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“Plus, if most people were to choose between spending their afternoons meditating on spiritual teachings or eating ice cream and watching their favorite movies, I think the majority would go for the latter.”

No doubt. But I was talking about people who read and comment on this blog, who are presumably more committed to a nonmaterialistic worldview than the average person.

Still, I take your larger point. It reminds me of Hamlet pondering “the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns” which "makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of."

I’ve always found this speech odd in one respect. Hamlet has already been visited by his father’s ghost, yet he characterizes the afterlife as an unknowable realm from which no one returns. Even if he suspects that the ghost was an impersonating demon, he still seems to have had direct proof of the supernatural — “ocular proof,” as Othello would say.

I thought this guest post on the Power Line blog, submitted by an Ivy League professor who chooses to remain anonymous (such is the level of acrimony in our society today), was well worth a read.

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/04/we-are-needlessly-devastating-our-country.php

Some good news. The Stanford antibody study is out. It suggests that 3% of the population of Santa Clara County, CA, has been infected with the coronavirus. This is a much higher number than official estimates. If true, it means the virus is less lethal than feared. (The more people who’ve had it and didn’t die, the lower the lethality.) If the Stanford study holds up, the fatality rate of COVID-19 drops to 0.12%, in line with seasonal flu.

Of course it’s only one study, still preliminary.

https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1251170511557722115

Meanwhile, anecdotal reports suggest that states like CA and TX are getting back to normal, or something like it, regardless of government orders.

In response to this, someone on Facebook asked if I’d ever seen hospitals overwhelmed by an ordinary seasonal flu.

Well, actually ...

//The 2017-2018 influenza epidemic is sending people to hospitals and urgent-care centers in every state, and medical centers are responding with extraordinary measures: asking staff to work overtime, setting up triage tents, restricting friends and family visits and canceling elective surgeries, to name a few.

“We are pretty much at capacity, and the volume is certainly different from previous flu seasons,” says Dr. Alfred Tallia, professor and chair of family medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “I’ve been in practice for 30 years, and it’s been a good 15 or 20 years since I’ve seen a flu-related illness scenario like we’ve had this year.”

Tallia says his hospital is “managing, but just barely,” at keeping up with the increased number of sick patients in the last three weeks. The hospital’s urgent-care centers have also been inundated, and its outpatient clinics have no appointments available.

The story is similar in Alabama, which declared a state of emergency last week in response to the flu epidemic. Dr. Bernard Camins, associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that UAB Hospital cancelled elective surgeries scheduled for Thursday and Friday of last week to make more beds available to flu patients.

“We had to treat patients in places where we normally wouldn’t, like in recovery rooms,” says Camins. “The emergency room was very crowded, both with sick patients who needed to be admitted and patients who just needed to be seen and given Tamiflu.”

In California, which has been particularly hard hit by this season’s flu, several hospitals have set up large “surge tents” outside their emergency departments to accommodate and treat flu patients. Even then, the LA Times reported this week, emergency departments had standing-room only, and some patients had to be treated in hallways.//

Etc. Other examples are given. So yes, even a bad flu season can overwhelm hospitals.

In the current case, I believe there’s been a risk of overwhelming hospitals only in New York City, and even there the extra facilities (Navy hospital ship and outdoor tents) weren’t needed.

https://time.com/5107984/hospitals-handling-burden-flu-patients/

https://seekingalpha.com/news/3561767-stanford-study-points-to-far-higher-rate-of-covidminus-19-infection

Stanford study points to far higher rate of COVID-19 infection

Apr. 17, 2020 2:08 PM ET|By: Stephen Alpher, SA News Editor
The study of a random sampling of 3.3K living in Santa Clara County found those infected with coronavirus to be 2.49%-4.16% of the population. Extrapolated out, that would mean 48K-81K folks infected in Santa Clara, or a whopping 50x-85x more than officially confirmed cases.

The public policy implications are enormous in that they would change by a mile the denominator when figuring out the fatality rate. The study authors figure the rate would be something closer to 0.12%-0.2%, or in the same area as normal flu levels.

Some are questioning whether the sampling was truly random, but others note these numbers comport with other studies coming out of Europe. Coming soon are results from a study of all MLB employees - from the front offices to the players to the hot dog vendors.

//The 2017-2018 influenza epidemic is sending people to hospitals and urgent-care centers in every state, and medical centers are responding with extraordinary measures
----

I'm a 66-year-old woman. This past November, I came down with "the flu". It was a particularly extreme case of body aches and coughing that lasted for about a week. I had difficulty taking deep breaths which lingered another few days afterwards. As I'm prone to let most colds and flu run their course I never bothered to consult a doctor, my justification in avoiding such visits being - why spread it around? I thought it was another bug that seems to hit with the season. I fully recovered. Now I'm wondering if this same flu had hit me in March 2020, would I have been labelled a Typhoid Mary of Covid 19? And would my illness have been fertile ground ready to accept the seed of fear of dying from this strain of flu because of the panic-driven 24/7 news coverage of this virus? It hard to say now, although I've always held to the belief that I will not die one hour sooner or live one hour longer than my allotted time on this plane of existence - no matter what cautionary measures I may or may not take.
It seems I've escaped the throes of death until a later date and so for now I'd like to get on with the business of living "normally" again.

Yes, people are stupid. And many like it when someone "high up" tells them that to do. Takes the responsibility off their shoulders. Fear is desirable by both those in power and those who need power to shackle them.

"If life after death is real and materialism is mistaken, then why are we clinging to a subpar quality of life? I don't get it."

Because life is a sine-wave: up and down, up and down, period of expansion, period of contraction, up and down, ad infinitum.

If you survive a low point, then life will always improve. And that's what we're clinging to: not our current sub-par or curtailed lives, but the upswing - when times are good again (for awhile at least. lol).

The one thing you can always count on is that life will throw shit at you. It's the nature of the physical plane and, arguably, the very reason we're here.

Maybe try beating the pillows, Michael. There was a lot of misdirected bile aimed at Jean's relatively benign post. Just my opinion.

I heard now that this virus attacks the t-cells like HIV does. Also now causing kidney damage and and other vital organs. Evidence seems to be mounting as well that this virus escaped a Wuhan lab. I wonder why this virus seems to be hitting New York so badly.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/more-bad-news-on-the-long-term-effects-of-the-coronavirus.html

If you're worried about civil liberties, let Trump Barr and the McConnell judiciary get four more years and you'll see the death of democracy, then you'll really wonder where it went.

I'm finding this side of your website really disturbing. It makes me wonder if I should come here anymore.

https://reason.com/2020/04/17/in-sweden-will-voluntary-self-isolation-work-better-than-state-enforced-lockdowns-in-the-long-run/?utm_medium=email
In Sweden, Will Voluntary Self-Isolation Work Better Than State-Enforced Lockdowns in the Long Run?
JOHAN NORBERG | 4.17.2020 11:50 AM

Pretty deep and sophisticated article.

The first Synthetic Pandemic? Man who discovered HIV says Coronavirus is man made. CCP destroyed the evidence.

http://joannenova.com.au/2020/04/the-first-synthetic-pandemic-man-who-discovered-hiv-says-coronavirus-is-man-made-ccp-destroyed-the-evidence/

Worth watching: The Epoch Times Documentary on the Origin of CCP Virus (Coronavirus).
The Epoch Times are an organization of dissident reporters, staunchly anti-communist.  They interview medical and political experts and we also find out the Chinese lab was set up with some US funds and with a lot of French support.  Obama cut off funds in 2014. But the West has made it as easy as possible, offering help, expertise, and training.
https://youtu.be/XMJ0EmMfb3U

"I'm finding this side of your website really disturbing."

Whatever you do, don’t check out my Facebook page! It’s far more political than anything I post here. I don’t want to have it on my conscience if your head explodes.

"And that's what we're clinging to: not our current sub-par or curtailed lives, but the upswing - when times are good again (for awhile at least. lol)."

I may not have made myself clear enough. I don’t doubt that our situation will improve, at least in terms of our national house arrest (although I worry that when we emerge from our burrows, we will face a degree of economic wreckage that most of us are not prepared for), But when I talk about clinging to life, I’m speaking more generally.

Perhaps it’s just a function of getting old and seeing friends and relatives die, usually after a long painful decline, often with dementia or other conditions that leave them a mere shadow of themselves ... but whatever the reason, I just don’t see why people are so intent on clinging to physical life *if* they believe they have solid grounds for expecting a better life in the hereafter. I do understand why people cling to life if they believe death means extinction, or if they fear Hell. But for people of a more (for want of a better term) spiritualist bent, this kind of "addiction to living" makes no sense to me.

Again, it may be a function of age and general exhaustion with the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. Anyway, for me this attitude predates the dreaded virus.

"There was a lot of misdirected bile aimed at Jean's relatively benign post."

Maybe I was too quick to react. If so. I apologize. But I do get tired of people saying that a general lockdown should be extended because they themselves face special circumstances. I find it incredibly short-sighted and frankly rather selfish. Whether they know it or not, they’re willing to bankrupt thousands of small businesses and plunge additional millions of people into longterm unemployment. I think that either they don’t understand the catastrophic nature of the financial situation we're faced with, or they just don’t care. (I suspect most don’t understand, but some who are comfortably well off and expect no personal privations don’t care. A few may even take pleasure in the thought of the hoi polloi taking it in the shorts. All those Walmart people, you know ...)

\\"I just don’t see why people are so intent on clinging to physical life *if* they believe they have solid grounds for expecting a better life in the hereafter." - Michael Prescott//
-------------------------------

"I do believe but forgive my unbelief." from the song "There is a Reason", Alison Krauss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWXNm9b6pKs

In statistics there is a thing called confidence interval which is how much confidence we have in our data. It's expressed as a percentage. I think generally it rarely gets to 100%. I used to see the world and things in it as being completely solid and real but since reading and learning about quantum physics my confidence in the solidness of this place has been greatly shaken.

I'm not so sure about anything anymore. I could be completely wrong about pretty much everything.

Remember, we all have to stay inside indefinitely, Do it for the children!

Oh, wait ...

//Hundreds of thousands of children could die this year due to the global economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic and tens of millions more could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis, the United Nations warned on Thursday.

... the U.N. report warned that “economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in an hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year.”

With businesses shut down and more than a billion people told to stay home to avoid spreading the virus, the International Monetary Fund has predicted the world would this year suffer its steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The United Nations said an estimated 42 million to 66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the coronavirus crisis this year, adding to the estimated 386 million children already in extreme poverty in 2019.//

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-children-un-idUSKBN21Y2X7


I think the “Joan of Darby” 4/27/20 post provides a good example of how most people would have reacted to coming down with the ‘flu’ prior to all of the fear mongering associated to the Corona Virus. But apparently there are many people who want to be part of ‘what’s happening’ even though it might be ‘Dying with COVID-10’ causing them to react with fear and pushing them to rush to the hospital emergency rooms---when otherwise they would not have---thereby overwhelming some hospitals in highly populated areas. Who knows that if having a mental attitude of fear of death from COVID-19 might be strong enough to act as a voodoo death spell or a strong post-hypnotic suggestion provided by the constant reinforcement by the media actually causing decreased resistance to disease and allowing any virus infection to have a more serious outcome in a given individual than it normally would have had otherwise?

Maybe this says something about how highly suggestible a large part of the human population is. Maybe this tells us something about how populations can be taken over by charismatic leaders who want to gain control of them.

This not to say that there are not seriously debilitated people who would have died anyway without any mental involvement but those people probably would have had a difficult time surviving any influenza virus or anything else that caused them breathing difficulties. Pneumonia has always been a killer of very elderly or otherwise health-compromised people including the very young. - AOD

The sad truth here is that Michael P takes to discussion of political events it reminds me of his political views and his inability to correctly process political subjects, which makes me remember that this inability to parse information cannot help but extend to the information he presents that's on-topic in this blog. Thanks for the reminder, MP.

Interesting ongoing discussion.

What I'm failing to see from the pro-lockdown side is a basic justification for the *ongoing* measures. No numbers, nothing.

* How many people have been saved thus far?

* How many people will be saved going forward?

* What is the "sweet spot" of measures--the most lives saved for the least amount of lockdown and economic distress?

My guess is that those spreadsheets are out there (certainly in the form several independent analyses), but I think it's unconscionable that we are not seeing them.

Right now, the reasoning seems to be "Because it's saving a lot of people--but we can't give specifics."

If someone has seen these specifics--anything *current*--I would love to see them. I have not come across them.

"Thanks for the reminder, MP."

I aim to please!

Matt,
The Stanford study should put a lid on this debate. The study found that, as I have been saying, many more people have been exposed to the virus that was thought by the "experts" and that most people didn't even know they had it - and that means the fatality rate, based on Stanford's large sample - is very close to being the same as the flu.

Yes, it is a very rough flu for the elderly and infirm - some flues are. Maybe it's even more rough for that demographic than a regular bad flu. I'm still not so sure about that, but it isn't so bad for the younger and fit.

There is no reason to have the country shout down and the economy destroyed.

\\"But for people of a more (for want of a better term) spiritualist bent, this kind of "addiction to living" makes no sense to me." - Michael Prescott//
---------------------

A part of me wants to go and a part of me wants to stay... and they are constantly at war with one another. I got people who actually love and care about me and I'm pretty sure they want me to hang around for a while longer.

We don't live for just ourselves. It's that oneness and connectedness thing again.

Eric,

I wonder what you think of the evidence growing that the virus is killing a lot more blacks and Latinos minorities in the United States. I am going to stick with the fact that this virus most likely escaped a Wuhan lab as the evidence is pointing in that direction. Interesting article on why some young people die from Covid-19.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/05/health/young-people-dying-coronavirus-sanjay-gupta/index.html

WaPo 4/18 email: The latest
A scientific breakdown and shoddy manufacturing practices at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caused the agency to contaminate its early coronavirus tests in January, The Washington Post revealed based on federal documents and interviews with dozens of scientists. Those early mistakes fed into a chain of government missteps that allowed the virus to spread undetected in the country for weeks. You can see a detailed timeline of the failings here.

The United States sent millions of face masks to China early this year, underscoring the government's failure to recognize the growing threat of the coronavirus. https://s2.washingtonpost.com/28959e9/5e9b5f6afe1ff6038c0af295/cm9nZXJrbmlnaHRzQGNvbWNhc3QubmV0/16/58/a0a4a1b16ec9cad7573d5686c577743c

Oops—Here's the link that should go with the first paragraph of my just-submitted comment:
https://s2.washingtonpost.com/28959e0/5e9b5f6afe1ff6038c0af295/cm9nZXJrbmlnaHRzQGNvbWNhc3QubmV0/7/58/a0a4a1b16ec9cad7573d5686c577743c

[MP: Could you edit this in?]

MP: "Remember, we all have to stay inside indefinitely, Do it for the children!"

Blogger Joanne Nova wants to extend the shutdown in Australian in order to eradicate the virus, and to quarantine all incoming visitors for two weeks if a test to detect asymptomatic persons isn't developed. And to aggressively trace and quarantine the contacts of all cases that pop up thereafter.
It seems unrealistic to me, FWIW.

Eric says: "The Stanford study should put a lid on this debate. The study found that, as I have been saying, many more people have been exposed to the virus that was thought by the "experts" and that most people didn't even know they had it - ...."

Unfortunately, that study has been criticized on apparently good grounds: mostly because it advertised for participants in local media. This would have drawn a disproportionate number of persons who had had symptoms and were curious as to whether they were due to the coronavirus or to the flu. There were a couple of other criticisms, mainly about the reliability of the tests used.

Here's a link to a thread on JoNova's blog about a survey in Austria that found only a 1% infection rate in the general public. (But it's probably flawed too. We still, after all these weeks, don't have a handle on many of the important aspects of this situation.)

"Finally [about a week ago], Coronavirus random tests show only 1% infected: Herd Immunity is tiny":
http://joannenova.com.au/2020/04/finally-coronavirus-random-tests-show-only-1-infected-herd-immunity-is-tiny/

To pass the time (when you're not earthquake-strngthening your house), one can listen to the entire archive of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" radio shows at https://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/archive?

I think that’s right Art. Most people don’t live for themselves. Even if they’re not very happy and are neutral or even keen to leave, their love and connection with other people can be a powerful reason to remain and tolerate life,

'I just don’t see why people are so intent on clinging to physical life *if* they believe they have solid grounds for expecting a better life in the hereafter.'

I imagine there are countless reasons why people would want to hang on, but if I had to guess, I would suggest that fear is the biggest reason. I can't remember exactly where I read it, but one medium recounted how a friend and mentor of hers, despite having seen and talked to spirits her entire life, was still scared when it was time for her to die. After her passing, she visited the medium and said it was the fear of taking that final, irrevocable step into the unknown that made her hold on.

After some reflection, I think that's a very good observation. Even if you believe in a spiritual existence after death, death itself is still a big deal. Once you die, that's it. There's no coming back, and you really don't know what's waiting on the other side. You're also saying goodbye to the only life you've ever known. While you may be free from all its miseries, you're also saying goodbye to all its pleasures, too: No more good food, no more listening to music or watching movies, no more sunsets, camping trips, holidays, or sex, and, worst of all, time with family and friends. Worse still, even if you're fortunate enough to have family and friends with you when you die, you still have to die on your own. No one can come with you or share the experience with you (save for some rare shared-death experiences).

Well, that was depressing. Here's a knock knock joke.

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Hatch!
Hatch Who?
Bless you!

There is no way of knowing who is "at high risk" and who someone who is "not at high risk" would kill if they acted selfishly and irresponsibly, the very character traits championed by "libertarians".

In 1918, among others, the Surgeon General urged that the military institute social distancing as a means of fighting the outbreak of influenza and the pneumonia resulting from it, only to be rebuffed by the military authorities, which led to more deaths among not only those "at risk" in the general population but for many young, healthy people, as well. This far into that pandemic the actual nature of those who would die in the pandemic,which far exceed the numbers of war-dead, was not known, then. We don't know what more weeks or months into it will show, we don't even know how many people in the population have died from it now or how many have been infected due to insufficient data collection through testing.

In short, your libertarian conclusions are based on insufficient information for them to be safely assumed. One thing we do know is that previous viral outbreaks from animal to human transmission have been a result of a libertarian view of the factory farming of animals for meat and eggs. That is a hard fact that is a result of libertarian ideology, right now.

Anthony, I'm not a libertarian. I'm a right-leaning centrist politically. (I wouldn't say far-right, since I'm socially liberal — pro choice, pro-gay marriage etc.) I'm in favor of regulations for health and safety and a strong social safety net. I would favor some kind of guaranteed health insurance, as long as private options could be retained. I'm not necessarily in favor of legalizing pot, a big libertarian cause, and certainly wouldn't legalize harder drugs. Libertarians seem to want a balanced budget, which I think is a dumb idea, and open borders, which no sovereign nation on earth permits.

Sweden has implemented the coronavirus policy that I support. I don't think Sweden is generally regarded as a libertarian country.

Actually I'm not sure anyone is a libertarian anymore, other than a handful of aging Ayn Rand fans and the goofballs of the Libertarian Party, who seem to have smoked way too much dope.

Liberal here.

Anthony McCarthy wrote:

||We don't know what more weeks or months into it will show, we don't even know how many people in the population have died from it now or how many have been infected due to insufficient data collection through testing.||

Right, there is a lot we don't know. But someone can provide a range of possibilities and justify the current measures with a spreadsheet.

Also, we all know that we can't keep these measures going forever. Not even that much longer. So what do we do then?

The pro-lockdown argument is not some kind of "default setting"--it needs to be justified in its own right, just as arguing the lockdown needs to end at any given point needs to be justified.

||One thing we do know is that previous viral outbreaks from animal to human transmission have been a result of a libertarian view of the factory farming of animals for meat and eggs.||

The good libertarians of China?! For better or worse, factory farming is not a libertarian practice. It is standard practice around the world.

Leo,
What really was the purpose of that CNN video of a 30 year-old man dying from something? In my mind one purpose of that video was to provide a heart-wrenching interview with a young wife who had just lost her husband and to foster fear in the viewers of CNN that they too, even though young may die of Corona virus. One just had to assume that the story was about someone who was diagnosed with Corona virus and that in fact his death was due to that cause. Dr. Sanja Gupta apparently is supposed to give the story some credibility. While his wife may have had a positive diagnosis it was unclear that the young man had one.

The problem with these CNN stories is that we are never given all of the facts about the situation. The man may have been an athlete in his younger days but the photo of his face (there was no up-to-date body shot), shows him to be overweight or obese. He was a 30 year-old ex-athlete coaching handicapped children. Reportedly he was a “star baseball player” as a teenager in high school Am I to assume that he was at the pinnacle of robust athletic health today as he was as a teenager and as he appeared in what may have been a wedding photo? I don’t think so!

I want to tear my hair out over reports like this because they don’t tell the whole story and viewers are made to assume things that may not be true and then, viewers get sucked in to a highly emotional account from a grieving wife Brandy and a saccharine solicitous CNN interviewer whose hidden goal is to instill fear in the general population. His wife said that, “Ben always said the nights had been the worst for him, he would sweat and when he laid down a certain way," Brandy said. "It was particularly hard for him to breathe."

Obese people can die of sleep apnea and any additional stress on the lungs would facilitate that outcome. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle

The thing is I don't hear of many morbidly obese people dying from this virus. Yes there is a lot of morbidly obese people instead I guess we will just pick on overweight and obese people. Plus there are young people dying here in Canada too. I am well aware that CNN are good at making cases sound more severe than they are they do that for ratings. I do think we do need to get back to normal soon. We cannot this virus to keep us trapped in our houses forever.

https://globalnews.ca/news/6781910/youngest-covid-19-death-alberta-woman-canada/

@MP: "... among the many exceptional and divine things your Athens has produced and contributed to human life, nothing is better than those [Eleusan] mysteries. For by means of them we have transformed from a rough and savage way of life to the state of humanity, and have been civilized. Just as they are called initiations, so in actual fact we have learned from them the fundamentals of life, and have grasped the basis not only for living with joy but also for dying with a better hope."
—Cicero, De Legibus 2.14.36

Leo,
I hope this is going to be my last post about metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, high insulin levels and high blood glucose levels and how they lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases and how they may relate to adverse sequelae in people infected with the Corona virus. Here are a couple of random statistics:

“As of 2015, 30.3 million Americans have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published that “[T]he obesity rate reached 42.4% in 2017-2018 – surpassing 40% for the first time. While adults across age groups saw similar obesity rates in 2017-2018, there were disparities by race and ethnicity: At 49.6%, the obesity rate was highest among black adults, though it was also above 40% for Hispanics and non-Hispanic white adults. The obesity rate was lowest among Asians, at 17.4%.”

Most of these people with diabetes or prediabetes will often appear to be healthy. Family, friends and neighbors would probably say that they were very healthy. People who are overweight or even obese may also be called healthy by some people but once obesity becomes morbid obesity it becomes obvious that those people are not healthy.

All people with insulin resistance are not healthy. They are all on their way to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems, loss of vision, kidney disease and other chronic diseases of abnormal blood sugar. In all of the cases of young people dying of Corona virus that I have seen (which are only a few) the people appeared to be obese, not morbidly obese but obese.

Metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance) causes obesity and type 2 diabetes. People can be cured of type 2 diabetes and/or easily lose weight if they reduce the amount of carbohydrates in their diet to 20 grams or less per day and follow a ketogenic nutrition plan. Eating few carbohydrates takes some getting used to but after a week or so limiting them to 20 grams a day it becomes easy. I lost 30 pounds in less than four months on a ketogenic diet.

For those who are interested here is a medical definition of obesity. Being overweight is not necessarily being obese.

Obesity has been precisely defined by the National Institutes of Health (the NIH) as a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 and above. (A BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight.) The BMI, a key index for relating body weight to height, is a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m) squared. For adults, a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or more is considered overweight.

It appears that people do not want to take being overweight or obese as a serious health problem, But metabolic syndrome is a serious condition affecting more than 100 million people in America making them more susceptible to negative outcomes from any lung infection caused by micro-organisms. - AOD

But I do get tired of people saying that a general lockdown should be extended because they themselves face special circumstances. I find it incredibly short-sighted and frankly rather selfish. Whether they know it or not, they’re willing to bankrupt thousands of small businesses and plunge additional millions of people into longterm unemployment. I think that either they don’t understand the catastrophic nature of the financial situation we're faced with, or they just don’t care. (I suspect most don’t understand, but some who are comfortably well off and expect no personal privations don’t care. A few may even take pleasure in the thought of the hoi polloi taking it in the shorts. All those Walmart people, you know ...)

I understand, Michael, and it's clear that one of the things that activates your empathy is the plight of the working class, blue-collar "Walmart shoppers" who you feel are often dismissed by liberals. We all have our personal trigers that provoke a strong response. For me it's the plight of animals, and elderly people, and sometimes the fate of children. And for many liberals, it's the illegal aliens crossing the border or the plight of refugees... We all have groups that we identify overly much with, which activate our crusading spirit an get us riled. I understand.

In fact, I myself got riled when You were using words like "food shortages" just because pigs weren't being slaughtered enough for your taste. I almost wrote and gave you a dressing down...as in, "How does a lack of pork on someone plate consitute a food shortage?! Meat is not a given, it's a luxury. Why don't you try eating some beans and eggs to get your protein. Meat is not NECESSARY and a lack of it does not mean we're going to starve. I haven't eaten meat in many years and i'm healthy and FINE."

(((blush)))...So that was my moment of indignation on this forum. But take it with a grain of salt, I'm not really mad. I accept that meat is important or people even though i don't agree with it. Slaughtering animals is just one of my triggers...as we all have.

I think you generally bring up good points...maybe slightly alarmist, but that's okay. We're all living in a really weird time right now, and waiting to see what the future impacts will be.

Just like the Ralph Fiennes movie.

Matt Rouge, China is a notoriously corrupt dictatorship, there is plenty of libertarian economic activity that happens within it, especially if someone in a position of power is making a profit,that was true all during the overtly Marxist phase of the dictatorship as, indeed, it has always been for the elites of even totalitarian regimes. The only real interest in a dictatorship is the benefit of the dictators - which is actually a class of people, not even Stalin or the Kim regimes are actually in complete control of the central character, one of the reasons they are constantly killing off people in their inner circle of gangsters.

As to presenting a "range of possibilities" those can include everything up to and including the possibility that I heard the epidemiologist Mattew Meslson present to a stunned CBC radio announcer, that someday a viral disease will arise on some poultry farm that will spread through modern means of transportation and render the human species extinct. When said stunned announcer, after about fifteen seconds of dead air asked if he really meant that, he said, yes, that was a possibility given the size and concentration of the human population and modern transportation. And there is no way to know where, how or when such a point in the "range of possibilities" will arise. That lack of specific knowledge is no excuse for ignoring lesser pandemics.

The CDC pushing the panic button saying a second deadlier wave coming this fall/winter. Ugh.

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