A Journal of the Plague Year (48)

Corona Cocktails

May 3, 2020

One has to look on the lighter side of Doom occasionally, even though frowning and tut-tutting is de rigueur.

An extensive survey underway in the UK led by Imperial College  , Edinburgh and Leeds universities is collecting blood samples and other clinical data from COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

This UK-wide study is called the International Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Consortium (ISARIC4C) study.

The ISARIC4C study, the largest undertaken in Europe, involves a national consortium of researchers that will gather data from more than 15,000 patients with COVID-19 admitted to 166 hospitals throughout the UK. Some of these samples have already been analysed by scientists at Imperial.
Preliminary analysis confirms that high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, obesity and chronic lung disease are risk factors that can lead to severe cases of COVID-19. The team will continue to collect more samples from patients over the next year and start reporting results over the next few weeks.

Again, this supports other findings from around the world about the extra risks of obesity, high blood pressure and diverse other problems.

Some of the microbiologists are saying that this will not be over for quite some time  ….

“This thing’s not going to stop until it infects 60 to 70 percent of people,” Mike Osterholm, PhD, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, told CNN. “The idea that this is going to be done soon defies microbiology.”

Depressing, but probably true. On the other hand, we know much more about it with every passing day and with all the brain-power working on it around the world, some whizz-kid may come up with a therapeutic soon, maybe even a vaccine.

On the vaccine front, Oxford University in the UK is making noises about their prototype vaccine already in clinical trials. These folks have been working on corona viruses for years so they have a bit of head start.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have started clinical trials with humans for a coronavirus vaccine and might have results in a couple of months, the university said in a news release.  From WebMD:

The school said around 1,110 people who have not tested positive for COVID-19 will take part, with half receiving the vaccine and the other half — the control group — receiving a meningitis vaccine. They will keep a diary and have blood samples taken to show how they’re responding to the vaccine.

On the drug front for prophylaxis or therapy, these was an interesting Fake News media reaction to the possible beneficial effects of hydroxychloroquine. As soon as President Trump mentioned it, a barrage of obfuscating nonsense emerged. And when certain doctors reported that it was effective in certain circumstances, they were immediately slandered. An interesting article Pseudo-science behind the Assault on Hydroxychloroquine [here]  surveys the background:

On April 6, Peter Navarro told CNN that “Virtually Every COVID-19 Patient In New York Is Given Hydroxychloroquine.” This might explain decrease in COVID-19 deaths in the New York state after April 15. The time lag is because COVID-19 deaths happen on average 14 days after showing symptoms.
But on April 21, several perfectly coordinated events took place, attacking HCQ’s use for COVID-19 patients.

1. The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel of the National Institute of Health issued recommendations with negative-ambivalent stance regarding the use of HCQ as a COVID-19 treatment. This surprising stance was taken contrary to the ample evidence of the efficacy and safety of HCQ and despite absence evidence of its harm. The panel also strongly recommended against the use of hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin (AZ), the combination of choice among practitioners.
2. On the same day, a paper (Magagnoli, 2020) was posted on a pre-print server medRxiv, insinuating that HCQ is not only ineffective, but even harmful. This not-yet peer reviewed paper, by unqualified authors with conflicts of interest, received wall-to-wall media coverage, as it if were a cancer cure. It used data from Veterans Administration hospitals, spicing its effects. The paper has shown to be somewhere between junk science and fraud.
3. Rick Bright, a government official who was probably more responsible for the low level of preparedness to the epidemic than most others, and had been re-assigned to a lower position earlier, emerged as a “whistleblower.” He claimed he had been demoted for opposing hydroxychloroquine, the claim to be soon debunked by documents bearing his signature. The media also gave him a wall-to-wall coverage.

The doctors Didier and Raoult who pioneered its use and reported great success were smeared in the media and the pseudo-science media to such an extent that they replied acidly (rarely seen in scientific papers) thus in a new paper: Scientific fraud to demonstrate the lack of efficacy of hydroxychloroquine compared to placebo in a non-randomized retrospective cohort of patients with Covid: Response to MAHEVAS et al. , MedRxiv, 2020. (Brouqui, et al., 2020). (Mahevas, 2020) also gathered many negative comments on MedRxiv.

None of this fazes other nations around the world:

On March 28, Russia announced a COVID-19 treatment based on Mefloquine. Mefloquine, invented in the US in 1970s, is another anti-malaria drug, similar to HCQ. In the West, Mefloquine was withdrawn from use after a controversy about its long-term effects. Russia might also use HCQ. From a Russian brochure (Nikiforov, 2020):
These drugs have a comprehensive negative effect on the coronavirus. It may take years of scientific experimentation to understand how and what exactly they affect. Now the fact of a positive effect has been established, and the drugs should and will be used.
The mechanisms of HCQ and HCQ+AZ action are explained (Hache & Raoult, 2020).

It’s a perceptive assessment of the appalling behavior of the dogs in the media when chasing one of their bones of Trump-hatred.

Rebel Yell

A Journal of the Plague Year (48)



May 2, 2020

A very interesting interview on Unherd, an interesting site.  Professor Michael Levitt argues that the lockdown is a mistake. 




                                                       Daily COVID-19 cases per million (3-day rolling average)

So here we see the US and the UK (in lockdown) followed by Sweden and then Russia and Canada below (also in lockdown).  Now isn’t that interesting.


Rebel Yell



Tyrant Trudeau Crushing Our Liberties

The Root of All Freedom

May 2, 2020

What does a Liberal government in Canada do after a tragic shooting incident? Why, assault the rights and liberties of law-abiding Canadians, of course. All quite in form for a politician who has been brown-nosing the communist Chinese regime for years.

Trudeau’s plans to ban “assault-style” guns are, of course, fundamentally dishonest. Assault weapons can fire fully automatically, launch grenades, and have bayonet attachments etc. All these weapons are currently illegal in Canada. “Assault-style” simply means a self-loading rifle than has a stock that looks like something else. This piece of deception is what they use to further infringe our rights to own firearms.

Needless to say, this has no bearing on public safety.

As reported on PJMedia:

…The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have confirmed that the shooter in the Nova Scotia rampage in April used guns already illegal in Canada, and did not possess the required license to own firearms. The CBC reports that 70 to 90 percent of all crimes in Canada are committed with illegal guns from the U.S., but that the Canadian government has failed to enforce the laws already on the books….Notably, the Canadian government does not define the term “assault-style weapon.”

Of course, that gives them arbitrary power to ban anything they want. And that’s the point. Arbitrary power is tyranny.

After an Islamic terrorist attack, does the government seek to ban law-abiding Muslims? No. The police are sent round to “talk to ‘elders’ in the community” to assure them that there will be no backlash against them by outraged victims of the attack.

The attack on the rights of law-abiding Canadians is an absolute disgrace. All the usual suspects, the appalling corrupt media, the PC crowd that suffocates all free discussion in this country, are, as usual, supine before this fatuous little man riding rough-shod over our freedoms.

And the tragedy is that the Conservative Party, a pale shadow of its former self, is adrift and leaderless, scared of the yapping jackals in the Fake News media.

Surely, why doesn’t Trudeau promise to end the killing of people by drunk drivers? With his “logic” that would be easy—simply ban sober drivers from driving.

To our American brothers and sisters: never, ever give up your Second Amendment; that is the only thing that can make tyrants tremble.

Oh Canada!?


Rebel Yell

A Journal of the Plague Year (47)

A Journal of the Plague Year (47)

May 1, 2020

To lockdown or not lockdown? The above graph shows us that the US, UK and Sweden do not have significant differences in daily confirmed cases per million (3-day rolling average). The US and UK have lockdown and Sweden doesn’t. It’s early days, but it’s beginning to look like there may be not that much difference.

In Ontario-ari-ari-ario, Premier Doug Ford is announcing  the beginning of the opening season come May 4th.

A short list of Ontario businesses will be allowed to reopen Monday, Premier Doug Ford announced, citing positive trends in the province’s fight against COVID-19 that make the limited resumption of economic activity a safe possibility.
The following businesses will be allowed to open on Monday: lawn care and landscaping; garden centres and nurseries with curbside pickup; community gardens; no-touch car washes; auto dealers by appointment only; and some construction projects. Ford added that marinas and golf courses will be allowed to start getting ready for the season, but cannot open for business just yet.

Good start. We all know more about this thing now, so let’s get going, we can deal with it.

Take some time off: this will pass. Just think of the future of the Earth—this fascinating video from Cool Worlds Lab with David Kipping, astrophysicist, puts it all in perspective….Enjoy…


Rebel Yell

A Journal of the Plague Year (46)


Paramedics suiting up

April 30, 2020

More local news today. The City of Ottawa has so far in the pandemic recorded  76 deaths and 1297 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

There are 23 ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 in local institutions, mostly long-term care, retirement homes and hospitals. Sixty-four deaths and 575 cases of COVID-19 have stemmed from institutional outbreaks in Ottawa.

Excluding the deaths in long-term care homes and other institutions, there were 12 deaths in total in Ottawa. Given that the population of Ottawa and its environs is about one million, the probability of dying from COVID-19 is around 1 in 100 000. This may change of course, but so far for ordinary people in reasonable health this is a pretty low probability. Does this justify destroying the economy and many people’s lives? Just by way of comparison, in 2017 there were 32 deaths from traffic accidents in Ottawa and 51 due to drug overdoses (2011–2015 average).

Many other people may die from surgeries and hospital care required for other medical conditions that has not been forthcoming. How many of them will there be? According to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot in the Toronto Sun:

An estimated 35 people in Ontario have died due to delayed cardiac surgeries during the pandemic, Health Minister Christine Elliott says.


Ontario continues to delay over 12,000 elective surgeries a week even as thousands of hospital acute and critical care beds lie empty, a provincial fiscal watchdog has found.
The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released a new report Tuesday that looks at hospital capacity and health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To free up beds, Ontario’s hospitals have cancelled 52,700 surgeries since March 15, and are delaying 12,200 additional surgeries each week that operation rooms remain idle.

It certainly seems like the health services are not overwhelmed. Sometime soon a reckoning must be made with the opportunity costs of this ongoing lockdown.

On the national scene, the record of Dr Theresa Tam, Canada’s El Supremo in the public health world, has been less than stellar. In a devastating article in the Edmonton Journal, we can see the timeline of mistake after mistake–mistakes that were made when other countries, notably Taiwan and South Korea, were showing the way with success stories of their own.

For example,

Jan. 23: The WHO emergency committee, including WHO advisor Dr. Theresa Tam of Canada, meets by teleconference with health ministry officials from China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand — but not Taiwan which is banned from the WHO at China’s insistence — to discuss whether to declare COVID-19 a public-health emergency.

Note that the WHO is totally dominated by Communist China. Why wasn’t Dr Tam objecting to this?

She is “…also on the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee of the Health Emergencies Programme of the World Health Organization, a position to which she was welcomed between April and June 2018.[8][9]” according to the Wikipedia entry. So not much oversight was being exercised.

Jan. 24. China locks down 12 more huge cities in Hubei province, with no travel in or out.
Jan. 24: The WHO again advises against travel bans on China: “WHO advises against the application of any restrictions of international traffic based on the information currently available on this event.”

And then, unsurprisingly, we are treated with the politically correct nonsense by which Liberal governments seek to suppress justified criticism:

Jan. 29: Canada now has three cases. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, on Twitter: “I am concerned about the growing number of reports of racism and stigmatizing comments on social media directed to people of Chinese and Asian descent related to 2019-nCoV coronavirus… Everyone has a part to play in preventing the spread of the virus. The Chinese community and all travellers from affected areas are a key part of these efforts….Racism, discrimination and stigmatizing language are unacceptable and very hurtful. These actions create a divide of Us Vs Them. Canada is a country built on the deep-rooted values of respect, diversity and inclusion.”

Apparently, that “respect” is not extended to respecting the lives and health of residents of Canada who may be infected by incoming travelers from other countries. Read the whole article and then ask yourself why does this woman even have a position in the public health world of Canada?

Rebel Yell

A Journal of the Plague Year (45)

Hospital Beds per1 000 people, 2018

Hospital Beds per 1 000 people, 2018.


April 29, 2020

That’s an interesting statistic.  There seems to be some interesting info regarding the Russian situation.  We are always led to believe that they are far behind the curve, but it seems maybe that is not the real situation.  I make no claims on the validity of the data: the conditions are the same for everybody.


So how many deaths are due to COVID-19 and how many to other causes?  One thing that is not in disputes is that many surgeries that would normally have happened have been cancelled and postponed because the hospital beds have to be available for the COIVD-19 cases; which, don’t seem to be appearing at the anticipated rate.

And today…


An estimated 35 people in Ontario have died due to delayed cardiac surgeries during the pandemic, Health Minister Christine Elliott says:

So there is an opportunity cost as the economists would say.

…To free up beds, Ontario’s hospitals have cancelled 52,700 surgeries since March 15, and are delaying 12,200 additional surgeries each week that operation rooms remain idle.


“As of April 23, there were 910 hospitalized COVID-19 patients leaving over 9,000 unoccupied acute care hospital beds including over 2,000 critical care beds,” an FAO statement says. “As a result, the province has a significant amount of remaining available capacity to accommodate COVID-19 hospitalizations.”


So, apparently, the province has an excess of critical facilities right now.  Shouldn’t some assessment of the need be made on a regular basis?  And changes made where required? And from:

In this interview with Imperial College modeler Neil Ferguson (yes, the one with the “two million million [sic] will die” model, that later got revised drastically downward) he seems to take a more nuanced position than some of his acolytes, sees continued lockdown as unrealistic “and causing excess mortality from other causes” (!), expects a second wave (he’s not alone in that), and favors a South Korean-style test, track & trace approach.


Recall that the Imperial College model predicted some millions of deaths if the British government did not adopt the total lockdown strategy.    At least they’re responding to changing real situations.


Just like a virus takes over a healthy cell, eviscerates it, and turns into a factory to create more viruses, so the plague of experts has taken over all our systems of science, education and even the arts, and turned them into factories to turn out more phony “experts.”

We have a disease, and unless we let in sunlight to illuminate the problem, Western civilization will die of it.

“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” —Niels Bohr



Well Niels Bohr had it right nearly one hundred years ago.  And here’s some emergency physicians [here]  giving their take on the mainstream hysteria:


OK, everyone take a valium and report back tomorrow…


Another interesting video, that, I understand has been censored the Thought Police at Youtube….Hospitals are not threatened with COVID-19 overload.  So, why  would that be a problem?  Well, Youtube is part of the thought control apparatus in our world…

Apparently, Youtube is attempting to lie about it here]

And remdesirvir helps as a therapeutic?…[here]


[PS Mrs Rebel Yell figures that in Canada the Liberal Party has conducted a coup, by keeping Trudeau in his Yalta retreat (a la Gorbachev) and installing a Freeland/Morneau/Globe&Mail/CBC junta to really run the government.  Umm. Stay tuned.]

April 29, 2020

A Journal of the Plague Year (43)


April 28, 2020

The Ontario government seems to be getting a grip on re-opening the province for business. Premier Doug Ford had announced a tentative plan in several stages. A download is available from the Ontario government website
It is broken up into stages:

Stage 1
In the first stage, we will consider:
• opening select workplaces that can meet current public health guidelines
• allowing essential gatherings of a limited number of people
• opening some outdoor spaces
• continued protections for vulnerable populations

Stages 2 and 3 are essentially more of the same but bigger and more extensive. No definite dates are included. Protect, restart, recover are the mantras governing the program. When the stages will be initiated will depend on whether the medical situation is controllable and what the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health recommends. Dates will have to be inserted soon to enable people to plan forward. But a good start.

Switching gears here to a medical study from Italy on the state of patients who die from coronavirus,  the authors found that the mean age was 79 years and more men die than women. Over 2000 patients were considered in the study. There were some surprising results….

Data on diseases were based on chart review and was available on 2,041 patients dying in-hospital for whom it was possible to analyse clinic charts. Mean number of diseases was 3.3 (median 3, SD 1.9). Overall, 3.6% of the sample presented with a no comorbidities, 14.4% with a single comorbidity, 21.1% with 2, and 60.9% with 3 or more.

The main comorbidities were heart disease, atrial fibrillation, hypertension (at 70%), type-2 diabetes, chronic renal failure and obesity. There were many others. Only 3% of deaths involved no comorbidities.

Now that there is a real medical emergency, not one of the fictitious ones dreamed up by granola-crunching Volvo-drivers of the Whole Foods crowd and their rapacious lawyer pals, the anti-vaxxers seems to have been drowned out by people screaming for a vaccine. In Coronavirus: Anti-Science Activism Is a Luxury for the Privileged , Alex Berezow, a microbiologist, gives them a good thrashing:

Being anti-science and anti-technology is a luxury for when times are good. In times of crisis, people beg for help from scientists, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies.
With coronavirus still sweeping the globe and racking up a substantial death toll, it’s hard to find much to be happy about. But here’s one thing: Anti-vaxxers, anti-GMO(rons), and Big Ag and Big Pharma bashers are no longer in fashion, hopefully permanently.
The biggest change may be in regard to the anti-vaccine movement. No matter what, these people will never go away entirely. (They’re sort of like cockroaches after a nuclear war.)

Usually, the antivaxxers are of the same tribe as the anti-GMO types, so this is particularly sweet:

Even more poetic is the fact that some of the vaccines are GMOs. Johnson & Johnson is working on a vaccine that genetically modifies a harmless adenovirus to resemble coronavirus….

When times are good, people complain about the alleged excesses of capitalism and the greed of the healthcare system. But when times are bad, the very same people come begging for help from scientists, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies, proving once and for all that anti-science activism is a luxury for the privileged.

If they’re opposed to vaccines, let’s see them pass it up when one is developed.

Rebel Yell

A Journal of the Plague Year (42)

The Andromeda Strain

April 27, 2020

The above picture from one of my favorite science not-so-fiction movies, The Andromeda Strain (1971), shows the cause of the disease that wiped out a small town in New Mexico. It almost defeated the most brilliant minds in the US bio-war establishment until, in a flash of insight, despite all their medical training, the bug was found to be not even organic—it was an inorganic crystal. Simple, yet extremely hard to defeat.

Maybe we’ll get a flash of insight in dealing our new friend, the coronavirus.

The most sought-after statistic these days is the prevalence of the coronavirus infection in the general population. And the most difficult to come by.

Only random testing for antibodies will determine how many of the general population have been infected. Dr Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University organized such a survey reported in medRxiv [here].
This shows that maybe 50 to 80 times as many people as previously thought have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. And this means that they either showed no symptoms or else very minor ones not worth mentioning. So, therefore, the infection fatality rate would be 50 times less than previously thought, which is a significant difference in our favor. He has a fascinating interview on youtube: “Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Anderson”


Since then, several other similar studies have been made in New York and a town in Germany. The results were similar.

In Fake News news, it seems the British government is following the lead of President Trump and giving up on the news Lobby, that’s the gaggle of media-bitches who ask stupid questions of government ministers every day. They are moving to questions from ordinary citizens—shock, horror! As Guido Fawkes observes:

Guido’s spent much of this pandemic covering the Lobby’s shoddy performance in covering Coronavirus, and in Saturday’s Guido Talks observed Matt Hancock had taken away the opportunity to ask follow-up questions at the Daily Briefings as No. 10 lose patience with the media’s attempted gotcha attempts. Today the Government has gone further and launched a new initiative asking the public to submit the questions they actually want answering. Think you can do better than Peston, Beth etc.? Submit your questions here…

About time. A blogger from Scotland [Lily of St Leonards]  opines:

What strikes me most from my online interactions is that ordinary Brits have gone beyond politics. We understand that we are not fighting a General Election. We are fighting the worst pandemic in the past one hundred years…. Too many journalists who think there is only one story to write about skim a few medical journals and then think they are qualified to tell the rest of us what should be done. They go from one extreme to other and pretend to have a knowledge that they don’t.

And neatly summing up the state of the media:

The worst of all is the daily press briefings. We listen to some of the best minds in the country explaining to us what is being done and why only to have a series of ignorant childish questions from journalists trying to score political points and trip up a minister. No wonder most of us switch off when we get to that point.

Which is exactly why President Trump gave up on them too.

Thank you Lily of St Leonards, I’m going to use another of your quotes because you can say it so much better than I:

If we had had the modern journalist profession in 1940, we would have lost the war. They would have complained about the Governments disastrous mistakes at Narvik. It should have known that the Maginot line wouldn’t work. Journalists would have demanded that Churchill should have been immediately sacked for the defeat at Dunkirk. They would have described our situation as hopeless and would have ridiculed our ability to fight them on the beaches and would have said it was mere arrogance to suppose that our pathetic little country could have a finest hour. After all the Germans do everything so much more efficiently than we do. They would have listed all the mistakes our country had made and called it insight. The British people however would not have listened to them then, just as we don’t read them now. Newspapers are going out of business. They deserve to.

A perfect description of the modern media mindset.

Dr. John Oxford, virologist and professor at QMU  London making further comments on the media…

“Personally, I would say the best advice is to spend less time watching TV news which is sensational and not very good. Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. In this case we have had 8000 deaths this last year in the ‘at risk’ groups viz over 65% people with heart disease etc. I do not feel this current Covid will exceed this number. We are suffering from a media epidemic!”

Can we develop a vaccine against “journalists”?

Rebel Yell

A Journal of the Plague Year (41)


April 26, 2020

Time to Roll Back the Hysteria

I’m a big fan of Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, who is probably the best political commentator in the US right now. In relation to the latest fake news from the media hacks, he says:

1@ScottAdamsSays [here]

There’s a massive IQ test on the Internet today. If you think the president was asking Dr. Birx about injecting bleach or isopropyl alcohol into coronavirus patients — because it sounded that way to you — you failed the test. CNN ran an ad promoting this disingenuous poppycock: and Nancy Pelosi lied claiming that the President had said people should kill the virus by injecting Lysol.

Of course, these days we know the Democrats are lying when their lips move.
The media hacks lie and twist everything the President says to try to score “political points”. They should go back to their sewer whence they came. In a national emergency, they haven’t the smallest shred of common decency among them.

The Canadian media are just as bad, waxing fat by consuming their own anti-Trump bile, always laced with lashings of hypocrisy.

There are exceptions though. Conrad Black can be a voice of reason and calm midst all the hysteria currently consuming the media.

Sane public policy requires however, that we also keep in mind that Canada has also self-inflicted over a million unemployed and stock market declines of $670 billion in two months, a staggering $330 million for each of the nearly 2,200 lives that have been lost to this pandemic in Canada.

No matter how effective or ineffective the lockdown is, governments must have a plan to restart the economy. And soon. President Trump is moving towards that and in Canada the Ontario government has started planning a Jobs and Recovery Program with a similar objective. It may be that we all have to accept a higher level of risk in our everyday lives, but that is necessary. Now that we know much more about the virus and what measures are effective in stopping the spread of infection [rigorous hand hygiene and masks in enclosed public places] we can act accordingly. Destroying the entire economy would be a far greater crime and produce many deaths in other ways—that’s the opportunity cost.

Trade-offs must be made and political leaders make those decisions. The hysteria being whipped up by the media in many countries is not only irresponsible, it’s downright seditious at times. When a calm understanding of the facts is required, we get ‘gotcha’ yellow journalism from ignorant hacks behaving like monkeys at a chimps tea party.

But to switch to the real world, what is happening with Sweden?[here] How is the no-lock down policy working? To take one metric, the number of deaths per million of the population,

So Sweden is not on lockdown and the US and the UK are? So for Sweden it doesn’t look like the curve is any different from the curve in the lock-down countries?

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases per million, 3-day rolling average

The number of confirmed cases is lower than the number of total cases. The main reason for this is limited testing.


This is one of the most interesting experiments going on right now in the context of testing whether the big gamble on shutting down economies and causing untold financial damage to ordinary people was worth it. If it wasn’t, then bad call, your credibility is shot.

Rebel Yell

A Journal of the Plague Year (40)


April 25, 2020

The Correct Decanter for Kentucky Bourbon.

Harvard University in the US should really be named Greed U. What a disgrace to the “Ivy League”. With $40 billion in assets in endowments they still wanted to shake down the taxpayers for a handout. Shake Shack, the fast-food chain, after receiving a loan, decided others were more needful and returned the money[here] ….But,

Harvard University is no Shake Shack.

The fast food chain recently received $10M in forgivable loans under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, meant to help small businesses pay employees struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Shake Shack returned the money, CEO Randy Garutti and founder Danny Meyer explaining, “We’ve decided to immediately return the entire $10 million PPP loan we received last week to the (Small Business Association) so that those restaurants who need it most can get it now.”

It took a jab from President Trump to set the fat cats at Greed U straight:

“Harvard should pay that money back,” Trump said Tuesday during a coronavirus press briefing. “This isn’t meant for one of the richest institutions, far beyond schools, in the world.”
The university is now giving the bailout funds a pass.

Too bad they couldn’t have shown a bit of common decency first. Like Shake Shack. In the private sector.

In local news, the latest deaths in Ottawa are in long-term care facilities.

“To date, we have received confirmation that 51 residents and 28 staff members of Carlingview Manor in Ottawa are confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Rhonda Collins, Revera’s chief medical officer, wrote in a statement posted to Revera’s website. “The residents who have tested positive are in isolation. The staff members who tested positive are self-isolating at home.

It’s a sad state of affairs but one too common across not only Canada but all European countries. But it’s hard to see how any high-density living accommodations can be made safe. Maybe this is a warning for future high-density housing projects in trendy development plans in various cities. Everyone will demand something like UV decontamination of their individual air supplies? But on the brighter side  [see illustration above] ….

VANCOUVER — Rest assured, there’s no shortage of booze in the province, so nobody needs to rush to their local liquor store.
But shoppers are clearly changing the way they buy.
Single beer cans and mickeys aren’t hot sellers at the moment, nor are regular sized bottles of wine. No, lately it’s all about size and quantity.
Sales of cask wine (that’s a fancy way of saying boxed wine) are up 144 per cent. Those big 1.75-litre bottles of vodka, rum and whiskey are being scooped off the shelves 153 per cent faster, and 24 packs of beer 120 per cent.
“So, anything you can buy in a larger volume,” said Viviana Zanocco of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. “Anything that can see people through, so that they don’t have to go out and buy again for a few weeks.”

My thoughts entirely. That’s why I’ve gone to drunk-in-a-box lately [for wine]; the empties are not filling up my office so fast. And for real drinks, for me, it’s bourbon.

Rebel Yell