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News: This One's Difficult.

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A news post has been posted at Sluggy.com!
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14 hours ago
Second cartoonist recently who has lost a family member... Neither has said it's due to the current crisis, but...
Colorado Plateau
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$2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill Presents A Reckoning For Libertarians

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Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., at the Capitol on Friday, tried to force a recorded vote on the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. Massie and other libertarians worry the bill will ruin the United States

In years to come, how will fiscal conservatives who voted for $2 trillion attack the cost of budget items that will now look like rounding error or "decimal dust"?"

(Image credit: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images)

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14 hours ago
I think the libertarian response to this is https://reason.com/2020/03/20/just-send-the-checks/ the shutdowns are something that government is doing, so the relief for the shutdowns should be something that they cover.
Colorado Plateau
22 hours ago
Bend, Oregon
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Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance - Tomas Pueyo


As of today, there are 0 daily new cases of coronavirus in the entire 60 million-big region of Hubei.

The diagnostics would keep going up for a couple of weeks, but then they would start going down. With fewer cases, the fatality rate starts dropping too. And the collateral damage is also reduced: fewer people would die from non-coronavirus-related causes because the healthcare system is simply overwhelmed.

Suppression would get us:

  • Fewer total cases of Coronavirus
  • Immediate relief for the healthcare system and the humans who run it
  • Reduction in fatality rate
  • Reduction in collateral damage
  • Ability for infected, isolated and quarantined healthcare workers to get better and back to work. In Italy, healthcare workers represent 8% of all contagions.

Understand the True Problem: Testing and Tracing

Right now, the UK and the US have no idea about their true cases. We don’t know how many there are. We just know the official number is not right, and the true one is in the tens of thousands of cases. This has happened because we’re not testing, and we’re not tracing.

  • With a few more weeks, we could get our testing situation in order, and start testing everybody. With that information, we would finally know the true extent of the problem, where we need to be more aggressive, and what communities are safe to be released from a lockdown.
  • New testing methods could speed up testing and drive costs down substantially.
  • We could also set up a tracing operation like the ones they have in China or other East Asia countries, where they can identify all the people that every sick person met, and can put them in quarantine. This would give us a ton of intelligence to release later on our social distancing measures: if we know where the virus is, we can target these places only. This is not rocket science: it’s the basics of how East Asia Countries have been able to control this outbreak without the kind of draconian social distancing that is increasingly essential in other countries.

The measures from this section (testing and tracing) single-handedly curbed the growth of the coronavirus in South Korea and got the epidemic under control, without a strong imposition of social distancing measures.

Build Up Capacity

The US (and presumably the UK) are about to go to war without armor.

We have masks for just two weeks, few personal protective equipments (“PPE”), not enough ventilators, not enough ICU beds, not enough ECMOs (blood oxygenation machines)… This is why the fatality rate would be so high in a mitigation strategy.

But if we buy ourselves some time, we can turn this around:

  • We have more time to buy equipment we will need for a future wave
  • We can quickly build up our production of masks, PPEs, ventilators, ECMOs, and any other critical device to reduce fatality rate.

Put in another way: we don’t need years to get our armor, we need weeks. Let’s do everything we can to get our production humming now. Countries are mobilized. People are being inventive, such as using 3D printing for ventilator parts. We can do it. We just need more time. Would you wait a few weeks to get yourself some armor before facing a mortal enemy?

This is not the only capacity we need. We will need health workers as soon as possible. Where will we get them? We need to train people to assist nurses, and we need to get medical workers out of retirement. Many countries have already started, but this takes time. We can do this in a few weeks, but not if everything collapses.

Lower Public Contagiousness

The public is scared. The coronavirus is new. There’s so much we don’t know how to do yet! People haven’t learned to stop hand-shaking. They still hug. They don’t open doors with their elbow. They don’t wash their hands after touching a door knob. They don’t disinfect tables before sitting.

Once we have enough masks, we can use them outside of the healthcare system too. Right now, it’s better to keep them for healthcare workers. But if they weren’t scarce, people should wear them in their daily lives, making it less likely that they infect other people when sick, and with proper training also reducing the likelihood that the wearers get infected. (In the meantime, wearing something is better than nothing.)

All of these are pretty cheap ways to reduce the transmission rate. The less this virus propagates, the fewer measures we’ll need in the future to contain it. But we need time to educate people on all these measures and equip them.

Understand the Virus

We know very very little about the virus. But every week, hundreds of new papers are coming.

The world is finally united against a common enemy. Researchers around the globe are mobilizing to understand this virus better.

How does the virus spread?
How can contagion be slowed down?
What is the share of asymptomatic carriers?
Are they contagious? How much?
What are good treatments?
How long does it survive?
On what surfaces?
How do different social distancing measures impact the transmission rate?
What’s their cost?
What are tracing best practices?
How reliable are our tests?

Clear answers to these questions will help make our response as targeted as possible while minimizing collateral economic and social damage. And they will come in weeks, not years.

Find Treatments

Not only that, but what if we found a treatment in the next few weeks? Any day we buy gets us closer to that. Right now, there are already several candidates, such as Favipiravir, Chloroquine, or Chloroquine combined with Azithromycin. What if it turned out that in two months we discovered a treatment for the coronavirus? How stupid would we look if we already had millions of deaths following a mitigation strategy?

Understand the Cost-Benefits

All of the factors above can help us save millions of lives. That should be enough. Unfortunately, politicians can’t only think about the lives of the infected. They must think about all the population, and heavy social distancing measures have an impact on others.

Right now we have no idea how different social distancing measures reduce transmission. We also have no clue what their economic and social costs are.

Isn’t it a bit difficult to decide what measures we need for the long term if we don’t know their cost or benefit?

A few weeks would give us enough time to start studying them, understand them, prioritize them, and decide which ones to follow.

Fewer cases, more understanding of the problem, building up assets, understanding the virus, understanding the cost-benefit of different measures, educating the public… These are some core tools to fight the virus, and we just need a few weeks to develop many of them. Wouldn’t it be dumb to commit to a strategy that throws us instead, unprepared, into the jaws of our enemy?

Now we know that the Mitigation Strategy is probably a terrible choice, and that the Suppression Strategy has a massive short-term advantage.

But people have rightful concerns about this strategy:

  • How long will it actually last?
  • How expensive will it be?
  • Will there be a second peak as big as if we didn’t do anything?

Here, we’re going to look at what a true Suppression Strategy would look like. We can call it the Hammer and the Dance.

The Hammer

First, you act quickly and aggressively. For all the reasons we mentioned above, given the value of time, we want to quench this thing as soon as possible.

One of the most important questions is: How long will this last?

The fear that everybody has is that we will be locked inside our homes for months at a time, with the ensuing economic disaster and mental breakdowns. This idea was unfortunately entertained in the famous Imperial College paper:

Do you remember this chart? The light blue area that goes from end of March to end of August is the period that the paper recommends as the Hammer, the initial suppression that includes heavy social distancing.

If you’re a politician and you see that one option is to let hundreds of thousands or millions of people die with a mitigation strategy and the other is to stop the economy for five months before going through the same peak of cases and deaths, these don’t sound like compelling options.

But this doesn’t need to be so. This paper, driving policy today, has been brutally criticized for core flaws: They ignore contact tracing (at the core of policies in South Korea, China or Singapore among others) or travel restrictions (critical in China), ignore the impact of big crowds…

The time needed for the Hammer is weeks, not months.

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6 days ago
Colorado Plateau
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Medical company threatens to sue volunteers that 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments

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Is next: 3d printed guillotine designs.

A hospital in Italy was in need of the valves after running out while treating patients for COVID-19. The hospital's usual supplier said they could not make the valves in time to treat the patient. That launched a search for a way to 3D print a replica part, and Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Ramaioli, who work at Italian startup Isinnova, offered their company's printer for the job.

However, when the pair asked the manufacturer of the valves for blueprints they could use to print replicas, the company declined and threatened to sue for patent infringement. Fracassi and Ramaioli moved ahead anyway by measuring the valves and 3D printing three different versions of them. [...]

So far, the valves they made have worked on 10 patients as of March 14th, according to Massimo Temporelli, the founder of Italian manufacturing solutions company FabLab who helped recruit Fracassi and Ramaioli to print the replica valves.

"[The patients] were people in danger of life, and we acted. Period," said Fracassi in a Facebook post. He also said that "we have no intention of profit on this situation, we are not going to use the designs or product beyond the strict need for us forced to act, we are not going to spread the drawing."

On the other hand, before you start patting yourself on the back with your Arduinos and Shapeways orders, this thread from turzaak:

So. Biocompatability. Basically it means you want materials that a) don't fall apart, and b) don't poison/kill when you use them in something that's gonna interact with the gooey meat stuff. Also means you need to be able to sterilize. For med sterilization, soap-and-water is 1st step, but not enough. 3 common methods are:

1. chemical (isopropyl alcohol, acetone, other solvents)
2. UV
3. heat (autoclave, etc)

Most plastics interact badly with at least 1 of those 3. ABS, one of the most common plastics and common 3D print material, dissolves in acetone. It melts at approx 105C and breaks down above 400C. When it breaks down, the materials are carcinogenic. Autoclave temp? >121C.

ABS also is not UV resistant. Your plastic that yellows in the sun? Probs ABS. So ABS is 0 for 3 here.

What about PLA? Degrades in UV, gets eaten by some bacteria and proteins, gets gooey at 60C, and can degrade with water. Also bad. [...]

Say you want to put some fancy electronics in here. What do you reach for? If you said "my spool of wire", congrats, you possibly will kill someone, unless that spool is gold wire. Copper is toxic. You had better be REALLY SURE about encapsulation or not use it at all. [...]

Okay, so we've got that and some enclosures figured out. Now what? Well, we building a ventilator? Let's talk pneumatics. What are your tubes made of? PVC? The C stands for "chloride". Guess what it produces when it's heated to degrade! Yeah, chlorine gas. That's why you don't stick it in laser cutters, unless you want to die.

Okay, forget plastics. What if we're using metals? Welcome to the world of steam and salt water. They hate you and all your materials. Rust, salt water eating away your metal, other chem reactions, they're all here! They suck. A lot. There's a reason implants are titanium and it's not because doctors want to put expensive things in you. It's one of the few materials that works.

You have to do this sort of analysis for EVERY MATERIAL YOU USE.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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11 days ago
So, basically, for disposable use only where you'll discard it after one patient instead of clean it, and only when it's impossible to get the proper valves in due to shortages.

We'll probably have to do a lot of this before it's all over, using things before we have all of the evidence behind them, doing off label use and have one ventilator running for multiple patients, using drugs that have been effective in other countries but haven't passed phase 3 trials for that disease in this country...
Colorado Plateau
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The IRON FIREMAN And The Longevity of Technology

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From: Level1Techs
Duration: 14:58

Thanks for watching our videos! If you want more, check us out online at the following places:
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*IMPORTANT* Any email lacking “level1techs.com” should be ignored and immediately reported to Queries@level1techs.com.

Intro and Outro Music By: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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13 days ago
Colorado Plateau
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Things That Won't Cure COVID-19 If Put In The Body

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From: Chubbyemu
Duration: 14:09

Heme Review Podcast ► https://youtu.be/b4zely3ofBk
Cases provided by my colleagues at the state Poison Center
COVID-19 Disease Playlist (updated daily) ► https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL26HeTCO57qcOqYV6-5ZB9xleo_PaHxi4

Tweet me: https://twitter.com/chubbyemu

We NEED More Testing Kits! | Coronavirus Front Line
(Doctor Mike) ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfMl6W6N7-A
COVID-19 Mutation and Evolution (Dr. John Campbell) ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYPZHA-UjUY
3 COVID-19 Cases Described By Doctors In China ► https://youtu.be/Q0A0LyMru3I
How Coronavirus Kills: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) & Treatment (Medcram) ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okg7uq_HrhQ

Official sources
US CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2Findex.html
WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Music inspired by R. Prince and by @Lifeformed ► https://lifeformed.bandcamp.com

These cases are patients who I, or my colleagues have seen. They are de-identified and many instances have been presented in more depth in an academic setting. These videos are not individual medical advice and are for general educational purposes only. I do not give medical advice over the internet, see your own physician in person for that.

#novelcoronavirus #COVID19 #sarscov2

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13 days ago
Colorado Plateau
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