Category Archives: Pandemics

COVID-19 is mutating, and we do not know exactly what that means

A scary article about the COVID-19 virus:

The Mutated Virus Is a Ticking Time Bomb – There is much we don’t know about the new COVID-19 variant, but everything we know so far suggests a huge danger.

The new mutation allows the virus to spread faster. In other words, it is more contagious. Why does that matter? The article puts it this way:

A more transmissible variant of COVID-19 is a potential catastrophe in and of itself. If anything, given the stage in the pandemic we are at, a more transmissible variant is in some ways much more dangerous than a more severe variant. That’s because higher transmissibility subjects us to a more contagious virus spreading with exponential growth, whereas the risk from increased severity would have increased in a linear manner, affecting only those infected.

Because the vaccine roll out will take many months (possibly years in the United States if the government keeps bungling things), this more contagious version will cause millions more to get infected, meaning many more deaths. Especially when people are acting like idiots during a pandemic:

At Least One Person Is Hospitalized With COVID-19 After Attending That Republican Christmas Party With A Conga Line

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

What if the world has a pandemic but your government responds incompetently?

The United States has repeatedly fallen apart in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in large part because of leadership issues. The pandemic was downplayed, then masks were politicized and mocked, then PPE was the issue, along with lack of testing, and so on. And now the United States is falling apart in its effort to vaccinate its citizens quickly:

Operation Warp Speed at a crawl: Adequately vaccinating Americans will take 10 years at current pace

The Trump administration’s Covid-19 vaccine distribution program needs a major shot in the arm because at the current rate, it would take almost 10 years to inoculate enough Americans to get the pandemic under control, a jarring new NBC News analysis showed Tuesday.

The goal of Operation Warp Speed, a private-public partnership led by Vice President Mike Pence to produce and deliver safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines to the public, is to ensure that 80 percent of the country’s 330.7 million people get the shots by late June. To meet that goal, a little more than 3 million people would have to get the shots each day, the math shows. But so far, only about 2 million people — most of them front-line health care workers and some nursing home residents — have gotten their first shots of the 11.5 million doses that were delivered in the last two weeks, a review by NBC News of data from federal and state agencies showed.

It is heartbreaking to understand how many people in the United States have died, and to know that the vaccine could solve the problem, and to know that the vaccine could be distributed at a much quicker rate, and to then watch as the government’s leadership is once again dropping (or intentionally destroying) the ball. A tragedy.

It is also heartbreaking to know that many other governments have responded in exemplary ways, and there has been much less death and suffering and economic destruction in these countries.

This Coronavirus pandemic is a true doomsday scenario. Then on top of that, the response of the United States’ leadership has made the effects far worse than they should have been.

More info:

‘We’re repeating all the mistakes we made with PPE and testing’: Health expert Dr Jha slams fact only two million Americans have received their first vaccine shot when 20 million were supposed to be vaccinated by end of year

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The COVID-19 virus is rapidly mutating and diversifying

In England there is a new fast-spreading strain of COVID-19:

Boris Johnson calls crisis meeting over new Covid strain

Professor Sir Mark Walport – a member of the government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) – said there was a real possibility that the strain could have a “transmission advantage”. “What happens with viruses is they do naturally mutate all the time and the ones that are likely to do well are the ones that increase transmission,” he told BBC2’s Newsnight. “We know that this is a new variant, it has been seen in other countries but it seems to be quite widespread which suggests that it has got a transmission advantage. Scientists are working extremely hard to work out what is going on. But it does definitely seem possible that this transmits more easily. It will make the social-distancing even more critical.”

South Africa is also affected:

South Africa’s second coronavirus wave is fueled by a new strain, teen ‘rage festivals’

in a beach town last week, more than 3,000 17- and 18-year-olds went ahead with a huge, week-long graduation party, and more than 1,000 of them have since tested positive for the coronavirus. Hundreds more refused to get tested or gave wrong numbers to contact tracers. Then, on Friday evening, South Africa’s health minister announced that researchers had discovered a new strain — similar to one found in Britain this week — that he said seemed to affect young people more than strains that had previously been circulating.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Anti-mask protesters in Idaho overwhelm cops, force cancellation of public health meeting – also shut down homes of commissioners around the city

Anti-mask protesters in Idaho overwhelm cops, force cancellation of public health meeting

The commissioners tried to meet Tuesday to address the COVID-19 pandemic, but were met with fierce resistance from anti-mask protesters, the Idaho Statesman reported. The anti-maskers gathered outside the public health building in downtown Boise and at commissioners’ houses around the city, according to a press release from Boise police.

Meanwhile there is very good reason to enforce mask-wearing and increase restrictions:

Idaho doctors have warned state leaders that they’re so overwhelmed by COVID cases that they could soon be forced to let some people die because they simply don’t have the resources to care for all patients. More than 285,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 of those people have been in Idaho.

It is amazing that there is this much politicized energy around mask-wearing. These people are not protesting anything that matters – not climate change, not mass unemployment or government inaction on it, not wealth inequality and its corrosive effects on society… No, they are protesting a simple piece of cloth over the face that can save thousands and thousands of lives.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

COVID-19 is just the first – we face the prospect of pandemic after pandemic

How Climate Change Is Ushering in a New Pandemic Era – A warming world is expanding the range of deadly diseases and risking an explosion of new zoonotic pathogens from the likes of bats, mosquitoes, and ticks

This paragraph paints a picture of what humanity has lost due to COVID-19:

Covid-19 likely emerged from the wilds near southern China, then found residence in horseshoe bats before making the jump to humans. The virus, as of this writing, has infected 63 million people and caused 1.5 million deaths around the world. The global economic impact of the pandemic was estimated at $8 trillion to $16 trillion in July 2020 — it may be $16 trillion in the U.S. alone by the fourth quarter of 2021 (assuming vaccines are effective at controlling it by then). The amount of human suffering this tiny microbe has caused is incalculable: lost loved ones, vanished jobs, broken families, and lingering sickness from a virus that will eventually retreat but will never disappear.

But the future could be much worse:

But the biggest impact may be on the emergence of new pathogens from animals. Through intensive agriculture, habitat destruction, and rising temperatures, we are forcing creatures to live by the cardinal rule of the climate crisis: adapt or die. For many animals, that means migrating to more hospitable environments. In one recent study that tracked the movement of 4,000 species over the past few decades, as many as 70 percent had moved, almost all of them seeking cooler lands and waters. Some animals have made big leaps. Atlantic cod have moved more than 120 miles per decade. In the Andes Mountains in South America, frogs and fungi species have climbed a quarter mile higher over the past 70 years. In Alaska, hunters are discovering parasites from more than 950 miles southeast in Canada, alive under the skin of wild birds (tiny parasites adapt better to rapidly changing temperatures than large animals). Great white sharks are turning up as far north as Maine. “A wild exodus has begun,” writes Sonia Shah in The Next Great Migration. “It is happening on every continent and in every ocean.”

Somehow humanity has to stop doing what it is doing and become responsible stewards of the planet. But can humanity do this?

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

New Mexico tried to stop the pandemic with a near-total shutdown and it did not work. Why?

New Mexico shut down nearly everything to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed by covid. It wasn’t enough.

From the article:

The governor had been sounding the alarm for more than a month. But by mid-November, it was clear to Michelle Lujan Grisham that she would need to take extreme measures to head off the “most serious emergency that New Mexico has ever faced.” With covid-19 cases rising exponentially and hospital beds dwindling, she dragged her state back to the darkest days of spring, when restaurant dining was banned, nonessential businesses were closed and residents were ordered to stay inside unless absolutely necessary.

By doing all of that, it seems like the virus would stop propagating. But it did not work nearly as well as hoped. So what went wrong? The article has the answer:

People want to get together with friends and relatives, and they resent being told by political leaders or health experts that they can’t. “There’s a need for instant gratification,” she said. “We’re not used to delaying gratification.” But that lack of constraint is having deadly consequences: More than 1,700 New Mexicans have already succumbed to covid-19. An average of nearly 30 people are added to the tally each day.

In other words, enough people do not cooperate and the virus keeps spreading. The article puts it this way:

She pleaded for citizens to take the threat seriously – to mask up, socially distance and limit their gatherings. At a time when President Trump was sending a very different message – hosting mass, and largely maskless, rallies nationwide – not everyone listened. “We have constituents here – and I would argue in every state – that still believe that this is not a deadly, contagious virus, and you don’t have to practice any public health measures,” she said in a Thursday phone interview. “That makes it really complicated.”

In other words, the intransigence and ignorance of certain groups of people make things horrible for everyone. Once again, people who are assholes make things miserable for everyone else.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Our World in distress – in photos

Some arresting 2020 images from Associated Press photographers:

In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress

From the article:

Behold, a world in distress: A 64-year-old woman weeps, hugging her husband as he lay dying in the COVID-19 unit of a California hospital. A crowded refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, engulfed in flames, disgorges a string of migrants fleeing this hell on Earth. Rain-swept protesters, enraged by the death of George Floyd in police custody, rail against the system and the heavens. This is the world that Associated Press photographers captured in 2020, a world beset by every sort of catastrophe — natural and unnatural disaster, violent and non-violent conflict.

It is amazing how many things have gone wrong in 2020, some of which are grave harbingers of things that could get much worse in the future. Wildfires are likely to get worse. Refugee situations are likely to get worse as climate refugees become a thing. Pandemics are likely to get worse. Protests may get worse as conditions worsen. And do on. These photographs paint a picture of the distress humanity is witnessing in 2020.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

With months to go before people are vaccinated, COVID prepares to murder thousands per day in the United States and Around the world

US is ’rounding the corner into a calamity,’ expert says, with Covid-19 deaths projected to double soon

“If anything, we are rounding the corner into a calamity,” Wen said. “We’re soon going to exceed well more than 2,000 deaths, maybe 3,000, 4,000 deaths every single day here in the US.” That projection has been echoed by other experts including Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, who predicted Wednesday the country’s daily death toll would likely double in 10 days, and soon see “close to 4,000 deaths a day.”

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral

The spiral begins when people forget that controlling the pandemic means doing many things at once. The virus can spread before symptoms appear, and does so most easily through five P’s: people in prolonged, poorly ventilated, protection-free proximity. To stop that spread, this country could use measures that other nations did, to great effect: close nonessential businesses and spaces that allow crowds to congregate indoors; improve ventilation; encourage mask use; test widely to identify contagious people; trace their contacts; help them isolate themselves; and provide a social safety net so that people can protect others without sacrificing their livelihood. None of these other nations did everything, but all did enough things right—and did them simultaneously. By contrast, the U.S. engaged in …

It is amazing that such an advanced and highly developed nation can behave so poorly in this crisis. But here we are, and 250,000+ deaths is a doomsday situation if there ever was one.

The Dakotas lead the world in COVID-19 deaths per capita

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The Dakotas Deserve an “F or F-” for their behavior in the U.S. COVID Crisis

This is such an amazing, damning video:

The Dakotas lead the world in COVID-19 deaths per capita

This video contains so many memorable quotes, such as:

  • “It is so bad, the Dakotas North and South lead the world right now on a per capita basis when it comes to the number of people who are dying on a daily basis.”
  • “Politics has affected so much of what is happening here. People will fight you on the facts.”
  • “If you were grading it, it would be an F, probably and F-. It’s that bad.”
  • “In South Dakota, the debate over wearing a mask continues statewide… Around 50% of South Dakotans say they do not wear a mask.”

See also:

North, South Dakota resist COVID-19 restrictions despite infection rates

“Among the Reddest of Red states, North Dakota largely put individual liberties ahead of collective health initiatives, only requiring masks once hospitals were overwhelmed. Neighboring South Dakota still has not.”

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The COVID virus appears to be spreading uncontrollably in the United States

Case numbers for COVID-19 in the United States grow nearly every day now. The NYTimes put it this way:

“The infection rate continues to shatter records: On Friday, public health officials reported more than 181,000 new cases across the country. It was only eight days earlier that the U.S. reported its first 100,000-case day.”

And this article from the Atlantic is talking about exponential spread that is likely to occur unless intense steps are taken to slow the virus down:

It’s Time to Hunker Down – A devastating surge is here. Unless Americans act aggressively, it will get much larger, very quickly.

From the article:

“Almost every day, America is breaking new records in confirmed cases: They are up 40 percent from just one week ago. These cases are not confined to a region or a state; the whole nation is in the midst of a terrible surge…. This is not a “casedemic”—the false notion that we just have better testing and detection, without any real change in the underlying risk for illness and death. It’s true that we missed a lot of cases in the spring because we didn’t have enough tests, and that we are catching more of them now. But it’s not just confirmed cases that are on the rise. The United States is also experiencing a steep increase in hospitalizations, as well as about 1,500 reported deaths a day…”

Everyone who gets COVID potentially spreads it to 2 or 3 other people, and without measures to contain this spread, the virus can experience exponential growth. Why is this happening?

  • People are letting their guard down
  • People are “tired of the virus”, they want it to be over, they want to stop thinking about it, they want to return to normal
  • Some people, fantastically, continue to believe that the virus is a hoax

A South Dakota ER nurse shared the sobering reality of the coronavirus in a CNN interview – On ‘New Day’ with Alisyn Camerota, Jodi Doering shared horror stories of patients not believing COVID-19 was real even as they lay dying from it.

“I have a night off from the hospital. As I’m on my couch with my dog I can’t help but think of the Covid patients the last few days. The ones that stick out are those who still don’t believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is (g)oing to ruin the USA. All while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm. They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that ‘stuff’ because they don’t have COViD because it’s not real.”

It is impossible to believe that this is happening, but it is happening. People who do not believe that the virus is real take no precautions, and they spread the virus freely.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.