Mini-Throughput: COVID-19

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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75 Responses

  1. Brandon Berg says:

    Also worth noting: Remdesivir has shown some evidence of efficacy, and has somehow already moved into phase 3 trials.Report

  2. fillyjonk says:

    I think the best solution is still in the future: a COVID-19 vaccine. I know they are working on one but it will take a while. Not only will it allow people to mostly avoid getting the disease, but once the vaccination rate in a population goes above 80% or so, it’s very hard for a disease to continue to spread: it’s like cutting firebreaks before a wildfire can come through.

    The R0 (What I, as an ecologist, would call the R-ratio: it’s a measure of “reproduction,” though in viruses it means something different than it does in squirrels or sunflowers) of measles in an unvaccinated population is 18, for seasonal flu it ranges from about 1 to about 2 (depending on strain). So this thing apparently spreads more readily than seasonal flu but it’s not as bad as measles in an unvaccinated population.

    But yeah: get your flu shot and wash your hands, that’s about all we can do at this point. (I am not a big fan of using hand sanitizer if soap and water are available: hand sanitizer is harder on your skin than soap is, and it can cause microscopic cracks in the skin that could allow pathogens to get in. It’s better than nothing but if you have access to a sink and to soap, wash your hands).

    I am more worried about older friends and relatives than I am for myself; I’m 51 and have well-controlled asthma and lowgrade hypertension but am otherwise in pretty robust health and and I take care of myself. I am also worried about the whole “asymptomatic carrier” thing – I doubt I’d be asymptomatic if I caught it but you never know, and I’d feel terrible to learn I inadvertently transferred a deadly disease to someoneReport

    • Brandon Berg in reply to fillyjonk says:

      What’s the 0 subscript for? Are there also R1, R2, etc.?Report

      • fillyjonk in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        No, there aren’t higher-order R values. I am actually not sure where the R-naught designation comes from; I have just always always seen it used in population ecology to explain the “per generation rate of increase.” It may have something to do with the reproducing generation being “generation 0” but then it would always reset to 0….(I am more of a plant ecologist and it seems R-naught is a more commonly used value in animal populations)

        In epidemiology (public health surprisingly seems to share a lot of its math with ecology) it is the number of secondary infections caused by a hypothetical patient 0….Report

      • veronica d in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Here is the wiki page:

        I suspect the subscript exists to contrast its value from R (without a subscript), which is the reproduction number for a population as it is. R_0 is the reproduction number for an unprotected population.Report

  3. Fish says:

    Excellent piece.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    I’m worried about the 2nd Order Effects.

    The virus is unlikely to cause death to anybody in my household, with both of us being older than adolescent and younger than elderly. (Knock wood.)

    But all of the supply chains that I rely on are themselves reliant on just-in-time supply chains. If I were quarantined in my house for a week, we could live like kings… if the water and the power stayed on. If I were quarantined in my house for two weeks, we could survive pretty well, I guess. We’d get bored with some of the meals. “Rice and chicken broth again?!?”

    A month? We’d have to institute some serious rationing and some meals would consist of a packet of goldfish crackers, eaten one at a time.

    If power and water went out, all bets are off. A week, maybe. We’d have to grill a lot.

    If we reach the point of third-order effects, we’re toast.

    Maybe I should get another canister of propane this weekend…Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      Or, maybe, on the way home…


      • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

        I don’t understand what benefit there could be in closing places for a month. I guess if we’re thinking we need that long to get an understanding of the situation. But people cannot go for more than a couple of days without encountering each other. Gas stations, dog parks, pharmacies? And most people can’t telework. The people who can’t telework are probably on the lower end of the earnings spectrum, which means they can’t go without a paycheck for a couple of weeks.

        Anyway, back to my point. Even if you could keep people isolated for a month, isn’t that just going to slow down the spread by a month? If we can make meaningful gains in prevention in that time, great. But does that happen? I mean, in zombie movies, if the zombies turn to dust after two weeks, then a month-long shutdown would end the problem. But viruses don’t disappear.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Pinky says:

          If you reduce transmission, hot spots will burn themselves out and new spots won’t arise very quickly, if at all.

          Schools are important to shut down because the kids will spend an entire school day, every school day, exposed to anyone in the classroom that has it. If the school is one where everybody goes from class to class (like a high school), then potentially everyone in school can be exposed by just one sick student. Then they all go home and infect their families, and suddenly a very large percentage of the town is infected.

          That’s all based on experience with how diseases move through schools.Report

          • Anyone who’s had kids in school knows what a vector for spreading disease they are.Report

          • Pinky in reply to George Turner says:

            “If you reduce transmission, hot spots will burn themselves out and new spots won’t arise very quickly, if at all.”

            Yeah, but only for a month. I guess the idea is, that’s long enough for the infected to move through the whole cycle of the disease, after which they won’t be so coughy and sneezy. That would slow down the rate of transmission. But you’d still have a percentage of the population with a virus in their system. I dunno. I guess I’m thinking about this wrong. Wouldn’t the Spanish Flu have been as deadly if it spread over 10 years?Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird says:

      Canned goods? I am looking at those cans of black beans that were 5 for $6 or something the last time I was at the Kroger’s and feeling grateful; I have black beans, I have rice, I have hot sauce, I can manage for several weeks with that as the main dish for one meal. And I have a fair amount of canned fruit.

      (As long as the power stays on. If it doesn’t, well, I have canned fruit and cheese crackers and almond butter. And I have a water filter AND emergency bottled water)

      I also think I’m glad I have a veritable crapton of books and yarn stockpiled. If I’m stuck at home, that, plus the Internet staying on (knock wood) would keep me from going totally bats.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk says:

        Yeah, I should probably pick up some of those too. Beans for protein, fruit for a treat, Chunky Soup for food that wouldn’t be *THAT* bad eaten at room temperature.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

          Must have an electric range? We gas burners don’t have to worry about electricity for that.

          Water on the other hand… we’re screwed if electricity goes out… stooopid well pump. I’ve tried in vain for years to get a reasonable solar back-up just for the well… I can describe the solution, just can’t find a crew that will engineer the solution.

          There was “a guy” who was doing this for my area… but he died.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Yeah, electric.

            I do this crazy thing where I keep a couple of cases of bottled water around, just in case, and upped that to three recently… but, jeez, that’s not a lot of water, if that’s the only water you have.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Water on the other hand… we’re screwed if electricity goes out

            This is why you had all those kids, March. Hook a pedal-bike contraption to the pump and buy a pressure tank. It’s good exercise for the kids and will teach them important lessons about life, water and the value of hard work.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

              Just gonna drop a rubber tube 164′ down the well and teach them siphoning…

              I’ve also looked into some cool modern hand-pumps for deep wells… either way, need to turn youthful energy into water.Report

      • George Turner in reply to fillyjonk says:

        Yesterday I bought an extra 5-lb bag of Jasmine rice, three bags of dried beans, two boxes of Zatarain’s Jambalaya and two pounds of sausage for them, two boxes of Rice-a-Roni, two boxes of irradiated milk (good till October), three packages of ham, more canned chicken, three large bags of mixed nuts, and three bags of beef jerky. I completely forgot the quick pasta sides, which is why I bought the boxes of shelf-stable milk, so I’ll have to return.

        I already had a case of MRE’s and a large stockpile of canned food. I also have a lot of Asian simmer sauces so I can turn cans of chicken and the rice into a tasty meal. I should be good for about a month.

        I think the likelihood of a utility outage is very low, as that’s critical infrastructure and those folks won’t really have to interact with anyone, or even each other. It’s all radio dispatch.Report

        • Yeah, I should try the UHT/irradiated milk and see if it’s tolerable to me. I drink a lot of milk but am not fond of the canned kind (OK for cooking with though!) or the powdered kind. During a previous ice storm I had to mix up some of the powdered kind to fill in and it was not good.

          But yeah, I am also doubtful of utility disruptions, at least in my area. I think unless the virus takes a solid hold here the biggest issue might be disruptions in supply chains of food, and, down the road, made-in-China products (e.g., tennis shoes).

          At Faculty Meeting today my chair did suggest we be thinking of plans for how we could finish out the semester by teaching “remotely” if it came to that. For me the biggest issue would be “no more labs” though I could lab-grade based on what we’ve achieved so far.

          And testing. I’d have to write some pretty tough and gnarly essay exams and just assume (announce to the class) they’d be open book, and have them take them online.

          But for everything else? I have all my illustrations/keywords in Powerpoints and I could even video myself on my phone and post it on the class BlackBoard site.Report

          • George Turner in reply to fillyjonk says:

            I’ve had the UHT/irradiated milk before and I can’t tell it from regular milk, whereas the condensed or powdered milk have a very distinct taste that screams “fake milk!” I rushed to buy it now because I figure that as soon as people get a bit more worried, lots of them will have the same idea and buy up the small quantity that’s in stores now.

            I also forgot to grab some Pillsbury French bread dough (next to the Pillsbury biscuits), which keeps in the fridge for a pretty good while and takes up far less space than stuffing loaves of fresh bread in the freezer.

            Root crops store well but I can’t think of any way to maintain fresh salads under a lock down this time of year. Judging by a food storage chart and a few other sources, the vegetables that keep three to four weeks or more are apples, pears, potatoes, onions, garlic, lemons, and oranges,. Other common refrigerator foods that last a month or more are cheese, eggs, yogurt, margarine, plus condiments.

            I’m sure many people would need to stockpile beer, smokes, and other things they routinely pick up at the gas station/mini mart, so it might be a good time for them to buy e-Cigs and switch to hard liquor.

            I feel bad for all folks who will need to stockpile major felony levels of weed or other drugs to get through this. But who are we kidding. They’ll just stick to their usual schedule, though maybe they’ll get a bit more creative about the transaction, as if it was a dead drop in a spy operation or kidnapping, or a prisoner exchange at the Berlin Wall.

            Advice on how to stay safe during such a deal might make a funny article for a campus newspaper, especially written up in some creative style, like a Western or a Hunter S Thompson Gonzo journalism piece crossed with an episode of “The Walking Dead.”

            “So there I was, red bandanna covering my face, staring down Wild Chaz McAllister (fake name) across the Starbucks parking lot. He was twitchy. I was twitchy. He sidled away from his Mini-Cooper and slowly pulled a small Ziploc bag from his vest. I couldn’t tell if he was one of the infected, but I could picture the cloud of deadly virus that could be swirling around him. Right then a tumbleweed blew across the parking lot, a purse-poddle yapped, a girl named Ainsley said “O.M.G!” and her friend Amber said “L.O.L!”, and I knew this was it for one of us.”Report

          • IDK if you’ve ever tried the milk replacers (rice milk, soy milk) but they have some shelf stable ones that are tolerable. I’m lactose intolerant but sometimes have an urge for a PBJ and have the rice milk with that, and it’s not terrible.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

      I go through this every year living in Hurricane Country. We generally keep about two weeks of canned good around and have water containers to fill. tablespoon of bleach in 5 gallons and you are set from a water treatment perspective.Report

    • Kristin Devine in reply to Jaybird says:

      People underestimate how much it’s this that is the real concern. What if there’s no food at the store? What if your boss shutters your office for a few weeks or months? How will people live?

      I mean, I seriously doubt many people are going to be wanting to make a baby the next few months, and March-May are usually my best months. This will likely entail a huge pay cut for me even though I can still work from home.

      Shout out to my sister in law, who for the past few years has bought us big packs of emergency food for Christmas.Report

  5. Chip Daniels says:

    The first case is already here:

    Which is to say, the first case of someone being tested and found positive.

    Every day, thousands of people flow into and out of the US legally, without being tested. So its likely that a thousand other people who are positive are walking around right now, tourists visiting Disneyland or Six Flags or businesspeople conducting meetings, or visiting relatives or citizens returning from vacations.

    So the idea of quarantining the infected seems pretty dubious.Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      I also doubt, modern people being modern people, that there’d be sufficient compliance with a quarantine. Either precariously-employed people with no sick leave would hide being ill the best they could, or entitled-minded richer people would believe quarantine is for The Little People and go to the movies anyway.

      I’m still trying to make up my mind whether to cancel my train trip the third week of March – less concerned about me getting sick than me picking it up and transferring it to someone in the “likely to die” demographics.

      Lord, this just sucks.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to fillyjonk says:

        David Anderson over at Balloon Juice has a good post on the common sense recommendations for avoiding catching or spreading the virus; stuff like washing hands and not coming into work with the sniffles.

        But he also notes how privilege affects this. I could easily just tell my boss I’m working from home and it would be no problem. The girl working at Starbucks or driving an Uber or interns at an office doesn’t really have that privilege, she will likely just come to work no matter how sick she is, and spread the contagion to every customer she encounters.Report

        • fillyjonk in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          We were quietly told in the weekly faculty meeting that it might be wise to have a plan formulated to teach-from-home (using the campus LMS). For me, labs and test security would be an issue, I might just have to grade on the basis of “what labs we’ve already done” and just write some really gnarly essay-type exams (on the assumption that it would be open books, open notes, open Internet for the students).

          But yeah. If we had to stay home to avoid transmission in the community or even if I got a mild case of the thing, I could teach from home. Lots of people can’t do that, the person stocking shelves at the local grocery can’t do that, there will still be plumbing problems and presumably plumbers would still have to go out for at least some things.

          I see people worrying online about “but if this sickness becomes super widespread, we might lose electricity or clean water if there aren’t enough well workers at the electric company or the water treatment plant” but that seems very, very unlikely to me. I don’t think *everyone* in a community is going to catch this, especially not if people start to be smart about handwashing and not touching their faces and social distancing; it seems like droplet transmission (someone sneezing on you) and “fomite” (touching something someone recently sneezed on) are the main routes; it’s not broadly airborne.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to fillyjonk says:

            Worrying about the power going out tends to cast it in the image of a science fiction movie, something unreal and fantastical.

            The more realistic scenario is a recession.

            As workers across the world become furloughed, leading to a slowdown of trade, leading to fewer orders, leading to layoffs, the question becomes not how long you can live without electricity, but how long can you live without a paycheck?

            A large percentage of American households live paycheck to paycheck, and even a few missed paychecks, or even a reduction in hours, leads to financial catastrophe.

            In addition as large numbers of people seek medical attention, even a simple office visit, this puts a further financial strain on household budgets and insurance and public coffers.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Last night a commenter at Instpundit from LA asked how he could contact Glenn directly, as he’d spent about 100% of his time over the previous days working with the Korean flight attendant who just tested positive for corona virus. I think he was wanted to submit an article about it.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

        I wonder how many people he worked with, who are now infected.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I would assume quite a lot, plus countless passengers. If his claims are true (perhaps he’s mistaken about which Korean was infected, though this seems unlikely) then a major breakout here is almost inevitable. Control measures can be highly effective as long as you know who’s been exposed, but if the wrong person slips through the cracks, our high levels of social interaction and travel makes running down all the leads almost impossible.

          The speed of the breakouts in Korea and Italy (with related cases showing up all over Europe) show how fast things can go all pear shaped.Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    This is an interesting thought on 3rd Order Effects:


  7. George Turner says:

    Japan reported that a woman who’d cleared the virus later tested positive again, and some reports out of China say that 25% of recovered patients later re-test positive. That indicates that it’s a “two-phase” infection that can go dormant and then reappear again. Well great. COVID is not only lethal, it’s persistent. However, sometimes a virus that recurs doesn’t appear in the same part of the party, so perhaps the second phase isn’t airborne. In any event, this means that all the patients who’ve recovered still have to be monitored, and perhaps stay isolated.

    By the way, the cruise and travel industries are already winding down, and I think we’ll inevitably see ads that say “Las Vegas – Reopening in September!” I wonder how fast city councils will shut down sports events, bars, and most especially strip clubs? Camping, boating, and hiking are the only recreational activities that might see an upsurge, as everybody decides to finally spend some time in that remote location. I’ll bet lots of scientists are submitting their applications to winter in Antarctica.Report

  8. The scariest part is who’s in charge. Not just him (gag doctors who might tell the truth and hurt the stock market) but him (previous experience making epidemics worse.)Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      U.S. workers without protective gear assisted coronavirus evacuees, HHS whistleblower says

      Trying to think of something snarky to say.

      But the facts are more damning than my imagination.Report

    • I’m not too worried about Pence. His previous experience was worsening an HIV epidemic by ending needle exchange programs. But needle exchanges have long been a target of the GOP, who despise them. Don’t think he’ll have a problem with hand-washing and quarantines. What we need right now is organization and money and Pence should be fine with both.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Michael Siegel says:

        His previous experience was worsening an HIV epidemic by ending needle exchange programs.

        I think it’s the other way around? NPR just told me that when the HIV epidemic was running rampant he initially rejected but then prayed on and received an affirmative answer to instituting the needle exchange program.

        The other skill set he brings to DC, according to NPR, is cutting all sorts of healthcare funding in Indiana.

        On the upside, he has Executive Branch experience at fucking things up!Report

    • George Turner in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Warren was saying the exact opposite, when she screeched “Even worse, Trump refuses to centralize crisis management in the White House — allowing CDC scientists to be overruled and sowing internal dysfunction. All this mismanagement casts doubt on how effectively he can deploy emergency funding.” Well now that he’s centralized crisis management in the White House, I’m sure she’ll reverse herself yet again and demand a distributed approach.

      Warren’s also been saying that xenophobia and travel restrictions are anti-science, and her plan was to defund the “racist” border wall, I suppose so infected people can flood in. Yet she’s also screaming that we must be prepared to fight diseases that don’t stop at borders – I guess because she refuses to stop them at borders.

      And she said she can fix the corona virus response once Trump is out of office, which is *checks calendar* almost a year from now. What a plan. Bolting horses, barn doors. Yeah. She’s also said the key to fighting it is her Medicaid for All Plan, which stumps me because people on Medicaid are going to be the ones with by far the highest death rate from coronavirus.

      Another part of her big plan is to push the CDC to work on a universal flu vaccine. I guess an important part of fighting the corona virus is to divert the CDC toward other things? And she intends to increase NIH funding by having NIH researchers pay money back to the NIH – who pays the researchers, I have no idea what that’s supposed to accomplish, and I’m sure she doesn’t either.

      But of course she’s not the only one flailing around. When Trump put travel restrictions on China, including quarantining people returning from China, Joe Biden slammed Trump’s “reactionary travel bans.” Biden said “We have, right now, a crisis with the Corona Virus. This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia — hysterical xenophobia — and fear mongering to lead the way instead of science.”

      Joe’s mind has long since gone to pasture. Restricting travel from China is why we’re not already having to lock down major cities like South Korea is. Maybe he should go back to telling us how he got arrested on the streets of Soweto when he was trying walk over to Robben Island (which is an actual island in the Atlantic ocean, 750 miles from Soweto) to meet Nelson Mandela, and how Mandela came to his office to thank him for being the only Western politician who got arrested trying to see him. At the next debate Biden will probably end up claiming that he’s been consulting with the developer of the monkeysocks vaccine, Jonas Salk (died 1996).

      The two of them need to be put out of pasture because their brains really don’t work very well anymore.Report

  9. Stillwater says:

    Coronavirus cases by country via @CNN

    China 78,497
    South Korea 1,766
    Japan 907
    Italy 650
    Iran 245
    Singapore 96
    Hong Kong 92
    United States 60
    Kuwait 43
    Thailand 40
    France 38
    Bahrain 33
    Taiwan 32
    Spain 24
    Germany 23

    Japan has already shut down all their schools, but they’re worried about the Politics of Olympics* so they’re totally over doing it.

    *I think Noam Chomsky wrote a book about this titled The Political Economy of the Olympics…Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

      I don’t know why people are making such a big deal out of this when so many more people die on our highways in car accidents…

      {{That joke is for all the libertarians out there. 🙂 }}Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

      The main thing that I worry about there is that I have no reason to believe China or Iran’s numbers.

      Or, if NPR is to be believed, the US’s.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

        But you believe Germany’s and Bahrain’s?

        I don’t believe anyone’s numbers.

        Add: I mean, I believe they’re the “officially reported” numbers….Report

      • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

        Iran’s vice president has COVID-19, as does one of the primary hostage takers from ’79. That means there a chance that much of Iran’s top leadership might come down with it, and COVID-19 is far more fatal among older folks.

        One of the implications, given that many over there will conclude that the virus is Allah’s will (as is everything) , is that the highly religious who back the regime might take this as a sign that Allah has decided that Iran’s leadership needs to go.

        At least one epicenter for the Iranian outbreak is the holy city of Qom, one of the holiest cities in Shia Islam and where the Ayatollah Khomeini opposed the Shah before being exiled to Paris. Both Sunnis and Shias who think in terms of events transpiring on a “higher plane” might read quite a bit into that. Or of course they might just treat it as an outbreak of the flu, or perhaps claim the whole thing is bio-warfare carried out by American and Israeli spies.Report

        • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

          More on Iran from the Atlantic. Their response is catastrophically bad, so incompetent as to border on evil.

          A few excerpts:

          Watch this incredible video, at once comic and horrifying, of a top Iranian health official, Iraj Harirchi, assuring the public that the situation is being addressed, while sweating and coughing on colleagues and his audience because he has contracted the coronavirus.

          Nor is he the only top official to have been infected: Today, Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran’s vice president and a notoriously cruel member of the group of Iranians who held U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979, announced that she, too, has the disease. According to reports, she met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet just yesterday, potentially exposing the entire senior leadership of Iran to the disease.

          Harirchi stated that the government refuses to impose quarantines, because they are premodern and ineffective. Mohammad Saeedi, the head of the shrine in Qom and a local representative of the country’s supreme leader, not only opposes a quarantine but begged people to visit the shrine, calling it a “place of healing.”

          Note: The video he referenced isn’t actually in my link, which goes to and not the Atlantic, following the way Real Clear Politics does it.

          They’re encouraging people to continue visiting Qom, even though Qom likely has thousands of infected people just walking around.

          And then there was this:

          Users on Twitter describe how the Ayatollah Tabrizian [a cleric in Qom] has publicly denounced Western medicine as “un-Islamic”.

          In a post to over 120,000 followers on the social messaging service Telegram, Tabrizian, a purveyor of traditional Islam medicine, listed several alternative techniques for fighting the spread of the contagious disease, known as Covid-19.

          According to an Iranian news site, which obtained a screenshot of the message, Tabrizian recommends consuming copious amounts of brown sugar, burning wild rue, as well as inhaling snuff.

          His eighth tip is the most striking: “Before bedtime, drench some cotton in violet oil and apply onto your anus”

          Iran’s actions are going to hit the whole region very hard, because they haven’t even cut travel from the region to and from Qom.Report

  10. Oscar Gordon says:

    Sorry Michael, this post if far too reasonable and measured. It does not have the appropriate amount of panic inducing hyperbole above the fold.Report

  11. Hey, great post! Thanks for writing it!Report

  12. George Turner says:

    Another case of community transmission of unknown origin has shown up in Portland (Lake Oswego, 8 miles south), and worse still is that the patient works in an elementary school with 420 students and 24 teachers.Report

    • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

      And a fourth case of unknown origin (no connections to travel or known cases) has shown up in a 15-year old student in Snohomish County, Washington State. The boy kept going to school for several days after he started showing symptoms, so it’s likely that many other students were infected.

      So Washington, Oregon, and California all had unknown infectious people out there spreading it.

      Chuck Schumer just deleted his February 5th tweet where he said “The premature travel ban to and from China by the current administration is just an excuse to further his ongoing war against immigrants. There must be a check and balance on these restrictions.” I can see why he’d desperately want that tweet to disappear.

      The president of Korea thought the same thing and didn’t put a travel ban on China, and now South Korea has more new cases than China and his approval numbers are tanking. The public feels he valued trade and good relations with China above the health of South Koreans, whereas Trump put people’s health first.Report

  1. January 29, 2021

    […] COVID specifically, the entire danger, as I noted in my first post on the subject, is that it has a long asymptomatic phase during which it is still infectious. COVID-19 could be […]Report

  2. February 25, 2021

    […] has been almost exactly one year since I first wrote about the Coronavirus. I think most of that piece holds up. I badly overestimated how well our government would respond […]Report