#coronavirus The Chinese-virus lockdowns that have done their job

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

In Italy and Spain, two of Europe’s hardest-hit nations, the compound daily growth rates in cumulative cases of Chinese-virus infection have fallen to 2.8% and 3.4% respectively. The lockdowns in these two countries are, for the first time, being eased.

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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 28 to April 12, 2020. A link to the high-definition PowerPoint slides is at the end of this posting.

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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 April 4 to April 12, 2020.

The United States (7.5% daily growth) and the United Kingdom (8.4%) still have some way to go before it is prudent for them to end lockdowns.

South Korea and Sweden got away without lockdowns. South Korea had contained the pandemic with a very early, very vigorous and very thorough campaign of testing, isolating all carriers and following up and testing all their contacts, banning large gatherings and encouraging people to keep their distance from one another and to wear masks and, if possible, eye protection in public. That is the gold standard. Do that and there is no need for a lockdown. South Korea’s growth rate in cumulative cases is now down to just 0.4% per day.

Sweden, having failed to act as fast or as thoroughly as South Korean, nevertheless decided not to lock the country down completely, though some restrictions were imposed. Its daily growth rate in cumulative cases is 6.3%.

Two further factors are worth bearing in mind. First, Sweden has a low population density. There are two prime determinants of the rate at which a new pathogen will spread during the early stages of a pandemic. The first is its infectivity: how readily it is transmitted between people in close proximity to one another. The second is the mean person-to-person contact rate. This will be much lower where population density is lower.

Central Stockholm, for instance, has a population density about one-fifth that of central London. It could get away without a lockdown where London simply could not.

Stephen Mosher has supplied some interesting figures showing that both in South Korea and in Sweden the usage of public transport has fallen by some 60%. Once the people have become educated in the need to take precautions for themselves, many of them will have the common sense to do so, even if there is no lockdown in place.

Contrast that sensible behavior with the UK, where as recently as March 13, the day before Mr Trump announced a state of emergency in the United States, the last day of the four-day Cheltenham Racing Festival went ahead just as usual, with huge crowds attending. That was silly.

And it was not until almost two weeks after Mr Trump that Mr Johnson finally realized that, unlike Sweden, Britain was too densely-packed into huge urban centers to allow him to get away without a lockdown. By heeding the “herd-immunity” merchants at Oxford University and leaving it far, far too late, Mr Johnson guaranteed that Britain would have a worse experience with the pandemic than any other country in Europe.

Eventually, however, the hard-headed “Save the hospitals from utter collapse” team at Imperial College, London, prevailed and the lockdown happened. At least it was just in time to prevent the total collapse of the health service: but, as things stand today, all surgical interventions other than Chinese-virus cases and emergencies have been canceled for many weeks, and will continue to be canceled until further notice. Losses of life from these cancelations are not included in the death figures, and Britain is bending the numbers still further by not counting deaths at home or deaths in nursing-homes in the daily death counts.

By now, in Italy and Spain the populations are sufficiently well educated that their governments consider that a gradual dismantling of the lockdowns is now possible.

On the data, then, the first lesson the world needs to learn from this pandemic is that the sooner determined action is taken to test, isolate and contact-trace the more likely it is that no lockdown will be needed; that the chief reason for lockdowns is to ensure that the hospital system is not overrun; and that if for that reason a lockdown is needed it should be introduced as soon as possible. Later lockdowns are longer and more costly lockdowns, as Britain is learning the hard way.

Meanwhile the climate Communists, desperate to try to regain the world’s attention, are saying that the Chinese-virus pandemic has taught climate “deniers” the value of believing the “experts”. Well, it has done no such thing, for the “experts” are no more agreed among themselves about how to deal with this pandemic than they are about whether capitalism should be destroyed so as to “Save The Planet” from mildly warmer worldwide weather.

However, lockdowns and the consequent decline in economic activity do provide us with a very interesting test of whether CO2 concentration will detectably fall and whether, even if it does, the gentle warming of recent decades will slow. Watch this space: the earliest indications are that the climate Communists are in for something of a shock.

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Bill Powers
April 13, 2020 2:04 pm

What do the “Computer Models” say about contraction and death had we not destroyed our economy and allow the Virus to run its course like the many strains of cold viruses?

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill Powers
April 13, 2020 2:18 pm

THEY SAY
00111010011
01001110101
11000101111
10011101001
00011101001
01010111011
11100100100

Richmond
Reply to  Bryan A
April 13, 2020 5:24 pm

There are 10 types of people; those who understand Binary and those who don’t.

brians356
Reply to  Richmond
April 13, 2020 8:05 pm

I see what you did there. It was inevitable my mathematics degree would pay a dividend at long last.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill Powers
April 13, 2020 2:24 pm

Or perhaps more appropriately
01000110
01010101
01000011
01001011
01011001
01000111
01010101

OR

01000110
01010101
01000011
01001011
01000111
01000110
01000110

Scissor
Reply to  Bryan A
April 13, 2020 3:37 pm

Are you being nasty?

Greg
Reply to  Bryan A
April 13, 2020 10:53 pm

No, the answer is 0x2A.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Greg
April 13, 2020 11:40 pm

Actually, it is 101010 🙂 …..

Greg
Reply to  Rod Evans
April 14, 2020 12:35 am

Sorry, I can’t accept that. I’m non binary !!

Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2020 1:19 pm

I had to break out my Ovaltine Decoder Ring. I don’t find that funny.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:18 pm

Is there ever an acceptable time to go? I can talk for myself. We are 100% sure that the human race has a 100% mortality rate. Being alive automatically guarantees a 100% mortality rate. It is just a question of when each of us will go. Go to any retirement home with residents in the typical age group that are vulnerable for Corona, influenza, heart attacks, brain hemorrhages etc. Many are bed ridden, incontinent, so demented that they do not remember members of their families. The homes are understaffed, and often the residents are put to bed In the early afternoon in order for the staff to be able to put them all to bed before the shift is over. Many are suffering from serious pain and are victims of medication side effects from the multitude of drugs they are taking. If I were in a state were I was incontinent, demented so I didn’t understand anything happening to me, feeling surrounded by strangers since I was unable to remember anybody, suffering from continuous nausea from all the drugs they forced me to take and still being force fed 3 times a day, I wouldn’t want my time to be prolonged. I think I would welcome cover as my friend. Pneumonia is often called the old man’s friend for that reason. For some reason we are quick to put animals to death if they are only approaching this state, but we will feel it is extremely wrong to deny a very painful and inefficient respirator treatment for this old person.
It all depends on what we think comes after. If an old person is afraid of hellfire, I can understand that they will want to hand on to life, even in a state like above, but for any other reason , I would think most people is such a state would be very happy to be relieved from the suffering. Atheists who believe there is nothing after death are often quite happy believing that they will stop their existence. At cleat the pain and confusion will be over. People with religous faiths usually expect a better existence, and research from Near death experiences and after dearth communication support this very strongly. Many who have been clinically dead, even atheists, report fantastic visions, indescribable joy and reunion with dead relatives. People who have lost a relative without knowing that the person had died often have a visit from the dead relative seconds after the moment of death. The typical being a dead aunt from the other side ofr the world sitting on the bed while living person is awake. The aunt smiles and says: I just wanted to say goodbye and that I am ok now, I am going to a wonderful place. This is not premature grief, since the loving person did not know that the relative had died. There are thousands of reports like this, many collected in a very interesting and life changing book called «Hello from heaven».
For those of a christian faith, easter with its victory over death, should be especially inspiring. The saviors promised to one of the Criminals: «Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Seems to be something a christian about to die from Covid 19 could believe in and be ready to go, maybe even making a living will to not use a respirator but rather reserve it for emergencies that may have a long life ahead of them.

brians356
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 8:08 pm

Are you trying to depress me? If so, I wish you would expound a little. Why so reticent?

Matthew
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 14, 2020 6:15 am

Yup. Necrophobia is a real problem. I don’t want to live hooked up to machines and suffering from pain and dementia either. Put the resources towards people who might actually benefit.

Gary
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 15, 2020 8:02 am

As I lie here in a hospital bed in my home awaiting my final hours on Earth in the next few weeks, this thoughtful comment prompted me to respond.

euthanasia is not an answer. it may halt physical suffering but it does not spare the soul. only an honestly committed Christian faith provides access to the God who created us.

that is not a popular opinion. people will make all sorts of excuses to deny it. Jesus said I am ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’ no one comes to the Father except by me. we all have a choice to seek the truth or to avoid it. have courage and seek the truth.

Vuk
April 13, 2020 2:20 pm

The UK’s Covid-19 today’s (Monday) update:
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/UK-COVID-19.htm

Scissor
Reply to  Vuk
April 13, 2020 3:43 pm

The doubling time will be doubling.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Vuk
April 13, 2020 11:36 pm

I would be more interested in the halving time of daily numbers than the doubling time of the cumulative sums. Integration is a low pass filter, the last way to detect the first signs of change.

The case numbers still look a total mess in the UK as I said from day one. I have no idea how well they relate to the daily reality in A&E.

By now, in Italy and Spain the populations are sufficiently well educated that their governments consider that a gradual dismantling of the lockdowns is now possible.

The ever contemptible and contemptuous viscount’s authoritarian view of the serfs and lower classes as children comes out in his every utterance. We tend to think this kind of thing died out with the fall of the Raj in India but his posts reveal the macheavellian manipulations of the minor aristocracy are still alive in Britian today, though they are usually less open about it.

The massively destructive lockdowns are being relaxed by govts with the good sense to weigh the immediate emergency against the coming emergency they are going to create. Unlike the ex-Rothschild banker running France who has just condemned the country to another full month of economic asphyxiation and mental torture, while neighbouring states try to breathe some life into the corpses of their economies.

My analysis of the case data which I shall be writing up today clearly shows an effect which can reasonably attributed to effects of confinement. It will also be a sensitive barometer of the effects of releasing these measures, though the data indicates a lag of about 10 days due to incubation, delays before hospitalisation, and testing. This is problematic for managing the affair since it will require at least a further 5d of data to draw any conclusions about the impact of changes.

comment image

We already see effect of choosing to “flatten the curve”: after the initial drop, reductions are now slower. Cases have peaked but will NOT be dropping rapidly. It was probably the right choice for Italy and Spain but that’s the price you pay. The economic pain only spreads out the case load, it does not reduce the number of infections.

This analysis of the rate of change of daily new cases works well for Italy and Spain. It does not work for UK where case data is a mess. Nor for France where the progression of case numbers has been inflated in recent weeks by an exponential rise in the number of tests. This tends to hide the decline !

It would seem that Macron does not have anyone capable of analysing the data beyond a trivial eyeballing of daily case data, or he is cynically using it to maintain the crisis as a means of pumping more public money into the banking system in the form of “loans to help businesses” coping with mess he continues to create for them. In other words, bank bailout in disguise.

Since his election cry was “Je suis banquier, je suis banquier” I guess the country got what it asked for.

Joe Born
Reply to  Greg Goodman
April 14, 2020 2:44 am

Note that there’s an interpretation of the currently falling new-death values in Italy and Spain other than that their total deaths have reached a logistic-like curve’s inflection point.

First, though, let’s assume they have indeed reached such an inflection point. The Italian and Spanish new-death curves peaked when their total-death curves were near 200 deaths per million population. If that’s the inflection point of a logistic-like total-deaths curve it might suggest that deaths are on track to top out at less than 500 deaths per million.

But another interpretation is that changes in behavior have caused transition to a shallower logistic-like curve—on which those countries are still at a relatively low point. Indeed, the rather gradual current decline wouldn’t be inconsistent with a transition after which the new-death values will start start to rise again, from a lower value, and climb to a more-alarming final death toll.

I’m not saying that’s the way it is; I have no idea. I’m just saying there’s more than one possible interpretation.

Greg
Reply to  Joe Born
April 14, 2020 4:41 am

Thanks Joe. Yes, the idea of “flattening the curve” before you have reached the peak, still leaves you before the peak, you just pushed the peak lower and farther into the future. The price you pay for the relief ( apart from the economic pain and social impacts ) is that you now have a much LONGER problem on your hands.

So the drop we see in daily cases and in the graph is not the inflection point of the logistic curve but the change to another curve. The simple logistic curve of the pre-restricted population just serves to show the measures did reduce the growth as expected.

Here is a similar plot for Italy , it’s interesting because they started a week earlier.
comment image

Joe Born
Reply to  Greg
April 14, 2020 10:41 am

Ah, I suspected you meant something like that, but I was a little slow in recognizing what inference was to be drawn from your graphs.

Incidentally, it would be less confusing to me if the second legend entry were “d^2/dt^2 logistic(x).”

JohnM
Reply to  Vuk
April 14, 2020 1:30 am

It’s a bank holiday weekend in the UK…….Friday and Monday are holiday days. Many admin people take the remainder of the week off as paid holiday, meaning Friday through to the next Monday, they are not at work.

Nils Nilsen
April 13, 2020 2:22 pm

With heat waves, we see a so-called harvesting effect, the heat takes out the most vulnerable, closest to death. We have a spike of deaths the high age groups and then Lowe deaths later. If we now are able to get at covid pandemic with two peaks instead of one with maybe 4-5 months in between, we will get a second harvest, that would not have happened if the virus had been free to infect like a normal flu.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Nils Nilsen
April 13, 2020 2:52 pm

In response to Mr Nilsen, the first obligation of responsible governments is to prevent the immediate collapse of healthcare systems and hospitals, for that collapse would very greatly increase the death rate by not being able to provide the advanced and prolonged intensive care that so many Chinese-virus patients unfortunately require.

A lockdown is the surest way to reduce the mean daily person-to-person contact rate and hence to slow the rate of transmission and thus to prevent overloading of healthcare systems and overcrowding of hospitals.

Provided that the dismantling of lockdowns is managed carefully, as has now begun in Spain and Italy, it should be possible to avoid further waves of infection, especially if in the coming weeks we are successful in finding an antibody test that is specific enough to distinguish the Chinese virus from the other coronaviridae.

There is also some promising news both from Oxford and from Israel about the potential availability of vaccines. Professor Gilbert at Oxford says she is reasonably confident (80%) that a vaccine will be ready for testing on humans in 2 weeks, and for general use as early as September. The Israelis hope to have a vaccine available for general use in July.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 3:15 pm

Exactly! We seem to have nearly achieved the required reduction in infection rate in many Western countries to manage at the primary care levelion our health systems. The study out of Germany indicates the infection rate in the unaffected population may be quite a bit higher than most had anticipated. This means we may be considerably closer to herd immunity. However, at the current rate of new infections being reported in most countries, we will have to maintain lockdown for many months longer to prevent a resurgence of cases.I don’t see how we can continue the present state of lockdown for the requisite length of time without fantastic harm to the economy. So, what do we do?

J Mac
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 11:25 pm

Christopher Monckton,
Can you provide a link to the power point graphs? Those of us with some impairment to color discretion appreciate it!

Greg
Reply to  J Mac
April 14, 2020 12:49 am

Apparently finding somewhere to host a decent sized image is beyond the technical capabilities of our nodding Homer. I could suggest WordPress since this site uses it already.

Why anyone in this days and age thinks they need to link to a Power Point doc because they are incapable to producing a proper graphic image file is beyond me.

He may also note in passing that the lossy jpeg compression is the worst thing for text and linear graphics, the aliasing distortion and ringing makes text even more illegible. Try PNG of gif. 😉

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  J Mac
April 14, 2020 5:49 am

In response to J Mac, I do supply PowerPoint slides every day, but sometimes the link to them does not appear. So sorry about that.

J Mac
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 12:04 pm

Understand – Thanks for your valuable contributions here!

I once asked my gal pal if she could tell me “What is that blob, about a half mile down river?” She replied “Do you mean that bright red channel marker buoy?” At that distance, there just weren’t enough red pixels for my eyes to discern. Same goes for fine lines in red, green, and pastel color gradations. I appreciate your efforts to help those of us needing crisp ‘spaghetti graphs’ we can enlarge sufficiently to see and understand what you are trying to communicate.

richard
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 2:24 am

how did no lock down play out it Japan. Did it overload the system? 126 million people, densely packed in high rise flats etc.

Jay Willis
Reply to  richard
April 14, 2020 4:11 am

In interesting point Richard.

Worldometer say 7600 cases (tests 88k), 143 deaths. Clearly it is not so lethal to Japanese people. … and then again perhaps it is something to do with their medical interventions…

“Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, said favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, had produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 340 patients.

“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday.”

But they do caution that it doesn’t work so well in later stages of the disease. Reported in the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/18/japanese-flu-drug-clearly-effective-in-treating-coronavirus-says-china)

South River Independent
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 8:54 am

Mandatory quarantines, lockdowns, and similar restrictions on healthy, uninfected people are unconstitutional, as are restrictions on lawful businesses.

Governments should provide accurate guidance on how to prevent being infected to allow individuals to decide what is best for themselves. Prudent actions by informed people will reduce the spread of the virus.

A valid test is necessary to identify infected people who can be lawfully quarantined.

icisil
Reply to  Nils Nilsen
April 13, 2020 4:05 pm

In the intervening time everyone needs to be educated about how to keep themselves healthy so that there is maximal health when it returns.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:26 pm

An older person may be able to survive covid 19 in March and get immunity, but would be weaker in May and not survive. This could be the case for millions. In this case flattening the curve could be catastrophic. Around 8000 Americans die every day from all causes. The biggest are heart disease and cancer. If we count 4000 get weaker every day because they statistically will die in a year. These are saved now and don’t get immunity. Then a new wave hits in 3 months. In principle these 4000 may die then, each day , 9 months early because they didn’t get their immunity while they were stronger.

Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 3:56 pm

But in the meantime, there is a better chance for a vaccine or an medical treatment that has been tested and finaly accepted for use.

Nils Nilsen
April 13, 2020 2:28 pm

Iatrogenic death from incorrect medical treatment is a big killer in non pandemic times. There is no reason to think that this does not exist in Covid 19. The conditions are perfect: doctors are stressed, tired and under time pressure, they may easily be distracted by the work load, they have limited information, limited research to base their decisions on, heroic mesures are called for. The treatment that is the basis for the whole shut down, the privilidge to get a respirator, may not be so fantastic, from 2 to 30 % survive it. Doctors use high pressure and may damage the lungs in order to keep them alive.

icisil
Reply to  Nils Nilsen
April 13, 2020 3:37 pm

Don’t forget fear. There is an inclination to intubate early rather than use something less dangerous for the patient because there is less risk of aerosolization.

Greg
Reply to  icisil
April 14, 2020 12:55 am

True. Intubation allows the machine to recover and filter exhaled gases. Head to shoulder masks for oxygen exist but apparently not available. Bad decisions forced again by lack of equipment.

The rush to ventilation may be the biggest killer of this epidemic and is not even the correct treatment for those suffering from hypoxia, rather than lung failure.

Greg
Reply to  Greg
April 14, 2020 12:55 am

True. Intubation allows the machine to recover and filter exhaled gases. Head to shoulder masks for oxygen exist but apparently not available. Bad decisions forced again by lack of equipment.

The rush to ventilation may be the biggest k-i-ller of this epidemic and is not even the correct treatment for those suffering from hypoxia, rather than lung failure.

icisil
Reply to  Greg
April 14, 2020 7:22 am

Tobin, whoever he is, echoes your sentiment (and mine)

Tobin: “The surest way to increase #COVID19 mortality is liberal use of intubation and mechanical ventilation.

https://twitter.com/drjohnm/status/1250037261024059394

Gattinoni is a leading world expert in respiratory diseases

This is a kind of disease in which you don’t have to follow the protocol-you have to follow the physiology,” Gattinoni said. “Unfortunately, many, many doctors around the world cannot think outside the protocol.

https://twitter.com/ProfTimNoakes/status/1249552592063156226

icisil
Reply to  Greg
April 14, 2020 9:20 am

Emergency department doctor prioritizing fear over patient’s well-being. This is the reality we’re dealing with.

Yesterday, an ED doc says “if they don’t do well with 6 liters by NC [high flow nasal cannula], we tube them. Not risking exposing staff to aerosolization with higher flow O2.

https://twitter.com/signaturedoc/status/1250072724057264128

RobR
April 13, 2020 2:29 pm

Another interesting note on Swedish Demographics; half of the adult population lives alone.

RobR
Reply to  RobR
April 13, 2020 7:48 pm

Additional thoughts on infection rates and population demographics.

As noted, 50% of adult Swedes live alone. This contrasts sharply with the extended family cohabitation practices of the Italians, Spaniards, and Chinese.

It is very common for adult Spaniards and Italians to live with their parents and (in many cases) grandparents. In China, young married couples often move into the home of the Groom’s parents.

Failure to quickly isolate the infected in early stages of the outbreak, in the face of such familiar practices, explains the disparity in mortality rates amongst developed nations.

If, these inferences are true, then we can safely settle the differences in positions between Lord Moncton and the esteemed Mr. Willis E. Obviously, both are correct and incorrect in considering the universe of disparate global population demographics.

Much has been made of the relative differences in population densities (and as I noted, living arrangements) between London and Stockholm. These differences bulk quite large, but pale in comparison to the differences between a small town in Kansas and New York City.

Here, we can see New York requires lock down to prevent unacceptable losses, and Kansas does not. This, of course, is low hanging fruit. What of larger cities? Our friends in Sweden may hold the key, as Stockholm could provide a basis for understanding the upper reaches of controllable population densities and critical care requirements.

A final thought, given the population density of many Chinese cities, I suspect they are currently being ravaged by the disease in numbers far greater than reported. The singular advantage of Totalitarian boot may not be enough.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  RobR
April 14, 2020 5:48 am

A very nice, balanced pair of comments from RobR. The fraction of the Swedish population living alone is certainly an interesting factor.

And this pandemic has shown very clearly how unwise it is to have the very high population densities advocated by the U.N. in its Agenda 2030 proposals, which would cram us all into high-rise cities.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 7:00 am

I’m pleased, for once, to be in total agreement with CofB.

The tenticular UN and its every growing number of interfering agencies needs defunding and stripping down it’s core business of providing a forum to avoid international conflicts.

Ron
April 13, 2020 2:29 pm

For people who interested in how antibody tests are developed:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jmv.25727

Problem: This test has a false positive rate of 10% and it was not determined against what. Would have been interesting to see samples tested from people with cold symptoms.

If commercially available HIV test kits would have such a rate they would have never been approved by the FDA.

Derg
Reply to  Ron
April 13, 2020 3:42 pm

If you test negative then will you be required to put a star on your forehead?

As the star wearers walks about Government will scream “get him/her! They will cost us money if they get sick. Lock them up!” Or Do Good Citizens call a hotline.

Black car shows up and the offender is taken off by people in black hazmed suits.

Interesting times ahead.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Derg
April 13, 2020 11:00 pm

Derg has nothing useful to contribute.

Derg
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 11:56 pm

Maybe not or…maybe. Power is an aphrodisiac Mr Monckton. I never thought I would see the Government dictate some people as essential and tell the non essential people to go pound sand 🙁

Praying I am 100 % wrong.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 12:57 am

What Derg is describing in rather brutally frank terms seems to be what Monckton proposes. Oddly he reject it as “not useful” when exposed for what it is.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Greg Goodman
April 14, 2020 5:52 am

Mr Goodman is as spiteful as usual. Of course I do not advocate Nazi labeling.

Scissor
Reply to  Ron
April 13, 2020 4:13 pm

Thanks, interesting.

From the list of authors, it seems that it takes three Wangs to make it right.

whiten
Reply to  Ron
April 14, 2020 4:22 am

Ron
April 13, 2020 at 2:29 pm

Ron, you approaching the point in a rather layman terms.
If the wide applied virus test were good enough, antibody tests will not be needed.

The link you provide, in it’s abstract tells you among other things how special in the case of this disease the antibody test is.

10% false positive is quite ok and means a high standard test in this case.
The “true” false positive is a natural condition of any antibody test, as is the “true” false negative for the virus test, which already obvious at this point in time.

Comparing antibody HIV test with any influenza antibody tests is like comparing oranges with meatballs, as the false positive natural condition completely different, as only for one aspect among many others, the HIV antibody is all the time in highly active mode, in all the stages,
even prior to the proper disease AIDS… it can not be missed, unless the test inaccurate,
and highly deterministic in consideration of the disease even at the stages before the on setting of the disease proper.
Is not like the HIV test expected to determine that you may have had the disease.
And still it is with quite a high false negative at the very early stage of the infection, the first 3 months period of the infection.

Have you ever heard that some actually self cured from HIV…
the very “true” false positive of the antibody test.

In the case of COVID-19 the false positive of the antibody test actually compensates for the false negative of the wide applied virus test… where the discrepancy between the two tests,
in the validity and accuracy of the both tests, gives the real actual picture not only of the mass infection but also indicates the actual nature of severity of the COVID-19 disease.

This antibody test even at 10% false positive, is still high standard test, because it seems to have quasi a no false positive as in it’s deterministic proposition.
The positive result means that one happens to have being subject to the infection, and with a very very high chance of being infected,
even when the condition that one may have actually had the disease stands ad 10% false positive.
So the main point of 10% false positive means and consist mostly in the proposition of the disease and the immunity acquired… especially in covid-19, where the first “jump” infection does not consist necessary in full connection with the disease, COVID-19…
the throat infection, the first leap.

The false positive or the false negative of the antibody test, as in the respect of the accuracy and the standard of the test is far lower than the 10% false positive there,
as that 10% happens to be the overall false positive, dictated more by the natural condition than
the standard of the test.
Inescapable condition… for all tests, antibody or otherwise.

cheers

Ron
Reply to  whiten
April 14, 2020 7:33 am

@whiten

The titer of your antibodies that can be detected by a test determines its sensitivity. HIV was just an example. A virus does not at all need to be active for a high antibody titer. Ever got a vaccination for hep A or B? Got those decades ago but the titer is still giving me immunity last time I checked.

It is important to know WHAT the reasons for the false positives are. If these would be in fact infections with other coronaviridae that could significantly increase the amount of false positives depending whom you test and how many people caught a cold before. We don’t even know if there was a bias in the control group because people with cold like symptoms but negative for SARS-CoV-2 could have been excluded. They did not check their test against a related but different spike protein for cross reactivity.

False positives are dangerous because they could lead to the decision to expose people lacking immunity and give a false impression of the numbers of CFR and herd immunity acquired.

The study uses IgM and IgG based testing to reduce the lag phase of the immune response that can be tested. The three months apply for IgG-only tests.

From all data available PCR based testing should be feasible and sufficient for diagnosis before IgM antibodies are detectable.

whiten
Reply to  Ron
April 14, 2020 9:48 am

Ron
April 14, 2020 at 7:33 am

What the F. you talking about now dude!

I engaged with your earlier comment in consideration that I understood the point you were making, and also in the proposition that you may hopefully understand my reply to you.

I do not think you did understand my reply to you… at all.
And you do not have to understand it, especially if my argument there simply BS or
irrational or with no any or much merit in the logic of the subject.

But, if your refutation, and lack of understanding in the proposition of my reply, simply due to your lack of understanding, or lack of knowledge, and not because of me, than that happens to be clearly not my problem.

Sorry can not make either heads or tails, within the means of rationale or understanding there, in consideration of your last reply to me.

Really sorry, about my failure there, in understanding or making any sense of your reply to me,
and I have no problem to consider it in the proposition of the lack of my knowledge and the very low IQ of mine, or silly beliefs of mine.
But I have no F. clue what you saying now, truly…. really sorry dude.

Completely out of my depths there…

thanks anyway.

No hard feelings,
but simply a total lack of understanding and total lack of figuring out, on my part, of your latest “points” made.
Really, for best of me, I do not really understand what you talking about now.
Nada, nilch, zilch…

By the way, just to be in the default safe margin…
You are not trolling me, or are you!

cheers

Ron
Reply to  whiten
April 15, 2020 5:22 am

I am not trolling. There seem to be a mutual misunderstanding. Things like these happen. No problem from my side.

Cheers

whiten
Reply to  whiten
April 15, 2020 9:32 am

Ron
April 15, 2020 at 5:22 am
————

Ron, thank you, for your consideration.

I do know that you are not trolling, and I am sure that you are a good man, responsible and caring.

I have no problem actually understanding your engagement with me, Ron.
But still you have to understand the problem of paradoxes and fallacies in reasoning.

Let me try to explain it.
———
” Ever got a vaccination for hep A or B? Got those decades ago but the titer is still giving me immunity last time I checked.”

“False positives are dangerous because they could lead to the decision to expose people lacking immunity and give a false impression of the numbers of CFR and herd immunity acquired.”
—————-
Ron, can you spot the paradox and fallacy there?

In consideration of an antibody test, for hepatitis, you actually are a true false positive… and in the same time have the proper immunity response confirmed by the antibody test.

How can a false positive clause in consideration of antibody test be dangerous,
unless the antibody test vilified unjustly, due to the natural condition of true false positives, which happens to be the main core merit there for any antibody test?!

Ok, maybe I was, and probably I was too harsh and rushing in consideration of my latest reply to you.
Hopefully you accept my apology.
Really sorry for upsetting you.

By the way the main overall immunity you have to Hepatitis A B, is not from the vaccine.
The gained proper immune response there, due to vaccine is important, but the main overall one is natural, due to the age factor, your age.

I have a natural gained immune response due to the disease not the vaccine, since I was 6 years old, where my overall immunity to hep A B is slightly better than yours… as I have the virus in my liver still… and no disease since I was 6.

In consideration of an antibody test I am not a false positive, as I already actually had the disease.

With COVID-19, there is no clause of artificial false positives, as due to a vaccine, like in your case and hep… but still there is the proposition of natural false positives, antibodies with no disease.

That false positive holds the key to the actual number of the infected that consist as the corner stone of the disease reemergence in the future.

That number been big enough can instantly “kill” the insanity of the second wave claim, and force a reassessment on the act of craziness… the crazy act which keeps holding the world hostage.

Ron, I know I was really rushy.
Really sorry.
No doubt at all that you were not trolling, and I am sure that you are a caring and responsible person… a good man.

Thank you Ron. 🙂

cheers

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:33 pm

Outside the box provoking questions.
I know that many will be provoked by the following questions, but that is why we have comments and free discussions.
Do we actually know that covid 19 is the reason for the serious pneumonias we are seeing? Could it be that there is another virus, e.g. flu that gives pneumonia, and that covidi is going around creating very mild symptoms in all.
If nobody had made a test for covid 19, we would not have noticed it.
So the whole lockdown of the world is actually because of a rather quickly put together nasal swab test. Coupled with a belief that respirator treatment is essential for survival, and that we should prolong life almost at any cost.
What if question each of these assumptions (see separate posts so people can argue against each

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:55 pm

In response to “former NIH researcher”, yes, we do know that the Chinese virus is the cause of the respiratory difficulties that have proven fatal to so many. The shadow on the lungs that the virus causes is quite distinctive both in X-rays and in computer-tomography scans.

Tim Bidie
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 10:37 pm

Some believe that, many do not:

‘The lung only has so many ways it reacts to injury…. Patchy, white areas on CT scans — reactions radiologists call “ground glass” consolidation — could indicate Covid-19 or dozens of other conditions, including the flu and reactions to drugs.’

Ella Kazerooni, Chair, Thoracic Imaging Panel, American College of Radiology

The American College of Radiology advises against use of CT scans both as a primary method of diagnosis or to screen for Covid-19 simply because Covid-19 has an appearance similar to other infections like ‘flu’.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tim Bidie
April 13, 2020 11:02 pm

In response to Mr Bidie, if a serological test shows the presence of the Chinese-virus antigen and the shadow on the lungs is present and spreads at the rapid rate associated with this particular pathogen then there is very little room for doubt as to the attribution.

richard
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 4:04 am

not so quick-

“A study in the Journal of Medical Virology concludes that the internationally used coronavirus test is unreliable: In addition to the already known problem of false positive results, there is also a „potentially high“ rate of false negative results, i.e. the test does not respond even in symptomatic individuals, while in other patients it does respond once and then again not. This makes it more difficult to exclude other flu-like illnesses’

Tim Bidie
Reply to  JohnM
April 14, 2020 3:04 am

Thanks. There is good reason for The American College of Radiology to advise against use of CT scans as a primary method of diagnosis or to screen for Covid-19

‘Radiological findings from 81 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study’ Reference above.

‘In our experience, the imaging features of COVID-19 pneumonia are diverse, ranging from normal appearance to diffuse changes in the lungs. In addition, different radiological patterns are observed at different times throughout the disease course.’

‘In our study, the predisposing conditions for COVID-19 pneumonia tended to be old age and medical comorbidities (such as chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases), similar to previous viral infections such as influenza H7N9.’

‘However, none of the CT features of COVID-19 seem to be specific or diagnostic, and COVID-19 pneumonia shares CT features with other non-infectious conditions that present as subpleural air-space disease.’

icisil
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 3:44 pm

I know that many will be provoked by the following questions, but that is why we have comments and free discussions.
“Do we actually know that covid 19 is the reason for the serious pneumonias we are seeing? Could it be that there is another virus, e.g. flu that gives pneumonia, and that covidi is going around creating very mild symptoms in all.”

Certainly not in all cases. Lots of things cause pneumonia: air pollution, drug/alcohol abuse, vaping, some pharmaceuticals, etc. They just lump everything together and call it covid.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  icisil
April 13, 2020 10:59 pm

Icisil is, as usual, wrong. The diagnosis is made not only by serological testing for the antigen but also by X-rays or CT scans. In nearly all cases there is very little doubt.

whiten
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 3:11 am

Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 at 10:59 pm

How many of the dead in UK, listed as COVID-19 deaths had X-ray CT scan, you think, or maybe you know?

Any Idea at all?

icisil
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 4:26 am

That’s called a presumptive diagnosis. You are committing scientific malfeasance by asking us to trust doctor’s judgment without rock-solid data, which radiological and CT data are not. As many times as doctors have gotten it wrong in the past, your comment is unconscionable coming from someone like you who pretends to operate from scientific integrity.

f
April 13, 2020 2:33 pm

1. How can we be sure that Covid-19 is killing people. There are several strains of influenza and other respiratory diseases going around at the same time. In Italy they code it as Covid 19 may be killing as few as 12% of those who have it at death. This is because the dead patients had so many other diseases that could kill them, coronary heart disease etc. Now for the 12% that are left, how can we be sure it is Covid when there are several other strains of virus and bacteria going around that every year kill 10 times as many as Covid has done so far. Statistically, if 700 000 normally die from the flu, and now 70 000 have died from it, it could be that the 12% shrinks to one tenth. After all, statistically people are 10 times more likely to die from another influenza or another Covid. So maybe we are now down to 1,2% actually being killed by Covid. All that is required is that they die with Covid in their body. When people are tested randomly, like in Iceland, approximately 1% test positive from Covi19 even if half have no symptoms. So in principle we could risk that Covid 19 actually dies not have any effect, and that it is just a strain of virus going around, and that people are not dying of it, but just with it.

[Reply If you keep changing your username and email, the spam catcher will automatically put on a hold ~]

icisil
Reply to  f
April 13, 2020 3:48 pm

They don’t even understand how covid works, much less know that it’s creating all of the morbidity/mortality. There are a number of other factors involved that are being ignored to make Corona-chan appear more pathogenic than she really is.

Scissor
Reply to  icisil
April 13, 2020 4:29 pm
Rod Evans
Reply to  Scissor
April 13, 2020 10:48 pm

Many thanks Scissor, very interesting, it helps restore some faith in the medics looking at this crisis pandemic.

whiten
Reply to  Rod Evans
April 14, 2020 4:34 am

I think you forgot to put the sarc tag… or is my thinking wrong?!

cheers

Eustace Cranch
April 13, 2020 2:33 pm

United States also has low population density, lower than Sweden for much of the country. Or dare I say most of the country. Low relative rates of person-to-person contact even in normal times. Yet these areas remain locked down. I join many others in asking- Why?

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Eustace Cranch
April 13, 2020 2:59 pm

In response to Mr Cranch, one reason why lockdowns tend to imposed Statewide or even nationwide rather than only in cities with high and therefore dangerous population densities is that otherwise people in cities will be tempted to flee to the countryside, ensuring transmission of the pathogen throughout the nation.

In the very remote glen in the western Highlands of Scotland where we keep a patch of land by a beautiful loch 60 miles from the nearest traffic-light, the residents have already suffered from large numbers of people from towns and cities arriving in camper-vans. The police have rounded them up and sent them back where they came from.

If there were no national lockdown, the police would not be able to intervene, and the virus would spread everywhere at once.

icisil
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 3:49 pm

“otherwise people in cities will be tempted to flee to the countryside, ensuring transmission of the pathogen throughout the nation”

There’s nothing stopping that in the US.

Td
Reply to  icisil
April 13, 2020 4:37 pm

This is too general a response. Many localities have closed parks, many areas have closed beaches to discourage travelling, and the some regions are even turning back out-of-state drivers. But, subways are still running in NYC, and you can still book a flight from here to there. There is not a one-size-fits all solution in this huge country.

sycomputing
Reply to  icisil
April 13, 2020 8:27 pm

There’s nothing stopping that in the US.

I think there is.

First, the populations of a mere three TX cities (Dallas, San Antonio and Houston) are around or more than the entire population of Scotland. Give me a break.

Secondly, I know a good deal of regular Joe “city-dwellers” in these United States. They don’t go to “the country.” The majority of them don’t own, nor are able to afford to rent “camper-vans.” At least not for any amount of time applicable to this scenario. Most of them live paycheck to paycheck like [most] everybody else in that big city.

Thirdly, maybe the rich folk could flee the cities, but if they did, they certainly wouldn’t do it in a camper van. They’d flee to their seasonal condo/home in that other big city on the opposite coast, thus defeating the purpose anyway.

Fourthly, if you and a hundred of your friends decide you’re going to squat in your camper vans in some little town in TX and the local sheriff gets nervous about it, you’re gone, Fed lock down or no Fed lock down. And if the local shire reeve is unsuccessful in his mission to reject you, the Texas State Troopers won’t be.

Not buying the fleeing the city argument as applied to the US, at least not in TX.

John Endicott
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 2:49 am

Good points. However,
1) the Rich have more destinations than their home/condo’s on the coasts to chose from, there’s their vacation home in the Florida Keys, or their beach front property pretty much anywhere there’s private beaches, for just some examples. Not to mention they can always just buy or rent a place anywhere they want whenever they want (they’re rich, remember).
2) Many poor city-dwellers have non-city relatives they could go visit.
3) Then there’s the middle class, which has more mobility than the poorer residents and more options on where to “flee” to (and would be the most likely “camper-vanners” in this scenario, though camper-van owners are, I hazard to guess, more likely to live in the immediate suburbs of the big cities rather than in the cities themselves, though they also likely worked in the cities when they had jobs to go to).

There’s a reason states like Florida, Alaska and Hawaii are trying to keep people from NY from coming to their state and/or making them isolate when they do.

icisil
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 4:29 am

The point was, except maybe in very few places, anyone who has a getaway can get away.

John Endicott
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 5:45 am

Exactly, where there’s a will there’s a way. Camper-van’s optional.

The US is very mobile, There’s a lot of “fly over” country between the coastal big cities, so we’ve had to be. That mobility means a lot of people can easily move from place to place when they want to. Particularly the higher up the economic ladder you are. While the poorer city dwellers without their own motorized transport (IE Car, truck, van, motorcycle, boat, etc) may be rather limited to where public transit will take them, the middle and upper class aren’t so limited. They can easily hop in their cars and drive to wherever they want (or hop in their private jets or yachts for the richer city dwellers) and with gas prices dropping, it won’t even cost them as much to get there, and the traffic won’t be so bad either.

sycomputing
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 7:00 am

Good retort yourself there, John.

. . . there’s their vacation home in the Florida Keys, or their beach front property pretty much anywhere there’s private beaches, for just some examples.

Agreed, but I think you’ve just made my point for me. The total land mass of the FK is +/- 158 miles. You’ve got beachfront property all over FL, but not a lot of people are going to fit in it, some of it is already occupied, and the rich aren’t going to want to share. Private security will secure that [un]desire. Even more to the point, if only the rich flee, that’s a relatively small group of people. Thus, not a lot of space nor people for an en masse migration of individuals per MoB’s proposition above.

Sure the rich have more options than the rest of us, but I suspect they’re not going to use but a small subset of those options. E.g., I find it unlikely you’re going to see Bif and Buffy renting that 2 bedroom shack that could use a roof. “Hey look, all you gotta do is pick up a few bug foggers from Wal-Mart, them roaches’ll be gone in no time!”

Having options doesn’t mean you’re going to use them. Options for rich people (i.e., those they’re willing to use) are relatively limited, since by definition there’s a relatively small market for products they’re used to and more importantly, willing to use.

Many poor city-dwellers have non-city relatives they could go visit.

So you say, but even if I grant you that premise there’s a difference between “visit” and “live.” When brother Joe, sister-in-law Sallie and the kids come to “visit” it’s all good to go because then they LEAVE the next day, if they stay the night at all. What’s that anecdote about the 3 day rule for relatives? I’m unemployed at the moment like everyone else, who’s going to buy food for all these people in my house? Who’s going to pay the additional electricity, water, etc?

Then there’s the middle class, which has more mobility than the poorer residents and more options on where to “flee” to (and would be the most likely “camper-vanners” in this scenario . . .

Already dealt with this in first argument. In addition, there’s another problem:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/families-go-deep-in-debt-to-stay-in-the-middle-class-11564673734

It’s expensive to be a “camper vanner.” Really expensive. For example, I just randomly chose this one: https://www.sportsmansrvrentals.com/2018-jayco-redhawk-31xl

Are you sure BofA is going to keep that credit card active at $260 / day + expenses for (now approaching) 60 days when I started out just $1K from my limit? If were them, I sure wouldn’t for what appears to be a large majority of the American middle class.

Where are these people going to dump their human waste? Gotta rent a camper space for that. Camper spaces are by definition limited and more importantly that’s just more expense on that already bloated card. How much credit do you have anyway? Can you get another card w/$20K limit right now? And if I catch you and your hundred friends dumping your stinky stuff on the side of my road I’m gonna object. I and my entire town.

We all carry.

sycomputing
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 7:47 am

Exactly, where there’s a will there’s a way. Camper-van’s optional.

Are you sure? What about when you need to get the wife and kids in out of the rain? Just because you have the will to do something doesn’t mean you can afford it. Vacation is expensive and those normally only last a week or so. This isn’t vacation. This thing is going to go on for at least 60 days maybe more.

When you move you also need to stop unless mom, dad, the dog, cat and kids are all going to sleep in the middle-class hatchback. Are hotels even open where everyone lives?

“Colorado Springs’ Broadmoor Hotel closed all of its 784 rooms, suites and cottages on March 21.”

https://www.denverpost.com/2020/03/27/governor-rules-hotels-essential-businesses-in-colorado/

If you’re not sleeping in the middle-class hatchback, and you’re able to find an available room, then where you do stop is going to cost you money. Do you have it right now? I don’t think the poor do, the middle class might with credit but they don’t have the credit. The rich aren’t going to the countryside anyway.

(or hop in their private jets or yachts for the richer city dwellers)

Sure, but remember MoB’s original proposition, i.e., the one I’m arguing against, which is ALL of the city dwellers, not just the rich, are moving out to the countryside in his scenario: “If there were no national lockdown, the police would not be able to intervene,” thus, “people in cities will be tempted to flee to the countryside, ensuring transmission of the pathogen throughout the nation.”

If only the rich leave, there’s not enough of them to worry about in the countryside, thus the police don’t have to get involved (MoB). (Yes I know it only takes one.)

By your own admission, the rich aren’t fleeing to the countryside anyway. You can’t sail a yacht on dirt, nor can you land a private jet on it. The poor can’t leave the city. The middle class doesn’t have the credit to do it even if they wanted to.

Hence, I’m still reasonably resolved national lock downs aren’t necessary to prevent city dwellers from fleeing to the countryside.

John Endicott
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 9:33 am

The total land mass of the FK is +/- 158 miles

And is just one of endless places the Rich go to get away from it all. Bottom line, for the Rich, they are not limited to staying in the cities, no matter how you try to spin it. period.

So you say, but even if I grant you that premise there’s a difference between “visit” and “live.”

Yes, and there’s a difference between “normal circumstances” and “a global pandemic”.

Already dealt with this in first argument

And your first argument was way off base (as already mentioned).

It’s expensive to be a “camper vanner.”

And not everyone will be a “camper vanner”. You are forgetting,
1) there are middle class people that already *own* camper vans.
2) camper vans are *optional*, there are many other ways in which middle class people will (yes will) move about the country when/if they want to (as I previously mentioned)

If mobility is so restricted, as you seem to think, why is it states like Florida, Alaska and Hawaii having to try to block travel from NY and require travelers that do arrive to isolate themselves? Surely if mobility is as restricted as you claim, such rules wouldn’t be needed!

Are you sure?

Yes. I’ve done the cross country drive with the family several times growing up. Not only is it possible many thousands do it every year. Hotels are optional. People, even whole families, sleeping in their vehicles at rest areas is a common sight. where there’s a will, there’s a way. (and BTW, the middle class hatch-back has long since been replaced by the SUV that the soccer moms drive the kids around in. And yes, you can sleep in one of those if you have to. You could also sleep in the hatch-back, but not as comfortably).

Sure, but remember MoB’s original proposition, i.e., the one I’m arguing
the one I’m arguing against, which is ALL of the city dwellers, not just the rich, are moving out to the countryside in his scenario: “If there were no national lockdown, the police would not be able to intervene,” thus, “people in cities will be tempted to flee to the countryside, ensuring transmission of the pathogen throughout the nation.”

Funny I see a distinct lack of the word *ALL* in the quotes from MoB that you list there. Unless you can show me where he says ALL, then you are arguing against a strawman. Cities are densely populated (as you note, 3 cities in Texas match the population of an entire country), it only takes a small percentage of that dense population to “flee to the country side” to bring with it the problems MoB describes.

By your own admission, the rich aren’t fleeing to the countryside anyway

I admit no such thing, that’s your flawed interpretation. I listed a few popular locations that the Rich would (and often do) go to, that was, by no means, an exhaustive list. Many rich people have country homes (or, rather, mansions), they don’t all hang out in the cities 24/7, you know, and if they felt it was “safer” to hang their hat in hicksville, while the china virus ravages the cities, then that’s where they would go – because they have the means to go there if they want and stay there for as long as they want.

You can’t sail a yacht on dirt, nor can you land a private jet on it. The poor can’t leave the city. The middle class doesn’t have the credit to do it even if they wanted to.

Not all “country side” locations are land-locked. There are airfields all across this great nation. And the middle class don’t need much credit to hop in their SUV and drive. Mobility is a great thing in this great country. It exists, whether you like it or not.

Again I have to ask, if mobility was so limited, why then are states like Florida, Hawaii, and Alaska passing rules to block travelers from NY. According to you there won’t be any.

sycomputing
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 10:47 am

Ok, I think you might be getting mad, John . . . don’t get mad.

I’ll answer your last question and then leave you with some of my own:

Again I have to ask, if mobility was so limited, why then are states like Florida, Hawaii, and Alaska passing rules to block travelers from NY.

Don’t forget Texas too. Do you have some published statistics from any one of these states that tells us how many people so far have been blocked from NY and from what demographic group they are? If you don’t, how do you know they’re fleeing there? Simply because these states are moving to block them? But correlation isn’t causation is it?

Wouldn’t you move to block people from NY if you were the governor’s of these states, and this regardless of whether or not they’re coming? As of March 26, governor Abbot of Texas did.

And if such a mass of individuals are fleeing to interstate destinations, does this go to MoB’s argument that without a nationwide lockdown people from the cities would be fleeing en masse to the countryside in the same region? Remember, I’m responding to MoB’s argument, not a mobility argument in general.

If MoB’s argument is correct, why isn’t the nationwide intrastate flight happening now? I don’t know about your state, but in Texas, we’re not restricted from traveling. I can drive anywhere I like, anywhere in the state. Yet there’s no mass flight of poor people from Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, etc., moving toward my neck of the woods. Shouldn’t there be?

Take care buddy! Nice discussion!

Bill Murphy
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 1:40 pm

The escape from NY was under way 2 weeks ago. Reports on the ground from friends in rural Maine are that a constant stream of NY, NJ and CT licence plates have been flowing past for a while now, heading North to the woods. While enroute they have managed to deplete the stock of almost everything in most of the grocery, convenience, and hardware stores along the way, forcing many of them to close. It reached the point a few days ago where the Governor had to step in and announce travel restrictions and quarantines for out of state travelers. There have even been reports of vigilante groups forming and taking action. It could get ugly.

John Endicott
Reply to  sycomputing
April 14, 2020 4:19 pm

I’m not getting mad. Hint: just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are “getting mad”.

Wouldn’t you move to block people from NY if you were the governor’s of these states, and this regardless of whether or not they’re coming?

I don’t know, Why haven’t they passed laws to protect against an invasion of invisible pink unicorns, regardless of whether or not they’re coming? You generally don’t pass such specific laws over imaginary problems. They have to deal with people that *are* coming from those states whether you want to believe if those people exist or not.

If MoB’s argument is correct, why isn’t the nationwide intrastate flight happening now? I don’t know about your state, but in Texas, we’re not restricted from traveling.

my state is one of the ones people would be/are fleeing (and I can understand why they would want to. If I had less ties here, I’d be joining them in the fleeing, though for many more reasons than just the current situation). We are restricted from non-essential travel – though not to the point of police pulling over people willy-nilly. But the threat of such is certainly implied, my employer sent us all a letter (to keep with us in our cars) explaining why we’re considered essential workers under the governors executive order – just in case we do get pulled over on our way to/from work.

I don’t know about your state, but in Texas, we’re not restricted from traveling. I can drive anywhere I like, anywhere in the state.

see previous paragraph. we are only allowed on the roads for essential business (essentials workers getting to/from work or trips to essential businesses such as grocery stores) by order of the governor. The plus side is my commute to/from work has been great traffic-wise.

Yet there’s no mass flight of poor people from Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, etc., moving toward my neck of the woods. Shouldn’t there be?

Maybe, maybe not. I have no idea if yours, specifically, is a desirable destination to the citizens of those cities, nor if those cities have as yet reached anywhere near the level of problems of the east and west coast hotspots. People tend not to flee until things get really bad/desperate, which really only describes a couple of hot spots around the country at the moment.

richard
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 6:21 am

and it didn’t in Japan because?

GregK
Reply to  Eustace Cranch
April 13, 2020 9:29 pm

New York state population density 162 per sq km
Manhattan population density 28,000 per sq km
Brooklyn population density 14,650 per sq km

California population density 97 per sq km
but
Maywood, Los Angeles population density 9000 per sq km

Sweden population density 25 per sq km
Stockholm population density 4800 per sq km

Plenty of space outside Stockholm , or Los Angeles for that matter, for people to wander around outside virus transmitting range but there is still need for care
One infection in a strategic service/location can cause chaos.

Tasmania population density 7 per sq km
In NW Tasmania hospitals closed because of infection among staff.
https://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/6720085/lockdown-tasmanian-hospitals-and-retailers-to-close-due-to-virus-spike/

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:35 pm

2. How can we be sure that the test(s) made in haste, by many different producers, without possibility of quality control are really finding something of importance. One very strange thing is that we still don’t have a widely used antibody test. It ist because there really is no common entity? The logical scientific procedure that should be done repeatedly is random testing of 100-1000 persons to determine how many are infected in the population and if this really increases or decreases. Then testing for antibodies should have been started on a random sample as soon as possible to see how many are immune and how the immunity grows.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 3:02 pm

In response to Former NIH Researcher, the chief reason why antibody tests are not yet available is that certain characteristics of the S proteins (the spike proteins) of the Chinese virus make them appear indistinguishable from other coronaviridae in antibody tests. So far, all attempts to find an antibody test specific enough to distinguish the Chinese virus from other coronaviridae have not proven successful.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 11:02 pm

Quote.
“So far, all attempts to find an antibody test specific enough to distinguish the Chinese virus from other coronaviridae have not proven successful”. C Monckton.
And right there is the essence of the issue we are involved in.
How is it even possible for the authorities to declare this outbreak of Corona Virus is specific to SARS COV 2 aka Covid 19 or is simply a collection of all Corona virus infections being lumped together.
Is Covid 19 the unique agent causing the difficulties for the medics, or is it simply adding to the soup of virus activity going on anyway?
The need for a specific test is absolute. How can we even know what the scale of the Covid 19 pandemic is if we can’t effectively test for it?
Echoes of what caused Typhoid and the quack cures being proposed, before it was established it was contaminated water comes to mind.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Rod Evans
April 13, 2020 11:07 pm

Mr Evans is confusing the antigen test, which can establish whether the Chinese virus is present, and the antibody test, which, if and when it becomes available, can establish whether the Chinese virus was present but has been eliminated by the body’s defenses.

Antigen tests are available, so we know whether a victim showing symptoms consistent with the Chinese virus actually has it.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 11:59 pm

Christopher,
Thank you for the clarification.
My basic point still stands.
Antigen tests tell us the Sars Cov 2 is currently present in the host (hopefully)
Antibody test will tell us if it was present and is no longer active.
The antibody tests have to wait for up to four weeks before the necessary markers have accumulated, for the test to be confident.
Even after four weeks, some past infected hosts/patients appear to have very low marker counts and some are not showing any!! apparently?
With that being the case.
How can we ever do random tests of the general population to establish what level of herd infection exists?
The test and thus testing the population, is key to understanding where we are. It will tell us whether the ongoing economic disaster unfolding due to lock down, was actually worth the financial pain or not?
We may find we have been the victims of good intention, introduced on a false premise.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 6:00 am

In response to Mr Evans, countries that introduced lockdowns did so because if they had not done so their healthcare systems would have been rapidly overwhelmed. In most countries that nasty situation has been averted.

Now, the antibody tests are being developed and, in the not too distant future, it will be possible to carry out proper population sampling to establish the true prevalence of the infection. Devising test regimes is not my specialty, but epidemiologists have an array of techniques and protocols at their disposal. We shall in due course know more about this infection than we do now. It is precisely because we know so little, but we do know the virus is a significant killer, that governments decided to take precautions first and ask questions afterwards, once there was some hope of getting clearer answers than are possible at present.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 6:34 am

Rod, if the antibody testing gives false negatives as you rightly describe then we will have less confidence that herd immunity has been achieved, but if it shows 60% when it is actually 70%, that won’t change the practical conclusion.

Since as you say, virus-specific antibodies may take 4 weeks to develop, measurement of herd immunity will be a lagging indicator, essentially measuring today those infections that initiated prior to mid-March. The very accurate data will be found only a month after there is no longer significant active infection. But surely it will be possible to estimate the expected immunity fairly accurately by adding active cases to the immune count.

It will be necessary to rigorously validate that any antibody test is specific to sars-cov2. If it gives a false positive that could lead to some dangerous policies. Expect to hear claims that any results showing herd immunity will be due to false positives.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 7:54 pm

The virus is not waiting for your demands for certainty.

It doesn’t care about your questions or concerns.

Psst random testing 100 to 1000 people would not come close to what you need to do.

random with respect to what? if your random sample happened to have a high rate
of social interaction and low hand washing, you’d have a bad random sample with respect to
the salient transmission factors.

we don’t even know how to start a random test design.

richard
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 6:24 am

intensive testing in Germany is throwing up numbers of 0.36%.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 7:26 am

You don’t believe in the theory behind opinion polls Steven, or the concept of estimating a population from a sample?

John Endicott
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 14, 2020 9:50 am

the concept of estimating a population from a sample requires a *representative* sample of sufficient size. As much as I find Steven’s poor behavior in most threads loathsome, in this case he’s merely pointing out the difficulty in making sure you have a representative sample of sufficient size, particularly at a time before you have sufficient knowledge of what all the relevant factors are that would need to be considered in such a sample. Get one or more of those factors wrong, or have a size that’s insufficient and your sample won’t be fit for purpose.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:36 pm

3. Can we be sure that respirator treatment is right or useful at all? Studies of efficiency range from 2% survival to around 20. And many of those who survive are lung damaged for life because of high oxygen exposure and high pressure being used. Now physiological therapists have a simple way of avoiding liquid in the lungs just by training people to breathe out against pressure. Could it be that the respirators that are the reason for needing to flatten the curve and the lockdown, actually may be killing more patients than they cure? This would not be unique in the history of medicine. In my field, psychiatry, we have phenomena like lobotomy, insulin coma therapy, drowning cures, hydro therapy, sleeping cures, etc that have proven to be worse than the problem they tried to fix. Typically they follow the same pattern: heroic physical interventions instead of helping the patients body to fight the problem. For ventilation, the patient has to be completely sedated and breathing paralyzed and high pressured oxygen forced into the lungs for several days, with resulting damages to the lungs. And only one in 5 survive, sometimes just 2 out of a hundred. In psychiatry we can see similar results with electroshocks. They are often performed in order to save the patient’s life by avoiding suicide. Some die from the procedure, but many come out of it so memorable damaged that they wish they really want to commit suicide even if they were just depressed before. But they are so disorganized and confused that they are not able to pull it off. It is difficult for a patient to become really depressed and motivated to kill themselves when the continously forget what they thought a few minutes earlier and ara not able be find the tablets they need to kill themselves.

Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 4:03 pm

No, it’s known yet,, that intubation may be dangerous. High doses O2 without pressure is healthier for the lungs and seems to work better.

icisil
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 4:19 pm

Those doctors that do recognize a big problem is afoot dance around the subject and say high PEEP intubation could be hurting more than helping, but let’s not mince words and face it: doctors are causing the ARDS they are trying to prevent. I suspect that much of the mortality has been due to early intubation with high PEEP.

Greg
Reply to  icisil
April 14, 2020 1:03 am

Let’s face it PEEP is killing peeps.

icisil
Reply to  Greg
April 14, 2020 7:28 am

Most excellent, Greg-san. PEEP-chan is stealing Corona-chan’s glory.

icisil
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 4:34 pm

“Could it be that the respirators … actually may be killing more patients than they cure? This would not be unique in the history of medicine.”

Back in the early days of AIDS they gave people who tested HIV-positive AZT, which originally was a chemotherapy drug that was so toxic it had to be shelved. It’s a DNA chain terminator that would ki!ll even the healthiest person alive.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:38 pm

4. Do we real know that lockdowns are useful? Could we have gotten the same result with home made masks like in the check republic. Country after country have shut down their economies at extreme cost, just like they have planned to do to rid the world of CO2 at ekstreme cost. Could something similar be happening with Covid? And where is the money going. We will see now with Sweden. They are testing a lot more patients with the ran of so-called covid 19, but do they really have excess deaths?

Greg
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 14, 2020 1:07 am

Most of the PUBLIC money being thrown at this by the cart load is going via banks. It’s a bank bailout in disguise.

yirgach
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 14, 2020 7:03 am

From what I have heard from Sweden, the virus was reported mostly in the “immigrant” no-go zones.
It is now starting to break out, so expect an increase in reported cases and deaths in Sweden.

icisil
Reply to  yirgach
April 14, 2020 8:01 am

Or not. Latent TB is prevalent in immigrant populations, and what may be occurring there is activated TB in people who test positive for Corona-chan. The symptoms are indistinguishable and an accurate diagnosis is impossible without a TB test.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:39 pm

5. Since the flu seems to be 10 times more deadly than Covid19, it is possible that they all die from the flu, and that without lockdown, the Covid RNA has spread quickly, but is not the cause of death. The fact that the antibody response is quite weak could indicate that the body doesn’t really bother fighting the Covid 19 RNA.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:40 pm

Must a life be saved at any price? I can imagine for myself that If I were a widower well past 80, most of ny friends are dead, I have many bothersome conditions that limit my life, I would not mind going. Especially those who think there is a better existence after this one have absolutely no reason to stay. And if I could opt out of respirator treatment, I would definitely do that. Death is often unpleasant, for anybody. If it feels like drowning, so be it. Life itself comes with a 100% mortality rate. There are worse ways to go, e.g. in extreme pain from cancer. And there would be an 88% chance that I would die from a heart attack or something else rather than cover 19 drowning symptoms. Something to think about: imagine you have been using a lot of tike to stay fit, and denied yourself almost anything you liked to eat, just to get a few years extra of life. But then you realize that you get these extra years at the end, when you really would have preferred to not have them, being lonely, old and infirm with very low quality of life.

Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 4:07 pm

who should or will take the decision who worth to stay and who not ? Is that what you think ?

Vincent Causey
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 14, 2020 1:22 am

What if you were middle aged, active, at the peak of your career, enjoying life, then bam, you get coronavirus. Your condition deteriorates. You get pneumonia. You die.

jim hogg
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 14, 2020 11:27 am

You’re imagining a particular scenario in which you can only meaningfully speak for yourself, and even then, you’re imagining yourself into your own future where it might all look so different that your current imaginings are utterly useless.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:41 pm

7. Could it be that ff we are able to flatten the curve, the population at highest risk become a few months older, and their risk of death gets higher. Imagine that there are 100000 in the Us who had been given 2 months to live. With flattening, they might live these 2 months, probably in extreme pain but they will die anyway, just a bit later. And we may have prolonged their pain by playing God.
By flattening the curve we just give more time for other death probabilities to kick in.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:42 pm

AHow can we be sure that we are not acting like dogs chasing already departing cars? All epidemic curves look exponential in the beginning, and then they are better represented by a Gompertz Curve, it rises quickly and the n seems to stay linear for a while before it flattens. If we start lock down after the shock, we will see the death numbers rise linearly for a while and then flatten out, but that would be the curve also with no mitigation. It seems very close to the reasoning about mitigation of global warming. Nature is not easy to tame, but it stabilizes itself, whatever we do. We could lock ourselves down and cut CO2 and the earth would just go on , as if we had done nothing.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:43 pm

Is there ever an acceptable time to go? I can talk for myself. We are 100% sure that the human race has a 100% mortality rate. Being alive automatically guarantees a 100% mortality rate. It is just a question of when each of us will go. Go to any retirement home with residents in the typical age group that are vulnerable for Corona, influenza, heart attacks, brain hemorrhages etc. Many are bed ridden, incontinent, so demented that they do not remember members of their families. The homes are understaffed, and often the residents are put to bed In the early afternoon in order for the staff to be able to put them all to bed before the shift is over. Many are suffering from serious pain and are victims of medication side effects from the multitude of drugs they are taking. If I were in a state were I was incontinent, demented so I didn’t understand anything happening to me, feeling surrounded by strangers since I was unable to remember anybody, suffering from continuous nausea from all the drugs they forced me to take and still being force fed 3 times a day, I wouldn’t want my time to be prolonged.

Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 2:44 pm

If I were over 85 think I would welcome covid as my friend. Pneumonia is often called the old man’s friend for that reason. For some reason we are quick to put animals to death if they are only approaching this state, but we will feel it is extremely wrong to deny a very painful and inefficient respirator treatment for this old person.
It all depends on what we think comes after. If an old person is afraid of hellfire, I can understand that they will want to hand on to life, even in a state like above, but for any other reason , I would think most people is such a state would be very happy to be relieved from the suffering. Atheists who believe there is nothing after death are often quite happy believing that they will stop their existence. At cleat the pain and confusion will be over. People with religous faiths usually expect a better existence, and research from Near death experiences and after dearth communication support this very strongly. Many who have been clinically dead, even atheists, report fantastic visions, indescribable joy and reunion with dead relatives. People who have lost a relative without knowing that the person had died often have a visit from the dead relative seconds after the moment of death. The typical being a dead aunt from the other side ofr the world sitting on the bed while living person is awake. The aunt smiles and says: I just wanted to say goodbye and that I am ok now, I am going to a wonderful place. This is not premature grief, since the loving person did not know that the relative had died. There are thousands of reports like this, many collected in a very interesting and life changing book called «Hello from heaven».
For those of a christian faith, easter with its victory over death, should be especially inspiring. The saviors promised to one of the Criminals: «Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Seems to be something a christian about to die from Covid 19 could believe in and be ready to go, maybe even making a living will to not use a respirator but rather reserve it for emergencies that may have a long life ahead of them.

Russ R.
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 13, 2020 7:14 pm

1) NIH gave the Wuhan Institute of Virology $3.7 million for research into corona-virus strains.
2) Wuhan Institute of Virology researcher Shi Zhengli spends that money splicing 4 HIV gene sequences in a COV virus isolated from intermediate horseshoe bats. Specifically the gp41 protein onto the S protein.
3) This allowed a SARS type virus but with much higher contagion rates.
4 ) NIH alarmed that there “research money” was being turned into a synthetically created bio-weapon cuts off funding.
5) Virus escapes or is released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. One researcher missing presumed dead. The rest are afraid to talk with anyone about anything.
6 ) The local Seafood Market is blamed as the source.
7 ) Doctors alarmed at the influx of unique pneumonia cases in Wuhan, are threatened and muzzled by CCP. One dies of the disease shortly after a trip to police station for an “interview” and a retraction of his comments. He was not an “old and sickly” man. Other doctors who spoke up still missing.
8) CCP orders destruction of virus samples from labs studying the new virus. Denies to the WHO and to the world “person to person” transmission.
9) 5 million people leave Wuhan after New Years celebration infecting the rest of the world.
10) Wuhan is locked down. People are locked in their apartment building and are only allowed to leave for food, and only then when permitted. The crematoriums run 24/7. 40,000 urns are delivered to distraught families. Bodies are found alone in apartments when the neighbors report the smell.
11) China claims it was the American Army that spread the virus.
12) 105,000+ Dead that we know of, 1,700,000 confirmed cases.
13) China orders restrictions on all publication of the origin of the virus: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/china-implements-new-restrictions-on-academic-research-into-coronavirus-origins/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=top-bar-latest&utm_term=fifth
14) Former NIH Researcher goes on highest rated science blog and questions whether the victims of the Wuhan Plague are better off dead.

Practically the CCP version of the “circle of life”. They would call it “Work til you can’t. Then die cheap”.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Russ R.
April 13, 2020 11:13 pm

Russ gives an excellent summary of China’s attempts to cover up what has really been going on in Wuhan. One might add to his list China’s concealment of the fact that the virus is transmissible from person to person, the repetition of that concealment by its poodles the Communists who run the World Death Organization, the refusal of the World Death Organization to admit that Taiwan had informed it that patients with the Chinese virus were being kept in isolation, indicating that the virus was transmissible from person to person, and the World Death Organization’s repeated insistence that travel bans to and from China were quite unnecessary.

As for Former NIH Researcher, he or she does appear to be bombing this site in the hope of diminishing China’s responsibility for this outbreak.

Vincent Causey
Reply to  Russ R.
April 14, 2020 1:26 am

It is possible, even likely, that some researcher(s) tried to monetize the research for himself by selling still living animals to the wet market after completing an experiment. This has happened before.

Russ R.
Reply to  Vincent Causey
April 14, 2020 6:37 am

In China, wet markets are poor. Government funded virus research is awash in money in relative terms. Risking your life to sell animals for pocket change is a foolish thing to do. Most people that do those sorts of things don’t have the mental capacity to work on complex biological concepts.
It is possible, but Unlikely. Level 4 means you have multiple layers of security between the door, and your job. That is a constant reminder to “not take your work home with you”, and die from it.
The fact that the Chinese government doesn’t even act like the “Seafood Market” is the problem is the biggest tell. They made a big show of cleaning it up and closing it down, like it was a biological time bomb. There are MUCH more dangerous wet markets in SE Asia. In Wuhan with the big celebration coming, and the focus of the government on Wuhan, that one was one of the better ones. And it is back open. So they obviously know it was just a frame job on poor powerless people who work hard everyday for the basics of life.

Russ R.
Reply to  Russ R.
April 14, 2020 10:25 am

Just when the CCP propaganda offensive is gaining traction with the media boot-lickers, you find more evidence that they have no logical place to insert lies into the sequence of events that can be uncovered by anyone willing to look:

U.S. officials warned in January 2018 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s work on “SARS-like coronaviruses in bats,” combined with “a serious shortage” of proper safety procedures, could result in human transmission and the possibility of a “future emerging coronavirus outbreak.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/u-s-diplomats-warned-about-safety-risks-in-wuhan-labs-studying-bats-two-years-before-coronavirus-outbreak/

I would expect the “swamp critters” at the NIH to look at the safety protocols at these facilities, before they send taxpayer dollars to fund dangerous research.
You can’t fix stupid.
But you can expose it, and condemn it, when it leads to death and destruction to those that did not “compete in the stupidity Olympics”. We will have some strong contenders this year.

Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 2:45 pm

In response to Mr Powers, the model at Imperial College, London, on which Mr Johnson relied in taking a command decision to lock Britain down on March 26, answers the question about allowing the Chinese virus to run its course as follows:

“In the absence of interventions, COVID-19 would have resulted in 7.0 billion infections and 40 million deaths globally this year. Mitigation strategies focusing on shielding the elderly (60% reduction in social contacts) and slowing but not interrupting transmission(40% reduction in social contacts for wider population) could reduce this burden by half, saving 20 million lives, but we predict that, even in this scenario, health systems in all countries will be quickly overwhelmed. this effect is likely to be most severe in lower-income settings …”.

Analysis of public-transport usage and anonymized cellphone tracking has established that the lockdown in Britain has reduced the mean daily person-to-person contact rate by 85-95%. It is this very sharp reduction in the contact rate, achieved mostly by the lockdown but also by a greater awareness on the part of the public that they need to be extremely cautious in their personal contacts, that is chiefly responsible for the sharp reduction in the mean daily compound growth rate of total confirmed cases in Britain from 26% per day in the three weeks up to March 14 to more like 6% per day at present, with a continuing fall expected.

The chief reason why Mr Johnson took heed of the Imperial College study rather than of an Oxford University study that predicted far fewer fatalities is that he was concerned to ensure that the prediction in both studies that there was a danger of overwhelming the healthcare systems did not come to pass.

If the hospitals had been overrun, they would not have been able to provide the costlier, more advanced and more prolonged intensive care that Chinese-virus patients need in order to have a reasonable chance of survival. In that scenario of healthcare-system collapse, the death rate would indeed have been high.

Now that the worst of the crisis has been overcome, the Italian and Spanish authorities, who are a couple of weeks ahead of the UK in the cycle of the pandemic, have been able to begin dismantling their lockdowns. That will give both Britain and America some priceless information about the likelihood of a second wave of infection if the lockdowns here are lifted.

HM Government will not keep the lockdown in place for any longer than is strictly necessary. An earlier piece by me set out the exit strategy that HM Government will be likely to follow; and, shortly after it was published, Imperial College outlined a very similar strategy.

Lockdowns, where they are essential, work because there are only two chief considerations that determine how fast a new pandemic will spread in its early stages. The first is the infectivity of the pathogen, which is high with the Chinese virus. The second is the mean daily person-to-person contact rate. The product of these two quantities is R_0, the mean transmission rate.

It is only the person-to-person contact rate that governments and people can influence during the early stages, before universal testing becomes available, before there is any cure, and before a sufficient fraction of the population has become immune. Lockdowns are a very effective way to reduce the contact rate, as the public-transport and cellphone data show.

The daily graphs we have been publishing here have proven to be an effective way of demonstrating the extent to which the daily growth rate in cumulative cases has been falling. If the lockdowns had not worked, at this early stage in the pandemic the growth rate would have continued to be close to the 20% daily compound rate that had obtained worldwide outside China and occupied Tibet (whose case and mortality counts are unreliable) in the three weeks before March 14, when Mr Trump declared a national emergency.

As it is, the lockdowns have worked, in those countries that needed them. Sweden, for instance, managed without a strict lockdown because its urban population density is about one-fifth that of central London. High population density greatly increases the contact rate and hence the likelihood that a lockdown will be needed to inhibit transmission for long enough to ensure that hospital intensive-care capacity and personal protective equipment are available in sufficient quantities.

Because Britain left its lockdown very late, we remain short of personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare staff, and there is little or none for public-transport, postal and other essential workers likely to come into contact with others. It is shortages of this kind that make lockdowns essential in those countries that did not have the foresight and determination, right at the outset, to test all suspected carriers, isolate all carriers, trace their contacts and repeat, as South Korea did.

Doug Badgero
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 4:12 pm

The imperial college model was wrong when it was created. The model did a sensitivity study across several R0s, 2.0 to 2.6 I believe, in 0.2 increments. An R0 of 2.25 would result in millions of cases in just a few weeks. Bianco research published an article in February pointing this out. The multiplier is 1.53 ^n, where n is the number of days. If the R0 applicable to the US general population were 2.25 and the IFR were the 0.9% that imperial college assumed, the healthcare system would have been overwhelmed before we could have done anything about it. The real world was telling us these pessimistic assumptions were wrong weeks ago.

Models predicted at least 100 thousand deaths, and perhaps far more, just a few weeks ago assuming social distancing in place. Those models now predict as few as 30000 deaths with the same social distancing. The current best estimate is about 61000…about the same number as died in the 2017/2018 flu season.

The models were, and are, ill suited for what they are being used to do.

Russ R.
Reply to  Doug Badgero
April 13, 2020 9:58 pm

The early conditions were unusual and they skewed all the data through February and about half of March. The crush of people in Wuhan for a celebration, then many traveling in planes, trains and buses, left an artificial signal due to the ideal conditions for spreading the virus.
Then as people returned to a more normal lifestyle it came down to it’s real level.
Social distancing, mask wearing, and public awareness of the problem brought it down to a manageable level lower than it’s normal R0. That is the challenge, keeping it at that manageable level.
It is doable, although urban environments will have to work harder, than the rest of the world.

Russ R.
Reply to  Doug Badgero
April 14, 2020 12:14 pm

The models are perfectly suited for what they are being used to do. They are doing math. No one can quantify what the exact R0 is because it is dependent on the fickle actions of people. Most people were not the least bit concerned about this virus, until Italy started to melt down.
Those that knew the most about it lied to us. It was an internal matter in a closed society. Until people started dying in an open society.
The models cannot predict how well people will social distance, or not. They can’t predict whether people feeling a little off, will still go to work. They can’t predict if people will cancel pre-paid flights, because they aren’t “dying to get there”. They can’t predict that the mayor of New York will tell everyone to go out and have a good time.
Models do a good job of telling you what will happen based on the conditions. The fact that we don’t know the conditions means the models will give us the right answer to the wrong question.

Doug Badgero
Reply to  Russ R.
April 14, 2020 1:29 pm

The models are being used to decide on public policy, they are not suited for that use. You have described why a model of any complex system should not be used for prediction of this type. Models of complex systems with large numbers of uncertain inputs are best used to develop high confidence inequalities.

Russ R.
Reply to  Doug Badgero
April 14, 2020 1:44 pm

They give us a range of scenarios based on a range of possible variations of variables. It is the job of the analyst to determine, what is the true state of the variables based on a statistical sampling of actual measurements of those variables. Then modify the model to account for the change in those variables.
The analysts did a pretty good job considering a fluid situation that was a unique case. Everyone that is complaining about it, is looking for a scapegoat, and the living ones that caused this disaster to happen, are immune to their complaints.
So they select something more local, and pretend they could do better. It is the Monday morning quarterback syndrome.

Doug Badgero
Reply to  Doug Badgero
April 14, 2020 3:04 pm

Nonsense. I model complex physical systems for a living. When the lockdowns were imposed weeks ago I was “complaining” because I knew real world data did not support an R0 of 2.5 ish and an IFR of 0.9% that the IC report assumed. I also knew that a complex physical system model with poorly understood inputs is never suitable for public policy decisions.

Russ R.
Reply to  Doug Badgero
April 14, 2020 7:20 pm

So you are complaining that the inputs were defective? And that means the model won’t work. It won’t work if you give it bad inputs.
Some “analysts” have an agenda. It does not make the model wrong, it makes the input parameters wrong. The model cannot predict human nature. That is what those parameters are supposed to do. They intentionally ran them high, because it was safer than letting them run low. User error.

Simon Anthony
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 13, 2020 4:14 pm

On a quick look through, here are some specific errors, some trivial, others showing that Chris Monckton doesn’t seem to have grasped his subject:

– according to Ferguson’s FT interview, Johnson didn’t “rely” on the IC study; its publication merely coincided with the government’s decision.

– if both IC and Oxford studies predicted the NHS would be overwhelmed and this was Johnson’s specific concern, in what sense did he take notice of the IC rather than Oxford study in coming to this view?

– the Oxford study was published after lock-down began so, lacking a time machine, it may have been difficult to take heed of it before making a decision to lock-down.

– You say R0 is the “mean transmission rate”. From Wiki on R0: “it is important to note that R0 is a dimensionless number and not a rate, which would have units of time”. Just to be clear: it’s not a “rate”. (lots of other references if you’d find them helpful).

– Trump declared a national emergency on 13th March, not 14th.

– you say Britain is short of PPE because it left its lock-down late. The two things are either independent or else you’ve got cause-and-effect the wrong way round: if anything, the longer lock-down was left, the more time available to provide PPE.

And those Swedes – with Stockholm’s higher population density than Greater London – have adopted a “soft lock-down” and currently have:

– a lower mortality rate than the UK (91 per million population vs 167)
– dropping faster (20 people died from CV today in Sweden vs 717 in the UK)
– and will have saved a great deal more of their economy and society
– while building herd immunity.

While some of these errors are trivial, others show basic misunderstanding. I wonder whether someone could edit Chris Monckton’s essays before they’re published as they really don’t help the credibility of this site.

Most seriously, I think it likely that, when the dust settles, WUWT’s implicit endorsement of CM’s uncritical, naive acceptance of the unpublished, unverified and unavailable IC model will come to damage this site’s integrity. In future it may be difficult to legitimately question similarly opaque climate models when WUWT’s stance on CV apparently relies on a single, secretive model.

Overt
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 13, 2020 5:29 pm

It is pretty clear to me that Mr Monckton has shifted into “Try my darndist to wave away counter evidence.” This is the most distressing to me, because I watched exactly the same behavior in the whole “Hide the Decline” fiasco. These researchers were so invested in being right- rather than performing science- that they were dreadfully suspicious of any data that contradicted their pre-supposed conclusions. Here Mr Monckton is seen trying to find ANY possible reason why Sweden is somehow different from all of Europe in its ability to avoid lock down.

Many people have done the same- they have explained that Sweden is different because of regionality (as if it is unique among ALL the other countries). They say it is different because of how those people live.

The fact is, you can see an important point just comparing Sweden to Sweden. In 2018, Sweden’s flu death rate was 80 persons per Million. This is similar to many other countries in Europe, so somehow countries need to explain why the demographics effect Sweden’s COVID but not Flu numbers. But look past that. If you compare Sweden COVID to Sweden Flu, it appears that Sweden is going to get by, doubling their flu death rate. So the question is, what makes Sweden’s demographics so different that the difference between flu and covid is so different?

Scissor
Reply to  Overt
April 13, 2020 6:47 pm

Nice. That’s a good idea to compare a country’s flu deaths to COVID deaths as a means of normalization.

It’s possible that Sweden’s death rate will not even double its flu death rate.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Overt
April 13, 2020 11:40 pm

The furtively pseudonymous “Overt” falsely states that I have sought to wave away evidence, but fails to state what evidence I have waved away.

He asks why Sweden’s case rate for flu is the same as that for other countries and, therefore, why its case rate for the Chinese virus would not also be the same as that for other countries. The answer, of course, is that the Chinese virus is considerably more infectious than flu and is, therefore, much more susceptible to differences in the mean person-to-person contact rate than flu.

richard
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 6:35 am

flu deaths so far have killed more this year than Corona.

richard
Reply to  Overt
April 14, 2020 6:32 am

He keeps quoting Imperial college whose work has not even been peer reviewed.

Scissor
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 13, 2020 6:10 pm

I should add that Chris Monckton could take over for Dr. Fauci and we would be better for it.

Credibility is a relative thing and by comparison this site is highly credible. Further, contributors don’t always agree with each other or with commenters and so on. That makes this site stronger than those sites that promote a single agenda and that engage in heavy censoring.

Simon Anthony
Reply to  Scissor
April 13, 2020 10:42 pm

@Scissor

Good points – WUWT has also had some posts by Willis Eschenbach to counter CM”s dogmatism and credulity on CV

However I think that CM’s one-sided pieces have heavily outnumbered WE’s. No doubt WE (or others) have other things to do, but it would be good to have a more balanced analysis of the position rather than CM’s distortions and omissions.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 13, 2020 11:42 pm

If Mr Anthony had not lied at the outset, and had not been caught out lying, he would not be so sour now.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 13, 2020 11:36 pm

On a more detailed examination, Mr Anthony, having been caught out trying to manipulate population statistics so as falsely to indicate that the population density in central Stockholm was as great as that in Central London, is now smarting and trying, with characteristic pettiness, to hit back.

A more adult approach to this emergency is appropriate.

First, the British Government listened for several weeks to the “experts” on both sides of the lockdown debate, specifically including those from Oxford and from Imperial College, both of whom had conducted their research well before the lockdown was introduced, though both of them published it on or after the date of the lockdown. In the end, the Prime Minister was persuaded by those who argued, as the Imperial College team do, that in the absence of a lockdown hospital systems worldwide would be overwhelmed.

Secondly, as the head posting correctly points out, and whether Mr Anthony likes it or not, in the early stages of a pandemic the rate of transmission is governed by two considerations: the infectivity of the pathogen, which is inherent to that pathogen, and the mean person-to-person contact rate over time. It is self-evident that the mean contact rate over time is time-dependent, and that, therefore, since the infectivity of the pathogen cannot be influenced by government policy in the absence of prophylactic, palliative or curative treatments, in the early stages the only option available to governments for inhibiting transmission is interference with the mean contact rate over time, which is what lockdowns achieve.

How do we know whether lockdowns work? Because we can use data for road traffic, public-transport use, anonymized cellphone data and a great deal of other suchlike information to estimate the change in the mean person-to-person contact rate over time. In Britain, analysis of those data shows that that contact rate has fallen by 85 to 95%. Some of that decline occurred even before the lockdown, because the government had already imposed some restrictions, such as limiting the size of public gatherings and self-isolation of the most vulnerable. The decline in the contact rate accelerated markedly after the lockdown.

All the evidence shows that in those countries where population density combined with late action to test, to contact-trace and to isolate carriers required lockdowns, later lockdowns meant a more rapid growth in cases requiring critical care. The earlier the lockdown, the fewer people need critical care, and the less personal protective equipment is needed.

As to Sweden’s avoidance of lockdown, I have drawn repeated attention to that in these columns, and specifically include Sweden in the graphs of the countries followed here. Though Mr Anthony dishonestly attempted to compare the population density of central Stockholm with the population density not of central London but of greater London, and attempted to persist in that dishonesty even after another commenter had called him out, the fact remains that the population density of central London is four or five times that of central Stockholm, and that higher population density ineluctably entails a more rapid person-to-person contact rate over time.

And I have not “accepted” any particular model. I have stated that lockdowns work, which they do. I have also stated that lockdowns are undesirable and that it would have been better to follow the South Korean strategy, which – thanks to detailed information from Mosher – I have been able to describe in detail.

From the start, I have made it plain that when the mean daily compound growth rate in total confirmed cases has fallen far enough, it will be possible to begin dismantling the lockdowns, and, in the present head posting, I have explained that Spain and Italy have just begun to do that.

If Mr Anthony had not lied at the outset and had not been caught out, he might perhaps have been smarting less, and might have been less inclined to indulge in further childish fabrications.

This emergency requires more responsibility and care as to the facts than he has displayed thus far. He is out of his depth and out of his league here.

Simon Anthony
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 2:53 am

@CM

From what you say, you haven’t been able to marshal a single piece of evidence to counter any of my points. Instead you try to distort, evade and divert from what I’ve said.

I notice particularly that despite holding forth at great length for several weeks about your new-found expertise in epidemiology you have nothing to say about your failure to understand the meaning of R0. This is possibly the most basic parameter involved in understanding the behaviour of an outbreak of infectious disease yet you plainly don’t know what it means. It takes an unusual combination of ignorance, arrogance and self-delusion for you to nonetheless keep producing your pieces when you don’t seem to understand the basics of the subject.

Rather than reiterate the points which you’ve failed to counter, I’ll just add that, again characteristically, you evade the main issue. The question is whether a soft lock-down as courageously and rationally carried by Sweden, against bullies who share your views, is likely to be more successful in terms of reducing the overall death toll and damage to the economy, which will in turn lead to further deaths.

A hard lock-down does little or nothing for herd immunity but just extends the period over which the same number of deaths will occur. At the same time, it devastates the economy, leaving a legacy of reduced life-expectancy for years to come.

A soft lock-down instead increases herd immunity, thus reducing the number of CV-related deaths in the long-term, while preserving more of the economy and protecting life-expectancy.

Your great fear, shared by governments which have adopted hard lock-downs, seems to be that Sweden will in the long run turn out to have been right – to ultimately have fewer deaths and to have a relatively less damaged economy. If Sweden succeeds, the hard lock-downs and most of the economic damage will be shown to be have been self-inflicted, self-destructive wounds. Hence the pressure, by such as you, to try to make Sweden step into line.

As for the “lies” that you allege I’ve told, I think you must be using the word in the very specific sense of meaning “a fact which shows CM has got something wrong”. On the specifics, I’ve simply stated facts which are readily available, should you take the time to check them:

Stockholm has a higher average population density than Greater London.
There are areas within GL which have a greater population density that Stockholm’s average.
There are areas within Stockholm which have a greater population density that GL’s average.

These aren’t lies; they are facts, those inconvenient things which seem to annoy you so much that, when they contradict your arguments, you call them “lies”.

As you thrash around, blustering and pontificating, diverting and distorting, never using one simple word rather than twenty “hundred-dollar” ones, you increasingly remind me of “Soapy Sam” Wilberforce, the bishop who attacked Darwin’s work from a position of consummate ignorance and foolishness. You have a similar combination of pompous self-importance, unawareness of basic facts and a willingness to go to any lengths to try to win an argument.

John Finn
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 14, 2020 3:33 am

Stockholm has a higher average population density than Greater London.

Even if correct this is almost irrelevant. The number of residents is one factor but the number of people who work and travel to and within the city is far more important. This is where close contact takes place -on tubes, buses, trains and in offices. It will be very similar in New York.

Could a ‘soft’ lockdown work in London or NY? There are many parts of the UK where hand washing and maintaining distance on a voluntary basis might well have worked but, in London or Birmingham, I’m not so sure.

Simon Anthony
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 14, 2020 4:44 am

John Finn

You ask whether other factors are more important in the spread of the virus than population density. That’s a very good question. One of the greatest failings in this on-going debacle is the modelling. The most important and influential model in modern history – the IC pandemic model – is still, more than 3 weeks after the UK went into lock-down – untested, unverified and unavailable.

Can such a model take account of the factors you mention? I don’t know – does anyone outside the IC group know? Could it model in detail the comparative effect of lock-down in London vs Stockholm? Were only London and Birmingham particular problems in the UK and could large areas elsewhere have been spared lock-down? What would the effect of leaving schools open have been? I’ve not heard any reports on what the IC model has to say about any of these matters (and numerous others).

If the model can’t take account of such things, how can it have been used to assess whether a soft Swedish-style lock-down or come variant would have worked? If it can’t assess such scenarios, how can it be “fit for purpose” in helping to decide government policy?

BTW, these questions are fairly rhetorical; I’m not expecting you to answer them (although, feel free). I’m just incredulous that such an epoch-making decision seems to rely on the input of only one model, let alone a model that no one is allowed to see. If a doctor tells me I need an operation, I generally get at least a second opinion, if not more, yet putting civilisation on pause apparently needed only one.

Doug Badgero
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 14, 2020 4:50 am

This largely amounts to a false debate. So lock down the NYC metro area…there is no reason a restaurant in Saratoga Springs or Albany should be shut.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 14, 2020 6:11 am

Mr Anthony continues to pretend that it is appropriate to compare the population density in Stockholm with the population density in Greater London, even though it has been explained to him several times that this silly error is akin to assuming that the population density of New York City is the same as that of New York State. Stockholm actually has a population density about one-fifth that of London, which is one reason why the Swedish public health commissioner, who is independent of the government, has been able to do without a lockdown.

Mr Anthony, having been caught out fiddling the population-density figures, now sneers at what he calls my “new-found expertise in epidemiology”. Well, I know more about it than he does, and that’s for sure. He seems to imagine that the rate at which an infection spreads is dependent solely upon its inherent infectivity, which, in the absence of a treatment or cure and assuming no mutation, is invariant. However, the rate of spread is also dependent upon the mean daily person-to-person contact rate, which is ineluctably time-dependent, which is why the equations in the Susceptible-Infected-Removed epidemiological model are ordinary differential equations.

Whether he likes it or not (and his persistence in trying to compare the populations of Greater London and Stockholm rather than London and Stockholm suggests that he does not), high population density increases the contact rate and hence the rate of spread of the infection over time. No amount of wriggling and lying on his part will change that.

Simon Anthony
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 14, 2020 7:25 am

CM

Again evasions and distortions.

The numbers I’ve pointed to are correct. They show just what I’ve said they do. Cherry-picking areas of particularly high population density within Greater London and comparing them with the overall population of Sweden is a clumsy and obvious distortion of the facts, all too typical of CM (the self-appointed expert epidemiologist who unfortunately for his credibility doesn’t understand R0) whose motto seems to be “when the facts are against me, try abuse”.

I suspect that what lies behind your increasingly desperate insults is that you’ve seen that so far the Swedish soft lock-down is more or less matching the UK’s hard lock-down in terms of cases and deaths. For Sweden this is very good, perhaps even better than they’d hoped for because this is likely to be the worst period for the country. All the time Sweden is increasing herd immunity without increasing the relative number of deaths while keeping their economy functioning (no talk in Sweden of ~35% falls in GDP as in the UK).

Provided Sweden isn’t forced by bullying arguments of the Monckton kind to change course, it looks as though the country may be able to “unlock” with relatively little follow-on mortality, while the UK faces months, perhaps many months, of partial unlocking followed by further lock-down because herd immunity hasn’t developed.

All the signs are that Sweden has chosen well and the UK has chosen badly. As you went all-in on supporting the UK’s policy, despite the evidence now moving against that position, your inability to accept and admit that you were wrong makes your specious arguments and distorted claims seem increasingly wild.

John Finn
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 14, 2020 10:33 am

Simon Anthony April 14, 2020 at 4:44 am

the IC pandemic model is still, more than 3 weeks after the UK went into lock-down – untested, unverified and unavailable.

It’s being tested at this very moment and it’s clear that Ferguson’s model is broadly correct. We were hurtling out of control before the lockdown. The recent suppression strategy will still result in around 20k deaths (Ferguson’s projected figure) but demand will not exceed NHS capacity so all those who need treatment should get it. That would not have been the case were ot not for the lockdown.

Can such a model take account of the factors you mention? I don’t know – does anyone outside the IC group know?

They modelled the UK . They also modelled the US. They took account of geographical scale and demographics. Perhaps you should try reading the IC report.

If the model can’t take account of such things, how can it have been used to assess whether a soft Swedish-style lock-down or come variant would have worked?

See above. But as I made clear the model is being validated for the UK as this very moment.

Doug Badgero
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 14, 2020 1:23 pm

The IC model is being successfully validated right now? You must be joking!

It predicted peak resource usage this Fall, Dr Ferguson now predicts peak usage in mid April. Dr Ferguson now says he believes R0 to be higher than 3, the model used no value higher than 2.6. Somehow, Dr Ferguson has not revised his assumed IFR even though the R0 and IFR are inextricably linked. If R0 increases then deaths must also increase unless IFR decreases.

The model estimated 48000 deaths in the UK with on triggers set at 400 weekly ICU cases and an R0 of 2.6, assuming enforced social distancing occurs at that trigger. Dr Ferguson now estimates less than 20000 deaths, perhaps much less, assuming no additional lock downs.

Have you read the IC report…did you understand it?

Simon Anthony
Reply to  Simon Anthony
April 15, 2020 3:44 am

John Finn

“Perhaps you should try reading the IC report.”

Good advice. I’d previously glanced at the IC report but hadn’t read it properly and had instead been lazily relying on media interpretations of the report.

Anyway, I’ve now read the IC report. While I found answers to several of my questions, it didn’t really address what I think the most important concern. I can understand why Johnson et al were impressed and frightened by the report. It has an authoritative tone and forecasts overwhelming numbers of dead and dying unless lock-down is imposed. The numbers are so much higher than the capacity of the NHS to cope that “tweaking” parameters on the various mitigation strategies here and there seems very unlikely to make any material difference.

The model is based on one developed in ~2006 to model flu pandemics. Obviously that model was influenced by and back-tested (to some extent) against earlier outbreaks of infectious disease but, as far as I’ve so far been able to establish, there don’t seem to have been any published later tests to assess its powers of prediction or its extension to other countries. I don’t know whether you were being facetious when you said the model is currently being validated but generally speaking you’re well-advised do trials before you use any tool for real. You don’t wait until you really need it to work before trying it out.

There have been numerous outbreaks of flu since 2006 against which the model could have been tested so I’d expect to find such assessments. It’s quite possible that some exist and I’ve missed them so if you know of any, please let me know.

If there aren’t any, then the model is, at best, untried and at worst its predictions may have failed and the results of the failures remain unpublished (as I believe happens sometimes with “negative” results).

My related concern is that the model has only been applied to the US and UK. AFAICT, it should be relatively straightforward to adjust it and apply it to other countries. This would provide a wealth of data for assessment, prediction and input for decision making. Currently there are thousands of qualified people from all sorts of backgrounds who’d be delighted to use the model to assess various strategies. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the model hasn’t been made available and no date has been set for its publication.

So, now with a little more knowledge, I return to my main point. The UK government’s strategy seems to have been based on a model which (AFAICT), has been “validated” only by the people who put it together. I don’t want to unjustly malign Ferguson et al – it may turn out that there have been extensive validation tests and I just haven’t been able to find them – but to simply accept the model as correct and to lock-down the UK without prior external testing is to run a risk similar to buying a second-hand car on the word of the car salesman and then setting off to drive across the Sahara desert. It might work out but you’d be reckless to take the chance.

JohnM
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 1:58 am

Even with the lockdown, the health service[s] would have been overwhelmed. The halting of normal services, the conversion of operating theatres, recovery wards and other areas unused because of ordinary care being suspended, halted the hospitals being overwhelmed. That and planning for an expected flu pandemic https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nhs-england-pandmic-influenza-operating-framework-v2.pdf

richard
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 6:27 am

DO you trust a model from Imperial college that is 13 years old and has not been peer reviewed?

taz1999
April 13, 2020 2:58 pm

Definitely agree it’s better to jump early and maybe smaller in a pandemic. As you believe or not worldometer; deaths per million are:

US 71
UK 167
Sweden 91
South Korea 4

taz1999
Reply to  taz1999
April 13, 2020 3:31 pm

Might also check for an uptick in the next couple of weeks. I suspect there was quite a bit of distancing non-compliance over Easter services. Don’t remember where I heard but a choir practice was held with about 60 people. 45 positive, 2 deaths. Apparently singing (together) spreads pretty easily.

Janice Moore
Reply to  taz1999
April 13, 2020 4:06 pm

It might be the Skagit Chorale of which I was a member about 10 years ago.

At least one of those who died was obese and over 80 and her obituary (published on March 30, 2020 in the Skagit Valley Herald of Mount Vernon, WA, USA) said only that she died of “complications from” COVID 19.

That only 2 died (and most of the people in that chorale are close to or over 70 years old) is the key to focus on. That is: MOST PEOPLE WHO GET COVID19 DO NOT DIE OF IT.

Scissor
Reply to  taz1999
April 13, 2020 4:27 pm

If there ever was a bit of evidence about how this virus spreads, that is it.

Richard from Brooklyn (south)
Reply to  taz1999
April 13, 2020 10:29 pm

NZ with hard and early lock down is 2 per million.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Richard from Brooklyn (south)
April 14, 2020 1:51 am

New Zealand also has a very low pop density (18/square Km) and used it very effectively with quarantine.
Singapore however has a very high pop density and large throughput of air travellers, it also has a mortality rate of 2/million.
Czechia also has only 14/million, using masks and social distancing.

F4F111Col
Reply to  taz1999
April 14, 2020 6:05 am

And Taiwan 0.3. South Korea has done well. Taiwan even better.

taz1999
Reply to  F4F111Col
April 14, 2020 6:43 am

F4F111Col

Guessing from you name, you’d be a retired vietnam pilot?

Nick Schroeder
April 13, 2020 3:09 pm

Mankind’s CO2 is a bee fart in a hurricane.

Ian
April 13, 2020 3:28 pm

Covid 19 arrived in the UK from China on 31st Jan, with first transmission reported inside the UK by 28th Feb. Given the length of time it can remain latent but transmissible, I suspect there is little the Government could have done in stopping the early spread. Just as well that Imperial won the argument over Oxford and kick started the lockdown.

In addition to the public enquiry on government behaviour that will inevitably happen, the scientific modelling community will have to be held accountable for its projections of this disease if it wishes to be taken seriously, which it clearly does. Such important decisions as mass life or death, and suspension of economic life come with a heavy price.

The Dark Lord
April 13, 2020 3:57 pm

you are calling the game in the 3rd inning … all the lockdowns have done is spread the deaths … give it 3 months then and ONLY then can a clear comparison start to be made of lockdown vs non lockdown …
then the tallying starts for the death toll from the lockdowns … that will be counted for years …

years from now maybe we can judge lockdown vs non lockdown …

this is weather not climate …

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  The Dark Lord
April 13, 2020 11:44 pm

In response to “The Dark Lord”, the reason why lockdowns were introduced is explained in the opening paragraph of the Imperial College study: that in the absence of lockdowns health services would rapidly have become overwhelmed, leading to a far higher death rate as patients went untreated.

PJF
April 13, 2020 4:04 pm

Looking at your earlier graphs, which went back further than those above, it appears the UK lockdown was so successful that it took effect before it began on March 23rd. The indicated compound daily growth rate was already headed downward since March 18th.

This could be due to the graph not accurately indicating anything real, or due to the real compound daily growth rate heading downward for a reason other than the lockdown.

suffolkboy
Reply to  PJF
April 13, 2020 5:23 pm

The graphs for daily hospital admissions versus time all show very similar shapes: a bell curve which is rather close to a normal distribution about some key date with a standard deviation of about ten days. Correspondingly, the cumulative distribution (the integral of the daily) is a sigmoid curve with a point of inflection at the key date, and the “compounded daily growth rate” (the finite differential of the daily) goes negative just after the daily (give or take the one week delay/averaging) . The key dates differ between countries. I haven’t yet met any analysis or opportunistic experiment that shows that lockdown had any effect. Is the different procedure in Sweden a possible way of testing the various hypotheses? These are roughly that (i) social distancing (ii) lockdown (iii) quarantining the vulnerable while allowing social contact might influence the progress of the epidemic. The data from China[1], who have gone through the complete one-month epidemic of C19 in February, might prove useful as well.

And what did we learn from the similar events two years ago, when Aussie Flu was going round[2]?
[1] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.19.20025148v1.full.pdf
[2] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5305099/Aussie-flu-leads-highest-weekly-death-toll-3-years.html

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  PJF
April 13, 2020 11:45 pm

PJF is perhaps unaware that some restrictions were introduced in the UK some weeks before the full lockdown, and that sensible people had locked themselves down without having to be told.

PJF
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 3:42 am

Thanks. So it’s the latter: it’s due to the real compound daily growth rate heading downward for a reason other than the lockdown (or “full lockdown” as you now describe it).

Since the established downward trend is consistent (if anything it slackens), there is no indication in your graph that the UK lockdown had any effect beyond the measures already taken.

South River Independent
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 10:42 am

Government imposed lockdowns are unnecessary. With adequate, accurate information prudent people will protect themselves.

astonerii
April 13, 2020 4:05 pm

Nature ends the flu season every single year, and then restarts it every single year.
Oh look, right in line with the typical end of flu season, the Chinese Kung Flu is starting wane. Unbelievable, it must have been the lock downs that accomplished the mission.
But if there are still cases out there, more wide spread across the world and transmitted through silent carriers while we are nowhere near herd immunity, if that is even possible!,won’t the Chinese kung Flu reemerge stronger and more deadly than before?
Nonsense, we’ll be rich, the laws of physics won’t apply to us.

OK everyone, my model says that if you are outside tonight, the sun will not rise in the morning! So, everyone is on lockdown. Is everyone locked down? OK good.
See, I told you, if you only listened to me that the sun would rise again. Good job listening to me, your better.

Scissor
Reply to  astonerii
April 13, 2020 9:01 pm

This chart re:NYC deaths clearly shows flu peak followed by COVID-19 peak.

comment image

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  astonerii
April 13, 2020 11:49 pm

Astonerii is, as usual, ignoring the obvious. In the UK, to take one example, following the lockdown the mean person-to-person contact rate has fallen by 85-95%, based on studying anonymized cellphone movement records. Since the contact rate is one of the two determinants of the rate of transmission of a pathogen in the early stages of a pandemic, the other being the infectivity of the pathogen itself, that degree of interference with transmission will have had a significant effect on what would otherwise have been a much higher rate of transmission. All of this is elementary epidemiology, and it is astonishing that some commenters here are refusing to face the blindingly obvious.

niceguy
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 4:28 am

“person-to-person contact rate has fallen by 85-95%, based on studying anonymized cellphone movement records”

That’s inane BS, but OK… that’s on par with your OTHER pro lockdown BS.

PaulH
April 13, 2020 4:06 pm

I’ve read about some cities closing their bus (stop) shelters. This seems a bit excessive to me, as many people still require public transit and just about everyone is doing the “social distance dance”. It’s not unusual to see an elderly individual waiting for a bus in a shelter out of the elements, while another (younger) individual waits outside. The older folks have enough to deal with. I understand why the municipalities want to do this, but it seems to have been a rushed decision.

Overt
Reply to  PaulH
April 13, 2020 9:28 pm

I’ve read about some cities closing their barbers and nail salons. This seems a bit excessive to me, as many people still require their jobs in the hair/nail styling industry.

I’ve read about some cities closing their restaurants. This seems a bit excessive to me, as many people still require their jobs in the food services industry.

Look, either you want to shut down this virus via draconian lockdown efforts or you don’t. You cannot social distance in a bus. Even if you can run that bus with less than 10 people, such that everyone can stay 6 feet from one another, unless you are going to disinfect the bus every 10 miles, you are creating a mechanism for transmission.

If you are going to allow for public transportation, then you might as well allow for modified services for hair, nail, food services.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Overt
April 14, 2020 1:01 am

“I’ve read about some cities closing their barbers and nail salons. This seems a bit excessive to me, as many people still require their jobs in the hair/nail styling industry.

I’ve read about some cities closing their restaurants. This seems a bit excessive to me, as many people still require their jobs in the food services industry.

Look, either you want to shut down this virus via draconian lockdown efforts or you don’t. You cannot social distance in a bus. Even if you can run that bus with less than 10 people, such that everyone can stay 6 feet from one another, unless you are going to disinfect the bus every 10 miles, you are creating a mechanism for transmission.

If you are going to allow for public transportation, then you might as well allow for modified services for hair, nail, food services.”

1. there is NO CALCULUS on every profession.
2. health officials are responding and stomping out fires, arson investigation come later.
3. Public transit is deemed essential because cops and medical workers have to get to work.

For Nail salons. I believe it was HK that did that. The way it works is they trace a case to
a nail salon, see that this nail salon infected 10 people. Then they take the pre caution.
Same for restaurants.

here is a thought, when HK first HEARD about the virus in late December they started restricting
access to hospitals.
When Korea had its first hospital cases and nursing home cases, they controlled access there.

wack a mole

it will always be wack mole because there isn’t a science that says
nail shops are safe and grocery stores are not. There is no science that says
“your infections will slow by 53.87 % if you close churches” or 23.7 %
if you close bars, or 15% if you wear a mask.

If you MISS the early opportunity to test and trace, then you are STUCK.
you are stuck with “lockdowns” of various varieties.
None tested. we have no data on various “levels” of lockdown.
you are stuck playing wack a mole.
Spreading n churches? christ shut them down.
Now spreading in shopping malls, christ go shut them.
wack a mole.

when you FAIL to move early and the exponential growth gets ahead of you, you get to
do a lockdown. You get to apply the hammer and damage your economy more than you
had to. And when you slow the spread, then you will get a second chance and play
the game of wack a mole.

Will Jones
April 13, 2020 4:13 pm

You can’t conclude anything of the sort. Apart from anything else, you are still using reported cases as your key data, which has been utterly discredited because it depends so heavily on how many are tested and who is tested.

The death toll in the UK is coming out around the same as a bad flu epidemic. That is what those opposed to lockdown also predicted so you can’t from that assume lockdown has been effective. If you look at the cumulative death curve you can see the death rate increase begins to slow before lockdown so there’s no proof there. It is an interesting question why some countries are affected worse than others but you need to prove the timing and severity of lockdown made the difference not assume it.

Besides which, lockdown is supposed to flatten the curve not reduce the overall number of deaths, unless the health service is overrun, which it wasn’t in this case. So claiming that a late lockdown made things worse as though they then got more deaths misses the point: as long as the health service was never overrun (which it wasn’t) the timing of the lockdown to flatten the curve should make no difference to the overall number of deaths.

Given what is at stake here full proper analysis needs to be done, not back of an envelope stuff, and on solid data, not discredited reported case numbers.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Will Jones
April 13, 2020 11:53 pm

In response to Mr Jones, it is far too early in the pandemic to say that the death rate in the UK or anywhere else will be no worse than for flu. The UK’s first intensive-care case analysis, published here some days ago, shows very clearly that the fatality rate for the Chinese virus is worse than for flu.

And, even if the Chinese virus does no more than to add as many deaths as flu has added to the total death toll, that outcome will have followed – and may to some extent have been influenced by, the fact that a lockdown has been in place.

Will Jones
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 12:16 am

It’s not too early. The government’s advisers themselves are projecting around 20,000 deaths with Covid-19. A number of antibody studies have confirmed a dearth rate of similar to flu, most recently in Denmark. You are still claiming lockdown will reduce the overall number of deaths when, save where there has been health service overload, which there hasn’t in the UK, it is only envisaged to flatten the curve ie spread them out.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Will Jones
April 14, 2020 7:43 am

Health Service overload hasn’t happened in the UK?
Surely you jest?
They had to allocate all the Private health care to the NHS because it was overloaded.
It is still at overload with Lockdown in place for a month.
That is why they insist we stay at home with COVID19 until we are really ill, by which time it makes their job that much harder to save us.
It is also why the ONS mortality statistics are 6000 worse than normal for this period, it is not just COVID that people are dying from.

The government’s advisers themselves are projecting around 20,000 deaths with Covid-19 WITH lockdown in place.

David Blenkinsop
April 13, 2020 4:55 pm

With regard to the current ‘shutdowns’ measures, I find I am getting just a bit ‘exercised’ myself, about the presumption we see in many quarters that current shutdown or ‘semi-lockdown’ provisions in most Western countries are somehow sure to be saving lives. If saving lives, then the indisputably high cost of shutting down businesses etc., is therefore sure to be worth it — but no effort is ever being made to estimate collateral deaths from the economic impact of it all! Also, the ‘saving lives’ thing is not really corroborated, with Sweden’s more relaxed ‘no lockdowns’ policy being a significant counterexample currently.

As an example of the negative bias that I see regarding Sweden’s success on this, see for instance the video aired by the Global News network here in Canada:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6cdZbISRTM ,

Mostly this video report talks about the difference in attitudes between Sweden and neighboring Denmark, but there is also an extremely biased effort at ‘science’ in the report. There is, for instance, a presentation by one of the announcers to the effect that the CoVid deaths situation in Sweden is so much worse?
To see what I mean, take a good look at the video above, where they display a graph of *total* deaths per country, for Sweden, Denmark and Canada at the 1:30 minutes mark. Aficionados of actual science will note that listing total death numbers provides little interpretive meaning in itself (when you consider, say, that Sweden has a substantially larger population). At least they might have made the effort to do a per capita graph! However, the failure to do ‘per capita’ only begins do describe the problems with such a quick and superficial graph.

Without trying to graph anything here, let’s just take a look a a few numbers, from
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

If I go to the above Worldometer page and list 10 European countries that happen to interest me for the sake of comparing things at the moment, and taking a look according to the “deaths per million” column (and marking Sweden and Denmark with an asterisk), I get the following:

Norway: 25 (1208)
Denmark*: 49 (1091)
Ireland: 74 (2156)
Sweden*: 91 (1084)
Switzerland: 131 (2968)
Netherlands: 165 (1550)
U.K.: 167 (1305)
Belgium: 337 (2639)
Italy: 338 (2638)
Spain: 374 (3625)

In the above, the first number is the deaths per million to date; the second number (in brackets) is the current number of cases of CoVID identified to date (Apr 13th, 2020).

Going by those per capita deaths numbers, you might think that Sweden is surely worse off, as compared to Denmark! Notice however, that the ‘total deaths per capita’ numbers from country to country are actually all over the place from one country to another (looking across all ten countries), so it is not so easy to interpret the significance of that deaths per million number!

Another point to notice is that the larger, probably somewhat more statistically significant number, the’ cases per million population’ in each country, is *also* all over the place from country to country. *That* particular statistic just happens to be matching almost *exactly* between Denmark and Sweden right now, the number being ‘1090’ or so. So where is the honesty in the Global News, Canada video, I’ve mentioned, along with any other media reports you might find that exhibit a similar bias?

I don’t suppose I need to go on further about the numbers at the moment. I just think this is a crucial point to get straight! In the Western world, the lockdown/semilockdown “nightmare” is far from over. In the next few weeks, even if some jurisdictions relinquish extreme, arbitrary measures, many countries or states are apt to continue with them for a very long time? I hope I’m wrong on that point, I really do, but once media figures and bureaucrats decide that some policy is good, at what point to they relinquish it?

Also of course, there is the little matter of what is the “good” thing to do next fall, if there is a second wave of CoVID, or the issue of whether is is automatically good to tank the economy in similar situations in future years.

So, not to get too ‘exercised’, but I worry about what our great scientific and political decision makers have in store for us, I really do.

GregK
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
April 13, 2020 9:41 pm

I suspect that the real number of cases in Sweden is much larger than the current 11,000 or so.
They have tested at less than half the rate in Denmark

Greg
Reply to  GregK
April 14, 2020 1:17 am

The real number of cases is far greater in ALL countries, including Denmark.

Hack journos always seem to have an axe to grind these days and rarely make any fair and pertinent arguments. They just chose an ignorant position then grab a few stats to support their bias.

For some reason the marching orders include sacking Sweden for taking a very smart choice for their own situation and making it work. It also involves systematic trashing of Pr Raoult’s proposed protocol and forever harping on about an initial test done on 22 patients like the 2500 he has treated since is unknown and that 60% of MDs in Spain reported having prescribed it.

Spain has the best cure rate in Europe. Maybe they should report that and ask whether there may be a link.

Sadly Trump said it may be hopeful and TDS kicked so they all have to try to destroy a promising treatment to ensure that Trump was not shown to be correct.

Janice Moore
April 13, 2020 5:23 pm

The main assertion of this article, that lockdowns “work” (i.e., their benefit is worth their high cost) remains, after all the author’s admirably earnest remarks and thoughtful replies:

Unproven.

The argument in support, so far, remains only:

1) post hoc ergo propter hoc

and

2) “we know”
[i.e., asserted, but, not proven — no data proving causation is cited — moreover, the death certificate data skewing such as that happening in the U.S. per the CDC’s “presumptive” and “assume” guideline has not been dealt with]

that, but for COVID19, a significant number (enough to justify a major lockdown) of excess deaths would not have happened (i.e., the deaths were not caused by complications from regular flu or pneumonia or the like or directly from a significant, existing, co-morbidity)

AND

“we know” [i.e., not proven] that the life span of those who died from COVID19 due to no lockdown (assuming ad arguendo that a lockdown would have been effective to a significant degree) was going to be long enough to make the cost of the lockdown worth the benefit of gaining that extra time to live on the earth.

*********************

Perhaps, it is because I am a believer in Jesus that I not all that concerned about making extra sure that at GREAT cost people get to live a few more months or years on earth. I am eagerly looking forward to going Home. Delaying that homegoing is not worth crushing the liberty and happiness of millions of people. The key (for someone like me; I realize many WUWTers will sneer at this) is making sure people hear the gospel so they can believe and know that they are going to heaven when they die. Months or years more of life are no guarantee that they will ever believe. This correlates with my belief that the death penalty is a moral and just punishment, for, life in prison is no guarantee that an unbeliever will ever accept Christ as his or her Savior. Telling them the “good news” about Jesus with a meaningful chance to repent and believe before they are executed is the key.

In summary:

Lockdowns, so far as any reliable data show, are just not worth it. When the data prove otherwise (e.g., lockdowns proven to have saved the lives of hundreds of otherwise healthy people who were highly unlikely to die from another cause within a few years or less), I will readily admit I was mistaken.

************************

Note re: The Precautionary Fallacy/Principle

Life has risks. Only when the data indicate that a given cost is going to substantially and meaningfully remove a risk of injury AND the cost is significantly outweighed by the value of the injury avoided is the cost to be incurred.

The higher the cost, the greater must be the avoided injury.

Where there is great uncertainty about the benefit (as is the case here), the cost must be fairly low to make it worth trying.

With the COVID19 lockdown (in the U.S., over $2 TRILLION plus the costs of such things as losing a business and of dashed hopes) THE COST IS NOT JUSTIFIED by the unproven-at-best benefit.

**********************
**********************

Why Am I Taking the Time to Go On So LONG About All This?

LIBERTY. Defending this lockdown sets us up for ANOTHER lockdown…. and another…. . A perpetual quasi-police state. Not okay with this American.

In a free society, We the People get to choose what costs we will bear to deal with risks. Machiavellian tyranny is for countries like…… hm…… where in the world…. oh, yes, communist nations like China.

Eliza
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 13, 2020 8:27 pm

Agree 100%. Maybe its time to not allow Mockton to Publish here except for climate related stuff for the mean time anyway altghough I agree with the statement that I may not like what the man says but i will defend his right to say what he wants 100% but these are special times and his attitude and that of those pushing the lockdowns could be causing more death long term than necessary as Swedish data is showing cheers

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 12:11 am

Eliza displays not merely a lamentable ignorance of elementary epidemiology but also a culpable ignorance of the United States Constitution, which, whether she likes it or not, was amended to permit freedom of speech.

If she will get someone to read these head postings to her, she will find that the Swedish lack of a lockdown has been faithfully reported here from the start, as a counterexample. If she will get someone to explain to her the difference between the population density of central Stockholm, on the one hand, or of London or New York, on the other, and if she will get someone to read to her any elementary textbook of epidemiology on the question of the link between population density and the transmissibility of a pathogen in the early stages of a pandemic, she will begin to understand why lockdowns, though always undesirable, are sometimes necessary.

And if she will get someone to read to her the earlier pieces in this series, she will realize that one of its stated purposes was to show the extent to which the mean daily compound rate of growth in the infection was falling in various countries, so as to hold out hope that the lockdowns could be brought to an end at the earliest possible moment.

Surely she does not actually wish the lockdowns to be persisted with?

Tonyb
Editor
Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 1:41 am

Eliza

I do think Monckton should be allowed to publish and argue his case here, but he can surely do so without being so rude about the people he disagrees with. His second paragraph in reply to you should give him pause for thought that you don’t change people’s opinions by insulting them and being so contemptuous.

Tonyb

Rod Evans
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 13, 2020 11:37 pm

Janice,
I agree with your thoughts and position in general.
I don’t have religious belief.
Religion is a fascinating subject to debate, and one that has been going on for as long as humanity had the time to think about such things.
The human ability to be rational and logical, while at the same time have complete belief in something, that is not provable this side of eternity, is something I do not understand.
Thankfully, there are many things, I do not understand, yet I am able to function reasonably successfully.
Clearly absolute knowledge, like absolute certainty is not a prerequisite for success.
Thank you for your well considered thoughts.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 14, 2020 12:05 am

Janice Moore appears unaware of the elementary epidemiology of pathogenic transmission during the early stages of a pandemic.

The two factors that govern the rate of transmission are the infectivity of the pathogen and the mean person-to-person contact rate. Any standard textbook of epidemiology will explain this to her.

Since the infectivity of the pathogen is inherent to the pathogen and cannot be influenced by governments until a prophylactic, palliative or curative mechanism is discovered, the only way that governments can influence the transmission rate during the early stages of a pandemic is by reducing the person-to-person contact rate.

There are numerous ways of demonstrating that the contact rate has in fact been reduced. In the UK, anonymized cellphone records demonstrate that the contact rate has diminished by 85-95%. In fact, it had already begun to fall even before the lockdown, because a) the government had already introduced some restrictions, notably on large gatherings and on movement of vulnerable people, and b) those who were more alert than most had already begun to take extra care to avoid person-to-person contact outside their own households.

And I have repeatedly made it plain here that lockdowns are not the optimal strategy. The optimal strategy – widespread testing, contact-tracing and isolation of carriers – was adopted by South Korea. However, countries with high urban population densities, such as Britain, having not implemented the South Korean method, were in danger of suffering very large casualties in the absence of a lockdown, leading to the overwhelming of the hospital service, preventing the advanced, prolonged intensive-care treatment without which serious cases would have very little chance of survival.

Frankly, it is futile to try to maintain that lockdowns do not work. They do. They buy vital time to enable the hospital services to gear themselves up to cope. But they ought not to have been necessary, if all nations had been as well prepared as South Korea was.

Josh Postema
April 13, 2020 5:34 pm

I would like to know what sort of evidence it would take to convince the author that the lockdowns have not been as effective as is presumed.

Because what I have seen for almost a month is:

If the death/case rate increase, it’s because people are not following lockdowns.

If the death/case rate decrease, it’s because the lockdowns are working.

I am not accusing the author of begging the question (though I do accuse MANY people of doing that), but I would like to know what it would take to demonstrate that the conclusion “the lockdowns were not a significant cause in ending the pandemic”.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Josh Postema
April 14, 2020 12:19 am

Mr Postema appears not to have read any of the head postings here, and he cannot even have looked at the pictures.

At no point have I said that if the death rate or case rate are increasing the lockdowns are not working. That is for the good and sufficient reason that, as the graphs very clearly illustrate, in just about all the countries I am following, the case growth rate and the growth rate in deaths are falling, not increasing.

Nor have I said that if the death rate or case rate are falling the lockdowns are working. I have fairly pointed out, throughout, that in Sweden, for instance, the death rate and case rate are falling even though there is no strict lockdown, though some control measures are in place.

However, I have said – and correctly – that elementary epidemiology dictates that if in the early stages of a pandemic one has not acted as South Korea has to control the pandemic without a lockdown, a lockdown may become necessary in those countries with a high urban population density. And I have said – again correctly – that, therefore, if it can be demonstrated that the mean person-to-person contact rate has fallen in any country under study, and if the fall is significant enough, it is not only legitimate but necessary to deduce that the fall in the contact rate has prevented a much larger case-growth and death-growth rate.

In Britain, the cellphone data show that the person-to-person contact rate has fallen by some 85-95%. Go figure.

Josh Postema
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 1:44 pm

I would (still) like to know what sort of evidence it would take to convince the author that the lockdowns have not been as effective as is presumed.

I’m afraid the closest I will get is that “elementary epidemiology dictates that if in the early stages of a pandemic one has not acted as South Korea has to control the pandemic without a lockdown, a lockdown may become necessary in those countries with a high urban population density”.

Which is to say that efficacy of lockdowns for this virus is one of the presumptions, and not a conclusion based on the unfolding evidence.

MarkR
April 13, 2020 5:40 pm

The lockdown is and was completely unjustified for the purpose of limiting the rate of serious infection to match the limited availablity of intensive care ventilators.

Ventilators do not help SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) COVID victims because the virus stops the ability of red corpuscles to absorb and transport oxygen. Therefor pumping more oxygen into the lungs is pointless, as the oxygen has nowhere to go,

In fact forcing oxygen into unreceptive lungs at high pressure ultimately damages the lungs.

The best route to cure SARS COVID is to stop the virus changing the nature of the red corpuscles, and that appears to be by quinine type medicine.

This SARS COVID is only different from the previous SARS by 1500 bases. That difference of 1500 is made up of items that have been cut and pasted using the CRISPR DNA editing tool. The changes are entirely man made.

The public is being prevented from knowing:
Who started the spread.
How many people have already have had SARS COVID.
What the cure actually is.
What the purpose of the deliberate spread is.

On the best information, this SARS COVID was created in state military laboritories, spread via the World Military Games at Wuhan in October 2019 via known US soldiers and related people. The Wuhan connection to Milan is that the clothing for the games was made by Chinese workers in Milan.

Look up George Webb’s videos starting with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdMt8bHfQKM

gringojay
Reply to  MarkR
April 13, 2020 6:45 pm

WUWT readers might now be so very super duper excited to know that George Webb thinks he might have even found a patient zero! Anyone reading care to guess who he thinks it/they could be – anyone … Bueller?

If you guessed the “Zionist Agent” Maatje Benassi an armed State Dept. diplomatic security officer possibly for China & then Ben Benassi perhaps for Italy you don’t need to see Webb’s March 26th video. That Webb sure has the inside track on some deep secrets & I know that because – well, if I told you I’d have to ….\

Janice Moore
Reply to  gringojay
April 13, 2020 7:59 pm

lol

MarkR
Reply to  gringojay
April 14, 2020 2:29 am

Well, well. Someone comes straight in and tries to muddy the waters with a smear. I’ve watched a lot of George Webb videos and he’s never mentioned anything about Zionist agents. I notice you don’t address the substance of the post.

gringojay
April 13, 2020 5:44 pm

“… obesity substantially higher odds … than … cardiovascular or pulmonary disease …” is what has the “… strongest association with critical illness …” from Wuhan Virus. This according to team Petrilli of NYU’s review investigating 4,103 NYC Wuhan Virus cases recently released (As per “Factors associated with hospitalization and critical illness among 4,103 ….”

Those with COPD, most forms of heart disease & even those who smoke qstatistically were at less risk requiring hospitalization than those with heart failure, chronic kidney disease, old age or obesity.

d
April 13, 2020 6:05 pm

It is interesting to me to compare Sweden to the WuFlu experience in Norway, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands. There is a range of political/social responses as well as an apparent difference in results — so far. This isn’t over, by any means, and any analysis done now will have to change.

Also, we seem to forget that the Hong Kong protests had an effect on reducing the potential vectors in a lot of the Western Pacific reason, and specifically in South Korea. The measures taken by the Korean government as mentioned by Monckton had a leg up with a late fall restriction on Chinese travel added to the small amount of tourism from that country. While the population is very dense, they’ve had a single government with an extensive civil defense and integrated emergency management establishment for more than 60 years.

Rich Davis
April 13, 2020 6:28 pm

Amazing number of comments despite almost no new facts. When we have a properly designed statistical survey of antibody testing, then we will know whose speculation came closest to the mark. We were told this evening by Dr Fauci that we may be just days away from approval of an antibody test in the US.

If the lockdown worked as intended, antibody testing will show low penetration of the virus into the general public. If lockdown was a prudent but ultimately ineffective intervention, then antibody testing will reveal a high percentage of the population has already obtained immunity.

Those of us who only hope for the best should hope that the lockdowns were highly ineffective. Of course those whose political aspirations or professional reputations are now linked to the certainty that lockdowns worked well may be an impediment to learning the truth. We may need to analyze through a lot of spin.

I’m inclined to think that we will learn that the lockdowns had a significant impact, which will mean we still have a hard road ahead. But I hope to be wrong. I also hope we learn soon that HCQ-Zn is effective and can mitigate the situation if we still are far from herd immunity.

But either way, to paraphrase St. John, “You will know the data, and the data will set you free”.

Earthling2
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 13, 2020 8:28 pm

lol…In God We Trust, all others bring Data.

CptTrips
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 13, 2020 9:48 pm

There is no doubt that the lockdowns have had a significant impact. What needs to be determined is if those impacts were positive or negative.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  CptTrips
April 14, 2020 12:27 am

In response to CptTrips, the lockdowns have had both a positive and a negative impact. The positive impact was in slowing the transmission rate sufficiently to prevent hospital systems from being overrun, and thus to save lives. The negative impact is economic, which is why all governments that have introduced lockdowns are keeping them under review and will begin to dismantle them as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so.

whiten
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 10:21 am

Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 at 12:27 am

Yes, true, but the only thing there for real, evidently so, indisputably by evidence there is the size of negative impacts. Too huge.

Positives thus far, simply still argumentative, no substance there, no any actual support any where there unless considering deception and criminal activity as positive.

There is no mending or reparation in that one, unless accepting crime and awarding of crime as positive… and it, the crime being the new normal, as per consideration of fairness and justice where crime and reward for crime happens to be fair and just and the new way forward for civility and civilization.
Good luck with that one my friend.

cheers

cheers

Rod Evans
Reply to  CptTrips
April 14, 2020 12:47 am

+100

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 14, 2020 12:24 am

In response to Mr Davis, we already know that lockdowns work, because we know from cellphone data that the mean person-to-person contact rate in the UK has fallen by 85-95%. One would have to be mightily perverse to imagine that so large a reduction in the contact rate would have no effect on transmission in the early stages of a pandemic.

In the UK, the lockdown has bought us just enough time to ensure that the hospital service was not swamped.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 5:18 am

Yes, my lord, mightily perverse I am indeed, to have stated that you are probably correct, and yet to hope that I may be wrong in the assessment because that would mean that we are close to herd immunity. Such a perverse hope!

And how impertinent to characterize the lockdown policy as prudent yet potentially ineffective. Such an extreme position! Why, if governments had listened to that sort of dangerous talk, they might have done precisely what they did but without being quite so cocksure of themselves.

Surely you acknowledge that the truth will be known when we establish the extent of immunity in the general population?

suffolkboy
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 14, 2020 6:09 am

What would be the psychological, emotional and statistical results of introducing testing (either for the virus, for antigens or for antibodies) which had a significant number of false positives? Would there be a risk of generating a phoney panic? Suppose the entire population of 70,000,000 were tested for something, and there was a 1% false positive on each test? That would be 700,000 false positives. Furthermore, if the rate of roll-out of testing were exponential in the early stages, we would see an exponential rise in “cases” and more hysteria and tunnel-vision. And if the people tested were informed of their own results, would there not be a significant proportion of the 700,000 who react highly irrationally in response to the (mis)information. Perhaps at least one of these would kill themselves and perhaps their family, in the mistaken belief that they have an incurable, serious and painful disease. Then the media, as always, would focus on how “the virus caused the death of an entire family”. Pure epidemiology is a start and a useful contribution, as is fitting exponential curves all day long, but there are wider issues that need to be taken into consideration. I have little expectation that the UK cabinet meeting this month will do anything other than the “media safe” decision to continue the lockdown indefinitely, even if the daily hospital intake figures have halved by Thursday 24th

Rich Davis
Reply to  suffolkboy
April 14, 2020 2:57 pm

False positives in an antibody test could lull people into a false sense of security with more people being assumed to be immune than really are safe.

Ron
April 13, 2020 6:33 pm

Some people might be surprised that Macron announced that France will stay in lockdown for another four weeks.

I am not. Given the numbers that is the reasonable thing to do. The curve of active cases is not bending and far away from going down. Same is true for the UK. Italy and Spain are on a better way in this regard.

Germany, Switzerland and Austria are actually going down in the number of active cases so it might be possible to loosen the restrictions carefully in the next weeks. But this will be risky. On mistake and cases will explode again. People will need strict guidelines what to do and what should be avoided as much as possible.

Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands will be bad surprises in terms of deaths/million. Bad combination of importing the virus by skiing tourists, local mass spreading events and too late/not sufficient lockdown policies.
Especially Belgium is as bad as Italy and Spain.

john hinton
April 13, 2020 6:58 pm

Undisputable fact is that I live in the US – central Alabama.

Little squishier fact is that I’ve seen the Bill & Melinda Gates funded Covid-19 website swing our mortality rate through August 1 (with full social distancing for every day between a couple weeks ago and then) from approximately 5500 deaths to today’s 400 or so. Thought early on, since they showed it sweeping through unchecked over a period of a few weeks, that they figured we were still sleeping 8 to a corn crib, snuggled up to sisters and cousins. Then, decided they just didn’t waste much time or many electrons calculating exactly what they claimed would be a bunch of unrepentant redneck’s fate.

Then, I decided they’re just going off the last few days of data, to predict the future of the Chi-Com-19 flu, as it sweeps through the West.

Now, given there isn’t any clear break in these ad-hoc data sermons preaching the beneficial effects of pushing us towards a Depression, I’m starting to suspect the curve bending is due to:

– Low lying fruit (older and sick enough their lives have been extended by the medications Chi-Com-19 seems to resent, being whacked to the point there are fewer susceptible.

– There’s a percentage of the population that is going to present, as to symptoms. Some of the rest have had it or are going to get it, but aren’t being counted.

– Hand-washing and hygiene has and will play as large or larger part as “social-distancing”. Gotta love that term, because it’s the absolute antithesis of what the good, woke liberal professes to be their doctrine… no proof, just an absolute certainty that the person you may walk by is contagious and infectious to you. Treating everyone, absolutely every one, exactly like an Evangelical Christian.

Seems God does provide ironic humor, even in the bad times.

Steven Mosher
April 13, 2020 7:26 pm

“Two further factors are worth bearing in mind. First, Sweden has a low population density. There are two prime determinants of the rate at which a new pathogen will spread during the early stages of a pandemic. The first is its infectivity: how readily it is transmitted between people in close proximity to one another. The second is the mean person-to-person contact rate. This will be much lower where population density is lower.”

Listening to Gov. Cumo the other night it was interesting to hear that the explosion of cases there started with 2 individuals who attended group gatherings and apparently infected a large number of people.

One issue I see is people assuming a virus has a unique R0 as an INHERENT property. In some sense it does. I mean in the end you are able to calculate R0. And, at any point in an outbreak you can “calculate” one.

And that R0 is what drives the modelling of the disease spread. There’s no other choice
but to assume some “global” R0 based on the data at hand. Whatever number you pick will be wrong.
Imagine having THAT as a job. your job as epidemic modeller is to pick a number you know will be wrong.

Your R0 will be wrong because of 1 case, 1 single case of a nutjob
who refused to be tested led to 1000s of cases, read that again, 1000s of cases in Korea. 1 person whose “personal” R0 is off the scale created vast destruction and death. calculate the R0 with her case and without her case and you get crazily different numbers. Now, make that number the heart of your modelling.’
say hello to a “no win” situation.

As Mob points out there are two determinants in R0, basic biology of the virus and “contact rate” of people.
Yes, density can drive contact rate, but so can social dynamics. For example, if you have a low population
density, but every Sunday all the residents meet in one place to shake hands, hug, kiss and meet in close quarters for long periods, then Boom. Low density, high contact rate.

why is this important? Because the uncertainty in R0 that drives models the FRONT side, the estimates of R0 that will lead to grossly over estimating or grossly underestimating the growth, will ALSO bedevil any analysis of “do lockdowns work” . And it will complicate all policy post lockdown.One nutjob can ruin your whole effort. And on the other hand
it is also the case that some lockdowns will go overboard. That’s part of the response to uncertainty.

There is no engineering this. There is very little data, limited ways of collecting more data, no way of calibrating which control measures work. We know one thing from the case of China that welding cities shut
works. Beyond that we have guesswork on individual policies.

what about school closings? anyone have a controlled experiment of that? where lets say we close
half the schools and see the differential effect? nope.
what about church closings? what’s the differential effect? you don’t know. And nobody
wants to do the experiment.
what’s the effect of closing just the evangelical churches?
what about restaurant closing? or restaurants with outdoor versus in door seating?
what about sports events? night clubs? mass transit, grcoercy shopping?
what are the differential effects of each of these?

The list goes on. We mingle in many diverse ways, and there are no controlled studies on the
differential contribution of each of these. No side in the lockdown debate, no side in the methods
of releasing controls gradually or rapidly has any experimental data on what we can expect as a result
of lifting or imposing a control. And it’s probably unethical to do the controlled studies you need
to inform policy.

What that means is the people demanding a release from the lockdown are providing advice based
on hunches, not on controlled experiments. And those demanding an extended lockdowns are likewise
making recommendations based on hunches. There is no science on which policies result in
X cases prevented or X additional cases created. There is no science on the differential economic effects.
someone will have to make policy decisions with unknown health effects and unknown economic effects.
every decision will be wrong and the wrong decision can and will lead to more death than was predicted, or less death, and more economic destruction or less economic destruction than was predicted. Imagine being Governor and deciding to lift a ban and watching cases skyrocket 2 weeks later? and deaths 2 weeks after that?
Imagine being the governor who refuses to lift a ban and watching the economy crumble.
Imagine being a democratically elected official in a situation where you know your decision will
be wrong for someone, wrong for some class of voters.

There was a funny exchange in Gov Cuomo’s daily briefing that demonstrated this. The question of
Drive in Movies was raised. Drive in Movies. One side implied that since people were in their cars
risk of infection was low. The other side held that the drive -in employees would be exposed to each other.
so the question was “are drive in employees essential workers” As Cuomo made clear Someone will have to make that decision.
well,can they go back to work? The person making that decision will not be driven by science because
there is no study and will never be a study showing the differential impact of drive in employees on
the local R0. One side has their hunches and anecdotes as does the other side.
Someone will have to make the decision, can restaurants re open? well, what’s the calculus?
Chances are whoever makes that decision will get it wrong. In one case it will be ok, because the staff
are all super hygenic, and in other case one server will infect a whole raft of customers.
there is no right decision. there no optimizing strategy. R0 is nasty metric that depends on actual
human behavior. What did China do? well restaurants could reopen with rules about customer density.
say 25% full. There was no science here. Businesses could re open BUT employees had to work
shifts. Starting Feb 15th, for example, 50% worked from home, 50% returned to the office. 3 days on,
two days off. Spacing at the office strictly controlled. there was no science showing 50% to be the optimal
number, maybe 62.3% is? you dont know. you’ll never know. You can be sure that exactly 50% is the
wrong number. You hope its less wrong than other wrong choices.

people who work in professions that reward being precisely correct ( engineers, accountants, you know who you are) should probably remain silent in these discussions.

Decisions will be made. And the data will be noisy, suspect, incomplete, and debatable.
It’s not a fun job being forced to make decision that you know will harm someone.
( google trolley problem)

With all that said, I will share some data about the end game.

in Korea, 98 % of the deaths are people over 50. 92% over 60.

76% of the cases are under 60. Those dang youngsters mingling
76% of the cases 8% of the deaths.
24% of the cases are 60 or over, and a huge portion of those are older people in nursing homes.
24% of the cases 92% of the deaths.

You can draw your own conclusions, personally I’m avoiding any May /December interactions

want to know something more stark?
over 80s are 5% of the cases and 50% of the deaths.

How should that inform policy?

Nobody wants to be a democratically elected official making a decision based on that.

Stevek
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 12:26 am

Good post.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 12:34 am

Yet again I am grateful to Mr Mosher for bringing some hard data from Korea. As one might expect, this virus is chiefly transmitted by young people and is chiefly fatal to old people. Results of this kind from China persuaded HM Government, at quite an early stage, to advise the elderly and infirm to isolate themselves as far as possible. Unfortunately, the very elderly and infirm in care homes could not isolate themselves from each other, nor from the staff or visitors, so the death toll in care homes has been substantial. HM Government does not even count deaths in care homes as part of the daily death counts that it publishes.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 5:34 am

Monckton of Brenchley: “HM Government does not even count deaths in care homes as part of the daily death counts that it publishes.”

WR: The same for the Netherlands. For week 14 (March 30 – April 5) there were 5098 deaths in the Netherlands (CBS numbers), compared to a ‘normal’ number of deaths of 2700 – 3000. For that week only some 900 Corona deaths were officially recorded by the national count by RIVM: some 1200 to 1500 of the extra deaths are missing.

Yesterday it was announced* that adding the ‘supposed Corona deaths’ (according to available patient information) from nurseries and ‘home deaths’ will happen soon, also for the past period.

WR: Probably the number for official Dutch Corona deaths for the past and future periods soon will be doubled or even more than doubled.

Before the first of April at least 40% of our nursery homes registered the presence of Corona infections.** Since March 19 no visits to nurseries were permitted.

* (in Dutch): https://nos.nl/artikel/2330364-huisartsen-gaan-verborgen-coronadoden-registreren.html
** (in Dutch): https://nos.nl/artikel/2329803-van-dissel-corona-in-minstens-40-procent-van-de-verpleeghuizen.html

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 5:57 am

“Yet again I am grateful to Mr Mosher for bringing some hard data from Korea. As one might expect, this virus is chiefly transmitted by young people and is chiefly fatal to old people. Results of this kind from China persuaded HM Government, at quite an early stage, to advise the elderly and infirm to isolate themselves as far as possible. Unfortunately, the very elderly and infirm in care homes could not isolate themselves from each other, nor from the staff or visitors, so the death toll in care homes has been substantial. ”

yes what a horrible choice our public officials have to make. Nobody wants that job.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 12:13 am

Proving, God moves in mysterious ways…
He doesn’t look to have been in the high risk category, other than possibly his age?

Scissor
Reply to  Rod Evans
April 14, 2020 7:55 am

From the link, “Their daughter, Mar-Gerie Crawley, told WTVR that her father initially dismissed his symptoms because he has a condition that often leads to fevers and infections.”

April 13, 2020 8:13 pm

I cannot help thinking that we humans are quite arrogant to believe that it is we who initiated the downturn in COVID-19 deaths. How do we know that we did not intervene at the precise moment that the downturn was coming about on its own, and that it is we who delayed this by our attempts to assert our sense of control over what we could not understand in the broader context?

It’s the same sort of arrogance that causes so many people to believe that our human industrial CO2 is the key to the climate, and by attempting to control this, we bolster our anthro-ego.

I touched my face many times today, and I’m not worried. I also washed my hands many times, as has been my habit, even before this insanity started.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 13, 2020 9:27 pm

“How do we know that we did not intervene at the precise moment that the downturn was coming about on its own, and that it is we who delayed this by our attempts to assert our sense of control over what we could not understand in the broader context?”

how do we know we are not a brain in a vat?

goldminor
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 13, 2020 9:48 pm

Maybe it is a combination of us actively fighting the virus along with the virus gradually losing new vectors to move to. We see that it targets groups of people with weakened systems from other medical issues. Who knows what the true numbers are of people who had this and never knew they had it.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  goldminor
April 14, 2020 12:43 am

In response to goldminor, Occam’s Razor dictates that where the mean daily person-to-person contact rate has been reduced by 85-95%, as it has as a result of the UK lockdown, no small part of the reduction in the mean daily compound case-growth and death-growth rates is attributable to that reduction in the contact rate.

By casting back deaths three weeks, one can calculate that about 15-20% of the population has been infected so far – about 100 times the number of reported cases. But that still leaves most of the population uninfected and, therefore, susceptible. It is only when the susceptible population is reduced to about 50% that the rate of transmission will slow markedly in the absence of deliberate interventions to reduce the mean person-to-person contact rate.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 14, 2020 12:39 am

Mr Kernodle has not, perhaps, looked at the data. The lockdown in the UK, according to one of the Government’s daily press conferences, has had the effect of reducing the mean person-to-person contact rate by some 85-95%, according to anonymized cellphone data. In the early stages of a pandemic, before enough people have acquired immunity to begin pushing the curve away from strict exponentiality and towards the logistic curve, the only method of reducing the rate of transmission is to reduce the mean person-to-person contact rate. That contact rate had begun to fall even before the UK lockdown, because. a) the Government had introduced some control measures, such as banning mass meetings and advising the elderly and infirm to isolate themselves, and b) the people had begun to be more cautious. Sure enough, the mean daily compound case growth rate began to fall even before the lockdown was introduced. The rate has, of course, fallen still further since then, as the daily graphs demonstrate.

South River Independent
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 10:58 am

May be due to cautious people being careful and avoiding exposure. Can you provide evidence that a lockdown is the only or most significant cause? Above you admit that many Brits avoided exposure before the lockdown.

anna v
April 13, 2020 9:01 pm

The whole world has become a running experiment with different initial and boundary conditions. It is a many parameter system, and models at best are approximate. Governments have been taking decisions of lock downs to preserve the health system and minimize the number of running deaths.

What I have not seen considered and answered in the controversy between “herd immunity” and “flattening the rise” in the dilemma between “saving lives” versus “saving the economy” is : whether a western economy can survive a complete break down of the health system of a country. Can an economy work with no health services in the country?

If the answer is “no, an economy comes to a stop if the health system collapses”, there is no dilemma .

CptTrips
Reply to  anna v
April 13, 2020 10:26 pm

But what of the opposite question: can a health system survive a complete collapse of the economy?

Of the two questions I would answer that an economy slows but does not stop if the health system collapses, but the health system cannot survive if the economy ceases. The reason for this is obvious. The health system develops after the economy develops, not the other way around.

Like any other natural disaster, it is the size and strength of your economy that dictates how you recover from it. A strong economy can rebuild a collapsed health system. No health system in action on Earth can heal a destroyed economic engine.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  CptTrips
April 14, 2020 12:51 am

The stock markets do not agree with CptTrips. They have fallen somewhat, to take account of the damage to the economy that lockdowns cause, but – at present, at any rate – a complete economic collapse is not envisaged.

Besides, the point of the head posting was to discuss the decision by Spain and Italy, two of Europe’s worst-affected countries, to begin dismantling their lockdowns. They are able to do this because they have reduced their mean daily case-growth rates to around 3%, at least in part thanks to strict lockdowns.

But no one wants to keep a lockdown in place for a single moment longer than is absolutely necessary.

anna v
Reply to  CptTrips
April 14, 2020 4:54 am

“But what of the opposite question: can a health system survive a complete collapse of the economy?”

That is not a question that is being asked now and decided upon by the governments. I am asking the real dilemma facing decision makers. Of course with no economy there is no health system.

They estimate that the lock downs will harm the economy by 20% , nobody says 100%. What happened in Lombardy’s health system was going to 100% destruction of the health system, once health personnel started dying, until the trend stopped by the lockdown.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  anna v
April 14, 2020 12:47 am

Anna V asks an important question: what would happen if a government allowed its healthcare system to be overrun, so that even those who needed urgent, life-saving treatment, whether for the Chinese virus or for any other disease, were unable to obtain it?

HM Government took the view that allowing the health service to be overrun was not an option. That view is widely supported by the public, who would not otherwise have tolerated the quite strict lockdown that has been imposed. Indeed, so strict a lockdown would be impossible to enforce unless most people were persuaded that it is, for the time being, necessary.

Randle Dewees
April 13, 2020 9:13 pm

I just volunteered for the NIH SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. 10,000 volunteers, so getting picked will be like winning the 5 out 6 lotto I guess. I so want to be tested! Here is their webpage on the test

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-begins-study-quantify-undetected-cases-coronavirus-infection

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Randle Dewees
April 14, 2020 12:40 am

thank you

estimated date the study will report results
March 31, 2022

not sure if they will release anything earlier

Stevek
Reply to  Randle Dewees
April 14, 2020 2:21 am

By having people volunteer it is not a random sample. The is one downfall of such tests.

For example people that are hermits will not volunteer, because they are hermits, and hermits are less likely to have had covid, because they are hermits.

Randle Dewees
Reply to  Randle Dewees
April 14, 2020 9:22 am

SteveM, thanks for the irony. But, I can dream – if you don’t play the lotto you’ll never win. If I’m picked I can look ahead to finding out in two years! (if I’m still alive). I would hope they let positives know ASAP.

SteveK, I really doubt it will be random. It will be 90% walk ins I bet. So they are sampling Maryland?

In my little corner of the world I think we got hit by the mystery Dec/Jan “Not the Flu” as hard as anywhere. Personally, I can’t quite reconcile that event with the growth statistics of CV19 shown by testing. But, I’m a layman when it comes to analysis. If CV19 swept through California earlier, then this is a convolution, right? The increase of testing convolved with the onset of herd immunity.

goldminor
April 13, 2020 9:38 pm

Just came across this bit of news while searching for current info. If this true, then it totally changes the picture, … https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3079678/coronavirus-mutation-threatens-race-develop-vaccine

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  goldminor
April 14, 2020 12:53 am

In response to goldminor, at least three distinct strains of the Chinese virus are in circulation. The genome is short, which tends to suggest that the pathogen may well mutate rapidly.

One of the difficulties in developing both antibody tests and vaccines is to ensure that they will be able to target any mutations.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 2:28 pm
Steven Mosher
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 2:53 pm
Aaron Delisio
April 13, 2020 9:40 pm

London’s population density is compared to Stockholm’s in order to explain why Sweden’s lax policies haven’t resulted in worse outcomes than the UK, but what is overlooked is that Tokyo is denser than London yet Japan doesn’t have near the problems with the coronavirus as the UK despite also going without draconian containment measures. So population density is not as key as it’s made out to be.

goldminor
Reply to  Aaron Delisio
April 13, 2020 11:10 pm

Thanks for that. I have been making a similar argument by pointing to the low numbers in India. India has done quite a good job tracking the points of entry and then trace contacting the paths across their nation. However, it seems to me that there has to be more to it why a nation with a lot of poor people (1,300 million total pop) has managed to get this far with only 10+ K total cases. India had its first confirmed case on Jan 30th.

Vincent Causey
Reply to  goldminor
April 14, 2020 1:54 am

Not just India, but the African countries as well, appear to have a low number of countries. I say “appear”. Who knows?

A C Osborn
Reply to  goldminor
April 14, 2020 2:10 am

India were controlling it quite well, I suggest you look at their Total Cases and New Cases charts now.
They are both taking off well above exponential based on their data up to Marth 31st.
That is an inflection point and cases started increasing at a much faster rate.
This suggests that the asymptomatic cases spread it faster than they could trace victims.

goldminor
Reply to  A C Osborn
April 14, 2020 11:22 am

@ A C … responding to this “That is an inflection point and cases started increasing at a much faster rate. ..”. I do not see cases in India increasing at a faster rate though. I have been watching the changing numbers for the last month daily. Typically, the nations which suffer the worst problem see new case numbers around 10% of the previous days total, or higher. The numbers in India have yet to do that.

For example, Russia has 2,774 new cases for a total of 21,102. That is typical for nations which are highly stressed by the virus that the new cases initially ramp up at a rate of 10% or greater per day early on, and that is a very consistent observation over the entire time of observing the numbers. Then when the numbers in a nation/state increase to higher levels the daily rate is still at least 5% of total cases per day. India was 488 for 11,000 total today. Ireland has 832 new cases for a total of 11,479. I would think that if the virus was about to rage in India that those numbers would be different. Overall, this has been educational and sadly interesting watching how all of this unfolds.

One more set, New Jersey has 4,240 new cases for a total of 68,824. That is a bad sign. New York for example only had 6,553 new cases today, and 362 deaths. Big numbers for the smaller state.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Aaron Delisio
April 14, 2020 1:06 am

Mr Delisio is right to point out that Japan has smaller case and death rates than the UK even though it does not have a strict lockdown and even though the population density of central Tokyo is a little higher than that of central London.

But he is wrong to draw the conclusion that population density is not important.

Japan implemented measures not dissimilar to those of South Korea at a very early stage. Such measures, particularly when adopted early, are far more effective than any lockdown.

Also, Japanese culture, with its emphasis on scrupulous hygiene, has a beneficial effect in inhibiting transmission.

Lockdown was necessary in the UK because it did not act quickly or decisively enough to follow the South Korean protocol. But it will be lifted just as soon as it is safe to do so.

richard
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 14, 2020 6:30 am

Some strict lock down-
“in the downtown Shibuya district, business was almost as usual. Rush hour trains were still crowded and commuters were heading to work”

https://japantoday.com/category/national/japan%27s-state-of-emergency-is-no-lock-down.-what%27s-in-it

John Endicott
Reply to  richard
April 14, 2020 10:02 am

what are you arguing against richard with your “Some strict lock down” comment? Lord M said “Japan has smaller case and death rates than the UK even though it does not have a strict lockdown” and he pointed out some of the reasons why Japan managed to avoid going the strict lockdown route. so clearly you can’t be arguing against what Lord M said.

richard
Reply to  John Endicott
April 14, 2020 11:14 am

” Japanese culture, with its emphasis on scrupulous hygiene, has a beneficial effect in inhibiting transmission’

one sneeze, one cough- yea right! the trains are packed!!

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
April 14, 2020 4:22 pm

The trains are packed and everyone is wearing a mask. And again, what does “Some strict lock down-” have to do with it when MoB did not claim there was a strict lockdown, and indeed agreed that there wasn’t?

richard
Reply to  John Endicott
April 14, 2020 11:20 pm

“The Swiss chief physician of Infectiology, Professor Pietro Vernazza, has published four new articles on studies concerning Covid19.

The first article is about the fact that there has never been medical evidence for the efficacy of school closures, as children in general do not develop the Covid disease nor are they among the vectors of the virus (unlike with influenza).

The second article is about the fact that respiratory masks generally have no detectable effect, with one exception: sick people with symptoms (notably coughing) can reduce the spread of the virus. Otherwise the masks are rather symbolic or a „media hype“. Are you saying they are sick and on the trains?

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
April 15, 2020 2:42 am

There probably are asymptomatic carriers, yes. Wearing masks is to help prevent the mask wearing from spreading germs to others (Japan, unlike the west, is well know for having a thinking of others mindset in that regard) not to prevent the wearer from catching someone else’s germs. If everyone is wearing masks, then that is obviously going to help as everyone is working to stop the spread to everyone else.

But again, you are dancing around the question, so for the third time: what does “Some strict lock down-” have to do with it when MoB did not claim there was a strict lockdown, and indeed agreed that there wasn’t?

Steven Mosher
April 13, 2020 9:43 pm

Interesting Update

http://www.healthdata.org/covid/updates

“Social distancing covariate for Denmark, Netherlands, and Norway. Since our April 10 release, we received feedback from several collaborators in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) network on how social distancing policies were being implemented – and having effects on population-level movement – in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway.

Based on Google mobility data, policies on gathering restrictions and closing certain groups of non-essential businesses without instituting stricter or more sweeping non-essential business closure mandates appear to also have substantial effects on reducing mobility (i.e., a likely indicator of how much contact people are having with each other and thus potential virus exposure).

To account for this new evidence in our current COVID-19 death modeling framework, we have adjusted covariate values on social distancing for Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway. As indicated in our April 10 estimation update, IHME’s development team continues testing the inclusion of mobility-based covariates into the social distancing covariates and ensemble models. We hope to release the updated model on Wednesday, April 15.”

Steven Mosher
April 13, 2020 10:00 pm

Some history for chloroquine fans

http://www.back2stonewall.com/2020/03/lgbt-history-march24-actup.html

Come to Wall Street in front of Trinity Church at 7AM Tuesday March 24 for a
MASSIVE AIDS DEMONSTRATION
To demand the following

1. Immediate release by the Federal Food & Drug Administration of drugs that might help save our lives.

These drugs include: Ribavirin (ICN Pharmaceuticals); Ampligen (HMR Research Co.); Glucan (Tulane University School of Medicine); DTC (Merieux); DDC (Hoffman-LaRoche); AS 101 (National Patent Development Corp.); MTP-PE (Ciba-Geigy); AL 721 (Praxis Pharmaceuticals).

2. Immediate abolishment of cruel double-blind studies wherein some get the new drugs and some don’t.

3. Immediate release of these drugs to everyone with AIDS or ARC.

4. Immediate availability of these drugs at affordable prices. Curb your greed!

CptTrips
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 13, 2020 11:13 pm

Two points:

1. How many of those drugs were on the market in 1987 and for how long? The answer is one, Ribavirin, approved for use in 1986. Everything else on the list was experimental in 1987 and had not been approved for any medical condition.

2. What percentage of the population, having been infected with HIV, died within 4 weeks of infection date from the effects of the virus? That would be 0%.

While both cases are of those of people asking to use drugs that have not been definitively shown to treat the condition, one was for experimental unproven pharmaceuticals (some of which have never been approved for use) to treat a disease spread by fluid transfer that killed in the range of months to years, and the other case is for a drug that has been used to treat various medical conditions for 50+ years to treat a disease spread through inhalation that kills the patient in weeks. That seems like an apples to zebras comparison.

icisil
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 4:54 am

Many have lived (rather died), to regret that. Some of those drugs ended up ki!lling them. AZT was one of the primary treatments, and it would ki!ll the healthiest person alive.

goldminor
April 13, 2020 10:12 pm

Here is a study done in Italy which claims that Italy under reported total deaths. Meaning that the total is likely in the upper twenty thousand range, instead of the current 20+K. … https://www.ispionline.it/en/publication/covid-19-and-italys-case-fatality-rate-whats-catch-25586

Richard from Brooklyn (south)
April 13, 2020 10:42 pm

NZ with hard and early lock down is 2 per million.

Greg
Reply to  Richard from Brooklyn (south)
April 14, 2020 7:33 am

So how do you get of that mess? Carry on hiding for the next two years until Bill Gates creates a vaccine an “accidentally ” slips a sterilising compound in there too?

A C Osborn
Reply to  Greg
April 14, 2020 9:29 am

You don’t need to do anything other than stop people with COVID19 from coming in to New Zealand without Quarantine them.
What don’t you understand about good old fashioned quarantine?

ren
April 13, 2020 11:09 pm

In groups at risk, plasma from those who have recovered can be used. It’s mainly about people whose immune system doesn’t respond to the new virus.

ren
April 13, 2020 11:26 pm

Scientists in Iceland found 40 mutations of the coronavirus among people with the deadly bug in the country — and that seven infections came from people who attended the same soccer match in the UK, according to a report.
https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/iceland-scientists-found-40-mutations-of-the-coronavirus-report-says/
https://www.information.dk/indland/2020/03/forskere-sporet-40-mutationer-coronavirus-alene-paa-island

ren
April 14, 2020 12:25 am

Around the world, I am seeing efforts to support ‘quick-fix’ programmes aimed at developing vaccines and therapeutics against COVID-19. Groups in the United States and China are already planning to test vaccines in healthy human volunteers. Make no mistake, it’s essential that we work as hard and fast as possible to develop drugs and vaccines that are widely available across the world. But it is important not to cut corners.

Vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, smallpox and influenza have a long history of safe use and were developed in line with requirements of regulatory agencies.

I have worked to develop vaccines and treatments for coronaviruses since 2003, when the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak happened. In my view, standard protocols are essential for safeguarding health. Before allowing use of a COVID-19 vaccine in humans, regulators should evaluate safety with a range of virus strains and in more than one animal model. They should also demand strong preclinical evidence that the experimental vaccines prevent infection, even though that will probably mean waiting weeks or even months for the models to become available.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00751-9?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=organic&utm_campaign=NGMT_USG_JC01_GL_Nature&fbclid=IwAR0KTQQI_FfO9RgJrdceKql9xoicHbeDa0VwZz6lNjP24WHuDPp4h4HcaXU