Well, my days of not taking you seriously …

… are certainly coming to a middle.

Yesterdays rant concerning the tyranny of good intentions managed to generate the following comment from a Nony Mouse: 

 “And then there were the soldiers during WW I who got up on their high horses about being told what to do, and refused to wear their gas masks…..”

I actually had to read that one twice, and I probably need a logic check, but it sure looks to me like Nony there is making a case that COVID19 is the equivalent of WEAPONISED PHOSGENE GAS; and that a square of cotton t-shirt fabric is the equivalent of a WW1 Small Box Respirator.


If we go with the most pessimistic mortality rate (found here), and using the age range for World War 1 soldiers — we’ll call it “15 to 34” — looks like a 0.6% fatality rate, or about 6 men out of a thousand.

Oh, yeah. Just like weaponised phosgene.

“Ve vill use gas on the Allies!”


“500 of zhem vill never even notice it!”

“Wait, what?”

“Maybe as many as 700!”

“Are you serious?”

“Of the remaining three hundred or so, most will have mild to moderate symptoms!”

“That’s it?”

“And ze symptoms vill be ameliorated if zhey tie undt handkerchief or dishrag to zere face!”

“… !”

“Undt vun to six might die!”

“”We’re going to gas this Allied battalion of a thousand soldiers, and half of them will never notice it, while the rest will have ‘mild to moderate’ symptoms, and a hand-full ‘might’ die, leaving the other nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-five with symptoms ranging from ‘hay-fever’ to ‘a cold’?”


“Which sodding side are you on again?”

Juuussttt like phosgene.


This wanton hysteria — and comparing COVID19 to phosgene gas IS absolutely wanton, wallowing hysteria — isn’t doing US Public Health any favours, and quite honestly, has left “Little Boy Crying Wolf” in the dust.

COVID19 isn’t ‘just like phosgene’, it isn’t ‘like typhoid’, or ‘pneumonic plague’. 

It’s a nasty Influenza-Like Illness with a 99% survival rate, and the majority of deaths clustered in the elderly with comorbidities.

And like I said previously, most (83%) of those vulnerable elders with comorbidities are already in facilities that are under stringent new health rules and quarantine laws, so you screeching that I’m imperiling your grandmother still doesn’t hold water.


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22 thoughts on “Well, my days of not taking you seriously …”

  1. Oh, horsefeathers. My housekeeper, who has a spotty grasp of the English language as it is spoken at best, tries and invariably fails to asphyxiate the household weekly with her improvised cocktails of bathroom cleaners.

    Not only is the tile and porcelain spotless but my sinus health has never been better.

  2. But . . . but . . . but . . .

    BUTT HURT I ARE !!!!

    Whiny brats.

    Though, yeah, if someone has a seriously compromised immune system, Covid-19 can be deadly. JUST LIKE NORMAL INFLUENZA.

    But since I really do care about my spouse (who has a somewhat compromised immune system, and had a moderate case of Covid-19 in March, but recovered completely) and other friends and associates, and would just as soon continue to be employed, I'll follow the rules as set down.

    But I don't necessarily think they're doing much in the way of real prevention, for most people.


  3. This is the biggest hoax in history. The masks are a joke, no serious person contends otherwise. Ask any plasterer or joiner how effective their masks are with dust and realize the virus is a million times smaller.

    We are all aware of the disinformation, lies, fake news. People dying of gunshoot wounds of motorcycle accidents are victims of the virus, really? Worse is the use of statistics. Most nations do not maintain records. Doubt me, try obtaining marriage or birth records from most nations.

    The acid question is simply, who do you know personally that had this virus or died from it. Not heard about it, was reported to be a member of your church or worked in your building, who do you know personally?

    I was asked this question in the 1970s when I laughed off crime statistics. When asked who I personally knew who had been a victim of a crime I realized tow friends had been mugged, one assaulted, and another had his home broken into.

    This is the acid question.

  4. At one time I was a radiological control technician. My job required me to specify respiratory protection for work that may produce airborne particulate hazards. Part of that job involved training on how filters worked and how to fit respirators for various individuals. In addition as an HVAC design engineer for nuclear facilities I became intimately familiar with filtration mechanisms.

    Cloth masks are basically useless for removing COVID viruses from the air stream,. The virus particles are too small (0.1 micron) to even be affected by a cloth filter. The limited utility of a cloth mask lies in catching mucosa droplets from sneezes or coughs of the wearer. However, as the droplets dry out the virus particles become airborne and go in the general airstream. The widely touted N95 rigid masks aren’t a whole lot better. First the mask must be fitted to your face to get a proper seal (no facial hair in the seal area) and women and children have a hard time finding a proper sized mask due to smaller facial structure. Second, again due to the size of the virus particles (0.1 micron vs the 0.3 micron particles the masks are rated for) the masks have limited effectiveness stopping virus particles. Third, due to the increased resistance to airflow through the mask you have to work harder to get the same volume of air through the filter. Wearing a mask can be a health hazard for those with have heart issues, respiratory issues or hypertension. In industrial applications mask wearing is closely monitored, and limited to only an hour or so without a break Not 8+ hours a day.

  5. On the one hand, I think that masks are imperfect, but have a good enough cost-benefit ratio for society in general that I'll wear one indoors and if I can't social distance. On the other hand I could be wrong, if you haven't been persuaded already screeching isn't going to do any good and it's just going to increase my own exposure.

  6. Boy, they were all over talking up Herman Cain's death from Covid last week or so.

    Of course, they left out that he had stage 4 cancer and was undergoing chemo. Oops.

    These vermin aren't worthy to clean Cain's toilet.

  7. On the one had we have "Wear this if the Germans gas us, otherwise you'll die slowly, drowning in your own fluids as your lungs dissolve."

    On the other hand we have "Well, it might help and it probably doesn't hurt, so we recommend wearing them when possible."

    Obviously the same thing. I can't believe you don't see it.

  8. Just finished James Tarr's Dogsoldiers. Interesting read—with this passage in the
    author's notes at the end:

    The History part of the equation is this: every country, every empire, every nation-state or other government entity in the history of the world has, sooner or later, come to an end. It is both wishful thinking and a rejection of reality to think that, at some point, the same fate won’t befall the United States. We’ve had a great run, but it won’t last forever. The three most common causes of a nation/country/empire coming to an end are 1. Invasion/conquest 2. Civil war and/or sociocultural collapse, and 3. Pandemic.

    Tarr, James. Dogsoldiers (p. 420). Kindle Edition.

    1. Is happening–but it is economic rather than boots on ground.
    2. Sociocultural collapse? Just look around.
    3. Undecided. Yes the China Flu exists—but it appears that it is much more
    deadly as a political tool than as a disease.

  9. No, Nony is making a case for stubbornness for the sake of stubbornness. Obviously mustard gas was fatal in more cases than not, but here we go: I'm asserting my right to choose.
    Now, THAT is the same as the refusal to wear a mask to protect others from COVID-19 despite the evidence that mask-wearing does exactly that.
    But then, you're one of those, aren't you? "I'm not going to do it because it trespasses on my personal freedom (never mind YOUR civic responsibility and/or others' right to safety)" Besides, apparently you love to find a Cause, however misguided, and often jump to erroneous conclusions, and indulge in a misguided, vicious, name-calling rant, which should impress no one, but apparently does.
    That's disgusting.
    The American bent for 'no one is going to tell me what to do' can be fatal.

    1. Crawl back under your fucking rock, then. That's really the only fitting place for your projection, Karen.

    2. Where the hell does it say that anyone has a right to safety??

      You have no right to safety, nor do I. There is nothing on this planet that has the “right” to happiness. Life isn’t safe, has never been safe, and never will be safe because we live in reality where at best evolutionary pressures are deciding which individuals and species get to continue their trek on this spinning dirt ball and at worst our own species is ridiculously efficient at killing each other off without the help of a virus that in its worst iterations is basically a survival Magic 8 Ball at this point.

      Yep, when it goes bad it goes very very bad, very very fast, and that’s scary. It doesn’t mean that you have a right to safety, or to not be scared.

      (Look, if wearing a piece of bedsheet on your face makes you feel better, go for it, but frankly, practically speaking, you’re screwed anyway… if you think that this virus is just gonna vanish “if only we can get those inconsiderate morons to wear bedsheets like us!”…. I’ve got bad news for you. The overwhelming odds are that this virus or its descendants are gonna stick around, and that’s 100% *because* of the fact that most of the cases are either mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic… it’s not killing off the carriers *nearly* fast enough to kill itself off, and that means get ready for a new annual virus season… sorry to burst your bubble and I sincerely hope that they’re getting enough quality data to understand enough about it to treat the bad cases effectively but… it ain’t going anywhere, it’s in a meh to good spot fatality and spread-wise for a virus so… welcome to the common COVID.)

    3. Well that’s what I get for banging out a comment on my phone, I meant “nothing on this planet has a right to safety”


  10. I love how karen doesn't even had the courtesy to comment as themselves, but has to be 'Anon'… LOL NRW is correct, but since he's 'only' a technician, obviously he doesn't know anything… sigh

  11. Toastrider – just to clarify (not because I'm saying you don't have a point), but Herman Cain was not undergoing chemo. He had been treated in 2006 and was in remission. That said, undergoing chemo leaves your immune system at least somewhat compromised for the rest of your life.

  12. Anonymous (Hereby referred to as Nony2): Where does it end? At what point will it be decided that it it no longer necessary to "protect the vulnerable" by assuming that EVERYONE is sick?

    Because there will ALWAYS be people who are vulnerable, and there will ALWAYS be something going around that can kill them. When we've finally exhausted COVID, they'll declare that masks were a really good idea, but OH! we can protect the vulnerable from the flu the SAME WAY! So keep wearing your masks, everybody, because we still have people to protect!

    Where does it end?

  13. I wear a mask 'cuz I wanna keep my job. I wear an N95 (paid for outta my pocket) 'cuz Iwanna reduce the chance of getting COVID cooties. You don't wanna wear a mask? No sweat, but I'm gonna stand way over there while we talk in a civilized fashion. I don't have a real problem with this arrangement.

    As for the gas mask comparison: really? I was in the military. I was issued a for-reals gas mask. Whyinthehell would I want to not wear it if I need it? Yeah, it was hot and made communication damned difficult but it could save my life. Wish I had it now.

  14. Two observations about freedom seem germane, here.

    1. Because responsibility and accountability make people so very uncomfortable, most people will do anything they can to avoid being free.
    2. If you can convince people they are free when they are not, they will let you do anything you want to them.

  15. Nony Foo Foo,

    Let's say that you used the finest 300-count sheet material for your Mask, Virtue Signaling, Cloth, 1 ea. Please try to keep up; this is simple math:

    300-count sheets have about the same or slightly large gap space left to allow the material to flex, move, and breathe. This calls for 600 thread slots per inch, or 1 inch/600 slots.

    Not so fast, Karen.

    1 inch/600 slots = 25.4 mm/600 slots.
    25mm/600 = 0.0423 m/slot, OR: 42.3 microns/slot

    That's an air gap space between threads of at least 42.3 microns.

    The respirable particle size for viruses, spores, etc. is: 2-5 microns
    It can be shown that this is the range of interest used for industrial safety.

    Take a median virus particle size of 2.5 microns.

    42.3/2.5 = 16.93; call it 17 by rounding.

    Now, look at a chain-link fence and your median-size mosquito (AK, TX, FL, and northern tier states are disqualified; those are aircraft). Funny, that's a similar size ratio and a similar amount of futile effort.


  16. I think a non-histrionic case can still be made for masks; not so much on the basis of the mask "blocking" the virus, though, as of velocity and "viral load" (aka dosing).
    Air going through a mask comes out much slower than without one – they wouldn't be so annoying to wear otherwise. The virus may be small, but it does not have engines, so I would expect it to mostly exit the mask at the same average speed as everything else coming out. So you'd get a much smaller cloud/trail/etc from anyone wearing a mask, even if literally zero viruses get outright stopped.
    Some viruses will be stopped, though, I expect: a mosquito may fit through a chain link fence just fine, but a swarm of mosquitoes in a hurricane will see at least a few get smeared. More importantly, if some of the mosquitoes are stuck to baseball-sized raindrops, those just won't make it through.
    The last bit of this is viral load: presuming the virus replicates exponentially on arrival, that the immune system takes a more-or-less constant amount of time to recognize it and devise countermeasures, and that symptoms ordinarily are a result of how many viruses there are, "how many viruses show up on day one" is directly proportional to how serious the infection will get.

    That said, the above is theory; to check whether masks actually work this way, we'd need to be doing (and publicizing) some pretty widespread surveys. Two questions, mainly: "have you been wearing a mask in public" and "have you had really serious symptoms*".
    *Whether these symptoms are coughing or panic attacks is an exercise left to the reader.

  17. As for larger droplets – one of the arguments has been that you shouldn't need to wear a mask unless you are coughing/sneezing, since larger droplets from normal conversation don't travel far enough to bother anyone at the "social distancing" distance. But we've been told that that's not good enough because the problem stems from aerosolized droplets.

    Aerosols remain in the air for a LONG time (the droplets are so light that the random motions of air itself keeps them afloat), and the velocity with which they are expelled is irrelevant to this, so wearing a mask does not affect how long they are in the air.

    As for the analogy to chain link and mosquitos – how useful would that be if you are trying to stem the tide of a malaria outbreak? The capture of aerosol droplets is simply not enough to matter.

    YES, viral load does matter. But normal masks will not affect that. What WILL affect it is reducing the concentration of people in places (social distancing, if you prefer), high air turnover, which removes the contaminated aerosols from the air, and plenty of UV light, which kills the virus quickly. All, or at the very least, MOST, of the so-called superspreader events (the real ones – there have been some claims that were overblown) have been in confined spaces without much air turnover.

  18. Well, one can always be like the former Seal Team guy who claimed he shot Bin Laden. He gets on a Delta flight, then posts a picture of himself without a mask, bragging about how brave and transversive he is. Delta responds by banning him.

    I don't blame Delta one bit. They created some rules that satisfied the authorities enough to approve the flying. I'm certainly glad they did. Yes, it's a pain to wear a mask. I took mine off to drink, and while eating a meal in an airport restaurant. It's simple, and there's no drama if everyone plays along.

    But one does not deliberately create drama in a commercial airplane without consequences. And this guy damn well did know better. He knows one does not make jokes about bombs to the luggage screeners. But getting on the plane with the mask on–and he did have it on, as the plane would not have left the gate otherwise–and then taking it off and bragging? Now one is making life difficult for the crew, as well as annoying the rest of the passengers.

    The other passengers may not do much, but the crew will. And he was notified at least three times that he'd have to wear the mask before he boarded. He chose to board, then chose to be an ass.

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