Monday, May 18, 2020

Encounter With a "Demon"

I've told this story before, but I think it bears repeating.

When I was about 13 I had an encounter with a psychic being that wasn't benign and wasn't entirely human.  At the time, I called it The Driver.  Yes, it really did try to set up permanent residence in my mind, and I had to go to some effort to get rid of it.  I suppose it fits some of the definitions of a "demon", though I'd like to know what religion would own up to it.

It was on a school night, and I was up in my bedroom, plodding through my homework and avoiding my parents who were fighting again downstairs.  It was late, I'd zipped through the English assignment and was dreading the Math portion, when I heard another voice in my head.  At first it was just a buzzing presence that sounded and felt like nothing I'd ever encountered, but after awhile it began coming up with coherent concepts if not words -- and what it wanted was a task.  Apparently it had been attracted by the sound of my mind grinding through the homework;  what it wanted was data to process, and I'd just been absorbing a lot of that.  It nagged in a near-mechanical voice, and it would not shut up. 

As it kept yattering I got a clearer impression of its mind, and what I saw was incomplete, nearly mechanical, lacking a good 90% of the "feel" of other people or animals.  It wanted to attach to another mind so as to get data to process, and it didn't seem to care about anything -- anything -- else.  If a computer could have awareness, it would feel like this. 

I cautiously asked it what kind of data it wanted, and it replied "no preference" -- as if it were hungry for data and didn't care what it ate.  I could also feel that when it came to processing the data, The Driver would do a very competent job.

"Oh, cool," I decided.  "Then do my Math homework."  And I opened my Math workbook and turned to the first page. 

With a buzz of satisfaction, The Driver absorbed the figures through my eyes and began churning out solutions, which I then wrote down.  I soon saw that none of the figures -- or the process of adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing them -- went through my own mind.  I wasn't practicing the Math;  I was only observing somebody else do it.  I wasn't really learning anything.  The homework got done in record time, and when I checked a few of the exercises I found that they were all correct.  I hated Math, so that was fine with me.

The Driver, however, wasn't satisfied.  The moment the last exercise was finished, it started nagging for more work.  Well, all right;  I still had the History homework to read, so I opened my textbook and started reading the assigned chapter.  The Driver eagerly absorbed the words through my eyes, but it didn't seem to know what to do with them except to store them away in its memory -- a memory, I saw, that was enormous -- but wasn't going to be shared.  This annoyed me, because I liked History and had wanted to store that information in my own memory, thank you, and do some thinking about it myself.  I deliberately slowed my reading down so that I could see and memorize the concepts in the sentences, but this annoyed The Driver, which just wanted more and more words as fast as it could get them.  In effect, I had to read everything twice -- once, quickly, for The Driver, and a second time, slower, for me.  By the time I finished the chapter I was growing annoyed with my uninvited psychic guest.  I was also tired and wanted to get to sleep.

But now another annoyance appeared;  The Driver simply would not shut up.  It kept nattering, nagging, wanting more data, more data.  I knew I couldn't sleep with that noise going on, That meant that I had to somehow get rid of my unwelcome guest.  But how?  Ignoring it didn't work, and trying to flood it out with my own thoughts didn't work either.  In fact, The Driver didn't even seem to notice that I was trying to throw it out;  it just kept demanding a mental task to perform.  It was only a fragment of a personality, not a whole mind.   

At that point I realized that The Driver had no natural instincts: not even a sense of self-preservation.

So I asked it flat out: "How do I get rid of you?"

The Driver treated that like any other intellectual problem, and gave me an answer: "Overload."

That was all I needed.  "Okay," I said, "I have a task for you.  Determine the nature and purpose of the entire universe.  Correlate all data, starting now."

I could hear/feel the "working" hum of The Driver starting its task, and as I felt it processing all its data, I heard the tone of the hum rising steadily.  Guessing that I'd better be thoroughly out of the way when that humming reached its climax, I got into my pajamas and then into bed, pulled up the blankets and blanked my mind, and did my best to go to sleep.  The last thing I remembered before sleep closed in was the rising hum of The Driver processing all that data.  I was thoroughly asleep before my unwelcome visitor overloaded itself and tore loose.

I woke up late the next morning and had to scramble to get dressed in time for the schoolbus, but I remembered all that had happened the night before -- and I readily saw that The Driver was gone.  My mind was entirely my own again.  Nobody was talking there but me.

And the thing never came back.   

I thought about that all the rest of the day, wondering about the nature of The Driver.  It was a totally psychic being, and not much of one: just a fragment of a mind that had somehow torn loose from its original personality, taking that mind's psychic ability with it, that had gone searching for another mind to attach itself to and ever-more data to feed on.. I wondered how many minds, before me, the thing had traveled through -- how much data it had gathered from them, and how those other people had gotten rid of the thing.  I never came up with any answers, but the incident gave me a whole new perspective on the old story of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

All I got out of that incident was some understanding of just what a "demon" is, and how to get rid of them without benefit of clergy.  Of course I have no proof for any of this, since the entire incident played out inside my own skull, but the ideas are intriguing.  Anybody who wants to is free to take and run with them.   

--Leslie <;)))><  )O(



Friday, May 8, 2020

An Occasionally Psychic Childhood

...Or, Now for Something Completely Different

My first psychic experience that I can remember happened when I was six, and my family was still living in an apartment in East Orange, New Jersey.  The building was laid out in a U-shape, with the open end facing the street and a parking-lot in the back.  Our apartment was on the first floor, which was slightly raised above ground level, with a short stairway leading down to the main door. 

The only garbage service we had came around to the cans in the parking lot, and we had one enameled steel garbage can under the kitchen sink.  When we wanted to dump the garbage, we had to carry the can -- and the three waste-baskets, one tan, one pink, one white -- out our front door, down the steps, out the main door, down the short building steps, along the sidewalk to the passage through the bottom of the U, then around to the parking-lot in the back, and up to the full-sized garbage-cans.  This was something of a chore, and I certainly didn't enjoy doing it, even once a week, when Mom would help.  She'd usually carry the heavy enamel can and one of the waste-baskets, and leave me to haul the other two.  The baskets were comparatively light, but hauling them all the way around to the parking-lot was heavy work for a little kid. 

We also had a second-hand washing machine in the basement, which had a lot of scrapes in the enamel, where rust was beginning to show up.  Pop kept promising that he'd give that washer a coat of enamel paint to stop the rust from spreading, and one lazy Saturday he set out to do just that.  With the help of a neighbor he wrestled the washer out of the basement and into the parking-lot.  The neighbor took off, Dad brought the paint and brush and paint-tray around to the parking-lot and began painting over the scrapes.  I toddled after him and watched, having nothing else to do, while he made an artistic job of it. 

He paused for a moment to evaluate his work, then told me: "Sweetling, go get the white wastebasket and bring it here."

What he said was "white wastebasket", but I got a distinct impression -- a vision -- of the white enameled garbage-pail from under the kitchen sink.  Somehow I knew that that was what he really meant. 

So I toddled off, across the parking-lot, through the passageway, up the sidewalk, up the building-stairs, through the main door, up the front steps, into the apartment, into the kitchen and under the sink.  Fortunately the can was empty, otherwise I'd never have been able to drag it out.  The thing was nearly as tall and heavy as I was.  Still, I wrestled it across the kitchen, down the hallway, out the apartment door and then -- sitting down and pushing it with my feet -- down the front steps, through the building front door (which wasn't easy, the door being heavy and liable to swing shut), and then down the building stairs -- likewise sitting down and pushing with my feet.  Once down on the sidewalk I paused for breath and asked myself why I was going to all this effort;  after all, what Pop had said was "white wastebasket".  Nonetheless, I knew that what he'd really meant was "white enameled garbage-can from under the kitchen sink".  So, as soon as I'd gotten my breath back, I persevered: down the sidewalk, through the passageway...

And as I came thumping around the corner into the parking-lot I heard Pop call: "Oh, Sweetling, I made a mistake.  I meant the enameled white garbage-can from under the kitchen sink."


Yes, I brought him the can.  No, I didn't keep quiet about my vision.  I crowed about it until Pop wearily told me to shut up already and let him paint.  I don't  remember how Pop got the washing-machine back into the basement, or the enameled can back under the sink.  Given how long it would have taken for the paint to dry, he would have done it after I'd gone to bed, or maybe even the next day. 

I don't remember any specific incidents after that -- just that I got along well with animals, and could always tell what they were thinking or feeling -- until I was around eleven.

It was a school day and I was in  gym class, standing in line with a bunch of other girls, waiting for my turn to throw a basketball at the basket, and bored out of my skull.  I didn't like any of the team sports taught in school;  I liked the "weird" sports -- horseback-riding, canoeing, archery -- stuff usually done by myself.  I'd also begun taking an interest in Rock music, at least what got onto our household radio.  So, while I stood in line, bored out of my skull, I heard a popular soft-rock song playing through my head, complete with words.  It somewhat surprised me, because it wasn't a song I particularly liked or would normally remember (and to this day I can't remember the title). 

Then, a moment later, the girl right in front of me began humming the exact same tune.

This time I had better sense than to mention the peculiar coincidence.  What I noticed this time was that these incidents happened when I was in a particular mood: awake but not concentrating on anything, sort-of daydreaming.  After that I also began taking an interest in what I'd learned to call "psychic phenomena". 

And after that it got complicated.

--Leslie <;)))><         


Friday, April 24, 2020

Not "When" But "What": Reopening the Economy

It's obvious that we can't leave the economy shut down much longer, and the restrictions on business have got to relax soon.  The problem, at least here in the USA, is that our sheer size and geography makes for very different conditions all over the country.

This is why Trump left responses to the pandemic up to the local governors, rather than set nation-wide standards, as the Democrats nagged him to do. 

Here in Arizona, for example -- where half the population is clustered in one large city, two small cities, and the other half scattered in small towns across the whole state -- "social distancing" isn't much of a problem.  Like most other states, we were caught short on Covid-19 testing devices -- not so much on masks, gowns, gloves, and ventilators.  Our major outbreaks were centered around the usual old-folks-dying-houses and a recent tribal powwow on the Navaho lands.  Outside of the state, nobody seems to realize that the Indian tribes (Oooooh, excuse me: "Native Americans") are a major chunk of Arizona's population and political powers.  Therefore, nobody but the Arizona governor could be expected to understand just what this state's reaction to the plague should be.

The problem with this decentralized approach is that it allowed various governors to sneak certain political hobby-horses into the emergency protocols, usually by declaring just which industries they considered "essential".  By now we're all familiar with the Michigan governor banning sales of gardening seeds, and the Virginia governor trying to shut down gun-stores.  We're also familiar with the local revolts and protests against the same, all of which have been energetically denounced by the Democrat-leaning media. 

Therefore it makes sense that Trump would both announce that the re-opening of the economy should be up to the local governors -- or even mayors -- and that he would scold particular governors and mayors who stepped into the political stratosphere.  And of course it follows that the Democrats and their media-flacks would denounce him for both actions. 

So what have we learned for ourselves that is really necessary to control the pandemic while getting the country back to work? 

Basically, we have to keep the six-foot distance in public, wash and clean everything we can as often as we can, and not go out in public without wearing some kind of mask covering the nose and mouth.  Now this face-covering doesn't have to be the full N95 medical-quality mask that can filter out particles as small as the virus itself.  It only has to be thick enough to stop the aerosols -- the tiny droplets of water in our breath -- which the virus lives and travels in.  A common allergy-mask, or painter's mask, or carpenter's mask, or even a Bandito-style folded bandana mask can do that.  Simply passing all this information around to the populace can accomplish that.  The public is not stupid, regardless of what the Democratic National Committee may think. 

In fact, businesses and common citizens in most states have already taken their own steps in that direction.  The last time I went out to get food, the customers at the supermarket were wearing assorted masks and carefully keeping six feet apart, at the bank there were tape-markers on the floor  guiding the customers to stay six feet apart, at the local MacDonald's there were similar tape-guides on the floor (and the dining section was closed, so the store sold only carry-out or deliveries), and all the employees were distanced and wearing various masks.  The governor had not given any such orders;  the people did it themselves. 

There's no reason to think that they can't extend that to the rest of the economy.  The publicized cases of meat-processing plants providing hotbeds of infection have spurred those companies -- perhaps under the sharp rowel of threatened lawsuits -- to redesign whole factories for maximum space and hygiene, and other factories are following suit.  Schools, from colleges down to grade-schools, have taken seriously to selling online courses -- and home-schooling has gained a whole new popularity.  White-collar industries, like investing and consulting, have made creative use of teleconferencing.  Service industries have been decentralizing with a vengeance.  The economy is adapting, rapidly, on its own -- without "national guidance". 

Perhaps this is exactly what the political leftists fear, since what isn't "guided" can't be controlled.

The other guideline we keep hearing is "universal testing", how we can't go back to a "normal" economy unless everybody in the country is tested for the corona virus.  This is impossible, for several reasons.  First, people keep forgetting that the US has the third largest population in the world -- 330 million that we know about, and probably another 20 million that we don't -- and even with all the test-manufacturing companies in the country running day and night, we couldn't turn out 330 million tests within a year.  Second, there are two forms of test: the mucous test which shows if the live virus is present, and the blood ("serology") test which shows if specific coronavirus antibodies are present.  The mucous test would have to be applied every day, because a person can test negative on one day and positive on the next;  now we're talking about billions of tests.  The serology test would be more useful, since one of the proposed treatments for Covid-19 is collecting and cloning antibodies from people -- or animals -- who have had the virus and recovered, and injecting them into active patients, but that too would take millions of tests and well over a year, at least. 

Likewise we can't wait for a vaccine, which would take-- according to the FDA and CDC -- about a year to get out to the public. 

The best solution would be to develop some reliable cures, which is what Trump has been pushing for -- and therefore the Democrats have been denouncing and decrying almost frantically.  Early, and small, trials of hydrochloroquine plus azythromicin and zinc, remdesivir, and convalescent plasma have shown very good results -- but later trials reported from China claim they don't work.  Then again, we've learned that we can't trust anything we hear from China.  The best place to get trials done would be in Israel, but nobody's mentioning that. 

One might almost think that everyone politically an inch to the left of Clint Eastwood wants to keep the American economy hobbled, the various US govts. hemorrhaging money, and a good 30 million voters living on Unemployment.  Gee, why should they want that?  As if we couldn't guess.  *Sigh*

So what we're stuck with is how to reopen businesses, re-hire all those suddenly unemployed, and avoid a surge in Covid-19 infections, and we have to do it quickly. 

The question isn't when, but how -- and the citizens have already taken their own steps to do that.  All they need is permission, and a bit of encouragement. 

--Leslie <;)))>< 


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Healthcare and Rights

While surfing the 'net I came across an amazing claim by the notorious AOC -- whom I prefer to call Alldyslexia Occasional Cortex -- claiming that the Covid-19 virus is "racist" because, in New York anyway, it has infected a higher percentage of Black people than White people.  Never mind that it has affected a lower percentage of Latinos and Asians than either Blacks or Whites, or affected men more than women, or the very old more than the very young, or city-dwellers more than rural people.  No, it has to be about ray-ray-racism, and the solution is to pay "reparations".  Uhuh. 

It's not surprising that AOC, like BLM, has turned accusations of racism into an extortion racket.  What's interesting is her underlying claim, shared by leftists ideologues all over the US, that "healthcare is a human right".  I've also heard the related query: "why is bearing firearms a right and healthcare isn't?"  That deserves a closer look.

To exercise your 2nd Amendment rights (never mind the 1st Amendment) you must take action yourself.  You must pay for the firearms (or other personal weapons) -- and the ammunition, and the targets, and the range-time, and the training, and the carry-license fees -- yourself.  If you abuse the right -- say, by shooting innocent people -- then you get arrested and tried and pay the penalty all by yourself.  To misquote the old folksong, nobody else can do it for you;  you've got to use and pay for the right all by yourself.  It's all on you.  The right itself is free -- except for occasional wars to defend it;  it's the exercising of it that costs, and it costs only yourself.   

Healthcare is something totally different.  Aside from simple preventatives (like diet, exercise, and hygiene), and simple treatments (like disinfectants, bandages, over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and cough-syrup), healthcare involves other people.  For ailments more serious than a common cold you go to see a doctor, and probably his/her nurse (and, doubtless, his/her medical-insurance clerk).  Very likely, the doctor will send you to a laboratory for tests.  If the tests reveal a problem that a simple general-practitioner can't handle, the doctor will refer you to a specialist (and the specialist's nurse and insurance-clerk), or possibly to a hospital.  This involves a lot of people, all of whom have gone through extensive -- and expensive -- training, for which they're often still paying.  In brief, it involves a lot of other people's labor. 

Since the end of the Civil War, no American has had a right to other people's labor. 

Now you may argue, and rightly so, that members of the medical community tend to overprice their labor -- particularly the pharmaceutical companies -- but that's another story, and subject to other solutions.  The point is that other people's labor, overpriced or not, does not come free;  it must be paid for.

 It's on the question of "who pays", and how, that the problem of "rights" re-emerges.  The medical business has overpriced itself to the point where only the super-rich can afford to pay for their healthcare directly.  Everyone else, over the past century, has become obliged to pay through the insurance business.  This only moves the problem one step back, because insurance -- being a service, and a business -- mus also be paid for.  Our society has determined, likewise over the past century, that equal access to businesses is also a right -- one that can't be denied on grounds of race, sex, or religion.  This applies to insurance as much as to lunch-counters.   

Subtler grounds such as ethnic group, age, ancestry, political party, or country of origin are still being argued.  The way this works out on the question of health-insurance is that anybody can have access to the service, but the amount paid varies.  A single person, buying health insurance for themself, would pay more or less, depending on all the above variables. 

This is where a form of "herd immunity" comes into play;  a group purchasing insurance for its members can get equal insurance for all of them, regardless of individual differences, provided that the group is large enough for the insurance company to expect a reliable, uniform payment from the group.  This is why so many Americans gain their health insurance through their job, or their labor union, or their church, or their sports-club, and the right to equal access -- for all members of the group -- would apply.  The bigger the group, the lower the fees would be per individual.  The biggest group in America is the whole electorate: all the citizens, all the voters, all the taxpayers.  The organizers of such large groups can't be smaller than the state or federal governments;  thus we have state Welfare health-insurance and federal Social Security/Medicare insurance.  All citizens -- and in some states non-citizens -- have equal access to these.  Likewise, tax money goes to pay for federal, state and even municipal public-health services -- which, again, service the groups -- and to which all members of those groups have a right to equal access.  

This is as far into the area of "rights" as healthcare can legitimately go -- regardless of what AOC, or Bernie Sanders, or any of the Socialist Democrats may claim. 

--Leslie <;)))><                       


Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Political Profits of Plague-Panic, Part Two

Related to my last post, understand that the government and culture of China have been frantically arrogant for the last several centuries.  They call their country "the middle kingdom", which means they see themselves as far above all other people on Earth as the gods are above them.  One result of this almost-desperate arrogance has been an addiction to playing Economic Warfare with their trade partners, no matter how much damage it does them, which accounts for the Opium Wars of the 1800s.  Another result has been their tendency to make war on neighbors who were no threat to them, which explains why China is thoroughly hated by its neighbors;  this explains why, during the Vietnam war, the government of North Vietnam went for help to Russia to help fight the Americans rather than having anything to do with China.  Another result is that the Chinese govt. would rather lose thousands -- if not millions -- of its enormous population than lose "face" before the rest of the world. 

Thanks to the wonders of modern communications, China has been furiously embarrassed before the rest of the world thanks to the Corona virus.  This explains why the Chinese govt. made the amazing claim that "US soldiers" brought the virus to China.  Anybody can ask just when the US last had troops in China, and everybody knows that the virus came from Wuhan, China, regardless of what any politician says.  China has done better at claiming its numbers of Covid-19 infected have "peaked" and its people are going back to work -- with no evidence except the govt.'s own word.   

Not that this stops any politician, religious leader, or media flack from throwing ridiculous claims and accusations around. 

The govts. and assorted mullahs/imams/ayatollahs of the Arab countries, from Iran on down, have blamed the virus on the US, Israel, and the Jews in general.  Interestingly enough, their orders to their subjects vary wildly.  Some command the Faithful to go out and infect as many infidels as they can reach.  Others ignore the WHO's safety protocols and hold mass prayer-meetings on the assumption that the virus will spare the Faithful, despite the reported growing number of mass graves in Iran.

From the rest of Asia we hear either silence or brags, such as South Korea, which boasts that it has now given its entire population virus tests, or North Korea, which is saying nothing.

In Europe the politics are more volatile and complex.  Italy, after begging for help from anyone who could give it, has closed its borders and is going into complete lockdown;  there are rumors, nothing proven, that the govt. is planning to start deporting all those "migrants" who overstrained its public services in the first place.  France has tried to instate the WHO's protocols only to face riots from its "migrant" population, and is considering using its military to clean out the migrant enclaves.  Other European countries have shut down their borders completely, in defiance of EU regulations and despite howls from the media/academia about a "political shift to the Right".  In fact, a lot of countries are pulling toward autonomy again, away from the EU in general.  The whole "globalism" trend is in danger of falling apart. 

It's in the US that the politics of the plague-panic become really visible.  The Democrats, in their near-frenzy to Get Trump, first denounced him for his earlier actions of thinning out the CDC bureaucracy, sneered at his vague and weakly optimistic speeches, and demanded that he use the powers of the fed. govt. to doooo something.  In fact, what Trump was dooooing was quietly going around to the pharmaceutical and medical-supply corporations, and others, and flogging them into pulling their manufacturing out of China and back into the US -- and stepping up production fast. (Another thing most Americans don't realize is that during the Obama administration China gained an enormous share -- at least 70% -- of the American pharmaceutical and medical-supply business.  Trump has been working to reverse that.)  For this he used the stick of the Wartime Production Act and the carrot of "stimulus" rewards.  What else could have persuaded Ford, of all companies, to go into the ventilator-manufacturing business?  This is also why the Republican "stimulus" bill included payoffs to certain corporations as well as small businesses. 

After the WHO declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic, Trump was obliged to declare a national emergency, which included outlining the WHO's protocols for curtailing the spread of the virus.  He certainly knew what this would do to the economy, so he left implementation of the protocols up to local state and city govts. -- which responded with widely varying tactics.

Interestingly enough, states with Democrat governors instituted the most draconian regulations, including attempts at -- of all things -- gun-control laws, not to mention damaging the local economies.  For example, Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles threatened to cut off water and power to any "non-essential" business that refused to close.  This seriously annoyed the more libertarian voters, and won the Democrats no friends.  Nonetheless, the Democrats insisted that Trump show "more leadership", and use the various federal govt. powers to enforce uniform compliance.  The stock-market took a precipitous nosedive, bounced back, dived again, and cautiously edged back up.  Trump started enacting the War Production Act but held off enforcing it until he got word of the various medical researchers around the world finding workable treatments for Covid-19.  When he announced the treatments -- variations on a theme of hydrochloroquine with something else -- his medical adviser, Fauco, expressed the usual caution about the need for testing (doctors who promise cures tend to get sued).  Various Democrats used that excuse to denounce Trump's claims of hope;  the governor of Nevada went so far as to pass a law forbidding the medical use of hydrochloroquine as treatment for Covid-19.  Other Democrat politicians have loudly denounced Trump's efforts to get businesses open and running again by Easter, even as those companies that Trump flogged into emergency production have sent some 9 million doses of chloroquine to New York's public health services to be tried on those 15,000 New Yorkers who  have tested positive for Covid-19.  The testing started last Monday, and the first trials should be finished in ten days. 

One has to wonder just what the Democrats are trying to accomplish -- especially that Nevada governor.  Certainly the stock-market dive and partial shutdown of the economy work in their favor, since Trump's main appeal to the voters is the previously booming economy. But would they really go so far as to hold off on treatments for the virus, and to keep the economy depressed, just to discourage potential Trump voters?

Judging from the political craziness we've seen in other countries, I couldn't swear it's impossible.

--Leslie <;)))><                  


Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Political Profits of Plague-Panic Part One

First, here's what we now know about China's involvement in the Coronavirus spread.  Note that one thing not mentioned here is that the city of Wuhan contains Wuhan University, which hosts the Wuhan Virology Institute.  Yes, "virology" means just what you think it means.  Draw your own conclusions.  More to follow.

--Leslie <;)))><   

Thursday, March 12, 2020

As the Virus Spreads...

One of my predictions in my last blog has come true already.  Note:

Yep, Iran is blaming Israel for creating the virus -- maybe with help from the US.  You heard it here first, folks!  No doubt the other Arab countries will fall in line with the same story.  Once those Israeli scientists at the Migal lab are turning out vaccines in job lots, we'll see if those same countries are willing to take the vaccine or if they refuse to be "contaminated" by "Jewish" medicine.  Nobody is mentioning the fact that Iran, even with its spotty history of medical testing, has an unusually large number of Covid-19 infected people -- and this is because the country has had a very poor record of public health ever since the ayatollahs took over.  The Iranian government really has nobody but itself to blame -- not that it ever will.  Other countries, including Italy, Israel and now the US, have taken measures -- like banning travel and large public gatherings -- to slow down the spread of the virus and increase testing for it, but you won't see the Arab countries following suit.

Since Covid-19 is an airborne (more specifically an "aerosol") virus, there's really no way to stop its spread.  The best we can do is slow down its progress while the medical companies scramble to produce tests, vaccines, and treatments.  Yes, avoiding crowds can do that.  So can other tactics already used to avoid other virus infections;  treat this like a dangerous flu: keep away from other people as much as possible, keep warm, keep your nose and mouth covered, wash your hands often, take lots of Vitamin C, and also eat lots of fresh raw onions, fresh raw garlic, fresh raw cabbage, fresh lime juice and fresh lemon juice.  All of those foods are virus-fighters and immune-system boosters, and until the medical researchers can come up with a real cure, boosting your immune system is really the best thing you can do.  Everything else is politics.

As further examples of the politics, note how the major US news media have been fanning panic and of course blaming Trump for the spread of the virus.  Italy has banned all travel into the country, which helps with its no-more-immigration policy.  Other countries are likewise using the "global pandemic" excuse to cut off unwanted immigration.  China has used the outbreak as an excuse to lock down the entire country, which has effectively stopped the public protests that were becoming a serious annoyance before the outbreak.  And of course Iran and other Arab countries are using the epidemic as an excuse to blame and attack Israel.

Essential to these political maneuverings is the fear that Covid-19 is especially lethal.  Chris O'Connell on MSNBC actually said: "More Americans are dead and dying tonight because Donald Trump is president."  A dutiful Health Department official said, likewise on MSNBC, that: "Covid-19 is ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu."  Never mind that the common or seasonal flu has a death-rate of one-tenth of 1% of everyone who catches it.  This gives Covid-19 a lethality rate of 1% -- and remember that this includes all known cases in the world, and the world includes some places with very poor health care.

One thing this manufactured panic has done is to damage everybody's economy.  Particularly, the US stock market has dropped, then bounced, then dropped again.  Who benefits from this?  I can think of nobody except the Democratic Party, which previously had no answer to the fact that the US economy has grown considerably under Trump's administration.  Perhaps the DNC is hoping that the economy will stay depressed until November, so they'll have a better chance of winning.  I suspect it won't.  The problem with convenient panics is that they don't last very long.  Once the US has enough testing-kits to cover the whole population, once enough people have gotten Covid-19 and recovered, once people see that the danger isn't nearly as great as they've been told, the shut-downs will end, people will go back to work, and the economy will get back up again.  That should happen by summer, let alone by election day.

It will be interesting to see how assorted politicians, political committees and their media-flacks try to keep fanning the panic, and whom they keep blaming for the virus.

Meanwhile, treat Covid-19 like a particularly nasty flu, and get your information from real medical websites.

--Leslie <;)))><