Debunked: Derek Chauvin Fake Police Vehicle Hoax

A number of Internet theories and memes have cropped up since the death of George Floyd attempting to question the legitimacy and identity of the cops who were involved, as by questioning visual details in the images of the arrest.

The meme below was shared by a friend who wanted to know if it could be true? I looked for images of Minneapolis Police vehicles and indeed the only images I could find were those also used in the meme. But I noticed that the lower door of the Police vehicles looked different than the vehicle in the George Floyd arrest. After searching for photos of the 2020 model Ford Explorer, we can see that Ford has changed the design of the rear hatch allowing for a broad area below the license plate to place a graphic text decals. In 2019 and older model Ford Explorers have the door handle directly below license plate which would make it impossible to apply a decal across the area without cutting it off in the middle.

I do not know the origin of this compiled-photo meme or whether it was created with malicious or innocent intent. But should you come across it, please share this article to debunk it.

Original HOAX meme

Why Hawaiian Shirts are the new Media Conspiracy Theory.

LARPers wearing festive team uniforms in a theme airsoft game.

Jonathan Evans and Samantha Sutton wrote that Hawaiian shirts have become a symbol of White Supremacy. This should be a laughable article in The Onion or Babylon Bee, but it’s not satire. These were articles written for ‘In-Style Magazine’ and ‘Esquire’ (granted hardly an exemplar of investigative journalism). Instead, they are examples of ironic-fashion and media fear-mongering.

Hawaiian or Aloha shirts are an icon of casual menswear for over a half-century. Created by in the 1920s by Japanese-Americans in Honolulu, HI these shirts were brought back to the mainland by returning tourists and military servicemen stationed there. In the 1950’s they gained widespread popularity in American culture swinging between mainstream and kitsch.

In the early 2000s, private military contractors and state-department security details adopted casual shirts in their attempts to draw less attention to themselves, while working overseas. First-person-shooter game designers incorporated this shirt into games like MaxPayne 3.

Flash forward to tumultuous spring of 2020, after two months of COVID-19 lockdown. Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned into riots and looting in many cities throughout the country. A handful of armed individuals in tactical gear showed up to defend both small businesses from looters, and to protect peaceful protesters from violent rioters. The journalists provide no photos of any of them wearing Hawaiian shirts.

There are photos of a handful of men (3 in the articles) wearing Hawaiian shirts at the earlier ReOpen ‘protests’ in New Hampshire and Texas. Which given the more relaxed context of these events and a wide range of attire, the shirt choice seems more festive juxtaposition than a political statement. Yet some journalists insist on portraying the shirt as a symbol of some nefarious agenda. 

Jonathan Evans admits, “I am no scholar of the alt-right or the anti-government fringe” yet feels justified in making definitive assertions about their chosen uniform. He and Samantha made labored connections between Hawaiian shirts, lockdown protesters, 2A supporters, preppers/survivalists, and white nationalists. In the minute overlap of those different circles, they have created a new bugbear: the racist Hawaiian Shirt.

There is much to be afraid of today with a wave of riots and looting that we haven’t seen since the 1990s L.A. riots. The news media has a vested interest in making people alarmed, like the hoax of the ‘ok’ hand symbol. Fear drives clicks and clicks drive ad payments.

Hawaiian shirts are and should always mean only one thing: aloha. If the media chooses to portray symbols of love and welcome as racist, then it’s not improbable to see this rumor next…


COVID-19 Day 87: Life is back to normal. Be careful what you wish for.

Today marks the 87th day since President Trump announced the National Emergency back on March 13th. Since then I’ve marked every day in hopes of recording the process of recovering from the most pervasive pandemic to affect the entire planet in over a century. Today I will stop marking the days since there is no longer any point. The pandemic that united a country for over 2 months in shared fear, has seemingly been miraculously vanished by our shared outrage and division.

The nation’s businesses were shut down and over 3 million American’s were out of work. Through the course of April, COVID-19 cases and deaths rose alarmingly with record-breaking levels a daily occurrence, especially in New York which became the epicenter of the pandemic and a cautionary tale of ‘what NOT to do’. A weekly series of gaffs at the White House and a dramatic about-face from the CDC on mask-wearing. 

By May, new cases and deaths had peaked nationally and states which had not experienced alarming outbreaks (and some that had), began planning to reopen their economies to more Swedish-like health policies. In states that continued to restrict their population, protests began with cries to reopen businesses from desperate workers and small business owners. People began to notice a hypocrisy in ‘public safety measures’ and non-sensical restrictions on outdoor recreation as the weather turned mild. 

During May, two shocking deaths of black men became video videos. Ahmaud Arbery was shot in February while threatened by two white men who suspected him a burglar. At the end of May, George Floyd was killed during a police arrest, after the arresting cop pressed a knee on his neck for 8 minutes. Both deaths provoked outrage but protests for Ahmaud were suppressed by the COVID lockdown but by the end of May, protesters felt safe enough to take to the streets. 

Protest demonstrations in Minneapolis turned destructive, instigated by white ANTIFA-like agitators. Images of violence from both rioters and riot police were quickly shared on social media and tacitly encouraged by politicians. These in turn inspired duplicate riots nationwide. And then world-wide.

Now, news reports and social media coverage about COVID-19 are gone, replaced by protest and political news. Despite the universal rejection of police brutality and senseless looting and arson, we have both to thank for a sea change in the country. COVID-19 laws banning large social gatherings have been hypocritically ignored or blatantly modified to include exceptions for political protests. So any further government-mandated closures of business, school, or activities no longer have any legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

Rational safety measures like physical distancing, hand-washing, disinfecting, and mask-wearing should continue to be exercised until better solutions are developed. But all these coronavirus health measures are now, fully in the hands of our personal responsibility and social acceptance, and not proscribed by our political ‘authorities’.

Whether organic protest or influenced by state-sponsored psy-ops media bots intent on national destabilization, at this point is moot. The damage is done, the gates are open and there’s no going back. 2020 which started with a focus on political impeachment, then about a world-wide health crisis, is now focused on racial injustice and long-standing grievances. 

When COVID-19 began, many politicians said we could never go back to life-as-usual until a cure or vaccine was found. They were wrong. We’re back as life-as-usual because it’s politics-as-usual, and we’ve forgotten how much that sucks.

Sunday Meme

COVID-19 Day 86: CORONAVIRUS, but wait there’s more.

Below is a list of coronavirus including 4 humans types that cause colds and ‘stomach flu’, and COVID-19. There are over 400 more that are known. Scientists believe there could be thousands more unidentified in the wild. Any of which has the potential to mutate and infect humans. That’s life. Literally.

That reality shouldn’t paralyze us. It should empower us to research our immune systems and biology more. When we understand our own source code, we have a better chance to debug a virus.

Betacoronavirus Click on organism name to get more information.
Betacoronavirus 1
Bovine coronavirus
Canine respiratory coronavirus
Coronavirus HKU23
Equine coronavirus
Human coronavirus OC43
Porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus
Yak coronavirus
China Rattus coronavirus HKU24
Betacoronavirus HKU24
Human coronavirus HKU1
Human coronavirus HKU1 (isolate N1)
Human coronavirus HKU1 (isolate N2)
Human coronavirus HKU1 (isolate N5)
Murine coronavirus
Murine hepatitis virus
Puffinosis coronavirus
Rat coronavirus
unclassified Embecovirus
Camel coronavirus HKU23
Longquan Aa mouse coronavirus
Longquan Rl rat coronavirus
Rabbit coronavirus HKU14
Bat Hp-betacoronavirus Zhejiang2013
Bat Hp-betacoronavirus/Zhejiang2013
unclassified Hibecovirus
Zaria bat coronavirus
Hedgehog coronavirus 1
Betacoronavirus Erinaceus/VMC/DEU/2012
Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus
Betacoronavirus England 1
Coronavirus Neoromicia/PML-PHE1/RSA/2011
Human betacoronavirus 2c EMC/2012
Human betacoronavirus 2c England-Qatar/2012
Human betacoronavirus 2c Jordan-N3/2012
Pipistrellus bat coronavirus HKU5
Bat coronavirus HKU5-1
Bat coronavirus HKU5-2
Bat coronavirus HKU5-3
Bat coronavirus HKU5-5
Tylonycteris bat coronavirus HKU4
Bat coronavirus (BtCoV/133/2005)
Bat coronavirus HKU4-1
Bat coronavirus HKU4-2
Bat coronavirus HKU4-3
Bat coronavirus HKU4-4
unclassified Merbecovirus
Erinaceus hedgehog coronavirus HKU31
Hypsugo bat coronavirus HKU25
Pipistrellus abramus bat coronavirus HKU5-related
Tylonycteris pachypus bat coronavirus HKU4-related
Rousettus bat coronavirus GCCDC1
Rousettus bat coronavirus
Rousettus bat coronavirus HKU9
Bat coronavirus HKU9-1
Bat coronavirus HKU9-10-1
Bat coronavirus HKU9-10-2
Bat coronavirus HKU9-2
Bat coronavirus HKU9-3
Bat coronavirus HKU9-4
Bat coronavirus HKU9-5-1
Bat coronavirus HKU9-5-2
unclassified Nobecovirus
Coronavirus BtRt-BetaCoV/GX2018
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus
Bat coronavirus Cp/Yunnan2011
Bat coronavirus RaTG13
Bat coronavirus Rp/Shaanxi2011
Bat SARS coronavirus HKU3
Bat SARS coronavirus Rp1
Bat SARS coronavirus Rp2
Bat SARS CoV Rf1/2004
Bat SARS CoV Rm1/2004
Bat SARS CoV Rp3/2004
Bat SARS-like coronavirus
Bat SARS-like coronavirus Rs3367
Bat SARS-like coronavirus RsSHC014
Bat SARS-like coronavirus WIV1
Bat SARS-like coronavirus YNLF_31C
Bat SARS-like coronavirus YNLF_34C
Civet SARS CoV 007/2004
Civet SARS CoV SZ16/2003
Civet SARS CoV SZ3/2003
recombinant SARSr-CoV
Rhinolophus affinis coronavirus
SARS bat coronavirus
SARS coronavirus A001
SARS coronavirus A013
SARS coronavirus A021
SARS coronavirus A022
SARS coronavirus A030
SARS coronavirus A031
SARS coronavirus AS
SARS coronavirus B012
SARS coronavirus B024
SARS coronavirus B029
SARS coronavirus B033
SARS coronavirus B039
SARS coronavirus B040
SARS coronavirus BJ01
SARS coronavirus BJ02
SARS coronavirus BJ03
SARS coronavirus BJ04
SARS coronavirus BJ162
SARS coronavirus BJ182-12
SARS coronavirus BJ182-4
SARS coronavirus BJ182-8
SARS coronavirus BJ182a
SARS coronavirus BJ182b
SARS coronavirus BJ202
SARS coronavirus BJ2232
SARS coronavirus BJ302
SARS coronavirus C013
SARS coronavirus C014
SARS coronavirus C017
SARS coronavirus C018
SARS coronavirus C019
SARS coronavirus C025
SARS coronavirus C028
SARS coronavirus C029
SARS Coronavirus CDC#200301157
SARS coronavirus civet010
SARS coronavirus civet014
SARS coronavirus civet019
SARS coronavirus civet020
SARS coronavirus CS21
SARS coronavirus CS24
SARS coronavirus CUHK-AG01
SARS coronavirus CUHK-AG02
SARS coronavirus CUHK-AG03
SARS coronavirus CUHK-L2
SARS coronavirus CUHK-Su10
SARS coronavirus CUHK-W1
SARS coronavirus cw037
SARS coronavirus cw049
SARS coronavirus ES191
SARS coronavirus ES260
SARS coronavirus FRA
SARS coronavirus Frankfurt 1
SARS coronavirus GD01
SARS coronavirus GD03T0013
SARS coronavirus GD322
SARS coronavirus GD69
SARS coronavirus GDH-BJH01
SARS coronavirus GZ-A
SARS coronavirus GZ-B
SARS coronavirus GZ-C
SARS coronavirus GZ-D
SARS coronavirus GZ02
SARS coronavirus GZ0401
SARS coronavirus GZ0402
SARS coronavirus GZ0403
SARS coronavirus GZ43
SARS coronavirus GZ50
SARS coronavirus GZ60
SARS coronavirus HB
SARS coronavirus HC/SZ/61/03
SARS coronavirus HGZ8L1-A
SARS coronavirus HGZ8L1-B
SARS coronavirus HGZ8L2
SARS coronavirus HHS-2004
SARS coronavirus HKU-36871
SARS coronavirus HKU-39849
SARS coronavirus HKU-65806
SARS coronavirus HKU-66078
SARS coronavirus Hong Kong/03/2003
SARS coronavirus HPZ-2003
SARS coronavirus HSR 1
SARS coronavirus HSZ-A
SARS coronavirus HSZ-Bb
SARS coronavirus HSZ-Bc
SARS coronavirus HSZ-Cb
SARS coronavirus HSZ-Cc
SARS coronavirus HSZ2-A
SARS coronavirus HZS2-Bb
SARS coronavirus HZS2-C
SARS coronavirus HZS2-D
SARS coronavirus HZS2-E
SARS coronavirus HZS2-Fb
SARS coronavirus HZS2-Fc
SARS coronavirus JMD
SARS coronavirus LC1
SARS coronavirus LC2
SARS coronavirus LC3
SARS coronavirus LC4
SARS coronavirus LC5
SARS coronavirus LLJ-2004
SARS coronavirus NS-1
SARS coronavirus P2
SARS coronavirus PC4-115
SARS coronavirus PC4-127
SARS coronavirus PC4-13
SARS coronavirus PC4-136
SARS coronavirus PC4-137
SARS coronavirus PC4-145
SARS coronavirus PC4-199
SARS coronavirus PC4-205
SARS coronavirus PC4-227
SARS coronavirus PC4-241
SARS coronavirus PUMC01
SARS coronavirus PUMC02
SARS coronavirus PUMC03
SARS coronavirus Rs_672/2006
SARS coronavirus sf098
SARS coronavirus sf099
SARS coronavirus ShanghaiQXC1
SARS coronavirus ShanghaiQXC2
SARS coronavirus Shanhgai LY
SARS coronavirus Sin0409
SARS coronavirus Sin2500
SARS coronavirus Sin2677
SARS coronavirus Sin2679
SARS coronavirus Sin2748
SARS coronavirus Sin2774
SARS coronavirus Sin3408
SARS coronavirus Sin3408L
SARS coronavirus Sin3725V
SARS coronavirus Sin3765V
SARS coronavirus Sin842
SARS coronavirus Sin845
SARS coronavirus Sin846
SARS coronavirus Sin847
SARS coronavirus Sin848
SARS coronavirus Sin849
SARS coronavirus Sin850
SARS coronavirus Sin852
SARS coronavirus Sin_WNV
SARS coronavirus Sino1-11
SARS coronavirus Sino3-11
SARS coronavirus SinP1
SARS coronavirus SinP2
SARS coronavirus SinP3
SARS coronavirus SinP4
SARS coronavirus SinP5
SARS coronavirus SoD
SARS coronavirus SZ1
SARS coronavirus SZ13
SARS coronavirus Taiwan
SARS coronavirus Taiwan JC-2003
SARS coronavirus Taiwan TC1
SARS coronavirus Taiwan TC2
SARS coronavirus Taiwan TC3
SARS coronavirus TJ01
SARS coronavirus TJF
SARS coronavirus Tor2
SARS coronavirus TW
SARS coronavirus TW1
SARS coronavirus TW10
SARS coronavirus TW11
SARS coronavirus TW2
SARS coronavirus TW3
SARS coronavirus TW4
SARS coronavirus TW5
SARS coronavirus TW6
SARS coronavirus TW7
SARS coronavirus TW8
SARS coronavirus TW9
SARS coronavirus TWC
SARS coronavirus TWC2
SARS coronavirus TWC3
SARS coronavirus TWH
SARS coronavirus TWJ
SARS coronavirus TWK
SARS coronavirus TWS
SARS coronavirus TWY
SARS coronavirus Urbani
SARS coronavirus Vietnam
SARS coronavirus WF188
SARS coronavirus WH20
SARS coronavirus WHU
SARS coronavirus xw002
SARS coronavirus ZJ01
SARS coronavirus ZJ02
SARS coronavirus ZJ0301
SARS coronavirus ZMY 1
SARS coronavirus ZS-A
SARS coronavirus ZS-B
SARS coronavirus ZS-C
SARS-related bat coronavirus RsSHC014
SARS-related betacoronavirus Rp3/2004
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
unclassified Sarbecovirus
Bat coronavirus BM48-31/BGR/2008
Coronavirus BtRl-BetaCoV/SC2018
Coronavirus BtRs-BetaCoV/YN2018B
Coronavirus BtRs-BetaCoV/YN2018C
Coronavirus BtRs-BetaCoV/YN2018D
Pangolin coronavirus
SARS-like coronavirus WIV16
unclassified Betacoronavirus
Alpaca coronavirus
Bat betacoronavirus
Bat coronavirus 2265/Philippines/2010
Bat coronavirus ANK011F
Bat coronavirus ANK036F
Bat coronavirus ANK045F
Bat coronavirus ANK047F
Bat coronavirus ANK081F
Bat coronavirus Art.lit/2064/BRA/2011
Bat coronavirus BEM001F
Bat coronavirus BEM003F
Bat coronavirus BEM070F
Bat coronavirus BEM073F
Bat coronavirus BEM074F
Bat coronavirus BEM077F
Bat coronavirus BtCoV/8-691/Pip_nat/ROU/2009
Bat coronavirus BtCoV/8-724/Pip_pyg/ROU/2009
Bat coronavirus BtCoV/UKR-G17/Pip_nat/UKR/2011
Bat coronavirus Eum.gla/242/BRA/2013
Bat coronavirus GCCDC1
Bat coronavirus IFB2012-13F
Bat coronavirus IFB2012-17F
Bat coronavirus IFB2012-8F
Bat coronavirus MAH051F
Bat coronavirus MAH056F
Bat coronavirus MAH058F
Bat coronavirus P.davyi49/Mexico/2012
Bat coronavirus Philippines/Diliman1525G2/2008
Bat coronavirus R.aur/Australia/CoV000/2006
Bat Coronavirus Rhhar/CII_KSA_004/Bisha/Saudi Arabia/2013
Bat Coronavirus Taper/CII_KSA_287/Bisha/Saudi Arabia/2012
Bat Hp-betacoronavirus/Zhejiang2013-1
Bat Hp-betacoronavirus/Zhejiang2013-2
Bat Hp-betacoronavirus/Zhejiang2013-3
Bat Hp-betacoronavirus/Zhejiang2013-4
Bat Hp-betacoronavirus/Zhejiang2013-5
Bat SARS Cov Rs806/2006
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/KCR15/Pte_par/CRC/2012
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/KCR155/Pte_par/CRC/2012
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/KCR180/Pte_par/CRC/2012
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/KCR22/Pte_par/CRC/2012
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/KCR260/Car_per/CRC/2012
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/KW2E-F53/Nyc_spec/GHA/2011
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/KW2E-F82/Nyc_spec/GHA/2011
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/KW2E-F93/Nyc_spec/GHA/2010
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_bla/BB98-22/BGR/2008
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_eur/BB98-92/BGR/2008
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_eur/BB98-98/BGR/2008
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_eur/BB99-04/BGR/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_fer/FR0711-B11/FRA/2011
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_fer/FR0711-B3/FRA/2011
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_fer/It1/ITA/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_fer/It13/ITA/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_fer/It15/ITA/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_fer/It17/ITA/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_fer/It2/ITA/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/R07-09/SPA/2010
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/R13-08/SPA/2010
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/R46-03/SPA/2010
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/R7-08/SPA/2010
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/R77-02/SPA/2010
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/R8-09/SPA/2010
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/Slo48/SLO/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/Slo52/SLO/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/Slo53/SLO/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/Slo54/SLO/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/Slo57/SLO/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV/Rhi_hip/Slo69/SLO/2009
Betacoronavirus BtCoV22/29
Betacoronavirus E.isa/M/Spain/2007
Betacoronavirus Eptesicus/13RS384_26/Italy/2012
Betacoronavirus Erinaceus
Betacoronavirus H.sav/Italy/206645-40/2011
Betacoronavirus H.sav/J/Spain/2007
Betacoronavirus JMH-2014
Betacoronavirus Nyctalus noctula/Italy/206679-5/2010
Betacoronavirus Pipistrellus kuhlii/Italy/206645-27/2011
Betacoronavirus Pipistrellus kuhlii/Italy/206645-29/2011
Betacoronavirus Pipistrellus kuhlii/Italy/206645-3/2011
Betacoronavirus Pipistrellus kuhlii/Italy/206645-53/2011
Betacoronavirus Pipistrellus kuhlii/Italy/206645-54/2011
Betacoronavirus Pipistrellus kuhlii/Italy/206645-63/2011
Betacoronavirus Pipistrellus kuhlii/Italy/330375-15/2012
Betacoronavirus Pipistrellus/Italy/49967-19/2010
Betacoronavirus Rhinolophus hipposideros/Italy/187632-2/2012
Betacoronavirus Rhinolophus hipposideros/Italy/196814/2011
Betacoronavirus Rhinolophus hipposideros/Italy/243585/2012
Bovine coronaviurus KV0501
Bovine coronaviurus KV0516
Coronavirus BtRs-BetaCoV/YN2018A
Coronavirus group 2b
unclassified Coronavirus group 2b
Coronavirus group 2c
Coronavirus M.das/VM105/2006/NLD
Coronavirus M.das/VM2/2007/NLD
Coronavirus M.das/VM284/2008/NLD
Coronavirus M.das/VM3/2007/NLD
Coronavirus M.das/VM34/2006/NLD
Coronavirus M.das/VM62/2007/NLD
Coronavirus M.das/VM7/2007/NLD
Coronavirus M.das/VM73/2007/NLD
Coronavirus M.das/VM84/2007/NLD
Coronavirus M.dau/VM222/2007/NLD
Coronavirus M.dau/VM303/2008/NLD
Coronavirus M.dau/VM361/2008/NLD
Coronavirus Mex_CoV-10
Coronavirus Mex_CoV-11a
coronavirus Mex_CoV-11b
Coronavirus Mex_CoV-9
Coronavirus N.noc/VM176/2007/NLD
Coronavirus N.noc/VM182/2007/NLD
Coronavirus N.noc/VM199/2007/NLD
Coronavirus N.noc/VM366/2008/NLD
Coronavirus P.pipi/VM312/2008/NLD
Coronavirus P.pipi/VM314/2008/NLD
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-10
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-11
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-17
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-19
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-2
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-20
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-22
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-23
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-24
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-30
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-34
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-41
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-43
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-44
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-46
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-51
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-55
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-56
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-57
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-64
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-66
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-67
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-68
Coronavirus PREDICT CoV-71
Dromedary camel coronavirus
Eidolon bat coronavirus/Kenya/KY24/2006
Human coronavirus type 5
Kenya bat coronavirus/BtKY56/BtKY55
Rousettus Bat Alphacoronavirus strain ML_32I
Rousettus Bat Betacoronavirus ML_56I
Rousettus Bat Betacoronavirus strain ML_101I
Rousettus Bat Betacoronavirus strain ML_3I
Rousettus Bat Betacoronavirus strain ML_44I
Rousettus Bat Betacoronavirus strain ML_70I
Rousettus Bat Betacoronavirus strain ML_7I
Rousettus Bat Betacoronavirus strain ML_83I
Rousettus bat coronavirus/Kenya/KY06/2006
SARS-like coronavirus BatCoV/BB9904/BGR/2008
Vespertilionid betacoronavirus
Betacoronavirus sp.

COVID-19 Day 85: Coronavirus came from bats. There’s more where that came from.

In the podcast “ This week in Evolution “ virologist Vincent Racaniello and geneticist Nels Elde discussed the origin and evolution of COVID-19. They discount the lab-derived origins of SARS-CoV2 (SARS2) for the simple fact that there are probably thousands of unknown bat coronavirus and that SARS2 likely came from an as-yet-unidentified bat species.

There are billions of bats in Asia. There are hundreds of thousands of bat colonies/roosts, each containing hundreds of thousands of bats. There are over a hundred species of horseshoe bats alone ( scientists believe hundreds more) and different strains of coronavirus can evolve in different colonies and species. It is therefore very likely that SARS2 evolved in one of these bat populations but nearly impossible to discover which one without sending scientists all over Southern China (where most virologists think SARS originated) to literally get viral samples from each colony to achieve certainty as to the origin of SARS2.

It would be logistically easier to get blood samples from all over China and identify human populations with COVID-19 antibodies that haven’t experienced a known outbreaks of COVID-19. It would be possible to backtrack and find the regional “home” of SARS2 this way. But the Chinese Government would have to devote considerable resources to do it and given the divisive geopolitical environment, there isn’t much motivation to do so.

Ebola, SARS, MERS, and now COVID-19 are all contagious diseases that evolved from bat viruses. This fact is exactly why it is vital that China and the world devote more resources to study bat coronavirus. We can’t stop natural animal viruses from mutating and infecting humans, but we should develop better means of warning ourselves when this happens.

Genomic sequencing has determined that the coronavirus strain that became the world-wide pandemic can be traced back to around October of 2019. COVID-19 could and probably existed in China before October but those earlier strains did not break out of their local communities like the Wuhan strain did. Again, extensive genetic testing of regional populations could determine this but we have other, more pressing priorities.

Another bat coronavirus mutated and infected civit cats (a mongoose/weasel-like mammal) before mutating and infecting humans sparking the SARS1 pandemic in the early 2000s. This is why virologists like those at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were focused on researching bat coronavirus. Speculation of a lab-based accidental release aside, the most accepted origin of SARS2 is through a bat or an unidentified animal that was in close proximity to humans.

SARS2 also bears some similar features to pangolin coronavirus but it is not a close match. The Chinese authorities reported that both animals were sold in the Wuhan Market but now that report has been largely discounted for lack of evidence that either horseshoe bats or pangolins were ever sold at the market.

Bats are unique among mammals in that they fly. This makes them some of the best insectivores in the world, some bats eat their body-weight in insects a night, helping to control pest insects. Because of this ability, they are able to cover a wide geographic area every night. And some bat species migrate during the year, further increasing their ability to disperse pathogens.

Brett Weinstein, a scientist who studied the evolution of bats, is more inclined to believe the lab-accident theory of COVID-19. He believes SARS2 or its immediate precursor could have accidentally infected a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and that individual accidentally infected people while shopping at the Wuhan Market.

Prof. Weinstein is quick to warn that this is a hypothesis, without documented proof, but he’s perplexed why other scientists are quick to dismiss this possibility without further investigation. Granted, the Chinese Government would have an incentive to not allow an independent investigation into this hypothesis. He stresses, this is all the more reason for scientists not to dismiss it out of hand.

Truth be told, I favor the lab-accident hypothesis myself. No, I don’t have proof. But I like it because it’s a narrative rich with human hubris and carelessness. Something you could easily imagine a techno-thriller created out of, like ‘The Andromeda Strain’. It’s much more exciting than a story about the randomness of nature. Oh wait, there was this movie about a worldwide pandemic started from bat poop, ‘Contagion’.


COVID-19 Day 84: Gun store picked clean after looting.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said distressed gun store owner Matt Brady, “This mob came in and cleaned everything off the shelves. They even took the stuff I had in back.”

A long-time customer said in disgust, “It’s a shame. I came in today to pick up some ammo but now, to see this… all they have left is some expensive-ass 500 S&W.”

Mr. Brady added, “To the mob of folks that came in today, your orders will be ready for pick-up in 3 days after mandatory background checks.”

That’s my attempt at an Onion or Babylon Bee article. The truth is that gun sales surged 80% in the month of May compared to last year, this despite many state’s gun stores shut-down due to COVID-19 regulation. And this was BEFORE the George Floyd riots. Many new gun owners’ fears of unrest due to the pandemic were borne out after violence and looting that erupted nationwide. Two arguments often leveled against defenders of the 2nd Amendment were definitively invalidated.

One, the ‘militia’ in the 2nd Amendment referred only to the Army. When State and City law enforcement appeared in riot gear and then National Guard showed up to support them, many leftists on social media were quick to protest alarm against ‘totalitarian force’, though seemingly ob of their own hypocrisy. The framers of the Bill of Rights wrote the 2nd amendment to define the individual’s rights to firearms to defend themselves against a tyrannical government.

Second, private citizens don’t need firearms when they have police to protect them. Small business owners in many cities desperately called 911 when looters attacked and their stores. In those cities, the local police forces were overwhelmed and unable to respond. In some cases, police simply told people to stop calling, or their calls were never answered, or citizens were told that officers were unavailable to assist them and to run or defend themselves as best they could.

I’ve now lived through 3 major city riots, one after a hurricane and two sparked by police brutality. That’s why I’ve chosen to own firearms and train to use them. There’s an old saying, “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.” But in a riot, the police may never come.