News roundup for Fri, Sep 10, 2021

The Biden Administration thinks it’s possible to ramp up solar production to 40% of US electric supply in less than 20 years.

I see milk and cereal for sale with price tags over 5$ each, so I’m not so sure that meat is the actual bulk of the problem when it comes to food costs in the US. When those two items together cost more than what a huge proportion of the country makes in an hour…

There’s a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kerala. NiV is very lethal—it has a 40-75% fatality rate. Hundreds of contacts are being screened. Although NiV can spread from person to person, it is not as transmissible as COVID. NiV is an emerging zoonotic virus that has jumped from bats to pigs and now to people.

China Evergrande Group is the largest property company on Earth. After years of reckless borrowing, investors have lost confidence in the company. Its stock prices have collapsed by 70% and shares keep plunging. The company has over 300 billion in liabilities and if it failed it could cause a global economic shock. China may have to bail out this Too Big to Fail disaster just like the US did in 2008. Remember me mentioning that Black Swan event that a bunch of big companies seem to be preparing for? This could be it.

The world has 224 million COVID cases. The world has gained 4.2 million cases in the last seven days. There have been over 4.6 million deaths in total. The US has had a cumulative 41.5 million cases—one million cases were added over the last seven days. Over 674,000 Americans have died—over 9,500 in the last week. The US added over 157,000 new cases on Wednesday, and over 1,700 deaths that day as well. The US is still leading global daily case gain.

The Mu variant is now in 49 US states, but before anyone panics, be aware that the media is probably hyping this variant quite a bit. Mu is not outcompeting Delta in the US, and global Mu numbers are not spiking—Delta is spiking. Delta is outcompeting Mu because of its ease of transmissibility and short generation time. Mu is definitely something to keep an eye on, but I wouldn’t fret over it at the moment.

Does Ivermectin sterilize men who take it? There’s info out there claiming that 85% of men who take Ivermectin get sterilized by it, but that’s probably false or a vast overstatement of the problem. There’s some low-level observational data that men (and animals) who take the de-wormer for many months on end may experience a significant drop in sperm motility and may produce aberrant sperm. These findings are probable dose- and time-dependent. I don’t see evidence of permanent sterility (the virility drop is probably temporary), and it’s not a known side effect of the drug in humans. It’s possible that this side effect is just coming to light, but again, take the info with a grain of salt.

Rural hospitals are so overcrowded with COVID patients that people seeking emergency treatment are waiting thousands of minutes for care. Hospitals all over Idaho are having to ration care for the same reason.

Forget conspiracy theory. When Dr. Gottlieb says something like this, it’s time to pay attention. The Intercept also has some choice arguments about the lab-leak theory:

Kidney failure is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in COVID patients, and I’m not sure people know that:

United Airlines will put employees who have opted for a religious exemption to COVID vaccines on unpaid leave.

Biden issued several huge COVID mitigation plans for the US today—check the whole thread:


    • Bed

      I’ve been keeping up with the current NiV “outbreak” in Kerala, India (entirely and genuinely due to paranoia), and it’s actually going pretty well so far. According to India/India-centric news (or disease-centric like websites like “Hindustan Times”, “The Hindu”, etc. have been saying that a lot of the samples that’ve been tested have turned up negative, even though a few of them sadly have symptoms.
      It’s great to hear that there’s a high chance they don’t have to deal with that AND covid, but it’s still very sad to hear a 12-year-old died of NiV. I think the reason why Kerala takes it seriously is that they’ve had prior outbreaks of it in 2018 and 2019.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Bed

        Yeah, it doesn’t seem super transmissible. It shows up at least yearly, but it’s never exploded. It is an emerging disease, though, so it’s something to watch.

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    • Bill Masen

      The Evergrande issue has quite a few big city traders very nervous, including a few who are preppers, many are PARTIALLY liquidating a few assets to give them a larger cash reserve.  On a much more mundane level  I too have increased both my cash reserves by a few hundred, increased my stores of  diesel and am heading out shortly to increase our food reserves.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Bill Masen

        Liquidity is a good goal. Difficult for most of us in an increasingly cash-free society…

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      • Bill Masen Stephanie Arnold

        A cash free society is the greatest dream of repressive totalitarians everywhere, I read of some in the EU advocating for a cashless all electronic currency system that would allow them to tax income, tax sales, tax transactions, tax money movements, tax savings, tax inheretances, tax EVERYTHING instantly, even gifts of money to loved ones. even a transactional tax.

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    • Karl Winterling

      I’m not a lawyer, but here’s my sense of what’s going on.

      It’s possible the mandates will be struck down by the courts sooner or later like with the eviction moratorium case, but they still send a clear message that the government will back you up if you fire people for not getting vaccinated (also SCOTUS gets an “out” to allow private employer mandates in a way that might be less politically awkward). I’m pretty sure the mandate is legal in Head Start programs, American Indian Schools, federal contractors, and any business that accepts Medicare or Medicaid.

      Millions of people who are “on the fence” or promised family they’d wait to get vaccinated will probably get vaccinated rather than risk losing their jobs. Probably it will also be legal for a company to take money out of your paycheck if you choose to be unvaccinated but get tested weekly.

      The downside has “prepper noteworthy” risks like: (1) millions of people could get fired and create unintended economic consequences, or (2) fake vaccine cards become widespread and tons of people lie about their vaccination status (in, say, jobs where they have regular contact with vulnerable people).

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    • Bill Masen

      This is starting to look serious, as of today evergrande has not issued the vouchers for $148 million it was supposed to pay out at midnight last night.

      Evergrande teeters on edge of default as $148 million payment falls due

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