I’d rather discuss smart, delightful corvids than COVID-19, but there’s this headline at The Post:
Dow dives 900 points after CDC warns of coronavirus inevitability in U.S.
Health officials in the United States warned Tuesday that the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country appears inevitable, marking a significant change in tone as global travel disruptions continued to worsen, South Korea neared 1,000 cases and Iran reported at least 15 deaths.
Huh. Just yesterday, as the stock market plummeted 1,000 points, Trump told us this:
The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
Why, it’s almost like he’s an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about! Trump hasn’t piped up on today’s selloff, but Wall Street is the only symptom of the outbreak that would be meaningful to him. He’s stupid, but even Trump knows that if a pandemic tanks the economy, he’ll get bounced out of the White House even if the Democrats raid Lenin’s Tomb and put the occupant at the top of the ticket.
Meanwhile, the low quality hires sense trouble on the horizon:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday criticized China and Iran for allegedly suppressing information about the spread of coronavirus and warned the countries’ efforts at censorship are harming a global response.
Yep, it’s totally their fault. Also this morning, even reliable Trump toadies in the Senate joined in a bipartisan grilling of Trump-appointed DHS officials:
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) slammed acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf on Tuesday for Wolf’s lack of answers during a tense grilling on the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a subcommittee hearing on the 2021 DHS budget, Wolf failed to provide specific answers Kennedy’s questions, including one on how many people are predicted to become infected with the new strain of virus.
“We’re working with HHS to determine that,” Wolf said, repeatedly deferring to the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Yes, sir, but you’re head of Homeland Security and your job is to keep us safe,” Kennedy shot back, often talking over Wolf. “Don’t you think you ought to check on that?”
Dim Son No. 1 is pathetically leveraging the outbreak to ingratiate himself to his monstrous father:
The coronavirus outbreak shows how important it is for us to keep our borders secure. It’s also why @realDonaldTrump is right to want a trade policy focused on increasing American manufacturing. He understands that it’s dangerous for our economy to be beholden to China!
Coronavirus is the intersection of 3 issues @realDonaldTrump has been right about all along: border control, American manufacturing, China hawk. Boom, boom, boom. Proven right again!
While Dems were outraged about him shutting down air travel from there he was right there too.
Anyhoo, I don’t know how hard COVID-19 will hit the U.S. Maybe we’ll get lucky. But it seems just as likely that we’ll find out that having tens of millions of uninsured people who can’t afford an emergency room visit (let alone expensive testing or a hospital stay) is a public health emergency after all.
Big fan of corvids. I have a pair of raven that nest on the hill behind my property. They’re non-stop messing with crows and wreaking havoc in the village.
Can we talk some about the delightful Warren fundraisers Charlotte Clymer and our B-J’s dearly missed Angry Black Lady (Imani Gandy) are running on Twitter right now?
Background for how it started:
Clymer has upped the stakes to $200,000 and she’ll reveal the name of a sitting Senator who was mean to her, and ABL is offering up a CD of herself singing a cappella for $100,000 raised (plus shout outs to a random contributor for every $10,000).
Man, I wish I had a Twitter following (and had some really good or really embarrassing secret).
Does. Does. Does Jr think that The Wall ™ has anything to do with a virus mostly transmitted by people traveling by plane or boat and coming in with passports and visa and everything through normal ports?
Truly, he is his father’s son.
Larry Kudlow said the US has contained the virus and economy doing nicely. Alrighty then.
Many months ago M^4 posted a picture he created of a corvid. It was really nice!
@Eric NNY: I am longing to befriend some local crows, but so far, they have ignored my overtures. :(
Caw! Caw! Caw!
eta: a thread of crows being silly
@Nicole: I saw that. Good for them! :)
The short-fingered vulgarian is literally live tweeting the Stone hearing. What a short time ago would have been damn near unbelievable, hardly causes a ripple.
@dmsilev: Don Jr. just flew commercial. I fear for his unlucky seat mate/s. Maybe we should quarantine him until we can figure out what the hell is going on.
West of the Rockies
I’d wager that either of those onyx beauties is smarter than Trump.
Crows are our pigeons hereabouts, and make an unholy mess of the downtown sidewalks (they roost in the trees every night, especially in winter). Anybody who would like to have some, come on down!
OTOH their corvid cousins, the yellow-billed magpies, are a lot of fun to watch in their riparian forest habitats. They get into some Very Loud Squabbles, I’m sure over important things.
Raiding Lenin’s Tomb = nominating Sanders, according to tweety.
@bemused: Larry Kudlow -back on the blow? One must speculate given his recent drunk off his ass on the tv appearances and unsupported opining about the market tanking.
@Van Buren: I’ll root for injuries in that fight.
Thanks for the pointer(s).
More at #Fangtastic.
Perhaps a pandemic would make single-payer health care look better also. Because this is a country where a substantial number of people have no access at all to health care, health care has no access to them either.
DJ average still dropping. Trump says everything is under control, and buy now, and everybody smile, damn it, damn it.
@Betty Cracker: it has its moments – good and unnerving (dive bomber show off stuff aimed at your head) -but in my urbscape once you throw down a peanut your family crest seems to be enshrined in their busy brains. Always have to bring treats on my walks.
Up is down, truth is falsehood. There are no tanks in Baghdad.
If this keeps up he’ll soon have stern words for the Fed.
No. Not in any way, shape or form. Seems to be a family trait, inability to use the ol’ grey matter….
I’ve come to appreciate crows more since moving to Washington; they’re everywhere! I love watching them in the neighborhood greenbelt, they talk and communicate so much.
In the spring, we’ll hear them suddenly start raising an enormous ruckus; usually it is because a bald eagle is raiding their nest. I’ve seen 8-10 crows chase an eagle for over a mile after such a raid.
Back in NV, the most common crows/ravens were the huuuuge ones in the desert out by Death Valley. Jesus, those were big enough to carry off a dog.
There was a story about a businessman just returned from China who had flu-like symptoms. Went to the emergency room like he is supposed to. He now has a $1400 bill, after his insurance paid most of the cost. I watched the beginning of the Netflix Pandemic series, but all I was thinking was how much is all of this costing this person who might not even be sick?
Also, someone on the twitters was denouncing the scaremongering over COVID-19, because it was only 5% of COVID patients who became “critically ill” and required mechanical ventilator support (some for as long as 4 weeks) not all people who were infected. My reaction was “Holy shit” and “what are the numbers for the normal flu?”
This post reminds me, I miss Raven.
@germy: He should send Pence to stare resolutely at the virus.
If the virus makes it’s way into the caged immigrant population it will quickly spiral out of control. It’s not like the medical care or conditions they’re being held in are sanitary or conducive to treatment. Or that the people guarding them actually give a shit about their welfare.
I wonder what the over/under is that there’s another tweet coming to say, “I don’t mean those shithole countries.”
As I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t’other say
‘Where sall we gang and dine to-day?’
@Van Buren: Tweety might have a point there, did you see Bernie in the last debate?
@cckids: the big ones were probably ravens. From a distance they look the same, but up close there are distinct differences. ?
Well, this market analysis does not seem to be aging well.
@cckids: Madame and I saw some pretty big crows during our hike out at Devil’s Punchbowl last week.
Pretty sure Kuds is dead wrong about everything on the one or two days a month he’s stone cold sober, too.
@cckids: The big ones are ravens most likely. I forget how to tell the difference besides size. Shape of the beak I believe. Raven beaks are sharper than crows.
Moderna Therapeutics takes its first crack at a vaccine:
I was going to attempt to post something clever about Heckle and Jeckle, but Wikipedia tells me that they’re yellow-billed magpies, not crows or ravens.
When I moved into my grandparent’s old house, I noticed that the crows which had always hung out in their backyard weren’t there anymore. Turns out that West Nile Virus is close to 100% fatal to crows. A flock came back, but then they left. Sad. So if you find a dead crow, call your local health department or wildlife agency.
Sorry to be such a bummer. I always liked that crow flock so much. My grandfather ran a huge feeder program. Wish I had had a chance to continue it. I wasn’t able to swing buying the house.
@dmsilev: He is too stupid to realize in the twenty first century, with people traveling internationally by the thousands every day for education, conventions, work, deliveries that any respiratory virus is going to spread around the world eventually. Fortunately this one is not as nearly as contagious as for instance the measles. Which has an R0 of 12/18…Fun fact. Trump Sr is a bit of an anti vaxxer
The acting head of DHS seems to be incompetent or dishonest (or of course, could be both). He said in testimony today that a vaccine was just months away…. It’s at least a year away.
Sen. Kennedy slams acting DHS secretary for lack of coronavirus answers
BY NIV ELIS – 02/25/20 12:17 PM EST, The Hill
@Another Scott: Magpies are corvids too – and arguably the most intelligent of that tribe. If you like magpies, try Seoul. Huge numbers of them – and two varieties: regular magpies and azure-winged magpies. There’s even a subway stop called “Magpie Mountain”.
@MattF: Markets panic 2008, McCain flakes out, Obama & crew are like, “we’ve got this”.
Markets panic 2020, trumpov flakes out, tries to pretend all is well, will eventually publicly complain that (somehow) the Democrats didn’t do enough to contain COVID-19, “Rush is right! It’s a conspiracy!”, etc etc. No Obama in sight but all six remaining Dem candidates (and Dems in general) are like, “we’re thinking we could do better than this, America – your choice”
Heckuva job, trumpie!
@Yutsano: Crows have fan-shaped tails, while ravens’ are wedge-shaped or triangular (come to sort of a point, if sometimes ill defined). Also, ravens’ beaks are thicker, and often look like a “Roman nose,” curving downward.
It’s hard to tell if the swamp creatures are drunk, on drugs, massively corrupt, insane or all of the above.
Who knew Kennedy can occasionally act like an authentic public servant should.
I think American magpies are corvidae, so they’re cousins to crows and ravens. Apparently Australian magpies are not, just to confuse everyone.
We have both crows and ravens in So Cal, and they often hang out together, so it can be hard to tell them apart.
That said, I’m 99 percent sure I saw a raven the other day. It was HUGE, much bigger than a standard-issue crow.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: It was something to wake up to, camping at Death Valley & coming out of your tent in the morning to see those enormous birds hanging out on your picnic table. “We’re all healthy, I swear!”
This is what I wrote to my family WhatsApp Group regarding what’s happening in Delhi
What do you think?
Who is the “occupant of Lenin’s tomb”?! C’mon, you know I like supporting links and citations.
Actually, all of them being whacked on coke all the time would explain a lot
Saw more ravens than I could count in Yellowstone last summer, and they all looked like they were thinking about dining on me, a la The Twa Corbies.
ETA: Ravens are a hell of a lot bigger than crows.
SP Warren is burning up Twitter. Thread.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Does Pence believe in electron microscopes?
@WV Blondie: Thank you. I knew someone would know the big differences.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: WUT Let em die is the new motto.
so, DHS is saying that they literally haven’t done any modeling on this epidemic? jesus christ we are so boned.
Tolkien had some thoughts:
The acting head of DHS seems to be incompetent or dishonest (or of course, could be both), part 2
DHS Secretary Chad Wolf claims the mortality rate for coronavirus is similar to the flu, both at about 2%. Senator Kennedy says “are you sure of that?” and the secretary doubles down.
The mortality rate for seasonal flu is closer to 0.1%:
I hope this guy is just incompetent. If he is corrupt, then the WH told him to say that, which means they may be planning to bluff this out if (when) the epidemic hits the US. Average of fatality rate for seasonal flu is between 0.1% and 0.2%. Consensus of epidemiological model estimates (that use info on the rates of spread to different countries, evacuation flights, cruise ships) I’ve seen in peer reviewed literature says fatality rates will be between 0.3 to 0.6, once all the mild and asymptomatic cases are counted.
So, even if those lower fatality rates are correct, that means an epidemic that is twice to four times as deadly as seasonal flu. And evidence is that it mainly kills older adults and elderly with chronic health problems. So, if they plan on bluffing this out, it will be nightmare. If higher fatality rates hold, it will be a public health disaster.
There were three ravens sat on a tree…
To keep things in perspective, the flu kills somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 Americans each year.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Oh, well, FSM forbid they should increase the deficit by appropriating emergency funds. Poor people don’t need heat anyway.
I realize this is about boids, not COVID, but from the World Health Organization:
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public
Pretty much what you already know.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Stay home if you feel ill. (This in a country with substandard health care and labor practices.) Call your doctor/healthcare office before going in, in the event they want to direct you somewhere specific.
But some new stuff (to me, anyway): Their second item:
@Morzer: Well, this is dumb. Not that I disagree, but this ship has already sailed.
Donald Trump Jr.: “It’s not a pandemic, it’s a republic!”
Black birds once surrounded a hawk who had a small snake in my driveway. It was like a circular firing squad where they all focused and would step in, until finally the hawk fled without his prey. All I call them is a bunch of murderers.
What has been accomplished has been witnessed…
Better that he’s doing that than his job, seeing as he does it so well. OK, well is not quite the right concept there. Shitty? Utterly Fucking Wrong. That’s closer.
Then if this has 20 times the mortality rate, we’re looking at 1.2 million dead. Jesus.
@jl: Though an article that takes into account delay in reporting fatality gets an estimate closer to 0.6 to 0.8 among everyone who contracts it, including kids and young adults who don’t seem to get many serious cases, so will be higher among older people. So, that would be bad…
2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): estimating the case fatality rate – a word of caution.
Battegay, Kuehl, Tschudin-Sutter, et al.
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20203, published Feb 7
@Elizabelle: I’ll probably be the 15th person to say this, but…
Hand sanitizer is not an anti-viral. It’s an anti-bacterial.
Hand washing is the way to go.
I applaud your bravery in taking a stand against these atrocities in India. I am afraid to engage my family members who disagree with my political views. These are stressful times, and don’t be surprised if your family members are unable to see what is happening before their eyes. There is a lot of willful blindness in this country.
This sounds dire:
Yeah, in my job #2, I’m a cashier at a huge Fred Meyer. I cannot be 3 feet away from people. And everybody sick comes in to get their meds and cough/sneeze at me. AND I can’t wash my hands as often as I’d like.
I’m doomed, DOOMED I tell you! And so so many people working in retail are pressured into coming in sick, or HAVE to work because they need the hours. If just a few of us get this, it will possibly get passed to thousands over the course of a week.
You are assuming they have gray matter. I believe it is foam, recycled from old public bus seats.
down-a-down hey down-a-down
@Elizabelle: I’ll say one thing for the coronavirus: it has radically improved standards of personal hygiene on the Seoul subway. People used to just sneeze all over the place. Now, if you do that, you’re likely to be annihilated by an enraged crowd.
@clay: Evidence coming in that the estimates of number of cases too low by a factor of 6 to 9, so worldwide, probably between 400,000 and a million people have been infected. So probably more like 75,000 to 350,000 excess deaths in US. But concentrated among older people with chronic health problems. From something twice as bad as normal annual flu to 5 or 6 times as bad.
Very very bad, nonetheless. Bluffing through that would be a crime, a blunder, and a disaster.
@Another Scott: Hand-washing is sexy. Remember this pictorial — it’s quite motivating.
I bet Mother does.
@MisterForkbeard: It seems that Florida state law might actually prohibit Sanders from appearing on the Democratic primary ballot, seeing as he’s not.. you know.. a Democrat.
@schrodingers_cat: Not too harsh at all, similar to the way I would deal with any relative of mine who supported Trump.
Always go with the most likely answer, in this case, all of the above.
A murder of crows is the collective noun for a group of crows.
@FelonyGovt: Thanks. They have told me not to discuss politics with them. But yet I persist.
@Morzer: I was on a 10-day cruise as news of Coronavirus was top story on BBC. (That or impeachment, and just could not bear to watch that.)
Until the 8th day, normal Norwegian Cruise Line precautions. Staff with hand sanitizer as you returned to the ship, and particularly in the buffet areas. Hand sanitizer readily available at host desks in restaurants. Sinks with soap and water near entrance to the 15th deck buffet.
On the 9th day, I think they tried a “soft open” for coronavirus procedures. Suddenly passengers could no longer serve themselves food, or even coffee and beverages. All the cutlery rolled up in napkins removed from the tables.
It really slowed things down, especially near the coffee and NCL only did it that one day; back to normal day after. Wondered if they might be figuring out bottlenecks and staffing.
Realized the next cruise out was likely to be markedly different and less casual; a lot more work for the staff (who are wonderful, to a person).
@schrodingers_cat: Sounds like how I sass my Trumpster father, except I don’t typically include a call to action. :)
But a month old slice of bread that looks fine? What’s in that stuff!!11
A Ghost To Most
I haven’t seen a crow in ages. Only ravens and magpies.
So if Covid is only twice as deadly as the regular flu, that means 120,000 deaths. That seems pretty bad.
Will they get mad at you if you wear a surgical mask? It may be worth asking.
Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]
On the more birdy front of this thread, the Ravenmaster of the tower of London has a twitter account which will suck down a couple of hours watching raven clips. https://twitter.com/ravenmaster1
@cckids: Has your company had much to say about protecting you frontline retail workers? Any guidance at all? Please keep us posted on your experiences, and I hope you remain healthy.
The easiest way to tell the difference is the caw. Ravens’ caws are much deeper, more of a croak. Ravens’ beaks are bigger in proportion to their bodies than crows, and they have bristly feathers at the base of the beak. People also say to look at the shape of their tail, with ravens having diamond-shaped tails while crows’ tails are fan shaped.
North American magpies are corvids, as you say, and our yellow-bills were nearly wiped out by West Nile virus when it arrived ten or so years ago. Corvids (and some raptors) are hosts (with mosquitoes as vectors) and it can be fatal to them. The local health departments tests corpses as part of their monitor efforts.
Ravens in the Sierra Nevada are yuge and as you describe, they croak, not caw. Much better flyers than crows.
I have a hard time believing that. Crows are brilliant fliers. When it gets windy around here, I always see them doing acrobatic flying. It looks to me as if they’re doing purely for fun, as if flying on a gusty day is just too much fun to pass up. IIRC, acrobatic flying is also a way of attracting mates.
Trump family brains in a nutshell:
“What is 17 times 6” (“Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump, Jr., fail a pop quiz during a 2006 appearance”)
Ivanka say math is hard“that’s not a practical …”, Don Jr tries multiplication by guessing the wrong answer twice, Don Sr tries, con-man style, multiplication by assertion that an incorrect answer is correct. (He convinces some in the room briefly.)
Well, I’m not saying we won’t get our hair mussed.
@Betty Cracker: Yeah, and he apparently also spent the last couple of days meeting with top government officials in Tehran while downplaying the threat of the virus in Iran. They all now have to be tested and/or quarantined.
Crows are flappity flappity while ravens can soar with those big-ass wings. That’s just science*.
*Science, per me.
Of course at altitude, soaring birds tend to need bigger wings to counter the thinner air.
Trump’s plan seems to be to use the various cronies, cretins, and lickspittles he’s stashed throughout the executive branch to silence career professionals at the CDC and cover up the spread of the disease if it breaks out in the US — all with an eye towards protecting the Dow and his reelection prospects.
I’ll be keeping an eye out on YouTube for a good Downfall bunker scene parody titled: “Trump is told the coronavirus has broken out in 10 states and the economy is cratering.”
A public service message:
If you are washing your hands in a public restroom, the door handle is the most germ-laden object in the room.
If the door doesn’t push open, use a paper towel between your hand and the handle and then toss it. No paper towels, just those blowers, you are going to have to improvise.
Special for you.
@Ohio Mom: I keep a bandana in my handbag for that purpose.
@Feathers: Low end estimate for this year’s flu season in US is 12,000 deaths. High end mortality estimates generally run about 50K per year. Hospitalizations are in the hundred thousands, but I don’t know about length of stay. My sister-in-law had a bout of garden variety pneumonia that kept her in the ICU for almost 3 months. Even normal diseases are a lot worse than many people realize.
@trollhattan: I saw a raven at Coso rest area that had to be over two feet tall. I think his wingspan was close to 6 feet – it looked close to the size of my arm spread. He was loudly squawking and flapping his wings at everyone for some reason.
@Ohio Mom: Also, carrying a small towel in pocket or bag to vigorously rub hands dry is quite effective at ridding hands of virus and bacterial particles. I use elbows or back of hand to press buttons, open doors etc. During flu season gloves are excellent protection as they make you more conscious of not touching your face. They should be changed and washed frequently and air dried thoroughly in sunshine if sun is available. UV breaks down many viruses and bacteria. This would be good for sales staff I imagine. It’s why the Queen wears gloves. There are numerous videos showing how and for how long, to wash your hands effectively. Glasses would also protect eyes from sneezes to some extent.
So that’s the plan then…
Betty “Cracker”? Don’t you mean Betty Crocker?
(lame joke; sorry). But more importantly, I like to hear corvids squawking just as much as I like to hear songbirds chirping & tweeting. My Mum says corvids’ two-syllable squawking sounds like they are saying “Uh-uh”. I wish corvids could get rid of CORVID, simply by squawking “UH-UH!!!!!”