/Links 5/19/2020

Links 5/19/2020

Forget murder hornets. Giant gypsy moths could bring ‘serious, widespread damage’ to the US. USA Today. Worry, worry, worry.

We Can Prevent a Great Depression. It’ll Take $10 Trillion. The Atlantic. So, two Iraq wars, but we get to build stuff instead of blowing it up? And we don’t blow a few hundred thousand faraway brown people to pink mist? Where do I sign up?

Pay Attention to the Central Bankers Behind the Curtain Bloomberg

Digital Greenbacks Forbes

Howard Marks Knows the Value of 2020 Hindsight Bloomberg


The science:

Potent neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 identified by high-throughput single-cell sequencing of convalescent patients’ B cells Cell. “[W]e showed that human neutralizing antibodies could be efficiently discovered by high-throughput single B-cell sequencing in response to pandemic infectious diseases.”

Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals (PDF) Cell. From the Summary: “Understanding adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is important for vaccine development, interpreting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis, and calibration of pandemic control measures…. [C[irculating SARS-CoV-2−specific CD8+ and CD4+= T cells were identified in ~70% and 100% of COVID-19 convalescent patients, respectively. CD4+ T cell responses to spike, the main target of most vaccine efforts, were robust and correlated with the magnitude of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgA titers. … Importantly, we detected SARS-CoV-2−reactive CD4+ T cells in ~40-60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.” Sounds hopeful. Note: Peer-reviewed, accepted for publication. Not a pre-print. See also South China Morning Post.

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State and Federal Data on COVID-19 Testing Don’t Match Up The Atlantic

How are COVID-19 deaths counted? Live Science

As Florida re-opens, COVID-19 data chief gets sidelined and researchers cry foul Florida Today. “But researchers who have relied on unobstructed access to underlying raw data said they interpret Jones’ removal as a clear indication of government censorship of science. ‘We would not accept this lack of transparency for any other natural disaster, so why are we willing to accept it here?’ said Jennifer Larsen, a researcher at the University of Central Florida’s LabX.”

A ‘cuckoo’ graph with no sense of time or place shows how Georgia bungled coronavirus data as it reopens Business Insider (Re Silc).

Investigation Reveals Coronavirus Covering Its Tracks By Making Victims’ Deaths Look Like Car Accidents The Onion

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Coronavirus infection rate in L.A. County is falling. But it’s still in the danger zone Los Angeles Tims

What settings have been linked to SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters? [version 1; peer review: 1 approved with reservations] Wellcome Open Research. From the abstract: “We found many examples of SARS-CoV-2 clusters linked to a wide range of mostly indoor settings. Few reports came from schools, many from households, and an increasing number were reported in hospitals and elderly care settings across Europe… However, in part due to the limits in surveillance capacities in many settings, the gathering of information such as cluster sizes and attack rates is limited in several ways: inherent recall bias, biased media reporting and missing data.”

Estimating the overdispersion in COVID-19 transmission using outbreak sizes outside China [version 1; peer review: 1 approved] Wellcome Open Research. From the abstract: “Our model suggested a high degree of individual-level variation in the transmission of COVID-19…. Our finding of a highly-overdispersed offspring distribution highlights a potential benefit to focusing intervention efforts on superspreading. As most infected individuals do not contribute to the expansion of an epidemic, the effective reproduction number could be drastically reduced by preventing relatively rare superspreading events.”

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Meltblown procedure: Producing coronavirus mask filter fleece Deutsche Welle (nvl). Fascinating. I just wish there were a (plant-based?) substitute for polypropylene, though clearly making masks from oil is more sensible than burning it.

Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks ACS Nano. Interesting:

We made measurements for three variations: combining one layer 600 TPI cotton with two layers of silk, two layers of chiffon, and one layer of flannel. The results are also compared with the performance of a standard N95 mask. All three hybrid combinations performed well, exceeding 80% efficiency in the 90% in the >300 nm range. These cloth hybrids are slightly inferior to the N95 mask above 300 nm, but superior for particles smaller than 300 nm.

Fit is also critical, but I view that as an artiffact of treating fabric masks as disposable, as opposed to articles of clothing. It’s good to see so much ingenious experimentation going on here.

Copper masks are the latest craze. Should you buy one? Fast Company

Mask in a restaurant? This one can gobble like Pac-Man Reuters

PPE and pestilence: The origins of medical masks Agence France Presse

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Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine, the drug he touted as coronavirus treatment, despite FDA warnings USA Today. Big if true. Big if false. Notably, Trump is combining hydroxychloroquine with zinc, both of unknown dosages, and using the combination as a preventative, a scenario that the observational studies have not, to my knowledge tested, and which also seems to represent a rough consensus for appropriate use in the NC commentariat among students of hydroxychloroquine (we are not doctors!) The FDA recommendation is irrelevant given a physician’s prescription for off-label use. We have controlled studies coming, we don’t have them yet.

Toward Universal Deployable Guidelines for the Care of Patients With COVID-19 JAMA

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Moderna Says Initial Covid-19 Vaccine Results Are Positive WSJ

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Economic effects:

Facebook Survey Shows 31% of Small Businesses Stopped Operating Bloomberg

Knock-Knock No More: Doors Are Being Redesigned Amid COVID-19 NBC10 Philadelphia

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Political response:

Fed Chair Says Coronavirus-Stricken Economy Might Not Recover Until End Of 2021 Bloomberg. Jerome Powell: “You really can’t put into words the pain people are feeling.”

US to back away from WHO move on Covid-19 drug patents FT

Coronavirus could push Social Security to insolvency before 2030 Politico. It’s bipartisan!

The Miner’s Canary: COVID-19 and the Rise of Non-Traditional Security Threats Defense One

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Remedies and ameliorations:

How Etsy Became America’s Unlikeliest Breadbasket WSJ


Over 100 Million in China’s Northeast Face Renewed Lockdown Bloomberg

Caught between China and the United States: why Hong Kong is the latest battleground in the rivalry and Article 23 could be the tinder to the explosive relationship South China Miorning Post

The US needs Chinese students Asia Times

Heartbroken woman takes revenge on her cheating ex-boyfriend by sending him A TONNE of onions to ‘make him cry as much as I did’ Daily Mail

South Korea

From Haunting to Healing: On the Gwangju Uprising and ‘Human Acts’ Catapult


Modi’s coronavirus ‘stimulus’ for India leaves business and investors deflated FT

Allow plying of more migrant trains, Centre tells states Times of India

Indonesia’s gravediggers battle virus fears, stigma Agence France Presse

Filipino immigrant nurses pay heavy price as Covid-19 pandemic races across the globe Straits Times

New Cold War

Shock Resistance Prevention: Lessons From the 2020 Pandemic Valdai Discussion Club

Burger King, Subway and Privatization: Who is Samuel Doria Medina? Kawsachun Coca


This video from Greenwald is worth listening to, and as you see it comes recommended. Grab a cup of coffee:

The Media and Pundits Are Lying–The Flynn Unmasking Was Uncommon and Unusual Larry Johnson, Sic Semper Tyrannis. Very interesting, like a police procedural. It’s a shame this version of an “intelligence community” has not found its LeCarré.

RAY McGOVERN: Turn Out the Lights, Russiagate is Over Ray McGovern, Consortium News

Trump Transition

Rettig Affirms Filing Deadline, Asks Patience for IRS Reopening Tax Notes

The tyranny of the Congressional Budget Office Ryan Cooper, The Week

Health Care

Hospitals Knew How to Make Money. Then Coronavirus Happened. NYT. Wait, what? Hospitals are profit-making enterprises?

Failed State

New Jersey gym reopens in defiance of coronavirus measures Associated Press. Read the detail. Third World stuff.

Class Warfare

Pandemic diary 2020-05-05: Segregation cannot set you free Interfluidity. Today’s must-read.

Humans are not resources. Coronavirus shows why we must democratise work Guardian

Five robots that hope to save the US food supply chain FT

What I Want the Woman Behind the Counter to Know NYT. “I hope when we can take off our masks, I get to tell you how much I need you.” Consider doing what you can to improve her material conditions?

Blind people ‘read’ letters traced on their brains with electricity Nature. Don’t tell Marketing!

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

More appropriate for Monday, perhaps…

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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