The BCG Vaccine

Just like the theory that everybody has already been infected so IFR must be really low, and/or not too dissimilar theory that there had already been a wide round of coronavirus infections as early as Dec/Jan, I think this is most likely just another “cope” (wishful thinking).

Bloomberg: Nations with Mandatory TB Vaccines Show Fewer Coronavirus Deaths

I avoided posting about it initially, but it still seems to be doing the rounds, so here goes. Open up the Wikipedia. France had mandatory BCG vaccination for schoolchildren from 1950-2007. But lots of French people are dying regardless.

So any protection it gives must be modest.

Really, the most obvious explanation is that they simply confounded ex-Communist countries (which are generally in an earlier stage of the epidemic, mostly on account of their lower level of connections with Italy) with the BCG vaccine.

But we’ll know soon enough anyway.




Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Karlin, what do you think about granular lockdowns, like Moscow and St. Petersburg may need a lockdown, but Yakutia, the Komi Republic, and Chukota do not because of their low population density. Also that low population density States like Iowa and the Dakotas do not need community lockdowns.

  3. Philip Owen says

    I’ve been down both the TB route (historical infection ie late with BCG) and the December/January infections. I’ve ended up with Chinese New Year dispersal from Wuhan, which is the obvious source. I still keep to steel industry personnel as a particular group that spread the disease from Wuhan with the textile industry an additional factor in Lombardy and Aim. I haven’t quite abandoned early infection spreading mostly among the young and fit.

    Meanwhile hydroxychloroquinine continues to flop.

    The original French “trial” involved 36 patients without a control. 30 patients completed the course, got better and survived as do 98 out of 100 people who catch Covid-19 without treatment. Six did not complete the course. One died. Two became too ill to continue. Two refused to continue because of side effects. One left the district. Trump declares a breakthrough!

    The recent Brazilian trial had 41 patients in the experimental group. 11 died of heart problems induced by the drug. For those who say “millions take it for Malaria”, the answer is that prophylactic doses are much lower so cardiac related death events are less frequent.

    The vaccines and treatments allegedly available were all developed for other diseases. The drug companies want more monies for their orphans. However, they failed to work on their original targets. There is no reason to think they will do better on SARS2; most were developed for SARS1. So, if we match previous fast track records, 5 years to a vaccine, 2-3 years to a therapy. Managed herd immunity is the only way out of this short of genuine economic collapse. An antibody test, perhaps doable within a few more months, will be a huge aid to this. It is the least speculative medical panacea.

    My next door neighbours have both had it. Should I do my gardening when they are out in theirs? :-). (Yes. Sunshine kills it. Cheltenham festival of Racing did not spread CV – entirely an open air event. The Stereophonics concert held indoors the same weekend was a superspreader).

  4. Philip Owen says

    I’m not AK but I would impose travel bans, even on local travel, in the Red States and provincial Russia with ring testing around individual cases in otherwise virus free cities and towns. That said, it is probably too late for the larger cities. There are already signs of community infection in Saratov, although the governor has declared women’s hair salons as an essential service.

  5. My BCG take à la Godfree Roberts:

    Consider a possibility that BCG offers a significant protection against the covid virus.

    If covid was a bioweapon probably it was known to its maker that BCG vaccination offered a protection. The country behind the bioweapon would be BCG vaccinated.

    World map of BCG vaccinations.

    Here CVS files with specific info on BCG coverage per country.

    So we can exclude the US, Israel and Italy who never practiced BCG vaccination from the list of the suspects. We can safely exclude most of the western Europe that stopped BCG vaccinating years ago. So who is left? Russia and Japan! Would Russia or Japan benefit from a conflict between China and the West? Russia much more than Japan. Russia could stay on the sidelines and come into the
    conflict in the very end as a savior. Where would Russia deploy it first? Obviously in China to establish the provenance of the virus (after all it is coronavirus that could come form bats, pangolins…) in the eyes of everybody in the world so blaming China would become a nationals sport in many countries. And then the virus would be deployed to Iran to redirect the blame on the US and Israel so China would have its culprit as well.

    If the US with zero BCG coverage was to be a target it would be no brainer for the aggressor to develop a bioweapon that produces worse outcome for countries w/o BCG.
    Here are all preprints of papers that look at covid epidemiology and BCG.

    This paper takes into. account the confounding variables of life expectancy and country temperature
    Figure 2: Effect of BCG vaccination policy on COVID-19
    a. The boxplot of total cases per one million population sorted by BCG Group in countries with life expectancy higher than 78 years. Groups B and C (no current BCG vaccination) show a significantly higher rate of cases of COVID-19 compared to Group A (countries currently implementing BCG vaccination). Groups B and C (no current BCG vaccination) show a significantly (p = .0024 and p = .0326) higher rate of cases of COVID-19 compared to Group A (countries currently implementing BCG vaccination)

    If I am reading Fig. 2 correctly, the countries w/o BCG have higher covid deaths rate by 1-1.5

    I am skeptical about how the deaths rates were derived as different countries are at different stages of the epidemic.

  6. SIMP simp says

    Romania has deep connections with Italy with 1 million migrants living there and at least 100k of them returned and brought Corona-chan with them spreading it throughout the country as most migrants to Italy are from the poorer regions. Still, the epidemic is not bad with the exception of the town of Suceava which is locked under quarantine. There are 3-400 new cases/day without any sharp increase and 360 deaths overall, ICU units are not full yet.
    The big scandal these days is that some quarantine measures are being slacked to allow the Romanian Orthodox Church to perform some religious acts like sharing candle light on Easter, this Saturday night, with the help of police. This has got the progressives crazy as they hate the Church and see the use of police to spread the light as an misuse of police power.

  7. Felix Keverich says

    Moscow metro. Today. Police is diligently checking people’s QR passports, creating massive queues.

  8. LeRaccordeur says

    “Really, the most obvious explanation is that they simply confounded ex-Communist countries (…) with the BCG vaccine.”

    Well, it is absolutely consistent with what you explained on ex-communist countries health system dealing with epidemics. However, it does not prevent some western relative outliers from existing.

    An interesting comparison can be made between Spain and Portugal as of April 15th.

    Pop.: ES: 46M/ PT: 10M
    Med. age: ES: 43.2/ PT: 43.9

    Hospital beds p. 1,000 capita: ES: 3.0 / PT: 3.4
    Critical care beds p. 100,00 capita: ES: 9.7 / PT: 4.2 (the lowest in Europe)

    While there is no ES official data regarding the number of ventilators prior to the crisis, they were only 1 per 10,0000 capita in PT, probably the lowest amount in a western country.

    Tot. deaths : ES 19,000/PT: 600
    Deaths per 1 million people(!) : ES: 413/ PT: 60

    It would be interesting to investigate the difference of mortalities between these two strongly integrated countries sharing a similar population structure.
    The relatively good performance of PT can difficultly be put down to the excellence of its health system that does not seem to be better equipped than Spain’s and is quantitively weaker than the ones of Eastern Europe.

    The BCG could be a lead knowing that PT was the last in the West to systematically vaccinate (until 2016) while ES stopped doing it in 1980. However your counter-argument can be opposed as critical cases are mostly born before the 1960’s.

    Case to follow.

  9. china-russia-all-the-way says

    Only about half of the people are wearing masks.

  10. Felix Keverich says

    The recent Brazilian trial had 41 patients in the experimental group. 11 died of heart problems induced by the drug. For those who say “millions take it for Malaria”, the answer is that prophylactic doses are much lower so cardiac related death events are less frequent.

    400 mg is the maximum safe daily dose of hydroxychloroquine for people under 60 years old. What kind of dosage they were using on these patients?

    I concur that overdosing 70 year old on hydroxychloroquine might give him heart problems. It is also extraordinary stupid thing to do.

  11. Felix Keverich says

    Russia’s new economic relief plan as announced by Putin is a joke! Putin offers businesses monthly handout of 12.000 rubles per worker. On one condition: they didn’t fire any workers since April 1.

    Median wage is over 30.000 rubles in Russia. Over 60.000 in Moscow.

  12. This is an interesting analysis. But I don’t see why anyone would base an entire theory on BCG as the core piece.

    There may be modest benefits of BCG, but China has universal BCG vaccination and they were very succeptible to CV.

  13. Only about half of the people are wearing masks.

    One of the biggest miscalculations of the authorities. Citizens are not required to wear masks, and the media publish recommendations of faggots from who that masks are useless. On the other hand, masks are not available for sale, these masks must be ordered via the Internet.

    A funny example – in St. Petersburg planetarium specialists created (from the mechanisms that were in the planetarium) a semi-automatic line that mass-produces masks.

    Now when buying a ticket to the planetarium (the planetarium is closed, but the ticket is valid for the entire year), the buyer receives 10 masks for free.


    Coronaviruses mutate too much, and there are already different strains, for a vaccine to work. Italian strain has supplanted the Wuhan strain.

    Amused by the likes of Austria and Denmark opening up, they haven’t even had any herd immunity built up yet.

  15. Yes Britain had a BCG vaccination program until recently, I had one. Didn’t take this theory too seriously.

    That said it is interesting all ten doctors dead so far in Britain are ethnic minorities, I think all were born overseas.

  16. Brás Cubas says

    What about this:

    Coronavirus in South Africa: The lull before the surge?
    by Andrew Harding

    Mysterious abrupt drop in coronavirus cases in South Africa intrigues experts
    (This seems to have been written by the same Harding guy)

    Nobody seems to know what’s happening here. The BCG vaccine was one hypothesis, but other countries that applied it are not experiencing such low numbers.

  17. I’m worried about the strategy for the epidemic management in Russia, especially with the favourable climatic conditions for the spread of the virus continuing for a couple of months.

    Obviously, Moscow should have been sealed hermetically by the army two months ago, and quarantined all travellers returning from abroad to the country, into hotels in Moscow. Then the rest of the economy in other cities should have been able to continue working as normal in April, while Moscow could have turned into a zombie apocalypse, with everyone legally required to wear whatever surplus of GP-5 gasmasks still exists for distribution.

    Instead, allowing Moscow to spread its infection, was combined with a lack of surveillance, and has resulted already in poor timing of economically damaging lockdown in other cities.

    Economically, it is not easy to lockdown indefinitely. People need to get income somehow. In Siberia, a large proportion of businesses are restarting already, before the detected epidemic has begun. So, the economic costs of lockdown were absorbed, before any anti-epidemic benefits had been possible (at least according to current epidemic surveillance).

  18. Come one, it just a mild flu season.

  19. It doesn’t sound like the absolute worst idea. In the provinces, it would basically be compensating businesses half the cost of a lower skilled worker (higher skilled professionals often work in essential spheres or in spheres that can be done online), which given the difficulties of firing people may make it entirely unprofitable. It wouldn’t be as much of a consideration in Moscow or other rich oblasts, but there local governments will have their own support programs on top.

    However direct cash payments to citizens are still obviously a much better idea and in general they should be spending at least 5x as much as they currently are but I suppose such radical changes are too much for the economic neoliberals who run Russia to contemplate.

  20. Just Passing Through says

    It is good from a multicultural propagandist POV. Now it can be claimed that brave ethnic minorities are putting their lives on the lines to save us all and we would all die without them!

  21. Philip Owen says

    Minimum wage in Saratov is 9800 Roubles. 12,000 is very decent.

  22. Philip Owen says

    I agree. It does not look hopeful. I have already talked about innoculation in a reply on James Thompson’s column.

  23. Europe Europa says

    But barber shops are presumably not an essential service because any man who sees the condition of his hair as essential must be gay and therefore an undesirable in Russian society?

    Also, if the barbers are shut what’s to stop a man using a woman’s salon to get his hair cut, or are they only allowed to serve women? Perhaps this isn’t even a possibility in Russia though, as Russian men wouldn’t dare be seen using a salon for the ladies, such “manly men” that they are?

  24. Europe Europa says

    A lot of people are saying that this crisis will cause a big increase in nationalism and opposition to mass immigration but I don’t get that impression. In Britain it has mainly resulted in rural village dwellers being confrontational and aggressive towards second home owners, most of whom are native British, going there from urban areas, and people reporting each other for perceived violations of the lock down restrictions.

    I doubt it will make much difference to the perception of immigration because immigrants are mostly permanent, it’s people visiting/living in areas temporarily that people are most concerned about.

  25. I think Karlin’s reaction to this pandemic has been like his reaction to Stallone’s CLIFFHANGER. Over the top.

    I can’t help thinking people are going to look back and realize they went way overboard.

  26. YetAnotherAnon says

    “Cheltenham festival of Racing did not spread CV – entirely an open air event.”

    Have you been there? Everywhere is crammed, everyone is drunk or at minimum ‘happy’, everyone is shouting at their neighbour a foot away in order to talk to them above the noise – perfect transmission mode. Thousands of people spend most of the day in the bars, not outside. And in the evening, the same thing in the pubs.

    It’s not like Epsom Downs where you can have your picnic in relative space.

  27. Not just South Africa, but all of Africa this is not a major disease. This Corona virus is a first world problem disease, in third world countries you have much less people around that shouldn’t still be alive. Compare this to dysgenic utopias (dystopias?) such as New York, London or Italy, where being unhealthy and unfit is considered a normal part of life.

  28. One of the biggest miscalculations of the authorities. Citizens are not required to wear masks,

    In Northern-Western Europe, where I am – I estimate perhaps >95% of people I see in shops or in streets, do not wear masks. (I saw one person with a mask for around 1 hour in the city).

    And believe of the people is like coronavirus cannot be spread in the air.

    I was visiting a post office today, and atmosphere is like it is a happy holiday time. People are unusually talking to each other, and to strangers in the queues, in a closed air environment, with around 1 metre distance.

    On the other hand, masks are not available for sale,

    In Ukraine, in supermarkets, they seem to have all this kind of medical mask stocks, antiviral materials and hand sanitizer.
    . I guess they receive much more supplies.

    Ukraine must have a much better supplies of these materials than in Northern-Western Europe. My friend in Ukraine, was saying how everyone in both the city he works, and a different city which is his native city, was wearing such type of medical masks 2-3 weeks ago.

    these masks must be ordered via the Internet.

    Around 2-3 weeks ago, you could still order in Russia through the internet, a real respirator (the only internationally certificated one in Russia), from Unix in Perm.

    Unfortunately, it looks like they are not selling filters now, although it could return to stock.

  29. Europe Europa says

    South Africa isn’t that third world by general Sub-Saharan standards though. It’s basically the only Sub-Saharan African country with more or less a functional universal health care system, people don’t just die in the street there and also South Africa’s economic decline is relatively recent. Prior to 1994 South Africa was very much a first world country, so even if post-Apartheid South Africa is on its way to third world status, I doubt that is reflected in its demographics yet.

  30. BCG is known to have a certain efficacy against respiratory viruses.
    3,699 Cases
    652 Recovered
    10 Deaths

  31. Israel had BCG vaccination of children until 1982.

    A team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they have found that a vaccine originally developed to fight tuberculosis and commonly used to treat bladder cancer may also be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s, a chronic neurodegenerative disease that causes memory loss, language problems and loss of the ability to function. […] Inflammation is a defense mechanism of the body that happens when the immune system recognizes damaged cells and begins the healing process. However, when inflammation persists longer than necessary, because of an overreaction of the immune system or for other reasons, this can cause harm, as is the case with Alzheimer’s.

    The exact way the BCG vaccine affects cancer has not been deciphered but it is known to have an impact on the immune system, the researchers said in their study.

    Thus, the BCG vaccine, which “modulates the immune system, may serve as an effective preventative treatment to this crippling condition,” said Bercovier in a phone interview. “Looks like BCG is able to reduce this inflammation.

    Israel bans going to China for transplants because the fact of the Chinese scheduling the operations a month in advance meant they were killing people to order then harvest fresh organs.The Chinese are evil, and what they do in their own country is now something the West must treat as a matter of its own self preservation.

  32. Blinky Bill says
  33. In the late Soviet period and subsequently in Post-Soviet times, the activity of cutting men’s hair was performed almost exclusively by women, although in establishments known as “men’s hairdressers” or in salons catering to both genders; it was in line with the Soviet policy where a number of working class professions not requiring physical strength or driving skills (cashier in a shop, nurse, telephone operator, waitress) were almost exclusively female staffed.

    It is only quite recently that male barbers and barbershops had their renaissance (incidentally, in earlier Soviet times a disproportionately many barbers were of the Jewish ethnicity) and in provincial Post-Soviet towns are still rare and considered as somewhat of a fad.

    So the idea is that in Russia, it is not a big deal for a man to have a haircut in a women’s salon.

  34. Apartheid was definitely better for blacks than fully black countries, but the overall percentage of blacks means it was always going be at black levels of functionality and thus could never be a first world country (only for the whites it could). Besides that, the sight of obese people driving around in those carts in shops is something you see in America and its other ZOG satellite states, this not a kind of life that South Africa could have, there is simply not enough money to do that.

  35. I think you need a little context. In 2005 China and America exchanged thinly veiled nuclear threats over Taiwan after there was talk of it declaring independence. I was being rather foolish with the comment that the US ought to threaten punitive military measures against China in the event there was a second wave of Covind-19 that killed many millions of healthy people in the West. There are already two distinct types of COVID-19 pathogen. The original was Type ‘S’, and it is mild. The newer Type ‘L’, which is much more specialised to infect humans and much more lethal, arose in China but now exists only in the West. They could not suppress it, but police state China could, being more able to take ruthless measures against their own population more easily than the West. Apart from possibly greater innate resistiance to coronavirus, BCG vaccination is universal in China.

    In China there are gigantic detention centres where people are crowded like battery hens; an amped up second wave in October coming from those concentration camps and killing young Westerners (that is the age of the inmates, which COVID-19 will become tuned to there) in the West is all but inevitable if the West merely says it will retaliate. China kept the world in the dark about COVID-19 in the very same way as they admitted doing with SARS almost two decades argo.

    If there is a super lethal second wave in October killing young people in a Chinese city then the record shows that China might be trusted to deal with it effectively in China as they did with Type L. But they cannot be trusted to stop it getting into the West and wreaking havoc. Timely sterilization of the infected city by thermonuclear device before the new strain got out of China would be only logical. Hopefully, China will pay attention to the demand for them to fulfill their obligations to the rest of the world over their various novel-disease-waiting-to happen institutions (concentration camps, wet markets) and such preventative hygienic measures as I am discussing will not be necessary.

  36. Felix Keverich says
  37. YetAnotherAnon says

    “China has universal BCG vaccination and they were very susceptible to CV”

    Remember those born ten or more years before mandatory vaccination probably won’t have been vaccinated – in the UK that means 80+. I very much doubt China was vaccinating in 1953. Iran only started in 1984.

    I doubt it’s a prophylactic (UK nurses have died who were almost certainly vaccinated) but it may be be a mitigating factor.

  38. Europe Europa says

    Today the NHS have admitted that the Coronavirus death rate in England is 50% higher than in Wales. I wonder if this is because England is significantly more non-white than Wales is?

  39. Just Passing Through says

    If Whites really wanted to help Blacks, and in turn themselves, they should have implemented a eugenics program during the time of colonialism. This would be good for White countries as it would likely have prevented mass immigration.

  40. DanHessinMD says

    This BCG correlation seems like nonsense.

    Here is a BCG vaccination map.

    And here is a coronavirus map.–20_coronavirus_pandemic#/media/File:COVID-19_Outbreak_World_Map_per_Capita.svg

    On the other hand, if you look at the Coronavirus map, something obvious should be apparent. The tropics are much less affected, even though people live in much more crowded conditions in the tropics.

    I did a some data crunching on Sunday and found rather dramatic results. What follows is based Sunday’s data, which is the last time I crunched the numbers.

    National correlation between latitude of the capital and death rate per million is very strong. I made a plot of latitudes of country capitals on the x-axis and coronavirus deaths per million on the y-axis. The correlation is very high. I limited myself to nations with significant testing — about 140 countries, using the data from

    There are zero nations whose capital is south of 30 north latitude with more than 20 deaths per million people. There are 25 nations whose capital is north of 30 north latitude with more than 20 deaths per million. The United States right now is at 65 deaths per million. South of the equator, zero nations exceed 7 deaths per million. Ten countries exceed 100 deaths from Coronavirus per million and every single one of them has a capital north of 40 latitude.

    What is the science behind COVID-19 seasonality? There are 2 parts. First, the virus doesn’t last long in the air under high heat and humidity, for a number of reasons. Second, the dry indoor air of winter inhibits an important part of the immune system called mucociliary clearance.

    A new paper from Yale University Medical School with some 130 citations explains these two parts of virus seasonality very well.

    What can people do with this strong climatic correlation?

    The dramatic effect of climate on COVID-19 mortality suggests a valuable, and safe, partial treatment — namely humidification.

    In 2019, a research team at Yale University Medical School published a groundbreaking study (Kudo et al., National Academy of Sciences, 2019) which showed how low ambient humidity hurts the ability of the immune system to fight respiratory viral infection in animal hosts. .

    That is, after infection, hosts do much better at fighting a respiratory virus under conditions of high humidity. The respiratory immune system has an innate part that rejects foreign particles such as viruses even when they are unknown. Cilia in a layer of mucus carry virus particles out. In very dry air (typical indoors in winter) the mucus gets dried out, as is well explained in and respiratory tract cilia cannot carry out their function.

    Miami is a strange outlier, but on the other hand, indoors and especially in hospitals in Miami the air conditioning would run on full blast, chilling and drying out the air.

  41. This is likely because the majority of the epidemic is in London, where there are higher proportions of representatives of such groups than in the other regions of the UK.

    London had the most interconnectivity with Northern Italy, population density and movement of people – and the epidemic was “well brewed” there already before Boris Johnson had belatedly consented to lockdown the country, reducing interregional travel. Now the epidemic is in other regions of England, but it is with smaller starting numbers post-lockdown, and hopefully with a low rate of infection.

    In Russia, there is an even more regional concentration in Moscow. There, in Moscow, is probably also a more direct relation to migrants – the migrant workers are probably going to be superspreaders in the city. They often live 10-15 in the same apartment, and if they become infected, they will probably avoid going to hospital – due to their papers – or self-isolating.

    The timing of lockdown in Russia, has probably been mismanaged, too much in the other direction than the UK (too late in the latter, while too early in some parts of the former). For example, in the city Ekaterinburg, there has been in economically painful lockeddown for around two weeks, while there are still no deaths in Sverdlovsk area (in the bottom of the shot). So it’s possible that in certain parts of the country already economic costs have been absorbed, without sufficiently compensating anti-epidemic benefits.

  42. I believe Vietnam and New Zealand also locked down very very early, Vietnam in particular, hence they have only 267 cases and no deaths, compared to more than 5000 in Indonesia, so what is your case again for delaying lockdowns, but you can not expect people to obey compulsory stay at home order without there being stiff penalties, even in places like Japan, like 5 years in jail, and your face being splashed all over the local community as a quarantine breaker and being turned into a social pariah, like child molesters.

  43. This is likely because the majority of the epidemic is in London, where there are higher proportions of representatives of such groups than in the other regions of the UK.

    This reads a little unclearly in the context your post.

    I mean by “this” – the reason there are more black people dying from coronavirus than the proportion of their population in the UK.

    Most black people of the UK are living in London. Also most coronavirus is in London. No causal relation between this, but it is likely why there will be the higher proportion of deaths of black people relative to their proportion of the country’s population.

  44. I wonder what the state of the coronavirus epidemic be in the US right now if Steve Sailer or Audacious Epigone were the POTUS and were the ones deciding what the anti-coronavirus policy would be.

  45. Cities like Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg had locked down around 2 weeks ago, in fear there was a brewing epidemic. Now retrospectively (two weeks later), we can see the epidemic had not yet arrived in Novosibirsk, and only to a smaller extent in Ekaterinburg (where the lockdown was stronger).

    However, the lockdown can likely only be afforded by many cities at a strong level for a few weeks, and start to dilute with subsequent weeks (note in Siberia a large proportion of businesses are already restarting so the lockdown is diluting rapidly ).

    Precautionary lockdown of a city when it later is discovered the epidemic had not yet arrived, is a problem of insufficient surveillance. There was everyone being scared they could become the next New York, and that the epidemic was about to explode in their region.

    If you lockdown New York in February-March 2020, this would have saved thousands of lives. However, if you lockdown New York in November-December 2019, this would have saved no lives. Moreover, let’s say you can only afford one of these lockdowns.

    In a wealthy city like Moscow, this is topic of timing would perhaps be less relevant even if they did not have the epidemic yet, as might be enough money to lockdown indefinitely. But there are plenty of cities (in Russia at least) where a strong lockdown is not affordable for very long periods of time, before businesses will start re-opening. Average residents of some cities also will have lower average financial cushion or saving than in Moscow, so it will be difficult to stop them returning to work.

    Ideally you would mass produce and then enforce everyone to wear a gasmask outside the home, and then most employees can return to work with just a little training and inconvenience (and post apocalyptic aesthetics), but this seems to be outside the consciouness of politicians in any countries.

  46. So you approve of the Iowa and Arkansas’ governors strategy of only issuing lockdown order how individual counties once they pass a certain threshold of cases? If people do not have the discipline to properly socially distance all the time in public places, even in places like Singapore and Japan, what makes you think they will have the discipline to wear a suffocating gas mask for the entire time they are outdoor until next year? Of note Iowa already has 1,849 cases and 50 confirmed deaths. And to date they still do not have a statewide lockdown. While Arkansas has 1,498 confirmed cases and 32 deaths. And they are only testing those over 65 with symptoms until yesterday.

  47. china-russia-all-the-way says

    One of the biggest miscalculations of the authorities.

    It is Russia’s biggest mistake in combating corona. Universal mask wearing, one crummy simple factor, can alone slow the spread to a manageable pace. All that effort and cost by Russia to slow corona but missing this simple step. Why ignore a magic bullet? There has to be a cultural dimension. The information about masks is extensively understood even in the US. What cultural factors form the mental block for Russia to adopt masks?

  48. Westerners the white people just do not like wearing masks because they associate them with plagues and people who are about to pass away?

  49. PetrOldSack says

    I think Karlin’s reaction to this pandemic has been like his reaction to Stallone’s CLIFFHANGER. Over the top.

    Orders are orders, the whole of the ‘gazette de chez Unz’ is tuned to it. A ticket to insider(partner), a ticket to a snip of the meta-data cake.

    Essentially, anything is non-essential here, but herding and stirring as needed. When Corona is a dead issue, then as with other issues of the past, “let the conspiracy be denounced”. Not Corona, a live issue, not a medical one, but a social-engineering one, an economical one, a political one. The whole of the fraction of “media” and “academia”, that is Jewish, is now required to tow the line. For profit. For our amusement here.

  50. sudden death says

    From time to time returning to the initial most pessimistic (or probably most optimistic from herd immunity crowd POV) script here, which was calculated from initial Chinese data in January where main assumption was done as if virus would spread without any countermeasures taken anywhere in the world.

    Now we are at roughly Feb 13 on that script with more than 2 million infected but just official known deaths have overshot even that most gloomy prediction by almost 3 times in reality where prediction was 50 k dead while at the moment we have nearly 145k dead worldwide:

  51. Lockdown was late. It seems that CV is spiraling out of control in Russia. Not only in Moscow.

  52. sudden death says

    *minor typo left as it should be really 56k dead not 50k in prediction calculation.

  53. No the point is in many cities lockdown where there is no epidemic, means you won’t be able to afford lockdown when there is an epidemic.

    Cities can afford strong lockdown at the beginning, but then after a few weeks, people will return to work. Due to the insufficient surveillance of the epidemic – in Siberia, there was the strongest lockdown when there were almost no epidemic (just some infected people who had returned from abroad). Now that the epidemic will start to approach (it’s still only 64 infected people, almost 2 weeks into lockdown of a region of almost 3 million people), the lockdown will be weaker, as almost half of businesses are re-opening

    As for the overall epidemic management strategy. It is incompetent to introduce unsustaining and diluting lockdown of parts of the country, when the epidemic was at that time in Moscow. Moscow should have been sealed by the army 2 months ago. Travellers returning from abroad, should have been quarantined into hotels, or into some special camp made of prefabricated but separated rooms, inside Moscow. All flights and roads from Moscow should have been shut. Then most of the economy could have stayed open without too much danger in April. In this time that Moscow is closed, there should have been mass production of gasmasks (not ineffective medical masks), for distribution to workers.

  54. Lockdown was late in Moscow. But also military closure of all roads and flights out of Moscow, to seal the infection zone and prevent people from leaving the city – is nonexistent, and should have been (i) existent and (ii) two months ago. All people returning from abroad should also have been sealed into Moscow, instead of spreading across the country, while all workers of the city should have been equipped with gasmasks.

    However, e.g. Tomsk, when was no epidemic two weeks ago, they go into lockdown. Now the epidemic is approaching, they have to re-open a proportion of business already, and relax the lockdown.

    Authorities in Ekaterinburg are not relaxing anything – but already the gyms are complaining to authorities that they need to re-open, or their business will collapse. Perhaps lockdown can last all of April, but it is a one-shot event. By the end of the month, they will be diluting the lockdown, as more and more businesses need to return to working.

    That would be justifiable if they have a good exit strategy – which should have been to massive production of modern gasmasks for most workers, for some postapocalyptic dressing up in the summer (but this is not happening).

    only 64 infected people, almost 2 weeks into lockdown of a region of almost 3 million people),

    Just to clarify to my post above, this is data for Novosibirsk.

  55. It seems in Russia – there is already quite a significant proportion of people wearing medical masks, although a lower a proportion of the people, than in some countries like Ukraine and Czech Republic where it’s now become almost universal.

    The problem may be more with the type of mask. In theory, medical mask should reduce airborne infectivity during the epidemic, but it is not known to what extent this reduction will be. (Similarly with higher temperatures/higher absolute humidity).

    At the same time, we could almost be sure of stopping of the epidemic, if everyone has a full face gasmask outside the home this year – the virus cannot go near the portals of entry to the body, while a person has such a mask on. But this is something – even projected months into the future, when such mass production of gasmasks could be attained – there is a real irrational cultural resistance against (even in this forum), even though it’s far less extreme, and less inconvenient, than most of the lockdown policies which are happening, and would almost allow return to normal life while crushing the epidemic.

  56. und so weiter says

    Hopefully, China will pay attention to the demand for them to fulfill their obligations to the rest of the world over their various novel-disease-waiting-to happen institutions (concentration camps, wet markets) and such preventative hygienic measures as I am discussing will not be necessary.

    Well, 2 can play this game, and given the US’s own murderous track record, similar measures against it would be justified, namely some combination of EMP attacks and nuclear strikes:

    “New EMP warning: US will ‘cease to exist,’ 90 percent of population will die”

    ““Nine of 10 Americans are dead from starvation, disease, and societal collapse. The United States of America ceases to exist,” warned the report declassified by recently decommissioned U.S. Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. “

  57. anonymous coward says

    Why ignore a magic bullet?

    Probably because it isn’t one.

  58. Let us say the Chinese have that EMP capability; the United States has never held itself obliged to not use nuclear weapons in retaliation to a nonnuclear attack. Indeed, there was recently a great deal of controversy when it became known the US official policy was to reserve the right to retaliate to a sufficiently devastating cyber attack by nuking the cyber aggressor. Any attempt to interfere with another superpower’s strategic nuclear deterrent, whether by hypersonic missiles with conventional warheads or EMP/ cyber attack would certainly mean a limited nuclear exchange and subsequent escalation having, as diplomatic argot puts it, ‘incalculable consequences’.

    Post 1945 the Red army was always capable of steamrollering Nato with artillery and tanks, and the US was not going to go nuclear in a Third World War they would win if fought conventionally, so the USSR could have conquered Europe, but they did not want to because it would have meant starting a global conflict against the world’s most powerful economy, which is one they could not hope to win. There was also no incentive because the USSR did not want to add to their problems with a hostile subject population in Western Europe. I was being a bit over the top with my comment about a US nuclear device being used to sterilise a Chinese city I admit. That said, much considered inconceivable a couple of months ago has already come to pass.

  59. In the second half of March, tourists returning from Spain with fever, flying back to Moscow, are just told to go look after themselves, fly back to their home city.

    So the policies of March screening in the airport were less strict than we had imagined, when talking about this in the forum at the time.

    Уже в аэропорту я почувствовала себя плохо, измерила температуру — 38 градусов. Надела маску и не снимала ее до конца полета. Лететь с температурой было тяжело, я выпила парацетамол, она снизилась до 37,2. Думаю, что же делать? То ли в Москве «засветиться» и остаться, то ли лететь домой. В Домодедово нас встречал Роспотребнадзор, мужчина проверял у всех температуру тепловизором, думаю, ну всё, сейчас меня «захватят». Но он прошел мимо. Тогда, посоветовавшись по телефону со второй дочкой, я подошла к нему и честно сказала, что у меня перед посадкой была температура 38 градусов, а сейчас 37 только, потому что я выпила таблетку. Он ответил: «Поезжайте в свой регион и там лечитесь».

    В Екатеринбурге все было вообще как обычно, никто с тепловизором не встречал. Мы думали, может, есть какая-то служба, которая сможет меня сразу забрать в больницу, но никого не нашли. Было 6 утра, мы вызвали такси.

    Less than two weeks later, Sverdlovsk region, is locked down – because of these few dozens of tourists with coronavirus are told to go home like her.

    So there are nowadays in middle April, 105 people tested positive with coronavirus in Sverdlovsk region. Almost all of these are contacted traced as tourists returning from abroad – a large proportion flying from Moscow.

    According to the press, for example, in Tagil there are only 5 people with coronavirus, who are tourists who returned from abroad (media report they test around 500 people a day in the city, with all negative results in recent days – so there doesn’t seem to be an ice-berg under the surface yet). As a result of those people returning home to the city in March (instead being quarantined into a hotel or camp Moscow), such a city had to be locked downed in the month of April more strictly than London. At least it created employment for this man to spray hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the now empty public areas.

  60. und so weiter says

    China paraded their new DF-41 missiles last October during their 70th anniversary parade. The DF-41 is a road mobile MIRV. EMP attacks aren’t cyber attacks, but involve exploding nuclear or other material in the atmosphere.and elsewhere to take out the electronic infrastructure that everyone depends upon nowadays.

    I don’t see how the US would be unscathed in a nuclear exchange and escalation.

  61. Ms Karlin-Gerard says

    These masks are completely useless after 3 hours. Any evidence or anecdotal stuff that people going around the streets and to work in Czech Republic have got multiple (3-5) masks per day?

  62. sudden death says

    More confirmations of previous nice rumours about AIDS-like abilities of SARS 2.0:

    Lu Lu, from Fudan University in Shanghai, and Jang Shibo, from the New York Blood Centre, joined the living virus, which is officially known as Sars-CoV-2, to laboratory-grown T lymphocyte cell lines. T lymphocytes, also known as T cells, play a central role in identifying and eliminating alien invaders in the body. They do this by capturing a cell infected by a virus, boring a hole in its membrane and injecting toxic chemicals into the cell. These chemicals then kill both the virus and infected cell and tear them to pieces.

    To the surprise of the scientists, the T cell became a prey to the coronavirus in their experiment. They found a unique structure in the virus’ spike protein that apparently triggered the fusion of a viral envelope and cell membrane when they came into contact. The virus’s genes then entered the T cell and took it hostage, disabling its function of protecting humans.

    The researchers did the same experiment with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars, another coronavirus, and found that the Sars virus did not have the ability to infect T cells.The reason, they suspected, was the lack of a membrane fusion function. Sars, which killed hundreds in a 2003 outbreak, can only infect cells carrying a specific receptor protein known as ACE2, and this protein has an extremely low presence in T cells.

    A doctor who works in a public hospital treating Covid-19 patients in Beijing said the discovery added another piece of evidence to a growing concern in medical circles that the coronavirus could sometimes behave like some of the most notorious viruses that directly attack the human immune system. “More and more people compare it to HIV,” said the doctor who requested not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. In February, Chen Yongwen and his colleagues at the PLA’s Institute of Immunology released a clinical report warning that the number of T cells could drop significantly in Covid-19 patients, especially when they were elderly or required treatment in intensive care units. The lower the T cell count, the higher the risk of death.

    This observation was later confirmed by autopsy examinations on more than 20 patients, whose immune systems were almost completely destroyed, according to mainland media reports.

    Doctors who had seen the bodies said the damage to the internal organs was similar to a combination of Sars and Aids.The gene behind the fusion function in Sars-CoV-2 was not found in other coronaviruses in human or animals.

    But guess here’s somewhat better(?…) bit in all this:

    But there was one major difference between Sars-CoV-2 and HIV, according to the new study. HIV can replicate in the T cells and turn them into factories to generate more copies to infect other cells. But Lu and Jiang did not observe any growth of the coronavirus after it entered the T-cells, suggesting that the virus and T-cells might end up dying together.

  63. sudden death says

    Natural selection at work:

    Being in shoes of those Democratic governors I would let all nutjobs protest freely all the time they want during next several weeks as it will end in quick physical reduction of Republican voter base in blue states during next two months.

  64. What if they go home and infect the not nutjobs?

  65. In protesters’ defense, some of the regulations in Michigan have been intrusive and ridiculous. Michigan banned lawn-mowing companies from mowing peoples’ lawns. There is zero person-to-person contact in this sort of business. Thousands of people aren’t working, for no reason.

    Last week, 219,320 Michiganders filed for unemployment benefits, pushing total claims above one million, or about a quarter of the state’s workforce. Many of these job losses perhaps were unavoidable, but did the numbers have to soar quite so high?

    Joan Bastine doesn’t understand why Michigan’s governor has ordered her not to work. “I’m upset,” says the 62-year-old owner of M&S Lawn Care, a business with residential and commercial clients. “We show up, mow and move on to the next lawn. We bill by mail and don’t even see our customers.”

    “I understand that what we’re going through is unprecedented and everybody wants to do the right thing,” says Dallas Hawkins, owner of Oasis Car Wash, with four closed locations in Michigan and one that remains open in Indiana. Mr. Hawkins had to lay off about 36 people, even though two of his Michigan sites are automated: Motorists pay for services from a keypad and drive themselves through the carwash. “They have less human contact here than they do at a restaurant drive-through or at a grocery store,” he says.

    Mike Marsh, general manager of Marsh Brothers marina in Quincy. His business usually picks up this time of year, as he moves hundreds of boats out of winter storage and sells watercraft to people who dream of summer. “Normally I’d have about 26 employees right now,” he says. Instead, he’s down to five—and they’re barred from tasks he says they could perform while maintaining social distance, such as water-testing pontoons on a nearby lake and delivering boats to their owners. “We should at least have regional rules for rural areas, allowing us get back to work as we get through the pandemic,” says Mr. Marsh. “Instead, we have Detroit rules for the entire state.”

  66. I don’t know anything about Michigan, but here in suburban NJ, or at least around me, lawn work, when done by landscaping companies, is done by Hispanics (legal or illegal) in gangs of three to six who, generally speaking, ride in the same van, wear no protective gear of any kind, and ignore social distancing recommendations.

    I did see one landscaping company at work the other day with one guy only, and him wearing a mask and gloves, so good for that company.

    I very much doubt this sort of thing is a significant factor in disease spread but if the situation in Michigan is similar I have some idea where they’re coming from, as the expression goes.

  67. sudden death says

    unfortunately, such danger indeed exists, but the risk should be reduced within reasonable limits if not nutjobs are really behaving according to the rules of quarantines&personal safety requirements.