Monday, October 27, 2014

Crunching Numbers


So, tiring of the Usual Gang Of Idiots screwing up everything they can with both malignant incompetence and depraved indifference, I thought I'd look at the updated numbers on the primary outbreak in West Africa (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and momentarily, Mali) for a little mental respite.

The numbers are quite simply bollocks.
The consistency is their inconsistency, which is what happens when you depend on the honesty, intelligence, literacy and numeracy of countries where a flush toilet is an object of suspicion and wonder, and books are for kindling fires.

Liberia regularly skips entire weeks, getting their numbers to WHO on the local equivalent of "Island Time": "It gonna git dere when it get dere, brah."
And that's before it embarrasses some oafficial (not a typo), or inconveniences a family with an extra chicken for bribing whoever's filling out the death certificates today, or someone waves their arms and yells "customary burial rituals". (And here you thought Diversity was only a PITA in the U.S. of A.)

The rule of thumb has been that the actual tally of infected and dead is 2-2.5 (and lately they're saying more like 3 a  lot) times the number of "official" cases of Ebola.

Looking at the case expansion rates since September 1st, both overall and by countries, the actual modifier should be between two and eleventy. Any other attempt at precision, or claims of same, is a cross between monkeys throwing darts at a graph, and witchdoctors doing magic. It's probably in fact monkey witchdoctors throwing darts at a magic graph.

The trendline is that cases are now doubling every six weeks, instead of the former doubling of every three. Except that such happy news is modified by the fact that everyone there is screaming about how much worse it's getting, which is why they put windows in cockpits, along with instruments. When the dials all say you're doing great, but the windshield is full of the ground rushing rapidly to meet you, it isn't the windshield that's not working.

So it's gotten so bad at this point over there, that we have no idea how bad it is, or how much more rapidly that's happening.

Just to complete this coup of The Retarded led by the Illiterate, we're evidently importing fresh Ebola cases here at about the rate of 1 per week or two, pretty much precisely as the recent Lancet study suggested was going to happen.

And while our own retarded leadership is entirely to blame for that, just random probability says that pretty soon, it's going to start happening in London, Paris, Rome, and Australia, where they at least have lots of medical care worthy of the name. And in Cairo, Mumbai, Delhi, Manila, and Jakarta, where they most certainly do not.

What can be guaranteed, is that Mali will not be the exception. The caseload there will not stand at 1. Australia will not keep ducking this bullet. And eventually, it's going to get somewhere with an enormous population density, crap medical care, and zero public health ability, and drop 20 or 50 or 200 cases on them like a house falling in Oz from Kansas.

And if we keep juggling the lit road flares while standing in the gasoline-filled wading pool, we're going to get another imported Index Patient here who infects 10 or 20 people, and quietly expires in his flophouse without running to the ER, because he can't, or won't. And those people are going to float around thinking they have the flu, because flu season, and they won't be African, or have made any recent African journeys, and they'll get the Duncan Protocol.

So when, two-eight days later they come back in, bleeding out of everywhere from their eyes to their asses, all the shit-eating grins at CDC, the White House, and the hairdo news programs won't help them, or you, or anyone else. There won't be any BL4 beds for 10 or 20 people, because we don't have them. There won't be any isolation at the local hospital.
And the smart people who work there will GTFO, because they're not all the same dumbshits as Doctor Ebolawalker Spencer, or Nurse Typhoid Mary Hickox. So they'll clock out, and the people left behind will be the least bright, not the most bright. Every occupation has that ten percent at the bottom of the gene pool, including healthcare.
Just ask a malpractice attorney.

The administrators and spokesholes who've lied to everyone about "handling this problem" won't have anything to point to that explains how they can take care of people when their clinical staff elects to say "Hell no" and heads for the employee parking lot. (And if you think there's going to be loyalty to those institutions after the last few years of belt-tightening and having ObamaCare shoved down their throats, let me offer you a dose of reality: they're going to trample people on the way to their cars, and with smiles on their faces.)

And at that point, everyone else will have choices to make: go to work, knowing what assholes people are when it comes to staying home with the flu; or go on in, and risk getting a lot more than just that from the guy who's always coughing and wiping his nose on his sleeve from November to April.

Then stores start emptying out. Interstates fill up. Trucks and trains and power and water stop flowing. And government either starts putting up barricades, or abdicates, and lets the mob run the show.

How rapidly that all happens is anyone's guess, including mine.
Think of how calm and orderly people are for Black Friday shopping at Wal-Mart, or driving out of the parking lot after the ball game, and you tell me how warm and fuzzy you feel about things staying calm.

Everybody's had a dozen warning shots across the bow over this.
It's all fun and game until it lands in your lap.

So what it comes down to, as always, is what you're prepared to do to deal with this.
Ain't nobody ducking that choice indefinitely.

Carpe diem, bitches.


  1. Wikipedia has a daily increase in its stats.
    Its shown a steady decline from 2.5% to 0.5%

    They may be nonesense, however even if things are getting worse much much slower, 30 goes at compound interest means things are much much worse.

    I wouldnt be betting much on it being nearly over, but its at least plausible that we are nearing the top of the hump.
    Even if deaths do start declining by 0.5% per day, that's a whole lot of deaths still to come

  2. There's no plausible reason to assume any decrease whatsoever.
    What has come out, in dribs and drabs, is the multiplicity of ways they've fudged and finagled the numbers right along, which is how this became such an epic fustercluck.

    You can't take accounting principles form First World scientific research, and turn their administration over to third-grade dropouts who think disease is caused by witchcraft, any more than you can give live hand grenades to toddlers.

    The only thing a numerical decrease in the "official" statistics points to, is the overwhelming of those charged with keeping track has reached terminal velocity, and the inescapable fact is that they're lying wholesale.

    At that point, trying to draw any conclusions is like checking a clock after you know that it's been smashed to pieces with a sledgehammer.

    I wasn't looking at rates, I was looking at the actual posted numbers, and they simply don't add up with what we know firsthand is going on there on the ground. The epidemic is plainly and completely beyond controlling.

    NGOs gave up on Sierra Leone medically three weeks ago, and Liberia is in the same boat now. The outbreak in Guinea is so far gone they're now exporting it to Mali.
    I can only imagine what a knife-edge the shreds of governments there are clinging to, and wonder how long before we see their inevitable absolute failure.

  3. Aren't you concerned that Nurse Special Snowflake will sue you for the mean things you said about her?

  4. Truth is an absolute defense.
    And she's a public figure now, so she's pretty much boned there coming and going.

    The best way not to have mean things said about you is to not be the World's Biggest Crybaby Jackass.

    So that makes her behavior during the last 5 days or so an Epic Fail.

  5. What about this report I read today that the Ebola virus can survive on surfaces for at least 50 days? I look at every coin I have to handle at work and think, "I wonder if this penny has been to Dallas?" Sounds a bit paranoid, to say the least. But I do remember my mother always advised me, "Don't put that [coin] in your mouth! You don't know where that money has been!" She might have been ahead of her time.

  6. I've been flogging the Canadian study for weeks.
    The relevant section is "Section IV: Survival outside Host".

    Bear in mind that the 50 days is under ideal (cold) conditions.
    Or in blood, even just a drop.

    A little Lysol or hand sanitizer, or a little literally money laundering by washing coins in soapy water would solve that.

    But your mom was right, sticking coins in your mouth is a good way to catch something.