Lance Tapley is a former tenant of mine. His two sons just graduated
from medical school.
Back in the 1970’s Lance spearheaded the successful drive to save
Bigelow Mountain in Maine from Ski Resort Developers.
Deep State: How to Renew Yourself at the New Year
Spend a month in the beautiful deep woods
by Lance Tapley
Tuesday, December 31, 2019 10:53 AM
Grand Falls Hut (Photo John Orcutt, orcuttphotography.com)
Maine Huts & Trails Needs You
The difficulties of my stay, I’m told, were extraordinary. The weather was almost historic. I write those things because Maine Huts & Trails is a marvelous addition to Maine’s outdoors, and it now needs support.
Grand Falls is one of four huts on an 80-mile, groomed trail system through the western mountains. The huts serve cross-country skiers, snowshoers, hikers, and bicyclists.Unfortunately, because of money woes the nonprofit organization has been forced to stop its periods of “full-service” — serving meals — this winter, and remote Grand Falls Hut has been closed for the season. The outfit apparently relied too much on income from users and not enough on building an endowment.
Volunteer caretakers, however, will keep three huts open for people bringing in their own food. To learn more, including how to support the organization with a donation or make a reservation for an inexpensive overnight stay, go to mainehuts.org.
Deep State is an investigative, political-analysis, and occasional personal-essay column diving deep into Maine. It appears in The Free Press every few weeks. Email tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two winters ago, I spent from mid-December to mid-January as the volunteer caretaker at Maine Huts & Trails’ most remote hut, Grand Falls. I went there to enjoy the magnificent wild location, see what it could teach me, get some reading and writing done, and support the organization. It became an adventure.
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” — Franz Kafka “Conversations with Kafka,” Gustav Janouch
December 15, 2017
Arrived yesterday noon with cross-country skis, snowshoes, backpacks and food boxes after a wild ride through new snow in a truck driven by an energetic, middle-aged back-to-the-lander, Darren, who’s the outfit’s maintenance guy.
I’m finally relaxing by the dining-room woodstove, enjoying its glow after a day and a half of trying to figure out how everything works. It already feels strange to be alone eight miles via a cross-country ski or snowmobile trail — once the snow gets deep — from the nearest deserted back road. Then it’s 25 miles to the tiny village of North New Portland.
The pocket satellite communicator I was promised for solo outdoor jaunts is being repaired. No cell service outdoors. But on the hut — it’s really a beautiful, almost-luxurious, lodge — there’s a satellite dish and an antenna providing internet and phone connections for the caretakers. And in a week Peggy and three of our grown sons will ski in for Christmas. She’ll stay after they leave.
December 17, 2017
Yesterday a raven croaked a cryptic greeting as it glided from treetop to treetop above me as I left the hut on a snowshoe hike to the rarely seen Grand Falls. It’s well named: about 40 feet high and three times as wide, it’s one of the largest waterfalls in the East.
On a previous trip in late winter, I had seen it frozen over. Now a lot of water is roaring over it, generating clouds that the west wind pushes up the Dead River Valley past the hut, a mile and a half distant. Sometimes I can faintly hear the falls from the hut.
Today I took my first ski outing. Sunny, breezy, very cold. I went up the service road to the Lower Enchanted Road, then down a lightly blazed forest trail to the trail above the river, then back to the hut.
In the forest I had to pick my way around and across blowdowns. Lots of deer tracks and scat. Undoubtedly, I was the first skier on that trail this season. Considering where I was, I was especially cautious on downhills.
Dropping me off in Kingfield, my younger outdoors buddy Colin told Sue, the huts’ volunteer coordinator, “He’s cautious.” Reassurance to her? But I know Colin thinks I’m too cautious.
December 18, 2017
I alternate reading Hemingway’s short stories with Thoreau’s “The Maine Woods,” giving myself a class in nature writing from stylistic geniuses.
In the big view from the dining room, early darkness transforms the light snowfall into waves of gray haze tumbling over the hillsides.
Frequently, I was anything but cautious in my youth. As a freelance writer, I have lived in a more economically risky way than anyone I know. But I’m aware my cautiousness has increased with age.
Of course, the body becomes weaker, but I’ve been lucky in health. My contemporaries, though, chant the dirges of age around me every day. These have had their effects on me, especially the deep bass notes of sicknesses and disabilities. An older friend calls it “the organ recital.” And friends are dying. And dead.
I love my friends, and I hate this negative scene. I want to fight this losing battle. It’s one reason I took up winter mountaineering in my late 60s. It’s a deep reason I’m at Grand Falls. Is there a partial antidote here? I do love Maine’s natural world.
But I spend too much time indoors. I must feed logs — many of which I have to split — into the furnace every few hours to raise the temperature of the huge water tank that heats the floor tiles through elaborate pipes. This task is a pain in the ass, especially during the night.
December 19, 2017
Rain is predicted for the 23rd, when Peggy and the boys plan to ski in. They have experience in bad winter weather, but still …
December 20, 2017
“This is a job,” I told Peggy on the phone. I have to split wood for the stove, too.
But I do get to write and read some. Now I’m reading Edward Abbey, a paperback of essays I found in the tiny hut library. The title, “One Life at a Time, Please,” is obviously a takeoff on Thoreau’s famous deathbed reply when asked if he was prepared for the next world: “One world at a time.” Hilarious Henry, humorist to the last.
“One Life” was Abbey’s last nonfiction book in his lifetime. He inspired me when I was young. He made the kind of work I did as a writer and environmental activist seem cool.
I have several slight connections to him. One occurred when I was at the San Francisco Chronicle in 1971. I skied into Mineral King Valley in the High Sierra and wrote pieces for the newspaper and the Sierra Club Bulletin opposing the development by Walt Disney of this gorgeous, remote valley into a huge downhill-ski resort.
Because of the Sierra Club’s efforts, the development never came to pass. My experience with Mineral King led to my campaigning with others to save Maine’s Bigelow Range from a similar fate, which also was successful.
In the same issue of the Bulletin (now entitled Sierra), Abbey had an article. He used the simple argument of beauty to urge the preservation of the wild canyons of southeast Utah. I used the same argument on behalf of Mineral King — and later for Bigelow.
But nowadays beauty isn’t enough. Many environmentalists feel they must oppose economic development with an economic argument, such as income from recreational use.
The very farthest-in-the-south sun has emerged from the clouds, making the snow shine. “My darlings,” I said aloud to the sky, the snow, and the snow-saturated trees. I love them all. That is my longtime, secret mantra.
Winter Solstice, 2017
Bigelow is on the horizon, a snowcapped profile 10 miles to the south. I am truly embedded in the Maine mountains.
I urged Peggy and the boys to delay coming in until Christmas Eve day because of a now-predicted substantial snowstorm ending in freezing rain.
Darren’s daughter Amy dropped off more supplies. “Today probably is the last time I’ll be able to drive in except on a snow vehicle,” she told me. I was happy to get the InReach satellite device.
December 22, 2017
An exceedingly sad day. After reviewing the worsening forecast, I wrote an email late last night to Peggy and the boys telling them not to come for Christmas. A foot of snow on the way — it has already started — then frozen rain, then more snow for days ahead. Even the major highways will be bad. Peggy called immediately and agreed, to my gloomy relief.
Feeling lonely for the first time, I cut down a small fir. I will have some kind of Christmas.
December 23, 2017
Following delicate tracks in the snow down to the Dead, I observed that the deer always took the most efficient course over the contours of the trail.
As with the river, Spencer Stream, a major tributary, is more frozen over with my every trip to it, the ice now in white, green, and even brown swirls, a universal organic pattern that Thoreau exclaimed about in “Walden.” Ironically, he saw it in the half-frozen mud of a railroad embankment. His ecstasies are such a contrast to Hemingway’s subterranean understatements.
Snow has now been falling for eighteen hours.
This will be the first Christmas I’ve ever spent alone and the first in more than 40 years that Peggy and I won’t spend together. Depressing. And I haven’t seen Adam, who lives in San Francisco, for a year. Peg took a bus to Boston today to have Christmas with the boys. I’m glad but jealous.
I planted my tree in the reading room — precariously, in a bucket of sticks and damp wood shavings. Using wreath materials Sue gave me, I decorated it with whitened pinecones, red glass balls, and Old Man’s Beard collected from spruce trees.
I emailed a photo of it to my family and a few close friends, with a note: “Because of the weather I’m unexpectedly alone for Christmas — REALLY, REALLY TOO BAD! An imitation of Donald Trump’s self-pitying tweets.
Peggy replied: “The tree looks BEAUTIFUL, Lance!” Nice try, Peg.
Christmas Eve, 2017
Break a leg in the summer woods, you hurt. Break a leg in the winter woods, you die. That’s my distillation into a corny maxim of my winter-wilderness cautiousness. I’ve seen people in deep trouble on ski-backpacking trips, and I’ve had my own troubles.
When the sun briefly appeared this afternoon, ice gleamed on every twig of the bent-over birches. So lovely, so cold.
How many people spend Christmas Day cleaning showers, sinks, and floors? A lot of people, probably, with whom I now feel more solidarity.
The saving grace for me of this day is what’s all around me, the “stern, but gentle, wildness,” as Thoreau describes it. And this is a comfortable building.
Lifting a glass of red wine, I made my traditional Christmas-dinner toast, alone for the first time: “To Jesus!” I respect immensely that wise revolutionary, but not what men have made of him.
December 26, 2017
Not until 8:20 a.m. did the sun rise over Basin Mountain and its clear-cuts — those flaws in my idyllic view. Smoke flowed across the hills from the white, windy fires of the snow-covered trees.
Online, I saw that many reservations had been cancelled because of the weather. But not every one …
After my afternoon feeding of the furnace, I came back upstairs and washed my hands at a sink in the bathroom area. For a half-second, I thought I saw in the mirror a slight female figure smile as she silently passed behind me on the way to the toilet compartments. An apparition, I almost seriously thought.
I went to the kitchen. When I went into the dining room, a dark-haired, pixyish girl had materialized, curled up on the couch by the stove. She was 13, she said, and had skied here far ahead of her parents.
She was correct: Her parents and her 13-year-old cousin didn’t show up for an hour and a half. Others of their party will arrive tomorrow.
After 12 days, my solo was over. Did I really want company? Now I must tend to guests.
December 27, 2017
When the rest of the extended family appeared today, they included a 6-year-old and 9-year-old on a sled. My cautiousness again reared its hoary head: I doubted the wisdom of bringing in little kids on such a viciously cold and blustery day. But they had survived and soon were scampering about.
“Ah … Lance, there are dead flies in my bunkroom,” one of the newcomers informed me.
I picked up dozens. Guests brought their own food and cooked for themselves, but I still had to provide services. This group, in fact, treated me like a servant, never speaking to me unless they wanted something. That was a new role for me.
December 28, 2017
“The Maine Woods” is remembered for several great literary passages, especially Thoreau’s depiction of the higher elevations of Katahdin:
What is this Titan that has possession of me? Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! the solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? where are we?
That contact is what I have most sought in life, especially in my life in nature.
It also can be expressed in Hemingway’s symbolic way, his mixture of sadness and joy when contemplating the beautiful earth and the short and sometimes ugly time we have on it:
He felt a reaction against deep wading with the water deepening up under his armpits, to hook big trout in places impossible to land them. In the swamp the banks were bare, the big cedars came together overhead, the sun did not come through, except in patches; in the fast deep water, in the half light, the fishing would be tragic.
Today, the sun rose from the river’s bigger, corresponding river of vapor. From the valley’s trees the wind blew streams of snow into that higher river.
Now, alas, because of the daytime subzero temperatures, the remoteness of the road and her concerns about her car, I agreed with our close friend Pusti, who was going to drop Peg off at the trailhead tomorrow, that she shouldn’t
One of my favorite composers. I interviewed and videotaped a performance
by her in the 1980’s.
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Photograph Source: Carpet bazaar of Tabriz – CC BY-SA 3.0
On January 4th, President Trump tweeted that his military response to any Iranian military reactions to his assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani could include attacks on “52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.” For an administration whose acts in the present routinely require Orwellian carpet-bombing campaigns on the past (consider Mike Pence’s lie this week that Iran was involved in the 9/11 attacks), the obliteration of our world’s links to the past is but a physical extension of the Trump administration’s daily ideological practices.
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FBI Freddie Mac Documents
Subject: Freedom of Information Act Request: Kroll Inc.
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
FIles mentioning the company Kroll Inc. or its subsidiaries, a corporate investigations and risk consulting firm based in Midtown Manhattan, New York City that was established in 1972 by Jules Kroll. Its subsidiaries include:
Kroll Associates Limited
Kroll Background America Corp
Kroll Associates UK Limited
Kroll Ontrack Ltd
Kroll Ontrack Legal Technologies Ltd
Kroll Associates (Asia) Ltd
Zolfo Cooper Capital LLC
Kroll Holdings Limited
Kroll International, Inc
Kroll Ontrack Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Kroll Associates Srl
GW Consulting, Inc.
Kroll Associates SA
Kroll Risk Consulting Services, Inc.
Kroll Holdings Inc
Kroll Information Services Inc
Kroll Background Worldwide Ltd
Kroll Forensic Accounting Ltd
Kroll Associates Iberia SL
Packet Storm Security
Kroll Security Group, Inc.
Certico Verification Services, L.L.C.
Kroll Talbot Hughes Deutschland GmbH
Kroll (Beijing) Business Risk Management Consulting Co Ltd
Kroll Ontrack GmbH
Kroll Background Screening Spolka Z.o.o.
Kroll Cayman Limited
Homeland Solutions, LLC
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.
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Photograph Source: khamenei.ir – CC BY 4.0
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Photograph Source: Office of Public Affairs – CC BY 2.0
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This website is dedicated to
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and court records available for public review
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Dr Meryl Nass had her home burned down in a confirmed case of arson while living in Freeport Maine.She currently lives in Ellsworth Maine.She is a leading expert in the FBI coverup of the 911 Anthrax attack.Dr Nass wrote the 1st research paper on a country using a biologicalWeapon against its own people.
Dr Meryl Nass is a friend.This is her blogspot.
Thursday, March 19, 2020An explanation of the official response to Covid-19, and how understanding more about the virus will help you protect yourselfThis paper is designed to help readers understand the new corona virus and why it has inevitably led to the quarantine measures currently imposed. I will refer to the virus as the COVID-19 virus, as does the W.H.O., instead of using the official, but confusing, name SARS-CoV-2. The official name of the disease is COVID-19.
A novel coronavirus, similar to the virus that caused the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic appeared in China in December 2019 or earlier. It caused a new syndrome with primarily respiratory symptoms. The degree of rapid spread was phenomenal in the megacity of Wuhan, population 11 million. Wuhan ran out of gear, doctors, hospital beds. The Chinese government was able to commandeer supplies, doctors and nurses from other provinces, and retrain medical professionals to cope with an extraordinarily infectious, and sometimes lethal, virus. This included having doctors put on full PPE--being covered head to toe, and not changing out the gear for a full 12-hour shift. No bathroom breaks, no meals. They have worked 7 days a week, with no time off. Doctors have been housed in hotels and unable to visit family members--not that they wanted to visit, since contact might spread the disease to their families. With extraordinary lockdowns, China gained control of its epidemic. The western press portrayed this as another example of China's authoritarian regime. Little did they know.
The Chinese report that almost all people who catch this disease are symptomatic. But 85% have only mild symptoms and can be left to care for themselves at home with rest and fluids. However, 15% of those diagnosed required hospitalization, due to lack of oxygen from extensive viral pneumonia. One third of these, or 5% of all cases, required ICU care and frequently needed to be placed on mechanical ventilation. Some percentage, probably about 2-4% in China and about 8-10 % in Italy, with an older population, could not be saved despite the most aggressive medical measures, and died of this disease. Italy found considerably more of its population required ICU care.
It is possible that many more people than we know have asymptomatic cases, and that our statistics make things look worse than they are. I certainly hope so. But I have seen no evidence to support this hope.
I had assumed the Chinese, who were practiced in handling such diseases after SARS, would get this one under control expeditiously, and much more quickly than has happened.
This assumption turned out to be wrong. Why? It turns out that while this virus's mortality rate is not nearly as high as mortality from the SARS virus, at 30%, it has other features that make it much more contagious. These were not immediately appreciated in China, and it took far too long for this to be appreciated elsewhere in the world.
The Covid-19 virus is extraordinarily contagious
1. The COVID-19 virus led to 1,000 times as much virus (500,000,000 viral particleson a swab) present in the throat as compared to the SARS virus (500,000 particles). While we don't yet know how many viral particles it takes to cause an infection, if there are 1000 times as many particles being expelled with a cough or sneeze, or when simply breathing, breathing indoor air shared with someone who is infected is likely to be a significant risk factor.
2. Unlike most infections, this virus appears to be contagious even before symptoms occurand even after patients appear to have resolved the infection. SARS was contagious only after several days of illness, enabling effective quarantines to be implemented. For this virus, the highest viral titers are measured at the beginning of illness, prior to diagnosis. When the COVID-19 virus is contagious when cases are asymptomatic, there is no way to impose effective quarantines.
On average, it takes 5 days from exposure until onset of symptoms, but may take up to 14 days and rarely longer.
Number of specimens tested for SARS-CoV-2 by CDC labs (N=3,995) and U.S. public health laboratories* (N=15,749)†Number of specimens tested for SARS CoV-2 by CDC labs (N=4,505) and U.S. public health laboratories* (N=40,367)
The CDC restricted testing to all but a tiny number of those with compatible symptoms, as CDC acknowledges in its graph, above. Had there been the availability of widespread reverse transcriptase PCR testing, or had other types of tests had been made available, and if the US had been able to test cases with minimal or no symptoms, maybe the US or other nations could have instituted quarantines that stopped spread. But as you know, the CDC made a series of inexplicable decisions to restrict US testing by allowing only the test CDC had developed to be used, a test that was both unnecessarily cumbersome, and faulty. This slowed down the development of better and more accessible tests by private, university and state public health labs. CDC's ban on other tests was only lifted on February 27 or 28. After that, FDA offered to approve new COVID virus tests using its authority under an Emergency Use Authorization. But that too held up the use of new tests until FDA approved them. Finally, to avoid another bottleneck, this past week FDA said that any entity could start using its own tests now, and apply for approval weeks later.
The prolonged duration of infectivity
One study found that the median length of time during which patients were contagious was 20 days. One patient had detectable virus for 37 days. The duration of contagion might even extend further in some cases, because patients who died tended to remain contagious throughout their course. Let me repeat myself: patients were contagious before they showed symptoms, during their symptomatic phase, and even after they recovered. This makes it impossible to identify those who are spreading the disease. It also makes it impossible to keep hospitals clean.
Airborne vs Droplet spread
When you cough or breathe, particles of air, virus and water are expelled. The old dogma said that particles greater than 5 µ in size were droplets, and fell to the ground within 3 feet of the person who was producing them. Particles smaller than 5 µ in size could travel further, up to 6 feet away from the person who expelled them. However, particles smaller than 0.5 micron could stay suspended in air for hours or days. Newer research tells us that we breathe out particles of many different sizes, and some of them fall close to us, while others remain suspended in the air for indefinite periods, and can travel on air currents. Once particles fall out of the air, they still usually contain viable virus and contaminate the surfaces onto which they fall. The COVID virus is more dangerous as a large droplet, but can still spread as tiny particles that remain suspended in air. Indoor air becomes a risk, especially in closed spaces like elevators, which are used by large numbers of people.
Negative pressure rooms suck indoor air out of infected patients' rooms, preventing virus from contaminating hospital halls and other areas.
CDC describes such rooms here.
The preferred placement for patients who require Airborne Precautions is in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR). An AIIR is a single-patient room that is equipped with special air handling and ventilation capacity that meet the American Institute of Architects/Facility Guidelines Institute (AIA/FGI) standards for AIIRs (i.e., monitored negative pressure relative to the surrounding area, 12 air exchanges per hour for new construction and renovation and 6 air exchanges per hour for existing facilities, air exhausted directly to the outside or recirculated through HEPA filtration before return).
But there are not enough negative pressure rooms for COVID-10 patients, especially in ICUs and ERs. So you cannot keep the air and surfaces in a hospital entirely free of virus. ICUs with all their equipment will be contaminated. The only thing to do is to have everyone working in the hospital wear full airborne personal protective equipment, from head to toe, all day long. This is what Chinese doctors had to do. But what will happen to the other, non-COVID patients? Some will be exposed. Visitors must be banned. This is probably why hospitals are trying to empty themselves of patients: both for the predicted onslaught of new patients, and to minimize the number of patients who will be exposed to the COVID-19 virus while being treated for something else.
One solution is to create separate hospital facilities for COVID patients and for everybody else.
Duration of infectivity on surfaces
Bacteria and viruses don't die like people do. People are either alive or dead. But the COVID virus, like other microorganisms, is found in colonies or groups and their number slowly falls over time. The viruses in these groups "decay" logarithmically, instead of dying all at once.
Let's say you have 1 million viral particles on a surface. After one half-life, which usually is several hours, say 4 hours, half will still be viable: 500,000. After another several hours, half of those, or 250,000 will remain viable. After 24 hours, you will still have about 17,000 viral particles.
So, if you don't handle contaminated items for several days, probably enough of the virus will have died to remove your risk. But if you want to touch something sooner, you will need to decontaminate the surface. Hereare good answers for what works and how long you need to keep your disinfectant in contact with the surface. I summarize:
Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) 0.21% dilution on a surface for one minute. Different bottles of bleach have different concentrations, so calculate your dilution accordingly.
Hydrogen peroxide 0.5% dilution for one minute
Alcohol 70% or more concentration, for 30 seconds. Lower concentrations may also work but testing was limited.
Be aware that virus lives on cardboard, paper, clothing for days. Washing clothes daily, not wearing outdoor shoes into the house, and frequent showering will all reduce the amount of virus you harbor.
Personal protective equipment for healthcare workers
What is full airborne personal protective equipment? This is what healthcare workers used for the Ebola epidemic. We use a little less gear for active tuberculosis. It means being covered head to toe with disposable suits, gloves, shoe covers, nose/mouth and eye coverage.
I have never had to use eye protection with patients before, nor was it considered necessary to use a plexiglass face shield. But the diseases doctors were previously exposed to (apart from Ebola) were treatable, and we almost never got them, and virtually never died from them if we did. This disease is different.
An estimated 1,700 healthcare workers (HCWs) in Italy have become infected, 8% of the total number of cases. Italy identified its first case only 28 days ago. A number of healthcare workers in China, and now in Italy, have died from the disease. Many HCWs in the US are also infected, some whose condition is critical.
Additional tests needed
Ideally we will get accurate (CDC refuses to say how accurate current tests are) and rapidtests for COVID-19 virus, and will be able to put the COVID patients in a separate facility from the other patients when they first present for medical care. We will presumably also get serologic (antibody) tests that will allow us to diagnose immunity. Hopefully this disease confers immunity once you have it, but I have not seen anything published on this yet. No serology tests are available today, although there are reports that they have been developed in other countries, and are surely in development here.
The severe syndrome (based partly on unpublished emails from doctors in the field)
A normal respiratory virus may temporarily fill your lungs with inflammatory materials, but most people, even with severe disease, can be kept alive for a week or two and their body will fight off the infection. As long as you keep them oxygenated they recover. Of course, those will severe underlying conditions may succumb to a final hit by the virus.
This viral disease is different.
1. It lasts longer: people with severe disease tend to spend 2-6 weeks in the hospital, much longer than normal. That means they take up many more hospital beds, and contaminate hospitals longer.
2. It causes a relatively mild viral illness, which usually includes a viral pneumonia, for about a week, then patients may suddenly "crash" with respiratory failure. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which has a mortality around 30-40%, is a common complication. Cytokine storm is another COVID-19 complication, which has a high mortality rate. Those who survive may have significant scarring of their lungs.
3. It can affect multiple organs. Some patients have died of cardiac failure (myocarditis) after seeming to start recovering from the viral pneumonia. Virus has been found in heart muscle. It causes elevated liver enzymes. It has been isolated from urine and stool, although a minority of patients develop nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Some patients develop shock.
While a higher percentage of the elderly and infirm are dying from COVID-19, there are plenty of fit young people being stricken with severe illness or death. Holland says half its COVID ICU patients are under the age of 50. Doctors have no idea why some healthy people develop severe disease and others don't. Probably this is due to genetic differences that have yet to be identified. No one is in a completely safe demographic. According to Medscape, twenty percent of US deaths from the COVID virus have occurred in those aged 20-44. There have been 185 US deaths so far, according to this tracker.
Basically, severely ill patients are being supported by iv fluids, oxygen, ventilators, ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or artificial lung) machines, but there has been no effective antiviral treatment at the late stages, perhaps because significant scarring has already occurred. And I anticipate we will soon run out of ventilators and ECMO machines.
It is possible that drugs, particularly chloroquine, the related drug hydroxychloroquine, or remdesivir will save the day. I certainly hope so. But I suspect they will need to be used early, before too much damage has already been done. I have no idea whether any of these drugs will be widely available. But I will say that hydroxychloroquine was used on someone I know, early in the COVID-19 course, and seemed to lead to big improvement. It is claimed to be easy to synthesize. And today President Trump started talking about it, calling it a game-changer. I hope he is using his new, wartime powers to control the raw materials and ensure the US' ability to produce this drug in huge quantities, immediately.
Bayer has today offered to donate 3 million chloroquine tabletsto the cause. Chloroquine is an antimalarial that was first synthesized 80 years ago. I used it to ward off malaria many years ago, and it is still used in areas where malaria parasites have not developed resistance. It is generally quite safe, though drug interactions must be checked. Hydroxychloroquine is mostly used in the US for the autoimmune diseases lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also be used in combination with a macrolide antibiotic for Lyme disease. I have used it in dozens of patients safely.
Why all the fuss? Why is everything being shut down?
Here's the problem: the exponential increase in cases of a severe disease is unprecedented. Because of its unique, extremely high degree of infectiousness, lots of people will be exposed to this disease at the same time. About five days later they will get sick. About 2 weeks later they will be filling up hospitals. And a week or two after that, people will start dying. Hospital visits, admissions and deaths will skyrocket at exponential rates.
As shown in a graph on the next page by Eric Feigl-Dingnote Y axis is logarythmic)
Europe and US are mostly all on the same path. Note log Y-axis (linear=exponential; steeper line is more exponential). Japan also has limited testing. Only South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong have it under control or improving. #COVID19
Europe and US are mostly all on the same path. Note log Y-axis (linear=exponential; steeper line is more exponential). Japan also has limited testing. Only SK, Singapore and HK have it under control or improving. #COVID19View image on Twitter
But if you reduce contact with other people, you can make a huge impact on cases:
Here's the doomsday scenario: doctors and nurses may refuse to go to work, because they themselves cannot be protected due to the lack of protective equipment. Even if all our healthcare workers keep working (and Italy just graduated its doctors 9 months early to provide extra manpower, and asked recently retired doctors to come back to work) there will still not be enough hospital beds, ICUs and ventilators to treat the massive influx of patients who are expected to arrive en masse. Many people will be refused care. Many people will die at home, or on the streets.
This is a scenario that is unacceptable to politicians, for they initially responded poorly to this crisis, and know they will never be reelected unless they do something effective, and fast.
The period during which testing and isolation of cases would have halted spread is over. That window was missed. That opportunity is gone.
In order to avoid a catastrophic crash of the healthcare system, the only solution is to stop people from giving this virus to each other, right now. We can't all be sick around the same time, or there will be pandemonium. Probably millions of Americans are already infected. Why do I say this? The governor of Ohio and Ohio's chief health officer said, one week ago, that they already knew at least 1% of Ohioans were infected. I assume they have access to more accurate data than the public on this.
So, a total shutdown and isolation is needed, because there is no other way for the health system to bear the number of cases that are expected. College dormitories will be converted into Covid-19 hospitals. Military hospital ships will be sent to areas of greatest need. Supplies from the defense department and the CDC's Strategic National Stockpile will be shared with civilian healthcare entities. But these supplies will be nowhere near enough. Unless we massively reduce transmission right now, we will face a dire situation.
The term "flattening the curve" means slowing down spread of virus, even though (presumably) the same number of people will be infected by the end of the epidemic. It means that the epidemic will be slowed, and last longer, but large numbers of unnecessary deaths caused by a crash of the healthcare system will be avoided. And that is huge.
Isolation from everyone but the people you live with is critical. Please take this situation seriously, and do your best to comply. Here are my recommendations from last week on how best to avoid contagion.Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 9:25 PM 0 comments
Prof. Francis Boyle Update on Coronavirus Bioweapon
MARCH 24, 2020
How a Police State Will Deal With the COVID-19 Pandemic
by JOHN W. WHITEHEAD
“Fear is a primitive impulse, brainless as hunger, and because the aim of horror fiction is the production of the deepest kinds of fears, the genre tends to reinforce some remarkably uncivilized ideas about self-protection. In the current crop of zombie stories, the prevailing value for the beleaguered survivors is a sort of siege mentality, a vigilance so constant and unremitting that it’s indistinguishable from the purest paranoia.”
— Terrence Rafferty, New York Times
What do zombies have to do with the U.S. government’s plans for dealing with a coronavirus outbreak?
Read on, and I’ll tell you.
More than Just a Virus
By Renee Parsons
Global Research, March 16, 2020
If we have learned anything since 1963, it is to question everything that Big Government, Big Media and Big Money tell us as there is always more than the ‘official’ story. With too many unknowns still to be answered, there is no doubt that a bio-critter of uncertain nefarious origins, perhaps electro magnetic 5G oriented, is loose within Earth’s atmosphere.
As we are all collectively, as One Universe, experiencing the potential of a coronavirus infection, we have been assured that the outbreak originated in a fish market in Wuhan, China’s eighth largest city with a population of 11 million. That is the largely unchallenged conclusion since China is well known for its extensive network of high tech labs and since the SARS virus began in China last year.
At first glance, it seems a passing curiosity that the next two most extensively affected countries with corona infections, each disparate from China and each other, have extensive trade relations with China. In defiance of science, why would Italy be the most infected country outside of China?
Italy was the only G7 country to sign on to the Belt and Road initiative with Sister-City Agreements throughout Italy. Some of those sister cities have been the hardest hit by corona. Iran has also suffered with increased infections as government officials have been especially affected, as if they were specifically targeted. Iran has had a comprehensive strategic partnership with China since 2016 and in defiance of US sanctions, Iran has continued to import embargoed products from China while selling its oil to China.
The question arises why, out of 175 countries in the world, that those two countries, in particular, have specifically experienced the strongest coronavirus presence than any other. It can be expected that the ‘coincidence’ has not escaped the notice of the Chinese, Iranian or Italian governments.
With the complexity and uncertainty of the coronavirus. it would not be the first crisis where TPTB have misled a trusting public. It would, however, be wise to treat the virus with respect as a potent pathogen of consequence. In case you had not noticed prior to the corona, there has been a titanic struggle for global dominance underway with the US, Israel, Russia and China as its sovereign representatives. The most current manifestation of that struggle, through happenstance or not, being the coronavirus outbreak.
While there are references to the virus spreading considerably through increased exposure, getting worse before it gets better, it is another curiosity that there is no optimism as the US flu season (December – February), peaks and winds down in March. So why the panic? If the coronavirus is a ‘normal’ virus, it should already be peaking just as it is in China and South Korea. If it is not a ‘normal’ virus, if it is mutated to reappear in the future or if it is man made or a bio-weapon, then we have a different problem. All of which begs the que
The Democrats are in a trance
By Daniel Hopsicker -
March 22, 2020
TIME’S UP SAID IT COULD NOT FUND A #METOO ALLEGATION AGAINST JOE BIDEN, CITING ITS NONPROFIT STATUS AND HIS PRESIDENTIAL RUN
March 24 2020, 3:58 p.m.
MARCH 24, 2020 | LARRY BEINHART
OPINION: STEVE MNUCHIN WANTS MORE POWER — TO SAVE THE RICH, AND SCREW THE REST
NYC doc details harrowing day in local ER: ‘I survived Ebola. I fear COVID-19’
By NANCY DILLON
MAR 24, 2020 | 3:35 PM
FBI’s coronavirus ‘fitness app’ slammed as a way to extract personal info
The Roots of Organizing
The Young Lords’ revolution.
By Ed Morales
Cashing in on Degrading Public Lands: How Welfare Ranchers Reap a Beef Bonanza From Weeds They Caused
by KATIE FITE
Gutting the Grazing Regulations
BLM is preparing an EIS to eviscerate the already weak and often toothless public lands grazing regulations, strip nearly all controls from grazing permits, and add new grazing categories
TRUMP CABINET BIBLE TEACHER BLAMES CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC ON GOD’S WRATH — SOMEHOW IT INVOLVES CHINA, GAY PEOPLE, AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS
March 24 2020, 8:33 p.m.
UM blasted for hiring firm to investigate doctor scandal without waiving privilege
Kim Kozlowski, The Detroit News Published 9:58 a.m. ET March 24, 2020 | U
DONALD TRUMP SAYS AMERICA’S VENTILATOR SHORTAGE WAS “UNFORESEEN.” NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
March 24 2020, 9:38 a.m.
Harvard president, his wife test positive for COVID-19
Sick Staff, Inmate Transfers, and No Tests: How the U.S. Is Failing Federal Inmates as Coronavirus Hits
“We pray it’s not here, but to be honest nobody really knows.”
By Keegan Hamilton
Mar 24 2020, 1:31pm
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
'This Is a Massive Scandal': Trump FDA Grants Drug Company Exclusive Claim on Promising Coronavirus Drug
"It is insane and unacceptable," said Bernie Sanders. "We will not tolerate profiteering. Any treatment or vaccine must be made free for all."
byJulia Conley, staff write
Park denies dissuading witness from testifying for Mayor Atalig’s defense
By Ferdie De La Torre | Posted on Mar 25 2020
Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Haejun Park has denied the allegations made by Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig and his girlfriend, Evelyn Atalig, that he tried to dissuade Dr. Gregory Vecchi, a former special agent with the Office o
An important proposal that ameliorates our lack of protective equipment and spares patients and healthcare workers
There is a huge disconnect between the personal protective equipment healthcare workers (HCWs) should be wearing to protect themselves from coronavirus, and what actually exists right now for them to use. While they deserve congratulations for their bravery and commitment, having them work under these conditions is shortsighted. Given the fantastic propensity of the virus to spread, healthcare workers will be infected disproportionately, as in Hubei and Lombardy. Some suggest they may get more severe disease. But worst of all, HCWs may become asymptomatic spreaders, spreading infection to patients who are in their healthcare facility for other reasons
This situation should not be tolerated by the doctors and nurses, who know better, nor by their non-COVID patients, nor by their administrators and government.
There is only one solution: keeping patients with COVID-19 in facilities that treat only COVID-19. And treating other patients in separate facilities. This requires government to take control of a very messy situation: hospitals and clinics are about to become, if they are not already, the locations that put their patients at highest risk. Hospitals will not suddenly create separate COVID facilities by themselves. Government needs to step in to make this happen.
Creating designated COVID-19 facilities would allow healthcare workers to put on a complete set of protective garments: masks, goggles, face shields and head to toe gowns and shoe covers, at the beginning of their shift. They would then not change out of the garments between patients, since all the patients are already infected. It would save tremendous amounts of equipment and time, since HCWs would not have to change up their gowns, gloves, etc. between each patient, and would have enough to work in safety.
How do you identify the COVID patients, when PCR tests have again slowed due to lack of reagents and swabs?
In Italy and China, ultrasound exams of the lungs, or partial CT scans, have been used to differentiate the specific lung pattern caused by this coronavirus (a ground glass appearance, especially in the lung periphery) from other infections. This can be done much more quickly, at the point of contact, particularly with portable ultrasound machines.
Hopefully new rapid tests will also be available soon to aid in immediate diagnosis.
Patients would be triaged and separated into those who
1. definitely have COVID based on their history, symptoms and a scan
2. definitely have a different disorder, or
3. maybe have COVID.
These 'maybe' patients must be situated in separate rooms to avoid cross-contamination, and would require HCWs to change their gowns, masks, etc. between patients.
By so doing, we keep HCWs and patients safe, and sensibly use the precious resource of limited personal protective equipment.
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 8:08 PM 0 comments
Desperate for Covid-19 answers, U.S. doctors turn to colleagues in China/ Stat
From STAT, a report of an online meeting between Johns Hopkins infectious disease doctors and doctors from Zhejiang, one of China's top medical schools, who had responded to the COVID-19 epidemic:
...We want to work together with you to help fight Covid-19, Wang told the Americans as the hourlong meeting began. Their first question: If you were in our position, at the very beginning of the outbreak, what are the most important things to know?
The Zhejiang contingent took over one makeshift ICU in Wuhan on Feb. 14, plus one ward for Covid-19 patients in an existing hospital. They had 72 ICU patients, 55% older than 65, yet only nine of the ICU patients died; 17% required intubation in order to breathe, a procedure that risks making virus particles not only airborne but also aerosolized — meaning they can remain suspended in the air for some time.
The Hopkins doctors were keen to hear how their counterparts cured 35 intensive-care patients completely and brought the status of another 28 to only mild disease. With no surefire Covid-19 therapy and a blizzard of conflicting information on what existing drugs might work, Antar said, “one of our main questions was about their experience with off-label use” — repurposing existing drugs approved for other illnesses to use in the fight against Covid-19.
That experience has involved everything but the kitchen sink, though informed as much as possible by science. Several antivirals, including the HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir, did not accelerate recovery or reduce mortality, ICU physician Xiao Lu said. Some immune system regulators — including alpha interferon, anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibodies such as tocilizumab, and immunoglobulin — showed hints of efficacy in some critical cases.
Some patients received the malaria drug chloroquine, which President Trump has touted and which is being tested in a World Health Organization-supported clinical trial, but the Zhejiang team did not have rigorous data on its effects. They tried tocilizumab, too, a drug that has enough potential that on Monday, Genentech announced that it had received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a clinical trial in Covid-19 patients with severe pneumonia; the rheumatoid arthritis drug, which goes by the brand name Actemra, might quell the out-of-control immune reaction that has killed many Covid-19 patients.
“All of us want to practice evidence-based medicine,” Antar said. “But the timeline for this might not allow us to wait for that.”
The right equipment helped. The Zhejiang team brought oxygen supply systems, monitors, ultrasounds, ventilators, and protective equipment from Hangzhou.
Who should be hospitalized, the Hopkins physicians asked? Suspected cases can be isolated and observed in their homes, they were told, as doctors in overwhelmed Italy are also telling U.S. doctors. Mild and moderate cases can be treated in mobile units, away from other patients; coronavirus spread within hospitals has been disastrous in Italy. Severe and critical cases in China get hospitalized, but at a dedicated facility, to reduce spread from Covid-19 patient to hospital worker to non-Covid-19 patient.
How do we know when a patient can be discharged, Antar and her colleagues asked? After a normal body temperature lasting three days, minimal respiratory symptoms, two negative tests for the virus more than 24 hours apart, improvements seen in lung imaging, and no serious underlying conditions, especially for older patients.
The Hopkins teams was impressed with China’s scrupulous measures to minimize viral transmission, “especially among health care workers,” Auwaerter said. “Such measures have successfully slowed the epidemic in China.” In contrast, failing to do so has fueled the disastrous spread of Covid-19 in Italy, physicians at a hospital in the country’s hard-hit north warned over the weekend.
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 5:16 PM 0 comments
Monday, March 23, 2020
What other drugs might be useful?
FiercePharma on other drugs being considered for Covid-19:
Other than remdesivir and chloroquine, researchers and physicians are also looking at other existing drugs to treat COVID-19. These include AbbVie’s HIV combo therapy Kaletra (Aluvia), which just failed a clinical study in China in critically ill patients. Chinese authorities, which have been dealing with the virus longer, are also recommending an influenza med called Arbidol (umifenovir) that’s not approved in Western countries, old antiviral ribavirin and interferon-alpha. And Fujifilm’s flu drug Avigan (favipiravir) has also shown promise in the clinic, according to Chinese officials.
Roche is testing its arthritis drug Actemra’s ability to rein in the potentially deadly inflammatory response called cytokine storm observed in severe COVID-19 patients, just as Sanofi and Regeneron are running clinical trials of their rival IL-6 inhibitor Kevzara in the same setting. See more about this drug here.
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 5:10 PM 0 comments
#DrGreer #CE5 #COVID19
Dr. Steven Greer Explains The Corona Virus & Current Events
Core Concept: Liquid metal renaissance points to wearables, soft robots, and new materials
Once confined mostly to mercury, knowledge of liquid metals and their unique properties is now offering up myriad applications
Single-cell transcriptomics reveals expansion of cytotoxic CD4 T cells in supercentenarians
Exceptionally long-lived people such as supercentenarians tend to spend their entire lives in good health, implying that their immune system remains active to protect against infections and tumors. However, their immunological condition has been largely unexplored. We profiled thousands of circulating immune cells from supercentenarians at single-cell resolution and identified CD4 T cells that have cytotoxic features. This characteristic is very unique to supercentenarians, because generally CD4 T cells have helper, but not cytotoxic, functions under physiological conditions. We further profiled their T cell receptors and revealed that the cytotoxic CD4 T cells were accumulated through clonal expansion. The conversion of helper CD4 T cells to a cytotoxic variety might be an adaptation to the late stage of aging.
from research organizations
Singapore modelling study estimates impact of physical distancing on reducing spread of COVID-19
March 24, 2020
A new modelling study conducted in a simulated Singapore setting has estimated that a combined approach of physical distancing interventions, comprising quarantine (for infected individuals and their families), school closure, and workplace distancing, is most effective at reducing the number of SARS-CoV-2 cases compared with other intervention scenarios included in the study.
Microbial DNA in patient blood may be tell-tale sign of cancer
March 11, 2020
University of California - San Diego
From a simple blood draw, microbial DNA may reveal who has cancer and which type, even at early stages.
How caloric restriction prevents negative effects of aging in cells
February 27, 2020
A new study provides the most detailed report to date of the cellular effects of a calorie-restricted diet in rats. While the benefits of caloric restriction have long been known, the new results show how this restriction can protect against aging in cellular pathways.
NYU med school letting students graduate early to fight coronavirus
By JOHN ANNESE
MAR 24, 2020 | 11:06 PM
Kentucky mayor: ‘Listen up dips---s,’ coronavirus is ‘a big f---ing deal’
MAR 24, 2020 | 6:45 PM
Knox County releases 20 inmates to prevent potential spread of COVID-19
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