The Long Dark Winter Has Arrived. Why Weren’t We Prepared?

Mish

We had time to prepare for a Covid Winter? Why didn't we?

 U.S. Cases Top 150,000 for First Time

Please note U.S. Cases Top 150,000 for First Time

  • New U.S. cases topped 150,000 for the first time, and hospitalizations hit another all-time high according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • The U.S. death toll surpassed 242,000 as more than 900 new fatalities were reported.
  • California became the second state in the country after Texas to surpass one million total cases.
  • New York City public schools could close as soon as Monday. School districts nationwide are split on closing plans.
  • Ohio and Minnesota each topped 7,000 daily cases for the first time since the pandemic began, while Pennsylvania and Indiana reported more than 6,000 cases in a day,

‘Catastrophic’ Lack of Hospital Beds in Upper Midwest

A coronavirus cases surge, the Midwest is hit with a ‘Catastrophic’ Lack of Hospital Beds.

Covid’s long, dark winter has already arrived in the Upper Midwest, as cases and deaths surge, snatching lives, overwhelming hospitals, exhausting health-care providers and raising fears that the region’s medical system will be completely overwhelmed in the coming days.

Experts say that cases are surging in the region as the weather has turned colder and more people are forced inside — into more poorly ventilated indoor spaces where transmission thrives.

The situation has become so acute that even some leaders who previously resisted restrictions have moved toward new strictures. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in Iowa, long an opponent of closures and mask-wearing as “feel-good” options, this week moved to prohibit maskless indoor gatherings of 25 or more and require those attending larger outdoor events to wear a mask.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz (D) has warned of more “nightmare” numbers to come, even as the state has instituted new restrictions on bars, restaurants and social gatherings in an attempt to stop the spread. On Friday, Minnesota will begin limiting social gatherings to 10 people or less and tightening restrictions on larger social receptions as the country heads into a holiday season when doctors fear multigenerational family gatherings could become superspreader events.

We had months to prepare for this, we saw it happen in other states that were hit earlier. Why weren’t we prepared for what was coming?” said Sarah Newton, chief medical officer of the hospital in tiny Linton, N.D., population 997.

“I felt so emotionally overwhelmed by what I was seeing. I felt like I was screaming into a void. I was drowning in my own hospital,” Newton said.

Why Weren't We Prepared?

I am not sure it was possible to be fully prepared for this, but we certainly could have been better prepared.

The one-word answer to why we weren't is obvious: Trump.

Trump wanted nothing to do with masks and even ripped one off is face in a Superman imitation after he caught the disease himself.

Note that the North Dakota governor has allowed Covid-positive nurses to keep working.

Is that crazy or what?

Covid Timeline: What Did Trump Say and When?

For months on end, Trump made the same claim over and over: This will soon go away.

If you think I am exaggerating, please see Covid Timeline: What Did Trump Say and When?

I count close to 200 instances of Trump of misleading or inaccurate statements by Trump and I am positive the list is not complete.

And every step of the way, Trump fans put their misguided faith into his comments.

People don't take this seriously even still. Some insist on Twitter this is a scam. 

Masks Don't Work2

Thank Trump for this behavior.

Unfortunately, it still takes days to get results from a test in many place.

Trump's Bet

Instead of doing more testing, Trump bet on a vaccine, and lost.

The long dark winter has arrived.

Mish

Comments (268)
No. 1-50
randocalrissian
randocalrissian

These same science denying fools have at least nine more months of insisting this virus is fake. I (ALMOST) wish we could seal up the contiguous red states, provide them a simple choice of taking their fellow red voters' illness seriously, and either helping them or letting them die on a huge scale, as a sort of societal Darwinian litmus test.

We are not entirely far off from having tried that in October, what with Trump's barnstorming rallies sickening countless SS staff, along with mixing the virus extensively through the heart of red states.

Rbm
Rbm

We're about to see a battle between public safety and economy. Well a bigger one anyway.

quanticus
quanticus

Trump AND Republicans. Sorry, but it NEEDS to be said.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Loser Trump. Now you know why good leadership matters.

oldman45
oldman45

Mish, you follow Chris Martensen, so why haven't you promoted his data and advice more here? Like his advice about Vitamin D, other supplements as well as Hydroxychloroquine?

Doug78
Doug78

Whither the dollar Mish?

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Let's not forget the progressive's riots in cities, which are predominantly liberal. Clearly people were neither wearing masks, not social distancing.

Jmurr
Jmurr

So if Trump would have worn a mask none of this would be happening? Macron wears a mask and the same thing is happening there.

Jojo
Jojo

This is not a USA Only phenomena. Shouldn't you be asking why ALL the many places in the world experiencing 2nd and 3rd waves were not prepared? Perhaps the preventative preparations used didn't/don't work?

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

"Note that the North Dakota governor has allowed Covid-positive nurses to keep working. Is that crazy or what?”

No, not if they are asymptomatic and ONLY taking care of people who are already sick with COVID....and they wear appropriate PPE’s and use good technique.

It is an acceptable stop-gap measure in a time and place where the alternative is maybe to let more people die.....

ohno
ohno

Now that it's too late we will probably have one lockdown after another. There's already serious discussions of being lockdowned repeatedely until at least AFTER the "2nd" vaccine. I work a lot(for now) and dont do much or see anyone except the wife and dogs on time off so I really didn't notice much during the first lockdown. I am more worried about what those in power will try to pull during all of this than I am of the virus.

Jojo
Jojo

Lockdowns Haven't Brought down Covid Mortality. But They Have Killed Millions of Jobs.

During the early onset of covid-19 in the spring, government officials across the political spectrum widely agreed that government intervention and forced closure of many businesses was necessary to protect public health. This approach has clearly failed in the United States as it led to widespread economic devastation, including millions of jobs lost, bankruptcies, and extremely severe losses in profitability. Nor have states with strict lockdowns succeeded in bringing about fewer covid deaths per million than states that were less strict.

Consequently, a few months into the pandemic, some governors weighed the competing economic costs with covid-19 containment and slowly reopened their economies. Of course, these governors did not mandate businesses reopen; however, they provided businesses the option to reopen.

Hysteria ensued as many viewed easing restrictions as akin to mass murder. The Atlantic famously dubbed Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s easing of restrictions as “human sacrifice” and referred to Georgians as being in a “case study in pandemic exceptionalism.” Instead, we should view the lockdowns as a case study in the failure of heavy-handed approaches in containing a highly infectious virus.
....

shamrock
shamrock

CDC has guidelines for allowing covid positive but asymptomatic and willing health care workers to return to work as a last resort. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/mitigating-staff-shortages.html

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Texas is very fragmented with regards to COVID right now. Former hotspots like Dallas and Houston are doing pretty well. Austin and San Antonio are also doing relatively well.

El Paso is on fire with COVID.....just a total freaking disaster. Amarillo has a serious problem. Some fairly small population rural counties in far south and in far west Texas also have large infection rates per capita.....but not that many sick people, because they have such low populations, period.

28 million people in Texas.....it’s a big state, and the state overall, including major metropolitan areas...are mostly not in danger of facilities being overrun.

Sechel
Sechel

Viruses don't stop at the state border. Without a Federal response it's just tough. Additionally Trump undercuts the message to follow the rules

Galfer1
Galfer1

Reminds me of the quote: "any government big enough to supply everything you need (i.e. subsistence throughout C-19) is powerful enough to take everything you have."

numike
numike

hows that HIV vaccine coming along?

numike
numike

but the party must go on! https://twitter.com/LACaldwellDC/status/1327340810262765568

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

"Why Weren’t We Prepared?"
Fat Donnie from Queens.

Realist
Realist

I guess Trump took credit for all the vaccines and treatments he personally developed today. And just like that corner the virus rounded for the last 9 months, he said that it would all be available to everyone within weeks.

Apparently the states have been requesting the federal vaccine distribution plan for months now so they can prepare for the distribution of the vaccines. They have yet to get a response, other than ”Its just around the corner.”

One-armed Economist
One-armed Economist

Not just naive, wrong and stupid, really criminally negligent. Damn shame Trump didn't get "average person" health care. Note I didn't say 'get sicker', etc. just wonder how he'd have done if treated like the rest of us WHOM HE IGNORES.

Now he wants to go see his demented follower rallies - ISEE DOZENS OF SECRET SERVICE ARE NOW IN QUARANTINE &/OR HAVE COVID. WHAT AN UNFORTUNATE SACRIFICE THEY MAKE FOR A MENTAL NARCISIST. Needless and stupid.

numike
numike

Enjoy Utah! PROVO – Utah Valley Hospital says a handful of conspiracy theorists recently tried to get into their intensive care unit.
Hospital administrator Kyle Hansen told the Provo City Council this week that about five people have attempted to get inside because they question whether the ICU is as full as some say.
A few of them also brought video cameras. https://www.ksl.com/article/50047970/conspiracy-theorists-try-to-get-into-utah-valley-hospital-icu

Galfer1
Galfer1

How so, sir?

njbr
njbr

Could have spent the summer planning for the safe return to school, but no.

Could have weighed that balance of opening bars or opening schools, but no.

Could have mandated masks, but no.

Could have deveoped national standards for response and trained response teams for hot spots, but no.

Wasted time, wasted summer, wasted lives.

Who said it was a Democratic hoax?

Who said repeatedly it would just go away?

Thanks, Trump!

Greggg
Greggg

MI COVID 19 Testing: 11.12.2020
Diagnostic: 72,578
Negative: 62,682
Positive: 9,896
% Positive Tests: 13.63%
7 Day Moving Average on % Positive Tests: 12.62%
TODAY: 11.13.2020
New Cases: 8,516
New Deaths 118 (83 From Vital Records)
7 Day Moving Average on New Cases: 6,167
7 Day moving Average On New Deaths: 38 (59 With Vital Records Review)
Then Clara Peller rings in, "Where's the Flu"?

mrutkaus
mrutkaus

Yep, national standards and response, a plan for all and especially in an Obama-like tone: "We're all in this together, folks."

Realist
Realist

I try to post the November numbers for the US from worldometer every day. It is shocking to watch the number of cases climb so quickly. Even with better treatments and care, the deaths will follow the cases in a few weeks. And Trump will continue to do nothing about it for the next two months.

Here are the daily case:death numbers for November so far, from worldometer.

Nov 1 Su 71,321:399

Nov 2 M 88,905:522

Nov 3 T 94,463:1199

Nov 4 W 108,352:1200

Nov 5 Th 118,204:1125

Nov 6 F 132,540:1248

Nov 7 Sa 127,894:1035

Nov 8 Su 109,659:544

Nov 9 M 127,316:641

Nov 10 T 135,653:1346

Nov 11 W 142,808:1478

Nov 12 Th 162,226:1189

Nov 13 F 182,980:1394

And today isn't over.

Plus we are not even halfway through November. What will the numbers look like by December?

ajc1970
ajc1970

"Unfortunately, it still takes days to get results from a test in many place."

I'm in Portland, OR suburbs. It took me 2 days to get a test, 4 days for results. If I hadn't been willing to drive 31 miles (each way) for the test, I would not have been able to get one at all.

My symptoms were mild but when I lost my sense of smell, I was convinced... ultimately my test was negative.

For 6 days I avoided doing much of anything to make sure I wasn't a spreader and it turns out that I just had a cold. I can't afford 6 days of down time for every cold this winter.

Unless cities offer free, same-day take & receive results covid testing throughout the country, there's no way they'll get the behavior they need to stop this.

Greggg
Greggg

We were hearing a lot about the impact of the flu season in addition to covid 19 all summer and into early fall and then all the noise about the flu dropped off like a piano off a cliff. They were pushing how important it was to get a flu shot and....
then it stopped. Looked on the cdc site today for flu info, well here's part of it that shows how concerned they are at the cdc now:
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this system will suspend data collection for the 2020-21 influenza season. Data from previous seasons are available on FluView Interactive.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Mish, if Biden asked you to head a new cabinet position called The Committee Of Public Safety, would you accept?

GeorgeWP
GeorgeWP

The timing of the breakout in the number of COVID cases in and around South Dakota align pretty well with the Sturgis rally.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Nothing matters unless you contact trace at a national level. Trump failed at protecting America because he politicized a virus.

truthseeker
truthseeker

Good grief Mish why r half my comments so controversial u send me to the doghouse?

njbr
njbr

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (Nov 5)....I don't think people are grasping what it means that yesterday there were 100,000 new cases of something that GROWS EXPONENTIALLY.

COVID provide a real-life example

1st million: 100+ days--April 29
2nd million: 43 days--June 11
3rd million: 27 days--July 8
4th million: 16 days--July 24
5th million: 16 days--August 9
6th million: 22 days--August 31
7th million: 26 days--September 26
8th million: 21 days--October 17
9th million: 14 days--October 31
10th million: 8 days--November 8
11th million: 4 days--November 12

njbr
njbr

A small taste of Republican madness...

Special session at MN Legislature a day ago....Republicans out protesting earlier in the week demanding that the entire state be fully re-opened...turns out that a number Republican members and their staff came to the special session having tested positive for the virus and did not tell any of the Democrats or their staff...the Republican Senate Majority Leader afterwards tweets that "he has always said COVID was serious"...but he has always been in the "case of sniffles" type of guy.

These guys will kill you to prove their point...

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

We are not prepared because we have a toddler president.

Jackula
Jackula

I'm still hoping we have a bit of herd immunity built up in the previous hotspots. If we don't when the hospitals get over-run the death rate will spike. It's looking bad and we are not even into flu season yet. No worries about regular flus here in LA. Folks here are pretty good about wearing masks so the R0 of regular flu has to be well under 1.

Jojo
Jojo

For all of you hoping for a national mask mandate from Biden, you can fugetaboutit. Latest is that it will be downgraded to a nation "mask urging", which many of us will continue to ignore or cheat on.

Constitutional Law, Politics, Society
November 13, 2020
The National Urging Plan: Biden Appears To Downgrade His Mask Pledge From A “Mandate” To An “Urging”

We have previously discussed the claim of President-elect Joe Biden that he will impose a nationwide mask mandate. While most of what Biden promised as part of his pandemic plan (like free vaccinations) are already part of the federal plan, Biden insistence that he would impose a nationwide mask mandate was a distinction between the candidates during the campaign. The pledge was questioned by some of us in terms of the federal authority to enforce such a mandate. Now, Biden is emphasizing the mandate in his transition and his new Chief of Staff Ron Klain seemed to make a considerable qualification last night in an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. Klain is now clarifying that the Biden Administration would fulfill its promise of a national mandate only “where the federal authority extends.” He then added that they would simply “urge” states to follow suit. That again sounds like what is currently being done by the CDC and what is already required in federal buildings, enclaves, installations, and bases. A presidential urging is a considerable downgrade from a federal mandate. Legally, it is like going from a promise of a moon shot to a promise to visit the local planetarium.

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

Blaming worthless Trump for the (Tr)umpteenth time sounds increasingly silly ....Why didn t clever governors, (some of them democrats) take drastic measures on their own then, putting their faith in the alleged omniscience of virologists only ? .....like in Europe....haha

amigator
amigator

Might want to start preparing yourselves close to 700,000 American died in the last Pandemic roughly 50 million worldwide, Hang in there stay healthy.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Blaming one man at the Federal level for the decisions of millions in 52 states with their own legislator.

Would have hoped better from Mish. What changed & why?

Duncan Burns
Duncan Burns

Governor's control their own states, MA is #3 worst due to government controlled LTC deaths. Our mortality rates are in line with CDC national, with mask mandates everywhere here. 98.2% have at least one comorbidity, average age of death is just over 80 (2/3's are IN LTC's). Cases ("Caseopolis") increase is in younger cohort with less hospitalizations. I ran a chart for the weekly since September but we can't post pics here anymore, even with a higher spread rate, the metrics are still nearly the same on outcomes, at least here in MA.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

I dont blame Trump, he's a symptom, not the disease. We all want to blame something but we are free to do the right thing or not.

If people don't care to have done the right thing the consequences will make them do so, unfortunately.

There will be a massive mental health hit. Suicide rates etc.
Basic health needs in terms of scans etc not done = increased future cancer rates. Awful. Trump could be called an idiot but he's nothing if people are educated enough to make their own decisions,

njbr
njbr

In cases per million people, US is 15th highest in the world--meaning there are 200 countries that have done better.

Of course leadership has responsibility for such a dismal outcome.

We had all the means and methods to step on the pandemic and join the 100 or so countries with a below-average case level

Don't be stupid about it.

US cases per million-- 33,300
World average cases per million--6,800

Sechel
Sechel

Trump didn't just not prepare, he blocked the federal apparatus from even doing basic preparations that were part of basic government functioning

Mish
Mish

Editor

"Trump didn't just not prepare, he blocked the federal apparatus from even doing basic preparations that were part of basic government functioning"

Bingo - how the hell can anyone not see this?

TDS Type II is the most likely explanation but that does not fit everyone - Puzzled by the rest

nzyank
nzyank

All fine to blame Trump, but their are much deeper forces at play. For example Charles Koch's libertarian anti-regulation, anti-health care, anti-social services, anti-taxes, anti-doing-anything-whatsoever-to-stop-climate-change agenda - evan Koch now apparently regrets the mess he helped create.

Jojo
Jojo

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

SCIENCE proves that strict military isolation, masking and cleaning does no better than nothing special in stopping CV-19. Whatcha gonna do now?

Even a Military-Enforced Quarantine Can’t Stop the Virus, Study Reveals
Jeffrey A. Tucker
– November 13, 2020

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study that goes to the heart of the issue of lockdowns. The question has always been whether and to what extent a lockdown, however extreme, is capable of suppressing the virus. If so, you can make an argument that at least lockdowns, despite their astronomical social and economic costs, achieve something. If not, nations of the world have embarked on a catastrophic experiment that has destroyed billions of lives, and all expectation of human rights and liberties, with no payoff at all.

AIER has long highlighted studies that show no gain in virus management from lockdowns. Even as early as April, a major data scientist said that this virus becomes endemic in 70 days after the first round of infection, regardless of policies. The largest global study of lockdowns compared with deaths as published in The Lancet found no association between coercive stringencies and deaths per million.

To test further might seem superfluous but, for whatever reason, governments all over the world, including in the US, still are under the impression that they can affect viral transmissions through a range of “nonpharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs) like mandatory masks, forced human separation, stay-at-home orders, bans of gatherings, business and school closures, and extreme travel restrictions. Nothing like this has been tried on this scale in the whole of human history, so one might suppose that policy makers have some basis for their confidence that these measures accomplish something.

A study conducted by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in cooperation with the Naval Medical Research Center sought to test the whole idea of lockdowns. In May, 3,143 new recruits to the Marines were given the option to participate in a study of extreme quarantine (along with extreme antivirus measures) or not. The study was called CHARM, which stands for COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines. Of the recruits asked, a total of 1,848 young people agreed to be guinea pigs in this experiment. The remaining ones went about their normal basic training in regular ways.
...

njbr
njbr

The Marine Corps study was to determine length of time necessary to quarantine a group to wipe out the virus.

The study group had incoming people with the virus... "within 2 days after arrival on campus, 16 (0.9%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 15 of whom were asymptomatic. An additional 35 participants (1.9%) tested positive on day 7 or on day 14"...

It's not like the virus magically appeared in a group of people who were proven to never had the virus and lived in individual plastic bubbles.