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Daily Archives: May 17, 2020

And What Now, Brain Flu?

Yesterday I talked about the the forecast from the Imperial College of London, and Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College London virus modeler and government scientific adviser, that 2.2 to 2.7 million people were going to die in the U.S that seems to have started all the panic here in the U.S. However British experts who have finally got a look at the computer code, say that it is a “buggy mess that looks more like a bowl of angel hair pasta than a finely tuned piece of programming.”

And it seems to have been going in Minnesota as well. In this case three college students were recruited to put together a model over a weekend to predict WuFlu deaths so the state’s governor could decide the state’s response to the WuFlu.

And after completing their model, they came up with two different predictions. One, with no mitigation, said that over 70,000 people would die in Minnesota. But with strict mitigation policies, maybe only 55,000 would die in the state.

So based on these predictions, the governor locked down the state under very strict guidelines.

So far, Minnesota has had 709 deaths and the rate of infections is slowly down greatly.

One thing everyone seems to skip in all these ‘modeling’ systems is using them to predict the ‘present’. If your model really works, you should be able to enter last month’s data and have it ‘predict’ what’s happening right now.

In other words, if your model can’t start with the past and predict the present, why would anyone think you could start with the present and correctly predict the future.

And by the way, this is also a problem with all those climate prediction models. They can’t predict the present, either.

There’s been a lot of discussion back and forth about the necessity of wearing a mask, and if it really does any good. Here’s an interesting (and somewhat scary) article about masks.

Face Masks Pose Serious Risks To The Healthy

I’ve already talked about hypercapnia, the buildup of CO2 due to repeatedly rebeathing your own breath, which can make you dizzy, light-headed, and even pass out. Jan can only wear her mask for 10 minutes or so before she has to take it off. It’s also why we saw so many people in WalMart this afternoon wearing their masks under their chin.

But now if you wear a mask while you have the WuFlu, or apparently, any respiratory virus, you also have to worry about ‘brain flu’.

There is another danger to wearing these masks on a daily basis, especially if worn for several hours. When a person is infected with a respiratory virus, they will expel some of the virus with each breath. If they are wearing a mask, especially an N95 mask or other tightly fitting mask, they will be constantly rebreathing the viruses, raising the concentration of the virus in the lungs and the nasal passages. We know that people who have the worst reactions to the coronavirus have the highest concentrations of the virus early on. And this leads to the deadly cytokine storm in a selected number.

It gets even more frightening. Newer evidence suggests that in some cases the virus can enter the brain.11,12 In most instances it enters the brain by way of the olfactory nerves (smell nerves), which connect directly with the area of the brain dealing with recent memory and memory consolidation. By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.13

Just what we need, something else to worry about.

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Another Day on our European Vacation


A Lay-About, Do Nothing Day . . . 5/21/19

That turned out to be a little expensive.

When we extended our London stay an extra 3 days and added some extra excursions, we left today open for anything interesting that we came across that we might want to do.

However, what we ended up wanting to do was pretty much nothing. At least in the morning so we could sleep late. We did go down for breakfast about 9am since it wraps up at 10. Didn’t want to miss out on our free meal.

While we were there I went online and bought us two 24 hour tickets on one of the several Hop On – Hop Off double-decker open top buses. Looking at the brochure, it showed 4 lines, Red, Green, Blue, and Orange, that covered the major tourist attraction parts of the city. So we thought we just spend a relaxing afternoon riding around the city, checking out some of the places we hadn’t already visited, and maybe getting a better look at some we already had.

We also wanted to check out Oxford St, a high-end shopping area, and also home to Hamley’s, billed as the world’s largest toy story, a toy store that opened in 1760, making it 259 years old!

Hamley's 1

Kind of makes F.A.O. Schwarz, which opened in 1862, look like the new kid on the block.

Hamley's 2

F.A.O. Schwarz even went out of business for 3 years, from 2015 to 2018, when their owner, Toy’s R Us, went under and dragged Schwarz down with them.

But the whole hop-on hop-off thing wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. At least with the company we chose.

They have a neat app that I downloaded onto my phone that lets you track the buses so you know when the next one is coming along to your stop. BUT they don’t tell you that that bus will be full, and so will the next two, and the empty one that finally shows up wont even appear on the app at all.

And when we got to the stop where we’re supposed to change over to another route, we found that the pickup point for the new route was about 200 yards away from the the drop off point.

And then when we got ready to come back to our hotel from the Oxford St. area, the buses in use must have been those new ‘stealth buses’, the ones you can’t see, because the app would show a bus stopping in front of us, but we couldn’t see any bus stopped or coming by. Turned out to be a big waste of £70.

So we Ubered home. But more about Uber later.

Jan and I have both been suffering from colds since we were in Paris, and have been taking DayQuil as a decongestant. So while we were out shopping yesterday she told me how tired and sleepy she was, even though she’d taken DayQuil and not the NyQuil that makes you drowsy.

Later getting back to the hotel, she discovered the problem. She had accidently taken a couple of non-prescription over-the-counter sleeping tablets instead of the DayQuil.

I guess they really work.


Thought For The Day:

Seems like college is a lot different now than when I went. We got discounts on notebook paper and textbooks.

London Discount On Sex Toy's

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