Taiwan’s CDC knows all about handling pandemics

Lastnight (Apr.1), I was watching the PBS NewsHour, and saw this segment by Nick Shifrin about Taiwan’s response to Covid-19. After the SARs outbreak in 2003, Taiwan became very sensitive/aggressive to infections migrating from Mainland China. Further, World Health Organization (WHO) doesn’t recognize Taiwan (because of Mainland China’s lobbying to keep them in a state of “future” statehood with the mainland, but that’s off topic). The single biggest “tell” of the segment, was an interview done with former Taiwan CDC head, Steve Kuo. He tells the story of January, 2020 when hints/whispers started to come across from the Mainland about Wuhan. Taiwan CDC sent two officials to investigate:

Steve Kuo:

We pick up the signal that there is some strange outbreak in the Wuhan areas at the end of the last year from social media networks.

We decided, and we did send two medical doctors to Wuhan from Taiwan CDC to get a better understanding of what happened there, OK? And then five days later, on January 20, the government decided immediately to set up and activate the central command centers.

Nick Schifrin:

That centralized command center launched border restrictions before almost anyone else, set local quarantine rules, and turned to technology.

One phone app allows Taiwan residents to find stores with masks in stock. Another app provides information on all of those who are COVID-19 positive, where they have been, and their case history. And the government made sure it had enough medical equipment.

Steve Kuo:

After the SARS outbreak, actually, we have the law to require hospitals to have a stockpile for all medical supplies for 30 days for the hospitals.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/taiwans-aggressive-efforts-are-paying-off-in-fight-against-covid-19

What I’m finding most fascinating is Taiwan CDC had taken HUGE steps in just a week’s time from the initial monitoring of info slipping through social media channels, to sending two doctors out to Wuhan to find out more. They shutdown the border once they activated their plan. Travel restriction and quarantine to the mainland (as they point out just 81 miles away). They had no qualms, no second thoughts, they just did it. Like preparing for a typhoon or earthquake, just automatic. Here’s the plan, here’s what’s happening, start sending out notices to enact the “plan”. They didn’t even wait or pay attention to WHO, because Taiwan is NOT part of WHO, they cannot depend on WHO protecting their country. I think also I saw reports (mentioned briefly in previous blog entry), that U.S. Intelligence agencies had already discovered through their monitoring of communications that there was cases of under-reporting already going on back in mid-January despite WHO applauding China’s efforts to stem the epidemic. Between U.S. Intelligence reports indicating there was an in-progress epidemic going on in China AND the Taiwan CDC investigation, you got two, count-em’ two HUGE data points that should have put every hospital administrator, County Health commissioner, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, U.S. State Dept. on alert that we needed to stop travel from Mainland China, quarantine anyone in flight from China (from any point on the globe) for minimum of 14 days. The FEMA medical supply stockpile would then put out automatic orders for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and for ventilators, incrementing up ventilator orders each week anticipating a worst case scenario. Getting those manufacturing companies to start putting on more people per shift for all the supplies. Getting hospitals ready to do field operations for non-critical beds, keeping the ICU and ED’s open and operating at max. capacity. Looking at doubling-up on existing ventilators, etc. But it’s too late now 50/50 hindsight, Monday morning quarterbacking. But now at least we know, take action early, definitively and look to Taiwan CDC for a demonstration of competent effective planning and operations when the next epidemic takes hold. This does give me some hope, that someone, somewhere worldwide had a plan and it worked (for them at least).

Wither Lockdown? – The days the Earth stood still

This just got posted up on Slashdot:

https://science.slashdot.org/story/20/03/31/2116255/what-happens-after-the-lockdown

And it references this article on Medium.com: https://medium.com/@wpegden/a-call-to-honesty-in-pandemic-modeling-5c156686a64b

Where the writers attempt to draw a picture of the epidemiology and course of Coronavirus infections with a lockdown and without. The point they are trying to make is a lockdown prevents overload of the healthcare system. But it does NOT prevent infections. Once the lockdown is lifted the same people that “would” have been infected WILL be infected. And the outcomes are the same. Those without immunity will need to be hospitalized. Only now, they are not overloading the healthcare system at this moment. So it sounds a lot like the span that the Influenza epidemic of 1918 took. It came in waves. It left in waves and it wasn’t until 1920 that it stopped being so infectious and deadly and just became “seasonal” flu again. Not a very rosy picture, not at all.

So that leads me now to the “next” shoe that’s dropped today via Bloomberg News. China’s self-reporting of Covid-19 cases (positive tests + deaths) are all FAKE NEWS. No virologist, epidemiologist, or biostatician should use China’s numbers for anything, whatsoever. That data is garbage. And I dare say some other state actors are also further adding to the dearth of real data by engaging in misleading under-reporting of data. How do we know? The same way we know most things, that’s due to our military surveillance channels. Those state actors in China/Russia cannot hide. The truth will out, and now the truth is China is jeopardizing the health of the whole planet. Xi Jiping is responsible, ultimately, for the world right now, all for the sake of his vanity and saving face.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/china-concealed-extent-of-virus-outbreak-u-s-intelligence-says

I will say Andrew Cuomo’s press conference is at the very minimum is giving me some hope, a solitary bright light that other Governor’s should borrow/steal to help provide a model of leadership. Federally we have no leadership, we have a daily political rally disguised as a “Press Conference” with “ratings” as said by the man himself, POTUS.

Windows 10 KB4554364 update released to fix internet issues — Windows Latest

Last week, Microsoft warned that a Windows 10 bug could prevent users from reaching the internet as the system displays ‘limited’ internet connection error. The bug also prevents Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Office 365, Internet Explorer, and even Microsoft Edge from reaching the internet in some configurations. Windows 10 connectivity bug has been reported at a…

Windows 10 KB4554364 update released to fix internet issues — Windows Latest

Keep your Windows UPdates flowing folks. Just cuz’ we’re suffering under COVID-19 is no excuse to suffer in silence waiting/hoping things will work eventually. This Knowledge Base fix may be just the ticket for you on Windows10 if you’re getting disconnected occasionally from the Interent.

Booting Linux Over HTTP — The Life of Kenneth

A couple years ago, one of my friends gave me a big pile of little Dell FX160 thin clients, which are cute little computers which have low power Atom 230 processors in them with the ability to support 3GB of RAM. Being thin clients means they were originally meant to be diskless nodes that could…

Booting Linux Over HTTP — The Life of Kenneth

I listened with rapt attention when Kenneth was interviewed by, On The Metal and the folks at Oxide Computer. So I will be diving into this in my spare time and catch up with what Kenneth is doing these days, there in Fremont CA. Always interesting to see what one can do as an Internet Peer these days.

ARDS – Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_respiratory_distress_syndrome

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a type of respiratory failure characterized by rapid onset of widespread inflammation in the lungs.[1] Symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and bluish skin coloration.[1] For those who survive, a decreased quality of life is common.[2]