#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.

330 thoughts on “#coronavirus The Chinese-virus lockdowns that have done their job

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

      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.

      • 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.

        • 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.
          https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-d-logistic-fit-spain-1.png

          • 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).”

    • 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

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

        • 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. 😉

        • 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.

          • 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.

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

        • 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)

      • 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  6. 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.

    • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

    • Thanks, interesting.

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

    • 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

      • @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.

        • 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

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

            Cheers

          • 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

  7. 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

    • 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.

      • 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’.

        • 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.

          • 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’

          • 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.’

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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?

        • 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.

  8. 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 ~]

  9. 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?

    • 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.

      • “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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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!

          • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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/

  10. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

  11. 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.

    • 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.

    • “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.

  12. 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?

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    • 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”.

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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.

  19. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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.

        • @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.

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

      • 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.

        • @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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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?

          • 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.

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

  20. 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

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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 …

    • 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.

  23. 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

  24. 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.

    • 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.

      • “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.

  25. 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.

    • 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.

      • “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.

  26. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  27. 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

  28. 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.

    • 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

      • 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?

      • 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

  29. 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”.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  30. 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

    • 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 ….\

      • 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.

  31. “… 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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”.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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

    • 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.

      • 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?

    • 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

      • 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. “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.

    • 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.

      • 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

      • “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.

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

      • 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.”

  37. 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.

    • “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?

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  38. 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 .

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • “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.

    • 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.

    • thank you

      estimated date the study will report results
      March 31, 2022

      not sure if they will release anything earlier

    • 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.

    • 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.

  39. 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.

    • 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.

      • Not just India, but the African countries as well, appear to have a low number of countries. I say “appear”. Who knows?

      • 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.

        • @ 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.

    • 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.

        • 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.

          • ” 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!!

          • 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?

          • “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?

          • 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?

  40. 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.”

  41. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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

    • ren is, as ever, right on target. One should be very careful before introducing any new medication in case it does more harm than good. We don’t want another Thalidomide.

    • The flu vaccine is safe? Since when?

      Nearly all childhood vaccines are linked with serious diseases and death.

    • But will they exercise caution or will they rush a dangerous vaccine to market? They are indemnified from all liability even if they produce a dangerous vaccine. Will you take the risk even if it could k!ill or maim you? It’s the height of folly to take a something to avoid death that ends up k!illing you, but that’s what fear does to people.

  44. In the current situation, you should not count on a quick vaccine. Ask those who have recovered to donate plasma to seriously ill patients. This will allow the economy to start faster.

      • Yes, it is already starting up in Poland. This is a method known for over 100 years. Now, however, the laboratories at blood donation stations are well equipped and are able to separate different blood fractions.

      • I gave 35 liters of blood honorably. Plasma can be separated from blood at the blood donation station. Plasma is sold to pharmaceutical companies.

      • A protein called “interleukin 22” can help regenerate thymus damaged by chemotherapy or radiation. A study in which this protein is used to treat patients who have had a bone marrow transplant rejection is currently in phase II clinical trials. The number of new T lymphocytes after treatment is measured, which will prove whether this protein can be used to improve thymus function.

        The use of another protein called “interleukin 7” in several preclinical studies has shown promising results in promoting immune regeneration, and in clinical trials, increasing the number of T lymphocytes. The direct effect of the protein on thymus in humans must be carefully studied.

        The encouraging results of several clinical studies have shown that the use of human growth hormone supports thymus regeneration.

  45. Denying facts doesn’t lead to anything. You need to focus on the real possibilities of fighting the virus, because this is an opportunity for the economy.

  46. Hypothetically if we had enough n95 masks and the entire USA population was told to wear them as much as possible for 3 weeks, how far would this go to reducing the number of cases ?

    • It would dramatically lower new cases as long as people maintained a sane level of social distancing even while wearing masks.
      This virus spreads like wild fire when people are screaming in close quarters.
      A “Mosh” pit 🙂 is probably the best way to spread this disease. A rock concert, sports event, choir practice, or “close talkers” in a noisy bar are prime spreading environments.
      Sitting on a bus that is half full with everyone in masks would result in a low transmission probability.
      Full with people standing would raise that to a higher probability. But still much lower than the same example without masks.
      Masks are very effective on this bugger. It is small but it requires droplets to spread that are largely filtered out by masks. The most effective side of the equation is on the spreader side. Their ability to broadcast the virus to the surrounding area is greatly reduced. For the non-infected the fact that most of the air they breathe will be filtered will be adequate in most social situations as long as the infected are adequately masked.

  47. “Only 12% of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus”, whereas in public reports “all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.”
    – Italian Professor Walter Ricciardi
    ______________

    And in Sweden , no lock down, – https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/coronavirus-pandemic-for-many-in-sweden-life-goes-on-as-usual/2020/04/06/7402f68e-75bb-11ea-ad9b-254ec99993bc_story.html

    • The UK has recorded over 6000 more death registrations in Week 14 (April 3rd) than is normal for this week in the year. Coincidentally, this is exactly the week we expected an uptick due to the Covid-19 cases so whether or not the deaths are “with” coronavirus rather than “of” it, there has been a significant increase.

    • No lock down, does not mean no closures or rules on social distancing, use of PPE, etc. And most people in Sweden would not say that life goes on as usual. Any commenters from Sweden?

  48. “According to the latest report of the Federal Office of Public Health, the median age of test-positive deceased is now 84 years. The number of hospitalised patients remains constant”

    “A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the „lockdown“, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a „lockdown“.

    “the Swiss magazine Infosperber criticizes the information policy of authorities and the media: „Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign„. Misleading figures and graphics are used to spread at least partly unjustified fear”

    “The Swiss consumer protection magazine Ktipp also criticises the information policy and media reporting: „Authorities provide misleading information„.

    “In an open letter to the Swiss Minister of Health, Swiss doctors speak of a „discrepancy between the threat scenario, which has been fuelled above all by the media, and our reality. The Covid19 cases observed in the general population were few and mostly mild, but „anxiety disorders and panic attacks“ are on the increase in the population and many patients no longer dare to come to important examination appointments. „And this in connection with a virus whose dangerous­ness, according to our perception, exists in Switzerland only in the media and in our heads.“
    Due to the very low patient workload, several clinics in Switzerland and Germany have now had to announce short-time work. The decrease in patients is up to 80%’

    • Why do people keep comparing or highlighting countries with small populations to make a point?

        • Look I can trump your Japan with Singapore.
          If you had done your homework you would know that all the Asian countries that went through the MERS & SARS epidimics were all well prepared for COVID.
          They had Quarantine, Testing, Tracing, plenty of PPE, Masks and Hand Cleaning products.
          The majority of the early Japanese cases were from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who were immediately quarantined.

          They did not allow the virus to spread like Europe and USA, which only leaves various stages of isolation to control the spread to prevent overwhelming Hospitals.
          People keep talking about the COVID mortality numbers, forgetting that there are almost as many dying from normal illnesses due to not being able to get local health care.
          Would you want a broken leg, or a car accident if you were in New York?

          • How did Japan with no lock down prepare?

            or on the cruise ship , Princess Diamond, that had 11 deaths?

          • Diamond Princess now has 12 deaths, 61 active cases with 7 severe.

            Good data from the China experience would also be helpful, though probably will not be forthcoming. How did they avoid major outbreaks outside of Hubei, or did they? What was their thinking to shut down trains and planes from Wuhan to domestic routes, while leaving international routes open?

          • Diamond Princess had Total Lockdown of all passengers in their cabins and still has a 1.5% mortality rate with 7 more in ICU.
            Half of those in ICU probably won’t make it.

            Why didn’t you mention those facts?

        • A C Osborn-

          It was cruising thru the ship for the first week or two before anyone went down. Probably every surface was infected.

      • I think that’s because the small countries have been through a variety of different experiences with the virus. Mainly I suspect because they were all hit by it very suddenly, and were in different stages of preparedness. Contrast San Marino and Andorra with the Faeroe Islands and Iceland, for example.

  49. It’s a start-

    “In a statement, the Federal Association of German Pathologists demands that there must be autopsies of „corona deaths“ (in order to determine the true cause of death) and thus explicitly contradicts „the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute“, which spoke out against autopsies, allegedly because they were too dangerous’

  50. “In the US, the authorities now also recommend that all test-positive deaths and even suspect cases without a positive test result be registered as „Covid deaths“. An American physician and state senator from Minnesota declared that this was tantamount to manipulation. Furthermore, there would be financial incentives for hospitals to declare patients as Covid19 patients’

    • Apparently ventilators can damage lungs and cause death, so maybe death certificate should say “death by ventilator” or even homicide.

  51. AUSTRIA ESTIMATED ~~140,000 TOTAL COVID-19 INFECTIONS 384 DEATHS DEATHS/TOTAL INFECTIONS = ~0.27%

    The study suggested that the estimated number of infections within Austria to be on average around 9 times higher than the recorded number of infections.

    … the number of asymptomatic individuals within the Austrian population is y an order of magnitude higher than are being detected by the targeted SARS-CoV-2 testing.

    Asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 within Austria
    ———————————————
    Two recent studies have investigated the number of unreported
    asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 within Austria. The number of
    undetected cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections is expected to be a multiple
    of the reported figures mainly due to the high ratio of asymptomatic
    infections and to limited testing.

    1. Hirk R, Kastner R, Vana L. Investigating the dark figure of
    COVID-19 cases in Austria: Borrowing from the deCODE Genetics study in
    Iceland. ResearchGate 2020. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.18427.05928;

    ——————————————————————————–
    Using data from testing in Iceland, which offers large scale testing
    among the general population, the researchers investigated the
    magnitude and uncertainty of the number of undetected cases of the
    COVID-19 disease in Austria. The study suggested that the estimated
    number of infections within Austria to be on average around 9 times
    higher than the recorded number of infections (95% confidence range:
    3.76 to 15.55). Such findings support the need for systematic tests in
    the general population in order to fully understand the true
    incidence.

    Abstract
    ——–
    The number of undetected cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections is expected to
    be a multiple of the reported figures mainly due to the high ratio of
    asymptomatic infections and to limited availability of trustworthy
    testing resources. Relying on the deCODE study in Iceland, which
    offers large scale testing among the general population, we
    investigate the magnitude and uncertainty of the number of undetected
    cases of the COVID-19 disease in Austria. We formulate several
    scenarios relying on data on the number of COVID-19 cases which have
    been hospitalized, in intensive care, as well as on the number of
    deaths and positive tests in Iceland and Austria. We employ
    frequentist and Bayesian methods for estimating the dark figure
    [asymptomatic infections] in Austria based on the hypothesized
    scenarios and for accounting for the uncertainty surrounding this
    figure. Our study contains two main findings: First, we find the
    estimated number of infections to be on average around 9 times higher
    than the recorded number of infections. Second, the width of the
    uncertainty bounds associated with this figure depends highly on the
    statistical method employed. At a 95% level, lower bounds range from
    3.76 to 7.09 and upper bounds range from 10.93 to 15.55. Overall, our
    findings confirm the need for systematic tests in the general
    population of Austria.

    2. COVID-19 prevalence in Austria. SORA Institute for Social Research
    and Consulting

    ——————————————————————————–
    In the period 1-6 Apr 2020, 1544 randomly selected individuals from
    across all regions of Austria were sampled and tested for the presence
    of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The study revealed [a prevalence] rate of
    0.32% (95% confidence interval 0.12%-0.76%). This number represents
    the number of infected individuals at the time of sampling and
    calculated up to the whole population would indicate a total number of
    between 10 200 und 67 400 infected individuals circulating at the time
    of sampling (in addition to those infected individuals either in
    hospital or self-isolating at the time of sampling).

    The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Austria stands at 13
    818 as of [12 Apr 2020] (representing all cases reported in Austria
    since early March [2020]) and would seem to confirm that the number of
    asymptomatic individuals within the Austrian population is
    approximately an order of magnitude higher than are being detected by
    the targeted SARS-CoV-2 testing.
    ______________________________

    Country Cases Deaths Recov. Active Serious Cases/M Deaths/M Tests Tests/M
    Austria 14,135 384 7,633 6,118 243 1,569 43 151,796 16,854

    Austria*10: 140,000 Total Cases 384 Deaths Deaths/Total Cases ~= 0.27%

  52. 3 Contrarians Against Lock-downs

    Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology at the Johannes Gutenberg University
    https://youtu.be/JBB9bA-gXL4

    Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, Internist, Pneumologist, Social medicine expert, MD of Hygiene, environmental clinicist and former head of a German Health administration
    https://youtu.be/p_AyuhbnPOI

    Professor Knut Wittkowski, for twenty years head of The Rockefeller University’s Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design
    https://youtu.be/lGC5sGdz4kg

  53. Here’s what I don’t get. So…these lockdowns were supposed to “flatten the curve” and keep the hospitals from overflowing. I get that.

    But now that the infection rate is slowing and the lockdowns are being relaxed, I would expect the infection rate to grow again. I mean, you’re releasing multitudes of people with no immunity into a community with lots and lots of infected people right? If one person in NY spread it to most of the city within a few weeks, why wouldn’t that happen again immediately after the lockdowns are removed?

    If the infection rate doesn’t increase again after the lockdowns are relaxed, the virus isn’t continuing to propagate right? Doesn’t that mean the lockdowns were unecessary to begin with? If the locked down people aren’t going to get it now, why would they have gotten it before?

    • You present a lot of great questions. People are still going to social distance and use PPE and better hygiene practices, which they weren’t using before at least to the same degree. So, there are many variables that are at play and with novel viruses we can’t know what behavior they will exhibit precisely.

    • People have already learned how to avoid infection. Where the number of deaths remains high, they will definitely be cautious.

  54. Here in Alberta, the Covid-19 lock-down has resulted a debacle.

    Most of our deaths are in nursing homes – our policy seems to be “Lockdown the low-risk majority but fail to adequately protect the most vulnerable.”

    Doctors are apparently reluctant to prescribe Chloroquine because of inadequate formal clinical tests, but actual clinical experience elsewhere suggests a high degree of success. “Let’s wait until we get formal studies!”

    The global data for Covid-19 suggests that deaths/infections will total 0.5% or less – not that scary – but much higher and clearly dangerous for the high-risk group – those over-65 or with serious existing health problems.

    “Elective” surgeries were cancelled about mid-March, in order to make space available for the “tsunami” of Covid-19 cases that never happened. Operating rooms are empty and medical facilities and medical teams are severely underutilized. The backlog of surgeries will only be cleared with extraordinary effort by medical teams, and the cooperation of patients who die awaiting surgery – patients who were too impatient to wait.

    This may look like 20:20 hindsight, but I called it this way in ~mid-March.

    Regards, Allan

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/10/but-is-the-growth-of-the-pandemic-really-exponential/#comment-2964810
    [excerpt}

    BAD CALL – END THE LOCKDOWNS ASAP.

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

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

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

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

    Regards, Allan

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

    Hi Willis,

    I posted the following yesterday on wattsup – similar ideas.

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

  55. “A serological study in the US state of Colorado comes to the preliminary conclusion that the lethality of Covid19 has been overestimated by a factor of 5 to a factor of 20 and is likely to be in the range between normal and pandemic influenza’

  56. “A study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna concluded that the age and risk profile of Covid19 deaths is similar to normal mortality’

  57. “The Norwegian Medical Association writes in an open letter to the Minister of Health that they are concerned that the measures taken could be more dangerous than the virus, as normal patients are no longer being examined and treated’

  58. “A Covid19 field hospital near Seattle in Washington State was closed after only three days without admitting any patients. This is reminiscent of the hospitals built at short notice near Wuhan, which were also mostly under-utilized or even empty and were then dismantled after a short time”

    • It’s also dangerous for the welfare of the doctors, who may lose regular visitors who need no actual care but want a bunch of exams.

  59. “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“.
    The third article deals with the question of mass testing. The conclusion of Professor Vernazza: „Anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory disease stays at home. The same applies to the flu. There is no added value in testing.“
    The fourth article deals with the Covid19 risk groups. According to current knowledge, these include people with high blood pressure – it is suspected that the Covid19 virus uses cell receptors that are also responsible for regulating blood pressure. However, surprisingly, people with immunodeficiency and pregnant women (who naturally have a reduced immune system) are not at risk. On the contrary, the risk of Covid19 is often an overreaction of the immune system’

  60. Now we begin to see in Britain some say possibly the worst numbers of Covid 19 deaths in Europe; so what all the fuss has been about.

    From the British Office of National Statistics, for the week ending 03 April, deaths from all causes were 16,387. That is 6,000 above the five year average for that particular week.

    To put that in perspective, 15,000 died in week 2 of 2018 and 14,000 in week 2 of 2020

    Added to which, 17 out of the last 18 weeks of 2019 had been above the five year average but, before the week ending 03 April 2020, all deaths for 2020 were cumulatively about 4,000 below the five year average.

    The distribution of deaths by age groups appears to be pretty much plumb normal.

    UK Covid 19 deaths apparently started decreasing by 11 April.

    If England has, as some have suggested, been the worst affected country in Europe, deaths for 2020 now running at perhaps 1% or so above the five year average for the year so far, am I the only one thinking that we, that is, the entire continent of Europe (with the honourable exception of Sweden), may have indulged ourselves in a complete overreaction not far away from what Corporal Jones might well have regarded as abject panic?

    Apparently not:

    ‘Personally, I would say the best advice is to spend less time watching TV news which is sensational and not very good. Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. In this case we have had 8000 deaths this last year in the ‘at risk’ groups viz over 65s people with heart disease etc. I do not feel this current Covid will exceed this number. We are suffering from a media epidemic!’

    Professor John Oxford, Queen Mary University London, one of the world’s leading virologists and influenza specialists

  61. the record keeping of certain governments is abysmal.

    In 1786 Korea was hit by what is presumed to be a measles outbreak.

    King Yi San ( Jeongjo) cemented his reputation as a benevolent Confucian leader by
    donating his own royal medicine to the poor. He also relied on citizen science
    by requesting the people share their home remedies with the health officials.
    He is a fascinating historical character, the only son
    of prince Sado who died after being locked in a rice box for 8 days by his father.

    A short history is here. Amazing how quickly he set up a response to the outbreak in under 6 days.

    https://journals.openedition.org/extremeorient/333

    As for record keeping:

    “Following King Jeongjo’s order that reports were to be submitted every
    5 days, reports on the number of patients and those treated and the provision
    of medicine were submitted up to 13 times. Thanks to such reports, specific
    statistics on the number of patients are available.
    Total number of cases examined and treated: 6,689 cases (Palace Medical
    bureau 2,232, Public Dispensary 4,457). Outpatients: 93.3%, doctors’home
    visits: 6.7%
    Total number of hongyeok patients: 8,174 individuals (male children –
    4,766 (58.3%), female children – 2,714 (33.2%), male adults – 349 (4.3%),
    female adults – 345 (4.2%)
    Hongyeok peaked between the day 27 of the fourth month and day 2 of
    the fifth month, immediately after the first reports. It decreased considerably
    by day 19 of the sixth month, and then decreased gradually, to be eradicated
    around day 29 of the sixth month. In addition, as befits a pediatric infectious
    disease, most of those diagnosed as having the disease were children. However,
    there were no statistics on the number of deaths.
    It is possible also to confirm the provision of medicines: 5,363 prescriptions
    were provided, 7,781 packages of medicine, 4,547 ansinhwan pills, and 825 ox
    bezoar unguent pills were distributed. Ansinhwan and ox bezoar unguents were
    among the very costly medicines bestowed on officials and female attendants close to the king on year-end sacrificial rite days and their provision to the
    populace during times of infectious diseases was unprecedented. Initially,
    medical officials at the two medical offices tried to avoid dispensing this
    medication, but the medicine was provided as instructed after admonitions by
    King Jeongjo, who completed this unprecedented project, making use of his
    own personal wealth.”

    A few years back there was a fantastic 70 episode nightly drama about the king.

    the epidemic is in episode 50.

    https://youtu.be/xqVYeSKMoy8?t=67

    • Still struggling with this, I see.

      The UK had only a few hundred deaths by March 26th nd most of those wouldn’t have been registered anyway.

      • hmm, do you think it will be as high as 2017/18?

        Remember Oxford Uni think half the country have already had the virus.

  62. Dear Christopher,

    Grow a pair. It’s just a virus. Stop lecturing us on education. Grtz. An angry mom, dependent on public transport, kids as well. Oh well I should stay away here.

  63. We need much better information on how coronavirus is transmitted, with good studies.

    how airborne is it really?

    Do people get it in high-rise buildings in which filtration systems aren’t updated? or is it from the elevator buttons.

    Is it more of being in a room with someone breathing on you?

    Is the sneeze the end all?

    Is it more load based. Ie; what about if you just walk past someone that sneezes?

    Understanding these ?s and similar ones will allow us to do a much better job at reducing the spread.

  64. May be a dumb question – but can you test for Covid 19 or is it a blanket test for corona viruses ?

    Thanks

  65. The Covid-19 data for the UK (or England!) has now been transferred to https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

    At least you can see the “weekend” data effect, as deaths creep-up now the weekend/holiday are over…although, being a govt site, you should take it with a shovel of salt..

  66. The Health Service Journal states today, for info:

    ’19 patients were at the London Nightingale over the Bank Holiday.

    South West London had the most spare capacity, with 67% of ICU beds occupied on Sunday. At Croydon Health Services Trust, just 46% of the 37 intensive care beds were occupied.

    North London had the least spare capacity, with 204 beds (86%) occupied.

    There were two trusts with more than 90% occupancy:

    Imperial College Healthcare Trust (95%) and University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust (91%).’

    NHS ICUs routinely operate at around 90% occupancy (Dr Tim Cook, The Guardian)

  67. Macron, last night, announced France gets another full month of total confinement, no easing.

    That is criminally stupid. You can not shut a country down for 2mo and think you will come out the other side. Neighbouring Italy, Spain and Austria are all easing out and trying to get moving again.

    However, one thing he did slip into his announcement , which seems to have been overlooked is he authorised doctors to prescribe hydrocholorquine for COVID. He also put Pr. Raoult in charge of defining the protocol for its use ! That latter step is key since many “studies” have done exactly the opposite of what he suggests in what looks like a determined effort to ensure it is NOT effective.

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