Category Archives: Conservative Catholicism
So what is this Chinese Virus, or Covid-19 as they call it, exactly? How deadly, how dangerous?
The obsessive exactness of the Italian statistics, which I have followed every day for a week, seem to me to give a clear answer.
This is not the plague, obviously. Still, it is clearly worse than the flu. It is, as I have written in the past, like a particularly nasty flu, which, whilst not really grave for most people, can kill the “low hanging fruits”, or people with certain kind of vulnerabilities. Let us see some salient points:
- The average death in Italy hovered around 80 for most of the emergency. Mind, the virus also killed some in their Forties and Fifties. But the average around Eighty was, of course, after taking account of these unfortunate people. Therefore, for one who died at 47 there were many who died at well over 80.
- The Virus is clearly more dangerous for people whose immune system is less strong for some reason. If your immune system is fine, the virus can’t do much. If you have issues, it can be a big problem, perhaps with intensive care unit and, in this case, a 30% or 40% probability of death. It seems to me that in Italy, the Virus found many very old people who, whilst still alive, and in some cases reasonably healthy, could not react properly to the virus’ attack. But when you have so many old people, you also have many people who are old and sick already. Therefore, a Country with a big population of old people might have a multiple of the deaths of countries were people kill themselves before that time with booze, donuts or cigarettes. A populatio with a great number of older people obviously makes the “job” of the virus “easier”. In other Countries, like the United Kingdom, you have less old people, but you have many more obese people, which causes diabetes, which is another way the Virus gets at his victims.
- In some cases, the emergency was simply due to neglect. Boris Johnson needed his ICU (though he was never attached to the ventilator) because – having a Country to run in a time of emergency – he neglected to take care of himself properly when he became ill.
In short, you can make this kind of equivalence: imagine that your immune system is your kitchen sink, and that the virus is water pouring on it and locking the drains. If the sink is big enough and the water just stays there at half or less, you wonder what the fuss is about. If the water gets very near to overflow, it’s ICU. If there is overflow, you die. The fact that 99% of people survive does not mean that the disease is not potentially lethal, or is simply “the cold”. But in most cases, the immune defence sink will easily take care of the threat. In the other cases (old age, particularly with comorbidity, diabetes, and the like) it’s the ICU or the grave. This, I think, is what most people find most alarming: one can know how well his system reacts only when he gets the disease, and no one after a certain age can be sure that he is not one of those (tiny, but real) who will be in trouble.
The danger was very real. No flu causes the kind of emergency seen in Bergamo. Not even in the worst flu years. Not even remotely. This was not a cold, and was not a normal flu. I imagine it was a kind of Gollum Flu.
Still, this is not the plague. Most people survive. We can’t all stay locked until a vaccine is ready. The efforts must be directed toward the ICU end of the situation, and sensible rule to protect the general population.
It cannot be permanent lockdown.
I am not guilty of always agreeing with Breitbart’s John Nolte, but on this, he is most certainly right.
The main quote:
What had been a national effort to save lives, a noble effort of national unity, has been twisted by Democrat governors into something unnecessarily punitive that reeks of a partisan power play to destroy President Trump’s re-election chances. Give me a better explanation. Because this is the bottom line…
Unless you’re willing to wait for a cure (that is at least a year away or might never come at all), when there is no risk the health care system’s going to crash, what is the point of waiting one more day to open up the country when waiting doesn’t make us any safer?
Tomorrow, vast parts of Italy (the Country most brutally impacted by the virus, for a number of reasons going from a direct fly from Wuhan to Milan, to inter-generational living, to the excellent health service and health habits of the Italians allowing for a very high number of very old people, to others that will have to be investigated, like the stowing of, as it turned out, infectious people in care homes) will start what begins to be normal life. Many factories will reopen, many shops will reopen, etc. In short, the Country realises that life has to go on. In the UK, what appears to be a staggered reopening is going to be announced imminently.
Note that in Italy a Centre Left coalition is in power. They want to stay there, too. At some point, they have to be practical about it.
A different dynamic seems to be at play in several US States. It appears evident to me (and to Mr Nolte) that California, Virginia, North Carolina and Illinois are at the forefront of a different battle: the unseating of Trump through the damaging of the local economies.
The game is very obvious: smash the economy, blame Trump. It might not work, but without it Trump wins in a landslide anyway, so this reeks of a move out of desperation with no downside from the point of view of the power-drunk Democrats. In California, they run little risk anyway. In other states, there is no doubt a grateful party will provide plenty of opportunities for every Roy Cooper losing his job in “Operation Chaos”.
Well, look, I am not so entirely outraged. You elect a Democratic Governor, you run the risk of being used as a pawn in his desperate fight against Trump. Still, it’s sad for the people incvolved and outrageous for American liberties anyway.
The antidote to the Democrats’ poison:
- The Republican States must reopen fast and hard, making those in the Democrat states realise they are being used.
- Trump needs to call for the fast reopening of the Country almost anywhere, and he needs to attack those Governors who try to take their own state’s citizen as hostages for political reasons.
This is now past the original medical emergency, and is transmuting into an Orwellian rehearsal of Mass Power Seizure for the next emergency the powers that be decide to call: which can be “global warming”, hunger in Africa, pretty much everything under the sun.
Stay vigilant, and punish at the ballot all those who manipulate a real emergency in favour of a fake agenda.
Operation Chaos is threatening all of us.
The video comes from project Veritas, and I take Project Veritas seriously.
I have written recently about the many corners from which the virus is manipulated to reach some other aim that is nothing to do with the protection from the virus. But I had missed this: the likely manipulation of death figures in order to pump money from the Federal Government.
Obviously, there could be something more innocent going on (overwhelmed doctors, doctors not wanting to go out and visit corpses which might still be infective), but I am not surprised at the idea that Mayors like De Blasio (or other Mayors, or Governors) might have an interest in inflating the deaths; either to pursue one of the agenda I have written about, or simply to get more money from the Federal Government. In the end, another aim is served by inflating the statistics: protect themselves (the mayors, the Governors like the ones in Virginia and Michigan) from the accusations of being too brutal with their lockdown.
I notice here that the Italian Government never made any mystery of the following facts:
- Only those tested and found infected with the Virus went into the official statistics
- Co-morbidity was always included in the statistics, and the fact was amply publicised.
- Including dead people into the statistics of Covid mortality just like that was never contemplated.
This allowed the data to be consistent all over the Country and across days and weeks, and also made very clear how the dead very calculated. Actually, the Italian Government regularly had statistics about the average age of the disease, and the average number of pre-existing serious diseases. In fact, I have abundantly written about the fact that the desire to be consistent and factual about the deaths caused their number to be massively underestimated. Still, consistency of figures is what was most important, so it was well done.
What seems to be happening in New York and elsewhere appears to me no more than profiteering, All this will have to be very carefully investigated; then, if proved, profiteering (albeit on behalf of a public entity) must be published with jail sentences, and Mayors must not be spared.
It says here that Spain will reopen the churches as limited capacity: first one third, then one half, then full.
This says to me that the situation can be, with immediate effect, be returned to normality with the following measures: first three times the masses, then two times the masses, then… well, it would be nice to have more confession times and more masses, surely?
This is not something impossible to do. Priests don’t have to waste time with endless committees of old busybodies anymore. Surely, they can all set the time aside for one extra mass in the early morning and one extra mass after the usual morning mass? Same on Sundays? So we would have the possibility for everyone to have the same access to masses they had before, both during the week and on Sundays? What is so difficult in implementing this? Mind, all this would be done in perfect compliance with the regulations about social distancing etc; therefore, no excuse for sly politicians.. .
- What does Evil Clown think of this?
- Why does he not push for this solution everywhere?
- Why does he always talk of social justice, instead of giving to Christ what if of Christ?
For some reason I will not be holding my breath.
We shall see.
As the fight against the Chinese Virus goes on, the keen observer can see how this Virus is being manipulated by various parties. All of them use the actual danger represented by the Virus (which is clearly there, no doubt about that), to instrumentalise or exaggerate the virus itself, or his consequences.
First, let us see the US. Clearly, the Democrats have chosen the Chinese Virus as their very last chance to stop Trump, and the Country be damned. Their strategy will be to inflict maximum damage on their own people, in the hope (which is, actually, knowledge) that a bad economy tends to punish those who are in charge at the Federal Government level. I am sure Trump knows this, but I am less sure that he is choosing the appropriate answer. It seems to me that Trump’s stance is “I will reopen the economy as soon as possible, without exposing myself to the savage backlash if things go wrong”. The problem is that this stance will make a lot go wrong anyway, and there is no saying whether the millions who lose their job will have the political acumen to understand the man’s constraints. I think it’s time for Trump to step up to the plate and declare urbi et orbi that the cure is now becoming worse than the disease, and it is high time to behave like men about it.
Europe is more complicated. We see here that, in several Countries, Left and Centre-left Governments have put themselves in exactly the same position as the Democrats want to have Trump. They did this not because of political calculation, but because of instinctive cowardice. Put in front of the screaming MSM, they have decided to go for the path of least resistance and highest survival probability for them. Boris Johnson, a man who most certainly knows better, is a prime example of this. Giuseppe Conte, Italian Prime Minister, is another. My suggestion to them is to visit Amazon and have a pair of balls safely delivered at home or in the office.
Then there are the special groups and opposition parties. In the UK, Labour is clearly pressing for widespread misery, allowing them to push their own socialist agenda. The almost forgotten Environ-Mentalists are also hoping to link the virus to their agenda, but they have a difficult, almost desperate game in front of them, as the financial difficulties coming on us will likely let this kind of first-world luxury sit in third or tenth row for a while.
Then there are the champagne socialist of the soi-disant intelligentsia (which is, as we have always known, not very intelligent), with the BBC recently predicting an apocalyptic loss of jobs in the poor Countries, no doubt in preparation for a push for the next wave of mass immigration. A difficult endeavour, if you ask me, because with the economy in the latrines at home there will not be many ears ready to listen to such talk.
Lastly, but most despicably, there are those churchmen who are, in fact, enemies of the Church. I read, a week or so ago, an article of some deranged priest, stating that, in order to reopen the churches for Mass, there will have to be people disinfecting every chair after everyone has sat on it. Such statements tell you, better than anything else, how much these people hate Christ, the Church, the Mass and the faithful. If it was for them, the churches would be closed forever. And no, there is no obligation, or even thought, to disinfect every fuel pump, or every pack of pasta touched by a client on the shelf, and likely even every supermarket scanner, or even supermarket trolley, after use by the public.
The virus is certainly a bad client, albeit not apocalyptic by far. It is like a Grinch-like Flu, which is harmless in most cases but quite apt at snuffing away certain categories of more vulnerable people. It certainly can do nothing seriously harmful to most. It odes not justify (and, in fact, nothing would) the giving away of our freedoms.
We need to stay vigilant about these groups. They want to use the Chinese Virus as Trojan Horse. We must not allow them to do so.
Mr Trump, I really hope you understand this.
I have complained several times about the lack of courage of the garden variety elected politicians, and the desire to “play it safe” and follow the advice of the “experts”, and the Country be damned,
Thank God, someone in Italy (and someone or substantial political weight) has now taken a clear position against the current situation. Predictably, it is Matteo Salvini; who is more than a tad late to this party, but at least showed up in the end.
You will note in the article that Salvini says a lot that will resonate with thinking people. The appeal to the use of common sense instead of the asphyxiating micromanagement from above, and the obvious consideration that Italy has a lot of churches (and still a lot of priests) are not the stuff of rocket scientists, but the common sense, normal reaction of normal, no-nonsense people.
It is difficult to say what will happen now, but Italians are an emotional bunch, and they have already showed a measure of restraint that goes beyond the admirable, and is now firmly in the realm of the self-harming. When they finally wake up to the fact that their beautiful show of solidarity will have an immense cost in economic terms, potentially crippling the Country for years to come, they might get emotional in the other way, and proceed to severely punish those who thought it in their hands to keep them all on house arrest until they thought it fitting, in their superior wisdom, to decide otherwise.
Time to switch the brains on again, and restart the Country.
I normally don’t like to intervene in inter-Catholic squabbling. My reflection on this is that the anticlerical element will use everything it can to smear Catholicism as a whole, claiming that we are a bunch of sectarian fanatics.
In the case of the (new) attack of Church Slandering against the SSPX, I have not intervened for the additional reason that doing so would make it look like the accusations of Church Slandering have some merit and deserve to be discussed; which they haven’t, and don’t.
However, once the SSPX issues a statement on the issue, I think it proper to call your attention on it. The statement can be found here. There is nothing to add.
As a last observation, I would like to inform my esteemed readers of a policy I have: whenever one slanders the Society, he is banned either immediately, or after a warning shot. For the future, I think I will dispense with the warning shot.
The use of the word “schism” in connection with the SSPX will also likely get one banned, then life is too short for people with little understanding and a big mouth.
The Italian Government has (finally) released the details of what will happen from the 4 May, and they aren’t good.
The good news is that the Country has decided to avoid outright economic suicide. Therefore, most factories will reopen and a lot of productive activities will operate; but, really, this is all.
An oppressive, freedom-negating regime, that has been gladly accepted for a temporary emergency, is now becoming like that guest that does not take the hint that it is time to go away, and with the head of the family without the guts to tell him that it is the time to go. Prime Minister Conte has decided that churches will remain closed. Funerals with up to 15 people in attendance are allows, but churches must remain closed, even if social distancing is respected. Who is the idiot that finds a logic in that?
The answer is simple and depressing at the same time: the “experts” on one side – who have, now, clearly seized power, and have to interest in faith – but, much more, the cowardly politicians who do not dare to go against them. It is a vicious circle: the “expert” does the only thing he can do (because, frankly, he has tunnel vision, and it’s not his job to tell the Government what risks are necessary) and the political power simply feels obliged to follow the lead, both in order to avoid being considered “genocidal” by those who hate Capitalism and because it’s easier, in difficult times, not to take responsibility.
“It’s not me, it’s them!”, say politicians from Boris Johnson down to Italy. It truly makes you despair for Democracy.
There are a lot of comparisons of this virus with a war, but wars normally cause the emerge of brave, strong leaders. This phoney war is a war which the leaders themselves say should not be fought; not only suggesting, but ordering that the entire world cowers at home.
This is not only a failure of the “expert” tribe. This is, more importantly for all of us, an abject failure of political leadership, and at this point it must be said that not even Trump (certainly the best of them all in his general approach) is exempt from criticism.
In this godless, church-less XXI Century, if you are a politician it pays to be a coward. It pays for you to hide behind the “experts” and slowly strangle the Country entrusted to you in order to avoid taking responsibility and risk criticism. Interestingly enough, this is common to government of several political colour, from the centre-left in Italy to the (barely) centre-right in England.
I see no Ronald Reagans around. Trump is, if he keeps listening to the Dr Fauci on the world, on his way to a half Reagan. he also risks to anger mightily, very mightily his own poolitical base, which has more common sense than listening to a Dr Fauci for more than three weeks, four tops.
Wake up, leaders of the West.
The age of cowardice needs to come to an end, or there will be an extremely salty bill to pay for you, too.
When I was a child, the “experts” were predicting a big global cooling. Vast surfaces of the earth covered in ice in a matter of decades. A real emergency. Unspoken then, if I remember correctly (I was a child), but clear with what I know now, the conclusion: a vast degree of international collaboration and putting together of resources would be necessary to face this planetary emergency. This was, of course, science.
In those years, the overpopulation of the planet also made for a very big topic of discussion. So many people born. Such a little planet. Where will we put them all? How will we feed them?
In the Eighties, we obviously had AIDS. Remember the predictions? Infection and transmission among straight people? I kid you not, I read of “experts” talking of up to 20% of Brazil wiped out in a generation. This was in the Mid Eighties.
The next big planetary scare I remember (apart from the Impending Global Nuclear Holocaust to which we were all exposed through the election of dangerous cowboy to the White House) is the first wave of Global Warming (they called it Greenhouse Effect) and, more or less connected, the destruction of the Ozone Layer. I think we were in the Mid Nineties by then. Remember? The poor Australians were condemned to countless cases of skin cancer, as their Continent would become much less fit for human habitation. Islands like Vanuatu (I never knew before of the existence of Vanuatu) condemned to disappear in the ocean as ocean levels rise. A planetary tragedy. This was, all course, science.
In the meantime, we were all at risk of remaining without oxygen, according to the experts. Why? because one fifth of the oxygen production in the planet would disappear in a matter of five or ten years because of the impending destruction of the Amazonian Forest. Train your lungs to do with less oxygen, boys. Perhaps we should curb the world population?
At the beginning of the 2000s, IIRC, we had the next care: the Mad Cow Disease. I remember experts saying that the consumption of liver would put people in danger. Actually, those who loved liver and made abundant consumption of it would see a great increase of cancers in the next decades. Germans love their Leberwurst. Ouch!!
And then we come to the modern days. Starting from the Mid-Naughties, it has been all about Global Warming. We were informed about the Inconvenient Truth of vast flooding in places like New York in a matter of a decade or so, as the poor Polar Bear pays the price of our selfishness. This last craze has been going off and on for a decade and a half now.
The planet is still there.
The global cooling never came.
The population has increased and the hunger has vastly decreased.
AIDS, by and large, does not kill straight people. It does not kill many bent people, either.
The Australians keep thriving.
The Amazonian Forest is alive and kicking.
New York has become richer and richer. Very rich leftists buy extremely expensive condos in places that should, by now, be inhabitable or slums.
The Polar Bear is in excellent shape. Al Gore’s finances are in excellent shape, too!
This is the scorecard of the Settled Science in the last 50 years or so.
Whenever someone gives to you the “experts” predictions about the planet, tell him that he should be slapped in the face.
I received from reader Canukfrank the following, excellent comment:
I seem to recall earlier this year, Moore stated that unless “we” did something drastic and radical vis-a-vis ‘Climate-Change’ ©️, the planet had less than 4 years before our species became extinct. Pontificating from his Infinity Pool in his exclusive gated community, this buffon estimated that the next (less than) 48 months would be a turning point for the planet. So, sometime after January 2024 that.would.be.it.
Inspired by this prediction I immediately posted on the Greta Thunberg site the following “robust” and “necessary” steps needed to Save-Our-Species:
1. Suspend democracy across the planet and appoint a world-wide ‘Climate Crisis Council’ of scientists, climate experts and population control specialists to manage Mother Earth
2. Immediate electricity rationing across the planet.
3. The immediate ban on all air travel, vehicles and transportation systems using fossil fuels.
4. Immediate introduction of aggressively enforced population control policies (‘1-child-per-family’) including mandatory sterilization
5. Immediate ban on capitalism
6. Immediate introduction of socialism and communism with the forced distribution of wealth, food, water and other resources
7. Instant ban on the advertising, marketing and sales of all consumer goods
8. Immediate ban on all meat consumption with mandatory adoption of vegetarian/vegan food consumption practices
9. Aggressively enforced mandatory euthanasia for those aged 75 and above with large financial incentives for voluntary euthanasia between 55 and 74.
10. Aggressively enforced euthanasia for all age groups deemed by experts to have incurable physical and mental disabilities
11. Immediate adoption of Swedish behavioral scientists Magnus Söderlund’s suggestion that we need to “overcome our taboo against cannibalism” by eating our own deceased to reduce carbon emissions.
12. Ban all religions with the arrest and lengthy imprisonment of any religious leaders and their followers who oppose steps 1-11.
I was truly stunned by the positive comments, ‘likes’ and overall favourable reactions my absurd suggestions received.
Look, this is beautiful. And so true. It makes so much sense.
Most Western Countries are functioning, modern Democracies. These Democracies are, clearly, rejecting the end of the world predictions of the likes of the Gretin. It is not they they cannot be manipulated into throwing an awful lot of taxpayers money on things like solar panels, electric cars, and similar nonsense. It is that they clearly reject the fundamental premise of the doom scenario: that the world is about to end, or become unrecognisable, unless we fundamentally transform the planet.
Summa summarum: climate nutcases think that we absolutely need to fundamentally transform the planet (now!), and Western Democracies refuse to consider it. So, what will a nutcase choose: Democracy or Enviro Stalinism? The answer is obvious.
The mixture of religious fanaticism, superstitious fears and obvious lack of intellect that can be observed in these people are the perfect ingredients for a Molotov cocktail that will soon try to subvert our democratic institutions. In a way, the lockdown we are living might even help, as millions (particularly in Europe) have unquestioningly accepted a long period of strong limitation of their most elementary freedoms, because their betters (supported by the ubiquitous “experts”) told them so. This would obviously not work in the end, because Western Democracies are way too strong to be forced to commit euthanasia in this way. Still, it is clear that the “immune system” of our Democracies has been weakened by this lockdown, and someone in one of those Godless Countries like the Nordic Ones, or Belgium, or Canada might well – helped by newspapers, “experts” and, obviously, Francis for what he is worth – think that it is worth a try.
It would be good to ask everyone who laments the inaction in front of the impending demise of the planet if he (or, more likely I think, she) would support dictatorships meant to put in place the “emergency program” the voters clearly do not want to put in place.
The answer will tell you, and this person, something about him.
Michael Moore does not cease to be a source of involuntary merriment. After his last documentaries were an epic fail, Michael Moore is now toxic for people risking their money on a documentary. Trying stay “relevant”, the guy is now the “executive producer” of a documentary released for free on Youtube, and directed from one of his former collaborators: this means that he pays so that people hear what he has to say, but without putting his name as a director on the rather humiliating enterprise. I doubt the ad revenue will repay the costs. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a former filmmaker now reduced to paying for his own vanity projects.
Mr Moore, who never thought about contributing to the salvation of the environment by reducing his own considerable dimensions and, therefore, flatulence, is making a link between energy consumption and the Chinese Virus. I quote:
[…]if we don’t reverse course right now, events like the current pandemic will become numerous, devastating and insurmountable.
I did not know my car causes the Chinese to eat bats! You never cease to learn!
Mind, the documentary has, in its own extremist enviro-stance, some piece of right information. Yes, solar energy is a fraud. Yes, electric cars are stupid. But Moore is like a young boy who has started with a correct train of thought and then wanders away in cuckoo land immediately thereafter. His own (hopefully thin) director expresses the madness with another genial quote:
Infinite growth on a finite planet is suicide,
I remember reading a variation of this nonsense at school. There was a guy called Malthus, who, at the end of the XVIII Century, went around with very similar concepts. The following 200 years have utterly and completely debunked his theories. But hey, the likes of Michael Moore never allow facts and history to get in the way of their fantasies.
Mr Moore, a suggestion from this humble blogger: eat less and exercise more.
This is the only way you will ever “change the world”.
It appears increasingly more clear that the Chinese Virus has been fooling the “experts” for while now.
Think of this: if this virus can spread for 1-2 weeks in asymptomatic people and can go on for several weeks (six? seven? nine?) without being even noticed by doctors, and when it is noticed the news is even suppressed by the evil Communist regime of the Country where it first started to spread, how it is possible to avoid a worldwide contagion?
We had people measuring fever at the airports and in office buildings (say: Singapore), but if the virus can spread for a couple of weeks without any symptoms (albeit apparently less aggressively), then this is clearly of very limited use, and the virus will go happily spreading itself under the very nose of those who want to keep it in check.
More absurdities: how I am locked up at home, but in the Country where I live (the UK) 100,00 people a week arrive from foreign airports, without any check about their health? What is more likely to carry an infection: a guy coming from some Country where the virus is already spread, or a guy whose longest travel has been to the office and to the supermarket? Plus, they were around one million a week, for many weeks, when the virus was already raging and the flights had not been reduced. Go figure.
In short: it appears increasingly more clear that the virus has been spreading I do not say undisturbed, but certainly little disturbed for a matter of months, and we now have a number of people already infected all over Europe. This make sense, as we also know that many people who actually get the virus develop an immunity to it without even noticing. This we know also because of another obvious phenomenon that has been observed from the start: the more you test, the more positive people you find. This means, dear Holmes, that infected people are already everywhere, happily spread among the population, and in most cases blissfully unaware of being infected in the first place.
Last piece of anecdotal evidence? The Homeless shelter in Boston with 36% of guests tested positive, none of them with symptoms. Almost 400 people were tested, which makes the test somewhat certainly worth considering.
Now, I do not want to be rude here, nor am I a doctor; but it is fair to say that homeless shelters have a vastly higher than average percentage of alcohol and drug addicts, practising homosexuals at risk of contracting AIDS and all sorts of other wasted lives; all of which should, reasonably, exhibit a weaker immune system than the normal, sane population. Still, zero symptoms among the tested.
What does this say to a sanely reasoning person?
- That the number of people infected is vastly larger than expected. This virus has been ahead of the curve from the start, and has been spreading faster than the “experts” could predict.
- That, therefore, there is a good probability that the lockdowns had a limited effect on the spreading of the virus, and that the end result would not have been much worse than it has actually been if the lockdown measures had not been put in place.
- That, in fact, if point 2 stands (and I don’t know if it stands, but it is a reasonable point) the lockdowns have caused huge economic damage because of “experts” opinions that were off base from the start, and have been until today.
- That, if point 2 stands, a continued lockdown does not make any sense, as a fairly large part of the world population is infected now and, bar closing the planet at home for many months, nothing sensible can be done to avoid the disease taking its course.
- That, as yours truly has been stating from the start, the effort should be directed toward the end, not the beginning, of the virus: that is, towards having enough intensive care units and medical personnel that the “death panels” can be avoided.
This does not seem rocket science to me. It is a reasoning corroborated by several pieces of anecdotal evidence (the Diamond Princess cruise ship, about which I have written; the constant increase of cases when the testing was increased, but with the lowering of the actual percentage of symptomatic people; the estimate of the Oxford University that in the UK up to 25% of the population had been infected in March; this last 400-strong piece of evidence in another closed community) and made more evident by the fact that a ten years old would understand that a virus spreading undetected for weeks just can’t be stopped, period.
It is time to put an end to the lockdowns. It is time to dedicate all energy to the ICU end of the problem, making of it an investment for the future and paying the necessary price; but without inflicting further damage to the economy and more pain to countless good, honest, hard working people.
And next time, let us take the “experts” with a huge pinch of salt, please,
Whilst I choose to write about the Evil Clown as little as possible, I peruse the headlines concerning the old Commie almost every day. At times, I even read something about his latest blabbering, at least until my adrenaline level rises to the point of making the exercise unhealthy; which, considering that we are all locked at home to preserve our and other people’s health, seems to defeat the purpose.
Still, as the Great Imprisonment slowly goes to an end – at least, we can see the light at the end of a long tunnel; here in the UK it’s another three weeks at least! – it seems fitting to take stock of the last weeks and see how our heretic in chief comes out of it.
The verdict is that Francis has, once again, failed miserably; and, once again, he has done so because he is just so damn stupid.
After being an accomplice in the closures of churches almost all over the world, he could at least have had the decency to shut up and keep a low profile during this time of betrayal, postponing his usual blabla about the environment – a religion of which he clearly wants to be the pope – to a time when people are at least moderately ready to listen.
Being stupid, he did not do it. Instead, he desperately tried to link a virus born of a series of disgraceful behaviours – rats- and bats-eating, coupled with the inefficiency and corruption of a Communist regime which punishes the officials who dare to give bad news to their masters – to… the environment. The idea that nature be throwing a tantrum because people don’t follow his orders is just plain stupid. By the by, nature does not throw any tantrum, you old cretin.
You would think this is easy enough to understand, and that everyone who would make Francis’ argument would embarrass himself, outing himself as the proverbial village idiot. Alas, Francis is a village idiot who thinks himself the smartest one in the village, and there you have it…
But Francis’ ideological push is ill-judged from a marketing perspective, too. The world is not listening to environmental drivel anymore, not for now at least. Greta’s existence is barely remembered, and seems to belong to a distant past. Chances are that the efforts of economic reconstruction after this mess will cause all the expensive pet and fantasy projects of a very prosperous society to be put on ice, as by that time there will be much more pressing issues at hand.
This Catholicism-free old cretin is talking himself into irrelevance, just as he touches on issues that are now largely irrelevant even to his intended audience.
Truly, this man is the definition of stupid.
Well, it seems the first projections of the extent of the hangover are here. Mind, none of the articles i will quote has exact indications of what assumptions have been used. But it is fair to say that it will be something of the sort we are reading around: reopening at some point in May; disruptions for months to come; restaurants, cinemas and entertainment industry completely screwed; coiffeurs more Eltonised than many of them want to be anyway.
The International Monetary Fund has some dire predictions. These are the figures for the expected 2020 GDP.
Let this sink in:
In 2021, none of these countries is expected to recover the losses, with an obvious increase in GDP (unless we have some other global scare caused by our fried-bat-loving friends) going from around half to more than three quarter of the 2020 losses.
Imagine the number of economic activities sacrificed, of dreams shattered, of families ruined. Imagine (as not everybody is as strong and as faithful as us) the number of suicides, with the corresponding number of souls damned forever. Imagine the years of tax rises (more poison injected into the economy, because it will likely be popular!) and of increase of the Left, obviously leveraging on the crisis and seeing in it a way to get new winds in their sails.
What a mess, caused by… mass hysteria.
Mind, not everybody is so pessimistic: Fitch has a different story, based on a brutal contraction for a short time and just as rapid recovery afterwards: referring to Italy, they say minus 3% for the first quarter, then another contraction of 5% in the second; followed by a strong recovery making Italy close 2020 with “only” a 2% decrease in GDP. We can only hope that the assumptions used for this forecast are realistic.
I am very scared – and very angry – when I hear epidemiologists pontificating about what we “must do”, who actually have not the faintest idea of how an economy work, or no interest at all in the survival of capitalism. There was an idiot on the radio some days ago who was just saying “we will now have to stay locked for a much longer time” (he was reprimanding the naughty British children for their walk in the sun during the Easter break) as if this was something that just has to be, because he says so.
We need to take the sovereignty (real, presumed, or attempted) of this planet away from these blabbering expert idiots, and give it back to where the decisions are made: the politics.
Unless we stop getting drunk on this extremely strong kool-aid, the hangover is going to be anywhere from atrocious to apocalyptic.
Please, God, let Mr Trump see the light and decide that enough is now most certainly enough. There is an election to be fought in November, and we can’t go there with millions of Republicans angry at the stupid way their dreams were shattered.
Please, Mr President, open your great Country soon.
It will be good for everybody, starting from you.
We have just celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord. Something which the Italian Prime minister does not seem aware of (you can search the internet at your pleasure; utterly embarrassing…) but Christians actually consider the most important day of the year.
The Easter festivities provide a useful tool to put the days we are living in perspective.
Because we believe that Christ resurrected, we believe in eternal life. Because we believe in eternal life, we put death in a different perspective than the secular minded people. Because we have the proper understanding of death, we can also prevent sad events of life from letting us go mad.
The atheist man (and woman; lots of those nowadays) thinks that when they are dead, they are just as dead as a worm is. They are unable to put their lives in a bigger perspective. Therefore, in many cases their life will become a good to be protected no matter what, and the protection of this good will easily give way to hysteria.
The atheist man, and woman, in Italy, France or Spain is unwilling or unable to think of the immense pain that will come on their nations if they allow the “experts” to dictate national policy and utterly ruin them. The only thing they understand is the fear of death the media keep instilling in them every day. He who is shitting his trousers today has often little thought for his unemployment tomorrow, or in three months time.
The secular minds create a sort of suicidal, lemming-like herd effect. If you dare to say that the Country needs to be reopened, no matter what, you are considered an apprentice grandma killer at best and an apprentice child rapist at worse. You are simply beyond the pale. The day will come when this tiny majority becomes, actually, the majority; but at that point, such a great damage will have been inflicted that it will be too late to avoid years of great economic and social pain.
These days Italy, Spain, and France remind me of a person who can get drunk on vodka every day, for six weeks straight, without getting a hangover; but who will then, when the hangover comes, suffer forty times the usual pain. The hangover has not come yet, and the drinking continues unabated. When the hangover comes, there will be nothing that makes it go away.
The politicians understand the situation, but they simply have no guts to warn their own voters – unless it be done in the weakest of tones, which are then forgotten in order to follow “the experts” – of the damage they are inflicting to themselves, because the demand for vodka is still too strong, and no one wants to be seen as the one who tells the inconvenient truths and gets stoned as a result.
Therefore, the vodka party is going on almost unabated.
Prime Minister Conte could have spoken a “power word” in the last days, and order at least the Country’s factories to reopen. He failed to do so, because the attributes to stand up to the “experts” were just not there. It is clear enough what the man will do: he will await that the hangover sets in and the pain becomes unbearable, so that the reopening of the Country is made much easier to sell, and much safer for his political future.
As I write this, it pays to show oneself “concerned”, and the Country be damned. What a sad situation.
I have never underestimated this virus.
I have never called it a scam, or a hoax, and rubbish like that.
But for heaven’s sake, we must all die one day, and we have the hope of eternal life.
If three fifths of the Italians had one tenth of the fear of hell (something very concrete for many; millions of Italians live in their atheism, in a concubinage, or in both) than they have of coronavirus (something pretty remote for most), the reaction to this would have been much different: three, four weeks of lockdown to prepare the emergency services as much as one can; and then to war, with the full armour of a Country’s productive machine, rather than this cowering and surrendering, that is not even worthy of a French army.
I pity a Country of people who have so much fear of dying, that they prefer to destroy the economy instead.
I pity even more a Country of people unable to put the tragedy of Coronavirus in the proper perspective of, say, the yearly toll of pneumonia or flu.
I pity the most a Country that is terrified of dying because of its lack of faith.
And so the vodka party goes on.
The hangover will be absolutely atrocious.
I am growing increasingly weary of how fifteen minutes of notoriety and – in fact – exceedingly vast power are going to the head of some people.
Exhibit one: Dr Fauci.
Little guy is on record with saying that he does not think “we should ever shake hands ever again”.
What a nasty little Hitler this guy is.
Look, I understand that experts will have an amount of professional deformation, and will lose sight of the forest because of their specialisation in the single tree. But this is much different from wanting to make a dent in the history of Western Civilisation, and try to stay relevant when your fifteen minutes of TV time are about to end.
No, dear little Dr Hitler. We will not start making that horrible, gay “namaste” sign. We will keep doing what we have always done.
We will shake hands, we will hug, we will pat each other on the back. We will embrace each other, and smile at each other whilst we do so.
Just as we have always done.
We will, by the way, keep receiving communion on the tongue, whatever the likes of you think.
Be gone, little deluded half Napoleon.
You have done enough damage already.
The night to Tuesday went by with very little sleep, and a very uncomfortable one. So many fears. If Boris dies, what will be of Brexit? What will happen if a wave of panic sweeps the West? Did he make his peace with the Lord?
On Tuesday we were told that he was not (yet) on a ventilator. The waiting was still going on as most who die need a ventilator within the first 24 hours of recovery in the ICU.
On Wednesday morning, it was clear the man would have to postpone his funeral. On Wednesday evening, we were said he was improving.
It is now Thursday morning, and it is clear the man has a long recovery process before him. But, by God’s grace, he will live.
Still, this episode goes to show that this Coronavirus is not a plague, and does not justify the panic I read around me; but it’s a nasty client, and can take out people who are fairly young and apparently strong. One of them, a member of the security detail of the Italian Prime Minister. Plus, almost 100 doctors now in Italy alone.
I think a prayer of thanksgiving is fully in order.
This Country needs Boris at the helm. Not because he is the best, but because he is the one who gets things done and can unite the Country behind him like nobody did since Maggie.
Let’s hope he is back in charge before the Country has utterly ruined himself, sacrificing its wealth on the altar of “the experts”.
An appeal to my readers in this dramatic hour.
In your charity, pray for Boris Johnson. Pray for his physical health and, if it is the Lord’s will that he be the end of the road, for his spiritual one. God knows he needs God’s mercy. God knows we all do.
It is difficult to go to sleep knowing that tomorrow morning we might be informed that he is only breathing thanks to a ventilator and, by tomorrow evening, or in the next 36 hours, we might face a great tragedy.
Whilst China is doing all it can to divert from them the wrath of the Western powers, I doubt the strategy will work.
Claims for compensation will soon start to go around. But I doubt this will be decided in international courts of law in any meaningful way.
Rather, the economic pressures that all Western Countries will experience will create a correspondent pressure to make China pay for the mess they have caused. Whether this takes the form of tariffs, trade sanctions, expulsion from the WTO, refusal to honor debt (the US can inflict great damage on China with, so to speak, a couple of signatures, simply by nullifying the US debt they hold as damage compensation), repatriation of industries or a mixture of all this, there is no doubt that China will hurt; then everyone understands by now that a lying communist dictatorship is no trade partner worth having.
Actually, it would be a bold, but wise move if Trump were to declare, very publicly, that China is going to pay the cost of the measures taken by the US Congress out of the US debt they hold first. In one bold strike, he would reassure many worried US household about the real economic impact of the crisis; decrease or, in the extreme case, even nullify the flux of interest payments wandering to China every year, and show the world who is boss; which latter will not do much to promote the evil Chinese “Belt and Road” plans.
The Chinese can try to influence as many Western journalists as they wish. But as the economic pain becomes clear in the next months, they will find it very difficult to escape punishment, nor will they have a corrupt Mr Biden as their counterpart in Washington.
The next years are going to be difficult for China; and the very likely sudden halt of the economic progress they have been achieving, largely out of the West, will make it more difficult for them to hold on to power, as the rage for the countless, if never admitted, virus deaths adds to the rage for the economic woes that are pretty sure to come.
Bundle up, Mr Xi.
It is going to get very cold.
I have , on this little blog, never underestimated the unusual gravity of this virus. At the same time, I have always advocated a rational, sensible approach to the issue. If we can ask most people to go to work on factories as enemy bombers fly above their heads – obviously doing all we can to cure the wounded etc. – then we can ask most people to go to work during a time of infection in order not to destroy the Country from the inside.
Get this, folks: this virus will, most likely, not go away anytime soon. When the factories reopen, which at some point they will have to do, the virus will keep spreading. Therefore, the news of diminishing new infections are, in a way, fake news, in that they do not tell us anything about what is going to happen when normal life resumes, which it will have to happen.
I am very, very alarmed when I hear statements, from non-elected personalities, about how long the lockdown should or should not go on. This is not for you to decide, my friend.
In Italy, Angelo Borrelli (who is, to make it short, somewhat like the “Italian Mike Pence” on Coronavirus) took it on himself to say that he thought that Italians would have to remain under their brutal lockdown until the First of May at least. I don’t know what fell on his head afterwards (I think, a police baton straight from the Italian Prime Minister), but whatever it was, it worked, as the man one day later was claiming that he had been “misinterpreted”, and we are at 13 April as the official date for the end of the lockdown until further order. The guy just can’t make government policy, end of story.
The US are not much better. Dr Fauci has expressed the opinion that social distancing should remain in place until deaths have, more or less, ceased. This is like the above mentioned Mr Borrelli: but drunk, high, and on steroids.
These people all have safe jobs. Plus, they have a clear professional deformation: they focus on the situation they are called to help with – and are understandably afraid of being considered “complacent” – and they forget that there is an entire Country out there which is slowly going bust.
The likes of Borrelli, and Fauci, should be told very clearly that they are allowed to give us their opinion on administrative (Borrelli) or medical (Fauci) matters, not on policy ones. This is for the elected representatives of the people to do.
The “war” rhetoric is starting to get a bit stupid, too. This is getting a bit like a war that is ruining the entire Country for lack of willingness to fight it in the first place. It is, if you wish, the French approach to the Virus: let us surrender and hope that the enemy will have mercy on us.
It will never work: after you have inflicted untold pain to your economy, you will have to go back to work anyway some day, and the pain will start again.
The solution is not shutting down and hoping that the virus goes away. The solution is to keep producing and focus the effort on the treatment of the victims of the invisible bombardment.
The USA will get there earlier, because they have a businessman at the helm. The UK might also get away with a reasonable damage, because the Brits are very, very tough cookies. But Continental Europe might well hurt itself really bad, because giving power to technocrats and “experts” has become almost a second nature in vast part of the EU, and they will need a shock (= a seriously deteriorating economy) to get rid of it.
The only positive of this situation is this: every week of continued lockdown makes the death of the Euro, and of the so-called “European project”, more likely.
That, at least, would be a great progress.
Let me say something very obvious first: if you have an infectious disease (say: the flu), or if you are convalescing and too weak to reasonably go out, you don’t go to Mass. This has always been this way, and will always be this way. It takes a very stupid, Protestant sort of arrogance to think that God will allow you not to be infected if you expose yourself to infection at Mass, or that He will not allow you to infect others, whilst you do everything you can to do it, because you are friends with Jesus, or the like. Prudence, and reasonable behaviour, should always be kept in mind.
I agree with the measures of social distancing, and think that it is right that social distancing should happen in Church, too. It is really senseless to say that God will decree churches as contagion spread-free zones, just because you want to show what a zealous ass you are. It does not work that way. Do not put the Lord your God to the test.
Having said that, the way our Bishops (led by the Evil Clown) have acted in the present circumstances goes from too subservient to the civil authorities to beyond despicable. Sadly, it showed this: that our Bishops (led by the Evil Clown) largely see Mass as a pure community-driven event, a social gathering where people meet, feel good and receive a feel-good sacrament; a social gathering which is now necessary to give up for a while, like chocolate. I make here a partial exception for Britain, where to my knowledge Mass continues to be celebrated in the usual way, albeit without public. This shows at least a correct understanding of the Mass, because the Mass does not depend on the presence of the public. Some kudos, therefore, for the UK authorities.
But let us come to the main point: attending Mass. How come that I am allowed to go to the supermarket during a lockdown, but I am not allowed to go to Church? Mind well: it is not that civil authorities have decided that buying groceries endangers your health, but it has to be done, therefore it is allowed. No. Civil authorities in many Countries have decided that buying groceries can be done in a safe way, and should be therefore be done in that safe way alone. It follows that Bishops all over Catholicism should have made a huge mess, demanding that churches are left open, and Mass be allowed to be celebrated, pretty much in the same way as the relevant Government allows the purchase of food. Have they done this? Largely, no. Why not? Because to them – irrespective of what they may say – the Mass is a social gathering, and nothing more. Our “hagan lio” Pope was, as befits his atheist mindset, the first to lead the charge, even going beyond what the Italian government had ordered. Boy, Satan is strong with this one.
So, what should have been done? What could, and should, the Pope and the Bishops have done? To me, the answer is so obvious that it should not even need a blog post to explain: every Bishop should have ordered every one of his priests to celebrate at least six masses a day, mobilise volunteers to protect the Blessed Sacrament for one Holy Hour a day, leave the time that remains free for last rites of people who are really dying, and do nothing else. This, obviously, with the respect of the usual distancing rules as far as practicable (and if it is not, as in the case of the Last Rites, tough luck: the cashier at the supermarket will in many cases still get your cash, will she not?)
In addition to this, some further measures could have been taken. It is certainly in the remit of the bishops to make clear to their sheep that there is no mass obligation for people who fear contagion, or deem it dangerous to get out (say: self-isolating old people), or for people who have been ordered to stay in (say: relatives of people with symptoms), or for people who cannot physically get in church because of the social distancing rules. It is certainly also possible to the Bishops to make clear to the faithful that receiving communion is no integral part of going to Mass; a concept, this, that would have likely surprised more than a few, and would have re-instilled some Catholicism in some others.
Still, the main effect would have been reached already with the multiplication of masses: possibility to go to Mass for very many; plus possibility for all others to pop in and attend of the many masses during the week; plus adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every day. A faithful, but sensible and law abiding, reaction to a time of crisis.
If this had happened, no Government in the West would have objected more than they objected to people buying their own food. And if some idiot (like Trudeau) had objected, he would have received hell from all the Bishops of the world combined. Honestly, I cannot imagine that this would have been an issue, if the Pope and the Bishops had been ready to stand their ground and speak some stern words. Alas, most of them don’t believe in God. It really is as simple as that.
Before I go, let us spend two words on the priests. One of the excuses put forward for the closures of the churches is the health of the priests. This is more of the secular thinking just described. As thousands of doctors and nurses – and, in Countries like Italy, countless volunteers – put their health on the line for what is only a salaried job, or no salary at all, a priest, who must be ready to die for Christ at two second’s notice, will be afraid of even social distancing? Honestly, I think that most priests are much, much better than that. It’s their own bishops, and the Pope, who are the disgrace.
Last time I looked, Italy had lost more than 60 doctors, and counting, on the Coronavirus front in a matter of weeks. These are people who have not solemnly declared, upon being consecrated, that they were ready to die for Christ. I have no figures for nurses, but I can’t imagine those figures make for a very happy reading, either.
It would have been perfectly possible to face this crisis in a prudent and still Catholic way, and give the world an example of faith, discipline, and compliance with the laws.
This was lost because our Bishops, starting with the Evil Clown, simply don’t believe in God.
I wish I could find again an article with very useful information about the virus (my VPN is a real Hillary tonight, but the article might have disappeared behind a paywall, too). It was really informative.
The information that had struck me was twofold:
- The virus was with us much earlier than previously expected, meaning several weeks; having all the time in the world to gain momentum.
- This means that the virus had several weeks to spread undisturbed, all over the worst affected Province (Bergamo). The article stated that, for this reason, up to 25% of the entire province might have already contracted the virus. In short, the message is that it may well be that the doors were closed when the horses had largely bolted, which is bad; but that herd immunity is not so far away, which is very good.
The article struck me as very sensible, because it seemed to me to explain so well what has, in fact, happened: the fact that Italy had so many deaths among people in hospital and in nursing homes (a phenomenon that is becoming more evident by the day) is easily explained not only with the high number of old people in Italy, but with the fact that these people are still connected with their social fabric: their relatives and friends actually visit them, giving an insidious virus like the Chinese one every opportunity to penetrate the nursing care structures and make a massacre (I seem to remember the affected nursing homes had a 20% death rate in weeks, but again I can’t find the article anymore). Even easier was the virus’ “work” when we think of the high number of old people living either with their families and/or with home carers: again, leaving a great number of old people in daily, close contact with younger ones, for weeks, without anyone having the slightest idea of what is happening. Italy is a very inter-generational Country. Therefore, it makes sense that Italy would give the virus both the time and the opportunity to kill more in Italy than everywhere else.
Another number I read around: the city of Bergamo has around 120,000 inhabitants. It appears they now have 2,000 unemployed house carers. It tells you something about how easy it was for many old people to contract the virus.
Point 2 also makes, it seems to me, a lot of sense. If you follow the curve of the deaths and infections in Italy another element appears clear: the percentage of new infections compared to tested people trends downwards as the number of tests increases greatly. The number of deaths is fairly constant. Why is this? If you ask me (and not only me), this is because the virus is killing now people who were infected two or three weeks ago (one week to develop symptoms, one or two weeks for these symptoms to get worse and worse, with hospitalisation, then death in, likely, a matter of days). One can say that there are less people infected because people stay at home, and this certainly has contributed…. but…. but… could it be that the virus has slowed down because, say… hundreds of thousands in the Province of Bergamo alone (1.1 m) have in the meantime been infected and have recovered without even noticing, and the virus has less and less victims to target and/or use as vectors?
Is herd immunisation a pious wish? If this is so, how is it that Countries like Britain, who allow everyone, who has to, to actually go to work, have no noticeably different pattern than countries like Italy, where your neighbours count the time you take out the dog, alone, for a short walk, and woe to you it is beyond the strictest necessity? Do people in Italy realise that, here in the UK, there are also people actually taking the train, getting on the tube, and going to work in a normal office, to the tune of perhaps 10% or 15% of the normal, pre-crisis number? This has been going on for a while now. Why are corpses not piling up on the streets? Will we have Armageddon in a week or two? Or will we discover that the curve is near to flattening in the UK, too, which many people actually begin to hope already?
I do not know what the answer to these questions is. But one thing is clear to me: at some point we will have to isolate the old and frail, and ask the others to keep social distancing as much as practical, and reopen the damn factories and restaurants and shops.
Then we can’t discover that we have saved some lives, whilst destroying many more.
I have been, for many years now, an affectionate reader of the “American Thinker”.
It is, therefore, with great pleasure, and not a little surprise, that I read my nom de plume and an excerpt of a recent blog post of mine in that worthy publication.
It goes to show how the honest press works: instead of following the orders of the globalist liberal elites, honest journalists pose themselves questions and look around for what people are thinking, observing how they are reacting to the same issues and answering the same questions. It was, again, a great honour and pleasure.
This is, also, the first blog post after the unexpected and, frankly, brutal announcement of Sunday evening, that the US “quasi lockdown” would now go on until – gasp – April 30. I must admit that I was taken aback, and can’t say that I was pleased. I have been trying to make sense of the massive measure for a couple of days now, and I can only think of the following:
- Vast part of the economy (in the US and in Europe) is still working. I have not read exact statistics, but obviously the number of people who are filing for unemployment does not give the measure of the damage, as the jobs that went lost must perforce be, in their vast majority, low-wage positions in the catering and entertainment industry. I keep working, everybody I know keeps working, my company has not made, and does not plan to make, anyone redundant. Entire swaths of the service economy are navigating through this tempest brilliantly. Some reports indicates an impact for the US economy for the whole of 2020 of as little as 2%, with a total lockdown until end of April. This is way below my fears for the same duration of lockdown. One must trust Trump to do what he can to preserve the health of the American people as a whole, but without breaking the toy. He is a businessman after all, and he has repeatedly stated that the cure will not be worse than the disease. So here’s hoping.
- I suspect that the 30 April date was not chosen because it is the expected duration of the measures, but in order to put an end to the political issues involved with any such date. If Trump had said “15 April”, trust CNN to title “Trump backpedals again”, or “Government’ s plans in disarray” if the measures are, then, prorogued again. I think Trump considers the whole month plenty enough, and probably not even necessary as a whole. We might see partial relaxing of the measures during the month. We will also see a massive effort of preparation for the ICU emergency that will follow when the economy is reopened, which will make any decision easier in that respect.
- Trump will not do the right thing all alone, even if he is persuaded that it is the right thing to do. I am afraid that Trump himself sees that there is a measure of suffering the Country will have to undergo before the decision to reopen is both politically feasible and politically safe. Look, this is an election year. Trump will not stake his fate in November on a controversial decision that would see him alone among the main actors, and with a tiny minority in the Country. He owns casinos, but he is not much of a gambler. He will reopen when – besides him considering the time right – the country realises that there is no sensible alternative to it. Call me cynical if you want to. Politics is.
Still, this is going to be very bad for some parts of the United States. If I think of Nevada, I can only shiver.
I dare again to make the comparison with the Blitz, when life went on under the German bombs.
I cannot but wonder about how much is left of the spirit of that time.
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times; and the cycle starts again.
Are we the weak men who create the bad times?
We will soon know.
I see the signs multiplying that the Left and the champagne-sipping Socialist troops are going to try to exploit this crisis to fundamentally reshape the West, particularly Western Europe.
No one in his right mind can suggest that 14, 16, 18 weeks of national lockdowns are anything near feasible, or sane. Heck, I have read around of “experts” simply stating that we might need a lockdown until a vaccine is found (this is up to 18 months). Boy, these people really hate working!
Look, this is bad. It truly is. I read the news from Italy every day, and, as you know because you read me , it is very realistic to think that 20,000 or more people have already died of Coronavirus in Italy alone. It is right to do all that we reasonably can to mitigate the hit. It is certainly right to put in place a lockdown of two, three weeks as the preparation for the wave of ill patients are ramped up. But at some point, the action will have to be directed to the increase of ICU places, as our Countries starts to work again.
To claim that all the West must be partially shut down (obviously, even during lockdown most of the economic activity continues, but for how long?) is just another way to say that we should profit from this to get rid of Capitalism, nationalise all the companies that go bust (all of them, at some point) and switch to a system where the “scientists” and the “experts” tell us what to do, how to live, what to think and, obviously, when to worship.
This is something that must be avoided at all cost, and I mean at all costs. No one in his right mind would say that 1%, or 0.5%, of the population is worth giving up our freedoms. If that had been the case, then it would have been perfectly sensible to surrender to the Soviet Union back then, against the promise that we would be allowed to live.
President Trump will, of course, not fall for the story. But Europe is different. Riddled with the Socialist Virus as it is, several Countries could abandon themselves to an orgy of assistance madness, either not thinking of the bill that will unavoidably come, or actually thinking clearly and accepting, or desiring, the consequences. Their politicians will do, as almost always, what guarantees their survival on the day.
The first thing that we need to do is to start realising that the “experts” opinions are:
- often wrong,
- often politically motivated, and
- cannot substitute political decisions.
I do not care one iota of when the “experts” tell me that it will be safe to go back to work. The decision is not, and should never be, theirs. The Country should come first.
If your Country is bombarded, you don’t surrender because some people are dying. You keep on fighting and you do what you can to alleviate the suffering.
Expect the BBC and other panic-mongering institutions to bombard us with “experts” saying we must destroy the Country. They would clearly love it, thinking that hey will actually come out stronger from the attempts at socialist utopia that will result.
Call your MP or write to him, and let him know that you want to care for the old, but not at the price of suicide for an entire Country.
The figures for Italy released this afternoon aren’t good, with more than 900 deaths in a day, and the new record.
Before you freak out, reflect that these daily numbers don’t mean much anyway, which you know because you actually read my blog.
At this point, I would like to make a very worst case, a realistic worse case, and a comparison with data we have.
As you know from here, the Diamond Princess saw the worst possible incubation scenario, and was full of old people, who were going around for many days within the vessel and being happily infected without even knowing it.
The figures again:
Total death after weeks in the vessel of hell: 0.188%
Let us apply this to the, say, 60 million Italians and we have 112,800 deaths due to Coronavirus.
However, the Diamond Princess is, most certainly, not representative of Italy: firstly, because it was a heavily contained environment; secondly, because the average age was much older than in Italy. Thirdly, because (to my knowledge) no intensive care units with ventilators etc could be made available. So, let us say that 110k- 120k deaths is the very worst case. Then, let us (merely) halve it to allow for a very bad, resilient virus that does not find so many old people around as aboard the Diamond Princess, but proves resilient to medications, is not killed by warm weather, etc.
We are at 55k-60k deaths, mostly of old people with pre-existing conditions and average age of around 80 years. This is, I think, a realistic worst case. Not, mind, a likely figure, but a realistically assumed scenario for a very bad outcome.
Now, let us recall the great heat wave of 2003, which led to many old people dying of dehydration. At the time (this might have changed afterwards; these numbers always go through a series of adjustments) the talk was of anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 deaths in France alone. France has around the same population as Italy, give or take single percentage digits. Certainly, a tragedy. However, these figures were calculated months afterwards, when there was nothing more to do about it. Question: would the country have been stopped for all the summer, to allow for the industry to produce a vast number of a/c systems, an army of technicians to install them, and an army of nurses to force everyone to hydrate until he cries? That emergency was, in the end, much less grave than this one, but you get my drift: no one would have asked, then, to stop the entire Country and drive it to the ground to avoid the tragedy.
We are, realistically, talking here of a maximum of twice the deaths we counted then, not collectively noticing until several months later. It’s a lot of deaths, and it certainly is the Christian thing to do to put in place those measures that can reasonably be put in place to avoid it, allowing all Western Governments to prepare for the tidal wave of people in need of intensive care units and minimise its deadly effect. It did, and it does, make sense to use the emergency brake for a limited number of weeks.
But – hand on heart, and in front of the Blessed Virgin – I can safely say that even the sobering, very sad, tragic figures I am putting in front of you today do not justify the collective economic suicide of a Nation, much less of a Continent, much less of the West.
And by the by, the Chinese figures are rotten and look more rotten by the day. It is inconceivable that they should have less deaths and – even more absurd – less infected people than Italy, when they went around happily infecting each other for who knows how long, and were prevented from isolating even when the situation was bad enough that doctors on the ground could easily see it. They are going through a carnage now; but people are expendable to them, so they don’t care. So yeah, a huge lot of excrement is happening over there just now; you are merely not allowed to know.
I do not think that anyone can accuse me of downplaying this situation, and I am totally allergic to the rubbish I am reading around the web (don’t try to bring that rubbish here, thanks; this is my virtual home, and I will have none of that crap).
Still, I think that the cure cannot be worse than the disease, and that undue alarm and facebook-induced panic only serves to destroy the fabric of Western Capitalism.
The data coming in every afternoon from the Italian Protezione Civile keep giving a mixed picture, with mostly positive days followed by days (like yesterday) marked by slight increases in infections and deaths.
But I, and many others, begin to think that the numbers are almost useless; or that they can be, at the most, merely a vague indication of where we are and what the general trend is.
The official data of the deceased because of Coronavirus just do not square (do not even begin to square) with real life where the unfortunate inhabitant of many places in Northern Italy, particularly in Bergamo and surrounding towns, are living.
Some journalists have compared the official Coronavirus death with the lists of the deceased, and have come out with one of those unavoidable truths that every now and then confront us: it is not that you are having hallucinations, it is that the official figures about the deceased do not even begin to give account of the deaths due to Coronavirus.
Let us take Nembro, a town near Bergamo where the virus has struck with great violence. Nembro lost between 110 and 120 people from the beginning of March. Last year, they were 14. The same strong differences (though not as brutal as in Nembro) can be found everywhere in the towns affected by the virus.
Now consider this: the number of deaths in the same city and town tend to be fairly constant from one year to the other, when you compare the same time of year. This is not happening now. Everywhere, where the virus struck, the number of deaths is four, five, six, ten times the expected number, and the official statistics of the deceased from the Coronavirus only account for a tiny part of the difference.
This means that the official Coronavirus death statistics are merely an indication of trend (if that), but nothing even remotely resembling the reality of what we are living.
Why is this, you may ask? For the very obvious reason that there not enough tests, and in many cases there is not enough time, to test every death of “pneumonia” (record numbers are being recorded in the last weeks) instead of Coronavirus. Therefore, either the deceased is tested after death (possible, but rare) or the death is recorded as “pneumonia”, and that is that. This is totally understandable: first, tests need to be used to prevent the spreading of the disease; second, those who are infected need additional tests (at times two, or three each) before they can be safely recorded as having recovered.
Mind, the other obvious data is also confirmed with growing numbers of deaths: this virus is a harvester, not a killer. People don’t die of Coronavirus alone. The Chinese Virus is, by and large, the one pushing them to the grave when serious conditions are already there.
So there we have it: this Chinese Virus is, for the population at large, certainly not a threat. But it is an unprecedented threat for old and frail people. It is, if you allow me the macabre image, like an evil witch from a children’s tale, going around and taking away all the old and frail people she can get; or like a huge, automatic machine aiming at the low hanging fruits from the orchard.
How to react to this? My suggestion is the same I always had: it being impossible to stop the West until this has gone or a cure has been found or a vaccine has been created, it is necessary to concentrate the preparation on the end part: the ICU places, with the necessary ventilators and personnel.
This should be treated like you would a bombardment in time of war, with field hospitals everywhere and part of the production reconverted to the war necessities (equipment for personnel and patients; doctors; nurses). At the same time, and exactly as it would happen in time of war, the Country should go on and production (of goods and services) should continue undisturbed.
It is, if you ask me, perfectly fine to stop a Country from going out for a couple of weeks. It is a hit that we should, as a Country, be ready to take to protect the vulnerable. This will allow the worst of the first brunt to be absorbed as we prepare for a medical emergency.
But at some point, the “war machine” needs to start working again, or we will all be victims.
The Italian Chinese Virus figures for Monday were very encouraging. The ones for Tuesday were a bit of a downer. Still, it appears more and more probable that the worst phase is now gone; even as the deaths increase in other regions of Italy, we can now reasonably say that this is because they are going through a peak that will last a week or two, certainly not months.
Some images I would like my readers to mind: the churches used as provisional deposit for corpses as the morgues became too full, and the column of Army trucks transporting the corpses out of Bergamo. If you think this was a hoax, or a fraud, I have a bridge I would like to sell you.
The Centre Left is in power in Italy. They don’t want to commit political suicide any more than Trump.
Possibly the worst, for every local, must have been seeing the obituaries of the Eco di Bergamo gradually go from around one to nine, then ten, then eleven pages. Imagine being a local and seeing the amount of devastation created by this virus; as you see, among the dead, people you knew personally, or whom people you know knew. Old people die every day, of course; but when the obituaries go from one page to eleven, it is not old age, or a cold end of the winter.
It is also abundantly obvious that the victims of the Chinese Virus are way, way more than the official count, likely a multiple. The fact is, the official data only consider as deaths from the virus those who had a test made on them, whether alive or dead. But there were not enough tests to use thousands of them on people already dead, as they are vital to prevent the further spread of the disease.
At some point, we will have at least an official estimate; and it will make for sober reading. The more so, if we think of what could have happened if the virus had not been contained in our Countries. Conversely, this will lead us to think to how many lives could have been spared if the Chinese officials had been not so unspeakably stupid, corrupt and, in a word, communist.
China lied, people died.
Still, and irrespective of the official count in the end, the following is crystal clear:
1. the victims were largely very old and with preexisting conditions, and
2. we can’t kill an entire Country because of a virus.
As always, President Trump was the first, among the heads of state and government who are actually listened to, to say it out loud: the cure can’t be worse than the disease. This is particularly brave of Trump, as everybody knows that the number of deaths in the United States is going to increase in the next days, thus forcing him to make difficult, but sensible choices as the screaming of the rabid left (who would be happy to gravely damage the economy in order to have him lose in November; journalists’ jobs are not endangered anyway, at least for now) increases in intensity.
There must be a balance, and the balance must be found in the weighting of human charity and common sense. Again, the effort must be directed at the end (the isolation of the old and the preparation for the emergency in the hospitals: respirators, ventilators, nurses etc), not at the start (the closing of factories, restaurants, and entertainment venues for a long time). The very fabric of every Western Country would start to die and get into gangrene if this situation continues for many weeks, without consideration of the damage made to the underlying economy.
Keep praying, keep hoping and, for heaven’s sake, follow the instructions of your Government.
They don’t want to commit suicide, either.
It is only one day, but the news from Italy are extremely encouraging.
If this continues in the next few days, it will be clear that the summit has been touched, and the virus is receding. For the record, today could have been the first day with more than 1,000 dead. Yesterday, the rolling 24 hours figures was 793. Today, we are at 651. Clear decrease in Lombardy, too, from 546 to 361 deaths. New cases also clearly retreating.
Some considerations on the spot:
- Lombardy was at the forefront. The data from there is the most followed, but it is easy to predict that even if the figures for Lombardy go down in the next days, those for other regions (like Emilia) might grow for a while. Still, Lombardy is no China and I believe the data. If the death recede there, they will soon recede everywhere in Italy.
- Please do not say that “this was not a great crisis after all”. Look on the internet for explanations of the effect, compounded for 30 days, of every infected person infecting 1 or 1.25 people as opposed to, say, 2.5. It is staggering, as you would expect for an exponential growth. This means that: a) social distancing saved a lot of lives, and b) China lied, people died.
- We will know in the next months (assuming the crisis has peaked already) what estimated effect the measures taken in different countries have fared. For example: how did the Dutch and the Swedes (after accounting for differences in population age and climate, as far as they can be estimated) fare compared to, say, Italy and France? This will give extremely valuable indications as to how to proceed for similar new cases.
- China will have to pay. Firstly, they should be made to pay for the immense damage the inefficiency, corruption and outright stupidity of the Chicom machine has caused to the West (I think tariffs will be ideal for that). Secondly, they should have to pay through the repatriation of many important strategic industries, from which the Western machine clearly depends, both to keep producing and for the safety of the Western citizen. Thirdly, they should have to pay through sanctions like the expulsion from the WTO and the loss of the “most favorite” trade clause, as a corrupt third world government does not deserve to be given a seat in the first row.
- All Western nations will have to provide for contingency plans, and adapt their production chain to the new circumstances. For example, it is easy to predict that the “just in time” production methods will get quite a hit after the experiences of the last weeks. It may be cheaper in normal times, it becomes extremely expensive in abnormal ones. Many factories were closing already, in the last days, not because the government ordered them to, but for sheer lack of parts.
I suggest my readers that they pray very hard, today, for the virus to be finally receding.
The situation has not changed. Therefore, it seems to me that the analysis should not change, either.
However, it seems to me that, in Italy at least, the emergency is now morphing into madness. I have little doubt that other Countries like Spain and France will very soon follow, then they tend to react in the same way. I can only hope that the United Kingdom and the United States will keep a cooler head, following a tradition of “stiff upper lip” in times of crisis.
Listen, people: factories do not close even in war times, with the enemy bombers flying over them. The decision of the Italian Prime Minister, Conte, to shut down the country’s factories starting tomorrow is exactly an example of what should not, never (not if we had enemy bombers on our heads!) be done.
The very cold shiver that went down my spine when I read the news was mitigated by the detailed information: post, transports, banks, insurances stay open. Fishery and Agriculture also go on. This is a big chunk of activity in a Country like Italy, particularly when you consider that working from home will obviously continue. But the damage of the most recent measures for the Italian economy is now estimated at at least 7-8% of the GDP if this does not stop soon; and really, one wonders how can a Prime Minister who ordered half the Country to stay home suddenly say to his people “today is the fourth of April, this means you all can go back to work in your factories”.
One cannot avoid but noticing this: that people like Conte have no downside in paralysing the Country, but they will face a huge wall of hysteria and possible political annihilation if they don’t. They all go with the flow, because the tide is too strong to be stemmed. Like every politician, they know that the art will be in letting people suffer first until the circumstances allow to change the course, and not be seen as the responsible for the suffering later.
There was, in Italy, a luxury tax on yachts some time ago. Everybody – and I say everybody – in the corridors of power knew that this would have resulted in a very fast, and very easy, exodus of yachts to nearby countries, like Croatia. They knew, and they did not care. It was more important to offer the country some sacrificial lambs (the hated “rich”) and let the economy living around around the rich (the tourism, the services, the caterers, the maintenance industry etc) suffer as the business moved abroad in a matter of hours. It was a move of such cold-blooded, calculated cynicism, that it provided a very raw example of what a politician will do to survive in a democracy.
I think that something like this is happening now. As the hysteria grows (which I am afraid it will), Conte and the other politicians will not have any interest in trying to plant their feet, draw a line in the sand and say that there must be a limit to the measures taken to prevent the diffusion of the China Virus. On the contrary, the temptation will be big to put themselves “at the head of the movement” and look “caring”, even as they carelessly destroy the lives of millions and cause untold suffering for years to come.
Social distancing is all fine. Work from home whenever possible is all fine. The enforcement of the end of mass gathering is something which has always been done for public order reasons. But when you begin to shut down factories and condemn to closure every shop that is not “essential”, you are playing with the very fabric of the country and making of Italy the next Venezuela.
This massive spending (authorised by Brussels, but nevertheless to be repaid by the Italians; without even the ability of printing the money and take the inflationary hit, because Italy is not even in control of its currency anymore!) will cause massive tax hikes, which will cause huge discontent and will castrate the Country’s growth for many years to come. Three, four, six weeks of madness will have consequences for years to come, and will likely change the trajectory of the Country. If we are lucky, they will be at least the end of the Euro, but we shall see about that.
The numbers I keep seeing, and the situation I keep observing, is still exactly the same that I have described here . The figures have grown, as expected; but the fundamental nature of what is happening (that is: who is dying, what ethical challenges this poses, and how we should react to them) hasn’t.
The coming weeks will cause a huge ripple effect on the economies of half of Continental Europe. The Left will rise, as it is always the case when misery and poverty do. This may result in an entirely home-made World War I, with the citizen shooting themselves out of sheer panic rather than being shot at by the enemy.
Also, consider this: when you get bombed, you see immediately that things are going badly, and can decide to work towards a peace agreement relatively fast. But this madness might only end when the pain has become unbearable on the moment, which means that it will become much worse still in the 4-8 months to come.
As the German poet Schiller said (about marriage, but you get my drift) “der Wahn ist kurz, die Reu’ ist lang” (the madness is short, the regret is long).
Caution, yes. Prudence, yes.
But panic decisions that shut down the Country are not prudent, they are criminal.