Why are climate change alarmists also coronavirus alarmists?

My Facebook friends who previously posted mournful and/or urgent messages regarding climate change are now posting messages about the calamity of coronavirus (also how it would hardly bother us at all if Obama were still the Great Father in Washington).

One inveterate climate change alarmist posted on Facebook, for example, “We need trillions of dollars to radically change the economics of health care and work in the US in an instant.” (because spending 20 percent of GDP on health care is not enough?)

The 14th century Black Death resulted in significant cooling due to farmland reverting to forest (Wikipedia). Presumably even the most alarmed coronavirus alarmists aren’t expecting a reduction in human population along the same lines as the Black Death, but for folks whose #1 priority is arresting global warming, why is any epidemic fatal disease a cause for constant alarm?

I can understand being a climate change alarmist. I can understand being a coronavirus alarmist. I can’t understand how someone can be simultaneously alarmed about both phenomena.

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Inventor of email is a coronaskeptic

From “Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT scientist and researcher” (also the inventor of email)… “MIT biologist says fear mongering on coronavirus will go down as biggest fraud to manipulate economies”:

Back in October 2009, the H1N1 killed 1,000 people in the United States, including almost 100 children before President Obama later declared national emergency for the virus. At the time, the media hysteria was not as high as it is today.

Separately, the video is a great marketing piece for why everyone should buy a DJI Osmo.


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Foolproof plan to stop the spread of coronavirus

President Trump can stop new cases of coronavirus from being diagnosed in the United States. All that it would take is a one-line Executive Order: “The U07.1, 2019-nCoV ICD-10 code is non-reimbursable by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.”


  • “Impact of Policies on the Rise in Sepsis Incidence, 2000–2010” (Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Mar 15; 62(6): 695–703): “Marked rises in sepsis incidence have generated substantial concern and national campaigns to address sepsis. We show that a significant portion of this increase is temporally related to CMS policy changes that affected sepsis coding and reimbursement
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If the British are right, everything the U.S. is doing about coronavirus is wrong

From my secret source in Ireland… “Coronavirus: What are the British up to?” (RTE):

The UK scientific and medical advisers do not expect the infection rate to peak for another three months.

They believe that it is too early to take drastic measures, and that if they are taken now, they will have to be held in place longer than most people expect, and because of that they would lose effectiveness just when they were most needed, because people would get bored and stop practising the hard disciplines of “social distancing”.

In a Channel 4 news special programme on the virus shown on Friday night, Professor John Edwards, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who also advises the British government, said there are two ways to deal with this virus.

Either stamp it out by curing every person in the whole world who is infected, which we are no longer able to do, or managing the spread of the virus until herd immunity is reached. When challenged about a potentially large death toll, he said “there is no way out of this”.

What, he asked, happens when the lockdown is relaxed? The virus will come back and the risk of a sudden, overwhelming peak rises again.

In other words, the U.S. is due for a massive outbreak of coronavirus in the late spring or early summer.

If the U.S. had a universal taxpayer-funded government-run health care system like the NHS (but with welcome mats spelling out “No Human Being is Illegal” in 15 languages) and no Orange Menace in the White House, Americans would all go to the clinic, get tested like the South Koreans do, and this would purge our great nation of this virus (not to say “foreign virus”), right?

Right now, the British government believes that the biggest impact it can make in terms of slowing the spread of the disease is to request that anyone with a persistent cough or fever should self-isolate for seven days, which is the main infectious period, and not bother contacting a GP or even the phone helpline.

The technocrats in England don’t even want people to go to the doctor, much less fire up the PCR testing machines!

Separately, the article shows that microaggression against the Latinx is muy bien:

Boris Johnson, in his inimitable way, described the resulting chart (or curve, as economists like to say) as looking like a sombrero. And he said the aim of public policy is to “squash the sombrero”.

How is the course of an epidemic in any way like the profile of a sombrero? Isn’t it just up and then down? If Mr. Johnson wants a profile with some action on the brim, why not an English bowler hat? Why pick on our neighbors to the south whom our most righteous Hollywood stars celebrate even as they make plans to migrate to Canada rather than Mexico?

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With unlimited paid sick leave for coronavirus symptoms, why will anyone work?

Friends on Facebook are demanding that the Federal government (i.e., taxpayers) underwrite unlimited paid sick leave in order to stop the coronavirus plague.

This sounds reasonable. We don’t want an infected person coming into work at a restaurant and spreading the infection to 100 customers.

But, on the other hand, especially since our testing capabilities are so limited, wouldn’t this result in 100 percent of people with less-than-fun jobs disappearing from the workforce? Why take the risk of contact with hundreds of customers by working as a supermarket cashier when it is easy to say “I am experiencing some coronavirus symptoms and therefore, out of an abundance of caution, I am staying home to collect my Gov Sick Leave”? (Americans love nothing more than saying “out of an abundance of caution”!).

People who believe themselves to be suffering from a mild cause of COVID-19 aren’t supposed to go to the doctor or hospital, right? So the employer can’t ask for a doctor’s note.

If our policy dreams come true, will the result be a complete shutdown of the typical service business? Or, actually, almost every business. The only thing better than “work from home” is “play Xbox at home and get a 100 percent paycheck”!

Readers: Is there any possible way to design this so that people who do feel well (something no doctor can determine) will continue to work while ensuring that people who don’t feel well will stay home?


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Coronavirus is a Republican plot to prove Trump right?

“The Purell presidency: Trump aides learn the president’s real red line” (Politico, January 7, 2019):

A self-described germaphobe, the 45th president is strictly enforcing proper hygiene inside the White House — and wherever else he goes.

He asks visitors if they’d like to wash their hands in a bathroom near the Oval Office.

“If you’re the perpetrator of a cough or of a sneeze or any kind of thing that makes you look sick, you get that look,” said a former Trump campaign official. “You get the scowl. You get the response of — he’ll put a hand up in a gesture of, you should be backing away from him, you should be more considerate and you should extricate yourself from the situation.”

The president’s admitted germaphobia has been a fixture throughout his career — from real-estate deal rooms to casino floors — and it’s now popping up in more public ways. It could create another round of tactile challenges as Trump launches his 2020 campaign, during which he might try to steer visitors toward his signature thumbs-up selfies and away from handshakes for the next 16 months.

Democrats on Facebook love to say that Donald Trump is stupid, but doesn’t coronavirus make him look smart in retrospect? Maybe COVID-19 came out of a secret Republican National Committee laboratory?

Separately, a Facebook post from a righteous (and now disappointed) Elizabeth Warren supporter:

The news needs to show more White people with covid19 to help quell this tide of insane anti-Asian racism.

(She may have a point; we went for dim sum a couple of weeks ago and there was no wait for a table!)

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Why are preschools/daycares still open?

Yesterday I asked “What is the point of closing universities and companies if K-12 schools remain open?”

Today it seems that a bunch more nearby K-12 schools are closed. The decisions are being made on a town-by-town basis, though. It is unclear to me how this can prevent an epidemic in the Boston area.

What’s more confusing, though, is that preschools/daycares remain open. Won’t that spread the coronavirus among households almost as efficiently as the K-12 schools? Maybe a one-week lag?


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Great time to be in the aircraft charter business?

My friends in the charter business are saying that demand is up at least 15 percent due to coronavirus paranoia (how many Americans need to be hospitalized before we say that it isn’t “paranoia,” but rather ordinary “fear”?). A private plane never looked better!

But, on the other hand, with a huge slate of activities and events being canceled, people won’t need transportation in the first place. Will we see a brief lift in charter and then a catastrophic collapse?


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What is the point of closing universities and companies if K-12 schools remain open?

A lot of U.S. universities seem to be sending the students home to catch glimpses of the truth via Internet (it will be like Plato’s cave, but with LED backlighting instead of a climate-destroying wood fire?).

The stated reason for this mass exodus is that this will slow the spread of coronavirus. But U.S. K-12 schools are generally staying open. Doesn’t that ensure the rapid spread of any epidemic, even if children themselves are not usually symptomatic? Almost everyone has at least some contact with a family with children. As long as the K-12 schools are open, children have contact with each other.

Here’s part of an email from the superintendent of our local public school (Lincoln, Massachusetts)…

The Governor’s Press Conference held yesterday afternoon shared the current status of COVID-19 cases in our state and emphasized how quickly the levels of cases can escalate. In light of the data and the recommendations provided by Governor Baker and Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley, we are putting additional plans in place to ensure that we do everything we can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our school communities. Right now, the level of risk in our school communities is low.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary education is not approving remote learning for pre-K through grade 12 schools.

Finally, I want to remind everyone that events such as this can bring out the best in a community and can also bring out the worst. Please remember that the strength of our community and how we get through this event is dependent upon how we care for each other and reach out to those in need. We may have a tendency to look out for ourselves, intentionally or unintentionally profile others, or carry out actions that are felt as microaggressions. Let us all rise to the occasion and do all that we can to support each other to ensure that every student, staff member, and family feels supported, safe, and cared for. I recommend we all read this document regarding civil rights related to COVID-19. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USED/bulletins/27f5130.

From the linked-to U.S. Department of Education letter:

There has been an increasing number of news reports regarding stereotyping, harassment, and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent, including students.

Nobody had the heart to tell our school superintendent that nearly all of the Asian families decamped some years ago to Newton, Lexington, and Brookline, whose school systems put up higher test scores. We would have to fight our way through quite a bit of traffic (in our Warren-stickered Teslas, naturally) if we wanted to microaggress an Asian.

Readers: If you’re not too busy unintentionally profiling Chinese Americans, can you please educate me on how “social distancing” in the U.S. is useful when K-12 schools remain open?


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Doctor at a big hospital in Massachusetts cannot order a coronavirus test

A friend is a physician at a Boston-area hospital with nearly $1 billion in annual revenue and more than 250 beds.

This evening I asked what he would do if a patient came in with the full slate of obvious coronavirus symptoms. “If his condition is critical, I can admit him,” Doctor Friend said, “but I can’t order a coronavirus test. In fact, the hospital has been trying to get the word out to people not to come to the hospital if they want a test.”

How is that possible? “We can’t do a coronavirus test in-house,” he responded. “I’ve heard that Quest is gearing up and will have millions of tests available soon. Once they’re ready, we can order tests through Quest.”

If a doctor in a big hospital in a big city cannot order a test, how can we have any confidence in what we’re told are the latest infection numbers for the U.S.? How can anyone know how many of our neighbors are infected with coronavirus and how many simply have a bad cold or a mild flu?

Separately, I ran into a friend who runs a small pharmacy with his brother. “Our sales are up 30 percent,” he said. “Mostly cleaning products, hand sanitizer,and so forth. We were able to buy some alcohol at twice the usual price and then we marked it up to $8, but now we’re sold out of almost everything.” Is any of this stuff useful to an average consumer? If the family doesn’t have coronavirus, what is the value in sanitizing everything? If a family member does have coronavirus, what is the value in cleaning up after the fact? “Unless you have new people coming into your household every day,” he replied, “I don’t see what difference it would make versus just washing your hands on returning home. But it makes people feel good to do something.”

He did not think that this round of coronavirus would turn out to be significant. He thought that it would, like the flu, kill some older people and then disappear for the summer.

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