Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

The Navy’s overreaction to COVID-19

On October 10th the press breathlessly reported that “nearly two-thirds of the Navy’s deployable warships have endured COVID-19 outbreaks”.

What was not mentioned was the number of sailors killed by the outbreaks. Though the NAVY report says nothing about mortality, it does say this:

Sailor rates of infection are generally the same as the rates of infection in the local area. … Within the uniformed Navy population, roughly 35 percent of infected sailors exhibit few to no symptoms. This should build confidence in the ship’s ability to fight through outbreaks.

I strongly suspect that practically no one has died yet from coronavirus on a Navy ship. In fact, this sounds exactly like a typical flu season, where the flu quickly spreads among those confined in close quarters, but then peters out shortly thereafter, forgotten.

In other words, COVID-19 in the Navy (as elsewhere) is really nothing more than a variation of the flu, possibly more infectious to all and more harmful to the elderly sick, but harmless to practically everyone else.

The bad part of this is that, rather than let the disease play out quickly so that crews are promptly immune and the epidemic no longer can effect efficiency — as humanity has done for eons — the Navy is panicking like everyone else, instituting strict quarantines on all those infected, plus social distancing and mask rules. All this will do is prolong the agony, and interfere with the Navy’s operation. You can’t run a ship or a submarine realistically if you require everyone to keep six feet distance at all time.

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9 comments

  • mkent

    I strongly suspect that practically no one has died yet from coronavirus on a Navy ship.

    You may be right, since only eight active-duty military have died of Covid-19. That is in addition to the 61 civilians and 23 contractors outside the state-based statistics also taken by Covid-19. But since 630 military, 456 civilian personnel, and 187 contractors have been hospitalized by this disease, the Pentagon is taking it seriously.

    In other words, COVID-19 in the Navy (as elsewhere) is really nothing more than a variation of the flu…

    There you go again. Covid-19 has killed *14 times* as many Americans as the worst seasonal flu season on record when measured using similar methods. It is far, far worse than the flu, and your dismissive attitude toward it is troubling. Put another way, we’ve lost more Americans to Covid-19 than to combat during the Civil War (Union & Confederate combined). Only World War II and the Spanish Flu have caused more direct deaths. You bristle at the term “denier.” So what would you call it?

  • Edward

    mkent,
    You wrote: “There you go again. Covid-19 has killed *14 times* as many Americans as the worst seasonal flu season on record when measured using similar methods.

    Really? What other flu measured deaths with the flu as of the flu? How many counted people who were suspected of having the flu or merely assumed to have the flu as having died of the flu? Which other flus had massive financial incentives to report people as having died of, with, suspected, or assumed to have the flu? For me to believe you, then you need to answer these and other questions.

    Meanwhile, the worst seasonal flu was reported to have killed sixty thousand people, hardly 1/14th of two hundred thousand or so.

    You keep trying to convince us that this flu is horrendous and will kill us all, but it really only goes after the very vulnerable people that Cuomo, Newsom, Whitmer, and other governors infected with Wuhan-ailing patients from hospitals, perhaps permanently contaminating those nursing homes.

    What other flu had ailing patients sent directly from the hospitals to the most vulnerable among us?

    For some reason, the U.S. chose to tragically and fatally deviate from medical best-practices to some half-fast, poorly thought out methods that had never been successfully tried before. Now we all are suffering from these medical worst-practices, including the corruption of the data needed to make informed decisions, and you are defending these horrific methods.

    Put another way, we’ve lost more Americans to Covid-19 than to combat during the Civil War (Union & Confederate combined).

    Well, there you go again, assuming that that with, suspected, and assumed mean lost due to Wuhan Plague. We don’t know and can never know how many Americans were lost to Wuhan Plague, but we do know that it is less than the reported number.

    But this is not the first time I have attempted to educate you, who is ignorant of reality. It isn’t even the second time. It won’t be the last, either, because you just don’t learn. Corrupted data is not useable or useful data. We are all glad that you don’t make the airplanes that we fly on.

    Very bad decisions are made when using corrupted data, such as locking down entire states, shutting down entire industries, oppressing entire nations, mandating masks when they are known to do no good even as properly used yet do great harm as used by the general public, and sending Wuhan-ailing patients into nursing homes, where the most vulnerable are concentrated.

  • mkent

    What other flu measured deaths with the flu as of the flu?

    You like using that phrase a lot. Is it comforting? It must be, because you continue to use it even after it’s been explained to you that the Covid-19 death toll tracked by JHU, the CDC, and others counts decedents whose death certificates list Covid-19 as a cause of death.

    Meanwhile, the worst seasonal flu was reported to have killed sixty thousand people, hardly 1/14th of two hundred thousand or so.

    There you go again, continuing to use one method of *counting* Covid-19 deaths and comparing it to another method of *estimating* flu deaths, even after quoting me saying “…when measured using similar methods.” As has been explained in the comments section of this site several times during this pandemic by me, Rose, and, I believe, Andrew_W, the 60,000 number and the 220,000 number are not comparable because they are arrived at by radically different means.

    The 220,000 number of Covid-19 deaths is arrived at by counting the number of people who have Covid-19 listed on their death certificates. The equivalent number for the worst seasonal flu on record in the United States is 15,560. The CDC then takes the *counted* number of flu deaths and multiplies it by a factor of between 3.7 and 4.4 to arrive at an *estimated* number of flu deaths. The CDC has performed no such analysis for Covid-19. The only sound basis of comparison between the two diseases is the 220,000 counted Covid-19 deaths and the 15,560 counted flu deaths.

    If the CDC performs a similar analysis of Covid-19 at some point in the future, then we will have a sound basis of comparison between Covid-19 and the 60,000 estimated flu deaths.

    You keep trying to convince us that this flu is horrendous and will kill us all…

    I have not done any such thing. I have merely reported on the number of people it has already killed. It is your inability to process that number that leads you to believe that it will either “kill us all” or “is just the flu” with nothing in between.

    We don’t know and can never know how many Americans were lost to Wuhan Plague, but we do know that it is less than the reported number.

    No, we don’t know it is less than the reported number. It is, in fact, quite likely higher than the reported number. At its peak, Covid-19 was killing 90 New Yorkers a day in their own homes — people who could not or would not seek proper medical care at a hospital. Those New Yorkers are not included in the official tallies.

    Analysis of excess death data also suggests that Covid-19 has been killing substantially more Americans than has been reported in the official records. If, after this pandemic is over, the CDC does a deep-dive analysis of Covid-19 like they do for flu every year, it’s quite possible — quite likely even — that their estimated Covid-19 death toll will be substantially higher than the counted Covid-19 death toll, just like it is for flu every year.

    We are all glad that you don’t make the airplanes that we fly on.

    And here you go again with the personal insults. Funny how someone disagreeing with the host can be threatened with a ban for not even calling someone a denier directly but merely obliquely by asking the question “Why can’t deniers do math?”, yet someone agreeing with him can ladle direct insults at another commenter and his chosen profession.

    The truth is you have no idea what airplanes I make and thus whether you fly on them. Perhaps, to be safe, you should just stop flying altogether. Probably ought to forgo ground transportation too, since I might be an automotive engineer. And stay away from bridges and tall buildings. I could be a civil engineer. But what if I’m a doctor….

    Or perhaps, instead, you could learn a little humility and dispense with the disparaging remarks.

  • john hare

    Mkent,
    The Civil war killed over 600,000 Americans on both sides.
    The Second World War killed over 400,000 Americans.
    So Covid 19 has killed less than either conflict. Also your statement that the World War killed more than the Civil War is not correct. While I mostly stay out of these arguments, clearly false statements on any subject cast doubt on the accuracy of any other statement from the same source.

  • mkent

    john hare:

    Also your statement that the World War killed more than the Civil War is not correct.

    What I said:

    …we’ve lost more Americans to Covid-19 than to combat during the Civil War (Union & Confederate combined)

    According to the United States Dept. of Veteran Affairs, America suffered 214,938 (140,414 Union and 74,524 Confederate) combat deaths and 283,394 (224,097 Union and 59,297 Confederate) in-theater non-combat deaths in the Civil War. This compares to a total of 291,557 combat and 113,842 non-combat (mostly disease and training) deaths in World War II.

    America suffered more combat deaths during World War II than the Civil War, since 291,557 is greater than 214,938.

    While I mostly stay out of these arguments, clearly false statements on any subject cast doubt on the accuracy of any other statement from the same source.

    As of yesterday, Covid-19 has killed 220,011 Americans. Since 220,011 is greater than 214,938, my statement is correct.

    The point is, Covid-19 is one of the most deadly events ever to happen to America. Only the Civil War, the Spanish Flu, and World War II are in the same league, and the number for Covid-19 gets higher every day. It is not “just the flu.”

  • John hare

    My apologies. I didn’t notice your bait and switch from the specific to the general.

  • pzatchok

    I have to ask.

    Why have states reduced the hours of operation for bars and restaurants? If they are safe at 5 o’clock why not after midnight? Do germs get more active in the dark?
    And if I am allowed to gather and associate under my ‘free speech” rights why not for my sporting events? If I call it a political rally with a sports game as the entertainment portion could I fill the stadium?
    If I can have a dozen family members over for nice dinner at the same table why can we not go to a restaurant and do the same?

    All of these restrictions are more out of fear and even in many cases out of political spite.

  • Edward

    it’s been explained to you that the Covid-19 death toll tracked by JHU, the CDC, and others counts decedents whose death certificates list Covid-19 as a cause of death.”

    This is how you have corrupted data. Originally you stated that Wuhan Plague was the cause of death, your phrases being: “have died of Covid-19” and “Covid-19 has killed,” but now you are saying that someone who had Wuhan as merely a comorbidity was actually and truly killed by Wuhan flu. That you fail to understand this very important difference is why we are glad you don’t make the airplanes that we fly on.

    the 60,000 number and the 220,000 number are not comparable because they are arrived at by radically different means.

    I’m the one who explained to you that the Wuhan number is a corrupted number because of the means used to fudge it. In fact, your failure to answer my questions demonstrates that your numbers were not derived in the same way as the Wuhan Plague numbers, and your further explanations confirm this. Wuhan numbers continue to be fudged, the numbers for the other flus were not, at least not in the same way. Using fudged data is not a sound basis of comparison.” This is why we are glad you don’t make the airplanes that we fly on. It is also why our fearful leaders have made such very bad, tragic decisions.

    No, we don’t know it is less than the reported number. It is, in fact, quite likely higher than the reported number.

    There you go again, using assumptions as data. And even after you were went to such great pains to explain that your data was the correct data.

    But what if I’m a doctor….

    With your lack of knowledge on the topic, that would be frightening indeed.

    John hare,
    Fortunately, I noticed his trick before making the same comment. mkent is tricky this way, laying in wait to catch you in his gotcha-trap, yet he has such a thin skin when we point out his limited career potential, thinking it an insult rather than relief by the rest of us.

  • John hare

    With Covid 19 and. co-morbidity reminds me of the oil rig murder story. The guy was fatally gutted with a knife. Then he was brained with a club while thrashing around and would have died from that. He was then thrown over the rail for a long drop to the water. Hit so hard at a bad angle that it broke his neck. He was still barely alive when he drowned. Cause of death, drowning.

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