Lion of the Blogosphere

Wuhan virus: be very afraid

The official numbers from China are total bullshit. China is a totalitarian dictatorship where any sort of independent reporting about the epidemic is illegal. For example, there was the medical doctor from China who was arrested by police only because he warned a few other medical colleagues about the virus. No one is reporting anything from Wuhan or elsewhere in China, so we don’t know what’s really going on.

The official number that only there are only 34,000 infections is totally false. More likely hundreds of thousands. Even if China wanted to be honest, which they don’t, they only have a limited ability to test people.

The number of reported deaths, 722, could be more real, because it’s a lot harder to miss a death than it is to miss the fact that someone’s infected, but there are many disturbing indications that deaths are also being under-reported.

Thus, there are two very basic numbers about the virus we don’t know: The R0 (the rate at which it spreads), and the death rate. Furthermore, both of these numbers are situational. The R0 on a cruise ship is very high. And the R0 on dry land can be lowered substantially if everyone is ordered to stay home and not go to work or school, which is what China has done and may be effective.

The death rate is also situational. There’s the death rate when everyone who needs intensive care is put into an intensive are unit (ICU). And then there’s the significantly higher death rate when all of the available ICUs are filled up and people have no choice but to ride it out without intensive care and to hope for the best. It’s my estimate that the lower death rate is 0.75%, and the higher death rate is more like 4%. This is NOT the seasonal flu. What’s going on now in Wuhan is NOT anything like flu season. The U.S. healthcare system isn’t prepared for a Wuhan virus epidemic, it’s only prepared for a bad flu season.

One thing to note about the death rate is that it takes a long time before people die. This virus has a slow incubation (5 to 6 days on average before any symptoms), and then another week of low-grade symptoms before the patient gets worse and has trouble breathing, and then it could be another two weeks before they actually die in an ICU. This means that the death rate will eventually be higher because some people who currently have the virus will eventually die from it. The slowness at which the virus symptoms develop also means there could be many people outside of China who have the virus right now but we don’t know about it.

The world should be doing more, right now, to contain the spread of the virus. For starters, all cruises need to be canceled immediately. Secondly, unnecessary international travel should be curtailed to slow the spread from country to country. (And nearly all travel is unnecessary. The world won’t come to an end if people have to phone into a business meeting or miss a funeral.) Public events should be canceled. Office workers should be required to work from home if they are able to.

I think it’s too soon to shut down schools, which are a lot more necessary than people going on cruising vacation or attending a spectator sporting event, but schools are a major source for spread of disease. Schools should immediately be shut down in any community that has a sudden cluster of cases.

Alas, we probably won’t take any containment steps until it’s too little too late, because we are addicted to our consumption economy.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 8, 2020 at 9:08 AM

43 Responses

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  1. I have to wonder if the CIA and other intelligence agencies have a better picture of what’s really happening in China. If they don’t they’re worse than useless.
    This info won’t be shared with the public but we can tell how serious this is by the government’s actions, not by what it says. We’ll probably know in a few weeks.

    Newyorker

    February 8, 2020 at 11:11 AM

  2. Brendan

    February 8, 2020 at 11:55 AM

    • As if TMZ is a reliable source of information. Do you think a smart country like China would wreck their economy as they are doing to contain something that’s no more harmful than seasonal flu? I don’t think so.

      How about hearing from a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases rather than a media personality doctor who’s main interest is drug and sex addiction?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 8, 2020 at 1:08 PM

      • Yeah, this is a great point. The Chinese state is mercantilist in the extreme. Their decision to block traffic in and out of major cities suggests they think this is very serious.

        However, up to this point I see no evidence this disease has much effect on anyone other than East Asians. The media is working hard to censor any discussion of this subject, even though it is of obvious interest to anyone with a pulse. I assume they censor it for two reasons: one, because it is wacist, you wascally wabbit, and two, because it keeps us all in suspense and forces us to tune in to their gay reports.

        Lowe

        February 8, 2020 at 1:21 PM

      • White people have definitely contracted the disease, but since it started in Asia, obviously most of the people who have gotten it so far are Asian.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 8, 2020 at 3:11 PM

      • TMZ isn’t saying “don’t panic”; a doctor is. There are some isolated cases worldwide but we’ve yet to reach the pandemic stage. If it does, that’s when you can go into prepper mode.

        Brendan

        February 8, 2020 at 1:25 PM

      • “Do you think a smart country like China would wreck their economy”

        Are we talking about the same China that for five decades insisted it’s economy would overtake the US’s without assistance of free enterprise or private ownership, never mind the wholesale theft of technology?

        Roli

        February 8, 2020 at 2:15 PM

      • I have heard that some number of Italians, Germans, etc, have contracted the disease, but how many of these people are East Asian? I bet almost all of them, which is why it is hard to find any information on it. The news media does not want to mention it.

        I am willing to believe a few non-Asians have been infected, but nobody but Chinese and a Filipino have died from it. So I will repeat, I do not see any evidence that this disease affects people other than Asians/ H/e I should clarify that by affects I mean affects strongly, as in, threatens mortally.

        Which is what this is really about. Mortal threat. So far I don’t see it for me and mine. I think if the media had proof there was such a threat for Westerners, they would be leading with that. Basically this harkens back to how the media treated AIDS. They have an agenda, which involves making everyone think he is vulnerable to the disease, when that’s just unfounded.

        Of course I will revise my opinion if it does start killing non-Asians, and then go on high alert just like the Lion apparently has.

        Lowe

        February 8, 2020 at 3:42 PM

      • Chinese have spread all over the world, and most people visiting China from Western countries are Chinese expats. Which is why Chinese in the West are the first to get the disease.

        But you are correct that the MSM will not report the races of people with the virus to protect Chinese people from discrimination.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 8, 2020 at 3:51 PM

      • ” So I will repeat, I do not see any evidence that this disease affects people other than Asians/ H/e I should clarify that by affects I mean affects strongly, as in, threatens mortally.”

        Just to be clear, are you arguing that non Asians are not as susceptible to the disease?

        Mike Street Station

        February 9, 2020 at 7:34 AM

      • @ Mike

        I think there is a good chance that people of East Asian descent are much MORE susceptible to this disease than others. Which is to say, much more susceptible to it killing them.

        I think the history of SARS and swine flu support this idea, because those were similar diseases, and had much higher lethality with East Asians, South Asians, and Polynesians, than w/ others. Of course that could just be because they infected proportionally many more of those races, before they were contained by purposeful effort.

        I don’t know what the case is here, but what I am saying really is not outside the realm of medical science, and I am not the only one suggesting it. I am going to wait to get worked up about this virus. The only reason I’ve looked into it at all was to decide if I should take some action. So far, I am thinking not. Though I will abandon my opinion at the very moment events contradict it.

        Lowe

        February 9, 2020 at 4:44 PM

    • “However, up to this point I see no evidence this disease has much effect on anyone other than East Asians”

      I hate to say this as a smoker (although not a heavy one) but that is probably partly down to the fact that the Chinese are big smokers.

      prolier than thou

      February 8, 2020 at 3:29 PM

      • Yeah, I thought the same thing, about smokers being more susceptible. Many other people have thought it too, and it is supported by the fact that most of those killed have been men. Generally, men smoke more cigarettes than women. And Chinese people smoke like chimneys.

        As for Chinese expats being the first to get the disease in the West, because they visit China a lot, yeah, I get it. It makes sense. I am open to the possibility that this could jump racial lines in a big way, and turn out to be a global pandemic. But it has not so far, and I think you will understand if I assume our gay media overlords are full of shit.

        In fact, if you try looking for information about whether there is evidence it poses a danger to non-Asians, the first page of results you get on Google or Bing is front-lash stories about how white people are discriminating against Asians because they might have the Wuhan flu. 100% stuff that did not happen. The media are out in force on this one, to make sure you don’t learn what you need to.

        Lowe

        February 8, 2020 at 3:58 PM

      • I’ve never heard of a virus that only infects certain races. It is reckless to assume for a moment that this virus won’t be deadly for people in every race.

        There is a lot of politically correct crap going on in Canada, with our betters warning us not to stigmatise Chinese people. The stupid government won’t restrict people coming to Canada even if they are non citizens and HAVE been in China in the last 14 days. The government brought back a plane load of (mostly) Canadian citizens and have them quarantined at a military base. . But anyone in China can buy their own ticket and just waltz in. They are just being ADVISED to self-quarantine and not to send their kids to school for 14 days. I think the Chinese residents of Canada are just as mad about this craziness as everyone else.

        Trudeau is a worthless pissant.

        Rosenmops

        February 8, 2020 at 10:35 PM

      • China has a different agricultural history than Europe, particularly around the use of domesticated animals. It is not that hard to imagine one race would have greater or lesser resistance to a virus.

        If the virus gets in your body, you will will be infected and suffer some consequences, but those consequences could vary a lot depending on your genes. If you don’t believe this is possible, then how come SARS and swine flu death rates were much higher among East Asians than whites? And how come SARS never became a big problem in the West?

        Lowe

        February 9, 2020 at 10:21 AM

      • SARS was contained.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 9, 2020 at 11:14 AM

      • My understanding is that SARS infections did show up in the West, among Chinese expatriates, just like Corona is now. That doesn’t sound like containment.

        But, maybe you are right. Perhaps I am biased against ascribing any positive outcome to human competence.

        Lowe

        February 9, 2020 at 11:35 AM

  3. “International travel banned – Marin County hardest hit.” Our people have no other way to prove their sophistication.

    Marty

    February 8, 2020 at 12:03 PM

    • Yeah, the first thing that popped into my mind when I read the words “nearly all travel is unnecessary” was not business trips or funerals, but rather the SWPL urban female obsession with International vacations. How many millions of gallons of jet fuel are wasted per year because these floozies think it’s too boring.to just stay home in the suburbs with a husband and make white babies and would rather fly halfway around the world to get boinked by swarthy men and up their social status among their friends by posting selfies from exotic locations?

      Hermes

      February 8, 2020 at 1:35 PM

      • I thought it should go without saying that people don’t need to go on vacation when there’s a dangerous pandemic in the making.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 8, 2020 at 3:42 PM

      • Your comment is 100 percent right. All the dumb sloots in my office are always talking about their list trip or their next trip. They infuriate me.

        Anon

        February 8, 2020 at 6:15 PM

      • “but rather the SWPL urban female obsession with International vacations.”

        I don’t know about the rest of that. But I’m definitely fed up with smug little twats and their travel nonsense. I used to travel so much that Lost in Translation (2003) and Up in the Air (2009) both resonated with me. But my traveling was out of necessity; mostly either business or to visit family. The main exceptions were for hunting, sailing, etc which is completely different from what they’re doing. I do not enjoy traveling unless it’s too get as far away from everyone else as I can.

        destructure

        February 8, 2020 at 6:22 PM

      • Traveling for hunting or sailing makes it sounds like you have done a bit of traveling for leisure, not necessity. But I understand what you mean by only wanting to travel to get away from people. If I were to take a real vacation these days, it would literally be to a beach where I lie around all day.

        I find it hard or impossible to relate to the many people, especially women, who say they want to have an adventure on their trips, or learn something new, or something to this effect. That sounds like work, and I work all the time. My whole life has been an adventure, which involved many risks and downsides, lots of work and disappointments. Any more adventure and I am pretty sure I will fucking die.

        Lowe

        February 8, 2020 at 6:48 PM

      • “All the dumb sloots in my office are always talking about their list trip or their next trip.”

        Yet, when I’ve traveled abroad I don’t recall running into single American women or any American women.

        Curle

        February 8, 2020 at 7:15 PM

      • Where were you traveling?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 8, 2020 at 7:21 PM

      • I thought it should go without saying that people don’t need to go on vacation when there’s a dangerous pandemic in the making.

        I wasn’t gainsaying your statement, it’s just that for me, when I think of superfluous travel, I can’t help but think of all these people, even early twenties young adults in their first entry-level job right out of college, traveling to destinations that only a generation or two ago were the purview only of luxury vacations for the rich.

        Come to think of it, though, you may have a point about the business trips. This could be one of those phenomena that belie the libertarian/cuckservative idea that businesses and corporations are automatically as productive as they can possibly be. I’ve never worked in a position that entailed frequent travel, but I hear a lot of people who do talking about frequent business trips where they’re out of town every other week. All those flights, hotels, meals in restaurants… it adds up to thousands of dollars per trip. Is the company actually getting anything of value for that money? If we’re talking about engineers inspecting a plant, maybe it’s necessary, but I get the impression many of these “business trips” entail nothing more than endless meetings and powerpoint presentations in conference rooms, just like a typical day at the local office. Why can’t that be done by phone?

        Hermes

        February 8, 2020 at 9:29 PM

      • Like you said, they’re “wanting to have an adventure on their trips.” And it often involves a major city with hotels, restaurants and entertainment. I’m going somewhere isolated to be alone. Of course, my family is always welcome.

        destructure

        February 9, 2020 at 1:17 AM

      • “If we’re talking about engineers inspecting a plant, maybe it’s necessary, but I get the impression many of these “business trips” entail nothing more than endless meetings and powerpoint presentations in conference rooms, just like a typical day at the local office. Why can’t that be done by phone?”

        That’s my experience with the work world as well. There are some legitimate business travel needs, but I would think it would be in the minority. I think the real issue with those conferences and meetings is that a lot of the higher ups want to use business travel as an excuse to travel on the company dime. No serious budget cutting in travel budgets can occur because everyone on the top floor wants to travel.

        Mike Street Station

        February 9, 2020 at 7:42 AM

      • “ Where were you traveling?”

        Britain three times. Guadalajara and Colima.

        Curles

        February 9, 2020 at 11:35 AM

    • My son and his wife and child are currently vacationing in the Seychelles. They just left a few days ago, and debated the idea of cancelling the trip because of the virus. They were worried about being in airports.

      But maybe remote islands in the Indian Ocean are a good place to ride out a zombie apocalypse.

      Rosenmops

      February 9, 2020 at 1:21 AM

  4. Lion, I was thinking the day you will die – hope the furthest away from today – did you have someone who knows you are a « known anonymous » blogger , and who will announce the bad news.

    I know you have told many times you would quit blogging and that a death interrupting your post is a remote possibility, but it would be cool if we would be warned.

    As a French guy from a very different age and background from you, and even if I « suffer » from familiarity problems a bit similar to some asperger people, I can tell you I would be sad, and I would keep you in my prayers. My grandmother being a praying catholic machine, I would ask her to include you, if both she, and me, were to be still alive that day. My grandma has an extreme high IQ because she couls scare away in seconds the most difficult numerical puzzle (numbrix, most difficult « satanic » sudoku etc) . She can’t know because she has lost her sight sadly. So I would be very high quality prayers.

    Bruno

    February 8, 2020 at 12:44 PM

    • Bruno raises a good point. Lion should have a ‘blogger of last resort’–perhaps Yakov, seeing as he is lives in New York, who has access to Lion’s flat and can check in and see if he is dead, and tell us all if he has died, after performing whatever rituals need to be done over his body/PC.

      I remember finding out when Lawrence Auster had died, and it saddened me more than I would have expected considering that I had never met the guy. But over the years he had communicated with me quite a lot by email. What made it all the worse is that when he told me he had cancer I scaled down my communication with him, and never really mentioned his cancer, because I just couldn’t find the right words to say to him. I regretted this after he died, because I think he was a unique man, and I still miss his presence.

      prolier than thou

      February 8, 2020 at 5:32 PM

      • What brought up the gruesome subject of Lion’s death? What a horrible thought! I suppose that Lion really should have a close friend who would announce on this website when that say day happens, but I’d like to speak about having a will or trust. I assume that Lion, being future-oriented, has a will and has put a copy on file at the courthouse for safe-keeping. This is what I did so that when “my time” comes, no one can go through my things, find a copy of my will, and tear it up because they don’t like what’s in it. Unless a copy is on file at the courthouse, relatives who go through you things can always claim that you left no will (since they destroyed or hid the original one). But if they do the courts will search for a legally filed copy first. This is how you prevent sabotage from relatives.

        Maryk (the g-loaded guidette)

        February 9, 2020 at 12:16 AM

      • “ What brought up the gruesome subject of Lion’s death?”

        Gruesome, I agree, but it operated to remind me to update my will.

        Curle

        February 9, 2020 at 5:32 PM

  5. What about gambling? If Chinese die, gambling dies. I’m very worried for my friend who publishes dream number books. Who will feed his family? I won’t.

    At latest update, he’s not my friend anyway. Off to my safe house in southwestern NY.

    Numbahs

    February 8, 2020 at 5:15 PM

  6. Lion’s exactly right on this. Look how infection spread in Wuhan. If there are already a handful of cases here, there are almost certainly 10x that number that we don’t know about. When it spreads that fast and symptoms take so long to develop people find out way to late.

    Especially f you’re travelling through subways, train stations or airports, you should be wearing gloves and a mask NOW.

    Look at the actions of people with more information than us:
    + as mentioned the drastic actions the Chinese govt is taking — imagine a quarantine on all of California
    + the Asian countries shutting down travel to mainland China including Hong Kong: that’s incredibly drastic and expensive. Imagine what it would take for Canada and Mexico to close the border with the US
    + Chinese people here with MC connections are flipping out and not attending events where they expect other Chinese to be present

    Mercy Vetsel (@MercyVetsel)

    February 8, 2020 at 6:40 PM

    • “Chinese people here with MC connections are flipping out and not attending events where they expect other Chinese to be present”

      I’ve heard this too. Yet our elites continue to tell us we horrible racists if we try to avoid Chinese people while this virus is about. Apparently death is preferable to being called a racist.

      Rosenmops

      February 8, 2020 at 11:13 PM

    • There are a lot of Chinese-run 99 cent stores in Brooklyn. Should I avoid going in them now? Asking the question seriously.

      Maryk (the g-loaded guidette)

      February 9, 2020 at 12:18 AM

  7. This reddit post from a few days ago has accurately predicted the reported deaths since then https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/ez13dv/oc_quadratic_coronavirus_epidemic_growth_model/

    Aric

    February 8, 2020 at 10:38 PM

    • I’ve been following this thread. It demonstrates clearly that China is putting out fabricated data. The numbers of deaths and infected they announce each day lie almost EXACTLY on a parabola. There is no way real world data would do this. Maybe things are so chaotic that no one knows the real numbers, or maybe they don’t want to release the real numbers because they are MUCH higher than the numbers they are releasing. In any case, the numbers they release, and which WHO appears to believe, are bull shit.

      Rosenmops

      February 9, 2020 at 5:02 PM

  8. Maybe it will fizzle out once spring arrives?

    Francis

    February 9, 2020 at 8:38 AM

  9. All good suggestions. One problem for our globalized world is that it allows for the spread of pandemics in a way never before possible. And what’s worse still is that governments are completely unprepared to take the mostly common sense steps necessary to contain outbreaks before they get out of control. I shudder to think what will happen when the real deal rolls around.

    JayMan

    February 9, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    • We’ve so infantalized our population with romantic easy solution hokum for so many years, from education to equality, nobody is acclimated to making necessary protective decisions. We could have contained somewhat the spread of AIDS in the day has we been willing to stigmatize. We weren’t.

      Curle

      February 9, 2020 at 6:21 PM


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