Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for March 2020

I haven’t been posting because my commenters are such morons

The situation in Italy shows that I was right about everything. They already have more than 6,000 deaths, and even though deaths have declined two days in a row, I think it’s inevitable that the total number of deaths will at least double within two to three weeks.

Now the morons will then say “but that’s about the same number of people who die each year from the flu.” Well the only reason the number of deaths will have been the same as the flu (for the entire year of flu) is because THEY SHUT THE DAMN COUNTRY DOWN TO STOP IT. Without shutting anything down and life going on as normal, total deaths would have climbed and climbed and climbed into the hundreds of thousands.

But that’s unlikely to happen because once the number of deaths reaches a certain point, people say OH SHIT, WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. So something gets done, but too late. Better to be proactive than reactive.

Sadly, the U.S. is not proactive at all, we are totally reactive. Some states are enforcing social distancing, but there are other states that are ignoring it, and they are just going to be breeding grounds to re-infect the states that do a good job with social distancing. There’s no leadership from the White House to make the entire country SHUT THE FUCK DOWN.

So I fear that the U.S. is fucked worse than any other country except maybe for Iran. People just don’t know it yet.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 23, 2020 at 2:11 PM

Vanity Fair interview of Tucker Carlson

Read the interview at Vanity Fair.

It is explained that on Saturday, March 7th, Tucker Carlson had a private meeting with Trump to warn him that the coronavirus was serious. Although Trump still didn’t take it seriously for another week after that.

Back on October 3, 2019, I wrote “Most conservative news, whether it’s on Fox or the internet, is prole and anti-intellectual. (Tucker Carlson possibly excepted, the few times I watched he seemed a cut above the rest of Fox News).” So not surprising to me that Tucker Carlson was the only guy at Fox News who wasn’t a moron about the virus.

Also, note the last seven words of the same blog post: “Trump is very bad at being President.” That wasn’t such a big deal back when the country didn’t have a crisis, and life could go on as normal while the President made dumb tweets, but being a bad President is a really huge problem when there’s a crisis and we need someone who is good at being President. Trump fails over and over again to step up to the plate and act presidential.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 18, 2020 at 11:57 AM

Posted in Politics

The correct way to enforce social distancing

Article about loneliness in Japan. Lonely people don’t spread the virus, which explains why Japan ahs not had a massive breakout like Italy, even though Japan is doing a very bad job of testing and contact tracing, almost as bad as the United States.

The reason why the epicenter for the virus is the New York area has been because of religious Jews. They go to their religious services and spread it at the religious services. While the modern orthodox types who live in Westchester and Teaneck have suspended their religious services, the Hasidim are still gathering together in big crowds, ignoring the virus. Very bad. While luckily, the Hasidim have very little contact with non-Hasidim, when they get so sick that they have to go the hospital, they will overload the hospitals and infect hospital staff.

The first thing that governments seem to go after is “large gatherings,” but evidence is that it’s the smaller gatherings that are the biggest vectors for transmission. In addition to religious services, family gatherings like wedding, funerals, birthday parties, etc. are common vectors for transmission. On the business side, meetings and conferences are also common vectors for transmission. All of these types events share the same characteristics: you have people packed close together in an indoor space and they are talking to each other. People eject virus from their mouths when they talk. Or sing or chant as is the case at religious services.

Restaurants where people sit at their own tables are probably not as important vectors as those mentioned above. Because people usually eat with people they know well like family members so they are not spreading it to new people. On the other hand, packed bars are bad. Packed subways are also bad, but not as bad as packed bars because people don’t talk to each other on the subway.

Although states with outbreaks are now taking things seriously and shutting things down, and that’s good, if they don’t do anything about religious services or family gatherings this will continue to spread. Plus, some states, like Florida, are NOT taking things seriously, and Florida will continue to put the rest of the country at risk. That’s why we need a coordinated FEDERAL shutdown. Merely giving advice that states and people are free to ignore, and often do ignore, is not enough.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 18, 2020 at 7:42 AM

Andrew Cuomo, great governor

Listening to his presser now, listened yesterday, he’s great. When it comes to ranking how a political leader handles a crisis, Cuomo is a perfect 10, Trump is a 1. He really seems to be getting stuff done, more testing is being done, he’s opening up drive-through testing centers like they have in South Korea, he’s working on plans to increase hospital capacity and create auxiliary hospitals. He’s even able to say positive things about Trump rather than take the opportunity to bash him even though he deserves to be bashed.

I wish the Democrats could dump Biden and Sanders, and make Cuomo the nominee.

* * *

Mayor DeBlasio, on the other hand, is a 1, just as bad as Trump.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 17, 2020 at 10:46 AM

I told you not to count on the weather to stop this

Virus outbreak in Malaysia tied to a big religious service at a mosque attended by 16,000 people.

This was near Kuala Lumpur which is about as close to the equator as you can get. Average daily high temperature in February is 91.0 degrees. Average daily high temperature in March is 91.6 degrees.

I’ve also continuously pointed out that religious services are one of the biggest vectors of transmission, yet countries are still allowing religious services to continue. All churches, mosques, synagogues and temples need to be shut down ASAP before it’s too late.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 15, 2020 at 10:38 AM

Overtourism and pandemics

There have been thousands of articles in recent years about the problems of “overtourism,” yet not a single one of those articles points out what, in retrospect, may have been the biggest downside of overtourism: it’s role as a vector for the spread of new viruses.

(My apologies for borrowing a copyrighted photo, but I think the message is so important to the health and safety of the world, that this falls under fair use. This is a not-for-profit blog that makes no money from advertising or any other sources.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 14, 2020 at 12:19 PM

If Kuwait can close mosques, why can’t we do that in the developed world?

According to the Anadoula Agency:

Kuwaiti authorities have temporarily closed mosques and amended the adhan (Muslim call to prayer) as part of its efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Muezzins (the person who calls for the prayer) changed the adhan to include the words “pray in your homes” instead of “come to prayer”.

On Friday, authorities in the Gulf nation temporarily suspended the five daily prayers and weekly Friday prayers at mosques as part of its fight against the disease.

This is a smart move. Religious services have been shown to be the biggest vector for transmission of the virus outside of healthcare. (Strangely there is no evidence that schools spread the virus, but it’s unknown if that’s because children just aren’t very contagious, or if we aren’t looking hard enough. I’d still recommend closing schools or at least encouraging all parents who can homeschool to do so, in order to be safer rather than sorry later. Kuwait suspended schools two weeks ago.)

If a third world country like Kuwait can be smart, especially considering how seriously the Muslims take their religion, why are we so stupid in the developed world? Why are we still allowing religious services to continue? Only the Mormon church (officially the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has done the right thing and closed its churches.

I think the reason for this complacency in developed countries is that we have gotten into the mode of thinking that bad things happen in crappy third world countries and not here. But crappy third world countries don’t have that superiority complex, so they are able to be smarter and more proactive in containing the spread of the virus.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 14, 2020 at 10:05 AM

Friday morning

In New York City:

Broadway is closed
Museums are closed
Movie theaters closed (I think)
Restaurants limited to half their normal capacity

What the hell is De Blasio thinking? Closed the damned schools. Although I am still not sure whether or not children spread this virus, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want kids to catch it school and then infect their parents and grandparents.

Well what De Blasio is thinking is that schools aren’t just for education, they are for giving food to children and babysitting them so their parents can go to work. Yet somehow, no kids starve to death during spring break or summer break. So close the schools now.

De Blasio is as bad as Trump.

Talking about Trump, the best way for him to help right now would be to resign and let Pence be President.

* * *

Justin Trudea’s wife has tested positive.

President of Brazil has tested positive. AND he dined with Trump last weekend.


* * *
UPDATE: The President of Brazil did NOT test positive. Was a false rumor.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 13, 2020 at 8:45 AM

Joe Biden’s coronavirus speech

He said exactly the right things. Total opposite of Trump.

It doesn’t matter that he’s reading from a teleprompter. What matters is that the people who work for Biden know what to do and Biden knows to just let them run things and be the spokesperson.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 12, 2020 at 1:51 PM

Posted in Politics

How to avoid catching a respiratory virus

Disclaimer: I’m not a virologist or doctor.

This applies to all respiratory viruses and not just the coronavirus.

The most important thing you need to know is that you’re far more likely to catch the virus from someone you know than from a stranger.

It’s obviously really bad if someone who’s infected coughs and sneezes right on your face, but probably the most common mode of transmission is just talking with someone who’s infected. The closer you get to their mouth while they are talking, the more viral load you are potentially picking up from them.

There has been much talk about the importance of washing your hands with soap and water (soap kills the virus by dissolving the lipids that hold it together), and not touching your face after having contact with any potentially unclean surface, and this is great advice, but you are more likely to catch a virus from a contagious person who’s talking to you. It doesn’t matter how much hand sanitizer you use after shaking someone’s hand if, during the process of shaking their hand, they also talked to you and you breathed in their viral emissions. Although hand sanitizer is still a good idea if you’re not near soap and water.

Advice I’ve read on the internet is that maintaining a six-foot distance is safest, and being less than three feet from someone is the serious danger zone.

I suspect the air exchange rate makes a difference. It’s more dangerous to be in a poorly ventilated indoor place, while being outdoors is safer. Opening the windows usually increases the air exchange rate; perhaps one of the reasons why viruses spread less during the summer.

You are very unlikely (but not totally impossible) to catch the virus from just walking past someone who’s contagious. I’d say that the situation where you are most likely to catch a virus from a stranger is a crowded bus or subway. Being smushed next to someone contagious for a half hour or more subway ride is obviously not a good place to be.

When there’s a pandemic going on, avoid getting into conversations with people. Don’t talk to anyone unless you really have to, and keep it as short as possible to discourage them from saying a lot back to you.

While the advice to keep six feet distant and not talk to people is easier to follow with strangers, it’s harder with people you know. Social events (including religious services) and family gatherings are the worst places to be. Face-to-face business meetings are also bad places to be.

As I’ve written before, I think a major reason for why the virus spread more in Italy than in Japan is because Italians are a lot more social.

Famous people and politicians are more likely to catch a virus because they live much more social lives, they talk to a lot of people, have lots of meetings, etc.

Hope this post helps.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 12, 2020 at 11:54 AM

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