COVID-19 Deaths in Europe: Excess Mortality is – DOWN?

Reposted from Dr. Roy Spencer’s website

March 29th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Given the global hysteria over the spread COVID-19, you might be excused if you are very surprised to learn that the most recent week of mortality data in the EU shows an actual decline from what is expected for this time of year.

In the coming months there will be an increasing debate over whether the virtual shutdown of our economy was warranted given the threat of the latest form of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. While there are still large uncertainties about how fast it spreads and how lethal it is (statistically, those are inversely related), I suspect we will ultimately realize that our response might well have done more harm than good to society as a whole.

This is mainly because poverty is the leading cause of premature death in the world, and shutting down the economy leads to premature death for a multitude of reasons related to poverty. In the extreme example, you could save lives in the short run by keeping everyone at home, but in the long run we would all starve to death.

But that is not the main subject of this post.

A couple weeks ago I started expressing the opinion on social media that if our reaction to the spread of COVID-19 turns out to be overdone, it might end up having the unexpected consequence of reducing total virus-related mortality.

Let me explain.

As I am sure you are aware, seasonal flu is a global killer, with 300,000 to 650,000 deaths on average each year, mainly among the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. At this writing, COVID-19 has killed 10% or less of that number. (Yes, I realize that number might have been considerably higher if not for our response).

Here’s the point: It might well be that the increased level of hand-washing, sanitizing, and social distancing we have exercised might save more lives from reducing influenza-A and -B that were lost to COVID-19, and that net virus-related mortality might go down this season.

I personally became more careful about not spreading germs several years ago. No so much for myself (I have a pretty strong immune system) but so I would not carry disease home to my family members. I carry antibacterial wipes in my car and use them religiously. We are hearing more and more now about how such habits can help prolong the lives of those around us who are elderly or have compromised immune systems.

Now, recent results from Europe suggest that the COVID-19 response might be having the unintended benefit of saving total lives. This is all very preliminary, I realize, and that coming weeks might see some change in that picture. But it is worth thinking about.

Early Results from Europe

Every week (on Thursday) the Euro MOMO project (European MOnitoring of excess MOrtality) publishes a report of mortality statistics across the EU, including stratification by age group. The latest report (which I believe includes data through March 24, but I am not sure) shows (green line) no uptick in total mortality from the assumed baseline (red line). In fact, it’s a little below that line (they also account for missing and late reports).

Amazingly, this flu season is seen to be surprisingly mild compared to previous flu seasons in the EU. On the chart I have also indicated the number of reported COVID-19 deaths in the most recent week, around 7,000.

Why do we not see an uptick on the chart? The charts for individual countries do show an up-tick for Italy (for example), but not unlike what was seen in previous flu seasons.

The report itself provides two or three possible explanations, none of which are particularly satisfying. Read it yourself and tell me it doesn’t sound like the people writing the report are also somewhat mystified. They don’t mention what I am discussing here.

So, the chart begs at least two questions:
1) Are the effects of practicing increased hygiene in response to COVID-19 saving more lives that would have been lost to seasonal flu deaths, than are being lost to COVID-19 itself?
2) Why are we not outraged and deathly afraid of the seasonal flu (-A and -B), given the widespread death that routinely occurs from those viruses that come around each season?

You might claim, “It’s because COVID-19 can kill anyone, not just the elderly.” Well, that’s true of the seasonal flu, as well. The case of an apparently healthy 44-year-old Texas man who recently died of COVID-19 probably scares many people, but according to the CDC approximately 5 “healthy” young people a day in the U.S. under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest. Maybe that Texas man had an underlying health condition that was previously undiagnosed. Unless they do an autopsy, and the family reveals the results, we will never know.

And, you might well think of other reasons why EU deaths have not experienced an uptick yet. Human behavior involves many confounding variables. I’m just mentioning one potential reason I am not seeing discussed.

I am not trying to minimize the deaths due to COVID-19. I’m trying to point out that if we are fearful of death from COVID-19, we should be even more concerned about the seasonal flu (many people are saying this), and that one benefit of the current experience might be that people will be more mindful about avoiding the spread of viruses in the future.

327 thoughts on “COVID-19 Deaths in Europe: Excess Mortality is – DOWN?

  1. THE STUDY? we’re are not proofing a drug. We are proofing a remedy. So when people are dying giving a placebo to a control group to verify the efficacy in reference to (undetermined) R naught (AKA deaths rate) makes little sense. Since we are proofing a remedy would a study giving control groups various therapies to see which one is more effective in reference to different indications make more sense.

    • 03/29/2020
      FDA issues emergency authorization of anti-malaria drug for coronavirus care

      The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday issued an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, decades-old malaria drugs championed by President Donald Trump for coronavirus treatment despite scant evidence.

      The agency allowed for the drugs to be “donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible,” HHS said in a statement, announcing that Sandoz donated 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to the stockpile and Bayer donated 1 million doses of chloroquine.

      https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/29/fda-emergency-authorization-anti-malaria-drug-155095

      ===========

      DeSantis says shipment of hydroxychlorquine on way to Florida

      “Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis announced in the opening of his Saturday coronavirus briefing that hospital systems in Dade, Broward and Hillsborough counties, plus some hospitals in Orlando will receive the drug.”

      https://www.local10.com/news/local/2…ay-to-florida/

      • All of which proves what? That at one time the U.S. Public Health Agencies were like P.T. Barnum and that “Every minute a fool is born.” (?)

        • Needs to be below lengthy exchange between commenters on syphilis study. My mistake.

    • re: “would a study giving control groups various therapies to see which one is more effective in reference to different indications make more sense.”

      Ala the Tuskegee Experiment? Hippocratic Oath territory …

      • It was the Tuskegee “Study”, and not “Experiment”. A similar study had been done on Caucasians about twenty years earlier, it was understood that syphilis effects whites and blacks differently, so this study was necessary. Only those not familiar with the real study call it an “experiment”.

        • re: “It was the Tuskegee “Study”

          Don’t chew on me friend, chew on these folks below, besides, you completely sidestepped the point that was being made. What was the point you ask? IF you have to ask …

          (1) “Historical Origins of the Tuskegee Experiment: The Dilemma of Public Health in the United States.”
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29311536

          (Note the URL above, a “.gov” site.)

          (2) “Tuskegee Experiment: The Infamous Syphilis Study”
          https://www.history.com/news/the-infamous-40-year-tuskegee-study

          (3) “In 1932, 600 African American men from Macon County, Alabama were enlisted to partake in a scientific experiment on syphilis.
          https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/history/40-years-human-experimentation-america-tuskegee-study

          (4) “The Tuskegee syphilis experiment of the 20th century …”
          http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/10/01/guatemala.syphilis.tuskegee/index.html

          I think that is enough.

          • Not quite! Why haven’t we heard from anyone actually involved in the study? Hmmmm?

            From Nurse Rivers:

            “The patients who had syphilis were all in the latent stage; any acute cases requiring
            treatment were carefully screened out for standard therapy.”

            “Having, a complete physical examination by a doctor in a hospital was a new experience for most, of the men. Some were skeptical; others were frightened and left without an examination. Those who -were brave enough to remain were very pleased.”

            “The ride to and from the hospital in this vehicle with the Government emblem on the front door, chauffeured by the nurse, was a mark of distinction for any of the men who enjoyed waving to their neighbors as they drove by. They knew that they could get their pills and “spring tonic” from the nurse whenever they needed them between surveys, but they looked forward happily to having the Government doctor take their blood pressure and listen to their hearts. Those men who were advised about their diets were especially delighted even though they would not adhere to the restrictions.”

            “Free medicines, burial assistance or insurance (the project being referred to as “Miss Rivers” Lodge”), free hot meals on the days of examination, transportation to and from the hospital, and an opportunity to stop in. town on the return trip to shop or visit with their friends on the streets all helped.”

            “In 1932, Miss Rivers was offered a position asnight supervisor in a New York general hospital. She chose, instead, to stay in Alabama as a scientific assistant with the Division of Venereal Disease of the Public Health Service.”

            “One cannot work with a group of people over a long period of time without becoming attached to them. This has been the experience of the nurse. She has had an opportunity to know them personally. She has come to understand some of their problems and how these account for some of their peculiar reactions. The ties are stronger than simply those of patient and nurse.”

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2024012/pdf/pubhealthreporig00184-0037.pdf

            Gosh! That sounds like a completely different program. Maybe a study, and not an experiment. Isn’t it odd that the woman who dedicated her life to helping her neighbors is virtually ignored, except when race baiters try to frame her as a villain or a fool.

            Beware the Ministry of Truth, Jim.

          • I am well aware that some misinformed people called it an experiment. It’s like when people call tax breaks “subsidies”, it doesn’t matter who says it, it is wrong.

            “Experiment” implies the subjects were lab rats, which they were not. Only people with advanced and untreatable syphilis were chosen for the study. If you read your link, the first sentence begins with, “The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male…”. The institute that ran this study was an all black school founded in 1881, and they cared greatly about their community, and they did the best they could to resolve a very ugly and painful issue. I read a thorough historical account of the study about fifteen years ago, written by a black nurse who was there for the entire duration. Her story is the polar opposite of the leftist narrative, and herstory actually makes sense.

            The word “experiment” was chosen to make the study look like more oppression of blacks by whites, and that is just not the case.

          • ‘Swallowing a camel while straining for gnats’, Gator. The point of the first post again was missed due to the nit-picking of non-essential detail. The fact that some of those ‘study’ subjects could have been treated through the use of Penicillin I guess evades you, resulting in madness and death in the ‘test’ -er- ‘study’ subjects … and the ‘study’ (the experiment) carried on.

            Thanks, again, for the ‘dodge’, the diversion off the intended point. You’re what makes WUWT what it is some days, like now.

          • Once again Jim, if you were familiar with the study, you would know that those chosen were too far gone for treatment. There was no treatment when the study began, and penicillin was not identified as a treatment until WWII, long after the study had begun.

            Try reading the firsthand account of Eunice Verdell Rivers Laurie, if you can find a copy. It’s as if you have never heard of the left and their propensity for lying and altering historical fact.

          • @ Gator

            There is NO evidence for your statement “advanced and untreatable syphilis”. Syphilis can be treated and CURED up until death. The DAMAGE may not be reversed, however the spirochete bacteria is killed.

            – see citation below for treatment of Syphilis of unknown duration

            There is however, evidence falsifying your statement:

            Some of the men went BLIND during the study — I would have to look at the actual dates, but more than a few were post 1942 and 1947, when doctors in the PHS told their superiors that continuing to withhold treatment was UNETHICAL, the PHS refused.

            WHY? Because it was an EXPERIMENT — start initial conditions and observe until te endgame without INTERVENTION.

            “A single intramuscular injection of long acting Benzathine penicillin G (2.4 million units administered intramuscularly) will cure a person who has primary, secondary or early latent syphilis. Three doses of long acting Benzathine penicillin G (2.4 million units administered intramuscularly) at weekly intervals is recommended for individuals with late latent syphilis or latent syphilis of unknown duration. Treatment will kill the syphilis bacterium and prevent further damage, but it will not repair damage already done.”

            https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/treatment.htm

          • Karl, you are drinking the koolaid, and not looking through the eyes of the early 20th century.

            The patients who had syphilis were all in the latent stage; any acute cases requiring
            treatment were carefully screened out for standard therapy.”

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2024012/pdf/pubhealthreporig00184-0037.pdf

            The nurse that coordinated the patients explained that only untreatable patients were accepted into the program.

            I am well aware of what the race baiters claim.

          • Although penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming it, wasn’t until 1942 that people began to be treated with it. Thus it would not have been used in the Tuskegee Study during the 1930s.

          • There is NO evidence for your statement “advanced and untreatable syphilis”. Syphilis can be treated and CURED up until death.

            Kerl, that’s the case *NOW*, that wasn’t the case in the *1930s* when the study began. Penicillin would not become the recommended treatment until the late 1940s (over a decade after the study subjects were selected). Now you can, and should, fault the people running the study for not offering penicillin *after* 1947 (when an effective treatment was available), but you can’t fault them for not offering it when the study began and the subjects of the study were selected based on what *AT THE TIME* would be considered “advanced and untreatable”

          • It is important to remember…

            The patients who had syphilis were all in the latent stage; any acute cases requiring
            treatment were carefully screened out for standard therapy.”

            Decades later, benzathine penicillin was developed, patented in 1950, and even later found to stop the progression of the disease.

            The recommended treatment for adults and adolescents with late latent syphilis or latent syphilis of unknown duration is Benzathine penicillin G 7.2 million units total, administered as 3 doses of 2.4 million units administered intramuscularly each at weekly intervals. The recommended treatment for neurosyphilis and ocular syphilis is Acqueous crystalline penicillin G 18-24 million units per day, administered as 3-4 million units intravenously every 4 hours or continuous infusion, for 10-14 days. Treatment will prevent disease progression, but it might not repair damage already done.

            https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis-detailed.htm

            So these subject were not treatable until the 1950’s, when benzathine penicillin was patented, and widespread use of this drug did not occur for at least another decade meaning there was not much that could be done for folks who had been in latent stage for decades.

            It is debatable whether the study was racist. All the patients and controls were black (as was 82% of the population of Macon County in 1930), but this was because the study has its origins in earlier work supported by the philanthropic Rosenwald Fund, with the motivation of promoting the welfare of African Americans. Although the Rosenwald Fund decided not to support the Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis, it was endorsed by the Tuskegee Institute—an entirely African-American organisation—and black health-care professionals were involved at all stages of the study. Indeed, as late as 1969, the Macon County Medical Society, consisting mostly of black doctors, agreed to assist the USPHS in continuing the study.

            To describe the Tuskegee study as unethical requires an element of what Richard A Shweder describes as “presentism” (ie, judging past actions on the basis of the standards of today). When the study began, the only treatment for syphilis was the poorly efficacious arsphenamine compounds, and there was no medical consensus on the usefulness of these drugs in latent syphilis. And debate over whether treatment of latent syphilis did more harm than good continued into the early 1950s, well into the era of penicillin availability.

            Also of note is the fact that a nearly identical study was conducted in Sweden twenty years earlier, and all participants were Caucasian. To this day the occurrence of syphilis is 21 times higher for African Americans than for white Americans, and epidemiologists of the day were trying to figure out why this is so. It had nothing to do with racism.

            Remember, this was a congressional witch hunt started by the NYT.

          • @ Gator,

            In 1932 there was no treatment for acute cases — by 1942 and 1947 Penicillin could hav and would have cured Latent Syphilis.

            You obviously don’t know the science.

            The doctors and the PHS REFUSED to treat even after penicillin was available to:

            LET THE DISEASE RUN ITS COURSE.

            They told these men, many that could have been saved from blindness and dementia and insanity –THAT THEY WERE BEING TREATED.

            If the men were dogs, and this happened today the doctors would go to jail in many jurisdictions.

          • Karl, you need to stop reading the propaganda, and understand the science and history involved. If you had bothered to read my posts, you would have discovered that the type of penicillin that works on latent syphilis was not even patented until 1950, and would have done little to nothing for someone who had been latent for decades.

            It blows my mind, that after all the info I posted on the reality of the study, that some folks still don’t get it. This wasn’t the 21st century, and people then did not know what we now know. But then some people still believe in “Silent Spring”, and CAGW, because they never think to put down the propaganda, and do their own research.

          • In 1932 there was no treatment for acute cases

            Karl, you do realize you just contradicted your previous point that There is NO evidence for your statement “advanced and untreatable syphilis”. In 1932, when the subjects were selected there was, by your own admission in the above quoted statement, evidence that there was “advanced and untreatable syphilis” due to the fact there was “no treatment for acute cases”.

            As I said, feel free to fault the study for not using Penicillin in the later years, once it became a standard treatment in the late 40s/early 50s. But you can not fault the study for not using it in 1932 when Penicillin was not yet used as a standard treatment. (Again, the statement about “advanced and untreatable syphilis” referred to the selection of study subjects – which took place in the 1930s, before the widespread use of Penicillin as a treatment option)

    • These posts now offer the recipient a choice of clicking on either ‘Read more’ or ‘Read more of this post’. Having tried both options, and finding the result identical either way, I find the choice to be a difference without a distinction. Or is that a distinction without a difference. I have never figured out the difference. Or the distinction.

      • By giving two options a distinction has been made, but if they give the same result there is no difference. Thus, a distinction without a difference.

    • Nope.

      Because it is an exercise in (futility) errr, I mean an attempt to reduce transmission of a virus.

      In order to TRULY know if there is an actual reduction in transmission, EVERY SINGLE HUMAN in EVERY SINGLE COHORT would have to be tested prior to and multiple times during the study endpoint.

      Otherwise asymptomatic infections, and co-morbidities confound the results — estimates are not sufficient. As seen in Italy, and admitted to by a very senior Italian official, the Deaths from COVID-19 are deaths WITH COVID-19, not necessary FROM COVID-19.

      The Control Group = Go about business a usual

      Multiple COHORTS with single interventions, e.g. Hand Washing, Social Distance, Anti-viral Prophylaxis (medical or supplement- e.g. a tamiflu like dug or Vitamin C/Zinc (both are cinically proven to reduce viral transcription and replication), Mask and Gloves, Partial Quarantine, Full Quarantine

      Multiple Cohorts with Permutations of 2 or more interventions.

      Now you need a truly representative STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT sample of worldwide populations based on age, ethnicity, general health — AND a comparative incidence of COMORBIDITY, and prescription drug consumption.

      Why Rx? Well apparently, based on extrapolation of previously identified action of ACEi (ACE inhibitors -blood pressure reducing meds via vessel dilation) , namely skewing and inhibition of the immune response by supressing TNFa and IL-1 production, it is proposed that ACEi predispose consumers to a much increased risk of death from pneumonia.

      Here is an interesting paper that identifies a higher risk of LUNG CANCER in ACEi consumers. 992,000 patients studied over the course of 20 years — pretty good dataset.

      The dearth of ABSOLUTELY OTHERWISE HEALTHY people under the age of 40 dying from COVID-19 is telling.

      Based on worldometer, Italy, Spain, UK, and Germany have all peaked with respect to New Cases.

      • I can assure you that where I am in the UK cases are accelerating and so are deaths.

        But obviously your information from ‘over there’ is so much better.

        • You miss the point. The total number of deaths is reduced. The study uses data published from your authorities. The inference is that most who die from Coronavirus would have died of influenza, of something else. Also, the social isolation will prevent stop deaths from other illnesses.

          I would love to see if this observation applies to Lombardy and New York.

        • NO THEY ARE NOT! So you firstly believe that the media are being truthful and secondly that they have done a full post mortem on the bodies to ascertain the cause of death? I think you will find that very few would have died of direct result of this mild corona flu virus. this is a social reset nothing more to make money and control people. the number of deaths according to the ONS has actually stayed pretty much the same (slightly less actually) people die every day and doctors have even now come forward and said that the large majority of the deaths would of happened anyway. I have studied this I hold a combined biochemistry and microbiology degree, most of what is released in to the media is just plane wrong!! we had a so called pandemic back in 2009 with H1N1, that was linked (get the phrasing LINKED) to 150,00 – 580,000 deaths world wide. we carried on as normal no lockdown, not even a bat of an eyelid, bit of hype in the papers other than that nothing. This Virus is of similar virulence to that. most people will suffer no symptoms with few suffering mild cold/flu like! those that will die usually have problems that puts them very close to deaths door anyway. the others are where someone’s immune system can over react to the virus, pretty much like someone’s immune response to say peanuts etc. this entire thing is going to cause more hardship and produce a more of a police state globally and people are handing their freedoms over under the guise of protection and fear all due to pure ignorance and being uneducated in the area!

      • Karl sez,
        “…it is been proposed…(that ACE inhibitors cause people to get pneumonia.)”

        In other words, someone somewhere made an assertion, a speculation.
        And you cite lung cancer epidemiological data…from one study, which itself states that other studies came contradictory conclusions…as what? As if that is evidence?
        Why not see what the incidence is of car wrecks in people who use ACEi’s?

        Cancer study shows risk of lung cancer increasing from 1.2 to cases per thousand years, to 1.6 cases per thousand years.
        Of course, if one does not smoke, the risk of lung cancer is many times lower than for people who do.

        On the other hand, an analysis of 37 studies showed that use of an ACE inhibitor is associated with 34% less chance of ever getting pneumonia, from any cause.

        No one who gets COVID is expected to die of lung cancer because of it.
        The ones that die will overwhelmingly die of pneumonia and complications thereof.
        So, why on Earth would you assert that ACE inhibitors have an increased risk of pneumonia?
        Internet memes when you want to make an assertion, and irrelevant references to epidemiological data on lung cancer to supposedly back it up.

        ACEi’s reduce risk of pneumonia by a huge margin. 34% less risk of ever getting it. Not one study from one country. 37 studies from many countries.

        Stop lying to people, and stop citing social media memes as if you know jack squat about what you are talking about.

        “Risk of pneumonia associated with use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers: systematic review and meta-analysis”

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3394697/

    • http://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/03/covid-19-deaths-in-europe-excess-mortality-is-down/
      Roy Spencer wrote:
      [excerpt]
      “Given the global hysteria over the spread COVID-19, you might be excused if you are very surprised to learn that the most recent week of mortality data in the EU shows an actual decline from what is expected for this time of year.”

      Mortality monitoring in Europe
      https://www.euromomo.eu/index.html

      Not only has this year’s winter mortality declined substantially for all ages as Roy Spencer stated, it has even declined substantially for those over 65! This data only extends to the end of Week 12, whereas the end of week 13 corresponds to March 31, the end-date for the calculation of Winter Mortality and Excess Winter Mortality. We should also recognize that the Covid-19 flu is not over yet, and mortality figures are continuing to increase.

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

      Roy’s above analysis is consistent with my proposed methodology published on 29Mar2020 at:
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/28/us-states-ditching-misguided-reusable-plastic-bag-incentives-to-reduce-covid-19-contamination-risk/#comment-2949993
      [excerpt]
      “One objective measure would simply be to count total deaths from all causes and compare that the past years, country-by-country – if the total death rate in Winter 2019-2020 (1Dec2019 to 31Mar2020) is no greater that other years, then we can start to understand the big picture. Right now, we are tilting at windmills – some people think this flu is the “end-of-the-world”, and others say it is “nothing special” compared to other seasonal flus.”

      I only had access to limited data but came to this conclusion, also on 29Mar2020:
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/28/us-states-ditching-misguided-reusable-plastic-bag-incentives-to-reduce-covid-19-contamination-risk/#comment-2950298
      {excerpts]
      Trying to see the Big Picture of Covid-19 – difficult with a moving target and poor/limited data:

      Covid-19 Winter Deaths to date = ~2.6% of USA average Excess Winter Deaths

      Covid-19 Winter Deaths to date = ~0.3% of Total USA Winter Deaths

      Whether one considers Covid-19 deaths as ~2% of average Excess Winter Deaths or ~0.3% of Total Winter Deaths, Covid-19 is not that significant as a cause of death to date.

      If Covid-19 extinguishes in the Spring like most seasonal flu’s, it will have had a minor or negligible impact on Total Winter Deaths – negligible if these people were already mortally ill and would have died this winter anyway from other causes.

      If Covid-19 deaths continue to accelerate after 31Mar, then it could qualify as a serious pandemic.

      Fasten your seatbelts. Faites vos jeux.

      Regards, Allan
      __________________________________

      The EU’s Mortality stats for all ages to Week 12 is here:
      https://i2.wp.com/www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/EU-MOMO-2020-wk12.jpg

          • Flu worse considering there is a “shot” (in the dark) for it. AND that flu kills young children regularly too. It is often no respecter of age. (See 1918 flu and others). It is also a worldwide flu and so a pandemic annually, more or less. But not so like cuz its EVERY FRIGGIN YEAR! So we are numb to it, go to work, school, and everywhere passing it along to others because our hygiene is generally less intense. Covid on the other may be slightly more easily transmitted if there is close contact and be more resilient, if it really does exist, and whatever it cant do now, as soon as people start to become blasé, it will suddenly be reported to get a new feat and it will now be able to do backflips and the swan dive into your lungs.

  2. I wonder when the excessive use of antibacterial products are going to meet the same fate as antibiotics? Virus strains that no longer can be killed by such use.

    • It may turn out to be a very bad idea to use antibiotics in people who are having mild symptoms.
      In fact it is strongly discouraged, even for safe antibiotics.

  3. NY Doctor has 100% success using hydroxychloroquine + antibiotic + zinc

    https://techstartups.com/2020/03/28/dr-vladimir-zelenko-now-treated-699-coronavirus-patients-100-success-using-hydroxychloroquine-sulfate-zinc-z-pak-update/

    Most people are zinc deficient. ACE inhibitors and ARBs deplete zinc. Zinc deficiency has same symptoms as CV illness. (for those who are offended with Lew Rockwell, too bad, grow up and get a life)

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/no_author/emergency-room-doctor-doesnt-realize-major-signs-symptoms-of-covid-19-coronavirus-cases-match-evidences-of-zinc-deficiency/

    Someone here mentioned that quercetin and some other things are natural ionosphores.

    • This guy is treating people with mild disease, and it says nothing about how long he has tracked progress.
      This is hype, not science.
      Let’s see how the clinical trials work out.
      In places where they are treating people in the hospitals with these drugs, deaths having increased sharply since they started using them. Which does not by itself prove that no one is being helped, but it does seem to indicate that nothing like 100% success in keeping people from dying is going on.
      He is a family practitioner…not an ER or ICU physician…and those are the places that the really sick people go.

      • That IS the clinical trial. He works with staff in an ER and ICU. And if you show up at an ER with breathing trouble, you are not a mild case, you are heading to the ICU.

        • What is a clinical trial?
          The Zelenko patients?
          It says nothing about a clinical trial.
          It says:
          “Dr. Vladmir Zelenko shares the results of his latest study…”
          Not a clinical trial.

          “…which showed that out of his 699 patients treated, zero patients died, zero patients intubated, and four hospitalizations.”
          Four hospitalizations.
          Over what time period was his “study”?
          It cannot be more than a few weeks. A month ago there were no patients.
          In a clinical trial of this regimen in China, the placebo arm had a better success rate.

          It plainly says after treatment, there were four hospitalizations.
          But you are claiming these were all people who showed up at a hospital?
          Where are you getting that info, which is contradicted by the posted article on a tech startup website?

        • I’m looking for good news like everybody else. But these reports sound either like ads or self-promotion. View them with considerable skepticism. No doctor who doesn’t want to face a potiential suit is going to prescribe hydroxychloroquine at this point without carefully documenting his application. This guy couln’t even quote the dosages of the Korean study. Hopefully we get studies which have careful (video) documentation with plenty of witnesses. It’s best for everybody concerned if tests demonstrate scrupulously clear ethics and methodology.

          • There will be no lawsuits. Some entity in the federal government has granted everyone involved, from manufacturers to doctors, immunity from liability

          • Icisil,

            The papers written by the Korean and Chinese health authorities which outlined their national protocols for using hydroxychloroquine were sufficient evidence imo, to merit full scale tests here in the U.S. The CDC itself should shepherd these tests to guarantee their immediate acceptance if it is warranted. Maybe they are already doing it, don’t know.

            Wonder if you might provide a link to any federal law that guarantees immunity from liability?

          • Bill, I can’t remember where I saw that. It was some kind of executive order by a federal agency, possibly the NIH. I’ll try to find it. It was just a few days ago.

          • No one can grant immunity from liability, even when the FDA has approved a drug and it is labelled for a specific usage.
            What makes anyone think some bureaucrat can just announce immunity from liability?

          • Even when someone signs informed consent releases to be in a clinical trial, they are not waving their rights to file lawsuits and hold people accountable for medical malpractice.
            Granting approval for a usage is not a grant of immunity.
            No chance, no way.
            Even of congress passed a law that said it, it would surely be struck down as unconstitutional.

          • We are not talking about manufacturers or vaccines.
            We are talking about medical malpractice liability.
            You cannot sue gun manufacturers for someone using a gun to commit murder, but you can sue a murderer for wrongful death.
            You have no idea how to pay attention to what is being discussed.
            I am starting to think you are about 14 years old.

            Laws such as for medical malpractice are state laws, and every state has them.
            Some jackass from the federal government cannot waive away laws on the books in 50 states.
            You literally have no idea what you are talking about.
            You make assertions all day long but “cannot recall where I heard it” or some crap like that.

      • Chloroquine works in two ways. It modifies the ACE receptors on a cell which keeps CV from attaching and it also allows Zn++ to pass through a cell wall. Zn++ shuts down the process of CV RNA replication in the cell.

        It doesn’t kill existing CV already in the body. If a patient is serious or critical they already have substantial CV in the body and their immune system is in overdrive. In a lot of cases it is the body’s immune response to the virus that ultimately kills them. Chloroquine might not help those people.

          • Look at what I said and what you wrote.
            I said no evidence in vitro.
            You said yes there is and quoted a study of in vitro effect.
            Cell cultures are in vitro.
            In vivo means inside of a live animal or person.

            I have studied virology, immunology, and epidemiology for decades.
            I know what I am talking about.
            For weeks there has been a steady stream of people exaggerating these reports which are not done according to the only sort of methodology that has been shown to give valid evidence of safety and efficacy.
            The difference between a properly done trial and these reports is day and night.
            Look, everyone hopes for a miracle.
            But selective attention is exactly why such reports have little value.

        • It is nearly always the immune response that kills viruses in the body and within cells.
          There is no evidence that these drugs have antiviral activity in the body.
          For one thing, they are highly concentrated in other tissues than the infected ones.
          Oodles of drugs kill viruses in cell cultures (which are often, by the way, HeLa cells…cancer cells from Henrietta Lacks), but have no value in treating infections in a person.

          It is not like they test them on respiratory epithelium cells in a culture.
          There are a limited number of immortal cell lines used by researchers fro cell culture studies.
          Chloroquine might not be helping anybody. That is why we need to see data from clinical trials.
          BTW…what is being used is hydroxychloroquine.

      • An ionophore without supplemental zinc is not going to do any patient good. Did the failed treatments include zinc? It sounds like not, and that this doctor has taken it to the next level to include that missing piece.

        • What evidence do you have that an adult in an industrialized country is deficient in zinc?
          It is the second most abundant metal in the body.

          The NIH study was using zinc supplements in little kids in third world countries with LRT infections. There is probably a good reason to suspect all sorts of mineral deficiencies in this demographic,and is in all likelihood not automatically generalization to adults in places where people have proper nutrition.
          Also the verbiage in the article is strange…it says the NIH confirms his result, then cites a NIH study from many years ago! (2004)

          Then it mentions that same study in cell cultures in vitro, and says “showed hydroxychloroquine to be more potent in killing the virus off in vitro (in the test tube and not in the body).”
          More potent than what? Than chloroquine. In vitro.
          But all of this is based on in vitro studies, which have not been confirmed in animals or people with actual viral infections.
          And if we follow the link to the original article last week, we find this:
          “In the meantime, while we are all talking about anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, Italian doctors said that Tolicizumab, a drug used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, has shown to be more effective than hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus patients.”

          Which is exactly what I have been trying to point out all along.
          There are far safer and more potent immunomodulating drugs, and one of the ones proven to save lives of people undergoing cytokine release syndrome is the IL-6 blocker monoclonal antibody drug. In fact there are several of them.
          They target the cause of the condition directly…interleukin 6.

          There is a big difference between an hypothesized effect, and one for which evidence exists.
          I hope all of these people do great, but I am also wondering if this mass treatment outside of a clinical setting with drugs that have known dangerous interactions in people who are not even sick yet, will turn out to be dangerous and even harmful for some people.
          If that happens, this guy is a sitting duck for a whole lot of malpractice lawsuits.
          These are off label usages that are not recommended by clinicians outside of a hospital setting. In Belgium, use of Zpak with the hydroxychloroquine is discouraged due to known interactions of a dangerous nature.
          In addition…giving hundreds of people five days of antibiotics seems very questionable from the point of view of antibiotic resistance.
          This is simply not supposed to be done except where the potential benefit outweighs the risk…IOW in people who are seriously ill.
          Look up the side effects of Z-pak.
          It specifically warns not to use in pneumonia patients who are old and in poor health.

          • Sir,

            Deficient in Zinc (per the ridiculously LOW RDA values has nothing to do with providing enough EXCESS ZINC circulating to act in an antiviral activity.

            Here is the same for Vitamin C — that actually provide a log 2+ reduction in HIV transcription rates. Admittedly the amount of vitamin C necessary to get to the molar level indicated is equivalent to 7.5 grams every 4-6 hours, or a continuous IV, but it nonetheless is TRUE.

            ” In chronically infected cells expressing HIV at peak levels, ascorbate reduced the levels of extracellular reverse transcriptase (RT) activity (by greater than 99%) and of p24 antigen (by 90%) in the culture supernatant. Under similar conditions, no detectable inhibitory effects on cell viability, host metabolic activity, and protein synthesis were observed. In freshly infected CD4+ cells, ascorbate inhibited the formation of giant-cell syncytia (by approximately 93%). Exposure of cell-free virus to ascorbate at 37 degrees C for 1 day had no effect on its RT activity or syncytium-forming ability. Prolonged exposure of virus (37 degrees C for 4 days) in the presence of ascorbate (100-150 micrograms/ml) resulted in the drop by a factor of 3-14 in RT activity as compared to a reduction by a factor of 25-172 in extracellular RT released from chronically infected cells.”

            Yes, a Factor of 172 that is greater than 2 log.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1698293

            Liposomal vitamin C encapsulations, do however, provide a vehicle to reach the molar levels of ascorbate identified in the study.

          • Did you say Zinc is “the second most abundant metal in the body” just to see if anyone was paying attention, or do you really think that is the case?

            Are you defining ‘body’ in some non-standard way?
            Are you defining ‘metal’ in some unique way?

            I don’t see how any of the other terms can be abused or confused or conflated; second predominantly comes before third or fourth or fifth …

            … maybe by using ‘most’ & ‘abundant’ in turn and side by side you were turning it into some type of clintonesque meaning, “like way less than 2nd”?

          • What evidence do you have that an adult in an industrialized country is deficient in zinc?
            It is the second most abundant metal in the body.

            Eh? It’s not even in the top 5. Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium and Iron are all more abundant metals in the body.

          • This is correct of course, I misspoke.
            What I was referring to is the number of separate enzymes, growth factors, and other molecules it is a necessary component of.
            It is in the tens of thousands.

        • There is zero information in the condition of the people he treated.
          80% of people have mild or no symptoms.
          He is talking about treating people “in the community”, which seems to imply they are people who tested positive, but are not hospitalized.
          Nothing about their condition prior to treatment.
          No control group.
          No time period over which he made these sweeping conclusions, but logically it must be only a couple of weeks.
          Without this information, this report has nothing from which to draw any conclusions.
          I am done talking about this.
          Chloroquine is not an antiviral in vivo.
          It dials down the immune response.
          Which is one thing in people who have cytokine release syndrome, but could be a big mistake in people who have only mild or no symptoms.
          For all you know this guy is a quack.
          Anyone making a claim like he makes is on very shaky ground.
          The original small studies were flawed, and were misrepresented widely in media and by some outright fraudsters.
          It is entirely possible…possible…that this is a complete waste of time and not helpful for the vast majority of people.
          No clinical trial has found any antiviral benefit from these drugs…ever.
          Several have found no effect in vivo except for anti inflammatory and immunomodulating effects…and these are dangerous choices for that purpose…but they are dirt cheap.
          People that have experience in testing new drugs or old drugs for new uses have learned to be very cautious.
          And a lot of people have their necks stuck way out.
          Not talking about people here…you guys are just talking.
          But I wonder…what are you going to say if these results are not confirmed by any clinical trials?
          What if they turn out to be somewhat on the dangerous side?
          You have tunnel vision, refusing to look at or answer questions raised about contradictory data.

          • Dude …. I do clinical trials, and I’m here to tell you, I can prove your drug works, or I can prove your drug is garbage using a clinical trial.

            Given the circumstances, a cohort study would be more appropriate. In this case you have 2 drugs that are already cleared on safety measures, so we are not assessing toxicity. Those two drugs are not going to be any more toxic in this situation than they would be in another outside of a sensitive population which are already established. So give the drugs and see what happens. IF, after the fact, you find in a double blind placebo control trial the drug was no better than placebo, …. I’d say, never discount the amazing ability of Placebo to cure people. It’s the only substance known to improve just about every ailment on the planet. But you have to consider that patients receiving placebo THINK they are getting a cure.

          • Dude, it does not sound like you are “telling” me anything I do not already know.
            If this guy was just treating his patients, that would be one thing. But he is going on national television and insisting that this regimen is THE cure, and everyone who tests positive should getting it, and people who are not positive should be getting it.

            In the meantime, many people are exaggerating wildly, and making all sorts of claims for which there is no evidence.
            This is not medicine, it is junk science, and it is bordering on fraud in some highly publicized cases. And it is self promotion.
            There are well known harms from these drugs, and no evidence, even in the non clinical trials, that they have any use for preventing or blocking infection.
            Meanwhile, there are other drugs that are being overlooked, and I am thinking that if these drugs turn out to be of very limited value, many people are already so convinced that a cure is known that they will simply not believe it.
            For the value they might have in treating cytokine release syndrome-like disease stage, there are other and safer drugs.

            Giving antibiotics to people who do not have pneumonia and have only mild symptoms is irresponsible, and this antibiotic is in a class that is in danger of losing it’s value due to resistance…and this is exactly the sort of thing that fosters that resistance.
            The doses being given of the malaria drugs are very high doses, and they have side effects and are very dangerous for some subset of people.
            You said “In this case you have 2 drugs that are already cleared on safety measures, so we are not assessing toxicity.”
            No, I agree.
            What is being done is ignoring toxicity.

        • And btw, the zinc dose in that’s doctor’s cocktail is pretty high – 200+ mg per dose. The max daily upper limit recommended is 45 mg.

          • Well wait a second…tons of zinc good, or not?
            The more the better?
            Those two drugs without the zinc is worthless?
            That was not what other people say.
            I honestly hope these drugs turn out to be the best thing ever.
            Even if it means people like you will say I said they would not work.
            Because I care about people and the only way to find out what value these drugs have is to prove it…not assert it, or print junk science crap.

            I wonder…do you really think the only reason we get infected by viruses is because there is not enough zinc in our cells?
            That it is as simple as that?
            What about the vitamin C people here?
            Or the vitamin D people here?
            Is the answer to health one or another of these things in high amounts?
            Is this the only virus zinc kills if we get it into our cells…or is it all such viruses?
            Can we banish viral diseases with mineral supplements and an old malaria drug…or just this one?
            Does it prevent, and cure?
            Or one or the other?
            Do we already have zinc ionophores in our cells?
            Maybe just not enough?
            Is it a Goldilocks thing…or is more better?
            Because i have not seen any of these “studies” doing any dosing trials, like is done with actual medicines in actual clinical trials.
            Are these doctors just born knowing 200 mg is just the right amount?
            Is chloroquine OK, or only hydroxychloroquine?
            Which is the better ionophore?
            Will one of them be more highly concentrated in the specific cells that this virus infects?
            Do you have any clue where zinc goes when you take it?
            How it is stored, or excreted, or what is the distribution by tissue type?
            How about the malaria drugs?
            Why are there hundreds of clinical trials for them vs about every disease ever known…but none worked…until now? (except for the ones they are prescribed for of course)
            Who is it that is constantly trying these particular drugs year after year for decades now, and never giving up when they do not work…just try it on the next thing.
            There are over 40 molecules being tested for activity against this virus…why is this one the magic bullet?
            Why are you not advocating keeping an open mind until actual data is available?

        • These guys are starting to sound like the Iranians who drank methanol because they heard on social media that it was effective against coronavirus’s.

      • There is a article in the WSJ by Dr Jeff Colyer about HCQ and the virus. It’s now
        paywalled but it was open yesterday. The single most interesting thing to me
        in the piece was how hydroxyloroquine got noticed. It started in a Wohan
        hospital with a group of lupus patients that were found to be immune to
        the virus for the fact that they were using this one drug. And so they
        started using it on other patients..clinical trials indeed…

        • Interesting that another drug that is showing promise is called Kevzara, like hydro chloroquine it is used to treat arthritis.

          • It is another of the Interleukin 6 monoclonal antibody drugs.
            These have been successfully used to treat cytokine release syndrome for years.
            They are narrowly targeted and generally considered safe.

        • Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been being investigated for antiviral activity for decades.
          There was a flurry of interest around the time of the SARS outbreak.
          None of the trials showed any effect.
          Both of the malaria drugs have been tested against HIV, chikungunya, corona viruses, and all sorts of other things.

          • You’re missing the point. Zinc is anti-viral. Hydrochloroquine supposedly acts as an ionophore allowing it to enter a cell and do its work.

          • No, you are missing the point.
            That is just some talking point.
            The drugs do not work when given to people or animals with viral infections.

      • “This guy is treating people with mild disease, and it says nothing about how long he has tracked progress.”
        He has been giving this treatment to his patients only since 19th March – not very long. An unknown number of his patients however would have tested positivefor the virus before that date.
        His criteria for giving the treatment (after presumably excluding patients for contraindications to the drugs) were as follows:-

        1. Any patient with shortness of breath regardless of age is treated.
        2. Any patient in the high-risk category even with just mild symptoms is treated.
        3. Young, healthy and low risk patients even with symptoms are not treated (unless their circumstances change and they fall into category 1 or 2).

        It would be good to have a detailed clinical report. While this falls a long way short of satisfying the requirements of a clinical trial, if the reports are accurate, it is quite remarkable statistically that, of 699 patients, not a single one has so far succumbed to acute respiratory distress. They were all treated as outpatients. So yes, you could argue that he was only treating people with mild disease. The key message may well be that we should not be waiting till people are already showing ARDS before testing this therapy!

        • No, it says that as of the published date of that report, four have been hospitalized.
          He said none have died.
          Very few people have died in ten days.

          • 4 patients being hospitalized out of 500-600 patients is phenomenal success. To hear some people speak, 20%, or 100-120, normally would have been hospitalized.

          • He is treating people who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
            The progression of the disease is commonly several weeks, so his claiming 100% success is bordering on an outright lie.
            He is not even testing his patients, it now turns out, to ensure they have the virus.
            Just wait and see…it will very likely turn out to be a huge mistake to treat these drugs like they are Skittles.
            I wonder if he is even screening these people for the known contraindications?

          • He is treating people who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
            The progression of the disease is commonly several weeks, so his claiming 100% success is bordering on an outright lie.
            He is not even testing his patients, it now turns out, to ensure they have the virus.
            Just wait and see…it will very likely turn out to be a huge mistake to treat these drugs like they are Skittles.
            I wonder if he is even screening these people for the known contraindications?

            There are years of studies, and some new ones, demonstrating no value for slowing viral replication in vivo.
            Which part of that are you not getting?

        • And only 350 were treated at that initial time as of…what, five days prior?
          So about half have only been treated less than five days ago.
          Did he treat the original 350 on the 19th?
          Or has it been some every day?
          If it is some every day, spread out evenly, only a small number, maybe 50, were treated ten days ago. And four were hospitalized.
          It is almost completely meaningless to include people treated only a couple of days ago and claim success because none of them have died.
          IOW…he is mixing in people treated a week and a half ago with people treated possibly on the same day as the interview. The 28th. So really he had at most 10 days.
          It may not be lying, but it is not as it sounds.
          Not one of these people are out of the woods for several weeks.
          And then there is the fact that these are not people showing up in a hospital.
          People that were very sick did not come to his office, they went to a hospital already…so right off the bat there was a selection done.
          It could be most of these people are among the 80% who would not have become very ill anyway.
          And all of this adds up to exactly what I am saying…it is impossible to draw much of a conclusion based on such a report.
          Except he gave some drugs to a lot of people.
          This is exactly why it is called anecdotal.

          • @Nicholas:

            I am not sure what you are ranting and raving about here; even if you are ranting or raving; sounds like it to me.

            Are you upset that people are using a very well known anti-viral agent is being shot-gunned on potentially dying patients due to anecdotal evidence that may in fact save their lives.

            or

            Are you upset that people are recovering from and living through said ordeal from anecdotal evidence – which would, by the way, not make it anecdotal evidence?

            or

            Are you upset that we, the other commenters, are some missing the fact that is anecdotal? I have not missed that fact. There is a wartime saying, “You got to war with the Army and supplies you have.” and “Contact and engagement of the enemy changes all battle plans.” or “The battle plan only last up to the point the first bullet is fired.”

            What is your beef with people, medical doctors mind you on the front lines, in consultation with their patients making these “Practice of Medicine” judgement calls?

            or

            Is this a semantic argument?

          • JEHILL,
            Do you have anything to say, or do you just like to talk?
            If you cannot follow the conversations, that is your problem, not mine.
            There are classes you can take for improving reading comprehension.
            Just sayin’.

            Tell you what…why not announce which pile of horsesh!t you do not want me to contradict, and we can go from there, eh?

          • Simply put Nicholas, I suppose if you were to get Corona virus and end up in the hospital on a ventilator, you would refuse your doctors offer to give you this regimen as a last ditch effort to save your life because it only has anecdotal evidence to support that it might actually safe your life. Even though the drug combo has been shown through multimillions of doses given over decades to be almost as safe as Tylenol which proves it to be extremely low risk. Otherwise Id say you are being a complete hypocrite.
            Seems more likely to me you are just an Orange Man Bad kinda guy. Tell us, are you a Trump supporter? People suffering from TDS simply disagree with EVERYTHING that Trump suggests, even when they know they are wrong.

          • Alcheson,
            You know nothing about me, or who I support.
            This is not a political discussion.
            Your suggestion that it be made one is the sort of jackassery I am criticizing, not whether or not it is ethical to use a medication on a dying person.
            The thing about reading comprehension is, if you do not read what someone actually says, you are not going to be able to understand the point they are making.
            Do you have any treatment regiment you want to swear cures viral infections before there is any shred of scientific evidence it does?
            Because that is the issue here.
            I take it you have no particular use for the scientific method if it conflicts with your political ideology, eh?

            Whatever else is going on here, issues like this make it very obvious that a lot of people argue about scientific issues not from any knowledge of science, but from which side of the political aisle they yammer away from.

      • “In places where they are treating people in the hospitals with these drugs”

        By the time they get to hospital, it’s probably too late. The drugs are expected to stop the spread of the virus in the body, not save them once they have established viral pneumonia that requires hospitalization.

    • From the people on the front line actually treating patients:
      “INTERIM CLINICAL GUIDANCE FOR PATIENTS SUSPECTED
      OF/CONFIRMED WITH COVID-19 IN BELGIUM”

      “There is currently no evidence from clinical or epidemiological studies that establishes a link between
      ACE inhibitors or ARBs and the worsening of COVID 19. It is important that patients do not interrupt
      their treatment with ACE inhibitors or ARBs nor be switched to other medicines…”

      “NB: we stress again that there is no
      sufficient evidence about activity of
      azithromycin and therefore no
      reason to associate this antibiotic to
      the hydroxychloroquine treatment at
      this moment”

      “NB: tocilizumab and other
      interleukins (6 or 1) blockers:
      Some preliminary Chinese and
      Italian data and very limited
      clinical experience in Belgium
      suggest a favorable effect in
      the most critical patients
      suffering from persistent and
      overwhelmed inflammation
      resembling cytokine release
      syndrome (CRS). At this
      moment however, this class of
      drugs should only be used in
      At this moment very restricted
      availability of remdesivir (long delay
      for supply) and very strict criteria
      released by Gilead
      As on 24th of March, this drug is
      restricted in compassionate use for
      pregnant women and children only
      Request on
      https://rdvcu.gilead.com/
      Inclusion criteria
      ICU + confirmation SARS-Cov-2 by
      PCR + mechanical ventilation
      Exclusion criteria
      – Evidence of MOF
      – Need of inotropic agents
      – Creatinine clearance 5X ULN
      Of note, remdesivir is one of the
      treatment arm in the DisCoVeRy
      trial
      Still limited information on drug
      interaction is available. Risk-benefit
      assessment should be made
      individually. Close monitoring of
      remdesivir toxicity or diminished
      efficacy of concomitant drug is
      recommended. Check also for
      interaction with remdesivir at
      http://www.covid19-
      druginteractions.org (Liverpool).
      9
      clinical trials or within
      international cohort studies if
      possible. The drug could be
      considered on an individual
      basis in patient with persistent
      inflammation (i.e. elevated IL6, CRP, D Dimers, ferritin,..)
      without evidence of bacterial
      superinfection/sepsis and
      ARDS requiring mechanical
      ventilation.”
      https://epidemio.wiv-isp.be/ID/Documents/Covid19/COVID-19_InterimGuidelines_Treatment_ENG.pdf

      • “There is currently no evidence from clinical or epidemiological studies that establishes a link between
        ACE inhibitors or ARBs and the worsening of COVID 19”

        The sane, humane and smart course of action would be to advise those who can safely switch to calcium channel blockers to do so just to be on the safe side in case there really is a connection. Calcium channel blockers (CCB) work; they are the primary form of treatment in E Asia for hypertension. Why are western doctors and cardiology orgs so adamant about not switching to CCBs?

        • Because if someone has well controlled HBP, and they switch medicines, they may not have well controlled HBP and then if they get coronavirus…they are in big trouble.
          There is no scientific evidence and pretty much nothing but social media chatter for anyone to think these drugs are dangerous for people who get coronavirus.
          Are you a doctor?
          Pharmacologist?

          I know of several people who died when they switched HBP medicines. Stroke. Massive. Within hours to about a day.
          My Grand Aunt. My brother.
          And a friend.

          • There is plenty enough evidence that it needs to be taken seriously rather being waved away like you and cardiology orgs are doing. Even Dr Fauci said as much, and that was before the data from the Italian deaths was available.

          • Statistics i have heard repeatedly indicate that about 100,000 people die every year from prescribed drugs taken as per instructions in the U.S,. alone. I am a kidney transplant recipient and I was previously on blood pressure meds along with others and had problems with high potassium levels and other blood abnormalities. My transplant pharmacist changed my bp meds and my potassium and other issues went away. Then she weaned me off the bp drugs and my bp stayed around 130/75. Doctors see a patient for a few minutes and prescribe whatever the last salesman they saw was pushing. Different drugs act differently in different people.The reality of modern medicine is that if you don’t involve yourself and learn what you can, you are at risk from the system that you count on for help. You do want you want. I’ll do the same.

          • icisil,
            I think your basic problem is a combination of inability to comprehend written English, a severe case of cognitive dissonance, and a complete inability to absorb new information once you have decided you know something…typically based on zero evidence.

            I gotta tell you though…this all seems to be a big turnaround from your antivaxxer phase here a month or two ago.
            You were frightened as a kitten about some trace of aluminum used as an adjuvant in some vaccines, and seemed to be sure there was no such thing as acquired immunity.

            But for some reason in this case, you could not care less about toxicity.
            Maybe the common thread is that you just automatically latch onto.
            You do know what Fauci said about these treatments being unproven, no?
            Exactly what I am saying.
            And did you know he also believes in vaccines?

            I guess that is why you say it like this:
            “EVEN Dr. Fauci…”
            Even?

            You do not know how to listen. You hear what you want to hear, and pick and choose what evidence you wish to consider.

            When you stop putting words in people’s mouths, and asserting things never said, you will find it much easier to communicate.

            So tell me…how do you feel about Johnson and Johnson’s new vaccine clinical trials getting underway?
            Do you recommend no one get it?

          • BTW…see here:
            “ACE inhibitors were associated with a significantly reduced risk of pneumonia compared with control treatment ”

            “The best evidence available points towards a putative protective role of ACE inhibitors … Patient populations that may benefit most are those with previous stroke and Asian patients. ACE inhibitors were also associated with a decrease in pneumonia related mortality, but the data lacked strength.”

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3394697/

          • Nick,

            I am a physician and neuroscientist and I thank you for bring up the point about not switching antihypertensives when they are working. AEEIs and ARBs have very well established safety/efficacy records, particularly across very high-risk pandemic groups with underlying cardiovascular comorbidities. As well, the last JNC’s have all recommendations concerning their combination use with other classes. Enjoy reading your commentaries.

            Just a point: Long-acting intramuscular Procaine Penicillin G Benzathine, known as Bicillin-LA, was not commercially available until the early 1950s, and co-infection from other CNS parasitic pathogens not covered by penicillin, e.g. Toxoplasma, was quite common the the rural population at the time.

        • Have you ever taken a calcium channel blocker?
          SERIOUSLY weird mental effects and physical effects too.

          Hypertensive people end up on whatever combination of chemistry works for them with the minimum side effects.

      • Whats strange is India, they have a very low rate of infection and its seems to be going down already and Malaria is very common but Chloriquin is not the primary drug used to fight Malaria in India. Its a country of over 1 billion people and only a couple thousand confirmed cases.

        • The number of confirmed cases has more to do with how many people have been tested than it does with how many people have been infected.
          India is a poor country, testing can be expensive.

          • Most of India is very poor but parts are not and have large middle class communities and well staffed and efficient hospitals, they are 1/5 of the worlds population and to date are claiming only 1000 cases.

          • Yes, so less infected in India!! A big city Kolkata only reported 1 death! That low count is true all over the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan, Afganisthan, Sri Lanka, Napal, Bangladesh all show very low death count. It indicates the climate of Indian subcontinent indeed has some role. Probably the government did not check statistics of low count from other countries of the Indian subcontinent. They suddenly announced a lockdown in 4-hour notice. That sudden lockdown in India will have far-reaching consequences soon. It will hurt mainly the poorest of the poor in India. Many bread earner of the family lost their jobs. Hope the government will start emergency measures for the poor and explore further on the overall lockdown situation thoroughly.

        • I understand that high temperatures and humidity reduce the amount of time the virus stays viable. India and other tropical locales may benefit from that.

      • “we stress again that there is no sufficient evidence about activity of
        azithromycin and therefore no reason to associate this antibiotic to
        the hydroxychloroquine treatment at this moment”

        This section indicates that the hydroxychlorquine is being used as a treatment.
        But, they don’t think the Z-pak antibiotic use is supported by evidence to date.

        So, all of Dr. Nick’s talk about hydroxychloroquine having no anti-viral properties is not supported by the treatment guidelines from Belgium.

  4. Hi Roy

    The shutdown was so severe in some countries (mine included) that people are not dying in the traffic, in work accidents, by strokes due to excess of physical activity or stress. Even the criminality reduced to 20% when comparing with the same period from last year. Taking the huge containment measures in account, I don´t know if simple comparisons can be made. You only need to see pictures or images from landmarks in europe to see how things have changed around here.

    • Incorrect, or else the world be a step drop-off in the death rate in the 16-65 age group.
      That hasn’t occurred.
      There is only a reduction in seasonal deaths in over 65s. It’s a fair conclusion to make that this is flu deaths reducing.

    • We have now two recipes to live longer: (old) be hungry all the time. (new) don’t work.
      Isn’t science just amazing?

    • This has been my contention the entire time. Here in the US, accidental deaths spike in the last two weeks of March because of Spring Break, and it’s mostly young healthy people of course. I think getting back to life as usual by Easter unless you are 70+ is a good idea or we risk the poverty related side effects that Dr Spencer discusses.
      Whatever happened to individuals being able to make the decision on their own whether to take drastic measures to prevent from being sick? I have heard people say that the goal is to stop this virus completely – extinct it essentially. That is such a naive and foolish assumption, like good luck stopping the wind.
      An important part of our defense to these things is our antibodies, so in that sense this Chicken Little panic and shutdown of society in response to a novel cold virus will ultimately do more harm than good, even if the economy recovers before many become impoverished.

      • Agree with that – and opening post.

        The flu is the best comparison with the mortality from CVD-19. In the 2018 flu season the US lost 80,000? “Normal” flu mortalities are 10,000 to 50,000 per year. I think this year has also been higher than normal, although that news seems to have faded into the background against this year’s “star”. How many COV-19 patients are really at death’s door already because of one or more “underlying health issue” to which the new virus merely provides the fatal burden? Makes me wonder if seasonal flu / pneumonia are being given credit in their “supporting roles” as co-morbidities, let alone cited as Causes of Death. It’s the COV-19 that gets the juicy parts in the media – and hence the emergency funding.

        My fear would be that if I got sick with anything, a trip to the hospital might prove to be fatal. Better to try to survive any conditions at home until flu season is over. 20 % of first responders in NY are out with the virus, according to nightly news. How many did they infect before they knew they were sick? The flip side is: they have the golden ticket to come back to work when they get better. Sick New Yorkers should request them.

        As for the rocketing case curve in the U.S…. people change their behaviors in the face of danger and with sufficient financial motivations. And they are doing that now. Governments can best protect their citizens by shepherding the appropriate research studies to fruition and seeing that accurate, real, honest information is disseminated to the public in a timely fashion. We haven’t been getting that.

        Holman Jenkins in WSJ, Wednesday, suggests that the ones who’ve had the virus should be awarded a certificate and sent back to work at double their previous salaries as soon as they can. Assuming an antibody test could prove your immunity, young healthy people would WANT to catch it in order to qualify. I’m interested in that spirit of people who are willing to risk something in order to move forward, who hate lock-downs, and who recognized the risk for what it is: minimal. We need those people. Jenkins notes the first certified CVD-19-immune Starbucks is opening in Wuhan this week. Every person there can prove they have had the disease and recovered.

        Sequester to the end of April, when huge numbes of recovered people can stabilize the work force.
        Then, while us old farts stay home and cheer, everyone should go back to their jobs if they still have a job to go back to. Let ‘er rip.

  5. I have suspected this for some time.
    The Coronavirus statistics need to be compared with the norm for other causes of death on a daily or weekly basis.
    I strongly doubt that Coronavirus has significantly increased the daily and/or weekly death rates.
    IF this is the case why have we decided to shut down the Western World?

    • Your question is a key one.

      This analysis by Dr. Spencer is very good, BTW. I’ve seen a couple of leftist pieces compare annual average deaths to reach conclusions about coronavirus mortality, ignoring seasonality statistics.

      It seems that alarmist/leftists do not want people to know that better health is associated with warmth.

    • It was decided to “shut down the Western World” in hope of reducing the deaths from COVID-19, or at least spreading the resulting deaths over sufficient time to avoid collapsing the healthcare system. It is not a controlled study, but one side effect may be that deaths from other causes may be reduced, or perhaps just postponed. A year from now we may have a better idea of the overall result, but we will never be certain of what “would have happened if” we had acted differently.

      • This is a good point. All the vulnerable people who didn’t die from Influenza -a or -b this year may die next year along with all of next year’s victims. Next flu season may be a doozy.

      • “A lot of people wanted to shut it down anyway . . . ”

        Yeah, are we all enjoying that 60-day free trial of the Green New Deal? 😉

      • So France must be special and skewing the data in the graph above? Or more likely this is propaganda and they are not normalizing to seasonal death rate.

      • They are reporting ONLY in comparison to last year NOT “compared with before COVID-19” as you suggest. They are reporting 5 administrative areas called “departments” (cf counties) for which INSEE deigned to publish their super secret fruit salad data for.

        That stinks of convenient selection bias.

        Why only last year and not a 10 or 20 y mean seasonal average , like the MOMO data ? Well last year was a particularly mild seasonal flu year, est. 3000 excess deaths. Average in FR is 9000 , three times as much, with recent years showing 14,000 and 15,000 or more.

        So last year only is a cherry pick and a cherries are unusually large this year !!

        There was a small but useful reduction in the doubling time of the exponential growth of new cases in France. However this started two or three days BEFORE the clampdown , not four or five days after as would be expected if there was a clear causation.
        https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/2019-ncov-log-growth-fr.png

        So there is no evidence it has done any good at all and La Figerole are screwing you over with cherry picked data, for secret data sources which can not be verified.

    • Panic driven by a media desperate for ratings and desparate to bring down the President of the US.

  6. It would be better and more informative if we could access to data from Flu (included the new Coronavirus) alone.

  7. If people are not working, not out driving, staying at home, there is a wide range of causes of death that will drop sharply…like accidents, both auto and other sorts of accidents; possibly drug overdoses; possibly crime related fatalities; maybe even suicides, since it has been noted that when people have actual problems, they are less likely to be depressed and commit suicide for some reason, and this is an actual problem, no matter how you slice it; as well as all the other sorts of communicable diseases.
    In the US in a single year, these are some of the numbers of deaths of the above:
    -Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
    -Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
    -Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

    If people are less active and also paying more attention to their health, it may be there will be an at least temporary drop deaths from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and who knows what else.
    Long term, being less active is not good for the health, but in the space of a few weeks or months, I can easily imagine that people sitting and watching TV are less likely to have a heart attack or a stroke.
    Car accidents alone are sure to drop sharply if no one is out driving.
    Same with work related accidents if tens of millions of people are not going to work.

    • This may be true for now, but the longer this goes on, the more likely we are to see an uptick in suicides, depression, etc. amongst lonely and vulnerable people, illness through lack of exercise, plus other social disorders. I’m already hearing of folk who are getting really anxious and lonely. Older people in particular need interaction just to keep going in some cases- this is what my wife does for a living and she sees the effects of social isolation on the old and vulnerable and it’s not pretty. Of course some people are just obsessively watching the news and getting increasingly worked up. I don’t get it personally, but then I’ve never been the sort who needs lots of social interaction and I never watch the news or read papers, so maybe I’m odd, but I do think that the thought of 6 months isolation will send many people over the edge and we’ll see an uptick in all sorts of disorders when the dust settles.

      • The best science we have regarding exercise (SCIENCE, that is, not dogma superstition or belief) came out of the Cooper Institute in the 1960’s and 70’s. You need to MOVE AROUND (that is, get up out of a chair and walk around doing some ordinary activity) for only TWENTY MINUTES A DAY cumulative to remain “healthy.” Exercise has been proven to have just about ZERO effect on obesity and metabolic syndrome. Modern salesmanship conflates “health” and “fitness” to make the target population believe that hard, stress cardio and lifting to muscle group failure is a “health” necessity. In fact, it’s frequently deleterious which medics knew decades ago. No animal, wild or domestic, in the absence of mortal threat will run itself into cardiorespiratory distress or muscle failure. Not. One. This ought to tell anyone something that still can think for themselves (an endangered species, I’ll admit!)

        When you go out wearing summer clothing in a damp 41 degree F. wind and run yourself to sweat-dripping exhaustion as all the idiots out front of my house are doing, your body interprets that as stress and depletion and dumps cortisol into your bloodstream. Wash that down with a “sports drink” or “fruit smoothie” with 50 grams of sugar and Congratulations! you’ve just blew your immune system to hell for 24 hours. But of course, been seen doing this is a class marker for the “virtuous.”

        Want to do yourself a REAL favor? Eat some red meat, high in Vitamins A, D, magnesium and zinc, and take a relaxing walk. Also, turn off the MSM, they’re trying to spook the herd.

        • Yup, I’m 61 , and fit as a fiddle. I cycle to work every day, and also go swimming, and go hill-walking. Apart from the being 61 that’s all past tense now, as I had my first heart attack two weeks ago, and now have a stent in my left anterior descending coronary artery.
          Reaction from friends and colleagues has universally been genuine surprise, along the lines of ‘What! You?’.
          Exercise and sensible weight control do not immunize against atherosclerosis, and I’m a living example of that. I’m going to be looking hard at the information around metabolic syndrome, and diets to help prevent a further nastier surprise.
          As regards suitable levels of exercise to remain healthy, I’d prefer to see that qualified as ‘healthy and fit enough to achieve what you want to’.
          For example, I have never been any sort of runner or triathlon competitor.
          With my work, there have been long enough periods when I’ve been unable to cycle to the office, and that missing element left me not quite fit enough to enjoy the hill-walking I like.
          Three weeks of regular 8 miles a day cycling and the situation is changed. A day on hills becomes a pleasure again.
          ‘Sports drinks’ are for fools. People who slug down that junk will be following me to cardiology sooner than they think.

          • Glad you’re recovering! Your “healthy and fit enough to achieve what you want to” is a great standard, one I’d vastly prefer to the “extreme” ethos. Most of us past military age are not going to haul a 70-lb. ruck over a mountain or wrestle a bear! In truth what most of the Crossfitters, Ironmen, etc. do is run themselves straight to the orthopaedic surgeon.

            The cat is creeping out of the bag, in spite of the best efforts of Big Food/Big Pharma, that the signature cause of all atherosclerosis is years of systemic inflammation caused by eating the VERY grain-based diet the “experts” have been forcing on us since the Eisenhower administration. The more carbs, the more heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer, and especially Type II diabetes, once a rare disease. There are RACKS of books now on the market that are at least half footnotes to primary studies proving this beyond nearly any doubt. Yet you hear the myth that “animal fat” is the culprit parroted every day, and Government food service is execrable slop.

            I challenge everyone here to remove the industrial seed oils (canola, corn, soybean, sunflower), all grains and sugars from your diet 100% for 3 months, then go get a BP reading, an A1C, and calcium plaque ultrasound. The results will knock your socks off! And it works the same regardless of age, whether you are an ultra-marathoner or occasionally walk a teacup Yorkie around your garden!

      • No way this can go on for six months.
        But at this point I am not sure anybody knows how to end it.
        Recall how it started: One NBA player tested positive, and within an hour the entire NBA suspended their season.
        I said at the time that given it was just one guy…when will it logically be time to end the suspension of the season? When there are zero cases?
        Then they started closing schools and factories if one person tested positive.
        They they cancelled baseball, and concerts, and Disney closed their parks…and from their it more or less took on a life of it’s own, AFAICT.
        If any of these treatments are shown to keep people from dying, that will be the end of it.
        But I think if that was true, we would know it by now, and deaths would be slowing sharply in the places that adopted the two main candidates for treatment as a standard of care.
        I have looked for but not seen any huge effect.
        Very often drugs only work if given early.
        Antivirals have been notoriously hard to find that work very well, unless given early, and even then the list is short.
        Hep C, and HIV. It took decades to come up with a hep C cure that worked for more than a fraction of people who took it, and did not have horrendous side effects.
        Monoclonal antibodies and vaccines have a much better track record.
        But they have generally taken many years to develop and test.
        And plenty of common viruses have no vaccines, although they have tried to make them for many years and many places.
        Like corona viruses for example. Cause 1/3 of colds…no vaccine for any of them.
        But on the other hand, vaccines have been viewed dimly by drug companies…they are difficult and expensive to develop, and no one wants to pay much for them…in fact people get mad about certain drugs being a source of profits at all.
        Come up with a drug for some things, and people pay for it and never complain…or at least not much.

  8. I wonder what the net fatality rate is influenced by the lack of travel and drinking, esp. together?

    • Fatalities from travel and drinking are dwarfed by health related fatalities (e.g. flu, cancer, heart disease, stroke etc). Any change will be lost in the noise.

      • In France road deaths is about 3000-4000 per year ( used to be around 10k ) hospital related fatalities ( not related to the reason you entered ) are about 4000 per year. Average season flu is 9000.

        • Anyone who has driven in France for any length of time is not shocked by the death toll, but is surprised it isn’t higher. The reduction of speed limits to 80kph on single carriageway roads hasn’t settled down yet.

  9. Yes, I am not surprised, but there is no reliable science on what this new virus is.

    So studies with a range of extra deaths in UK from Covid 19 range from 7,000 to 250,000, but somebody has to make a call on what to do.

    We all sit isolated but large numbers are likely infected, the most powerful anti viral known, the human immune system, will solve the problem, in 21 days the virus will be dead!

    • New virus? ..but doesn’t that graph show C-19 going back to 2016?

      (Or am I misinterpreting the graph?)

      • The graph just shows MORTALITY. We know that quite precisely. We don’t know who died of what very precisely – but that shouldn’t matter for absolute mortality. We know the average – if there is a new high point we can say that something must be causing it.

  10. We’ve learned, as proud climate skeptics, to not believe easily in simple conclusions from limited data. In this case I thing that Dr. Roy Spencer easily felt in that trap. Wait for the final numbers, wait for numbers per cause of death, etc and then we can conclude something. There are other common causes of death, here in Europe, that are falling sharply, as some commenters about have noticed.

    • On the other hand, Dr. Spencer is asking important questions in this evolving crisis. It’s actually a great time to do hypothesis formulation and testing to improve our knowledge.

      It’s also educational for people to learn about seasonality of influenza, as well as how hygiene impacts disease transmission.

    • And most important of all: Don’t believe numbers (made up) gathered by bureaucrats. If you really want to know what has been going about, you need to wait for empirical studies. Forget about numbers from the likes of Robert Koch Institute the former “Bundesgesundheitsamt” (Federal Bureau of Health Affairs).

    • Don’t think he’s falling into a trap at all but just pointing out the hype isn’t matched by the data yet and postulating some interesting reasons that might be. That’s not denying these are early days but I for one recognise there’s a tug of war going on as the whether this is really an economic or a medical problem. Like the man noticed you can starve the host to kill this virus or anywhere in between right up to letting it rip and we all take our chances.

      After all lots of essential workers are doing the let it rip dance right now and the medicos are a small subset of that. Who’s safer? A nurse in ICU or the checkout chick at the busy super but we’ll have to wait and see with how that plays out.

  11. word pick “… save more lives from reducing influenza-A and -B that were lost to COVID-19 …” Did the author intend to use the word “than” where “that” is written?

    • Yes; I think ‘that’ was intentional. I was wondering how many of the Covid-19 sufferers who died would have otherwise died from other flu viruses. Some people must have died from other flu viruses around this winter.

      • An entire population of people known as the Native Americans essentially quarantined themselves for a few thousand years and it didn’t work out well once they were inevitably exposed to these diseases. Even today some native populations are more susceptible to serious cases of influenza.

          • Who cares what the number is a normal flu season doesn’t require you to setup huge special facilities to deal with the overflow take a look at central park in NY. This is a stupid argument.

        • I did not calculate it.
          I remember things I read.

          “COVID-19 is a mild viral illness in the vast majority of the patients (80%) but may cause severe
          pneumonitis (with subsequent complications) with substantial fatality rates in elderly and individuals
          with underlying diseases. About 20% of infected patients need to be admitted, including 5% who
          require intensive care. A study has shown that case severity is correlated with viral load, irrespective
          of symptoms duration …”

          Third paragraph, first page, of the document that delineates the treatment guidelines for all of the hospitals in several large countries in Europe:
          https://epidemio.wiv-isp.be/ID/Documents/Covid19/COVID-19_InterimGuidelines_Treatment_ENG.pdf

          The same one that describes why some of these drug cocktails are way beyond what is medically safe or recommended.

  12. Probably, it would be a lot more easy to read from the site itself (yes, it’s really there):

    https://www.euromomo.eu/index.html

    “Note concerning COVID-19 related mortality as part of the all-cause mortality figures reported by EuroMOMO

    Over the past few days, the EuroMOMO hub has received many questions about the weekly all-cause mortality data and the possible contribution of any COVID-19 related mortality. Some wonder why no increased mortality is observed in the reported mortality figures for the COVID-19 affected countries.

    The answer is that increased mortality that may occur primarily at subnational level or within smaller focal areas, and/or concentrated within smaller age groups, may not be detectable at the national level, even more so not in the pooled analysis at European level, given the large total population denominator. Furthermore, there is always a few weeks of delay in death registration and reporting. Hence, the EuroMOMO mortality figures for the most recent weeks must be interpreted with some caution.

    Therefore, although increased mortality may not be immediately observable in the EuroMOMO figures, this does not mean that increased mortality does not occur in some areas or in some age groups, including mortality related to COVID-19.”

    Probably this was a Dr. Roy Spencer “sort of” Michael Mann’s moment 🙂

    No one is perfect.

    • I was noting the same thing.
      In the link provided, it specifically says that these numbers are estimates, and then separately says they should be interpreted with caution.
      That sounds like a wordy way of saying these are not reliable numbers.

    • Maybe you should read the numbers instead of the text… note they don’t say how much they usually correct their numbers before.

      Note also the first explanation they put and you conveniently forgot; it says this:
      The answer is that increased mortality that may occur primarily at subnational level or within smaller focal areas, and/or concentrated within smaller age groups, may not be detectable at the national level, even more so not in the pooled analysis at European level, given the large total population denominator.

      You have the Italian data that is already going on for several weeks.

    • “The answer is that increased mortality that may occur primarily at subnational level or within smaller focal areas, and/or concentrated within smaller age groups, may not be detectable at the national level, even more so not in the pooled analysis at European level, given the large total population denominator.”

      So you cite this and are incapable of giving meaning to it, same critic for Nicolas.

      • I am not sure if you are disagreeing or agreeing with me, but I think it is clear from the text that the numbers are estimates, will be revised, and need to be used with caution, IOW used with the knowledge that they are not hard and fast statistics.
        Nothing confusing or unclear about it.
        The first part of the intro says is fairly succinctly: These numbers are estimates.
        So why, after reading that, would you suggest one should ignore the text but focus on the numbers?

  13. I think that the large impact on IC units is the real problem with this virus compared to seasonal flu. Entire hospitals are dysfunctional in the sense that most planned operations and treatments are postponed.

    • I was reading this morning that COVID19 is 10 times more likely to cause pneumonia compared to the normal flus.

      • Any hospital in NY state, all elective surgery was cancelled there from march 22. They also had to make 50% more beds available for emergencies. You would need to check but probably a couple of other states as well.

  14. I found one article in ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339983072_Corona1. It says it was submitted for peer-reviewing on 16th March. Wiki version: https://osf.io/9ah34/wiki/home/

    Main points:

    Apart from social isolation, hand wash etc. if these additional measures are taken, it can reduce the spread drastically.
    1. Low Temperature (the important one) and low Humidity are the keys to spreading the virus. Solutions: Sauna, Room heater, Higher A/C room temperature, Blow dryer can drastically reduce the spread.

    2. Warm and moderately humid places and countries are likely to be less affected.

    Peer reviewing takes time. If some measures are easy to follow, does not have financial implications and do not have any harm, people might consider following at their home.

    For one of my friends, by inhaling hot air a few times through the nose from the handheld blow dryer worked miracle. He was showing some very early symptoms.

    • Universal mask wearing in public also reduces transmission, and wouldn’t it be interesting if leaving ones shoes at the house entry is helpful?

        • Sunlight is a good disinfectant, in more ways than one.

          Regarding wearing simple surgical masks, or even higher quality, are a big reason why SE Asia has much fewer cases. A lot of people just wear masks to ease the pollution problems, but probably also reduces a lot of asymptomatic people ejecting virus droplet spread. Being hot and humid also helps big time, but considering the population densities, it is really amazing that the spread isn’t higher than it is in those countries that do wear a lot of masks which is usually when they are out and about in big cities and on busy traffic streets where there are are a lot people. Really amazed to hear public health officials downplaying this in NA, and some say maybe it makes things worse. What are these people thinking?

      • “Leaving ones shoes at the house entry is helpful”

        Interesting comment, and wonder if that is one of the reasons i.e. tracking in all that dirt and grime off the streets. Definitely an unintended consequence and probably big time significant, smelly feet notwithstanding. In some cultures, washing of the feet also very important. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Except my sister is so clean, I fear her kids got no exposure to germs…but sure wish some of that would have washed off on me.

    • Essential oil diffusers and consuming the herbs/spices themselves aren’t a bad idea, i.e. Laurus Nobilis.

  15. I found one article in ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339983072_Corona1. It says it was submitted for peer-reviewing on 16th March. Wiki version: https://osf.io/9ah34/wiki/home/

    Main points:

    Apart from social isolation, hand wash etc. if these additional measures are taken, it can reduce the spread drastically.
    1. Low Temperature (the important one) and low Humidity are the keys to spreading the virus. Solutions: Sauna, Room heater, Higher A/C room temperature, Blow dryer can drastically reduce the spread.

    2. Warm and moderately humid places and countries are likely to be less affected.

    For one of my friends, by inhaling hot air a few times through the nose from the handheld blow dryer worked miracle. He was showing some early symptoms.

    Peer reviewing takes time. If some measures are easy to follow, does not have financial implications and do not have any harm, people might consider following at their home.

    • “For one of my friends, by inhaling hot air a few times through the nose from the handheld blow dryer worked miracle. He was showing some early symptoms.”

      If he wasn’t diagnosed, this anecdote is pretty useless.

      • But a good puff for hair dryers.

        Just don’t try the same trick using a paint-stripper hot air gun…!

      • Exactly. I know a guy who drank a couple of shots of cheap whiskey before going to bed. In the morning he showed no symptoms of CVD_19.

        So now I drink cheap whiskey all day long. You know, just to be on the safe side.

        • Did you all manage to read the scientific analyses of that work? What do you think of it? Any comment on that?

        • Did you manage to read the scientific analyses of that work? What do you think of it? Any comment on that?

      • Jeff, did you manage to read the scientific analyses of that work? What do you think of it? Any comment on that?

        In terms of diagnosis, mild symptoms can not be tested in the current situation.

        “If some measures are easy to follow, does not have financial implications and do not have any harm, people might consider following at their home.”

        • That heat treatment could be useful in the 14 day incubation period. That time people do not know if they have the virus or not but they still spread it.

  16. I suspect the morbidity and mortality due to this pathogen is concentrated in those with compromised lung immunity, possibly due to an unbalanced renin-angiotensin system (RAS) that enhances ACE2 expression. ACE2 is, of course, the enzyme the coronavirus attaches to to infect a cell.

    ACE and ACE2 have opposing effects: ACE increases the expression of inflammatory cytokines and other factors, whereas ACE2 counter-regulates anti-inflammatory factors.

    At least one study has shown that smokers’ lungs have elevated ACE2 expression. A letter to the Lancet stated that ACE inhibitors, ARBs and ibuprofen increase ACE2 expression. This study seems to suggest that ACE2 expression in the lungs is increased by chronic air pollution.

    ACE2 expression in the lungs of WT mice significantly increased at both 2 and 5 days postinstillation, and markedly increased ACE2 expression level at 2 days postinstillation reduced at 5 days postinstillation

    https://www.ijbs.com/v14p0253.htm

    The 3 coronavirus hotspots – Wuhan, China; Lombardy, Italy; Qom, Iran – all have very bad air pollution.

    https://medium.com/@fcameronlister/coronavirus-is-there-something-in-the-air-45964b2f5b37

    The air pollution in Wuhan was very high during the days people began showing up at hospitals with unusual pneumonias.

    https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50688880/polluted-air-could-be-an-important-cause-of-wuhan-pneumonia

    • ACE2 is only one of the receptors now known to be used by the virus to gain entry into a cell, and how many more there might be is unknown.
      https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.14.988345v1

      The studies related to the ACE receptors were withdrawn.
      Both were flawed.
      The second one used a data base collected from lung cancer patients.
      Is that really a valid data point?

    • I read about death of 45 year old in Miami. They said he was healthy but reading through the article they said he had high blood pressure. Perhaps he was on these ACE2 inhibitors or ARBS.

      • Most people in the US are. Europe, too as far as I can determine. At least 52% of Italians who died were on ACE inhibitors and ARBs. That number is probably low due to incomplete data. Calcium channel blockers are preferred in E Asia.

      • \Steve,
        “t. Concerns have also emerged
        in the social media related to the theoretical interferences between ACE2 receptors (used for viral
        entry) and some medicines such as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors /angiotensin
        receptor blockers (ARBs) as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). There is so far no
        scientific evidence of any deleterious effect, and therefore no robust instruction regarding their use.
        By safety however and while waiting pending results, paracetamol may be preferred as first-line
        symptomatic treatment of pain and fever (at usual dosage), while NSAIDs should be used with caution
        (as usually) and according to common practice (contra-indicated in case of renal failure for example).
        There is currently no evidence from clinical or epidemiological studies that establishes a link between
        ACE inhibitors or ARBs and the worsening of COVID 19. It is important that patients do not interrupt
        their treatment with ACE inhibitors or ARBs nor be switched to other medicines, but physicians could
        CONSIDER it in ADMITTED patients if felt necessary. HOWEVER, no changes are advised in
        suspected/confirmed patients treated at home where no monitoring is possible (the risks outweighing
        by far the hypothetical benefits). Any suspected adverse events related to these drugs should be
        reported through the usual channels, as part of regular pharmacovigilance activities 2.”

        https://epidemio.wiv-isp.be/ID/Documents/Covid19/COVID-19_InterimGuidelines_Treatment_ENG.pdf

        The whole thing is basically an internet rumor that has taken on a life of it’s own.
        If you take an ACE inhibitor…that means your receptors are blocked.
        Stopping taking it unblocks them.
        Opening them up for the virus?
        Seems more plausible than having them blocked helps the virus.
        There is literally zero evidence these drugs increase risk.
        Theoretical inferences on social media!
        That sounds like a piss poor way to self medicate.

        • “The whole thing is basically an internet rumor that has taken on a life of it’s own. If you take an ACE inhibitor…that means your receptors are blocked.”

          Not true at all. Dr Fauci said that ACE inhibitors can increase ACE2 expression. ACE inhibitors have no effect on ACE2 receptors.

        • If I get it will not take nsaids and no Tylenol. If my fever gets too high will go to hospital.

  17. Accurate and complete mortality statistics are as a general rule not available in real time.
    Typically if one wants the best data, we need to wait until all the revisions have been made, about a year to two years.
    IOW…2017 has good data. 2019 is almost surely not as accurate because numbers get revised.

    And with all of this going on, I would be surprised if there is not a large delay in normal reportage of such…so how can anyone have reliable statistics for deaths in the past few weeks?
    I suspect what is being reported now are estimates.

    And in fact, taking a look at the attached document, we see this:
    “European mortality bulletin week 12, 2020

    Pooled estimates of all-cause mortality show, overall, normal expected levels in the participating countries; however, increased excess mortality is notable in Italy.””

    Estimates.

    And this:
    “Over the past few days, the EuroMOMO hub has received many questions about the weekly all-cause mortality data and the possible contribution of any COVID-19 related mortality. Some wonder why no increased mortality is observed in the reported mortality figures for the COVID-19 affected countries.

    The answer is that increased mortality that may occur primarily at subnational level or within smaller focal areas, and/or concentrated within smaller age groups, may not be detectable at the national level, even more so not in the pooled analysis at European level, given the large total population denominator. Furthermore, there is always a few weeks of delay in death registration and reporting. Hence, the EuroMOMO mortality figures for the most recent weeks must be interpreted with some caution.”

    These numbers are estimates even in a normal time.
    And I suspect people have other things on their mind right now that making extra sure to collect and collate info like this.

    • All this is true.

      But you would still expect that SOME indication of a major epidemic would filter through to the death figures within a few days – at a week at most.

      EuroMoMo is showing a flatline. The UK reporting process (Public Health England) has said:

      “…..- In week 12 2020 in England, no statistically significant excess
      mortality by week of death above the upper 2 z-score threshold was
      seen overall, by age group or sub nationally (all ages) after correcting
      ONS disaggregate data for reporting delay with the standardised
      EuroMOMO algorithm (Figure 1). This data is provisional ……”

      See – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876005/Weekly_all_cause_mortality_surveillance_week_13_2020_report.pdf

      I would think that they are very close to the epidemic, and should have a clear idea of what is happening. If they thought that many hospitals were under reporting or failing to report altogether, they would have said so…

    • Nicholas McGinley
      March 30, 2020 at 7:02 am

      “we need to wait until all the revisions have been made”
      ———————
      The question here happens to be;
      Why the very people we trust to be the coolest and the calm there, did not wait,
      but instead jumped the gun and demanded and also forced a path to a global economical draconian shutdown!??
      a proposition meaning that the world by now should at this point be all gone Italian?

      Why did these guys rush and not wait even for a moment? (to reflect before jumping the gun and had the entire world subjected to economical harakiri? why? why?)

      The point in this blog post is simple at this time in point, and you are missing it.
      If the point in this post holds for time to come, as true,
      which will not take a year or more, then we have to face a stark reality… that we, globally have put the trust in very very corrupt and very incompetent organization, for not saying devious ones…
      (with world’s well being and safety.)

      But hey in the end only time will tell… and then there all will depend on how deaf and blind we as a whole happen to be… and it will take not that long as you propose there.

      cheers

      • I have no idea how they gather such information for entire countries.
        It says estimates, but are the rough guesses, or just using normal averages for this time of year?

  18. I haven’t seen any speculation on the potential co-infection rate of COVID-19 and seasonal flu. I imagine it’s pretty high. I think I read that seasonal flu affects upwards of 60-65MM/year in the US – – about 20% of the population. Is it possible that a fair percentage of those tested for/treated for COVID-19 also have the seasonal flu; perhaps one fifth, or more? Are the deaths of the co-infected being attributed to COVID-19 and not to seasonal flu? This cross-infection phenomenon could partially account for the odd data in the MOMO report. And it could potentially lie behind the observed difference between many who test +ve for COVID-19 and yet experience minor symptoms and recover quickly, versus those who are quickly and deeply affected, and require hospitalization, ventilation, etc. (I realize that age and co-morbidities are seen as driving this difference too but a) these could both be true and b) the co-infection rate could itself be biased towards older/less-healthy people.)

    • In many cases, one viral infection will block other viral infections from subsequently occurring.
      Not always of course, but it is usually rather specific that one type of virus infection will actually prevent another since the second one runs into an activated viral immune system.

      • Please provide actual evidence that an immune response to Influenza A or Influenza B blocks COVID-19.

        Because I can falsify your statement quite quickly. People with active Herpes infection can easily be infected with

        Hep C
        More easily infected with HIV
        More easily infected with HPV

        Cite a peer reviewed study, please.

      • The same measures that are used to limit the spread of COVID19 are limiting the spread of other viruses (flu & non-COVID19 colds). The usual flu may kill <0.1% vs COVID19 3% but if we let COVID19 infect the usual 10 – 30% of the population (as does the flu) then we would be in big trouble (see Italy & NY et. al.).

    • All countries should stop their defence budget for at least one year. That budget for one year should be spent for the poors.

  19. I expected by now to see satellite images of Chinese CoVid apocalypse bodies stacked by the tens of thousands in city squares, bulldozers pushing them into mass graves then covered with lime.

    According to ECDC and WHO the CoVid death toll for China is about 3,300. A mortality rate once in double digits has fallen to 4.0%.

    The US at 2,500 will surpass that shortly.

    Where is the footage of CoVid apocalypse zombies staggering across hospital parking lots, storming ERS and hallways? Just isolated tear jerkers.

    Not there – so far.

    This lying, fact free, fake news MSM’s fake pandemic is as fake as fake dying polar bears, fake rising sea levels, fake melting ice caps.

    President Trump should bring the full weight of the Federal Government to bear, sue the fake news MSM for crying “Wolf,” for yelling “Fire!” in our crowded theater, make them pick up that 2.2 trillion dollar tab.

    Rights have responsibilities. Yeah, weird notion.

    Trump should burn the fake news media to the ground and when/if it rises from the ashes maybe it will understand what honest, balanced, objective, responsible journalism means.

    BTW looks like US cases and deaths just fell over a cliff. An uptick this large makes headline news. We’ll see if it stays that way.

    • “According to ECDC and WHO the CoVid death toll for China is about 3,300. A mortality rate once in double digits has fallen to 4.0%.”

      Should we believe the numbers coming out of China?

      • Hard to know what to think.
        It seems impossible.
        Then again, they wear masks.
        And much of the country may yet be in lock down.

  20. Incidentally…all vulnerable people (people with health problems, the elderly, and children) get a free ‘flu jab every year in the UK. This year the elderly flu jab was changed: “A wider range of flu vaccines are now available which should offer better protection. This includes the ‘adjuvanted’ vaccine which was offered to those aged 65 years and over for the first-time last year and provided a higher level of protection compared to the standard non-adjuvanted vaccines in this age group”
    https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2019/10/04/flu-vaccination-the-main-things-to-know-about-the-2019-programme/

  21. My worries are if there is long lockdown lasting months and months. In this case tax base will dry up and cuts will need to be made at different levels of government. Nobody has much information in what the effects of such cuts will be.

    Perhaps if we can get death rate down to that if seasonal flu then that will be acceptable.

  22. A problem with Dr. Roy’s analysis is that CoVid19 deaths are rising exponentially, but at the time of his analysis, they are a fraction of the “normal” influenza death toll. So current “social distancing and hand-washing” improves influenza outcomes more in total numbers for the time being….but this will not be the case in a couple of weeks and a few doublings of CoVid19 cases.

  23. When this virus came out I wonder if people that first got it were more likely to be people that generally are not careful about washing hands, touching face, or people that are highly social and go to lots of events, go to busy bars etc.

  24. 1 . It is still very early in the corona pandemic. Most co7ntries are just starting to see deaths. In anotjer month, I am sure the curve will have risen radically.

    2. Draconian measures are in place in these countries, reducing both seas8nal flu and corona spread. Cannot compare to a normal season without any measures in place.

    3. Perhaps we SHOULD take seasonal flu more seriously as well in the future. Every year thiusands die, when simple measures like more awareness amd better hand hygiene coild save many of them.

  25. “You might claim, “It’s because COVID-19 can kill anyone, not just the elderly.” ”

    As a previous post here on WUWT showed us, it can’t kill anyone, and age has nothing to do with it. 99.2% of Corona deaths have pre-existing major health problems. Almost 50% have 3 pre-existing major health problems. The stories of “Healthy Texas Man dies from Corona” are just playing into the “Anecdotal Fallacy” and are meaningless. And like Charles the author said, he may have had an undiagnosed pre-existing health problem.

    The more I dig into the statistics, the more I am convinced that this is a fairly typical flu.

  26. Good and informative article Dr Spencer! Few others noticed however that some recent stats may be still ‘provisional’ meaning they’re not based on real numbers just yet. Also, mortality rate it’s one thing. Another is overflowed hospitals with more serious cases and large part of population self-isolating itself (milder cases), effectively suspending whole swatches of the country from normal functioning for a period of time.

  27. 911 was no biggie, what are 2999 deaths?
    A similar number die every fortnight in winter of flu.

    “Your honour – yes I beat this person to death deliberately.
    But this death represents only 23.7 seconds of the death rate from flu during an average winter, how can the prosecution argue that it is a crime?”

    • Phil Salmon, Exactly. Some people will look for any excuse to rescue their political agenda.

  28. The most recent estimates by Fauci and Birk are that without doing anything, the death toll would be between 1.6 and perhaps 3 million. That is totally unaceptable, given the estimated death toll with the social restrictions of perhaps 60,000 to 150,000. Those who examine the actual, almost correct death rates for this virus of somewhere between .4 and 1 percent sometimes falsely claim that this is not much worse than the worst flu epidemics, which kill about 60,000 and have a death rate roughly the same. The reason for the error is that this virus is much more contagious than the typical flu and therefore a whole lot more people will catch it amd a whole lot more people will die than would have died from a severe flu epidemic, even thought the death rate is the same. Death rates are RATES, they are not actual mortality numbers.

  29. I have spent the last several days pushing this meme on various blogs.

    Note that not only the Euro MoMo shows no increased rates. but the Government site for the UK – Public Health England – who turn out weekly mortality figures , have specifically said that ‘there is no significant statistical increase in mortality’. Important to note that one arm of the UK government has said this at a time when other arms are saying “go home and hide”.

    Also of interest is the likely predicted mortality rates of the ‘lock-down’. Some people are saying that this will at least prevent car accidents. Note that the typical reasons for death apart from old age and disease are, in order:

    1 – Personal Accidents – mostly falls
    2 – Suicide
    3 – Road Accidents
    4 – Poisoning

    Items 1 and 2 are likely to be INCREASED by a lockdown in the home.

  30. The lockdowners will say: see, lockdowns worked, because ended exponential growth.
    The carryoners will say: see, lockdowns were not necessary, because no exponential growth.

  31. In Oz we run a large public hospital system partially funded by Medicare Levy on incomes but you can also take up private health insurance and have the doctors and surgeons of your choice. Our public hospitals are training hospitals and private specialists and surgeons practice there too as well as being involved in training so they are the number one with ER. Now if the Gummint jump the gun and call for a blanket cancellation of elective surgery in preparation for Covid19 you can get a rather perverse outcome-
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/private-hospital-company-stands-down-800-staff/ar-BB11PtEz
    The golden rule of Gummint should be do no harm but this virus has torn up the rule book somewhat.

  32. If you look at the (American) CDC website for information influenza deaths you find a very wide range given. These numbers are estimates, in contrast to covid-19 deaths which are actual counts.

    Most of the influenza deaths did not occur in hospital ICUs. Many probably were not even really influenza deaths but doctors need to put something on death certificates.

    Many of those people were at the end of their lives anyway, and the final thing that tripped them over the line was flu.

    I would not try to compare based upon CDC numbers.

    • Yes, you have it right.
      Died with the flu is not died of the flu.
      And who is doing the estimates?
      Some people are bad at estimating, or have a propensity to overestimate.
      What is different about this is that 20% of cases need to be hospitalized, at least according to reports from Europe. And 5% get severe viral pneumonia.
      Nothing like 20% of flu cases get admitted to a hospital.

      • “Nothing like 20% of flu cases get admitted to a hospital.”
        No because they’re mostly in high care Aged Care which is similar and Covid is doing it’s work there. We just don’t call them hospitals probably because you don’t get better and go home.

        • Also, what percent of flu cases are reported? My wife, daughter and myself had the flu this winter but no one saw the doctor as we know what to do. Not added to stats. Wife very sick for 10 days, daughter for 5 and me for 2. My wife had the flu shot.

          • I for one have never alerted anyone or gone to a doctor over a case of the flu.
            No one in my family either.
            Some people do apparently, but I see no reason to go out when sick, or bother a doctor over something that is mostly untreatable and goes away on it’s own after a while.

      • Nicholas
        This sentence is lacking something important:

        What is different about this is that 20% of cases need to be hospitalized, at least according to reports from Europe.

        This is how it should be:

        What is different about this is that 20% of knowncases need to be hospitalized, at least according to reports from Europe.

        • True.
          It is easy to misspeak when so much crap is flying around.
          Thank you for pointing that out.

      • There is only one Cause, and that is the Big Bang. Everything else is caused by that.

        Allegedly.

        All people die because their heart stops. Nothing else kills people.

        Really, stop being in such denial. UK hospitals are (in the major cities) saturated. And its getting worse. Where I live its still on the exponential part of the curve, but I live in an isolated corner and we only have had three deaths and about 1000 tested positive cases.

        No one knows the extent of the virus, because, like climate change, there aren’t enough tests being done to see who has it, who has had it, and who has not.

        Likewise, if someone contracts it and dies of a cytokine storm or pneumonia, depending on which country you are in you might get a very different death certificate reading.

        Did the man die from sepsis, or getting a rusty nail in his foot?

        The winter has been mild in Europe. One expects less viral deaths in a mild winter.

        At the moment the experts – here and elsewhere – are pi$$ing in the wind, because the data simply does not exist, and neither will it for several months. Governments are having to make up policy on the fly with very little hard data, just as happens in wartime, and as in war, the first casualty is the truth. And the second as any Sandhurst officer will tell you, is the Plan.

        All we can do is reduce spread rates by distancing, isolation and good hygiene practice. Myabe we ahve overreacted. Hindsigjt will be a wonderful thing.

        Imagine telling the people in Pripyat ‘actually you don’t need to evacuate: all that radiation stuff is BS”. As it turned out 30 years later, it was BS, but it took 30 years for the final data on Chernobyl to come in.

    • CDC numbers are inflated and bogus. On their test Instructions for Use they state (I added numbers):

      1) Positive [test] results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. 2) The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. 3) Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

      https://www.fda.gov/media/85454/download (link begins download of pdf)

      Do you see the slight of hand between the 2nd and 3rd sentences? The detected virus may not be the definite cause of illness, but positive tests must be reported to public health authorities, where they are counted as the definite cause of illness.

      • Hence my contention that for all but persons over the age of 70 AND/OR with COMORBIDITIES, and/or on ACE inhibitors:

        Drumrollllllll

        COVID-19 is less contagious, less infectious, less severe, more asymptomatic AND LESS DEADLY than the flu.

        The DIAMOND PRINCESS showed that even in a highly confined, highly social, highly communal environment only 17% were infected.

          • The ones who weren’t elderly and retired probably had health issues. Several of the doctors on the list I saw were in their 90s. Most were in their late 60s -70s.

          • You can’t argue with these people they would need millions dying. So ignore them and let them whine on and eventually they will get the message no-one cares.

  33. And all the videos from Bergamo Strasbourg and Madrid are certainly fakes, aren’t they?
    A significant rise in overall deaths we will see if we will not contain the pandemic.
    We are at the very beginning of it.
    We just hear the first sounds of the avalanche.

    • Try to check Sweden population density when compared with Portugal for instance.

      From wikipedia:
      Sweden: 23 /Km2
      Italy: 201.3 /Km2
      Spain: 92/Km2
      Portugal: 114.5/km2
      UK: 270.7 /km2

      Sweden is not comparable in climate, density and people’s culture to other countries. They do respect warnings there!
      They also do not have the tourism pressure or the climate and beaches from Spain, Italy or Portugal. So it is not comparable.
      Every country needs to adapt to a proper solution considering collective culture.

      • Rather, Sweden is a far larger country by area, but with substantially FEWER cities and towns, but with those towns each typically larger and more concentrated at harbors up and down the coasts at harbors than their Portuguese counterparts. Portugal has many more small towns and villages scattered more evenly across the country up its many hundreds of separate valleys and inlets.

      • there are far denser populations with relatively small amounts of deaths.

        India for starters where millions live in slums and on the streets.

        75 countries have Corona and no deaths..

        Princess Diamond cruise ship with large Corona viral load in packed space with air conditioning had ten deaths. All over 70 and already ill.

  34. The question I would ask is: are the statistics timely or delayed? In other words, are there later revisions as better data becomes available; revisions which would be reflected in previous years’ numbers, but perhaps not yet in this year’s?

    • Just followed the link above to the original source, and found the answer to my question there, which is essentially “yes”:

      >> Over the past few days, the EuroMOMO hub has received many questions about the weekly all-cause mortality data and the possible contribution of any COVID-19 related mortality. Some wonder why no increased mortality is observed in the reported mortality figures for the COVID-19 affected countries.

      >> […] Furthermore, there is always a few weeks of delay in death registration and reporting. Hence, the EuroMOMO mortality figures for the most recent weeks must be interpreted with some caution.

      >>Therefore, although increased mortality may not be immediately observable in the EuroMOMO figures, this does not mean that increased mortality does not occur in some areas or in some age groups, including mortality related to COVID-19. <<

    • I’ve found this data source to be absolutely fascinating. It certainly puts things into perspective.
      You can see small summer spikes, probably caused by heat waves. You can also see that the summer deaths are tiny compared to the winter deaths. So, yes, absolutely, warm is far, far better than cold for humans.

      It does seem blindingly obvious that the modern global warming has been of huge benefit to the wellbeing of mankind and the planet. After all, if there had been no global warming we would still be in the depths of the Little Ice Age. Now that really would be a catastrophe.
      Chris

  35. I see the main point of this “shelter in place” orders across North America, and Europe is to slow the virus enough to keep our hospitals and ICUs from getting crushed with far more patients than can be accommodated. Having them die in hallways unattended because there were no more rooms and ventilators for their respiratory distress. This is what happened in Italy 2 weeks ago and now in Spain. Already many discretionary and less time sensitive procedures, both in-patient and out-patient, are being delayed.
    This will cause a pent up demand over the summer and fall, and some may die for having things like cardiac bypass procedures delayed. Cancer chemotherapies are likely being delayed as well because of the immunity compromising they produce in the patients would put them at high risk to a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Hysterectomies and ovectomies delayed, etc could end up costing more lives in the long run as well.

  36. Why are we not outraged and deathly afraid of the seasonal flu (-A and -B), given the widespread death that routinely occurs from those viruses that come around each season?

    It’s because the flu has been around for a long time. It is generally accepted that it will come along and take people away, despite vaccination programs of varying effectiveness. As a result, there is no political risk. Not so with COVID -19. This new virus comes and the media jumps on it – “what are you doing about this, Mr President, Mr Prime Minister?’ Against a background of dying people and studies from academia predicting far more deaths than from flu, the politcian has little choice but to act, and perhaps overreact. And critcism for overreaction lies well down the road and will probably be made by the same people who urged tough action! And they don’t care about how many deaths result from a wrecked economy. They can blame those on the politian too.

    • And critcism for overreaction lies well down the road and will probably be made by the same people who urged tough action! And they don’t care about how many deaths result from a wrecked economy. They can blame those on the politian too.

      Just as the same people who called Trump racist for instituting a ban on travel from China early on are the ones blaming Trump for not doing anything early on!

    • The problem is that there is a random amount of variation implicit in the way disease spreads so a two or three day hiatus is not a solid indication.

      The peak infection is expected in 2-3 weeks in the UK with it is hoped under 5000 dead.
      Which doesn’t make it a major medical issue, but that is with the most severe public health guidelines I have ever experienced, and that goes back to epidemics of childhood disease in the pre vaccination era.

      It will be interesting to see how it plays out in countries that carry on as normal

  37. This is not a proper trial. For that you need to compare the control group of an area where it has arrived with one where it has not. Has north Italy a lower than normal death rate for this time or year and if not then shut down was at the very least desirable if not essential if it is lower in other areas.

  38. Didn’t see this mentioned, so here it is for completeness (Dr. Raoult’s latest study):

    Article title: 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
    by TechStartups Team, Posted On March 27, 2020
    https://techstartups.com/2020/03/27/coronavirus-cure-new-results-french-study-shows-combination-hydroxychloroquine-plaquenil-azithromycin-successfully-treated-80-coronavirus-patients-significant-dr/

    Today, Prof. Didier Raoult and his team published results of their new study online. The study, which was supported by the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée Infection, succeeds the previous one which dealt with around twenty patients. Unlike the previous small study trial, the new observation study has a larger sample size of 80 COVID-19 patients. The objective of the study was to find an effective treatment to cure COVID-19 patients and to decrease the virus carriage duration.

    In 80 in-patients receiving a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, the team found a clinical improvement in all but one 86 year-old patient who died, and one 74-year old patient still in intensive care unit. The team also found that, by administering hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin, they were able to observe an improvement in all cases, except in one patient who arrived with an advanced form, who was over the age of 86, and in whom the evolution was irreversible, according to a new paper published today in IHU Méditerranée Infection.

    March 28 Update: In a Twitter post day, Prof. Raoult said: “Our study concerns 80 patients, without a control group because we offer our protocol to all patients with no contraindication. This is what the Hippocratic Oath that we have taken dictates to us.

    (See also chart in above article)

    Original report/study pdf:

    Title – “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
    Link – https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-IHU-2-1.pdf

    Real-time stats courtesy of : https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/covid-19/
    .

  39. The second wave of the epidemic will break out in the fall as it is now in Australia. Those who survive in health by the summer of 2021 will have to rebuild their economy.

    • from: ren
      re: “The second wave of the epidemic will break out in the fall as it is now in Australia. Those who survive in health by the summer of 2021 will have to rebuild their economy.”

      I’m going to hold you to that; got a hat that’s tasty enough to eat?

  40. I have also been wondering about the relationship with the ‘usual’ flu deaths. On the ground here on an isolated island with a large proportion of elderly, the level of panic is palpable and its effects are not good. There is no perspective presented in the MSM. The anecdotal cases of death from CV-19 are what the elderly seem to focus on.

  41. France and Italy have only been counting the deaths that have occurred in their hospitals. They have not counted any deaths @ home. I bet other countries are doing the same.

    • Note that it lags by up to two weeks. The latest info is from the week 12th – 18th March.

      That week reports an excess mortality (“oversterfte”) of about 200. That’s the difference between the upper range of “normal” and the actual number of deaths.

      Some analysis and interpretation by me:

      The week before, there was no excess mortality. Which is to be expected near the end of a very mild flu season. Maybe without corona, the graph might have dipped below the upper range – we will never know. But I think it’s safe to attribute at least 200 deaths to COVID-19 in the week march 12th – 18th.

      That same week had a reported number of COVID-19 deaths of 95 (for daily numbers, see tabel 2b of file:///C:/Users/User/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/Epidemiologische%20situatie%20COVID-19%2030%20maart%202020.pdf – Dutch version, I couldn’t find an English version).

      Which results in a first estimate that less than halve of the actual COVID-19 related deaths are reported as such. As the Dutch do not test in many cases, this is to be expected.

      As the numbers really exploded the week after -March 19th until March 25th has 475 reported deaths – it should really show up in that graph. If the same 50% reported rate applies, it should be about equal to the 2018 peak.

      The current daily numbers are even higher: about 100 per day, so 700 a week. And the IC is about full now… 🙁

      Last update was last Thursday, so I assume it will be updated again next Thursday. I’ll be watching https://www.rivm.nl/monitoring-sterftecijfers-nederland that day to see what the actual peak will look like.

  42. It’s been a very, very mild winter and probably the flu vaccine was a good match. The UK figures show it even more clearly.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/weekly-all-cause-mortality-surveillance-2019-to-2020

    At the moment we are in the early foothills of the pandemic. between 60 and 80% need to catch it or get vaccinated to get herd immunity. At the moment every Tom, Dick or Harriet who has had a sniffle of felt a bit tired swears that they’ve had Covid19. Maybe, but more likely not. Some forget that it’s been little over a month since cases started appearing. How likely is it that we had a low flu season AND a new coronavirus spreading silently? It’s worth noting that the number of deaths lag the infections by about 3 weeks and even those experiencing symptoms are five days after infection. Dial the UK back 3 weeks and we’d just had our first death.

    Different countries’ varied death rate reflects the society – Average health (obesity rates, age, etc), when the first infections happened, number and range of international travellers, hygiene response, hospital care provision, household generational makeup and finally restricted freedom.

    The case fatality rate is still unknown. We still don’t know how many cases there are, let alone how many silent ones there could be. Government actions today are a recognition of how bad it will be in 3 weeks. That includes how many hospital beds might still be vacant.

    • cold spring-

      “Brutal spring frosts destroy crops across Europe
      March 30, 2020
      A severe and extensive swathe of sub-zero temperatures has engulfed much of Europe, ravaging farmers’ fields throughout Northern Italy, much of Poland, and the Ukraine”

      • That seems surprising that in Poland and Ukraine they have already planted at the end of March.
        In much of the northern tier of the US, date of average last frost is April or May.

  43. I will re-post here the comment I left at Spencer’s blog.

    Data like Euromomo cannot at the moment really guide any decision. Mortality data will take months to make sense. Euromomo simply reports whatever numbers the member countries send, and the problem in a situation in which mortality explodes is that even death registries or however you call them may no longer work properly.

    Of course, it may be that mortality only explodes in some regions or countries, but the problem remains: these regions or countries no longer send reliable data. The 7,000 coronavirus deaths that you mention may simply not have been recorded by Euromomo.

    This news report claimed that Covid-19 mortality in Spain has been greater than registered, based on the same data that gets fed to Euromomo:
    https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-27/el-coronavirus-causa-mas-muertes-de-las-detectadas.html

    I don’t think the article’s point has been proved at all; as I said, proper mortality analysis will need months. But the article really buries the lede.

    Look at the charts. For Castilla y León, by March 24 (end of “week 12”, or close) mortality is returning to normal levels, from a very abnormal spike a few days earlier. This is absurd: Covid-19 deaths were still increasing after that day. Instead, what seems to have happened is that the region stopped properly recording deaths. The same goes for Castilla-La Mancha.

    But the real problem comes with Madrid. This region has 14% of the country’s population, so on a typical day it should see about 170 deaths. But it has suffered nearly half of the Covid-19 deaths so far in Spain. In fact, if “week 12” corresponds to March 18-24, then the region saw about as many deaths from Covid-19 as from all other causes combined!

    And yet from March 17 on it reports *lower* than normal mortality, which is absolutely impossible. The mortality data from that day on is useless. Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean there is any attempt by the authorities to cover up fatalities; it just means everybody is overwhelmed.

    I agree that shutting down everything is a caveman’s response. Ideally each country should have millions and millions of tests, so that pretty everybody can be tested, and re-tested if necessary (although a person who has developed antibodies in principle only needs to be tested once). Test kits cost something like $20 per unit, so acquiring billions of them is still much cheaper than shutting down the economy. But in order to know what to do, you need information. Countries without sufficient testing are flying blind, and so is anyone who relies on recent mortality data.

  44. It is not amazing that this ‘season’ has been very mild for flu deaths as Europe has enjoyed an unusually mild winter, with almost no periods of prolonged deep cold outside regions which get such weather every winter.

    The Covid outbreak did not start gathering pace until March, at which point the worst of the winter weather is almost invariably past.

    So the actual figures are absolutely what you would expect, given the weather we have actually had.

  45. 2) Why are we not outraged and deathly afraid of the seasonal flu (-A and -B), given the widespread death that routinely occurs from those viruses that come around each season?

    because the seasonal flu doesn’t spread so rapidly that it threatens to overwhelms the health care system. Ask NYC hospitals, for example, what the difference between the seasonal flu and the Wuhan virus is. There’s a reason the talk is of “flattening the curve” rather than “completely eliminating” it.

    • It does in my area. Not every year but probably 1 in 5 when flu shot is a miss match.

  46. Diffie, a 61-year-old native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, made 13 albums and had more than 20 Top 10 hits to his credit, his publicist said. Sporting a mustache and mullet, his boot-scooting crowd-pleasers included the hits, “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)” and “Honky Tonk Attitude.”
    Two days before his death, Diffie released a statement saying he had tested positive for coronavirus and was receiving treatment.
    “My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic,” the statement said.
    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/29/us/joe-diffie-coronavirus-death-trnd/index.html

        • I’m not joking. Let’s get a little perspective and do the responsible thing by reporting what is actually happening. Unhealthy people and those with unhealthy lungs are the ones getting morbidly sick and dying.

      • He was obese, not morbidly, but probably a 100 pounds overweight. Did he smoke? Was he a heavy drinker? I agree that he did not look healthy.

        • Don’t know. But agreed he did not look to be in the best of health.

          He certainly had all the earmarks of someone with potential underlying conditions: noticeably overweight which usually brings with it the possibility of higher blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, etc. If he smoked or drank (quite likely yes to both, given his profession and the venues he would likely frequently appear at) there is even more potential for underlying conditions. Also, given his profession, if he was on the road a lot, he likely wasn’t eating proper nutritious foods or getting quality sleep on a regular basis (more potential for underlying conditions). In short: not exactly a poster boy of good strong health/healthy living. That said, my condolences to his family, friends and fans for their loss.

    • Two days…that is pretty quick.
      I guess it is better than lingering while suffering for a few weeks…but still…

    • It is too bad the info will be restricted for a while, as this would be a good indication of what happens to young and healthy.

  47. The Flu Vaccine used in the UK for the 2017/18 was ineffective against that winter’s Flu strain. As a result 50k “excess winter deaths” were reported in November 2018. So anything less for CV19 should lead to interesting discussions but won’t.
    The UK authorities prefer to ignore the EWD issue, whether this winter changes anything remains to be seen.

  48. Coronavirus = a cold. Even though gene insertion sequences were found in COVID19 in January, it’s still a cold. Colds usually drop sharply in March. That happened in a few countries, but almost-April is very late for this headline.
    Why slow to ease?
    Craven means so fearful that the danger is increased. The world’s craven response to this disease meant that many have avoided sunshine, needed for vitamin D making. This vitamin is needed for immune response. So all this quarantining has killed people and infected many.
    Today, I also read a report listing zinc deficiency symptoms next to coronavirus symptoms from an emergency doctor. More than a dozen apiece and an exact 100% match. Zinc lozenges are cheap everywhere, but nobody makes much money pushing them.

  49. France, Spain and especially Italy do not, repeat: not carry out autopsies in most cases where Covid 19 virus has been found. So absolutely no one knows for sure whether these patients actually die from or just with the virus being present by chance. Anybody who dies with Covid 19 found gets labeled “Corona – victim” and the case is closed. The deceased get cremated so we will never find out.

    • The Italian National Institute of Health examined several hundred death records that all recorded coronavirus as the cause of death, and found that 88% died of other causes.

  50. Andromeda Strain level lockdown the elderly and immune-compromised … and let everyone else fend for themselves and go back to work … if you have an unknown serial killer targeting the residents of nursing homes would you lock down the entire town or the nursing homes …

  51. Jim,

    You are not being truthful RE: the Tuskeegee Experiment. Either purposefully, or through IGNORANCE of the FACTS.

    Penicillin was Discovered in 1928.

    It was not first used in the the until 1942 (only 10 years into the study), however, it COULD and WOULD have cured many of the cases of Secondary and Latent Syphilis, that is a MEDICAL FACT.

    Per the CDC a multiple week course of Penicillin can cure even latent or syphilis of unknown duration.

    “A single intramuscular injection of long acting Benzathine penicillin G (2.4 million units administered intramuscularly) will cure a person who has primary, secondary or early latent syphilis. Three doses of long acting Benzathine penicillin G (2.4 million units administered intramuscularly) at weekly intervals is recommended for individuals with late latent syphilis or latent syphilis of unknown duration. Treatment will kill the syphilis bacterium and prevent further damage, but it will not repair damage already done.”

    https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/treatment.htm

    2. The Public Health Service, NOT TUSKEEGEE administered the study, THE DOCTORS were white men — see picture

    https://www.history.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_auto:good%2Cw_686/MTYwMTkwNzk3MDA4ODcyODc1/webpnet-resizeimage-5-e.webp

    3. More than once doctors told superiors it was unethical to not treat AFTER 1947 WHEN PENICILLIN became the OFFICIAL TREATMENT for Syphilis, the PHS refused to provide treatment.

    You sir do not know what you are talking about.

    • He is asking to provide data and facts. Do not expect he will get any of it. Instead, his former University has cancelled his E-Mail account w/o any prior notice. There is something awkwardly weird ging on in Merkels New Reich.

  52. Shutdown / lockdown probably reduces road deaths (fewer drivers on road), labour accidental deaths (fewer people at work). Lockdown probably reduces drug overdose deaths (that supply chain also disrupted).

    On the other hand lockdown likely increases suicide deaths (anecdotal information on increased calls to helplines).

    Overall, I agree with Roy that deaths will probably be net negative to normal seasonal rates.

  53. The difference between Corona and seasonal ‘flu is in the way Corona hits frontline health workers, especially those highly skilled in ‘intubation’ with ventilators – involving looking down severely infected throat to insert tube into windpipe, then operate the machine properly for each patient’s unique air pressure needs.

    Loss of frontline health workers (mostly nurse/ medics, some doctors) is the most serious problem, and many are dying from this, due to exposure to high viral load. New ones can not be trained overnite. No machine can do this work, yet at least.

  54. Roy W. Spencer is totally correct, once again. This has been a vast over-reaction and panic. I have been saying from the beginning that this Covid-19 is a severe flu, it is not the Black Death. This sort of over-reaction is engendered by years of alarmist Climate propaganda that has conditioned people to think that every new moment will bear some new and horrendous danger which they are totally unequipped to deal with. People can deal with and always have dealt with daily fluctuations of 20C temperature but thinking that 2C rise in 100 years will kill them in the next ten years is the archetypal GlobalWarming theme. This hysterical thinking has now led to a self-induced Worldwide economic shutdown which will have far greater damage implications and will kill as many as the flu will, if not more.

  55. Does anyone else realize that the mortality rate for the flu and the Corona Virus are being calculated differently giving the Corona virus an artificially higher mortality. The flu rate is calculated By the CDC using ESTIMATED infections and Corona virus mortality is calculated using known hospitalizations. When the flu mortality is calculated using known Hospitalizations it has a mortality of near 4.5 percent.

    • Yes, a rational person here noted that some time ago. That doesn’t stop the alarmists from comparing apples to oranges if it supports their extremism.

      • I have looked at that site for info very often, but I have noticed that there is no place they define the terms they use.
        Like the category of serious and severe cases.
        Is that the same as hospitalizations?
        It seems it is not the same, and yet, someone in the hospital because of a respiratory tract infection would seem to be a fairly serious case. If it was a cold or flu it would have to be for a hospital to admit a patient.
        Most people will not, at least in the US, go to a hospital UNLESS what they have is serious or severe.

        Plus, it is for sure different countries collect and report info in different ways.

    • Flu has not, in our lifetime, caused hospitals to overflow, doctors and nurses to die from infections acquired from patients, or bodies to be stacking up like cordwood outside hospital back doors.

    • You don’t get undertakers in Madrid organizing 6 times as many funerals as usual during a “normal” flu season.

  56. OK, I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training. Trying to slog through all your squabbling it seems you are in general agreement that zinc has some effectiveness in fighting this virus. My question is: Does it make medical sense to take zinc supplements as prophylactic for this virus? if so, in what dosage? What are its toxicity levels? I know where the vitamin store is, and that is something that any concerned citizen can do.

    • do you see any measurable downside to taking zinc (and C & D (and/or walking around for an half-hour without you shirt on))?

      spend the twenty bucks if you have it and quadruple the recommend (dose every 6 hours); don’t forget to sweat on a regular basis.

      (I’m not a doctor either … haven’t seen one in person for 20 years … fingers caught in hydraulics)

    • The recommended upper daily limit is 40-45 mg. You can take higher doses when sick. Zinc gluconate, citrate, acetate are well absorbed; zinc oxide not so much.

  57. Roy Spencers (jumping out of area of expertise, why not, hey, everyone else is doing it) analysis of this data is way, way, too premature to mean much. I do see a point that seasonal flu should be treated much more seriously than it is. I never understood why people think it is okay to mix with others when they have flu symptoms (going to work etc.).
    And, I can see how this whole discussion goes. We shut down everything, the deaths don’t reach astronomical figures and people will say, see, it was all overhyped.

  58. if you don’t like the numbers slowing down, change the rules, include “suspected cases”, and be out of step with other countries, which presently only include confirmed, hospital deaths :

    31 Mar: Guardian: Is the spread of coronavirus in the UK really slowing down?
    UK data shows the number of new cases has fallen, but experts say only time will tell if this is a trend
    by Nicola Davis
    The epidemiologist Prof Neil Ferguson (Imperial College London) has said changes in the rate of hospital admissions suggests the spread of Covid-19 in the UK might be slowing down…
    ***From Tuesday, the Office of National Statistics will be publishing weekly data that includes deaths in the community…
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/is-the-spread-of-coronavirus-in-the-uk-really-slowing-down

    30 Mar: Guardian: Covid-19: deaths outside hospitals to be included in UK tally for first time
    ONS to publish additional data but chief medical officer doesn’t expect a large increase in reported deaths
    by Robert Booth, Matthew Weaver and Pamela Duncan
    The reported death toll from coronavirus in the UK is set to increase beyond the NHS’s daily tally on Tuesday when fatalities outside of hospitals are counted for the first time…
    They will tally all of the deaths from late December until 20 March which they believe occurred outside hospitals.
    “It will be based on mentions of Covid-19 on death certificates,” said a spokeswoman for the ONS. “It will include suspected cases of Covid-19 where someone has not been tested positive for Covid-19.”…
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/covid-19-deaths-outside-hospitals-to-be-included-in-uk-tally-for-first-time

  59. One difference is, the media can’t use the seasonal flu to bash Trump. And H1N1 happened when Obama was in the White House.

  60. 1) In the US the CDC says 100,000 patients are killed PER YEAR by preventable hospital infections. Ya, coronavirus is hyped.

    2) We have a likely cure in malaria drug + Z-pak. Yes, overhyped times two.

  61. If reports coming out of Wuhan in the past day or two (maybe more, I just heard about these new allegations), instead of 3,000 or so deaths in Wuhan, the actual number is more like 40,000 or more.
    No one really understood why China would close their economy over the small number of cases that they are admitting to.
    No one can really understand why the whole world has gone into freak-out mode the likes of which beggar belief.
    Certainly nothing like this has ever happened…even world wars did not cause all events to be cancelled and entire cities put on lockdown.
    And the numbers, while high and sudden, are not gigantic compared to the number who die every day from everything else.
    But what if there are upwards of 40,000 dead, or more, in that one city, even thought they welded people into their apartments and arrested anyone with a symptom or without a mask?
    It stands to reason our intelligence services would be able to know the real numbers.
    As would those of other countries.
    Putin sealed his border the day after Wuhan was locked down.
    Imagine 40,000 dead in every city in the world, then a lockdown?
    Is that why they shut it down?
    Would they tell us?
    Would people panic?
    Is it even true?

    There are things that make no sense, like how China could have gone to about zero deaths except for people coming into the country.
    But it makes less sense if the number of cases and deaths was 13 times higher than they have admitted.
    Why are not reporters asking the President if our intelligence services know more about the deaths in China?
    France and the US now have as many deaths, roughly, as China is admitting to.
    Spain has well over twice as many, and Italy over 4 times as many.
    How is that possible?
    Maybe it is not.
    I would like to know.

  62. If you don’t die in a hospital *after* being diagnosed with it, you didn’t die from it.

    Its all government lies.

    • Figuring and making sense of the numbers is a difficult if not impossible task. I still don’t get those who have problems with this kind of death from disease, by natural causes*, like an infection, while heartily approving unnatural death. *That will NEVER change. NYC says covid has taken1500 so far since 3/14. Still way less; 88/day, than the usual daily rate of death there at ~153 (using 2016 numbers ~1/3 of ny rate). It would be interesting to know what the current total daily death rate is from all sources. Still these numbers are lower than the ny abortion rate 2016, that was 224/day. Where 1700+ were @ 20+ wks., and 2600+ were by women who’ve had 5+ already. Where was Cuomo then? Likely Cheering them on?

  63. One of the reasons for reduced overall mortality will be that in those countries practising social distancing, the incidence of all infections will be reduced.

  64. Typically 300,000 patients a year in England acquire a healthcare‑associated infection as a result of care within the NHS. Avoidable deaths in UK hospitals are twice those for road accidents. An apple a day springs to mind.

  65. Comparing what is happening with Covid-19 with normal Flu mortality to down play the seriousness of this outbreak is absurd.

    What you’re looking at is the results of Covid-19 in countries where significant lockdowns and social distancing measures have been introduced to control its spread.

    We are still weeks away from the peak of cases and mortality. Ask yourself what the number of cases would have been if we all went around as if Covid-19 was no worse than the normal flu.

    The R0 numbers for the two viruses should tell you all you need to know.

  66. This piece is now obviously outdated, but the data was from week 12 (6. – 22. March) COVID-19 deaths didn’t take off in Italy and Spain before week 13. That was obvious when looking at the data even then, and I have a hard time understanding how you didn’t just look up the deaths for that week and immediately understand why there was no excess mortality (yet).

    And, as expected, week 13 showed a spike in Italy and Spain mortality rates with both countries in the “very high” category. Now, week 14 is even worse:

    https://www.euromomo.eu/index.html

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