October 22, 2020

An Internet Monk PSA: Wash your hands!!!

An Internet Monk Public Service Announcement: Wash your hands!!!

For years, Britain operated a research facility called the Common Cold Unit, but it closed in 1989 without ever finding a cure. It did, however, conduct some interesting experiments. In one, a volunteer was fitted with a device that leaked a thin fluid at his nostrils at the same rate that a runny nose would. The volunteer then socialized with other volunteers, as if at a cocktail party. Unknown to any of them, the fluid contained a dye visible only under ultraviolet light. When that was switched on after they had been mingling for a while, the participants were astounded to discover that the dye was everywhere—on the hands, head, and upper body of every participant and on glasses, doorknobs, sofa cushions, bowls of nuts, you name it. The average adult touches his face sixteen times an hour, and each of those touches transferred the pretend pathogen from nose to snack bowl to innocent third party to doorknob to innocent fourth party and so on until pretty much everyone and everything bore a festive glow of imaginary snot. In a similar study at the University of Arizona, researchers infected the metal door handle to an office building and found it took only about four hours for the “virus” to spread through the entire building, infecting over half of employees and turning up on virtually every shared device like photocopiers and coffee machines. In the real world, such infestations can stay active for up to three days. Surprisingly, the least effective way to spread germs (according to yet another study) is kissing. It proved almost wholly ineffective among volunteers at the University of Wisconsin who had been successfully infected with cold virus. Sneezes and coughs weren’t much better. The only really reliable way to transfer cold germs [viruses] is physically by touch.

• Bryson, Bill. The Body: A Guide for Occupants (p. 34).

• • •


  1. Robert F says

    I’ve been washing my hands until they are dried out and cracked with fissures. Liberal applications of hand lotion do not seem to help, because within a short time I’m washing the lotion off as I go through another soap and water hand-washing session; or worse for in therms of hand dryness, I’m using hand sanitizer at work because soap and water are not a practical solution in the warehouse setting. Life in time of epidemic is not good for my suppressed OCD.

    • anonymous says

      try this:

      cooking oil on your hands and add real sugar and softly GENTLY rub your hands together, then towel off gently and wash with warm water and a dap of dish detergent, rinse well, and towel off again (use paper towels, of course)

      the gritty sugar helps work the oil deep into the fissures and this will help soften your hands some

      MESSY? sure, but it works rather well

      be careful you don’t use anything on your very rough hands that you might be allergic to, as that can be a disaster

      an old-timey solution from long ago: healing, no-fragrance hand lotion liberally-applied at night and wear white cotton gloves over the lotion to bed

      good luck

    • Michael Z says

      Try A&D ointment. It’ll protect your skin much longer than lotions will and as an added benefit, the lanolin stinks like rotten fish and will help with enforcing the social distancing that is so necessary for avoiding infection.

      • anonymous says

        wearing strings of garlic around one’s neck will also keep virusampires away

    • O’Keefe’s Working Hands, I handle cardboard boxes a lot in my work and that stuff just sucks the moisture right out of the skin. My hands used to crack like crazy. I’ve been using O’Keefe’s forover 5 years now and I haven’t had cracking problems since.And O’Keefe’s doesn’t wash away when you wash your hands.

      • David Cornwell says

        Yes, O’Keefe’s is great. A lot of lotions feel good for a few minutes, but quickly wear or wash off. O’Keefe’s is different. It stays put — and your hands will heal.

        • Rick Ro. says

          My daughter, who works at Baskin-Robbins and isn’t supposed to wear gloves, says O’Keefe’s is the only way her cold hands keep from cracking.

  2. While we all should take whatever reasonable precautions we can, the safest assumption is to assume you’re going to get this bug eventually, and plan accordingly (have stuff at home for an extended stay, coordinate with your work and doctor if at all possible, which I know is not for many).


    • Robert F says

      Yes, I’m assuming my household will see this bug, and our bodies will host it, before this is all over. Your hands are only as clean as the last surface you touched, and if that surface is a shared one, which most are, then you will be needing to sanitize/wash hands, and surfaces, hundreds to thousands of times each day. I’m trying to be conscientious, but it is impossible to account for or be cognizant of all touches at home, and much worse where I work. We can reduce exposure, but not eliminate it. We do what we can.

  3. anonymous says

    Why is it that coronavirus test kits are unavailable at local hospitals?

    • The funding wasn’t provided to produce them, the initial batch of test kits were flawed, the demand is far outstripping supply… pick any or all of the above.

      • Is there a test kit for the Flu, the common flu? Why not? How in the world can you tell if you have the flu? We need a test kit. Should we use common sense or wait for the media to tell us what to do? I am sick, should I stay home? Should I wash my hands every time I go out and wash often, that is soooooo hard to understand and do, can you give me a test kit. We should always have 330 million test kits available for a virus we are not aware of so we can feel better. Aids would not spread if people did not have unprotected sex but we had to find a “cure” other than people be responsible. First world whining and panic going on big time. Never see the underlying health issues of those who died , I am sure the majority have health issues or elderly, but that is not good news story. I am buying as such stock (SP 500 index fund will do) in intervals to catch the rebound that will happen when warm weather hits. We are all at risk, risk of being scared to death and watch our economy tank do to the alarm mentality.

        • We don’t have a test kit for the flu, AFAIK, because “the flu” comes from a suite of viruses that change yearly (which is why you need flu vaccines every year).

          “First world whining and panic going on big time. Never see the underlying health issues of those who died, I am sure the majority have health issues or elderly, but that is not good news story.”

          Yes, those with underlying health issues do generate the most severe cases. But when you have a virus that potentially can affect millions, if those severe cases send tens of thousands of people to the hospital, the system can get overloaded very quickly (again, see Italy as an example). So, yes, this IS a crisis, and a big news story.

          “to catch the rebound that will happen when warm weather hits.”

          And you’re sure of this rebound, why?

          • Robert F says

            The overload to the health-care system is happening in Italy right now. They have some of the best hospitals in the world in the affluent Lombardy region, but they can’t handle the critical caseloads that COVID-19 is generating.

            The Italian government has just extended the quarantine to the whole country.

          • Eeyore, that is the point about flu, no panic when ever year thousands are affected and thousands die in the USA, usually the same high risk people that cannot recover from C virus . I get a flu shot each year as they change it, that will happen with C virus within a year. The country is as well prepared as it can be , this is similar to Y2K. Yes it requires serious attention it is getting but this is way over blown, chicken little stuff. Warm weather will stop the C virus, this year. yes it will be a tough couple months for the nation and the world but I would rather be in USA than any other country. The rich and powerful wanted to cash in their profits on Wall Street and they did. Now slowly the economy will recover as people spend money they could not during the C virus time period. Travel and many events will not recover as that money is forever lost but other sectors will come back. Saudia Arabia is trying to crush Russian oil with low prices. We have to protect our oil drilling capacity to get out of Middle East. Media really doing an alarmist reporting , worse case scenario.

            ebola was far worse.

            • Wow, Dan. Just wow.

              • https://www.npr.org/2020/03/09/813792866/watch-live-trump-speaks-about-coronavirus-on-day-markets-dive

                Chaplin Mike, address the issues I addressed or why my opinions are so flawed. I hope Trump does what he states above and more to keep the boat afloat until the storm passes.

                  • https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates

                    where the reporting the past year on this terrible situation?

                    • Dan, you just don’t get it. Of course, the flu is deadly. But we know what we’re dealing with and we do our best each flu season to get people to have flu vaccines and educate the public about taking adequate precautions.

                      As Dana said above, we really don’t know what we’re dealing with here, and the U.S. has wasted time, putting us in a potentially very precarious position. Say what you want about the media “hysteria” — I’m with you that we are being overwhelmed by the sensationalism of the media (but what else is new?).

                      If we can get people to listen to the responsible voices and refuse to inject politics into this, it will help. Certainly today’s post wasn’t hysterical, was it? It was meant to educate people about how viruses spread and how important it is to wash hands (with instructions). This is about public health. Period. The media may rant, but just take a look at the measures responsible public health officials are taking all around the world. They aren’t responding to media hysteria. They are responding out of genuine concern to protect people. They need our support.

                    • Oh, and by the way, if you want to make a comparison, don’t make it to Y2K. Make it to Hurricane Katrina, when we all thought we could handle a hurricane.

            • Robert F says

              You think Italy is locking down the whole country because “alarmist reporting”? Really, dan?

              • Robert F. We will know in a couple of months. This is a “super ” flu that needs to be addressed but rational thought is not going to prevail. Going to read Poe Masque of the Red Death to cheer up.

              • Yes

              • I find most of the media response and congressional response to be political. Chaplain Mike states we have come late to the game when actually we cancelled flights coming out of China to get our hands around the problem. For those thinking we should be working on a vaccine, that is in the works, but we will not see it earliest until next year. There just is not a way to safely put out a vaccine without adding more complex variables into the mix.

                We are not going to eliminate the spread of this virus, we can mitigate to some degree but this hysteria reporting each night is causing a lt of ancillary damage. Maybe the responsible news organizations can do some statistical comparisons against lets say current flu statistics, or last pandemic statistics… something besides screaming fire in a crowded theater.

                I just had travel cancelled on me by senior leadership 10 hours before I was supposed to travel for an important meeting. The reason? – Corona virus and one leader stating that he was receiving alerts on his phone and that all the airports were deserted. Ridiculous hysteria.

                For most this virus will pass unnoticed, for others they will have flu-like symptoms, for a small percentage of the population, those already vulnerable to flu, they will especially be at risk and need to take extra precautions.

                But we do not need to bring down an economy over this.

                • Radagast, this is the time when public health officials should have the loudest voices. The problem is that our POTUS keeps questioning them and contradicting them and insisting he knows better. That’s why this has been politicized by so many. We do not have calm, competent, reassuring leadership that believes in medical expertise and supports wise policy over political rhetoric to maintain his own power.

                • “for a small percentage of the population, those already vulnerable to flu, they will especially be at risk and need to take extra precautions.”

                  So it’s only on the folks most vulnerable to take precautions? The rest of us have no responsibility?

                  • Reading too much into my comments. It is flu season and everyone should wash their hands limit exposure etc. But shutting down the country is not what we should be doing. This is not Ebola. There are currently two strains, one more severe than the other…. China – more severe – it may be that we here in the US have the less severe but we will see.

                    When I see comments on how we have not been preparing I find that is not what I am seeing. On initial onset I believe flights were cancelled coming from ground zero to slow this coming to the US and give extra time. My church (Catholic) has refrained from distributing the Precious Blood, handshaking and has stated that if you are sick please don’t come to Mass. From a business perspective all companies that I am aware of have put out mitigation plan. Companies are working on something to treat but realistically this will not be ready until next year.

                    I have seen lots of alarmist talk in the media, lots of finger pointing also. I guess only time will tell if there is an over-reaction here or not. I agree with CM, that we should prepare and any information put out there by RESPONSIBLE folk should be followed.

                    • It has not been fully established if there are more than one strains of this virus going around. And a disease that poses such a high risk to a large segment of our population *should* be treated as seriously as possible – up to and including quarantines. This is much more than just another flu strain.

              • anonymous says

                do people think the entire country of Italy is trying to take Trump down?

                This virus is NOT ABOUT TRUMP, it’s a virus

                • I admire the Italian government for trying to protect its citizens, the most vulnerable ones. It involves a great sacrifice, and I can’t help but see a Christ-like shape to that sacrifice.

            • Yearly flu death rate: 1 in 1000. Covid-19 current death rate: 1 in 30. It is an apples to oranges comparison. We know how the flu works. Covis-19, not so much.

              • Yep, exactly.

                It’s like what I ask the “don’t worry, be happy” people who are trying to convince themselves everything will be okay and that it’s all fake news:

                When have you seen the seasonal flu kill 15+ residents at ONE nursing home before? Like… NEVER. This is serious crap!

                My fear is that before this is over, all of us will have been touched by this in some manner. Death of a friend, death of a loved one. The degrees of separation won’t be far.

                • Yes. First hand accounts of health workers at that nursing home say that some of the residents went from having no symptoms, to being critical in an hour.

                  Rick, I hope your father is okay. I continue to pray for him.

                  • So far so good, Robert F. But as you’ve pointed out, things can turn quickly.

                    Your prayers are appreciated. I’ll be praying for you and your wife as welll.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            “to catch the rebound that will happen when warm weather hits.”

            And you’re sure of this rebound, why?

            “Trump Said It,
            I Believe It,
            THAT SETTLES IT!”
            (I got that treatment just last night.)

        • Robert F says

          We have a lot of very senior citizens in this country, with chronic health problems, and a lot of less than senior citizens with chronic health problems. A large number of people in the US are likely to require hospitalization/intensive care, on the order of 15-20% of those infected, and if the infection is widespread, as medical authorities expect it to be, the health care system will be swamped and unable to respond, not only to COVID-19 patients, but to other patients as well. This is happening in northern Italy, right now; it is not theoretical or abstract. The in-process mortality rate snapshot in Italy is near 20%. The fact that European countries like Italy have a proportionately much larger percentage of older folks than either China or South Korea means that it will see a proportionately larger number of COVID-19 cases requiring hospitalization/intensive care, and a significantly greater mortality rate than either of those nations. The US is somewhere between Europe and the China/South Korea on this old/young spectrum, but closer to Europe; we will see a greater proportion of serious cases, among the large Baby Boomer generation, than has been seen in the Far East. Neither this country nor Europe has the ability to absorb a sudden, immense surge in critical cases requiring hospitalization/intensive care. This may not be equal in catastrophe to the Spanish Influenza, but it has the potential to be far more serious and deadly, and catastrophic, than the annual flu. Let’s hope Italy is not our forerunner in this, but it’s hard for me to see why it wouldn’t be, as we seem very unprepared for the cases that extensive testing, if and when it happens, will reveal.

          • Will need to look at those numbers… Total infected today 116,919, deaths 4095 – about a 3.5
            % death rate… about 68,000 have recovered.

            “Italy has the country’s fatality rate from COVID-19 — at 5% — is much higher than the global average of 3.4%, according to the World Health Organization” – according to this article the numbers in Italy are higher partly because Italy has the oldest population in Europe with many deaths among 80-90 year old age group.which supports what you are saying. Allegheny County in Pittsburgh PA has a large elderly population, and ne of my daughters works in a retirement community so I will be keeping a pulse on things.

            • Much of the European population is quite old. Can we expect to see something approaching this level of critical illness and mortality from COVID– 19 across Europe? Let’s hope and pray not.

            • I’ve recently been told that unless an epidemic has run its course, and you know who survived and who didn’t at its end, you can’t factor in total infected to date. A snapshot of an ongoing epidemic’s mortality rate involves determining the percentage of dead against the number of fully recovered.

            • But Radagast, if the WHO global average fatality rate for COVID-19 that you refer to, 3.4%, is correct, it’s worse than the Spanish Influenza which was 2.5%!

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                And I have heard figures everywhere from 1% to 5%.
                (It doesn’t help that you hear one Expert, then ten minutes later another Expert who completely contradicts the first, then ten minutes later another Expert who flat-out contradicts the previous two.)

                Another factor is that 80% of cases are mild and first reports concentrate on the 20% who are severe, which would skew the figures. The breakdown seems to be 80% mild to no symptoms, 15% severe, 5% critical (with half the critical dying).

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                Spanish Flu had some things going for it that COVID-19 (so far) has not.

                Spanish Flu triggered a “cytokine cascade”, an overreaction of the immune system fighting the virus that did as much damage as the virus. This explains why the highest death rate was among the Young and Healthy, instead of the Old with Pre-Existing Conditions. COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be doing this; the older you are, the higher the death rate.

                In addition, the early stages of Spanish Flu was hushed up by WW1 censorship. By the time it surfaced, it was everywhere and running hot.

                Also, there’s been a century of advancement in medicine. During the Spanish Flu, the only aytipyretic was aspirin, and some of the dosages used compounded the Flu with salicylate poisoning. Virii weren’t discovered until decades later, in 1918, it may as well have been “miasma” (bad smells). Today we have a lot better means to support the patients/victims of such heavy-duty viral infections, better epidemiology. (However, the critical point — as happened in Italy — is when the serious/severe cases overwhelm the capacity of the medical system.)

        • Dan, you do realise that a vast amount of AIDS cases worldwide were nothing to do with consensual sex? Women got it from husbands they couldn’t say no to, babies got it from their mothers & so on. Don’t lump it all together, that’s not fair.

          • https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hivaids/who-risk-hiv-infection-which-populations-are-most-affected

            Not making a value judgement . Facts are facts. Sure after the HIV worked into the general public it affected many who did not voluntary put themselves at risk. Example was that people need to follow common sense health rule basic and not panic.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Dan, you do realise that a vast amount of AIDS cases worldwide were nothing to do with consensual sex?

            Back when the disease first surfaced, AIDS being God’s Wrath Upon HOMOSEXUALS was Salvation-level Dogma for a while. Anything else was (and in some cases still is) a Fake News Lie From The Pit of Hell.

            And Christian Morality is obsessed with Pelvic Issues anyway.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Also, just like AIDS in the Eighties, I’m hearing the first Revelations about Coronavirus being God’s Punishment. Here’s a taste of it from one of the commenters at Wartburg Watch last week (whose commenting has been getting Weirder and Weirder):

            Last Tuesday:
            God tolerates our little serfdoms and our attempts to manipulate into getting our will done for a while, and then He gets His full and then here comes the discipline that stings. I am personally come to the conviction that God is totally fed up at the moment and the correction is already started. It is starting with a plague and will get more complicated as time passes. The quicker we repent and turn back to His ways, the easier this will be on us. Those who kick against the goads will end up getting the brunt of the worst of what is coming.

            And a day later (boldface emphasis mine):
            Agreed with all of this, but when I saw Jesus for the fourth time He showed me what the next coming move of the Spirit was. It is being quiet before God and experiencing and receiving the fear of the Lord in our hearts. My level of this is simply inadequate, even though I appear to be much more concerned about this than most Christians I meet. In a time when many Christians are more concerned about presidential and local politics, who will be their next leaders and whom will ultimately win the offices, I am much more concerned about what God is doing in the world. I think the latest round of judgment coming as correction has started. Just look at what COVID-19 is targeting:

            1) A “church” in Korea is the epicenter there where the head pastor claims to be Jesus incarnate, and there is now a murder investigation against this man for not cooperating with the authorities.

            2) The centers of Islamic worship in both competing schools of Islam have been effectively shut down. It appears that the worship of Allah in Qom has actually spread most of the disease in Iran.

            3) A careful look at other places and regions are equally fascinating for plagues are certainly a historic biblical means of judgment that God has used before.

            He got a lot of pushback from that one. Including me on how I heard the exact same thing preached about AIDS way back when. (And his “Private Revelation”… I’ve seen and heard of too many flakeouts claiming Private Revelation directly from God.) His reaction the next day?

            I appear to have picked up my own personal scoffer here. But the things I have mentioned are no laughing or mocking matter. The reality is that God allowed, with our forefathers, a WWI and WWII and a Great Depression and the 1918 Spanish Flu. He must have had a good reason for that and I fear that because we have not learned our lesson, nor heeded His ways overall, that we are going to see things like these come again. 90% or more of what claims to be Christian is simply not. But to scoff at the rest, what remains that is real, is not a good thing…

            Am I reading this guy correctly? He claims some sort of Private Revelation (including a tour of Hell) and is prophesying that God sent Coronavirus to Punish Us? Where is this guy coming from? Does that sound Righteous Smug to you (it does to me)?

        • Michael Bell says

          I sold my stock at the peak.

          I will get back in when the market starts to settle down.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I transferred my 401k and IRA funds into bond-heavy funds a couple months ago, when the market started looking soft.

        • Dana Ames says


          test kits are important for a potential or REAL public health crisis such as has happened in China, South Korea (where there are multiple thousands of test kits, why is that?) and Italy, in order to track infections, help infected people and slow down the spread of the disease. The fact is we could have had more test kits available if the CDC had been fully staffed and the president had acted rationally and promoted readiness as soon as we knew of the outbreak in China. We have wasted TWO MONTHS because of the incompetence of the Trump administration, which has gutted the CDC so that there aren’t enough personnel to deal with this or any other health crisis. This is a different disease than the regular flu – humans have never had it before, it is new, hence the designation “novel”. THIS IS NOT FAKE NEWS. Pardon me for yelling, but I think you aren’t thinking.

          Yes, we should all keep calm, use common sense, wash hands, limit exposure, etc. just like other contagious diseases. However, this one is shaping up to be more contagious and more lethal than the regular flu. I can’t remember if you’ve said how old you are, but do you care at all that people older than 60 (like me, and many other commenters here – and maybe your parents or other family members) are at greater risk for complications and death? Or should we simply allow the disease to decrease the surplus population (Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, in case you don’t get the reference)? “The Economy” is not God. We are wrapped up in it due to some things beyond our control, but we can control our attitude toward it and at least try not to bow down to it.

          May God protect the people in the southern hemisphere. Yes, this is a first world problem – for now. But if it is a true pandemic and If the disease gets a foothold in Africa and the Amazon region, what will happen to those many millions of people without a hospital nearby, like you and I have? God will surely help them somehow. Will we?


        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Is there a test kit for the Flu, the common flu?

          Yes, there is a test kit for common flu.
          When my roomie first came down with it, the doc was able to take a mouth swab and get a positive ID on Influenza B within minutes. No need to send it to a lab and wait.

  4. We’ve had the first case confirmed today in the UK county where I live. Yes, I’m getting though a lot of hand lotion these days and washing my hands thoroughly. I’m retired and live on my own so I’m fairly used to self isolation and it doesn’t scare me too much. I’m anxious and wound up about it all though, fearful of the possible ramifications on the economy and the food supply chain bnoth here and worldwide.. Can’t see where this is going to end.

    In that vein, this poem, which King George VI quoted in his Christmas broadcast in 1939, has been much on my mind. Not the same kind of war, but the sentiment holds good today.

    “And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
    “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
    And he replied:
    “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
    That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
    So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
    And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”

    We are indeed in unknown territory.

  5. There’s a major decision facing the people here in the States this fall. The ramifications of that decision will reverberate for decades and affect the lives of millions of people. There are many factors to weigh into that decision. Many of those factors are directly impacted by our approach to science and research. Please take that into consideration when you make your decision.

  6. thatotherjean says

    The current advice is to wash your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds–backs, palms, wrists, fingers, and between your fingers. How long is 20 seconds? Sing “Happy Birthday” at a moderate pace, twice, and you’ve got it. Or, my favorite, modified by Dan Rather, the first verse of “If you’re happy and you know it, wash your hands!’ sung twice, is also about 20 seconds.

  7. Rick Ro. says

    I find my thoughts wandering from “We’re all Doomed!” to “there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s just that we happen to be living during a time when it FEELS new” to “I fear the cure (total shutdown of everything) will be worse than the disease.” I mean, what’s the point of trying to kill the virus if no one has a job afterward because the economy has died.

    And worse… what if no one has a job anymore AND the virus ISN’T killed off????

    So I’ll wash my hands, feeling it’s pretty futile.

    • Rick the 1918 flu infected over a quarter of the world’s population and killed 50 million people. Some people are complaining that we’re overly hysterical about this one. Maybe. But I think the overload of information and cautious approach many are taking may help in the long run. Especially if people don’t panic and instead use common sense precautions.

      We’ll be alright.

      • Rick Ro. says

        I agree, we’ll be alright.

        As long as the cure isn’t worse than the disease.

      • Michael Bell says

        My great-grandfather was among the 50,000,000 who died.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          So was Donald Trump’s grandfather or great-grandfather, a central European immigrant in New York. His son took the life insurance payout, used it to go into real estate, and the rest is history. Bit of synchronicity there.

      • I am a big history nut and a genealogy guy as well so I like to read old newspapers and the like. My mother told me that my grandfather, born in 1892 and a coal miner in Nenmcolin (Western PA) stayed drunk the whole time the flu hit in 1918 because he believed that it would kill off the virus.

        Also been reading the digitized Brooklyn Daily Eagle ((mid to late 1800s) and you would be amazed at the outbreaks for Cholera and Small Pox… Cholera could affect up to 10% of Brooklyn’s population killing approximately 50% of the infected. Now that was something to freak out about. Cholera hit my gr-gr-grandfathers tenement in the summer of 1866 and took out a third of the dwellers including one of his daughters.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          My mother told me that my grandfather, born in 1892 and a coal miner in Nenmcolin (Western PA) stayed drunk the whole time the flu hit in 1918 because he believed that it would kill off the virus.

          Or (as I’ve heard it said) “You may still get the virus, but You Won’t Care.”

          (Ah, Western PA — Anthracite in the Appalachians.)

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      So I’ll wash my hands, feeling it’s pretty futile.

      And remember to Wear Your WIN Button to Whip Inflation Now!
      (anyone remember that?)

  8. Burro (Mule) says

    The Scripture comes to mind Yet again I will shake heaven and earth and following.

    Our. “economy” has been based increasingly on bravado, bullying, and bullshit, as well as offloading production to China, as a forty year trend. We all knew it wasn’t that smart, but we played along because it was easy money and even The nickel seats got a taste of it. The markets know this and now everyone’s headed for the exits. I’m sick at heart because my son just landed a plum of a job that is highly vulnerable to this outbreak and it’s made all the difference in his mental health. Lots of people are equally vulnerable.

    I feel like the child molester just after Chris Hansen poked his head onto the set. Oh he’ll, I’ve been found out.

    The 1918 Flu epidemic, coming on the heels of World War One, made a real psychological impact on my grandparents’ generation. Everyone lost someone. It wasn’t easy.

    • thatotherjean says

      You’re right about the impact that the 1918 flu epidemic had on the people who lived through it, Mule. My aunt was a young woman (born in 1897) at the time, and she came down with it. She was lucky enough to be the only one in the family who caught it, and she survived–but the little girl down the lane from them in rural Georgia wasn’t so lucky. My aunt lived to be 100, and told me about that epidemic one of the last times I saw her, in 1992. It remained a vivid memory for her, along with the realization of how lucky she was not to have come down with pneumonia, as many people did as a complication of the flu, in an era before antibiotics. We’re fortunate to have a better understanding of how to handle the present virus; but the country is barely starting to prepare, while the disease is already here.

      • Robert F says

        We are likely where Italy was three to four weeks ago, but we’re not doing the proactive and exploratory testing they were doing at that time.

      • Robert F says

        The Italian government has just extended the quarantine to the whole country.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I feel like the child molester just after Chris Hansen poked his head onto the set.

      Also known as “The Boom! Moment.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The 1918 Flu epidemic, coming on the heels of World War One, made a real psychological impact on my grandparents’ generation. Everyone lost someone. It wasn’t easy.

      Here’s one of the best quickie presentations I’ve come across of the 1918 Flu Epidemic,
      from YouTube’s Extra Credits/Extra History channel:

  9. Rick Ro. says

    Just thought I’d say…

    I like and appreciate the iMonk community.

  10. COVID-19 now in my dad’s retirement community. Prayers would be appreciated.

    • By the way, I’m at semi-ground zero here in the US (the Seattle area), so we’re already dealing with work shutdowns and layoffs and school closures and…

      Not sure what magically happens in another month to make everything better…


      • My son also in Seattle. Microsoft has told him to work from home.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        From what Eagle told me, Seattle/Tacoma looks like something out of The Omega Man, streets and shelves completely empty, everybody bunkered, no sign of life.

    • I’ll be praying for your dad, your Seattle community, and you.

      And may God have mercy on us all.

  11. As (retired) pig producers I’m sure we’ve been exposed to many viruses and bacterium that very few people ever come in contact with. Corona viruses are endemic to swine–as various phage types are to humans. I know I’ve ingested a plethora of E. coli–not intentionally but as a matter of course in treating piglets and the general environment of production. I have what some might call a “cast iron” stomach. I’m rarely affected by gastric ailments that are all too common. Perhaps wife and I may have some active immunity to this novel covid. Maybe that’s also wishful thinking…

    • We will be calling you the Omega Man (Charlton Heston)… I’ll be over to collect your antibodies in the morning….

      By the way my philosophy has always been to get lots of exposure… builds good antibodies rather than run out and get antibiotics (wouldn’t help in this case anyway) – of course that philosophy may kill me one day….

      I also have raised seven kids so my family has been constantly pounded by whatever is going around….

      • Yep. I suspect that some of the health problems we see are a result of being too clean–under developed or mis-developed immune systems.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        We will be calling you the Omega Man (Charlton Heston)… I’ll be over to collect your antibodies in the morning….

        If the Albino Manson Family hasn’t gotten there first.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I’ve been keeping an ear to the ground about Coronavirus, including some more reputable YouTube channels. Two bits of info:

        1) According to this UK doctor (Dr John Campbell) who is tracking the epidemic and giving daily YouTube updates, one study he cited seemed to indicate Vitamin D could reduce either the instance or severity of general respiratory infections by around 20% due to immune system effects. (He said he was doing 1000 IU a day, and I’ve been on 5000 IU for most of a year due to “nerd scurvy”.) Another US doctor who does daily YouTube summaries as “MedCram” has also referred to this.

        2) Another MedCram video mentioned an existing malaria drug “Chloroquine” that in combination with Zinc may have some anti-Coronavirus effects.

        3) Another video I can’t find right now (possible MedCram) had a segment in another summary video about an antiviral drug (sounds something like “Rensivair”)that also shows promise. During an earlier SARS or Ebola outbreak, this antiviral had been put through Stage 1 & 2 field testing, but tests were suspended when the outbreak ended. This means it can be dusted off and go directly to Stage 3 field testing.

        “Chubbyemu” is a YouTube channel that presents medical case studies among other things. With the Coronavirus epidemic, he has started a playlist of reputable videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL26HeTCO57qcOqYV6-5ZB9xleo_PaHxi4 which is keeping up to date. Channels referenced in this include “Dr John Campbell” (UK), “MedCram” (US), and “Doctor Mike” (US). They seem reputable.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          From some of the videos in the playlist, it seems that officialdom is very reluctant to use the word “Pandemic” this time around.

          Is this “If we don’t call it a Pandemic, it won’t be a pandemic” or what?

  12. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Morning drive-time radio is full of ads for some sort of direct streaming/podcast radio channel which “tells you what The Media won’t”. Only names I recognize in their lineup are Sean Spicer and Mike Huckabee, which does not inspire confidence.

    In my area:
    No surgical masks or hand sanitizer for a month. No rubbing alcohol seen for two weeks. Toilet paper, dried pasta, rice, bottled water, and disinfectant wipes scarce and being rationed at stores. (You can tell where they were; just look for the empty or near-empty shelves.) Last week afternoon drive-time even had an eyewitness phone-in account of a fight over the last 25-pound (20-kilo) bag of rice in a Smart & Final or Costco. And I heard from the staff at a Lowe’s (home improvement warehouse) of a run on industrial respirators — line halfway across the parking lot at opening time the day after a shipment arrived and people climbing the racks to reach the cases on the top shelves.

    Oh, and Jim Bakker (of Jim & Tammy fame) got a C&D from the NY Attorney General. Seems along with Armageddon Survival Buckets of beans & rice and $45 Trump Prayer Coins/Talismans he was selling Collodial Silver elixirs as Coronavirus cures — $80 a vial, $135 for two.

    And there is someone plugging special “Chlorine Dioxide” (bleach) as a Coronavirus cure. Drive-time radio’s comment on that one was “if you drink bleach because you heard it’s a Corona cure on the Internet, you deserve everything that happens to you.”

  13. anonymous says

    TIME to find out WHO ordered that testing kits not be liberally handed out.