The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation

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    • #313938
      Ohio Barbarian

      This is an opinion piece from The Hill, written by the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford U. Medical Center, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect my own. I would like to see what y’all think of it. He presents what he calls five facts, and discusses the policy implications of each.

      The tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be entering the containment phase. Tens of thousands of Americans have died, and Americans are now desperate for sensible policymakers who have the courage to ignore the panic and rely on facts. Leaders must examine accumulated data to see what has actually happened, rather than keep emphasizing hypothetical projections; combine that empirical evidence with fundamental principles of biology established for decades; and then thoughtfully restore the country to function.

      Five key facts are being ignored by those calling for continuing the near-total lockdown.

      Fact 1: The overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19.

      The recent Stanford University antibody study now estimates that the fatality rate if infected is likely 0.1 to 0.2 percent, a risk far lower than previous World Health Organization estimates that were 20 to 30 times higher and that motivated isolation policies.

      Full piece here.



      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

    • #313949
      Mr. Mickeys Mom

      Strictly protect the known vulnerable, self-isolate the mildly sick and open most workplaces and small businesses with some prudent large-group precautions. 

      Sounds like that is what is going on currently with the protocol here in PA. The strategy of this (linked, but unreachable) outlines the strategy, which sounds somewhat familiar.

      1. Mask when out, whether you are the store owner, who also cleans off the counter where money is exchanged, or where goods are laid out.
      2. Wash hands, which sounds like you can do this coming in or out of a retail store, certainly by hand disinfectant.
      3. Social distancing, which YOU WILL NEVER get people to do, as long as there are people heading into a described area.

      So, unless you can properly enforce this, which we thus far are unable or unwilling to invest doing, this is pie in the sky. Plus, we don’t KNOW how this virus acts because we have only tested a fraction of the U.S. population. I like the idea of doing what one county did… test everyone. WE NEED TO TEST EVERYONE to reach predict any workable model, and for some reason, we are unwilling to do that, expect for the White House, where it didn’t matter anyway. We are as dumbfounded as ever reaching for a conclusion… so we get piece like this jumping to it.

      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

    • #313964


      The Danger of Medicare For All
      by Scott W. Atlas

      It may seem counterintuitive, but single-payer health care proposals like Medicare for All could very well destroy Medicare as we know it and jeopardize medical care for seniors.

      It’s not just because single-payer systems like those in Britain and Canada hold down costs by limiting the availability of doctors and treatments, even for the most serious life-threatening diseases like cancer, brain tumors and heart disease. And it’s not just because single-payer systems restrict access to the newest drugs for cancer and other serious diseases, sometimes for years, compared with the United States system.
      And it’s not just because Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for All bill could cost an estimated $32 trillion in its first decade, more than double all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections.

      Beyond that, Medicare for All will radically change health care for retirees because the services they get from hospitals and doctors are in effect subsidized by higher payments from privately insured patients. According to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, while private insurance often pays over 140 percent of the cost of care, Medicare and Medicaid pay an estimated 60 percent of what private insurance pays for inpatient services, and an estimated 60 percent to 80 percent for physician services. Most hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and in-home health care providers already lose money per Medicare patient. By 2040, under today’s system, approximately half of hospitals, roughly two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities and over 80 percent of home health agencies would lose money overall.
      (much more 1% filthy lying for profit at link)

      The Trump/McConnell/Scott W. Atlas Plutocrat  Republican Healthcare Plan:

      “Let. Them. Die!


      “A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” ~ Booker T. Washington

      The truth is, there’s no such thing as being “anti-Fascist.” Either you are a decent human being with a conscience, or you are a fascist.
      ~ Unknown

      • #314000
        Ohio Barbarian

        It casts this guy into a whole new, and ugly, light. Thanks, @ravensong

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

      • #314064
        Cold Mountain Trail

        Ron Paul is a nazi.

        and no, ron, the reason medical costs are so high is *not* because of poor people leeching off the government, it’s because of medical monopolies leeching off the government, buying the government to enforce and expand their monoplistic practices and prices.

        fuck you ron, you lying nazi.

        and fuck all the ignorant nazis in the audience cheering.

        churches NEVER took care of the medical costs of any but a fraction of indigents needing medical care, you’re so full of shit.

        • #314299


          If you give a man enough rope, it will be six inches too short. This is not the nature of rope- it is the nature of man.

    • #313968
      Red Cloud

      The pandemic is lowering in New York rather markedly, BUT if you extract the huge number that New York has provided, the pandemic is GROWING in the rest of America.

    • #313970

      Is he a RWer? And that includes Vichy Dems.

      It’s foolish, IMCPO, to not remain quarantined until we have a vaccine.

      Infected people can walk around for WEEKS without knowing they’re infected. They’re not risking just their own life, but are infecting HUNDREDS MORE who will also walk around for weeks infecting hundreds more.

      Do we send people out into the streets when we have maniacs with Automatic weapons killing anyone they see? No. Why not? Because people will die. The same holds true for COVID-19. People WILL DIE. And TPTB knows that and are willing to let citizens die to save Capitalism.

      Sending people out to work to “save corrupt Wall St.” is nothing short of MURDER.

      I’m not leaving quarantine until they have a vaccine that’s proven to not kill people and HOPEFULLY it’s a vaccine from a TRUSTED, ETHICAL country that actually values human life… unlike THIS FUCKED UP COUNTRY. I would never trust a vaccine from this country. Maybe after a year of use and seeing people not die from it, I would trust it, but not until.

    • #313978

      This is the same old failed logic and data free feel good thinking that Trump countinues to spew. Data free thinking and illogical conclusions.

      First, Atlas is a Fox regular and radiologist.

      He is not discussing his specialty and loves to be in the newspapers and TV shows, usually right wing.

      Second, there is no evidence that getting the virus gives you immunity. Antibodies does not mean immunity. He assumes it does and laymen often do. But you can have antibodies and still get reinfected and some people have.

      There seems to be a recontamination phase that is not clear what injury it is doing to the body. Is it like the chicken pox coming back (like Herpes and AIDS) with another more horrible ordeal years later?

      There is every indication that many people who get the virus and survive have serious lifelong conditions. And these are the survivors with damaged lungs, kidneys and heart problems. Yeah you may get lucky and survive but it doesn’t mean you are not going to get it again to further the damage you already got from it.

      We knew when the virus was allowed to spread to America that older people were seriously at risk and needed protection and what happened??????? They are still dying by the hundreds. Yeah, we really should protect them but we are not doing it. Empty promises do not save lives.

      We have no evidence people can develop herd immunity to this virus. Why is everyone assuming that is going to happen? We have no herd immunity to AIDS, Herpes or Shingles. All of them are viruses; all of them are horrible. This is just wishful thinking until you can provide something called evidence.

      People are dying because of the virus. Very few are dying from other things. The huge increase in overall deaths clearly indicate it’s not other diseases killing us. Look at reality and quit pretending. Everyone is rigging their numbers and it has, so far, always been to underestimate the number of dead. No one seems to be overestimating anything, at least not in the number of dead.

      In past pandemics it was, “bring out your dead.” In this Trump pandemic it is, “hide away your dead.”


    • #313979

      Condi Rice is on the front page.  As for the “science” noted in the propaganda piece of shit article, you go ahead and believe it, debate it as if it’s real and follow it to the letter.  Repuke bullshit doesn’t equal rational thought worthy of debate.

    • #313987
      a little weird

      It’s true that a lot of people have had this disease and not even known it or had very mild symptoms.  I’m thankful for that but I think it points to how easy it is to spread without even knowing it.  How do you protect vulnerable populations when you can’t even identify who is sick?  Until we have rapid testing, the fact that people can be walking around and not even know they are sick is more of a reason not to open things up. We don’t know for certain what the rate of spread is, but we do know that it is very highly contagious even if we can’t confidently put a number on it.  The lack of testing has also hamstrung us in that we don’t know the rate of death.  Many people who have died have not been tested and so cause of death is presumed – we have some places overcounting and others who are undercounting.  What he presents as fact is still largely an unknown.

      He seems to suggest that if you just protect at-risk populations then we don’t really have a problem.  Sounds so simple.  Yet without rapid testing, which is still not available to the masses, there doesn’t seem to be a practical way to do this.  Being obese is listed as one of the conditions that make you “high-risk”.  According to the CDC, nearly 40% of American adults and 20% of adolescents are obese.  That’s a fairly large population right there without even considering the other high-risk factors.  I would like to hear the author lay out a practical way to protect the at-risk population while allowing everything else to open up.  It’s not as simple as having strict policies at nursing homes – the vast majority of Americans over the age of 60 do not live in nursing homes and the 40% of us who are obese are scattered about everywhere and often live in the same homes as the ‘not at-risk’ population.

      I do agree that we need to open back up some of the other medical procedures that have been paused, and most states are starting to do that.  The biggest reason it was stopped in the first place was because of our woefully inadequate levels of PPE that had to be redirected to handle the expected spike in covid-19 cases.  The PPE situation isn’t as critical now but the supply chain has still not been fixed, opening up to allow some of the important medical care seems to be a good idea but I don’t think it means that everything should open at once.  Wonder why we aren’t seeing these folks clamoring to get PPE manufacturing (along with drugs and other critical medical supplies) up and running in this country and require hospitals and medical practices to buy a certain percentage of their supply domestically?  I guess that might not be in the best interest of the for-profit healthcare system and their shareholders.

      I think this is just another opinion piece by someone with a political agenda who doesn’t care how many other people die as long as he has good stock returns.  Perhaps the opinion of an ER doctor from one of New York’s hardest hit hospitals would be more instructive.  I somehow believe their opinion would be quite different.

    • #313990
      NV Wino

      I’m sure my friend who lost her healthy, strapping, 30 something son would hail this guy as a guru… not.

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

    • #313994

      he might be on to something.

      Nursing home people should be the easiest to protect, but that’s not what we have seen.  The low-paid people that have to go to work cooking their food, cleaning their rooms, changing their beds are vectoring in coronavirus by the bucketfuls.  And nursing home residents are dying like flies, not just in the U.S., but in Canada, the U.K., anywhere that capitalism has decided to make a profit by charging clients a lot and paying their help a little (with no time off for being sick).

      I could see opening schools, and giving teachers close to retirement the option to retire early.

      David Doel talks about the nursing home situation in this piece:




    • #314024

      Who you gonna believe, your eyes or the propaganda spewed by this RW hack?

      A few comments- 1. This gentleman is typical of the whole denialist industry, has credentials from an apparently ‘prestigious’ university, has an advanced degree in something vaguely related to what he is spewing, is really funded by RW billionaires, and takes data and distorts it to convert to propaganda. Just like many climate change denialists.

      2- Inconvenient fact- if COVID is so innocuous, why the fuck do we have bodies piling up in vans in the street? Why the fuck are rural towns getting decimated in Georgia? Why the fuck are state governments having to bury bodies en masse in unmarked graves? I cannot remember any flu season in my lifetime having such observable facts.

      3- Another inconvenient fact- Why is it that nations that clamped down quickly (South Korea, Germany, New Zealand, etc) have few deaths, yet those who didn’t (Brazil, Sweden, Italy, UK, USA) have much higher death percentages? If it is such an ordinary flu then none of this sould have made much difference.

      4- And the most inconvenient fact of all- Even if we say “Hey, problem is over, go about your business citizens!” We are still in a depression, many places will not reopen, many people will not get their jobs back, prices for many things will remain high, people will still be evicted and destitute. Their ‘solution’ solves none of this.

    • #314034
      Ohio Barbarian

      Thanks, all!

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

    • #314059
      Cold Mountain Trail

      Sweden is testing that theory in real time now.

      So far, their death rates are higher than the rest of Scandinavia & most of Europe (Spain & Italy being the major exceptions, and more densely populated countries.)

      • #314273

        (the US numbers need updating, but are from the CDC itself) the Swedish numbers are completely up to date (Sweden’s high death rate is due to a massive fail in our nursing homes, for a variety of reasons)

        the US numbers are CDC verified and cover up to May, 2, 2020, but even if you almost double them (which is in itself problematic) they are still very very low and the actual percentages in terms of the composition of the death cohorts will more than likely barely change

        Sweden has the same trend, so few younger people have died, (and Sweden has been very diligent in reporting, especially compared to the US and many other EU nations) and remember almost all our under high school level schools have been open the full time, plus basically no hard lockdown anywhere

        ZERO COVID-19 deaths under 20 years of age

        7 deaths total from COVID-19 under 30yo

        20 deaths total under 40 (7 + 13)

        51 deaths under 50 years of age (20 +31)

        Almost 99% of the COVID-19 deaths here in Sweden have been for people 50 and older

        95% from over 60yo

        88% over 70 years of age

        the bottom HALF of Sweden (age wise) has had a grand total of 20 deaths

        USA numbers

        There are around 61 million people under 15 years of age in the US, and 10 total documented deaths in that cohort.

        Under 25 years of age (over 104 million people), 58 total documented COVID-19 deaths (48 plus 10)

        Under 35 years of age (over 150 million people) 375 total deaths (58 plus 317)

        Under 45 years of age (over 191 million people) 1171 total documented deaths (375 + 796)

        99.2% of all US CDC documented COVID deaths have come from the 35 years of age and over cohort

        97.3% of all US CDC documented COVID deaths have come from the 45 years of age and over cohort

        92.2% from the 55 years of age and over cohort


    • #314065

      … the louder the call will be for Medicare for All and a stronger social safety net.

      Can’t have that.

    • #314094


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      Charles18 hours ago

      I work in the biotech industry and provide tools for vaccine development and manufacturing. A few things everyone should know, as I speak to people with decades of experience on a regular basis:

      1) Its everywhere. As few as 6% of cases are reported, which means potentially 50M Americans have already been infected but not been confirmed. We only do around 200k tests per day, which is around 2% of where we need to be to understand the scale of this thing. That also means that we could be looking at as many as an ADDITIONAL 250k deaths in the USA based on current metrics.

      2) we do not have a good track record of vaccine development against coronaviruses. We might get lucky but we should plan for not having one.

      3) the virus is mutating rapidly. We make vaccines to target the S-spike protein which is conserved across the family of CVs but some strains have shown mutations in the S-spike, which means that epitope masking could render the first wave of vaccines or antibodies useless (potential for reinfection). Hopefully that isnt the case, but we simply dont know.

      4) Its possible the Summer heat can help us out. Viruses dont like heat, UV light and humidity.

      I hope that we can come up,with something better than Remdesivir. The data on that was NOT very good, despite what the market said. It only improved survival rates by 3%. Hardly a walk off home run.

      Stay safe, eat your whole fruits/veggies/nuts, get some exercise, take hot baths/saunas if you can, dont drink too much, avoid smoking and get plenty of sleep. That is your best chance of survival – making yourself a healthy organism.

    • #314121

      without analyzing for validity the points he is making, then one is abdicating one’s critical thinking in favor of partisan prejudice.

      His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
      but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
      and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
      more deadly than his right had been.

      • #314131

        Rand Paul opposed drones. Rand Paul is a libertarian nut job. Therefore, drones are good.

        Tara Reade has been the guest on a number of right-wing news shows. Therefore, Tara Reade is a liar.

        Bernie Sanders did a Fox News town hall. Fox News is popular with racists. Therefore, Bernie is a racist.

        Here’s Matt Taibbi on the topic:

        In the Trump years the sector of society we used to describe as liberal America became a giant finger-wagging machine. The news media, academia, the Democratic Party, show-business celebrities and masses of blue-checked Twitter virtuosos became a kind of umbrella agreement society, united by loathing of Trump and fury toward anyone who dissented with their preoccupations.

        Because this Conventional Wisdom viewed itself as being solely concerned with the Only Important Thing, i.e. removing Trump, there was no longer any legitimate excuse for disagreeing with its takes on Russia, Julian Assange, Jill Stein, Joe Rogan, the 25th amendment, Ukraine, the use of the word “treason,” the removal of Alex Jones, the movie Joker, or whatever else happened to be the #Resistance fixation of the day.

        When the Covid-19 crisis struck, the scolding utopia was no longer abstraction. The dream was reality! Pure communism had arrived! Failure to take elite advice was no longer just a deplorable faux pas. Not heeding experts was now murder. It could not be tolerated. Media coverage quickly became a single, floridly-written tirade against “expertise-deniers.” For instance, the Atlantic headline on Kemp’s decision to end some shutdowns was, “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice.”

        • #314277

          But when I see posts that essentially say “he donated to Trump, therefore what he says is wrong” I have to roll my eyes. It’s so SV.

          His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
          but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
          and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
          more deadly than his right had been.

      • #314258

        What’s your real point?

        And Ron Paul is an asshole. he may be right about a few things. Obama and Clinton were too. They are all assholes.

    • #314212

      For me, panic was never part of the equation.

      Otherwise, I intend to fully exercise cherished freedom and liberty.

    • #314242
      Babel 17

      Then we can try to compare the totality of deaths and the hit to quality of life of those who didn’t die from COVID-19 but who suffered long term harm from it. Then we look to the economies, and the secondary impact from extended quarantining, of the nations that took different approaches.

      Alcoholism, drug addiction, spouse and child abuse, mental illness and neuroses, loss of health due to confinement are going to be hard to measure but highly relevant. Then there’s the effects of residual unemployment, and the varying degrees of accumulated debt from the quarantine. More depression, anxiety, mental health issues, alcoholism drug addiction, violence,and the other health issues that often go hand in hand with living in times of extreme financial stress.

      Drug addiction is going to get studied a lot imo, and I can see how some people could be getting compelled to curtail their usage, while others who have the dough and access to dealers will be putting their quarantine time to bad use. Alcohol being a cheaper addiction in the long run as compared to hard drugs could be getting a big boost. We’ll have to go by the statistics of the producers and wholesalers to get a quick estimate of how much more alcohol got consumed. Real numbers regarding alcoholism will be likely be coming months later.

    • #314255

      He makes some valid points. On our local news station they

      brought on researchers of the 1917-18 flu. There was isolation

      in Colorado for a while, but came Armestice (?) Day hundreds of

      thousands celebrated out on the streets, and BINGO, the second

      much higher peak happened. The difference between the “Spanish

      Flu” and the Covid19 is the age range for fatality. However, we don’t

      know whether a mutation could erase that. I think the reason for

      further “containment” is the fear of that kind of a mutation.

      • #314262


        They can just as likely result in a less virulent strain, as they can a more virulent one. But there is an immensely greater probability that they will result in neither. Basing policy on such eventualities would be absurd. We can’t eliminate all of life’s risks.

        • #314282
          Cold Mountain Trail

          not the leading edge anymore


          Mutation: Not That Random?

          Mutation is usually considered to be a random, uncontrolled process: Mistakes during replication cause random changes to the DNA sequence, which may have positive, negative or neutral effects on the organism’s survivability. Positive changes are sustained, negative mutations die off, neutral mutations just float about. Mounting evidence now suggests that mutation can also happen on a far grander scale than this, that the changes are not always randomly located, and that they may not be mistakes at all…

          This is just another way in which DNA is a completely mind-blowing and fascinating molecule: through properties no more sophisticated than the order in which four bases are laid out along a chromosome DNA can not only instruct a single cell on how to grow into an entire freaking multicellular organism, it can also rewrite itself and modify it’s own physical structure. Learning how DNA governs itself will improve our understanding of the genetics of diseases, as well as our comprehension of life, nature and everything.


          “So in the end, most mutation is not random, at least for the DNA sequences we analyzed here,” Garvin said. Rather, it is a combination of two opposing forces — the mis-pairing during DNA replication and the need to preserve a protein’s function, Garvin said.

          The findings could explain why evolution occurs much faster than if mutations were, in fact, totally random, the researchers said. The repeated sequences may also be necessary for evolution, they said.

          For example, genetic diversity at these DNA sites could help species adapt to changes in the availability of food and other resources that can result from climate change, Garvin said. So these repeat sequences could be used as a predictor for how a population will respond to environmental changes.



          • #314292
            • #314296

              Look, I worked in a biochemistry lab, which also worked

              with viruses. 5% Clorox was the most effective way for killing

              these “critters” other than strong UV lights applied over night.

              There is an unbelievable difference between killing DNA organisms

              and RNA viruses. The double helix of DNA can be split by now

              rather easily. RNA structures are far more complicated and up

              to now -as far as I know – no serious Corona virus has met its

              match sufficiently  even in the laboratory. We neither found a

              vaccine against SARS nor MERS. Both of those are Corona type

              viruses. Up to now  I have not seen a serious report by RNA

              virologists or researchers on this subject at all. MDs are the last

              ones to understand the basic, very basic issues. However, what

              we know from the so-called Spanish flu is clearly that the second

              round was far worse than the first. In essence we should at least

              go by that experience, and not ignore it.

    • #314309

      We shouldn’t make this a partisan issue.  Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and millions more have lost their healthcare. How many of them are going to die?

      Many businesses are permanently lost. Poor people cannot afford our response and need to go back to work. There is also an increasing transfer of wealth to the richest Americans, the fastest rate in history.

      The original projections for the death-rate from the virus were highly inaccurate and far exceed the actual numbers. We responded based on the original estimates.

    • #314417
      Cold Mountain Trail

      “There is also an increasing transfer of wealth to the richest Americans, the fastest rate in history”

      –this is the problem, in fact.  but then, it was the problem even before corona

      –it’s the root of all problems, including the environmental problem, the race problem, the stupidity problem, the greed problem….

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