Coronavirus Observations via NYC Map

This map was helpful to gain some perspective. For those who don’t know New York City, there are five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island) in a city with over 8 million in population. NYC metropolitan population (including New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island) is about 20 million.

Coronavirus

Map: Govt of NYC, via Daily Mail

The red and deeper orange areas on the map represent the highest clusters of positive tests (via Govt of NYC map), and you can see this mostly in Brooklyn (left center), and Queens (right center), the two most densely populated boroughs in New York City.

At the top of the NYC map is ‘The Bronx’ with a concentration or deeper orange, while Manhattan (center left) isn’t as critical, except for parts of Harlem, Chelsea and Washington Heights. Staten Island (lower left) isn’t that bad either. Clearly NYC has a Coronavirus problem, as does New Jersey (mostly Bergen County), just across the Hudson River, where people commute by rail, and bus.

In Bergen County, New Jersey, the three cities that seem to be most impacted are Hackensack, Englewood and Teaneck, all near each other, and again more populated urban residential areas; but a lot of Northern NJ is like that anyway.

What’s interesting to me, is again, the highest cluster of cases are in the most densely populated areas of New York City, but here, both Brooklyn and Queens also have the largest senior population in all of New York City.

And these neighborhoods are often heavy residential, with lots of larger apartment buildings, or housing projects. When people think of New York City, they often think of the skyline in Manhattan, but the Coronavirus epicenter of NYC is across the bridges and tunnels into neighborhoods people don’t hear about as often, or even know about.

At the continual risk of being wrong, I just don’t see high NYC case #’s occurring in too many other places around the nation, unless in densely populated big city areas.

But Brooklyn and Queens are a problem, and New York City is approaching an Italy style surge of death rates.

‘How Dwight D. Eisenhower Quickly Contained the Spanish Flu at Camp Colt (Gettysburg) in 1918’

‘How Dwight D. Eisenhower Quickly Contained the Spanish Flu at Camp Colt (Gettysburg) in 1918’

The story I am about to tell has been sitting in a few books (documented for any future reader) on my bookshelves for years.

Also, it is well documented the pandemic of 1918 was known as the Spanish Flu, just as in 2020, some call it the Chinese Virus (or Wuhan Virus). As it is now clear, the obsession with racism made Coronavirus cases in Italy and New York City EXPLODE, so I find accusations of racism over the use of a flu origin to be both ridiculous, ignorant, and dangerous!

In 1969, The Washington Post would say of Eisenhower after he died (March 28,1969), “It could be argued that the General is the greatest figure in American and world history.”

In the final eight months of World War l, just as his military career was getting started, Eisenhower arrived at Camp Colt (on March 24), and turned a Gettysburg battlefield into a tank corps, where Eisenhower would command 10,605 men to train them to fight overseas in World War l.

From 1918 to 1919, over 500,000 Americans died from Spanish Flu. 50 to 100 million died, globally.

In 1918, while some say a first case of the pandemic in USA was reported in Kansas, I’m going with the Spanish Flu entered USA through a port in Boston, and made it’s way to Fort Devens, Massachusetts, where the first case was reported on Sept 8, 1918.

Soon after, 124 men (many infected) in Fort Devens were transferred to Camp Colt, where Eisenhower was in command.

As men in Camp Colt (Gettysburg) began getting ill, initially camp doctors thought the cause for the sickness was aftereffects of inoculations. It took about 24 hours to identify it was indeed the Spanish Flu.

Eisenhower and his chief surgeon Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Scott moved quick to isolate the patients into tents. No more than four men per tent.

On Eisenhower’s order, Camp Colt was quarantined. Not the town of Gettysburg. Just Camp Colt.

What Camp Colt MPs did do, was prevent any soldier that did not have a medical pass from leaving the camp. In the city (town) of Gettysburg, restaurants could not serve soldiers, and Gettysburg churches were off limits to Camp Colt soldiers.

On sunny days, tents where infected men at Camp Colt were quarantined, were opened up, and the bedding was exposed to the sun. They scrubbed the floors daily with Lysol and kerosene. All solders were given a medical examination daily.

Between Sept 15 and Oct 5, 1918 (3 weeks), 427 soldiers were hospitalized, and 175 died. By mid October 1918, the worst had come and gone at Camp Colt.

Less than 2 months after the first Spanish Flu case in USA was reported near Boston, The Gettysburg Times wrote (Oct 24, 1918), Camp Colt was “practically free of influenza”.

175 deaths, and 427 hospitalized out of 10,605 men was a pretty good outcome compared to other Army posts who got hit much harder, and in a nation where over 500,000 people would die from the Spanish Flu in 1918-1919.

The outcome of Eisenhower’s (and Surgeon Scott’s) efforts were so good, that Eisenhower’s leadership of the pandemic at Camp Colt got the attention of the War Department, who wanted to learn what measures Eisenhower took to stop the virus so soon at Camp Colt.

Tomorrow will be the 51st anniversary of Eisenhower’s death, which in 1969 was a huge deal, as is the death of most any President. But at the time, Eisenhower’s passing was a monumental loss to the nation.

On Oct 14, 1918, (Eisenhower’s Birthday) an impressed War Department promoted Eisenhower to Lieutenant Colonel, for his efforts at quickly containing the Spanish Flu at Camp Colt.

Soon after, the War Department sent their new rising star to France, just weeks before World War l ended.

As it turns out, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was where the legend of Eisenhower began.

Photos: Eisenhower and Camp Colt

The Great Coronavirus Panic of 2020

It appears the situation in China is improving as Starbucks are re-opening stores there, and Apple says factories are getting back to normal. Meanwhile, not much in new case activity in USA.

I’ve been on the road for a few days, and aside from the horror headlines, life is somewhat normal.

But people want to panic anyway, and there are no shortage of people in media and on Twitter pushing the PANIC button. The stock market has lost trillions in the last few days, and in some parts of the country, supermarket shelves are beginning to go empty. But not everywhere.

My big concern continues to be that irrational panic, and not the virus itself.

I continue to think President Trump did a good preventative job containing the virus for weeks before anyone really knew what was going on, and while it’s not out of the question a significant outbreak could happen in America, at this time, I’m not anticipating one.

That said, the panic (at this time) is self-fulfilling, irrational and contagious. I think people need to stop and look around to see that China is improving, and we don’t have a major outbreak in USA (at this time).

That said, should a significant outbreak happen in USA, I do fully expect the government would forcefully move quick to quarantine it, and all the warnings everyone is seeing could become a possibility (school closings, etc).

Otherwise, for tonight at least, all is good in America, except the stock market.

Nuggets of Wisdom from Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Shareholder Letter (2020)

This weekend, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway released their annual shareholder letter, and while there are always a ton of business insights in these annual letters, here are a few nuggets of wisdom:

– Berkshire’s superstar business is insurance.

– Benefiting nicely from Trump’s tax cuts (now 21%, down from 35%) Berkshire paid 1.5% of all corporate earnings to the U.S. Treasury in 2019, Warren Buffet proudly stated.

– Warren Buffett advised shareholders to focus on operating earnings vs, quarterly and annual gains or losses from (BRK.A) investments.

– Buffett references John Maynard Keynes on “Well-managed industrial companies do not, as a rule, distribute to the shareholders the whole of their earned profits. In good years, if not in all years, they retain a part of their profits and put them back into the business. Thus there is an element of compound interest.”

– Berkshire looks for the following in a business when looking to invest: “Earn good returns on the net tangible capital required in their operation. Second, they must be run by able and honest managers. Finally, they must be available at a sensible price.”

On a big day for Berkshire Hathaway, what generated the most headlines this weekend is talk of the future of the company, when both Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are gone, as both are men are getting older. Buffet assured shareholders, “Your company is 100 percent prepared for our departure.”

And on another subject, a few days ago Charlie Munger (Vice Chairman of Berkshire) took a jab at EBITDA as an earnings metric. “Think of the basic intellectual dishonesty that comes when you start talking about adjusted EBITDA. You’re almost announcing you’re a flake”, said Munger. That made me laugh.

American capitalism is alive and well.

Coronavirus – Panic Justified or Overhyped?

I tend to agree, for now.

“But in spite of the global panic in the news about this virus, you’re unlikely to contract COVID-19 unless you’ve been in contact with someone who’s recently traveled to certain parts of China.

There’s no need to worry about the 2019 coronavirus if you haven’t recently traveled to China or been in contact with someone who’s been diagnosed with the virus.” (Link Here)

Race for the President in 2020 – Nevada Caucus Edition

Bernie Sanders has won Nevada and is the clear Democrat front-runner and delegate leader.

At this time, Bernie Sanders is the odds on favorite to win most Super Tuesday contests except Alabama & Mississippi (Biden), Minnesota (Klobuchar) and Florida (Bloomberg).

Joe Biden will be a distant #2 today, which means he’s still in the game, but distant #2 after terrible Iowa and NH showing is not a strong position.

Spin aside, Bernie Sanders leads, Joe Biden trails, Warren damaged Mike Bloomberg at the debate, but can Bloomberg make a comeback?

That’s the story coming out of Nevada.

Reflections on the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

Challenger
Photo: CNN

34 years ago today, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart, exploded, and disintegrated just 73 seconds after liftoff. All seven crew members perished.

Much of the nation was watching the morning launch, live on TV, including school children coast to coast, and family members of the astronauts at Cape Canaveral in Florida. As the news cameras rolled, and the Space Shuttle exploded, Americans watched the anguish, shock, and grief unfold in real-time, with tragic images that would embed themselves to American history. It was as Reagan said, a “national loss”.

An absolutely crushing day for the nation, and the most shocking tragedy of that generation. Like John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Americans had witnessed a monumental event, and walked around in a daze for a few days.

That night, a traumatized nation gathered around their televisions to watch President Ronald Reagan address the nation, in one of the most important moments of any Presidency. Reagan’s words would help comfort Americans, and stabilize a country in shock.

The Challenger tragedy was a setback for America’s space program, but the nation would return to space another time. The President’s address ensured this.

34 years is a long time, and newer generations may not know much about what happened, but on January 28th each year, it’s a good day to tell the story of of one of the most consequential days in American history, and quote from Ronald Reagan’s speech too.

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.” -President Ronald Reagan (January 28, 1986)

Obamacare Unconstitutional? A Nightmare for Republicans

The world has changed some.

Republicans didn’t lose the House last month to gun control, climate change, or immigration. They got wiped out in the suburbs, and elsewhere by Health care.

2018 Midterms was about Health care. Period.

If last night’s ruling holds, Republicans can weaken themselves electorally in suburbs, and swing states, thereby putting the Republican Presidency at risk in 2020, and losing odds to win back the House.

This isn’t 2010. Health care is now a political winner, and pre-existing conditions are the new Holy Grail of Health Care.

Next time Dems are in power, they’ll push for Medicare-for-all, which would be a disaster.

We’ll see how the coming months go, but at this point, if the Obamacare ruling holds, I’m thinking Congress gives Trump his wall, in exchange for protecting pre-existing conditions.

RT nicholaskitchel: This is the photo taken at the White House right after HouseGOP voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year.

Everyone with an ❌ has since been voted out of Congress.

Health Care

Legal Analysis

On Friday’s memorandum from the Feds:

– President Trump has NOT been implicated in a crime. There is no evidence here to support an allegation.

– The President cannot be charged in office.

– Tough for prosecutors to prove illegal campaign finance violations by Trump, even if legit evidence ever emerged. In addition, Michael Cohen has a major credibility problem.

– POTUS could pardon himself.

– Partisans are holding President Trump up to a legal standard that the Obama Campaign violated, much worse, and then settled with a fine; for a total bigger than Cohen’s total case.

– Impeachment is not a legal proceeding. It is political. If the House of Representatives wants to impeach the President during a major election cycle term, have at it. Without evidence, the votes in the Senate to convict are just not there.