Sunday, August 15, 2021

How a citizen journalist called the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020 before it exploded in New York City

 

NYC 2015-11

I followed up a little more on Mike Donnelly’s work, and yes, particularly, read his Medium Channel.  (I have a post Aug. 13 on the “BillofGLBTIssues blog).  I’ll give a link to his March 11, 2020 detailed post where he says NYC needs a China/Italy-style lockdown immediately, but check all the other posts.

Here is also a Twitter thread he posted at the same time (11 posts)

When I look at his work, yes, this is much what I saw citizen journalism accomplishing through blogging and websites as opposed to video channels, which started becoming all-the-rage more or less around 2015.  And then, in the era of Trump, the censorship and even deplatformings started.

I have to react to his proposal for a Wuhan-style lockdown in the US (toward the end of the post), which, far from it, did not happen.  Now we approach 700,000 deaths from a disease that probably has an infection fatality rate (if you define that correctly in the data science world ) of less than 1%, although it may grow with certain variants including Delta.  The long term disability from long COVID is also a major factor.

Let me start my reaction by noting that I had become concerned about this by the time Wuhan closed down (Jan 23, 2020) when I had made reservations for a screenplay-pitch fest in late February in Los Angeles, and then complicated the reservations with miles.  I wound up cancelling, and then rewriting the screenplay and reregistering it anyway. (I seem to have gotten the miles refunded by AA now, but I have use them before January 2022.)  That itself is a narrative on my Wordpress blogs.  But my point here is that a lot of individuals realized what was coming (exponential case and hospitalization counts, long incubation periods, asymptomatic spread).  Avi Schiffmann apparently had some contacts in China (I wonder if from a teen computer camp) and seemed to know some time before the Wuhan outbreak hit the mainstream press, as he seems to have had his coronavirus tracker ready before the outbreak was reported.  Donnelly also connected the dots well before the mainstream press did (note his work is supported by scientific work from China). 

The lockdowns in New Zealand and Australia have been almost as strict as Wuhan (or Bergamo), prompted by a “Zero Covid” policy which may not be feasible with Delta around.  In some quarters, there is something to be said for it.  A vaccination effort has to be done worldwide very fast (would require China to do the lions share in the developing world) or else it will drive selection pressures for more contagious and possibly more virulent variants that can escape the, -- at least that’s a credible theory. In the interim, the safest course is Zero Covid tolerated until everyone is vaccinated.  But zero Covid requires long term and permanent sacrifices by private citizens, giving up personal agency and accepting a potentially communist style life maybe long term (maybe life limited to pre-arranged pods).  For example, true zero COVID would have resulted in shutdown of my own blogs and maybe Michael’s if they were not “paying their own way” already. 


But conceptually the need for such a policy for a long period of months for some infectious agent is imaginable, especially if it were deliberately created and released.

Many Zero Covid policies propose paying people to stay home with the military even delivering their food. But eventually this has to be paid back.  Maybe go after Social Security with means testing or go after inheritances, for example.  Very radical and permanent changes could result and society would no longer be free the way it had been.

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