The Math Of Epidemics

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Watts Up With That is about more than just the climate. It’s also about interesting things in the world. So if you’re looking for just climate, this isn’t the post for you. However, it’s an interesting peregrination through the world of the mathematics of illness.

We’ve been hearing a lot about “exponential growth” in relation to the cases, spread, and mortality of the Wuhan Virus. And to be sure, it is indeed a global health crisis, one we need to take very seriously.

The curious part is, “exponential growth” doesn’t actually describe the progress of a given disease. Exponential growth never stops—it just gets larger and larger, going up and up without end. But that’s not what happens with a disease. 

For example, here’s what has been happening with the total number of Wuhan Virus cases in South Korea.

Figure 1. South Korean total cases of Wuhan Virus since the beginning of the epidemic. SOURCE

We see the same shape of curve regarding the total number of deaths in China.

Figure 2. Total deaths in China from the Wuhan Virus since the illness took hold. SOURCE

Now, this particular “s-shaped” curve is called a “Gompertz Curve”. It is a curious curve, in that it is not symmetrical. It goes up faster than it levels off. Here’s an example.

Figure 3. A typical Gompertz Curve, which describes the evolution of the number of total cases or the number of total deaths in an epidemic.

So I thought I’d see how well those two graphs in Figures 1 & 2 could be fit by a Gompertz Curve. First, here’s the graph of the South Korean total cases, along with the best-fit Gompertz Curve:

Figure 4. Total Wuhan Virus cases, South Korea, along with the best-fit Gompertz curve for the data.

You can see why the Gompertz Curve is used to describe epidemics—it’s a very good fit to real-world epidemiological data. And because any given Gompertz Curve ends up at some maximum value that it doesn’t exceed, it also allows us to estimate the part of the curve that hasn’t happened yet. So far, there have been some 7,362 cases in South Korea. The Gompertz Curve estimates that the final total will be on the order of some 8,100 cases or so. 

Now, that’s not a hard number, of course. All kinds of things can happen to bend the curve either up or down. But it’s better than just making a blind guess.

Next, here is the same kind of look, data plus best-fit Gompertz Curve, but at the deaths in China.

Figure 5. Total Wuhan Virus deaths, China, along with the best-fit Gompertz curve for the data.

Again, with the same caveats as before, we can take an educated guess at what the total number of deaths is likely to be. By the end, the Gompertz Curve estimates about 3,500 deaths. 

Finally, let’s take a look at the deaths in South Korea. It’s still early, deaths are still happening, so this will be more uncertain.

Figure 6. Total Wuhan Virus deaths, South Korea, along with the best-fit Gompertz curve for the data.

Although the uncertainty in this one is greater, it looks at present like the final total of deaths in South Korea will be on the order of one hundred, give or take.

Conclusions

On my planet at least, this is very good news. Deaths in China look like they will be on the order of 3,500 lives lost. Cases in South Korea are near to peaking. And although it’s early to do this kind of analysis on the number of deaths in South Korea, to date there have only been 60 deaths, and the best fit Gompertz Curve peaks out at a hundred deaths.

Please be clear, though, that I’m not minimizing the danger. A virus of this nature can do immense harm if we don’t stay ahead of it. What I’m saying is that China and South Korea show that we indeed can stay ahead of it.

So let me suggest that we take all precautions, wash hands, social distancing, canceling large gatherings, testing as and when required, self-quarantine, it’s very important to slow the virus down … and that we also dial way back on the hysteria and the politicization of the issue. I assure you, assigning blame to one political party or the other and buying six cases of toilet paper won’t help end the epidemic. Although I must confess, thanks to the web I finally understand the panic buying of toilet paper. I read that it’s because when one person sneezes, a hundred people soil their underpants … so don’t be one of them. 


Here on my hillside, I don’t need social distancing. I’m a hermit anyhow, have been for a while now. I hate going to town, and I love my forest home. The plum trees in our entry were fooled into blossoming by the warm dry February.

But then the plum trees got surprised by the March rains. The ground underneath them looked like a local snowfall, there was not a blossom left on the limbs … we’ll see if we get any plums in the fall.

I spent the day using the weedwhacker to give a haircut to the flowers and greenery growing up through the bricks on the patio I built … perhaps I should have put down geotextile fabric, but I do like the way the plants never stop shouldering their way up through the tiny crevices. I take it as a sign of hope, that life endures no matter the obstacles.

My best to all, wash your hands, stay well in these parlous times.

w.

As Usual: I ask that when you comment you quote the exact words that you are responding to. This avoids endless misunderstandings and disagreements.

Data: All of the data is from the Worldometer site.

For Math Geeks Like Me: The Gompertz Curve is defined as

y(t) = α * exp(-β * exp(-k * t))

where

t = time
alpha = upper asymptote
beta  = growth displacement
k = growth rate

On Political Correctness: Yes, I know that the wokerati have taken up the cry that calling it the “Chinese Coronavirus” or the “Wuhan Virus” is RACIST!!!, their go-to accusation to try to discount anyone they don’t like. Consider it my small blow for freedom of speech and not bowing to political pressure. Me, I’m the least PC guy imaginable, and I was brought up in a household where racism was simply not tolerated in any form, so trying to bust me for being RACIST!! just doesn’t work. I know who I am.

And if you think that the people who are claiming that this is RACIST!!! actually believe it and it’s not just sleazy political maneuvering, consider the following two tweets, six weeks apart:

Followed by …

However, if you insist on taking that route, before you bust me for calling it the Wuhan Virus because it originated in Wuhan, please let me know your racism-free politically 100% correct alternative names for each of the following illnesses, all of which are named for their place of origination:

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Lyme Disease
  • Marburg Fever
  • West Nile Virus
  • Valley Fever
  • Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
  • Ebola Virus
  • German Measles
  • Lassa Fever
  • Ross River Fever
  • La Crosse Encephalitis
  • Legionnaire’s Disease
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • Heartland Virus
  • Bornholm Disease
  • Junin Virus
  • Nipah Virus
  • Rift Valley Fever
  • Zika Virus
  • Norovirus

I mean, we don’t want to be RACIST!! regarding the people of St. Louis or the inhabitants of the Rocky Mountains, do we? …

560 thoughts on “The Math Of Epidemics

  1. The Spanish Flu epidemic didn’t really start in Spain either, although there may be some debate where it actually got going first. I don’t really understand the part of racism of calling it the Wuhan virus. Isn’t that an exact description? That is where it started, and is undeniable. Wouldn’t it be racist to call Chinese food, Chinese food if we use that metric?

    • 10 dead in the UK, 0.03% death rate – all the deaths are older people. BoJo promises piles of dead, families torn apart etc etc.

      30.000 dead this past winter from the ‘common’ flu. Everyone yawns.

      Fake News, Fake Science conclusion. ‘Common’ flu is not a problem. Mass hysteria over a stronger flu with pneumatic symptoms, dangerous to the elderly means the end of the economy, social destruction, indeed the end of the world. Buy toilet paper.

      Corona (and globaloneywarming) just proves how easy it is to whip up the peasant mass into herds of frightened crying sheep. Yes this flu may be stronger than the ‘common’ flu, but given that the common flu kills literally, hundreds of thousands each year world-wide, why isn’t that a ‘pandemic’ and why isn’t there a plan to remediate?

      • Ferd III
        Yes, it is interesting how cavalier the world’s population is about seasonal flu when so many die each and every year. I suppose part of the reaction is a result of not knowing just how bad COVID-19 is or could be. The irony may be that if world economies are ruined by the extreme measures being put in place, and people lose their jobs, and supply-lines are disrupted, there is the potential for more people dying of starvation and unavailable medical care than from COVID-19.

        • Clyde…I think it possible that many healthy young people might commit suicide when all hope is lost when the economy tanks big time, and healthy people losing their jobs and homes/cars and can’t pay back their consumer debt. Some cures are worse than the disease, just as you say.

          I understand the need to flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm the health system, the next few weeks/month and we temporarily suspend travel and social interaction to buy time. But a virologist expert I heard talking about this said that if we want to really slow this thing down, ultimately we need to build up the herd immunity in the general population asap so as the virus itself becomes unavailable to transmit in large numbers. The would mean quarantining the elderly/vulnerable at risk populations and allow the general population to acquire the antibodies so as to slow the virus ability to both infect and mutate. It might be unpleasant for the majority of healthy people, but the cat is out of the bad and sooner or later probably the vast majority of us will catch this, just like a common cold going around.

          • Check out the TB mortality worldwide per year even today, about 1.4 million(?) as it has been slowly reducing yoy. And lets not even mention china’s 23,000,000 (23 MILLION) abortions a year.

      • Looks like you need a bit of data Fred.

        The infection rate is basically double the normal flu. So for example if 10 million get the flu in the US, we should expect 20 million to get Wuhan. The death rate of the flu is 0.1% so 10,000 would die. The estimated death rate of Wuhan is from 1-3% so 100,000-300,000 would die. This is bad, but not the worst part…

        The hospitalization rate for the flu is 0.5% so 50,000 people require a bed. The hospitalization rate of Wuhan is estimated at 20% so 2 MILLION people would need a bed….do you think we have that many beds?? Also, hospitalization for this virus per WHO definition means the person needs oxygen or ventilation.

        We dont have the healthcare capacity for these numbers, no where does. Why do you think China built hospitals in 10 days. You see at what is happening in Italy with triaging cases based on age and ability to survive.

        Wake up! This is not “Just the flu, bro”…

        • According to the CDC during the 2017-18 flu season 35,000,000 people got the flu, 810,000 required hospitalization, and 61,000 died; and most of us didn’t notice. So far this year, the CDC says 35,000,000 have had or have the flu, 490,000 have required hospitalization, and 34,000 have died. Estimates for the the future of COVID-19 reminds me of Yogi Berra: “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

        • We have no solid idea what the hospitalization rate is for COVID-19. How many people get it and don’t realize it was that virus and not a bad cold? It’s then unreported. I think I had it. Almost certainly. Sick for a month, deep chest cold. I wouldn’t mind being tested, but other people need testing more than I do.

          It also strikes people of different ages very differently. Almost no deaths among children under 10. Rates low until hit 60 y. Then 2/3 of deaths among those over 70. Most have a pre-existing health condition.

          So for most people, it is like a bad flu. There is no good reason to destroy the economy, unless you are a Dem and believe ruining the economy will help keep Trump from getting re-elected. There is otherwise no chance Biden will win.

          The hysteria is manufactured, just like the hysteria around the “climate emergency” is manufactured.

          • What have Biden or Sanders to offer? Support? Fresh ideas? Constructiveness? Nothing at all, just foul-mouthed Kindergarten criticism. God bless America, God bless DJT.

        • No Eric H. You will not get anywhere near those death numbers from Covid-19. It is NOT Influenza, it behaves differently because unlike Influenza, we are not a natural host for Covid-19. The infection is NOT double Influenza, it is much much lower. It is harder to contract, and does not spread like Influenza, it also only kills the elderly and weak, like most viruses. Did you not read Willis’s article on the Gombertz curve? Covid-19 is following it exactly. You can see that Covid-19 deaths in China are peaking at about 3500, although it is too early to say that for sure yet. Ferd III’s comments are accurate, yours are not. Where on Earth are you getting your information? I suggest you listen to the CDC.

        • Eric H March 14, 2020 at 11:02 am

          Looks like you need a bit of data Fred.

          The infection rate is basically double the normal flu. So for example if 10 million get the flu in the US, we should expect 20 million to get Wuhan. The death rate of the flu is 0.1% so 10,000 would die. The estimated death rate of Wuhan is from 1-3% so 100,000-300,000 would die. This is bad, but not the worst part…

          It looks like you need a bit of data, Eric.

          Korea has the best data due to having the largest testing program. Their mortality rate is 0.9% … and that is guaranteed to be an overestimation because of the number of people who have it without symptoms, or feel under the weather for a day or two, but were never tested.

          The hospitalization rate for the flu is 0.5% so 50,000 people require a bed. The hospitalization rate of Wuhan is estimated at 20% so 2 MILLION people would need a bed….do you think we have that many beds?? Also, hospitalization for this virus per WHO definition means the person needs oxygen or ventilation.

          Again, Korean data—their hospitalization rate is 0.8% of the active cases … and again, for the reasons above, that’s guaranteed to be an overestimation.

          Even globally the number hospitalized is 8% of the active cases … and as above, that doesn’t include the unknown cases, which given the lack of testing in most countries is going to push that number way down once the real numbers become more evident.

          So it may not be the flu, Eric, but your numbers are way, way too high. Me, I think much more damage will be done by the restrictions on the economy than will be done by the Wuhan Virus.

          w.

          • Eric, from the CDC:

            CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths from flu.

            That’s a hospitalization rate of about 1%, not the 0.5% that you claimed above. And that flu hospitalization rate is larger than the Korean Wuhan virus hospitalization rate.

            w.

          • Willis

            Very much respect all of your research and writing on this site. Have been on here since Climategate, and dont usually post.

            IMO the Korean experience is a best case scenario. I also dont believe the numbers out of China, I think they are too low. The numbers I cited were based on preliminary numbers from WHO and if you look at the numbers out of Italy they track closer to that than Korea does. Italy may be more in line with what the US will experience, as Koreans were quick to lock down and start wearing masks.

            https://lab24.ilsole24ore.com/coronavirus/

          • Thanks, Eric, for your kind words and your insights. You should comment more often.

            w.

          • Willis and Eric,

            The Korean statistics are not reliable due to tests kits returning large false positives. During the Whitehouse briefing today, one of the doctors indicated inaccuracy rates of 50%.

          • RobR March 17, 2020 at 4:28 pm

            Willis and Eric,

            The Korean statistics are not reliable due to tests kits returning large false positives. During the Whitehouse briefing today, one of the doctors indicated inaccuracy rates of 50%.

            Mosh knows more about this than most, he’s living there:

            Steven Mosher March 14, 2020 at 7:02 pm

            “The Korean curve must be taken with a large grain of salt, as testing yielded a large number of false positives.”

            Err NO.

            99% of those tested, tested negative. Testing here in Korea involves more than a single
            simple PCR test

            AFAIK, they use a fast test, which is likely the one with low specificity (false positives). They also use CT scans, X-rays, and PCR tests.

            I’m sure Mosh can correct me if I’m wrong.

            Next, ALL data has uncertainties. In some cases, they’re large, in some small, but we always have them. As a result, saying we can’t trust some numbers because they are “not reliable” is … well, less than helpful.

            w.

        • Everything you point out is correct. But it’s difficult to compare (apples to apples) the Flu which has a vaccine with the Coronavirus which has no vaccine. I would imagine the Flu death rates and contagion rates would be much higher than the 0.1% reported value if there were no treatment measures and vaccine for the Flu. Conversely the death rate for Coronavirus would be lower if we had a vaccine and proven treatment options. Therefore the severeness and the death rates between the two illnesses might not be very different if these conditions existed.

        • Everything you point out is correct. But it’s difficult to compare (apples to apples) the Flu which has a vaccine with the Coronavirus which has no vaccine. I would imagine the Flu death rates and contagion rates would be much higher than the 0.1% reported value if there were no treatment measures and vaccine for the Flu. Conversely the death rate for Coronavirus would be lower if we had a vaccine and proven treatment options. Therefore the severeness and the death rates between the two illnesses might not be very different if these conditions existed.

      • There are efforts to remediate influenza, such as development of drugs like Tamifu, and development of flu vaccines. It’s difficult to say how effective these efforts are. They do not appear to be very effective.

        • Scissor

          “…They [annual flu shots] do not appear to be very effective…”.

          Full disclosure: I’m a retired CFO, not a medical doctor.

          To research your comment (unclear if it was snide or analytical; you provided no reference), I’ve rephrased it as “what protection does the annual US flu shot offer”.

          CDC studies indicate 57% of the US population receives the shot (43% refuse or are “too busy”); with this level of vaccine penetration, flu infection is reduced 40-60% (some directly attributable to an individual receiving a shot & some to the “herd” effect).

          Yes, yes, yes; I understand the vaccine is more effective against some flus & some population are more or less susceptible (elderly, children), but 40-60% protection looks like a significant benefit.

          https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/vaccineeffect.htm

        • Actually, both flu vaccination and Tamiflu present risks that may overwhelm, by very far, the very small benefit they would provide.

          Like hep B, the flu is often an immunological danger. Being vaccinated against one flu appears to worsen the immunological problem with another flu.

          Covid-19 also appears to be an immunological danger in healthy middle age people.

          Of course, the immunological risk is always denied and only perfect proof (which does not and cannot exist) of it would be accepted as evidence of vaccine danger by the provax crowd, while small and non scientific “evidence” of usefulness of the vaccine is promoted hysterically.

          The Big Pharma shilling press presents both vaccination and Tamiflu as safe, but neither are.

          • Niceguy, I don’t understand this. The post right above yours says that Tamiflu cuts flu cases by 40-60%.

            You, however, say the benefits are “small” … what do you base that on?

            Next, you say:

            Being vaccinated against one flu appears to worsen the immunological problem with another flu.

            I have no clue what this means. Citation?

            w.

          • “CDC uses mathematical modeling … These figures are then used to assess the burden of illness averted by flu vaccines”

            LOL

            The flu vaccine, like almost all vaccines, almost by definition, was NEVER TESTED like normal drugs are, and there is no evidence what so ever that it does any good, and lots of evidence it does no good.

            It’s well known that the flu vaccine quite often cause a “flu” of one week: recently vaccinated people are sick for one week. The standard excuse is that the (normal, common) flu vaccine does not contain the disease and doesn’t cause it, so vaccinated people are never contagious (unlike with measles and other vaccines). That’s a relief! Still people feel like they have the flu.

            Anyway it is not possible to determine that someone died “from” the flu. The correct description would that someone died with the flu.

            Likewise, we don’t say that vaccinated people died from the vaccine. By the provax logic, we should say that!

            That a vaccine protects other people is also doubtful and based on wishful thinking, not evidence.

            Tamiflu has been shown to cause trivial, non individually measure decrease of hospitalisation time on average, and is linked with significantly increase flu death (and often hallucinations).

            If you have one study that contains evidence of the usefulness of either, can you link to it?

          • There was some early speculation that a Chinese vaccination program caused enhanced vulnerability to the Wuhan Flu.

            In a year or two our understanding will be much better.

          • Willis,

            No citation but month or so ago I was watching the news and they were discussing a new study out that says benefits of Tamiflu are non-existent to minimal. Doctor they were discussing this with recommended taking Tamiflu anyway. With only one new study saying this and no time by the medical community to digest the results I would have to agree taking Tamiflu would be the right thing to do.

          • I find the following about Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) in a very quick search:

            • Phase III trial 1997-2000 of Oseltamivir demonstrated 30% reduction in total time experiencing symptoms (if taken within 48 hours of onset of symptoms)
            • Post-marketing studies (IMPACT) revealed much higher efficacy of Oseltamivir if taken within only 12 hours of onset of symptoms

            w.

          • “Being vaccinated against one flu appears to worsen the immunological problem with another flu.”

            Now I wonder. Why was the “pandemic” H1N1 (apparently?) so bad in the US, when it flopped in Europe and elsewhere?

            Would that be because Americans have so much “healthcare” (dangerous drugs esp. vaccines) that the flu triggered some very bad reactions?

            Are Americans made more ill by their uber expensive healthcare?

          • The Cochrane Review is the gold standard for reviewing the efficacy of medications. Their report on Tamifly and Relenza is telling, and suggests they were ‘sold a pup’ by the manufacturers. Quote:
            “Since 2002, governments around the world have spent billions of dollars stockpiling neuraminidase inhibitors (NIs) such as Tamiflu® (oseltamivir) and Relenza® (zanamivir) in anticipation of an influenza pandemic. … However, the original evidence presented to government agencies around the world was incomplete, raising questions about the accuracy of these claims and the efficacy of both preparations. … The review confirms small benefits on symptom relief, namely shortening duration of symptoms by half a day on average. However, there is little evidence to support any belief that use of NIs reduces hospital admission or the risk of developing confirmed pneumonia. The evidence also suggests that there are insufficient grounds to support the use of NIs in preventing the person-to-person spread of influenza. … Dr David Tovey, Editor-in-Chief of The Cochrane Library, commenting on the release of the updated Cochrane Review, said: “We now have the most robust, comprehensive review on neuraminidase inhibitors that exists. Initially thought to reduce hospitalisations and serious complications from influenza, the review highlights that [NIs are] not proven to do this, and it also seems to lead to harmful effects that were not fully reported in the original publications. This shows the importance of ensuring that trial data are transparent and accessible.””
            https://www.cochrane.org/news/tamiflu-and-relenza-getting-full-evidence-picture

      • Ferd

        I did some research in to UK flu deaths previously and was astonished that the numbers equates to 100 deaths a day during the 2017 flu season and 186 a day during the 2014 season.

        Like you I am amazed that our newspapers have not been mentioning this virus at all but have become hysterical about the covid 18 virus. They both kill the most vulnerable, but to date the common version is much the worse. lets hope that remains the case.

        tonyb

        • “Like you I am amazed that our newspapers have not been mentioning this virus at all but have become hysterical about the covid 18 virus. They both kill the most vulnerable, but to date the common version is much the worse. lets hope that remains the case.”

          FORGET COMPARING THIS TO THE FLU.

          tony. its not about the death rate.
          Your country has decided to “use” herd immunity as a defense.
          Typically herd immunity is the result you GET when your prevention system fails.
          But it seems the UK thinks it can “engineer” this thing

          66 Million people

          To achieve herd immunity, since covid has an R0 of ~3.5 you need 70% of the nation
          infected. That’s basic math.

          So with a goal of herd immunity to achieve that you NEED
          46 Million Infected
          with 46 Million infected ( and survived) then community transmission will stop
          and you get Mr Gomperzt and not mr exponential. basically herd immunity always
          puts an end to mr exponential.

          So, 46 Million
          The critical case rate ( needs ICU) is ~ 5%
          The severe case rate ( Needs a hospital bed) ~10%

          lets just say thats 5 Million needing a bed of some sort of hospital bed
          A bed that will not be available for you.

          It’s not the death rate that is your problem, that will only be 3 million or so.
          you can stack the dead high.

          it will be managing the load at hospitals

          • herd immunity… easier to build that if you have a vaccine. If you wait for mother nature to do it, it could take a long time, and mother nature does not care about you or your herd.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity

            Theoretically, maybe, but in actual practice, whoever manages the herd commonly opts for culling instead. Just get rid of the infectious animals, and if that is too much bother, just get rid of the whole herd. Call it a solution. When used on humans it has been called a “final solution”.

            But if you do wait for nature to build that immunity, be prepared to wait a long time.
            As an example, Seastar Wasting Disease. A few years ago, all the sea stars from Alaska to Baja died. Maybe a few survived, but “all” is pretty close for some species. They still don’t know what caused it and they have not recovered much at all.
            https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/shocking-undersea-plague-obliterating-key-ocean-species
            (It blames it on climate change)

            Build herd immunity? Good luck with that. I think there are a whole bunch of issues we are still hoping for a miracle on. MRSP. C.Diff. VRE. CRE. CRKP. Necrotizing fasciitis… flu.

        • The “most vulnerable” (elderly with predisposing conditions) are the most vulnerable for EVERY disease…and for death by all causes.

          Virus epidemics end ONLY after enough of the population develops immunity BY HAVING THE DISEASE. So we NEED the hearty and the young to get the disease…and therefore immunity…WHILE SEQUESTERING most of our vulnerable elderly who would clog up the system.

          In this case, the rate of spread must be slowed down so that the entire healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed as happened in some cities in Italy where large numbers of elderly WERE NOT SEQUESTERED since they didn’t know they had a problem until too late (and where the elderly were over 25% of local populations).

          We are not likely to see that happen here on any large scale…just in a few pockets…where others can come to the rescue.

          In the mean time don’t freak out when infection numbers hit over 10 million cases (actual milder infections will be multiples higher)…BECAUSE THAT MUST HAPPEN to get so called “herd immunity”. That’s how we win…gain enough herd immunity to really slow things down… then a vaccine in ~12-18 months will finish it off.

        • COVID-19 is up to 92 deaths per day and climbing since Jan 1, 2020, on only 178,508 cases, as of 10:30 AM on March 16th, 2020. That’s a death rate of 3.94% worldwide, for those who like math. Total new cases on Sunday March 15, 2020 were over 10,000 worldwide. The issues the timeframe. We lack the manpower and resources to combat this all at once. The R0 is just too high for a bug with four bonding proteins on the outside of it. Quarantine. It works. Herd immunity is just group-assisted suicide for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. That’s the facts of the matter.

          • Im not sure I understand when someone says quarantine will prevent death. Maybe this is only a fact if the number of those with severe acute reactions can’t get proper sufficient care, i.e. O2 or one of the country’s 65,000 ventilators, when they need it. Are you saying that the world mortality statistics from CV is all attributed to a lack of medical care? Flattening the curve just means you’ll get CV next year and die instead of this year if that cancer or copd hasn’t killed you first.
            https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857920300972

        • “The regression convergence may fail for a pure initial guess or small data set. Therefore the method does not apply to the early stages of an epidemic…”
          This is of course the very early stage of the pandemic, and data are awful.
          No one has any idea of total cases.

      • No it’s not, that’s a shortened version of its scientific designation.

        Believe it or not, Spanish flu has one of those too.

          • One of the benefits of an education is to increase understanding and differentiation among various risks.

            Calling everything a cold & behaving accordingly is generally behavior associated with the shallow end of the gene pool.

          • I would bet that the death rate actually decreases this weekend due to more people staying home. But acting like Chicken Little is the norm among the coddled.

          • How many emergency room doctors have you known to have been put on life support due to an infection acquired from a patient with a bad cold?

          • “How many emergency room doctors have you known to have been put on life support due to an infection acquired from a patient with a bad cold?”

            My questions: How many are there, how many do you know? How many were there during the SARS incident?

          • “How many emergency room doctors have you known”

            You wrote that anyone who has not invented a vaccine has no business commenting on vaccines, so show your ER experience or shut up and go away, NPC.

      • Most people still call it the Coronavirus.

        Two factors primarily affect the length of the steep rise middle portion of the Gompertz curve.

        1. The middle portion is shortened by strong travel bands and effective quarantines.
        2. It is lengthened by letting the virus burn through its fuel supply; which is you, me and everyone we know.

        China’s numbers are FUBAR. They likely shortened the middle portion by massive poorly done quarantines that effectively raised the RO. Placing “potentially exposed” in group quarantine of thousands of beds with zero walls and or common air supply and group restrooms, and it locking in elderly resthomes and prisions, is democide, death by government. They accelerated the virus feed through some populations while separating others in real quarantine.

        China shortened the time portion of the middle curve, buried the bodies, and destroyed the records. As China allowed zero observation, their credibility is gone, and the many hundreds of leaks and videos are valid evidence.

        • Agreed. The nexus of the outbreak in Iran corresponds to aftermath of the Soleimani killing.

          One possibility: Iran requested immediate military technology assistance from China in a bid to even the score.

          The Korean curve must be taken with a large grain of salt, as testing yielded a large number of false positives.

        • “massive poorly done quarantines ”

          Got any good ideas about what a “well done quarantine” would look like?

          • It’s beginning to look like the USA.

            Looking at % increase spread defined as New Cases/Total Cases.

            From March 5-10th, the % increased from 8% to 21%. Over the last three days, the numbers are 16%, 22%, and 21%. If this holds it will flatten out the slope of the curve as hoped and will lead to a much better outcome.

          • Seperate rooms, seperate air supply, private restrooms.

            Not a convention center with 7 k beds, no walls, group restrooms. Not tiny room high rise apartments with common air circulation and everybody locked in, not elderly care single room living conditions.

            Basically not a Crusoe ship or worse on land.

          • Tty, of course, seperate rooms, seperate air, private bathrooms.

            Not convention centers with thousands of beds with no walls, public restrooms. Not locked in elderly care facilities, high rise apartments that are like land locked cruise ships. Not prisions.

          • Concentration camps and gulags…
            The Nazis considered their concentration camps as “well done quarantine” for what they considered as human vermin…

            cheers

        • Most people call it Coronavirus, but Coronavirus is a very common cause of the very common cold. We’ve all probably had Coronavirus multiple times before. Wuhan Coronavirus is a great descriptive name of this new one.

          For those interested, go look at syndromictrends.com to see the seasonality and percentage of folks who have regular Coronavirus when they are being tested for the Flu. It even splits it up into a few different flavors of regular Coronavirus if you want to see that. it does NOT include Wuhan Coronavirus yet, since the test does not detect it, yet.

        • “China’s numbers are FUBAR. They likely shortened the middle portion by massive poorly done quarantines that effectively raised the RO. Placing “potentially exposed” in group quarantine of thousands of beds with zero walls and or common air supply and group restrooms, and it locking in elderly resthomes and prisions, is democide, death by government. ”

          Thats not what they did.

          1. China has fever clinics all over the place.
          2. If you had symptoms you had to go to fever clinic.
          3. test for pnuenomia, and flu. IF Negative
          A) white blood cell count,
          B) CT scan. They have mobile units takes minutes, IF Positive
          C) PCR test, If Positive
          D) Quarantined and separated from your family.
          Basically 80% of transmission was inside families. So they did NOT do quarantine
          at Home.

          • Steve God I hate to admit it you are right in this case. Yes China it is a economic power house yet in many ways it still a third world country.

          • Mosher you are wrong, China officialy did 4 quarantines. Definitely infected. Symptoms only, not tested. And potentially exposed. Four was general lock down.

            The potentially infected was the big problem. Someone from your high rise apartment tested positive, you and everybody living there stay inside. Sometimes locked in.
            Military enforced.

            Convention centers full of mixed, potential and symptomatic, large halls of one million sq feet, rows of beds, zero walls, common restrooms. Those prefab hospitals, likely common air to all rooms.
            Prisions. Elderly care facilities, quarantined.

            Were you there Mosher?
            Were any observers allowed?
            Nope, just their military.
            CCP credibility is zero.
            Credibility of thousands of leaks, all risking arrest, and thousands of reports from Chinese citizens – considerable.

          • Steven, let’s take your list one at a time…

            “China has fever clinics all over the place.
            2. If you had symptoms you had to go to fever clinic.”

            Ok Steven, so take a large mass of people with a flu, some with just inflammation – bacteria, some with a common cold under 101,. Some with the Cov19 virus, Stick them all together in large rooms with common restrooms, Great! They are in quarantine. It’s called democide.

            ‘B) CT scan. They have mobile units takes minutes, IF Positive”.
            Yep, late in the game however… February 22 I think, was a 8 day backlog jump to 15 k infected. Three days later they stopped recording these. BTW, has any nation instituted the pneumonia pathology test and recoded those cases as positive Cov19? ( Nope)

            “C) PCR test, If Positive
            D) Quarantined and separated from your family.”
            Great, yet to where? Worldmeter starts on January 22. Hospitals in Wuhan were already overrun. City lockdown on January 23rd. Viral spread began in early December, if not late November.
            Let’s call it mid December. By February 15th the case rate rise was slowing dramatically. Call it two months. Countless tales from doctors and patients about the great shortage of tests, triage to the hospitals, 1700 dead medical workers, endless patients not admitted so going home to live or die…

            Spain, France , Iran, especially Italy, have only been active on the curve for less then one month, less then 50 percent of the time of China. Yet Currently their total case load per million population is 3 times China. Italy is almost eight times the infection per million. All these nations have lower population density, and greater forewarning. All started defensive protocols earlier then China. All are earlier in the exponential portion of the curve. All have a greater – steeper exponential then China.

            Even South Korea. Stopped travel early, extensive quarantine, hospitals LESS overwhelmed, has about 3 times the infection rate per million , about 1/2 way through the time period of China’s exponential! In all nations the exponential is steeper then China’s.

            Steve says…
            “Basically 80% of transmission was inside families. So they did NOT do quarantine
            at Home.”

            True, Not of infected, ( I never said they did) but of exposed they certainly did.
            On second thought, you are wrong again.
            There were many, countlesss infected who were sent home from triage due to overwhelmed hospitals. Many stories of elderly going home to die. There are
            Videos of welding shut building access, because someone in the building tested positive. There are Countless stories from those there. Almost 20 converted or assembled very large GROUP quarantine stations, etc… As China REFUSED observation of their four categories of quarantine, they lose ALL credibility. The witness survivors do not. They lived a night mare.

            https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinese-funeral-house-director-hospitals-sent-bodies-marked-unidentified-pneumonia_3264598.html

            https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinese-authorities-require-government-offices-to-destroy-data-related-to-coronavirus-outbreak_3257797.html

            https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-news-china-continues-to-hide-real-coronavirus-epidemic-figures-still-new-exposure-by-cai-xin-global-online-media

            https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/must-read-more-cases-being-reported-in-china-of-recovered-covid-19-patients-dying-suddenly

            I do not have it with me now, but there is a peer reviewed report, based on the observations of spread to the world, that Wuhan had at least 75k infected when they claimed only 775.

          • David

            ‘Were you there Mosher?
            Were any observers allowed?
            Nope, just their military.
            CCP credibility is zero.
            Credibility of thousands of leaks, all risking arrest, and thousands of reports from Chinese citizens – considerable”

            yes I was in beijing.
            Were you there?
            WHO observers document the proceedure I described.
            All the people I work with, we talk daily, describe the same proceedure.

            Were you there?
            have you talked to anyone who IS THERE NOW?

            You saw shit on Infowars

          • Mosh, I find it hilarious when people try to claim that you know nothing about the situation in Korea and Beijing, when you split your time between them and you know more about the two areas and their responses to the coronavirus than anyone I know.

            Folks, far too many of y’all have a totally incorrect view of Mosher. He’s a brilliant guy. Yes, we disagree, sometimes a lot. And sometimes I’m right, and sometimes he is. I hate his haiku style posting where it seems that there is something there but who knows what it is.

            But at the end of the day, you better have your facts in hand when you go to disagree with him, and claiming he knows nothing about the subject in question will get your @ss handed to you, as just happened above.

            w.

      • COVID 19 refers to the disease, not the virus. The virus is SARS-CoV-2.

        A Virus can be named after the location it is first detected, so the virus could have been named “Wuhan coronavirus”, except today we live in a hyper-sensitive world where everyone takes exception to everything. Example: “Zaire ebolavirus”

        It is not racist to name a virus after the location where it is first detected, it’s just a practice (now a forbidden practice apparently). Regardless of the name, it still has a location where it was first detected and all the political correctness in the world will not change that.

        • Even the CDC gets that wrong (calling the disease the virus) on public service announcements they’ve made.

        • Naming is done because it creates an easy reference to distinguish what one is talking about. This is the reason to name hurricanes. Everyone remembers Katrina and what happened with it. Years later we all know and can still recall based on that name. No one would remember Tropical System 11- 2005.

          • Exactly by calling it Wuhan virus 20-30 years or more from people will be able to associate it with the events. COVID 19 won’t have the same affect.

          • As a young married woman in her mid-twenties when hurricane Katrina landed, my daughter, (also named Katrina), was very upset that the hurricane and she shared the same name.

            Even though the name Katrina is of Germanic origin, apparently political correctness does not extend to the naming of hurricanes with names of ethnic origins.

            Now to be more inclusive, instead of just male and female names, are there any personal names yet which are indicative of the multitude of different sexual orientations?

        • It is a forbidden practice because naming a disease after an area is dangerous.

          It provides an incentive for the area to keep quiet about it and hope it gets named after the next area to fall stricken.

          It’s not PC to forbid naming a virus after an area.
          It’s commons sense to avoid incentivising risky practice.
          Ignoring the early spread of viruses is very risky.

          • Sorry, M, not buying it. I simply don’t believe that someone will be thinking “I live in the town of Ebola, and people are getting sick, but I’m going to hide the fact that my friends are dying because someday they may name the disease after my town”.

            Who thinks like that?

            Nobody. Nobody thinks like that. It’s just more PC nonsense.

            w.

    • “The Spanish Flu epidemic didn’t really start in Spain either”

      Covid19 didn’t start in the US but with the ongoing testing debacle and Trump’s crazy downplaying of the threat because he thought it might hurt him electorally, who knows, history might come to know it as the American Virus given the number it will infect.

          • The Vietnamese hate the Chinese. They’ve been in an undeclared war on and off for decades. The only reason you don’t hear about it is because the Vietnamese keep handing the Chinese their heads.

          • The Irish hate the English. The Dutch hate the Germans. Feminists hate men, believers in man made global warming hate deniers, democrats hate Trump etc

      • I can go to Facebook for idiotic comments like this. I expect better than that here on WUWT

        • The US’s response to Covid 19 is a complete shambles, a debacle from the top down, far, far worse than Italy. It wont seem so idiotic in a months time when victims are dying in the corridors of overwhelmed ICUs as they are in Italy.

          In Ohio alone:
          “More than 100,000 people are believed to be infected with the coronavirus in the state — about one percent of its population, health officials in the state said Friday.

          “This is certainly an unprecedented time … we’ve never seen a situation exactly like this,” said Dr. Amy Acton, director of the State Health Department, at a news conference Thursday.
          https://nypost.com

          Trump: “hoax”, “it’s like the flu”, “it’ll magically go away”, “testing is going great”.
          Only 11,000 Americans have been tested.

          Disinformed American exceptionalists are in for a very nasty surprise from the combination of a corrupted health system, a nacrisistic sociopath for a leader and a deadly virus that doesn’t discriminate.

          • You are right. The US, though was wrong-footed because of the flawed test kits.

            The CDC had tried to be a bit too clever when with the manufacture of the kits. They developed a multi-test kit to test for a number of infections as well as CovID-19. Good idea – if they worked but they didn’t.

            I’m not from the US but I actually like Trump. Unfortunately I think he could suffer badly in the 2020 election as the fallout from this becomes clear.

          • Loydo,
            You are going to be disappointed when your resentful predictions don’t come true.
            The truth is, the World is looking to America and President Trump for guidance on what to do next with Covid 19, and will be increasingly on how to survive economically as well.
            In Canada, our State media, the CBC, who are big Trump haters, are now turning to President Trump for guidance. Even calling him President, instead of their usual “Trump” or “Donald Trump”. History is going to be very kind to President Trump, because he is a true Constitutionalist, a true ‘Man of the People’, and a tremendous force for good in the world.

          • If my predictions don’t come true I will be greatly relieved and happy for the American people. Looking for guidance like his direct quotes above? You’ve got to be joking.

            Here is another prediction: managing the US outbreak is being botched so badly that most other western countries will include Americans on their banned lists within 2 weeks.

          • The US already warned people not to travel overseas weeks ago.
            We were the first to restrict travel to the US from a long list of countries that is growing every day as new info comes in.
            The EU is all in a snit over them being banned from coming here, so it is laughable for you to suggest that Trump bungled the response and other countries will ban us, as if anyone here cares.
            Why don’t you stop with the bullshit Lloydo, you hateful prick!?
            People are lsing money, losing jobs, losing lives, and you spouting off about political lies with you head jammed straight up your loose @44hole.
            So STFU, OK?
            No one wants to hear your incessant disinformation at a time like this.
            Do you ever have one single thing to do in your life which is in any way positive or can help anyone…EVER?
            Because now might be a good time to take stock of what a completely useless sack of monkey turds you are, and just make a decision to stop it.

          • Loydo March 15, 2020 at 12:39 pm

            mod is personal abuse and name calling accecptable these days?

            Loydo, you desperately need to learn the difference between “personal abuse” and “an accurate personal description” …

            As my momma used to say:

            If one person calls you a horse, laugh it off.

            If two people call you a horse, think it over.

            If three people call you a horse, buy a saddle.

            w.

          • “We were the first to restrict travel to the US from a long list of countries that is growing every day as new info comes in.”

            Singapore actually probably beat the USA to the punch in IMPLEMENTING an effective ban.

      • The Spanish flu may have originated in France, the US [Kansas] or even China but not Spain.

        Wartime press restrictions prevented UK, French or US papers from reporting it but no such restrictions applied in Spain. Newspapers published reports of its “progress” in Madrid hence it became known as Spanish flu.

      • Trump’s responses are based on his task force – Trump doesn’t pretend to be an expert himself. Most criticisms of Trump are pure political nonsense. It is the task of any leader to
        try to subdue the ridiculously exaggerated hysteria over this virus, which occurs mostly from Trump haters like yourself. Telling people to calm down and think rather than emoting is the best advice. Incited hysteria accomplishes nothing – take a look at the global warming hysteria, were people are frightenned without anyclear idea of what thye should be afraid of. The crooked MSM, which can be considered the propaganda division of the Democratic Party, has not only exaggerated the dangers of global warming, but has proposed solutions which are ridiculously expensive garbage. These morons acctually reject (or are unaware of) the obvious future power technology of molten ssalt small modular reactors, an old technology made practical by new materials and, mostly, clever engineering. The cost of a transition is a small percentage of the projected costs coming from the ignorant estimators who look to useless wind power and impractical solar power.

        • “Trump’s responses are based on his task force – Trump doesn’t pretend to be an expert himself. Most criticisms of Trump are pure political nonsense. It is the task of any leader to
          try to subdue the ridiculously exaggerated hysteria over this virus, which occurs mostly from Trump haters like yourself. Telling people to calm down and think rather than emoting is the best advice. Incited hysteria accomplishes nothing”

          The Leftwing Media are hyping this Wuhan virus situation as much as they can. It’s pure fearmongering. It’s why some people are going into a panic. It’s the worst kind of reporting when the nation is in a crisis. Instead of calming the situation, the Leftwing Media are exaserbating the situation.

          Contrast today’s Leftwing Media coverage of the Wuhan virus with their coverage of the H1N1 pandemic during the Obama-Biden administration, in 2009. Watching the coverage back then, you wouldn’t even know there was a problem. It was downplayed to the hilt and nobody was panicking even though H1N1 ended up infecting something like 60 million people and ended up killing over 12,000 Americans.

          Obama and Biden waited so long to do anything about it that by the time they got organized it was already too late to prevent the infection from going out into the general public, so Obama didn’t need to place a travel ban on anyone because it was already too late, and obviously Obama and Biden didn’t get the federal agencies responsible geared up for mass testing of epedimic outbreaks because it was already too late to stop the infection.

          Now the Leftwing Media wants to blame Trump for the federal government not being geared up for mass testing. Trump shouldn’t be criticized for having a problem crop up during this crisis, he should only be criticized over how he handles a problem after it is discovered, and going from yesterday’s news conference, it looks like Trump is getting things well in hand. Not that this will stop the Leftwing Media from their constant criticism and fearmongering.

          The Leftwing Media are the Enemies of the American People. Their constitutional job is to provide accurate information to the American people so the American people can make the proper decisions about how to govern themselves and how to protect themselves, but the Leftwing Media has turned into a propaganda organ for the radical Democrat party and none of what they say can be trusted to be the truth. They are harming this nation with their constant politically-motivated lies. They are the Domestic Enemies the U.S. Constitution talks about.

          • Let’s be frank, H1N1 had a kill rate of 0.02% while COVID19 looks to be roughly 100x that. The MSM is biased but I’m not convinced it’s appropriate for Rush Limbaugh and others to compare H1N1 response to that of COVID19.

          • Tom Abbott March 14, 2020 at 6:42 am

            Contrast today’s Leftwing Media coverage of the Wuhan virus with their coverage of the H1N1 pandemic during the Obama-Biden administration, in 2009. Watching the coverage back then, you wouldn’t even know there was a problem. It was downplayed to the hilt and nobody was panicking even though H1N1 ended up infecting something like 60 million people and ended up killing over 12,000 Americans.

            Obama and Biden waited so long to do anything about it that by the time they got organized it was already too late to prevent the infection from going out into the general public, so Obama didn’t need to place a travel ban on anyone because it was already too late, and obviously Obama and Biden didn’t get the federal agencies responsible geared up for mass testing of epedimic outbreaks because it was already too late to stop the infection.

            Where do you get this junk from, Fox News?
            The H1N1 was detected in the US by April 12 2009, Obama’s Director of Health and Human Services declared H1N1 a public health emergency on April 26 at which time there had been 20 cases confirmed in the US and no deaths. Two days later the administration made a fuding request to congress which resulted in over $7 billion allocated for vaccine etc. H1N1 was eventually declared a pandemic on June 11.

          • DataDriven March 14, 2020 at 1:52 pm

            Let’s be frank, H1N1 had a kill rate of 0.02% while COVID19 looks to be roughly 100x that. The MSM is biased but I’m not convinced it’s appropriate for Rush Limbaugh and others to compare H1N1 response to that of COVID19.

            Not true in the slightest. The Korean data is the best we have. It shows a mortality rate of 0.9% of the known cases.

            But we can guarantee that the total number of cases is far larger than the number of known cases for two reasons. First, some large but unknown number of people are either asymptomatic or just feel “under the weather” for a couple of days. And second, we haven’t tested the majority of folks who likely have or had the disease.

            So your claim of a 2% mortality rate for the Wuhan Virus is way overblown.

            w.

          • I have no axe to grind here.
            I agree that there are certainly unrecorded cases.
            That said, South Korea is testing extremely aggressively and it’s widely reported that their tests are producing “a lot” of false positives.
            If there were, say, one unreported case floating around Korea for every reported one, one would expect continuous outbreaks around such carriers.
            Also, while only 72 people have died in SK, only 550 people have “recovered” so how certain can we be about the death rate?
            The CDC published this https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0233_article, reporting that in China even outside Hubei Province fatality rate is 1%.
            Maybe I’m comparing apples and oranges but given that SARS killed 10% of it’s victims, I think COVID 19 will kill at orders of magnitudes more efficiency than H1N1’s 0.02%.
            What is your fatality rate estimate?

          • “Where do you get this junk from, Fox News?
            The H1N1 was detected in the US by April 12 2009, Obama’s Director of Health and Human Services declared H1N1 a public health emergency on April 26 at which time there had been 20 cases confirmed in the US and no deaths. Two days later the administration made a fuding request to congress which resulted in over $7 billion allocated for vaccine etc. H1N1 was eventually declared a pandemic on June 11.”

            I don’t recall any mass testing going on back then by the Obama-Biden administration. I don’t recall schools and stores shut down during that time period. How do you explain that? How do you explain that Obama-Biden allowed 60 million people to be infected and over 12,000 of them die if Obama and Biden were right on top of the situation from the beginning?

            They showed a clip last night (on Hannity) of Biden wringing his hands over the H1N1 virus and then the next day the White House press secretary was walking Biden’s words back and saying everyone should calm down and that was just Joe being Joe.

            So, according to you, Obama and Biden knew right away that there was an H1N1 epidemic bubbling up and they did nothing to try to prevent Americans from being infected by H1N1. No testing, no quarantines, no nothing. They just stood there and allowed millions of people to be infected and over 12,000 of them to die. Yeah, they were right on top of things, weren’t they. Too bad they aren’t in charge now. Right?

          • “They showed a clip last night (on Hannity) of Biden”

            Correction: That video clip appeared on the Watter’s World show, not Hannity. The Water’s World show will do a repeat tonight on Fox, so you can watch it again.

            Jesse probably doesn’t mind me mixing him up with Hannity, considering Hannity is the highest rated show on cable tv. Jesse kind of reminds me of Hannity, a calmer, gentler Hannity.

          • “H1N1 had a kill rate of 0.02%”

            In the US or globally?
            How do we know that?

            In France we are told that the flu kills 10 000 per year, or 86 in a very bad year. I’m wondering if they are making up it as they go…

        • Joe Biden explains how he and his team would have handled it differently. The question/statement at ~3:09 min is priceless.

          • Scissor

            In my humble opinion, that’s not a technical problem with the audio, that’s just the way Joe thinks.

            Just one man’e opinion.

        • Except he takes no responsibility for anything that goes wrong. He just finds someone to blame, the last President, somone in HIS adminstration, and then claim ignorance about it.

          The opposite of what a leader does.

          Then there is the problem that very little of what he says turns out to be accurate. Most people have learned to distrust what he says.

          Not what we need from a President in a crisis

          • Take blame for what? He acted right away and canceled travel from China and got hammered by the Media and progressives. Even when he called for a travel ban for Europe he is getting hammered, even though every professional is saying it’s the right thing to do. Who are the real “anti-science” people? The panic and over reaction are the real danger, remember “the only thing we have to fear is fear it self”, take prudent action and it will pass.

          • Clinton. Waco. Pot. Kettle. Black.
            Obama. Benghazi. Fast and Furious. Obamacare. Porkulus. H1N1. Pot. Kettle. Black.
            Carter. Iran Hostage Crisis. Afganistan. Pot. Kettle. Black.

          • Everyone knows where the buck stops but the leftist press is dealing in trivia mostly in their TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome).

            It is obvious that much of what is happening right now with this event is politically driven. Crisis and chaos always serve the purposes of the left and in their current state of TDS the left and their press continually overplay their hands. They’re so desperate to take Trump out and it is so obvious. Come election time it is really going to be interesting. I have already told my boss I’m taking vacation days on Nov. 3rd and 4th. I will be set up with popcorn and Jack Danials and coke to watch what transpires. I Love the sight of leftist “journalists” their various talking heads and their so called “experts” as they suffer the effects of the egotistical TDS inflated bubble they’ve been living in bursting.

            Does that sound mean and angry? Well your right! It is! I wouldn’t stop to urinate on any of that bunch if I were walking down the sidewalk and saw one of them on fire. They’ve been waging war on the Constitution and the values that hold the fabric of this nation together for decades.

          • Totally out of line, the press asked Trump at a breifing if he was to blame for the botched first run of testing…and the later delays. He fought back truthfully by saying NO.

            The problem stemmed from poor CDC planning NOT TRUMP’s FAULT…and from technical problems with the reagent used to perform the tests NOT TRUMP’s FAULT. Presidents don’t do the actual test prep or design protocols (dumb ass press corp).

            Only an ass would blame Trump for Govt. Agency incompetence. And the MSM are all asses…along with those dwindling numbers of asses who still believe them.

            Trump is FULLY AWARE that the Government cannot be counted on to do their jobs well. But he cannot “stomp” on the incompetent bureaucrats right now. It Is the CDC’s job to be prepared for public health emergencies like this one…they should have been better prepared.

          • Couldn’t agree more. Never seen such a narcissist. “It’s not my responsibility”. Yes, it damn well is. Who cut the pandemic team. Trump.

            America needs a giant in the Whitehouse, and it has a midget.

          • “I Love the sight of leftist “journalists” their various talking heads and their so called “experts” as they suffer the effects of the egotistical TDS inflated bubble they’ve been living in bursting.”

            Yes, that was delicious watching the leftist crybabies whining over Hillary’s loss in 2016, and I too, look forward to seeing them do it again in 2020.

          • Haters, “never Trumpers” and the “resistance” people have been sabotaging President Trump from before day 1 of his presidency.

            He had to fight judges who made up stuff, wrote rulings that made sense only if “dangerous countries” meant “dangerous land masses” (and not countries with gangs, no rule of law, no functioning gov), he was abused, he was attacked for doing what other Presidents did (without legal opposition), lawyers admitted that they would have blessed the exact same Executive Orders from other Presidents that they denied were legal “because Trump”, he was spied on, his campaign was infiltrated, the “Intelligence Community” (actually a bunch of Chris Hayes clones, but still) started a civil war against him, the “free press” made up a “right to have top level clearance” for these “former intelligence” anti Trump (actually more like Chris Hayes clones), he was “impeached” on a patently illegal basis with a claim of abuse of power and violation of Congress rights by Pelosi who herself started the impeachment illegally, abused her power and violated the right and processes of the Senate and the Constitution (so she is actually guilty of exactly all of what she accused President Trump of), he is still attacked by Congress committees that try to get his taxes, under patently dishonest pretexts, which is the most obvious case of abuse of power that can be, and these people are the one accusing him of abuse of power, and I could go on and on…

            You have been nullifying the election since before the vote. You have been making Trump a President in Name Only who should submit to the “rule of law”, which is codename for whatever the latest demented fad of an interpretation of the stuff that pretends to be “the Law” in the US (*), valid EO have been blocked, lawless “judges” have been making up laws and effectively rewritten the Constitution, two SCOTUS judges have attacked President Trump without any criticism from the left…

            (*) which from my POV looks mostly like over heated cheese, it can melt and take any shape… like “obstruction of justice” which can basically mean anything, probably even complaining to a cop that you are innocent and that investigating you is a waste of time, when you are innocent and investigating you is a waste of time

            “Lawyers” (aka crackpots) have insinuated that Trump making fun of fake news outlets was illegal, an attack on free speech or God knows what and that those who helped him could be prosecuted. These people worried more about a fake funny prize than about the FBI literally making up evidence to justify the spying on people related to (firstly candidate, then President) Trump.

            Nowadays when I find a patently absurd pretend legal argument “argument” on Twitter, that’s more like the result of someone who binged watched law TV series in random order of DVD chapters while taking crack, it’s more often from a blue check account from a “former federal prosecutor” than from a random Internet crackpot. Unless there is a massive number of fake former JAG/former DOJ prosecutors on Twitter, that’s terrifying. (I’m a categorically NOT a lawyer, but I can see what’s definitely not a sound law based argument.)

            It’s one thing to have some bad faith attacks against your political opponent, but the way the anti Trump people have been siding with the narrated Russia (whether real Putin and Russia wanted any of that isn’t relevant here) described as the enemy of the US, according to the real testimony of anti Russia and anti Trump hero Fiona Hill (they can’t disown her, can they?) (though I have that feeling Hill might be a Russian agent)

            “Putin, sadly, has got all of our political class, every single one of us, including the media, exactly where he wants us.”

            and sided with China at all points, from before the inauguration to the “trade war” (it’s a WAR, it’s literally written in it) to the Wuhan virus crisis…

            So sorry now “President” Trump can disown EVERYTHING. I don’t care what excuse he gives, it’s axiomatically valid for me. You can’t acclaim the “Resistance” (an insult to the French Résistance during WWII, by the way), you can’t say that “firing” (not even firing, moving) anti Trump people in the admin is an abuse of power, you can’t complain about the President “interfering” in the administration of the federal police or federal justice and then tell him to own anything in the admin. He doesn’t, by your own axioms.

            So you OWN President Trump DISOWNING bad stuff that happened.

        • It is the job of a leader to listen to his/her advisors…. he didn’t, he went with his “gut” feeling. He minimised the danger despite being told not to, so putting large numbers of innocent people at unneeded risk. All so he could keep the economy running/looking ok and so help his chances in the election. He is a corrupt imbecile but he is no leader. And the longer this goes on, the more this will be obvious.

          • Simon,
            You need to find a way to curb your hate. You also need to pay attention to what is really said and ignore what the media says was said.

          • “It is the job of a leader to listen to his/her advisors…. he didn’t, he went with his “gut” feeling.”

            Simon is just making stuff up. How does Simon know what Trump’s “gut feeling” was? I don’t think it is possible for Simon to know this. Perhaps Simon could explain.

            I think it is called delusion, Simon. Probably, in this case, it is TDS delusion.

          • Um…

            “ Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number,” Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “Now, this is just my hunch, and — but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, ”

      • Loydo is not only a climate expert, but also a mind reader!

        “… because he thought it might hurt him electorally.”

        It is the height of ignorance to assign motives based purely on one’s prejudices.

        • There’s a platinum/iridium bar in Paris that serves as the standard meter. But when it comes to the height of ignorance, we always have Loydo.

          • > There’s a platinum/iridium bar in Paris that serves as the standard meter.
            That was changd long ago
            The SI definition of a Kg was changed from teh weight of a lump of platinum iridium on 20 May last year.

          • Andy, You can change the definition of the kilogram or the meter, but the only competition for the height of ignorance would be griff.

      • Loydo
        You claimed, “… Trump’s crazy downplaying of the threat because he thought it might hurt him electorally, …” You know this how? Are you clairvoyant? Do you have an ‘off mike’ recording?

        FDR famously said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” I’d be more inclined [since I don’t read minds] to attribute Trump’s response to an attempt to calm the Chicken Littles of the country because panic can be destructive.

        • It was exactly as you say, and more.
          The experts standing next to him gave their assessments, and then the press asked Trump for his opinion or asked for answers to inane questions that seemed to pretend that they had not heard from those experts a minute prior.
          Instead of questioning the experts, they asked Trump what the risk was for the average person.
          Everyone knows the death rate of those infected is in the low single digits, so when Trump said “The average person will be fine”, he was being factual.
          But by the the time the Trump haters had redigested and spun that statement and others like it, they had Trump saying he was not gonna do a damn thing because there was nothing for anyone to worry about.
          I watched the press conferences, listened to every word, and then the reaction in the MSM.
          They are lying fools who take things literally when they should not, and decide to intuit what someone else was thinking when what they actually said was not at all untrue or damning in the least.
          Trump did more than anyone to restrict people travelling from other countries in teh initial stages of the outbreak in China, and was lambasted for it by the same people that are now saying he did not do enough.
          At the time all they cared about was the impeachment.
          Maybe if that was not going on, some more time and attention might have been given to this outbreak when it might do some good.
          Anyone who thinks a President is personally responsible for how CDC officials react to an epidemic is just being an idiot.
          Who thinks test kits can be waved into existence?
          Who thinks the President can order testing be free? The same people are very fond of pointing out only congress is authorized to spend money.
          European leaders get offended by Trump banning flights from there, then say, thinking they are being logical “A virus does not respect borders”, as if that means people should not be restricted or travel be discouraged or banned.
          It means the opposite.
          The truth is this die was likely cast over two months ago when Chinese officials decided to minimize what was happening, silence people speaking up about it, and even when they knew it was spreading rapidly, refused to let the CDC and the WHO into China during a critical time.
          When they locked down Wuhan, the mayor of that city said as many as 4 million people fled the city…on foot? By roads or trains or air prior after it was announced but before it took effect?
          Who knows, but you cannot keep people from walking or riding a bicycle out of a city that has no wall around it.
          In fact by then all that was being affected was how soon it would reach other places, not if it would.
          People fly into and out of China in large numbers every day, and the virus was spreading around the city of Wuhan as early as the beginning of December and very likely earlier than that.
          If it did come from an animal in that market, the animal was almost surely caught somewhere else and transported there, so at least one or a few people were exposed at that time in that other place and was spreading it.
          Anyone can read anything about epidemiology written as many years ago as one cares to choose, and see what it says about containment: The first few days and the index patient are critical. The very early stage, days to a week or two at most, are the only time it is possible to contain an outbreak of a highly contagious disease. And only then if every contact can be traced and isolated, or if it is some remote location or some person who has no contacts or travels.
          In a city where a virus was spreading widely for many weeks, there are 11 million residents, and flights, traffic, and trains, in and out every day, and some of those flights are international…there is no chance of containing a new disease.
          This was a done deal before anyone knew anything about it.
          It is only arguing about the details now.
          People who are pointing fingers are themselves out spreading the virus to others.

      • Interesting fact: The Spanish flu was called that because although the Germans and British were dying, in their thousands they refused to acknowledge it (because of the war) and
        Spain, who were neutral, were telling the truth about their death numbers… so it got called the Spanish flu (because it was perceived wrongly, they were carrying the bulk of the infection).

      • Loydol

        You’re obviously an educated and discriminating commentator, so of course you can explain why Obama waited until after 1,000 American deaths from swine flu before declaring an emergency in 2009.

        CDC tracking showed a total of 12,469 American deaths from H1N1.

        I’m betting Trump finishes way under Obama’s death toll.

          • I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this, but some folks just don’t seem to get the memo.

            WE DO NOT KNOW THE MORTALITY RATE OF THE DISEASE YET!

            The Korean data says about 1%. HOWEVER, there are undoubtedly lots and lots and lots of folks out there who got it and were either asymptomatic, or who felt under the weather for a day or so, or went to their doctor and were told “It’s a flu, take two aspirins and get plenty of rest”. And all of those will drive the mortality rate DOWN. How far down?

            We don’t know.

            So I’m sorry, Loydo, but if you want any takers, you’ll have to flog your incessant attempts to gin up more hysteria on some other website. Here we do our best to deal with the truth and the science, and not fall for hype from folks like you.

            w.

          • Hi Willis

            I doubt we will ever know the real numbers. From CDC re H1N1, 2009-2010:

            ” From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus.”

            Ranges look like CO2 temp guesstimates!
            As mentioned above I didn’t notice huge cancellations of events/commerce though many schools closed. Also:

            “Globally, 80 percent of (H1N1)pdm09 virus-related deaths were estimated to have occurred in people younger than 65 years of age. This differs greatly from typical seasonal influenza epidemics, during which about 70 percent to 90 percent of deaths are estimated to occur in people 65 years and older.”

            https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-h1n1-pandemic.html

            I added this to an earlier Covid discussion with the question asking should we be getting ready for many, many more deaths if as some say this time it’s worse?

          • “The Korean data says about 1%.”

            CDC says crude number is”0.9% in Beijing” https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0233_article

            “Overall CFR among all infections was 1.6%”
            https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.04.20031104v1

            But when Loydo says…times that infected number by 1%

            He gets this:

            “you’ll have to flog your incessant attempts to gin up more hysteria on some other website. Here we do our best to deal with the truth and the science, and not fall for hype from folks like you.”

            Subjective, politically blinded, overly sensitive bollocks.
            Further…

            “bullshit Lloydo, you hateful prick!?
            head jammed straight up your loose @44hole.
            So STFU, OK?
            useless sack of monkey turds”

            You seem to agree this is an appropriate response to polite dissent? What a gentleman.

          • Since when is a tirade of smarmy lies about people you obviously hate called “polite dissent”?
            A large number of the people who post here regularly have things to add that are informative, interesting, funny, or ask intelligent questions, or provide relevant information.
            Another subset never have anything to say that is not combative, argumentative, unhelpful, insulting, rude, untrue, flat out wrong, or outright lies, and are in fact some combination of some or all of the above.
            You are one of these people, Lloydo, and do not think for a minute that is lost on anyone.
            You have never, as far as I can discern, made a single positive contribution to any thread, or had anything good or even neutral to say about anyone not a card carrying member of your little mutual admiration/lickspittle brown-noser society.
            In fact you make a point of deliberately and obscenely antagonizing people for whom you have nothing but contempt.
            Personally, I cannot imagine what kind of a person wakes up in the morning looking forward to seeking out people with whom one shares no common ground and making a loathsome pain in the ass of myself for days and week on end.

            Polite dissent!
            Hah!
            Making up lies about people is not polite, and it is not dissent, it is just lying.
            Telling a whole country they will be sorry because we are all gonna be dead soon because of how stupid we are is as offensive as any person could ever be, even if people were not actually dying.
            I can tell you this, Lloydo: I made a suggestion to you, something you never do for anyone here.
            You have chosen to ignore it, completely, and in fact are doubling down by suggesting you said nothing that was not polite. I reckon most boorish gadflies are aware of what they are, but you make it obvious some apparently have no idea how they are perceived.
            Go read what I wrote to you again.
            I meant every word of it, and in fact you deserve much worse scorn and condemnation.
            You left out the most relevant part. But you did implicitly confirm what was glaringly obvious: You have nothing positive to contribute, ever, about anything, to anyone.
            Think about that, and how you choose to spend your time here, instead of helping anyone.
            Wherever you live, people are either dying, or they soon will be. What have you done to change anything in your own back yard? Who have you helped?
            What is your suggestion, regarding anything?
            Just one single suggestion, for one single thing?
            One tiny detail, where your wonderful insight might make a difference no matter how tiny in even one single life.
            Let’s hear it?
            I bet you got nothing.

      • He had to much faith in the CDC, they failed not Trump. He corrected that, now anybody and any can now develop a test they only have to show it works. Prior to the the CDC was shutting down every other test not created by them. That was a mistake, Trump corrected that, quit blaming Trump put the blame where it belongs and that the bureaucracy. Of course useful idiot think the bureaucracy is all powerful, those of who are not useful idiot recognize most of the time a bureaucracy is and group of incompetents cluster in a group, protected from their incompetency by civil service

        • “He had too much faith in the CDC, they failed not Trump.”

          I don’t think it should be characterized as a failure of the CDC. Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci described it as a “failing” and naturally the no-good, Leftwing Media picked that word up and declared the Trump administration effort a failure. ,The CDC are being blamed for not having a plan for mass testing when there never was such a plan to begin with, not in the Trump administration or any previous administration.

          As I said before, the measure of leadership is not about discovering a problem in your operation, it is about how you deal with the problem once it is discovered. Trump has mobilized the whole nation to fix this problem.

      • Patrick wrote:
        “Because the PRC government takes 1984 as a “how to” book, rather than a warning.”

        Not just the PRC (China) – this is also the plan of the Liberal Party of Canada, led by our uber-leftist Prime Minister and his Marxist minions.

        Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer told Trudeau in the House of Commons:
        ”George Orwell’s ‘1984’ was supposed to be a cautionary tale about the evils of big government, not an Instruction Manual for this Prime Minister.”

        Scheer also noted Justin Trudeau’s public admiration for the “Chinese basic dictatorship”, Trudeau’s praise for mass murderer Fidel Castro, and stated that Trudeau put “progressive” unionist leader Jerry Diaz on a panel to decide which newspapers would get their share of Trudeau’s $600 million – public money used to buy the loyalty of the print media.

        https://globalnews.ca/video/6500627/scheer-compares-recommendations-set-forth-by-yale-report-to-1984-as-he-spars-with-trudeau-during-question-period

        If “Grandpa” Bernie Sanders were elected, he would soon be replaced by a ruthless dictator and the killing would start.

        That is what happened in the 20th Century – a murderous socialist sociopath seized total control, destroyed the economy, killed his opponents, terrorized the population, and stayed in control for many decades unless he was toppled by war. I just described Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro and Pol Pot. Zimbabwe and Venezuela are more recent examples. Why does anyone think it will be different this time? It won’t.

        In Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov’s 1984 interview he predicts everything that is happening now.
        https://youtu.be/bX3EZCVj2XA

        Canada under Marxist Justin Trudeau is already far down that disastrous path. Trudeau has bribed failing Canadian print media with $600 million to gain compliance, and it is working. The Yale Report recently recommended licensing of Canadian media = total control.

        Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer told Trudeau in the House of Commons:
        ”George Orwell’s ‘1984’ was supposed to be a cautionary tale about the evils of big government, not an Instruction Manual for this Prime Minister.”

        “Scheer compares recommendations set forth by Yale report to Orwell’s ‘1984’ as he spars with Trudeau during Question Period”
        https://globalnews.ca/video/6500627/scheer-compares-recommendations-set-forth-by-yale-report-to-1984-as-he-spars-with-trudeau-during-question-period

        Canada is probably finished – our voters are sheep being stampeded by wolves.

        Donald Trump is the great hope for the survival of democracy and free enterprise in the USA.

    • There is actually a good reason for caution in naming a disease after a location: Syphilis was called ‘French disease’ in Italy, the ‘Italian disease’ in France, the ‘Spanish disease’ in England, the ‘Polish disease’ in Russia, the ‘Christian disease’ in Turkey…
      This does no good for science or medicine: It is much better to call syphilis “Treponema pallidum” and have everyone use the same term.
      Similarly, it is more accurate to call the current virus SARS-CoV-2 and its disease Covid-19; the former term links the virus phylogenetically to the similar SARS virus and the latter is a systematic disease name taken from the virus type and year.
      Other than that, I totally agree with dissing political correctness and happily agree with the lifestyle of a hermit. My plum trees also suffered a similar rain-borne dismay to their early and beautiful blossoms. Oh well: weather is not ‘tame’ and I am glad we have rain.

      Jan

      • Mark Twain called it the “Sailor’s Disease.” There is reason to believe that it was brought from the New World by Columbus and subsequent early explorers, and was extremely virulent when first introduced into the Old World.

    • It’s actually not 100% sure if the virus originated in Wuhan. Patient 0 hasn’t been conclusively identified yet. And the name for the city nearest the origin of any virus is utterly irrelevant to its biological nature, or to the human question of “what do we do about it now”. Put the city in the description, not the definition or the name.

      While I have a visceral dislike for CNN, I actually support the idea that infectious strands of RNA shouldn’t be named after places, or even people. The same is arguably true for fundamental equations in physics or math.

      To be truly objective and universal, Science is best when detached from extraneous and superfluous details.

      • “While I have a visceral dislike for CNN, I actually support the idea that infectious strands of RNA shouldn’t be named after places, or even people.”

        Except the talking heads at CNN were using the term “Wuhan virus” initially until some Republican used the name and then the CNN talking heads decided that saying “Wuhan virus” was racist. Could these people be any more dishonest? I don’t think so. And they couldn’t be more dangerous, either, distorting the truth and playing political games during this crisis.

        • Tom Abbott
          “Except the talking heads at CNN were using the term “Wuhan virus” initially until some Republican used the name and then the CNN talking heads decided that saying “Wuhan virus” was racist.”
          I think you are the one who might be telling porkies. I call BS on this. Clip please?

      • Wisdom, I doubt that “borrelia burgdorferi fever” will ever catch on as a name for a disease organism … but “Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever” is memorable.

        And for the same reason, “Hurricane 2005-11” is not going to be remembered … but everyone remembers Hurricane Katrina.

        We name things in part so that we can remember the name. If you can’t remember it, what good is it?

        Next, we name fundamental scientific equations after people in part to honor their work, and to inspire others to put in the thousands of hours necessary to come up with new physical laws and relationships. That makes perfect sense to me, given that there is little other reward in the game.

        Me, I am passionate about science, not “objective” or “detached” in the slightest. And if we want to involve people in it, we need to use memorable, simple terms to describe things.

        And finally, the Chinese are now trying to claim that the Wuhan virus was brought to Wuhan by the US Army … so naming it for the city seems appropriate. The Chinese are the ones who hid it, and punished people for talking about it, and denied its existence, so it seems only just that it be named after a Chinese city.

        Best regards,

        w.

  2. Willis–

    Tonight on Rachel, David Ho (of AIDS fame) showed the beginnings of the Gompertz curve for NYC. Considering that we are getting a delayed start on testing, not that many ventilators, etc., maybe you can try your hand on estimating the curve for the US given the Washington State, New York, and California data. How much does beta have to change to get 100,000 deaths?

    • Lance, until the curve starts to flatten out near its peak just about any curve will fit it. So you can’t really use this technique until the numbers start to decelerate.

      All the best,

      w.

      • The curious part is, “exponential growth” doesn’t actually describe the progress of a given disease. Exponential growth never stops

        I don’t think any expects a disease to be describe as an exponential throughout its entire course. The exponential is the initial spread and what makes it a problem “pandemic” or not.

        The initial point of interest is when is it starting to break from exponential growth and flatten out .

        A simpler way to see that is look at new daily case number, which is effectively the time differential of the total number of infections. Since the diff of exp is also exp it starts off looking the same but the break is more obvious. The differential, being a kind of low-pass filter makes changes more visible and suppresses longer term trends.

        It is easier to see when the daily cases breaks from exponential phase than to eyeball whether the slope of the total is still steep enough to count as exponential.

        This is what I did here:
        https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/2019-ncov-country-cases.png

        Unfortunately things don’t always fit the simple maths and Germany had fairly constant new case figures for four days and then spiked again.

        Thanks for the Gompertz curve. I will have to look into the reason for using that model. It is similar to another model I used for AOD after Mt. Pinatubo eruptions.

        https://climategrog.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/an-analytic-function-for-aod/
        λ1λ2 / ( λ1 – λ2 ) . ( exp-λ1t – exp-λ2t )

        This is based on and exponential growth process fighting an exponential decay of the product of the former. I was thinking of applying this nCov for China and S. Korea but my main interest is when the growth breaks out of exp , rather than how long it takes to fade. Worry about that later.

        Maybe these two expressions are equivalent, I’ll have to dig into it.

      • Thanks, that’s what I wanted to know. When it does start to decelerate, can you update this post with an estimate? Would allow people to see the end of the tunnel…

      • Yes I’d been discussing this on one of David Middleton’s posts, I tend to use the logistic curve rather than the Gompertz but they’re both ‘s’-shaped curves. I tend to look as the S Korean data as a model given their superior testing regime. Their data has passed the growth peak and their parameters can be described now. The Italian and US data has not reached that status yet but the impression is that the inflection point will be later than the S Korean one.

    • We were taught the s-shaped curve at Cambridge in the 1960s in relation to the growth of animals.
      The only problem that I can forsee is that we were told that overall animal growth consisted of a series of s-shaped curves, one following another.
      Does this mean that the virus could mutate and provide a series of curves, building one on the other?

    • China population 1,427,647,786 Total Deaths 3.193 = +/- 0,0000022 %
      Italy population 60,317,546 Total Deaths 1.441 = +/- 0,000024%

  3. we are at 8086 in Korea

    our number is peaking because we are nearing the end of testing all the church member.
    with 260,000 tests conducted.

    there are 17000 tests still awaiting processing.

    Then there will be more testing because outbreaks still continue

    10 minutes ago I got another phone alert of a case within 5 minutes travel time of me.

    here is how testing works going forward

    1 person gets it in a building on the 10th floor. Everyone on floors 8 to 12 get tested.

      • The issue is the death rate . its over taxing the health system
        we will “take over” 7000 offices and convert them to care facilities.

        In China you would not believe the steps they took to bend that curve
        If you dont you end up with a rate of infection that is limited by herd immunity.
        which you can calculate. its not good

        So yes the curves WILL BEND. you can bend it early or let nature take its course

        • Thanks, Steve. Indeed, we need to bend the curve. Obviously, we can’t do what China did. But we definitely need to do something akin to what Korea is doing.

          Thanks for letting us know what is happening in Korea, first-hand reports are the best reports.

          w.

          • Willis

            There is some debate in the UK about the best strategy. Our medical and scientific advisers are suggesting we let nature take its course but ‘flatten’ the curve and do all b all we can to protect vulnerable groups. The reasons for this are

            1. We will build herd immunity among the fit and healthy
            2. The infection (and hospitalisation) peak will occur during the summer months when our health service is better able to cope.
            3. There is emerging evidence that this virus is sensitive to temperature and humidity, i.e. it’s seasonal – like flu. See below

            The early virus hotspots were Wuhan (China), Daegu (South Korea) and Qom (Iran). These 3 locations are in a narrow latitude band (30N-35N) and have similar climates. Despite considerable contact and travel from China to Thailand and other Countries to the South, the virus has had little effect there.

            In the past few weeks the hotspot ‘band’ has moved further North. See the link

            https://img1.wsimg.com/isteam/ip/0c2f60c1-e6de-489f-ae3e-d08b73db7f70/Hot%20Spots.jpg/:/rs=w:1280

            A lot of people are attributing the slowdown in cases in China & SK to the measures taken but it might have more to do with “climate change” (the seasonal type – at least :-)).

            The bottom line is that the virus could re-emerge when climate conditions are more favourable. This would suggest the UK strategy is the best one to follow. Download the paper from the link. is here. It’s worth a read.

            https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

          • Thank you John Finn and others, including Willis and Mosh.

            This is not my area of expertise, so I have some elementary questions:

            1. During the great Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-1919, did that flu disappear after two years because ~everyone on the planet had been exposed and had either died or developed natural immunity to the virus?

            2. Is it accurate to state that current containment actions are intended to “flatten the curve” sooner – to reduce the number of people who are exposed to the Covid-19 virus?

            3. Recognizing that containment will never be perfect, and assuming that nothing else is done (such as mass immunization with an effective vaccine), will containment merely extend the number of years that this virus will return and the total number of global deaths will be about the same, until the time when the global population is all naturally immunized and the illness is no longer a serious threat?

            4. Alternatively, will containment also impact the “dose effect”, meaning that many people will be exposed to lower dosages of the virus, and will develop natural immunity without ever getting seriously ill?

            No coffee yet so these questions might be pretty dumb.

          • I’m particularly interested in John Finn’s observation that

            “The infection (and hospitalisation) peak will occur during the summer months when our health service is better able to cope.”

            To me, this seems like basically the ‘opposite’ of what I’m sure I’ve seen people hint at sometimes, that summer weather should *reduce* the incidence of viruses. Instead, if I take Mr. Finn at his word, we should expect there to be *more* cases, not less, as the season gets warmer, with services planning ahead for that, hopefully? Maybe we can’t know where the S-curve will top out until mid-May sometime?

            As someone who lives in western Canada, I can’t help but make the observation here, anecdotal as it may seem, that I never ever seem to catch a cold, or anything, when it is minus 40 Celsius, or even minus 20, or something like that. It is always when the weather warms up significantly that you start to get the real flu and cold season. Say it goes up near freezing, or even above freezing and things start to melt, that’s when to watch out! Maybe it just has to with people becoming more mobile, traveling around more when the weather gets better, but I’d swear the effect is real, anyway.

          • Since nobody has answered my questions, I will comment further in CAPS based on more reading – just my best guesses – informed comments welcome.

            This is not my area of expertise, so I have some elementary questions:

            1. During the great Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-1919, did that flu disappear after two years because ~everyone on the planet had been exposed and had either died or developed natural immunity to the virus?
            YES – GLOBAL “NATURALLY ACQUIRED HERD IMMUNITY” DEVELOPED QUICKLY DUE TO A LACK OF CONTAINMENT. NOTE THAT ~~50 MILLION PEOPLE DIED WORLDWIDE FROM THAT AVIAN VIRUS.

            2. Is it accurate to state that current containment actions are intended to “flatten the curve” sooner – to reduce the number of people who are exposed to the Covid-19 virus?
            YES, BUT INITIAL CONTAINMENT HAS FAILED SINCE THE COVID-19 DISEASE CAUSED BY THE SARS-CoV-2 VIRUS HAS TRAVELED ACROSS THE WORLD. SECONDARY CONTAINMENT EFFORTS ARE NOW BEING IMPLEMENTED.

            3. Recognizing that containment will never be perfect, and assuming that nothing else is done (such as mass immunization with an effective vaccine), will containment merely extend the number of years that this virus will return and the total number of global deaths will be about the same, until the time when global populations are all naturally immunized and the illness is no longer a serious threat?
            CONTAINMENT SLOWS THE RATE OF TRANSMISSION AND REDUCES THE NUMBER OF CASES AT ANY GIVEN TIME, SO HOSPITALS ARE MORE ABLE TO COPE WITH SEVERE ILLNESSES, AND CONTAINMENT ALLOWS TIME FOR A (HOPEFULLY EFFECTIVE) VACCINE TO BE DEVELOPED. AN EFFECTIVE VACCINE SHOULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE TOTAL MORTALITY. HOWEVER, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EFFECTIVE VACCINE, CONTAINMENT WILL INCREASE THE TIME BEFORE NATURALLY ACQUIRED HERD IMMUNITY DEVELOPS.

            4. Alternatively, will containment also impact the “dose effect”, meaning that many people will be exposed to lower dosages of the virus, and will develop natural immunity without ever getting seriously ill?
            THIS CAN ALSO BE TRUE, SUCH THAT PEOPLE WHO PRACTICE GOOD PERSONAL HYGIENE WILL BE EXPOSED TO MINOR DOSES OF THE VIRUS AND WILL NOT GET SERIOUSLY ILL BUT WILL DEVELOP NATURALLY ACQUIRED IMMUNITY.

        • Steven Mosher
          March 13, 2020 at 10:43 pm

          Steven,
          Even when considering that one of the factors in consideration of rate of infection happens to be herd immunity, still that factor does not consist as decreasing or increasing the rate of infection during an epidemic or pandemic.

          The herd immunity over the time of epidemic or pandemic reduces the rate of severity and the rate of fatality.
          Due to the over time stabilization of immune response to the mass infection.

      • Testing is pointless. There are almost certainly tens of thousands who have it going untested because they are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. It’s a waste of time and resources once the virus has passed beyond any realistic containment phase.

        • Testing mainly helps to discriminate between different diseases for those who show symptoms. The number of false positives among the uninfected population will otherwise swamp the numbers, potentially leading toa misallocation of resources.

        • It certainly seems like that. Closing the barn door. But the stated policy is delay, not containment. If, as Dr Aylward claims, asymptomatic transmission is minimal there would be justification in taking containment measures in order to ease the strain on hospitals. If not, containment and lockdown will have been a complete waste of time and economic cost.

          • As far as I have been able to discern, almost everyone who is infected has no idea how they became infected. These people are dispersed all over the globe.
            So, why would this doctor think asymptomatic transmission is minimal?
            It appears to me this is why we are seeing so many people getting it.
            People who are very sick with a bad cold or flu typically do not go around infecting people, and other people spot such individuals readily and avoid them and, I would think in this particular circumstance, alert others that a sick person is apparently out and about when a pandemic is raging.
            To restate, it seems to me most of the new cases are due to asymptomatic transmission.
            And being widely dispersed, a large number of spreaders is not just implied, it is indeed virtually impossible to imagine how the disease has spread widely without assuming a large number of carriers and a certain percentage of super spreaders, and most of them asymptomatic.

        • That’s certainly true at some point. People who aren’t familiar with testing and results also are naive with regard to uncertainty. For example, tests that are too sensitive will give a false positive and tests that are not sensitive enough will give false negatives. Besides these errors, personnel and machines doing the tests or even interpreting results make mistakes.

          A super infector might not be discovered by testing and then might go about freely infecting more people than would have been the case without testing.

        • Phoenix44-

          “Testing is pointless.” For the individual this is certainly true. If you have symptoms and get tested, will the treatment prescribed be any different if you are positive than if you are negative? The answer is no, since there is no specific treatment for the Wuhan virus (Thanks for name, Willis. As others have pointed out, there are problems with all the other names). The treatment for your symptoms will be the same.

          However, it seems to me that from a public health perspective, it would be helpful to know if the cause of your symptoms was the Wuhan virus. South Korea seems to be an example of how useful data can be.

        • Couldn’t agree more. Never seen such a narcissist. “It’s not my responsibility”. Yes, it damn well is. Who cut the pandemic team. Trump.

          America needs a giant in the Whitehouse, and it has a midget.

          • Dear heavens, STOP WITH THE DAMN BLAME GAME! Take your ugly TDS or your hatred of Democrats and go spew it somewhere else. It is not welcome here, from either side of the aisle. This is a post about mathematics and about the epidemic, not about your nasty parochial hatreds.

            w.

          • Kingston Trio
            Merry Minuet

            They’re rioting in Africa,
            They’re starving in Spain.
            There’s hurricanes in Florida,
            And Texas needs rain

            The whole world is festering
            With unhappy souls.
            The French hate the Germans,
            The Germans hate the Poles;
            Italians hate Yugoslavs,
            South Africans hate the Dutch,
            And I don’t like anybody very much! 🙂

    • “Everyone on floors 8 to 12 get tested.”

      Does it go through the floor? I don’t know what Korean society is like but do people really mix between floors beyond being in the elevators at that same time?

      I suppose there is some kind of bell curve of the probability of crossing someone from an adjacent floor but someone on level 2 must have the same chance of meeting someone from any floor and for an equal amount of time. Someone on the top floor meets everyone with equal probability but for longer the higher ( thus nearer ) they are to the top.

      Best wishes Mosh. Keep up posted.

      • ““Everyone on floors 8 to 12 get tested.”

        Does it go through the floor? I don’t know what Korean society is like but do people really mix between floors beyond being in the elevators at that same time?”

        Some evidence from China suggests airbourne transmission. tests are about 25 bucks a person.
        They are exercising caution.

        Jeff Besos could buy 400 million tests and not even blink

        instead he is donating to climate change crap

        In China you will get swabbed when you get off the plane if you are from a Hot zone

        • but do people really mix between floors beyond being in the elevators at that same time?”

          Could it be taking advantage of the elevator shafts?

  4. Does the curve allow for the deaths due to fighting for a toilet roll? Some of these brawls look pretty violent.

    Can these deaths be attributed to the virus?

    Is this the same as dying from a secondary effect of having the virus, as they claim will be the case for the ill/old/infirm if they are infected?

    Don’t you love watching the madness of crowds, provided it is from a distance?

    • One death here, due to 20 tons of tinned food and loo roll, fell on him and killed him. 😂

    • If I was expecting a run on toilet paper (no pun intended) I would buy myself a small square of flannel.

      How sad our society has become when we think bog paper is worth fighting for.

      • Herd mentality. Kid was suspended at school, before they closed it, for selling squirts of hand cleaner to his classmates. Now there is a future politician or globalist industrialist in the making.

    • “Does the curve allow for the deaths due to fighting for a toilet roll? Some of these brawls look pretty violent.

      Can these deaths be attributed to the virus?”

      No, those deaths should be attributed to the fearmongering Leftwind Media who have driven some people into an unnecessary panic over the Wuhan virus..

  5. I know about the S-curve because of making wine. You add the yeast bits to the juice and they go crazy. But eventually (soon enough) they have eaten through most of the sugars and created too much alcohol for their own good. If the river was whiskey…

    That said, the wine vine blight and the potato blight and the American chestnut blight did not level off at the “we can live with this level”. Although they do still exist because of places the blight did not reach.

    Don’t panic, but be prepared.

    • Fermentation is probably quite a good analogy.

      Initial fermentation takes 7-10days and the long tail takes several months to really stop. I usually wait 2 months before putting my beer on lockdown. Wine can take almost a year to finally clear the infection.

      • Secondary fermentation is actually a completely different process, it’s malolactic fermentation from a bacteria converting malolactic acid to lactic acid.

    • ‘Trust in God and keep your powder dry’,
      English Civil War quote.
      Also applicable: ‘hope for the best but plan for the worst’.

  6. ChiCom and Iranian death “data” are packs of lies. Figures from Republic of Korea are as good as can be. Current Red Chinese lie is fewer than 3200 fatalities.

    Yeah, right.

    Can’t usefully fit an S-curve to fake numbers.

    • Yes, unless China somehow reduced the death rate by a factor of ten at least, there are ten times as many deaths as they claim. Assuming Wuhan has 5 million people and 3 million were infected, deaths there were 30,000.

      • Very easy to sound off about chinese govt lying but apart from personal bias what is death toll based on ?

        Are you the first person who manages to work out the final death toll ?

        • cremation is going to make the final toll whatever they say it is.
          burials are harder to conceal

          • So you strident declaration of “deaths there were 30,000” was pulled out of your fundament. I thought so.

        • just looking at the normal death rate for a city of 10,000,000 people is
          = population/70 years/365 days = 391/day
          The crematoriums were running at least a 4x rate during the height of the crisis.
          So (4x-1)x391 = a death toll of at least 1173 per day at the height of the crisis Wuhan in china

          The china experts Ive listened to believe china underestimated by at least 10x

        • The province it’s in has over 150,000,000. Yet even if 3,000,000 got it and 30,000 died it’s still in a similar category as the Seasonal flu. Bad, very much so, end of the world and panic worthy no.

  7. be very careful with the Korean data.
    its dominated by cases in Daegu and Gyeinbuk
    Both have flattened ( testing ending)

    In Seoul we are skyrocking 5 cases to 238 in 20days
    same for Gyeonggi province 10 to 200 in 20 days

  8. In year 12 Specialist Maths here in Western Australia, we study what is called the logistic model, which is modelled by the equation dP/dt =aP – bP^2. The “a” is usually much greater than the “b”, so while the population is small, the result is pretty much exponential, but once the population gets large, the smallness of the “b” is negated by the largeness of the P^2, and it starts to negate the exponential component and reaches a steady state.

  9. I’m a bit surprised you didn’t include the SIR model, here’s a graphical representation of this basic
    mathematical model for epidemics;

    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIR_model

    early on new cases increase exponentially, then they level off, then they being to drop, with a long tail. Once they begin to drop the most dangerous phase of the epidemic is over. Experiences in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai suggest that this virus goes through those phases in a 6 – 8 week time frame.

      • There’s a couple of decent youtube videos which give a simple explanation of the S-I-R model. I’m not sure if this is one of them but you can try others if not.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISHVGtEyBPs

        Without examining your “logistics model” closely, at first glance it looks to have a similar format to the S-I-R model.

  10. “So let me suggest that we take all precautions, wash hands, social distancing, canceling large gatherings, testing as and when required, self-quarantine, it’s very important to slow the virus down … and that we also dial way back on the hysteria and the politicization of the issue. I assure you, assigning blame to one political party or the other and buying six cases of toilet paper won’t help end the epidemic. Although I must confess, thanks to the web I finally understand the panic buying of toilet paper. I read that it’s because when one person sneezes, a hundred people soil their underpants … so don’t be one of them.”

    Thank you for this post and that succinct and logical advice above which I shared with friends.

  11. Thanks for the Gompertz curve. Great tool.
    Countries that have “controlled” the spread (China, S.Korea) seem to have peak cases about 15 to 17 days after the first sharp rise. The U.S. is about 12 days since the first sustained sharp rise. Our present event/school cancellations make me think we will be flattening in about five days.

    Willis, I’m asking everyone: What is the false positive rate for the CV test? Is that the reason for the need for risk factors and a possible illusion of limited test availability?

    • LN, from what I read: there are two kinds of tests for the virus—fast, and accurate.

      The fast tests seem to have a false positive rate of about 5-10%. Matt Briggs, “Statistician To The Stars”, has a good (and surprising) article on the downstream effects of this inaccuracy here.

      The slow tests are PCR tests that check the DNA of the virus. As with other DNA tests, there are very few false positives, and those usually from contamination, not lack of test specificity.

      Good question,

      w.

      • Minor quibble Willis, the PCR tests check the RNA of the virus, like HIV, coronavirus has an RNA genome. When we do the PCR test we first have to convert the RNA to the equivalent DNA and then run PCR on that. My understanding is that the initial error in the first set of tests was the result of a fault in one of the components (probably the primers for those interested).

  12. Would like to see Italy and Spain as additional examples which would indicate what happens in a less aggressive response to an early outbreak.

    • The median age in Spain and Italy are on the high side. All things being equal, this will lead to a higher percentage of deaths also.

  13. Benjamin Gompertz was an actuary and I am so old that I had to study his work to become an actuary myself. I think in 1825 his formula was quite relevant as many deaths, particularly at old ages then, would have been from opportunistic infectious diseases that invaded people with immune system that were compromised by heart and or lung diseases and cancers, which in turn were caused by polluted environments, poor lifestyles and diets.
    The reason why epidemic curves eventually flatten out is that the reproductive rate R0 reduces over time because there gradually become fewer and fewer people to spread it to. This may be due to the pathogen either killing too many people, too many people becoming immune to the pathogen, or, in this case, community isolation policies. Immunity can happen through past infection or immunization via a vaccine. A vaccine for SARS-COV-2 is still many months away so community isolation is the only effective way of controlling this virus at this time. This is why community isolation measures are being adopted by most countries to stop this virus so that their hospital systems are able to cope because, unfortunately, some 5% to 10% of infected people become so ill as to require hospitalization and about half of them require intensive care treatment for 1 – 2 weeks. The triaging out of people over 65 in Italy and their subsequent high death rate from this virus is due to Italy not adopting effecting social isolation policies early enough in virus effected areas.
    The initial R0 for this virus was calculated by Chinese epidemiologists at 4.08. This was before social isolation policies in China had had any time to work. Since then WHO has published many figures which are less than this. Measles has an estimated R0 of 15, which means that theoretically unless more than 90% (actually 93%) of the community is immunized a single case of measles imported from some country where people are not immunized could start a new epidemic.

    • That’s why you should hope your population is soundly measles immunized, by allowing it to spread among children, instead of improperly containing it with a vaccine that seems to protect in the age range where it’s safest to catch it, and starts to fade in the 20ties, as epidemic among vaccinated crowds proved (which was insanely used by insane vaxxers to promote the vaccine – but we all know vaxxers are insane).

  14. The most important parameter in the fitting of curves is when the rules of social distancing changes. So long as one infected person can infect 10 others before being diagnosed, the curve has explosive growth.

    Once people change their behavior to limiting close contact to a hand full of people over a span of weeks does the growth of new infections go negative. There is a time lag before the number of diagnosed cases decline.

  15. This is a much needed post. People use the word exponential incorrectly a lot… and you’re right. The virus if novel, new, has a green field of potential new non immune hosts, which get diluted as saturation starts or if and when opportunities are infringed upon due to several reasons. Nice Willis!

  16. Willis, I would like to know how testing actually affects the curve?
    For a virus that can have relatively mild symptoms and was not the subject of an existing regular testing program, the sudden publicity, the availability of a test and the sudden rush to test may create such a curve. The curve flattens if the virus is relatively benign and the rate of testing catches up with with those infected in the community. The mortality curve could be similarly affected as Authorities begin testing for an assigning deaths to the disease.
    Old age was once a common killer of forty-five year olds!

    • John

      You claimed, “Old age was once a common killer of forty-five year olds!” Not so! The oft repeated claim of a life expectancy of 45 years was the average for those who lived through the first year. However, childhood diseases ravaged the very young, and warfare and childbirth took a heavy toll among young adults. Hence, the AVERAGE was only 45. That implies that approximately half the population lived more than 45 years, which was most of those who didn’t die in childhood. Indeed, there is evidence that, for those who made it past the high-risk early years, they didn’t have the risk of modern cancers and diabetes and might live longer than a modern person of the same age.

      • Dear Clyde
        Nice decoy run!
        Love to have a discussion about Old Age being a listed historically as the cause of death in the absence of our knowledge of other causes. I understand your point is correct from my knowledge. My analogy was people used to die from old age not cancer, etc. Now, only chickens get old and die around my place.

        My question is how does the equation for the diagnosis or mortality curve account for the complete absence of a diagnostic test , the publicity, the gradual availability of tests, etc ?
        This has still not received the attention I believe it deserves.
        Happy to be corrected.

  17. Willis, I would like to know how testing actually affects the curve?
    For a virus that can have relatively mild symptoms and was not the subject of an existing regular testing program, the sudden publicity, the availability of a test and the sudden rush to test may create such a curve. The curve flattens if the virus is relatively benign and the rate of testing catches up with with those infected in the community. The mortality curve could be similarly affected as Authorities begin testing for an assigning deaths to the disease.
    Old age was once a common killer of forty-five year olds!

    Apologies if this is a repeat.

  18. Thanks Willis for Gompertz curve graphs.
    For logarithmic vs linear graphing of total cases reported see
    <a href=https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6.Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard – lower right graphs
    Currently global cases are following about exponential growth
    (per about a linear slope on the logarithmic graph.

    • Only the South Korea graph was wrong, fixed now.

      Thanks. My motto is “Perfect is good enough” …

      w.

      • My motto is perfection is the enemy of good enough…but I work in non life threatening software 😉

  19. In China and Korea (and Italy) the reduction in infection rate has followed the introduction of draconian constraints on travel and social interaction. The big question is, “What is going to happen when those restrictions are lifted.”

    My guess is that the infection rate will accelerate again. The current restrictions can’t remain indefinitely or these countries will destroy their economies. The subsequent reduction in wealth and tax intake will limit their ability to fund health services with susequent loss of life from this collateral damage. Managing that is going to be a fine balancing act.

    The UK is currently not puting much restriction in place. My guess is that they are going to allow the pandemic to spread a bit further so that when they do put the restrictions in place they will have a greater absolute effect and will reduce the peak which will improve the ability of health services to cope. Puting the restricitons in place early, when say only 1% of the population has been infected will delay the peak, but not reduce it by much.

    It will be very interesting to look back in six months or a year and see who was right.

    • The UK is assuming we cannot contain it and that it will be endemic anyway. Therefore flatten the curve now so that hospital resources don’t get overwhelmed and we get herd immunity for the future.

      • Whitty, Vallance and Johnson have all made statements which when combined with the actions suggested make it fairly clear that they are not bothered about containing it. Herd immunity needs at least 60% infection spread – probably higher – and this is what they have in mind as an acceptable, possibly preferable outcome. Their superficial ramblings about containment don’t square with the underlying policy. This is social darwinism or moral decay (depending how you see it) elevated to political policy. They’ll almost certainly be obliged to back-track, though it’s more likely that Sars_cov_2 will run out of steam before they achieve their herd immunity threshold – a pointless aim if it doesn’t return seasonally, and definitely pointless if the HI threshold isn’t reached and lives that could have been saved by appropriate steps were expended in vain.

        • Herd Immunity Threshold for flu is purportedly as low as 33%.

          Lives have an economic cost. We don’t know how many are at stake due to the novelty of the virus. So the precautionary principle is being applied. Time will tell whether is being misapplied.

      • “Therefore flatten the curve now so that hospital resources don’t get overwhelmed”

        Which is almost certainly impossible. Requires lowering R0 to just over 1.0 (but not below it, because then the epidemic will trail away and you will never get herd immunity) and drag the epidemic out over many months, perhaps years. The economy will collapse completely long before that and you will get a runaway epidemic, but under much worse circumstances.

        • tty
          March 14, 2020 at 6:56 am

          In consideration of a very high rate viral infection, either it been new or not,
          herd immunity gain or profit, happens to be and is a certainty, at a very high level of success and expectation, regardless of all else.
          No one alive today or ever can change that as per matter of nature.

          nature shows that a viral infection either is very highly infecting, aka pandemic, or it is very highly severe or fatal,
          not both at the same, either as per matter or time…

          In all we know in science of epidemiology, the side effect of high or very high rate of viral infections, to the point that the epidemic or the pandemic can not be stopped,
          the side effect happens to be;
          a low or a very low rate of severity and the same for the rate of fatality, at the end of the day.

          Is like put there in stone.

          In the end of the day, this herd of ours will get the benefit of this immunization,
          due to what it may be considered as an implemented natural “vaccination” of the herd.
          No way to stop this.
          Like it or not.

          cheers

  20. Thanks.

    I wonder if enough data are available to plot infection and mortality in Italy?

    I think you may have missed Spanish and Russian flu.

    • -d, until the curve starts to bend you can’t fit a Gompertz Curve to it because just about any curve will fit it. And Italy is still heading for the moon …

      Best regards

      w.

        • According to the list something like currently in Italy there are approx. 17000 cases and 1266 deaths…

          • Yeah, 250 deaths yesterday alone in Italy. Actual cases,of infection as opposed to certified cases, must be much higher – probably 35,000 plus judging by the death toll so far, though that’s higher than it would otherwise be because the healthcare system has been so overwhelmed.

          • Jimmy Haigh
            March 14, 2020 at 1:49 am

            In the way the Italy has overreacted to such a condition, it simply means that any info or data from that very hot crazy place happens to be non reliant and highly “toxic” and polluted.
            Non reliable or with any meaning, unless for the Italy and the Italians!!!!!
            And their self inflicted economical harakiri.

            cheers

      • The y-axis should be total cases.

        In any case, as of yesterday in Italy, no one died who was under 30 and only one under 40.

      • Thanks to everyone who pointed out the error in the title of the graph, fixed now. Perfect is good enough.

        w.

  21. My take on this, is, the world has been developing a hair trigger mentality to risks, ever since some wag suggested humans via CO2 were determining the planet’s future climate.
    The herd has been prepped to feel at risk, and hey presto, along comes a new virus, some media input and we end up shutting the world down, shutting sport activity down, shutting travel down and destroying the economics that keep us all safe?
    If the media hype had not driven this anxiety into the public and establishment’s minds, then this season’s new virus would have been just another virus, it happens, it will always happen.
    Sadly, the established behaviour now to a new virus, is to destroy commerce and destroy peoples livelihoods. The overreaction currently happening in many places will be taken as acceptable behaviour to save…..the planet, or should that be people? How can they not adopt the same mental approach to next years virus? When the out turn from this Covid -19, thanks to the bold actions of coordinated world authority, has been so successful with so few (relatively) deaths, how can they not do the same for all new viruses?.
    If you overlaid the current Covid-19 cases, over this seasons winter virus infections that happen every year, you could not detect the Covid-19 component in the numbers.
    I have decided to self isolate to avoid being infected by the madness… let me know when its clear to venture out.

    • You have a point. The economic cost of zero carbon emissions seems to have been discounted by alarmism. Similarly, the economic cost of containment is regarded as of lesser importance. Worst case scenarios are the overriding concern. Time will tell whether its overblown.

      • GregB
        Trump has been criticized by the Left for worrying about the economy. He probably has a better grasp of the situation than they do!

    • Agreed. Even worse are all the “caring” emails I’m getting from business trying to get attention from the hysteria. I kid you not, I received COVID emails from a shoe company, realtor.com, and a company that sells wildflowers. This is beyond deranged.

    • Right. It may occur to “world authority” that the same actions should be applied to the regular seasonal flu which is far more deadly yet we do nothing. Wipe out the flu in our lifetime. And deal with human CO2 emissions at the same time. And establish a world government in the process. Utopia.

  22. Willis, I would like to know how testing actually affects the curve?
    For a virus that can have relatively mild symptoms and was not the subject of an existing regular testing program, the sudden publicity, the availability of a test and the sudden rush to test may create such a curve. The curve flattens if the virus is relatively benign and the rate of testing catches up with with those infected in the community. The mortality curve could be similarly affected as Authorities begin testing for an assigning deaths to the disease.
    Old age was once a common killer of forty-five year olds!

  23. Not meaning to be a stick-in-the-mud, but Legionnaire’s Disease wasn’t named for the location, but because it originally hit the 1976 American Legion convention in Philadelphia.

    But otherwise your basic point is strong.

    • True, but the point that the common names of many previous virus outbreaks could be seen by the overly sensitive to impugn some country, area, or group remains valid.

    • Hivemind
      I believe that tularemia was named for Tulare County (Calif.). There is a long history of naming infectious diseases for the location where they were first identified.

    • The American Legion Convention doesn’t count as a place to you?

      Granted, the convention center is not as big as Philadelphia. But the disease wasn’t discovered in all of Philadelphia. It was a localized disease which justifies a more localized name.

  24. The Southern Hemisphere will be walloped, starting in about 2.5 months time. This is my prediction. There is going to be right royal mix up of colds, annual flu and covid-19. Our medical profession will be swamped.

    None of the major historical virus pandemics lasted less than 2 years globally. They also involved 2 or more waves with the latter being more fatal than the prior.

    I am 69. I will be taking no special precautions. Mainly because it is a waste of time. I recall a study where foreign tourists were taken through a strict procedure by health professionals in Kathmandu to establish if extraordinary care could eliminate visitors’ diarrhea. They reduced the incidence from the normal 90% down to 85%. I am not at all surprised. I have lived and worked in such places.

    There will be those who will become paranoid. There will be those, like of the culture in which I live, who will make the jokes and carry on as normal.

    • visited a friend today,he yelled out he was self isolating
      fine
      except? :-))))
      its a windy day , blowing away fromboth of us, and hes 15ft away and put a vehicle between us in case i got too close
      really hard not to fall over laughing
      his gfriend works in ut agedcare home so shes far more at risk, and yet she was also dropping his shopping off at the gate.
      whats annoying is the ausgov isnt giving areas of infection anymore
      which would be useful, especially for rural areas.
      we have treechangers and richer retires who do travel a lot
      theyre our biggest hazard.
      as are blow-in tourists of course

    • last years flu started in march for me and it was nasty, usa has that now too, unless they really sorted the vax it was close to useless here. and it was one of those flus that gave a hell of a lot of us pneumonia as a goodbye treat , then i got the second round 7 mths later for shits n giggles and that left me with a lingering cough for months, abiotics for that and it still didnt wanna depart;-(

      corona might be a sod but the standard one makes you feverish for many days neuralgia and splitting headaches sinus pain toothaches the lot

    • Yes Bats the elephant in the room! They will bring humanity to its knees. There’s no money in exterminating bats. The pandemic industry is just getting off the ground.

      • in Aus shooting or scaring the bats off or even using nets to save your fruit is banned
        and so the bats do rather well and move into cities and increase risks to everything not just humans
        once again you can thank….the greenies for well meaning idiocy
        gues a schoolfull of kids getting lyssa virus might eventually make some see sense.

        • “in Aus shooting or scaring the bats off or even using nets to save your fruit is banned”

          You need to put a windmill in your yard. That will take care of those bats. And apparently it is not illegal to kill bats via windmill in Australia. 🙂

    • Id like to hear theyd stop eating Dogs myself.
      that said this might be a start for some decent health controls on animal production and care over there

    • “Wet Animal markets” have now been completely outlawed in China with severe penalties for non-compliance. And this time I think they will really enforce the ban.

      They did ban them after the SARS epidemic, but allowed enforcement to lapse after a few years. It is politically sensitive, especially in southern China where supplying these markets is an important source of income for non-Han chinese minorities. There has already been rumours about riots and deaths.

  25. A number of theories have been proposed on the rationale of the great Australian panic to buy toilet papers. I would like to add one theory. The panic started in the well heeled suburbs that are the greens of the greens. The other suburbs just followed under social pressure. Well the greens of the greens dont use any paper for washing their butts. Think about all the trees cut, the chemicals used, the transport, packaging i.e. boxes, plastic wrappers, etc. Look at the carbon footprint of using toilet papers. Then the main advice to wash the hands. Panic sets in. It is not enough to just wipe the butts with toilet papers, but do it twice, thrice, etc. until the butt hurts in spite of the softness of the toilet paper. Hence, the sudden urge and panic to stock toilet paper. Toilet paper became the front line to stop the virus.

    • Oh well . . nice to let the imagination rove. But, some fake news about toilet roll supply problems in a few Hong Kong media organs was the actual trigger. That nonsense spilled over via some connected media outlets, not known for fact checking,into Australia, and hey presto idiots fighting over toilet roll . . .

  26. Does anyone have any examples on Youtube of those lefties/greens/celebs who were openly stating that they hoped a virus or something similar would come around and “eradicate the scourge of humanity from the planet”? I wish I’d saved them because i just dismissd them at the time as the usual ramblings of the insane.

    • It is Prince Philip’s openly stated wish, to be reincarnated as a virus. He looks forward to infecting the world of humans and all but wiping them out, for the sake of the planet.
      He was not pressed on how that wish might impact his grandsons and great grandchildren.

      • the British royal family has been killing millions all over the world and has been in existence for over a 1000 years . He did not need reincarnation, he just needed to marry into the family.

      • For COVID 19 probably earlier accession to the throne unless appropriate precautions are taken.

      • Since QE2 seems to be the only royal not barking mad, I hope for the sake of my British cousins that she stays well.

    • Unfortunately, I wrote the book: Death By Design; John Graves.
      A cabal of enviros pay $20B USD to a woman ex-Seal, ex-Mosad to eradicate the planet of humans. Spent several weeks with epidemiologists at CDC in Atlanta doing the research. The premise is based upon more than three dozen quotes from the ‘rich and famous’ about human extinction. Cousteau. Duke of W. Gore. BHO. WWF. Club of Rome.
      Every day a new episode in reality reflects my imaginings in the book, including yesterday’s presser. Wish I had never written the damn thing…
      Two endings: she fails; she succeeds.

    • Yep, Roundup first, but then once the plants have died a flamethrower to wipe out any remaining seeds.

      • Seadog! Always wonderful to hear from you, hugs all ’round to your family. And yes, flamethrower … nuke their bases from orbit.

        w.

      • Flamethrower and Roundup unnecessary. Pan of boiling water straight from the kitchen stove works pretty well.

  27. Thank you Willis. I posted the following earlier today on another site, before reading your article.

    The Spanish Flu of 1918-19 reported struck in two waves and killed ~~50 million worldwide, and then went away for good. Why?

    I suggest the virus did not die out in 1919, rather most of the people of the world were by then exposed to it, and had developed natural immunity. Am I right or wrong about this?
    ______________________

    Our “Three Wise Men” coffee group say it will be over by September, and may come back for several more years during flu season.
    Our best guess is that Covid-19 will take out people who are elderly and infirm, and who probably would have died from other forms of flu within a similar time period.
    The much greater impact will be the economic chaos that results from the over-reaction to a relatively unimportant non-event. The sky it not falling.
    Hope to be correct about this one.

    • Allen
      It is my understanding that ‘novel’ diseases are often too effective at killing their hosts. Thus, they quickly burn through the potential victims. To survive, the infective agent must mutate to a less virulent form that kills less quickly or kills fewer hosts. Some, like syphilis and herpes, adopt a dormant stage for years or months, and then re-appear to again become infectious. I’ve often wondered whether the so-called seasonal flues have a similar strategy of hibernating during the warm, sunny months and then activate when people have lower vitamin D levels.

  28. I remember some greenies/lefties/’celebs” over the years hoping for th eappearance of a virus or some such like to “eradicate the scourge of humanity on th eplanet”. I which I had noted them down. Does anyone have any examples which I can show to people?

    • https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/05/abc-sees-positive-climate-change-lessons-from-coronavirus/#comment-2931982

      I called it in 2012 – see my post below.

      The global warming/climate change scam was never about the climate.

      It was apparent years ago that the global warming alarmists were knowingly deceiving us – no rational person could be that stupid for that long – and they must have a covert agenda.

      That covert agenda is now clear – it is totalitarian control of society and personal profit based on the climate scam.

      The global warming alarmists’ once-covert agenda is now fully exposed and the evidence is everywhere – the USA Democrats are shouting it from the rooftops.

      Anyone who still questions the warmists’ treasonous agenda now is corrupted, delusional or both.

      Regards,Allan

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/24/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-53/#comment-855037

      Instead of arguing about the science of global warming, we should just listen to what these enviro radicals are actually SAYING and DOING.

      Maybe they know their global warming science is bogus, but it suits their purpose to use global warming hysteria as a smokescreen to mask their true intentions.

      The radical warmists have done everything in their power to starve the world of fossil fuel energy that is required for continued global prosperity.

      They have squandered a trillion dollars of scarce global resources on catastrophic humanmade global warming (CAGW) nonsense.

      Investing these squandered resources in clean drinking water and sanitation alone would have saved the ~50 million kids who died from drinking contaminated water in the past 25+ years of CAGW hysteria.

      Intelligent use of these scarce global resources could have easily saved as many people as were killed in the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, or Mao.

      50 million people died in Hitler’s WW2. Josef Stalin killed another 50 million of his own people in internal purges. Leftist hero Mao gets the prize, killing as many as 80 million Chinese during his Great Leap Backward.

      The radical environmental movement has done equally well, rivaling Mao for fatalities caused by the banning of DDT and the misallocation of scarce global resources on the fraud of catastrophic humanmade global warming.

      Since many of these enviro radicals are latter-day Malthusians, Club of Rome types, etc., it is reasonable to assume that THIS WAS THEIR INTENTION.

      Is this too radical a proposal? Well, NO it is not: In addition to what the radical enviros DO, let’s EXAMINE what they SAY (h/t to Wayne):
      http://green-agenda.com/

      ”My three goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
      David Foreman,
      co-founder of Earth First!

      ”A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
      Ted Turner,
      Founder of CNN and major UN donor

      The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
      Jeremy Rifkin,
      Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

      ”Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
      Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies,
      Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

      ”The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
      Sir James Lovelock,
      BBC Interview

      ”We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
      Stephen Schneider,
      Stanford Professor of Climatology,
      Lead author of many IPCC reports

      ”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
      Sir John Houghton,
      First chairman of the IPCC

      ”It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
      Paul Watson,
      Co-founder of Greenpeace

      ”Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
      David Brower,
      First Executive Director of the Sierra Club

      ”We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
      Timothy Wirth,
      President of the UN Foundation

      ”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
      Christine Stewart,
      former Canadian Minister of the Environment

      ”The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
      Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin

      ”Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
      Maurice Strong,
      Founder of the UN Environmental Program

      ”A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-Development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
      Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies,
      Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

      ”If I were reincarnated I would wish to return to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
      Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh,
      husband of Queen Elizabeth II,
      Patron of the Patron of the World Wildlife Foundation

      ”The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization we have in the US. We have to stop these third World countries right where they are.”
      Michael Oppenheimer
      Environmental Defense Fund

      ”Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
      Professor Maurice King

      ”Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.”
      Maurice Strong,
      Rio Earth Summit

      ”Complex technology of any sort is an assault on the human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
      Amory Lovins,
      Rocky Mountain Institute

      ”I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. it played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
      John Davis,
      Editor of Earth First! Journal

      **********************************

      • Thanks Allan. This is the kind of thing I was thinking of. I’m sure I can remember hearing some latter day “celebs” going on about wanting to rid the planet of the entire human species but can’t find any. Maybe they have all deleted them from their Twirtter accounts…

      • You forgot the best one — “Never let a good crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you could not do before.”

  29. We still cannot comprehend how the world-wide web of internet information flows has changed everything about human behaviors, interactions, and assumed knowledge.

    Today, someone can tweet or post something from China and 2 seconds later someone in Europe is reading it and responding. Multiply that ten-million-fold in every direction imaginable to include the folks at the South Pole station to the folks on a icebreaker research ship in the Arctic. Information is flowing and changing faster than we can digest it, before the next piece hits.

    As for me, I sit here safely ensconced in Tucson Arizona, from an immunological standpoint, whilst communicating globally to WUWT readers from Australia to the UK. The warmth and on-going humidity of late (copious mid-March rains in Phoenix and Tucson for the month of March is unusual but welcome) may stall corona virus transmission in the Northern Hemisphere. So many things are being cancelled now. Outdoor fairs, Spring festivals, sporting events.

    We need to stop panicking about this virus that for the vast majority of folks is a simple but annoying cold virus. Yes we need to protect the vulnerable, including both my 80+ year old parents who are both at most risk.

    What will stop this virus now is herd immunity at around 80%. We can get there by delaying spread until the summer gives us some breathing space to get a live, attenuated COVID-19 vaccine in-place.

    Respiratory viruses like Corona Virus need live, attenuated virus for a proper programming of the immune system to prevent a pathogenic antibody Th-2 skewed response that enhances symptoms of a real infection rather than blunting them. You can take that to the bank.

    • What will stop this virus now is herd immunity at around 80%. We can get there by delaying spread until the summer gives us some breathing space to get a live, attenuated COVID-19 vaccine in-place.

      1/. That is UK strategy.
      2/. Experts are saying 60% not 80%
      3/. Most feared outcome is rapid spread and overloaded hospitals
      4/. vaccine already in animal test phase.
      5/. We are as a nation voluntarily self isolating.
      6/. Hoping personally for a vaccine before next winter. I tick all the high risk boxes.

      Fortunately we are the most developed nation of all when it comes to online shopping: no need to stockpile when you can order food from the supermarkets

    • Exactly. The panic over this bad case of the common cold is like amputating a limb over a bruise. If the panic continues, that limb might be our heads if this manufactured crisis leads to a new wave of socialist policies – they certainly aren’t letting this one go to waste.

      I wonder how many similar viruses have done this throughout human history and have been recorded as pneumonia – a catch-all term for acute lung diseases – because have you ever heard of testing for a cold virus?

      • From genetic testing, we can only that some mostly old people died while hosting a virus, not because of a virus.

        Just like when a person who had a flu vaccine died the same year, we don’t automatically conclude that the vaccine is the culprit. It would be unsound to say that every vaccinated person who dies the same year was killed by the vaccine.

    • “What will stop this virus now is herd immunity at around 80%. We can get there by delaying spread until the summer gives us some breathing space to get a live, attenuated COVID-19 vaccine in-place.”

      By delaying the spread of the virus, we are also giving ourselves time to develop other treatments such as anti-viral drugs and antibodiy treatments that can be given to those most ill to help them make it through the illness.

      Delay of the spread of the virus is the name of the game right now.

    • I should have added that a talking head on tv this morning said there were about 30 different treatments that were currenly being tested for their effectiveness against the Wuhan virus. He said some of the drugs used against other diseases may also be effective against the Wuhan virus. And a lot of these results will be available in a matter of weeks to months

      Even if we don’t have a vaccine we still may have drugs that can at least give the most vulnerable a fighting chance of getting over it..

    • SNIP – no discussion from you of vax, anti-vax, pro-vax, all-vax, no-vax … pick another subject and you’re more than welcome to post.

      Thanks,

      w.

  30. Sorry about the double post. My laptop ran out of power… I also posted about the current situation in Thailand which may have been lost. We have had an update now to 82 total cases. We have seen one death but the victim was also reported to have also had dengue fever. (That nearly took me out in 2012…). The first case here was seen in about January. Up to about a month ago we had tens of thousands of Chinese tourists arriving daily – since then they have stopped coming. We have seen none of the mass hysteria here or any panic buying. No obvious “exponential” rise in Covid-19 cases either. We would have heard all about it had it been happening.

    • And that is a very strong indication that the virus does not do well in a tropical climate.

      And before somebody says “How about Iran/Spain”, check the geography. In both countries the spread is happening on a high plateau with cold climate this time of year. Portugal with a mostly milder coastal climate is much less affected.

      Singapore would probably not have much of a problem either, except for virtually universal AC.

      • I’m hoping that sun/humidity/temperature are environmental factors that slow infection. Also, there is a definite age effect and Singapore is another place with a lower median age compared to Italy, Spain. Japan is an interesting test case.

  31. Interesting matter. I wonder if this can allow us to estimate the “real” benefit of the actions that we (Governants?) take?
    My question is. There’s a way to plot a line with the early Data and compare it with the real one at the end?

  32. Thanks for the comparison Willis. Much appreciated.

    Wuhan is not a race. It’s a place.
    If I say Birkenau death camp does that mean I hate Germans or Jews? No.
    End of story.

    BTW this trouble shooting truck driver is still running team. This week Runs from Anderson, IN to Vandalia, OH to San Antonio, TX then back to Anderson. Then back down to San Antonio. Then up to Salem, IL to relay trailer with another driver that we took down to Laredo, TX. Then from Laredo took a trailer to Louisville, KY and the rest of the load in the trailer back to Anderson. Started Sunday morning at 10:00. Got back to Anderson at 23:10 tonight (Friday).

    Traffic still heavy and trucks running just like they have been since the economic boom started. Not a single mask in evidence anywhere.

    Not mentioned on the news but per US DOT hours of service regulations for drivers carrying supplies having to do with the current situation have been suspended until further notice.

    The trucks have to keep running. Without them we would all have great difficulties sooner or later and for most of us sooner no matter how much toilet paper and hand sanitizer has been horded. So the places that produce the materials we need must ship and warehouses and retailers must receive the things we all need. The whole manufacturing/processing and logistic chain must continue to operate. So the truck stops and various other services truckers need must continue to do what they do. If they didn’t for the essentials the death toll this virus takes would be miniscule in comparison to what would result. Let’s just say people wouldn’t be thinking about their 401ks because they would be more worried about making it to retirement.

    First run next week departing Anderson, IN at 02:00 Monday morning auto parts bound for Mexico via a warehouse in Nogales, AZ right on the border. We take the parts down in a refrigerated trailer that has front and rear cooling/heating units and a movable partition. We use that kind of trailer because the backhaul out of Tucson is a pickup for Roche labs. Three weeks ago we did that run and temp for the front portion was set a 41 deg. F for reagents and some kind of special medical slides. The back portion was set a 68 deg. F for crated diagnostic equipment. We delivered the equipment to one facility in the large Roche campus in Indianapolis, and the stuff in the front went to another building. Who knows? Maybe this time we will be carrying COVID-19 test kits and the automatic diagnostic machines that are supposed to be coming on line to speed up the processing of the samples that are supposed to cut the time for diagnosis down to about 48 hours counting transit time.

    • Han in Wuhan refers to the ethnic Han, the majority in China.

      Anyway, to me Wuhan virus sounds about right. When I worked in Wuhan, I always found it painful to be there. except for the visits to Captain Jacks, Brussels Beer Garden and a couple of other lounges. And to some of the Chinese who look down upon foreigners, we were the viruses.

    • Thanks rah.
      I’ve not been out and about, but will be on I-90 in Washington State next Tuesday morning.
      In addition to long-haul folks like you, the section I’ll view usually has locally grown hay being carried to west coast (Puget Sound) ports, and apples to packers (fresh) and processors (juice) to local places.
      The number and variety of trucks is always of interest.
      I need a cheat-sheet to tell me what some of the specialty ones carry.
      Regards, John

      • John you and every other driver out there needs to know there are one heck of a lot of new drivers behind the wheels of those trucks out there. Just be aware. Some of those steering wheel holders don’t belong in control of what is potentially 80,000 lb of rolling death. It takes time before the bad apples get weeded out, but either the law or worse catches up to the vast majority of them sooner or later. Its’ the “worse” option none of us want to be a part of.

  33. Thank you Willis. More amunition.
    For context and to compare Covid19 with other pandemics I looked up how many UK deaths were caused by the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic. I came across this prediction printed in the Gaurdian
    “Up to 65,000 people in the UK could die from swine flu if the pandemic achieves it worst possible potential, the government warned today.
    The chief medical officer, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, said that in the worst case scenario 30% of the UK population could be infected by the H1N1 virus, with 65,000 killed.
    The best case scenario is that 5% of the population contract the virus, with 3,100 deaths.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/jul/16/swine-flu-cases-rise-britain

    How many deaths were there? NHS says 138 and Telegraph says 457

    And I found this thoughtful piece:

  34. There seems something wrong to me.
    China: 1.100.000.000 inhabitants.
    Wuhan area: 11.000.000.
    Total deaths all over China: 3.200
    So, Corona takes a death toll of ~ 0,0003 % of the population Chinawide.
    More than 97% of those who fell ill do actually survive.
    This Corona-incident seems white noise to me, statistically, I dare say.
    Anything wrong with that calculation? Let me know, please.

    • Hi NN
      The current population of China is more than 1,437,000,000 based on the latest United Nations data.
      “Total deaths all over China: 3,200”
      China mortality from all causes in 2018 was 7.121 deaths per 1000 people or 0.34%, which makes it 28,000/day while average for COVID was (averaged) about 50/day.
      Statistically during last couple of months COVID contributed 0.18% to the daily total or about less than 2 per 1000.
      That wouldn’t even register on my digital kitchen scale; statistics is a ‘numerical origami’.
      to paraphrase: ‘anything wrong with the above calculation?’

      • Thanks, Vuk.
        So, why the heck are so many governments kickings up such a terrible fuss? Press and other media are full of who said what to whom instead of communicating the simplest rules like wash your hands regularly, don’t come too close to others, stay at home when you have a cold and DON’T PANIC! ???
        I do not believe in conspiracies, but this time there seems to be something pretty weird going on.

        • NN
          You remarked, “… this time there seems to be something pretty weird going on.” Yes, I agree with you. It seems to be an over-reaction based on the information available to the public. That suggests that the governments know something that they aren’t sharing. An alternative approach would have been a ‘Shelter in Place’ directive for those of retirement age because they appear to be most at risk for dying. Allowing Herd Immunity to develop quickly among those who seem the least impacted would ultimately protect the older people and have the least impact on the economy because the most at-risk people are largely retired. Something doesn’t seem right here, compared to how the world has reacted to recent similar pandemics.

          • Clde, thanks.
            Afaik the median is currently at 63 years of age. The elderly are clearly almost the only victims. All others show no or just mild symptoms with almost no casualties. For the sake oft the elderly, make them stay at home, out of the reach of potential carriers of the virus. That will do. Government has other plans, it seems. Either they do have indeed other plans or there is something we, the sheeple, just must not know. Hmmm….

        • I posted the following on Chiefo’s site:
          Time to read:
          Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
          As a society, we have panicked and set in motion a period of frantic activity.
          Most of this activity is wrongheaded. Serious disruptions, too numerous to list, are underway.
          There is no reverse.

    • “Anything wrong with that calculation?”

      yes, you are using ‘official numbers’ instead of real data.

      • Two observations regarding China’s “data”:

        In early February, the virus had spread to most provinces and was growing exponentially with the range of total cases in most provinces around Hubei in the hundreds, say 200-900 cases. President Xi, around the 3rd of February, then declared stopping the spread of the virus to be a “priority.”

        Within three days, exponential growth ended, to be replaced by a slowing growth rate each day. That continued until about Feb 20th. Around Feb 20, President Xi declared that all new virus cases would be the responsibility of the provincial and local authorities. That put a halt to new cases within two days.

        New cases in the eight provinces I was recording from Feb 13 to Feb 14: 117 cases and slowing
        New cases from Feb 23 to Feb 24 in the same eight provinces: 3 cases total.

        As for the growth in Hubei Province which includes Wuhan, all of those authorities have been replaced. Unfortunately, I wasn’t recording the new cases from the start, so I can’t illustrate the sudden fall off from the previous exponential growth rate in those eight provinces. Suffice it to say new cases were growing rapidly until just prior to Xi’s declaring it a priority.

        It’s possible their numbers reflect reality, just not probable. More likely, it’s just Chinese propaganda. As for calling it the Wuhan Virus, we’d better continue to do just that because they now have a propaganda effort underway to claim it originated in the U.S. Sadly, our press seems inclined to aid that recent effort by calling anyone who labels it the Wuhan virus a racist.

    • No, but mortality among infected is about 1 %.

      The chinese, by drastic and brutal means, stopped transmission before more than a few hunded thousand were infected.

      And about 4,000 people are still “serious” or “critical”, and that figure has not decreased much in recent days despite few new cases. A lot of those 4,000 will probably ultimately die.

    • If China, which by many measures is a Third World nation, has a tally of only 3,000 deaths against a population of 1.4 billion—and that population, while four times larger than that of the US, is packed into a landmass almost exactly the same size as ours—then I’m pretty optimistic about our chances here in the States.

  35. Thanks
    Is it not like climate science , you know what it should look like and fill in the gaps?
    Number of tested is crucial.
    Random or not?
    But I like your optimism !

  36. Good comment Willis, as always.

    Would love to read your Thoughts on the substantial article by Tomas Puerto floating around the web. He urges strict swift action by governments and society to curtail the exponential growth of Covid 19. He argues that without this action the exponential growth will continue and be disastrous for society.
    How doe this scenario fit with the Compertz curve you have explained?

    Rayb

  37. Further to my comments about Thailand. A mate of mine thinks he might have had it in January – along with a few of his mates. That might well be possible. How many people had a bad cold or whatever but didn’t bother going to the Doc? As Covid-19 didn’t even have a name then – the Chinese were keeping quiet about it – how many have had it and survived?

    I think it’s a bit of a storm in a teacup myself and the mass hysteria in response is something I hope we learn from and not repeat in the future. Wolf has been cried too many times already. As for “exponential” growth of these things we would all have been dead by now had these things been “exponential”. As has been noted flu deaths this year are far in excess of CV deaths. How many flu deaths could have been avoided if people had simply followed better hygeine? If the biggest lesson from all of this is that we all wash our hands more offten and better then that will be a plus… But once the scare is over I reckon most people won’t.

    And, having worked in China and seen hundreds of thousands of them on holiday here in Thailand, don’t get me started on their “personal hygeine”… It leaves much to be desired…. I like to walk along the beach here in Pattaya of a morning. It was an obstacle course avoiding all of the sputum bombs on the pavement… I’m not saying they were all left by our visitors from China but as 80% of all of the people blocking hte pavements here were from China it’s a fair bet…

    • Only country in Europe with apparently no detected infection is Monte Negro (pop.600k) and Kaliningrad province (not part of mainland) of Russia. Anyone coming from outside MN has to register with police and self-isolate for 14 days, and might be tagged with an ‘electronic monitoring’ police tags so to make sure that person stays put.

  38. When China, Korea come out of lockdown, what will stop the virus re-emerging if they don’t have herd immunity? Or will they be in lockdown until a vaccine is available?

  39. Willis, I would like to know how testing actually affects the curve?
    For a virus that can have relatively mild symptoms and was not the subject of an existing regular testing program, the sudden publicity, the availability of a test and the sudden rush to test may create such a curve. The curve flattens if the virus is relatively benign and the rate of testing catches up with with those infected in the community. The mortality curve could be similarly affected as Authorities begin testing for an assigning deaths to the disease.
    Old age was once a common killer of forty-five year olds!

    Sorry
    Thought it was a sensible uestion.
    Might be going to a spam filter?

  40. The situation in Italy is somewhat different. Almost one-third of the Italian population are non-responders to antibiotics. If such a non-responders has to undergo intubation or other forms of therapy like infusions, chances are very high that they get infected by by MRSA or similar bacteria. Italian hospitals are known to be “bacteria-friendly” areas. That certainly is one of the reasons why Italy is on top of the statistics.

  41. there was not a blossom left on the limbs … we’ll see if we get any plums in the fall.

    Probably not, but in 2021 you’d better be prepared to prop up the branches.

  42. As from yesterday, 13th, the mother company (based in Switzerland) went all of a sudden on insane lockdown and compulsory test rules. Including forget fuel saving and run packs (AC) in high flow whenever applicable, safety pilot in case one of us is incapacitated while on duty and so on.

    From “be cool but careful” to “be scared, very scared” in a matter of a few hours.

    It all looks like as if someone up has been paid a surprise visit by “men in black with the government” obviously willing to help.

    And early this morning, an emergency phone call to all parents, school suspended until otherwise specified.

    • “Actually Willis, the official name of the virus is now SARS-COV-2”

      Wuhan virus rolls off the tongue better and is more descriptive. How many people do you hear going around saying “SARS-COV-2? How many people do you hear confusing the Wuhan virus with COVID-19, which is the official name of the disease? A lot of people, including medical people. They get the virus confused with the disease.

      Calling it Wuhan virus eliminates all the confusion, and the Chinese leadership and leftwing crazies in the U.S. don’t like the name, so that is even more of a reason for using it. Rub it in their faces, so to speak. Rub the truth in their faces. Lefties don’t like the truth.

      • Why not call it “Trump Virus?” He’s done more to spread it than any other single person:
        – Delayed testing
        – denied/minimised dangers
        – cut funding
        – misinformed/lied to, the public

        Yeah let’s call it by a name that allows people to see who the real villain is? What’s that? You don’t agree. Maybe now you see why giving it a name that offends people is not a good idea at this time.

        • Simon March 16, 2020 at 11:13 am

          Why not call it “Trump Virus?” He’s done more to spread it than any other single person:

          Sorry, not true. The US only has 67 deaths to date, less than many countries, in part because the President closed the borders early.

          As to “giving it a name that offends people”, are the people living in the Rocky Mountains offended by “Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever”? I can’t say how tired I am about people being “offended” by something that is true.

          w.

          • “I can’t say how tired I am about people being “offended” by something that is true.”
            So you are all good with calling it “Trump virus” then, because all these things are true:
            He….
            – Delayed testing
            – denied/minimised dangers
            – cut funding
            – misinformed/lied to, the public
            Personally, I think it best avoid needlessly blaming any group. I think we should call it what the world heath body has.

            I see Trump is taking it very seriously now and so we all should be.

  43. It would seem to me that this curve applies to a restricted or isolated population, and every neighborhood, city, region, state, and country will have its own curve. So at this point, we are seeing the curves of just the infected parts of China, Italy, Spain, etc.

    They may ramp up and flatten, but as other regions become infected, will ramp up higher and flatten again. And that will continue until all areas have been exposed.

  44. What appears in my mind, is that not enough people were buying the Climate Change Chicken Little story–so we have the ‘Well, would you believe THIS?’ Maxwell Smart voice emanating from all the media and politicians. Some quotes from CBC–

    ‘Number of cases in Canada approaches 200.’

    ‘About half of the world’s 138,000 people infected have already recovered. ‘

    ’79 in Ontario, including five people who have recovered.
    64 in B.C., including one death and four people who have recovered.
    29 in Alberta.
    17 in Quebec.
    Four in Manitoba.
    Two in Saskatchewan.
    One in New Brunswick.
    Two cases have been confirmed among Grand Princess cruise passengers quarantined at CFB Trenton.’

    This is insane! The 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ infected 27% of the world’s population–that would be some 2 billion people today. We’re emptying supermarket toilet-paper-shelves world-wide for 138,000??–and crashing stock-markets?? There are more rolls of toilet paper being hoarded today than people would have been killed by an uncontained Spanish flu.

    Does nobody look at numbers anymore and say ‘Hey—wait a minute…’. (I know, stupid question after watching Brian Williams and Mara Gay completely accept and propagate numbers out by a factor of a million.)

    ‘During the first nine months of 2018, 3,286 Canadians lost their lives to apparent opioid-related overdoses.’

    ‘In 2018, the number of motor vehicle fatalities was 1,922; up 3.6% from 2017 (1,856).’

    ‘In 2017, there were around 20 deaths from influenza and pneumonia per 100,000 population, a slight increase from previous years. ‘

    There are 37.643 million people in Canada; that means 7,529 died from ‘normal’ flu. Compared to ONE (I think there are now 2) who have died from this supposed new virus. Singapore research indicates it actually may have been around the world for a couple of years, and just not identified till now–meaning it may be nothing new, and everything that is happening now happened last year too, but was bunched in with the ‘normal’ flu deaths. Maybe just one more reason that the pharmaceutical-company-pushed flu vaccine wasn’t effective yet again.

    There’s a scam going on; we better watch it, we’re about to get screwed and we’ll come out of this with somehow a lot less freedom than we had last year. Everyone will be staggering around with stunned looks on their faces wondering ‘What the hell just happened here??’

    We’re watching a full-on batshit-crazy Greta-Thunberg-Chicken-Little stampede to the cave, taking the advice of a hungry Fox for ‘salvation’, listening to Brian Williams/Mara Gay.

  45. Bats the elephant in the room! They’ll bring humanity to its knees. There’s no money in exterminating bats. The pandemic industry is just getting off the ground.

  46. Willis, nice article, as usual. But I think you are overworking the, “it’s not exponential,” argument. Of course exponential growth can’t continue forever because there are not an infinite number of people involved with continued mixing of the population. It is the same with many physical and chemical processes. What happens near the beginning of a process when there is ample reactant available is completely different from what happens later in a process when there is much less material left to react. But that doesn’t stop us from, correctly, asserting that one particular process or another is exponential at outset and for some time into the process. Go back and look at your Gompertz curve in R or whatever your favorite fool is today and you will see you can easily describe the early part of the curve with an exponential expression. Of course stating the whole mathematical description of this or any other pandemic or epidemic, or any other real physical process for that matter, is exponential is not the whole story.

    As another example, I haven’t looked at the numbers lately, but at least until relatively recently human population growth has been well described as exponential. Of course that will see limits and start to slow down, but as long as that growth is still in the phase that is well described as exponential it isn’t proper to describe it as anything other than exponential growth.

  47. This disease is rapidly running out of time. No virus has ever peaked in April or May. For example, this is the CDC chart for when the flu virus peaks.
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm

    The warmer weather is going to suppress the virus. Between that proven fact and the aggressive (in my opinion, overly aggressive) measures being taken, it will peak soon. If 5000 people die from this in the United States, I will be shocked.

    https://regenexx.com/blog/coronavirus-myths-debunked/

    • Hopefully, that is the case. The doc in the video above said that Swine flu showed no seasonal variability on its second round. It did die out during summer in its first round.

    • But people HAVE TO die. All the time.

      We wouldn’t want people to be more and more crippled by old age and degenerative disease. Seeing a relative losing his brain is horrible.

      People are talking about death like they are talking about email accounts not being hacked, ever. We don’t want emails being hacked (well except Podesta’s and the DNC, of course). Not being hacked is a proper goal. Not dying is not.

  48. I’ve read extensively over the last 7 decades on the 1918 flu and the various respiratory epidemics/pandemics over the years. All have somewhat similar actions due to mutations in that they reach a point where they no longer are capable of infecting humans. Many, if not most, have multiple “waves” as the best evidence indicates the first 1918 flu was mild but also swept the world whereas the second wave triggered rapid deaths in usually unaffected groups. But, after 102 years of research, CDC notes that there is still no consensus as to the mechanism which made that one, single, strain so lethal to those so quickly.

    Willis may have pointed out one of the great flaws of Darwin’s original work – the rapid changes. There is likely a lurking Law of Mutations stalking evolution which runs 180 degrees counter to some of Darwin’s cherished beliefs. I.E., life is much more complex than simple “over billions of years”.

    And some points:
    1. Search PubMed (the NIH repository of all medical articles, trials, studies world wide) and you’ll find only one blind randomized clinical trial (the medical gold standard for treatment facts) regarding avoiding respiratory virus symptoms through hand washing, hand sanitizers, combinations compared to the control group (do nothing). They reported no statistical difference between any of the groups meaning wash your hands, wear those masks, do both and even lather in sanitizer but it will be ineffective regarding viruses.
    However, washing is very good to clean off the e.coli especially since no one seems to have toilet paper.

    2. No one has done a blind randomized clinical trial of how many exposures one needs before infection from these diseases. Likely will never happen. There are, however, a few PubMed reported epidemalogical studies (for whatever they’re worth) on Emergency Room staff (nurses, doctors, etc.) which indicate their (the staff) infection rate is “very low” although they directly contact those tested with the active, contagious respiratory viruses. Some people obviously are infected from only one exposure. Again, no one knows. To complicate matters, there are some people who simply never are infected regardless of exposure.

    3. Apply math (any model you wish) to the modern, daily, non-stop airline schedules from China to attempt to get an understanding of how things spread (ref. the pop book “The Hot Zone”. Wuhan had daily jumbo jet direct non-stop flights to the international hubs of San Francisco, New York City, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Dubai, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Then add flights to regional airports and their connections to hubs. Then add from 2 to four (even six) months before these flights were shut down.

    4. There is no reliable, maybe not feasible, testing on travelers for new “emerging” strains…and there are thousands of strains. Just about every government, city, hamlet on the planet tried quarantines during the 1918 flu but it just (mysteriously or, perhaps, from a law of mutation) evolved out to the human infection zone. Recall, every hamlet of any size in the US had things like telegraphs. They tried. It simply didn’t work. Some conjecture is that it “slows them down” but even that makes little sense unless one can prove how exposures really work. Simply put, by sometime in January, in the West and the international hubs, millions of people had been exposed.

    5. These viruses simply cannot be stopped by quarantines in the modern world; nor were they effective previously. Whether quarantines even “slow down” the spread is conjecture. For quarantines to be truly effective in humans under , we need travelers crossing international borders to be treated the same as we deal with Fido (dogs, etc.) crossing borders: complete isolation for up to six months then tested before release. Even with these draconian measures, there are cases where the procedure failed due to humans incompetence or smuggling.

    6. One conjectures most people, even the semi-hermit, has been exposed. A large percentage likely has already been infected but had few symptoms or Meaning you will, likely have, been exposed. We may even be in the second wave and/or even third wave since no one really knows (yet). Testing for anyone not showing active symptoms.

    7. My Boomer generation will create a tsunami of elders. Given the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, Alzheimers, cardiovascular disease and metabolically disorders, we will be the sickest group to ever enter the elder years. Italy, for example has the largest percent elderly in their population demographics of any nation on the planet. It should be no surprise that they’re leading the West in elder deaths from this virus.

    8. Even vaccines which almost always arrive after the viruses mutate are far from 100%. Your best strategy for these respiratory virus to avoid a premature death is to change your lifestyle to boost your immune system. That means, for most Americans, to eat a non-inflammatory diet (Med, Adkins, low-carb), moderate exercise, de-stress and sleep well. For the advanced, invoke authophagy by periodic fasting so that the cells you have that are damaged and worn out will be re-cycled.

    Finally, expect the Left to continue “grooming” populations so you’ll not only follow Government directives but believe they actually work.

      • A most refreshing grip on reality.

        Generates the thought–note how acid rain, CO2, dust from dust storms, volcanic ash….all get distributed around the globe in a short period of time. But a virus is going to travel only on humans??

        • Viruses are very delicate packages if genetic information, easily killed.
          They rely on being reproduced in vast profusion and continuous host to host transfer, at least this kind of virus does.
          They do not persists in a viable state outside of the hosts and cells they proliferate in.
          In particular, UV light kills them very quickly.
          Viruses that cause infectious diseases, travelling around the world in dust clouds, is not a thing.
          As for the range of possible hosts, there seem to be a few for which humans are the only host, but many others infect other species…and so no, they do not only travel around in humans.
          But there needs to be some means by which a transfer from one species to another takes place.
          Bird flu has one strain (H5N1) which kills 60% of people it infects, but so far, human to human transmission has not occurred except for a few isolated possible instances of that. It also rarely spreads from birds to humans. It can kill entire flocks of birds in under 30 hours.
          It is rare fro it to spread to humans, but the shear number of people and birds in the world means that even the rarest of events happen with regularity.
          Between H5N1 being first identified in 1997, it has killed over 350 people in the world in sporadic cases of zoonotic transmission.
          If it ever acquires the ability to spread between people, which could easily happen via genetic reassortment in an individual who just happens to get a case of human spread flu and Avian H5N1 influenza simultaneously, and if furthermore the infection was overlooked or swept under the rug in the initial stages of the outbreak, we could have something truly apocalyptic occur.
          60% death rate.
          Imagine that travelling around the world. And that one does not only kill old and sick people.
          This should be a wake up call for the entire human race.
          The people that respond to emerging infectious diseases have warned of the possibility of a global pandemic of something with a high death rate in the double digits for decades.
          This one is not it.
          But it is coming, and one way to look at this one is to take it as a warning of what some seem to think is an overblown concern.
          IMO, a disease which kills a substantial proportion of the humans on the planet in a short time is not a question of if, only when and how bad.
          We have been very lucky.
          People respond very badly to events like this.
          Some drastically overreact.
          Some think that any level of concern is unwarranted.
          A very small percentage seems cable of absorbing information quickly while also doing a good job of filtering out bad information.
          Much of the problem is perceptions do not align with reality, such as when people start out not caring at all then become obsessed all of a sudden.
          Other aspects involved how people react and behave.
          Some do so very badly.
          Anyone who reacts by such antisocial behaviors as attempting to profiteer should be dealt with harshly
          There should be automatic steps in place to keep anyone from hoarding vital goods that everyone needs to have.
          What always has been and would have remained adequate supplies evolves into a situation where a few have rooms full of stuff like T.P. and hand cleaner, and others are unable to buy what is required for immediate needs.
          There is no reason to think anyone should lay in a year’s supply of toilet paper, never mind several times that amount
          Hoarders should be punished, fined, and their hoarded supplies confiscated…but it would be better for suppliers to prevent it from occurring to begin with.
          Price gougers should be summarily imprisoned like looters in a hurricane. Tried and jailed with harsh sentences.

          • Since viruses are quickly susceptible to UV light, should we be installing UV light “hand baths” and illuminating entrances everywhere with it instead of depending upon pump bottles of hand sanitizer?

          • Hand sanitizer is not meant to protect anyone from a virus pandemic.
            Get a bottle of povidone iodine, or a bottle of Hibiclens.
            Follow the directions.
            For povidone, you can dilute it ten to one, put it in a squeeze bottle, and rinse your hands with it before going out. There will be enough iodine adhering to your skin to kill any virus, or bacteria, or anything else, for a period of time that may be hours depending on conditions.
            Use it again after you get home. Maybe smear some around your nostrils, or soak some cotton in it and place in nostrils. No virus will be getting into you through your nose with that there.
            Povidone iodine kills everything, completely and quickly, and has significant residual action.
            Surgeons and others in an operating theatre do not use hand sanitizer to scrub for surgery.
            They do use Hibiclen and povidone iodine though. And it may be few enough people know enough that you may be able to go buy some.
            If bleach is sold out, go to a pool supply store and buy some calcium hypochlorite.
            50 pounds cost a hundred or a hundred and fifty bucks, and is enough to keep a pool sanitized for over a year. (It is used for shock, not regular chlorination, since it is not stabilized, but if you are a handy chemist you can use it, but trichlo or dichlor is easier and maybe cheaper…but for burning off organics, calcium hypochlorite is the stuff.)
            One pound will treat 10,000 gallons of drinking water. It is much better than bleach for some purposes, like hand washing, because bleach has surfactants that make it adhere to hands and hard to rinse off if it gets on skin.

          • I really do not know what level of UV light will kill a virus, just that the Sun has more than enough.
            But something equivalent to the Sun might be dangerous for most people to have in their house. Blindness and all. Burns, you know…that UV is ionizing radiations

  49. Death rate depends on the angle of rising curve of the amount infected with the virus. So, from human awareness and the ease from human-to-human transmission.

    • I keep hearing that if anything, high humidity reduces transmission/infection. In any case, a rapid increase in infection at this point is nearly certain.

      • Indeed it is dry air which is the problem ( read over heated living spaces ).

        People mistakenly think air is “dry ” in summer.

        • The air itself is not contagious. You must have contact with the liquid excreted by the infected person.

          • Something akin to Ostwald ripening causes aerosols and mists to fall out in high humidity. In the case of most viruses ,therefore, high humidity reduces their transmission. As you point out, in the case of the Wuhan virus, it is droplets that transmit the virus, either through the air or subsequent surface contact.

            It is known that our mucous membranes are more effective against pathogens in high humidity. So, this is probably still an open question.

  50. Mortality depends on the efficiency of the healthcare system. Therefore, it is crucial to flatten the infection curve and extend it over time.

  51. The fit to an S curve only works at the beginning of an epidemic. Eventually you end up with some sort of skewed bell-shaped curve, usually with a steeper beginning and a longer trailing edge.

    It is the shape of the entire curve that is important. If the disease has a high R-Naught and spreads too rapidly, the steep front end quickly exceeds the ability of a medical infrastructure to respond – this is what happened around Wuhan. If you can slow the front rise you have a chance to keep the peak under the capacity to care for – extremely important in reducing mortality. This also allows more time to try to respond to the disease with vaccines and counter measures before most of the potential infections occur – although I think a tested generally available vaccine is another year out.

    A steep front end indicate one or more factors: 1) The disease is likely highly contagious and 2) The disease is (semi)-novel to the population being infected. The Corona (SARS-CoV-2) virus is both of these. Other than that, we really do not know how many people are threatened by it, how many might have some form of useful antibodies to it, and how many are very susceptible to it’s disease. It is extremely likely our current statistics are very wrong – it is likely there are far more people infected or already over the disease then we have accounted for – otherwise the flattening of the curve makes no real sense. Medical people like to think it’s all the actions they took, but that just flattens the curve, it likely does not greatly reduce those that will eventually come down with the disease (so the tail lengthens – they buy us time).

    Once the population reaches the point where some 70% to 80% are no longer susceptible to the disease, it will begin fading out unable to efficiently spread. Also, there is a good chance that warm weather will reduce its spread. It pretty much sounds like I am describing a FLU epidemic, and I am. I see a lot of correlation between the two types of viruses.

    All the panic around this disease is just silly – People need to calm down and realize the world has not changed. All the toilet paper in the world isn’t going to make them more secure.

    • Ah, the joys of the English language, where we have words for anything. And if we don’t have a word for something, we find a foreigner in some dark alleyway and we mug them and steal their word for it …

      Regards,

      w.

  52. With all these precautions people and government is taking there will be big drop in number of flu cases and colds as well.

    Why doesn’t the government suggest businesses and homes keep temperatures at 80 degrees inside with higher humidity ? From what I understand this makes it harder for viruses to survive.

    • Relative humidity is certainly a factor. It maybe that statistically is being confused with temperature.

      In winter developed countries over heat their homes. This means the normally low absolute humidity outside become extremely low relative humidity in the over heated living area.

      Membranes are gagging for humidity since the air is sucking all it can get from them. The slightest droplet of ( possibly infected ) aerosol gets sucked into membranes very effectively.

      My living space is rarely more that a couple of degrees above ambient in winter. Personal anecdote: I don’t get ill.

  53. Willis, Great article, thanks…”but” a couple comments:

    Re: The plum trees in our entry were fooled into blossoming by the warm dry February.

    Are your plum trees indigenous? If not I frequently point out to people panicked by Climate Change that the trees and plants they note as blooming “too early” are not not indigenous and ask them to instead (1) figure out what plants in their area are indigenous and, (2) if they can find any, watch how they behave over the years and note that the real locals are rarely, if ever, fooled.

    Re: Me, I’m the least PC guy imaginable

    Me more, but all people everywhere are racists (to wit, races) and that is you, me, and everybody and that is OK since I can tell you from exp that violent racism is very, very rare and usually exists in very specific locations (and thus avoidable). I’ve come to realize that the ultimate racists (who own/control the MSM, etc.) have programmed everyone to publicly proclaim their faith in the MSM “we’re not racist” dogma that the MSM puppet masters do not believe or practice…they divide and and conquer…they promote fear and ignorance…and these are just the “racists” we don’t want to be. Propaganda is an effective mind control tool that must be resisted by any means possilbe. Being non-PC I freely tell anyone who cares to listen that I am a racist…like my significant other…she’s racist too but it just so happens most of her genes originated in Africa while most of mine originated in Europe. But we still call spades spades and Covid 19 the WuFlu.

    • meiggs

      I would like to believe that I’m not a racist, meaning someone who has an irrational dislike or hatred of others because of their country of origin or the color of their skin.

      However, I will cop to being a culturist. I believe some cultures are better adapted to our modern world with high populations and high technology. They provide their members with higher standards of living and more personal freedom. Some cultures treat their members more equitably and empathically. They don’t oppress others, nor do they impose on their members culturally anachronistic rituals such as genital mutilations. They provide opportunities for social and economic improvement based on talent and personal effort. Those are my biases and I’m not about to apologize for them, no matter what the mainstream media says about me.

  54. Posted this before but here is an update. Because of the nature of the enveloped Wuhan corona virus, social distancing (the cough microdroplets do not go far and settle in minutes) frequent hand washing (the microdroplets descend to surfaces where the Wuhan virus has now been shown experimentally to remain viable on cardboard for one day and on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days depending on temperature and humidity), and finally not touching mouth, nose, or eyes works. For these same reasons, quarantine works to reduce R0 to near zero. And that affects the shape of the Gompertz curve.

    The big remaining question is CFR, mortality. Fauci guesses 1%, WHO guesses 3.4%. The Diamond Princess ‘experiment’ offers a way to correct the denominator in the outcomes ratio fatalities/recovered for undetected or mild cases. There were 705 total confirmed by testing infections out of about 3700 total, 392 symptomatic and 313 asymptomatic (fever <100F). Now this is not exactly right because the cruise passengers skew old who are more susceptible. But it is good enough first order approximation. Divide the denominator by 0.556. So, using that method and starting with Thursday a week ago, here is daily mortality based on the JHU website: 3.4 (same as WHO, maybe a coincidence and maybe not), 3.5, 3.5, 3.6, 3.6, 3.7, 3.7, 3.8, 3.8, 4.1, 4.3. The impact of Italy with its elderly demographic and overwhelmed hospital system is evident. A cause for very real concern and certainly justification for all the measures being taken in the US.

    • I suspect the Diamond Princess ‘experiment’ is pessimistic not only because of age. People were wandering around on deck chatting about how bad it was. 50% of the those were down wind from potential carriers.

      Plus half the crew had it and they were preparing meals !

    • The number of deaths/recovered for the cruise ship is 2.2% using data reported by Johns Hopkins. This should be viewed positively since we know the demographic skew is toward older passengers. Apparently, not a single passenger under the age of 70 has occurred.

    • Rud:

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/02/10/wuhan-coronavirus-a-wuwt-scientific-commentary/

      You spoke too soon.

      “Conclusions

      Should the world be concerned? Perhaps.

      Will there be a terrible Wuhan pandemic? Probably not.

      Again, the analogy to climate change alarm is striking. Alarm based on lack of underlying scientific knowledge plus unfounded worst case projections.

      Proven human to human transmissibility and the likely (since proven) ineffectiveness of surgical masks were real early concerns. But the Wuhan virus will probably not become pandemic, or even endemic.”

  55. In an uncontrolled epidemic the population is finite and the curve must flatten when the virus runs out of victims. This is not what is happening in korea. They are using good policies to flatten the curve far before the population is saturated. Unless they eradicate the virus somehow victims and deaths will increase until there is a vaccine. A better analogue for the US is Italy 3 weeks ago.

  56. Moisture increases the survivability of the virus. Higher temperatures do not matter. Rather, the weakening of the body after a long winter.

    • That would be unusual but you’re the second person on this thread that said that. In other corona viruses, flu and common cold, humidity lowers virus survival.

    • The air itself is not contagious. You must have contact with the liquid excreted by the infected person.

      • You are wrong ren.
        Different viruses react differently to various temperatures and humidity level.
        What you are saying here is not accurate.

  57. My conclusion is very clear: if China, with a population well over 10% of the total earth population, is going to end up with several thousand deaths, then no way on earth are talk of several million dead worldwide even remotely accurate.

    It really is time that the bullshitters in the Establishment were challenged with this data.

    A large number of media sackings will be required, and several doctors might need to consider whether they have breached the Hippocratic oath making pronouncements which will have been so ridiculously inaccurate as to suggest that they simply do not merit senior positions of influence.

    From this data, you might consider it surprising if many more than 100,000 deaths globally will occur. Call it 500,000 to be very cautious. But unless the thing mutates, evolves and comes back again stronger, reaching even 1 million deaths globally is going to be one heck of a stretch.

    A very far cry from the never-ending hooey that the UK media are putting out.

  58. Willis, I find that though you state the number of deaths “associated with” this virus, you don’t specify the ” cause” of these deaths. The assumption they are the direct cause by the virus as a pathogen. Is this the case?

    • Roger, not Willis but can give you a precise answer. The cause of death in CoViD-19 disease caused by Sars-Cov-2 virus aka Wuhan virus is viral lower respiratory pneumonia. This can be X-Ray diagnosed (lower lung ‘ground glass’ image). It can be proven viral when refractory to antibiotics. See the NEJM case report on the Washington State patient and remdesivir that I linked to in a previous post for further medical details.

  59. There is an interesting side question. Many of our killer viruses have been sourced to bats, yet bats are not bothered by them. (White-nose syndrome is killing bats, but it is a fungus). Something about interferon.
    Google “bat virus”. See articles there, for example Science News, Science Alert, Scientific American, etc.

    The SciAm one says “The mysterious patient samples arrived at Wuhan Institute of Virology at 7 P.M. on December 30, 2019. Moments later, Shi Zhengli’s cell phone rang.” Remember that name: Shi.

    • I knew a Mr. Shi in Wuhan, not the same guy, and he didn’t like foreigners like me, in particular. I didn’t like him either. I guess I don’t wish him ill will, but the thought crossed my mind.

    • Toto maybe the bats are the cariers, we are the target. Sort of like ticks and tick bite fever using cattle to infect humans.

      • Virus particles are not very smart, having no brain and all, so the short answer is no.
        But “they” are very clever at infecting something living and cloning themselves. The ‘they’ is in quotes because they themselves are not smart or clever, it is the “thing” that built them.
        That ‘thing’ is of course not something physical either. It goes by various names, God, Allah, Evolution … but that is another topic.

        Having said all that, there is nothing wrong with what you said, as long as you do not mean it too literally. To us, “they” are out to get us. Bats, ticks, mosquitos, vampires, people with the virus. So we need to defend ourselves, we need to protect ourselves.

  60. great article Willis – I hope you update it or write new ones when significant data emerge

    i’m as racist as any Asian/American indian – with some Chinese attempting to blame the US as the source of the coronavirus – I think it is practical for those who think this is bunk to actively use the nickname for the Covid-19 – “Wuhan Virus” – just to tell those Chinese we know better

      • Like the flu it will take out the weak in society for many years to come. We know it can mutate and that those who passed the virus are not immune to get it an other moment in their life.

    • Local authorities report local infection results. Since Wuhan local bosses were replaced (possibly by now ‘behind the bars’) the rest suddenly wised-up and the casualty numbers from everywhere improved beyond even (required) wild imagination.
      In the UK we will soon have some magic too, when only those hospitalised in critical condition will be reported.

  61. At some point, satellite photos of North Korea will be released. That’ll be one heck of a shock.

  62. Willis,

    I have put in my own patios using 3 to 4 inch foundations of modified 2A topped with with an inch or two of rock dust swept into the spaces between the pavers. Used crushed limestone to discourage plant growth (I’m from Missouri originally, a state with a limestone Karst geology). These constructions were stable through 40” rain per annum and multiple freeze/thaw cycles. Just sayin’. Lots of work though moving tons of rock from curb to back yard.

    • Greg –

      Thanks for link. I found the SIR model approach to be more understandable, although it appears to me to lead to similar equations.

      One thing I found interesting is a quote from the link: “This means that the end of an epidemic is caused by the decline in the number of infected individuals rather than an absolute lack of susceptible subjects.” This seems to me to mean that the concept of herd immunity ( were the decline is based on the lack of susceptible subjects) is not correct. Yet herd immunity seems to make common sense.

  63. I find the following to be the most up-to-date source for info:
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    By following this over time we should be able to judge if the rapid fall-off recorded by China is legitimate. Note its serious case numbers verses latest fatalities. They must have the best medical system in the world.

    Clearly, various Governments and global businesses are banking on outbreaks being short-lived. The sledge hammer impact of their measures on economies is not sustainable, even over the medium term

    Take NZ: Our economy has been driven by the froth of tourism and immigration for years. They are so proud of our steady rise in GDP while ignoring the fact that GDP/head pop has been static and productivity/labour unit has been falling for a decade. Now it will be back to the basics. Oops

    Meantime, many of us are going to get some lollies in the mail which we are supposed to spend. the political and economic elite again have miss-judged the mind of the hinterland. We will save. How they will hate that

    What I am looking forward to most is seeing my lovely seaside village back to once-it-was. No tourists. I will enjoy it while I can, not wearing a mask

    M

    • Michael

      I live in the UK next to the sea and think most tourism is a blight with very little money being spent by them and what there is seems to be mostly stuff being imported into the area.

      We have a saying’ turnover is vanity and profit is sanity’ I doubt most sea side resorts make a profit or certainly not enough to compensate for the disruption.

      tonyb

      • Tony
        Yes. Most of our locals gain nothing from tourism. There are now 20 eat-joints in our main street less than 150 m in length. 95% of these businesses and both supermarkets are run by foreign blow-ins. They call this diversity.

        Once the travel thing really kicks in and the town empties out I feel like walking into every one of these businesses saying “Isn’t wonderful, the real community!”

        We will be able to drive to the city in the normal 45 minutes instead of being trapped behind a long line of cars following a camper van or some idiot that has never driven on the left side of the road before.

  64. It’s best to suck the zinc tablets when leaving the apartment, because the virus gets in through the airways.
    Zinc and selenium are antagonists. Take selenium one day, zinc the next. An excess of selenium can have side effects. Organic zinc is safe (excess excreted in faeces).
    I recommend drinking sage tea as a respiratory disinfectant.

  65. Finally, some good news.

    A vaccine by the end of this year?

    A game changer concerning reducing the time to develop and produce vaccines.

    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-vaccine-canadian-company-claims-to-have-found-a-cure-and-could-do-human-tests-in-weeks/news-
    story/8652a2d98759d609cf8e73e07d7058fc

    A Canadian company has claimed it’s found the cure (William: Not a cure, they have found a new way to rapidly develop and produce vaccines, any vaccine) for the deadly coronavirus.

    Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company in Quebec City funded by the Pentagon, said that it has produced a COVID-19 vaccine just 20 days after receiving the coronavirus’ genetic sequence, using a unique technology that they soon hope to submit for FDA approval.

    The company’s CEO, Bruce Clark, said his company could produce as many as 10 million doses a month.

    If regulatory hurdles can be cleared, Mr Clark said on Thursday, the vaccine could become available as soon as November.

    …..in producing vaccines for seasonal flu – is more reliable and easier to scale.

    Medicago doesn’t work with a live virus. Instead, the team insert a genetic sequence into a soil bacteria, which is taken up by the plants, which then reportedly begin to produce the protein that can then be used as a vaccine.

    If the virus begins to mutate, Mr Clark said, as is expected for COVID-19, they can just update the production using new plants.

    “That’s the difference between us and egg-based methods,” he said.
    “We go directly to producing the vaccine or the antibody without having to propagate the virus.”

    • “That’s the difference between us and egg-based methods,” he said.
      “We go directly to producing the vaccine or the antibody without having to propagate the virus.”

      Very interesting. Thanks, William.

  66. Calling it the Wuhan virus is not racist, it is a political ploy by the White House to cast blame and divert attention, because their response has been so overwhelmingly inadequate.

      • I’m assuming that was meant for me (creep)? Perhaps if you were able to explain what it was that I said that invoked your adult comment, then we would be able to debate this?

        • At least you recognize that the shoe fits, Simon. You assume that you know what is behind the administration’s motives but you don’t with any certainty. You also seem to ignore the fact that the media was using these and similar terms for several weeks now going back to January.

    • Simon, I SPECIFICALLY asked people to set aside the pissant political posturing, but nooo … your TDS took you over and you had to blame someone.

      Please go peddle that line of virulence someplace else.

      w.

    • Simon,
      Your TDS is tedious. We have called it “Wu-Flu”, “Kung-Flu”, “Wuhan Flu” and others since it started. The White House had nothing to do with it. Can you please take your out-of-control hatred elsewhere?

  67. As usual I have no argument with Willis over his math or his methodology.
    But as usual I have a major objection to the actual figures he plugs into those formulae.
    It’s quite clear to anyone observing this outbreak that there are no valid numbers available
    due to the absence of a universally accepted testing regime.
    Here in Australia two seperate high schools were shut down (for a day) when two students tested positive for the virus. (There was no subsequent outbreak.)
    No-one has any idea how or where these students contracted it.
    The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the virus is already widely distributed through the population in a mild or non symptomatic form.

    • Several folks have said that the figures that I’m using are not valid.

      Perhaps so, perhaps no … but as always, we have the figures that we have. And as I pointed out throughout, there are a number of sources of uncertainty, some known and some unknown.

      So I’ve used the best figures, which on my planet is better than not using any figures …

      w.

  68. REALITY CHECK:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S.

    Data include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020

    Total cases: 1,629

    Total deaths: 41
    .
    .

    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

    2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season

    CDC estimates that, from October 1, 2019, through March 7, 2020, there have been:

    36,000,000 – 51,000,000 flu illnesses

    17,000,000 – 24,000,000 flu medical visits

    370,000 – 670,000 flu hospitalizations

    22,000 – 55,000 flu deaths

    … and yet, in my city, I cannot find a single bottle of something that I use regularly, as a matter of good habit — 70% rubbing alcohol. It is currently non-existent in the stores in my town. It is currently non-existent online at the major big-box-store websites, in addition to a well-known industrial-supply website that sells up to 55-gallon drums of the stuff. … NOTHING … OUT … BARE SHELVES.

    So, my conclusion is that of a person who did a Youtube video, offering an in-your-face, no-holds-barred bit of advice — Calm the F___ down !

    • “flu deaths”

      How would you determine these “flu deaths”?
      Are you talking about MODELED diseases?

  69. One thing that might magnify the mortality of Coronavirus in the UK is that most old folk get a flu jab each year so many who are weak have survivedyear on year but are now at risk.

  70. Thanks, Willis for introducing me to the Gompertz Curve and for writing an article full of good sense amid all the World Wide Hysteria and panic buying of Toilet Paper!

    • Holly, I’m not a mod, but I went to look. It was in the queue of comments waiting for approval, along with 17 other comments.

      You have to remember that all comments are moderated here, to keep this from turning into a snake pit … and because the site goes worldwide, we need moderators in all time zones.

      Finally, all the moderators in all time zones are volunteers who (hard to believe) have lives outside of WUWT, so sometimes comments take a bit of time to get processed. Patience is a virtue.

      I approved your comment, so it is now available to all.

      My best to you, thanks for your comments,

      w.

    • Thanks, 1sky1. The difference is that the logistic curve is symmetrical about the inflection point and the Gompertz curve isn’t. Epidemics generally take off faster than they slow down, so the Gompertz is a better fit.

      w.

      • Epidemics generally take off faster than they slow down, so the Gompertz is a better fit.

        When only the early stages of evolution are known, all sorts of models may provide a reasonably good fit. The critical question is the ULTIMATE course. Since epidemiology is not my field, I went searching for how professionals model epidemics. Didn’t find any mention of Gompertz. See:
        http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/pfeng/teaching/epidemics.pdf

        • A search on “Gompertz epidemics” finds 63,000 results … and the same search on Google Scholar finds 6,300 results.

          w.

  71. not a comment on the post because I can’t read it. Web site keeps telling me to download Flash Player. I don’t use Flash Player. This was a great site for information but I can’t get through to it any more.

    • You guys need to use a script blocker.

      I use Firefox with the script blocker, NoScript. I never see any adds or popups when I visit WUWT. Visiting any website without a script blocker can get you in trouble if you aren’t careful.

      Btw, I would not click on anything in a popup window, even the “x” that supposedly closes the window. Sometimes that “x” is just what the hacker wants you to click on.

      If you get in that situation, don’t click on anything. Instead, go to your Windows Task Manager (in Windows, of course) and stop the browser process from there, which will also stop the popup window. If Firefox is stopped this way, when you restart Firefox it will ask you if you want to connect back to the webpages you had open when the process was stopped, and you can check which tabs you want restored, just don’t restore the popup window, uncheck it, and you are right back to where you were before the popup came up. But you should probably install a script blocker before coming back because if you don’t, you’ll get the popup window again.

      Blocking all scripts will sometimes make a website unusable, but most script blockers give you the option of allowing certain scripts while disallowing others. In my case, I allow whatsupwiththat.cxx and wp.cxx and block all the rest.

      I don’t use a phone to post so I can’t address any problems you would be having with a phone, or any fixes.

      • What’s the deal with stealing clicks?

        Unless you are currently logged on a site where you have a permission to do something that an unlogged user can’t do, there is no impact on you. You might accidentally “steal clics” on an online ad, but that isn’t your problem.

  72. Can someone (perhaps Willis) indicate what values of alpha, beta and k give the curve shown in Figure 3? I can’t reproduce anything like it using Excel and a few guesses for these parameters.

    Interestingly, using CDC figures, the US curve has already started to bend over. However, I think this is due to sparse and incomplete data, and is not (yet) real.

    • Here’s the code, David.

      thex=c(seq(-20,40,2)) # gives a sequence of x values from -20 to 40 stepping by
      growth <- gompertz(thex, 10, 4, .1)

      The difficulty factor is that I plotted it against 1 to 32, and not the actual “x” values used to generate the curve. If I use 1 to 32 as the “x” values, I get for alpha, beta, and k:

      10.001 36.068 0.200

      Regards,

      w.

        • At least the death rate is coming down in the U.S. as the impact of the Washington nursing home cluster blends into the noise. Age demographics favor lower severity of cases and deaths.

          In a few days we might be able to resolve trends regarding latitude, longitude, temperature and humidity, if such correlations are strong.

  73. “The Math Of Epidemics”

    I don’t know if the ‘math’ were available in the 1970 when the book “Plagues and People” was written. It’s an interesting read. One item related is about an outbreak of the ‘Black Death’ around the Mediterranean Sea. Quarantine of inbound ships in most ports – except at the eastern end of the Sea. There, the concept of life or death was, it is the” Will of Allah.”

    Noticed a satellite photo earlier today purporting to be mass graves being dug in Iran. If correct, that doesn’t bode well for those people.

  74. Please watch Medcram update #35 and get the word out. It will save lives. I don’t know how else to inform on this.

  75. Willis:

    My feeling is that we are playing the left’s game when we say I’m not a RACIST.

    I think the better thing is to say: sure, I’m a racist. Isn’t everyone?

    Because, after all, we Hegel scholars all understand that the thing is the same as its opposite. Both racists and anti-racists have an obsession with race.

    But the rest of us? We Don’t Care.

  76. Should we start Corona parties since the children are at less risk at this time? For those too young to remember there were Chicken-pox parties back in the days.

    • It’s probably too soon to consider that. It would be best to know what the longer term impacts of infection are, how long one remains a spreader and what is the possibility of reinfection.

      A good bit of news for the U.S. is that death rate continues to fall and is under 2%, as the impact of the nursing home cluster in Washington is being averaged out.

      • “A good bit of news for the U.S. is that death rate continues to fall and is under 2%, as the impact of the nursing home cluster in Washington is being averaged out.”

        Too soon. Recovery from this virus is protracted and not a one way street. Australia’s cases have been quite slow to recover meanwhile the case load went from 15 cases early on up to 218 active
        cases now, with only 27 recovered since early Feb. i.e. the death percent is currently only 1.21%, but the fight to keep it that low is intense and long which means the system can be over come by a sharp spike in new cases (which we are seeing), then the mortality percent increases steadily. Indeed the current percent of deaths of known cases in Italy is 6.81% (7.17% yesterday). The ratio of deaths to critical cases indicates 94.9% of the critical cases are dying. i.e. recovery is slow because these people are really seriously undermined and their death is 95% more likely than their survival.

        Thus the speed with which people recover will be critical as to how many die from any spike in cases. So it’s relatively easy to keep the initial percent mortality low during the first month, but progressively harder as the case numbers increase during the second month.

        • It could be. My major assumptions are that we do a reasonable job of managing the crisis and our young demographic shows up more in the data. I also think that seasonality could be helpful, though the spread is probably moving too fast.

          Italy has been forced into triage mode and hopefully we avoid that. It’s been said that the U.S. rate of hospital beds is lower than average for Western countries, but I’ve heard that our rate of ICU beds is actually quite high.

    • The whole point of NOT doing the measles vaccine is to let almost all children catch it and get lifelong immunity. Measles is almost always benign in healthy children in developed countries with proper healthcare. There was real herd immunity in adults (not the phony herd immunity sold by vaccine makers and their cronies, like the inept CDC).

      [A few people with bad health were at risk but in proper medicine you don’t give dangerous drugs (like vaccines, or Tamiflu) to healthy people to protect people with bad health.]

      The introduction of mass measles vaccination was catastrophic from that POV: people don’t get measles when they are young and don’t have good immunity either.

      How do you get out of that measles vaccination trap?

      • niceguy March 14, 2020 at 10:03 pm

        The whole point of NOT doing the measles vaccine is to let almost all children catch it and get lifelong immunity. Measles is almost always benign in healthy children in developed countries with proper healthcare. There was real herd immunity in adults (not the phony herd immunity sold by vaccine makers and their cronies, like the inept CDC).

        First, there’s no such thing as “phony herd immunity”. Either an overwhelming majority of the population are immune, or they’re not.

        Next, with measles about 1 in 4 will be hospitalized and 1-2% will die. So no, it’s not “almost always benign”.

        Next, rubella (German measles) causes the following problems in pregnancy:

        Deafness
        Cataracts
        Heart defects
        Intellectual disabilities
        Liver and spleen damage
        Low birth weight
        Skin rash at birth
        Glaucoma
        Brain damage
        Thyroid and other hormone problems
        Inflammation of the lungs

        “Benign”, my okole …

        Next, you appear to be laboring under the misconception that vaccines don’t give “good immunity” … if that were true, then why doesn’t anyone get polio or smallpox these days?

        I doubt that you are old enough to recall the fear that came around every summer among mothers who were petrified that their kids would get polio. I worked for a few months as a night attendant to a man in an iron lung from polio … I can assure you, he would have paid any amount of money for the very vaccine that you foolishly denigrate …

        Finally, I did love your quote about how we should just screw the people who are in poor health … what was it? Oh, yeah, here it is …

        [A few people with bad health were at risk but in proper medicine you don’t give dangerous drugs (like vaccines, or Tamiflu) to healthy people to protect people with bad health.]

        Yeah, no need to protect people with bad health, they’re obviously losers.

        Finally, “dangerous drugs like vaccines”?? Have you no sense of proportion? Yes, the vaccine that ended polio has occasional adverse effects … but to the man in the iron lung, I can assure you he’d have kicked you in the differential for your stupidity.

        But then he couldn’t, could he, he was paralyzed from the neck down because he didn’t have the vaccine when he was young.

        w.

          • niceguy, I’m telling you how he would have felt. He was among the last group of people to get polio before the vaccine was invented. How do you think he felt about that?

            And yes, he would have known that you are being abysmally cruel, and stupid as well, to oppose vaccination. It could have saved him, and here you are claiming that it’s some kind of evil thing. Takes a special kind of person to do that.

            w.

          • I’m asking you to provide the beginning of an hint of a cogent argument for vaccination. So far you have exhibited massive provax derangement syndrome.

            Do you have any evidence the polio vaccine prevented more cases of “polio” whatever it is, than it caused, in the US? Elsewhere?

            You did not even try to explain what “polio” is. How can you possibly know anyone had “polio”?

            Also you mix unrelated diseases. You claim with zero evidence that vaccines don’t cause autism.

            Do you deny the explosion of MS, other neurological disorders and immunological disorders in France following mass hep B vaccination, which constitutes the most significant health crisis of the last 50 years?

            Do you know of any medical fact most strongly established and undeniable, that doesn’t involve the effects of radiations, than the hep B vaccine/MS link?

          • niceguy
            You asked, “Do you have any evidence the polio vaccine prevented more cases of “polio” whatever it is, than it caused, in the US?”

            For starters, polio is no longer the scourge it was when I was a child. I suspect that most of the commenters on this blog remember being given a sugar cube as a child. Neither I or my classmates developed polio as a result of taking the vaccine. I suppose one could speculate that the virus just spontaneously destroyed itself and the vaccine had nothing to do with it. However, I don’t think that any reasonable person would put much stock in that hypothesis. There is also the track record of the eradication of smallpox — WORLDWIDE — as a result of vaccination. I think that you are trying to nail Jello to a tree with your objections.

          • Niceguy,
            Here is how you can win your next Nobel Prize for knowing something no one else knows, namely that vaccines do nothing.
            Go get bitten by a rabid animal, and refuse to get vaccinated afterwards. Since almost no one in a developed country has died of rabies for many decades, you should have no disease, thus proving that all those people are wasting money and taking something that is worthless and dangerous.
            The do the same with some tetanus bacteria.
            Amaze the world when you do not get lockjaw despite never getting a booster shot.
            You can go right down the list of diseases that everyone is deluded into believing they do not get because of vaccines.
            Have your spleen removed, and do not get a pneumonvax shot, then go hang out with people with pneumococcal pneumonia. Give them some kisses, have them cough in your face.
            Prove that the vaccine is worthless, and people do not need a spleen since acquired immunity is not a thing.

          • “namely that vaccines do nothing”

            OK NPC.

            You have just admitted that you had zero idea what was being discussed and how a MEDICAL DRUG is evaluated.

            I have humiliated you.

            Go away.

          • “the vaccine had nothing to do with”

            Please explain your ridiculous theory that the vaccine that spread polio had anything to do with polio disappearing, shill.

        • “Next, rubella (German measles) causes the following problems in pregnancy:”

          And that’s a motive to vaccinate children, who can then contaminate pregnant women?

          Are you that cruel?

        • “I doubt that you are old enough to recall the fear that came around every summer among mothers who were petrified that their kids would get polio. I worked for a few months as a night attendant to a man in an iron lung from polio … I can assure you, he would have paid any amount of money for the very vaccine that you foolishly denigrate”

          Yes, those old iron lungs were scary looking devices, especially when a person might have to spend a long time in one. That’s what scared me about polio, seeing that iron lung with someone’s head sticking out one end. Give me a vaccine anytime over something like that!

          • Tom, the iron lung was scary enough looking during the day, head sticking out one end, portholes down the sides.

            But at night, they kept a light on inside the lung to keep him warm. And with the light shining out through the portholes, it was decidedly sinister.

            w.

          • niceguy March 16, 2020 at 8:56 am

            Do you deny the explosion of polio caused by mass polio vaccination in India?

            Yes. I absolutely deny it. Here’s the real story, not what you’ve been fed by some dumb anti-vaxx site.

            Two effective vaccines against polio have been available since the 1950s: the oral PV vaccine (OPV), which is made of live-attenuated PV of three serotypes, and the inactivated PV vaccine (IPV), which is made of formalin-inactivated wild-type PVs. However, OPV was adopted throughout most of the countries mainly due to the ease of administration and lower cost. The incidence of paralytic poliomyelitis in an estimated 350,000 children in 125 endemic countries every year by the 1980s led the WHO to initiate the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988.
             
            By 1999, this initiative had led to the annual reduction of paralytic poliomyelitis cases by 99%, the eradication of type2 wild PVs (WPVs) and the elimination of all PVs from three of the six WHO regions. Despite the effectiveness of OPV in reducing the transmission of paralytic poliomyelitis, its use has been associated with the emergence of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP) cases and of vaccine-derived PVs (VDPVs) possessing neurovirulence and transmission properties similar to those of wild-type PVs. Owing to these complications, the use of OPV must cease globally and in a coordinated fashion once WPV transmission has been interrupted.

            SOURCE

            After the incidence of wild polio virus had been decreased by 99%, and two of the three strains totally eliminated, there were a few cases of vaccine-induced polio from the oral vaccine. Not an “explosion”. Overall, there was a huge DECREASE in polio, even when you include the vaccine-induced strain.

            And since the people fighting polio had a brain, they didn’t say “polio vaccine doesn’t work”. They’d just seen it cut the number of cases by 99%, duh. Instead, they said not to use the oral vaccine on any remaining cases once wild transmission had been interrupted.

            I worked with some of those folks in Africa on the polio eradication campaign. I’ve seen kids and adults in Africa with polio back in the day. You think polio is a bad outcome in the US? Try polio in some dirt-poor African village … you don’t have a clue what you are babbling about.

            As to your claimed “explosion in India” of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP), from the same source:

            WHO has termed VAPP as poliomyelitis which appears in a vaccinee during the time period of 7–30 days after a dose or in a person who is in contact with a vaccinee during the time period of 7–60 days after the dose was given. VAPP appears infrequently, calculated as one case per million births by WHO. Moreover, it has also been referred as approximately one case per 750,000 vaccinees in the USA, one per 400,000 in Norway, England and Wales and one per 143,000 in India.

            For every 143,000 people PROTECTED against the disease, there was ONE case of VAPP … and you call that an “explosion”? Get real.

            What I don’t deny is that you are immune to logic, so you’ll probably shine on these actual facts.

            w.

          • Polio is being spread in Africa by vaccine.

            You are an absolute MORON who believes an argument about rubella is valid for measles. You know NOTHING.

            You are a D E N I E R of the VICTIMS of vaccines and a disgusting person.

            I AM DONE WITH YOU.

      • “Next, with measles about 1 in 4 will be hospitalized and 1-2% will die.”

        Nope. You just made that up. That’s crazy talk.

        “it’s not “almost always benign”.”

        Why was it considered that way, for children, before the time of Big Pharma?

        “Next, rubella (German measles) causes the following problems in pregnancy:”

        Rubella has the exact same issues. It’s mostly a very mild disease. Why vaccinate all children?

        Also, these vaccines have been linked with “autism” (“spectrum”). Esp. regressive autism.

        “if that were true, then why doesn’t anyone get polio or smallpox these days?”

        Many people in Africa get polio because of polio vaccination. And there is an explosion in India. It’s horrific. Due to hyper vaccination.

        What’s the point of a polio vaccine? Why vaccinate people with the vaccine in the US or in Europe?

        “who were petrified that their kids would get polio”

        Relevance?

        How do you know they got polio?

        You don’t. You can’t say what they got.

        I stop here, you whole post is pure nonsense.

        • Pass. I can’t deal with this level of ignorance, prejudice, and denial. I’ll just put this graph up to demonstrate how far out of touch with reality you are.

          Two of the three strains of polio have been eliminated entirely anywhere in the world, the third causes a few cases per year globally, not in the US but globally, the vaccine itself causes a few cases globally, and you think we shouldn’t use polio vaccine … idiocy.

          Yes, there are problems with vaccines. No, they don’t cause autism. And most important, the benefits far outweigh the problems. And if you’d ever spent time with someone paralyzed from the neck down by polio, you’d understand that.

          I’m done here. If they come up with a vaccine for the Wuhan virus, the world will celebrate, Italians will be overjoyed, the economy will roar back … and you’ll be in your corner whining and sulking and still claiming that vaccines are unmitigated evil.

          Pass.

          w.

          • What about the explosion of polio in India following mass vaccination, shill?

            How do you know the explosion of autism has nothing to do with vaccines?

            Do you promote the work of FBI MOST WANTED felons?

            “Two of the three strains of polio have been eliminated entirely anywhere in the world,”

            So you admit the vaccine is useless?

          • Willis, this person is mentally ill, or a troll, or a bot.
            It is impossible for anyone to be this stupid.
            He wants to know how anyone could possibly have had polio, since no one knows what polio is, but also says polio increased after vaccinations.
            Finally, he has never posted anything, not one shred of documentation, to back up his assertions.
            Everyone besides him is a shill.
            Does not add up.
            Also, his speech patterns are very inconsistent.

          • I would be interested to know where this person is commenting from.
            He seems to mention France a lot.
            But some of his speech patterns and idiom discrepancies indicate eastern Europe.

          • “Willis, this person is mentally ill, or a troll, or a bot”

            Show evidence you invented a medical drug, NPC.

          • “But some of his speech patterns and idiom discrepancies indicate eastern Europe.”

            You sound nice.

            Which idiom, NPC?
            Which country?

            Sorry that Mull heer the Special Whatever is gone; you should have provided your demented insight. You would fit nicely in his gestapist team.

            Either that, or submit your ideas to Alex Jones. Although he isn’t as crazy as you…

        • My parents were ‘petrified’ that we would get polio, as were their contemporaries, every summer outbreaks of polio were dreaded. My father had a paralyzed leg as a result of polio. In the fifties when the polio vaccine was introduced all the kids in my home town lined up to get vaccinated, and guess what, the routine outbreaks disappeared!

          Regarding polio in India, until the early 1990s polio was hyper endemic there, up to 1000 children paralyzed daily, following major vaccination efforts the last case was recorded in 2011.

          • niceguy March 16, 2020 at 11:45 am
            Following mass vaccination polio is exploding in India.

            Really, from zero cases in 2018 and 2019.
            Used to have 70% of the world’s cases!

        • niceguy March 15, 2020 at 11:43 am
          “Next, with measles about 1 in 4 will be hospitalized and 1-2% will die.”

          Nope. You just made that up. That’s crazy talk.

          “it’s not “almost always benign”.”

          Why was it considered that way, for children, before the time of Big Pharma?

          It wasn’t you troll. Since the introduction of the Measles vaccine in the UK it’s estimated that 20 million cases and 4500 deaths have been averted. The situation is far worse in poor countries. The number of measles cases in the UK has increased recently due to people refusing the vaccine, ~30% of those infected are admitted to hospital. About 1 in 15 will suffer complications:
          ear infection (otitis media) in about 8% of measles cases (about 1 in 12 people)
          pneumonia in up to 6% of measles cases (up to 1 in 16 people)
          diarrhoea in about 8% of measles cases (about 1 in 12 people)
          encephalitis (inflammation of the brain): 1 case for every 1000-2000 cases of measles. Encephalitis can lead to brain damage.
          Complications cause about one death in 5000 in the UK, in poor countries it’s about 1 in 100.

    • I read an interesting article (sorry no link) about childhood reaction to new infections that looked at chickenpox and Covid-19.
      Children are good at handling novel diseases, because for them every disease is novel. Adults are less good at handling novel diseases, because they rely mainly on learned immunity. Hence children cope with Covid-19 better than adults.
      Therefore it makes sense for children to have diseases like Chickenpox before they become adults.
      Perhaps in future, the same will be true for this virus and its descendents.

  77. Dear Willis
    I would be very interested to know what you think of the analysis at this site: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca . Although the author is not an expert, it was recommended to my by a professor of public health. Also, as readers of this site will appreciate, you don’t have to be an expert in a particular field to be able to carry out some statistical analysis of the data and draw conclusions!
    Obviously exponential growth of an epidemic cannot continue indefinitely in a finite population. But I wonder how long this epidemic might be able to grow at exponential rates and I must confess I am concerned about the ability of the medical system to cope, given the experience in Wuhan and Italy where, it seems, early opportunities to slow its spread were not taken.
    Best wishes!

    • I think he’s hyperventilating and shouting “EXPONENTIAL GROWTH” far too much for my liking. As I pointed out in the head post, epidemics don’t follow exponential growth.

      However, his recommendation is good—stay home.

      The coronavirus is coming to you.
      It’s coming at an exponential speed: gradually, and then suddenly.
      It’s a matter of days. Maybe a week or two.
      When it does, your healthcare system will be overwhelmed.
      Your fellow citizens will be treated in the hallways.
      Exhausted healthcare workers will break down. Some will die.
      They will have to decide which patient gets the oxygen and which one dies.
      The only way to prevent this is social distancing today. Not tomorrow. Today.
      That means keeping as many people home as possible, starting now.

      We’re doing that. I suppose it’s OK to scare people to get them to do that. But we’re doing it, so no need for the scare tactics.

      Finally, he says all this will happen in “days. Maybe a week or two”. he wrote it 5 days ago, the virus has been on the loose for far more time than that in a number of countries, and in most, we haven’t seen any of those horrible outcomes … so if nothing else, his time frame predictions are off.

      Thanks for an interesting link,

      w.

  78. ” … And although it’s early to do this kind of analysis on the number of deaths in South Korea, to date there have only been 60 deaths, and the best fit Gompertz Curve peaks out at a hundred deaths. …”

    Unlikely to follow the tail past an initial ‘peak’ though as contagiousness and a- symptomatic spread means it will likely continue to take lives at a lower rate for years to come, so total deaths can not be predicted. Good to see we understand how to beat such fast unseen spreader though.

  79. Willis-

    Thanks for a great post! Your posts always make me think. And this one made me think long and hard. If fact I went away for several hours a couple times, but couldn’t shake thinking about the ramifications of the math.
    For instance, the Wikipedia entry on the Gompertz function shows that is possible to change the growth rate and the growth rate displacement and not change the asymptote. Under what conditions could that happen?

    One has to wonder, then, how much effect canceling gatherings to slow the rate or displacement, actually has. Yes, it will lessen the daily impact on heath facilities, but what other effects will it have? Will it lower the number of people infected? If the number of people infected doesn’t change and thus the number of deaths doesn’t change, might the economic impact be less, if the epidemic were allowed to proceed at a faster pace?

    One can only hope that the CDC has the mathematicians and economists who have been through past epidemics, and understand the models and the variables, and can advise the politicians on the best course of action from both a public health and economic viewpoint.

    • Engineer, thanks for your kind words. The reason for social distancing and all the rest is NOT to decrease the total cases or the total mortality.

      It is to slow down the spread, and thus lower the peak number of new cases per day, week, or month. The danger is what happened in Italy, where the number of cases overwhelmed the ability of the medical systems to handle it. If the exact same number of cases had happened over a month or two instead of a week or two, that wouldn’t have been the case.

      Regards,

      w.

  80. For those interested here are the relevant death rates. I’m sure most folks have seen this by now.

    Here’s the curious thing about that graph.

    It’s NOT, as you might expect, the graph of the mortality due to the Wuhan Virus.

    It’s the graph of the US mortality from all causes. Everything. Childhood diseases. Car crashes. Midlife crises. Drug overdoses. Everything.

    Turns out it’s not just the Wuhan Virus that’s hard on us geezers.

    It’s life itself …

    w.

    PS—Do you know what is the leading cause of death among old men?

    … thinking we’re young men …

    • It’s kind of like did you ever notice that when you’re trying to find something that you misplaced, it’s usually in the the last place you look?

    • I bet that death resulting from an erection lasting over 4 hours declines with age after puberty.

      Probably the frequency of death resulting from skydiving, etc. peaks in the 20’s-30’s. Illegal drug overdoses probably takes out more youngsters.

  81. Willis, although there are good news for China/South Korea, this is happening with restrictions that cannot last forever. At some point they will have to remove the restrictions. It would be silly to think that this will not have an impact on those graphics’ evolution.

    This is what I foresee: 2 weeks of restrictions to level-off the curves, then the restrictions disappear and we have rapid increase of cases, then new restrictions, then new reduction in cases, then restrictions removed, then new increase in cases… etc etc. In the end we all are going to have the coronavirus at some point. The question is how much total restriction time can we stand before the economy is completely ruined everywhere and the world as-we-know-it experiences dramatic and long-lasting changes, perhaps forever. The death toll of the virus is going to look like a minor problem in comparison.

    • Things will ramp up slowly, especially in the travel industry. It might be a good idea for the U.S. to purchase a couple of cruise ships for conversion to floating hospitals for future emergencies.

      This virus has exposed numerous system weaknesses that hopefully we will address but it’s human nature to prepare for the previous battle.

      I went to a nearby Walmart this morning and water, toilet paper and vitamin C were among the items sold out. The fresh fruit and vegetables looked fully stocked as did refrigerated orange juice and lemonade shelves. Most of the milk section was empty but there was still some remaining.

      • The hoarding will level off. There is no shortage of food and supplies and the store shelves will be restocked quickly and this will calm the fears of the public over the coming days.

  82. New active ingredient from Lübeck is said to help against coronavirus
    by Linda Ebener

    They worked on him day and night, and soon they will be presenting their development to the scientific world in the renowned scientific journal “Science”: a team of researchers led by Professor Rolf Hilgenfeld from the University of Lübeck has developed an active ingredient that is supposed to help against the novel corona virus. This is responsible for the current Covid 19 pandemic. The drug has already been tested in the laboratory in human lung cells that are infected with the new virus. The active ingredient is active, says Hilgenfeld. That means he helps. Hilgenfeld and his co-workers Xinyuanyuan Sun and Linlin Zhang’s approach: The active ingredient is said to render the viruses in the lungs harmless. Because the corona primarily attacks the lungs.
    https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/schleswig-holstein/Der-Wirkstoff-gegen-das-Coronavirus-kommt-aus-Luebeck,corona666.html

  83. Willis,
    Your analysis is interesting, but I fear your conclusions may be overly optimistic.
    The reason is that both China and South Korea are under a phase of intense disease control. Large areas of China are in lock-down, while South Korea has massive amounts of testing. This has two implications:
    Firstly, in those countries, as the controls are relaxed, there is likly to be a second wave of infection. Spanish flu had at least three major waves of infection and deaths through 1918 and 1919.
    Secondly, it is hard to see how such controls can work in US. Countries like France and Belgium have closed all shops, restaurants, cafes, theatres etc and are beginning to restrict local travel. Could that happen in US and would the public put up with it?

  84. Dear Willis,

    This is an interesting article:

    Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/

    Different scenarios, shown visually too.

    “Even with different results, moderate social distancing will usually outperform the attempted quarantine, and extensive social distancing usually works best of all. Below is a comparison of your results.”

    You might want to take a look at it.

    Best regards,
    Scarface

  85. Willis,
    I think you made an error in the expression of the Gompertz curve: the last exponent should be -k*t (a product) and not -k^t (which would mean k at the power of t). So the correct function is:
    y(t)= a*exp(-b*(exp(-k*t))

  86. There are more than a few comments on here about H1N1 that do not agree with the data on the CDC web site – here is the real data https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-h1n1-pandemic.html

    Keep in mind that H1H1 was a virus that could be treated by existing antiviral agents. This was NOT the case with COVID19 during the first month or so. The Anti Viral agents pulled out of the CDC Cure Locker did not work! This was not the fault of CDC. There is no way the CDC can have a “Cure” already designed in their Cure Locker. AND there is no way that the CDC could develop a Cure in 30 days.

    Further, look into CFR 42 – Public Health. The past administration ruled by REGULATIONS. Numerous regulations were added the majority of the CFR regulations. Millions of pages and hundreds of thousands of new regulations. These regulations restricted the access, use and distribution of the new tests that everyone blames Trump for delaying. It took time to change these regulations IAW the law/rules. He could not wave a wand and make them disappear, destroying the myth that Trump is an Authoritarian. If he was he could have done like past presidents.

    All Virus’a are NOT equal – That is why the Common Cold is still around. There are millions of the viruses that cause the Common cold and they are constantly changing,

    • Your website says so, InfoWars and Natural News say otherwise. Either way, “data” (stuff on a website) isn’t evidence. It isn’t science. It’s propaganda.

      The CDC website might rate as being slightly more credible than Alex Jones, but not by much. Either way, I don’t see why either (Jones or the CDC) should get subsidies.

      • Which is why no one pays any attention to you, of values your opinion on anything whatsoever.

        You do not see why anyone should find the CDC more credible than Alex Jones, but think your own opinions count for anything at all?
        How can you even pay attention to yourself, when all you have is guiding you is the horse sense of an uneducated low IQ internet troll?

        • You failed to provide any evidence that any of your fetish vaccine has any benefit in the US.

          I have humiliated you.

          • niceguy March 16, 2020 at 8:45 am

            You failed to provide any evidence that any of your fetish vaccine has any benefit in the US.

            Are you blind? Why do you think that there is no polio in the US, when there used to be 35,000 cases per year and even the President got it? People were terrified of it when I was a kid, and they no longer are.

            Why do you think that there’s no longer polio in the US? Good thoughts? Anti-vaxxers killed the polio viruses with fly swatters? What’s your theory about the disappearance of a virulent disease?

            I have humiliated you.

            Bad news on that front … if you want to know who’s “humiliated” by your claims, grab a mirror …

            w.

          • “there used to be 35,000 cases per year”

            Cases of WHAT?
            How many were tested, like for coronavirus?

            “Why do you think that there’s no longer polio in the US?”

            Answer your own question, NPC.

          • Pass. I can’t deal with that level of stupid. “Cases of WHAT” he asks … cases of Corona Beer, I guess.

            My best to all the rest of you,

            w.

  87. Some of the commenters here seem very knowledgeable in matters of epidemiology, so maybe some of you can weigh in on the Diamond Princess.

    The Diamond Princess was the cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan after a COVID-19 outbreak on board. Of the 3,700 or so passengers on board, 705 contracted the virus. Of these, six eventually died, giving a death rate of under 1 percent. In keeping with what we’ve come to expect, none of those deaths were among people under 70. My understanding is that all, or very nearly all, of the passengers were tested. From an epidemiological standpoint, could you even ask for a better natural laboratory in which to observe the effects of this illness?

    So how is it that of 3,700 people packed into a veritable petri dish, only 17 percent ever contracted the virus at all? Could it be that this thing simply isn’t as contagious as many believe?

    • How much time were these people NOT in lock down?
      During that time, how many were contagious?

  88. I can understand the run on toilet paper. It takes a lot of TP to wipe the fecal matter from these idiots brain cavity.

    I fully agree with Willis. I’ve been keeping a very, very close watch on the numbers for the simple reason that my bride of 48 years is in a Rehab facility (same company as the Kirkland Washington facility) for a broken leg. She has COPD, and being older, she is in the high risk category. Her facility is taking a lot of sensible precautions, including excluding all visitors. This latter precaution puts a serious pinch on the two of us and limits my ability to learn from the occupational/physical therapists the tricks for taking care of her for the next two months until she is out of her leg brace. Having some medical background, I’ve been very helpful to the staff in tending to her needs while in the facility; that help is now gone. As super frustrating as this is, I fully agree with the common sense precautions. Despite few interactions with the public, such as shopping, I dare not bring in a bug that I’ve been exposed to. It could be fatal. I worry just as much, if not more, about all the other cold and flu bugs.

    When you look carefully at the numbers there is only one major category of risk – the aged with lung and or immune compromised systems. The public panic over this virus is insane.

    Willis, thanks for posting this piece. Anything that helps to tamp down panic over the virus is a help for those of us who really need assistance. God speed.

  89. Haha, a good time to locate another graph-digitiser and so I have just tried the online WebPlotDigitizer
    https://automeris.io/WebPlotDigitizer/
    -Not bad 🙂
    It seems that both the China death rates and the South Korea cases are slightly better fitted by a logistic curve than the Gompertz.
    (Using the PAST program – model-non-linear fit)

  90. If anyone is interested in real forecasts there is a spreadsheet on my website:
    https://scottishsceptic.uk/2020/03/11/coronavirus-forecast-model/

    Fortunately, there is a way to beat CV19:those under 50 represent only 10% of the loading on the healthcare system, so it is possible to get the economy over the worst of the epidemic by allowing or even encouraging those under 50 to get infected whilst delaying and controlling the rate of infection of those over 50. That allows the majority of workers (70%) to continue as before and controls demand on healthcare. Fortunately, a variant of this appears to be the strategy being adopted by the UK.

    I haven’t a clue what the US is doing – but god help you if you think it’s going to peak at the Chinese level without major intervention by government.

    • Excellent observation. The UK government are getting it right and mustn’t be deflected by all the noises off. If extreme measures are used now to close it down it will only come back when the extreme measures are removed.

      • Which is excellent…this one?
        “allowing or even encouraging those under 50 to get infected whilst delaying and controlling the rate of infection of those over 50.”

        I would love to hear the excellent plan for making this simple sounding plan a reality?
        Do you guys live somewhere that people are segregated by age group, and the under 50 can be kept away from the over 50 for a few months?
        How many doctors are over 50?
        Police?
        Pharmacists?
        Business owners?
        Do these age groups live separately where you are?
        What the hell are you talking about anyway?

    • I followed your model for the U.S. that you left here on Monday. It was close on day 1, but by day 4 it over predicted deaths and cases by about 100%.

    • And how do we let people under 50 get it as quickly as possible, and preventing them spreading it, when those people live with, care for, and attend to the needs of the older people that we will somehow simultaneously protect?
      If you cannot articulate exactly and specifically how you think that can happen, you are just talking out of both sides of your mouth.

      • “What could possibly go wrong?” How many film script writers did it take to come up with that idea?

  91. Mystery Solved! It is not Corona-gate!

    Why are few children dying?
    Why is there an increase in the number of old people dying when most populations are experiencing an increase in their elderly as the post-war baby boomer age?
    Why is an area in China currently experiencing an economic reversal due to US trade tariffs and the stall of an economy feeding off the collapse of Western civilization, suffering health problems?
    Have medical staff other than those who were removed for discussing the outbreak in Wuhan die?
    Why when you rush out and decide to measure a finite quantity in your community would you not expect to get these types of curves that flatten out with time?
    Why when you decide to assign deaths to a particular commonly occurring virus do these deaths increase then slow as the population exits the normal winter elevation of deaths of the elderly or compromised?

    It is not Corona-gate, it is simply linking the sudden increased testing of a common cold virus after a bitter Northern winter, to the natural collapse of the socialist health systems dealing with an aging population bubble entering the death zone.

    Happy for an explanation that I am wrong. Please include an explanation why children aren’t dying in proportion to their occurrence with the elderly.

  92. From the statistics I’ve seen for the USA:
    First column is date,
    Second column = total COVID-19 cases to date
    Third column = total COVID-19 deaths to date
    Fourth column = New COVID-19 cases in day
    Fifth column = New COVID-19 deaths in day
    Last column = % of new cases dying in day

    2/29 68 1
    3/01 75 1 7 0 0.0%
    3/02 100 6 25 5 20.0%
    3/03 124 9 24 3 12.5%
    3/04 158 11 34 2 5.9%
    3/05 221 12 63 1 1.6%
    3/06 319 15 98 3 3.2%
    3/07 435 19 116 4 3.4%
    3/08 541 22 106 3 2.8%
    3/09 704 26 163 4 2.5%
    3/10 994 30 290 4 1.4%
    3/11 1301 38 307 8 2.6%
    3/12 1697 41 396 3 0.8%
    3/13 2247 49 550 8 1.5%
    3/14 2943 57 696 8 1.1%
    3/15 3668 68 725 11 1.5%

    From the numbers for new cases so far, it seems like the disease is still spreading exponentially (the number of new cases per day continues to increase, for now). The number of new cases could further increase in the near future, since the availability of more test kits will mean more people tested, and possibly more positive diagnoses of people with mild symptoms who otherwise might not have been tested.

    However, the last column, or percentage of new diagnoses who died, is decreasing–over the last six days, the average death rate was 1.3%, and it has been under 2.0% the last four days and five out of the last six days. Granted, there is a lag time between diagnosis and death, but there could be a lot of undiagnosed carriers (showing no symptoms or mild symptoms) out there, who haven’t been included in the denominator, but a death count is probably much more accurate, so that the eventual death rate may actually be much less than the 1.3% in the last six days.

    Still, 3,668 positive diagnoses represent only about 0.0011% (11 ppm) of the American population, most of whom are concentrated in three states (CA, WA, and NY) so it is still possible to contain the virus. What is needed is to test more people who may have been exposed to known cases, and those showing symptoms, and ask all those testing positive to isolate themselves until healed or hospitalized.

    However, it may not be possible to fit a Gompertz curve to the USA data, because we have not yet reached the inflection point of the curve, where the number of new cases per day starts decreasing.

  93. Just did a quick curve fit of the US data from Feb 15th to Mar 16th and the assymptote (alpha) is 642,000!

    Granted it is a very limited data set and it has not hit either “knee” in the curve…

  94. Cliff Mass linked this map from the NY Times.
    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lNbMUqDxGKs/Xm_BljFmvoI/AAAAAAAA6Y4/Iy5wNrOSysEbecabu1yCpAi1z3mzEW2XACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2020-03-16%2Bat%2B8.12.16%2BAM.png

    Looking at this, my H0 is “R0 is higher in denser populations”, which seems obvious. Of course, the big cities will have more outsiders coming in who could be infected. But looking at the map, fly-over country has it too, and one case may be enough to start the contagion.

    Everybody has their circles of family, friends, and associates, the first potential victims of R0. Those circles overlap with other circles. And then there are all the people who are not in those circles whom you have fleeting contact with in stores, mass transit, airports, hospitals, bread lines, whatever, and all those people have their own circles.

    In the big cities, some of those fleeting contacts could be massive. Bigger crowds in stores and subways.

    Higher R0 means it spreads faster and less chance of it dying out.

  95. For the voyeurs, Johns Hopkins will give you gory details:
    https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html?mod=article_inline&modtag=djemBestOfTheWeb

    Mainland China new cases have leveled off since early Feb.
    Germany has more confirmed cases than SouthKorea. That ain’t due to more testing. Are you paying attention, Angela?

    The Diamond Princess has had 3 deaths, 325 recovered.
    There’s one case in Greenland and 3 in Alaska, 10 in Hawaii. Hmm. It’s a hard rain a-gonna faaaallll?
    BTW – no cases in Antarctica, so I guess isolation works.
    and
    This really sucks:
    https://nypost.com/2020/03/17/diamond-princess-cruise-ship-passenger-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-a-second-time/

    A Japanese man who recovered after testing positive for coronavirus aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship caught the bug a second time at home, according to a new report. The man, in his 70s, first tested positive for COVID-19 Feb. 14 while on board the vessel off the coast of Yokohama, Japanese news agency NHK reported.

    He was confirmed negative for the bug on March 2, and was allowed to take public transportation home from the Tokyo medical facility where he was staying, to western Japan’s Mie prefecture, according to the report. But it wasn’t long before he started to feel sick again, and developed a fever of about 102 degrees on Thursday, according to the report. He went to the hospital Friday, and was confirmed to be infected again on Saturday.

    Well, so much for the British notion that the elderly should be confined while the young exposed themselves to infection and developed immunity, after which the elders could be released from confinement. Here’s Britain’s belated response to the epidemic.
    https://www.blabber.buzz/conservative-news/809039-uk-on-second-thought-our-coronavirus-strategy-could-kill-250000-people-special

    This is from Italy: https://youtu.be/o_cImRzKXOs

    After 1368 Boccacio wrote his Decameron. 600 years later, Poe wrote The Masque of the Red Death. So… it could be worse. And has been.

    The Decameron ends well, if indecisively. Poe’s Masque of the Red Death can be thought of as the obverse of that, and it mocks human thoughts, perceptions, aspirations, calculations, and actions.
    We can be pleased that the current menace is so minimally lethal, for the youngsters, despite being rather aggressive in its spread. We fogies may think of ourselves as martyrs to youth. And hope that some lessons are learned.

    Here’s the Decameron
    https://blindhypnosis.com/the-decameron-pdf-giovanni-boccaccio.html
    and here’s the Poe
    https://www.poemuseum.org/the-masque-of-the-red-death

    and then there’s C.S. Lewis in 1948 reflecting on the atomic bomb panics. For atomic bomb, read: coronavirus:
    [[This does not and should not impair all proper and effective means of slowing down the progress of the virus. In all fairness, we must point out that atomic warfare is to some extent volitional. Covid19 is not. But carrying-on, as the Brits did in WWII, is indeed an admirable attitude.]]
    In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
    In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
    This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
    “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays

    —and in Iran
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/12/coronavirus-iran-mass-graves-qom
    On 24 February, at the time the trenches were being dug, a legislator from Qom, 75 miles (120 km) south of Tehran, accused the health ministry of lying about the scale of the outbreak, saying there had already been 50 deaths in the city, at a time when the ministry was claiming only 12 people had died from the virus nationwide.
    The deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, held a press conference to “categorically deny” the allegations, but he was clearly sweating and coughing as he did so. The next day, Harirchi confirmed that he had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. There is a recent tweet, not confirmed or denied, that Harirchi has died.
    And the NYTimes, bless its heart, has a good video of what was – and wasn’t – done inside Iran –
    https://www.nytimes.com/video/world/middleeast/100000007011860/iran-coronavirus-outbreak.html
    I’ll refrain from saying that it couldn’t happen to a nicer country, insh’allah.
    and in Jordan…Ahmad Al-Shahrouri is a Jordanian Islamic scholar. On his show on Yarmouk TV, a Jordanian TV channel associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, he said “the Jews are more dangerous than AIDS, coronavirus, cholera, and all the diseases of this world.”

    and a Good Summary:
    https://news.yahoo.com/burial-pits-irans-coronavirus-outbreak-172036490.html
    6 minutes. Not much new, but well presented, without froth. And incidentally answers the question Why don’t we have enough test kits.
    Our response actually measures rather well compared to other countries.
    Another discussion is by Dr Fauci on the Morning Joe show.
    March 13: Dr Anthony Fauci, on MSNBC, compliments the Trump administration for its pre-emptive travel bans on China and Europe, explains that test kits must be manufactured before they can be distributed.
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1238460647823872000
    and
    —Trump is being blamed, astonishingly, for the US not having enough test kits to determine the actual numbers of those infected.
    1. But he doesn’t control the manufacturing facilities. Nor does the CDC. Many of them are very likely overseas.
    2. The kits don’t provide any treatment. They might provide reassurance so long as you don’t wonder about false negatives. No measurable short term benefit.
    3. The progress of the disease does not depend in any way on the presence of test kits.
    4. And while it may be a year for a vaccine, there is hope for effective treatment:
    “Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro. Since these compounds have been used in human patients with a safety track record and shown to be effective against various ailments, we suggest that they should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel coronavirus disease.”
    —Manli Wang, Ruiyuan Cao, Leike Zhang, Xinglou Yang, Jia Liu, Mingyue Xu, Zhengli Shi, Zhihong Hu, Wu Zhong & Gengfu Xiao

    Hunker down, chaps.

  96. “Kung Flu” is less prejudicial than “The Mozelm disease”. Can we close our borders to The Corona family Virii. Unlike them, the Sumerian “Allil” allah is resolute in its malevolence.
    “Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog.”
    Can we close our borders to an RNA coded virus… to paraphrase obama, ‘oh yes we can’.

  97. there is this response to questions we all want answers to…

    COVID-19: quelle est la réalité du terrain? Témoignage du Dr Benjamnin Davido, médecin infectiologue referent 16 Mar 20
    >>When we had only 40 cases in France, we relied on level 1 Health Referral Centres (établissements de santé de référence; HRCs), such as Bichat or Pitié-Salpêtrière hospitals in Paris, to absorb the flow of patients. Now we have more than 3000 infected individuals, it is obvious that the dozen level 1 HRCs across the country are no longer enough. Consequently, second line centres, like our hospital, are taking their turn, just in time.

    We have had to adapt and put in place dedicated COVID-19 units. We have, as of today [13th March] a total of 11 beds, with a planned increase to 20 beds next week. _Centres no longer have the time nor the space to receive and respond to the demand for screening._ Fifteen days ago, the screening of suspected patients had to be done in the hospital with containment measures. Today, it is no longer possible as these places are taken by confirmed cases. Screening is therefore performed in the emergency department. This is stage 3 crisis management, although this has not yet been officially announced, which underlines the pressure from the flow of patients arriving in hospitals.

    Some hospitals have installed tents for urgent services, but you still need to have the capacity, to have the space and enough caregivers. And these _tents only allow outpatient diagnoses, they don’t allow for patients considered fragile or severe cases requiring hospitalization in a dedicated isolation facility._

    Is France heading for a situation like Italy?
    It is certain that the curves of the Italian and French epidemics can be superimposed; they are just separated in time by around 10 days. One difference between the two countries is that Italy has a particular set-up in which healthcare is organised separately by region, which may have led to a delay in the organisation of care.

    Today, in France, we no longer talk of zones or foci of COVID-19, and we no longer take into account travel. On the contrary, we consider the severity of the illness, and it is the presence of unexplained pneumonia that makes us suspect a COVID-19 diagnosis, especially if it is serious straight away (in resuscitation, for example).

    But as we no longer include history of travel, and the relevant symptoms are flu-like, such as having a fever, a runny nose, or coughing, and that, chronologically, it is the peak of the flu epidemic, we have an enormous influx of patients who may have flu or seasonal viral infection (mainly rhinovirus). These are consistent with the new coronavirus and, as such, we cannot, for benign cases, make a clinical distinction between them. _It becomes therefore impossible to screen everyone. In any case, we don’t have enough kits. We are at the stage of counting the number of cotton swabs to take samples…_

    Did France act too late to prevent shortages?
    Yes. Personally, for 10 days, I and my colleagues have struggled with the healthcare teams to urgently set up a hospitalization and screening structure to make the diagnoses, as some seemed doubtful due to the lack of anticipation by our local bodies. I don’t blame them, because bodies at the ministerial level have not given us the funds for taking the samples, as the laboratories themselves do not yet have the testing machines.
    On the other hand, what should have been anticipated is the current situation where we find ourselves with questions over the supply of masks. There are general practitioners who cannot see patients in their office due to a lack of surgical masks (FFP2s _(masks only have demonstrated effectiveness in resuscitation and when obtaining the sample)_, while we are in a period of seasonal flu and colds…and coronavirus. There is also a lack of hydroalcoholic gels. For lack of a better option, it is necessary to rely on hand-washing, which is a backwards step in terms of hygiene practices. That’s why, there should be, from tomorrow, a national plan that fits with the pandemic, as declared by the WHO. Care, as set out in the current plan, is not tenable in the long-term because _in the short-term we will no longer have the capacity to accept and regulate the flow of hospitalized patients, or even to screen them._ If the epidemic lasts for 3 months, I think it will be very difficult.

    Hospitals in France have been in crisis for years; in January, healthcare professionals protested against the lack of healthcare personnel and to explain that the austerity policy, which would see hospital beds close and push outpatient care, was not viable. Today, we are reopening hospital beds and requisitioning them to hospitalise suspected coronavirus patients. This morning, the regional health agencies asked us to cancel all scheduled non-urgent hospital admissions.

    Doctors in Italy have had to make difficult ethical choices due to the lack of equipment (respirators, beds, etc). Will this happen in France?
    We have discussed it among infectious disease specialists, and we think that it’s a question which will sadly arise when we have no more room for resuscitation, which is currently not the case. But COVID-19 patients with severe disease stay in hospital for a long time (around 3 to 6 weeks) so if the epidemic lasts, it may indeed happen. But this decision algorithm is sadly not rare in medicine. We decide not to resuscitate a patient when we know it will not save them. What is new is that this is a kind of illness for which we are not used to taking this type of decision.

    [[Military doctors are familiar with the process of triage, which means dealing incoming patients into three sorts: those for whom nothing can be done; those for whom nothing need be done urgently; and those who need urgent care with a prospect of benefit. MASH never really went into that, but they should have when the children weren’t watching.]]

    Currently, a third of hospitalized patients in resuscitation in France don’t have risk factors, including some under 40 years of age. We don’t know why yet. >>

    Then he adds: _”Contaminated caregivers have been probably, in the main, in the community or hadn’t take sufficient precautions at the start of the epidemic by not wearing a mask when the patient had signs consistent with the illness (especially cough). Personally, I think I have more risk of catching the virus on public transport than in the hospital.”_
    But a mask will to some degree protect the contacts, not the person wearing the mask. And there are more sick people in the hospital than on the Metro.

    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/926883?src=wnl_tp10f_200319_mscpedit&uac=26081DN&impID=2317362#vp_4

    Makes us – and Trump – look pretty good…among the humans.

  98. On nomenclature:
    ABC News, MSNBC, and PBS reporters, and many thereafter, have vilified those who refer to covid19 as the Wuhan virus or even as Chinese in origin.
    “it’s nakedly racist and obviously racist and blatantly racist.”
    https://spectator.org/abcs-cecilia-vega-and-pbss-yamiche-alcindor-play-the-race-card/

    They don’t seem to object to some of the other designated diseases:
    Middle East respiratory syndrome -MERS
    West Nile Virus
    Zika virus
    Lassa Fever
    Venezuelan equine encephalitis
    Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever
    Rift Valley fever
    Guinea Worm — now, that’s doubly bad, impugning not only Africans but Italians.
    German Measles
    Marburg Fever virus
    Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
    Ross River Virus
    Spanish Flu
    Bolivian hemorrhagic fever
    Argentine hemorrhagic fever
    Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
    Colorado tick fever
    Asian Flu
    Kawasaki disease
    Ebola
    and, lest we feel left out –
    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
    La Crosse Encephalitis
    St. Louis Encephalitis
    and of course Lyme Disease, named after a town in Connecticut that is 98%white, plus the obvious fact that lime is white.

    I guess they have a point. Or maybe they’re just nakedly stupid and obviously stupid and blatantly stupid. No wonder the Chinese kicked them out of the country.

    But I rather like calling it the Kung Flu.

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