Thursday 29th of February 2024

interpreting inevitability...


Statistics, even in their crudest form of observation, can be brutal and manipulated to suit a social decision and help in the creation of myths. 


Claude Lévi-Strauss in The Structural Study of Myth, tells us:


6.2. As may be seen from a global inspection of the chart [an over-simplified chart of the Zuni emergence myth], the basic problem consists in discovering a mediation between life and death.


Hullo!? Most myths, especially religions, are designed to make us accept a particular interpretation of inevitability: death. We are at the mercy of a natural constraint and we invent supernatural (or extra-natural) forces to make sense of it. This is where scientific rigour gets a bit lost because of incomplete statistics and social flux. By this we need to look at all the factors, including those that saved oldies from dying now rather than later, such as machines and drugs. The panic argy-bargy about ventilators, masks and toilet paper confused the issues. The statistics are slightly different in various countries, due to the number of people concentrated in age care facilities (Belgium for example), of cultural (racial) mix, of poverty (yes, if you're rich you can die from Covid19, but if you're poor and mask-less, you're likely to die more by a factor of 10) and other differentiating factors, such as pre-existing condition of morbidity (which Russian stats are good at mentioning).


There is no two ways about it, social distancing helped most people avoid the disease, but in practicality, some social distancing was not possible especially with older people — and the young who some people dismissed as the "little breeders of the disease" because they did not show any symptoms of it.... According to some statistics, in the UK, people who enter an age care facility do not last more than 30 months on average anyway, in there. And we must look at the possibility that quite a few of these old people have dementia, terminal diseases and other illnesses that will be treated under (say horrid) conditions of a pipe network, ventilators and heavy drugs that makes them last an extra six months or more.


We are afraid of seeing people die. And this is fair enough, but unavoidable.




when demand and supply are in lockstep downwards...

Paul Krugman is one of the world's most influential and provocative economists. Although Krugman made his professional mark in academia, where his work on trade and economic geography earned him a Nobel prize in 2008, it is his commentary that has brought wider public recognition. Last week, Bloomberg Opinion writer Noah Smith interviewed Krugman online about the state of the U.S economy in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. This is a lightly edited transcript of their conversation.

Noah Smith: This pandemic, and the resulting economic slowdown, don't look much like the Great Recession -- or any recession since high-quality economic data has become available. How should we think about this unprecedented event? Can we model it as a demand shock, like the last downturn? Are there any simple models here to guide us?

Paul Krugman: Is this a demand shock or a supply shock? Yes. And no. The aggregate-demand-aggregate-supply framework doesn't work well for this crisis, because it assumes that the economy can reasonably be represented as producing a single good -- a fine approach most of the time, but not now.

What's happening now is that we've shut down both supply and demand for part of the economy because we think high-contact activities spread the coronavirus. This means we can't just use standard macro models off the shelf.

But it's not all that hard to produce two-sector models that use many of the same strategic simplifications we've used in the past. I've seen really nice work on the question of whether the lockdown in some sectors spills over into recession in other sectors (Veronica Guerrieri et al.), and whether and how it produces financial market spillovers (Ricardo Caballero and Alp Simsek). I'm finding these approaches really helpful as a lens for viewing the data and the policy response.

That is, I don't feel analytically at sea here. Even though this crisis is really different from anything we've seen before, my sense is that we've got a pretty good handle on the economics. In particular, we know enough to understand why conventional responses like stimulus or tax cuts are inappropriate, and why we should be focusing on safety-net issues.

NS: So typical stimulus isn't the goal here, and instead we're merely alleviating human suffering while we wait for the shock to end. But that raises an important question: What are the constraints on government action here? In a normal, demand-based recession, there's little risk of inflation from monetary or fiscal policy because the demand shortage is acting to push prices down. But in this situation, it's not clear which way the shock is going to push prices -- the model of Guerrieri et al., for example, is ambiguous on this point. So should we worry that enormous deficits and Federal Reserve asset purchases might stoke a runaway inflation spiral?

PK: In principle it could indeed go either way. People with intact incomes could be switching to unconstrained goods and services rather than postponing spending, so that aid to the unemployed could be inflationary. But that's not what we seem to be seeing. It looks as if the private sector surplus has risen by enough to accommodate public deficits, with room to spare -- that is, it's deflationary.

One big reason, I suspect, is that Guerrieri et al. -- whose model was almost exactly the way I would have done it, so this isn't a criticism -- don't include a role for investment. The fall in demand isn't just households postponing consumption until they can go to restaurants again; it's also a crash in construction of houses, commercial real estate and so on. Who wants to build an office park in a plague?

NS: That's a good point. But this does raise another question. During the Great Recession, you were -- rightfully, in my view -- a harsh critic of people who used bad macroeconomic models to try to explain that crisis as the result of natural shifts in technology or workers deciding not to work. This time around, how do we know which economists have good models? Leaving out investment can make a model give wrong results, but it's a fixable problem. What sort of theories and ideas should we absolutely shun?

PK: In both the Great Recession and now there are two classes of ideas we can immediately classify as worthless.

First, anyone who is peddling known zombie ideas like the magical efficacy of tax cuts should be dismissed out of hand.

Second, anyone who is just rolling out their usual ideas without making allowance for the special nature of the situation shouldn't be taken seriously. Back in 2008-10 you had people talking about monetary and fiscal policy as if there weren't an issue with the zero lower bound. Now you have people -- as always, a lot on the right but some on the left -- talking as if this were a garden-variety recession, not a shutdown enforced by social distancing.

In other words, it's only worth listening to people making a real effort to grapple with the novelty of this crisis.

Given that, I actually don't think it's too hard to think through a lot of what's happening. Most of the economy still works the same way as usual, which is to say more or less Keynesian in the short run. We can understand a lot of the unusual stuff just by applying usual behavior rules to an unusual situation: people may be unemployed with businesses losing sales to exotic causes, but their spending decisions will probably be like those of job losers in normal times. A lot of what's going on in financial markets reflects the same kinds of balance-sheet spillovers we saw in 2008-9.

The hard part is quantifying cross-cutting stuff. How important are supply-chain disruptions relative to excess capacity in driving inflation? What are we missing about things driving spending? (Investment-free consumer-only models can be a very useful strategic simplification — hey, I did that to think about the liquidity trap — but they may miss a key factor right now).

But the truth is that among economists who are making good-faith efforts to respond to unusual times, as opposed to saying what they always say, I'm actually seeing a lot of common ground. I don't see battling orthodoxies this time around.

NS: That's good to hear. One final question: How long can we expect the economic fallout from this shock to last? The Spanish Flu, which also led to a lot of social distancing, didn't seem to leave a lasting economic scar on the nation. But the modern economy is very different -- more dependent on delicate supply chains, more reliant on webs of debt and credit, more weighted toward services rather than manufacturing and agriculture. How likely is this to turn into a lost decade? And what policy mistakes might we make that prolong the pain?

PK: I’ve been trying to get a handle on this by looking at recessions over the past 40 years. Until now we’ve had two kinds: 1979-82-type slumps basically caused by tight money and the 2007-09 type caused by private-sector overreach. The first kind was followed by V-shaped “morning in America” recoveries; the second by sluggish recoveries that took a long time to restore full employment.

My take is that the Covid slump is more like 1979-82 than 2007-09: it wasn’t caused by imbalances that will take years to correct. So that would suggest fast recovery once the virus is contained. But some big caveats.

One is that we don’t know how long the pandemic will last. Right now, we’re probably opening too soon, which will actually extend the period of economic weakness.

Another is that even if we didn’t have big imbalances before, the slump may be creating them now. Think of business closures, which will require time to reverse.

And I also wonder how much long-term change we’ll experience as a result of the virus. If we have a permanent shift to more telecommuting and less in-person retail, then we’ll have to shift workers to new sectors, which will take time. That was an argument lots of people made, wrongly, in 2009, but it could be true now.


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of our social tragedies...

our hero fights the Gongorzolas...


Unto this thy son it shall be given,
With his broad heart to win his way to heaven ;
Twelve labours shall he work ; and all accurst ;
And in Trachinia shall the funeral pyre
purge his mortality away with fire ;
And he shall mount amid the stars, and be
Acknowledg’d kin to those envied thee,
And send these den-born shapes to crush his destiny.


The ancients were not content to worship the gods only, but also offered sacrifices to a few mortals, who, by their heroic deeds an virtuous lives, had won both admiration and respect. But even those heroes were flawed because of their pre-arranged destiny and the influences of (bad) Juno, the jealous wife of Zeus (Jupiter). We still give medals to heroes. 

The concept of half-god half-human has been a long held myth in many cultures, even the small ones. This is expressed in “Four Winnebago Myths” by Claude Lévi-Strauss as full life, full death and in between as reincarnation (half-life, half death). 

The Christians had to get rid of the half-human possibility soon enough in regard to Jesus, by the time they reached an agreement at the First Council of Nicaea, in order to maintain the belief — and install and/or advise divinely-controlled power. The Trinity was invented. Kings and Emperors were thus godly. Having run out of traction with the Noah's Ark myth and other plagues of frogs, incarnation was only a passing fad in the history of god to save us from ourselves, with more of it coming at the end of times because we’ve been naughty. Reincarnation is a myth used by the Buddhists and was also used by the Cathars.

From time to time we see nutcases claiming to be Jesus Christ. Some of these clever idiots are followed by troops of believers, while some end in asylums for the demented — depending on their timing and of the dangers to society especially in the USA where Jesus with a gun is a bad look.

It seems that our social structures need myths like glue to keep us together in misery on the straight and narrow. As a young man, Hercules met two beautiful women (what else?! But women! Temptresses!) who offered him to be his guide on his adventures. One was Arete (virtue) and the other was Katia (vice). The deals on offer were lots of riches, easy living and love from Katia. Arete, the “modest” maiden, warned Hercules that following her would mean incessant quarrels against evil, enduring hardship and spending his days in toil and poverty. Hum… Difficult choice.

Pondering for a while over the two offers and remembering the instructions from his tutor, Chiron, a Centaur, Hercules thus decided to follow Arete’s commands… Yes the world could be full of pleasant possibilities, women, wine and fun, but he had been trained to use many weapons and to bulk his athletic muscles for fighting. Leading an easy lazy life would lead him becoming a liquifying fat couch potato eating caviar and not staying at the top of the pack, since computer games had not been invented… And the story would have gone arse up… We could not raise young fighters with a narrative of a hero going soft and refusing to help the sick and the poor. So:

Young Hercules with firm disdain
Braved the soft smiles of Pleasure’s harlot train :
To valiant toils his forceful limbs assign’d
And gave to Virtue all his mighty mind.

                 Darwin (the poet)

Hercules went on the rough path of delivering the oppressed, defending the weak and redressing wrongs. Superman, he became… He was rewarded for these good deeds. He married Megara, the daughter of Creon, the king of Thebes and had three children. He was happy. But was he going soft? As usual there is a but. Juno did not like him having such a good peaceful time and she sent our hero nuts…

Becoming mad, Hercules threw his children onto a fire and slew his wife… Awakening up from this delirium, he became remorseful and full of sorrow. He self-isolated in the mountains — possibly to avoid some human justice that would throw him in a dungeon before chopping his head off — thinking of the terrible crimes he had committed. Was this an instance of domestic dispute? Or had he drunk at the fountains of various drugs, including wine, opiates and steroids… Juno, the bad witch?… Yep, pull the other leg. Madness is our own.

But the good gods decided to give our hero another chance. Don’t we need these redemptors when we’ve been bad?… Hercules had to serve Eurystheus, the king of Argos, his mean cousin, for twelve months. Small punishment indeed, but Hercules was not fond of becoming such a slave to a nasty person and wandered about aimlessly until he thought what’s the point of struggling against “his fate”?… Twelve little months and he could be free… But there was a catch. He soon learnt he had to perform some impossible tasks to gain his freedom. Kill or die...

Arete came back to help him along… Ah, the good maiden! There is always a good woman being a great man! We all need one of those… We have already tackled some of Hercules tasks (and his next misdeeds till his death)… But overall having killed the Lion, the Hydra, the Stag, the Boar, the Bull, the Steeds, and fixed the Stables, the Girdle, eliminated the Birds, captured the Cattle, found the Apples, and imprisoned Cerberus…his status as a demigod grew… despite his later frolics and philandering with women.

The myth stuck and Hercules became a god outright when he died. He was deemed immortal. Do we need this shit to maintain our mortal sanity? It’s beyond belief that we’re still stuck on “god bless America"’s with the hand on the chest salute — as if to prevent it going the full hog, the Nazi raised arm, if you know what I’m talking about…

Isn’t time we all became relative heroes to ourselves, without killing something and by protecting the planet together? All without the desire nor hope of becoming gods when we die? I know. It's too much to ask.

Spreader of hot coals.

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disproportionately being infected and dying....


Ibram X. Kendi says early media coverage of COVID-19 as “the great equalizer” missed the racial impact of the disease. But it soon became clear “that it was Latino Americans and African Americans and Native Americans in particular who were disproportionately being infected and dying.” The award-winning author and founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University joins us to discuss why he started the COVID Racial Data Tracker.



This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we continue our discussion with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, award-winning author, professor of history and international relations, founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

Let’s turn now to the staggering toll the coronavirus is taking on African Americans in the United States. According to the COVID Racial Data Tracker, a collaboration between The Atlantic and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, over 20,000 Black people have died due to COVID-19 infection, at a rate nearly twice that of the population share in the United States, this coming as the total U.S. death toll is at just about 100,000 and states rush to reopen their economies despite massive loss of life and warnings from public health experts.

Dr. Kendi, can you help — can you explain the COVID Racial Data Tracker?

IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. So, in early April, only a handful of states had even released racial demographic data. So I called, and other people started calling, for racial data. And so, by the second week, more states were releasing this data. And so we decided — my colleagues at the Antiracist Research and Policy Center started partnering with folks at the COVID Tracking Project to build what we call the COVID Racial Data Tracker. And that was essentially to collect all of this data that was finally beginning to release by states all over this country, but not only that, to continue to advocate for more states to release data and to collect it, to ingest it and to, of course, make it available for everyday Americans, so they can see racial disparities that are persisting to this day all over the country, and then, hopefully, use this data to protect and create policies for the most vulnerable communities, because all over the country Black people are disproportionately dying, Latinx people are disproportionately infected, Native people in states like Arizona are disproportionately dying, and even Asian Americans in places like Alaska, Native Hawaiians are disproportionately infected in Hawaii. You know, people of color are disproportionately being impacted by COVID-19, as the data shows.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Dr. Kendi, New York City obviously was the epicenter of the virus in the United States, and initially there was a lot of attention focused on Manhattan and people fleeing Manhattan. Then the focus shifted to Queens. But, ultimately, now it’s been clear that the hardest-hit area of New York City, as I had suspected all along, was the Bronx, where 90% of the population is African American and Latino, and that, by far, has the most percentage of infections, of deaths. And your sense of how the focus of the coverage of the pandemic has been in the U.S.?

IBRAM X. KENDI: Well, I mean, I think that early on, the coverage was, “Oh, this is the great equalizer.” And it certainly is the case that every American, no matter their race, and even obviously now their age and ethnicity and gender, can be infected, can die of COVID-19.

But it seems like at least by the latter part of March, certainly by early April, that it was Latino Americans and African Americans and Native Americans in particular who were disproportionately being infected and dying. And it really had to take many grassroots folks to begin demanding for racial data to even see this, because the states were refusing to do it. Now, I will say many journalists, as well, particularly in states all over this country that we’ve worked with, also made demands of their states to release the data. And then it began to start to roll out just how this was not the great equalizer.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about the Trump administration’s push to reopen the country. This is top White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett speaking to CNN Sunday.

KEVIN HASSETT: Our capital stock hasn’t been destroyed. Our human capital stock is ready to get back to work. And so that there are lots of reasons to believe that we can get going way faster than we have in previous crises.

AMY GOODMAN: In response to this, Professor Kendi, you tweeted, “This is jarring because my enslaved ancestors were literally human capital stock. No matter what, they were always told to go back to work. This could be 1820.”

IBRAM X. KENDI: I mean, it’s devastating. And I think for any American — Republican, Democrat, middle-income, low-income, poor, Black, white, Latino — I think this should be an indication of what the Trump administration thinks about you, that essentially they’re driving you back to work so their benefactors — so they — can make money. And it’s just that simple. You are literally an entity. You are literally capital, just as my enslaved ancestors were.

And, you know, this isn’t hyperbole. You know, in 1860, 4 million enslaved people were worth more than any other body and anything of this country. You had slave owners borrowing [inaudible] the number of enslaved people they had. They were purchasing — they were using enslaved people as collateral. And ultimately, they recognized that their wealth, their capital, came as a result of the labor of those people, just as they see that today.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I wanted to ask you also about the institutional populations that have been so hard hit, both in the prison and jail systems in the country and in senior citizen homes. Again, the racial disparities are so stark that even among the elderly, those who were in senior citizen centers that were — I mean, in long-term facility centers that were largely African American and Latino, have a far higher death rate than those who were in long-term care facilities that were largely white.

IBRAM X. KENDI: Yes. So, I think it’s certainly important for us to recognize that people of color are being disproportionately infected and killed by COVID-19, but I think it’s important for us to also specialize what groups of people of color are being hit the hardest. And so, without question, senior citizens of color, their homes are more likely to be sites of outbreaks than the majority-white homes. Certainly, incarcerated people, and not just incarcerated people in jails, but even people who are being held by ICE, are also being infected. And even the homeless population, undocumented people. I mean, this is — you know, all the people who have been driven to the bottom of the society are the people who are literally suffering in the shadows. And we need to pull them out of the shadows and defend them.

AMY GOODMAN: And as the administration and the numbers go to 100,000, clearly the number is far higher, because, among other things, of the number of people who have died at home and not been counted. And they definitely fall within the populations you’re tracking, Professor Kendi. The Trump administration has resorted to blaming the dead, particularly African Americans, for the sky-high death rate. This is Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

HHS SECRETARY ALEX AZAR: Unfortunately, the American population is a very diverse, and it is a — it is a population with significant unhealthy comorbidities, that do make many individuals in our communities, in particular African American, minority communities, particularly at risk here because of significant underlying disease, health disparities and disease comorbidities. And that is an unfortunate legacy in our healthcare system that we certainly do need to address. But, no, the response here in the United States has been historic to keep this within our healthcare capacity. Even in New York City to keep this within capacity is genuinely a historic result.

JAKE TAPPER: I want to give you an opportunity to clear it up, because it sounded like you were saying that the reason that there are so many dead Americans is because we’re unhealthier than the rest of the world, and I know that’s not what you meant.

HHS SECRETARY ALEX AZAR: Oh, no, I think that there is —


HHS SECRETARY ALEX AZAR: We have significant — we have a significantly disproportionate burden of comorbidities in the United States — obesity, hypertension, diabetes. These are demonstrated facts that make — that do make us at risk for any type of disease burden.

JAKE TAPPER: Sure, of course. But that doesn’t mean it’s the fault of the American people that our government failed to —

HHS SECRETARY ALEX AZAR: Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Jake, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER: — take adequate steps in February.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Trump official Alex Azar speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN. Your response, Professor Kendi?

IBRAM X. KENDI: So, what’s fascinating is, by the second week of April, when more and more Americans realized that Black people were disproportionately dying, the first way to blame Black people was to say they were not socially distancing, they were not taking the virus seriously. Survey data a month earlier had already disproven that. But then it was hard to also make that case when white Americans overwhelmingly were protesting to reopen their states.

So then it became zeroed — they zeroed in on this idea that Black people have greater underlying conditions. The problem with that argument is, studies have shown that what’s more predictive of Black infection and death rates are access to medical care, access to high-quality healthcare — I should say access to health insurance — even air and water pollution, employment status. All these social determinants of health are actually more predictive of Black death and infection rates than their underlying conditions.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me, finally, go to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who has since apologized, but after facing a backlash for telling radio host Charlamagne tha God that he, quote, “ain’t Black” if he supported Trump. Well, this is specifically what he said.

JOE BIDEN: You got more questions, but I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: It don’t have nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact I want something for my community. I would love to see —

JOE BIDEN: Take a look at my record, man. I extended the voting rights 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP has endorsed me every time I’ve run. I mean, come on, take a look at the record.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Biden on The Breakfast Club, speaking with Charlamagne. He apologized during a conference call with the U.S. Black Chambers. Your final response, Professor Kendi?

IBRAM X. KENDI: Well, as Charlamagne said, it doesn’t really have to do with Trump, particularly for young Black voters, who I call the other swing voters. And these are typically voters who are swinging between voting Democrat or not voting at all, or even third party. And so they’re trying to decide whether they’re going to vote for Biden. Trump, for them, is not an option. And so, when Biden says something like, “Well, if you vote for Trump, then you’re somehow not Black,” I think not only is it extremely harmful, because Black people are very sensitive about who’s Black — I mean, it’s almost at the level of talking to us about slavery — but then also he doesn’t recognize that he’s running against himself with the young Black voters who voted for Obama and didn’t vote in 2016.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you so much for being with us, Ibram X. Kendi, professor of history and international relations, founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington, D.C., National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, also How to Be an Antiracist. We look forward to your children’s book, which many parents can read to their kids, sheltering in place. It’s titled Antiracist Baby. All the best to you and your family, Ibram.

This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. When we come back, we’ll talk about deaths in custody, in ICE custody. Why are tens of thousands of immigrants still being held there during this pandemic? Stay with us.


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more stats...


A new study published Friday in the journal Diabetologia found that 1 in 10 patients who have diabetes and also contract COVID-19 die within seven days of being admitted into the hospital.

The study also found that 1 in 5 patients with both diabetes and COVID-19 end up being intubated and mechanically ventilated within a week of being hospitalized. The study was based on 1,317 patients who were admitted to 53 public and private French hospitals between March 10 and March 31. Two-thirds of the subjects were men.

Eighty-nine percent of the patients in the study had type 2 diabetes, while only 3% had type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, a condition in which a patient’s body doesn’t respond to the hormone insulin properly, is more common in the US than Type 1 diabetes, in which a person’s pancreas cannot produce much insulin, if any.

The researchers also observed microvascular complications in the eyes, kidneys and nerves of 47% of the patients in the study. Macrovascular complications related to the arteries in the heart, brain and legs were also found in 41% of the subjects. Having respiratory conditions like obstructive sleep apnoea and shortness of breath also tripled the risk of death by day seven in the hospital.

The likelihood of microvascular and macrovascular complications more than doubled the risk of death by day seven of hospitalization for the patients. In addition, patients aged 75 or older were 14 times more likely to die than patients under the age of 55. 

The researchers also concluded that insulin and other treatments for changing blood sugar should be continued in COVID-19 patients with diabetes, as they did not seem to have an adverse effect.

In addition, the researchers noted that increased body mass index (BMI), which is a ratio of height to weight, was found to be “associated with both increased risk of needing mechanical ventilation and with increased risk of death.

"The risk factors for severe form of COVID-19 are identical to those found in the general population: age and BMI,” the authors in the study wrote.

"Elderly populations with long-term diabetes with advanced diabetic complications and/or treated obstructive sleep apnoea were particularly at risk of early death, and might require specific management to avoid infection with the novel coronavirus. BMI also appears as an independent prognostic factor for COVID-19 severity in the population living with diabetes requiring hospital admission. The link between obesity and COVID-19 requires further study,” the authors added.


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flagrantly disproportionate and opportunistic...


By Catte Black


It probably hasn’t passed anyone by that the covid19 crisis, whether manufactured or exploited, has caused great schisms in the alternative media.

Almost from day one there was a divide between those who opted to accept and even endorse the rollout of authoritarian measures by governments around the world as ‘necessary evils’ (or even as harbingers of a world socialist revolution; beats me how that is supposed to work but still), and those who pointed out that this rollout was at best flagrantly disproportionate and opportunistic, and at worst a planned response to a planned or cynically manipulated ‘pandemic’.

Over the last few months the position of the latter has become stronger by the day, while that of the former has been weakened to the point of collapse.

As we have pointed out many times the official data has never supported the panic memes. In fact the two entities, data and narrative, co-exist almost independently of one another, telling mutually contradictory stories, without anyone in the Panic-sphere (to coin a phrase) seeming to notice or mind very much.

It’s as if on this topic some very smart people have been hypnotised or vaccinated against fact. They see the numbers, they read the data, but it just does not compute.

When invited to discuss with us these people become hostile, even aggressive. They bluster, they accuse us of manipulation and deceit, of being uncaring about the sick and dying, even of working for the capitalists (because apparently it is now a truth universally acknowledged that the best way to start a revolution is to lock everyone in their houses and give Bill Gates and the WHO the key). 

And when pushed into a corner, these otherwise smart people simply deny the facts staring them in the face.

A good illustration of this happened the other day one Twitter.

Tim Anderson, one of those otherwise very smart and focused guys, has been firmly lodged in the Panic-sphere from the outset. He is fairly careful to avoid fact-based discussion, but does indulge heavily in purple-tinged emotional condemnations of those evil people (like us) who are uncaring enough to cite the data on infection and fatality rates.


Is this ideology trumping objectivity? Is the bizarre belief that many on the Left seem to have developed that the lockdown is going to bring about revolution or some other form of benign new world order, simply overriding their common sense? 

How do you become so inured to veridical reality?

And where do we go from here?


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Statistics are a weapon... Here we turn to physicist John Von Neumann to give us a fix on what is happening:


If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.


Truth is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations.


Science, as well as technology, will in the near and in the farther future increasingly turn from problems of intensity, substance, and energy, to problems of structure, organization, information, and control. [Gus bold]


The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work-that is, correctly to describe phenomena from a reasonably wide area.



Our problem here is that our data on Covid19 and the spread of "pandemics" is highly incomplete. We do a lot of assuming. The data on global warming is far more precise and yet we tend to dismiss the phenomenon because it demands sacrifices that are far less demanding than those of Covid19 but on a different level.

In a Covid19 situation, the poor, the artists, the daily providers such as restaurants and little shops, and the "lower classes", including the oldies are the one who are going to suffer from a lockdown. In a Global Warming situation, the multinationals and the high end of town (the one per cent) are the ones most likely to have to bolt down. You can see the loading of the dice here.


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facing the paradigm pandemic music...

paradigm shift, a concept identified by the American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, is a fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline. Kuhn presented his notion of a paradigm shift in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962).

Kuhn contrasts paradigm shifts, which characterize a scientific revolution, to the activity of normal science, which he describes as scientific work done within a prevailing framework or paradigm. Paradigm shifts arise when the dominant paradigm under which normal science operates is rendered incompatible with new phenomena, facilitating the adoption of a new theory or paradigm.[1]


  • Adoption of a new paradigm – Eventually a new paradigm is formed, which gains its own new followers. For Kuhn, this stage entails both resistance to the new paradigm, and reasons for why individual scientists adopt it. According to Max Planck, "a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."[8] Because scientists are committed to the dominant paradigm, and paradigm shifts involve gestalt-like changes, Kuhn stresses that paradigms are difficult to change. However, paradigms can gain influence by explaining or predicting phenomena much better than before (i.e., Bohr's model of the atom) or by being more subjectively pleasing. During this phase, proponents for competing paradigms address what Kuhn considers the core of a paradigm debate: whether a given paradigm will be a good guide for future problems – things that neither the proposed paradigm nor the dominant paradigm are capable of solving currently.[9]


In a 2015 retrospective on Kuhn,[40] the philosopher Martin Cohen describes the notion of the paradigm shift as a kind of intellectual virus – spreading from hard science to social science and on to the arts and even everyday political rhetoric today. Cohen claims that Kuhn had only a very hazy idea of what it might mean and, in line with the American philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend, accuses Kuhn of retreating from the more radical implications of his theory, which are that scientific facts are never really more than opinions whose popularity is transitory and far from conclusive. Cohen says scientific knowledge is less certain than it is usually portrayed, and that science and knowledge generally is not the 'very sensible and reassuringly solid sort of affair' that Kuhn describes, in which progress involves periodic paradigm shifts in which much of the old certainties are abandoned in order to open up new approaches to understanding that scientists would never have considered valid before. He argues that information cascades can distort rational, scientific debate. He has focused on health issues, including the example of highly mediatised 'pandemic' alarms, and why they have turned out eventually to be little more than scares.



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taking refuge behind collegial decisions...

Enough with the Consensus Already!


by Thierry Meyssan

In theory, politicians and doctors who have studied for a long time are scientists. But in practice, few have a scientific approach. No one today wants to take responsibility for the allegedly sanitary measures that have been taken (confinement, social distancing, wearing masks and gloves). They all take refuge behind collegial decisions, the invocation of science and consensus.


Façade of collegiality

The Covid-19 outbreak took by surprise politicians who had lost sight of their primary function: to protect their fellow citizens.

Panicked, they turned to a few gurus. In this case the mathematician Neil Ferguson of Imperial College [1] and the physician Richard Hatchett of CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), former collaborator of the US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [2]. To communicate the decisions they had taken, they called upon both scientists to justify them and moral figures to endorse them.

Thus, in secular France, President Emmanuel Macron set up a Covid-19 Scientific Committee, mainly composed of mathematicians and doctors, under the authority of the President of the National Consultative Ethics Committee.

Everyone could see that, faced with the epidemic, scientists in general were not at all in agreement among themselves. Consequently, the choice of the members of this Council made it possible to exclude in advance those they did not want to hear and to give the floor only to those who they wanted to be heard. Moreover, the appointment of a legal personality to head this mechanism was designed to justify decisions depriving people of their liberty, which were claimed to be necessary, but which were known to be contrary to the Constitution.

In other words, the Committee was merely a screen to make people forget the responsibility of the President of the Republic and his Government. Moreover, there is already a Public Health Administration and a High Council of Public Health, while this new Committee has no legal basis.

Discussions on how to prevent the epidemic and the treatments to be implemented quickly turned into a brawl. President Macron then appointed a second body, the Research and Expertise Analysis Committee, to put things in order. Far from being a scientific forum, it defended CEPI’s positions against the experience of clinical doctors.

The role of politicians is to serve their fellow citizens, not to enjoy official cars and then call for help when they are afraid. The role of doctors is to care for their patients, not to go to seminars on the beaches of the Seychelles.

The case of mathematicians is different. Their role is to quantify observations. Some of them have provoked panic in order to seize power.

Politics and medicine as sciences

Whether politicians and doctors like it or not, politics and medicine are two sciences. In recent decades, however, both forms of expertise have succumbed to the lure of gain and have become the most corrupt professions in the West - closely followed by journalism. Few are those who question their certainties, though to do so is the basic quality of scientists. Now they are making a career of it.

We are defending ourselves very poorly in the face of this degradation of our societies. In the first place, we give ourselves the right to criticise politicians, but strangely not doctors. Secondly, we sue doctors when one of their patients dies instead of congratulating them when they manage to save them, but we turn a blind eye to their corruption by the pharmaceutical industry. It is no secret that the pharmaceutical industry has the largest lobbying budget and even a huge network of lobbyists down to individual doctors in developed countries, the so-called "medical sales representatives". After decades on this merry-go-round, the medical professions have lost their sense of purpose.

Some politicians protect their countries, others do not. 
Some doctors care for their patients, not others.

Patients suspected of having Covid-19 and transferred to hospital were 5 times more likely to die if admitted to some hospitals than others. However, the doctors treating them had all followed the same studies and had the same equipment.

We must demand to know the results of each hospital service.

Professor Didier Raoult successfully treats infectious patients, which is why he was able to build his state-of-the-art institute in Marseille. Professor Karine Lacombe works for the industrialist Gilead Science, which allowed her to be appointed head of the infectious diseases department at the Hôpital Saint-Antoine in Paris. Gilead Science is the company formerly run by Donald Rumsfeld - again, he’s the one who produces the most expensive and often least effective drugs in the world.

Please understand, I am not saying that the caregivers are corrupt, but that they are run by "mandarins" and an administration that is largely corrupt. This is the whole problem with French hospitals, which have a much larger budget than most other developed countries, but have poor results. It is not a question of money, but of where it goes.

The medical press is no longer scientific

The medical press is no longer scientific at all. I’m not talking about the ideological biases denounced in 1996 by the physicist Alan Sokal [3], but about the fact that three quarters of the articles published today are not verifiable.

Almost unanimously, the mainstream media have been involved in an intoxication campaign in favour of a study published in the Lancet condemning the Raoult protocol and paving the way for Gilead Science’s drug Remdesivir [4]. It doesn’t matter that it is not randomized, that it is not verifiable, and that its main author, Dr. Mandeep Mehra, works at Brigham Hospital in Boston to promote Remdesivir, in short, that it is an undignified work. The only trouble is that The Guardian did some digging and noted that the basic data of this study were obviously falsified [5].

Read this "study" and you will not believe your eyes: how could such a deception be published by a "prestigious scientific journal" (sic) like The Lancet? But haven’t you seen similar deceptions in the "reference" political media (sic) such as The New York Times or Le Monde? The Lancet is published by the world’s largest medical publisher, the Elsevier Group, which makes a profit both by selling overpriced single articles and by creating fake scientific journals entirely written by the pharmaceutical industry to sell its products [6].

Recently, I alerted you to NATO’s operation to promote certain "reliable" (sic) sources of information with search engines to the detriment of others [7]. However, the name of a publisher or a media is not a definitive guarantee of competence and sincerity. Each book, each article, must be judged for itself and by yourself solely on the basis of your critical spirit.

The "scientific consensus" versus Science

For several years now, graduate scientists have no longer been interested in science, but in the consensus of their profession. This was already the case in the 17th century, when the astronomers of the time joined forces against Galileo. As they had no way to silence him, they turned to the Church, which condemned him to life imprisonment. But in doing so, Rome was merely aligning itself with the "scientific consensus.

Similarly, sixteen years ago, the Paris Court of Appeals cascaded down my complaints against major newspapers that had defamed me on the sole ground that what I wrote could only be false, given the "journalistic consensus" against me. It did not matter what evidence I produced.

Or again it is in the name of "scientific consensus" that we believe strongly in the "global warming" promoted by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher [8]. Regardless of the many scientific debates.

Truth is not an opinion, but a process. It cannot be voted on, but must always be questioned.

Thierry Meyssan
Roger Lagassé


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confinement, social distancing, camembert!

the view from professor robert endres...


Robert: I am a fundamental research scientist who uses his quantitative physics background to analyse biological data and to develop predictive models, mostly for processes at the cellular scale. In this interview I discuss the importance of a broad public debate of the Covid-19 health crisis, which should encompass the various scientific opinions, as well as their implications for our society and economy. Regarding scientific approaches, I would like to see the same rigorous scientific criteria applied as the ones we expect our students to use on a daily basis, in particular the critical assessment of the limitations of the methods and obtained results. For additional clarification, key scientific approaches to virus pandemics include virology (the study of viruses at the microscopic structural level), immunology (the study of our very complex innate and adaptive immune systems protecting us from pathogenic infections), and epidemiology (the mathematical modelling of disease outbreaks such as epidemics and even larger pandemics).

asymptomatic statistical oldies...

COVID-19 symptoms never develop for some

Researchers now believe about 15 per cent of people who contract COVID-19 will never show any symptoms, like the Kables.

Bond University medical professor Paul Glasziou, along with colleagues from the universities of Sydney and NSW, compared data from nine international studies to determine what proportion of people with COVID-19 were likely to be asymptomatic.

"The concern has been that there may be some people without symptoms but [who] are infectious and are spreading it without knowing it," Professor Glasziou said.

Coronavirus update: Follow all the latest news in our daily wrap.

Some studies had previously suggested almost half of people with COVID-19 didn't show symptoms, but the review by the Australian team found the rate was much lower.

"About one in six or one in seven will not have any symptoms for the whole of the illness," Professor Glasziou said.

Fortunately, the scientists also found people who did not have symptoms were about a third less likely to spread the disease.

"The reason for that is you're not sick as long, and also you're not doing things like coughing or sneezing," he said.


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overall we are pretty unhealthy...

Australian researchers have found antibiotics to beat stubborn superbugs that may help fight COVID-19 health complications.

University of Melbourne experts have shown a natural antibiotic, teixobactin, can outsmart a superbug to treat bacterial lung conditions and those commonly linked with COVID-19.

The research released on Wednesday explains how the drug works to tackle the superbug Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA.

MRSA is among the bacteria responsible for many hard-to-treat infections in humans, especially post-viral secondary ones such as COVID-19 chest infections and influenza.

The Victorian team has shown how teixobactin permanently kills MRSA and prevents it from mutating into a resistant form.

“Overall we are pretty unhealthy. We have this virus which is not as lethal as the Spanish Flu,” Associate Professor Tony Velkov told AAP.

“And then afterwards, people get bacterial infections … and the new antibiotics can be potentially useful to treat it.”

Research fellow in anti-infectives Maytham Hussein said “the rise of a multi drug-resistant bacteria has become inevitable”.

“These bacteria cause many deadly infections, particularly in immunocompromised patients such as diabetic patients or those with cancers, or even elderly people with post-flu secondary bacterial infections,” Dr Hussein said.

The University of Melbourne team is the first to find that teixobactin significantly suppressed mechanisms to resist antibiotics recommended for complicated skin infections, bloodstream infections, endocarditis, bone and joint infections, and MRSA-caused meningitis.

The antibiotic was first discovered five years ago by a team led by Professor Kim Lewis at Northeastern University in Boston.

His company has since turned to developing it as a human treatment.

The research has been published in mSystems journal.





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You know how pubs and booze houses have beefy blokes and black-belt lasses doing the front door security and asking anyone looking too young, to show their "identity' to verify their age? Gus has another idea: these Security Personnel should be employed to prevent anyone ABOVE 65 years OF AGE to enter any premises such as pubs, theatres and restaurants, until the all clear is clarinetted...

too many old people have died here...


Swedish authorities have conceded the country should have done more to combat the coronavirus and prevent a much higher death rate than in neighbouring countries.

Almost 4500 Swedes have died in the COVID-19 outbreak, a higher mortality rate than in Denmark, Norway and Finland, and criticism has been growing over the government’s decision not to impose lockdown measures as strictly as elsewhere in Europe.

“We have to admit that when it comes to elderly care and the spread of infection, that has not worked. That is obvious,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said.

“Too many old people have died here.”


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new rules that killed the oldies...

Rosemary Frei has an M.Sc in molecular biology from a faculty of medicine and was a freelance medical journalist for 22 years. She is now an independent journalist in Canada. In her recent article, “Were conditions for high death rates at Care Homes created on purpose?” she examines how all of the rules and guidelines pertaining to elderly care, death certification and treatment of bodies in Ontario have been changed during the course of this “crisis” in order to increase the numbers reported “dying of COVID.” We discuss the reasons behind these changes and what they tell us about the real nature of this pandemic panic.


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left to die in your care home...


From Rosemary Frei


During the COVID-19 pandemic, people in care homes have been dying in droves.

Why is this happening? Is it simply because older adults are very vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 and therefore it’s not unexpected that many would succumb?

Or do care homes deserve the lion’s share of the blame, such as by paying so poorly that many workers have to split their time between several facilities, spreading the virus in the process?

Alternatively, could medical experts and government bureaucrats, with the full knowledge of at least the top tier of government officials, have created conditions shortly after the pandemic struck that contribute to the high death tolls while engendering virtually no public backlash against themselves?

This article shows that the third hypothesis is highly plausible. The people who created the conditions may be unaware of, or oblivious to, their implications. But it’s also possible that at least some of them know exactly what they’re doing. 

After all – seeing it from an amoral government’s point of view – the growing numbers of elderly are a big burden on today’s fiscally strained governments, because in aggregate they’re paying much less into the tax base than younger people while causing the costs of healthcare and retirement programs to skyrocket.

Here are three sets of conditions that collectively create a framework for enabling significantly boosted care-home deaths – and doing so with impunity – even while most of each set of conditions in isolation may appear to be purely for the benefit of everyone in society:

One. Bureaucrats develop extremely broad definitions of novel-coronavirus infections and outbreaks. This is coupled with the continuing presence, in a number of care homes scattered across each jurisdiction, of at least one nurse or physician who follows every letter of all definitions and rules. (Such individuals are always present in every discipline, but in the medical milieu their actions can be deliberate, deadly and very hard to detect.)

Two. Influential organizations and individuals produce hospital-care-rationing guidelines that recommend younger people receive higher priority than the elderly during the pandemic, by giving significant weight to how many years of life patients would have ahead of them if treatment is successful. Also, some guidelines bar care-home residents from being transferred to hospital.

Three. The chief coroner and leaders of the funeral, cremation and burial industries craft procedures that fundamentally change the way care-home deaths are documented and bodies dealt with. Their stated goal is to prevent overburdening of medical staff and body-storage areas during a surge in COVID-19 deaths. 

They also put them into effect very quickly with no notice to the public; this gives those directly affected very limited opportunity for input or push-back.

Among the many radical changes is death certificates are no longer completed by people who care for care-home residents; instead, they are filled in by the chief coroner’s office. 

Also, examination of the undisturbed death scene is prevented, as are all but a very few post-mortems and other sober second looks at the cause and mode of death.

In the background are the complicit ranks of public-health organizations, politicians, media and many other influential individuals. When the pandemic first strikes they focus on how new, dangerous and poorly understood the virus is. As one side effect, this scares many care-home staff so much they flee in fear, leaving their overwhelmed colleagues to cope. 

After a short time, they also start to distract the public and victims’ loved ones from uncovering the three sets of conditions by focusing on other factors in the rash of deaths among institutionalized elderly – and by insisting the solution to everything is more testing and contact tracing, along with accelerated vaccine and anti-viral development.

This article shows how the three sets of conditions were put in place in Ontario, Canada. 

Variations on these conditions very likely have been crafted in other jurisdictions in North America, Europe and elsewhere. An exclusive interview with the daughter of one of the dozens of people who died during an outbreak at an Ontario care home illustrates how the three sets of conditions work in practice.


At the start of the novel-coronavirus epidemic in Ontario, formal definitions of infections and care-home-outbreaks weren’t issued, at least not publicly.

Rather, in late March Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, Dr. David Williams, and the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, described the criteria verbally during their daily press briefings. 

An outbreak should be declared when two or three people show symptoms of infection with the novel coronavirus, they said. 

Also, polymerase chain reaction testing for viral RNA wasn’t required for confirmation.

This is a loosened version of criteria used in the province prior to the novel-coronavirus epidemic. These previous criteria defined an outbreak as either: two people in the same area of a facility developing symptoms within two days of each other (making their infections ‘epidemiologically linked’) and at least one of them testing positive for viral RNA; or three people in the same area developing symptoms within two days of each other.

On March 30 the Ontario health ministry released new rules for defining and managing care-home outbreaks (with the document confusingly dated April 1). Staff at all Ontario care nursing homes were trained on the new rules via webinars two days later, on April 1.

The new rules included an even broader outbreak definition: the presence of only one person with just one symptom of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Outbreaks were deemed confirmed when just one resident or staff member tested positive; subsequently, every resident in the care home showing any coronavirus-infection symptoms is deemed to have COVID-19.

Notably, however, there wasn’t a symptom list in the document. Dr. Williams said on April 1 during that day’s press briefing they deliberately did not include a list of infection.

This is because:

“to look for those symptoms [in the rest of the care-home residents after the initial case is identified] is a challenge, particularly in seniors,” […] “They may not mount a fever, they may have a lot of other symptoms and they may not have obvious symptoms. [Rather,] any change in their health condition really [can be considered a symptom].”

A few minutes later Dr. Williams added:

I don’t mind false alarms. [As a result of the looser outbreak criteria] the numbers [of outbreaks that] we see might be[come] quite [a bit] larger …. [But that’s because w]e want to ramp up the sensitivity. [That] means the number of outbreaks will go up, because we’ve widened the definition.”

One week later, April 8, a Provincial Testing Guidance Update was issued. It included the following list of symptoms (most of which are highly non-specific): fever, any new or worsening acute respiratory illness symptom – for example cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose or sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing – and pneumonia.

The document also listed several symptoms that are “atypical” but “should be considered, particularly in people over 65” [italics added]: unexplained fatigue/malaise, acutely altered mental status and inattention (i.e., delirium), falls, acute functional decline, worsening of chronic conditions, digestive symptoms (e.g., nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain), chills, headaches, croup, unexplained tachycardia, decreased blood pressure, unexplained hypoxia (even if mild) and lethargy.

Then on April 22 the province produced the first COVID-19-screening guidelines for care homes. It’s broadly similar to the April 8 document, except that two or more of some of the symptoms – for example sore throat, runny nose and sneezing, stuffed-up nose, diarrhea – need to be present for a person to be deemed positive.

On May 2 a new testing guidance and a new screening guide were released. Both documents concede that if a person has only a runny or stuffed-up nose, “consideration should be given to other underlying reasons for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies and post-nasal drip.” 

They also narrow the definition of falls considered diagnostic of a novel-coronavirus infection in people over 65, to falls that are unexplained or increasing in number.

However, they add to the symptom list another three that are very non-specific: a decrease in sense of taste, abdominal pain and pink eye.

There are enormous implications to having overly broad definitions of symptoms and outbreaks, particularly in combination with other rules put in place at the beginning of the epidemic. 

Broad definitions very likely are used in many other jurisdictions around the world, albeit perhaps masked by the use of somewhat different terms.

First, in Ontario, in every facility with an outbreak, every resident with even just one symptom is defined as being a ‘probable’ COVID-19 case.This applies whether these residents had an inconclusive or negative viral-RNA test result – or even weren’t tested at all.

Second, the cause of death of everyone who had been diagnosed with a SARS-CoV-2 infection is recorded as being COVID-19. This is a dictate of the World Health Organization and is followed throughout North America, Europe and elsewhere.

Third, COVID-19-attributed deaths are deemed ‘natural’ by new rules released by the chief coroner on April 9 (see ‘Condition Set Three,’ below). In all but an extremely small number of cases, natural deaths are exempt from any further investigations or post-mortems. (Over the last 30 years post-mortems have become rare, but to almost completely remove the possibility is another matter.)

Taken together, this may explain what the daughter of a woman who died along with dozens of others, during a COVID-19 outbreak at an Ontario care home experienced. The daughter granted the author an exclusive interview on May 13. (Under a pseudonym to shield her from possible repercussions.)

Diane Plaxton said in the interview that on April 1 she received a shocking and unexpected phone call from her mother’s care home.

“Your mother’s declining. She’s been having loose bowels and lots of diarrhea. There’s a DNR on her chart. And we’re not sending anyone to the hospital. [Likely because of ‘Condition Set Two,’ below] We’re going to have to put her on palliative care,” Plaxton recalls the head nurse telling her in a cold, uncaring voice.

Plaxton was stunned. She knew about her mother’s diarrhea: it was from bowel-cleansing meds she’d been on for about nine days, after being diagnosed with a clogged bowel. Plaxton told the nurse that if her mother seemed to be declining it probably was from the diarrhea and resultant dehydration.

She suggested to the head nurse that she give mother IV rehydration. The nurse refused, saying it would “just prolong the inevitable.”

The head nurse didn’t say the word COVID-19, nor tell Plaxton the home had been declared to have an outbreak that day.

She also didn’t mention that on March 30 the province had issued new rules on novel-coronavirus infections and outbreaks, then trained all of Ontario’s care-home staff on them via webinar April 1. As described above, the rules included very broad definitions of SARS-CoV-2 infections and outbreaks.

Therefore the nurse could well have been complying fully with the new rules by diagnosing Plaxton’s mother with a novel-coronavirus infection based on her having diarrhea alone (and without telling Plaxton any of this).

Furthermore, since transfer to a hospital was not an option (as per ‘Condition Set Two’) and since COVID-19 is deemed to be very frequently fatal in the elderly, this may be why the head nurse pushed Plaxton so hard to consent to palliative care for her mother.

Shaken but unbowed, Plaxton asked the head nurse to let her speak to the nurse who had been directly caring for her mother.

Fortunately, that second nurse was kind, and agreed that palliative care was not appropriate for Plaxton’s mother. She agreed instead to allow her to not take the bowel-cleaning meds, and to coax her to eat and drink to recover her fluids and strength. She also said she’d keep an eye on the slight fever Plaxton’s mother had.

Over the next few days this plan worked, and the nurse told Plaxton she needn’t worry.

That’s why it hit Plaxton like a gut punch when on April 10 she got a call from another nurse, who was panicking. She told Plaxton her mom was struggling to breathe and “going fast.”

The nurse said the care home couldn’t transfer her to the hospital. She asked Plaxton’s permission for the doctor to give her mother “a shot to ease her passing.”

(The nurse didn’t tell Plaxton what ‘the shot’ was. But it very likely was morphine, which is routinely used to relieve severe pain. A high enough dose of morphine slows people’s breathing and hastens their death.)

Plaxton was reeling. She immediately consulted with her sister; together they decided to give consent for the shot. Three hours later their mother was dead.


In mid-March, not long before Plaxton’s mother died, treatment-rationing guidelines for during the pandemic started to proliferate.

For example, on March 21 the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence produced its guidelines. 

They’re based on a frailty score and on mortality probabilities across different age groups for pneumonia and underlying cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.

On March 23 the paper “Fair allocation of scarce medical resources in the time of Covid-19” was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. The paper’s first recommendation calls for: 

maximizing the number of patients that survive treatment with a reasonable life expectancy.”

(Interestingly, the paper’s lead author, Ezekiel Emmanuel, MD, PhD, is an oncologist, bioethicist and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. The centre is secretive about its funders but according to a 2011 investigation in The Nation its supporters included dozens of giant corporations ranging from Boeing to Walmart. Today, retired general Wesley Clark and executive VP of global investment firm Blackstone Henry James are among the organization’s trustee advisory board members.)

On March 27, the equally influential Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published “A framework for rationing ventilators and critical-care beds during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The paper’s authors assert that: 

[y]ounger individuals should receive priority, not because of any claims about social worth or utility, but because they are the worst off, in the sense that they have had the least opportunity to live through life’s stages.”

Ontario Health published guidelines for hospital-treatment rationing on March 28, albeit not publicly. (To this day the government hasn’t made the protocol public, nor disclosed whether or when they implemented it.) 

At that time a crush of COVID-19 patients crowding Ontario hospitals wasn’t a realistic possibility for at least the short or medium terms (contrary to the pandemic-curve theoretical modelling), because all elective hospital procedures and surgeries had been cancelled or indefinitely postponed.

Toronto Star reporter Jennifer Yan obtained a copy of the Ontario treatment-triaging document and wrote in a March 29 article that:

[u]nder the triage protocol, long-term-care patients who meet specific criteria will also no longer be transferred to hospitals.”

Then on April 10, the Canadian Medical Association adopted all the recommendations by Dr. Ezekiel and his co-authors in their New England Journal of Medicine paper, and advised Canadian physicians to follow them.

The Canadian Medical Association statement (whose authors were not listed) asserted that “the current situation, unfortunately, does not allow for”the time for Canadian experts to create their own recommendations.

This is tendentious. Canadian healthcare providers and researchers have access to as much information about COVID-19 as do others around the world. In addition, many had direct clinical experience with a close cousin of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV, in 2003

Indeed four Canadians co-authored an ethical framework for guiding decision-making during a pandemic that was based on their experience with SARS and published in 2006. They made no mention of age as a criterion for treatment triaging in that framework.

On April 17 the Canadian federal government released information to guide clinicians in rationing healthcare resources during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Unlike at least some other COVID-19-relatedguidelines issued in the same period, it was not accompanied by a press release; therefore it has flown under the public radar.

The document includes an emphasis on age-based rationing. It also explicitly discourages transfer of care-home residents to hospitals:

Long term care (LTC)[care-home] facilities and home care services will be encouraged to care for COVID-19 patients in place and may be asked to take on additional non-COVID-19 patients/clients to help relieve pressure on hospitals” 

This is underlined in another place in the document:

If COVID-19 does develop in LTC facility residents, they should be cared for within the facility if at all possible, to preserve hospital capacity.”

Prohibiting transfer to hospital drastically narrows the treatment options available to care-home residents. 

There have been transfers of care-home residents to hospitals in Canada during the COVID-19 crisis, but until very recently they have been by far the exception. 

(Instead, starting in mid-March as part of the clearing out of hospitals to make room for a putative surge in COVID-19 patients, thousands of elderly people were transferred from hospitals to care homes. This likely also contributed to the care-home death toll. More than one journalist has compared care homes to the Diamond Princess cruise ship: virus incubators with people trapped inside.)

All of this may well be why Plaxton was told by nurses at the care home that her mother couldn’t be transferred to hospital.

This also has played out at other care homes.

The medical director of the Pinecrest nursing home in Bobcaygeon, two hours’ drive northeast of Toronto, strongly advised residents’ family members against considering hospital transfer. 

The Globe and Mail reported on March 29 that Dr. Michelle Snarr wrote families on March 21 (which was the day after three of the home’s residents tested positive for SARS-CoV-2) and raised the spectre of significant suffering and possible death if the elderly people were put on ventilators. 

Dr. Snarr reiterated this in a March 30 television interview

Once we heard it was COVID, we all knew it was going to run like wildfire through the facility […] The reason I sent the email was to give them a heads-up that this is not normal times. Under normal times, we would send people to the hospital if that was the family’s wishes, but we knew that was not going to be possible, knowing that so many people were going to all get sick at once and also knowing the only way to save a life from COVID is with a ventilator. And to put a frail, elderly person on a ventilator, that’s cruel.

[In another interview Dr. Snarr said they weren’t outright refusing hospital transfers.]

The last death attributed to COVID-19 at Pinecrest occurred on April 8; by then, 29 of the home’s 65 residents had perished.

“I’ve never had four deaths in a day at any nursing home I’ve worked at,” Dr. Stephen Oldridge, one of the physicians working at the home, was quoted as saying in the March 29 Globe and Mail article. “You feel helpless. Because there’s nothing you can do other than support them, give them morphine and make them comfortable.”

Dr. Oldridge told CBC a similar narrative on April 1: 

“There is no vaccine, we have no effective treatment other than supportive care for these folks, and obviously there’s no cure. So when the infection takes hold in their lungs, in this elderly population we can just make them comfortable.”

Still other media reports indicate that care-home residents’ families in Canada have denied the option of transfer to hospital during the pandemic even if the residents are relatively young, do not have a DNR, and both they and their families want the option of a transfer. Instead, they are pressured to put DNRs in place. This also is happening elsewhere, such as in the UK.

Hugh Scher, a Toronto lawyer who’s been involved in some of Canada’s highest-profile end-of-life cases, strongly opposes this. He told the author in a telephone interview:

The notion that long-term-care-home or nursing-home medical directors can tell residents and their families that they can’t or shouldn’t be transferred to hospital if they need treatment for COVID or anything else – I don’t agree with that.


[But unfortunately] there’s now an aggressive push to say, ‘Granny’s already ninety-five … and sending her to hospital for a cough or a runny nose isn’t going to improve her underlying condition. And so she should be made comfortable and left to die.’


On April 9 the Chief Coroner for Ontario, Dr. Dirk Huyer, released rules for an ‘expedited death response’ in handling and disposition of bodies of people who die in care homes and hospitals.

The stated goal was to prevent infection spread, overburdening of medical staff, and overfilling of hospital morgues and body-storage areas in care homes in the event of a surge in deaths during the pandemic.

The new procedures were created jointly by Dr. Huyer’s office, the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (the province’s funeral-home, cremation-services and cemetery self-regulatory body).

They are a drastic sea change in the way deaths are handled in the province. Yet they were launched extremely rapidly with the only “surge” in sight one in mathematical models, and a significant body-storage-space problem based on hard data nowhere on the horizon (and still a low probability).

The new procedures went into effect immediately on April 9. Then over the next three days (the Easter long weekend), Dr. Huyer and the registrar of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario led webinars on them for staff of hospitals and care homes across the province.

“We pushed it [writing and releasing the new rules] a little more quickly than maybe was necessary because it’s a brand-new process and there’s thousands of people involved,” Dr. Huyer told Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno in explaining the haste.

As part of the new rules, the chief coroner’s office now completes the death certificates of every person who dies in long-term-care homes. The office also completes some death certificates of people who die in hospitals. Up until April 9, and for good reason, death certificates in Ontario were filled in by the physicians or nurse practitioners who cared for the people before they died.

In addition, as also noted in ‘Condition Set One’ above, COVID-19-attributed deaths are deemed ‘natural’ by the new rules. And all “natural” deaths are virtually exempt from any further investigations and post-mortems.

(Dr. Huyer was quoted in a May 18 Globe and Mail article as saying “a number” of COVID-19-attributed death investigations have been started – including that of a man whose daughter believes he died because of neglect at a care home and who asked the coroner’s office to investigate – but that he doesn’t know what that number is.)

Dr. Huyer said, in a phone interview:

“All of these things were added during this period of time to allow not only a timely approach but also an efficient approach to be able to ensure that people proceed to burial or cremation in a timely way without requiring extra storage space,” 

Yet it was only 10 months ago that the official report on the high-profile Wettlaufer inquiry was released. It calls for many more checks and balances surrounding care – and more rather than less time and transparency in determining and documenting the causes of death.

Just 18 of the report’s 91 recommendations have been implemented. (The inquiry probed the killing in southwestern Ontario by nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer of eight people, attempted murder of several others and aggravated assault of two more. All but two of the victims were LTCH residents.)

Moreover, the April 2020 rules also dictate that families must contact a funeral home within one hour of a hospital death and within three hours of a care-home death. The bodies are to be taken to the funeral home extremely rapidly, and from there to cremation and burial as quickly as possible.

This journalist wrote about the rules in a May 11 article.

Diane Plaxton found and read online the May 11 article. She suddenly understood more of what took place before and after her mother’s April 10 death.

She and this journalist connected, and the May 13 interview ensued.

Plaxton related, in that interview, that three hours after she got off the phone with her dying mother on April 10, a nurse called and matter-of-factly said her mother was dead. She asked Plaxton to call a funeral home.

And about an hour later, while Plaxton was still reeling, another nurse called and again told her to contact a funeral home.

“I got off the phone. That’s when I flew off the handle,” she told the author in the May 13 interview. “It’s like they’re treating her [body] like a piece of garbage: ‘Get her out of here! Ger her out of here!’”

As if that wasn’t enough trauma, at the funeral home four days later she saw COVID-19 listed as the cause of her mother’s death. Plaxton believes what really killed her mother was the combination of dehydration and chronic diseases including asthma; her shortness of breath on April 10 may have been an asthma attack, Plaxton surmises.

Making matters even worse, the funeral director told her she couldn’t take a copy or photo of the ‘Cause of Death’ form. He said she’d have to request a copy from the government and it could take months to arrive.

But the funeral director also commiserated with Plaxton. He was incredulous that her mother had gone from dehydrated to dead so fast. He also was bewildered by the requirements such as bodies having to be picked up in haste and arrangements for cremation and burial also having to be made extremely quickly.

“I’m just taking orders from the top down,” Plaxton recalls the funeral director telling her.

That’s the third of the three sets of conditions that can enable high death rates in care homes.

The three sets are the work of officials, experts and bureaucrats who – while being seen to serve the public interest and who could be unaware of, or oblivious to, the implications of the conditions – may in fact have hidden intentions.

Even if the latter is true, there’s little chance the perpetrators will be caught or punished. 

On May 19 the Ontario premier announced that an independent commission will probe why so many people have died in the province’s care homes. This journalist believes it’s very unlikely the commission’s mandate will include scrutinizing the sets of conditions described in this article.

Perhaps the most elegant element of all is that just one or two people working at any given care home can suffice to translate the sets of conditions into actions – or inaction – that can be deadly for residents. And they’d probably be the only ones held responsible in the unlikely event any of this ever comes to light.

It’s all as simple as one, two, three.


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Rosemary Frei has an Msc in molecular biology from a faculty of medicine and was a freelance medical writer and journalist for 22 years. She is now an independent investigative journalist. You can read her article on The Seven Steps from Pandemic to Totalitarianism herewatch and listen to an interview she gave on COVID-19, and follow her on Twitter.

old goners... do not resuscitate...


The above video was sent to us on twitter. Dr Vernon Coleman, author and former general practitioner for the NHS, is reading the NICE care guidelines for critical care admissions during the Covid19 “pandemic”. 

NICE – or the National Institute of Care and Excellence – is the official advisory board for the NHS. They prepare guidelines for care in all situations, for all conditions. They also have graded scale of “frailty”, ranging from 1 “perfectly healthy” to 9 “terminally ill”. 

Back in March they prepared their initial guidelines for dealing with Covid19 patients (they have been regularly updated since). Troublingly, these guidelines state:

Sensitively discuss a possible ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ decision with all adults with capacity and an assessment suggestive of increased frailty (for example, a CFS score of 5 or more)


For your reference, on their “frailty scale” lists a CFS score of 5 as “mildly frail”. Is the NHS really recommending DNRs for absolutely anyone who is “mildly frail”? It seems so.

This goes hand-in-hand with numerous anecdotal reports of coerced signings, or even DNRs being added to a patient’s file in secret. Some GP surgeries have been sending out letters instructing terminally ill patients to sign DNRs, and that they will not be admitted to hospitals if they become seriously ill.

Worse, carers are reporting that those with learning difficulties are signing “unprecedented” numbers of DNRs, many of them unlawful. In early April, an autistic persons’ group in Somerset was told they all needed to sign DNR forms.

Similar situations have been reported by the “undercover nurse” in the US, and nursing homes in Canada.

We believe this is a big story, and will be doing more on it in the coming days.


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See also: promising antiviral protease inhibitors...

jon rappoport writes crap...


In an article published on Lew, Jon Rappoport writes bullshit about Covid19 and AIDS:



When I was writing my first book, AIDS INC., in 1988, I looked into a very early set of AIDS cases in Los Angeles. They were all described as young, “previously healthy,” and then “suddenly struck down by a new virus.”

The CDC published parts of their medical records. From the records, it was clear “previously healthy” was a gross lie. These young men had prior medical conditions, for which they were undoubtedly treated with toxic medicines. There was an indication of toxic street drug use. After an hour of reading their partial records, the diagnosis of “suddenly struck down by a new virus” was quickly dissolving.





Denying that the HIV virus or the coronavirus and their effects don't exist is loony. Yes we know that statistics are loaded in favour of lockdown, social distancing and destruction of economies but this does not mean there is no threat. Our general public response to Covid19 has not been adequate but to go and say that "...These young men had prior medical conditions, for which they were undoubtedly treated with toxic medicines..." in regard to AIDS is a gross misrepresentation of facts. My friends who died from AIDS in the late 1980s (one friend died in 1984 from AIDS) would have been healthier than most people and did not take "toxic medicines" nor drugs such as meth and other, yet they caught the disease because they were gay. Simple. This did not diminish them in our eyes. 


In regard to Covid19, yes, there is official misinformation and over-mismanagement. Yet, like the flu, the coronavirus can spread and kill people — especially OLD people... Simple. Care should be taken. The question is how much care in order to minimise the spread of the disease. In regard to vaccine, we know that some flu strains (H1N1) do not have vaccines yet and other flu vaccines do not protect against all strains of flu.


One of my other gay friend managed to live very well until recently despite having full blown AIDS for 30 years. Recently, the drugs (including PrEP) that controlled his health stopped working as it has been observed in some "becoming-older" gay men with the disease. It's a sad case and somewhat hushed clinical observation by hospitals and specialised health centres that have to deal with these cases.


Some of these older men seek the "final solution" and beg friends for help... 


Yet, we still need to be vigilant about fake news from all sides. 


Only science can give us fixes on treatments — and all are still experimental while the knowledge about spread and strength of Covid19 is incomplete thus leads us to major social fears. The latest from Science magazine:


On 30 April, Valerie McCarthy's test result confirmed that her grinding fatigue and pummeling headaches were caused by the new coronavirus. She wasn't hospitalized, but the very next day, a nurse at Stanford University Medical Center gave the 52-year-old marathon runner an injection that contained either a placebo or a natural virus fighter: interferon.

McCarthy was Patient 16 in a clinical trial that, it's hoped, will help fill a huge void in treatments for COVID-19: Doctors have no drugs that, given early, have been proven to prevent infection or help beat back the virus before it takes hold. So far, the two scientifically validated treatments for COVID-19—remdesivir and dexamethasone—have only been shown to work in hospitalized patients with serious illness.

But a small flurry of recent papers suggests the novel coronavirus does some of its deadly work by disabling interferons, powerful proteins that are the body's own frontline defenders against viral invasion. If so, synthetic interferons given before or soon after infection may tame the virus before it causes serious disease—a welcome possibility that additional recent studies support.

Several interferons were approved decades ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, their immune-boosting powers deployed against diseases including cancer and hepatitis. And in an early, unrandomized preventive trial in a hospital in China's Hubei province, none of 2415 medical workers who took daily interferon nose drops got the virus, according to a medRxiv preprint.

The Stanford trial is one of dozens now trying interferons against COVID-19, including in people who aren't sick but might have been exposed to the virus. First results from a controlled trial at the University of Southampton are expected by August.

“Every study in every species has shown that if you induce interferons before [a] virus comes in, the virus loses,” says Andreas Wack, an immunologist at the Francis Crick Institute. “The earlier you can give it, the better, and the best thing you can do is to give it before the virus is there.”

Timing is crucial, adds Miriam Merad, an immunologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “It's going to be important to know when to give these drugs.” If given too late in the course of infection, interferons might pour fuel on the out-of-control inflammation that is a hallmark of severe COVID-19, she and others say. “Interferons are strong antivirals,” Merad says. “But they also activate immune cells and can cause immunopathology.”

Interferons are molecular messengers that launch an immediate, intense local response when a virus invades a cell. They trigger production of myriad proteins that attack the virus at every stage of invasion and replication, and they alert uninfected neighboring cells to prepare their own defenses. Interferons also help recruit immune cells to the site of infection and activate them when they arrive.

But SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, disables this defense by blocking the powerful interferons that lead it, says Benjamin tenOever, a virologist at Mount Sinai. He and his colleagues studied SARS-CoV-2 infection in a range of models: human lung and bronchial cells, ferrets, lung tissue from deceased COVID-19 patients, and blood from living ones. In virtually every system, “interferon is badly suppressed,” tenOever says. As it shuts down interferons, his team reported in Cell in May, the virus also ramps up production of chemokines, a different set of messenger molecules that summon distant immune cells and trigger inflammation.

Findings from a team led by immunologist Benjamin Terrier of the Cochin Hospital in Paris and published as a preprint on medRxiv, echo tenOever's. Terrier's team also looked at blood from 50 COVID-19 patients, finding strikingly depressed interferon activity and elevated chemokines in those whose disease became severe and critical—but not in those who ended up with mild or moderate disease. Terrier posits that local viral replication, unchecked by interferons, gins up tissue-damaging inflammation, as do armies of immune cells summoned from afar. The result is the out-of-control inflammatory response that ends many lives...


From Science magazine.

Science  10 Jul 2020:

Vol. 369, Issue 6500, pp. 125-126



In regard to "staying healthy", the general issues of retirement villages and "old people's homes" becoming hubs for Covid19 have been a disgrace, especially in the UK. As well the statistics are a bit wonky to say the least...






Unnecessary hesitancy on human vaccine tests—Response

Eyal contends that the expected social value of controlled human infection studies (CHIs) conducted in an effort to find vaccines and treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be high enough to justify the risks to participants. We are concerned that Eyal and others (1) underestimate the uncertainties inherent in making such a determination. CHIs could take too long to be sufficiently valuable or may even hinder vaccine uptake and introduce risks that are not well understood. Because of these uncertainties, our Policy Forum supports laying the groundwork for CHIs but not deploying them to address COVID-19 until there is greater confidence that their value can justify the risks.

Whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) CHIs can be integrated into a highly dynamic vaccine development pipeline is an open question. It takes months to develop a challenge strain (2), even under a highly compressed schedule, and additional time to establish an appropriate challenge model. If SARS-CoV-2 transmission continues at a relatively high rate, other vaccine trials might speed ahead and produce efficacy data before CHIs could be launched (3). On the other hand, if field trials are not feasible because of declining transmission, SARS-CoV-2 CHIs could provide crucial efficacy data about candidate vaccines and would have much higher and clearer social value.


Seema K. Shah*, Franklin G. Miller, Thomas C. Darton, Devan Duenas, Claudia Emerson, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Euzebiusz Jamrozik, Nancy S. Jecker, Dorcas Kamuya, Melissa Kapulu, Jonathan Kimmelman, Douglas MacKay, Matthew J. Memoli, Sean C. Murphy, Ricardo Palacios, Thomas L. Richie, Meta Roestenberg, Abha Saxena, Katherine Saylor, Michael J. Selgelid, Vina Vaswani, Annette Rid

Science  10 Jul 2020:

Vol. 369, Issue 6500, pp. 151



We are constantly under assault from other organisms that are after our proteins. We, especially old people are potentially more vulnerable to these attacks. This is the way life is built: every living thing depends on acquiring proteins and we value organisms that are able to make these proteins outright. Thus we steal from each others. We eat meat, nuts and other foods where proteins can be taken from. Sugars and fats help in the process of energy and storage. One of the best way to avoid succumbing to invasion is to "stay healthy" as to avoid protein snatchers like the flu and other viruses, bacterias and so forth, taking over... 


When a pandemic is declared, we are trapped by a social responsibility in which government controls have to be put in place. Because it's hard to locate sources and rates of infection, governments have been advised to place general blanket restrictions and wait until vaccines or treatments are available. In order to make these restrictions stick, governments need to make us fear the worse, and destroy our social values, like when Terrorism was the flavour of the month.


How to stay healthy? Not easy when death is our final destination — after some degradation of our integral status or an accidental encounter with a bus. But the "rules" are simple enough: avoid catching a head cold, avoid crowds, eat "healthy foods", keep fit without over-doing-it, hope for good luck and be from a family of long-lived centenarians. And do not cross a road in front of a moving bus... While old people are mostly aware of these moving objects, young ones on their dumbPhones tend to be oblivious to such dangers... Same with incoming "pandemics". Stay alert to BS on all sides...


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the damage...

There are numerous signs that the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 not only attacks the lungs and respiratory tract, but also other organs on a massive scale. It can severely affect the heart, vessels, nerves, kidneys, and skin. 

British neurologists have now published shocking details in the journal "Brain," which suggests SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe brain damage — even in patients with mild symptoms or those in recovery. Often this damage is detected very late or not at all.

Neurologists at the University College London (UCL) diagnosed acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis (ADEM) in nine British COVID-19 patients. This inflammatory disease causes a degenerative destruction of the central nervous system, affecting the myelin sheaths of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.


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I believe that my intake of alcohol does more damage than this. This is piddly stuff... In terms of damage to my lungs, passive smoking killed them already by the time I was 18. I only survive by the grace of Aether... Thank you...

And by the way, some drugs I won't mentioned here (was it Vioxx?) did affect the myelin sheaths of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.... Some of my friends nearly died using Vioxxxxx...




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having run out of oldies to kill...

A top World Health Organization (WHO) official is warning that COVID-19 is now spreading rapidly among younger people.

During a Tuesday briefing, Takeshi Kasai, the WHO's regional health director for the Western Pacific, revealed that the virus is spreading fastest among people in their 20s and 30s in many countries due to the relaxing of pandemic-related social restrictions.

Kasai also noted that many younger people have fewer symptoms or are completely asymptomatic, which poses a danger to elderly populations.

“The epidemic is changing: people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving its spread,” Kasai said during the briefing.

“Many are unaware they’re infected - with very mild symptoms or none at all. This can result in them unknowingly passing on the virus to others. This increases the risk of spillovers to the most vulnerable: the elderly, the sick, people in long-term care, people who live in densely-populated urban areas and under-served rural areas. We must redouble efforts to stop the virus from moving into vulnerable communities,” he added.

Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who also serves on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned in June that as many as 40% of new COVID-19 cases at the time, especially among young adults, involved patients who showed few, if any, symptoms, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reported at the time.

“We’d better be careful when we say ‘Young people who don’t wind up in the hospital are fine, let them get infected, it’s OK.’ No, it’s not OK,” Fauci also warned during a American Society for Microbiology briefing on Monday, CNN reported.

“In individuals who are young and otherwise healthy, who don't require hospitalization but do get sick and symptomatic enough to be in bed for a week or two or three and then get better, they clear the virus - they have residual symptoms for weeks and sometimes months,” Fauci added, also noting that checkups show that many such young patients “have a substantially high proportion of cardiovascular abnormalities.”

Kasai and Fauci’s concerns come as many US schools and colleges have reopened or are currently preparing to reopen. In Florida, for instance, Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened to withhold up to $200 million in funding from the Hillsborough County School District, one of the nation’s largest districts, if it does not physically reopen schools.

In other cities like Chicago, Illinois, some students have returned to in-person learning centers but are not required to, according to the New York Times. In New Jersey, Governor Philip Murphy gave districts the option to provide all-virtual learning classes after facing opposition from the state’s teachers’ union to resuming in-person instruction.



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creating inevitability...

As lockdown began, thousands of patients were sent from hospitals into care homes. In three months 18,562 people living in Care Homes died with COVID-19. Our report As if Expendable highlights the UK Government's failure to protect older people in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Cases of coronavirus are rising again in the build-up to winter, the government must learn lessons from its disastrous decisions and not repeat the same mistakes.

Sending thousands of patients untested from hospitals into Care Homes, at the height of a pandemic, was wrong and put lives at risk.

“These are individuals who have contributed to society all their lives and were denied the respect and dignity that you would give to a 42-year-old, they were [considered] expendable”  Care Home owner and manager

The consequences of these decisions were enormous. Loneliness and isolation from friends and family impacted people’s mental health as well as their physical health.

A full independent public inquiry

We’re calling for a full independent public inquiry without further delay. But these take time and so to protect people through winter, an immediate initial phase of this Inquiry needs to report back by the 30 November. This inquiry must involve people in care homes and their families, including bereaved families.

Regular testing for people in care homes and their families. 

We demand that regular testing is made available for care home residents, staff and visitors to ensure people in care homes can be safely visited by their loved ones. Regular testing can help break the isolation that is so damaging to people’s physical and mental health and could mean the difference between families being torn apart for months again. 

Adequate PPE must also be provided to better protect people from COVID-19.

Review all ‘Do Not Attempt CPR’ orders added without the proper process.

The government must review all 'Do Not Attempt CPR' orders on care home residents that have been added without proper process. Blanket ‘Do Not Attempt CPR’ orders imposed without considering a person’s individual circumstances, is unacceptable - they violate a person’s right to life and health.


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See full report: 

Care Homes Report.pdf



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Apparently the stats (unverified by Gus) in Canada are horrendous:


The province of Ontario, Canada, has two types of homes for the aged:

Long-term Care Homes, which are administered by the Ministry of Long-term Care, and
Retirement Homes, which are administered by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.

Retirement Homes are not required to provide the same level of care as Long-term Care Homes, however, many Retirement Homes are, in essence, Long-term Care Homes. Long-term Care Homes are largely government funded, whereas Retirement Homes are not. Long-term Care Homes are 54% privately run, and 46% government run. Retirement Homes are 100% privately run.

There are about 627 (licensed) Long-term Care Homes in Ontario.
There are about 770 (licensed) Retirement Homes in Ontario.

There were Covid-19 outbreaks in 272 (43.4%) of the 627 Long-term Care Homes, till Apr 7.[9]
There were Covid-19 outbreaks in 38 (4.9%) of the 770 Retirement Homes, till Apr 7.[10]

So, the Long-term Care Home outbreaks are 43.4/4.9 = 8.86 times more prevalent than Retirement Home outbreaks.


See also: