The Silver Lining to the COVID-19 Dark Cloud: People Are Getting Back Into Their Cars

Guest “the gas tank is half-full” by David Middleton.

May 11, 2020 10:03 AM UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
Commuters choose cars over public transport to avoid exposure to coronavirus

Javier Blas, Vanessa Dezem and Sarah Chen

LONDON, BEIJING, FRANKFURT — James Li, a public relations account director, would rather spend an hour sitting in Beijing traffic than risk 30 minutes exposed to crowds on a train. “Traffic is as bad as it could be” but the subway is still too dicey,” he said.

In Frankfurt, real estate assistant Anna Pawliczek is driving to work for the first time in her career. “I definitely have always preferred to chill out in the train, instead of being stuck at traffic lights,” she said.

But days after Germany ended its lockdown, her company is asking returning employees to avoid public transportation at all costs.

Gasoline demand is rebounding, suggesting that the car — at least for now — is making a comeback. As lockdowns ease and parts of the world reopen for business, driving has emerged as the socially distant transportation mode of choice and is offering some near-term relief to an oil market fresh off its worst crash in history and reeling from an unprecedented collapse in energy demand.

“People are using more their cars because they are afraid to use public transportation,” Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO of French oil giant Total, said.

It’s too soon to say whether this change is permanent. In some parts of Asia that reopened earlier than the rest of the world, people are venturing back onto trains. And it’s unclear whether global gasoline demand will ever fully recover.

But on the streets of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, morning traffic is now higher than 2019 averages while subway use is well below normal, according to data compiled by BloombergNEF. Volume on Beijing’s metro system is 53 percent below pre-virus levels. Subway usage in Shanghai and Guangzhou is down 29 percent and 39 percent, respectively.


Automotive News Europe

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, US drivers consumed 9.7 million barrels of gasoline per day (week of March 13, 2020). By April 3, 2020, demand had collapsed to 5.1 million barrels per day as states imposed shelter in place orders. As of the week of May 1, 2020, demand had risen back up to 6.7 million barrels per day, and this was before most states began to reopen their economies.


The resurgence in the demand for fuel isn’t limited to automobiles. Carnival Cruise Lines reported a surge in bookings, when they announced that some cruises will resume in August.

Goldman Sachs’ global head of commodities research, Jeff Currie, expects a rapid recovery in all areas of petroleum demand, with the exception of air travel. Currie says that demand could exceed supply as soon as June 1…

“We believe demand will exhibit a V-shaped recovery, but supply will exhibit an L-shaped recovery,” he said, as wells need to come back online, and companies need to increase spending. This could mean demand rises above supply as early as June 1, he said.

But while demand returns to normal, it will be from a base with less business travel. “Before we used to have these internal meetings and things of that nature, and I think this is going to be way more Zoom-oriented, other types of substitutes,” he said.

“Look at the routes that the airlines are planning when they come back, they’re not going to be at the same level that they were previously.”


While the recovery in petroleum demand has helped firm up oil prices, it will take a while for the built up surplus to be worked off.

However, there are some 1.2 billion barrels in storage, Currie added, that would need to be drawn down before prices improve for more than a couple of hours. This, according to Currie, will happen in three stages.

The first oil in storage to go would be the millions of barrels in floating storage. It is the most expensive kind of storage, so it would make sense that traders and producers would first aim to get rid of it to save on tanker fees. Currie says this will happen sometime in the third quarter of the year. The amount of oil removed from floating storage will be around 450 million barrels. In the fourth quarter of the year, oil stockpiles in onshore storage will begin to decline, Currie said, by up to 400 million barrels.

Oil Price Dot Com

The past two months have essentially been a trial run of the Green New Deal…

The COVID-19 Economy and a Taste of ‘Net Zero’

May 7, 2020

From a BBC report on the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns on COemissions:

To keep the world on track to stay under 1.5C this century, the world needs similar cuts for the foreseeable future to keep this target in view.

“If Covid-19 leads to a drop in emissions of around 5% in 2020, then that is the sort of reduction we need every year until net-zero emissions are reached around 2050,” said Glen Peters… from Cicero.

[Cicero is the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research]

1.5C is the target that emerged from the Paris Agreement on climate change.


If something akin to the COVID-19 economy for decades is what you want, going for ‘net zero’ by 2050 may be a way to achieve it.


National Review

Unless people really like “the COVID-19 economy,” I don’t think they’ll want decades of it.

I just realized that today, May 12, is my 39th anniversary as an oil industry geoscientist. My first day as an Associate Geophysicist with Enserch Exploration in Dallas, Texas was May 12, 1981. How time flies!

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May 12, 2020 6:17 pm

People are funny. Some are afraid to ride a subway and some are not afraid to go on a cruise.

Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 11:07 pm

So very true, same for the hand wringers that welcome ever increasing lockdowns and conrtols to keep them “safe” vs people who get out and protest and/or disobey.

Was watching a sci fi show last night called Colony (Netflix series) where collaborators help aliens control people in defined colonies and a resistance force tries to fight them. Disturbingly familiar at times.

Steve Richards
Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 11:34 pm

Older people cruise, younger people commute to work. In general.

Reply to  Scissor
May 13, 2020 5:48 am

as long as govt once again dont have to “rescue” the ill from the damned cruises fine
youre on it youre crook? you stay put
majority of Aus cases came from the boats and the rest from OS airtravel
Id be glad to see both industries stay at extreme lows, for the forseeable future.

Reply to  Scissor
May 13, 2020 3:07 pm

Some are afraid to ride a subway and some are not afraid to go on a cruise.

Have you seen what they might do to you if you try to ride the subway in Utopia???

Tom Abbott
May 12, 2020 6:22 pm

From the article: “As of the week of May 1, 2020, demand had risen back up to 6.7 million barrels per day, and this was before most states began to reopen their economies.”

Yes, the economies are starting to move now, and barring a huge infection outbreak, the movement is going to pickup steadily.

We’ll know whether we are going to get a huge outbreak in the very near future, what with all the States that are now relaxing restrictions.

If no big problems pop up, then all the other States will start opening up, and then it will be a race, and we can get this Wuhan virus behind us. Even the Democrat states will have to open up.

I like your “the gas tank is half-full” sentiment, David. 🙂

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 12, 2020 6:43 pm

Washington state appears to be an experimental control or an experiment of control.

Roger Dueck
Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 8:03 pm

Stupid music…

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Roger Dueck
May 13, 2020 4:12 am

Fascist Bastard

Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 9:56 pm

Inslee isn’t wanting to open up just because Trump wants to. He has TDS to the max.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 13, 2020 5:19 am

I think what the Democrat governors, who are not opening up their economies, are doing is waiting for a few weeks to see if the other States who are opening up have Wuhan virus outbreaks, and then, if large outbreaks occur, the Democrat governors can point to themselves as being smart for holding off and to President Trump and the Republican governors as being reckless with their insistence on getting the economy going.

On the other hand, if there are no large Wuhan virus outbreaks, then the Democrat governors will be scambling to catch up with the Red States, and the Democrat governors won’t look so smart then, they will look like they missed the boat.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 13, 2020 8:23 pm

Nah. They’re just drunk on power and taking advantage of the opportunity to be the Great Dictator they always wanted to be.

Tom Abbott
May 12, 2020 6:25 pm

How about voting from our cars? That might work.

Bryan A
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 10:05 pm

Congrats on the 5-12-81 anniversary
5-12-84 was my wedding day so today is 36 years

Keep up the good work

Reply to  Bryan A
May 13, 2020 7:59 am

My first grandchild was born on 5-12-2020

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
May 13, 2020 1:43 pm

Congratulations, MarkW.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 13, 2020 12:51 am

And you have 2-factor authentication – the photo ID and the license plate 🧐

Rod Evans
Reply to  AngryScotonFraggleRock
May 13, 2020 1:44 am

It brings a whole new political genre into play, the concept of “a drive by incident” 🙂

Reply to  David Middleton
May 13, 2020 4:10 am

In sanctuary city/states, all one needs to drive a vehicle is the keys to turn it on.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 19, 2020 9:16 pm

I’m told you can’t hotwire a modern computerized car – but you might be able to hack it.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 12, 2020 7:09 pm

I don’t know. Attending church in your car didn’t work out very well.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
May 13, 2020 5:41 am

Some of those church services carried out in cars worked out very well.

I would like to see Drive-In Theaters offer their facility for Sunday Morning Services. Put the preacher on the Big Screen and the congregation can listen in on their car radios.

Or any vacant lot big enough will do.

At any rate, let’s hope car church services are not necessary but for the shortterm.

Ron Long
Reply to  David Middleton
May 13, 2020 10:55 am

David, judging from the picture I think the other name for a No. 5 special is a “heart attack special”! I want one.

May 12, 2020 6:46 pm

Check out how phobic some people are about covid-19(84). It’s both mind-boggling and hilarious. Some comments almost wish death upon people who dared to go to a restaurant that opened in defiance of the lockdown. It’s like they’re cheering on the virus. Amazingly ignorant, sick minds.

Reply to  icisil
May 12, 2020 7:34 pm

Yes I had the same reaction you did when looking at this celebration.
Let us wait to draw conclusions.
Wait about a week and maybe two or even three.
Can then the health department in Colorado inform us about the results of this “experiment” ?

Reply to  rd50
May 12, 2020 7:50 pm

The revoked the cafe’s business license. It’s time for them to set up a gofundme page for legal expenses.

Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 9:43 pm

A quarantine is Constitutional, even if no evidence of that individual has sickness, but during a time of epidemic. Been that way for nearly 200 years
“the power to quarantine was seen as a power “flowing from the acknowledged power of a State to provide for the health of its citizens.”
The legal challenges will fail

Reply to  Duker
May 12, 2020 11:04 pm

You are correct in that states have the police power to invoke a quarantine in times of emergencies. But because the quarantine denies individuals basic constitutional liberties the orders face strict scrutiny from the courts. They must be performed in the least intrusive way possible in terms of both coverage and duration. Court challenges typically fail because the quarantines are almost always lifted before the court challenge can result in a final order. That is very different from losing on the merits of the cse.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Duker
May 13, 2020 5:52 am

Let’s sum this up:

Quarantines are constitutional under certain circumstances, like the National Emergency we are under now..

Court challenges are constitutional and available.

It looks to me like we are still operating within the constraints of the U.S. Constitution, contrary to some complaints being expressed by aggrieved persons..

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Duker
May 13, 2020 10:13 am

Quarantine powers are not absolute. Due process still applies, which means the state has the burden of showing there is reasonable evidence to believe that the people being quarantined have in fact been exposed to a deadly disease and therefor represent a potential imminent threat to the general public. The problem with these lock-downs is that they don’t have evidence of any kind that everybody has been exposed to Covid-19, they merely assert it. And even if you accept that premise, the logically we don’t need to quarantine people if everybody has already been exposed. Just saying that someone “might” be a danger is not enough reason to take away their rights. That is what police states do, and under no circumstances can the U.S. Constitution be interpreted to allow that.

Reply to  Duker
May 13, 2020 1:42 pm

No evidence of sickness is required for those quarantined. That there is an epidemic currently that is widespread is also self evident. And that closures are widespread too. You cant only apply quarantine to a class of people and not others Cafes are one of the places where epidemics spread. The substance of a lega quarantine in time of epidemic is just a basic reality.
The various states would have existing laws to create a quarantine and enforce it , thats the local basis for the laws . The facts on the ground in a particular area that has a lockdown are pretty hard to make a legal case against. Flouting the law invites more severe penalties including contempt of court if a business reopens in defiance of a court order.
I dont really see how a business can want to have judicial review and defy the court at the same time.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Duker
May 13, 2020 7:16 pm

It appears you know less about the law than you do science.

Reply to  Duker
May 13, 2020 10:06 pm

“A quarantine is Constitutional, even if no evidence of that individual has sickness, but during a time of epidemic.”

You quarantine sick people, not healthy people.

Reply to  rd50
May 13, 2020 4:11 am

My reaction wasn’t towards the people who were in the restaurant. It was towards the germphobes who commented below the video. They probably are terrified about everything else in life. They sound just like the climate change crowd.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  icisil
May 13, 2020 2:13 am

Unfortunately they dont get the names so a proper follow up could be done.

But then colorado isnt korea.

May 12, 2020 6:48 pm

Will pent up demand drive the economic recovery?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  commieBob
May 12, 2020 9:26 pm

20% unemployment makes that difficult.
And the next shoe to drop is state and local government lay-offs when they have to face the budget reality of austerity from the gigantic revenue holes these lockdowns created in their sales tax revenues.
Many 2nd and 3rd tier universities will also be laying off faculty and staff going into the Fall as many potential students will now take a “gap year” resulting in huge enrollment declines at 3rd tier universities/colleges.

The economic fall-out from the these too long imposed lockdowns will keep rolling in over the next 6 months.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 12, 2020 9:54 pm

A second wave and maybe more after that will happen too.
Id hate to think around the 5 millionth infection is a random mutation that enables the virus to more efficiently attack the respiratory systems of younger people as happened in 1918.

Reply to  Duker
May 13, 2020 4:17 am

OK doomer

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 13, 2020 5:59 am

“20% unemployment makes that difficult”

Most of that 20% are currently receiving a paycheck of one kind or another, either unemployment payments (which currently pays more than the job the person was laid off from in some cases), or is under the Paycheck Protection Plan which pays employers to continue paying their employess a salary even though they are not working, so the buying power the American public had three months ago is relatively intact at the present time. My sister just got her $1200 check from President Trump (his name is on it) yesterday.

So, yes, the demand is there, and the means to pay for it is there, too.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 13, 2020 10:21 am

Most people have already spent their stimulus checks, and are spending their unemployment checks as fast as they get them. This is not a surprise since most people live paycheck to paycheck and have no reserve. When the unemployment funds run dry, there will be a delay before the mass protests (and perhaps riots) force the state to end the lock downs, which will put all those unemployed people in an even more precarious financial state. To add injury to insult, some won’t have jobs to return to. No, demand for non essential products will be soft for a while and this will not help the economy one bit. And I haven’t even started on the unanticipated supply chain disruptions that will cause seemingly random spot shortages over the next year.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 13, 2020 8:02 am

I’m already reading about plans to increase taxes in a number of states in order to make up for the funding shortfall.
Of course that will further depress the economies of those states, which the governors will then blame on failures of capitalism.

Reply to  MarkW
May 13, 2020 10:22 am

That’s going to be fun to watch….from a distance.

May 12, 2020 6:51 pm

I see a market for hazmat commuter suits. Everyone in their own little plastic bubble with a head up display to play games on their phone.

Craig from Oz
May 12, 2020 6:52 pm

Our company guildlines for Wuhan Virus avoidance openly state that solo travel in private vehicles is a requirement for Working from Work.

Pat from kerbob
May 12, 2020 6:55 pm

If you follow canadian media, and why would you, there is all sorts of crowing as to how oil is dead.

It’s going to be so heartbreaking for them when demand rebounds

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 7:52 pm

The only one worth watchibg

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 7:56 pm

And congrats on the work anniversary
May 1 was my 25th anniversary with the same company here in AB, which I now own.

I look forward to lots of productive years in the oil patch, same as you

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 11:11 pm

They are still a going concern? Watched a few of their shows – they actually did a better job of news reporting, instead of editorializing.

Thank goodness none of the US “news” shows decided to use their marketing schtick, though.

John Endicott
Reply to  Writing Observer
May 13, 2020 2:37 am

Certainly not with their current hosts. You’ll need to bleach your brain just trying to imagine Don Lemonhead or Rachael Madcow in that format. Yikes!

John Endicott
Reply to  David Middleton
May 13, 2020 2:41 am

Hmm, just a stray thought but I wonder if, in these current times, they’re wearing masks whist otherwise sticking to their format? Do then they strip off the masks when they’re stripping off everything else? Inquiring minds want to know.

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
May 13, 2020 10:29 pm

It’s way past time for the West of Canada to secede.

May 12, 2020 7:08 pm

If something akin to the COVID-19 economy for decades is what you want, going for ‘net zero’ by 2050 may be a way to achieve it.“. Got it in one.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 12, 2020 8:49 pm

No, it’s worse than that. COVID-19 economy is the first year. The next year it’s 1.95 COVIDs …

Ian Coleman
May 12, 2020 7:28 pm

The economists at the Bank of Canada refuse to predict whether the end of COVID lockdowns will result in inflation or deflation. It is their life’s work to make those predictions and the fact that they can’t is pretty scary.

Nick Graves
Reply to  Ian Coleman
May 13, 2020 3:40 am

Many economists have been brainwashed only with Keynesianism – they haven’t got a clue how the real world actually works.

The Austrians would predict initial deflation followed by a crack-up boom due to all the money-printing. But everybody ignores them as they are Keyneskeptics.

Reply to  Nick Graves
May 13, 2020 5:04 am

Wow Nick G someone actually has some understanding of economics. Many who sprout Keynesian theory also subscribe to Marxism.
Keep well

Reply to  Ian Coleman
May 13, 2020 5:51 am

“On March 25, 2020, a group of 265 academics from across Canada signed a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing concern that…” blah blah blah – the usual leftist nonsense from a gang of innumerate Artsies who think they have an informed opinion, but do not have enough scientific knowledge to change a flat tire.

These self-proclaimed energy experts wrote:
“Instead of purchasing equity in oil and gas, Canadian governments should pursue the retraining of fossil fuel workers, and public ownership of Canada’s renewable energy sector, where government coordination and large-scale investment are needed in the short term and where investments will be repaid.”

Ya, that’ll work! As my gigantic Polish friend Dr. Tadeuz used to say, “Ver do zey get zeese IDIOTS!”

May 13, 2020 6:32 am

“…a gang of innumerate Artsies who think they have an informed opinion, but do not have enough scientific knowledge to change a flat tire.”

That certainly describes the vast majority of “educators” in the USA.

May 12, 2020 7:29 pm

This is a perfect time to actually use public transport – in some places, anyway. Not because I like it, but because it usually pays to go in the opposite direction of the herd. Everyone drives now? Great, I’ll take a bus and let the bus driver deal with the traffic.

Of course, working at home should mean less traffic in most places. And if you earn enough, take a taxi.

Peter Fraser
May 12, 2020 7:39 pm

Frack on!!!!

May 12, 2020 8:07 pm

I work from home, and have actually driven more than normal during lockdown, but my monthly car insurance was dropped 15% as a goodwill gesture.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Martin Clark
May 13, 2020 6:07 am

“but my monthly car insurance was dropped 15% as a goodwill gesture”

That move by the car insurance companies puzzles me. It’s a goodwill gesture? What that tells me is I’m paying at least 15% too much on my car insurance if the car insurance industry can afford to give away money.

A dumb Virtue Signal, imo, but I’ll take the money if they want to give it away.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 13, 2020 8:06 am

With driving down, accidents are down.
With accidents down, their expenses are down.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 13, 2020 3:10 pm

Do tell? How did you accomplish your feat?

I’m with Progressive (no relation to my philosophical outlook).

Reply to  David Middleton
May 13, 2020 7:26 pm

Thanks David.

L-I-B . . . look at that:

“If you have an active personal auto policy at the end of April or May, you will be receiving a 20% premium credit. There is nothing you need to do. We will calculate your credit for you at the end of that month, and you’ll see it in your Progressive account a few weeks after that. It’s all automatic—our plan is to provide you a confirmation message when each credit is in your account. ”

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 14, 2020 6:31 am

It’s neither a virtue signal nor a goodwill gesture on their part. Your premiums were calculated based on the volume of traffic and accidents that were typical pre-COVID. with traffic volume and accident numbers way down your premium turned out to be too high for what the numbers actually were, they’re “giving” the money back because they don’t want to be sued for “overcharging” you nor do they want to piss you off and have you go to some other insurance carrier over that “overchange”.

That’s not to say you necessarily were always overpaying, your premium was presumably in the neighborhood of the right price for normal traffic/accident numbers it’s just that for the past few months traffic/accidents haven’t been at normal levels.

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 14, 2020 6:33 am

less seriously….

What that tells me is I’m paying at least 15% too much on my car insurance

Geico has been telling you that for years 😉

“Geico can save you 15% or more on car insurance”

Reply to  Martin Clark
May 13, 2020 8:07 am

With total driving down, even if you drive the same amount, your chances of meeting someone by accident are down.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 14, 2020 8:56 am

A friend mine in FL rides a sport motorcycle and regularly goes over 120mph. The other day he clocked in at a max of 153. Insane.

James F. Evans
May 12, 2020 8:18 pm

Take a Sunday drive.

An American pastime… like baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet… as the jingle goes…

Or at lest it used to be.

And it’s affordable.

Now, we have to say, “it’s for my mental health.”

But I’m thinking, “it’s fun… put some peddle to the metal… burn some rubber… if you got a hot car, maybe you can make some time with the girls at the malt shop… (from a distance…)

On another note: while you’re driving, you are protected from the China virus… and you don’t have to wear a mask… I swear it.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  James F. Evans
May 13, 2020 6:19 am

About a month ago you could use the highways around here as your personal drag strip (and some did) because of the lack of traffic. You can’t do that anymore. The traffic is heavy out there. It looks like normal traffic (before the Wuhan virus) to me. My State of Oklahoma is moving to Phase Two of the opening of the economy on Friday. A lot of Democrat States aren’t even at Phase One. They are falling behind.

I see where the California authorities decided to give Elon Musk what he wants and let him open up his car manufacturing facility.

I also see where two Republicans won special elections yesterday for the House of Representatives. That’s two down and about 20 more victories to go, and the Republicans will regain control of the House of Representatives. And the Republican victory margins were big. I expect that to carry over into the November elections. Can we flip California? 🙂

If the Republicans gain control of both the House and Senate, then a version of the “Penny Plan” can be introduced and passed that will eliminate the U.S. debt within the lifetime of persons now alive. It is possible. But not if Democrats are involved. All they know how to do is spend other people’s money, and they are not interested in anything else.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 13, 2020 1:58 pm

I heard the Oklahoma governor say today that he had been talking to Tesla in an effort to get them to move their operations to Oklahoma. We’ll let them work in Oklahoma. Gasoline and living expenses are cheaper, and although the taxes are higher than in Texas, they are much less than what you get in California.

The State of Oklahoma is in pretty good shape financially. We had a “Rainy Day” Fund for emergencies and although we have almost used that up dealing with the Wuhan virus, we are also getting back to work and oil prices are climbing (which is where a lot of our revenue comes from) so we’ll get back to even soon.

Governor Stitt also says not to be alarmed if the positive infection rate goes up in the near future because Oklahoma is increasing testing by 50 percent.

May 12, 2020 8:39 pm

Well-known anti-cytokine storm drugs can save many people. Not everyone understands that the Cov-2 virus, by inactivating the ECE2 enzyme, causes a cytokine storm. To fight the virus you need to “calm down” your own immune system. If we don’t use these drugs, there will still be many deaths.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  ren
May 12, 2020 9:17 pm

Chinese doctors demonstrated quite clearly that SARS epidemic of 2003 in China that prednisone (steroids) could sometimes be effective. But it was a careful balancing act not to suppress the immune response too much.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 13, 2020 12:28 am

You must wonder why only a dozen or so percent of those infected have a severe course, or only because of associated diseases? Such patients must be given proven and available interleukin 6 inhibitors.
“IL-6 in inflammation, immunity, and disease. IL-6 is a cytokine featuring pleiotropic activity; it induces synthesis of acute phase proteins such as CRP, serum amyloid A, fibrinogen, and hepcidin in hepatocytes, whereas it inhibits production of albumin. IL-6 also plays an important role on acquired immune response by stimulation of antibody production and of effector T-cell development. Moreover, IL-6 can promote differentiation or proliferation of several nonimmune cells. Because of the pleiotropic activity, dysregulated continual production of IL-6 leads to the onset or development of various diseases. Treg, regulatory T cell; RANKL, receptor activator of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) ligand; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor.”

Reply to  ren
May 12, 2020 9:38 pm

Not everyone understands that the Cov-2 virus, by inactivating the ACE2 enzyme, causes a cytokine storm. To fight the virus you need to “calm down” your own immune system. If we don’t use these drugs, there will still be many deaths.
“When the immune system is fighting pathogens, cytokines signal immune cells such as T-cells and macrophages to travel to the site of infection. In addition, cytokines activate those cells, stimulating them to produce more cytokines. Normally this feedback loop is kept in check by the body. However, in some instances, the reaction becomes uncontrolled, and too many immune cells are activated in a single place. The precise reason for this is not entirely understood, but may be caused by an exaggerated response when the immune system encounters a new and highly pathogenic invader. Cytokine storms have potential to do significant damage to body tissues and organs. If a cytokine storm occurs in the lungs, for example, fluids and immune cells such as macrophages may accumulate and eventually block off the airways, potentially resulting in death.

The cytokine storm (hypercytokinemia) is the systemic expression of a healthy and vigorous immune system resulting in the release of more than 150 inflammatory mediators (cytokines, oxygen free radicals, and coagulation factors). Both pro-inflammatory cytokines (such as Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Interleukin-1, and Interleukin-6) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (such as interleukin 10, and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist) are elevated in the serum of patients experiencing a cytokine storm.

Cytokine storms can occur in a number of infectious and non-infectious diseases including graft versus host disease (GVHD), adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, avian influenza, smallpox, and systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).”

Joel O'Bryan
May 12, 2020 9:14 pm

Lots of Silver linings.
– Use of single-use plastic bags in grocery storesis back (made from petroleum)
– One person per car, masses now avoiding mass transit.
– Public distrust of executive branch government edicts.
– Americans more determined than ever to bring manufacturing back from China.

The downside of course is beautiful places like New Zealand have Nanny-girl socialist leaders who have gone full Fascism with government edicts under threats of arrest. Things are about to get very expensive for the average Kiwi.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 13, 2020 2:14 pm

“Public distrust of executive branch government edicts.”

I don’t consider that a plus when it is not justified, I consider that a negative.

There’s a difference between losing confidence in your local Mayor, and losing confidence in the President of the United States. Unjustified distrust of a Mayor is not that big a deal in the greater scheme of things, but unjustified distrust of the president is a recipe for disaster.

Sometimes when people preach distrust of their local Mayor, even if it is justified, they are also preaching distrust of higher authority in general. So unless one’s aim is to sow distrust of higher authority in general, then it would be a good idea to specifically limit the criticism to that individual who deserves criticism, and not paint with a broad brush.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 13, 2020 10:27 pm

“unjustified distrust of the president is a recipe for disaster.”

People should distrust government. Think how much better off America would be if people had distrusted Clinton, Obama and the Bushes.

No NAFTA, no selling out American jobs to China, no Kosovo, no Iraq, no Afghanistan, no ISIS, probably no 9/11. Likely a whole lot less ‘Global Warming’.

Blindly trusting people who want power over you is a weakness, not a virtue.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkG
May 14, 2020 8:45 am

“People should distrust government. Think how much better off America would be if people had distrusted Clinton, Obama and the Bushes.”

I think everyone should have a healthy skepticism about all levels of government. As long as it is based in reality.

My concern about the anti-government rhetoric and the rhetoric around the virus computer models, and the undermining of faith in them, is that these criticisms might actually undermine Trump. After all, he is the president, so bears ultimate responsibility for the progress of the U.S., federal government, and complaints will end up on his desk in a lot of minds, and undermining Trump’s virus computer model, undermines Trump because he is using it to guide his actions with regard to the Wuhan virus.

If Trump is undermined wittingly or unwittingly, to the point that he loses the next election, then that IS a recipe for disaster.

If the Democrats were to win the White House this time around, it will probably mean the loss of our free Republic to the Authoritarian Democrats, who have demonstrated they will do anything short of murder (and I’m not sure about that), to attain and keep political power. If they get presidential power back again, they won’t give it up next time. They will rig the system to favor themselves just like the Obama/Clinton criminal enterprise tried to rig the last election. Had Hillary won, all of us would be oblivious to the wrongdoing that had occurred, and they would continue to keep us in the dark for the foreseeable future. The U.S. would become the “China Model” after the Democrats take over. The Democrats would run the U.S. just like the communists run China: An Elite segment of society that gets all the perks, including holding political power in perpetuity, while the peons make do the best they can, with no say in how they are governed.

If the Democrats won the White House we can forget about getting justice for the crimes perpetrated by the Obama administration. What we’ll get instead is a coverup, with the willing help of the leftwing media, and we won’t have the political powr to uncover their criminality anymore because they will control all access.

Trump needs one more term. To turn the economy around and to give us enough time to punish the traitors in the Obama administration so we send a forceful message to the next potential traitor, that they can’t get away with trying to steal our nation out from under us.

So take it easy on Trump at every opportunity. He and we need all the help we can get. We still have a long way to go to right this ship, and nasty, unprincipled enemies standing in our way.

Just as we should consider the Chinese leadership to be predators, we should also look at the Democrats in the same way. They aren’t there for us, they are there for themselves and their ideology.

May 12, 2020 9:34 pm

May 12, is my 39th anniversary as an oil industry geoscientist.

Gratz! All good years I hope.

May 12, 2020 9:59 pm

“I just realized that today, May 12, is my 39th anniversary as an oil industry geoscientist. My first day as an Associate Geophysicist with Enserch Exploration in Dallas, Texas was May 12, 1981. How time flies!”

I was a month away from Basic Training. Damn I feel old.

May 12, 2020 10:09 pm

Congratulations David. I’m coming up to 47 years as a drilling engineer.

May 12, 2020 11:10 pm

“And it’s unclear whether global gasoline demand will ever fully recover.”

Why would it not once governments get out of the way?

May 12, 2020 11:26 pm

Will drivers wear disposable gloves when handle the hose to put some fossil fuel in the vehicle tank? And how many will put on a face mask getting out of the vehicle to do so? Are they going to observe social distancing when waiting their chance for a working pump?

I see a whole new dimension there becoming available for local officials to regulate. Bill Gates could update that virus registry identifier to trigger a shut down of the pump on anyone risky, so they can’t get very far when fuel tanks are low – with system updates sent out only when one’s micro-chip is at
the location associated with one’s billing address.

May 13, 2020 12:32 am

The only reason I still live in this town is so I can play bridge on the train to-and-from Manhattan every day.

It’s been 2 months now since we all stopped commuting, and we haven’t found a way to reproduce the train experience.

I’m looking at working from home at least until January, so maybe I’ll be dumping this house soon – no reason to be here if I can’t play cards on mass transit.

Reply to  Duncan_M
May 13, 2020 6:03 am

well you could buy a Tesla crematorium on wheels with auto accident features and keep playing cards

May 13, 2020 12:47 am

You have to be full on stupid if you are scared of the virus-

“Head of Forensic Pathology in Hamburg on covid19 autopsy findings: “not a single person w/out previous illness has died of the virus in Hamburg. All had cancer, chronic lung dis, were heavy smokers or heavily obese, or had diabetes or cardiovasc dis” 1/3″

“The latest figures from Italy show (pp. 12/13) that 60 of almost 17,000 doctors and nurses who tested positive died. This results in a Covid19 lethality rate of less than 0.1% for those under 50, 0.27% for those aged 50 to 60, 1.4% for those aged 60 to 70, and 12.6% for those aged 70 to 80. Even these figures are likely too high, as these are deaths with and not necessarily from corona”

May 13, 2020 2:12 am

The economy should re-establish itself as soon as possible, in order to avoid a total collapse

May 13, 2020 2:19 am

“MUST WATCH Debunking the Narrative With Prof Dolores Cahill”

May 13, 2020 6:02 am

I think the inventory surplus, the 1.2 billion barrels, will be around longer and have a bigger impact on the market than we think. If it’s drawn down at the rate of 10 million bad, it will take 120 days, 4 months, to work it off. If it comes down at only 5 million bad, it will take twice as long. Compare this to the 2 – 3 million bpd cut that OPEC was discussing to balance the market before this whole thing started.

Reply to  Beachbum
May 13, 2020 10:30 am

If the Chinese build a lot more storage tanks with their overcapacity in steel and go large with it, that will also be bad.

May 13, 2020 8:14 am

It is amazing how many “save the planet lifestyle items have turned out to be not only unnecessary but rather stupid.

Encouraging people into mass transit.
Car pools.
Expensive cars that catch on fire, are powered mostly by coal, have short range, and require hours to refuel.
Reusable shopping bags.
Those stupid water facets that only dribble out a few ounces of cold water if you move your hand just the right way under the nozzle.
No paper towels in public restrooms, but a door handle you must grip with your just washed hand, (or who knows how many unwashed hands) to exit the restroom………

Reply to  David Middleton
May 13, 2020 10:10 am


It is amazing though to watch consumers focus on MPG as they prepay for five years of gas consumption with their overpriced new purchase or buy less reliable and expensive to repair turbocharged 4 cylinders or ultralight cars with reliance only on airbags and plastic for safety. This culture shift forced on car companies and accepted by most consumers is interesting to watch. I guess it assumes the market will continue to be dominated by the throwaway generation of car buyers at 90 or 100k miles instead of 250k attainable in some older, less efficient models.

See various videos from the Scotty Kilmer channel on YouTube to see all the mistakes by car buyers from a mechanic with 52 years of experience.

May 13, 2020 9:59 am

I’m still having fun with my big V8 used Toyota. I’ll rev it up some more to celebrate 70s gas prices and no dependence on subways or light rails or high speed rails to nowhere.

May 13, 2020 10:12 am

“The cytokine storm (hypercytokinemia) is the systemic expression of a healthy and vigorous immune system …..”

If that is so, why does it occur more often in the aged and sick whose immune systems are failing. By the time you are 80, you will fail to produce a reaction to things like skin tests for measles and mumps. The reemergence of the chicken pox virus (shingles) is another sign of failing immune function.

May 13, 2020 10:12 am

“The cytokine storm (hypercytokinemia) is the systemic expression of a healthy and vigorous immune system …..”

If that is so, why does it occur more often in the aged and sick whose immune systems are failing. By the time you are 80, you will fail to produce a reaction to things like skin tests for measles and mumps. The reemergence of the chicken pox virus (shingles) is another sign of failing immune function.

May 13, 2020 8:03 pm

Unless people really like “the COVID-19 economy,” I don’t think they’ll want decades of it.

No, definitely not. But cities without cars are a revelation to those who cannot remember life without them. What they are telling us is that we do not have to live like this. We do not have to live and work and shop on noisy streets with bad air where we cannot enjoy walking. We do not have to tolerate a means of mass transportation that kills millions globally every year and thousands in all Western countries, and which is incapable of handling rush hours.

The lockdowns are showing us what our cities can be like if we take the streets back from the car. Lets hope its a lesson we learn and act on.

Lockdowns have to end, the economy has to come back. We should not go to reduced auto traffic to limit CO2 emissions, that is idiotic. We should do so because our quality of life will be better if we do it, regardless of the effect on CO2 emissions.

It would be worth doubling CO2 emissions, if that is the price of removing cars from downtown city streets. It isn’t of course. Just to make the point that CO2 is irrelevant in this, the issue is noise, NO2, particulates, deaths and traffic jams. Its idiotic.

I grew up in a place with very few cars, now overrun by the things, and welcome it back.

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