So the assumption that’s driven a lot of the models regarding the spread of Covid so far has involved the idea that transmission might be “Aerosol” – that the virus might hang suspended in the air for a period of time, until it latches onto a passing human, who might inadvertently ingest it into vulnerable tissue via the nose or mouth.

But what if it’s transmitted most readily by something less persistent, and more predicatable?

Note to “Progressive” readers Those are actual scientists.

My hunch – since this theory impugns population density and the “Blue” urban lifestyle to which so much of our chattering class subscribes, it’ll be downplayed.


47 thoughts on “Transmission

  1. Of course there was another way — this was known in January — but it demanded huge efforts at testing, contact tracing and quarantining, while simultaneously ramping up capabilities to cope if the epidemic should get out of control.

    This was simply not done anywhere near effectively enough, so that now you have to suppress the disease in order to at least buy yourself time to work on other solutions and understand the disease better. If a lockdown had been done earlier, then it would have led to fewer deaths and probably could have been less strict and less harmful to the economy.

    But that opportunity was missed too. So the lesson is that everyone should have taken the “hysteria”, as you have been calling it, much more seriously at an earlier stage — those that didn’t have abetted the current disaster.

  2. In January nobody was raising alarms.
    When Trump starting talking about COVID-19 his political opponents were accusing him of racism and urging people to defy Trump’s hate and go out in groups. Now those same people are blaming Trump for not acting early enough to stop the virus.

  3. Jan 29: Trump institutes travel ban, the LEFT goes “hysterical”, calling it racist.

    Jan 31: Pelosi says travel ban is a threat to our security and against our laws and morals.

    Feb 11: Pelosi tells people to go out to China town and party it up.

    There is provenance on all of the above emetic, so just stfu.

  4. Trump has no authority to shut down the nation, nor to re-open it, that power belongs to the governors of the several states. All the governors agree they had the power but declined to use it.

    Pin the tail on the Donkeys who deserve it.

  5. MBerg’s post seems to be written with the subtext that the US lockdown is somehow unnecessary. It is, because of the absence of not only another strategy but also the testing and contact-tracing capability to do anything else. Given it was obvious we’d have to lockdown at some point, there’s a prima facie case for gross negligence that we didn’t do so earlier.

    What we need to do now is continue the lockdown until case numbers are low enough and testing and contact-tracing sufficiently resourced, to be fairly sure we won’t need to lockdown again — because that would turn the current economic disaster into utter catastrophe.

    This isn’t rocket science and politicians need to ask the scientists for options, make decisions and justify them, and cut out this “guided by the science” nonsense.

    The level of ineptitude up to this point has been staggering. One cause of the problem has been the apparent inability of many of the scientists — to appreciate the parameters of the disease soon enough, i.e. they wishfully thought herd immunity would miraculously appear, despite the evidence on our TV screens from Wuhan of the overwhelmed health service at a very low infection rate (no more than ~5% of the population of Wuhan, let alone Hubei, let alone China).

  6. @SmthStCrox:

    JAN 29th: The outbreak of a new coronavirus, which has already infected more than 2,700 people & killed over 80 in China, will get worse before it gets better.

    FEB 26th: You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down close to 0.

  7. People who are sick should self-quarantine. The rest of us should use purell & avoid crowds.
    Health workers should be regularly tested & use gloves & masks.
    This plan would reopen most of the economy, and it is sensible.

  8. In the state of Hawaii, population 1.4 million, about thirty people die every day of all causes.
    Since March 1st, ten people have died from covid-19. 1,700 people have died from other causes. Most of the ten covid-19 victims were of elderly people already in the hospital or nursing home. All of the ten either returned to the state with the disease after travel, or got it from a family member who had returned to the state with the disease.
    If you multiplied the number of fatal covid-19 cases by ten, you would still have a statistically meaningless increase in the number of dead over seven weeks.
    This lock down is beyond ridiculous.

  9. When Emery posts meaningless quotes or numbers, remember that although you can’t make sense of them, they mean something to him.
    Reminds me of a crazy guy I used to see at the Fireside bar in West Saint Paul. He looked through the discarded pull tabs and wrote numbers down in a notebook. I asked him why he did that. He told me that there was a secret message in the numbers, and he was trying to break the code.

  10. Hey Emery – go brush up on your Google-fu. Search for Governor Walz’ video presentation explaining why we had to impose the lockdown. Listen to him explain the numbers of dead Minnesotans that his team of experts confidently predicted would materialize.

    Under the BEST scenario, 22,000 Minnesotans would die from the virus.

    Where are they?

  11. ^^ Modelling can be useful but there is often more benefit in trying to develop the model and see what you need to know rather than the actual output from the model. Models of epidemics are exquisitely sensitive to initial conditions because of the potential of exponential growth so if any of the initial parameters in your model are slightly out then the results of the modelling will be a long way out. This is a novel infection and so it is difficult to model, it seems to be a lot more infectious than influenza for instance.

    We can observe:
    1. This is a novel infection so there is no previous immunity to it in the global population, no vaccine and no proven treatments as yet (compare with influenza which has some community immunity from past infections, a vaccine that is reasonably effective and some drugs treatments such as Tamiflu).

    2. The severity of the disease it causes is more than influenza and in particular there is a greater need for ICU care with ventilation.

    3. In some countries, such as Italy, the healthcare system was completely overrun by a surge in cases.

    So my conclusions are that the current lockdown is not excessive given the severity of the disease and no available vaccine or treatments. It would have been better to implement social distancing a number of weeks earlier.

  12. Emery, your model is missing the economic dimension.
    Like all models, yours is wrong. More than wrong, it is way wrong. It is essentially useless.

  13. “MBerg’s post seems to be written with the subtext that the US lockdown is somehow unnecessary”


    It’s written with the plain, visible text that:

    • The Science on transmission is evolving – as anyone remotely scientifically literate knows it has to
    • This thesis, if true, could change the characteristics of “lockdowns” / sheltering / distancing.
    • Also, if this thesis – and its implications for life in high density, transit-heavy places with lots of bars and restaurants – is correct, “Blue Fragility” is going to cause a good chunk of our chattering classes to cough up their skulls. They – the worst of ’em – are praying to Lenin that the Red States get their comeuppance. If this thesis is true, that seems a tad less likely.

    Glad I could clarify.

  14. Woolly the Oracle: If Trump intends to blame governors for the public health and economic catastrophe of coronavirus on his watch, it’s not a promising re-election strategy

    It is good to know the big authority figures in America, the people we can rely on to defend the lives of Americans, are governors, rather than a President. I will keep that in mind this November.

  15. MBerg: When we come to look back, with the benefit of hindsight, how this crisis was handled there will be a long catalogue of mistakes — by everyone — in every country. Some lists will be far longer than others.

    In fairness to the scientists and the political leadership — we need to be scrupulous in separating out blunders (the people at the time had all the information needed to make the right decision but they made the wrong one or lost their nerve to take any decision). That will comprise one pile where blame can fairly be attached.

    The second pile will be wrong judgement calls (made in the prevailing swirling cloud of uncertainty) that are only known to have been wrong with the benefit of hindsight. There but for the grace of God could have been any of us in that second pile.

  16. Emery,
    You are freaking hilarious. Did you actually think that anyone or everyone on SiTD would believe that you might be voting for Trump? Your brain must really hurt.

  17. Emery on April 20, 2020 at 12:58 pm said:

    Woolly the Oracle: If Trump intends to blame governors for the public health and economic catastrophe of coronavirus on his watch, it’s not a promising re-election strategy

    Or, to take the opposite & equally valid case, if governors intend to blame the economic catastrophe that they ordered on Trump, that is not a promising re-election strategy.
    In real life, when I talk to people I know about the covid-19 crisis, most of them Democrats, some with unknown politics, none of them mentions the name “Trump.” Governor Ige, yes, Mayor Harry Kim, yes, Trump, no.

  18. It’s also why some liberals are wrong in an
    assumption that things will go back to
    relative normalcy after Trump’s presidency, we’re going to have candidates doing Trump impressions and playing to that same base for the next twenty years.

  19. . . . Trump’s presidency, we’re going to have candidates doing Trump impressions and playing to that same base for the next twenty years.
    No one on the right says this.

  20. MBerg: My summary — “Its the virus doing the damage, not the lockdowns.”

    It is also entirely consistent with the the message from a recent paper by Fed and MIT researchers, which found that US cities that implemented social distancing measures more quickly and held them in place longer during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic did not perform worse economically during the pandemic, had lower mortality rates and recovered more quickly.

  21. B͟I͟D͟E͟N͟
    JAN 29th: The outbreak of a new coronavirus, which has already infected more than 2,700 people & killed over 80 in China, will get worse before it gets better.

    Also Biden: “Protests erupt at Biden’s raucous Detroit rally” Politico March 10, 2019

    Looks like he didn’t believe his own rhetoric.

  22. From Emery’s link:
    The research described in this article has been published as a working paper but has not yet been peer-reviewed by experts in the field.
    Emery consistently shows an inability to properly assess the value of his source material.

  23. There’s always a tweet

    “It’s almost like the United States has no President – we are a rudderless ship heading for a major disaster. Good luck everyone!” ~ Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump 3/19/14

    Many many people are saying this tweet did not age well…..

  24. Many many people are saying this tweet did not age well…..
    Who, exactly?

  25. Emery on April 20, 2020 at 2:41 pm said:


    Kind of ghoulish on the part of the Newsweak writer and Emery.
    It is ridiculous to draw a connection between lock down protesters and a state-wide spike in infections.
    And utterly lacking in intelligent analysis, of course. Indiana borders Kentucky and has 2-3 times as many infectiond deaths per million.
    But the point of both the Newsweak writer and Emery was not to do an intelligent analysis, it was to mock people they disagree with.
    Such is the sad state of the minds of the TDS crowd.

  26. In our history, our Presidents have lied to us, but the majority of the time, they have told us the truth and we could trust what they told us. That stopped with Donald Trump, the only President ever to lie to us most the time and seldom telling us the truth; consequently, we cannot trust anything he says. What a blot in our history.

    You want to know why so many disdain Trump? Because he leaves them no choice. He is dishonorable and not worthy of respect. He is a con-man and his rhetoric is poisonous to this nation.

    You’re the one ignoring the facts, Woolly. You are damaging this nation by giving a dangerously foolish grifter free-reign to do whatever he wants. You are his little minion, lowest on the totem pole of propagandists. You’re not a thinker (you don’t come up with the material you repeat on these boards), you just get your marching orders and go.

  27. Neither of us voted for Trump, Emery.
    And I am not defending Trump – I am attacking your lack-wit failure to understand things like causality & logical fallacies.

  28. Emery, that’s worse than silly, it’s delusional. Seriously, dude, I’m worried about you. Please, seek professional help.

    You didn’t reluctantly begin to oppose President Trump after it was revealed that he lied. You opposed President Trump before he even won the nomination, much less the election, on the grounds he wasn’t fit to lead the nation. You are a Never-Trumper, always have been, and those of us who’ve been reading your comments know it of our own personal experience.

    As for ignoring facts, you are the commenter who dumps and runs; you are the one who refuses to back up claims with evidence, who never links to sources, who simply repeats the narrative of the day. Several of us have caught you at it and linked to the source that you wouldn’t reveal. Heck, I’ve done it myself. This isn’t new news. We all know it about you.

    For you to come around here now, thinking any of us would believe that you only oppose Trump because he’s such a big fat liar and not because you’ve been a reflexive Never-Trumper all these years, is so completely out of touch with reality that I’m having serious questions about your mental stability.

    Help is out there. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.

  29. “Ask your doctor if hydroxychloroquine is right for you.*

    If it did turn out to be a miracle cure and that resulted in Trump’s re- election, then we can truly say that the cure is worse than the disease.

    Trump, Republicans in Congress and Fox will spend six months and billions of dollars trying to convince you that you didn’t see and hear what they said and did in January and February

  30. I am watching you reduced to a hysterical ninny in April and probably into May.

  31. So Garcetti says population sample testing shows that 4.1 percent of the adult population of LA county have covid-19 antibodies.
    The population of LA county is about 10,000,000. Census data shows that the adult percentage of that population is 79%. This is all 2010 data. So the adults in Los Angeles County that have had the disease is about 7.9 million * 0.04, or 316,000.
    As of today, there have been 663 deaths.
    So you have a 1 in 476 chance of dying if you have the disease, which is a fatality rate of 0.2%, not 2% to 3%

  32. And the latest data from the state of Hawaii is two more positive tests today, cumulative total 586. That is down from 4 positive tests yesterday. 437 of 586 have recovered & released from self quarantine.
    There were two more deaths, for a total of 12, both men over 65 with underlying conditions.
    Somebody should be tarred & feathered for jumping on the shutdown wagon.

  33. NIH Panel Recommends Agains Drug Combination Promoted By Trump For COVID-19

    “A panel of experts convened by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends against doctors using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19 patients because of potential toxicities.” ~ NPR

  34. Trials with these drugs have been conducted around the world for literally weeks and all of them have been ended early because the subjects were dying at higher rates.

    And now we know what “you’ve got to lose”.

  35. Emery displays more of his stereotypical female thinking. Emotions not just first, but all attempts at rational thinking abandoned. Take a Mydol, fer heaven’s sake.

  36. Man, just when you think you can trust someone with no medical training or experience to recommend a drug for something they just heard about last month.
    Too bad, Trump had the Nobel Prize for Medicine in the bag.

  37. Democrats insist it’s too risky to go to the polls, they want voting by mail. And they have trunks full of ballots, already conveniently premarked, ready for counting.

    This whole thing was a political operation from the get-go.

    /change my mind/

  38. Also, let’s not forget that American taxpayers paid for the administration to stockpile this drug based on Trump’s hunch.

  39. A couple hours from now Trump will be telling the media that he never advocated for hydroxychloroquine.

  40. Stockpile – yeah, I heard about that. Democrat Governor, wasn’t it? Relying on advice from medical experts in the state government? Save the drug for the prisons, deny it to the citizens?


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