Episode-2598- The Expert Council Show for 2-7-20 — 3 Comments

  1. Doc Bones mentioned Tamiflu in his talk. Which reminded me of an article I read a while ago and may have posted this before. This “Herb Blurb” is all the way at the end of the article, so for convenience I chose to put it in the comments along with a link to the article if you are interested.


    Native American Indians sassafras the local drug store. Sassafras tea served as a pain reliever, stimulant, and diuretic. Safrole used to be called, by some, Shikimic oil. Interesting. Shikimic acid is the active ingredient in the influenza preparation Tamiflu


  2. Regarding massage and the like, if you have a Planet Fitness near you, you can get the $20/mo membership, and even if you don’t spend minute number one working out, that membership gets you unlimited use of their massage chair and their hydro-massage table.  (You also get unlimited use of tanning beds if that’s your thing.)

    If you’ve never been on a hydro-massage table, it’s the most experience ever, and it’s highly configurable to your needs.  The massage chair doesn’t work very well for me because I’m short, but the hydro-massage table is AMAZING!

  3. Besides population density and living arrangements, another thing I suspect exacerbating the problem in China is that their huge urban population tend to have a much smaller personal space bubble than what most Americans (or Mongolians for that matter) find comfortable. Many of their cities have really bad pollution, especially now in the winter, which has negative effects on immune systems. And a s***load of the men are smokers to boot.

    I’m of the opinion that China’s CCP (and the provincial governments) at minimum PERCEIVE coronavirus as a much bigger threat than their official numbers indicate. They very well could be overestimating the real threat. But given the negative impacts their draconian quarantine & extended shutdown measures are having on their already slowing economy, it seems likely they firmly believe the coronavirus risk is high.

    Like you, I suspect it’s far more infectious than currently thought, and it’s that in combination with the high rate of critical cases that concerns me… not so much the death rate. I think its risk is much more towards overwhelming medical systems of support and interrupting economic activity than the lethality. But of course the stats coming out of China probably can’t be trusted, so these estimates are built on a foundation of sand. Likely we won’t get remotely accurate estimates of the infectiousness & death rates for another couple weeks as the cases in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, etc. run their course.

    Here in Mongolia the government is definitely taking it very seriously. They’ve closed all the schools, universities, kindergartens, and large public entertainment venues (though bars and clubs are still open… gotta have priorities, right? ?). They closed all commercial flights and all land traffic to/from China except for imported goods, and just yesterday they shut down all coal exports to China (a huge revenue source for Mongolia) until at least March 2nd. They’ve also cancelled the Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian New Year) celebrations later this month to prevent potential spread. All this without any confirmed cases in the country (yet). Personally I get the sense that the Mongolian government is reacting largely to fear of the unknown. But given their (justified) lack of trust in China’s government and the less-developed medical infrastructure here I have a hard time faulting them for playing it extremely safe.

    I don’t see this as the next Black Death, but until I get better information I’m acting on the assumption that at minimum this is a bigger deal than the seasonal flu or SARS (which I think was somewhat over-hyped at the time too). As usual I feel stuck between two popular extremes, somewhere between those who liken it as essentially just another flu and those pulling their hair out and expecting a scenario out of the movie ‘Contagion’ (at this point leaning a little more towards the ‘just another flu’ end of the spectrum). And given the differences in American society and hygiene standards I expect the US to weather this much better than some nations here in Asia.