Treatments for COVID-19?

As the President mentioned today, there are a few medicines that are being tested out for effective treatment of this corona virus.  Some of them are existing medicines that were used for  other diseases like malaria.  It’s too soon to say anything with certainty but maybe in a week or two we’ll be able to emerge from our bunkers and breath the air like free men again instead of hunkered down like troglodytes.

A Thoughtful Article Over at the American Mind – Our Calamitous Century by Forfare Davis

This was a fun and interesting read.  It also quotes a movie that I might want to watch.  Our society has prioritized cost above all else and now we may find out what happens when all your stuff comes from people who don’t like you in a place that is quarantined under the plague.

Our Calamitous Century




Vox Day Has an Interesting Link to a Theory on the Cyclical Nature of Social Change

I’m not much of a sociologist but the outline sounds plausible.  The cycle runs for 80 – 90 years and supposedly would describe the last two hundred and fifty years of American history if the author is to be believed.  Just throwing it out there if you like that sort of thing.



Trump Gives Google and Amazon a Thumb in the Eye

It’s just a drop in the bucket but it shows that these are the two tech giants that most offend the President.  Hopefully it’s only the beginning of a process to rein them in.  The author of the article says breaking up Amazon and Google is a bad idea.  I totally disagree.  Breaking them into a thousand pieces is a wonderful idea.

My Latest Take on the Coronavirus

Like everyone else I’ve been reading about the coronavirus for the last couple of months and trying to decide how dangerous this bug is.  The situation in China was alarming but also puzzling.  The information was obviously being parsed by the Chinese government there to minimize the negative impact to their economy and reputation.  Now that the virus is global, better information is emerging.  I found a very useful website that not only has all the data that is available from the health organizations but also some helpful tables and graphs that make clear some of the characteristics of this outbreak.

Something that I had heard but didn’t have good information on was the correlation between age and mortality rate.  This table will put that into perspective.

Notice that in general the mortality rates for this virus are much higher than a seasonal flu.  0.2% of people in their twenties who catch this die.  Compare that with a seasonal flu where the mortality for that age group in the United States is considerably less than 0.002%.  So this measures a thousand times deadlier than the flu.  But the joker in the deck is that’s comparing flu statistics for the United States versus what are mostly deaths in China.  Now that the bug is spreading outside of China we are seeing the proportion of critical cases sink.

Look at the lower curve which shows the death rate over time.  What this reflects is the improved statistics we now have and the better care that patients receive in regions with modern healthcare infrastructure.  Without a doubt this virus is much more virulent than the seasonal flu.  It’s mortality rate is thirty times higher (3% vs, 0.1%).  That’s nowhere near the thousand times higher rate we saw above, but it’s still really high.  In 2018 61,000 American died from the flu.  80% of those were the elderly.  If coronavirus really is thirty times deadlier that means 1,800,000 Americans will die from this virus, of which 1,440,000 will be elderly.  That’s a big number.  And now being personally on the upper side of the age divide that of course makes it even more interesting!

Here’s my takeaway.  It’s still too soon to know if the estimates on mortality are as high as they seem.  It will take testing of the general population to tell if we’re underestimating the number of people who have been exposed to the virus but have been counted among the regular flu sufferers.  If the actual mortality rate is closer to the 0.1% that a normal flu virus has then this won’t cause much more than the panic that is currently roiling the stock market.

But if it is as high as even 1% and it becomes a pandemic, then it’s going to kill a lot of old people.  It won’t kill many younger people and almost no children.  That probably means it won’t shut down the economy.  It won’t even shut down the school system.  But it will fill up the hospitals and funeral homes and empty out the nursing homes.  Pretty grim thought.  Will it become a pandemic?  It’s starting to look like it already has.  Soon we’ll find out if it’s the flu or the angel of death for the elderly.

Republican Senators Introduce a Motion to Censure Chuck Schumer for Threatening Supreme Court Justices

Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, sponsored the motion and it already has fourteen senators joining in.  This sounds like a good idea.  Allowing the minority leader of the Senate to threaten judges without consequences is weak.  He should be slapped down.  Basically he is encouraging madmen like antifa to target the court.  The Supreme Court has a number of important cases this year.  Hopefully Roberts doesn’t make himself the spoiler an we get some progress on these issues.





Shatner Moves On

William Shatner Refuses To Reprise His Role As Captain Kirk, ‘Star Trek’ Icon Says Character Is “Played Out”

Say it ain’t so!  Well, my real question is, “Was anybody actually asking?”  Actually, eventually they would.  The desperation in Hollywood will require even the deceased Star Trek actors to appear in later movies as digital zombies, kinda like poor Fred Astaire dancing with a broom in some vacuum cleaner advertisement.  But Shatner is right.  He’s outgrown Star Trek.  He’s ready for Hamlet.  Well, maybe Falstaff.  He’s old and fat enough for it.  But I kid, I kid.  Shatner is one of the legends of early television and deserves all the attention and mockery we give him.


Hat tip to one of the Shat’s biggest fans for passing this along.