Covid-19

Update: March 27 2020

This I expect to be the final draft. I have learned enough to understand much about the virus, the pandemic, and side-effects. I won’t spend much more time on the topic. Numbers will be refined and a better understanding of the epidemiology will emerge, all a matter of fine-tuning.

The critical issue however is the debate over the need for more drastic non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). COVID-19 is NOT the flu!

The two are compared on the basis of annual death counts. It is not a valid comparison because the flu death count is derived when the annual flu season is over in the spring. COVID-19 is just getting started. Moreover, the extraordinary NPIs implemented to slow the spread produce a lower number than would exist if the disease was allowed to run its course as we do with the flu.

The flu has an R0 of 1.28[113] versus as much as 4-7[114] for COVID-19. This, along with a high latency and asymptomatic carriers makes it much more infections than the flu. Further, data indicates a doubling period of around 4.5 days (e.g. Canada).

With an estimated 15% of cases requiring hospitalization lasting 2.5 weeks, and 5% requiring ICU level care, it is critical that the epidemic be contained by NPI measures to prevent the collapse of the medical system, a problem observed in Wuhan and Italy.

If you intervene early as did Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, you contain the pandemic and save your medical system. If you’re late like most Western countries, you have to take much more drastic measures.

In short, it is the risk to the medical system and not the death rate that is the key issue and what should inform the NPI debate.

Update: March 25, 2020

I have continued to add references and some new material throughout. I have added a new section, 1.3 Infection Pathways*, and have extensively revised  section 1.5 on treatment, 2.2 on the human engineering of the virus*, and section 4, particularly 4.6 on unexpected consequences*.

My hometown has a case that has tested positive[78] and appears to be a case of community transmission. A friend sent me a link to a data dashboard for Canada. It’s very good and shows exponential or near-exponential growth[86].

At the time of this update, commentary from earlier writing may already be dated. Factual information retains its authenticity although it may become superseded as more becomes know. Read this document in this light.

* Indicates particularly important additions.

Introduction

Although I began following the corona virus story in early January, I didn't start saving references until Jan. 25. Today, March 9, there is way more information than I can process. I had hoped to document every statement with references. Now, instead I will summarize information, adding references as new material comes up. The characteristics of the disease are becoming better understood as well as its epidemiology.

The greatest danger to the population is complacency, deliberately fostered by authorities and the mainstream media (MSM). How often have you heard COVID-19 compared to the flu, minimizing its risk? Here are two recent videos with experts comparing COVID-19 to the flu – but the Spanish flu of 1918-1919[47][48]. COVID-19 is considerably worse than the flu[73][98].

The early stage of any infection is relatively small. But as an exponential function, it reaches a point where the cases identified explode. As of early March, France, Italy, Iran and Germany appear on this path. An analysis of the known data and parameters suggest that the US will have a million cases by May and the hospital system will be at capacity[49].

Materials are becoming available that offer good overviews of the pandemic[79].

1. The Nature of the Covid-19 Virus

1.1 Sorting Out Names

In 2002-2004 we had an outbreak of a disease called Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) after the most severe pathological condition that the virus induced. The virus, however, in academic circles is called the SARS-CoV  virus, CoV being an acronym for corona virus.

When the current virus emerged, it was a novelty, never having been observed in either human or animal populations, and was called 2019-nCoV for novel corona virus. In February, the World Health Organization (WHO) called the disease COVID-19, a politically correct designation, and named the virus causing the disease as SARS-CoV-2[75].

1.2 The Virus Structure and Infective Process

SARS-CoV-2 is a member of the family of corona viruses that includes the viruses responsible for SARS and MERS as well as some common colds. A micrograph of a virus shows a spherical structure with spikes protruding from its surface. The spikes are structures that have on their tips, a protein molecule which like a key into a lock, can fit into the ACE-2 receptors on the epithelial cells of the lungs. When such a connection is made, a process is triggered that causes the virus to fuse with the epithelial cell, inserting its RNA and infecting the cell[53].

As discussed in the section on origins below, SARS-CoV-2 has spike structures found in HIV viruses.

The virus has also been found to be mutable with two prominent clades or subtypes labeled "S" and "L"[34][40]. The L clade is the more virulent of the two and is estimated to be responsible for 70% of all cases. To see a genome tree of the virus mutations see Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus. As has been noted the mutations are minor leading to the hope that if a vaccine is developed it will work against all mutations.

1.3 Infection Pathways

Early reports identified the primary infection pathway as through the lungs; hence, an airborne transmission. In particular, in section 1.2, the ACE-2 receptor was the specified target. Reflecting on this, I was puzzled by the insistence on washing ones hands. 

I knew that many viruses enter through the mucus membranes of the body including the nose, eyes, and mouth, but these weren’t identified pathways in the (minimal) reports that I read. So what matter if one touches one’s face?

Now, SARS-C0V-2 is 79% homologous with SARS-C0V-1, the SARS virus as identified in a paper[90] that notes:

homology modelling revealed that 2019-nCoV had a similar receptor-binding domain structure to that of SARS-CoV, despite amino acid variation at some key residues.

Based on this, I assumed that studies of the ACE-2 receptor expression in the body found for SARS-C0V-1 would apply equally to SARS-C0V-2. As it turns out, the ACE-2 mRNA expression is present in 72 human tissues[89]. The authors found that ACE2 mRNA is highly expressed in renal, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal tissues.

The sensitivity of these latter tissues suggests that they could be either a pathway for external infection or a place where the virus, having entered the body inside external surfaces (mucus membranes), may find a site for secondary infection. This may explain reports of serve cardiac symptoms in the most critically ill. It also suggests that one should wash their hands before they urinate or otherwise touch their genitalia.

The molecular biology of the ACE-2 receptor is quite complex making the development of a treatment based on the ACE-2 receptor a longer term proposition[112].

The above information does not answer the question of hand washing because it does not answer the question of how the virus would infect the body through facial contact. One source suggested it had minimal efficacy but was useful as a means of getting people to practice principles of better hygiene.

1.4 Testing

Definitive testing for the virus requires a sophisticated test kit such as a RNA nucleic acid test, or a lab that can do virus analysis[29]. Production of such test kits takes time to ramp up and the medical system must be prepared to meet the cost. Hospitals are not normally equipped to do this kind of testing. A report out of China states that "only 30 to 50 percent of the patients present positive [results]" and of the rest, "another 50 to 70 percent of patients are actually infected but can’t be confirmed by nucleic acid testing"[6],

Early reports out of China emphasized that only a fraction of candidates with symptoms could be tested due to the limited supply of kits [6]. This and the high rate of false negative results detailed in the previous paragraph, along with underreporting[67] of results[6] means that the data out of China was somewhat  useless. The US is reporting a shortage of test kits also[32], but expects to have 4 million kits available in a week[46][52].

1.5 Treatment

There are two main classes of organisms that infect animals (we are animals), bacteria and viruses. Bacterial infections are managed by antibiotics. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics and are usually handled in a preventative manner by vaccines, and in the case of infection, by anti-viral agents. Some of these have been shown in Chinese cases to be helpful against SARS-CoV-2. HIV drugs have also been used.

Some naturopathic remedies have been shown to have a beneficial impact on specific viruses. These may become important for strengthening a person's immune system and also fighting the virus if the medical system becomes saturated as in Wuhan, and hospital care cannot be had.  At this point in the outbreak (Feb. 2020), there are no products available for SARS-CoV-2 specifically such as a vaccine.

Of the latter, one is not expected for 12-18 months, a figure commonly cited[46]. One study has shown that having a flu vaccination increases the rate of a corona virus infection by 36%[77]. This “virus interference” suggests a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine may have to be coordinated with annual flu vaccinations.

1.5.1 Clinical Drugs and Vaccines

An anti-malarial drug and its variants, chloroquine phosphate and hydrochloroquine, have shown efficacy in treating COVID-19[82][83][84][109][116][120], particularly when used with azythromycin. Other drugs may have poitive or negative effects on the viral infection[109].

Although several vaccines are under development by various institutions, because they have to go through a series of animal and human trials before they can be used on the public, a vaccine is not likely before 2021. As of 20200404, there were a nuber of pharaceuticals and vaccines on various stages of development[121].

1.5.2 Nutraceuticals and Vitamins

Since natural and herbal remedies are generally dismissed by the medical community, and because dosage, side effects, and appropriateness are unknown for the general reader, consider these at your own risk. Be aware that I have no medical training so cannot recommend these.

There is evidence that certain plant-based extracts and vitamins may have an efficacy in preventing or treating the virus[16]. Vitamin C is reported to have some efficacy in treating the infection[43][62][59][81][119], and vitamin D[48] may also have some effect.

Five nutraceuticals that you can try against SARS-CoV-2 are birch bark, forskolin, calendula, Relora and licorice[16]. Others include quercetin[80].

2. The Origin of the Virus

It has been difficult to determine when the epidemic began. Typically, epidemiologists search for the first case, patient zero (P0), from which the spread can be tracked. To date we have no P0 and most sources seem to work with an early January start. However, we have an authoritative reference to December as the start [17][90], at least in terms of identifying the problem, but there is an anecdotal reference to November as the start[1].

In the end, the source does not matter. It is how we fight this epidemic and what we might learn from our response that is important.

2.1 The Wet Market Theory

SARS-CoV-2 has been determined to be a zoonotic virus associated with bats. Bats as well as a wide assortment of native animals were sold in a Wuhan "wet market", alternatively called a seafood market. Many of the early cases were traced back to this market so SARS-CoV-2 is assumed to be a natural occurring and transmitted pathogen[29].

2.2 The Human Engineered Virus Theory

An early paper[8][12] by Indian scientists, now retracted because it alleged human engineering, noted gene sequences not found in other corona viruses but in the HIV virus. Chinese scientists, while making no assertions about origin, support the Indian study of HIV sequences that make the virus 100 to 1000 times more efficient at infecting cells than the SARS corona virus. They note that a natural mutation of this sort is unlikely[21][35].

An earlier study[57] observed that although the protein responsible for viral-induced membrane fusion of HIV-1 (gp41) differs from SARS-CoV-1 in homology, the study points to a similar mode of action for the two viral proteins. The authors note a similar mode of action for the two viral proteins, suggesting that anti-viral strategy that targets the viral-induced membrane fusion step can be adopted from HIV-1 to SARS-CoV[90]. This would explain why HIV treatments have some efficacy for SARS-CoV-2.

The most comprehensive review of the genetic properties of the virus and the sequence of lab-created alterations that led to SARS-CoV-2 is given by Dr. Paul Cottrell[53].

There are theories that this is a bio-weapon. A functional bioweapon not only requires an agent that is stable inside munitions for long-term storage but must have an effective delivery system. There is no evidence that I have seen that SARS-CoV-2 19 is an actual weapon, but it could be a precursor or simply one of the viruses being studied and developed as a weapon.

3. The Epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2

It is estimated that 80% of infection will be "mild" producing flu-like symptoms. 15% of cases lead to lung impairment requiring hospitalization and 5% require ICU level care in an isolation environment including intubation and ventilation. Most hospitalized patients will require oxygen. The worst cases experience multiple organ failure and neurological complications[33]. Many other symptoms may also be present[17].

Dr. John Campbell (listed in our sources) has used the figure of 20% of cases never showing symptoms. A recent Chinese study found the number to be  33%[93].

When trying to assign numbers in the context of a pandemic, characteristics of the virus contribute a component but

3.1 Latency or Incubation Period of the Asymptomatic Stage

Latency of a virus is generally defined as that state of the host organism where the virus is present but not actively multiplying. In the case of Covid-19 literature, it is used differently to identify the stage between initial infection and the onset of symptoms. It may be referred to as the asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic stage[56]. Another definition is the period between infection and the presentation of the patient to health authorities [3].

Values in the literature suggest a latency period of 1-14 days with an median of 5-6 days. This is why quarantines are set for 14 days. There have been a couple of reports, however, of latency into the twenties of days.

It should be noted that as much as 20% of the cases may remain asymptomatic[56].

3.2 Transmissivity or R0

Transmissivity or transmissibility is defined as the average number of people that an infected individual can infect. Early reports give an R0 of 2-2.5 compared to 1.28 for the flu. More recent reports suggest an R0 of 4-7.

3.3 Rate of Infection or Attack Rate

This is the percentage of the overall population that may become infected. Numbers vary widely but 40%-70% is a number that appears in many articles[49][66].

3.4 Mortality Rate

An early report in The Lancet gave a mortality of 2.9%[5]. Another study of 41 hospitalized patients had a mortality rate of 15%[36]. Note that this is not a rate characteristic of the entire cohort of infected people. Other numbers are 3.3%[17][45] and 3.8%[44], the latter being the most recent to date (20200206) from the WHO. Italy is showing a surprisingly high rate of 4.0%[48]. On the other hand, South Korea’s mortality rate is calculated at 0.7%% their protocols for fighting the virus may be better than most other countries.

I have seen a number as high as 18%, based on the following condition: the problem with the lower numbers is that they are based on the early stages of the infection when hospital facilities are available. In Wuhan, for which we don't have a reliable number, the rate of infection was so great that facilities, materials and personal for the severe cases were not available. The death rate of people who can't receive the required level of hospital care becomes much higher. Reports from China indicated many that could not get into hospitals returned home either to recover on their own or die.

The most accurate determination of the mortality rate is only made after the pandemic has passed and the data can be analyized. While a global average rate may be inferred, association of rates with a country’s response becomes a more useful value. A factor which occludes an accurate determination of mortality rate is that some countries clearly under report it[115].

3.5 The Demographics of the Pandemic

Early reports that Asians were more prone to infection may have been confirmed[38].

It also seems that children as an age demographic, are least affected[41] while senior males with other health issues are the most susceptible. This seems to be the common wisdom but there are reports that they do not represent the risk to younger cohorts adequately[87].

When you see the projections made in the introduction and consider independent projections of a similar scale[63], one must conclude that this is a very significant pandemic.

3.6 A Pandemic in All but Name

The word "pandemic" to describe the COVID-19 outbreak is being used with increasing frequency by many reporting on it[51] given its rate of spread[50][49]. The World Health Organization (WHO), a heavily politicized organization, is avoiding using the term even though it meets their definition[64] since we are in phase 5 of their criteria.

Since the early days of the outbreak in China, suppression of public reporting via social media has been vigorous[37]. The data is being skewed by the lack of testing as reported in China, the US[23], Canada (conclusion based on authorities’ refusal to answer questions) and in other countries in the early stages of the pandemic.

As of March 11, the WHO finally catches up. It is now officially a pandemic[72].

In the appendix, I discuss issues with Canada and what I think may be underreporting due to constraints on testing.

4. The Economic Impact of the Pandemic

The impact of the virus is having widespread economic impacts globally and is expected to get considerably worse[35].

4.1 Global Supply Chain Disruption

The availability of critical pharmaceuticals and their precursor chemicals used in their manufacture is being globally impacted by the shutdown of factories in China. Estimates range that from 80%[31][39] to 97% of pharmaceuticals and antibiotics used in the US come from China. To further exacerbate the problem, India has imposed an export ban on pharmaceuticals[104] necessary for their own use since the precursor chemicals used in their manufacture are unavailable.

Major car manufactures in Germany, Japan, South Korea and China have closed plants due to either the presence of the virus in the workforce, quarantines, or parts shortages. Production of Apple iPhones was halted in China by plant closures.

4.2 Impact on the Global Economy

More visionary writers and commentators see a global recession and possibly a major economic collapse[25][see Appendix C]. Consumption is down in many countries as people employ social distancing to avoid stores. Authorities in many jurisdictions are mandating non-essential business closures[105]. This is having a measurable effect on global growth.

The shipping industry, airlines, cruise ships and global tourism have all seen drastic downturns in business.

As China begins to recover bringing some production back on line, the spread of the pandemic to other countries is having a negative effect on their economies with plant closures, something that will increase as the pandemic really ramps up globally[71]. This will reduce demand for reviving Chinese business.

Global stock markets have seen double digit percentage losses in the first week that markets really began to price in the effects of the pandemic, both on production and consumption.

4.3 Impact on Financial Markets

Monday, February 24, might be taken as the start of a major correction in US stock markets. At this point, 2 weeks later, we are still experiencing hundred and thousand point swings with the DOW industrial average. Although COVID-19 may be taken as the trigger, structural distortions in credit markets as well as other markets are responsible for extreme instability. The results will be felt as a downturn in many areas of the economy[60].

4.4 Impact on Government Finances

Governments will experience a steep decline in tax revenues while at the same time they will face increasing social services costs such as unemployment benefits. Health care costs will rise as the pandemic accelerates.

As the virus spreads, factories may be shut down either by quarantine or employee infections as was the case in China. Many businesses will close or operate with reduced staff. Some will never reopen. Spending will decrease as people practice social distancing by avoiding places where many others might be found like supermarkets. The result will be lost sales and business income tax revenue to go along with lost personal income.

Many countries are implementing novel programs to help with mortgages[69], as well as broad measures to help the recently unemployed and businesses forced to clse either due to lost customers or government mandate.

As well, countries are undertaking monetary policies to make lending cheaper for banks[70] in an attempt to stimulate their economies.

4.5 Catastrophe Bonds

The World Bank (WB) had issued two catastrophe bonds[13] worth $320 million combined. These are a form of insurance where the payout is triggered by a pandemic meeting certain criteria[14]. Two of the 4 conditions have now been met[15]. When triggered, funds go to the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) of the WB to provide an additional source of financing to help the world’s poorest countries respond to cross-border, large-scale outbreaks. Such bondholders stand to lose significantly [28].

4.6 Unexpected Consequence

Unexpected consequences include a negative impact on the company that brews Corona beer[22] as well as Chinese restaurants around the world.

Another interesting one is the effect of the pandemic on the sex trade[74][76].

Other interests are using the pandemic to further their political agendas. Since people now avoid currency incase it’s contaminated, those who want to eliminate it and replace it with a digital currency in order to obtain absolute control over all economic activity are coming forward[100].

The next logical step is to require everyone who is to use the currency, to have an RFID chip[102] inserted in your body as we do with pets. This would mean that when you go the store’s checkout, the chip is automatically read. This authenticates the use of your digital wallet but gives the store – and the government – information about your every purchase. Big tech will have an orgasm contemplating what this will give them. So will your government.

If this sounds far-fetched, the Swedes have been using it for a couple of years[102].

Another aspect of the pandemic is the move by many governments to suspend the democratic process by using declarations of states of emergency that bypass the legislative process[106]. Also, there is a move by governments todraconian powers completely outside the rule of law and constitutional government[108].

5. Prophylactic Measures and Preparedness

Individuals must take extra care to prevent infection from infected people and contaminated surfaces and objects. Two main recommendations are social distancing – avoiding crowds and activities where people are gathered – and frequent hand sanitization while avoiding touching one’s face. Wear a mask or gloves for an hour and you will become aware how frequently you touch your face.

5.1 Material Preparedness - What You Need

Generally, writers are advising that sufficient resources to last from a couple of weeks to 3 months or more of isolation be stocked. Pandemics (there will be more in the future) are just one of several events that one should be prepared for. Others include a major natural disaster, war, loss of grid, insurrection, and global food shortages arising from the cold climate of the next grand solar minimum which may begin in solar cycle 26 if not before.

Other sources that I consider helpful include [26]. One might assemble a personal inventory based on these diverse sources.

5.2 Material Preparedness - How to Figure It Out

The idea is to stock essential items that you use on a day-to-day basis, based on the premise that you won't be able to get to a store for more. Since natural disasters and any event that interrupts the grid can produce the same effect, it doesn't hurt to have supplies always on hand.

To decide what you need, observe all the stuff that you buy over a one month period – longer for more accuracy. Assuming that the products have a normal rate of consumption, this gives a rough estimate of what you need for a month in a crisis. Doing this over a longer period, say 3 or 6 months, will give you a more accurate set of numbers.

As an example, add up all the consumables you use for 6 months. Divide by 6 to get what you should stock for a month. Divide by 26 (weeks) to get what you need for a week's backup. For partial quantities, round up to the next number. When you start to brainstorm this idea, you will come up with particular items that you missed. Pay particular attention to medical supplies, prescription drugs, etc. and don't forget dog food and cat litter.

Stock essential items only. Dried foods like rice, beans, rolled oats and canned goods have a long shelf-life if stored properly. Don’t worry about the best before dates on most products. These numbers are there because the manufacturers are required to provide some number. They will be conservative. To survive - and this is survival now - you don't need a 6-month supply of chocolate bars or potatoes chips.

Finally, consider if you have family or friends that you might want to help out.

5.3 Prophylactic Measures Outside and Inside

There is a lot of good material on how to protect yourself from any disease by attention to personal hygiene and the decontamination of your environment. Still, these articles require critical thinking when assessing them.

5.3.1 Face Masks

Some sources[18] say that we don't need masks, particularly N-95 masks. Some say they are not effective. Others, however, say that they offer some protection[61] and are very effective[79]. Community contagion is an airborne threat, something that an N-95 mask can stop. Surgical masks on the other hand are minimally effective because they are open at the sides[79].

The 3M 8510 and 8511 N-95 masks are made for industrial environments for which a fit-testing video is available[58]. But applying them is an easy exercise [42].  A box of them contains a 5-step instruction pamphlet that anyone can read and apply. The key is to make sure the mask is fitted over the bridge of the nose. The best fit requires shaving facial hair from the mask contact area. Make sure straps are sufficiently tight for a snug fit. There will be times when a mask is advisable so have some ready.

N-95 masks are designed to be reused. Long period use makes them damp from exhalation so they need to be dried. Treat the surface as contaminated, but storage for a few days in a paper bag if possible, will allow the virus to die. A study by Moving them in an out of a freezer in a plastic bag may kill the virus also.

5.3.2 Hand Sanitization

One instruction that is common to pretty well all sources is proper and frequent hand sanitizing[19][20]. With commercial sanitizers out of stock in stores like Costco, you can make your own[27]. Costco has 99% isopropyl alcohol and Wal-Mart has 91% as well as aloe vera gel. The ratio is two of alcohol to one of gel. Adjust proportions based on the concentration of alcohol, aiming for around 65% alcohol in the final solution. 70% alcohol and lower is too weak to make an effective hand sanitizer unless used pure. And Vodka won’t substitute. You might as well drink it.

5.3.3 General Cleaning Solutions

Apart from isopropyl alcohol at strengths of 70% or better used alone, another disinfectant that you can make for cleaning surfaces is a 0.5% hydrogen peroxide solution. Take hydrogen peroxide, typically a 3% solution that you can buy in dollar stores and mix with water in a 6:1 ratio of water to hydrogen peroxide to produce a 0.5% cleaning solution.

Another solution which is the least expensive is a 0.1% solution of bleach and water. Take bleach which typically comes in gallon jugs of 4% sodium hypochlorite, and mix with water in a 40:1 ratio of water to bleach to produce a 0.1% cleaning solution.

When mixing, to keep things simple, use 1 ounce of bleach to 1 pint of water. If you use US measures you will get a slightly stronger solution (0.125%) than if you use imperial measures.

5.4 Prophylactic Measures - How to Figure It Out

There will be more pandemics in the future so here's how to build a checklist and protocol for sanitizing your environment.

Either by yourself or with a partner taking notes, go outside your house. Re-enter making note of every common item that you touch. Door knobs, light switches, banisters, faucet handles, toilet handles, phones, key boards, are a small number of the objects that you normally touch. Separate common items from personal items. The entry door knob is a common item that many people will touch. That patch of wall that you lean against when you take off your shoes will likely not be a common item.

Having created a list, create a protocol for wiping and disinfecting all such items. The front door might be cleaned after every use. A light switch might be cleaned once every day or two. It depends on frequency of use. Disinfect for the duration of the pandemic.

Consider a door sign asking anyone who enters either to use a hand sanitizer provided or to go to the kitchens sink and wash with soap and water. It's your health and possibly your life that is at risk here.

Review the protocol periodically making any changes that seem prudent.

6. Sources to Follow

A few sources that I have found for information of an ongoing basis are listed below. There are doubtless more good ones but I can barely process the news from these. My recommendation is that you take a few minutes to view each. Based on this pick, choose the sources that best meet your interests and available time.

  1. Zerohedge is in part a news aggregator, part where many third parties publish, and part from their own research. ***
  2. Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity has been publishing a daily summary and analysis going back to January. He gets a little cute with names but good analysis. **
  3. Stefan Molyneux gives good periodic summaries. **
  4. BNO News reports latest information on the pandemic. *
  5. Dr. John Campbell gives a daily update with detailed analysis of numbers and reports. ***
  6. Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Basics. They have an up-to-the-moment interactive map of confirmed cases as well as a daily news summary. I have found, however, bizarre discrepancies symptomatic of either a software problems or data collection problems. **
  7. There is a COVID-19 Resources dashboard for Canada which is excellent. ***

7. References

7.1 Information Integrity

Since the pandemic is evolving and the virus is mutating[117], information on the characteristics of the virus and the pandemic is constantly being updated. I have tried to limit references to articles that I thought were of good quality and relevance. The quality ranges from peer-reviewed scientific papers, through papers that have not gone through the peer-review process, articles from sources that might be gauged as reliable (e.g. a university or lab), to those sources that I recommend be critically assessed.

These sources include many news reports which I try and limit, anecdotal reports from areas where we aren't getting reliable data, and official reports. The latter are often written from some agenda such as political correctness: don't panic the populace, and giving bad advice on things like face masks to preserve stocks for medical personnel. In other words evaluate the source as well as the information.

7.2 The List of Links to References.

This list is numerically ordered in the order that I have processed the information and not the date information was published although the latter is supplied.

  1. Coronavirus: secretive South Korean church linked to outbreak held meetings in Wuhan until December.
  2. North Macedonia confirms first case of coronavirus.
  3. Coronavirus Is Worse Than You've Been Told: Scientist Explains. Video: 9:47 minutes, 20200123,***.
  4. China-Hong Kong latest study: Wuhan pneumonia death rate 15% infection rate 83%. 2020-0125.
  5. The Lancet: A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern. 20200124.
  6. Leaked Documents Reveal Coronavirus Infections Up to 52 Times Higher Than Reported Figures in China’s Shandong Province. 20200226.
  7. Scientists Discover HIV-Like "Mutation" Which Makes Coronavirus Extremely Infectious. 20200227
  8. Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag. 20200130.
  9. UK Government Document Warns Coronavirus Could Infect 80 Per Cent, Kill Half a Million Brits. 20200226.
  10. North Korea's First Confirmed Coronavirus Patient Shot Dead. 20200227.
  11. Is The Coronavirus Pandemic About To Become Another Spanish Flu. 20200227.
  12. Coronavirus Contains "HIV Insertions", Stoking Fears Over Artificially Created Bioweapon. 20200201.
  13. What is a catastrophe bond (or cat bond)? 20200228.
  14. Pandemic cat bond prices to drop again on coronavirus spread: Plenum. 20200228.
  15. Coronavirus outbreak meets another pandemic cat bond trigger condition. 20200227.
  16. Nutraceutical Support for COVID-19. Video: 15:27 minutes, 20200227,**.
  17. A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern. 20200124.
  18. A biochemist reviews the Trump administration’s continuing response to COVID-19. 20200301.
  19. Hand-washing Steps Using the WHO Technique. Video: 1:25 minutes, 20190326, ***. 
  20. Hand Hygiene for Healthcare Workers | Hand Washing Soap and Water Technique Nursing Skill. Video: 6:16 minutes, 20181201, ***. 
  21. "What Are The Odds?" - A Timeline Of Facts Linking Covid-19, HIV, & Wuhan's Secret Bio-Lab. 20200302.
  22. 38% Of People In Survey Are Avoiding Corona Beer Due To Coronavirus. 20200303.
  23. "I Have To Plead For Tests" - NYC ER Doc Warns "There's Going To Be 1000s Of US Cases By Next Week". 20200303.
  24. Canada and #Coronavirus: Arrivals from Iran say their self-quarantine is only VOLUNTARY. 20200303.
  25. "This Crisis Will Spill Over Into Disaster" - Dr.Doom Sees 40% Collapse In "Delusional" Stock Market. 20200303.
  26. Chicken Soup Won’t Stop the Coronavirus. 20200227.
  27. How to make your own hand sanitizer. 20200302.
  28. An inside look at the debate around pandemic bonds, which have $425 million hinging on how deadly the coronavirus ends up being. 20200214.
  29. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 20200224.
  30. Doctors Speak Out: The Vitamin Treatment for Coronavirus. 20200204.
  31. China Hints At Blackmail Over Pharmaceutical Exports, Would "Plunge US Into Mighty Sea Of Coronavirus". 20200305.
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Appendix A: Canada

A1. Test Kits

I approached the Strathroy community hospital Feb. 28 with a list of seven questions including the availability of test kits. After a couple of unproductive calls I approached the administration again and asked to speak with the VP of clinical services. I was refused a meeting and they refused to answer the written questions.

I then emailed my local MPP's office. They responded: "I have asked the MoH (Ministry of Health) about a distribution plan to community hospital of test kits and about how Ontario plans to acquire/manufacture kits." No answer was returned.

In the meantime (March 9) I tried an internet search on Canadian test kits and came up only with HIV test kits. China had test kits early on and a new fast test kit a month ago[54]. The US is supposed to be shipping 3 million kits this week[46] (note: they didn’t). I cannot find any evidence that Canada has any test kits available.

Testing in Ontario is done at a single provincial lab in Toronto[55]. Samples meeting specific screening requirements are sent to the lab and a result is returned, presumably within a day after receipt and processing of samples. Lab capacity for testing is unknown. This is a choke point for containing the spread of the pandemic.

At the time of the second update, other labs in provinces have been empowered to do testing although I don’t know which labs or how many there are.

A2. How Bad Can It Get?

We can use the same methodology used to do the calculation for the US[49]. Between March 8 and March 9, the number of reported cases jumped by 6 from 57. This gives a doubling in about six days as in the US study. As of march 11, cases stand at 108. This gives a doubling time of 3 days.

Based on a 6-day doubling time, the time to reach 1 million cases is 12 weeks which is the first week in June. If we use the 20% figure for those requiring hospitalization, we get 200,000 hospital beds needed. Of these (5% of the total) we will need 50,000 ICU beds.

 Obviously we don't have the beds or the staff to handle this pandemic unless it can be slowed dramatically by drastic measure such as those used by China and now Italy. However, if we use a 3-day doubling time, we reach a million cases in 7 weeks or the last week in April.

As of March 23, the doubling time is probably 4.5 days. This means we hit the million mark the first week in May.

A3.Economic Impact

Ontario has closed all non-essential business[105]. The list of businesses that may remain open is available through the MSM[107]. All other business are ordered closed. Other provinces may follow suit.

A4. Who’s to Blame?

The various levels of government will take credit for fighting the virus when it is all over. They will ignore the fact that they were much too late closing borders and restricting air travel. They were totally unprepared for this pandemic in that there were no stock piles of PPE (personal protection equipment) for hospitals and medical personnel. Despite sandbox exercises by institutions studying pandemic response, they seem to have no protocols in place on how to respond but have been making it up as they go, partly by watching what others are doing.

The Federal Government in particular, has mixed their policy agendas of open borders, refugee migration, post-nationalism, political correctness and a globalist bias with pandemic response creating a fundamentally slow and inadequate response.

Appendix B: Global Depression

It is widely recognized that at the beginning of March we were in a state of multiple extremes in our global economy. In the US the stock market was in a bubble; the bond market was in a bubble; housing markets in countries like Australia and Canada were either at highs or just off of highs; US housing markets were higher than at the 2007 crisis; and global credit market debt was approaching 300 trillion dollars, a figure never seen before.

First signs of trouble appeared in September of last year when dollar liquidity dried up and the repo market exploded to 10%. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) had to step in and calm the market with an emergency overnight lending facility to ease the repo market over the crisis. It didn’t work.

The market has required steadily increasing amounts of money, culminating in a number of announcements that settled the repo market but along with the announcement of an official quantitative easing program, QE 4, after a brief intraday pop, failed to stop the stock market sell-off.

In short, all the tricks that the US Federal Reserve used in the past to support the markets, have failed. The main tool left is unlimited money creation which of course, blows one last really big bubble that when it bursts will be the end of our current national currencies.

If the above markets were bubbles, COVID-19 was the pin (not my analogy). COVID-19 has forced the closure of the businesses and activities of the economy of many (to date), nations

There are a number of prominent people either warning of the risk of a depression[88][96][92][110][111][118].