Perhaps when this Covid flap is over, we can have a serious discussion about *every single thing* the modern left has to tell us about housing, transit and urban zoning and land use policy.

Mass Transit as it is today might not have actually been built as a contagion transmission mechanism – but if it had been, it’d be hard to see what they’d have done differently. I’m thankful my 18 months of daily use of the Vomit Comet (“Green Line”) didn’t coincide with a major pandemic – I’m pretty sure I caught a cold or two, and most likely the flu, from the train.

Some are trying to start the discussion.

“There is ample documentation that mass gatherings can amplify and spread infectious diseases,” a World Health Organization analysis on “mass gatherings in the context of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza” stated. “Such infections can be transmitted during the mass gathering, during transit to and from the event, and in participants’ home communities upon their return.” The WHO recommended, “Those who are ill should be strongly encouraged to avoid air travel or other forms of mass transit.”

A 2013 “Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response” prepared for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Transportation Research Board of the National Academies stated that “although some pandemic plans for transportation systems existed, there were limited resources and plans targeted to rural and small urban transportation systems … As a result, although some agencies had all-hazards response plans available, measures for pandemics were not included.”

Last month, the Brussels-based International Association of Public Transport, in its “Management of COVID-19 Guidelines For Public Transit Operators,” conceded that “Public transport systems have to be considered a high-risk environment due to: high number of people in a confined space with limited ventilation; no access control to identify potentially sick persons; a variety of common surfaces to touch (ticket machines, handrails, door knobs, etc.).” Still, it also called public transit “an essential service to be maintained as long as reasonable.” When does mass death become unreasonable, the WHO might be asked in regard to mass transit.

I suspect we’ll see it suppressed sooner than later, if we let it.

Likewise – making it impossible to find anything but “high density housing” (especially by zoning out all alternatives, which has the inevitable, “unintended” effect of jacking up housing prices, which leads to people doubling-up on roommates or living in less-healthy housing they can afford) has *got* to be the dumbest idea out there, if a “resilient” society is what you seek.

On a semi-related side note: I can imagine things more hellish than a couple of weeks of “social isolation” stacked on top of and next to other potentially-contagious people “socially isolating” themselves – but unless all those neighbors get along *really* well, it’s not as easy as you’d think.

32 thoughts on “Cattle

  1. In my med school days we learned that tuberculosis was highly correlated with population density. That’s why the astounding CV19 rate in NYC doesn’t surprise. By the way, the morning news lede on Fox 9 is Minnesota’s death rate from the virus is 1/169, or 0.0059, for those of you scoring at home. My conservative guesstimate of actual cases being at least twice the reported rate makes things look good. It’s too early for the Governor’s actions to have impacted the death rate. I realize the pessimists out there are still waiting for the other shoe to drop, so no end zone dance is appropriate. Yet.

  2. golfdoc50;
    I saw that, too. At least they qualified it by stating that the person was in their 80s. They did not indicate whether of not the person had underlying health issues, but odds are that at that age, they had something else going on that contributed to their death.

  3. First, reprobates strip the native population of education, morality and decency, inculcate them in degeneracy, then import waves of low IQ peasants from 3rd world sh*tholes where sanitation is reserved for the elite, and cram everyone into tight packs.

    What could go wrong?

  4. Add something else; daycares. I remember that when I became a dad, it struck me how much sicker the daycare kids were than those whose mothers kept them at home–yes, breastfeeding is an issue here, too, but putting a kid in a room with 15-20 other snotty sneezing kids can’t exactly be helpful.

    Maybe, just maybe, if we stopped subsidizing daycare, families would have a HUGE reduction in the # of opportunities to contract infectious disease. It also has something–daycare subsidies make divorce/unwed parenting far more financially plausible–with all those big apartment blocks, in all those tiny cubicles for working moms, with all those buses and subways full of snotty sneezing people.

  5. Huh. Well, now we’ve got new moderation. Evidently it just sends the posts into the ether. Nice.

  6. So, now we cant put any links into comments.

  7. John Nolte has a great article on this topic at Big Hollywood, including talking about reusable straws, grocery bags, and water bottles being unhealthy. (but saving mother gaia), as well as people packed densely in cities or on public transit.

  8. Off topic, a little. Any statistically trained readers out there? It occurred to be that a statistical approach might reveal a good estimate of the number of people infected, as opposed to counting up the number of positive tests, which can be biased if some places restrict testing and others don’t. It would be similar to public opinion polls. I know that CDC uses telephone polls during flu season to estimate the number of infections every week. I wonder if they are using that approach with CV19.

  9. I don’t like the fact COVID-19 is constantly being compared to Influenza. Yes, there are similar biological characteristics between the flu and COVID-19 (both are coronaviruses, both primarily attack the respiratory system, etc).

    However, COVID-19 is at least twice more contagious (flu has a R0 of 1.3, COVID-19 2-3 low estimate), and at least 10 times more deadly (even in South Korea, where testing is widespread and can capture a lot of asymptomatic cases, the death rate is >1%). Epidemiologically, it is not comparable to the flu.

    By comparing this to the flu, we are exacerbating the problem that many people write off this as “a serious flu”. It is NOT a serious flu even just looking at epidemiological data, and that discounts all the medical data which shows COVID-19 does lung damage to a high percentage of patients (>10%) which just doesn’t happen with the flu. Scientists, of all, should be vigilant and careful about how they are communicating.

    If people don’t take this seriously (and many people are still not taking this seriously), we will see many many more deaths to come. I mean in the orders of 100k, not 10k as of now.

    Note: We have a really hard time processing multiplicative factors, and a lot of people just write off “1%” death rate as low/nonexistent. But then when I tell them that a COVID-19 season rather than a flu season would cause 300k-500k deaths per year in US (1% of US population), people are suddenly extremely surprised and concerned.

  10. Well, now we’ve got new moderation

    Maybe not. Maybe it’s like when those computer programs are so smart that they just take over and prevent their human admins from controlling the machine. I’m eagerly awaiting when the posts are written by Akismet as well.

  11. A buddy of mine claims the panic is nearly over – the public is glimpsing the man behind the curtain and they don’t like what they see.

    ‘Non-essential’ businesses are closed, medical supplies are rationed, but abortion clinics are in full swing. Since the first of the year, nearly 20 times more Americans died from abortion as coronavirus. And Democrats killed the $3 Trillion coronavirus stimulus bill in Congress because it didn’t include a bail-out for the nation’s largest abortion provider.

    Every government employee is “essential,” right down to the last file clerk in the Watershed District. Without bureaucrats, all human life would end.

    These are not rational medical decisions. These are calculated political decisions, which means this is a political crisis, not a medical crisis. Time to end it.

    The link is to the weekly US influenza surveillance by CDC for week ending Feb 22. As you can see CV-19 has a lot of catching up to do in terms of total mortality. Not saying it won’t, but I find it perplexing that we’ve never put a disease under the microscope of public attention quite like this. Is that what the future holds? Or will CV-19 fade away along with public concerns. Apparently, death from influenza doesn’t register as much of a threat.

  13. If I have a bag of marbles, some of which are cracked, and the bag contains many yellow marbles, several red, lots of black and the rest white, what is the probability that any one white marble will be cracked?

    It’s impossible to answer, because the numbers are worthless.

    Now apply the lesson to numbers for the corona virus.

  14. Joe, as I have read it, the degenerates didn’t try to directly funnel money to Dr. Mengele; they tried to put in a loophole to the Hyde amendment which would have allowed them to quietly slip Bat flu cash to their favorite abattoir. You can bet the farm that loophole would have been expanded and remain in force in perpetuity.

    Think on that for a minute. These creatures will hold up money meant to save lives* in order to enhance their ability to kill the unborn.

  15. You mean that the city planners forgot to take pandemics into account? I wonder what else they have forgotten to take into account?
    City planning goes back to the tail end of the 19th century, when cities were growing rapidly (esp. in Europe) and ancient infrastructure was being overloaded. It really took off after WWI.
    We don’t live in that world anymore. Most big cities in the US have stopped growing.
    One of the reasons there is so much ethnic violence in Eastern Europe and Western Asia is because Jo Stalin tried to centrally plan the future. He thought that people’s natural affection for their ancestral homeland was a historical accident, and would be missing from the “new man.” So he moved millions of people, whole ethnic groups, from their homeland and dropped them into the middle of other people’s homeland. He moved Poles and Byelorussians from western Russia to Asian Russia and Siberia. He moved Russians into Poland. He moved Tatars into the Crimea, so they could live cheek by jowl with their ancient enemies, the Ukrainians.
    There is a bit of Joe Stalin in the heart of every urban planner.

  16. MP, Mayor smiley created 3 new Directorates after he was elected.
    Chief Equity Officer; Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Resilience Officer

    You might think that Resilience includes weathering flu outbreaks, since they happen every year and kill hundreds of St. Paulites, but no. The Chief Resilience Office concerns itself in deep thoughts regarding stopping glerbal werming in it’s tracks; mostly through expanding public transit.

    So there are three, new, high 6 figure jobs that don’t really do shit except reward the 3 DFL insiders that got the jobs. But hey, DRUMPF!!!!

  17. More evidence this is a political crisis, not a medical crisis.

    Last week, Ramsey County suspended walk-up service. You could not drop off a deed for recording, couldn’t risk contagion, we had to contain the spread of the virus.

    This week, we’re open to the public, walk right in with that deed, cough on anybody you like. We must be open to provide public service. We’re government, we’re essential, all of us, right down to the very last file clerk in the back office. Not like restaurants or dentists or car dealers or (shudder) gun stores.

    Political. Not medical. Which is how we know it’s a Democrat hoax, trying to hurt the economy, so Biden can run against Trump’s Terrible Economy.

  18. There’s an 85 year old man laying in a bed in a public nursing home; let’s call him Emery. Emery’s got dementia, and stage 4 lung cancer from years of smoking. A 33 year old traveling nurse brought bat flu in, and Emery contracted it right away. The nurse didn’t have any symptoms, and never did exhibit any.

    But Emery died 3 days later, and because the nurse had bat flu, they chalked Emery’s expiration to it.

    That kind of shit is happening everywhere. There is money, big money at stake here, and people have real motivation to keep the panic level high.

  19. There’s a bit of a difference between “dying from” something, and “dying with” something. And some countries are counting it one way, and some are counting it the other way.

  20. Italy has a robust Socialist heath system. How’s that working out for them?

    “Italy’s Prime Minister asks for help from EU crisis fund”

  21. Italy has a robust Soci@list heath system. How’s that working out for them?

    “Italy’s Prime Minister asks for help from EU crisis fund”

  22. Swiftee – was just reading how other EU countries didn’t send aid to Italy. Understandable, but in violation of agreement. A few EU shut down all borders. I think the EU is going to look pretty different after Wuflu and Denge fever. Hopefully, someone took notes during Brexit.

  23. Imagine being a Trump supporter and think Trump knows what he’s doing.

    I thought Trump didn’t like soci@lism? I’m getting mixed messages.

    By the time these bailouts are over — Trump will have made Sanders and Warren look like wanna-be soci@lists

    The irony of Trump going down in history as one of the most soci@list (if not the most soci@list) presidents the US has ever had.

  24. Golfdoc, I’ve worked in statistics for a while, and I also have the perspective that a good friend of mine is a pathologist at Mayo who’s good friends with the epidemiology guys there. My best guess is that the overall # of people infected is most likely 10-100x more than have actually tested positive, and if the epidemiology guys at Mayo informed my friend correctly, the trouble with COVID-19 is that it appears to be a “sweet spot” in terms of lethality. Evidently if lethality gets too high, it kills people before it spreads (e.g. Ebola) too much.

    Right now, from a statistical point of view, my favorite numbers are the ones that chart growth of the disease vs. time. It seems to suggest to me that whatever we’re doing hasn’t succeeded in cutting Ro (# of people infected by each infected person) significantly. Translated; someone out there hasn’t figured out social distancing yet.

  25. If I never contract the virus, then I never develop the immunity.

    Don’t we want EVERY American to contract the virus, to develop the immunity?

    Isn’t the Ro curve a GOOD thing?

  26. JD, it would be nice to not get the CV-19 at all and get an immunization later this year. I’m not too worried though. I’m a healthy boomer, I like BBubba’s numbers because it means the actual death rate in MN anyway is an order of magnitude lower than the 0.4 percent it is at this time. I like my odds. I don’t believe we’re going to turn into Italy.

  27. Golfdoc, I think you like my numbers about the overall # infected, but I sure hope you HATE my numbers/thoughts about where it’s going. (I do, too, but it’s what I see at this point)

    And Joe, I think I’ll be happy not to increase Ro and complete the cycle of immunity when it’s a disease that’s fairly often lethal. Was glad, though irritated, to get the chicken pox as a kid, but am glad I got to skip smallpox, polio, and the plague, for example.

  28. An example of “unhelpful” media.
    Drudge lead: “Teen dies day after testing positive…”
    From the linked story:
    The 18-year-old had “significant underlying health issues” when confirmed to have COVID-19, the hospital’s chief medical officer, professor Kiran Patel, told CoventryLive.

    “They had also tested for COVID-19 on the day before they died but this was not linked to their reason for dying,” Patel insisted in a statement. “Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patient’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.”

  29. No argument, Bikebubba, I’ll be glad when they have an inoculation for coronavirus like for other flu shots.

    until then, how does the herd build herd immunity?

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