Saturday, August 1, 2020

WuFlu? Hu Knew?

Time for one of the occasional updates on the WuFlu. I'm going to start with our own situation, here in Maryland, and Calvert County. According to the state site, Maryland is one of those states undergoing a "second wave", with rising cases:

However, the rising cases are occurring in conjunction with rising testing, with the amount fraction of tests coming back positive staying almost exactly constant at 5% . . .

Meanwhile, the number of deaths remains near constant, averaging in the single digits per day even though it's had more than the requisite three weeks to start seeing a rise in deaths.

It sure looks to like the apparent second wave is largely a function of increased testing and contact tracing. I could be wrong.  Total confirmed deaths in MD are about 3000, and still concentrated in the highly urban counties surrounding DC and Baltimore.

As for our Calvert County, population ~90K, we're still muddling along with a 612 total cases, with 11 deaths total and a few more cases per day. Curiously, the state site reports 27 deaths, but the County site explains that the state site reports deaths of nursing victims whose official residence is in Calvert but died elsewhere as Calvert County deaths. Now think about that on a national scale?

Now, back to the world. Issues and insights, Despite What You’ve Heard, The COVID Crisis Probably Peaked Two Weeks Ago. Some funny reporting, but Florida, Texas and Arizona are heading down and never approached NY NJ levels of sickness or deaths. From Zero Hedge, Sweden: The One Chart That Matters. No lock down? No problem.
Sweden has been harshly criticized in the media for not imposing draconian lockdowns like the United States and the other European countries. Instead, Sweden implemented a policy that was both conventional and sensible. They recommended that people maintain a safe distance between each other and they banned gatherings of 50 people or more. They also asked their elderly citizens to isolate themselves and to avoid interacting with other people as much as possible. Other than that, Swedes were encouraged to work, exercise and get on with their lives as they would normally even though the world was still in the throes of a global pandemic.
However, two of the countries who locked down hard, and have been cited as success stories? Coronavirus: German officials 'very concerned' by rising cases and Hong Kong is ‘on the verge’ of an outbreak that could lead to hospital system’s collapse, chief executive says. Remember "15 days to flatten the curve?" Good times! Only the curve won't stay flat until a certain level of herd immunity is in effect. Nic Lewis at WUWT, Why herd immunity to COVID-19 is reached much earlier than thought – update. Good news, if true. All models are wrong, some models are useful.

Progress is being made on a vaccine, WaEx, Moderna begins trial of coronavirus vaccine with 30,000 volunteers and AP, Virus vaccine put to final test in thousands of volunteers. If they're willing to subject 30k people to it, it must be reasonably safe. But from NYPO, Majority of people say they won’t take COVID-19 vaccine within first year. Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, Poll: If The Vaccine Is Approved, Will People Actually Take It? And it's not just the usual anti-vax idiots. Nobody want to buy a car in it's first year of production, and people are, rightly, a bit leery of a vaccine when it first comes out. I'll get it, though.

Via Wombat's In The Mailbox: 07.31.20 American Thinker: Hydroxy Hysteria Reaching A Fever Pitch. This week's highlight reel would certainly feature:
Dr Stella Immanuel, gave an impassioned shout-out for hydroxy:
I’m here because I have personally treated over 350 patients with COVID. Patients that have diabetes, patients that have high blood pressure, patients that have asthma, old people … I think my oldest patient is 92 … 87-year old. And the result has been the same. I put them on hydroxychloroquine, I put them on zinc, I put them on Zithromax, and they’re all well.
All of you doctors that are waiting for data, if six months down the line you actually found out that this data shows that this medication works, how about your patients that have died? You want a double-blinded study where people are dying? It’s unethical. So guys, we don’t need to die. There is a cure for COVID.
From the media’s reaction, you might have thought she was recommending bloodletting or exorcism as a cure for cancer and heart disease. The video of this press conference was promptly removed from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Those tweeting or retweeting the video found their accounts suspended, including Donald Trump, Jr.
WUWT, Dr Stella Immanuel V Dr. Fauci-TKO. HCQ Championed. Tyler O'Neil, at PJ Media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Remove Doctors' Coronavirus Video, Claiming It Is 'False' Dr. Immanuel is also apparently a crank on other issues. Like Linus Pauling. Who the are the media ignoring entirely? Matt Margoliss, Hydroxychloroquine Is 'the Key to Defeating COVID-19', Says Yale Epidemiologist and Donald Trump Jr. Suspended from Twitter For Sharing Video on Hydroxychloroquine. JTN, Yale epidemiologist: Dr. Fauci running 'misinformation campaign' against hydroxychloroquine
Dr. Harvey Risch, a noted Yale epidemiologist,  has accused White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci of waging a "misinformation campaign" against the drug hydroxychloroquine, claiming the medication has shown consistently encouraging results in treating COVID-19 when used properly.

Hydroxychloroquine has been at the center of a protracted political debate since March, when President Trump cited the drug as a promising possible treatment for the novel coronavirus. HCQ has long been used by doctors to treat malaria along with other syndromes such as arthritis and lupus. The World Health Organization lists it as an essential medicine, while nearly five million Americans hold prescriptions for it.

Since Trump's speculative endorsement of the drug, media outlets and medical officials have for several months aggressively promoted various medical trials that have determined the drug has no effectiveness in fighting COVID-19; many commentators have also insisted, in spite of the drug's decades-long safe track record, that it is too dangerous to be used to cure the disease.
Noted medical expert Scott Adams, Episode 1076 Scott Adams: Trump is Medically Correct and CNN Might Be Killing Tens-of-Thousands. They've deliberately chosen  to kill tens of thousands of innocent American just to screw Trump.

I would take it, AZ and zinc if I were to test positive (but I'd have to get tested). The risks are small if you don't have a heart arrhythmia to start with, and the possible benefits large. The key seems to be in getting them before you're so sick you need to go to the hospital.

Some good news for my prospects of getting the WuFlu from the Sun, How your HEIGHT could double your risk of catching coronavirus, scientists discover.

On the school opening debate, Wired, Some Countries Reopened Schools. What Did They Learn About Kids and Covid? "Studies from around the world suggest that success depends on class size, distancing, the age of the students, and how prevalent the virus is locally." So it can be done, maybe not everywhere. Bill Gates on back to school: Benefits in ‘almost every location’ outweigh costs for young children (the Peacock). Put your money where your mouth is. Marc Thiessen at WaPoo, Schools aren’t that risky, and teachers are essential workers. We must reopen. Nicole Russell at the Atlantic. I Can’t Keep Doing This. Please Open the Schools. "The idea that I might have to continue to work while facilitating another subpar semester of virtual learning is almost too much to bear." My view? Pension off any teachers over 60. Send the rest back to work.

And the pure raw politics of it all? Maggie's Farm, How political is the virus?.

Way too political. Ace, Incredible: New York Times Publishes Tearjerker Piece About Their Incredibly Wealthy Privileged White Friends Who Are Forced to Move Out of Their Million Dollar NYC Apartments Into Their Vacation Homes Due to Covid "Note that these people are "forced" to move from their luxury Manhattan condos to their luxury Hamptons vacation homes due to the maladministration of DeBlasio and Cuomo, who the New York Times enthusiastically support." They should be forced to isolate in NYC.
David Marcus at Da Fed, New Biden Ad Fails To Explain How He Would Have Handled Coronavirus Differently. But the Empire Strikes Back, Althouse, An effective presentation of what Trump got right and Biden got wrong about the coronavirus.
Matt Margoliss, Here’s Exactly How Andrew Cuomo Covered up His Deadly Nursing Home Policy. About 2/3 of  the deaths in MD are nursing homes and assisted living, too. They used to call pneumonia "the old man's friend". Maybe that need updating.

The Post Millennial: New York governor calls outdoor concert 'illegal and reckless,' but allows mass protests to continue, and we clearly see that some peoples funerals are more dangerous than others.

At ET, Roger Simon warns of  Dr. Fauci and the Perils of Deep State Medicine. Ace, Fauci Won't Say if "Protests," Which He Admits Spread the Virus, Should be Limited, Though He Continues Advocating for Limiting Church-Going and Work. Mediaite, Dr. Fauci Rebukes Trump’s Tweetstorm Against Him: ‘I Have Not Been Misleading the American Public’, however, he does bend with the prevailing (liberal) wind. Politico, Fauci: Virus rampant in U.S. because of inadequate, patchwork shutdowns. He has a hammer.  And yet,  Fauci Testifies That Trump’s Decisions On Virus Saved Lives  (Weasel Zippers.) Not a good Biden ad:

Politico, Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tests positive for coronavirus, Sara Carter, Rep. Louie Gohmert: ‘I Will Use Zinc, Erythromycin, and Hydroxychloroquine’ to Fight Coronavirus. Will the media credit "the hydroxy" if his case is asymptomatic? I dare Democrats to say they won't take it if they test positive.

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