Clinical Observation

Following on from Peter Hitchens’s take (as referenced here) on mass quarantining of the population comes this clear-headed analysis from Hector Drummond:

Communicable disease epidemics almost always rise and fall in a bell-shaped curve. That’s what you rarely hear from the media. They’re always talking about the exponential growth. What they usually fail to mention is that soon after the period of exponential growth, there’s a plateau, and then an exponential drop-off. With these sorts of diseases the curve usually follows the seasons, at least to some degree. Coronaviruses, as far as I can gather, typically die back by mid-spring.

When we look at all the daily graphs from the various countries there’s not much sign that the skyrocket is just around the corner. I don’t trust China’s figures at all, so I’m not going to mention them, but with most other countries we’re seeing either a plateau, a mild recent increase, or a dying back. If you’re an epidemiologist you may want to take issue with my analysis (and please do so if you want), but this doesn’t look like a disease that is threatening disaster upon us all. It looks like a disease that is thinking of putting its feet up for the Easter hols. Perhaps there will be a few weeks increase in some places, some of which may look alarming at the time, but then, most likely, a dying off. Then maybe a new wave in the northern hemisphere in November-December. That’s the time to prepare for. Get some more intensive care beds ready, and some ventilators built for then. Now is not the time for a shutdown and economic self-harm. Now is the time to make hay while the sun shines, and be prepared for when winter comes.
In other words, the horror stories are all in the modelling, not in real life. Sound familiar? This is what the climate change scam was based on. Scary computer models that somehow never got confirmed by real-life data, yet justified government and other institutions in grabbing more power for themselves. This is just another example, only a more effective one than climate change. Here’s a scary-looking computer model, we have to be given wartime powers right now before it happens, if you wait we’ll all be dead. It’s the oldest trick in the book for the ruling class.

And there it is, in a nutshell.  As for proof of government’s intentions and its baleful oppression, you need look no further than (of course) California:

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti threatened “non-essential” businesses Tuesday that if they do not obey the city’s “stay at home” order to close during the pandemic crises, he will cut off their water and their electricity.

Here ya go:

Or, as they say in Chinese:


By the way, while I urge you to read the whole of Drummond’s post above, I think you should go to his Home page and read everything he’s written on the topic.

News Roundup

Coronavirus coronavirus coronavirus coronavirus… doesn’t anyone have a juicy sex scandal to report anymore?


oh dear god, if anything makes me want to catch the virus and die, it’s a nude Madonna pic.


that would be Tylenol (acetaminophen) to us Murkins.  Looks like that 300-tab bottle from Sam’s Club wasn’t such a bad idea after all.


always the tough choices:  beer or sanitizer.  I know which one I’d choose.


after all those Epstein memes, the Clinton gang gets creative.


there being no ice floes in the Mediterranean to put the old people onto.


EVERYBODY PANIC!!!  You mean you don’t have a SHTF porno stash?


okay, that made me LOL.  Am I a bad person?


Charles Darwin, call your office.

Flashback

Britain starts to panic:

A food policy expert has warned a food disaster could be imminent unless the Government implements rationing. Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University in London, has written a letter to Boris Johnson asking him to ‘initiate a health-based food rationing scheme to see the country through this crisis’.
He wrote to the Prime Minister ‘out of immediate concern about the emerging food crisis’ and in the letter described public messaging about food supply as ‘weak and unconvincing’.
His warning comes after shoppers across the country have been met with empty shelves as panic-buying takes hold.

Back when I was running a now-defunct supermarket chain’s loyalty program in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire (Grand Union, if anyone out there remembers them), we had a common problem with “hot” items.

Often, our buyers got such good deals from manufacturers from bulk orders that our shelf retail prices were better than the wholesale price offered by distributors to local grocery stores and bodegas.  So the small-store owners would descend on our supermarkets and buy up all the sale items, to resell them in their own stores.  Nothing wrong with that, of course — except that it took stock away from our “regular” loyal customers, who typically accounted for 70% of total sales and close to 90% of gross profit.

So I put an end to all that.  Whenever the buyers told me about their hot price discounts (which they had to, as I was also in charge of Advertising), I would do two things:  make the low price available to loyalty card holders only, and then limit the number of items at that price to two or three per day per card.  Result:  we sold the same amount of product, only it was spread across a larger number of customers.

And I designed a sub-system for item purchase limits that automatically instituted the policy whenever the daily sales rate started accelerating past a certain velocity.  So if there were storm warnings and people started to stock up on, say, batteries, the in-store stock was quite- or nearly sufficient and would-be profiteers couldn’t play their reindeer games.

I did all this, by the way, back in the mid-1990s, so it’s not like it’s a new situation.

As I look now at the panic-buying of toilet paper and hand sanitizers, and the resulting empty shelves thereof, I can’t help wondering why all grocery stores haven’t been doing that now.  I know that not all chains (Wal-Mart especially) have loyalty programs, but most of the big ones do.  Doesn’t say much for their planning, does it?

And by the way, there’s also an answer for chains who don’t  have loyalty programs:  just institute price escalation (instead of -reduction) for multiple purchases:  first two items, $1.99 each, third or more items, $8.99 each.  With today’s technology, the software change should take about an hour to implement.

Food logistics is not something government should get involved in, despite the frantic appeals of “food policy” professors.

Timely Warning

From a buddy:

On a related note, I see that pharmacies are reporting that as more and more people are self-isolating, sales of hair dye are going through the roof:  proof that some among us have their priorities perfectly straight.  (Question:  if you’re immured in your house, who the fuck is going to see you anyway?)  Some people are too stupid, or vain, to exist.

In other news, I await with interest the headlines which will finally attest to the fact that public schools are not educational institutions but really just State-provided daycare:

Suburban mothers go batshit crazy at having to look after the kiddies 24/7;  start drinking Bloody Marys nonstop from 6.30am 

or

Mother stabs teenage son to death after 45th time in a week that he leaves the toilet seat up

or

Mother tells kids to “do whatever the fuck you want” after trying to homeschool them for four whole days

Your suggestions in Comments.

Not-So-Splendid Isolation

Sorry to start the day on a downer, folks, but this Chinese virus [cf. POTUS]  is screwing with my life, bigly.

With no travel going on and people working more and more from home, my Uber income has fallen off the cliff.  From a seven-hour workday net (after expenses) income of around $20/hour, the past few days have seen it fall to nearly zero.  I mean zip, zilch, nada:  two hours’ waiting between calls, on a good day, and those trips are all short ones — nurses to and from hospitals, etc.

I’m not the only one, of course.  The Son&Heir, who’s the F&B manager at a large restaurant, told me yesterday that their hourly staff (waiters and hosts) are having their hours cut by 80%, and layoffs may follow in about a week’s time — and I have to think that other similar establishments are faring even worse, as his place does significant home- and office delivery sales.

I, of course, don’t have any of that kind of thing to fall back on.  New Wife had her residence application finally (!!!!) approved and got her temporary green card;  not that it helps, though, because she works in — ta-da!!!! — elementary schools, and guess who’s not hiring at the moment because Chinese virus?  At best,she’ll be hired in July for the new school year, but until then…

Frankly, nobody is hiring at the moment, of course, so even if I was able to, I can’t find any kind of full-time work.  (I’m kicking myself for not getting my trucker’s license many years ago — supermarkets in the area are experiencing supply bottlenecks because of a driver shortage.  That’s why there’s no bogroll in the stores.)

So I’m doing what I swore never to do again, and asking for financial assistance from you, O My Long-Suffering Readers.  Without that, our modest savings will be drained and we face financial ruin within two or three months.  (Forget indulgences like takeout food or trips to Boomershoot;  we’re talking rent, car payments and utilities here.)

I know that everyone is suffering at the moment in one way or another;  but if you can see your way to helping us out over the next couple of months until sanity returns to our world, all contributions will be most gratefully received.  You can contribute a small amount monthly via Patreon (over on the right-hand side of the page under Links), or with one-time amounts through PayPal or by check to the sooper-seekrit mailing address.

I hate to have to do this, but I have no other alternative.