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2020-07-17 10:10 by Karl Denninger
in Covid-19 , 7514 references
[Comments enabled]  

I'm tired of repeating myself.

The answers to Covid exist.

We know this because it's been figured out.

I pointed it out in March and I'm tired of tilting at windmills.

So here it is, one last time.

Wake the **** up, do whatever is necessary to stop it or stew in it and watch your elderly and ill loved ones die along with the economic destruction you are causing through your own bootlicking because I'm done with baying at the moon while every ******ned jackwad in the media and elsewhere is making bank off claims that the world is coming to an end.

Singapore had a horrid problem with PPE in their hospitals like everyone else when Covid hit and their health care workers were getting Covid just like everywhere else.  Rather than screaming at people they took what they learned from SARS and instituted militant hand-washing before and after every contact with a person or thing.

They found when they did this that other than being directly exposed to someone coughing or when performing a high-aerosol procedure like intubation their staff didn't need N95s and other high-grade PPE yet their transmission rate to and between their staff went to a statistical zero.

Again: Singapore achieved statistical ZERO health care transmission almost-immediately.

Note what they did though.

Touch something, wash your hands with soap and water.

Touch a person, same deal.

Both before and after any such intentional contact, and immediately after any unintentional contact.  If there's inadvertent contact you stop what you're doing and wash your ****ing hands.

None of this bull**** "hand sanitizer" nonsense; soap and water.

I reported on this in March as at the time it was screamingly obvious that health care was the vector for this bug and it wasn't in the air; it was coming out your ass I've written several articles on this exact point.  MIT has even tested and proved they can find the virus in municipal sewer flows!  Indeed now we have universities stating they will use such surveillance to detect Covid on campus in the fall. 

Yet nobody has gone anywhere near that fact in the press nor in the so-called "expert" community.

Why not?

Because if you do then the entire house of cards they have built collapses and so do the lockdowns, mask orders and claim that "we're all in this together", "only a vaccine will save us" and "we all have to do our part."  Every bit of that is a bald-faced intentional lie.

In one of these early articles I pointed to a small cluster of cases in hospital workers in Minnesota.  At the time there were very few civilian (not health care) cases; fewer than 400 in the entire state. I said that they'd get hammered if this pattern held; at the time something like a quarter of all cases in Minnesota were among health care workers - 133 out of 503.  Contemplate the insanity of that for a minute; the very people trained to use PPE and avoid infection, allegedly following said rules and wearing masks, were getting infected like crazy.

Not long after that the state case and fatality rate blew up in their face.

Minnesota now has over 47,000 cases and a fatality rate of 3.59%.

That's roughly where the nation is in terms of fatality rate overall, although if you look at the most recent data the CFR-10 (fatality rate of cases diagnosed 10 days earlier) is down to right around 1%.

Note that every one of those health-care workers had masks on when anywhere near someone who might be contagious.  It did nothing and they got hammered anyway.  These are trained professionals.  If it didn't work for them it's factually going to be useless for you, which incidentally is exactly what 14 Random Controlled Trials say about masks and viruses -- they don't work.  That's not surprising; physics says they shouldn't work as the median respiratory droplet size is sub-micron, a single such particle can contain enough virons to infect you, particles of that size are inhaled deep into the lungs and particles of that size go right through anything less than an N95 in both directions with very few to nearly none of them being trapped.  You're trying to stop mosquitoes with a chain-link fence!

Now contrast this with Singapore.

Singapore has a population density approximately equal to NYC on a national basis.  It's a tiny little country with a ****-ton of people in it on a per-square-mile basis.  Yet by cutting off health care transmission their case fatality rate went to under 0.06% and has stayed there.

That's right -- less than the seasonal flu.

Yes, they locked down hard for two months.  That turned out to be stupid.  They feared another SARS outbreak, and not without reason.  SARS killed 15% of those who got it in Singapore, and they slammed the door on Covid-19 just as hard because they feared a repeat.

Instead they got.... the flu.  Literally the seasonal flu.

There are still people getting Covid19 in Singapore.  A few hundred a day.  Despite their outrageously-stringent measures, which we could never implement in the Untied States without an immediate societal and economic collapse, they failed to stop the virus but did slow it down.  However nobody, statistically-speaking, is dying of it.  Whoever gets it gets whatever they're doing today to treat it and that's the end of it.  They get it, they get treated for it, they recover, their hospital system did not blow up and life goes on.

Who gives a crap how many people get Covid-19 if it doesn't kill anyone?

I remind you that SARS was actually a deadly virus.  When Singapore had that one go through their nation it infected just 238 people but killed 33 of them.  Now that's a deadly virus; roughly 15% of the people who got that bug died.  Every other nation's experience with SARS was similar; it had a roughly 15% fatality rate generally and 50% in those over 65.

Now they've had Covid19 go through their nation and when it started they thought it might be the same sort of virus (big shock, given their previous experience with a SARS!) and found that..... if you don't transmit it through and in the health care system nobody dies.

But further, despite their draconian lockdown measures which are utterly impossible in any Western nation Covid has infected two hundred times as many people as SARS did.

Out of over 46,000 confirmed cases they've had a grand total of 27 deaths.

Approximately 0.06%.

Big ****ing deal; the ordinary seasonal flu is more-deadly.

Their lockdown was dumb; it utterly failed to stop the spread in that two hundred times as many people got infected (and are still being infected) but given that Singapore got hammered by SARS and feared a repeat I can understand why they did it; they didn't know.

Now they do.

Go document what Singapore does in their health care system to treat this disease and stop cramming the virus into vulnerable people by health care workers.  People will stop dying immediately.  Viruses are not racist and do not give a crap about your political bent.


This is a small island nation that immediately upon detection achieved zero health care vectoring of this bug.  In contrast in the United States we vectored disease into nursing homes and other vulnerable people, including "home health care" and by doing so we killed over one hundred thousand people who should not have died.  Nursing homes alone account for roughly half of our Covid-19 losses thus far.  I'm willing to bet that a dispassionate analysis will find that 90% or more of the deaths are ultimately traceable to a nosocomial (that is, health care) transmission. The crazy prevalence of nurses and others getting infected in the hospitals is even more outrageous because, as was documented in NYC, most of the actual infections there occurred in households.

How do you think it got in those households?

From the health care workers who failed to contain it inside the hospitals.

This is homicide and likely accounts for, on a statistical basis, all of the deaths.

This very pattern is continuing today folks.  There is no possible natural explanation for a sixty-five fold difference in death rates.  A 6,500% difference in death rate for the same virus between modern, economically-advanced nations is not due to natural causes; that's impossible.

That ridiculously-elevated death rate keeps happening because we refuse to cut off the vector into those people who the virus can actually kill and we continue to treat the people with the disease inappropriately -- killing them instead of helping them.  The scream-fest about ventilators is just part of it; we knew in February that ventilators were an inappropriate treatment and killed people instead of helping them and yet we bought and provided them by the tens of thousands anyway.  The federal government knows the health care system has been and is killing people and has known it since February 4th, which is why it extended liability protection to all health care providers and suppliers and has not rescinded said protection.  The Federal Government is not alone; most if not all State Governors have done so as well, including so-called "Red State" governors such as Lee of Tennessee.

The vector that kills is not the common person on the street, in the store or in a bar.  It just isn't; that's what the data tells us.

It might have been reasonable on February 4th to extend said liability protection for 30 days to allow the health care system to adjust procedure and shut off this vector.  To extend said protections beyond the beginning of March is proof positive that neither State or Federal officials give a damn about your grandmother; in fact, they are intentionally fomenting death to the tune of sixty-five times what a civilized nation can achieve -- if it displays one whit of concern for human life.

As further proof of the malfeasance and where the predominant vector for spread lies in an ICU in Iran they tried to capture Covid-19 in the air 2m away from severely ill patients.  They failed to find virus.  If it's not in the airborne environment in an ICU where severely sick people are with the virus then explain to me why I should believe that an asymptomatic person is going to kill me in the grocery store with their breath?

In short statistically-speaking if you can't manage to isolate the virus in air around severely-ill people who have it the worst of all then the only rational conclusion is that's not the primary or even a material route of transmission.  To continue to focus there is not only stupid it's flat out criminal homicide.  Never mind the other fairly-recent study where they attempted to find virus in non-coughing patients for influenza, coronavirus and rhinovirus -- and for a huge percentage of those persons they failed. That study was performed under laboratory conditions where they captured all of one's expired breath over a period of 30 minutes.  If you were going to spew out virus from your mouth or nose 30 minutes is certainly long enough for 100% of the people with laboratory confirmed infections and fevers to do so.

Is a "mask order" of value if they can't reliably find virus in the breath of confirmed, symptomatic febrile patients under laboratory conditions?  Obviously not; you can't filter what isn't there.  Should compromised people wear one if they're at particular risk?  That's up to you; the value is likely near-zero but someone might cough in your vicinity.  If you wish to wear a mask (or better, a canister respirator) against that possibility, have at it.

Blanket mask orders are utterly worthless or worse in that that may actually increase the risk of cross-contamination of feces into your mouth and nose; that's the science.

At the same time there are other studies that found virus all over the bathrooms of patient rooms in Covid wards.  Gee, it's not coming out your ass?  Like hell it isn't.  The so-called "choir practice singer" deal?  They shared food after the practice. The group of friends who got it immediately after going to a crowded bar in Jacksonville FL?  Isn't it interesting that only that group of friends was infected and not all the other people in the bar?  I suppose you expect me to believe that they all had an "atmospheric cone of isolation" around them -- and only them.  What's more-likely -- that this "cone" existed to make sure that all of these people got infected or is it more-likely that they all passed around something that was contaminated -- like, for instance, one of their cellphones?

Are there what appear to be confirmed aerosol super-spread events?  Yes, including one very well run-down incident in Germany.  Oh, the bad news? That happened in a meat plant and there was a compulsory mask order as the nation had issued one for workplaces well before the event.  It didn't help -- at all.  But the evidence is that these are actively sick individuals; there is no even reasonably-competent evidence that an asymptomatic infection results in a person who actually spreads the virus.  This is likely due to pre-existing resistance in the asymptomatic person which in turn prevents accumulation of a viral load sufficient to initiate transmission.  Asymptomatic cases are a social good, not a social bad; they remove you from the pool of people who can transmit the bug for some period of time which helps suppress transmission in the community.  In short you want those infections to happen.

Does Covid-19 occasionally kill a random person?  Sure.  All diseases do, even the flu.  But if you give it to severely compromised persons such as is trivially done in both hospitals and nursing homes you're going to kill 50 times as many, and we in the US, the UK, Italy and everyone else have done exactly that on a repeated basis.

We're still doing it today.

So why has the death rate fallen so drastically -- down by ninety percent since April?

We murdered most of the people who are easy to kill and you can only kill a given person once.  That's why the rate of death is falling in America -- and everywhere else.  What we haven't done -- still, today, six months into this, is cut off the health care vector for this disease.

That failure, six months in, can only be characterized as intentional ladies and gentleman, especially when backed up with liability protection from the government which has been maintained and extended at both State and Federal levels.

Never mind that I've said since Diamond Princess that the base susceptibility is not 100%.  Not even close.  It couldn't be; the rate of infection on that ship (~17%), given an R0 of about 3, strongly suggested that roughly 50% of the population was already immune in whole or part (in other words you can get it but not seriously enough to pass it on or get ill yourself) due to some sort of cross-reactive immunity.  Now it's reported that a peer-reviewed paper in Nature in fact found cross-immunity in 50% of those studied!  These were people who never had Covid19 yet their body's T-cells knew what it was.

This in turn means that when you get to about 15%, more or less, of those in the general population who get Covid-19 it's over from a statistical standpoint.  This matches not only NYC's experience but that of every other region across the world.  It should, and likely will based on the science, play out exactly the same way everywhere else.

NY has had 400,000 "cases." The CDC says there are 10 for every one you catch with a test, so 4 million.  The state has a population of about 20 million people; one in five has had the bug.  With innate immunity of 50% this means they're beyond the herd suppression threshold and indeed, guess what?  850 cases state-wide, which out of 400,000 is a growth rate of 0.21%.  Scared?  If you are, you're nuts; in fact New York reached the suppression rate of prevalence in April.  So did New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts (big shock given how close they are and travel between them.)

Ohio has a way to go; thus their "double spike".  Florida is on the verge of if not entering suppression right now, assuming their fraudulent test reporting is only on negatives that were discarded and doesn't extend to tens of thousands of alleged "infections" that never existed.  California has a way to go yet.  Arizona is right on that level right here, right now.   Their rate will not fall because of "mitigations", it will fall because the virus fails to find more than one new person to infect who will develop disease and thus be able to pass it on for each one that currently is infected.

Where does Arizona stand right now? Their presumptive rate is 19% and guess what -- they're seeing the same pattern.  They just got there, and when they did the same thing happened that happened in New York.  How many times do you need to see the same thing before you take your REEEEEing nonsense and shove it up your own ass?  How many times does it have to happen before you shove your governor's or mayor's mask order up his or her ass?


That's what herd suppression is.  It's what it looks like -- every time.

Think it won't happen in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and everywhere else?

Look at New Jersey (~19.87%.)  Same thing.  New York at 20.81%?  Same thing.  Do you think Cuomo achieved this with his lockdowns and screaming?  All Cuomo did was kill an outrageously high percentage of those who got the virus because he intentionally transmitted it to vulnerable people on a preferential basis.  That ******* ought to be in prison right here, right now and Witless, Wolf and several others ought to be there with him.  We knew damn well after Kirkland that this would happen if the health care vector was not cut off.

Which is more likely: Arizona's "new orders" are responsible given the wide disparity with what New York and New Jersey did or despite the wildly different approaches and the same result occurring at the near-exact same point in community infection it's simply a function of herd suppression?

May I note that the most-restrictive states got there first?  Maybe this is due to them being where the virus came first and has no tie to their "aggressive" lockdown efforts.  Or maybe the health care workers forcing it into vulnerable people and being a larger percentage of the whole on mass transit and similar spiked the transmission rate and made it worse!  Which it is cannot be proved but that "lockdowns" of any severity fail to stop transmission is a documented fact.  We had 50 state laboratories with different standards and..... not one bit of evidence that correlated the rate at which suppression is achieved nor its durability with the policy decisions made.  Instead the evidence is that if you do not reach approximately 2% prevalence of "positive test results" you're not done, and when you do reach that prevalence, you are.  This, of course, assumes that the test results are real; if you report positives that aren't (e.g. "positives" when the person was never even tested!) then good luck trying to figure out where you are.

There's nothing you can do about this and every one of the screamers claiming that susceptibility was ever 100% were and are wrong.  This was never conjecture; it was hard, irrefutable scientific evidence in March when Diamond Princess happened.  Now it's backed up with actual scientific proof in that the expected immunity was found in approximately the same percentage that Diamond Princess showed had to be there in order to explain the experimental results in that closed system; an essentially ideal transmission environment for a virus which nobody would ever let you construct on purpose for ethical reasons.  In addition Diamond Princess was not a one-off; there were multiple cruise ships after that which got into similar trouble with the virus and had similar results.  Note that all SEIR models (IHME, etc) presume random distribution of contacts that could spread disease where it is pure random chance on the presence of a causal chain between a person with it and who is susceptible to it.  This is flat-out garbage in a confined, closed environment.

Any governor or mayor claiming otherwise is not mistaken, nor are "public health experts" who make said claims.  They're liars, frauds, and all of them deserve to be run out of town on a rail with nothing more than their underwear remaining to their name.  These *******s have been and are literally destroying the United States economy and lives, including those of children by keeping schools closed when the facts are the claimed "doomsday" scenario was never on the table because innate immunity was both present and known to be present when this virus first showed up.  Moreover within a month we knew how to control infections so people didn't die.  We knew how because one nation did exactly that and got immediate results.

Most of the people who have died in the United States did not die of a virus acquired by random chance; they were killed by inappropriate, and outrageously-so, actions taken by the health care system and public officials who in fact gave legal immunity for these homicides to the perpetrators who crammed the virus into vulnerable segments of the population and then shoved a breathing tube down their throat despite knowing that this "treatment" was factually lethal.

There is no emergency and in fact there never was.  Not here, not anywhere, other than that which we intentionally are causing.  We know how to beat this because Singapore already has and so-proved in March; cut off the route of infection from and in the health care system to the most-vulnerable people and while many people will get the bug nobody, statistically speaking, will die from it.

The entire premise of "airborne spread" has even garnered explicit scientific fraud in so-called "peer reviewed" articles.  This "study" is one of the "favorites" being cited by #MaskHoles in support of mask mandates.  It was peer-reviewed in mid-June and contains this factual whopper that is a documented, known lie:

... the conditions during the outbreaks in Wuhan, Rome, and NYC correspond to high RH yet low absolute humidity because of low temperature (SI Appendix, Fig. S3). Early experimental work (9) showed remarkable survival for the analogous coronavirus MERS-CoV at the RH level characteristic of the COVID-19 outbreaks in Wuhan, Rome, and NYC. 

It is true that in NYC and Wuhan during the original outbreak there was low absolute humidity.  The authors cite this because it is crucial to their argument that the virus is primarily transmitted via the air.  We've known that every airborne transmitted virus follows that physical law since a seminal study about 10 years ago which gave us the exact reason there is a "flu season" every single year, without fail, in the winter.

But by June we had hard scientific proof that this virus was ignoring this physical fact because there were large-scale outbreaks in the middle of summer in Miami, Phoenix, Dallas and elsewhere.  What's worse is that Ecuador, which of course never has a winter as the Equator literally runs through the nation had an outbreak in March as well that hammered them to an unbelievable degree. Yet they, like everyone else, responded with "mask-mask-mask" which is flat-out stupid for a fecal-transmitted bug.  As a result just as in other nations the virus ran through their country and killed all the easy-to-kill victims.  Their death rate approached nine percent!

Then again so did ours in the first months when we were cramming sick people into nursing homes where there was a concentration of easy-to-kill individuals.

The entire argument for airborne transmission rests on a blown thesis that was factually known to be false at the time of peer review of a published alleged "scientific paper" and yet that paper was not rejected.  Worse, as of today it remains on the PNAS web page and has not been retracted either despite being falsified on its own foundational premise prior to publication!  It is in fact one of the claimed "scientific predicates" behind mask mandates.

People like to talk about "masks", "social distancing" and "shutdowns" but that's a bull**** conversation in the first instance on two known facts.  First, who gives a crap about whether you get a bug if the bug doesn't get you?  If you get a cold or a flu, or nothing at all who cares?  That's a social good, not a social bad; you contribute to those who, at least for a while, can't get it again.  Further the entire premise for primary airborne transmission and thus any claim of "science" behind mask orders, business closures and so-called "social distancing" rests on a blown thesis that was factually disproved in the first week of April.

This isn't "error" or "mistake" -- it's flat-out willful and intentional blindness that is killing people by the score.

We, and the rest of the world, have the answer literally under our nose.  Singapore is a first-world nation with a health care system that spends one fifth of what we do on a percent of GDP basis with a population density similar to New York City and it is wiping the floor with the entire Western World.

Further every single "model" and so-called "expert" has claimed like a damned broken record that everyone is susceptible and thus we're a "long way" away from herd suppression -- a goal that will never be achieved as, they now claim, antibodies wane.  We knew that claim was bull**** when Diamond Princess happened, a virtually perfect and sealed environment that produced only a 17% infection rate; a fact that is flatly impossible given a virus with an R0 of 3.0 and a 100% susceptible population.  The only reasonable explanation was that a huge percentage of the population on that boat, roughly 50%, were already immune either in whole or part.  Now we know scientifically that this is the case.

And oh, by the way, if antibodies wane (and it appears they do) then a vaccine will be worthless too, yet there are myriad so-called "experts" who continue to be "hopeful" about one working.  How'd that work out for HIV/AIDS and those very same experts who have told us there would be a safe and effective vaccine against HIV for the last 20 years?

We also know that "super-spread" events for this bug occur and by definition they're a major contributor to the whole.  While many have been claimed to be from "asymptomatic" people that has repeatedly been proved to be false, with the poster child for it being the South Korean church where the index case woman was obviously very sick.  Interrupting even half of those events would greatly attenuate the spread of the virus and can be done at near-zero cost.  A strong suggestion or even mandate for IR temperature checks for both customers and employees in public accommodations where more than "X" (say 5, or 10) people can gather, or where public-facing employees contact more than "X" people a day would have such an effect.  The equipment to do so is cheap (under $50), it consumes only batteries and is durable equipment that has a service life measured in years, a check takes 1 second, it's objective, it creates no records and denying entry to someone who is febrile irrespective of cause is likely to not only materially reduce Covid19 spread it also will reduce the spread of influenza and other similar diseases.  Those at the lower part of the economic spectrum have the most incentive to go to work when ill for obvious economic reasons -- and also, perversely, have the most contact with customers (e.g. service industry workers.) It would not surprise me if that one intervention alone was sufficient to drop Rt below 1.0 and thus immediately reduce the transmission of both Covid19 and influenza to nuisance levels.

And finally, while I'm sure you can spread this virus through the air the science is that the primary route of transmission is not taking place via that vector.  It was factually established in March that Covid19 was not obeying the laws of physics common to all airborne viral transmission and yet papers were written, circulated and have been relied on as evidence for mask orders and "social distancing" which make the predicate claim for airborne transmission that the virus does indeed follow that physics-dictated pattern when we knew, factually that was false in March and that falsity has been repeatedly proved on an unbroken basis worldwide, including in America.

We've known all of this since March and I've been reporting on all of it since March; five+ months running on a literal daily basis.

It's no longer an accident or an undiscovered thing and hasn't been for months.

It's intentional both by the health care system and our government at all levels -- federal, state and local.

I'm done.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2020-07-04 14:10 by Karl Denninger
in Covid-19 , 2412 references
[Comments enabled]  

Let's look at physics and mathematics folks.

We'll start with a single cough or sneeze.

Everyone "knows" that if you cover a cough or sneeze, and you should do it into your sleeve instead of your hand, this will reduce the risk of someone else getting a virus you may have, right?


It doesn't.  So says the science!  This is a myth, just like it is a myth that you can wear a mask and reduce transmission.

Wait -- you say!  YUCK; that's obvious that it helps.

Well, no.

Here's why.

You sneeze and a huge loogie comes out your nose.  Yuck!  Nasty!  Mucus, full of germs.

It goes, if uncovered...... downward, on the floor.

And harms nobody.

It's disgusting, but that's it.  You should still do it anyway because it's disgusting not to, but you won't stop a virus by doing so.

What?  If I stop the loogie then how come that doesn't do anything?

Because in addition to the loogie out come a bunch of large drops, each also laden with virus.  Maybe a few hundred drops.  Yuck!  Thus covering or physically blocking those will reduce transmission to other people, right?

Wrong again, statistically speaking.


Because in that same forceful exhale are an enormous number of sub-micron water droplets that are formed as the saturated vapor in your lungs (100% RH in expired air) cools slightly as it travels up from the lungs to the trachea and out the mouth or nose and comes into contact with the ambient air (well, unless it's over 98.6F in the air where you are anyway!)

Remember your basic physics:  As any saturated vapor cools it condenses.  Any saturated vapor that cools by even a tiny amount will condense -- that is, coalesce the individual vapor molecules into larger aggregates.

Ordinary "tidal volume" (that is, the amount of air you move in a resting condition with each inhalation) is about 500ml.  For a cough or sneeze it is much larger; the maximum volume of air that can be inspired in adult human lungs typically is in the range of 4-6L, or eight to 12 times the "at rest" breathing amount.

When we breathe normally we produce very few or no large droplets.  When we sing, play a wind instrument, yell, scream, cough or sneeze we produce a fairly large number of them.

But none of this matters at all, statistically, because with each breath we produce millions of small condensate drops, and all of them which do not aggregate beyond the pore size of the medium in a mask will go right through said mask in either direction, most of those condensed molecules are produced between the lungs and either before or just after exit from the body due to condensation of the 100% RH water vapor and each of them individually, if you are infected with a virus, can carry enough virons to infect another person.

We've all "seen our breath" outside when it's cold.

That's aggregation and condensation to a great enough degree that the aggregates are visible; there are thousands to millions more said aggregates that are too small to see and when it's not cold outside none of them aggregate and condense sufficiently to be visible but they are all still there.

Note that during ordinary breathing the mean particle size is sub-micron.  Statistically none of these are filtered in either direction by anything less than an N95.

This is why physics says that masks don't work against viruses and exactly zero RCTs show that they do.

Never mind the repeated attempts to mandate masks in 1918 which did nothing to prevent the spread.  Of course the revisionism of today says "well it's because people didn't adhere to it."  Sure, there were people who put up the middle finger; after all, they threw people in jail for refusing -- but the facts are that nearly everyone complied.

Every single person that has ever "seen their breath" in the winter months knows, if they think about it for 30 seconds, why masks can't work and don't.

They can't work because blocking 1,000 pretty-large droplets sounds like it's great except hundreds of thousands or even millions of condensed water vapor molecule clusters were also expelled, they have enough virons on them to infect another person and very nearly zero of those are caught by the mask in either direction.  The ones you see when you breathe out in the winter are >50um in size (the limit of visibility to the unaided eye); more than 50 times the size of the mean particle you actually exhale.  Worse, every one of those tiny particles, unless condensed out or breathed in by someone else can remain in the air for hours since they are small enough to remain within the purview of brownian motion of air molecules; that is, they "float" so to speak because the energy of said molecular vibration and ordinary air currents, even indoors, is large compared to the pull of gravity toward the ground and thus they remain suspended in the air.

The reason we have a flu season, as I've noted, is that the higher the absolute humidity, which tracks with temperature, the greater the odds that further agglomeration of these clusters of molecules will occur and once they get large enough gravity takes over as they are too heavy and they fall to the ground harmlessly.

So your mask stopped the nasty-looking and smelling loogie which can infect exactly one person, unless you wipe it around on people, and 1,000 of the 5,000 modest-size droplets you expelled. This is why the mask gets nasty all over the inside (which, by the way, if left on for any length of time or reused will breed bacteria on the inside surface which you can inhale, and it will be very bad for you if you do so.)

But it's worthless in terms of protecting anyone else because at the same time you expelled the 5,001 droplets and stopped 1,001, which sounds like a decent hazard reduction, you also expelled anywhere from thousands to several million micrometer-size drops, an effective none of which were stopped, all of which are infectious, and thus you actually caught materially less than 1% of the potential infections that can screw someone else!

1% is not statistically significant.  Filtering out 0.1-1% of the infectious events out at the source DOES NOTHING.

The reason workers in a virus lab wear moon suits, go through multiple e sets of sealed doors with decontamination procedures before that suit is removed and breathe pressurized outside air while inside the lab is that these are facts and said virus -- any virus -- will go right through any "mask."

Then there is an often-cited NIH review that claims that masks "might" work.  Well, that depends on the mask.  If you read the actual study you'll find that there is a RCT (again, the gold standard for medical science) that found that cloth masks increased transmission -- in other words, they were worse than the control group that was wearing nothing!  That study found N95s to be effective (no surprise) and that surgical masks might be, but non-medical masks aren't part of the debate -- and yet that, and cloth, are what we're talking about here in the general public.  That same review also noted that coronaviruses appear to be preferentially emitted in aerosols as opposed to droplets, which instantly destroys the argument for source control since anything that does not have a high quality seal and fit will pass nearly all of your aerosol (as opposed to larger droplets) right out into the space around you.

Oh, and don't run any bull**** about "oh it's only so-called droplets" nonsense in terms of being specific to Covid19 either.  That's another common claim but there's zero scientific evidence for that.  I'm not the only one who's noticed this -- there's a group of 239 scientists who signed a letter to the WHO.  Not that they should have needed to; unless you're a mouth-breathing idiot the early outbreak in an apartment building at Wuhan and another in Hong Kong where there were no plumbing traps and thus gas (aerosol) from people's scat was getting into other people's apartments and the outbreak occurred across floors in units where the individuals had no reasonable possibility of personal or droplet contact along with the choir group that took all manner of reasonable precaution yet got infected anyway all make clear that in fact the so-called "large drop only" theory is nonsense.  It not only has no basis given the spread we have observed it has no basis in physics either.

Never mind what appears to be one very-well researched and run down super-spread event in Germany -- in a meat-packing plant after compulsory mask-wearing was put into place for employees.  The masks were worthless; a huge number of people were infected and they were able to trace the index case too because of a fortuitous mutation that allowed them to sequence the RNA and prove it.  That put the final nail in the coffin of those who claimed this is not an "aerosol" (whether originating from feces or out your respiratory tract) disease.

Further, as I've repeatedly noted, that Covid-19 isn't following the laws of physics on the agglomeration that occurs with absolute humidity is very strong evidence (but not proof), again on the science, that it is in large part not being transmitted through the air but rather by contact with contaminated surfaces and since we know intact virus is found in feces fecal contamination is very likely involved (exactly as it is with polio, which also didn't follow the laws of physics on aerosol or droplet transmission because it wasn't, in the main, transmitted that way.)  A mask does nothing to prevent "fomite" (item-based) transmission whatsoever nor does it work as source control for feces, obviously.  In fact wearing a mask may make transmission materially more-likely if the mask is not taken from a clean, sterile container only after you have washed your hands, is then put on, and once removed you immediately wash your hands and do not re-use the mask until and unless it has been sterilized.  This, of course, is impossible if you are out in the public and desire to eat or drink something.  As soon as you do contamination of yourself and others, if there is contamination on your mask, is assured.  In short a mask is a filter and thus concentrates whatever is in the environment on its two surfaces; on the interior from what you exhale and on the exterior from the environment around you.  Once a mask is worn, even for a few minutes, it is biologically dangerous both to you and others and becomes more dangerous the longer you have it on.  Without proper protocol you are more likely to infect yourself or others if pathogens are present than protect anyone at all and that protocol is utterly impossible to follow in general public life.

This has been noted in the literature; this article is often cited as "supporting" community mask mandates.  If you actually read it it does no such thing because of exactly what I've noted above:

Taking a mask off is a high-risk process (34) because pathogens may be present on the outer surface of the mask and may result in self-contamination during removal (31).

If your position on "masks" is really one that includes closing all places where food and/or beverages of any sort are consumed on-premise, along with the banning of consumption of food or beverages in public where by definition you will not be able to follow good protocol with a mask to limit cross-contamination of others and self-infection then just say so and be done with it.  Those arguing for mask orders in the public in fact are arguing for a complete and permanent lockdown except to go get groceries or take a trip to the hospital; they must be forced to come clean as to their actual intent.  So long as any firm can remain in operation that permits or serves food or beverages of any sort for on-premise consumption masks are likely to increase infection rates because from an epidemiological point of view once used they are exactly identical to used toilet paper in terms of infection risk and if you put a used one on a table or bar you just contaminated that surface.  Once you put a used one back on your face without first sterilizing it you have just contaminated yourself.

We have known all of this since February, as I have documented.

Physics is not a list of suggestions folks.

It is a list of natural laws that nobody can violate.

Masks are worthless when it comes to viral transmission by aerosol and in addition they are obviously also worthless against transmission that occurs due to contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.  That's the physics of it and nobody has ever demonstrated an ability to modify the laws of physics.  Only an N95 (or better) can attenuate to any meaningful degree viruses in exhaled or inhaled breath simply because virus particles and the water vapor particles that carry them are small enough to pass right through anything less.  It is like trying to stop mosquitoes with a chain-link fence.  I'm sure you get a few, but not enough to matter.

Grow up, deal with the fact that masks are worthless, learn to live with the fact that this virus will not be responsive to voodoo or magical incantations by governors, mayors or anyone else.  Manual removal of potential contamination from your hands by washing with soap and water will help, but there is no guarantee because as we know this virus can spread through multiple vectors.  The sooner those who are not significantly harmed by this virus get it and thus inhibit transmission the sooner it will be equivalent in its impact to seasonal flu or less.

There is no other reality folks, and for reasons I've explained before a vaccine is unlikely to work either.  Don't get your hopes up for that as you are very likely to be disappointed.

If this nation cannot face the realities of physics then we are back to the persecution of Galileo and the burning of "witches" at Salem.  There is utterly no point in my, or any other thinking person's continued engagement on any matter of economics, politics, public health or other policy if that is to be the regression of intelligence and logic among the people of this nation as what was America is doomed to collapse back into the Dark Ages.

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2020-07-01 10:11 by Karl Denninger
in Covid-19 , 2791 references
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Folks, the science is settled on masks.

As I have repeatedly pointed out they do nothing for viruses.  There are a number of reasons for this -- and physics tells us that they shouldn't work.  If you want to read the whole screed it's here, complete with a link to another source from before when these became politicized that includes links to multiple random controlled trials, which are the gold standard in medicine.  They found no evidence that masks even when worn by medical personnel who are trained, did anything to inhibit viral transmission.

There are plenty of observational studies that claim effectiveness.  Observational studies are worthless; by definition they cannot prove causal links.  Further, as I've repeatedly pointed out the person who wants to make an extraordinarily claim (or impose an extraordinarily order, such as a lockdown or a mask requirement) has the burden of proof, not suggestion.

There are people who say "well, but one viral particle isn't enough to get infected, so if you block some of them that's benefit."  That's only half-true.  All viruses have what is called a "MID", or "minimum infective dose."  The problem is that one <2.5um aerosol particle, which is not filtered effectively by even an N95, and not filtered at all by anything less, has enough virons in and on it to infect you.  In other words, just one of those particles that gets through has more than a MID on it and thus the claim is false.

In fact masks may actually make the situation worse in that they radically concentrate larger droplets, such as are expelled in a cough or sneeze and leave them on the mask surface where they can then be transferred to your hands and infect someone.  If not on the mask they drop rapidly onto the ground because they're too large and gravity gets them.  It is what are known as the "fine particulates" that can remain part of the fluid motion of the air for an extended period of time -- in fact, almost-permanently.

Larger particles can be forcefully expelled by yelling, singing, playing wind instruments (although most of them collect in said instrument; thus the spit drain in a trombone, trumpet, etc) and, of course, coughing and sneezing.  But those large particles drop to the ground quickly; they are much heavier than air.  You want those to drop to the ground because they can't infect anyone who isn't running their hands on the ground immediately thereafter!  Concentrating them where you can touch them is bad, not good.  (Incidentally while we all now say "cough or sneeze into your sleeve" there's no science supporting that either -- in fact what studies we have say doing it doesn't decrease transmission.)

But a particle that is small enough passes through in both directions with a mask.  That is, what you exhale passes through and so does what you inhale.  That's the physics, and it's also the result of RCTs of which there have been many over the decades.  Remember, we've tried to figure out how to stop flu transmission for decades as the flu kills upwards of 60,000 a year in the United States alone -- and have never succeeded

That's not because we didn't study it.

We did study it.



Here are four controlled trials in the general population.  I also have multiple ones over the last 20 years in health care settings with the same results.  This isn't my data, it isn't conjecture, these are published medical studies.

And these are surgical masks and N95s -- not bandanas or your girlfriend's panties.

What do these studies repeatedly show?


It produces statistically significant reductions in virus transmission, repeatedly, in controlled trials.


Never mind that the CDC itself published a retrospective look at various RCTs and found that masks on people in the general population are useless.  When did they say this?  In May of this year.

Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. 

This is from the alleged experts that everyone in the media, along with all the Screaming Karens, claim we must listen to.


I've pointed this out repeatedly but, even worse, I identified manual transmission of this virus as the predominant vector in March.

Here's proof -- read it.  This was not the first article on that, but it's the most-concise.  Masks do zippo if transmission is occurring via your hands and in fact are likely to make the situation worse because any "adjustment" of said mask with your hands puts your hands right where they need to be in order to infect you -- on your mouth, nose or eyes.

Note that many people claim SE Asia's penchant for masks attenuates such viruses.  Wrong.  The data says otherwise:

The highest mortality rates were estimated in sub-Saharan Africa (2·8–16·5 per 100 000 individuals), southeast Asia (3·5–9·2 per 100 000 individuals), 

In sub-Saharan Africa you can probably safely presume that the mask prevalence is an effective zero compared with SE Asia, yet SE Asia does not outperform sub-Saharan Africa in mortality from viral infuenza and it underperforms Europe and America, where mask usage is an effective zero.

In other words the observational data correlates exactly with both the expected physical outcome based on physics and the results of Random Controlled Trials (RCT), the gold standard for medical investigation.


Never mind that now we have (finally!) admission of what I talked about a hell of a long time ago and had to be the case simply analyzing the mathematics and viral sequencing out of Italy and elsewhere -- this virus was here in the US long before claimed, penetration of it into the population is wildly more common than claimed, there is cross-immunity, which we knew in February and March since Diamond Princess, and all of this combined means we're now arguing over closing the barn door after the horses have all left!

But we have a further problem with this virus in that as with ******n near everything today politics is once again focused on how to screw you with 5% of an issue while leaving the other 95% alone which is where all the damage is happening.

We saw this with HIV/AIDS, where we told everyone that any sort of unprotected sex was extremely dangerous where 95% of the transmission was occurring in those who engaged in unprotected anal sex or IV drug use with the sharing of needles.  We shoved over 450,000 American in the hole by engaging in politicized bull****, most of whom should not have died.  We also told Americans that one third of all American people were going to get HIV/AIDS and die, which was an outrageously false statement but did scare the living Hell out of everyone alive, most-particularly heterosexual couples which, I remind you, are sort of important for the continuation of the human race.  I was a young adult at the time and remember VERY VIVIDLY the death counts on the nightly news, in the local papers and the scaremongering that claimed we were all at very high risk and that any sexual contact was likely to lead directly to you becoming a corpse.

This does NOT mean you can't get HIV via heterosexual, vaginal sex.  You can and just as now where they trot out the few 20 year old healthy victims of Covid-19 they did the same thing for the no-special-risk heterosexual man or woman who got AIDS and died.  It does, however, mean that most cases are not contracted that way because while it's possible to transmit it in this fashion it's quite difficult, especially in the absence of other STDs that leave open lesions on and around the genitals.

We knew this by 1985 and intentionally lied to the American public for over a decade.  450,000 Americans alone are dead, many of them because we did not tell people the truth about the risk profile of various behaviors all of which were under their personal control.

Now we're doing it again and we're killing people again through the same ******ned cult behavior that is in fact no different than the voodoo practitioner who gets all your money to lay "spells" -- whether for your good or an enemy's demise.

The virulence of all aerosol transmission of respiratory viruses, without exception, follow very closely the absolute humidity in the region in question.  This is absolute fact and is why if you look at the CDC data for ILI -- diagnosed as a specific flu or not -- you will see exactly this pattern.  We did not know that this was tied directly to absolute humidity for a long time, but about 10 years ago the link was discovered and curve fit -- and it's a near-exact fit when controlled for all other factors such as time spent outdoors, HVAC prevalence and similar.  Unlike most of the other theories put forward over the years this also fits exactly with expected behavior based on physics while the other "explanations" that people have attempted to conjure up were in fact mere speculations.  In fact all respiratory aerosol-transmitted viruses have been observed to have a 400% or more range in virulence based on this factor -- that is, an effective "R" or "Rt" from under 1.0 to over 4.

It is why every single year we have a "flu season."  It is why you are much more likely to catch a cold in the winter than the summer.  Some people do get a cold or flu in the summer, but not many.  This is science, not conjecture or politics.

Covid-19 is not following this pattern; we knew this in March.  We knew this because places that were already very hot, where absolute humidity was already way higher than the winter and early spring months, were seeing massive outbreaks.  We confirmed this when the virus got into Dade county in Florida by persons returning to the US from Italy and spread like wildfire -- it was not being attenuated even though total humidity was much higher than that of New York City at the same point in time.  We continue to see confirmation in that now we have outbreaks in places like Dallas and San Antonio TX well into the summer, along with Miami, Los Angeles, South Carolina and Phoenix.

Note that the prevalence of A/C does not change any of this.  Not only is the virus spreading like Hell in places like rural India (where there are no A/C units) but A/C units condense a huge amount of material out of the air and get rid of both the aerosols and anything in them in the condensate which is drained to the ground outside.  If the presence of A/C units didn't attenuate transmission about equally well as being outdoors then we'd see massive outbreaks of flu in office buildings and cattle-car packed call centers in the summer but we don't.

All of these facts are hard, scientific evidence that the primary mechanism of spread of Covid-19 is not aerosol.



Incidentally you will find the same is true of norovirus.  This is why Norovirus spreads rapidly on cruise ships even in the Caribbean where absolute humidity is sky-high.  Norovirus is contact spread, including through feces -- which we refuse to acknowledge as a means of spread of Covid-19 even though the overwhelming scientific evidence is that it spreads in exactly the same way norovirus does and we KNOW, scientifically, it is in feces.

When a cruise ship gets an outbreak of norovirus do they mandate masks?  I've been on a cruise where it happened and the answer is NO.  They spray the hell out of every single surface with a bleach solution on a nearly-continuous basis.  The entire damn ship smells like bleach.  Guess why they don't mandate masks?  Because the virus is not attenuated in spread through total humidity which is proof that the primary means of spread is not aerosol and even if it did masks don't work against viruses and they know it.

Covid-19 is not attenuated in spread through total humidity either.



Which means even if masks could work against respiratory viruses, which they can't, they won't work in this instance because that's not how the virus is spread.  Never mind that indoor A/C units condense out a huge amount of aerosol and in addition have filters in front of said condensers which have no risk of manual transmission as they're away from people in a box where you can't touch them (a "mask" for the A/C unit, if you will) and thus indoor transmission in the summer months should be an effective zero.

I've been pointing this out since FEBRUARY, raising Hell about it since March, and there has not been one scintilla of evidence that provides any hint otherwise.




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2020-03-31 20:23 by Karl Denninger
in Covid-19 , 663 references
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Folks, we have to cut the bull**** right now.

We do work with very dangerous viruses all the time.  We have to.  We use truly extreme measures in doing so too, because the risk of a mistake, if made, is catastrophic to the person involved and, if the virus is person-person transmissible the outcome could be horrifying.

We do this sort of work in labs where strict controls are found.  Think "Andromeda Strain" sort of lab.

There is not a hospital in the world that can maintain that level of isolation successfully.

Hospitals, generally, are not set up much to deal with highly-infectious and serious disease.  Blood-borne diseases are one thing; there you need direct exposure, which means needle sticks and things like that. Diseases where vaccinations are available are another; health workers can be required to have proved immunity in the form of proof of vaccination.  That works.

There are a handful of hospitals that are capable of treating Ebola patients.  So far none have had a breach.  But their capacity is very, very low.  In addition Ebola is not generally airborne and that makes it materially easier.  Ebola-level isolation is actually not enough for this virus to stop transmission to the health care workers yet even that level of protection is simply impossible to provide for thousands of people.  For a handful that present while returning from the US, yes.  For the general US population?  Not a snowball's chance in Hell; we have neither the facilities or the staff.

There is no vaccine for this and one is never likely to work, despite the screaming.  We've heard that lie out of the NIH, CDC and medicine before.  There are times it is truthful but coronaviruses are not one of those areas.  There is no record of such a successful vaccine with permanent immunity for coronaviruses and despite "the flu shot" that fails an awful lot of the time too.

Reliance on such is just flat-out insane.

There's some evidence that the method of action of this virus in the body leads to the potential for extraordinarily contagious "windows", likely coinciding with active symptoms, and low but non-zero infection capacity otherwise, at least in droplets.  There is also plenty of evidence this virus is fecal/oral transmissible going all the way back to the first reports out of Wuhan, and that's nasty because some of the higher R0 viruses historically have been transmitted in such a fashion (e.g. Polio, R0 of approximately 5.)

Health care workers cannot social distance and do their jobs.  PPE is not a panacea; other than a "moon suit" with positive-pressure ventilation it's inadequate when you have an actively-infectious patient and an easily-transmissible infectious agent.  There's no way in hell you can run a hospital with everyone kitted up in a moon suit, connected to positive-pressure clean air sources.  Forget it.

We keep seeing the same stats.  A small number of cases which do not follow the expected geometric progression, then a sudden explosion.  When reporting is actually done we see patterns where a huge percentage of the "first infected reports" are in hospitals.  Medical workers in hospitals are a tiny fraction of the entire population and yet they often make up 1/5th to a 1/6th of the original infected population sample.  This has happened repeatedly, beginning in Wuhan.

(FOX 9) - State health officials say one in five of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota are health care workers. 

Of the state’s 503 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 133 are health care workers, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. 

The data says that what is happening is that this virus spreads in the population but slowly until health care workers get it in a hospital, pass it around and then back into the general population as they are exempt from all of the social mandates.  In cities with strong public transportation systems it's even worse as they can spread the love on buses and trains.  While doctors may drive their nice cars orderlies and nurses are another matter, never mind that some of them are likely coming to work while sick and thus transmit back to the patient and other worker population, if any don't already have it, whether they realize it or not.

Minnesota is almost-certain to get reamed

The data proving this is clear.  When New York implemented its "shelter in place" and other towns and cities implemented "social distancing" we should have seen an immediate collapse in the R0 in those areas.  We did not.  We've seen a change -- about 0.4-0.5 on a national basis and approximately the same in NY, but out of 2.5-3.0 it's clear that casual social interaction being cut by 90% or more for the common person on the street is not stopping the transmission.

You can work in a warehouse and not get within 6' of anyone.  You can stock grocery shelves and do likewise.  And if you're laid off and staying mostly at home, since everything you want to do is closed, well, it's you and your cat. And so on.

So who's that leave?

HOSPITAL WORKERS who by definition cannot socially distance and do their jobs.

Singapore identified this immediately and stopped the madness by mandating washing of hands with soap and water, not so-called "sanitizers", before and after each contact with a person or thing that could potentially be infected.  By doing that they dropped the infection rate of their hospital staff to a statistical zero and almost immediately thereafter the outbreak there was under control.  They still get a case here and there, but the simple fact is that despite the screams of horror about community spread the facts are that it isn't that easy for social transmission of this bug to take place, except through super-spreading events.

If it was then the mitigating factors would have had an immediate and dramatic impact, and they have not.  Further, Singapore couldn't have stopped transmission to health care workers by mandating strict hand hygiene standardsbut they did.

We have repeatedly seen this pattern -- where you have a case here and there, a few people show up in the hospital and then the sudden exponential explosion occurs after failing to follow the predicted geometric progression for weeks -- and it happens in city after city.  "Social distancing" doesn't stop or reverse it and neither do "stay at home" orders, even when backed up with the threat of fines or worse. 

We must stop the madness; the data on where the spread is happening is clear.

I have posted several times the basic mantra from what Singapore learned: ******n it, wash your hands!

Well, that apparently doesn't even manage to register.  It also gets me hate mail since I'm "attacking" the "heroes."

You're not a hero if you're contracting, and thus becoming infectious, in a hospital from the bugs the patients have.  You're a zero because by definition you can be, and probably are, giving it to others -- and quite probably a lot of of others.

And don't tell me medical workers, including doctors and nurses, wash their hands in hospitals generally.  They most-certainly do not.  My dentist's office is better at it (and yeah, I pay attention to it too) but in no hospital I've ever been in attending to family members and friends has every doctor and nurse, when entering the room, washed their hands right there, done whatever, and then done it again on the way out.  Never once.  Not when my mother was in having cancer surgery (!!!), not when I was visiting my sister in step-down, not when other family members and friends have been in a hospital, never, ever, anywhere with that protocol, period.

The only other way to stop this transmission is to arrange so all Covid patients go to hospitals (whether field expedient or otherwise) where nobody is allowed in the building unless actively ill, in which case they can't leave until not, or proved seroconverted by antibody test and thus immune.

We will not stop the outbreaks until we stop this.  If we're not going to do it here and now we're far better to take the hit now coming into the spring and summer than to get hammered in the fall when co-infection with ordinary influenza will kill many more than would otherwise die.

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