Doctors on Front Line of Worst-Hit City in World Say It’s Time to End Shutdown

Say excessive fear is killing their heart attack patients

The doctor looked around the unusually quiet intensive care unit, catching his breath and taking stock for the first time in what felt like weeks.

Dr Samir Farhat’s hospital in New York had been at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the US. Now, the ICU was almost back to normal and he found himself wondering when the city would be too.

“It’s not often I agree with Trump, but I think that we should open up on May 15,” said Dr Farhat, who runs the emergency room at New York Community Hospital as well as working as a physician at Mount Sinai Brooklyn.

The New York governor’s three-phase plan to end the lockdown will see the city next week begin slowly easing restrictions that have paralysed the Big Apple for months.

But Dr Farhat and doctors at other major New York hospitals who spoke to The Telegraph said their experience on the front line of the crisis had, somewhat unexpectedly, convinced them the city should reopen without delay.

“Hospital census is right down, admissions are too,” Dr Farhat said. “Opening up now is a calculated risk we need to take.”

Dr Farhat, who specialises in pulmonology, worries that he has not seen the cases of severe asthma, heart attacks and strokes that usually fill his ER beds.

His concern is that the virus has stopped them from seeking medical attention, an unfortunate – and sometimes fatal – consequence of the stay-at-home strategy.

The number of 911 ambulance calls declined to 3,320 in late April, down from a peak of 6,527 on March 30, according to New York Fire Department data. The figure marks its lowest call volume in years.

Dr Daniel Murphy, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at St Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx who has treated dozens of coronavirus patients, claims “inordinate fear” has guided the public response.

“While Covid-19 is serious, fear of it is being over-amplified. The public needs to understand that the vast majority of infected people do quite well,” he said.

He said he noticed the “wave had crested” at St Barnabas on April 7 – three weeks after the statewide shutdown was ordered. “It was a discrete, noticeable event. Stretchers became available, and the number of arriving Covid-19 patients dropped below the number discharged, transferred or deceased,” he said.

“This was striking, because the community I serve is poor. Most work in ‘essential,’ low-paying jobs where distancing isn’t easy. Nevertheless, the wave passed over us, peaked and subsided.

“The way this transpired tells me the ebb and flow had more to do with the natural course of the outbreak than it did with the lockdown,” he said.

His observation appeared to be supported by figures released on Wednesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo, which showed the majority of people who are still being hospitalised with the virus across the state were staying at home and not essential workers.

The survey of 1,269 patients admitted to 113 hospitals over three recent days – the first such look at people getting seriously ill despite six weeks of severe social distancing – confounded expectations.

Retirees accounted for 37 per cent of the people hospitalised. Another 46 per cent were unemployed. Almost three-quarters were 51 years or older. Only 17 per cent were working.

Just four per cent were still using public transportation in their daily life, though it also noted that information on transit use was only available for about half the people surveyed.

The data has prompted questions of how effective the lockdown has been and for how much longer it will be necessary.

“Covid-19 is also more prevalent than we think. Many New Yorkers already have the infection, whether they are aware of it or not,” Dr Murphy said, referring to a recent antibody sample study which showed that one-in-five residents of New York City had likely already had the virus.

“As of today, over 43 per cent of those tested are positive in The Bronx. We are developing a significant degree of natural herd immunity,” he said. “Distancing works, but I am skeptical that it is playing as predominant a role as many think.”

As states across the US began opening up this week – with mixed results – New York is set to remain closed until the middle of the month.

Mr Cuomo said the state can only progress to “Phase One” once seven requirements were met, including recording a 14-day decline in hospitalisations; an availability rate for intensive care unit beds of at least 30 per cent; and at least 30 working contact tracers per 100,000 residents.

So far it has only met three and is some way off meeting the other four, raising the prospect it could be under severe restrictions for weeks, if not months, to come.

Bill de Blasio, New York’s mayor, warned it looked as if life would not return to normal until September at the earliest.

Virologists and other health experts, however, are expressing growing dread over what they say is an all-but-certain second wave of deaths and infections that could force states to clamp back down.

“We’re risking a backslide that will be intolerable,” said Dr Ian Lipkin of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity.

The US has recorded over 70,000 deaths and 1.2 million confirmed infections.

This week, the researchers behind a widely cited model from the University of Washington nearly doubled their projection of deaths in the US to around 134,000 through early August, in large part because of the easing of state stay-at-home orders.

Dr Lipkin said preventing outbreaks will require aggressive contact tracing powered by armies of public health workers hundreds of thousands of people strong, which the US currently does not have.

Dr Farhat said he thought a second wave would not be as bad as the first, in part, he offered, because of what doctors have learned. “We are much better prepared now, and have started to figure out what works and what doesn’t,” he said.

“There is a much greater immunity rate now too,” he said, while the elderly population, particularly those in nursing homes, has already been disproportionately affected.

Both talk about the serious longer term effects of a prolonged shutdown. “The lasting impact is what worries me the most,” said Dr Murphy.

The lockdown has decimated the economy, a factor both doctors said could hurt both physical and mental health and should not be downplayed.

One in five working New York City residents will lose their jobs by the end of next month because of the avirus, Comptroller Scott Stringer predicted in an alarming new fiscal report.

This quarter will see a 22 per cent unemployment rate — the highest in the city’s postwar history.

Peter Singer, a bioethics professor at Princeton, said officials need to think about the consequences other than in terms of deaths. “I think the consequences are horrific, in terms of unemployment in particular, which has been shown to have a very serious effect on well-being, and particularly for poorer people.

“Yes, people will die if we open up, but the consequences of not opening up are so severe that maybe we’ve got to do it anyway.” he told the New York Times.

The trade-off is already being made for essential workers, the majority of whom are low-wage. The calculations around reopening are, to some extent, about how comfortable we are with the professional classes becoming part of the trade-off.

The doctors the Telegraph spoke to stressed it was not simply a matter of reopening overnight.

“Life has to change, we don’t just spring back to normal,” Dr Farhat said. “We need to wear masks as a habit, scale up testing, and really consider whether we strictly need to travel.”

Mr Coumo has already warned there will have to be a “new normal” after the lockdown is eased, rather than a return to life as New Yorkers knew it.

“We can’t wait for a vaccine that may not come for two years, if it comes at all,” Dr Farhat said. A report out this week revealed a third of Americans would not get a vaccine even if there was one available.

“We just have to figure out a way to live with this,” the doctor said.

Source: The Telegraph

  1. stmccrea says

    So if there are so many people not seeking medical care for critical conditions, why have the death rates from other causes DECLINED? If people are seeking less essential medical care, shouldn’t the death rate INCREASE? Given that receiving medical care is now the third leading cause of death in the USA, is it possible that people are dying LESS because they are getting LESS medical care, and that such medical care is therefore not only not essential, but in many cases destructive or even deadly?

    1. sabelmouse says

      every death is a corona death.
      on the other hand, if you don’t go to hospital they can’t kill you there.

      1. RolandTheThompsonGunner says

        Volunteer to do the autopsies then

        1. sabelmouse says

          that makes no sense whatsoever. coroners should.

          1. RolandTheThompsonGunner says

            No, that’s an invite for you to do one or two.

            By the time you will have gotten done with the first one, run all the labs, done the microbiology work, stained the slides , and done all of the conclusions for the paper work and findings, what ever your mind set was before that, will, be seriously altered.

      2. stmccrea says

        Both seem likely to contribute to these interesting statistics.

        1. sabelmouse says

          only 1 should :)))

    2. RolandTheThompsonGunner says

      Not much on thinking in a critical manner are you?

      How about putting some cited references next to your , opinions?

      Don’t suppose it’s ever occurred to you that people who have died at home are still being collected up? Those are the ones who had heart attacks, terminal cancer , strokes, MVA’s (car wrecks), GSW’s ( gun show wounds) of varying kinds,

      The stats are out there but they’re not complete and this is by no way or means, done and over.

      1. stmccrea says

        The phenomenon is worldwide and is not in contention. Something is causing it, whether it’s statistical manipulation or misattribution or some other danger reducing or something else. But it’s definitely happening, and I’m not going to do your reserach for you on that point. It’s a fascinating phenomenon. Naturally, I don’t know any more than you do why it’s happening, but you have to admit, it’s a very interesting result.

        And people who are “collected up” are still reported as dead, you know.

        1. RolandTheThompsonGunner says

          Off hand, I don’t suppose you’ve bother to run any rNA models? Or maybe looked at the enzymatic actions or reactions on a molecular level have you?

          G, A, T , C

          now when you observe the seemingly random pattern to this virus as contrasted against the SARS virus as a whole, the molecular level of occurrence is what should, attract and key your attention to.

          It’s one enzyme . Question is, which one and from which of the 4 is it being generated out of ?

          Dead is dead. Doesn’t matter if it’s related to the cytokine storm or, from ARDS , or from a cardiac event.

          Until we arrive at one standard of testing, we’ll continue to flail at the water until the sky turns black.
          And just so you’re aware, I have serious, objection to some presumed leader pushing a drug, and then making a flat assed lie he’s taking it when in reality, he’s quite possibly, not, taking the drug and if he is then I wish to hell he’d triple the dosage and fall over.

          This is being nice. You haven’t slung out any insults. As long as that continues, neither will I.

          1. stmccrea says

            Not sure how that answers the question of why the overall death rate from other causes has dropped significantly while Covid deaths have increased. I agree with your statements, though. Trump can say whatever he says, and I don’t believe him, because he constantly lies, but he ought to know that other people listen to him as if he has some magical channel to wisdom, and his statements have the power to do some serious damage.

            1. RolandTheThompsonGunner says

              There’s several things going on all at once.
              Genetics would be one avenue worth looking into , and from doing the reading , it would appear as though that may be having some influence on it. It would follow then that, people of color, without regard to present ethnicity , could have that one enzymatic trigger that allows for the rNA to encode that specific enzyme , or enzyme’s that react to a specific encoding .
              It seems as though to me, from having gone over the slides and seeing the varying results , there are predisposing features in nearly every segment of the population. Some are more inclined to be affected while others are less so, for the time being.
              The one thing this virus is not doing is, mutating out once or twice and then lessening it’s effects. In some cases, the mutated variants are presenting themselves again, with an even stronger rNA encoding, which is the item that is making this a very virulent issue.

              As to your assertion regarding the ” leader”; not knowing your present political stance, I’m hopeful he’ll take a huge does of it and have the ground rush up to meet him at maximum velocity.

              I’m hopeful at some point, before he is ousted , some member of his staff will have the balls to step forward with tapes, notes, memos, notes, something on which to hang this sonofabitch with. Even Korean War vets I’ve spoke to are aghast at what he has done and is doing and will continue to do.

              His bantering with the idea of exploding a nuclear device in a below ground test ( I hope- certainly not an above ground test) , is, to me at least, clearly demonstrating just how screwed up this mans thinking is.

              He’s dangerous to the country and to the world.

              Playing patty cake with China one month and then spinning right around pointing fingers and saber rattling will get people killed.

              We haven’t had an assassination attempt in this country in over 35 years.
              I’m pretty sure the Secret Service has been working alot of overtime to follow along in all of those avenues. To bad one or more of them simply just look the other way and allow it to happen.

            2. stmccrea says

              I feel you! Though eliminating Trump won’t eliminate the danger of his mode of thinking and action. The door is open and a lot of his GOP compatriots are working at imitating him in a less obvious and less obnoxious manner. Not that I’m seeing a lot from the Democrats that has me feeling confident in their ability to set things to rights, either. I’m pretty discouraged.

        2. sabelmouse says

          covid is now the only cause of death 😉

          1. stmccrea says

            Or if it is anywhere around, it must be the cause, even if the person just had a heart attack!

            1. stmccrea says

              Well, he’s not wearing a mask, so…

            2. sabelmouse says


  2. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

    Great beatdown of mensch, steelpirate, and associated morons in this thread. Many thanks to starfire, Elizabeth, max, and others….

    1. Starfire says

      Mensch has changed sides.

      1. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

        Did he get all the way to Damascus? Just kidding. Maybe it was some experience he had that caused it. I blocked him a couple of years ago and couldn’t tell.

        1. Starfire says

          I guess you don’t know this but he lives with me, and has for four-plus years. We met on disqus, on Common Dreams in late 2013. I sponsored him for Permanent Residency in Canada, and he was just granted it. Bummer that the border is closed. Now he has cross-border privileges(supposedly) and can’t even go visit his two adult daughters.
          I told the Mensch that he would very much benefit from taking Philosophy 101, Critical Thinking…I know I did. And he was willing to be my student, it appears. He also is a much-needed financial support to me. I had to retire quite young due to family issues. It’s a long story. Liz is familiar with it.
          Enuf said for now. Best, SF.

          1. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

            Wow. Good luck Starfire. You’re a better man than I.

            1. Starfire says


            2. Starfire says

              Here’s another little secret that only a few of us disqus posters are aware of. @kootenayhillbilly:disqus is someone who I was with for a long time in real life. We raised four children together. One his, and three mine. He is a good man.

            3. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

              I gathered you and Hillbilly were close. Yeah, he seems like a nice person.

            4. Starfire says

              Well you’re a smart cookie, so I’m not surprised. You had that pandemic scam pegged from the go-get.

            5. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

              Thanks. I guess I’ve developed some kind of intuition from 38 years of observing government types and 20 years of watching big media from a much more objective point of view. When the tone gets shrill and constant, look out, something isn’t right.

            6. Starfire says

              “When the tone gets shrill and constant, look out, something isn’t right.” Oh yeah..The big picture just doesn’t compute.

          2. eri aka expect resistance says

            Congrats on the PR.

    2. Collectivist says

      Ah, the grave diggers’ finest, unabashed xenophobe; so full of himself, and white nationalist arrogance, he could explode at any moment.

      The comfort-corrupted, entitled (to be crass and crazy) middle class, conspiracy-theorist* pulled it by his own bootstraps, indifferent to world-suffering and the arch foe of liberals and the American working class. . .which explains the Maxwell appeal. . .

      “But I hate the system”

      You’re infected with the system.

      (Had to go SP on a guy like you.
      You deserve it🌚)

      1. newestbeginning says

        Oh man, please never go all SP on me! LOL

        1. Collectivist says

          I couldn’t do that, like that, all day. I have mild hypertension.😀

          I’ll let The Pirate do it.

  3. Jimbo says

    Bill Gates, Fauci, the WHO . A bill signed into law way before the so called Pandemic even occurred. This group of Globalists are sick. The top down power and control mechanism is incredible. A mask will not stop a virus. And by the way, there is no pandemic. They are laughing at your stupidity. Ignore these idiots. Following orders would be fine but this is a Globalist hoax.

    1. Andrew Lazarus says

      Would you elaborate on why a mask doesn’t stop a virus? Please refer to the many studies showing it does in your answer.

      1. Jimbo says

        A virus is to small for the fabric in a mask to stop. The next issue is that even if it could (which it can’t) the masks do not fit up close enough and leak around the nose. The other issue is that like the inside of your nose they stay warm and moist . That damp warm environment is a perfect place to grow bacteria and viruses.

        1. Andrew Lazarus says

          You didn’t address all the studies that disagree with you.

          The damp environment—and masks do need cleaning—is the water vapor that contains the virus. That’s why the fabric helps contain the virus even though the virus can fit through it.

          Why not try again, but first read the various studies that disagree with you.

          1. Jimbo says

            So the Media is your master. I certainly have experience in regarding breathing and lung protection. The mask is a breeding area for a virus and for every type of bacteria. Before any mask can be of any benefit it must fit a person properly. Those areas around the top of the nose are loose and allow particles to enter. This Hoax is worse than the Anthrax scare. So use your head for a change. This whole thing is a huge lie and will cause much suffering starvation and death.

  4. sabelmouse says

    ‘Compassion’, the NHS and faux-socialism are being wickedly used as a cover for fascist objectives, where the safety and support of the vulnerable are whipped away because these people don’t make money for the masters. Shame on those supporting the government in any way (and, yes, I’m afraid at the moment that includes ‘honouring’ the NHS and veterans) and shame on the businesses colluding.

    comment on

  5. sabelmouse says

    and then their death certs will say covid.

  6. cechas vodobenikov says

    in America the conservatives protest against covid fascism—in Europe the left opposes covid martial law

    1. sabelmouse says

      in europe the left bays for restrictions along with everybody else.

      1. Collectivist says

        Good thing you don’t, eh?

        1. sabelmouse says

          it doesn’t help me much. living in a ghost town, not knowing who is safe to talk to/go near.
          like living in the invasion of the body snatchers but with fewer ”people” about.
          not even allowed to drive to a cliff to jump of off.

          1. Collectivist says

            “. . .not even allowed to drive to a cliff to jump of off.”

            Loss of personal ‘freedom’?


            1. sabelmouse says

              you’d rather live in prison for fear of a cold?

            2. Kapricorn4 says

              Some people commit a felony in October order to receive a jail sentence, where they are warm and well fed, instead of being homeless, and freezing to death.

            3. sabelmouse says

              what an indictment of capitalism!
              but i said A cold!

            4. newestbeginning says

              huh?? didn’t you just say you “don’t know who is safe to talk to/go near”? What’s the big deal; after all it’s just a cold, eh?…/s

            5. Collectivist says

              Actually, I’d rather promote this:

              “. . .One of the key achievements of the very rich has been to delegitimise the idea of state institutions. In the West, the typical attitude has been to attack the government as an enemy of progress; to shrink government institutions–except the military–has been the goal. Any country with a robust government and state structure has been characterised as ‘authoritarian’. But this crisis has shaken that view. Countries with intact state institutions that have been able to handle the pandemic–such as China–cannot be easily dismissed as authoritarian; a general understanding has come that these governments and their state institutions are instead efficient. It is impossible to make the case any longer that this sclerotic and hollowed-out bourgeois state form is more efficient than a system of state institutions that are made efficient by the process of trial and error.”

              “What we have learned not only from China, but also from Cuba, Venezuela, and the Indian state of Kerala, is that if a society is organised by people’s organisations (trade unions, women’s organisations, student unions, youth organisations, cooperatives), then they have the capacity for public action. An organised society is one that builds the ability of people to learn how to act collectively in normal times–even more so in a crisis. The socialist project is only partly developed through the institutions of the state; the other part–the most vital part–is for society to be organised and energised and to be prepared for the everyday and extraordinary work of social construction.

              As the global pandemic grew in scope, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and the International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA), a platform of over two hundred organisations from almost a hundred countries, opened a discussion on the crisis and on the most dire and immediate needs for the global working class. The document that we produced includes a sixteen-point programme based on the experience of struggle and governance that has emerged from these movements, unions, and political parties. More than a debate about each separate policy and point, the programme initiates a debate about the very nature of how to understand the state and its institutions.

              Immediate suspension of all work, except essential medical and logistical personnel and those required to produce and distribute food and necessities, without any loss of wages. The state must assume the cost of the wages for the period of the quarantine.
              Health, food supply, and public safety must be maintained in an organised manner. Emergency grain stocks must be immediately released for distribution amongst the poor.
              Schools must all be suspended.
              Immediate socialization of hospitals and medical centres so that they do not worry about the profit motive as the crisis unfolds. These medical centres must be under the control of the government’s health campaign.
              Immediate nationalization of pharmaceutical companies, and immediate international cooperation amongst them to find a vaccine and easier testing devices. Abolishment of intellectual property in the medical field.
              Immediate testing of all people. Immediate mobilization of tests and support for medical personnel who are at the frontlines of this pandemic.
              Immediate speed-up of production for materials necessary to deal with the crisis (testing kits, masks, respirators).
              Immediate closure of global financial markets.
              Immediate gathering of the finances to prevent the bankruptcy of governments.
              Immediate cancellation of all non-corporate debt.
              Immediate end to all rent and mortgage payments, as well as an end to evictions; this includes the immediate provision of adequate housing as a basic human right. Decent housing must be a right for all citizens guaranteed by the state.
              Immediate absorption of all utility payments by the state–water, electricity, and internet provided as part of a human right; where these utilities are not universally accessible, we call for them to be provided with immediate effect.
              Immediate end to the unilateral, criminal sanctions regimes and economic blockades that impact countries such as Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela and prevent them from importing necessary medical supplies.
              Urgent support for the peasantry to increase the production of healthy food and supply it to the government for direct distribution.
              Suspend the dollar as an international currency and request that the United Nations urgently call a new international conference to propose a common international currency.
              Ensure a universal minimum income in every country. This makes it possible to guarantee support from the state for millions of families who are out of work, working in extremely precarious conditions or self-employed. The current capitalist system excludes millions of people from formal jobs. The State should provide employment and a dignified life for the population. The cost of the Universal Basic Income can be covered by defence budgets, in particular the expense of arms and ammunition.”


            6. sabelmouse says

              as though debt free/universal income would come out of this. laughable.
              state institutions are ruled by corporate/capital.
              those of us who survive will be slaves, or scurry for safety.

            7. Collectivist says

              You’ll never get it.(The contradictions).

              Everything is, for some reason, funny to you. . .except of course, gravedigger.

              “Now that’s ‘serious’ analyses.”

              But whatever you do, sm,don’t kill yourself.


            8. sabelmouse says

              it’s not funny to me at all. i am terrified of fascism.
              i am very suicidal.
              i already was for personal reasons, this is another escalation of my crisis.
              but without that crisis i’d still be afraid of fascism.
              nightmares of gestapo is what i am having.

            9. Collectivist says

              I see.

            10. newestbeginning says

              (maybe time to lay off…)

            11. Mike Stevens says

              Hey moosey… 👋
              It’s ok, it will be ok. Don’t fear the worst, that won’t happen. Hope for the best. Look after yourself in every way.

            12. JoeFarmer says

              You reap what you sow.

            13. Mensch59 says

              Are the Irish more anti-fascist than the English?

            14. sabelmouse says

              i’ve no idea.
              i’m not sure many even know what it is/history.
              the whole country rolled over.

            15. Mensch59 says

              Pretty much the entire human race has been socially conditioned to passively submit to authority.
              That’s probably why we even see plenty of leftists — even those who consider themselves genuine leftists able to divine the fake leftists — embracing authoritarianism. I’ve always thought that right-wingers (i.e. conservatives) were more likely to be authoritarian, i.e. less likely to “roll over”. Now I’m not so sure.

            16. sabelmouse says

              t’s weird. very upside down .

  7. Sunny Cloud says

    Non was died because of the virus what doesn’t exist,but many will die because of the after effects of this psychological terror afterwards!……

    1. sabelmouse says

      there’s colds and flues for sure. but no pandemic unless you call people all over the world getting colds and flues every year.
      that bio weapon was a nice tough. it stopped even those inclined to think from thinking nd made them panic/believe in the fakedemic.
      and thus fascism wins 🙁

  8. Mensch59 says

    I’m wondering if or when the hype will be revealed in terms of (1) how many excess non-preventable deaths were caused by COVID-19 compared to excess preventable deaths caused by the lockdown, including malnourished children (2) the seasonal flu numbers contrasted with COVID-19 numbers.

    Regarding #2, if Covid killing x number of people and seasonal flu is killing y number of people and other (both chronic and acute) respiratory infections are killing z number of people, then falsify that COVID-19 deaths (the x variable) are including other causes of death (the y & z variables). Just. Do. It.

    I suspect that govt statisticians won’t in order to maximize the fear factor. The goal of the totalitarians is to hype up some new virus as “an extremely grave and dangerous new risk to public health” season after season. I suspect that if COVID-19 deaths were separated from deaths caused by the seasonal flu, deaths caused by pneumonia, deaths caused by other viral respiratory infections, deaths from chronic lower respiratory disease; then COVID-19 would be demonstrated to be an order of magnitude (at least) less lethal than it is being presented as. This isn’t “minimizing” the pandemic. It’s challenging those who minimize the damage caused by the lockdown.

    1. Starfire says

      “This isn’t ‘minimizing’ the pandemic. It’s challenging those who minimize the damage caused by the lockdown.” Exactly!

      1. newestbeginning says


        1. Starfire says

          And check out this article: “It has now become a matter of faith that lockdown is vital. Not only is it believed to be causally responsible for ‘flattening the curve’, but it is feared that releasing it too soon may cause a second spike in cases and ‘economic disaster’ (presumably due to further huge numbers of deaths). On what evidence is this made? Even if one could understand why lockdown was imposed, it very rapidly became apparent that it had not been thought through. Not in terms of the wider effects on society (which have yet to be counted) and not even in terms of the ways that the virus itself might behave. But at the start, there was hardly any evidence. Everyone was guessing. Now we have a world of evidence, from around the globe, and the case for starting to reverse lockdown is compelling. Here are ten reasons why I believe that it is wrong to continue with lockdown and why we should start to
          reverse it immediately and rapidly…”

          1. Mensch59 says

            Those are some good points the articles you linked to are making.
            Some people — like your interlocutor — have been socially conditioned to believe that non-preventable social damages due to Covid-19 are worse than the preventable social damages due to the shelter-in-place quasi-quarantine Lockdown.
            Good luck reasoning with those who have been socially conditioned.
            They are capable of changing their minds.

            1. Starfire says

              Makes me think of the introduction that Maxwell suggested for an introduction to a video that was put on the Digger. “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an
              invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
              …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”― Edward Bernays, Propaganda

            2. Mensch59 says

              We’re bombarded by information. That quote is a keeper. I ought to refer to it often. Thanks.

            3. sabateur says

            4. newestbeginning says

              And you imagine that YOU are not socially conditioned?

        2. Starfire says

          “The coronavirus is exceptionally infectious, but not very lethal. Indeed 60% of new cases in China were asymptomatic, rising to 69% in India as per the ICMR. On May 5, the global mortality from Covid-19 was at 255,486; India’s confirmed death toll was 1,568. The global death toll from influenza and pneumonia, pro-rated for India’s six-week lockdown (March 25–May 5), would be around 367,000. India’s pro-rated death toll from all causes would be 1 million, including influenza and pneumonia 75,000, TB 54,000, diarrhoea 50,000, road accidents 32,000, suicides 24,000. So statistically, the entire country has been preoccupied with only 1 coronavirus death out of 638 total deaths. No matter which way we look at it, this equation just doesn’t compute. In Europe, Asia and American states, there’s little connection between Covid-19 fatality rates and the timing and stringency of lockdown measures. Full lockdowns might not have saved lives as Covid-19 deaths had plateaued before lockdowns kicked in. Neighbouring countries with less restrictive measures experience similar timelines in the epidemic’s curve. In the UK ‘up to 150,000’ extra non-Covid-19 people, including 18,000 cancer patients, could die because the coronavirus fixation has caused neglect of other killer diseases. Increased suicides could kill 10 times as many Australians as the virus. The number of people suffering from acute hunger could almost double to 250 million from the worldwide impact on agricultural production and distribution. A study in South Africa shows the lockdown will kill 29 times more people than it saves.”

          1. newestbeginning says

            You sure have a lot of (self serving, bias confirming) articles there.

            I refuted the first article you asked me to look at, in detail – which analysis you totally ignored, and this contains similar “information”, so what is the point?

            Wondering why you are working so feverishly to promote the interests of the ruling class.

            1. Mensch59 says

              I refuted the first article you asked me to look at, in detail – which analysis you totally ignored, and this contains similar “information”, so what is the point?

              {smile with a face palm} You most certainly did NOT “refute” this article “We now know far more about Covid19 – the Lockdown should end” by Gavin Phillips posted on OffGuardian on 8 May 2020.
              Talk about the self-serving bias utilized to confirm the cognitive bias of illusory (intellectual) superiority.
              You began with a rant against traditional, classical libertarian opposition to (1) master-servant social relations (2) state power. Your “refutation” went downhill from there, e.g. mischaracterizing the libertarian as “me first and to hell with everyone else” and “Give me liberty or give me Covid”.
              It’s unhinged to believe that leftist libertarians (1) don’t possess class consciousness / class awareness / the ability to analyze social relations according to socioeconomic class (2) are not friends of the working class struggle.

          2. Ron Roy says

            And one has to take into account the vast exaggerations concerning Covid-19 deaths. The 25,000 dead in Italy,as Professor Bassetti [infectious
            disease specialist] said, died of heart attacks, cancer and other,”

          3. sabelmouse says

            ”exceptionally infectious, but not very lethal”

            there are many such.

            or they became thus over tome, like measles.

    2. sabelmouse says

      if you get run over and die it will have been covid .
      heart attacks,cancer and strokes have disappeared from the planet, thanks to the ”pandemic”.

      1. Mensch59 says

        It’s the passive submission to the “Do what you’re told” and “Believe what we tell you” and “Prepare for more draconian social controls” mindset which I’m focused on now.

    3. sabelmouse says

      if/when unless … victors writing history 🙁

      1. Mensch59 says

        The skeptics who question the history (as spun by the victors) will prevail.

        1. sabelmouse says

          that’s optimistic!

          1. Mensch59 says

            As long as Menschen exist, there will be curious questioning inquirers.
            I still have a smidgen of confidence that egalitarian anarcho-communism will prevail.

            1. Cab Driver xxx says

              “I still have a smidgen of confidence that egalitarian anarcho-communism will prevail – as long as my middle-class comforts (including 15 hours a day at the computer) aren’t compromised of course. And if that’s the case – it’s on to my next suit of clothes.”

            2. Mensch59 says

              I don’t own a suit.
              “Almost 4.57 billion people were active internet users as of April 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population. China, India and the United States rank ahead all other countries in terms of internet users.”
              Maybe you’re illiberal and foolish enough to really believe that all 4.57 billion of us prioritize bourgeois comfort.
              Get a life.

            3. sabelmouse says

              with less than 1% of us even questioning this?
              but i would love such a plot twist. and soon, rather than decades hence.

            4. Mensch59 says

              Isn’t the mass hysteria / the mass psychosis — which has transcended political ideas — the plot twist?
              Hasn’t the main focus always been to fight delusions in their various forms?

            5. sabelmouse says

              the plot twist would be a large scale resistance heading of a fascist dystopi
              a and then , even better , a rejection of corporate/capitalism.

            6. Mensch59 says

              I like your plot twist better than mine.
              Yours sounds like the climax to the narrative.

            7. sabelmouse says

              of course there’d be counter forces and such.

    4. Maxwell says

      #2 will never be known as the CDC has for the most part halted it’s tracking and tracing of the flu.

      You can go here:

      and look at the Years column and go i into the window for year 2019-2020. Start with Week 1 and examine up to most recent week listed, Week 17. Note the difference in how flu has been reported. They stopped almost entirely in Week 15. Also note the extensive amount of detail in flu reporting for twenty years- now next to nothing.

      Why is that?

      1. Mensch59 says

        You’ve probably been overwhelmed with reading lately, but this interview was excellent imo.

      2. newestbeginning says

        Reposting this as it has been held in posting pergatory…

        (Added: The annual flu statistics are not out of line with previous years according to YOUR OWN LINK btw. LOL)

        What a lot of hot air you waste with the constant ego driven slights and put downs. Wth is wrong with you? So much useless distraction – to cover up… what? Assuming (likely foolishly?) that your omission of a specific reference to the study was an honest one… In any case…

        There are a lot of people under 60 who have perished from the virus.

        Of course it is totally irrelevant if people had comorbidities or not, as you know, unless you totally devalue life. Someone with diabetes who could have lived 10 productive and happy years gets COVID and dies, but that death is to be dismissed (by you) because they had diabetes? What other lives do you dismiss as having no value and not deserving to be counted when they perish from preventable disease?

        We had this discussion before when I pointed out your gross dismissal of deaths of the elderly and immune compromised. Recall you then denied that you devalued any life. At the time, I gave you the benefit of the doubt, but here ya go again with the same antisocial bull.

        The ruling class ALWAYS exploits any and all situations for its own benefit. That is a given and obviously is not limited to exploiting human suffering of all kinds… The poor, sick, elderly, minorities, the imprisoned always suffer the most from any adversity.

        If you are so concerned with the working class, why do you let employers off the hook and demand that poor desperate people be forced to work in unsafe conditions?

        There are means of getting food to working class children that do not involve their parents being forced to work in unsafe conditions – or starve to death. Why are you silent on those?

        What you seem (and I could be wrong) to advocate for, is forcing workers to return to work – without considering the risk to their health or that of their family or community – at sub-subsistence wages. IOW, you are pushing for a return to “business as usual” instead of social change that would benefit the most vulnerable.

        You also seem to demand that individuals have the “liberty” to do as they please, engage in risky behavior if it suits them that is likely to cause harm to others in unknowable ways. This fails to acknowledge the reality that you cannot solve a SOCIAL problem through INDIVIDUAL action.

        Will look at the link later, but wanted to get this out now.

        1. Maxwell says

          The flu positives are at 0.8% for Week 14- never have they been in that category, nothing close- never.

          There are no people under 60 and healthy that have perished from covid. And you should be able to pull up studies that show thousands worldwide if we were in a “global pandemic.” But there aren’t. You failed again.

          The rest of your garbage is manufactured opinion and slogans.

          The lockdown is killing the working class- quit changing the subject.

          That the capitalists want us to remain slaves is a tautology.

          As always you comment evidence free. You operate at a very low level.

          1. Mensch59 says

            The lockdown is killing the working class- quit changing the subject

            These people are dense regarding this subject matter. They’d rather the working class get destroyed than some extremely small percentage of workers get sick and recover. The hysteria/psychosis over this coronavirus is hard to fathom.
            “Covid-19: Back to school, the new normal is to traumatise children?”

            This is not a life that I would wish upon children – expert medical consensus is that children are not affected by Covid-19 so why the need for these traumatic measures. Yes, children carry the virus, this is normal and herd immunity is the only way to strengthen our own immune systems and to overcome the virus – or do we accept to live under house arrest for the rest of our lives and to subject our children to such unnatural and abusive lifestyles?

            1. Collectivist says

              “These people are dense regarding this subject matter. They’d rather the working class get destroyed than some extremely small percentage of workers get sick and recover.”

              Wow. What a cold, heartless unsympathetic, in the final analysis, inhumane view, Mensch.

              Let’s see . . .currently over 84, 000 deaths, so far, attributed to Covid-19 (and over 5 times as many infected)

              That’s the population of MANY U.S. cities.

              Now, if an entire city of people died from the virus, would anyone, in their ‘right mind’*, be dismissing or minimizing this catastrophe, just because it had only occurred in one, arguably, midsized city?

              I don’t think so.

              *Perhaps, that’s the problem😎

          2. Cab Driver xxx says

            “There are no people under 60 and healthy that have perished from covid.”

            Once again, a sleazy lie from an even sleazier actor.

            Here, you take a partial truth and expand on it to make an absolute lie.

            “The head of the World Health Organization said that almost everyone who has died of the coronavirus in Europe has been over the age of 60.

            Dr. Hans Kluge, the regional director for WHO Europe, said in a virtual press briefing that 95% of COVID-19 fatalities on the continent have been people older than 60. Additionally, more than 50% of all deaths in Europe were people aged 80 or older.

            However, younger people are not immune. Ten to 15% of people under 50 with the coronavirus have developed moderate or severe infection.

            “The very notion that COVID-19 only affects older people is factually wrong,” Kluge stressed. “Severe cases of the disease have been seen in people in their teens or 20s with many requiring intensive care and some unfortunately passing away.”


            So pathetic. Not only is your …no people under 60… assertion a total fabrication on its face, even if it wasn’t, the ramifications of infections and carriers are discarded by you like so much rubbish. You’ve lost your freaking mind, man.

            1. Maxwell says

              Bwahaha- you can’t even interpret your own “data point” or read what was stated you in plain English. I said under 50 AND healthy- doh, you forgot that part.

              AND I said even if you could cite ONE- which I still haven’t seen- you should be able to cite THOUSANDS if we were ACTUALLY in a global pandemic- which we’ll never see as it doesn’t exist.

              But it gets worse- you scarcely even talk about deaths- you avoid it- you talk about INFECTIONS as if that has any meaning at all. And it is even cited that these infections are moderate or severe. What the hell does that even mean? Anything at any given time is what it means. You’re citing lifelong capitalist bureaucrats and US News World Report and Pharam owned WHO as your sources? Speaks volumes as to where your allegiances actually lie.

              You really are just plain dumb.

            2. Cab Driver xxx says

              I forgot NOTHING, asshole! What you forgot – and conveniently failed to acknowledge in the first place, was my admonition that “we all got co-morbidities,” fkhead. Comorbidities big and small that Covid apparently hones in on.

              As for not talking about deaths, is that any worse than not taking about infections??? Let me help you: YES. Much worse. The truth is you don’t have a fking clue what you’re talking about.

              And then the expected zinger from you: your much anticipated slur about “capitalist” sources. Sources you’ll use when you think it makes your case, and sources you’ll then deride when they’re used against you. And the truth is your sources – never mind your comrades – are as dank and dark as they come. Now go fk yerself. You got some nerve talking to me about allegiances.

              You’re an embarrassment.

            3. Mensch59 says

              Someone got reactive.

            4. Cab Driver xxx says

              Now tell me: will you and F&F be heading up to Lansing to join your MAGA chums??? Best leave your Marx at home, scvmbag. No, better yet, with your natural gift for persuasion you can maybe do some recruiting. Lol. My god, yer a freaking joke.

            5. Cab Driver xxx says

              Downvotes are all you got?
              Figures. You’ve never been much for pushback. You m.o. is to leave that to your toadies. Back in the day, I was a Navy “Smoker.” A good body punch tends to take a guy’s air. After that his legs ain’t far behind. Fkin’ bum you are man.

            6. Maxwell says

              First 20 minutes from an NHS worker- start using your brain :


            7. Cab Driver xxx says

              I’m 58 yrs old, man. You’ve depleted damn near the entirety of my good will towards you and you’re on the thinnest of ice. NO ONE tells me “You really are just plain dumb” and “start using your brain” – and then tells me to look at a video. Got that, fker? You’ve answered to nothing and continue to blabber past my inquiries with utter nonsense. If you care to start over, lemme know. I’ll give it a shot. If not you can sod off with this, Max.

            8. Collectivist says

              “But it gets worse- you scarcely even talk about deaths- you avoid it: . .”

              And, with no grasp of the dialectics of the current situation – despite all of your self-righteous ‘opposition’ to the rule of capital – you’ll continue (along with your new gravedigger cohorts) to GET IT WRONG.

              “. . .Just as businesses can be reopened for wage earner workers, schools can be opened for their children. The wealthy will make other arrangements for their children, just as they have made arrangements other than the necessity of working for a paycheck to pay bills.

              We seem to have resolved what seemed to be a Catch-22 situation. If the pandemic comes in again like the tide and the death count makes the headlines (Gov. Ron De Santis of Florida is citing privacy rights as reason to block Covid-19 statistics), we may be ourselves full of protective, psychological antigens to these deaths, or anxious to move onto something new and therefore bored and angry with the media’s reminders of the pandemic’s casualties. Our attentions want to stream elsewhere, and our fingers yearn to find new apps. When celebrities die, we review their lives; when wage earners die, owners re-hire.

              The real Catch-22 is not Trump’s, but the wage earner’s. They need wages to pay this month’s bills but the jobs they return to endanger their lives. It wasn’t Trump who caught the virus, but his valet, whom he knew but didn’t know. There’s an entire message in those words. The wage earner who dies isn’t known or able to make himself or herself known. Ironically, if we lose all such service people, Trump will have to welcome replacements from south of the border.

              Those who live on dividends and interest from investments face no Catch-22. Private planes take them where they think they will be safer. Sheltering in place on your yacht with a serving crew is a safe sort of isolation. It’s in fact not much different that life before the pandemic. A cell phone and zoom keep you actively tending your horde. A top 20% meritocratic class has already been working from home, not bound by office or punching a wage clock. Life’s not much different for them. Nannies and tutors, daily tested, can handle, as usual, the offspring. Someone — not you — will cook and clean. Life’s not much different. No Catch-22 here.

              I would be very surprised to see the media showing us these anointed lives and hear their stories of how they’re getting along, how life is so different from pre-pandemic days. Instead, what we get are tearful accounts of the unemployed, the crushed, and all those who lived paycheck to paycheck and so, without a paycheck, don’t know how to live. . .”

            9. Robert says

              Great piece of writing and analysis!
              I”t wasn’t Trump who caught the virus, but his valet, whom he knew but didn’t know. There’s an entire message in those words. “

            10. Robert says

              Thanks! Signed up!

            11. EthanAllen1 says


            12. newestbeginning says

              Well said… Exactly what I have been thinking but unable to really get out.

            13. EthanAllen1 says

              Re: Maxwell on May 14 @ 6:16 AM said:

              There are no people under 60 and healthy that have perished from covid.

              on Mat 14 @ 9:23 AM he said:

              Bwahaha- you can’t even interpret your own “data point” or read what was stated you in plain English. I said under 50 AND healthy- doh, you forgot that part.

              Neither statement has any factual origin or authentification. Why is that?
              As Usual,

            14. Cab Driver xxx says

              Guess a guy tossing around that many up-votes on my pile of otherwise useless disqus currency deserves a thx and a how do-you-do? Cheers.

            15. Robert says

              Maybe a disinformationwebsite?

              And there’s:

              The Same People Who Peddle Climate Denial Are Behind Coronavirus Pseudoscience


            16. Andrew Lazarus says

              More old people than young die every day, regardless of COVID. The idea that COVID is OK because it’s cleaning out deadwood elderly (thanks, dude) isn’t true: it doesn’t seem to be that much more deadly to the old (at least on NY City data) than just being alive.

          3. Collectivist says

            “There are no people under 60 and healthy that have perished from covid. “”
            No people?You’re delusional, or drunk on your own sophistic arguments.

            Is The (grave) Digger your next-to-the-last refuge . . .before you become the token ‘leftist’ on Breitbart?

            When the ship really hits the ruling class clan, and their defenders, you’ll go down hard with the sht.



            1. abbeysbooks says

              Maybe not none as there are ill people under the age of 60 that are at risk. But the levels of significance in stats are almost zero.

            2. Collectivist says

              “But the levels of significance in stats are almost zero.”

              Wtf is that supposed to mean?

            3. abbeysbooks says

              It means that at the .01 level the experimental result can only happen by chance at the .01 level. that is waaaay at the end of the tail of the normal distribution so it is not at all likely and you can safely say that your results occurred because of the experimental procedure you used. And only by a waaaay out chance could they happen by chance and not by your methods. It is NOT proof. Only a probability. The only proofs are mathematical. Now if it is not a normal curve, a normal distribution and instead a distribution of FAT TAILS you are in a different universe if you cannot specify that and use different statistics in your work. But you will have to know that as the DIY software is not that smart and neither are the researchers using that pre fab stuff.

            4. Collectivist says

              “But you will have to know that as the DIY software is not that smart and neither are the researchers using that pre fab stuff.”

              But you are. . .that smart, eh?


            5. newestbeginning says

              pssst – that one ^^ says she is eagerly voting for Trump… what more needs to be said?

            6. Collectivist says

              That ‘one’ also seems to be part of the Trump ‘death cult.’

              Between THAT, idiotic conspiracy theories, denial, sociopathology and misanthropy . . . we’ve got some very difficult days ahead.

      3. Robert says

        Or, instead of some conspiracy theory, there’s rational discussion:

        Note: The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting healthcare seeking behavior. The number of persons and their reasons for seeking care in the outpatient and ED settings is changing. These changes impact data from ILINet in ways that are difficult to differentiate from changes in illness levels, therefore ILINet data should be interpreted with caution. CDC is tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in a weekly publication called COVIDView.

        Key Updates for Week 18, ending May 2, 2020
        Laboratory confirmed flu activity as reported by clinical laboratories remains low. Influenza-like illness activity continues to decrease and is below the national baseline. The percent of deaths due to pneumonia or influenza (P&I) is decreasing but remains elevated, primarily due to COVID-19, not influenza. Reported pediatric flu deaths for the season are high at 174

        Your link. Top of page.

        1. CB says

          CDC is generally a decent source, though one has to be careful about the ways in which the MAGA cult has corrupted it.

          Conspiracies do exist… and maybe they’re not quite so far from Gary and Maxwell as they’d like…

          There are all sorts of empires out there!

          …some are more ethical than others…

          “Pro-Kremlin media have been spreading disinformation about coronavirus with the aim of “aggravating” the public health crisis in the west”

      4. Mensch59 says

        Also note the extensive amount of detail in flu reporting for twenty years- now next to nothing.

        Why is that?

        It seems rather obvious. For political purposes and fear-mongering purposes — fear is a quite effective tool for propagandists — the seasonal flu is gone in favor of Covid-19. No vast secret or obscure conspiracy needed.
        (Sorry for the meme. It’s too serious to be taken lightly.)

        1. sabelmouse says

          it’s very serious indeed. global corporate fascism/surveillance police state/enslavement/eugenics is what we’re facing.

          1. Mensch59 says

            Lots of people would rather deny what you’re seeing we’re facing.
            Just like there is so much denial about capitalogenic / anthropogenic pollution wrecking ecosystems.
            Just like there is so much denial about the Great Acceleration causing a climate change event generating a mass extinction level event.
            It looks like you and I are quite similar with respect to the following:
            “George Orwell once talked about his ability to face unpleasant facts, and that’s always inspired me. I want to look at the things that are happening in the world that we may not want to think about and try to really understand them” (Roy Scranton).

            1. sabelmouse says

              most !
              well, them in power now know how high we’ll jump, how low we’ll crawl, and how few will resist.
              camps won’t even be needed unless there’s a plot twist.

            2. Mensch59 says

              camps won’t even be needed…

              Slaves comfortable with their chains and idiotic commenters posing as “leftists” cheering on that comfort.

            3. sabelmouse says

              i doubt it will be that comfy with austerity/poverty, and people who’ve caught on to late scurrying away from being chipped,maybe.

            4. Mensch59 says

              Pretty sure that being chipped will cause a revolt.
              There’s a faction of society which will refuse “the mark of the beast”.

            5. sabelmouse says

              might be to late, or mean violent revolt.

            6. Mensch59 says

              Peaceful revolts/rebellions are pie-in-the-sky.

            7. sabelmouse says

              maybe. i still prefer not to have violence.

            8. Mensch59 says

              Me neither.
              I wish there was a peaceful way to overthrow this filthy and decomposing and stinky and sick-unto-death system.

            9. dreamjoehill says

              Your slaves y is elitist crap. So is your Covidiot meme. The vast majority of workers support stay-at-home but you think you know better. You think you are wiser, that you see the trut, unlike the “hysterical” masses.

              You’re an arrogant bourgeois pig. No surprise that you call yourself a libertarian.

            10. Mensch59 says

              Glad to have provoked and agitated you, you nazi cur.

            11. dreamjoehill says

              That’s all you have? You are worse than useless, piggy.

              Your perspective devalues workers lives, for which you shamelessly exhibit an scrooge-like disregard. Not much indolence allowed in the poor house, right Scroogie?

              You are truly monstrous

            12. Mensch59 says

              I welcome these insults from the very worst bigots on social media.
              You fake leftists act like leftism is some sort of cover for illiberal identitarianism and the kind of bigotry which would make a redneck blush.
              POS anti-left-libertarian.
              Go back to your fellows with corona-phobia, azzhole.

            13. dreamjoehill says

              Insulting libetarians is not bigotry. It’s truth telling.

              You align yourself with one of the most destructive ideologies on the planet today and try to paper over that alliance by claiming your a “left libertarian”

              You’re a bourgeois elitists, through and through. Calling yourself a left libertarian can’t hide that fact.

              You also appear to be a closet T-rumpsucker. You’re just all around filthy.

            14. Mensch59 says

              You also appear to be a closet T-rumpsucker. You’re just all around filthy.

              Yeah. I didn’t figure it would take long for the self-loathing homophobia to emerge. Right on cue. Way to go!!

            15. dreamjoehill says

              Homophobe? Really?

              Nah, you can suck my dick anytime. I’ll even give you a nickel so you can call yourself a hustler.

    5. newestbeginning says

      The statistics are available if you look for them. There is no conspiracy.

      Pence is advocating people who have been exposed go about their business and getting up and personal without masks so you are in good company with this conspiracy sht you are dealing.

      This will be my last post to you on this subject.

      1. sabelmouse says

        yes, they are. all the info is out there.
        NO excuse for engaging in panic/supporting totalitarianism. NONE.

      2. Mensch59 says

        Refer to @disqus_Ldnj57i6PQ:disqus’s post to me on this thread and his question to you.
        As I pointed out to Collectivist, it’s frustrating and disheartening when claims such as “The statistics are available…” are not supported. It’s a nothing-burger, like “Look it up for yourself” instead of the claimant shouldering the onus. The quality of dissent is important.

        1. newestbeginning says

          Who imagined you would become a shill for Maxwell. Life is stranger than fiction, eh? Hey no worries. Whatever it takes to keep the home fires burning.

          The statistics “are” available but not supported if you don’t look.

          The agenda you are pushing is antisocial and anti human. You are willing to put my daughter and myself at risk to maintain your comfort. You are known by the company you keep brother.


          1. Maxwell says

            No one’s being a shill- they are asking you to back up your argument with facts- you haven’t even attempted to do so. What’s wrong with you?

            How about we start at the beginning- the Imperial College’s study that was the justification and bulwark for the lock downs. Let’s start there. Then we can move into other main topics. If you can’t or won’t do that it proves you are dishonest or intellectually lazy.

            1. newestbeginning says

              Reluctant to go down a rabbit hole with you but will ask for a link to the Imperial College study you refer to.

            2. Maxwell says

              F*kin’ disgusting all of it- that you don’t even attempt to understand what’s going on before flinging accusations shows the level at which you’re operating.

              Study #4

              Second Analysis of Ferguson’s Model
              by Sue Denim (not the author’s real name)

              I’d like to provide a followup to my first analysis. Firstly because new information has come to light, and secondly to address a few points of disagreement I noticed in a minority of responses.

              The hidden history. Someone realised they could unexpectedly recover parts of the deleted history from GitHub, meaning we now have an audit log of changes dating back to April 1st. This is still not exactly the original code Ferguson ran, but it’s significantly closer.

              Sadly it shows that Imperial have been making some false statements.

              ICL staff claimed the released and original code are “essentially the same functionally”, which is why they “do not think it would be particularly helpful to release a second codebase which is functionally the same”.

              In fact the second change in the restored history is a fix for a critical error in the random number generator. Other changes fix data corruption bugs (another one), algorithmic errors, fixing the fact that someone on the team can’t spell household, and whilst this was taking place other Imperial academics continued to add new features related to contact tracing apps.

              The released code at the end of this process was not merely reorganised but contained fixes for severe bugs that would corrupt the internal state of the calculations. That is very different from “essentially the same functionally”.

              The stated justification for deleting the history was to make “the repository rather easier to download” because “the history squash (erase) merged a number of changes we were making with large data files”. “We do not think there is much benefit in trawling through our internal commit histories”.

              The entire repository is less than 100 megabytes. Given they recommend a computer with 20 gigabytes of memory to run the simulation for the UK, the cost of downloading the data files is immaterial. Fetching the additional history only took a few seconds on my home WiFi.

              Even if the files had been large, the tools make it easy to not download history if you don’t want it, to solve this exact problem.

              I don’t quite know what to make of this. Originally I thought these claims were a result of the academics not understanding the tools they’re working with, but the Microsoft employees helping them are actually employees of a recently acquired company: GitHub. GitHub is the service they’re using to distribute the source code and files. To defend this I’d have to argue that GitHub employees don’t understand how to use GitHub, which is implausible.

              I don’t think anyone involved here has any ill intent, but it seems via a chain of innocent yet compounding errors – likely trying to avoid exactly the kind of peer review they’re now getting – they have ended up making false claims in public about their work.

              Effect of the bug fixes. I was curious what effect the hidden bug fixes had on the model output, especially after seeing the change to the pseudo-random number generator constants (which means the prior RNG didn’t work). I ran the latest code in single threaded mode for the baseline scenario a couple of times, to establish that it was producing the same results (on my machine only), which it did. Then I ran the version from the initial import against the latest data, to control for data changes.

              The resulting output tables were radically different to the extent that they appear incomparable, e.g. the older code outputs data for negative days and a different set of columns. Comparing by row count for day 128 (7th May) gave 57,145,154 infected-but-recovered people for the initial code but only 42,436,996 for the latest code, a difference of about 34%.

              I wondered if the format of the data files had changed without the program being able to detect that, so then I reran the initial import code with the initial data. This yielded 49,445,121 recoveries – yet another completely different number.

              It’s clear that the changes made over the past month and a half have radically altered the predictions of the model. It will probably never be possible to replicate the numbers in Report 9.

              Political attention. I was glad to see the analysis was read by members of Parliament. In particular, via David Davis MP the work was seen by Steve Baker – one of the few British MPs who has been a working software engineer. Baker’s assessment was similar to that of most programmers: “David Davis is right. As a software engineer, I am appalled. Read this now”. Hopefully at some point the right questions will be asked in Parliament. They should focus on reforming how code is used in academia in general, as the issue is structural incentives rather than a single team. The next paragraph will demonstrate that.



            3. newestbeginning says

              You know what is disgusting? When, in good faith, someone asks for a link to a study that you vaguely mention, and instead of linking the study, you go on to disparage the question and questioner. This tactic is a huge distraction from any discussion – for me, anyway.

              You posted a whole lot of critique of the study, but interestingly, you didn’t link the study itself or even post its title so we could make sure we are starting on the same page.

              Why is that?

            4. Maxwell says

              The study itself is linked all over the place- as I said you are dishonest. Can’t you quit with the distractions for a minute. How many under 60 with no comorbidities have died from this “black plague.” Answer: 0.

              How much more in your face obvious could this money grab be- and it’s a direct assault on the working class but you’re for the working class- and it’s impact is directly hampering working class children to get food- but you’re for the working class. Gimme a break.

              You didn’t take the 30 seconds necessary to google the titles name and go to the link yourself? Why is that?


            5. Cab Driver xxx says

              “How many under 60 with no comorbidities have died from this “black plague.” Answer: 0.”

              Patently false. Not only is this false on its face, but by the deception that comes with it. We all have “comorbidities.” Sort of like two or three lies in one. Well done, Max. If a patient’s copd or diabetes or heart ailment etc. is exacerbated by some element of x – and the patient then dies, did he/she die of x or the comorbidity?

              You’re a liar. And a raging scumbag.

              And something else, fkhead: no wonder you closed your posting history. With the company you now keep it’s best to keep that locked up.

            6. Mensch59 says

              It’s effectively zero, not numerically zero.
              Even with the inflated number of covid-19 deaths, the mortality rate of this disease is approx 0.004%. (Note Well the lack of quantitative analysis regarding different variables in reporting deaths. Where are the number of deaths caused by chronic upper respiratory disease contrasted with covid? Where are the number of deaths caused by pre SARS-2 acute viral respiratory infections contrasted with covid? Where are the number of deaths caused by seasonal flu contrasted with covid? Where are the number of deaths caused by pneumonia contrasted with covid?)

              Your effective survival rate for being exposed to SARS-nCoV-2 is 99.996%. Rounded to the closest whole number is 100%. What a wonderful topic to sh¡t on your brother over!

            7. sabateur says

              how would anyone know given that any death is now ”corona”.

              except maybe lock down infused suicides/homicides [ domestic abuse is up ] . those could be sort of classified as corona deaths.

              meanwhile heart attacks and stokes have disappeared and nobody dies of cancer anymore. it’s all my corona.

            8. Bored Now says

              Hey Sable,

              Still angry about outing yourself I see.

              nobody dies of cancer’s all my corona.

              …and yet the newspapers still report non-COVID deaths somehow slipping under the radar of your lizard-people conspiracy. Lulz.

            9. sabateur says

              you make NO sense!

            10. Bored Now says

              you make NO sense!

              It’s pretty clear Sable. A while ago I addressed you as “Sable” and you answered “Yes” and you still want to pretend that’s not who you are. Sounds like someone who’s really bent out of shape about the whole thing. 🙂

              But more to the topic, you are somehow claiming that all deaths are getting reported as COVID deaths. Yet, I see people in the paper get reported as non-COVID deaths.

            11. newestbeginning says

              What a lot of hot air you waste with the constant ego driven slights and put downs. Wth is wrong with you? So much useless distraction – to cover up… what? Assuming (likely foolishly?) that your omission of a specific reference to the study was an honest one… In any case…

              There are a lot of people under 60 who have perished from the virus.

              Of course it is totally irrelevant if people had comorbidities or not, as you know, unless you totally devalue life. Someone with diabetes who could have lived 10 productive and happy years gets COVID and dies, but that death is to be dismissed (by you) because they had diabetes? What other lives do you dismiss as having no value and not deserving to be counted when they perish from preventable disease?

              We had this discussion before when I pointed out your gross dismissal of deaths of the elderly and immune compromised. Recall you then denied that you devalued any life. At the time, I gave you the benefit of the doubt, but here ya go again with the same antisocial bull.

              The ruling class ALWAYS exploits any and all situations for its own benefit. That is a given and obviously is not limited to exploiting human suffering of all kinds… The poor, sick, elderly, minorities, the imprisoned always suffer the most from any adversity.

              If you are so concerned with the working class, why do you let employers off the hook and demand that poor desperate people be forced to work in unsafe conditions?

              There are means of getting food to working class children that do not involve their parents being forced to work in unsafe conditions – or starve to death. Why are you silent on those?

              What you seem (and I could be wrong) to advocate for, is forcing workers to return to work – without considering the risk to their health or that of their family or community – at sub-subsistence wages. IOW, you are pushing for a return to “business as usual” instead of social change that would benefit the most vulnerable.

              You also seem to demand that individuals have the “liberty” to do as they please, engage in risky behavior if it suits them that is likely to cause harm to others in unknowable ways. This fails to acknowledge the reality that you cannot solve a SOCIAL problem through INDIVIDUAL action.

              Will look at the link later, but wanted to get this out now.

            12. Maxwell says

              Report #3:

              Code Violation: Other Than That, How Was the Play, Mrs. Lincoln?

              By far the most important model in the world has been the Imperial College epidemiological model. Largely on the basis of the predictions of this model, nations have been locked down. The UK had been planning to follow a strategy very similar to Sweden’s until the Imperial model stampeded the media, and then the government, into a panic. Imperial predictions regarding the US also contributed to the panicdemic in the US.

              These predictions have proved to be farcically wrong, with deaths tolls exaggerated by one and perhaps two orders of magnitude.

              Models only become science when tested against data/experiment. By that standard, the Imperial College model failed spectacularly.

              I was suspicious of this model from the first. Not only because of its doomsday predictions and the failures of previous models produced by Imperial and the leader of its team, Neil Ferguson. But because of my general skepticism about big models (as @soncharm used to say, “all large calculations are wrong”), and most importantly, because Imperial failed to disclose its code. That is a HUGE red flag. Why were they hiding?

              And how right that was. A version of the code has been released, and it is a hot mess. It has more bugs than east Africa does right now.

              This is one code review. Biggest take away: due to bugs in the code, the model results are not reproducible. The code itself introduces random variation in the model. That means that runs with the same inputs generate different outputs.

              Are you f*cking kidding me?

              Reproducibility is the essence of science. A model whose predictions can not be reproduced, let alone empirical results based on that model, is so much crap. It is the antithesis of science.

              After tweeting about the code review article linked above, I received feedback from other individuals with domain expertise who had reviewed the code. They concur, and if anything, the article understates the problems.

              Here’s one article by an interlocutor:

              The Covid-19 function variations aren’t stochastic. They’re a bug caused by poor management of threads in the code. This causes a random variation, so multiple runs give different results. The response from the team at Imperial is that they run it multiple times and take an average. But this is wrong. Because the results should be identical each time. Including the buggy results as well as the correct ones means that the results are an average of the correct and the buggy ones. And so wouldn’t match the expected results if you did the same calculation by hand.


              I repeat: “the code is worthless.”

              Another correspondent confirmed the evaluations of the bugginess of the code, and added an important detail about the underlying model itself:

              I spent 3 days reviewing his code last week. It’s an ugly mess of thousands of lines of C (not C++). There are hundreds of input parameters (not counting the fact it models population density to 1km x 1km cells) and 4 different infection mechanisms. It made me feel quite ill.

              Hundreds of input parameters–another huge red flag. I replied:

              How do you estimate 100s of parameters? Sounds like a climate model . . . .

              The response:

              Yes. It shares the exact same philosophy as a GCM – model everything, but badly.


              This relates to another comment:

              No discussion of comparative statics.

              So again, you have no idea what is driving the results, and how changes in the inputs or parameters will change predictions. So how do you use such a model to devise policies, which is inherently an exercise in comparative statics? So as not to leave you in suspense: YOU CAN’T.

              This is particularly damning:

              And also the time resolution. The infection model time steps are 6 hours. I think these models are designed more for CYA. It’s bottom-up micro-modelling which is easier to explain and justify to politicos than a more physically realistic macro level model with fewer parameters.

              To summarize: these models are absolute crap. Bad code. Bad methodology. Farcical results.

              Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

              But it gets better!

              The code that was reviewed in the first-linked article . . . had been cleaned up! It’s not the actual code used to make the original predictions. Instead, people from Microsoft spent a month trying to fix it–and it was still as buggy as Kenya. (I note in passing that Bill Gates is a major encourager of panic and lockdown, so the participation of a Microsoft team here is quite telling.)

              The code was originally in C, and then upgraded to C++. Well, it could be worse. It could have been Cobol or Fortran–though one of those reviewing the code suggested: “Much of the code consists of formulas for which no purpose is given. John Carmack (a legendary video-game programmer) surmised that some of the code might have been automatically translated from FORTRAN some years ago.”

              All in all, this appears to be the epitome of bad modeling and coding practice. Code that grew like weeds over years. Code lacking adequate documentation and version control. Code based on overcomplicated and essentially untestable models.

              And on such completely defective foundations policy castles have been built. Policies that have turned the world upside down.


              If this doesn’t make you angry, you are incapable of anger. Or you are an idiot. There is no third choice.


              There are numerous comments after this one from coders- universally condemning the hack job that was the massive fraud of a study that kicked off this con job.

              You won’t take the time to read or study any of it will you?

            13. Maxwell says

              Report #2:


              At the end of the link was the codebase promised for weeks by Neil Ferguson, the computational epidemiologist who has advised the UK government on COVID-19 related steps until his recent resignation. I have previously been a staunch defender of Ferguson’s approach – his model was (and is) theoretically sound, and probably as good as such models will ever get. Prediction, of course, is difficult. Especially when it comes to the future, as Niels Bohr is credited of saying. Using a method that relies on simulating populations in cells and microcells, it combines the granularity and stochastics of agent-based models without requiring the resources typical for agent-based simulation. His model, versions of which were used in previous outbreaks, has been the de facto gold standard to the UK government.

              And looking at the code, that raises some extremely serious questions. I would like to explore some of these issues, but will not go into a detailed analysis of the code, for one reason – the code eventually (and reluctantly) shared by Imperial College is almost definitely not the code used to generate forecasts for HM Government. We know that at some point, Github and even John Carmack (yes, that John Carmack!) has been involved in cleaning up some of the quality issues. Imperial, meanwhile, obstinately resists releasing original code – both via Github and under a valid FOIA request that Imperial’s lawyers are entirely misinterpreting.1) We can, however, safely assume from the calibre of the people who have worked on the improved version that whatever was there was worse.

              The quality issue

              First of all, the elephant in the room: code quality. It is very difficult to look at the Ferguson code with any understanding of software engineering and conclude that this is good, or even tolerable. Neil Ferguson himself attempts a very thin apologia for this:


              I’m conscious that lots of people would like to see and run the pandemic simulation code we are using to model control measures against COVID-19. To explain the background – I wrote the code (thousands of lines of undocumented C) 13+ years ago to model flu pandemics…

              That, sir, is not a feature. It’s not even a bug. It’s somewhere between negligence and unintentional but grave scientific misconduct.

              For those who are not in the computational fields: “my code is too complicated for you to get it” is not an acceptable excuse. It is the duty of everyone who releases code to document it – within the codebase or outside (or a combination of the two). Greater minds than Neil Ferguson (with all due respect) have a tough enough time navigating a large code base, and especially where you have collaborators, it is not unusual to need a second or two to remember what a particular function is doing or what the arguments should be like. Or, to put it more bluntly: for thirteen years, taxpayer funding from the MRC went to Ferguson and his team, and all it produced was code that violated one of the most fundamental precepts of good software development – intelligibility.


              Yet for some reason, the UK government treated Ferguson’s model as almost dogmatic truth. This highlights an important issue: politicians have not been taught enough about data-driven decision-making, especially not where predictive data is involved. There is wide support for a science-driven response to COVID-19, but very little scrutiny of the science behind many of the predictions that informed early public health measures. Hopefully, a Royal Commission with subpoena powers will have the opportunity to review in detail whether Ferguson intentionally hid the model from HM Government the way he hid it from the rest of the world or whether the government’s experts just did not understand how to scrutinise or assess a model – or, the worst case scenario: they saw the model and still let it inform what might have been the greatest single decision HM Government has made since 1939, without looking for alternatives (there are many other modelling approaches, and many developers who have written better code).



            14. Maxwell says

              I’m guessing you won’t read these comprehensively. I’m also guessing you’ll avoid discussing the actual content of these reports- you’ll slip into various logical fallacies. That’s right- I have no faith in you or the others upstream to even have the integrity to take a step back and admit you know absolutely nothing about any of this. That you would even have to ask and have not taken the ten minutes to investigate this on your own is instructive.

              But please tell me how is it then that you could hold to your positions from a position of ignorance on the topic you have such strong opinions on.

              Nevertheless I’ll post three studies on this topic. That study was so incompetent that it wouldn’t pass review in a freshman coding class.

              Report #1 that proves the sham of the Imperial College’s report that served as the foundation for the Covid hysteria and bag of lies that is the Covid Panic Event of 2020.

              Code Review of Ferguson’s Model

              The code.

              It isn’t the code Ferguson ran to produce his famous Report 9. What’s been released on GitHub is a heavily modified derivative of it, after having been upgraded for over a month by a team from Microsoft and others. This revised codebase is split into multiple files for legibility and written in C++, whereas the original program was “a single 15,000 line file that had been worked on for a decade” (this is considered extremely poor practice). A request for the original code was made 8 days ago but ignored, and it will probably take some kind of legal compulsion to make them release it. Clearly, Imperial are too embarrassed by the state of it ever to release it of their own free will, which is unacceptable given that it was paid for by the taxpayer and belongs to them.


              But Edinburgh came back and reported that – even in single-threaded mode – they still see the problem. So Imperial’s understanding of the issue is wrong. Finally, Imperial admit there’s a bug by referencing a code change they’ve made that fixes it. The explanation given is “It looks like historically the second pair of seeds had been used at this point, to make the runs identical regardless of how the network was made, but that this had been changed when seed-resetting was implemented”. In other words, in the process of changing the model they made it non-replicable and never noticed.


              Although the academic on those threads isn’t Neil Ferguson, he is well aware that the code is filled with bugs that create random results. In change #107 he authored he comments: “It includes fixes to InitModel to ensure deterministic runs with holidays enabled”. In change #158 he describes the change only as “A lot of small changes, some critical to determinacy”.


              Imperial are trying to have their cake and eat it. Reports of random results are dismissed with responses like “that’s not a problem, just run it a lot of times and take the average”, but at the same time, they’re fixing such bugs when they find them. They know their code can’t withstand scrutiny, so they hid it until professionals had a chance to fix it, but the damage from over a decade of amateur hobby programming is so extensive that even Microsoft were unable to make it run right.


              And don’t give me any crap about the LS site as it is only referencing the work of a coder AND two more studies coming right up.

          2. Mensch59 says

            The statistics “are” available…

            That’s the second time you’ve posted that nothing-burger. Your answer “the statistics you and your brethren claim to seek of course” is a non-answer, a double helping of nothing-burger. IFF you had the statistics to back up some huge number of deaths caused by Covid in excess to the number of deaths caused by seasonal flu, pneumonia, other acute viral respiratory infections, chronic upper respiratory disease THEN you’d be able to quote these statistics and link to them. Since either you cannot or will not, you’re being dishonest (and worse).

            The agenda you are pushing is antisocial and anti human.

            The continue-the-Lockdown-until-economies-completely-collapse-and-totalitarian-social-controls-are-implemented agenda is the one which is antisocial and inhumane and inhuman.

            Who imagined you would become a shill for Maxwell

            Argument via rhetorical hyperbole is your forte. A “shill” is an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others. Provide actual evidence — you know, how dialectical arguers are supposed to behave — that @disqus_Ldnj57i6PQ:disqus is “a hawker, gambler, or swindler”.
            But yeah, I do agree with Maxwell on this thread, esp:

            The working class is getting destroyed by this. Children of the working class in the US are suffering through the highest levels of food insecurity on record.

            WTF is wrong with you that you don’t see this? That’s not sad it is disgusting. Either you are outraged by all of these lies or you are an idiot. There is no third option.

            You, newest, are essentially arguing that the working class is disposable as we irrationally & fearfully focus on a virus. You cannot even provide statistical data as to how lethal this virus is. Do you need to be hit over the head to remind yourself how lethal economic collapse is?

            1. Collectivist says

              Actually, you probably need to be reminded that you have more to ‘fear’, and to learn about Mother Nature’s POWERS, MOVEMENTS and, most importantly, inextricable RELATIONSHIP to ALL economic and other human, activity, than even capitalist economic collapse.

              It’ll be more easy, even in the (undeniable)short and longterm difficulty, to survive economic rather than biospheric collapse.

              If I HAD to( and we do) choose . . .

            2. Mensch59 says

              Yeah. There’s something too in the bible about fearing God.
              Additionally, there is something extremely fearful in both Arthur Schopenhauer’s conceptualization of the Full Feeling of Sublime – Overpowering turbulent Nature. (Pleasure from beholding very violent, destructive objects) & the Fullest Feeling of Sublime – Immensity of Universe’s extent or duration. (Pleasure from knowledge of observer’s nothingness and oneness with Nature)and Rudolf Otto’s concept of the numinous, which comprises terror (Tremendum) but also a strange fascination (Fascinans).
              There’s no way that a coronavirus is going to cause the collapse of the biosphere — not that that’s what you’re insinuating.
              · The virus: relatively nothing to fear. The effective survival rate from contracting this infection is 100%, i.e. the effective death rate of 0.004% (probably at least an order of magnitude less when you account for the science of quantitative analysis being flouted) rounded to the closest whole number is 0%
              · Economic collapse: massive human suffering and death. Probably a population crash. The effective survival rate? Maybe 10%. Who knows?
              · The collapse of the biosphere: human extinction. Survival rate 0%
              · The collapse of one’s certainty in the existence of the sublime and/or the numinous: moot.

            3. newestbeginning says

              Hardly seems to be a point in discussing anything with you folks because in your zeal to make your points, you do not engage honestly by addressing what is said. IOW, there is no point in wasting time talking to what amounts to a brick wall.

              What strikes me as really bizarre about the “arguments” you and your fellow conspiracy theorists make – is your single minded quest to end the shelter in place and GET THOSE POOR FOLKS BACK TO WORK immediately, knowing that a return to unsafe working conditions puts workers, their families and communities at risk. Instead of demanding that employers step up to ensure that workplaces are safe, you are silent on that point because it does not fit the right wing (ruling class) agenda you are pushing.

              In doing this, YOU are arguing that the working class is disposable.

              The virus has killed 16% of the souls who were infected and whose cases were reported as resolving through death or recovery. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.


            4. Maxwell says

              Give me the specifics on death tolls in Italy. By this I don’t simply mean the published numbers but comparative numbers to other seasons, age specifics, comorbidities etc. If you can’t do so then all of your assessments are of no value.

              Tell me what you know of the RT-PCR tests. Cite some specific details to capture the efficacy of this test. If you are unable to do so then all of your calculations on “cases” and/or deaths related to Covid are inaccurate right from the start.

            5. Collectivist says

              ‘Empathy’ is meaningless to them.
              No (fake) ‘logic’ in it.

              Btw, you’ll notice on gravedigger how they’ve made a running joke out of the crises; actually mocking the sick and suffering. Pathetic.

              That’s where that type of libertarianism reveals itself to be the worst kind of reactionary tendency.


            6. newestbeginning says

              When F and F proudly proclaimed that she joined with her fellow open n.zis, Proud Boys and armed mercenaries to protest stay at home in Michigan – and no one challenged her – that spoke volumes. If you are going “there”, it is only a hop, skip and jump to mocking the sick and suffering.

              “What these protesters are fighting for is the right for white people to do whatever we want and to go back to our “normal” lives of living on the backs of African and colonized people for the last 600 years, arrogantly expecting them to serve and meet our needs for us.”


              They might as well admit what “they” are “fighting” for – under the thin pretense of “concern” for the (underling) poor is “me first to hell with everyone else”.

              Interestingly, I am unaware of participation in protests demanding access to healthcare, safe working conditions, access to affordable housing and food security. I must have missed all of that “activism”. ‘o/’

            7. FaunaAndFlora says

              Is that why a black man and a gay man were invited to address the anti-lockdown demonstrations in Michigan? The people at those demonstrations are the working class. You know, those people all you faux socialists claim to care so much about. You really are an ass.

            8. Collectivist says

              Ben Carson and Lindsay Graham?

              Try again . . .

            9. newestbeginning says

              Sounds like Trump planting “his” token black man behind him at his rallies.

            10. Collectivist says


              “Oh, there’s my (1) African American. Over there.
              Come on down!

            11. newestbeginning says

              Hey don’t sell the guy short; he’s got his (1) African American woman too – Candace stepped up after the opportunist, Omarosa, stepped down!

            12. Mensch59 says

              The people at those demonstrations are the working class.

              That’s not a good enough answer for that gal and her ilk.

            13. Elizabeth Hayes says

              When F and F proudly proclaimed that she joined with her fellow open n.zis, Proud Boys and armed mercenaries to protest stay at home in Michigan – and no one challenged her – that spoke volumes.

              Bullcrap. F&F realizes something that you’ll deny: most on the right are none of those things, but many are standing up against totalitarianism, while too many on the left are just begging for it.

            14. sabelmouse says

              i’m not sure our libraries will even reopen 🙁

            15. Collectivist says

              I miss the library too.
              One of my favorite places.

            16. newestbeginning says

              last time I went into a library, there were hardly any books. It was surreal – mostly just computers.

            17. Collectivist says

              Fortunately, Governor Bashear has been hesitant to completely and quickly ‘open’ the state. If you’ve been following the ‘news’ Kentucky has been one of the last states to end the (partial) shutdown. Locally, we (activists) have been collectively launching e-mails to the governor’s office, encouraging him not to give into the pressure, esp. when, he continues to report infections and deaths, in his daily media updates.

              A few weeks ago he instructed the police to take down license plate numbers of those who openly defied his directive to maintain social (physical) distancing by having in-person church services.

              Also, reactionaries have rallied at the capitol. (No doubt, financed by ‘capital’):


            18. newestbeginning says

              Good for you, C.

              Darwin award candidates for sure. “Take off your masks!” And using it as an excuse to deny woman’s rights – while screaming for the “right” to behave socially irresponsibly and risk the health of other people. Those people are nuts.

              Amazing how a few fringe lunatics can “force” states to alter policies adopted for the purpose of public health. Of course it is financed and pushed by capital and right wingers.


              Read this am about a Church that violated California regulations and held services on Mothers day. Next day one of them tested positive so now 180 people who attended the service are under quarantine. Lunatics!

            19. sabelmouse says

              also getting actual books.

            20. Mensch59 says

              Why are these leftists (advocates for the abolition of private property) begging for totalitarianism? Because they crave the (oppressive and corrupted) power of the Leviathan for themselves.
              They’re authoritarians. They’re anti-libertarian.
              Me? I want to believe that this is an eventuality:
              The elimination of poverty.

            21. sabelmouse says


            22. Collectivist says

              The overall commentary . . .

            23. sabelmouse says

              is making fun of pandemic believers, and tests . not people being ill/dying.

            24. Elizabeth Hayes says

              As usual, you’re lying out your azz. NOBODY at The Digger is mocking the sick and suffering, you disgusting liar. You can’t link to one instance of such a thing. And those who upvote your lies – NightriderXP1, newestbeginning, Robert, SteelPirate, and of course Cab Driver xxx – are every bit as sleazy and disgusting and dishonest as you.

            25. Collectivist says

              Antibodies, against Libertarianism- Covid:

              “. . .We live in a society who is taught that having work is what makes you worthy to live. The decline of holistic education is part of our problem here. It goes deeper. Tying health care to employment and gutting welfare paved the way for our current mentality of work or die. Republican protesters who recklessly protested for their right to work seemed to understand that their party would kill them if they didn’t. The Democratic base was the one under illusions as champions of private health insurance companies and tax cuts for billionaires now claimed concern for those who can’t work.

              The system of ruthless capitalism has normalized the mentality held nearly universally that you have to work to have human rights in our society. The number of wars launched in the name of human rights forget that the only reason the United States can claim it doesn’t have human rights violations is because of who it classifies as human. Keep in mind that many of the countries guilty of human rights violations are simply dealing with unemployment rates and resource shortages that result from our own Pentagon who pollutes the world more than any other organization and robs countries of resources by force thereby creating the material condition for endless lack and therefore endless war.

              Coronavirus is skyrocketing the unemployment rate. No matter how you cut it there are consequences. A lack of workers and consumers means less profit for big corporations who own both corporate parties which means bailouts for said companies who, like our bankrupt President have mismanaged themselves into the ground because they know they are too big to fail. A lack of workers means unemployment benefits at best which will only chip into the real wages of workers and further divide the electorate as long as the rich stay unaccountable. At worst those out of work will be left for dead. Bernie Sanders fought for some extensions for unemployment but will this be able to last for the potentially multiyear pandemic?

              We see some problems arising when all human rights are tied to work. The best try to borrow at tremendous cost to put a band-aid on things but the future is chaotic and uncertain. The economy is collapsing and the one to one relationship of work to life is being put into question. For the moment we have a chance to rearrange our desires.

              Why does America have such an allegiance to work? All kinds of sick reasons. Puritan guilt may be at the top of the list. Knowing deep down that all of our destructive glory has been stolen we seek to punish ourselves through work to prove how worthy we are and call everyone who isn’t American lazy. The origin of this country was violent theft, not an honest day of work.

              Slaughtering Native Americans simply wasn’t enough. Why couldn’t we just shut up and enjoy what we had stolen? Instead, we had to constantly prove ourselves as harder workers. The phrase ‘work smarter not harder’ is clearly a new age globalist one. We decided to abuse the beautiful land we had stolen rather than care for it. We needed to be bigger and better. We needed to capture and own as much land as we could and bleed it to death rather than develop sustainable practices.

              The development of agriculture and private property cannot be underestimated as a general trend. Agriculture asserted that more is better and that any long term plan to sustain life human or otherwise took a back seat to production itself. Private property helped to create this necessary separation between human and earth, between past and future, between living and working. Once you own something the mutual dependence vanishes and one party is used and abused until it is no longer useful to the other. . .”


            26. Elizabeth Hayes says

              Sending me a long quote does not change the fact that you were outright lying, which your buddies Nightrider and newestbeginning totally approve of and upvote. Again. Scumbags all.

            27. Mensch59 says

              Lyin’ fer Leftism.
              I guess it’s “strategic”.
              “Scumbags” cannot ever seem to even recognize their wrongdoings, much less make amends for them. That includes this lie — “you’ll notice on gravedigger how they’ve made a running joke out of the crises; actually mocking the sick and suffering” — and upvoting the lie and the liar.

            28. Elizabeth Hayes says

              Yeah, everyone tells me what a great guy Collectivist is. Sure, as long as you don’t disagree with him in the least. Then he turns into the most dishonest, vengeful scumbag on Disqus. All too typical for someone with his “woke” Antifa bad joke ideology.

            29. Mensch59 says

              I don’t understand this entire “woke” stuff.
              Either I’m not “woke” myself so as to understand “woke-ness”, or there’s plenty of fake “woke-ness”. Caitlin Johnstone, who I generally respect for her writing, refers to her version of “woke-ness”, but I guess it’s beyond me.
              My initial reaction to “woke-ness” is the cognitive bias of illusory superiority.
              Cognitive biases are generally well enough understood to have dialogues about.
              “Woke-ness”? It just seems extremely fishy to me.
              The cognitive bias of illusory superiority seems to explain a lot of the behavior of “woke” leftists and how proficient they are at divining fake leftists and reactionaries and those who don’t toe the party line and useful idiots.

            30. Elizabeth Hayes says

              Caitlin Johnstone refers to herself as woke, but from what I’ve learned of the ideology behind it given its present meaning, I haven’t seen much in the way of its earmark in her writing. The people doing the most involved critique of woke/identity politics/critical social justice ideology are the Sokal Square/grievance studies affair writers. Helen Pluckrose probably lays it out most clearly at a basic level:

              Part of the problem in communicating with people who hold the “woke” terminology lies in terminology; they use words and you think you know what they mean, but they mean something quite different, which is why James Lindsay is compiling an encyclopedia of what the terms mean in woke-speak:

              Another problem is that the whole woke thing has essentially turned into a cult, and like all cults, there is no questioning its “truths,” so no arguments or debates are permitted. Those are heresies.

              A third problem is that these people really mean well.

            31. Collectivist says

              Sadly, there have even been ‘bonafide’ intellectuals, like yourself, who objectively, if not subjectively, promote anti-intellectualism:


            32. Elizabeth Hayes says

              You both have no idea what you’re talking about and you’re outright lying. It’s a twofer for Collectivist! Where or where have I ever promoted anti-intellectualism? I’d be waiting till the end of time if I thought you were the least sincere.

            33. Collectivist says

              Actually, to be MORE exact, afaics, you promote/encourage, on gravedigger, mostly, PSEUDO-INTELLECTUALISM . . .and you know this.

              Most of the regular commenters are poster children for it , along with anti-intellectualism.

              “I love the poorly educated” DT

              They make him look like a genuis.😎

            34. Mensch59 says

              Thanks for the links. I’m sure I’ll appreciate the perspectives of Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay. How about you? What are your most memorable experiences with others utilizing “woke-speak”?

              I do like to depend on myself — in addition to dialogue and reading — to understand such social phenomena as “woke-ness”. Maybe it’s like the libertarian pov. There is the traditional, classical version and then there’s the fcked-up American version. Then there’s the model of the political compass and its rejection by those who ONLY acknowledge the right vs left division. I cannot give much credence at all to those who cannot accommodate the authoritarian-libertarian division as they pay lip service to social hierarchical power relations and social hierarchical power structures and from where & how dominant cultural institutions receive funding.

              Part of this trusting in myself is better learning critical thinking skills. “Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.” Quite comprehensive, eh?

            35. Mensch59 says

              And those who upvote your lies – NightriderXP1, newestbeginning, Robert, SteelPirate, and of course Cab Driver xxx – are every bit as sleazy and disgusting and dishonest as you.

              Sad but true. They have a sick and twisted fetish with that blogspot site on which you moderate.

            36. Mensch59 says

              The virus has killed 16% of the souls who were infected and whose cases were reported as resolving through death or recovery.

              That’s being argued. You’re taking that statistic at face value. You’re not taking into account all of the irregularities in deaths being counted as Covid-19 deaths, i.e. (1) “note the extensive amount of detail in flu reporting for twenty years- now next to nothing” (@disqus_Ldnj57i6PQ:disqus) and (2) reporting seasonal flu deaths and pneumonia deaths and non-Covid-19 acute respiratory infection deaths and chronic upper respiratory disease deaths as Covid-19 deaths — completely flouting how statistics are gathered and completely flouting established quantitative analysis methods.

              Coming to terms with these irregularities and thrashing them out is the dialectical approach. Taking worldometers as gospel isn’t.

            37. sabelmouse says

              can’t fathom it! and while i agree that black people could not afford such protests/would risk their lives doing anything even without weapons, that does not negate the need for them.

            38. Mensch59 says

              Most of us — including myself — cannot fathom social breakdown aka economic or financial collapse.
              That’s the problem with the unknown.
              If it’s inconceivable, then the assumption is it cannot happen.
              It’s pretty arrogant to believe that reality (or a realistic future scenario) is dependant on an animal’s ability to conceive it.

            39. sabelmouse says

              as ever.

      3. Maxwell says

        What statistics?

        1. newestbeginning says

          the statistics you and your brethren claim to seek of course.

          Unbelievable, Maxwell, the shill for the ruling class you have become. Put the workers back to work in packing plants despite the fact they put their lives at risk! No biggie. Right?

          Amazing that the likes of you would dare to smear TA and then go on to shill for business as usual in an echo chamber of like minded capitalist shills


          1. Maxwell says

            Well where are your statistics? I’ve never seen you post any- not once- put up or shut up.

            1. Cab Driver xxx says


            2. Guest says

              You still looking around in here hack

            3. Mensch59 says

              The idea of “statistics” from @newestbeginning:disqus comes from worldometer. “The virus has killed 16% of the souls who were infected and whose cases were reported as resolving through death or recovery. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”
              Irrefutable, eh?
              How do you challenge worldometer as a source?

            4. newestbeginning says


            5. Mensch59 says

              @disqus_Ldnj57i6PQ:disqus educated you as to how to critically analyze worldometers as a source.
              Did any of his posts to you register? Or would you rather stay in the mindset that those who skeptically challenge the lethality of BOTH covid-19 AND the lockdown / shelter-in-place / the quasi-quarantine in countries practicing draconian social-physical distancing are shills for billionaires and totalitarians?

            6. newestbeginning says

              Noted is your dripping elitist condescension. Good grief, man, can you write a post these days without virtue signaling to your new idol (recently your former bitter enemy), Maxwell? What the hell happened to you, Mensch?

              What or who the hell has gotten to your “thinking’, man to be pushing the antisocial right wing agenda in service to business as usual and the ruling class?

              About the statistics, the flu statistics are not required to be reported so numbers will not be accurate, but this year’s flu stats are not out of line with previous years – if you would look at your own links.

              You, no doubt, feel “safe” from the virus being isolated where you are. The rest of us are not. Workers in packing plants forced to work in unsafe conditions. Employers being instructed to inform on any employees who refuse to report to work because of unsafe work conditions so their UI benefits can be terminated. Where is your voice on that, Mensch?

              Crickets is what I hear.

          2. Cab Driver xxx says

            “Could be nothing more than coincidence, but the end result of the virus scare seems to mesh nicely with the policies being pushed by the climate crowd.“

            – Flora & Fauna

            And there you have it.
            “The climate crowd.” If Max had something at all credible to say, he’d have to first put sht like this in the trash. He won’t and he doesn’t.

            1. Collectivist says


              The ? is: why not?

              Those who acknowledge capitalogenic climate disruption are the problem?

              The deniers – and rightwing libertarians – are his allies now?

              Politics indeed makes for strange bedfellows.😎

            2. newestbeginning says

              Yeah… weird as hell.

        2. Cab Driver xxx says

          Please. You know g’damn good and well any statistics or response provided to you, a right-winger – or anyone else asking/baiting with “What statistics?” in this fashion will be met with a hell storm of some variation of:

          1) Lol, hehehe, hahaha…
          2) “What a dupe…”
          3) WSWS are Trots, etc.
          4) CDC and WHO are capitalist fronts and/or Fauci is on the take.
          5) Those statistics? You’ve obviously been brainwashed by msm – and you’re obviously a Democrat.

          So my response to you is WHO GIVES A FK? To make whatever case you’re making here Max, or over the last couple of months have seen you currying favor with the staunchest form of libertarian scum – as hostile to any mention of socialist commentary this side of Breitbart or 4Chan. THAT’s WHY IT’S BANNED, mthrfker! To make whatever case you’re making about Covid you have ceased to make any other – and you sure as hell ain’t challenging a single wick of any of the horsesh*t all about you over there. What, you think nobody’s noticed the company you now keep?

          So what’s the end-game, man – grabbing a few libertarians and Trumpers and making your revolution up on the Michigan and Georgia statehouses? Don’t make me fking laugh. The lot of you will be laughed the hell out of there in no time. The time for whatever you believe the stats are telling you is over, Max. It’s high time you put the numbers into words and clearly state what’s on your mind.

          1. newestbeginning says

            Well said.

          2. Maxwell says

            So it seems to you rather impossible that someone is simply in pursuit of the cold hard truth. Are you that much of a misanthrope.

            Always keep in mind that this swindle- and that’s what it is- has put in motion effects that are and will be rapidly accelerating the destruction of the working class. That alone should be cause for you to speak out against it no matter where you may be. It appears your reactionary tendencies here have gotten in the way.

            1. Cab Driver xxx says

              6) “…your reactionary tendencies…”

              When in doubt gaslightIng works just fine, eh Max. And as always, you’re comfortable asking the questions but answering them proves just a little too much for you. Misanthrope. Yeah. Whatever. And please don’t confuse whatever it is you’re doing with “speaking out.”

            2. Collectivist says

              “When in doubt gaslightIng works just fine, eh Max. And as always, you’re comfortable asking the questions but answering them proves just a little too much for you. “

            3. Collectivist says

              “Always keep in mind that this swindle- and that’s what it is- has put in motion effects that are and will be rapidly accelerating the destruction of the working class.”

              The rule of capital itself is a swindle.

              Nevertheless, if you could ‘dig’ deeper than your usual “Liberalism is the only enemy” and “I hate ’em with a passion” and recognize what many ecological socialists have come to understand, you’d fundamentally factor in the role of the NATURAL WORLD, which transcends social struggles and has the FINAL word.

              Even though Covid-19, or any pathogen couldn’t care less about human life, we have to care about it and its affect on humans, and other life forms, if we want to continue to live and live healthy on this planet.

              The contradiction you’re, apparently, unable or unwilling to see – much like the grave digger regulars – is the one that has clearly emerged since, at least, the advent of capitalist society: capitalism vs biosphere.

              The “back to work and don’t worry be happy” “death by killer virus is irrelevant” ruling class tendency , you’re endorsing, also reveals that, in spite of all the ‘radical’* bloviating, you possess not even an iota of concern and empathy for the working class.

              *to reach to the roots of sociopolitical phenomena

            4. Maxwell says

              Stop putting words into my mouth- never said the idiotic garbage you allude to- thought you were opposed to gaslighting- you’re a liar.

              Now wake up and also stop pretending you’re for the working class who are getting hammered by this. $6 trillion just given away in overnight REPO and QE4.

              COVID19 (“war on terror”) as the cover for what was already happening- economic austerity. How f**in’ dense can you be?

            5. Cab Driver xxx says

              Those aren’t C’s words in your mouth, Max. It’s your foot.

            6. CoCoLuv9491 says

              How f**in’ dense can these poseurs be?

              Pretty f**in’ dense!

              Why waste your time on this tag-team of imbeciles?

            7. Mensch59 says

              I owe you an apology.
              Those commenters I once looked up to — Collectivist, Cab Driver (aka Hacksaw aka Mr Z), Steel Pirate, newest beginning — really did turn out to be poseurs and imbeciles and dense.

    6. Andrew Lazarus says

      We have a count of excess mortality compiled from the number of death certificates, regardless of cause. It’s like nothing seen in decades, including recent bad flu years—not just in the USA, but UK, Italy, Sweden, etc. The relabeled flu conspiracy theory founders on this fact. You have to assume thousands of county health departments in the USA, and their counterparts in foreign countries, are in on the scam.

      1. Mensch59 says

        The death certificates make no distinction between dying WITH the sars-novel coronavirus in one’s system or the infection CAUSING death.

        5. The median or average age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 1% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.
        6. In many countries, up to two thirds of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid19 or from extreme stress, fear and loneliness.
        7. Up to 50% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.
        8. Even in so-called “Covid19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction.

        [Source: “Facts About Covid-19”, Swiss Policy Research]
        Regarding #8, official figures are a matter of procedural error. No “scam” perpetrated by thousands of health depts is required.

        1. Andrew Lazarus says

          The USA didn’t have enough tests to use them on corpses, so doctors had to use judgment. That is also the case with most flu deaths, and seventy years ago with polio deaths. The problem with your argument is that incorrect labeling does not explain the large number of excess deaths, many with respiratory distress that looks like COVID-19. The USA had over 20% excess mortality in April, New York State 100%, and New York City about 600%. Until your conspiracy theory can account for one in every thousand New York residents gasping to death in a month, it is nonsense.

          1. Mensch59 says

            Idiots almost always accuse their debating opponents of engaging in conspiracy thinking. That’s what the climate science deniers do too.

            The “tests” are generally worthless. Lots of false positives and false negatives and detecting antibodies for previously existing common coronaviruses.

            “How To Deal with Pandemics”, according to epidemiologist Donald Henderson:

            Let me introduce you to Donald A. Henderson (1928-2016). He was the twentieth-century’s most acclaimed disease eradicator. In particular, he is credited with ridding the world of smallpox. He was born in Lakewood, Ohio, son of a nurse and an engineer. He went to Oberlin College for undergraduate and graduated in medicine from the University of Rochester. He trained two more years at the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Communicable Disease Center, and moved to Geneva to head the World Health Organization’s division focused on smallpox.
            I encourage you to read his entire biography posted at Johns Hopkins, where he headed a brilliant epidemiological team.
            In 2006, at the order of the Bush administration, some computer science programmers with a small group of public health officials began to resurrect a premodern idea of quarantines, closures, and measured lockdowns. This way of thinking is not just premodern; it turned the logic of modern medicine on its head. It was based on a theory that we should just run away from viruses, whereas Dr. Henderson’s whole life had been devoted to implementing the great discovery of modern virus theory that we need not flee but rather build immunity through science, either natural immunities or via vaccines.
            At the age of 78, Dr. Henderson swung into action and composed a masterful response to the new fashion for quarantines and lockdowns. The result was Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza. Henderson, though listed last, was the primary author along with co-authors Thomas V. Inglesby, epidemiologist Jennifer B. Nuzzo, and physician Tara O’Toole.
            Here is the riveting conclusion:

            Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted. Strong political and public health leadership to provide reassurance and to ensure that needed medical care services are provided are critical elements. If either is seen to be less than optimal, a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.

            This is important: when normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted.. Can you get that through your thick skull?!?!

            Maybe you are advocating for a great disruption of the normal social functions of community, thinking that after this disruption a better world will emerge. If this is true, then you ought to be upfront about your advocacy and misanthropy (in addition to your science denial trollishness and overall idiocy).

            1. Andrew Lazarus says

              This may surprise you in whatever basement you live in, but people dying or having to be hospitalized is very disruptive to the community. If you need something to do, the meatpacking plants are hiring, to replace all their sick workers, who can’t or just won’t come in any more.

              Citing a dead man who can’t opine on the specifics of the current epidemic is despicable. In this case it is also irresponsible. Influenza is less lethal than COVID-19 (since the 1918/19 pandemic), is less transmissible (R₀), and has a much shorter incubation period.

              And I repeat, the idea that this is just a normal flu season and the deaths are being relabeled by cupiditous hospitals is a conspiracy theory that founders on the observed excess mortality worldwide.

        2. Andrew Lazarus says

          It’s amusing that Internet randos are so convinced doctors know nothing about assigning causes of death.

          First, the 1% figure appears to be wrong. That may not be surprising, since “Swiss Policy Research” appears to be a fancy name for a crank website, and the author of this piece is a left-wing professor of Classics. It also leaves out that obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are three of these conditions, and that means over half of middle-aged Americans qualify.

          Sweden, with very little lockdown, is seeing 33% excess mortality and, since their rates are rising while other countries’ are falling, they have become one of the worst-hit countries in Europe.

          The of/with distinction is nonsense. No one has found a case of a car crash victim with COVID labeled as a death from COVID. You are trying to take cases of heart or kidney failure associated with the disease and discount them.

          At the end of the day, there are a lot more deaths than you can explain by relabeling.

          1. Mensch59 says

            Dealing with lockdown apologists is much like dealing with climate science deniers. You and your ilk simply are not worth my time and energy.

            You’d do a little research on a website without reading an article and following the hyperlinks. You are intellectually lazy and full of moral cowardice.

            1. Andrew Lazarus says

              In other words, I brought receipts, and you decided to take your ball and go home.

              I assume by climate science denier you mean the vast majority of experts who are worried about the climate, since whatI call climate science deniers are just like you corona deniers in Dunning Kruger levels.

            2. Mensch59 says

              You didn’t bring “receipts”, liar. You discounted a site full of facts and hyperlinks. Maybe you are a closeted Trump-lover who supports alternative facts.

              I don’t deny the existence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, liar. I question how Covid-19 deaths are being counted and I question the logic of lockdown-generated unemployment and social disruptions.

              Play your cupid stunt Dunning-Kruger mind games with someone more gullible, idiot. FO and stay FO’ed.

            3. Andrew Lazarus says

              And you haven’t struggled with the inconvenient fact that all-cause mortality is way up. Something is killing people, and according to doctors, a great many are dying of respiratory distress or cardiac and renal consequences thereof. Now, in the absence of tests (which is a different scandal), maybe it isn’t a coronavirus, maybe it’s Martian Death Rays.

              I find it funny that someone whose profile suggests left-wing views is aligning with the rentier class here trying to get lower-income (and disproportionately nonwhite) service workers backon the job despite significant risk of workplace spread. Maybe your trust fund is looking a little shaky?

            4. dreamjoehill says

              Don’t bothered with facts & reason, these deniers just cyber-scream, “you’ve bought the hysteria!” as if that proves something.

            5. Mensch59 says

              Calling people with facts and arguments “deniers” in the throes of “hysterics” is a lie, you cupid stunt.

            6. dreamjoehill says

              Blah blah blah. Go apply your hemorrhoid medicine and maybe you won’t be so crabby.

            7. Mensch59 says

              RE “all-cause mortality is way up” — prove it.You could actually use statistics to demonstrate that these great many people dying of respiratory distress or cardiac and renal consequences thereof are atypical of a bad season of the flu. Go ahead. It’s your claim. Shoulder the onus. Do the math. Show me the numbers of the “something”. You are the one who is claiming superior knowledge and competency. Just show me the numbers based on the math.

              According to official numbers, the mortality rate of Covid-19 is less than 0.005%. (You do know how to divide the official number of Covid deaths by the worldwide population in order to get a death rate, right? Maybe not.)

              Compare that mortality rate with the top ten causes of death worldwide as per this official site, i.e.

              My contention is that the rentier and capitalist classes, i.e. the billionaires, are using the lockdown and lockdown-generated unemployment and social disruptions to implement overt totalitarian social controls. Discussing such things with idiots like you isn’t worth my time and effort. Suffice it to say that every crisis — whether a terrorist attack or a war or a pandemic or a famine or pollution-caused ecosystem collapse or climate change — will be utilized by the rulers to further consolidate and concentrate their wealth and power in their quest for totalitarian control. (I presume that you’re already aware of the social phenomenon called “inverted totalitarianism” [Sheldon Wolin]).

              I don’t have a trust fund, azzhole. I have a modest nest egg worth less than most people my age have equity in property. I own no real estate and I live on a very modest pension. So GFY, you cupid stunt.

            8. Mensch59 says

              When azzholes with convictions like you also have to resort to lying by resorting to the D-K effect, I realize that I’m dealing with someone intellectually and morally bankrupt.
              Regarding your convictions and lies: Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) — “Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.”
              “Convictions are very absolute. In many cases, they are more about belief than facts. This basis makes the convictions unassailable by anything, including the truth. Lies, on the other hand, are rarely based on anything, and can usually be overturned by simple exposure to the truth. This makes lies a relatively easy opponent to defeat.” ~ Philosiblog

            9. Andrew Lazarus says

              Your inability to explain in your own words why we have 20% excess USA mortality in April (Sweden 30%, UK 60%, New York State 100%, etc.) can not be waved away with third-party quotes.

              Really, put down those trust fund statements, get a personal service job at high risk of infection, put your money where your big, angry mouth is.

            10. Mensch59 says

              RE “we have 20% excess USA mortality in April (Sweden 30%, UK 60%, New York State 100%, etc.” — prove it. PROVE. IT. It’s your claim. Shoulder the burden of proof.
              Even if you cannot, this is precisely what we’d expect from a novel coronavirus causing SARS — as we’d expect from a bad flu season or a novel influenza virus.
              Worldwide, until late 2017, WHO estimated that seasonal influenza was associated with a total of 250,000 to 500,000 deaths from all causes annually. According to worldometers, there have been approx 343,000 deaths from Covid-19 with the first reported case being November 17, 2019. We’ll see what the next six months bring in terms of Covid-19 deaths worldwide exceeding half a million.

              Even if Covid-19 deaths turn out to be or are in the excessive amounts you claim, is it worth the response? “How did a temporary plan to preserve hospital capacity turn into two-to-three months of near-universal house arrest that ended up causing worker furloughs at 256 hospitals, a stoppage of international travel, a 40% job loss among people earning less than $40K per year, devastation of every economic sector, mass confusion and demoralization, a complete ignoring of all fundamental rights and liberties, not to mention the mass confiscation of private property with forced closures of millions of businesses?”
              Why was this paper totally ignored in favor of flawed models based on GIGO? “Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza” by Donald A. Henderson, primary author, along with co-authors Thomas V. Inglesby, epidemiologist Jennifer B. Nuzzo, and physician Tara O’Toole — with this conclusion:
              “Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social
              functioning of the community is least disrupted. Strong political and public health leadership to provide reassurance and to ensure that needed medical care services are provided are critical elements. If either is seen to be less than optimal, a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.”

              I don’t even know why I’m wasting time with a lying azzhole.

            11. Andrew Lazarus says

              Excess mortality. Sweden, USA, England and Wales, NY Times [month old, numbers worse now]. These are counts of corpses, not the allegedly-goosed deaths attributed to COVID-19.

              Slowdown. You have it backwards. International travel is over because no government wants sick people coming and spreading disease. Sad you don’t get your European vacation this year? Too bad. And the devastation to the economic sector is because only a small number of deluded fanatics want to risk death for a movie. Look at Sweden: cinemas are legally open, and almost no one is going. What does it tell you that no major trade union wants more people in factories, working in close quarters, but many owners do? You can’t disguise a 50% or 100% increase in mortality. People will be scared. Not to mention, the deaths and sick leaves themselves impact the economy negatively.

              Your article is about pandemic influenza, so your assumption it applies to the coronavirus is based on your circular assumption that it behaves like flu. Compared to flu of the last 100 years, it is more lethal, appears to be more easily transmitted, and has a much longer incubation period which means far more asymptomatic-so-far carriers. (That’s doubtless related to the higher R₀.) Did you see that one of. the co-authors of your article, who is still alive to look at this epidemic, said we were not overreacting—perhaps, at the time she was interviewed, under-reacting? [That’s kind of a checkmate on your article.]

            12. Mensch59 says

              Again, some of this excess mortality isn’t all that surprising. It’s a novel coronavirus which causes SARS. Duh! These excess mortality numbers don’t differentiate between the excess mortality caused by SARS/ARDS and excess deaths caused by strokes and heart attacks and other morbidities more deadly than SARS/ARDS because people were afraid to seek healthcare for fear of catching Covid. There is more than one cause of excess mortality, but it’s all being called Covid-related.

              Compared to flu of the last 100 years, it is more lethal, appears to be more easily transmitted, and has a much longer incubation period which means far more asymptomatic-so-far carriers.

              How convenient to leave out the flu just a tad over 100 years ago!! Could you be more blatantly dishonest? Oh well. Once a person starts out with dishonesty, s/he’ll usually continue. Why not go back one hundred and two years and compare the excess mortality of a novel influenza virus with a novel coronavirus?

              Sure. This from Jennifer Nuzzo makes a lot of sense: “I think there have been a lot of reports that have misinterpreted some findings of data. The majority of the transmission is going to occur via respiratory droplet… So what do you do to protect yourself from droplet infection? Well, first of all, you definitely don’t go out if you have any level of respiratory symptoms.” But then she ventures into the realm of social disruption — where she contradicts herself in the paper stating “communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted”. This contradiction occurs when she talks in the interview about people who are not spreading droplets. Nuzzo says: “Obviously, staying out of crowds right now is important. Staying away from people, maintaining a physical space of six feet is important. All aimed at reducing that droplet spread.” That’s aimed at all people, including those with no symptoms. That “Obiously” isn’t all that obvious at all when you look at other expert opinion on the effects of social distancing, especially the social disruptions specifically caused by social distancing and the expert opinion on the efficacy of social distancing (including contradictory expert opinion). See Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses: “There was limited evidence that social distancing was effective, especially if related to the risk of exposure.” When an author contradicts herself, it’s time to go to additional sources of information, not declare “checkmate”.

              From another expert: “… [C]ontainment merely prolongs the time the disease circulates until the proportion of immune people is high enough for “herd immunity”, reducing disease severity…” ~ Knut Wittkowski, epidemiologist.
              See also his interview “We Could Open Up Again And Forget The Whole Thing”.

              Another expert opinion confirming the article in which Nuzzo contradicts herself:

              Some worry that the 68 deaths from Covid-19 in the U.S. as of March 16 will increase exponentially to 680, 6,800, 68,000, 680,000 … along with similar catastrophic patterns around the globe. Is that a realistic scenario, or bad science fiction? How can we tell at what point such a curve might stop?

              The most valuable piece of information for answering those questions would be to know the current prevalence of the infection in a random sample of a population and to repeat this exercise at regular time intervals to estimate the incidence of new infections. Sadly, that’s information we don’t have. [This
              quote was taken from an article written 17 March 2020. Maybe you believe [without evidence] that the data is now complete enough to render the next paragraph moot.]

              In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work. School closures, for example, may reduce transmission rates. But they may also backfire if children socialize anyhow, if school closure leads children to spend more time with susceptible elderly family members, if children at home disrupt their parents’ ability to work, and more. School closures may also diminish the chances of developing herd immunity in an
              age group that is spared serious disease.

              We know conclusively that the “prepare for the worst” scenarios didn’t come to pass — not even close — where lockdown-type social distancing was not enforced or when it was extremely relaxed. Note well that I’m arguing against the lockdown continuing – because it’s socially disruptive and it causes unemployment and unemployment is great for the billionaire class. It’s the classic case of the cure (and prolonged social distancing is most definitely NOT a cure) being worse than the disease. I’m not dismissing the novel coronavirus and the disease named “Covid”.

            13. sabelmouse says

              another ” professional” known to me.

  9. ke4ram says

    lol,,, even the poor can see the BS. Who wants to go to a hospital, be put on a ventilator to die to become a Covid 19 marked victim. Anyone that dies in NYC, dies of Covid or at least that is what’s put on the death certificate. If on medicare that a $52,000 dollar profit each….

    1. Andrew Lazarus says

      Can you explain why 6 times as many people died in New York City this April as a typical April? Were hospitals killing them to get the extra Medicare/cal reimbursements?

    2. Andrew Lazarus says

      Over one in every one thousand residents of New York State died in about April. That’s double the usual death count.

      The “fake cause of death” conspiracy theory can’t explain why so many more people died, with symptoms of respiratory distress.

      Now, maybe it was not COVID-19. Maybe it was Martian Death Rays. But is was something.

    3. iowapinko says

      “even the poor can see the BS”

      Woops, your elitist, classist bigotry is showing.

    4. carlo151 says

      Corona deaths can be accurately calculated by taking April-May death numbers from the last 5 years and find the average, then compare to the NY vital statistics for 2020.

      There are variations in numbers every year, but when you take large pools of samples you can get a more accurate accounting then just looking at death certificates of patients who never had a doctor see them before they died.
      Covid patients also died at home and unless tested we not listed as covid.

    5. abbeysbooks says

      Yes. Why I wont go get tested unless it would be to my advantage to do so.

    6. abbeysbooks says

      And what if they just let you die because they are busy?

    7. abbeysbooks says

      Yes hospitals and nursing homes receive money for deaths. that amount is higher for Covid. So gimme a break which one do you think they report?

  10. eggman2 says

    Medicare in the USA is encouraging the classification of coronavirus on any death. If it is classified as coronavirus, the hospital gets paid around $15,000 for each dead person. But if they are classified as coronavirus that had to use a respirator, they get around $35,000.

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