Are lockdowns working?

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

In recent weeks, behind the scenes, a battle royal has been raging among the epidemiologists advising governments. On one side are the activists, who argue that the Chinese virus is both more infectious and likely to prove more fatal than influenza, a deadly combination.

The activists’ strongest arguments are that in the early stages of a pandemic the daily growth rate is exponential; that in the absence of determined control measures a quarter of the global population would be infected by the end of May; and that continued exponential growth at the daily compound rate of almost 20% (entailing a doubling every 3.8 days) that prevailed until mid-March would rapidly overwhelm not only the hospitals but also the morgues, as has already happened in Spain and northern Italy.

On the other side are the passivists, who argue that after a few weeks in lockdown people will cease to observe the restrictions, introducing a second wave of infection. They hold that the best thing to do is let everyone become infected, let the old and the sick die, let the health services collapse, and leave the population to acquire what the lamentable Chief Officer of Health in London described at a press conference some weeks ago as “herd immunity”. The international outcry at this crass remark led the British government to backtrack at once.

I declare an interest. When it comes to preventing pandemics, I am an activist. The earlier one interferes with the exponential growth of a pathogen as infectious as the Chinese virus, the less the cost in lives and treasure. When HIV first emerged, I minuted the Cabinet to the effect that there should be universal testing, followed by immediate, compulsory and permanent isolation of carriers. No such action was taken, unfortunately. The result is that some 50 million have died of HIV, another 500,000 a year die of it, and the cost of treating those who are HIV-positive is heavy. Nearly all those deaths were preventable.

The Chinese virus is considerably more infectious and more fatal than HIV. Realizing this, the British Prime Minister, after weeks of listening to the internal wranglings between the activist and passivist public-health scientists, who were unable to agree among themselves, took a command decision to lock down the United Kingdom firmly, completely and for as long as might be necessary. He was persuaded by modeling from Imperial College, London, showing just how rapidly the National Health Service would be overwhelmed if things went on as the passivists wished. It was clear to the Prime Minister that patients suffering from diseases other than the Chinese virus would be placed at risk as the health system collapsed.

Mr Trump, who, like Mr Johnson (and me) was by instinct reluctant to subject the entire population to house arrest and to cause dislocation and damage to the economy, eventually came to a similar view. The situation is more complicated in the United States, where the individual states rather than the Federal administration are chiefly responsible for public-health measures. But in many states, as in many nations round the world, lockdowns of varying severity have been introduced. The activists have thus far prevailed.

But are the lockdowns working? A simple performance indicator, clear enough to show people whether or not the house arrest and related measures to which they are being subjected should be persisted in, is necessary. Remarkably, however, no such benchmark test is yet available. Therefore, I have been researching the statistics and propose the following test. The reference period for the test is the three weeks from January 22 to 14 March 2020, the date on which Mr Trump declared a national emergency. During the reference period, the mean compound daily growth rate in confirmed cases was 19.8%. Confirmed cases were thus doubling worldwide every 3.8 days.

To demonstrate the extent to which mitigation measures are or are not working, the benchmark test calculates the mean daily compound growth rate in confirmed cases of infection for successive seven-day periods ending on every day from March 14 to the present. Here is the test for the world excluding China and occupied Tibet (whose Communist regime cannot be trusted to tell the truth about case numbers, or about anything else much); for the United States, and for the two worst-affected European nations, Italy and Spain:

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All four nations show an inexorable reduction in the daily rate of growth (though it remains dangerously high). The most impressive results are those for Italy, the first country in Europe to impose a strictish lockdown. During the reference period, the Italian growth rate was more than 30% per day, and cases were doubling every 2.6 days. But the lockdown is beginning to work. In the week to April 2, the daily growth rate in Italy was down to 5.2%. Even that is an alarming value: it would lead to a doubling of cases every two weeks. But the trend in the daily growth rate is firmly downward, and it will probably continue that way – provided, that is, that people can see, as they can from this test, that the lockdown is indeed working. In the world outside China, as more and more countries introduce lockdowns, the daily growth rate has declined from 19.8% in the reference period to 11% in the week to April 2. In the United States, the daily growth rate has declined a little, from 23.1% in the reference period to 16.2% in the week to April 1.

Here is the benchmark test for four more countries: three in Europe and one for South Korea. All four countries show declines in the daily growth rate of confirmed cases. But in South Korea the pandemic is almost under control:

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The reason for the success in South Korea is that, following the SARS epidemic, the public health authorities fully understood the paramount importance of very widespread testing, immediate isolation of carriers and vigorous contact-tracing, including use of the cellphone network to identify where the carriers had been and whom they had met. The EU has picked up this idea, though the UK – in this as in much else – lags behind.

In particular, ever since the SARS epidemic the Korean public health authorities have maintained a very large testing capacity. They activated it as soon as they realized that the director of the World Health Organization, who has close links to the Peking regime and had as recently as January been parroting Chinese propaganda to the effect that the virus could not be transmitted from human to human, could not be relied upon.

Britain will be calling for an independent investigation of the WHO’s gross misconduct in this affair as soon as the pandemic is under control.

South Korea also adopted national lockdown. The public health authorities also recommend use of personal protective equipment (notably face-masks) not only by health professionals but also by the general public when outdoors. In this respect, too, the South Korean public health authorities disagree with the WHO, which has today announced it is reconsidering its notion that masks are valueless. The director of Korea’s public health authority bluntly says that the evidence that masks work is overwhelming.

Following his advice rather than that of the useless WHO, I wear a full-face motorcycle helmet and gauntlets whenever I leave our own grounds. Full-face protection is useful, according to the South Koreans, because the Chinese virus can enter the body not only through the nose and mouth but also through the mucous membranes of the eyes. Even wearing spectacles provides some measure of additional protection. As South Korea’s expert made clear in an excellent recent interview, it is necessary to obtain every advantage one can, because each additional barrier to transmission helps to bring the pandemic under control.

It is South Korea, then, that provides the clearest evidence that prompt, determined and vigorous control measures work, and work well.

Both Germany and France have done quite well in beginning to control the pandemic. Their mean daily growth rates were down from more than 30% in the benchmark period to around 10% in the week to April 2. The United Kingdom, however, had a daily growth rate of 16.4% in that week: a value scarcely better than the global 19.8% during the reference period from January 22 to March 14. The UK is the worst-performing of the 12 territories tracked here.

Germany and France both took advantage of the EU’s system for supplying both testing kits and personal protective equipment for health professionals. The UK, however, failed to respond to the EU’s email in time. Worse, British civil servants are so used to acting simply as passive agents for the Brussels tyranny-by-clerk that they were more or less completely unprepared for a pandemic, and the flapping-around is saddening to watch.

The former director of “Public Health England”, a grim but useless bureaucracy, was asked four times yesterday why it was that Germany had tested more than 500,000 of its citizens in all, while Britain had not yet managed to test 10,000 in any one day. He could not answer.

Here are benchmark tests for four more countries: Canada, Australia, Sweden and Ireland. Note that for Ireland the benchmark period is the two weeks to March 14 rather than three weeks, because Ireland began to report cases later than other countries.

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From the point of view of the passivists, Sweden is the most interesting result. For its public health authorities are passivists: they have not introduced a lockdown. Yet their daily growth rate has fallen to 10%, among the lowest anywhere. Nevertheless, there is growing concern among health professionals in Sweden that the do-little option may yet prove fatal. It is possible, then, that Sweden will follow other European countries in imposing a strict lockdown in the near future. In the past ten days, other countries have seen a decline in the daily growth rate of confirmed cases, but Sweden, uniquely, has not.

Overall, the benchmark test show – at this early stage – that the lockdowns are beginning to work. The daily growth rate in confirmed cases is falling in those countries that have been locked down, and is tending to fall fastest in countries with the most determined control measures.

The next few weeks will be particularly interesting, because it is in the nature of exponential growth curves that, just as the growth is very rapid if control measures are not tough enough, the slowing of growth is just as rapid when the measures really begin to bite.

Over the next few weeks, the extent of the lockdowns’ success or failure will become evident. For this reason, I propose to update the benchmark tables daily until further notice.

It should be made clear that the benchmark test is not policy-prescriptive. It merely shows, in a dispassionate fashion based on the available data (warts and all) the extent to which control measures are or are not working, territory by territory and for the world excluding China.

Finally, the question arises whether the official data on which I have relied are trustworthy. The answer is that they are not, for the lack of widespread testing has entailed a very substantial understatement of the numbers infected.

Take the United States as an illustration. On average the Chinese virus takes five days to incubate and a further 16 days to kill those to whom it proves fatal. The least unreliable of the official statistics are those for deaths caused by the virus. On February 29 the United States reported its first death from the virus. The World Health Organization, which had originally estimated a death rate of 2% (as it had with SARS, whose death rate was actually 9.6%), now estimates it at 3.4%. In that event, 21 days previously, on February 8, there must have been 1 / 3.4%, or 29 cases. However, only five cases were reported. But if there were 29 cases on February 8, and if the growth rate for unreported cases is the same as for reported cases, the true number of cases by February 29 was not 5, as reported, but more than 2300.

Performing a similar calculation for each day until April 2 would lead us to conclude that there were not 26,500 cases of infection in total by that day, as reported by the U.S. administration, but 36 million. Curiously, if this were true it would not be all bad news. For the death rate would then be less than 0.02%, rather than the WHO’s 3.4%.

What is more, since only 6000 deaths have been reported in the U.S., the vast majority of those infected would have suffered symptoms little worse than those of the common cold and have recovered, in which event the “herd immunity” of which the British public health commissar spoke is being built up at a rapid rate.

If the death rate is only 1%, it is possible that 123 million people – more than one-third of the U.S. population – are already infected. If, however, it is 10%, as for SARS, then about 12 million U.S. citizens are infected.

What, then, is the true death rate? This early in the pandemic, the answer is that nobody really knows, even to within an order of magnitude. The standard method of obtaining a preliminary assessment of the death rate in the early stages of a pandemic is to consider the closed cases – those who, having been infected, have either recovered or died. Until April 2, 135,447 people outside China and occupied Tibet were reported as recovered from the infection, while 49,845 had died. Therefore, 185,252 had either recovered or died, and the deaths represented not 2% nor 3.4% but almost 27% of all these closed cases. I have not seen that figure reported anywhere, but that is the figure.

If the death rate is indeed 27%, then only 4.6 million U.S. citizens are infected, compared with the reported. However, the 27% figure should be regarded with some caution, since it takes no account of the under-reporting of cases, many of which will have been recoveries or asymptomatic. But it does suggest that of the currently-active 748,153 confirmed cases outside China more than 200,000 will be likely to die worldwide.

The Chinese virus, then, will be a biggish killer, either because far more are infected than are being reported or because the death rate is higher than the WHO imagines, or both. At this stage, we do not know: but no responsible government, seeing figures such as these, would consider itself as acting responsibly if it were to fail to ensure that energetic control measures were put in place.

In all this mishmash of competing statistics, the one certainty is the daily mean rate at which reported cases have been increasing. That is why I have chosen this measure as the basis for the benchmark test.

My hypothesis is that, thanks to the decisive measures taken by most governments, the daily growth rate of total confirmed cases will continue to fall, and that about 1-2 weeks from now the fall will become quite rapid, perhaps buying enough time for health services to increase their capacity to handle intensive-care patients on ventilators, and to perform antigen tests for the presence of the virus and, no less importantly, antibody tests to demonstrate that those who have recovered are immune.

If the daily growth rates do not fall very quickly to South Korean values, then the capacity of health services will be overwhelmed. As of yesterday, the hospital ship sent by President Trump to New York had just three patients on board. Expect the ship to be filled to capacity within days.

Keep safe. And come back here daily for the updated benchmark test.

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740 thoughts on “Are lockdowns working?

    • In China normal mortality is 7/1,000 annually, which calculates to well over 20,000/day. It doesn’t appear credible that the China’s Covid-19 mortality is only 3,000+ over the period of couple of months, when at the same period up to or even more than a million other deaths are recorded. It is even more ridiculous when the Italian or Spanish mortality of 10,000+ is compared to the Chinese, considering that the China’s population is almost some 30 times greater.

      • When XI wiped out political rivals a few years ago (assuming that was true) I wonder if those people were reported dead or missing

        🙁

        Trusting China is like trust Russia

          • Is like trust con- gress

            Stimulus IV: Last Chance for the Green New Deal?

            https://www.masterresource.org/krebs-mark/stimulus-iv-green-new-deal/

            Don’t forget that just before the World was upended by coronavirus, we had another deep-decarbonization electrification bill: the 555-page American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA).

            Since “clean energy” unfairly discriminates against the leading (and clean) alternatives to electricity, this is contrary to the best interests of free markets and providing affordable energy for consumers.

            Yes; another “stimulus” bill is possible and perhaps even likely. Expect Nancy Pelosi’s “Green New Deal” to be part of this effort given that the Senate and the President said NO to subsidies for solar panels and wind turbines in the CARES Act.

            Numerous special interests didn’t get their piece of the pie and were promised another shot in order to move the CARES Act out of the Senate. It’s all politics, not consumer economics, for the pack of lobbyists in an election year, trading campaign contributions for legislative favors.

          • In the meantime the Canadian Parliament increased its salaries for Members on 1 April, and the carbon tax was increased by 50%.

      • You are confusing the vast country of China with Wuhan city. Then comparing this to Northern regions of Italy and leaving out the fact Wuhan and other cities in China were under strict lock-d0wn way and way fast than Italy responded after the first hundred infected.

        Those mortality figures will not be the national disaster but mostly personal ones. The consequences for economy are the main problem and will make this comparison games look childish soon.

        • Question for JD,
          Did China’s strict lock-down occur before or after CV-19 was already spread overseas? Wouldn’t CV-19 be spread inside China at the same time it was moving around the globe? Did the CCP lock down national travel while allowing international travel?

          As of noon CT yesterday, reported CV-19 fatalities were:
          EU – 35,419
          US – 6,099
          UK – 3,605
          China – 3,322

        • JD is not correct.
          The first case of COVID in Wuhan was back in November or December and the lockdown didn’t start until January 22nd. Before which 5 million people left Wuhan when it was announced.
          At no time did China prevent them from leaving China.
          But they are now intercepting every single one going back.

      • “The Chinese virus is considerably more infectious and more fatal than HIV.”

        Erm… no. It’s more infectious, certainly, but until modern anti-retrovirals were developed, HIV eventually killed practically everyone who had it.

        COVID-19? Most people are asymptomatic.

    • @ Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

      When HIV first emerged, I minuted the Cabinet to the effect that there should be universal testing, followed by immediate, compulsory and permanent isolation of carriers. No such action was taken, unfortunately. The result is that some 50 million have died of HIV, another 500,000 a year die of it, and the cost of treating those who are HIV-positive is heavy. Nearly all those deaths were preventable.

      Does anyone else, other than me, … remember, or admit that they remember, ….. the uproar, and screaming, and badmouthing, and claims of violence against Fidel Castro for implanting this, to wit:

      Cuba’s response to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic has been unique. Mass testing for HIV antibodies, for the most part compulsory, and a mandatory relative quarantine of all persons testing positive is official policy
      https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.81.5.563

      • Medically speaking, Cuba hit way above its weight when it came to health, including the training of so many medical professionals and doctors. And they did and do still export some of their expertise including work on vaccines for cancers. It is just too bad that they had a totalitarian regime that made for the Dr. making the same pay as a taxi driver…maybe less, since taxi drivers got to keep their tips.

        Such is is the curse of socialist Marxism. Cuba could have been so much more had it not been for the corrupt totalitarian control and bungling of much of the economy and foreign affairs. But they did do health remarkably well including basic education, while they destroyed their economy with worthless ideologies. Such is the nature of getting the basic ideology wrong, as we see across much of the good Earth.

        • re: ” But they did do health remarkably well”

          Not buying this part: Don’t trust China’s health/epidemic stats – why would you ever trust Fidel’s – I mean Cuba’s stats?

          • Jim, I agree.
            Cuba’s real healthcare system is pathetic. They have a few places which are for the high priests and their families in the Communist regime and that is what they show to foreigners and fools like Michael Moore. The healthcare for the masses is quite poor and antiquated.
            Castro sends his doctors all over the world for WHO into highly infectious areas. He pockets big bucks for them from WHO and pays them 5 bucks a day for their services abroad.
            I’ve never heard of a vaccine for cancer and have no idea what Earthling is talking about. It sounds like he drank the Communist propaganda Kool-aid.
            On the bright side, doctors in the US think they could have saved Chavez. The best of Cuban healthcare killed him. Always a silver lining.
            As for HIV, it’s always easy to do something when you run a totalitarian regime and people are forced to obey and none dare complain about what is done to them. The free world rungs a tad differently.

          • KcTaz – April 4, 2020 at 12:31 pm

            He pockets big bucks for them from WHO and pays them 5 bucks a day for their services abroad.

            KcTaz, you are talking silly, …. like as if you are afflicted with “Trump Derangement Syndrome”.

            If Castro was mistreating those Doctors even when they were practicing in another county, why didn’t that all flee to the US where they could have made million$, ….. huh, …. huh?

            You should be careful of what “brand” of Kool Aide you drink.

          • re: “If Castro was mistreating those Doctors even when they were practicing in another county, why didn’t that all flee to the US”

            Boat people; Escape from Cuber (Cuba) edition.

            Title: “What Is It Like To Escape Cuba By Raft?”
            It begins: There are over 1.1 million Cuban immigrants in the United States, and even more than other immigrant groups, they have clustered, with over two-thirds living in greater Miami. What unites this group is not dislike of their home country, but the need to leave the Castro brothers’ Communist regime. Without the money or legal ability to fly out, however, many have risked their lives by floating on man-made rafts to Florida, Mexico and elsewhere. Thousands of these raft people—or “balseros”—are traversing the streets of Miami, carrying a memory that is seldom-discussed in Cuban culture. But I recently lived there, and found one balsero willing to tell his story.

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbeyer/2016/03/01/what-is-it-like-to-escape-cuba-by-raft/#1a1e6958a0e2

          • KcTaz April 4, 2020 at 12:31 pm

            I am certainly not a fan of communist China or their totalitarian regime. But for a third world impoverished nation, which much of it is their own fault, the two things that they have done more of than most in their same economic capacity is basic education and medical. I most certainly haven’t drunk of any communist Kool-aid as you suggest, for making a basic comment that Cuba has done more than other nations regarding health and training doctors. That doesn’t mean I support communist Cuba, but their basic education level surpasses America at the K-12 level.

            Wile technically not a true vaccine that prevents lung cancer, the following link shows what work they are doing with various cancer research, which is very promising. It works like a vaccine for treatment of lung cancer, but it doesn’t prevent lung cancer from forming. They are collaborating with various American organizations. The following fat check by snopes.com is enlightening to a degree.

            https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cuba-cancer-vaccine/

          • re: ” I most certainly haven’t drunk of any communist Kool-aid as you suggest, for making a basic comment that Cuba has done more than other nations regarding health and training doctors. ”

            Still no sale. *I* could probably qualify as a doctor in Cuber (Cuba), and I am assuredly not a doc, as could others here on this forum …

          • Comparing Cuba’s GDP to other countries of similar GDP, they have done a lot more than any other in their GDP class with what little $$ resources they do have. Same for basic education, where everyone at least got a basic education, which as it stands presently is higher educated than the average American. Of course that isn’t saying a lot anymore considering the state of of education here.

            It isn’t any secret that Cuba is known for its concentration on medical health training, and export of Drs to various parts of the world where they try and influence their form of socialism/Marxism and earn foreign currency while their folk at home have to bring their own sheets and light bulbs to the hospital. I am not advocating for Cuba other than they have a lot of potential there if they could get the right political ideology and style of government. They are 39th on the list of life longevity at 78.6 years old…USA is 38th at 78.9 years. So while their GDP is on par with the majority of really poor countries that have a 55 year life expectancy as per GDP, they are right behind the USA in life expectancy. They must be doing something different than the typical 3rd world country.

            But I do appreciate your point of view, which had me digging a little more for information. I came across this link that supports your position, but also mine, and also a bit of Sam’s. A short interesting read on an American who trained as a Dr. in Cuba.
            And below the first link, is one that is more geared to your point go view, which I will fully admit that healthcare for the masses in Cuba is wanting, because of their political system and subsequent GDP having not much high tech med equipment. I learned more today than I knew yesterday. That’s what I like about this site, where we can all exchange ideas and learn something new.

            http://theconversation.com/is-the-cuban-healthcare-system-really-as-great-as-people-claim-69526

            https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/think-the-cuban-healthcare-system-is-ideal-no-cigar-not-even-close

          • @ _Jim, Earthling2 and KcTaz …..

            Apparently you all don’t realize that Cuba was/is the only country in the world that the United States government did their damnest to protect the military dictatorship of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista against the rebellion led by Fidel Castro.

            The US not only didn’t supply aid or armament to the Cuban revolutionaries, they fronted the Bay of Pigs Invasion and tried to kill Castro several times after he took control. “DUH”, it was the millionaire crime bosses and sugar plantation owners that escaped to Florida before Castro took control that was the “political” force that got the embargo put on Cuba and insured it stay all those years. Tourist operators in the US didn’t want Cuban travel restrictions done away with.

            Just think what the Cuban people would be enjoying today, iffen the US had helped them like they did the Iraqi’s, etc., etc.,

            But no, the politicians took the bribes ….. I mean election donations, …… from the millionaire Cuban refugees living in Florida because they want control of their sugar plantation again and the slave labor to operate them.

            “HA”, they can produce sugar in Cuba @ $0.02/pound ….. and sell it in the US for $2.00/pound.

          • re: “The US not only didn’t supply aid or armament to the Cuban revolutionaries, ”

            You have a most warped perspective and trouble seeing reality, I think. No amount of argument is possible to change your mind, as you are immune to logic, resistant to facts, and are wedded/joined at the hip with some really idealistic notions that warp your ‘whirled’ view.

            I still point to the “elections” that Castro promised, but never, ever ‘held’. Communists, it seems, lie. That’s the takeaway for a rational man.

          • _Jim – April 6, 2020 at 8:29 am

            You have a most warped perspective and trouble seeing reality, I think. No amount of argument is possible to change your mind, as you are immune to logic, resistant to facts,

            Shur nuff, …. Jim, ……typical reaction from a lefty liberal partisan Democrat, …… you attack the messenger instead of the message. You all are so totally afflicted with “Republican Derangement Syndrome” that you actually believe that the more you “criticize” and ”badmouth” your opponent, ….. the smarter you are and the more arguments you win.

            Jim, it is obvious that you hate/hated Castro simply because your Democrat ‘handlers’ have always told you that is what you should be doing, ….. to support another Batista and all Miami Cubans and fight to strip the Castro brothers of their political power.

            “DUH”, Batista was far worse for the Cuban people that Castro could ever have hoped to have been.

            To wit, read the reality of why the Cuban Revolution was launched ….. and why the Democrats tried to kill Castro:

            n March 1952, Cuban military general Fulgencio Batista seized power in a military coup, with the elected President Carlos Prío Socarrás fleeing to Mexico. Declaring himself president, Batista cancelled the planned presidential elections, describing his new system as “disciplined democracy”;

            Castro, like many others, considered it a one-man dictatorship. Batista developed ties with the United States, severing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, suppressing trade unions and persecuting Cuban socialist groups.

            Intent on opposing Batista’s administration, Castro brought several legal cases against them, arguing that Batista had committed sufficient criminal acts to warrant imprisonment and accusing various ministers of breaching labor laws. His lawsuits coming to nothing, Castro began thinking of alternate ways to oust the new government.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Castro_in_the_Cuban_Revolution

            Jim, iffen you wait till you are too old, ……. you can’t learn new things

          • Repeat, SCC (IOW, you are posting ‘repeat’ material.)

            I think your “argument” is with human nature, because what determines/drives human nature (and b/c of its fall from grace in the Garden Of Eden incident) is what determines human action and events in this corporeal ‘stream’, but, you don’t realize that, rather, you want every ‘jot and tittle’ (transgression) addressed on this earthly plane. Won’t work and will NEVER happen; You tilt against windmills. Rather, repent, say your prayers and the Holy Rosary, asking for guidance and wisdom from the Holy Spirit.

            That is all. Out.

          • Jim – April 6, 2020 at 8:29 am

            You have a most warped perspective and trouble seeing reality, I think. No amount of argument is possible to change your mind, as you are immune to logic, resistant to facts,

            Shur nuff, …. Jim, ……typical reaction from a liberal partisan Democrat, …… you attack the messenger instead of the message

            Jim, it is obvious that you support the Cuban embargo that has kept the Cuban people poor and destitute for the past 50 years ….. just to punish one (1) man, Fidel Castro.

            Did you support giving billion$ to the Palestinians even though Arafat kept most and wasted the rest on guns n’ ammo for killing Israelis?

            “DUH”, Batista was far worse for the Cuban people that Castro could ever have hoped to have been.

            To wit, read the reality of why the Cuban Revolution was launched ….. and why the Democrats tried to kill Castro:

            n March 1952, Cuban military general Fulgencio Batista seized power in a military coup, with the elected President Carlos Prío Socarrás fleeing to Mexico. Declaring himself president, Batista cancelled the planned presidential elections, describing his new system as “disciplined democracy”;

            Castro, like many others, considered it a one-man dictatorship. Batista developed ties with the United States, severing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, suppressing trade unions and persecuting Cuban socialist groups.

            Intent on opposing Batista’s administration, Castro brought several legal cases against them, arguing that Batista had committed sufficient criminal acts to warrant imprisonment and accusing various ministers of breaching labor laws. His lawsuits coming to nothing, Castro began thinking of alternate ways to oust the new government.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Castro_in_the_Cuban_Revolution

          • re: “typical reaction from a liberal partisan Democrat, …… you attack the messenger instead of the message”

            Idiot. It’s your communist ideology that stinks, not you. Is that your def of an ad hom – calling out one’s ideology? You may be more twisted than you know, at that rate.

            I ask again, why did Castro suspend calling ELECTIONS (effectively) forever? Didn’t he “educate” the “Cuban people” sufficiently after 10, 20, 30 years or more (of indoctrination) after which he could have ‘held’ elections?

            re: “To wit, read the reality of why the Cuban Revolution was launched ”

            Nuts. You choose the worse ‘dictator’ of the two. With Batista at least he wasn’t crazy like el loco Fidel.

            Samuel C Cogar, Fidel apologist extraordinaire …

        • Yes. And Fidel did such an amazing job with his health care system that when he got seriously ill for the first time he went straight to consultations with medical professionals in Madrid when his own surgical recovery turned south.

        • If Cuba had not been subsidized by the USSR with billions of dollars it would have become another Haiti in very short order.

          • john harmsworth – April 4, 2020 at 1:22 pm

            If Cuba had not been subsidized by the USSR with billions of dollars it would have become another Haiti in very short order.

            Place the blame …. where blame is due.

            The United States currently imposes a commercial, economic, and financial embargo against Cuba.

            The United States first imposed an embargo on the sale of arms to Cuba on March 14, 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime.

            Again on October 19, 1960 the U.S. placed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine after Cuba nationalized American-owned Cuban oil refineries without compensation.

            On February 7, 1962 the embargo was extended to include almost all exports ….. and a travel ban was imposed on U.S. citizens visiting Cuba.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba

        • Germany hit way above its weight when it came to autobahns. And their train system was very punctual too. It’s just too bad that they had a totalitarian regime in the 1940s.

        • Back when Fidel was still breathing, I remember reading about how patients had to bring their own linens when going to the hospital.
          Since the rest of the country has gone down hill since then, I can only imagine that health care has dropped as well.

          The claim that Cuba did health care well is just more of their propaganda.

        • Earthling2 – April 4, 2020 at 7:00 am

          Cuba could have been so much more had it not been for the corrupt totalitarian control and bungling …..

          ”DUH”, …… had it not been for the US government demanding that Fidel do what they told him to do.

          Castro took control of Cuba in December 1958, by deposing American ally and dictator General Fulgencio Batista. In Batista’s Cuna there were only three (3) classes of people, ….. the very, very rich, …. the very, very poor ,,,,, and the rich tourists from the US. American politicians and gangsters loved to vacation in Cuba because of gambling and prostitution.

          American politicians hated Fidel Castro because he wouldn‘t “play ball” by their rules ,,,,, and thus the reason the US instigated the Bay of Pigs invasion on the south coast of Cuba on April 17, 1961 to depose Fidel. …… And people wonder why Castro hated the US.

          “DUH”, …… Castro played baseball with the Washington Senators baseball team but he wouldn’t play ball the DC Senators, etc.

          • re: “Castro took control of Cuba in December 1958, by deposing American ally and dictator General Fulgencio Batista. ”

            AND IMMEDIATELY Fidel practiced what he “preached” against. Funny how that works. How many times did he promise to hold elections? I think the ppl eventually lost count and gave up, rather, they ‘gave in’ to the new “strongman”, el loco Fidel. Power, when you ‘secure’ it, goes to one’s head … or was it Fidel’s intention all along? Either way, the outcome was the same: A people enslaved to an egotistical maniac. What was their to like? Unless, you like dictators, and we had (have?) no shortage of DC pols on the dem side who sympathize with the Castro bros …

            “Fair play for Cuba” SCC? Castro in the way, and ‘first in line’ to receive any monies ‘flowing’ into the country … dictators first.

          • @ Jim, …… Castro had to play “hardball”, …… because there were a million Cubans in Florida …… plus all the US politicians, including Presidents, that wanted Castro’s arse deposed, …. throwed under a bus, …….. so that the partying, boozing, gambling and prostitution could return to normal.

            Havana was a “wide open playground” for US gamblers, politicians and Agency personnel.

        • The amazing thing is that it takes us more than 9 years to train a doctor, the Cubans do it in 9 months. See how much better socialism is.

      • And when did the bath houses get shut down, and a stop put to random, anonymous, unprotected sex? Oh yeahhh … never.

        Just as our culture prefers a diet “pill” to actual dieting … so too, the gay community has preferred an HIV drug cocktail .. to lifestyle changes.

      • “When HIV first emerged, I minuted the Cabinet to the effect that there should be universal testing, followed by immediate, compulsory and permanent isolation of carriers. No such action was taken, unfortunately. The result is that some 50 million have died of HIV, another 500,000 a year die of it, and the cost of treating those who are HIV-positive is heavy. Nearly all those deaths were preventable.”

        Erm, what? 50 million have died of HIV in the UK? Or does the Viscount think the UK government still controls most of Africa?

    • There is a glimmer of hope in the just (14.00 BST) announced UK death count, which is fractionally bellow the tread line.

      • vuk

        We fortunately remain well below the average 17000 annual deaths for flu which peaked at some 40000 in 2014. This from gov stats;

        “Between December 2014 and March 2015 there were 44,000 excess winter deaths, 2.5 times higher than the record low of the previous winter, and the highest number since the winter of 1999/2000 when flu levels were very high.

        Daily deaths peaked on 1 January 2015, 35% higher than the five-year average

        Deaths peaked on 1 January last winter when daily deaths were 35% higher than the five-year average. The first part of 2015 (5 to 11 January) also saw weekly deaths at 15,000, the highest number in any given week since the last two weeks of December 1999 and first two weeks of January 2000, when flu levels were very high.

        Daily deaths were above the five-year average on 304 out of 365 days in 2014/15. There were only two days during the winter period where daily deaths fell below the five year average, and on both occasions, the difference was less than fifteen deaths.”

        tonyb

        • In response to tonyb, the problem with coronavirus, compared with flu, is that coronavirus is both more infectious and more fatal than flu, which is why the daily case growth rate has been so high. if that growth rate were to continue at anything like its present level, within weeks it would be apparent to all that the previous records for excess deaths thanks to flu will be handsomely overtaken. That is why prompt action should have been taken to test, contact-trace, test again and isolate; and, once that action had not been taken in time, it was necessary – albeit with understandable reluctance, and unfortunately far too late – to introduce lockdowns.

          • Monckton of Brenchley,

            Sir, thank you for responding to the comments. It is much appreciated.
            With great respect I wanted to ask you about your statement that So. Korea shut down. Per this, which is an excellent video of an interview with So. Korea’s Head of Infection Control, So. Korea did not lock down. It did testing and contact tracing and isolation of those people with COVID and people who were exposed to those with it. They did not and still have not locked down their general population. In fact, the good Doctor sounds like he would have preferred a lock down and rather lamented that the bars have remained open and their young flock to them. However, he did not seem to think it was possible to lock down the country.
            You can hear him yourself here.
            If it is possible for you, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this as it seems to contradict what you think So. Korea has done.

            You Need To Listen To This Leading COVID-19 Expert From South Korea | ASIAN BOSS
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAk7aX5hksU&feature=youtu.be

            •Mar 27, 2020

          • Christopher

            It appears that testing is not that reliable Even in Germany

            https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/corona-challenge-germany-reaching-the-upper-limit-of-testing-capacity-a-4d75e7bd-dd0e-41e3-9f09-eb4364c43f2e

            It also appears that in Germany you are only counted as a cv death if you actually die BECAUSE of cv not merely WITH it as happens in the uK

            The latest WHO guidelines are those the UK follows but it means that those who died With Cv don’t properly represent the majority who in reality died of something else.

            In Italy the Italian health authorities estimate only some 12% of those who died WITH cv actually died BECaUSE of it.

            That is not just a fine distinction but means cv deaths are hugely overestimated.

            Cv is highly infectious but generally mild in its effect except for a small proportion of the population . Of course proper precautions need to be taken with testing and quarantine but does not require the draconian over reaction we have seen

            Tonyb

          • Lord Monckton,
            I have raised this question from the beginning and often.
            I do not see the COVID-19 as ‘more infectious’ . When you relate positives to tests performed with the only data reporting both parameters that I have and trust ( https://depts.washington.edu/labmed/covid19/ ). The Wuhan Virus appears to have been largely prevalent at the same rate for the entire series.

            As far as mortality, people are largely dying in about the same proportion by age as usual, so why is the virus ‘more fatal than flu’.

            And, as raised on ‘Crowd Source the Truth’ along with aliens, comets and flights without tail numbers was that John Hopkins was reporting few deaths or infections in places like Vietnam. The point made was that we should either be sending medical teams to clear up the dead and dying or to research their response. A response clearly working magnificently!

          • “Lord Monckton,
            I have raised this question from the beginning and often.
            I do not see the COVID-19 as ‘more infectious’ .”

            It’s thought COVID-19 spreads by breathing.
            A german study indicates in starts in throat, and may spread to lungs, and lungs may recover, and “ends” where started in the throat.
            And it’s not in stool sample of the infected and not in the blood {and antibodies will of course be in the blood- or testing blood, then you testing for antibodies to it.

            And this problem will not having general public not wearing masks, it spreads even if a person is not coughing. All you need is a lot people breathing in a confined space.
            Trains, planes, and subways and bars and filled restaurants are potential heavy breeding grounds for it. As would be a packed stadium.

          • Mr Baikie says he does not see the Chinese virus as more infectious than flu. He provides no analysis, however. What can be said is that at present the daily deaths from the virus aretwice that for flu, and the death rates are likely to increase for at least another two or three weeks even in those countries with reasonably effective lockdowns.

          • “Monckton of Brenchley April 5, 2020 at 3:57 am
            Mr Baikie says he does not see the Chinese virus as more infectious than flu. He provides no analysis, however.”

            I did not provide analysis, true.
            I don’t think I said Chinese virus is not more infectious than flu.

            John Broadbent said:
            “Lord Monckton,
            I have raised this question from the beginning and often.
            I do not see the COVID-19 as ‘more infectious’

            And John Broadbent is seems unaware of the possibility [or near certainty] that fewer people could have immunity to Chinese flu {because it’s apparently a new virus}.

            Plus I said:
            “It’s thought COVID-19 spreads by breathing.”

            Which by itself, should indicate it’s fast spreader- particularly if not much immunity to it.

            COVID-19 will also spread from coughing on someone, or shaking their hands, but will spread if merely breathing or speaking in their general direction, and can spread before the person who is breathing or speaking has any symptoms of having a cold or flu.

        • Look at Willis’s graph available at WUWT banner. Most every western country is following the UK curve except France and US which are simply 10 days offset due to government failure to accept their own stats. Already these countries have passed a death toll that is triple the monthly influenza death toll. It’s too early to tell but all seem destined to level off at 20 or 30 times the monthly influenza death toll. Which is 2 or 3% of ALL deaths. What does this mean ? If 2 or 3% of all deaths occurred at football stadiums, it probably wouldn’t stop anyone from going to football games….if 2 or 3% of deaths were the result of airplane crashes, nobody would get on an airplane….it depends on your perspective….

      • What are we accomplishing here?

        If we’re attempting to ‘flatten the curve’ to prevent swamping the hospitals, that’s not exactly worked… hospitals are getting swamped. My own hospital emailed me, begging for any N95 masks I might have. We’ve slightly wiggled the curve, that’s it. We’ve been locked down for weeks, and that curve has barely moved. No ‘flattening’ is in evidence.

        If we’re attempting to save lives, that’ll never work. Those who’d die from the virus are still going to die, just x days later than they would have done.

        Meanwhile, we’re creating a financial firestorm the likes of which all of humanity has never experienced… how many people are going to die because of that? No way to tell, but by all indications, it’s going to be bad.

        We should have told the elderly and immune-compromised to shelter-in-place until this virus passes or we have a viable vaccine (with financial aid to get them through if they needed it), while telling the young and the healthy to continue on with their lives while suggesting they wear gloves and masks to slow the spread.

        We further should have told people to pre-dose with quinine and zinc. We’ve known since 2005 that, as the National Institutes of Health state, chloroquine (and hydroxychloroquine, and quinine, given that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are synthetic derivatives of quinine) “is a potent inhibitor of SARS”… and given that SARS attaches to the same sialic acid moeities as Covid19 does, those compounds have the same effect against Covid19 (and MERS), because quinine (chloroquine / hydroxychloroquine) interferes with sialic acid biosynthesis, making it more difficult for the virus to attach to cells.

        No mandatory lockdown, no loss of freedoms, no economic chaos, we gain herd immunity much quicker, we have the time to develop a vaccine for those who are elderly or immune-compromised… that’s common sense, which apparently isn’t so common anymore.

        Instead, we have idiotic democrat governors banning the use of chloroquine for off-label use (other drugs are used off-label all the time… why chloroquine, why now?) and hiding ventilators because ‘orange man bad’. We have doctors prescribing Flo-nase (which does nothing) and Ibuprofen (which causes further problems). We’re putting people on ventilators with little hope of them ever coming off them. We’re damaging people and destroying livelihoods.

        And what happens when we un-lock? We’ve had billions of healthy people not exposed, so they’ve not gained herd immunity… we’re going to have a resurgence of the infectivity rate. What then? Do we lock down again and wreak more financial havoc and cause more death because our hospitals are already swamped and a resurgence will only make things worse? Where does this end?

        It ends when we get herd immunity. Any delays of attaining that just does damage. Nanny-state ninnies are causing more damage, they are not helping.

        I pre-dosed, I was exposed (likely multiple times, but one time for sure (a guy I work alongside had it and coughed in my vicinity all day (thinking it was just a cold) before going out sick, later learning it was Covid19)), and all I got was a slight tickle in my throat, a bit of tiredness, and that was it. It was gone the next day. I never wore a mask, I never wore gloves, I never followed any of the usually-suggested precautions. Where I work, I’m exposed to international travelers, and I’m touching biometric devices that everyone touches.

        Pre-dosing with 83 mg / day of quinine would, by my calculations, decrease infectivity by an average of ~50%… that would flatten the curve nearly completely, reducing R0 to ~1.1, while drastically increasing herd immunity without swamping the hospitals (because healthy people don’t have to deal with a burgeoning infection while their bodies clear the virus, they can clear it quickly and with few adverse effects).

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/27/friday-funny-or-not-so-funny/#comment-2950329

        We can’t run from this thing, we can’t hide from it… the only way is through.

        • An old Chinese ‘bat lady’ from Wuhan wet market apparently (if you do believe it) achieved what Karl Marks, Vladimir Ilich, Joseph Vissarionovich, and Mao tse Tung could have not even dreamed off, i.e. putting capitalist economy on its knees in one single swoop. There are heaps of skeletons rattling with grotesque laughter in some kind of communist heaven. /sarc

          • I heard (and this is only an unconfirmed rumor) that the bats came from research on-going at the Wuhan biolab. Apparently a worker there collected the dead bats and sold them to the wet market as a way of making a bit of extra scratch, thinking the virus they’d been infected with wouldn’t cross over to humans, and would be killed during cooking anyway.

            As to why the biolab was studying it… I can only guess that bats are important to agriculture (they eat bugs which eat crops), and the biolab was attempting to induce immunity to the virus within the bat population.

            That would be in keeping with Hanlon’s Razor, and would, in my own thinking, be a much more forgivable error than the biolab attempting to create bioweapons.

          • Vuk, I think the jury is still out on that. The MSM seems to be all in on the wet market theory and, while that is entirely plausible, there seems to be much conflicting information. Early on, reports said the first of the infected had not been to that market.
            Then, there is this and one wonders how many of the folks who published this are still alive or, at least, roaming free.

            I know it’s CNN but even a stopped clock… Plus, this was written a bit before our media decided to advance Chinese propaganda instead of seek the truth. Who knows? It’s China.

            Evidence is mounting that coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab. A Chinese university is the latest to make such claims.
            February 17, 2020
            https://www.ccn.com/bombshell-chinese-study-fuels-conspiracy-coronavirus-bioweapon/

            A bombshell study by the South China University of Technology reveals coronavirus could have started in a lab just 300 yards away from the Wuhan seafood market.
            The study seems believable when you consider the unusual characteristics of coronavirus.
            The Chinese government’s authoritarian practices are fanning the bioweapon-conspiracy flames…
            * The study seems believable when you consider the unusual characteristics of coronavirus.
            * The Chinese government’s authoritarian practices are fanning the bioweapon-conspiracy flames.

          • re: “I think the jury is still out on that. The MSM seems to be all in on the wet market theory …”

            ‘Wet’ market == blood (live animals slaughtered on-the-spot while-u-wait) market.

            As in “wet work” in the military means … blood is eventually ‘spilled’.

          • That would be the bat virus that is commonly found in wild bats?

            BTW, where did you hear this rumor? At the local pub?

          • I heard it from friends of my Chinese wife, who live near Wuhan.

            Bats are rife with viruses. They are a vector for more than 60 human-infectious viruses.

            It was most likely the Chinese horseshoe bat, which is known to carry a virus closely related to Covid19. SARS, MERS, Marburg, Nipah, Hendra were bat viruses, too. They can also carry Ebola without getting sick. And rabies, but they are affected by that.

            The biolab may have been attempting to induce an immune system response to the virus in the bats to ‘clean up’ the virus problem in bats. Apparently, flying is so physically demanding that their muscle cells break down, leaving bits of DNA floating around in their body most of the time… in us that’d trigger an inflammatory response and kick our immune systems into high gear. In bats, it doesn’t do that. So they never really clean up any viruses, they just live with them.

            Direct from the Wuhan lab:
            https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/11/3/210

        • Look at Willis’s graph available at WUWT banner. Most every western country is following the UK curve except France and US which are simply 10 days offset due to government failure to accept their own stats. Already these countries have passed a death toll that is triple the monthly influenza death toll. It’s too early to tell but all seem destined to level off at 20 or 30 times the monthly influenza death toll. Which is 2 or 3% of ALL deaths. What does this mean ? If 2 or 3% of all deaths occurred at football stadiums, it probably wouldn’t stop anyone from going to football games….if 2 or 3% of deaths were the result of airplane crashes, nobody would get on an airplane….it depends on your perspective….

          • France has not leveled off due to exponential increase in testing ( which is good in itself ) inflating the figures. Today their death rate jumped from about 500 per day for the last 5 days to 2000 !! Whatever is going that is not a medical reality.

            I suspect they have just decided to include deaths in care homes which were not previously included with the hospital deaths. More may become clear in the next couple of days.

            France has been in shutdown for nearly three weeks now , I’m not sure what you point is about France. Clearly this can not be compared to USA which is at a much ealier point in the epidemic.

        • I agree. I noticed that the infection rate had gone down or leveled off in some countries before they locked down. It is only a partial lockdown anyway and people still have to go buy food in supermarkets where the chance of catching the virus is higher than all the other retail places that were forced to close. Even if only 1 person is left who is infectious after lockdown is over, the virus will spread again. We can’t lockdown forever. It is the biggest blunder in human history.

          • This ignores a well studied and documented effect of viral load which means the severity of the disease depends on the exposure levels. Left to itself it does get younger people who get a heavy infection. You can see this in the way the epidemic has behaved in high density compared to semi rural areas. Lockdown is a bad idea but a controlled exposure would be far more effective in the long term. In practice we have this semi lockdown but a more controlled version with everyone starting at a two day week would have higher initial deaths but in the long term reduce the risk of a repeat the moment it ends.

        • Jim, I was not defending wet markets. They are uncivilized, barbaric, dangerous to the human race and should be shut down and until they are shut down, no nation should allow Chinese citizens to come across their border. If that’s what it takes to force China to close them, so be it. Do it. It’s China’s choice.
          As it is, though, they have reopened them which is unbelievable except that–it’s China. They are also killing and eating endangered species thus, contributing to their extinction. They are indefensible but, it’s China.
          However, it’s not the only possible source of the virus outbreak. China has not one but two virology, bio-warfare labs in Wuhan. It’s a violation to a treaty nations signed, including China, but, hey, it’s China. It could have slipped out of one of them. It’s happened before.
          Adding to the suspicion is China’s obsession to keep the whole thing quiet (with the help of WHO), and not only not inform the world, but lie about it and even insist there was no human to human transmission.
          EXCLUSIVE: Coronavirus Expert Says Virus Could Have Leaked From Wuhan Lab
          https://bit.ly/2UYqbtp

          April 02, 2020
          * Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist who has been quoted as a coronavirus expert by The Washington Post and MSNBC, said Thursday that it’s possible that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab.
          …The researchers also cited testimonies from nearly 60 people who lived in or visited Wuhan saying that the bat “was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market.”
          …The SARS virus escaped twice from the Chinese Institute of Virology in Beijing in 2004, one year after the virus was initially contained…”

        • Hey, thats a great idea!
          I’ll tell my wife (who has Stage 3 emphysema and COPD) that she must be prepared to lay down her life so that personal freedoms are not infringed and the economy and shareholder value can continue to grow, and you can use your herd immunity to spread your wit and wisdom. I’m sure she’ll understand. Better idea – why don’t you tell her, and all the others, that their meaningless lives are expendable for the greater good. We were looking forward to celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in June, but I guess a funeral will have to do instead. 64,975 so far. Small price to pay.
          Enjoy your limitless growth future! More Burgers! More guns! More vehicles and cruises! Yee fecking ha.

          NB: I will never, ever look at or read whatever comment you may make or leave, so don’t bother. Irrelevant.

          • If you’re replying to me, you’ll note I wrote:
            “We should have told the elderly and immune-compromised to shelter-in-place until this virus passes or we have a viable vaccine (with financial aid to get them through if they needed it), while telling the young and the healthy to continue on with their lives while suggesting they wear gloves and masks to slow the spread.”

            Perhaps you should have read what I wrote, rather than glancing through the first paragraph and going off on your anti-capitalism rant, eh? LOL

            How is your wife (with Stage 3 emphysema and COPD) going to fare when the businesses who make her medication and the medical equipment necessary to ameliorate her condition cannot remain in business because no one can afford their products? How is she going to fare when you can’t find any food on the store shelves?

            Every job that puts food on the table is an essential job. Locking down the economy was a stupid and destructive idea that will do far more harm than the good it purports to do… we can’t run from this virus, it’ll still be there when we come out of hiding (and there will be more on the way in the future… bats carry more than 60 human-infectious viruses… SARS and MERS were two of them), whereupon the infectivity rate explodes again. So you’ve effectively chosen to keep your wife in hiding in perpetuum because you want to keep the economy locked down, keep people in their houses, so we never gain herd immunity. Or perhaps your panicky response has you not thinking so clearly. Or perhaps non-thinking is your natural state… given your anti-capitalism rant, I’m betting you’re a liberal, so that’s very likely. LOL

            The only way is through… get the healthy to gain herd immunity by making it difficult for the virus to infect them (via pre-dosing) so they can clear the virus easily, and the spread of the virus is damped.

            Your anti-capitalism hysterics are noted and laughed at.

        • –What are we accomplishing here?

          If we’re attempting to ‘flatten the curve’ to prevent swamping the hospitals, that’s not exactly worked… hospitals are getting swamped. My own hospital emailed me, begging for any N95 masks I might have. We’ve slightly wiggled the curve, that’s it. We’ve been locked down for weeks, and that curve has barely moved. No ‘flattening’ is in evidence.–
          It depends where you are.
          It will be 2 weeks, on Sunday 8pm tomorrow when New York State, had, “the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order — mandates that all non-essential businesses cease operations and all non-essential personnel remains at home besides grocery runs, emergencies and some light exercise.”
          https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-20200320-hiya77j3w5brjbt7lbkrvcmeve-story.html

          Other States are doing social distancing, and not in same kind of lockdown as New York. Whereas California had earlier State lockdown:
          “California ordered its 40 million residents to stay at home except for essential activities beginning Thursday night in the largest such lockdown in the U.S., as the nation’s total coronavirus cases rose to more than 14,000 and an intensifying outbreak in Europe pushed State Department officials to advise citizens not to travel abroad.”
          So that’s been a bit more than 2 weeks, almost 2 1/2 weeks, though parts of California {and Washington State] started a bit earlier.
          Considering the population density of New York city and state, it seems it was locked down a bit late. Or the virus seemed to be doubling every 2 to 3 days and so one could say, New York State as result was “twice as bad” as compared to locking down 3 days earlier. Though obviously hard to know when to do it.

          Anyhow, we are flattening the curve, but when start to do anything to do this, there seems to about 5 to 6 day delay, because it takes about that much time before anyone can even know they have the virus.

          • Yeah, I’m in CA, but I’m an ‘essential’ employee, so I’m still out and about every day.

            Strange that they say to lock down, to stay in your houses… except you can go to Costco and fight 500 other people for toilet paper. LOL

            Nah, I march to my own tune, I make my own rules… I never follow the dictates of government bureaucrats (never let someone who’s done nothing tell you how to do anything).

            I never used a mask, nor gloves. I washed my hands when they were dirty and no more often than that, no more often than I usually do. I touched biometric devices and surfaces touched by thousands of people per day, many of them international travelers. I breathed the air recirculated from the building which tens of thousands of international travelers per day transited through.

            I used my brain, did my research, figured out a saner path, and now I’ve got immunity. And all I had to suffer for it was a slight tickle in my throat and a feeling of general tiredness for a day. I had a guy infected with Covid19 coughing around me for a couple of work days, and that was the worst I got. I worked right alongside the guy, I was definitely within his ‘sphere of influence’ as regards transmitting the virus. It’s been long enough now that if I was going to get sick, I would have.

            Get herd immunity, people. It’s the only way this thing ends. The nanny-state ninnies would have us shelter-in-place forever, destroying our economy and not imparting herd immunity, meaning we’d have a resurgence of the virus when we finally crawled, bleary-eyed and awe-struck at the financial havoc we’ve wrought, out of our hovels. Then what? Rinse and repeat until we all starve?

        • “We should have told the elderly and immune-compromised to shelter-in-place until …”

          But for year you have accepted the anti-antivaxxers speech that attacked un-vaccinated people for the potential “harm” they might cause to “weak” people (elderly and immune-compromised …). You let Big Pharma/Big Doctors/Big Medicine/Big Vaccine drown the airwaves with the silly claim that one is somehow responsible for the disease other people catch, and that someone should not be vaccinated to avoid carrying potentially deadly disease (that is, almost any disease).

          Even the WUWT crowd mocked vaccine skeptics/vaccine realists and peddled that crap.

          Now you sleep in it.

      • In response to Vukcevik, my method does not place too much reliance on daily fluctuations of the sort he mentions. And I rely on case counts rather than death counts, because they give an earlier indication of whether public-health measures are working and, if so, to what extent.

        My next piece will be illustrated with a graph showing how the daily seven-day moving average case growth rate for a dozen countries and for the world excluding China has been generally falling, except in Sweden, where there is no lockdown and it is beginning to rise. Using a seven-day moving average case growth rate smooths out the diurnal fluctuations, which can give a misleading picture of the true trend.

        But that trend, almost everywhere in the Western world, is downward – though not yet downward enough.

      • We were going to get ‘stung’ by this virus no matter what we did. So I guess I would agree shooting the bees off our nose with a shotgun definitely ‘works’. Recovery is going to be a little painful. I’d like to see a broader definition of ‘works’.

        Sometimes I get the impression that an epidemiologist worldview here is that they are telling everyone to take cover, go to your basements, while we cleanse the world above you…when in fact as the all clear is given we come out of our basements to find nothing left, a shambles, our houses blown away, downed power lines, their cleansing amounted to getting rid of the virus at all costs.

        Healthcare workers would do well to expand their understanding of how an economy works (it’s not their expertise). You don’t just tell everyone to stay home and close all retail and expect there to be the same thriving economy when you say it’s all clear. Or expect all those people who stayed home to have either a job or a business to come back to. That thriving economy will be long gone. A thriving economy is a societal good health issue not just dollars and cents. An unhealthy economy with mass unemployment is a serious societal health issue. Just look to the Great Depression and massive unemployment. We will match that unemployment if retail is shut down much longer. To a health care worker, it’s just stay at home, go back to work later. They actually think all that work and business will be there later?

        The damage from destroyed savings, destroyed livelihoods, destroyed families, homelessness, poverty, 20-30% unemployment greater than the Great Depression….and the resulting mental and physical health problems that will only show up in the months following your declared ‘win’ will be immense. Come back and tell us it was all worth it just to slow…not stop but slow…this disease by simlply telling people to stay home, and were there better ways.

        It’s a little early to say it ‘works’. I’m reminded of those who declared ‘Mission Accomplished’ in Iraq before the real troubles came. We’ll be fighting the results of this ‘shutting the world down’ for years to come.

        This was not the Black Plague that might have merited this nuclear option.

        Just wait. But it’s far to soon to see if this all has ‘worked’. But as I said it depends on your definition of ‘works’. I wouldn’t choose one that results in more human suffering over a much longer time frame.

  1. Thank you for the analysis and your insights, Christopher.

    Stay safe and healthy, all,
    Bob

    • When HIV first emerged, I minuted the Cabinet to the effect that there should be universal testing, followed by immediate, compulsory and permanent isolation of carriers.

      Mandatory life sentence for homosexuality. That may have been a difficult to pass, but certainly one of your better policy ideas !! Good job that never got out until today, someone would have said it crass.

      the lamentable Chief Officer of Health in London described at a press conference some weeks ago as “herd immunity”.

      Yes, once in a while they let mask drop and reveal how they really regard the population. They see the surfs as herd of cattle, they just not supposed to say so in public.

      The reference period for the test is the three weeks from January 22 to 14 March 2020, the date on which Mr Trump declared a national emergency. During the reference period, the mean compound daily growth rate in confirmed cases was 19.8%. Confirmed cases were thus doubling worldwide every 3.8 days.

      It is senseless trying to do an analysis on world wide data. There 3 clearly separate populations affected : China Europe and N.America. The timing of the epidemic in each population is distinct and thus confounding the will just blur any results and falsify conclusions. Also any test period should include at least 3 days of incubation period otherwise any effects before the confinement had had time to impact DETECTED infections will be confounded.

      • I don’t even trust the mortality figures. How are we to know the number of patients who died OF the virus, and the number who died WITH the virus? Are we certain that ALL the victims were infected?

        The British Government apparently believes privately that the Chinese numbers should be multiplied by a factor of 15 to 40.

      • “Herd immunity” is a term of art in epidemiology, with a specific technical meaning. Maybe the official was tone deaf to use it in addressing a general audience, but its use doesn’t necessarily mean that he considers the public a herd of livestock.

        • +1

          Even mindless faith in experts requires some attention to definitions of the terms they throw around.

          • In reply to J Mac, the lamentable British Chief Medical Officer of Health had failed to realize that the strain of the Chinese Virus now in circulation had mutated from the original strain and was both more infectious and more fatal. He ought to have known, but did not know. Outside China and occupied Tibet, the case fatality rate among closed cases – those who have either died or recovered – is higher than for any similar recent pandemic: i.e., 27%. Not 2.7%, but 27%.

            And the confirmed-case growth rate was running at 19% daily at the time. Not monthly. Not weekly. Daily. Put those two facts together and it is not at all difficult to see why there was an international outcry at the Chief Medical Officer’s fatuous remark, whereupon the Government was forced into a humiliating climbdown within the day.

          • failed to realize that the strain of the Chinese Virus now in circulation had mutated from the original strain and was both more infectious and more fatal.

            According to who? The CofB index of COVID?

            You cannot compare the ratio of daily deaths and cases ( which is NOT what mortality refers to ) to the final result calculated AFTER an epidemic has subsided and all the numbers are in. You should have known that but you didn’t. Or maybe you did.

            No one has identifies a new genome of a “new strain” . Since you have “studied” the genome you must know that too.

          • In reply to Christopher Monckton of Brenchley,
            The technical phrase ‘herd immunity’ may be deemed offensive in the UK but it is not here in the USA. It is acceptable here, even to the anti-vaccine folks who depend on it to protect their children, as they put others at risk.

            We have no disagreement, beyond the cultural differences in accepted phraseology.

          • The hapless Greg appears not to know that the virus has mutated since its original strain. If only he would approach these questions with an open mind rather than an open mouth. Open mouths are dangerous when there are infections around.

        • Thin ice!
          XR welcomes the virus to cull the herd, now well publicized.

          Of course Prince Philip didn’t necessarily mean it when publicly wishing reincarnation as a virus to do “something” about the population.
          Nor did Lord Bertrand Russell’s disappointment that war was not enough and plagues would be necessary, necessarily mean he considered the human species a herd.
          “Herd” is a eugenics term, epidemiology lipstick notwithstanding.
          Epidemiologist Osterholm of CIDRAP, in a WaPo piece, insists that the financial structure
          actually behind the threat to all of civilization must be saved, at great risk to humanity — accepting that it is “the structure on which are lives are based” — necessarily means the British origin of what he is arguing for.

          • bonbon,

            Now that Prince Charles has the virus, I wonder what the Royal Family and British elites are thinking about that cull the herd thing?

      • Is it worth considering that the downturn of the rate of infection is because most people have been infested and now the virus has nowhere to go… the famed herd immunity kicking in… and because we don’t have widespread antibody testing it is impossible to know… and also many of the old week and infirmed that would die of the disiese … have died…. no one else left that it can kill…. and therefore the reduction in numbers has nothing to do with the laughable attempts to stem the spread of the virus??

        • Official number of cases, about 1.2 million.
          Most recent estimate of the earth’s population, well north of 7 billion.

          We’re about 4 billion shy of reaching herd immunity levels.

          • how do you know how far shy we are of reaching herd immunity if you don’t know how many people have been infected with no symptoms?????

    • Insights?

      . The most impressive results are those for Italy, the first country in Europe to impose a strictish lockdown. During the reference period, the Italian growth rate was more than 30% per day, and cases were doubling every 2.6 days. But the lockdown is beginning to work. In the week to April 2, the daily growth rate in Italy was down to 5.2%.

      CofB declares the conclusion he admits he had before doing this very lose and poorly constructed analysis.

      He does not look at when Italy brought in restrictions and whether the timing of the results in anyway justifies the attribution he now assumes. All countries number of new case data gradually bend over as multiple factors come into play. Naively saying that growth rate now being less than the initial surge is proof that lockdowns have work is simply seeing what you intended to see before looking.
      https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-growth-all.png

      I have no a priori opinion on this , it seems “logical” that restrictions should have an effect though detailed examination of the country by country data is inconclusive.

      One of the main problems is that increased testing which has also been growing exponentially in countries like France is biasing the more recent data upwards. This may be masking the fact that the peak COVID has already pasted and also masks any down turn with may , OR MAY NOT, be attributable to the restrictions on movement.

      Italy seems to have passed peak COVID infection about 10 days ago. Is there any clear sign of this being due to restrictions? I’ll take a leaf out of Willis’ “spot the volcano” book, can you identify the point at which restrictions in Italy came into effect on this graph of case, fatalities and their ratio ??

      https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-fatalities-italy.png

      • Your assessment seems correct as it’s a difficult problem to see effects of change within this pandemic by judging rates of growth and also because of time lags associated with presentation of symptoms, disease progression and outcomes. Also, the lies from China need to be filtered and digested to help determine some truth of what happened there. In any case, it seems that bureaucrats and politicians will be able to find what they need to justify their course of actions.

        I hope that Sweden does not change its approach, at least to maintain the value of their experiment. Real value will also be gained through the study of the approaches used by S. Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong.

        • The drop in italian deaths is lagging the drop in new cases by about 5 days, as shown in my graph . A recent report said that was the median time from admission to a negative “outcome”.

          They were completely overwhelmed and the EU bureaucracy was missing in action and left them to it.

          After years of “austerity” imposed mainly by Germany, health systems have been run down to a level to cope with daily needs not to cope epidemics.

          French deaths just jumped form about 500 per day for the last four days to 2000. That seems very improbable as a medical reality and suggest accounting issues or a change in what they are counting. Have they just switched from “die from” to “died with” ?

          Maybe they are planning a new announcement … ?

          • they started counting the deaths of the elderly in the EHPAD’s , retirement and nursing structures.

          • Many thanks Arthur , I was starting to suspect that was the case, I been advancing exactly that idea with people earlier today. Do you have source for that, it would be very useful to note on any future graphs.

            That will probably end like the Chinese data, a massive one day spike and rescaling of all future data. Not helpful to data analysis but probably a more honest account.

          • “the EU bureaucracy was missing in action and left them to it.”

            What do you believe the EU is responsible for here, in term of day to day healthcare? (as opposed to regulation stuff like drug testing, toxicity standards, etc.)

      • Greg, as always, is unpleasant and wrong. It is quite well known that I publicly as well as privately advocated the isolation of those infected with HIV, for otherwise, I said, tens of millions would die. Tens of millions did die, and half a million people a year are still dying. Most of those lives could have been saved, and the isolation would not have had to be anything like as rigorous as for the present pandemic, though it would have had to be permanent. But Greg doesn’t care. Let them all die – that’s his hateful approach.

        And the analysis I have done is, whether he likes it or not, a standard analysis, which is particularly useful during the early stages of a pandemic, when the case growth rate will – for well-understood reasons – strictly follow an exponential curve. The calibration exercise I originally did showed that in the world outside China and occupied Tibet the mean daily case growth rate was 19% to March 14, the day Mr Trump announced a state of national emergency. if that growth rate had continued uninhibited, a quarter of the world’s population would have been infected by the end of May. Given that the ratio of deaths to closed cases (cases that have either recovered or died) is 27% outside China, that was not a tenable option for responsible governments.

        Once today’s update is published, with a graph showing how different nations’ approaches have changed the daily case growth rate, Greg will be in a better-informed position to discern the effect that lockdowns are having. It will save lives, lots of lives.

        • Thanks for taking the time to reply, even if it was disrespectfully in the third person.

          if that growth rate had continued uninhibited, a quarter of the world’s population would have been infected by the end of May.

          So having spend over decade nobly fighting misleading, alarmist BS by climatologists and UN “clerks” you now adopt their methods. You are pulling an RPC8.6 “business as usual” here.

          Why on Earth are you calibrating “world outside china” against a US only confinement date? That is stupid. Firstly there are two distinct populations groups there with at least 2 full weeks delay in evolution of the disease. EU vs N.Am.

          EU countries acted well before the USA ( understandably ) so the Trump announcement is IRRELEVANT to any effects on that group. You are obviously blurring any signal which may be there.

          And the analysis I have done is, whether he likes it or not, a standard analysis

          I am not criticising the use of an exponential model to the data, I have been posting such analyses several times a day here myself. However, what I am critcising is your idea that a slower exponential growth now proves the restrictions were effective.

          That is NOT a “standard analysis” because we have not tried continental shutdowns before and in no context would the reduction between your calibration period and the present in any way establish that the shut down was the cause any reductions in the intervening period. That is not even a correlation. To claim that is a standard analysis is typical of your disingenuous deceitful BS which is why I am often “unpleasant” about your posts even while I consider you are on the right side of the AGW argument.

          I posted a graph of the Italian data where we can see that the curve has been flattening pretty continuously all the way through. There is NO visible point at which you could even suggest there may be an inflection caused by their shutdown. I invited you to show where the effect was and you totally ignored to declare me “wrong” without presenting a single factual support for such a conclusion.

          I too expected the restrictions to have a visible effect and I’m surprised not to find one. But unlike you, I did come to the question with an open mind and when I find NO evidence I have to correct my assumptions, not resort to climatological methods to prove my biased a priori assumptions were correct.

          I give you or anyone else who is interested another chance to “spot the lockdown” on the graph of Italian cases and fatalities.

          https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-fatalities-italy.png

        • Greg will be in a better-informed position to discern the effect that lockdowns are having.

          It does not follow from the procurement of better information that one necessarily makes proper use of it.

          • Once today’s update is published, with a graph showing how different nations’ approaches have changed the daily case growth rate, Greg will be in a better-informed position to discern the effect that lockdowns are having. It will save lives, lots of lives.

            Well I look forward to more convincing evidence. I certainly hope it will save lives because it WILL do far more damage than the last 15 years of climate stupidity has done. The cost of which will pale in comparison.

            It does not follow from the procurement of better information that one necessarily makes proper use of it.

            Agreed, I hope CofB makes better use of it this time.

          • Agreed, I hope CofB makes better use of it this time.

            Mah! I see what you did there . . . clever!

    • However, they report positive tests as if these people are sick and just carriers. A level of carriers up to 50% is not common. Why so many positive tests?

      None of the Covid-19 tests have been vetted for being accurate for this virus. The PCR test was released by the CDC without vetting. And other tests, cobbled up quickly by various hospitals, again are unverified for accuracy (creating such a specific test almost overnight in a hospital lab is virtually impossible in the real world). Now they are talking about a 10-min test, which simply cannot be specific for a certain virus in the environment that largely only differs from other coronaviruses in its DNA sequence. As there are no antibody tests for the virus’s coat proteins, DNA has to be the metric being measured.

      So, what are we testing for? Humans have many varieties of coronaviruses (covis) all year round and the flu season includes a salad of flu and covi viruses. These tests are more likely to be testing for the general covi level in a person, regardless of the covi virus. This quickly explains why there are so many positive test results wherever we start testing.

      In addition, where the total and positive test data is available, there is a relatively low, 5–15%, positive percentage which is not increasing. Although the positive “cases” (begging the meaning of “case” here, as in the real world you have to be ill to be a case; having the virus does not make you by definition ill) are rising exponential, it has to be pointed out that the rate of testing is rising exponentially and thus positive results increasing exponentially.

      It appears that we have an epidemic of testing, which is testing for a general background (and flu season accentuated) of covi in those tested. This explains the observed “exponential” growth reported and also explains why there is such a high level of asymptomatic positives.

      Does it not bother people that there is such a high level of asymptomatic people, which suggests that up to 50% of the population is naturally immune or that it is a very weak virus that only takes the already health compromised?

      The media and governments are clearly seeking to alarm the people and, almost gleefully, mention amazingly hit mortality rates and totals. However, if we are just measuring covi presence, it becomes meaningless. This this is a SCAMDEMIC.

      If we did not have a purported test for a specific virus, the resulting flu season deaths would not even show a blip and, thus far only add up to a mild flu season. This is like worrying about a burning match while your house is burning down, as the flu season overall takes many more people up, to 10–30 times as many, every year. Some people are saying this could be worse than the Spanish flu that age-indiscriminately killed 10–50 million worldwide and 675,000 (up to 1.5 million) in the US. The world is currently at 61,000 deaths and the US at 7200, the latter being just 1% of the Spanish flu, and both worldwide and in the US only about 10% of a normal flu season. Not even a blip in the deaths.

      In addition, just because one is positive for Covid-19, pretending the tests to be accurate, this does not indicate that it is the virus making one sick. A person can have any number of other viruses at the time tested for just the one. We have no efficient way to eliminate other causes, but many just assume Covid-19 out of hand.

      Also, as testing for this virus in the US did not really start until the end of February, how can they legitimately assume that the flu season, and whichever virus is the culprit making people sick ( not conclusively linked to Covid-19), has not already spread throughout the country, in light of our interstate commerce and travel.

      In WV, US, we had a round of illnesses from mid-January through February and have had virtually no illnesses since then. With no “tests,” we do not know anything concrete, but then again, the tests are essentially meaningless anyhow.

      The cumulative world death rate is still light for a flu season, despite auto accidents victims being tested, found to be positive, and listed as a Covid-19 death. Many Covid-19 deaths are listed based on assumed cause of death and not real analysis or autopsy. The Italians have two very cogent designations: “died with Covid-19” and “died from Covid-19.” Few deaths are “from Covid-19,” as there is almost always a chronic health problem, immunocompromised, or an unknown, yet to be diagnosed condition, such undiagnosed leukemia in one instance.

      A pandemic of testing for a normal background factor and media/government fostered fear.

      Is hiding-at-home working? Regarding basically breaking the flu season, it can do that. But, as far as getting rid of the normal background covi levels, unlikely, which means they will keep pushing this SCAMDEMIC way beyond the flu season and when deaths drop off to normal. They will try to keep the panic alive, constantly shouting that the virus is still out there, lurking for a comeback. As one person observed, we could be come a totalitarian hygienic state.

      • I agree with most of your assumptions, and especially am concerned about the likelihood that COVID-19 deaths are likely resulting from a deadly combination of conditions, which with CV-19 deliver a one-two punch. It would seem a no-brainer that ICU doctors are testing for and ruling out flu as a co-morbidity, unless it is simply too difficult to differentiate them.

        But inflamatory arguments that this is a more transmissible virus – or a more deadly virus – than we have seen gain traction from dramatic coverage from around the world where certain hospitals are claiming they are overwhelmed by CV cases. What has happened, and what is happening, to these health facilities in New York, Lombardy and elsewhere?

  2. What of the age distribution and comorbidity factors? I read from Italy’s public health organisation that there should be a distinction between those who died ‘with’ coronavirus and those who died ‘from’ it. Only around 12% died from it (as opposed to with it) in that country, and the vast majority of those who died are above 75 years old. Mabe COVID accelerated the sad deaths of the others – but they were going to die soon from their conditions anyway. Maybe more people will suffer and die as a result of the lockdown – it comes at huge personal and economic cost, particularly for the less fortunate, which may not be fully reversible. As a result we may be sliding towards a period of totalitarian rule and the abandonment of personal liberty. We need to isolate old people and those with comorbidity factors, and mandate the wearing of facemasks in public – not for the protection of the wearer where they may not be so effective, but to limit spread from those who are unknowingly infected.

    • In response to RichardW, the Chinese virus, like all viruses, chiefly kills the old and the sick. In public-health policy terms, one has to decide how many old and sick people should simply be left to die. I am going to begin from the Christian standpoint that no one should simply be left to die if reasonable and proportionate precautions can be taken.

      But the deadlock-breaker that eventually – and very belatedly – persuaded Boris Johnson to lock Britain down was the irrefutable evidence that, on the basis of the now-known daily compound growth rate of new cases and of what could possibly be a far higher death rate per 100 cases than the useless WHO had imagined, the National Health Service would be completely overwhelmed within weeks, not only leaving the old and the sick to die in altogether unacceptable numbers but also preventing the healthcare systems from providing vital treatments for those with other diseases, such as cancer.

      Already, the National Health Service has sent home tens of thousands of patients with other diseases, some of them in need of quite urgent operations, so as to free up as many beds as possible for coronavirus cases.

      I agree with Richardw that lockdowns are not the optimal strategy. The optimal strategy, as the figures in the head posting show, is that of South Korea, which immediately tested all who showed symptoms from the very earliest stage, and immediately isolated those who were infected, and immediately traced and tested their contacts. This strategy, because it was initiated at once, allows Korea to have a far less rigorous lockdown than is unfortunately necessary in countries such as Britain and the United States, whose governments were fatally slow to intervene.

      It is also very clear from the South Koreans’ considerable experience of such pandemics that wearing face-masks in public – albeit that it does not provide complete protection (it leaves the eyes exposed, for one thing – is a lot better than not wearing them. RichardW is absolutely right about this.

      • Chrisopher Monckton,

        Thank you for your post – and answers to bloggers here.

        A comment following this one notes the same concern I have about “contact tracing” to following positive cases. It will have a legacy wherever it is used, maybe not a good one.

        I am a non-smartphone user, so curious about how how this tracking is initiated and how carried out? Who can observe whom? Is it done with people’s full cooperation or are people automatically enrolled as a condition of testing? I understand Bluetooth technology is part of this scheme…

    • “As a result we may be sliding towards a period of totalitarian rule and the abandonment of personal liberty. ”

      In some places in Canada the police are finding people in the middle of nowhere, sitting by themselves on beaches or fishing on trout streams. The police are fining them hundreds of dollars for disobeying the cvd-19 laws.

      How are they locating them? Through their cell phones, of course.

      Once cvd-19 has passed, cell phone tracking will be the norm. Next will be a Chinese style social credit system, you know, because pandemics.

      Lave your cell phones home folks.

      • Right, so some totally isolated in the middle of the wilderness gets fines for not observing social distancing and self-isolation.

          • LdB,
            The greatest danger of spreading infection was from the policeman to the fisherman. If you are in the middle of nowhere with no one else around, who in the heck are you going to infect? That IS social distancing on steroids.
            Besides, being outdoors is fine per the head of the So. Korean Infection Control. It’s good to keep some distance but the chances of getting infected are extremely low. The wind and air blow the viruses up and away. It’s meant for closed rooms where the virus can float around like the dust particles you see in your house when the light hit them because they are in a confined space.
            You Need To Listen To This Leading COVID-19 Expert From South Korea | ASIAN BOSS
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAk7aX5hksU&feature=youtu.be

            •Mar 27, 2020

            People like you scare me and are the stuff of what totalitarians are made. Recall, it was the CDC and WHO who said people don’t need to wear masks. I guess you think because they said that, anyone wearing a mask was disobeying the rules and should be shot? Now, they’ve had to admit, thanks to So. Korea and other Asian nations who do where masks, they were wrong.
            Canadian authorities are wrong in this case, too, and that rule is simply astonishingly stupid for rural, remote areas.

          • The instruction? From whom, their mother, or their master?

            Or owner? Is that the return of slavery?

        • What kind of a precedent are we setting for future viruses? Rural remote communities are being hit hard financially by the lockdown.
          Is this intentional.
          Who will rescue the businesses impacted?

          • re: “Rural remote communities are being hit hard financially by the lockdown.”

            Can you be troubled for one or two examples, a case sample or two?

      • You don’t have to leave it at home, take it with you but switched off, just turn it on to make a call then switch it off again.
        But what do I know, I don’t have one to start with.

        • But what do I know ….

          Many modern phones, have non removable batteries and are never really off. Don’t think you own such devices just because you paid for them. You probably need to put them in metallic cigar tin or similar.

          Like you I think the best thing is never to own one in the first place.

          • re: “Many modern phones, have non removable batteries and are never really off. ”

            Really pretty easy to see if it’s “operating” when off, or, if it pulses ‘awake’ cyclically (and you don’t need a lab full of spectrum analyzers or RF probes): Simply take a pocket portable AM radio and pass it over the front and back of the device with the radio tuned in between stations – if you hear ANY noise at all when the pocket-portable radio is near the phone, it’s “on”.

            Try this trick with the phone first on, then off. When “on”, all sorts of buzzes and clicks and even white noise will be heard as the AM pocket portable is passed over different areas of the phone …

          • Yes, a good field test suggestion. However, you need to leave it on for some time and sit there quietly listening for signs of activity. The device is in deep standby and will only wake up periodically to ping the local cell network.

          • re: “However, you need to leave it on for some time and sit there quietly listening for signs of activity. The device is in deep standby and will only wake up periodically to ping the local cell network.”

            Defies logic because of the purpose of ‘periodic registration’ in a cellular system, which is to notify the switch on which cell site the phone may be found ‘camped’ ready for a ‘call’ (ready for what used be termed a “paging attempt”.)

            IF the HLR (or VLR) has not been updated with ‘registration attempt’ in awhile (a settable system parameter, like 5 minutes) or the phone was seen to issue a ‘power down’ registration, a CALL to that phone is routed immediately to voice mail with NO ‘paging attempt’ being made. That way no system resources are wasted ‘calling’ a phone that is powered off. Its a practical consideration.

          • _Jim:

            Simply take a pocket portable AM radio . . .

            I’ll try it. Do you have a favorite manufacturer? Thanks in advance for a recommendation.

          • I tried it with a 2 AA battery powered Sony model ICF-S10 (before making my previous post even!) Here’s example product: https://www.amazon.com/Sony-ICF-S10MK2-Pocket-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B00004WFYC

            These can be found on eBay for ~20 bucks or so.

            Any AM band portable should work, the several DC to DC converters internal to the phone as well the uProcessors create EMI close-up such that an active phone, iPod etc creates a little detectable RF energy in the AM broadcast band when those circuits are ‘active’.

            Something these ‘numpties’ who claim their phones ‘ping’ towers don’t understand is – there are established over-the-air protocols that ALL base station manufacturers adhere to, such that they operate with ALL brands of phones! These numpties somehow think ALL this base station infrastructure operates via ‘magic’, hence, ‘Cargo Cult science’, detached from: real-world physics, wireless standards and established interface protocols.

            Example GSM MS (mobile station) to BSS (Base Station Subsystem) ‘Attach’ (registration) and ‘Detach’ (power down) procedures (protocol) a GSM/GPRS capable cell phone executes here (includes ‘bounce’ diagrams showing message flow btw phone and cell system):

            http://etutorials.org/Mobile+devices/gprs+mobile+internet/Chapter+7+Signaling+Plane/GMM/

          • I tried it with a 2 AA battery powered Sony model ICF-S10 . . .

            Thanks _Jim! Interesting comments!

        • Turning off the cell phone is not the remedy. Putting it in a metal box is a remedy…or leave it a home. I use old cigar tins and old tea tins. Best to use one that fits into another. Happy Hiding 🙂

          • re: ” Putting it in a metal box is a remedy…or leave it a home. I use old cigar tins ”

            And I can demonstrate that this is INSUFFICIENT. The usual painted tin surfaces ON THE LID EDGES don’t allow the conduction of RF currents therefore those areas become a source of RF energy (‘cellphone signal’ (for the layman)) egress.

      • “As a result we may be sliding towards a period of totalitarian rule and the abandonment of personal liberty. ”

        We have no Liberty. Every country with a Direct tax (like income tax) system is a Totalitarian system. The Direct tax system gives those in power the right to know EVERYTHING about you. We are less than slaves. If you don’t see this your blind for reality.

      • Everything those in power can take away is NO right only a privilege. Freedom is an illusion. Western democracies are totalitarian systems.

      • If someone is worried about being tracked they can put their phone in a metal box (perhaps an old tool box), wrap it in aluminum foil or take the battery out. Cell phones are still available today that have removable batteries, just do an internet search to see the latest models. Powering off your phone won’t work in most cases BTW.

        • re: ” they can put their phone in a metal box ”

          Silly rabbit … even these means can be “ineffective”.

          Why not try a clove of garlic around the neck instead?

        • re: “Powering off your phone won’t work in most cases BTW.”

          Let’s just say, you don’t have any idea of what’s taking place. We are truly experiencing yet another from of “Cargo Cult science” here.

          Side question: Do you perform your own brain surgery too?

          • _Jim,

            Have you ever heard of a Faraday Cage or Shield? Obviously not. Put your phone in one and see if you can still receive calls.

            The microwave oven is a Faraday Shield. Take a close look at the door glass, see that grid, it’s part of the Faraday Shield. Without it microwave energy would be transmitted in all areas around the unit causing a real hazard to humans or any animal nearby

            Generally all modern cell phones continue to “ping” the nearby cell phone tower/antenna even when they are turned off.

            Never performed brain surgery BTW, I’m not a Dr. I did stay at a Holiday Inn once.

          • re: “Have you ever heard of …”

            No – no, Kevin. Here is another case of Dunning-Kruger being exhibited by a member of the public. You are MISUSING a technical term on a TECHNICAL blog!!!!! The term you are looking for is “shield” or “screening”. You misuse the term “Faraday” like most lay persons, because, its mis-USE *is* so prevalent.

            View an actual ‘Faraday screen’ or shield about 2/3rds of the way down this page:
            http://www.w8ji.com/skindepth.htm Note: A so-called Faraday Shield is for blocking the ‘electric’ field component and much, much less the magnetic. Go check an elementary physics text on this.

            Here is the use of a Faraday Shield to prevent detuning of an oscillator coil in Fig 3.22 on this page (scroll up a page): https://books.google.com/books?id=e_oZ69GAuxAC&pg=PA137&lpg=PA137&dq=induction++%22Faraday+shield%22+detuned&source=bl&ots=vXmF1ohP5u&sig=LIvvr79RGmotjfvXI3CbDw5Cqdk&hl=en&ei=wN6qSv7hKdDqlAff5YjmBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
            NOTE: The magnetic field coupling in the above STILL comes through, only the “E” or electric field is shielded.

            re: “Generally all modern cell phones continue to “ping” the nearby cell phone tower/antenna even when they are turned off.”

            NO they do NOT, you m*r*ns!! And I just gave a procedure to Greg by which you can CHECK this for yourself. There are VERY specific protocols ‘phones’ follow for registration attempts, answering a call, while actively involved in a call, and when hanging up, AND when powering down. And I’ll bet you don’t know why* … Dunning-Kruger Effect once again on display.
            .
            .
            Why* – The purpose of ‘periodic registration’ in a cellular system, which is to notify the switch on which cell site the phone may be found ‘camped’ ready for a ‘call’ (ready for what used be termed a “paging attempt”.)

            IF the HLR (or VLR) has not been updated with ‘registration attempt’ in awhile (a settable system parameter, like 5 minutes) or the phone was seen to issue a ‘power down’ registration, a CALL to that phone is routed immediately to voice mail with NO ‘paging attempt’ being made. That way no system resources are wasted ‘calling’ a phone that is powered off. Its a practical consideration.

      • Most beaches are being shut down around the world for surfing. This is perfect example of a politician who has no clue, and makes top down stupid laws.

      • to Klem

        Here in Canada I’ve never heard of what you mention. Can you give a reference? Which province?

      • If you’re running an Android phone, you can turn all that tracking off. My phone, in airplane mode, is completely untraceable via cell towers and aGPS. With airplane mode off, it’s only traceable via cell tower triangulation, which isn’t exactly accurate. You have to root the phone, but that’s doable in most cases. Be sure to turn off the ‘feature’ where the cellular provider can turn on tracking remotely.

        The side-benefit is that the phone now runs much cooler, and the battery lasts a long time, typically decreasing only 3% / hour while being used. When sitting idle, it can sit for 40 hours and only decrease by ~4%. When connected to 4G, it uses no data except what I want it to use… all the ‘phone-home’ stuff from Google is turned off.

        By the way, I found that the ‘Advertising ID’ that Google uses, which they claim you can reset so as not to be ‘tracked’ by advertisers, is fake… you can change it, but the real advertising ID, hidden from the user and which the advertisers actually use, never changes. So I turned that ‘feature’ completely off… no ads on my phone.

    • I agree.
      That doesn’t mean we should stop with all other measures. We can still limit the number of customers in a shop, but we can raise that limit. May be we still should ban large gatherings for now, but that ban might be lifted earlier. Also working from home might still be a good advise. May be we can open the schools again. Better for the children and making it easier for parents to work from home.

      • Yes we need to work out NOW how we unwind this mess. Most EU countries including those worst his have clearly peaked in number of new cases now. We must start progressively easing the stranglehold on the economy and start repairing that straight away.

        Lockdown is the chemotherapy type solution you try to kill the disease before you kill the patient.

        The art of an effective chemo protocol is to get the doses right and know when to back off if you are killing the patient. Currently we are killing the patient and have not plan of how to adjust the protocol.

      • Yes we need to work out NOW how we unwind this mess. Most EU countries including those worst his have clearly peaked in number of new cases now. We must start progressively easing the stranglehold on the economy and start repairing that straight away.

        Lockdown is the chemotherapy type solution you try to kill the disease before you k-i-l-l the patient.

        The art of an effective chemo protocol is to get the doses right and know when to back off if you are k-illing the patient. Currently we are k-illing the patient and have not plan of how to adjust the protocol.

      • Yes we need to work out NOW how we unwind this mess. Most EU countries including those worst his have clearly peaked in number of new cases now. We must start progressively easing the stranglehold on the economy and start repairing that straight away.

        Lockdown is the chemotherapy type solution you try to kill the disease before you snuff the patient.

        The art of an effective chemo protocol is to get the doses right and know when to back off if you are k-illing the patient. Currently we are k-illing the patient and have not plan of how to adjust the protocol.

      • OK 4th attempt to avoid using the k-word ….

        Yes we need to work out NOW how we unwind this mess. Most EU countries including those worst his have clearly peaked in number of new cases now. We must start progressively easing the stranglehold on the economy and start repairing that straight away.

        Lockdown is the chemotherapy type solution you try to terminate the disease before you terminate the patient.

        The art of an effective chemo protocol is to get the doses right and know when to back off if you are k-illing the patient. Currently we are k-illing the patient and have not plan of how to adjust the protocol.

        • Greg says, “We must start progressively easing the stranglehold on the economy and start repairing that straight away.”
          Start easing the “stranglehold” in rural remote communities first.

          • Agreed ! That is where the density and risk of contamination is least and where the rest of this year’s food supply is going to come from.

            Arguably rural should not have been shut down to start with. The trouble is those making the rules live in cities and seem to think that is all that matters.

            Maybe ring fencing NYC like they did in Wuhan would have been difficult to sell in US.

          • It us easy to see where the overwhelming sources of cases and deaths are. In America half of all cases and deaths are in new York and similarly much the same can be said of London.

            There are plenty of places. where numbers of deaths are relatively speaking small, far lower than in a normal flu season and could return to mormality.

            Ironically social distancing will mean those who would have caught flu and died of it will now live. Similarly hundreds who would have been killed in road accidents will also live. However none of them will ever know their escape

  3. Lord Monckton,
    I have deep respect and regard for your well presented thoughts and facts. I also have an ongoing admiration of your well presented argument for sane reflection on Climate Change.
    Sadly, on this subject of SARS Cov 2 aka Covid 19, I am less convinced your lock down support is right.
    The Swedish authorities are not locking down and will provide a balanced alternative set of figures for how Covid 19 turned out there. We just have to wait six months for the results, then we will know.
    Also, it is worth noting the UK is still allowing flights into and out of Heathrow. Some 100,000 and more passengers arriving daily all unchecked and untested, having been in a closed virus spreading cabin for hours before arriving. The passengers then board public transport, trains mainly, again in close contact with others, so no lock down for them. If we are going to lock down, then it needs to be all or none.
    I am reminded of the quip, “The treatment was very successful and exactly what was needed unfortunately the patient died”.
    This lock down and destruction of the UK economy and indeed the Western Economies will have generational long impacts. Is it worth it?
    The virus will circulate no matter what, the only difference is rate of spread.
    Putting this into local political terms, it is akin to the post 2019 election in the UK where the Labour Party suffered its worst thumping political defeat since the 1930s. The leader of the Labour Party declared, he had presented all the right policies that were perfectly acceptable and right for the country. The outcome for him as leader, and for the Labour Party politically, was they were both dead.
    Next.

    • I very much agree with Mr Evans that lockdowns are by no means the optimal strategy. The optimal strategy was that of the South Koreans – immediate testing and contact-tracing on a large enough scale to prevent the outbreak from spreading to the point where lockdowns are necessary. In those countries – such as Britain and the United States – where the correct strategy was not implemented, lockdowns are the necessary corrective action.

      I agree with Mr Evans that lockdowns are cripplingly expensive. However, the alternative – allowing millions to be exposed to the risk of painful death – would have been still more expensive.

      As Mr Evans will see from the head posting, I have specifically drawn attention to the Swedish approach, which is to avoid lockdowns and allow the population to acquire “herd immunity”. Unfortunately, that strategy would eventually lead to very large loss of life, which is why some 2000 Swedish health professionals have recently started a petition demanding that a lockdown be now introduced.

      Until such a lockdown is introduced, Sweden will provide a very useful benchmark to tell us whether, in the absence of the prompt and splendid South Korean response, lockdowns were really necessary. My suspicion is that Sweden will either have to increase its testing and contact-tracing well beyond South Korean levels (the later you start, the more you have to do to catch up) or introduce lockdowns, or both. But let us see what the numbers actually show: that, rather than mere speculation, will be the emphasis of these daily postings.

      • Why have You ignored the Norwegian data where we have had a full lockdown for three weeks?

      • Thank you Christopher for your understanding. I suffer, if that is the right word from eternal optimism. Unfortunately on this occasion, my gut feel is the world has overreacted to the full potential of the virus and has ignored the more balanced historic reflections of how viruses actually evolve and the resulting impact they have on society. The Black Death is of course, uppermost in peoples minds, in these unknown unknown, situations.
        I have an ongoing worry, it is this. The cost to society of this draconian lock down strategy, to combat the effects of the Covid 19 virus, will give rise to many unintended consequences. No one knows what those future consequences will be, but one thing is clear. Removing wealth, has never been a strategy that results in positive outcomes.

        • I think you are right Rod. A lock-down is a knee-jerk reaction to try to prevent overwhelming the hospitals, but the financial consequences are not well perceived and are unlikely to be mild. We might be better equipped today to fight a 1918-type flu than a 1930-type depression.

          • “A lock-down is a knee-jerk reaction to try to prevent overwhelming the hospitals, but the financial consequences are not well perceived and are unlikely to be mild. ”

            Not just the financial consequences. Supply chains are already looking flakey, and it’s only going to get worse.

            Probably exponentially worse as suppliers of raw materials are shut down and that causes suppliers of finished products to shut down, which cause suppliers of products that rely on them to shut down.

            The only way to prevent this nonsense was to close the borders months ago. Now we have nationwide spread, we’re destroying our economies and the epidemic those restrictions are supposed to prevent will happen as soon as the economy is opened up again.

        • Those responsible for removing wealth, and transferring at least some to their worthy causes, would disagree with you. In this case, they are using the old, “if only one life can be saved” routine.

          • “if only one life can be saved” routine.

            Yes, I listened to Cuomo’s announcement and thought he spoke very well and convincingly. Frankly made Trump look like an amateur ( which of course he is in politics ).

            When he got to the “if only one life can be saved” line he blew all his hard work. We knew he was just jerking us off all along.

      • Check the EURO MOM data to week 13 and tell me where the European excess deaths are.
        They are in the over 65 year categories in 4 countries only; Italy, Spain, France and England ( not UK). And those over 65yrs excess numbers in those 4 countries are still a long way below the equivalent excess numbers of 3 years ago, which was seasonal flu related.
        There is an epidemic, but its not covid-19. Its an epidemic of irrational thought processes.

      • Lord Monckton,
        How or where are you getting the data feed for this? Are you allowed to share your code? One area that I am specifically not seeing are the number of tests given over time or comparing to population sizes.
        Thank you,

          • Look on the website

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

            All those stats can be lifted from there.

            Is this an anonymously run website? Who is it that “stands behind those numbers”? Anybody with any cred? How is “data quality” assured on that website?

            I trust (is trust the word I even want to use?) a little smaller “cross section” of that by the way of these people (who can be identified):

            https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/covid-19/

          • @ _Jim,

            Worldometer is run by Dadax an has been around for about a decade. They are a data aggregator and their figures are as good / bad as the source data. If you look at the pages for country data there are links to the source data. You can make your own judgements as to the reliability of the sources.

            For western countries I see no indication of deliberate manipulation of the data. However, there is clearly significant sample bias which results in under reporting of mild or asymptomatic cases.

          • Richard Barraclough

            Didn’t Willis E say he stopped using the figures from worldometers because they are inaccurate for his daily COVID-19 update? I’ll have to check but I believe he did.

        • In response to Mr Cross, if he will send his email address to monckton]at[mail.com, I shall happily send him the code (which I wrote) and the data, which I have indeed obtained from Worldometers. I have performed calibration exercises to ensure that the data are not being made up, and I have found the quality to be generally high, with very few mistakes, most of which occurred early in the year.

          I do not use Excel because it has various inbuilt errors and limitations. I do my own programming, including the programming that draws the graphs that will appear in future daily updates.

          • Intriguing that you are worried about errors in Excel, for a reasonably simple numerical analysis. I have found it to be reliable for my own analyses, which are rather similar to the ones you have presented here, and I have even double-checked some of the results by doing the calculations in two different ways

            I wonder if you could elaborate?

            Many thanks

      • Sweden may be avoiding hard “Lock Downs”, but they are using soft lock downs and ask their public nicely to use social spacing, they have also introduced travel bans, something the UK has not.
        They have also banned social gatherings of more than 500 people and then later 50 people, so they recognise that their earlier rules were not working.
        They also banned school tests.
        So they are not really allowing herd immunity to develop naturally.
        The other thing that many are not considering is Population Density.
        The population density of Sweden is 25 per square Km.
        By comparison UK is 281, France is 119, Spain is 94, USA is 36 and Korea is 527, Singapore is 8358.

        So you can see why Sweden can afford to have more relaxed controls than most European countries, their only equivelent density is their capital at 4800 per square Km, most major cities are in that region ie London is 4,542 and for New York it is 10,947. (people wonder why NY has been hit so badly?)
        So note that of the 6131 cases in Sweden 2662 and of the 333 deaths 204 are in Stockholm.

        The most remarkable performances in the world to date are Singapore with a very high pop density and a massive thoughput of passengers. And Hong Kong is the other. Both of whom had their first cases in January.

        • To me all of this just supports the use of mask. Tokyo population density is ~6500/k2, they have a fraction of the cases of just about anywhere else.

          You can bet after this, MASK will be standard protocol for all countries.

          • Exactly, the WHO will end up being the culprit as well as agencies which listened to their bad recommendations.

            Masks are the key especially for covid-19. They give two levels of protection if everyone is wearing them. Those with the disease keep most of the viral load inside their masks while those without infection reduce the ability of infectious material to reach their nose/mouths. Both breathing in and touching with hands.

          • Dr Deanster is right: the South Korean public-health director says masks are not perfect, but they are a great deal better than nothing. Even the useless World Death Organization is now reviewing its advice that masks should not be used by the general public. Me, I am just back from a short walk along the country lanes, and I was wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet with the visor firmly closed.

          • We’ll remember that, anti “anti-vaxxers”. You have been telling us that no “conspiracy” to lie about anything was possible.

            When the lie about masks being useless for the general population was being peddled, you did nothing.

            You, the anti “anti-vaxxers”, were wrong about “conspiracies” and that isn’t an accident, you are part of the “conspiracy” to lie to the People.

            From now on, we will throw that lie in your face, until you hide under a rock.

        • “so they recognise that their earlier rules were not working.”

          Or folding on pressure.

          Either way, you can’t make that kind of inference, unless you want to be greenpeac-y.

      • The numbers are bogus, so it won’t matter what they are because they can’t tell us anything. Normal diagnostic criteria are being abandoned to conflate all manner of disease and death under one rubric of coronavirus etiology. A positive test means the virus caused the disease, even though that directly contradicts what the CDC says in their test Instructions for Use.

        Positive [test] results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. 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)

        For instance, the Conneticut governor recently claimed that an infant’s death was linked to the virus. He lied. The infant drowned and tested positive postmortem, thus the “link” to the virus. Obviously the infant’s death had nothing to do with the virus, but the death becomes a case number.

        • Another example that the mortality data are totally worthless:

          In Austria, too, “corona deaths“ are apparently defined “very liberally“, as the media report: “Do you also count as a corona death if you are infected with the virus but die of something else? Yes, say Rudi Anschober and Bernhard Benka, members of the Corona Task Force in the Ministry of Health. “There is a clear rule at present: Died with the corona virus or died from the corona virus both count for the statistics.“ No difference is made as to what the patient actually died of. In other words, a 90-year-old man who dies with a fracture of the femoral neck and becomes infected with corona in the hours prior to his death is also counted as corona death. To name but one example.

          https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

          • Do you think any other epidemic has correct deaths statistics, if you do you are rather silly.
            Just look at the CDC data for Flu cases & deaths, the operative word is “estimated”, ie they don’t know due to lack of testing.
            Flu kills hardly anyone directly, it is always the complications that do the killing and that is mostly Pneumonia.
            COVID19 also won’t kill many directly it is the Pneumonia, heart failure, organ failure and Sepsis that does the actual killing.

          • How is the mortality data different for this virus than for flu deaths or other pandemics of the past? If the flu pushes the elderly or someone with underlying illnesses over the edge, aren’t their deaths still counted as flu deaths? Often it is impossible to tell if a person with underlying health conditions would have lived longer if not for the viral infection. At any rate, if we are going to compare deaths from the current virus to those of the flu, shouldn’t we count deaths the same way, even if the count isn’t perfect? To change the method now would be like comparing apples to oranges.

        • Once these stories are implanted the emotional response is not easily undone.

          And yes, the reliability of data, testing not being done, then testing changing, new testing being added and old testing being discontinued and just biases in general make sorting out what is happening even more difficult.

      • “health professionals have recently started a petition”

        Health professionals are known to have strong opinions on pretty much everything and to be clueless about… pretty much everything. Including their pretend special expertise topic.

        Health professionals that think measles is an horrible, horrible disease… was a joke 30 years ago.

      • M of B, I agree with your analysis and reply here. Remember, China and the WHO were co-conspirators to misinform the world about the China/Wuhan/Covid-19 virus. This was especially egregious as it was not until Jan. 14, 2020 that the human-to-human transmissions was admitted to. My view is that the quarantine is the second best strategy, but if you missed the best it still is adviseable, and this: there is a bad virus on one side a thousands of dedicated medical scientists on the other side, my money is on the medical scientists. Stay safe.

      • The experiment of Japan is also of interest. They have no lock downs, but a strict observance to mask wearing, and a culture that has cleanliness above everything (shoes are left out of the house), bowing from a distance instead of hugging and kissing, wearing of masks in public. So their numbers are low, they did use isolation of infection locations,people have been taking the crowded subway wearing masks. My country also is low in the numbers, due to taking measures early, before the first victim, and then finding contacts, isolation of villages where there was an accumulation of incidents. We are now in the second week of lockdown, enforced 2 meter isolation, etc. and waiting to see whether it gets better.

        The most terrible example was what happened in Lombardy, where the health and funeral systems are overwhelmed, and where doctors had to decide who was put on ventilation and who not. This raises the death rate, because they tend to give the ventilators to younger people, which brings the rate of older deaths to 100%. In addition, all the heart attack people, the motor and other accidents, find no place to a ventilator.

        It is a many parameter complicated estimate, imo, to see what the real death rate is. Maybe next year, comparing the total death rate between 1920 and 1919, we will know how many more ( statistically) people died because of the lack of hospital beds and the death and overwork of the health personnel,

        The important point is to keep doctors and nurses alive, enough ventilators for everybody that needs them, and lock downs help in that. As also masks for everybody . Maybe if everybody had to wear a mask outside the home, businesses need not have closed, as in Japan.

        • “This raises the death rate, because they tend to give the ventilators to younger people, which brings the rate of older deaths to 100%.”

          The reported death rates around the world of those who had to be put on ventilators are 80-95%. So the odds for old people with underlying conditions surviving after being put on a ventilator are already close to zero.

        • Yes, masks, masks and more masks. It’s a double redundancy that is needed with a very infectious disease.

        • Thank-you for your informative comment and the details about how your country is addressing the virus.

      • “On the other side are the passivists, who argue that after a few weeks in lockdown people will cease to observe the restrictions”

        I see this happening in northwest Washington. The governor has ordered a lockdown, but there is no enforcement, period. Each day for the past week, I’ve seen more and more traffic on the roads as I’m out doing food deliveries.

      • Using Sweden as a comparison also brings up another issue. Comparing like with like.

        Sweden is a land area of 450 km² with 10 million people. England, for example, 130 km² and 56 million people.

        It would be logical that measures taken in one country might not be appropriate for another.

        Even Italy with a similar population of 60 million but with an area almost twice that of England alone is unlikely to be a good comparison.

        Turns out that Italy has some 3x the UK deaths from Influenza in a typical ‘season’. I suspect that this discrepancy is due to ‘social norms’ being significantly different in the two countries.

        • Your calculations of area appear t be a little out. I think that England is a bit larger than 10 km x 13km=130 sq.km.

      • I’d say that South Korea has more than almost gotten the pandemic under control. I keep track of things partly on this site, which has some pretty decent graphical displays. (Some allow switching between linear and log scales, which is quite useful.)

        The South Korea page is the only one I’ve found where the plot of “Active Cases (Number of Infected People)” has a large negative slope. It peaked on March 11 at 7,362 cases, and stood at 3,867 yesterday, April 3. I did a quick trend line, and the slope was -189 active cases per day. If it holds, there will be zero in 20 days, though I rather think there will be more of a tailoff than a straight line to zero (there are still an average of about 90 new cases per day).

        This was a great post, Lord Monckton, and I’ll be following it closely. I have just about every risk factor there is to have a bad outcome should I ever become infected, so it’s of more than passing interest to me.

        • That is what I was ‘worried’ about in comparing one totally different country with another.

          Would seem to me that comparing Sweden with England kicks up problems whereas comparing England with S. Korea might have some validity. (S. Korea) 50 million population /100 km² might lead to a more valid comparison of ‘measures’ taken versus outcomes.

    • We had a bubble economy just like in 08 only bigger. That’s why most people have no savings. The Corona crisis is just the pin. Government/ Central Banks only makes it worse.

      • Complete BS.

        People might not have savings. But my investments are up a certain creek right now.

        The only people that celebrate this fact are stupid lefties that think that two TRILLION dollars is free money. Fu===g Idiot.

  4. Seventh paragraph “January 22” should be “February 22” as in subsequent references.

    Excellent otherwise.

    Now if you could examine the lives lost to severe economic downturns we could compare.

    • Ralph Keeney, years ago, estimated that a human life was worth about 3 to 5 million dollars (in the US). Take $5E6 dollar out of the economy and there will be a hypothetical death.

      With $1 T gone, that is equivalent to 200,000 ‘deaths’ from economic downturn.

      • On a pure economic basis, I question whether an average person’s economic value is anywhere close to that. On top of which almost all the deaths are 60 and over. And it’s not as if we all come out of quarantine and the virus is gone and no one dies. Bottom line is we are killing our economy (and that does result in deaths) for no real benefit.

    • In response to Damon, epidemics do wane, but pandemics both more infectious and more fatal than most – and unfortunately the Chinese virus is now known to be both – would kill millions if left unchecked.

  5. “All four countries show declines in the daily growth rate of confirmed cases.”

    It’s a lot like provax propaganda. You show a decrease that started looong before any vaccine were available, and attribute the whole diff to vaccines.

    • In response to niceguy, I merely report the figures. A 19% daily compound growth rate was evident in the world outside China before vigorous public-health measures began to be introduced, and that compound growth rate is now falling. It is falling for a well-understood and blindingly obvious reason: if one interferes decisively enough with the transmission of an infection, the rate of transmission must slow.

      It is necessary to see whether or not lockdowns are actually working. On present evidence, they are. If that changes, the daily updates here will reflect that fact.

      • Nope. You do vaxxism-like reporting with different number attributed to a cause, which is 100% dishonest. You do report weekly numbers but then you focus on the beginning and end numbers, and attribute the difference to measures.

        Also, you failed to explain that for France the numbers don’t include the old people in nursing homes!

        “Both Germany and France have done quite well in beginning to control the pandemic.”

        Nobody in France believes that. It was pathetic from the start. Complete disorganization, not enough masks, policemen weren’t protected a few days again, we had an half election and many people organizing it became ill, etc. Do you live in another universe?

        • Have we seriously encountered an anti-vax proponent on this blog? Well, I never!

          • re: “Have we seriously encountered an anti-vax proponent on this blog?”

            You have to cut him some slack; he knows not how to: read, how optimally ‘operate’ a search engine, do research, weigh facts, doesn’t understand stats, trends …

          • The criticism of CofB presentation is valid, without diverting into a vax flame-war which will go no where. He is also correct about France. Folks in “care” homes are being left quietly die in place instead of being taken to hospital. Whether the best idea or not, it is a terrible testament to state of the health service which, after years of “austerity”, is utter under equipt.

            There are many factors which will bend the curve. One is that the number critically weak hosts is decaying rapidly.

            If you just look at start and end you can justify any conclusion you like, it’s climatology 101.

            If you want to show “not working is working” you need to find a statistically significant change with a timing which matches the time the restrictions were put in place + a few days lag for incubation period.

            All CofB has done it claim it is “blindingly obvious” . That is where he started before looking at the data.

            He has been quite incisive about claims of linking warming to CO2, it is odd that he lacks the same abilities now.

          • Have we seriously encountered an anti-vax proponent on this blog?

            There’s a couple of anti-vaxxers in these parts, sadly.

          • So antivaxxer means someone who follows evidence, someone rational, honest, and superior to you, NPC?

          • In otherwords, you can take your anti-vaxxer nonsense elsewhere, as no one here is buying it.

      • In response to niceguy, I merely report the figures.

        two lines later :

        It is falling for a well-understood and blindingly obvious reason:

        So you are NOT ‘merely reporting the figures’. You are making totally unsubstantiated claims and seem to think you can circumvent proving any linkage because it’s “blindingly obvious”.

        What is blindingly obvious is that you had a totally biases position before you looked at the data and then concluded what you set out to prove. You “knew” it worked. This is classic climatology in all its beauty. Well done.

        Why not look at the drop in Arctic sea ice in the same period you will find that helped reduce spread of SARS-cov2 as well, by the same method.

        For the third time I invite you to find the “blindingly obvious” change in the Italian data.
        https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-fatalities-italy.png

  6. Here from Sweden.
    Although Sweden does not have an official lock-down, we have a partial lock-down on a voluntary bases.
    Some large factories are closed for production, like Volvo and Scania. Virtually all assemblies, like local political meetings, are postponed until further notice. Road traffic has fallen dramatically as a lot of business and social events are cancelled.

    My point is that Sweden is reality is somewhere in between a lock-down and treating it as a normal flu season. Thus I wonder what the outcome would be over a year, if there was a country where they treated the CoVid-19 as the general family of Corona virus?

    I will follow Monckton’s statistics closely the coming weeks.

    • Mr Friis-Hansen is right: Swedes are subject to some largely voluntary restraints on their movements, and that will certainly work better than not having any restraints at all. I included Sweden in the list of 12 territories we shall be monitoring here precisely so as to use it as the reference case for a country that did not follow the optimal, South Korean strategy but did not follow the full-blown lockdown strategy either.

      As today’s data will show (and I am hoping to provide the data in graphical as well as tabular form), Sweden is currently unique among the 12 territories we are following, in that its mean daily compound case growth rate is rising rather than falling. On the other side of the account, that growth rate is a lot less than in other countries, for reasons that are not yet clear.

      • M of B. I would be interested in seeing you address Japan. Least intervention, and fewest number of deaths per unit of population.

        • Like other Asian countries that have experienced epidemics recently Japan has extensive, Quarantine, testing, track & trace and isolation units.
          They instigated their procedures from day one, not allowing uncontrolled spread so that they did not overwhelm their already extensive health care services.
          They have closed their schools.
          Unfortunately their case and death rates continue to climb.

          However they are not the best, that honour goes to Singapore & Hong Kong.

      • The problem with this whole analysis is it relies on reported cases, which are a function of the number and type of tests. This point has been well made in a number of places eg https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-to-understand-and-report-figures-for-covid-19-deaths-. It’s been shown that the proportion of tests coming out positive is not increasing in any country and that the apparent exponential increase in cases is a result of an exponential increase in tests. Any analysis based on reported case figures is therefore fundamentally faulty.

      • There is no lockdown in Germany either. Retail is closed and most of the service industry, but you can go outside anytime you want. I still am working in an industry production facility (80 employees). It is all just about social distancing and keeping 2m apart. And basically none are wearing masks.

        As for your analysis, it would be interesting to see WHEN each country introduced their particular flavour of lockdown.

  7. An excellent and very interesting analysis Christopher. I live in Bristol UK and find that here there are both not many cases and there are very few people about, almost everyone seems to be following the stay at home message. Watching the TV one sees that may of the people outside are both young and doing sport of some kind, perhaps they consider their own health more than others. The interesting part is that at some point people must begin to move about in larger numbers, and at that point new infections must be expected to rise. If masks actually work (which is a complex question as to whether only droplets or free virus particles can travel in the air, or indeed be produced) then normal fine dust masks (or surgical masks) will work, but with the virus at about 300nm size, any airborne spread will continue. It may be very difficult for the virus to become airborne which is good. We shall have to wait and see.

    I see too why your HIV advice was ignored, it is far too far from being PC in today’s political environment, and I completely agree with your points on the “inertia” in the civil service, but it seems much the same everywhere, lets hope for change, at least the PM is doing his best!

    • Many thanks to Mr Stone for his very kind comments. It is of course particularly difficult for young, vigorous people to be cooped up at home, whereas for us senatorial types a lockdown is far less demanding. One of the reasons why – with our kind host’s kind indulgence – I am producing these daily updates is so that WattsUpWithThat will become the standard reference point for finding out what is really going on, and whether the lockdown measures that young people understandably resent are both necessary and effective.

      Mr Stone also raises the question of whether face-marks are a good idea. The South Koreans, who have demonstrated by their actions that they know how to contain pandemics of this kind, state bluntly and clearly that, though masks do not provide perfect protection, they do provide some protection. Indeed, even wearing glasses provides some protection, because it inhibits ingress of the virions into the eyes via the mucous membranes. That is why I wear a full-face motorcycle helmet when out of doors.

      Mr Stone also raises what is going to become one of the most interesting points in the current debate: at some point people must begin to move about in large numbers, whereupon infections may begin to rise again. I have the answer to the exit-strategy question, which I shall hope to post later today with today’s update on the figures.

      • I have heard of mild cases of pink-eye that might be caused by the virus, and I suppose if you have the infection in your eyes you might then rub it into your nose or mouth. Has some sort of direct transmission from eyes to lungs been suggested?

        Regardless, a home-made multi-layer mask is a practical alternative for the plebs who can’t get purpose-designed masks, and much more obtainable and convenient than a plexiglass shield for indirect protection.

        • if you have the infection in your eyes you might then rub it into your nose or mouth.

          No it’s much simpler than that , the virus can be absorbed though the membranes of the eye just as easily. Wear large sunglasses or workshop safety glasses if you still want to run away from infection for the rest of your life.

          • As I understand it, infection of eyes, ears or GI tract can’t generate the pneumonia that kills COVID victims: You have to go through the nose/mouth to inflame the breathing membranes.

      • I look forward to your ideas on an exit strategy. I have yet to see anyone in officialdom present the criteria they will use to relax and/or remove the lockdown.

    • If masks actually work (which is a complex question as to whether only droplets or free virus particles can travel in the air, or indeed be produced) then normal fine dust masks (or surgical masks) will work, but with the virus at about 300nm size, any airborne spread will continue.

      Sorry that is badly informed. There was never any suggestion that the virus, as 300nm particle floats around in the air. They are contained in aerosols ( from coughing and sneezing ) and droplet of spit people often emit whilst talking. There was much misreporting of an american study which used mechanically produced droplets as a “model” which did not correspond to what is produced by the body, then claimed they could last for several days carrying the virus in the air.

  8. Having followed the corona story , i have read online that the World Health organisation publication ( google sars epidemic2003),that since the 2003 epidemic,it is’ admitted ‘that there have been a small number of outbreak cases as a result of ‘laboratory accidents’!! ???
    Who is to say that this outbreak is not due to the same cause .As is known there is a bio research lab in the Wuhan area.
    Question ; why is this virus in a bioresearch lab, is it being modified in some way.?& for what purpose’.?
    will we ever know for sure ?

      • Chaswarnertoo is not right that the Chinese virus is a bioweapon test run. I have studied its genome, and it is 80% identical to other coronaviridae originating in bats, which live in very large, crowded colonies and are thus prone to infections. It is likely that the virus passed from a bat either to a snake or to a pangolin that was kept live in the squalid open food market in Wuhan to which the Chinese public-health contact-tracers were led.

        The real problem is the weaponization of the World Health Organization, whose current director was China’s candidate for the post. The WHO must share with its close ally the unspeakable Chinese Communist regime in Peking the blame for the present pandemic.

        • I’m not sure that 80% identical in genome code would prove anything.
          My carpet is 80% natural wool and 20% synthetic man-made fibre, OK my carpet is not a virus, but biotechnology has moved forward in the recent years.
          “A genetically modified virus is a virus that has been altered or generated using biotechnology methods, and remains capable of infection. Genetic modification involves the directed insertion, deletion, artificial synthesis or change of nucleotide bases in viral genomes.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_virus

          • Absolutely correct! Changing one gene is all that is necessary, such as recessive versa dominant. Hairy knuckles, attached ear lobes, et cetera.

          • Yes 80% is a huge difference, not a “nearly the same”. We only differ by about 1.2% from chimps.

            Once again CofB has his a priori position he wants to push and fits the facts to it.

            I have studied its genome, and it is 80% identical to other coronaviridae originating in bats, which live in very large, crowded colonies and are thus prone to infections.

            If someone working a biolab wanted to make a weaponised virus they will not start from scratch . They will get a known virulent form of virus and tweak one protein to make it attach to say the ACE2 receptor in the human lung. If the lab was near a broad stock of mammalian samples at a nearby “wet market”, that would be a very obvious place to look for samples. They would doubtless know that bats were a perfect natural reservoir of candidate virus genes.

            The result would be 99.99999% like the original .

            The more the viscount posts, the more he reveals about the agenda he is pumping. Don’t forget he was close to cabinet level in Thatcher’s Conservative govt and is presumably still close to those in the same party now in government and “the Lords” and enforcing lockdown on the population.

            That may explain the apparent absence of the sharp critical analysis he has made in the past about AGW which gained him much renown here.

            If it was a leak from the Wuhan P4 lab this would explain the initial attempts at a cover up by the Chinese authorities. There would seem little point in arresting and silencing doctors warning of a new kind of flu unless there was something about that knew already and needed to hide.

            That is circumstantial but does seem to point to a leak as being the origin. As do all the convoluted attempts are providing a natural game of genetic hopscotch from bats to pangolin to human.

          • Thanks DMacKenzie, I was looking for such an example and could not find one readily. Well done.

        • The conversation about weaponized viruses must be brought into the public domain.
          Why on earth would we ever need bioweapons?

      • Tell that to the US Navy who just fired the Commanding, officer Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt for noting that the country is not at war and the crew was at high risk. Modly’s explanation? “While we may not be at war in a traditional sense, neither are we truly at peace. ”

        Geopolitical games ahead of crew health, anyone?

        • Geopolitical games ahead of crew health, anyone?

          With all due respect, he was fired for contacting the MEDIA and disclosing the war-readiness status and location and a number of other bits of CLASSIFIED information about a US Aircraft Carrier and going outside channels with his disclosures rather than going up channel as regulations require. He was also fired for exercising extremely poor judgment by allowing his crew to go ashore in Vietnam during a PANDEMIC where cases of the Chi-Com Kung Flu Manchu had been reported….and several other legitimate reasons. The Secretary of the Navy stated publicly that he had lost confidence in the ship’s commanding officer.

        • bonbon,

          There were 47 case of the virus in Vietnam at the time the US aircraft carrier got supplies from Vietnam.

          What are the odds the virus just happened to be on the Vietnam supplies that were brought onto the US aircraft carrier? Is deliberately spreading the virus onto a aircraft carrier an act of war?

          China has weaponized the South ‘China’ sea and has militarized the South ‘China’ sea air space. That is sort of an act of war if any other country did it.

          We have appeased China, just like we appeased Germany a long time ago. We allowed them to economically bully every small country, to get what.

          The US is capable of doing just what China is doing. It does not. It plays fair, or reasonably fair. We absolutely never threaten democratic countries with military force to get what we want. We have the rule of law. That was not always true. The US changed.

          China has dominated world trade to the point that we can no longer manufacture items in our own country. That is sort like economic war which we lost.

          China is different the our countries. We have checks and balances and elections. They do not.
          In the Chinese system a group with bad intentions can get power.

        • bonbon

          The Navy had very good reasons to fire the guy.

          Guam was none too happy about his plans to put sailors from an infected ship up in hotels on Guam which use locals, of course, for cleaning, maintenance etc., has few resources to combat a pandemic which they were already fighting and, to complicate things further, Guam is in the middle of nowhere and all supplies must come by plane or boat. They don’t have factories making drugs or medical equipment on Guam.

          Anger in Guam over plan to offload US sailors
          http://a.msn.com/01/en-us/BB123sHb?ocid=st2

          And they had other good reasons, as well.

          ‘Sailors Do Not Need to Die’: Carrier Captain Pleads for Help as Virus Cases Surge
          https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/31/sailors-do-not-need-die-carrier-captain-pleads-help-virus-cases-surge.html

          …The Navy’s top leaders said last week that all members of the carrier Roosevelt’s crew would be tested for COVID-19. The first cases emerged after the ship made a port call in Vietnam in early March, despite warnings that the virus was likely to sweep through the Asia-Pacific region.
          Sailors left the ship for receptions, sports competitions and other events.

          Navy fires aircraft carrier captain after public mayday for his COVID-stricken sailors
          https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/2/brett-crozier-uss-theodore-roosevelt-captain-be-re/

          …He specifically said the letter could send the wrong signal to U.S. enemies that the Navy is unequipped and unable to meet its duties.
          “We require our commanders [to act] with judgment, maturity and leadership, composure under pressure, to understand the ramifications of their actions within that larger dynamic strategic context,” Mr. Modly said. “To allow those emotions to color our judgment when communicating the current operational picture can at best create unnecessary confusion and at worst provide an incomplete picture of American combat readiness to our adversaries.”
          “When the commanding officer of the USS Teddy Roosevelt decided to write his letter the Department of the Navy had already mobilized significant resources for days in response to his previous requests. On the same day marked on his letter, my chief of staff called [Capt. Crozier] directly at my direction to ensure he had all the necessary resources for the health and safety of his crew.”

          In addition, the Commander used a non-secure channel to send his email and cc’d 19 other people quite guaranteeing it would be leaked! The letter was first published in his hometown newspaper which is quite interesting. How did it get from the Dept. of the Navy to his hometown newspaper?

          • “‘Sailors Do Not Need to Die’: Carrier Captain Pleads for Help as Virus Cases Surge

            This captain was a real idiot. It’s not very smart to imply that your superior officers are derelict in their duties, and are not doing all they can to protect their sailors from the Wuhan virus, and it is especially dumb to do so in a letter you leak to your hometown newspaper. I see where the news media is trying to make the captain out to be a victim but he deserved what he got. He brought it on himself.

            The captain should have been sacked for lack of common sense and should never get another command.

      • The team engineered a hybrid virus, combining a bat coronavirus with a SARS virus that had been adapted to grow in mice and mimic human disease. The hybrid virus was able to infect human cells

        Now a leak of THAT would be sufficient cause for the chinese govt. to arrest and silence any doctor saying there was a new strain of flu going around.

        Such actions would not make sense if it was just a natural mutation. Flu virus is always evolving.

        My gut feel as soon as I heard about the presence of a biolab near the market was that this was a leak but this makes it more than a hunch.

        Thanks for the link.

        There was some French govt. document proudly announcing a collaboration with the Pasteur Institute in making a modern grade 4 lab in Wuhan. The French govt. put quite a bit of money into it. I think it was only completed in 2017, do you know if that is the same facility.

    • Laboratory accidents are consistent with the credible information presented in the following.

      • The public available information that you provide is compelling.

        The facts are the Wuhan lab was investigating and taking samples of bats, they had a job posting for someone with experience in that area.

        There is a posting that the researchers got bat pee on them when they were taking samples.

        The lead Wuhan bat researcher has disappeared. Prior to her disappearance the lab in question posted another job opening for someone with experience in working with viruses.

        I like the idea that this was an accident.

        Large non-democratic countries can become dangerous. The problem is they do not have the checks and balances which stop evil things from happening. The problem becomes more dangerous with technology and lots of money. China has been very aggressive in the South ‘China’ sea and has been very aggressive publically.

        There is talk now of a power struggle going on in China. Have you heard anything?

        In times of a power struggle, there is a worry one fraction will try to start something to gain power.

    • It is very unlikely to be a bio-weapon for many reasons:
      1) It is uncontrollable – it would harm the attacker’s population as much as the attacked population over time – UNLESS one had developed a vaccine and secretly distributed it without one’s own country. Keeping such a program a secret would be very difficult as side effects would lead to curiosity and someone would detect the antibodies.
      2) There is NO evidence of genome tampering. The virus appears very much like those occurring in bats already indigenous to the are (Asia). Bats have a ramped-up immune system so any virus that infects them has to be super-charged in it’s ability to spread. This unfortunately leads to its high infectious rate if it can successfully leap to another species.
      3) There is no evidence that China already had this genome mapped out, or a prepared antibody test. They were caught flat-footed (so to speak).

      One could I think make a reasonable argument that the Chinese might have been studying the virus to understand how potentially dangerous it was to their population and it “broke out” of containment – but using Occam’s Razor one is lead to conclude the most likely source was a food market where exotic animals were being sold for food. It is almost a certainty the source was a bat.

      • Hi Robert. If you would like to discuss further please go the China is hiding and lying about the covid cases and deaths, thread.

        I agree, as the Wuhan researcher who had the nickname the ‘bat lady’ because of all the work that she did with bats, has disappeared….

        … and the covid virus is a combination of a bat virus and flu virus

        … there must be a reason why she disappeared and why China is lying about the number of cases and deaths.

        What I do not understand, is why the information concerning the bat lady, her picture on the Wuhan lab web site has been removed, while her name is left on the web site.

        This looks like an effort to leave the key information to create a story… Could it just
        be incompetence on the standpoint of the Chinese censors?

        Also the all powerful Chinese censors left a blog entry about the researchers getting sprayed with bat pee, on the web site. Same question.

        In clandestine work, obviously it is necessary to create a very, convincing fake answer, when there is something that absolutely must be hidden.

        We also know the release of the virus was at a time when Trump was being attacked and was distracted. In the fall, some might have thought he would be forced to resign, for investigating corruption in the democratic party.

        The second thing we know, this sudden stoppage of the entire world economy has resulted in the collapse oil prices.

        China is a net winner. They get low price oil and the US shale oil industry goes bankrupt. This effect would have been easy to predicted. Also I think our slow response to isolate and wear mask could have been predicted.

        I am not saying you are incorrect, however, there is new technology ‘synthetic’ engineering whose goal is to make microbiological components, including viruses. China bought and stole this technology from the US.

      • Robert,

        It’s happened before. The virus being Made in China does not mean the Chinese intended to use it now. They’ve had viruses escape before.

        EXCLUSIVE: Coronavirus Expert Says Virus Could Have Leaked From Wuhan Lab
        https://bit.ly/2UYqbtp

        April 02, 2020
        * Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist who has been quoted as a coronavirus expert by The Washington Post and MSNBC, said Thursday that it’s possible that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab.
        …The researchers also cited testimonies from nearly 60 people who lived in or visited Wuhan saying that the bat “was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market.”
        …The SARS virus escaped twice from the Chinese Institute of Virology in Beijing in 2004, one year after the virus was initially contained…
        _________
        I don’t know what happened but the thing is well worthy of our suspicions, especially, given China’s many attempts to cover it up and their multiple lies..

        • Covid-19 Natural or Man Made?

          Is it possible in a laboratory to make the covid-19 virus? Yes

          Yes, there are two countries in the world that I know that have the new, new technology, which is called ‘synthetic’ bioengineering to make any virus, including the virus we called covid-19 synthetically

          The US and China

          Probability that the US made and distributed the covid-19 virus – 0%

          It is not possible because of the US checks and balances to make and distributed a deadly virus and to attack China without congressional notification.

          Distributed Bio is the US company that now has a computer map of covid virus. They have made synthetic copies of the covid-19 virus.

          Distributed Bio is the company in the Netflix documentary pandemic.

          Distributed Bio is currently working with the US military and the Bill Gates foundation to develop an antibody to save us from what appears to be a man-made virus.

          What is the probability that covid-19 occurred naturally?

          It is very improbable that the most contagious part of a flu virus happens to attach to a bat virus.

          We know this is a low probability event as the last pandemic was a 100 years ago.

          I will get this probability calculated by the US company that has the code for the covid-19 virus.

          Hi KcTaz,

          What is the probability that the Wuhan lab and the bat lady researcher who works at the Wuhan lab is a fake story? 100%.

          There is evidence that the virus is man-made.

          China is the only country that could use synthetic engineering to create the virus. A

          China is the only country that could distribute a fake video story in China.

          The fake video tells a story of a Wuhan lab that where there was a lady that did so much work with bats that she was called that bat lady.

          … and the bat lady has disappeared.
          … and the Wuhan lab was looking for someone with experience to work with deadly viruses.

          blah, blah, blah…

          The Wuhan lab and the lady with bats, is a fake story that was planted as a cover.

          The so-called lab that is shown in the video map with an arrow to the raw live food market, is really a warehouse.

          The actual Wuhan laboratory is located in a different part of town.

          There are other obvious faults in the fake story.

  9. Not necessary! People are too stoopid these days and only accept what is streamed to them on their smart phones. Gullible beyond gullible!

  10. Once again you have shown your worth as a “benchmark ” of human understanding, thanking you for your services to us all, especially the uneducated such as myself
    George

    • Many thanks to Mr Tetley for his kind comments. It will be interesting to follow the benchmark test over the vital coming weeks. With luck, the world will buy itself just enough time to increase testing to the point where the infection can be contained without lockdowns.

  11. Why not look at the figures from Norway, we had a lockdown three weeks ago. Gradually from March 11, from March 13, all schools, gyms, theaters, hair dressers etc. were closed. We have a population of approx. 5.4 mill., Per April 2, 101,000 tests were performed (highest pr. capita besides Bahrein), total deaths are approx. 60 and new cases have been stable at around 2 – 300 pr. day for some days now. The need for i hospital beds has leveled out to around 300 – 350, approx. 100 of these with ventilators. But this is only the beginning, the stupidest thing we do now is to lower the guard.

    • I am most grateful to Rune Valaker for his comments about Norway, which has indeed followed an exemplary strategy in recent weeks. I shall see whether I can add Norway to the list of countries we monitor here.

      • Thanks, her You have a good source (Norwegian only but You will figure it out.) The newspaper Verdens Gang has a team that is working 24/7 to collect all information on new cases etc:

        https://www.vg.no/spesial/2020/corona/?utm_source=coronav

        innlagte = hospitalized
        På respirator = on ventilator
        Sykehus­ans. smittet = health care people infected
        Sykehus­ans. i karantene = health care people in quarantine

      • Just for comparison, Slovakia, same as Norway, 5.5 million, first case 6th of March. Partial voluntary lockdown from the start, very similar to Norway. Similar influx of infected skiers from Italy, Austria as Norway, BUT:
        Face masks mandatory from 12th of March!
        Result is only 470 positive in country, 70 in hospital beds and 3 in ICU, 1 dead. Currently around 22 new cases daily after month from pandemic start.

        • Mask, masks, masks …. The world needs billions of masks.

          Then people can eventually go back to work without creating a 2nd wave.

          • It takes around hour to create face mask from your old t-shirt with scissors, needle and threat.
            You mourn SARS 1 same way? Because whole world does not have immunity?

    • Just a small correction , neither Bahrein nor Norway , your 101000 tests out of 5.4 million people amounts to little under 1.9 % of the total populuation or c.a 19000 per 1 million heads, the same number for Iceland stood somewhere between 28+ to 33 thousand per million (10400 to 12000 actual tests out of 362000 resident population).
      See link below for confirmation of the lower number, exact figure for the higher number are somewhat harder to find and i have not found a resent verifiable number for it , but verified cases here were 1395 at april 2th and only 92 came from the tests done so far in the general population screening of 10400 done outside of the screenings done at health care institutes or centers.
      https://www.icelandreview.com/sci-tech/icelands-coronavirus-testing-global-pandemic-response/

      • You’re probably right. Iceland is a special case as there is a company that has mapped the entire Icelandic people’s DNA profile and which has an extreme test capacity. They also conducted two random tests on the population to find out how many are infected, I do not have this data available. In Norway, the authorities have conducted a kind of semi-procedure, only those who are feared infected have been tested, but all who have asked to be tested have largely been tested. As of today, approx. 5% of those tested have been positive. It increased from approx. 4% two weeks ago, then up to 5%, recent days show a decline.

    • Norway isn’t even close in terms of testing. Iceland has tested over 5% of their population and over half of those tests have purposely been of asymptomatic people (not quite random but much better than any other country by far) not just testing of people who have symptoms or have been exposed. They have steadily been identifying that around 0.8% of just regular folks test positive over the last month. All of their data is freely available on their ministry of healths page. They also have no serious lockdowns going. Just quarantine s of positives and exposures. Iceland and the diamond princess data sets are the best out there by a significant margin.

  12. My lord, once again I respectfully disagree. HIV ( without treatment) is far more lethal than Kung flu.
    Willing to concede on Charney sensitivity of 0.85 or less yet?

    • In response to Chaswarnertoo, the lethality of any infection is a function not only of the ratio of deaths to infections but also of the period between infection and eventual death, which, with HIV, is typically some decades, while, with kung flu, it is some days.

      If my team are right that on correcting the official error in the definition of temperature feedback the Charney sensitivity is around 1.2-1.8 K, and if Dr Happer is right that the reference sensitivity (before feedback) is 0.6 K, then Charney sensitivity is indeed about 0.85 K. But merely asserting that that is the value will not do. It is necessary to prove it.

      • Overall Lethality must also include infectiousness, HIV requires very close intimate contact, COVID19 does not.

  13. Christopher, Your analyses are always welcome, thought-provoking and original.
    However, would you care to comment on the situation in Switzerland, where the testing rate has been very high (twice that of Soth Korea), plenty of reserve hospital beds (thanks to Cold War preparedness) but number of cases and the mortality per million of population remain stubbornly high (source Worldometer) ?
    Further, ‘activist’s’ models have concentrated on acute mortality but have not modelled lockdown-release, health outcomes and longer economic consequences, whereas Prof Thomas’s (Bristol University) model suggests long-term deaths follow the pandemic/depression and fall on the poor of Western societies at close to the acute death toll (UK: 510K deaths vs 460K deaths). Can we be sure that we are not just exchanging today’s problem of the elderly for tomorrows problem of the young (at the cost of the economy) ? Regards, Peter

    • See Japan. No lockdown, just travel testing and isolation, plus masks. Seems to work best. Milord has done some good work, here, though.

    • Many thanks to Mr Blower for packing an enormous number of interesting points into a commendably concise comment.

      It is indeed most useful that Worldometers (whose statistics are the source for my own calculations) are now reporting the percentages of population tested. I suspect that the reason why Switzerland has been less successful than South Korea is that it was nothing like as quick as South Korea in swinging into action with its testing regime. As the South Korean expert has made plain (he is just about the only expert talking any sense about this pandemic), it is not merely days that count. Hours count. The sooner one starts the testing and contact-tracing regime, and the more firmly one isolates all carriers, the less testing is required to maintain a low infection rate.

      The point here is that Western countries, whose governing class is almost entirely innumerate, simply did not understand the most elementary mathematics that underlie any pandemic: namely, that in the early stages of the pandemic the logistic and exponential curves are identical. For proof that the governing class is innumerate, look at how many governments fell for the global warming nonsense.

      You raise an interesting point about the economy. But we are not ready to address that question yet. Because Western governments – particularly Britain and the United States – did not take determined action to test and to isolate and to contact-trace at the very earliest stage, there has been and will continue to be large loss of life in the coming weeks, because although the lockdowns are already bringing down the daily compound case growth rate there is a three-week delay between infection and death, so that there will be a three-week delay in bringing down the numbers of deaths.

      Underlying Mr Blower’s comment lurks the wider question of the exit strategy. Supposing that lockdowns do indeed do their job, how can we come out of the lockdowns without a second wave of infection, and without having so bankrupted the economy that young people are left on the scrapheap of unemployment?

      I shall hope to outline the exit strategy in today’s posting. And in later postings I shall consider the economic question. Just one pointer, though, on the economic front. There is an important difference between the economic cost of warfare and the economic cost of a pandemic. Both kill in large numbers, but the latter leaves the global capital stock undamaged. So restarting the economy can be quite quick. I have done a lot of thinking in this area, for I have long foreseen what is now occurring, and I shall be setting out some methods that governments will not necessarily have thought of yet.

    • Again, Switzerland has a high population density at 219 per square Km, so very easy for the virus to spread.

      • Uh huh, so Japan at 336/km2 shows that there’s an inverse correlation between infection rate and population density I reckon.

        Let’s admit that there are unknown factors in play.

          • And new cases are declining. https://www.cdc.gov.tw/En

            So now we have three data points that “prove” an inverse correlation between covid infections and population density.

            Obviously this proves nothing but that there are factors not being taken into account.

            I know we are all getting cabin fever and need our fix of wild speculation, but with all due respect, it’s not very helpful.

        • Of course, but not unknown.
          Compare the Swiss experience of epidemics with Japan.
          Compare the quarantine, testing and tracing procedures of both countries.
          Compare the wearing of face masks in public places.
          I was mainly comparing Switzerland with the rest of Europe, not Asian countries.

      • All these discussions of population density are silly. They do not reflect typical living conditions at all. Better to look at percentage of population in urban areas and factoring in average urban density.

  14. Are lockdowns working?
    Yes – in Denmark both the annual influenza string and a whooping cough epidemic has been knocked down by the Covid lockdown.
    The question must be whether the lockdowns can explain everything – all the differences we see across the globe? I don’t think so – I still believe the countries Calmette vaccination program must play a huge role in the way the fatality numbers evolve.
    I this one of this crisis inconvenient truths – like Chloroquine?

    • Joergen F. raises an important point about potential treatments for the Chinese virus. Because the fatality rate among closed cases is proving so high (currently 27% in the world outside China), public health authorities are understandably relaxing their normally strict rules about sanctioning use of new medications (or repurposing of existing medications, such as hydroxychloroquine, preferably in combination with azithromycin). But some caution is still needed, for several reasons. In a future piece I hope to go into more detail about potential cures. Briefly, however, public-health authorities rightly worry about the following factors: first and foremost Thalidomide (which caused millions of hideous deformities, because it had not been carefully enough tested before being licensed); secondly, side-effects (chloroquine has several, and there are entire categories of patients who should not go near it, which is why it should only be taken on prescription); thirdly, the rapid mutation that is one of the characteristics of the coronaviridae, so that a vaccine that treats one strain will not necessarily be efficacious against any subsequent strain.

      For now, the best medical advice is to take a daily 25 mg gel tablet of Vitamin D3, which a 2017 meta-analysis shows to have been efficacious in minimizing both the risk of contracting pulmonary infections (such as the Chinese virus is) and of developing severe symptoms in more than 10,000 patients.

      For the moment, therefore, it would be imprudent to imagine that a panacea is yet available, but very large resources are being devoted to looking for a vaccine, because the first cormpany to develop one will make a fortune, and deservedly so.

  15. Encouraging the use of a face mask (yes, it can be home made) in an enclosed area such as a supermarket seems to be valuable as when this virus is airborne as an aerosol, it is very dangerous.

    The virus causes a respiratory (throat, lungs) disease, its entry point is orally or nasal,,Prof. Ian Frazer says it is not a blood borne disease, it is a respiratory disease., an important point in vaccine development.

    This is where the widespread use of a form of face mask indoors seems to be an effective droplet reducer.

    As the Czechs say ” I wear a mask, I protect you, you wear a mask, you protect me”

    Thank you Christopher Monckton for this article.

    • I am most grateful to Keith Minto for his interesting comment about face-masks, which accords in all respects with the advice given by the South Korean public-health expert.

      In fact, the best outfit to wear wherever one might be exposed to airborne transmission of the Chinese virus is motorcycle gear – top-to-toe leathers that can be washed down with soap and water before removing one’s full-face helmet and gauntlets at the end of a trip outside. The full-face helmet is particularly important, because it provides some protection for the eyes as well as the nose and mouth (the South Koreans say the virus does not enter the body via the ears as well). The gauntlets are important because they prevent the virus from getting in under the sleeves.

    • OK, a test….lick your lips, hold your hand a couple of inches from your mouth….say “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”…you can feel the droplets on your hand…..that’s why saliva spewing strangers should wear a face-mask around YOU…and of course vice-versa…any cloth bandana that your breathe passes through instead of around, will do the job. And it will work better than sneezing into your elbow.

    • 3 days ago our WI Governor Evers shut down 3 fabric stores for being “non-essential” — And today the headlines are all about wearing a fabric mask.

      CNN even has a basic (though I have to say, not effective in the least as it is ill fitting and based on a paper manufactured pattern designed to decrease cost and increase manufacturing, utilizing the material as effectively as possible. That does not translate to fabric by the way) mask pattern that people can make at home. GREAT! except for 1 small problem….they CLOSED DOWN THE SUPPLY. There is an excellent pattern for a cloth mask to fit over an N-95 mask that extends the life of the N-95 mask AND provides more protection based on it’s shape. I was planning to join the brigade of people sewing these masks to send to hospitals this weekend as the drop spot for shipping to hard hit cities was open on Monday. Too bad I can’t now because I don’t have the 1 material in my stash to make these masks effective but you know who does? YEP my local fabric store….of course fabric and crafts was deemed “non-essential” and shut down. Well hell, I will miss the drop ship on Monday now because my shipment doesn’t get here until WED. WHY? Because this lockdown is the equivalent of throwing everything at the fan and hoping something will stick to the back of the wall. I will not be sending masks, but I will be sending washable and thus re-usable non-absorbing gowns and caps as I had those already made.

      Do lockdowns work? In the case of those that are helping the supply chain while companies dicker back and forth with workers and unions, us volunteers have sent boxes packed full of re-usuable PPE based on a medical college’s pattern to Italy and to Spain–all boxes taken by a member in the hardest hit area and sent to where they were needed and MUCH appreciated (reports in some of those communities now have washing brigades and masses of seamstresses making more–we are sending fabric along with the gowns now because they can’t get any). The drop on Monday goes to NY and is being coordinated by us who are looking at protecting nurses and doctors to treat the ill. OR at least we were until we were declared NON-ESSENTIAL by a short sighted politician who doesn’t understand that not everything in the medical field has to be disposable in order to be effective. The gowns and caps made, the masks I was going to make can make a HUGE difference and it’s all freaking FREE TO THE PEOPLE ON THE FRONT LINES IN HOSPITALS. So did the lockdown work in this case? No. You want to know what is working? People helping other people. This isn’t the first time I’ve sent supplies from my house to those in need and it won’t be the last. I have skills that are easily motivated into use and use them to benefit–even a small measure in a desperate situation. But now even that small measure is delayed (not stopped because where there is a will there is a way). So no, it doesn’t work.

      Why do I illustrate something small? Because it is an indicator of something larger at play, the short sighted vision and focus on numbers that are biased. I am biased because I took up the call to volunteer my time and my supplies to help in this instance. All the while being told by government scared to death the rush on masks was going to be akin to TP by the sheeple, and put us in harms way by dithering about “sanitation” and cleanliness of bleaching a re-usuable mask(not going into the underlying belief that if you are sick you did something wrong and it is shameful). Scared to stand up and say something to the people like, “Hey everyone listen up! This is what you need to do. You all need to start wearing CLOTH masks. CLOTH masks protect the people around you from you. How do you get these masks? Well we’ve found these places online but if you want to make your own, here are tutorials on YouTube and a pattern from a medical college on how to make them. They don’t need to be perfect, you just need to wear them to protect everyone else. Each night you soak them in hot water in the sink with 1/4 capful of bleach, let them soak for 3 mins and then you rinse well and hang to dry for the morning” But no, we got instead, “MASKS! (clutching pearls in horror) HOW dare you even suggest that people wear masks! They hide their face, they are hideous to wear in public and because nobody knows the difference between paper and cloth they’ll hoard them like they are doing with TP. Masks are NOT EFFECTIVE IN PROTECTION AGAINST COVID”. THAT was the message sent. And it’s wrong. Mask are not a cure for the virus, but they are a barrier, a first line of defense against breathing in undeterred. (for those of you interested in which type of cloth is better than others, please refer to any google search now will bring that fascinating article to light…I found it before it became the best seller).

      So I ask you all here. Do you hear the cognitive dissonance going on in the world? I do. Maybe I’m more attune to it having spent a period of my life married to a narcissist that loved to gaslight and play mind games. I am now free of such a person and recovering my own self in recovery. But I learned a valuable lesson about cognitive dissonance.

      YOU don’t tell people that masks are ineffectual for protection and then blither on the airwaves 24/7 about how doctors and nurses don’t have any because the supply is gone. If they were’t effective, why do doctors and nurses not have anymore?

      You don’t tell ordinary people that masks don’t do anything except cover up their face and then turn around when the supply chain has been truly broken and tell people to go wear masks putting MORE pressure on the supply chain than necessary. Short sighted arrogance and I’m pointing THAT directly at the CDC. Because THEY were the ones saying that masks don’t do anything, may increase the infection rate because “common folks don’t know how to take them off “properly”” but instead of showing those lowly peasants and teaching them something new–they waved it off as something “not to worry about” and spent the time auctioning off freaking ventilators to companies that don’t have the tooling to do so, but it’s OK GM is gonna make everyone a ventilator.

      ALL the while recommending we prevent the spread of the virus– that travels on SNEEZE and COUGH droplets, but don’t cover your mouth and nose because you don’t know how to do that properly, oh no, just sneeze into your arm and you’ll be good to go. Right because everyone sneezes or coughs in their arm–we’re all taught that as kids right? Right?

      Speaking of spread, it’s on sneeze and cough droplets, but if your asymptomatic, your akin to Typhoid Mary. What does asymptomatic mean? It means you aren’t sneezing or coughing..i.e. you have no symptoms but you CAN spread it when you are asymptomatic(huh??).

      MOST people are going to have mild versions of this highly contagious virus with many not showing any symptoms at all–but nobody is immune (btw, did you see our newest model of ventilator in the showroom? I’ll go over the features with you).

      We are testing to contain the spread, but we are only testing those that have worsening symptoms.

      When we have antibody testing we’ll test those that have recovered (now there is a WTF if I ever heard one in my life–if they’ve recovered, they have the antibodies–I don’t have the source for that one, it was buried in an article on the company that piggybacked on SARS antibodies and made great strides forward, the reporter’s ignorance is to blame for that one. He mixed up the use of antibodies with testing. But as a biologist, I recognized the mistake).

      If you do get the virus and recover, you again are typhoid Mary and can spread it to others. Oh and your immunity will only last for maybe a few months to a few years or you can be re-infected. (since when has a non-mutated or only slightly mutated–as they do tend to mutate between coronavirus reinfected someone with antibodies? Is this the superflu now?).

      Because this is a media storm above all and if something as simple as mask can set people off, can you imagine how differentiation between those with the virus that have died and those that died OF the virus could turn that storm on it’s head? I can. The media is throwing this not only out of proportion but is moving too damn fast for anyone to try to keep up or better yet, question WHY. Does the lockdown work? So far the only things I’m seeing come out of this is showrooms for ventilators and the media cashing in at the bank. But I’m rather cynical in nature. Do I believe that people need to protect themselves? Yes. And more than just a virus. Do I believe we need to destroy our way of life to do it? No. I believe we need to learn. LEARN what propaganda really is, the many forms of it, the way it is used and we need to learn basic freaking biology (that also goes for the climate bruhahah too). But mostly, we need to learn what data really is and where anecdotal information fits.

      So I’m going to sit back and wait, I’ll sew my masks when my supplies get here on Wed and I’ll continue to work from home in an “essential” business and be thankful I have a job. And when this blows over–good or bad, I hope that people will remember this and remember it well to put safeguards in place for the next storm to come. And the next disaster to come along may, just may incline more people to be rather skeptical of what is being said on the airways.

      • “just sneeze into your arm and you’ll be good to go”

        French TV three weeks ago:
        – sneeze into your arm pit;
        – in the metro, don’t touch the bar with your dirty hands, it spreads the virus; use the arm pit to grad the bar.

    • A JAMA article on Turbulent Gas Clouds and Respiratory Pathogen Emissions, there are some nice example videos in the link.

      Recent work has demonstrated that exhalations, sneezes, and coughs not only consist of mucosalivary droplets following short-range semiballistic emission trajectories but, importantly, are primarily made of a multiphase turbulent gas (a puff) cloud that entrains ambient air and traps and carries within it clusters of droplets with a continuum of droplet sizes (Figure; Video).2,3 The locally moist and warm atmosphere within the turbulent gas cloud allows the contained droplets to evade evaporation for much longer than occurs with isolated droplets. Under these conditions, the lifetime of a droplet could be considerably extended by a factor of up to 1000, from a fraction of a second to minutes.
      Given various combinations of an individual patient’s physiology and environmental conditions, such as humidity and temperature, the gas cloud and its payload of pathogen-bearing droplets of all sizes can travel 23 to 27 feet (7-8 m).3,4 Importantly, the range of all droplets, large and small, is extended through their interaction with and trapping within the turbulent gas cloud, compared with the commonly accepted dichotomized droplet model that does not account for the possibility of a hot and moist gas cloud. Moreover, throughout the trajectory, droplets of all sizes settle out or evaporate at rates that depend not only on their size, but also on the degree of turbulence and speed of the gas cloud, coupled with the properties of the ambient environment (temperature, humidity, and airflow).

      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763852

  16. I agree that nothing from China is believable.

    Can anyone point me to an actual daily death count by US county? I don’t care how they died and I don’t want estimates. I would like to look back daily for 2 years.

  17. If the infection rate is high and death rate is consequently very low it means that the asymtomatic who have recovered may constitute 30% herd immunity by now. Since this is roughly halfway to the 70% herd immunity ‘required’ to extinguish the pandemic, it follows that it might possibly start having a significant effect on the growth rate in the next few days or weeks, possibly turning it negative.

    The upshot of the posited 30% herd immunity drastically reducing and reversing the growth rate is that it could mimic the hoped-for effects of lockdown measures. Both are expected to bend the curve in the growth rate and turn it negative.

    Doubtless, the lockdown measures must have some tangible effect as appears to be the case from Lord Monckton’s data thus far. However, we shouldn’t forget that, if the current herd immunity is 30% and climbing fast, some of the effect on the daily case growth rate will be owing to this herd immunity and some to the lockdown measures.

    • Scute makes a very useful point about herd immunity. In a future posting I shall hope to provide a more detailed analysis of the true infection rate, which can be evaluated from the daily death count.

      There are five methods of curbing pandemics. The only one of these that is within the direct control of governments is restrictions on movement so that the virus cannot spread. In a future article, I shall discuss each of these methods.

  18. The reference period for the test is the three weeks from January 22 to 14 March 2020,

    February 22 to 14 March 2020?

    • Yes, the tables are correct, but the text is incorrect in one or two places. Sorry about that.

  19. A French study shows mortality rates for Covid 19 are similar to other coronaviruses.

    An eminent German Professor, an infectious disease epidemiologist, sends an open letter to the German Chancellor referencing this study and asking 5 key questions:

    1. Did projections make a distinction between symptom-free infected people and actual, sick patients – i.e. people who develop symptoms?

    2. How does the current workload of intensive care units with patients with diagnosed COVID-19 compare to other coronavirus infections?

    3. Has there already been a random sample of the healthy general population to validate the real spread of the virus, or is this planned in the near future?

    4. How is a distinction to be made between genuine corona-related deaths and accidental virus presence at the time of death?

    5. What efforts are being made to make the population aware of these elementary differences and to make people understand that scenarios like those in Italy or Spain are not realistic here (Germany)?

    Many, many British citizens have had this virus, including various health ministers, the Prime Minister and the heir to the throne. An overwhelming majority have made a good and speedy recovery. Overall mortality rates for the last few weeks in Britain have been, and remain, bang on the five year average.

    Time, long overdue, to wake up and smell the already burning and expensive coffee.

    • Mr Bidie argues well for the passivist case. All of his points have some validity. It is worth repeating, however, that the crucial consideration that led governments to implement lockdowns – and none of us, particularly if we are libertarians, likes lockdowns – was the rate at which hospital intensive-care units were likely to be overwhelmed by Chinese virus cases.

      Since intensive-care beds are a precious, costly and limited resource, no Chinese virus patient is placed in intensive care unless he or she has respiratory occlusion. Unfortunately, very large numbers of patients are already presenting with acute breathing difficulties, for the second strain of the Chinese virus is proving a great deal more infectious and more fatal than the first.

      For this reason, lockdowns are essential in those countries that did not institute widespread testing and isolation and contact-tracing regimes right at the outset. The reason for the lockdowns is to buy time so that intensive-care capacity can be dramatically increased. This was done, and necessarily so, in Wuhan, and has been done in London, in New York and in may other places.

      Regrettably, one cannot simply look at the mortality rates for the past few weeks and say that, therefore, all will be well. The rate of growth of the infection is exponential during the early stages of any pandemic, for well-understood and well-proven reasons. Therefore, unless test-isolate-contact-trace is implemented at once, the pandemic will spread fast enough to overwhelm health-care and hospital capacity unless firm lockdowns are instituted.

      In today’s update on the case count, I shall hope to discuss the exit strategy. There is one, but most governments have not yet realized it.

        • Most hospitals are still seeing normal occupancy (or even a bit less due to fewer accidents and other infectious illness due to lock-downs and social distancing) because the distribution of COVID-19 cases is very uneven. Roughly 40% of all US cases are in the New York metro area. Hospitals there are stressed, but not yet at the verge of collapse as in Italy – though New York may be there in a week.

          There are a number of other, mostly urban, “hot spots” like New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, and LA that are on similar trajectories to New York. Hopefully the lock downs will succeed in reducing the rate of infection to something health care systems can handle.

          The uneven distribution of cases is the strongest argument in favor of selective relaxation of current draconian social controls. I don’t see this happening until testing can be scaled up significantly. There are still many parts of the country where screen and trace could be effective.

          • As of yesterday, the two USNS hospital ships sitting idle in LA and NYC had 3 patients and 15 patients respectively….where are the overloaded hospitals? A photojournalist has been going to hospitals and filming the EMPTY parking lots in the ER section and the IDLE caregivers inside the ERs. Where are the hordes of Chi-Com Flu victims?

          • TEWS_Pilot April 4, 2020 at 11:20 am
            As of yesterday, the two USNS hospital ships sitting idle in LA and NYC had 3 patients and 15 patients respectively….where are the overloaded hospitals? A photojournalist has been going to hospitals and filming the EMPTY parking lots in the ER section and the IDLE caregivers inside the ERs. Where are the hordes of Chi-Com Flu victims?

            Those ships aren’t allowed to take COVID-19 patients.

          • Correct, they were SUPPOSED to be used to handle the OTHER patients so the hospitals could handle the MASSIVE CRUSH of Covid-19 patients…….still waiting……meanwhile, New York sent 5 Covid-19 patients to the ship to CONTAMINATE it…..any idea why? Incompetence or more bio-warfare like the Chinese woman videoed walking to each computer on display in a shop and wiping something one every keyboard and screen and other similar apparent sabotage acts?

      • Thank you for your response.

        Hospitals whose intensive care units typically operate at 90% occupancy every year clearly have the potential to be overwhelmed on a regular basis, as occurred 2013/14 and as recently as 2017/18 in Britain. The indictment is that subsequent contingency plans to cope with further such occurrences have simply not been correctly resourced.

        The idea that the rate of growth of the infection is still exponential is simply that, an idea; an idea based on a model.

        But: ‘All models are wrong. It’s striving to make them less wrong and useful in the moment.’

        Mark Weir, a director of Ohio State University Ecology, Epidemiology and Population Health Program.

        Consistent data across international boundaries does not exist for this virus, so differing models (even those of close and respected colleagues) vary wildly in their inputs and outputs.

        Therein lies our problem. Some modellers are better connected than others. The modellers of Imperial College, London, have close connections to the British Chief Medical Officer and to the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.).

        No matter, then, that an alternative model from a close colleague and team in Oxford suggests that the ‘new’ virus may very well have been around for a great deal longer than the assumptions built into the Imperial College model, creating a hugely different set of likely outcomes.

        In any case, the problem may not be the model, a model, any model; it is most likely modelling in general but, more particularly, the reliance Governments place upon it, that is the problem when, manifestly, available reliable and consistent international data inputs simply do not exist. To ensure such consistency one might have thought to be a worthy task for the W.H.O., now, surely, unlikely to survive this expensive and disastrous shambles.

        So, for any government, a ‘lockdown’ is a good one way bet. It may slow things down. It may not make any difference whatsoever (Sweden compared to Denmark). It may not matter even if this coronavirus is no more dangerous than any other coronavirus. Once our own physical constitutions overcome this virus, as they will, or already have, depending on the model, governments will state that it was they, not us, that saved us, and that is good for them.

        But at what a cost to us?

        • re: So, for any government, a ‘lockdown’ is a good one way bet. It may slow things down. It may not make any difference whatsoever (Sweden compared to Denmark). It may not matter even if this coronavirus is no more dangerous than any other coronavirus. Once our own physical constitutions overcome this virus, as they will, or already have, depending on the model, governments will state that it was they, not us, that saved us, and that is good for them.

          Exact some idea expressed by … Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, and Tom Abbott classified this as “conspiracy theory”. Fair Use copyright excerpt follows:

          RUSH: I just have one more thing to say about models. It’s undeniably true, and it’s one of the things that frustrates me about them. The doomsayers always win. Do you realize this? The doomsayers always win in a psychological sense. “What do you mean, Rush?” Well, let me explain it to you. I’m glad you asked.

          If it’s bad — if it is as bad as they say — they will say, “I warned you. I told you it was going to be 100,000 dead, 200,000 dead. I told you!” If it isn’t as bad as they say, if it doesn’t end up being as bad as they predict, they then say, “It’s only because we warned you to do what was necessary to avoid the threat.”

          They are never wrong.

          The doomsayers are never wrong; they always win. They’ve got an answer for everything. The realists, like me… I’m the mayor of Realville. I am Mr. Literal. This program is Realville. I am the mayor, governor, president, whatever. I’m an optimist. I can’t help it. I have the optimist gene. We never win up against the doomsayers.

          If that turned out to be right [200,000 dead], the doomsayers would still say that I was reckless and that I endangered lives and that lives were saved only by the doomsayers who warned everybody not to listen to the optimists, and that’s why modelers… I don’t care whether it’s health models, whether it’s climate models, economic models. They always play the doom card.

          They always play the worst-case-scenario card, and they never lose. The people who lose are those who’ve had their livelihoods ruined because of the doomsayers. But, boy, you contradict the doomsayers and say, “I don’t think it’s this bad. I don’t think a hundred thousand, 200,000 people are gonna die.”

          (angrily) “Who are you to dispute Dr. Fauci? Who are you! What do you mean?” “Well, I’m an eternal optimist, and I just don’t believe…” “Well, that’s recklessly…” So, you can’t say it. The optimist and the realist have to shut up, ceding the argument to the doomsayers, and that’s where we are here, and that’s what I don’t like about this.

          They will get credit for having warned everybody in advance. The fact that the economy’s been shellacked and destroyed? “Ah, an insignificant byproduct to the saving of lives.”

          https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2020/03/30/doomsayers-always-win-even-when-the-optimists-are-right-hypothetically/

          • “(angrily) “Who are you to dispute Dr. Fauci? Who are you! What do you mean?” “Well, I’m an eternal optimist, and I just don’t believe…” “Well, that’s recklessly…” So, you can’t say it. The optimist and the realist have to shut up, ceding the argument to the doomsayers, and that’s where we are here, and that’s what I don’t like about this.”

            Well, let’s just wait and see what the final numbers are.

            It is reckless to cast doubt on Dr. Fauci, and the whole national effort, when you don’t know what you are talking about, because you don’t have all the facts available, and Rush doesn’t have all the facts available. Noone, at this time, has all the facts about the Wuhan virus available. It is a fluid, changing situation and claiming Dr. Fauci is using these numbers to make himself look good is a little bit over the top, imo, and itself is a conspiracy theory.

            I find it interesting that the Mayor or Realville, who usually scoffs at anything that appears in the mainstream media as being a distortion of reality, used several newspaper articles to back up his claim that there is something underhanded going on with the computer models. Rush usually doesn’t put much faith in leftwing reporting. Only when it suits his purposes, it seems. So Rush is human after all.

        • In response to Mr Bidie, for very well-understood reasons the spread of a new infection during its early stages (i.e., until about a quarter of the population have become infected) is near-perfectly exponential. In an earlier piece that was not accepted by WUWT, I demonstrated this with the reported cases worldwide outside China up to March 14, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency. The curve of the actual data and the exponential curve are near-perfectly coincident: I even prepared a PowerPoint blink comparator to demonstrate that the two curves were of precisely the same shape. In the end, I sold the piece handsomely elsewhere, and the government concerned promptly instituted a lockdown.

          In that piece, I also explained in some detail the five factors one or more of which must eventually come into play to transform the later stages of the epidemic from an exponential to a logistic curve. Rather than recite these five, I shall merely state that the only one of the five over which governments have immediate control is interference with the transmission of the infection by public-health measures. Vaccines and palliatives may not be available at once, and the removal of susceptible either by acquisition of immunity or by death is initially not significant enough, as a fraction of the susceptible population, to inhibit the exponential transmission. As for the shrinking of the remaining susceptible population, that only has a significant impact after most people have been infected – and, in the absence of a vaccine, you really don’t want to go there.

          As today’s follow-up piece with updated figures will show, this time graphically, Sweden is just about the only country in Europe where the daily compound increase in cases is increasing. If that continues for just a week while other countries in Europe show a fall to below Sweden’s daily case growth rate, expect a change of policy there. Comparing one country to another in the very early stages of an epidemic is futile: the next three weeks, however, will determine whether Sweden, with no lockdown, or Denmark, with lockdown, was right.

          • Thank you for your response.

            If Prof. Dr. med. Sucharit Bhakdi, Chairman for 22 years of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Mainz University, whose entire life has been devoted to researching the pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of infectious diseases still has to ask the five questions that I list above, which have not yet been satisfactorily answered, then I stand with him when he, further, asks:

            ‘Can the present implementation of measures that curtail essential elements of human rights be legally justified?’

            Time to get back to work.

        • Tim, I have recently had an interesting exchange with an NHS nurse who says that her, large regional, hospital is well under occupied for the time of year and the ICU is almost empty which is unheard of.

          As for suggestions that SARS-CoV-2 has been around longer than January I have seen learned opinion that it was in the UK during last summer.

          In the first week of September my wife was in our local regional hospital for a routine foot operation that needed an unplanned overnight stay. Naturally, I visited her. Within 48hrs I had the most unpleasant symptoms and she had the same a week later. Extreme lethargy, loss of appetite, nausea, a cough, sore throat but mostly a low body temperature. Apart from a short spell in late November she still has it. I had almost recovered by mid March but was knocked sideways last Thursday (March 26) and am now very unwell.

          We have friends all over the UK and the story is the same: several months of severe illness.

          Our GP surgery and that of friends in Sussex are very clear: it was/is a national epidemic that for some reason has been completely hushed up.

  20. Germany and France both took advantage of the EU’s system for supplying both testing kits and personal protective equipment for health professionals. The UK, however, failed to respond to the EU’s email in time. Worse, British civil servants are so used to acting simply as passive agents for the Brussels tyranny-by-clerk that they were more or less completely unprepared for a pandemic, and the flapping-around is saddening to watch.

    I’ve always maintained that many issues that most Britons and most of MSM lay at the feet of the EU and Brussels are in fact due to UK civil service and political failings. How else can you explain this paragraph? There was an EU system in place but the UK’s failure to take advantage of it is blamed to the EU, is that logical.

    It would be interesting to compare deaths per million against per capita spending on health. My thoughts are that South Korea and Japan are amongst the highest spenders on health.

    • In response to Mr Vorlich, I did not suggest that the EU was at fault for Britain’s failure to respond to its email in time.

      It is not so much spending on health that matters: it is spending on inhibiting pandemics that matters. South Korea, owing to its close proximity to China, which is the source of so many pandemic infections, has devoted considerable time, effort and thought to prevention, and the results are there for all to see.

      • Lord Monckton, Thank you for that reply, whilst you may not be blaming the EU for the UK’s problems in this instance or for the UK’s implemention of EU rules and guidelines many do/did. Water under the bridge now.

        But will the UN and its satellite arms like WHO replace the EU in running the UK, it seems likely.

        • Germany had 28,000 intensive care beds available, the UK 4500, Italy slightly less.

          As for the UN, Bank of England ex-governor Mark Carney has gone to the UN as green enforcer with his plan for a GND on steroids, global digital currency and all.
          This fits like a glove with van der Leyen’s EU GND. And surprise, surprise, BoJo has pledged a green UK well before even Germany!

          So what was Brexit all about, then?

          • Bonbon’s point about the lamentably innumerate Boris Johnson’s endorsement of climate Communism is unfortunately sound. It will be interesting to see by how much the rate of growth in CO2 concentration changes as a result of the worldwide lockdown.

    • Switzerland has high per capita spending on health, but also is among the highest in deaths per million of population.

  21. Amazingly excellent CMoB can’t wait for your updates. Australia is today wrongly advising masks are only for the infected. Masks are important to deter nose/mouth touching. How’s about Japan. Their data is good. And we all know Japanese never enter a house wearing shoes. We all go from the corona coated supermarket floor direct to our kitchen floor!

      • I can easily touch my face with a mask on. Just stick my finger underneath it.

        Let me help. If one is wearing a mask there is likely a reason one is doing so, thus:

        “I can [stupidly] touch my face with a mask on. Just stick my finger . . . ”

        – is probably a better interpretation of your argument.

        • If my face itches, I’m going to scratch it. It could be argued that a mask puts me at more risk because I have to reach in and use the tip of my finger to scratch, whereas without a mask I can use my knuckle.

          • It could be argued that a mask puts me at more risk . . .

            Thank you for that. I lay me down corrected.

            Agreed, it could be so argued. After all, given recent examples, there’s no shortage in the world of addlepate’s attempting to avoid the propitious use of their God-given common sense.

            🙂

  22. In the Netherlands they have found roaming 3 different strains of current corona virus, as it mutates while it spreads. Two strains are mild like a flu, bringing headlines of 100 year olds surving the IC. Also in France same headlines appear.

    I guess it would be wise to focus on hotspots of the aggresive strain only, isolate it, and let it die out. At same time you let the other mild strains fully roam around to build up nationwide immunity.

      • re: “It is possible to track the spread this way.”

        Interesting … the downstream ‘mutations’ can be tracked back to … China.

  23. Good Lord!
    At least the author didn’t write “Communist Virus”. as some US Senators rave, wild-eyed.
    As far as Churchill’s “Occupied Tibet” narrative goes, why not ask the Dalai Lama about COVID?
    There might be something about it in his Bardo Thodol, known in the “west” as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
    The Khan, who brought plague first to China with 30% population loss, then to Europe with known decimation, spared only Tibet and adopted its Book for the Horde.
    Is this the virus that Prince Philip promised to “do something about the population” when reincarnated? An odd Tibetan ring to that, what?

    • In response to Bonbon’s rather confused comment, the Chinese virus did originate in China, as have so many recent infections, and it was the Chinese Communist Party’s refusal to admit that yet again the sordid hygiene standards over which it presides had let yet another infection loose that allowed the pandemic to spread unchecked, which it could have been slowed or even prevented.

      And China does indeed illegally occupy Tibet, over which it had, and has, no legitimate claim in international law whatsoever. In the post-colonial international-law disposition, the self-determination of peoples is paramount. The Tibetan people did not want and do not want Chinese Communist rule.

      • Interesting how this virus brings out the true face of geopolitics.
        Shades of Churchill- some even want a new Iron Curtain!

        At least the world can now witness British Geopolitics, blushing, naked in full public view.

        Meanwhile the new paradigm emerging, with President Trump, Putin and Xi cooperating and hopefully Modi, will put a definitive end to that Malthusian oligarchy.

        • By your analogy, ‘Polish sausage’ is “Shades of Pope John Paul II…. blushing, naked in full public view.” Sheesh! Dial the drama down a little…

      • The “post-colonial” disposition today means Tony Blair’s R2P – Responsibility to Protect by bombing to the stone age as in Libya. Or US Senators, with British ex-Governor Patten, dressed in Antifa Black supporting the destruction of Hong Kong.
        Playing the HK, Tibet, Taiwan cards in the bowels of a sinking ship reminds me of the Baron Muenchhausen (incidentally one of the best movies of all time).
        The_Adventures_of_Baron_Munchausen
        https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096764/

          • At the deck of the sinking ship, the card game goes on.
            At least the good Lord does not play the CO2 card.
            It is a little disappointing the other cards in the geopolitical deck still mesmerize.
            The movie card game scene is a masterpiece from Gillian.

  24. With regards to the projection of the population infected but did not show any severe symptoms to warrant going to the doctor or hospital, an antigen test will show those cases. It would be some probabilistic estimate to project the proportion of the population that have develop antigens but did not exhibit any severe or even any symptom, those that have the antigens but only required a visit to the doctor– i.e. mild symptoms, those that required hospitalization severe symptoms

  25. Bad News.
    Cats are carriers of the virus.
    15% of street cats in Wuhan are infected already.
    In Italy probably the same
    This means, the virus is already endemic and will go nowhere.
    Lockdowns will reduce the spreading rate as already seen.
    But who can lock the cats?

    • Alex raises an important point: this virus seems more than usually adept at species-jumping, particularly among mammals. In Britain, there is some concern that foxes and badgers will spread it.

      The main point of the lockdowns at present is to prevent human-to-human transmission so that other control measures will have some chance of working without utterly swamping the hospitals and preventing the treatment of those with other diseases.

      Once the case count and, three weeks thereafter, the death count have been brought under control, more attention can be given to animal vectors.

      • Yes, because my British cousins are well-known for keeping foxes and badgers as pets, eschewing cats, isn’t it? . I suppose that almost every one of her majesty’s subjects come into close contact with a fox or a badger daily. Think of the fox hunts dear man! Or perhaps this is a red herring?

        The use of badgers (albeit as a rabbit substitute) is documented here:
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T2PdyxMtiYM

        Apologies, this is a serious subject, but I don’t think that these speculative discussions are. I await Willis Eschenbach’s rebuttal, but dare say that one cannot measure the effect of “lockdowns” without a control group of otherwise identical subjects. As others have commented (despite weakening their arguments with anti-vax comments), every epidemic has an exponential growth phase that levels off and declines. We cannot know if the “let ’er rip” approach would have caused 1.6-2.4m deaths as Pres. Trump is claiming (I am skeptical). Equating the eventual decline in new cases or deaths as the effect of lockdown is not intellectually serious.

        Having said that, I am of the view that the precautionary principle, as you and the President espouse, is at least for a limited period, the more prudent path. Once there are testing systems in place to characterize the true spread and developing immunity, and (pray God) there may be evidence of effective treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, then it will be far more reasonable to take Willis’ approach.

        In medio stat virtus.

    • There is no evidence that cats transmit COVID 19.
      https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19
      ‘While coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now mainly spreading from person-to-person.

      There is no evidence that any animals, including pets in Australia, might be a source of infection with the virus.

      There have also been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with coronavirus in Australia.

      There is also no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread coronavirus. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.’
      Its true that cats and dogs get A coronavirus, but not this one.
      Were a dog or cat exposed to a human carrier the leads and collar should be washed in warm soapy water then dried.
      This virus, having already jumped the species barrier, is unlikely to do so again unless massive numbers of infected people are placed in ‘wet markets’ with numerous other species of animal.
      Its more likely, in the virulent form, to adeptly kill people and hopefully change to a benign form so that it may spread more easily, like the common cold, immunising us all.
      Its spread is helped by cold and crowding, not household pets.
      Some measure of climate warming in the northern hemisphere would be beneficial to slow its spread.

      • It is not necessary for cats or dogs to themselves be infected to be a source to transmit the virus. An infected person coughs on, sneezes on, or pets the cat with hands carrying the virus. Another person pets the cat and then touches their face. The same exact thing happens if an immune person picks up the virus touching a door handle that has just been touched by a person shedding the virus and subsequently shakes hands with a vulnerable person who then touches their face.

        Cats allowed to go outside may very possibly interact with neighbors or get into garbage carrying the virus in their roaming. As cats continuously groom themselves, any virus picked up while scavenging will be distributed over their fur.

        If cats actually can get infected, then the risks rise much higher with one person’s cat acquiring the infection from its owner and passing it along to neighbors cats while interacting outside. Then those cats interact with their owners. Whether there’s any evidence of that, I don’t know. Certainly animals that are domestic pets are far more of a risk to their owners than any wild animals.

  26. The reference period for the test is the three weeks from January 22 to 14 March 2020,

    hang on , was this year a leap , you know the ones which include the month of February?

      • Thanks, maybe you could address some of the more serious points.

        Italy seems to have passed peak COVID infection about 10 days ago. Is there any clear sign of this being due to restrictions? I’ll take a leaf out of Willis’ “spot the volcano” book, can you identify the point at which restrictions in Italy came into effect on this graph of case, fatalities and their ratio ??

        https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-fatalities-italy.png

        simply saying the exponential is slower now that it was at the beginning is trivial and in no way justifies any conclusion about the effectiveness of economy destroying restrictions. You have not reason for that attribution.

        This has not more relevance than attributing everything that changes to a “correlation” with CO2.

        • My rather pedestrian analysis of reported daily deaths from Italy shows a reduction in the number 14 – 16 days after the lockdown was implemented – at first in the provinces surrounding those with the outbreaks, then 2 – 3 days later nationwide.

          So there is some evidence that restrictions are working. What will be their social and economic cost in the long terms no-one can say now, but it looks bleak.

      • RE: Actual mortality rate

        First, many thanks for informing & causing so many to think.

        Washington state’s covid 19 stats yield insights into mortality. Deaths as a % of confirmed cases is trending downwards. The rate has fallen from about 8% in mid March towards 2.5-3.5% in early April.

        By way of background information, kung flu struck Washington state earlier (late Feb for initial deaths “with” covid 19) than elsewhere in the US (mid and late March for most states). And, on a per capita basis, the outbreak there is much worse than most other states.

        The mortality rate cited above is deaths “with” covid 19 during a week divided by confirmed cases lagged 1 week (yields 3.4% early Apr rate) or by 10 days (yields 2.3%).

        • In response to DM, during the early stages of a pandemic the usual metric for beginning to discern the case fatality rate is the ratio of deaths to closed cases (closed cases are those that have either recovered or died, so that we know the outcome). At present, outside China and occupied Tibet, the case fatality rate based on closed cases is 27%. And no, that shouldn’t be 2.7%. It is 27%. That was one of the factors that decided Boris Johnson to introduce a lockdown when his officials couldn’t agree.

          • TY

            Your feedback is accepted, but, regrettably, I lack the necessary data to recalculate my original comment–or the following.

            Italy’s data also show a downward trend in mortality. The downward trend begins about 3 weeks after the first confirmed cases. Relative to confirmed cases, death “with” covid 19 dropped from about 30% in mid March towards 15% in early April. This is based on a 7 day lag. For a 10 day lag, the share drops from 40-45% towards 15%.

            For the sake of clarity, the Washington state & Italian shares are calculated using ONLY NEW cases, rather than all cases to date.

  27. At least two US military War Game studies have just come to light, with uncanny results.
    Urban Outbreak 2019 :
    Among the conclusions in the summary are two that, in the minds of the wargamers, stand out: forced mass quarantine can backfire and trigger additional disease spread–a finding that was different from the Chinese experience in Wuhan; and, the mortality rate is a better indicator of the assessment of the scale of an outbreak than the overall number of cases.

    and USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560, explicitly Coronavirus, dated Jan 6 2017 :
    In addition to anticipating the coronavirus pandemic, the military plan predicted with uncanny accuracy many of the medical supply shortages that now appear poised to cause untold deaths, author Ken Klippenstein reports. The plan states: “Competition for, and scarcity of resources will include non-pharmaceutical MCM [Medical Countermeasures] (e.g., ventilators, devices, personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves), medical equipment, and logistical support. This will have a significant impact on the availability of the global workforce.”

    So why, with two known US Military studies are we woefully unprepared?
    Clearly because of of decades-long take-town of the economy, and health-care, not addressed in the above report.

      • In response to Bonbon, enforced universal house arrest can indeed backfire, unless the government explains very carefully why continuing the lockdown is absolutely essential. A second wave of infection can start. One of the reasons for the daily updates that I am proposing here is so as to demonstrate whether, and to what extent, the lockdowns appear to be working. So far, the signs are not unpromising, and it will reassure people to know that, even as the numbers infected and the numbers dying rise very sharply in the coming weeks, the growth rate of confirmed cases is slowing – a fact that is particularly impressive given that more widespread testing is likely to pick up more rather than fewer cases.

        The mortality rate is indeed a better gauge of the true progress of an infection than the confirmed-case count, for reasons discussed at some length in the head posting. But it is a lagging indicator – lagging in the Chinese-virus case by some 21 crucial days. So it is better to discern trends using the case growth rate.

        The unpreparedness of governments does indeed raise questions about the competence of public-health officials and organizations worldwide. Mr Trump, for instance, was quite right to sack the pandemic preparedness team two years ago, for if they had been up to their job the necessary stockpiles of everything from personal protective kit to testing kits would have been in the warehouses by then. As for the World Death Organization, that is no longer of use and should be scrapped and replaced with a body of unpaid professionals dedicated to doing what is right without being in China’s pocket, as the present WDO director is.

  28. About 160000 people die EVERY DAY. These are mostly old persons with preconditions similar to those dying from coronavirus die. So far over 4 months ~50000 mostly older patients with preconditions have died. So 50000 divided by 120 days give or take gives us 300-400 deaths per day WORLWIDE. 56,000,000 die every year and about 100,000,000 are born. There are ~7,000,000,000 of us. Einstein was right were are infinitely stupid.

    • Fear shuts down the mind. I’m seeing it happen here with otherwise very intelligent people.

    • In response to Eliza, it is necessary to do the math. During the early stages of an epidemic, the disease spreads exponentially, for very well understood reasons. The exponential rate of growth in total confirmed cases in the present pandemic was 19% compound per day until March 14. At that rate, a quarter of the world’s population would have been infected by the end of May.

      That is why it is futile to say that only a few people have died so far. Of course they have: death is a lagging indicator, lagging by some 21 crucial days. What then, is the true case fatality rate? Early in a pandemic, the standard method is to study what are called closed cases – those that have either recovered or died. In the world outside China and occupied Tibet, the percentage of closed cases resulting in death is higher than i have seen for any other comparable pandemic. It is 27%. Not 2.7% – 27%. It is figures like this – not widely published, but available if you look – that have led reluctant governments to impose lockdowns.

      • If the internet did not exist no one would have even noticed this it would have been considered a normal flu in the Northern cold places. BTW here in the SH the incidence is barely noticeable Brasil 400 deaths over 4 months with 350000000 people. In fact i would call this an Internet induced flu. Again Einstein was correct cheers! The world is self immolating over a normal viral yearly event. Thank God the Swedes and Brasil it seems are the only smartiesmaybe China which experiences this stuff every year due to their abysmal air quality.

  29. The good Lord is too kind to the “passivists”.
    Another regime that liked to use the word “herd”, signed a secret document in 1938, Aktion T4.
    T4 being the address of the Health Ministry, Tiergarten 4. Those whose “lives were not worth living”, identified precisely, were to be denied health care. Why secret? Well, until the planned war started the people might object!
    This infamous document opened the door the well known horrors of WWII.
    Now disabled and ill people are being asked to sign Do Not Resuscitate forms.
    Triage is starting, very much in line with Aktion T4.
    So instead, Triage Wall Street, not Grandma!
    The “Lockdown” is very likely to trigger the ultimate derivative blowout , and Mnuchin’s massive bailout fund, paraded as Main Street, will not save it.
    Glass-Steagall, banking triage, saved the US economy under FDR, who then could with allies, defeat the authors of Aktion T4.
    A Lockdown with banking Triage, and a real physical economic stimulus addressing the cause of the decrepit economy are needed together.

  30. Bit off on a tangent: Biophysicist Cornelius Hunter had a deeper look into recent paper claiming that Chinese virus originated naturalistically rather than via laboratory manipulation. According to Hunter supporting argumentation is unconvincing. Firstly, in the paper Bayesian approach is nowhere mentioned, and nowhere is the particular Bayesian approach mentioned, and nowhere are any equations given, but in fact, nowhere are any probabilities given.

    Secondly, the paper uses two pieces of evidence to argue against the theory that the virus arose via laboratory manipulation. The first argument boils down to this: a designer would have selected a sequence with stronger predicted binding with human cells. Yet this reasoning is fraught with unjustified assumptions about how a potential designer would have acted – they may have simply accepted range of good results, not only the ‘ideal’ binding.

    The second argument is really the assumption that a designer would have used such a ‘previously used virus backbone.’ The authors assert this is probable, but without justification. The assessment of what an agent would do is notoriously difficult and prone to bias.

    Neither of the two evidences is particularly compelling. This weakness is, to a certain extent, reflected in tentative language used, such as ‘most likely,’ ‘It is improbable,’ and ‘would probably.’

    But all shadow of doubt is removed in the Abstract: ‘Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.’

    • Very simply, a negative cannot be proven, and even if the virus was not manipulated, the crisis obviously is.

      • Hey Scissor,

        Virus could have originated via naturalistic mechanisms (from another virus strand) or may have been engineered. So in this sense is not negative cannot be proven but a choice between two valid options and arguments that support either. It does not mean that Wuhan virus was actually engineered. What it means is that claims that virus could not have been manipulated might be grossly exaggerated.

        • The paper abstract states claims certainly “clearly” which is not backed up by the spectulative nature of the contents. IOW it is propaganda not science.

          This is then enough for media outlets to claim it is not a fabricated virus and to ridicule those who suggest otherwise. This has already happened.

          It is the same “communication” game they have been playing for the last 20y with climate “science”.

          • The paper abstract states claims certainly “clearly” which is not backed up by the spectulative nature of the contents. IOW it is propaganda not science.

            Indeed. The same paper evolves from ‘would probably’ to ‘most definitely’ and then the latter is proclaimed in the mass media. I’m surprised that the question whether the virus could have been bio-engineered is ridiculed so easily. It may seem like conspiracy theory but then you find traces of Polonium in London and Novichok in Salisbury. And the Matrix becomes real.

          • What is conspiratorial about suggesting major world powers are doing genetic engineering? It’s a certainty.

            There is a level 4 security biolab in Wuhan less than 300m from the now world famous market. It was completed in 2015 with help from the French govt and the Pasteur Institute. The same lab published papers declaring isolation of virus which was a cross of SARS and bat coronavirus. One of their top researchers on this is now “missing” .

            None of that is “conspiracy theory” it is published information.

            Maybe this is REAL reason western govts have been reacting with such alarm. They know this is a man-made virus and are very scared of its potential potency.

          • I keep hearing that this biolab is a very short distance from the Wuhan market, but can somebody produce a map of the locations? Anybody?

  31. Typical “who cares how freaking much a disease costs as long as no one dies”. Prevention??? Surely you joke. HIV is spread far and wide and we celebrate, Monckton. You live in a hole the ground, obviously. We now have VERY EXPENSIVE drugs so anyone can bang anyone and hopefully the prophalatic works. NEVER CHANGE BEHAVIOR for AIDS, but shut down the frigging economy for Corona???? Sure, this is crap and it always will be. THERE IS ZERO SCIENCE AND ONE HUNDRED PERCENT POLITICS IN THIS GARBAGE. WUWT that really, really declined, backing politics and pseudoscience. Not surprising……cowardice is common everywhere and skeptics fear reality as much as do believers.
    (And, yes, I can skip this drivel and usually do. Of course, WUWT that can ignore the lies and deception of the AGW crowd too, but I don’t see that. Funny, skeptics are prima donas just as much as the AGW cult is. Your hypocrisy LOSES just like the AGW lies and hypocrisy do. Only in your mind are you immune.)

    • CALM DOWN.

      This was a guest post from someone who has generally been quite vociferous on the GW issue. The fact that this very light weight “analysis” does not mean scream about lies, hypocrisy and damn the whole of WUWT.

      It was a point for discussion on a very important question.

      You will find a number of people have been very critical here ( if you actually read any comments before your brain exploded ).

  32. The mantra in Canada, and probably elsewhere, is ‘flatten the curve’. The idea is to keep the medical system from becoming overwhelmed.

    The poster child for what happens when the medical system becomes overwhelmed is Ecuador. I will not supply a link. The stories are gruesome you can easily find them yourself if you are so inclined.

    The Ecuadorians partied hardy in spite of their government’s halfhearted lockdown. I suspect that if you asked most of them, they would regret that.

    • Except in northern Italy, hospitals are not being overwhelmed, except maybe in a few individual cases. Italy’s hospitals are normally near capacity every year, so it’s unwise to extrapolate their endemic under-capacity to the rest of the world. One or two hospitals in NYC may be full, but most are virtually empty, as is the US navy hospital ship docked there.

      • Let’s not forget that the Comfort is designated to handle non-Covid cases, especially trauma cases, in order to free up beds in hospitals. But it hasn’t yet been needed, so your point is still relevant.

        • Correct. The last I heard there were 20 people onboard the Comfort. Those were probably moved there as a matter of policy rather than hospital crowding.

          • It cannot be repeated too often that the compound case growth rates listed in the head posting are daily growth rates. At the original 19%, cases were doubling every three days. At 15%, make that five days. The reason why responsible governments are building field hospitals and prseesing hospital ships into service is not just for fun or for propaganda: it is because anyone with a scientific calculator can see how full those hospitals are going to be in just a few more weeks unless the case growth rate slows considerably.

            The case growth rate is, at this early stage in the epidemic, the key number. It will give some idea of where this disease is going. And it is an unusually high daily case growth rate. That is why governments are concerned.

            The purpose of the head posting is to show the extent to which lockdowns are or are not working. If the case growth rate continues to fall as at present, all well and good – though it has a long way to fall before the pandemic is under management. If the case growth rate does not continue to fall or – worse – begins to rise, then lockdowns are not working. The graph that will appear with today’s update will allow a visual indication of what progress is being made. It is a very great mistake to assume that because there are few hospitals overcrowded at present that happy situation will continue if anything like the current case growth rates continues.

      • Except in northern Italy, and Ecuador … link Given the apparently miserable condition of Ecuador’s infrastructure, their only hope would have been to try to keep the disease out of the country and lock down like crazy.

      • Part of this is because basically all elective procedures have been cancelled or postponed.

        This video is out of date now also. The temporary morgues for example in NYC seem to be slowly filling for example.

        • What evidence is there that the portable morgues are being filled because of overcrowding in the hospital’s own morgues? They may be just moving corpses there as a matter of policy to get them out of the hospital. Or they might become eligible for federal money if they use those portable morgues.

      • I have been told that the hospitals are so busy with CoVid-19 patients, they are sending people home, if they are not in very serious need of medical attention.

        Would somebody tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! – Please.

        • Mr Friis-Hansen is right to detect an element of propaganda in some of the comments here. In Britain, I can answer his question. Just about all elective surgery in the National Health Service was canceled some two weeks ago, and for the indefinite future. The reason: anyone with a pocket calculator can work out from the case growth rates, country by country, how many of those beds will be filled with sick and dying Chinese-virus patients within weeks of today.

  33. I wonder about a different effect in the case of Italy that is a co-factor with the lockdown: Saturation. I think this happens in two ways. First, given that we think actual total cases (and thus immune people) is far more than reported cases, Italy simply approached saturation. Second, with a lot of immune people now in the population, natural separation occurs. In the simplest case, we have 3 people each rather close to each other. But the one in the middle is immune, doubling the space between the others.

    In the US we have anomalies that are hard to explain by lockdowns, especially California vs. New York. Their timing of lockdown was not much different, but there are other big differences that may or may not matter: public transport vs car, high rises and thus elevators, climate, crowded city streets, other cultural habits?

    • In reply to Earl Rodd, exhaustion of the susceptible population is not yet a significant factor in curbing the pandemic, though it will begin to matter within a month or two if anything like the current case growth rates continue. Mr Rodd may like to Google the Susceptible – Infected – Removed model of pandemic growth, and perhaps to run some simulations, to get a feel of when the saturation will begin to ease off the epidemic. By that stage, a lot of people will have died. That is what government lockdowns are attempting to prevent.

  34. They activated it as soon as they realized that the director of the World Health Organization, who has close links to the Peking regime and had as recently as January been parroting Chinese propaganda to the effect that the virus could not be transmitted from human to human, could not be relied upon.

    It was not until early March 2020, that the estimated potential extent was addressed.

    On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency.

    USA CDC: February 28, 2020. Situation in U.S.


    Imported cases of COVID-19 in travelers have been detected in the U.S. Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 also has been reported among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan. On February 25, CDC confirmed COVID-19 in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19 (unknown exposure). At this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.”

    WHO: 29 February 2020. COVID-19 Travel Advice

    “Recommendations for international traffic.
    WHO continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.”

    The WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic outbreak on March 11, 2020.

    • In response to Mr Hughes, if the WHO had declared an emergency early in January, instead of saying the virus could not be transmitted from human to human, it would have been much easier to control the pandemic without resorting to lockdowns.

  35. Glad that it is being referred to by its correct name here – Chinese virus. China is a rogue nation killing their own citizens on a grand scale and now infecting the world with a deadly virus. This article makes a great case for isolating China completely – no planes, ships and borders sealed. The reason for this is that all it takes is for some Chinese chap to have a lizard for lunch next year and the world will be hit with yet another virus from this rogue nation. Eating reptiles, bats and other unspeakable animals, and wet markets must be banned and closed down. Only then should the nations of the world open borders with China. China’s propagandists say isolating China would be very expensive – fact is it has already cost trillions with more to come, to say nothing of the loss in human life. Isolating China could well turn out to be the cheaper option. All concerned citizens must lobby their politicians to isolate China – failure to do so will see millions die in the years ahead with uncontrolled viruses from China. Pass this message on – it could save our lives in the future.

  36. Lockdowns? Really.

    The West was inporting thousands of Chinese – each and every day – directly from China. For weeks and weeks prior to the end of January when bans were started. The US alone was had 10,000 PER DAY directly from China. Examine airline flight schedules prior to January 2020. US direct inbound daily direct non-stop jumbo jet flights to Los Angeles, New York City, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Dubai, Singapore, Sydney. I haven’t computed how many direct flights to other major air hubs such as Seoul, Tokyo, etc.

    HIV is almost 100% a contact virus. Ebola is as well. Saying that a flu/cold virus which have large airborne components are more contagious is like saying the Sun rises in the East and therefore my calculations something that’s not at all similar are correct. Really?

    Nor have I computed how many regional airports (aka, feeder airports) to get a true distribution map. Nor have I applied the “highly infectious” Perhaps someone can do that? Then apply whatever infectious figure you wish. I personally like the one that claims one (1) person caused the infection of hundreds. It’s some sort of math progression (pick one); even start with just one person somewhere in Wuhan airport prior to December of November; figure in the air traffic and see how long everyone has been exposed in the West. All prior to the start of even direct flights from China travel bans.

    The activists can’t have it the way described. See Eschenbach’s excellent recaps of methods and effects. And don’t use nations that are 100% not comparable to any Western nation, such as Japan and South Korea. And do use only “caused by” and not “tested positive and died” deaths. Feel free to use base models used in the global warming projects which are likely more reliable than the epidemiological “models”. Actually, just getting facts would be more helpful than all these SWAGS – such as actual death demographics including age, sex, prior conditions, etc. After all, the UK has the NHS and some sort of computers? Even the US has computerized medical records mandated by Federal law in place since 2016. So why not state the demographic facts? For example, Israel reports them on a daily basis along with recaps. Their average age at death is 79 and almost 100% of them had severe preexisting conditions enumerated.

    If activists want to accomplish positive, (1) they should be marching in the streets (with social distancing, N95+ mask, hazmat uniforms, sanitized signs, enclosed in bubble (wrap?)) demanding that the old people be isolated in some way and given all treatments proven in clinics to work. (2) Demand ASAP creation and distribution of additional treatment (plasma, antibiotics) for the old people. (3) Demand ASAP creation and distribution of vaccines for the old people.

    Lockdowns, et al, are like intentionally choosing to burn the barns down after all the livestock have escaped to insure they won’t escape again.

    • If you think it is only old people who die you are deluded, we had 2 healthy mid 30s nurses and a 14 year boy die from it his week.
      The early studies that it was based on was before saturation took place and the weakest were taken first.
      Even the WHO is now conceding that it is not just the old and infirm that die.
      Young people also survive, but have badly damaged lungs directly caused by COVID19 who ar hardly able to walk.

      • Please provide more details about the “2 healthy mid 30s nurses and a 14 year boy”. Did they vape? Did the nurses smoke? Were they obese? Were they really healthy, or was that merely assumed because they looked healthy? Mortality among those age groups, though not common, is not unheard of for various reasons.

      • Italy went through the worst. Almost no young people died.
        Your anecdotes are touching yet irrelevant.

        Italian Coronavirus COVID-19 Study 1
        2003 deaths looked at
        Average age of death 79
        Under 30, NONE
        30-39 5 0.2%
        40-49 12 1%
        50-59 56 3%
        60-69 173 9%
        70-79 707 35%
        80-89 852 42%
        90+ 198 10%

        Study 2
        Comorbidities of 355 deaths
        All had Covid-19
        Hypertension 76%
        Diabetes 36%
        Ischemic Heart Disease 33%
        Atrial fibrillation 24%
        Cancer 20%
        Chronic Renal Failure 18%
        Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 13%
        Stroke 10%
        Dementia 7%
        Chronic Liver disease 3%

        Multiple Comorbities from above list
        No comorbitities 3 1%
        1 disease 89 25%
        2 diseases 91 26%
        3 or more diseases 172 48%

        • Italy now stands at over 14,000 deaths, so an early sample of 2500 deaths doesn’t mean that much.
          The Comorbities do not mean that those people would die or were dying, the top 2 of those people live with for decades.

          • Feel free to give me a later list of these things and more if available. Until that, this is what I look at.

    • Lockdown would have prevented it completely, except China did not lockdown their people.
      They allowed them out of Wuhan and out of China to infect the rest of the world.
      Lockdown, ie total Quarantine and testing of every Chinese or person visiting China on entering any other country would also have prevented the spread, if only the Chinese and WHO had alerted the world to the problem in the first place.
      Unfortunately most countries are playing catch up after finding 100s or 1000s already infected.

      • Nobody believes anything from China.

        For your 30 year old dying from COVID please show us the autopsy. I would like to “see” how healthy.

        Thanks,

      • Quarantines work. Nearly every nation does them. Most are 100% effective. They work by isolating all incoming international travelers for from 3 to 6 months, then test them prior to release into their nations.

        The travelers are dogs, cats, livestock, etc. Might work on humans?

        One cannot have it both ways – modern air travel ferrying thousands and thousands of people into and out of international hubs, regional hubs, domestic hubs, etc., many with direct flights AND trying to control a highly contagious airborne respiratory virus. By the time one even discovers it you’ve got virtually thousands of carriers, likely millions exposed. Good luck on lockdowns and such. I.E., the “ready, set, detect, ban then lockdown!” is a model, like global warming models, doomed to failure.

        • Spot on.
          Shame most countries didn’t use it, we seem to have forgotten how human quarantine works because Vaccines eradicated a lot of those very infectious deseases.
          I remember many Isolation hospitals set up to Quarantine the ill and quarantine goes all the way back to Leper colonies.

  37. The lockdown without mass testing is pointless.
    A lot of us object to the lockdown for that reason.
    Far more will die in the long term if the economy and therefore our society collapses.
    Sweden will be the interesting case as a benchmark to measure against, was correlation actually causation.

    • No lockdown without Medicine is pointless, becaus just “testing” does nothing to slow or prevent spreading without the other 2 essentials of trace and quarantine.
      Antibody testing, which is not yet available, another reason to slow the spread by lockdown until developed, will allow those infected and recovered and no longer infectious to resume a normal life.

    • In response to Dunc., the chief public-policy reason for lockdowns is that otherwise the case growth rate would continue unabated for a few more weeks, whereupon the entire hospital system would be unable to cope even with other illnesses. Lockdowns are not the optimal strategy: the South Korean strategy of intensive testing and contact-tracing and enforced isolation is far better, provided that it is implemented as soon as the very first cases become apparent. But Western countries were fatally slow to get their act together. Accordingly, lockdowns became necessary. But the way out of this, as I discuss in today’s follow-up article, is indeed to arrange for testing of the entire population. That is a logistical exercise, and it is far from impossible. It holds the key to the exit strategy.

  38. Lord Monckton

    An excellent write up

    Would it be possible to include Japan in your tables?

    Keep up the good work

  39. The virus mutates rapidly we are told thus the virus swirling about you in the UK may be different that the virus swirling about me in the US. To what extent do local differences in virus makeups account for local differences in transmission and disease incidence? Perhaps South Korea is successful because they have avoided the worst of the breed? That should be testable.

    • In response to DHR, South Korea was successful because it was prepared. I have studied an indepth interview with the director of the country’s public health authority. It held large stocks of testing reagents, of personal protective equipment (including simple masks for the general public) and it had a policy of testing the earliest cases, following up their contacts, testing those contacts and their contacts, and isolating all carriers. Do that early enough and determinedly enough and you can stop a pandemic in its tracks, as South Korea has largely done.

  40. In Ireland, on 12 March, the Taoiseach announced the closure of all schools, colleges and childcare facilities until 29 March. Two days later bars and public houses were ordered to close. On 27 March, the Taoiseach told everyone to stay at home till 12 April – except certain essential businesses. Next we are told to expect this to last till the end of April. If this continues will we be told at the end of April that the lockdown will continue till the end of May?

    The career politicians and the medical people advising them will keep their jobs and salaries. For those average private sector workers – who generate the wealth of country – there will be lay-offs and redundancies, salary cuts and inflation and more. The longer this continues the greater the certainty this will impact a whole generation.
    As Rod Evans asked: This lock down and destruction of the UK economy and indeed the Western Economies will have generational long impacts. Is it worth it?

    How about a third way between passivist and activist? Perhaps we can call it realist?

    A solution has been considered for “low income settings” which I think may offer pointers to limit the extent of social and economic damage caused by long term lockdowns even in developed countries.

    https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2020/covid-19-control-low-income-settings-and-displaced-populations-what-can

    • Note the destruction of Irish health services after the last bailout, which did not save the parties involved.

      Because of this, watch carefully for any signs of “Triage”, rationing health services to “lives worth living”.

      And to be blindsided, again, by that very financial services sector that caused the last catastrophe is not “realist” but idiotic.

      Triage that financial services sector immediately, a derivative blowout is guaranteed, again.
      After all it is just the City of London’s cat’s paw in the EU, despite Brexit.

      • I find it hard to see how your cryptic comments fit together and address my comment.

        Our health services are a mess for various reasons. If one goes to casualty and has to repeat your story to three or four different people this is inefficiency. Too many at casualty just need a GP examination. I happily pay my local GP but over a long weekend am forced to go to a clinic or a hospital casualty. I suspect many overuse their medical cards. There seems to be a disproportionate number of administrative staff in our hospitals but a shortage of medical workers. The government is not getting value for money for the huge sums spent on the health sector. When something like the coronavirus comes along it makes the situation even more shambolic.

        Our financial services sector was not responsible before the 2009 crash and has not properly addressed various issues. They recklessly handed out loans but now impose impossible criteria on people who are frugal, budget carefully and work hard. Save carefully for a decade to cover 20% of a house you earn virtually no interest but they charge nearly 3% or a mortgage loan and much higher on car loans. Tax payers were forced to bail out high risk investors and diligent savers have had the value of their money depreciated by all the money printed by the EU Central Bank.

        A realist knows that neither printing and spending money nor having taxes raised will solve the debt problem. He wants available resources used carefully. The same applies in this coronavirus crisis. That is why I suggested a realist position: neither a continuing lockdown for many who could be working and productive nor a callous pushing granny off a cliff. The current political options in Ireland are in my opinion irresponsible.

        • The comments from Michael in Dublin well reflect the policy dilemma facing governments at present. Both the activists and the passivists have some good arguments on their side, but, at present, the activists are prevailing in most countries because their governments legitimately fear that continuation of the current case-growth rates will render their entire healthcare systems inoperative within weeks.

          In today’s follow-up article, I shall suggest an exit strategy that Michael may find helpful.

  41. From: “Largest Statistically Significant Study by 6,200 Multi-Country Physicians on COVID-19 Uncovers Treatment Patterns and Puts Pandemic in Context”

    Conducted by: https://www.sermo.com/press-releases/largest-statistically-significant-study-by-6200-multi-country-physicians-on-covid-19-uncovers-treatment-patterns-and-puts-pandemic-in-context/

    And appearing in the popular US press here: https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/hydroxychloroquine-most-effective-coronavirus-treatment-poll/

    We find: Of the 6,227 physicians surveyed in 30 countries, 37 percent rated hydroxychloroquine the “most effective therapy” for combating the potentially deadly illness, according to the results released Thursday. and The survey, conducted by the global health care polling company Sermo, also found that 23 percent of medical professionals had prescribed the drug in the US — far less than other countries.

    We, the US, are behind again.

    • I’m posting this again for those who want a zinc ionophore without having to take hydroxychloroquine (with its side effects and need for prescription). Hydroxychloroquine supposedly works because it is a zinc ionophore. Quercetin and Epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) are natural zinc ionophores, and like zinc supplements are available at Amazon.

      Zinc ionophore activity of quercetin and epigallocatechin-gallate: from Hepa 1-6 cells to a liposome model
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25050823

  42. well that was a nice surprise. very good piece by monkton.

    Its unfortunate that the US could not execute a model similar to Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or even Hong Kong.
    Korean Lockdown does keep business open. what life is like here in Seoul.

    Oh there is a national election April 15th

    1. Testing.
    A) if you feel ill, you call a central number and arrange for drive through testing. results in 6 hours. Free
    B) if you are worried, you can just show up at the drive through and pay 140 bucks.
    C) no going into a doctors office or hospital for testing. duh. China had something similar called fever clinics.
    D) when you fly in you will be tested and quarantined. Home quarantine is allowed. you will be
    called thrice daily to report. if you have a fever at the airport, you are admitted to a health center.

    455,000 tests, 10,000 Postives: ~2%, contrast with the state of new york which is ~30% positive
    in addition, there are 20,000 people who are awaiting tests, contacts, family, etc who have no
    symptoms, but will be tested anyway

    2. Tracing. Every case is tracked. Overall 83 percent of cases are tracked back to a known source or index
    patient. Recently the average is up to 95%.
    A) If you get sick, your whole church will be tested, your family and your contacts. All tested.
    B) if grandma in the nursing home gets sick, all residents, all staff , all family member, all visitors.
    C) if your co worker gets sick, the whole business will be tested, and a good number of people
    that share your building. All your contacts will be tested, all your family will be tested.
    D) if a patient in a hospital gets sick, all staff, all patients, all family, all visitors, tested
    E) your cell phone data will be grabbed. to get a phone number you need an national ID.
    to get mail you need a national ID, to go on the internet you need a national ID. So,
    your location data will be grabbed and used and published

    3. Searching out the invisible enemy
    A) starting in daeugu all nursing homes are tested
    B) all mental institutions are tested
    C) organizations like churches can all be tested.

    4. social distancing.
    A) Mass assemblies are cancelled.
    B) Churches are now set up for online broadcasts. Churches that refuse to comply will be fined,
    and have to pay the medical bills of anyone that gets sick or is traceable to them.
    C) work is open, but mass gatherings are frowned upon.
    D) School is closed, online school will open soon.

    5. Other behavioral changes.
    A) wear a mask. about 90% compliance
    b) wash your hands. hand washing was already a national sport.
    C) No unnecessary trips outside the home: work and food.

    6. mental health. Professionals are online waiting for your call.

    7. Public information.
    there are briefings twice daily from the yellow jackets. civil defense wears a yellow jacket
    They present the numbers. facts. all of them. No politics.
    They honor the dead.
    They encourage the public
    They Thank people for their efforts.

    watch. see the detailed information. builds trust

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-WyK0uKuWI&t=639s

    8. masks. masks are rationed, you can purchase 2 a week with your national ID

    So basically the work life goes on but the vibrant social scene that Seoul was known for is on vacation.

    • well that was a nice surprise. very good piece by monkton.

      You missed the bit saying what you thought was so “good”. But I suppose drawing a straight line through any data and jumping to concluding it is “blindingly obvious” that you were right in your initial biases before examining the data probably goes down well with a warmist.

      This “analysis” is so weak even climatologist would support it.

      • Greg is, as so often, descending to mere yah-boo when what he should have done is thank Stephen Mosher for providing some very concise and nicely-marshaled notes on why the South Korean approach has been so effective.

      • what was good about it?
        it was clear, it was open,
        There are only a few ways you can illustrate whether the lockdown is working
        He did a good job with a good metric. want to know why?

        Anyway, I also owe him an apology.

        When I saw that He wrote something I had a knee jerk reaction. I predicted he would write some nonsense . I was wrong. flat wrong. And I actually owe him an apology for misjudging him
        Yup, I owe him an apology for Thinking he was going to say something stupid.

        As for you. I tried to warn you guys.

    • I am most grateful to Mr Mosher for his kind words, and also for the excellent and beautifully-summarized account of the first-class, successful strategy that the South Koreans have followed.

    • What is the point of testing them all? What do they do with those that tested positive but show no symptoms?

    • Part of the problem in the US everything and I mean everything has become politicized.

      When things are politicized, reason and logic are removed.

      Our fake news is angry, sarcastic, opinion pieces. And it is popular in the US to be anti-US.

      One half our politicians seem to only care about getting power and will hence attack our leader which is sort of like treason.

      And you complain that we cannot work together.

      And how much money have we spent on ‘climate change’.

      Maybe we should have spent that money on other stuff, like masks and people that will inform the public.

  43. Jason Oke og Carl Heneghan from Oxford University go through data to estimate infections and deaths from corona virus. «We could make a simple estimation of the IFR (infection fatality rate) as 0.26%, based on halving the lowest boundary of the CFR (case fatality rate) prediction interval.» The real estimate is probably lower than this, between 0,1% and 0,26%. Average time between infection and death is 18 days, according to a new study. One death points to 385 infections 18 days earlier as the lowest estimate. and more probably to about 400 to 1000 infections.
    So, many countries may be thoroughly infected by now. Those who dies now was in average infected 17th of March, about the time when lockdown was started.

    • It is certainly possible to deduce that the case fatality rate will be low if one works back from the mortality figures to derive an estimate of how many of those dying on given day were infected 18-21 days previously, and then extrapolating the known compound daily case growth rate forward again. However, that is of little comfort given that the speed of events is overwhelming the healthcare system. And there is another disturbing figure. Outside China and occupied Tibet, among reported cases that are closed – i.e., those that were infected and have either recovered or died – 27% have died.

  44. Almost always, when I first go to read these comments, my browser (Edge) is hijacked to some fake virus protection site. I close that, then try again, and it usually happens again. This site is the only one that does it. I basically cannot read the original messages, unless I direct to the comments section as I have today. THERE IS A PROBLEM ON THIS SITE!!!

    • re: ” … my browser (Edge) is hijacked to some fake virus protection site. … THERE IS A PROBLEM ON THIS SITE!!!”

      Edge would seem to be the problem. No trouble here with several different browsers (on account nobody supports the latest browsers) on Win Xp SP3 anymore …

      You might consider using Google public DNS too: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 and see if that clears things up.

    • download chrome or firefox, both free, both more popular than edge, and do not have dodgy things happening within them.

      • re: “Same happens with Safari, becomes almost unusable at times.”

        Upgrade your browsers, fellas. No excuse today for your continuing use of crap.

        Slimjet, Firefox and MyPal all work (as does Chrome for that matter).

  45. these tables mean very little, unfortunately.
    because tests are not done on same basis in different countries, and on average tests are done only on people with already serious symptoms.
    that btw explains the 11% lethality rate of COVID19 in italy. only people with serious sympthoms is tested.
    moreover, the tests have a sensitivity of 70% so when someone is tested positive, test is repeated 1 or 2 times more, this will skew any calculation where tests administered are considered.
    my personal assessment is that house arrests do not work.
    lets take italy. lockdown is in place since 9th march. people is tested only when severe symptoms occur. time between being infected and when symptoms occur is on average 12 days.
    if lockdown worked (and italian lockdown is as draconian as feasible in any non dictatorial contry) the number of new cases should drop vertically within 12-15 days. that has not happened in italy and i bet wont happen in spain or uk.
    my personal theory is that in north italy the virus is simply running out of usable targets:people with a compromised health/immune systems.

    it can be said openly because of PC but this virus affects almost only people with comorbidities, overweight, very old. and of course now there is a lot of “news” claiming that the virus will kill the young and healthy; thats a lie to justify lockdowns.
    in today’s press conference Daniel Kock, speaking for the Swiss government, stated that median age for COVID-19 related deaths in the Confederation is 83 years (life expectancy in Switzerland is 83.7 years) and 97% had comorbidities of some sort.
    i have done some maths based on swiss data.
    considering average age of virus victims, and current life expectancy, the collective loss of life is 200 minutes pro capita.
    my opinion is that these collective measures have a huge collective cost, and tiny collective rewards.
    solutions cant be collective.
    and no government should have the power to put on house arrest the whole population, whatever the reason.

  46. Thank you Mr. Monckton for this report. One thing I disagree with the world is that the answer to this virus is an either/or approach. I believe the best answer is somewhere in between the passivists and activists. Since this virus attacks the lung — some common colds are coronaviruses — then I believe we should quarantine those most vulnerable and the let the rest of us build up the herd immunity. Quarantine the elderly with multiple health problems and those with lung problems such as asthma or smokers. Unfortunately there will be a few exceptions of people who die because of this outside the obvious high-risk category, but that is no different than any other virus. You cannot make decisions based on exceptions.

    Also, how do we know that the rates dropping are as a result of the lockdown and not as a result of the onset of warmer weather and longer days?

    Finally, I want to conclude by saying something. Thomas Jefferson said “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery”. You better believe that the globalists and others who want to rule us are taking notes on how easy and quick it was for people to surrender their rights. Today it is the health Gestapo; what fear will they use next time to control us even more?

    • Wade makes an interesting suggestion, which was one of the things the British Government tried before it decided, with great reluctance and, alas, much too late, to opt for a lockdown. Isolating the old and sick and letting everyone else acquire population immunity is not at all a bad idea – except for one fatal consideration. Even among younger and fitter people, the hospitalization rate is very high, and it is only because of hospitalization and ventilation that the death-rate among the under-60s is not a lot higher than it is.

      It was because it became undeniable that the National Health Service would be rapidly overwhelmed in the absence of firm control measures that Mr Johnson reluctantly decided to call for a lockdown.

  47. Lord Monckton,
    Thank you for your insight and analysis; it provides a good basis for discussion, and logical reasoning.
    However, you are making the fundamental error that correlation implies causation. Just because the rate of increase in confirmed infection cases goes down after lockdowns are imposed, does not mean the lockdowns are the main or only reason for the reduction.
    Consider this:
    As testing ramps up from a very low level in some countries, they are bound to find more infections in the early weeks because they will presumably test the sickest persons first. As weeks go by, they will have tested all the sickest persons, and will be finding fewer infected persons among the less sick, and later, when testing has caught up, will only find the newly infected cases. It does not mean that the number of cases actually rose as quickly as is reported; it means they are confirming cases that have been there already.

    Once testing is fully implemented, then we can start paying attention to the number of new cases each week. Of course, we should all practice good hygiene, and avoid close contact and handshaking, but are lockdowns really necessary?

    • In response to Mr de Boer, I thought long and hard before adopting the 7-day-smoothed mean compound daily case growth rate as the metric for the benchmark test. I do accept that there are many problems with any such attempt at a benchmark test. But the merit of the test is that it is rooted squarely in such data – however flawed and inadequate – as are available. And I have, I hope, fairly pointed out in the head posting the uncertainties attendant upon those data. I shall have more to say about those uncertainties in the coming days.

      In answer to the question whether lockdowns are really necessary, the answer is No – provided that one acts with the greatest determination to implement the very sound and very successful South Korean control measures, which were centered around testing, contact-tracing, isolation of carriers, more testing and more contact-tracing. If that had been done from the outset, and if China had been honest instead of habitually dishonest and dissembling, it would have been possible for us to emulate South Korea and avoid the strict lockdowns that are now, regrettably, necessary to prevent the healthcare system from being swamped.

      • OMG you are still that running mean level of data processing? Why don’t you just give up your amateurish methods or at least have the humility to learn from criticisms and improve your game.

        In all the time you have been posting here, I have not seen you accept a single criticism of any of your work and learn or improve from it.

        Oh, humility, not a key quality of the British minor aristocracy, my mistake.

        • Several others of us are running our own analyses, and I’m sure we would all like whatever suggestions you have, to make the output more meaningful, rather than just tossing a vague criticism out there.

          By coincidence, I also chose a 7-day period to look for a change in the rate of increase, in order to smooth out some of the expected day to day efficiency of the testing process, but at the same time, short enough, in a dataset that is barely more than a month old, to pick up any changes.

          Do tell us how we could improve.

          Many thanks

    • re: “Could all the “China did it” bluster be from City of London/Wall Street with skin in the “great game” ?”

      Sure, if you make a habit of ignoring facts. Are you capable of willfully ignoring facts? Do you *want* to ignore facts? Is it to your advantage to ignore facts? Do you need ‘fake facts’ to set some new narrative in the mind of the public? Newspapers do it all the time …

      • It is a fact that the WallStreet City casino is utterly and completely bankrupt – no bailout is even possible, should an government attempt it. Mnuchin’s $450 billion notwithstanding.
        The sheer depth of that bottomless pit, 15 quadrillion nominal paper, seems quite easy to ignore by MSM. At least ZH, with some insider info, is aware that the CAT bond trigger is just one threat.

        So do not ignore 15 quadrillion nominal facts. In fact that is factually irredeemable.

        Time to deep six that paper, with Banking Triage, Glass-Steagall, and massive physical economic investment.

        • re: “It is a fact that the WallStreet City casino is utterly and completely bankrupt … ”

          Opinion. (And not even a particularly good opinion.)

          Who do you work for, who have your worked for – any of the Fortune 500’s? Have a 401k as part of your compensation package? Do you ‘vote your shares’, participate in any shareholder sponsored issues? Any of this make any sense?

          • The problem is that most of us are conditioned to think in terms of fiat paper, the product of reserve fractional banking.
            Here is the result of that product, Major Currencies Priced in Gold 1969-2019:
            https://www.goldmoney.com/images/media/Images/Articles/Tutorials/Screen_Shot_2020-04-02_at_10.21.14_AM.png

            Since 1969, relative to gold the yen has lost 92.8% of its purchasing power, against the dollar 97.8%, the euro (and its previous constituents) 98.5% and sterling 98.9%. And these falls have been hardly noticed! As the yardstick for sound money, gold has been deliberately side-lined in favour of the dollar as the backing for other fiat currencies. When the British think the pound has fallen, they say it is against the dollar, oblivious to the fact that the dollar itself has lost all but 2.2% of its 1969 purchasing power.

            https://www.goldmoney.com/research/goldmoney-insights/a-primer-for-gold-newbies

            The reason behind the dollar’s decline is the massive expansion of the quantity of dollars relative to gold.

          • re: “The problem is that most of us are conditioned to think in terms of …”

            Didn’t come ANYWHERE near answer any of my previous, simple questions …

            re: “The reason behind the dollar’s decline is the massive expansion of the quantity of dollars relative to gold.”

            Are you going hungry? Is any of your family going hungry? Do you know anyone who is going hungry? Are the streets paved out in front of your house? Do you have a sidewalk? Do you have city water or sewage service? How about electricity – at least 100 Amp service to the house? Do you have hot water via the tap? Has the standard of living for every American gone up? How many TVs did you own in the 1990s? How many CD players? DVD players? How may many laptops, PCs have you owned? Do you see where I’m going with this? Prosperity is more than just the ‘banking system’ and fun and games with numbers and Gold valuation …

          • @ _Jim
            Actually all of your previous questions are answered by that graphic.
            If you can’t understand the loss of value then you need to study a bit more.
            That’s just the way it is.

          • re: “Actually all of your previous questions are answered by that graphic.”

            I think I have found a new aspect to (application of the term) ‘Cargo Cult science’ …

            How is wealth measured?* Have you seen the new highway projects completed along the US-75 corridor from downtown Dallas and up through Collin county completed the last few years (actually, the last couple decades)? How about the North Dallas Tollway and Sam Rayburn Tollways)? Where did all ‘that’ (the materials, the wages to pay the workers) come from? Air, thin?
            .
            .
            *Wealth measures the value of all the assets of worth owned by a person, community, company, or country. Wealth is determined by taking the total market value of all physical and intangible assets owned, then subtracting all debts. Essentially, wealth is the accumulation of scarce resources.

  48. Our state (Colorado) has a stay-at-home order from the governor. I keep trying to find out what the government’s estimate is for the maximum time period we can maintain this posture before we are overwhelmed by other problems caused by this order. We can’t maintain this posture indefinitely. And if we start going about business as usual, won’t the rate of infection just start increasing exponentially again? I think that the hope is that we will develop effective treatments during the stay-at-home period. And appears to be many promising treatments out there right now.

    • Polis (the Colo. Governor) decreed that his signature pet project free childcare centers remain open, along with marijuana and alcohol shops. Hobby Lobby tried to stay open, but is being blackmailed to close.

    • ” And if we start going about business as usual, won’t the rate of infection just start increasing exponentially again?”

      No, give it a few weeks for the lockdown to slow transmission, helping hospitals but limiting the number of new cases.

      Even during a lockdown, the virus is spreading, with most people catching it and: some not noticing it,; some getting a mild case and others getting critically ill.

      After a few weeks, you lift the lockdown, most now have been exposed and hospitals can handle the numbers arriving.

      Job done.

      • Mr Richards’ point has some force, but unfortunately we do not yet know what fraction of the susceptible population has been infected. We can hope that it is very high, in which event the worst will soon be over, but no responsible government can assume that. That is why governments are taking firm measures to prevent further transmission.

        In today’s update I describe how the exit strategy will work.

  49. Lockdowns are largely pointless if we are still allowed out for ‘essential’ industries and the need to people to regularly obtain food.

    My work is classed as ‘essential’ and quiet frankly I am probably safer at work than at home. We don’t deal with the public, our work areas are cleaned daily and the face to socially distanced face interaction and the sense of self worth gained from employment are good for my mental health.

    (in Australia the 10th biggest killer is Intentional Self Harm. Australia currently has 20 something Wuhan Virus victims. Statistically in the same period Intentional Self Harm is likely to have killed 10 times that amount.)

    The other advantage with being at work is that I know everyone I come into contact with and should worse come to worse we will be in a reasonable position to track contacts.

    This is probably more important than social distancing. If a stranger discovers themselves a Wuhan vector they are going to struggle to remember even a fraction of the people they have been in risk contact with. Have a peer become a risk and you have a very good idea where to start secondary testing and isolation.

    Home isolation for the vast majority of the population is pointless. What is more important is ensuring you have very limited interaction with strangers because you do not know where they have been and will not remember you if they later discover they were at risk. Uncontrolled public gatherings should still be actively discouraged, but private gatherings when all participants are known to each other should not as frankly there is greater risk when going to the supermarket with all the other strangers.

    If you can avoid interactions with strangers then you should be allowed to work. Unfortunately interactions with strangers includes public transport, but in the medium and long terms the damage to the economy is also going to be damage to public health. There is after all no point in gleefully crushing the enemy in the centre if your flanks are being turned.

  50. The plural of anecdote is not data. Even with this in mind, anecdata I’ve been reading since January suggests that a decent number of people in the US, self included, may well have had one of the two dominant strains of the Wuhan SARS2 going back perhaps as early as mid-December. If I had it, which is possible based on symptoms and duration, I became symptomatic in early January (I’m located in NW Texas). The ailment lasted until mid-February, albeit in a very mild form. So the suggestion that perhaps as much as 1/4 to 1/3 of the US has already been exposed and even had the Wuhan Flu seems reasonable, again based on anecdata.

  51. Thank you, Christopher Monckton, for a most informative article. For my part, though, I am starting to worry that the international coronavirus data on worldometers.info, which so many of us are so assiduously tracking, may be less useful for analysis than it appears to be.

    We all know about the issues with reporting deaths from COVID as opposed to deaths with it. Italy seems to have adopted the latter approach – which is why its deaths per million population (243) is so high, though Spain has recently passed it. Whereas others, notably Germany, seem to have gone more for the former approach. And as to reporting of confirmed cases, there is the obvious problem that countries with low testing rates will undercount these relative to countries with higher testing rates. So, it’s good that worldometers.info has recently added columns showing numbers of tests done and tests per million population, which may help give us a better handle on the quality of those numbers.

    There are also oddities in individual countries’ data. The UK totals of “recovered” and “serious, critical” haven’t been updated for many days now. One can only guess why. We now have Germany showing 20 times as many recoveries as deaths, while the UK is showing more than 20 times as many deaths as recoveries! The Netherlands also seems to have a similar problem with updating the number of recovered. This is a great pity, as accurate knowledge of the trajectory of the number of recoveries of confirmed cases must, surely, be a major factor when it comes time to assess when lockdowns should be lifted?

    If you sort the countries by deaths per population, and ignore the smallest countries, you get an idea of where has been hardest hit so far: Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK, Luxembourg. It seems to be a combination of geography and culture. Germany is a big outlier, though – way down the list in 23rd place, below even the USA. This suggests that the from versus with problem may be affecting the deaths numbers so much, that comparisons between those countries are not really very useful?

    If you sort countries by confirmed cases per population, something strange appears. The top seven in the list are all small countries – Luxembourg (population 600K) is the biggest by far. In a small and isolated country such as the Faeroes, Iceland or Andorra, you might expect the virus to go right through the population all at once, unlike in a bigger country where the growth is likely to stay exponential for much longer. This seems to have been what happened in the Faeroes, in particular. Their chief medical officer said on 17th March that he thought most people in the islands had been infected. They have also tested almost 10 per cent of the population, and they currently have a confirmed case rate of 3.7 per thousand, without a single death so far! It’s a pity we can’t extrapolate that to other countries…

    The good news is, some European countries – notably Austria – are already showing the numbers of new confirmed cases going down on a day to day basis. But again, Austria might be an outlier.

    When all this is over, we should have some good data on what kinds of health systems work in such a situation and what don’t. In particular, despite all the heroics being performed by the people at the sharp end of the NHS, I expect the UK to end up near the bottom of the pile.

    I too have considered the possibility that, by the time deaths clearly attributable to coronavirus started to appear, a significant fraction of the population had already had a mild form of the disease. (Perhaps even including me. On January 30th, the same day the first UK confirmed case was reported, I went down with a 10-day illness that had the symptoms of a very mild case of coronavirus). That would imply that the virus may have actually left China many weeks earlier than is generally thought, perhaps even before the new year.

    • Neil: “We all know about the issues with reporting deaths from COVID as opposed to deaths with it. Italy seems to have adopted the latter approach – which is why its deaths per million population (243) is so high,”
      This has become a kind of a myth. And it seems not to be true. From news a couple of days ago:
      “MILAN–—In the town of Coccaglio, an hour’s drive east of here, the local nursing home lost over a third of its residents in March. None of the 24 people who died there were tested for the new coronavirus. Nor were the 38 people who died in another nursing home in the nearby town of Lodi.
      These aren’t isolated incidents. Italy’s official death toll from the virus stands at 13,155, the most of any country in the world. But that number tells only part of the story because many people who die from the virus don’t make it to the hospital and are never tested.
      In the areas worst hit by the pandemic, Italy is undercounting thousands of deaths caused by the virus, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows, indicating that the pandemic’s human toll may end up being much greater, and infections far more widespread, than official data indicate.

      • re: “Italy’s official death toll from the virus stands at 13,155”

        For the 2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season here in the US the CDC estimates* that, from October 1, 2019, through March 28, 2020, there have been:

        . . 400,000 – 730,000 flu hospitalizations
        . . . 24,000 – 63,000 flu deaths

        What are the Flu death numbers for Italy?

        Given relative sizes in populations, Italy’s Flu deaths figure should be about 12,000 on the high end.

          • re: “Normal deaths for the region for March were 900. For March 2020 it was 4500.”

            Need more info, like, direct cause of death: Pneumonia, congestive heart failure, high fever, etc.

            Flu can still cause this kind of excess mortality.

      • nobodysknowledge: My point was about counting deaths of anyone who had COVID in their bodies, as opposed to only those shown to have died of that cause rather than another. Someone killed in a car crash who showed traces of COVID would be counted as a COVID victim in Italy, but not necessarily elsewhere. That’s a quite separate issue from failing to count deaths which happened elsewhere than in hospitals.

        I don’t know about Italy in that respect, but the French at least are catching up to the problem you refer to. From the French page on worldometers.info: “on April 3 the French Government reported 17,827 additional cases and 532 additional deaths from nursing homes that had not been reported previously. On April 2, it had reported 884 additional deaths.”

        Myself, I prefer to look at the best numbers I have (such as they are), rather than listen to hype from “interested parties” such as the WSJ.

    • Mr Lock makes some excellent points about the inadequacies in the available public-health data. That is why my analysis concentrates chiefly upon a reasonably well-known value that is reliably updated in most (though not all) countries – the confirmed-case count. Now, confirmed cases are only a small subset of the true case count, as I have explained in the head posting. But they are confirmed cases. And the rate of growth in those confirmed cases would be expected to rise as testing is belatedly but inexorably ramped up – but it is falling. The most likely reason for this is that lockdowns have been instituted, because lockdowns work by slowing the transmission rate of the pathogen.

      The Chinese virus may indeed have been circulating undetected for longer than we think. That would certainly reduce the case fatality rate, but not, alas, the number of fatalities, which will rise sharply over the coming two or three weeks. Thereafter, in countries with lockdowns, the fatalities as well as new reported cases will decline.

      • I suggest you look at the proportion of tests that are positive to get an indication of growth over time rather than the raw number of confirmed cases. The analysis has been done here https://coronadaten.wordpress.com/ and is also explained here https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/#latest (scroll to March 27). It shows a basically constant proportion of positive tests over time, in the US at around 15 per cent. Analysis using the confirmed cases and deaths by themselves is faulty. It doesn’t allow for the growth in the number of tests or the deaths with but not from coronavirus. Best data is the proportion of positive tests (and even better, serosurveys of antibodies) and overall excess mortality (especially from respiratory diseases).

  52. As I was scanning some data, what caught my eye was the death rate for India. I sorted it by days since first reported case. The following data was valid as of April 1.

    Country Days* Deaths**

    Belgium 58 7100
    Russia 62 20
    UK 62 3500
    Sweden 62 2400
    Spain 62 19500
    India 63 4
    Philippines 63 90
    Italy 63 21800
    UAE 64 80
    Finland 64 300
    Sri Lanka 66 10
    Cambodia 66 0
    Germany 66 1100
    Malaysia 68 100
    Australia 68 80
    Canada 68 300
    Nepal 69 0
    France 69 6200
    Vietnam 70 0
    Hong Kong 70 50
    Singapore 70 50
    Macao 71 0
    Taiwan 72 20
    USA 72 1400
    S. Korea 73 300
    Japan 78 50
    Thailand 80 20
    China 82 200

    * Days since first reported case
    ** Deaths per 10MM population

    This virus should have swept through India like a California wildfire. Looking at the geographic distribution of the countries that did well and those that didn’t do so well is interesting. Not shown is data for equatorial African countries because their first case was reported far later. Their rates are also very low, but they are not comparable due to the large variation in the duration of the epidemic. Except for China I don’t think these figures were adjusted for political reasons. Most of these countries have poor health care, but have to deal with malaria. I have no information on how prevalent the use of anti malarial drugs is, but the correlation is interesting.

    Stay well,

    Earl T. Hackett

    • A very nice collection of half-time results 🙂
      On the other hand, that’s all we have at halftime.

      • I’d say 2-minute warning before halftime. What’s the entertainment for halftime? Is the Federal Reserve going to do a magic show?

        Perhaps they can solve multiple problems by printing the dollar end to end with perforations between each bill.

    • I don’t understand your data: Belgium has 11.4 millions people and 828 deaths at 1st of April. So you increase by a factor 10. Same for South Korea with roughly 165 deaths and 51 millions inhabitants, it looks like the same for the other countries…

  53. The conclusions are based on the assumption that the lower growth in the number of those tested positive corresponds to a lower growth in the number of infected. But it could also be that this is also affected by limited growth in the number of tests. If the health system is overused, the counting of the dead can also be influenced by not counting sick people who die elsewhere. We have to wait and see what antibody tests say about the status of the infection.

  54. Using the sme reference baseline period doesn’t make much sense because the virus arrived anf inpacted different countries at different times. As Willis has shown, once nations hit 1 death per 1 mil people, the death trend consistently track in western nations regardless of the implementation of “lockdowns.”

    • Using a standard reference period makes perfect sense if one is wanting to study whether, after that period, the confirmed-case growth rate is rising or falling. In just about all the countries in my little study,l it is falling. That is good thing. But it is not falling far enough.

      And, as Willis Eschenbach ought to know, one should not draw conclusions such as those he has attempted to draw on the basis of the very early stages of an exponentially-growing pandemic. He began his comments on the Chinese virus by showing the very slow and well-controlled South Korean curve and implying that that would be how things would pan out for us too. With all respect, he was wrong.

  55. No one knows what the real growth rate is because no on is really testing everyone for the virus. So to argue that you know that lockdowns are working is a ridiculous argument at this point. All you know is how many are being confirmed per day. If everyone is on lockdown, the hospitals are not really open, people are not going to be anywhere to be tested.
    The early growth rates for the virus were almost entirely driven by testing discovery, not by actual growth rates.
    Here in America we are burning about 7.6 trillion dollars of wealth in order to save about 160,000 lives. $47,500,000 per life saved or created for 3 years on average so a cost of $15,833,333 per life year saved or created.
    The lockdown costs are too high and the savings are not enough to justify them.

    • Unfortunately you don’t get to decide or vote on it and there is a bigger danger of civil collapse. For that reason in most countries these sort level of health problems falls under military or emergency government powers and what you think or don’t think is moot.

      Post all this if you don’t like the way things are in your country in these periods …. get politically active, start a blog like Anthony did with climate change, or do something constructive. There are enough pointless habitual moaners already on the site already try doing something smarter than the bulk of them.

    • Astonerii appears to have misunderstood the head posting. I do not state therein that I know lockdowns are working. The post is entitled “Are lockdowns working?”, not “lockdowns are working”. Lockdowns appear to be working: certainly, as today’s update will show, in those countries with lockdowns the mean daily case growth rate is falling, while in Sweden, with no lockdown, it is beginning to rise in a fashion that would be giving me grounds for concern if I were in control of Swedish public-health policy.

      And the reason why governments are enduring the monstrous economic cost of lockdowns is that they do not imagine for an instant that only 160,000 lives are at stake – large though that number is. It is that without lockdowns their healthcare systems and hospitals would be overloaded and unable to function within weeks.

    • Absolutely right. We don’t have the faintest speck of evidence that “lockdowns are working”. Do we know whether SARSCov2 is more or less lethal than seasonal flu? No, we do not. Flattening the curve means prolonging the agony. This epidemic will peak soon, or has peaked already. The epidemic is essentially behind us. The world slump, deliberately created by the policy of lockdowns, is only just beginning. It will kill far more people than the epidemic.

  56. Thanks for your post Lord Monkton. I find it interesting that the guys who were best at analyzing the “Global Warming” situation are also very good with the CoronaVirus situation. Willis E is also generating helpful information. His info was the first I saw about very favorable Japan’s numbers and the fact that “everybody ” wears masks. (So for the first time yesterday I wore a mask for grocery shopping.) He also pointed out he has had malaria 4 times and is quite familiar with taking hydroxychloroquine to get past it.
    PS – a local vet found a cat patient with a respiratory condition just yesterday. Perhaps there was a civet around. Another caution point to be aware of.
    I look forward to your updates and thanks again.

    • Mr Sinclair is very kind. But he should be cautious about hydroxychloroquinone. If taken at all, it is probably more effective if accompanied by azithromycin. It should only be taken on prescription, because there are some lurid side-effects in some patients, and your doctor will know whether you are vulnerable.

      The best medical advice, backed up by a meta-analysis of more than 10,000 patients with respiratory diseases published three years ago, is to take a daily gel tablet of 25 mg Vitamin D3, which is proven to inhibit both initial infection with respiratory viruses and development of the symptoms.

      Yes, the virus can cross into cats, dogs, foxes, badgers and suchlike mammals. That is why widespread testing is needed straight away, so as to identify and isolate the humans who are infected.

  57. WHO has three categories: case, recovered, dead.
    A case data point becomes a recovered data point when it enters and leaves reported (insurance) formal care, i.e. doctor or hospital.
    A case data point becomes a dead data point when the obvious happens.
    A case that does neither might have gotten sick or not but recovered on their own and do not register as one of the other data points.
    If a large number of cases do not admit/discharge or die than the contagious and lethal threat of CoVid-19 is grossly exaggerated.

    Well, duh. Yuh think!?

    Look around, there is no evidence of large scale community spread which ineffective social distancing addresses.
    No community spread makes 250,000 US deaths pretty much impossible.

    I ran errands all around town today. The community is largely ignoring the whole affair. They know lying bull shit when they hear it and that’s about all we have gotten from the press and government for way too many years, now.

    Per WHO statistics CoVid-19 is a non-event for 192 countries out of 212.

    This flu bug variant is focused on countries wealthy enough or social enough to keep the too old and too sick too long past their shelf life.

    Just culling the herd.

    The asymptomatic ratio is over 90% for 200 out of the 212, 94%. That means that 90% of the identified cases didn’t end up either hospitalized or dead. If they got sick at all they slugged it out at home. (China apparently hospitalized ALL its cases. Might have been an unhelpful practice.)

    How LETHAL is THAT?

    How ’bout NNNOOOTTT!!!!!

    • In response to Mr Schroeder, the ineluctable mathematics of pandemics is that at first the case count seems small and harmless. Then the exponential-growth phase of the logistic curve comes into its own, and that is what is beginning to happen now. Because the case growth rate is so high, in a few weeks health services would be overwhelmed unless we slowed the transmission rate. Western governments, having failed to act as promptly as South Korea by testing and contact-tracing and isolating, have been driven back on to imposing nationwide house arrest on their populations. They don’t like doing this, any more than I like it. But, with this particular infection, it is necessary, for the time being.

  58. Common sense would suggest lockdowns work to slow the spread.

    Though they have to be balanced against all the other problems lockdowns cause.

    This virus is quite a tricky one because it appears asymptotic spread is going on. Virus is able to hide from immune system as well for a while at least.

    Virus also uses up ventilators and ICU as it seems some people take weeks and weeks to recover or eventually pass away. No politician wants to see people dying due to lack of ventilators.

    Hopefully effective vaccine comes and we learn lots from this.

      • More yah-boo from the relentlessly negative and unconstructive Greg. All I have done is to provide a simple presentation of some conclusions to be drawn from the published data. I do not warrant that the published data are perfect, accurate or complete, merely that they are the published data, and that on the basis of those data, for what it is worth, and whether Greg likes it or not, the compound daily case-growth rate is inexorably slowing. To all but the human-hating Greg, that is a good thing. The only Western country in my batch that is showing an acceleration in the growth rate is Sweden, which is also the only one not to have a lockdown. So it is possible to draw some cautious conclusions from the analysis of the compound daily case growth rate, which, whether Greg likes it or not, is a standard and objective metric.

        One cannot draw definite conclusions to the effect that lockdowns are working, but we can at least say that they do not appear not to be working.

        Unlike Greg, I did not start with a mean-spirited prejudice and then venomously shout at those who disagree with that prejudice. I did some sums to see whethuer the lockdowns appeared to be working. i did not know what the analysis would show. Now I do know what it shows so far, which is that the case growth rates are falling almost everywhere in the countries studied, and that in the one Western country studied that has no lockdown the case growth rate has been inexorably rising for the past ten days or so.

        • “The only Western country in my batch that is showing an acceleration in the growth rate is Sweden, which is also the only one not to have a lockdown.”

          There is no lockdown in Germany.

        • and whether Greg likes it or not, the compound daily case-growth rate is inexorably slowing. To all but the human-hating Greg, that is a good thing. The only Western country in my batch that is showing an acceleration in the growth rate is Sweden

          I never suggested that daily case rate was not inexorably slowing I have been posting graphs all week showing exactly that. Yet another straw man attack from the vicious viscount.

          Apparently despite putting it under his nose at least four times now the serially incompetent bullshitter of Brenchley refuses to look at the log graph of Italian case data which shows exactly that. Or maybe he looked and realised it refuted his spacious claims and chose not respond to my challenge to point out the “blindingly obvious” effects of confinement in the data.

          The human-hating, authoritarian aristocrat can not face evidence which challenges his spurious justification for putting the entire developed world on house arrest. He pretends he has not seen.

          As for his repeated claims about Sweden being the irresponsible bad boys of Europe let’s now compare it to his other chosen example of the success of draconian confinement, Italy:

          https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-growth-sweden.png

          Despite his claims to the contrary, the slope has been consistently better than any other country in Europe !

          Now that is not necessarily because of their policy, there may be other factors , like climate. But the FACTS are that Sweden has a doubling time that most other european countries would cull their economies to have.

          Not only are their growth rates good, they have case numbers and deaths over an order of magnitude less than the major players. Better than you would expect from their population of around 10 million ( cf Italy 60 million ).

          If you want to be as simplistic as “his lordship” , Sweden would be the model we should all be following.

  59. A better solution to mass isolation is a ‘cure’ for covid, using AI optimized antibody production.

    Here is some good news concerning Covid.

    The US and China have been working on AI systems that can analyze and solve specific problems in bioengineering.

    This new field of science is called synthetic engineering as they have developed techniques to construct microbiological entities, such as an antibody and even a virus.

    China is ahead of the US. They bought the key small US companies and took the technology to China.

    A US company ‘Distributed Bio’ using their AI have developed an antibody that is optimized to attack Covid.

    The antibody would be injected into sick people and with 20 minutes it starts to stop the covid virus. The antibody provides roughly 8 weeks protection against the virus.

    This technology has already been tested.

    Distributed Bio prior to covid, developed an antibody for SARS and had tested it on animals. It worked exactly as predicted and they were trying to start human trials.

    Remember this is not trial and error. The antibody was developed by an AI. Their AI can analyze any virus and in about two weeks design an optimized antibody.

    Tests of the new antibody are scheduled in April by multiple laboratories. If the antibody tests go as expected, human trials on sick people will start in August.

    If the human trial is successful, mass production of the antibody and mass use in hospitals will start in September.

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/immunologist-possible-cure-for-the-coronavirus

    https://www.distributedbio.com/covid19

    P.S. Isolation is not going to work for India or Africa.

  60. There is NO Lock Down. The metro still works like the busses and trains or even airplanes. We all have to buy food and a lot do essential work. The only thing that works to lower propagation are masks, gloves, soap and distance.

  61. Concerning Stay at Home orders. I am addressing that order for my Sate, Florida. Included in the order was an attachment list of businesses that were exempt because they were considered “essential”. The list was from the federal guidelines of essential businesses. It was over 20 pages long. I would estimate that over 85% of all business classes were deemed as “essential”, perhaps even higher than that. So the order isn’t as encompassing as most people believe.
    It would be wise to check these type of orders for various locations prior to making any assumptions of how well they work.

  62. I’m curious how many infected and how many deaths are among a groups who routinely receive a flu shot, or other inoculations, or have been taking modern antibiotics. It is evident many of the pharmaceuticals are designed to not heal but produce life long patients.

    • Since most deaths are among the demographic that is high risk for flu that will have taken flu shots, it would be difficult to sort this out.

    • That would be good data to have. Per US DOD study the flu shot increases risk of coronavirus infection.

      Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X19313647?via%3Dihub

      Another study found it increases risk of other respiratory illnesses.

      Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
      https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/54/12/1778/455098

      • The conclusion from the DoD study is exactly the opposite of what you claim. Direct quote from the abstract:

        “Receipt of influenza vaccination was not associated with virus interference among our population.”

        • You need to keep reading.

          Receipt of influenza vaccination was not associated with virus interference among our population. Examining virus interference by specific respiratory viruses showed mixed results. Vaccine derived virus interference was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus;

          There is a chart in that study that shows coronavirus with an OR of 1.36.

          Examining noninfluenza viruses specifically, the odds of both coronavirus and human metapneumovirus in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher when compared to unvaccinated individuals (OR = 1.36 and 1.51, respectively) (Table 5).

          https://www.disabledveterans.org/2020/03/11/flu-vaccine-increases-coronavirus-risk/

    • Your suspicions are correct.

      The pharmaceutical industry is for profit. When patents run out, a new drug is created. In the US system, new drugs do not have to be more effective than the old drug.

      The new drug justs needs to be effective enough to get approval for use and then everyone assumes the a new drug is better. In some cases, it is not.

      Because the pharmaceutical industry is for profit, in some cases, they ignore technology that is a cure. Their best case, is medicine for life. As they are big companies and the subject is complex, this can go on for years.

      Covid may change that. Suddenly there are funds available for ‘cures’ which will make other drugs obsolete.

      This is covid-19. The virus mutates. There will likely be covid 20,21,22, and so on. We need a better method of protecting our society than isolation.

      See my comment above concerning the development of an optimized antibody that destroys covid. The antibody can be injected into sick people and it start disabling the virus in 20 minutes.

      The same company the developed the optimized antibody (they use an AI to analysis the virus which then determines an optimizes antibody to attack, this is not trial and error) has developed antibodies for Ebola which cures 96% of the Ebola patients. Prior to the use of the antibody, 96% died.

      A second breakthrough is the development of a universal vaccine. The concept behind a universal vaccine is it attacks the section of the virus that does not change. If it is successful it would provide protection against all variations of a specific class of virus.

      A person would therefore not require yearly virus shots.

    • In response to Foley Hund, taking antibiotics is no use against any virus. They work against bacteria.

  63. ok let s admit lockdowns work … and prevent infections ..
    how to get out of lockdown ?
    we will have a large part of population not infected and a virus..ready to start infecting people again..
    we are buying time with a lockdown at a high price but if we don’t know what to do with that time, vaccine or therapy .. we are just slowing the beast a bit.

    i know..what else..?

    • I am confident that we do know what to do with the bought time and are doing most of it, though not as quickly as many might hope. I see the key steps to get through the crisis phase to the management phase as:

      1. Massively scale up test capacity to allow rapid screening rather than just confirming suspected cases
      2. Identify treatment(s) that substantially reduce the number of cases that progress to ARDS and death and produce them at scale
      3. Scale up hospital capacity, particularly ICU / respirator capacity to prevent overloading and avoid deaths due to degraded standards of care
      4. Massively scale up production and distribution of PPE to reduce exposure risk to health care workers
      5. Develop an antibody test (and confirm that infection confers a high level of immunity) in institute widespread screening to enable targeted relaxation of control measures (e.g., by area and occupation)

      I expect to see significant progress in all these areas within the next 30 days.

  64. Christopher,
    You said, “the benchmark test is not policy-prescriptive. It merely shows, in a dispassionate fashion based on the available data (warts and all) the extent to which control measures are or are not working…”

    That is a laudable goal. However, to actually demonstrate whether “control measures are or are not working,” one should be comparing what is happening with what would be expected to happen in the absence of any strict controls. That is, as people die, or acquire (herd) immunity from infection, it would be expected that the virus will find fewer potential hosts to infect, and consequently the rate of infection will slow down. Not comparing what is happening with what happens with other epidemics (such as seasonal flues) without strict isolation, is like the old joke about the drunk blowing a whistle to keep the pink elephants away. It ostensibly seems to be working, but there are other factors at play that are being ignored. That is, the poorly enforced social distancing, on what is probably only a third of the US population, is a poorly designed experiment.

    • Very well argued, much what I have been saying in several posts but you express it well.

      On 14th March Arctic sea extent was 15 million sqr km . This week it is now 14.2 . Clearly the reduction in sea ice has been a key factor in reducing the spread of COVID19 infections.

      Falsifiable prediction: if we maintain the reduction in Arctic sea ice throughout the spring and summer , the number of COVID infections will drop to safe levels and we can all be allowed out of house arrest and return to work ( assuming there is still an economy to return to ).

      That has no more worth than the flaccid pretense of science CofB has presented here today.

      The viscount is clearly an sharp, well-read and highly intelligent fellow so I am wondering what his dog in this fight is. I do not believe he is stupid enough not to see the paucity of his argument.

      • Greg continues to whine. If only he would read the head posting, he would see that its conclusions are properly qualified. All it does is report that – though Greg does not like this one little bit – the compound daily case growth rate is falling in those Western countries with lockdowns, and it is not falling in Sweden, which is not locked down to anything like the same degree as the others.

        Greg is entitled to his prejudices, but public health authorities will be viewing the slow but inexorable rise in the Swedish case-growth rate with more than a little concern.

        • The serially incompetent viscount still refuses to look at a graph of Italy’s data and point out where the “blindingly obvious” effect of confinement can be seen.

          As for his repeated claims about Sweden being the irresponsible bad boys of Europe let’s now compare it to his other chosen example of the success of draconian confinement, Italy:

          https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-growth-sweden.png

          Despite his claims to the contrary, the slope has been consistently better than any other country in Europe !

          Now that is not necessarily because of their policy, there may be other factors , like climate. But the FACTS are that Sweden has a doubling time that most other european countries would cull their economies to have.

          Not only are their growth rates good, they have case numbers and deaths over an order of magnitude less than the major players. Better than you would expect from their population of around 10 million ( cf Italy 60 million ).

          If you want to be as simplistic as “his lordship” , Sweden would be the model we should all be following.

          I’m sure the health authorities of Europe have folks capable of doing more than a banal table of percentages and will be aware of real situation in Sweden.

    • Clyde Spencer is of course correct that in due course the five factors that slow infections and reduce the initial exponential growth so that the curve becomes a logistic curve will come into play. But they will not be significant in these early stages.

      The purpose of this simple and carefully-qualified exercise is to show that, though some of the sourpusses here don’t like it (and I’m not saying Clyde is one of these), the daily case growth rate is already falling in those countries that have lockdowns, while it is rising in the one Western country in this study that does not.

      The social distancing measures in the United States are insufficient. Therefore, expect many more cases and many more deaths in the coming weeks.

  65. One fears that the real pain is yet to come and it ain’t medical

    How long can lockdown be maintained before rebellion and violence? In some countries, not long. Look at poor India. What the heck is their Government thinking?

    How long can the globe tolerate a economic depression without a decline in public health, prosperity, along with escalation in rebellion and violence?

    Lord Monckton is right in saying that no modern western government can take the pacifist path. Sorry, but we are too woke for that (meant in a nice way)

    The truth is that most countries made no contingency plans for a viral epidemic in spite of various warnings and precursors. This is THE most important lesson

    The activist path is honorable and compassionate, but wise? I think not

    Sadly, our political and health care capacity eliminates the pacifist option

    Lambs to the slaughter

    For my own part, for some years I have been saying to a good friend (a thinker too) that the world needed a re-set. Research has shown that throughout history society’s underbelly grows fat and soft along with more and more regulation, rules, until a crisis smashes it all down to the fundamentals from which we start again. Its now

    We in New Zealand, will again be able to enjoy our own country without tripping over tourists or their sh…t they leave beside the road. Bliss. Watch our road fatality rates plummet. Stay home please

  66. This was a Plannedemic.. No doubt in my mind it was created.
    So then,, WHO benefits?
    Doing some research on the WHO, UN, the Globalists plainly stated Agenda 2030, Gates the vaccine Nazi, the entire Pharma industry, The Rothshild BANKING empire, covering for the market crash which they are to blame for the bubble, all have their dirty fingers in the till.

    Its a sick world we live in and it not do physical illness. Its do to lack of Morales and Pyschos running the world.

    We are living deep in the end of this wicked system of things. in 1017 languages!
    https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/end-times-prophecy-sign/

    • re: “This was a Plannedemic.. No doubt in my mind it was created.”

      You aren’t too well-read, are you? See the book: “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” published (1st ed.) in -wait for it- 1841. It takes a certain set of circumstances (a political party on a power trip having JUST impeached a sitting chief exec, a complicit ‘press’, out-in-the-open socialists running in the ‘other party’ propagating economic nonsense) to ‘trigger’ a response to – an epidemic that DOES have real consequences BUT to what extent to the entire population is an unknown. This last element is the ‘bogey man’ used by the preceding named players to incite wide-spread fear in the population.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds

      • Wikipedia is created by leftists for leftists.. Its always updated right in time to fit the narrative

        • re: ” Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the … Wikipedia is created by leftists for leftists.. Its always updated right in time to fit the narrative”

          You just effectively copped to the charge of being a moron; the book “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” has been around for a looooong time. It’s a classic. You, however, are decidedly stupid and not well-read.

  67. His Lordship unfairly characterizes the position of those advocates whom he has labelled (libelled?) as “passivists”. They don’t advocate letting the old and already sick die, but isolating and protecting them. Instead of mandated by government, the degree of lockdown for the general population would be largely voluntary, as in Sweden, or up to the states, as in the US. Wyoming, for instance has recorded no deaths associated with the WuFlu virus. Same goes for about a third of US counties.

    The vast majority of Oregon, for instance, is fatality-free, and some counties don’t even have any cases. This despite its position between hard-hit Washington State and California, which has a low death rate per million people, but many en toto, though far below NY, despite over twice the population. Oregon’s cases and deaths are concentrated in Portland’s suburbs, where so many Nike and Intel personnel live and work, who make frequent trips to China.

    Freer-range Sweden’s fatality rate is higher than locked-down Denmark’s, though not by much, assuming similar death cause assignment approaches.

    The problem in the US was made far worse by lack of functional tests early on, because the Obama Administration had made the CDC solely responsible for viral tests, despite the huge American pharmaceutical industry, whose tests work.

    • In response to Mr Tillman, “passivist” is simply a term in contrast to “activist”. The do-little merchants have not prevailed in government circles for a single, overriding reason that cannot be dodged: the growth rate of a pandemic in its early stages is exponential, and the compound daily growth rate in reported cases of the Chinese virus infection was 19%. That was a daily rate. Had the exponential growth continued at that rate until mid-May, somewhere between a fifth and a quarter of the global population would have been infected. Since the death rate among closed cases – those who have either recovered or died, is running at 27% in the world outside China, responsible governments could not take the risk of allowing the carnage that would inevitably have resulted. So, like it or not, they acted.

      And it was entirely appropriate for me to point out that the consequences of the do-little option would have been to let the old and the sick die in large numbers. Yes, the likes of me isolated themselves a month or two before our governments began taking this monstrous virus as seriously as they should. But many others less able to isolate themselves – living in urban tower-blocks, for instance – cannot isolate themselves so easily. Think of the elevators, for instance. So governments decided to act, with the aim of saving lives and also protecting their healthcare systems from complete collapse.

      The simple daily updates I shall be providing will show the extext to which the daily case growth rates are falling or rising. At the moment, they are falling, except in Sweden, where there is no lockdown and the consequences are just about to become all too painfully visible.

      If, on the other hand, lockdowns are not working, the case growth rates will rise. In that event, governments will need to rethink.

      The economic cost of lockdowns is immense. Governments were only willing to contemplate it because the economic cost of allowing the 19% daily compound growth rate to continue even for a few weeks more would have been far, far greater, to say nothing of the human cost in lives, not only of those with the virus but also of those who would otherwise have been treated by collapsed health services. Already, the UK National Health Service has had to cancel just about all elective surgery.

      • Christopher,
        You said, “At the moment, they [daily case growth rates] are falling, except in Sweden …”

        The governor of the state of Ohio announced today, in his daily public address, that the models that he is relying on predict Ohio’s infections are expected to peak about April 25th — a little more than 5 doubling periods. That is, he isn’t expecting to see a decline for another 20 days, in a state where the spread has only been moderate [102 deaths with a population comparable to NYC, versus >3,500 in NYC], and the intent was to try to extend the arrival time of the peak. In places like New York City, my gut tells me that they have lost control and I expect their peak to be later than April 25th. [Note that at the present rate, Ohio may have a peak of deaths roughly equivalent to those who have already died in New York!]

        Again, the real question is how effective social distancing has been, or will be, in saving lives?

      • The so-called “passivist” option probably would have preserved the lives of the old and sick, by concentrating on helping them, rather than placing the young and healthy under house arrest.

        Favoring liberty, freedom and personal responsibility almost always achieves better outcomes than statist “solutions”.

  68. “….In all this mishmash of competing statistics, the one certainty is the daily mean rate at which reported cases have been increasing. That is why I have chosen this measure as the basis for the benchmark test…”

    Surely this is only a benchmark if there is adequate diagnosis? And if there are very few test kits available the diagnosis must be questionable?

    And ‘reported cases’ might mean anything, in view of the fact that many sufferers are asserted to be asymptotic. This could simply be measuring the degree of panic about coughs amongst the public, and hence GP presentation.

    I prefer to look at Total Mortality, which is a precise figure – though one in arrears. It has the merit that what you are measuring is what is concerning the public – extra deaths. If there are no extra deaths, there is no point discussing the cause of death – flu, old age or Covid.

    If the lockdown works, we should see the rate of extra deaths measured by Total Mortality diminish about 2 weeks after it started. We can then argue about just which infective disease caused each death, and whether the coming of Summer was actually the cause of the recovery….

    • I agree with Dodgy Geezer that one knows much more clearly whether someone has died than whether someone has become infected, particularly if that someone is asymptomatic. However, given the three-week delay betwen onset of infection and death, and given the very large exponential increase in reported cases, using the death statistics as the basis for the analysis is fatally too late.

      However, in a future posting I shall be looking at how one can gain some idea of the true case count by working backwards from the known death count. That is discussed in outline in the head posting.

  69. Interesting.
    I am having a hard time making sense of the daily mean rate of new cases tables. There is a time calibration factor that is difficult to discern between countries.
    I look at the mortality rate data being compiled be Willis E and conclude that, other than S Korea, trajectories appear similar amongst countries. US appears to have slightly stemmed the early growth rate (maybe travel ban related) but mid course growth rates appear similar. Maybe a bit more time to build resource capacity has been created.
    The EU MOMO data really make me wonder if there is an element of this being socially overhyped. EU is having a comparatively low rate of excess mortality this year despite the localized virus outbreaks.
    We are clearly not dealing with Spanish Flu mortality, that would be at 100,000 per ten million on Willis E’s charts (ie off the chart).
    I have yet to see an excess mortality chart for the US for comparison to the EU data. In any case, I am not yet persuaded that eliminating the livelihoods of 20-30 million US residents is worth the excess mortality avoided.
    I am persuaded that the source of this virus is release from bio lab in Wuhan. Troubled by that and ensuing lies.
    I am beginning to be persuaded that face masks may be a good idea.
    And I can speak of none this amongst members of my community.

    • In response to Mr Slezak, it is not prudent to compare current death rates from the Chinese virus with know death rates for other infections and conclude that, because few have died so far, one does not need to worry.

      The growth rate of new infections is exponential during these early stages of the pandemic, and would continue to be exponential until mid-May in the absence of the firm control measures that responsible governments are now beginning – albeit belatedly – to take.

      I am not sure on what evidence Mr Slezak concludes that the Chinese virus was manufactured. Since 80% of the genome is bat coronavirus, Occam’s Razor would suggest that it is simply a mutation that occurred when the virus jumped species in the filthy public meat market in Wuhan, where live creatures of many species were confined in squalid adjacent cages.

      It might be worth Mr Slezak’s while to have a look at the protein-sequence translation of the genome. He would then be able to deduce that the simplest explanation – lack of elementary hygiene – is the real cause.

    • re: ” Gates sponsored a meeting in NY in October called EVENT 201.. You need to hear what they were talking about.. Oh, what to do in case of a pandemic.”

      Stopped clock syndrome; he’s been giving talks like this FOR AWHILE (years) now.

      See also “Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc” fallacy.

      Next.

  70. This Fauci is connected big time to WHO and other ORG.s, a globalist.

    Note what he said in 2107
    Back in 2017 at forum on pandemic preparedness at Georgetown University Dr. Fauci made an interesting statement. Fauci told the audience the Trump administration will not only be challenged by ongoing global health threats such as influenza and HIV, but also a surprise disease outbreak.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/whoa-dr-fauci-2017-president-trump-will-challenged-surprise-global-disease-outbreak-video/

  71. S. Korea’s approach seems to have yielded an enviable death rate for COVID-19 relative to other countries–so far.
    By other countries I mean where the virus was allowed to spread widely through their populations with a “do-nothing” or “flattening the curve” approach, thereby creating “herd immunity.”
    If and when business-as-usual travel resumes, isn’t S. Korea’s population at higher risk relative to the others indefinitely, or at least until an effective vaccine is developed and administered?

    • Mr Werner is of course right that South Korea will not have acquired population immunity because it has taken such vigorous steps to control the outbreak. However, at least it remains in an economic position to deal with future such crises, because its prompt action has spared it from the need to go in for the strong lockdowns that have been necessary in the do-little West.

  72. it can’t be both more infectious than the flu and more fatal based on the known numbers …

    in the US if the CDC had 200,000 positively tested flu cases they would calculate about 20,000,000 infected to go against the 20,000 dead thus getting their .1 % mortality rate …

    so covid19 with 200,000 positively tested if more infectious than the flu would have over 20,000,000 infected … vs 6,000 dead …

    pick one, more infectious or more fatal than the flu … can’t be both …

    every year the flu dies out in about 3 months due to a combination of geography and herd immunity …

    lockdowns reduce herd immunity drastically and also the geography component …

    so far if covid19 is going to kill you I see no signs that any medical intervention is going to save you … it appears to be a fatal disease so a small percentage of people no matter what the doctors do …

    and the lockdowns almost ensure that you are going to get covid19 eventually …

    isolation of the at risk elderly is the only way to save those that it will kill … and we aren’t doing that …

  73. it can’t be both more infectious than the flu and more fatal based on the known numbers …

    in the US if the CDC had 200,000 positively tested flu cases they would calculate about 20,000,000 infected to go against the 20,000 dead thus getting their .1 % mortality rate …

    so covid19 with 200,000 positively tested if more infectious than the flu would have over 20,000,000 infected … vs 6,000 dead …

    pick one, more infectious or more fatal than the flu … can’t be both …

    every year the flu dies out in about 3 months due to a combination of geography and herd immunity …

    lockdowns reduce herd immunity drastically and also the geography component …

    so far if covid19 is going to kill you I see no signs that any medical intervention is going to save you … it appears to be a fatal disease so a small percentage of people no matter what the doctors do …

    and the lockdowns almost ensure that you are going to get covid19 eventually …

    isolation (until a cure or vaccine) of the at risk elderly is the only way to save those that it will kill … and we aren’t doing that …

  74. A suggestion Christopher, track deaths, it’s the only statistic that I believe has any posibility of being close to having any accuracy in the current fog of data. I’ve been doing it for my location Alberta and some select countries. I’m comparing the daily death rate to that which would normally be expected from respiratory disease. I’m using numbers from the UN reports for annual death rates per 1000 of population, for the proportion due to respiratory causes I’m using the US CDC data from 2013 to 2019. Ball park numbers of course, no point in trying for a precision that is impossible with the data quality.

    One observation so far is that Sweden appears to be at the normal daily expected death rate for respiratory causes with no apparent increase due to the COVID 19 virus since the 11th of March which was the date of theifirst death assigned to COVID in Sweden

    • Yes – except deaths are considerably overstated in most places because they include all who die with the virus but not necessarily of the virus. In Italy for example it’s been shown that only 12 per cent of deaths attributed in the reported statistics to Covid-19 actually had coronavirus recorded as a direct cause of death on their death certificate. This means all reported data, both cases and deaths, is misleading.

      • That is fairly normal for flu as well since the virus is rarely the CAUSE of death. Usually pulmonary embolism / pneumonia: bacterial.

        EU countries typically have “excess deaths” attributed to flu of the order of 10k per year whereas directly record flu cause of deaths maybe around 500.

        • UK deaths are ordinarily attributed to flu or pneumonia so that’s covered. Covid-19 deaths on the other hand are recorded as such merely if the virus was present at death. It’s different from the usual statistics.

      • Contrariwise in Spain there is evidence that people are dying without ever having been tested at all.

        And COVID-19 deaths are considerably understated.

        Whatever…

        All this denialism is a bit disconcerting in WUWT. If someone dies of X who would not have died of it if they hadn’t contracted COVID19, then in my book that’s worth recording as a death from COVID19…

        Isn’t it the case that everyone who died of HIV actually died of something else?

        That by the logic of some posters here no one ever really ‘died of HIV’?

        Furthermore, in contrast to ‘global warming’, which has not resulted in any personal action by any politician, COVID 19 has sent world leaders scurrying into isolation and some of the most drastic measures undertaken by governments anywhere.

        They are a lot more scared of this than ‘global warming’.

        Quite rightly, we don’t fully trust anyone any more. And ‘Climate Sceptics’ are just as vulnerable to ‘confirmation bias’ as anyone else…BUT…in this case people are actually dying and – for the stage in the pandemic we are at – large enough numbers to be deeply disquieting.

        Modelling pandemics is a lot easier than climate. What we know is that as far as the speed of infection spread goes, the crucial number is how many people one person infects. Christopher has stated, and I lack the expertise to challenge – that best of all is isolation and quarantine, but ‘social distancing and lockdown is a very good second best, and that is what is happening.

        There seems to be at least anecdotal evidence that the viral load acquired affects the severity of the disease as well – which perhaps accounts for the very heavy death tolls in urban areas, amongst health workers and in care homes.

        What am I saying? Cut the people who are in this at the coal face some slack. We are seriously short on accurate data, and seeing conspiracies everywhere is as unhelpful as denying that politically and commercially some people will try and profit from this.

        Our Glorious Leaders are scared. Scared enough to implement measures that are trashing some of their biggest supporters in finance and big business. For sure they are stupid, but are they THAT stupid?
        For sure the world government advocates will leap on this and say that this is why we need a world government, but equally the ‘small is beautiful’ brigade will say it shows how we need separate nation states to react swiftly and independently and diversely. And block their borders.

        In short everyone with an axe to grind will be spinning up their grindstones.

        But that doesn’t mean they started it. Opportunism is not conspiracy to commit a crime. Pandemics happen because conditions are ripe for them. How many viruses have hopped over from animal populations , given a family or a tribe a hard time and killed a couple of people without it being a global pandemic in our much more isolated past? Probably dozens, every century.

        What we are seeing now is a result of certain aspects of globalism. The good side is that information about this is flowing fast and freely. The bad side is that too free movement of goods and people allows for pandemics to take hold very rapidly.

        In the end it doesn’t matter from a policy perspective, whether this was started deliberately or not. The problem is that once started, it spreads. In the end it doesn’t matter from a policy perspective if this particular pandemic kills 10,000 or a billion. The problem is that it, or another one, could. In the end it doesn’t matter from a policy perspective, if this one shuts down the while global economy for a year, the problem is that such a thing is possible, and likely. Next time, if not this time.

        In short we are being stress tested. Here in the UK at least people are realising how much more important the man who delivers your online shopping is than some pretentious mindless overpaid celebrity dribbling pretentious uninformed received wisdom on the telly.

        Those who have read and understood the precept inherent in Joseph Tainter’s ‘the collapse of complex societies’ even if they do not agree with them, will recognise that at a given point all societies become vulnerable to their own flaws. The philosophical precept that ‘what worked yesterday will work tomorrow’ whilst enormously useful and often true, can become incredibly false much faster than the ability of people to realise it.

        I am sure people are wondering when we will ‘return to normality’.
        Denial is inherent in that. The ‘ War won’t be over by Christmas’. And when it is, the world we will inherit will not be the one we left behind, irrevocably lost.

        Real or false, overplayed or correctly responded to, we have embarked on a course from which there is no return, as a result if finally coming face to face with some of the aspects of globalism that we had not encountered before.

        Aspects that were always theoretical possibilities, but are now filling morgues..

        Climate change was, if not invented, certainly promoted by men for political and financial power and profit.

        But this one may be the real deal.

        Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed less than quarter of a million people at the most. But forever changed the way wars were fought. This disease has killed to date about 60,000: Less than ‘Spanish’ flu back in the day, but the point is not how many it has, or even will, kill, the point is how many people (especially political leaders) a nuclear war could have killed or a global pandemic could kill in future.

        This is the real ‘woke’.
        Welcome to the brave new world
        Popcorn anyone?

    • In response to Mike, in one respect described briefly in the head posting it is indeed sensible to use mortality statistics: for if 1000 people died in the U.S. from the virus yesterday then, at the WHO’s imagined 3.4% case fatality rate there must have been almost 30,000 cases infected three weeks ago; and, at the 25% mean U.S. daily case growth rate since three weeks ago, those 30,000 cases would be more than 3 million infected today.

      However, reliance solely upon the death statistics is reliance on an indicator that lags by three crucial weeks. One must also, therefore, track the reported cases of infection, for they will give a better picture of the trend – which is what my analysis studies – than today’s death rates.

      And one should not assume that because Sweden’s first case occurred just two weeks ago the the normalcy of the current Swedish death rate is harmless. During the early stages of a pandemic, the infection spreads exponentially. Therefore, many, many more deaths can be expected before enough of the population has either been infected and recovered, been infected or died or has no susceptibility. It is that consideration that has persuaded responsible governments to act decisively, if in most instances belatedly, to control the rate of transmission, preserve a functioning healthcare system and thus save lives.

  75. The problem with this whole analysis is it relies on reported cases, which are a function of the number and type of tests. This point has been well made in a number of places eg https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-to-understand-and-report-figures-for-covid-19-deaths-. It’s been shown that the proportion of tests coming out positive is not increasing in any country and that the apparent exponential increase in cases is a result of an exponential increase in tests. Any analysis based on reported case figures is therefore fundamentally faulty.

    • Will Jones has completely missed the point of the head posting. Testing is increasing everywhere, because that is what worked in South Korea, the best-practice country. And yet the case growth rate is falling. That is a powerful indication that something is now inhibiting transmission. Apply Occam’s Razor. Governments have taken measures that have discernibly kept people apart from normal social contact. Accordingly, they have inhibited transmission. And, notwithstanding the extra testing, the case growth rate is falling.

      One can also analyze the rate of increase in reported deaths, a statistic that is inherently more reliable than the rate of increase in reported infections. But that rate of increase is exponential too, and the growth rate in deaths is faster than the growth rate in reported infections.

      Either way, any responsible government confronted with the evidence would have to lock down its population. That is why so many have done so, even though they did not wish to do so.

      • Reported deaths in most places include all who die with Covid-19 and not necessarily of it. This means it suffers from similar problems to the reported cases since the more people are tested for the virus especially after death the more will be recorded as Covid-19 deaths. Patients in hospitals are also much more likely to die and much more likely to be exposed to the virus than the population at large, further skewing these figures. There are a number of factors in the upward trend.

  76. 1) wealthy people who are completely unaffected in any meaningful way by an economic shutdown probably shouldn’t comment on whether there should be one or how long it should last.

    2) HIV was not in any manner airborne and does not persist in any localized environment or niche, so what works for limiting HIV spread won’t work for coronavirus. So nothing comparable there.

    3) That is the sketchiest way of calculating the death rate from coronavirus infection that I have seen yet. Since a large proportion of the population appears to either not become infected after exposure to the virus or to be asymptomatic or to have mild illness that never results in a test, until a true randomized population test is done for both presence of coronavirus and antibodies, we won’t know either rates of infection or death rates or any other proportions. The evidence to date suggests that in fact rates of serious illness, much less deaths are quite low.

    4) We are getting some very dodgy ways of counting coronavirus deaths. See this from the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/vsrg/vsrg03-508.pdf If they had pneumonia or other respiratory illness, even if no positive COVID test, call it a COVID death.

    5) Again, wealthy people apparently have little empathy for what it means for the average person to lose a job.. We have 20 million newly unemployed people in the US. Maybe what is happening to them, including the health consequences, should be considered too.

  77. Christopher, please consider this unique mitigation technique /sarc>

    No fooling, my son took this photo at a SAM’s box store near Houston, Texas the other day. He sent it to me both as an example of the foolishness people are exhibiting and because, as a college intern working on my undergraduate degree in physics, I was honored to be selected to work for NASA on the Apollo Program where we sent men to the moon. He titled the photo, “The CoronaNaut”
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6b55aab470ba85aca36b531dae4cab349df1cdd3726eed9b87b9956c165724f6.jpg

  78. With all due respect to the Lord, this is nonsense. When the CDC announced April 3 that the virus is transmitted by mere exhalation, they also admitted that there are no measures that can stop this virus. No, a motorcycle helmet cannot filter out virus particles. No, a piece of cloth loosely draped across the face cannot filter out a virus.

    The simple fact is, in accordance with the April 3 pronouncement by the CDC, all measures are useless. All the “bending the curve” measures merely delay the infection of the population; the same number of people will be infected, and the same number of people will die. I realize this sounds harsh, but, sometimes the scientific facts are harsh.

    And in all the hysteria regarding the availability of ventilators, I have yet to see anyone provide evidence that those who require ventilation recover.

    Throughout this epidemic I have been astounded by the lack of science in the government pronouncements of “measures” taken to “control” the spread of the virus. The only real way to prevent the virus is to not create it in the first place. But we are not allowed to discuss the responsibility of the Chinese who created this virus in willful negligence by persisting in their unsanitary animal handling and butchering practices, and, the depraved indifference with which they lied about person-to-person transmission of months while Chinese migrant workers and travelers spread the disease around the planet.

    But our elites will take no measures against the Chinese who created this mess; they will instead destroy the world economy and then pat themselves on the back about how well they handled this fiasco complete with fake statistics on the lives they saved. But the fact is, the CDC announcement on April 3 means, there are no measures saving any lives, just hysteria and economic destruction.

    • ” All the “bending the curve” measures merely delay the infection of the population”
      But the point to delaying measures is to allow the health care industry time to gear up and not be overwhelmed.

      • Tom in Florida is correct: the reason why responsible governments have taken firmish control measures is to give healthcare systems time to prepare themselves to cope, and to give public-health organizations that had failed to prepare for pandemics time to test the whole population.

    • ” the same number of people will be infected,” yes, ” and the same number of people will die. ” No.

      The aim is to stretch the length of the outbreak and thus prevent hospitals getting overwhelmed and people dying unnecessarily. That hopefully reduces the number of deaths.

    • Even if the CDC is correct that the virus can be spread by breathing this does not mean that this is the primary method of spread or that measures such as hand hygiene, distancing, or use of face masks can’t help reduce the rate of infection.

    • tomg is entitled to his opinion, but the chief medical officer in South Korea has stated, on the record, that wearing a mask, even if it does not filter out the air you breathe, does act as a somewhat efficacious barrier to infection. Even wearing glasses acts as an incomplete but significant hinderer of infection via the orbital mucous membranes. Now, let me see, whom should I believe? tomg, or the official in whose country the evidence shows the pandemic to have been most successfully controlled to date, by an order of magnitude?

      I do not and did not suggest that scarves around the face, or motorcycle helmets, would provide complete protection. They don’t. But, like it or not, the medical evidence is that they do provide some protection. And, as the South Korean health guru has said, in an excellent interview, any steps to hinder transmission will help.

      I agree that Communist China will probably get away with having unleashed yet another pandemic on the world because of Mr Xi’s inexcusable decision, supported by the corrupt director of the dismal World Death Organization, to pretend that the virus did not exist, or could not pass from human to human, until the whole world had been subjected to the infection. Xi’s misconduct is just one more demonstration that Communism must be destroyed, along with all other forms of extremist totalitarianism. But try telling that to the Marxstream news media in the West.

      • “somewhat efficacious” = ineffective. The inevitable outcome may be delayed but the outcome remains the same: only immunity by infection will end the epidemic. The virus is ubiquitous in the world, the majority of infected are unidentifiable, transmission occurs by breathing alone; only immunity by infection will end the epidemic.

  79. There’s a whole lotta presumption going on around here.

    How can any of you know lock downs are justified without any assessment of the anticipated economic carnage?
    Loading up half of the scale doesn’t provide any valid or reliable measurement.

    Monckton wrote. ” I agree with Mr Evans that lockdowns are cripplingly expensive. However, the alternative – allowing millions to be exposed to the risk of painful death – would have been still more expensive.”

    With all due respect, isn’t that a pretty wild presumption?
    In order to make that claim there must be some effort to quantify the cost of a collapsed economy.
    What is the lock down truly doing? What is the cost of shutting down so much and 30% unemployment?
    Where is the economic system, business and people impact analysis equal to the virus spread analysis.

    Both sides of the scale must be loaded before claiming one side weighs more.

    IMO the over reaction to the COVID-19 will be catastrophic and far more costly than the virus.
    And ultimately go down in history as the worst blunder in human history.

    One need only imagine if all of the common flue numbers were reported daily and how alarming it would appear. 100s of millions infected, millions hospitalized and half a millions dead to date.
    All with nothing shut down at all.
    Now suppose the current flu numbers were double this year what they normally are.
    Would we see any shut downs? I doubt it.

    The death toll from COVID-19 is tragic. However it may very well be that the shut downs are tragic x 2, x3,x 4 or more.
    I’m troubled that no one seems to be worried about that?

    • Steve Oregon appears to imagine that responsible governments have not considered the economic cost of lockdowns. Of course they have: that is why so many of them took so long to realize that there was no other option.

      The more quickly the lockdowns work, the more time will be bought for bringing up the capacity of hospitals to cope, and for preparations to test the entire population.

      At the end of the pandemic, the world will eventually restart. But this is not the same as a war, which destroys much of the capital stock. The virus does not destroy buildings or factories or aircraft. All of these are already there. The free market is quite capable, once the pandemic is history, of recovering and rebuilding.

      The cost in the interim is undeniably heavy. But the cost of failing to act, according to the analyses done for the British Government, would have been many times greater.

      Just because one does not want economic damage, one must not assume that the economic damage done by a lockdown would be greater than the economic damage done by the complete societal collapse that would follow upon the swamping of healthcare systems everywhere.

      • “The virus does not destroy buildings or factories or aircraft.”

        Correct, but global financial depressions do

  80. Christopher Monckton,
    An interesting analysis – Thank You! As one who had a persistent bout of ‘flu’, leading to viral pneumonia and 7 days of intensive hospitalization in Feb 2019, I’m really not looking forward to a new ‘cage match’ with the Wuhan virus! Given all of the uncertainties associated with the current conflagration, there is one real historical certainty we can rely on and is expressed perfectly by the following quip:
    As the veterinarian said about the cat’s hair balls, “This too shall pass!”

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

    Anyone in any doubt that something is happening need only look at the excess deaths. This was a week last Friday with only 578 deaths atributed to covid19. On Thursday I’d expect the peak to match 2017/18 if not excede it. If lockdown works we might expect that peak to slowly decline, only to rise again each time lockdown is lifted. Only when herd immunity is achieved or we have a vaccine or a reliable cure or we find out this virus has a low cfr can the tap be turned back on permanently.

    Re the cfr (case fatality rate) a lot of people think that China has kept secrets – probably true – but if the country knows more about the disease than we do – why is it still acting like covid19 is deadly?

    • TinyCO2 makes some excellent points. If the exponential daily increase in deaths continues – and it will continue for about three weeks after the peak daily increase in cases – it will indeed push other causes of death into the shade.

  82. I have long admired Christopher Monckton’s of Brenchley crusade against the bad science and statistics propelling the CAGW movement throughout the years; however, he has fallen victim to the same bad principles of those groups when he faults well established science and statistics of herd immunity/viral load concept.

    Unfortunately, far too many people are extolling the alleged benefits of totalitarian unconstitutional measures.

    The politicians enacting those draconian measures are immune to the ruinous financial ramifications of their actions, because they will still be paid by government treasuries. In the meantime, the youth of our nation are taking fastballs to the ribs for the supposed welfare of us old folks. For the sake of the younger generations, I wish my fellow old fogies would demonstrate en masse at the nation’s capitol to protest this ongoing martial law.

    • Yep CofB has adopted the classic climatology methods here. I know he far too intelligent not to realise that , especially since I have pointed it out multiple times and he has not addressed the question.

      In view of his pride in suggesting immediate and permanent confinement as the best solution to the AIDS outbreak ( ie homosexuals ), he clearly has little regard for personal freedom or constitutional rights of others.

      • The poisonous Greg continues to whine about my having recommended that carriers of HIV should be immediately, compulsorily and permanently isolated. The reason for that recommendation is that, if it had been adopted right at the outset, very few would have had to be isolated, but tens of millions of lives would have been saved.

        Greg’s persistent failing is that he is utterly incapable of seeing both sides of a question. He takes a preconceived and often infantile position and then screams if anyone disagrees with it.

        Not so a homosexual campaigner who telephoned me in a fury when I had published the results of my investigation into how many HIV would kill if it were not contained. I explained the math (which has, of course, since proven correct). He fell silent, and then said, “But you do realize, don’t you, that the first people who would benefit from your policy are the homosexuals who are currently most at risk of infection, and who would no longer be at risk.”

        “Got it in one,” I said. “I don’t want anyone, whoever they are, to die needlessly because sensible and proportionate measures with admittedly adverse consequences for a few unfortunates were not taken in good time.”

        “Oh,” he said, “That puts a completely different complexion on the matter. I support that.”

        Greg, on the other hand, supports the unnecessary loss of 50 million lives and counting. That is a contemptible position, but entirely characteristic of him.

    • In response to Mr Jessup, I apply the same analysis to epidemics as to the climate scam. On the figures, the current pandemic is an emergency, while the climate scam is not.

      And before he goes on about totalitarian measures, locking down an entire population of freedom-loving Westerners is not really possible unless the population is persuaded – and, like it or not, most of the population is persuaded – that for the time being it is best to stay at home.

  83. I could speculate with the best of you, but is that responsible? Maybe half the population has immunity from having had a mild case already. I know many people (myself included) who have had mild flu-like symptoms consistent with Covid-19 during February and March. But since I was not permitted to be tested when I had a mild fever for a day on March 16, it may be a long time before I can know the truth. It’s all well and good to guess that maybe I am immune and no longer contagious, but what if I had a mild flu unrelated to covid-19? Frankly, I am 50% confident that it would be safe to go back to normal, but I’m also 50% confident that it would be a mistake.

    Without reliable data about immunity status in the population, anybody’s cleverly-argued hypothesis might be right. For the moment, having seen the reality in New York City, it seems rash in the extreme to oppose the advice we are getting from the Trump Administration. We’re in the fog of war. Prudence demands a certain amount of caution, given the potential stakes and our profound lack of useful data.

    So while I am not in the least impressed by the argument made here that lockdowns are “working”, I still think that the possibility that they are staving off much worse outcomes can’t be dismissed by reasonable people.

    We can’t sustain these lockdowns and it will be a catastrophe if we do not soon have immunity testing and practical treatments. Even today in CT, nobody without both fever and respiratory distress is likely to be able to be tested for covid infection, and nobody is getting antibody testing. This must change soon!

  84. Very smart people seem to be completely missing the point of a “lock down” – that or they are just willing to let people needlessly die.

    The lock down is to slow down the progression of the disease. This helps to keep your critical care response high and gives you more time to develop counter-measures. Even if it does not lower the final number of people infected, if it meets the two goals above it saves lives. Without the lock down in New York, their cases would have gone much higher than they already are. There would have been no where to put the sick and dying. They need time to prepare a response.

    We started off this pandemic with very little good data – thanks to China – and as of today still have no idea how high its mortality rate is. Think very hard about that…We face an enemy and still do not understand statistically how many people will likely die. It this turns out to be a “bad Flu” and the numbers of deaths in the U.S. are in the tens of thousands then we have indeed overreacted. But if it ends up killing millions? Without quality data we just do not know.

    Yes we have impacted the economy, and yes we have impacted peoples lives…We cannot stay locked down. But we need to stay locked down until we have enough quality data to make sound decisions – otherwise we are acting like the “OMG Climate Change is Going to Kill Us All” crowd and just using emotion to drive our decision making.

    We need to know how many people have been infected (have antibodies) versus how many we test that come up positive (an almost useless number by itself). Without this data, we are blind to the real threat.

  85. “They hold that the best thing to do is let everyone become infected, let the old and the sick die, let the health services collapse…”

    Are we really suggesting that there are only two extremes?

    I’m generally against the lockdown (in most places), but I think the most vulnerable should self-isolate, and the vast majority of the infected won’t need to use health services at all. I don’t want anybody to die needlessly, but I also don’t want to see the far greater effects of destroying the economy.

    There’s a reasonable middle. Let’s not pretend that anti-lockdown folks are cold and callous people.

    • Renbutler advocates what is known in British politics as the perpendicular bisector, or in the Bible as the judgment of Solomon. Cut the baby in half and give half each to the two women claiming to be its mother.

      The central deciding factor in persuading responsible governments that they must invite their populations to subject themselves to what amounts to indefinite house arrest is that if they had not done so their healthcare systems would have been overwhelmed, leaving anyone who was ill and in need of hospital treatment under threat. That is why lockdowns were thought necessary.

      The daily updates here will show whether or not the lockdowns are working. If the lockdowns are not working, the daily rate of increase in the case count will itself rise, rather than falling as at present.

      • That is simply false. You are attributing the natural course of every epidemic to the effect of lockdown. You have yet to address this point which multiple people have raised. You might also attribute the decrease in new cases to the number of times President Trump says “nobody has ever seen anything like this” or the number of times he claims that China is paying tariffs (rather than American customers paying a new tax). Neither of those factors have any effect on the natural progression of an epidemic and you have not demonstrated the degree to which any decrease in new cases is due to lockdown policy and how much is just the natural progression of an epidemic. This is essentially the same flawed logic that attributes 100% of observed temperature increase to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, is it not?

    • Lockdown is not to stop you getting infected. It is to stop you infecting someone else.

      It is not the vulnerable who need to practise it, but the young and fit.

      • But if the vulnerable are locked down away from potential carriers, the young and fit won’t spread it to them even if they’re free to move about.

  86. “Public Health England”, a grim but useless bureaucracy

    I am still waiting for PHE to give a response to my FOI request for a table of age at time of death in one column and number of covid-19 deaths at that age in the second column (or equivalent information).

    • Martin A should not hold his breath. Public Death England will have to be dismantled when this emergency, to which its own flagrant negligence contributed, is past.

  87. Granted that the topic here is almost endlessly complicated, I can’t help but feel that Christopher Monckton is making an error in assuming that we can know the effectiveness of various jurisdiction’s efforts at ‘lockdown’, just by looking at published growth rates in case numbers? One problem is that “lockdown” is not itself a precisely described condition. For instance, ‘South Korea managed’ lockdown might be essentially a different thing than lockdown in Italy or Spain. So when we put up a graph or a chart purporting to compare lockdown countries to non-lockdown countries, are we looking at a true, meaningful, causative distinction, are we looking at situations that are different for other reasons, etc?

    Another thing that I find a bit problematic is the distinction that Monckton makes at the outset, between activists and passivists, saying that “When it comes to preventing pandemics, I am an activist.” Activism apparently means tracking everyone to the max, so as to isolate infectious individuals. It also means wearing full face helmets, maybe Scott airpacks and hazmat suits when going out, who knows? This could be termed “precautionary bias” on Monckton’s part — but surely this really makes sense *only* if you think that exposure is *likely to be deadly* for the individual concerned? I mean, say, what about the growing list of celebrities that we see contracting the virus and *recovering with immunity*, apparently with little risk of dying at *any* point if the person is healthy to begin with?

    Before going to extremes to prevent the spread of what is doubtless an extra dangerous kind of ‘cold virus’ (coronavirus), shouldn’t there be an obligation for authorities to really prove or corroborate *something* in regard to the question of just *how* hazardous it is? In particular, if is almost strictly a smallish sector of the populace that faces a high death rate from this, it might be far better for most of us to take ‘passive’ precautions, even going around with a simple face mask (if any experts would confirm that this is helpful) while we do our everyday business — with the vast majority of people out there able to keep working and paying taxes as a result of being so ‘passive’. Are we so lame as a society that we couldn’t then build the field hospitals, clinics, or whatever is needed to reduce the death rate among the worst affected?

    In comparing growth rate numbers for countries, MofB says:

    The most impressive results are those for Italy, the first country in Europe to impose a strictish lockdown. During the reference period, the Italian growth rate was more than 30% per day, and cases were doubling every 2.6 days. But the lockdown is beginning to work. In the week to April 2, the daily growth rate in Italy was down to 5.2%. Even that is an alarming value: it would lead to a doubling of cases every two weeks. But the trend in the daily growth rate is firmly downward .. ”

    Then, Monckton gives some commentary about the unreliablity of the case percentage statistics, beginning with the statement.

    “.. the question arises whether the official data on which I have relied are trustworthy. The answer is that they are not, for the lack of widespread testing has entailed a very substantial understatement of the numbers infected.. “. The writer then goes on to detail some of the extreme uncertainties about case numbers, risks and death rates.

    So what all this tells me is that we’ve no idea whether the particular measures taken in Italy had anything to do with the slowing of the doubling in the case rate there! Also, we have no way of comparing whether the total death count is any different as compared to an ‘alternate universe no lockdown’ scenario in which Italian authorities simply advised voluntary isolation for sufferers? I mean, perhaps such an approach would even have allowed some benefits, such as i.e., no forcing people out of work, with more police and nursing support for self declared sufferers, plus a better economy *and* a steady tax base for funding clinics and field hospitals as needed, etc.?

    Finally, here I just have to provide some sort of extra caution in the vein of the oft forgotten advice that “correlation does not imply causation”.

    See, for instance, the following link itemizing some spurious correlations:

    http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

    Following the above link, it is apparently an established fact that increases in ‘non-commercial satellite launches’ are a direct cause of ‘sociology students getting their doctorates’ —

    — while the ‘decline in the marriage rate in Kentucky’ has had the salutory effect of,
    reducing deaths from ‘falling out of a fishing boat’?

    Really, I don’t want to be cavalier about deaths, fear of pandemic, concerns about what we don’t know. It’s just that taking care of society also means balancing out the need for freedom, and the need to to resist panic, even in the face of the unknown! If we’ve no way to tell even how many deaths are ‘from’ the virus, versus just ‘with’ the virus, have no idea how many ‘have’ the virus, why, shouldn’t there be some considerable firming up of *those* numbers, *before* we plan ourselves a Monitored Society?

    • In response to Mr Blenkinsop, the reason why action is necessary in the face of a pandemic that is both considerably more infectious and considerably more fatal than flu is to forestall the exponential increase that would lead to deaths by the million unless it was interrupted.

      I spent some weeks doing a mathematical analysis before I settled upon using the confirmed-case data. Those data, like all such data in the early stages of pandemics, have many defects. it is, therefore, appropriate to qualify any conclusions drawn from those data by pointing out the defects. This I have done,l and Mr Blenkinsop knows it, for he has cited the very passages in which I have fairly pointed those defects out.

      Nevertheless, some cautious conclusions can be drawn from analyzing such data. One such conclusion is that, even though testing is slowly becoming more widespread, which would normally lead to the identification of more infected people, the rate of increase in confirmed cases is falling in those Western countries that have introduced various degrees of lockdown, whereas – for instance – it is rising in Sweden, whose public health commissioner has recommended against a lockdown (though he has recently conceded that he is reviewing his decision).

      Nor it is appropriate to make, as Mr Blenkinsop has made, the assertion that correlation does not imply causation. In logic, correlation does not necessarily imply causation (the word “necessarily” is important, because of course correlation can and often does imply causation). If there be a known causative agent – in the present instance, lockdowns have reduced social contact in the affected countries by 80-95%, directly inhibiting transmission of the infection – then one cannot airily assume that that known causative agent has for some reason failed to operate.

      And when one is confronted with data (this will admittedly be easier to see during future updates, where the information is presented graphically) showing that in the Western countries with some degree of lockdown the daily case growth rate is falling, while in Sweden, with no lockdown, it is rising, one has to go through quite some contortions to find sufficient confounders to overthrow the conclusion that the lockdowns may, after all, be having some effect at present.

      • I trust that when you are proven wrong in this you will admit it, rather than conveniently forgetting this prediction that Sweden will rise while others will decline.

        Your argument, in addition to being the clear analogue to the AGW claims that all warming is due to human CO2 emissions and not at all to natural effects, is also eerily similar to the alarmist habit of saying “it’s just the physics”

        Logically if everyone would rigorously follow lockdown prescriptions, it must help. But you have no justification for attributing all reductions in new cases to lockdown practices. Logically there is some warming from increased CO2, by there are many factors. The same is true here.

        You may be correct (and I hope so), but you beg the question.

        • Rich
          There is anecdotal evidence that the ‘twenty-somethings’ are universally ignoring the social distancing, hence the observation that is isn’t just the elderly that are getting sick now.

          Where I live, I have observed ‘essential’ business such as what are euphemistically called “tree surgeons” continuing to remove trees, as well as a surveyor looking for a property line for my new neighbors, who show up with what appear to be their grand-kids. Another neighbor had the oil changed on his car a couple of days ago. The social distancing seems to be about as well complied with as making a face mask out of cheese cloth. And yet, people are trying to make the case that it is working. It seems to me, that at best, we have shut down about a third of our retail workers, meaning they aren’t coming into contact with shoppers.

          • I hope we’re wrong, but Willis makes a strong case that all we’re doing is making sure our economy is destroyed with minimal effect on lives saved. Even still, I can’t in good conscience advise reducing our efforts.

            We must have antibody testing and much greater capacity for covid-19 testing coupled with rigorous quarantine of those with confirmed tests (not porous home isolation with other family members coming and going at will and nobody even knowing if the sick family member really had covid or just a mild flu), and aggressive contact tracing when new cases are detected.

            Rather than fatalistically saying that Korea and Japan are somehow societies incompatible with western culture, we should be learning from them. If we’re truly incompatible with effective measures then we’re up for the Darwin Award.

    • Useful link, giving nice resume of the level of hcq globally . I did not realise it was so heavily used in Spain.

      Second Wave of Outbreak

      The second global outbreak is anticipated by 83% of global physicians, 90% of U.S. physicians but only 50% of Chinese physicians

      Strange thing to ask a physician. Why would they have any competence in epidemiology?

    • It is only political in USA because Trump expressed hope that it may be a game changer. This “obliged” the resisters to automatically dismiss its clinical efficacy on principal.

      In France/EU there is some heavy and underhanded mafia type behaviour going on on the part of big pharma and their stooges in the upper echelons of the medical profession.

      All out attempts in the media to discredit eminent professor Didier Raoult and his world class unit in Marseilles. The aim is ensure any testing of hydrochloroquine fails by explicitly NOT following the protocol he recommends and NOT using it at the stage where he says it is most effective.

      This is simply “follow the money”, not partisan politics. When the EU study chooses a winner ( all the other study drugs are patented anti-virals ) there will be instantaneous multi-billion euros orders from all EU countries.

  88. I fear that my friend Christophere, AKA Lord Moncton, has proposed a meaningless statistic, which is “confirmed cases”.

    The problem is that confirmed cases is a function of testing, both who, where, and how many. Suppose a country like, I don’t know, say thee US hasn’t had many testing kits. They don’t find many confirmed cases. Then they get a bunch of test kits and start testing. First they test the most sick people and find lots and lots of confirmed cases. Then they start testing more widely, and the number of new cases drops.

    Two or three days ago I looked at the numbers. Confirmed cases in the US had gone up by 13% that day … but in the same day, US testing had gone up by 6% …

    I’m sure you can see the problem. Confirmed cases Care a function of testing T, or in math terms C = f(T).

    There’s a second issue with confirmed cases. This is that in the normal course of the disease, initially the number of cases (actual cases whether they are confirmed by testing or not) goes up very fast. Then it starts to slow down, new cases reach a peak, and then start to die away.

    The problem is separating out the effect of any given lockdown on “confirmed cases”, which are already badly contaminated by testing variations, from the natural progression of the disease. In other words, if you impose a lockdown early on, the results will APPEAR different than if you impose a lockdown much later in the natural course of the disease. However, that may have absolutely nothing to do with the lockdown.

    This has a big effect since most countries have only imposed lockdowns in the last couple of weeks … and in many, perhaps most of those countries, the disease was already slowing down. Using Lord Monckton’s proposed measure would then make it APPEAR that the lockdowns are working, whereas in fact it may only be the fact that the rate of infections was already dropping.

    Conclusion?

    Lord Monckton’s proposed measure is both inadequate and misleading, and should NOT be used for any purpose.

    My best to all including Christopher, stay well,

    w.

    • Using Lord Monckton’s proposed measure would then make it APPEAR that the lockdowns are working, whereas in fact it may only be the fact that the rate of infections was already dropping.

      Nice and clearly stated Willis. There is also mixing of EU and US populations which are at different stages of growth. ( Most of EU is at peak COVID or past it. In view of the inflationary effect of testing almost certainly well past peak ).

      You are of course perfectly correct about the case data but until we are further along we will not see impacts in fatalities. Right now cases are the only data that even have the possibility to show the effect of confinement.

      Test-number inflation would tend to counter any reduction due to confinement but unless it was near equal in exponential scale and similarly timed I would expect to see something.

      I offered a version of a game you’ve played before : “spot the lockdown”

      https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-fatalities-italy.png

      No one ( esp. CofB ) has found the onset of the effect of confinement in Italy.

      I’m surprised there isn’t something. ( Well I may have an idea but I’m waiting for responses ).

    • Mr Eschenbach makes some good points and some bad points, rather like the curate’s egg. What the analysis of reported cases shows is that, notwithstanding the increase in testing which should, in Mr Eschenbach’s estimation, have led to an increase in the daily compound case growth rate, that rate is in fact falling in those Western countries that have introduced lockdowns, while it is rising in Sweden, where there has been a little social distancing and a ban on large public gatherings but otherwise no lockdowns.

      Next, Mr Eschenbach points out that in the normal course of a pandemic the initial increase in cases is rapid, but eventually it declines. Let us put this viewpoint in mathematical terms. At the outset of any pandemic of a new pathogen to which there is no general immunity, the growth rate in the number of confirmed cases is strictly exponential. In the present pandemic, the mean compound daily case growth rate was about 19% up to March 14, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency. However, at some point, the exponential curve begins to inflect and become a logistic curve (which, because of its importance in epidemiology, is also known as the epidemic curve, the S-curve, the sigmoid curve or the Gompertz curve.

      Using the simplest of all epidemiological models (I know quite a bit about this, because I once wrote such models for HM Government, and they tended to work a lot better than your average climate model), the Susceptible – Infected – Decided model (SID or SIR for short), one can determine at what point the decline in the susceptible population through recovery or removal by death will begin to slow the otherwise exponential rate of increase.

      Some weeks ago I began by writing a simple model, which suggested that the decline in susceptibles would not become significant until about mid-May. That is why doing a daily update based on confirmed cases at this stage in the epidemic is useful, because in the absence of control measures one would expect a continuation of the previously-established exponential increase, and that is not happening, even though there is more testing, except in Sweden, where there are no lockdown measures.

      Little though those who, like Mr Eschenbach and me, are fond of lockdowns, there is, therefore, some utility in demonstrating to those in lockdown that, while the number of cases and deaths will unfortunately rise sharply in the next two or three weeks, the lockdowns are perhaps having some effect – or, at the very least, that they are not currently causing an acceleration in the daily compound growth rate in confirmed cases.

      My purpose in establishing benchmarks against which to judge whether that case growth rate was indeed declining was precisely to forestall Mr Eschenbach’s point that the epidemic might already have been slowing down. No, it wasn’t. And even now, though the compound daily growth rate in confirmed cases is slowing, the number of cases and deaths continues to rise – and, in the absence of lockdown measures, which work precisely because they interfere with the social interaction that had facilitated the previous 19% daily compound case growth rate, the increase would have overwhelmed the nation’s hospital and medical services. This is already happening in some countries, not least the UK, which is one reason why the Prime Minister, albeit with no less regret than that felt by Mr Eschenbach and me, decided that a lockdown was inevitable.

      And those who think that my demonstration that at least the case growth rate is already declining is not useful can simply avoid reading my daily postings here over the coming weeks. The lockdown may be to some extent compulsory, but reading material that does not accord with one’s viewpoint is not.

      I suspect that after a while some governments will start to use my daily graphs to show their people that it is possible to foresee an end to the current emergency. Giving people reasonable hope is not a valueless exercise, even if that exercise must be – as all epidemiological research during the early stages of a pandemic must be – based on inadequate, incomplete and to some extent inaccurate data.

      • It was growth in number of tests not in proportion of positive results. That’s the crucial point. The exponential spread of the virus was an illusion created by the ramping up of testing. Or at least, you would need to show it was otherwise to prove that the raw increase in confirmed cases showed a similar increase in actual infections.

        • “The exponential spread of the virus was an illusion created by the ramping up of testing. ”

          No the exponential is very much real in an epidemic. The rate of increase, or doubling time, will be increased by a boom in testing and it may mask when peak COVID has already occurred, until a little later.

      • Strange that a component of treatment wrt time is not mentioned as it seems that it could confused with the lockdown product.

      • At the outset of any pandemic of a new pathogen to which there is no general immunity, the growth rate in the number of confirmed cases is strictly exponential.

        No the ACTUAL case rate is exponential, what the confirmed rate looks like also depends on how you confirm.

        In the present pandemic, the mean compound daily case growth rate was about 19% up to March 14, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency. However, at some point, the exponential curve begins to inflect and become a logistic curve (which, because of its importance in epidemiology, is also known as the epidemic curve, the S-curve, the sigmoid curve or the Gompertz curve.

        It is not an inflection, it is a smother transition.

        The Gompertz function ( as covered by Willis recently ) relates to the cumulative total , not the rate of daily new cases.

        [with SIR] one can determine at what point the decline in the susceptible population through recovery or removal by death will begin to slow the otherwise exponential rate of increase.

        No one can not “determine” in advance because you do not know the relative parameters. That can only be done retrospectively, once you have data from the later development. There is no information in the exponential growth part of the data which tells you what the later part of the curve will look like and when the peak in cases will occur.

        You may like to guestimate your parameters from earlier epidemics of similar infections in similar populations but since exponential change radically with a small change in parameters your have only a generalised model an little idea when it will turn until it does. You can’t see far ahead with this kind of process.

        because in the absence of control measures one would expect a continuation of the previously-established exponential increase

        No, there are other factors which will limit growth apart from “control measures” . All epidemics fizzle out eventually even in the absence of govt. intervention.

        For an expert in modelling such things you seem rather confused about the basics.

        The lockdown may be to some extent compulsory, but reading material that does not accord with one’s viewpoint is not.

        Far less having the humility to learn and correct one’s mistakes and modify one’s viewpoint, as you persist in demonstrating.

        Your blending of two different populations at different stages in the evolution of an epidemic means your method is destined to produce spurious results whatever else you do. Your “benchmark” is meaningless.

        Giving people reasonable hope is not a valueless exercise

        I would like reasonable hope that we are not going to persist in the insanity of economic self-immolation and have a strategy to get out of it ASAP.

        If there is more content to your promised daily updates than an update to the current tables it will be interesting to see your model.

        Since you still present Italy as an example of the benefits of confinement I invite your for the fourth time to point out where this is visible in the data.

        https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-fatalities-italy.png

        • Greg,
          You said, “No one can not ‘determine’ in advance because you do not know the relative parameters.” Yes, it is a fool’s errand to try to predict the final form of a logistic curve based on a few deaths in the early stages of an epidemic.

          I have said this before, without getting a response from anyone: what has troubled me from the beginning is that the US (and other countries behave similarly) tolerates up to 80,000 deaths per year from seasonal flues, with the only acknowledgement being that those mixing the vaccine ‘cocktail,’ admitting that they didn’t do a good job of guessing what strains would dominate the next season.

          Yet, at a point in time when the CDC estimated that there were already 20,000+ seasonal flu deaths in the US, and about 40 COVID-19 deaths in a retirement home in Richland (WA), people were starting to panic. Maybe I was distracted by the Media giving so much time to the impeachment, but I didn’t feel there was adequate evidence presented for the danger, and I know about exponential curves. I couldn’t help but reflect on the disparity between what was being said and the preparations that were in progress. It seemed that we weren’t being given the whole story. Only those like Mosher, who are clairvoyant, apparently could put two and two together and get 2^20.

    • Willis

      You are correct on the point of testing. I use a simple adjustment on the UK figures which accounts for the different number of tests. The UK provides this information in its daily report. For example the most recent report gave the following.

      As of 9am on 4 April 2020, 183,190 people have been tested, of which 41,903 were confirmed positive.

      As of 5pm on 3 April 2020, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 4,313 have died.

      It’s difficult (impossible) to find the same information for other countries so, you’re right, comparisons, at least. are meaningless.

  89. I generally laugh at conspiracy theories, but this exchange is both interesting and unusual in that it does track with events over the past several decades. If anyone recognizes the individuals and the venue, feel free to jump in and get us on track. Are you witnessing the third and final domino to fall in a global paradigm shift?

    #Corona: The Collapse of the System (Ernst Wolff)
    https://youtu.be/8LYjOEib9iI

  90. Lockdowns have one subtle benefit. This is they reduce the number of flu cases and even cases of common cold.

    It is important because one of the criteria for getting a test is fever. If you can reduce the number of people getting fevers because of the flu or common cold this frees up more tests for what we are trying to test for, namely covid19.

    In Texas we see that around 1.5 pct off all tests are positive for covid 19. In the USA rate I believe closer to 10pct. In NYC rate is 31pct with some areas over 60pct.

    • It is indeed observable, and Roy Spencer has pointed out here, that lockdowns hinder the transmission not only of the Chinese virus but also of other infectious diseases. Indeed, his piece is a fine demonstration of the evidence that lockdowns do work – at least in the early stages, when people are complying with them.

      What is evident from the tables in the head posting is that the daily case growth rate, though still highly dangerous, is falling, and that in countries with tight lockdowns, such as Italy, it is now falling fast, while in Sweden, with no lockdown, it is rising again.

      At the very least, lockdowns buy time to do various crucial things: first, make hospital space to deal with large numbers of intensive-care cases; secondly, get testing done on a national scale; thirdly, do proper contact-tracing.

      Stevek is quite right to point out that in cities the infection rate is higher than in more rural areas. The obvious reason for this is that transmission is easiest where many are congregated in close proximity to one another. Environmentalists are already using this obvious fact as an argument that the real cause of the higher death rate in cities is pollution (which is at best a minor co-factor in advanced pulmonary cases only), and that therefore gimme the money.

      • Great!

        Lockdowns reduce the number of cases of nonfatal viral infections, at the cost to America and the West of trillions of dollars, without saving any lives whcih would be better protected by isolating those most at risk.

        I am sorry, but Chris’ statist tendencies are sadly on display here.

        But he, like all of us, were left adrift without the good data which we should have had, in an ideal, democratic, capitalist world, from the despotic ChiCom regime, so beloved of Western Lamestream Media.

  91. Won’t this haunt South Korea for years because they will take many years to achieve herd immunity (unless there is a vaccine), ultimately they’ll have as many deaths as countries that ensure hospital capacity? In the UK there is only one critical benchmark and that is that our Health Service is able to treat all who need treatment.

    • In response to Son of Mulder, South Korea’s approach is to prevent the initial transmission of the infection at the earliest possible moment. This is not only the most humane but also the cheapest strategy, and – to the fury of some commenters here – it has worked spectacularly well. That means South Korea has not had to go into lockdown and, therefore, has the economic resources to ride out the initial storm while research into a vaccine continues.

      If there is no early vaccine – and that, alas, is one quite likely outcome – South Korea will continue to get a small level of infections, which it will continue to contain affordably by the use of its present measures.

    • Pochas94 may not, perhaps, be making enough allowances for the number of people who will needlessly die if control measures are not at first put in place.

      • I was assuming that people observing the control measures are among those who “can’t get it.” However they are the ones who do not acquire immunity and will not strengthen the “herd’s” immunity against future onslaughts. It is their duty to get vaccinated ASAP.

  92. Thank you Lord Monckton for your thoughts and this discussion.
    Here is what is happening in New Zealand isolated at the bottom of the world .
    The country is in the second week of lock down and only deemed essential services are allowed to operate .
    Extensive testing is being undertaken and all returning residents have to self isolate for 14 days .
    Tracing of all contacts of all positive cases is being undertaken and although the number of confirmed cases is climbing as of yesterday around 13 people where in hospital with 2 or 3 in intensive care and one death so far.
    Cruise ships and returning travelers have been the main source of the disease .
    Wage subsidies are being paid by the government to businesses to pay a smallish amount to their staff .
    Layoffs are about to hit in Air New Zealand and our large tourism sector .
    Our weather remains calm and sunny which must help as cold and damp conditions favour flue and flue like diseases.
    The lock down has been reluctantly accepted but the government has not got everything right .
    For example they closed all butchers shops but allowed supermarkets to still process and retail meat .
    We will have problems with our kiwi fruit and grape harvests securing enough labour .
    The economic slowdown will very likely turn into a depression even with a vast borrowing program to try and prop up the country when we come out of this lock down .
    Our farming seems to be coping and our dairy factories and meat processing plants are still operating and produce is still being exported .
    Our log trade to China was disrupted earlier in the year and is now shut down here in New Zealand as the government deem it a non essential industry .
    We still have some overseas tourists stranded here and New Zealanders around the world who cannot make their way back.
    The lock down allows people to buy essential food and other necessities but all other travel and gatherings are prohibited .
    All citizens over 70 years are not supposed to move from their residences as they are deemed the most at risk.
    My wife has hidden my ute keys to stop me driving 500 meters to my farm as she thinks that I might bring back the virus .
    The lock down seems to be working but many businesses will go to the wall and our tourism will be very badly disrupted.
    Graham
    Proud to be farming to feed the world with milk and meat products .

    • I am most grateful to Graham for his thoughtful and concise account of conditions in New Zealand. What a beautiful country it is, and how splendid are her farmers!

      Let us hope that the case growth rate continues to fall, so that before too long we can bring the lockdowns to an end.

      • It could be argued (and no doubt will) that NZ’s borders should have closed hard at least a month before they were. Our part time prime Minister however had a vanity project scheduled for March 15 to commemorate a terrorist attack, which nobody actually wanted.

        As a result action was delayed until it became patently obvious that it was going to be the only event on in NZ in March.

        Only then did she “Go Fast and Go Hard”. (After a week of clamoring from both the opposition, her predecessors chief science adviser and many health care professionals.

        To top it all off her Minister of Health was spotted flouting the lock down regulations, driving to a mountain track to cycle in direct defiance of his own government’s instructions to the public.

        Bizarrely enough he still has a job.

    • “We will have problems with our kiwi fruit and grape harvests securing enough labour .”
      Why?
      If labour is transported in buses, I could see a problem.
      I would say having crowds with confined area {like bus without any windows
      open could be serious problem.
      And wear masks or anything over mouth and nose. Wash hands and don’t touch your face {unless hands have just been washed}. Keep 6 feet away from other people. And keep older people particularly with heath issues isolated from potential carriers of Chinese flu. And carriers can show no symptoms in first 6 days of them being infected.

      It’s my guess that it’s the intensity of viral load {being in confined space and with lots of people and for long time] will cause rapid infection and might cause severe illness and possibly death.
      Or choir [which knew there was possible problem with Chinese flu] had 60 people singing and some people later died and lot them got Chinese Flu- it was in Washington State {US}.
      I will look it up, here:
      https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/01/us/washington-choir-practice-coronavirus-deaths/index.html

  93. If this was such an emergency, why would we be not having:
    1. (some) public random testing, eg, NYC or Seattle,
    2. stop all international flights
    3. stop construction of Industrial Wind Turbines,
    Here is a video of NY State, USA, wind construction, meanwhile Cuomo says stop all industry:

  94. I cannot understand why people who are under high threat of infection by covid-19 do not protect themselves with hydroxychloroquine. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated e.g. LOL@K… above and others. It is commonly used for Lupus, malaria, etc. so its few side-effect risks are well known. Certainly it would be easy enough to compare the covid rate of those already using it with the general population (H/T Brian Kilmeade). New Yorkers have to contend with their politically blinded governor but the rest of the states are not so encumbered.

    • Dan
      You claimed, “so its few side-effect risks are well known.” Would that were true! The side-effects are not just a few, and there is no way of knowing how an individual will react ahead of time. That could be crucial if the patient is already in critical condition.

      I’ll just make the observation that arthritis tends to be a disease of the elderly, and they are therefore more likely to be using it than the younger generation. Yet, it is well known that the elderly appear to be more at risk for catching COVID-19, and especially more likely to become seriously ill. There is your informal test.

      • re: “The side-effects are not just a few, and there is no way of knowing how an individual will react ahead of time. That could be crucial if the patient is already in critical condition.”

        A) NO blanket ‘banning’ of hcq et al based on the loose caveat “here is no way of knowing how an individual will react”. Administer, observe, stop if adverse reactions are noted.

        B) START TREATMENT before the patient becomes CRITICAL. Duh!

        • _Jim
          Except for a couple of state governors, coincidentally both democrats, there has been no “blanket banning.” It has always been up to the discretion of doctors under “compassionate use” guidelines to try it. I suspect that most are unwilling to risk a lawsuit if the patient should die from complications resulting from unexpected side-effects of an ‘off label’ drug that only has anecdotal evidence supporting its efficacy.

          It has been my personal experience that HCQ has an apparent half-life longer than the official stated time. In any event, the damage it does takes a long time to repair. So, stopping in the presence of “adverse reactions” is like trying to stop a battleship quickly. Duh!

          • re: “Except for a couple of state governors, coincidentally both democrats, there has been no “blanket banning.””

            Non-sequitur; not germane to my comment.

            re: “It has always been up to the discretion of doctors under “compassionate use” guidelines to try it.”

            Duh. That has been my (expressed in some postings) thought all along.

            re: “So, stopping in the presence of “adverse reactions” is like trying to stop a battleship quickly. ”

            200 mg (milligrams) hcq twice a day. How difficult is it to notice adverse symptoms? WHEN will symptoms begin showing on a known sensitive individual?

          • I’m only getting 83 mg / day. According to the dose / effect curve in the studies I showed in my prior post, that imparts a reduced infectivity of ~60% immediately after ingestion, to ~40% 24 hours later (immediately prior to the next ingestion). Average would be ~50% reduced infectivity.

            Given Covid19’s R0 of ~2.2, if we knock infectivity rate down by ~50%, we knock that R0 down to ~1.1… that nearly completely flattens the curve. As we gain herd immunity (which we will if people are pre-dosing and clearing the virus easily because it has a hard time attaching to cells in the respiratory tract), that curve will bend downward pretty quickly.

            The only way is through. We can’t run, we can’t hide. This only ends when we gain herd immunity. Delaying that only does financial damage and ultimately increases the number of people who will have adverse effects from the virus (because they went the route of Flo-nase and Ibuprofen and intubation and ventilators, rather than pre-dosing and clearing the virus quickly).

            And what happens when the financial base is so weakened that we don’t have the financial wherewithal to keep some hospital staff employed, what happens when store shelves are not restocked because the companies making the products went out of business, what happens when money flow becomes so low that starting new businesses to climb our way out of this self-dug Pit O’ Stupidity becomes nigh well impossible? How much innovation and R&D is going to occur then? Very little.

            Well, then the elderly and immune-compromised are pretty well screwed the next time a bat decides to infect humanity, eh? We are (were) a strong society because we are (were) a wealthy society… destroying that wealth to gain some perception (and that’s all it is… a perception) of safety will ultimately also destroy any safety we thought we’d gained.

        • “B) START TREATMENT before the patient becomes CRITICAL. Duh!”

          Exactly

          Yet, the French health ministry promoted that protocol proposed by Didier Raoult for … people in almost desperate conditions (as a palliative measure?).

          But then the virus concentration either is already too extreme for an antiviral drug to have effect, or even has dropped to non detectable levels.

          Some medical people say that the benefits of the treatment may come from reducing on immunity but I don’t buy it.

      • Clyde,
        You appear to be oblivious to the common sense action part: “…compare the covid rate of those already using it [hydroxychloroquine] with the general population…” The data is already there. Just collect it. The need to run a double blind test with a placebo is asinine. Who wants to partake in such a test with the chance of getting the placebo? I should have said ‘covid DEATH rate’ because covid doesn’t get life threatening unless it develops into viral pneumonia. The question that a survey might answer is: Does hydroxychloroquine provide prophylactic protection against fatal complications of covid-19?

  95. What has not been emphasized, probably because not PC, is that the disease is highly concentrated in those areas with direct flights to and from Wuhan. That includes Lombardy and NY State. In the latter case, we have its globalist governor to thank for the deaths of so many senior citizens. NY has even more hundreds of thousands of recent Chinese immigrants than Lombardy.

    Cuomo dank deep from the globalist cup, making NY a hub for air traffic from China, and welcoming recent Chinese immigrants, including protecting illegal immigrants through sanctuary city and state decrees. Then, instead of replacing NY’s depleted ventilator stocks, he set up death panels to triage those few old devices left, while instead financing BK solar projects and the state lottery, promising him more funny money with which to play.

    No wonder he’s the Left’s latest heartthrob.

    The only good that can come from this latest scourge out of Commun ist China would be the downfall of the antihuman regime, which would most benefit the people of China, and of the rest of the world as well. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore have shown the way forward for the magnificent, ancient culture of the Middle Kingdom (OK, Singapore could relax a bit).

  96. One way to study the spread of covid19 and whether isolation and other measures are succeeding in limiting its spread, is to look at the increase or decrease in the number of daily deaths from the virus.

    The daily deaths from the virus are – in the view of many – a more reliable metric than detected cases, since the latter depends simply on who has and has not been tested, and that is limited and variable. However deaths are a metric that lags 3-4 weeks behind the spread of infection.

    Mathematically there are 3 ways you can look at the daily death rate from covid19 in different countries. You can look at the number, the rate of change or slope, or you can look at the acceleration – does the increase or decrease get faster or slower? Does the plotted curve curve upward or downward?

    Mathematically this can be expressed in a second order polynomial – the simplest way of expressing a line that is straight or curved. The equation is:

    y = a x^2 + b x + c

    How does y change with x, or how do daily death numbers change per day? a is the square or quadratic term that gives the curvature of the slope, if it’s positive the curve is upward and vice versa. b is the linear slope component and c just a number.

    Here’s a graph of the quadratic term a of daily mortality, for several countries for the last two weeks. Each daily number of deaths was a 3-day average, and the polynomial was fitted to the 7 days (all 3-averaged) up to that date:

    https://i.imgur.com/PsuLWOD.png

    Here’s the source of the daily mortality numbers as a 3-day rolling average:

    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

    Remember, these curves are not daily number of deaths, nor are they the slope or linear change with time of daily mortality. They are the “derivative” or the curvature, and indication of if the rate of change is accelerating or decelerating.

    Start with the easy one to see, the blue curve for Italy with big amplitude waves. Death rate is – mercifully – decreasing in that country and that is reflected in the bigger area under the oscillating curve that is in the negative region than in the positive. It seems in Italy there was initially fast growth – in Lombardy and the north, which then levelled off, but then further acceleration – the next excursion above the line – reflected new spread in the south of Italy.

    That waviness of the curve is present in all countries in the graph. This may reflect the multiple local outbreaks that comprise the covid19 situation in every country. Different outbreaks may be behind the separate waves of acceleration and deceleration of the death rate.

    Clustered in the middle and close to zero, and hard to see, are several north European countries – Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. They seem to follow a similar wave. Curiously their waves match those of Iran, even though Iran is much further developed in its epidemic and deaths are steadily declining.

    Spain has a wave that is almost opposite to that of Italy, although like Italy, the good news is that the most recent quadratic is negative and the rate of daily deaths is curving down. The countries with ongoing and accelerating spread appear to be the UK, USA and France.

    Note that the quadratic numbers and normalised to the population of each country.

    • “as a 3-day rolling average: ”

      Phil , running means are crappy filters. They leak a lot of what you hope to filter out as well as distorting the data. If you just want a light filter and have few data points use a 1+2+1 binomial filter ( a weighted running average if you like ). Weight the middle one twice as much and divide the result by 4.

      a square law is similar to an exponential but since the underlying process is exponential, that seems like the best model. The derivative and second derivative of an exp is also an exp so it should fit rate and accel curves.

      • Yes the virus spread is a log/exponential process. But over a short time window like one week, a polynomial is a reasonable approximation. And plotting the “instantaneous” quadratic terms shows more clearly the wave like nature of the transmission, which is not so evident in a log plot of numbers. That’s all this is about – making the acceleration component visible and seeing the waves of infection.

    • Just look at the daily deaths on a log scale and see if the trend is a straight line (exponential) or is curving down off the trend line. When the trend curves down the rate of increase is subsiding.

      Then look at the daily death numbers for a peak to see if it has been reached.

      For an example, Italy’s exponential death growth rate has been falling for over two weeks, and it’s peak in deaths was about a week ago. The expectation is that these positive developments will continue, like they have in other countries similarly. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

      • Looking at Italian cases in your link, there’s a dip on the 10th March when the restrictions came in. It seems they could not workout how to submit reports that day.

        Around 15th there was a dip which would be about the right time for an effect to show but the exponential then kick off just as strongly as it was before.

        A log plot would be better for comparing the rate of the exponentials which is what I have been showing. I can’t see any effect at all there. If there is one it’s lost in the noise.

        https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-fatalities-italy.png

        Not the sort of thing you are going to destroy your country’s economy for.

    • Phil Salmon wrote:
      “Remember, these curves are not daily number of deaths, nor are they the slope or linear change with time of daily mortality. They are the “derivative” or the curvature, and indication of if the rate of change is accelerating or decelerating.”

      If you’re referring to acceleration, that’d be second derivative of the daily death rate, or the derivative of the slope of the time rate of change of daily mortality. Could you do a graph of the third derivative of death rate, the derivative of the acceleration, the ‘jerk’? I think that’d be interesting to see.

      We need to get to the derivative which is zero… when we see that derivative level off to zero, we can look at the next-lower derivative… if we see the derivative in question is above zero, we look at the next-higher derivative.

      The derivatives:
      – 1st: daily death rate
      – 2nd: death rate time rate of change (‘velocity’)
      – 3rd: death rate ‘acceleration’
      – 4th: death rate ‘jerk’
      -5th: death rate ‘snap’
      -6th: death rate ‘crackle’
      -7th: death rate ‘pop’
      -8th: death rate ‘lock’
      -9th: death rate ‘drop’

      My thinking is that by looking at each derivative, we should see in the initial infectious stages all the derivatives above zero. As the infection rate wanes, we’ll see the highest derivative drop to zero then go negative first, then the next-lower, then the next-lower, etc.

      That’d give us a decent metric for knowing where we are in the infection by which derivatives are still positive.

      As a rough guess, I’m betting we’re still at stage 4, the 4th derivative is still positive.

      Just a thought you might try out…

      • Erm… I got the numbers off by one… so ‘drop’ is the 8th derivative. The daily death rate is the base quantity operated upon.

  97. Many major issues with total lockdowns in the US:

    -There’s not enough police and military combined to enforce a lockdown statewide let alone nationwide and that’s not mentioning the illegality of using military for a lockdown. You might, and I mean might, be able to lock down a smaller city using all the state cops, county cops and borrowing city cops from surrounding communities. For example Portland, Oregon had that mall shooting 7-8 years back, they were pulling in cops up to 100 miles away just to try and lock down one mall and surrounding area. I was driving south on I5 at the time and watched the steady stream of cops speeding along in the northbound lane responding to the shooting. They pulled in every available cop they could get to respond. Then there’s the small cities most states are populated with, these small cities have tiny police forces. Less than a dozen cops in total are common, just how in the heck are they suppose to lock down a city? That’s not even enough to watch all the roads in and out of a city 24/7.

    -How exactly are people suppose to get supplies to their home if they are locked down? Most people I know living in small apartments/tiny homes don’t have more than a few days to a weeks supply of food in the kitchen. There’s not enough storage area to lay in a much supplies and why should they normally when the store is 5 minutes away? People in homes generally have more storage space but not always, I constantly see homes with limited supplies storage unless you plan to wholesale take over living space. Not exactly conducive to always keeping a months supplies on hand but can be done with some warning if there’s not hoarding. So the government is going to have to open soup kitchens just to feed the masses, doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of a total lockdown? Alternative is to let them starve to death instead of possibly dying from COVID-19.

    -Prescription meds have the same issue as food. Just how exactly do you plan to get meds to people if we completely lock things down? Are the police going to drive to your closed local pharmacy, raid the shelves and deliver to your front door? Once they’ve raided the shelves bare where will they get more medicine to deliver?

    I can go on with the issues caused by a total lockdown, it’s a nightmare to even consider. Death toll will go through the roof and not because of direct infections of COVID-19. This isn’t 1850 when we were a mostly agrarian society, a time when people had to lay in enough supplies to last through the lean times or face death.

  98. Some interesting headlines to ponder. Can we trust ANYBODY or ANY source? The CDC is beginning to look as corrupt as the WHO and the IPCC.

    Milan University Study Estimates 20 Million Italians with Coronavirus – Case Mortality Rate May be in 0.25% to 0.30%, Much Lower than Predictions

    CDC Tells Hospitals to List COVID-19 as Cause of Death Even if It’s Only “Assumed to Have Caused Or Contributed to Death” – Lab Tests Not Required

    • What’s so underhanded about that is the CDC states in their test Instructions for use that a positive test indicates presence of the virus, but the virus may not be the definite cause of illness. Then it turns around and instructs hospitals to do presumptive diagnostics without a test. They’re trying to inflate the numbers any way they can.

      • That certainly seems to be the case. Project fear once again.

        They know that confinement is going to be a hard sell to the american public and that the 2nd amendment gives them a means to challenge govt.

        Long term mis-management of the health system and an unhealthy population leaves them with massive problem and scaring the crap out of people may seem like the only way to convince them to stay home .

      • They have to justify their destroying the economy in some way… and the only way they can hope to get away with it is by inflating the Covid19 death figure. Otherwise, when people learn they lost their jobs, homes, businesses, life savings, hope and futures because these idiots, guided by their socialist ideology, destroyed everything for a glorified cold, heads are going to roll… literally.

        Personally, I look forward to such an occasion. It’s high time we knocked the elitists (and their media lapdogs) down by several thousand pegs.

  99. 1. Most of the anecdotal ‘information’ on here seems to come from the media. How many primary news services are out there in the world? Only two or three apparently. What do the others do? Repackage the same information I guess.
    2. All of the ‘data’ seems to come from the ‘Oracle of Worldometer’. Where does this data come from? “… from official reports, directly from Government’s communication channels or indirectly, through local media sources when deemed reliable (!) … Worldometer’s Covid-19 data is trusted and used by Johns Hopkins CSSE, Financial Times, The New York Times, Business Insider, and many others.” Seems like a rather circular process to me. And then you can factor in the so-called ‘data’ from China, Iran, other dictatorships, poor African countries etc etc … and North Korea that is still yet to report a single case!
    3. Does Worldometer distinguish between those dying either ‘of or with’ the disease? I’m yet to receive their reply on that, but if not the death rate (number of deaths / number infected) is probably vastly overstated,
    4. Some professionals in the field also point out that, because no one was looking for it prior to Wuhan, it has potentially been around unnoticed for years, thus potentially expanding the denominator in the above equation and further reducing the actual mortality rate. As has been recently pointed out by several medical professionals (see link below), accurate-enough figures are not yet available to even hazard a guess at the true picture.
    5. Although the issue has been characterised here as a binary’ passive versus active’ approach, it may be more helpful to look outside of this limited scenario to what some of the professionals in the field are saying. A summary of some of these ideas has been collated and updated daily since mid-March, with relevant links to sources, videos etc. at the following location: https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

  100. How can you possibly rely on incomplete data for you doubling rates? I personally know many people who have symptoms of some sort but aren’t being tested, and in the early days we were limited by tests, not by cases. Also, we know for fact some of the deaths have been labeled as Coronavirus yet other causes were more likely.

  101. –Performing a similar calculation for each day until April 2 would lead us to conclude that there were not 26,500 cases of infection in total by that day, as reported by the U.S. administration, but 36 million. Curiously, if this were true it would not be all bad news. For the death rate would then be less than 0.02%, rather than the WHO’s 3.4%.–
    I think it is a bit more than 0.02%

    “What is more, since only 6000 deaths have been reported in the U.S., the vast majority of those infected would have suffered symptoms little worse than those of the common cold and have recovered, in which event the “herd immunity” of which the British public health commissar spoke is being built up at a rapid rate.”
    Yes, I think in terms of herd immunity, US is doing it the right way, unlike UK.
    Though not sure US planned this, though it seems more of matter of luck.

    “If the death rate is only 1%, it is possible that 123 million people – more than one-third of the U.S. population – are already infected. If, however, it is 10%, as for SARS, then about 12 million U.S. citizens are infected.”
    I think it’s more than 12 million but probably less than 90 million.
    One could say New York City did a lot “herd immunity” and large fraction of people of the City caught flu, and have no symptoms and have developed immunity to China Flu. New York state main problem is they have large backlog of case due to long recovery time for severe cases. Which also main problem with Italy {though seems to be lessening] and Spain, and UK.
    It seems Germany did best job in Europe, and I think they have a fair amount of herd immunity. Germany early testing was the best aspect and if they continue their aggressive testing, and ramp testing to determine the level of their herd immunity, they will be out of lock down and business as usual the quickest.

    I think South America could become as bad or worse than Europe. And we see it how bad it gets in next two weeks.

    • Sadly I fear US may fair less well than Europe. First cause of death in US is heart disease and this seems a common comorbidity in COVID cases, along with obesity, their other strong suit.

      Still, if they keep seizing everyone else’s face masks, I’m sure they’ll pull through.

      • US at moment has total of 8,454 deaths, when do except US deaths from Chinese virus to be over 40,000 ?
        And when do except European States deaths per day to total less than 1000 per day?
        Yesterday’s deaths of 4 European states: Spain: 749, Italy: 681, Germany: 169 and France: 1,053
        has total of 2,652 deaths.
        https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

        And those 4 EU states have less population than the US.
        They have a totaled population of 256.92 million people.

  102. South Korea held a SARS drill in December 2019. They were ready.

    Meanwhile, in the US, the CDC had for decades prepared for entirely the wrong virus. They only prepared for a virus that spreads when symptoms appear, like Ebola. They not only didn’t test except under the strictest of conditions, but told private labs with patients showing symptoms not to test they if had not been overseas or had come in contact with a known carrier. This plan was also based on bureaucratic ideology, their reasons supposedly being to ‘protect’ people from ‘unreliable’ private industry labs. They took an eternity in January -February 2020 to wake up to the fact that this virus was spreading without symptoms, meaning their entire plan was seriously flawed. The virus said thank you very much.

    They should have learnt from SARS 2003-2003 and MERS 2012, 2015, that if a deadly virus actually got to the USA in significant numbers, then this meant it must be able to spread without symptoms. They were asleep at the wheel. SARS in 2002-2003 scared a lot of health professionals, because of the severity, and death rate, and the threat to health workers, but one thing about it was it only spread when symptoms appeared, meaning it was relatively easily contained by isolation. But many knew if a SARS type virus appeared that spread without symptoms, all bets were off. This has now occurred. The CDC should have been preparing for exactly this scenario but for various reasons which will be looked at, it missed the boat.

    Heads should roll at the CDC.

    • “But many knew if a SARS type virus appeared that spread without symptoms, all bets were off. ”

      Probably what the Chinese were trying to create at the Wuhan lab. Fortunately what they leaked had the long incubation period but lacked the mortality of SARS.

        • It would seem to be economic. China released it in one city, exported it to the entire world. Recovered first and as most economizes are now shut down China has a change to gain even more world market share. Plus this gives China an excuse to crackdown in Hong Kong and Tibet, and maybe even invade Taiwan.

          I am not saying that is the case, but you asked for a reason. If the virus was from developing a biological weapon, and I am not saying it is, I would not think it was purposely released, but an accident. That is the danger of any country developing biological weapons, once released, how do you control them?

  103. Your fabricated and non specific term “Chinese virus”, is blatantly racist.
    The name for the virus is COVID-19

    • Dr Burns
      First off COVID-19 is the name of the disease, not the virus. Secondly, “Chinese” refers to the name of a political region, i.e. a country, not a race. It is like remarking about “Chinese food,” which is largely a cultural reference.

    • Yeah, we don’t do PC here, Doc… you’re looking for HuffPo… it’s over thataway. —>

      When you find the dumpster fire, you know you’ve found it. LOL

  104. How can you conclude that the lockdowns seem to be working. The control test in this experiment is Sweden, which has not done a lockdown and shows as good or better slowing than countries with a lockdown.

    • Monckton’s own figures show Sweden starting at 2.1 days doubling time and ending a 7.9 days.

      By some kind of dyslexic reasoning he sees that as getting worse.

      I hadn’t looked Sweden before today because it’s a smaller country and Scandinavia does not seem particularly hard hit.

      Now I’m not sure the data means Sweden is a representative example of how moderate, voluntary social distancing measures work, but they are not the basket case he is trying to imply.

  105. Can anyone tell me the total deaths in the US for March 2019 versus 2020. This is truly a very important statistic in final mortality increase due to Covid. I cannot find it. Thank you. I would bet our death rate is less in 2020.

    • In response to Mr Skapik, I don’t have the figures he asks for, but in asking the question he implies that he is about to make a mistake that has been made by several commenters here: to assume that the figures for March are the ones to compare with previous years’ death rates.

      At present, the pandemic is in its early stages. Therefore, the rate of increase in cases, and the rather higher rate of increase in deaths, is still exponential. That means there will be perhaps two to five times as many deaths in April as there were in March. Already, the global daily death toll is twice that for flu.

  106. “Here is the test for the world excluding China and occupied Tibet (whose Communist regime cannot be trusted to tell the truth about case numbers, or about anything else much)”.

    Your remark above implies that every other country except China CAN be trusted to be truthful. You seem an intelligent person. Are you having a ‘senior moment’ on this subject?

    I could spend hours reciting from memory the instances in which the governments of Canada and the USA have deliberately misled their constituents. And having intently followed the torrent of verbiage offered by those governments, and that of France, during this pandemic, I have yet to detect any signs of candor.

    Statistics of death by COVID-19 are clearly bogus, first, because the infection itself is established by poorly tested and reportedly quite unreliable procedures, and secondly, because no distinction is made between dying “with” as opposed to “of” this virus. I have not seen or heard of any reports indicating how many of these reported COVID-19 victims have been autopsied. Have you?

    If so, please share. Nor have I been able to find any breakdowns by age and sex of the reported victims of this disease.

    The waters have been so muddied that this pandemic has become an opportunity for the perfect mass murder. And anyone with an analytical streak can’t help but wonder whether this situation is by design.

    Functionally, what is being proposed is a modern, globalized version of putting the old folks on the ice for the polar bears to snack on. Because, as others have previously remarked here, it is very likely that these isolation/lockdown measures will kill many more old people than any virus could.

  107. Lord Moncton,

    https://www.distributedbio.com/covid19

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/dr-jacob-glanville-antibody-neutralize-coronavirus

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/

    The nature paper that implied that it is impossible to create the covid-19 virus in a laboratory is fake in that there is no science in it, only a firm conclusion which people can quote.

    It is a fact that it is now possible to synthetically produce from a computer code, a man-made virus that is chemically and biologically an exact copy of any virus on the planet.

    Two countries that I know of have this new, new technology, the US and China.

    Jacob Glanville is the CEO of the US company, Distributed Bio.

    Distributed bio has made an exact copy of the covid-19 virus, from computer code and is using their AI to develop an optimized antibody to attack the virus. They are currently working with the US military who will test the new antibody in their secure laboratory.

    If all goes well the human trials with sick people are scheduled for August. If the covid patients tests go well, the antibodies will be mass produced and used to stop the virus, starting in September. The same company developed antibodies to treat Ebola.

    Jacob Glanville said he wants to talk to someone about the covid-19 origin question. He said that during the NetFlix show, Pandemic which I would recommend.

    Distributed Bio have developed a specialized ‘AI’ that can answer those type of questions. How likely virus interactions can occur.

    Glanville was recently interviewed on the Tucker Carlson, Fox show.

    I know you, also were interviewed by Tucker.

    Could you please contact Tucker and ask him to get you in touch with Glanville? Glanville said he has something to discuss. He is also an honourable person.

    What we would like to know is: What is the likelihood that the covid-19 occurred naturally?

    This needs to be open up for public discussion as quickly as possible and with great sensitivity if we are to avoid a conflict.

    China is talking very aggressively about this subject.

    This really is an attack on our way of life, in addition to the attack on our lives.

    Sincerely,

    William Astley

    https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2020/03/18/chinese-media-wuhan-coronavirus-the-u-s-and-europes-new-chernobyl/

  108. The economic shutdown is more harmful than the Chinese virus and is based on terribly flawed models.

    The only way to make fact-based policies is to conduct the following:

    1) Run large-scale viral and antibody tests to determine the denominator to get a real death rate.

    I would be surprised if there are 6~8 million Americans that have or recovered from the Chinese virus and didn’t even know it, which would mean the real death rate is very similar to the standard flu.

    We just don’t know, which is insane.

    2) There is overwhelming evidence that hydroxychloroquine and azanthromycin have substantial prophylactic and healing properties against to Chinese flu and need to be urgently prescribed to millions of Americans ASAP; forget the stupid bureaucratic red tape.

    3) A streamlined vaccine approval process for private and public sector labs needs to be devised so we have a vaccine before the next flu season starts, and a 10-year tax holiday should be awarded to the company that first develops an approved vaccine.

    4) Parts of the economy must be allowed to reopen in low-risks areas, and workplace protocols established to minimize infections.

    5) High-risk segments of the population (over 70 with secondary illnesses) must continue remain in lockdown until either a vaccine is found or until the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin are known.

    We’re making terrible decisions based on flawed data which needs to stop.

    • Yes, because what we all need is more untested drugs that “fix” the immune system, as they have no risk of causing autism, MS, various other neurological diseases, allergies, diabetes, narcolepsy, paralysis, or death…

      • re: “Yes, because what we all need is more … ”

        … ya … The WORST part is getting advice, warnings and cautions from confirmed idiots like yourself!!!! Idiocracy, here we come! Someday, ng, you may become president, like Joe Bauers in the movie Idiocracy, rising far above your fellow idiots by just a few critical IQ points, enabling you to ‘solve’ critical national problems of your (future) day, like how to ‘make ice’, boil water, pick apples from the tree …

        • You were unable to answer any of my requests for evidence of the benefits of ANY vaccination program.

          I have humiliated you.

          You may now hide under a rock.

    • Samurai is of course correct that it would be ideal to know more than we do about the rate at which the virus is spreading, so that we can determine a reliable case fatality rate. However, Dr Fauci’s best estimate at present – for what it is worth – is that the virus is about ten times deadlier than flu, in which event active measures to prevent the previous, and present, rapid transmission rates are essential.

      The “overwhelming evidence” about hxchloroquine is chiefly to be found in a single French paper that found some benefit in just six patients. Because it has strong side-effects, it is better to check with your doctor before taking it. A single daily 25-microgram (1000 IU) gel tablet of Vitamin D3 daily has been compellingly demonstrated in numerous clinical trials and in an important meta-analysis of 2017 to reduce the risk of infection and the severity of symptoms in respiratory diseases in more than 10,000 patients.

      Vaccine approval cannot be streamlined until proper testing has been carried out, or more harm than good can be done. Remember thalidomide.

      One cannot allow partial reopening of the economy until universal testing both for antigens and for antibodies is available.

      Everyone except essential workers should, therefore, remain isolated for the time being.

      The decisions made by governments are based on the observed daily rates of growth both in reported cases and in deaths, which far outstrip those for flu, for instance.

      • Lord Monckton-san:

        There have been many preliminary tests done in Russia, China, Japan, Belgium, Israel and other countries and all have shown an overwhelming effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID19.

        Hydroxychloroquine is very effective against COVID19 as it is one of only a few ionophores capable of transporting zinc through cellular membranes, and zinc inhibits COVID19 RNA replication, which why it works so quickly.

        You are correct that there can be rare side effects to hydroxychloroquine, but its efficacy far outweighs its rare side effects.

        Of course doctors must prescribe hydroxychloroquine and must explain the possible side effects to patients, which is true for any prescription.

        Fauci and other medical “experts” are giving Trump terrible advice based on flawed data, especially in their absurd death projections. I doubt the US will have more than 30,000 COVID19 deaths compared to 60,000 regular-flu deaths we have every year.

        If 30,000 possible COVID19 deaths is enough to shutdown the world’s largest economy, then I guess we have to shutdown every flu season from here on..

        The US must rapidly rampup production of high-grade surgical masks other PPE for the general public and hospital staff, and commission the production of 40,000 respirators to be safe.

        We’ll have to agree to disagree on the efficacy of the US economic shutdown. I just think the “cure” is far worse than the disease. We’ll see soon enough.

        Cheers, Lord Monckton-san. I always enjoy your thought provoking posts.

        Stay safe and I wish you well.

        • Btw, sorry, I meant to write ventilators, not “respirators”, although we need to urgently produce millions of N95 respirators, too.

        • Konichi wa Samurai
          You claimed, “You are correct that there can be rare side effects to hydroxychloroquine, but its efficacy far outweighs its rare side effects.”

          That is wishful thinking. The side-effects are not so rare. The prescription bottle warns about some of the more common and dangerous mental issues. My rheumatologist was sufficiently concerned about loss of color vision or blindness that she had me take tests to establish a baseline for my vision. The paperwork that comes with the prescription has a long list, demonstrating that the side-effects are not rare, just highly variable and unpredictable. In my case, I developed elevated systolic BP, which isn’t on the list. In the case of malaria, I would agree that “its efficacy far outweighs its rare side effects.” However, the best study supporting its use is countered by another recent, similar, small-scale study that found no efficacy!

      • Milord,

        I reckon most of the society accepts even acute restrictions providing that there is some kind of ‘exit strategy’. And this strategy seems to be lacking. When we relax restrictions infection rate spikes again. When we keep restrictions after few months whole countries will go bust creating social strife and unrest, possible internal and international conflicts what may cause greater human cost than consequences of Wuhan virus itself. I’ve heard that in south of Italy desperate people already demand free food from local shops – they simply cannot afford buying it. Another alternative is a police state with total ‘tracing’, ‘immunological passports’ and eugenic segregation based on current health record. UK government is already threatening that it will lock people in homes if someone ‘abuses’ outdoor exercises. Methinks there will be quite strong ‘guerilla’ resistance, especially where there are first sun-rays for couple of months. In the end, desperate people will say ‘better fearful end than fear without end’.

      • Agree completely. We need to keep the heat on hospitals to do the tests and report the results in a timely fashion, not a week later. That’s the only way we can really learn from this.

    • There is one thing to repurpose and known and well tested drug for a different indication. It would be extremely foolhardy to start removing proper testing and safeguards when authorising a new vaccine. That could go badly wrong and would be irresponsible. Dismissing current testing and approval as “red tape” is just thoughtless and stupid.

      3) A streamlined vaccine approval process for private and public sector labs needs to be devised so we have a vaccine before the next flu season starts, and a 10-year tax holiday should be awarded to the company that first develops an approved vaccine.

      They do not need any further encouragement. Anyone producing an approved vaccine will get billions worth of orders overnight. What is you proposed “tax holiday” supposed to achieve apart from increasing the cost to the nation?

      4) Parts of the economy must be allowed to reopen in low-risks areas, and workplace protocols established to minimize infections.

      Starting yesterday !

      5) High-risk segments of the population (over 70 with secondary illnesses) must continue remain in lockdown until either a vaccine is found or until the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin are known.

      You are pretty free with the liberty of others. I guess you are not on of the over 70s in question. Like the greens who want to exterminate humans but never their own children.

      If there is an active epidemic, no virus and little effective treatment most 70+ may want to keep their heads down and if they don’t , on their head be it. The age factor is a clumsy target, it is more because of a correlation of age with ill-health. Stats can be misleading especially if you are out to draw simplistic conclusions with no personal responsibility for the effects of you “must do” pronouncements.

    • @SAMURAI
      The South Korean numbers seem pretty reliable from all the information one can get.

      They have a death rate of about 1%. That is what makes me really concerned. Not about how it is compared to the general flu in deadliness but in combination that there is no herd immunity at all and it seems to be very contagious. For the flu many people have some sort of immunity and we do vaccination in addition to contain it.

      What people don’t get about vaccination is that everybody produces DIFFERENT antibodies against a vaccine or a virus. So their antibodies work eventually very well against related viruses for some people just bc of the nature of their own specific antibodies are just by chance working against similar strains as well. If the similarity between the viruses is pretty high the antibodies will worked nearly all the time against both strains though I doubt one will achieve 100% just the way antibodies are produced by the immune system.

      That is the same mechanism behind using an intentional infection with the cowpox to prevent death by a smallpox infection. The whole word vaccine comes from the latin word vacca for cow bc it was the first application of this idea in history.

      Unfortunately, for COVID-19 that is just not the case cause most people were not exposed to something similar ever making it as big as a problem as it is.

    • There’s a cheaper and more widely-available alternative to hydroxychloroquine… quinine.

      Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are merely synthetic derivatives of natural quinine, same effect in the body (hydroxychloroquine slows absorption and metabolism of the quinine by making the molecule harder for the body to break down… this reduces adverse side effects due to rapid absorption and allows longer time periods between doses). The drug companies can’t patent the natural product, quinine, so they added to the molecule to make a new, patentable molecule. Chloroquine was a blatant attempt at a patentable (ie: profitable for the company holding that patent) quinine… at least with hydroxychloroquine, they made the complexification of the molecule such that it had a beneficial side-effect.

      Indian tonic water, 1 L per day, has an amount of quinine (it’s limited by FDA in the US to 83 mg/L) which knocks down the virus’s ability to infect quickly, allowing the body to clear the virus without many adverse effects. You get immunity without getting the brunt of the infection.

      One could drink 2 L per day to gain a bit of extra protection, but the dose:effect curve doesn’t give much more effect for the extra dosage. And that’s a lot of tonic water to drink per day.

      In reality, this has been a healthy alternative for me. I typically drink a liter of Mounta