Thursday, August 6, 2020

Hiroshima Anniversary


2750 tons of ammonium nitrate, equal to about 440 tons of TNT, exploded in a warehouse in Beiruit, Lebanon, after being stored there about 7 years, since being unloaded from a leaky, leased ship, abandoned by it's Russian lease-holder in 2011, when the unpaid crew mutinied and the ship was impounded as unsafe. Some crew members were stranded on the ship for 3 more years. The port authority requested the government to move the unsafe material somewhere else, anywhere 6 times. 

 My thoughts about this are that the government of Lebanon has long been overdue for a restructuring, and it's not really my thoughts, but the world consensus, and Lebanese accepted fact. 
The government structure was devised under the Ottoman Empire to have certain important posts split up between appointees of 3 major religions. This divided the people, and kept the Ottomans holding the decision-process, but the Ottomans have been gone 100 years, and nothing can get done effectively in Lebanon.
 The current government has put all (surviving) Port Authority officials under house arrest, which briefly casts them under suspicion, but it is clear that they requested 6 times that the cargo be moved anywhere else, because it was dangerous. The government must quickly turn over all authority to some new, emergency government, with a strong central executive. From what I have read, this is possible, and the process is underway, and broadly supported..
 The devil is always in the details, but people will only get more bloodthirsty for revenge as the situation sits unmanaged.
 The obvious-to-me deal that must be made is to promise China a commanding cut of the action of the Port of Beiruit in return for rebuilding it. Lebanese workers must be employed as a large percent of the workforce now and in perpetuity.  China gets a prize Mediteranean port out of the disappointment of being run out of Haifa by Mike Pompeo during his spring visit. 
 Lebanese banking is bankrupt, but this deal needs to be done as a partnership, with China getting 51% interest, or something. No $US need to be used. Win-Win for China and Lebanon. 
 I don't even think Israel and the US will try to prevent such a deal. (The US can plan to sabotage China later, after it pays for all the work.)

On Imperial public-private-partnerships:
A recent off-hand remark by one of America’s oligarchs points toward a new methodology for undermining what is left of international law and order. Speaking in earnest or in jest, nobody really knows, but smart money would certainly bet on the former, when admonished that the Bolivian coup that toppled President Evo Morales last year “wasn’t in the best interests of the Bolivian people,” Elon Musk, the Tesla electric car magnate, brazenly tweeted: “We will coup whoever we want. Deal with it!”  

Eighty-six percent of Americans believe there is “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of political bias in the way the media covers news, according to a Knight Foundation/Gallup poll released on Tuesday. The number of Americans that see bias in the media is up almost 25 percentage points from 62 percent in 2007. Almost half of Americans — 49 percent — now say there’s a great deal of political bias in news coverage.  ​  ​Current (PCR) tests for active infection with SARS-CoV-2 are highly sensitive—but most are given to suspected COVID-19 patients long after the infected person has stopped transmitting the virus to others. That means the results are virtually useless for public-health efforts to contain the raging pandemic...
 ​  ​Furthermore, such tests detect tiny fragments of viral RNA even after the patient has recovered. Mina says that means “the vast majority of PCR positive tests we currently collect in this country are actually finding people long after they have ceased to be infectious.” In that sense, a positive result can be misleading, because the results can’t be relied on to guide the epidemiological efforts of public-health officials, which are focused on preventing transmission and controlling outbreaks: “The astounding realization is that all we’re doing with all of this testing is clogging up the testing infrastructure,” with results arriving a week or more after tests are administered, “and essentially finding people for whom we can’t even act because they are done transmitting.” In fact the testing backlog is so dire, and so “absolutely horrendously useless as a system for public-health surveillance,”...
​  ​What the country needs instead are rapid tests, widely deployed, so that infectious individuals can be readily self-identified and isolated, breaking the chain of transmission.
​  ​To do that, Mina says, everyone must be tested, every couple of days, with $1, paper-based, at-home tests that are as easy to distribute and use as a pregnancy test: wake up in the morning, add saliva or nasal mucous to a tube of chemicals, wait 15 minutes, then dip a paper strip in the tube, and read the results.

​Bashing effective hydroxychloroquine/zinc early outpatient treatment, fear and denial are still what the American media and CDC are pushing, so people die in hospitals alone.
​  Fauci seemed to be unaware that there actually was a national pandemic plan for respiratory viruses.
  Following a careful regimen developed by doctors in France, some knowledgeable practicing U.S. physicians began prescribing hydroxychloroquine to patients still in the early phase of COVID infection. Its effects seemed dramatic. Patients still became sick, but for the most part they avoided hospitalization. In contrast --- and in error -- the NIH-funded studies somehow became focused on giving hydroxychloroquine to late-presenting hospitalized patients. This was in spite of the fact that unlike the drug’s early use in ambulatory patients, there was no real data to support the drug’s use in more severe hospitalized patients.
  By April, it was clear that roughly seven days from the time of the first onset of symptoms, a COVID-19 infection could sometimes progress into a more radical late phase of severe disease with inflammation of the blood vessels in the body and immune system over-reactions. Many patients developed blood clots in their lungs and needed mechanical ventilation. Some needed kidney dialysis. In light of this pathological carnage, no antiviral drug could be expected to show much of an effect during this severe second stage of COVID.

​A randomized trial of ivermectin/doxycycline, vs hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin in COVID-19 patients (I see no reason not to use both ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Mechanisms of action would be complementary)​
This trial found the treatments to be similarly well tolerated and similarly beneficial. Ivermectin had not statistically different lead.

​80 mg of Pepcid/famotidine, every 8 hours, for about 10 days, was a helpful treatment for COVID-19 in this case series. (Good luck finding any. Pharmacies are telling me to prescribe something else, because they don't have any for standing refills.)​ 

​How might ivermectin work? It's not the usual way. All of the medicines that work against novel-coronavirus are working in different ways than how they are used for other disease processes. Look in after 6:35 as Dr Seheult lectures and explains.

Picking Up Pieces


  1. Justdropped in to say Hi, Doc:

  2. Also:

    1. Weissmuller didn't really do the Tarzan call. It was a special effect.


    2. Oh, make that "Gojira"

  3. Yeah, I know they cobbled like a dozen animal noises for the yell. But I also know that Weismuller himself is said to have done a yell almost as wild as the manufactured one. Weismuller was quite the dude.

    So was Carol:

    1. It's like a yodel, but with a blower and nitrous injection.