Differences In Covid Trends Confusing

I can’t figure out why these places are all showing such different trends.

Part of me wants to say that places that “did nothing” simply are reaching herd immunity while those that did the most “lock down” are having repeating waves of infection; yet that doesn’t fit the whole pattern either. California and the UK don’t follow that line.

Another assertion is that “new strains” are causing upticks in Europe, yet, again, California and the UK that are supposed hot-beds of the “UK Strain” are not showing an issue.

North / South has some influence, but not much. Sweden has some uptick in winter that could be explained by lower Vit-D levels, but then Italy ought to have lots of sun and it’s having renewed issues.

Clearly I’m missing something, or it is just that there are so many moving parts you can’t really find “a pattern” but need several patterns interacting.

What is clear is that anyone who thinks they have a handle on what works, or doesn’t, is wrong. Even vaccination trends can’t account for this as there’s not been enough yet to matter and what has been done is often in places with “issues” ongoing.

So what have we got? A quasi random look at places that ought to have decent reporting scattered around Europe, North America and a few bits of elsewhere. As Australia and New Zealand have successfully slammed the door shut to the world, I’m leaving them out this time. Then much of South America, Africa and Asia have abysmal reporting so not much insight you can get from bogus data. The USA recently changed how many cycles a PCR test is run, reducing false positives, so to some extent USA time trends are suspect. Whatever. Here’s what we’ve got from Worldometer:

I’m going to start with the USA and California as that’s where I am. Supposedly the U.S.A. is lagging in vaccinations and California is full of that new threat “The U.K. Strain”. Yet both are looking like herd immunity reached and just tailing out at the end:

U.S.A.  Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

U.S.A. Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

California Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

California Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Then compare that to the U.K. that’s also not fully vaccinated yet and supposedly up to their eyeballs in “The U.K. Strain” it being named for them and all:

United Kingdom Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

United Kingdom Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Somehow I’m just not seeing it. Where’s the horror of this “New Strain” that supposed to be hyper spreadable and all new and all? Eh?

To my eye that sure looks like “pretty much over” and just the stragglers to catch up, mixed with a bit of “What new strain?”…

Canada is also flat at the end, but looking flat at a higher rate of new infections per 1000 (which is not in the statistics so you kind of need to eyeball the graphs and adjust for population). Perhaps just slow working its way through all the sparsely populated areas?

Canada Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Canada Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Supposedly the Netherlands is also suffering from “The UK Strain” and shows an uptick, but why them and nobody else? They are not exactly basking in the sun in the UK in comparison.

Netherlands Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Netherlands Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Now my first puzzlement is France. Small peak, then after the post-peak drop, a gradual and steady rise. Cases seem higher per 1000 too. Then you can’t exactly call Canada sunny while France has a fair bit of sun, especially in the south. So why is France having issues? If it is the “new UK Strain”, why are not California and the UK having that problem? Just not making a lot of sense of this graph.

Anyone with local understanding, please speak up.

France Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

France Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Germany, right next door, had a broader and later peak, but also is showing a rise (though not as steady or large). Have folks stopped doing the whole stay home and mask thing?

Germany Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Germany Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Step one more East into Poland, and it is looking a bit more grim. First peak nearer to France, but now the resurgence is just about as big. What’s the deal with Poland?

Poland Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Poland Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Compare just to the south, Switzerland. Thin peak and then a trailing off with only a very minor increase at the end. Yet Switzerland just voted to ban facial coverings in public.

Switzerland Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Switzerland Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Then dropping further south into more warmth and sun, Greece looks almost identical. I just don’t get it. What makes Greece and Poland the same?

Greece Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Greece Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Headed back toward the warmer Mediterranean sunny areas, Italy is quasi similar, but not as bad. An artifact of the math or an actual difference? Did the Italians get a bad early scare so have been more isolated and masked since?

Italy Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Italy Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Then Spain and Portugal seem different, back to that “we’re over this” herd immunity tailing out look. Did they both “do less” so are basically over it and immune other than stragglers? Is it the case that nothing done really mattered and the area under the curves is constant, just the shape changing with isolation and lock down?

Portugal Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Portugal Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Spain Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Spain Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Israel is supposedly way ahead of everyone else on vaccinations, but their graph doesn’t look all that different from many others. Double peak and was already headed down when vaccinations got going big time, yet still new daily cases relatively high. Compare to some other nations that look to have just “got over it”…

Israel Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Israel Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Mexico is not known to be ahead of everyone else on treatments, vaccinations, or lockdowns. They do have lots of sun and some amount of anti-malarial drug use. Yet the last few months are very similar to highly vaccinated Israel.

Mexico Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Mexico Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Then there’s Morocco. To me this just looks like the virus ran through the place and now there’s nobody left without immunity other than a few stragglers. “One and done”.

Morocco Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

Morocco Daily New Cases for 17 March 2021

So what’s it all mean? Damned if I know.

Mostly it looks to me like all the noise and bother didn’t accomplish much and places like Morocco and India did as well as anybody. California seems to be running out of folks to infect long before vaccinations have gotten much beyond the almost certainly already exposed hospital staff and first responders.

Places with lots of hard lockdown and social distancing look to have time shifted the curve to the right, and made it into 2 or 3 lumps, but otherwise not done much. Then there’s folks like Switzerland that seems to have done something right, and France that’s headed steadily back into the soup.

Or maybe it is all just differences in data gathering, testing, and artifacts.

What I think is clear is that nobody has a good handle on this thing, how it works, or how to prevent it from going where it wants. It is also pretty clear that the “new strain” hype is overdone. The UK and California pretty much show that as we’re both supposedly swimming in it.

Though I do wonder how much of this might just indicate where the people are willing to just say “screw it” to Government Edicts and do things like buy OTC HCQ or slather on some vet Ivermectin…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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81 Responses to Differences In Covid Trends Confusing

  1. brad says:

    For what it’s worth, Switzerland has been under a major lock down for months, in an attempt to control infection rates. Also, “banning face coverings” does not apply in this case (exception for public health).

  2. another ian says:


    Cross posted here


    Jo is a trained virologist

  3. Simon Derricutt says:

    On Dr. Kendrick’s blog I came across this: https://www.rosemaryfrei.ca/the-curious-case-of-geert-vanden-bossche/ which is a little off-topic for this heading but could explain the variants better. Worth also reading her earlier posts on the subject. She does seem to actually know her subject and pokes holes in some of Bossche’s assertions.

    https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2021/03/13/what-is-an-anti-vaxxer/ (and his earlier posts) covers the problems with the accuracy of the information being published. Worth the time to read all his posts, I think.

    I’m also having problems making sense of the data we are told. Yep, the problem with the replication limit on the PCR test means we can’t compare apples with apples, and it’s really odd that the WHO reduced the recommended number of replications just around Jan 20th. Since so far it seems there hasn’t been any actual isolated virus produced and put under an electron microscope, the sequencing of the virus (and identification of the variants) seems to be based on partial information. However, I don’t have any deep knowledge on biology in general, let alone microbiology, how to sequence genes, and virus science, so I’m relying on what the experts say far more than I’d like. Since a lot of them disagree (which is pretty normal for science being developed) it’s necessary to make estimates on how competent the people are and how much they are running on beliefs rather than data. A lot of uncertainties….

    On the graphs, it really looks like the lockdowns did what was expected and extended the time without much changing the total number of infections or deaths. Since that also gives more time for variants to develop, could be more deaths overall. Seems to me that the chance of a mis-replication of a virus (thus producing a variant) depends primarily on the number of replications performed in all the people who are infected. Most mis-replications will be non-viable, and thus immediately die (or fail to replicate further, much the same), and only a few will be viable. Of those viable ones, if the person’s immune system can’t kill it and it continues to replicate, it can be passed to someone else. Thus the standard care (stay home until it gets too bad and you need hospital) is a bad strategy, since it encourages such variants to be produced. IVM seems to work well at stopping replication, thus allowing more time for the immune system to produce antibodies and kill the virus that’s there, so use of IVM would reduce the rate of production of new (and possibly more infectious/more deadly) variants.

    Over here in France, this year has been so far quite a bit short of nice sunny days (though today is looking good so far) so with the lockdowns and curfews a lot of people won’t have been topping up their vitamin D the natural way. Also note that it’s been made illegal to prescribe HCQ (except for malaria, lupus etc.) or to buy it, and that Ivermectin isn’t available except through a vet – you can’t buy it over the counter (or at least I haven’t found any for sale). Tonic water is still available, though. In the general news here, there’s almost no discussion of alternatives to vaccination or of things that improve your chances. Either tough it out or go to hospital if you can’t. Thus the infection rate in France will depend on severity of lockdown and what new variants are produced.

    Could be that the graph data doesn’t make sense because the area covered is too large, and where the infection rate has dropped off in the cities it’s rising in the areas further away from them. As always, averages lose data, and we’re seeing only the totals and not the detail of which sub-areas have rising or falling infection rates. For France, it seems the Paris area hospitals are getting overloaded and shifting patients to Bordeaux and Belgium, so could be that’s a new variant causing that and people who’ve recovered from an earlier variant are susceptible to the new one. However, France doesn’t do a lot of sequencing to find out what variants there are (mainly the UK that does the majority of the sequencing and thus tracks variants). There does however seem to be a new one in Brittany.

  4. billinoz says:

    @EM, The countries and places which are still trying to have open borders ( for ideological or income based reasons ( eg Tourism ) are being hammered…And then, if they can, they shut their borders… And the rate of infection drops….a bit or even more..At which point the borders are opened a bit or more.. And the infection rate booms again..
    Meanwhile New Zealand & we Aussies have our borders pretty shut.

    PS I left a late comment on your Friday Aussie post..It was still in moderation last time I looked…

    [Reply: Nothing hanging about in moderation… -E.M.S.]

  5. Simon Derricutt says:

    Also worth reading Mutant-variations-and-the-danger-of-lockdowns-By-Jemma-Moran-March-2-2021.pdf as found at https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2021/03/13/what-is-an-anti-vaxxer/#comment-212981 (downloadable if you click on “tools”) which argues that the interventions (lockdowns etc.) are providing evolution pressure to produce more virulent and more deadly versions of the virus. Only 6 pages, and the argument makes sense to me.

  6. H.R. says:

    I’m having trouble believing any of the reports of cases and deaths, particularly here in the U.S.

    I’m aware of at least a couple of changes to the recording and reporting since the start of this highly politicized pandemic. The U.S. reports of cases and deaths go from apples to cherries to oranges and there is just no comparing those in any way that makes sense.

    My measure is just how many people I see dropping dead in the streets.

    I’ve written before that this is a strange virus. IMO, it’s a good bit deadlier than most flu bugs, but it also seems to have more preventative and treatment measures than the usual flu strains.

    So, I’ve been taking my quinine + zinc + D3 +C + Melatonin, which I’d already been taking for other reasons, and have some Ivermectin at hand in case the virus gets past my perimeter defenses. I wash my hands a lot. Then I just don’t worry about it.

    I don’t think we’ll (the U.S.) ever get good numbers that will allow us to analyze what was really going on. The whole reporting system was politicized and incentivized to make the numbers lie. How can anyone make sense of nonsense?

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    Prior to Covid, there wasn’t much approved (or even believed to work) as an anti-viral and what there was mostly focused on the “Common Cold” symptom reduction or AIDS suppression.

    THE big leap, IMHO, instigated by Chinese Wuhan Covid is that we (and a large part of the Medical Community…) became aware of all the things that had “some antiviral properties” and how our innate immune system was critical to stopping a bunch of viruses. It went from “specialized and not relevant to most folks with little interest and funding” to “front and center of peoples attention”.

    So we learned that “some guy off some where” knew Doxycycline had antiviral effects and that Stammets showed mushrooms had antiviral effects and that anti-Malarials also seemed to have antiviral effects and Zinc was critical as was Vit-D to antiviral immune responses.

    I like to think I am highly informed in the area of biology and immunity (at least through upper division genetics) yet of them I only knew about Vit-D & C and the mushrooms prior to Covid. (Well, a little suspicion about Zinc).

    So edge case knowings became wide spread rapidly.

    IMHO we will find these same things work on other viruses such as Flu. We just didn’t bother to look very hard before.


    There’s also an argument that using a vaccine during a pandemic selects for more virulent and damaging mutations. That a vaccine ought to be used prior to infection as it can then prevent the known type from multiplying, but during a pandemic with millions (billions?) of infected hosts and trillions of virus particles, the vaccine is just selecting for the most aggressive and variable types… Don’t know if I believe that, but it seems to fit known facts.


    Except that here in the USA we have open borders and yet States are highly variable too. Take South Dakota vs Florida vs California vs N.Y.C.

    South Dakota had little problem and more of a “one and done” minor peak and got over it.
    Florida did a lockdown, then not, and had a double peak but is now wide open and ‘got over it’.
    California & N.Y.C. did hard urban lockdowns, closed borders, the works, and had more cases and worse outcomes than anywhere else in the States. Now easing restrictions and California looks to be getting over it.

    So the thesis that lockdowns and hard borders “fixes it” while open borders causes mass infection is not proven. What IS proven by Australia and New Zealand is that IFF you get your border firmly shut before significant disease arrives AND hard quarantine the sick AND do effective contact tracing, you can prevent infection on islands.

    What is not yet known is what will happen in Australia and New Zealand when they attempt to reconnect with the Rest Of World… Will vaccination work for a whole population, or just select for the new odd strain? Have you “dodged the bullet”, or just delayed it to next year? Nobody knows.


    Ah, so Switzerland voted to ban face coverings except when they are not banned… got it… (Sigh.)

  8. cdquarles says:

    There are lots of problems with the reported numbers. One large factor is politics. Case definitions not only vary over time and place, they were horribly loosened. Conflating specific illnesses with syndromes didn’t help. Another large factor is the over-reliance on PCR tests. PCR tests detect nucleic acid strings. They do not detect pathogens. I get why (remember, I did work in two pathology labs and later worked with others doing my day (and night ;p) job) they get used. They are much easier to automate and much less labor intensive than doing cultures and electron microscopy. Also forgotten is that viruses that have seasonal epidemics still get transmitted and cause sporadic outbreaks throughout the year.

  9. YMMV says:

    Simon Derricutt: “On the graphs, it really looks like the lockdowns did what was expected and extended the time without much changing the total number of infections or deaths. Since that also gives more time for variants to develop, could be more deaths overall.”

    For lockdowns, I’ve yet to see convincing evidence. In theory, they could have slowed down transmission, but without total isolation, there is no way they would have reduced the number at risk. If there is one thing that has been proven, it is that the virus is good at being transmitted. But we still don’t understand how, or rather, how to prevent that.

    For variants, absolutely. The result of not seriously trying non-vaccine prevention is that we have more variants. More time, more variants. Most importantly, more finely tuned variants. Evolution works faster when the time between generations is smaller, and when the reproduction is mistake prone.

    Nobody has satisfactorily explained the “waves”. Why do some camels have one hump and others two? Or three? Some places were doing so well after the first hump that they declared it “over”, only to have a second hump.

    Now the media is saying Astrazenica doesn’t work with the SA variant. The Fat Lady has not sung.

  10. p.g.sharrow says:

    this was brought to my attention;

    ‘�� Russia has a post-mortem dissectioned Covid-19 patient, a great discovery has been made. Russia is the world’s first country to dissect the dead bodies of Covid-19 and, after a thorough investigation, it has been established that Covid DOES NOT exist AS VIRUS. �� It’s a GLOBAL SCAM. �� anPeople is dying of ‘ extended electromagnetic radiation (poison) “. Doctors in Russia violate World Health Organization (WHO) law that doesn’t allow autopsies of people who died from Covid-19. Afterwards some time the most scientific discovery couldn’t be presumed to be a virus, but the bacteria that causes death and leads to the formation of blood clots in the veins and nerves that cause the patient’s death due to this bacteria. Russia defeated the virus and said, ′′ there’s nothing but blood vessel clotting (thrombosis) and the treatment method is intact “. Antibiotics Anti-inflammatory tablets and anticoagulant intake (aspirin). It means that the disease can be cured, this resounding message for the world has been prepared by Russian doctors through the autopsy (carcass) of the Covid-19. virus. According to other Russian scientists, ventilators and ICU units (UCI) not have ever been used. The protocols for this have already been published in Russia. CHINA already knew but never posted their report. �� Share this information with your family, neighbors, friends, friends, work colleagues so they can get out of fear of Covid-19 and understand that it’s not a virus, but it’s simply exposed bacteria that produces 5 G rays. The cause is to hurt people with very low immunity. This radiation also causes inflammation and hypoxia. Those who are victims should take Aprin-100 mg and Apronicot or Paracetamol 650 mg. Because it’s been proven that Covid-19 causes blood clotting, it leads to thrombosis in people and because blood clots in the veins and therefore the brain, heart and lungs can’t oxygenate, which makes it difficult for people breathing and people die quickly with lack of breathing energy. Doctors in Russia didn’t listen to WHO protocol and dissected dead bodies on the corpses of Covid-19. Doctors opened arms, legs and other parts of the body and, after being properly tested, noticed that blood vessels and veins filled with clots that normally prevented blood flow, as well as reducing oxygen flow in the body, causing the patient to die. Following the news of this study, the Russian Ministry of Health changed the treatment protocol for Covid-19 and administered aspirin-100 mg to its positive patients and started administering Empromak. As a result, patients started recovering and their health started to improve. The Russian Ministry of Health has discharged and sent home more than 14.000 patients in one day.”Source: Russia Ministry of Health.. Sandy Steen

    This seems to be the case in other investigations, No one, not even the CDC can produce a sample of the COVID-19 virus to independent researchers. And the overall yearly death rate shows little or No increase over the last year, just a change in attribution to cause…pg

  11. The True Nolan says:

    @H.R. “I don’t think we’ll (the U.S.) ever get good numbers that will allow us to analyze what was really going on. The whole reporting system was politicized and incentivized to make the numbers lie. How can anyone make sense of nonsense?”

    Thank you for your comment. It saved me from posting pretty much the same reply. The numbers do NOT make sense. Back in June I looked at the Johns Hopkins numbers for all 50 states and found that the average reported death rate was three times higher in the Democrat controlled states than in the Republican states. OK, sure there are minor demographic differences, and certainly the “let’s kill the old people” policies of some Dem states made a difference — but a factor of three seems a bit much. I live in a VERY rural area. A few months back I looked up the case rate for my county and the county next door — both counties being demographically, politically and economically nearly identical. My county showed one of the highest rates in the state, and the county next door was almost zero. I am also puzzled by the odd clustering of many cases. Obviously, if you have a case in a retirement home, the other patients are much more likely to get sick, but even if everyone in the home got sick it seems like we have reported clusters of very high mortality, much higher than would be expected when compared to the overall case mortality rate for the appropriate age bracket.

    The numbers are wonky. The statistics of this supposed pandemic are being manipulated in a way which mirrors the sort of shenanigans done by the Global Warming “experts”. So why the big lie? I don’t know the specific answer, but I can say that we are being lied to because someone wants us to do something which we would not agree to if we were told the truth.

    @cdquarles: “There are lots of problems with the reported numbers. One large factor is politics. Case definitions not only vary over time and place, they were horribly loosened. Conflating specific illnesses with syndromes didn’t help. Another large factor is the over-reliance on PCR tests.”

    Yes. NONE of the numbers seem reliable. Not infection rate, not case rate, not death rate, not “vaccine” efficacy, not testing procedures. As H.R. says, how many people do we see dropping in the street? Which brings me to a question. We DID see videos from China of people dropping in the street. Why there but not here? Genetics? No, because we would see people dropping in various China-towns here in the US. General level of health or Vitamin D? Pollution? Maybe… Fake video to promote a scare in the West? Could be. Again, a question which we can’t answer because our access to known accurate data is restricted.

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    I get that hackles feeling whenever 5G is mentioned in connection with Chinese Wuhan Covid. For me it is a flag of probable hoax.

    Then a bacteria emitting 5G? Really? Most bacteria are a few micrometers long, while the exceptional one might be 1/2 mm long. 5G ranges from 1 mm to 10 mm. So almost all bacteria are the wrong length to emit / ‘tune’ to most of the 5G spectrum (not to mention being grounded in salty soup…) and only one or two exotic species come close to the shortest 5G spectrum as a 1/4 or 1/2 wave antenna. We won’t get into the question of how they generate the pulsed electricity…

    I’m not buying it.

    Now I will buy the notion that the real culprit in the disease is the clotting and immune reaction for those folks who get hospitalization. (All those with “sniffles and done” do not…) That’s an over reaction of their immune system to the debris of the infection.

    No virus found?

    I think that conflates “no we do not have viable samples to send to you” with the notion of “nobody saw anything”. I’m pretty sure a lot of folks have seen the virus under examination in labs with specialized equipment (SEM) and / or have grown it out in cultures. But that’s not the same as “I have a viable purified sample of live virus to send”. Vastly different…

    I note in passing that the “Russian Report” does not say any electron microscopes were used to examine the dead person, nor did they state how long after initial infection did the person die. By about the 3rd week the virus particles have been destroyed but the fragments are causing a cytokine storm and death. You will not find viable virus then, just virus debris and lots of immune cells.

    Would the proposed treatment work? (Anti-coagulants, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics). They ought to. It’s roughly the same as found to be helpful here in hospitalized patients.

    The virus attacks red blood cells and white blood cells causing clumping and clotting, then the cytokine storm causes even worse clotting. The treatment is the same, stop the clotting. Oddly, one of the unusual reactions to one of the vaccines is an autoimmune attack on platelets leading to poor clotting and bleeding out… So blood is the key organ of interest here… however you attribute the causality.

    Note to Others: I’m no fan of 5 GHz. We’ve had to shut off the 5GHz on our WiFi as it was disrupting our sleep (and yes, I then tested it via on/off and spousal response without her knowing…) So yes, I’m certain 5GHz does undesirable things to people as I’ve experienced it. BUT despite sitting 3 feet away from a 5GHz source for weeks, no blood clots. (Telco router on my office desk…) But I DO feel better and we both sleep much better with the 5 GHz turned off and the 2.5 GHz turned down to lowest reliable power – about 1/3 power. NOTE Too: 5G and 5 GHz are different things, but related. 5 G is Fifth Generation and can range from 300 MHz to 3 GHz, which means my 2.5 GHz “old” WiFi is smack in the band of 5G. Yet here I am… 3 feet from a computer using it to talk to a WiFi router not that far away, and between the living-room TV and the router too.

    We did some testing of shutting off the 2.5 GHz at night and sleeping was a tiny bit better, but not enough to be sure. So mostly I’ve not bothered shutting off the whole works at night. But whenever Telcos want to run up to 5 GHz (in 6-G perhaps?) that will be a very bad idea…

    Just be aware that if 5G signals in the 2.5 GHz range caused Covid Clotting, everyone in Starbucks would be a corpse and everyone with a cell phone plastered to their face would have strokes.

  13. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Simon D.,
    ” Ivermectin isn’t available except through a vet ”
    In Washington State, and I assume other western States,
    Ivermectin is sold for horse worming. It is currently $5 for a
    tube to treat a 1,200 pound animal. All the farm/ranch/feed stores
    have it and a couple of other treatments of similar type.
    Some claim this is not formulated for humans. I don’t know.

  14. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    My dose #2 is tomorrow at 9:30 am.

  15. YMMV says:

    I had a tube of horse IVM in my hands. It was an “oral drench”, with a plunger nicely set up to dose in 50 kg increments. I looked closely at all the labels and instructions. It said it was “Ivermectin”, plain and simple, and it did not list any other ingredients. IMO, IVM is IVM and it is the other things you have to watch out for (maybe). One recent study said you could overdose by a factor of 1000 and still be safe (I’d have to check the words, so don’t take my memory as fact).

    It’s now common knowledge that Covid comes from the virus getting in via the ACE2 receptors. But that is not the only attack.. The virus also uses the CD147 receptors on red blood cells to cause clotting. CD147 is the one malaria attacks. So it is not a coincidence that the things which work against malaria also have some effect against Covid. like HCQ and Azithromycin.

  16. philjourdan says:

    I was going to state the obvious, but CD beat me to it. How about looking at what tests are being used to determine infections? Like who is reporting “deaths from WuFlu” versus reporting “Deaths with WuFlu”. You are trying to compare apples and oranges. Some countries are reporting one thing for infections and others another thing (PCR versus the real test). And then reporting “With” versus “From”. The data sucks because this is not a medical issue. It is a political issue.

  17. philjourdan says:


    So the thesis that lockdowns and hard borders “fixes it” while open borders causes mass infection is not proven.

    Actually again apples and oranges. What NY and CA did was Lockdown their own population! i.e. they made them shut ins. Why is the flu (and cold) worse in the winter? Is the temperature? No,. It is the fact that most people are INDOORS. Breathing stale air and not getting any sunshine – which is what CA and NY did.

    What did NZ and OZ do? Locked their borders! They did not shut in their residents!

    Big difference. To beat a virus (among other things), Vitamin D – SUNSHINE. Democrats, like roaches hate that.

  18. philjourdan says:

    Just be aware that if 5G signals in the 2.5 GHz range caused Covid Clotting, everyone in Starbucks would be a corpse and everyone with a cell phone plastered to their face would have strokes.

    AH! The Chinese plan is revealed! LOL

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    NYC put up border checkpoints.

    California didn’t lock me in my home but did stop flights from international for a while and did put the hot spot of L.A, basin under curfew at night for a while. Mostly stopping travel. Loads of us still went to parks, walked the dogs, and sunned ourselves in the yard. We were not shut in.

  20. pauligon59 says:

    you find what you look for.

    You might want to look at the number of tests conducted over time and compare that with the number of cases found. Be sure to mark when the testing reduced the number of cycles to detect an actual infection. Also keep in mind that early case counts were a combination of judgement as much as confirmed by test.

    Then there is the presumed patient zero vs the actual patient zero in this country combined with the infectiousness of this virus. If it was as infectious as they said, and I have no reason to doubt that, and USA patient zero was likely back in November/December 2019 rather than January 2020, and that there was/is a fear of asymptomatic spread the patient zero is more likely in November than in December – then we should have had way more infections than they actually confirmed.

    What that says is that the data you were looking at are a sample, and maybe not a random sample, of the population so that the number of actual infections may be as much as ten times more than confirmed cases. WHich is why the CDC most likely Infection Fatality Rate is somewhere around 0.23. About twice as bad as a bad influenza.

    Personally, I think the world population is approaching herd immunity with or without vaccinations and that is what the data is telling us.

    My 2 bits.

  21. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – Put up border checkpoints? WHere? AZ and NV? How about El Centro and Tijuana?

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    NYC had border checkpoints. At the bridges.

    California has always had border checkpoints, but they just check for folks bringing in fruits. We already have enough fruits in the State already… and don’t need any more… So yes, California has inspection stations at the borders with Arizona, Nevada, Mexico, etc.


    California Border Protection Stations (CBPS) are 16 checkpoints maintained by the California Department of Food and Agriculture along the state’s land borders with Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. Officials staffing CBPS checkpoints inspect vehicle traffic entering California for the presence of pests; vehicles discovered to be carrying infested cargo are denied entry to the state.

    Then there’s:

    Other checkpoints in California
    In addition to state-maintained CBPS checkpoints, the United States Department of Homeland Security maintains 20 United States Border Patrol interior checkpoints at California’s airports and seaports, and that portion of the Mexico-United States border contiguous with California’s southern frontier.

    In theory you can’t get into the State without some kind of inspection…

    Though to the best of my knowledge at no time did they seal the California border for Covid. NYC had Covid checkpoints.

  23. Paul, Somerset says:

    It’s a long time ago now, but do you remember when you were investigating selenium. Although I’ve been eating my daily Brazil nut ever since reading this (and not had a hint of any illness ever since), I’d forgotten just how startling the evidence was for selenium deficiency being at the root of all of this viral illness.
    I was particularly drawn to your first post in the comments section, where differences in death rates in different areas of China turned out to be simply a function of selenium levels in the population.Sure, these are death rates rather than positive-test rates, but if someone’s selenium levels are adequate, and they’re not feeling morbidly ill, then they’re less likely to be tested in the first place.
    I realize this doesn’t really explain the mysterious nature of the curves in different countries, but it’s a hell of a factor missing in the information needed to understand what’s been going on country-by-country.
    I found this study, which suggested selenium levels are suboptimal in most countries in Europe and the Middle east, though a lot of the literature reviewed wasn’t really population-wide:
    The UK figures did seem to be the result of a proper population study, and the conclusions are pretty grim as regards selenium levels in our population.
    As I said, it doesn’t really help in answering your question, but amid all the talk of Ivermectin and other pharmaceutical treatments, it’s worth just bringing this almost ubiquitous mineral deficiency back into the spotlight.

  24. another ian says:


    “”… Haven’t half of all Israelis already been vaccinated?
    Yes, they have.

    Haven’t 90% of all Israelis over 60 (the age-group most likely to die from Covid) already been vaccinated?Webb, GeorgeBuy New $0.99(as of 05:14 EDT – Details)


    Then how did “Israel manage to double the number of deaths it accumulated in the prior ten months of the pandemic”…”within two months of intensive inoculation with the Pfizer vaccine“?

    And, why did “Israel’s Covid-19 cases… spike sharply during the first month of the … mass vaccination campaign.“?

    And, why “after just 2 months of … mass vaccination” are “76% of new Covid-19 cases.. under 39. Only 5.5% are over 60. 40% of critical patients are under 60.”? ”


  25. David A says:

    Another Ian, very good post IMV.

    There may be one common denominator in the Worldometer charts. It is very difficult to find a location in the graphics where the vaccine is effective. In many cases the decline was happening before the vaccines could have a visible affect, and the decline in cases, and deaths began to flatline around the third week of February, at about the time you would expect the vaccines to begin to impact.

    Of course I agree with all that the numbers are FUBAR in widely different ways from nation to nation, etc…

    I wonder if other nations cut the cycles in the testing, or if they were ever as high as in the US? The beginning of the US drop does appear to be around the middle of January and it begins to flatline a month later.

    Dates are hard to see because of the graphic formation, but tapping on them gives the exact date.

    Does anyone see any clear indications of vaccine effectiveness? The vaccine experience in Israel is a bit alarming.

    If, as was reported, 25 percent plus of the population in India has been exposed, then their CFR is only 50 percent of a bad flu year.

    Total mortality numbers are hard to find, and the veracity of the CDC is difficult to fully trust. When I last checked their numbers for all cause deaths were up about 9 percent, 2020 vs 2019. About a 1.5 percent increase was expected.

    I decided to try a different route for comparing those years. I contacted the NFDA ( national funeral directors association) and was pleasantly surprised to get these numbers for total US burials, cremations and other,.
    2018 2,855,093
    2019 2,876,700. Plus 21,607
    2020. 3,104,050. Plus 227,350

    However the caution was issued that 2020 was not completed and partially based on estimates. I did write back asking when finale numbers may be expected, and am waiting for a response.

  26. David A says:

    Perhaps my biggest question, once all cause deaths are known, is how many were potentially wrongly attributed to the Wuflu?

    Stress is a killer. A USA today article stated… “in October the CDC released a report saying there had been an estimated 299,028 excess deaths in 2020 from late January through Oct. 3 — with 66% of those attributed to the coronavirus.”

    Is that an admittance that 34 percent of 2020 excess mortality was an increase in other causes of death?

  27. tom0mason says:

    About the figures from Germany and most of Europe and by the look of it Mexico too — modulate the numbers to increase the peaks …

    Also of note is that there is no flu counting for most countries, so many places are probably putting people dying with complications with flu into the COVID death numbers. Britain does not count flu and also never has differentiated death from COVID from deaths with COVID — thus inflating the COVID numbers.

  28. Simon Derricutt says:

    YMMV – it makes sense that if you don’t meet anyone else, or at least don’t get close enough for long enough to get infected, you’re not going to catch what diseases they may be carrying. However, experimentally I’m not so sure about that. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been full of snot which started with a sore throat which started on a Sunday, where I’ve only been out shopping on Saturdays for the last year, with those trips being minimum time and keeping distance from others (and of course wearing a mask to comply with legal statutes here). I figure it must have been one of the cats who infected me. Or maybe something else. I don’t reckon it was Covid, since no anosmia and no fever, just a lot of phlegm and at times somewhat short of breath because of that. If there had been tests, though, there’s a possibility it may have registered as positive given the non-specificity of the tests. However, to get a test I’d have needed to drive 50km or so, so I didn’t. It’s very rare for me to get ill at all, so I figure my immune system must be in good order, though of course with the general lockdown it’s not getting exercised as much as usual so may have deteriorated somewhat.

    EM – the second post I put up suggests that with lockdowns, masks, and vaccines, we’re driving the evolution of more-infectious and more-lethal variants of the virus. Also that vaccination during an epidemic is a bad strategy that will select for a variant that escapes the vaccination, especially since we are told that the vaccination will not stop vaccinated people being infectious. It thus seems to me that the strategy of our respective governments (backed by the medical/scientific advice they are getting) could backfire and produce a new wave of infections that are more infectious, infect the vaccinated, and are more-deadly that the original virus too.

    John and Nancy – the French government seem determined to stop French people being able to buy any non-official medicines that seem to work, and to limit people to vaccination as the only legal option. HCQ was restricted so doctors prescribing it risked being struck off unless it was for lupus, RA, or Malaria. Once it was noted that smokers were under-represented in the people hospitalised, and thus Nicotine (which also binds to ACE2) was seen as protective, the various Nicotine patches were restricted for sale only on prescription (though vaping products weren’t, but they make me cough anyway and I figure they are more dangerous than tobacco). Ivermectin seems only available from a vet, and not in shops, and I suspect that imports will likely be stopped by customs – you can buy it elsewhere but it won’t arrive. Annoys me a bit…. There are problems with over-regulation over here. I can however still buy tonic-water, maybe because the efficacy of that hasn’t been publicised. There may be ways of getting Ivermectin that work, but it’s not easy and around here there seems very little infection, so I’m not that fussed about it yet. That may change.

    Almost certainly the “patient zero” in each country is mis-identified. My daughter and ex-wife in Scotland got very ill with something that sounds like Covid in February 2020. Some French military athletes who went to a games in Wuhan in October 2019 went down with a disease that also sounds very similar. Put it down to a bad ‘flu at the time. It seems reasonable that the original escaped virus might have produced a worse variant around that time, given the frequency of mis-replication of an RNA virus. The longer someone remained ill and with the virus replicating in their body, the more chance of a new variant being produced, and one UK visitor at the time stated he’d spent around 4 weeks being ill, getting a bit better, and then getting more ill again.

    As EM noted, stuff that works against Malaria stops the attack on the blood cells, and anything that stops the virus replicating in the first place is going to allow the immune system that bit more time to defeat the virus. If you stop or delay replication of the virus, you also reduce the chances of a new variant being produced and being passed on to someone else. That seems to me to be a better strategy than lockdowns, masks, or vaccination.

    An amusing thing in the news, in that the EU is threatening to stop export of the AZ vaccine to the UK (who are still using it) because they are not getting the quantity they ordered, even though they are not using it and have a stock of unused vaccine. Doesn’t really make sense, except as hitting back at the UK for daring to leave the club.

  29. H.R. says:

    @David A re contacting the NFDA (funeral director group)

    Nice! Good thinking. Those are numbers that one can trust, sort of. I figure not every funeral service provider is a member of the NFDA. Some will sit out membership for various reasons and so the NFDA count is probably low. Some members may not even report their numbers; too busy to bother filling out the annual survey.

    But the NFDA total number of funerals should be apples to apples year over year. The same number of participants will report every year and the number who sit out membership or reporting their numbers will be much the same year over year. So IMO, that’s a really good number to work with for total deaths for a given year.

    I can’t see where the number is over-reported, but I doubt it is under-reported by much.

  30. p.g.sharrow says:

    The Chinese Doctor that treated the first patients reported that the disease started in a group of young Chinese Army people treated with a Sars-Corona vaccine. This was a part of his report published in December2019 on the Internet. He was later arrested, both he and his report were “disappeared” He also reported all the methods he used as successful treatments. These were POO-POOed by the officials starting in January 2020 as being bunk !…pg

  31. E.M.Smith says:


    “Doesn’t really make sense, except as hitting back at the UK for daring to leave the club.”

    Or as a way to help the “plandemic” along a little more… /paranoid;

    I do not judge by what any of these folks in governments say. I judge only on what they do and what that causes. Riots in Portland? Then that was your goal…

    I’m pondering a new Razor: “In politics, never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by evil and self interest.”

    It seems to explain things and cover the facts better than Occam’s Razor. Sadly.

    BTW, onset of symptoms usually takes at least a day and sometimes up to 5 after exposure, so you may have picked something up while shopping. Also note that Flu is common in several animal species and usually the new variant is carried from Asia to the R.O.W. by BIRDS. Got any birds around your house?…

    Eat your Brazil Nuts and fruit… and have oysters for dinner (zinc…). Consider doing some daily aspirin to reduce clotting risks (at the risk of bleeds… spouse can’t take aspirin without stomach issues, so use care…)

    IF you start feeling really bad (i.e. think you’ve got it…) you might recruit a friend to “vacation” in the malaria belt where HCQ is over the counter, or to visit the USA and refill an empty toothpaste tube with the horse paste Ivermectin… (It comes in a tube with a nozzle that ought to fit into the toothpaste tube outlet nicely…). Then bring it back incognito…

    Oh, and remember that Doxycycline has some antiviral action. India sells a packet with it and another anti-viral (HCQ / Ivermectin / one of them) and Azithromycin IIRC for $2.50 per treatment. Consider finding some Indian Friends… (Or call Big Company Tech Support off hours ;-)

    Hmmm… Actually, that’s a point to consider. India did a big spike and done pattern, but also during the spike rolled out this cheap and effective treatment packet… Perhaps places that look to be “tailing out” are the ones using “alternative” treatments. Either formally as India / Pakistan or informally as folks-like-me in the USA are doing… EUrope under more draconian rules, sicker. Places with no expensive high tech alternatives and poor, and places with easy availability of HCQ / Ivermectin / etc. just having folks “going their own way” and doing better? Seems to fit…


    Wonder if it exists on the Wayback Machine… Any pointers?

    @David A:

    Very nice. I’m pretty sure what H.R. said is how it will be. The folks who report just keep on reporting and Bob’s Best Burials of Bupkiss Burg will still not report his 2…

    I’d trust those numbers a hell of a lot more than the official ones from government.


    Yes… but that ought not change the different overall patterns of the graphs. One hump vs 2 and when in time. Makes the peaks look a bit higher though. But the graphs already have variable height scales so I’m not so sure it would change the distortion much. Still it IS a corruption.

    @Paul, Somerset:

    I tend to leave off selenium in my quick retelling of The Usual Benefactors. I think it is because it is in my daily multivitamin and I’ve “hit the check box”… I need to not do that.

    Vit-D, Vit-C, SELENIUM, Zinc, …

    I wonder if anyone has global maps of deficiency of Vit-D, Vit-C, zinc, & selenium. Putting those next to a map of severity of disease would be very interesting…

    Seasonal changes in foods and sun would modulate those, and could explain the double hump vs one hump vs ‘whatever’… We know seasonal modulation of immunity via Vit-D is important to flu.

    @Another Ian:

    That’s a very distressing observation about Israel.

    It supports the argument that vaccination during a pandemic outbreak is a bad idea as it selects for the more virulent, infectious, and harder to stop mutants and variations so makes things worse…

    I guess we’ll need to watch the UK, USA and other places hard pressing the Vax-For-All process to see if they follow suit.

  32. YMMV says:

    Simon Derricutt: “it makes sense that if you don’t meet anyone else, or at least don’t get close enough for long enough to get infected, you’re not going to catch what diseases they may be carrying. However, experimentally I’m not so sure about that.”

    Experimentally, Australia and New Zealand have proved that total isolation works. The question is, how big does the ocean have to be?

    Everything else just reduces the risk without eliminating it. Except lockdowns — lockdowns just jiggle the risks, less from outsiders but way more from the others in the same lockdown cell. Outside air, fleeting contacts are better. So the question is really how close for how long. The six foot rule is too much of a simplification and way too arbitrary.

    Think of allergies. Pollen is usually too small to see, but some are allergic to it. Mold spores are too small to see, but they are everywhere. No six foot rule for them. Cigarette smoke gets around more than six feet. You can smell it, so you don’t have to take anybody’s word for that. Several countries are investigating the use of dogs to detect a Covid smell on people. They say it is working very well.

    The problem is that we were hit by two viruses at once. Covid and “follow the science”. Three if you include corrupt and incompetent politicians, but they are not new.


  33. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, but corrupt politicians and a Plague Of Experts are commensal organisms with crisis & virus… so increase the spread and severity…

  34. YMMV says:

    If that link is too obscure, this one has the same image.

    Regarding Israel, there is a very reasonable explanation in this video.
    And BTW, she says that the SA variant DOES affect the young and very young. Big bad change.

  35. E.M.Smith says:


    They are trying to prevent imbeds and force you to ‘hit the link’, so here’s a bypass:

  36. Power Grab says:

    @ Nancy & John Hultquist re:
    “My dose #2 is tomorrow at 9:30 am.”

    How’d it go?

  37. David A says:

    @EM and HR, that was my thought so I checked. According to this report…


    “In 2019, the most recent year with official death estimates, 2,854,838 Americans died,…”
    vs. 2,876,700 from the NFDA. So surprisingly the NFDA show plus 22 k deaths.

    It will be a wait and see to get the NFDA totals. The person there e-mailed me one week ago. Yet she was coy about how updated the numbers were and when they would be finale.

  38. The True Nolan says:

    How many people died last year because they could not get timely treatment for cancer, heart disease, dementia, metabolic issues, psychological problems, alcoholism, breathing problems, etc.? Even without COVID deaths, the number of people affected by lack of standard medical care (not to mention increased deaths from suicide, depression, substance abuse and so on) should be expected to make the numbers skyrocket.

    If the 2020 death total was anywhere even NEAR 2019 then perhaps:1) COVID is not nearly as deadly as portrayed, and/or 2) current standard medical care is not nearly as effective as portrayed. One possibility is that COVID really DID kill a bunch of people — but that the lack of medical care access actually saved more people than it killed. (After all, some studies indicate that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death. Add in people made even more ill by drug side effects and we are looking at a big number!)

  39. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ EMSmith “@P.G.: Wonder if it exists on the Wayback Machine… Any pointers”
    It was in the links Larry Ledwick provided here at the start of 2020, maybe first week. of January. Seems to me that the information came to my attention right at the start of the year. We all discussed it as it exposed massive Vitamin C as well as HQ as treatments before Fauci and the WHO came down on them.

  40. Simon Derricutt says:

    Relevant here is https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2021/03/20/covid19-hidden-figures-and-ooda/ where Dr. Kendrick also can’t make sense of the published figures.

    Since the vaccines are “leaky”, and a vaccinated person can still be infectious, that makes the world into a gain-of-function lab, and it seems likely that a new variant will emerge that the vaccines can’t cope with and it more infectious and more deadly than the earlier versions. It’s getting a bit hard to consider this as being an unintended consequence, since it’s an obvious and expected consequence of having a method that doesn’t kill 100% of the bugs. The percentage that don’t get killed will obviously be the resistant ones, and will multiply. Similarly, using masks and social distancing selects for a virus variant that will be more infectious at the greater distances. It’s how evolution works, and any RNA virus will produce variations pretty rapidly since the replication isn’t that reliable. Though most variants will be non-viable, the sheer number generated implies that enough new viable variants will be produced to get around any impediment. The immune system is pretty amazing at killing 100% if it gets enough time to produce the right antibodies, so something that slows replication (such as IVM) looks to be a far better strategy.

    I think what annoys me most about this is that the mechanics of gain-of-function were known to the experts. I’ve gained a lot from CDQ’s posts here, but it’s not my job nor my subject and would take years to gain enough knowledge to get a professional opinion. Still, I find that the consequences of using a “leaky” vaccine that doesn’t stop 100% of the virus are well-known. As such, I don’t know why that strategy was implemented – it’s bound to cause problems. Maybe that raises the question as to whether this is deliberate….

  41. cdquarles says:

    A catch here, Simon, is that for the whole population, the immune system isn’t 100% either; even if it is for a particular individual. The variation is rather wide for any whole species. Within subgroup differences are often very wide compared to between subgroup differences. Genetics, environment and luck all matter. Embodied life is all mortal. The chemicals that are incorporated all get recycled. Man is not God, though we are like God and have some of His power and attributes. One of our sins is hubris. We get too sure of ourselves too often.

  42. YMMV says:

    The question of how deadly Covid is suffers from fuzzy numbers, even after a year.
    Figure 1 in this report shows that the answer is “it depends”.

    The current accepted reasoning is that children and youth can get and transmit Covid, but their immune systems manage it better (They can get Long Covid too). So their death rates are low.
    Older people are hit harder because of poor immune systems, diet and obesity, comorbidities, etc.
    Figure 1 shows that the death rate for the over 65 group is over 10 times that of the under 65 group.
    And then there is the group in long term care. Some of these people were going to die anyway. But their death rate is over 10 times that of the over-65 group. You might say that those people were the most locked down of all of us.

    Click to access main.pdf

  43. The True Nolan says:

    @Simon Derricutt: “Relevant here is https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2021/03/20/covid19-hidden-figures-and-ooda/ where Dr. Kendrick also can’t make sense of the published figures.”

    Great link, very well thought out essay, thanks. I would add that the numbers concerning COVID remind me strongly of the fraudulent numbers which the CAGW alarmists have been using for 20 years to justify their scam. The closer you look, the more you see that many of them are simply lying. I just left a comment at Dr. Kendrick’s site which I am appending here:

    “It is important to notice that the data is bad — but notice also that it is bad in ways that are not attributable to normal human error. No honest professional with knowledge of the field would run PCR tests at 40 or 45 cycles – but that standard was ordered adopted. No honest professional with knowledge of the field would ascribe a death as due to COVID solely on the basis of a known faulty positive test result, and yet that standard was accepted in various locations all over the world. No honest professional would use lies and fraudulent “studies” to demonize promising alternative treatments such as Ivermectin, Vitamin D, zinc, and HCQ. Very similar statements can be made about many other COVID policies, such as sending elderly patients back to their care homes to infect other elders, or denying and delaying medical care to sufferers of cancer, heart disease, etc., or doing massive lockdowns of populations not at risk or showing symptoms. The point is that yes, the data is bad and IT HAS BEEN MADE BAD ON PURPOSE. One can reasonably assume that we have been lied to in order to make us do something which we would NOT do were we told the truth.

    What are we being persuaded to do? The top of the list, in my opinion, is that we are being driven to take an experimental “vaccine” whose long term effects are either unknown or undisclosed. Second on my list is that we are being driven to accept (gladly for most people) the dispersal of TRILLIONS of dollars, most of which are going to the politically well connected. Third on my list is that we are being driven to accept as normal an increasing amount of restrictions on public gatherings, travel, allowable medical care, working conditions, and freedom of speech. So, which of the three choices is the right answer? Obviously, ALL of them, and probably others as well. Of the three, however, it is the first that worries me most. Certainly the “vaccines” are an economic windfall for the manufacturers, not only in immediate usage but also in the possible long term side effects which might generate even more profit for the health care industry. Very possibly the vaccines will create long term sterility or greatly shortened lifespan, both of which have been publicly wished for goals from many politically and financially powerful figures. Depopulation, to most people, is such a horrific idea to non-psychopaths that we tend to discount it, but lack of credulity is not much of a refutation.

    If depopulation is in fact one of the big goals, that explains the odd clustering of deaths, the reports of care facilities with extremely high death rates. If you look at the infection rates, the expected death rates, and the spread rates, it is difficult to explain the huge disparities from location to location. Such clustering is easy to explain if you simply assume that “yes, someone wants to push depopulation, and they are willing to create fear and panic in order to do so.” Just pick an area with good press coverage (London, New York, Los Angeles, etc.) and spread some aerosolized poison such as ricin, a substance which produces symptoms almost indistinguishable from COVID. Use a drone if you like. Easy deal. Suddenly you get a spike in “COVID deaths” and a big spike in fear as well. Not a pleasant subject — but think like a psychopath, not like a neuro-typical, and it makes sense.

    Bottom line: The data is bad, but it is bad ON PURPOSE. Someone wants to do something we would not agree to. They (whoever they are) are willing to use methods which result in the deaths of many innocent people. They are attempting to gain money, political power, and to inject an experimental medical treatment into billions of people.

    I do not like where these thoughts lead me, but I think that it is an objective analysis. In parting, I would ask you to examine your own reaction. If your first thought is, “But NO ONE would do something that evil!”, then I suggest you go get some cookies and a comic book, because you have certainly not been paying attention as an adult.”

  44. E.M.Smith says:


    I remind you of my stated opinion that, absent strong evidence to the contrary: What you get WAS the intended result in political contexts.

    Given that they knew, and did this, the they got the desired results. The hard bit is just working out what all they are. More deaths? More vaccine sales for decades? More budget and news coverage? (Note that “saving lives” is not in my list of their motivations…)

    Note that one need not be Truly Evil to say “Gee I can get $Billions from a Vaccine”;and maybe it will help some folks”… while choosing to ignore the uncomfortable truth of mutations. Just requires that your greed turn the knob down some on your concern about things “not in evidence right now”… and a ‘hypothetical’ future…



    Remember that 10% or so of the population are Psychopaths AND that they tend to rise in hierarchical power structures more than normal folks.

    This says that at least 10% and possibly as high as 50% of the very rich and powerful are NOT normal and are in fact psychopathic. And they control the government…

    In that context, Occam’s Razor fails (“never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” is my rephrase of it) as you KNOW these folks are not stupid and you KNOW they have a higher percentage of the “malicious” psychopaths. The necessary conclusion from that is my new razor. That “The result you see WAS the intent” and not a result of stupidity.

  45. The True Nolan says:

    I am not sure how many of us still remember the spate of dead microbiologists, epidemiologists and virologists that took place in the early 2000s.

    What does it prove? By itself, nothing, but it is another piece of data that makes you go, “hmmmmm..”

  46. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – I’ve generally discounted conspiracy theories as explanations, but it’s getting harder to hold to that stance. Bear in mind that a pretty large proportion of the people I know lean to the left, and hold the socialist shiny thing in great esteem. They aren’t at all bad people, but believe that socialism hasn’t been properly implemented yet which is why it always failed, and ignore the evidence that tells us that basic human nature will ensure that it will always fail except in family or other such close situations where “the breadwinner” of the family is happy to sacrifice personal gains for the good of the family/group. That ideal person and society structure is also part of our Christian ideals, even when the religion itself has been largely discarded.

    Thus there’s the charitable thinking that says that if a women is unfortunate enough to have a child out of wedlock, she and the child should be supported by the State and be given housing and money to raise that child. I’ve known girls who deliberately got pregnant in order to get that benefit…. In general, anyone will do the minimum of the stuff they don’t really want to do (often the job that earns their living) in order to live and spend the rest of their time doing things they enjoy. I was somewhat odd (and lucky) in that I had great fun in the jobs I did and would have done them without pay if it had been possible to still eat. Doing the job was the reward. The money earned was an extra benefit and providing it was sufficient I didn’t really care about it that much.

    The implications of TTN’s (Jason’s) analysis is that *someone* saw an opportunity to make a load of money, and in the meantime reduce the number of useless people. It could well be true. The problem I see with this is that money only represents human time, and our civilisation depends on having a lot of people with knowledge in their specialised subject doing their jobs, so that almost anything you use has a small contribution from many thousand people involved in some way to produce it. If you remove (as in Agenda 21 or 30) 90% of the people, then that money won’t be worth as much and could even have no value – if there’s no food production you can’t eat gold, and if the net goes down then your Bitcoins have absolutely no use either (not that there’s any real value there anyway).

    Charity is workable when not too many people need it, and where a person finds it not too difficult to produce enough resources for their needs (or immediate family needs), so producing an extra 10-20% or so isn’t too onerous. That person also needs to set aside some extras for hard times, and this is where some degree of socialism is useful – if the group is large enough and diverse enough, then only small numbers will be having a problem at any time and support from the ones doing well at the time enables those unlucky people to recover from the problem and become productive again. Basically, an agreement for mutual insurance. This can work, but will fail when not enough people can put things into the communal pot.

    A bit of a digression, but digging into the fallacy of being able to make a profit out of destroying the fabric of our society, and thus the proposal that Big Pharma will make a massive profit from the vaccines and that the uber-rich will get even richer by removing a large proportion of the population. They may of course get a lot of money, but since the money only has value relative to the power of the society to produce food and goods, and the power of society to do that will be severely impacted by reducing the number of people, the value of the money will be drastically reduced in real terms.

    Maybe the time I spent in Failure Analysis, and thus seeing just how many suppliers are involved in producing one product, made me realise just how interconnected our modern society is. If you trace out the number of suppliers to one product, and then look to the number of suppliers each of those uses, and keep on tracing back to where their supplies came from (including the machinery they used to do their part of the process) the tree grows rapidly and you never get right to the bottom of it, with some of those roots going back quite a way in time, too.

    This is starting to digress too much (rambling). Maybe the underlying point is that I think few people will do things they consider evil – they like to think it’s for the greater good or they just see an opportunity to do less “work” (stuff they don’t enjoy) and get more profit (that is, the ability to spend more time doing what they do enjoy, whether that’s lying by the pool or something else). However, I’m probably not the best person to understand what people base their beliefs on, since I tend to not-believe and try to analyse the available data, with the knowledge that that data is not always dependable.

    I’m somewhat pissed-off that just as we’re on the brink of solving the problem of getting enough energy cheaply and being able to raise many more people (maybe almost-all) out of poverty (I’ll post on WOOD about that), it seems that people in positions of power are trying to screw up the systems that have been developed and to knock more people into poverty and to kill a lot of people in the process. Too much concentration on getting a bigger slice of the cake, where technology can grow the size of the cake to more than enough for everyone. Also relates to the stories of “running out” of stuff, where if that starts to get close our technologies can and do find alternatives.

  47. The True Nolan says:

    Hey Simon, please pardon the brevity of this response, but I am literally heading out on a one week trip, leaving in a few minutes. Of course you may very well be right; certainly in the past all wealth has been the product of human beings. Is that still the case, or at least is that the case for the average human? Is the promise of robotics and AI great enough to “justify” (to a psychopath) getting rid of 50% or 90% of the population? The phrase “useless eater” has been bandied about for several decades, at least among the elite. (As a side note, I don’t think the elite have even a vague ideal what average people do to promote prosperity — but I am not the one making the decisions.)

    Again, you may be correct, but at what point do we use the Duck Test for population control, aka genocide? If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck, maybe it really IS a duck, even if we can’t figure out how on earth a duck would be showing up in a hospital ward.

  48. cdquarles says:

    @Simon and TTN,
    All wealth, like all values, reside in human minds. They are not external things in the world. They are conceptions we apply to them. Money has value as long as and to the extent people can trade, voluntarily, value for value, without force or fraud. To me, the problem here is rooted in the idea that labor is value. It is not. Useful labor is value to the person (whether incorporated as a legal conception or not) that decides that it is valuable. No more, no less.

    Workers are sellers, employers are buyers. Businesses are sellers, customers are buyers. Neither can read the other person’s mind. The trade happens when both are satisfied that they are getting what they want at a price they can afford; under uncertainty. It simply has to be good enough at each here-and-now. Nothing else, beyond the premises held by the parties at that here-and-now matter.

    In that is part of where socialism fails. That the family is a corporation and all members have jobs to do does not mean anyone sacrifices anything. Good parents invest in their children, and if they have been raised correctly, the children will remember that and be there for their parents. That’s why both are important. Accidents happen, so extensions of the family corporation are needed to assist. That’s where culture comes in, in my opinion.

  49. E.M.Smith says:


    I remember the “accident” discussion, but not the conclusion (if any was ever reached).


    Look at plastic resin…

    Right now the price is spiked way high. This is causing shortages of packaging material for almost everything. (Not to mention products made from resin). The supply is being diverted from other parts of the world but may not be enough fast enough to avoid “issues”.


    Because Texas couldn’t keep the lights on. Something like 80% of USA Resin Production was shut down for a week. This blew a big hole in “just in time” inventory management… that was starting to ripple out.

    That was about a week after the Texas shutdown. I assumed supply would normalize fairly quickly so have not followed up on it. Everything might be just fine now. Or not.

    During W.W.II there was an interesting tool developed that is now used for process management. Critical Path / PERT charts and what goes into what. It showed that just about the entire German Mechanized War Machine depended on Ball Bearings. We (allies) proceeded to bomb the hell out of their Ball Bearing Factories and that caused essentially everything else to be in a hurt space.

    Energy, petrochemicals, iron & other metals, all lie at the foundation of our economy. What is “under attack” by Red-Greens? Energy, Petrochemicals & Coal, Metals mining and refining.

    I’m sure it’s just a coincidence… /snark; & /sarc;

    But ask yourself: Exactly how many people know how to design, build, maintain, and operate a plastic resin factory? A dozen? A hundred? How many know how to make the precise alloys of metals needed for those chemical plants? 5? 10? How many know exactly the specialized methods and materials to weld those special metals? Where do they get the special coatings and welding rods to do that job? I can weld and braze plain iron and steel. I’ve got a welder in the garage. I also know I can’t do shit with cast iron (but my mechanic can…) and that stainless steels and special alloys are highly specialized areas that can take years to master. IF you do it wrong things break, and if you do it really wrong, you die from Nickle exposure…

    How many other fields are similarly limited to a few dozen to a hundred range who can do the job? How many undersea welders who can work at 600 feet? A dozen? A Hundred? How many people now how to frac oil or even how to find it?

    Most trade events I’ve been too for far more broad fields have had attendance in the hundreds, not thousands. Even then, there’s usually a dozen or less who are the “Guys who really know it all”. In Linux, it is Linus and a small staff around him. They are the folks who know the Kernel. I can compile it. I have a basic understanding of what it does and how. Were I to understudy one of them for a year, I could be a useful kernel developer, but not designer. IF they were suddenly gone tomorrow, Linux would fall and the getting back up part would be in question… And THAT is with the source code public and available… How many computerized products have hidden source code and a dozen guys who know it? At least one company went out of business when a plane load of their folks crashed… Something like a dozen killed. Most companies are like that. HUGE companies have divisions like that.

    Per Socialism:

    Given that “Money issues” are the #1 cause of marital problems and given the number of dysfunctional families, I’d assert that even the family is not a great example of working socialism… It does OK, but not great. Also remember that in traditional (i.e. farm and trade) families, children also worked and were net contributors, not the black hole money sinks they are now.

    I was washing dishes in the family restaurant and stocking shelves at 8 years old. My older sisters were waitresses. The whole family worked. Until mechanization, all the kids worked the family farm (my Dad’s experience). The Smith taught the Apprentice Smith how to do the job while the Apprentice ran the bellows, filled the quench water tank, etc. (Granddad’s experience and a little of my Dads). The notion of sitting on your butt playing video games until graduation from professional school at 25 (or getting kicked out of Mom’s basement at 25…) is a new creation… and now population is declining in ‘western’ societies and we’re having more unwed mothers than ‘married to the same person for life”.

    Any rapid depopulation has been followed by both social and technological collapse throughout history. The GEBs would be wise to learn that. The cities and elite are the ones that die most. They guy who can catch a fish and make a fire and sleep on the dirt in his poncho is the one who is least likely to be in trouble.

  50. jim2 says:

    There are 30,000 chemical engineers in the US. Probably all could design a resin plant. There are probably hundreds of thousands around the world. Even a few POCs (plain ole chemists) could build a resin plant.


  51. jim2 says:

    Petroleum is a cheap feed stock for so many materials and fuels. No doubt, alternative feed stocks can be found, but in almost all cases will be more expensive and therefore would bring down our quality of life.

  52. E.M.Smith says:


    That “value of wealth” issue is a common Prepper discussion point.

    While it is valuable to have some silver or gold or other “store of value” to trade i some kinds of problem cases (like booking passage on a freighter out of a bad country situation) the reality of a true collapse is that far more value is in a crate of soap, a few gallons of alcohol / fuel, or some boxes of common bullet / cartridge types. Things you really need and can use Right Now and can no longer buy. BUT, you can’t buy passage on a freighter with a crate of Dial Soap…

    People endlessly argue such points, when it is pointless. Because, as you pointed out, all value is in the context and what people want then.

    Take land:

    There’s a belief among some “elites” that if they get rid of a bunch of people then there will be more land wealth for them to “own”. The problem is that demand depends on more people, not less. After the Great Plague of Europe, farms and land were abandoned as no longer profitable (and, in fact money and time sinks).

    What value is an apartment block if there are no renters?

    In a real social collapse, the person who can turn scrap cars into knives and shovels will be rich. The person who owns 100 acres of down town Urban Burn Zone poor… It is my opinion that the GEBs who dream of getting rid of the “riff raff” focus on Static Model Values and forget (as is so often the case) that the real world is a Dynamic Economy…

    In a real global event, I’d rather have a supply of soap, fuel, tools, tents, and weapons than a chunk of urban dirt or a pile of gold.

    The necessary conclusion from this is that either:

    1) The GEBs are really out of touch with reality (and lots of evidence for that exists…)
    2) They hope for / expect to be able to control the ‘cull’ to just the perfect size.

    IFF it is #2, that proves #1…

  53. another ian says:

    Well said (IMO)

  54. E.M.Smith says:


    There’s usually a great deal of industry specific knowledge that isn’t taught in school. New hires learn it from the folks who have been doing it. Of those 30,000 ChemE, how many are presently doing resin plants? All those not doing it will be “learning by accident” all the things the experienced hands already know. That’s why every chemical plant is not staffed by nothing but cheap new hire college graduates…

    Yes they could design one. Given enough time. And OJT Experience in the process. And a few failures… I enjoyed the “war stories” of my Chem E. college roomie as he went to work for an Oil Company… How many of them know the best zeolite catalyst for a cat cracker? Yes, they know about catalysts and they know about zeolites, but do they know the current best for cracking the crude that plant handles and the catalog to order it from? (Each oil has different crap in it. Different zeolites may be poisoned by specific crap, or do a better job of cracking the particular molecule sizes of particular oils) Or will that be another minor time sink as they learn it? How many minors make a major?


    Furthermore, in order to enhance the light olefin yields from FCCUs as a result of the increasing demand for building blocks for the chemical industry such as propylene and butylene, the FCC catalyst compositions are being modified by tuning their formulations and introducing different types of zeolite structures as additives. Using these zeolite-based catalyst formulations, many new FCC units worldwide also provide the critical starting points for (petro)chemical value chains.

    Valero Oil came of of nowhere to be large in the industry by doing a better job of cracking heavy sour crude others could not handle, as an example.

    One of Roomies “ah ha” moments was designing a cover plate and figuring out the right sized nut to use. Presented it to the boss. Boss said “Nice, but we use this standard sized nut from inventory”. Yes, it was fractionally over his optimum size, but they had them by the crate for cheap. As just one trivial example. (IIRC something like 11/16 vs 3/4 nut)

    Per feed stocks:

    ANY carbon compound is a suitable feedstock. There’s existence proofs (and I’ve owned stock in them…) for using coal, farmed plants and municipal garbage. (First convert to producer gas or synthesis gas, then make everything else from it). Coal was used before petroleum and now natural gas is more often used than petroleum (and coal was still used by Kodak Chemicals last I checked). Biomass is a fine source. Alcohols of any kind are great.

    Number of steps and just what you do changes with each material, but end products available does not change. Prices are higher, but not terribly so, for some starting materials. We’re talking 20% to 100% kind of ranges. Enough that it isn’t quite commercially dominant, but not enough you would notice it in the packaging of your Amazon box… When oil goes high it makes a profit to use other sources.

    Generally for bulk carbon sources (coal, plant matter) you turn it into CO and H2 via the synthesis gas reaction and then use the water gas reaction if you need more hydrogen, then on to Methanol or other basic material.


    Water gas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen produced from synthesis gas. Synthesis gas is a useful product, but requires careful handling due to its flammability and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The water-gas shift reaction can be used to oxidise the carbon monoxide while producing additional hydrogen, resulting in water gas.
    The process was discovered by passing high-pressure steam over hot coal, the major source of coke gas. Lowe’s process improved upon the chimney systems by which the coal could remain superheated, thereby maintaining a consistently high supply of the gas. The reaction produced carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which, after a process of cooling and “scrubbing”, produced hydrogen gas.

    The process spurred on the industry of gas manufacturing, and gasification plants were established quickly along the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Similar processes, like the Haber–Bosch process, led to the manufacture of ammonia (NH3) by the combining of nitrogen, found in air, with hydrogen. This spurred on the refrigeration industry, which long used ammonia as its refrigerant. Prof. Lowe also held several patents on artificial ice making machines and was able to run successful businesses in cold storage, as well as products which operated on hydrogen gas.

    So you start with making synthesis gas (CO + H2) and can adjust the CO to CO2 and amount of H2 in the mix with various water shift reaction mixes.

    Between synthesis gas and water gas you can pretty much make any “petro” chemical. Feedstock to the first reaction is really “anything with carbon in it”… Steam over hot “carbon stuff” gives synthesis gas (CO + H2) then you can shift that to more CO2 and more H2 with more water if desired. From those you can make everything else (which is why synthesis gas is called synthesis gas…)

    So, short form:

    Presently used most: Natural gas
    Also used a lot but mostly in the past: Petroleum, Coal
    Used in small scale attempted commercialization: Farmed plants, biomass, municipal garbage
    Can be used: Anything with a lot of carbon in it.

  55. jim2 says:

    As an ex-industrial Chemist, I can affirm there are industrial trade secrets that aren’t in the text books. Chemists work in quality control labs and R&D at chemical plants. The people who operate the equipment in the plant frequently hold no more than a high school diploma and work under the supervision of chemical engineers and chemists.

    The nice thing about petroleum is that it has a spectrum of useful components that need minimal processing for use as a feed stock. There is a lot of it and it is cheap.

  56. E.M.Smith says:


    And that’s the rub.

    There’s a very large number of people with a pretty good idea how to do things in general. (I’m one of them). Then there are a very few number of people who know all the specifics and detail for a particular focused area.

    Take out a random 40% of the population and you have high odds of blowing out some modest sized technical areas… And a whole lot of OTHER technical areas depend on a lot of small technical areas… And loss of ONE significant tech can blow an entire industry back a few decades, or centuries.

    It has happened before. We lost Roman Cement for a 1000 years. It looks like we lost Egyptian Liquid Stone until just recently. Indian steel in the Viking era. How many folks today can make a vacuum tube? There’s a few hobbyists and an old factory in Russia. IF we lost the semiconductor industry, how far back would we need to go to get a re-start? (There are not a lot of places refining silicon nor fabbing up wafers nor turning wafers into chips. A couple of nukes in a Bad Hair Day at the top and that’s all “glow in the dark”…) China, Taiwan, South Korea, USA could all go up in one blow-off event. Don’t know how much fab still exists in UK & EU.

    The simple fact is that we are headed toward some kind of Global Catastrophic Failure (largely because Global Leadership are moronic evil sociopaths …) and if that goes to Full War, you can kiss off whole key industries overnight as they will be glowing in the dark and taking all their expertise with them.

    How close to a Cascade Failure does that put us?

    I don’t know. But I do know that an EMP attack with a matched nuking of some key facilities (energy, communications, semiconductors, ports) and any major industrial society fails. I also know that nature can cause an event just like that but bigger and has in the past… I also know that we have historical records of grand collapse of Empires. So put all that together and yeah, I think it matters when some idiots think they can take out 1/2 to 90% of those people and manage to keep Just Exactly The Right Ones to avoid a collapse.


    When in college a group of us were talking about terraforming planets and rockets while seated in a restaurant booth. Adults in the next booth over gave us a problem to mull over. How to make a particular shaped object needed to insulate a rocket nozzle in the shuttle that they were hired to design. (Turns out my statement that it was a conic section was correct, but they said they had already dismissed that and they, after all, were the experts employed to design it).

    What was particularly interesting was their statement that several of the problems they were trying to solve had been solved before, but nobody knew how to do it anymore. They mentioned, IIRC, the Saturn V engine and a fabrication technique developed to weld some parts of it that they now didn’t know how to do, and the welder who developed it was no longer around.

    I was astounded that they didn’t have all the drawings and specs and documentation and all archived. But even if they had that, all the “shop floor” developments to actually fabricate the thing that were learned by a LOT of failures and experimentation and invention were also all lost.

    Basically, we can’t build a Saturn V today. Yes, we can make big rockets, but we do it differently now, with loads more computer time and a lot different materials and methods. That’s what we know now. But what we don’t know is how to do what we once could do.

    I think that problem space generalizes across many industries.

    To the best of my knowledge, only one island with just a single company can do the smallest scale features on CPU chips. I doubt they have more than a dozen people who know exactly and in detail how to do it…

    Sure, we can make something “only” about double the feature size… and with a few years we’ll catch up (or recreate it if they are taken out). But what happens if the failure mode is just a little wider and both places are taken out?

    There’s just way too few people doing all the most important bits, and most of the special bits they know are not in any text book. Like the one guy who worked out how to weld the bell of Saturn V engines…

    I’m not paranoid about it. It is most likely that we’ll avoid a global war and that the GEBs plan for depopulation will collapse in an economic failure: But it is a problem of significant possibility. Even a 5% odds of Global Collapse is a big issue.

  57. jim2 says:

    I agree with that EMS. Society is a complicated web of transactions. It’s fragile.

  58. E.M.Smith says:

    Golly, looks like a whole lot more was saved about the F1 engine than about the rest of the Saturn rocket. They still were not exactly sure how to do the welding but planned to shift to complicated casting instead:


    A mighty thunderous silence: The Saturn F-1 engine after Apollo
    by Dwayne A. Day
    Monday, June 3, 2019

    The Saturn V’s F-1 engine is probably the most legendary rocket engine ever built. After a problematic early start that destroyed several test stands, the powerful engine went on to send 12 astronauts to the lunar surface. Later, as NASA planned on retiring the Apollo hardware, astute leaders recognized that they might need it again. This resulted in the F-1 Production Knowledge Retention Program. This was a project at Rocketdyne, the company that built the F-1 engine, to preserve as much technical documentation and knowledge about the engine as possible. According to an inventory of records, the Knowledge Retention Program produced 20 volumes of material on topics such as the engine’s injector ring set, valves, engine assembly, and checkout and thermal insulation and electrical cables, among others.

    But the project went beyond simply preserving documentation. Rocketdyne even sought to capture the knowledge inside the heads of the people who designed and manufactured the engines. They conducted tape-recorded interviews with them, asking about parts that were difficult to produce and manufacturing tricks that they had learned in the process of building multiple engines. In addition to all this material, NASA also had several F-1 engines in storage, plus the ones that ended up in museums that could be disassembled and examined. After the Apollo program ended, five engines were in storage at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility, with ten others mounted on stages on external display.
    The original Saturn V F-1 engines were essentially hand-crafted, with many parts being welded together by a skilled welder. Although computer-controlled machines are now capable of taking over many welding jobs, engineers prefer to avoid welding whenever possible, casting a few large parts rather than welding together many smaller ones. Dynetics reduced the parts count on one major section of the engine from 5,600 individual parts to only 40. That would have reduced cost, increased reliability, and simplified many other processes. No more hand-crafted welding would be required.

    The original F-1 was built somewhat like a wind-up clock: as one part of the startup sequence occurred it would mechanically or in some other way trigger the next part of the startup sequence and so on in a clever progression. The plan was to replace most of that with modern computer-controlled systems, which would also increase the ability to control and fine-tune the engine.

    So from intricate hand craftmanship to casting and computer controls… but to make it “better” (and since they weren’t sure how to do the craft work to that level anymore…)

    But they were still going to call it the “same” engine…

  59. E.M.Smith says:

    I think I’ve found a new favorite channel:


    Particular attention at 8 minutes and love the “Super Straight” category. Can’t call me by the wrong pronouns now can you… more here:

  60. H.R. says:

    When I announced my retirement, I was told that my job for my remaining 3 months was to sit down and write out everything I knew that no-one else knew. That was quite a bit since we were a small company and I was 3 or 4 ‘departments’ all by myself.

    I was also responsible for maintaining and repairing all of the machinery in the plant. There were things that went wrong and I just showed up, knew what to do and where to get the parts, and if further expertise was needed, ‘the guy’ to call.

    So I also had to transfer all that knowledge to other people as well as writing down as much as I could think of that could need fixing and how to go about it.

    Lastly, there was my contact list. It was just a bunch of names to anyone else because I knew their special expertise, and why and when they needed to be called in. So I had to add a little explanation to each of those names. Otherwise, someone else would be increasing downtime while trying to find someone to help out, when there was someone just a phone call away.

    Wash, rinse, and repeat in every small company. Those are the companies that feed the big boys, who have absolutely no clue how all their smaller suppliers make their parts.

    They may have provided the parts drawings and manufacturing specifications and even have copies of your production and process instructions (so they can yank your business and give it to someone else), but they still really can’t do what your little company was doing for them without a lot of tears and do-overs before they get replacement parts flowing again.

  61. another ian says:


    There is an interesting bit around this in the Haynes Merlin workshop manual. Seems a lot of the castings didn’t have exact specifications- rather had “design intent”. Which the foundry blokes worked out how to put into practice.

    And they had to be more specific on when Packard started production.

  62. H.R. says:

    @another ian – ‘Design intent’

    Ha! That’s another bit of complication that enters the picture for those thinking to get rid of the ‘working class’ and save the edjamuhcated Engineers.

    Just because you can draw something in CAD space doesn’t mean you can make it in the real world. There are limits to what the various types of production machinery can do.

    One hat I wore was to work out the production process and make the prototypes plus the first 10 production parts for all the components we supplied. We were an OEM supplier to 3 or 4 large companies, so when a whiz-bang Engineer designed something that couldn’t be made, I could call that Engineer or the Chief Engineer if need be and tell them what to change so that part would still work for them and we could make the part.

    One of our customer’s head Engineers started telling his new hires that were designing parts we would make to check their drawing with me before the first release of the drawing. Many of you know this already, but anyhow, once a drawing is released it’s subject to version control and it’s a small (or big) PITA to revise a drawing and go through all of the approvals. So my design review was a value added because they’d mostly likely get it right in the first release of the drawing.

    I was looking at how we’d make the part, but I also found drawing errors (it happens) and that was a savings to that customer.

    Point being, sometimes the design Engineers know what they want and need, but don’t know enough about making the part to have a detailed drawing and specifications. That happens more often than you’d think. A lot of end product manufacturers have to get with their suppliers to get the kinks worked out of a design.
    That said, it sometimes drives innovation in production processes, machinery, or tooling, and I’ve seen that a few times.

    A n end product maker will send out requests for quotes for a part that requires a totally new way of making it. Sometimes it’s not possible to make and the designers have to go back to the drawing board.

    But often enough, like your example of the foundry, someone that has to make the item figures out that hey! “If we do this, or buy that, or modify this machine, or… or… we can make that part.”

    My point is still that the GEBs don’t understand the interconnectedness of all of the people involved in making something as simple as a Kurig coffee maker.

    They will absolutely get rid of one of the necessary people in the long chain of people involved in making stuff. It may be a design engineer, a production engineer, a machinist, a welder, even an assembler with special tricks, but one of those will – OOPS! – be eliminated as a useless eater and something common today will be lost tomorrow.

  63. H.R. says:

    Oh, and I have to back jim2 on his assertion that just about every Chemical Engineer can design a resin plant… but how many can make a resin plant?

    Get rid of the wrong piping and valve person in greasy overalls or the E & I person that makes all the controls play nice together and you’ve got nothing. Where do you get your tanks, valves, and piping? Where do the valve guys get their castings?

    It could take years to get the right people connected again to make resin plants even though there are a boatload of people who could design one.
    The GEBs don’t see all the hourly people – Joe and Jane 6-pack, and Cousin It 6-Pack (😜 PC joke) – that make our technology a reality.

    GEBs: “We want this. Keep the best Engineers to design this.” But that’s only the beginning.

    Or the GEBs hire the best of the best airframe and powerplant mechanics to maintain their private fleet of jets and helicopters, and they know where to get the parts, but they don’t know who makes the parts for the parts supplier and who makes the components for the parts supplier, and that one shop that makes a special tool that the component maker needs to make the component.

    The GEBs WILL inevitably make irreversible errors when attempting to cull the herd.

  64. Simon Derricutt says:

    TTN – I hope I’m misreading things and that the GEBs aren’t trying to reduce the number of people and “useless mouths”. As EM says, a sudden reduction in population has always resulted in a failure of civilisation simply because the sum of human knowledge is so great that fewer people can’t know enough or have sufficient practice in doing the required functions. I’ve changed profession several times, and it takes a while to gain competence each time. Though I figure I could do any job, given the books, some of them would take a long time studying to know enough to start them and then there’s the problem that every book I’ve read has errors and it takes a while to know what actually works. Designing stuff is normally an iterative process, where errors and weak points get designed out over a period of time.

    Getting the alloys right for castings is more art than science. I’ve heard of a situation where an engine block was specified for a certain alloy, and the person visiting the casting-shop was told that if that alloy was used then it would crack, so when that alloy was specified they actually used another one. That information obviously hadn’t filtered back to the drawings or the people who specified materials.

    I’ve also got some antique woodworking chisels that hold an edge much better than modern ones. The steel for them was hand-made in crucibles by craftsmen (known as crucible steel) and that depended very much on individual skill. That knowledge seems to have been lost, and probably took many years to acquire in the first place.

    It seems to me that we only get a small proportion of people each generation that extend the boundaries of knowledge and thus change the world. The more people, the higher chance of getting them and of them being in a situation that allows them to do what they do. Newton was not only very smart (and was probably Aspie as well), but he had an independent income and was thus free to spend his time working out how things worked. Today, we have a situation where many more people can spend their time doing what they want rather than just needing to do manual work to keep themselves fed, clothed, and housed. With the net, they can also talk to each other a lot more than Newton could do, and even if they don’t talk they can see what everyone else has said, and thus the sum of knowledge is exponentially increasing.

    On that problem of knocking out the wrong people accidentally, in early 1995 there was an earthquake in Kobe, Japan. It caused a major problem in getting computer chips, since Kobe made almost all the chip encapsulation resin in the world and that encapsulation needs to be made from non-radioactive elements since otherwise you get errors and damage to the Silicon. It caused us problems in supply at the time. These days, TSMC in Taiwan is the most-advanced chip fab in the world, and China may invade Taiwan sometime soon because they see little appetite from the rest of the world (largely the USA) to stop that or do anything about it other than talk. Maybe a few dozen people who really know enough about the processes to replicate them and they’re probably working for TSMC anyway. Could thus be a problem with chips in the future. Sure, others will catch up, but it will take time.

    Along with H.R’s story there’s the generally-unwritten but important knowledge of who’s the person to call to fix a particular problem. Who is reliable, who runs on the edge, and who creates more problems than they solve. For suppliers, it’s which ones tell the truth, which ones deliver what’s ordered at the time specified, and which ones are better value. In either case, get the wrong people involved and things will take a lot longer to complete, may cost a lot more, and may in fact just fail altogether.

    The question is whether the GEBs think that, with AI and automation coming in, they can cull the useless mouths and still maintain the same lifestyle. Maybe they do indeed think that, but I’d figure they would be wrong. There’s just too much interconnection and interdependencies, and a lot of stuff that isn’t written down but gets absorbed by doing the job. I figure that the more educated and thoughtful people we have, the faster we’ll solve any problems and the more resilient we’ll be. I’m not worried about useless mouths providing we can easily produce enough to feed them (and we can now and for the foreseeable future). Fix a problem in one place, and it will shortly be known all over the world and applied where relevant, and the more people we have (and educate) then the more chance we have of getting a solution to any problem.

    It isn’t thus altruism to try to raise the Third World out of poverty, and to educate their kids. There’s probably a vast resource there to help fix our problems, too. There could be several Newtons or Einsteins there we don’t yet know about.

  65. cdquarles says:

    Yes. There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is no such thing as a useless eater. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison” type of analogy works here. How many Einsteins or Teslas or Newtons have we killed via abortion over the last 40 or so years (we have just about replaced those numbers with immigrants, by the way).

    Flip side: books don’t contain everything. They can’t. Education isn’t warming a seat in a school. Education is something each person gets during life, to the extent they seek to improve themselves and what they do to provide value for themselves directly and indirectly by providing value to others as those others see it. “You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make him drink. You can lead a child to knowledge, but can’t make him think.”

    Re non-carbon based energy, that’s all fine and good, to a point. One of the environmental things that isn’t so obvious, is that the planet’s carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is *too low*, not too high. It is on the ragged edge of plant starvation due to chemical effects. We *should* be returning enough of the sequestered carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere for the sake of plant life on this rock. Oxygen poisoning already happens such that photorespiration limits plant growth and development during parts of the daylight period. There is a reason why hothouse operators supplement the air inside with carbon dioxide now, to help with plant development.

  66. Steve C says:

    @H.R. and another ian – ‘Design intent’
    A few years ago, a group of railway enthusiasts raised the cash to built the first steam locomotive to be built in Britain in half a century. To play safe, they used a late, established design which had run reliably before the demise of steam. It cost them a packet (because, of course, all the steam loco manufacturers and their specialist workshops had long since disappeared) but they prevailed and the new loco looked lovely.

    Then they started steaming it up and running it, to find that it ran like a lame dog. They stripped it, checked everything, all ok, rebuilt it. It was still a dog. Eventually, in desperation, they found an old steam engineer, who listened patirntly as they explained the problem. “An’ that’s hot measurements, is it?” the old fellow asked. Ding! The lights came on. They reground everything to make it expand to the correct measurements when hot. The loco ran sweet as a nut.

    Forgotten knowledge.

  67. E.M.Smith says:

    A friend had an addition put on his house.
    Nice drawings made by professional.
    At construction, builder said something like:
    “That’s not gonna work. Need a beam here.”
    Inspector said “Can’t just add things, we have drawings and specs.”
    Back at architect: “Well of course there’s a beam there, that’s implied”…

    Friend had it added to the drawings AND built and then the building inspector was happy (said inspector had told builder if he built to drawings it would pass but could not just go ‘adding things’…) So 2 idiots and a smart builder…

    I’ve managed a few building projects (computer rooms and more). You have the specs, then the design drawings, then you build it, then you go back and document the “As Builts” where the design drawn would not work so a change was made… It is SOP.

    This all ties in with my use of the “Law Of Mutual Superiority”. Commonly taught about programming to get folks to desk check each other’s code, but my favorite example was a soda jerk.

    I’ve told the story before, so the short form:

    Buddy and I order the same meal plus Coke. His is diet. I go to pick up the orders. 2 look identical. Ask counter guy “Which is diet?” He looks at them both, says “That one”. I take the time to ask “How?”. Sugar holds the bubbles longer and the diet had zero foam… At that moment, the Soda Jerk was the Expert and I the clueless…

    EVERYONE is an expert at something and EVERYONE is mutually superior to someone else on something. Even if it is just what shoe fits you well, or how to spot diet soda.

    We used to have highly skilled artisan welders (and a few still exist) along with artisan machine tool operators. The current crop are being educated in CNC welding and machining equipment. They can build great highly complex and precise things very fast – as long as the CNC machine can make it. But they can’t weld up a Saturn V engine as originally built. (There’s a welding page with photos and all the welding guys there going Ooohh and Awww…. over it…) So we can build a Saturn V Like engine, but not an original Saturn V engine…

    Could you take a high skill certified welder and give them the time to figure out how to do it? Sure. Year or two ought to do it. BUT, if you do a “fast cull” and put your society in the soup in weeks, you don’t have a year or two. Then multiply that kind of problem by about 2 Billion… Everything from “Can’t make that engine anymore” to “Well taste your soda and if it’s the wrong one, swap”…

    So I sure hope the talk among the GEBS (known cases being Gates and the British royals along with countless educated-idiots writing doom books AND the whole Club Of Rome) stays just talk as otherwise we get a global economic implosion.

  68. cdquarles says:

    Which is why a high skilled welder or plumber or doctor or nurse or athlete or CEO gets paid what they get paid; and why the person just using his back, doesn’t get paid like the others, and why slackers shouldn’t be paid like the others. Mind work is how custom work gets done; and that always costs more and is worth the money when done properly.

  69. cdquarles says:

    Oh, that reminds me. One way to know, before you put the chemstrip in a urine sample if it has a really high protein or sugar content? Look at the bottle shortly after a person has provided it, or shake it a bit. High protein or sugar or both foams. Normal urine doesn’t foam much or for long.

  70. H.R. says:

    Hey, hey, hey, cd. I’ve noticed after a whiz that sometimes it’s foamy and sometimes it’s not. Now I know why.

    Used to be, before all the whiz-bang automatic analyzers, that ol’ country Docs knew a lot about urine (color, etc.), spit, poop, the smell of someone’s breath, and whatnot and what it might mean as far as the lungs, kidney, liver, etc. were concerned.

    They may not be exact, but there are long-known pointers to diseases and ailments that can allow a Dr. to make an accurate diagnosis except for the detail that modern testing can provide. It’s enough to get started.

  71. David A says:

    Interesting conversation on lost knowledge. My input is not high tech, but low tech, and that gets lost as well.

    I grew up in the trade show industry, working for the two national companies, and several regional companies. Everyone did things differently.

    I learned, and coined the phrase, “the four Ps of production”; Picture ( the blueprints, work orders, floorplans etc…)
    Paint ( The job it self, booth materials carpet, displays, graphics, etc…)
    Paint Brush; ( The tools to do the job, a long list) and finally the
    Painter; (or people to do the job.)

    Coordinate those four correctly, the job goes well. Any and every problem ( other then acts of God) is in one of those four areas. I spent my career making production more efficient.

    Long story short, our division ( one of 28 nation wide) was 30 percent more efficient then the next best, based on production standards per man hour worked. I had a great team around me, and it worked, and we innovated many procedures.

    We retired within a few years of each other. After retirement I occasionally worked for many companies, no more then 40 hours a month.

    After about 7 years of retirement I did some part time work for my former company. Wow they had lost most of what our team had developed over 20 years. Procedure after procedure we had developed was lost, and their labor margins soared.
    I had worked with IT to formulate the best delivery list and w/o forms for 6 lines of business. All of that was gone, along with the understanding of why it had been implemented in the first place. Labor calls were easily 20 to 30 percent higher then what we had accomplished before.

    So even low tech, can easily get lost.

  72. Simon Derricutt says:

    David A – possibly the people taking over your job didn’t have the detailed knowledge, and thus didn’t understand why you’d implemented what you did. It wasn’t what they’d learned at school, or picked up by experience and application of thought of how to improve things, and in any case these days the accountants consider people as interchangeable providing they have the right bits of paper. It’s also notable that if it’s “somebody else’s problem” then it can be risky to your promotion prospects to try to tell them they’re less than optimal, and can be simply rejected by the other department.

    At Xerox, we had one board that frequently had solder faults, with around a 2% failure on test. That’s pretty massive, with a target of less than 300ppm, but we didn’t make them that often so wasn’t expensive enough to need an urgent fix. After some investigation, I determined it was to do with the shape of the solder pads. Topside (reflow of solder paste) the pads were rectangular and a little larger than normal, bottom side (flow solder) were a little smaller though still rectangular. Thing is that with reflow the solder has to actually move during melting, since otherwise the impurities that the flux dissolves don’t get moved from where they were to leave clean metal to alloy to, and on a wave solder bath there’s a meniscus of the molten solder that is held away from the board (and the joints) by the body of the component, thus there’s a minimum distance from the component that the solder wave actually touches and then has to wick in from there to make the joint itself. The differences here are minimal, maybe the odd 1/4mm or so (10 thou or mil). Thus the standard pads on bottomside needed to be a bit thinner and longer (with a rounded end to pull solder in), and the topside ones needed to be smaller but have rounded ends to ensure that the melted solder actually moved to sweep the surface. Solder paste needed to be applied more to one end than the other, to ensure the solder swept the joint. I relaid the board with the calculated pad-sizes and shapes, and the solder faults just dropped off the radar. It’s not so much the failures at test, of course, but the incipient failures that will happen later on with sub-optimal soldering (partially-dry joints tend to have higher impedance at high frequencies and also tend to totally fail early, yet can’t be found by microscope). Thus fixing the pad-shapes had implications for long-term reliability and maintenance.

    The report on this went to the engineering section who mainly designed the boards. All they had to do was to edit the new pad design into the footprint libraries so that future soldering faults would be very much reduced. However, not their problem if we couldn’t manufacture what they designed…. Didn’t happen. New designs from them didn’t use the improved pad shapes. I figure that knowledge got lost because it was somebody else’s problem, and the work needed to fix it would have come from the engineering budget and would have been a benefit (reduced costs) to other departments but not credited to the designers. OK, that bit of knowledge about soldering has in some way been passed on here, and someone may find it useful, but most of us won’t be working in that line of business.

    Topic veered a bit from Covid trends, but lost knowledge does sort of follow on if the mass deaths are an intended result, with diseases being pretty random in who they remove but with the increased likelihood of the nerds (who tend to work long hours indoors out of the sun) being the ones who die more often. (Dying more often? You only die once….) OK, a higher proportion of the nerds would die relative to the less-productive people. The people who make the system work well are surprisingly few in number. You can’t substitute them using AI, since that is generally trained to use established knowledge, and where it is used to try to produce novel stuff the results need to be checked by a competent person to discard the rubbish.

  73. philjourdan says:

    I have worked for or with the same guy for 12 years, off and on. In 3 different jobs. I have followed him and it has been good for my career. He is a genius at networking. Except in one area. It is all in his head. When he leaves the organization suffers (fortunately he would take my calls when I had questions before I rejoined him).

    David A says there are 4 areas of failure for shows. But there is one big failure for companies. Failure to document what you are doing. It may not be what is documented in the procedures, but if you find a better mousetrap, the only way to make sure it is still in production is to document it.

    That being said, David A did not say whether his 4 Ps were documented or in his head. If the former, then the company lost to (I would wager) a “Harvard” MBA who has all the book learning in the world and not a lick of common sense.

    I have worked for one of those before as well – just before the company folded.

  74. hubersn says:

    For Germany (which I follow very closely) and most of the EU, the 3rd wave of infections has started, and vaccination is still slow. Currently, less than 5% of the populaton had their 2nd shot. However, you can see in the death statistics that the vaccination works – new cases are rising fast, but deaths are stil falling steadily.

    The UK, USA and Israel show that those where vaccination has been organized quite well, not only deaths are falling steadily, but also new cases.

    The problem with “eyeballing” and comparing different countries is that you also have to consider anti covid measures. In Germany, we had a “lockdown light” since November, with a slightly stronger lockdown at the end of December, but with schools reopening at the end of January. The increase seen starting mid-February are explainable by the opening of schools. The deaths-are-not-following-infection-rate-for-the-first-time is explainable by vaccination effects.

    Whether these explanations are correct or the whole truth – I don’t know. For a really good analysis, you have to take into account the amount of testing done, the positivity rate of tests, age structure of the cases, cases concentrated in few large outbreaks or cases all over the place…it is a multifactorial problem with many unknown quantities involved. A bit like climate modelling…

    Try to dive deep into the numbers of one county where you know exactly which measures were taken and how closely the populaton has followed those decisions. Then try to look at the smaller scale – for Germany, compare e.g. numbers in Sachsen with those in Baden-Württemberg. Despite both having very similar properties, the curves look quite different in detail. So I would suggest that there is a good deal of randomness in what happens. Luck and bad luck if you want. Two or three superspreading events might make a big difference.

  75. E.M.Smith says:


    There’s also the fact that most countries are vaccinating older and at risk first, kids last.

    Mix that with “kids have mild cases:” and then send kids back to the daily germ exchange, I’d expect a lot more cases in the young (perhaps with many not diagnosed) and fewer in the elderly, so a lot less deaths per case from that alone.

  76. David A says:

    Phil and Simon
    ” David A says there are 4 areas of failure for shows. But there is one big failure for companies. Failure to document what you are doing.”

    Oh we documented, extensively, and I worked with IT developing production paperwork formating, custom tailored to different unions and their functions. We wrote many best practice programs, etc…

    Yet, and philjordan nailed it, MBAs came in waves every 2 to 5 years, moving their corporate royalty keesters from company to company.
    They completely redid my production delivery system throughout, making common universal delivery methods, and they changed from a better information push system to a pull system. ( Imagine trying to pull information not ready, and then having to guess when to seek that information again. Ok for waiters I guess)

    After implementing some new, latest corporate magazine buzzword program they moved on to another company. And yes, one in particular was from Harvard, and most were Ivy League.

    Oh, by the way, the four Ps of Production are for ANY production job, anywhere, any industry. I always do a review of the 4 Ps several times before home projects, I usually catch potential errors and find it a very useful broad term categorizing of potential mistakes. ( Doing things as a home handyman, the biggest P problem I usually find is “Person” or me!) Being the only employe however, I don’t fire myself.

  77. philjourdan says:

    @David A – I remember my first real job (versus earning money for college). It was a family run business (you would run into the Creator (Sydney), sometimes his mother (Dora), his wife (Francis) and sometimes his kids (Susan and Andrew). Since it was public, he did not technically own it any longer, but he was still CEO. One of his first employees was a guy much like him, the EVP, who really ran things day to day. Well, the company got bigger, eventually hitting $2b in sales (back in 1980 – that was a big deal), and they brought in a Harvard MBA in the mid 80s. There soon was a power struggle between the EVP and this new Harvard MBA. Sadly the EVP lost out (he went on to many successful endeavors in the area!).

    Within 4 years, the company was dead.

    I have only contempt for MBAs.

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