By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Hat tip to Karabiner Elements, suggested long ago by alert reader Bobbo. Rather than take my MacBook in to repair the keyboard with the failing “f”, “r”, and “w”, I got a USB Magic Keyboard, which has the logout key at top right, right next to the delete key, with the result that fat-fingered me kept logging out when I was editing text. Very annoying! But with Karabiner, I was able to turn off the logout key. Happy dance! –lambert
Bird Song of the Day
Black Phoebe (White-winged), Quebrada del Gallinato, Salta, Argentina. “Bird not seen but ID based on voice in the field. We then tried playback and a pair of them approached the sound source three times.” Downrated, I think because of lots of background noise, including a train. But I like the background noise! (Also, I thought “playback” was verboten? Can readers comment?
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
“If Biden can cancel some student debt, he can cancel all of it” [MSNBC]. “Recently, the Biden administration has adopted a strategy of canceling small pockets of debt. This week, for example, he ordered debt relief for 125,000 people, partially as a corrective for errors in the ‘income-driven repayment’ system that have kept people in debt for decades. While Biden is showing his willingness to pursue cancellation, the effort needs considerably more gas; this most recent announcement affects less than one-half of 1% of student debtors. Still, the announcement confirms an important truth: Canceling student debt is perfectly legal and urgently needed.” • I’m in great sympathy with cancelling it all. Framed as creating an educated citizenry, rolling the clock back to cheap good education at public universities is a no-brainer (assuming that can be done now, things being as they are). Framed as giving the credentialed a longer lifespan for free (see Case-Deaton) perhaps not so much.
Time for the Countdown Clock!
“Trump allegedly discussed US nuclear subs with foreign national after leaving White House: Sources” [ABC]. “Months after leaving the White House, former President Donald Trump allegedly discussed potentially sensitive information about U.S. nuclear submarines with a member of his Mar-a-Lago Club — an Australian billionaire who then allegedly shared the information with scores of others, including more than a dozen foreign officials, several of his own employees, and a handful of journalists, according to sources familiar with the matter. The potential disclosure was reported to special counsel Jack Smith’s team as they investigated Trump’s alleged hoarding of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, the sources told ABC News. The information could shed further light on Trump’s handling of sensitive government secrets. Prosecutors and FBI agents have at least twice this year interviewed the Mar-a-Lago member, Anthony Pratt, who runs U.S.-based Pratt Industries, one of the world’s largest packaging companies.” More: “While , investigators nevertheless asked Pratt not to repeat the numbers that Trump allegedly told him, suggesting the information could be too sensitive to relay further, ABC News was told.” • The AUKUS submarine deal is vexed. Perhaps Trump thought he was closing a sale? Hence the puffery.
“Trump endorses Jim Jordan as next House speaker” [Politico]. “Jordan is a close Trump ally and one of the leading GOP lawmakers investigating President Joe Biden…. Jordan, the hardline cofounder of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said on Fox News on Thursday night he is confident he can bring together the fractured Republican conference.” More: “‘If they don’t get the vote, they have asked me if I would consider taking the speakership until they get somebody longer-term, because I am running for president,’ Trump said. ‘They have asked me if I would take it for a short period of time for the party, until they come to a conclusion — I’m not doing it because I want to — I will do it if necessary, should they not be able to make their decision.’” • Wild!
“Playbook: Inside Trump’s surprise endorsement” [Politico]. “Scalise is running the way successful speakers always have: by focusing assiduously on the inside game of member-to-member lobbying. In Scalise world, the way to win next week’s secret ballot election is to break down the conference into granular Scalise-friendly factions that he can cobble together into a majority. Scalise is the second-most-prolific GOP fundraiser after KEVIN McCARTHY, and his team is making sure the recipients of his largesse remember that. He’s a former whip in a chamber where serving on a whip team is a bonding experience. He’s a southerner in a party that is dominated by that region of the country. He’s targeting colleagues who sit with him on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He’s counting on committee chairmen who are close to leadership and wary of Jordan’s Freedom Caucus roots. And despite the fact that he once led the Republican Study Committee, the jovial Scalise is wooing moderates freaked out by the idea of making Jordan the face of their party.”
* * *
“Ron DeSantis’ money problems deepen ahead of a key stretch in the GOP campaign” [NBC]. “The Florida governor’s presidential campaign entered this month with just $5 million in cash available for the primary, a sum that reignites doubts about his solvency, budgeting and ability to gain ground on front-running former President Donald Trump. The pain is so acute that DeSantis is redeploying aides from his Tallahassee headquarters to Des Moines for the stretch run of a do-or-die Jan. 15 Iowa caucus. A better-funded operation might hire locally rather than shift resources. Past presidential campaigns have typically made such a move only as a last-ditch cost-saving measure — and to look for a campaign-changing boost in an early state.”
* * *
“Former ESPN host Sage Steele claims Biden struggled to finish sentences in unaired portion of recorded interview” [Daily Mail]. “The [March 2021] interview was conducted via satellite link and pre-recorded, and Steele said that technical issues delayed the start of the official interview, forcing her to ‘BS’ and ‘chitchat’ to fill time. ‘I had to chitchat waiting for us to start rolling,’ Steele said. ‘They keep a black, like, curtain over the lens of the camera, so you can’t see him until the last second, but you can hear and we’re chitchatting.’ ‘So I can hear him and he goes, ‘What is this for?’… And he’s, like, ‘Who am I talking to? Wait—what’s her name?” she recalled… Steele continued, saying that after an aide informed Biden that the interview was with ESPN, he responded by musing, ‘You know, I used to play football.’ ‘And so he started to tell football stories of his greatness. And again, I can’t see him,’ she said. ‘He goes, ‘And I had the best hands.’ What do you say to that?’ In high school, Biden was a standout halfback and wide receiver, and he briefly played football as a freshman at the University of Delaware. Steele continued: ‘And then I said, ‘Oh, so you were a receiver.’ And he started to explain it. And here’s the saddest thing — his voice just trailed off. He said, ‘I was good,’ and then he went silent, and he goes, ‘Uhh, never mind’” • Thing is, two years ago, and she can’t actually see Biden. Rings true, but…..
“North Texas members of Congress discuss Speaker McCarthy’s ouster, potential successor” [CBS News]. “[U.S. Representative Keith Self, R-McKinney hasn’t committed to any candidate yet. “We’ve got a lot of talented people in the Republican party. We are holding our . I’m holding my because I want to see who actually gets in. We’re early in this. We’re one day into this.” • I’m really running this for keeping “powder dry” (which sadly I can’t find in a headline). Other usages in Politico (“Gaetz keeps his powder dry”), CNN (“many members are keeping their powder dry”), USA Today (“keeping our powder dry”), Axios (“some moderate Democrats who might be inclined to save McCarthy are keeping their powder dry”), Vanity Fair (“On Tuesday—after keeping his powder dry and staying mum—Jeffries issued his guidance to his caucus”), the Dallas Morning News (Self again, “Keeping my powder dry”), and Cleveland.com (“For now, Miller is keeping his powder dry as McCarthy’s aspiring successors seek his support”). And many more! It’s pervasive! For those who came in late, this classic post from Daily Kos in 2007 (!), “In The Vaults Where The Dry Powder Is Stored,” is well worth a read!
“Hillary Clinton: MAGA ‘cult members’ need ‘deprogramming’” [The Hill]. CLINTON: “‘Maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members,’ she said in a clip released late Thursday.” • “Formal”? Formal how? Like have a badge sewn on their clothing?
Democrats en Déshabillé
Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert
I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:
The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.
Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.
* * *
“The New Push for Censorship Under the Guise of Combating Hate” [The Tablet]. “What, then, do we know about the CCDH? In effect, it seems, the organization provides the White House with a powerful weapon to use against critics including RFK Jr. and Musk, while also pressuring platforms like Facebook and Twitter to enforce the administration’s policies. While few journalists have bothered to investigate the opaque group, the available evidence paints a picture that is likely different from what many in the public would expect of a ‘public interest’ nonprofit. The scale of the CCDH’s success must be emphasized for those unfamiliar with the crowded mob of D.C.-based nonprofits churning out reports that seldom get a passing glance from the nation’s policymakers. For a tiny, unknown, nonprofit to gain so much attention in D.C.’s crowded, competitive policy space is akin to a pudgy, amateur athlete catching the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, while setting a new world record in the marathon, all in one week. So who is the CCDH’s founder and leader Imran Ahmed? Where does he get his money? Why did he decide to leave behind politics and start a nonprofit focused on misinformation? And perhaps most importantly, how did a relative unknown from London gain such enormous influence from the White House bully pulpit and within Democratic Party politics? Imran Ahmed is a political operative who spent several years advising conservative members of the British Labour Party before jumping into nonprofit campaigning to run two interrelated dark money groups: Stop Funding Fake News and the Center for Countering Digital Hate. Shortly after appearing on Twitter in 2019, Stop Funding Fake News claimed some very sizable left-wing scalps in London, mostly by lobbing vague accusations of fake news at political enemies. while tanking the lefty news site Canary, after starting a boycott of their advertisers, according to reports in British media outlets, sources who spoke with Tablet, and CCDH’s own claims of success.” • Spooks, in other words. (I feel about Democrats using “hate” the same way I feel about Republicans using “freedom”; it’s a bullshit tell. The whole piece is worth a read.
“Antiwar demonstrators urge Sanders to seek diplomacy in Ukraine” [VTDigger]. “The sun beat down fiercely on several dozen protesters as they marched up Church Street in Burlington on Wednesday morning, chanting to the accompaniment of a funereal drumbeat on their way to the offices of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt…. The Burlington protest occurred in tandem with a similar demonstration at Sanders’ offices in Washington D.C. on Wednesday morning, which resulted in the arrests of several antiwar activists… After the demonstrators’ remarks, the protesters rang the doorbell to Sanders’ offices and were met at the door by a member of his staff, who distributed a copy of a letter to the coalition. In the letter, Sanders expressed sympathy for the group’s “dedication to peace” while reaffirming his belief that the U.S. government should continue to provide direct aid to Ukraine. ‘The U.S. should support a just peace in Ukraine based on the principles of territorial integrity, sovereignty, and international law,’ the senator wrote.” • Oh Bernie. It’s just sad. To think that even if Sanders had won in either 2016 or 2020, we might be at war in Ukraine regardless.
Our Famously Free Press
Changing of the guard? But to whom?
What is underrated about McCarthy’s ouster is how little Fox had to do with it. This was the post-Fox conservative media ecosystem that provided whatever air cover that Gaetz had https://t.co/V0bVnGzC9p
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) October 4, 2023
Realignment and Legitimacy
“Will Voters ?” [Paul Krugman, New York Times]. “Many people have been calling the G.O.P. a ‘clown car,’ and understandably so. This is a party that seems incapable of governing itself, let alone governing the nation…. Objectively, the economy is doing well. But perceptions may not match that reality, and Americans may, as a result, vote to .” • This is shockingly lazy writing from Krugman. Here is a sung version of Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns:
I get a lot of letters over the years asking what the title means and what the song’s about; I never thought it would be in any way esoteric. I wanted to use theatrical imagery in the song, because she’s an actress, but it’s not supposed to be a circus […] [I]t’s a theater reference meaning ; in other words, “let’s do the jokes.” I always want to know, when I’m writing a song, what the end is going to be, so “Send in the Clowns” didn’t settle in until I got the notion, “Don’t bother, they’re here”, which means that “We are the fools.”
In essence, this song is about regret, about a character [Desirée] who realises too late that she has been a fool, and missed marrying the one man [Fredrik] she truly loved. Dench sings this with breath taking fragility and pathos. In no sense does she try to sound ‘beautiful’ or musical; and, as a result, she achieves both.
Expanding (and I needn’t apologize for Wikipedia here):
Desirée [the singer, here Dench] remains sitting on the bed; depending on the production, Fredrik walks across the room or stays seated on the bed next to her. Desirée – feeling both intense sadness and anger, at herself, her life and her choices – sings “Send in the Clowns”. . Midway through the second Act she has deviated from her usual script by suggesting to Fredrik the possibility of being together seriously and permanently, and, having been rejected, she falters as a show-person, finds herself bereft of the capacity to improvise and wittily cover. If Desirée could perform at this moment – revert to the innuendos, one-liners and blithe self-referential humour that constitutes her normal character – all would be well. She cannot, and what follows is an exemplary manifestation of Sondheim’s musico-dramatic complexity, his inclination to write music that performs drama. That is, what needs to be covered over (by the clowns sung about in the song) is the very intensity, ragged emotion and utter vulnerability that comes forward through the music and singing itself, a display protracted to six minutes, wrought with exposed silences, a shocked Fredrik sitting so uncomfortably before Desirée while something much too real emerges in a realm where he – and his audience – felt assured of performance.”
Sondheim’s song has nothing — nothing!!! — to do with “clown cars”, clownish political personalties, or voting clowns into office. Some of us, of course, may feel “intense sadness and anger” over what the Democrat Party and its hackish loyalists have become over the years, and share the feeling that “something has gone wrong on stage,” but Krugman conveys none of this with his lazy, pathetic, cheap, and twice-repeated allusion. What degradation. Loss of executive function wherever you look. And I’m not even a Sondheim fan!
“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison
Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).
Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!
Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard);
MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV ( wastewater); WY ( wastewater).
Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).
Hat tips to helpful readers: anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).
Stay safe out there!
Covid is Airborne
“Seroincidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection prior to and during the rollout of vaccines in a community-based prospective cohort of U.S. adults” (preprint) [medRxiv]. ” Despite higher incidence rates in the vaccine/variant cohort, vaccine boosters, likely reduced infection risk, even through major variant surges. Repeat serologic testing in cohorts is a useful and complementary strategy to characterize incidence and risk factors.”
Festival of nasal vaccines:
“A next-generation intranasal trivalent MMS vaccine induces durable and broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern” [PNAS]. This was in Links this morning, but I want to expand on it a little bit. Hamster and mouse study. From the Abstract: “In this study, we have demonstrated the success in modifying the MMR vaccine to develop an intranasal, trivalent measles-mumps-SARS-CoV-2 (MMS) vaccine candidate harboring three stabilized prefusion spike with six prolines (preS-6P) from three different SARS-CoV-2 strains.” From the Discussion: “Although the standard immunization method for the current MMR vaccine is the subcutaneous or intramuscular route, intranasal delivery of MeV and MuV vaccines has been tested in infants, children, and adults and found to be safe and highly efficacious with additional benefits such as needle-free administration and induction of mucosal immunity (29–32). Therefore, intranasal delivery of MMS vaccine may be feasible for humans. Since both MuV and MeV are neurovirulent (33), evaluation of the neurovirulence of trivalent vaccines in nonhuman primates via intracerebral inoculation may be necessary to ensure the safety of the trivalent vaccine.” • As readers know, I stan for nasal vaccines. Interestingly, the authors are mostly from Ohio State, not the Ivies, which speaks well of them, so far as I’m concerned. In layman’s terms–
“Trivalent vaccine candidate fights measles, mumps, SARS-CoV-2” [Medical Xpress]. “Altered measles and mumps viruses could be used as a platform to create a trivalent COVID-19 vaccine that triggers immunity to multiple variant strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, new research in animals suggests…. In two rodent models, the intranasal vaccine triggered a strong neutralizing antibody response plus protection in mucosal areas lining the nose and lungs, and prevented disease symptoms such as weight loss and tissue damage…. Experiments suggested the lifelong immunity to measles and mumps provided by the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine would likely translate into in people vaccinated with the [Measles, Mumps and SARS-CoV-2 (MMS)].” • So we might get a sterilizing nasal vaccine after all? Hooray! And another nasal vaccine–
“Intranasal mRNA-LNP vaccination protects hamsters from SARS-CoV-2 infection” [Science]. Hamster study. From the Abstract: ” Intranasally vaccinated hamsters also had decreased viral loads in the respiratory tract, reduced lung pathology, and prevented weight loss after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Together, this study demonstrates successful immunogenicity and protection against respiratory viral infection by an intranasally administered mRNA-LNP vaccine.” • Also interestingly, the authors are from Moderna. The Discussion is good on the state of play for nasal vaccines generally (for example, Bharat gets a mention). Even if Moderna probably doesn’t want to cannibalize its intramuscular vaccine product. In layman’s terms–
“Intranasal vaccine shows promise against COVID variants in hamsters” [Medical Xpress]. “To summarize, intranasal vaccine research aims to stimulate local immunity in respiratory sites, offering an initial protective barrier against viral infections like SARS-CoV-2. This methodology has the potential to reduce both infection and transmission of the virus; however, the development of intranasal vaccines is challenging due to the defensive mechanisms of the respiratory tract against pathogens. This research used mRNA-LNP vaccines, administered intranasally to hamsters, to explore their efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, showing promising results in reducing infection levels and disease severity. However, the translation to human applications requires overcoming physiological and technical challenges, warranting further studies and optimizations for intranasal vaccine formulations.”
“Long-term symptom profiles after COVID-19 vs other acute respiratory infections: an analysis of data from the COVIDENCE UK study” [eClinical Medicine (the Lancet)]. From the Discussion: “The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a much-needed spotlight on post-acute infection syndromes, highlighting the need for improved understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of these conditions. While the high symptom burden we observed in participants with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection illustrates the extensive reach of long COVID, the similar burden observed among people with previous non-COVID-19 [acute respiratory infection (ARI)] suggests that the lasting impacts of these infections may be underestimated. As research into long COVID continues, we must take the opportunity to investigate and consider the post-acute burden of other ARIs, to ensure all people with post-acute sequelae can access the treatment and care they deserve.” • We live in a sea of viruses, and I can well believe that other viruses have long-term effects (possibly from reservoirs). Commentary on the study==
“Expert reaction to study looking at long-term symptoms after other acute respiratory infections (including the common cold) versus after COVID-19” [Science Media Centre]. “‘Vivaldi et al have presented a very well conducted prospective review of residual symptoms after Covid 19, and after other non-Covid respiratory infections. They demonstrated, at least in the short term, persistence of symptoms can be troubling not just after COVID-19 but after many other infections. Whilst in the first to explore this prospectively, this is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918-20 left many individuals with Encephalitis Lethargica that took decades to resolve… The concept of post viral illness is also well established.” And: “The study is important in showing that recovery from ARI may be slow regardless of cause, that people should expect a slow return to normality and not expect to immediately return to full activities immediately after an ARI from whatever cause. The study does not show how many of those suffering from ARI go on to develop longer term debility. ” • That is, of course, exactly what happened–
“Scientists say ‘long colds’ may exist and are just as common as long Covid” [Independent]. • [chants] “It’s just a cold! (Mild!) “It’s just a cold! (Mild! You just can’t give minimizers the slightest opening. And pretty soon “Long Cold” will be all over everything like kudzu.
Lambert here: I’m getting the feeling that the “Something Awful” might be a sawtooth pattern — variant after variant — that averages out to a permanently high plateau. Lots of exceptionally nasty sequelae, most likely deriving from immune dysregulation (says this layperson). To which we might add brain damage, including personality changes therefrom.
* * *
Lambert here: Back to tape-watching mode. It still looks to me like the current surge has some ways to run, given how wastewater flattened, with the East Coast up. Let’s wait and see.
NOT UPDATED FFS From BioBot wastewater data, October 2:
Lambert here: Leveling out to a high plateau wasn’t on my Bingo card! Perhaps FL.1.5.1, high in the Northeast, has something going for it that other variants don’t have?
Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.
NOT UPDATED From CDC, September 30:
Lambert here: September 30 is tomorrow, but never mind that. Top of the leaderboard: EG.5 (“Eris“), with FL.1.15.1, HV.1, and XBB.184.108.40.206 trailing. Still a Bouillabaisse…
From CDC, September 16:
Lambert here: I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).
CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell.
Covid Emergency Room Visits
NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, September 30:
Drop coinciding with wastewater drop.
NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.
NOT UPDATED Bellwether New York City, data as of October 5:
Slightly decreasing. (New York state is steadily rising, but it’s New York City that’s the bellwether.) I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive.
Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. September 30:
Lambert here: “Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC, updates weekly for the previous MMWR week (Sunday-Saturday) on Thursdays (Deaths, Emergency Department Visits, Test Positivity) and weekly the following Mondays (Hospitalizations) by 8 pm ET†”. So where the heck is the update, CDC?
NOT UPDATED From Walgreens, October 2:
-1.0%. Another big drop. (It would be interesting to survey this population generally; these are people who, despite a tsunami of official propaganda and enormous peer pressure, went and got tested anyhow.)
NOT UPDATED From Cleveland Clinic, September 23:
Lambert here: I know this is just Ohio, but the Cleveland Clinic is good*, and we’re starved for data, so…. NOTE * Even if hospital infection control is trying to kill patients by eliminating universal masking with N95s.
From CDC, traveler’s data, September 18:
Back up again, albeit in the rear view mirror. And here are the variants for travelers:
Now, BA.2.86 for two weeks in a row. Bears watching.
NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 27:
Lambert here: The WHO data is worthless, so I replaced it with the Iowa Covid Data Tracker. Their method: “These data have been sourced, via the API from the CDC: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Conditions-Contributing-to-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Stat/hk9y-quqm. This visualization updates on Wednesday evenings. Data are provisional and are adjusted weekly by the CDC.” I can’t seem to get a pop-up that shows a total of the three causes (top right). Readers?
Total: 1,178,150 –
1,177,982 = 168 (168 * 365 = 61,320 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).
NOT UPDATED The Economist, October 4:
Lambert here: This is now being updated daily again. Odd. Based on a machine-learning model.
Employment Situation: “United States Unemployment Rate” [Trading Economics]. “The unemployment rate in the US was at 3.8% in September of 2023, remaining unchanged from the February 2022 high from the previous month and slightly above market expectations of 3.7%. Still, the result consolidated evidence that the labor market remains tight on historical standards, adding leeway for the Federal Reserve to leave borrowing costs at restrictive levels for a prolonged period.
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 23 Extreme Fear (previous close: 18 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 28 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 5 at 1:59:01 PM ET.
Really looks like rain, which isn’t easy!
— Claude Monet (@artistmonet) October 5, 2023
News of the Wired
“How to sense check numbers” [Understanding the unseen]. Good for somebody like me, who’s not strong on math. “Rule of 72: If something grows at x% per month (whether an investment or epidemic), it will take around 72/x months to double. E.g. something growing at 6% per month will double in around 12 months. Likewise, if something shrinks at x% per month, it will take around 72/x months to halve. More here.” • Exactly because I’m not good at math, readers may wish to comment.
“Ron Patrick’s Street-Legal Jet Powered Volkswagen Beetle” [Ron Patrick]. Best thing out of Stanford since Donald Knuth. “he car has two engines: the production gasoline engine in the front driving the front wheels and the jet engine in the back. The idea is that you drive around legally on the gasoline engine and when you want to have some fun, you spin up the jet and get on the burner (you can start the jet while driving along on the gasoline engine). The car was built because I wanted the wildest street-legal ride possible. With this project, I was able to use some stuff I learned while getting my fancy engineering degree (I have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University) to design a street-legal jet car without the distraction of how other people have done it in the past – because no one has. I don’t know how fast the car will go and probably never will. The car was built to thrill me, not kill me. That doesn’t stop me from the occasional blast on the highway though.” • Photo:
Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From BB:
BB writes: “A plethora of verbena with a dahlia, some marigolds, and caged beet sprouts (for the resident rabbits who gobble it up too quickly otherwise).” Very nice!
Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:
Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:
If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!