Monday, March 30, 2020

Burning out

One of the signs that a pandemic is going to burn out is that people who are considered essential begin avoiding the infected. This means that people who normally work like firefighters, police, and medical personnel begin avoiding the sick by not coming to work. There are signs that this is happening now:

Combined with the fact that NYPD officers are calling in sick in large numbers, and you see the picture.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Not working

The US spends $2.6 billion a year trying to find a cure for AIDS and the virus that causes it: HIV. The disease is still endemic to (mostly) the gay population.

The US just shut down the entire nation, and just allocated more than $2 trillion to fight the Wuhan virus. That effort isn't working either. Why not?

The same reason: you can't get people to stop the risky behaviors that allow the virus to proliferate.

Saturday, March 28, 2020


I don't really watch TV, but my wife does. One of the things that the quarantine has done is caused me to watch a few of the shows that pass for television nowadays. The shows are the most obvious, Orwellian pieces of propaganda you can imagine.

Every protagonist male is gay.
Half of the protagonist females are gay. The other half all claim to be victims of rape or discrimination.
Every important person (surgeon, CEO, important political figure) is a minority.
The villains are always white males that are portrayed as abusive, rapist, racist misogynists.
Every show has at least one black character who was pulled over by the cops because he was black.

The propaganda is extremely heavy handed.

I just can't/

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cell mobility

By measuring people's movement using cell phone data, companies can tell whether or not people are staying home. What is interesting here is that the counties in Florida that are staying home are also the ones with the highest number of infections. This seems to support my theory that the quarantine isn't working. I would love to see a statistical analysis of the data to see if there is a correlation between illness rates and travel.


Forgive my poor photoshop skills, but look at the map of Wuhan virus cases on the left, and compare them to the election results on the right. Remarkably similar, eh? I wonder what that means.

House arrest

Orange and Osceola counties in Central Florida (metro Orlando) have placed 1.7 million people on house arrest. The sheriff threatens the arrest of anyone caught outside of their home to protect them from the Wuhan virus, even though many inmates are being released from jail to protect them from the Wuhan virus.

There are many loopholes in the law. Uber drivers, notaries, and many other people are exempt.


I want to post an open letter from the Saint Cloud, Florida firefighters' union. The way that rescue professionals are being treated in this pandemic is a shame.

On behalf of St. Cloud Professional firefighters Local 4153 we would like to thank all the citizens of Osceola County and especially the residents of St. Cloud for supporting your fire and Police department during this current, stressful and challenging time. We all also want to thank everyone who is trying to do their part in keeping exposures to a minimum as this helps us get through this in a timely manner.
We are also writing this post to inform you of some challenges that we are facing in the midst of this pandemic.
As firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement officers we accept the hazards that come with our job and understand and accept the fact that we chose to enter a career which will inevitably put us in harms way in order to help those whom we have taken an oath to serve. But recently, one of our own firefighters became ill while performing his duties serving the citizens, was sent home as per our infectious control protocols and as such cannot return to work until he’s given a clean bill of health.
As of this moment our firefighter is being forced to use his own sick time, not covered by the city meanwhile the current policy states that if we become sick we must have no symptoms before returning to duty. He has also been unsuccessful in attempting to get tested for COVID19 as these procedures are being rolled out in real time.
Currently, the city manager has sent all administrative, non essential personnel, home on paid administrative leave. But it is our position that if we become ill or exposed during the performance of our duties we should be covered under paid administrative leave and/or workman’s comp which, of this posting, the city’s position is that becoming sick on duty, during a pandemic, is not covered under workman’s comp.
In conclusion, we reiterate that we understand and accept our roles and responsibilities as first responders, and stand in solidarity with residents of our great cities and county as we navigate these stormy pandemic waters. As prudent and conscientious citizens, understanding our choice of career, we would not expect the city to cover us if we become sick off duty. We are only asking that the city do what is right as we continue to protect and serve the community.

St. Cloud Professional Firefighters
Local 4153

The city's bureaucrats are at home with full pay whether sick or not, but the responders who are forced to treat the sick and wind up catching the disease are not permitted to work and must use their own sick leave. Disgusting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Once in a lifetime

Let me start by saying that I am not a stockbroker or any other kind of financial expert, I am just a guy who is looking for a way for my savings to make more than what my savings accounts are paying. With that being said, I see in this economy a once in a lifetime opportunity to make money.

The stock market has lost billions or perhaps even trillions in value this month, all because of a situation that is temporary: a government shutdown caused by a virus. The President says that he wants to lift that shutdown within the next three weeks. Once that happens, many of the stocks that have taken a huge hit will rebound in a big way. Since stocks need to be held for a year in order to pay the long term capital gains tax rates, this timeline works to my advantage.

Last Tuesday, I bought $7500 worth of stock in restaurants and cruise lines. The particular stocks that I grabbed were ones that had good numbers and were healthy companies up until the end of February. Since then, each of these companies had seen their stock price drop by more than 50%. In one case, this company lost 65% of its price.

Since this price drop is not due to anything that the company has done, nor is it due to any ssytemic problem, there is no reason why the stock shouldn't increase to its previous price within a year of the government imposed shutdown being lifted. Here we are, eight days later, and that initial $7500 investment is now worth $12,000. After discussing it with the Mrs, we are going to buy another $15,000 in stock. I don't think that the market is going to go any lower, and I also think that the odds are good that we will see a doubling of these stocks within a year's time.

If I could afford more, I would do it.

The Federal money faucet is open

Congress just decided to cure the Wuhan virus by spraying money at it with a government fire hose. They approved $2 trillion in funding for "relief" from the government mandated shutdown. They are already talking about doing it again next month.
Our national debt is already $23.5 Trillion. So, this one package will increase the debt to almost $26 trillion, and they are already talking about doing it again.

Social distancing

It isn't working. We have ordered every bar and business to be closed with the intention that we stop the human interaction that makes transmission of the Wuhan virus possible. People are interacting anyway.  Anecdotal example:

My in-laws are members of a drinking club. You know the ones- clubs like the Moose Lodge, VFW, American Legion, etc. that are all established to allow people to congregate and imbibe in inexpensive booze. Now this particular club has a liquor license and has been shut down by order of the governor, so they followed the order and stopped selling booze. So far, so good, right?

Not so fast. There is a core of members who are still going every day to do "maintenance" on the building, which is allowed under the order. While they are working, they are helping themselves to the booze from the bar, and spending all day there, drinking and "working" on the building. They have been doing so for the past two weeks. When my wife told them that they should stay home, their reply was "No one here is sick. We are all fine, so I don't think it's a problem. We've been doing this for two weeks, and no one has gotten sick yet."

More than anything, this is why I don't think that shutting down all of the businesses can work. I have said all along that this is not going to work- because the only answer is to stop all interaction between the infected and the uninfected. Since there is no way to know which is which until it is too late, because once you are showing symptoms, you have been contagious for days.

The proposed answers to the shutdown are to throw money at it. Why not just declare this war lost, and let the disease run its course? If we do not, we still lose the war against the virus, and then we destroy our economy as well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Ferals on the prowl

Since they don't have a school to go to, the feral children are going all 'Lord of the Flies' and on the hunt:

On Monday, March 23rd, 2020, Deputy Young with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Unit arrested Jose Lewis Garcet (DOB: 3/12/2004) and Tyler Paul Kissig (DOB: 1/30/2005.)
Garcet and Kissig were arrested after Garcet and another juvenile, the victim, began arguing over their girlfriends. Garcet and Kissig approached the victim at their home with the intention of fighting. Garcet and the victim began yelling at each other, when Garcet pulled out a hand gun and pointed it at the victim. The victim immediately retreated into their home and called law enforcement. Garcet and Kissig began walking away from the residence when Garcet fired one round into a nearby wooded lot. Kissig admitted to picking up the shell casing and throwing it into a wooded area. Kissig told deputies he knew law enforcement had been contacted and he was trying to get rid of everything before they arrived because he didn’t want to get into trouble.Garcet was charged with Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon Without Intent to Kill, Firing a Weapon in Public or on Residential Property, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. Kissig was charged with Tampering with or Fabricate Physical Evidence. Garcet and Kissig were transported to the Marion County Department of Juvenile Justice.



Monday, March 23, 2020


We have been watching stock prices, and saw Royal Caribbean Cruise Line go from $120 a share to less than $25 a share in about 45 days. A similar drop from companies like Darden Restaurants, Hilton, and Marriott. We bought about $5K worth.

I am hoping that this announcement comes sooner rather than later. My prediction is that I will double my money as soon as the quarantine is lifted. The quarantine isn't working because people are still interacting, it's just the businesses that are closed. So we take a big financial hit while 10,000 people a day are catching this, destroying the economy for little to no gain.

Wife back to work

My wife went back to work this morning. They are micromanaging so much, it is incredible. Even though teachers are salaried employees, the ones at her school are being forced to punch a time clock to make sure that they are working the prescribed number of hours.

The students will be working online. Here are the rules:
- teachers must set up a system of one way communication where students receive communications once per day from teachers
- another one way line of communication for students to submit work
- Teachers are also required to set up a system of two way communication between students and themselves, and ensure that each student communicates one on one with them each day. Administrators are to have access to this line of communication, so they can monitor what teachers are saying to students. (chat sessions?)

Once this is accomplished, teachers may work from home, subject to the following restrictions:
- teachers are to spend 7:30am to 3:30 pm at least in front of computer, doing school related work.
- electronic time clock will be installed on their computer to confirm this
- teachers are subject to home visits from administrators to ensure compliance
- All costs for utilities, Internet, electronic devices, and other expenses are to be the responsibility of the teacher. If any software needs to be purchased that is not already provided by the school, that is also the responsibility of the teacher.

I am glad that I don't work there. I also assure you that I will not permit some administrator into my house for an inspection, unless they want to pay me a stipend for renting office space from me at the prevailing local rate, which is $3.75 per square foot per month. Of course, they will just claim that she will have to work on campus once that comes to a head.

Mexico is going to pay for it...

We don't know much about the Wuhan virus

For weeks, we have been told that the symptoms of Wuhan virus infection are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In fact, for weeks you weren't even tested for the virus unless you presented with those symptoms AND had recently traveled overseas or had contact with another person who was a known positive.

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine who lives in Miami claims to have had a mild case of Wuhan that had been confirmed by lab testing, but states his only symptoms were fatigue and loss of taste and smell. I am going to be honest here, I thought he was full of crap.

Then this article come across my feed.
In South Korea, China, and Italy, about a third of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 have also reported a loss of smell 
The prevention of the spread of this virus is an order of magnitude more difficult than even the most pessimistic among us dreamed it was. Preventing the spread of this is now, in my opinion, impossible. Perhaps it was never possible. We are destroying our nation's, and even the world's, economy for a fool's errand.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Let them eat cake

Free COVID testing for rich old people who have retired to Florida from up north. Fuck everyone else. I don't want to be tested, but this is beyond the pale.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

This is when things get sporty

The Florida governor today said that 34 hospitals are now more than half full. Granted, Florida has 350 hospitals, but not all of them are equipped to handle COVID cases. As soon as the state reaches its maximum capacity, things will begin to get ugly.

Corona and forcible felonies

In Florida, it is legal to use force (including deadly force) to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. Here is the statutory definition of forcible felony (emphasis added):

“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.
Tampering with food is a first degree felony in Florida (ss 501.001):

Whoever, with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury, tampers with, or conspires or attempts to tamper with, any consumer product or the labeling of, or container for, any such product is guilty of a felony of the first degree
Why do I post this? Because there is a new social media trend where teens are filming themselves coughing on produce and then posting it to social media as a "corona virus challenge." Doing this in the presence of any adult, armed or otherwise, should result in an immediate ass kicking, pepper spraying, or other use of force as appropriate to end the threat. Stupidity should be painful.

Friday, March 20, 2020

My son won't be over for awhile

My son is a nurse practitioner who works in the emergency room. He is what they call a "floater" and he works in different emergency rooms, depending on where he is needed. His house is an hour and a half drive from mine. Whenever he works at the hospital near me, he spends the night at my house rather than having to make the drive after a 10 or 12 hour shift, only to turn around a few hours later and drive back.

Last week, I had a discussion with him and pointed out that I am higher risk due to age and some of my health history. The best, most cost effective way is to avoid catching it. Since he works in the ED, he is constantly exposed to everything that they have. We decided that once his exposure was too great, he would stop staying here.

Today he saw 30 suspected COVID cases, including seven who had already advanced to pneumonia. So that is the last I will see of my son for awhile. We jointly decided that it was too risky for him to stay at my house for the time being.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Still growing

Eight days ago, I said:
Even so, the known cases are doubling every 2 to 3 days, and have been for the past 3 weeks. As I type this, there are 1,300 cases in the US. So, there were 328 more cases today, and 294 yesterday. That means the number of cases has doubled in the past 48 hours. At this rate, there will be 1800 cases by Thursday (tomorrow night) and 2500 by Friday. Another week, and there will be 12,000 cases by the following Friday. How long the cases can keep doubling is anyone's guess.
As I type this, it is not quite Friday, and there are over 14,300 cases of coronavirus. Cases are still doubling every two and a half days. Worse, the number of fatalities has begun doubling every two and a half days as well.

If you look at this chart, you will see that the death rate greatly increased about five days ago. If the two trends of cases and deaths continue, this is going to get much worse. If it continues, we will have at least 150,000 cases and nearly 600 dead by March 27.

To make things even worse, a 34 year old man died of the disease in California today. It appears as through he was at two Orlando theme parks just two weeks ago. Whether he brought the disease here or caught the disease here, it isn't good for the locals.

The state of Florida is worried that the largest collection of elderly people in the nation is a prime target for this illness, especially since they are not complying with the social distance request. This is the reason behind two of the three mobile hospitals bracketing The Villages, with one in Orlando and the other in Ocala.

 The country's economy is at a virtual standstill. It seems that the disease and our economy are in a race to see who wrecks the country first.

Legally actionable?

My wife just received a notice from her employer:

All employees are required to come into work unless you are diagnosed with COVID19, in which case you will receive full pay. (Here is the messed up part) If you are a parent of minor children and cannot find daycare for your children because the facility has closed, you can work from home and still receive full pay.

So there are different rules for people with and without kids. I struggle to see how this is legal. If it is possible to do your job from home, should it matter whether or not you have children?

We may be contacting an attorney.

Keep your guns at hand

The state of Florida is refusing to admit new inmates to its state prisons. Meanwhile, counties are beginning to release inmates, in order to prevent the spread of this virus.

Crime will increase as this goes on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


You can prepare all you want, but morons can throw a wrench into your plans. Even though schools are closed, the school where my wife works is insisting that the order from the state only applies to students and is demanding that teachers return to work at the conclusion of spring break next Monday.

Meanwhile, there is a COVID case less than 5 miles from my home. It is likely that the restaurants and stores in the area have been frequented by the patient. The more we leave the house, the more likely it is that we will wind up catching it.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Numbers being manipulated

I don't know if the problem is in the government's reporting, or if it is in the reporting, but this is odd. For the past week there have only been 10 critical patients, but in that same time period 53 people have died. I don't know how the number of critical patients remains the same while the death toll climbs.

Finally, today the critical patient count increased to 12.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Physical security

Florida gets frequent hurricanes. We are used to prepping for stuff. With that being said, the stores here have gone nuts. The local grocery looks like it is in Caracas instead of Central Florida. The way things are going, the stores will be stripped bare within a couple of days. We went there to get a couple of luxuries like chips, dip, and ice cream.

Here is the produce department:

Here is the meat department:

Cleaning products and toilet paper:

Eggs (note that all that is left is the $6 per dozen organic eggs. Even the cartons with broken eggs in them are gone)

Once the stores are stripped bare, the clock is running. At some point, the supplies will run out and then people will get desperate. At that point, physical security will become vital.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Exponential growth

Every health care provider that I know is receiving the same instructions:

Since test kits are in short supply, no one will be tested for coronavirus unless they have traveled out of the country in the past 14 days, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive in the past 14 days.

What this means is that there are likely many people who have the virus that are not being tested because they have not traveled out of the country in the past two weeks. The big hole here is exposure.

Let's say that you just tested positive for COVID 19. Quick, name every person that has been within 6 feet of you in the past two weeks. How many people do you think you forgot, or don't know their identity?

I think there are far more cases than are being reported, simply because no one knows who they are.

Even so, the known cases are doubling every 2 to 3 days, and have been for the past 3 weeks. As I type this, there are 1,300 cases in the US. So, there were 328 more cases today, and 294 yesterday. That means the number of cases has doubled in the past 48 hours. At this rate, there will be 1800 cases by Thursday (tomorrow night) and 2500 by Friday. Another week, and there will be 12,000 cases by the following Friday. How long the cases can keep doubling is anyone's guess.

I am not an epidemiologist, but I do teach biology. When an organism is not being limited by availability of resources, we see exponential growth. Look at this chart, and it is a textbook case of an organism unlimited by access to resources:

Until COVID is cut off from the resources it needs, the growth pattern will continue.  Shutting down mass gatherings isn't going to do much. Most transmission is happening in small groups, not at sporting events. The way to curb this level of growth is to quarantine everyone. In a country like ours, I don't think that is possible.

Instead, this virus will continue, and with an R0 of more than two, it will continue to grow.

Trump cutting off trade with Europe won't accomplish much. The virus is already here.

Instead, we will ride this out as a nation, and we will see where it takes us. A vaccine is likely a year away.

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Army, too

First, the Navy changed their procedures for allowing families to watch graduation ceremonies from OCS and basic training in response to COVID 19. Now the Army is doing it, too.

Tell me again how COVID 19 is no worse than the seasonal flu.

Someone is lying

They tell us that COVID is less dangerous than the flu, but then the military makes announcements like this:

Beginning 13 March, Navy Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's boot camp, will suspend guest attendance at graduation ceremonies to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19 to either Sailors or Navy families.
Graduations themselves will continue, and will be live-streamed on Navy online platforms, including our Facebook page.
Commander, Naval Service training command, which oversees RTC, will continue to monitor the situation and consult with medical experts to decide when it is appropriate to resume guest attendance at graduation ceremonies. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among recruits, and RTC has robust screening processes in place for those who arrive each week.
This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution, to both ensure the welfare of Sailors and that RTC can continue its essential mission of producing basically trained Sailors. RTC Recruits impacted by this change are being authorized to call home to directly inform their loved ones.
Liberty will be cancelled for graduates of RTC. They will report directly to their follow-on assignments. Liberty or guest access at those locations will be at the discretion of those commands. Families are encouraged to contact their recruits following graduation for details. We cannot speak on behalf of the commands they will be reporting to regarding their liberty policy.
Corona is either not a threat, or is really bad. Who do you believe? Someone is lying.

Build it

A month ago, an illegal immigrant killed a family of four. The investigation is done, and he is getting a traffic ticket. This is what sanctuary gets you. We need a metaphorical wall.

If you are worried about COVID, you are racist.

While I agree that much of the hype around corona virus is over the top, a couple of the 'facts' here are incorrect. Yes, the flu kills more each year, but not on a percentage basis. Just like Ebola kills fewer people, that doesn't mean that I would rather have Ebola than the flu.

Similarly, I don't care what race you are, I am not going to get COVID just so I can virtue signal others.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Supply shortage

My ARNP son has told me that the facility where he works is running out of N95 masks. So they are issuing one mask and a paper bag to each employee. They are to keep and reuse their mask as necessary.

He is convinced that this outbreak will be the same as all of the other scares: SARS, Swine Flu, Avian Flu, Ebola, etc. He is blaming the media for whipping the country into a frenzy.

I am not so sure. At this point, the freezer is full, and I am pretty sure that we have all of the supplies we need to last more than a month in quarantine without having to dig into the freeze dried foods. I have a large box of N95 masks in storage that I bought a couple of years ago during one of the previous virus scares.

It isn't just food, Make sure you have toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and needed medications. The best news here is that all of it is stuff that you would buy anyway, so it won't cost you more than normal, you are just buying all of it in advance.

Just in case things get much worse, don't overlook security for when the redistribution warriors decide to go midnight shopping. 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

My apologies

As more information has come to light, it turns out that yesterday's post was incorrect. The COVID patient was correctly categorized as to his location. The post has been deleted.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Told you so

Nearly two years ago, I stated that I was against the so-called "Red Flag Laws" because they would be abused by ex girlfriends and ex-wives to get revenge against men. It turns out that I was correct. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Something isn't right

According to the CDC, there are 153 confirmed cases of COVID 19 in the US, with 11 fatalities: 10 deaths in Washington state, and 1 in California. That works out to a 7% fatality rate, which represents a very large increase over the 2% rate we have been give up to this point. This means one of a few things:

1 The other nations are not reporting correct figures with respect to their cases versus fatalities.
2 This illness is far more deadly than we are being led to believe.
3 There are far more than 153 cases in the US, but we aren't catching most of them.
4 The US strain is somehow more deadly than the one in the rest of the world.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Fear is contagious

My son is a nurse practitioner. Because he just began working for his employer within the last year, they move him from hospital to hospital to fill in where needed. We works 10 and 12 hour shifts for 7 days, and then takes two weeks off. For the next few days, he will be working at three hospitals that are closer to my house than they are to his, so rather than making the hour and a half drive back to his house, he will be staying with us.

While he was here, we got into a discussion about the corona virus. He says that for the past week, his emergency room has been seeing dozens of people each day who are displaying the symptoms of some sort of cold- what medical people refer to as Flu Like Symptoms (FLS- also known colloquially among those same medical people as "Feels Like Shit") The problem with FLS is that these symptoms are felt by people with a lot of different illnesses- the flu, Herpes, Hepatitis, and yes, the corona virus. These people, having seen the media stories about nCOV 19, are demanding to be tested for it.

The problem is that not one of them meets the criteria for being tested. The CDC is in charge of that, and they have set very specific criteria for who is to be tested. If a patient doesn't meet the criteria, they cannot be tested. This is done EXACTLY because if a person doesn't meet the criteria, they don't have corona, and the CDC doesn't want the testing labs to be overwhelmed by people who do not have the virus.

This panic illustrates the real hazard with nCOV 19. The real hazard is fear induced panic, and the people demanding that the government (or the medical field) do something. It doesn't matter if the something that is being done is actually effective- just that they are doing something. We see this all of the time, which is the reason why we have to suffer through the Kabuki Theater of security everywhere.

So what I decided to do is prepare my household for the possibility of widespread travel bans and quarantines. We went to the big box store today and upped our semi-perishable stores. I added 40 pounds of meat to the freezer, along with other supplies: toilet paper, canned vegetables, cleaning supplies, feminine hygiene products, and more. I now have on hand enough food for three weeks before I have to dip into the freeze dried foods. Other than that, I cannot think of anything I am missing or in need of.