China versus the World – Clash of Civilizations?

An explainer video that provides a plausible explanation of why the majority of viruses appear to originate in China…

We also find similar conditions in many African countries. Those who have large populations of Chinese workers who travel back and forth to and from China only increases the risk.

But the question remains, what to do about it to protect the world from another pandemic? How do we, as a society, impose restrictions on airline travel, especially since some passengers surreptitiously travel to unrestricted areas to board international carriers. Some even attempting to enter the United States for the specific purpose of obtaining advanced healthcare knowing that individuals presenting at emergency rooms cannot, by law, be turned away – and can even be illegal aliens who know that they will not be reported to immigration authorities.

Priming your BS detector…

With all of the talking heads in the media, all purporting to be truth-seekers, be very, very careful of the experts from which you accept facts or actionable advice. An important consideration: receiving a Nobel Prize in one scientific discipline doesn’t make someone an authority on all scientific topics. Nor does having a PhD or teaching at a prestigious medical school mean they have expert knowledge, the facts, or are not shading the situation for political advantage to secure a spot in the biased media.

Attempt to distinguish what is known to be true from what is thought to be true — between facts and commentary including speculation and opinion.

Use caution when accepting research findings from newly published research papers known as “preprints,” or unpublished academic papers that have not been peer-reviewed and may contain errors in methodology or bogus statistical inferences. We are seeing numerous academics rush to publish papers, even if those papers are a review of the scientific literature – which may or may not apply to the current coronavirus – followed by a “consensus” finding. Remember consensus is a political concept, not a scientific one – and all it takes is one researcher to falsify the entirety of fashionable thought.

An example of this type of craziness can be found in reports that suggest men need to shave their beards to prevent infection or re-infection that cited the Centers for Disease Control as their authority. What the CDC suggested is that it may be necessary to trim facial hair to promote better mask sealing. Nothing was said about the virus living in facial hair and re-infecting individuals, especially since their body probably developed antibodies to fight the disease.

We still do not know what we do not know…

There is little or no doubt that initial mortality percentage rates are likely to be higher in the earlier stages of an outbreak because it is unknown how many individuals self-treated and failed to report or be tested for the specific virus. Considering the scarcity of test kits and certified lab facilities early on, it is most likely that the disease population will be understated, which produces a higher lethality rate. When you consider healthy people who simply self-treated the disease like the flu, the mortality rate may drop precipitously.

It should also be noted that age and underlying disease plays a significant role in who may become a fatality, with the elderly and those with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, COPD, kidney disease, diabetes, and compromised immune systems being more at risk than healthy children and people in their middle age. Considering the poor air quality in Chinese cities, the fact that the majority of Chinese men have been heavy smokers since an early age, the density of the population, the unsanitary wet markets that sell unprocessed meat from exotic animals, one wonders how much these underlying factors are responsible for a higher mortality rate in China?

Looking at the age range of those who have succumbed to virus-related conditions, one can eliminate a large number of people – who can rest easier knowing that their likelihood of becoming a fatality is lower than the rates being reported in the media. And, when the death rate from the virus is compared to the seasonal flu, one wonders if the disease is being over-hyped to produce media ratings and profits? 

The concept of interpersonal distance is bullpucky because, in reality, it is a gradient probability zone composed on multivariate factors such as the strength of a sneeze, air currents, droplet dispersion, life on a surface, and reinforcement reinfection. Because your eyes are susceptible, just wearing a surgical mask may not be enough in a hot zone. It is generalized advice, the same as avoiding people who appear to be sick, those who have returned from a foreign country, or those who have used closed-environment mass transit such as airplanes, ships, and railcars.

The closest thing we have to “real numbers” comes from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship, which is effectively a closed and controllable environment. The numbers coming from this source look about the same as the seasonal flu, with all fatalities being senior citizens over the age of 60. As for contagion, only about 20% of the ship was stricken. (These numbers are susceptible to change over time.) One should also remember that older individuals are more likely to be cruise passengers.

Fun fact…

Virus: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

Disease: coronavirus disease  (COVID-19)

The name “coronavirus” is actually medical and media slang.

Why do the virus and the disease have different names? 

Viruses, and the diseases they cause, often have different names.  For example, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.  People often know the name of a disease, such as measles, but not the name of the virus that causes it (rubeola).

There are different processes, and purposes, for naming viruses and diseases.

Viruses are named based on their genetic structure to facilitate the development of diagnostic tests, vaccines, and medicines. Virologists and the wider scientific community do this work, so viruses are named by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses(ICTV).

Diseases are named to enable discussion on disease prevention, spread, transmissibility, severity, and treatment. Human disease preparedness and response is WHO’s role, so diseases are officially named by WHO in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

ICTV announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020.  This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003.  While related, the two viruses are different. 

WHO announced “COVID-19” as the name of this new disease on 11 February 2020, following guidelines previously developed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).


Bottom line...

Prudence, not panic, should rule the day.

You are more susceptible to getting ill and upset from the virus of partisan politics than COVID-19. And I find it absolutely astounding that the same talking heads at MSNBC who were constitutional scholars last month have become expert virologists and epidemiologists in less than a week.

This, too, shall pass.

Be well.


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell