DISPATCHES FROM MOON OF ALABAMA, BY "B"
This article is part of an ongoing series of dispatches from Moon of Alabama
The powers that be in our 'western' societies have decided to do nothing significant against the onslaught the novel coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 is now causing.
There will not even be an attempt to do like China or South Korea which have thrown all resources at stopping the spread of the virus while it was still possible. The 'west' now seem to be beyond that point.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson floated the idea to "take it on the chin" - i.e. to do nothing to soften the blow the epidemic will cause. Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany told her parliamentary group that 60-70% of all Germans will catch the virus. Most of them will fall ill with the Covid-19 disease the virus causes. At a 1% death rate this means that more than 500.000 Germans will die from it. Merkel did not say how she would try to prevent that. So far little was done by her administration to stop a further public spreading of the disease.
The Donald Trump administration has done its best to prevent an early detection of the outbreak in Washington State and likely also elsewhere:
As luck would have it, Dr. Chu had a way to monitor the region. For months, as part of a research project into the flu, she and a team of researchers had been collecting nasal swabs from residents experiencing symptoms throughout the Puget Sound region.
To repurpose the tests for monitoring the coronavirus, they would need the support of state and federal officials. But nearly everywhere Dr. Chu turned, officials repeatedly rejected the idea, interviews and emails show, even as weeks crawled by and outbreaks emerged in countries outside of China, where the infection began.
By Feb. 25, Dr. Chu and her colleagues could not bear to wait any longer. They began performing coronavirus tests, without government approval.
What came back confirmed their worst fear. They quickly had a positive test from a local teenager with no recent travel history. The coronavirus had already established itself on American soil without anybody realizing it.
The CDC and the FDA would not have that:
The message from the federal government was blunt. “What they said on that phone call very clearly was cease and desist to Helen Chu,” Dr. Lindquist [the state epidemiologist in Washington] remembered. “Stop testing.”
Our dear leaders are following the four stage strategy (vid):
In stage one we say "Nothing is going to happen".
Stage two we say something may be going to happen but we should do nothing about it.
Stage three: We say maybe we should do something about it but there is nothing we can do.
Stage four: We say maybe there was something that could have been done but it is too late now.
Yascha Mounk follows my argument and gives a reasonable advice on what we can do to make this pandemic as survivable as possible. Shut everything down that can be shut down. Increase social distance as much as possible. Avoid all live social contacts wherever possible. Do it NOW!
One Tomas Pueyo explains in detail why we must do this immediately. (I checked his numbers and find no faults with them.)
Wuhan city in China was shut down on January 23. Twelve days later, on February 4, the newly confirmed cases in Wuhan reached their peak and declined from there. This gives us the time delay from an infection to become a diagnosed and counted case as the shutdown increased the social distance and lowered the number of new infections.
Had the city not been shut down on January 23 the numbers beyond February 4 would have gone higher and higher. That will happen in our cities and countries as our authorities are unwilling or unable to act as early and as decisively as the Chinese authorities did.
Source: Tomas Pueyo
This is one of the most important charts.
It shows in orange histograms the daily official number of cases in the Hubei province: How many people were diagnosed that day.
The grey histograms show the true daily coronavirus cases. Crucially, these weren’t know at the time. We can only figure them out looking backwards.
What this means is that the orange histograms show you what authorities knew, and the grey ones what was really happening.
On January 21st, the number of new diagnosed cases (orange) is exploding: there are around 100 new cases. In reality, there were 1,500 new cases that day, growing exponentially. But the authorities didn’t know that. What they knew was that suddenly there were 100 new cases of this new illness.
Two days later, authorities shut down Wuhan. At that point, the number of diagnosed daily new cases was ~400. Note that number: they made a decision to close the city with just 400 new cases in a day. In reality, there were 2,500 new cases that day, but they didn’t know that.
This means that me must all act now because today the numbers in Washington state and elsewhere are already exploding even though we do not know yet how high they really are. Those people who do get infected today will only become official cases twelve or more days from now when they will (hopefully) be diagnosed and counted.
The key thing to do now is 'social distancing'. As our governments do not act decisively to achieve that it is our personal responsibility to do that ourselves. Everyone must do this as good as possible.
These numbers are not fantasies but today's reality:
Washington State is the US’s Wuhan. The number of cases there is growing exponentially.
Spain has very similar numbers as France (1,200 cases vs. 1,400, and both have 30 deaths). That means the same rules are valid: Spain has probably upwards of 20k true cases already.
In the Comunidad de Madrid region, with 600 official cases and 17 deaths, the true number of cases is likely between 10,000 and 60,000.
If you read these data and tell yourself: “Impossible, this can’t be true”, just think this: With this number of cases, Wuhan was already in lockdown.
China has defeated the epidemic in Wuhan. A few cases leaked and the effects now move into our societies. But our dear leaders are throwing the Chinese victory out of the window by not replicating early and decisively what the Chinese did. Many of us will have to pay for this.
Communists will shut down a city to prevent a deadly epidemic from going exponential. Our neo-liberal leaders only started to care when the Dow Jones went down. Don't expect them to call for a shutdown as that will cost their donor's some money. As mostly elderly people will die they are probably calculating how much money the pension funds will save.
Tomas Pueyo as well as Yascha Munck mention the 1918 influence pandemic and point out how much difference a shutdown made at that time:
As the disease was spreading, Wilmer Krusen, Philadelphia’s health commissioner, allowed a huge parade to take place on September 28; some 200,000 people marched. In the following days and weeks, the bodies piled up in the city’s morgues. By the end of the season, 12,000 residents had died.
In St. Louis, a public-health commissioner named Max Starkloff decided to shut the city down. Ignoring the objections of influential businessmen, he closed the city’s schools, bars, cinemas, and sporting events. Thanks to his bold and unpopular actions, the per capita fatality rate in St. Louis was half that of Philadelphia. (In total, roughly 1,700 people died from influenza in St Louis.)
Good luck to all of us.
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:
- The Coronavirus - No Need To Panic - Jan 25 2020
- Novel Coronavirus Defies Conspiracy Theories As Data Shows Its Coming Decline - Feb 1 2020
- The Epidemic Recedes - Number Of New Coronavirus Cases In Decline - Feb 8 2020
- Coronavirus - Statistical Change Causes Confusion - New Case Count Continues To Decline - Feb 13 2020
- Coronavirus - The Decline Of New Cases Continues - Economic Ripples Begin To Emerge - Feb 21 2020
- As Virus Spreads Over The Planet Governments Are Slow To React - Feb 27 2020
- Coronavirus - Its Time To Press Your Government To React Faster - Feb 29 2020
- Coronavirus - Bad Preparation And Propaganda Increase The Onsetting Panic - Mar 6 2020
- Is The Coronavirus Really More Dangerous Than The Flu? - Mar 9 2020
Posted by b on March 11, 2020 at 16:19 UTC | Permalink
^5000The arch-hypocritical corporate media are our worst enemies.
They shamelessly block truth, peace, equality, and true democracy.
They are shills for those who murder the environment with impunity.
It's time you embrace YOUR media, the citizens' press.
Be sure to support the Greanville Post. If not you, who will?
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