Hump Day Hilarity – The Mouse That ….Coughed

Sometimes, life imitates art. Sometimes, the universe makes a hard left turn. Our resident cartoonist, Josh, came up with this after it was suggested on another blog. From the Wikipedia description:

The Mouse That Roared is a 1955 Cold War satirical novel by Irish American writer Leonard Wibberley, which launched a series of satirical books about an imaginary country in Europe called the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Wibberley went beyond the merely comic, using the premise to make commentaries about modern politics and world situations, including the nuclear arms race, nuclear weapons in general, and the politics of the United States.

The Mouse Coughs… H/t John P.A. Ioannidis via @JWSpry

Like the work? Buy Josh a pint here (though all the bars are closed).

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Doug Huffman
March 25, 2020 2:09 am

I rue the fact that the elect will take all credit and deflect all criticism, and that I cannot defeat them and their ignorance.

My ‘mayor’ (retired “PhD engineer”) has locked-down a tiny island by “just following orders.”

Reply to  Doug Huffman
March 25, 2020 7:01 am

What was it William F. Buckley wrote regarding the faculty at Harvard?

“I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory,” he said, “than by the Harvard University faculty.”

Bryan A
Reply to  _Jim
March 25, 2020 10:01 am

One would be the Whole “A’s” an the other would be the “A” Holes

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Bryan A
March 25, 2020 6:48 pm

And people who drive tow trucks for for the AAAA Towing Co.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
March 26, 2020 1:00 am

Now THAT would be a government by the people and for the people 🙂

Jimmy Haigh
March 25, 2020 2:29 am

This reflects my feelings exactly!

Ian Hawthorn
March 25, 2020 2:36 am

I loved those books. I wish I could read them again.

Reply to  Ian Hawthorn
March 25, 2020 3:55 am

Do you have a Kindle reader, Ian? I had the same thought earlier and went to Amazon, where “The Mouse That Roared” is included in Amazon Prime:

I’ll be reading it again later today.


Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
March 25, 2020 4:23 pm

Thanks for the URL Bob. On vacation at present and caught in the California lock-down. Don’t have the VHS tape with us – no player either.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
March 25, 2020 5:18 pm

It was a <a href=""great 1959 movie, too, starring Peter Sellers in four roles including that of Grand Duchess Gloriana XII.

Reply to  Pat Frank
March 25, 2020 5:50 pm

Peter Sellers was a great actor who Hollywood did not like. Dr Strangelove was another good movie

March 25, 2020 2:38 am

Picture is worth a thousand words!

J Mac
Reply to  eyesonu
March 25, 2020 9:37 am

Agree! Josh soooo perfectly captures the moment here!

Rich Davis
March 25, 2020 2:53 am

Typo: “Or resident cartoonist” (“Our”)

March 25, 2020 3:13 am

Lets have some hard facts about this particular virus. , is any worse a very bad Flu season.

Its a fact of life, and death that once a person passes about 70 the chances are that they will die in about 10 to 20 years at the most. So along comes yet another r virus and they die.

Now in the Western countries we appear to be chancing a major World wide recession, what for, to perhaps to give the oldies a few extra years.

If the West was very rich, with a perfect Health system , then OK save a few lives, but for a variety of reasons such as Saving the Planet in 100 years, we are not rich.

So lets get back to normal and just accept that we will always have viruses, and that we will soon have a new vaccien to add to the yearly Flu jab.

For the record I am 93, and yes I am enjoying life, no major health problems yet, but overall I
have had a good and very interesting life. So when I depart to what so many people tell me is a far better way o l life ?, then no regrets.


Reply to  Michael
March 25, 2020 4:19 am

Totally agree Michael, I’m not far behind you in years and so sorry to see so many out of work now, and in my mind, unnecessarily so. Last year I watched an ex wife pass in a very painful way after being in and out of hospital and nursing home for nearly 12 months. With a wan smile a few days before the end she looked at me and said “89 is a good age isn’t it ?”. I wished for her then what I had a few months before, flu with pneumonia. At one stage the euphoria from the fever was such that I would have been happy to go, no breathing problems or pain. Now recovered with a full active life and enjoying it I don’t want to be partly responsible for the shut down of my country, Australia. I’ll stay in quarantine, let the young go back to their lives. Most of them will hardly know they’ve had it.

Adam Gallon
Reply to  Michael
March 25, 2020 4:43 am

Yes, this virus is vastly worse than any flu season.
UK, As of 9am on 24 March 2020, 8,077 were confirmed positive. 422 patients who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.
So, we’ve an average mortality rate of 5.2%. Flu has an average mortality rate of 0.1-0.2%.
Italy’s even worse, 69,176 cases. Of those, 6,820 have died. That’s 9.85% mortality rate.
Let this rip amongst the population & the death rate will soar, as hospital facilities are swamped.
To date, 15% require oxygen & 5% admitted to ITU.
Oh, when you’re dead, you’re dead. No after life.

Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 5:32 am

But you actually have no idea the total number of cases, only those that are confirmed. 80% of those infected are either asymptomatic or not ill enough to seek care, by most reports. that takes your mortality rate to the bottom of the hill. I tend to believe in the Diamond Princess numbers, though small, most passengers did not even contract the virus.

Reply to  max
March 26, 2020 4:05 pm

Only 10% of those that died in Italy were directly a result of corona. Most died of other things, butt were positive for the coronavirus, so went down as a corona deaath.

Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 5:45 am

You’re using the confirmed positive figures. What should be used is the number who are infected, both confirmed and unconfirmed. But then no one knows as all those who have a mild case of it and don’t think they’ve had CV19 won’t be adding themselves to the statistics. With the flu figures, they do try and include the unconfirmed figures as they use various pieces of data to make a guesstimate.

Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 5:46 am

Adam- how would you know that ? Have you ever been dead ?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Marc
March 25, 2020 8:00 am

How do you know otherwise? I go by lack of evidence, meaning no evidence at all.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 8:41 pm

In your opinion then, absence of evidence proves the negative?
Really? Care to defend such a position generally?

John, here’s another.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 10:59 pm

“In your opinion then, absence of evidence proves the negative?
Really? Care to defend such a position generally?”

Not what I said. I don’t need to believe in it, or concern myself with it, when there is no evidence for it. If evidence is found, and it’s confirmed, then I will change my mind.

Loren Wilson
Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 5:50 am

How do you know?

Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 5:51 am

Prince Charles tested positive
Gretas claiming shes got it andher dad(no test in sweden unless IN hospital)
chas n grumbles were all huggy huggy in eu and hes been wafting round the EU a fair bit recently

Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 25, 2020 7:04 am
Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 6:51 am

How many people rushed out to get tested for flu?
Until you know that you have no idea of the death rate of either wuflu or flu

Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 6:55 am

Adam, I assume that your first sentence meant any typical or ordinary flu season. Almost certainly, there are exceptional flu seasons that will turn our to be worse, perhaps even flu seasons within the past 20 years or so. Of course, we really will not know the answer to this question until the pandemic is over. Also, I think you meant to compare diseases (a virus being one thing, the disease and season being another).

That said, within the past 5 years in Italy, 20,000 to 25,000 deaths were attributed to flu in the 2 worst seasons. These occurred without taking any quarantine steps, so this complicates making comparisons. Nevertheless, extrapolation of the current trend of deaths attributed to coronavirus appears to be about in line with these rates of flu deaths.

So, it does appear that the coronavirus outbreak in Italy is as bad or more likely worse than bad flu seasons of recent years there. Demographics certainly and environmental conditions probably will play major roles elsewhere.

Greg S.
Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 7:01 am

The oft quoted flu mortality rate is based off of deaths vs estimated number of cases (which are in the millions), not deaths vs actual confirmed cases. The COVID-19 mortality rate is based off deaths vs confirmed cases. This is not an apples to apples comparison. If estimated cases were used to calculate the COVID-19 death rate it would plummet (and it will be well under 1% when it’s all said and done). That’s not scary enough though.

Reply to  Greg S.
March 25, 2020 7:41 am

Good point.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 9:19 am

Ignorant fear mongering like yours will cause far more deaths than COVID-19. Please stop.

Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 10:28 am

Let this rip amongst the population & the death rate will soar,
Not if you quarantine everyone over 50 and let everyone else go back to work. Yes, some will die but the death rate for those under 59 is no different than the seasonal flu.

Once those under 50 have immunity we can gradually return under 60, under 70, under 80, 80 and over to normal lives as hospital space permits.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 11:44 am

None of those calculations are correct. But because Korea traced and tested 270,000 to find as of yesterday about 9000 active infections, we can use their data for infectivity given social distancing and for CFR.
Infectivity is about 3.3%. That is much lower than flu even given flu vaccine.
The CFR can be calculated from fatalities/ recovereds because there is ‘nothing’ missing in the recovered denominator thanks to the extensive testing. 3.4% in a modern health care system that is not overwhelmed. Will be much worse in overwhelmed Italy.
Moreover, in the active unresolved cases 11% are serious/critical. Based on Korea, we can expect about 1/3 of those to eventually die, and about 2/3 to recover.

Charles Nelson
Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 2:26 pm

Adam, you sound a bit panicky. Those numbers you have there are meaningless…don’t scare yourself too much until you have some facts.

Reply to  Adam Gallon
March 25, 2020 8:40 pm

Adam if you are so certain, then you must have proof. If you have no proof, how can you be so certain?

John Tillman, here’s one of the ones I was talking about earlier.

Reply to  Michael
March 25, 2020 3:11 pm

Totally agree and I am 69

Reply to  Michael
March 25, 2020 4:06 pm

93 — congratulations.

March 25, 2020 3:41 am

US infections 55,225
.0165% of population

Va_NC infections 816
.00429% of population

NY State 26,376 cases
.138% of population

US deaths 802

(#’s as of this AM from USA Today site)

Flu season 2019-2020
30 million infections
12,000 to 30,000deaths
300,000 hospitalized
And in early February a John Hopkins expert said “has not reached epidemic proportions “

Flu season 2018-2019
Deaths 34,000

Keep Calm
Carry On
Someone in a tough spot once said

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Michael
March 25, 2020 8:44 am

All your “infections” numbers are KNOWN infections. How many more can we assume are infected but don’t know? How much smaller does that make the mortality rate?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 1:28 pm

We have no very good handle on this thing – much information, but that is known to be incorrect by anything up to a decentish factor [for total infections, including all those with minimal or no symptoms].
A two digit factor?
We probably don’t even know that.
Hence, lists of numbers are, well, lists of numbers – and need some indication of error bars.
Willis is very careful to highlight areas where he [and we] do not have even reasonably good numbers.
Deaths, even; are they Italian deaths where the deceased HAD Covid-19; or German deaths, here the deceased DIED because of Covid-19?
The number of deaths is known – but their manner seems to vary.


mike macray
Reply to  Michael
March 27, 2020 10:21 am

Keep Calm
Carry On
Thank you Michael, perspective + comon sense.. a good combination!

March 25, 2020 4:08 am
Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 4:18 am

I profoundly disagree.
This virus IS going to fill every ICU bed in the country.
Those who need Intensive care won’t be able to access it because all the beds are full.
Many of the young fit and healthy will still need Intensive care to survive it. Joanne Nova posts on a very fit young surviver who nevertheless was long term near death. For those of you who get ‘just a flu’, it’s still the worst flu you ever had, and many of you WILL need an Intensive Care bed. Hope you catch it early enough for some of them to be available.

Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 4:50 am

What do you blame this on? Italy? Lombardy’s ICUs are typically 85-90% full every winter,

Italian ICUs collapsed in 2017/2018 during a severe flu outbreak. Sounds like they have a problem with under capacity.

Leo Morgan
Reply to  icisil
March 25, 2020 5:46 am

That would depend upon what you mean by “this”. As a general rule, I don’t care about ‘blame’, I care about resolving problems.
I have no problem with ICU’s having only a 10% surplus of beds, why pay for more than you need? In fact, Australia probably only has an extra few hundred beds free in the country, and 2400 cases known so far.

Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 7:40 am

Sorry, I didn’t mean “blame”, but “base”. In other words on what do you base your fear that US ICUs will be overrun? Italy’s were already at the breaking point. I don’t think the US is in the same situation.

Reply to  icisil
March 26, 2020 9:56 pm

The US, overall has the most ICU beds per capita. NYC is an outlier, they’re more like Italy.
Hence, NYC’s current situation.

Leo Morgan
Reply to  icisil
March 29, 2020 12:44 am

To be honest, I base it upon Joanne Nova’s assessment. I respect her judgement. But rather than rely on appeals to authority, I refer to this report:
As summarised by Australia’s ABC, that article claims we can expect 5 % of all cases to end in the ICU and another 15% to be hospitalised.

Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 9:29 am

Leo Morgan re: “This virus IS going to fill every ICU bed in the country.
Those who need Intensive care won’t be able to access it because all the beds are full.”

I can’t help but think that posters such as Leo are obstinately resistant to new information, in particular, indications from multiple sources that certain anti-malarian meds are effective against Covid-19.

Maybe Leo can shed some light on why this is?

Steven Miller
Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 5:21 pm

Leo Morgan said, “I profoundly disagree. This virus IS going to fill every ICU bed in the country. Those who need Intensive care won’t be able to access it because all the beds are full. Many of the young fit and healthy will still need Intensive care to survive it.

You are relying on flawed information to reach this conclusion.

Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 26, 2020 6:00 am

In my city they converted a hotel into an isolation facility and they are building a field hospital to treat patients. Our local brewers are making hand sanitizer. Many companies are rushing to build ventilators. These are actions other cities can take to try and stay ahead of the curve.

Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 4:24 am

Hmm, my previous post is in moderation apparently.
Let’s put it this way- if it affects 60% of your population and only one half a per cent of those affected die, then that’s 900,000 unnecessarily dead Americans.
As for the assertion, ‘it’s only the elderly’, I happen to value my mother.

Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 4:59 am

I see your point. One thing though is flu kills 20000 Americans and that number could be cut dramatically by having a lock down. So although 900000 much greater than 20000, 20000 is no small number either. It appears society accepts a certain death level from viruses.

Leo Morgan
Reply to  Stevek
March 29, 2020 12:55 am

I can’t argue that society does seem to accept such a death rate. That we do so, is not an argument that we ought to do so.
Note that the numbers I chose were extremely conservative. The Worldometers figures for death rate among cases that have come to a conclusion, either by recovering or dying, is 34 times greater than the one I used, as at 29 March.
Even if we’re not hospitalised, for many people its “the worst flu they ever had, they felt like they were drowning”.
What I most fear is that the virus will mutate enough that it will recur like the common cold.

Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 6:41 am

It should also be remembered that 99% of those dying with coronavirus have one or more pre-existing serious diseases. It is hard to distinguish those dying because of Covid19 from those dying along with it.
comment image?w=1000

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Ron Clutz
March 25, 2020 8:46 am


Or just “existing”. Putting “pre” in front of it makes it a nonsense word “before existing”.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 8:57 am

I meant diseases existing prior to coronavirus infection. In the same sense that medical insurers refer to illnesses present prior to a diagnosis of a disease.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 12:13 pm

“pre-existing conditions” is a very common term in health insurance parlance and is not debated! Same goes for the medical field.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  RockyRoad
March 25, 2020 11:01 pm

It may not be debated, but it’s still a nonsense word.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 26, 2020 6:48 am

Not really a nonsense word.
There are lots of things that are existing. Someone builds a new house and the broker advertises it as “much better amenities than pre-existing houses in the development”.

Now if you made a comparison to something “pre-existing” the universe you have a point.

Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 7:50 am

I think your death numbers for the U.S. are too high by one or even two orders of magnitude.

We’ll have a better idea how this first round is going to end up when the death rate begins to turn over and makes a trend as it has in other countries that are further along in the pandemic.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Leo Morgan
March 25, 2020 9:34 am

Your numbers are way off. First, the current population of the US is about 331 million; 60% of that is198.6 million; and .1% of that is 198,600. Second, your assumption of 60% infection rate is likely too high. Once herd immunity kicks in, that will drop considerably. We know that older people with existing illnesses are the most vulnerable, so if we protect this population by keeping them isolated (as much as practical) from the rest of us until the virus (mostly) dies out due to herd immunity (or a vaccine is available), then we can reduce that 60% to a much lower value. So even the 198K number could be reduced by an order of magnitude. Compare that to the number of people that will die if we let the economy collapse.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 25, 2020 11:53 am

His ASSumption was that 0.5% of the 60% would die, so his math is correct. It’s the assumption that is wrong.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Scissor
March 26, 2020 4:01 am

Ah yes, I see he was using 1/2% death rate, not 1/10th. My bad. OTOH, the .1% is equally plausible given the massive uncertainty at the moment. My other points are still correct, regardless.

March 25, 2020 4:47 am

The question is not whether coronavirus will hit the economy. The question is how long the recovery will take. link

There’s plenty of doom and gloom out there and a couple of my younger friends are buying stocks at bargain basement prices.

“There will be interruptions, and I don’t know when they will occur, and I don’t how deep they will occur, I do know they will occur from time to time, and I also know that we’ll come out better on the other end” — on the inevitability and fleeting nature of disruptions to the global economy. Warren Buffett

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2020 5:36 am

“a couple of my younger friends are buying stocks at bargain basement prices.”
Are you saying they missed out on the huge gains of the last few years and are trying to catch up now? Does that make them smart or are they dumb and lucky?

Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
March 25, 2020 8:45 pm

Why do you believe that buying now means they weren’t buying several years ago?

Curious George
Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2020 7:46 am

The economy has a big problem with unfunded pensions for public employees. I recall a two step plan for solving it:
1. Effective immediately, retirees are allowed to cross on a red light.
2. On January 1st, 2023 it becomes mandatory.

In a similar vein, we have two proposals how to kill the virus:
1. Sign the Paris agreement. [Proposed by the UN Secretary General]
2. Allow ballot harvesting. [Proposed by the Speaker of the House]
But this is not a joke …

William Astley
Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2020 4:21 pm

The recovery will depend on how fast we can get back to normal life.

A vaccine should be available sometime … this year? early next year?

There are many unknowns. Will the virus live forever if it gets a foothold in a country?

I see India has started extreme isolation. That seems impossible to achieve in a country with a population of 1.3 billion people.

On the positive side…

There is a US company (The company Distributed Bio, was included in the new Netflix Documentary, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak).

They have a paradigm changing new Corvid-19 antibody producing system that will if the testing goes well be able to be mass produced and given to humans as earlier as September of this year, if their testing in July of this year on 200 subjects in the US is successful.

The Corvid-19 antibody will provide the person, if it works, with 8 weeks of protection against the virus.

As it is an antibody, rather than a vaccine, it can be given to both sick and well people. In sick people, it will provide a reduction in virus count, twenty minutes after injection.

March 25, 2020 5:54 am

But this strategy has a significant and immediate effect on the economic system. In other words, the best available medical solution creates massive economic dislocation. Much of the economy cannot be sustained with social distancing. Social distancing reduces economic activity and could lead to economic failure. The danger of the social distancing strategy in all of its dimensions is not only the immediate decline of the economy but its systemic destruction. The destruction of current business activity can result in permanent destruction.

Creating a system in which all other human beings are seen as potential threats will have unfortunate effects. But to be simplistic about this, there is the concept of cabin fever. People confined to their homes, however comfortable, will rebel. Their understanding of risk will change as the risk of going mad in a small apartment with two children competes with the fear of the virus. Breaking quarantine and incurring the risk of disease seems irrational only if you regard the risk of disease as a paramount consideration. Mental health and finding a job can rationally take precedence.
The longer-term outcome of the medical solution and the damage to the economy could be a depression neither the government nor society can cope with.

In sum, the medical system’s only solution to an unprecedented event has stunned an economic system that the political system is trying to stabilize. Together they will lead to a breakdown in the radical quarantine systems and a massive social disturbance. This will, in turn, generate political instability and sow distrust in social institutions. This is all avoidable in the short term, but the longer this drags out, the less the time frames are in sync.
we should remember that economic destruction due to war gave rise to Hitler and Lenin. Economic destruction in any form is destabilizing.

For now, the crisis is not only the virus but the inability to combat it without massive economic cost, and ultimately social unrest. During Europe’s great Black Death, citizens marched with torches and burned those they felt were ill and those they felt were responsible for the illness. It was not only the plague that created a time of horror but the legitimate fear it generated in people and the inability of the state to protect them, in a world where kings were as likely to die as peasants. The virus is dangerous. The follow-on effect can be far more dangerous.

March 25, 2020 6:05 am

Of the 416 children aged 0 to 9 who contracted COVID-19, precisely zero died. This is unusual for most infectious diseases, but not for coronaviruses; the SARS coronavirus outbreak also had minimal impact on children. For patients aged 10 to 39, the case-fatality rate is 0.2 percent. The case-fatality rate doubles for people in their 40s, then triples again for people in their 50s, and nearly triples yet again for people in their 60s. A person who contracts COVID-19 in their 70s has an 8 percent chance of dying, and a person in their 80s a nearly 15 percent chance of dying.

March 25, 2020 6:23 am

Gary Varvel captured a similar perspective in this cartoon:
comment image

March 25, 2020 6:25 am

The Mouth that Roared muttered not a single mumblin’ word about the sheer destruction of health infrastructure over decades, since the repeal of the Bretton-Woods in the 1970’s.

That’s the case in the “developed” world, now look at the southern hemisphere going into winter…

When the physical economy cannot support the relative potential population density, a holocaust is inevitable without radical changes. That means massive investment, not just lock-down.

It is clear a phase-shift is underway – the uprooting of the looting casino that thrived like a malaria parasite on the global economy over decades.

Quarantine WallStreet, City of London immediately! That pestilence cannot be tolerated any longer!

Reply to  bonbon
March 25, 2020 8:47 pm

I see bonbon is letting her paranoia run rampant again.

Everything bad in the world is caused by bankers, the English, or both.

March 25, 2020 6:35 am

The Mouth that Roared muttered not a single mumblin’ word about the sheer destruction of health infrastructure over decades, since the repeal of the Bretton-Woods in the 1970’s.

That’s the case in the “developed” world, now look at the southern hemisphere going into winter…

When the physical economy cannot support the relative potential population density, a disaster is inevitable without radical changes. That means massive investment, not just lock-down.

It is clear a phase-shift is underway – the uprooting of the looting casino that thrived like a malaria parasite on the global economy over decades.


Paul Penrose
Reply to  bonbon
March 25, 2020 9:38 am

I wish you would quarantine yourself from this blog. I’m getting tired of your idiocy.

Reply to  bonbon
March 25, 2020 8:49 pm

The economy was having no problem supporting the population.
Just because your beloved socialism has failed to provide you the standard of living you feel you deserve does not mean the over all economy is failing.

March 25, 2020 6:39 am

Hi Josh
Vivid cartoon, but not accurate.
Instead, imagine the elephant standing up as tall as possible., on one foot and on tiptoe on a steep icy slope.
The cliff is appropriate.
The stock market gets most of the attention, but the bond markets got very speculative as well.
Altogether, it was the biggest financial bubble in history.
The “Everything Bubble” naturally became the “Everything Collapse”.
The Wuhan Virus was a catalyst.
Back in 2002, SARS occurred after a bubble had collapsed and was bottoming.
No added financial, economic or political drama.

Dodgy Geezer
March 25, 2020 8:00 am

I see that people are discussing whether Covid-19 is going to be a particularly bad illness or not.

There will be lots of anecdotes about individual deaths. And lots of assertions about calculated fatality ratios using iffy numbers. The best thing to do is to look at the overall morality. If this is much worse than normal, we can infer that Covid-19 is causing it.

Using WUWT links, I looked at the European Mortality figures. link included for convenience, though I should really H/T the original WUWT poster. These figures show that the mortality rates are far better than normal. There appears to be very little winter flue around and people are surviving much more than they usually do.

Perhaps this distancing really is saving lives?

Andrew Kerber
March 25, 2020 8:10 am

According to the US CDC. tested and diagnosed flu cases in the US were 231,654. Deaths from the flu, about 22000. This makes the mortality rate from the flu about 10%, using the apples to apples comparison of tested and diagnosed. The mortality rate among tested and diagnosed victims of COVID 19 is about 1.2%. This makes COVID 19 much more deadly than the seasonal flu.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Andrew Kerber
March 25, 2020 8:49 am

Huh? 1.2% is worse than 10%??

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 9:40 am

I have to assume that Andrew meant “much less”, unless it is opposite day.

March 25, 2020 8:23 am

While one should b e careful about statistics , lets have some ab out the death rate in each age group when we do not have a new virus. Then deduct that figure against the present death rate per each age group, with the virus.

As mentioned the cruse ship was a perfect case of a experiement in near perfect conditions.

That seemed to in dict that the present outbreak is not as serious as our politicians seem to think.
And remember that politicians love to have something to scare us with, so they can fix things.

Just look at the money wasted n Climate Change.


Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 8:55 am

Since 2012, the mortality per 1000 people in Italy was over 10. That’s about 1 percent. How does this virus change that?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 9:42 am

It changes the cause and gives people something to blame.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 25, 2020 8:51 pm

Using that logic, we should just shut all hospitals. After all, we’re going to die eventually anyway.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2020 11:03 pm

“Using that logic, we should just shut all hospitals. After all, we’re going to die eventually anyway.”

Where on Earth did you come up with that? I was asking a question, not making a conclusion.

David Blenkinsop
March 25, 2020 9:38 am

Hehe, nice cartoon by Josh! Also, the attached link in the head posting gives reasons that I find pretty persuasive as to why the cartoon is an incisive comment, ( reminder, the link provided is ).

Another point that I find interesting is to compare past serious pandemics, and the government reaction to them, with the reaction and the measures we are seeing today, here is one article that makes some comparisons:

One quote from the above mentioned article refers to the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic, the big one that happened just 10 years ago, does anyone recall a panic over that – ?

” The swine flu pandemic of infected an estimated 20 per cent of the world’s population when it raced around the globe in 2009, killing some 284,500 people. ”

Of course, 284,000 or 300,000 or whatever is an incredibly tiny fraction of the world’s population, less than 1 hundredth of a percent — or maybe we should be terrified by the idea that a fifth of the population could eventually have tested positive by this estimate?

Of course, lots of the concerned who read this are going to say ‘this time it is worse’, and well, maybe so, maybe not. The point is, we had no way, then, of knowing for sure how much worse it was going to be, but we didn’t see the arbitrary, panicky, decision making we see today! I mean, say, keeping the grocery stores open, but closing all the restaurants, since obviously eating out is a more dangerous way to get your food, or *is* it that obvious? Don’t we also breath the same air as the other people in the grocery store? If someone has some sort of proof that *this* time *this* special virus spreads with high contagion at the merest breath, then come out with it! Otherwise it seems to me that society did much better just 10 years ago compared to what is happening now.

J Mac
March 25, 2020 9:57 am

Thanks for the levity! Unfortunately, many of the commenters here apparently couldn’t take a short break to appreciate and participate in a shared laugh at your most excellent capture of this world ‘moment’…..

Mirth in the moment is a choice the individual soul makes, even in the face of mortal danger.
Some can…. Some just can’t.

Nick Schroeder
March 25, 2020 11:28 am
“CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 38 million flu illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths from flu.”

And not word one from the lying, fact free, fake news MSM propaganda machine.

Guess they couldn’t use this FACT to meddle in the election and screw over Trump.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 29, 2020 5:58 pm

Nick Schroeder March 25, 2020 at 11:28 am
OK Nick, that’s 23,000 deaths over about 6 months whereas COVID-19 has had ~2500 deaths during the first month of the outbreak. Also someone hospitalized with COVID requires about 3 times as long on a ventilator, so from that aspect it’s the equivalent of 7,500 flu patients dying, trouble is in three days there will be about 5,000 deaths, in a week’s time ~10,000!
Also that means that by the end of next week the death toll from seasonal flu and COVID will likely total over 35,000.

Reply to  Phil.
March 29, 2020 6:58 pm

re: ” Also someone hospitalized with COVID requires about 3 times as long on a ventilator, so from that aspect it’s the equivalent of 7,500 flu patients dying, trouble is in three days there will be about 5,000 deaths, in a week’s time ~10,000!

Still fighting the last war “Phil.”; there is a new study out by Didier Raoult​ (MD/Ph.D in Marseille, France) with 80 patients this time showing the efficacy of his regimen (incl Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin):

Clinical and microbiological effect of a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin
in 80 COVID-19 patients with at least a six-day follow up: an observational study

Running title: “Hydroxychloroquine-Azithromycin and COVID-19

Easier to read ‘lay’ press release:
Coronavirus cure: French researchers completed new additional study on 80 patients, results show a combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to be effective in treating COVID-19
March 27, 2020

March 25, 2020 3:33 pm

Are cruise ship stats different because the youngest on board were likely soaking in a chlorinated pool ( bleach bath) for hours per day?. Hence why it appeared to be an aged bias virus.?

Maybe leave public pools open and encourage a long daily dip to soak away the stress… And bugs.

March 25, 2020 6:43 pm

The global reaction to the Wuhan virus has been waaay overblown.

The US is finally conducting large-scale Wuhan testing (the CDC completely screwed up the test kits and testing protocols) which will likely show millions of Americans have already had the Wuhan flu, and were either asymptomatic or had such minor reactions they attributed it to the regular flu.

The drug hydroxychlorquine already seems to be a very effective cure for severe Wuhan virus cases, and a Wuhan vaccine is already in phase I testing, which is an historic record for vaccine development.

Moreover, the Wuhan virus seems to have negligible mutations, so once a vaccine is developed, it should be very effective against in preventing the Wuhan flu next flu season.

Preliminary analysis by a Dr. Levitt of Stanford U. (a Nobel Laureate) seems to suggest the ACTUAL death rate of the Wuhan virus could be as low as 0.06%, which is even lower than the regular flu at 0.1%… Remember when WHO said the Wuhan flu had a death rate as high as 3~5%?…not so much…

Leftist media and political hacks have criminally sensationalized and politicized this terrible virus and must be held accountable for their deplorable reporting.

March 26, 2020 11:24 pm

I found the movie on amazon and you tube. Great commentary and satire.

I find it interesting, sad actually given the current political climate, that these books and movie can make such politically controversial points with humor such that all sides can enjoy.

The movie is 1959 and the premise is if we declare war against the USA, lose the war, USA will take care of us and here we are 61 years later still doing the same thing…

March 27, 2020 4:14 am

Long-respected epidemiologist Dr. Michael T. Osterholm of the University of Minnesota CIDRAP Infected by Deadly British Virus: `You Can’t Change Our System!’

Osterholm co-authored a WaPo piece on March 21, cynically arguing against a national lock-down on the grounds that there are only two ways to halt the COVID-19 epidemic: to lock down the entire country for 18 months until a vaccine is developed; or to let the virus spread, on the basis of the so-called “herd immunity” theory that eventually the virus will burn itself out.
This unscientific “only two choices” proposition is gaining steam these days, spread by Fox News (amongst others) and many a politician of differing ideological persuasions, most of whom can’t count past 2.
Osterholm, however, identifies the source from which he contracted this growing contagion: Britain’s Imperial College of London, and its much-ballyhooed March 17 computer model of the likely course of COVID-19 under differing public health measures.
That Imperial College study argued what Osterholm wrote. (leave aside for the moment the fact that the Imperial College team under Prof. Neil Ferguson has just today “corrected” — actually completely changed — its model’s conclusions, for the third time.)
Osterholm gives the nature of the virus away in one key paragraph:
“We are in uncharted territory,” he wrote. “But the best alternative will probably entail letting those at low risk for serious disease continue to work, keep business and manufacturing operating, and run society, while at the same time advising higher-risk individuals to protect themselves through physical distancing and ramping up our health-care capacity as aggressively as possible. With this battle plan, we could gradually build up immunity without destroying the financial structure on which our lives are based}.” [Emphasis added]

The fact that Osterholm insists that the financial structure actually behind the threat to all of civilization must be saved, at great risk to humanity — accepting that it is “the structure on which are lives are based” — identifies the British origin of what he is arguing for.

More reason to immediately quarantine WallStreet and the City of London.
Meanwhile Mnuchin et. al. have $450 billion FED bailout secrecy package using the COVID narrative.

Reply to  bonbon
March 27, 2020 7:29 am

Well, “doomer”.

If we find ourselves ‘out’ of this predicament (flattened curve) in say 30 days (the use of Hydroxychloroquine OUGHT to be showing signs of efficacy by then), will you eat your hat?

Reply to  bonbon
March 29, 2020 7:00 pm

See press release:
Coronavirus cure: French researchers completed new additional study on 80 patients, results show a combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to be effective in treating COVID-19, March 27, 2020

Dudley Horscroft
March 28, 2020 10:45 pm

In Australia the latest info is that there have been 14 deaths out of 3809 confirmed cases. This is a mortality rate of .367. See:

for the latest Aust. Govt figures. Of interest is a graph showing both the cumulative numbers and the day to day additions. Unfortunately this is only up to date to 2359 on 27th, and warns that the most recent figures may be inaccurate due to delays in reporting, but even with the latest figures for the 24 hours to 0600 this morning, the new incidences appear to have plateaued at about 400 to 430 per day. If this is so, it indicates that soon new figures will show a drop as requiring the general population not to go out except for essential work and or shopping will mean that there will be few new infections.

Also of interest is the fact that about 2/3 of new infections recently have been due to Australians returning from infected areas. All Australians returning, no matter where from – have to go into hotels where they can be kept under guard and checked for a fortnight.

Re ICU beds, Australia had about 2200 prior to the epidemic. There have only been about 30 cases since the start of the epidemic where severely ill people have had to use these beds. (Number using these at any one time has varied between about 11 and 17.) No problem, as general use beds have been converted to ICU beds in case things get remarkably worse – we now have around 4000 potential ICU beds. In WA, mild cases of infection are now being treated in private hospitals, as the most important factor is lack of stress and isolation from other people. Public Hospitals can be a nightmare for the patients – as my wife found during her recovery from a stroke. Much better to keep Covid 19 patients out of public hospitals.

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