#coronavirus #covid-19 Chinese virus: the exit strategy

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

The Chinese-virus lockdown benchmarch test that was introduced here yesterday compares the mean daily compound growth rates in Chinese-virus infections for 12 countries and for the world excluding China, whose case and death statistics are demonstrably and deliberately understated. The growth rates are the mean rates for the successive seven-day periods ending on dates from March 14, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency, until yesterday.

In my first post, two days ago, tables showing benchmark mean rates averaged over the three weeks immediately preceding March 14 were published.

From today, the results of the benchmark test will be published daily in the form of a simple graph that allows visual comparison of the various territories’ performances over time. The benchmark graph shows that the various policies adopted by nearly all governments to inhibit transmission of the infection appear to be beginning to work. Spain, Italy and Norway (the last of these added to this analysis today at the request of a Norwegian commenter justifiably proud of the effectiveness of his nation’s response to the emergency) are doing particularly well in bringing the case growth rate down. South Korea remains far and away the most efficient country at controlling the pandemic.


Fig. 1. Mean compound daily growth rates in confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection for the world excluding China (red) and for 12 individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from March 14 to April 3, 2020.

Why does this graph matter? The reason is simple. Already, young and active people frustrated by being cooped up indoors when they would rather be in the open air are beginning to question whether there should be lockdowns at all. Would it not be better to allow everyone to acquire immunity, and to accept the large resulting loss of life among the old and infirm, rather than enduring not only the heavy economic cost but also the loss of freedom inherent in what, in some countries, amounts to near-universal house arrest?

If lockdowns are justifiable, they are only justifiable if they can be clearly demonstrated to be working. At the moment, in the world as a whole and in nearly all of the individual nations tracked here, the trend in daily growth rates is downward. Up to a point, the lockdowns are working. In some countries, at least, a disastrous tide of serious cases overwhelming the hospitals and exhausting and infecting the doctors and nurses may yet be averted, but only if the lockdowns are kept firmly in place.


The spring has sprung, just as always

There are only two exceptions to the general downtrend in mean daily compound case growth rates: France, where cases have jumped and it looks as though a rebasing of the statistics may have taken place in recent days, and Sweden, where there is no general lockdown, though a few comparatively mild restrictions on mass meetings are in place. At present Sweden is doing quite well even without a lockdown, but its population is considerably less dense than those of most countries surveyed here.

But how can we tell that the reason for the decline in the mean daily growth rate is truly attributable to governments’ efforts to inhibit transmission, rather than to the gradual acquisition of immunity throughout the population? In the absence of universal testing, we cannot definitively say that it is the lockdowns that are bringing the pandemic painfully and still too slowly under control. It is possible, given that the true number of infections is known to be 10-1000 times greater than those reported, that in some countries a general population immunity is being acquired. However, until universal testing is available, we cannot know that for sure, and it would not be safe for anyone to act on that assumption. We do, however, know that lockdowns – if adhered to – are bound to reduce the rate of transmission.

And that is the purpose of these daily updates: to reveal, day by day, whether and to what extent the lockdowns are working. If the data over the next crucial two or three weeks show that the lockdowns are not working, governments will have to rethink their positions. However, if the lockdowns are working, they will have to be maintained until the exit strategy that I shall now outline is ready.

Why must the lockdowns be maintained? Italy, the first nation to introduce a determined lockdown, and Norway have both reduced their daily case growth rates to about 5%. But if that rate were to persist, in just two weeks they would have twice as many cases as they do today. In the United States, Canada, England and France, the daily case growth rate is still around 15%. If that rate were to persist, case counts would double in only five days.

What, then, should governments’ exit strategy be? The woeful lack of preparedness on the part of most nations is exemplified not only by the useless World Death Organization, whose dismal director is a fawning, soon-to-be-sacked lickspittle lackey of the Chinese Communist regime, which actively and openly campaigned for his nomination to the post, but also by the pandemic preparedness team who were rightly dismissed by Mr Trump two years ago, for they had plainly failed to make the necessary preparations that South Korea, for instance, had had the prudence and foresight to make. What was needed above all, and what is still absent in most countries, is the capacity to test the entire population if necessary.

Three forms of testing are necessary, the first two of them at whole-population scale. The first is an antigen test, which looks for the presence of the pathogen. That test shows whether the subject is currently infected. The second, no less important, is an antibody test, which shows whether the subject, having previously been infected, is now resistant to the pathogen.

The third test, which, like the antibody test, is serological, preferably using the polymerase chain reaction method, is capable of detecting not only whole virions in the blood but also, where a successful method of either boosting the immune system so that it destroys the offending particles or of destroying them chaotropically has been found, the fragments of the destroyed pathogens. This form of serological testing does not need to be done at population scale, though where it is available it yields more precise results than the quick and easy swab tests now being performed. But it is a vital research tool.

The greatest failure of public-health policy on the part of the various quangos expensively maintained to protect us from pandemics lies in the failure of Public Health England, the late U.S. pandemic response team, the World Death Organization et hoc genus omne to ensure that sufficient supplies of reagents, swabs, testing kits, analysis machines and personal protective equipment were available to test the entire population.


Social distancing? Nah!

Yes, maintaining such supplies comes at a cost. But it was not the cost of the U.S. pandemic unpreparedness team that led Mr Trump to sweep them away. It was that they were unprepared. True, it would have been better if he had replaced them with people who had some idea of what they were doing. But if they had done what they had been paid for decades to do, there would by now be warehouses brimful of the necessary stocks.

The first step in the Chinese-virus exit strategy, then, is purely logistical. Mr Johnson should sack the numpties at Public Death England and replace them with generals from the Royal Logistics Corps, who have more competence in finding what is needed and getting it to where it is needed when it is needed than anyone else on the planet. The United States Armed Forces also have wonderful logistics experts, and they are capable of handling problems such as the supply of materiel for testing programs and for personal protection on a wartime scale at a moment’s notice.

Mr Trump has, but has not yet fully used, the power to swing the Armed Forces, and particularly their excellent logistics arm, into full action. Frankly, he should delegate the logistical aspects to them at once. Mr Fauci, who is more than usually competent, can provide the necessary instructions on what is needed, and the Army will saddle up and go and get it.

In all countries currently under lockdown, honest assessments of the necessary manpower and material to test everyone both for antigens and for antibodies, and of the steps necessary to obtain and deploy them, should be drawn up forthwith and published. It has been painful watching the British Government’s spokesmen flannelling helplessly because even after all these weeks they simply have no idea when sufficient testing capacity will be available. By now they ought to know; and, if they want to command continuing support for lockdowns, they should be frank about what is needed and how long it will be before it is available. In a democracy it is better to keep the people informed than to hold out on them.

As soon as the logistics boys from the Armed Forces have sourced enough men and kit to test everyone, everyone should be tested, both for antigens and for antibodies.


Those infected should be isolated, and should not be allowed out even for shopping. Their necessary supplies should be delivered to them by people wearing adequate personal protective equipment. That will ensure that shops, which analysis of mobile-phone movements shows are the current chief meeting place and inferential source of transmission, cease to act more as centers of infection than of supply.

After two weeks, the infected should be tested again, and so on every week thereafter until they are free of infection and have passed the antibody test. All who have been unlucky enough to be infected but lucky enough to recover and show antibodies should be given certificates of immunity, valid for one year only (immunity cannot be relied upon after that), and released from lockdown provided they carry their certificates with them.

Those not yet infected should remain in isolation at home, and should go shopping only once a fortnight at an allocated time, so as to prevent overcrowding at the shops. If necessary, the shops will have to remain open 24 hours a day, with extra manpower provided. All shop workers should be provided with effective personal protective equipment.

Once the prevalence of infection has fallen back below 1% of population, the lockdown can be progressively eased, on the condition that wherever any new case emerges the most vigorous contact-tracing, testing and isolation of carriers is at once carried out in the fashion that South Korea, the paragon of best practice, has so ably demonstrated. Just look at the graph.

How long will all this take? Once the logistics boys get behind the wheel, it will take a lot less long than you might think. It is they, and not the failed public-death bureaucrats or the spectacularly innumerate politicians, who will be able to answer the timescale question.

Bottom line: It is not only possible but straightforward to bring this pandemic under control, at least at national level. The necessary steps are chiefly logistical. Of course the medico-scientific community has a role not only in caring for the sick and dying but also in researching a vaccine. But even in the absence of a vaccine (and we still can’t cure the common cold, so don’t hold your breath for one: it may come soon or it may not), this pandemic can and will be brought to an end. But it will not be brought to an end by the faff and flimflam we have had from our politicians and public-death bureaucrats to date. It will be brought to an end by people who know how to organize their way out of a paper bag. Have courage, then, get yourself some biker gear (it’s all half price at present), and keep safe.

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April 6, 2020 6:05 am

Today’s (Monday) UK update

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 7:22 am

This is 3rd day that the total number of deaths has fallen below 20-day log trend line, by 4.6%, 14% and 30% respectively. Note of caution; numbers are collated during the past weekend and may be incomplete since some of the administrative personnel may have had day off.

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 11:08 am

Deaths is just measuring the rate of infection as most deaths would have happened anyway. We are still waiting to see cumulative deaths for 2020 beat the cumulative average for the previous five years.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 6, 2020 12:46 pm

I think it is fairly well established that the steps people are taking to avoid getting this disease will reduce many other causes of death substantially.
No one will die in a car crash if no one is out driving.
In fact, by reducing traffic, even those out driving will have a reduced risk.
The same goes for other causes.
Work related accidents.
Other infectious diseases.
All cause mortality may well decline hugely.
This says nothing about this disease.
Plus…people are going way out of their way to not get this disease, and it is working.
If no one reacted, then we would be able to see what this disease might have done to death rates.

Reply to  Phoenix44
April 7, 2020 2:38 am

Some readers may have misinterpreted the mortality %s in the graph. It represents as it says ‘hospitalised mortality’, i.e. it is ratio of number of the hospitalised people with the CV-19 related death, and people admitted to hospitals with the confirmed CV-19, or simply it is strictly the hospitals’ CV-19 statistics, with no reference to the outside world.
Most of experts agree that number of the infected in the general population is at least half a million but may be as high as five million.
Date doesn’t include number of dead in nursing/old people homes or private households, which judging by the French data it may be another two thousand CV-19 related deaths. This might bring overall mortality to as low as 0.15%or as high as 1.5%.

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 12:32 pm

British PM Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care unit at St Thomas hospital.

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 12:51 pm
Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 1:51 pm

WOW, I hope he pulls through but the stats are not in his favour. His BMI is not exactly in the sweet zone.

If this Chinese clusterfk takes out the British PM, it’s going to create a shockwave.

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 1:54 pm

Shame Blair doesn’t get it, there’s not many that deserve it but he does. He was instrumental in destroying the NHS, more than the present incumbent.

Reply to  Greg
April 7, 2020 12:05 am

With complications. Not just the NHS he destroyed.

Reply to  Greg
April 7, 2020 1:57 am

What an odious thing to say

Reply to  Greg
April 7, 2020 10:02 am

An odious war criminal , no apologies.

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 8:05 am

— All beds needed: Was 179,267 … Now is 90,353
— ICU beds needed: Was 33,176 … Now is 17,589
— Invasive ventilators: Was 26,544 … Now is 14,951

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 8:16 am

I question the veracity of the current tests, as NONE of them have been shown to be specific for the C-19 virus. Even the test released by the CDC is not vetted. The tests cobbled up overnight in hospitals, and now a 5–15 min test, are highly questionable as they do not have cultures of the virus to work with. One European group talked in terms of detecting living virus, for which there is no known test and requires the ability to culture the virus in tissue cultures. No test exists for this.

So, what do we really have for tests? More than likely, the tests are testing for detectable levels of coronavirus (covi), which are with us all year round and more so doing the flu season, as covis are a family of viruses, many of which are harmless.. PCR, particularly, is finicky and depends on the skills of the operator of the analysis. Rapid tests simply cannot be doing PCR and thus must be detecting general covi levels in a person. One could test positive all year round.

Is it not curious that so many people test positive and are asymptomatic, while they claim no one has immunity to this “novel” virus? It makes no sense. In populations adequately tested, 15–50% are positive and asymptomatic. So, they all have immunity? Why is the virus doing nothing? This makes no sense as an asymptomatic person would only be positive for short time before eliminating the virus. Why would there be so many asymptomatic positives?

Also, where good data is available, around the world, the percentage of positive tests in testing is a relatively constant 5–15% over time. This means we are really testing for a background factor in the population and, in the flu season, people might have more covis than the rest of the year, but they are always present in most people to some degree.

Furthermore, as the tests are likely not specific for C-19, it is patently unclear which virus might be making people ill, as one can have more than one virus at a time from among the salad of viruses that make up the flu season. For that matter, C-19 has never been shown to be the cause of any illness, particularly as other viruses might be present (and untested for), and the great majority of fatal cases have other critical known or unknown conditions. Blaming a death of a 90-year old man with multiple conditions on C-19, just because it was supposedly detected, is a joke. One or more other viruses could have been present and fingering C-19 as a culprit only because you can test for it, is another joke.

Comparisons of this “C-19” epidemic with the Spanish flu is simply fear-mongering. The Spanish flu killed 15–50 million world wide and took people of all ages indiscriminately. At the current 71,000 worldwide deaths and the death rate decreasing, we have a mortality rate that is 0.5% of that of the the Spanish flu lower death estimate. The death rate would have to skyrocket by 200-fold just to match the Spanish flu.

Yesterday, the CDC told doctors that they did not have to test for C-19 and could put a death down to the virus if they thought it was C-19. What a great way to inflate the numbers. Despite that the flu season is ending, the decrease has been lengthened, not shortened, by the lockdowns, as it has prevented people from gaining widespread immunity and thus a slow immunity will continue.

We should be protecting our infirm elderly and immune-comprised every flu season, not just because this year we think we have a name of a possible culprit and not looking for the other possible viruses or causes. There is good reason that chloroquine and azithromycin (Z-Pac) work in critical patients as the treatment deals with the covi virus and the bacteria that has invaded. A patient can have more than one medical issue happening at the same time.

We are sorely in need of an antibody test for C-19, just to see and understand who has had it already and now immune. But, this will not work as expected, because there is still a great chance that there is another or more, concurrent covi(s) out there that is really the virulent actor in this flu season.

Vaccines will not work, as we would have to isolate and culture every single covi out there and they do change over time. Flu vaccines work in general because they have predictable variations/recombinations over time. To try to sort out and make vaccines for a constantly changing mixture of covis is fruitless and wasteful. We need to work on good and effective treatments for covi symptoms when they are severe and treat the flu season as we always have, but with better hygiene habits than we have practiced until now.

Reply to  Charles Higley
April 6, 2020 9:55 am

Asymptomatic positives may be due to the way the body responds to the virus: the final commonpathway for death in Covid is ARDS, acute respiratory distress syndrome where the body releases catastrophic amounts of fluid into the airways of the lungs and you drown. That doesn’t happen to everyone, and there may be genetic dispositions to ARDS. What we do know is that Alpha-1 Antitrypsine, a serine protease, is present in lung secretions and plasma and has the ability to block the attachment of Covid and prevent it from entering the cells. The most common cause of reduction of Alpha-1 antitrypsin in human beings is…. Tobacco, you guessed it. If the UK, USA and the world is to gain any wisdom from the COVID epidemic, it is to kick the smoking /vaping habit forever.

My second issue is how we manage world travel. There has to be more communication between public health organisations, and for those countries who don’t participate in transparency, testing of their nationals at limited ports of entry. Fever can be tested in a few seconds and airlines should be equipped with contact-less scanners to do so. Complete blood count machines, on a consent basis… i.e. if you dont consent to provide a couple of drops of blood, we dont consent to carry you, can provide a white count in a few minutes. People who are not medically cleared should not be considered admitted to a host counry. The U.S.A. is going to suffer an epidemic of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and probably Chagas disease from its open Southern border. Both diseases will kill just not as spectacularly as Covid.

And all these venilators… will they end up being warehoused and left to rot like Army surplus from WWII? we would have a post Covid opportunity to increase the quality of care in developing countries with all the paid for surplus medical machinery. We should not waste it.

Reply to  David Chorley
April 6, 2020 4:45 pm

Hi David Chorley, – Circulating alpha anti-trypsin is lower with increasing BMI. Cited source below give it’s (average in subset of N. European) for ; BMI under 23 = 1. 31 g/l ; BMI under 26 = 1.26; BMI under 28 = 1.24 & BMI over 28 = 1.22.

Never smokers (average) = 1.27 g/l, vs. former smokers = 1.24. Those having less than 1 alcoholic drink/day (average) = 1.26 g/l vs. drinking more than 1/d = 1.23.

Systolic blood pressure (mm/Hg, average) trend was: under 114 = 1.244 g/l under 126 = 1.25; under 139 = 1.29; & over 139 = 1.26.

It is pre-menopausal women using oral contraceptives with blood levels of high anti-trypsine, (average) = 1.47. g/l. The same female category = 1.29.

Curiously smokers having more than 15 cigarettes/d (average) = 1.314 g/l; vs smokers of less than 15/day = 1.26 g/l. Which is contrary to what one would expect as regards both never plus former smokers (see 2nd paragraph above).

Data from (2008) “Circulating alpha1- antitrypsin in the general population: determinants & association with lung function”; free full text available on-line. It is data from 8,800 Swiss patients tested due to their lung function.

Now I’ll refer back to my 1st paragraph to add context from recent Shenzhen’s Wuhan Flu data. Cases by weight were: underweight = 4.2% ; normal weight= 53.1%; overweight = 32%; & obese = 10.7%.

But the significant details is the obese cases were more prone to develop significant coughing. And among the obese there was 2.4 times greater trend to develop severe pneumonia.

For brevity I am skipping genetics of alpha1-antitrypsin.

Reply to  gringojay
April 7, 2020 7:12 am

But smokers have less Alpha-1 AT activity: it’s one of the reasons they develop emphysema

Bill Parsons
Reply to  David Chorley
April 6, 2020 10:58 pm

Complete blood count machines, on a consent basis… i.e. if you dont consent to provide a couple of drops of blood, we dont consent to carry you, can provide a white count in a few minutes. People who are not medically cleared should not be considered admitted to a host counry.

Asians are genetically predisposed to lower white blood cell count. There’s a racial bias there. It would be useful to know how quickly results can be delivered for each of Christopher Monckton’s tests. As I understand it, the PCR test has a delay of nearly a week and is only about 70% accurate.

Reply to  Bill Parsons
April 7, 2020 7:09 am

you can set your parameters for asian people, also you can run a quick automated differential to see if there are immature leukocytes

Roger Knights
Reply to  David Chorley
April 7, 2020 12:52 pm

“The most common cause of reduction of Alpha-1 antitrypsin in human beings is…. Tobacco, you guessed it. If the UK, USA and the world is to gain any wisdom from the COVID epidemic, it is to kick the smoking /vaping habit forever.”

But vaping doesn’t involve tobacco. Is nicotine the villain? If not, smokers should be encouraged to vape now, and then tail off.

“There is no evidence that vaping increases the risk of infection or progression to severe conditions of COVID-19,” says the University of East Anglia’s Dr. Caitlin Notley.

“The Protection of Mice against Infection with Air-borne Influenza Virus by Means of Propylene Glycol Vapor.”


Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Charles Higley
April 6, 2020 11:03 am

You remarked, “Is it not curious that so many people test positive and are asymptomatic, …” Yes, it does appear to be contradictory. It raises the question of whether these could be false-positives. Little is said about the sensitivity or error rates of these tests. A tiger returning a positive test might be an indication of a test designed for humans might have a different sensitivity with animals and therefore return false-positives.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 6, 2020 11:27 am

It is not at all contradictory.
It is simply a little known fact that large numbers of people who become infected with disease causing organisms of many types do not become ill.
Any review of the available literature on virology or immunology makes it very clear this is a fact that has long been recognized.
Here is a paper which reviews dozens of studies in which human volunteers have been inoculated with a range of diseases.
It is clear that it is not at all considered unusual for half or more of people who get an infection do not get sick from it.
It is a single example, but in fact any investigation of this subject will make it quite obvious that asymptomatic infection is hardly unusual.


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 2:55 pm

IMO the tiger thing is total BS. Probably a false positive.

A single case is really not worth talking about , except that it makes a juicy clickable headline.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 3:37 pm

Thank you for the interesting link.

Reply to  Charles Higley
April 6, 2020 3:00 pm

Raises the question of how many strains of this virus we are dealing with. Death rates vary widely. Although most sources attribute this to cultural differences, the presence of two or more strains could be equally likely to cause outcome variation.

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 10:06 am

Take a look here:
Very different interpretation.

Reply to  rrd50
April 6, 2020 11:34 am

UK test only those seriously ill who are hospitalised. Those in less severe condition are not tested or hospitalised.

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 12:44 pm

How does that relate to graph rrd50 linked ? That shows “died with” . That presumably qualifies as serious.

The point is the scale of the problem is nothing to shout about, let alone ruin the economy for and impose conditions on the population like those in Vichy France during WWII.

There is the EU total morbidity graph in that link too. It shows total deaths this year ( as of week 13 at the end of March ) was not even close to last year’s “mild” flu year.

If we can’t deal that that, there is only one problem here and it a health service crisis.

Anyone wishing to look for possible evidence of a slow down produced by confinement should look at all the data not a meaningless table of %ages.

I can’t find the “blindingly obvious” proof that this has had any effect whatsoever. If someone can please give the date where the inflection occurred and I will compare to the date of the shutdown of northern Italy.
comment image

So far our valiant resident epidemiologist CofB has totally ignore this challenge.

Reply to  Greg
April 7, 2020 10:52 am

It is unfortunate that Greg does not understand the elementary mathematics of epidemics, which, in their early stages, spread exponentially.

It was necessary to introduce lockdowns in many countries where, without them, the healthcare systems would have been overwhelmed.

It was particularly important to introduce lockdowns at about the time when Mr Trump declared a national emergency, because during the previous three weeks the worldwide mean daily compound case growth rate was closte to 20%. Any continuation of such a large growth rate would have rapidly flooded the hospitals and the morgues.

For this reason, responsible governments who care more about their people than about the childish attempts at point-scoring in which the relentlessly negative and unconstructive, and furtively anonmyous, “Greg” specializes took the responsible decision to intervene decisively.

Now that they have done so, the confirmed-case growth rate, though it continues to be far too high for safety, has fallen sharply and continues to do so day by day.

Frankly, from the point of view of saving lives and not swamping the hospitals, it does not matter whether the slowdown in the case growth rate arises from the lockdowns or from other factors. To all but Greg, the slowdown in the case growth is welcome news, and especially if they are working in the healthcare sector.

That slowdown, provided that it continues for another week or two, will buy us the time to conduct serological testing such as that which is now underway at Porton Down, to determine the true prevalence of the infection in the general population.

It is known from the death statistics and from the mean duration from infection to death that the confirmed cases represent only one-tenth to one-hundredth of those actually infected. Population immunity is, therefore, gradually being acquired, and the lockdowns have bought us enough time to allow that process to continue in an orderly and manageable fashion.

if progress continues to be as good as the graph shows, the lockdowns can be carefully and steadily dismantled. For the worst will then be over. But at least we shall have had enough time to discover the true prevalence, and hence to estimate the likelihood that population immunity will be acquired in the not too distant future, and with not too many lives lost.

Greg says that percentages are a useless metric. However, to the public authorities, such percentages matter, because they give an indication of how many serious cases they may have to deal with in future if the current daily compound mean growth rates do not fall further. It is astonishing that Greg displays so little humanity, and so little knowledge of elementary math.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  rrd50
April 6, 2020 3:43 pm

From your link, “why are we taking such unprecedented measures with quarantines and shutdowns when this was not necessary in those years?” That is the exact same question I have been asking all along. I suppose the answer lies with what happens to the red curve, currently at 3,443.

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 11:39 am

Vuk, thanks for the update. It is strange to see deaths dropping at exactly the same time as new cases drops in the UK, this would seem simply to indicate the total failure of the NHS to provide useful care for its patients. Even Italy had a 5 day lag and a mean hospital stay of 5d in the case of fatalities.


The benchmark graph shows that the various policies adopted by nearly all governments to inhibit transmission of the infection appear to be beginning to work.

It shows NOTHING of the sort, please stop misinforming and deceiving.
The only reason you have for attribution is your a priori assumption that it is “blindingly obvious”.

All your “analysis” shows is that there was a change, there ZERO evidence in what you show that allows even the most speculative evidence for attribution. You are intelligent enough to know that apart from the fact I have pointed it out multiple times after your last presentation. That mean you are willfully mi-stating what this analysis shows. There is a work for that.

Reply to  Greg
April 6, 2020 1:12 pm

Vuk, I will point out once again for those seeing your graph for the first time:

The ratio of daily deaths to daily cases is not the “mortality”. That can only be determined after the epidemic has ended.

F/C = k*exp(f*t) / exp(c*t) = k* exp ((f-c)*t)

The ratio of two exponentials is itself an exponential, so while both the cases and deaths are in the initial exp growth phase you would *expect* that ratio to be increasing. Since deaths lag behind cases detected cases will slow down first F/C will *increase* when that happens.

If you see a stronger upturn that will be the good news, not the OMG it’s worse than we thought moment.

So the idea that your “mortality” is rising is to be expected and has nothing to do with what is usually called the mortality of a virus , which is calculated from *total* deaths and cases when it all settles down NOT the daily ratio.

As I noted above the deaths are dropping off quick and more clearly that case numbers right now. That is not the way it should work, so there is either some marked improvement in care or the mean stay at hospital before death is horribly short. I have not seen UK figures for the latter yet.

Here are some typical EU countries which have shown a peak in new cases + Aus.
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Australia is the ONLY one which shows a clear change of direction , though it is a little early to be attributed to confinement rules unless people had already started auto-confinement before the rules came into effect. That is just the kind of kink we should be looking for and NO other country shows that. Monckton’s claims of evidence are spacious and deliberately misleading.

Like you average climatologist, he is so convinced he, he feels justified in creating false statistics to trick us into accepting what he “knows” we need to do. Oddly he also wants us to destroy our economy just like the greens.

This is just the kind of pseudo-science this site has been battling for 20 years.

Reply to  Greg
April 6, 2020 1:56 pm

You clearly misunderstood the graph
It is not the ratio of daily deaths to daily cases ! !
It is ratio of cumulative deaths to cumulative infections of hospitalised cases !
It is ratio of total deaths to total infections of hospitalised cases from the beginning to a particular date indicated by % dashed lines.
i.e. F/C = Sum( k*exp(f*t)) / Sum(exp(c*t)), from t=T0 to t=T (for both sums), whereby T0 is time infections record started and T is date indicated by a particular % dashed line.

Reply to  Greg
April 6, 2020 2:07 pm

For today’s individual date: Number of dead is 439, number of infected 3,802 gives 12% rounded off.
However sums up to today are 5,373 dead and 51,608 infected, gives up to date rounded off mortality of 10%

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 3:33 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Vuk, the labelling is not very clear but I should have guessed from the magnitude of the numbers. However, since the integral of exp is another exp, I don’t think this really changes my comments.

There is also the problem that there is ( or should be ) a lag between the two datasets. The deaths are not from the same sample population as the new cases. This is still true as you integrate the cumulative sum. You have a shorter period of deaths from an earlier population. I don’t know what you can call this figure, what it represents or how you could interpret its changing value. One thing it is not is a metric of the evolution of the mortality of the virus. This is almost certainly unchanged.

If you want to plot if you should probably work out what is and what it means. That would be helpful.

Mortality also needs to account for ALL infections, not just serious hospitalisations. Both asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic and those who are quite ill but scared to go anywhere near a hospital right now.

Reply to  Vuk
April 7, 2020 10:56 am

In response to Vuk, the standard method of deriving the case fatality rate early in the course of a pandemic is to take the ratio of deaths not to total reported cases – a largely meaningless statistic – but of deaths to closed cases – i.e., to cases where the patient either recovered or died. Globally, that rate is currently 27%, but, like all these statistics, it is bedeviled by under-reporting of recoveries.

In truth, we do not yet know what the true case fatality rate is, but there was enough evidence that it might be considerable to persuade numerous governments that they ought to introduce lockdowns.

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Greg
April 6, 2020 9:57 pm

‘Specious’ rather than ‘spacious’

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 2:40 pm

News flash!

Just heard that Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care because of a sudden deterioration of his condition.





Reply to  Vuk
April 7, 2020 3:31 am

Abundant covid19 data are available and downloadable in csv files here:


Reply to  Phil Salmon
April 7, 2020 3:54 am

Thanks, but I have just about enough time to follow the UK data.

April 6, 2020 6:20 am

Corsica wants to use hydroxychloroquine –
Corsica wants to become a pilot territory to test treatment with hydroxychloroquine. The Chairman of the Executive Council of Corsica, Gilles Simeoni, has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. “Asking that the prescription can be done, not only in hospitals, but also in a controlled manner in the private medical environment,”

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 7:33 am

Ivermectin would be more likely to clear the viral load, and with fewer side-effects in most patients.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 8:30 am

I have a dozen Atovaquone&Proguanil HCl anti malarial pills from a project I was on in Minas Gerais State in Brazil in 2017. The first-named appears to be a quinine type with hydroxyl groups and the other is the old Paludrin compound I used in Nigeria in the 1960s. It is a comparatively benign antimalarial. They are 250 and 100mg. I’m in my 80s so I would give them a try, maybe break them in half, if I became infected. I note in the pharm web site I consulted, the first-named is available over the counter in the UK.

I sent a message about this with the general precautionary statements re self medication to family in London, two members of which have contracted Cov. Is there anyone you know who has looked into this sort of thing?

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 6, 2020 9:31 am
Gary Pearse
Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 11:18 am

Thanks Vuk!

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 6, 2020 10:13 am

In response to Mr Pearse, I too have family members with the Chinese virus. Best recommendations I can give, based on peer-reviewed evidence in the form of multiple randomized, double-blined, prospective, placebo-controlled clinical trials, is to advise those who have the virus, or who do not wish to get it, to take a single 25 mcg gel tablet of Vitamin D3 daily. I have been taking this suppmentation for years, and have not had so much as a cold since. Read Martineau et al. (2017) for a good meta-analysis of clinical trials involving some 10,000 patients in all.

Also, go to Steve McIntyre’s blog for another possibility, of which there has been an interesting case report.

Two of the biggest comorbidities are diabetes/obesity and hypertension. To minimize both, advise those who have the virus to go on to a very low-carbohydrate diet, instead eating plenty of fresh meat, plenty of green (but not root) vegetables, plenty of dairy products (if not lactose-intolerant), some oily fish and a little fruit. Avoid potatoes, pasta, rice, grains, seeds and vegetable oils, especially those – such as rapeseed oil, – that are intended for machinery, not for humans. This diet not only eradicates even full-blown diabetes but also, in many patients, removes hypertension by cutting out from the bloodstream the main source of irritation that leads to fatty deposits on the arterial walls, which is excess carbohydrate. After I had been on this actually quite pleasant diet for six months, diabetes vanished and, when they measured my blood pressure at Bart’s hospital, they did it twice because they couldn’t believe it. With awe in their voices, they said, “You have tbe blood pressure of an 18-year-old.”

So those are a few pointers, for which there is good warrant in the learned journals. None of these recommendations is likely to cause any harm at all, but, as always, check with the doctor first. I am not qualified to give medical advice.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 1:01 pm

Monckton, I have been taking 4000 iu of D3 daily for several years on doctor’s advice. Testing for D is part of my annual blood panel. Most folks are deficient yet many I know are not taking D3 supplements since their medico doesn’t monitor it. The nominal test range is 25-35 (units?) and mine tests 43.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 1:05 pm

Do you have a link for McIntyre’s blog posting?


Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 7:36 pm

It seems taking 5 to 10 mg of zinc per day, could be useful also. Don’t take more than 40 mg per day.

As far as hydroxychloroquine it would not work for British PM, probably. But could work in early stages and before you get the Chinese Flu, as preventive.

Outside throat area should be not allowed to get cold.
Wear something covering mouth and nose and avoid breathing cool/cold air which can cool throat and lungs.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 7, 2020 5:23 am

No longer available over the counter, removed from general sale in the majority of pharmacies.
And: https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/comment/parallel-export-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR3JBfDjd3V7cGzgQOJ5Welw0vGSGmfW2mVZNJbCLYaUpV1LG2w756VIJkM

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 8:34 am

Mods please let my comment of a minute ago to CMoB. I concerns cov in my family

Jeff Labute
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 9:00 am

… plus it helps clear up Rosacea and head lice. You’d think this would automatically be a better choice, at least for a western population 🙂

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 7, 2020 5:43 am

🙂 ditto
and no Covid and no worms;-) double bonus
curious they KNEW decades ago the Ivomec had effects on AIDS and flu virus and yet did nothing?
oh yes no moneymaking over usual sales as its off patent
never mind the patient its the Patent that matters;-/

from Aus under 6k infected 40 dead about 1.2k recovered
and a LOT of very very peeved people who arent even allowed to go fishing or drive the car around while NOT being near others or using any amenities etc
the verboten things list is pretty over the top

A C Osborn
Reply to  ozspeaksup
April 7, 2020 9:18 am


Robert of Texas
Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 10:38 am

The problem is all the unknowns. While the drug is well known, the dose to be effective against COV-19 is not understood at all, or even *if* it is effective. What level of zinc is needed?

If the goal is to slow down the virus so that natural immunity can respond, then the effective dosage might be smaller than people are taking, especially as a prophylactic.

I have no problem with the drug’s use in a hospital environment, but as a general take-it-at-home drug we need to be more cautious.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 6, 2020 1:17 pm

Very good comment. Some people seem to think that a drug being an antimalarial makes it a candidate for treating COVID-19.

The are at least 3 possible outcomes of taking an unproven substance. It could make one better, worse or make no difference, and making no difference usually comes with side effects.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Scissor
April 6, 2020 6:53 pm

It could also interact with other treatments that might have been possible.
Specifically, it will disqualify a person from a clinical trial of one of the other drugs.
If I had to get on it, I would guess that the results of clinical trials will show the same results as when it was tested against other viruses and conditions.
No direct effect on viral replication.
Some use as an immunomodulator and antinflammatory.
Long list of possible side effects and contraindications, some serious, some potentially deadly.
Not as safe or effective as IL6 blocking monoclonal antibodies.
The warning in big letters on ZPak label not to use in elderly patients with pneumonia may or may not prove to be nonsensical rambling by people who were just guessing based on lack of any real hard evidence.
Or it could be this combo on COVID, is like a silver crucifix dipped in holy water against a vampire.
Extremely effective and people who have spent their whole lives studying this sort of thing have no idea what underwhelming about.
Would not be the first time.
Would not bet my life on it.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 6, 2020 7:56 pm

–The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults is 8 mg/ day for women and 11 mg/day for men.

The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is defined as the highest level of daily intake that is likely to pose no adverse health effects in most individuals.

The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of zinc for adults is 40 mg/day.–

Reply to  Vuk
April 6, 2020 12:28 pm

A recent international poll of MDs returned that 60% of doctors in Spain declared they has used hydrochloroquine. There were no specifics on how / when / dosage or concurrent use of azithromycin.

Spain has very similar numbers of identified cases to Italy ( which used it at a much lesser scale ) but close to twice the number of recovered patients: Spain 40,000 cured of 120,000 detected cases. There may be other factors which caused that, so unlike CofB I will claim this proves it works because it’s blindingly obvious.

However, it is probably the most wide scale test so far and the country has cured more than any other country in Europe including Germany with a much better equipt health system.

April 6, 2020 6:26 am

Christopher, you probably did not catch my response on comment of guy from Norway two days ago.
Yes Norway is quite successful again Covid-19, but:
Slovakia, with almost identical population as Norway, almost 10 times population density against Norway, with very similar restriction from the start, but one big difference: face masks mandatory from start of outbreak, from 12th March.
Result, today exactly one month after first positive case, there is just 530 positive cases, around 70 people in hospital, 3 in intensive care and just 1 on lung support.
Actually face masks were just ordered from 12th March in public transport, shops, offices, they are mandatory form 26th March outside home.
We had 37, 26, 24, 21, 14, 15* cases in last 6 days with testing ramping up 4 fold.
Today’s is 15 domestic plus batch of 34 positive, intercepted on border returning from Austria – Tirol put into quarantine.
There is no hard lockdown, government is advising people to make trips to nature, only keep distance from other people.
I’m just shocked how simple solution as face masks is ignored worldwide.

Reply to  Peter
April 6, 2020 6:53 am

Peter, there are no face masks to wear. Here in the US we would need upwards of 300M for the general population to start and everyone will need more than one. We have trouble having enough for just the hospital and first line responders. World wide you are looking at billions of face masks.

Reply to  rbabcock
April 6, 2020 7:12 am

There are hundreds of ways to make face masks with varying degrees of filtration efficiency. Those that stop the spread from the infected don’t have to be sophisticated.

Reply to  Scissor
April 6, 2020 7:38 am

Scissor is quite right: rbabcock should use his imagination and find a way to make his own face-mask. When I go out for a walk, I wear a full-face motorcycle helmet, with the visor down if I come closer than 20 feet to anyone else on the road. That does not provide complete protection, but it is far better than a face-mask. The point is that making the extra effort to find a way to prevent person-to-person transmission, particularly airborne transmission, does make a significant difference.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 9:20 am

I appreciate everyone’s suggestions for people coming up with a face mask, but realistically it just isn’t going to happen here. There is no history of wearing face masks, most people wouldn’t put one on unless they can buy it and even then, and there are huge numbers of people that wouldn’t put one on regardless from a social or vanity standpoint. Maybe to enter a store if given one at the entrance. That’s about the only place I would consider because that is the only place I would come close to anyone.

The best tweet I’ve seen in a long time was a black man stating no way was he going to put on a mask and enter a bank or store.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 9:38 am

There is no history of not going outside and shutting everything down either.
We played baseball and all other sports right through the world wars, as things like movies and dances were very popular in those times.
Everything about this is unprecedented.
Some will not wear them.
People serious about not getting infected, while no proven treatments exist, will do what they can.
Since many people have a lack of imagination and little ability to think independently, it is up to those of us who do have these abilities to get ideas out into the public consciousness.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 10:15 am

Mr Babcock should realize that it is not a question of what we are used to, but what we had better become used to or we shall otherwise lose a sizeable number of our fellow human beings.

The medical and epidemiological evidence is that masks, however inadequate, provide some protection. Get used to them.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 10:28 am

Rbabcock, it is just matter of critical mass. If you are alone in shop wearing mask, you are weird. If you are alone in shop without mask full of people with mask, you are weird again. After more than 30% of people start to wear, it flips quickly and all will wear.

Ian W
Reply to  Scissor
April 6, 2020 7:53 am

Scissor, you are completely right.
Yet when Donald Trump suggested the same thing saying people could use scarves or bandanas he was roundly mocked.
One of the problems the US has faced is that there is a large minority(?) that given a suggestion proposed by Donald Trump, even with the backing of the ‘experts’, that miority will always do the opposite.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ian W
April 6, 2020 11:14 am

Half of the US population, 95% of the MSM, and the Guardian will mock anything that Trump says!

Joe V.
Reply to  Ian W
April 7, 2020 2:14 am

Ian W. Do you think that President Trump stating openly that he chooses not to wear a face mask could drive the Lefties at least into wearing them? 😉

Reply to  Scissor
April 6, 2020 9:03 am

What I find SHOCKING is the conduct and advice of the CDC regarding face masks. Either LYING to the public by saying masks are ONLY effective for the infected … or simply being WRONG about it. Either choice reveals the TRUTH that Federal bureaucracies won’t “save” you. In fact, the largest of societal bureaucracies can actually harm you.

How is it possible that a) we lacked a strategic supply (resupply) of PPE incl. face masks? and b) hadn’t already developed public policy regarding the use and effectiveness of face masks? Is this not the purpose of the CDC … the Center for Disease CONTROL? The CDC’s advice and conduct regarding face mask use is simply SHOCKING.

Regarding face masks, hydro chloroquine, or the other treatments for the ChiCom-19 virus … I will take my personal physicians advice over anything some bureaucrat says … some bureaucrat whose motivations are always suspect. My personal physician, with whom I have a personal relationship, actually cares about me. He has no political or bureaucratic agenda regarding my health. And he has the REAL world, medical experience that is desperately needed to formulate intelligent advice.

Reply to  Kenji
April 6, 2020 8:56 pm

Kenji, I am shocked too about the mask thing. I’ve been wearing one for 2 months. My health department in Mohave county, AZ is useless and even worse than the CDC if you can believe it. They allow 12 step meetings to continue–and say they can only recommend that they don’t meet–so they let newly recovering addicts and alcoholics make life changing decisions when they are not healthy enough to make such decisions! I keep calling for the higher ups at the health department to disband if they can’t protect our health–we have a shelter-in-place mandate that excludes all services but the dog groomer, it seems. “Essential” services include golf courses, hair salons, and nail salons!!!! And they let drug addicts and alcoholics meet face to face endangering the whole community. I cringe when I see European professionals mock Arizona–because they are right. The next few weeks here will be crucial and I am sure it won’t be a pleasant outcome.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Kenji
April 7, 2020 1:23 pm

“What I find SHOCKING is the conduct and advice of the CDC regarding face masks. Either LYING to the public by saying masks are ONLY effective for the infected … or simply being WRONG about it.”

The Reason magazine site said that it was “a noble lie” intended to give health-care workers dibs (first crack at) on the masks.

Reply to  Scissor
April 6, 2020 9:15 am

Trump to release signature mask to automatically create social distancing in predominantly Democrat populated areas.


Reply to  Scissor
April 6, 2020 10:20 am

Here’s a 45 second instructional video from the US Surgeon General on how to make your own face mask using cloth and two rubber bands:

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Scissor
April 6, 2020 11:10 am

You incorrectly said “There is no history of wearing face masks” The most famous person wore a belt with cartridges loaded with silver bullets. 🙂

John Endicott
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 7, 2020 8:09 am

The Lone Ranger is a fictional character. And “the real life” Lone Ranger (Bass Reeves) didn’t actually wear a mask or have silver bullets. Just saying.

That said, there are plenty of examples in fiction (and real life) of the use of masks or other facial protection (Lord M’s use of a full visor Motorcycle helmet is an example of the later). Not all examples are benign. The masked bank robber and the KKK hood being two examples of historical use of masks for foul purposes.

It may take some adjusting to using masks in public for good purpose, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I’ve seen an increase in the use of face masks in my workplace and in the local grocery store, for example, so it’s happened regardless of any “lack of history” that you might thing exists, rbabcock.

John Endicott
Reply to  Scissor
April 7, 2020 7:57 am

Indeed. I just hope no one, while making a home-made full face mask, makes the mistake of putting a (white) pillow sheet over their head for a mask. May have unintended bad reactions from others, particularly in certain communities.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Endicott
April 7, 2020 7:53 pm

The Lone Ranger didn’t wear a mask? Next you are going to tell me that Tonto didn’t call him Kemosabe! 🙂

Reply to  rbabcock
April 6, 2020 7:17 am

The face masks in Czech Republic and Slovakia are mostly home-made fabric masks, like the ones that the CDC has just started to recommend in the USA here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html Home-made masks are far from perfect but they are still helpful, particularly when everybody is wearing one and with social distancing.

Reply to  Ahem
April 6, 2020 10:04 am

In the US and parts of Europe, a big contributor would seem to be reusable shopping bags. Someone infected can bring a viral load and deposit it all over stores, checkout counters, touch screens, and checkout personnel, even if wearing mask and gloves while shopping. Once someone else touches a common surface, products, or produce, then touches their face, eyes, etc. the infection has been spread.

Reply to  rbabcock
April 6, 2020 7:33 am

rbabcock, do you really think that situation is different anywhere in the world?
You don’t need certificated face mask or respirator, any cloth is making good enough job to catch your droplets during speaking or coughing.
Advice from our government on March 12th was, use face mask or any other kind of mouth and nose cover as scarf, bandana.
In few days you had many videos available how to create good face masks by yourself at home, then usually woman were sewing them.
Small businesses took over and started to sew masks in hundreds and sell them to companies which provided them to their employees.
In my small town, there is shop selling work protective wear, they promptly started to sew masks and sell for around 5$.
Cities and villages organized distribution of face masks to old and sick people for free.
It took probably a week to provide masks to everyone who needed it.
Currently there is kind of fashion going who has nicer mask.
Including our lady president:
Point is that it was not government who provided face masks, but people alone.

Reply to  rbabcock
April 6, 2020 7:36 am

Just a cloth bandana would collect 95% of droplets coming out of people’s mouths.

Citizen Smith
Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 6, 2020 8:07 am

DMacKenzie, Over 84.3% of all statistics are made up on the fly..

Reply to  Citizen Smith
April 6, 2020 9:54 am

50% of the time 😉

Reply to  Citizen Smith
April 6, 2020 4:53 pm

I can only believe 50% of what I just read! But the other 50% did get caught in between my remaining teeth when it fell out of my brain.

Reply to  Citizen Smith
April 6, 2020 8:58 pm


John Endicott
Reply to  Citizen Smith
April 7, 2020 7:21 am

Unless it’s a statistic on any internet message forum, Derg, then it’s more like 93.279% of the time. 😉

Reply to  John Endicott
April 7, 2020 10:41 am

But only 21.24% of the names they use are made up.

Reply to  rbabcock
April 6, 2020 8:24 am

The face masks used in Czech Republic and Slovakia are mostly home-made fabric masks. https://eu.jsonline.com/story/opinion/2020/04/04/czech-government-implemented-face-mask-requirement-help-combat-coronavirus-column/2940393001/ They are far from perfect but they do help, particularly if everybody wears them and when combined with social distancing. The CDC is also now recommending them for Americans https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ahem
April 6, 2020 9:25 am

Apparently the stuff used to make vacuum cleaner bags is particularly effective at providing filtration of tiny sized aerosols and particulates, while also allowing airflow.
I have some 1000 thread count sheets, and I am sure several layers of this material would allow very little to escape, and not much to get in either.
But it is for sure that anything is better than nothing.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:32 am

Great idea! I have a healthy supply of shop vac filters … big filters … lots of filtration material. And all I can say is they are massively effective in catching virtually every dust particle when used with my shop vac.

I could envision a clever seamstress cutting this material in between two layers of a fabric face mask … thus dramatically upping the filtration value of the homemade mask

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 12:19 pm

Crap, now there’s going to a run on vacuum bags! I have a bag less vacuum so not properly stocked up.

Really good idea but I am curious how long the mask would hold up to moisture. Both exhaled moisture and rain (spring is always wet for us). But then all one would need is a pair of scissors, elastic band and stapler to make a mask. Carry the supplies with you and make as many as needed when needed.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 1:04 pm

One five pack of bags for an upright vacuum cleaner has to be enough fabric for a whole lot of masks.
As others have noted, they can be sterilized with a hot iron, or just put into the sun for a few days.
Virus do not live long on surfaces under conditions that are easy to create.
Or just throw them away and make another.
At some point I would think there will be plenty of them being made by manufacturers.
China, South Korea, Japan…these places seem to have plenty of them.
We do not because of bad planning.
That can be fixed soon.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 3:27 pm

I’ve got a couple of unopened 5-packs for my “medium” sized shop vac. But, yes … they could be transformed into a lot of ‘hybrid’ masks. Sew a flap opening in the side of the double-sided, fabric face mask … so the filter medium can be replaced or removed and sterilized for reuse.

Feel free to use my open source ‘patented’ design *giggle*

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  rbabcock
April 6, 2020 9:38 am

Scarfs anyone? More comfortable and available than face masks.

Reply to  Peter
April 6, 2020 7:17 am

Yet the World Health Organisation recommends not wearing face masks. Is this good advice?


Reply to  Nicholas=VictoryofthePeople
April 6, 2020 9:09 am

The linked artcel quoted:
“In the community, we do not recommend the use of wearing masks unless you yourself are sick and as a measure to prevent onward spread from you if you are ill,” Van Kerkhove said.
And I thought, ill people have to stay in quarantine.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 6, 2020 9:41 am

The trouble with this advice is that there are a large number of people who are infected and do not know it, according to every available evidence.
In fact, it is very likely this is the case for many if not most diseases…people get infected and show no symptoms.
Typhoid Mary was the prototypical example, and ample evidence exists that it is commonly the case with other infectious organisms.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:26 am

You are right, I didn’t reflect it.

Reply to  Peter
April 6, 2020 7:35 am

I am most grateful to Peter for having been so kind as to provide this fascinating update from Slovakia. I shall hope to mention it in a future posting here.

And Peter’s comment on the desirability of using face-masks as a sensible precaution is supported by South Korea’s head of infectious-disease control, who says that every barrier to transmission should be adopted. He even supports wearing eye-protection: even wearing glasses as well as a mask helps, apparently.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 8:19 am

Thanks Christopher, if this information helps to some people I will be glad.
There is even “test sample” for this. Czech Republic made masks mandatory 2 weeks after Slovakia, 3 weeks after start of outbreak in their country. They numbers were going out of control and they saw from first line, that their neighbor is doing much better. So they implemented this rule 13 days ago on 24th March.
You can check now on their Covid-19 curve what impact it had:
Search for Czech Republic curve.
As I know Slovak and Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia) are only 2 countries outside of Asia with mandatory face masks rules.
Any measures are showing with around 7 days delay on Covid-19 curve. So there should be visible some change for last 6 days.
And there is, their curve got from doubling per 3 days to doubling per 10 days steepness. Same as for all other countries using masks as Japan, Taiwan, Slovakia…
Just check their last 7 days cases: 184, 307, 281, 269, 332, 282, 115 there is no exponential trend anymore.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 9:34 am

I wear close fitting safety glasses that I have for when I use a chain saw.
They fit right up against the face all the way around, and have a rubber gasket where they touch the face.
Our bodies have numerous layers of barrier and chemical protection against microbes, and we should do the same.
The tissues of the eye are particularly vulnerable to infection…not so much the eyeball, but the membranes under and in the corners of the eye.
Anything that gets on the eye will be whisked under the lids in the next blink.
And do not forget about keeping hands away from face as much as one can manage.
It is not easy, but it is important as a defense.
And wash hands multiple times with very hot water when getting home…immediately.
I also recommend washing all clothes when coming inside from being in public, and then jumping into the shower.
And spray all packages and shoes with Lysol…have in with you to spray it when you put packages into your car or whatever.
Spray shoes when you get home and leave them in the Sun if you have any.
Wear different ones next time…virus will not survive very many days no matter what you do, or do not, do. So rotate shoes. Droplets will settle onto them.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:35 am

I NEED those glasses. My only question … do they fog up? Every pair of goggles I have ever used have massive problems with fogging up.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Kenji
April 6, 2020 11:36 am

They can, for sure.
There are some small spaces around the perimeter of the rubber gasket part to allow for some airflow.
Some tips to prevent fogging might be familiar if you have ever used a scuba or snorkeling mask: Rub spit on the inside surface…it prevents fogging; potato slice rubbed on the surface is said to do the same, but I always have spit handy, and it works, and I rarely have a raw potato with me outside when swimming, so I have not verified this one.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Peter
April 6, 2020 7:44 am

Compare Ireland to Slovakia. We have a slightly smaller population but already 4994 cases and 158 deaths. Many infections occur in care homes – “outbreaks in 57 nursing homes” (Irish Times) – and hospitals. The median age of those who died over the past five days is 82,82,77,81. The overwhelming age of those who have died is 60 and older, in line with Italy and Spain where it is over 95%. We have a strict lockdown and the date keeps being pushed further on. The Irish Times yesterday had an unhelpful, indeed irresponsible statement: “Optimists say July. Others September.” We simply cannot afford to stay locked down much longer.

Bad news for those alarmed politicians and medical experts advising them: all the elderly people who survive the coronavirus are going to die – some within a short space of time. This has absolutely nothing to resources and money. It has everything to do with old age. The virus can only bring the day a little closer for some but so too can other viruses.

Thanks to Lord Monckton for showing us we need to sensibly apply our minds to acting outside of a “narrow political framework.” Somehow we need to get back to work soon, wear masks, wash hands regularly, keep safe distances where possible, isolate and protect the elderly and ill as far as possible – and of course use extensive testing efficiently.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 6, 2020 8:20 am

Errata – Too hasty

“The overwhelming age of” should be “The overwhelming number of”
“nothing to resources and money” should be “nothing to do with resources and money”

I am not aware of an edit option for these comments.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 6, 2020 10:47 am

” The virus can only bring the day a little closer for some but so too can other viruses.”

A oddly persistent myth, directly contradicted by numerous cases of young and healthy people dying.


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 7, 2020 8:36 am

That’s a sad story for sure. But the statistics show that it’s very unlikely (but more likely to be reported) and not unique to Coronavirus – see https://time.com/5099042/influenza-deaths-flu/

Reply to  Peter
April 7, 2020 11:00 am

I am most grateful to Peter for his information about face-marks and their effect in Slovakia. Yet again the lamentable poodles of China in the World Death Organization have let us down by not recommending the widespread use of face protection.

April 6, 2020 6:29 am

I think you have way too much faith in the US government executing any of this. In theory it’s a great suggestion but it will end up being the boy trying to plug holes in the dike.

The two primary issues I see is the symptomless infectious incubation period and people not following (or not understanding) the plan and following orders.

To me the only plausible solution is getting treatment plans in place that work and protecting the populations that are most vulnerable until a potent vaccine is developed. 80% will self resolve and those that will have issues are pretty much a known population. There will be outliers, but treating the 80% to shorten their time with CV19 will keep them from infecting others, make their experience with the disease easier and move them into the population that are immune.

It isn’t going away so we have to take the medicine and hope for the best. Like the flu, people are still going to die from this and we just have to accept it and do our best.

Reply to  rbabcock
April 6, 2020 7:26 am

One reason there have been so many deaths is that physicians, not at all familiar with this very unusual disease, haven’t yet settled on proper treatment modalities. Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell, a young ER doc in Brooklyn has made a strong case that the disease most resembles HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema) and not ARDS in most cases. His claim is that patients are dying in large numbers because practitioners are treating incorrectly, mainly by intubating too early, rather than by using high-flow oxygen via nasal cannula, and by introducing too much pressure (PEEP) and not enough oxygen when they do go to the ventilator. That’s why, he says, the ventilator death rate is so high. It’s possibly a catastrophic error.

Reply to  Adam
April 6, 2020 7:46 am

Early intervention with a ventilator using the ARDSnet protocol started in China, and is now used throughout the world. Wouldn’t it be tragic if many of the mortalities were caused by iatrogenisis rather than pathogenisis.

Reply to  Adam
April 6, 2020 7:49 am

It appears that the virus is creating havoc with hemoglobin metabolism, that is reducing its carrying capacity. It does not appear that there is an effective treatment for that yet. Ventilators seem to be more of a curse than a cure. There aren’t good options at that stage unfortunately.

Reply to  Scissor
April 6, 2020 8:20 am

There were a lot of coulds and mays in that study you linked to in another thread. Sounds like its all hypothetical modeling.

Reply to  icisil
April 6, 2020 1:32 pm

The Brooklyn doc certainly has a point, the number making it once they go onto ventilation seems abysmal.

The haemoglobin angle may be consistent with the correlation with habitual smoking. Apart for damaging the lungs generally, regular smoking takes red blood cells out of action by permanently binding the haemoglobin to CO molecules , thus rendering it useless for oxygen transport. The only remedy is cell replacement , red blood cells only last about 6 weeks. If you stop smaoking, this is fairly rapidly reversible but a regular smoker already has up to 60% deficiency in oxygen transport BEFORE becoming ill.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  icisil
April 6, 2020 6:36 pm

Red blood cells last as long as six months.
Average is variously reported as between 100 and 120 days.
120 days is the most commonly accepted average.
No one thinks they only last 42 days.only
That is how long stored unit of packed cells are considered usable. Because of the anticoagulant.
Fact check much?

Peter Fraser
Reply to  Adam
April 6, 2020 2:22 pm

The lower level percentage of O2 on a ventilator is to reduce the likelihood of more damage from pulmonary oxygen toxicity on already damaged lungs. POT is a not uncommon occurrence in hyperbaric environments something not seen in high altitude.

Reply to  Peter Fraser
April 7, 2020 5:49 am

April 6, 2020 at 1:32 p
… a regular smoker already has up to 60% deficiency in oxygen transport BEFORE becoming ill.

yeah really?
Ive smoked for 45yrs(im 60) my blood oxy levels are 98%
and dropped to a scary…96% when i had a doozy of a case of whooping cough
dunno where you “assume” your figures from sport

Another Ian
Reply to  Adam
April 6, 2020 3:40 pm

“Wuhan Flu: “This is a completely new disease” ”


There is a copy of the paper in comments by Jason

Russ R.
Reply to  rbabcock
April 6, 2020 2:19 pm

If hydroxychloroquine works as a prophylactic, and many doctors say it does, then we use that in conjunction with masks to slow the spread. Neither is expensive, and we don’t need to wipe this virus out, the vaccine will do that when it is available.
We just need to limit the rate of new infections. That is the worst part of this problem. A normal flu spreads slowly because many people already have immunity to it. If half the people exposed, don’t get sick, they cannot spread it and the flu burns through the population slowly and consistently. Any disease that offers little to no resistance in the general population will burn like a CA wildfire with Santa Anna winds blowing it into a fire storm. That overwhelms the hospitals and many die who would have lived if they could get help instead of wait in a queue, until it is too late.
Masks work! The only reason we don’t have them is because they are optimized to produce about the normal demand. Not 1000% higher than the normal demand. So we have to ramp up production. Not a big problem, but it will take some time. The going rate for a good mask was $0.80 before this occurred. Should be able to buy them in bulk for half that or less.
We should all have a stockpile of a dozen or more on hand at all times. If it saves you one flu infection it is well worth it. And it is not needed all the time. Wear it on the train, bus, airplane, elevator, or other close quarter moments. Stagger working hours so we are all not clogging the system at the same time.
This is easy to figure out. It does not require a public lock down, once the curve is flat, as long as masks are available and people will wear them when needed. It only requires a little discipline in most of us, and a real effort on the part of anyone who comes in regular contact with elderly and high-risk factor people or is one of those profiles. Those people need to do both the pills and the masks. We should get a pause over the summer to make sure this is ready by fall.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Russ R.
April 6, 2020 5:40 pm

One big difference with flu is that people are most able to spread the virus when they are sickest ( This is thought to be the most common circumstance for a respiratory disease, and was initially assumed to be true for this one. The CDC missed important early clues that this virus was different in that regard), so they tend to not be out and about while able to infect others, plus if they are, it is easy to spot them. People with flu look very sick. With this one, apparently not so much.
This virus has a far longer period of being able to spread it prior to symptoms appearing.
Additionally it seems to be unusual in that people with only a mild case are nonetheless expelling a large number of virions.
There may also be a wider than usual spread from one person to another in the number of virions that it takes to constitute an infective dose. But this is more speculative at this point, IMO.
What is clear from specific disease transmission instances is that for this virus, some people do not get very sick or get sick at all, while others become gravely ill.
This newspaper article I posted elsewhere in this page details a young woman who got the virus and had mild illness, but she have it to her husband who became sick enough to need to go to the hospital. He was treated and sent home, had a few days where he seemed to be not very sick anymore, then quickly worsened one night and died suddenly of respiratory failure at home in his bed. He was in his 30s and said to be perfectly healthy prior to COVID.
So clearly the response varies tremendously between individuals, with the most striking difference from other illnesses of a similar nature being how many get severely ill and how many die. I see clear and strong evidence, amounting to proof, that it is not a question of different strains causing this disparity.
It is very possible in the case of the young couple that initial dose was the difference.
She may have been exposed to few visions and this her immune response had much more time to respond in time to counter viral rep!ication.
He may have gotten a huge whopping dose all at once from her, although this does not explain why he seemed to be ok before dying.
Also, studies of influenza make it clear that getting a droplet infected with virus deep in the airway, is far more infectious than getting some on your nose, say from fomites and a face touch.
If this last detail is a factor with COVID, the value of masks is very huge. It will be hard to breathe a droplet into the lungs while wearing a mask. Impossible maybe.
Something is explaining how some places have such different transmission incidence.
I said here for several weeks that the advice, almost an order, for the public not to wear masks may be the single largest public health blunder in history. An own goal to beat them all, given rather than simply spelling out the truth about availability.
We shall see.
Eventually this disease and the disparities and the progression and the effectiveness of lack thereof will give up all secrets at some point.
All will be known to some certainty.

Russ R.
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 6:44 pm

Some flu’s are more contagious than others. Some are more deadly. Some have higher rates of immunity in the general public. There is a complete matrix of strains, symptoms, outcomes, and contagious properties of a long list of flu strains.
This is not a dangerous pathogen in the conventional sense. It is dangerous because we have no natural immunity to it, and antibiotics are not effective treating it. And it seems highly contagious, although that may be more because we have no immunity.
Doctors are taking hydroxychloroquine and giving it to their families. They are in the trenches and are seeing the results. It is not a cure, but a safe drug, that minimizes the duration and the risk of disease progression.
New York is using it, and bending the curve. It is early, but the early results are the results that would be expected from the combination of social distancing and more effective treatment of those that are hospitalized.
In the end I think we will find that the immune response is killing people more than the virus is. It can stress the body and will create systemic failure in people that either have a weakness in their systems, or have an usually large immune response.

April 6, 2020 6:32 am

This virus may be with us for years to come , short of a vaccine or remedy .
World economies and social systems may take years to recover.
Atleast real scientists are trying to fix the problem rather than imagining one for more funding.

Non Nomen
April 6, 2020 6:41 am

Cov19 is ubiquituous. As soon as antibody testing is availabe, the testing should be started from the oldest to the youngest – downward. So we will know soon who needs special care and attention, and possibly isolation, and who doesn’t. It has, imho, nothing to do with prevalence of infection. The younger folks are not prone to serious infection, so they may well go outside, take care of the elderly and get the economy back on track. Requirement: sufficient data. By now, quite a while after the outbreak, incompetence still rules (Merkel!) . We have to end that or we will not be able to recover.

Reply to  Non Nomen
April 6, 2020 7:38 am

Um, and after everyone has been tested, where will your DNA and other personal data be stored and how long before Google has acquired it?

Just wondering.

Reply to  Klem
April 6, 2020 9:58 am

Yep and people who end up With virols for Covid will get a red star on their bellies and will be known as red bellied sneetches 😉

Reply to  Non Nomen
April 6, 2020 7:42 am

Non Nomen is right that, once the lockdowns have been in place long enough to be sure that hospitals will not be swamped with the dead and dying, the gradual increase in the availability of population-wide testing can be targeted on to the most important groups – the elderly and sick, the healthcare and shop workers, etc.

As to the incompetence of which Non Nomen speaks, the most important evidence of ineptitude on the part of the public authorities is their failure to have a proper plan in place to deal with a pandemic, combined with the calculated and persisting wickedness of China and its corrupt poodles who run the World Death Organization.

Non Nomen
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 6, 2020 11:43 am

On 2013-01-03 a report for the Deutsche Bundestag has been published (Bundestagsdrucksache 17/12051) where such a scenario has been meticulously predicted. Consequences: none. Appropiate precautions like storage of vital medical supplies like desinfectants or masks: none. I call it gross negligence plus incompetence. In September 2019, Merkel has been holding hands with the Chinese Overlords. Hmmm…

Tom in Florida
April 6, 2020 6:42 am

Have you considered the effects of how each country”s social structure determines movement within the country?
The U.S. is a very mobile Country where thousands of people move about outside their local area on a daily basis. This would of course create a much more widespread infection rate compared to smaller countries whose population tends to remain very local most of the time.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 6, 2020 9:42 am

I believe that it is “social distancing” that will turn out to have flattened the curve, not “lockdown”, via people either choosing to keep their distance, or being forced to via closure of workplaces and stopping of buses/trains/planes.

To me lockdown is idiotic, crashing the economy for very little medical benefit, if so the USA will follow the medical trajectory of other countries, but will retain more of its economy.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  climanrecon
April 6, 2020 10:22 am

Looking back at the timeline of events, it was mostly individuals and businesses that reacted first, and governments stepped in after most people had already changed habits drastically.
The first large shoe to drop was the NBA suspending their season. This was unprecedented and a huge move, all on account of one single player testing positive. He was not even showing signs of illness. He was going to play that night.
The some large operators of things like theme parks and movie theaters, although attendance was already dropping off sharply.
The major league baseball.
By then, airlines were having a massive wave of cancellations.
Many schools had announced closures to disinfect after a single student was found to be infected. The plan was to disinfect and reopen after a day or a couple of days. But how long could this be kept up as one student after another tested positive?
Then individual businesses started to do what the schools had done, closed when one worker was found to have been at work while infected.
By then large numbers of people were self isolating.
Stores were seeing runs on selected items as people planned for an extended period of not going outside.
So in the US at least, the lock downs were not what caused to economic shutdown to be well underway.
It was people not wanting to get viral pneumonia, or be forced into quarantine.
Best to isolated BEFORE getting infected.
A large number of people did not wait to be told what to do.

Non Nomen
Reply to  climanrecon
April 6, 2020 11:59 am

Social distancing will do in rural areas, I presume. Lockdowns, more or less strict, may become inevitable in densely populated cities. I do feel pretty uneasy when there are too many people being locked up. The virus might reproduce in unheard numbers, but domestic violence is another serious problem.

Reply to  Non Nomen
April 7, 2020 5:56 am

our larger rural hospital in Western Vic had the staff so stressed and worried that theyd get 300 to 3k or so patients in a week(ludicrous when the towns got about 15k max) surrounds maybe
another 5k
yeah we do have a higher amt of older ill diabetics etc cancer clusters from farm chem etc
so now 3 weeks on we have?

TWO patients who were OS returnees (and family suspected n cleared)
and ONE other case in the adjoining rural area of thousands of hectares
but we are all still forced to adopt innercity lockdown routines FFS!

Reply to  climanrecon
April 6, 2020 2:48 pm

I believe that it is “social distancing” that will turn out to have flattened the curve,

There will be no “turned out”. Everyone will just assume that it worked without LOOKING AT THE DATA, just as the viscous viscount has done here in repeating what he knows to fake claims and bogus “proof”.

It seems “obvious” that it works and therefore no one questions it and looks far ACTUAL proof.

Whatever bent the curves in EU countries was a gradual process not a national shut down. The virus has just run its course. A gradual bending of the curve like that would be consistent with it running out of vulnerable old people who needed little to push them over the edge.

As the stock of viable hosts mininishes the viral spread slows down. The evidence is consistent with that interpretation is it NOT consistent with the deceptive claims of Monckton.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Greg
April 7, 2020 6:59 am

There was no immediate lock down in the majority of EU countries, it was phased in with varying degrees of group sizes, businesses, sport and schools etc.
I suggest you get your facts straight before rubishing what everybody else thinks.

Reply to  Greg
April 7, 2020 11:08 am

Unfortunately, Greg knows no elementary mathematics and no elementary epidemiology, and is therefore wholly unwilling to understand why it is that lockdowns work. They work by reducing the number of people whom each infected person is likely to infect, because they greatly reduce contact between people.

If Greg is not aware of any of the large body of evidence that person-to-person contact has indeed been much reduced by the lockdowns, he may care to turn on his television.

Even if 150 million people in total have been infected, rather than the 1.5 million reported, that leaves 98% of the global population not yet infected. Therefore, the susceptible population remains effectively undiminished. Yet, notwithstanding additional testing, the compound daily growth rate in total confirmed cases is falling. And that suggests the lockdowns are working.

There is, of course, contrary evidence from countries such as Sweden, where there has been very little in the way of a lockdown and yet the case growth rate remains in line with other countries. But that evidence is faithfully shown in the graph and drawn attention to in the head posting.

April 6, 2020 6:54 am

In America, the big hurt from COPID-19 is employment. The biggest employer in America is small businesses, and among them is the largest, the restaurant industry. There are 660,000 restaurants in America with more than 13 million workers, that are now out or work, except for the few needed for take-out orders.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ronald Stein
April 6, 2020 6:12 pm

“There are 660,000 restaurants in America with more than 13 million workers, that are now out or work,”

Yes, out of work, but not necessarily out of a job. Yet. That’s what Trump’s $2.2 Trillion rescue plan is all about: Putting money in restaurant owners hands (and others) so they can continue to employ their workers even though there is no work for them. This group of people are good financially for the next eight weeks.

And any workers who actually did get laid off have unemployment insurance payments to fall back on. They are also good financially for the next eight weeks.

Let’s review: Two months ago the U.S. economy was booming and employers were having a hard time finding workers to fill their jobs because the job market was so competitive. So employers have an incentive to keep the employees they already have, and Trump has given them a way to do this, at least for the next eight weeks.

Dodgy Geezer
April 6, 2020 7:00 am

I would add to this a request that extensive resources be put into developing a prophylactic treatment – possibly based on chloroquine (or a suitable variant) as it seems to have shown promise in this area.

Front-line staff – such as medical workers, public transport staff, shop assistants, etc should then be issued with suitable doses during the wind-down period to suppress illness if they have not already acquired immunity.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
April 6, 2020 7:34 am

Very well stated .
Now , if those in charge would heed your advice …
I know ,dream on ..

Ron Long
April 6, 2020 7:01 am

Christopher M of B, thank you for posting this data. Looking at above comments there seems to not be a lot of thinking about the difference between Treatment, Cure, and Vaccine. Treatment is the attempt to deal with the viral symptoms and save the patient. Cure is a medicine that kills the active virus in an organism. Vaccine is an activation, via innoculation with antibodies, to prevent the virus from taking hold. Social distancing, quarantine, face masks, and washing are attempts to prevent contact with the virus, and these are the techniques available to all of us. The complicated question is how much economic damage can a society absorb, due to quarantines, before there is real damage to a systems ability to fight against the pandemic. President Trump continues to suggest an optimistic view about timing, but has not done anything inadvisable yet. President Zi, not so much. Stay safe.

John Tillman
Reply to  Ron Long
April 6, 2020 9:18 am

Probably too soon to define a trend, but deaths fell in the US yesterday from the day before. In Chile they fell in data released today from yesterday.

Even NY shows signs of peaking. There have been day-day declines in cases and deaths before, but I remain optimistic, maybe without sound basis.

The fact that so many people in nursing homes have died, and that other facilities have split the most vulnerable up, sent them home or transferred them to hospitals alone could slow the daily death rate.

April 6, 2020 7:05 am

Sweden not in lock down. I don’t see any difference to other countries in lockdown.

Reply to  richard
April 6, 2020 7:22 am

In Sweden they kept the elementary schools and most businesses open. A few US states have the same policy. In other European countries, schools and so-called non-essential businesses were closed.

Wim Röst
Reply to  richard
April 6, 2020 12:22 pm

More details about what Sweden is doing and not doing (or ‘not yet is doing’): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52076293

Roger Knights
Reply to  richard
April 7, 2020 2:11 pm

“Ηοw Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Makes Sense: And why it may not be applicable in other countries — a Swedish doctor’s perspective.”

The article is too long—a 12-minute read. But it can be skimmed.


mark from the midwest
April 6, 2020 7:09 am

Looking at day over day cases by country. Exponent is becoming poor fit, linear is better, but real kicker is that a log function of the growth, over the last week, fits almost as well as anything. If one more day of data comes in that fits the last 3-4 day pattern the log will probably be the best fit, and this thing is dying out quickly. Not an argument for abandoning many of the keep-your-distance protocols, but sure says that we should start thinking about how to get things open again

April 6, 2020 7:12 am

‘The more than usually competent Fauc”‘is an absurdly laughable claim in many quarters.


April 6, 2020 7:20 am

“Corsica wants to use hydroxychloroquine –”

There seems to be an establishment bias against trying this drug to fight the virus. The doctors who have tried it seem very impressed with the outcomes. It is not really a dangerous drug and under a doctors care should be safe. Call me a conspiracy theory type guy but I smell a rat here.

Reply to  MR166
April 6, 2020 7:39 am

Perhaps the fact that it is an off patent drug and big pharma cannot make billions from the sale of it is part of the answer. Big pharma wants to create vaccine and a cure would decrease sales. The rank an file doctors are taking it as a preventative medicine but the doctors running the government health agencies want to “Test” for 1 or 2 years.

Reply to  MR166
April 6, 2020 8:45 am

Let’s not forget that the Global Left would like to see the crisis intensify, so as to make the people more dependent on, and at the mercy of, “Government”. What better way to dis-empower them, but to withhold / obstruct the means to help themselves?

Non Nomen
Reply to  peyelut
April 6, 2020 12:09 pm


Reply to  MR166
April 6, 2020 8:07 am

+1 It is used widely throughout the world for malaria, one of the world’s highest disease killers and mainly prevalent in countries that didn’t use DDT to rid of mosquitoes before it was banned through the activism of some of the first ecoloons. Now we know DDT is safe if used properly but the stigma remains. I still don’t get the hold back as millions of people yearly have been treated with it for over half a century. I bet if Trump hadn’t mentioned it as being a possible cure it would be in use for #19 today without worry.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  markl
April 6, 2020 6:19 pm

” I bet if Trump hadn’t mentioned it as being a possible cure it would be in use for #19 today without worry.”

Yes, it’s Trump Derangement Syndrome in action. Trump says the drug might work so the Left and the Leftwing Media immediately try to find fault with it.

We need to develop a vaccine for TDS. It is a really debilitating syndrome that can drive a person to insanity.

Roger Knights
Reply to  MR166
April 7, 2020 2:32 pm

“There seems to be an establishment bias against trying this drug to fight the virus.”

This may be so that health care workers and the medical establishment can get easier access to it themselves.

Jimmy Haigh
April 6, 2020 7:21 am

The developing world isn’t playing the game. Why? Because it’s tough surviving out here with one morbidity let alone two. Everyone who the CV-19 virus would have attacked has died already. Once the rich Western nations, with their pampered populaces have all been there, done it and got the T-shirt there is no one else left to take up the CV-19 baton. The sensationalist media will be back to wetting their beds about the bloody weather again before May.

Now can we all put our bloody big-boy pants on and get back to work now please?

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
April 6, 2020 8:20 am

Now can we all put our bloody big-boy pants on and get back to work now please?

Abso-bloody-lutely! I am sick and tired of living like a frightened rabbit. give me a piece of paper to sign saying I accept the risk and leave me to get on with my life!

April 7, 2020 11:12 am

In response to Mr Haigh and Mr Mansell, responsible governments were rightly unwilling to allow their healthcare services to be swamped. The lockdowns have been wisely used as a way to buy time for increasing hospital capacity, increasing testing capacity, carrying out population serology to determine the prevalence of the infection, and researching prophylactics, palliatives and vaccines.

Big boys would realize this.

Nick Schroeder
April 6, 2020 7:25 am

CoVid-19 didn’t get rolling in the US until 3/18/20, 79 days after ECDC’s data zero of 12/31/19. It’s only been a serious thang for 19 days. Hard to believe.

Latest graphics from 040620 ECDC data.

A second order curve fit of deaths w/ R^2 of 0.95 predicts 100,000 deaths accumulated by 4/30/20. But it’s going to burn itself out in a couple of weeks as happened in China. Zero evidence of exponential growth. Excel’s trendline doesn’t even allow that option.

1K, 2K, 4K, 8k, 16k, 32K.
Where is that exponential spread?
And cases and deaths actually decreased. Grim Reaper take Sunday off?
Oh, my, what to do?
I know. Anyone who dies in the hospital the recorded cause of death is or is related to CoVid-19.
Gun shots, Covid. Cardiac arrest, CoVid, Death during delivery, CoVid. Traffic accident trauma, Covid.

Sound familiar?

Drought, climate change. Flooding, climate change. Heat wave, climate change. Polar vortex, climate change.
When the dust settles from this faux pandemic fabricated by the lying fake news MSM it will be followed by a real one.
The bogus man caused climate change fraud will collapse like the flimsy house of cards it is and that trillion-dollar scam will be instantly unemployed.

That, too, will leave a lingering scar.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
April 6, 2020 11:10 am

Almost certainly untrue. Why would the US not see its first infections at the same time as Europe? The UK is probably 28th December, though unprovenas the test was after the man had recovered, not late January.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
April 7, 2020 11:18 am

In response to Mr Schroeder, the mean case growth rate in the United States in the three weeks before March 14, 2020, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency, was 23%. If the 3770 cases reported in the U.S.A. up to March 14 had grown at 23% compound for just six more weeks, there would have been more than 20 million infected by end April. That rate of growth in the confirmed – i.e. more serious – cases would have overwhelmed the hospital system.

April 6, 2020 7:28 am

The main objective of the current quarantine is to protect the segment of the population at high risk.

To do so more effectively and without harming the economy:
Identify people at high risk of death from virus.
Isolate/protect this segment of the population.
Allow remaining population to freely mix so that the pandemic burns itself out.

After a reasonable time period, remove all restrictions. Notice that highly intrusive testing desired by epidemiologists is not required. The extensive testing that is advocated is of unknown utility anyway.

Reply to  bsl
April 6, 2020 7:46 am

It is not correct to say that extensive testing is “of unknow utility”. It is long established, with very large databases and meta-analyses, that early universal testing makes business lockdowns simply unnecessary.

Reply to  bsl
April 6, 2020 8:46 am

No disrespect intended
But the virus burning itself out would be millions contracting it in a short space of time
resulting with overwhelmed medical services and unnecessary casulties including deaths.
It would also have serious economic liabilities .
Good testing and alienation might alleviate some problems if avaailable at the scale required .

Reply to  bsl
April 6, 2020 9:12 am

Thanks to Lord Monckton for his valuable analysis.

In reply to bsl, his comments are exactly what I was about to post. It is much more efficient – and practical – to focus resources on protecting the vulnerable than to attempt to eliminate infection risk universally. The lockdown may be slowing general infection rates, but it is also locking down the acquisition of immunity! At the moment it is rather like a boat floating on a lake. It develops a leak and starts to sink; our response has been to try to drain the lake rather than either fix the boat or get the people off it!

Regarding the pressure on the NHS, recent anecdotal reports suggest that facilities newly prepared for COVID 19 remain much emptier than anticipated. Retired NHS volunteers are not universally being called in to help as there isn’t yet the need.

It will be interesting to see how the seasonal death rates are affected. Meanwhile the media hype travels in the opposite direction to the statistics, and kids in dysfunctional families suffer, as do those in abusive relationships.

Reply to  richardw
April 6, 2020 10:02 am

Thanks, Richard.

” the media hype travels in the opposite direction to the statistics” is brilliant, and I may borrow it in the future if the occasion presents itself.

Reply to  bsl
April 6, 2020 10:26 am

Of course!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  bsl
April 6, 2020 9:51 am

It is a mistake to think the people dying in highest proprtion, those who are elderly and who have other health conditions, are the only ones at risk of serious and even critical illness.
It has been seen everywhere the virus has struck that about 40% of hospitalizations are young adults, and about half of people hospitalized that then needed to be admitted to intensive care units are/were under the age of 65.
The binary lived/died is hardly the only story here.
What is true is that the people who are unable to survive despite being in a modern ICU unit, are mostly old and mostly have other conditions.
Young people survive viral pneumonia as long as the ICU’s do not become overwhelmed and filled completely up.
But it is no picnic and many will never be the same. Likely many will have a greatly shortened lifespan after needing to be in an ICU with viral pneumonia.
The number of people with a shallow understanding of what is occurring is, frankly, shocking.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:24 am

“In the C.D.C. report, 20 percent of the hospitalized patients and 12 percent of the intensive care patients were between the ages of 20 and 44, basically spanning the millennial generation.”


Note that these stats were from several weeks ago.
No reason to think they proportions have changed at all.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 7, 2020 6:02 am

we have a number of 30 yr olds in ICU in Aus as well as 40 n 50s

normal viral pneumonia you take abiotics and feel better in a day or two and sorted in a week or so.
its the cytokine storm that seems to develop in Covid patients along with abnormal blood clotting mucking up the lungs heart etc as well thats doing em in

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:24 am

“It has been seen everywhere the virus has struck that about 40% of hospitalizations are young adults, and about half of people hospitalized that then needed to be admitted to intensive care units are/were under the age of 65.”

This is at least partly because, across the UK, many hospitals have adopted a policy of not offering ICU treatment to older patients. I have personal knowledge of two, having a close family member working as a doctor in one.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  richardw
April 6, 2020 10:53 am

Watt a second…how can young people be getting so sick they need to be hospitalized “…because, across the UK, many hospitals have adopted a policy of not offering ICU treatment to older patients.”

I am not seeing how one is causing the other.
Besides, there is no such policy here in the US.

John TIllman
April 6, 2020 7:43 am

Off topic, but makes good case for lab origin:


How the Wuhan virus arose is relevant to this pandemic and the future.

Reply to  John TIllman
April 6, 2020 9:59 am

Except that world class scientists from all over the world have the exact opposite opinion and actually praise China for China’s transparency, competence and diligence.


Reply to  davidgmillsatty
April 6, 2020 10:38 am

Up to a point. The scientific community does appear to be communicating well. I listen to the TWIV podcasts (The Week in Virology) which is a panel of virologists discussing COVID 19. They concluded early on that (a) if you were to make a virus as a bio weapon, you would’t build it like the COVID 19 virus, and (b) that communication with researchers in China was excellent and unrestricted. What is probably the problem is the Chinese govts handling of the statistics. Their priority is to maintain stability in the country, and truth may well have taken second place to that.

Josh Postema
Reply to  richardw
April 6, 2020 11:16 am

“if you were to make a virus as a bio weapon, you would’t build it like the COVID 19 virus”

That anyone takes this seriously is just incredible to me. “I wouldn’t have done it that way, therefore no one would have done it that way” is an argument a child would make.

I’m not saying this clearly came from a lab, but if THIS is the caliber of argument used to defend the idea it did NOT come from a lab, then it probably did.

Reply to  Josh Postema
April 6, 2020 11:29 am

It was virologists making the argument with supporting evidence. It is beyond me to argue with virologists on their specialist subject. Listen to the podcasts if you want.

Josh Postema
Reply to  Josh Postema
April 6, 2020 12:42 pm

“It was virologists making the argument with supporting evidence. It is beyond me to argue with virologists on their specialist subject. Listen to the podcasts if you want.”

I don’t care what their expertise is. The form of argument is intrinsically fallacious. Even an infinite amount of evidence that one ought to have done it differently doesn’t prove it wasn’t done.

I could probably think of thousands of reasons my young children shouldn’t eat food off the floor. Does that prove they don’t eat food off the floor? Don’t dismiss the analogy. Does that evidence I can offer – even in principle – show that they don’t eat food off the floor? It does not. It’s the wrong kind of evidence.

It commits another fallacy, too. It uses the straw man “bio weapon” instead of dealing with all possibilities. I find it more likely that it came from a very poorly run, unsafe lab, whether it was modified by human agency or not.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Josh Postema
April 6, 2020 1:02 pm

Imagine that you wanted to cause maximum economic devastation for your enemy and you also happen to think that your own population is too high, especially your non-productive elderly population. Maybe you’d like to release something that isn’t obviously engineered, (maybe not engineered at all, just the worst thing you found in nature), make sure that it gets distributed far and wide before the word gets out, get your lackeys in the WHO to assist in covering up for you and downplaying the risk, and repeating your lie that there’s no evidence of human-to-human transmission when you know full-well that it has spread that way, and then gin up overreaction in your enemy’s press.

Nah, that’s all crazy talk, right? Delusional!

John Tillman
Reply to  davidgmillsatty
April 7, 2020 8:46 pm

The Chinese regime covered up the outbreak from its onset, did not allow CDC and other Western specialists access, only its WHO stooges in Beijing, not Wuhan, continues to lie about its cases and fatalities. This is opacity, not transparency.


Russ R.
Reply to  John TIllman
April 6, 2020 10:12 pm

The other side of this story is what we know about the people that work at the Wuhan Virology lab. There is significant evidence that an intern working toward her Phd, became infected and subsequently “disappeared”. A person working at a similar lab in a different city stated she was bitten by a bat, died during quarantine, and was taken to a crematorium. The crematorium workers became infected by a virus and were the ones that spread the virus through Wuhan. The virology institute even put up a job request looking for someone to analyze “dangerous viruses from bats” on the internet. There is a lengthy article in Scientific American that details how difficult it was to find these viruses in bats, stating that the disease wouldn’t likely happen in Wuhan, and wondering if it could have come from the lab?
And the most bizarre part of this story is the huge financial drain the elderly population puts on the China economy. Forty years of one-child policy leaves 2 adults working, for every 4 of their parents that raised them. 4 old people with expensive health care. And this virus gets those expensive unproductive comrades off the debit column. And then the doctors that wanted to expose the Wuhan Virus causing sickness in hospitals, with person to person transmission, were muzzled and now missing. It doesn’t have to be a bio-weapon. It could just be a one virus out of many that were found, that fits the goals of the CCP.

April 6, 2020 7:44 am

It is very important to find out exactly how the new virus infections are happening. Then adjustments can be made. If coming from say going to a grocery store then army should be put outside the stores and person gives them the list of what to buy and then army puts it in your car. Army can where hazmat suits. No people going in any stores.

Basically we need to stamp out 99 pct of infections as fast as possible. But this requires knowing how people are getting infected.

Reply to  Stevek
April 6, 2020 10:30 am

Virus fear porn

Reply to  icisil
April 6, 2020 11:09 am

In my area they don’t say where the cases are but do include the ages of those newly infected. Biggest group by age testing positive are people in their 20s. We are big college town so I’m thinking it is the students. Colleges are closed but still many students in student housing. I’m sure parties are happening still.

Reply to  Stevek
April 6, 2020 12:01 pm

Number of infections is meaningless. In fact the more and faster the better in younger and healthy people. The only things that matter are ICU stays and deaths. We need to focus on why those people are affected that way. I’m starting to get the feeling that virus porn addicts need to brace themselves for the possibility that much of the morbidity and mortality is due to medical treatments, specifically and mostly VLAI, ventilator associated lung injury.

Reply to  icisil
April 7, 2020 11:23 am

The number of confirmed cases is far from meaningless, for it is those cases that are the more serious ones, manyh of which will require hospitalization.

Suppose that the confirmed cases represent just 1% of the true numbers infected. Even then, 98% of the population remains susceptible to infection.

Nor is it appropriate for public health authorities to make their plans on the basis of guesswork as to the extent of nosocomial injuries to patients being ventilated.

A more responsible and less political approach has to be taken – like it or not.

Paul C
April 6, 2020 7:46 am

Unfortnately, that exit strategy has the unfortunate consequence of “punishing” those most diligent in observing the social distancing/lockdown measures by keeping them in indefinite lockdown, while releasing those who have been infected and survived the disease. Given that most of the younsters appear to survive infection with minor symptoms, just saying to them you can’t go out until you have had the Chinese Coronavirus is pretty much going to ensure that they will find a way to acquire the infection. I agree that antibody testing is vital – to release the “immune” population from the major restrictions, but TPTB having mishandled the early stages in which quarantine, and travel bans may have frozen the spread, have chosen the herd immunity route for us. I think we are stuck with it, and just have to hope that testing will show wider immunity than is apparent at this stage.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Paul C
April 6, 2020 9:56 am

“But of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized, 38 percent were notably younger — between 20 and 54. And nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were adults under 65, the C.D.C. reported.”


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:28 am

I suspect that more honest reporting would show that the vast majority of that 38% is between 44-54. The media like to use that 20-54 spread because it makes it look like 20-year-olds and 54-year-olds have equal chances while hiding the fact that people in their 20-30s don’t end up in ICUs with respiratory illnesses very much, unless of course they’re smokers or vapers.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  icisil
April 6, 2020 12:05 pm

I have no reason to suspect this is dishonest reporting.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 8:05 pm

Its the NY times. It does not DO honest reporting.
Except by accident.

Bill Powers
April 6, 2020 7:54 am

I will take my chances with the virus and I am in the high risk age group. Allow me to contract it and die or move on with my life. I have yet to see news of otherwise healthy adults dying from the Coronavirus.

Today i am as good as dead. My coffin is my home. My 401k represents my ashes.

These officious worriers, thanks to the panic pushers in the media, have already done far more damage than this virus appears that it ever could and to date I see no evidence that anyone is dying aside from those who were already at risk from the common cold.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bill Powers
April 6, 2020 11:00 am

“I have yet to see news of otherwise healthy adults dying from the Coronavirus.”

You need to read more news then.
There are oodles of stories exactly like this:


These stories have been in the news for a long time.
No doubt the sheer numbers of stories to be reported means that we are not hearing about most of the the individual instances that are outside the group of “elderly and already sick” people.
But they are occurring, and the plenty of such stories are in the news.

Reply to  Bill Powers
April 7, 2020 11:25 am

Mr Powers says he is willing to take his chances with the virus. But that is not the point. The point is whether he is willing to take the chance of acquiring the infection, perhaps asymptomatically at first, and passing it on to others.

It is much better to wait a little until more is known about this pandemic. The initial information from China was almost entirely unreliable. So we have more or less had to start from scratch.

April 6, 2020 8:01 am

“Why must the lockdowns be maintained? Italy, the first nation to introduce a determined lockdown, and Norway have both reduced their daily case growth rates to about 5%. But if that rate were to persist, in just two weeks they would have twice as many cases as they do today. ”
that is nonsense, Sir.
your view is excessively superficial and ignores every aspect of the problem except those that are useful to demonstrate lockdown works. in fact, looking at italian data (i am italian and i have first hand info on the matter) i see exactly the opposite: lockdown has not worked, else there should have been a vertical drop of new cases after 12-14 days from lockdown. this has not happened, but as usually happens when a government policy fails to deliver the wanted results, the policy is redoubled and penalties for noncompliance increased.

moreover, i think there is absolutely no reason in the world that can possibly justify the house arrest of millions of healthy people, on the flimsy excuse that it is to protect them. the worse crimes in history have been perpetrated on similar premises.

those who are afraid of contagion are free to confine themselves to their house, same as those who are afraid of car accidents are free to avoid driving a vehicle.

“protecting the NHS” is also an unacceptable excuse. people are forced at gunpoint to pay for this governmental agency, and cant be house arrested on the excuse that the agency is unable to deliver the services it has already and dearly been paid in advance to deliver.

April 6, 2020 8:12 am

Show excess deaths. How is this virus any different than a normal flu season?

Perhaps Mr. Moncton has fallen for media hysteria.

Henry Pool
Reply to  Albert
April 6, 2020 1:32 pm

In a normal flu season, NYC doesn’t have refrigerated trailer trucks used to hold the overflow from mortuaries.

comment image

Reply to  Albert
April 7, 2020 11:28 am

In response to Albert, the purpose of lockdowns is precisely to prevent the death rate from exceeding the normal death rate, as it would certainly have done unless contact between people had been greatly reduced so as to buy us time to prepare healthcare services, to test the population much more widely, and to research prophylactics, palliatives and vaccines.

April 6, 2020 8:23 am

But it was not the cost of the U.S. pandemic unpreparedness team that led Mr Trump to sweep them away. It was that they were unprepared. True, it would have been better if he had replaced them with people who had some idea of what they were doing. But if they had done what they had been paid for decades to do, there would by now be warehouses brimful of the necessary stocks.

You appear to have some misunderstandings about the dismantling of the National Security Council’s global health security office. It was set up by President Obama following the Ebola outbreak in 2016 (hardly decades ago) and the Trump administration closed it in April 2018.
President Trump said: “I’m a business person — I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them,” he said. “When we need them, we can get them back very quickly.” As pointed out by you above that has been shown to be incorrect.
A major part of the US delay in response was the failure to develop a working test (the CDC one had a problem with the reagents and bureaucratic delays prevented other tests being administered).
Regarding the ‘necessary stocks’ it is the responsibility of Department of Health and Human Services, which maintains the Federal emergency stockpile, read, “When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency.” However, these resources have clearly not been adequately maintained during the last three years, (nothing to do with a different agency that was closed down two years ago). When the Trump administration was shown to have failed in that responsibility they edited the above information to read: “The Strategic National Stockpile’s role is to supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies,” the website read on Friday afternoon. “Many states have products stockpiled, as well. The supplies, medicines, and devices for life-saving care contained in the stockpile can be used as a short-term stopgap buffer when the immediate supply of adequate amounts of these materials may not be immediately available.” (change made on April 3)

John Tillman
Reply to  Phil.
April 6, 2020 9:12 am

CDC’s failed tests and inadequate numbers thereof wouldn’t have mattered as much had the Obama Administration not also made the Center solely responsible for viral test kits. The huge US pharma industry could have been rapidly mobilized instead, as well as state health departments.

Reply to  Phil.
April 6, 2020 10:10 am

You seem to contradict yourself Phil.

First you appear to fault Trump for reducing bureaucracy:

President Trump said: “I’m a business person — I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them,” he said. “When we need them, we can get them back very quickly.” As pointed out by you above that has been shown to be incorrect.

Then by your own admission you fault a bureaucracy for failing to produce proper tests:

A major part of the US delay in response was the failure to develop a working test (the CDC one had a problem with the reagents and bureaucratic delays prevented other tests being administered).

Which is it Phil?

Roger Knights
Reply to  Phil.
April 7, 2020 5:00 pm

A Ventilator Stockpile, With One Hitch: Thousands Do Not Work
While President Trump has assured states that thousands of ventilators remain at the ready, thousands more are in storage, unmaintained or otherwise unusable.

Tank Fromas April.2.2020 at 11:13 am:
“The national shortage of N95 respirator masks can be traced back to 2009 after the H1N1 swine flu pandemic, when the Obama administration was advised to replenish a national stockpile but did not, according to reports from Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times.”

ERIC BOEHM | 3.31.2020 4:20 PM
America Could Import Countless More Face Masks if Federal Regulators Would Get Out of the Way
Markets are trying to meet spiking demand for face masks, but importers are stymied by the FDA and CDC

Posted by: Michael Prescott | April 01, 2020 at 07:26 PM
We don’t know much of anything, except that the government didn’t adequately prepare for a pandemic. Even the governments of NYC and NY state did not prepare, despite two decades spent in expectation of a bioterrorist attack. California’s Governor Schwarzenegger prepared for a pandemic (avian flu), but Jerry Brown dismantled the emergency facilities and sold the medical gear, including ventilators, to foreign countries. We could start with those failures …

April 6, 2020 8:28 am


That’s more like it! Prof. Julian Peto from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggested similar exit strategy: testing everyone every week or so – around 6 million test per day. In his opinion this is cheaper and easier than making a vaccine and can be done within weeks of preparation. Without a reliable exit strategy there will be soon social resistance against prolonged strict lockdowns, possible even worse when affected countries go bust after few months.

April 6, 2020 8:50 am

ANTIAGING is a very unused strategy to fight this epidemic. There is at least one therapy at experimental phase that restores some function of old people’s immune system. It also is inexpansive:


The idea such antiaging intervention is to make organism of older people work efficiently again, similar to how a young person’s organism works.

Tim Bidie
April 6, 2020 8:55 am

This is all great stuff; well written and eminently sensible. Thank you.

But (addressed to the British Government): Oh, For Heaven’s Sake!

This is a coronavirus just like any other coronavirus that infects humans. And it has been around now for some time. New data from China gives very high rates of asymptomatic patients amongst the infected, further data on subsequent days backing up that early read out. Roughly 70% of Coronavirus patients appear to be asymptomatic.

As the eminent doctor quoted in the British Medical Journal said: ‘That means the virus is everywhere.’ ‘What the hell are we locking down for?’

Sweden, in not locking down, much, has shown great, steadfast leadership; the kind of leadership we have had, occasionally, in this country.

We need that now.

The Cabinet must hold an immediate meeting, of one sort or another, and simply get a grip! This tomfoolery has gone on long enough! It has shown us the inadequacies of administration in important parts of our public services, staffed, though they are, with so many outstanding public servants.

Yes, our most vulnerable need to be protected, but that is not just for Christmas, it is for every winter of every year without exception. Most, particularly close family, know and observe that already.

I cannot put it any better than the good doctor:

‘……the virus is everywhere.’ ‘What the hell are we locking down for?’

April 6, 2020 8:55 am

“Would it not be better to allow everyone to acquire immunity, and to accept the large resulting loss of life among the old and infirm, rather than enduring not only the heavy economic cost but also the loss of freedom inherent in what, in some countries, amounts to near-universal house arrest?”
Um, it is going to hit the same number of people in general regardless, we will not have a vaccine any time soon if ever. As far as I know, we do not have an H1N1 vaccine, do we? So you are not saving any lives.
Look at sweden that has no lockdown at all. Is it failing?
For the united states, the lockdown is at most going to save about 160,000 lives and about 480,000 life years and cost 7.6 trillion dollars. How much life reduction is a reduction of 7.6 trillion dollars going to cause to the nations people? Probably significantly more than 480,000 life years and those kinds of reductions are going to happen to far younger people than those who are saved. Increases in drug abuse, lost economic opportunity for tens of millions, already 10 million new jobless claims in just 2 weeks. Depression, suicides, risky activities all climb during recessions. hundreds of thousands of small businesses could go out of business, how many owners will commit suicide after seeing their life work destroyed for a fruitless shutdown?
Oh, but Sweden is not densely populated, so of course it is an outlier! But but but but but. But the virus pretty much follows a trajectory regardless of what measures are taken to curb it.
Generally speaking, your a good guy, but on this measure you are a freaking lunatic!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  astonerii
April 6, 2020 10:01 am

I expect I would survive viral pneumonia, but there is no way I want to get it, or feel that being in the hospital or an ICU and living through it is a “mild” illness.
I have never gone to a hospital because of being sick in my life, and can think of about one person I have ever known who did have to do so (excepting the elderly).
That one exception was a cousin who had pneumonia. He died years later in his mid-40’s, so…

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:48 am

I had pneumonia when I was somewhere around 8 to 10. Obviously, i would rather not go through it again. I am in the 50+ age group and have one of the major underlying diseases that increases its lethality, putting me in the range of 8%+ chance of dying if I get the disease.
The question is not whether I would like to get it. The question is, is what we are doing, destroying our nation’s economy, worth lowering my risk? And I am in the firm argument that if it is costing $47,500,000 per life saved to limit my risk, it is costing orders of magnitude more than I would be willing to allow someone to spend on my behalf to save my life.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  astonerii
April 6, 2020 11:08 am

No one decided to cause this to save any particular person.
Rather, millions of people decided they do not feel like getting sick, or be responsible for others getting sick, as when the NBA, Major league baseball, hockey, movie theaters, Disney theme parks…all decided to close until the situation changed.
And those decisions were made long before the situation got to where it is now.

And your numbers make no sense to me in any case.
If half the country got infected, and 1% of them died, that is 1.6 million people.
And for every death, ten or more will spend weeks in an ICU, and at least that many more will need to be hospitalized.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 12:09 pm

How many die if it is .04%? Which is a more likely case fatality rate than 1% is. At 0.04% that is 132,000 deaths if the entire population gets it. Even at .1% it is 330,000 and thereafter we have herd immunity. And against what Moncton, the now much less respected Lord, the immunity to this disease will last far longer than 1 year for a certificate, as they have already determined that this virus has safety features in its genetics to protect against mutation. So it is like measle and mumps.
As for your other numbers, New York is not panning out for that many hospitalized even though their death numbers are in line. Those who die started off sick and primarily old. Like me.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 7, 2020 1:16 pm

In response to Albert, the purpose of lockdowns is precisely to prevent the death rate from exceeding the normal death rate, as it would certainly have done unless contact between people had been greatly reduced so as to buy us time to prepare healthcare services, to test the population much more widely, and to research prophylactics, palliatives and vaccines.

Reply to  astonerii
April 7, 2020 5:58 am

we DO have a H1N1 vax its in this yrs vaccine if you use them
we also have H3N2 vax and others
corona viruses are different

Reply to  astonerii
April 7, 2020 1:19 pm

Astonerii is not approaching the situation rationally. Governments that had failed to address the pandemic in time with proper regimes of testing, contact-tracing and compulsory isolation of carriers were compelled to adopt lockdowns so as to forestall what would otherwise have been a continuation of the exponential rise in cases at a rate of 20% per day, compound, in the three weeks from February 22 to March 14.

Now that the daily case growth rate is slowing, and provided that it continues to slow, it will soon be possible to bring the lockdowns steadily and carefully to an end.

The anomalous position of Sweden and some other countries is fairly flagged up in the head posting.

April 6, 2020 9:04 am

Once the logistics boys get behind the wheel, it will take a lot less long than you might think. It is they, and not the failed public-death bureaucrats or the spectacularly innumerate politicians, who will be able to answer the timescale question.

Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics, or something like that. In any event, logistics wins wars. link

April 6, 2020 9:27 am

The United States already has their military logistics supply chain experts on the job, as per your suggestion. An Admiral from the US Navy was appointed to that position a couple of weeks ago. He presented at the presidential briefing Wed or Thur last week , I watched it . They have an entire data base of who makes what that goes seven layers deep in the supply chain, and they’re getting quite good at figuring out who has a supply chain problem that can be fixed by a supplier they don’t know about, or another supplier who makes something similar and can modify.

Not surprised you weren’t aware, but surprised that more countries haven’t done the same (or maybe that’s just me not being aware).

April 6, 2020 9:32 am

The Norwegian Government is now very pleased with the infection rate, and say that the outbreak is now under control. From The Public Health Institute:
5,755 people in Norway have been diagnosed with the corona virus. Since not all of them have been tested, there is probably a great unknown number. The Public Health Institute (FHI) has now done analyzes where the total number of infected, including both those who have been infected and those who are currently infected, is now estimated at 14,146. “It’s significantly lower than previously estimated,” said Camilla Stoltenberg, director of FHI, during the presentation of the figures. She also pointed out that the projection figures – if the infection rate of 0.71 continues – show that the number of hospital admissions in the next three weeks will also be far lower than initially estimated. She also pointed out that on March 16, when all the measures introduced on March 12 were in place, the number of infections – that is, how many people a person will be infected – was 2.5. By last Friday, the number of infections was 1.15. “If the infection rate continues to be low and our models for calculating projection are correct – then it is most likely that we will have a rapid fall and that it will stay down,” Stoltenberg said.

April 6, 2020 9:33 am

Seniors residences seem to be local hotspots for the coronavirus due in part to the fact the elderly are more susceptible to the virus. I have not heard anything about the environment in these seniors complexes. Most of these buildings are serviced by one or two HVAC systems. Could these systems be exacerbating the concentration and spread of the virus? Just wondering.

Reply to  Skeptic
April 6, 2020 10:17 am

Skeptic. Good question. I think it is mostly the asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases among healtworkers. Many of the homes have been closed for relatives. But virus creeps in.

Reply to  Skeptic
April 6, 2020 10:43 am

Young people get it, they just do not show symptoms as often. Old people almost always have symptoms.

April 6, 2020 9:33 am

this virus is not as bad as the common flu, YOU have been lied to by the government at every level.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bill Taylor
April 6, 2020 10:04 am

Then why is New York City now planning to begin burying people in mass graves on public property?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:10 am

Because you’re a sucker.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Albert
April 6, 2020 11:16 am

Wait, not thinking everyone in the whole world is lying makes me a sucker?
Paranoid delusions much?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 10:17 am

That’s what woefully uninformed, rush-to-the-bottom panic-babies do.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 11:09 am

Good question, Nicholas.

There are the published numbers and then there’s what’s actually happening. The published numbers for Ecuador are quite low but:

… Moreno admits the real death toll is far higher — saying authorities were collecting more than 100 bodies a day. “The reality always exceeds the number of tests and the speed with which we can act,” link

The published number is 180 fatalities, it might be out by only an order of magnitude or so.

So, I agree. Don’t look at the numbers, look at what the authorities are actually doing.

My all time favorite example of reading between the lines went something like:

I knew the war was lost because all our great victories kept getting closer to Berlin.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  commieBob
April 6, 2020 11:51 am

I am right now watching CNBC news, and they are showing live video from reporters on the scene of mobile morgues outside every hospital in the entire city.
Every place they can store bodies is full.
I do not recall anything like this ever happening from flu or anything else.
They do not have that posted on their website yet, but it is easy to find stories that back it up.
It seems at this point the mass graves are only a contingency…so far.



Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 1:05 pm

I do not recall anything like this ever happening from flu or anything else.

On the basis of relatively stable historical death rates, there’s been enough time to plan for normal, yearly needs. When you don’t see something coming, however, it’s no wonder normal capacity is quickly overrun.


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 4:43 pm

“Every place they can store bodies is full.”

I’d like to see evidence of that. From videos I’ve seen, numerous NYC hospitals are empty. And just because morgue trailers are parked outside, doesn’t mean they’re using them. And even if they’re using them, what evidence is there that the hospital morgues are full? They may just want to get the bodies out of the building, or there may be stipulations that they have to use them.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 12:25 pm

. . . now planning to begin burying people . . .

Your wording implies they’re immediately deploying the contingency plan. That’s not exactly the case:

“Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that no such plan had been put in place yet, though he acknowledged it was under consideration.”


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 6, 2020 9:03 pm

Thank you Nicholas, so many people fall for the crap that is is like the flu and compartmentalize their thoughts totally isolating the mass graves, the overwhelmed hospitals, and personal stories and for God’s sake the world stories. Just like the Sandy Hook conspirerists, –the parents and dead children were actors! It’s sad, really sad that they won’t just find the facts and accept what it is.

Reply to  Bill Taylor
April 7, 2020 1:23 pm

Mr Taylor and the closed-minded and furtively anonymous “icisil” are simply not willing to try to understand the dilemma that governments faced. The daily case growth rate in the three weeks to March 14, when Mr Trump declared an emergency, was almost 20% worldwide. If that had been allowed to continue, healthcare systems everywhere would have been rapidly swamped. As it is, it looks as though there is now some hope that we shall be able to cope, because lockdowns work for obvious reasons.

Of course lockdowns are undesirable economically. Of course it would have been better if Western countries had been as prepared as South Korea. But, in the absence of knowledge of the true rate of spread or prevalence, it was necessary – like it or not – to take precautions.

Don Jindra
April 6, 2020 9:37 am

“Would it not be better to allow everyone to acquire immunity, and to accept the large resulting loss of life among the old and infirm, rather than enduring not only the heavy economic cost…?”

If this false dichotomy becomes associated with so-called conservatives it’s going to haunt them. It will expose their “right to life” rhetoric as vacuous lip-service.

Reply to  Don Jindra
April 6, 2020 10:43 am

Unless there is a vaccine, everyone is going to eventually get it anyways. Herd immunity is how you prevent future groups from getting it. The lockdown destroys more life than it saves. Suicides, drug abuse, depression and a wide range of other bad things for people of all ages.
“Right to life” includes the right to movement, the right to earn, and the right to choose your level of risk.
So, no, it does not damage the right to life argument in any way at all.

Don Jindra
Reply to  astonerii
April 6, 2020 6:57 pm

Wait and see if I’m not right. ‘Conservatives’ will have no credibility this coming election.

Leo Smith
Reply to  astonerii
April 6, 2020 8:13 pm

Unless there is a vaccine, everyone is going to eventually get it anyways.

A wonderful ‘argument from ignorance’.

Just what happened with HIV, SARS…

Reply to  astonerii
April 6, 2020 9:11 pm

“The lockdown destroys more life than it saves. ” is as false a narrative as “The great depression killed millions.” both are false. in fact in the depression mortality rates declined! In 9 months the birth rate will be up… However, you are right that domestic abuse will be up also and probably suicide but nothing to match what doing nothing would do to this population.

Reply to  Don Jindra
April 7, 2020 1:25 pm

Don Jindra appears to have misunderstood the head posting. I was not suggesting that it was better to let people die: in fact, precisely the opposite.

Ben Vorlich
April 6, 2020 9:38 am

Lord Monckton,
couple of questions, in the text you mention England rather than the UK, I assume that this is deliberate because there are separate reporting bodies for each of the four nations?
The second you may not be able to answer. The current pandemic has resulted in the UK acquiring a large number of ventilators and other life support equipment. Does this mean that winter Flu outbreaks will be less deadly. I know nobody who has had CV19 but have known two people who required IC care due to the effects of Flu, one of whom died. So I feel strongly that the UK has just let Excess Winter Deaths happen without investment in saving lives.
My mother who was about 7 or 8 during the Spanish Flu pandemic used to say a little ditty “I had a little bird, her name was enza, I opened up the window and influenza.”

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
April 6, 2020 1:12 pm

Influenza or outfluenza? It is normally reckoned best to open windows and air a house when someone has a cold or flu


Reply to  Ben Vorlich
April 7, 2020 7:45 am

42,990 Cases
4897 Deaths



N. Ireland

April 6, 2020 9:41 am

Tribendimidine rocks the covid house
Used with ivermectin should be called: mr clean the combo.

To bad so few will ever know.

Roger Welsh
April 6, 2020 10:12 am

Remember the common cold? How many of you have or would wear a mask.

There is no vaccine against the common cold and won’t be. All viruses mutate when they replicate

Natural immunity is the greatest gift we have been given, if allowed to develop!

Benchley, I have the greatest regard for your articles, but not this one.

Get all the the genuine death certificates for 2 years and compare the hysteria!

Keep going. You are good man.

Reply to  Roger Welsh
April 7, 2020 1:30 pm

Mr Welsh, like some others here, presumes to know the true rate of infection and death with the Chinese virus, and to assume that both are low enough not to worry about.

However, at this early stage in the pandemic governments did not – and, largely, still do not – know that. Therefore, they were confronted with two statistical facts.

1. The mean daily compound case growth rate for the three weeks to March 14, when Mr Trump declared a state of emergency, was almost 20% globally. At that rate, healthcare systems worldwide would have been overwhelmed within weeks.

2. Among closed cases (those who have either recovered or died), 27% have died.

Faced with those figures, governments cannot just assume that the Chinese virus is no worse than flu. They must check, and must take precautions until they know.

As far as I can see, those who have advocated letting everyone die in the belief that it won’t really happen and in defiance of the facts have plainly had no experience at a senior level in government.

Reply to  Roger Welsh
April 7, 2020 11:38 pm

‘Natural immunity is the greatest gift we have been given, if allowed to develop!’
But our immune system can’t cope with every virus!
Why does Herpes stay for life? Where’s the immunity there?
MERS had effectively zero immunity, what if this one is similar?
Why do we have to get a ‘flu vaccine’ every year? Because of two things, virus mutation and limited duration of immunity. The immune system ‘forgets’ and you have to get sick again.
We know nothing about human immunity to this, to assume we have it is to be reckless at this stage.

April 6, 2020 10:19 am

#antibodytesting is not normally a “thing” in epidemics. This is not your average pandemic. There are cases so mild the survivor is not even aware of having had the disease. When we identify those who have had these mild cases we have a population that can get back to work safely.
25% to 50% (depending on your favorite epidemiologist) of the cases are mild, #antibodytesting guarantees safety for the non-infected.
Me wearing my cloth mask protects you from me. You wearing anything to sneeze into protects me from you.
Not wearing a mask can’t harm you much. But since you don’t know if you have it you could spread it simply by yelling at someone.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Old.George
April 6, 2020 12:00 pm

It seems to be the case that just speaking can infect someone.

April 6, 2020 10:22 am

Christopher, I find your graph unreadable. Though my eyesight is still adequate (I’m much the same age as you), I can’t distinguish the colours you use for France, UK, Sweden and Ireland – at least. And your graphic won’t expand to full screen, anyway.

What exactly do you mean by “mean daily compound growth rate?” I tried to make a semi-rigorous definition, and the best I could come out with was: “the Nth root of the ratio between the total cases at day N and the total cases at day 0, minus 1, expressed as a percentage.” Is that what you meant? If not, what? And if that’s what you meant, why smooth it weekly? The smoothing of those data will happen as time passes.

And why are you still looking at “daily growth rates” at all? Once the exponential phase ends, as it has in Spain and Italy at least, growth rates become irrelevant. It’s the number of active cases that is important. Which makes doubly damning the UK government’s failure to provide any count of recovered cases.

Of course, I’m also aware that the geographical spread of the virus is spotty, even within countries (look at the Netherlands, https://www.rivm.nl/actuele-informatie-over-coronavirus, I can’t find anything similar for the UK). The “hot spots” are well away from the major cities – interesting. But the “spottiness” means that relaxing a lockdown may well lead to a resurgence of the virus in areas it wasn’t in before.

The question I want to ask you is: How, objectively, to determine when it’s right to remove a lockdown in a particular country? With your experience working for the Thatcher government, you are extremely well placed to answer that question.

Reply to  Neil Lock
April 7, 2020 1:39 pm

In response to Mr Lock, I had intended that these pieces should appear daily, and that the first piece should explain the simple mathematics. However, that piece did not appear.

As to the graph, WordPress has not updated its now long-in-the-tooth software to take account of the fact that computer screens are landscape. For future pieces (if they appear), I shall attach a .pptx file of the graph so that it can be examined at full resolution.

The reason for looking at daily case growth rates is that, with perhaps 98% of the global population still uninfected, the curve of future growth will continue to be exponential – albeit that lockdowns will have diminished the magnitude of the growth factor. In the three weeks to March 14, when Mr Trump declared a state of emergency, the global mean daily compound case growth factor was a very high 20% (and it was 23% daily in the United States).

Plainly, growth rates that high could not be permitted to continue. It was and is necessary to get the case growth rate down to a level that will allow healthcare systems to cope. Once that is done, the lockdowns can be released, slowly, sector by sector, and the pandemic continuously managed in accordance with the South Korean procedure until the entire population has acquired immunity.

That will be a quicker process if people adhere to the lockdowns for now. The more people rail against them and eventually break them, the more people will die. it’s a very simple trade-off.

When the case growth rate on the chart for a given country approaches the 1% per day compound that has been achieved in South Korea, lockdowns can be done away with, provided that testing, contact-tracing and isolation of carriers continues to be vigorously pursued.

Provided the lockdowns hold, we could be at 1% per day compound within a couple of weeks, though i do not yet have enough data to make a proper estimate of the timeframe.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 7, 2020 2:27 pm

Christopher: I spent today analyzing European figures from worldometer.info, the same source as you used. I come out with a far more optimistic picture than you. Of 13 countries I looked at, 8 have already passed the peak of new cases and are trending downwards, one (the Netherlands) is near or maybe past the peak, and four, including the UK, have not yet peaked. Austria is even showing a 7.25% per day decline since the peak!

I have already sent my report (and the spreadsheet which backs it up) to Anthony, and I hope he will publish it here. But here’s my report on another website:


Stephen Richards
April 6, 2020 10:26 am

There is some doubt about the Swedish numbers, apparently. They are not recording all elderly deaths as Covid but as normal age related deaths. This reduces the numbers for covid significantly.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Stephen Richards
April 6, 2020 11:35 am

And the Swedes may be right. Once one gets elderly and frail even a fall can impact their viability. That is, one is standing on the precipice and it doesn’t take much to lose balance.

Reply to  Stephen Richards
April 6, 2020 12:17 pm

Are they also lying about infections? Because those are going down as well.

Is counting all deaths, say one of an auto accident, of people infected as Covid-19 caused better than say counting only attributable deaths to Covid-19 as Covid-19 caused?

But as I said, their death rate is following their case rate.