Racing COVID

Man in the spotlight, Swedish epidemiologist Anders Tegnell/Wikimedia Commons

Swedish epidemiologist Anders Tegnell months ago warned that the battle against the pandemic is a “marathon, not a sprint,”  and his words should resonate for everyone in Anchorage now.

Alaska used the nuclear option against the disease back in March to “flatten the curve” as it was presented then, and the statewide lockdown was highly effective.

The state’s coronavirus response hub shows spring cases peaking at fewer than 20 per day in mid-March – when everyone was terrified of the new disease delivered by the SARS-CoV-2 virus – and falling to almost nothing by mid-April.

Those can now be considered the good, old days. The disease came creeping back in June, persisted at a relatively low and steady level through the summer, and has now exploded as cooler weather pushes everyone indoors, businesses close their doors and windows to keep out the cold, and kids go back to school.

The state is not unique in this regard. All across the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere, COVID-19 cases are on the rise as the seasons change.

Cold versus warm

Cases might be falling in India, where the weather is warm, but the University of Oxford website Our World in Data shows them going up, and going up rapidly, in Germany, France, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, the U.S., Russia, Sweden and even Norway, which had remained largely COVID-19 free up until now. 

The Swedes, who have been either praised or attacked for their moderate response to the disease to date, are now telling their citizens to take extra precautions to avoid infection.

The Local, an English-language publication that reports from Sweden, says citizens in the three regions with the highest rates of disease have been told to:

  • Refrain from being in indoor environments such as shops, shopping centres, museums, libraries, swimming pools and gyms. Necessary visits to for example grocery stores and pharmacies are OK.
  • Refrain from attending, for example, meetings, concerts, performances, sports training, matches and competitions. This advisory does not apply to sports training for children born 2005 or later.
  • If possible avoid physical contact with people other than those you live with. According to the Public Health Agency, this includes for example attending or throwing a party or similar social gatherings.

In the 49th state – where the March-April lockdown wreaked havoc on businesses, especially in the service-industry sector – officials are reluctant to take such measures and are now blaming the increase in infections on Alaskans who refuse to wear masks in public.

Julie Taylor, the chief executive officer for Alaska Regional Hospital, Thursday suggested to The Anchorage Press that most of the people in the hospital there caught COVID-19 from someone who wasn’t wearing a mask.

How patients would know this (given that so many attempts to trace the infection anywhere have tracked back to unidentifiable “community spread”) and how Taylor verified this information was not reported, but she was quoted saying this:

“I know that there’s naysayers out there, and honestly you guys are the problem.”

The anti-maskers

Where this mob of the unmasked is hanging out is unclear. Anchorage has been masked up for months, and a quick check of some city businesses Thursday evening – a Costco, a Carrs, a Lowes, a Walmart, and a mall  – led to not a single sighting of an unmasked shopper inside those spaces.

Certainly, it is possible, probable even, that there was someone there without a mask, but it has been rare to see someone without a mask in Anchorage businesses for a couple of months. Compliance with Anchorage’s mandatory masking would appear to be 95 percent or better.

And yet the city’s infection rate keeps going up.

The Anchorage Health Department on Wednesday issued a “health advisory” warning the rate of infection had reached 40 cases per day – four times the 10 per day the state considers a dangerous rate of spread.

The municipality’s advice was to “stay home” or “wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from others in public” even when engaging in “indoor exercise or sports” at the gym or participating in “Halloween activities.”

The latter guidance suggesting it is OK to exercise indoors (other than in your own home) or hold a Halloween party directly contradicts the advice to “stay home.” Meanwhile, the advice to people to stay six feet apart has been increasingly overlooked since masks became the norm.

And why wouldn’t it be? On national TV, you can watch masked up, National Football League (NFL) coaches march across the field after games and hug each other.

The city seems to be behaving much like the NFL.

In the wake of a spread of COVID-19 that makes March look like nothing, Anchorage has closed no businesses and mandated no new restrictions. In a video show, Health Director Dr. Heather Harrison merely warned that “COVID is everywhere in our community,” and “we are on a dangerous path and the solution is simple.

“We must wear a mask and keep a distance from people outside of our households.”

There is no evidence to indicate the solution is that simple, but the rest of the video made clear the muni’s fear of another shutdown, given the economic disaster driven by the earlier shutdown.

That marathon

This is exactly the scenario of which Tegnell warned when he observed that the battle against COVID-19 is a marathon not a sprint. Having sprinted at the start, and having run far out in front of the race, Anchorage now finds COVID-19 roaring past, and the city is apparently incapable of responding.

A gang of scientists from around the world earlier this year built a model of what appears to work to reduce the spread and posted it at  MedRxiv a couple of weeks ago.

“We gather chronological data on NPIs (nonpharmeutical interventions) in 41 countries between January and the end of May 2020, creating the largest public NPI dataset collected with independent double entry,” they wrote. “We then estimate the effectiveness of eight NPIs with a Bayesian hierarchical model by linking NPI implementation dates to national case and death counts. The results are supported by extensive empirical validation, including 11 sensitivity analyses with over 200 experimental conditions.”

Masks proved the weakest of interventions in the examination. The study actually gave masks a negative score, but the authors said it was possible that in some situations they might help.

Overall, the rankings in order from the most effective measure to the least calculated by the reduction in the reproductive rate (R) of SARS-CoV-2  looked like this:

  • Closing schools and universities – 41 percent most likely probability of reduction of R in a range of 23 percent to 56 percent.
  • Closing some high-risk businesses – 36 percent in a range of 17 percent to 53 percent.
  • Limiting gatherings to 10 people or less – 36 percent in a range of 17 to 53 percent
  • Limiting gatherings to 100 people or less – 28 percent in a range of 9 to 44 percent.
  • Closing most nonessential businesses – 29 percent in a range of 8 to 47 percent.
  • Closing some high-risk businesses – 20 percent in a range of zero to 40 percent.
  • Limiting gatherings to 1000 people or less – 13 percent in a range of minus-three percent to 31 percent.
  • Issuing stay-at-home orders (with exemptions): 10 percent in a range of minus-two percent to 22 percent
  • Mandating mask-wearing in (some) public spaces: minus-one percent in a range of minus-13 to eight percent.

There are pro-mask scientists who argue the benefit of masks is closer to the study’s maximum range of eight percent or even higher. But few if any believe masking is more effective than keeping people away from each other.

France announced a four-week lockdown that began Thursday.  Germany has closed bars, pubs, restaurants, gyms, cinemas and theatres, and announced a four-week restriction to limit household mixing to two households with no more than 10 people.

The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has called for a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown to slow the spread in the United Kingdom. 

The thinking is simple. On a fundamental level, the spread of infectious disease – any infectious disease – is controlled by preventing human A from passing it to human B. Somebody in Hoboken, N.J. – a hotbed of COVID-19 death – isn’t going to give the disease to someone in Anchorage unless the virus can survive on the licked adhesive of a letter for however long it takes the U.S. Postal Service to deliver it.

If you go to the model to be found at and punch in masking as the only means to slow the spread in Anchorage, what you discover is that basically nothings changes. The number of infections go on increasing relatively unabated.

Even in a best-case scenario for masks alone – more than 60 percent of the population wearing them in public places (and Anchorage appears higher than that) with the maximum 8 percent reduction in the transmission of disease – an R of two today only drops to 1.85 in the days ahead.

To get the spread under one, which shifts SARS-CoV-2 from increasing to decreasing, the model calculates that masks would have to be more than 50 percent effective in stopping the spread.

Even the optimistic scientists at the University of Washington (UW), using a “Bayesian meta-regression of 40 studies measuring the impact of mask use on respiratory viral infections,” only calculated a 40 percent reduction in the R for 95 percent masking.

If the R in Anchorage today is put at a conservative two – meaning each person who is walking around with SARS-CoV-2 in their lungs is capable of infecting two other people – a 40 percent rate for masking alone leaves the R at 1.21, which fails to stop the spread.

Magic masks

It must also be noted that the accuracy of many of the 40 studies used by the forecasting team at UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have been widely questioned by scientists because many of those studies were done in clinical situations, and there are differences between how protective equipment is handled in hospitals and the real world.

In a peer-reviewed study published in Clinical Infectious Disease in 2017, scientists studying transmission in the wake of SARS-CoV-1 concluded randomized controlled trials (RCTs, the gold standard of medical studies) of masks conducted in hospital settings indicated masks were 59 percent effective against “clinical respiratory illness,” although notably “not viral infections.”

The results were significantly different for real world, “observational studies (which) provided evidence of a protective effect of masks at 13 percent and respirators at 12 percent against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS),” the study said.

Neither the IHME or studies have been peer-reviewed. Both were conducted by respected scientists. Peer-review itself has been facing problems during the pandemic. The biggest peer-reviewed study suggesting masks have a major effect almost immediately came under fire.

The mask debate has in some corners simply come down to believers and non-believers. Beliefs are individual constructs that exist in people’s minds. You believe in God even if there is no way to demonstrate God exists.

Science is not a belief. It is a method for determining what ideas are supported by repeatable evidence. Gravity, for instance, is demonstrated by such evidence. If you throw the ball up, the ball comes down.

In the case of masks, the one thing the evidence makes clear is that they are not like condoms, which have been shown to block the spread of HIV/AIDS, another pandemic disease.

Masks are porous. Condoms are not. Masks leak. Condoms by design should not.

To get condom like protection in the case of SARS-CoV-2, people would need to wear plastic bags over their heads, which would be effective in stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2 but limit the time one could spend in a public place.

You cannot long breathe in a plastic bag because of the build-up of your own carbon dioxide, a waste product of respiration. Suicide researcher Geo Stone decades ago reported that breathing in a sealed, 30-gallon garbage bag becomes uncomfortable after 15 minutes, and he estimated death would come after about 30 minutes.

Given the realities here, it is misleading to suggest to people that they can wear masks, go on about their normal lives, and expect the rate of infection in Anchorage to drop. That is just wishful thinking. There is no evidence-based reason to believe it.

Protecting the city

The evidence would indicate the only way to get the rate down is for Anchorage residents to reduce their interactions, which would mean staying away from each other and out of places where SARS-CoV-2 viruses could concentrate.

Disagreements remain about the extent of the aerosol spread of SARS-CoV-2, but a study by the Centers for Disease Control found that “adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results.”

It added that “reports of exposures in restaurants have been linked to air circulation. Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance.”

The sample size for the study was, however, small.

And in a democratic society, of course, there is always the question of how much government should do to protect people from risks and how much liberty people should have to make their own decisions about risky behaviors.

Decisions on COVID-19 have no black-and-white answers. There is no clear good or bad. But city officials should be honest with people instead of encouraging the belief that masks are a magic means of protection.

At this time, it would appear to be risky for some to be running in and out of Anchorage businesses, but the degree of that risk is itself dependent on individual factors – age, obesity and general health being key among them.

It’s hardest to gauge the risk for the young and healthy. If you want to judge it high, you can based on the horror stories the mainstream media has published about the rare, healthy young person struggling with serious COVID-19 complications. If you want to believe it low, you can just consider yourself bulletproof as many young people do.

But there is some data available to inform personal decision-making for those who are interested.

At this time, the state reports 8,009 active cases of COVID-19 and 67 hospitalizations. That translates into a hospitalization rate of about 0.8 percent statewide, but it appears higher in Anchorage where 54 of the 67 are hospitalized.

Exactly how many of those are people transferred to Anchorage hospitals from outside the area is unclear. Anchorage is reported to have 4,522 active cases. If all 54 of the hospitalized people are from Anchorage, the percentage hospitalized would rise to 1.2 percent.

That remains a pretty low number equal to the statewide death rate, dating back to March. Among the 6,524 Alaskans whose cases have been resolved, 77 have died.

To put this in perspective, that’s a death toll of less than 10 people per month. Unintentional injuries – the third leading cause of death in the state – kill an average of about 34 Alaskans every month, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services. 

Accidental death rates in Alaska and the U.S. have long been a major killer. They killed a record 170,000 Americans in 2017. Many of them were young people.

COVID-19 has to date killed more than 235,000 Americans. Most of them were old. And death rates have fallen significantly almost everywhere since the pandemic began.

“The overall 60-day mortality…decreased from 24.7 percent in March to to 13.3 percent in June,” Swedish researchers reported this week. “Adjusted relative risk of death was 0.56 for June.”

The researchers did not know why more people are surviving, but noted “improvements of management and care have probably been of great importance.” There were also other factors cited:

  • A lower number of patients with co-morbidities.
  • The more conservative treatment of patients, which early in the epidemic had been rushed into intensive care units (ICUs) and put on ventilators. It was later discovered that wasn’t always the best practice for COVID-19 patients.
  • And “perhaps” a change “in virulence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus….A major deletion in the SARS-CoV-2 genome was associated with milder infection. Among 521 virus strains in Sweden with complete
    genome sequences, 19 different SARS-CoV-2 strain sequences were identified; 11 of which were identified in strains collected in March only. It will be important to investigate if the most prevalent SARS-CoV-2 strains in May and June had an inherent reduced virulence
    or had undergone genetic changes that reduced virulence.”

Some evolutionary biologists have suggested a weaker strain of SARS-CoV-2 will become dominant for the simple reason that the fewer people the disease kills the more infected people there are likely to be walking around spreading the virus to others.

Viruses are highly adaptable in this way as the flu virus has repeatedly shown. The CDC notes the problems this has caused in creating effective vaccines. The virus’s evolving nature makes it a shifting target hard to hit.

Vaccine effectiveness for the 2018-19 flu season was reported to be only 29 percent. Over the past decade, effectiveness has ranged from 60 percent (2010-2011) to 19 percent (2014-2015).

Along with being constantly changing, the flu and SARS-CoV-2 viruses share something else in common: They are deadliest for those already in poor health. Maintaining basic, physical fitness is protective against both diseases.

Age and so-called “co-morbidities” have been much discussed in the wake of the new pandemic, but the CDC has been warning for years about the increased risks of deadly flu among the old and obese, or those with a history of diabetes, stroke, cancer or a long list of other diseases, many of them considered chronic.

There are things you can do as an individual to increase your odds of surviving COVID-19. Staying away from others and out of enclosed spaces while the virus is circulating is one. Staying physically fit is another.

Or you could pull on a mask and believe you’re safe. There’s no real evidence to support that, but it’s OK to believe it. Everyone in New York did, and a quarter of the city’s transit employees are now reported to have caught COVID-19.

That is a higher rate of infection than the 19 percent aboard the Diamond Princess cruiseship, which some consider something of a test-tube experiment for the infective spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Both infected and uninfected passengers were held captive aboard the ship for two weeks, and some scientists later suggested that boosted the rate of infection.

The passengers were told to social distance, but how well they did that has been debated. And on a cruiseship, it is hard to really get away from everyone especially when crew members, some of whom were infected, continue to roam the ship.

It is much easier to avoid contact in a wide-open place like Alaska if you want to do so. But his is its own marathon of sorts. Most people have a hard time going for long periods without social contact, and some can barely go for a short time without close contact with friends and family.








36 replies »

    • i’d be happy if that was the case. what the story said, if you read it, was that masks can make people assume they’re protected. that’s a bad assumption.

      the same rule should apply to masks as applies to ski helmet: wear it and then act like you’re not.

      • Got a call from my oldest daughter the other day while she was at the gym on the treadmill. She says “sheesh, I tried to run but could only do 20 minutes with this mask on”. I thought for a second, how could she be inhaling copious amounts of clean oxygen and while exhaling enough carbon dioxide at an elevated respiratory level and still prevent Covid from entering the mask? The answer is simple, you can’t. If anything you are doing more harm limiting oxygen while increasing carbon dioxide intake.

    • Monk , I know how to solve corona ! We give up all our civil liberties and never come out of our house ! Be like chinese and weld the doors shut and north koreans – shoot the people who violate quarantine. Then send around the busses to dig out the bodies. Thats what they factual did . Worked for them . At least thats the news they are telling Because any Chinese that report other wise are abducted and sent to re-education camps (factual) . Masks are in full use over there . Really stopped that virus didn’t it ? Im sure you are going to jump right on board ! Because masks work so well . ( like in New York and New Jersey— what ! They have a second wave or continuing wave ? Well lets just ignore those inconvenient facts ) keep cherry picking your propaganda Monk . So a question for you – if i showed you a study that said purple underwear reduced corona by a percentage and might save lives would you mandate wearing purple under wear and require purple underwear observation check points? I know you prefer we get welded in our houses and shot on site monk . Lets just negate America because you are so sure purple underwear will save us . Masks = dumbos feather. Just thinking it works doesn’t make it so . Would you drink toilet water filtered by a n-95 mask or bandanna? Nope! I didn’t think so . Because filters are made specifically to filter certain items. Cloth or fiber Masks dont stop viruses period. Only an unthinking moron would expect them to . Yep they slow the big spit balls but not the viruses that are to small to see in those mis leading videos of showing moisture spread. Sick people stay home !!!! Old or ill people stay away from people! Middle age people stay productive and work your butt off to support everyone. If you support mandates monk you should promote exercise. Apparently healthy people survive corona/ covid or any disease better. All day Mask = germ swab . Gggggrosss !

  1. I agree with much of what you said steve – just because they call themselves republicans doesn’t mean they are worth a darn. Murkowski sucks , our govenor is a puss and Sullivan looks pretty weak . Still most of them are equal or better than the other popular options because the 3 rd or 4 th parties get so little support. Its a real bad situation . Needs fixed . The whole money and party thing is going to take our nation to the grave. I think trump is a wild card and if given the chance will help assange but its tough because the media are liars and will scream Russia russia and puklosi will scream impeach and gutless backstabbing money grubbing politicians will roll over and say yes master ( donors ) screwed is understatement. The reason to vote republican is because cruz , Jordan, rand and a few others are republicans and they will help hold the line . They are honorable leaders. The democrats are nearly devoid of honorable members or even sane members and come when called by that witch Clinton and her big money connections . Tulsi Gabard is only decent dem with leadership ability. She’s badly outnumbered but willing to cross party line and work with honorable leaders. So vote republican due to power created by numbers. We need to support that small group of republicans that can help defeat or slow criminals like bill gates and his tech cronies. Gates actually has charges against him in certain countries for crimes . Support and vote for republicans because they currently have the highest balance of ethical members. Obviously dont vote for an unethical republican. Unless the other option is also unethical. Gross disgusting situation. That group of republicans is our only hope . Why do think history says it will get worse?

    • I agree with much of what you said…
      I believe the best thing for Alaska is to pass Ballot Measure 2….if that passes, then real Non-Partisan folks (many who are conservative) can run for office and actually have a fair shake at getting elected. Until then, we are left with partisan hacks on both sides of the ticket since you cannot get elected without taking money from either the GOP or DNC…the bloods & the crips as far as political gangs go.
      Tulsi Gabbard is a prime example of how the DNC pushed aside a qualified candidate to put sleepy Joe on the ticket. (A guy who has already spent 40 years in Congress & 8 in the White House…the real Deep State).
      Tulsi is an Iraq war veteran and progressive in the sense that she would work hard to bring our soldiers home and restore the national economy.
      I would suggest you watch the expansion of our military on the continent of Africa.
      We have not been this engaged there since WW2.
      The MSM ignores the expansion of the war machine, and CHINA has just built it’s first foreign military base in Africa…they are also doing military drills with Chile and other countries around the globe.
      History tells me that our American Empire has been spread to thin combating other globalists like China who are intent on flexing their military muscle in spite of all we have given them with trade.
      Stores in NYC are getting boarded before election and journalists are commenting that no one has ever seen this in a free “democratic” country?
      This leads me to believe that we may have already crossed the threshold into a more Oligarchical
      model where guys like Biden and gals like Clinton can re-grab power election cycle, after election cycle.
      I don’t want to be negative, but Edward Snowden just posted on Twitter that he is applying for Russian Citizenship.
      This is very sad to me since he was a fourth or fifth generation American who’s family has seen generations of military service…just like me.
      If we cannot stand up for veterans like Ed Snowden then I am concerned we are seeing a country that is further along in it’s decay.

      • Steve, first off, those NYT reporters know damn well we aren’t a Democracy. That is Democrat lies to abolish the Electoral College and push their narrative on their ignorant base – “but Trump didn’t get the most votes, ot’s not fair”.
        Secondly, we are in Africa mainly to counter China’s expansion and Kill al Queda/Boko Harem who are trying to get a foothold there..

      • Steve , Reuters news said Trump is considering a pardon for Snowden ( last august) . Whether Reuters is correct I don’t know. Trump is also drawing military back out of Africa per recent news.

      • DPR,
        I am not sure where you are doing your research, but I do not see a pardon coming for Snowden (on the contrary, he is applying for Russian citizenship to avoid possible extradition in the future).
        As for AFRICA:
        “In 2019, US Special Operations forces were deployed in 22 African countries: Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania and Tunisia.”
        That does not sound like “drawing our military out” of Africa?
        Trump says a lot of things…many of which simply are not true.,%2C%20Somalia%2C%20Tanzania%20and%20Tunisia.

      • Thanks steve . I don’t listen much to what trump says . I listen to what he does . I got my information from Reuters a fairly reputable source with spin . Reuters has a recent article about Snowden working towards dual citizenship . Near end of article it says trump was considering a pardon last August. Also there have been several different publications recently that mentioned military drawdown in Africa

  2. We aren’t without our weapons in the fight against the Wuhan Flu. From the dietary supplement world, you have Vitamin D and zinc deficiency. Try not to take more zinc than prescribed.

    Aviation and transportation are using UVC to sanitize interiors of vehicles. It can also be used to quickly sanitize air in buildings if placed in the airstream.

    And hydroxy, remdesivir, regeneron will all work to varying degrees against the virus and more importantly, the immune system’s over the top response to an infection (cytokine storm).

    Masking an improvement? Depends on whose garbage studies you believe, meaning we are well on our way into faith rather than science. Cheers –

  3. Why is our republican governor asking our republican state legislature for emergency powers when there is no emergency. What does Soros have on our dear Dunleavy? Follow the money and vote these bums out.

  4. Gear up Craig,
    All we have is all we have.Looks like short of a miracle, which $billions globally spent could deliver.The promised land is a bit farther and farther than Potus the Ignorant originally gave us(last march/April), and assured on golden tablets,delivered from The Mount.
    Now its being stretched out to 2021-2022 for some semblance of normalcy.
    If you really want near 100% face mask protection, that will require full or half face cartridge or purified air system with a fit test.Simple face masks just merely cut down the contaminant load, be it particle or virus load.
    Which the last appears to be important, although not easily quantified.
    In other words it helps with distancing, and relatively healthy lifestyle(imo) .
    On a more important note, it appears that Full Moon skiing season is officially open

    • Dave Mc, can you think on your own instead of parroting stupid Democrat talking points? Sure, President Trump “gave us Covid”. Really?
      The problem Dave is you are so blinded that you can’t tell how lucky you are to have Trump handling the “Huan Red Death” and not Hillary. We have already seen how disastrous Obama/Biden handled the H1N1 virus.. What an incompetent mess and YOU think that senile, corrupt Biden moron could/would do betterthis time? Sometimes it is embarrassing to read your posts..

      • Bryan,
        Not sure what all that has to do with mask or unmask.But here’s a thought, can you imagine the Niagara Falls of legal suits that Potus the Ignorant will be exposed to once he loses his perception of Executive privilege. Care to guess what Bill Barrs or Pompeo’s work prospects will look like?
        And I’m running out of popcorn waiting for the Biden dossier, only 3 days left.
        You know,burisma,the email server,the “convenient” laptop, heck maybe Obama’s African birth certificate is there too!
        I wonder if Q anon and antifa will still be a thing in 4 yrs.What in the heck are Hannity and Carlson gonna talk about(besides endless Biden dribble).
        Rush he’s done.
        On a serious note, perhaps with Bidens many years of understanding the machination of Congress,perhaps he will make things happen in the way that LBJ could(perhaps thats a bit before your time).
        Like the whacko extreme right, trying to corral the absurd far left for important votes will be like herding cats.
        But at least the lying on an unprecedented Executive level will be done

      • Dave mc , the primary lies have been from a dishonest media thats so self serving it doesn’t deserve the name media or press it deserves the name tabloid. Legacy media refuses to use its position honorably. Refusing to inform citizens and refusing to stand up for heroes like assange, and Snowden . Theve embraced censorship and one sided in accurate dime novel trash writing. With freedom comes responsibility. They are not living up to the bargain. Tell all sides of a story regardless of what a reader wants to hear and thats why you don’t know jack squat about reality. You only believe what legacy media tells you to believe. You are lost Dave . You haven’t even had access to the cons of jailhouse joe . Start looking into alternative media. Zero hedge is a start they have provided factual details of biden families corruption for almost two weeks now . There are many other options. You are uniformed about joe or any of the real issues st hsnd in America and out of popcorn because the traitor FBI sat on the information for a year!! Open your eyes Dave and start digging before you become complicit in electing the most corrupt and incompetent president in history. If he’s elected god protect him because Kamala is even worse. She keeps innocent men in prison because they were late on paperwork and keeps non violent eligible for release prisoners in captivity as slaves to work as slaves for the state just like her grandfather. Shes pro slavery Dave and happily locks up minor offenders even low level marijuana users . Joes mentor is Bird the kkk klan leader segregationist he stated such in his own words and thats all documented fact unlike the bs the legacy media threw at trump just to see what sticks . Open your eyes. Start digging before its to late . Dont be complicit in destroying America. Dont be a modern day Benedict Arnold Dave , Disloyal to your country, disloyal to your country men and disloyal to the future of mankind while endorsing slavery and globalist power brokers.

      • DPR,
        Such a lengthy diatribe,
        I was reading Tylers rantings @ Z.H well over a decade ago.Always entertaining, with nuggets of “truthiness”dispersed randomly.Never reliable nor held to any journalistic accounting(perhaps things have changed).Because of its lack of verifiable sources its no longer in the Bookmarks folder.
        A handfull of off sights you most likely weren’t aware of ,over the years, kept me up to date on our failed efforts at regime change/nation building, in fairly real time.Not the glossy evening news pentagon briefing version.
        “News” can be had from a variety of sources, but in depth reporting is much harder,as Craig has lamented many times.If I had more free time year round I would get a subscription to Bloomberg.Theres a cheap monthly web rate, but my time is very limited for half of the year.
        In fact this is the first real non holiday weekend Ive had since mid April.
        For concise written analysis,generally my go to is Axios.
        If you want a story aggregator,its not what they do

      • Dave,
        I tend to follow independent journalists more than I follow any one particular news site.
        Here are some of the folks that I follow on Twitter that provide fact based researched analysis.
        Whitney Webb, Vanessa Beeley, Robert Inlakesh, Jimmy Dore, Jon Rappoport, Ron Paul Institute…many of these folks have their own blogs and are on youtube channels as well.
        After Glenn Greenwald just quit the Intercept, I really do not believe there is one single “news provider” left that is above the current censorship sting moving throughout the West.
        What we are mostly left with are partisan opinions like Fox, Breitbart, NYT, WaPost, AP, etc.
        When reporters in the U.S. feel threatened by the gov to release their private sources then we no longer have a free system designed to spread the truth since no one is willing to speak to reporters in fear of retribution.

  5. Masks or no, people go to work sick and that includes facilities providing health care. A significant portion of the population doesn’t seem to understand that one doesn’t have to have ‘symptoms’ to be contagious. And then there are those who believe that the numbers’, excess deaths’ are overstated, and they are therefore invulnerable or don’t care. To wit, the individual is on his or her own and just hope you dodge the bullet.

  6. I just heard Nat Herz on NPR whining for a mask mandate for the entire state.
    How did we get to a position where media personalities are pushing their liberal agenda on the public day after day for nearly a year?
    Nat’s report was terrible in that he said that “the Covid virus is something new and we do not know much about it?”
    The fact is Covid 19 is just the “name” given to a new “strain” of Coronavirus and Coronavirus has been with us on the earth for CENTURIES…I believe scientists have already isolated nearly 100 different strains since 1960.
    “The older human Coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s, but have likely circulated in humans for centuries.”
    It is amazing the lack of unbiased reporting these days…unfortunately most of the sheep just put their mask on and will take whatever untested drugs the gov tosses at them.
    It seems like just a year ago we were a free country…I do not think our republic can sustain another year of this propaganda assault.,and%20HKU1%20(beta%20coronavirus).

    • Steve, i mostly agree. . ( we are still free but many people have walked right into the cage and put on the cuffs without struggle. ( mask me , protect me , i trust you master , feed me ) Tame and domesticated the brave Americans of yesterday have become like domestic animals. Sick with sloth and easy life . Accepting a distorted media because the narrative agrees with what they want to hear. i hold hope The adages of old hold true ,to go up you must start low and to know when something is good you must see whats bad . Now more than ever we need heros like assange , Snowden, greenwald and independent minded individuals. Patriots rise and vote For freedom and independence. Vote for candidates who love America and what it stands for . Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It was a brave founder who said those who deserve security over freedom deserve neither. Now is the time to vote for the party of freedom and liberty. The republicans. The party of Abraham Lincoln. That fought and died to free the slaves and keep our nation together and strong. Remember democrats were founded on slavery and thats all they know. How to lead others into the mindset of slavery. Marching in lockstep with chains. A mindset the Democrats adhere to . They endorse censorship, violence in the streets and aquesance to group think and political conformity. This is not a time for a protest vote . This is a time to vote for the freedom of truth and future of mankind. The beauty of a republican vote in this election is it holds the globalist warmongers and anti American corrupt cabal at bay and turns the tide for individualism and open honestly. A vote for republicans is a vote for freedom. A vote for democrats is a vote for obeisance and a muzzled press . Republicans put originalists into the Supreme Court which will enhance all of our freedoms. Putting the constitutional intent back front and center in law . Vote like a proud American . Vote republican.

      • I messed up the quote . It’s better said more accurately. By Benjamin Franklin . “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little more temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.” Or even better said by Thomas Jefferson in latin -“ malo periculosam quietem servitude” . Translated to mean I prefer freedom over peaceful slavery or more accurately “ I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude” . Obviously a group of very well educated men who put freedom or rather the liberty to self determine their own path of utmost importance even apparently more important than life itself. Give me liberty or give me death was another famous founders basic quote that sounds in opposition to democrats blanket expectations of uniform obedience to arbitrary decrees . Forcing others to cover their face because it may or may not help a small percentage is clear infringement on personal liberty and ability to self determine or to choose. The constitution was distorted and used illegally to allow slavery for a time . Now the constitution is being misinterpreted and distorted to allow or force infringement on personal liberty even to the point of not allowing what a person puts on their own face . Such farcical laws should be be relagated to the dustbin of history like slavery. Vote freedom. Vote republican in 2020 .

      • DPR,
        Unfortunately, the censorship issue that has put Jullian Assange in a cage in London, is only getting worse throughout the world everyday.
        Glenn Greenwald is the latest reporter attacked by the liberal elite for his criticism of the Joe Biden.
        “Greenwald resigns from The Intercept citing censorship…The same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded, culminating in censorship of my own articles.
        The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who broke the US spying scandal story, said he was censored for an article critical of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.”
        We are in a position where 90% of journalists are a direct propaganda link to the democratic party.
        Anyone who is AGAINST the lock-downs, forced masking, and destroying the economy is a target to for mob of liberal agents towing the democratic party line in America.

      • Steve, and GLENN GREENWALD is about as LIBERAL, DEMOCRAT as you can get. Strayed off the Democrat Plantation by telling the truth. Banished by the “Party” for life. Oops!

      • Amazing that our body’s natural immune system STOPS coronavirus over 99% of the time…
        But you will NOT hear ONE single “white coat” speak on ways to strengthen your immune system…nope, as far as most medical doctors are concerned we should all put our mask on and close up our business until the gov says it is alright to come outside and play with others.
        If my grandfathers were alive today, I believe they would tell me it is time to fight for our country before we are all on the government train to “Auschwitz”.

      • Steve i find myself agreeing with you . Its a tough time to determine correct path. I think voting against tyranny , oppression, and censorship is still on the table.

      • DPR,
        This “mandate disaster” is much bigger than both political parties unfortunately.
        Neither Biden or Trump appear willing to pardon Assange or Snowden as well.
        The current censorship is being led by big tech corporations like FB & Youtube.
        Civil Disobedience may be the only way forward if the state legislature votes to continue living in this “emergency measure” world.
        The private sector will surely not survive another year of this type of engineered society…the only thing propping up Wall Street is the hope of more government money…not consumer spending.
        We are seeing deficit levels not seen since WW2 in America and there is no light at the end of the tunnel as both the DEMS & GOP get ready to dole out another few TRILLIONS to Wall Street after the election.
        I would suggest contacting your local representative and state senator and telling them to end the emergency measures and return to a “normal” flow of state government.
        The only reason the hospitals want to continue the mandates are b/c it brings in MILLIONS of federal dollars.
        Remember that the hospitals were essentially failing economically before COVID came into play?
        There are no coincidences…that’s for sure!

      • Steve yes bigger than both parties. Though at this moment republicans are closer to moral side of history. What’s interesting though is trump reached out to assange and caught flack . A distant representative of trump offered to get trump to offer pardon during a meeting with assanges lawyers . Maybe it will be in works if assange lives long enough to go through trial . (he shouldn’t have to pardoned for anything cause hes not guilty) I disagree with civil disobedience 100% . It puts relationship in wrong angle. Imo the politicians who act corruptly are entering civil disobedience. (Civil servants who abuse their position for profit are no longer “civil” nor servants . Just criminals. “ jail house joe “ We shouldn’t stoop so low as to act non civil. We must vote with discerning intelligence. Now i do agree with non compliance of oppressive or arbitrary decrees. Self determination is imperative to keep as much as possible. Any form of violent civil war must be avoided at almost all costs until liberty is in chains. Civil wars are far the most dangerous and uncontrollable. We must stay civil at all times.

      • DPR,
        You do realize all this BS (mask mandates, lockdowns, the Alcan closed to our travel, quarantine restrictions for travel) ALL went down with a republican in the white house and a republican governor in Alaska?
        Don’t think the GOP is gonna save Assange….what ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? The guy has been in solitary for months….after years confined to a small embassy?
        When I mention Civil Disobedience, I am not meaning riots or protest….a simple act of refusing to pay your taxes or refusing to wear a mask can be considered “disobeying the gov”…Henry David Thoreau refused to pay taxes during the 19th century b/c he did not want to keep funding the Spanish American War…many think it caused public opinion to change?
        We have been at war for 20 years in the middle east and it barely makes the headlines these days? Can you honestly name the seven countries that your gov bombed this last year?
        The reason we are all in this “covid boat” is b/c too many sheep follow the advice of blind reporters day after day.
        You can vote for who ever you like cause neither party is gonna stop Bill Gates and the technocrat cabal that has taken over control of our economy.
        Unfortunately if history is our guide, it will get much worse around the globe before it gets better.

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