But is the growth of the #CoronaVirus pandemic really exponential?

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Let us begin with today’s good news. The mean daily compound case-growth rates of Chinese-virus infections (Fig. 1) and of deaths (Fig. 2) continues to fall just about everywhere. It is these case-growth rates that governments chiefly use in determining how severe the control measures to manage the pandemic need to be, and how long they need to last, and whether, if they are relaxed, they can be relaxed some more or must be tightened again.

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Fig. 1. Mean compound daily growth rates in confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from March 14 to April 9, 2020. PowerPoint slides showing high-quality images are here. [Mods, please link]

It is encouraging that in all the territories studied here, the daily compound growth rate of total confirmed cases is heading downward. But the mean daily rate for the world excluding China and occupied Tibet is still 7.2%. At that rate, the 1,521,745 confirmed cases up to yesterday would become 6.5 million over the next three weeks to the end of April, and 50 million by the end of May.

It is the daily case growth rate, more than any other number, that will decide whether governments introduce, maintain, modify, end or reintroduce lockdowns. During the early phase of the pandemic, it is the crucial number that governments and epidemiologists follow, which is why the seven-day average daily case growth rates are shown in these daily graphs.

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Fig. 2. Mean compound daily growth rates in reported COVID-19 deaths for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from March 23 to April 8, 2020.

Those who support ending all lockdowns, allowing the old and the sick to die in large numbers and risking the general population’s health by overloading the healthcare system are prone to overlook, and even to try to argue against, the salient fact of any pandemic: that in its early stages its growth is strictly exponential. One multiplies each day’s total cases by the observed growth factor to obtain the next day’s total.

That exponential growth factor will not diminish except in one of four circumstances:

1. Decisive public-health measures control its transmission. South Korea is the prime example: if one acts soon enough to identify all cases, trace their contacts and isolate all those infected the rate of spread can be contained for long enough to permit testing and intensive-care capacities to be increased in good time, and one can avoid strict lockdowns. Even then, caution is needed: Singapore, which followed much the same approach as South Korea and initially with success, has now introduced the world’s strictest lockdown, because a second wave of infection has appeared.

2. An environmental factor (such as warmer summer weather) temporarily reduces the growth rate of the infection. With a new pandemic, one may hope that warmer weather will help, but responsible governments must be prepared in case it does not.

3. There are no more susceptible people to infect, whereupon the population has either died or acquired general immunity. At the time of writing, there are 1.6 million reported cases worldwide. Suppose that there are in fact 100 times as many cases as those that have been reported (for the truth is that we do not yet know, and the reported cases could indeed understate the true rate of spread by two orders of magnitude). In that event, just 2% of the global population is infected, leaving 98% still susceptible. Even if only one case in 1000 has been reported, 80% remain uninfected. So responsible governments cannot act on the basis that general immunity has been achieved. It has not been.

4. A vaccine is found. Even then, testing it for safety takes a year to 18 months, and we still have no vaccine against the common cold.

Governments cannot responsibly sit and wait for items 2 to 4. In particular, they cannot take the risk that summer weather will do their job for them. It may, or it may not.

The most important step, where a new pathogen is spreading and is proving fatal to some, is that the public authorities should act determinedly and at the very earliest possible moment to hinder the exponential transmission that is characteristic of any pandemic in its early phase.

For those who find it difficult to get their head around exponential growth, here, plotted to scale by worldometers.info, are the daily cumulative total confirmed cases outside China and occupied Tibet for the three weeks to March 13, the day before Mr Trump declared a national emergency.

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Fig. 3. Cases of COVID-19 from January 22 to March 13, 2020 (worldometers.info)

Now, was the near-20% daily compound growth in reported cases over that period strictly exponential? Let us provide a visual demonstration. Fig. 3, showing cases in thousands, shows the graph derived from the exponential-growth equation shown on the slide. The equation is derived from the numbers of confirmed cases on January 22 and March 13, and the daily number of cases is then obtained from the equation and plotted:

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Fig. 4. Cases of COVID-19 from January 22 to March 13, 2020 (calculated)

Figs. 3 and 4 are scaled and drawn to the same aspect ratio. The blue borders of the two graphs will align neatly with the edges of 16 x 9 PowerPoint slides. Download today’s slide-set from the link in the caption to Fig. 1. Now you can use a technique originally developed by astronomers to find moving satellites or planets in successive images of a field of fixed stars: the blink comparator. PowerPoint is a superlative blink comparator. Go to display mode and flick rapidly backwards and forwards between slides 3 and 4.

You will at once see just how very close, at all points, the curve of the actual, real-world data plotted to scale in Fig. 3 is to the idealized exponential-growth curve calculated and plotted in Fig. 4.

Information presented like this that is useful when briefing public authorities to show them that, based on the data, the case growth rate during the early stages of this pandemic, like that of any pandemic, is necessarily and quite strictly exponential.

For no small part of the spy’s dilemma that I discussed yesterday – how an agent in the field with no specialist knowledge can find ways of reaching the truth so as to give sound intelligence to his superiors – involves assessing the available data, weighing its reliability, verifying it, cross-referencing it with other available data or known information, working out what it means and, no less importantly, presenting the conclusions in a form that the politicians will be able to appreciate, and on the basis of which they can take sound decisions.

Governments cannot afford to act on any assumption other than that the daily rate at which the total cases will grow is likely to continue on the exponential-growth curve for a month or two yet unless one of the reasons 1-4 discussed earlier comes into play.

Why does exponential growth occur during the early stages of a pandemic? The reason is that each infected person will, roughly speaking, pass the infection on to the same number of uninfected people, who will, roughly speaking, acquire or resist the infection to the same degree, and pass it on in their turn to approximately the same number of people each.

I shall end today’s posting by briefly considering the situation in Sweden, which has not imposed a strict lockdown and yet shows much the same case growth rate as countries that have imposed lockdowns. In fact, Sweden is currently coincident with the global mean.

It is tempting to assume that because Sweden got away without lockdowns we could have gotten away without them too. This is where the dispassionate advisor will think very carefully. Herb Mayer, the deputy director (intelligence) of the CIA, with whom I worked during my time with HM Government, used to say that 99% of the work of any intelligence officer, and of his agency, is handling, storing, assessing, cross-indexing, processing and, above all, thinking about information hard and dispassionately, regardless of one’s own opinion.

How might the Chief of the Joint Intelligence Committee (whose office was just along the corridor from mine at 10 Downing Street) advise HM Government, which would very much like to bring the current lockdown to an end, about why Sweden has (so far, at any rate) gotten away without the economically-crippling lockdowns Britain has adopted?

One clue – again using a visual aid – is the difference between the population densities of the major cities. Here is Stockholm from the air: low-rise, and low-density.

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And here is London from the air: high-rise, and very high density.

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The rate at which an infection transmits is the product of two vital quantities: the infectiousness of the pathogen and the average number of people an infected person can be expected to meet over a given time.

That is why those in London and New York who have modelled the spread of the Chinese virus recommended lockdowns: the populations there are dense enough to ensure a very much higher mean contact rate, and thus compound rate of transmission, than in Stockholm.

And that is why one cannot point to the lack of a lockdown in Stockholm and deduce that, therefore, no lockdowns were or are needed in cities where far larger populations are crammed in and piled high at far greater population densities.

The UN’s Agenda 2030 policy of cramming everyone into ever-more-densely-packed cities is a recipe for disaster in any pandemic. It is asking for trouble. We are going to have to make sure that the environmental extremists who have until now dominated policymaking among innumerate governments are no longer heeded in this as in many other respects.

Today’s sudden Singapore lockdown is a warning that, even when our own lockdowns end, they must be ended cautiously, or a second wave of infection will emerge. In Singapore, which resisted lockdown but has now been compelled by events to introduce it, any breach of the stay-indoors, keep-your-distance rules incur a fine of $10,000 and/or six months in prison for a first offense, and double those values for a second offense. Several thousand citizens were given police warnings on the first day of the lockdown.

I shall end today’s update with an image from the European mortality monitoring agency. It shows excess mortality in various European countries for the past week. It gives the lie to the suggestions made by some commenters here that there will be no excess mortality from the current pandemic. As ever, keep safe. On the data, it is those who take more precautions than the rest who are more likely to survive the pandemic unscathed.

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Fig. 5. Excess mortality in England, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands for the 14th week of 2020.

Ø So as not to make this website too coronacentric, I shall be providing the graphs of case-growth and death-growth rates daily, but shall only write these commentaries with additional information twice a week.

Link to PPTX file of diagrams.

432 thoughts on “But is the growth of the #CoronaVirus pandemic really exponential?

    • More deception and misdirection from incompetent visount.

      That exponential growth factor will not diminish except in one of four circumstances:
      …..
      3. There are no more susceptible people to infect, whereupon the population has either died or acquired general immunity.

      You do not have to wait until there are ” no more susceptible people ” for the growth factor to diminish. This is a continual process.

      This happens straight away but is so small it is not noticeable. After some time , well before peak it becomes noticeable. All countries being discussed here started to see a reduction in growth rate before confinement laws came into force. His constant insistence about “purely exponential” growth is simply ignorant. As with the bode plot farce, he learns a couple of tricks and then gets the impression he has a greater understanding than anyone else and they’ve all made a great mistake and he is qualified to lecture the world.

      The kind of hubris typically seen in a freshman undergrad.

      This would not be so bad if he had the humility and self-awareness to at least accept the possibility he may be wrong and take council from others. Sadly to peer review a peer you need to member of the British aristocracy. He is apparently convinced that he has no peers, so no one of sufficiently elevated position to merit consideration. The ignorant surfs should stop “whining” and bow before their Lord and master.

      I wish this was a parody but the correlation with observational data over several years has an R2 of > 0.98 .

      Yesterday I took heart at the first time he has made an attempt at dialogue to outline some of the issues and mistakes in his work and make helpful suggestions.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/09/but-is-it-really-no-worse-than-flu/#comment-2960826

      He has yet to make the slightest comment and continues to push the same flawed claims and mistaken inferences about what his spaghetti graph shows.

      Since he chooses not to show his working , nor provide his calculations above a cursory and imprecise verbal account we are left guess at what he’s actually doing. It seems to be this.

      https://www.got-it.ai/solutions/excel-chat/excel-tutorial/average/how-to-calculate-average-growth-rate

      Percentage Growth Rate = (Ending value / Beginning value) -1

      So the value he is plotting is the 7day running mean (yuk)

      The last two Situation Reports from WHO shows Spain went from around 146k to about 152k total cases. About 4%. The average of the last 7 days is probably about 5% seen on the graph. Now since he is looking at cumulative sums: total cases, when it is done and new cases falls to ZERO this calculation will asymptotically trend to zero.

      But in his last post he tells us:

      For now, I shall point out that the pandemic will not have reached its peak until the daily compound confirmed-case growth rate becomes negative. At present, it remains strongly positive, though trending in the right direction.

      HE HAS TOTALLY LOST TRACK OF WHAT HE IS DOING.

      Obviously this Percentage Growth Rate can only fall to zero. It will never be negative unless we are invaded with COVID mutant Zombies !

      If he is waiting for it to go negative and worse, thinks the zero value indicates the “peak”, he will have us in eternal house arrest praying for the end of time !

      Now seriously this is enough of this incompetent buffoonery.

      If he had been willing to explain and discuss this mess could have been cleared in the first post instead polluting the generally well founded articles we enjoy here on WUWT.

      … but shall only write these commentaries with additional [dis]information twice a week.

      TFFT.

        • In response to the thick-as-two-short-planks, furtively anonymous Richard, the data I use are those that are published daily. I do not cherry-pick: I simply report that, to the fury of the dense Richard and the other furtively pseudonymous trolls who infect this site, the once-exponential rate of growth is tailing off, and doing so far more rapidly than would be expected at this early stage of an epidemic if lockdowns did not work. They do work – get over it.

          • First results of remdesivir published today in NEJM.
            Tentative data from 56 compassionate use patients.
            Hard to parse, but like Ebola trials, appears giving it late is not helpful.
            Much more data needed, including actual clinical trials of all experimental treatments.
            As I had come to suspect, results are mixed, not spectacular, and include some who seem to have been helprd, and some who were apparently not.
            https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2007016
            Reading it now myself, wanted to post immediately for all to see.

          • First thing to note is the quality of the report and large amount of patient data, and the excluding of those lost to follow up.
            And no sugar coating or blandishments or expansive claims.
            Just the facts. Lots of them.

            Clinical trial data will be even more detailed and complete.
            There will be no questions re methodology or initial condition of patients, etc.

          • That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen

            Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference — the one takes account of the visible effect; the other takes account both of the effects which are seen and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. Now this difference is enormous, for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the ultimate consequences are fatal, and the converse. Hence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good, which will be followed by a great evil to come, while the true economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil.

          • “Monckton of Brenchley April 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm

            In response to the thick-as-two-short-planks, furtively anonymous Richard,…”

            Was it necessary to stoop to the level of infantile insults?

          • Remdesivir appears to substantially improve survival even in patients who are in the worst condition when it is given.
            It may be that the people who died despite getting it were in the throes of a secondary condition, perhaps bacterial infection, perhaps cytokine release syndrome-like effects, etc.
            Some of these might have been saved with administration of and IL-6 blocker or other immunomodulating drugs.

            Many people in very bad shape on ventilators were extubated and sent home.
            Note the average duration of symptoms at the time of remdesivir being initiated was 12 days.
            Of patients only getting oxygen at the time of treatment, only one died.
            People getting ECMO, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, at the time of starting remdesivir all survived.

            Of those getting invasive ventilation at the time of treatment, 18% died.
            Of those getting noninvasive oxygen support, 1 of 19, or about 5%, died.
            This would appear to be a huge improvement over other cohorts of patients in the advanced stage of disease and hospitalized on oxygen or ventilation.

            As the discussion points out, it is impossible to know if such comparisons are valid without a controlled procedure of randomization, but it seems encouraging to me.

            Your April 8th post details how as many as two thirds of patients on ventilation ultimately died, although it is not clear of the cohorts were in any way equivalent.
            Still, 82% of those on ventilators still being alive 28 days after treatment sounds like an improvement.
            “It is notable that 17 of 30 patients (57%) who were receiving invasive mechanical ventilation were extubated, and 3 of 4 patients (75%) receiving ECMO stopped receiving it; all were alive at last follow-up.”

          • I believe Gilead may have pushed this result out despite it including only 28 days of follow up because they have now seen the raw data from at least the first two trials of remdesivir vs placebo, and it is encouraging although not a grand slam.
            If I had to guess, I would say that remdesivir + IL-6 monoclonal antibody drugs + a careful look at all patients for secondary bacterial infections, and possibly treating with an antibiotic just in case, may wind up being the best that we have available right now for those presenting with moderate to severe symptoms.
            Methods of delivering oxygen that are not invasive would seem to be preferable except when there is no way for the patient to survive without a ventilator.
            ECMO sounds like a better idea than intubation, but it may have it’s own dangers not revealed by a look at small sample.
            But that is not something that is likely to be available for large numbers of people in one hospital.
            ECMO is how they keep people alive during heart surgery, cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, etc. Remove blood, pass it through a machine and return to patient.

            My understanding it is usually given as more or less a last resort, so all four people on ECMO surviving, and 3 of 4 being removed from breathing support, seems possibly very significant.

          • Richard, I don’t see any cheerypick. Dumb unsubstantiated claims are not helpful.

            and doing so far more rapidly than would be expected at this early stage of an epidemic if lockdowns did not work. They do work – get over it.

            CofB, Dumb unsubstantiated claims are not helpful.
            You have NOT shown the slightest evidence of what would be expected and how the current data is changing quicker. You assume they do not even understand your own graphs and metrics.

            I gave you a polite, detailed comment showing your mistakes and suggest some things to look at which you totally ignored ( once again ). Apparently you have your usual hubristic attitude that a classics degree from Cambridge means you are so smart you can do anything and no one can tell you anything, so it’s not even worth listening.

            The metric you are using will asymptote to zero as numbers rise. The fact that it is falling means nothing except the normal progression of any epidemic following a typical logistic curve. You goofed up – get over it.

            You will need a much more sensitive metric to detect the change we all expect to be there and to estimate it’s magnitude. So far you have contributed ZERO to our understanding of the issue and you are probably doing nothing more than your usual macheavellian social manipulation.

            Best regard, your loyal whine surf.

          • Encouraging.

            Of course the media machine will not sack this early release in the systematic way they attacked and continue to attack Raoult for his initial release of data on similarly small and statistically meaningless number of subjects.

            In fact they will probably do an about face and declare it a massive breakthough.

            It would be very interesting to know what treatment was give to Bojo, who thankfully seems to be out of danger.

          • Here is something which may actually show the effect of confinement rather than assuming it.

            https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-d-logistic-fit-spain.png

            The logistic curve ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logistic_distribution ) and its cumulative distribution is the typical S-curve of total infections.

            Here I’ve plotted the time derivative both data and model since this makes any changes apparent more rapidly. I’ve attempted to fit the curve the early rise before confinement came into force. This is very approximative with large uncertainty due to noisy data. It’s a first shot.

            This does show a drop about 10d after confinement with the data dropping clearly below the model. Such a delay is consistent with 5d incubation, plus a couple of days where folks cope with initial infection at home before the desperate measure of going to A&E where they know many will come out in a box, plus a couple of days for PRC result. The timing is about right for a tentative attribution to what we *expect* to see happening.

            The method needs a lot of refinement but could potentially provide means of assessing how much difference confinement makes and following as closely as possible the effects of progressively releasing restrictions. This must be done as quickly as possible. It is already likely that the effects of economic self-immolation will be far worse than the virus itself.

        • It is also pertinent to consider that it is an epidemiological observation from empirical data that lethalaty and transmissibility are inversely related – that is, it seems that for most infections, the more fatal they are, the less transmissible they are. In general.

          Nor do we have much, if any, data on prevalence of infection in the general population, nor the specificity of the tests in use (the latter may be available, but is not widely propagated). This lack means the error margin on epidemiological predictions is rather larger – certainly 1, and perhaps 2 orders of magnitude. That is, lethallity may be 0.05% to 5% based on currently available data. The higher end is, without doubt, extremely alarming, while the lower end is half of the typically quoted influenza percentage. Furthermore, there is no “most likely” value possible, nor any distribution that can realistically be used to make such an estimate – we simply lack sufficient data to pin the numbers down better.

          One thing of value that may come from this whole affair is that we may be able to deduce at which point on the asymptotically converging model prejections to actual data comparison that we can have sufficient information to make an informed choice.

          And one last note – “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is relevant here as well. We do not wish to desensitise the population to a potentially fatal pandemic by over-reacting this time.

      • He was talking if no confinement laws were in place,
        BTW Confiement laws are terribly inefficient. They confine the uninfected, which is most of the population, and destroy the economy, without sdignificantly changing the course of the epidemic.

        • Robert of Ottawa is incorrect. I have made it explicit that lockdowns are in place, and are working, as the graphs show. Without lockdowns, and without a willingness on the part of the public, who are generally better informed than some commenters here, to reduce their social interactions, the epidemic would at this stage be near-perfectly exponential in its growth.

          No amount of screeching by incompletely self-identified commenters here is going to deter responsible governments from protecting their peoples. Lockdowns will generally continue until enough information becomes available to permit gradual removal of restrictions on movement and association. Get over it.

      • The pathetic, hate-filled, furtively anonymous Greg yet again demonstrates himself to be incapable of reading the head posting, incapable of elementary arithmetic, entirely uninterested in the objective truth, and pettily determined to derail the comment thread. What a sad life is his! What a feeble-minded, cretinous, cackling nitwit. And no, none of this is a personal attack, for Greg is too much of a cringing, trembling poltroon to reveal his identity.

        If Greg will get his kindergarten mistress to read the head posting to him, he will see that it is he, not I, who is the incompetent buffoon, but he, unlike me, is malicious.

        Yes, of course, the case growth rate cannot fall below zero. A careless error of drafting on my part. But the hate-filled Greg makes far too much of it.

        I had originally written an introductory piece explaining the mathematics behind the daily graphs, but it was not published. It is not as naive as the hate-filled Greg would have us imagine.

        And if he does not want to read further pieces, let him go and get a life. His hatred is wasted on me.

        As the head posting carefully explains, the infection only stops when all are immune. But, in the early stages, when nearly all are uninfected, the transmission is necessarily near-perfectly exponential. There is no point in Greg’s trying to deny that this is the case, or to equivocate, or to sneer. He is an intellectual pigmy.

        • I have frequency posted as Greg Goodman and did not get any more consideration, that’s an irrelevant petty distraction.

          Yes, of course, the case growth rate cannot fall below zero. A careless error of drafting on my part. But the hate-filled Greg makes far too much of it.

          Finally a recognition that you are actually reading. Thank you for at least recognising the mistake. However, it is not an ‘error or drafting’ that’s like saying someone “mis-spoke” when they lied. You mis-insterpreted what you are plotting, something I have been pointing out since day one and you have been obstinately trying to ignore. You goofed – get over it.

          Some small progress there then.

          I have not bothered with your misleading analysis in this post since, like the climatologists who you are so deftly imitating, there comes a point once credibility and honesty is shot that there is little point in rebutting the tidal flow of misleading, pseudo-scientific claims one by one.

          Suffice it to say that were you to look at daily change rather than cumulative totals, (whose banal featureless curve would be fitted with innumerable models,) you would have a more informative plot.
          https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-growth-france-2.png

          As you can readily see this NOT a straight line at any point and NEVER WAS “purely exponential”.

          • I have frequency posted as Greg Goodman and did not get any more consideration from CofB, that’s an irrelevant petty distraction.

            Yes, of course, the case growth rate cannot fall below zero. A careless error of drafting on my part. But the hate-filled Greg makes far too much of it.

            Finally a recognition that you are actually reading. Thank you for at least recognising the mistake. However, it is not an ‘error or drafting’ that’s like saying someone “mis-spoke” when they lied. You mis-interpreted what you are plotting, something I have been pointing out since day one and you have been obstinately trying to ignore. You goofed – get over it.

            Some small progress there then.

            I have not bothered with your misleading analysis in this post since, like the climatologists who you are so deftly imitating, there comes a point once credibility and honesty is shot that there is little point in rebutting the tidal flow of misleading, pseudo-scientific claims one by one.

            Suffice it to say that were you to look at daily change rather than cumulative totals, (whose banal featureless curve would be fitted with innumerable models,) you would have a more informative plot.
            https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-growth-france-2.png

            As you can readily see this NOT a straight line at any point and NEVER WAS “purely exponential”.

          • Greg likes to plot his graphs as log growth.
            Here are hte values for France for 36 days from the 25th of February.
            Plot than as an Excel Graph and add an Exponential Trend Line and then you will know for yourself whether it looks like Exponential Growth up until week 31.
            Closures of large meeting started on the 28th of February, by the 14th of March all large meeting, Football, Musuems etc were closed. On the 23rd of March lockdown occurred, ie day 28.
            Here are the values
            13 5 20 19 43 30 61 21 73 138 190 366 177 286 372 497 595 785 838 924 1210 1097 1404 1861 1617 1847 2230 3176 2446 2931 3922 3809 4611 2569 4376 7578
            Plot them yourself.

          • Here are the UK numbers, plot them and see, add exponential trend lie.
            27 Feb 3
            28 Feb 5
            29 Feb 3
            1 Mar 12
            2 Mar 4
            3 Mar 12
            4 Mar 36
            5 Mar 29
            6 Mar 48
            7 Mar 45
            8 Mar 69
            9 Mar 43
            10 Mar 61
            11 Mar 78
            12 Mar 136
            13 Mar 202
            14 Mar 342
            15 Mar 251
            16 Mar 152
            17 Mar 407
            18 Mar 676
            19 Mar 643
            20 Mar 714
            21 Mar 1,035
            22 Mar 665
            23 Mar 967
            24 Mar 1,427
            25 Mar 1,452
            26 Mar 2,129
            27 Mar 2,885
            28 Mar 2,546
            29 Mar 2,433
            30 Mar 2,619
            31 Mar 3,009
            1 Apr 4,324
            2 Apr 4,244
            3 Apr 4,450
            4 Apr 3,735
            5 Apr 5,903
            6 Apr 3,802
            7 Apr 3,634
            8 Apr 5,492
            9 Apr 4,344
            10 Apr 5,706

      • I agree. He is usually both colourful and accurate. This time he is colourful and totally wrong. I don’t know what came over him. (There was a parallel case a year or so ago in these very columns when some medical paper describing a model was published and then somebody politely pointed out that if a model is predicting a decline in cumulative deaths it implies that bodies are coming back to life!)

      • ‘Serfs’: ignorant serfs.
        Although some of the ignorant do surf!
        “Ya’ll ain’t from around here, are you, boy?”
        Otherwise, a top notch response. Thank you for helping me understand how data can be manipulated to suit an agenda.
        Monkton troubles me: how can he be so on point with AGW, yet so awry with COVID-19?
        Any thoughts?

        • Damn, what an ignorant surf I am ! LOL.

          I think he is equally manipulative all the time. It’s just that when he was on the “right side” of the climate debate most people just applauded because we all agreed on the issue.

          I have criticised his attitude here before and questioned his competence about his “Bode analysis” paper and his lack of ability or willingness to consider criticism of those with more experience and knowledge than himself.

          I don’t think there is any change on CofB, it is a change in perception when we agree or disagree with someone.

    • Both cases and deaths are no longer growing exponentially. Cases precede deaths, so cases are further off and that is why the deaths are slower to decline relative to cases.

      • Scissor is of course right that deaths lag cases, a point that I have already made in these posts. And indeed the growth is no longer exponential, because lockdowns are working and, even where there are no lockdowns, people have learned that taking elementary precautions is not only safer for them but safer for those they might otherwise infect.

        • Japan could be a good example of taking elementary precautions. Which could be more successful due to their culture of self sacrifice for the Nation. “Dr. Ali Mokdad of IHME refused to explain why Japan had so few Coronavirus cases despite no lockdowns like the US every time Martha MacCallum asked. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/ihme-rep-dodges-questions-low-coronavirus-cases-japan-despite-no-across-country-lockdowns-like-us-video/

          As more and better data comes in, it could well be that Governments over reacted, but if they didn’t react and millions died, but your freedoms were not encroached on for a few months? Would that be preferable? Even if they were wrong they saved lives.

          “The German study found that around 15% of the population in the Gangelt had the coronavirus antibodies and were infected at some point. Using this data the researchers concluded that the coronavirus mortality rate was 0.37%.”

          https://www.tagesschau.de/regional/nordrheinwestfalen/corona-studie-heinsberg-101.html

          https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/numbers-150-americans-date-no-pre-existing-conditions-died-coronavirus-0-9/

        • Come on, your Lordship: lockdowns working? Really?
          In previous similar cases, newly introduced vaccines were said to be doing their job, in respect of the disease targeted, despite clear evidence the rate of growth had already passed its peak and was naturally declining, in accordance with all known laws of epidemiology.
          The best analogy I can think of is the ‘goal hanger’ in football (soccer). He waits on the opponents’ goal line until the ball rolls his way; it was going in anyway, but he applies the final touch and then hurtles off around the pitch, arms aloft, taking all the credit.
          See my point?

          • Growth ( rate of change ) never was “purely exponential”. Not straight on a log plot. And if rate of change is not exponential neither is the cumulative sum , the difference is just less clear since you persist in using the more uninformative metric.

            https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-growth-france-2.png

            If you were less concerned with pushing your agenda, the last days could have been spent working collectively to advance the analysis. But listening to other with more s-k-ill and experience has never been your forte , has it.

            Yes confinement should be making an impact. Working collectively to quantifying it would be more useful that promoting false claims and mis-reading your own graphs.

        • Growth ( rate of change ) never was “purely exponential”. Not straight on a log plot. And if rate of change is not exponential neither is the cumulative sum , the difference is just less clear since you persist in using the more uninformative metric.

          https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-growth-france-2.png

          If you were less concerned with pushing your agenda, the last days could have been spent working collectively to advance the analysis. But listening to other with more skill and experience has never been your forte , has it.

          Yes confinement should be making an impact. Working collectively to quantifying it would be more useful that promoting false claims and mis-reading your own graphs.

    • I maintain these graphs are useless to inform any future action. They sample sick people only.

      • We are 4 to 8 weeks out of having useful seroprevalence studies and will be able to stop all the guessing.

        • Mr Rotter is quite right. Until proper data are available to give us an idea of how many are in truth infected, governments are being compelled to take precautions that may – or may not – prove to have been unnecessary.

          • And as you have said, in the meantime sensible individuals everywhere are and have been doing what they can to protect themselves.
            This is true in Sweden and everywhere else.
            As well, some people have been less than sensible, and still others have not been able to take sufficient precautions due to personal circumstances.
            Obviously anyone who stays away from other people, or who employs effective barrier and sanitary protections, will have far less chance of being infected…zero chance in the case of isolated individuals.
            Which will logically and necessarily reduce the transmission rate.
            Ending such measures while substantial percentages remain unexposed, and thus vulnerable, will alter the transmission rates.
            How anyone can doubt such self evident truths is baffling.

          • You’ll have to wait a while in the UK then…..MPs’ are being tested, healthcare staff on the front line may be tested, and private clinics are already purchasing the tests. The men, women and children on the “street” are unlikely to see much testing for a month, or more; unless they are hospitalised.

        • Germany 15%
          China 6%
          Santa Clara will be done next week 3500

          No matter how many serology tests are done, people will still argue.

          they will deny data or question data to the end

        • Agree 100%.
          We need blood tests, coupled with some method of random sampling on a large scale.
          Only that can tell us who and how many have been exposed.
          Right now everyone is trying to do the best that can be inferred with incomplete info.

      • In response to the incompletely self-identified Robert of Ottawa, the graphs are based on not only those who are infected but also those who have died. He is entitled to his characteristically unconstructive opinion, but if he does not find the graphs useful he can always go and get a life rather than whining here. Trolling is a sad and pathetic activity.

      • ‘Serfs’: ignorant serfs.
        Although some of the ignorant do surf!
        “Ya’ll ain’t from around here, are you, boy?”
        Otherwise, a top notch response. Thank you for helping me understand how data can be manipulated to suit an agenda.
        Monkton troubles me: how can he be so on point with AGW, yet so awry with COVID-19?
        Any thoughts?

    • In response to Vuk, the whole point of these graphs is to show how the once-exponential rate of growth is declining. It still has some way to go before this infection is defeated. And, as the head posting shows, the rate of growth was strictly exponential in the weeks to mid-March.

      • the rate of growth was strictly exponential in the weeks to mid-March.

        You never looked at the rate of growth, you looked at the height of the tree.

        Had you actually looked at the rate of growth you would have seen instantly that it NEVER WAS “purely exponential” and this whole article would be been unnecessary.
        https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-log-growth-france-2.png

        We could have been discussing something pertinent, instead of endlessly trying to correct your incompetent posts, which WUWT is tolerating out of a misguided sense of openness continues to publish despite your refusal to address any technical issues.

      • Sir, thank you for your comment.
        I was only referring to the UK infections data (only hospital tested), it has a progressively decreasing exponent, hence it may not be considered to be truly exponential function.

      • I’ve been plotting the data from the Virginia Department of Health for new infections in Manassas (where we live), Prince William County (where Manassas lives), and the whole state for some time now. After a while, I started adding trendlines. At first I tried exponentials, and while the R^2 value was over 0.9, it didn’t look like a very good correlation to me (shape of the curve is wrong, and only crosses the actual data plot in two places) However, a parabola fits each data set eerily well, with R^2 of 0.99+ every time. In fact, overlaying the plots sometimes looks as if VDH is just generating the day’s data from an equation.

        • Try using the Gompertz curve, a standard form used in biology and for the Covid 19 data in Wuhan.

          It’s an S shaped function that tends to a saturation level, the final point, and allows forward projection with reasonable accuracy for maybe a week (based on daily data), when it should be rerun.

          If the situation were stable it would forward project with accuracy, but since lockdown the transmission rates are constantly falling so the situation is dynamic.

    • I submit the number of COV cases is HIGHLY correlated with the number of tests done and that number is much more likely to appear exponential.

  1. We don’t have a vaccine for the common cold because it’s caused by over 200 different serotypes of viruses, including widely different species.

    Vaccines exist against animal coronaviruses, so it’s not impossible.

    In any case, we can reasonably expect treatments to emerge from ongoing trials.

    • This is something that intrigues me.

      Prof Ian Frazer (of cervical cancer vaccine fame) in an interview said that as CV is respiratory (throat to lungs) and not blood born, then a blood born vaccine is impossible.

      I would like some clarity on that, grim news if true.

      • if that were correct then there’d be no pneuminia vaccines
        or TB

        and Aus is trialling the tb vax right now in nurses etc to see if it boots the immune system enough to withsatnd the covid
        how they plan to challenge? is a bit of a mystery
        assuinig those who got the jab and didnt get covid isnt exactly proof

        and sa for Frazer?
        his overpriced overhyped vax.. isnt required in multiple doses at all and one base jab is now shown to ramp immune response ot all variants of HPV
        repeat doses and even singles of the ramped up versions caused a high amt of serious adverse events
        claims it Cured…cervical cancer are WAY out of line as the timespan from start to finding is more than 15yrs most women are 40+ and usually 50s when it hits
        and MERK admit on their webpage on it IF a woman HAS any of the HPV strains and IS vaccinated it actually Doubles her risk of GETTING cervical cancer.

        oddly its like the Dengue vax in a similar/but differing result
        if you have had dengue youre ok if you havent? the vax is likely to Harm not help.

    • the animal ie dog corona vax is for the bowel affecting variant that dogs get
      its not the same

  2. Epidemiology is not my expertise, and I am also uncomfortable with the poor quality of most Covid-19 data:
    – “Number of Covid-19 cases” primarily reflects the frequency and location of testing and may significantly underestimate the actual number of those infected, especially since many are asymptomatic.
    – “Covid-19 deaths” are reportedly being inflated by including deaths from other causes – that is, “Dying with Covid” vs. “Dying from Covid”.
    – It is unusual that seasonal deaths from all causes to date are reportedly much less that previous years – but this is changing.
    – All this data is “a moving target” and the case and mortality projections by “experts” vary widely

    Based on the data from South Korea to 10Apr2020, where the data is more credible and containment is strong, one can draw these tentative conclusions:
    https://www.cdc.go.kr/board/board.es?mid=a30402000000&bid=0030
    1. 503,051 tests have been run, concentrating on high-incidence areas, in a country population of 51.3 million (1.0% of South Korea’s population has been tested).
    2. 10,450 patients have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus (2.1% of tests were positive of Covid-19 virus).
    3. 7117 patients have been discharged (68% of tested-positive patients have been discharged).
    4. 3125 patients are in quarantine (30% of tested-positive patients are in quarantine).
    5. 208 deaths have been attributed to Covid-19 (2.0% of tested-positive patients have died).

    European data shows a sharp increase in Total Deaths From All Causes in week 14:
    “The latest pooled estimates from the EuroMOMO network show a marked increase in excess all-cause mortality overall for the participating European countries, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This overall excess mortality is driven by a very substantial excess mortality in some countries, primarily seen in the age group of 65 years and above, but also in the age group of 15-64 years.”
    https://euromomo.eu/
    This increase in total deaths is concentrated in the following European countries: Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and England.
    Sweden, which is not locking-down its population, showed a small increase.
    The latest spike in total deaths indicates that deaths in the over-65 age group are ~2.5 times deaths in the 15-64 age group. Under-14 age group deaths show little or no increase to date.

    Unless an effective medical treatment is administered, mortality in the general population will total about 2% of those infected, but deaths will be concentrated in those over ~65 and younger people with other serious health problems – this group will have much higher mortality rates.

    This latest data reinforces the need to stay safe and avoid infection, and this is especially true for older people.

    My post below of 24Mar2020 reflects my skepticism in the early days of the Covid-19 illness arriving in the western world. Global deaths attributed to Covid-19 are significant at ~100,000 to date, but still total less than 5% of the >2 million global Excess Winter Deaths in an average year. One of the major causes of Excess Winter Deaths is excessively high fuel costs, caused by global warming/climate change hysteria. This suggests that much more attention should be focused on rational energy strategies that are not corrupted by scientifically false fears of runaway global warming and human-made climate change.

    A RATIONAL ENERGY STRATEGY FOR AMERICA (Rev.1)
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/28/food-prices-and-ethanol-mandates/#comment-2951681
    ____________________________________________________

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/23/covid-19-tests-the-non-fake-news/#comment-2945438

    Excess Winter Deaths in the USA average about 100,000 per year from all causes, including influenza. When Joe D’Aleo and I wrote our paper about Excess Winter Deaths in 2015, nobody cared.
    Now, we are supposed to be terrified by 582 deaths to date in the USA caused by the corona virus.

    In the UK in just England and Wales, Excess Winter Deaths (“EWD”) totaled 50,100 souls in Winter 2017-2018. That is THREE TIMES the average per capita EWD rate of the USA and Canada, in part due to excessively high energy costs in the UK, where fracking of shales is banned for no good reason. When we reported this startling statistic, nobody cared.
    Now, we are supposed to be terrified by 335 deaths to date in the UK caused by the corona virus.

    In 2016 I reported an extremely dangerous situation at a sour gas project close to Calgary that almost killed 300,000 people. When it was mentioned in the news media, nobody cared.
    Now, we are supposed to be terrified by 24 deaths to date in Canada caused by the corona virus.

    SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT: WE ARE SUPPOSED TO PANIC WHEN A FEW HUNDRED PEOPLE DIE, BUT NOT WHEN A FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND DIE, OR ALMOST DIE. OK. GOT IT.
    _____________________________________________

    COLD WEATHER KILLS 20 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS HOT WEATHER SEPTEMBER 4, 2015
    by Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae
    https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf
    __________________

    ACTIONS THAT PREVENTED A POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC SOUR GAS DISASTER AT THE MAZEPPA PROJECT NEAR CALGARY

    In May 2016, Allan MacRae, as an uninvolved citizen, became aware of unsafe operating procedures at the Mazeppa critical sour gas project near Calgary. At some personal risk, he investigated, consulted with trusted colleagues, and following the Code of Conduct of Alberta’s Professional Engineers (APEGA), he reported his concerns to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), and followed up to ensure proper compliance.

    The AER quickly shut down the Mazeppa project, and canceled all 1600 operating licenses of the parent company, which was placed in receivership and bankruptcy. The Managing Director was fined and sanctioned. This was the most severe reprimand of a company in the history of the Alberta energy industry. A 2005 analysis of Mazeppa wells by the Alberta ERCB concluded that an uncontrolled sour gas release would affect an area within a 15km radius and could kill 250,000 people. By 2016 that total increased to 300,000 people.

    • Allen: I’d never heard of the Mazeppa case. Can you please provide a link to more details on your initial investigation and the operating procedures?

      • FYI Jorge:

        THE MAZEPPA SOUR GAS STORY

        I received an award in March 2018 from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for averting a potential major sour gas disaster in SE Calgary.

        The new foreign owners of the Mazeppa project were producing 40% H2S critical sour gas from ~12 wells within one mile of populous SE Calgary suburbs, and to save money they had ceased the required monthly injection of anti-corrosion chemicals into the pipelines seven months earlier. This was extremely dangerous, because sour gas is highly corrosive to the steel pipelines that carry the gas to the processing plant.

        Fortunately, I was familiar with the project from decades ago – I was GM of Engineering for the company that formerly owned this project and about 20 others, and a friend called me with this vital information. The remarkable coincidence is my informant did not know of my history with this project – he just wanted to talk to someone about his corrupt foreign bosses.

        The staff at the project were afraid to report the dangerous situation because they feared physical retaliation from the foreign owners, who they believed were violent thugs.

        H2S is heavier than air and hugs the ground, and a 0.1% concentration is instantly fatal. I investigated, reported the matter to the Alberta Energy Regulator, followed-up to ensure compliance and the project was shut down and was made safe. I later learned that some of the sour gas pipelines had already experienced minor perforations and leaks.

        A safety study done in 2005 estimated the kill radius at 15km, so potential loss of life in a major discharge of H2S in 2016 could have totaled up to 300,000 people, wiping out the SE quadrant of Calgary.

        To put this near-miss in perspective, that 300,00 potential fatalities is equivalent to one hundred 9-11’s, six Hiroshima’s, four Nagasaki’s. or about three Covid-19’s to date. Calgary didn’t dodge a bullet; we dodged a nuke.

        The press reported the problem with some inaccuracies, but were generally adequate. The Alberta Energy Regulator tried to act like they were on top of the situation and aware of the danger, but they were not.

        The total reprimand against the foreign owners is the most severe in Alberta history.

        – Allan MacRae
        ____________________________________________

        Selected References to the Mazeppa Sour Gas Threat
        The reporters got a few minor facts wrong – but no matter.

        A. AER SUSPENDS MAZEPPA PLANT OPERATIONS AMID CONCERNS
        High River Times, August 27, 2016
        Previously at http://www.highrivertimes.com/2016/08/25/aer-suspends-mazeppa-plant-operations-amid-concerns

        B. WATCHDOG TAKES UNPRECEDENTED STEP OF FORCING OIL AND GAS PRODUCER INTO RECEIVERSHIP
        Calgary Herald, March 21, 2017
        http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/watchdog-takes-unprecedented-step-of-forcing-oil-and-gas-producer-into-receivership

        C. LEXIN RESOURCES AND THE DARK SIDE OF ALBERTA’S DOWNTURN
        CBC, April 24, 2017
        http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/lexin-resources-what-went-wrong-1.4038838

        D. IN REVERSAL, LEXIN ADMITS TO BREAKING ENVIRONMENTAL, INDUSTRY RULES
        Calgary Herald. July 10, 2017
        http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/lexin-agrees-it-breached-environmental-industry-rules

        E. ERCB DECISION 2005-060 RE COMPTON PETROLEUM CORP. APPLICATION TO DRILL SIX CRITICAL SOUR GAS WELLS – SE Calgary area 22 June 2001)
        http://elc.ab.ca/Content_Files/Files/NewsBriefs/EUBgiveconditionalgreenlight-Vol20-3.pdf
        [excerpt]
        For Compton’s well applications, the calculated EPZ radius was 11.94 km during the drilling phase and 14.97 km during the completion phase. It was estimated that more than 250,000 people lived and worked within the calculated 14.97 km EPZ.
        _________________________________

        • Kudos!
          Had no idea!
          Always wished when I was doing instrumentation in oil and gas they’d make it easier to whistle blow. There are a small percentage of truly negligent companies making the rest look bad.

        • Typo:
          300,000 not 300,00

          To put this near-miss in perspective, that 300,000 potential fatalities is equivalent to one hundred 9-11’s, six Hiroshima’s, four Nagasaki’s, or about three Covid-19’s to date. Calgary didn’t “dodge a bullet”; we dodged a nuke.

        • On another topic, for those who like conspiracy theories, there is the persistent rumour that the “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2) originated at the Wuhan bioweapons lab, the “Wuhan Institute of Virology”. That is a definite possibility – I have no opinion.
          https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/26/coronavirus-link-to-china-biowarfare-program-possi/
          [excerpt]
          “The laboratory is the only declared site in China capable of working with deadly viruses. Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese biological warfare, said the institute is linked to Beijing’s covert bio-weapons program.”

          Closer to home, there is a remarkable lack of curiosity as to the details of the Mazeppa Sour Gas near-miss that could have wiped out the SE quadrant of Calgary. Why would anyone save a few nickels by stopping the use of anti-corrosion chemicals in the sour gas pipelines? This is an insane risk to take to save a tiny amount of money – and it effectively destroyed the pipeline system and thus the entire Mazeppa project.

          Care to guess the nationality of the owners of Mazeppa? Not sure if they spoke Cantonese or Mandarin.

          Best, Allan

    • Dear Allan, it is an intelectual pleasure to read you, knowing that you will open new doors and push me in my thinking.

      May I suggest Iceland on top of South Korea (in fact I can only find 4 countries providing details data every day about positive, death , cured, UCI, tested, these are South Korea, Iceland and Italy, and the USA)

      So for Iceland, so far 34.125 tested, 1.675 positives so 4.9% of the tested, 7 persons died (the 7th today) so 0.4% of the tested, and 751 recovered already, so 0,9% of the persons out of that sickness have died. showing that once testing is intensive (like in Korea, Iceland and Diamond Princess, then death is around the 1%), finally 917 people are positively infected, but this has reduced by more than 15% since the 06th of April.

      • In Iceland, closed-case analysis indicates that 7 of 758 have died – a case fatality rate of more like 1% than the 0.4$ of total positives. During the early stages of a pandemic, closed cases are the least unreliable guide we have.

      • Thank you Renaud for your kind words. A caution – as I said above, epidemiology is not my expertise. I am much more confident in energy and climate matters. I also co-authored a paper on Excess Winter Mortality in 2015.

        I should point out that my previously-calculated 1.1% Covid deaths/infections has now increased to 2.0% for South Korea and is probably about the same for the Diamond Princess cruise ship. These are moving targets and are least reliable in the early days of an epidemic, since deaths lag infections. The calculated deaths/infections in Iceland will probably also increase unless patients can be treated with effective medicines.

        This 2% Covid deaths/infections figure may also be too high, because we do not know how many more people are infected within the total population – there could be many more infected who are asymptomatic.

        As Samurai mentioned on this page,
        “Germany just released a COVID19 antibody test on 1,000 randomly selected people and found 15% had already been infected with COVID19 and ALMOST ALL were asymptomatic…”
        https://spectator.us/covid-antibody-test-german-town-shows-15-percent-infection-rate/
        This could be very significant, especially if a large percentage of a population has already been infected – then the virus would prove to be much less deadly than current estimates.

        Repeating, these numbers are moving targets and even the experts are all over the map in their predictions of future mortality. The next month or two will tell the tale. Faites vos jeux.

        • Following are anecdotal stories about a very important parameter.

          We need more antibody data to determine how widespread exposure to Covid-19 really is.

          Flu season resumes in the Northern Hemisphere in about September – will herd immunity be developed by then or will there be a Round 2?

          BLOOD TESTS SHOW 14% OF PEOPLE ARE NOW IMMUNE TO COVID-19 IN ONE TOWN IN GERMANY
          Antonio Regalado
          https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/04/09/999015/blood-tests-show-15-of-people-are-now-immune-to-covid-19-in-one-town-in-germany/

          How many people have really been infected by the coronavirus? In one German town a preliminary answer is in: about 14%.

          The municipality of Gangelt, near the border with the Netherlands, was hard hit by covid-19 after a February carnival celebration drew thousands to the town, turning it into an accidental petri dish.

          Now, after searching blood from 500 residents for antibodies to the virus, scientists at a nearby university say they have determined that one in seven have been infected and are therefore “immune.” Some of those people would have had no symptoms at all.

          Their brief report (PDF), posted online in German, has big implications for how soon that town, and the rest of the world, can come out from lockdown.

          “To me it looks like we don’t yet have a large fraction of the population exposed,” says Nicholas Christakis, a doctor and social science researcher at Yale University. “They had carnivals and festivals, but only 14% are positive. That means there is a lot more to go even in a hard-hit part of Germany.”

          Here’s why the true infection rate in a region matters: the bigger it is, the less pain still lies ahead. Eventually, when enough people are immune—maybe half to three-quarters of us—the virus won’t be able to spread further, a concept called herd immunity.

          But the German town isn’t close to that threshold yet, and to Christakis the preliminary figure is “unfortunate” because it means the virus still has more damage to do.

          The German report is among the first to survey a population for evidence of prior infection, data that scientists need to determine how far the pandemic has spread, what the real death rate is, and how many people show no symptoms at all.

          “It’s very preliminary, but it’s the kind of study we desperately need,” says Christakis, who believes the US should test as many as 200,000 people, from big cities like New York to small towns in the Midwest. “This is crucial to quantify a host of basic parameters.”

          Globally, the official case count of covid-19 is more than 1.5 million people, but that reckoning mostly includes people who seek medical help and get tested. The true number of people infected, including those without symptoms and who don’t get tested, is far higher.

          More data from “sero-surveys” should be available soon; sources include US hospitals. On April 6, Stanford Medicine announced it had launched its own serology test and had begun screening doctors, nurses, and others for antibodies.

          “The test will enable us to determine which health-care workers might be at low risk for working with covid-19 patients, as well as understanding disease prevalence in our communities,” said spokesperson Lisa Kim.

          Early results from hospitals are already circulating among some experts, says Christakis, who thinks these data will get us “closer to the truth” about how far the infection has spread in US cities. “If you see 5% positive in your health-care workers, that means infection rates probably aren’t higher than that in your city,” he says.

          The survey in Germany was carried out by virologist Hendrik Streeck and several others at the University Hospital in Bonn, who say they approached about 1,000 residents of Gangelt to give blood, have their throats swabbed, and fill out a survey.

          They found that 2% of residents were actively infected by the coronavirus and a total of 14% had antibodies, indicating a prior infection. This group of people, they say, “can no longer be infected with SARS-CoV-2,” as the virus is known to scientists.

          As the virus spreads, it sends a certain percentage of people to the hospital and a few of those to ICUs; a portion of those will die. One of the biggest unanswered questions is exactly what percentage of infected people the coronavirus is killing.

          From the result of their blood survey, the German team estimated the death rate in the municipality at 0.37% overall, a figure significantly lower than what’s shown on a dashboard maintained by Johns Hopkins, where the death rate in Germany among reported cases is 2%.

          The authors explain that the difference in the calculations boils down to how many people are actually infected but haven’t been counted because they have mild or no symptoms.

          The presence of previously infected people in the community, Streeck and colleagues believe, will reduce the speed at which the virus can move in the area. They also outline a process by which social distancing can be slowly unwound, especially given hygienic measures, like handwashing, and isolating and tracking the sick. They think if people avoid getting big doses of the virus—which can happen in hospitals or via close contact with someone infected—fewer people will become severely ill, “while at the same time developing immunity” that can help finally end the outbreak.

          —with reporting by James Temple

          CHICAGO PHLEBOTOMIST: CORONAVIRUS ANTIBODIES FOUND IN 30-50% TESTED FOR COVID-19
          https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/04/10/chicago-phlebotomist-coronavirus-antibodies-found-in-30-50-tested-for-covid-19/
          [excerpt]

          A phlebotomist working at a Chicago hospital said Thursday that 30 to 50 percent of those tested for coronavirus have antibodies, and 10 to 20 percent of those tested are actual carriers of the virus.

      • Has there been any antibody testing in Iceland?
        Saw a guy from Germany on CNBC yesterday who reported that a test of people in one location in that country indicated that a large number of people already have antibodies to the disease.
        Another report in Breibart today reports on the account of a phlebotomist in the Chicago area who works at a hospital drive by testing facility.
        She says of people tested there, 30-50% have antibodies, and 10-20% have virus.
        No confirmation or other sorts of details. (I have been spending as much time as I can sleeping, which is known to be the best way to strengthen immunity, or perhaps more correct to say lack of sleep can render other steps to boost immunity useless)

        So I think this is very interesting and lends credence, albeit very tentatively so and with not a huge amount of confidence, that perhaps this virus has been in circulation longer than is being supposed. Or perhaps Jim Steele got it right that multiple strains are circulating, at least one of which is very mild.
        Whatever the case may be, we need more information and we need it as fast as possible.
        These are isolated reports and may be erroneous or not indicating what was implied, or inferred at first glance. But we need to know.
        The truth is often the first casualty of a war, and if we are going to call the fight against this virus a war, that maxim would seem to apply. Does not necessarily mean people are lying, just that info is sparse and unreliable, word of mouth accounts tend to add and delete details as they propagate, etc.

      • This post filed yesterday seems to have disappeared in moderation. Apologies if it is duplicated.

        I’ve emailed Iceland and will share their reply if it is helpful.
        __________________________

        Thank you Renaud.

        Iceland data here:
        https://www.icelandreview.com/ask-ir/whats-the-status-of-covid-19-in-iceland/
        https://www.icelandreview.com/sci-tech/icelands-coronavirus-testing-global-pandemic-response/

        Updated every day at 13:00
        COVID-19 in Iceland – Statistics
        – Information on this page is obtained from the database at midnight.
        Total figures to 10Apr2020

        841 in isolation

        36 hospitalised

        10 intensive care

        1.689 confirmed infections

        15.498 quarantine completed

        841 recovered

        3.080 in quarantine

        34.635 samples

        Of those diagnosed with COVID-19, eight have died. All but one death were people over 60.

        GATHERING BAN
        Icelandic authorities have banned gatherings of over 20 people from March 24 until May 4. Grocery stores and pharmacies may still allow up to 100 people inside at once, provided space allows for a 2-metre distance between individuals.
        Authorities ordered the closure of swimming pools, gyms, bars, clubs, slot machines, and museums as of midnight on March 23. Operations and services that require close contact between individuals or risk close contact are also prohibited. This includes sports clubs, hairdressers, beauty salons, and massage parlours.
        All stores, public buildings, and other frequented indoor spaces must be cleaned as often as possible. Hand sanitizer must be available at all entrances and in more frequented spaces such as checkouts in stores.
        Universities and junior colleges (menntaskólar) are closed during this period, while PRIMARY SCHOOLS AND PRESCHOOLS REMAIN OPEN, but are subject to stricter measures, including limiting class sizes and maintaining space between students. These measures mean limited services and hours in many primary schools and preschools.
        Gatherings smaller than 20 individuals are also subject to strict guidelines, primarily ensuring that there are two metres of space between attendees. Workplaces and institutions are charged with applying and enforcing the regulation themselves.
        The measures do not affect international airports, ports, planes or ships.
        __________________________
        Iceland Total Tests to 10Apr2020 ~34,602
        Population of Iceland 341,250
        Total Tests/Population 10.1%

        Cumulative number of total confirmed cases (total active cases + recovered cases) is increasing but decelerating (flattening).
        Containment is strong except PRIMARY SCHOOLS AND PRESCHOOLS (aka the Plague Wards) REMAIN OPEN.

        8 deaths/1.689 confirmed infections = 0.47% – this 0.5% will probably increase, but is still much lower than the 2% mortality elsewhere – this may be a function of the early stage of the illness in Iceland, but could also reflect other factors.

        It would be helpful to learn what medical treatments are being applied to patients in Iceland, if in fact they are experiencing lower mortality rates than other countries.

        • BAD CALL – END THE LOCKDOWNS ASAP.

          https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51674743
          “The UK government’s scientific advisers believe that the chances of dying from a coronavirus infection are between 0.5% and 1%.”

          I believe this Covid-19 estimated mortality range “between 0.5% and 1%” (deaths/infections) is ~correct for a typical country’s population distribution , and my hunch is “closer to 0.5%” – that is not very scary except if you are in the “high risk” group – over 65 years of age or otherwise high-risk (with other medical problems) – Covid-19 deaths are heavily concentrated in the high-risk group.

          I still think my ~mid-March assessment of this situation was the correct one:
          “Isolate people over sixty-five and those with poor immune systems and return to business-as-usual for people under sixty-five.
          This will allow “herd immunity” to develop much sooner and older people will thus be more protected AND THE ECONOMY WON’T CRASH.
          If tests prove positive, use chloroquine and remdesivir or other cheap available drugs ASAP as appropriate.”

          With rare exceptions, we have not seen the “tsunami of cases overwhelm our medical systems”, and we have trashed our economies and severely harmed hundreds of millions worldwide who live from paycheck to paycheck. Considering the pro’s and con’s, the full lockdown was a bad call.

          Regards, Allan

          https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/end-the-american-lockdown/comment-page-1/#comment-12253

          Hi Willis,

          I posted the following yesterday on wattsup – similar ideas.

          This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again.

          Regards, Allan

          ALLAN MACRAE March 21, 2020 at 10:22 pm
          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/21/to-save-our-economy-roll-out-antibody-testing-alongside-the-active-virus-testing/#comment-2943724

          This brief data analysis is far from comprehensive, but here are my preliminary conclusions:
          CORONAVIRUS – STRONG CONTAINMENT (3% INFECTED IN S. KOREA) VS POOR CONTAINMENT (21% INFECTED ON THE CRUISE SHIP).
          1% FATALITIES OF THOSE INFECTED IN BOTH CASES.
          ON THE CRUISE SHIP, ALL DEATHS WERE PEOPLE OVER 70 YEARS OF AGE.
          REPORTEDLY DEATHS TYPICALLY OCCURRED TO PATIENTS WITH POOR HEALTH AND POOR IMMUNE SYSTEMS.
          REPORTEDLY YOUNGER INFECTED PEOPLE OFTEN HAVE MILD OR NO SYMPTOMS.

          LET’S CONSIDER AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH, SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION OF THE ABOVE CONCLUSIONS:
          Isolate people over sixty-five and those with poor immune systems and return to business-as-usual for people under sixty-five.
          This will allow “herd immunity” to develop much sooner and older people will thus be more protected AND THE ECONOMY WON’T CRASH.
          If tests prove positive, use chloroquine and remdesivir or other cheap available drugs ASAP as appropriate.

          Best, Allan

    • Funny thing is I don’t remember seeing plague pits being dug over the last few years

      “A plague pit is the informal term used to refer to mass graves in which victims of the Black Death were buried. The term is most often used to describe pits located on Great Britain, but can be applied to any place where bubonic plague victims were buried.”

      https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/10/831875297/burials-on-new-york-island-are-not-new-but-are-increasing-during-pandemic
      (not quite the same but a worrying trend)

      • not quite the same but a worrying trend

        Really ghalfrunt?

        “In a series of tweets and later at a press conference, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged that the number of burials on the island has increased, but said the only people being buried there are those who have not been claimed by a family member or loved one.”

        “But many of the Hart Island burials, captured by drone Thursday, are likely related to COVID-19, given the sheer number of deaths in the city from the virus.”

        “many of the . . . burials”? “likely related”?

        HOW many and ARE they related or not?

        “As de Blasio said, some of the burials happening now could also be for people who died of unrelated causes, and whose remains have been sitting in the city’s morgues for days, or even weeks, unclaimed.”

          • I guess it could just be me, but if 6 of the 13 people in the pic are wearing street clothing with simple gloves and masks, then I’m thinking I don’t have much cause to declare these are “plague pits.” Further, none of the people in this picture are in full hazmat gear, not even close. Of those that look like they’re in “protective gear,” it looks more like supped up hospital gowns over street clothes if you ask me. Something you might see people wearing who had the job of burying the dead in a mass grave. You’d think these guys would insist on full hazmat suits unless their risk for infection is low. I know I would, wouldn’t you?

            From your own source material, it’s pretty clear this can’t be an “uncontrolled burial site” given your assumptions. E.g., there are “records of the deceased,” since these poor souls are individuals “who have not been claimed by a family member or loved one.” You can’t NOT have been claimed by a family member or loved one unless the authorities first know who you are to notify someone, isn’t that true? I imagine some are John Doe’s, but what can you do in that case? Why NY doesn’t cremate I can’t know for sure, but I suspect it has everything to do with expense. As to markers, why would you expect the State to mark your grave in the first place? You’re dead, i.e., no longer able to pay taxes and thus no longer useful to them (I know, I know, by my own admission I’m cynical).

            What I can know is NY has been doing burials of unclaimed individuals this way for a good long time, i.e., with simple masks and gloves, not marking and not cremating, much like, it would seem, your own Maidstone Borough Council.

            Thus, I’m thinking the NPR article is pushing the envelope of journalistic integrity just a teeny bit, what say you?

            As to the civility of burials at Maidstone, I’m not exactly sure what’s necessarily uncivilized about it, but I didn’t read all 5 pages, my apologies.

    • Mr McRae is not making sufficient allowance for the fact that there are many, many more deaths to come before this pandemic begins to come under control. Comparing deaths so far with total annual deaths from other causes is, therefore, not a proper comparison.

      Furthermore, it should by now be apparent to him that the numbers of deaths now are far higher than when he said they were too few to matter a few weeks ago.

      • Hello Lord Monckton and thank you for your work on this subject.

        I was well aware when I wrote the subject comments that the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths would grow – that is elementary. The following was published on 19Mar2020.

        My point is that far greater causes (and much more avoidable) of death have been ignored for decades, especially those due to fuel poverty caused by false global warming alarmism.

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/17/an-effective-treatment-for-coronavirus-covid-19-has-been-found-in-a-common-anti-malarial-drug/#comment-2941409
        [excerpt]

        Here is my complaint:

        I’ve been writing since 2002 about the failure of green energy to provide useful (dispatchable) electrical power, due to intermittency and diffusivity.

        Since then, tens of trillions of dollars have been squandered by incompetent/corrupt politicians on green energy scams – that are not green and produce little useful energy.

        Excess winter deaths in the United Kingdom total up to 50,000 per year, often triple the per capita rates of Canada and the USA, because of needlessly high energy costs and poor housing insulation, etc.

        We are now seeing a huge reaction to the Coronavirus scare, and rightly so – schools closing, sports and cultural events cancelled, restaurants closed, etc.

        So how is it that the green energy scam, propelled by the global warming/climate change scam, has been allowed to continue? Is it that 50,000 needless Excess Winter Deaths don’t count, but the risk of dying of coronavirus is serious? Maybe it‘s because everyone of a certain age is at risk from the coronavirus, but only the elderly-and-poor die from energy poverty – the inability to heat their homes due to excessively high energy costs caused by wind-and-solar-power scams.

        Yes I’m grumpy, but with good reason. Deaths are deaths – it doesn’t matter if you are killed by the coronavirus or by the phony green actions of incompetent and corrupt politicians.

    • Superb post: faultless reasoning IMHO.
      My only quibble is with what you said about fracking in the UK. Many communities in the North East of England have been fighting those who would frack their neighbourhood tooth and nail, for some time. I would trust the residents of an area to know what’s really going on, over the bullish, profit-motivated claims of corporate controlled scientists, every time.

      • Nick,
        You are wrong. Anti-fracking groups are being organized and paid, probably by foreign parties who want to harm the UK economy and its people.

        Vivian Krause discovered this scam in Canada, and the government of Alberta has tracked over $600 million of foreign money that has been paid to leftist groups and their hired demonstrators to sabotage our economy.

        VIVIAN KRAUSE DOCUMENTARY, OVER A BARREL, RELEASED
        https://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/business/vivian-krause-documentary-over-a-barrel-released-1.23983003

        The makers of the documentary Over a Barrel, about foreign funding of Canadian oil and gas opposition, have temporarily removed the cost to view after being “inundated by pleas for the film to be made freely available.”

        The 32-minute film distills the findings of well-known researcher VIVIAN KRAUSE, WHO HAS TRACKED $600 MILLION FLOWING FROM U.S. GROUPS LIKE THE TIDES FOUNDATION AND THE ROCKEFELLER BROTHERS FUND TO SUPPORT PROGRAMS LIKE THE “TAR SANDS CAMPAIGN” TO LANDLOCK CANADIAN OIL.

        March 3, 2018
        HOW CANADA ENDED UP WITH JUSTIN TRUDEAU
        https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/03/how_canada_ended_up_with_justin_trudeau.html
        [excerpt]

        In 2017, the National Post reported that TRUDEAU GOT ELECTED AFTER A MASSIVE INFLUX OF ILLEGAL FOREIGN FUNDS, MOSTLY FROM THE U.S.-BASED LEFT-WING TIDES FOUNDATION, writing:

        Foreign money funnelled towards Canadian political advocacy groups affected the outcome of the 2015 federal election, according to a document filed last week with Elections Canada and obtained in part by the Calgary Herald.

        The 36-page report entitled: Elections Canada Complaint Regarding Foreign Influence in the 2015 Canadian Election, alleges third parties worked with each other, which may have bypassed election spending limits – all of which appears to be in contravention of the Canada Elections Act.

        The Canada Elections Act states that “a third party shall not circumvent, or attempt to circumvent, a limit set out … in any manner, including by splitting itself into two or more third parties for the purpose of circumventing the limit or acting in collusion with another third party so that their combined election advertising expenses exceed the limit.”

        “Electoral outcomes were influenced,” alleges the report.

        Well, they certainly were. And the scope of this has brought some bitter consequences to Canada. Trudeau, like the leftists in the U.S., has resisted all efforts at electoral reform, despite campaigning on that platform. Obviously, it’s a corrupt system that has been good for him. There isn’t much we Americans can do about it in Canada, but it highlights two points here: 1) that the Russians and their supposed meddling does not shine a candle to the other kinds of meddling that can be taking place and 2) that electoral reforms, to ensure the integrity of elections, make for one of the most important missions left to be finished by the Trump administration. Lefties, once in power, will never undertake this mission; the system as it is too good for them.

        Canada’s disaster in its prime minister’s office shows just how bad it can be.

        Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/03/how_canada_ended_up_with_justin_trudeau.html#ixzz6FEWxrWkt

    • It is astonishing how many commenters have made the same mistake as Mr Stein, comparing deaths to date with annual death rates for other diseases. Deaths are still rising very rapidly, so it is far too early to make such comparisons. That is why governments have had to take the uncomfortable and expensive precautions that many have taken.

    • Steve,

      Covid-19 is different than Spanish flu. People died from Spanish flu due to loss of water and electrolytes.

      Deaths from covid-19 are due to our immune system’s response to the evolved bat virus portion of the covid-19 which causes excess fluids in the lungs which causes the death of some of the lung and difficulty in breathing.

      Covid-19 attacks the throat first with few symptoms and then uses the bat virus portion which has been evolved from bat to human which enables the virus to attack our lungs effectively starting with patient zero. This delayed attack on the lung enables the virus to spread very effectively.

      We need to protect against covid-20/21/22A/22B

      Covid-22A could cause paralysis. Covid-22B neurological damage in a specific region of the body.

      This is a different kind of problem. This is not a fight. We need to work together to stop what is happening.

      https://www.breitbart.com/news/40-of-people-with-severe-covid-19-experience-neurological-complications/

      40% of people with severe COVID-19 experience neurological complications

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/

      • You’re omitting a clinical cause that’s showing up ever more often: a cytokine storm triggered by the patient’s immune system.
        Once triggered, a cytokine storm is invariably terminal.

        • Also, supposedly, there is a virus glycoprotein that is causing iron in hemoglobin to dissociate from the molecule.

        • Hi tetris, – The Pluristem Co. placenta based treatment showing fantastic results in limited Israel cases of “compassionate use” has the FDA interested in works; it works on the cytokine problem.

          The action is via “PLX … allogenic mesenchymal cells … w/ immuno-modulatory properties ….” This uses the own body’s immunological regulatory T2 & M2 macrophages to hold down the kind of immune reactions leading to pneumonia/pneumonitis.

        • There is not yet published research from Italy showing that actually the lethal mechanism of Wuhan coronavirus is blood clotting, known as CID, in multiple organs.

          This explains lung damage and pretty much all other observed kind of damage. But this is also good news, because we know how to treat this. It seems treatment with cortisone and/or heparin and/or hydroxychloroquine is giving good results.

          My statement is based on private conversations and you are entitled not to believe me without verification.

          • Flavio C
            I have heard similar comments directly from a physician on the front lines in Brooklyn NY: autopsies are showing an unusual pattern of small clots throughout the body, but specifically not the pattern called DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation) which is often seen in other conditions of generalized infection or sepsis and sometimes in malignancies. This is in addition to, or may be somehow interactively related to, the “cytokine storm” condition this virus triggers in severe cases.

            This is very anecdotal information and should trigger questions, not beliefs. The response of our bodies to this virus appears to be unusually complicated and will require much research over time to sort. Just as with “climate change”, the scientific attitude must be grounded with skepticism.

            Doctors on the front line, however, (and I am one), must make decisions right now for the patients in front of them. This gets into the whole issue of doing the best you can, guided by principle, with inadequate information.

        • Not true that cytokine release syndrome, CRS, is NOT invariably fatal.
          Many treatments have existed for many years.
          IL-6 blockers are a type of monoclonal antibody that arrests CRS
          Do some research before spreading FUD.
          This is the internet…two minutes of self checking would have made you change your mind about posting that comment.
          And me from having to dispute it.
          One more time: Cytokine release syndrome, aka cytokine strom, is not irreversible and not invariably fatal.
          It is not even always fatal without immunomodulating drugs.

      • Some believe that high doses of aspirin caused fluids to build up in the lungs in the case of Spanish flu.

      • Not my point.

        examine the arguments

        “By mid-September, the Spanish flu was spreading like wildfire through army and naval installations in Philadelphia, but Wilmer Krusen, Philadelphia’s public health director, assured the public that the stricken soldiers were only suffering from the old-fashioned seasonal flu and it would be contained before infecting the civilian population.

        When the first few civilian cases were reported on September 21, local physicians worried that this could be the start of an epidemic, but Krusen and his medical board said Philadelphians could lower their risk of catching the flu by staying warm, keeping their feet dry and their “bowels open,” writes John M. Barry in The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.

        As civilian infection rates climbed day by day, Krusen refused to cancel the upcoming Liberty Loan parade scheduled for September 28. Barry writes that infectious disease experts warned Krusen that the parade, which was expected to attract several hundred thousand Philadelphians, would be “a ready-made inflammable mass for a conflagration.”

        Krusen insisted that the parade must go on, since it would raise millions of dollars in war bonds, and he played down the danger of spreading the disease. On September 28, a patriotic procession of soldiers, Boy Scouts, marching bands and local dignitaries stretched two miles through downtown Philadelphia with sidewalks packed with spectators.

        Just 72 hours after the parade, all 31 of Philadelphia’s hospitals were full and 2,600 people were dead by the end of the week.”

        get it?

        notice the similar arguments

        • And if they cancelled the parade? By the end of the winter, would there have been just as many fatalities?

          While we would all like to get in as many days as we can before we die, it wasn’t as big a disaster as it looks by concentrating on that one week.

      • Wonder why you didn’t include this from your cited Breitbart article:

        “However, the majority of those complications are are also relatively common in people with severe pneumonia and viral infections in hospital intensive care units,”

      • yes these guys refuse to study the actual numbers from historical cases showing when and how interventions work

  3. Sorry to say, but this is alarmism 101.

    The excess mortality chart is deceptive. If you look at it over time you will see that the excess mortality is not higher than most flu seasons, and Italy and Spain are not worse than any place particularly hard hit by a bad flu in any given year.

    As for the exponential rise in cases: That is to be expected when you have an exponential rise of testing in an already infected population.

    These measures cannot control a spread that has already occurred.

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

    • In response to Beeze, during the benchmark period from 22 February to 14 March there was far too little testing to cause case counts to rise significantly. The growth was true exponential growth at a rate of close to 20% per day compound. That is why governments had to be cautious.

      Now that lockdowns are working, and people are taking the disease more seriously even in countries without lockdowns, the rate of increase in new cases is slowing. But it is still dangerously high.

      • It’s not about the number of tests, it’s about the rate of increase in the number of tests performed.

        The US started testing late, but once they did the amount of testing very rapidly increased exponentially.

        That’s the *only* reason you saw an exponential increase in positive. Given the latency period, a very high proportion of the population had probably were probably already positive when the first test was done or had already cleared it from their system.

        https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/17/us/coronavirus-testing-data.html

      • Lord Monckton of Brenchley: Thank you for all of your efforts, I am most impressed even though I fall into the Willis camp. I don’t have much to add to this discussion except to remind all posters that they should remain civil and that they should be careful to state caveats.

        I will state the following in response to this statement… “Now that lockdowns are working”; be very careful to state your caveats, correlation is not causation! We do not know whether lockdowns are having any effect, it is simply an assertion made by many experts (Dr, Mann is an expert). Ouch. 🙂

        It seems rather likely (no, I cannot support this) that the virus is very widespread amongst the worlds population, the growth in known cases tends to support this contention but it is weak. I beleive we are destroying trillions of dollars in wealth to prevent millions of dollars in lives lost. Would it not be more advisable to protect those at increased risk (maybe billions $) than to devistate entire populations through poor economic policies like lockdowns.

        Cheers,

        Speed

  4. Christopher, are you deaf? As I wrote to a commenter on your last thread:

    Spain – peaked on 29th March, now down to 75% of peak.
    Italy – peaked on 23rd March, now 72% of peak.
    Germany – peaked on 30th March, now 82% of peak.
    Switzerland – peaked on 22nd March, now 67% of peak.
    Austria – peaked on 25th March, now 40% of peak. They seem to be the country to follow.
    Portugal – peaked on 31st March, now 88% of peak.
    Norway – peaked on 26th March, now 56% of peak. Second best after the Austrians.

    • Right!
      You got the same dates that I did. I used the old simple logistic equation, which fits almos exactly to the data of all countries that I have examined (about two dozen).
      With this simpme technique, the UK has already peaked on 5 or 6 April and is since in a kind of plateau. Minimal daily new cases (1 digit?) by 27 April.

      • It would be good news if Mr Martins’ forecast of single-digit new infections in the UK by as soon as the end of this month were to come to pass. But that is not a likely outcome, unfortunately. I should be happy to be shown to be wrong about that, though.

        • I too don’t think the UK will be anywhere near single-digit figures inside a month. The new cases are still going up – a new record yesterday. Even in Austria, cases seem to be declining at only about half the rate they went up, and everywhere else it is slower than that.

          But the testing rate has finally started to ramp up. 316,836 tests done up to yesterday, as opposed to 282,074 up to 3 days ago. That is, 11% of all the tests reported in the UK so far have been reported in the last 2 days. Of those, 37% proved positive. That is a higher average than for the epidemic so far – the overall cases per test has gone up from 21% to 23%. I don’t know who is being tested with the highest priority, but I’d be testing first everyone who works in hospitals, followed by all doctors, care home workers and everyone else whose work brings them into regular contact with sick people. (That’s just what the Dutch are doing).

          worldometers doesn’t seem to give you access to historical figures of number of tests, so I’m going to be looking to capture all the data each day, until I have enough (a week?) to start doing some more serious playing with these numbers.

          • You cannot take daily figures literally…..look at the weekend UK figures….delays in reporting cases due to admin staff not being at work and frequently delays of several days in reporting….a lot of admin are working at home….and IT systems are coping badly.

          • It’s actually worse than that, JohnM. The French test numbers went up by 50 per cent over the same 2 days! Obviously, such a big batch being delayed will have a major effect on this ratio. I don’t trust the French data, anyway.

            But on the assumption that delays in test reporting are days rather than weeks, it makes sense to collect the cumulative confirmed and tested numbers each day, and see how the ratio evolves. With just the two days I have (2 days apart), the ratios are going up in all but three of the countries I am looking at. That’s not very good. The ratios are only coming down in Italy, Austria and Norway. Time will tell.

    • Germany – peaked on 30th March, now 82% of peak.
      Yes, but on April 2 they came near by again, as on April 1st too.

      From peak date:

      7.470
      4.860
      6.794
      7.009
      6.371
      4.455
      4.410
      1.782
      5.652
      4.321
      3.744
      4.101

      • Governments cannot yet assume that the pandemic has peaked. One would need at least a week or two of falling case numbers before that conclusion could safely be relied upon.

        • Yes, I would agree that falling numbers for at least two whole cycles of the virus (about 12 days) would be necessary before you can reasonably conclude the pandemic has peaked. That is true for Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Norway. Germany has eight days of decline so far. (I am using weekly averaged data). It’s not yet true for Belgium and Netherlands, which both recorded new highs today, or for Portugal which is close to the same.

        • Actually, there is another measure which might give us a handle on where the pandemic has really peaked and where it has not. I was looking into the ratio of total confirmed cases to total tests over the course of the epidemic. In most of the affected countries, including some (Germany, Spain, Switzerland) in which confirmed cases per day have started to go down, this ratio/percentage is still going up, and significantly. This seems counter-intuitive; I would have expected that, as you move testing emphasis away from people in hospital and out towards the general population, this proportion should go down. I’d guess this rise may be a result of targetting testing on people who work with sick people, starting with hospital workers and working out to GPs, care homes etc. They will be far more at risk than the general population, and will also be dangerous as spreaders. So to do that (as the Dutch are) is good strategy.

          However, if cases have peaked AND the ratio of confirmed to tested is also going down, that would seem to mean the country has basically got the bug beaten, and lockdowns can be lifted. That seems to be happening now in Italy, Austria and Norway. Also in Iceland, which never had a lockdown at all (except in one small area).

        • My intend wasn’t to accept the peak on March 30.
          We certainly will have a new peak after Easter weekend, as a lot of people are outside b’caue of weather and visits to shop centers for the weekend, as Monday is a holiday too here in Germany.

    • Niel, are you Stupid? 🙂
      The peak you are speaking of is in the number of new daily infections. They are still growing, just that the rate of growth is now slowing.
      This is the point, the social distancing measures are working.

      • What other peak are you looking for ? The peak in the cumulative sum happens on the day the person in the world is diagnosed with it. Not really first thing to worry about.

        Instead of calling others stupid, think before posting.

        Christopher, are you deaf?

        None so deaf as those who will not listen.

        Monckton is so sure of his own innate superiority he does not listen to what anyone tells him.

        He posted that we need to wait until these growth rates to negative ! Since he is dealing with cumulative totals of declared cases that is mathematically impossible.

        He wants to keep us under eternal house arrest : praying for the end of time !

        • I have said before there is a circling of the wagons to justify the lockdown.

          Mr Monckton has not been able to produce numbers for-

          1 Average age of cases
          2 How many were already ill when they died.
          3. How many died “with” Corona and died “by” Corona.

          • The incompletely self-identified Richard should do his own homework if he wants to know the answers to his questions. I can help him out with no. 2, though. All were already ill when they died, or they would not have died.

          • “died “with” Corona and died “by” Corona.”

            This is a bit of a myth. You can die of old age “with” a chronic disease like Prostate Cancer which can take decades to be terminal. Corona virus is ACUTE, 99/100 you don’t die with it you die of it.

          • Richard,
            Is someone with mild to hypertension who takes an small dose of an ACE inhibitor considered ill?
            How about being a few pounds, or even ten or more pounds, overweight, which is generally anyone who is not skinny AFAICT…is that an “illness”?
            Few would say so.
            People with these conditions include world class athletes and long distance runners and swimmers.
            Calling them comorbidities may be medically defensible, but these are not people who are at much risk of dying if they get seasonal influenza or such.

        • Moderators, I am beginning to wonder whether the furtively anonymous Greg should be allowed any further to publish gratuitous insults. Some years ago I invited Anthony to change site policy to allow such postings to be deleted, but recently there has been a resurgence in hate-speech by commenters cowering behind incomplete self-identification. In my submission, the above post from Greg should be deleted.

          • I have frequently posted as Greg Goodman and that did not get any more consideration from CofB. That is a meaningless distraction.

            Now we see his true colours even more clearly displayed. Rather than addressing any of the criticisms of his flawed analysis and spurious claims , like any honest person would, he now calls for censorship of those able to point out his blunders.

            It is amazing how the authoritarian viscount resembles more and more those in the climate debate who are so convinced of their own position they call for the silencing of others.

          • Haha! Yes, he seems to have shot himself in both feet simultaneously, with just one gun.
            Now, that is what I call a magic bullet!

          • Oddly CofB seems more concerned of whether I include by surname when posting than in addressing any of the technical issues I have been raising for the last week.

            Many there should be a site policy that they will not post any articles from people who are not prepared to enter into honest discussion of any issues raised with the content of their work.

            So far Monckton has been given free reign to repeatedly contribute lengthy articles, the subject of which has great social importance, while continuously refusing to address any critique of his faulty methods.

            That must stop.

          • What? NY was worse than Madrid and LA while not as bad is yet to peak and the US deaths have surged past every other country.

            My thoughts are the same: Trump is responsible for a month delay in taking the virus seriously = thousands of dead.

            He’s tried blaming everyone else, its a matter of time for even Fauci to be in the cross-hairs. Its also a matter of time before Trump begins calling the US death toll fake news: rewriting history will be his only defense.

          • My thoughts are the same:

            But that doesn’t make any sense, Lloydo. It’s been two weeks. No one is being denied a respirator in NY. They certainly aren’t going to be denied a respirator in LA by the end of next week. Doctors aren’t being forced to choose between life or death for COVID patients due to lack of anything, anywhere, in any hospital, in either city. At least as far as I can tell.

            That IS what you were predicting with your linked video, no?

            What happened?

          • @Loydo
            It may help to read some facts about “by / with Corona”
            You may also know about RKI downplaying Corona for a long time, even as Trump closed airports for Eurpeans, as “we” were still laughing or lamenting about.

          • Hi Loydo:

            That IS what you were predicting with your linked video, no?

            Ok well I guess THAT query doesn’t deserve an answer. Let’s move on these new predictions:

            He’s tried blaming everyone else, its a matter of time for even Fauci to be in the cross-hairs. Its also a matter of time before Trump begins calling the US death toll fake news: rewriting history will be his only defense.

            So what do you think, another 2 or 3 weeks maybe? Let me know what say you so I can calendar a date for these new prophecies. You know what they say, “You’ll know a prophet of YHWH by how true are his predictions.”

      • Kurt is correct: social-distancing measures work, for well-understood reasons of elementary epidemiology.

    • Please. What peaked? if you are referring to confirmed cases, then none of those countries know how many cases there have been.
      And if Austria is the country to follow, then don’t live in a city of more than 5 million.
      Simplistic views don’t cut it.

      • Mr Swinden is correct: it is far too early to imagine that the infection has peaked. There have been repeated attempts by various posters and commenters here to claim that a peak has been reached, only for the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths to continue to rise inexorably.

        Naive optimism is inappropriate when dealing with a pandemic of this kind. That is why responsible governments have had to take precautions.

      • I am indeed referring to confirmed cases. They may be poor quality data, I grant you. But until we have a handle on how many people have had the disease but not been tested for it (e.g. because they had no symptoms, or because they had it mildly but before the virus was known to be in their country), we have no better figures.

        If you were in charge with deciding when to lift the various lockdowns in a country, what figures would you use? Or would you keep the lockdowns, and all the economic damage they are causing, in place until you are certain of the figures you are working with?

    • He seems to have ignored or was sincerely oblivious to the way the daily data peaked (or more accurately, the best-fit curves through the data peaked) in the last week of March. He then presented linear (instead of logarithmic) vertical axis curves of exponentials, which made it difficult to visualise changes in rate. It’s like drawing one’s savings account if the interest rates were 3% PER DAY but falling. He then may have erred by arguing that an interest rate which is positive but declining must nevertheless lead to arbitrarily high accumulated savings. I suspect a real mathematician (rather than myself) could sort this mess out in a few days. Not up to his usual standard. D-.

    • COVID-19 cases in the world are following a sigmoid curve (an S curve). The start of the disease follows an exponential part of the curve followed by a linear climb then the curve at the top of the S that flattens out.

      • In response to Mr Fosser, the epidemic curve does not decay appreciably from the exponential curve until a sufficient fraction of the susceptibles have been infected. However, even if one assumes that confirmed cases undercount true infections by two orders of magnitude, 98% of the global population remains unifected and thus susceptible.

        Accordingly, it is not particularly likely that the decay away from exponential growth that has become apparent is attributable to significant diminution of the available susceptibles.

      • Which is why it is pointless to look at cumulative totals if you are trying to spot critical change, you have no detail on the S-curve. You need to be looking at the logistic distribution ( cases / day ) not the logistic function.

        On the pure logistic S-curve you are looking for the point of inflection on what is basically a straight line. Hardly the most sensitive of accurate way to approach it.

        Just one reason why Monckton’s graphs are nonsense, apart form the fact he does not even understand what he is looking at and drawing false conclusions ( or willfully deceiving because he thinks he is a superiour being, knows what needs to be done and it’s his job persuade the lower classes to obey orders ).

    • Mr Lock is entitled to make his own calculations, on whatever basis he likes. Responsible governments, however, will concentrate on the daily compound growth rate in cumulative total confirmed cases, for that is the best guide to the course of the infection over the coming weeks.

      As the case growth rates continue to fall, as a result of lockdowns in those countries that have them and greater care on the part of the populations of those who do not, it will become possible for governments to allow life to return step by step to normality.

    • Neil, Norway Total Population is half that of New York at 5.8M, but only 15 people per Square Km.
      Austria Total Population is almost that of New York at 8.8M, but only 104 people per Square Km.
      For comparison New York have 10,947 people per Square Km.
      With those sorts of numbers in those 2 countries it is far easier to get it under control.
      New Zealand with only 18 people per Square Km have done even better.

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/new-zealand/

  5. Population density of Stockholm: 4,800 per sq km

    Population density of Greater London: 4,542 per sq km

    Care to think again?

      • I suspect that mass transit plays a key role in spreading the virus in high-density cities. If the people are working or shopping, you can’t socially distance effectively with a finite number of trains/trams because people won’t be able to get home if they don’t cram into the conveyances. There might not be an alternative to lockdowns in cities dependent on mass transit. On the other hand, many, if not most areas in the US, people travel alone in their cars and are not at risk of being infected until they get to where they are going. Once there, they can keep their distance and wear masks.

      • Population density of Stockholm areas

        e.g. Sodra Station: 26,900 per sq km,
        Roslagstull: 30,100 per sq km etc.

        Stockholm also has an underground system.

        What was that about doing your research?

      • Covid cases UK 10-April-2020

        Birmingham: 1,604

        Hampshire: 1,416

        Kent: 1,252

        Surrey: 1,238

        Essex: 1,232

        Lancashire: 1,226

        Hertfordshire: 1,179

        Sheffield: 1,095

        Cumbria: 1,023

        Brent: 912

        Croydon: 853

        Barnet: 837

        Southwark: 826

        Lambeth: 794

        Staffordshire: 760

        Liverpool: 702

        Newham: 684

        Birmingham: 1,604

        Hampshire: 1,416

        Kent: 1,252

        Surrey: 1,238

        Essex: 1,232

        Lancashire: 1,226

        Hertfordshire: 1,179

        Sheffield: 1,095

        Cumbria: 1,023

        Brent: 912

        Croydon: 853

        Barnet: 837

        Southwark: 826

        Lambeth: 794

        Staffordshire: 760

        Liverpool: 702

        Newham: 684

        Bromley: 658

        Oxfordshire: 653

        Wandsworth: 650

        Lewisham: 644

        Northamptonshire: 626

        Ealing: 624

        Derbyshire: 603

        Harrow: 574

        Nottinghamshire: 566

        Warwickshire: 513

        Manchester: 512

        Worcestershire: 508

        Leeds: 504

        Gloucestershire: 496

        Newcastle upon Tyne: 493

        Norfolk: 486

        County Durham: 482

        Hackney and City of London: 470

        Walsall: 461

        Leicestershire: 449

        Sandwell: 448

        Tower Hamlets: 448

        Westminster: 444

        Merton: 440

        Redbridge: 436

        Enfield: 434

        Hillingdon: 434

        Greenwich: 432

        Hounslow: 416

        Lincolnshire: 392

        Buckinghamshire: 391

        North Yorkshire: 390

        Wolverhampton: 388

  6. Now I understand why the neo-marxists want to pack people into flimsily-built, tightly-packed high-rise apartments.

    • Oh, it’s “sustainable.” It will end any housing shortage, given enough time and epidemics. Makes it easy to find dissenters. With the new “Insta-Gulag™” portable concrete-and-barbed-wire barriers, any ghetto can be turned into a concentration camp in a day. The benefits go on and on. Hooray for globalism! Viva Calizuela!

      /s

    • Just add some nice flammable insulating cladding, to reduce power usage because unreliables, dontcha know, and you can easily achieve your goals…

  7. It seems to me that, though the US is testing more and more, with well over 100,000 tests done per day, our death rate keeps creeping upward. As of this moment, it sits at 3.67%. This virus is a stone cold killer.

      • You know Derg, I wonder about that distinction. Let’s say you have a perfectly healthy individual, then you have a cancer victim who just had chemo, and finally you have a COPD patient–all three cross the street. The healthy individual is hit by a car because he didn’t notice the car turning the corner. The cancer victim was weak and the chemo made it worse and he was hit because he didn’t scramble out of the way–but he would have died anyway in a week from cancer. Our CPOD person just didn’t have the energy to jump back. All three die. It is reported that they all died being hit by a car. No one says, the cancer guy would have died anyway so he did not die “from” the car hitting him but “with” the car hitting. Or the CPOD–they died “with” the car, not “from” the car.

        Does it make sense that if Covid is the deciding factor that we would deny that it killed them? Just because they would have died anyway shortly?

        • In your car accident scenario if all of them had Covid then did they die with Covid or from Covid?

          • Derg should not be silly. The car accident was the cause of death. Likewise, whether or not someone has a pre-existing comorbidity, if that person would be likely to have lived were it not for the Chinese-virus infection then it was the Chinese virus that killed him.

          • Loydo
            April 10, 2020 at 7:49 pm

            Corona virus is an ACUTE illness – you die of it not with it.
            ———————————–

            Very true Loydo,
            but can you do a favor and ask the silly brigade camaraderie there that they put in death certificates only ones that died due to the diagnosed confirmed “ACUTE illness”, please.
            If that not much to ask.

            Very helpful, to you and the camaraderie, to keep it simple, before you all lose it.

            cheers

          • Monckton of Brenchley and that is the crux of the issue…the likeliness to live and for how long.

          • Loy-dud, as Reagan would say, there you go again. Even your own propagandist media has admitted that many who get it are asymptomatic or barely symptomatic.

    • Most people don’t get that sick and don’t get tested. The rate of growth of cases is slowing relative to the rate of growth of deaths. This also makes the death rate appear larger than it is in actuality.

  8. In the excess death charts, is the data based upon looking only at total deaths ignoring cause and comparing to the statistically expected number deaths for the date, or by counting deaths attributed to COVID-19 and how much that adds to the base death rate?

  9. In the excess death rate chart, is the data compiled by measuring actual death numbers regardless of cause and comparing it to the statistically expected death numbers for the date or by taking deaths attributed to COVID-19 and seeing how much that is compared to the expected background death rate?

    • Mr Rodd will find the answers to his questions at the European mortality monitoring website. Just google Euromomo.

    • Alan,
      shutdowns do work. Look at Australia and New Zealand. Both are liberal western
      democracies where the population normally have a healthy disdain of authority
      but have decided to stay at home and not let the infection spread.

      • The leader of NZ Jacinda Ardern’s response and handling of this epidemic could not be more different than Trumps. She has been honest with the people from day one. When she addresses the nation, she doesn’t grand stand and ask for appreciation, she doesn’t fight with the media, or use the events as a chance to tell the nation how wonderful she is. She doesn’t blame the Chinese or the WHO. She doesn’t sugar coat the issue or downplay what is ahead. And has taken advice from those who know and understand the complexity of epidemics from day one .

        Trump on the other hand has done pretty much what you would expect him to do….. Look after Trump and blame everyone he possibly can, for his mistakes. In a tweet in 2013 he wrote “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible….” it is a pity he hasn’t taken his own advice on this issue….

        • Well good for you. Sounds like you got a real high quality politician that really knows how to spread the manure. If she was a dog she would be a Bichon Frise.
          Too bad they don’t keep the scum bags from stealing your stuff.
          We got tired of that and got a Pit Bull. Not very politically astute, or friendly with the scum bags, but the thievery is way down.

        • Simon – with his daily slime. No. Simon – that’s what you and your ilk are doing.

          He’s actually being very responsible in his leadership, as opposed to you progressive lowlifes, who unerringly exploit everything for your own ends.

          THAT’s the pity – and it’s disgusting.

          Period.

          • So three comments attacking me personally, not one actually saying what I said was untrue. Hmmm…. It seems the “Bichon Frise” is out doing the “pit bull” when it comes to managing this serious issue. Trump still to learn that sometimes you don’t need a blowtorch to kill a fly.

          • Simon you are equating NZ and USA. The GDP of NZ is $206 B.
            That would fall between Oregon and South Carolina, in our state rankings.
            Which means it would be 26th state by rank pushing SC to 27.
            Which is a whopping 1.2% of the countries GDP!!
            And it is an island, or two, or more…who even knows?

            You are comparing a Bishon Frise (avg 9 pounds) to the largest grizzly bear ever recorded: 750 lbs = 1.2%
            Yeah…Bishon Frise vs Grizzly Bear that has bowel movements that big…Not really the same thing.

          • “Simon you are equating NZ and USA”
            No I am comparing the competence and qualities of the leaders of the two countries in a crisis….

          • And I am saying Trump is the Grizzly Bear, and you and your Bishon Frise is the bowel movement after a good day at the fishing stream.
            No one cares if you got a woody for a middle aged bureaucrat.
            We got who we want in office, and if you don’t like it, that is more confirmation that we made the right choice.

        • The news media reporting her responses couldn’t be any different either…

          ..they are not playing a constant “gotcha” game with her…twisting and editing what she says to make what they report as fake news…..

          Think of it this way Simon…if Hillary had won….you could be blaming her for exactly the same things right now

        • Methinks Jacinda Ardern has not been hunted like an animal since prior to her election by an unhinged and maniacally partisan “Progressive” propaganda combine.

        • NZ also does not have a political construction as the USA. Ms Ardern has no ‘Governators’ to contend with who refuse and defuse national aims and actions.

    • You can chose to starve. I think the better solution is to ask people in public to wear a mask, and check temperatures before entry to public spaces. If we have sick people who are alone, food can be delivered to them.

    • Gee, I wonder what the viral droplet simulation would show if the miscreant was wearing:
      A crude mask
      A moderately good mask
      A top flight mask

      Probably not so hysterically scary. Notice no masks mentioned. Funny how you are asked to cover coughs and sneezes but masks of any type are useless. SCIENCE has spoken.

    • We can’t stop transmission entirely . The lockdowns are about reducing contact to an absolute minimum. This will slow the rate of infection considerably.

    • How many virions are released in a cough or sneeze and how many do you have to inhale to develop the disease. Kind of makes a difference on just how bad it is.

    • Why would naked people shop, especially without carts? Where do they keep their money or credit cards?

    • Mr Tomalty appears not to understand how it is that lockdowns inhibit the transmission of infections. They do not prevent all transmission: they prevent most transmission.

      To avoid infecting people when going shopping, wear a mask and gloves.

  10. My lord This is the incidence of this flu to date remember its now nearing 5 months = 2.285714285714286e-4 calculated from 1,6 millions cases NOT DEATHS / 7billion worlds population. The number is so small I can’t see the decimal point behind the zeros!. Now 90000 deaths worlwide OVER 5 MONTHS??? lets divide 90000/7billion = 1.285714285714286e-5= mortality rate. So again 170000 mostly old people with diseases die worldwide EVERY DAY! Again as Einstein stated human stupidity is infinite. I’d bet that already the lockdowns per se se are causing more deaths from suicide and hunger in poor countries than the virus which is the cold flu because there are zillch nada cases in the Southern hemisphere or warm tropical subtropical countries. This will go down as the biggest con job by WHO ect in the history of the world fanned by the Internet. So 90000 have died worlwide for the last 5 months (150 days) so 90000/150days = 600 deaths per worlwide . If this had occurred without an internet it would not even be on the last Page of the Guardian or Daily Mail. Everybody will get this virus like they do every year and mortality rates will be exactly the same wait for next winter, except that the lockdows will probably kill millions more. I rest my case. cheers and enjoy life!

    • Haha thx. Ppl. and flu seems to be a terrible combi. They should stay under the blanket and just sweat it out. This site is getting boring btw. A bit more of this and I’ll start to believe in AGW. ttfn

    • Eliza–please. Stop the hysterics–no one is dying of hunger that wouldn’t already be or, in the case of China, being welded into their apartments. The death rate is going up and maybe you consider that small, but many don’t, that doesn’t make them stupid. I am as concerned about the crush on the health care system as anything–if I have a heart attack, I want to be able to get help here–not sit and die of a heart attack because people were too selfish to take it seriously and wear masks and stand 6 feet apart and low the progression–

    • The numbers here in BC Canada do not seem to add up. According to StatsCan, the mortality rate for 2018 for those 65+ is 83/day for a total population of just over 5 M, presumably more in winter and less in summer. Yesterday a solemn health minister announced 2 more deaths, bringing the total to 50 in the 4th week of the ‘lockdown’ . Quebec, much worse hit had 41, for a total of 216 deaths in a population of 8.5M. In the over 65 group, 155/day occurred in 2018.

      Assuming similar mortality statistics for New York State, an average of 330-odd deaths per day would be expected. Their death rate does seem to be elevated. The high number of ‘CoV’ deaths in New York state seem to result in a large number of ‘unclaimed’ bodies. In regular times they bury them in a mass grave once a week and are now up to 5 days a week. This suggests that many of the victims are in marginal and floating populations.

      Until the data for this epidemic are integrated into overall mortality statistics, we have no way of knowing how bad things really are in NY or here. The clinical picture for the worst affected seems to frighten medical staff in a way that a person dying from a heart attack does not. What we can be sure of is that the economic and social ramifications of the lockdown are going to be pretty horrendous.

    • Eliza appears not to understand that this pandemic has not yet peaked; that, therefore, making comparisons with annual totals for other infections is inappropriate and futile; that the UK’s monitoring of intensive-care cases shows that this disease is much more serious than flu; and that all those who have tried to say that the pandemic has peaked have been proven wrong time and again as numbers infected and numbers dying continue to rise inexorably.

      Though the case counts in the countries tracked in the graphs are beginning to show a more modest daily compound growth rate, in most countries the infection has not really begun to grow yet.

      Responsible governments would not dream of making such comparisons between the Chinese virus and existing diseases this early in the pandemic.

      • Eliza appears not to understand that this pandemic has not yet peaked;

        China yes, Korea yes , most EU countries yes; UK US not yet peaked.

        There are (now largely separated) populations at different stages of the epidemic. Confounding them into one group blurs any understanding of evolution and detection of the effect of controlling factors.

  11. Excess deaths in Italy. From a study of The Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT).
    “It is quite shocking to notice that most of the town’s colours tend toward a very high increase of deaths in 2020 compared to 2019 with peaks of over 1000%.”

  12. 1. No-one has any idea how many people worldwide have been infected.

    2. Numbers of lives adversely affected, even lost (modelled possibly as high as 150,000 in the United Kingdom), as a consequence of lockdowns features nowhere in this analysis.

    3. The absence of any lockdown in Sweden, with very little difference in outcome to Denmark, its most similar neighbour, is a constant reproof to lockdown proponents.

    4. Healthcare has to be paid for, contingency plans resourced; impossible without a functioning economy

    5. Given that rhinoviruses, of which there are over 160 which infect humans, have similar effects to coronaviruses on elderly and vulnerable people, this kind of panic could very well occur every year, certainly every other year.

    Lockdowns of this scale may very well be part of the problem, certainly not the solution.

    • Sweden presently has suffered 86 deaths per million vs. 43 in Denmark. Are twice as many fatalities per million a significant difference? US figure is 54 at the moment.

      • We’ll have to wait until all is said and done. Sweden could be close to herd immunity and the cases and deaths could decline quickly.

        • True.

          Especially if, as the German random sample and other instances have found, infection rate is 15%.

          • My own estimate, based on casting back deaths by three weeks, is that in the U.S. some 45 million, or about 15% of the population, are infected. But we do not yet know how many of those currently infected will die. So it would not be wise to assume that the case fatality rate is small enough not to worry about.

            More information is needed before responsible governments can assume that this infection is insignificant.

    • Mr Bidie has not, it seems, ever had to take life-or-death decisions in government. if he had, he would be far less cavalier about allowing the uncontrolled transmission of a new pathogen of unknown characteristics.

      • yes. it is a trolly problem

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

        with this complication.

        we dont know how many people are on each track

        on one track are people whoo will die from the disease
        on the other are people who will be ruined economically by the cure.

        A moral dilemma with incomplete information.

        A challenge to non authoritarian forms of governance

      • Patronising comments rarely indicate strength of argument.

        The story of post war government in the United Kingdom is not a happy one.

        The likely effects of this coronavirus infection have been known about for some time, similar as they are to those of rhinovirus/coronavirus infections routinely taking place every winter in Britain.

        The aged and vulnerable need protecting from these infections every winter. This contingency and, indeed, other epidemics have been planned for many times but never properly resourced. We now see the results of this incompetence: panic.

        That is an indictment of all governments of whatever political hue in the United Kingdom in the post war era.

        If the cap fits…….

        • Governments are simply not able to prepare for all possible bad events. They have to weigh the probability versus severity of all possible bad occurrences, and this is one that is rare.
          Most societies have found that relying on government solutions for public problems is a bad strategy. They have advantages in the short term that are less over the long term than their inherent disadvantages. Some problems morph into worse problems if you wait too long for adequate solutions.
          Indicting everyone equally is what the guilty party wants. It lessens their culpability. In any crime their are active participants, passive participants, and non participants. Only a fool would say they are all equally “indicted”.
          China has a responsibility for this that will not fade. I would distance myself from the stench of their behavior. No amount of propaganda can obfuscate the smell of death from their actions.

  13. I believe that there is an error here. The compound daily growth rate in new cases is trending downward, around 5% based upon the slope of the spaghetti chart. The 6.5 Million and 50 Million new cases that have been extrapolated ( Modeled ) do not take this downward trend into account. Assuming it is a 5% reduction per day in the day to day percentage, for example 7.2% becomes 6.84% on the second day and so on, then the total number of new cases in 3 weeks is only 3.75 Million and the end of May it is only 5.5 Million.

    So sometime in the very near future, before May, the number in hospital should diminish. But I haven’t tried to model it.

    It seems that Christopher has taken the 7.2 % as the daily percentage of new cases and used that for the whole period. ((1+.072)^21)*1.5M and ((1+.072)^40)*1.5M

  14. Germany just released a COVID19 antibody test on 1,000 randomly selected people and found 15% had already been infected with COVID19 and ALMOST ALL were asymptomatic….

    If those test results hold true for the US, as many as 50,000,000 Americans could have already been infected with COVID19, so with just 15,000 deaths to date, the COVID19 death rate could be as low as 0.03%, which is 3.3 times LESS deadly than the regular flu.

    WHO and CDC Initially predicted the COVID19 death rate could be as as high as 3%, which could be 100 TIMES more lethal than what this German antibody study shows.

    Yes, each country must urgently run more extensive antibody tests, but it now seems likely we utterly destroyed our economy for absolutely no reason whatsoever…

    https://spectator.us/covid-antibody-test-german-town-shows-15-percent-infection-rate/

    • The flu is manageable because the deaths happen over the course of a season, roughly six months. And you are comparing at stat of infections, which is caused by infections roughly 3 weeks ago, which is how long this disease takes to cause death.
      So your numbers are way off. Not because you did them wrong, but in a rapidly moving infection numbers need to be synced up, to have meaning. Or just wait until the end and tally the results.
      It is good to be skeptical of governments grabbing liberties from the public. In this case it was done reluctantly, not enthusiastically ( with the exception of a few states – you know who I mean JB ! ).

      • Botched up my post 🙁 I meant ” And you are comparing the number of deaths based on the number of infections”.
        The ratio of deaths per number of infections, needs to synchronized to the number of infections when the people dying today got infected.
        If we compare today’s deaths, to infections, it needs to be the number of infections 2 to 3 weeks ago, roughly when the people dying today were infected.
        This is why you see the current death rate somewhat independent of the current infection rate for several weeks.

    • “……but it now seems likely we utterly destroyed our economy for absolutely no reason whatsoever……….”

      That would be no reason for recrimination. People MUST take decisions depending on the best information they can acquire at the time. If later this found to be incorrect, then that is a shame – but it is how life is.

      In hindsight no mistakes would ever be made, and we would all be multi-billionaires. But if there is a credible threat of death, with inadequate data it would always be sensible to err on the side of caution.

      • Dodgy-san: Fauci said he only wanted to concentrate COVID19 testing on the sick, however these antibody test kits were available around 1 month ago..

        There is finally an antibody test being done by Stanford University, and I think the results will be available next week.

        Had we known COVID19’s death rate could be even less than the regular flu, there is no way Trump would have committed to wasting $6 trillion on this scam and shutting down the US economy…

      • Yes, decisions based upon the best information available at the time. But when new data contradicts the old, isn’t it time to stop what you’re doing and adjust our response to what we currently know?

        I’ve argued against public policy without a cost/benefit analysis. There are a lot of unknowns about the virus but we could have relatively easily estimated the cost of our lock-downs and restrictions. It’s easy to project the economic consequences of millions out of work and many businesses going bankrupt. From there, we could estimate the additional deaths due to an economic depression and weigh that against Covid-19 projections.

        It’s not too late to do this.

      • “People MUST take decisions depending on the best information they can acquire at the time. If later this found to be incorrect, then that is a shame – but it is how life is.”

        It was the best information according to them, just like the climate change alarmists claim to have the best information.

    • How do you know what the actual death rate of the flu is? It’s death rate is estimated as well. Most people who get it never see a doctor, much less get tested for it. It could easily be orders of magnitude higher than estimates.

      One thing the flu has not done very often, is scare the absolute shit out of the health care industry. Health care workers do not usually go to work during flu season, wondering about whether exposure to it is going to kill them or members of their family if they bring it home.

      Maybe we need some statistics on health care workers: flu versus covid 19.

      • davidgmillsatty
        Certainly the number infected with the flu is modeled because many never see a physician. However, when bodies are found lying around, there is always an inquiry as to why. Even if the body is in their own bed, authorities will ask family or friends if they have any idea why the person died. The death ‘estimate’ is therefore more accurate than infections, in countries that issue death certificates.

    • I live in the SF Bay Area, and I believe that my household has already been hit by the Kung Flu. Mid January my oldest daughter had a nasty cough and fever, lasting 3-4 days. She also complained of loss of taste and smell which at the time we thought was odd, but have come to find out that this is a CoVID symptom. Both of my G-daughters (7 & 8) both had low fevers and cough in early Feb. Late February I got hit with a horrible fever and chills, a dry cough that felt like I had broken glass in my chest. Wound up getting pneumonia 3 days later that was treated with antibiotics. And I have several friends that complained of similar flu symptoms going back as far as late Dec, early Jan. It’s anecdotal at best, but seems like there are a lot of people out there that have had it already. I’m just waiting for the anti-body test to find out for sure.

      • Thanks Sycomputing, that is interesting. I live near Ridgecrest, this town in the north Mojave has some 8000 people working more or less directly for the Naval Air Warfare Center (China Lake). There is a LOT of business travel. We started noticing a strange virulent flu like crud hitting us in Dec. I came down with it just after Christmas. I totally relate to Brian’s experience. While my symptoms did not seem to include fever I never took my temp, so I don’t know. What did happen was a week of absolute misery, followed by a week of pretty bad, followed by a month of gradual return to normal. My lungs felt pretty roasted.

        So, I’m wondering, are we seeing an upward curve here simply because of increased testing? Ridgecrest Regional Hospital got their first positive test case in late March. The total is now up to 4, has been 4 for the last few days. This hospital serves a population of about 30,000. If the crud we had was CV19, then I think our peak was around the New Year.

        • Maybe you’ll be able to shed some light on this as time goes on. As I understand it, albeit so far anecdotally, not an insignificant number of individuals in CA experienced similar symptoms during the fall 2019 flu season, but chalked it up to a “bad” flu.

          Hopefully Stanford will be able to confirm.

      • Me too, in the UK, starting on January 3rd would you believe! I thought, what is this debilitating cold in which my appetite has gone because food is virtually tasteless? I’m hoping I’m immune from the UK epidemic, but I’d pay good money to get an antibody test.

        Rich.

    • Germany seems to have a couple of days headstart on explosive growth, so that 50,000,000 estimate is probably high for the U.S.

    • That German study of 1,000 randomly selected individuals implied a .37% mortality rate in one German town.
      Assuming the same mortality rate in the US
      Assuming todays death total reflects the cases we had two weeks ago
      Then the 18,693 deaths in the US on 4/10 become
      18,693/ .37% = 5,052,162 active and recovered infections two weeks ago.

      I suspect that when we start counting all that had this infection that the death toll will be less than 1% maybe somewhere between .4% and .8%. One of the problem with this disease is that half the people who catch it don’t even know their sick. Which is a powerful argument on why even the ones that think they are healthy should wear a mask. Not to keep you from getting sick but to protect the people around you.

  15. But most of the U.K. is not as densely populated ads London. Most U.K. cases are in London. Most US cases are in NY/NJ – lockdown in areas outside these hotspots is not warranted. More people will die from economic fallout in these places than covid.

    • Detroit and New Orleans are also hotspots. Seattle area was. Only a handful of states suffer from deaths per million above the national average. Many have death per million rates in single digits. WY’s is still zero.

    • Current deaths per million:

      NY 400
      NJ 218
      LA 162
      MI 129
      CT 125
      MA 88
      WA 66
      US 56

      NY and states bordering it are the epicenter, with three separate lesser centers. WA is fading fast, after its early lead.

      In all cases, nursing homes are being ravaged. The virus should soon run out of vulnerable victims.

    • The problem with locking down only cities is that city-dwellers flee to the country, carrying the infection with them. That is why lockdowns only really work if they are nationwide.

      • United States used their police to keep MY refugees out of their jurisdictions.

        Clearly, without a national federal lockdown, dozens of states have avoided the fate of the NY metro area.

      • . . . city-dwellers flee to the country, carrying the infection with them.

        To where would they flee, if you mean en masse?

  16. And Netherlands, excess deaths
    Netherlands: 2000 more deaths than average,
    The Dutch Statistics Netherlands reports that 2000 more people died in the Netherlands in week 14 in 2020 than is usual during this period. That’s what the Dutch newspaper Telegraaf writes. The total number of deaths is about 5,100 people. A standing share of the dead are older people over 80 years. The statistics deal with all types of deaths. Last week, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) estimated that more than 1,600 more people died in the second half of March than average. Of these, 603 are determined to be due to coronavirus. The statisticians give no theories as to why the number of deaths is so much higher than has been the case.

  17. How does the UK’s excess for CV19 compare with 2017-18 Flu deaths, and the previous Hong Kong and Asian Flu of the 1960s and 1950s?

  18. The issue still comes down to finding the best possible balance between countering harm on both sides- harm to vulnerable segments of the population from these diseases (elderly, compromised) and harm to the general population from these total shutdown approaches. Obviously, every year we should take common sense protective measures to combat the annual common flu death totals that are still far worse than this virus (average 389,000 worldwide, up to 100,000 children). But there is mounting evidence of serious harm to the general world population from the total lockdown approaches. Could Moncton include the other side in his analyses?

    • In response to Mr Krossa, until I began contributing these pieces the only commentaries on the Chinese virus here were in favor of ending lockdowns. Therefore, for the sake of balance, I have given the other side of the story, which is that governments cannot take the risk of allowing their healthcare systems to be overwhelmed. As soon as it is clear that the case counts are falling, governments will revisit the question whether lockdowns are appropriate.

  19. “2. An environmental factor (such as warmer summer weather) temporarily reduces the growth rate of the infection. With a new pandemic, one may hope that warmer weather will help, but responsible governments must be prepared in case it does not.”

    You are totally right. MERS was very resilient against heat so it would be very careless of governments to assume otherwise.

    • http://www.yourdestinationnow.com/2020/04/summer-wont-curb-spread-of-coronavirus.html

      Study done by Chinese scientists:

      Summer WON’T curb the spread of the coronavirus: Study debunks claims that warmer weather will halt the pandemic

      “Our analysis suggested that ambient temperature has no significant impact on the transmission ability of SARS-CoV-2,’ the researchers said.

      ‘It is premature to count on warmer weather to control COVID-19, and relying on seasonality to curb this pandemic can be a dangerous line of thought.’

      ‘Changing seasons may help but are unlikely to stop transmission,’ the team added.

      ‘Urgent policies or interventions — such as community travel bans and school closures — are needed to help slow transmission.'”

      • Sunshine might help by boosting peoples ability to fight infection as well as destroying the virus outside.

    • “An environmental factor (such as warmer summer weather) temporarily reduces the growth rate of the infection.”

      Possibly not. Brazil looks like catching up with Europe and Indonesia has only just started.

      It may be that in cooler countries warmer weather allows people to get out a bit and practise a bit more separation. Countries with lower population densities seem to have lower ionfection rates.

      Accepting that there is probably a huge difference between the number of identified infections and actual infections, as various commentators have pointed out, we won’t know how it hapenned until it’s over.

  20. No, it is most emphatically NOT exponential!!! It’s second order.
    Attached are my latest ECDC graphics for 4/10/20.
    https://www.linkedin.com/posts/nicholas-schroeder-55934820_covid19-pandemicresponse-climatechange-activity-6654385501195259904-JRFz
    I thought this week was CoVid-19’s Pearl Harbor.
    Looks more like CoVid-19’s Bay of Pigs.
    The daily deaths have held fairly flat and steady for several days now, not exponential at all.
    And don’t suggest that our economic self-abuse and social distancing clown show are responsible.
    It’s easy to flatten a curve – THAT’S ALREADY FLAT!!!
    For the greenhouse effect to perform as advertised the surface of the earth must radiate as an ideal black body.
    For the CoVid pandemic to perform as advertised it must spread in an exponential manner.
    What do these two assumptions have in common?
    They are both WRONG^3, not so, incorrect-o-mundo, booguuusss!
    But that’s what one gets from amateurs and bureaucrats doing science and math.

    • We know that false climate science is knowingly promoted. I wonder whether some in positions of authority knowingly exaggerated the threat of this virus.

      • In response to Scissor, it was essential that governments took precautions to prevent their healthcare systems from becoming overloaded. The sight of mass graves being dug in New York should perhaps give pause for thought.

    • Nick are you saying that a virus has the same ability to infect others, whether the infected person is sitting at home watching tv, or maybe at a birthday party. Because mathematically when one person infects multiple others, and those people infect multiple others, that is exponential.
      Here is a nice example for you:
      https://www.foxnews.com/us/how-coronavirus-spread-through-a-birthday-and-a-funeral-in-chicago
      If that person stayed home, instead of going out, it is not exponential!! So you are showing that social distancing (first) followed by “stay at home” directives flattens the curve. It logically cannot be anything else. We are just arguing about what the value of the exponent is, for each stage of the contagion, based on what the public is doing, both to avoid getting the virus, and avoid spreading it.

      Here is a study for you to think about how bad it can get if we let it ride:
      https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.07.20021154v1.full.pdf

      This is a highly infectious disease. Unless you live in China. There it can be contained by proclamation. And crematoriums running at full capacity. And government monitoring the movements of everyone at all times.

    • Mr Schroeder is incorrect. In the early stages of a pandemic, the transmission is near-perfectly exponential. The fact that the compound daily growth rate is now falling is attributable to the various control measures that have been implemented worldwide.

  21. The relevant value that needs to be quantified better is R0 (R-naught). Without that value all others are speculative. It is the dog that wags all other effects from trivial to catastrophic.
    The current estimation for R0 in urban environments it ~6. That means with every infected person will infect 6 more. Who will infect 6 more, who will infect 6 more, until there is a shortage of uninfected people.
    Under “stay at home’ policy that number is estimated at ~1.5.
    At 6 we have no options but to ride it out, and suffer the consequences. The only option is to lock up people so we can come back later to collect the bodies.
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.07.20021154v1.full.pdf

  22. I have been looking at daily growth in cumulative deaths for countries including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA. If you plot the values beyond the early scatter (e.g. once cumulative deaths exceed 3 per million), the values for each of these countries fit well to a linear trend with negative slope. The slopes are -0.8 for the UK, -0.9 for France, -1 for Italy, -1.1 for Switzerland, and Canada, -1.3 for Germany and the US, -1.4 for the Netherlands and Sweden, -1.6 for Spain and -2.1 for Belgium.

    The downward slope (decrease in growth rate) seems to have little to do with legal restraints on social activity, but has strong and inverse correlation to the initial value of the trend. This suggests to me that the pandemic is running its natural course, and the most effective things that authorities can do is disinfect public spaces and supply N95-type masks to everyone. The worst thing might be impose universal restraints that shatter social and economic confidence.

    • Unfortunately Mr Taylor’s analysis is not correct. The compound daily growth rates in both cumulative cases and deaths in nearly all countries remain dangerously high. While that continues to be the case, it would not be responsible to end lockdowns.

  23. Plotting *cumulative* cases of course is going to be exponential, but is not saying anything about how the epidemic is changing. Total cases doesn’t account for recovery and death. I’ve been plotting (from worldometer data) active cases only since March 1. It initially showed exponential growth through the end of March. Since then, the growth has been linear and is fit well with a sigmoid function.

    • I’ve seen numerous mentions of the Keeling Curve as exponential, too, but lately it’s clearly linear. Obviously, some people would like it to be exponential.

    • Mr Monce should be aware of the dangers of curve-fitting. Even if the true numbers infected are 100 times the confirmed-case count, 98% of the population remain uninfected, in which event there is no basis for an appreciable decay from pure exponentiality towards the sigmoid profile. The apparent curve-fit to the sigmoid function is an artefact caused by the fact that – though some commenters here do not like it – lockdowns work.

  24. “Those who support ending all lockdowns, allowing the old and the sick to die in large numbers and risking the general population’s health by overloading the healthcare system ”
    Sir, that is a very dishonest thing to say on several levels.
    firstly, those who support ending lockdowns do not want old and sick to die. those who support ending lockdowns want the HEALTHY part of the population to be allowed to go on with their life.
    these are the people who produce the wealth that is used to pay for healthcare itself. keeping these on house arrest will ultimately jeopardize the capacity of the healthcare system to exist at all.
    secondly, those who support ending lockdowns do not wish to prevent old, frail, or anyone else to confine themselves to their house if they feel inclined to do so. in fact, i advise old and frail people to avoid contacts with potential sources of contagion, but i surely would not try to do that by force.
    thirdly, if the healthcare system shows to be totally inadequate to deal with an epidemic, this is hardly a good reason for removing all personal freedoms.
    forcing people to buy services they do not necessarily want at a price they cannot negotiate, and then preventing them to use such services at gunpoint is usually called mafia.
    i often hear the argument that people should confine themselves to their house in order to not expose others to risks of some sort. this is completely unacceptable in any free country. of course, we no longer live in free countries. we live in collectivist dictatorships disguised as “democracies”, where absurd principles like “potential risk” are routinely used to remove all personal freedoms

    • Baloney. The law of quarantine preexisted the Constitution by so many centuries I have no idea how many that was. The Constitution clearly allows Congress under Article I Section 8 to provide for the general welfare. And that includes quarantine where warranted.

      So there is nothing new about this quarantine that lessons the civil rights of Americans. Your liberties are not being jeopardized and it is the province of government to regulate the economy. Don’t like what the government did? Elect a new one.

      • davidgmillsatty

        You said, “The law of quarantine preexisted the Constitution …” However, an important difference is that those who were sick were the ones who were quarantined, not the healthy. That is, those who were a danger to others were isolated. The state didn’t isolate those who were at risk, for their own safety.

        Strictly speaking, the Constitution does not give the federal government the power to regulate the economy under the umbrella of “general welfare.” They have the power to regulate interstate commerce to protect consumers from unscrupulous commercial activities such as shipping unhealthy food, or engaging in unfair business practices. Although, weights and measures are typically monitored by state agencies.

      • “So there is nothing new about this quarantine that lessons the civil rights of Americans. Your liberties are not being jeopardized”

        Ah, so the fact that I cannot meet a group of friends (freedom of assembly), cannot attend church (freedom to practice religion), or even leave my house (liberty) doesn’t mean that my civil rights are lessened nor that my liberties are being jeopardized?

        You *may* want to rethink that.

    • Gian has completely missed the point of these postings, which is that when a new and fatal pandemic appears there is a real danger that healthcare systems and hospitals will be overwhelmed. This has already happened in the UK, where tens of thousands of elective surgeries have had to be canceled to make way for Chinese-virus patients. The result of failing to control transmission is not only that the old and the sick die – for they are dying already – but also that younger people die, even if they do not have the virus, because they cannot get elective surgery.

  25. You forgot
    5. One or more effective treatments are found to reduce both the severity and length of infection. This reduces both the number of deaths (especially among the older/infirm), the number of hospitalizations and the time a person is infectious.

    This also changes the virus from a 1918 style flu to the common, everyday flu which still kills 10’s of thousands, but that’s ok.

  26. When I read what Willis Eschenbach describes, it makes perfect sense to me, but so does what the good Christopher Monckton of Brenchley writes as well and I am grateful to have both sides presented in such excellent description, which is what science should be all about. Thank you WUWT for presenting different views and hosting comment and honest debate.

    Doing harm to the economy that will affect all the healthy youngsters for years to come seems to be an over reach of common sense. But then reading what Christopher Monckton says also makes sense, within reason, that we aggressively limit transmission of the Wuhan virus so as to not overload health facilities and/or limit the pre-mature death of Grandma whom we all love and cherish. Both are right but at what point are we cutting off our nose to spite our face? What is a poor pleb like me to think? I do know that there are huge lessons to be learnt from this, especially for climate science and on the reliance of experts and how we formulate public policy going forward.

    • I have also enjoyed the various takes on this topic from Christopher, Willis and Rud and do appreciate their attempts to explain what is happening.

      However here is another wrinkle and I am not sure who’s point it helps.

      My daughter is an emergency room doctor and works for a major trauma hospital network in a large great lakes area city. She works a variety of shifts usually around 20 a month with 6-8 being overnights. My wife and I will get to chat with her while she is driving in for the overnights. Several weeks ago as all this was unfolding and the lock downs just commencing she would comment on how slow it had been at work and we would joke with her about people being afraid to go in and catching the virus even if it was an injury they would normally go to the ER for. That was 3-4 weeks ago. Last night same comment on how slow the ER has been and how she knows other ER doctors and nurses around her area or across that US that are being sent home, having hours or shifts cut, quarterly bonuses being reduced etc.

      In one of Willis’s post he was showing how the demand for beds and ICU beds was being meet in most areas of California and the same can be said for my daughter’s state and I would venture most of the US where the virus isn’t going off the charts.

      I think that when the decision makers started panicking about a shortage of beds, supplies etc. they failed to take into consideration the impact of how the lock down would reduce the need that is normally there for the hospitals. Instead of needing x beds normally and then adding y beds for the virus the lock down has made it 1/2 x + y beds not x+y beds. So I guess what I am saying is that by locking everyone down that did provide the resources that were needed to keep from overwhelming the hospitals. However where the virus isn’t out of control it is now hurting the hospital workers also…possibly too much of a good thing.

      • That’s exactly what has happened, and when things open again, hospitals and doctor’s offices will be slammed.

        Similarly, in the Denver metro area, the bus driver’s union had been complaining about all of the days that drivers had to work in addition to overtime. At present, the transportation district has not adjusted schedules at all. Now the bus drivers are still being overworked but they being overworked to drive empty buses. They know plan to reduce schedules in a couple of weeks, probably about the time that ridership will return.

        We are being governed by a bunch of idiot politicians and bureaucrats.

        • Scissor
          You complained, “We are being governed by a bunch of idiot politicians and bureaucrats.” You are being redundant.

      • TC’s observation is most interesting. People are certainly avoiding hospitals if they possibly can, and, because they are staying at home more, there is less need for emergency-room visits anyway. But in the UK we had to build a dozen huge intensive-care hospitals at very short notice to cope with the growing demand for specialist treatment for Chinese-virus patients. If the Government had not locked down the nation, the health service would have been swamped. Social unrest would have followed. So the government acted and the lockdown was introduced. It has widespread, though not quite universal, support.

    • Earthling2
      You commented, “… that we aggressively limit transmission of the Wuhan virus so as to not overload health facilities and/or limit the pre-mature death …” It appears that none of the hospitals in the state of Ohio are in danger of exceeding their capacity. It is only a few places like NYC that are at risk. That suggests that those areas should be treated differently than the rest of the country.

      • Yes, you are right Clyde. In the Pacific North West where I hang my hat in multiple locations, small towns and city hospitals are mostly cleared out and near empty. Elective surgeries were cancelled, no one including me is even bothering going in for my regular INR monthly testing and some of my regular specialist appointments were cancelled several weeks/months ago in anticipation of things being swamped. With no activity going on, vehicular accidents are down, as are industrial accidents and people just avoiding the Dr. office and the hospital including the ER. Makes sense to me. Probably normal flu is also down by a big amount. But seems to be a major miscalculation for much of the NA continent, at least in low population densities. I wonder if this is true in other parts of the world as well?

        The only major concern is the senior centres where it is possible just one asymptomatic super spreader could cause havoc on that facility and spread from there. That is my biggest fear acquiring this since I am probably one of those statistical groups who might have a 50-50 chance of surviving. I just want one more summer…which is why I just just jumped in my camper and filled up with supplies for a few months, and headed out to one of my remote forested off grid properties in the mountains with sat internet/TV and micro hydro. While I am enjoying ice fishing and snowmobiling every day out in the glorious sunshine, I am feeling very sorry for everyone locked up in a flat or a hovel around the world; my only risk is falling through the ice or cutting myself and bleeding out, being a hundred miles away from any assistance. I guess we pays our monies, and takes our chances. No guarantees in life. But I would rather expire out here in big sky country, than stuck on a ventilator.

  27. In 1957, up to 50% of British schoolchildren developed influenza, but even those schools which were severely disorganised had returned to normal 4 weeks after the appearance of the first case. In residential schools in the UK, attack rates reached 90%, often affecting the whole school within a fortnight.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org

    The Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968-69 also began in southern China and led to a similar number of deaths worldwide – though in the UK the number was higher than for Asian flu, totalling around 80,000.

  28. If your family comes down with it, Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective therapy’ by doctors for coronavirus: Global survey
    Drug known for treating malaria used by U.S. doctors mostly for high-risk COVID-19 patients
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/2/hydroxychloroquine-rated-most-effective-therapy-do/
    https://nypost.com/2020/04/06/medical-group-backs-giving-hydroxychloroquine-to-coronavirus-patients/?utm_source=twitter_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

  29. BCG vaccine is also in Phase 3 trials (as of March 2020) of being studied to prevent COVID-19 in health care workers in Australia and Netherlands.[90] Neither country practices routine BCG vaccination.

    An Irish study found that the BCG may contribute to lower infection rates and overall deaths. Countries with a BCG vaccine could have a death toll 20 times less.[91
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCG_vaccine
    Tuberculosis has an unusual similarity of symptoms to Covid-19:
    Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria.[1] Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body.[1] Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis.[1] About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those affected.[1] The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing mucus, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.[1] It was historically called “consumption” due to the weight loss.[8] Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.[9]

    Tuberculosis is spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis

    • In the UK BCG was administered to all school children at age 15 until about 2009 when it was restricted to a more limited section of the population. Consequently everyone in the UK over the age of ~25 has had the BCG vaccination. Is there any indication that this has had an effect on COVID-19 in the UK?

  30. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=human+touch+springfield&qpvt=human+touch+springfield&view=detail&mid=36768BDB182EDD395E9F36768BDB182EDD395E9F&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dhuman%2Btouch%2Bspringfield%26qpvt%3Dhuman%2Btouch%2Bspringfield%26FORM%3DVDRE

    In the spirit of quarantine – and the acknowledgment that it sucks, regardless of health, or political/scientific beliefs – at least THAT much is certain – I’ve been bumping this one all day.

  31. You can’t judge excess mortality on a short term basis in a situation like this – even if large parts of the UK and Ireland have none. Many of those with CV19 will have died anon anyway, so in the aftermath excess deaths will drop well below normal. It will have to be assessed retrospectively.

    By letting the pandemic run its natural course you are not killing (more than a handful of) people that wouldn’t die anyway, they may have died a few months earlier than other wise. 5500 deaths a year in N.York from flu/pneumonia is normal. Yes the CV19 count has now exceeded that, but most of those excess cases will not appear in other ‘popular’ cause of death categories now and in subsequent months.

    All the indications are that this virus is highly infectious but the vast vast majority have no symptoms, a tiny proportion get symptoms, and a tiny proportion of those get really ill – once you get to needing ICU and a ventilator the majority (or at lest 50%) will die regardless. It would have probably burnt out in 4 weeks in each hotspot all by itself. If anything lockdowns etc. (even if they effectively prevented transmission – doubtful) may just prevent it dying out in a timely way, and drag out the pain of all types.

    Too much expertise and modelling and graphing and thought really can be a bad thing. It gives the illusion of understanding and control over something where in reality there is none/little. ATEOTD this is no more than speculation – highly biased by the modelers chosen methods and preconceptions and motives.

    This most definitely is not another Spanish Flu, it is not the long predicted ‘bad one’, and the catastrophic political management and damage to the economy is completely unjustified and will harm/kill far more people in the long run.

    Remember Boris did a 180 degree change, panicked by an ‘expert modeler’ with a questionable track record using opaque methods and multiple rapid revisions.

    The time for decisive action, where the economic damage may have been justifiable, was before it got out of China in a no longer containable fashion, that opportunity was missed – and that is the lesson to learn for the future.

    A different ‘expert’ perspective:-

    https://notrickszone.com/2020/04/09/epidemiology-professor-do-nothing-coronaviruses-end-in-4-weeks-containment-prolongs-death/

  32. social restrictions and lockdowns don’t prevent infections, they just move them into the future. Herd immunity (or vaccination) is the only way to stop a virus. H1N1 2009 required 24% to be infected before herd immunity stopped more infections. 1918 flu required 70% infected for herd immunity. This bug is between them in strength, so expect 50% population will become infected.

  33. A phlebotomist working at Roseland Community Hospital said Thursday that 30% to 50% of patients tested for the coronavirus have antibodies while only around 10% to 20% of those tested have the active virus.

    How many of the pre-Covid flu cases were really Covid?

    This has been a terrible over-reaction.

    • This does raise some questions: Did the pre-Covid “flu” spread like the real thing? Was there fever in the former? Could testing error be a significant factor behind the anomaly? What percentage of people had the earlier infection?

    • As far as I know, there is not yet an antibody test specific enough to distinguish between one coronavirus and another. Therefore, the phlebotomist was probably wrong.

      And no, it hasn’t been a terrible over-reaction. Those who have not served in government can of course make armchair judgments of this kind, but responsible governments faced with a new and fatal infection of unknown characteristics have to take precautions in the first instance, or health services will be swamped.

      Coronavirus will prove to be a large killer, unfortunately.

  34. “That exponential growth factor will not diminish except in one of four circumstances:”

    Five, depending on how you count. Prophylactic options. There are a number of things you can do or take in advance so that you improve your odds. These could become popular enough to provide herd immunity.
    Prevention is better than the cure (since there isn’t one).

    The exponential growth factor is going down, probably mostly by #1, almost everybody being at least a little bit more careful. A better wording would be “the exponential growth factor will not diminish to zero percent unless …”

    #5 is the best short-term hope.

  35. The poster child for low population density is Nunavut, which has zero of the new coronavirus. link

    … we have only four points of entry into the territory unless you’re coming up by snowmobile or dog team.

    At 0.02 people per square km, the folks up there have no problem at all maintaining their social distance. 🙂

    • I am not sure if it was Nunavut, Yukon or the NWT that shut down their borders with the rest of Canada, but one of their principal problems is that some households have up to a dozen or more people living per house so if the infection does gain a foothold, then it has opportunity to spread throughout their small remote communities. With little health care facilities available for a thousand miles or more in some cases, in any direction. So while it is certainly true that Nunavut probably has some of the lowest population densities in the world, their living conditions are such that they could suffer catastrophically if the infection were to arrive and fester in their housing conditions that would be be difficult to social distance if some were to present with this disease. Especially for their elders who grew up with grand parents that witnessed other such pandemics in the past and were especially hard hit. This would be a classic example where shutting out people from down south for the duration does make perfect sense. Good luck to the good people of Nunavut, NWT and the Yukon.

      • Section 6 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms affords Canadian citizens the right to enter, remain in and leave the country.

        It also affords citizens and permanent residents the right to “move to and take up residence in any province and to purse to gaining of a livelihood in any province.”

        • A simple Google search shows it was Nunavut who closed its borders to outsiders flying in, which other than a few roads into the territory, a dog sled or snowmobile is the only way of getting in. They also turned back non essential travellers on the few roads into Nunavut and so far have Zero cases of Covid-19. An emergency declaration temporarily overrides Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Just like in the USA they can issue quarantine measures even though the principal of Freedom of Assembly is guaranteed in the USA Constitution as part of the First Amendment.

          “As of March 24, the province barred all non-residents from flying into the territory.”

          https://nationalpost.com/news/the-benefits-of-isolation-nunavut-doesnt-have-a-single-confirmed-case-of-covid-19

      • Polar bears aren’t stupid. They quickly learn that Eskimos cause problems like lead poisoning for one example.

  36. Ref your figure 5. Surely the purpose of the ‘excess winter mortality’ graphs is that they will show there is an excess of deaths in winter compared to summer so figure 5 should not be a surprise as there is an excess virtually every year..

    here are some useful figures putting all deaths in the UK into context. The CV data to april 10th are modelled and will be update when all data is in but the estimate was to low.

    http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/

    tonyb

    • No. Read the euromomo explanation of the graph. This is excess mortality compared with a normal week 14.

  37. Vaccination?
    Up to now the virus did not experience any pressure for mutations
    The population was completely naive.
    As soon as the herd immunity or vaccine is esta6, it will mutate as a hell.
    Hey, this is an RNA virus!
    It has already mutated enough to jump from a bate to a human.

    • Its a slow mutator, there is no pressure to mutate.
      it spreads fast and its not too deadly

      • it spreads fast and its not too deadly

        Then you would disagree with the following:

        “Coronavirus will prove to be a large killer, unfortunately.”

        “The herd immunity merchants had not realized just how fatal this particular coronavirus is, so they thought they could treat it just like the flu.”

        Or . . . ?

  38. After all the hullabaloo is over, one of the big stories that will remain is the importance of an apolitical health authority.

    All Sweden’s public agencies are independent of the government.

    There are two main points to this:

    1. Decisions are made based on knowledge and expertise

    2. Limiting politicisation, because ministers may not influence the agency decision-making process.

    An interesting model here, and not just for health. Education springs to mind as well. After all, where did the very successful British ‘free school’ model come from, I wonder?

    • In Britain nearly all politicians are scientifically illiterate and innumerate. Therefore, they tend to follow the advice of scientists slavishly. But the scientists were in two minds. The herd immunity merchants had not realized just how fatal this particular coronavirus is, so they thought they could treat it just like the flu. Eventually, as National Health Service hospitals became clogged with desperately ill patients requiring advanced and prolonged care, the government took a command decision, based on scientific advice, that there should be a lockdown.

      • Or the government, population, started flapping as a consequence of a batty model, just as the government did in 2001 over the foot and mouth crisis of that year, slaughtering millions of much loved animals unnecessarily; and there is some crossover between the modelling teams in both instances.

        So the government, as with most other European governments, with the honourable and inspirational exception of Sweden, opted for the clearly politically expedient option; lockdown, a one way bet.

        Both health and education should, of course, be removed from politicking and placed under the control of independent authorities, in the same way that the Bank of England has been so removed.

        The government now has both a mandate and an incompetently handled crisis both of which militate for swingeing reform of public institutions. England expects……

  39. Exponential growth or not?
    If you have a constant source of infection, for example, you visit a supermarket once a week where you have a certain probably being infected, the growth will be linear.
    Not exponential.
    That is why the Chinese closed all supermarkets for general public!

  40. COSTS COUNT TOO–IN LIVES
    The best is to contain an outbreak completely as was done with SARS and MERS. But that genie left its bottle by early February, when all of China and 18 other countries were exposed (known cases only).

    At this point, the virus cannot be stopped, nor is it possible to reduce total number of cases or deaths by smashing most economic, religious, and social activity–EXCEPT by sparing ventilators in heavily impacted areas like New York and Italy, and probably a few dozen others. About 2/3 of ventilator cases die anyway, and most are old with co-morbidities. Those with better prospects would get the ventilators anyway in triage situations.

    So we are doing this enormity for a few thousand lives at most.

    The cost is not merely an extra outfit or a cool new video game. Churchgoers LIVE LONGER, social life extends longevity in the aged, and suicide in teens in rocketing because electronic media are no substitute for real in-person friendship. THE COST OF THE LOCKDOWN IS 100 TO 10 000 TIMES MORE lives LOST than will be saved.

    By May 1, all lockdowns should be ended because immunity is higher in the summer. We are not getting out of this without herd immunity = 60-80% exposed. Best get your exposure while you are strong enough to deal with it.

    • By May 1, all lockdowns should be ended because immunity is higher in the summer.

      Hemispherist.

      You mean all lock downs in the northern hemisphere (not that I necessarily agree).

    • LadyLifeGrows is giving personal opinions at odds with scientific research, which shows, for instance, that there is no particular reason to suppose that warmer weather will inhibit transmission.

  41. My comment got eaten, so I’ll repeat it:

    This is alarmism 101.

    The excess mortality figures in Europe are not more than a normal flu season. Even the worst affected regions are not more badly affected than a badly affected region is every year. It is well within the normal range of variability.

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

    In all likelihood, the only reason why you are seeing an exponential growth in confirmed cases is because the disease is already endemic in most populations and the rate of testing increased exponentially.

    • Beeze is guessing, and guessing in a manner contrary to the evidence.

      The excess mortality figures in Europe are stated to be attributable to the Chinese virus, and they are more than in a normal flu season, as the datasheet makes quite clear.

      And it is not correct that exponential growth in confirmed cases arises from greater testing. During the period before March 14, when testing was limited, growth in confirmed cases was exponential at 20% per day. Since then, testing has become much more widespread, and the confirmed-case daily growth rate has been slowing.

      • The Euromomo data sheet shows that the excess deaths are similar to or below the peaks in recent years, but that this year the peak is later than usual. We are seeing significant excess deaths compared to an average March, but not compared to average winter peak deaths, which normally happens January-February.

  42. President Trump’s Corona Virus Task Force press briefing today discussing a staged relieving of the restrictive measures applied to the US of A and what methods and data may be used to guide this.

  43. Just as an aside and biologist with 4 degrees IN BIOLOGY and veterinary science virus knowledge (im boasting now like the lord, sorry ) humans should not be living in cold climate countries thats why you get these diseases. viva global warming hahah. Our body temperatures are 37C and we descend from monkeys from the tropics .Fortunately Moved to South America tropics a long time ago cheers

  44. Here is a fascinating timeline from the CDC regarding the 2009 epidemic. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-pandemic-timeline.html

    It took 13 days to CDC develop and FDA approve a test kit.
    Vaccine clinical trials began July 22 with FDA approval on September 15. Less than two months!

    Why do they keep telling us it takes 18 months to test and approve a vaccine, and that this will be faster than ever before, when it only took 2 months in 2009? Fauci was in the same position in 2009 and should know the truth.

    Trump’s Wuhan travel ban worked. Until it didn’t. But it bought us time. Until we bungled it, such as test kit development and approval.

    I am unconvinced that you have shown proof that the lockdowns helped, though I believe they did. But they too can only buy us time. At least Trump intervened to mass produce masks and ventilators etc.

    Has anyone ever asked how much of the population needs to be immune to stop this contagious disease from increasing? For an R0 greater than 3, the number has to be huge. This is going to keep recurring until a vaccine is in use, or until most of the world has developed immunity the hard way. It took the Spanish Flu 3 massive waves until it subsisted.

    By the time that we have a vaccine, we will have had 2 or 3 waves of COVID-19. If the 2009 practices are followed, we could be in mass distribution of a vaccine at the beginning of October. In time for the normal flu season.

    What is the point of saving lives now, if we are going to bungle it and waste them later?

    Maybe the rest of the world will be lucky and someone like the Israelis will quickly test and approve a vaccine in time to stop the next wave. But if test kits are an example, count on Fauci of the NIH, together with his buddies in the CDC and the FDA to reject that, the way they rejected German developed test kits.

  45. Am I missing something here or is this a rare serious flaw on the part of the author? There is missing information after 13th March. There is little disagreement about the way that a simple exponential curve (Fig 4) fits the data (Fig 3) first part of an epidemic (up to 13th March ). What is important is to establish at what time the data deviates from the exponential (Fig 4) and is better described with a more complete epidemic curve such as the symmetical sigmoid (or Farr, 1820) curve, or the asymmetric Gompertz curves, all of which approximate the entire lifespan (save for “second wave” “double peak” patterns, which might need to be taken separately). In the nineteenth centruy Farr approximated epidemic instantaneous figures with a symmetrical bell-curve; Gompertz added an extra factor that introduces an asymmetry , which better fits actual epidemics and sales figures for mobile phones.

    In the early stage (before the “shoulder” of the bell) all these bell curves are numerically indistinguishable from each other and from a simple exponential and one cannot make any credible estimates of peak time or peak value by looking at the very early stage; one can obtain only anxiety at the high rate of increase (short doubling-time). However, by the early April, nearly all the countries had developed “bent over”cumulative curves (equivalent to bell-curves of daily cases), in the sense that the divergence of the best-fit curve from the terrifying exponential was manifest. (Mathematically, this is illustrated by the way that exp(2x) is approximately the same as 1+tanh(x) for negative values of x, but diverges dramatically around x=0 because the tanh function asympotically approaches 1 whereas the exp function diverges to infinity, and similarly for other bell-shaped curves.) The “bent-over” date varied slightly between countries. They all seem to be in the last two weeks of March, just off the edge of the Figs 3 and 4. We discussed this at length only yesterday. Even The Guardian (not renowned for showing soothing graphics), citing[1] in an infographic for the UK derived from” Public Health England and which was updated today at 6:08 BST, shows a fuzzy bell shape centred (imperfectly and noisily) around 6th April. Whatever shape best fits the daily case figures it is, it is not an exponential, and the curve above it (as always, drawn to a linear scale which looks more dramatic) would on closer inspection or after a week’ further data develop a point of inflection which is a precursor of flattening.

    There is a deeper mathematical flaw, I believe in your reasoning, which I merely touch on here as I have neither fully grasped your argument nor tackled the maths. You seem to be saying that because the exponential “compound factor” is always positive, then it follows that the curve must proceed indefinitely upwards, and that we must wait for some parameter to become negative. I suspect you have fallen into a mathematical trap. A counter example would be y=tanh x, which, following your week-on-week argument, would increase without bounds, but in reality cannot exceed +1. It’s akin to Zeno’s Pardox of Achilles and the Tortoise.

    I apologize if I am barking up the wrong tree here or have made and published my own blunders or have completely misunderstood the mathematical and numerical basis of your article.
    [1] Guardian, 9th April 2020 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/09/coronavirus-uk-how-many-confirmed-cases-are-in-your-area

    • Yes, the daily compound growth rate in total confirmed cases is now falling, as the series of daily graphs shows very clearly.

      However, even if one assumes that only 1% of all cases of infection are recorded, 98% of the population currently remains uninfected and thus susceptible – and that is too high a percentage to cause any appreciable deviation from the exponential curve towards the sigmoid epidemic curve. That is how we know lockdowns and other control measures are working.

  46. Governments cannot afford to act on any assumption other than that the daily rate at which the total cases will grow is likely to continue on the exponential-growth curve for a month or two yet unless one of the reasons 1-4 discussed earlier comes into play.

    part of what has been learned in these past months is that the risk of death is far greater for the elderly and others with pre-existing risk factors. It probably isn’t wise to continue to treat the population as homogeneous — special attention should be paid to some, relaxed on others (who may indeed be carriers), and abandoned for people who have recovered (there are reports of re-emergence of symptoms, so that ought to be followed carefully).

    Also, recent testing shows that many more people have been infected (and likely recovered) than have become sick, even with mild symptoms. It’s still more lethal than influenza, but not as lethal as it seemed even day-before-yesterday. More should be made of this fact, and of course, much testing continued.

    Thank you again for a focused essay. To me, the “maybes” still dominate. As you say, a responsible govt ought not blithely assume the best.

    Also, Willis Eschenbach daily plots the worldometers data on log scales, where the gradual bend away from exponential growth can be seen for some countries.

      • Yes, there is now a marked decay from the original exponential rate of transmission: control measures are working.

  47. Milord!

    What about that (google translator):

    Complete curfews as a measure to control the COVID-19 epidemic in Germany not necessary!

    The German Society for Hospital Hygiene (DGKH) considers complete curfews if the compliance with proven hygiene rules as well as the consequent protection of particularly vulnerable risk groups and people of critical infrastructures are avoidable if the hygiene rules of the RKI are followed consistently and with discipline.

    With the aim of reducing serious illnesses and increasing the number of deaths, all our strength must be given to the protection of particularly vulnerable risk groups and the people of critical infrastructure, in particular the nurses, the doctors in the hospitals and the nursing staff of the elderly and Nursing homes are located.

    Maximum protection of the particularly vulnerable risk groups means: consistent control of the transmission risks in nursing and old people’s homes by blocking visits, access controls, employee protection and employee controls for signs of infection through symptom monitoring and virus tests.

    Extension of protection to the private sphere, the families, the apartments and the social environment of the risk groups and all persons of outpatient care and other outpatient care areas. No infected person should live in quarantine in a private environment with a person from the risk groups at risk. Alternative quarantine accommodations must be found that allow for temporary removal.

    Given the exponential spread of SARS-Cov-2 infections, the goal must be to consistently reduce severe infections and associated deaths. A general reduction of all infections through the complete standstill of all social life for a foreseeable period of longer than 2 months cannot be achieved. In the opinion of the DGKH, the time will come when, despite the increasing number of infections, the orders of general untargeted social standstill must be gradually withdrawn. The arguments for the withdrawal are already clear: the effects of the measures differ in the different social groups, if one chooses the decline in serious infections and deaths as a yardstick. A reopening of schools and day care centers will not lead to more serious and fatal infections if the children and adolescents consistently live at a social distance from their grandparents and other vulnerable people. The same applies to a significant proportion of otherwise healthy younger adults.

    The executive board of the DGKH subsequently presents a concept with which a controllable course of the COVID-19 epidemic is to be made possible without having to resort to the instrument of curfews.

    The DGKH Executive Board considers prioritization of the measures necessary in order to apply the strategies in such a targeted manner, taking into account the experience that has now been gained, on the one hand, that the infection protection of the population is guaranteed on the one hand, and on the other hand, the maintenance of public life while consistently observing the hygiene measures recommended by the RKI and justifiable Restrictions for risk situations is made possible.

    The DGKH (German Society for Hospital Hygiene) is the specialist society for infection prevention and control in medical facilities with special expertise in the development and application of hygiene measures for the control of infection risks and infection outbreaks.

    For the board
    Martin Exner and Peter Walger

    Source:
    https://www.krankenhaushygiene.de/informationen/755

    • So it sounds like the teenagers should take care of the children. What could possibly go wrong?

      Frankly I just don’t think that separating the young from the middle aged from the old is a workable program in reality. It may work in theory, but I think the reality would be that those most at risk would still be exposed by transfer from young to middle age to elderly.

      It might even backfire. It might mean that the few who are left to interact with the elderly are far more infectious with much higher viral loads and subject the elderly to even greater danger.

    • Lockdowns will be brought to an end as soon as safe exit strategies are found. They may well include measures such as the German hygiene body recommends. Lockdown is not a permanent solution, not least because people who generally support it at present will be unlikely to do so indefinitely.

      • Milord,

        Lockdown is not a permanent solution, not least because people who generally support it at present will be unlikely to do so indefinitely.

        Indeed. Yesterday UK health secretary Matt Hancock was asked about modelling suggesting that concentrating NHS resources mainly on fight against Wuhan virus and economic impact may cause in the UK 150,000 non-covid related deaths. He said this number is not correct but the government is working on such kind of modelling suggesting that impact of lockdowns in terms of increased mortality will not be trivial. So yes, there is a tradeoff here between curbing spread of the virus and well-being of the society as a whole.

  48. I expect a drop in the death rate for many common causes. People are driving less and auto accidents are surely lower than previous years. I expect fewer drunk driving deaths because everyone is drinking at home. Fewer people working means fewer deaths from on-the-job accidents.

    We should be able to control for these and similar causes of death that are different from the lock down. I expect to find some anomalies in the data, such as the reporting drop in deaths from pneumonia. It’s interesting to note that while the CDC recognizes their guidelines are “very liberal” in attributing death due to Covid-19 (Dr. Brix), several fact checkers says that deaths are not being overcounted but are undercounted.

  49. Technically not exponential because a new case cannot infect a previous case. So for example if first person on average infects 3 people, those 3 people on average do not infect 3 people but a number slightly less than 3 on average and so on.

    • Exactly! At the start, the percentage (of susceptible people) is large and so the growth is close to exponential. (One can argue finer point.) It’s only when that percentage has been significantly diminished that the infection rate slows, notably around the 50% value. Unfortunately, not knowing early on what percentage of the population is susceptible to the virus impedes projections of the trajectory. Once the curve “bends over” hindsight is 20/20.

  50. While I don’t think population density is the only factor to consider, Stockholm has a population density of 4,800 per km2

    Here are some US states, their largest cities, and the population densities of those cities:

    State City Pop/km2
    Alabama Birmingham 561
    Alaska Anchorage 68
    Arkansas Little Rock 609
    Colorado Denver 1,561
    Idaho Boise 1,000
    Iowa Des Moines 972
    Kansas Wichita 888
    Maine Portland 1,194
    Mississippi Jackson 598
    Missouri St. Louis 1,941
    Montana Billings 926
    Nebraska Omaha 1,413
    Nevada Las Vegas 1,689
    N.Hampsh. Manchester 1,287
    New Mex. Albuquerque 1,148
    N. Dakota Fargo 899
    Oklahoma OK City 321
    Oregon Portland 1,830
    S. Dakota Sioux Falls 814
    Utah Salt Lake City 665
    Vermont Burlington 1,594
    W. Virginia Charleston 615
    Wyoming Cheyenne 936

    Which of these states need to be locked down like New York and London if Stockholm’s “low” population density doesn’t require lockdown?

    • I don’t say that Stockholm doesn’t need to be locked down. Only three days ago its rate of increase in deaths, averaged over seven days, was the highest among the countries shown in the graph, by quite some margin. Nor do I say whether individual cities in the U.S. need to be locked down. That is a matter for decision by State and municipal officials. Various factors must be taken into account in deciding whether a lockdown is necessary: one of the most important of these is whether or not there is likely to be sufficient hospital capacity to handle severe critical cases requiring more advanced treatment than most for longer than most.

  51. What percentage of people over the age of 65 have a potentially fatal medical issue? My stab is 85%. Get the gist? Mine is a stent implant

    Another stab: Most people over the age of 65 (me too) would say that the gains made from lockdowns are not worth the long-term suffering imposed on younger generations. Damn it, they are our kids and grand-kids. They need to raise families

    BUT, this is all hypothetical now. The moment the virus exploded on MSM people stopped travelling. Controls over immigration topped it off. The global economic house of cards, reliant on confidence, collapsed

    The phenomenon of the psychology of crowds is the factor that financiers and politicians fear most. It can’t be modeled

    Maybe some other data is worth reporting e.g. what percentage of people who’s career is safe support lockdown? – and visa versa . Lets be honest now. My Lord?

    My trade-off is a new NZ with space, free from the crowd madness – a bit like is used to be – against the loss of my main source of income and passion, for 2-3 yrs. That’s supposing I survive. Bring it on you little buggars

    • Mr Carter appears to imagine that I support lockdowns. I don’t. I recognize that in Britain and some other countries they became necessary because the optimal strategy, that of South Korea, was not followed from the outset. And once it is clear that there is enough critical-care capacity to handle the large numbers of seriously ill patients that would be expected in the absence of lockdowns, and once measures have been put in place to protect the elderly in care homes, who have been disproportionately affected and do not even appear in UK government statistics, and once other sensible precautions have been taken, then and only then the lockdowns can be brought to an end.

      Responsible governments have to bear in mind more considerations than armchair self-appointed epidemiologists.

      • Lockdowns can be lifted when your public health infrastructure can
        operate within it’s constraints.

        case growth in SK in now linear. in simple terms the daily new cases are constant.

        we went from a constant 200 cases a day, to 100, and now to 50.

        Achieving a constant growth as opposed to exponential is a function of your ability
        to test and trace.

        For every person presenting with symptoms you need a testing capacity that is at least
        50x that number and possibly 150x. That means for every person infected you will be
        testing an additional “possible cases” from that persons friends, family and contacts.
        when you aggressively hunt down the possible cases you can keep the growth linear.

        The Linear growth you can live with is a function of the carrying capacity of your health system
        for the serious cases. So you actually want to watch the case growth in Over 50s

        Example of how contact tracing is reported

        ‘○ One of the cases confirmed on 8 April has been found to be linked to the bar Liquid Soul in Seocho-gu, Seoul. In total, 5 cases have been confirmed from Liquid Soul since 6 April.

        ○ From the wine bar UnWined in Pyeongtaek City, Gyeonggi Province, 1 additional case has been confirmed, bringing the total to 18 confirmed cases (wine bar = 14; family/acquaintances of confirmed cases = 4). Further epidemiological investigation is underway.

        ○ From Gyeongbuk Province, during the epidemiological investigation (and testing) on a new case, 3 family members and 1 co-worker have been found confirmed with COVID-19. Further investigation into chains of transmission and contacts is underway. (The figures on Table 2 are based on cases reported to KCDC before 0:00 of 10 April and may differ from above.)

        That keeps the growth linear
        The health system can handle predictable linear growth.

      • My dear Monckton of Brenchley,
        I do not own an armchair. Is that the credential that I lack? I do endeavour to avoid the vice of envy.
        Impertinently yours,
        rd

  52. German data just released April 9th: Heisenberg district’s Gantlet population tested, with results of the initial 500 people who were assayed for IgG & IgA antibodies plus tests with RT-PCR throat swabs.

    14% had pre-immunity to WuhanFlu as per IgG titers ; 2% had active WuhanFlu infection as per RT-PCR test; & 15% had current or resolved infection.

    Fatality was ~0.37%; thus extrapolating from Gantlet’s population of 12,529 mortality from WuhanFlu is 0.06%.

    Authors state: “Adhering to stringent hygiene … average … viral dose … will be reduced … training the immune system …less severe course …”

    Report Recommends 4 phases now:
    1st = social distancing ; 2nd = “Begin the withdrawal of quarantine … while ensure … hygienic measures remain ….”; 3rd= “Remove the quarantine … maintain … hygienic measures .” ; 4th = “Return to public life as it was before … pandemic .”

    As per German team of H. Streeck, Bonn University Clinic Institute of Virology, in “Vorlaufiges Ergebnis und Schlussfolgerungen der COVID-19 Gemeinde Gangelt (Case-Cluster-Study)”

  53. The real effective answer to the pandemic remains protective meds – HCQ and others are reported to be effective — hopefully this will be the case.

    • Doctor in China at center of original outbreak cautions about malaria drugs, says there is no actual evidence they work:
      https://www.ibtimes.com/chloroquine-coronavirus-cure-not-so-fast-chinese-doctors-say-2955962

      Some hospitals in Sweden stop using the drugs after many serious adverse events and no evidence of efficacy:
      https://www.newsweek.com/swedish-hospitals-chloroquine-covid-19-side-effects-1496368

      Jury is still out, and the deliberations are dragging out. Clear results would trigger a halt to clinical trials, as it is unethical to continue a trial once a treatment is known to be superior than placebo or alternative drugs.
      The original claims were malaria drugs cures 100% in less than 6 days.
      They have been using them 4 times that long in many countries.
      People are still dying at increasing rates.
      Temper your enthusiasm and prepare to be underwhelmed is my advice.
      These drugs do not sure viral infections.
      Love bodies do not behave like cancer cells or green monkey kidney cells in a glass dish.

  54. Bad math (exponential instead of logistic), missing factors (HCQ and other therapies, already existing high proportion of Immunes with antibodies), selective stats based on error-filled numbers, ignoring other stats such as the measured death rates in past years, erroneous assumptions (lockdowns work), moralistic guilt-tripping (skeptics don’t care about the aged), faith in authoritarianism (governments must act now in defiance of liberty), sneering at skeptics who are “risking the general population’s health”, massive over-reliance on the Precautionary Principle backed by junk science…

    What’s left? How about a big “How Dare You!”?

    Monckton has gone full Greta.

    Pathetic, truly pathetic.

    • The same people who dismiss Didier Raoult because he rejects RCT want to impose fascistic measures whose effectiveness have never been tested in any way whatsoever.

    • Mr Dubrasich is entitled to his opinion, and at least he has the courage, unlike some others here, to publish it in his own name.

      He is perhaps unfamiliar with the characteristics of the logistic curve. In the early stages of a pandemic, before more than a small fraction of the population has been exposed, the growth is – whether Mr Dubrasich likes it or not – quite strictly exponential. The point is evidenced in the two curves, one of the real data and one of an exponential curve, that are shown in the head posting.

      Even now, getting on for a month after Mr Trump’s declaration of a state of emergency, and even if one assumes that there are 100 infected for every one reported, 98% of the population remain uninfected and susceptible, so there is no reason to imagine that the exponential growth will not continue – except, of course, that control measures, compulsory or voluntary, are now widely in place and – to the fury of several commenters here – are rather obviously working.

      The central reason for lockdowns in most countries is to prevent the collapse of the hospital system, overloaded with critical-care cases requiring more advanced care, for longer, than ordinary patients. One of the tests applied by governments in deciding to bring lockdowns to an end will be whether it has been possible to build up a sufficient capacity in the hospitals to cope with demand from those very ill with the Chinese virus.

      It is Mr Dubrasich, then, who is pathetic, for he is insufficiently self-critical to realize that all of his barbs have altogether missed the main point. Must try harder.

      • Most hospitals are NOT operating at capacity. Even in NYC the new temporary hospitals are empty, and patient releases are now exceeding new admissions. They have an excess of ventilators. To say they would have been overloaded absent the lockdowns is a counterfactual and assumes the imaginary without evidence. Other evidence you missed includes successful therapies which further reduce hospitalizations.

        The success or failure of lockdowns is not proven. There is much evidence that people are violating the lockdown orders, many of which are extreme to the point of ridiculous. When is a lockdown not a lockdown? Entire countries have eschewed lockdowns with no higher case percentages than the strictest.

        Assuming that 98% of the population is uninfected and susceptible is an assumption without evidence. Contrary evidence, that the virus has been here awhile and as much as 50% of some populations have contracted it unknowingly and developed antibodies, does exist. More serological testing would answer this question, and that testing is underway, but assuming the results a priori is unscientific and dare I say it, alarmist.

        Destroying the economy is not a humane thing.to do. Excess and unnecessary suffering and deaths will occur. You have not factored that into your graphs.

        And re my “unfamiliarity”: epidemic growth, cumulative growth, is not different from any biological growth, which is not exponential but logistic, i.e. sigmoid, has an inflection point, and is parabolic in the derivative. The inflection point is the peak of the derivative. Must I do the math for you?

  55. “Singapore, which followed much the same approach as South Korea and initially with success, has now introduced the world’s strictest lockdown, because a second wave of infection has appeared.”

    Singapore blocked all travel the soonest {I think- fact check me}.
    So Singapore basically went to quarantine and have had little herd immunity.
    Or they have a very slow growth in terms of herd immunity, one could say
    they now increase the rate of getting herd immunity- and there is a lot known about the Chinese virus, now. And might do something like UK first attempted to do, and/or throttle it back at some point. If have wide open, they will quickly reach peak death and “peak” herd immunity.
    But it should be kept in mind, that idea one can get immunity still seems in doubt. It could be those with antibodies could still get inflected and could still have same possibility of having serious effects or death.
    Might better for Singapore to lockdown again immediately, but I hear Singapore has been doing antibody tests and they could know enough now, to allow them to not be in lockdown.

  56. No or we’d have all been dead in December. Most of my local Sheriff’s deputies had it in October 2019.
    They’ve all been tested and all show antibody.

    Much of the government’s math presumes that dead people can catch it again and die again.

    • Had what in October 2019? The Chinese virus only appeared in China in November 2019, and spread outward from there.

  57. From Benjamin Franklin:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    There is the answer to COVID-19, lockdowns, death, mayhem, panic, economic collapse for many. The scarf health lady (I refuse to write her name) today said we now know how we can combat the next one! Joy!

    Everyone, cry out “Save me! Save me!” Guess what? They’ll be more than happy to, but it’s gonna cost.

    Regards

    AK
    p.s. Snowing today and wild and windy. I wish global warming would happen so I don’t have to buy any more heating oil whilst I am unable to earn an income. “Brrr, it sure is cold in the house today.”

  58. Is it really true, as Christopher Monckton, says that Stockholm Sweden, naturally has a lower rate of person to person contact (due to being more spread out than London, say, by some measure)? If rating cities and/or countries by level of interpersonal contact or proximity is really a key to understanding this, why, that really *is* getting down to some sort of situational detail analysis!

    Here in the province of Saskatchewan, where I live (278 cases in the province, 3 deaths so far), the total population of the province is 1.2 million, and the biggest city has about a quarter million in the whole metropolitan area. This compares to Stockholm, say, with 2.5 million in the metropolitan area.

    Now, the claim that lower population density means lower death rates is bound to be interesting to someone in my location, but gee whiz, someone just told me they heard on the news that certain officials are forecasting a total of *three thousand* deaths for my province! That’s a *thousand times* the number of deaths so far in reality — and we’ve been recording CoVid cases here since the 12th of March, with a state of emergency declared provincially on March 18th. So for the few deaths so far, it’s not that we are just at the ‘very beginning’ of the problem, as we are already far enough ‘in’ that we should be getting *some* idea about the ultimate impact.

    Intuitively at least, 3000 deaths seems too high, but checking on the internet, this is apparently the provincial health authority’s “low range” estimate. As misleading as intuition can be, I’m sure it would be responsible of the health authority to plan for 3000 deaths in the province ultimately, or even more, given the “high range” estimate is around 8000 CoVid related deaths. The estimate for total cases ranges from 150,000 to 400,000, with the estimate for patients ‘in the hospital simultaneously’ ranging from about 400 up to about 4000.

    Now, that, right there, is more ‘model estimates’ than I set out to mention at first. The real thing I want to report is just how easily most of the good people here accept the whole idea of social distancing, etc? People foregoing their Easter travel plans, generally accepting of shutting down all the bars, restaurants and barber shops, etc. At least for a short period of time, I suppose it may not even matter if *anything* can be corroborated scientifically. People just want to have a sense of control in response to such a widely announced hazard. Note that most of what they call “hospitality industry’, restaurants, etc., have been shut down. I consider this shut down situation to be somewhat arbitrary, a ‘semi-lockdown’ already. Will the benefits of this ever be corroborated versus the costs and social problems that I would tend to see as a reault? Suicide is a real thing, even here in the ‘quasi-utopia’ of central Western Canada, so is domestic violence, and also drug trafficking ‘private enterprise’ by otherwise idle people! So, say, benefits outweigh the costs, do they, even in terms of lives lost, who knows?

    Anyway, coming back around to the point of Sweden not needing a lockdown near as much as the U.K. or New York, I suppose such reasoning would also apply to Saskatchewan as a low density province? So, the prospect is that forecasts of three thousand or eight thousand deaths here are apt to prove to be wrong, with every indication that our economic slowdown here will cause far more problems and deaths ultimately than were ever saved?

    • “Here in the province of Saskatchewan, where I live (278 cases in the province, 3 deaths so far), the total population of the province is 1.2 million, and the biggest city has about a quarter million in the whole metropolitan area. This compares to Stockholm, say, with 2.5 million in the metropolitan area.

      Now, the claim that lower population density means lower death rates is bound to be interesting to someone in my location, but gee whiz, someone just told me they heard on the news that certain officials are forecasting a total of *three thousand* deaths for my province!”

      That is not unreasonable- in terms of model.
      Just as more than 100,000 death in US is not unreasonable as model.
      All models are wrong.
      Models are projections. Models are not predictions. No one can predict the future and there are too many variables- even if you happen to know all the variables and they were “correctly, valued variables” it’s still not possible. But in that “impossible” situation, one could give a pretty good guess.
      With Chinese Virus, little is known, but in the short term, one say the death rate is less than 1 percent and it could be around .01 percent.
      And .01 percent of 320 million is 32,000 dying which is number I would give if I was not a governmental official, or it’s possible {I think, because of the unknowns and other variables} that is could be about .03 percent or worst
      which is about 100,000.
      1.2 million times .03 percent or .0003 is 360 deaths as low end estimate one could give if not a public official. But about .1 percent is 1200 deaths, and high end of less than 1 percent, so .3 percent is 3600 death.
      As public official before I knew as much as know now, I would say at least 600 to 3000.
      But if I was more fearful in my bias, give 2000 to 3000 or more.
      Or a purpose of graphic projection is to give confidence and to warn of
      possible future danger, so the public responses to take reasonable precautions.
      Or model suppose to represent the bias of scientists {and politicans informed by medical experts] that they want to communicate to the general public. And any politician who does not do enough to protect the lives of it’s voters, should be {or must be] unelected. Or generally, politicians are pretty useless, but there are bare requirements which need to be followed {don’t kill people because you are dumb}.

      • ‘gbaikie’: — yes, so models aren’t predictions. We somehow need some sort of humility and/or balance before inferring policy consequences from models that are essentially just scenarios or ‘advanced guessing’.

        Briefly extending my previous comments a bit, it does tentatively look like we are seeing a pretty ‘flat’ or unexciting rise in the number of cases right here in my little 1.2 million persons home province (Saskatchewan, Canada) — with just 285 cases listed currently, and this despite being about 4 weeks into the tracking of cases here, basically. And, as I said, only 3 deaths attributed so far. We may fairly assume that the numbers will be more ‘impressive’ than that as time goes on, but I still think it is hard to really believe in the pessimistic official ‘models’, ‘projections’, whatever you want to call them.

        I also want to mention that I remain skeptical of the Christopher Monckton claim in the head posting that lower population density in Sweden would explain why they can get away with not locking down or shutting down in any real ‘business shutdown’ sense. Here in Saskatchewan our cities may be relatively small, but I am sure that houses, etc. get sited just as close to one another as they are in many places in London, or Stockholm for that matter. If we are getting away with a flatter curve here in this province, maybe that has something to do with the fact that Canada has banned direct overseas flights from coming in here?

        So, not to distract, a lot of eyes are on New York City, London, maybe even Calgary, say, and other centers, where the international flights returning far flung citizens, *do* continue to come in.

  59. “The UN’s Agenda 2030 policy of cramming everyone into ever-more-densely-packed cities is a recipe for disaster in any pandemic. It is asking for trouble.”

    I think high density is good idea. I also think open borders is good idea.
    But you have design cities a lot better. And open borders is not possible in our
    current world.
    I believe that everyone should have the human right of the choice of leaving any country.
    And at the moment, it seems only certain elites have this right, so before open borders we first need this human right in all countries. And other things are needed, but this point, it’s as stupid as packing people in a city which is poorly designed.

    • Favoring open borders means you support low wages, human trafficking, drug smugglers, criminal gangs and pandemics.

      • “What about the right of people to exclude others from their homes and countries?”
        I said:
        “so before open borders we first need this human right in all countries. And other things are needed, but this point,”

        So a rational immigration policy would one of other things.
        And one of the things needed {for numerous reasons} is a US border wall with Mexico. And if Canada did something that imperils Canada/US border, then we would need border wall there, also.

        Anyhow US need a rational immigration policy and it’s currently more irrational than any other country in the world, as far as I know.

        US has more legal immigration than any other country- and that part not the irrational problem- that merely that US has a lot immigration is NOT what mean by highly irrational- it’s how it’s done. The laws and how laws are used. And crazy wait times and fee charges for legal immigrants, which is even more annoying considering that the US allows people to just enter US illegally {and gets paid to do so}

    • Everyone should have the right to leave the country of his or her birth, but only if she or he can find a country which wants to let him or her in.

      The nation state is a good thing, despite all the bloody wars among them.

  60. With a 195 countries with Corona most of the deaths are in around 12 countries so hardly world shattering.

  61. No mention of Japan that has a high density population that also live in office blocks with no lock down and small death rate.

    Sweden has the same population as Denmark and Norway with the same living conditions. It has had less cases than Norway and Denmark combined but more deaths- not sure why- older population?

    • Possibly the virus is progressing more quickly through Sweden and their pandemic will be over sooner.

    • I agree, and with the comment below. It’s a lot more complicated than simple ‘isolation’. Even without herculean measures to prevent spreading, WuFlu has quite a low infection rate and also a very low death rate. Many claims are made on incomplete and inaccurate data, since many countries only test the worst and most visibly affected. You would need to measure everybody in the population to get an accurate assessment. Nobody does that because test kits are as rare as hen’s teeth.

    • Cases has more to do with testing than anything else.
      Sweden has done ~5,400/million ppl.
      Norway has done well over 4 times as many at 22,720/million ppl.
      Denmark over twice as many at 11,176.million ppl.

      Now, consider this mathematical inversion of the above:
      Sweden does one fourth the testing of Norway, has a death rate four times higher: 86 vs 21 per million.
      Sweden does half as much testing as Denmark, has about twice the death rate: 86 vs 43 per million.
      Denmark has half the testing as Norway, has twice the death rate: 21 vs 43 per million.

      How about that!

      Cases does not tell how many have the disease, but how many have been tested who have the disease.
      So obviously a country that does not do much testing will have few cases to report.
      One might think that the more people dying, the more testing a country would do, but these three countries have the opposite of that pattern. Less testing equals more deaths, and the proportionality is almost a perfect inverse relationship.
      IOW…do less testing, and more people will die.
      Half as much testing, twice as many die?
      Is that the correct conclusion?
      It seems to be for these places which, per Richard, live the same way.

  62. Have to say this nonsense is getting really tedious.

    There have been 3,588,665 Communicable disease deaths this year- and no one cares!

    • Obviously there are millions of health care providers which care enough to spend life in this profession.
      And lots have died recently, fighting this war.
      A war largely created by Chinese ruling class and WHO.

      Or the typical bunch of people who tend to cause wars- most of the time.

    • Have to say richard is getting really tedious. If he does not want to read these postings, he does not have to. Let him go and get a life, and stop whining. He and others here who do not care about whether healthcare systems collapse under the weight of critical-care patients have lost the argument, and governments have introduced lockdowns to protect their hospitals and, through them, their populations.

      The matter has been decided, and when each government, on reviewing the evidence, decides that the time is right to end the lockdowns safely, that is what each government will do. And no amount of huffing and puffing by those who never had to take life-and-death decisions will make the slightest difference.

      • any comments about Japan or doesn’t fit your “cherry picked” thinking?

        Richard Knight. Sir Knight to you. I feel the name makes me more grandiose.

  63. You are usually so good at this . You have erred in so many places. Here are your errors.

    1. The biggest error is that you have tested for case growth using a CUMULATIVE graph which begins with the assumptions of an arithmetic progression. Arithmetic growth is almost indistinguishable from geometric progressions. You should be looking for geometric progression in daily case data (Best day to day Deltas) rather than cumulative data. From my eyeballing in most places case growth is now barely linear.

    2. Your numbers are not adjusted for testing rates.

    3. You have assumed the infection pool is limitless, its not. In any given locality the pool of persons capable of being infected is limited, this means that the infection rate will fall as people recover from the disease because the average distance between a person shedding virus and a never infected person is increasing over time. Probabilistically the probability of a never infected person meeting an infected person falls precipitously as the recovered case tally rises. In highly dense populations we will see this effect early especially with the added distance of so-called social distancing. This effect will be exaggerated depending on the asymptomatic infection rate.

    4. Infectiousness is modal. There is (in my guess order of infectiousness) Microdroplet, Droplet, Contact, Surface Contamination modes. In the NH as the temperature rises into summer you will see modes extinguished one at at time. At about 15 C the most infectious mode Microdroplet fails, outdoor UV sterilisation and evaporation will extinguish most surface contamination risks as skys clear leaving just contact and Droplet transmission, with droplet mode significantly reduced especially outdoors due to evaporation and desiccation of the virus. Universal mask wearing could end the contagion at that point. This is why we’ve had a relatively easy time in warm Australia, warm, lots of UV exposure.

    5. You don’t properly take into account asymptomatic (Unreported) infections. the progression of this virus is much more dependant of the WILD population than the known population because the known population is in quarantine. You are assuming the wild population is consistently related to the known population across the world. Its not, its vastly different. In NY I would not be surprised if the levelling off in infections rates is because the WILD infection pool is nearing the limits of sustainability. IE the probability of an infected person meeting a NEVER infected person is less than unity.

    6 You talk about deaths in the elderly population. Nowhere in the world have governments not set additional protection measures for the elderly and vulnerable, done properly the government COULD quite cheaply put 50-100m between the elderly and any part of the infection pool. This can be done by quarantining over 60s and the compromised in their homes or moving them to low density housing, PROVIDING SAFE DELIVERY SERVICES for them and testing and clearing known infections out in surrounding houses, and/or filtering ventilation air intakes with HEPA filters. Only now in QLD Australia is this being (partly) done! But if we did isolate the vulnerable properly the death rate from this event can be reduced by 80%, much more cheaply that the current leftie led economic disaster. Your assertion therefore is non-sequitur.

    For all these reasons the plague will never be as bad as you portray in your article.

    • Bobl accuses me of six errors. It is he who is in error, on all six counts.

      1. He implies I am wrong to use cumulative cases as the basis for the graphs, and wrong again to assume an arithmetic progression. The reason why cumulative cases are used in epidemiology is that each infected person can infect others. And I do not assume an arithmetic progression. As the head posting clearly explains, I am looking at daily compound case growth rates.

      2. He says my numbers are not adjusted for testing rates. But they don’t need to be, for a blindingly obvious reason that anyone dispassionate enough to think before speaking would have spotted at once. During the three weeks up to March 14, when the growth rate was exponential (another evidence that I have not been assuming arithmetic progressions), testing was on a far smaller scale than it is now. And yet the daily case growth rates are considerably less now than they were then, which is the opposite of what one would expect if additional testing were the cause. Furthermore, one does not need to do testing to see whether or not someone is dead. The death graphs are entirely free of any testing bias.

      3. He says I have assumed the number of susceptibles is infinite. No, I haven’t assumed any such thing. I have pointed out, correctly and in terms, that during the early stages of a pandemic the rate of transmission is necessarily near-perfectly exponential, and have provided a very clear visual demonstration that with the present pandemic this is in fact the case. I have also explained, over and over again, that there can be no appreciable decay from the exponential to the logistic curve until a significant fraction of the population has been infected. If bobl would only do a little math before shooting his mouth off he would realize that, even if there are 100 times as many people infected as the confirmed-case counts show, 98% of the population currently remains uninfected and thus susceptible. That is why, at this stage, no allowance need be made for the depletion of the susceptible population: there has not been enough depletion, as far as we know. For one of the big unknowns in the present pandemic is how many people are infected, and without knowing that one cannot draw a convincing logistic curve anyway.

      4. He says I have not taken account of the fact that warmer weather will slow transmission of the virus. But the earliest research into that question, conducted in China, demonstrated very clearly that this particular virus seems largely unaffected by ambient temperature or sunlight. Besides, no responsible government is entitled to assume that the summer will bring a lower infection rate: it may hope for that, but it must prepare for the worst. One cannot get these matters right by making stuff up and inventing assumptions from a comfortable and remote armchair. Besides, as the northern hemisphere passes into summer the southern hemisphere passes into winter.

      5. He says I have made no allowance for the fact that more people are infected than the official case counts show. But I have made that point repeatedly in various head postings, and have explained that the official case counts tend, for that reason, to identify the more serious cases, which are more likely to come to the authorities’ attention. But, as previously noted, even if there are 100 times as many truly infected as the case-count shows, 98% of the population remains uninfected and therefore susceptible. And even if 1000 times as many are infected as is reported, 80% of the population remain uninfected and susceptible, leaving a great deal of room for further spread of infection and death. The fact is that in the absence of widespread antibody testing – and reliable antibody testing is not yet available at all – no one knows. I have fairly reflected this difficulty in my postings.

      6. He says it would have been possible for governments to isolate the old and sick easily, and seems to hold me responsible for the fact that governments have not done this. But that was the very first step that the British government put in place. And it didn’t work. It’s all very well inventing armchair policies, but if they have already been tried and failed then the bloke in the armchair should go back to sleep and leave policymaking on matters of life and death to the grown-ups.

      For all these reasons responsible governments were and still are unable to assume that the plague will be less bad than it has proven to be so far. It is likely to get a great deal worse before it gets better, and governments must act responsibly by taking the risk that it will get worse fully and fairly into account.

      I am becoming tired of people here making forecasts of how few deaths or cases there will be, only to find that within days the predictions they have made have been overtopped, and yet they come back again and again and petulantly insist they were right all along.

      bobl needs to raise his game. His comment was lamentably lacking in accuracy or rigor. Epidemiology is not for amateurs.

      • Nothing I have said is wrong though you’ve misinterpreted quite a bit, in fact mostly you argue what I’ve said is true but irrelevant. You see your way clear to insult me along the way.

        1 the new case load is only exponential if the daily increase is a geometric progression. Cumulative graphs are NOT good at showing this because they are ever increasing even in linear cases. Many countries have daily case histories that are broadly linear at this point.

        2 whether or not you like it new case statistics are influence by testing rates, the more testing the higher the discovery rate. Deaths you correctly point out are not affected

        3 I do the math, what I was pointing out to your audience is that plague statistics will not maintain exponential growth up to the population limits, as average distance between infected and never infected increases the infection rate will slow. The total population of a country is not necessarily exposed. In Australia we have 15000 odd towns and about 3000 active cases meaning at least 12000 towns are unaffected. Those people effectively quarantined will never become infected. Yes the very early stages are exponential but most countries are now beyond that and are not in exponential growth

        4 If you look at the basic chemistry it us obvious that infectiousness will change with temperature, certain transmission modes will be extinguished by solar irradiation. Evolution of the virus to survive hot climates EG UV resistance does not necessarily favour infectiousness. Ask for proof of you like but just as in global warming the physics of the situation won’t change based on who does the science. Droplets evaporate and viruses dessicate faster in hot UV soaked weather like we currently have in Australia. This is good for you, Summer is coming.

        That’s not to say you can’t catch this in hot climates, indoor air conditioned environments are just about perfect for transmission.

        5 So in a round about sort of way you agree with me. The ONLY point I am making here is that any assumptions about FINAL death rates needs to account for the fact that the probability of a never infected person meeting and infected person decreases as the recovery rate rises. Yes this probably requires a much higher infection level in most places than now. But we DON’ T know the wild population. The infection rate is related to the wild population and not active cases. The wild population is likely to vary greatly. I make the point that New York might be approaching the sustainability limit for the virus because the population density almost guarantees a very high wild prevalence. It might be a good case to assess the cost of a herd immunity strategy.

        6. Nothing I have said here blames YOU for governments failing to properly protect the vulnerable. I am just pointing out that the death statistics that allocate 80% or more to a vulnerable cohort means that death rates could be lowered by better insulation of vulnerable people from this virus. I father point out this is not being done very well. Indeed fuel poverty caused by AGW obsession is likely to make the death rare worse even in sunny Australia

        None of this is your fault, I’m just trying to point out that government should do more on this front. The measures in place now are not enough to insulate the vulnerable, there needs to be safe delivery of goods, supplied subsidised masks, air purification/sterilisation, sufficient heating and evacuation of sick people from 300m around vulnerable parties.

        Taken together, a few policy changes would mean that death rates from this virus could be mitigated far below the extrapolations that are currently being aired.

        Nothing I say here has any scientific or mathematical errors. I accept that you have a different opinion, as I respect yours I request you accept mine.

  64. The answer to the question “But is the growth of the pandemic really exponential?” is an emphatic NO, at least in the UK. If that were to be a good approximation both the cumulative and daily rates would be upward curving exponential curves. In fact the cumulative shows a sigmoid shape and the daily rate shows a (surprisingly) good fit to a normal distribution centred on, coincidentally, 5th April and a standard deviation of around 11 days. This can easily be seen by plotting the vertical axis on a logarithmic scale and noticing that instead of a straight line (which would be the result of an exponential growth) the graph is concave downwards, in the form of a parabola with its vertex round about this weekend. The data fits the Farr Curve (as a normal distribution) much better than the Gompertz Curve and somewhat better than a tanh curve. The sigmoid shape is consistent with an ultimate confirmed case number in the UK of around 150,000 (that is, twice what it is to date) and with a falling off in the daily rate from now on. The other EU countries look superficially similar with peak dates which are a few days earlier. The exponential approximation was reasonable in the early stages, namely up till around 20th March (UK), because the other more curves are indistinguishable from such an exponential. However, from that date the rate of increase of the daily numbers slowed down and has become zero; the daily numbers themselves are fluctuating around the 4000 to 5000 are and can be expected to drop to about half that within two weeks. In other words, we are in a routine epidemic which we can reasonably expect will eventually result in about 150,000 confirmed cases, or about a quarter of a percent of the population.

    • The answer to the question “Is the pandemic exponential” is that in the weeks to March 14 it was indeed exponential, but it has ceased to be exponential more recently because various control measures have been put in place. We know it is very likely that the control measures have been the chief cause of the slowing away from the original benchmark rate of 20% compound per day because, even if one assumes that 100 times as many are infected as the confirmed-case counts show, there are still 98% uninfected and thus susceptible, so that there is not at present any good reason to imagine that the exponential curve will transition to the epidemic curve in the near future.

      If the confirmed cases in the UK are indeed held down at 150,000 compared with the current 100,000, that will be chiefly thanks to the lockdown.

    • Well milord, the log curve of cumulative UK cases was showing a downward bend from March 4th to 12th, but then suddenly curved up again. The convex upturn lasted 4-5 days, and then avearge concavity (downwar bending) resumed, much too soon to be in response to the lockdown of March 17th. So the data do not support your thesis.

      Thanks to Willis Eschenbach, who explained the Gompertz curves near the start of all this, I have been using them to good effect.

      As to 98% being uninfected, where is your proof of that? A small town in Germany (thanks Len Deighton) has shown 15% infection/immunity rate. We don’t know the position in the UK, and it makes a lot of us angry that the government isn’t investing in random sampling to settle these sorts of questions.

      Rich.

      • :Thanks to Willis Eschenbach, who explained the Gompertz curves near the start of all this, I have been using them to good effect.

        EXcept they are wrong

        go read the Korean one he did. reality? Not gompertz,
        his predicted cases were 8000, we hit 10,
        predicted deaths 100, we crossed 2000

        non mechanistic approaches will fail.

        there is a reason why it is not a gompertz curve, that you won’t get

  65. Monckton wrote: “Those who support ending all lockdowns, allowing the old and the sick to die in large numbers…”

    This (and other statements in this post and comments) show a strong bias toward government enforced action. Monckton has every right to have such a bias/preference, but that’s all it is, nothing more than a subjective preference.

    The old and the sick die in large numbers every year whether or not there are lockdowns and whether or not there are pandemics. After all, one of the characteristics of being old is to be closer to death than those who are younger. Will fewer old and sick die because of government enforced lockdowns? Probably (but unless you have a set of alternative universes to run experiments in, not provably with 100% confidence).

    But the tradeoff is not “business as usual” versus government lockdown at gunpoint. People would have modified their behavior. Many would have self isolated (especially, I would think, the old and sick who are most at risk). People would’ve figured out the mask thing eventually on their own. Government advice could still be given (and possibly mostly followed). Government could still have lessened economic blows for those who felt the need to self isolate or for business who felt the need to close their doors. Government could’ve been help instead of overbearing and oppressive. But the governments chose the latter and decided to enforce lockdowns.

    But the tradeoff is horrific and in my subjective opinion not worth. Increases in depression, suicide, domestic abuse and battered women and children, lost opportunity, failing businesses, lost social interactions, hunger in poorer countries, and on and on is just not worth it in my opinion. Even ignoring all that, just giving the government more power is not worth it in my opinion. This situation has lowered the bar to future government oppressive actions in my opinion and that is a terrible tragedy that we will pay for until the end of time.

    While Monckton’s preference is government wielding power, I personally would prefer to take my chances with dying with no lockdown than to continue living with this lockdown. That is my very, very strong preference. And I’m old so I would have a much higher likelihood than average of dying from the virus. Better dead than red or in this case better dead than under the governments thumb.

    • Mr Wallach is of course entitled to his opinion that all those tiresome, smelly old people and sick people should just be left to die, and the hospitals should be left to be overrun with critical-care cases, but responsible governments have to try to make sure that people young and old can still get access to hospital care when they need it. So, whether he likes it or not, the activists in the medico-scientific community have prevailed over the passivists, and there is absolutely no point in his trying to take his disappointment at the fact that humanity has prevailed over profit out on me.

      And I do not prefer that governments should wield power: I am a libertarian. But I am a thinking libertarian, experienced at the most senior levels in government, and I am therefore reluctant to pay heed to every passing armchair epidemiologist who presumes to know, when the real epidemiologists say they do not know, that all of this coronavirus stuff is just a storm in a teacup.

      • But the lockdowns are already leaving them to die. There’s a typo here.

        “Those who support ending all lockdowns, allowing the old and the sick to die in large numbers and risking the general population’s health…”

        should read

        “Those who support lockdowns, forcing the old and the sick into solitary house arrest and reduced medical care, for the next 18 months if we believe the March Imperial College paper, which 18 months for many of those old and sick will be the remainder of their lives…”

    • Yes. You can aim for 100% of email safety: you can want to keep your email account safe, un-hacked, forever. You can aim at never having 50,000 emails hacked because you clicked on a link and submitted your email password to hackers, because the message told you you needed to change your email password, because your account was attacked by hackers (which ironically was dishonestly honest).

      “For example, on or about March 19, 2016, LUKASHEV and his co-conspirators
      created and sent a spearphishing email to the chairman of the Clinton Campaign.”

      https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download

      You can aim for 100% of avoidance of that. You can expect to avoid that if you are not stupid.

      BUT you can’t want to live forever. You would be a bad shape after a while.

    • When you accepted mandatory MEASLES vaccine (a benign childhood disease that was the joke in TV shows some decades ago), you gave away your freedom. Don’t cry now.

  66. Those who support ending all lockdowns, allowing the old and the sick to die in large numbers and risking the general population’s health…

    That part really annoys me. I’ve heard it before as in, “If you don’t accept global warming constrictions, you must want to drown the little brown people of Bangladesh by the millions, you racist.”

    And, “If you don’t want to exterminate all the cows, you must really like forest fires.”

    And, “If you drive a gas-powered car, you must want the East Coast to be destroyed by hurricanes.”

    This is a fallacious argument: Appeal to pity (argumentum ad misericordiam) with a tinge of Bulverism.

    It is beneath you, Lord Monckton, and you know it.

  67. Required reading

    R Hatchett et al. Public health interventions and epidemic intensity during the 1918 influenza pandemic. PNAS DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0610941104 (2007)

    M Bootsma and N Ferguson. The effect of public health measures on the 1918 influenza pandemic in US cities. PNAS DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0611071104 (2007)

  68. Not a regular poster but I’ve an adequate memory and enough reading comprehension to get by.

    Numerous complaints as to Monckton’s methodology have been raised and not answered. Probably because there isn’t a compelling answer, given what he’s arguing to be true. That there’s no discernable break that can be definitely attributed to lock-down policies isn’t helpful to a compelling response and that there simply isn’t enough information to predict or conclude anything, absent hard information as to the true number of infected, is about the last nail.

    That this is till being argued about and there are camps on each side of the divide, might proves nothing other than the shut-downs have left people too much times on their hands.

    Equally possible is what’s been suggested by otheers: the analysis is simply an argument to cover political policy.

    Since I came to the conclusion almost a week ago that we’ve been snookered, I’m going with #2.

  69. A few things to remember, the raw numbers are dodgy. Denmark numbers should be used to compare with Sweden. Almost the same cases per million but half the deaths. Is it because Denmark classifies the cause of death of those with another serious disease as having died from that disease while every death in Sweden of a COVID19 sufferer is listed as a coronavirus death? Maybe it’s the real number of cases in Sweden is underreported. Maybe Denmark’s shut down was better at protecting the more vulnerable people.

    Its not whether isolation works or not. This argument is more nuanced. Can we get the same reduction in spread but still have everyone go to work? Is it better to just take enough action to not overwhelm hospitals? Can we keep the isolation up until a cure or vaccine is found?

    A checkout girl in my suburb, her mother who worked in a pharmacy and brother working at the local McDonalds caught the virus from her dad last week. He was a baggage handler. There have been no new cases in the past few days related to them or the other infected baggage handlers. It doesn’t spread that rapidly if precautions are taken, as would have occurred in those jobs (should have in the case of the baggage handlers) but not in the family home.

    And letting shitty numbers do the talking is not the way to go.

  70. “But I am a thinking libertarian, experienced at the most senior levels in government, and I am therefore reluctant to pay heed to every passing armchair epidemiologist”

    I am very pleased for you My Lord, but being “experienced at the most senior levels in government” does not necessarily make you wise about grass roots society and economics: Brexit referendum and the London champy sippers ?

    Mind, you may be wise about the above in which case I am pleased again. So please also do some analysis of the economic and social impact created by lockdowns. This is surely not a “at any cost” exercise is it?

    In reality we are all embarked on mission impossible. This is all about making the least wrong decision which may pan out to be very wrong, either way.

    Cheers

    M

  71. Monckton z Brenchley
    “United Kingdom: The UK introduced universal BCG immunization in 1953. From then until July 2005, UK policy was to immunize all school children aged between 10 and 14 years of age, and all neonates born into high-risk groups. The injection was given only once during an individual’s lifetime (as there is no evidence of additional protection from more than one vaccination). BCG was also given to protect people who had been exposed to tuberculosis. The peak of tuberculosis incidence is in adolescence and early adulthood, and an MRC trial showed efficacy lasted a maximum of 15 years.[59] Routine immunization with BCG for all school children was scrapped in July 2005 because of falling cost-effectiveness: whereas in 1953, 94 children would have to be immunized to prevent one case of TB, by 1988, the annual incidence of TB in the UK had fallen so much, 12,000 children would have to be immunized to prevent a single case of TB.[60] The vaccine is still given to at risk healthcare professionals.”
    “Republic of Ireland: The BCG was mandatory for all children until 2015 when it was discontinued as a result of global supply issues.”
    Poland: The BCG vaccine is mandatory.
    Brazil introduced universal BCG immunization in 1967–1968, and the practice continues until now. According to Brazilian law, BCG is given again to professionals of the health sector and to people close to patients with tuberculosis or leprosy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCG_vaccine

  72. When using mathematics to describe real world phenomena one should always bear in mind that they are only approximations. The case number in a finite population can never be strictly exponential, and no one made that claim. A better model is probably given by so called logistical growth. It is the solution to a first order autonomous differential equation, where the derivative is a second order polynomial in the accumulative case number with two roots. The first one is usually taken to be zero, in this case to represent no infections at all, while the other is the capacity barrier representing the total number of possible infections, that may be the entire population.

    A logistical curve never gets started without an initial seed, but then it takes off with something that resembles exponential growth as pointed out by Monckton. At some point the curve ceases to be convex and becomes concave as the derivative approaches but never attains zero.

  73. 5.955 cases were detected in Poland, 181 people died, 318 recovered. You can see a large percentage of patients cured in relation to other countries.

  74. Chris Monckton, Would you be so good as to lay out your model of governmental “intervention”? You have written a lot over several days and perhaps I missed it, but without knowing your plan and how you would implement it, it is difficult to know what you intend to accomplish by all your analyses and forays with commenters.

    Since governors in the U.S. have been left to their own devices to establish policies, we have the luxury of choosing from among the options that best fit each locality. I for one am grateful that we aren’t locked into any one national policy, and even though most of the orders look similar, the blandly intrusive order to “stay at home” for the good of our neighbors is a damper on private enterprise that has at least been left to individual states. A better model, imo, is that employed in Arkansas, where no “stay-at-home” order has been issued. Instead, Governor Hutchinson has opted to close only the riskiest areas of public intercourse:

    We have closed schools. We have closed bars and restaurants, tattoo parlors, barber shops, hair salons, and down the list, a very targeted approach to it, in addition, enforcing social distancing.

    He also eliminated elective surgery, and claims to have had only 80 hospitalizations as of Wednesday 8th. Arkansas has 8,000 hospital beds available and staffs ready to tend the sick.

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/arkansas-gov-asa-hutchinson-on-why-he-hasnt-issued-a-stay-at-home-order

    Gatherings are limited and restaurants must restrict numbers of diners. And local townships and mayors have the ability to enforce curfews at their discretion. But no quarantines have been mandated, and businesses remain open.

    Any more draconian measures than this are disingnuous, he claims, and I agree. People are going about their lives in myriad ways IN SPITE of the artificial lockdowns imposed by more restrictive governments, as indicated by the designation of liquor stores as “essential services”. Marijuans shops open for business in Washington.

    The number of “confirmed cases” of Coronavirus in Arkansas today climbed to 1127.

    What is it you would propose? If for example citizens in the U.S. were to undergo mass antibody-testing to show that we were already immune and non-infectious, would you direct those people to resume their jobs. What specific constraints would you keep in place?

    Isn’t it time (even now with peak deaths still ahead of us) for countries to begin plotting their pathways to recovery?

  75. No lock down in S Korea-

    “South Korea has tested 140,000 people for the coronavirus. That could explain why its death rate is just 0.6% — far lower than in China or the US”

    So easy to cherry pick day to suit the argument.

    • Not sure what the source of your quoted is

      South Korea has carried out over 510 k tests which has produced over 10k positive cases.

      There have been just over 200 deaths – so CFR is ~2%.

      South Korea were slightly “lucky” in that around 65% of the first 8k cases were found among a secretive religious sect so they were effectively partly self isolating anyway. They tested all 210k members of the sect.

  76. Info missed out in above report.

    “The median age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 1% of the deceased had no serious previous illnesses. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality”
    https://www.epicentro.iss.it/coronavirus/sars-cov-2-decessi-italia

    “50% to 80% of test-positive individuals remain symptom-free. Even among the 70 to 79 year old persons about 60% remain symptom-free, many more show only mild symptoms”

    https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1375

    —-

    “A study in Nature Medicine comes to a similar conclusion even for the Chinese city of Wuhan. The initially significantly higher values for Wuhan were obtained because a many people with mild or no symptoms were not recorded’

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0822-

  77. Not just the Media

    “The latest figures from a special report by the German Robert Koch Institute show that the so-called positive rate (i.e. the number of test positives per number of tests) is increasing much more slowly than the exponential curves shown by the media and was only around 10% at the end of March, a value that is rather typical for corona viruses. According to the magazine Multipolar, there can therefore be „no question of a dangerously rapid spread of the virus“.

    https://multipolar-magazin.de/artikel/coronavirus-regierung-ignoriert-daten

  78. Exponential growth of infected persons may occur in major cities but not for national populations. In the UK the deviation from exponential growth was discernable from 19th March (3269 confirmed vs 4000 predicted) and has continued to date (74K confirmed vs 2 million predicted). An exponential curve would predict 100% UK population infection (67 million) by 24th April, at which point we will have achieved Willis’s Gompertz curve. Clearly the real infection growth curve is sigmoidal, the mean of which may be composed of different inflection points and slopes – possibly for different population density areas. The trick is predicting those slopes and inflection points – which no models have acheived to date.
    Exponential growth ‘threats’ may have a place in promoting aquiescence with lock-down procedures but we need much better modelling to examine options for lifting the current restrictions.

  79. Population density of Stockholm areas

    e.g. Sodra Station: 26,900 per sq km,
    Roslagstull: 30,100 per sq km etc.

    Stockholm also has an underground system.

    What was that about doing your research?

  80. ” Dr. Püschel explains: „In quite a few cases, we have also found that the current corona infection has nothing whatsoever to do with the fatal outcome because other causes of death are present, for example a brain haemorrhage or a heart attack. Corona in itself is a „not particularly dangerous viral disease“, says the forensic scientist. He pleads for statistics based on concrete examination results. „All speculations about individual deaths that have not been expertly examined only fuel anxiety.“ Contrary to the guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute, Hamburg had recently started to differentiate between deaths „with the“ and „by the“ coronavirus, which led to a decrease in Covid19 deaths”

    “During the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, Püschel self-induced over 50 deceased corona patients by early April 2020 [10] and stated in the Hamburger Morgenpost that no single person with no previous illness had died of the virus in Hamburg until then. [11] “We do not have to have a personal fear of death,” he said on April 9, 2020 when he appeared on the talk show of Markus Lanz. [12]”

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Püschel

  81. as more info comes out we can see the lock down was unnecessary.

    ” Dr. Püschel explains: „In quite a few cases, we have also found that the current corona infection has nothing whatsoever to do with the fatal outcome because other causes of death are present, for example a brain haemorrhage or a heart attack. Corona in itself is a „not particularly dangerous viral disease“, says the forensic scientist. He pleads for statistics based on concrete examination results. „All speculations about individual deaths that have not been expertly examined only fuel anxiety.“ Contrary to the guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute, Hamburg had recently started to differentiate between deaths „with the“ and „by the“ coronavirus, which led to a decrease in Covid19 deaths”

    “During the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, Püschel self-induced over 50 deceased corona patients by early April 2020 [10] and stated in the Hamburger Morgenpost that no single person with no previous illness had died of the virus in Hamburg until then. [11] “We do not have to have a personal fear of death,” he said on April 9, 2020 when he appeared on the talk show of Markus Lanz. [12]”

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Püschel

  82. Back to some best estimates. (Better than the Oxford study).
    From the German study: Infection Fatality Rate, IFR, is 0,37%.
    1 death from corona virus means 270 infected, on the same time.
    37 deaths from 10000 infected.
    How many infected 18 days earlier?
    New York early doubling rate, 3 days.
    1 to 36 deaths give 6 doublings, 18 days.
    From 270 infected to about 10000 infected in 18 days.
    People begin to change habits when 37 people have died.
    Curve begins to bend.
    Curve bends more when measures are set in.
    So, how many cases are detected.
    Sweden as an example.
    870 deaths mean 234900 infected cases.
    About 10000 are detected.
    1 of 23 infected cases is detected.
    How about other countries?
    I`m not trying to build a myth, so you need not believe in this.
    But it gives some illustration of the uncertainty.

    • Some inaccuracy in my calculation.
      1 to 32 deaths give 6 doublings over 18 days.
      312 infected will give about 10000 infected after 18 days.
      18 days is the average time it takes from infection to death.

  83. I was going to write that Stockholm, Sweden had lowish CV rates due to its citizens practicing social distancing as evidenced by this live web cam from the centre of Stockholm:

    http://www.webbkameror.se/webbkameror/stureplan/index.php

    It updates about once per second. You can see very few people walking around and I though, clever Swedes, doing their bit for social distancing without being compelled to do it.

    I though I’d quickly check google street view to compare previous foot traffic in the same spot:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@59.3362007,18.0724163,3a,82.5y,134.08h,94.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sRSsIFeJskyFBqBbkqvnj5Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

    Oh dear! No people!

    It looks like having a low population density in a capital city actually means fewer people per square area!

    How would have thought such a thing!

    For more Stockholm live webcams see here:

    http://www.webbkameror.se/webbkameror/stockholm/index.php

    You can do the same for most parts of the world.

    • Stockholm webcam looks reasonably busy just now, not crowds but still busy compared with my UK town at the moment.

  84. There are no reliable mortality statistics for COVID-19 in Poland. That was the case with the flu. In Poland, there has always been a tendency not to enter in the death certificate that it occurred due to infections. Nobody is interested in this. Death from infection means a scandal in the hospital, an obligation to report it to the sanitary department. Easier to enter the reason for death: “respiratory failure”.

  85. The Author does not agree with lock-downs, being a Libertarian, while supporting Government action.

    There is a major conflict there – the badly damaged economy, reflected in the already decrepit state of health services over decades of criminal neglect, will not recover “spontaneously, unknowably,” as von Hayek parodied Bernard Mandeville’s Anglo Dutch “Fable of the Bees”. That Hayek, Friedmanite mantra is in fact the reason the health system is so easily overwhelmed, requiring drastic lockdowns, touted over successive HM Governments. Just look at Thatcher’s IEA, Institute of Economic Affairs, a Hayek confab.

    The test for libertarians – any economic recovery will need a New Bretton-Woods conference as in 1944 with FDR after the destruction of WWII. This time with China, and a Marshal Plan as some EU politicos mentioned. That only with reinstating FDR’s Glass-Steagall 1934 Banking act which triaged the banks from speculative junk. This will not happen spontaneously, in an unknowable fashion, rather with political economic intent.
    COVID is sharpening this intent. Economic policies which left economies prostrate belong in ancient feudal times.

    Lockdowns mean soon intensive care for the physical economy. Any responsible Government that intends to hold office much longer, must be looking really hard at the neo-lib/neo-con mantra’s with disdain.

  86. Polish doctors who have returned from Lombardy say that health care in the rich northern Italy is at a very high level. Despite this, they could not cope with the number of cases.

  87. I believe the total values per country will follow the Gompertz curve, which is a standard growth model used in epidemiology, amongst others. This is an S shaped function, and has been used to model Covid 19. In the early stages, it looks exponential, but once the peak is passed, it passes to the saturation stage. Coefficients in the model suggest peak position and size.

  88. Watching the News today it was stated that the highest incidence of CV19 per head of population is in Gwent. I would class Gwent as semi-rural. Certainly 381 per sq km isn’t particularly high, on a par with Denmark at 341, both less than a tenth of Greater London. Is lockdown making a difference in Gwent?

  89. Pearls before swine?

    All too much for one or two who simply miss the basic maths, and have opinions…

    ….. or the fact there is no cure other than natural and that this virus will kill some people pre disposed to that outcome. if they are exposed to it.

    I assess that all this is assumed by Monkton as obvious, in his excellent discourse on the inherent problem of pandemic management. This is about deciding how to at least limit the spread of incurable disease to affect when and where the inevitable deaths should occur, also how to reduce deaths from reducing avoidable infection and making whatever supportive treatment can be made available as widely as possible before it is needed, whether successful or not. I think that summarises the problem for governments, plus the economic and social utility it places on the lives lost verus the conomic damage of lock down, which also kills people, from instant poverty where there are no reserves to call on, and other more direct reasons.

    As part of maths tutoring I did do some thing for Richard et al, explaining how the simple maths of a exponential spread of infection work, with an introduction to how that will vary as the rate and number of re-infections reduces, and perhaps increase again in a less infectious secondary phase if isolation is widely used, but clear areas are not kept separated. This is how we do it, simply put.

    keptttps:

    I used High School maths to explain WHY the natural initial progression must be purely exponential at a steady rate in a large population, because it is a geometric progression, also how the rate and number of reinfections must reduce as the uninfected population diminishes, due to demography, actual infection producing immunity in the available cohort of people remaining to infect, and the difficulty in infecting them due to isolation protection – so the rate of reinfection r and the number of onward transmissions n must both decline from the start, at rates appropriate to each demography. The decline will also be exponential once r<1, for the same reasons the rise was.

    Hope this is of use to someone, even helps teach maths.

    And yes, makes clear the lack of understanding of the pointless half baked arguments, some attacking the writer rather than the writings, rather than clarifying the key and very correct points that Monkton makes, if you make the effort to extract the basics from the tcompplex real world examples which, self evidently, requires technical discipline to do, that some above lack.

    THat's why I tried to address the basics of APs and GPs for the less mathematically able to keep it simple (and avoid ar^(n-1) etc. )

    It addresses the reasons why r and n must vary through an epidemic, and how this may vary by location due to natural demography and local action. Still exponential, but different parameters. Obs ;-).

    Not intended to outforecast much better models, or even be absolute, just explain the basics of how the spread of infection must vary exponentially, up and down, must vary, what major factors affect the models, and why to stay the f*** indoors.

    I hope it is useful to some who want to understand , but don't have degrees involving hard sums.

    If it adds no value I'll delete it from Vimeo, if there are good reasons you advise. If it's wrong I'll change it. It's already been "improved" once. It's not the absolute numbers, but the way they change and why. And why to stay indoors.

    Comment welcome, please share if its has merit.

    • It was wrong from the beginning of the epidemic to assume that infectious diseases were under control and medicine was in full control over them. Some people still think so, but they are wrong about this virus. Perhaps this is even indirectly related to an increase in ionizing radiation due to a decrease in solar activity.

    • U.S. public school systems are a fairly sizeable waste of students’time. There’s a reason South Korean and Chinese came up with curve-flattening social engineering methods and could institute them nation-wide. Yes, they have iron-fisted enforcers for the implementations; but they also have an army of smart, two-parent-family, single-child offspring who are experts who’ve excelled in math and science, who are just this smart after finishing middle school (their high school). They bussed an army of young people into Wuhan during the peak; I wouldn’t doubt that a good percentage of them were just like this young man.

      Every kid in the U.S. should be online finishing their school years. Wonder how many are doing that.

  90. The lethality of viruses to the elderly, immunosuppressed, has been evident for many years, indicated by peer reviewed research:

    ‘An Outbreak of Human Coronavirus OC43 Infection and Serological Cross-reactivity with SARS Coronavirus’
    The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases & Medical Microbiology Nov 2006

    ‘Unexpectedly Higher Morbidity and Mortality of Hospitalized Elderly Patients Associated with Rhinovirus Compared with Influenza Virus Respiratory Tract Infection’
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences Feb 2017

    The latest ‘crisis’ is simply a manifestation of political panic by governments that have prepared, but not resourced, contingency plans for a coronavirus epidemic whose effects on the most vulnerable has been known about for some time. Lockdowns are an easy way out, a one way bet and profoundly the wrong response.

    The independent health authority in Sweden has not imposed a compulsory lockdown because Sweden has been better prepared than most. The consequence has been results very similar to compulsorily locked down near neighbour, Denmark.

    Further confirmation, if confirmation were needed, of the confected nature of so much political reaction, the free city of Hamburg now differentiates between deaths with and deaths from Covid 19, as The Robert Koch Institute guidelines for the rest of Germany do not, resulting in significantly lower figures for deaths actually from Covid 19.

    The message is a profound one.

    The rest of Europe should remove compulsory lockdown and urgently depoliticise their own health systems to emulate that of Sweden. Health services, the aged and vulnerable, have to be paid for. Lockdowns have significant costs in lives and welfare also.

    Time to get back to work.

  91. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads at unprecedented rates, invading the lungs of people of all ages, ethnicities and medical histories, companies are ratcheting up their efforts to fight the disease with accelerated schedules for creating new vaccines, and beginning clinical trials for potential treatments.
    South Korea is no exception. The government has pledged over 170 million dollars in the development of vaccines for COVID-19 and simplifying procedures for clinical trials.

    “The gov’t will strengthen cooperation with the private sector to help the development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
    As such development for infectious diseases require lengthy research and huge expense, it is difficult for the private sector alone to make achievements in a short period of time.
    The government will make R&D investments and shorten approval procedures to assure speedy development.”

    The hunt for a coronanvirus treatment and vaccine, part two: It’s the topic of our News In-depth tonight with Dr. Ogan Gurel, a Medical Doctor himself, currently serving as chief medical officer for Psomagen USA, a division of Macrogen and Visiting Professor at DGIST.
    Dr. Gurel, welcome back to our program.

    Let’s try to pick up where we left off last time you were here. That is… a way to stop COVID-19. Now, if there is a way to stop this virus, it will be by blocking its proteins from hijacking, suppressing, and evading humans’ cellular machinery, right?

    Just three months after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, several biotech companies are beginning trials of promising vaccines and treatments. How is that possible?

    **SARS-CoV-2, now known as COVID-19, is in the corona-virus family as MERS and SARS and due to their similarities, scientists are repurposing strategies form SARS and MERS to fight this virus.
    The vaccine from Moderna has already started clinical trials based on their research from MERS.

    Perhaps because it harnesses the power of the human immune system, much focus has been on antibody therapy, as well.
    In fact, the Korea CDC announced yesterday that they are close to making public their antibody therapy guidelines for COVID-19 patients. How effective is infusing antibody-rich plasma from COVID-19 survivors into patients?

    As we discussed in our previous session, because antivirals are rarely “miracle cures” the way antibiotics can be against bacteria, the development of vaccines are all the more important in the case of COVID-19. What are some promising vaccine developments underway?

    There have been reports of the virus mutating. What good will the vaccine be if the virus mutates?

    I was surprised to learn that we don’t have vaccines for SARS or MERS. Does this hint at a problem in vaccine development for the novel coronavirus?

    The world has been through the H1N1 epidemic, Ebola, SARS, MERS and now COVID-19. What would you say is one of the most important factors in riding out a pandemic of such scale?

    In the meantime, as a medical expert, do you have recommendations for the average person like myself on how to best protect myself and others around me from contracting the coronavirus? Should we wear masks, for instance?

    Dr. Ogan Gurel, Visiting Professor at DGIST and chief medical officer for Psomagen/Macrogen, many thanks for your valuable insights tonight. We appreciate it.

    • At this stage in the whole thing, and someone who thinks they are informs was not aware that there are zero existing human corona virus vaccines. And it is not for lack of trying.
      Thousands of researchers spending hundreds of billions of dollars looking for improved treatments or a vaccine for help c, took over 25 years to find and test drugs that were close to universally effective.
      Still no vaccine for that one.
      No drug found is 100% effective. Even the best combinations of drugs are a miracle to cure 95%.
      Still no effective drug treatment for NASH.
      Many illnesses with us for all of time still have little in the way of treatments, let alone cures.
      The idea we can conjure a cure or a vaccine if we want it bad enough is ludicrous and flat out wrong.r
      It is not a given, by any means.
      One may be found, and effective existing antivirals that are safe may treat some proportion of patients successfully in the near future.
      Remdesivir has delivered promising initial results in compassionate use cases that have had results published as of yesterday.
      A vaccine may be possible.
      Several are in testing, and more may be about to start human testing.
      One of them may work.
      That is all we know now.
      That is the current actual “knowledge”.
      Speculation and assumptions have outraced the facts regarding this disease and possible treatments and cures.
      Anyone who is thinking as an actual scientist is waiting to be informed by scientific data, not making assumptions about what is true and dismissing the need to await proof.
      Incredibly, even here, some people assert that we should not do scientific testing, we should just assume what our feelings tell us is true, and that this is the “responsible” thing to do.
      usage

  92. WTH is going on with this thread? I lost interest after @ 20 comments. Insult after insult. Acting like children. Get a grip. Please response without insults or undermining. This is not what most expect of WUWT – or maybe I’m wrong and most crave this crap.

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