Coronavirus – A Laymans Update By Walrus.


On 16 March Australian researchers announced the "successful" trial of an anti viral drug and Chloroquine mixture to treat hospitalised Coronavirus patients.

Latest advice this morning (Fri 2200 UTC) is that trials will start in 50 Australian hospitals next week. I would imagine that these are effectively telescoped phase two or phase three trials. I understand that China and the USA may also be conducting, or about to conduct, similar trials, the science is moving too fast to tell at the moment. If they are successful, providing certain conditions are met, then we may have the first weapon against Coronavirus apart from social distancing.

Those "certain conditions" are clinical, commercial and political. I don't know much about the clinical except to say I would hope such a treatment, if successful,  might at least take pressure off ICUs.

I am more concerned about commercial temptations, particularly if big Pharma scents there is money to be made. A treatment would probably be the subject of a Use Patent. Then there is the question of manufacture supply and distribution. I am also concerned about political pressure; it would be a tragedy if such a drug, if it ever exists, were used as a geopolitical weapon.

I apologise in advance if this is old news. I commenters will avoid the temptation to "go nationalistic"; yes, your country may have done this three weeks ago, but it's news to me and I hope its good news to you.

As far as Australia is concerned, borders are closed to non residents. Outward travel is discouraged. Social distancing is encouraged, arrivals are quarantined for two weeks and major gatherings prohibited. Cafes, restaurants, theatres, sports, etc. are dead. There will no doubt be more restrictions announced next week.

From my perspective as a retired person of advanced years, the Government has moved too slowly. However if I was a young newly unemployed hospitality worker I would be forgiven for thinking the government is overreacting. The political task of navigating the pandemic is daunting. The policy seems to be one of gradualism so as not to cause general panic.

Indications are however that the police and defence forces are preparing for the possibility of social disorder, at least in the cities. It would be a brave and foolhardy criminal who ventured into our rural neighborhood.

We are confining our selves to our lovely 40 acres. I have a tennis court sized vegetable garden to tend. We have plenty of food and with our neighbors, we have access to plenty of meat if required.

I hope you are similarly prepared.

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76 Responses to Coronavirus – A Laymans Update By Walrus.

  1. Larry Kart says:

    FWIW, Dr. Fauci pretty much threw cold water on the Chloroquine option at today’s Trump press conference, saying that no clinical trials have been conducted and leaving the impression that he was highly dubious. Again, FWIW.
    P.S. I wonder how long Fauci will be welcomed onto that podium.

  2. Barbara Ann says:

    Good to see an update which includes the positive developments in this war. To your point on Big Pharma; I just posted a comment under the “Close the securities markets! Now!” post on reports of large amounts of hydrochloroquine being “donated” to the USG by Novartis.
    As you say, the key to minimizing the economic impact seems to be the bottleneck of ICU capacity. A ‘cure’ may never come, but if a drug can drastically reduce the need for sufferers to be hospitalized then the social distancing stuff can be relaxed. I am hopeful this may happen sooner than many people think. The news media needs to get with the program here and report this too. All bad news will just reinforce the feeling of panic among the masses.
    Another positive development in my locality today: A neighbor has delivered a note around our neighborhood saying he has set up a WhatApp group, to which we are all invited, to help those in need in the local community – shopping for essentials, sharing ideas for diversions for the kids etc. Now than my own larder is stocked to the rafters I will offer to help where I can. This is great to see and I am optimistic that the coming time of distress and hardship for some will bring people closer together. The guy responsible is one of those much maligned Millennials btw.

  3. Deap says:

    Investigate those countries where they already widely sell these anti-malaria product OTC and have for decades. Has it stopped or slowed this particular virus in Africa, SEA, Pacific Islands and/or Central America? There is a beta test just waiting to be surveyed.

  4. Barbara Ann says:

    Forgot to mention that the comma in your penultimate sentence is very important. Everybody needs good neighbors!

  5. Fred says:

    I believe this drug may be off patent as it has been in use for treating malaria for more than 60 years. Stay safe; and on a bright note the Governor of Florida actually issued a “Yankee Go Home” order and made it stick! Ok, he closed the beaches and most of the snowbirds are skedaddling, but hey.

  6. Laura Wilson says:

    I wish I had 40 acres and a huge garden! I do, however, have a well-stocked larder and a town where I can walk to everything and a beautiful coastline where I can take LONG walks outside in the fresh air. Life is interesting.
    I have vowed not to watch any more of the morning presser updates…there won’t be anyone at the hospitals to treat my extreme hypertension! Time to obey the rules and chill out.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    I watched that. Ah, the great man lionized medico talks down to mere mortals. someone among the media dregs asked if that meant he knew the drug would not work. He said he did not know that.

  8. turcopolier says:

    Mutton? I have a good recipe for Circassian mutton.

  9. turcopolier says:

    larry kart
    “On 16 March Australian researchers announced the “successful” trial of an anti viral drug and Chloroquine mixture to treat hospitalised Coronavirus patients.
    Latest advice this morning (Fri 2200 UTC) is that trials will start in 50 Australian hospitals next week. I would imagine that these are effectively telescoped phase two or phase three trials. I understand that China and the USA may also be conducting, or about to conduct, similar trials, the science is moving too fast to tell at the moment. If they are successful, providing certain conditions are met, then we may have the first weapon against Coronavirus apart from social distancing.” Perhaps Fauci should counsel them about this.

  10. optimax says:

    Chloroquine as possible treatment for reducing the worst effects of the virus has been making the rounds on the internet for some time. The difference mentioned by Walrus in the Australian study is it being used in combination with an unnamed anti-viral drug shows promise. Let us hope it works.
    Eight days ago Biden was still condemning Trump for his “racist” closing of the borders with China. It’s the one thing Trump did right and early. Biden is a woke fool and we’re lucky he’s not POTUS or we’d be in the same ICU as Italy. Hug a Chinese was not a good idea.

  11. Larry Kart says:

    ““You know, I’m not dismissing [Chloroquine] at all, and I hope that that interpretation wasn’t widespread,” Fauci said later on Fox News. “What I said is that we don’t have definitive proof that it works.”

  12. Fred says:

    Larry Kart,
    That’s worth about negative 3% on the DOW. “no clinical trials” We haven’t spent a year and a half on a blind study with a 1,000 volunteers? No sh@$. I expect the doublespeaking bureaucrat will quickly be pushed to the background as other doctors are added to the team. PBS cut his remarks to about 2 seconds to show Trump in the worst light possible. Glad I stopped giving them money.

  13. Walrus says:

    Col. Lang, mutton, beef, kangaroo (very lean meat), rabbit and deer. Then there are carp, trout, redfin, murray cod and yabbies(fresh water crustaceans). We have plenty of wineries and one or two breweries as well.

  14. Larry Kart says:

    Like all of us, I would be delighted if the anti viral drug and Chloroquine mixture works.

  15. walrus says:

    Regarding the trials, I would expect that they would be a double blind trial with blood tests perhaps every eight hours. Assuming the report I’ve heard is correct, I would imagine preliminary results would be tabulated for the first week by next Sunday. There would be provision to provide medication to the placebo group if the results were overwhelmingly positive. That has happened before.
    I would welcome JJacksons advice.

  16. Deap says:

    Local public health officer in now locked-down California metropolitan area of approx 250,000 just made the following statement: Is this truth or dare?
    ……(Dr PH) “said the county’s best hope moving forward is strict adherence to California’s new shelter-at-home order, as well as continued social distancing.
    If we allowed the regional outbreak to run its course without the safety measures, he explained, an estimated 85 percent of XXXXX’s population would get sick in the next two months, with 5 percent of the infected likely requiring hospitalization.
    That translates to around 19,000 9persons) suddenly needing critical care. “It would mean our health-care system would basically collapse,” Dr PH warned. “We would be worse off than Italy.”…….

  17. Tidewater says:

    I hope that Fauci was just using an abundance of caution. Anyway, I have a gut instinct that we are going to get lucky on this coronavirus. There is an article by Amanda Woods in the New York Post on March 19, 2020, titled “Old malaria drug hydroxychloroquine may help cure coronavirus: study.”
    There seems to be a world wide race, as Walrus notes, to deploy an old drug that was developed in the late 1940s which can be used in combination with an antibiotic, to combat COVID-19. The drug’s name is PLAQUENIL. The generic name is hydroxychloroquine. You can get one hundred 200 mg oral tablets for $1,000.00 if you buy the brand; but you can also get 50 tablets under the generic name, which I assume will become ‘HCQ’ in the MSM, for about forty dollars. I say this just to demonstrate that the drug has been around for a while.
    “A total of 36 patients–including 20 treated individuals and 16 infected controls–were enrolled in the study, led by Didier Raoult, an infectious disease expert from l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire in Marseille.
    “The treated group was given 600 mg of Plaquenil each day. The researchers found that 50 per cent of the treated group turned from positive to negative for the virus by the third day–and by day six that figure was up to 70 per cent.
    “Of the 20 test patients, six who were treated with both Plaquenil and the antibiotic azithromycin showed impressive results–with five testing negative at day three. All six of them tested negative at day six.”
    “Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin’ the study concluded.”
    Oliver Verans, the health minister, said that the French government has heard, and now intends to carry out these same tests on a grand scale. Sanofi, the French drug company, says that it has millions of doses available right now and can almost immediately start testing, or perhaps even provide treatment if they get the go-ahead, for three hundred thousand people! The drug has been used for years for the treatment of, among other things, lupus, arthritis, malaria, and interestingly, the new threat to central Virginia–lyme disease.
    There is more remarkable and heartening news from the University of Virginia. The UVA laboratories simply refused to wait for commercial COVID-19 tests to arrive and went ahead and invented their own! I think it is accurate to say that anyone who can get themselves here to C’Ville could get tested, if they felt they needed to.
    Me, I am maintainin’, and in the calm before the storm waiting for the word that I am going to have to take care of the cat refuge that I have been involved with for years, a place I have dubbed St. Nicholas of the Cats, from the monastery on Cyprus. This, if my sturdy Cossack friend gets sick, which heaven forfend. She is out there in the world getting stuff for the cats, and there is risk in this, but she is younger and tough and Russian and I have brought into the fray, and am stockpiling some really good food like New Zealand’s Feline Natural. I have also arranged backup from marvellous Rachel K from, a group of pet home support folks who are remarkably methodical. My guys sit close beside me now as I write and I think they know something is up. Rachel checks in once a week for now and I have told her she is on immediate standby if I take a hit. From which I rather think I might just be triaged out,if it all goes to hell, which leaves me with immediate further arrangements. Unless the UVA students took the virus home with them, and the ‘Ville is sort of like a Carolina salt marsh where an enormous volume of water goes out with the tide and then comes back in when the sky turns pink and life starts up all over again in the squabbly spartina… Though if you are really sick the Gullah say that tide might just take old buckra out with it about four a.m. …
    I read on the blog of Lloyd Snook, who is now on City Council (and a good thing, too) that there is such a thing as a ‘Quarantini’. You add 1,000 mg of Vitamin C from your little packet of Emergen-C to whatever alcoholic base solution you choose. But I am thinking of tangerine juice.

  18. Alves says:

    Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are pretty old, 1930-1955 or so, and not that expensive… the problems might be to escale production and whatever else they will use with it.
    Kind of confusing how things are developing here in Brazil (we probably will be hit harder than Italy), but it looks like Brazil will use it as a treatment as of today.

  19. Deap says:

    From PubMed – the NIH online medical research library:
    J Crit Care. 2020 Mar 10. pii: S0883-9441(20)30390-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.03.005. [Epub ahead of print]
    A systematic review on the efficacy and safety of chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.
    Cortegiani A1, Ingoglia G2, Ippolito M2, Giarratano A2, Einav S3.
    Author information
    We included six articles (one narrative letter, one in-vitro study, one editorial, expert consensus paper, two national guideline documents) and 23 ongoing clinical trials in China. Chloroquine seems to be effective in limiting the replication of SARS-CoV-2 (virus causing COVID-19) in vitro.
    There is rationale, pre-clinical evidence of effectiveness and evidence of safety from long-time clinical use for other indications to justify clinical research on chloroquine in patients with COVID-19.
    However, clinical use should either adhere to the Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered Interventions (MEURI) framework or be ethically approved as a trial as stated by the World Health Organization. Safety data and data from high-quality clinical trials are urgently needed.
    PMID: 32173110 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.03.005
    (NB Fair use of copyright material for educational purposes – non-commercial setting)

  20. JL says:

    If I remember correctly, a white paper out of China was the first one that raised the use of Chloriquine for Covid19 – a doctor there noticed that lupus patients were not getting hit by Covid19 and connected the 2.
    But this was quite a while back (sometime early Feb ?), I would surmise China have made considerable headway into trials on this. While this drug is on the official Chinese treatment plan for covid19 (7th edition now ?), China is still chasing a vaccine. I would guess that China is not seeing this as a complete cure.

  21. Mathias Alexander says:

    The Chinese are using this drug from Cuba
    The Recombinant Interferon Alpha 2B (IFNrec),

  22. JohninMK says:

    By the sound of it they are using two existing drugs in combination with one, hydrochloroquine, apparently out of patent.
    This, if it works as described, is a very good and fast way forward as it cuts out months/years of approval testing. In some ways it is a much more important development than finding a vaccine as it would buy time and reduce deaths now, making it easier for the World’s health systems to cope. Fingers crossed and good speed for the Aussies.
    I note that neither the drug’s name or the company are disclosed. The cynic in me wonders who might be buying shares in the company who’s anti HIV viral it is in the combo package.

  23. BillWade says:

    In the meantime, up your immunity:
    Vitamin C
    Vitamin D – get some sunshine, very important
    Use your newly found spare time to get in shape as best you can, every ounce you shed lessens the load on your heart and improves lung function
    No processed food, no sugar, cut back substantially on wheat products – pasta, bread, etc..
    Dense proteins are best for improved immunity: beef, pork, chicken, then seafood.
    Grocery stores seem to have ample supplies of fresh fruit and vegetable while lacking in processed foods – eat the fresh, not the packaged while it’s available.
    Everyone here probably knows this already but but discipline is key.

  24. walrus says:

    Elora, in the USA and Australia, mutton, lamb, sheep meat, whatever you call it, is not a delicacy for the rich like it is in Europe. Your comment reeks of misplaced envy. My favourite welcome to European visitors has always been to put a whole beef eye filet on our barbecue, washed down with good Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. We unsophisticated savages have certain advantages.

  25. JJackson says:

    The drugs in the trial are likely to be hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir. The former being the Malaria treatment and the later an anti-retroviral. Both are already in extensive use on a compassionate use basis but while there has been some anecdotal evidence that they seem useful we are only now beginning to see all the tried pharmaceuticals entering clinical trials. Remdesivir is under patent by Gilead and chloroquine is donkey’s years old, I used to take it as a child and hated the taste with a vengeance. It is derived from a tree bark and gives the bitter taste to tonic water. The WHO has set up a fast tract international trialling system but sadly not many countries seem to have signed up, choosing to develop their own trials. The WHO system’s aim is to get a broad base of trials performed to the same protocol with a fairly simple set of basic question about safety and efficacy. This would produce a broad dataset with robust answers to key questions in a short time. Other trials may give more information but would not be directly comparable to each other as they each have their own protocols. Fauci is one of a handful of virologist I truly trust he is always extremely measured and precise. Given his position in the NIH, which funds most US university research grants, he is also probably the best informed person in the world on all current disease pharma research. These are likely to be double blind trials although there are also some open label trials ongoing. The bad news is that none of the drugs that have been used work to the point of obviously killing the SAR-2, their effect has been enough to say patients on treatment X seem to be doing a bit better than without. On the anecdotal evidence I have seen remdesivir seems the most promising but it is unknown how quickly production could be ramped up or how Gilead will handle the patent issue. Their stock price climbed rapidly in Feb but has been yo-yoing as conflicting reports of its efficacy circulate.

  26. GeneO says:

    Walrus –
    Anyone down under using Avigan? The Japanese are using it against Coronavirus. Unknown to me whether it has been effective or not.

  27. CK says:

    The CDC has known since 2005 that Chloroquine is effective against Covids.
    It is a generic, way off patent, and there is no restriction on who can make it. Translation: No money for Big Pharma in this solution. Or as some general once said: “never let a good emergency go to waste.”

  28. J says:

    I find this article interesting if true. The CDC’s actions in November of last year.
    Now will this mean sometime in the future that we will experience national 30 day plus lock-downs here in the U.S.? For something of that magnitude would require brute physical enforcement of a military nature.
    When the government says you ‘have to’ do something, Americans tend to fly the middle finger in the government’s face with an exclamation point.
    Surveillance of every American, or most Americans are now easy as pie as the expression goes. Most Americans (or for that matter most humans on the planet today) carry a human cattle tag on them with most not even realizing it, their cell phones. Most modern day vehicles have low-jacks on them where the vehicle can be shut down remotely by the powers that be (horse and buggy time).
    There are articles back in the late 90s that addressed how our nation’s federal government at that time was stockpiling all kinds of supplies like crazy from medical supplies to long shelf life foods. And those massive in size federal storage sites were not supposed to be known by the public at large, one of them secret thangs as some say.
    Again, I find that article interesting. Hmmm…. now I wonder what type of national lockdown Australia would have? Me thinks that such would be very hard to enforce there as it would here.
    Walrus, thanks for the updates.

  29. Serge says:

    If they had chosen to refer to by SARS II instead of Cov(full virus name:SARS-CoV-2) the world would have taken containment measures 10x more seriously and we wouldn’t be in the position we are now. Even today I never see the full half of this name on the news, most people arent even aware that this is a strain of SARS

  30. mike says:

    Elora – mutton, lamb, sheep meat may be an elite meal in wherever you come from, but it is one of the most popular meats among the “peasants and proles” in those parts of the world where sheep are a major part of the agriculturtal economy. The north Europeans may eat little lamb – in Germany, Pland, Russia, Scandinavia – often thinking it is too fatty. But Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, mrediterranean Europe,Greece (Lamb Kleftiko) Turkey, the Middle East , are all eager sheep meat eaters. And Walrus – lamb is as popular here in Wales as in New South Wales: in Cymru, as in NZ, there are more sheep than humans. No way can sheep meat of any type be called an elite dish in Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland, Greece etc.

  31. Larry Kart says:

    Talked this morning to a veteran M.D. He says that while the so to speak conservative position of Fauci and others like him on Chloroquine is understandable (because it fits the conservative medical model that Fauci and others have followed over the years), it is under these circumstances wrong. This is, he said, war, and in wartime you grasp whatever weapons that lie to hand. He added that they’ve been using the Chloroquine anti-viral drug combo in South Korea and China for some time now. So what results, he said, are they reporting from what amounts to an extended series of trials? He added that access to/sufficient production of enough of the Chloroquine anti-viral drug combo would be a problem, albeit a solvable one.

  32. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    Just now listening to Cuomo the governor of NY. Obnoxious man but he is working well with Trump to test these drugs in NY’s many facilities.

  33. turcopolier says:

    I would ask everyone not to respond or post comments from Elora Danan or any other Danan. This is either a mean spirited kid or an anti-American trolling group.

  34. turcopolier says:

    My favorite cook out treat for esteemed visitors is a bone-in prime rib roast cooked on rotisserie with embedded cloves of garlic and rubbed down well with Montreal Steak seasoning. Two hours does it medium rare. Yum. I usually do a three or four bone.

  35. Terence Gore says:
    I had above starting 2/1/2 weeks ago. Wednesday I had slight fever mild chest tightness intermittent explosive dry cough. Felt like a moderate flu for a day. Don’t know if it was covid. I tried to inquire about testing but system seemed overwhelmed. I self isolated in a motel for 2 nights. It has been 3 days without fever and am at back home.

  36. JJackson says:

    Whole lamb should. Insert the tip of a small sharp knife into the flesh all over the joint and then insert slivers of garlic into the wholes. Pestle and Mortar some coarse salt and rosemary then add black pepper corns and re-crush and finally some olive oil. Massage all over and either roast in a conventional oven or BBQ over hot coals for a few minutes a side and then cover the BBQ and shut of the air to slow cook in a smokey atmosphere.
    In the UK beef pork and lamb probably get about the same amount of shelf space but beef is the most expensive then lamb with pork and chicken the the cheaper meats. Shoulder is fatty but then that is where the flavour is. Seriously good cold as well.

  37. Deap says:

    How much of the Millennial and Gen X brain is triggered by the mere word “virus”?
    Something that comes unbidden through the airwaves, unseen, undetectable, but capable of massive damage to the security their electronic lives.

  38. J says:

    There seems to be quite concern regarding the 5G implementation here in the U.S. through AT&T’s AirGig (transmission of wireless via power-lines) breaking down the human immunosystem making pandemics/viruses much more lethal. The AirGig via power-lines say many will make no escaping the lethal of 5G’s EMF, all life exposed to constant irradiation. In the military, our communications vans and aircraft are shielded against EFF radiation, protecting their operators.

  39. JamesT says:

    This piece from The National Interest talks about other drugs which may help fight the Coronavirus:

  40. Ken Roberts says:

    Tidewater’s suggestion of a Quarantini sounds excellent!
    Remember Linus Pauling and his book “Vitamin C and the Common Cold”? Double Nobel prize winner, smart guy, maybe something to it. And common cold is perhaps best model of coronavirus tranmission, though effects afterwards are more significant.
    Then there’s Norman Cousins, former editor of Saturday Review, who survived poisoning (likely heavy metal poisoning) by mega doses of vitamin C. A friend says Vitamin C chelates to the metals and the combo is excreted.
    IANAD! Subject to and welcome correcting info from those who know what they’re talking about.
    Must remember that quarantini this evening. Cheers!

  41. Robert Waddell says:

    Walrus (‘The Unsophisticated Savage’) ..
    A very good and positive update IMO. Also BillWade, Probably the best advice for everyone at the moment especially the’discipline’ mention.
    Having just returned from the USA, I find myself under 2 weeks quarantine but luckily I can work from home and then there is the garden and some time to write my story about the Everglades Challenge 2020.
    All the best to everyone and please take care of yourselves and others.
    Rob W
    p.s. PL.. please..please publish your ‘Circassian mutton’ recipe. For those under ‘house arrest’ this is just the stuff we need although I will probably need to replace the mutton (6 tooth) with lamb (2 tooth).

  42. Robert Waddell says:

    Walrus (‘The Unsophisticated Savage’) ..
    A very good and positive update IMO. Also BillWade, Probably the best advice for everyone at the moment especially the’discipline’ mention.
    Having just returned from the USA, I find myself under 2 weeks quarantine but luckily I can work from home and then there is the garden and some time to write my story about the Everglades Challenge 2020.
    All the best to everyone and please take care of yourselves and others.
    Rob W
    p.s. PL.. please..please publish your ‘Circassian mutton’ recipe. For those under ‘house arrest’ this is just the stuff we need although I will probably need to replace the mutton (6 tooth) with lamb (2 tooth).

  43. Robert Waddell says:

    Walrus (‘The Unsophisticated Savage’) ..
    A very good and positive update IMO. Also BillWade, Probably the best advice for everyone at the moment especially the’discipline’ mention.
    Having just returned from the USA, I find myself under 2 weeks quarantine but luckily I can work from home and then there is the garden and some time to write my story about the Everglades Challenge 2020.
    All the best to everyone and please take care of yourselves and others.
    Rob W
    p.s. PL.. please..please publish your ‘Circassian mutton’ recipe. For those under ‘house arrest’ this is just the stuff we need although I will probably need to replace the mutton (6 tooth) with lamb (2 tooth).

  44. Mel says:

    🙂 but lamb that comes all the way from Circassia has to be something special. I took it to mean a Circassian recipe for lamb. Seems like others didn’t.

  45. J says:

    Covid-19 seems to be spreading through populations by surfaces. The surface I’m referring to are gas pump handles. It’s recommended that one have a barrier between one’s hands and the gas pump handles. Gloves, throw away paper towels, something between the pump handles and the hands. Wash one’s hands as quickly as possible after touching surfaces.
    Most never imagine their fill up at the gas pump could be where one contracts a pandemic virus.

  46. oldman22 says:

    I am reading that Russia is sending teams of doctors, equipment and protective gear to Italy, where nearly 800 people died today. This is quite a contrast to the USA sanctioning Iran, making it difficult/expensive/impossible to treat the afflicted in Iran.

  47. walrus says:

    UPDATE: Australian States are going into lockdown within 48 hours.Schools are closing. Interstate travel is also mostly banned or requiring 14 days isolation on arrival. Penalties are around the $10,000 mark and police are doing random checks for compliance.
    In my opinion this was going to happen late next week, but it has been brought forward after a Friday media report showing thousands of tourists cramming onto the famous Bondi surf beach completely ignoring social distancing advice. This was the last straw for the medical profession and older at risk people. The politicians acted about three hours ago.

  48. Peter AU1 says:

    Chinese doctors have put together a booklet on their experience treating coronavirus victims and best treatment to date.
    lists the antiviral drugs they have been using.
    Can be downloaded from here

  49. JohninMK says:

    Robert Waddell thanks for your comment on BillWade’s post. His post is in some ways the most important to us personally in the thread.
    Statistics indicate that over time most of us are likely to get the virus, so we need to do our best to minimise its impact. Making ourselves a tougher nut for the virus to crack is vital, especially for those of us who are slightly vulnerable. We need to stay out of hospital.
    All I would add to his list are Vitamin A and Zinc (to help Vit C absorbing) plus real exercise like ‘power’ walking if allowed or going up and down stairs if you have them.
    On a side note Rob, I too am a Waddell, in MK.

  50. BillWade says:

    J mentioned gas pump handles, also – don’t open a supermarket freezer aisle handle without using a wet wipe or some other protection.
    My local walmart is also constantly running out of wet wipes at the front entrance, you don’t want to grab a shopping cart without a wet wipe rubdown on the handle.
    We’re all going to be a bunch of long haired hippies & grey haired ladies soon, no more trips to the barber/beauty salon – nails too, be mindful of keypads when paying for stuff as well. I use my car key to push the buttons.

  51. JohninMK says:

    Oldman, they are indeed. Starting today a small RuAF airlift operation starts up. Eight military medical teams plus large amounts of hardware are on their way into Italy on the orders of Putin. This follows a smaller operation into Serbia last week.
    In addition, the Chinese are now assisting an estimated 82 countries at last count. They also send teams and lots of personal protection stuff, to date it is over 10 million masks.
    In contrast, and I find this particularly sad, the US, who tried to buy out German vaccine R&D for themselves. are also intentionally further stepping up sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
    So, on the one hand we have China and Russia (the evil enemy) playing the situation for maximum positive PR whilst on the other the US is just applying more pressure with its jackboot on the throat of the oppressed, clearly not giving a sh*t.
    How they can do this with a straight face in Washington escapes me, the arrogance is sickening. Pun intended.
    I suspect that little mercy will be shown to the US as it flounders in its debt quicksands.

  52. English Outsider says:

    A little misplaced envy here in the UK too, Walrus. Haven’t been able to get hold of decent mutton for years.
    You do not write of the economic effects. Presumably with a continent to play with and not all of it arid by any means, you can batten down the hatches should those start to bite.
    Not here. Reset time. HMG seems now to be playing catch-up but I still don’t see the urgency of response that is necessary.

  53. turcopolier says:

    “the US is just applying more pressure with its jackboot on the throat of the oppressed, clearly not giving a sh*t. How they can do this with a straight face in Washington escapes me, the arrogance is sickening. Pun intended. I suspect that little mercy will be shown to the US as it flounders in its debt quicksands.” I do not maintain this site for the purpose of providing a platform for avowed enemies of my country. If you wish to express enmity, go elsewhere.

  54. J says:

    The nation of Jordan.
    Air raid sirens echoed across Amman Saturday to mark the start of a three-day curfew. Jordan ordered all shops to close and all people to stay off the streets until at least Tuesday, when it plans to announce specific times for shopping. Authorities have already arrested 392. One could face up to a year in a Jordanian prison for violating it’s round-the-clock curfew.
    The U.S..
    DOJ is seeking sweeping incarceration authority without trials for those arrested. DOJ has ‘quietly’ asked Congress for the ability to go directly to chief judges in order to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies. DOJ requests — span several stages of the legal process, from initial arrest to how cases are processed and investigated. According to the draft legislative text DOJ also asked Congress to pause the statute of limitations for criminal investigations and civil proceedings during national emergencies, “and for one year following the end of the national emergency”.

  55. JohninMK says:

    My apologies for overstepping the mark. I am no enemy of the US, I have been a supporter all my life, my father and brother in the RAF. What I said was due to my frustration at the current actions of your leaders. I won’t do it again Colonel.

  56. turcopolier says:

    Apology accepted. “my father and brother in the RAF” This reminds me of Newt Gingrich who used to talk about his step-father’s military service.

  57. ISL says:

    Chloroquine has been used “successfully” with azithromycin (z-pack), with patients showing improvement generally after about 10-14 days, which also coincidentally is about the length of the ventilator treatment under no Chloroquine. China has been running trials for months with nothing conclusive. Fauci certainly has those data, albeit likely from non-public sources.
    Z-Pack is manufactured in India who is now keeping it available for its own citizens.
    Sadly, the US does not make most antibiotics domestically, as there is no profit. Maybe there be Ferengi secretly running the US health care system?

  58. Fred says:

    The State of Louisiana already did that by postponing trials for weeks. I believe other cities simply responded by not enforcing the law.

  59. Eric Newhill says:

    IMO this virus phenomenon is a case of mass hysteria. Overwhelmingly, it kills those who were going to die in six months (maybe a year) anyhow. Many deaths attributed to covid19 – especially in Italy – were actually due to some other virus or bacterial infection. But if covid19 is present, the death gets chalked up to that. That’s happening in the US too. Covid19 is still way behind the usual seasonal flu in terms of both morbidity and fatalities.
    There is no cure that will be developed timely that is better than people getting the virus and developing an immunity. And that is what will happen – and 99.99% of us will be fine.
    I don’t care if my view is verboten wrong think. I’m sticking to it until proven otherwise – and I’m very sure I would have been proven wrong by now, if I was ever going to be.

  60. Jim Henely says:

    Key to stopping replication of SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) is inhibiting its “replicase” enzyme & by getting zinc into the virus & key to that is chloroquine, a zinc “ionophore” or substance that can transport zinc ions across the lipid membrane of the hijacked cell. 150 mg of a zinc supplement should suffice.
    I remember taking chloroquine tablets in Vietnam as an anti-malaria. It’s modern day generic equivalent, Plaquenil is readily available and cheap.
    Make sure you’re getting plenty of sunshine, and even if you feel you are, it would be a good idea to supplement with Vitamin D3 & K2 in the range of 8,000 iu. Add to that Vitamin C to “bowel tolerance,” 6-8 grams for most of us.
    I would heed Bill Wade’s excellent advice on lifestyle and use this an opportunity to improve your overall health and dietary choices.

  61. optimax says:

    The US trying to buy the German RandD company to hog a cure for Covid-19 is fake news. You need to GTS a little deeper. The increased sanctions on Iran and Venezuala are actions verging on criminal. The focking neocons need to be quarantined on Alcatraz Island.

  62. Effinghell says:
    Might be of interest.

  63. walrus says:

    English Outsider:”A little misplaced envy here in the UK too, Walrus. Haven’t been able to get hold of decent mutton for years.”
    Now that the UK has achieved Brexit, we can sign a free trade agreement and resume shipments of Australian and New Zealand lamb to you.

  64. blue peacock says:

    All –
    What do you know if the lack of test kit availability and mass-scale testing in the US was caused by classic bureaucratic red tape?
    Apparently the private sector including hundreds of US domiciled biotech companies with the latest technologies were prevented from developing and producing at scale test kits due to the CDC & FDA unwilling to provide regulatory approval due to DC bureaucratic turf games. Is this true?
    I believe that has changed now with FDA granting fast-track approval of private companies test kits.
    I’m asking all doctors and hospital staff that I know a similar kinda question that Eric Newhill poses – are your ICUs being swamped? The answer from them is NO. This begs the question if our first reported case was the same day as South Korea and that was some weeks ago and I believe earlier than Italy, why aren’t we seeing surges at ICUs?

  65. J says:

    A worker at the Amazon shipping/fulfillment center in Queens tested positive for COVID-19.
    When checking your mail, use disposable gloves, when receiving packages, use gloves and wipe down the cardboard box before opening it. COVID-19 has been found to survive for at least 24 hours on cardboard.

  66. English Outsider says:

    Thanks Walrus. Hoping you’d say that but didn’t like to ask.
    Only two problems. First is that the hard part of Brexit is yet to come. Seems they want our fisheries and a few other bits and pieces before they’ll grant us permission to leave. HMG could be following the proud tradition of its predecessors. Not able to fight their way out of a paper bag, let alone the EU.
    The second is I’m not sure, in the current circumstances, what we’re going to be able to send you in exchange. So that mutton might have to be on tick.

  67. JohninMK says:

    Walrus, shipments of lamb from NZ never stopped but they were limited. As a consequence we considerably increased our own production so there might not still be the same market here. We could do with NZ butter coming back in tho’ that completely stopped.

  68. J says:

    A two-month-old preemie in the NICU unit of Israel’s Sha’arei Tzedek hospital tested positive for the coronavirus Sunday.
    The baby, who was premature birth with an extremely low birth weight is in serious condition due to complications from its early birth, apparently was exposed to the virus through a nurse who worked one shift in the unit last week while unknowingly carrying the virus. The nurse was apparently exposed to the virus outside the hospital.

  69. Tidewater says:

    Thanks for your comment. I am in over my head on this. However, I am capable, at least, of trying to double-check some of what I have read about which was what I had based my remarks on –specifically Plaquenil.
    When I said that Sanofi was ready to turn over to the French government a large amount of Plaquenil, that was accurate. “Sanofi said they are in possession of several million doses, enough to treat 300,000 people infected with COVID-19.”
    And Health Minister Olivier Veran did say that tests must be carried out on a larger number of patients, and he did authorize larger tests to commence. Then, on Monday, Sibeth Ndiaye “contributed to the development by saying that the testing would now be ‘carried out with a team independent of Professor Raoult.'”
    On March 20, 2020, in an article in ‘the Scientist,’ by Chris Baraniuk, ‘Chloroquine for COVID-19: Cutting Through the Hype’, there is the following: “Of the 20 patients who took the antimalarial and completed the study, six also received azithromycin, an antibiotic. All six of these patients were free of SARS-COV-2 by the fifth day post-treatment, while seven of 14 patients who took hydroxchloroquine alone were negative for the virus and two of 16 control patients were no longer infected.”
    That figure of five days conflicts with your data.
    Darrell Etherington, in a March 19, 2020 article, ‘French study finds anti-malarial and antibiotic combo could reduce COVID-19 duration (TechCrunch) states: “The patient mix included in the study included six who showed no symptoms whatsoever [this seems sloppy-when?] as well as 22 who had symptoms in their upper respiratory tract (things like sneezing, headaches, and sore throat), and eight who showed lower respiratory tract symptoms (mostly coughing). Twenty of the thirty participants in the study received treatment, and the results showed that while hydroxycholoroquine was effective on its own as a treatment, when combined with azithromycin it was even more effective, and by a significant margin.”
    But the head of Sanofi also said that it will take time. So the race is on.
    I was not aware until later that Trump had brought this up in a press conference. Interesting.
    Has anyone ever considered the bizarre possibility that Trump might just have what all the world’s great generals have always had to have: LUCK?

  70. confusedponderer says:

    I went to the next supernarket today to buy some handkerchiefs and on the way (just 400 metres) I saw one of the indications for the toilet paper lunacy (hamsterkäufers buying asap everything from handkerchiefs to toiletpaper and kirchen paper rolls).
    I met a man with 5 children, everyone carrying two double (=24 rolls) packs of toilet papers, meaning 5 folks with 240 rolls.
    Good grief I thought, until I arrived at the shop where there was a door guard and 30 or so people waiting. The folks already inside tood at the checkout – and everybody had a lot of toilet paper or kitchen paper rolls they wanted to buy.
    At that point I decided to go elsewhere since waiting 20 minutes to see an empty shelf is a waste of time. I went to another shop where, naturally, all paperish things were empty already.
    I read in newspapers that in some shops there have been cases of some shoppers taking away toilet paper rolls from other customers, at times getting violently.
    Help. Why can’t there be a sanity pandemy next, or one where the lunatics go and live in the caves again?

  71. CK says:

    Watched 60 minutes last night, first time in 2 decades, 1/3 of the show was supposed to be about SARS-Covid drugs. It wasn’t. It was about two small companies working on two different approaches to creating testable vaccines. Time frame 2 years or more. Waited for the interlocutor to talk about any of the existing drugs that appear to have effectiveness against SARS-Covid19. Nada word. But the one company’s spokesperson was a hella cute blond with a Scottish burr and a generic resemblance to Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos infamy and the other was a vaguely 20 something metro sexual looking pretty boy and they both had all the buzz words that the CDC/NIH/TLA organizations adore. As I said earlier there is no huge profit and no Nobel prize for saving lives with a generic drug that has been around for 85 years. Gilead Pharma makes Harvoni a hep c drug. It was $1100 a pill. Gilead was also highlighted in the 60 minutes story as it too is working on a Sars Corona vaccine Chloroquine is about $2.50 a pill, at Walmart, using a GoodRx coupon, with a compassionate prescription from your personal physician. While I doubt that any of the members of the committee of correspondence need to read the following: My MD degree never arrived neither did my Ph.D nor my J.D.
    And do please remember that that which does not kill you can still leave you in a permanent vegetative state or with a sucking chest wound.

  72. Serge says:

    Prescient paper from 2007:
    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection

  73. Vig says:

    Elora, in the USA and Australia, mutton, lamb, sheep meat, whatever you call it, is not a delicacy for the rich like it is in Europe.
    mutton is hardly a delicacy for the rich in ‘Europe’. But no doubt not a standard considering the diverse regions.
    The question for the lover of foreign recipees would be, what precise Circassian Mutton recipee Patrick Lang had in mind, and where exactly he picked it up.

  74. turcopolier says:

    I can’t find it because I haven’t used it for some years. I picked it up in Jordan, where as in Israel there is a Circassian and Chechen population. basically butterflied mutton or lamb (leg, saddle, etc.) marinated in ME spices and grilled to degree of cooked desired.

  75. Vig says:

    Those “ME spices” especially the mixtures are fascinating. I vaguely recall too some mixtures Iranian friends brought over. Should have asked what exactly it was at the time.
    thanks. Strictly the net/web suggested you may have encountered it in Jordan

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