Common Sense vs. the Coronavirus


John-Paul Leonard runs Progressive Press, one of the few genuinely independent publishers in America.  Here are his genuinely independent thoughts on coronavirus. -KB

By John-Paul Leonard
March 24, 2020

They’re giving us a terrible choice: suffer millions of deaths, or knock out the economy, or both at once.

Yet there is another solution. If you can test everybody who needs it, then you can quarantine everyone who is infected, and let the rest lead their normal lives. This worked in Singapore[1] and even in one town in Italy.[2]

Moreover, if you can relieve the symptoms before people get critically ill, they won’t need intensive care. So if we keep ramping up the supply of test kits, while rolling out anti-viral drugs, we can eradicate the virus without a disaster.

Most experts are afraid hospitals will be overwhelmed, that we won’t have enough intensive care beds for all the critical cases, so we have to lock down to slow the infection rate.[3]A few dissenters call this a statistical error, and point to early figures from Italy showing that up to 99% of deaths were among the chronically ill elderly, the group who accounted for most of last year’s 80,000 deaths from the flu. However the overall picture there is much worse than usual[4]

The world got into this mess because outside of a few lucky countries, there has been a lack of imagination, organization and pro-active measures. We’ve agonized helplessly over the impossible choice between ruining the economy and ruining our health, when there were ways to save both. Business as usual and half-hearted measures leading to a full catastrophe. This is no time for rationalization and penny-pinching.

Testing, Testing

Everyone agrees we need more test kits. The CDC bungled that job, too little, too late, and too hard to use. Finally private firms are coming out with them. Due to the lack of kits, yesterday Los Angeles gave up trying to contain the epidemic.

Some much smaller countries like Singapore and South Korea were able to make all the kits they needed. By testing everyone with symptoms, Singapore was able to quarantine the sick, and let healthy people keep going about their normal lives working in a healthy economy!

We don’t need the Fed to throw money at the stock market, we need these medical supplies in the trenches. Have we forgotten how to make things? If we can’t make them, then buy them – this is an emergency.

Germany is offering us millions of tablets of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which was found to cure Cov-19 in Australia and France. All the CDC can do is say, we haven’t done clinical trials on the drug yet.[5]

Why not? If it works, it will be a “game-changer” indeed. Patients will get better in a matter of days, not weeks. That means no collapse of the health-care system or the economy either. Yet partisan pundits like the New York Times assail the idea as unfounded or because of side-effects:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Mar 21 HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine…
Reply: David Rothschild @DavMicRot
President spreading super dangerous misinformation that will make crisis worse.[6]


Let the doctors and patients, not the pundits, decide what drugs to prescribe.

Why are the elderly most at risk from diseases like the flu or the coronavirus? Because they are weaker, their immune systems are weaker. But have you seen a single expert in the mainstream media talk about strengthening our immunity against this virus? Nothing about nutrition,  rest and exercise for a healthy immune system, immunotherapy, fresh air, sunlight or exercise, nix. Just wash your hands and stay in a bubble.

Bed rest is the all-time number one medicine. Every mother will tell a sick child to get enough rest. People over age 60 should be in bed by 10. Nobody says anything about this. They are too busy pooh-poohing home remedies as quackery.

Your body needs energy to fight off infections. Nutrition, rest and exercise are three factors that generate energy. That plus your mental energy.

There are online lists of foods and herbs that are good for the immune system. People with short attention spans jump to conclusions and mock this, saying “Garlic doesn’t kill viruses.” Of course not. Nothing kills them inside your body, except your immune system. Vaccines only work by activating it. So does broccoli, and it’s cheap and available. You don’t need to make a killing on Wall Street out of it.

Down the Tubes

The coronavirus doesn’t kill directly. It damages the lung, giving pneumonia bacteria a place to fester. There are older coronaviruses that give you the common cold. You probably know how that works. Your first line of defense, the upper respiratory tract, is your nasal passages. So an early symptom is a runny or stuffy nose. Next line is the throat, when it gets sore. Then there are the bronchi, you get a chest cold and a cough. Last trench is the lungs, that’s where it gets dangerous, it can become a battle for life and death.[7]

It’s a fair guess that the people who only get mild symptoms from the novel coronavirus are basically just getting a cold, without any bronchitis or pneumonia. So to help people from getting a severe case, why not try things we’ve always been doing to fight the cold and the flu? Have our health authorities dreamt of that?

There are countless cold remedies around. I even have my own bag of tricks to try to keep a runny nose from running down into my lungs, like soaking in a hot bath. Here are a few prescriptions from a trusted source, the Mayo Clinic[8]

– Rest
– Stay hydrated. Sip warm liquids, (Chicken soup and all that. I like to breathe in the steam while I’m sipping)
– Saline rinse for nose, saltwater gargle for a sore throat (No, salt water won’t kill viruses, but it will remove them from your nose, so they don’t get into your lungs. That’s probably why your nose runs in the first place, to expel pathogens.)

I wonder if the Center for Disease Control will ever suggest things like that. I guess we need clinical trials first. Or autopsies afterwards.

The authorities tell us face masks won’t help if you’re not sick. Yet everyone is saying you can’t tell if you’re sick without a test! So maybe you should be wearing a face mask. But don’t buy them, because then the doctors, who need them most, won’t have enough. And don’t try to make your own either. Just make excuses instead of masks, and deny tests to people who clearly need them.

Is a human life only worth a few pennies! It can’t cost more than that to manufacture a mask, or buy them in bulk from China. Is this why the pandemic task force is headed by a guy named Pence? A lot of people are out of work now, why not set them to work sewing masks. And the other excuse is the earloop masks don’t protect the eyes. Well, we could wear goggles.

I know from experience that you’ll feel the difference if you don’t wear a dust mask on a job that calls for one. During the Spanish flu of 1918, hospital staff made their own masks out of wire and six layers of gauze. China recently sent planeloads of face masks to Italy and Russia. But please don’t buy any unless you’re sick. Then it might take a week for them to arrive and you’ll be dead anyway. So just don’t buy them.

Granted, the evidence is that the virus is usually transmitted in enclosed spaces, not through the open air. “As much as 85% of spread occurred in households” according to a new WHO report “that suggests the disease is spreading less readily than some experts had feared.”[9] The CDC concurred that on the Diamond Princess, a fairly enclosed space, about 20% of those on board got infected. On the other hand, there have been very few reports of flight attendants getting infected.[10] So while cancelling large gatherings was urgently necessary – they have caused some major outbreaks – the rationale for shelter in place isn’t so clear.

They do believe the virus is sometimes spread by touching surfaces. We could even give people jobs bringing items to customers in the store, while wearing gloves, so everything doesn’t get handled by multiple customers. Or have them order online for pickup, and fill their cart for them. Or just give customers penny plastic gloves.

Without testing, we’re in the dark. And while we’re in the dark, the virus can spread. According to, “America’s shamefully slow coronavirus testing threatens all of us. The US lags just about every developed country on testing for Covid-19 disease…[11] In the early phase, the US had given just 23 tests per million population, where China and South Korea had tested 3000 – about 150 times as much. In hard-hit Seattle, “local researchers were so exasperated by the CDC’s initial faulty test that they came up with their own.” The government might have invited the private sector to pitch in from the start.


The professional medical intelligentsia and bureaucracy generally belittle and dismiss anything that is Not High Tech or Not Invented Here. The CDC botched the test kits by trying to design one that was 10 times more complicated than everybody else – America’s Moonshot Mentality. Everything we do has to cost billions and put the first man on the moon. But that’s been done, and we don’t need that now. C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre. This is an emergency, you need to use what you have handy.

This country can’t build common things anymore, such as trains. 100 years ago we built the world’s biggest subway system in New York. 80 years ago we churned out planes and ships for WW2. During that war we had tons of field hospitals and army medics without MD degrees. This year, China put up 14 temporary hospitals in Wuhan. New York governor Cuomo “asked businesses to get creative with manufacturing protective equipment like masks and gowns for healthcare workers” and called for thousands more hospital beds, ICU units and ventilators. What ever happened to crash programs?

Today our F-35 jet fighter is an endless, grotesque boondoggle. We’re the hypertechnological Affluent Society that has to waste gazillions on pork every time we throw money at a problem. Cov-19 and our response to it is a huge test kit for this dysfunctional way of running a society. Do you get that eerie feeling of living through an epic disaster movie script in a science fiction dystopia?

Playing with Fire

With all the modern advances in genetic engineering, many are suspicious that the novel coronavirus could have been made in a lab and then leaked, whether from benign research or as a bioweapon, and whether originating in China or the US[12]. Most experts scoff at this, although researchers are publishing open source papers describing their work on assembling new viruses. The doubtful benefits of such efforts, such as science for science’s sake, or experiments with vaccines, are negligible next to the catastrophic risk. After all, we still don’t have a vaccine for the common cold, and what may be our salvation against this novel virus is just an old malaria drug, no biotech needed.

GMO virus experiments are like sleeping with the enemy. After our generation somehow managed to survive the nuclear menace, another bunch of mad scientists are letting the genie out of the bottle again. Let sleeping dogs lie, for goodness sake! There is an old story about this.

The Genius, the Magician and the Nobody

There was once a brilliant scientist and his friend a wonder-working magician, who decided to go on an expedition to put their amazing knowledge into practice. They agreed to let their less-educated neighbor come along as a guard, if he would not interrupt their deliberations.
Halfway through a desert, the party came across the bleached bones of a giant creature. The scientist exclaimed, From my vast learning I can see that this is a saber-toothed tiger. The magician exulted, Yes, and with my great knowledge of spells, I can bring it back to life. One moment, said the neighbor, As the security detail here, I must advise you that if you do, it will tear us limb from limb. Look, Dummy, you are here just to do the chores, they told him. So he ran to climb up the nearest tree. The two Devotees of the Intellect carried on with their experiment. The tiger was reconstituted, in perfectly hungry form, and immediately made a meal of its two resuscitators.
As my own neighbor says, They are playing with fire.

What is the CDC for anyway?

According to its critics at Natural News, the CDC would have been better prepared for the coronavirus pandemic if it hadn’t focused for years on “gun control” and “social justice.” With its $6.6 b billion budget, the CDC “messes up” the one job it has “every time.” Its kits gave false negatives due to failed reagents. It lavished funds on things like a transgender beauty pageant and attempts to overturn the Second Amendment.[13]

Why is the CDC pushing vaccines and downplaying drugs when most experts say it takes 18 months to develop a new vaccine? Meanwhile private companies are clamoring to be the first to announce their new vaccine and boost their stock prices. A few trials are underway. But there’s one big problem — vaccines aren’t any use once you are infected. Vaccines next year for a disaster today, even less. And viruses mutate. At best, vaccines are least effective for the group most at risk – the elderly. Some years the flu vaccine is only 11% effective. So why the pushback against trying existing anti-viral drugs?

Ironically, one center that is working on a new drug reported that due to the lockdown, it “has become more challenging because many universities have reduced activities and some labs have shut down entirely.” Their innovative approach is to identify parts of the virus that could be targeted by existing drugs. .

CDC also downplayed or damned the drug hydroxychloroquine with faint praise in a statement aimed for physicians, not the public – you have to scrape the web yourself to find anything about it.

One wonders if they have a dog in this fight. The CDC once came under criticism from the FDA for pushing Tamiflu, a drug made by a company that donated to the CDC Foundation.[14] I’m all for public-private partnerships as long as it isn’t privatization by corruption.

CDC should be building emergency capacity for manufacturing protective supplies (face masks, gloves, hazmat suits) with its budget. In fact, these factories could actually be used to sell products in “peacetime”  under the Made in USA brand. Nothing wrong with the government being in business where the market’s invisible hand is really invisible. Maybe FEMA can store create strategic stockpiles of the stuff. .

Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Fire?

The bottom line is this: Government has abrogated the social contract with the governed. They are not doing their job. They are doing everything else — subverting independent nations, building useless weapons, manufacturing enemies, ripping out urinals for transgender bathrooms, and every imaginable form of social engineering — all the while bickering like spoiled brats.

Everything we didn’t ask them to do. Everything except doing their goddamn homework.
It’s high time for payback time!

Random Notes and Choice Leftovers


“In mid-February, the World Health Organization warned that global demand for safety gear for medical providers was 100 times higher than normal. Prices were 20 times higher, stockpiles were depleted and there was a four- to six-month backlog.”
Ensure that we have alternate sources for critical products. Even China couldn’t fill demand and was forced to prioritize its own hospitals.

Russia appears to be another one of the lucky places that did things right – “Testing and identification of cases, tracing contacts, isolation”

I’m calling it Cov-19, rather than Covid-19, no idea where the ID part comes from.  [It stands for “infectious disease,” John!  -KB)

An Italian doctor died from the virus due to lack of gloves, after he warned about the shortage of protective supplies. He was only 57.
How about those cheap gloves of thin plastic they used to give away at some gas stations or sell in a pack of 100 at the dollar store? A penny a life again! With so much invested in that career, and other lives depending on it.

The Lancet reported a study of 355 deaths in Italy showed that three-fourths had hypertension, apparently aggravated by one of the antiviral medicines used. The wrong medicine could be part of the problem in Italy.  There are also reports that ibuprofen is contraindicated, but aspirin or acetaminophen / Tylenol are safe..

Online lists of anti-viral herbs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Here is one list of “15 Impressive Herbs with Antiviral Activity”  A lot of them are tasty, too! Basil, oregano, licorice, ginger, garlic, sage, fennel, peppermint. What’s not to like. Even dandelion has been found to fight the flu.
You can also look up antiviral foods. Here is one list  Ginger, oranges, water, Greek yogurt, blueberries, ginseng tea, tomatoes, salmon, dark chocolate, broccoli, olive oil, green tea, spinach, whole-grain bread, spinach, egg yolks, garlic, apples. Almonds and carrots are also often recommended.
Processed foods, fast food, caffeine, alcohol, foods with preservatives, soft drinks, refined sugar, snacks, bread, pastas, artificial sweeteners. SAD, in short, the Standard American Diet. Probiotics, gut bacteria and the immune system China is using two drugs from Cuba, interferon for early phase immunity and biomodulina for immune response. “Exact side effects still need to be researched – the current interferon spray was developed as a quick response to the new virus and had to be used directly. There was no time for preliminary clinical examinations.”
China tried chloroquine early on but found it risky. They are now trying hydroxychloroquine. We are already running out of hydroxychloroquine in the US.

Belgium endorses hydroxychloroquine

Laura Ingraham interviews Dr. Grace from a New York hospital who says doctors are having great results with hydroxychloroquine, but supplies are low

Insulating a relatively small proportion of elderly people will halve deaths and is potentially more practical than total lockdown of entire populations. We need to urgently focus on the best way to achieve this. At the time of writing, the UK is seriously discussing this strategy.

The CDC Data tabulates  both “confirmed” and “presumptive” positive cases since January 21, 2020. Yet what it fails to mention is that among the confirmed and presumptive cases, a large number of Americans have recovered. But nobody talks about recovery. It does not make the headlines.

Germany with fewer fatalities because of lots of testing

The Diamond Princess cruise ship incident was a major fiasco, more of an incubation chamber than a quarantine. On Feb. 4 it was announced that 10 passengers had coronavirus. After two weeks of lockdown, there were700 cases out of the 2600 passengers and 1100 crew trapped on board. One in three passengers, but all seven who died, were over 70. We can assume that these were active seniors with years left to live. Later reports show 8 dead and 12 in serious condition.
The Kirkland care home disaster was also an example of infection spreading in an enclosed space. Reportedly it was the first hospital in the country to install 5G, lending fuel to fears of weakened immunity from excessive radiation.

The Simpsons, House Cat Flu Preview Déjà Vu

Last update 3/24/2020, 10 am PDT

About the author.
Being in the over-70 group, I have been closely following the coronavirus story, with particular attention on the death rate for seniors. It’s important for us to stay healthy and keep up our immunity, and not get sick when the epidemic peaks, because of the shortage of ICU’s and ventilators for pneumonia. I’m also pinning hopes on hydroxychloroquine. My bio is here


[1]  How Singapore contained the virus and kept life going like normal: Latest test kits and traditional quarantine, a practice that dates back at least to the 8th century BC.


[3] Most prominently, British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson OBE, whose report shook the UK government out of a complacent, laisser faire attitude.  His ideas were picked up by Joscha Bach here

[4]  Unfortunately, most people over 70 have “other chronic conditions” like hypertension, heart conditions or diabetes. According to one more recent report, Italy’s hardest-hit Lombardy region has so many critical cases and so few ventilators that they stopped giving them to anyone over 60
Right now the US is showing a huge spurt in cases but this is probably because we finally are doing more testing.


[6] Taking them together is “usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases.”

The risk factor involves the effect on heart rhythm these drugs have. One reason Africa has had reported low numbers of cases may be that many people there have no choice but to take anti-malaria medicine. If you get very sick with Cov 19 you won’t have much choice either, which is why people are flooding their doctors with requests for hydroxychloroquine prescriptions. See end notes for more on this drug.

[7] Chancellor Merkel was famously vaccinated for pneumonia this week, then quarantined herself after she found out her doctor was coronavirus positive.



[10] Flight attendants are more worried about their jobs than about their health.


[12] The Chinese say it might have been brought to China during the Wuhan Military Games in October. Conceivably, visitors might have infected a worker in a local restaurant, who in turn passed the virus on to the wholesale seafood market, which the Chinese initially thought was the point of origin. China claims that five foreign athletes were hospitalized with an unknown illness. Note that the US team did poorly, ranking 35th place, according to Wikipedia. Perhaps they were not feeling too well. Others believe the virus leaked from a bioengineering research lab in Wuhan. The plot thickens still more when we find the Wuhan lab was set up by a Harvard chemistry department head now facing federal espionage charges.




March 24 
The WHO is running a major worldwide drug trial called Solidarity. Good idea.
They are going to test 4 drugs -.”an experimental antiviral compound called remdesivir; the malaria medications chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine; a combination of two HIV drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir; and that same combination plus interferon-beta, an immune system messenger that can help cripple viruses.”
Not sure why they are using chloroquine which is more toxic than hydroxychloroquine and aren’t trying the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin . Maybe because they want to keep it simple and that combination is contraindicated for certain conditions.

Japan using asthma drug against Cov19  
NIID on Friday recognized cases in which the asthma drug Ciclesonide has been found effective in treating COVID-19 patients.
Based on data at NIID showing the drug worked on patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome, a hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture administered it to three elderly pneumonia patients from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Afterward, their symptoms, which included fever and respiratory distress, reportedly improved in a few days.

It Is Not Only the COVID-19 Virus that Is Dangerous. It Is How Our Body Reacts to It. Belgian Family Physician (Global Research)
A Belgian doctor suggests potential therapies for Cov-19. “In order to avoid that a Covid-19 patient would need a hospitalisation, a General Practitioner might prescribe, after a preliminary ECG, hydroxychloroquine 200mg.”
He also focuses on a promising avenue of inquiry, as to why the fatality rate is so much higher in the elderly. One possibility is the “capillary bed,” which is much more robust in younger people. “Dihydroquercetin is known to strengthen our body’s 100.000 km capillary bed, including in our lungs. As we get older, why would we not take it ?”
We know that an over reaction of the immune system releasing excessive fluid into the lungs is what triggers death in most patients. For this he suggests ginkosides to block “excessive PAF-acether release.”

Very interesting map The Countries Best And Worst Prepared For An Epidemic in on Feb 28. How far off can you be?
Best prepared: USA, UK, France, South Korea
Only average: China, Russia, Japan
Supposedly based on lots of data, but comes out looking more like a personality contest.
“The United States was named as the country with the strongest measures in place and it came first with 83.5 out of 100. The United Kingdom came second with 77.9.” I hope so!  Maybe speaking English means you’re better prepared, lucky us!

Thinking Makes it So



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