30 January 2021
Toby, who lives with his owners Chris Lardner and Georgina Price in Gloucestershire, has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome that affects his skin, making it saggy, giving him a permanently grumpy look.Chris and Georgina didn’t let his condition put them off, and adopted Toby and his best friend Quinton, after they were both rescued from a hoarder's house by the RSPCA...'After a difficult start in life we are just glad we found them when we did. We can prevent Toby from further harm and ease any potential problems his EDS may bring.'
"The largest set of Russian dolls is a 51-piece set hand-painted by Youlia Bereznitskaia (Russia). The largest measures 1 ft 9.25 in (53.97 cm) in height, the smallest 0.125 in (0.31 cm) in height. The set was completed on 25 April 2003. When all 51 pieces are lined up together touching, they measure 11 ft 2.25 in length. To break this record both the number of dolls in the set and the height of the tallest must be broken."
29 January 2021
"It is no longer acceptable to insult people on the basis of their race, sex, or sexuality, which is as it should be. However, it now appears to be OK to attack people because of their age. Look through WallStreetBets traffic and disparaging references to boomers come thick and fast. This incident is an opportunity to get one over on a generation who have houses, guaranteed pensions, subsidized healthcare, and paid off their college bills decades ago.
The demonization of boomers is growing alarming. One WallStreetBets post with 27,000 likes starts “All you ****king Boomers enjoyed the golden age of America...” If that seems reasonable in a way, just imagine replacing the word “Boomers” with a racial term. The level of inter-generational distrust is terrifying.
While personal animus isn’t justified, the same cannot be said for the notion that there is generational injustice. Plainly, the Baby Boomers had a great deal, and the Millennials and those who follow them have a terrible one. (Full disclosure: I’m in Generation X and my children are in Generation Z). Generational conflict is set to be a critical fissure for the decades ahead, particularly as the number of retirees swells relative to the number in the working population.
In particular, there is the intractable issue of pensions. Many defined-benefit plans appear to be in real danger of failing to meet their guarantees, at least in the U.S.; defined-contribution plans the world over appear likely to leave people with inadequate income in retirement. Does society do everything it can to honor commitments to retirees (and thereby widen the generational gap still further)? Or are we on course for some reckoning in which older people surrender some of the benefits they have been expecting? This question is central to the next book club selection — The Great Demographic Reversal by Charles Goodhart and Manoj Pradhan — which we will be discussing in a live blog on the terminal on Feb. 3."
A "black swan" event in the stock market has moved from the financial pages/websites to front-page news on major media because it carries overtones about the proper conduct of capital markets. Here is some informed commentary from an email newsletter by John Authers from Bloomberg (boldface added):
When this week started, I had a long “to do” list of topics to cover.
Difficulties in distributing Covid-19 vaccine and the race against virus mutations;
Inflation risks, and the chances of a bond market “tantrum”;
The dollar and the overwhelming consensus that it is due a further fall;
The chances that post-Brexit Britain might now be a “buy” despite everything;
Fourth-quarter earnings season and what it portends for the economic recovery;
The oil market (the price of Brent crude has trebled in nine months);
The chances for a re-made U.S.-Chinese relationship;
Yet another political crisis in Italy and its implications for the euro.
These are all important issues. If you have thoughts about any of them, drop me a line.
Beyond that, you’ll have to discuss these topics amongst yourselves because I’m writing a fourth newsletter in a row about a small video-game retailer in the U.S., which was worth less than $1 billion at the beginning of last month. And yes, GameStop Corp. really is the most important issue for markets.
... I won’t waste time in recounting what is now a familiar narrative. But to bring you up to date, this is the performance of GameStop’s share price over the last month:
It’s hard to believe this won’t become a pivotal event in the history of finance. Here are some of the biggest questions it raises:
Libertarianism vs Paternalism
This is an eternal debate. Freedom means the freedom to mess things up. But governments have a responsibility to citizens, and companies have a responsibility to clients, to reduce the risks that the actions of some will harm others. Driving is the most popular analogy. Paternalism demands that manufacturers fit cars with seat-belts, but libertarianism permits people to take the risk of not wearing them.
There is a line to be drawn. Within markets, it is best to set a few simple rules, enforce them, and leave everyone as free as possible. That way the invisible hand can work its magic. But if the invisible hand really thinks that GameStop is worth $25 billion, something has gone wrong. The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering what to do, and there is plainly a regulatory issue here. Meanwhile, the decision by Robinhood Markets Inc., the main broker used by the Redditors, not to accept trades in GameStop on Thursday has already prompted class-action lawsuits from clients. For arguments against paternalism, look at the comments below the piece by my colleague Conor Sen arguing that Robinhood did the right thing.
As day traders are the Davids in this drama, up against hedge-fund Goliaths, their supporters in Congress include progressive Democrats such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Senator Elizabeth Warren. The politics will be unpredictable. But a few points seem clear:
Regulators must respond with equity. Any suggestion that they are defending hedge funds against retail investors would be disastrous. Anything that clamps down on retail trading will have to be balanced by a serious attempt to stamp out “naked shorts” — the practice of selling a stock you don’t have, which led to the imbroglio at GameStop;
The issue of whether Robinhood and others really engaged in “gamification” — making trading more like a game, and helping to get people addicted to it — needs to be addressed. I think they have a case to answer.
The need to protect people from losing money they cannot afford to lose should remain paramount. Redditors complain it would be unfair to stop them from taking risks that are allowed for hedge funds. There’s a good reason for this, though. Hedge funds are restricted to wealthy people who can afford losses, while others deserve more protection. I am sure that opinion will make me unpopular.
There is no libertarian objection to stopping behavior that endangers others. Libertarians can agree that nobody should be allowed to drive a car when drunk. Distorted markets, and particularly asset bubbles, lead to malinvestment and wasted capital, and ultimately to lost jobs. The Federal Reserve is adamant that it cannot and should not attempt to identify and deflate bubbles before they grow too big. Incidents like this suggest that they need to be more active.
His column continues with thoughts about the Future of Shareholder Capitalism and Accoutability for the Global Financial Crisis. I'm going to blog separately some of his thoughts on Intergenerational Conflict.
Addendum: "This is a good 13-minute video from a Twitch livestream, in which a finance expert, Alexis Goldstein, explains to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) how Robinhood makes its money." (via BoingBoing)
28 January 2021
Not a real one in the photo - but still impressive. This one was created by the exhibits staff at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
According to Guiness World Records, "The largest bird's nest was built by a pair of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), and possibly their successors, near St Petersburg, Florida, USA and measured 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in) wide and 6 m (20 ft) deep. It was examined in 1963 and was estimated to weigh more than two tonnes (4,409 lb)."
"Each year, the Social Security Administration releases data showing the popularity of first names throughout the country, state-by-state. And each year, the Star Tribune analyzes that data to determine which names are most popular in Minnesota, both currently and over time."
25 January 2021
"In preparation for the upcoming recruitment and selection process, the Mayor and Common Council are asking for input from residents, city staff, and community and business leaders regarding the traits, characteristics, and skills they feel are most important in selecting the next City Administrator."
Queen Elizabeth was visiting sick children in a Scottish hospital, and after performing her planned duties, she wandered off to other parts of the hospital. Walking into an unidentified ward, she went up to a patient in bed and asked him how he was doing. He replied:Reposted because I just discovered that January 25 is Burns Night.
"O, my luve is like a red, red rose,Finding the response somewhat inappropriate she wished him good day and moved down the ward to a room where another man was sitting quietly. In response to her inquiry, he began singing:
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly played in tune....."
"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,Somewhat baffled by this sequence of events she found a third room, where her greeting was met with:
And never brought to min' ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne ?"
"Wee, sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie,She gave up, and left the ward. On her way out, she encountered the head nurse. "Is this the psychiatric ward?" she asked.
O, what a panic's in thy breastie ...."
"No, your majesty," the nurse replied. "It's......the Burns unit."
"The moose’s long, bulbous snout is still considered a delicacy among indigenous communities. Jellied moose nose is similar to European head cheese, trapping cuts of moose nose within a gelatinized broth...A moose’s nose contains both white meat (from the bulb of the nose) and dark meat (from around the bones). The fur must be removed prior to cooking, either by being singed off over an open fire, peeled off after the nose has been boiled, or simply skinning the nose. Chefs then slice the nose and simmer it with onions, garlic, and an array of other spices, which may include cinnamon, cloves, allspice, or mustard seeds. Meat from other parts of the moose’s head, such as the ears and lips, may be added to the mix. Once the concoction has cooled down, the cook lays the pieces of meat in a loaf pan, douses them with broth, and places the mixture in the refrigerator so the broth can solidify. The resulting jelly is served like a loaf of bread and eaten in slices.... be sure to wash the nose thoroughly before cooking."
23 January 2021
Volcanic eruptions are terrible for vineyards, but only briefly. Once the lava cools, the volcanic soil left behind creates delicious wine that is lean, racy, and mineral: Santorini’s Assyrtiko, Nerello Mascalese from the slopes of Sicily’s Mount Etna, Northern Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. Vines planted by Spanish and Portuguese settlers made the Canaries famous: In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s Sir Toby Belch speaks of “a cup of canary.” Then their popularity waned, and for 200 years, the trade winds brought no trade.“And a good thing, too,” says Jonatan García Lima of Suertes del Marqués on Tenerife, the Canaries’ largest island. No trade meant vines could grow and adapt in peace, and the result is a remarkable range of varieties that, if not precisely indigenous (Listán Blanco is also Palomino, the grape of sherry, while Listán Prieto is better known as Mission, the earliest European variety planted in the Americas), are so different from their other incarnations as to be almost unrecognizable.Those vineyards are starkly beautiful but surpassingly strange: covered in black volcanic ash, each vine planted in an individual depression, shielded from that chill wind by its own semi-circular wall of ink-dark rock. Driving through La Geria, the island’s principal wine region, is like crossing a giant muffin tray with vines where the muffins should be.
It's always something. Now something has happened at Google's Blogspot hosting service that has made the little icon for editing existing posts disappear. There used to be something to click down in this corner that allowed the blogger to make updates, changes etc. That disappeared several days ago.
I'm not the only one to notice this. The problem is present while using either Chrome or Firefox. There is one workaround that involves adding an extension to one's browser, but I'm reluctant to do this. For the present I need to go to my dashboard of 17,000 posts, search for the one I want, and open the post there to edit.
Seeking comments and input from other bloggers. Regular readers can ignore this.
Addendum: And this evening I find I can't delete comments from old posts, even via the dashboard. ???
Addendum #2: It's back -
I don't understand these things. It's some kind of magic.
The photos above were taken at the Gippsland Lakes (Victoria, Australia), where in 2007 fires and floods resulted in massive amounts of nitrogen being washed into the lakes, which resulted in an algal bloom...
But this was not the blue-green algae that had appeared in the lakes before. Early analysis identified the cause of the green tinge as an algal outbreak of Synechococcus... As summer took hold at the end of 2008, what happened surprised everyone – a new species called Noctiluca Scintillans began to prosper, by feeding on the Synechococcus.You can read the rest of the story at Phil Hart's webpage and see additional photos in his gallery (via Neatorama).
In contrast to the widespread bright green of the Synechococcus, Noctiluca Scintillans was visible during the day as localised murky red patches, often building up on sections of shoreline facing the wind during the day. At night though, Noctiluca Scintillans produced a remarkable form of bioluminescence (popularly referred to as ‘phosphorescence’) – the water glowing brightly wherever there was movement – in the waves breaking on the shore, in ripples in the water and wherever people played in the water.
Massive blooms of bioluminescent organisms can produce "milky seas" that can be seen from satellites, as shown in this image from Chemical and Engineering News:
"Generated most likely by the bacterium Vibrio harveyi, this awesome display of flamboyant biological chemistry happened on a vast scale: The researchers estimate that it took a bloom of 40 billion trillion (4 X 1022) bioluminescent cells to generate the milky sea that the Lima had encountered."
"Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature will vote next week on a resolution that would end the statewide mask mandate designed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Twenty-seven Republican lawmakers signed on to the resolution introduced Thursday...[Governor] Evers first issued a statewide mask requirement in July and has extended the order three times, most recently on Tuesday.“From day one, I’ve been ready to repeal Governor Evers’ unconstitutional edicts,” Bradley, a freshman lawmaker, said in a statement. “The governor has grossly overstepped his authority. I am hopeful that the Senate will vote for this resolution on Tuesday, and I encourage Wisconsinites to reach out to their legislators to support this effort.”Republicans control the Senate 20-12 and the Assembly 60-38."
"Republicans in the Assembly have paused efforts to eliminate Gov. Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate following reports that doing so could cut the state off from more than $49 million in federal food assistance for low-income families this month...If the emergency order is repealed, Wisconsin could lose more than $49.3 million in FoodShare benefits, according to a memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.The memo, which was requested by Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, states that federal COVID-19 aid passed last year provides assistance to households participating in food assistance programs as long as the state has an existing emergency health order in place. The state Department of Health Services estimates that more than 242,000 Wisconsin households will receive such emergency benefits this month..."
21 January 2021
Jargon* is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular communicative context and may not be well understood outside that context. The context is usually a particular occupation (that is, a certain trade, profession, vernacular or academic field), but any ingroup can have jargon. The main trait that distinguishes jargon from the rest of a language is special vocabulary—including some words specific to it and often different senses or meanings of words, that outgroups would tend to take in another sense...
Equant, prolate, imbrication, evaporite, tuff, sapropel, diastem, eolian, lacustrine, colluvial, facies, pedology, eluviation, illuviation, chroma, mollic, umbric, histic, plaggen, ochric, albic, argillic, spodic, cambic, duripan, fragipan, petrogypsic, haplargid, paleustol, calciorthid, gleyed, paoleosol, time transgressive, unconformable contacts, floralturbation, cryoturbation, crystalburbation, synchronic, bajada, barchan, ventifact, turbidites, colluvium, ablation till, eboulis, spelothem, breccia, talus cone, chenier, strandplain, prograding coastline, palimpsest sediment, frost pull, solifluction, gelifluction, tree-throw, kratovina, manuport
20 January 2021
In analyzing the film, they found that when a drop hits the surface, it ripples and spreads. A nanoscale wax layer repels the water, while larger microscale bumps on the surface creates holes in the spreading raindrop.“Consider the micro-bumps as needles,” Jung said. If one dropped a balloon onto these needles, he said, “then this balloon would break into smaller pieces. So the same thing happens as the raindrop hits and spreads.”This shattering action reduces the amount of time the drop is in contact with the surface, which limits momentum and lowers the impact force on a delicate wing or leaf. It also reduces heat transfer from a cold drop. This is important because the muscles of an insect wing, for example, need to be warm enough to fly.
The rare condition likely afflicting the Sarker family is called adermatoglyphia. It first became widely known in 2007 when Peter Itin, a Swiss dermatologist, was contacted by a woman in the country in her late twenties who was having trouble entering the US. Her face matched the photograph on her passport, but customs officers were not able to record any fingerprints. Because she didn't have any.Upon examination, Professor Itin found the woman and eight members of her family had the same strange condition - flat finger pads and a reduced number of sweat glands in the hands. Working with another dermatologist, Eli Sprecher, and graduate student Janna Nousbeck, Professor Itin looked at the DNA of 16 members of the family - seven with fingerprints and nine without."Isolated cases are very rare, and no more than a few families are documented," Prof Itin told the BBC... Prof Itin dubbed it "immigration delay disease", after his first patient's trouble getting into the US, and the name stuck...Amal and Apu recently got a new kind of national ID card being issued by the Bangladeshi government, after presenting a medical certificate. The card uses other biometric data too - retina scan and facial recognition.But they still can't buy a Sim card or obtain a driver's licence, and obtaining a passport is a long and drawn out process.
The 39th president of the United States lives modestly, a sharp contrast to his successors, who have left the White House to embrace power of another kind: wealth. Even those who didn’t start out rich, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have made tens of millions of dollars on the private-sector opportunities that flow so easily to ex-presidents...
The Democratic former president decided not to join corporate boards or give speeches for big money because, he says, he didn’t want to “capitalize financially on being in the White House.”
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said that Gerald Ford, Carter’s predecessor and close friend, was the first to fully take advantage of those high-paid post-presidential opportunities, but that “Carter did the opposite.”
Since Ford, other former presidents, and sometimes their spouses, routinely earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech.
“I don’t see anything wrong with it; I don’t blame other people for doing it,” Carter says over dinner. “It just never had been my ambition to be rich.”..
Carter decided that his income would come from writing, and he has written 33 books, about his life and career, his faith, Middle East peace, women’s rights, aging, fishing, woodworking, even a children’s book written with his daughter, Amy Carter, called “The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer.”
With book income and the $210,700 annual pension all former presidents receive, the Carters live comfortably. But his books have never fetched the massive sums commanded by more recent presidents...
Ex-presidents often fly on private jets, sometimes lent by wealthy friends, but the Carters fly commercial. Stuckey says that on a recent flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Carter walked up and down the aisle greeting other passengers and taking selfies...
That no-frills sensibility, endearing since he left Washington, didn’t work as well in the White House. Many people thought Carter scrubbed some of the luster off the presidency by carrying his own suitcases onto Air Force One and refusing to have “Hail to the Chief” played...
When Carter looks back at his presidency, he says he is most proud of “keeping the peace and supporting human rights,” the Camp David accords that brokered peace between Israel and Egypt, and his work to normalize relations with China. In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
“I always told the truth,” he says.
Carter has been notably quiet about President Trump. But on this night, two years into Trump’s term, he’s not holding back.
“I think he’s a disaster,” Carter says. “In human rights and taking care of people and treating people equal.”..
They watch Atlanta Braves games or “Law and Order.” Carter just finished reading “The Innovators” by Walter Isaacson. They have no chef and they cook for themselves, often together. They make their own yogurt.
On this summer morning, Rosalynn mixes pancake batter and sprinkles in blueberries grown on their land. Carter cooks them on the griddle.
Then he does the dishes.I highly recommend reading the full story at the Washington Post. His life and his personal principles offer such a stark contrast to current and recent presidents. Here's one final excerpt about his home:
...a two-bedroom rancher assessed at $167,000, less than the value of the armored Secret Service vehicles parked outside.Photo credit Library of Congress, via CNBC.
19 January 2021
"The Internet of things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet."
In October of last year, security researchers found that the manufacturer of an Internet of Things chastity cage*—a sex toy that users put around their penis to prevent erections that is used in the BDSM community and can be unlocked remotely—had left an API exposed, giving malicious hackers a chance to take control of the devices. That's exactly what happened, according to a security researcher who obtained screenshots of conversations between the hacker and several victims, and according to victims interviewed by Motherboard.A victim who asked to be identified only as Robert said that he received a message from a hacker demanding a payment of 0.02 Bitcoin (around $750 today) to unlock the device. He realized his cage was definitely "locked," and he "could not gain access to it."
Yellow mealworm finger foods, smoothies, biscuits, pasta and burgers could soon be mass produced across Europe after the insect became the first to be found safe for human consumption by the EU food safety agency...The insect’s main components are protein, fat and fibre, offering a potentially sustainable and low carbon-emission source of food for the future. When dried, the maggot-like insect is said to taste a lot like peanuts...Dried yellow mealworms can be eaten as an aperitif and come in a range of flavours. Alternatively, the insect can be turned into a flour-type ingredient for a dessert.Thanks to a recipe provided by Jiminis edible insect company, a yellow mealworm cupcake is easy to knock up with three tablespoons of cocoa, 60g of margarine, an egg, a tablespoon of low-fat yoghurt, 30g of flour and 25g of powdered mealworm – with some whole ones left for later.Add a little water to the cocoa and mix that into the melted butter, egg, yoghurt and some baking powder. Add in some freshly crushed mealworms. Distribute the mix between moulds and cook for 20 minutes. Glaze the top of the freshly baked cupcakes with some icing sugar – and add the spare mealworms on top for decoration.
18 January 2021
Instead of the usual two kidneys seen in a typical person, the man had three: a normal-looking kidney on his left side and two fused kidneys located near the pelvis, the report said.The man didn't have any symptoms of a kidney problem, and the organs appeared to be working normally.Usually, each kidney is connected to the bladder through a single duct called a ureter. In the man's case, one of the pelvis kidneys was directly connected to the bladder via a ureter. However, the ureter of the other pelvis kidney joined the ureter of the normal, left-side kidney before it entered the bladder.Having three kidneys is rare, with fewer than 100 cases reported in the medical literature, according to a 2013 report of a similar case published in The Internet Journal of Radiology. The condition is thought to arise during embryonic development, when a structure that typically forms a single kidney splits in two.
"Economists agree that we needed massive deficit spending during the COVID-19 crisis to ward off an economic cataclysm, but federal finances under Trump had become dire even before the pandemic. That happened even though the economy was booming and unemployment was at historically low levels. By the Trump administration’s own description, the pre-pandemic national debt level was already a “crisis” and a “grave threat.”The combination of Trump’s 2017 tax cut and the lack of any serious spending restraint helped both the deficit and the debt soar. So when the once-in-a-lifetime viral disaster slammed our country and we threw more than $3 trillion into COVID-19-related stimulus, there was no longer any margin for error.Our national debt has reached immense levels relative to our economy, nearly as high as it was at the end of World War II. But unlike 75 years ago, the massive financial overhang from Medicare and Social Security will make it dramatically more difficult to dig ourselves out of the debt ditch...Falling deeper into the red is the opposite of what Trump, the self-styled “King of Debt,” said would happen if he became president. In a March 31, 2016, interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post, Trump said he could pay down the national debt, then about $19 trillion, “over a period of eight years” by renegotiating trade deals and spurring economic growth.After he took office, Trump predicted that economic growth created by the 2017 tax cut, combined with the proceeds from the tariffs he imposed on a wide range of goods from numerous countries, would help eliminate the budget deficit and let the U.S. begin to pay down its debt. On July 27, 2018, he told Sean Hannity of Fox News: “We have $21 trillion in debt. When this [the 2017 tax cut] really kicks in, we’ll start paying off that debt like it’s water.”..The tariffs did bring in additional revenue. In fiscal 2019, they netted about $71 billion, up about $36 billion from President Barack Obama’s last year in office. But although $36 billion is a lot of money, it’s less than 1/750th of the national debt. That $36 billion could have covered a bit more than three weeks of interest on the national debt — that is, had Trump not unilaterally decided to send a chunk of the tariff revenue to farmers affected by his trade wars. Businesses that struggled as a result of the tariffs also paid fewer taxes, offsetting some of the increased tariff revenue.Normally, this is where we’d give you Trump’s version of events. But we couldn’t get anyone to give us Trump’s side. Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, referred us to the Office of Management and Budget, which is a branch of the White House...OMB didn’t respond to our requests."
Veteran virus trackers say they are chronicling something never before seen — the suppression of virtually every common respiratory and gastrointestinal virus besides the novel coronavirus. They theorize that is largely due to global shutdowns, mask-wearing and a host of other health protocols aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus.These other viruses — including influenza A, influenza B, parainfluenza, norovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus — all appear to be circulating at or near levels lower than ever previously measured. The same is true for the respiratory bacteria that cause pertussis, better known as whooping cough, and pneumonia...A year ago at this time, nearly 60 percent of samples taken from patients with flu-like symptoms came back positive for one of the pathogens. But beginning in March of this year, when the coronavirus prompted shutdowns and school closings, the percent of samples positive for any other pathogen took a Grand Canyon-worthy plunge, bottoming out in May at about 6 percent. Even now, at the time of year when respiratory infections typically begin to peak, just 18 percent of samples are positive for any respiratory virus or bacteria...
As welcome as the absence of these other viruses is during a pandemic, epidemiologists say they see a potentially dangerous consequence after coronavirus cases eventually decline — a rebound that could be frightfully large given the relaxation of social distancing and lowered immunity to other pathogens.“The best analogy is to a forest fire,” said Bryan Grenfell, an epidemiologist and population biologist at Princeton. “For the fire to spread, it needs to have unburned wood. For epidemics to spread, they require people who haven’t previously been infected. So if people don’t get infected this year by these viruses, they likely will at some point later on.”..“It’s a real possibility that we’re going to see increased outbreaks of the endemic infections,” said Ben Lopman, an epidemiologist in Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. “If people haven’t gotten infected this year, because of actions taken to prevent covid-19, there’s a real risk of bigger outbreaks when we go back to normal.”Besides larger-than-normal numbers of endemic infections, Lopman added, some of those infections could be more severe than normal, again because of waning immunity.