Tweets of the Day: US Woefully Unprepared for Coronavirus

Mish

The coronaviris is spreading rapidly outside China. The US is not close to being prepared if we get hit.

Coronavirus Headlines Worldometers

  • 10 new cases in Italy. 10 towns, 30,000 people, placed in precautionary voluntary quarantine. Schools, workplaces, municipal and private offices, coffee shops, and public places closed in the affected towns at least until Sunday. New cases include:
  • 7 new cases in the United States from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, in addition to the 11 previously confirmed, for a total of 18 from the ship.
  • 2 new cases in the United Arab Emirates: contacts of a previous case.
  • 2 new cases in Australia: two Queenslanders women, aged 54 and 55, who had been evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
  • 1 new case in Singapore.
  • 48 new cases in South Korea, bringing the total to 204. "Currently, the COVID-19 situation at home is that the scope of mass outbreak via a single exposure is relatively big," KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said in a statement.
  • 1 new case in the United States (Humboldt County, in Northern California). A close contact who has symptoms is being tested as well. They are both "doing well" and self-isolating at home.

Headlines and chart from Worldometers

Johns Hopkins Update

Johns Hopkins provided this Email update.

EPI UPDATES The Chinese National Health Commission reported 889 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 75,465 cases. There have been 2,236 deaths and 18,264 people discharged. Of the 48,730 confirmed cases in Wuhan, 10,997 cases are in serious condition. There are 5,206 suspected cases and 120,302 contacts of confirmed cases are under medical observation.

There 258 confirmed cases connected to two Chinese prisons, one in Shandong and the other in Zhejiang. In response, 7 prison officials have been removed from their duties due to their lack of implementation of infection control measures.

Testing Kits

One of the reasons cases are way under-reported is lack of test kits.

Let's see how the US is doing.

Only Three US States Prepared

FBI Preparing

South Korea Testing

US vs South Korea

Yet Another Reporting Change in China

No one believes their stats.

Missed Cases

Iran Cases

Car Sales

Airline Impact

Supply Chain Blow

What a mess to put things mildly.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (93)
Carl_R
Carl_R

Nothing surprising here. China showed that the only way to control it is draconian quarantines, and that won't fly elsewhere. China, now that new cases have slowed, will try to re-open, and the expected result will be that cases will take off again. So far, kudos to the CDC which has kept it from the wild in the US, but for how long? Another month at most, I would guess, after which the US media will finally admit (perhaps) that this is not the flu, and is a far, far bigger threat.

No. 1-25
tokidoki
tokidoki

Been saying this for days in the comments section. However it's not just about whether we have the capacity to test, but whether we have the willingness to. We are currently doing testing in only 5 or 6 cities.

Let's say someone in Fresno, CA today presents himself to the doctor with symptoms resembling the Coronavirus. Would he get tested? I doubt it.

Person dies, he will be counted under "death from flu".

There's no need to hide stats, our incompetence is enough to do us in.

Roadrunner12
Roadrunner12

For my 2 cents, I find it hard to believe tht the coronavirus is not here to stay. Wondering how this plays out over the summer especially with respect to North America, will we see a lull over the summer and then a full blown knockout punch over the remainder of the year?

Quarantines will only buy time. Also from my perspective, Britain looks to be ahead of the curve compared to everybody else in respects to preparation.

-Also how will various govts respond across the world once this hits their countries?

13 Replies

njbr
njbr

The areas of the world where this is expanding are areas where the temperature rarely falls below freezing and some place like Singapore have been in the 80's. Tehran is between 40 and 60 degrees.

Roadrunner12
Roadrunner12

Yes, with the coronavirus expanding in these hot regions would tend to show that this will not follow a normal flu's seasonality.

"But not all health experts agree that the coronavirus is likely to weaken in April."

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

Temperature doesn't kill viruses, UV light does. The longer and more intense, the better.

Anda
Anda

Drier air, open windows, people not crowding in because of cold, school out even, also help.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Don't you mean more humid air helps prevent the spread?

In any case, the data definitely supports that the spread of the virus will diminish when it gets warm. Singapore has some spreading, but far slower than Japan or S. Korea. Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand are also seeing very few new cases.

Anda
Anda

Actually both, and it is quite complex both the interaction of temperature and humidity, as well as the humidity that different regions experience through the year. In

there are some comparisons for "generic" coronavirus, that might or might not apply to sarscov2. Around 50% humidity was found to disactivate the virus fastest, but 80% disactivated faster than 20 %....I think.

The second answer further down the page at

compares humidity level by region and season.

So you are right, in that driest air increases spread, in this study at least. Add in different environmental variables as per the second link, and sure there must be changes to human susceptibility due to dry vs. humid air, and maybe closer to a proper answer.

E.g. if humidity drops from 80 to 50% it is good, if it drops from 50% to 20% then not, per this study, and without considering accompanying temperature effect in this example...etc.

Good, you made me research it :-)

Carl_R
Carl_R

Thank you for the detailed response. I greatly appreciate your detailed and insightful contributions to this discussion.

Anda
Anda

Thank you, we are all learning and I would not have looked it up without your prompt. I was thinking dessication would be main factor, but it turns out changes at air water interface is very important. This was on a surface mind you, in airborn droplets maybe dessication is more important ? I won't look it up now though because it is late here.

Carl_R
Carl_R

I read somewhere that when airborne the virus has a protective coating, and that moisture helps to break down the coating, so that the particles don't last as long in the air. I've also seen a theory that moisture causes them to be more apt to precipitate out of the air, reducing the range which they can travel, which makes some sense. I was considering deploying humidifiers in customer areas. Realizing that excess humidity makes it work gives me pause, though, so I probably won't.

JimmyScot
JimmyScot

I think you a Brit too, roadrunner?

I’m not sure we are that ahead of the curve.
We may be good at quarantine, but when the cases start to break out of low numbers we are going to have issues. 5900 critical care beds across the country, 90-95% occupancy. Bear in mind that most of those cannot be easily cleared.

And then you have the stories:
Guy comes back from Wuhan, comes down with flu, calls Gp, Gp tells him to take paracetamol and sleep. He recovers, goes to a big party. Next day consults another Gp in the same practice about a mild long term issue, guys in hazmat arrive within seconds.

Two Chinese people with respiratory illness arrive together at an A&E department, tell the receptionist that they are from Wuhan. Receptionist takes exception at their tone and makes them
Wait four hours!

Seb
Seb

Can’t find cases if you don’t test for them. If it’s this bad In Iran and Italy YOU KNOW ITS BAD HERE! We definitely have suspicious cases at my hospital in Colorado. No one can be tested.

Art Izagud
Art Izagud

Why do you need to be prepared for anything if you can just print the money you need to keep your lifestyle going? Even if we sell the kids future to China, as well as our entire supply chain, we can just leverage and rent seek our way back to the good life. Plus, no big deal, just quarantine away from the plebs and let amazon bring everything. Make sure you disinfect after the delivery person comes though, as who knows who he has been in contact with.

FloydVanPeter
FloydVanPeter

Seems as no agency, jurisdiction or office assumes responsibility for preparation. The lack of preparation is preposterous. And, there is so much obviously needed when the curves will pick up and grow exponentially.

thimk
thimk

did some snooping per article from CM @ Peak Prosperity - Florida will not disclose
virus testing . IF virus is eventually found to be airborne, that policy could change !
" Rivkees says he hopes to have lab testing available at the state’s labs in Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami, but the kits that were issued were tainted and have to be remade and reissued. " to wit :

MiTurn
MiTurn

Can anyone anywhere really prepare for an epidemic of, potentially, this magnitude? I live in a rural Idaho county of 45,000 people. Our local hospital has 44 beds - 1 per 1000 -- and four critical care beds. One room to handle a dangerous virus infection. You do the math! Our situation is probably true everywhere in the US.

And it could come here. Last weekend I was visited by a friend who had gone to LA for his mother's funeral. He spent the week with his brother who had just gotten in from Hong Kong. He missed the airplane shut-down by two days. You see the scenario I'm creating here...

You don't really treat these types of things. You wait them out, I suppose. Best thing is probably preventative proactive quarantining of people in their homes. Really, Wuhan is simply anywhere and everywhere else, too.

Just my thoughts.

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

The virus test kit production, like everything else, was outsourced to China.

abend237-04
abend237-04

The SARS virus and this new one were one and the same until they split about 260 years ago. SARS started in south China late 2002, raged for six months or so, infecting 8,400 and killing 800 and the Chinese stopped a pandemic. There were no US deaths, and soon little to no further research funding. If you look at the dates on published papers, very few run past 2003.

We're sitting here now with Son of SARS staring us in the face. I, for one, am wishing we had back the $180 Billion pissed away on climate boondogles since 2002 to throw at this thing. I'd start with getting tools in place to help those fighting these virus wars for us while we bitch and whine at each other over things like Roger Stone's sentence and the fairness of his trial.

SMF
SMF

I don't see how any country can really prepare for large scale disasters. It is folly to think that we can.

dingbat
dingbat

If supply chains are going to be interrupted, will it be anything other than cars and iPhones? I imagine it will. Should we be stocking up on anything in particular? (please don't say gold bars and ammo, I'm not talking end of days stuff here.)

wootendw
wootendw

@michiganmoon There was another take on the ACE2 receptor, in Chinese male smokers.

Carl_R
Carl_R

The numbers above are already out of date. Korean cases have doubled again, and now are at 433.

moyerdere2
moyerdere2

Yes, sadly it is now not just a China problem. Cases are increasing rapidly in South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, .... (or more sad? The situation in China is also very sad)
This is not "contained". But at least the stock market is making new highs. WTF?!?!?!?! What is going to make people flee the markets? Companies actually going bankrupt because of this?

Ossqss
Ossqss

Quite a challenge to identify and test individuals that can be contagious for weeks and yet be completely asymptomatic.

njbr
njbr

Italy has reported 33 new cases and 1 new death so far today, raising the country's total to 54 cases and 2 deaths

njbr
njbr

I would guess that virtually everyone on the planet will have contact with the virus in the next year or so.

The longer that contact can be delayed, the better. It all comes down to slowing the onrush of critical-care patients as long as possible so as not to blow apart our medical system. Final death rates will rise if critical care is not available and our current medical instincts are to treat the ill to the fullest extent possible. If that becomes impossible, there will be deep changes in the American society.

Most people won't really be affected health-wise (85% as is currently thought, but that could change with longer time studies). It all depends if you care about the other 15% of the population.

It is really imperative that we slow the impact by closing the gates and require quarantine of all international travelers. The you-tube is full of live cams from bars all over the world--the tourists partying in them will be coming home with memories and souvenirs of a type we probably don't want. A British study released yesterday estimated that we have seen less than a 1/3 of the infections that were released by the 5 MM diaspora of Wuhan in the early days.

But hey, that may mess with the markets.

As of now, we really haven't heard much official from the US government on this virus and the threats it will pose.

bradw2k
bradw2k

Makes me wonder if in the US it would be better to get it sooner than later! As an early severe case here, one would get all the attention and care in the world. If/when the the ICU's are full, it'll be take-a-number. ... Unless of course you can avoid it until (hopefully) some great new treatments are created.

tokidoki
tokidoki

Don't worry guys!!! The Fed has a solution to this. They'll start with a 25bps cut, and if that does not work, negative interest rate should do it!!!

We've got top experts working on this. If we can't trust their spreadsheet, we are doomed!!!

abend237-04
abend237-04

I'm amazed at the rate the Chinese are moving. They already have over 40,000 Covid-19 cases engaged in 70 trials underway, testing everything from Gilead's remdrsivir, several HIV meds and other non-pharma treatments.

In California, we couldn't even have convened committees to nominate experts to review the size of Prop 65 cancer warning signs to be attached to each pill being investigated yet.

Sechel
Sechel

I"m going to offend the base with this but that's not the goal, its simply what I believe. Trump has made the central government so dysfunctional with his not filling top positions and staffing posts with loyalists that I doubt the administration could mount an effective coordination of any strategy if the need arose. We better hope that left alone U.S. agencies can handle the tasks

Sechel
Sechel

that's great. but how much is trump and his team actually coordinating anything?


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