Monthly Post

An Astrological Interlude: Aries Ingress 2020

Before we go on to the next vignette from the magical history of the United States, it’s time to glance over the annual Aries ingress chart for the United States and glean what we can of the next year of American history from that source. Readers new to this blog may not yet be aware that in mundane astrology—the branch of astrology that deals with the fate of nations—ingress charts, cast for the exact times of the solstices and equinoxes at the capital of each nation, are basic tools of the trade, central to making predictions on a day-by-day (or rather year-by-year) basis.  The most important of all is the Aries ingress, since the first day of Spring—the day when the Sun enters the first degree of Aries—is the beginning of the astrological year, the point at which a new current of influence sweeps aside the remaining patterns of the year just ended.

(Yes, I know that the point the Sun reaches at the moment of the vernal equinox is no longer in the group of stars called Aries. Astrologers know all about the precession of the equinoxes—where do you think all that talk about the age of Aquarius came from? The signs of the zodiac are not groups of stars; they’re 30° wedges of the ecliptic, as seen from Earth, and have the names of the star groups that filled them when astrology was codified in ancient Greek times. The beginning of the zodiacal sign Aries is always the point at which the Sun is located at the northern hemisphere’s spring equinox—and if you think the names should have been changed, ask astronomers some day why they still use the names of Pagan gods and goddesses for the planets. Thank you, and we now return to our regularly scheduled Ecosophia post.)

Ahem.  Ingress charts, as I was saying, are essential tools for the practice of mundane astrology. I’ve been casting US ingress charts for some years, and before we go on to the Aries ingress it’s only fair to look over the last chart I posted here—the Libra 2019 ingress, which you can find here—to see how I did. Here’s the summary I posted then:

“To sum up, then, we face another six months of political conflict in the US, but the focus of the conflict is shifting. For that period, Trump will be in the ascendant, and his administration will face less effective opposition from the Democrats than it’s had in the years just past. Instead, the Democrats will turn on one another in a bitter three-way struggle for control of a party in turmoil. The radical Democratic faction in the House, the more conservative Democratic bloc, and the party leadership will all be at loggerheads, and Pelosi and the House leadership can be expected to move closer to the GOP and the administration as a matter of sheer survival. Foreign money will also play a role in this struggle; keep a close eye on the possibility that this will blow up into a big political scandal sometime in 2020.

“The economy is in for a rough ride, with markets jolting up and down, but the end result will be close to the breakeven point. Expect sudden good news from the agriculture or mining industries, sudden bad news from somewhere in the entertainment industry, and hard times for the news media and for internet companies. Federal expenditures will jump upward as the administration props up the economy with pork-barrel programs and promises of tax cuts. Overall, no drastic changes can be expected, just a continuation of gridlock in a bitterly divided society and a slow shift of the initiative, at least for now, into Trump’s camp.”

One of the things clear in this reading is how tricky it is to interpret certain astrological indications. I predicted that Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership would hold up the impeachment proceedings, and took that to mean that the Democratic House leadership would begin to cooperate with the GOP in an attempt to head off its own radical wing. As we all know, Pelosi did indeed hold up the impeachment proceedings, and the struggle between the Democratic establishment and the party’s radical wing has certainly been a major source of news over the last six months, but those two trends didn’t intersect the way I expected. Such not-quite-hits part of every astrologer’s learning curve, and will help refine my future predictions—including this one.

The foreign money in Democratic coffers that was indicated so clearly by Neptune in the 8th house of that chart hasn’t yet surfaced, but then the Justice Department is playing its cards remarkably close to its vest these days; we’ll see what happens when the current investigations start bringing charges. Other than that, I think it’s fair to say that I did tolerably well—better, certainly, than a great many pundits using allegedly more rational means to gauge the oncoming shape of the future. With that in mind, let’s proceed to the Aries 2020 ingress, which is shown below:

If you don’t know your way around astrological charts, it will help to know that this is an abstract image of the sky as seen from Washington DC at the moment of the spring equinox. The horizontal line is, surprise, the horizon; the arrow up top points to the midheaven, which isn’t actually the middle of the sky—it’s the point of the ecliptic, the band of sky through which the Sun, Moon, and planets move, that’s furthest north in the sky at that moment.

The inner circle is the notional Earth, the outer circle are the notional heavens, and the wedge-shaped sections between them are the twelve houses, which are segments of the ecliptic that are assigned, on the basis of about five thousand years of practical experience, to different aspects of our national life. The symbols in the houses mark the position of the planets, and the lines inside the inner circle show aspects, which are geometrical relationships between planets that the same five thousand years of experience have taught astrologers to interpret. Got it? Let’s proceed.

The first thing to look at when interpreting an ingress chart is the sign on the ascendant—that’s the leftward (eastward) part of the horizon line, representing the point on the ecliptic that’s just rising above the horizon at the moment of the equinox. In this chart Scorpio rises, and Scorpio is one of the four fixed signs. This means that the chart we’re considering will predict political and economic conditions in the USA for an entire year, until the Aries 2021 ingress comes along.  This indicates, among other things, that conditions will be noticeably more stable for the next year than they have been for the last two years or so.

The sign on the ascendant also determines the planet that has most influence during the period of the chart—in old-fashioned astrological jargon, the Lord of the Ingress—which reveals the character of the period in a general way. Scorpio is ruled by Mars, and Mars in this chart is in very good condition:  in his exaltation in Capricorn, in an extremely close conjunction with the benefic planet Jupiter, and in an applying trine with the benefic planet Venus. His only negative factors are that he’s in an intercepted sign—a sign that has no house cusp in it, showing limitation of effect—and he’s in a loose conjunction with Saturn, the planet of limits, which points to the same thing. Overall, there will be enormous energy in motion during this year (Mars), moving in generally beneficial directions (Jupiter and Venus), but unable to complete its work due to a variety of extraneous factors.

Next we need to examine the Sun, the Moon, the planet ruling the first house, and the planet ruling the 10th house. The Sun in a mundane chart represents the head of government—in this case, Donald Trump. Since the Sun is always in its exaltation in Aries in an Aries ingress chart, that aspect of its placement isn’t read, but the rest of his condition is relevant, and in this case that’s very favorable: strengthened by position in the angular 4th house and by a very close trine with Saturn, hindered only by relatively weak semisquares with the Moon and Venus. He is located in the 4th house, which is among other things the house of agriculture and of the rural hinterlands—no surprise there, since that’s been the core of his political strength since the early days of his 2016 campaign.  Since Leo, the sign the Sun rules, is on the cusp of the 9th house of judiciary affairs, expect Trump to win significant victories in the courts over the next year.

The Moon in mundane astrology represents that portion of the general population who play an active role in the political and cultural discourse of the time. For the last few years the Moon has reliably indicated the classes in American society who can’t stand Trump.  If that remains true this time around, Trump has little to fear from them over the next year, because the Moon is the weakest planet in this ingress chart: she’s peregrine (without strength) in Aquarius, weakened by placement in the cadent 3rd house, all her aspects are negative—a square with Venus and a semisquare with the Sun—and the sign she rules, Cancer, is intercepted in the 8th house.

About the only way a planet can be weaker than this is if it’s also retrograde, and the Moon never goes retrograde. This is going to be a very difficult year for the chattering classes, in other words:  not because anything dreadful will happen to them, but simply because most Americans no longer care what they think. (This is shown by the Moon being in bad condition in the 3rd house of communications.)  Cancer intercepted in the 8th house of money from overseas is also interesting, in that several past charts had a planet in that house supporting the Moon, suggesting that foreign money was being provided to Trump’s opposition.

One possible interpretation of this aspect of the chart is that the foreign funding sources, sensing failure, stopped throwing good money after bad and left the opposition twisting in the wind. Another, drawing on the 8th house’s other traditional meaning as the house of death, is that one or more of Trump’s leading opponents may not survive the year, either because of the current pandemic or from some other cause. One way or another, though, the comfortable classes stand to lose a great deal of their influence this year; we’ll have to see in future charts whether they regain it.

The 1st house in a mundane chart represents the common people, those who don’t have a voice in the political and cultural discourse of the time. Since Scorpio is on the ascendant, the cusp of the 1st house, Mars is the planet that represents the common people. (Yes, it’s also the lord of the ingress; the fact that the significator of the people is always also the lord of the ingress is not an accident.) Mars, as already noted, is very strong by sign and aspect, but frustrated in part by interception and a conjunction with Saturn, and this will typify the experience of ordinary Americans this year: increasingly strong and confident, but hindered by extraneous forces.  One implication is that the populist movement that coalesced around Trump will continue gaining strength but will be held back from some of its goals, at least for now. More generally, expect ordinary Americans to feel their strength and to start pushing for changes that have been completely off the table for decades now.

The 10th house in a mundane chart represents the government, and more specifically the executive branch as distinct from the other branches and from the president himself. With Virgo on the cusp of this house, Mercury rules it, and Mercury is in almost as bad shape as the Moon in this ingress, in his fall in Pisces and weakly placed in the cadent 3rd house. His one advantage is that he’s making a sextile aspect with Uranus, the ruler of the 3rd house, who is in even worse condition—in his fall in Taurus, in the cadent 6th house, and afflicted by a square with Saturn and a semisquare with Neptune. Furthermore, and fascinatingly, Mercury as ruler of the 10th house is applying to an opposition with his own house cusp.

What this suggests to me is the likelihood of a scandal within the executive branch, one that does not affect Trump—the Sun has no connection to this business by aspect or rulership—but that deals a serious blow to the prestige of the federal bureaucracies and puts officials into conflict with one another and with the institutions they serve.  Given the other indications in this chart, one possibility is that the investigation into the Russiagate hoax will turn up evidence of serious wrongdoing on the part of Obama-era officials; another is that one of the other investigations now under way into shenanigans in high places will turn up something similar. One way or another, important federal officials are likely to land in serious trouble, but we’ll have to wait and see what the details turn out to be.

Let’s move on. In a mundane chart, the 11th house represents the lower house of the national legislature, and the 5th house represents the upper house.  In this chart, the 11th house has Libra on the cusp and so is ruled by Venus, who is of very mixed condition: in her rulership in Taurus but weakened by placement in the cadent 6th house, strengthened by trines with Mars and Jupiter and a sextile with Neptune, but hindered by a semisquare with the Sun and a square with the Moon. The House of Representatives is definitely going to be worth watching in the year ahead; it will continue to oppose Trump (Venus semisquare Sun) but the civil war between the radical and conservative wings of the Democratic party will flare up again (Venus square Moon).

Less obvious from recent headlines is the trine aspect between Venus and Mars, the ruler of the 5th house and thus of the Senate, and Jupiter, the lord of the 2nd house of economics. Expect the standoff between the Democratic House and the Republican Senate to become less intractable over the coming year.  Possibly in response to the current coronavirus pandemic, possibly because the House realizes it needs to have something to show the voters in time for the upcoming election, legislation that will benefit the national economy significantly will get through both houses, and the same may be true of important reforms of one kind or another.

The outcome of the 2020 elections is not shown in this ingress chart, by the way; the astrology of political elections is still in its infancy—remember that leaders weren’t elected by the people in the days when astrology was codified, and the couple of centuries since that habit became common are only just getting to the point of providing adequate raw material for the development of this end of mundane astrology. Those of my readers who were following the astrological press in 2016 know how many prominent astrologers added their names to the long list of pundits who failed to foresee Trump’s election. (My guess at this point, based on the same sort of political considerations that led me to predict his 2016 victory, is that he’ll win reelection with comfortable majorities in both the electoral college and the popular vote; that said, November’s still a long way off.)

On the other hand, a question that’s on many minds right now—the extent and consequences of the current coronavirus pandemic—is something mundane astrology is well equipped to answer. (Plagues were a common occurrence back in the days when astrology was young, after all.) The 6th house governs public health; its ruler is Venus, which is in mixed condition in this chart. Uranus at the beginning of the 6th house predicts sudden disruptions, but his condition in this chart is very weak, and Venus as house ruler is of moderate strength and relatively beneficent, all things considered.  My prediction here is that the coronavirus pandemic will run its course in the US fairly quickly; the death toll will be significant but not catastrophic, and things will return to normal in short order once the virus has settled down, as such viruses reliably do, to become a normal cause of respiratory disease among the elderly and immunocompromised. The economic impact of the pandemic will be significant but, here again, we’ll get over it.

To sum up, the astrological year ahead (March 20, 2020—March 21, 2021) will be very rough sledding in some ways, and for some people. The comfortable classes who staked everything on getting rid of Donald Trump will find themselves sidelined in the national conversation, an experience I doubt they will handle with any degree of grace, while the populist insurgents who are backing Trump will be increasingly vocal and confident, though important goals of theirs will remain out of reach. Trump himself can expect a much more successful year than he’s had to date as his opponents stumble.

The gridlock in Congress will not be quite as total as it has been in recent years, with at least a few pieces of genuinely useful legislation making their way through the more than Byzantine toils of our lawmaking process. Federal bureaucracies face a very difficult year as something—quite possibly a large-scale scandal—pits officials against one another in a struggle many will lose. Meanwihile the coronavirus outbreak will sicken a lot of people and cause a significant death toll, but run its course fairly quickly and leave few lasting impacts.

That is to say, one more year of politics as usual. We’ll check back a year from now and see how these predictions have done. For what it’s worth, I have much more extensive predictions based on the Aries ingress charts for the US, Great Britain, India, Japan, and Australia, as well as the eclipses in December and January (which are still having effects as I write this), on my Patreon and SubscribeStar accounts. If you’re interested, or would simply like to help me cover my bills so I can keep providing lots of free content online, please check them out.

399 Comments

  1. Hi JMG

    “My prediction here is that the coronavirus pandemic will run its course in the US fairly quickly; the death toll will be significant but not catastrophic, and things will return to normal in short order once the virus has settled down, as such viruses reliably do, to become a normal cause of respiratory disease among the elderly and immunocompromised. The economic impact of the pandemic will be significant but, here again, we’ll get over it.”

    I don’t doubt that we will get past this thing, but your prediction is a little vague – what does significant look like? What is catastrophic? Looking back in 6 months, it might be quite hard to evaluate this prognosis.

    Kind Regards,

    Matt

  2. JMG, why no mention of Pluto? Seems like it’s conjunction to Mars would have a significant bearing on this chart.

  3. John–

    Ancillary to the chart, but speaking to a source of…if not frustration, then perhaps annoyance for me: how does one “tap into” or listen to the voices of the common people and those who do not have a voice in the political and cultural discourse of the time, as opposed to the “chattering classes” represented by the Moon, who do have such a voice? I’m getting data from one half the equation, but lack balancing data.

    So, just as one example, there is much “chattering” at the moment regarding how COVID-19 and the current stock market panic guarantees Trump’s loss in November. Now, of course, if the present situation clears up more quickly than not, its impact in November would be significantly reduced. But more generally, I see little evidence of sentiment running counter to the above statement. How does one get a sense of how the bulk of the people feel? I’m likely looking in the wrong places, I’ll admit, as I think in terms of analyses and assessments and white-papers, which are products of the Moon-people, not the dwellers in the first house.

  4. Hey hey JMG,

    I’m curious about the government debt. I also think that the coronavirus will be over fairly soon and that the populous and the economy will recover fairly quickly. I don’t think that the federal government’s balance sheet will be so lucky. I expect the pandemic to load more debt onto the federal books which are already in very bad shape.

    Any thoughts? I know that you’ve said before that a devaluation of the dollar is probably in store at some point and I agree. Does the ingress chart suggest anything to you on that score?

    Thanks,
    Tim

  5. Regarding the sixth house, which role does the sixth house in the lunar eclipse chart for Washington, D. C. from the beginning of the year play in comparison to the sixth house in the Aries ingress chart?

  6. “This is going to be a very difficult year for the chattering classes, in other words: not because anything dreadful will happen to them, but simply because most Americans no longer care what they think.” – I’m really hoping this means the obsession with pronouns is over, and people will stop receiving rape and death threats for saying biology (and chromosomes, and physical reality) are real.

  7. I hope that you’re right about the Corona virus outbreak. It’s looking pretty grim now. One source of scandal will be if we look into why the manufacture of critical medical supplies was outsourced to China and India. It would be interesting to find out if a few key bribes sped up the process.

    Also, I really appreciate your review of previous predictions, it shows a level intellectual honesty that is often absent today. Thank you.

  8. Would the astrological chart for the 1917 Spanish flu have been similar to the current one for Covid-19 or would it have been more extreme. In other words on an astrological basis is the corona-virus pandemic on the same scale as our most recent major benchmark?

  9. Thank you for the content JMG. I was wondering if you could recommend some material to get into astrology as I don’t know what is and isn’t credible.

  10. Based on analysis by Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity, there may be other waves. But of course, those too shall pass.

  11. I don’t know anything about astrology and will simply wait and see how your predictions play out over the coming year. Now, if you presuppose that your predictions about public health are correct, how would you make the epidemiological data square with them? Everybody (including Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson’s science advisor) seems to agree that for natural immunity to put a brake on transmission, with a virus so easily transmitted, 50-70% of the population need to go through an infection, whether over the coming few months or the coming years.
    The other important number is lethality, which is difficult to estimate because many cases go undetected. However, the natural experiments with cruise ships point to a lethality near 1% (7 deaths for 712 cases on the Diamond Princess), and South Korea, with the highest testing rate in the world, also seems to observe a lethality near 1% (84 deaths for 8413 cases). The recent report from Imperial College London estimates 0.9%.
    Multiplying (let’s say) 55% with 0.9% gives 0.5% of the population dying because of coronavirus, above the normal death rate, over the course of the pandemic, whether it should last a few months or a few years. That seems much more than “significant but not catastrophic”.
    On the other hand, China (very probably) and Italy (possibly) managed to level off the number of new infections using drastic measures. Exponential growth might come back when those drastic measures are lifted.
    So repeating my question: if you presuppose your prediction that the pandemic will be “significant but not catastrophic” is correct, where do you think most epidemiologists go wrong in their predictions? Do you think that lethality will be much lower than on the cruise ships? That some portion of the population already has natural immunity? That treatments or vaccines will be available in the short term? Or that the rather mild social distancing measures already taken in the US will be sufficient to extend the pandemic over a longer time?

  12. Matt, at this stage of its development, mundane astrology doesn’t provide quantitative forecasts. All I can say, based on the reading, is that the disruption caused by the outbreak will be relatively transitory.

    Wendy, I consider Pluto to be a minor body like Ceres or Chiron, not one of the major players, and I don’t include the minor bodies in my mundane charts. I know that’s somewhat controversial, but I’m working on a book that will explain the reasoning behind it.

    David, I don’t have an easy answer for this. I get most of my input along these lines by listening to conversations in grocery checkout lines and the like, combined with an ear to the ground in some of the odder corners of the internet where the chattering classes don’t monopolize the conversation.

    Team10Tim, no question, the federal government’s balance sheet is going to take on another ocean or two of red ink at this point. I’m pretty sure that everyone in DC knows perfectly well that the US will default on its debt at some point, and so they’re running up debt with glad abandon, knowing that an extra trillion dollars or so won’t make a rat’s handbag worth of difference at this point.

    Aidan, I don’t “receive” predictions, I make them, and the methods of mundane astrology at this point don’t permit that level of fine tuning; all resource extraction industries, along with agriculture, belong to the 4th house and so share a common ruler.

    Monk, I expect economic activity to lurch and sputter, and then come roaring back as soon as the outbreak’s under control.

    Booklover, both apply. Part of the craft of astrology is learning how to synthesize multiple charts — for example, the charts of two lovers in a synastry reading, a birth chart and an annual progressed chart for an individual, or the multiple mundane charts that can apply to a given country at a given period.

    Elvish, it’s precisely the fact that they’re frantic enough to be screaming death threats over so petty an issue that tells you that they know they’re losing.

    Raymond, one of the potential benefits of an epidemic with so low a death rate is that we can learn why it’s a bad idea to offshore necessities of that sort, without too high a body count. Yes, there were almost certainly bribes involved!

    Clay, I don’t know — I haven’t looked into that. Might be a worthwhile research project if you’re interested in doing one.

    Ryan, unfortunately I’m not really familiar with what’s available just now in terms of good introductions to astrology. Anyone else?

  13. Xuan, well, we’ll see, won’t we?

    Matthias, a 0.5% death rate, mostly among people who were going to die of something in a few years anyway, isn’t catastrophic. The fact that so many people think of it in those terms shows just how sheltered from biological reality we’ve become.

  14. Dear JMG, these Ingress-themed posts are helping me to understand a great deal more about astrology, much in the same way your “where rubber meets road” approach has helped me along the path of Druidry, so thank you. This particular chart is exceptionally beneficial in a myriad of ways. It’s helping me keep my head on straight amidst the rising atmosphere of leaden panic.

    To Readers: please support your local small businesses. Small business owners are in financial free fall. Please support independently-owned restaurants, by ordering takeout/takeaway as much as possible, and encourage your friends to do the same. A friend of mine made the excellent point that a person who gets takeout is one less person crowding the grocery store and spreading disease there — we all have to obtain food one way or another, so might as well support your local small restauranteur as long as we aren’t in lockdown. To Johnny and Irena, my fellow vegans, if you are reading, please order those vegan options from restaurants if you are able. Keeping those options alive depends on to-go orders right now.

    There are two books I’ve found fairly useful in my study of beginning astrology. One is The Only Way To Learn Astrology by Joan Evers and Marion March. It isn’t the only way, however, it’s pretty good. Second is Nasty Astrology by Richard MacDonald, which is scathingly funny.

  15. JMG When do you think the US is going to have to default on its debt? I feel like that is sooner rather than later because China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, seem to have done a fine job exploiting the US moment of weakness with the Coronavirus. IF THESE COUNTRIES PLAY THEIR CARDS RIGHT, I think a Twilight’s Last Gleaming scenario is not too far off. We’re talking six months, two years tops. Look at how Russia and Saudi Arabia had a “fight” over oil at just the right moment. I would really like to hear your take on the US Debt Situation.

    Building off this comment thread. “Team10Tim, no question, the federal government’s balance sheet is going to take on another ocean or two of red ink at this point. I’m pretty sure that everyone in DC knows perfectly well that the US will default on its debt at some point, and so they’re running up debt with glad abandon, knowing that an extra trillion dollars or so won’t make a rat’s handbag worth of difference at this point.”

  16. I noticed looking at the mortality rates for Corona virus, that they were rarely too terrible far the the chances of dying in the next couple years anyways; for respective age groups. The inaneness of the panic reactions is most noticeable to me. I am much more concerned about the economics, I make a living because of the farmer’s market, and there is much confusion about how that might get effected. I figure long run it is probably a good thing, but short term might make for a weird season.

    I wonder if that $1000 government payment Tulsi introduced will go through, still trying to get my head around what that would look like.

  17. The professional class and all of their associated expertologists are exhorting us to sit up straight with a full scolding parade now. Us huddled masses with with baited breath for every morsel of parsed information from the sanctimonious factoid fascists. Is there anything in the chart, perhaps a meteor burning brighter upon it’s extinction in the astrological atmosphere? Is this the final scene? The last masturbatory dying gasp of the liberal left ending in a circular firing squad?

  18. My own interpretation of how the economy will unfold after the corona-virus epidemic is over, is that it will be something of a mirror image of the recovery after 2008. This time the heartland will do much better than the coastal states. I think the popping of the financial bubble will take the money out of the various financial rackets that have driven economic growth on the coasts. Money-losing Unicorn companies, rental apartment complexes and the sharing economy will all take significant hits, while the toilet paper factories, and such in the heartland will benefit from a wave of on-shoring. I am also predicting a reverse population flow back to the heartland from places like Portland and Seattle. So many millennials moved here to Portland over the last 6 or so years because it was cool, but many of them have now lost their jobs in the service and sharing industry. They pay excessive rent to live in the new apartment complexes and most have no savings buffer. If this goes on for more than a month or so many of them will have to pack their bags and head back to Kansas and Arkansas to live in mom and dads basement. This return of it’s youth will breath new life in to the fly-over states.

  19. Since the topic of coronavirus has come up: I just saw an article in my local news media about an Imperial College study exploring policy options to deal with the virus. According to them, there are only two options: mitigation, to slow the spread of the virus without shutting everything down, but at the cost of overburdening the health care system with a large number of simultaneous cases, and suppression, which would be to stop the spread of the virus completely through total self-isolation. This seems to be what governments are choosing, as in China. The downside to that option is that there’s no idea how long self-isolation has to last to stop the virus. Weeks? Months? And there’s no guarantee that the virus will be stopped, of course. So there are some unpleasant choices which will need to be made.

    The suppression option, of course, also has the potential for abuse by governments willing to use the virus as an excuse to do a bit more social control on their populations. It will also make the internet even more important to communication if people are stuck at home. I heard that Netflix are already trying to create new products to take advantage of the situation.

    Of course, the suppression option is also less realistic, not only will people simply get bored and start going outside as time goes on, but the long-term economic impact would be impossible to afford.

  20. I am interested in foreign trade, and how the inevitable sunset of the China/Walmart paradigm will proceed. It looks like there will be a gap in some raw materials shortly, especially those related to construction and electronics. Also will the entertainment sector make a comeback? I imagine people will be very excited to come out and see live performances once the danger has passed. Thank you. I am also one of your SubscribeStar members.

  21. Dear JMG what is the difference between your Patreon and other subscription sites? I can’t decide which to join. Thanks.

  22. There’s that saying that millionaire investors don’t use astrology, but billionaires do. If multiple industries are in the same house, are they just getting general trends? Or do they do other things to get a higher level of precision?

  23. “Another, drawing on the 8th house’s other traditional meaning as the house of death, is that one or more of Trump’s leading opponents may not survive the year, either because of the current pandemic or from some other cause.”

    My guess if that is indeed the case: Nancy Pelosi, based on what I saw in the 11th house when I did a reading back in July. At the time I thought it referred to a political defeat, but given current events maybe this is that rare case where something actually does mean a literal death.

    https://gbejm.dreamwidth.org/1105.html

    Joe Biden would have been a possibility, but the house placement points to the House of Representatives. I’m not sure where candidates who don’t otherwise currently hold office would land in terms of mundane astrology, though. Is an ex-senator still 5th house? Or does that, too, fall under the problem of not enough data yet when it comes to elections?

  24. Interesting. I agree with you about the pandemic, but it seems to me there could be a lot of societal (economic) problems caused by the chaos…

  25. “Matthias, a 0.5% death rate, mostly among people who were going to die of something in a few years anyway, isn’t catastrophic. The fact that so many people think of it in those terms shows just how sheltered from biological reality we’ve become.”

    I live in Ontario, and we’ve basically shut down the province. No restaurants, bars, schools, libraries, etc are open. And the chattering classes are freaking out we, asking if we’re doing enough. Anyone who questions the response is branded a heartless monster, and despite the fact that economic damage which is occurring is mostly self-inflicted, the economic crisis is being used as proof we need to do more.

    Some people have lost all contact with reality….

  26. I’m thinking that the beneficial legislation being passed is at least partly a reference to the temporary monthly cash payments to adults. Maybe this will even get extended & funded by a VAT as with Yang’s policy. We do know he’s working with the white house on this already.

  27. Matthias–consider the history of really killer epidemics. The introduction of Eurasian diseases into the Americas, for example, had death rates estimates of which range from 30-60%. Of course when entire villages are found empty it is difficult to know who died of the disease, who died of subsequent starvation and who fled. Smallpox was a big killer and never settled down to be a low mortality disease, but others, such as chickenpox and measles did. The bubonic plague in Europe was estimated to have had 1/4-1/3 mortality. That bacteria is still with us, and is resident in rodent populations all over the Western US (Prairie dogs and ground squirrels) but is effectively treated by antibiotics. So death rates of 1-5% are hardly end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it levels.

    For a number of reasons cruise ships are hardly a controlled sample. The passengers tend to be older than average, and wealthier, which would skew the results in opposite directions–older more likely to get sick, wealthy more likely to have had good health care. Doesn’t necessarily mean wealthy people are more healthy, just that any health conditions they have are probably being addressed with medication, diet, etc. I have friends my age who are concerned because of existing health conditions, friends who are younger and immune compromised for some reason, I’m 71, so need to be careful, but not going to panic.

    OTH you do have to wonder about the adequacy of response in some cases. My daughter returned from Venice feeling ill (it was a cold) and could not get tested anywhere she asked in the Sacramento CA area once she was home. Since there were not test kits available urgent care clinics just had signs up asking sick people to stay away. She and her friend returned from Venice (which was shutting down Carnival) by way of London, Los Angles and San Jose. Not tested at any point. I could see that London might not have cared about through passengers, but why no contr

  28. Thanks for this JMG!
    I am glad you don’t make a big deal out of the pandemic.
    BTW – the mortality rate is probably much less than 1%. See for example: https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/16/lower-coronavirus-death-rate-estimates/ (1.4% of the people showing symptoms) and https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0233_article (.4% rest of China outside of the weird region)

    Given the numbers from Russia and Eastern Europe (where there are fewer old people due to recent crises) the mortality rate for “normal” people (without heroic life-extending support) is less than that for the flu.

    Just my two cents.

  29. What is conspicuously absent from the news reports on the spread of Covid-19 is a comparison of its infection and mortality rates with those of other respiratory viruses in recent years. Two hundred thousand cases sounds like a lot all by itself, but remember this is worldwide in a population of about eight billion – so is that 0.003% really a lot or not? How many people got a bad cold last year and didn’t panic about it? How many have died this year of respiratory complaints but were not infected with Covid-19? The absence of this information is a clear indication that someone is putting a “spin” on the reports to make the situation appear far more dire than it really is. What is the motive for this?

    Extrapolating the current total of 9000 deaths in 8 weeks to a full year estimates the annual mortality at:
    (9000 * 52 / 8) = 58,500. By comparison, about 55,000 people die each year of rabies, mostly from dog bites. You’re panicked about Covid-19 and yet you keep a dog in your house??

    Sorry to be ranting a little here John, but the propaganda is becoming really annoying.

  30. Kimberly, you’re most welcome and thank you.

    Augustine, I don’t think we’re as close to the inevitable default as you do. I’d give it a decade or so — but we’ll see.

    Ray, my guess is that each US citizen and legal resident will quite simply be mailed a check. That would be the straightforward way to do it, and it would also help prop up the banking system, which would receive a huge influx of deposits.

    Dave, unfortunately ingress charts don’t show that sort of long-term trend. This one does show that most Americans are heartily bored with the scoldng brigade, for what it’s worth.

    Clay, that’s quite plausible.

    Jbucks, seems to me you haven’t factored in the way that suppression has caused the epidemics in China and South Korea to peak and fall in fairly short order. I’m pretty sure the reason everyone else is moving toward those same policies is that they seem to be working quite well in those two countries.

    Aloysius, I expect to see a lot of volatility in commodity markets and, yes, some significant shortfalls in raw materials over the short term. Over the longer term? Investments in US sources of raw materials strikes me as a good move, as this country and many others are likely to move away from globalization even more drastically than before.

    Mariette, the only difference is that Patreon sometimes deplatforms people who have unpopular political opinions, while SubscribeStar does not. I use both and publicize that fact; Patreon’s more popular, so I provide that option to my readers, but the folks at Patreon will be well aware that if they decide to deplatform me, all my readers can simply pop on over to SubscribeStar, meaning that I don’t lose money — but Patreon does.

    Yorkshire, financial astrology is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, and it’s not something I’ve studied. (For obvious reasons, financial astrologers charge serious money for access to their techniques.)

  31. G Bejm, that’s a possibility, but it’s impossible to say one way or another from an ingress chart. The only individual human being who generally shows up in an ingress chart is the head of the government; everyone else is lumped into groups. The political astrology of individual candidates would probably require access to their birth data, because you’d want to use their natal charts and progressed charts in conjunction with ingresses and national charts to sort things out.

    Monk, no doubt, but that doesn’t seem to be what the charts are saying.

    Will, no argument there.

    Jess, that’s possible.

    NomadicBeer, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. Thanks for the references!

    Steve, I ain’t arguing. In the 2017-2018 flu season, 80,000 people died of influenza in the US alone, and somehow we got by.

  32. H JMG,
    Interesting as ever, though as a UK dweller the detail of US politics makes as much sense to me as the rules of american football. i.e. not much. I do get the gist though.
    After seeing Trump worm his way through various comments and announcements with the current Pandemic, I’m intrigued to know if you actually rate him as a leader and as being trustworthy. Those are surely highly questionable. Also won’t the impacts of a major slowdown for a while plus oil price fluctuations and knock on effects start to profoundly pull down the US economy. You mention increased stability!
    Jay

  33. John, et al.

    Re the impact of COVID and (over)reaction thereto

    Here in WI, the good governor has issued executive orders restricting gatherings, shutting down bars, limiting restaurants to take-out & drive-through, and the like. Gatherings are limited to less than ten people. All of this is enforceable by fine and/or imprisonment, per the order.

    I only have three more city council meetings left before my term expires, but I may be putting them to good use, as I will be asking my fellow council members to consider drafting a resolution expressing our disapproval with the good governor’s overreach. Among other things, he has included *churches* in his ban on “large” (i.e. more than ten people) gatherings. I’m sorry, but there are constitutionally protected rights (e.g. assembly, free practice of religion) that cannot be set aside by gubernatorial fiat.

    We apparently had people calling in to the police department today wanting officers to disperse people gathering for a funeral, which I find absolutely appalling. (I believe the police declined to do so.)

    Sad that we’ve gotten to this.

  34. This is barrigan; I am changing my posting name to match SubscribeStar.

    If anyone’s familiar with Elliott Wave theory, the stock market’s rapid decline appears to me to be a C-wave of a wave 4 expanded flat that started in Dec. 2017, and I suspect it’ll probably bottom out in a week or so and spend the next year and a half or so climbing back up to a double-top. This is just my opinion, and an untrained opinion at that, not investment advice; take it with a grain of salt.

    My personal take is that part of the panic is simply due to yet another pillar of the religion of Progress showing another weak spot. New pandemics for which we have no defenses aren’t supposed to happen, at least not short of biowarfare, because This Is The Year Two Thousand Twenty and We Are Beyond Such Things. But, more insidiously and perhaps more fundamentally, is the simple fact that a pandemic doesn’t respond to the tactics we’re used to using. You can’t bribe or threaten a pandemic, and although you technically could bomb one you couldn’t do it without killing all your citizens, which would… kind of defeat the point.

    What I have noticed:

    – A decrease in the amount of virtue-signaling for everything other than the coronavirus, and since virtue-signaling for it mostly amounts to staying at home…

    – An increase in the frequency of birds chirping outside my window 🙂

    Also, worth pointing out that late last year, I did several geomancy readings inquiring on whether the first half of this year would be a good time to travel to Europe, and they kept coming back NO, 2nd half might be better. For some reason I was expecting a volcano, though, not a pandemic, but call it a TSW

  35. JMG,
    Unrelated but I hope at some point you can analyze the reactions to the current pandemic.
    Most people and governments proved to be insane, by the definition that they kept doing what they are always doing.
    Proof is the TP obsession (some weird regression to childhood?), gun nuts waiting in line at the gun stores (shoot the virus?), 1.5 trillion for the banks (It worked so well in 2008) and so on.

    I personally am torn – I am enjoying the quiet streets in my town when we walk to the park and working from home keeps me close to my family.

    At the same time, I am put in the position to tell the people to calm down – the pandemic is not so bad. Maybe part of it is that I knew that humanity is overdue for a plague and given the choice I would have chosen COV. Kids are almost immune to it and like I said above, for most adults is like a mild flu.

    So I hope that some people will realize that maybe they can slow down and smell the roses after the panic recedes, while at the same time knowing that we probably will return to the “normal” insanity of consumption and destruction.

  36. Dear JMG,

    Thanks for this! some thoughts, if I may:

    The ongoing war within the democratic party has been rather striking….I can’t help but remember the countless times folks lectured me, bullied me, and berated me about white privilege, male privilege, every sort of privilege and then the utter railroading of Tulsi Gabbard, who is of course a women of color, by two old while men. Not that I have anything against old white men, but I do have issues with the blatant hypocrisy, especially after the brutal crit/self-crit sessions that I endured.

    The thing is, too, Tulsi Gabbard is one of the few politicians that I actually find interesting and feel some enthusiastiasm for. Generally, I like her stances, her proposed policies, I like her deportment, and I like who her enemies are. It’s been very disheartening to see the Democratic Party so senselessly railroad her, no, let’s use stronger language here: it’s been very disheartening to see the Democratic Party so senselessly and stridently *oppress* her, arbitrarily changing the rules to prevent her access to an audience, especially after the 2016 fiasco, especially after the endless talk about oppression, all the bullying blather about feminism and racism.

    This really is the problem and it’s a big one: I was raised to believe that the democratic party was the lesser of the two evils. What happens when this already tenuous faith becomes reversed by all of these blatantly corrupt shenanigans? At this point, I’m beginning to want to vote Republican straight down the ballot sheet without even looking at the names, as I feel so utterly betrayed by the Democratic party and their “allies,” who were so personally mean to me over so many years. Somehow, too, I get the sense that I’m not alone in this sentiment.

    Interesting too, in this context, that for the Aries Ingress Chart while Venus squares the Moon, she trines Mars. Perhaps that sums up whatever political demographic I belong to — certainly I am a visible minority and for many years was one of those radical leftists who started community gardens and squatted — my interests and my sympathies are, at this point, at right angles to the anti-Trump crowd and increasingly harmonious with the rising tide of populism. Interesting, that since I’ve belonged so long to a certain cadre, the cadre of Tomorrowland folks who actually does the work to dig all the gardens, to toil on organic farms, to volunteer my time at the community herb garden, to distro zines, that is, to actually do all the gonzo leftist stuff that radical leftists are supposed to do in order “to be the change you wish to see in the world,” that microcosmically I would, perhaps, experience some sympathetic induction of the currents set in motion with this Ingress chart.

    This point is actually a bit odd, as I’ve been feeling it emerge for awhile now, slowly gaining in strength: somehow, me and the TDS folks now seem to only have mutual cold pricklies when we cross paths, whereas when I see working class folks while I’m out and about we tend to smile at each other with complicit warmth and sometimes even exchange nice words and in the past few weeks I’ve noticed something of an uptick in this. You’ve mentioned before that often ingress charts can take effect proactively, and certainly, this seems to be the case.

  37. The study I mentioned suggests that, while suppression seems to be working in China and South Korea, there is no way to know whether the virus will simply just come back once the suppression measures are lifted, especially if the virus hasn’t been eliminated from other countries.

    Steve, JMG: Forgive me if I’ve missed something, but that example with rabies doesn’t really hold because the highly infectious nature of Coronavirus means that it will affect a far greater number of people, killing more in absolute terms, even if the mortality rate as a percentage is similar. I think this is why the pandemic is hyped, also because health care systems around the world can’t deal with a huge influx of patients. About the annual death toll from influenza being much higher than that of the Coronavirus: Again, forgive me if I am not understanding, but this example doesn’t hold for the same reason as above, or am I wrong?

  38. Hope you’re right about a shorter term impact of the virus. I think the economic fallout will be substantial, as the credit markets have been on life support since September.

    It would be nice to see .GOV actually pass a few laws to help the working class, but I ain’t holding my breath. I see the political leaders exercising their emergency powers with this crisis to improve the stranglehold for the next go ’round. I understand there’s legislation in the pipeline to mandate small businesses to cover sick leave, even if you have less than 50 employees. Like minimum wage hikes, a good intentioned idea that will have the opposite effect, and create more job losses as businesses go under. Which will probably be another side effect of all this chaos….

    Along with some manufacturing that should come back onshore as a result of all of this, wouldn’t it be nice to have .GOV start up a program to promote family farms, and put millions back to work that way?

  39. JMG- Wasn’t the lynch pin of Twilight’s Last Gleaming China deciding that the US was about as vulnerable as it would ever be? The aircraft carrier being sunk/beached was a symbolic victory more than anything and when you look at the big metaphors floating around of US might and power, there is a lot more out there than big aircraft carriers. (No pun intended)

    These other symbols of US power like the petro-dollar, are also easier to take down. An aircraft carrier is a physical object. Going back to some of the conversation last week on Dion Fortune, wouldn’t it be logical that the higher abstract planes where US dominance is manifested would have to fail first before the physical plane is affected?

    IE Our aircraft carriers cannot be sunk by midget speed boats until the abstract sense of our power has diminished? In all probability I think our carriers will simply end up like Russia’s, needing a tugboat to pull them around.

  40. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I totally understand why you want to look at this pandemic within a larger, more sweeping appreciation of pandemics. We are a long way off from the pestilence rider of Revelation killing a third of the world, and we more or less hit that number in much of Europe in 1347 to 1351 during the Black Death, and Europe still went on to become the major center of commerce and culture for centuries afterward.

    With that said, what kind of a death toll would you expect out of a pandemic for it to have lasting impacts? I have heard so much conflicting data about the lethality of this virus. If I go by China’s numbers it looks like a drastic quarantine stops it in its tracks. But if I go by Italy’s numbers (currently 4025 recovered cases to 2978 deaths… admittedly out of those tested which excludes all the mild cases) a very different image emerges.

    Can you shoot from the hip and say here is the percentage when trouble tends to start and at that percentage social unrest and revolution might become a concern?

    What I am looking to know is whether we are a super long way off from those kinds of drastic, long term concerns, or whether if the current estimates are off by a couple percentage points we could be entering a depression or worse. Currently I have read everything from .1 to 3.6 percent for this disease’s fatality rate, so does 3.6 percent make you reconsider long term stability or is that still way below where the fatality rate would need to be to cause long lasting trouble?

    Chris Martenson seems utterly convinced that this thing is bringing down the whole economic system in a way that will take many years to recover from and he usually throws around numbers in the mid 3 range. He is also convinced that this is a 4th turning moment that will create a social and/or political crises, so I would be interested to know whether you disagree with him because you disagree with his numbers, or whether you could grant him those numbers and still remain confident that this virus will be short lived and leave minimal impact.

  41. JMG,

    re: foreign money from the Libra ingress (Neptune in the 8th), perhaps it surfaced as innuendo (which is itself a very Neptunian thing) about foreign support from the center-right Washington Post and got some brief exposure around the bipartisan right-wing blogosphere. Even such industrious men of the people as Lloyd Blankfein piled on Twitter with their senile self-regarding conceits about Sanders being a Putin favorite. Oh well, the Parties apparently pass the Presidency back and forth two full terms at a time, like two machines, and whatever else may be happening it’s still Team Red’s turn.

    Speaking of machines, have you happened over the course to have read historian Walter Karp’s 1973 book Indispensable Enemies: The Politics of Misrule in America and have any thoughts on it? He makes a provocative but well-evidenced case, that the conventional relationship between Party establishments and the oligarchy gets the causality backwards, that the circle begins with corrupt special privileges emanating jointly from the Party establishments (importantly, not from the state per se) into safe hands, and that the exorbitant wealth of those corrupted agents, some of which happens to flow back into Party establishment coffers, is an effect rather than a cause, more the nature of a commission than a bid. He devotes one of fourteen chapters to disassembling the popular hagiography of FDR as some sort of Lord Bountiful by pointing out his intentional, witting, well-timed acts as more or less just another machine politician, to weaken and eventually stop the New Deal, rebuild the trusts, and preserve the power of the bipartisan oligarchy. As you might find more interesting, Enemies‘ antidote calls for a restructuring of city and state government based on “ward republics” as he plainly terms it, as a means to build up the discernment of the popular man’s bullshale detectors, blunt the power of self-regarding ambition, diffuse the influence of the city machines, and restore self-rule with a touch fo sobriety to the American people. I found it surprisingly germane nearly fifty years on.

  42. John–

    I’m admittedly looking forward to seeing how the intra-executive branch bruhaha plays out. A taking down a notch of the bureaucracy would not be a bad thing.

  43. Re: coronavirus. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the big fuss was, until I saw an interview with some doctor (the head of something or other, I no longer remember what) on Czech radio. (I watched the thing on YouTube, hence “saw.” 😉 ) Anyway, she seemed legitimately scared. And as far as I could tell, what terrified her was that medical care might have to be rationed. So, it’s not so much about the number of people who’d die. It’s that doctors cannot bear the thought of turning away people whom they’d normally (i.e. given sufficient resources) be able to cure. And I get that. If this turns out to be a one-in-a-generation kind of epidemic, then I suppose we’ll just deal with all these restrictions and then move on. Otherwise, we (and that includes the doctors among us; note: I am not a doctor) will simply have to get used to slightly higher death rates and slightly lower life expectancy.

    I am, however, somewhat amazed at my own reaction to what’s going on. I’m stressed to the point that I’ve started suffering from an assortment of physical symptoms (I’ll spare you the details). It’s somewhat ridiculous, but the ridiculousness of it hasn’t reduced my stress level. Let me clarify: I’m not stressed about the virus. I’m barely even thinking about it. I’m stressed out by the ever-increasing limitations on my freedom of movement (I wonder if I’ll even be allowed to leave the apartment within a few days), and by the requirement to work from home over the Internet, which in practice (given the type of work that I do) means quite a lot of extra work for me. If anyone (JMG or the commentariat) has any tips for calming down, I’d be most grateful. But if it involves seeing anyone (socializing is heavily restricted, and I live alone) or buying anything (we’re dealing with shortages of just about everything), then it isn’t going to work…

    @Kimberly Steele

    “To Johnny and Irena, my fellow vegans, if you are reading, please order those vegan options from restaurants if you are able. Keeping those options alive depends on to-go orders right now.”

    Good idea in theory, but I don’t think any vegan restaurants around here are doing deliveries. At least not now. I did, however, place a fairly large fresh fruit and vegetable order. Should be here tomorrow.

  44. DBL,

    “So, just as one example, there is much “chattering” at the moment regarding how COVID-19 and the current stock market panic guarantees Trump’s loss in November.”

    It’s the same people who said he would never win. Other than everything being Trump’s fault, including cloudy days, don’t know why people people would blame him for corona. Stock market maybe, but I suspect it will be recovering soon.

  45. Matthias,

    One possible answer to your question is that it is normal for people to die and most of those who may expire from Corona are the very ones who die from various flus and respirator illnesses every year. The normal death rate for the US is about 2 1/2 million.

  46. Perhaps most reading this still remember the narrative spun during the H1N1 from 2009, and previous decades. Oh, its Dr. Fauci again:

  47. In Re: Tulsi’s $1000 Rebate Cheques:

    Actually, I’m sure that it will be handled as the Archdruid expects. As Sherlock Holmes said, “There is nothing new under the sun. It has all happened before.”

    Back in ’08, Bush kicked down a similar rebate for $600. One day, a cheque simply arrived in the mail.

    Antoinetta III

  48. In re: duration, isolation, and the virus, there have certainly been some interesting silver linings/possible societal shifts. I mentioned the decline of the odious two-day business conference the other day, and I’ve just recently heard that the canals of Venice are clear again for the first time in decades if not centuries–there are fish and swans!

    Me, I’m down in rural PA with my parents now. They’re elderly, and Dad’s immunocompromised (got a heart valve replaced five years or so back) so we’re being careful, but so far are okay. I admit that I saw the news say that travel/gatherings are going to be disrupted for the next eight weeks or so, which is probably not a super-long time in astrological terms, but was long enough for me to buy a bunch of seeds, because why not? Venus seems like a good sign for growing things.

    (I am sort of hoping the economic disruption takes that sort of turn, in general–less naked profit motive, more thoughtfulness about travel and finances, more simple creative projects. Seems Venusian, but maybe just wishful thinking on my part. :P)

  49. If I may, on a more light-hearted note:

    Recently I had a dream that relates very directly to the battle between establishment democrats and radical leftists.

    In this dream I was at a house party during the winter in somebody’s apartment, and it was kind of boring and lame, and there weren’t very many people who showed up. Luckily though, Bernie Sanders attended, acting distracted, and he didn’t say much but shook a few hands. He had to leave the party and go to somewhere else, and then the scene was even more depressing and everyone sort of sulked. About twenty minutes later Sanders comes back into the house, shirtless, shivering, explaining that somehow he had got locked out of the chainlink fence that surrounded the apartment, and so he had to take off his “one good shirt,” so it wouldn’t get torn or dirty as he jumped the fence.

    Well, that about did it, wearing a backwards baseball cap, a young man went an electric keyboard and roused everyone to sing the “great 1970’s smash hit” which was titled “Let’s Put Our Face Against the Wall,” and involved the dance move of everyone…putting a cheek against the wall during the chorus in which everyone sang “And now — we all put our face against the wall!”

    And so the dream ended.

  50. Thanks for the insights, JMG! It’s been murky sifting through the hype and propaganda surrounding the pandemic, so your interpretation regarding that is helpful, as well as the conversations in the comments. The conversations in my circle of friends has gravitated somewhat toward fear, the next great depression and apocalyptic fantasies… Oy!

    I did want to pass along a really interesting and inspiring detail observed here in flyover land central Virginia. We’re part of a buying club of several small farms organized by our friends–we were all a bit leary that the hysteria would destroy demand or at least harm sales. Quite the contrary–our friends had a record market day this weekend and record buying club purchases as well as record new customers this week. At our local health food store a similar story–floods of new customers and sales for herbal antivirals and other immune tonics, local foods and staples, as folks wanted to avoid the big box stores, or the other stores ran out of commodity food stuffs and so on. I have a feeling this whole event will have a long lasting positive impact on our local food economy as folks realize how vital small local producers are, especially in uncertain times!

  51. Thank you for your clear answer, JMG. Just to make the numbers clear for everybody: 0.5% death rate for the entire population would mean ~1.6 million additional deaths with a contribution from COVID in the USA, in addition to the ~2.8 million deaths that occurred e.g. in 2017. Under the relatively mild distancing measures already in place in the USA, models (and JMG!) suggest that the greatest part of these additional deaths would be concentrated over the next few months. JMG and Kimberly categorise this number as not catastrophic, and I agree that it is not catastrophic in comparison with historical epidemics. However, personally I doubt that such a number of deaths would be a transitory political and economical event. We will have to see.

    Now of course I don’t know if 0.5% death rate in the total population is in fact true, and I thank everybody for the links that discuss why the death rate in a Western country might be lower than on cruise ships or in China. The simple fact is that no government has yet had the nerve to let the confirmed cases of infection rise above ~10000 without implementing strong quarantine measures, so we don’t know yet what would happen in this case. The report from Imperial College suggests there is no good strategy.

  52. Responding to Steve, if I may:

    Meaningful comparison of mortality rates needs to allow for some validating assumptions. Consider rabies (which you brought up): It is endemic to North America. While it is contagious within its reservoir host species, bats, it is not highly contagious to humans or domestic animals. I don’t know where your “55,000 annual deaths” comes from; it certainly isn’t the US, where its incidence in dogs was 62 cases in 2017, and in humans 2 (per the CDC website). There is an animal vaccine for it. Outside of its reservoir host, its transmissibility, R0, is less than 1, meaning that a rabid animal will probably not transmit it. R0 denotes the number of infections transmitted by the average case. And there are no clinical or epidemiological uncertainties with rabies. Responding to your rhetorical question: So yes, we literally do have a dog in the house, it’s had its rabies shots and we don’t worry about it.

    The Corona virus has no cure, no vaccine, and is extremely contagious; it’s R0 is assessed by the CDC at 2 – 2.5 (other investigators have estimated Covid-19 R0 from 4.0 to 6.7), but even 2 will give a raging epidemic, and is estimated to have been the figure for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. R0 for Influenza A is 1.3. For the Covid-19 pandemic, we have repeatedly seen case doubling rates of 6 days over a period of weeks in China, South Korea, Italy, etc… So Steve, looking at the current death toll, and extrapolating it linearly is invalid: The case rate and death rate are riding upward on an exponential curve, and we need to forecast off THAT. We don’t know in advance where the exponential curve will top-out (and turn into the sigmoid or ‘S’ curve where endemic diseases hang out). The numbers we face dwarf that 58,500 you mentioned. The exponential curve is mother nature’s way of saying: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

    Influenza is endemic now, so its incidence is not exponentially exploding, and there is a vaccine for it.

    We really don’t know the mortality rate from Covid-19. This can only be assessed after a cohort has completed its disease course, ending in recovery or death. In the US we have no idea on the numbers of mild or subclinical cases; i.e. “the denominator”, which if very large, will make for a low mortality rate; though indeed, it seems to be converging to perhaps 1% (in the US), claiming mostly the old/sick, which is still 10X worse than influenza. Note that “old/sick” is a pretty loose concept; many vulnerable people are out in the community functioning at a high level with a high quality of life.

    So what’s to be worried about? From a systems perspective, we need to be concerned about risk. What risk? There are about 900,000 hospital beds in the US, and they run around 2/3s occupied, leaving us with 300,000. If the CoVid-19 case-rate is exploding exponentially, and a certain fraction needs to be hospitalized, then the risk is running out of beds, while having more and more sick people show up at the door. Such an onslaught appears to have entered the realm of possibility. It happened in Northern Italy, and may be on the verge of happening in other European counties as I write.

    What can we do about this risk? The only achievable goal is to lower the rate of new infections so we don’t swamp the health care system. Perhaps you have seen this graphic or similar out of the CDC:

    https://slidemodel.com/templates/coronavirus-flattering-the-curve-powerpoint-template/

    We want to substitute the early, high curve, with the delayed, more spread-out-in-time curve. This should be getting publicized, and may gain traction. The only tools we have are to reduce social connectivity: Social distancing, travel limitations, and quarantine. These measures will lower R0, flattening the curve. Obviously the nuts and bolts are disruptive, and our supply/economic/financial system is proving brittle. Our leadership thinks that that disruption is preferable to our health care system getting overwhelmed, to speak nothing of the consequences of THAT. I agree, and hope this understanding makes sense to you and makes the reality out there more tolerable.

  53. For what it’s worth, on the Ongoing Situation… I’m seeing a lot of people– myself very much included– finding themselves needing to stock up on dry goods, re-learn how to cook, come up with home-school routines, banning TV and screens during the day time, spending time in nature, even planting gardens.

    I’m aware of the gravity of the whole thing, but I have a feeling that all of us who live through this are going to look back on Covid Days as the best thing that happened to ourselves and our families in a long time. People are already finding that they can homeschool their kids and, even if it’s more challenging, it’s more rewarding, too. And, oh yeah– the homeschooling websites are making great resources available, often for free. (And, hey, maybe it was a terrible idea to crowd hundreds of children into a giant building all through flu season anyway.) And the same goes for cooking meals, staying home from bars, and not having to go to work. I think that by the end of this, a lot of people are going to realize that another way of living is possible. And a lot of things that were politically impossible two months ago will suddenly become viable options– this is already happening, with cities and states suspending evictions and debt collection.

    We’ve talked for years here about the amount of static that’s accumulated in the lower astral, and the need to ground it out on the material plane. I wonder if this is what that looks like, or at least the beginning of it. And I wonder if that isn’t shown by the various unexpected positive indicators in this chart.

  54. You are doing charts for the US, Great Britain, India, Japan, and Australia …

    Wondering why you chose those particular countries … Australia in particular is not usually considered a world linchpin…

  55. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Corona Virus plays out in America. I do feel sorry for those who are elderly and with preexisting conditions. I’ve seen pictures posted showing family members trying to visit their elder relatives who are quarantined by standing outside their window. At least they can see them while they talk on the phone! I do hope you are correct, and that it will run its course quickly.

    JMG, are you taking any special precautions in dealing with the virus, especially since your wife has some health difficulties?

    Joy Marie

  56. I’d like to second Irena: if anyone has advice for dealing with effectively living under lockdown, that would be greatly appreciated. I’d also like to know if anyone has advice on suddenly seeing how fragile our fellow citizens’ psyches are: I hadn’t realized people were quite this fragile….

    David,

    Banning gatherings of 10 people means banning most churches. I can’t believe that could’ve been signed without someone realizing this, which means either they’re taking advantage of a situation to attack religion, or they just don’t care. Either way, it’s worth criticizing.

    JMG,

    Out of curiosity, what would you expect to see for a major pandemic?

  57. All,

    The government of Canada is looking at invoking the emergencies Act.* This would be a very drastic measure, and frankly the fact it’s even coming up is making me fairly nervous….

    *https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/coronavirus-state-of-emergency-1.5500054

  58. Violet, you have entertaining dreams. You get Bernie Sanders climbing the fence (at his age!), I get 40-ish General Nuisance ambling around Yellow Springs, Ohio. Yawn.

    Everyone keep an eye on the Yellow Springs web site. If they have the Street Fairs this year, they are well worth a bit of a drive. There’s normally one in June and one in October. I recommend the October one. In June it’s usually so humid your eye makeup melts off your face. I have often thought that “Black Tears in Yellow Springs” would make a good country song title. 😄

    If I had to guess I would say the June street fair won’t happen this year, but it’s 50-50 on the October one. By October people will be going stir-crazy , and our rulers will probably prefer festivals to riots. Yellow Springs is probably the last place on earth that a riot would occur, but you get the general idea.

  59. Jay, the contemporary obsession with political personalities — “Is he trustworthy? Is he a leader?” — is at the root of a lot of the political dysfunction we have. I couldn’t care less about what kind of person Trump is; the policies he’s pursued are, in my best judgment, considerably more beneficial to this country and most of its citizens than the policies being pushed by his opponents, and that’s what is of interest to me.

    David, we have rather less draconian rules in place here in Rhode Island. Under current law, public health concerns trump most other rules — and there’s a reason for that. Think about what we’d be facing if this was pneumonic plague…

    Brendhelm, I don’t claim to understand Elliot-wave theory, but your prediction seems quite plausible to me. As for chirping birds, I went for a walk today — as long as you’re not in a group, that’s still fine in Rhode Island — and it was a beautiful spring day with lots of birds, squirrels, etc. So the rest of the world is fine!

    NomadicBeer, I get that. I hope that at least a modest number of people will discover, as they spend time at home, that just maybe wasting their lives running flat out from one distraction to another is not that good of an idea!

    Violet, Gabbard has done a brilliant job of positioning herself as the alternative to the Democratic establishment. If, as I now suspect it might, the 2020 election ends up as the kind of landslide that defines politics for a generation to come, Gabbard will likely be a shoo-in for the 2024 Democratic nominee. One of the reasons I suspect Trump and the GOP generally may win very big this fall is precisely that you’re far from the only person on the political and cultural left I know who’s so sick of the Democratic gerontocracy that they’re tempted to vote straight ticket GOP this time around, just to send a message!

    Jbucks, influenza has a R0 (R-nought, i.e., rate of transmissibility) of around 1.3, compared to CoVID-19’s rate of between 2 and 3, the common cold’s of between 2 and 7, and measles, which is around 8. About 8% of Americans catch the flu each year. So CoVID-19 is more of an issue than an ordinary flu, but comparable to a highly infectious flu such as the Hong Kong flu of 1968 or the Asian flu of 1957.

    Drhooves, I think a program to finance family farms is a great idea. Have you considered setting up a web page, forming an organization, and trying to push for that? That’s how change happens in a republic…

    Augustus, my take is that the other major powers are aware that the Trump administration is trying to extract the US from most of its overseas commitments, and back away from empire much the way Britain did after the Second World War. They will do nothing to make that process harder, as they want it to proceed without interruption! Our aircraft carriers are already obsolete against any first-class military; expect to see them gradually, without any fanfare, be repositioned further and further away from potential hotspots, until they sit in geriatric splendor in harbors on the US coasts and serve mostly as tourist attractions.

    Stephen, Chris Martenson is always predicting that something or other is about to bring down the global economy. I’m not sure why he just keeps on doubling down, instead of learning the lessons taught by his failed predictions, but that’s a common habit these days. Gruesome as the thought is, epidemics are generally good for the economy, as they tend to carry off the sickly and elderly (who on average consume much more than they produce) and so free up capital, labor, and resources for other uses; you might look into the way that the Spanish flu of 1918-1919 was promptly followed by the Roaring Twenties, as one well-documented example. The Spanish flu, btw, had a fatality rate in excess of 10%, and it didn’t crash the economy; you might use that as a yardstick.

    Jonathan, I don’t think the reference to foreign money was just about the bizarre neo-McCarthyist Democratic fixation on seeing evil Russian agents under every bed, but we’ll see. No, I haven’t read Karp’s book; I’ll consider it.

    David BTL, I’d recommend stocking up on popcorn!

    Irena, plenty of rest and plenty of whatever entertainment makes you laugh hard are the best recommendations I know of.

    Kulibali, quite possibly so, but then suppression efforts are already well under way, and an effective treatment seems to have turned up already — two pilot studies using the widely available antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine have just been published showing extremely good results. If that turns out to be more than a flash in the pan, this could be over in a few weeks.

    Antoinetta, according to the latest news, the checks will be arriving on April 6 and May 18. Don’t spend it all in one place. 😉

    Isabel, to borrow a useful motto from the alt-right chaos mage Kek worshipers, “don’t let your memes be dreams.” Don’t just wish for that — intend it, and act accordingly. There’s a lot of power in that.

    Violet, you know, that strikes me as highly prophetic!

    Mark, delighted to hear it. I’m not at all surprised, though — Dr. Bronners’, the hippie soap company I’ve been patronizing since my teens, has had to ramp up production dramatically to keep up with demand for their products in recent weeks.

    Matthias, your numbers seem roughly correct, though the measures being put into place to control spread — and now, the possibility that hydroxychloroquine will turn out to be an effective treatment — also have to be considered. Once again, though, 1.6 million deaths, mostly among people who would likely die in the near future anyway, would not have that large of an impact.

    Steve, I suspect that you’re right. I’m already hearing people speculating that there will be a baby boom right around the first of next year…

    Warren, because I have a lot of readers in Australia, of course, and several of them asked me to consider doing an ingress chart for their country once I started adding to the original list.

    Joy Marie, thanks for your concern! As you no doubt know, we’ve been using homeopathic cell salts for most of our home health care now for many decades; we’ve got a good stock of the cell salts needed to beat a flu-like illness and to respond to any secondary infections; and of course I work from home and we can decide when and whether we want to interact with other people, so it’s not too hard to limit our risk. My guess — backed up by divinations — is that we’ll both be fine.

    Will, a major pandemic with a high death toll would likely be indicated by malefic planets in very bad condition ruling the 1st, 6th and 8th houses or afflicting the rulers of those houses.

  60. Building on Antoinetta’s comment about the rebate checks…. I’m still trying to think of the wisest use for them. lol Who here some good ideas? Go full on Honey Badger and do all the food shopping for a week????

  61. @JMG: A mortality rate of 0.5% doesn’t sound like much, but when you look at the global population, that’s about 35-40 million people! That seems incredibly catastrophic to me. Outside of the Second World War, and possibly the famines and purges of Maoist China (if you go by the higher estimates of the death toll), we’ve never seen mass deaths on that scale before.

  62. JMG

    After weeks of morbid fixation with sick rolls, body counts, economic indices and the toilet paper apocalypse (credit Lionel for that last one), your corona prediction is a draft of air in a closed space like a coffin.

    At 74, with a 50 year tobacco habit, I’m not well positioned.

    But thank you. I sure hope you’re right.

    KLC

  63. Interesting prediction on the overall economy. For myself I can’t help but think this is ‘the top” for the foreseeable future. In market terms it’s certainly past the inflation-adjusted top what with all the money printers kicking into overdrive.

    For a direct COVID-19 analogy, the global economic body isn’t anywhere near “young & healthy” — it’s old, frail and severely compromised on countless organs. That said, certainly a generous dose of crack cocaine could make it appear quite energetic for a while.

  64. Irena, Will

    Steps to ease up your emotional state and ramp up your immune system should be helpful. I hope you find these useful:

    1. https://medium.com/@themindbodycode/panic-is-the-corona-viruss-best-friend-a49587956a79
    2. https://vashiva.com/time-for-truth-on-coronavirus/

    I also see that lot of panic has been induced by hysterical news coverage (the tone, messaging, images and repetition) in the local media.

    But if you look at the actual data, it is very very weird. As an example:

    https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/03/17/corona-bologna-the-truth-begins-to-leak-out/



    Positive deceased patients have an average of over 80 years – 80.3 to be exact…The majority of these people are carriers of chronic diseases. Only two people were not presently carriers of [other non-COV] diseases

    Translation into non-medical language: the people dying in Italy have other very serious traditional diseases that have nothing to do with COV, and it’s obvious they could have died, and probably did die, from those other diseases. Nevertheless, we’re locking down the whole country.
    …”

    I am not sure why the governments are over reacting.

  65. One worry that has come up lately for me is that the drastic measures against the coronavirus could be misused for social control and for preventing much needed political change to occur. It would, for example, be a wonderful pretext for canceling elections.

  66. JMG, I note that some time ago you commented that the Navy must of course know that it’s carriers are redundant, but yet for political reasons it must be seen to keep building Gerald Ford class replacements. You had indicated that the Navy was probably quietly working out what a carrier-less navy looked like. That much has now become public, in Popular Mechanics nonetheless (https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a31406067/end-of-supercarrier/)

    That indicates that you were right, and also that there are some smart military minds still at the top of the navy.

  67. JMG said “Think about what we’d be facing if this was pneumonic plague…”

    Actually not much at all since it is bacterial and antibiotics kill it.

  68. Gotta say JMG. You are way behind the ball on this one.
    This is a game changer. One massive step down. Collapses are everywhere, there is no returning to BAU with this one. I always felt you underestimated the JIT system and what would unravel when it hit potholes. History is a good guide until a whole new story gets written.
    Always loved reading your material but I think we (myself included) missed this one being the trigger.
    Fare all ye well.

  69. Greetings all,

    One naive question
    Next to each planetary sign there are angle values written down, for instance for the sun it is 0 degrees 0 minutes and next to the moon is written: 13 degrees 32 minutes.
    What do these angles correspond to and are they of any relevance?
    Thanks!

  70. Hi onething,

    I think you are right in principle, and this fact has not been discussed enough in public. However, among those 2.8 mi “normal deaths” in the USA per year, only about 179 000 are from respiratory diseases, if I read the CDC data right. That means that (to stay with my guess-number of 1.6 mi deaths from COVID-19), the deaths from the next 10 years would all be anticipated in a few months. Even if a higher number of “normal” deaths has contributions from respiratory problems, the deaths from several years would still be concentrated in a few months (always supposing the numbers I cited above are right).

    PS: I referred to Kimberly above, should have been Rita

  71. I admit your sanguine take on the pandemic caught me a little by surprise. Especially your economic outlook. I may be mis-applying the concept here, and remembering the details wrong as well, but I recall a few posts back in the Archdruid Report days talking about the complexity of the supply chain, and if one small part of that chain is no longer able to produce–bankruptcy or what have you–the whole thing comes down. And also the idea of the previous tech knowlege “rung” being cut off the ladder. I thought some of these concepts might be applicable here, and we would see a bit more of a fall down the decline slope.

  72. Regarding local buyers clubs, Dr Bonner ramp ups, etc
    My 2 favorite herbal suppliers (for stuff i can’t get at the local co-op) have both notified me that orders are delayed due to increases in customers.
    Here’s hoping the time out will lead many to learn to cook, plant gardens, live less stressed, manage their own health, not support big box stores………….
    That’s what I’m rooting for.

  73. Thanks for the link to hydroxychloroquine, JMG, I had missed that. For any treatment to be used widely in the next 60-90 days, it would in fact have to be an existing drug that is easy to manufacture.

    Irena, I agree with your interpretation of the interview. The scary part is having to reject patients for lack of hospital beds, especially ICU beds, and knowing they have no chance without them. This hasn’t happened outside war zones for a very long time.

  74. @LunarApprentice:

    My information comes from the United States Department of Health & Human Services: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0928-rabies.html Where does yours come from? As for the number of deaths, the actual figure from the US government is in excess of 59,000 – I rounded it down.

    My point here is that the statistics do NOT support the claim that Covid-19 is some kind of zombie apocalypse. Diseases like rabies and influenza (despite the widespread use of effective vaccines, I might add!) have mortality rates comparable to those of Covid-19 (which has no vaccine and no cure) and nobody cares a rat’s pajama about them – so why all the fuss? The only plausible explanation is that someone out there is hoping for some ill-gotten gain from the panic reaction.

  75. One thing I can tell you for sure: the Democratic Party is about to lose some of the power and influence it was hoping for from its smashing Election 2018 victories because they spent the last three months making sure they completely alienated the “Bernie Sanders” wing of the party. I have gone in this time from thinking of myself as a “marginal Democrat” to just wanting to burn the party to freaking ground.

  76. @ JMG

    Re gubernatorial excesses

    Oh, I understand the practicality of his objectives. And generally, I’m okay with the general intent. It’s the legality of some of the aspects of the order with which I take issue. Closing restaurants and bars, for example, is within the state’s purview: these establishments require licenses and health inspections to operate and suspending these licenses (or using threat of suspension) to restrict operations is a legitimate act of the state in a health emergency.

    I’d also be okay with the governor requesting the cooperation of ecclesiastical authorities to suspend group services for a defined period of time. It is the use of the threat of fine/imprisonment to compel compliance that creates the problem. A governor cannot dispense with constitutionally protected freedoms by fiat. I realize that the police aren’t actually going to haul church-goers off to jail. That isn’t the point, however. The point is that the governor has claimed the power to have those people hauled off to jail and it is that claim which needs to be countered.

    It is in times of crisis that our freedoms are most vulnerable. Mass surveillance in the wake of 9/11 and the internment of American citizens during WWII come to mind as examples. All of this will be over an done with before any objections could be raised in the courts. I just think that somewhere, someone needs to go on record as pointing out that Mr. Evers does not have the power to do what he threatens to do and that he has overstepped his authority.

    @ Will

    Re the same

    We have one council work-session (less formal) and two regular council meetings (more formal) left before my term expires. I plan to ask at the March work session that we add an agenda item to the first regular meeting in April to debate a resolution expressing disapproval of certain aspects of the governor’s executive order. Per our rules, it takes two members (or one member with the concurrence of the city manager, but I’ll leave our city manager out of this particular issue) to place an item on the agenda. If it is truly 8-1 and I can’t get a second, then I’ll let the issue go. But I’ll at least have tried.

  77. I’ve always found astrology fascinating and it’s nice to read someone who takes it seriously. I do have a few questions that I hope don’t come across as snarky, I am genuinely curious.
    I believe you are correct that Trump is going to win again. But what if he doesn’t? Would the chart describe his fortunes (for lack of a better word) through November, then the fortunes of his replacement? Or in January when he or she takes office?

    Likewise, did the mundane chart for 2018 indicate that control of the lower house would change hands?
    You say that the only specific person referred to in a mundane chart is the Executive. However in both last year’s and this year’s interpretations you specifically mention Nancy Pelosi. While she is strongly identified with the House, isn’t it possible that her personal chart indicates a different path

    Thanks,

    Mike

  78. @JMG There’s just so much I want to write to both you and several of your readers, but then it just gets so long…

    So I hope you’ll just accept yet another thank you. Like some/many of your readers I’m another reformed “leftist”, and also like you sometimes mention, one of those materialists that didn’t believe in anything, and now feels the pull to believe in something. I’m still struggling with astrology but I have an open mind.

    I did sign up for your Patreon, I chose that because recently I have been signing up for a few people on there (Big thank you to your readers for turning me on to “Punk with a Camera”). I also second Kimberly to support local businesses, and would add that those of us who are still working from home and making good salaries might want to cruse Patreon and GoFundMe or just local news and see what we can do to help. I also hope to see a movement of people that don’t need money right now that gives any money the government gives away to their neighbors or those in need instead of pocketing it. I have started this “movement” with everyone I know personally. I’m not on twitter but hopefully someone gets that idea “trending”.

  79. Mr. Greer, I was wondering if I could have your opinion on how COVID-19 may impact the 2020s. I saw this article in UnHerd on the way that this epidemic has rapidly mainstreamed policies traditionally associated with “radical” greens like shutting down commercial air travel and various forms of radical localism (https://unherd.com/2020/03/is-this-what-a-green-world-looks-like/). Basic Income/Citizens’ Dividend was once confined to Greens and Andrew Yang and is now being (temporarily) proposed by Mitt Romney, yes THAT Mitt Romney (https://qz.com/1819369/coronavirus-sparks-support-for-universal-basic-income/)!

    I have been reading a book on the Spanish Flu called “Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World” on how for the next decades, this pathogen effected everything from pushes for universal healthcare to race relations in South Africa to anti-colonialism in India. I was curious about your own opinions.

    Incidentally, I wonder if the post-pandemic world will shift away from the social cocooning phase that the Western world has been in for the past generation by generating a counter-momentum in the other direction.

  80. Monk: “Will be a recession?” .. starting to look like that’s the wrong tense; we’re getting big drops and smaller bounces in a standard downhill curve.

  81. I note: people here are comparing this to other flu epidemics, but this is a virgin field epidemic, and those tend to be much more devastating than the same old seasonal viruses. Am I wrong?

  82. Kulibali, modelling from the very same people who have gotten every prediction wrong in my lifetime. “Subprime is contained.” “H1N1 and Swine will kill us all.” “New York is underwater by 2012.” And I’m still waiting on Mathus’ infinite population bust.

    “0.5% death rate for the entire population would mean ~1.6 million additional deaths”

    I wouldn’t bet on it. I bet most of those are deaths that would happen anyway – like sales incentives, you’re just pulling them forward. We could save as many or more lives in the next 30 days with the number of people not driving, and not drinking, etc. to say nothing of the upcoming baby boom might triple the deaths. Wouldn’t surprise me if the five-year the death rates are barely statistical noise because you’re just time-shifting. Aside from that, 1.6M is nothing. Spanish Flu barely had effects with 10% rates, and we just absorbed possibly 1M illegal and 1M legal immigrants every year without noticing. So the departure of a million wouldn’t be noticed either except by next-of-kin. “The World is large. It contains multitudes”

    “Influenza is endemic now, so its incidence is not exponentially exploding, and there is a vaccine for it.”

    There is no vaccine. People are still dying of it by ten thousands every year because “the flu” is many things. And did you expect different? Or was everybody going to live forever and die of nothing? If it’s “Dog bites man” no one cares when the rates are in hundred thousands. When it’s “Boy Invents Tesla Robot Dog, Kills Neighbor” it’s suddenly a big deal and the media can’t shut up about it. Or that’s what my lawyers tell me.

  83. Brendhelm & JMG:

    This morning there was an entire flock of Evening Grosbeaks at our feeder on the porch, their almost fluorescent yellow was striking against the snow that fell last night, the Mourning Doves (my favorites) and the Blue Jays were here as well. In other news, Elvis, the Red Squirrel was out and about, scrounging for seeds; the chipmunk brigade too, judging by the footprints in the snow. Late last night, Gary, the three-legged raccoon raided our bird feeder, we knew it was him because he set off the motion light on the porch. I feel sort of sorry for him (her?) with the disability and all, so I just watch so as not to scare him off. The mice, our lodgers in the outside woodbox, look to have had a go at the bird feeder too, based on the quantity of shells at the bottom of the box. Life is going on magnificently despite the turmoil in the human world. It’s good to remember that.

  84. If we are living in the Aeon of Aquarius, what would you say about when the Aeon started and the previous Aeon ended? Thank you.

  85. Dear JMG, Thank you for your responses! To my disappointment, I saw the news this morning that Gabbard has decided to end her bid and support Biden. That may be important for her career, but it more or less nixes the possibility that I will ever vote for her. Basically, my interests lay in a popular democratic candidate who would be willing to split the party, and have the power make a new one in the ashes of the old. When Sanders endorsed Clinton I immediately and permanently lost all enthusiasm for him. Prior to that I had phone-banked for him and donated to his campaign. That is, up to this point, my hopes have been that the Democratic party would go the way of the Whigs and something that might appeal in some small way to my interests might replace it. To my mind, as it relates to my interests, the Democratic Party has indeed crossed that line where they have become the greater of the two evils. Biden represents, to my sensibility at least, the most disastrous candidate I have seen in my lifetime. A relative of mine met Biden some years back and commented “he is the stupidest man I have ever met.” To see the Democratic Party close ranks around him, of all people, finalizes the long road of my losing all allegiance whatsoever to the Democratic Party. At least for me, you’re right, the dream has been prophetic. There’s no way I’m going to stick around the dying party so I might join the triumphant chorus and put my face to the wall.

    Dear Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat, some nights I luck out!

  86. By the way, I am reading “Laurus”, recommended in several places and also very warmly by methylethyl some time ago. Much of it is set during bubonic plague waves in 15th century northern Russia, so I do get some perspective on what a real epidemic is!

  87. @JMG,

    Two questions for you:

    First, in your list of predictions from the last chart, you said “Expect sudden good news from the agriculture or mining industries, sudden bad news from somewhere in the entertainment industry, and hard times for the news media and for internet companies.”

    Do you have sources or hard data you can point to regarding how those respective industries performed in the last six months, and how they confirmed (or didn’t confirm) your prediction?

    Second, in the current post you said “The gridlock in Congress will not be quite as total as it has been in recent years, with at least a few pieces of genuinely useful legislation making their way through the more than Byzantine toils of our lawmaking process.”

    I must admit that I personally am very cynical about Congress’ ability to pass significant legislation these days (I’m of the opinion that nearly all meaningful policy changes in the US in the last fifty years have come from the bureaucracy or the courts instead). I am curious to know what “useful legislation” looks like to you: which of the things that Congress has passed in the last twenty or thirty years would qualify as “useful legislation” to which its outputs over the next year might be effectively compared?

  88. As JMG and most of the commentariat knows, I am a recovering atheist who has been deep in study of Druidry for approximately two and a half years now. The daily routine of Druidry (the Sphere of Protection, discursive meditation, and divination) has been the only buffer between me and the severe anxiety and depression that characterized most of my life before the age of thirty-five. I’m a naturally sensitive, psychic person, except “psychic” does not mean I have clairvoyant access to winning lottery numbers. Instead, it means that the first part of my life rendered me as a flayed, raw bundle of nerves who lived with constant, low-level terror that could not be medicated away. This terror was the organic side effect of living in a world where most people carry huge, unaddressed loads of anxiety, but manage to suppress, deny, and block out the reality of it, often with addictions/ wanton self-destruction. Druidry hasn’t dulled my senses at all, however, it gave me the tools to swim around and float in the lake rather than perpetually drowning in it. As a result, at age forty-six, I’ve achieved a level of calm and mirth that I never would have imagined possible at the awful age of fifteen. Of course I’m neither bulletproof nor plague-proof, but the perspective I have has granted me some immunity to the idiot frequency of hysteria that’s gunking up the astral plane right now. Regardless of whether this is the financial/social/literal Apocalypse or not, it’s worth asking: For what reasons would the elites and upper twenty percent desire Armageddon?

    To Irena, I’ve been recommending hoodoo baths to lessen anxiety, especially to my pals on Facebook, who tend to be depressed and anxious. Whether you believe in them or not, hoodoo baths work, and an added bonus is they’re vegan LOL. To Will J. and others who are feeling the collective buildup of anxiety: Again, the aforementioned hoodoo bath is the Swiss Army knife of anti-anxiety tools. Archdruid Dana Driscoll has excellent advice for self-care.

    To Steve T., I co-sign with you. Maybe there is a silver lining to this cloud — not everyone is a paranoid, small-minded, toilet paper hoarding fool out there. For some, this has been a golden opportunity to spend quality time with their children, learn how to cook from scratch, and to get some much-needed rest, as they weren’t going to figure this out by gentle persuasion.

  89. Aidan, and JMG, my current cynical assumption about the time after the epidemics is that all the old, energy-intensive habits like mass tourism and so on will simply be resumed without change, because people in Western civilization have become unable to change or to even imagine change.

  90. JMG,
    It is ‘fortunate’ that this pandemic is looking likely to increase the protection and appreciation of those less well off and in vital jobs. Same going on in the UK with the Conservative party – in normal times it goes against the grain, though that was seeing a slow change after our last election. I’m not so sure Trump would be doing all this, beyond his moves towards economic protectionism, without a magical happening. Certainly feeds in to your predictions.
    Here’s to a glorious summer.
    J

  91. Your Kittenship, nah, it’s everyone singing about being up against the wall!

    Honey Badger, we’ll probably just bank ours. Sara and I are doing quite well financially these days.

    Ashara, the entire global population won’t get it. In the world’s most populous country, China, the epidemic has already passed its peak and is declining rapidly, and despite repeated exposures, it doesn’t seem to be taking off in Africa at all — there are continuing claims that the specific lung cell targeted by the virus is much more common in some ethnic groups than others. It’s always tempting to fixate on worst case scenarios, but that’s a great way to make bad predictions.

    Kevin, you’re most welcome. At this point I expect the whole thing to have blown over by early May.

    TJ, I expect to see a fair amount of economic reorganization after this is over, with a lot of manufacturing returning from China to the US — good news for our economy, though bad news for China’s. You’re right that the global economy was on its last legs, but that doesn’t mean an end to economic activity — it means that profits now will be made in relocalizing economic activity.

    Booklover, that may well happen in some places. Hasn’t Britain cancelled the upcoming local elections, for that matter?

    Peter, I’m delighted to see this. Twilight’s Last Gleaming was intended as a cautionary tale, not a manual!

    NikoB, every year or so I get people insisting at the top of their lungs that this or that or the other thing is going to be a game-changer, and going into various forms of Donald Duck splutterfest because I don’t agree with them. Of course it turns out that they’re wrong. So are you. I’ll look forward to hearing you try to explain what happened when the current hysteria blows over, as it will.

    Karim, the ecliptic is divided into 12 wedges of 30 degrees each, which are labeled with the signs of the Zodiac. The symbols and numbers by each planet tell you which sign the planet’s in, and which degree and minute of that sign it’s in. Thus the Sun is at 0 degrees 0 minutes of Aries, the Moon at 13 degrees 32 minutes of Aquarius, and so on.

    Absolutegalore, the theory of fragile supply chains has been put to the test several times since then. Do you remember when the Fukushima Daiichi reactor went into meltdown, and a large fraction of Japan’s industrial plant went offline temporarily? A lot of people expected major economic consequences worldwide and, as we know, that didn’t happen. Thus the claims that supply chains are ultrafragile have to be taken with more than a grain of salt — and predictions of imminent fast collapse based on such claims need to go into the dumpster where they belong.

    JustMe, here’s hoping!

    Matthias, according to Wikipedia, hydroxychloroquine is the 128th most prescribed drug in the US today, as it’s also effective for treating lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, among other things. If the latest news stories are correct and it’s been approved for use against the coronavirus, there should be no trouble ramping up production and putting it to work.

    Mister N, no argument there. It’s been bleakly amusing watching the Democratic establishment doing everything it can to avoid being democratic…

    David BTL, fair enough, but iirc state governors in many states do in fact have the right and the power to prohibit public assemblies under penalty of law in the event of a major public health emergency.

    MikeL, if Trump loses the election, the Sun would apply for the last two months of this ingress period to whoever replaces him. The 2018 chart suggested that the outcome of the elections would be something like a tossup, and indeed they were — the Democrats took control of the House but the GOP got a solid majority in the Senate, which it had not previously had. As for Pelosi, no doubt, but I’d noticed already that the behavior of the 11th house ruler seemed to track her actions fairly closely.

    Tude, you’re most welcome, and that’s a fine idea!

    Aidan, I’ll consider a future post on that subject. It’s far too ramified to try to address in a response to a comment.

    Patricia, they can be more devastating — it depends on the nature of the virus. This one seems to be quite mild compared to other pandemics.

    Beekeeper, thanks for this! That’s the news that really matters, of course.

    William, I tend to favor the view that the age of Aquarius began in the last months of 1879. So many of the social changes since then have had a Uranian quality!

    Violet, I was disappointed to hear that she’d suspended her campaign — and yeah, of all the people to run against a brilliant campaigner like Trump, the Dems have settled on Joe Biden??? The odds of a Trump landslide are rising steadily…

  92. @Violet

    I think it quite significant that Gabbard waited to suspend her campaign until right after Biden had announced that he would choose a woman as his running-mate. For political considerations, that woman quite likely will be a woman of color–and Gabbard will definitely be among the strong contenders.

    Biden and Sanders are both from the Silent Generation, the only generation in all of US history that has never given the country even a single president. I would be very surprised if either one, were he to win the election, would live all that long after his inauguration as president–not just because of his age, but on the basis of a certain strong occult-historical hunch of mine.

    The choice of the Democratic nominee’s (presumably Biden’s) running-mate would then be one of the most important issues for the coming election, as that running-mate will likely (IMHO) succeed to the presidency within four years–becoming the nation’s first woman president! If the Democrats do win the 2020 election, we’ll soon be in wholly unforeseen political territory.

    Gabbard might well be taking a very long gamble here. Is she trying to “game” the whole Democratic Party establishment system (which will be far more focused on the nominee than on his running-mate)?

  93. @David, by the lake: I suggest you go ahead and write a draft resolution in advance. I would expect the first thing anyone else on the council to say about the idea is, “Let me read the resolution so I can decide whether I want to support it or not.” Also, they’ll be more likely to support it if they know they won’t be tasked with writing it.

  94. @KCS:

    The important number is excess deaths. Every person has a combination of factors that overwhelm them. None of the factors alone would be sufficient, but in combination they are. So what counts is how many more people are now dying in Italy per week than in the same week of March in previous years. I haven’t seen these numbers. They might be lower than the official numbers for COVID-19 deaths, but they might also be higher if not all cases are well investigated during the current chaos. The blog you cite seems more intent on “exposing” “lies” than on impartially looking for the truth.

  95. Yes, JMG, the local elections of Britain have been postponed. But I cannot know which political consequences it will have, if any. I worried rather about major elections.

  96. Hello all in quarantine throughout Ecosophia!

    The Third Annual Ecosophia Midsummer Potluck will take place, come hell, high water or viral distancing, this June 20th at our house in Providence. This coincides with the Solstice, so I suspect JMG may need to withdraw at some point. Please go to sign up here.

    Are the officials overreacting in a last gasp to show their power? It sure seems that way to me.

    I too am disappointed that Tulsi Gabbard decided to support Biden, especially since I went to the trouble of getting on the ballot as her delegate to the Democratic Convention. I guess the “Vote Cthulhu 2016 2020: Why support the lesser evil?” sign will have to come out of storage. The Dems going with Biden just about guarantees I win my election bet, though.

    JMG, would you consider the Mueller team’s decision to drop charges against Concord Management (part of Russia, Russia, Russia!) a victory for Trump in the courts? Although Trump was not directly involved, it obviously was part of the Borg’s fight against him. Despite the spinning by the House Organ of American Empire (aka The New York Times), this was a defeat for the Borg.

  97. Brother Greer, an online friend coined a term I think you’d appreciate: “Panicdemic”. Hat tip to Michael Z. Williamson.

  98. Thinking about what I am learning from the Cos. Doc., COVID-19 appears to be playing the role of an epigenesis stimulator. It’s something unpredictable, like a mutation. It has proven itself to have the power to generate some predictable responses (like social distancing). I suspect it will have some less predictable responses as well, which if I understand correctly are the hallmark of epigenesis. Among the less predictable responses could be people reassessing their life choices during their enforced semi-isolation and then carrying out actions developed from that reassessment process. The way I see the situation, it’s the enforced semi-isolation leading to time for reflection that is the factor that provides for the unexpected outcomes of epigenesis. If this proves out (which I think it will if isolation goes on long enough), it could be interesting to see the forms those changes take.

    I hadn’t heard that about the antimalaria drug appearing to have some good effects against COVID-19. I wonder if the herbal info on traditional anitmalarials could be applied as well? Time to join Igor in the lab … 😉

  99. Bernie & Tulsi were the Dem’s last gasp. If they’re both gone and brain-dead-Biden is the last gender-neutral-organism standing, well, I have nothing more to say —– except to say that Americans seem to love zombies, and this may well be the election in which we get to choose between two of them. .

  100. HI John

    I just realized that there will be a whole bunch of babies will be born around the date for the 2020 grand mutation, do you have any idea how that would effect them, from an astrological perspective?

    Just curious, no little one on the way for me 😉

  101. Lad Cutekitten – in my We’Moon daybook there is a poem by Stephanie Sellers which begins:

    I asked my mother for 50 cents
    to see a senator jump the fence
    he jumped so far
    he jumped so fast
    when he came down
    he was a thing of the past…”

    [don’t read past that, it goes off into airy-fairy stuff]

    —-singing “Bye, bye, Bernie—-

  102. John–

    Re assemblies

    Perhaps I am wrong. I did ask the city attorney about it and I’m waiting for a reply. I’d argue that a state legislature cannot grant a power it itself does not have (per the first amendment Congress is forbidden to make laws restricting the free exercise of religion, for example, and these restrictions have been long understood to also apply to the states) and forbidding religious assembly strikes me as requiring a very, very high bar indeed. Like I said, I fully understand this makes no difference in any practical sense–I’m seeking to make a philosophical point about limited government and constitutional freedoms, things which tend to get chucked to the side during emergencies when people are in panic mode.

  103. @David, by the Lake, re gubanatorial excesses vs. freedom of religion:

    I’m no lawyer, so I may be mistaken, but I rather think that in all states (except Louisiana), unwritten English common law is part of our national legal system, and–to the best of my limited knowledge–that law has always permitted suspension of any human right (even those guaranteed by our Bill of Rights) to the extent that its exercise would threaten the survival, or even the over-all well-being, of the population at large.

    The notorious case of Mary Mallon (“Typhoid Mary”) may exemplify this. She was forced by the State of New York to spend the last several decades of her life in quarantine as a demonstrrably clear danger to public health. To the best of my memory, this was done to her simply by order of the state Department of Health, without any other legal formalities whatever.

  104. A week or so ago, it seemed like every atypical personality on the Internet was making the same joke: “We’re supposed to practice ‘social distancing’? I’ve been practicing that for (x) years!” (To which all their counterparts on the Internet responded with a collective “very funny, Captain Obvious” eye roll). When I told it to my one non-nerdy sister over the phone, though, she thought it was hilarious!

    But it’s clear that a lot of people like her really are finding the reality of social distancing difficult. And not just ones who have good reasons to be stressed out (such as financial uncertainty, or having to deal with cooped-up kids at home, or being unable to visit vulnerable loved ones). Many people really are finding the present unavailability of cinemas, bars, in-restaurant meals, clubs, concerts, casinos, resorts, and sports events difficult to bear. it reminds me that yeah, different people are different, but also what you’ve said about people being unable to stand being alone with their own thoughts.

    Which gives me the odd idea of taking the joke more literally: is there any possibility that people who “practice” social distancing might be able to productively teach it? And beyond that, general coping skills? Short of explicit occult training, I mean, though there’s clearly some conceptual overlap there. I’m picturing “demotivational speakers” and interactive exercises promoting such “skills” as appreciating what you have, resisting peer pressure, defining success sanely, coping with changed expectations, awareness of insidious persuasive thought systems (the “bucket list” comes to mind as a prime example), and loving the world as it is. One can read the tenets of stoicism or Kipling’s “If—” but they don’t teach you how (and I cynically doubt most people today can learn how from reading the stoics’ books, even well-annotated versions). By “short of explicit occult training” I mean a meditative practice could be part of the curriculum, but probably not divination (unless disguised somehow), nor rituals that invoke entities by name.

    Hmm. This could be a pipe dream, but I’ll ask anyway.

    I hope it’s sufficiently close to on topic. It’s inspired by current events but not really related to your astrological reading.

  105. Oh, Beekeeper, that’s wonderful! The Muscovy ducks in the lake by my apartment house had a second batch of ducklings – tiny, still downy, but neither the babies nor many of the older ducks were out today. I think they’re sheltering in the cypress swamps that border the lake. But the tiny lizards that were scuttling around everywhere have come out again, now that the daytime high are up in the high 80s, and the lows in the gentle 60s. Of the small egrets (curved bills) at the lake, I only saw one today, and didn’t see the snowy egret at all. OTH, that was around 9:30 am. I think you get a lot more activity in the early morning and at twilight.

    I’m enjoying the silence and solitude and the piles of paper To Be Dealt with dwindling to nothing, and when I see people, the sight and sound of them is far more noticeable. Though talking at “social distance” can be hard in a hard-of-hearing population.

  106. John–

    Re assemblies, etc.

    All that said, I appreciate your input on it. I tend to get into philosophical mode on things like that, abstract rights versus practical realities. Rather like believing that political leadership ought to be a noble calling rather than crass manipulation of the public. Sigh.

    I’ll get down off my soapbox now.

  107. Wesley, I present traditional mundane astrological readings for those who find them useful. If you don’t, by all means ignore them.

    Booklover, it’ll be interesting to see whether that happens or not. I’m not quite so cynical about our species’ capacity for change as you are.

    Jay, I think both Trump and Johnson have realized that they can cut their political opponents off at the knees by remembering that conservative parties used to appeal to the working classes too. This epidemic has accelerated that, but I don’t think it caused it.

    Booklover, of course. My point was simply that in a small way, it’s already happening.

    Peter, thank you for this! Fortunately there’s some flexibility around solstices and equinoxes — the window in which ritual work can be done to tap into the energies of the season extends 48 hours out from the moment of the solstice or equinox, so I can equally well do the ceremony the day before or after. As for the collapse of the case against Concord Management, I think that counts, but I suspect the indication in the chart is for something on a larger scale.

    Sister BoysMom, that’s a good one! I was also amused to see this:

    SLClaire, good! Yes, the CoVID-19 virus is doing to a lot of people what the process of descending the planes does for the Lords of Mind: it gives us plenty of time by ourselves to get bored and engage in epigenesis. I have high hopes for the aftermath. As for herbal treatments for malaria, that would indeed be worth checking — it’s possible that the coronavirus has vulnerabilities that parallel those of the Plasmodium that causes malaria.

    Phutatorius, one of whom seems to be considerably more alive than the other.

    Skyrider, I haven’t yet found anything that indicates that it would mean more than any other Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the natal chart. Still, it’s a worthwhile question.

    David, I’ll be interested to hear what the city lawyer turns up. I’d understood that health and safety concerns trump most other issues in the short term — e.g., a fire marshal can limit the number of people who can be in a church for safety reasons, even though that technically interferes with their freedom of religion. But I’m ready to be corrected!

  108. Building off this thread… “SLClaire, good! Yes, the CoVID-19 virus is doing to a lot of people what the process of descending the planes does for the Lords of Mind: it gives us plenty of time by ourselves to get bored and engage in epigenesis. I have high hopes for the aftermath. As for herbal treatments for malaria, that would indeed be worth checking — it’s possible that the coronavirus has vulnerabilities that parallel those of the Plasmodium that causes malaria.”

    I feel morbid saying it but sometimes reality is the fresh air of death…. I mean divorcing ourselves from biological reality means we have all light and no shadow.

    Earlier today, I heard on Tim Pool’s channel that Pelosi and Chuck Schumer came out against Trump’s aid package. I believe in order for coronavirus to have a lasting impact on our culture, the timescale of the outbreak/lockdowns will have to last a couple of months. We need to be shocked out of the comatose state bought on by the narrative of infinite progress. Three weeks of quarantine isn’t going to do it. I think the supply chain disruption needs to be completely undone before things change.

    JMG earlier I said that I expect a default in a few months to a few years… After reflecting a few days, I think you’re right it will be longer than that. In the meantime you should find people willing to play prognosticating roulette with you, wagering say beer/drink of choice? Could be a good way to get free drinks.

  109. Patricia, in my dad’s last nursing home, every day a mother duck (mallard, I think, though I’m not really up on my wild ducks) would lead her little fluffballs to the pond outside his window, around noon-ish usually, and at some signal from Mom that was imperceptible to humans, the dozen or so fluffballs would SCATTER everywhere! It was cute and very funny.

    One day a nurse came down the hall, duckling in hand. In the daily scattering, this duckling had gone into the pond and a visitor rescued it for fear it would drown. Nurse said she’d take it home to her farm. I suspect what she really did was quietly return the duckling to Mom.

    I think reform of the educational system should include teaching about the native plant and animal wildlife. Had the kindly visitor known about ducks, she wouldn’t have caught the duckling, which was doubtless a frightening experience for it, and teaching kids what’s going on outdoors is helpful info they can use. It could replace gym class.

  110. For those concerned about Tulsi Gabbard endorsing Biden: I can’t imagine it was an easy choice, but I also don’t think she could have done otherwise and maintained any hope of representing the Democratic Party in the future. Like her “present” vote on impeachment, it seems to me a wise and calculated decision.

    @JMG I’m glad to hear your far-less-than-panicked outlook on COVID-19. From my perspective the degree to which the economy has been ordered to shut down in the last week seems unprecedented – maybe back to WWII? – and profound lasting effects seem likely even if it only lasts 2-4 weeks in total – but then I might be surprised. This morning I was researching the effects of economic recessions on life expectancy – on the assumption that if this crisis triggers a recession/depression it might have a larger death toll than an uncontained epidemic – and I was surprised to learn that life expectancy generally increases at such times. Who knows, maybe an enforced, and partially paid, monthlong staycation will have positive effects on people’s lives…

  111. @JMG said, “Wesley, I present traditional mundane astrological readings for those who find them useful. If you don’t, by all means ignore them.”

    I think you might have misunderstood my comment; I’m not criticizing your reading, and I’m genuinely curious for more information about the good news from the agriculture or mining industries, and bad news for the entertainment industry and news media, that you seem to be saying has prevailed over the last six months. In what ways have you seen their fortunes going up and down respectively?

  112. Hi All

    Regarding to coronavirus, it is true that the people who are dying are the big majority above 65 years, 80% in USA up to today are older than 65 years (20% under), but the hospitals have the following statistics:

    “Overall, 31% of cases, 45% of hospitalizations, 53% of ICU admissions, and 80% of deaths associated with COVID-19 were among adults aged ≥65 years”

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6912e2-H.pdf

    47% of people in ICU’s that need ventilators, just to survive, are younger than 65 years

    There is a complete study of people hospitalized in Hubei, and they say:

    “Results: Of the 1,590 cases, the mean age was 48.9 years. Severe cases accounted for 16.0% of the study population…399 (25.1%) reported having at least one comorbidity”

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.25.20027664v1

    So of all the people hospitalized in Hubei only 25% had comorbidity or pre-existing conditions (so 75% have not) and the average age for hospitalized is 48,9 years, so it is simply not true that about “for the people below 70 is a normal flu”

    The real problem is a lot of people under 70 need help to breath to not die, but if the hospitals are overwhelmed many of them will die for a preventable cause.

    Even young and sportmen have huge lung problems:

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/17/coronavirus-doctor-says-lung-scans-for-young-patients-were-nothing-short-of-terrifying/

    Of course the survival probability for young people is much higher IF you have functioning hospitals and ICU’s well provided of ventilators, if you overwhelm them, the fatality ratio will increase dramatically, now the Lombardy hospital are making triage routinely to save some people and let die many

    No, this is not a flu, and I think you will see it in USA as we are seeing it in Spain

    Cheers
    David

  113. Patricia Matthews –

    True Muscovy duck story: A good friend of mine has a farm, some chickens, mostly dairy goats. A lot of dairy goats. A mutual acquaintance strongly suggested that Mrs. Farmer get a bunch of Muscovies to eat the flies in the barn and at first it was wonderful: the ducks cleared the barn of flies and the goats were happy. Then, the ducks discovered the deliciousness of cat food in the the barn cats’ dishes. Ducks are no dummies; scarfing down cat kibble is considerably less effort than chasing flies. So Mrs. Farmer moved the cat dishes too high for the chubby ducks to reach, but still accessible to the cats. Almost immediately the ducks developed a taste for goat chow. By this time the ducks are waddling around, no longer fast enough to catch even the most arthritic fly, and the fly situation is back where it started. Mrs. Farmer found someone else – with a pond – who was interested in Muscovy ducks to eat the flies in his barn (she does not refer to this kindly person as a ‘sucker’), so the five were rehomed.

    We do not have egrets in this neck of the woods, but it won’t be all that long before the Wild Turkey mamas hatch their young and we see them walking, in a tight line, down the road that leads off the mountain and into the village. The locals know to drive carefully and not too fast in spring so as not to startle the little ones.

    P.S. ALL baby animals are adorable. We are eagerly awaiting receipt of our day-old chicks for 2020 so it’ll be excitement all around, including for our four cats, who spend hours peering at the babies through the screening on the brooder. Best cat TV for the money.

  114. @JMG: So would you say that people are overreacting by socially distancing themselves? I know some millennials and Gen Z’ers are making a show about going about their lives as usual and attending public events, since the virus is mostly just fatal to elderly and inmunocompromised people. Personally, I think that seems short-sighted and selfish, but maybe you have a different take.

    I’ve also seen people on the far-right and far-left espousing conspiracy theories about how the virus is really a hoax created by the American or Chinese government, and they’re likewise refusing to isolate themselves. Same goes for some of the more extreme sects of the Religious Right, who think that the pandemic is a divine punishment and that believers will be spared. No reason to cancel Sunday mass if God will protect you from getting sick, after all. It’s all very surreal to me, and I really don’t know how this will play out if people refuse to take basic precautions. Do you think it will make a difference?

  115. John, et al.

    Re liberties and their limitations

    As I thought on it more, I *do* understand that there are limits and trade-offs in the practical world, as opposed to the abstract realm to which my mind tends to go when discussing these things. It still grates that such things are necessary, however necessary they might be, but that isn’t overly relevant.

    Here are the responses of the city manager and city attorney, in pertinent part:

    City Manager:
    I understand your concern on this issue, David. I did discuss the specific issues of places of worship with [the police chief] yesterday, and it is not his intent to cite people who are gathered for worship–not initially, at least. I would welcome [the city attorney]’s feedback on this, in the event “push comes to shove” on this matter

    City Attorney:
    If “push comes to shove” I’ll do the research necessary to provide a formal legal opinion. If you’d be satisfied now with a preliminary response, I give it at this time.

    Although I sometimes think that certain proponents of the Second Amendment believe otherwise, the fact is that Constitutional rights are not absolute, and have been and may be subject to limitations and restrictions. The right to freely assemble, for example, doesn’t sanction mob violence. The right of freedom of association doesn’t sanction associating with the Mafia or joining any other criminal combination. The right to free expression is subject to time, place and manner restrictions.

    The law recognizes that governments, state, federal and local, have certain “police powers” needed to protect the public health, safety and welfare. The exercise of legal rights by individuals may in some cases be contrary to public health, safety and welfare. When that’s the case, and the conflict is direct, the law recognizes that public health, safety and welfare may take precedence. When it does, the law also recognizes that legal rights of individuals may be restricted. That’s particularly the case in times of emergency. The classic example of an emergency warranting limitation of constitutional rights is wartime.

    Obviously, people can disagree regarding whether an emergency exists, and whether or not steps taken in response to an emergency are appropriate. And, there are many who feel that emergency powers granted are extreme. But this I think is the rationale available to justify emergency powers in the law.

    Hope that helps.

    I want to write something about the “muck of Malkuth” in contrast to the “sublimity of Kether” here but I realize even as I think it that I’m a) falling into a binary, b) failing to acknowledge the inherent limitations of human existence, and c) whining.

    Lessons, lessons everywhere.

  116. I’d like to propose my interpretation of the Ingress chart for my country, Austria. Your comments would be greatly appreciated!

    We are seeing an ascendant in the last degrees of Pisces, thus in conjunction with the Sun (ruler of house VI). This could mean that our chancellor will find huge political credit by his management of the Corona health crisis. The ruler of VI being a strongly placed Sun would also mean that we get through this with a relatively small death toll.

    Jupiter (ruler of IX and X) and Saturn (ruler of XI) in conjunction with each other and with Mars would mean that the government, jurisdiction and parliament work closely together, with good results. Moon, ruler of V, is badly placed in XII and squaring Venus. As the upper House (the federal council) is rather insignificant in our constitution, my guess is that the powerful regional governors will lose influence to the central government.

    The population, on the other hand, will pay a smaller death toll by remaining in severe lockdown (Moon and Neptune, ruler of I, in XII). The Moon squaring a better placed Venus (ruler of II at the cusp of II, trine Mars), might indicate that the interests of the economy will be prioritized over those of the common people, or at least their more vocal parts (artists forbidden to perform due to lockdown?). This is mitigated by Venus’ sextile aspect with the ruler of I, so the damage to the population as a whole won’t be tot bad.

    Liberty of speech and Agriculture might not do well, as they are both ruled by Mercury in XII and in its fall, due to government restrictions and climate change and /or problems by closed borders and lack of foreign workforce for harvesting.

  117. JMG- about that hippie soap, which I, too, use – how well does it work in hard water? Which we have here in Florida. I’ve used it for hand washing things, but not, say, as a hand, face, or bath soap (could).

    Thanks,

    Pat.

  118. I believe both this forecast and my own divinations, but also the effects I can see with my own eyes. So I figure there must be a way to reconcile these two things.

    My thoughts on how the really dire short term economic effects we’re seeing may not translate into more than a gentle bump on the slope down are from Timothy Morgan’s summary of what lowering interest rates to extend credit to more businesses did. If there is a small pool of money to loan, you invest in only the most likely to make money back – the best one. The larger the pool gets, you start investing in more businesses, which means some third rate ones start creeping in there. With lots of loose credit, you’re thrusting money at the dregs.

    Today, I got this from the BC Economic Development Institute. Granted they have incentive to beg for the newly opened federal trough to point their way, but, out of 8000 respondents :

    -90% of businesses are “currently being impacted by COVID-19”
    -Of those impacted, 83% are seeing a “drop in revenue, business, or deal flow”
    -91% anticipate a further “decrease in revenue in the near-term” [sic]
    -73% of businesses expect their revenues will drop by 50% or more (with nearly a quarter saying revenues will drop by 100%)
    -Half of the respondents say they will be “temporarily shutting down” their offices.
    -64% of respondents expect to reduce their staff by over half (with a quarter saying they will be reducing their staff by 100%).

    Oh yes, and Canadian oil is trading at $5.21/barrel.

    How many of those businesses were making or doing something really useful, and how many were pipe dreams enabled by easy credit, or already on their last legs due to market changes, retiring owners or just poor business sense. Most businesses that fail do so for being too ambitious in expansion plans in their first year’s, and lacking a real business plan. Sounds likes the oil sands…

    Perhaps all that will happen is redirecting workers to solid propositions. And, as some have pointed out, others realising less work is not so bad, and less income is actually doable. After my first maternity leave (Canada, 1 year) we discovered without going out all the time, and “needing” to save money for flying vacations, we needed 40% less income even with a kid. I suspect a lot more people could just happily not reenter the work force.

  119. Then again, the Ingress chart of Italy differs only by a few degrees, so that Neptune (ruler of I) is closer to the ascendant than the sun, and you can’t talk of samll death toll there… at least before the equinox…

  120. @Steve:

    Regarding rabies: The source for the figures I cited is:

    https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/location/usa/surveillance/

    That 55000 rabies deaths you mentioned refers to world mortality, virtually all of which occurs in places like Haiti; i.e. Third World. My figure (2 cases) are for the US. IMO, rabies does not offer a useful reference point in discussing Corona virus per my first comment.

    Back to CV, you wrote “Extrapolating the current total of 9000 deaths in 8 weeks to a full year estimates the annual mortality at: 58,500”. My reply again is that this extrapolation is NOT valid, because it assumes that those deaths occurred over a fixed rate over those 8 weeks. They did not. I wrote: “For the Covid-19 pandemic, we have repeatedly seen case doubling rates of 6 days over a period of weeks in China, South Korea, Italy, etc… So Steve, looking at the current death toll, and extrapolating it linearly is invalid: The case rate and death rate are riding upward on an exponential curve, and we need to forecast off THAT”.

    To expand, here’s some incidence data for a few countries (these are plots I found quickly):

    Great Britain:
    https://imgur.com/uo3Mui3

    Canada:
    https://www.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID_19_cumulative_Canada_MAR16b-810×454.png?c1ffa

    Luxemburg:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2e/COVID-19_total_cases_in_Luxembourg.svg/640px-COVID-19_total_cases_in_Luxembourg.svg.png

    Italy:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/ITALYFIVE_0.png?itok=Xy1P_2I9

    (Mortality curves would show smaller numbers, but have the same shape).

    Those are exponential curves, and are what I am referring to. That’s how epidemics spread in a naive population. When extrapolating, you must extrapolate those curves, which reflect doubling every 6 days or so, and not off some horizontal line, which by definition assumes a constant average mortality rate. That sort of extrapolation is what produces huge, scary numbers. If considering Italy, say, on Feb 25 when there were 450 cases, and I were to forecast that by Mar 17, there could be 40,000 cases, you’d probably think I was being alarmist and crazy. But no, look at the graph: THAT’S WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. And it hasn’t topped out yet. That’s why Italy is locked down.

    I wish our educational system equipped people to grasp and wield the concept of exponential growth (i.e. the simple mathematics derived from doubling periodically). It’s a big deal.

    Steve, you just wrote: “My point here is that the statistics do NOT support the claim that Covid-19 is some kind of zombie apocalypse.” Now I never implied there will be a zombie apocalypse. I will restate: The issue at hand for our leadership is RISK MANAGEMENT to forestall the risk of our health care system becoming overwhelmed by the ferocious case growth that Italy (and Europe) is seeing. That exponential growth curve is at work here in the US. What’s to stop it from reaching Italy-like levels, or beyond? Hydroxychloroquine? I sure hope so. But that’s not a done deal, and why extraordinary measures such as shut-downs are being ordered.

    Steve, you write “The only plausible explanation is that someone out there is hoping for some ill-gotten gain from the panic reaction.” I seem to recall our host does not take too kindly to conspiracy theories, but he has given this one a pass. IMO, this is one whopper of a conspiracy theory if I’ve eve heard one.

  121. Violet,

    “When Sanders endorsed Clinton I immediately and permanently lost all enthusiasm for him. ”

    Me too. He had also once said that he would never tell us who to vote for and if he did we should discount it.
    Sorry about Tulsi. That’s a serious black mark.

  122. ***which by definition assumes a constant average CASE rate***,
    not ***which by definition assumes a constant average mortality rate*** in the 4th from last paragraph. I’m talking case rates here, not mortality rates. Sorry.

  123. JMG – Do you think all the social distancing and government -ordered closures are sensible and appropriate (for managing the pressure on medical personnel and hospitals)? Or do you see it as excessive or authoritarian overreach in some way, such as to use/manufacture crisis to suppress populist momentum? Curious what you think; I don’t know how best to interpret it.

  124. @Violet, my New Year’s dream this year was similar to your dream, We were all playing and laughing and chanting a similar line (which I cannot relate here because the Dream Master gave it to me as a protective spell), but my husband was in handcuffs. I read that dream to mean that whatever terrors happen this year, go along with it in good humor.
    Trace back the deeper meaning of the song you were singing and actions you were doing in the dream. I think it is a good sign that it the dream was light-hearted
    My series of dreams that night were unremittingly negative: floods, tornadoes and political repression. I was told to expect more than a dozen crises. Each time the line we were chanting comes back and I feel some comfort.

  125. A couple of thoughts about that Uranus in the 6th house, as a significator of the coronavirus.

    I will reason every assestment as to make it understandable to everyone and to allow you to replicate me to every point.I apologize if it sounds rude or something, not by any means my intention.

    First, by my limited understanding, the fact that a planet is in his fall does not make it weak, but rather brings out his worse qualities. In the case of Uranus, that will mean disruptions rather than breakthoughs, and egoism rather than individuality etc etc acording to every position and aspect

    Second, a square aspect with a essentially dignified saturn in capricorn does not seem like a minor factor, even considering that saturn its in an intercepted sign. Uranus square to saturn spells sudden, shattering trouble; and the position of uranus in the 6th marks the source quite clearly.

    My third point will be that a planet in a cadent house is “weak” in terms of the whole chart, because such houses ( 3, 6, 9, 12) cover areas of life which are normally on the everyday background.

    Conversely however, in those very limited fields, the influence is rendered powerfull.

    Four, here i need your help, because i don’t know the significators of mundane astrology very well, but…
    Uranus is ruler of the 3rd house, and the moon is in that house.
    Doesn’t the moon stands for at least some part of the overall national health?

    Finally, i reckon that Uranus is in the first degrees of the 6th house, and that seems to suport the idea that its efects, whatever they will be, will happen at the very beggining of the period the chart covers, ?

    My sintesis, then will be that the pandemic will hit hard while it lasts, but it’s enduring efects will be on an economic level, since saturn is in the 2th. and there are no more important aspects. But the fact that is saturn which takes the hit points more to “monetary structure” than to money in itself, thus i wonder if, for exemple, banks will be badly afected somehow, or other saturnian monetary actors.( i fail to see other correspondences right now)

    Venus ruling the 6, in good aspect with jupiter in the 2 says that things will end well were health is regarded, but with significant governmental expenditure in order to bring that outcome( especially since jupiter is in capricorn)

    The overall efect, as you pointed out, will not be by any means critic in your country i think but as a ruler of the third and with the moon and mercury in there, i gather that people will be talking and mulling over the event for the remainder of the year. Again, the Uranus-Saturn square has a component of trauma, people will be collectively shocked by it.

  126. I was walking in the forest preserve on Tuesday and saw two formations of sandhill cranes in the sky. I didn’t know what they were — I thought they were odd-sounding, large geese until a guy on the path saw me staring up at them and said they are sandhill cranes migrating north to Canada.

    To Violet: I feel the exact same way about Tulsi Gabbard. I lost all faith in Bernie when he turned tail and supported Hillary in 2016. She needs to be willing to break with the Democratic establishment. They are the Titanic and they’ve already hit the (orange) iceberg.

    The mayor of Chicago announced today that Chicago schools would be closed until “at least” April 20. Ugh.

  127. I received the following message this morning from a scientist whose name I am not ready to reveal, but has a number of papers in infometrics and scientometrics, medical informatics and the like:

    Now is a really good time to debate the distinction between the ‘virus’ and the ‘disease’. Six months ago, such a debate would not get one line in the NYT or WaPo, and after the upcoming USA Presidential election, will probably revert to a similar status (slightly more). Now, with almost global quarantine getting peoples’ attention, is the perfect time to debate this issue.

    We are exposed to myriad viruses, and many can be measured in and on the human body (https://www.the-scientist.com/features/viruses-of-the-human-body-32614). Some may be beneficial, some may not be. If viral exposure were the main determinant of disease, we would never have developed as a species, much less survived as a species. So, the central question is, what determines whether viral exposure will transition into infection, and, for some segment of the population (for the flu, SARS, COVID-19 viruses, mainly the elderly with co-morbidities), infection transitioning to fatal disease (mainly pneumonia, for the viruses listed above)? Based on my reading of the biomedical literature, it is the combination of the virus in question with the toxic stimuli exposure cocktail that is central to this determination. In a sense, the virus becomes the trigger to a gun that is fully loaded!

  128. Kind Sir,

    A bit off topic, but with everyone going on about corona here, i thought i might add to the noise.

    It seems to me in a funny way this is the virus everyone was waiting for.
    For the political class this is the perfect excuse to deflate a badly overheated stock market without having to take the blame.
    The same thing applies to business elites. A lot of businesses were surprisingly fast in announcing downsizing after the virus became the big story.
    For the long suffering mainstream media it is simply a wet dream. Things just don’t get much better than this. You got everyone’s attention now. And even better, no personal risk whatsoever.
    For gen x, finally something that reduces the baby boomer burden we’ve been labouring under for all our lives.
    For baby boomers, well you didnt really think you’d live forever, did you? Come to think of it you probably did, so this could be a valuable learning experience for you.
    For the average punter: we are simply exhausted. Life has been increasingly frantic for the last 40 years. Neoliberal stone age economics, all out competition fuelled by insane immigration levels (at least here in australia), social media, taking the kids to school, soccer, piano lessons and a million other things they have to attend these days, trying to have the body of a 20 year old long after hitting 40, catching up with house prices. The red queen on steroids.
    A few weeks of not having to participate in all this madness might not sound that horrible. Certainly not as long as there’s beer in the fridge.

  129. Hi John Michael,

    Don’t have much to add here being a foreigner and all, but I did rather enjoy your words: “feel their strength and to start pushing for changes that have been completely off the table for decades now”.

    I have remarked to several people over the past week whilst also reminding them, that the flipside of crisis is opportunity for change that was previously unthinkable.

    There is a lot of inequity in place right now. The young are being asked to give more than they should to others without a consequent loss of perquisites and benefits from the older folks. Something has to give here. Still it is early days, but people are being laid off in the tens of thousands. The bills don’t also disappear.

    My wife and I went out for dinner the other night, as small business in particular is doing it really tough (and the young folks who work in such businesses) and they need support now more than ever before. Now my age begins with a 4 and I tell ya what, we were the oldest folks around. Strange days.

    You guys up there are lucky to be at the beginning of your growing season. There are so few people working in agriculture down here that few people realise how bad the last growing season was down here due to the early cold weather, crazy hot weather, fires, and droughts. About the worst season that I can recall.

    Incidentally, I’m beginning to wonder if the reduced particulate matter in the atmosphere due to lower industrial output might not have strange environmental impacts across the planet? Not sure, but down here when clear sunny skies dominate the centre of the continent, the heat builds and spreads, and the rest of the continent quakes in fear – or they should. The particulate matter does actually affect the cloud layer. The bushfires down here a few months back have significantly shifted the cloud layer and rainfall patterns. The indigenous folks probably knew that with their fire stick farming.

    Cheers

    Chris

  130. Since toilet paper 🧻 is a hot topic right now, may I recommend Wiped: The Curious History Of Toilet Paper, by Ronald H. Blumer. It’s well-written, which is not always the case with Kindle Unlimited.

  131. @Aidan re: social cocooning

    I suspect this will probably be the apex of the cocooning trend, if only because I can’t imagine it physically going further than literally being told to stay away from everyone else. I’ve been feeling an increasing desire to NOT want to social-distance that started before this pandemic. It definitely will if, for any reason, the internet goes out for more than a day (incidentally making most work-from-home setups impossible). Possibly even just if Netflix goes out for more than a day. Not that I think that will necessarily happen, mind you.

    Likewise, this is probably peak “cancel culture,” if only because basically everything has now been canceled.

  132. Hi Ashara,

    Several dioceses around the country have canceled Mass obligations through the end of April. This is noteworthy because we’re coming up on Christendom’s big religious holiday.

    JMG, you have previously mentioned once being poor, and recently you mentioned that now you aren’t. (Yay!) Since a lot of people will be becoming a lot poorer, can you share some suggestions on how to go from poor to not?

  133. Augustus, of course Pelosi and Schumer came out against Trump’s aid package. Their plan would turn the aid into the same kind of “targeted” slush fund that Obama’s bailot of the banks became; sending checks directly to citizens does an end run around the federal bureaucracy, and opens the door to similar measures aimed at the welfare state more generally.

    Mark, yes, it generally does! I suspect some very good things will come out of this.

    Wesley, if you’re that interested, why, I’m sure you can find a search engine and do the work yourself. Have fun!

    Your Kittenship, the one time I was there was during an H.P. Lovecraft convention, and the ghosts hid in the closets to keep from attracting the attention of shoggoths, night-gaunts, and ghouls…

    DFC, Hubei is an outlier; nowhere else on the planet has shown the same pattern. In Italy, more than 99% of those who died already had serious health complications — nearly half had three or more serious conditions.

    Tony, no doubt. I stand by my prediction.

    Ashara, I think it’s quite reasonable to take the same precautions we took back when the Hong Kong flu was going through back in ’68. (Yes, I remember that dimly; I was 6 at the time.) I certainly don’t support either side’s conspiracy theories.

    David, that’s pretty much what I expected you’d get. Interesting. Yeah, Malkuth is messy.

    Admin, that seems quite reasonable — but then you’re right about Italy.

    Patricia M, I’ve never lived in a place with hard water, but my understanding is that Dr. Bronner’s soap doesn’t handle that well.

    Sara, thanks for this. Is the Canadian government planning on extending financial aid to businesses?

    Will, why not cast it for yourself and see?

    Katherine, it’s normal behavior in the face of a highly contagious respiratory illness. I see it as quite reasonable, especially in communities with a large population of vulnerable seniors.

    Guillem, that seems quite reasonable. Now we get to watch and see how things turn out, and then relate that back to our respective readings.

    Patricia O, true enough. The microbe is only part of the puzzle.

    DropBear, I wonder how many other people have begun to think in the same terms at this point in the game.

    Chris, no question, it’ll be fascinating to see what the sharp decrease in air pollution does to the weather.

    Your Kittenship, I drew a Tarot card to assess that book, and this is what I got:

    As for once being poor and now being comfortable, that’s a very common experience for writers. It’s rare for any one book to make a lot of money, but the more books you have out there, the more likely you are to get a decent income from all of them. In my case, tips from my online tip jar (thank you, everyone, for contributing to that!) and more recently income from my political astrology essays via Patreon and SubscribeStar have taken things a good deal further. I’m not sure how well that will apply to anyone else’s situation, though — I pretty consistently prosper by doing exactly the opposite of the generally accepted advice…

  134. Everyone has exciting dreams but me! Well, last night I did dream of a Burmese cat sitting on the desk , looking out the window. We don’t own a Burmese cat; perhaps, catlike, it wandered in from a dream where there was too much excitement, to my nice boring dream where it could sleep in peace.

  135. *chortle*. We need that charitable guy on the card, handing out toilet paper 🧻!

    I forgot to mention, re the Burmese of my dreams. One day in real life my father had the door propped open to bring in something large, and a curious basset hound wandered in and inspected the parental domicile. Then it hung around until my mom got concerned it would get hungry. So she gave it some leftover meat and a bowl of water. It thanked her politely, left, and no one on our street ever saw it again, so it must have found its way home, as they carefully watched the lost-and-found ads for a couple of weeks and no one had lost a basset hound wearing a red collar. Why it picked their house they never did figure out.

  136. We have hard water—REALLY hard water, we have to put Jetdry-type stuff in the dishwasher, although the Finish brand works better on our water. Big Yellow has been blooming almost continuously for the 3 years it’s been here. The spider 🕷 plant, contrariwise, puts out lots of leaves but no babies. The others are boring foliage plants because we have those stupid high, tiny, ‘50’s ranch-house windows. Our last betta lived 2 1/2 years with just the standard water treatments. In sum, hard water is not necessarily the disaster many people think it is.

  137. @ Walt

    I can give you my perspective as an expert-level social distancer.

    As a younger man (I’m still not quite old), I did all the things that our culture says are ‘cool’ – went to festivals, bars, nightclubs, live music etc. I never enjoyed myself and, in fact, was mostly physically ill afterwards. I figured it was all part of the experience or probably just due to drinking too much. After all, everybody went to these things and seemed to have a good time.

    At some point I figured that I should test whether it was the alcohol. I stopped drinking altogether. However, when I went to events or venues with large crowds I felt ill the next day. Exactly like a hangover. I finally realised that it was the act of being in crowds that made me sick.

    Perhaps a good thing to come out of all this will be people who are in the same boat I was will realise that they simply don’t get along with crowds and that life gets a whole lot better once you learn just to do what’s right for you.

  138. @Lady CuteKitten

    My wife and I stayed in that hotel for a few nights right after we moved to Providence in 1967. The place felt as UNghostly as possible.

    Weisskopf and his chickens were mentioned from time to time, as a sort of “weird, but really neat” thing about Providence. IIRC, he lived up on the roof of the hotel in a sort of penthouse that is still there.

    There was never a hint of any Satanism in connection with either Weisskopf or the Biltmore until the 2010s, when someone–probably a tour guide–first made the claim. It’s about then that talk of hot springs in the basement first appeared. Since the hotel is built on land-fill from the 19th century, hot springs would be geologically implausible.

  139. I’ll join the chorus of people who aren’t voting for Biden. It actually suits me fine that Biden will likely be the nominee, because if and when he loses, it will be the Clinton/Obama vision of the future taking it in the teeth. If Bernie had won the nomination and lost the general election, the corporate Dems would get to pretend that everything is fine with their platform, for just a little longer.

    Here’s what I’m curious to see, though:

    In my experience, every time the Democrats suffer a loss, they engage in snarling recriminations of anyone who didn’t tow the party line. This is probably pretty natural, but it seems to occur to such a degree that the core of the Democratic party never has to suffer from in-house criticism.

    I expect to see that same pattern this time, too, but will they be able to completely evade a hard look in the mirror? I don’t know.

  140. JMG, may I send your image of Toilet Paper Man to a few family and friends? I’ll refer them back to the site—for one thing, they’ll want to see TPM in all his original glory!

  141. JMG,

    Thanks for this essay and chart explanation. I’m wondering if there’s anything in the chart to suggest perhaps a different kind of virus could have an effect on things? With so many people now shifted to the internet to work from home, it seems like an easy take down for a hacker. Considering the reliability on the “cloud” in general, perhaps that would have already been in play. Doubt there is any basis for this in astrological readings considering how relatively new the technology is, but figured it would be worth considering. An internet hiccup right now would be crippling for the mainstream economy.

    On the flip side of all this hysteria, it’s been my observation that more people here in Northern California are angling toward local agriculture as a source for food. That’s encouraging. Prost!

  142. I would also add that I think that once this virus clears, the populous will resume business as usual. We may even get more pining about colonizing Mars or some other shale pipe dream to avoid future plagues. It’ll be interesting to see when the dust settles if there’s any sort loss of faith in the religion of progress.

  143. All this talk about balancing individual rights with public safety makes me think about how Ron Paul (a man I usually admire) is responding to this whole Coronavirus business – by penning opinion pieces about how it’s all a great exaggeration meant to strip people of their liberties, and calling Anthony Fauci “the chief fearmonger of the Trump Administration.”

    To me it seems like a pretty clear example of what our host calls “knowing only one story,” and for a libertarian like Ron Paul, the one story is “the government has too much power.” The thing is, that one story is pretty good at explaining a lot of events going on these days – which is probably why libertarianism has so much appeal – but when you try to stuff the Coronavirus into that mold (or into any of the other dumb political molds into which it’s being stuffed right now) you look like a deluded nutcase.

    I used to call myself a libertarian, and I still think that libertarians have a lot of good ideas and that we should generally listen to their arguments. But does their single story, all on its own, actually make sense of the world? Hardly.

  144. Hello JMG, Steve and all:

    There is another salient point I wish I had brought up earlier: Even though most who die are old/sick to begin with, most of those who get hospitalized and go on to recover are younger and generally healthy. If those people didn’t get hospitalized, many would die, and this illness would no longer “just” have a ~1% case fatality rate confined to the old and sick. I suspect fear of this prospect is a driver behind the drastic measures underway now.

  145. Kind Sir,

    I have no idea how many people are thinking that way. Judging by the way how restrictions that would have been unthinkable a month ago, are today accepted without pushback in many countries, I’d say this way of thinking is not too uncommon.
    What I wonder is if this has any ramifications for the time after the virus. Your chart says no if I understood you correctly (i have no knowledge of astrology whatsoever, so i might have got this totally wrong). Amongst other things, I think this might have the potential to prick our long running house price bubble which probably exceeds what you guys on the other side of the pacific managed to create. If this bubble bursts, australia might be different in many ways.

  146. @JMG substantial, $85 billion package to begin cashing out next week (for scale, we are 35 million people). Larger cities, provinces and Crown corporations (utilities owned by the province) have their own packages https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/covid-19-financial-help-1.5501743

    Private groups and economic development associations are planning, as well. My cooperative preschool association is offering zero interest loans from their reserves to help schools without their own to stay afloat, for example.

    Many provinces and cities are at at state of emergency now (BC also has two active public health emergencies – we’ve been in a declared one for opioid overdoses since 2016, and now COVID) and the feds are to decide today if it will be national. The last time that happened here was 1970 with the FLQ crisis, and it was Trudeau’s father as PM then. The memory of that time will considerably up the panic for those who lived it.

    I share Will J’s concern about that – the long term repercussions on our body politic could be substantial, though I am sure all will recognize the need during the crisis. They have asked MP’s not to travel, as they have quorum with 20/338. Since our MP seats are assigned based on population, that means they can meet it with local MP’s from just southern Ontario and Quebec easily, heck, perhaps just Ottawa and Toronto, so can justify excluding the west and the Maritimes. It is ironic to have been discussing Riel here so recently and then be faced with that potential. Especially given the recent Wet’suwet’en protests, and how emergency powers that don’t go back in the box could be used as indigenous rights protests flare up again when this crisis passes. Riel was deft at uniting the white settlers, Metis and First Nations in common cause against Ottawa… If the West agitates if Alberta bankrupts, I wonder about that track in space suddenly making some very weird bedfellows that have been at odds until now. But, that’s for 2021….

  147. JMG, my assessment about humans being able to change was about the majority of people in Western civilization, not about humans as a whole.

  148. @Matthias

    Do update if you find the numbers for the previous years.

    As it stands the data presents a far different picture that what is being pushed 24×7 in my local media.

    If that data (most of deaths are ~80 and with serious prior conditions) were presented with as much energy by the “impartial media”, it would dramatically lower the panic and consequent behaviors like hoarding, fighting, stress breakdowns, nocebo effects, lockdowns etc..

    I am keeping an eye out for emerging information but the lockdowns look like an over reaction to me:

    https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/03/19/italy-coronavirus-new-explosive-information/

  149. Recently discovered comet ATLAS is unexpectedly brightening, and might reach up to a -5 magnitude in May (meaning it will be visible in broad daylight). What are the meanings associated with comets in mundane astrology? Also, if it does not turn out to be a dud – as comets can be – will you do a post on it?

  150. John–

    Having been humbled (yet again) by issues of practicality and the constraints of physical manifestation, I do have a question relevant to another theme of the broader discussion of the blog, and, I suppose, whether or not the chart you cast would have any indications thereof. To what degree might you say this current crisis is contributing or will contribute to the demise of the “cult of experts” to the extent that the worst-case scenarios and panic-inducing rhetoric fails to manifest?

    I saw a change in tune this morning, as a story was proclaiming that “40% of those hospitalized were between the ages of 20 and 54” in an effort to make young people feel more vulnerable. First,that’s a wide age range; I’d like to see the sub-distribution within it (conveniently left out, of course). Secondly, I did a quick check and 20-54 (well, 19-54) makes up ~45% of the US population, also a contextual data point conveniently omitted from the story. What’s that political rule of thumb? “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Like we don’t have enough issues to deal with in this world without adding to them.

  151. @Lady Cutekitten: I have been in the Providence Biltmore, which is host to the bi-annual Necronomicon (Lovecraft themed convention for writers, gamers, and artists).

    Amongst my various occupations, I give boat tours on the Providence River, and we do joint tours with Providence Ghost Tours. The Biltmore figures prominently in the tour. During Prohibition, the Bacchante Room was the city’s pre-eminent speakeasy, and there were young women available for carnal wants. It is thought that at least 8 of the prostitutes were murdered in the hotel, for which no prosecutions ever took place. The youngest was a girl of 12, drowned in a bathtub. It’s believed she may be responsible for this. On Black Friday, 1929, a stockbroker jumped to his death from his 9th floor room, and the front desk of the hotel is used to receiving panicked calls on the anniversary, reporting a jumper.
    I have not personally experienced any of these phenomena

  152. Re the Dem nomination, Tulsi, Sanders, and Biden

    I literally just voted yesterday (taking advantage of the early voting window we have here in WI before the Apr 7 spring election date) and given the fact that Sanders was no longer in a position to block Biden, went ahead and voted for Tulsi, given my preference for her non-intervention stance. Only to find out today that she’s ended her campaign and thrown in with Biden. Oh, well.

    As for Biden and his commitment to a female running mate, I still think it’s Harris. Could be wrong (I certainly have been elsewhere!), but she seems the most likely choice given the currents of the day.

    To my mind, that essay of Biden’s in Foreign Affaris a ways back lays out a clear case for why he must not be elected to the presidency:

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-01-23/why-america-must-lead-again

    He gets absolutely everything wrong. At least he’s consistent, which is something I guess.

    So DJT remains the best we can do in the near-term. Which says something else about where we are as a nation these days. Oh, how I Iong for a well thought out, clearly articulated, coherently planned and executed populist platform of economic nationalism at home and non-engagement abroad! I do suppose that is asking for a lot, though.

  153. Re outbreaks, economics, and small ways to help

    Being in a critical industry (keeping the lights on and the water flowing), my workplace is still operating at full speed. One small thing we did in the office was to institute daily lunch delivery by a local restaurant every day (we’re setting up a calendar to rotate), with reminders everyone ordering to try to be generous with tips.

  154. OT? Blankenhorn has outdone himself here: read it and weep, laugh, cuss, or, the gods help us, agree whole-heartedly …. I really should take him off my FeedBlitz, but decades ago, he seemed to make sense. Looking back….not really. But he spoke for a whole lot of people. Probably still does.

    https://www.danablankenhorn.com/

  155. Re that election sticker “Vote Cthulhu 2016 2020 – why settle for the lesser of two evils…”

    From me, possibly having been done before (since this filk has over 500 verses, I;ve heard)

    “I will worship old Cthulhu. As a monster, he’s a lulu. If he wakes, he’ll be the boss of us; that’s good enough for me!”

    All together, now, clapping and chanting Innsmouth style..
    “Give me that Real Old Time Religion,
    Give me that Real Old Time Religion,
    Give me that Real Old Time Religion,
    It’s good enough for me!”

    More verses on request on the next Open Post.

  156. @Lady Cutekitten – you mean they’ve REALLY canceled Easter Sunday?!?!?

    I “predicted” that as a reduction as absurdum at a breakfast table conversation and in a private email to a friend a week ago. Because if they do, Christendom is on its very last legs and being given the last rites.

  157. A brief note of thanks:

    So, earlier this week my boy came home with a fairly typical set of COVID-19 symptoms, essentially a persistent cough, temperature, and a headache, as a result my family is stuck inside for another 10 days or so while we quarantine ourselves as per UK government advice.

    I keep going back to @JMG’s August 18 predictions and of course the more recent commentary on the Lunar Eclipses (for those of us who have seen them). I’d previously bought in a small supply of shelf stable foods and necessities to cover Brexit issues, and in early February I added a few further items, just in case. As a result, the whole experience has been considerably less unpleasant than it might otherwise have been.

    So far I’ve had only the most minor of symptoms myself, and I put that down to having also laid in some herbal remedies along the lines recommended by Buhner’s Herbal Antivirals book, so far I’ve only used the ginger juice tea but it seems to have quite an impact on those symptoms that I am displaying. So thank you also to whoever it was that recommended the book also.

    Andy

  158. This astrological reading was very heartening. The more information I get from myriad sources, the less I’m really worried about this virus and the mass hysteria surrounding it. Yes, I’m sure a lot of damage will be done, both to lives and economies, but the next Bubonic Plague? I think not.

    Also, like Violet, I too have been having some interesting dreams of late (whether from this pandemic, the vernal equinox, or both, I know not). Last night I dreamed that I was a warrior on a bright, sunny, majestic battlefield (somewhere in the Viking Age) and after a relatively quick and easy victory, my kinsman and I picked through the remains of the dead, and we each claimed a great sword (mine with a bird-themed hilt), and a heathen mage put certain powers and protections upon them, “binding” us in a sense to the weapons. It certainly felt prophetic!

    Finally, this may be off topic, but I just took this survey for the Lovecraftian NecronomiCon convention in Providence, and I requested that JMG be invited as a guest of honor next time around, with a symposium on The Weird of Hali series. Perhaps others may like to fill out the survey as well…

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2XJSZ6C

  159. Dear Robert, thank you for your thoughts on this — that makes a great deal of sense. I confess curiosity on the part of your occult-historical hunch if you should wish to elaborate! That said, I may pretend to be a conservative and to a certain limited extent I am, but I was raised, in essence, to be an utter radical, and utter radicalism clings to what I claim to be conservatism. For this reason, Sanders became the establishment to my mind as soon as he endorsed the establishment. Likewise with Gabbard. I hung out at the Occupy Oakland protests and camps for something like six months. I’ve seen with my own eyes the degree to which the left thrives on “controlled opposition,” and how it coopts its radicals and tricks them into furthering the interests of the establishment.

    Basically, then, if Gabbard were to be Biden’s Vice Presidential choice and she were to accept I would still view her as Controlled Opposition. I really enjoyed the zaniness of the Occupy movements, and I remember the day that the tents were finally pulled up from behind the riot police cordon and put into the back of a dump truck. I was on my razor scooter and I watched the scene and I cried. And I cried when all of the squats filled with punks who unwittingly played the part of Controlled Opposition were finally evicted, and I cried when the land project I toiled on building another’s equity all on high leftist principles turned into nothing but her personal retreat, and I cried when all of my peers more or less showed where they were at and got in line and voted for Hillary Clinton. And I cried as I became a persona non grata amongst my old friends because I conserved my leftist radicalism and couldn’t fail to see Donald Trump as the best leftist radical present I’ve ever seen when I actually looked at how his policies effected my few new friends, who happened to most all be Trump supporters, and were the few people interested in reasoned disagreement.

    I didn’t cry, though, for Tulsi Gabbard, because by now I’m all out of tears for the failure of the left, and indeed, at this point I’m willing to change camp and buy that MAGA hat because fool my once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool my fifteen times and I’m going to decide that the other side really does offer the better deal, especially as far as my interests are concerned, the red-hat populists really have shown themselves to offer the better deal.

    Dear Onething,

    Thanks for this! I’m not sure how representative I am, but after all of this I feel I’ve lost my basic trust in the deomcratic party as an institution and I doubt I will ever vote for any democratic candidate ever again. That’s why I hoped that the party would go the way of the phoenix.

    Dear Patricia Ormsby,

    Yikes! Well, I hope your year goes wonderfully! Last night I had another dream on politics: I dreamt that I was in the US Civil War and a bunch of squatter punks were Confederate Soldiers fighting for the status quo. I had some squatter punk sympathies and so I got to visit a prison camp, and I learned that the leader had been taken prisoner on an airplane where we was forced to work for Amazon.com and then he committed suicide by eating rolling papers drenched with cyanide. My take away is that while there’s no way I’m willingly going to play the part of the shock troops of the failed status quo!

    Dear Kimberly,

    The Titanic metaphor is apt! Fortunately I was laid off of the ship’s dining staff nearly four years ago for heterodox opinions!

  160. Ashara,

    As a millennial who is still going out and continuing life as much like normal as possible, I’d like to explain my logic. There are three reasons why I’m doing this:

    1) We don’t shut down the entire country every time a bad flu rolls around. I will agree some precautions are justified, but the scale of it is absurd, and I’m making a point of refusing to comply with them for that reason. I don’t trust the statistics being used to say this is a truly unprecedented event, and so at the moment I’m assuming this is just an exceedingly bad flu. The precedent being set is dangerous, and so I’m going to make a point to ignore it.

    2) I don’t function well unless I’m out and about. Confine me to home and I become depressed. I need to socialize in order to be healthy, mentally and physically. I need to go out and do things, and if we’re supposed to worry about our health right now, well, then I have an obligation to socialize. This disease is mostly harmless to my generation, and I’m making a point of avoiding groups at risk, but since my well being is severely impacted if I don’t get out, I plan to continue to do so.

    3) What about the economic effects of shuttering every business? Or closing all the bars on St. Patrick’s Day, with no notice? We’re having an economic crisis because of the actions being taken. I know someone who’s facing the risk of eviction because he’s lost his paycheck for the foreseeable future. I’m therefore going to continue spending as planned. Doing so will help offset some of the problems people face as a result of the abrupt stoppage of a huge amount of economic activity.

    There’s also one more reason, which is not motivating my behaviour, but I think motivates a lot of my peers: this is mostly lethal to the elderly, and given how they treat us, why should we care? This is a serious question: if our elders have, since our lives started, been beating us into the ground financially, pressuring us into career paths with no future, raising how much goes into pension plans to keep them going a few more years, and then complaining we’re entitled when we protest, is it a surprise so many of us don’t care what happens to the elderly?

  161. My worry at this point is not the virus itself, but that many small businesses may go under, plus job loss.

  162. Cancelling Easter Sunday – it’s official. The Pope has said he was going to celebrate Easter Week privately and that everybody should do that. Priests will still celebrate Masses daily, alone; parishioners are enjoined to stay home. Sensible. “Church services were made for human beings, not human beings for church services.” That, from a much higher and older source than His Holiness.

  163. Hi Patricia Matthews,

    No, Easter hasn’t been cancelled, but Mass has in some dioceses. Don’t know what the Protestants are doing about it, since as far as “reporters” are concerned religion doesn’t exist.

  164. @Will J – I would follow your argument but for one fact you may have overlooked: that some of us have children and grandchildren who might actually feel bad when we died, rather than shouting “Free at last! Hallelujah, free at last!”

    @ Lady Cutekitten: email me privately at mathews55@msn.com and I’ll treat you to the next verse of my filk. It concerns a goddess who is “such a little cat!”

  165. Thanks for everyone who offered advice! 🙂

    I’m still having ups and downs. For the time being, we’re still allowed to go into the street (over here in the Czech Republic), albeit only with our nose and mouth covered. So, today, I pulled a T-shirt half-way over my face (think of it as a makeshift burka) and went out like that. A little bit silly, but it works (or at least the police didn’t say/do anything when they saw me). I dread the prospect of not being allowed outside at all. Unlike Will J, I don’t really crave human contact all that much. I’ve gone for days and weeks without face-to-face human contact before (usually during holidays; I’ve been hopping from country to country for quite some time now, which means that I don’t really have friends within reasonable traveling distance), and although it can get a bit much eventually, I generally manage okay. What I absolutely do need for the sake of my sanity are my solitary walks. There’s a reason even prisoners are allowed outside every day. I’m really worried about what might happen to my head if I’m suddenly not allowed to leave the apartment at all.

  166. Hi all

    Data from CDC about the age of people requiring hospitalization and ICU in USA from February 12 to March 16:

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e2.htm

    This is not China, this is for USA, and the CDC say:

    “Among 508 (12%) patients known to have been hospitalized, 9% were aged ≥85 years, 36% were aged 65–84 years, 17% were aged 55–64 years, 18% were 45–54 years, and 20% were aged 20–44 years. Less than 1% of hospitalizations were among persons aged ≤19 years (Figure 2). The percentage of persons hospitalized increased with age, from 2%–3% among persons aged ≤19 years, to ≥31% among adults aged ≥85 years. (Table).”

    So the percentage of people that required hospital care, mainly due to acute dyspnea, with less than 65years is = 55% of all of them, in the USA, more than half of all the cases. For people with less than 54 years is 38% of all of them, so very significant

    They continue:

    “Among 121 patients known to have been admitted to an ICU, 7% of cases were reported among adults ≥85 years, 46% among adults aged 65–84 years, 36% among adults aged 45–64 years, and 12% among adults aged 20–44 years (Figure 2). No ICU admissions were reported among persons aged ≤19 years. Percentages of ICU admissions were lowest among adults aged 20–44 years (2%–4%) and highest among adults aged 75–84 years (11%–31%) (Table).”

    So, the percentage of people in ICU’s with less than 64 years is 48%, almost half of all the cases; and 12% between 20 and 44 years, so it is not very low

    The people in ICU’s need mechanical intubation or EMCO or similar treatment, otherwise they’ll die, so if the ICU’s become overwhelmed a lot of people below 64 years old will die, for sure

    What they have seen is that in many case patients, even without pre-existing serious deseas, develope a “cytokine storm” in their lungs for unknown reasons due to over-reaction of their immune system. The cytokine storm is supposed to be the cause of the high fatality rate of the 1918 flu that kills more people 20 – 40 years old and was mild for children and older people.

    There are some studies trying to explain why this happened in 1918, to try to understand why this is happening now in many cases

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734171/

    Here in Spain the authorities does not show the raw data with age and causes, but the news have filtered the name of people in the 40’s or 30’s that have died without pre-existing conditions, like a guardia civil of 37 years, and a nurse with 52, etc…and many many are in hospitals and ICU’s, all of them with the infamous “cytokine storm” syndrome

    Cheers
    David

  167. Will J:

    I can think of one reason your peers might want to care about what happens to the elderly: as hard as it may be to believe it now, they will someday be old. As you sow, so you reap.

    Lumping all the elderly into a category of ‘people who screwed up the world and made our lives harder and therefore deserve to die ASAP’ is as inaccurate and unfair to individual elderly persons as any blanket statement about the vacuousness of the young. From my experience dealing with my own kids when they were that age, this is the kind of thing ‘kids’ say when they want to find an excuse, any excuse, to justify doing what they feel like doing at the moment.

  168. Will J
    You have certainly had some bad experiences with older people and that is a great pity. I was lucky enough to have some really good ones around me when I was young.
    My husband is 80+ and I am 70+ and we are both fortunately in fairly good health. Far from throwing all and sundry under the bus we have spent our lives raising 4 children and always making sure their needs were being met before our own as well as looking after my mother. We spent the last good years of our life raising our grandson with special needs and yesterday drove 5 hours to and from a meeting to arrange for new accommodation for him. We would like to be able to step back more and can a bit but there is no-one else to take up the slack.
    We also helped one of our nephews a few years ago both financially and in terms of moral support and still have some friendly contact with him. We also help our ex-daughter-in-law when she needs it.
    So please don’t say we have all thrown you under the bus although I live up the road from a bus depot so I have the hardware if anyone needs a good throwing under.
    We are not the only ones among our friends who could tell similar stories. It is appropriate for the elders to help the youngers and most do that. Instead of staying angry about your experiences you might look for people you can help to try to even things up a bit. Of course you might already do that.
    Good on you for going out if you are not sick. We are too.
    Keep calm and carry on socialising.
    BTW one of the 4 was adopted and he has a few special needs of his own so we still assist him at 45 while trying to help him maintain his independence.

  169. Simon Sheridan, I have had experiences which are a bit similar. I have tried this or that kind of passing time with other people; not directly parties and clubs, but things which are considered the normal way of passing leisure time. Sometimes, it was quite nice, but often, not so interesting, after all. So I assume that many of the presuppositions of modern culture of what people should like aren’t true for many people.

    David by the lake, I, too, regret that there is no articulated political opposition which stands for a rollback of the excesses of globalization, neoliberalism, intrusive laws and regulations and wokeness, and who represent the interests of ordinary people. There are five major parties in Germany, but none really fits the bill.

  170. Archdruid,

    One of the most interesting things about this national quarantine, and the possible declaration of martial law, is that it’s allowing the government to test it’s readiness procedures. I realize that the Covid-19 virus isn’t very dangerous to people with healthy immune systems, but we all know that the future holds very real threats.

    I would suggest using the current outbreak and public reaction to assess what the future might hold, because we all know that’s exactly what the government is doing right now. For good or ill, our government now has real data to work with.

    Please don’t misunderstand me here. I don’t believe that this series of events was planned, nor that the government intended this to happen. However, I think that this government and others in the world are highly sensitive to potential threats and reacted accordingly. The results are a global economic slowdown, public panic, and lots of useful information to ready for the bigger threats that planners in the security/bureaucratic apparatus know are coming. This was an insanely good opportunity for them to test their theories and see the results.

    Regards,

    Varun

  171. Your Kittenship, I suppose you could take the 6 of Toilet Paper tarot card as a focus and try to will it into existence! You may certainly send the image around.

    Mike, the internet in my experience is covered by the third house, which in this ingress chart is ruled by Uranus. If that planet were afflicted by a Mercury aspect I’d be worried about that, but instead it’s supported by a sextile with Mercury. Thus, though the internet will be coming under strain (Uranus in poor condition square Saturn) I don’t see any sign that deliberate efforts on the part of hackers will bring it down. As for a return to business as usual, yes, very much so — the deeper changes will surface only after the rush of relief has passed.

    DropBear, if real estate begins to lose value that’ll be evident in future ingress charts in the 4th house of land and the 5th house of speculation. It’s certainly worth watching. BTW, how much of your housing price bubble is driven by Chinese investment? If so, once all this is over, I’d expect to see a lot of downside movement.

    Sara, glad to hear about the financial arrangements. The broader picture — yeah, that’s something to watch closely.

  172. @kcs:

    The most recent data I have been able to find for Italy are for the 10th week of 2020 (March 1st to March 8th): http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/caldo/sismg/SISMG_sintesi_2020w10.pdf. At that time, mortality was statistically higher than in other years only for the age group above 85 years, but all the curves are pointing upward. We will have to wait for the newer data.

    As a very rough estimate, there were around 639 000 deaths from all causes in Italy in 2019. If they were distributed equally over the year (which of course they aren’t, look at the curve in the link above…), there would be 1750 deaths a day. I don’t know how many of them are due to pneumonia – in the USA, respiratory diseases are a relatively small part of the total death toll. Yesterday, 627 people died in Italy with a diagnosis of coronavirus. I am rather sure this is more than the number of people who die normally from respiratory diseases per day. If the numbers continue to double every few days as they have, in a week the number of deaths with a diagnosis of coronavirus will be higher than the normal total number of deaths per day.

    Meanwhile, think about the Diamond Princess. 3500 people on board, I don’t know their age distribution. How many deaths would you expect during a normal cruise of a few weeks? Again, I don’t know, but I suppose one death would already be surprising, since the weakest people would not get on board. Now, there have been 7 deaths, all of them among the 712 people who tested positive. So for this unrepresentative population, there has surely been an excess mortality.

  173. Greetings from Moscow, Russia, where despite increasing restrictions on large-scale events, school closings and more and more people working from home, there seems to be little impetus to impose the draconian measures being seen in a number of Western nations (or China).

    I get the sense that Russia’s top brass are looking over to the West at the mounting economic damage and wondering if maybe sacrificing a nation’s economy in order to save its least productive is perhaps not the way to go.

    This panic untethered from any sort of context that is on display in the US and Europe amid what amounts to a fairly tame virus strikes me as wildly out of proportion. But what interests me is what this hysteria says about the underlying values of Western societies — what emotional wires are being tripped.

    When historians (or archeologists) sort through this, they might wonder what triggered such extensive self-inflicted damage. They might note how much things had changed in a hundred years since the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, which despite being many times more deadly, did not elicit this type of reaction. Yes, China (not a Western nation at all) has taken the “shutdown” approach too, but it was done in an entirely different spirit and was very much a top-down undertaking. The Western nations are ostensibly free countries; the measures being introduced appear to enjoy broad support. They seem to reflect the values of the people rather than the interests of the ruling class.

    Living in Russia casts in sharp relief what appear to be the deepest, most unquestioned values of Western societies. Solzhenitsyn broached this subject as early as the 1970s (read his Harvard speech). This is the water the fish swims in but doesn’t entirely see. I would roughly define these characteristics as follows: an unacceptance of death; an inability to confront the terror of life; an overwhelming desire to preserve a sense of control; an inflated sense of the worth of the individual (“human rights”); and a strong belief in institutions and government to be guarantors of this stability. When anything emerges that challenges any of those deep-seated suppositions, huge resources are marshaled to dispense with the threat, regardless of how costly such efforts may be.

    I think that what we’re seeing now is a sort of perverse playing-out of an entire set of values that is showing itself to be ineffective at dealing with the type of crisis we’re beginning to face. The virus has laid bare the essential disfunction of the “emotional roadmap” of the West.

  174. If this situation with the coronavirus drags on, do we need to be worried about an increasing rate of inflation in the medium term because of all the stimulus? Do we need to be concerned with the health of the banks? In addition to being concerned with the threat of the virus to my elderly parents and other friends, I’m also starting to wonder how I should handle the money in my savings because of the economic fallout of all this.

  175. Hi JMG,

    I came by to post two things, but seems like they’ve already been discussed by STClaire and Drop Bear, but maybe I’ll still waste your time while I’m quarantined…

    First, that it struck me that this was a good “night” for society at large (in a Cos Doc way), a chance to pause a bit and consider things and perhaps spend a little extra time thinking before acting again.

    Second, that after reading The Great Crash, I was left with the impression that even though governments are well aware of these terrible bubbles in their economy they don’t know how to deflate them without popping them and then having to assume all of the blame for destroying the economy, this lets them do that with an enemy in this virus that everybody can equally agree on. I wonder if it’ll deflate the housing market too? I imagine that the really wealthy people saw the stock stuff coming (the shutdown in China was a good tip of the hat to what we could expect globally) and acted accordingly and will therefore be in a great position once things have bottomed out. It gives governments everywhere a great excuse to print money and inject it into their economies also without too much scrutiny, no mobs with their pitchforks ready to go visit banker’s apartments this time. Perhaps even a few “terminally ill” sections of the economy will fall off.

    It’s always interesting for me when things that seem like they “can’t change”, do change. Often seemingly effortlessly once it happens (like when the roads pause for ambulances to pass). For me, locally, it’s allowed me to talk slightly more successfully about decline related things in passing. it seems like a solid stair step down our path.

    My personal weird anecdote was that I headed into work to pick up some things before I wasn’t able to anymore. A train that was normally packed to capacity had barely anybody on it but when I was coming back I heard some bus drivers talking to each other (as the always do), but this time they were just killing themselves laughing about all of this. I’ve never heard them laughing that way in all the years I’ve commuted. It was amusing to see a different take on things!

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  176. Patricia, Beekeeper, and JillN,

    I’ve re-read my comment and realized I worded it poorly. For that, I would like to apologize, and offer the following clarifications.

    I’m well aware I’m speaking in general terms. What I was relating is not a sentiment I share, but it is a broad one among my peers, and I find it hard to argue against it: a lot of us are being squeezed financially, sent down roads with no future, and stuck fighting with our parents when we find a path that doesn’t lead to disaster; and when the older generations notice it, victim blaming tends to come up a lot. This is by no means limited to us though: victim blaming seems to be a common past-time these days, but it gets old really quick.

    Interestingly enough though, the sentiment is far more directed at the baby boomers than earlier generations: I also strongly suspect that if the media were to accurately portray the struggles of the poorer end of that generation as well, things would be different. As it stands, a lot of us have noticed that a lot of the things people had back in the day are priced out of reach for us, and once more, a lot of people try to victim blame (avocado toast comes to mind).

    Personally, I also agree lumping all old people together is unfair: I think it’s inevitable, but I agree it’s incredibly unfair. There are plenty of older people who have made a positive difference, but I stand by my statement about how things have collectively played out for my generation.

    I think the idea of collective responsibility is a bad one, and so I don’t think it wise nor just to punish the entire elderly population for the string of poor decisions made which have gotten us in the mess we’re in now. It is, however, perhaps inevitable it will be a motivating factor for a lot of people, especially given the pressure in a lot of the media towards collectively blaming us for our situation.

    It’s also likely going to change for a lot of people when, as seems inevitable, their family members start getting sick and dying. At the moment this is all very abstract; I’d be surprised if it doesn’t change as people start watching loved ones get sick.

  177. Booklover, I still think you’re being far too cynical.

    Jay Dee, I heard about that a few days ago and have been reading up on the traditional interpretations of comets in mundane astrology. The crucial point is where it is in the zodiac when it first becomes visible to the naked eye — if you and others can keep watch for that detail, while I do the same, that will help.

    David BTL, I’m not at all surprised that the media is loudly insisting that young people are also at risk — given the fraught state of relations among the generations right now, a lot of young people are referring to CoVID-19 as “the boomer remover” and hoping that it spreads as fast as possible! Whether this will help bring down the citadel of expertise is a complex question to which I don’t yet have answers; it’ll depend on just how badly the experts fluff it.

    Court, thanks for this. No surprises there!

    Patricia M, yes, that one’s original to you, though there are other Cthulhu verses for that song. If you ever run out of verses, I think the largest collection online is here.

    Andy, glad to hear that! While it’s quite possible to go overboard with prepping, let’s face it, everyone who has the common sense (and of course the cupboard room) to keep a back stock of food and other necessities is going to have a much easier time with this than those who don’t. Stay well, and may your son have a prompt recovery.

    Sam, that’s a wild dream — and possibly a powerful one. You might consider meditating on it and seeing what it has to teach you.

  178. Varun, that seems quite reasonable to me.

    Kingdom, maybe so, but it’s only fair to wait until the process has completed — as I noted with regard to the astrological chart discussed in this week’s post! — before passing judgment on it. Once the outbreak is over, we can accurately assess which countries’ strategies worked best.

    Jbucks. good question. A lot depends on exactly how things are handled.

    Your Kittenship, ha! That’s good.

    Johnny, it’s occurred to me more than once that this epidemic may among other things enable a significant economic reset and make some constructive changes possible. Still, we’ll see.

  179. @DFC

    The reason the COVID-19 hospitalization rate is nearly 50% in the US is because one almost has to be hospitalized to get tested at this point. I suspect it is much closer to 10-15% of all cases. South Korea is the only country to have had good testing coverage throughout the course of their outbreak, so I tend to trust their figures with regard to mortality.

    It’s not exactly true that the disease primarily affects the elderly. Instead it appears that for people above the age of about 25-30, roughly 20% of sufferers develop pneumonia that often requires hospital care. The chances of dying are then in direct proportion to one’s preexisting chance of death (i.e. 0.2% for a 35 year old, who already has a 0.2% chance of dying each year, and 15% for an 85 year old, who already has a 15% chance of dying each year). And pre-existing conditions like diabetes and heart disease, which increase one’s mortality rate, also increase one’s chance of dying from COVID-19. So it might be more correct to say that the death rate is health-dependent vs. age-dependent.

    @Cloven Kingdom

    Russia has experienced more death than most other nations can imagine in recent history. If figures are correct the Soviet Union lost 27 million people, or 14% of their population, during the five years of World War II. The US lost less than half a million. Certainly to weather that and keep on living, one must perhaps have an easier relationship with death.

  180. Cloven Kingdom,
    I am so pleased to read your comment from Russia and hope you’ll continue adding your perspective in this forum. Your critical observations about the societies of the West are spot on in my estimation. It seems to me that Putin has steered the Russian ship of state very skillfully away from western Liberalism. The virus is indeed exposing the manifold dysfunctions in western societies held captive by rigid allegiance to liberal principles and ideologies. Thanks for your insights.
    Jim W.

  181. @Cloven Kingdom

    You posted quite an interesting comment! Still, it is possible that Russia is simply a few weeks (days?) behind Western countries, and that in the end, it will implement the same measures. We’ll see, I suppose.

    In Serbia (which is where I’m originally from, though I no longer live there), the higher ups were very nonchalant about the whole coronavirus situation, until they suddenly became completely hysterical and implemented some of the strictest measures in Europe. For instance, nobody is allowed to be outside at night without a special permit. People above the age of 65 are not allowed outside at all. The population as a whole seems to be supporting these measures, more or less. It is possible that Russia will follow suit, with just a little bit of a delay. It’s also possible that it’ll follow suit only in some major cities (such as Moscow), while recognizing that such measures may be impossible to implement (and perhaps unnecessary) in sparsely populated regions. We’ll see.

  182. Will J… your comment reminds me of and old joke: “Old people? They should all be killed at birth!”

    More seriously, for people like me who work in hospitals, it’s not that easy to choose to let people die. My nurse and doctor colleagues are going to have to risk their lives while treating too many Corona patients,
    intubate some of them, possibly even watch many die terrible deaths from suffocation. It’s happening now in Lombardy, and Alsace is coming up next.

    The virus will come to your neighborhood, and when there’s a lot of virus around, it can even kill young and healthy people. Not to mention young people with type 1 diabetes, asthma and cardiac problems.

  183. @ Cloven Kingdom

    Those four points you mentioned fit nicely into a distinction I make within Western culture between city and country people. (Quick background: I grew up in small town Australia and now live in big city Australia. As such, I have always been very sensitive to the philosophical differences between city and country people.)

    We’ve had bushfires and now coronavirus in rapid succession here and the response of city folk has been, from a country person’s perspective, completely hysterical. The reason is the underlying philosophy. To take your points:-

    – an unacceptance of death: In country Australia, death is everywhere. Not a day goes by without walking past a dead animal or having to kill an animal for various reasons.

    – an inability to confront the terror of life: In country Australia there are a lot of things that are out to get you including snakes, spiders, the weather, other people in your community. Hard circumstances tends to make hard people.

    – an overwhelming desire to preserve a sense of control: Rainfall is highly variable, so country Australians are universally fatalistic. You never know whether you’ll get the rain you need to keep your farm going. Or maybe you’ll get a flood this year that will wipe out your crops. In any case, you are constantly reminded how little control you have.

    – an inflated sense of the worth of the individual (“human rights”): In the country you are constantly reminded of how you need your neighbours for everyday practical matters. This creates strong social pressure to play your role in the community. Individualism is not tolerated to the extent that it hurts the collective (although ironically you get a lot more real individuals in the country).

    – a strong belief in institutions and government to be guarantors of this stability: Where the government intervenes in a country person’s life, it is normally some inner city bureaucrat implementing a ridiculous policy that is the opposite of what needs to be done.

    So, I think you’re right in your analysis but there is a big alternative sub-culture in the west and that sub-culture is starting to find its voice (Trump/Brexit).

  184. On living well while poor–it is intensely ironic that Ernest Callenbach’s 1972 classic _Living Poor With Style_ is selling on Amazon for $50-180, depending on edition. So, I can’t recommend it. However there are copies of the Berkeley Co-op Food Book for $6–useful information, though some of the charts might need to be recalculated. There were several on how to compare cost per ounce of various protein sources such as eggs vs. meat or chicken or beans. Also recipes for do it your self fruit drinks and other economy measures. Of course foods such as tef, quinoa, jackfruit, etc. that have become popular since the 80s won’t be included, nor will there be concern displayed for gluten free or vegan options.

    I saw some irrational youth blaming on the Today Show this morning: pictures of college kids on the beach in Florida. I remember that on Wednesday they showed photos of the same beaches and announcements by city officials that the beach would be closed on Monday. Now the city has stepped up the closure to Friday night, with much tut-tutting. But you know those kids would have gone home if there had been on stores open to buy beer or sodas, or sunscreen; no restaurants for food, no bars for hanging out after dark, or if the hotels had been told to send everyone packing. “Beach closes Monday=it’s okay to stay until Monday” So why the “OMG it’s Friday and you’re still here–what is WRONG with you?” reaction. Looks to me like the adults in charge were caught between wanting safety and wanting to make money for as long as possible and are trying to shift the blame to those irresponsible kids.

  185. More bad news for Biden and the rest of the senile neoliberal elites: Trump’s approval ratings are up sharply thanks to his handling of the crisis and in spite of the rabidly biased anti-Trump news coverage by the MSM.

    https://www.thehill.com/homenews/administration/488597-majority-of-americans-approve-of-trumps-handling-of-coronavirus-poll

    I thought the last Democrat debate was rather symbolic. Two increasingly irrelevant gerontocrats trashing each other and Trump in front of an empty room with no audience. The message seemed to be “no one is paying attention to what either of you two has to say and no one cares”.

    I expect that not only will Trump be reelected with a landslide, but the GOP will do very well in other elections.

  186. Re the religion songs: JMG, if you spent that January you were off running naked through the woods—in New England, yet—I for one am impressed. 😳

    It’s going to rain every day next week. Sonkitten needs to paint the carport posts and all the outdoor paints need 2 dry days to dry. As far as we know, the paint peeling off is the original paint , which means it could have lasted 80 years (we don’t know if the carport was installed when the house was built or came along later).

    Does anyone else live in the monsoon area? 💦☔️

  187. You know that scandal that seems indicated? Just heard today on CBC “As it Happens” who was interviewing an investigative journalist from NPR, (sorry, I have a great problem in that I can’t recall names and the show isn’t online yet) that the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, back in February, while he and President Trump were loudly proclaiming that this COVID-19 was nothing to worry about and it would all blow over, was selling off his stock portfolio worth over $1 million and gave a talk to a private luncheon of very wealthy business people from his home state of South Carolina that was completely at odds with what he was saying publicly and was, in fact, what we now know to be true about this pandemic. The icing on the cake is that several other Senators and Congresscritters, both Republican and Democrat, also sold off their stock portfolios back in late February and early March… before the panic sell-off began.

    Another question: where are you getting your figures? Because the ones I’m getting from the WHO indicate that about 10% of patients die, nearly 50% in Italy and Canada (12 dead, 11 recovered). About 2% in the 20 – 40 age group. Today’s WHO figures (20 Mar 2020) show 90,943 (89%) recovered and 11,376 (11%) died since the virus was first identified in December.

    Bruce

  188. Have you seen the latest ruffle over certain senators selling stocks after a Coronavirus briefing in January? It concerns both Democrats and Republicans.

    https://tinyurl.com/ud4qm8n

    Were the sales done because of foreknowledge of what was coming economically, or honest transactions made without thought of what was coming? I doubt the latter.

    Joy Marie

  189. Here is an open letter by Dr. Matthias Rath attempting to fight the pandemic hysteria by pointing out suppression of research on effective alternative therapies–specifically ones that China has employed effectively in protecting people and combating the disease: vitamin C, lysine, green tea and essential minerals. https://www.dr-rath-foundation.org/2020-03-lets-stop-the-virus-lets-end-the-hysteria/ Rather long, but toward the bottom he says, ” the following historical analogy may be helpful: In the 16th century, human progress had reached a point when mankind had advanced to usher in the Modern Times. The Medieval powers, however, insisted on maintaining their feudal privileges. In the ensuing ’30-Year War’ these Medieval powers of Europe dragged the entire continent with them into the abyss. To no avail – the advent of Modern Times could not be stopped. I already shared this historic analogy with the readers of the New York Times 17 years ago, on March 9, 2003.”
    Hopefully, as your interpretation of the Aries ingress chart indicates, sanity will prevail and the chattering classes trying desperately to prevent that will not succeed.

  190. Cloven Kingdom said “Living in Russia casts in sharp relief what appear to be the deepest, most unquestioned values of Western societies. Solzhenitsyn broached this subject as early as the 1970s (read his Harvard speech). This is the water the fish swims in but doesn’t entirely see. I would roughly define these characteristics as follows: an unacceptance of death; an inability to confront the terror of life; an overwhelming desire to preserve a sense of control; an inflated sense of the worth of the individual (“human rights”); and a strong belief in institutions and government to be guarantors of this stability. When anything emerges that challenges any of those deep-seated suppositions, huge resources are marshaled to dispense with the threat, regardless of how costly such efforts may be.

    I think that what we’re seeing now is a sort of perverse playing-out of an entire set of values that is showing itself to be ineffective at dealing with the type of crisis we’re beginning to face. The virus has laid bare the essential disfunction of the “emotional roadmap” of the West.”

    This is so spot on it is unbelievably certain.

    Where is the context? Open ended shutdowns of something they admit cannot really be stopped, no clear goals or expectations, and no context for reassurance, rather the opposite: hysteria. All of this points to a super-fragile, tightly coupled, overly complex global machine designed to run on only the rarest of best conditions (which it is constantly undermining, btw, for the benefit of its operators), manned by narcissistic people who don’t understand any form of limits or the difference between problems and predicaments. Putin said “the USA is a problem for which there is no solution” – in other words, a predicament. Problems have solutions. Predicaments do not. We have designed ourselves, prepped ourselves if you will, for this eventuality, when the whole engine seizes up, throws a rod, and explodes. At some point, even the densest of our so called statesman will probably grasp that “the cure is worse than the disease” and then it will be onto to some other mania. At least we’re not worried about transgender bathrooms right now.

    Anything that threatens our precious self-image, of a nation that can “do anything” (it wants), is an existential crisis of unbelievable magnitude, and what we are seeing is a dress rehearsal for how it all ends. We will have more dress rehearsals, and finally, opening and closing night in one grand finale. Probably in a couple of decades.

    If one virus can annihilate our entire civilization, it isn’t much of a civilization. What they are doing now, ironically, is the analogical equivalent of the end stage “cytokine storm” of COVID 19 progression, right before the lungs fill up with fluid from the leaky tissues.

    It’s wise to take precautions, but you still have to actually have a grasp of a nation’s existential condition to wisely implement them.

    JMG, you drinking your elderberry syrup? I took some to my elderly dad. It’s effective against some of the older coronaviruses. I expect the herbalists will do well out of all this, at least. Hopefully, it will knock a whole or two in the armor of globalism.

  191. Will J, you said,

    “this is mostly lethal to the elderly, and given how they treat us, why should we care? This is a serious question: if our elders have, since our lives started, been beating us into the ground financially, pressuring us into career paths with no future, raising how much goes into pension plans to keep them going a few more years, and then complaining we’re entitled when we protest, is it a surprise so many of us don’t care what happens to the elderly?”

    Really? I don’t get it. Don’t you have parents and grandparents? Aren’t many boomers supporting their grown kids? Pressuring you into career paths? Yes, because it worked for them and they don’t yet realize how much things have changed.

    We are living in an age of divisiveness, for which I blame the left and the media (same thing). Everyone is being coached to loathe and fear everyone else. Have you personally been mistreated by that generation or are you just reading about it?

    I don’t agree with JMG that most people of my generation knew and understood the future. I also don’t even think the boomers have had it the best financially. That was actually my parents generation.

    There are a few attributes you might miss when we all die, especially in a crisis. I know a lot of men who can fix anything. We also remember what it was like to live in a fairly sane and free society. We have some ability to engage in civil discourse. We remember what it was like when most people, especially children, were healthy.

    I am not sure if there is truth to the accusation of you guys being entitled. I suspect there are quite a few young people who aren’t as well put together as they should be because they were over protected growing up. But all I have to go by is my own kids, who I sincerely believe are the best kids on the planet. They are better parents than I was and are more aware and analytical than I was at their ages. I also worked with a lot of young nurses a few years back and I found them very impressive.

    I was young when the open disconnect from the older generation happened and also because my own parents were very neurotic, I didn’t really respect them. This only added to my cluelessness. Even as young as a teenager, I really thought I had some clue but looking back I am absolutely gobsmacked at what an idiot I was. I now realize that if you don’t gain wisdom as you get older, something is very wrong. No wonder all cultures always revere their elders. And I have also met some young people who would tell me how much the advice of their parents meant to them. I am so much wiser now it is amazing. No wonder we have the expression “youth is wasted on the young.” That isn’t a smackdown of the youth – it is a person realizing that their youth was wasted on them! If I could walk now into my body as a 20-year-old the world would be my oyster.

    One of the main reasons I am trying so hard not to die is that I want to help impart my wisdom to my grandchildren.

  192. A data point: a local farm that runs a vegetable share operation, a farmer:s market booth, and a roadside stand (in other words, well known) posted on their Facebook page earlier this week a rather boggled request for people to please STOP coming to their farm. It is March. They have no vegetables. The hens aren’t laying yet. They have only mud and ice! They do appreciate that people look to them for food, but it’s much too early!

    So I suppose some folks got a rough reminder that food does not grow on grocery store shelves this week.

  193. Thanks for the news from Russia, @cloven! If I may try and condense the mind set you describe into a list of priorities, it might look like this:

    1. Preserve a sensation of control over life and death at all costs
    2. As far as possible within the constraints of 1., minimize damage to the economy
    3. Democratic discussion and decision making are reserved for the cases not affected by 1. and 2.

    A different mind set, which I personally consider more abject, seems to look like this:

    (unspoken: 0. Reelection and personal political survival; therefore)
    1. Preserve stock values and GDP growth at any cost
    2. As far as possible within the constraints of 1., minimize deaths
    3. Democratic discussion and decision making are reserved for the cases not affected by 0., 1. and 2.

    What I wish for is a list of priorities that looks like this:
    1. Preserve sanity, equilibrium and democratic process
    2. Preserve as many lives as possible
    3. Preserve reasonable economic well-being for as many people as possible

    That would imply e.g. public and parliamentary discussion and parliamentary vote to allow governments to close entertainment venues, schools, stores etc. for a certain maximum number of weeks and months, to be renewed if necessary; and a frank weighing of psychological damage to the entire population, including the elderly who are at highest risk, but especially to school-age children, caused by prolonged social isolation vs. the anticipation and concentration of deaths into a the coming months.

    I don’t know what measures would then in the end be decided on in each country; it seems there is no good strategy available, but a frank discussion might minimize both the blind panic and the egoism that seem to be prevailing. I even hold out hopes, like many have commented here, that the reduction in working hours and consumption and the perception of the importance of public solidarity might have positive long-term effects.

  194. @Violet, thank you. I’ve had so many good years in a row, a difficult one was long overdue. It is best to see these things as a challenge and learning opportunity. Regarding going along with terrors with good humor, that is a fine ancient Japanese art.

  195. Also Millennial here, and rather fond of both my parents and a number of older friends. I’ve made some sweeping generational statements in the past, but when push comes to shove, “oh no I can’t go to a bar” doesn’t really outweigh, say, my dad’s life, and I’m inclined to resent those who think otherwise.

    Having zero problems with social distancing myself: I like going out to dinner, and dancing once a month or so is fun, but neither are things I can’t do quite well without. I’m…as sympathetic as I can be to the need to socialize, given that my most positive view of extroversion is that it’s more to be pitied than censured as long as its sufferers manage it well. 😛 But there’s a happy medium between “everyone go out to restaurants yay!” and “see nobody at all ever”–one-on-one walks outside or whatnot between people who aren’t sick and won’t be around folks with underlying conditions–and I think insisting on going outside that, as some of my more highly-media-profiled generational peers are doing, is selfish and gross.

    I’m more than a little worried about the economy–my BIL is in CA, and, well, *was* a chef (in theory, he gets his job back when the lockdowns end, but meanwhile he and my sister have a small child and a slightly invalid dog) and I have a number of friends in the restaurant industry–but encouraged by the proposals I hear about from Washington, and in any case figure it’s best to tackle the disease threat first.

  196. Rita, I hope somebody gets Callenbach’s book back in print — obviously there’s a demand, and it’s quite a good Green Wizardry textbook.

    Ace, I’ve been watching that. I also note that Democratic politicians Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom. Chuck Schumer and Ilham Omar (!) have recently had good things to say about Trump’s leadership. We may be looking at an epochal landslide this November.

    Your Kittenship, that’s purely a habit of Neopagan Druids. It’s a running joke among those of us in the Druid Revival traditions that we’re the nature worshipers who keep their clothes on during ritual. Strange fermented fluids, on the other hand…

    Renaissance, yes, I’ve heard about that. It’ll be interesting to see how that’s played out. As for my figures, here’s what the BBC has to say about that.

    Joy Marie, of course it’s corruption. We have quite the kleptocracy there days!

    Patricia O., thanks for this. To judge by the ingress charts, things should work out okay.

    Arkansas, nah, I use cell salts and Do-In acupressure for my home health care needs, with very good results.

  197. Onething, re guys who can fix things:

    Our washer, inherited from the late great ‘rents, is at least 30 years old (I kept it because it works better than my newer one, which we discarded). Some time back, the hinge that holds the lid up on the parental washer’s lid broke and a new part was no longer made. There’s a cabinet above the washer. Dad drilled a hole in the bottom of the cabinet and attached a hook that will hold the lid up safely, so you can load and unload.

  198. JMG, I’ve seen pictures of British witches prancing about unclothed during their services. Given what I’ve been told about the climate there, I always thought those pictures must be staged.

  199. With regards to mortality rates, President Trump noted at today’s daily briefing that China and northern Italy both have unusually severe pollution problems and that is a big part of why the death rates from the COVID-19 virus have been so high in those two countries.

  200. JMG and all,

    Given the current interest in Hellenistic astrology, I thought it might be fun to look at how that astrological system might look at the chart in question. Hellenistic astrology would use only the Lights and five planets visible to the naked eye, the whole sign domification system (which changes things quite a bit for this chart), aspects by sign (as well as degree), sect, and some Hellenistic lots. To keep things simple I’ll only look at the people, the president, the current pandemic, the economy, and the stock market.

    I’ll admit up front that using the Vernal Ingress at all is probably a bit anachronistic for Hellenistic astrology. The ancients probably would not have had the technical ability to fix the exact time of the equinox and so determine the ascendant degree (though maybe the sign). The basic rule is to find multiple significations (as a minimum essential, house, and lot) to confirm a a delineation.

    The lord of the 1st (Mars), representing the populous, is afflicted by Saturn in the same sign. Saturn is the out of sect malefic and so the big bad boy of the chart. Thus 2020 will not be a happy time for the people but this is softened by Mars being conjunct by degree with Jupiter (out of sect but still a benefic). I will not consider the Triplicity Lords of Mars at this point as we are only looking at Mars as a House Lord here. I reserve Triplicity Lords for essential planetary significators and then only by angularity (might like Vettius Valens treats the sect light) to avoid a signification soup.

    Mars is in its own exaltation, meaning it is effective. This does not necessarily mean it is fortuitous given Mars is a malefic. However, being in sect, Mars is less malefic than usual. The Moon, also representing the populous, is on an angle (thus raising the volume on their issues so speak) and weakly supported by its main Triplicity Lord (Mercury) in a succedent house and not at all by the other two Lords (Saturn and Jupiter), both of whom are in cadent houses. Generally the indications are not good for the people.

    The Sun in the 6th (by whole sign) is never good but in aspect from a superior square by sign (the 3rd) from both malefics is double plus not good. The square is softened by Jupiter conjunct both malefics but its still a square and Jupiter itself is enclosed by the malefics (a form of “maltreatment” thus weakening it). This configuration links signifiers for disease (6th house) and problems with domestic travel/infrastructure and domestic relations (malefics in the 3rd). Absence of economic growth is signified by Jupiter’s maltreatment. Low prices are signified by the Moon in southern latitudes. Perhaps President Trump (the Sun) will be taking some heat for the general economic slow down resulting from governmental response to corona virus and/or there is friction between levels of government on this issue. The Sun as House Lord of the 10th in the 6th does connect the federal government to issues of public service and illness/injury. The Sun as essential significator of the government and its head has its Triplicity Lords (Jupiter, itself, and Saturn) all in cadent houses. As far as angularity goes, things don’t get worse i.e. these provide no support at all. Thus the president and the government is in for a rough ride. As concerns President Trump’s personal fortunes: Saturn (House Lord of the 4th = political opposition) does strongly challenge the Sun (head of state) by a superior square by sign that is applying. Still, the Sun is trine the 10th house and rules it. Thus the president may find himself in a subordinate positions with respect to public servants and service (he cannot grandstand effectively) and strongly challenged by his opposition, he still is very strongly associated with the government itself.

    The Moon is in superior trine by sign to the Sun suggesting weak support from the more vocal members of the public. Thus the significators of for the people both trouble (Mars square) and support (Moon sextile) the president. Since the essential significator for the pandemic is the same as the accidental significator for the people (Mars = Lord of the 1st) we might read this as the fact that people are sick will present real problems for the government but people (essential significator = Moon) are weakly supportive. T

    The lot associated with crisis is that formed by the malefics. This lot lands in the 2st house of wealth (given the chart is nocturnal, the lot is determined by the longitude of Mars to Saturn from the Asc) and its signifier (House Lord of the Lot) is Jupiter which is again maltreated by both malefics. This tends to confirms the economic outlook given above.

    With respect to disease we would look to the essential significator of pandemic (Mars) and the House Lord of the 6th house (also Mars). Mars is afflicted by its own House Lord, Saturn but conjunct Jupiter. Its Triplicity Lords are the Moon and Venus, both on angles suggesting strong support (in doing harm which is Mars’ nature). The lot of violence formed by Moon to Mars falls in the 1st house in the terms of Mars itself in a sign ruled by Mars on an angle. Thus Mars will have its effect. The overall set of significators suggests significant violence by disease.

    With respect to actual death, we would look at the essential signifier (Saturn), the 8th house (House Lord in particular), and the lot of death (Moon to Saturn – House Lord in particular). Saturn is the out of sect malefic (and so again the main bad boy of the chart). It main Triplicity Lord is also the Moon on an angle again suggesting support in doing harm. It is effective being in its own house (i.e. capable of doing harm), more so as it is in a malefic terms at the end of the sign. The trine by sign from Venus does not help this matter, or any other, as the aspect is inferior and so must be within 3 degrees to be effective (i.e. to “cast a ray” back in the chart). So bad, but softened by Jupiter’s benevolent effects.

    The Lord of the 8th is in the 5th (connecting death and speculation). It is Mercury, which doubles down on the association with trade. All this says more about the stock market than it does about actual death. It suggest “death of the market”. Nonetheless, the 5th house is an inherently fortuitous house so its not the end of the world and Mercury being, well, mercurial, means things will change rapidly and without warning. Nonetheless, Mercury being in its fall in Pisces suggest the overall effect will be be a weak stock market.

    Finally the lot of death (Moon to Saturn) falls in the 1st house with Mars again as the significator being Lord of the House of the lot. This is a strong converging indicator connecting death and disease and the population.

    On the bright side, Venus in the 7th suggests harmonious foreign affairs despite griping from the people (Moon superior square).

    As far as general indicators go, the Lord of the lot of fortune is in the 3rd house with the lot itself and afflicted by Mars but mitigated by Jupiter and none of the Triplicity Lords of the Sect Light (the Moon) are angular. This will be a difficult year.

    To be fair, this is a bit of retro analysis (in both senses). Nonetheless, at this point in the timeline it is always safe to say “more of the same only worse” and that is what I have done.

  201. Boys Mom:

    It really is amazing how out-of-touch an awful lot of people are with the basic facts of food production, most importantly that foods of all kinds are seasonal. Or that some foods cannot be grown in some places because of climate and length of growing season. The same goes, more or less, for livestock. It’s too often a surprise to new beekeepers that no, you can’t just place an order for a package of bees whenever you fancy setting up a hive; agriculture doesn’t operate like shopping on Amazon. Here in the north you place that order in January for pick-up in April or May, depending on the weather. If you miss that window, you’ve got to hope somebody has a swarm to share or it’s better luck next year.

    It hasn’t really been that long, maybe since WWII, that this sort of thing was common knowledge, but with fresh asparagus and strawberries for sale in December (imported from who-knows-where) and oranges and pineapples plentiful all year even in a New England blizzard, intimate knowledge of the interplay of seasons and weather with our food has largely been lost.

  202. Hey

    I am impressed a man of your age gets the newest words used amongst milenials like boomer remover , i am sure you know about ok boomer and f*** grandma meme too. But if its an nothing burger why would the Chinese shut down their country and literally risk losing business?

    On the other side dunno if this counts but i guess your prediction just came true the head of the intelligence committee got caught in some insider trading https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/1AB2EBCE-6AD1-11EA-9113-79BAEFEE335A

    And on third note i have noticed a lot of people literally making art of corona virus that is called corona chan since the start i dont know if that fueled this epidemic or not in terms of magic.

    Also my favorite ok boomer song
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dWNvlyycWzQ

  203. I’m quite intrigued by the success of your predictions using mundane astrology and interested to know if it would be an appropriate addition to my own occult study.

    Toward that end would you mind suggesting a book or two which could serve as good starting points for a novice astrologer?

    Please forgive the off topic request.

    Many thanks,
    Will

  204. JMG, first I want to thank you for your wisdom. I know the rudiments of organic gardening, live in a well-insulated house, and have some free and clear land, in large part because of you. This whole COVID-19 situation has made me take stock of things, and I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot of people to be thankful to. So thank you.

    Even so, we all fall short, especially me. I have read the entire Archdruid Report at least twice, and I am 100% in agreement with you about the trajectory of industrial civilization. Nevertheless, recent events have rattled me. It’s one thing to intellectually know something and another thing to know it in your bones. The ease with which our society has been disrupted, even if it is a temporary blip, is shocking to me even though I intellectually “knew” it.

    I sincerely hope you are correct about how COVID-19 is mainly smoke and no fire.

    I know that I would appreciate hearing more from you on this present disruption. I know that you have said your piece in the Archdruid Report, but like I said, I would appreciate it. =)

  205. Having read your work for so many years now and I am getting a strong feeling you are starting to miss the mark. Thank you so much for allowing me to see some of the problems with the overall construct of reality in America over the last decade but now I perceive a divergence from that reality. This all is starting to seem coached to a viewpoint that is fixed, not that it is bad to know what you think, and the topics are not the most important events of our times but chosen to prove a narrow set of conclusions. Something has changed from the early years when your ideas reflected off current events. Those who believe the Coronavirus has been ignored by the current administration at a great loss of life, wondered what you might say given the tendency lately to approve of the current administration policies. I asked myself a few weeks ago whether you would ever find fault there. A better thinker could be more specific, I apologize.

  206. I chatted with a couple of acquaintances in Iowa and Minnesota. Probably the biggest bit of news I heard from them was that there grocery stores were still pretty much stocked with no real shortages of anything. Both acquaintances also talked about having plenty of food – and, knowing them, that food would have been there no matter what.

    Meanwhile many supermarkets here in NW Indiana still have trouble stocking toilet paper. Part of me thinks that too many of us urban types are trying to stock up by buying what we know about – hence the runs on toilet paper, bottled water, and rice. Had they lived in a rural town (or out amongst farmers) they’d have known to get and keep as much food as they could afford (and yes, I know about poverty. Hence my use of the term “afford.”).

    As for me, I’ve bought some foodstocks. A few weeks of readymade meals, soups (condensed or otherwise), powdered potatoes and beer (need something to relax with since the usual weekend activities no longer exist for now). Will slowly expand both the stocks and variety as this crisis works its way through. Should have been more prepared, but am thankful of what I had seen beforehand – at least I knew what to go for.

  207. Hello JMG

    If any significant good is going to result from this pandemic, then this chart would indicate so, no? What indications are there of this on the chart?

    SMJ

  208. @Patricia Ormsby:

    I haven’t looked into alternative medicine treatment – is it supposed to work in the population in general, in relatives of infected persons, in infected persons at home, or in those with pneumonia?

    I do know that I disagree with just about every word in Rath’s historical metaphor.

  209. Since the comet Atlas was mentioned, I would like to point out that it has a rather high declination, that is, the comet is circumpolar in constellations which are far from the zodiac. I don’t know what that means when it comes to interpret possible astrological effects of the comet.

  210. @BoysMom: Yikes, yeah! That’s one of the reasons I bought seeds–I figure when vegetables do start growing, there’s going to be something of a run on them. (It’s not as bad out here, because PA is a little further south, but there’s nothing fresh on the supermarket shelves. We’re going to the local Amish/Amish-Adjacent places today, but I don’t expect much in the way of fresh vegetables, due to what you say.)

  211. My state’s (MA’s) governor, quoted in news reports this morning: “In this war [on COVID-19] ventilators are what missiles were in World War II.” Um, barely invented? Only used by Germans? Irrelevant to the outcome? (Okay, to be very charitable, bullets, shells, and thrown grenades are all technically missiles. But I doubt that’s what he meant.)

    Yesterday, in the Minot Forest Preserve, on a trail about a mile from the road, my wife and I met a young mother and her about ten-year-old son. It was a gloomy overcast afternoon, threatening rain at any moment. A “nice spring day” only by New England standards. But there they were, the first young family we’ve seen in our dozens of walks there. The mother was talking about how much she had missed walking in the woods, something she used to do but hadn’t done in years. (They live in an apartment complex adjacent to those woods.) The boy was excited though a bit confused, seeming not at all out of place despite the place being so obviously unfamiliar to him. He was saying things about searching for treasure and guns that didn’t quite make sense, until we realized he was talking ironically about the lack of piles of weapons and ammunition scattered around, unlike in his X-Box games. While we talked he played at carving sticks using a combination flashlight and folding knife (a truly stupid design that, in the dark, would fail to illuminate what you were cutting) until inevitably he cut his finger. Neither of them overreacted to this. “I told you, always cut away from your hand,” the mother chided as they wrapped the cut with a wipe. Warned that the disinfectant in the wipe would sting, the boy said, ‘Nah, it’s fine.” I thought: “This kid’s great grandchild could be a chieftain who unites the tribes. Inspired, perhaps, by legends of an ancestral world swarming with enemies but scattered with providential piles of weapons and ammunition.” The notion seemed neither likely nor ridiculous.

    There’s hope for the species, is what I’m saying.

  212. Insight this morning: Whether or not the COVID-19 virus is the climax of a fourth turning or not, *people are treating it as such.* Which, if I understand any magical theory at all, has made it into one whether or not it was before.

  213. Rita Rippetoe – thanks for Berkeley Co-op Food Book recommendation. In my cart now!

    Patricia Ormsby – the 30-Years-War as the last gasp of the Medieval order? You know, I can well believe it, though slashing religions and mercenary armies dominating seem a lot more Renaissance to me. Maybe, rather, the total End of the Renaissance?

  214. Re: Trump. It’s so interesting to read the comments here (both our host’s and the readers’), given that the media loudly insists that Trump’s presidency is over, over, OVER!!! For instance:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/peter-wehner-trump-presidency-over/607969/

    I must admit I haven’t been following American politics all that closely in the last few years. After all, I’m not American, and I don’t live in America. Before the coronavirus crisis, I just assumed that if the Democrats nominated Biden, then Trump would win by a landslide, and if they nominated Sanders, then who knows?! The idea being that nobody other than lifelong Democrats would bother voting for Biden (seriously, *why* would anyone vote for Biden?? I just don’t get it), and Sanders is the Democratic version of Trump, so who knows? And then this crisis started, and the media almost persuaded me that it was over for Trump. Sigh. I should have known better by now. 😉

  215. Are you considering coming up with something of the sort?

    You mean, am I considering writing a course or treatise on forming and applying mental models and reflexive narratives, of which my experience consists primarily of making up and using such models and narratives that seem to work for me most of the time over the course of my life; with no relevant academic credentials, no formal occult initiations, no life experiences that most people would regard as extraordinary (no years surviving in a POW camp or fighting cancer), and no achievements of impressive wealth or fame; that would offend just about everyone regardless of present world view?

    Why, yes, I am.

  216. Rita Rippetoe – thanks for the top on Berkeley Food Coop Book. In my cart. I had Callenbach’s book at one time. Much of the advice seemed impossible if one did office work, even on a low level, but of course that has all changed now.

  217. @ DropBear & JMG – stepping off treadmill

    Actually, quite a few people are thinking this way. I see the frenetic pace of modern society differently, probably because we have a farm, and that means working to a different clock than those in cubicle or similar jobs. The farm also means we are very much “preppers”, because that is something you just do with a farm, because the next hard time is always lurking. We are far enough in flyover country that JIT inventory practices often equate with “no sale” – if you don’t have it but I can order it, then what is your actual business purpose in the age of Amazon?

    Anyway, this whole Who-flung-doo flu thing is just entirely too convenient, as DropBear points out, and there are other conveniences if one digs further. The amount of fear mongering and stoking by media is staggering, as is the amount of disinfo and misinfo floating around the internet. I got a call from my next door neighbor, absentee landowner, asking me to check his stuff because he will not be able to get to his land “when the roads are closed”…wait, whut?

    The pace of and amount of who-flung-doo flu poo streaming into peoples brains is staggering, and the repetition is maddening and mind numbing. My suggestion is to immediately cease watching TV for more than a few minutes each day, and tune your radio to music and not news. Or just stop for a few days entirely – if it is important news, you will hear about it. Otherwise I don’t need to hear Mike Pence speak or assorted talking heads.

    I went to the farm yesterday. There was nothing there to indicate any difference from last year, other than my fruit trees are a bit bigger. I have received emails and texts from people unheard from in a few years – because they suddenly have the time to think about something besides the 12-hour work grind.

    My son got a sinus cold a couple of days ago – was over it in 24 hours. His manager (he works for the state parks) told him to self-quarantine. He gets paid to take 14 days off without affecting his check or vacation time. The fear and ignorance and misinfo is making people do some crazy things.

    I would consider wearing a mask and gloves – if I were going to the doctor or hospital, but that is likely a smart practice anyway – that’s where the germs are! I have yet to see anyone masked up here locally.

    So, yes – if one tunes out the media, and steps off the work treadmill with some good beer, it is likely to be refreshing. It’s also illuminating to go into town, where everyone is abuzz with the who-flung-doo flu news, and ask if anyone actually KNOWS personally someone who contracted this stuff. Then follow up with asking does anyone know the name of someone who has gotten it – betting on the outcome of those questions could likely get you a few free beers.

    I have just finished up what I can in terms of consulting work – so nothing is pending for several days. I shall go to my farm, where my 27 year old son is vacationing under quarantine, bring some not-fizzy-not-yellow beer and the pair of us will go fishing for a few days. May bring the grandson too!

    So yes – once you switch off the panic programming, there is every reason to view this as vacation time.

  218. @All and JMG,

    Speaking of astrology, how would one go about finding someone reputable to do a personal chart, specifically to explore a specific question or situation one finds themselves in? Is this possible?

  219. I want to offer a front-lines report on the Chinese Coronaviurs, because for the last week and a bit, I’ve been kung-flu fighting.

    Take with a grain of salt, because they refused to test me. (Only testing those who have traveled to specified areas or been in contact with persons who have tested positive. ‘secondary contact’ does not count.) So I only think it’s COVID-19– but it’s dashedly odd timing for a flu.

    Physiologically I’m in my late 20s. (Actually older, but I eschew a car and stay in shape by biking everywhere).
    It manifested first as severe muscle ache, followed by severe shortness of breath and a dry cough, but a stuffy/runny nose. I know all the Millennials are running around saying “it’s just a flu” — well, it’s a pretty bad flu. I can’t recall a cold or flu to kick my ass like this one has.

    That said, it responded well to elderberry and symptoms peaked around day 4 or 5. (At its worst, a bout of mild aerobics actually had me black out. No joke!) I’m very much on the mend. If I weren’t the active type I suspect I might not notice that I’m still short of breath. The fact that this is a much shorter duration than what I’ve seen reported elsewhere I’m going to put down to the elder. It’s good stuff. (FYI, I have been taking a commercial capsule per instructions, as well as a lot of elderberry tea, and an elderflower/lemonbalm/fennel seed tea mix before sleep.)

    On a personal note, the quarantine is awesome. So peaceful. Mentally, I feel better than I have in a long while. (A few more days and I might even be able to face my overflowing e-mail!)

    It’s a good time to be an introvert, I guess.

  220. @ Simon Sheridan

    That’s interesting. Is it possible you experienced the dissonance between what you were feeling in the crowds (say, boredom or disgust) and what your intellect and culture told you you should be feeling (say, camaraderie and happiness) in the form of physical illness? That seems to be fairly common, and in some cases (especially the ever-popular “I should feed repulsed but I actually feel aroused”) I’ve experienced it myself.

    I don’t think it’s that uncommon to feel that way about crowd experiences. The alcohol is supposed to suppress that, so maybe there’s a difference in your reaction to alcohol after all: it failed to do what it does for others to make the experience tolerable. (If so that might be just as well; people who need drinks to be in their preferred scene don’t do well long-term.)

    But I could be completely off the mark. (Physical illness might also, after all, be the result of something physical, such as smoke or stale air, perfumes, dehydration, a cold virus you’re immune to but your body still has to fight off the next morning, or general etheric crud.) In any case, I haven’t experienced what you have with club crowds making me ill, but I do find they can be more intensely boring than simply being alone, where if I can’t write or read I can at least compose letters in my mind or something. The crowd demands a certain level of attention, below which one stands out to others as being withdrawn, with different but similarly unpleasant consequences depending on gender.

    As for the hope of people rethinking their routines and real preferences in the present circumstances, I’m right with you. As I recounted above I’ve already met some people appreciating activities that they started out doing out of desperation or making-the-best-of-it. (Unfortunately, liquor sales are way up, which is not a good sign for others—though how much of that is just equalizing consumption while the bars are closed isn’t clear.) Even if everyone goes right back to what they were doing before when it’s over, because that’s what they truly prefer, they’ll know what else is out there for them should their minds or their circumstances change.

  221. 99% off topic but…

    That glorious moment when you realize that practically everyone has a jar of the #1 remedy recommended by the distinguished homeopathic physician Rajan Sankaran for this pandemic: Vicks Vapo Rub.

    Camphor has a long and distinguished track record in respiratory conditions. Not saying it’s a cure or anything, but even a tincture of un-potentized substance can ease symptoms, and if you have a tincture it’s simple to run up a potency. Time consuming but hey, we’ve got plenty of that now.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6270224/

  222. In my excitement, I forgot to warn that Camphor should never be taken internally, as it’s quite toxic. Topically and by olfaction in vapor is perfectly safe. Adding drops of tincture to steam is perfect esince the etheric body is what is influenced. In the final edition of the Organon, Hahnemann introduced those modes application as gentle, effective alternatives to oral administration. Personally, I wouldn’t take anything less than a 3C potency of Camphora (a 1/1000th dilution).

  223. There’s one potential change which I think will be wonderful if it sticks: I’ve noticed people are paying a lot more to local news. This makes sense, since a lot of the measures which impact people are being made at the local level. I hope it sticks around even after the pandemic ends.

    As for Hughes’ working: I figured this virus was likely to be less significant that it was being portrayed, but now, I’m preparing for a much more significant outbreak. This working of his is about as dangerous as most of them.

  224. Another book on living well with style is “Good and Cheap” by Leanne Brown. This book showed up a few years ago when there was something of a challenge going on in the foody world to live on $4 a day, the food stamp allowance. This book started out as a project for her master’s degree in food studies. She posted it as a PDF and it went viral. She wanted to reach more people without computers and started a Kickstarter project to publish the book. Perhaps this post is off topic, but with restricted movements in place, thought it would help after I read Rita’s post.

    Cheers everyone

  225. @Violet about my “occult-historical hunch” on the Silent Generation:

    I’m a member of the Silent Generation myself, born a little more than nine months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. My wife is of the same generation, a year and eight months younger than I. So my hunch is basically a hunch about us and our age-mates with whom we grew up and knew well.

    We came into awareness about the time that the War in the Pacific was suddenly ended by two atomic bombs that we had invented, and that awareness ripened during the long, terrifying nuclear stand-off between us and the Soviet Union. We remember the constant fear of nuclear annihilation, the sirens on the hilltops meant to give warning of enemy attack (which were tested every month, scaring us all as they went off without much warning), and the pointless “hide under your school-desk” instructions in case of nuclear attack.

    My father was one of the engineers who developed the top-secret Norden Bombsight, the machine used eventually to drop the two atomic bombs on Japan, and he had an extremely high-level security clearance. So we as a family were perhaps slightly more aware of what nuclear war would mean than most families—but not by much. And pretty much everyone had seen “On the Beach,” or read the book from which it was filmed, or at least knew about its plot.

    Later (quite apart from my father’s war-time activity) I briefly met Edward Teller, the “father of the hydrogen bomb,” because his son was one of my own school-mates in Berkeley. Our meeting was quite casual, when I went to their house to see his son, and I had much less knowledge then than I do now of his place in history. But I clearly remember thinking, as he opened the door of their house, that he was by far the single most terrifying person I had ever met in all my young years. To my inner sense, he positively “reeked” of hatred, vengeance and death; and he was all the more terrifying as he obviously had enormous self-control and intelligence—the very opposite of the “crazed scientist” he was portrayed as in the film “Doctor Strangelove.”

    The three most powerful lessons that I absorbed from all this, as I grew up, were (1) that I and my age-mates had no future of any sort to look forward to, (2) that so-called “Progress” was very much a mixed bag, more likely to produce a worse future for humanity, not a better one, and (3) that only a fool would cherish any measure of hope in the future. Grim cheerfulness and humor in the face of certain death were the only reliable tools we had to face the future. “Que sera, sera” was a popular song of my ‘teen years: cheerful acceptance in the face of life’s total uncertainty and insecurity.

    We all married earlier than any other 20th-century generation, before or since, probably because of this shared perception that we were all going to die in a global nuclear holocaust anyway. Since this was before birth-control pills were available, we had our children earlier, too, and we has entered full-on, responsible adulthood in our early or middle twenties.

    The first president I remember was Harry S. Truman in his final term. It was a sign of the changing times that when his term was finished, he and his wife simply got in to their family car and drove themselves home to Missouri without any accompanying Secret Service detail—nor did they need one in those days. For those who welcomed the end of his presidency, it was sufficient that Dwight D. Eisenhower was taking over the White House. Former presidents hardly mattered to anyone. They needed no protection.

    All this is by way of background. It was only in the 1990s, when I began to teach courses on the history of magic and of women-led magical religion in the US, that I really began to think hard about the succession of generations in American history. As I organized the material I had gathered, it struck me that it reflected a sort of pendulum-swing in history between permissive and repressive eras, and that the period of this “pendulum” in US history seemed to be about 70 years. (There is, of course, hardly anything more likely to flourish in a permissive period of US history, and to be driven back underground in a repressive period, than women-led magical religions!)

    So I went rummaging in the library for books on this pendulum-swing, and I found Strauss and Howe’s books on generations. I was not satisfied with the details of their theory, and I was especially dissatisfied with the terminal years they assigned to many of their successive generations. However, their tables and charts provided lots of new material for rumination. Among those details was that there had not (yet) been any Silent-Generation president in US history—the only such generation in the nation’s history.

    And, as always with me, this rumination was not merely a matter of deliberate thought and sense-perception, but also involved intuition, non-sensory direct perception, and openness to input from the immaterial realm. That’s why I called it an “occult-historical hunch.

    One of the things that emerged in this process was that my own generation was very well-named “Silent.” It has consistently refused to speak, much less take on any major speaking-part in the history of our nation. This seemed, in fact, to be the role my generation had eternally been meant to play on the grand extra-dimensional game-board where we ephemeral species—and even our short-lived biospheres—are mere pawns in the game-play between Beings/Non-Beings so far beyond our comprehension that the mightiest Deities Themselves are as ephemeral insects by comparison.

    Hence I will be extremely surprised if either Biden or Sanders is able to win this election. (Trump, on the other hand, was born in 1946, and thus is a Boomer.) If by some whim of the electorate, either Biden or Sanders does happen to win it, he will be removed as quickly as convenient by these same titanic non-human Game-Players. This is why I think the choice of a Democratic running-mate is more important in this election than it has been for a very long time. (Even the least important of pawns can occasionally upset the play of a game, though not for long.)

  226. Your Kittenship, apparently not. I’ve been to a nudist colony in Britain — the same one where Gerald Gardner used to have a cabin — and quite an assortment of people were strolling around in the same state as those Wiccans.

    Ace, interesting. That might explain a good deal of it.

    Dave, fascinating. Thank you for this! I haven’t studied Hellenistic astrology — one system is complex enough for me — but your delineation makes sense.

    Booklover, I’m definitely going to be watching the comet. I’ve looked up the rules for interpreting comets, and once it becomes visible, I should be able to draw up some tentative predictions.

    Emily, the coronavirus isn’t a nothing burger, it’s just not the end of the world. It’s going to kill a lot of people, most of them old, and then it’ll blow on past and life will go on for the rest of us. As for terms like “boomer remover,” I lurk in some very odd places online. 😉

    Disciple, two very good basic books are Mundane Astrology by Raphael and Mundane or National Astrology by H.S. Green. Both have been reprinted many times.

    Carl, I know — it’s one thing to think about decline in the abstract and quite another to see things start to unravel around you! One advantage of the present crisis is that it gives us a chance to face that reality in a situation that is much less dangerous than some of the other possibilities. Here in the US, by and large we’ve been absurdly sheltered from trouble for a very long time; the current outbreak is a chance to get used to the return of history as usual.

    Steven, ever since I began blogging in 2006 I’ve had people insisting that I’m not writing about the things that matter, that I’m pushing some preconceived agenda, and — well, basically, the same things you’ve said here. To all of that, my only answer is that I write what I want to write about the subjects I want to write about, for the benefit of those who want to read it, and those who don’t are welcome to keep in mind that there are many other blogs out there on the internet. As for the current administration, I have my disagreements with some of Trump’s policies, but as a whole they’re far better for most Americans than the disastrously wrongheaded neoliberal orthodoxies they replaced. Furthermore, the frantic insistence on the part of his enemies that everything he does is by definition the evilest evil that ever eviled is getting really dull — and it’s especially so when the accusations swing 180° at the drop of a hat. Consider “He’s an evil racist because he shut down travel from other countries!” a few days ago vs. “He didn’t shut down travel from other countries soon enough!” today — etc., etc., ad nauseam…

    Godozo, thanks for the data points! For what it’s worth, my wife and I — longtime city dwellers — always keep a couple of weeks of food in the cupboard, and so it was easy to stock up a little more.

    SMJ, remember that mundane astrology is kind of a blunt instrument; it shows very general trends, which every so often can be narrowed down if you pay close attention to current trends. Mars exalted in Capricorn, conjunct Jupiter and trine Venus, as the ruler of the ascendant could be taken as a prediction of a great many constructive changes in the country, carried out by the people themselves rather than by government — but there are other ways that same pattern of energies could express itself.

    Booklover, that’s actually quite common for comets, and the math used to relate the trajectory to the ecliptic — which is where the zodiac is measured — is well known. I’m looking forward to analyzing this one.

    Walt, thanks for this! There is indeed hope.

    Patricia M, I think you’re quite correct.

    Irena, the media has been insisting since Trump first began to campaign for the presidency that this or that or the other thing would inevitably doom him. Every time, whatever it was turned out to strengthen him. This is no exception. Our corporate media seem to have lost track of the fact that incantation has its limits.

    Walt, excellent. Keep in mind that I started blogging about peak oil and the future of industrial society with an equivalent set of credentials.

    Oilman2, have a great fishing trip! That strikes me as a very sane way to deal with all this. As for TV, I’m increasingly sure that the single most liberating thing anyone in this society can do is to get rid of the wretched thing. There is, after all, a reason they call it “programming”…

    Tude, I recommend going through the American Federation of Astrologers, which has a very solid certification program; here’s a link to their list of certified astrologers.

    Dusk Shine, thanks for this. Best wishes for a quick and complete recovery!

    Anonymous. I suppose it was inevitable. Of course I’m not a Buddhist and I don’t claim to know the theoretical basis of the Tonglen practice he’s promoting here, but from the standpoint of a Western occultist, breathing pain and suffering into your lungs — in the middle of a serious epidemic of a virus that affects the respiratory system! — seems almost criminally stupid. Not my circus, not my monkeys, and emphatically not my religion…but if anyone asks me whether I recommend this practice, the answer will be an emphatic NO.

  227. Chrysanthemum, whoa, Nelly! You can’t just use the raw material for a homeopathic preparation as though it was the preparation itself. The studies so far by homeopaths — at least the ones I’ve heard of — used high-potency dilutions of pure camphor, not the mix of stuff in VapoRub. I understand that homeopaths in India are having excellent results treating coronavirus patients with Camphora, but that’s with LM and higher potencies.

    Will, that’s good news indeed. As for Hughes — well, yes.

    Kay, thanks for this.

  228. I’ve been . . . hmm, I don’t have a word for it, the feeling when you knew something was wrong and unjust but you didn’t realize how stupidly bad it was until it was ended. Whatever that is, at how many regulations have been suspended. How bad the regulations were.

    Some of them are laws, some are bureaucratic regulations. Might the 10th house reflect the situation between the people asking the president to keep the latter suspended or void them, and the bureaucracy trying to bring them back?

  229. Lady Cutekitten re: skyclad British witches – ever hear the expression “colder than a witch’s [udder]?” That’s where it came from. [JMG – is the original OK to use?]

  230. Yes, potentially high dose Vitamin C.
    Look into the following:
    Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap root)
    Lonicera japonica
    Forsythia suspensa
    Polygonum cuspidatum
    Radix Glycyrrhizae
    Sambucus leaf tincture
    Their are others and various combinations or permutations.
    Also potentially Chloroquine and Zinc

    Copper surfaces and COVID-19 deactivation: 4 hours

    Sources:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htwaBTWXZaU
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2004973
    https://highgardentea.com/herbal-treatment-for-coronavirus/
    http://www.zjujournals.com/med/CN/10.3785/j.issn.1008-9292.2020.03.03

    Please do you own research.

  231. @anonymous, @JMG

    Ugh. About Michael M. Hughes’ new “healing meditation”. Sigh… Can not believe how clueless some people are. Tonglen in its home setting – Tibet with a guru who is part of a trained lineage of gurus is part of the mystic path but it’s not meant for someone who hasn’t been a monk or nun for decades as his/her day job. If being a monk or nun hasn’t been your day job for several decades doing Tonglen is a dumb thing to take up willy nilly. I put it on par with a lot of the stupid internet challenge memes going around these days like “lick a toilet seat from a corona-confirmed area” videos (yes, they exist).

    Breathing in suffering is part of what mystics do and it has a real effect on the body – it increases pain. Mystics can do it because they’ve done many decades of preliminary practices that have revealed to themselves they aren’t the body or the mind. That doesn’t mean their bodies and minds don’t feel pain – and if you ask them that they will freely admit it – why yes! there’s plenty of pain. What they’ve mastered is that they don’t SUFFER because of the physical, mental and emotional pain. The mystic now knows and experiences they aren’t the body nor their emotions nor thoughts for that matter either every day. If you are at that stage then you can do Tonglen service for the world by acting as a suffering magnet and release valve for a population. If you can’t do that (ie have zero suffering despite physical, mental and emotional pain) – leave Tonglen for the lineages that have spent decades prepping their adepts for it.

    Pop-spirituality has been peddling Tonglen for a while unmoored from it’s original base. I know Pema Chodron means well but I honestly think she’s unwittingly been part of the problem in this instance.

    Truthfully I think the simple meditation the Buddha himself gave is a better beginner practice for someone who isn’t a professional monk or nun. Just sit quietly and watch your breath. On the outbreath you can think, “may all beings be at ease.” That’s the phrase the Buddha himself advised. Start with 5 minutes. Use another 5 minutes teaching yourself to relax tense muscles and tighten up ones that are too loose. Example of too loose – most people’s pot-bellies (even small ones) qualify as too loose and contribute to a nation of chronic back pain sufferers as a result. A 3rd alternative is to do the Inner Smile. Inner Smile makes a much better meditation for Mr. Hugh’s purposes than the Tonglen rip-off. Simply sit for 5 minutes each day and smile at your internal organs. Yes, physically smile at each of your body’s major organs.* Then turn and smile at 5 things that represent the 5 elements with hands in the namaskar (praying palms) position. Combine it with a banishing ritual or chanting a divine name. Find time to do these things every day. Don’t just well wish for a disaster – make it something you do no matter what’s happening. Watch as over the next 12 month your world – inner and outer brightens and improves.

    *For those more deep into spiritual practices – this is a form of tattva shuddi – element cleansing.

  232. Dusk Shine, thanks for the report! In the media there is so much contradictory information about the effects of the Coronavirus, that it is not easy to come to a conclusion about it. But describing it as a “bad flu” seems not to be totally off the mark. It seems to affect different people and ethnicities differently.

  233. The people in this culture are terrified of dying.

    Though I don’t agree on every point Will J. made in his “you reap what you sow, Boomer” comment, I think he was piled-on rather unfairly. The Coronapocalypse has revealed a great deal of hypocrisy. Many Boomers have a complete melt-down when it comes to contemplating their own imminent deaths. It’s not just them, but I think they’re the ones fomenting the worst forms of hysteria. I’m one of the lucky ones who learned generosity from my beloved and constantly-appreciated Boomer parents. I also learned from them a tacit detachment from the insane drive to stay alive at all costs.

    Boomers, including my parents, have benefited from decades of off-shoring, surging real estate prices, and financial racketeering that masquerades as a real economy. Had I followed in the logical steps of what I was raised to become, I would have found a rich guy in college/grad school, married him, had a couple of kids, and become another brick in the wall. By doing so, I would have had no choice but to adopt certain values belonging to my parents and their generation, none of which include making do with less, chucking the TV, or choosing alternative forms of medicine rather than the latest, greatest wannabe panacea pill/diet/procedure. If you are a Boomer and you live frugally, eschew television, and reject the quackery that passes for the healing arts these day, good for you. You’re still the exception, not the norm. I love my parents despite their conformist bad habits. You can love the old folks without loving some of the major generational choices they made on everyone’s behalf. Also in Will J.’s defense: some people need human contact or they don’t thrive. Lockdowns are genuinely killing some people right now because they have no access to other humans. I believe the “failure to thrive without other humans” is an etheric and an astral phenomenon. I’m currently working up a series of essays about it for my blog.

    The whole “let the Boomers die” sentiment boils right under the surface of all this. Of course it does. Darwin’s theory is brutal yet accurate. The leonine, apex predator Coronavirus stalks the sick, the old, and the weak. I’ve also noticed how much the chronically ill people on Facebook (or those with chronically ill loved ones) are using the pandemic to signal their fragility and scarcity. Maybe it’s because I have Pluto in my first house, but I’m OK with my own impending death and have been for a long time, long before I believed in reincarnation. As much as I am valued in this incarnation by my aforementioned parents, my husband, my music students, those few freaks who like my original music and writing, and especially my cat, the world keeps turning without me and will not give a fiddler’s fart once I’m gone. Furthermore, I’m not going to make a career of moaning about how much pain and disability I have, publicly or privately. I came within an hour of my own death at age 27. I was atheist at that time. I was fine with dying despite the fact I wasn’t severely depressed and I was newly married. Maybe it’s due to being suicidal as a teen, but I’m just not afraid of death and I believe complaining about illness makes it worse. I don’t think most people have the same attitude, not overall. People give lip service and say they accept natural aging and death as processes, yet the thriving plastic surgery and organ-transplant industries speak differently.

  234. Thank you for the BBC article. It does explain why epidemiology is apparently less accurate than astrology. I have to say, though, I smell an awful lot of “if” coming off that article. It is absolutely possible that far many more people have been infected and are effectively asymptomatic, just like the regular ‘flu. The government is not going to bet lives on that. Even if the lower numbers in the BBC article are accurate, a 2% death rate of people who get sick is an order of magnitude greater than the usual ‘flu. Obviously not the Black Death, or the 30 years War for scale of death and devastation, but definitely enough to make people justifiably afraid. One good thing, is people are washing their hands and FINALLY doing everything that the medical community has been trying to get people to do as a matter of course every ‘flu season. I much prefer overreaction to “meh… how bad could it be?” I expect the total numbers will remain very small in comparison to the usual ‘flu, given how aggressively the authorities are responding, in most countries.

    As to the Libra Ingress, all I can say is that the predictions might have been correct, but the signal to noise ratio is so very, very low that I honestly can’t see any real predictive influence at all, unlike some previous charts you posted. That is, while I can certainly find event patterns that would arguably fit with indications from that chart, I can find more which do not. If the stars incline, I’d say that one was only about the same incline as the pavement on the sidewalk: just enough to keep the rain from pooling.

    With this ingress chart, you indicate President Trump will likely enjoy a successful year, I assume that means he’ll be successful in the crude propaganda campaign he’s already pursuing, aggressively denying that he said what he said on camera just a couple of weeks ago and already shifting blame to “Chiiiinaah” for this pandemic in order to deflect attention away from his own incompetent response. Meanwhile, the opposition Democrats seem to be running a footrace while wearing oversize clown-shoes with the laces tied together. A weak Moon indeed.
    Meanwhile, in Canada, I’d say that the Sun indicates our populist Prime Minister Trudeau — and he is populist in that: he makes all the right noises to appeal to the majority of people. Even though his Party didn’t keep an outright majority this time, it is still the largest, and the opposition is too fragmented to bring his government down.
    They resolved the aboriginal rail blockades over the pipeline and land disputes for the time being. Their overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been effective. Right now, downtown Toronto looks like a deserted, post-apocalyptic disaster-movie set, as everyone who can work from home, is staying at home. Cases spiked a couple of days ago and new cases are down the past 2 days. The overwhelming majority are voluntarily practicing social-distancing and remaining isolated, per request of government.

    If mining and agriculture are going to enjoy a good year, they are off to a very poor start, since the oil-price spat between the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Putin tanked the price of oil recently. That was already crashing the extraction-economy of Alberta just before this pandemic became endemic and crushed the stock markets, too. The agriculture sector was hurting from the Chinese sanctions against Canada for the arrest and detention of Meng Wanzhou at the behest of the U.S. government. If the indications are for a good year, then perhaps the trial gets resolved, the sanctions get lifted, and maybe we begin to seriously move away from an oil-based industrial system.

    I have much more extensive thoughts on this ingress chart, but I’ll save them for another venue and I’ll be keeping notes as the year progresses. Thanks for this.

    Bruce

  235. BoysMom, hmm! That’s possible — and the fact that the 10th house ruler is conjunct the 4th house cusp suggests that the people may actually get their way.

    Patricia M, you can always use the original spelling of that word, “teat.”

    Xuan, thanks for this.

    Happypandatao, thanks for this. That makes a great deal of sense of the tonglen practice; experienced Western mystics routinely do something similar — in Dion Fortune’s terms, absorbing the negative karma of the world and abreacting it. Someone who has the necessary spiritual maturity and meditative competence to do that can accomplish a great deal, but it’s absolutely not a practice for beginners. As for Hughes’ thing — dear gods, this is likely to end very, very badly…

  236. Hi JMG,

    A couple of other thoughts, if it’s not too far off topic–

    1. I continue to regard the pleasant crisis as a blessing. I was going to write “in disguise,” but it isn’t really disguised at all.

    A family member posted a video on a social media site describing the Plague as divine intervention, presumably for all the reasons I described in my last post (I didn’t watch it, as I’d need yet another social media account to do so, and no thank you). Other members of the family disagreed with her. One said, “That’s interesting, but I bet those 660 dead people in Italy don’t think it’s divine.” Another also disagreed. This one becomes angry anytime anyone ascribes higher causality to anything. “Things don’t happen for a reason,” she says. And the reason for that is that she went through a devastating personal tragedy a few years back.

    Reading this, it occurred to me that the idea of God that most people in our society have is a cross between Santa Claus and Everyone Gets a Trophy. Now, that God does not exist. In real life, 2000s helicopter parenting to the contrary, most of us don’t get trophies, most of the time. If that’s the only God you can imagine, atheism is completely appropriate.

    But what’s funny is, this God in no way resembles any of the traditional lore about Gods, from anywhere in the world. I commented to my family members that the Iliad opens with the Greek armies being cut down by a plague, having offended Apollo. Once they’re willing to admit their mistakes, make restitution, and offer a sacrifice to the God, the plague ends. That’s a far more realistic vision of how Gods actually work in the actual world. I might also have mentioned the story that my son and I read at Home School the other day, in which Thor goes to Giant Land. In that one, the giant king challenges Thor to a series of contests, all of which he fails. He isn’t able to lift the giant’s cat, drain the giant’s mead-horn, or even toss the giant’s nurse in a wrestling match! It turns out, of course, that the cat was actually the dragon that lives in the ocean, encircling the world; the mead-horn was full of the ocean itself, and Thor’s drinking caused sea levels to fall by a foot; and the old nurse was none other than Old Age herself, whom no one can defeat in the end– not even mighty Thor.

    And, of course, the central story in the Christian religion involves the painful, and necessary, sacrifice and death of the son of God Himself!

    I might have mentioned any of these, but I needn’t have bothered, since no one was listening anyways. God either gives everyone a trophy or he doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, I still expect to see– and am already seeing– many positive changes to come, once we make it through the time of trial and sacrifice.

    2. Regarding the boomers, it occurred to me that, in astrology, there are 3 archetypes of public leadership. These are the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn. We could also call them the Hero, the King, and the Elder. Every life naturally passes through these phases– the Sun around 25-40; the King between 40 and 60; the elder after 60 or so. Solar leadership is the leadership of the general in the field. Jovian leadership is leadership of the ruler at home. And Saturnine leadership is the leadership of the retired elder king who advises the younger, but no longer rules directly.

    The issue with the boomers, I think, is that they tried to hold on to the Solar mode even as their lives passed into the age of Jupiter. And now, when they ought to acting in a Saturnine advisory role, they continue to act like the Sun, hogging the spotlight. The Sun makes a far worse Saturn, I think, than he does a Jupiter. I suppose there’s a lesson in this for all of us.

    3. I completely forgot that I wrote up my own predictions for the Ingress. I saved them in a Gmail draft, which is dated January 29th. Reviewing it, I was surprised to find the following:

    “Aquarius is a sign of disruption. Its ruler, Uranus, is in the 6th house of health, square Saturn, who may or may not be conjunct the third house cusp [at the time I had just become aware of a theory that planets can’t conjunct a house cusp unless they and the cusp are in the same sign. I no longer accept this idea.] I predict that the ongoing Asian flu pandemic is going to be a major major issue over the year to come, possibly forcing closure of major transportation routes ”

    It would be cheating to re-do the entire chart at this point, so I may post it somewhere, and review it in 6 months.

  237. Wanted to submit a small clarification to my prior comment.

    When I say 5 elements that means I’m treating space as an element along with the other 4. I believe some older Western treatises called it Quintessence. In the Dharma religions Quintessence is called Akash, the most subtle of the 5 elements.

  238. @JMG

    JMG said: Someone who has the necessary spiritual maturity and meditative competence to do that can accomplish a great deal, but it’s absolutely not a practice for beginners. As for Hughes’ thing — dear gods, this is likely to end very, very badly…

    True. The pop-Tonglen peddlers don’t understand WHY the mystic is able to (and I’m C&Ping directly from M. Hughe’s article…Quote: In brief, you breathe in the pain and suffering of yourself and your loved ones, then exhale calmness, compassion, love, and healing.) Yes, because the fruit of decades of hours-long preliminary practice has already manifested in that mystic. Beginners don’t have that luxury yet. They haven’t worked for that calm steadiness impervious to suffering so they don’t have it’s fruit. So they’ll deal with all the results of their Hughes-tonglen at the stage they’re currently at.

    *side note: mystics and yogis also know how to (and still can) breath out the opposite – instability, stress, anger, etc. It’s just that they know they themselves won’t be spared from the consequences of doing so. Being a Yogi or mystic doesn’t mean you don’t feel pain or anger. It just means you’re a lot more aware of the consequences of any outcome to the various kind of actions you take – *all* of the consequences, not just the ones you’re rooting for. That’s the difference between a mystic like say Sadhguru or Master Nan Huai-Chin and Mr. Hughes.

  239. Patricia–yes, Callenbach’s book is rather more useful for men than women. Even in white collar jobs a man can get away with less expense on clothing for example. Buy a suit, take good care of it–i.e. hang up every night, keep it aired and spot clean and dry clean as needed. Buy white shirts–or even just one and wash it every night. No one will notice that you have only one pair of black oxfords if you keep them polished and everyone expects that you have only one wallet. A women in the same position would need several suits or several separates to mix and match, several blouses, purses and shoes to match, etc. Man’s haircut $20, woman’s cut and style $$, makeup, hosiery, it never ends.

  240. Hi Kimberly,

    Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but very few are in a hurry to get there! 😄

  241. Kimberly Steele: “The people in this culture are terrified of dying.”

    Ah, fellow vegan, you do blaspheme. Ts-ts-ts.

    One reason I’m having a hard time buying into the Coronapocalypse (that’s a good term; thanks) is that, well, we all have to die. Most people dying of this virus would have died anyway within a few years, of things such as cancer or dementia. Yes, I know, suffocating to death is pretty awful. I get it. But slowly dying of cancer or dementia seems far worse. So, isn’t this virus a blessing in disguise for many of its victims? I’m not being callous. It’s that I, me, myself, would much, much rather die of some variant of pneumonia than of one of those things that slowly kill you over a period of months (if you’re lucky) or years/decades (if you’re not), thank you very much. I wonder how many people disagree with me on this one. My guess is that not that many people disagree; it’s that many people like to pretend that they’ll live forever.

    And yes, I know, a small number of relatively young, otherwise healthy people have died, and will die, of this virus. That’s unfortunate. It’s also unfortunate that so many people fitting that description die in car crashes, etc. So, shall we outlaw cars? (Not such a bad idea, actually, but that’s another discussion.)

    I just hope that it doesn’t become illegal to go for a walk. My head tends to do weird things when I’m deprived of movement and fresh air for more than a couple of days. It’s even worse for the elderly. Imagine if someone told you that you weren’t allowed to go outside for the foreseeable future, and that, given your age and general state of health, you might very well die of – whatever (heart attack, stroke…) – in the not too distant future, especially if you remain sedentary and locked up indoors. So, you might be forced to stay indoors (and deprived of almost all human contact, too) for the last few weeks/months of your life. That sounds like torture to me. Far worse than potentially dying of the coronavirus.

  242. JMG – The thing that’s still bothering me about the COVID statistics is not the high number of cases, or deaths, but the low number of recoveries. In Italy, for example, we have (just now) 53,578 infections, 4,825 deaths, and 6,072 recoveries. I guess it’s obvious that it takes longer to recover than to die, but it’s also obvious that estimating the case fatality rate as 4,825/53,578 (9%) (and assume that the rest will recover) is too low. That would be almost as bad as estimating the eventual recovery rate as 6,072/53,578 (11%) (and assume that the rest will die). In the US, we have fewer recoveries than deaths. Even in Korea, where the outbreak has been relatively well managed from the beginning (after the initial surge of church-related cases) the numbers are grim: 8799 cases, only 1540 recoveries.

    Ken Denninger (blogger of no particular expertise in medicine) asserts that most people who go to the hospital with COVID pneumonia end up dying, despite the best medical intervention, and thus losing hospital capacity is incidental to the eventual impact. Regardless of the probabilities, it is clearly not the case that hospital care can be counted on to rescue those who can get it. Whether it improves the odds of recovery, or just prolongs the suffering, is hard to tell at this point.

    By the way: something to keep in mind if you see a video of coffins and/or bodies around a hospital: in many places, those are more likely to be fatalities due to other causes (e.g. seasonal flu).

  243. With regard to Xuan’s herb list, a mild warning about Radix Glycyrrhizae (licorice root). Licorice is used a lot in both traditional Chinese medicine. It tastes good to most people, is mildly sweet, has some antiviral properties on its own and when in mixtures with some other herbs (teas and tinctures), it makes the other herbs more effective. It is not rare or in danger of being over harvested. It is also an herb that you can ingest regularly for a long time.

    Licorice root has one drawback that I know about. It raises some people’s blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already higher than you would like it to be, it is better to avoid licorice as a simple and in mixtures. If you roll your own, use other antivirals and add some other plant to make the taste palatable. If you are already using a tea mix that contains licorice, consider checking your blood pressure more often and stop ingesting it if there is any indication it’s affecting you that way.

    If your blood pressure is normal, this doesn’t apply to you.

    Please note: this is information I learned in a nine month long introductory Western herbalism class from a knowledgeable and experienced teacher. I am not experienced and my level of knowledge is very basic, so I cannot advise anyone on remedies.

  244. Edit to my previous remarks on licorice root: The second sentence should read “Licorice is used a lot in both traditional Chinese medicine and in traditional Western herbalism.”

  245. Just a few words in defence of Pema Chodron: in her book about Tonglen, she doesn’t say anything about candles, flowers or quartz stones, but about connecting to the idea of Space in the Buddhist sense. I feel this anchoring in non-duality is very important. And then she advises to extend your circle of compassion only as far as you can handle it – which means for beginners it’s yourself and your current problematic emotion.

  246. And for anyone who feel that they are okay with dying soon, please reconsider if you wanted it to happen from suffocation while not being allowed to say goodbye to your loved ones.

  247. admin: “And for anyone who feel that they are okay with dying soon, please reconsider if you wanted it to happen from suffocation while not being allowed to say goodbye to your loved ones.”

    If the alternative is dying of something like cancer or dementia, then my answer is “yes, absolutely.”

  248. Renaissance, if the ingress chart posts don’t do anything for you, why, then, don’t read them. I post them because I like to write about them and some of my readers like to read them.

    Steve, that’s an excellent point. If this epidemic teaches at least a few of us that the universe really doesn’t have to care what we think, it will have accomplished something very valuable. As for your ingress prediction, good — I’ll look forward to your next interpretation as well.

    Happypandatao, the fifth element in modern Western occultism is usually called “spirit,” and it’s a fairly precise equivalent to akasha — not accidentally, as the five tattvas got some very close attention from Western occultists in the 19th and 20th centuries. With regard to Hughes’ latest folly, thanks for the further clarification. One of the most common bad habits of today’s pop magic is, predictably enough, an overinflated sense of spiritual entitlement — it’s as though people think the universe has to do what they want, and a mere lack of even the most basic competence on their part shouldn’t get in the way of that.

    Lathechuck, I’m wondering what definition of “recovery” is being used. What I’ve read in accounts from people who’ve gotten CoVID-19 is that they’ve had something like the flu, of greater or lesser severity, followed by a more or less lengthy period of convalescence. Is “recovery” defined as completion of convalescence? Or is it defined as having no more of the virus in your system? It’s not at all clear from the reports I’ve read.

    Admin, fair enough. As I mentioned, I’m not a Buddhist and I’ll defer to those who are; from within my own cultural and spiritual perspective, this strikes me as very risky unless you’re good at meditation and can handle the hard work of absorbing and abreacting negativity.

  249. My Grandma told me, years and years ago, that they used to call pneumonia “old man’s friend”.

    PLK

  250. Ok, Ok, Ok. I’m looking at the Corona Virus crisis here in the US, and I’m getting more and more uncomfortable. My mind and my gut are not on the same page with this, and I have yet to suss out why it is I feel so uneasy.

    In my comments above, I had fully endorsed the drastic social distancing measures being undertaken as justifiable and necessary to minimize the risks of catastrophic overloading of our health care system. Maybe our political leadership was slow to act, and they are far from perfect, but a least they were basically doing The Right Thing now. At the least that is what my mind has been telling me. Even though the frightful scenario I had wrote about above seems to be taking form in NYC as I write, my gut is saying something is wrong with this picture, and I can’t put my finger on it. Here are some excerpts from today’s NYT article (reproduced on yahoo.com,

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-york-deluge-cases-begins-142242444.html )

    “New York state’s long-feared surge of coronavirus cases has begun, thrusting the medical system toward a crisis point…In a startlingly quick ascent, [there are] 8000 positive tests … 10 times higher that was reported earlier in the week… It went from a small trickle of patients to a deluge …”.

    “…Generally, about 20% of coronavirus patients require hospitalization, with about one-quarter of those needing to be put on a mechanical ventilator machine to help them breathe. Statewide, more than 1,200 people have been hospitalized with the virus, according to Cuomo’s office. About 170 patients were in intensive care units in city hospitals, according to the city. But even those initial cases were straining the health care system, a worrying sign…”

    My reaction: When faced with a deluge, you triage. So how sick are those 8000 patients who tested positive? Did they come to the ER? How many are being admitted? What are the ages and underlying medical conditions of those being admitted or sent to the ICU? The article does not say; why, I wonder? We know that generally, an average 20% of intubated ICU patients walk out the hospital door, and I understand that only 5% of intubated coronavirus patients recover. So off the bat, someone doing triage for an ICU can declare that a CV patient over age say, 70 who has 2 or more of: heart disease, pre-existing lung disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, has such a bad prognosis that even the ICU won’t help and so belongs in hospice.

    As regards those patients who aren’t ICU candidates: 80% of cases are mild enough to stay home. That leaves the 15% who get admitted to the medicine floors; and these are the people I had been specifically worried about in my comments above, who would lose access to medical care should the system get overwhelmed. But now I wonder how life-saving is the care that those 15% actually receive. Yes they may get supplemental oxygen, but would they die or be at significant risk for worsening if they didn’t get it? Similarly for IV fluids. I don’t know the answer to these questions. In a pinch, could they not be put up in hotels or improvised pre-fab field hospitals cared for by clinic doctors and nurses? Doubtless for some there will complications like bacterial pneumonia, and others may need managing of co-morbidities, and those cases would unarguably belong in a hospital; I wonder what fraction of patients they represent.

    Can the harsh measures of the current response be expected to avert the worse-case scenario I outlined in my first comments? I’m having doubts now. I get the sense that the horse is long out of the barn, so why all this?

    So what did our political leadership know about this pandemic, and when did they know it? Today’s posting at moonofalabama.org is juicy and to the point:

    “…If the spy services were really concerned about the issue why did they not warn the public? Instead of leaking new idiotic fairytales they could have leaked a warning about the pandemic. Instead we were given this:

    * Bernie Sanders briefed by U.S. officials that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign – Feb 22 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/elections-2020/bernie-sanders-briefed-by-us-officials-that-russia-is-trying-to-help-his-presidential-campaign/ar-BB10fJsL

    * Russia Trying to Stoke U.S. Racial Tensions Before Election, Officials Say – March 10 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/us/politics/russian-interference-race.html

    * How Russian election meddling is back before 2020 vote – March 13 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/how-russian-election-meddling-is-back-before-2020-vote/ar-BB1172y5

    If the intelligence services had taken the pandemic seriously they could have warned the public via their countless stenographers in the media. Instead they kept the media filled with false anti-Russian stories…”

    And the intelligence agencies did know about the pandemic: Senator Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was receiving daily intelligence briefings on it from US intelligence agencies. Details:

    https://www.propublica.org/article/senator-dumped-up-to-1-7-million-of-stock-after-reassuring-public-about-coronavirus-preparedness

    Now, when I look at the news in the US, I am reminded of Mickey Mouse in the The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The measures being taken seem to reflect panic in our leadership, like “OMG, s**t really DOES happen! DO SOMETHING!”

    I think it was Lily Tomlin who said: “I try really hard to be as cynical as I can, but I just can’t keep up!”

    I can’t believe I am writing any of this.

  251. I think the resistance of the post-Boomer generations to decline is evident from the harshness of some of their remarks. Spengler wrote of the decline of the West, not its death. As the old locker-room saying has it, Defeat is worse than death, because you have to live with defeat. Defeat, in this case, the decline of a civilization, is inevitable. It’s not any one generation’s “fault”. This is what the failure of “progress” looks and feels like. (Thank you, Onething, for your consistent voice; I, for one, appreciate it very much. I also appreciate some of you older folk for your [remarkable] restraint. For me it is an example.)

    This might interest some of you: https://www.influenzaarchive.org,
    compiled at the University of Michigan. It shows how 50 American cities responded to the influenza pandemic around the time that Spengler published. I found it interesting to compare and contrast responses then with responses now; there are some similarities, and some differences, but those are mainly in the details.

  252. Raw substance isn’t as good as a potency. But if you’re stuck home and sick, if the symptoms match, a raw preparation can help. The rule of simillimum is at least partly why herbal treatments work. That’s how Hahnemann realized Cinchona would work for malaria because the symptoms from taking the raw substance caused malarial symptoms. Potentizing is mainly to make it safer and gentler, less disturbing to the organism.

    Camphor ointment is far cry from a 1M potency but if it’s all I had on hand, you bet I’d be doing what my mom did when we were sick as kids. Dr. Will Taylor MD once said, in a class on plant families, that in a pinch, a raw substance is worth trying. Just don’t eat it if it’s toxic. Use topically or by olfaction. But yeah, get it now before needing it. Urenus has a 1M in stock, the potency Dr. Sankaran recommends for prophylaxis and for treating mild to moderately severe cases.

    🐎

  253. To Irena: Thanks. I’m with you — for me, dementia seems a fate worse than death. Physical pain is one thing. I can handle quite a bit of that. But to lose every pathetically tiny intellectual gain I’ve worked for in this lifetime (even if I was reincarnated with all of it as potential) and to become a burden to other people? That would freaking suck.

    To Patricia Ormsby, if you’re listening, you seem to know a thing or two about the Japanese, far more than I do or ever will even though I’m half-Japanese. How would you describe the general Japanese person’s attitude towards death and suicide? I always sensed they don’t find it as horrifying and aren’t as patently dishonest about it as their Western counterparts.

    For those who bristle at the mention of the Reaper: If it is your fate to die tomorrow, why does the thought make you uneasy? How can you use this opportunity to make sure you live every day to its fullest, just in case it is your last?

  254. Dear Robert, Thanks for this! A lot to chew on, certainly. Especially I appreciate you giving a better sense of the inner dimension of the experience of being born into the Silent Generation. The extreme emphasis on the Plutonian themes I find especially salient. Also the points about Repressive and Permissive cycling strikes me as fascinating, too. My knowledge of anything approaching the inner dimension of various generations proves extraordinarily limited, as, indeed, does my understanding of American history. I’ll check out Strauss and Howe’s books on generations as time and libraries permit!

    Dear Admin, you may find it of interest that pneumonia was at one point known as “the old man’s friend,” because it carried old folks out of their lives relatively gracefully.

  255. To Admin and others, on dying–

    “And for anyone who feel that they are okay with dying soon, please reconsider if you wanted it to happen from suffocation while not being allowed to say goodbye to your loved ones.”

    What is the purpose of saying this? Honestly, what are you trying to accomplish by asking people to “reconsider” how they want to die– as though their wants mattered in this instance?

    I can tell you that I am, right now, having a very great time with this situation. Today I woke up late, meditated and read my morning tarot cards. I did a video lesson with my tai chi instructor, who is back from China but obviously unavailable to meet in person. I made lo mein for lunch, did some work in my garden, and took the baby on a walk. Right now I have a beef stew boiling on the stove– all herbs either grown by me or harvested in the woods, except the garlic– bread rising on the counter, and Claudio Monteverdi playing on the radio. It’s been about as fine a day as I can imagine.

    And yet, I could catch the illness, and become very sick, and even die. Worse, one of my loved ones could.

    So what?

    Will my death be made quicker or more painful by being afraid? By being miserable, or paranoid, or cursing God?

    The words of Epictetus come very forcefully to mind:

    “In all things we should act like men going on a voyage. What can I do? I can choose the master of the ship, the sailors, the day, the opportunity. Then comes a storm. What more have I to care for? for my part is done. The business belongs to another– the captain. But the ship is sinking. What then have I to do? I do the only thing that I can, not to be drowned full of fear, nor screaming, nor cursing God, but knowing that what has been produced must also perish. For I am not an immortal being, but a man; a part of the whole, as the hour is part of the day. Like the hour I must be present, and like the hour I must pass.”

    I can stay at home, I can practice social distancing, I can stockpile food and toilet paper. But if I get sick, I will do the only thing I can– I will attempt to face it with courage, grace and equanimity. Like the hour I must be present, and like the hour I must pass.

  256. My goodness. It was the repeated accuracy of your charts convinced me that astrology is a valid field of study. Your previous ones have definitely had a far superior track record than any pundits and talking heads.
    Just going over the last 6 months I don’t detect the degree of prescience that was present in the previous ones, which makes it an outlier.
    I hope that clears up my comment.
    You and your wife stay healthy and do not become infected.

    Bruce

  257. @ Kimberly Steele– “For some, this has been a golden opportunity to spend quality time with their children, learn how to cook from scratch, and to get some much-needed rest, as they weren’t going to figure this out by gentle persuasion.”

    Yes, exactly.

    I can definitely second your recommendation of hoodoo baths as well. In addition to the personal purification aspect, I’ve also found that the trees in our back yard seem to love the bathwater. Has this been your experience as well?

  258. @JMG and @Lathechuck, reading the litereature I think I can shed some light on the confusion that you and several people are expressing. The friendly neighborhood biologist returns!

    First of all, that blogger saying that most people who need hospital intervention or ventilation or even oxygen are not surviving is misinterpreting the literature. He cites a paper from China during the middle of their outbreak, stating that 95% of those on ventilators died. But that is not what the actual data in the paper actually indicates – I read the paper (my speciality is genetics and evolution rather than medicine but some of the skills do transfer) and they are very clear that the point of the investigation was to tell what separated those who recovered quickly from those who died, and as such ONLY counted those who at the moment the paper was put together had either died in a particular hospital or been released from the hospital, not those who were still in the hospital. As such, a whole lot of people who were still in the hospital but had not died were not counted – including lots of people who had been on ventilators. And those who were released from the hospital at that time were mostly people who needed the hospital less to begin with, and as such barely included anyone who had been ventilated. The paper was never meant to tell what happened to people who got various interventions, but instead to determine the differences between people who died quickly and those who were hospitalized lightly enough to be released quickly. Age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, smoking, and some details of their immune response you can detect with a blood test were the main factors.

    Second of all, the definition of ‘recovered’. This is a tricky one. It seems to me that the de facto standard that has popped up for ‘recovered’ is a combination of ‘doesn’t need continuing hospital intervention’ AND ‘has tested negative for the virus twice in a row’ (out of an abundance of caution for not allowing them to go out and about, spreading disease). The problem is the test – this virus is so freaking new, that the only test that exists for most of the world right now uses a method called RT-PCR. This uses common procedures and chemicals that can be whipped up in a week or two, rather than custom supply chains that need to be built for the sorts of tests that are cheaper at scale and more mass-producible that you tend to see for other tests. Think of the RT-PCR tests as custom handicrafts and other tests as a factory product, which are faster and cheaper to make per test but you need to set up the factory first. Those tests will come in time, and a few are just barely starting to be prototyped and rolled out. An RT-PCR based test will tell you if there is any of the viral genetic material in the sample taken from your nose or throat.

    This, however, does not necessarily correspond with being contagious or having a meaningful viral infection still rolling depending on the virus or the person – people with measles sometimes have detectable viral genetic material in their various fluids for weeks after recovery, but their immune system is deactivating the remnant infection and viral particles so efficiently by then that they are no longer actually infectious and they are on the up and up. Indeed, there was a preprint posted just last week in which it was found that for people who did not develop severe respiratory collapse, scientists were not infrequently able to detect the gentic material for 3+ weeks after symptoms began while they were only actually able to get functional viral particles capable of infecting a cell culture flask for a bit over a week after symptoms began. But for now it is the best test we have. The low rate of ‘resolved’ infections is thus probably a combination of the subset of people who truly need hospital support taking a while to recover enough to be released, those who have a milder disease (up to and including SEVERE flu like illness or even mild pneumonia!) testing positive after they are actually likely a danger to themselves or others, and overwhelmed health systems focusing on identifying new cases with their available tests rather than clearing old cases.

    —–

    The above is good news, but I do not mean to sound rosy. The sheer infectiousness of this thing is staggering, what with it being a virgin soil epidemic through a population with no preexisting immunity. While in a good health system the true infection-to-fatality rate for the population as a whole is probably less than or around 1% and focused strongly in the over-sixty crowd, at least 5x that population seems to be winding up in a very bad way and needing major hospital support to pull through and THAT crowd is rather less focused in the elderly than the deaths are. With how fast this thing is spreading, a lot of people may not be able to get the support they need to pull through during the epidemic surge, and the 1% numbers we are getting from cruise ship and Korea data may not actually be the relevant numbers. They could get a lot higher.

    Get some zinc acetate or zinc gluconate, and some L-carnosine supplements. Going through the literature those *seem* to me to be some of the best things to gobble at the first sign of flu like symptoms. And I see no reason to not go for some elderberry too!

    Stay safe and sane, everyone!

  259. @Lathechuck

    Take a look at all of the numbers for e.g. South Korea or China:
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/

    I’m not sure why it takes so long for people to be declared recovered, though if it requires a negative PCR test that can take a very long time and may occur long after someone has physically recovered and stopped spreading live virus. I also suspect that countries currently in crisis are way behind on reporting recoveries, and keep in mind that nearly all undetected cases (which at this point in the US is pretty much anything that doesn’t require medical attention) end in recovery – since presumably if they ended in death they would be reported.

    South Korea still has 6,000 currently infected, but around five people are dying per day in a fairly linear trend so doing the math and assuming all of those 6,000 will either die or recover in a month or so, it is clear that the vast majority are going to recover.

    Here’s an interesting resource I came across today – I’m not sure how accurate it is but if I lived in Florida I would take note: https://healthweather.us/

  260. John Michael, you certainly managed to weave a powerful spell with this week’s article! Many commenters seem to have been waiting for, if not craving, a sane discussion of our life and times without pandemic pandemonium drowning out all other conversations. Some commenters appear utterly gobsmacked by your audacity in allowing a mere astrological reading to relegate the coronavirus to its former background position, forswear! Didn’t you get the memo? We’re peddling all panic all the time now.

    Surely had your ingress chart reading predicted coronapocalypse, we would all be left terribly unsettled, with quite a few reveling in apocalyptic wet dreams and applauding your unquestionable soothsaying bona fides. However, that would not have required much magical skill on your part, since the media has already been peddling that particular narrative in overdrive. I much prefer your deft magical working, altering the dominant consciousness through a precise and perfectly timed application of will by using the panic-peddling as a reliable thrust block to wake us up to the thaumaturgical spell being inexorably cast over entire countries. Bravo!

    People are regurgitating buzzwords they have seen and heard relentlessly repeated by coordinated media campaigning, without ever considering that their hopes and fears are being manipulated to get them programmed. Is there any difference between our fervent cheerleading of newly minted memes about this pandemic and the bombastic claims so fervently promoted by Russiagaters? Or Birthers? Or weapons-of-mass-destruction peddlers?

    This pandemic has provided us with an incredible projection screen for all our utopian and apocalyptic fantasies. We’re planting gardens, shopping local, spending more time with ourselves, and distrusting centralization — yay! We’ll get just what we were wishing for without having to put in the tedious effort to achieve lasting change. Or, they’re taking away rights, declaring martial law, cancelling elections, and exploiting the crisis to extend their stranglehold on the populace — boo! They’ll get just what they were wishing for without having to put in the tedious effort to achieve lasting change. Hmmm, I wonder if avoiding tedious effort is a common trait behind most of our projected fantasies?

    Exploring which memes possess the ability to capture the cultural imagination is also interesting. Naturally, fantasies of collapse crashing down upon us suddenly on all sides is a predictably popular motif after being reinforced by decades of apocalypse films. Stranger is the recent viral spread of “flatten the curve” — our only hope is to flatten the curve; hospitals will be overwhelmed if we don’t flatten the curve; we all have to do our part to flatten the curve; preventable deaths will occur if we don’t flatten the curve; do whatever you’re told in order to flatten the curve. I can’t imagine that “obey and stop thinking for yourself” would have gone anywhere near as viral as “flatten the curve,” even though they both produce roughly the same result.

    A url link earlier in the comments to a power point graphic erroneously titled “flattering the curve” certainly looked like a comical Freudian slip to me. Are we just trying to flatter ourselves that we are more powerful than this tiny virus and have found a way to control it? If we do achieve a more flattering curve, will we all win the mate of our dreams?

    Joking aside, turning patients away from hospitals without any treatment or with limited treatment has a long history and considerable track record. That exceedingly useful technique is called triage. Lamenting overwhelmed hospitals and assuming suitably horrified poses whenever discussing untreated patients are both far more useful for political grandstanding and looting public coffers; however, triage yields far better results in terms of saving the greatest number of patients during a crisis. It is peculiar how many “experts” who ignored or ridiculed overwhelmed hospitals in oh-so-primitive China are now going panicky that sick people can’t depend on the hospital systems in the West. Stated differently, the “experts” are terrified that we plebes, peasants, and deplorables won’t be dependent on their medical monopoly any longer. If they turn us away, we just might learn to trust ourselves, each other, and alternative routes to health.

    The very idea of preventable deaths presumes some fantasy medical system that can never get overwhelmed. Wisely, we didn’t throw all our gross national products into hospitals, so we don’t have whatever fantasy, Barbie-dream hospital system that would have created. Thus, deaths resulting from overwhelmed hospitals are not “preventable” in any real world context (at least not preventable by the existing allopathic system.) Sadly, lamenting the shortcomings of the medical system we did build often ends up casting a murky spell over its dispirited mourners, preventing them from recognizing all the personal actions, alternative modalities, and homeopathic approaches that could help mitigate the more frightening deficiencies of our limited medical capacity.

    If taking personal responsibility for our own health would be enough to topple our corrupt and bloated medical racket, maybe we are not the party most at risk in this crisis. If panic-peddling is the only way to coerce everyone to conform to the one, right, sanctioned, predetermined response to pandemic, that chosen cure might just be worse than the disease…?

  261. Some comments about dying from Covid19 strike me as part of a typical Kubler-Ross process – by which I don’t mean to say that we’re all going to die! But IMHO we might have to wrap our head around the fact that our world after the pandemic might not be the same – economically and politically speaking. And the fact of being prepared for your own death.

    Irena, your mileage may vary, but from my work in palliative care I’d say that next to everybody there would prefer having morphine, aromatherapy, friendly people without masks and enough time to make peace over a painful death on a corridor bed with overwhelmed and frightened hospital staff running around with no time to soothe you, no telephone to call your family etc. It’s like saying: giving birth always hurts! Yes, but…

    As for dementia, many people with light to middle cases can have some relatively good times… it all depends on your character whose traits will come out more brutally than before.

  262. Stuck at home….

    and idly refreshing a site that generates fake and occasionally funny ‘inspirational posters’ (inspirebot.me if you have 15 minutes to spare). This one popped out, and raised a wry smile. I’m not following the CosDoc discussion closely having concluded that it is way over my head at thew moment, but I’ve picked up on the odd detail.

    Andy

  263. Hi John Michael,

    Mate, I have just enjoyed a truly strange week. So very bonkers. However I managed to read many of the comments and I’m noticing that there is a distinct fear of mortality threading through many of the comments. I understand that you write as you feel the need, but have you ever considered writing about the subject of mortality? Like you I too have seen death firsthand when the world then goes on and expects you to do so likewise. Just thought that it might be a helpful discussion as it really appears to be playing on peoples minds of late.

    Mind you, I’m busy living if only because I know you spend a long time dead. 😉

    We’re in lock down here. However, there are worse places to be!

    Cheers

    Chris

  264. It is planting season in the Northern Hemisphere. If the orchards and fields and gardens etc. don’t get planted, tended, and harvested…

    I have a small farm in the mid Atlantic states, and right now I’m pruning my orchard, grafting young trees, fertilizing, and doing general clean up. I’m weeding my strawberry beds, and trellising my grapes. I’m planting new trees. I’m servicing my tractor and other equipment. Town is 30 miles away and I need to go there frequently this time of year to get various things related to taking care of the farm.

    As the draconian lockdowns spread, I am seriously considering giving up this year. If I am going to get hassled as I go between farm and town, it will not be worth it. The farm is a money-losing endeavor as it is. I can very easily just hunker down and take it easy. Once I decide to do that, it’s done, nature doesn’t wait for me to change my mind.

    Farmers are already facing challenges from the climate craziness. I’m sure my own experience is just a small taste of what farming is like for the “big boys”. But I think it gives me some appreciation for just how hard it is, and just what amount of infrastructure is required to support it. As decisions are made at the state level to shut everything down, I see a lack of understanding for what is really “essential”. I suspect it won’t take much disruption to put the spring schedule of a large farm into disarray. And as I say, nature doesn’t wait. I also believe the numerous small farms out there are critical. How many small farmers will be unable to plant this year?

    This is probably good news for the farms that get their crops in the ground. But for society as a whole, I see food shortages in our future, should the government panic much further and the lockdowns spread and lengthen.

    Maybe I am overly worried. But it is the one thing about this whole situation that is truly scaring me. And it surprises me that I see very little discussion of this.

  265. An experience I had, slightly related to the ongoing discussion about offering to take on the world’s pain, seems apropos here.

    The day I went into labour for my third child (safely in Canada), I heard on the radio that the US had dropped some bombs on Baghdad as part of the Gulf War. I was horrified at the thought that women like me were about to give birth in that situation, had just given birth, or had babies to care for.

    I don’t know why I thought to do this, but as I went through the pain of labour, I “offered up” the pain for those women (I was a practicing Catholic at the time).

    My son was a breech birth so at some risk, and the labour for those tend to be longer because the head of the child isn’t there to act as a battering ram. My doctor had assembled a specialized team to be on standby, checked my progress, declared I would be at it for hours and hours, and left to go home (it was late at night).

    To the surprise of everyone, not long after that, she had to be called back in, the assembled team rushed to the hospital and my son was born with no complications at all.

    At the time I was too busy to reflect on the meaning of what had happened but it occurred to me years later that some deity had responded to my intention and rewarded me with a shorter and safe birth.

    I’ve never heard of Tonglen till the discussion here, so this may not even apply, but my thinking is that it would be an act of ego and pride to think that I have such power to take an immense current of energy that is out in the world and direct it somewhere else, contain it or negate it, which is what I think Mr. Hughes is doing. On the other hand, if we simply offer up something that is in our power, however small, and let the gods take that offering and do with it what they please, there is a chance that things will turn out OK.

  266. Dear JMG and commenters:
    I’m not sure we have all the numbers we need to make predictions about how this current virus behaves in the real world.
    We don’t know how many of the infected people are asymptomatic or only suffering a very mild case, because (at least in the United States) testing seems to be limited to people with severe infections, their immediate families, and celebrities. We also don’t know whether there is a lasting immunity after infection and recovery.
    (Best case, lots of people have already had an asymptomatic infection and are now immune. Worst case, severe infections are more common, and immunity is short-term or uncertain.)
    Whether or not the current set of health measures is effective or a massive over-reaction will not become apparent until it has played out and all the numbers are in. Then, all the armchair quarterbacks will come out and point the fingers and argue.

    Everyone, do your best to stay safe, based on your local situation, resources, and knowledge. Please don’t throw anyone else under the (metaphorical) bus. It’s alright that everyone is managing differently–our situations and resources are different.

    When this is all done with, we can compare notes and figure out how we can do better for the next new, improved virus/bacterium/plague that comes out of some weird corner of the globe.

  267. Update: The official European data on all-cause mortality for week 11 of 2020 (March 8th to 14th, I think) don’t show any increase compared to other years. They have a lengthy note explaining why mortality from COVID-19 in certain parts of Europe doesn’t (yet) have a visible impact on all-cause mortality for the entire continent. Again, the reason for the containment measures is to prevent exponential increases in death rates related to COVID-19 that would at some point show up in all-cause mortality. In my opinion, the appropriate political and emotional reaction would be reasoned discussion and (probably) serene and graceful adoption of containment measures, not panic. However, I am not a politician and I don’t know if the population could be convinced to adopt the most useful measures without frightening people.

  268. For me, there’s also a difference between “likely going to die because things happen” and “likely going to die because people are stupid and selfish and think they should get to hang out at bars when there’s a highly contagious respiratory virus going around”.

    That said, I’m trying to mostly focus on what I can do to help, which includes staying inside and saving and all those good WWII-era things. I’m also going to start sewing masks for hospitals, as there’s a bit of a movement to do that, and it’s a good way to use up some of the fabric I have around. (Dad has generously donated all his t-shirts that don’t fit and all his button-downs that he wants to get rid of now that he’s retired–those that I haven’t already stolen and altered for me, that is. :P) Here’s a link if anyone’s interested: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jHssPukvWdTMr8HppxQFbpkR1ixg84sLVNgXJZPPNqo/edit

  269. FYI-

    From my daughter, in Europe. Husband flew home from England with symptoms about a week ago. They have a toddler, “barely affected.”

    ” I’m tired but Dom says he told you we are sure we’ve all had corona this week. Didn’t want you to get stressed out but we are fine. I’m still tired and have a lot of aches and pains left. Weirdest part of all is how painful this has been. Feels like I got kicked to bits in a street fight and left on the side of the road. Just agony deep in my bones, back, hips, back of my ribcage. Other than that excessive fatigue. Fever only a couple days and mild coughing. So we had it mild overall. I just still take Paracetamol so I can sleep with the pains. Getting a little better each day. I just hope we can get some kind of test to prove we’ve had it so we can be free of all this mandes. No need to hibernate once immune. Are you staying in your holler?”

  270. FWIW, my astrological research into Presidential races, a little of which I posted here a while back, suggests that Biden, whose chart reveals him to be a greedy, self absorbed and dark individual, is well qualified astrologically to get elected, while Bernie Sanders, with Moon and Mars in Aries, has little to no chance if he gets the nomination…

  271. If I may,

    It’s been very interesting to read folk’s thoughts on the current crisis. Thank you everyone who has shared their thoughts! personally, I’ve found this time extremely productive: I’ve covered a lot of ground in some writing projects, started nearly all of seeds indoors for the garden next year, fenced in a new garden and made a really lovely hugelculture bed.

    If folks are should wish to read of herbs that may be noteworthy in reference to this time I wrote a materia medica on our good friend Pine: https://violetcabra.dreamwidth.org/33601.html

    And, inspired by JMG’s Mundane Astrology work, I’ve written up a Mundane Astrology interpretation for the opening 18 months of the US Civil war with not one, not two but three charts! https://violetcabra.dreamwidth.org/34046.html

    This crisis seems to me coming at a good time: a good time to think about making garden beds, of where to forage nettles, dandelions and burdock, a good time to consider what a different vision of the future may hold! Seriously, I think Steve T. has the right attitude here — thank you Steve! — this time allows to look at our lives without the distorting murk of the smooth flow of expectations, that is, this time I think may prove to be of unique value.

  272. admin: “Irena, your mileage may vary, but from my work in palliative care I’d say that next to everybody there would prefer having morphine, aromatherapy, friendly people without masks and enough time to make peace over a painful death on a corridor bed with overwhelmed and frightened hospital staff running around with no time to soothe you, no telephone to call your family etc.”

    Your mileage may vary indeed, but a couple of decades ago, I watched my grandmother slowly die over a period of two years, and my gods, it was horrible. (Well, I wasn’t there when she actually passed – I’d just moved to another continent to study – but I was there to see most of the suffering that preceded it.) By the time she died, there were so many things wrong with both her body and her mind that I don’t even know which one of them actually killed her in the end. I wish the poor woman had just died of pneumonia or similar and been spared those years of suffering.

    So, I stand by my original statement: all things considered, pneumonia is a relatively gentle way to go. Unfortunately, in today’s world (at least the richer half of it), my grandmother’s experience is the more common kind. I do hope I don’t suffer through that horror when my time comes.

  273. I understand that South Korea, japan, Taiwan and Singapore all have Coronavirus relatively contained, at least they are not seeing the explosive growth like the US and Europe. And this in spite of the fact that as Asians, they have greater expression of the ACE protein in their lungs, supposedly a CV biding site making Asian’s relatively more susceptible to CV infection than ethnic Europeans. And they are not relying on lock-downs.

    What are these countries doing that we are not? Why are we not even trying to emulate them? Why lockdowns? What is really going on here?

  274. Lunar Apprentice:

    It may be that despite all of his bluster and ‘doing the right thing’ recently, New York governor Andrew Cuomo may have goofed a couple of years ago.

    Two articles I read today reference a recommendation made to the governor in a 2015 report on the state’s preparations for a possible pandemic, which estimated that New York had 16,000 too few ventilators to respond to a 1918-like viral outbreak.

    “Cuomo could have purchased the additional 16,000 needed ventilators for $36,000 apiece or a total of $576 million in 2015. It’s a lot of money but less than the $750 million he threw away on a boondoggle “Buffalo Billion” solar panel factory. When it comes to state budget priorities, spending half a percent of the budget on ventilators is a no brainer.”

    This can’t be a good look for Cuomo.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/03/ny-gov-cuomo-rejected-buying-recommended-16000-ventilators-in-2015-for-pandemic-established-death-panels-and-lottery-instead/

  275. Hey Myriam,

    I’m intrigued by your story and am granting you beginner’s luck. Two reasons. I think that being in an intense situation like advanced labor opens up channels that are not normally easy to open, and also, your offering was a truly spontaneous act of compassion.

  276. More on Millies on the Beach – the state of Florida is keeping the state parks (except for the buildings, which are closed) and the beaches open on the premise that fresh air and outdoor activity is good for you, if you keep a common-sense distance from each other. The golf courses are open for the same reason.

  277. @Steve T on people’s concepts of God as Santa Claus – the rabbi who writes the God Squad column is fielding a lot of such questions on why a good god would allow such a bad virus. In vain has he tried to explain that the god of Judaism – and I think, officially this is also the Roman Catholic position, and in fact basic Christian theology – is that God never promised us a rose garden, that such trials were what made us learn and grow.

    And I’m pretty sure that for good historical reasons, Jews never believed God promised them a rose garden, but rather, to be with them when they did walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

  278. To JMG: You’re the only human being brave enough to say we’re not in the Apocalypse in public. Thanks for giving us the space to air what nobody else is willing to talk about.

    To Punky Little Kid: Thank you for that cool anecdote! I’ve had pneumonia twice. Both times were in college. It feels awful, however, you do sleep for 18 -28 hours at a time and that is a blessing. I have not worked in hospice but I have been around when old people die. I held my friend’s mom’s hand as she slowly died on Christmas Eve of 2019; it was a privilege to be there for her. I’ve also known people in their 40s and 50s fighting cancer via multiple surgeries, amputations/organ removals, tissue grafts, bone marrow transplants. Personally, if I were faced with a diagnosis like theirs, I’d only wait for as long as it took for my cat to die of natural causes and then I’d be outta here. Why would I stay alive for my cat and not my humans? Because she is the only one who would be helpless to process my death.

    I believe we are always being tested by our higher selves as well as by the gods. The manner in which one chooses to handle one’s impending death seems like just another test of character, to echo Steve T.

    To Steve T.: I usually pour the water on the trees in my front yard… they seem to like it very much!

  279. admin, JMG, and everyone else:

    My general point is that in the modern world, the only “acceptable” kind of death seems to be one caused by multiple organ failure after a lengthy, heroic (and therefore extremely painful) struggle to prolong a person’s life. If you’re lucky (but only if you’re lucky!), you get palliative care at the very end. But you’re unlikely to get it until after they’ve operated on you gods know how many times, and given you medical cocktails that made you very, very sick for quite a long time. They don’t give up until your entire body is falling apart. If you die in any other way, then it’s a horrible, horrible tragedy, ts-ts-ts.

    And if you want to reject that… Good luck. You aren’t going to get supportive relatives holding your hand as you die, with morphine easing the pain. No, you’ll get everyone (possibly armed with court orders) pressuring or outright forcing you into getting “life-saving” treatment, no matter how horrible.

    Hence my stance on the coronavirus being a blessing in disguise for many. I can only hope that, when my time comes, I get to die of something like that, rather than in the “standard,” “acceptable” way described above.

  280. Dear Violet, You’re very welcome. It’s always very hard to put oneself in another generation’s shoes, to see the world (for a brief moment) as they saw it.

    If I had taken a little more time to write and polish my reply, I would also have mentioned the very popular–and chilling!–song, “Come away, Melinda,” which came out at the very end of the Silent Generation’s college years. It pretty well summed up what I wrote above about the outlook of the Silents on their future.

    It came out was only a couple of years before the first Boomers hit college age and adopted “Never Trust Anyone Over Thirty!” as their mantra. Now that was a striking generational shift!

    As for Strauss and Howe, keep a very large box of salt on hand as you read their books. I think they got so many details in US history utterly wrong, as if they were relying on potted accounts in textbooks, and on facile books written for popular audiences, for their “facts.” Their underlying idea of some sort of historical cycle of successive generations seems to be sound, but not their characterizations of the generations themselves. At least, that’s how it seems to me.

  281. In reviewing the recent history of the corona virus in the US, remember how a huge batch of CDC-supplied tests were flawed and unusable, and how the CDC pointedly refused to allow their few remaining good tests to be used except with their permission on a case-by-case basis? And how the CDC simultaneously refused to certify commercial CV test kits (in Jan/Feb/early-Mar) for distribution? These decisions blinded public health authorities to the extent and rate of spread. Now this is all portrayed as lack of foresight, mistakes and incompetence. This while US intelligence agencies were giving daily briefings to at least Sen. Burr on CV progression and prospects, and said senator offering public reassurances…

    JMG, in your other blog last Monday, you presented an interpretation that I had sniffed at at time, but now, this is the only explanation left that makes some sense, at least to me: That asset pricing and financing in the US economy are not in line with economic reality, but any realistic correction (i.e. yuuuuge!!!) could present a crisis of legitimacy of the current establishment. Then CV comes along, presenting a good stalking horse to cover such a correction. So our political establishment feigns lack of foresight and incompetence to allow this brush fire get well out of control.

    But even assuming the above is correct, I’m still perplexed: Why the shutdown? Its as if an extremely wealthy guy invites his poor relations for a visit to his mansion, then sets it on fire as cover for his theft of their meager jewels and cash. Thoughts?

    (BTW, if you hear a munching sound, that’s me eating crow.)

  282. Hi JMG and all

    IMO the problem, for western governments, elites and western societies in general, with this pandemic, is that from at least the last 70 years, the western societies have been in a very unusual quite times, with remote conflicts, some risks (Cold War) never materialised, relatively mild economic crisis and no sudden problems at all with this sense of total control of the future. This was our old “linear” world it has ended three months ago.

    And now we have to face, re-learn, that we inhabit a fundamentally “non-linear world”, a new world for us, and you cannot use the tools of a linear world for example in an exponential phase of a non-linear world. Italy past from 107 deaths in 5 of March, to 3.405 in only two weeks, in 19 of March; so all the former “systems of decisions” are made futile by the speed of the change, you cannot work in a “feed-back” tuning way in an exponential world, so you have to work in a “feed-forward” way trying to pointing in the right direction or be toasted.

    In fact I think all the existing head of state and PM in the western countries are toasted, they’ll be black-swaned, when deaths continue climbing and people started to see their relatives “discarded” from the overwhelmed hospitals and ICU’s; the blow-back will be deafening, and then you will see again and again the images of the great leaders saying “this is a normal flu”, “the disease will disappear soon”, “the situation is full under control”, “no new measures are required” and all the nonsense we have been hearing during two months in the midst of an approaching heath, social and economic disaster.

    Probably other western leaders in the same position would have taken similar decision, but this is in another multiverse, and now people will blame those who they saw negating something many people were advising way before.
    For me the case of BoJo has some aggravating characteristics, because he intended to do what I call “The Etonian Experiment of the Survival of the Richest”, fortunately, for many Britons, and at the end for himself, he retracted, even not fully, cause he could end hanged in a lamppost if not.
    I think UK will be divided in few years after this debacle,

    I think the effect of this black-swan will be immense, equivalent to the 1929 crisis if not worse, and will change the world as we know in many profound ways, some of them good and some of them really not good at all.

    Cheers
    David

  283. I’d like to add two cents to the discussion of recovery from COVID-19. This is an aftermath that is probably going to get more attention later, once more people who were diagnosed have gotten better and doctors have time to re-examine them.

    I’ll preface by saying that in addition to news stories and advice to the general public, I read some studies and articles written by medical professionals for other medical professionals. Since I have no medical education, I may have misinterpreted what I read. I offer this so more knowledgeable people may correct me.

    SARS-CoV-2 attacks and damages lung tissue, specifically the alveoli. The alveoli are the sacs at the end of the smallest branches of the bronchial tubes, where the exchange of gases between the lungs and the circulating blood takes place.

    I got an impression from one of the articles that the virus can cause several different kinds of damage, by thickening the walls of the alveoli, filling them with debris, or making them too permeable so that excessive liquid floods the lungs (pneumonia).

    One of the articles included a technical term which I looked up, and learned that there are some other, well studied diseases that manifest in a similar kind of lung damage. There are ways of diagnosing it other than with a test for a particular virus. The damage shows up on some kinds of scans. A common description of how it looks IIRC is “broken glass”. One may also listen to the lungs through a stethoscope and hear a characteristic “crackling” noise.

    I don’t know, and it might be too soon for anyone to know definitely, the answers to some important questions. 1. How early in the progress of COVID-19 does it begin to damage the lungs? 2. Is there a predictable course for this aspect of the disease? In other words, if you have particular symptoms for a particular period of time, would that affect the likelihood of lung damage? 3. Once a person gets over the other symptoms of COVID-19, will damaged lungs heal on their own? Will the damage progress? Are there measures a person could take (perhaps alternative medicine therapies such as dietary supplements) to help the lungs heal? 5. What percentage of the people who contract the virus, with or without symptoms, are going to suffer lasting lung damage? How much damage?

  284. @Violet: Good point! I’m pretty sure there’s an edible-wild-plants-of-PA guide on the bookshelf at hand, in fact–once it stops raining here, I’ll head out and take a look!

  285. PLK, I’ve heard that phrase too. Of all the ways you can die, pneumonia is far from the worst.

    LunarApprentice, I’m not sure what to make of all that either. I have some suspicions, but we’ll see.

    Someone, exactly. It’s not just the post-Boomers, either — most people in the industrial world are far more frightened of decline than of sudden apocalyptic collapse.

    Chrysanthemum, er, that quite literally contradicts everything I’ve ever learned about homeopathy. Hahnemann’s Law of Similars, the foundation of classical homeopathy, holds that a potentized remedy cures the symptoms and conditions that the raw material causes. I take it the variety of homeopathy you practice doesn’t accept that principle?

    Renaissance, yeah, I growled a bit — my apologies. Keep in mind that I’m trying to revive and update a neglected branch of astrology — one in which the most recent useful books date from more than a century ago — and that’s taking a lot of improvisation and on-the-job learning. To address the detail you and Will J were both jabbing at, the 4th house of a mundane chart can mean agriculture, mining, other mineral extraction industries, rural areas, the political interests of the hinterland, the party out of power, and a great deal more. Which of those are going to manifest the 4th house influence in any given chart? That’s where interpretation has to come into play. Since I don’t claim to be omniscient and simply offer my best estimate of what’s being predicted by the ingress chart according to the traditional roles, having several people yelling “Ooh! Look! He got something wrong!” is kind of wearing…

    Michael, the Medium’s already taken that article down, though it’s been reposted elsewhere — here’s a copy from the Wayback Machine. It fascinates me that there’s so much pushback — and what looks rather like well-organized pushback — against attempts to point out the degree of hysteria surrounding the current outbreak.

    Tony B., many thanks for this. That clarifies things considerably.

    Christophe, thank you. I do what I can! It’s been a source of quite some amusement to me that this post has fielded me a great deal more in the way of over-the-top trolling than I usually get, even for posts about politics (a reliable troll magnet). Apparently quite a few people can’t stand the thought of being deprived of their nice shiny dieoff, or something.

    Admin, meaning that if there’s a shortage of test kits or of personnel and other resources to administer them, the recovery rate is artificially lowered. Gotcha.

    Andy, if you meant to post the poster, it didn’t come through. You have to use raw HTML code to put images into your comment.

    Chris, hmm! I’ll consider that. I’m afraid that most people would find my attitude very hard to deal with, but hey — that hasn’t slowed me down before…

    Cyclone, that’s an issue worth discussing — thank you for bringing it up. I’ll keep an eye on things and see what the picture looks like.

    Myriam, many thanks for this. Charles Williams, who was a Christian mystic as well as a writer of some very strange magical fantasies, wrote at some length about what he called “coinherence” — the subtle link between each of us that’s formed by our participation in higher realities — and how that makes it possible for one person to take on another’s suffering or fear, to lighten their burden by sharing it. So what you did has a history behind it…

    Sylvia, I ain’t arguing.

    Matthias, that’s fascinating. It seems to suggest that the people who are dying of CoVID-19 would likely be dying of something else anyway.

    Isabel, excellent! Delighted to hear it.

    Onething, many thanks for the data point and I’m glad to hear they’re fine.

    Peter, so noted!

    LunarApprentice, good questions. Have you considered doing the research?

    Kimberly, I’m not anything like the only one; it’s just that we’re in the minority right now.

    LunarApprentice, I recall the old line “Never let a crisis go to waste.” That may be what’s going on here.

    DFC, I think you’re quite mistaken, but we’ll just have to see which of us is right. If I’m wrong, I’ll admit that publicly. Will you?

    Deborah, all of those are good questions, to which I don’t know the answers. Anyone?

  286. @Someone

    Being a DFW resident, I am especially struck by the Dallas excerpt, where the assistant health officer “believed that Dallas’s epidemic was already far worse than being reported, and that the only way to bring it to a quit halt was to close all public places immediately. ‘This disease is spread through the breathing apparatus, and the thing to do is to close all of the schools, the moving picture shows, the churches–wherever people congregate, whether it be a dog fight or a prayer meeting[.]’ ”

    Update the terminology a bit – change “quit halt” to “quick halt,” “moving picture shows” to “movie theaters,” and “dog fight” to some more current form of public entertainment, and you have exactly the current situation. They even talk of the prospect of closing down the churches, in an era considerably less secular than the current one!

    One noteworthy difference: in 1918, Dallas shut down the entertainment venues before they closed the schools…I wonder what this says about us in the modern day…

  287. Hi John Michael,

    Thank you for considering my request. And I promise not to be surprised or angered, or even otherwise emotionally charged about the subject. Can’t extend that promise to anyone else though and possibly it won’t work so well. 😉 Mate, we’re so sheltered from death, that most people are unprepared for it.

    When I was a kid, people used to drop dead, in the literal sense of those words. It was always a shock, but not a terribly unexpected outcome. And rarely was the scene snatched away by the authorities, and in some ways it was a more visceral experience.

    Living on a farm I now see that story playing out all over the shop.

    Cheers, and mate it has been one strange week. Oh well, buck up and all that. 🙂

    Chris

  288. It’s going to be a nothingburger you say? Maybe so but the economic damage leaves me speechless. I’ve lost count of all the lock limit down announcements and circuit breakers tripping. They’re going to print Zimbabwe levels of money but nothing seems to make a difference. Markets open and it’s immediate limit down. You predicted no bare shelves this year? I’ve already seen soviet level shortages in the meat counter at Costco. Everyone makes fun of the TP shortage but it’s also flour and rice and oats.

    Wherever this is all going this year, nothing is coming back to anything where it was before. The status quo is done.

  289. Kind Sir,

    Thanks for the advice on how to read the charts. I was thinking of treating astrology like most people treat electricity. You don’t have to know how it works, the light will still come on when you flick the switch, but it might be beneficial to pick up some skills here. Well, public life here has just been shut down for 6 months, so this might be an opportunity.
    As to what drives the house prices here, the mainstream media keeps screaming at us that only racists and bogans (our brand of rednecks) can possibly believe that immigration and chinese investment have anything to do with it, so I guess both of these things would be major factors. Hopefully you are planning to do another ingress chart for canberra for the time after winter solstice.

  290. @ Violet– Did you notice that I Freud-Slipped “present crisis” as “pleasant crisis”?

    As of 2:00 this morning, I seem to be symptomatic, with mild body aches and a dry cough. Is it The Virus? I don’t know. I have plenty of elecampane, mint, and fennel, with more licorice root on the way. Recently I picked up several more herbs for the garden– thyme and oregano, a few chamomiles for blessing. And beyond that it’s in the hands of the Gods.

    @ Patricia Matthews– That’s the Catholic understanding also, of course– and in fact “We were never promised a rose garden” is a phrase I’ve used myself on many occasions! “Vale of tears” is, instead, the traditional term. Despite that, I’ve seen many family members apostasize specifically because they didn’t get the trophy they were never promised. I honestly don’t understand it.

    @ Kimberly– The trees that I use are in the back yard, which I suppose is incorrect from a symbolic perspective. But they are an avocado tree and an orange tree, both of which have been extremely generous this year, which is very welcome at these times!

  291. Unfortunately, the Wayback Machine version of the article does not properly display the graphs. I tired Firefox and Chrome, no luck.

  292. Hello JMG,

    Yeah, I’d love to do more research on this. But you know what? I’m a physician in solo private practice, and my clinic was closed last week for lack of face-masks and gloves; and part of why I’m writing to your blog so much is to help me unburden my mind so I can get back to focusing on my near-term survival. I’ve been trying to locate gloves and face-masks for my staff so we can re-open. I spoke with the manager of a local Walgreens last week, and he reserved 2 boxes of gloves for me from yesterday’s sparse shipment. Score! My clinic staff are ages 34, 65 and 69 (I’m 61) and they are scared of getting infected by air especially. Yesterday, I spoke with them by phone, and one told me she is sewing up home-made face-masks for us, and she asked me what fabric she should use for best filtration. I told her to sew the masks in knit cotton with a pouch, and I would give her a HEPA vacuum cleaner bag, which she is to cut in pieces to shape, then insert. She was delighted, and so we’ll have the clinic doors open tomorrow for any patients who show up. At least I also have a legal deposition tomorrow, and they pay well (I’m a medical witness for my patients in their disputes with the payers), but I don’t get many of them.

  293. LunarApprentice – My take on what the Asia countries did better than we did just comes down to detecting and isolating individual cases, when that was still possible. That meant vigorous testing, which we obviously failed to do until just recently. But now that the virus is spreading in the community, we have no way to trace contacts and isolate them. The only alternative is to isolate everyone, as much as possible. (Well, there is always more than one alternative… in this case, we also could just “let it burn”, and let the hospitals triage the incoming cases. But we’re not willing to redirect from the ER to home, hospital, or hospice care just yet.)

    As for the role played by intelligence agencies, they’re supposed to “report the facts”, not foretell the future or recommend policy actions to steer us to a better future. There are other people in government (CDC, for example) to do that, with their own preferences and agendas. I’m pretty sure that no intelligence briefing ever ended with the phrase “and that’s why you should sell all of your stocks.” However, it seems that some people came away with that inspiration. And they probably never said “and that’s why you should mobilize a massive testing effort”, and maybe nobody came away with that inspiration.

  294. @Deborah, so far I have seen only one study involving 12 recovered patients that found a lasting decrease in lung function in 2-3 of them. Not much to go on yet, but there is some evidence of lasting damage which I would certainly expect especially in those who require aggressive treatment to survive.
    https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recovered-patients-have-partially-reduced-lung-function/a-52859671

    https://healthweather.us/

    To all, I linked the above page before but with one more data point have just noticed the start of a trend. The site collects aggregated anonymized data from “smart thermometers” that transmit nationwide fever data to the cloud. There is a sharp downward trend in the last two days back into the expected range, and it will be interesting to see if that continues. Fever tends to be the first symptom of COVID-19 to appear – typically around five days after infection and also the first to disappear especially in milder cases. If we assume that fever lasts four days on average (I can’t find this reported anywhere), then we might expect to see a decrease in fever beginning roughly nine days after the start of social distancing measures. These measures started in earnest around the time a global pandemic was declared (Mar. 11), and indeed we see a rapid downward trend beginning on Mar. 20.

    Infection data will continue to rise exponentially as we catch up with testing, and deaths will continue to accelerate daily through at least Mar. 30 (death occurs on average 19 days after infection, so people who die on Mar. 30 were infected prior to control measures), but it is possible that the rate of new infections has decreased dramatically and that we may already be reaching or just past peak illness.

  295. Chris, one of the reasons my attitude toward death differs from that of most Americans is that I worked in nursing homes back in the day, and that involved a fair amount of contact with death. It changes your attitude a bit when you’re assigned to take a patient’s vital signs, and you’re doing that at the moment her blood pressure and pulse both go to zero. And of course then you get to clean up the body for the morticians…

    Owen, I gather you have trouble with reading comprehension. Perhals you can show me where in my post I said it’s going to be a nothingburger. While you’re at it, you might notice that I addressed the economic effects. Seriously, is this the best you can do?

    DropBear, of course immigration and Chinese investment have a lot to do with it; there’s this thing called the law of supply and demand, you know! Yes, I plan on doing quarterly ingress charts for Australia, as well as the other four countries on the list, for the foreseeable future.

    Michael, yes, I noted. I hope the author takes it to Quillette, or one of the other sites that will print things that contradict the conventional wisdom.

    LunarApprentice, fair enough! If you’d mentioned your profession before I’d forgotten it. I’m delighted to hear about the improvised masks — that strikes me as very smart. I wonder if you might consider enrolling yourself and your staff in the open data clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for CoVID-19 prevention — they’re busy recruiting a cohort of medical professionals and health care workers.

    Mark, fascinating. I hope you’re right and it turns out to be good news!

  296. Ilhan Omar praising Trump’s leadership; that’s certainly not something you see every day! Half the time these days, US culture increasingly resembles…say… Yugoslavia in the 1980s

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=091PDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=victimhood+culture&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9oKy61a_oAhXOVN8KHQ-lDo8Q6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=victimhood%20culture&f=false

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304635620_Victimhood_Nationalism_in_Contested_Memories_National_Mourning_and_Global_Accountability

    If there is one crucial insight of the 14th-Century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun, it is on the importance of asabiyya or “social solidarity” in the face of external threats that maintain imperial cohesion. In the absence of these, they go decadent. This can include diseases in my estimate.

  297. @Owen: I’m with you. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. I’m thinking/hoping this goes away end of April or May. Once new cases start to slow I think improvement will be rapid. This may be due to a breakthrough new therapy, idk.

    The winner in all of this? The internet. It will finally get treated as an essential utility like water and electric. Working from home is another big winner.

    The economy is toast. You can’t have unemployment like we will experience and not end up in deep recession. I think we are looking at official UE in the US into the double digits. On the other hand, the government will risk hyperinflation before letting us go into a full depression. The outcome of the presidential election is going to be critical to what the new normal is going to look like. So there is some wait and see here.

    Now somebody answer me this. Why the heck did our government insist on the CDC developing it’s own test instead of using the WHO test? This seems to be the one premier failing of our administration.

  298. Longtime lurker here but stepping forward in response to questions about Taiwan’s response to COVID-19. I’m an American who’s been living in Taiwan for many years. The government’s response has been tremendous, and Taiwan needs all the good publicity we can get. If you Google something like Taiwan coronavirus response you’ll find many articles, I’ll just summarize a few key points.

    Taiwan got burned by SARS in 2003, so after that a whole command structure was set up that could be activated in a crisis. There is nothing like being burned to focus attention, of both government and people. I’d say it’s pretty clear that in the US as in many other countries, both government and people felt “It can’t happen here”, with the result that they failed to take it seriously until clearly it was happening here (there).

    At the earliest word of a new virus coming out of China back in December, Taiwan health officials were boarding every flight from Wuhan and checking people for symptoms, then arranging quarantines and home isolation (also providing small financial support to the isolated). Immediate steps were taken such as banning the export of face masks, instituting a rationing system so that everyone could get a few per day while setting the price at something like 25 cents per mask, and applying government resources to increase mask production. (Yes I am aware of the debate over how effective masks are; they’re not ironclad protection, but neither are they ‘useless’ as I so often hear from my US friends.)

    It’s a government of technocrats and the VP was health minister during the SARS outbreak. Instead of denying or suppressing the information, there was a completely transparent government response with regular daily briefings and updates; how many new cases and where they are, what actions are being taken and what you should do, etc.

    Yes Taiwan only has about 23 million people, and it’s an island. But it also has some disadvantages compared to the US, for example a much higher population density, and a lot of direct contact with China (millions of visitors back and forth every year, many direct flights between Wuhan and Taipei before this thing broke).

    Up until recently we were still around 50 cases; it has spiked to around 170 in the last week, mainly due to a wave of people coming in from overseas (some combination of citizens returning to the relative safe haven of Taiwan, and morons who decided to take advantage of cheap airfares and go traveling in Europe and elsewhere). So as of last Thursday we are closed to foreign visitors; citizens / residents can come in but 14-day home isolation is mandatory (and enforced); and all connecting flights in Taiwan have been suspended.

    As a result of all this, life is still more or less normal here, I am working in the office and my kids are in school, supermarket shelves are not empty (so far — knocking on wood).

    There’s more of course; for further reading I recommend this article, from a few weeks ago; at the bottom there is a link to 124 specific action items the government took:
    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/10/21171722/taiwan-coronavirus-china-social-distancing-quarantine

  299. Hi Lathechuck, I pretty much figured the Asian countries knew they had to hustle to stay ahead of the curve, and hustle they did. That way is closed for us now.

    Of course I’m not privy to what the 3-letter agencies are really reporting, apart from news items in which they allege the Russians were trying to assist Sanders campaign… don’t get me started again pal…

  300. JMG, your suggestion of the hydroxychloroquine trial is very intriguing. I will seriously look into it for myself, and show it to my staff tomorrow. Thank you!

  301. Found a long article which explains that melatonin helps mitigate the cytokine storm that is more or less the cause of death for this virus. Good for me as high doses are good cancer fighters and I take about 50 mg daily at this point, slowly working my way up higher. So I don’t know how much a regular person would need to take, but I would certainly take 10 mg a few times per day if I got sick.

    I am a little worried since I am a bit immune compromised, but as I continue reading I am coming back to the position that the govts of the world have engaged in hysteria and that the economic fallout will ultimately not be justified. Also, it is looking like data is showing that the contagion rate is not all that great and good hygiene is the best defense.

    Also, data from Italy looks like the issue with hypertension (I knew it!) is certain meds give the virus more entry, esp to the lungs. Those meds are ACE inhibitors and ARBS. Those are blood pressure medicines. I am on one of those and will stop it. I don’t know how long one would have to be off of it to reverse the effects but I might as well go off for a bit. The best way to find out of your blood pressure med is in that category is to google it. Not that I would ever use google.

  302. As much as I’m preoccupied with getting my clinic back on line, the big economic picture has me worried. It’s looking like our economic/financial system is undergoing a big reset. My concern is not just academic. I’m a physical medicine and rehabilitation doc (physiatrist), and my practice is limited to injured workers who are covered under the workmen’s compensation system. I confine myself to such patients because the workmen’s comp system has the highest reimbursement of any payer. My specialty is low-paid, down there with pediatrics and psychiatry. The patients tend to be complex, need a lot of hand-holding, and you can’t offer decent care with a 10 minute visit, even less so when you need an interpreter, which my patients generally need. I once belonged to a small-group (3 docs) practice founded in 1983, but closed in 2015 because we couldn’t pull in enough money to stay open, even with a full schedule and an inpatient rehab unit. If we had been allowed to exclude Medicaid outpatients, we might have survived.

    Now with all this sudden new joblessness, revenues to the workmen’s comp system will plummet, as premiums are paid by employers. With that loss, I’m afraid that the main payer is going to get aggressive in closing claims for chronic injuries, such as low back or shoulder injuries that often occur in heavy laborers or agricultural laborers. These chronic injuries represent 5-10% of the worker’s comp case population, but 85% of its costs, so I anticipate ever more aggressive challenges to close claims, as the system strives to close out high cost patients. Also, I see a large number of illegal immigrants; if the political winds shift to their disadvantage, there goes half my patients. For my specialty as a whole, we see a lot of older patients, and regardless of age, many have long term functional loss, if not frank disability, which makes them poorly competitive in the labor market. So I’m worried that my specialty will get starved of funding across the board.

    So I’m revisiting the idea of leaving medicine entirely, something I’ve looked at off and on since 2012; I’ll think I’m ready to jump, then the ship rights itself, and I think, well, maybe things will hold up after all. Things feel different this time. At least I’ll be getting an inheritance this year which should enable me to own my house free and clear, though not much left over.

    Your advice from your ADR days, “Collapse now and avoid the rush” comes to mind lately, though it may be too late to avoid the rush. Between the medical payment system being so dysfunctional, and the regulation of doctors being so onerous, it seems that leaving the profession would be more workable than trying to carve out a new niche; my great-grandfather was a doc who sometimes got paid in chickens and his practice failed. He died young. I’m again looking at power systems engineering for the utilities, as I posses a 1981 BS in electrical engineering, and a 2012 engineering (EIT) license, which on paper qualifies me to apply for an entry level position. Given the labor shortage in that profession, I might have a shot if I play my hand well. I’m also considering the trades, i.e. electrician apprentice, another area with a labor shortage. Apprenticeship programs do have interviews, and a 61 year-old MD with a BSEE will likely raise eyebrows. I would hope the long term dearth of applicants would work in my favor. For the time being, I’m going to keep bailing at my clinic, and keep my ear to the ground.

    Tell me JMG (and any insightful commentators), do you share my concern that people who are not economically productive are likely to soon lose financial access to non-life-critical, chronic medical care? Any interview tips?

    Again, thanks. JMG, your blogs are a refuge.

  303. Brendhelm comments, “One noteworthy difference: in 1918, Dallas shut down the entertainment venues before they closed the schools…I wonder what this says about us in the modern day…”

    Here in Australia, they have shut down “non-essential services.” From this I have learned:-
    – Libraries are not essential
    – Gyms are not essential
    – Liquor stores ARE essential

    Straya.

  304. @JMG

    The image is at: https://imgur.com/iQ1PnCB

    I used the img tag in my original – but it seems to have been stripped out, a common practice and sensible given the damage that can be done with a script tag, but just to be sure I’ll try again here…

    ….if the poster is visible I must have made a mistake the first time round, if it’s not then – I don’t know, embed the whole comment in a properly structured set of html tags perhaps?

  305. @Matthias Gralle,Thank you for your question. My impression is China is using vitamin C in all stages of the disease, including prophylactic and for severe cases. The first I heard of vitamin C IV therapy was in a Hail Mary case in New Zealand, where the attending doctor said, oh well, okay, give it a try, he’s dying anyway. And it saved him. That is merely one data point. China was reportedly facing a similar situation with many patients, and it would make sense to do whatever they could with whatever was at hand, and there was probably less resistance from the system in place to discourage that. Lots of people are trying vitamin C therapy, which can be as simple as raising your intake to a few grams a day for health maintenance, as Linus Pauling did, defying his genetically ordained fate to early cancer, or taking liposomal vitamin C in larger quantities to beat a flu, or simple vitamin C to bowel tolerance for the same. That can work out to quite large quantities. I can tell you from experience that the latter had no detrimental effects that I could ascertain.
    The leftists among my friends and relatives are all really suspicious of this, having heard dire warnings from mainstream pundits about taking supplements. To the rightists, this is all old-hat. I would be really happy to see vitamin C IV therapy make its way into the mainstream in America and Japan, but I am not holding my breath.

    @Steve T, you have my warmest thoughts. Shall I add you to my prayers?

  306. “coronavirus pandemic will run its course in the US fairly quickly; the death toll will be significant but not catastrophic, and things will return to normal in short order once the virus has settled down, as such viruses reliably do, to become a normal cause of respiratory disease among the elderly and immunocompromised. The economic impact of the pandemic will be significant but, here again, we’ll get over it.”

    Ok, I was being flippant about you saying nothingburger, but from the total gist of what you said, you think we’ll get past this quick and things will go back to the way things are? I don’t think that’s too far from what you posted, no?

    I’m here to tell you that’s not likely to happen. Why do you think the economic lords and masters have been so desperate to bail out any little hiccup that has happened over the past decade, even if it makes them more and more hated by the populace? Because they know if the economy shuts down for even a brief moment, it’s never starting back up again. The way it’s structured, it’s either chugging along and belching oil or it has thrown a rod. Well, it has thrown a rod reading the ups and downs on the charts day to day. But you might be right, nothing is set in stone, one way or another we’ll all know by midsummer, I’d say whether things will be going back to the way things were or whether we are truly in a new era.

    I’m not going to pull up where you predicted at the start of this year that things would be the same as last but just a little bit crappier – you did say something about full shelves and open gas stations. Well the gas stations are still open but the shelves are decidedly bare. Sometimes history makes discontinuous jumps. Most of the time it doesn’t and if you’re playing the odds it’s a good bet to make but we seem to have rolled snake eyes this year.

  307. JMG – I have noticed that it seems like a lot of people are almost cheerleading the virus, almost hoping there is no quick cure – dismissing any sort of good news regarding the virus as unproven or propaganda, citing the largest tiimeframes mentioned by scientists, and dismissing out of hand anyone who thinks things will return to normal by summer.

    I am wondering if this is simply a cult following of the Religion of Progress, specifically its loyal opposition in the followers of apocalypse. To many of them, this feels like “the” shale-hits-the-fan moment, the one they’ve all been waiting for, and the idea that it might all be over and back to normal soon simply offends them in the same way the heavens not being perfect celestial spheres offended the 17th century Catholics.

    FWIW, I don’t think things will get 100% “back to normal” – I don’t think starting a market economy back up again is as easy as shutting one down (even China had some trouble getting their factories back up and running). What I think is that this was the latest step down the long ladder of decline, and there are still several steps to go. I also think Amazon might have inadvertently shot themselves in the foot with their massive hiring spree, necessary though it may have been to keep the supply chain up and running. If things return to normal it’ll have to either (1) lay off its hiring glut (to much annoyance), (2) cut the raise it gave its workers (to possibly more annoyance), (3) raise shipping & handling prices (to the consumer’s annoyance), or (4) suffer lower profits and thus potentially lower stock prices. They benefit in the immediate short term, but possibly not the long term.

  308. John–

    I know you’ve been saying it for well over a decade now, but it helps to understand that this is what the long decent looks like. Even if it takes a good while to fully grasp (not to mention emotionally manage). I tend to oscillate between equanimity and frustration, myself. Eh bien. I’ll get there eventually.

  309. Hi JMG

    For sure if I am wrong I will say it publicly and of course here, to you; but for the moment, from the beginning of February, the things are happening more or less (I would say even worse) how I have said/thought.

    Of course is not the end of the World (if that phrase has any meaning at all), but I’m quite sure it is the beginning of a huge global crisis, mainly economic, but also social an political, that, of course, would not happen if we, as society, accept 2 – 4% of population will die by lack of hospital care (as in 1918), but those times are long gone.

    At the end sincerely I would like to be wrong

    Salud and good luck to all
    David

  310. Deborah Bender – When you referred to a “broken glass” observation in an X-ray, I think you meant to say “ground-glass opacity”. I’ve seen the term used re: COVID-19 several times, and there’s a Wikipedia entry for that phrase. The name comes from an area of haziness on the image somewhat like trying to look through a pane of glass that has been mechanically roughened (ground, like with sandpaper) to look frosty.

  311. I just got off the phone with my 82-year-old mother. She’s in Delaware with my 85-year-old father whereas I am in Central PA.

    My father is dying by inches. He has severe bladder issues, developing kidney problems, type 2 diabetes which for decades he controlled closely via diet and exercise (my dad — my mother watched him like a hawk — is the model diabetes patient).

    He’s now developing Alzheimer’s disease. He’s disappearing day by day.
    I do what I can, my sister-in-law does what she can, my sister in Florida does what she can.

    My dad is already at death’s door and it’s just a matter of time. Covid-19 or pneumonia would be a blessing rather than see his mind shut down completely while his body still drags through each day, burdening my mother still more.

    As Irena says, must we die horribly and tragically and expensively and agonizingly slowly while being treated like lab rats in the vivisection ward?

  312. @LunarApprentice, the consensus among my engineering-minded friends, during a recent discussion of improvised masks, is that a HEPA vacuum cleaner bag is too dense a layer to breathe through effectively. Vacuum cleaners use hundreds of Watts of power to pump the air through.

    It’s worth a try anyhow (I hope I’m wrong), but be ready to try out some alternatives. Maybe, besides fabrics, the paper-like material from an automotive air filter, or the more fiber-y material from a home HVAC filter. As you know, the main thing a simple mask can accomplish is to trap the droplets that carry the virus particles, which are much larger than the individual virions.

  313. @ Owen RE nothingburgers….

    The gas stations are open, and many have even put plastic bags out so people don’t need to touch the pumps. I have seen no empty shelves in convenience stores on my 90 mile trips to my farm. There were/are runs on toilet paper, ammo and cash as of last week. I went to 2 groceries and there were no real shortages other than things like certain fruits, meat cuts and a few other things. I went back to Academy today and the ammo was all back. I went by the bank, and they said they had gotten more $100 bills, so I didn’t have to take $20’s. This is in a city of 7 million, in the panic-prone burbs filled with Boomers who trust CNN….

    If you are really a market follower, then you likely know that what we have here is NOT a free market – more of a freebie market for oligarch stocks. The valuations of 95% of the market players are not just false – they are criminal. GE is a premier example, as are the FANGs. A reset has always been in the cards – and most people know about the appx 80-year life of a central bank economy anyway.

    The TV isn’t down, internet isn’t down, highways are open, martial law has not been declared and if you have anything other than paper assets, your livelihood is likely to be little disturbed.

    I look at this as something we will get through and likely be better for it. Bosses and school principals will be less likely to demand you go to their places sick. People are reconnecting with friends they haven’t in years – never a bad thing.

    I would like to ask you if you personally know anyone who has contracted the who-flung-doo flu? I have asked most everyone, and have yet to hear of someone that has. Seems kinda weird, what with the six degrees of separation most people have from Hollywood personalities…

  314. A thought: yes, when this is all over, we’ll pick up the pieces and get back to the business of living. But we won’t be getting the world we knew before the virus hit, if history is any guide. It will be different. Probably more functional in many ways, as the massively dysfunctional systems and institutions we’ve struggled with for so many years are thrown in the dumpster, sometimes with great force, having proved unaffordable when TSHTF.

    It won’t be utopia and it won’t be dystopia. Some aspects of it will seem a lot better, some will be appalling and some will seem just – strange. There will be some holdover problems from before as there always have been; historically, in the States, connected to what people have called The US’s Original Sin, which started with the slave ships. (Other nations, other Original Sins, of course.) And within 20 years there will be people writing exposes of the Bad Things We Did in the early 21st Century, and shaking their heads and saying “Never Again.” Until the next time.

    BTW, any aged Silent Generation member will tell you the same thing, having seen such a process in our own time. Any one of us who has also ready widely in history, even if none too deeply, will also tell you it’s nothing new at all.

    I think Ecclesiastes will tell you the same thing,and it’s interesting that a quote from Ecclesiastes, set to music, was very popular during the hippie era. Pity the sentiment didn’t sink in as deeply as it could have.

    That’s be $0.02 in the gimme box, please, and we now return you to our usual discussion.

    P.S. An earworm quoted in Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, by a gal in the advertising business, called the start of the 21st century on the nose. “Tension, apprehension, and dissension have begun.”

    Pat, with an indelible memory for earworms.

  315. It isn’t just states in the US that have instituted lockdowns. St. Louis City and St. Louis County, the two most populous counties in the greater St. Louis, MO-IL metro area, are locking down, the former as of 6pm today, the latter, which I live in, as of about 14 hours ago.

    I think there are a number of interlinked factors that account for the lockdown:
    1. St. Louis City had the 5th lowest death rate of 50 cities listed in the link upthread during the 1918 flu pandemic. This is attributed to city officials’ generally effective responses.
    2. The St. Louis County county executive (the highest governmental official in the county) has an MD.
    3. The two counties are strongly linked economically and socially and together account for over a quarter of all Missouri residents.
    4. The first confirmed case in the metro area was announced on March 6, so it’s early days compared to other areas in the US.
    5. The metro area as a whole has a bad case of Rodney Dangerfield-itis (meaning it feels it doesn’t get any respect from anywhere else in the US). Not that any elected official in the area would ever admit it out loud, but it wouldn’t surprise me if an unspoken hope in their response is to put themselves in a good light for a change, which a very low death rate would do.

    I read the Aaron Ginn article. Very interesting; thanks to those of you who linked to it. JMG, I will look forward to your thoughts on the reaction to the novel coronavirus. There is already a good deal of economic fallout in the St. Louis area after only two weeks since the first confirmed case.

  316. Michael Martin wrote, “Unfortunately, the Wayback Machine version of the article does not properly display the graphs. I tired Firefox and Chrome, no luck.”

    Zerohedge has left up the article with its graphs. The site also linked to the most vociferous smackdown staged by the medical community. Reading the attack is useful both to see where the original article contains murky logic or bunk science and to see how the gatekeeping, Mandarin priests of science attack any non-expert’s attempt to offer a balancing counter perspective.

    Real science can never prove anything; it can only disprove hypotheses to inch incrementally towards less easily disproved ones. They always remain unproven hypotheses, and any real scientist welcomes people questioning his theories. However, the authors of the smackdown and the comments in its thread exhibit such smug, self-satisfied overconfidence in their infallibility that I had to wonder if any of them remember what the scientific method actually is. Attacking a person’s character rather than their argument, cherry picking from their argument to exaggerate its weaknesses, assuming one’s premises to be true without defending them, simplifying the debate down to two opposed extremes (now choose!), and asserting that the more popular majority opinion must be right are all well-known logical fallacies that anyone regularly practicing the scientific method would be unlikely to fall into. I am afraid many of our respected scientists have retreated into an echo chamber and no longer practice anything resembling the scientific method at all.

    The repeated incantations about the first author having no epidemiological credentials — forswear! — and Zerohedge being some far-right news site put paid to the smackdown’s impartiality. How would they froth if they accidentally stumbled across an actual far-right news site? The main message I came away with — Leave all thinking to your elite, well-credentialed betters who will do nothing but play primate status games by social signaling their Right Think™ at eachother — makes me wonder just how much of a balancing corrective the original article must be to the panic swirling all around us.

    Anything that makes my “betters” start hooting and beating their chests in intimidating circles certainly piques my interest. None of that alters the fact that the original article contained some pretty bizarre logic; sometimes following an illogical path is the only way out of the swamp of logic back onto some kind of solid ground. How many coronaviruses can dance on the head of a pin? Have our “betters” returned full circle to their inquisitorial origins?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/covid-19-evidence-over-hysteria

  317. Kiashu,
    People don’t usually hang around in bottle shops the way they do in gyms or libraries although I agree that libraries are pretty essential and not usually crowded with people shoulder to shoulder. Depriving the alcohol dependent of their supplies can give in some bad social results. If Dad’s gotta have his beer and can’t get it bad luck for Mum and the kids. To be fair Mum might be the one who has to have the grog. This is not the time to insist on abstinence.

  318. @Patricia Ormsby:

    Thank you for the info. I can certainly see no harm at all in taking Vitamin C, since it is soluble in water, and take 1g a day myselfl Generally, I would suppose the biggest potential gains from dietary and lifestyle changes are in prevention.

  319. JMG and Robert Mathiesen, I’m all in on this, whatever exact form “this” ends up taking. Your supportive comments are an amazing compliment that I’ll try my best to deserve. Thank you.

  320. John, et al.–

    An update on the state of things in WI. Apparently, there’s to be another gubernatorial EO coming out (presumably tomorrow) requiring/asking/demanding “non-essential businesses” to close. We here at this particular local utility (not non-essential) are instituting some of our (newly-developed) “core operations” protocols: the front lobby is to be closed to walk-in traffic as of the close of business today (Monday); various departments are going on some form of rotating in-office/remote-from-home schedule, depending on their capabilities. (On the other hand, it’s “jeans day” until further notice in the business office, so there’s that, at least!)

    If nothing else–though I do see the broader response by the populace and most governments here in the US as excessive and as adding to the panic rather than assuaging it–for the utility’s part, this is an excellent opportunity to test, critique, and revise our emergency operation procedures. So I can’t really fault the decision to implement those protocols.

  321. In Ireland we are on semi-lockdown. Up to today, the UK wasn’t. Now the UK is more locked down than Fort Knox. And in Donegal we are suffering the vicissitudes of “border” life. The weekend wave of Northern Irish visitors, which gathered in all our pubs, shopped us out in all our shops, and generally found themselves disapproved of by the locals for not observing social distance at all, at all, may now decide they’d rather stay here than go home.

    Anyway, the word “selfish” is being bandied about, so I had a think about that.

    And, itt IS selfish to want to live your life exactly as you were living it, with no consideration for anyone else’s safety.

    Likewise, it IS selfish to want others to rearrange the way they live so that you, or your loved ones can live safely, with no consideration for anyone’s else’s economic, social or mental well-being.

    We are caught out being selfish in conflicting ways. And not being at all honest or humble about it, which doesn’t help. Disguising either brand of selfishness as a noble principle isn’t a good look.

    If we are at war, it is a war with a virus (in which we may reach a stalemate, but never a victory). I am happy to close down for a month or two, and practice self-sufficiency (excited, in fact). And I understand the reasons to do so, in that it will slow down the infection rate, and, perhaps, our health system which is already on its last legs, might cope.

    I am not prepared, however, to accept that any of the emergency powers the government has given itself during this crisis, should be allowed to continue when the crisis passes.

    It would be helpful if people were honest about the specific value they are measuring other’s “selfishness” against, and humble in what they asked others to give up for the sake of upholding that value.

  322. @ Patricia Ormsby– That’s very kind of you, thanks. I would certainly appreciate prayers. Let me know if there is anything I can do in return.

  323. Irena and Theresa,

    You are not helpless and do not have to die slowly by inches, held together by duct tape and glue. It’s called a living will.

  324. Theresa,

    Sorry, I was too brief. If your father is unable to make a living will, the most important thing is to have the family on board, especially your mother. The things you want to say are:

    No CPR.
    No intubation
    No tube feeds
    No antibiotics
    Comfort care only

  325. Cyclone,

    FWIW I’d give up the city and concentrate on the farm. Farmers always fare better in highly inflationary environments. You want to be the independent rural businessman making a killing selling food, not bankrupting yourself as an dependent city employer or employee buying it.

    This crisis — coming at one of the worst possible global economic moments in history — may very well be the beginning of the end of the progressives as a major political force.

  326. DmfK, Australia is also an island of about 23 million people with a regular flow of Chinese visitors. We currently have about 1700 cases. In the circumstances, I think Taiwan did amazingly well.

  327. @Onething, thank you for that information about hypertension. I’m not on any medication (it rose when 4G was implemented in my town), but rely on food choices, exercize and energy medicine to do what I can. I do know others on meds for it, though, and I hope this information will be helpful to them.

  328. @Lunar Apprentice, one big difference between the West at this time and eastern Asia is that Asian society is more unified, and with the exception of Hong Kong, they are not undergoing a major political crisis (and that in Hong Kong seems more like an insurgency). Japan has been proud of its homogeneity, with a broad middle-road and outliers that have to cooperate to get along. Aside from some early fumbling with the Diamond Princess and the bureaucratic mess reported from China, they got their act together pretty quickly and the public has been provided useful knowledge. The people trust this advice and follow it. At this point in time, the biggest concern is what they are calling “overshoot” in which hospitals are overwhelmed, and they are discussing steps to avoid what’s happened in Italy. Very little has been shut down here. Masks still sold out, but toilet paper back in stock at reduced prices. I took a train the other day for the first time in years, and though it was Sunday and I was visiting a popular hiking spot with quite a crush of people, the train was practically empty. I wore a mask, veil, gloves, coat etc. threw it all in the wash the minute I got back home and took a soapy shower. The young foreigners on the train probably don’t know or care if they have the virus and might spread it. They coughed freely. A Japanese wouldn’t right now.

  329. @Michael Martin,
    Thank you for that link. Now who would go and write a bunch of drivel like that when anyone can see that helpless panic is so much more likely to stop the spread of the disease? Why, the author even lacks an MD! (sarc)
    Seriously, I was terrified to see the attempted censorship and warnings that this rational perspective has been debunked. I’ve seen signs of coercive retraction of similar information posted by others as well. As our gracious host says, the time to “collapse now and avoid the rush” is now over. What preparations we have accomplished individually will serve us and our respective communities.

  330. More freaky dreams! Is this happening to anyone else? Last night it was the Scenic Elevator. Periodically I dream of working in a big fancy building with a glass-walled elevator. It goes up to, then all around, floor 100 or so, with a spectacular view. As an employee of this building, I’m not allowed on even if I buy a ticket. I have to sneak on and off. Which I did last night. And then (this was new) I attempted to get something, I forget what, out of a vending machine and got everything but. ❓❓. Anyone want some dream-Raisinettes? I got about 12 boxes here…

    No General Nuisance last night, but then I wasn’t expecting him. Since he’s here illegally, Yellow Springs has probably already declared itself a sanctuary for him. 😄. He’s probably well on his way to learning enough English to be able to proclaim himself king at the June street fair. Polenta-requesting shoggoths surely will not be far behind. Maybe they can open a polenta booth at the fair.

  331. dropBear

    “For gen x, finally something that reduces the baby boomer burden we’ve been labouring under for all our lives.”

    Inveighing against the boomers is fashionable these days. And while I grant that some criticism is warranted, it is unfortunate that succeeding generations have not profited by our bad example.

    https://www.10tv.com/article/florida-college-students-test-positive-coronavirus-after-going-spring-break-2020-mar

    Assigning collective guilt to a generation, itself a somewhat artificial construct, as though it were a group that moved forward as a monolith with ill intent, is less than rigorous analysis.

    I would also point out that amid such demonization, credit is seldom given for things the boomer’s successors have come to prize. Steve Jobs was a boomer, as is Bill Gates.

    Finally, when the last boomer coffin lids are nailed shut, GenX moves to the top of the list. Do you believe The millennials and the zoomers, with their eyes on your assets, will be charitably disposed toward you??

  332. LunarApprentice wrote, “I’m a physician in solo private practice, and my clinic was closed last week for lack of face-masks and gloves; and part of why I’m writing to your blog so much is to help me unburden my mind so I can get back to focusing on my near-term survival. I’ve been trying to locate gloves and face-masks for my staff so we can re-open.”

    In January when it became obvious to me that we couldn’t stop this virus from going pandemic, but we still had very little information about mortality, I bought a few boxes of m95 masks and gloves. Now that there’s gobs and gobs of data, I no longer see much personal need for masks and gloves. After all, I now have plenty of time on my hands to convalesce and either recover or die. I am very glad that I started coping with this new reality early because I’ve had lots of time to process the disorientation. I’ve also been able to pursue a diversity of preparations, creating redundancies, which I would like to pass on to others.

    Doctors don’t have the luxury of dropping out to convalesce during a medical crisis, so I would be happy to mail masks and/or gloves to you to put to good use. If you can still use either or both, email me at cpgates7 at yahoo dot com with your snail mail address.

    Also, a tip that you can take or leave as you see fit. I use muscle testing to ask my body what it knows that I am not consciously aware of. Yeah, it’s woo-woo; so was trusting a dream about snakes biting their tails, but that worked out pretty well in the end, didn’t it? Anyway, last month I went to the pharmacy and muscle tested if there was anything available over-the-counter that could aid in treating coronaviruses, of which my body has surely experienced hundreds over the years. My body was utterly uninterested in almost all the many long shelves of medicines. In fact, it only asked for two items: pseudoephedrine, being the only decongestant it paid any attention to, and a very strong demand for Epsom salt.

    Epsom salt, really? Ok, if it’ll make you happy, I’ll buy some (yes, I do sometimes feel like I’m negotiating with a toddler when I ask my body questions, though I imagine it probably feels like I’m the ignorant toddler, asking endless questions.) I tested if I should take it internally — no. Should I soak in it — yes. So it’s just to ease muscle pain — no. Does it have some medicinal effect — yes. Does it help treat coronaviruses — a strong yes. Are you telling me it absorbs through the skin and yet has a strong medicinal effect on coronaviruses — Yes! Ok, ok, no problem; I’ll get some.

    When I got home I told my boyfriend that my muscle testing had asserted that Epsom salt has a medicinal effect in treating coronaviruses. He asked what its chemical makeup is; it’s magnesium sulfate. So he googled “magnesium sulfate immune effect” and found several scientific studies documenting magnesium’s effects on immune response:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14506478
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3884513/
    Interestingly, not only does magnesium boost immune response, it also decreases cytokine production. What an exceptionally fortuitous combination of effects that would be for treating COVID-19 infection with its tendency to cause cytokine storm, often resulting in death. Some recent articles have even warned doctors NOT to boost their patients’ immune response for fear of increasing their chance of cytokine storm. How about giving them Epsom salt baths instead?

    Does magnesium sulfate somehow allow more magnesium molecules access into the body’s cells? Does magnesium sulfate have other beneficial effects over other forms of magnesium? Does absorption through the skin have a stronger beneficial effect than other means of administering magnesium sulfate? Those questions would really be worth studying.

    In the meantime, my body indicates that soaking for an hour daily in a hot bath with one and a half cups of Epsom salt provides me with the greatest protective effect that Epsom salt can provide. Beginning the soaks up to two weeks before infection occurs allows the beneficial salt to bioaccumulate, though the greatest therapeutic impact by far comes from soaking while actively fighting the infection. The hot water increases absorption. Soap and detergent somehow block absorption, so I only soap up after an hour’s soak. Oddly, when I was swimming two hours a day, my body only needed half a cup of Epsom salt to obtain the greatest protective effect, while my boyfriend’s body needed the full cup and a half. When the pool closed last week, my body indicated that it now needs the full cup and a half as well. What chemicals in pool water facilitate increased uptake of magnesium sulfate from a more dilute solution, and how? Does the chlorine that absorbs into the skin while swimming attract, bond with, or otherwise act as a gateway to increase uptake of Epsom salt? Again, worth studying.

    Also, let me thank you for the link you included to the power point labeled “flattering the curve.” That had me absolutely doubled over in laughter, which is, after all, the best medicine!

  333. Re: Our Favorite Virus

    I’m taking a woo-woo approach to it. Look, if it’s your time to go, you can be wearing three layers of body armor and the universe will find a way to get you. And if it’s not your time to go, you can be buck naked and shrapnel will all miss you as it goes flying by. You can be wearing the plastic bunny suit with three filters strapped to your face and if you’re fated to get it, it’s not going to matter. Neh, what’s up doc?

    I didn’t get that 2009 flu and it was nasty by all accounts. In fact, I had to look it up to realize what I had missed. Not to say I won’t get this but if I do, it was fated to happen. And if I go due to it that was fated as well.

    Look – EVERYONE DIES. Stop being so scared. Reach down and find your balls, those of you who have them. Enjoy life and don’t cower at home.

  334. I want to restate and re-emphasize my devotion to elderberry as a coronavirus treatment. I ran out, and by the end of the day the cough had returned and I was starting to get feverish. Luckily I have healthy compadres who were willing to brave the zombie-infested streets and drop of a new supply, so I am back on the mend.

  335. Irena, I don’t share your opinion. As a cancer patient, you can always choose to refuse treatment and go to palliative care directly. And I’m not opposing chosen death by meds in any way, if your legislation allows it.

    For me, your discussion about death has nothing to do with the current pandemic. Because the things I described can happen relatively young and healthy people if they get huge loads of the virus because everyone is infected – like medical staff and others who happened to participate in events with large audiences, maybe people shouting and thus spitting (evangelical masses, sports events). And as JMG noted: the recovery rate is “artificially lowered” by lack of treatment and staff.

    I get the point about overdone life-prolonging treatments, and I agree with you that our culture’s attitude towards death is quite unnatural. But – the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. Do you work in health care or another critical industry where you might see a lot of people die in the next month who didn’t choose so? If not, I suggest that you, and anyone else who reflects about death this way from their sofa or safe workplace, to go and lend a helping hand with the current situation.

  336. Irena, if that helps, I’d like you to know that I feel with you and anyone else who suffers from isolation and restrictions right now, as well as panic and existential concerns. I’m not saying I want to swap with you, even if I’m afraid to start working in the new COVID station of my psychiatric hospital tomorrow, struggling myself with an ongoing respiratory infection.

    For what it’s worth, I also watched my grandmother die at age 90, and she desperately wanted to live, to the last moment – even after years of light to middle dementia, three heart attacks and months of hospitalization. She lived in Russia for all of her life save the last few years, so no decadent Westerner there who never had to face the hardships of life. I feel that her time had come to go – it’s just to say that people in the whole world feel very differently about that.

    Personally, I’ve been working with dying people for years and have wrapped my head around how to prepare for it. This is different – a huge change of tide which may disturb us in many ways other than healthwise. I just don’t see, from everything I’ve read about it, that it would work out better to let everyone run around and get infected, and I’m not talking about attitudes toward death here. Either way, our lives are going to change, and I’m seeing that every government on the planet is between a rock and a hard place: collapse here, or collapse there.

  337. Hi John,

    I have a question for you and I am wondering if you could help me. It is to do with the 21st century Vs the 20th. Now, what it is, I noticed from my reading of history that the 20th century was a revolutionary century. Every little event caused great change and it is known that every decade was never the same as the previous one.

    Take the shooting of Franz Ferdinand, the Great Depression, the space race, etc. All of these events ended up changing the way life was to become and in such a short period of time.

    Yet what I have noticed is that in the 21st century, life seems….slow. It’s like take the coronavirus. Life will pretty much go on as before but with the continued slow decline as you mentioned before. Same with the 2008 great recession. It did not actually change anything aside from lead to another slow decline in living standards.

    Even with the death of the Iranian general earlier this year, once again, it ended with very little incidents. Compared to the past, it seems that this century overall is changing very slowly. So my question is this. From an astrological or even spiritual point of view – why is this? Why was the 20th century so fast and the 21st century so slow?

    That is my question.

  338. Steve T, I never said it’s good to be afraid. I prefer people to be fine, just like you are right now, while helping not to spread the virus too quickly.

    That being said, I’m feeling a bit afraid in a hospital right now, maybe that’s a physical reaction after six weeks of respiratory infection. Other people have different or conflicting fears in this situation. We all do deal with this in different ways. I just found some comments of the “Let the boomers die” variety a bit cynical and quite detached from the situation on the ground.

  339. Violet, thanks for the info. Could it be that there are different varieties of pneumonia? Reports from doctors about dying from the COVID kind don’t sound so reassuring.

  340. Dear Robert, duly noted! I managed to listen to “Come Away Melinda” and the subject matter managed to shock me — from my perspective I found it, for lack of a better word, obscene in its morbidity. Granted, my generation turns out no end of obscenity of a mindlessly transmogrified variety, but this was a very different kettle of fish. Again, thank you, it’s truly amazing to get a glimpse of how greatly the inner dynamics of my generation and yours differ.

    Dear Isabel, if I remember correctly the great wild-foods advocate, Euell Gibbons, lived out much of his life in the great state of Pennsylvania.

    Dear Steve, I certainly hope you recover promptly!

  341. It seems surviving something like this is not a matter of killing a virus, it’s healing a body. I suspect there is a lesson there and I am thankful for our host’s illuminating astrological interlude.

    Good day to JMG and others if folks are still popping by this discussion so late in the cycle. From my admittedly small and personal perspective the shelves are decidedly and absolutely NOT bare. The only two things I have had any difficulty picking up from any store over the last several weeks, whether our small multi-generational family owned grocers / butchers (Guercio & Sons, Loregio’s Meating Place), regional (Wegmans), or national chains; are toilette paper, liquid soap, and hand sanitizer. Yes, when the right sparks of panic inducing chants are vibrated out over the tubes and through the talking heads people indeed stripped the shelves of some items because the shops hadn’t anticipated sudden demand enough weeks ahead. This was easily resolved by the next regular shipment of product. Though the high-panic items (toilette paper, liquid soaps, and hand sanitizers) get vacuumed off the shelves as soon as they’re stocked, this is not a catastrophe by any means. For a few whole days there were no root vegetables available at Wegmans, so I bought a bit of instant potatoes instead and by the next week they had their rather large produce section well stocked again, had implemented per-customer limits on the stuff people were hoarding most and a handy structure to their register queus to help people not crowd around each other.

    Working closely with small business owners and hearing directly from folks in positions of ordering and stocking, the tale I’ve heard is that the trouble is not absolute shortages but that people keep panic-buying the regular sized shipments, throwing off the projections for those in charge of putting together bulk orders.

    Some things may stay chronically short for a while but JMG has helped highlight that we are in a period of minor recoveries interspersed among occasional major and sometimes simply less-minor set-backs, stair-steps in some sort of descent over a long period of time, a Long Descent as it were. I apologize for giving in to an urge to attempt typed-text sarcasm, but it is flustering to see so many insist that since one does not buy the latest catastrophe du-jour that one is saying all will be fine and good as it was.

    If I may, I would like to share observations from the conditions in my family relative to viral morbidity. My mother recently made it through triple bypass heart surgery and my father has a week or two left before pancreatic cancer finishes making his body utterly uninhabitable. They live on opposite sides of the country, having separated decades ago when I was 1. It stands out strongly in my mind that if the two of them were to contract this virus then they would quickly find their way into statistics for their region of how deadly this virus is. Not to insinuate that it should not be observed in statistics that such a virus would be a tipping point for them, but my father will not live more than a few weeks from today no matter what else comes; he has late stage pancreatic cancer. My mother also, though somewhat less immanently close to death’s door, is still basically holding one of those front-of-the-line passes people pay extra money for at Disney places; only it’s not some Love Canal the ticket is for or the Maid of the Mist (Niagara falls, ol’ boat tour that started as a ferry in 1884) but much older Charon’s well worn ferry. My wife is asthmatic so I am naturally cautious, but she is also otherwise healthy and her asthma has improved in later life with healthier diet, sleeping, and life activity so I am also not terrified, just cautious.

    Thank you all and especially thanks to our host JMG for these many years of observations, interpretations, and discussions.

    Robert C. Guy

  342. For those contemplating self medicating against coronavirus (I know most here are sensible enough to be cautious) please be absolutely sure you know what you are doing.

    https://www.wmur.com/article/arizona-man-dies-after-self-medicating-with-chloroquine-to-treat-coronavirus/31906329

    Also Deborah asked about effects of coronavirus on long term health. It’s probably too soon to know that but I can offer some family history. My father’s mother was a young mother in her twenties when she contracted the Spanish Flu. She recovered but was left with chronic asthma. She was in the habit of using an old remedy of burning certain herbs and inhaling the fumes to ease her asthma. It worked but had the unintended side effect of causing a benign lung tumor to form which cost her a piece of her lung to have removed. She finally died in 1968 from the Hong Kong flu at the age of 76, this in a family in the habit of living into their eighties and occasionally nineties. Her long term health definitely took a hit and probably left her wide open to her final illness. Whether coronavirus will cause similar problems remains to be seen.

  343. DT Wrote: Now somebody answer me this. Why the heck did our government insist on the CDC developing it’s own test instead of using the WHO test? This seems to be the one premier failing of our administration.

    The logical answer to me seems to be that the US administration, like most of us here, was more worried about the economic than the health impacts, and rather than wait for a vaccine to be produced tried to build herd immunity the quick way, by letting the disease run its course with as little fuss as possible. It probably would have worked too if the press had been friendlier with the administration.

  344. Real-time statistics on the CoVid-19 situation are available on the worldometers site: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    The figures to watch are the “total deaths” graphs, as these are the most difficult to fudge. (Variations in testing programs and evaluation criteria allow the other figures to be tweaked by those seeking to prove something, but individuals either died or they didn’t – and if they did, the autopsy will reveal that they either had the virus or didn’t – so it’s pretty cut and dried.) The linear plots are the ones to check, as they will clearly show the point of inflection where the curvature switches over from concave up (bowl shaped) to concave down (mound shaped). At that point, the figure is close to half what the total will ultimately reach.

    Italy and China have both passed this point, and the global curve should reach it within a few days. Based on what I see on these graphs, I expect that the death toll in Italy will max out around the 10,000 mark, and this will represent about 15%-20% of the global body count. I therefore stand by my earlier assessment that this virus is no more of a health threat to humanity than rabies – and that Mr. Greer is correct that it will not be catastrophic in that sense.

    What is far more of a concern is the drastic actions governments are getting away with in response to the threat. The economy will ride a rollercoaster it has seen since before WWII, but will more or less recover eventually. Of much greater concern is the fact that governments worldwide will then take credit for having “defeated” the virus threat in much the same way that an aggressive dog gloats after “successfully” chasing away the postman. Thus, civil liberties (that our forefathers fought and died to protect!) surrendered now in this manufactured crisis are forever lost because a price has been established: governments now know in tangible terms what it takes to establish autocratic rule in a democracy – and can plan accordingly. Only Divine Intervention can save us from that one!

  345. Aidan, I admit it made my head spin, too!

    DmfK, thanks for the data points.

    LunarApprentice, you’re most welcome. While I have my issues with mainstream medicine, one thing it’s fairly good at handling is epidemics, and the sooner this one gets stopped in its tracks, the better.

    Onething, interesting. Thanks for this.

    LunarApprentice, my guess is that the medical industry is in for a massive shakeout in the years immediately ahead — none of its trendlines are sustainable, and one thing that will very likely be shed sooner rather than later are the less profitable specialties. Now may be a good time to jump.

    Andy, did you put the image tag between angle brackets? I do that all the time and it doesn’t get stripped out. One thing to remember, though, is that you can’t put an html address in an image tag — for example, the link you included won’t work in that tag. It has to be an image file (.jpg, .png, or what have you).

  346. For Chris, Down Under: “Disinfect your tonsils, from COVID; it cleans your guts (what a cure-all) while it cleans your teeth (good hard liquor), …..”

  347. @JMG

    I did use the angle brackets but the upload service Imgur uses url shortening which conceals the file type. I will try and find a more straightforward alternative next time I have an image.

  348. For Violet and Robert M. I remember “Come Away Melinda” and I didn’t find it shocking at all. I was born in 1947 and the song was quite in line with the world as I saw it as a teenager. I didn’t expect to live to see my 40th birthday. Surprise! I’m 72! I never found the song morbid. What about Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” ending with the phrase “I’ll stand over your grave ’till I’m sure that you’re dead.” Now that level of vitriol DID seem extreme. Maybe Dylan had Edward Teller in mind along with some Generals; Leslie Groves, and the SAC guy, Curtis LeMay. .

  349. Trump wants everyone back to work by Easter. He’s kind of between a rock and a hard place. After 50 years of deliberate impoverishment, most Americans don’t have the money to wait out a month or two at home, and the peasants get cranky when they can’t eat. On the other hand, if he does turn everyone loose, many aristocrats will be infected by their servants. It’s a tough one.

    What is California doing about stay-home policies when there are all those thousands there who live in tents?

  350. @Kevin
    I think you misunderstood me.
    Firstly my post was not necessarily biographical.
    Secondly I did not blame the boomers for anything. I just said that we gen X were burdened by them.
    This is a simple demographic fact. Especially for an early gen x like myself. The 10 years coming right after the boomers were some kind of a lost generation nobody wanted. Boomers had taken up all the positions that society has for our age group. We were a few random grasshoppers in an orchard just after a swarm of locusts had gone through.
    Boomers were no better or worse than any generation before or after as far as I can tell.
    Actually I always preferred their music to the (mostly) rubbish stuff that came later. Although of course the pre boomer music was far better again, so this is probably part of a decline that has been going on for about 150 years now.
    And since you brought up Gates and Jobs: I think using and selling the computer as a drug is the most dreadful idea the Boomers ever had. History might not forgive you for this.

  351. What’s everyone reading while cooped up? I’m reading a sort-of bio of Napoleon I noticed offered on Kindle Unlimited. I say “sort-of” because it’s only about his military ventures—nothing about the Napoleonic Code, for instance. I only know what everyone knows about him—Code, short, into BO and Josephine, sometime Emperor, Waterloo—so I figured, why not?

    At something like 25% of the book, he has just invaded Egypt, for what reason I cannot fathom. (“What do they got? A lot of sand!”). If this guy had lived in the mid-20th century he’d have been U.S. SECDEF for sure. I have not yet got to the point where one of my favorite-named historical characters, Field Marshal Grouchy, comes on stage. (I guess if you had some derned fool sending you hither and yon for no reason, you’d be grouchy too.)

    OK, now what are YOU reading?

  352. Admin: “This is different – a huge change of tide which may disturb us in many ways other than healthwise. I just don’t see, from everything I’ve read about it, that it would work out better to let everyone run around and get infected, and I’m not talking about attitudes toward death here”

    Nope, it’s not “different this time”. We just haven’t been forced to deal with something like this in a while. Measles, mumps, and polio were arguably much worse (they killed and disfigured children) and the entire world economy wasn’t shut down over it. Also, we are talking about attitudes towards death, and attitudes towards death are perfectly relevant to this discussion.

    You may feel like a condemned Boomer, but Irena did not condemn Boomers at any time. Just because a younger person says it might be time to look death straight in the eye instead of following government orders for everyone to hide in their isolated bunkers does not mean they hate all Boomers and want them to perish. She related a story about her relative’s death and said it wasn’t the way she wanted to go: that is all, besides I am the one who brought up the fear of death and dying. At the risk of sounding redundant, if talk of the Reaper bothers you, and it seems to trigger you quite readily, Admin, you might want to examine how you can use that to figure out your own motivations and pursue a better life.

  353. @Steve (Re: Inclination point in deaths)

    Do you agree that we have a logical problem here? China, South Korea and Italy took drastic measures after the cases had taken off, and China, South Korea and possibly Italy have started to see the growth in deaths slow down. You say they would have slowed down anyway, and governments everywhere will now claim unjustified merit for the slowdown. Others say the actions were necessary for the slowdown to occur. There are actually countries like Taiwan mentioned above where cases never took off after specific measures had been taken.

    The only way to decide this problem would be for a country to stay course and refuse do either widespread testing, mask using and fines; efficient tracking and isolation; or social distancing up to lockdown. Unfortunately (for the sake of the logical problem), the governments that seemed to share your point of view have completely (Netherlands, UK) or partially (USA) changed course.

    The one country that might decide the problem is Brazil, where the president has just asked the population to disrespect all social distancing measures enacted by local governments. It’s a pity I have so many friends there.

  354. I know that this is way late, but the late talk of a living will is why I am trying to post.

    My mother in law had Alzheimer’s and dementia and a living will. If we did not also have the blessings of her primary caregiver and assisted living home it would have been difficult to carry out her wishes.

    I would spend more time on this comment if it were not so late in the week, but please realize how much you need to just get involved.

    BTW, she died in my house with all 3 of my kids there and able to digest the whole experience of the passing of a loved one. All said goodbye and it was way past time for her.

  355. Owen, thank you for paying attention this time to what I actually wrote. Yes, I am predicting — based on astrology, which is after all what this post is about — that this pandemic will wind up relatively soon and that the economic effects will turn out to be transient. You’re predicting a different outcome; fair enough. Now we get to see who’s right, and events — not rhetoric — will settle that question. Shall we revisit this at the beginning of May?

    Brendhelm, I think a lot of what’s going on is that the vast majority of people in modern industrial society hate the lives they’re living but don’t have the courage or imagination to live any other way. Thus they fantasize about apocalyptic events that will force them to change. It’s something I’ve been watching since the early days of my blogging career — the Doom-of-the-Month Club, always insisting at the top of their lungs that the latest fashionable catastrophe will annihilate modern industrial civilization so that they don’t have to get up tomorrow morning and go on with the lives they’ve made for themselves.

    David, it’s always a wrench when the reality of decline actually sinks in. One of the good things about that experience is that you’ll have an easier time dealing with the next crisis.

    DFC, fair enough. As I said to Owen a little further up, you’ve made your prediction and I’ve made mine; now we’ll see who’s right.

    Lathechuck, I was thoroughly rattled to see that when it first came out. If the left is beginning to grasp the fact that we’re in decline, certain possibilities for constructive action may be on the table that I didn’t expect to see for quite a while yet.

    Michael, excellent. Spread it around!

    Patricia M, I don’t doubt that there will be some changes, some for the better, some for the worse. As for national Original Sins, have you noticed that which sin gets anointed with that label changes from time to time? I remember when it was the treatment of the Native Americans…

    SLClaire, thanks for the data points!

    Christophe, the crisis of legitimacy in our society is really coming out into the open at this point, with polls showing that most Americans automatically mistrust what the media is saying about the CoVID-19 outbreak. If it turns out that Trump is right and the chloroquine class of drugs are an effective response, I’m not sure the medical establishment will ever regain its former level of respect — and the consequences of that could be far-reaching indeed.

    Walt, delighted to hear it.

    David BTL, exactly — one of the good things to come out of this is that we’re all having a chance to test our capacities for crisis response in the face of a crisis that, all things considered, is relatively mild.

    Scotlyn, many thanks for the data points!

    Your Kittenship, maybe our dreams are getting mixed up. My dreams are usually weird, but the last few days they’ve been almost boring by comparison.

    Owen, that’s not woo-woo at all. That’s a mode of basic common sense too many of our species have forgotten. Check out the Stoic philosophers sometime if you want an extra dose of it!

    Ksim3000, I’ve noticed the same thing, and I’m not at all sure why it’s happening.

    Robert, many thanks for this! Here in East Providence, RI, conditions are much the same; toilet paper and hand sanitizer are a little hard to come by, and there are holes here and there on the grocery shelves, but I had no trouble at all filling my shopping cart on Sunday. Interestingly, the foods that are being bought most enthusiastically here aren’t junk foods or quick-fix products — they’re things like rice, flour, cornmeal, dry beans, and some cuts of meat. It looks as though people are responding to the situation by going back to older cooking traditions, which strikes me as a very good things.

    Jeanne, it’s always crucial to know what you’re doing if you self-medicate. Using fish tank cleanser is a bad idea — but chloroquine (or better still, hydroxychloroquine, which is easier on the human body) is also available as a medication for human use. Hydroxychloroquine is the 128th most common medicine prescribed in America; it’s really good for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, as well as a malaria preventive if you’re traveling to the tropics. That’s why the state of New York has authorized its use across the board on all serious CoVID-19 cases.

    Greencoat, that’s plausible. It’s certainly what the Obama administration did with the 2009 swine flu epidemic; he didn’t declare a national health emergency until more than a thousand Americans had died of it.

    Steve, many thanks for this. A question to keep in mind is whether national leaders have any incentive to impose authoritarian rule. That’s not as obvious a choice as people these days tend to think — which is one of the reasons there are still relatively open societies.

    Andy, it’s the URL shortening that’s the problem. If you can find someplace to host it that gives you the image source URL directly, that should work fine.

    Your Kittenship, I’m rereading John Crowley’s fine fantasy novel LIttle, Big.

  356. As a relic of the 20th century, I can testify that when measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, and German measles went around, nothing shut down. In fact mothers held mumps and German measles parties to make sure boys and girls, respectively, were infected as young children because those diseases are much more serious if you get them as an adult.

    Smallpox might have shut things down, I don’t know much about any past epidemics except the New York one, in 1950 or thereabouts, see “The Medical Detectives” by Berton Roueche for an account. On that one they mainly concentrated on vaccinating everyone in the path of the [unDruidly word] who decided to go from Mexico to New York while infected. It worked. They also vaccinated everyone in New York. So let’s pray a Coronavirus vaccine is soon found.

    I checked with my very elderly neighbor regarding polio. He said that when there was an epidemic patients and their families were quarantined but did not recall whole towns, much less whole states, being shut down.

  357. ok, this is the second time I’m trying to post this…

    @ Lady CuteKitten re reading:

    I read the same way I breathe, which is constantly. I have just finished Giordano Bruno and the
    Hermetic Tradition. I am currently reading Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith (about octopuses
    and intelligence), The Hebrew Goddess by Raphael Patai and rereading The Great Influenza by
    John Barry. Also rereading the SF and Fantasy anthologies I’ve collected over the years and
    find I’ve lost interest in nearly half of them. Which is okay as it will make extra space
    for new books.

    Don’t get me started on jigsaw puzzles (another addiction…)

    (if this shows up twice, I apologize.)

  358. JMG, yep, I think our dreams cross-pollinated. Except for the Big Scary House, which I first dreamed 30 years ago, I never dreamed AT ALL pre-menopause, and certainly not all this nutty stuff.

    If in your dreams you see a short, wiry, balding 40-ish man, dark brown/blue, mustache, complexion light Asian, missing left pinky finger, that’s General Nuisance and we’ll have to figure out how to get everyone back where they belong. I’ll dream up some polenta in case I dream up some shoggoths who actually belong in your head.

  359. Regarding the modern revival of the concept of Original Sin (or Corruption of Blood), it has very much been a feature of New Left discourse for the past two generations.

    It’s important to understand that most “woke” concepts have been in existence since first internalized by a substantial amount of the highly educated ’68er generation embraced the causes of the New Left in the ’60s and ’70s.

    Here is a list:

    Sensitivity Training: Created by Kurt Lewin, beginning with his 1946 workshops; expanded in National Training Laboratories (1947). He formed “T-groups” to combat religious and racial prejudice. Lewin’s approach, and the idea of this sensitivity training more broadly, was then popularized by Carl Rogers (On Becoming a Person, 1961) .

    Affirmative Action: The specific term dates back to Executive Order No. 10925 (John F. Kennedy, 1961), reiterated in Executive Order No. 11246 (Lyndon Johnson, 1965). These required employers to take ‘affirmative action’ to hire, promote, and otherwise treat their employees equally, “without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin” (gender was added to this list two years later). Debates about Affirmative Action, university admissions, meritocracy and ‘reverse-discrimination’ kicked off almost immediately thereafter. For instance, see this 1969 debate around “The Black Quota at Yale Law School.” The conversation has evolved little, if at all, from then.

    Safe Spaces: Black Cultural Centers (BCCs) were established in the late 60s to help black students at predominantly white institutions cope with alienation, isolation, loneliness, hostility (Young 1986). These were very live issues, as formal segregation had only recently been dismantled, the 1965 Civil Rights Act was just recently passed, and as noted above, there was a good deal of vitriol being directed towards black students, who were now entering many of these institutions of higher learning in decent numbers for the first time.The specific term, ‘safe space,’ emerged in lesbian and gay bars during the mid 1960s. Yet, originally this iteration of ‘safe spaces’ did not denote a formalized zone, for instance set aside by an institution (like a university). Instead, ‘safe spaces’ were more like ‘rap sessions’ conducted by Vietnam veteran groups in the early-to-mid 70s. They were temporary social configurations — which could in principle be established virtually anywhere — wherein those who shared a given set of experiences and struggles would co-construct an environment of trust, authenticity and confidentiality for the sake of boosting morale, building community and raising consciousness. The idea was co-opted, and used consistently, in 60s and 70s women’s liberation movements as well.
    However, the meaning of the term ‘safe space’ began to change as the LGBTQ lifestyle was more incorporated into mainstream society (80s, 90s), and as LGBTQ advocates gained more institutional power. Calls for ‘safe spaces’ became more literal – and tied to real estate development, zoning, gentrification, law enforcement, etc. (for more on this, see Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence (2013)). Beginning in 1989, Gay & Lesbian Urban Explorers (GLUE) developed ‘safe space’ training programs, accompanied by visual displays through which ‘allies’ could signal that their business or institution was a ‘safe space’ for members of the LGBTQ community. ‘Project Safe Zone’ training and administrative implementation at universities go back at least to the early 2000s – as do lawsuits pertaining to “safe spaces.”

    Social Construct: Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann (1966), The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge

    Internalized Racism: This term was coined by the radical anti-colonialist intellectual and Martinique psychiatrist Frantz Fanon (1952) in Black Skin, White Masks. When Fanon died in 1961, he works became revered among everyone from Algerian freedom fighters to Black Power radicals in the US

    Institutional Racism: Kwame Ture (better known by his birth name Stokely Carmichael) & Charles Hamilton (1967), Black Power: The Politics of Liberation

    Microaggressions: This term was originally coined by the prominent black Harvard psychiatrist Chester Middlebrook Pierce in 1974. Pierce was a very interesting character. He was essentially the Jackie Robinson of American football but never made a big deal about it. A picture book was made of it in 2019 called Follow Chester! (https://www.amazon.com/Follow-Chester-College-Football-History/dp/1580898351) In the aftermath of MLK’s assassination in 1968, Pierce and other despairful colleagues helped form the Black Psychiatrists of America to take on a more activity role of alleviating racism through their profession. One interesting way for Pierce was being a key influence on the prominent children’s show Sesame Street, a pioneering program showing a healthy integrated urban community with black (and later latino) characters in positions of respect.

    Cultural Appropriation: The American Indian Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s took inspiration from the militant activities of other groups like the Black Panthers intimidate others into making the social changes it desired (the most infamous incident was the Wounded Knee Incident of 1973 involving Federal authorities and a few deaths). A particular grievance was the exploitation of their image by “plastic shamans” who sloppily imitated Native Indians for commercial purposes. This spurred a decades-long campaign by indigenous groups in the US and the broader context (along with sympathetic activists) to apply the concept of intellectual property to collective folklore/customs in addition to individual literature. The specific term, “Cultural Appropriation” was coined by Kenneth Coutts-Smith in “Some General Observations on the Problems of Cultural Colonialism” (1976). By the 1990s, several widely publicized international declarations of indigenous groups condemned the “appropriation” of indigenous symbols especially for commercial purposes. The term later appeared in the anti-globalization protests of the 1990s. A prominent conflict involved a challenge by a group of Maori activists against the Lego Corporation in 2002. Specifically, it related to the “Bionicle” series (which I was fond of as a kid along with Sesame Street!) that was accused of “appropriating” terms and concepts from the Maori culture of New Zealand. Several books on the subject were written in the 2000s

    https://www.amazon.ca/Who-Owns-Culture-Appropriation-Authenticity/dp/0813536065

    https://www.amazon.ca/Cultural-Appropriation-Arts-James-Young/dp/1444332716/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=KTXMBDN4SSVNHQRCXX2N

    https://www.amazon.ca/Ethics-Cultural-Appropriation-James-Young/dp/1444350838/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=B14TVPQE35X9RW3ZFWRQ

    Identity Politics: The specific term may date back to the Combahee River Collective Statement of 1977. One of its original members, Barbara Smith, turned out to still be alive in the current year and came out of the woodwork to endorse a particular presidential candidate in this election:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/10/identity-politics-bernie-sanders-endorsement

    Words as Violence: Prominent sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1979, La Distinction) coined the term ‘symbolic violence.’ Yet the institutionalization of the idea of ‘words as violence’ was driven largely by prominent lawyer/ legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon: Feminism Unmodified (1987), Pornography and Civil Rights (1988), Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), Only Words (1993). MacKinnon came out of the woodwork to endorse #MeToo a couple years ago.

    Trigger Warnings: DSM III, 1980 codifies the notion of ‘triggers’ for PTSD. The phrase, ‘trigger warning’ began to show up on feminist websites/ blogs late 90s, early aughts for stories involving sexual violence, abuse, exploitation. Social media played a significant role in mainstreaming the term along with all the others.

  360. @Phutatorius:

    I had the same reaction as you to “Come away, Melinda” — it didn’t seem morbid at all, just a song giving voice very well to the deep sorrow (and sometimes sheer bed-wetting terror) that pervaded every thoughtful waking moment of any young person’s life at that time. Even now, more than sixty years later, I still choke up every time I remember the lyrics to that song: the tears start flowing down my cheeks, and I daren’t try to speak lest I lose control and break out in violent sobbing.

    Like you, I never expected to live to any sort of ripe old age–and yet, here I am now, 77 years old. Life’s sure a strange tapestry of the unexpected and the (seemingly) impossible, ain’t it?

    Dear Violet, I thank you for being so open to catching a glimpse of what existence felt–and still feels–like for my generation. It is differences such as the ones you have pointed out between your generation and mine that make me sure there is actually something to a theory of successive generations in any given country (even if I think Strauss and Howe haven’t gotten the details all that right).

    Existence, like silence, comes many different “flavors and textures,” so to speak. Very few people seem to notice this, but you have noticed.

  361. Your Kittenshipe,
    I’m delighted to say that I just finished reading Weird of Hali: Dreamlands and have just started Nyogtha Variations.
    Interestingly, the other night I read about Miriam Akeley’s solution in the Temple of the Singing Flame, when the next day I read commenter Myriam’s description (Mar 22) of her offering during the birth of her third child during the Gulf War. Gnarly, eh?
    Will1000

  362. “Thus, civil liberties (that our forefathers fought and died to protect!) surrendered now in this manufactured crisis are forever lost because a price has been established: governments now know in tangible terms what it takes to establish autocratic rule in a democracy – and can plan accordingly. Only Divine Intervention can save us from that one!”

    Then again, perhaps not: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

    So, what am I reading? Jean Dubuis’ Qabala, Vol. 1. Every so often I’m tempted to put it aside, but then I force myself to keep reading and fall ever more deeply, and eagerly, into the rabbit hole.

  363. @Lady Cutekitten:

    I have just read the four novels that Violet Fortune wrote under the pen-name of V. M. Steele. They are very well written and engrossing (except maybe for the third, which sprawls apart in its last few chapters). — Fortune would never say much about her own childhood to anyone, even her closest confidants. Reading “between the lines” in the first three novels, one can catch some glimpses of why she wouldn’t. I expect that writing them helped her process what she seems likely to have endured. The fourth and last of the four novels is serene and happy by comparison, as if all her demons had finally been exorcised.

    Now I am reading “Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute” and Ashbury’s old classic study, “The Barbary Coast.” I have finally settled down to write up all our old family stories–thank you, coronavirus!–and these two will help me flesh out the period in my grandmother’s life as a very young widow, when the only way she could provide for her three children was to work for a few years as a dime-a-dance girl in Daddy Rice’s “ballroom dance studio” in San Francisco’s Barbary Coast. She thought very highly of Daddy Rice: “he never forced the girls to do anything but dance with the sailors”–emphasis, I think, on “forced”!

  364. Here, by the way is an article by someone scared to die of the coronavirus: I’m frightened I’ll die of Covid-19. The reasons are interesting, and revolve in large measure around having young children. Though I respect the decisions of those who’ve decided not to have children, my experience is that having young children changes one’s perspective on cultural issues, because one lacks the luxury of simply entertaining and espousing one’s views. There is an urgency involved. One is constantly thinking, How do I save my children from this? “This” isn’t the coronavirus or anything else of that sort, it is the toxic, corrosive attitudes of mainstream, comfortable, “non-thinking”, if I may put it that way. The horrifying thing is that I have only one answer for this, which is, my own practice, and the (I hope) protection it affords. That puts the onus on me in a big way (which is why it’s horrifying in a manner of speaking), because I don’t have the luxury of dilatoriness; I don’t have a moment to waste picking my way through the paths, and applying them, because, and I believe this to be true, it is not my efforts that will save them, but that of the god/s. For me the coronavirus (and this is looking at it selfishly) may be a (big) break in things, and the answer (for me) of the aforementioned god/s: my children are at home, schooled at home, and I get to observe their schooling, but even more, their (dare I say mindless) routines are broken, and reforged. Will things ever be the same after this? In some things, I hope so. In others, I hope not.

  365. cpgates7, Thank you kindly. I emailed you my clinic address. If that didn’t go through email me using my handle, dot gmail.

    –LunarApprentice (my handle)

  366. @Kimberly Steele

    Thank you for leaping to my defense. Much appreciated. 🙂

    @admin

    The real question is: who gets thrown under the bus? The obvious question on everyone’s mind is just how many people will lose their jobs (or lose their small businesses). How many people will suddenly find themselves unable to pay their rent/mortgage? How many people (including children) will wind up homeless as a result? Or “merely” have to move into cramped housing in a different neighborhood (or city) with relatives who don’t particularly want them there? How many people will struggle to pay for groceries?

    On that note, cyclone’s comment is relevant here. No, I don’t think there will be mass (or even small scale) starvation. For better or for worse, grain production is largely automatized, so I’m sure we’ll all get enough calories in the coming year. Now how about produce? That’s far more labor intensive. A relatively small shortage could drive prices through the roof, as soccer moms pay whatever they need to pay so that Johnny can get his 5 fruits and 5 vegetables per day. And what about everyone else? (Not that I blame the soccer moms, mind you. In their place, I’d do the same. The question remains: what about everyone else?)

    So, let’s see. We’re depriving the whole population (children included) of exercise for weeks or possibly months, and we are slowly downgrading the quality of food that we all consume. (*My* diet is definitely inferior to what it was just a couple of months ago, simply because I can no longer find all the stuff that was readily available before.) What will that do to our collective ability (and that includes children’s ability) to fight off infection next winter? And gods know about the long term health effects on everyone (again, children included). Diabetes tends to reduce both life quality and life expectancy, and we’ve just put the whole population in a diabetes incubation lab.

    You see, there’s a big difference between shutting down stadiums and concert halls (where infection can spread very, very quickly), while compensating those affected from state coffers, and shutting down the whole global economy. I’m sure they’ll print money in an attempt to inject life into the comatose economy. But money is not a tomato, and you cannot get vitamin C from it. Or vitamin D, while we’re at it. You should spend some time in the sun to get that one.

  367. I was surprised to learn that in the absence of modern ventilators, it’s perfectly possible to treat patients who need breathing assistance with very simple technology, so-called bag ventilation. This is done all the time in ICUs and by paramedics with their “ambu bags”. Of course, the downside is that they need to be worked manually and continuously, so this is usually not done over extended periods of time when ventilators are available. But history shows that it is quite possible.

    During a major outbreak of poliomyelitis in 1952, Danish doctors discovered how bag ventilation could effectively treat cases where the iron lungs of the time were useless. Furthermore, they discovered that it was fully possible to train fresh medical and dental students to do the work. Shifts were organized of “about 1500 volunteer medical students, nurses, and retired staff to do this ventilation on polio patients. Supervised by anaesthetists and dedicated nursing staff, the work of these volunteer teams using Ibsen’s techniques slashed mortality rates from 87% to less than 15% among patients with bulbar poliomyelitis”. (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(07)61650-X/fulltext)
    The procedure is described in detail here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/003591575404700119

    I also read in Danish sources that many patients had to be ventilated this way for up to 6 months before recovering.

    This was mentioned briefly in a Norwegian newspaper the other day, where health officials confirmed that they were aware of the possibility, while assuring that of course we will do everything possible to provide “modern” treatment to everybody. For countries with worse public finances, I wonder if the manual approach may be more scalable. Certainly cheaper where labor is cheap.

  368. John, et al.—

    Re emergency powers, etc.

    Understanding the grey area of the law in this regard and allowing for certain practical realities, it is nonetheless the responsibility of citizens to express contrary views in in an appropriate manner and to push back against excessive use of such powers. Now, there may be a difference of opinion as to what is necessary and what is excessive, and I acknowledge that.

    The text of the WI gubernatorial “stay home “ order:

    https://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/read-the-full-text-of-wisconsins-safer-at-home-order-and-then-please-stay-safe-at-home/

    With all due respect to Governor Evers, this is a steaming pile of excrement, contrary to the fundamental nature of a free republic of thinking citizens. My employer has provided us with letters of “essential employee travel authorization” to allow us to commute for work or to be about our business of keeping the lights on and the water flowing. In the United States of America. I may be heading out the door with my term of office ending soon, but I will be making a comment to this effect at our next city council meeting.

  369. Hi John,

    I agree with you, it is a confusing situation when it comes to the world. I was wondering if it was something astrological but even still, the stability the world seems to have compared to the past does seem alot stronger…

    However, I did want to ask your opinion about Europe and the Corona virus. I agree with you in your estimation that America will bail itself out. If America is to have a depression, it will come in a couple of decades when either the debt is defaulted one or the dollar loses its status as the world reserve currency.

    Europe though is a very different kettle of fish. The EU seems to be breaking apart at the seams with the EU refusing to help Italy. Considering how quick Russia was to send aid, it is all but given that Italy will be the next to leave the bloc. They feel very betrayed by the EU.

    Also let us not forget that Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, even Britain to an extent, never got out of 2008. So this is very likely going to leave a huge economic impact probably leading to a depression when it comes to Europe.

    What do you think? Do you think Corona is likely the trigger for the break up of the EU? I don’t think America can bail out the empire if you know what I mean.

  370. Kimberly, I’m not a boomer and I have no pre-existing conditions. I don’t think I’ll die from this. I was just touched by the cynicism that some people here wanted to see others die (because their parents weren’t nice to them or whatever).

    I happen to work in the health care system of a country that’s ahead of yours in the Kubler-Ross consciousness curve of this crisis, and we were saying the same things as you a few weeks ago.

    As said before, I’ve been working close to the Reaper, and I’ve been through changing my motivations and pursuing a better life on several levels, so thanks.

  371. For what it’s worth, I don’t think this pandemic event is “different this time” in JMG’s. I see it as something in the same league as 9/11.

  372. @Aidan:

    Thank you mso much for that very careful, documented account of where all those key terms and concepts arose, and how they spread. I am saving it for future use and reference.

  373. @Robert

    You’re welcome.

    Much of these terms originated in law and, especially, psychiatry.

    What is now frequently termed “victimhood culture”, putting certain groups above social criticism actually began veterans suffering PTSD and their psychiatric supporters. Over the course of WWI, appeals to trauma were widely considered a sign of cowardice or deceit. After WWII and the Holocaust, it was considered something that was widely considered real but something you had to overcome to rejoin “normal society”. Things really changed after Vietnam when PTSD was formally added to the list of mental disorders in the US (from which it spread around the world). From then on, trauma and victimhood was something warranting society’s empathy, respect, valorization, and often monetary compensation. Lawsuits related to trauma exploded from the 1970s onward, something documented in Charles Sykes’ 1992 book “A Nation of Victims”.

    You may notice that supporters of “victim groups” today take on the same attitude as supporters of shell shocked veterans and terrorism survivors, “I experienced this. You have not. Therefore, you have NO RIGHT TO QUESTION WHAT I SAY!!!” Even in a democracy.

  374. Hello JMG

    I’d like to raise a homeopathic question — and a rather unconventional one — which I am doing here since I don’t know how many still visit previous posts (where the last one did contain some discussion on matters homeopathic), but also since this is an “open post.”

    It revolves around urine therapy. For those unfamiliar, it’s a therapeutic approach which appears to have gained some traction among the more adventurous types out there (including a few YouTube channels devoted to tracking undertaken regimens). It seems to be a somewhat offbeat option in India (even while somewhat situated within Ayurveda parameters), where it goes by the name of amaroli or shivambu, and is generally considered an “ancient” practice.

    The use of urine therapy (taken fresh orally, as well as body compresses using old urine, which is popular in Russian folk medicine tradition) might offend some sensibilities who think of it as waste product — which of course it isn’t, but rather, filtered blood which contains an abundance of “runoff” substances (including enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, vitamins, antibodies). Urine is clinically sterile for at least the first 20 to 30 minutes.

    Anecdotes: Indian prime minister Morarji Desai appeared on the 60 Minutes (back in 1978) and admitted to a regular daily practice, to a shocked Dan Rather who’d asked what had kept him youngish and in such good shape. Also, John W. Armstrong was a British naturopath who wrote his fascinating book (1944) on the topic called “The Water of Life,” which detailed case histories of all the people he helped over several decades, resolving many serious cases.

    Anyway, given the attitude of many in this field that this is already a kind of homeopathic approach for healing, it is not surprising that a few have actually recommended creating your own homeopathic remedy from a drop of your urine, which probably seems a more palatable approach for many. Do you (or Chrysanthemum) have any opnions on the matter? Many thanks in advance.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

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