Daily Archives: May 12, 2020

SARS and Skirnir . . .

Today while testifying before the Senate, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that even once a vaccine to fight the coronavirus is developed, which will be at least 12-18 months, “There’s no guarantee that the vaccine is actually going to be effective.”

Another worry among epidemiologists, Fauci said, is that the vaccine backfires and strengthens the virus.

There have been at least two vaccines in the past that have produced a “suboptimal response,” he said. “And when the person gets exposed, they actually have an enhanced pathogenesis of the disease, which is always worrisome. So we want to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Those are the two major unknowns.

Well, isn’t that comforting. Especially for the governors who say their state is staying in lockdown until there’s a vaccine. And the individuals who say they’re not coming out of their house until there’s a vaccine.

Might be a LONG wait.

For example, after working since 2003 we still haven’t developed a vaccine for SARS-CoV yet, so how hard can it be to develop a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, AKA Covid-19” AKA WuFlu?

Anyone? Anyone?

And the latest news on the HCQ front continues to improve.

Tampa General Hospital workers in clinical trial using hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 preventative.  As I mentioned before, countries around the world that have problems with malaria, most of which utilize HCQ as a preventative, alos have very low deaths from WuFlu.

Zinc-hydroxychloroquine found effective in some COVID-19 patients.

The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine has shown mixed results against the coronavirus in early studies, but a new paper out of New York suggests combining it with the dietary supplement zinc sulfate could create a more effective treatment.

I’ve always wondered why none of the so-called ‘official’ studies actually used the complete regimen, the HCQ + the Z-Packs + the very important Zinc Sulfate. And as the above study shows, as well as the treatments below, when it used correctly, it works better than anything else.

In April, Dr. Robin Armstrong, whose medical group serves the Resort at Texas City nursing home, successfully treated 56 residents and 31 staff members who had tested positive for COVID-19. He administered HCQ with zinc supplements and an antibiotic for five days. As a result, only one of his patients and not a single staff member died. This compares favorably with the usual Case Fatality Rate of about 15% for patients who are 80 and up.

Armstrong used the same 5-day course of treatment that had been successfully used by primary care physician Dr. Vladimir Zelenko when COVID-19 raged through the New York Hasidic community that he served. If this treatment proves to be as effective as Armstrong and Zelenko report, then tens of thousands of lives could be saved. But the CDC has not yet conducted a randomized clinical study to determine if it works.

And in Las Vegas they’ve started using it on a out-patient basis, giving to patients who are just starting to show symptoms, and not waiting until they’re in a bad condition. Doing it this way is the way it’s supposed to be used.

New Brunswick, Canada has also gotten on the HCQ bandwagon, using it early and with correct treatment regimen.


Here’s a repost of our 2nd day on our European Cruise last year and our first day on the Skirnir, our Viking longship.

Home Sweet Skirnir . . .


The Viking Longship Skirnir is our home for the next two weeks, right here in cabin 110P (P for Port, apparently), though you would think they would know which side of the ship it’s on. And we don’t care since we just look at the cabin number on the wall.

Skirnir 110-1

Skirnir 110-2

Skirnir 110-3

Cabin 110 is down in the basement, the bilge, steerage, or the cheap seats, whatever you want to call it. We learned from our Holland-American Alaska cruise a while back that the only time we spent in the cabin was to shower and sleep. The rest of the time we were out and about. So why pay extra for more room, bigger windows, etc. when we could spend that money on extras.

This morning started off early at the Hilton Budapest hotel, hitting the breakfast buffet about 7:30 because we had a lot going on, since we had to be both checked out and packed with our luggage out in the hallway for Viking to pick up and take to our ship, all by 10am.

As I mentioned yesterday this is probably the best hotel breakfast buffet we’ve ever had.

Hilton Budapest Breakfast Buffet

Pretty much anything you’ve ever thought about having for breakfast, and a lot of things you probably never thought about having, because you don’t even recognize what it is. But it was all delicious.

Especially the coffee. We haven’t had a bad cup, or even a so-so cup of coffee since we got here. Really good.

After breakfast, check out, and luggage out, we were free until about 1:30 when we would be transported to the ship, so we decided to do some more walking around, taking in the great views.

We started out by walking out in a direction we hadn’t been before, thinking we would make a big circle back around to the hotel, and we did. But unfortunately, our circle left us a couple of hundred feet before where we started,

Fisherman's Bastion Steps

and about six BIG flights of stairs back up to where we should be.

But we made it with no major heart attacks or strokes, which does bode well for all the walking tours we have scheduled.

About 1:30 they herded us all into a small van, which took us a big bus, which took us to the Skirnir. And by the time we got welcomed in and were taken to our cabin, all our bags were there waiting for us. NICE!

It took Jan and I about 30 minutes to put everything away. Despite the small size, there’s really a lot of storage space, especially since our 4 suitcases all fit under the bed. Of course it helps that we already live in a small space anyway.

We had an orientation in the Lounge at 6:15, and ended up setting next to Mike and Melissa, a couple from Memphis. Turns out we both like and dislike pretty much the same BBQ places there. They obviously have good taste.

So we ended up having dinner with them too. As well as a couple from Queensland, Australia. And we all had a really good time getting to know each other.

Skirnir Dinner Group

And the food turned out to be as delicious as promised. Jan and I both started off with the Baby Shrimp Cocktail,

Baby Shrimp Cocktail

but she got the Thai Red Curry Chicken, while I got the Angus Ribeye with double steamed veggies instead of the Steak Fries.

Angus Ribeye

Then for dessert Jan got the fresh Peach Sorbet, while I got the Fruit Plate.

Fruit Plate

While we were eating the ship pulled away from the dock and headed upstream, where it turned around and took us on a night time scenic cruise of the Danube.

What was interesting was how they turned the ship around. Not by making a big turn, but instead by using the bow and stern side thrusters to just pivot in place.

And the scenery was fantastic.

Budapest Chain Bridge

Skirnir Dinner Cruise 2

Skirnir Dinner Cruise Parliament

Skirnir Dinner Cruise

Budapest is a really beautiful city. And very old, over 2000 years old.

It was first settled by a group of Celts, but by 49 A.D. it was a thriving Roman Legion outpost with as many as 40,000 inhabitants.

Tomorrow in the morning after breakfast, we got a free Panoramic Budapest tour, and then in the afternoon, we’ve got an optional one, The Grand Market – A Taste of Budapest. Sounds like our kind of tour.

It’s got ‘Taste’ right there in the title.

Thought For The Day:

When I was young I just wanted to be older. What the hell was I thinking!


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