 1,153 750 865
Monday 1,324 1,008 1,003
Tuesday 2,350 1,630
Wednesday 2,528 1,772
Thursday 2,129 1,715


ADDED 5/17: This can’t be good: “Hundreds of villages locked down in northeastern China after fresh coronavirus outbreak.” China had almost eliminated the stubborn disease.

ADDED 5/16: President Trump actually said this in opposition to “overrated” testing: “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.” Sometimes you hear what he says and you wonder, “Could he really be that stupid, or is he just playing to his base?” Of course we would have exactly the same number of cases at any given moment whether we test nobody or could miraculously test everybody at the same second. The difference is we just won’t realize how many there are if we test nobody. Trump’s statement is 100% accurate if you replace “have” with “know about.” The real point is that we will have more cases tomorrow if we don’t know about cases that exist today.

ADDED 5/16: Remember when Trump asked, “What do you have to lose?” about hydroxychloroquine? The answer is “your life.” “Clinical trials, academic research and scientific analysis indicate that the danger of hydroxychloroquine is a significantly increased risk of death

UPDATED 5/16: US weekly jobless claims again hover around 3, bringing the eight-week tally to about 36 million. That is more than 20% of the American work force. In the worst single week after the crash of 2008, claims reached just 665,000.

ADDED 5/14: The number of fatalities caused by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be understated by about 20,000 to 30,000. “Many Covid-19 deaths were simply listed as some variant of ‘respiratory failure’ or ‘multisystem organ failure.’”

ADDED 5/9: “Scientists explore a simple question with big implications: Can people be reinfected by COVID-19?”

UPDATED 5/9: In a bizarre irony, hospitals are making mass lay-offs in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The institutions are suffering financially because they have had to eliminate all the most profitable parts of their business in order to treat corona victims. In all, 1.4 million health care workers lost their jobs in April, 135,000 of those in hospitals.

ADDED 4/29: New evidence reveals: “Coronavirus infections greatly outnumber confirmed covid-19 cases, potentially by a factor of 10 or more.” My guess it that it’s somewhere between 3-to-1 and 6-to-1. The USA has a ratio of about 18 cases per death. The proper ratio, based upon South Korea and other countries, is probably between 50 and 100 cases per death, indicating a fatality rate between 1% and 2%. That’s a wide range because the calculation is an oversimplification on my part. There are many factors going into the fatality rate, and it’s not necessarily fair to compare areas, but my guess is probably in the right ballpark.

ADDED 4/27: U.S. deaths soared in the early weeks of the pandemic, far exceeding the number attributed to covid-19

NEW 3/28: The data reveal that covid-19 is much more dangerous for men. The data are consistent from country to country: men make up 72% of the intensive care unit admissions in Spain, 73% in France, 75% in Norway, 71% in the UK. While researchers cannot yet determine how much of the gender disparity can be attributed to behavioral components, it seems clear that the significance of the gap across cultures means that there must be some biological explanation.

NEW 3/27: An MIT study, Will Coronavirus Pandemic Diminish by Summer?, suggests that 90% of transmission occurs within a narrow temperature band (37 to 63 F) and a limited band of absolute humidity. The scientists do not claim that transmission ceases outside those temperature and humidity bands, but that the spread occurs more slowly. If that holds, the Asian monsoon season, as well as the North American summer, should work against the disease.

March 9:

March 4: A lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild. They will get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor.”

Feb 26: “We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, even going to work. Some of them go to work, but they get better.”

Feb 26: We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time..”

Feb 26: We’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up..”

Feb 26: The 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

Feb 24:

 


The Dow was at 27,960 that day. One month later it was at 18,592.

Jan 24:

 

Jan 22: We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”