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2020-03-14 14:59 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 558 references Ignore this thread
A Note On The Screamers
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Medium and many others (some who you know, but I won't name) are predicting an all-on explosion in the US of Coronavirus.

Maybe.

In fact, that wouldn't be all that surprising.

As I've said since this started on my podcast the entire point of the posture of the US Government is to smash down the curve, not prevent transmission entirely.  That ship sailed as soon as China lied for two months or more and given that we (along with Italy, Europe generally, and damn near everyone else) have held this idea that Communists make good trading partners and can be trusted we all seeded this into our nations through gross, culpable negligence so a handful of big corporations could **** you up the ass.

That's a fact and if you think Trump was responsible for it you're too stupid to vote -- or breathe.

It in fact has been the policy of both parties for the last few decades to do exactly this in the United States and even in the face of the documented facts on the seeding that we now know took place nothing has been done to slam the ****ing door on these Communist *******s.  We'd better fix that because while this specific virus is probably nowhere near the scaremongering that is going on it is bad, especially for compromised individuals.  The next one could be horrific; as I pointed out in my recent podcast there are far worse, such as Marburg, that have appeared in the past.  If something like Marburg were to appear in an airborne-transmissible form it would be catastrophic and if Coronavirus was that bug a third or more of the US population would be dead within the next couple of years and since we did not slam the door on the Chinese and instead "welcomed" the "connections" with them there's nothing we could do about it.

That's right -- our insistence on "globalism good" means surveillance and interdiction when it comes to novel diseases falls to the least trust-worthy nation in the sphere of said globalism.  This is flat-out suicidal for any society and we're getting a wake-up call with a bug that, while nasty, is nowhere near what will eventually happen if we do not slam the door on that crap right now.

The fact is that exponents are a bitch.  We now know China was aware of this bug for at least a month and told nobody, and I think it's fairly clear it was two months.  The reason they're trying to run a propaganda campaign and blame us is that they know the data is now out there -- specifically, the Italian sequencing proves they were lying through their teeth and so does the math on the doubling times.  Incidentally they arrested one of their doctors who tried to blow the whistle on this early on -- what did he really know and when?  Sadly, he likely figured some of it out the hard way because he got the bug himself and died.

During that couple of months their citizens infected with the virus traveled all over the world and the more "integrated" China was with a given place the more they seeded the bug into those nations.  It is not a coincidence that the Seattle area got hammered.  Which major companies have big Chinese ties and are there?  Still love that smiley face on the box, eh, and not just that firm either....  **** you very little.

Here's the problem with the screamers however -- we do not have a denominator and without it all the exponential screaming is not only a waste of time, it's stupid.

Take Ohio.  They have a handful of actual diagnosed cases.  I don't know if they have any deaths, but let's say they do have a couple, so out of the handful of "cases" their death rate sucks.  Let's assume for the sake of argument it's ~15%; 2 deaths and, what -- 15 cases?

Those are ****ty odds.  If I thought I had a 15% risk of dying if I caught this ****er I'd be bugged in HARD, right now.  You try to come in, you die of acute lead poisoning.

But those are not the real odds and if they're presented to the public in this way they're a massive, outrageous fraud.

You see, the Ohio Health Director has claimed that she believes 100,000 Ohio people have the virus.  Well, if 100,000 people have the virus (but haven't and won't be tested), what percentage of them are over "the worst it will get" for them?  We don't know.  What we do know is that people who die are obvious and easy to count because there's a corpse.  In other words we don't know how many of the 100,000 have no resolution reasonably ascertainable since we don't know what percentage of those are newly infected but asymptomatic.

But we can take a damn good guess at the actual denominator using nothing more than arithmetic -- just as we know, again using nothing more than arithmetic and the data from the Wuhan and Italy that China was lying about when this virus first showed up there.

We have reasonable estimates that the virus has a R0 of 3 and a doubling time (that is, infection -> shedding/infects someone else) of six days.  We also know from multiple claims that the time from becoming symptomatic to knowing which way a case will go runs about 10 days; that is, if it's going to "get you" it typically does within a week and a half from symptomatic onset.  (As an example, here from NY - 10 days from hospitalization to death, with the best our medical system could provide.)  These figures may be off some but they're close enough to run some estimates and, given that we can easily count corpses we can come up with some pretty damn good figures.  So let's do the math.

The progression, I remind you for an R0 of 3, goes 1, 3, 9, 27, 81, 243, 729, 2,187, 6,561, 19,683, 59,049, 177,147, 531,411, 1,594,323, 4,789,269 and there it forcibly stops because Ohio has a population of about 12 million, and the next six days exceed that.  Ohio is allegedly somewhere between the 59,000 and 177,000 figure, so sez the Public Health officer.

Keep this progression in mind because it is critically important to determining actual mortality rates and risk for the person with no special risk factors.  In addition it tells you how far down the line Ohio got before the much-vaunted "authorities" figured it out!

Now we have two deaths but look above in the progression and walk back three periods (asymptomatic period + time to know the resolution of the case) and the real risk of death across the entire infected population becomes 2 / (1 + 3 + 9 + 27 + 81 + 243 + 729 + 2,187 + 6,561) or 2/9,841 = 0.02%!

Why?  Because all of those who were infected more than three periods back will not die but they were infected and either have or will recover.  They're also immune and thus if exposed a second time they're out of the pool; they dilute rather than enhance transmission, and thus R0 will inevitably decline over time.  It does not matter how many people you test; what matters is how many people are infected.  Those who are infected and asymptomatic or, for whatever reason never get tested (symptoms to mild to really******someone off enough to go bother, etc) still count both in terms of the risk of death and when the virus will begin to run out of victims it can infect and thus "burn out."

So the actual death rate isn't what's being put forward because there are a huge number of untested but positive people out there who are beyond the window in which they can die but they got it.  This is true for all of the various reporting areas in the United States and it is in fact true for both China and South Korea; despite testing 250,000 people in South Korea that is a nation with 50 million people in it.

This is why knowing the actual denominator is utterly critical to being able to make any sort of statement about the mortality rate for a given bug; if you don't have that you're not just guessing you are actively misleading people.  

We have decent guesses for the seasonal flu because, well, it's seasonal.  Over a period of many years you get a pretty good idea of what percentage of the actual cases you sample using whatever methodology you have developed.  With all new diseases this is never true, particularly if it's possible to contract it and not become symptomatic at all or to a degree that you would seek medical attention -- and we know that is possible with this virus.

Does this mean you should ignore this bug?  Hell no!  There are a significant number of people in this country, many by their own hands and mouths, that are at unacceptably high risk.  As I've pointed out if you are in a situation where you cannot sustain more than 5 METS of oxygen transport through your lungs and this bug damages your lungs during its active infection, removing 5 METS of capacity, you're ****ed.  There is nothing medical science can do for you in that instance until and unless we figure out how to make the 5 METS 2 or 3 -- or zero.  We're not there today.  We might get there somewhere down the road; there's no guarantee on that, but if you're in that situation all you can do is play for time and hope for a scientific breakthrough.  This means bugging in right here, right now, and staying that way until you either get the virus anyway despite your best efforts or said means of mitigating the impact are discovered.  That's a crap deal but it's all you have and if you have friends or loved ones (and they're actual friends or loved ones!) I'd hope they'd both support and assist in this.  Since you can't possibly know whether any random person is in fact at high risk the premise of "social distancing" in general at a time like this is a good one.

Now enough of the math on Coronavirus in particular -- let's talk about the general case, because it applies to what our government has been doing for the last 20+ years and if we don't stop it we're all gonna take it up the chute.

That is, if you want to know why the sort of obfuscation as occurred here by the Chinese always blows up in your face in spectacular fashion if you don't pay attention to it long before where we find ourselves today read my article on the Lily Pad and debt because this is exactly the same scenario.

Now that article was from 2011.  We still, to this day, think it won't "get us" here in 2020 when it comes to government spending and deficits.  Yes it will, and unlike a virus there is no immunity when someone 'gets it', so it will not stop when there's nobody new to infect.

Note that Jerome Powell just promised to inject one third of the entire Federal Budget in newly emitted funds from the Federal Reserve over the space of the next few days while you were worrying about washing your hands.  This follows months of him doing exponentially-larger amounts of the same thing back to early fall of 2019.  He is following the exact same exponential formula this virus is and so is our national debt.

He claims this is an "emergency" measure but so did Ben Bernanke back in 2008 and that so-called emergency was never taken back out.

Bernanke, Yellen and now Powell are all lying sacks of **** and will burn in Hell for it, but it is the Congress and these scolds up on the podium today along with the screamers on Medium and elsewhere who are pointing to exponent charts which have a confounding factor (that is, there ain't an infinite number of people to infect and unless you're old or seriously compromised, either through bad luck or personal choices, the odds of being dead are not very high for this thing) while the so-called "medicine" being applied by governments is never taken out and there is no confounding factor that limits what they're doing before it blows sky high and destroys the economy permanently.

A virus that kills 1/2 or 1% of the population would be a nasty one-time hit to GDP -- it would likely cause a recession, but is not the end of the world.

Government action that destroys the entire fiscal fabric of the nation could quite-easily kill a quarter of the population or more.  It has a high probability of literally ending America as defined by the Constitution and being completely unrecoverable.

Yet we not only won't stop that we won't stop the "coupling" of our national interest and health to proven liars and communists -- not even after they cause a mass-outbreak of a pandemic right here, along with a decent number of Granny's being shoved in the hole as a result.

Wake the **** up America.

Math is both never wrong and the outcomes never change either.

PS: If you click "Display list of topics" on the right side of the page you'll see a bunch of articles with "Pins" next to them.  Essentially all of them are, in one way or another, on this very topic -- exponential expansion and the mass-stupidity of America when it comes to sticking our heads in the sand with regard to the inevitable outcomes.  Should you care to take a crack at penetrating your thick skull that would be a decent reading list.....

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