Quod Desiderata Est

That’s Latin for “things to be desired”.

A couple years ago the locals on Spain’s Balearic Islands (Majorca, Ibiza etc.) staged massive demonstrations against the crowds of (mostly British) tourists who invaded the islands each year and partied ’til they puked, literally.

Well, thanks to the Chinkvirus, the islands have gone from this:

to this:

I guess all those erstwhile Balearic protesters are now seeing the wisdom of that old question:  “Suppose you got exactly what you wanted…”

That’s More Like It

When even the normally-docile Germans start rioting against the lockdown nonsense, you know things are getting out of hand:

Today saw a demonstration involving hundreds of people, and chants of “Wir sind das Volk!” [“We are the people!”] and “Freiheit!” [“Freedom!”] could be heard.
Law enforcement attended the scene to disband crowds, with officers reportedly having to detain people and deploy pepper spray.
Pictures showed lines of police with riot shields clashing with angry-looking protesters as well as people being dragged away in handcuffs.

If the Kraut cops need some reinforcements, we could always send them the dreaded Meal Team Six from Ector County:

Those old boys could use the exercise.

Quote Of The Day

From the study proving that Neil Ferguson’s Chinkvirus model contained flawed methodology (to say the least) comes this conclusion:

“On a personal level, I’d go further and suggest that all academic epidemiology be defunded. This sort of work is best done by the insurance sector. Insurers employ modellers and data scientists, but also employ managers whose job is to decide whether a model is accurate enough for real world usage and professional software engineers to ensure model software is properly tested, understandable and so on. Academic efforts don’t have these people, and the results speak for themselves.”

Hell, considering what’s come out of academia in terms of climate modeling as well as this latest fiasco, I’d prefer to have bookies produce the models, rather than universities.

And this is why charlatans like the Hockey-Stick guy (of global warming infamy) steadfastly refuse to release their code — they know it’ll fall over under the slightest scrutiny.

Had I ever tried to get this bullshit past my clients back in the day when I was involved in this kind of thing, I’d have been fired on my ass and my business cred utterly demolished.  These pricks deserve no less.

Viral Load

…or, as I called it a few days back, dosage, gets a more technical examination here (the linked article, by the way, is very dense reading, but I urge everyone to plow through it anyway.  You may learn something that prevents you from getting infected).  A sample:

What evidence do we have that viral load matters?

Three classes of evidence seem strong.

The first is that we have a strong mechanism story we can tell. Viruses take time to multiply. When the immune system detects a virus it responds. If your initial viral load is low your immune system gets a head start, so you do better.

The second category is the terrible outcomes in health care workers on the front lines. Those who are dealing with the crisis first hand are dealing with lots of intense exposures to the virus. When they do catch it, they are experiencing high death rates. High viral load is the only theory I know about so far for why this is the case. Their cases are presumably handled at least as well as others, in terms of detection, testing, treatment and what the infected do themselves. The only other issue I can think of is that they might be reluctant to rest given how urgently their help is needed.

The third category is historical precedents.

Parents infected their children with what they hoped was exactly the minimum dose [of smallpox] required to get them sick enough to develop antibodies and gain immunity. Sometimes this went wrong and the child would get sick. Thus this form of inoculation was dangerous and 1%-2% of patients died. But of those who got smallpox infections in other ways, 20%-30% of patients died. Those rates are well established.

I should point out that Doc Russia, who as an ER doctor has been treating Chinkvirus patients almost daily, fully expected to catch the virus himself, but so far [crossing fingers]  hasn’t.  All I can think of is that because his hospitals (he works in several) don’t have that many infectees compared to those in, say, London or New York, his aggregate exposure is low;  that, his age outside the at-risk group, plus his fanatical adherence to commonsense protective measures, has probably kept him well.  Which leads to the other major point in the above linked article:

The default model is that the longer and more closely you interact with an infected person, especially a symptomatic infected person, the larger your viral load.

In-household infections are presumed to be high viral load, as in the case of measles. So would be catching the infection while treating patients.

Most out-of-household infections that aren’t health care related are presumed to be low viral load. Anything outdoors is probably low viral load. Most methods that involve surfaces are probably low viral load. Infection via the air from someone there half an hour ago, to the extent this is a thing, is low viral load. Quick interactions with asymptomatic individuals are probably low viral load.

I should point out that the above are observations based on admittedly-poor data, but as we know that the level of dosage/viral load is critical in other diseases (measles, smallpox, SARS etc.), it’s not a bad deduction to assume that it’s true also of the Chinkvirus.

As with all decisions in life, the key to decision-making is risk assessment and odds-calculation.  Use all the above accordingly, as you plan your daily life.

Stupid People

One of the most unattractive things that has come out of the Chinkvirus pandemic has been the social shaming of people who, in the opinions of some, are ignoring the dangers of the virus’s spread.  Brits have coined a term “covidiots” to describe these people, hence (link in pic):

Well of course they would be fearful, because — and let’s be under no illusions about this —  when it comes to viral infection, only two things matter:  dosage (the actual number of viruses inhaled or ingested) and its subset, dispersion.

Most studies on infection take place in a closed room of about 400 sq.ft. (20′ x 20′).  Now take that outside (especially on a breezy day), and the dosage will be immediately reduced to an enormous degree because the wind not only disperses the virus-laden particles, but can even blow them apart, reducing their danger exponentially.  It’s why the Nazis went to all the trouble of building gas chambers at Auschwitz, instead of just spraying Zyklon-B on the hapless Jews out in the fields.

So to return to the above hysteria:  of course a majority of people are going to be apprehensive about going back to the office — it’s a closed environment, you idiots, and viral infection is definitely a possibility.  But out in the open air?

Nada, zip, zilch — as long as people keep some distance between themselves and strangers so that the open air can work its magic.  And don’t touch railings and other surfaces that others have touched without cleaning your hands with disinfectant wipes immediately afterwards.

And as for those idiot cops who keep harassing sunbathers, surfers and the like:  the cops should be tied to lampposts and hosed down with icy water (lest they get viral infections by getting too close to the people they’re harassing), e.g.:

And those moron journalists [redundancy alert]  who perpetuate this foolishness deserve the same treatment.