In his editorial New Rule, Bill argues that people should fight the coronavirus by strengthening their immune systems, rather than by sanitizing the universe.
Bill Maher has enough of the germaphobe approach to the current pandemic. He doesn’t believe that hiding from the virus will do us any good. Maher wants us to take it on and let our immune system deal with it.
So this weekend, do something nice for your immune system. Go outside that mysterious land beyond your curtains where the GrubHub drivers live and get some fresh air and vitamin D. [B]reak a sweat doing something besides eating hot chicken because at the end of the day you can’t keep all the pathogens out.
Maher has a point. Over 98 percent of coronavirus cases recover (somewhere between 25 and 50 percent cases are asymptomatic). That means that our immune system does quite a good job of defending us from it.
We can barricade ourselves in deep basements, turn the lights off, and wait for the virus to go away — destroying our economy in the process.
We could let nature run its course and aim for herd immunity.
We could try the Swedish approach, which is something in the between. Swedes let life go on, but make sure that the most vulnerable segments of the population are protected.
I like what Swedes are doing. Their mortality rate is higher than the US (as of May 3rd Sweden-265/M US-207/M) but lower than that of many other European countries that are on full lock-down.
Belgium – 677
Spain – 540
Italy – 478
The UK – 419
France – 381
The Netherlands – 295
It is impossible to tell if going for herd immunity would work well in America. However, I still think we should put a little more faith into the ability of the human immune system and let healthy (under 50 years old) people back to work.
A.I. is terrifying. It is terrifying, not because of the risk that someday it will go rogue and take control over our (human) lives, but because it could (will?) be used by one group of people against another.
I’ve come across this documentary by accident when googling for something. For whatever reason, Google’s Artificial Intelligence algorithms ruled that this video fits perfectly into the area of my interests. What can I say; Google was right.
The video contains five stories about how artificial intelligence is changing our world. Enjoy the movie; it will scare you to death. 😐
Published on Dec 02, 2019 by PBS
Couple of quotes from In The Age of A.I.
We came into this new world thinking that we were users of social media. It didn’t occur to us that social media was actually using us. We thought that we were searching Google. We had no idea that Google was searching us.
Harvard Business School, Professor
A.I. is a technology that can be used for good and evil. So how do governments limit themselves in, on the one hand, using this A.I. technology and the database to maintain a safe environment for its citizens, but not encroach on an individual’s rights and privacies?
Sinovation Vetures, CEO
So the A.I.s are tools. And they will serve the people who control those tools. If those people’s interests go against the values of democracy, then democracy is in danger.
Nothing in China exists free and clear of the party-state. Those companies can only exist and prosper at the sufferance of the party. And it’s made very explicit that when the party needs them, they either have to respond or they will be dethroned.
Panic could be expensive. Interesting take on coronavirus outbreak. By John Ward of The Slog.
“China has no choice but to shut down its output and face massive falls in demand. The one thing CoroNov19 is going to cut a swathe through is lots of obscenely overvalued stock markets around the world.”
I hope Mr. Ward’s prognostication regarding stock markets won’t materialize. I like the look of the dollar balance of my SEP-IRA account.
The provenance of media reports on this virus is just as complex as its provenance of mutation
There has been a leap in the number of Coronavirus infections over the last week (it would be odd if there hadn’t) but the death rate stays firmly at 2.1%. It is still clear that it transmits from human to human more efficiently than most previous viruses, and is late in producing symptomology. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it an epidemic (about time). The UK is now quarantining every flight from China, and the total number of British cases is seven.
There really is nothing to see here – yet. But on the basis of this, the Times has a front-page splash promising that w’re going to get ‘a major epidemic’, and that everyone is being too relaxed about it and we can’t have that.
So it is that “world expert” Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has been wheeled out to declare himself “increasingly alarmed” by the “rapid spread” of the virus and the “huge” number of cases emerging daily.
Why? The Whys I mean are, why is he surprised, and why has the Times given him centre stage?
Centre stage is sort of understandable given his ground-breaking work on AIDS and Ebola. But there are other considerations.
Monsieur Piot describes himself as a chap who ‘grew up in Belgium dreaming of exotic adventures and helping the poor’. He is a senior UN bigwig, Left of Centre, and an opponent of Brexit. (It is, of course, only a matter of time before the spread of CorNov19 is down to Brexit chaos, and a lackadaisical attitude by Boris Johnson).
Notwithstanding the rising number of coronavirus cases and the dozens of deaths, public health experts say there is no ground for panic. The common flu kills approximately 35,000 people a year and hospitalizes about 200,000 in the United States alone.
Hopefully, the experts are right, and there’s no reason to grab family and friends and move to Mohave Desert. At least, not yet. On the other hand, I don’t think we should wait for the death-toll of the newest coronavirus to reach 35,000 before we start to worry. So, to all ladies and gentlemen wearing lab coats: Step on it!
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC TRACKER
I decided to drop the Johns Hopkins corona tracker and switch to Worldometer’s COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC tracker. It’s not as good looking as the one from Johns Hopkins but provides more information.
If you rather use tracker from Johns Hopkins, use this link. Remember, however, that in order to get the number of people presently infected (active cases) you must subtract “Total Deaths” and “Total Recovered” from “Total Confirmed”.
Dr. Chris Martenson on coronavirus outbreak:
His approach is a little scary.
Published on Jan 24, 2020
Published on Jan 25, 2020
Sarah Boseley on coronavirus outbreak:
She represents a more calm look at the outbreak
Published on Jan 23, 2020
Previous outbreaks of coronaviruses.
In 2002 Sars (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) spread virtually unchecked to 37 countries, creating global panic, infecting more than 8,000 people, and killing more than 750 (lethality close to 10%).
Mers (Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome), first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 seems to be less easily passed from human to human, but had greater lethality, killing 35% of about 2,500 people who have been infected.
So far lethality of the newest string of coronavirus is floating around 2-3%. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use, and recovery depends on the strength of a patient’s immune system. Many of those who have died had pre-existing health problems.
Researchers are working in overdrive, trying to come up with the vaccine to the new deadly virus. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expecting to begin human trials for a potential vaccine in three months. In 2003, the agency took 20 months to move from gene sequencing to human vaccine trials for the SARS virus. Hopefully, this time it will not take that long.