Business continuity and the Chinese virus #coronavirus

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Early in 2001, an international corporation’s chief financial officer conducted a business-continuity appraisal of the entire business. All insurances were reviewed and brought up to date. The pension fund was audited to make sure it could meet its obligations. Health, safety and business-risk assessments of every kind were conducted.

The United States headquarters of the corporation were in a prominent New York skyscraper. The cautious finance officer decided that if one of the many totalitarian regimes worldwide that hate democracy and, therefore, have a particular loathing for the United States were to mount a terrorist attack, the building might be vulnerable. At some cost, he turned in the lease and, notwithstanding some grumbling from the board, moved the entire operation to somewhere less prominent.

The building was No. 1, World Trade Center.

The CFO was my brother-in-law, which is how I know the story. As far as I know, it has not been published before. For confidentiality, I shall not name the corporation, but you have heard of it.

Protecting any business, or any nation, from foreseeable but apparently not immediate risk always comes at a price. The arcane art of business continuity appraisal is to decide which risks are so potentially damaging to the corporation that they must be prepared for regardless of cost. The CFO’s assessment was that the corporation might not recover if it lost its entire United States headquarters staff. So he paid the cost and was proven right to have done so.

For various reasons, China is the source of most of the world’s recent pandemics. Therefore, countries in the region, such as Taiwan and South Korea, have taken elaborate business-continuity steps to make sure that if yet another Chinese pandemic was loosed upon the world they would be able to prevent the loss of life and colossal economic damage that would occur if they were not prepared.

South Korea established the gold-standard procedure: test as widely as possible, isolate all carriers, and vigorously trace all their contacts. The contact-tracing is done not only by making intensive use of cellphone data but also by recruiting an army of volunteer contact-tracers and setting them to work.

The ruling Democratic Party in Seoul has now reaped its just reward for its foresight and competence. In a general election with a record 66% turnout, with all voters wearing masks, keeping well apart from one another and being temperature-tested as they approached the polling stations, the party has won the largest majority ever to be achieved by any party since democratic elections were first introduced on the current model in 1987, a third of a century ago.

Most other nations, and in particular just about all Western nations, were nothing like so well prepared. They failed to realize that the Chinese Communist regime was lying about every aspect of the pandemic; they failed to notice that the World Health Organization, dominated by Communists, was repeating the Chinese lies rather than questioning them; their pandemic-response teams had failed to ensure that they could cope with population-wide testing, isolation of carriers and contact-tracing; and, when they had missed that bus, some of them dithered for weeks before imposing lockdowns, apparently unaware that not merely days but hours count if one wants to minimize the cost of a pandemic, in lives and in treasure.

At what point can lockdowns be lifted? As a rule of thumb, one should not lift a lockdown until the mean compound daily case-growth rate has fallen below 5% (and even that rate, if it were persisted in, would double the number of cases every two weeks).

In today’s graphs, Ireland stands out as going very much in the wrong direction: case growth is accelerating and, averaged over the past week, is now just below 11% a day. At that rate, new cases will double every week: and, since confirmed cases tend to be the more serious cases, deaths will eventually grow that rapidly too.

In many nations, business-continuity specialists are beginning to ask an important question: can the world afford not to sweep away the totalitarian regime in Peking and its poodles in international bodies such as the WHO?

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Fig. 1. Mean compound daily growth rates in cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 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 15, 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 cumulative 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 15, 2020.

High-resolution images of the two graphs are here.

316 thoughts on “Business continuity and the Chinese virus #coronavirus

      • I just wish he would right down what he has to say, so I can scan it in 2 minutes to see where it of interest. I don’t intent to spend an over half an hour listening to him droning on endlessly and never getting to the point.

        • YouTube will do that on any video with closed captions, including this one.
          – open the video on YouTube
          – Click the ellipsis below the video picture, the right of like, dislike, save.
          – Choose open transcript

          • Thanks Bob, but I don’t want a transcript of his interminable blathering. What I want is the crux of any information he has to offer.

            I suspect that does not amount to more than a page of double spaced typing.

            I sat through about 3/4 of another of his posts and it was the same monotonic, pedantic waffle and I gave up hope he was actually going to say anything of importance.

            It’s like you just dropped in for a chat with some lonely old git and he won’t let you get out the door.

    • Vuk are you adding and subtracting deaths like the official ones are or just recording them at a point of time? I see the UK official figures are moving up and down based on review of death certificate data.

      I see New York numbers went down 145 yesterday after review.

      • In response to LdB, a review by the Office for National Statistics in the UK shows that, in the week to April 3, deaths involving the Chinese virus were under-reported by 50% in the Government’s daily briefings. There were two reasons: the Government’s figures counted only deaths in hospitals, and excluded deaths in care homes and in the community generally, and the ONS figures are adjusted to allow for date of actual death rather than date of reporting.

        • So were all previous data corrected retrospectively ? NO.
          Are the deaths in care homes attributed COVID-19 related by testing ( posthumously when not already done ) ? NO. “Presumed” is good enough.

          Now while we should have an honest total of the number of deaths, and not engage in hide and seek statistics like we do with unemployment figures, all they have done here is to render the entire record even more useless than it was already for any serious analysis.

          You must have a consistently derived and recorded dataset, otherwise you have no idea where you have been and no idea where you are going. How can anyone manage a crisis without at least one stable metric of the problem? That can’t be done. UK data was already an anarchic mess, this renders it totally useless.

          I wouldn’t doubt that there is a similar jump in Irish figures for similar reasons.

          So it is the just more gross incompetence : quite probably.
          Does it help maintain the “growth” and “hide the decline” thus justifying continued confinement: certainly.

          At what point can lockdowns be lifted? As a rule of thumb, one should not lift a lockdown until the mean compound daily case-growth rate has fallen below 5% (and even that rate, if it were persisted in, would double the number of cases every two weeks).

          So after claiming it needs to go negative ( later corrected when I pointed out the blunder ) then “near to zero” which I also pointed out was wrong, our nodding Homer now decides on the arbitrary threshold of 5% without the slightest indication of what it is based on or where it comes from. I could have a guess but this is not a discussion about anatomy.

          In case there is anyone who has still not realised at this point, this must the final proof that CofB has absolutely no idea of what he is talking about. It probably would be best if he just quietly went away and stopped bothering us with his ineptly conceived “metric”.

          The number of new daily cases will not continue to decrease even if confinement is maintained since we are not truly over the peak, we have simply extended our mortgage repayment scheme. Italy while having succeeded in taking the pressure off their hospitals are already drifting back to constant daily new cases and were destined to return to more gentle increase even if they had not relaxed confinement. That is the new trajectory to the new and distance peak COVID.
          https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/2019-ncov-d-logistic-fit-italy-1.png

          That is already happening. There is now a danger that when this becomes apparent it will be falsely attributed to relaxation ( which can be expected to act in the same sense ).

          No doubt CofB will be back at that point with another graph and claims there we need to accept permanent confinement of the serfs, with limited exceptions to go out and work. With a helpful rider like “get over it”.

          • No doubt he got the 5% “mean compound daily case-growth rate” from the mythical “process engineer” he gets all his feedback-theory information from.

            Incidentally, Bjorn Lomborg raised the point that if you take only ultimate total infections into account there’s theoretically an optimum level of restriction: more or less will end up with more infections when the disease returns: https://twitter.com/JosephHBorn/status/1250893305124130820?s=20

            Can’t say I’m sure how you implement that in practice, but it’s an interesting theoretical point.

          • Now while we should have an honest total of the number of deaths,

            Ok, Greg. Will this do?

            The ‘normal’ number of deaths for week 14 (w/e April 3rd) is around 10k. This year it was ~16k. The uptick above the background trend is is mirrored by the Covid-positive hospital deaths.

            Your concern about the accuracy of figures is BS. They are good enough to detect a significant effect. They are certainly not masking a decline in numbers.

          • Yes Joe, the relationship to confinement is not a linear straight line. Both ends are bad news.

            John. I’m not saying figures are under or over, I’m saying they are a mess. Not only a totally dis-coordinated piecemeal mess but now an intentionally discontinuous mess.

            If new cases or deaths are staring to plateau and presumably about peak and turn over then you dump in new data from a previously unaccounted source you will extend the *apparent* growth and “hide the decline”. Your snippet of one week says nothing about that.

          • If new cases or deaths are staring to plateau and presumably about peak and turn over then you dump in new data from a previously unaccounted source you will extend the *apparent* growth and “hide the decline”.

            That’s why they are keeping hospital tested deaths and community/Care home deaths separate – despite pressure from the media.

            This gives them a consistent (and immediately current) dataset on which to base policy.

          • Should death rates be reported per longitude?
            Here’s some interesting data though yesterday for countries/states with significant land area north of the 60th parallel:

            Reported Deaths per M population:

            Greenland: 0
            Russia: 2
            Alaska: 12
            Finland: 14
            Iceland: 23
            Norway: 28
            Canada: 32
            Sweden: 132

            To me, this anecdotal data suggests one of two things:
            Lock downs work at reducing deaths or
            Lock downs may not be net-beneficial for northern-tier countries/states.

          • Correction to my post of April 17, 2020 at 7:41 am

            Replace “longitude” w/ “latitude” – oops!

          • Farmer Ch E “To me, this anecdotal data suggests one of two things:”

            Two possibly explanatory variables: pop. density in cold countries
            You don’t need to tell people to stay at home, they already do especially in March, April.
            Also hot mediterranean countries are often strongly Catholic and have different family/social habits. Spainish and Italians are voluble, effervescent and noisy. Lots of “aerosols” and handwaving going around.

          • That’s why they are keeping hospital tested deaths and community/Care home deaths separate – despite pressure from the media.

            Thanks for that John, that was not the impression I had. I’ll have to check it out. That is certainly the right way to deal with this.

            The media seem to regard this as some kind of click-bait bidding game, I can see why they are not happy.

    • Stanfor researchers finally did a bloodtest of antibodies and foud that 50 to 80 times as many as positive tests actually had suffered a covid 19 infection.
      Since there is such a big pool of positive cases, the whole pandemic could be an illusion based on anxiety. Media makes anxiety for covid rise at the same time as testing proficiency rises. People have to be sufficiently worried to want to be tested. This fear can easily rise exponentially. And since there is at least 50 times as many infected as confirmed tests, there is no shortage of test positive individuals in a cross section of worried persons. After a while the pool of worried people is exhausted, positive tests flatten and this makes the fear in the population lower. Fewer are motivated to be tested and there is an exponential decline in cases.

      • Klem, as usual, fails to take account of both sides of the story. Germany has a far smaller death count as a fraction of confirmed cases than other severely-affected European countries, where, according to the European mortality monitoring agency, excess deaths are already well above those in a normal year for flu, and the agency attributes the additional mortality chiefly to the Chinese virus.

        Besides, as Klem has been told before, at the current rates of increase in deaths involving the Chinese virus, it is not yet appropriate to make comparisons between this year and an average year. Even those countries whose daily compound increase in deaths is only 5% – and many are well above that – the number of deaths involving the Chinese virus will double every two weeks.

        Unfortunately, it is not yet clear that this particular infection will lessen as warmer, drier weather arrives. Therefore, again unfortunately, the loss of life involving this infection will continue to grow. In more and more countries, this will by no means be a normal flu year as far as excess mortality is concerned.

        • Just a thought. The UK has had warmer and drier weather now for nearly a month. Is the weather a red herring and is it because we Brits tend to stay indoors in the normal flu-season weather and start to move around outside when the weather gets better, thereby reducing the probability of transmission. Would moving around outside with proper social distancing and a limit on the number of people in a gathering, whilst isolating those most at risk, have produced the same reduction in transmission (R=DOTS, with T=probability of transmission, when T=0, R=0) ? With less of a social and economic impact. Tin hat on…

        • “Klem, as usual, fails to take account of both sides of the story.”
          Christopher….why not just state your reply without the unnecessary insult? It is such a waste of intellectual space.

        • Could anybody find out which countries reward hospitals or regions with extra money based on how many covid cases or deaths they have.This kind of reward system could increase reporting or testing motivation very much. Since Stanford researchers showed that we have 50 to 80 times the number of covid positive persons as those who test positive, there is plenty of money to be made for motivated testers.

  1. US stocks and broad market indices are rocketing higher in after hours trading following reports from several hospitals of high success rates and rapid recovery in vast majority of severely ill patients getting experimental drug:
    “Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences’ antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week, STAT has learned.”

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/16/early-peek-at-data-on-gilead-coronavirus-drug-suggests-patients-are-responding-to-treatment/

          • I did not say that is what he said, so what?
            Greta thinks we should all become hunter gatherers.
            But luckily she is not in charge of that.

          • “How can you say, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while you yourself fail to see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

      • And they have said that it is physically impossible to “crank it out”.
        They report moving Heaven and Earth to reduced the manufacturing process from a full year to six months.
        They also report that the there only exists capacity and raw materials to make enough for a million ten day courses of treatment by the end of the year.
        This report and others I posted on another thread a short time ago are anecdotal, but they seem to be quite compelling.
        What it amounts to at this point is that every report is encouraging.
        I am not aware of any news that would cast doubt on this drug being broadly helpful.
        Normally two years would be a reasonable expectation from a optimistic point of view.
        I would be surprised if any treatment would be delayed that long if it is shown to make it possible to favorably alter the outlook for patients in a significant way.
        There is simply far more at stake than is typical.

        In my view, once any treatment is approved, it can form the basis of combinations of drugs, which is what it will likely take to approach the status of a “cure”.

        For many years, few companies have had much interest in antivirals or vaccines, since good results are few and far between, the process takes a very long time, for antivirals a limited market exists, and for vaccines a limited potential possibility for profits has been the prevalent view.
        A global shutdown seems to have altered that calculus.

          • I posted this yesterday on another thread.
            It is just some basic research of a general nature, not a clinical trial.

            Just published a few days ago apparently:
            “Remdesivir is a direct-acting antiviral that inhibits RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 with high potency”
            ” Incorporation of RDV-TP at position i caused termination of RNA synthesis at position i+3. We obtained almost identical results with SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 RdRps. A unique property of RDV-TP is its high selectivity over incorporation of its natural nucleotide counterpart ATP. In this regard, the triphosphate forms of 2’-C–methylated compounds, including sofosbuvir, approved for the management of hepatitis C virus infection, and the broad-acting antivirals favipiravir and ribavirin, exhibited significant deficits. Furthermore, we provide evidence for the target specificity of RDV, as RDV-TP was less efficiently incorporated by the distantly related Lassa virus RdRp, and termination of RNA synthesis was not observed. These results collectively provide a unifying, refined mechanism of RDV-mediated RNA synthesis inhibition in coronaviruses and define this nucleotide analogue as a direct-acting antiviral (DAA).”

            https://www.jbc.org/content/early/2020/04/13/jbc.RA120.013679.abstract

          • I totally agree.

            And the whole point of public discussion, is to enable the natural microbiological solution win.

            Facts are facts. Logic is logic.

            Remdesivir has never been used on humans before. Its side effects are unknown.

            And more importantly there is a better microbiological solution.

            It is almost a perfect solution, when the dosages have been optimized.

            It has been shown that a micro amount of Zinc in our cells stops the family of corona viruses from connecting to the ACE-2 molecule and replicating.

            It is safer as the in vitro tests have shown:

            That the chemical Chloroquine (which has been used for decades as an anti malaria drug and for other applications) is only required to get the Zinc into our cells and only a tiny amount of zinc is required in the cell to stop the virus from replicating.

            Based on the in vitro tests, the dosage for Chloroquine is low, only 10 mg/day (one third of the 30 mg/day dosage to protect against malaria) and the dosage for the Zinc supplements is also 15 mg/day (same as is currently used in a multivitamin Bayer)

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2973827/

            Zn 2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture

            The reason the Zinc supplement is required is a significant portion of the population is Zinc deficient (plant eaters and the elderly) so they do not have free Zinc in their blood.

            Chloroquine Is a Zinc Ionophore
            Jing Xue1,2, Amanda Moyer1 , Bing Peng1,3, Jinchang Wu2 , Bethany N. Hannafon1 , Wei-Qun Ding1 * 1 Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America, 2 Department of Radio-Oncology, Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Suzhou Hospital, Suzhou, China, 3 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, China

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4182877/pdf/pone.0109180.pdf

            https://www.drugs.com/history/remdesivir.html

          • A look at tables of oxidative potential reveals why the idea zinc has high antimicrobial activity is wrong.
            It is close to teh weakest of metals in terms of oxidative potential.
            This is why it is used as a sacrificial anode, why it is used as the coating to make galvanized metal.
            Zinc is critical for the immune system, but it is not for the same reason as copper and some other metals make excellent antimicrobial touch surfaces.
            No one has ever shown zinc is viricidal.
            I can tell everyone reading this that an awful lot of people are making erroneous assertions and representing them as factual without reservation.
            There is no faster way to destroy ones credibility.
            Climate scientists get away with it, but people making claims in this area will not be so lucky…for one thing because of the time frame.
            And for another because no one is going to let people go around making statements that have no factual support when it is a matter of of public health or the practice of medicine.
            This is why their is a special name for people who push fake cures and nostrums.
            People are simply not going to put up with it for long.
            Does anyone think there will be great sympathy for people who made oud assurances about “cures” and safety when the assertions are shown to be wrong, and it is a matter of simple arithmetic to count up the number of dead as a result?

          • Clarification: Viricidal to these viruses at those concentrations.
            Nor have the zinc ionophore studies shown that cytosolic zinc is increased. The increases is in lysosomes.
            Which have nothing to do with how these viruses operate.
            I am still waiting for anyone to show any research that demonstrates HCQ is a zinc ionophore.

          • I see, that’s why Nicholas is jumping to heaven in case of Remfesivir and is extremly strong in the case of HCQ.
            One Newspaper articel makes him happy, for HCQ he searches one by one the poor number of critical studies.

          • The key with any drug is really when to put a person on it. It is risk balance. There is risk of waiting too long to prescribe, in that so much damage from disease kills the person or drug doesn’t work well because prescribed too late. There is also risk of giving drug too early if it causes side effects. Seems to me based on morality, if the person is older then drug should be given early as the older patients are more likely to become overwhelmed by disease and die. With the younger patients probably can wait longer.

            It would be great to have some type of guidelines for doctors to follow for best results and set up logistics to delivery drug quickly to hospitals that need it.

            Odd thing is that with limited supply of drug to save the most patients you would want to only prescribe to those that look like they will need it. To do this you have to look at risk factors of age, hypertension, obesity, asthma, heart issues, kidney issues etc.

            I see only 1400 patients treated with the drug which suggests that many of the deaths so far could have been prevented with more use of the drug.

          • Regarding HQC I have only seen one study with a control that prescribed for mild cases. The study showed it worked. Am waiting for more studies in HQC if given early. Hopefully it works.

          • John,
            The biospace article is not very insightful.
            The compassionate use patients were all people who were not expected to survive and for whom there was no other treatment option.
            There was no safety signal noted in the case of any of those people, and none of the serious adverse events were attributable to remdesivir.
            It is important when parsing such information to read every single word of what is said and to look at all of the available information.
            From all sources.
            As I said, I am quite sure many people will utterly fail to comprehend anything I say, and have no thought but that I have no idea what I am talking about and am some sort of shill for one treatment and wish to steal away a cure from others.
            As the biospace article and many here show…you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
            It appears to me that Mark Terry barely read even the opening paragraph.
            In fact he may have simply read what someone else had to say, judging by his lack of attention to what I regard as the most critical details of the patients and the specific adverse events and who had them.
            Is he assuming that people who were on deaths door who got Remdesivir and had a subsequent adverse event had those harms caused by the drug?
            Is anyone who reads his words thinking that? His terse language may even imply to many thoughts he did not express:

            “That being said, about 25% of patients receiving it have severe side effects, including multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome, septic shock, acute kidney injury and low blood pressure. Another 23% demonstrated evidence of liver damage on lab tests.”

            He did not specify that it was 25% (I have not checked those numbers, or determined how many had the “severe” side effect of “low blood pressure”…decidedly less severe than septic shock and multiple organ failure. In fact low blood pressure is a hallmark of shock and pneumonia and cytokine storm and incipient death…but it can also be caused by dysregulation of insulin, etc. Many of these people were diabetic, which is overrepresented in people who get a bad spin on the COVID-19 wheel of fortune) of THESE PATIENTS, not anyone who has gotten the drug.
            He said they have these things, not that the drug is thought to have caused them.
            This is discussed in the NEJM article, but not mentioned, and in fact were ignored outright, by this author.

            Here is a link to a comment series in which I went through some of the details contained in the NEJM article.
            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/11/of-quinine-and-chloroquine/#comment-2964726

        • Gilead can multiply it’s output by licensing it’s remdesivir-making process, for a fee, to other pharmaceutical companies.

    • Half of that insider share trading was no doubt buying Gilead stock.

      Antivirals like remdesivir mess with chromatin and carry a potential risk of genetic defects in unborn children.

        • Gans
          It appears that you do not understand that without the potential to make money, there is no incentive to produce such new drugs. It is a very expensive endeavor, with many dead ends, to produce new medicines. Yes, some drugs may no longer be patented; however, even if they exist, they may not be the optimal treatment. You can always take two aspirin, and call back in the morning if you aren’t feeling better.

          • There you misundetstood my comment.
            I know very well, how expensiv medical research is and often misleading, I worked for two 😀
            But I see too, that certain commentors here and elsewhere try to discredit the one, why ever, in favour to other, without even having read one study.

          • Common, aspirin?
            No body interested there, far too cheap… beside people already know about the
            “severe” side effect of aspirin…
            regardless that aspirin at certain conditions can soften the side effect of antibiotics.

            cheers

      • Read a report that it increases liver enzymes which usually is bad news, but if on death’s doorstep that doesn’t matter so much.

        • So does the gin and tonic a lot of people have said they have been gulping down for the quinine.
          Paracetamol (Tylenol) does that too.
          It is only bad news if it persists and is a huge increase.
          People with hep C have enormously elevated liver enzymes, and many have the infection for about 20 years before liver damage becomes anything close to dangerous.
          Even then, getting rid of the virus causes a rapid and complete normalization of the enzymes, usually by about the first or second week of a 12 week course of treatment.

        • The good news is, it seems very unlikely anyone will be forced to take anything they do not want to take.

          • I never was good at philosophy.
            But I do know good news is boring, and is like beauty.
            Pontius Pilot is said to have asked “What is truth?”

            If you really want an answer, ask some people who just walked out of a hospital.
            But maybe there are none to be found.
            Maybe it is all another lie.
            Maybe.

      • You figure insiders were waiting for a news leak to send the stock market and various stocks shooting up, to buy?
        The entire S&P 500 just went up something like 4%. Somewhat less in the Nasdaq.
        You figure some insiders are the only ones buying on news like this, and they are able to send the entire stock market up like this?

        You know what I think?
        I think you sound like a warmista when a report of growing ice in the Arctic comes out, or some terrible disaster they predicted failed to come true.
        It is pretty funny, really.

        • People that work for publicly traded companies have to file in advance if they are going to but or sell shares.
          Trading on insider information is very rare and stupid for people that work for a company, because it would be nearly impossible for them to escape scrutiny.
          As for trading on insider information in general…mostly people do it AHEAD of news being released to the public.
          After all, once information is public, it is not insider information anymore.
          But no one needed insider information to see this coming…I told everyone last weekend what was going to happen, and I knew just by reading a report in the NEJM.
          I am not sure a single person believed I knew what I was talking about.
          I am certain even now, many people are going to put their fingers in their ears and scream LALALALALALALALALALALALALA, figuratively speaking.
          Such is the nature of insight and information…and cognitive dissonance.

        • https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/gilead-shares-slip-as-a-second-remdesivir-covid-19-trial-halted-china
          After having to halt enrollment in its severe COVID-19 trial due to a lack of patients, a second test of Gilead’s old Ebola drug remdesivir has befallen the same fate, this time in patients with a milder form of the disease.
          In an update via ClinicalTrials.gov posted today, the Gilead trial, being undertaken in China, is now registered as “Suspended (The epidemic of COVID-19 has been controlled well at present, no eligible patients can be recruited.”
          Shares in the Big Biotech were down around 3% Wednesday morning on the news.

          https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/gilead-clinical-data-hint-at-efficacy-remdesivir-covid-19
          Gilead Sciences has posted data on 53 severe COVID-19 patients who received remdesivir on a compassionate use basis. More than two-thirds of the patients improved after receiving remdesivir, although the lack of a control arm makes it hard to tell what role the antiviral played in their recoveries.
          Remdesivir, a nucleotide analogue prodrug originally tested in Ebola patients, has emerged as one of the top near-term hopes of improving outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Responding to the dire need, Gilead has made remdesivir available to more than 1,700 people on a compassionate use basis while also providing it to subjects in its own clinical trials and those run by other sponsors.

    • Isn’t that the drug for which Bill Gates owns the patent?

      Coincidence?

      I personally believer there are no coincidences!

      • RR,
        The answer to your question is categorically no.
        I have seen no evidence that Bill Gates owns a single share of Gilead, or has talked about the drug.

        The fact that your first question is 100% factually devoid of truth makes the rest of what you say even more inane and just plain dumb.
        Who the hell cares who owns a patent?
        Does that have some bearing on whether it works or if you will take it if you need it?
        And how is it a coincidence, even if true?

        Is it a coincidence that dumb people say things that are wrong, and you just said something wrong?
        By your own logic, you do not believe you have a brain in your head.

          • “Not that Gates has the patent, but the money via his foundation.”

            What?
            What money?
            This drug was invented years ago.
            Gilead is spending billions to make it and test it.
            They began to do so in January.

            Billions of dollars, from Gilead.

            How much is Gates foundation spending on this general effort which mentions no specific treatment?
            Does not say, but it does say that Gates Foundation, Mastercard, and Wellcome are pledging $125 million.
            A pittance relative to biotech research and costs.
            And that is between the three of them, and applies apparently to a collaboration between a dozen of more huge companies with markets caps combined into the trillions of dollars.

            You are nuts.
            This is a conference he reportedly called that was attended by people from some major companies in the space.
            This has nothing to do with patents, specific drugs, treatments, or anything else.
            What it sounds like to me is, Gates is making these companies promise to give away their money and time and products and research, and they have volunteered to do so.

            How on Earth anyone could jump from this to Gates having anything to do with the drugs owned by Gilead, patents therein, or any participation in the funding which led to a drug development which occurred a decade ago.
            Please explain what on Earth you are talking about.

    • Contrast the price of remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine. Which one would the pharmaceutical companies prefer to test and support because of the profits?

      • Michael
        Do you remember the story about killing the goose that laid the golden eggs? If companies can’t make money developing new drugs, they will go out of business and quit research and development. Then, everyone will have to rely on whatever exists at the time. We can then treat everything with aspirin and HCQ.

      • For most of the companies hydroxychloroquine the patents lapsed years ago and they don’t have access to the remdesivir patent.

        • “For most of the companies hydroxychloroquine the patents lapsed years ago and they don’t have access to the remdesivir patent.”

          Lots of large companies make it.
          Since when do patents lapse for different companies at different time?
          Patents lapse based on when the patent was granted, and generally is specific to a patent and a country and the laws therein, and is not a company by company thing.
          Patent holders can license their IP.
          But when a patent expires, the patented thing is no longer under patent.

          Gilead is noted for a long history of licensing it’s drugs around the world.
          You make good comments, and I am trying to understand what you are saying.
          Are there companies that want to make it and have the ability to do so but are being denied a license to add to the supply?
          “Response to Médecins Sans Frontières”
          “We have a long legacy of making our medicines broadly available – today, an estimated 13 million people
          living with HIV in low-income countries are taking a Gilead-based regimen. This was made possible
          through our partnerships with low-cost manufacturing partners. We granted the first voluntary licenses for
          our HIV medications in 2006 and, in 2011, we were the first biopharmaceutical company to donate to the
          Medicines Patent Pool. Over the years, we have worked with our manufacturing partners to provide not
          only a license, but also the technology transfer and support to scale production. Our focus on providing
          access to medicines to people around the world has been unwavering. While the circumstances are different,
          it is this legacy that offers us insight into how we can provide remdesivir, should it receive regulatory
          authorization, during this pandemic.”
          ” We made the decision to invest and scale up manufacturing because we felt it was critical to
          be ready – even as we continued and still continue to navigate a number of unknowns, including how long
          the outbreak might last and whether remdesivir will ultimately be proven safe and effective. From the outset
          it has been clear to us that this is not something we can do alone – and we’ve sought the partnership of the
          industry’s best.
          Remdesivir is difficult to make: The process is resource and time intensive, with some individual
          manufacturing steps taking weeks to complete. This complex process impacts the ability to rapidly produce
          large quantities of drug supply in an emergency situation like the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also
          supplemented our internal manufacturing with significant additional capacity from multiple manufacturing
          partners in North America, Europe and Asia.
          We’ve shared more information about the development and supply of remdesivir on our website.”

          https://www.gilead.com/-/media/gilead-corporate/files/pdfs/company-statements/response-from-brett-pletcher.pdf?la=en

      • There is no cost for remdesivir.
        Get your facts straight.
        The company is giving away every dose that exists on the planet.
        It is not approved anywhere, and has never been sold, ever.
        Ask a dying person if they want a good drug which costs some money, or a crappy one that hardly costs anything.

        • BTW, let us ponder the question of cost and engage in some hypotheticals, just for the sake of discussion.
          There has been some speculation I have seen as to the eventual price, if the drug is approved someday. The same logic applies to anything and any drug.
          Let us say that treatment x saves no lives.
          Anyone going to live, lives, who gets it. Anyone going to die without it, dies after they get it.
          But…it let’s those who live leave and ICU one day sooner.
          If a patient in an ICU for one day cost a lot of money, say y number of dollars, and takes up a bed needed by someone else, and is exhausting for health care professionals to care for these people who need close attention, and is a terrifying, painful, and damaging ordeal for the patients, how much is the drug worth to the next person who needs that bed, to the taxpayers who pay for care, to the care givers who are exhausted, to the patient who has a day less pain, terror, time from family and loved ones, a day less of worry and heartache for all?
          How much is all of that worth?

          Average cost of care in an ICU has been reported to be $4,004 per patient per day.
          If a drug saves no lives, but saves a day in an ICU, is it worth exactly that amount of money, or far more, given the numerous factors I thought of off the top of my head above?
          Is $1000 a lot to save four times that, plus pain, anguish, the next guy, sleep, worry…and all the rest?
          I am struggling to see any logic or evidence of carefully considered facts from people who scorn the profit motive in the field of pharmacological research.
          Are such people volunteering their time for free, donating their savings for charity, to help others who are suffering?
          Maybe they all are, and I am a cynic without a clue.
          Or maybe they are whining children and inconsiderate brats.

          Let’s look further at my thought experiment.
          What about the people who are gonna die anyway, dying a day sooner and saving the money, the bed, the anguish, and the suffering.
          Is it worth it to resolve an illness one way or the other if we can?
          This is a more difficult question, and is purely theoretical in any case, but I think, judging by the “let’s get everyone infected and get it over with already” crowd, as well as those who favor assisted suicide, etc…that many would see such an accelerated timeframe beneficial and desirable.

          Now let us consider the scenario which seem to be occurring for at least some patients: Weeks and weeks saved, lives saved, and all of the factors above hugely diminished…plus an opening up of the economy due to people not being afraid because if they get sick they can go to a hospital and get better, and least some and maybe most of the time.
          That may be what the results will show.
          If so…how much is that worth?
          Is a thousand bucks a lot of money to save weeks in the hospital for many tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives, the economy, hope, anguish, stress, and our merciful and overworked healthcare professionals?

          Are there really people who feel like charging money for saving lives is wrong?
          Do these people think of themselves as capitalists?
          Do we force clever people to make us new drugs for free?

          How do these people feel about paying people hundreds of millions of dollars to play a ballgame a few nights a year?

      • Forget the cost question for a second. You are correct, however, it (the scope of the problem) is bigger than cost.

        There are simple natural solutions to enter groups of diseases that are destructive breakthroughs,….

        …. as corrections (three things) will eliminate three quarters of the prescribed ‘medicine’ which the medical industry has hidden.

        The corona family of viruses must connect to the ACE-2 molecule in our cells to replicate. Zinc stops the virus from connecting to the ACE-2 molecule and replicating.

        How does the drug stop the virus? Does the drug work?

        In vitro tests have confirmed Hydroxchoroquine is a Zinc isophore. Zinc isophore means it helps get a small amount of the Z+2 ion get into our negative charged cells.

        It has also been confirmed that our cells use the Zinc ions to make the molecule ACE-2 slightly positive which stops the covid family of viruses from attaching to the ACE-2 molecule and replicating.

        Zinc is the active ingredient that stops covid. The Hydroxchoroquine is only required (and small doses not large doses.) to get a small amount of zinc into our cells.

        It is interesting that there are 2 billion people in the world that are Zinc deficient.

        https://www.ibtimes.sg/us-doctor-claims-have-cured-nearly-500-coronavirus-patients-using-hydroxychloroquine-video-42075

        “I blended the two treatments from South Korea and France and made a three drug regimen which are hydroxychloroquine, which is the common denominator by both treatments, then I used zinc, and azithromycin. The virus gets inside the cell and begins to hijack the cell industrial machinery. It is well known that zinc interrupts that. So, the concept is that it interferes in the replication of the virus,” said Dr Zelenko while revealing about his course of treatment.

        “But the problem with zinc is that it does not get inside the cell very easily, only very small percent gets in. What is interesting is that hydroxychloroquine is a ionic core; so it is the key that opens the canal and facilitates the work of the zinc. When you have a severe viral infection, it is well known that you can get a secondary infection, so I believe the zithromax is there as a precaution and if there begins a bacteria process, it kills it before it causes a bigger problem,” he went on to add.

        This is the Jewish physician that treated 700 sick covid patients with higher dosage Chloroquine and Zinc supplements with close to 100% success rate.

        https://techstartups.com/2020/04/03/updates-from-dr-vladimir-zelenko-now-treated-700-coronavirus-patients-with-99-9-success-rate-using-hydroxychloroquine-zinc-sulfate-and-z-pak-1-outpatient-died-after-not-following-protocol-exclusi/

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC353050/pdf/0001.pdf

        https://youtu.be/-Oq6IOP1sd8

        The +2 Charged Zinc ion requires the Chloroquine….

        To get into our negative charged cells.

        The micro amount of Zinc in out cells…

        … stops the covid virus from replicating by making the ACE-2 molecule in our cells slightly positive.

        Chloroquine Is a Zinc Ionophore
        Jing Xue1,2, Amanda Moyer1 , Bing Peng1,3, Jinchang Wu2 , Bethany N. Hannafon1 , Wei-Qun Ding1 * 1 Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America, 2 Department of Radio-Oncology, Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Suzhou Hospital, Suzhou, China, 3 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, China

        And it gets better.

        The portion of the population that are Zinc ‘deficient’ vegetarians and the elderly…. both have more serious cases of covid.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4182877/pdf/pone.0109180.pdf

        Zinc deficiency linked to immune system response, particularly in older adults

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150323142839.htm

        Zinc helps against infection by tapping brakes in immune response
        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131344.htm

        • I and others have posted the research that concluded chloroquine is a zinc ionophore.
          This was in the context of a cancer treatment, as it was shown that the combination reduced autophagy and induced apoptosis.
          I have yet to see any equivalent research that HCQ is also a zinc ionophore.
          The molecules are structurally dissimilar.
          Tiny changes in a molecule alters properties drastically.
          I have seen many claims that the real mechanics is zinc getting into a cell.
          However, zinc has not been shown to be deadly to this virus…AFAICT it is just an assertion.
          Old research from many years ago showed that chloroquine had antiviral activity in vitro.
          It did not use zinc, AFAICT.
          So it seems to me we may have many different lines of research being conflated.
          From what I have found, the zinc enters cells into lysosomes.
          But this virus uses receptor mediated endocytosis, and the virus is then surrounded by an endosome.
          Endosomes wind up in lysosomes, but viruses escape endosomes prior to this or they would be destroyed.
          The various assertions for why these drug and mineral combos will kill this virus are a case study in moving goalposts, AFAICT.
          Most of these assertions do not explain why these combinations are supposed to kill this virus and not all RNA viruses.
          The malaria drugs have been extensively tested in various viral illnesses, as well as a cancer treatment.
          Results were disappointing the the research was dropped until this pandemic reignited interest.
          Until a specific result is shown by evidence to be true or false, it remains an unproven assertion.
          So far, many people are making claims and very little solid evidence has been shown that back up the claims.

          The vitriol directed at anyone who questions the assertions made by proponents is striking, that is for sure, and is reminiscent of that by warmistas toward any who blaspheme against their religion.
          Also similar is the adroit shifting from one mechanism to another. The story now does not sound like what the original reason for hope described.

    • You reported on march 17 that the same drug was used with the same effect on at least 14 Diamond Princess cov19 victims in Japan… Guess the trolls missed that post. – I didn’t!

      Meanwhile another month goes bye – we are slow learners.

      I think the 40 day 70 day stats will tell us all we need to know – Meanwhile the governments and health police delight in holding us all for ransom.

      • Gowest,
        Thanks, and good on ya!
        I know some people are paying attention.
        Many plusses for your comment.
        As for all we need to know…the sooner the better.
        Too bad all patients treated have not had it done in a situation which could advance medical knowledge.
        A lot of opportunity to inform and speed things along has been squandered, IMO.
        But…We will muddle through, as always.
        Best wishes and good luck as you stay safe and healthy!

  2. There is outlier Sweden right in the middle of the pack. They had a rough couple of last 2 days with 170 and 130 deaths, but those are probably pulled forward from the weekend when they do not seem to do testing or at least reporting.
    Even with those devastating days, they are still right there, in the middle, like a true outlier would be.
    I mean, they are not locked down, their rate of growth should be at least double ours.
    If I remember correctly the locked down shut down number for the United States started off with 300,000 dead, and then over time it was brought down to 60,000 dead or thereabouts. It might be lower now, who knows… But it was reduced by a factor of 5! So, that means that Sweden, the Outlier should be about 5 times as bad as us. Not sure what that works out to on an exponential growth chart, but they are claiming Sweden will lose 18,000+ souls to this disease since they are not locked down. That would require them to lose about 37 people per million population per day from now until the end of June. They are currently shedding about 6 maybe 7 on an average day per million.
    Anyone want to take bets on whether Sweden has closer to 18,000 dead by June 30th against my wager that it will be closer to 2400? That would translate to about 240 deaths per million, slightly less than double what it is today.
    LOCKDOWNS DO NOT WORK. You are wasting your time, your wealth, and your mental anguish on an activity that will do you no good.

    • I totally agree that Sweden is not experiencing any greater loss of life than the rest of us despite not taking away the liberties of their people. We should expect also if our lock down , distancing and frequent hand cleaning ,which I follow , works then we should see less of all virus illness from now on but I suspect we will see a decline in this one virus but still have a flu epidemic this winter and they will say look the measures we have taken worked.

      • There are more than twice as many people in metro NYC than in all of Sweden.

        In the entire country of Sweden, there are 10.3 million people. In metro New York City, there are about 21million people. (NYC and suburbs in NY, NJ, and CT). In metro London, there are 14.25 million.

        Population density, mobility, and mode of transportation (among other factors), certainly make a difference.

        • Mr Davis is right and Mr Penman wrong. The independent public-health body in Sweden decided against a lockdown because low population density and more-than-average single-person households showed that the rate of transmission would be comparatively slow provided that people took sensible precautions on their own. That strategy worked.

          However, as the press conferences by Governor Cuomo in New York State have made plain, without a lockdown New York City would have suffered far worse than it has. Now, the rate of hospital admissions is beginning to fall. The death count will do likewise in a week or two.

    • Astoneril – Unfortunately it’s not that simple. The USA’s cases are predominantly in high-density cities. Sweden does not have any high-density cities. Lockdowns do work, if “work” means reduction of infections, but it’s not clear whether there’s a long-term benefit because no-one knows yet whether lockdowns get followed by larger second waves, and no-one knows for sure what health downside there is from lockdown’s economic damage.

      My observation is that lockdowns have generally been used when infection/death rates got unacceptably high, so most countries tend to end up in a similar range. IOW it’s not the lockdowns that determine the rates of infection, it’s the rates of infection that determine the lockdowns.

      JMHO.

      • The lockdown was to flatten the curve. PERIOD that was the argument FOR. That was to allow the healthcare system to not get over run.
        New York City just proved they can handle the load.
        So it really should not matter if lockdown work or not, I say they do not, in New York City people are too cramped for it to have much actual effect. Buy groceries in a store or have them delivered, you are exposed to the virus. Everyone has to eat. Everyone is having interactions with someone. It is spreading, and evidenced by the studies in the city, the lockdown slowed nothing down.
        But the bottom line is the healthcare system in both the United States and Great Britain seem to be able to handle the full onslaught just fine. Thus NO BONUS DEATHS from being open for business.
        They moved the goal posts from flatten the curve to opening sooner will mean more people die between now and september. BIG FREAKING DEAL if the did not die before September they will die before December.
        The argument that “lockdowns are not working, look at Sweden” is just bonus additional salt for the wound the useful chinese idiots pushing for permanent lockdown have. They should be burning with their stupidity, but unfortunately they are not.

          • He won’t get it, which I assume is to avoid the normal abuse.

            Based on the toxic attitude of all the posters here I am now fully supporting the lifting of all lockdown bans … nothing is going to happen 🙂

          • LdB should know that governments will be taking the decision whether and how to end their lockdowns not on the basis of how they feel, but on the basis of evidence that the daily compound rate of growth in new hospitalizations is a great deal lower than the 20% that prevailed in the world outside China and occupied Tibet until mid-March.

            In most countries that did not follow the standard protocol for infection control – testing, isolation of carriers and tracing of their contacts – the daily hospitalization growth rate, averaged across seven days, is still between 5 and 10%. That remains too high for comfort,which is why governments such as that in the United Kingdom continue to be cautious rather than naively optimistic.

        • Mr Stoner’s liberal use of capitals is indicative of hysteria. However, responsible governments cannot afford to indulge in hysteria. They must calmly assess the evidence available, which, at the outset of a pandemic, will always be inadequate. One thing they did know was that the daily compound growth rate in new hospitalizations had been about 20% for three weeks to mid-March. They could not safely allow that rate of increase to continue, or it would have overwhelmed their healthcare systems, as Governor Cuomo has made plain.

          Now that the hospitals can cope, the lockdowns in those countries whose governments considered it advisable to impose them are already beginning to be lifted.

        • Mr Stoner is not approaching this question temperately. Responsible governments cannot afford to be hysterical. Nor can they declare a mere belief in lockdowns or no lockdowns. They must do their best to reach rational decisions based on the inadequate information that is available at the beginning of a pandemic. One undeniable figure was the rate of growth in new cases serious enough to be reported, tested and confirmed. To mid-March it was 20% daily, compound. That is why Imperial College concluded that in the absence of lockdowns there might be 40 million deaths by the end of this year worldwide.

          Now that the lockdowns have been introduced, the case growth rate is falling, though still too high in most countries. It will, however, continue to fall and, in due course, the lockdowns will be lifted step by step.

      • Mr Jonas is right. Responsible governments do not introduce lockdowns for fun, or because they like to take away our freedoms. They do so because, at the time when the lockdown is imposed, it seems likely that unless they impose lockdowns their healthcare systems will be overwhelmed. Now that that nightmare has been averted, lockdowns are beginning to be dismantled.

        In Britain, we are leaving our lockdown in place for a further three weeks, though there is – rightly – growing impatience with HM Government for not giving any indication of its thoughts on what an exit strategy might look like. The responses of Ministers to journalists asking questions about that important consideration are looking increasingly feeble and evasive.

        The elements of an exit strategy were set out in this column ten days ago.

    • Another country with no lockdown at all is Netherlands, a country with a high population density.
      It can be compared to Belgium, where they apply lockdown.

      Same countries, same population, same culture, same population density, same climate, in fact, those two countries are quite similar in all aspects.

      Data related to the SRAS-COV-2 are also similar except for Total Cases / 1M Population :
      – Belgium : 3,003
      – Netherlands : 1,705

      We get the same results if we compare Sweden (no lockdown) to its neighbour Norway (lockdown) :
      – lockdown has NO impact on Total Cases / 1M Population.

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

      The only actual impact of a lockdown is to destroy the economy, to cause more poverty, more other health related deaths, more suicides and mental illness.

      When asked whether the lockdown could be useful, Dr. Knut Wittkowski, the former head of the epidemiology department at Rockerfeller University answered with humor that a lockdown could help keep the sky from falling.

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

      • Cases rely totally on testing.
        Why not show us the mortality rates instead?
        Sweden 132/million
        Norway 29/million

        The Netherlands are the odd, not Sweden ones out in Europe, although they have no actual lockdown they have very strict Social Distancing. Which is definitely helping them to keep the virus under control.

        But even then how do they report their data, are they like Germany and only attribute deaths to COVID19 when there are no other underlying illnesses?

    • Helsinki has 200 out of 1,000 Somali’s with confirmed WuhanFlu. Epidemiologist A. Tegnell notes : “… we have an over representation of people born abroad….”

      Next most afflicted immigrants after Somalis, in descending order, are Iraqi, Syrian, Finns, Turks & Iranians.

      Over in Finland itself there are 3,161 confirmed cases with 59 fatalities. And in Norway there are 6,696 confirmed cases with 139 fatalities.

      While in Sweden there are 11,445 confirmed cases with 1,033 fatalities. When each country is adjusted for cases per million people that would give a better data point.

      And then further look at the cases adjusted for people who are not native Swede’s. This may indicate different cultural habits among the spreaders which, on the other hand, native Swede’s avoid.

    • LOCKDOWNS DO NOT WORK. Very funny! I’m not concerned about the US economy. I’m concerned about staying healthy. Here’s an idle speculation. Just wondering. Is there any evidence that, if curious, idealistic, etc. scientists had not gone exploring among bat-bourn viruses in rural China, and multiplied them in a lab in order to study them, this pandemic would have occurred? Is there any evidence that this virus did not exist among bats and the occasional human for millennia? (As for the wild-food market, idk, but there are reports of numerous cases in the Wuhan lab team, unlikely to have visited the market.)

      • Shi Zheng Li and here team at WIV have been publishing on manipulating corona virus strains from natural sources in bats since 2010. The reported creating a chimera virus strain which would reproduce in human airway cells in vitro. That is all available from NIH archives and Nature.

        https://www.hooktube.com/watch?v=3bXWGxhd7ic
        The species hopping is humanly engineered “gain in potency”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4797993/pdf/41591_2015_Article_BFnm3985.pdf

        we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing
        the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted
        SARS-CoV backbone.

        This work was initially partly funded by US and French govts with collaboration of top US virologists until Obama called a moratorium on this kind of research in 2014.

        All the stories of wet markets and pangolin-civet-bat viruses hopping like fleas from one to the other is a fairly tale.

    • Mr Stoner, in a free country, is free to select whatever data supports his argument, expressed somewhat hysterically in capitals, that lockdowns do not work. However, it has already been pointed out to him that Stockholm has an urban population density one-quarter that of London. Since the rate of transmission of a new infection is governed chiefly by two quantities – the inherent infectivity of the pathogen and the daily mean person-to-person contact rate, reducing the contact rate reduces the opportunities for the pathogen to spread, particularly in urban settings, which is what lockdowns achieve.

      Lockdowns are not, however, the optimal approach. They are necessary where a) the government concerned has failed to pursue testing, isolation and contact-tracing as actively as South Korea has done; b) the urban population density is high enough to facilitate rapid transmission; c) the lack of widespread testing has left the government unsure as to the numbers who have been infected without showing symptoms; d) the testing of those found to be without symptoms is unable to distinguish between those in whom symptoms have not yet developed and those in whom symptoms will not develop; e) the compound daily growth rate in hospitalizations is high, as it was worldwide outside China and occupied Tibet before mid-March.

    • Sweden has 1333 deaths by now. If they had done as Denmark they would have had about 500 deaths.

      • Choosing to “flatten the curve” is just like extending your credit repayments. Danmark will just pay later. Until that happens any comparison is meaningless apples/oranges misdirection.

      • maybe we are using the wrong score card?

        I would bet Sweden is way closer to Herd immunity then countries that locked down. If we had good random antibody testing every place, then we could add how close an area is to Herd immunity as a criteria for success.

  3. my big post for the day with the latest on why the shutdown is a mistake.

    Evidence is piling up that this entire enterprise of social distancing and more importantly economic shut down is not just bad policy, but completely worthless and actively destructive.

    The reason we shut down in the first place was a misplaced idea that we needed to flatten the curve in order to protect the healthcare system. So far the only place where the healthcare system has been put in significant pressure is New York City and it has not yet broken even under tremendous numbers of covid-19 cases and deaths. No other place is being seriously taxed by Covid-19 cases or deaths. In fact, with the shut down having ended non critical surgeries most hospitals have laid people off because they are underutilized and run on very thin margins. If needed, those people who are not needed in some places could be filling in at places like New York City to cover any needs they had. New York did not run out of ventilators. Never even came close.

    The shut down was not intended to save lives, and never could anyways. The disease is going to continue to spread regardless, just, supposedly, not as fast. It would still get to everyone it was going to get to. But the argument now is that we cannot reopen because more people will die. No evidence suggests that is the case. But these “experts” are still believed? By who?

    Sweden is a prime example of the control group. Everyone else is locked down and they are for the most part fully open and barely social distancing. They still have bars and restaurants open. No business shutdowns except those caused by a reduction of foreign customers because they are all locked down. If any place was going to show the world what open for business looks like, it is Sweden. They got to 1 death per million population on March 18th, the United States of America got there on March 22. Sweden is currently at 132 deaths per million and the United States with 4 fewer days of deaths piled up is up to 102 deaths per day. The United States has been going up about 9 deaths per million per day and Sweden about 6 deaths per million per day. The United States is catching up with Sweden right now. But Sweden is wide open, it should be getting worse faster every day they do not shut down, because that is what is claimed to be what is supposed to happen by the “experts”. They claim Sweden is going to get to 1,800 deaths per million by August with the vast majority of those deaths before the end of may. That would require the average daily rate of growth for their deaths per million would have to be 37. More than 6 times what it is today, and their rate has actually flat-lined at around 6 per million per day. The shut down is not working. We are doing about as well as the control group.

    Niel Ferguson of the Imperial College has stated that of the deaths his latest study shows of 20,000 Brit’s that 2/3rd of those deaths are unavoidable even without covid-19 being involved. They are just deaths that will occur with Covid-19. So, even the paltry 20,000 deaths is really just 6,600 real deaths caused by Covid-19 and my bet is that his estimate is off by a large part and only a fraction of 6,600 would really be killed by the disease rather than the chronic conditions that 97.3 of those who died have when they die with the disease.

    New York City data confirms comorbidity stats from Italy from last month that only 3% of covid-19 related deaths are to people with no known chronic health conditions. .nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-daily-data-summary-deaths-04152020-1.pdf Underlying illnesses include Diabetes, Lung Disease, Cancer, Immunodeficiency, Heart Disease, Hypertension, Asthma, Kidney Disease, and GI/Liver Disease.
    Adding up the numbers comes out to 2.7% of those who had a known medical history had no other chronic condition at time of death. The other 97.3% had at least one of the above diseases. Of course, as we know, people with many of these diseases, diabetes for example, do not know they have them.

    The disease is not that deadly. Probably less deadly than the flu. Different studies have shown that the virus has struck far more people than have been identified by testing the already sick and those already in the hospitals. A German study of 1000 in a town of 12,000 found 14% had been infected and recovered while 2% still had the virus in them while regular testing showed that 0.1% infection rate. 140 times and 20 times as many as were known before. An MIT study of sewage found virus loads that indicated between 5 and 250 times as many people as known to have the virus likely had the virus. A study of pregnant women in New York City found 15% of pregnant women came in infected with the disease, indicating that New York City has 10 to 100 times as many infections as the tests at hospitals and of the sick indicate. 88% of the women had no symptoms. A homeless shelter was tested coming out at around 30% had the infection and 83% were without symptoms. With only 1 in 3 supposed covid-19 deaths being actually attributable to covid-19 as the real cause the numerator is looking smaller and smaller and with the true infection rate being north of 15% and maybe less than 30% although it could be higher the denominator is looking rather large. If this were applied straight up to the United States that would bring the numerator down to 11300 and the denominator up to 20,000,000 that would translate into an infection fatality ratio of 0.0564%. My personal estimate is around 0.025% or a maximum United States death risk of 99,000 people. 90% or more of which would be retired and sick.

    The disease primarily only kills those who are already sick and those close to dying. 97.3% of all those who die die with a confirmed chronic condition that lowers their average age of death by a decade or more on average. The average age of death to those with covid-19 (not due to) in the United States is 74.52 years old while the average life expectancy for average health Americans is 78.69 years. The disease kills men at a ratio of 3/5 and women at a ratio of 2/5. Generally speaking, the general flu kills as many children as it does elderly which means decades of lost life compared to Covid-19 that kills almost no children, 2 so far in the entire United States, and primarily the elderly who are already sick and near life expectancy ages. Shaving a few months off per death.

    On to the whole argument about social distancing and shutting down non essential business in order to prevent the disease from spreading. In New York City 15% of pregnant women were tested positive for Covid-19 indicating a pretty wide spread of the disease throughout the city in general, but also, 88% of those infected had no symptoms of the disease. These people being prime virus spreaders as they are symptom free and thus not suspect to be infected. Chances are 88%+/-10% of all people infected are symptom free and even of those who present symptoms they are contagious for several days before the first mild symptoms show. Social distancing can only go on for so long, people are social creatures, even introverts like me need some level of socialization. This social distancing breaks families, causes significant emotional harm, heightens suicidal thoughts and tendencies. When coupled with throwing 22,000,000 and counting people out of work, shutting down non essential but essential for people’s emotional well being businesses, the effects of social distancing are going to be multiplied and the negative harms, particularly suicides is going to climb, here is the word of the month, exponentially. And I am not convinced this social distancing and shutting down of part of the economy even works to slow the virus down. 30% of a homeless shelter tested positive for covid-19. 30% or 150 times the rate of positive tests for the whole nation. How many more got sick and recovered before giving birth and being tested? 15% of pregnant women, who I am quite certain take their health and hygiene very seriously, or 75 times the national positive tests. Then compare our deaths with those of Sweden and extrapolate out how many people are likely infected. If we just go with the test positive women who are pregnant number, that indicates 50,000,000 Americans have the disease or had the disease. 100,000,000 if we use the homeless as examples. And if we extrapolate out that people have the disease for an average of 18 days, and that this all started back in February, then we have about 36 days of recovered people not being counted in those tests. So, maybe we should double the number and use the women as the benchmark. Call it 100,000,000 Americans already infected or infected and recovered with 99% of those recovered immune to the disease for at least 2 years. Anyone think social distancing with that infectious of a disease really could accomplish anything more than a part of 1% reduction in spread? Instead of 2.07 contagious level maybe it is 2.05 with social distancing. With a partial shutdown and people getting home deliveries and going to grocery stores, maybe that social distancing number gets reduced to 2.03.

    And at what cost. Maybe an additional 10,000 young to middle aged working people committing suicide? $2,200,000,000,000 stimuless piled on the backs of our children and their children? Another $5,600,000,000,000 in lost wealth creation due to a crashed economy, 1.5 trillion in lost taxes added to the debt for our children and their children. Substance abuse increases. More children with low nutrition to starvation diets becoming permanently less healthy. Depression. Loneliness. Divided families. What about those old people who are going to die now, all alone because there is too much supposed risk in visiting them. People die everyday, now they are all going to die alone and with no family support. In fact, I am quite positive that loneliness with no family support will cause many who are near death to die earlier than they otherwise would have. Who wants to go to the hospital today when it is claimed 30% of the staff are infected? How many people will die because they put off what they think are trivial health issues that eventually kill them? Many people might be unable to refill prescriptions because the are required to or at least think they are required to visit a hospital to get them refilled.

    Even if we give these people arguing that we need to stay in lock-down to save lives credibility, we should look at their numbers. The highest death toll they currently proclaim is 300,000 if we end the lock-down early. OK, what is the least number of deaths we can expect. We are at a supposed 33,900 today, lets double that as we are supposedly on the downward slope of the curve. 67,800 minimum 300,000 maximum. I can work with this. We have all the above numbers and significantly more if we extend the shutdown to the end of May, even more if we go out to the end of June and more out to the end of July. But even with the above numbers, the cost per life saves is extreme. If we reopen too early, we could lose an extra 232,200 lives. If you believe my numbers above, that probably translates out to at an absolute maximum of 968,274 life years. Pretty impressive huh? OK, lets just look at stimuless. $2,275,000 per life year saved or created (think Obama saved or created jobs). If we add in lost economic output and the added debt due to lack of tax receipts comes out to $9,600,000 per life year saved or created. 23 unemployed people per life year saved or created. Those are low numbers. If the shut down continues out to the end of May, it could be 180% that number, out to end of June 250% out to the end of July 350% or more. That is giving the doomsayers the absolute benefit of the doubt. I do not think any rational person can believe that there is a risk of 300,000 Americans. Do you? I think the more likely maximum risk is 99,000 of which, using Niel Ferguson’s 2/3 number, 30,000 maximum would be excess deaths but more likely the real excess deaths would be around 3000 (the 2.7% who are without chronic health issues). And we cannot save even those.

    • One curiosity of the 1918 pandemic is the speed with which it traversed the globe. The infections in Europe and USA peaked only a few weeks apart and also relapsed within a very short time, typically the excess mortality was evident only for a period of about 3 months.

      I fail to see how in the days of mass global air travel the disease could not have been seeded almost in synchronicity around the world.

      There seems to be some deliberate lack of investigation.

    • Amen! Undoing the damage caused by panicking the population is going to be tough. The Daily Mail reported that 80% of responders to a survey want the lockdown maintained in the UK. So, if only the aged and chronically ill answered, it speaks to the level of fear. Here in BC Canada, the elderly are similarly so frightened that they will take as much more as our benighted government decrees. With around 40% of Canadian deaths in residential care homes, it is clear that the virus shortens life-expectancy by a very small amount.

      • FranBC’s argument comes a little too dangerously close to the Logan’s Run argument that old and infirm people are an inconvenient drain on society and can be left to die in large numbers. Civilized societies are not willing to act that way.

        The lockdowns will soon be at an end in most Western countries, and, as business gradually returns to usual, lessons will have been learned (I hope).

        The most important lesson is that South Korea’s method of containment works, and does so without the need for lockdowns. Next time – and, alas, there will be a next time – we need to be far better prepared, just as South Korea had learned to be.

        • I don’t wish to put words in FranBC’s mouth, but I think he is talking about the level of fear that has been induced and what affect that has on behaviour. I wonder if there is such a thing as behavioural re-programming? Is it possible that if a population is instilled by a real morbid fear behaviour will change on a long term basis? In other words, can authorities flick a switch and people will resume their previous behaviours or not? I’m thinking particularly of places of large gatherings – theatre, cinema, pubs, gyms, restaurants, hotels etc. I don’t believe we know the answer to that. (This is something XR failed to achieve because nobody believed the danger was real.)

        • “Given that there is no evidence that this year’s seasonal virus is shortening the lifespan of anyone, or at least no more than the seasonal virus of any other year, it is highly irresponsible to take draconian measures that wreck the economy, the health system, small businesses, jobs, democracy. And impact very negatively on the lives and inevitably the lifespan of the mobile elderly”
          “Psychopath! Eugenicist!”

    • Mr Stoner is long on speculation and short on logic and on fact. He is right to point out that the stated reason for lockdowns was to prevent overloading of the healthcare and hospital system, and he is right to point out that that system has not been overloaded. But there is, to say the least, a statable case that the reason why the system has not been overloaded is that lockdowns were introduced just in time.

      In Britain, there is not only near-universal support for the lockdown but also near-universal compliance with it, because people have been heeding the desperate pleas from hospital doctors and nurses to comply with the lockdown so as to ensure that their already heavy workload is not increased beyond their ability to cope.

      No amount of statistical guesswork on the part of those who refuse to look at any facts, data or arguments other than their own will persuade either governments or their peoples that lockdowns should be dismantled.

      What will persuade us is hard evidence that the daily compound rate of growth in new hospitalizations – i.e., in the more serious cases – is safely below about 5%. Spain and Italy, having been among the first to introduce lockdowns, are among the first to begin to ease them, because they have reduced their case-growth rate to 2 or 3%.

      On present trends, Britain will achieve the same in the next week or two. New York is also well on the way to achieving the same. As soon as it is safe to lift the lockdowns, they will be lifted. But no serious or responsible government can afford to take the view that it would have been acceptable to allow the case-growth rate to continue at the 20 or even 30% that prevailed before the lockdowns were introduced.

      It is all too easy to pontificate from an armchair. Governments, however, have to act on the bsais of the facts available to them, and not on the basis of gut feelings hysterically presented.

      • Milord. It is much cheaper to increase numbers of IC beds ( which were criminally lacking in numbers in RNHS) than suffer the extortionate damages caused by lockdown.

        • No. We need to reduce the number of people who need IC beds. The Covid survival rate is not good for those who require Intensive Care.

      • But … governments ARE acting on the basis of gut feelings hysterically presented. They have ignored evidence that figures of deaths due to corvid19 have been inflated by including just about all deaths bar car accidents and that diagnostic testing instruments are useless. The first nine deaths in New Zealand (apparently there have been two more) from the “new lethal virus”:
        These are the people who are dying in New Zealand from the “new lethal virus”:

        Female, aged 70’s with an underlying health condition.
        Female, aged 90’s with an underlying health condition.
        Male, aged 80’s with an underlying health condition(s).
        Male, aged 70’s with an underlying health condition(s).
        Male, aged 80’s with an underlying health condition(s).
        Male, aged 90’s with an underlying health condition(s).
        Male, aged 80’s with an underlying health condition(s).
        Male, aged 90’s with an underlying health condition(s).
        Male, aged 70’s with an underlying health condition(s)

        No. the point is NOT that these lives are expendable. The point is that there is no reason to believe that these people in the same circumstances, would not have died from seasonal flu in another year, maybe would have died regardless of seasonal flu. One woman was 93 and suffered from Alzheimers and a number of other health conditions. Is it really justified to cause so much harm to the economy and to human beings, including the elderly, for the one in a million chance that it would prolong the life of a 93 year old with Alzheimers?

        • Those are all good points.

          Also, we need to consider the quality of life for those elderly who are now locked up in nursing homes and similar residences who are being deprived contact with family and friends. They are not allowed to leave their rooms and are forced to eat sickly food, from disposable containers.

          They are forced to stay inside when sunshine would be most helpful for boosting natural immunity and mood.

          • Spot on Scissor.

            Ahern is a moron, just playing MeToo flouncing around pretending to be a “leader” irrespective of the needs of her country.

      • Dread Lord Monckton likes to argue that governments have to be cautious and so forth and so on.
        Perhaps he could give me a rough estimate of how much is too much wealth to expend on saving a life at the government level. Just any general life, not some specific life. I am sure it would be worth expending a hundred million dollars to save the President or fifty million to save say a supreme court justice. Such as in security expenditures. But how much should a government expend in saving a general population no body?
        Please give us your great wisdom on when it starts to make no sense to expend more to save a general life.

        But please, explain to me how for example, the Federal Government’s spending of $2,200,000,000,000 on this disease along with a large portion of the 34% economic recession that is resulting from the forced social distancing and shutting down of non essential economic activity makes sense. I estimate the total cost to be about $9,600,000,000,000 so far and it appears with perpetual lock down that number is going to escalate upwards. They are already looking to expand the paycheck protection program for instance. I am betting those $1200 checks to individuals will be monthly at the least.

    • April 17

      Covid-19
      Britain 103,093 cases, 13,729 deaths
      Sweden 12,540 cases, 1,333 deaths

      Britain under lockdown for months. Economy wrecked. Social lives ruined. Rights and liberties trashed. Neo-fascist police state established.

      Sweden no lockdown. Economy almost completely undamaged. Near-normal life with no police state imposed on them.

      Where would you prefer to live?

      And by the way, I don’t buy that “Sweden has a lower population density” argument. A flu virus can infect low density populations sometimes faster than high density ones. It depends on circumstances and people’s immune systems.

      It is interesting how every other European country has attempted to force Sweden to impose a lockdown just like their own countries. It is almost as if they don’t want to show an unfavorable comparison between lockdown countries and a non-lockdown country, and how ultimately pointless and damaging lockdowns really are.

      • Britain 67Million
        Sweden 10million
        Britain many families living together.
        Sweden, many people living alone.

        • Number of households in Sweden in 2019, by type
          https://www.statista.com/statistics/526013/sweden-number-of-households-by-type/

          The number of households in Sweden in 2019 amounted to around 4.7 million. Among these, the most common type of household, around 40%, was the single-occupant household without children, which is 1.9 million.

          Statistics on one-person households do not always relate to life styles linked to the status of being a single. Swedes more or less uniformly leave their parental home when aged 19-21. Instead of remaining as single in their parental home they are expected to start a household and support themselves. The design of Sweden’s social policies help making this an entirely realistic option.

          Swedes live longer and the fractions of elderly have increased: many of them live some time as widowers or widows. Still, some other developments are new and more related to situations that people would associate with true singlehood.

          Population: 10 million

          ———————————–

          In Britain in 2019 there are 8,197,000 single occupant households. (28%)
          https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/families/bulletins/familiesandhouseholds/2015-01-28

          Population: 67.5 million

          ————————————

          Britain has four times as many single households as Sweden, so if the number of covid-19 cases and deaths is related to the number of single-occupant homes, you would expect there to be four times as many cases of covid-19 as Sweden, but there is not. It is actually ten times as many cases in Britain as in Sweden, so the number of British infected with covid-19 is two and a half times what it should be relative to the sizes and proportions of the populations and the number of single-occupant homes in both countries.

    • From foreign minister of Sweden:
      “It’s a myth that life goes on as normal in Sweden,” Linde said at a press conference Friday.
      She maintained that Swedish authorities have implemented measures that affect the entire community, both in the form of recommendations and in the form of provisions that are legally binding.
      At the same time, the government has secured a legal opportunity to be able to implement stricter measures quickly if needed.
      – Many people stay home and have stopped traveling. Many companies are collapsing. Unemployment is expected to rise dramatically, Linde said.
      – There is no full shutdown of Sweden. But many parts of Swedish society have closed. Many Swedes are greatly affected.
      Linde received support from Social Minister Lena Hallengren.
      – I have noticed that there is sometimes a perception that Sweden has a radically different approach to the virus than other countries. I don’t share that opinion, she said.
      According to Hallengren, Sweden stands out mainly in two ways: Kindergartens and primary schools are still open, and Sweden has not introduced a curfew.

    • You have a very long post.

      The summary is that isolation is killing our economy and it is killing the world economy. Kill means there is permanent loss and damage.

      I totally agree, we are all clueless as to how much damage is occurring.

      The mistake in our logic, is we are assuming that we are limited to two options

      You know, we are between a rock and hard place.

      1. Isolate until our country is bankrupt
      2. Do not isolate and accept the death rate

      What we need is an option where we do not need to isolate and we stop the virus from replicating.

      That is a microbiological problem, not an economic or social distancing problem.

  4. Sir
    What did work in Korea may not have worked in the UK or even less so in the USA. My niece was employed in the Korean education system for about 4 or 5 years (now teaching at a Canadian University) despite the country’s industrialisation and urbanisation, she was surprised and very impressed by the populations’ cooperation, obedience and respect for rules and regulations and the general social harmony in the country.

    • Regarding contact tracing if person goes to crowded bar how on earth are those contacts traced ? Perhaps SK has access to everyone’s cell phone locations.

      • Regarding contact tracing if person goes to crowded bar how on earth are those contacts traced ? Perhaps SK has access to everyone’s cell phone locations.

        here is a brief explanation of how contact tracing works in Korea

        if you test positive.

        A) they test your family ( 80% of transmissions in china were family)
        B) your friends/contacts are tested
        C) your co workers are tested.

        Your location information is unlocked by the phone company
        Along with interviews of where you went to your location info is used to try to
        find the source.

        Example: a guy gets sick at a call center in Seoul.
        His co workers are tested
        His family is tested
        His friends are tested.
        He is interviewed. Turns out he attended church services at the nutjob church.
        so his case is resolved to a source.

        Next.

        Your location information is uploaded to a central site with the time and place
        you visited.

        citizens can use this to avoid certain hot spots.

        next.

        That location information is uploaded by a free application. as you travel around the city
        you get a map of hot spots.

        next

        You can subscribe to an “alert” system. Mine is set to go off if there is a case within
        5 minutes of me

        • Once again, I am most grateful to Mr Mosher for his detailed explanations of how South Korea has performed so well in handling this pandemic. Governments are often far too slow to learn best practice from others and to do likewise. What South Korea did must become the standard protocol for future pandemics, so that we can avoid lockdowns.

          • The koreans where so successful at controlling the epidemic that they will forever be running in fear. They will forever be followed in their every move by cell phones and other tracking by Big Brother in order to try and remain one step ahead.

            They have not “beaten” the virus , it is still there and will remain everywhere globally. You can run but you can’t hide.

            What South Korea did must become the standard protocol for future pandemics, so that we can avoid lockdowns.

            I’m not in the least the surprised the authoritarian, machiavellian baron of BS regards this as “the gold standard” solution. The aristocracy see this as a great opportunity to return the lower classes to their “proper” place in society.

          • Forever, or until there is a treatment or a vaccine?
            By now we probably have enough recovered people to get enough plasma to treat everyone infected, if that were the focus.
            So how much has focus on drugs of limited and dubious utility impeded or distracted from that effort?
            If the world and the internet and social media were atwitter with advocacy for plasma, would we have turned the tide more readily?
            Plasma contains antibodies, and is known from the time of Spanish Flu to be helpful for a wide range of infectious diseases.
            The same sorts of logic can be employed for other treatments.
            From the get go, some people were saying we were all doomed, and some were dismissing the entire affair as much ado about nothing.
            Neither have helped one tiny bit to make our situation better, IMO.

          • I feel this is a one-shot solution, i.e. the cost is so high with respect the Economy and Fiscal policy it cannot be repeated. Therefore, in the wake of this Pandemic the West will have to wake up and ensure everything is in-place for the next one.. whether it is 2 years or 10 years.. ie huge stockpiles of PPE in massive warehouses.. field hospitals (like the NHS Nightingales) theor beds/venitlators and all such paraphanalia warehoused and ready to be brought our an built with a few weeks notice… and the best practice (South Korea?) copied and ready to go…

          • Yes , Nicholas, I’m surprised we don’t hear more about plasma transfusion, I strongly suspect his it what they did for BoJo, though no journos seem to be inquiring about that.

            I doubt that is as simple as it sounds on the scale needed.

      • In China, the tracking is done using We Chat.

        Apple laid the groundwork for the massive and (probably) successful quarantine in China a decade ago. The Chinese growing wealth and hunger for information did the rest.

        Apple i-phones were big status symbols when they were first introduced to Chinese in 2009. Cheaper knock-offs followed in short order and spread into every top-tier city, and every village. My daughter has been teaching school in Xian and Beijing for last few years and claims,
        “Everyone has a smart phone now.” And most of them have We Chat on them

        The multi-purpose messaging and social media app “We Chat” first appeared in January, 2011. By 2013 the 7-dollar-per-month chip implanted in their phones allowed users to make cashless in-store payments by scanning a bar code. It gives access to the Chinese internet, allows video up- and downloads, and instant messaging. With WeChat Wallet users buy movie tickets, book train and plane travel, hail cars, and pay utility bills. Every phone of course has powerful gps locator beacons. Although the app allows an incredible degree of freedom – of information as well as communication – the Chinese government likely bought into and encouraged the technology because the trade-off was a wealth of data they could harvest on users’ location, connections, comments and habits. Chinese government now allows a We Chat i.d. number to stand in lieu of other formal identification. According to Wikipedia:

        WeChat operates from China under the Chinese law, which includes strong censorship provisions and interception protocols.[95] WeChat can access and expose the text messages, contact books, and location histories of its users.[95] Due to WeChat’s popularity, the Chinese government uses WeChat as a data source to conduct mass surveillance in China.

        By 2018, parent company Tencent, claimed WeChat had over a billion active users worldwide. Eighty-one percent of Chinese have made at least one “mobile proximity payment” with a smartphone in the past six months, which makes them far and away the highest percentage of touchless smartphone users in the world. By contrast only 27% of U.S. mobile users have made a recent purchase this way.

        https://www.emarketer.com/content/global-proximity-mobile-payment-users

        During the epidemic, cash payers there are relegated to separate lines and subject to delays, masked interrogators with thermal scanners and disinfectant, as well as the scorn of their peers.

        People who stand out in China get special attention very quickly, and neighborhood committees are vigilant. The digital technologies that the West introduced have made China ripe for social monitoring and soft manipulation, and as far as I can tell, we in the West aren’t far behind. It’s a two-edged sword. China has handled the Corona virus epidemic with dispatch – proof that their iron grip on their people has changed from the “hands-on” of the Red Guard – to touchless. They can move the masses with relative ease because they know where virtually everyone is and what they are doing.

    • Vukcevic assumes that what worked in South Korea would not have worked in Britain. We shall never know, because it was not tried.

      However, since Britain has very largely complied with the far more intrusive lockdown measures that became necessary because it had failed to do as South Korea has done, it is very likely that we should have complied with the far less restrictive but far more prompt and competent South Korean approach.

      To this day, our Government has been so slow to learn from South Korea that it has not yet introduced even an advisory, let alone a requirement, that people outside their own households should wear some form of face protection, particularly when indoors.

  5. A simple coronavirus league table approach to compare impacts on countries is not really appropriate, there are many factors that affect how fast cv19 will spread in a country. These would result in big differences even if all countries’ reactions were identical. These factors include:

    – Numbers travelling from China before March 2020 (e.g. Italy fashion business meant huge mutual travel between north Italy and Wuhan, direct flights);

    – Economic inequality and poverty: a poor underclass will have poor health and suffer disproportionately. A big factor in UK and USA;

    – Latitude. Cold countries in winter, people immuno-compromised due to cold. That’s why flu is also worse in winter. (And flu, like coronavirus, is being reduced in population incidence by the lockdowns.)

    – Population density. Sweden is sparsely populated, less than the population of London, in a big country.

    – Quality of housing stock. Houses in UK are worse insulated than in Russia for instance (according to published research). Poverty, overcrowding, drafty houses … good conditions for cv19.

    – Social customs – Mediterranean countries have large family gatherings more often than north Europeans. Generally south European and Catholic countries more warm and gregarious while north European Protestant countries frosty and ascerbic. (Catholic countries also generally have better cuisine than Protestant.) Countries where habitual greetings involve kisses on both cheeks are all high covid countries: Belgium, Spain, Italy and France.

    – Age distribution. More oldies = more covid19 infections unfortunately.

    – Public transport systems where passengers are compressed into physical contact – London, New York, Madrid, Paris etc.

    • Another possible factor (influencing covid19 deaths): euthanasia. The three countries most permissive of euthanasia – Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands – both have above average Covid death rates for Europe. Here in Belgium they are now classifying all deaths in old peoples homes as coronavirus deaths. A convenient cover?

      • Mr Salmon makes a number of excellent points about the differences between countries that make direct data comparisons difficult. In the end, each government has to work out its own approach: but, if the useless World Health Organization had been better at its job, it would have ensured that all countries did as South Korea has so efficiently done – test, isolate and contact-trace – in which event lockdowns and the consequent economic damage would have been unnecessary.

    • Too many simple assumptions here which we are forced to believe but make it impossible to disprove the idea that the control of the general publics behaviour is doing anything to stop the spread of this virus. I am 64 years old and yet I am still working, a human shield perhaps to protect those younger than me isolating at home. If we see a flu epidemic this winter in the UK then the measures taken could not have worked because they cannot target one virus in particular.

      • In response to Mr Penman, it is known and well established that the rate of transmission of a new pathogen is governed by two factors in the early stages of a pandemic – the inherent infectivity of the pathogen and the mean person-to-person contact rate. Since there is nothing to be done in the short term about the infectivity of the pathogen, which is what it is, one must instead concentrate on the contact-rate. That is how we know that lockdowns work. They reduce the contact-rate. They have done so in New York, in London and in many other densely-populated countries. As a result, healthcare systems were not overloaded, and it now becomes possible to dismantle the lockdowns, step by careful step.

  6. Starting monday, in Germany the lockdown will be lightly reduced. Schools should start end April to May 4, with classes that will have examinations, some shops (800 m²) can open now, car shops, bicycle shops (!) even larger, coiffeurs with strong restrictions.

    • there was no lockdown in Germany. I’ve been going out everyday here and parks were always full. I also still have been working in production.

      Only some useless jobs like government, burocrats, “culture and entertainment” and some retailers had to stay at home. As well as schools, but they would have had two weeks of holiday anyway.

      • We have no curfew, that’s right, we have a lot of homeoffice, Kindergartens closed, no vistits of family members at hospitals or nursery homes, restaurants, bars etc closed only delivery, most shops closed (if no foodstuffs), not more than groups of two, or more if living in the same household, 2 m distancing, productions (not all) closed, per today, scholl holidays are over, but only a week later, some scholar may start bcause of examinations, basic primary school are not opened than, restart open, as kindergartens too.
        Yes, we are far from a lockdown 😀

  7. In NZ we are contemplating going from 4 weeks of what we call level 4 lockdown (only essential workers, not including gun shops!) everyone else stay home except for food shopping, medical, walks or road cycling) to level 3. Level 3 is construction can resume, all shops can open but significant distancing or on line shopping and restaurants take away (take out* for Americans) only. No pubs.
    We are doing this with a total of 9 deaths and a reducing number of infections. I am not a statistician so have used a simple 5 day average ‘log’ to attempt an RO.
    <> then <> <>and to try for an RO used <>
    Anyway (addressed to Lord Monckton and other more erudite listers– more erudite than myself being most of you) with the data of NZ positives as follows (last figure yesterday) and following the schema advocated by Lord Monckton above, are we being too conservative in our slow exit?
    1,2,0,4,8,8,11,13,14,36,53,50,78,85,83,63,75,89,69,71,82,98,67,54,50,29,44,28,18,19,17,20,15.(yesterday).

    *Funny, I read ‘take out’ as a military term with permanent consequences for the receiver not food picked up from a purveyor of comestibles.

    • In response to Richard from Brooklyn, New Zealand has a low population density in its few urban areas, so it can probably dismantle the lockdown faster than at present without much risk. Expect the government to keep the situation under constant review, and to remove the restrictions more rapidly as it becomes apparent that lifting the lockdown is not inducing a second wave of infection.

    • “No pubs.”

      Probably the one upside of the whole story. NZ is the only country I’ve been to where the beer is so awful you get the hangover BEFORE you get drunk.

      Apart from that a great place when I was there. Don’t know why you elected this halfwit lefty horseface as leader though. I guess we all regret what looked like a good idea at the time.

  8. Now that an approved antibody test is shipping in the US as of today, with a promise to deliver a million tests in the coming week, we may be able to move past the period of wild speculation into a period of hard(ish) facts.

    If we have competent and honest people in charge, it should be possible within a week or two to definitively answer the key question of the proportion of the population with immunity to this disease and thus how close we are to herd immunity. It should also prove possible to evaluate from serological testing of the recovered cases, how long any such immunity is likely to be effective.

    The other unknown that should not really be so difficult to resolve is whether HCQ-Zn therapy is effective and safe (as well as the minimum effective dosage and any contraindications). I speak of practical answers, not levels of certainty that can only take many months to demonstrate, while we watch patients die because we refuse to give the treatment to those patients most likely to benefit from it, and we obtusely fret that a drug that has been safely used by millions may in some fantasy world kill more people than it helps.

    Taken together it would be far easier to make decisions about risks from ending the economic disaster, if governments knew how many are at risk and whether they stand a chance of being treated effectively. If we are now at or near the peak, then without changes in how we treat future cases, we must expect an additional number of deaths (or more), than the numbers already sustained (assuming a gaussian distribution).

    The relevant question is not how many will still die from covid-19 complications, if we continue doing what we are doing, but which approach will result in the least total deaths, taking into account deaths resulting from the economic collapse and future deaths that could be avoided by a broader use of HCQ and other treatments that have shown practical utility. As in all matters of prudential judgment, it must be a balance.

    • Rich Davis makes a vital point. In the early stages of a new pandemic, governments are acting largely in the dark, yet they cannot afford to take wrong decisions. So they are guided by what little data they have. Initially, they were persuaded to introduce lockdowns by seeing that the compound daily growth rate in hospitalizations was 20 or even 30%. They knew that could not be allowed to continue.

      However, once they know how much progress has been made towards general immunity, and whether immunity lasts or whether one can be reinfected, and much else, they can take better-informed decisions.

  9. I see using means the formula inside gets deleted by the server! Not a biggie as the point is in the data, not the formula.
    Cheers.

    • Not true. Antibody testing using random testing will give us a pretty good estimate of the total number of infections. (Of course we can’t be totally sure about the number of deaths really caused by covid).

      You also need to consider that the future death rate could be suppressed by sentinel testing of vulnerable populations (nursing homes, hospitals, etc.) so the historical case death rate doesn’t necessarily have to predict future deaths.

    • In response to Pat, there are two figures worth considering: the deaths as a fraction of all hospitalizations, and the deaths as a fraction of all infections, whether or not those infections lead to hospitalizations.

      During the early stages of a pandemic, it is not known how many infections that are asymptomatic or have not required hospitalization there are. But the number of hospitalizations is known. Therefore, provided that governments keep proper hospitalization statistics, death statistics and statistics on how many of those hospitalized have recovered, they can derive some notion of how many deaths will be likely to occur.

      Unfortunately, HM Government has failed to keep a proper track of those discharged from hospital, and has now abandoned publishing those numbers altogether. And that is a shame, because during the early stages of a pandemic the least unreliable way of working out the hospitalization fatality rate is to express deaths as a fraction of closed cases – i.e., of those who, having been hospitalized, have either recovered or died.

  10. “can the world afford not to sweep away the totalitarian regime in Peking?” Yes. We might replace it with something much worse. Look at Iraq. I call it a Bernie Sanders recipe – it is not perfect, don’t improve it, destroy it.

    • In response to Curious George, it is interesting how many apologists for Chinese Communism seem to be camping on this website.

      During the Cold War, the policy of most NATO countries was that there should be regime change in Russia. But no one was suggesting that the change should be achieved by force.

      However, the Russian people were much comforted by the fact that we opposed their hate-filled, murderous regime. The Chinese people would likewise be thus comforted, except that most NATO countries are financially in hock to China and are, therefore, most reluctant to criticize the regime.

      In the end it is up to the Chinese people to decide what regime they have, but they would be more willing to overthrow it and introduce democracy if they knew that we were supporting the idea that they should be free.

      • Had you formulated your question as “can Chinese people afford not to sweep away the totalitarian regime in Peking?”, my response would have been No.

        BTW, after correcting some minor issues, the virus toll in Wuhan just leaped up by 50%.

    • “But more than a month in, with many patients on ventilators not surviving, some front-line doctors are reconsidering.”

      Must be why Trump offered them to Russia. Unless he just wanted to watch Pelosi’s head explode ( again ).

    • Might be one of the reasons for the lower death rate in Germany. Infected people are monitored closely when at risk but not hospitalized yet. Seems that people’s condition can change rapidly from one day to the next but if you act fast then oxygen can prevent the need of intubation which has a higher fatality rate.

  11. My doctor told me today that he has tested many patients, and is yet to see a single one come back positive for the virus.
    What this tells me is that the infection is very clumpy geographically…but I suppose few would be surprised by that.

  12. Mr mockton you are a pompoums git and humanity will never forget the damage that you have done to the humans race MILLIONS WILL DIEOF STARVATION IN THE USA I will add JO nova as you friend yOU ARE AN INCREDIBLE THREATH TO THE HUMAN RACE AND IS ITS SURVIVAL HUMANS TAKE NOTE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. THE LOCKDOWNS ARE NOT WORKING SEE SWEDEN AND BELARUS

    • Is Mr. Monckton in any gouvernement, in a position to decide what ever ?
      Or did any gouvernement follow him because he wrote it down here ?
      So, where is the damage he did ?
      Btw, you are to loud.

      • He is member of the upper house of the British parliament: the House of Lords. He was a close aide of PM Thatcher, I assume he has maintained close relations with those in power.

        That is what makes his pseudo scientific BS and its use as a justification of authoritarian population control all the more unacceptable than if it came from your average Joe posting on WUWT.

        Eliza : please quit the all-caps crap.

    • Eliza
      Sweden seem to have a high number of deaths in relation to their number of cases. I wonder how good their testing is? And if you want proof lockdowns work, look no further than NZ. Only 8 cases today and and no cases outside of the identified clusters.

    • Eliza sez, (among other inanities)
      “MILLIONS WILL DIEOF STARVATION IN THE USA”

      Wanna bet?

  13. Mr Monckton sir; You had mentioned previously that it was low population density that allowed Sweden to not do a lockdown and still be middle of the pack for deaths. That got me thinking. Could all cities with over a certain density be locked down and the rest of the country allowed to continue? In the UK’s case London and a few other huge metro areas would be confined to quarters and everyone else protect the vulnerable but business as usual otherwise.

    Do you know of any place doing that?

    Maybe try it next time (don’t laugh)?

    • In response to TRM, in principle one could lock down cities only, but then their populations would be tempted to decamp to the country. Indeed, in our remote glen in Scotland, people started turning up in large numbers in camper-vans, to the alarm of the locals, who were entirely free of the infection and did not want it brought into their Shangri-La. So the police were called and the camper-vans were driven out.

      A related question is whether one should allow young people, to whom the pathogen is not often harmful, to move about freely and go back to work, while keeping the old and infirm safely locked away at home. HM Government was asked that question at yesterday’s press conference, and the reply was that it would not be fair thus to discriminate against the elderly.

      I am not sure the Government was right about that. The sensible approach, as soon as it is clear that the hospital system is no longer in danger of being overwhelmed, is to allow the under-60s to move about freely, while advising – though not compelling – the old and sick to be more careful. It would also be sensible to introduce the compulsory wearing of face-protection in public.

      • As one only barely in the under-60 cohort, it strikes me as a ridiculous complaint. How could any reasonable person observe the extreme measures that have been taken to protect the over-60 vulnerable population, at the expense of those still working, characterize continued isolation of the vulnerable as discriminatory to the elderly? It’s absurd. By all means allow the elderly who live independently to make the decision for themselves. But if you are dependent on care in a facility with others who do not choose to be put at risk, you may have the choice to move out at your own expense, and if you do not have the means to do so, it is not incumbent on society to fulfill your every whim.

  14. “New data from the Swiss Canton of Zurich shows that about 50% of all Covid19-related deaths occurred in retirement or nursing homes. Nevertheless, even there about 40% of all test-positive people showed no symptoms. The median age of test-positive deaths in Switzerland is currently about 84 years”

    A vaccine is probably not going to be effective on this age group anyway, after all flu vaccines aren’t.

    Nursing homes are locked down any way, they are not going anywhere.

    We need to stop lock down now.

    • In response to Richard, it is right that the Chinese virus chiefly attacks the old and infirm. However, the daily mean case growth rate is still far too high in most countries, so it is best to leave the lockdown in place for another few weeks. Thereafter, the under-60s can be allowed to move about freely, while the old and infirm can be advised – though not necessarily compelled – to stay at home.

      • depends what you are counting- this would not justify a lockdown.

        “In Italy, it has been established that only around 12% of the people listed as having died of the coronavirus were killed by it. The other 88% almost certainly died of something else. (The Italian Government’s scientific advisor reported that anyone who dies in Italy and who has the coronavirus will be listed as having died of the coronavirus. The National Institute of Health revaluated the death certificates and concluded that only 12% showed a direct causality from the coronavirus. )”

    • “Adjuvanted flu vaccine for over-65s effective in more than 60% of cases this winter, says PHE
      While the overall success rate of the vaccine programme against all flu strains for all age groups during the 2018–2019 flu season was 44.3%, this rose to 62.0% in people aged over 65 years who received the new adjuvanted flu vaccine”

      (The Pharmaceutical Journal. 3 JUN 2019. By Debbie Andalo)

      • the median age of deaths from Corona is around 81 in Europe.

        How is that flu vaccine working up around that age bracket?

  15. “In NZ we are contemplating going from 4 weeks of what we call level 4 lockdown ………..”

    Richard from B –

    More interesting for me is that the NZ deaths/1 mil population is 2 Along with Australia . The US is 104 and e.g. Spain, 413

    I have a hypothesis. We are an outdoor people just having enjoyed a long warm and dry summer. Weather has turned to cool and wet with 4 months remaining. What Happens next?

    If we go to level 3 then later going back to level 4 would be an economic disaster for NZ . I hope that our authorities have got it right

  16. Getting rid of the WHO and the U.N. would not be difficult as, if there was no money made available to run them, they would soon disband and go away. There would be significant benefits for the World and no losses, as those organisations no longer fulfil any good purpose. Getting rid of the Chinese Communist Party would be much, much harder if not impossible without great conflict.

    • In response to Mr Tesdorf, both the UN and the WHO have outlived whatever usefulness they once had. The WHO has been captured by China, with the disastrous results we now see. It should be shut down.

      As to removing the Chinese regime, we should take the same approach that we took against Russia – to make it clear to her people that we were on their side, and that we wanted them to be free of Communism.

      That support from outside was enough, on its own, to bring down the regime eventually. The same should be done for China, but Western governments are in hock to China financially, so, with the honorable exception of Mr Trump, they dare not criticize the hideous Communist regime whose dishonesty and desire to protect its reputation and fear of its own people led it to lie and cheat in a manner that guaranteed the transmission of the virus worldwide, with the active assistance of its poodles in the WHO.

      • The Soviet imploded in bankruptcy, within months of forecast.
        So fast that Berlin had no Plan B, never saw it coming. The reasons are well known.

        This time around, the other shoe is falling – guess what is utterly and irredeemably bankrupt? Look at Mnuchin’s desperation and BlackRock’s actions – https://www.blackrockblog.com/2020/04/13/uncertainty-and-investment-opportunities/
        Believe it or Not, is the title of that report.

        And guess who is in a strong position? Now wonder at ex-MI6 chief Mr. Sawers urging technological apartheid, and realize we need a new paradigm, the sun has definitely set on the British Empire, even if Pompeo still fumes like Rumpelstiltskin.

        President Trump, Putin and Xi will get together on this. Quarantine that imploding financial system based actually in the City of London, which the lockdown is showing up as the real threat to the entire planet.

  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Trade_Center_bombing

    There were sound reasons to consider the World Trade Center as a likely target of another attack in 2001. There was no reason for any nation to suppose there would not be another pandemic. There was no reason for any nation to assume they could predict when. The imperial government of China has no legitimacy apart from force. Countries like S Korea derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed. The inherent weakness and potential instability of imperial systems make all such governments insecure and unable to confide honestly in their citizens. China is very diverse. There are around 270 distinct Chinese dialects. The practice of self-government at the national level is hard for Chinese to imagine. Perhaps the KMT’s Republic of China fell because it was/is impossible to govern China as a Republic.

    I don’t think there is much to be gained in blaming the Chinese government for the Wuhan Flu. I’d challenge anyone to ‘model’ the ‘new model Chinese government’ coherently. This Communist regime is no more Marxist than Margaret Thatcher’s government. It is a new imperial government and it replaced the ancient imperial government. The Republic of China was grand idea, but it couldn’t scale. The empire is so old, no one can imagine breaking it into the Czechs and the Slovaks, so to speak. I can’t imagine Indian-style democracy working in China. One can argue it doesn’t even work in India. Peaceful evolution in to a more benevolent regime is possible. Old Mao was a blood-thirsty old screw. Things a much happier now in China than they were 40 years ago. Let’s encourage them to stay on the path they are on.

    Treating them like an illegitimate government increases their insecurity and the brutality of rule by force.

    • You’re less happy in China if you were worked to death, committed suicide by drinking rat poison, run down by a tank, forced to have an abortion, forced to sleep with a Han Chinese, disappeared, had your organs removed or live in a concentration camp like about a million Uyghurs.

    • It is interesting how many apologists for Communist China here are here. The brutal Communist regime is not legitimate and we should not recognize it as such. The people would have democracy, if they could, and they need to know that we support them in that aim. We supported the people of Russia against Communism there, and in due course it was overthrown. We should now do likewise for the people of China. In due course their brutal regime will be overthrown too, and good riddance.

      • So too apologists for the humble motor bike helmet, the Ducati, and the motorcycle boots made in china?

  18. Monckton makes the same arguments regarding lockdowns that he rightfully criticizes CAGW alarmist for making. He supports lockdown without adequate data to justify that support, and he seems (at least in MHO) to have selected lockdowns as the magic trigger necessary to slay this dragon. I have yet to see a cost benefit analysis regarding lockdowns. Lockdown are mandated by those in power and affect those not in power. I wonder if those who live paycheck-to-paycheck or customer-to-customer support lockdowns. At what point are lockdowns justified? They aren’t justified to prevent tuberculosis, hepatitis B, or pneumonia, which worldwide kill a combined 7,000 people a day.

    • Read my cost analysis up above to get an idea about how much we are expending compared to what we are gaining.
      I estimate that the true cost to the United States of America is about $95,000,000 per life extended or “created”

    • In response to PHMinSC, I do not support lockdowns. Having advised HM Government on epidemiology at the outset of the HIV pandemic, I am in favor of testing, isolation of carriers and contact-tracing, which is exactly what has so successfully worked in South Korea and would have worked in the West too if governments had understood it and had been prepared.

      Lockdowns are only necessary when the South Korean strategy is not followed. And, even then, they are necessary only until the point when it becomes clear that the daily growth rate in hospitalizations is low enough to ensure that the hospital system will not be overrun.

      We are getting close to that point now in some countries, and, therefore, the lockdowns are being progressively dismantled. Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany and New Zealand are among those who have begun this process.

  19. Ireland is an interesting case. Since the Lisbon treaty was forced upon the Irish there has been uncontrolled migration from countries incompatible with the life and culture of Ireland. Soon, there will be more non-Irish residents in Ireland than Irish themselves. But the rot started well before that. Back in the early 80’s, the EU invested billions in Ireland to try to make it better. And it did. Many companies setup HQ’s in Ireland because the tax system was changed to make doing business there better. So now the chooks are coming home to roost.

    • In response to Patrick MJD, it is not clear why Ireland is showing a trend in confirmed cases that runs counter to the declines in most of the other countries I am tracking.

      But it is significant that in Ireland, as in most other Western countries, the government has not yet even advised people going outside their own households to wear face protection, which South Korea has insisted upon from the start.

      To mask or not to mask is quite a good test of whether governments are really serious about slowing the spread of the pandemic.

      • MOB: I think that there are 2 obstacles to wearing masks in public in England.
        One is the availabiity of the masks . If you source through, say, Amazon and read the reviews , as I have done, most are terrible. Nearly all come from China , and they fall apart very quickly.
        Second obstacle is the inherent dislike in Britain to being seen as eccentric or different . The only people I see in the street wearing masks are those of clearly far eastern extraction , where it is common, even in “normal” times if the individual has a cold, say. If face masks were compulsory or strongly advised at the Govt media meetings (and avaiable) , then it would be embarassing to be seen without one in public , whereas at present it feels more embarassing even rather silly to be seen wearing one when no one else is. That is just the way we are in Britain (and probably other European countries).

      • Ireland is a very interesting case. They started their first lockdown on 12 March, and full lockdown on 27 March. Ireland has now been in full lockdown for almost 3 weeks, and as far as I can see, the rules are not much different from those in the UK. Why, then, have the Irish new cases per day gone up by a factor of 3 during the lockdown, and apparently quite steadily too? While in the UK (which locked down three days earlier) the raw new cases per day reached a peak on 5th April, the 13th day of lockdown. And (ignoring the vast batch of late-reported tests added on 10th April) has been roughly static or slightly decreasing ever since.

        There doesn’t seem to be any difference in the wearing of face masks between the countries; certainly, almost no-one except shopkeepers is wearing a face mask in my part of the world. If population density was the issue, that ought to be a positive for the Irish, as the Republic has only two cities (Dublin and Cork) with populations greater than 100,000. Could it be something cultural? It’s clear that the epidemic in the Netherlands went viral (no pun intended) in the Catholic areas of the country, right after the Carnival week-end. But I’m not sure the Irish even celebrate Carnival any more, and the St. Patrick’s Day festivities were cancelled.

        I think that those who posit “the lockdowns are working” need to produce good reasons why the Irish situation, at the present time, seems to be so different from the UK.

        • The irish response to most things is ” I’ll do it after” , after what we are still waiting to see. It’s like the spanish “mañana, mañana”.

          I know someone there who had a bad flu. They signalled being ill, stayed at home, got better and got tested for the virus … 5 weeks “after”. Not surprisingly , negative.

          The rise we are seen now probably happened 5 weeks ago , or maybe not at all they just made the number up because they thought they must be too low. That’s Ireland. Beautiful people, but don’t try to rush into doing something.

      • Face masks *HAVE* to be N95 rated for clearing less than or equal to 3 micron particles. Anything less is useless. The masks have to be *DRY* all the time to be effective. The masks *HAVE* to fully cover the mouth and nose, anything less is useless.

        IMO, remote-ish populations with lots of activity and “clean” air as well as lots of good food and Guinness.

  20. After Trump’s news conference a little while ago, it looks like some States will be relaxing some Wuhan virus restrictions maybe as early as tomorrow.

    The plan he laid out sounds like it will work.

  21. There’s no need for lockdown because covid19 is just another sort of flu. More die from flu than from covid19.

    As it happens, this spring flu deaths are much less than normal.

    That’s because of the lockdown, which is effective at reducing flu.

    But the same lockdown is completely ineffective at reducing covid19.

    Which all proves how exactly like flu covid19 is. So no need for a lockdown.
    O wait…

    • Mr Salmon makes the same mistake as some other commenters here: he compares the deaths in the very early stages of a pandemic with the deaths in a normal year for viral pneumonia.

      That won’t do. At the daily compound death growth rates evident in the graphs, a lot more people are going to die this year from the Chinese virus. On any view, this is going to be a lot worse than flu – and it is additional to, and not instead of, flu, though the lockdowns will reduce the usual flu death toll somewhat.

      Only two weeks ago I was told by one opponent of lockdowns that there would be only 10,000 deaths in total in the United States from the Chinese virus by the end of the pandemic. One simply cannot make comparisons based on the numbers as they are now: one must take account of the continuing very high (though not as high as before) rate of growth both in confirmed cases and in deaths.

      • MoB
        Sorry – I didn’t make my point very clear. It was a (failed) attempt at sarcasm. I was trying to point out that the argument that “it’s just another flu” contains a stark contradiction. Flu numbers are significantly down and everyone recognises that this is because of the lockdown. However, the same people arguing “cv19 is flu” also claim that the lockdown is ineffective against coronavirus. That’s an impossible contradiction. They can’t have their cake and eat it. If lockdown is working for flu then it’s working for covid19. Which is good, because as we also know, at the the extreme end of Covid’s wide distribution of health effects (from nothing to lethality) there is a “sharp tail” of acute respiratory syndrome and damaging viral pneumonia. And overcrowded intensive care wards.

        So the fact that flu incidence is also reduced due to the lockdown is powerful supportive evidence that the lockdown is the right thing to do regarding the coronavirus.

        • Phil Salmon
          While I do agree that your conclusion is probably correct, playing the devil’s advocate, if most flu cases are mis-categorized as covid-19, and if we accept for the sake of argument that lockdowns do not work, then the situation you described arises from the corruption of the data. In reality, there may be a “normal” number of flu cases and a similar number of covid-19 cases.

          This is in part why I harp on the need for serological testing of antibodies, to clarify the situation. Of course people who died of the flu but were also exposed to covid-19 will continue to confound the situation.

        • Rich
          To assert “a percentage of regular flu is being renamed as covid19” is not credible.
          What clinicians in hospitals are experiencing this spring is not what happens routinely with every flu season. The acute respiratory distress and need for ventilators etc. are quite out of the ordinary. It is the sharp tail of covid19 outcomes which is very different from flu and the signature of the virus, and the reason that the lockdowns are necessary and right.

          • As I said, it’s a devil’s advocate argument. I don’t think it’s right but I don’t think your evidence is conclusive to prove us right. I’m at least a little open to being proven wrong.

            Unless I’m misinformed, CDC guidance is to code any death with respiratory distress as covid-19 even if not tested. That’s not a situation where anyone is justified in saying the data are reliable and tell a compelling story.

          • Doctors want to help and save lives, but they are humans and may also be motivated either by extra funds for the hospital or state or by wanting to justify heroic action that did not turn out so well. (only 2-20% survive aggressive intubation and high pressure used on Covid patients.) Many have to stay sedated much longer than normally to avoid the extreme urge to breathe, and it becomes very difficult to wean them from the sedatives. In addition doctors know that they have given patients a lot of lung damage in the process of trying to save their life.

  22. Trump comes up with a recommended plan of action:

    It’s up to the governors to open business & get people working.

    Contact your governor: let them know what you think.

  23. So now Mr. Monckton is apparently calling for an armed invasion of china:
    ” can the world afford not to sweep away the totalitarian regime in Peking”

    While I am no fan of any totalitarian regime I would love to know exactly how
    Mr. Monckton is proposing that we “sweep” it away without an incredible amount
    of lives lost and how he is suggesting a stable democratic government is installed.

    • Mr Walton has offended against Eschenbach’s Rule: he has made up something that I did not say, rather than quoting what I did say.

      As an apologist for Communist China’s brutal and murderous regime, whose dishonesty and negligence loosed this pandemic upon the world, he has falsely asserted that I advocate armed intervention against China.

      No: but we should be no less willing to argue for regime change in China as we did for regime change in Russia. China’s suffering people need to know we are on their side, and that we should like to see them become democratic.

      • Arguing for “regime change” is very different from call for a government to
        be swept away. I would be in favour of the first if it occurred peacefully but not
        the second which implies violence.

      • And if anyone is an apologist for China it would appear to be Trump. Just look at his tweets and comments:

        Jan 24: “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

        Jan 30th: “We only have five people. Hopefully, everything’s going to be great. They [China] have somewhat of a problem, but hopefully, it’s all going to be great. But we’re working with China, just so you know, and other countries very, very closely. So it doesn’t get out of hand.”

        Feb 10: “China, I spoke with President Xi, and they’re working very, very hard. And I think it’s going to all work out fine.”

        Not to mention his constant comments downplaying the severity of the virus.

        • It’s apparent Izaak that you’re incapable of thinking clearly or speaking fairly about anything involving Trump. Should he have been more skeptical of Chinese assurances? Yes. Was he too optimistic about the risks and therefore susceptible to being fooled? Yes. Are his statements at the time consistent with the idea that he was lied to by Xi? Yes.

          How anyone who is not blinded by partisan hatred can fault Trump for being too lax when Pelosi and De Blasio were encouraging people to participate normally in Chinese New Year celebrations and saying that Trump was overreacting is mind-boggling. Where’s your outrage at Pelosi or Biden who called the China travel ban xenophobic and racist?

      • Mr Walton has offended against Eschenbach’s Rule: he has made up something that I did not say, rather than quoting what I did say.

        As you have done several times recently with me. But *that’s* different.

        I called you out and you walked on.

  24. It seems from his posts that Lord Moncton has the same sort of panicked emotional reaction to CoV as my 83 y/o neighbour with a grade school education and only the MSM for information. These reports have convinced her that she will be left die alone if she gets it. She was very surprised that the 69 CoVid deaths over the past month, reported in sepulcheral tones, compare to 85-odd expected deaths per day ALL YEAR for the 65+’s in this province.

    • Most people still rely on the MSM for information, and as a result are terrified of getting the Wuhan flu. They happily comply with what is effectively house arrest and gladly report their neighbors for sitting on their front steps.

      In a few months we’ll look back at this bizarre overreaction and wonder what the heck we were thinking.

      • Klem continues to look only at one side of the argument. Such a narrow-minded focus is not appropriate.

        The reason why people are content – for now – to endure house arrest is that they do not want to see their healthcare systems overwhelmed. As it is, in Britain the Health Service is no longer performing elective surgery, in case the beds are needed for Chinese-virus patients.

        Once the rate of transmission has been brought down to below a 5% daily compound growth rate in total serious cases or hospitalizations (and even that rate would entail a doubling of such cases in only two weeks), it will be possible for lockdowns to be ended.

        The response of governments was not an “overreaction”: it was a proportionate response given the inadequate information available at the beginning of any pandemic.

        Once more is known, the strategy can be refined. What was known by mid-March, however, was that in the preceding three weeks the mean rate of growth in cumulative cases worldwide outside China and occupied Tibet was 20% compound, every day. Do the math. That could not be allowed to continue, and, on the information available at the time, governments could not be sure that the rate would decline all by itself.

        Armchair epidemiology is not the way to address a problem such as that posed by the Chinese virus, which is both more infectious and more fatal than most pandemics.

    • In response to FranBC, it is notable that the hysterical reactions here have come not from me but from those who have lost the argument with their governments over lockdowns. I have explained why it would have been better to follow South Korea’s example, and have provided – thanks to Stephen Mosher, some detail on how that country successfully controlled the pandemic without lockdowns.

      I have also provided a clear, step-by-step outline of how and when to end lockdowns, which is more than can be said for HM Government.

      And I provide every day a benchmark test showing how countries are progressing in reducing their daily compound rate of growth in total serious cases and in deaths to the point where it will become possible to end the lockdowns.

      There is nothing of hysteria or panic in what I have written.

  25. Mr. Monckton wrote: “can the world afford not to sweep away the totalitarian regime in Peking”

    Too much.

    But I’d love to be the lawyer who gets 33% of the damages.

    • In response to Mr Evans, we swept away the brutal Communist regime in Moscow, not so much by force of arms as by a vigorous defensive posture combined by open, publicly-expressed sympathy and support for the suffering Russian people.

      It is time that we spoke out for the comfort of the suffering Chinese people too. I do not advocate armed intervention against China. The United States could not even defeat the Communists in North Vietnam, so military intervention would not work. But the Chinese people need to know that we are on their side against their ghastly regime.

      Communism continues to be a danger to the world. Unlike the apologists for it here, I am prepared to say so, and to argue that it should be swept away. It has killed enough.

      • The Brit (not) advocating Yankee action?
        Amazing chutzpah.
        The Soviet imploded, bankrupt, and you claim it was bcause of sympathy for the Russian people? Like the sympathy of Mr. Steele’s Russia-gate dossier, or Mrs May’s Novichok ramblings?

        Like using Ukraine, driven to utter bankruptcy, to start another Churchill eastern front Operation Unthinkable?

        You are worried about the City of London, and you should be. It will not survive Glass-Steagall, which was FDR’s response to the last Great Depression. A new Bretton-Woods with China on board, nothing to do with Gordon Browne’s fake, must be the nightmare of those City denizen’s, what?

      • In response to Mr. Monckton,

        Seems I relied too much on Mr. Walton’s comment. I appreciate the clarification and perhaps I was relying too much on “lawyers” to handle China’s communist regime (stated tongue-in-cheek).

        (Although, “lawyers” does suggest a “civil” course of action, rather than military.)

        Actually, I do see this as a wake-up call. We’ve given Red China a free ride for too long. And, that’s not a newfound position on my part (one of the reasons I voted for Trump).

        However, hopefully, the West, including the U. S., can avoid a full-blown Cold War with China.
        That seems to be the policy position of the Trump administration.

        My assessment of China is that its leadership sees itself as “a nation apart” from the rest of the world’s nation-states. That’s dangerous for everybody because it breeds miscalculation and arrogance.

        I don’t advocate “trust, but verify” (Reagan in the Cold War), instead, I advocate, “verify, verify, not trust”.

        China is potentially very dangerous because its leadership not only sees itself as a nation apart, but also sees itself as having historical grievances against the West. Seemingly, they have no respect for our laws and norms (they’ll steal anything of strategic value they can lay their hands on).

        And, yes, “the middle kingdom” has ambitions of grandeur.

        Firm diplomacy and enforceable agreements, if possible, are the path forward.

        Those who don’t call for regime change are not automatically apologists for Red China. That assertion is an over generalization.

        We must deal with China: an openly stated policy of regime change makes that prospect more difficult.

        (Non-governmental voices of personal opinion have a role to play, as all the worlds a stage and we all have our roles.)

        • South Korea plans to build out a “smart city” database and get quarantine violators to agree to use tracking bracelets.

          LOL. Reuters making this palatable for western tastes. You can go to prison for 28 days, or you can “agree” to have a tracking bracelet. I guess you get the same offer you can’t refuse if you do not tell them everyone you have had contact with in the last two weeks.

          This is like some distopian sci-fi future where everyone is followed 24/7 in the their slightest movement and all contacts and communications are monitored.

          All this applauded as the “gold standard” by someone whose every second phrase is denouncing Red China ( and occupied Tibet ) COMMUNIST government.

        • Christopher…Why not counter the argument without insult? These are difficult times and insult should be avoided.

  26. In Canada, approximately 800 people die every day. Now tell me again why deaths from COVID-19 are so much more terrible than deaths from, say, pancreatic cancer, that we have to cripple our economy to prevent them?

    Well let’s see: COVID-19 is an infectious disease. It’s not the individual deaths are uniquely terrible, it’s that the epidemic threatens the lives of all Canadians. Except (as is now indisputable) it doesn’t. The median age of the dead in Canada is 80. The epidemic is mostly killing people who are very old, and no reasonable person views death in old age as a strange, unforeseen tragedy that justifies immiserating millions of healthy people.

    And suppose (as seems likely) that the eventual death toll from COVID-19 is less than the toll for the seasonal flu. So, we tolerate a given number of deaths from the flu without drastic abrogations of civil rights and the forced inducement of severe economic recession, but we go absolutely nuts over COVID-19? Seems irrational to me.

    In Canada, motor vehicle accidents kill about 1900 people a year, and seriously injure thousands more. The victims of motor vehicle accidents are of all ages, and in fact a Canadian who is young, handsome and has a hundred Facebook friends can be killed or crippled in a motor vehicle accident at any time. But we accept this measurable risk to our citizens, although we try to mitigate it with traffic laws. But no one is suggesting that we should ban driving. The COVID-19 lockdowns are almost like banning driving to prevent motor vehicle deaths.

    • It is hard to understand how people in general do not get the basic reason for the lock downs, IT IS IN ORDER TO AVOID WHAT HAPPENED IN LOMBARDY on a national stage.

      The virus spreads too fast, like a wildfire.

      What happened in Lombardy? They were late to see that it was an epidemic and HOSPITAL AND FUNERAL SERVICES WERE OVERWHELMED to the point of doing effective euthanasias and coffins accumulating in warehouses. The lockdowns were finally imposed so that the existing services could limp along.

      The questions is not between number of deaths of the elderly and the economy. The question is CAN A WESTERN ECONOMY SURVIVE WITH A TOTAL BREAKDOWN OF HEALTH SERVICES?

      Take the case of New York, to leave everything going, no lock downs? Would it be possible with thousands with flu symptoms staying at home for two weeks? I do not know the answer, it needs modeling , but the decision makers obviously think it would not.

      In the model of a wildfire in a forest, you contain it as best you can, Will the forest survive an unchecked wildfire? After many years the trees will sprout and grow. Maybe that is the case with the economy: lose half the forest fighting the fire, or let the fire go do its thing.

      For the economy it needs modeling. Only then one may judge the real usefulness of lock downs.

      • I took a walk as we are allowed to go out for exercise for a reasonable time, and thought what the inputs to the model should be:

        The death rate due to the virus of over 60 to 75, which is the range of many top executives and government officials .

        (wrong decisions taken, no decisions, what is the impact on economy)

        The percentage of the working population that would be infected with symptoms , enough to stay home.

        (what is the functioning ability with lack of workforce of average industries, considering higher death rate of overseers)

        The percentage of teachers incapacitated.

        The percentage of school children having to stay home , because no teachers. This means many working parents would stay home and may also be incapacitated.

        etc. etc

        • For many countries a significant proportion of their teachers is actually in the risk cohort. We will see how this turns out after schools are re-opening.

    • So in just 24 days COVID19 has killed 1175 and is acclerating, which is over half those killed in car accidents in one year.
      How many would you be satisfied with before you would take action?

  27. Lord Brenchley

    Can a “normal” Flu year be compare to CV19? Normally the Flu Vaccine is very effective and has a high take up rate amongst the vulnerable demographic. Therefore there is a high level of immunity in the general population. In recent years, since the introduction of vaccination, only 2017/18 has the Flu virus in general global circulation not been the one in the Vaccine. You should really compare CV19 to pre-vaccine flu and populations for a real comparison. Asian and Hong Kong pandemics for instance

  28. Due to earlier SARS epidemics in China, in South Korea and Taiwan were prepared for this type of epidemic. Other countries were completely unprepared for this type of virus. Information from China did not help.

  29. Monckton of Brenchley, can the increase in mortality from acute respiratory failure be determined in individual countries in the first 3 months of 2020? In many countries, people in nursing homes who are not in the statistics are dying. This even applies to Sweden.
    In Poland, the action of collecting plasma from convalescents began.

  30. The vaccine must first be tested on animals. There is a problem because mice don’t respond to Cov-2 like humans do. In my opinion, we can count on the vaccine in a year at the earliest . Icelandic scientists have detected different Cov-2 lines from different countries. It is very likely that there are several mutations of this virus in the US.

  31. It’s a deviation from the topic at hand, but let us all mourn the death of Brian Dennehy, taken from us at the shockingly young age of 81. I suspect foul play.

    Now Anna, the hospitals have not been inundated so far. Even if they had been, it would have been an acute problem that would have lasted only a few months. The wildfire would have burned itself out very quickly and its fuel would have been the less valuable trees in the forest, as COVID-19 kills old people, and largely spares the young and the middle-aged. (Yes, that’s right. The lives of the young are more valuable than the lives of the elderly. I doubt if I can explain this to you, so I won’t try.)

    The economic damage of the lockdowns is terrible now, and will soon be much worse. Right now, Canada’s economy is like the Titanic, five minutes after it struck the iceberg. The passengers still think that no great damage has been done. The officers know that the ship must sink, and that there aren’t enough lifeboats for all the passengers.

    The forced abolishment of commerce will trigger a precipitous recession. The cash supports to people harmed in the government-mandated recession will cause inflation. Hyperinflation, if they are allowed to proceed. It is not just income that has been destroyed. Wealth will be destroyed too, which is much worse.
    That’s what happens when you undermine the value of your currency.

    Right now we are about to find out how much of our economy is founded on unsustainable debt. There was a fascinating (in its narcissism) guest editorial in the Globe and Mail recently, by a woman who owned four restaurants and a bar in Toronto. She wanted the government to abolish commercial rents for the month of April. Not defer the rents, but forgive them entirely. That is, she wanted the government to destroy her landlords to save her. That’s how people think when credit goes bad: Somebody else must pay the bill. Very soon we’re gong to run out of somebody elses.

  32. Neil Ferguson track record- worse than, Michael Mann’s, who gets a good kicking here on this site.-

    “1. In 2001, the Imperial team did the modelling on foot and mouth disease which led to a cull of six million sheep, pigs and cattle. The cost to the UK was around £10 billion. But the Imperial’s work has been described as `severely flawed’.
    2. In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would die from mad cow disease. He said that could rise to 150,000 if sheep were involved. In the UK the death total was 177.
    3. In 2005, Ferguson said that up to 200 million people could be killed by bird flu. The total number of deaths was 282 worldwide.
    4. In 2009, Ferguson and his chums at Imperial advised the Government which, relying on that advice, said that swine flu would kill 65,000 people in the UK. In the end swine flu killed 457 people in the UK.

    Finally, Ferguson has admitted that his model of the Covid 19 is based on undocumented 13-year-old computer code intended for use with an influenza epidemic’

    No one seems to have questioned Ferguson’s work on Covid 19 ”

    Perhaps, Mr Monckton, who has spent a lot of time on this site questioning others numbers from the climate change fraternity can answer why he now believes non,peer reviewed work from Imperial college.

    It is now clear that the numbers attributed to Corona are wrong. Why does he now not question Neil Ferguson’s maths?

    The only interesting thing Imperial college said was- “Imperial College (which originally forecast that the coronavirus would kill 500,000 people) has admitted that two thirds of the people who have been listed as having died of the coronavirus would have died anyway – of something else’

    • I knew about the UK F&M fiasco from Imperial, and the Bird Flu. As a result I have a feeling Ferguson suffers from Hero Syndrome, starting pandemic scares and then saving the world. There’s no other explanation.

      • What is more worrying is why anyone is still listening to him. As Dubya once famously said:

        “Fool me once : shame on you. Fool me twice … erm … where was I ? ”

        How many times do these academics get to screw up monumentally before someone realises they must have slept with the Dean to get a their doctorate.

  33. “Thereafter, the under-60s can be allowed to move about freely, while the old and infirm can be advised – though not necessarily compelled – to stay at home.”

    Mi Lord-

    Over my dead body. I am 69. Want an arm wrestle? 🙂

    Everyone forgets that we are the boomers. All my mates same the dame thing, “Bring it on”. You youngsters should not be made to pay for this. And pay we all will, believe me. Sweden and Sth Korea will pay likewise. This is a huge global recession coming up, if not a depression.

    But, all a mute debate now. Even if borders were not closed people would have stopped travelling and many would have locked down voluntarily: recession.

    It remains the most intriguing social event of my life.

    • It is not about going outside, but about numerous contacts with other people. Only one thing is certain: we will all die one day.

      • But not today.
        Not today.

        How many people live their lives focused on this one fact which is true for everyone?
        What would be the point?
        More commonly, people deny their own mortality, and even after a long life or a mortal wound, fight tooth and nail for even a single additional breath, one minute more of life, one day more above ground.
        This is what defines us, not our eventual mortality.

  34. Virologists at France’s Pasteur Institute are using a modified measles vaccine to “trick” the body into producing antibodies against the novel coronavirus.
    The institute received an initial grant of $4.9 million to fund preclinical research on its vaccine candidate.
    Frédéric Tangy, head of the institute’s vaccine innovation lab, told Business Insider that 60% to 70% of the human population needs to be immunized in order to contain the virus globally.
    Tangy predicts the institute could begin testing its vaccine candidate on humans within a year.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/french-scientists-using-measles-vaccine-against-covid-19-2020-4?IR=T

  35. Can anyone explain to me about nations increasing their debt?
    Who is the beneficiary of the debt, like which country or countries have more owing to them than they owe to others?
    What would be the global effect of a round table settlement, so that all debts that can be paid are paid and the residuals remain?
    How does one tyreat non-monetary national assets? Are there countries ()I suspect Australia is one) that are in debt with $$$ on paper, but in credit with natural and social resources? Are we really in debt because we cannot liquidate some assets?
    If there is but one major nation creaming it off the rest, why do we not gang up and bomb the shit out of it?
    Sorry for the questions, but I have long thought that economists stress $$$ too much Geoff S

  36. I would like to respond to a number of comments here and elsewhere related to the ‘hospitalised cases’ data I have regularly linked to.
    As most of us are well aware there are various data collection points, and consequently accuracy/quality of the data varies to a large degree. I assume that the hospitals’ data is probably of the highest accuracy currently available.
    Although such data it does not represent complete picture it shines a beam of light into a centre of the ‘camera obscura ’, while what is currently going on in the rest of the country it is still in the semi darkness. I assume that a smaller set of good data is preferable to the larger set of data with much greater uncertainty, else we are in danger of ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’.

  37. Ratty said to Toad: ‘This is all very silly, very silly indeed…..and that’s a fact, and no mistake!

    ‘Despite absence of strict lock-down, Sweden has no excess mortality. All countries suffering high or very high excess mortality have strict lockdown policies in place.’

    http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/swede_no_excess_16Apr.html

    ‘‘..very little gain, in terms of the projected hospital bed occupancy and expected numbers of death, of continuing the lock-down beyond April 13, provided the isolation of older and vulnerable people continues and the public carries on some level of isolation in the next 2-3 months, see Section 3.1;
    • in agreement with [1], isolation of the group of vulnerable people during the next 2-3 months should be one of the main priorities, see Section 3.2;
    • it is of high importance that the whole population carries on some level of isolation in the next 2-3 months, see Section 3.5;
    • the timing of the current lock-down seems to be very sensible in areas like London where the epidemic has started to pick up by March 23; in such areas the second wave of epidemic is not expected, see figures in Sections 2.2 and 3;
    • the epidemic should almost completely finish in July, no global second wave should be expected, except areas where the first wave is almost absent, see Section 3.4.’

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.09.20059451v1.full.pdf

    ‘All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment, which confirms that sharing indoor space is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk.’

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.04.20053058v1.full.pdf

    ‘Time to get back to work’ said Badger

  38. “Dr John Lee is an English consultant histopathologist at Rotherham General Hospital and formerly clinical professor of pathology at Hull York Medical School. He is most notable to the wider public as co-presenter (with Gunther von Hagens) of Anatomy for Beginners (screened in the UK on Channel 4 in 2005), Autopsy: Life and Death (Channel 4, 2006) and Autopsy: Emergency Room (Channel 4, 2007).

    What he says:

    But there’s another, potentially even more serious problem: the way that deaths are recorded. If someone dies of a respiratory infection in the UK, the specific cause of the infection is not usually recorded, unless the illness is a rare ‘notifiable disease’.

    So the vast majority of respiratory deaths in the UK are recorded as bronchopneumonia, pneumonia, old age or a similar designation. We don’t really test for flu, or other seasonal infections. If the patient has, say, cancer, motor neurone disease or another serious disease, this will be recorded as the cause of death, even if the final illness was a respiratory infection. This means UK certifications normally under-record deaths due to respiratory infections.

    Now look at what has happened since the emergence of Covid-19. The list of notifiable diseases has been updated. This list — as well as containing smallpox (which has been extinct for many years) and conditions such as anthrax, brucellosis, plague and rabies (which most UK doctors will never see in their entire careers) — has now been amended to include Covid-19. But not flu. That means every positive test for Covid-19 must be notified, in a way that it just would not be for flu or most other infections.

    – How deadly is the coronavirus? It’s still far from clear, The Specator, 28th March 2020<

    *

    Few tests have been carried out in patients with mild symptoms. This means that the number of positive tests will be far lower than the number of people who have had the disease. Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, has been trying to stress this.

    He suggested that the real figure for the number of cases could be 10 to 20 times higher than the official figure. If he’s right, the headline death rate due to this virus will be 10 to 20 times lower than it appears to be from the published figures.

    […]

    The distinction between dying ‘with’ Covid-19 and dying ‘due to’ Covid-19 is not just splitting hairs. Consider some examples: an 87-year-old woman with dementia in a nursing home; a 79-year-old man with metastatic bladder cancer; a 29-year-old man with leukaemia treated with chemotherapy; a 46-year-old woman with motor neurone disease for 2 years.

    All develop chest infections and die. All test positive for Covid-19. Yet all were vulnerable to death by chest infection from any infective cause (including the flu).

    – How to understand & report figures for ‘Covid deaths’, The Spectator, 29th March 2020"

    • Yes and they were included in any flu death rates all over the world, I don’t hear you talking about that.
      All the so called data we have about flu mortality starts with “ESTIMATED”.

      • yup. Germany has between 20 and 1000 confirmed cases of flu every year, but the “estimated” numbers are 20000 to 60000.

  39. Mr Monckton seems to have the stats all to hand.

    Could he provide us with the median age of the deceased in the UK and how many of these has illnesses?

    Europe – “The median age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 1% of the deceased had no serious previous illnesses”

    • It looks like having a lockdown could be potentially bad, too. Deaths per million population:

      Belgium 419
      Spain 413
      Italy 367
      France 275
      UK 202
      Netherlands 193
      Switzerland 148

      The key question is how much difference the lockdowns have made (if any). I don’t think we are yet in a position to give a solid answer to that question, and perhaps may never be. Sweden on one side, and Ireland on the other, are the most likely candidates to provide the examples we need.

      Also, I don’t think using a single figure for the USA is very helpful. If you look at it by state, the deaths per million are:

      NY 821
      NJ 396
      CT 271
      LA 248
      MI 210
      MA 182

      All worse than Sweden.

        • Population density (I assume that’s what you meant) does, indeed, seem to go with increased cases and deaths per population. As you might expect, if the chance of an averagely sociable person getting the virus on a given day, at a given stage of the epidemic, was in proportion to the population density (so the total cases would be in proportion to the square of that density). Myself, I think it’s the local population density that probably determines the risk more than the density over a larger area. Living in high-rise flats is not a very good idea right now.

      • All of those states have democratic governors except for Massachusetts.

        Not very smart people, government dependency and voting democrat have many things in common, but good outcomes is not one of them.

    • You cant simple compare death rates guys.

      the distribution of deaths over ages is hugely skewed, as is the distribution over co morbidities

      • It might be a good idea to compare death rates in an age range where most people are “healthy” – for example 20 to 55. Then co-morbidities are far less of a problem. But where are those data? Not easily available to us “gentleman scientists,” for sure.

  40. Rules for Corona virus-

    COVID-19…The Rules:

    1. Basically, you can’t leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, then you can.

    2. Masks are useless, but maybe you have to wear one, it can save you, it is useless, but maybe it is mandatory as well.

    3. Stores are closed, except those that are open.

    4. You should not go to hospitals unless you have to go there. Same applies to doctors, you should only go there in case of emergency, provided you are not too sick.

    5. This virus is deadly but still not too scary, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster.

    6. Gloves won’t help, but they can still help.

    7. Everyone needs to stay HOME, but it’s important to GO OUT.

    8. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarket, but there are many things missing when you go there in the evening, but not in the morning. Sometimes.

    9. The virus has no effect on children except those it affects.

    10. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…

    11. You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you can also get sick without symptoms, have symptoms without being sick, or be contagious without having symptoms. Oh, my God.

    12. In order not to get sick, you have to eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have on hand and it’s better not to go out, well, but no…

    13. It’s better to get some fresh air, but you get looked at very wrong when you get some fresh air, and most importantly, you don’t go to parks or walk. But don’t sit down, except that you can do that now if you are old, but not for too long or if you are pregnant (but not too old).

    14. You can’t go to retirement homes, but you have to take care of the elderly and bring food and medication.

    15. If you are sick, you can’t go out, but you can go to the pharmacy.

    16. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, which may have been prepared by people who didn’t wear masks or gloves. But you have to have your groceries decontaminated outside for 3 hours. Pizza too?

    17. Every disturbing article or disturbing interview starts with ” I don’t want to trigger panic, but…”

    18. You can’t see your older mother or grandmother, but you can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver.

    19. You can walk around with a friend but not with your family if they don’t live under the same roof.

    20. You are safe if you maintain the appropriate social distance, but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance.

    21. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn’t say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Oh no, not necessarily.

    22. The virus stays in the air – well no, or yes, maybe, especially in a closed room, in one hour a sick person can infect ten, so if it falls, all our children were already infected at school before it was closed. But remember, if you stay at the recommended social distance, however in certain circumstances you should maintain a greater distance, which, studies show, the virus can travel further, maybe.

    23. We count the number of deaths but we don’t know how many people are infected as we have only tested so far those who were “almost dead” to find out if that’s what they will die of…

    24. We have no treatment, except that there may be one that apparently is not dangerous unless you take too much (which is the case with all medications). Orange man bad.

    25. We should stay locked up until the virus disappears, but it will only disappear if we achieve collective immunity, so when it circulates… but we must no longer be locked up for that?

    • + at least 25 plusses!
      Well said.
      Is it okay if some of us try to add to your excellent list?

        • I just think it was a funny look at the maelstrom of chatter.
          I am certain we can look forward to a long period of much to say and study regarding nearly every aspect of recent events.
          Dennis Miller tells us hydroxychloroquine makes an excellent steak marinade.
          Which reminds me I have skipped breakfast yet agin.

  41. “A New York woman with coronavirus symptoms died last week after being prescribed a drug cocktail with known cardiac side effects, and family members say she was not tested for COVID-19 or for heart problems before receiving the medication.

    The family’s experience suggests that at least some physicians are prescribing hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin — drugs President Donald Trump has promoted to treat the coronavirus — outside of hospital settings, underscoring why major medical organizations including the American Heart Association have issued warnings about the drug’s potential to trigger heart arrhythmia in some patients.

    In early April, Ligia, a 65-year-old Queens resident, was given the drug by her general practitioner after she reported having a bad cough, fever and shortness of breath. Ligia’s last name is being withheld on the request of her children.

    While Ligia’s symptoms were consistent with those of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, she was never tested for the virus, her brother-in-law, Lee Levitt, told NBC News. Ligia received the drug after speaking by phone with her doctor, Levitt said. She was never evaluated in person and received no heart screening or warning about the potential side effects.

    “It was handed over like a bag of cookies,” Levitt said.”

    I had used the analogy of Skittles for the past several weeks.
    But a bag of cookies seems apt.
    We shall see how it shakes out.
    If these rugs cause harms, and have been used recklessly, we have laws about that.
    No drugs are benign.
    Clear warnings and contraindications exist for HCQ, Z-pack, and chloroquine.
    Tp prescribe them over the phone because someone has symptoms of a cold, with no testing for a disease or contraindications, sounds downright criminal to me.
    No one should ever tolerate such blithe credulity by medical professionals.

    https://news.yahoo.com/womans-family-blames-hydroxychloroquine-fatal-191900400.html

  42. Wait…a doctor was up to no good?
    Impossible!
    We know from decades of talking about gore-bull warmening that we can ascertain motive by examining credentials, can we not?
    /sarc

    “A Southern California doctor is facing federal fraud charges after he allegedly told patients that the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine was a “magic bullet” that “cures” Covid-19.

    Dr. Jennings Ryan Staley, 44, is the medical director of the Skinny Beach medical spa in San Diego, which normally offers services such as lip fillers, botox, and fat transfers. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out, the spa appears to have been transformed into a service selling patients coronavirus packages including hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, the other part of the controversial coronavirus drug cocktail, as well as vitamin C and zinc for nearly $4,000. The packets also allegedly included “anti-anxiety treatments,” according to the FBI.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fbi-charges-california-doctor-in-hydroxychloroquine-covid-19-scam/ar-BB12Kw94?li=BBnb7Kz

    • What will you tell us with your 2 comments ?
      That there are idiots everywhere, even under medical personal ?
      No doubt, there are more idiots under the sun as you may believe, n every job.
      We have here in Germany a doctor of med. and homeopath making us believe COVID 19 isn’t more than a sniffle.

      • What will you tell us with your hateful grudge routine?
        Anything about me?
        Or perhaps more so about you?

        You do not like me…I get it.
        I decline to return the favor.
        Lot’s of people here do not like me.
        Some of them, such as our esteemed author of many articles over the past weeks, simply choose to avoid addressing me or my commentary even one single time over all of the days and many comments I have posted.
        If you find them of no value, or harmful to your delicate sensibilities, maybe say so directly, instead of the endless passive/aggressive routine.
        Or not, suit yourself.
        I will defend your right to say whatever the heck you want to say.

        • How many patients have died from COVID19 complications because they recieved no medication?

        • My only impression is, that your comments in concern of medication against Covid-19 is somewhat onesided, why ever. There is nothing hatefull, and no question if I like you or not. I don’t know you personally – I read what you write, and comment it, that’s all.
          You aren’t such an impotant individuum that you cause me quite a headache.

  43. Ecuador is seeing a major covid19 outbreak (or maybe it’s just flu? NOT) in which thousands have died. Many more than the reported figures. In the province of Guayas 6700 people have died in the first half of April, where the expected number is ~1000.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-52324218

    This is a baleful sign that tropical climate is no defence against covid19 pneumonia.

  44. More anecdotal reports trickle in:
    “PUTRAJAYA, April 17 — Antiviral drug ‘remdesivir’ has been used to treat COVID-19 patients in the country, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

    He said, however, the ministry was still monitoring the results of its use, and it was too early to share anything.

    “What is certain is that we do not have any issues with the drug, nor others. In terms of stock, we have a sufficient amount to treat patients,” he said during the daily COVID-19 press conference here today.”

    https://www.bernama.com/en/general/news.php?id=1833227

  45. Repeating this post since first attempt with sarcasm failed (always a bad idea on blogs).

    The false argument still widely circulated is that “there’s no need for a lockdown because covid19 is just another sort of flu. More die from flu than from covid19.”

    In hard hit areas that’s not even true. But that’s not the worst problem with that argument.

    As it happens, this year’s (2020) spring flu deaths are much less than normal. That’s because of the lockdown, which is effective at reducing flu.

    So can you see the problem? If the lockdown is reducing flu, how can it not be reducing covid19 also? If we assume it’s also a virus and not caused by G5 mobile phone mast deadly rays. (That’s meant to be sarcasm also, BTW.)

    Flu levels are like a kind of label or tracer. If lockdowns are reducing flu (and they are) then they are reducing covid19 spread also. Which is good. And which is achieving the goal of reducing intake of seriously ill patients in hospital intensive care units.

    And meaning that hospitals don’t run out of respirators and respiratory associated equipment – something that does not happen every flu season.

    It will be very bad for climate change (alarmist) skepticism for it to become associated with covid19 and lockdown skepticism also.

    • Ok, let’s not compare with flu.

      and Corona has nothing to do with these-

      3,826,154 Communicable disease deaths so far this year.

        • over estimating aren’t you?

          “In Italy, it has been established that only around 12% of the people listed as having died of the coronavirus were killed by it. The other 88% almost certainly died of something else. (The Italian Government’s scientific advisor reported that anyone who dies in Italy and who has the coronavirus will be listed as having died of the coronavirus. The National Institute of Health revaluated the death certificates and concluded that only 12% showed a direct causality from the coronavirus. )”

    • In London about 10,000 deaths would be expected in a typical March. This March there were 16,000 deaths. So this year there was an excess of about 6000. Hospital data give coronavirus deaths in the capital as about 3000. That leaves still and excess of about 3000. Add to that the mild winter it has been, and that 3000 excess deaths seems more real. It’s quite likely that the real covid19 deaths could be as much as twice the hospital quoted number. Thus in a place like London, deaths from covid19 are more numerous than from flu.

      • Where hospitals are overloaded, number of deaths from coronavirus will always be undervalued. It was the same in Wuhan. Many people died at home because the hospital did not manage to receive them.

    • Phil Salmon, data from Belgium is very worrying. The highest number of deaths per million inhabitants with high population density. It will be difficult to reduce the number of cases.

    • Phil Salmon, it seems to me that Belgium should vaccinate citizens over 65 with plasma with antibodies.

      • Ren
        Yes Belgium is world #1 for deaths per million from covid19. It has the highest population density in Europe, but has a reasonably high standard of living and good healthcare system. There are differences in how countries report deaths, for some reason no-one understands, all deaths from care homes are being assigned to coronavirus, without testing.

        Belgium is one of the countries with the social habit of kissing on both cheeks (although sometimes it’s an air-kiss) along with Italy, France, Spain – all of these are high covid19 countries. There’s a reasonable amount of business travel between Belgium and China. But apart from that, it’s not obvious why Belgium has such a high rate. Although the hospitals intensive care capacity has coped with the coronavirus caseload without ever approaching overload.

        The schools here are going to reopen on May 4. Yes vaccination and plasma/antibodies would be good for any country.

  46. I regard the statement from Gilead on the latest from the Chicago hospital results, as important evidence tat they may…MAY…have more good news in the offing.
    After all, if they had bad news, would they be “looing forward” to having it released?
    Hmmm…
    ““What we can say at this stage is that we look forward to data from ongoing studies becoming available,” Gilead said in a statement to STAT.

    President Trump and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn have highlighted the antiviral drug — found to work against SARS and MERS, two other coronaviruses — as a promising therapy.”

    Also good that Trump was out in front of many, in encouraging more investigation of this drug.

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/17/ebola-drug-remdesivir-helping-treat-coronavirus-gilead-sciences/

  47. How much counting could a counter count if a counter could count counts?

    “New York City increased its death count by more than 3,700 on Tuesday, after officials said they were now including people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.”

    Couldn’t some of the deceased have died from the flu? Yet be counted as COVID deaths?

    It seems COVID counting is overrated.

    • Do the US want to be like China and not report deaths? Compare with deaths from respiratory failure from other years at the same time. The difference may indicate the effect of coronavirus.

  48. Can anyone tell me how is this known?

    “Everyone in the whole country is vulnerable to this,” said Andrew Noymer, an associate professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine. “Nobody has pre-immunity. That’s totally unlike flu.”

  49. Monckton,

    You are ignoring the problem situation. The economic damage due to isolation is time dependent.

    The ‘solution’ to covid-19 which you propose, testing and isolation, will not eliminate the virus from major centres and from entire countries.

    and to break quarantine, your solution requires masks. Masks are absolutely necessary unless there is microbiological solution.

    What we are waiting now for, is billions of masks.

    In high population centers, such as large cities in South Korea, China, Japan and so on, people all wear masks when they travel on mass transit, shop in malls, walk on busy streets, and so forth.

    That helps, however, masks do not stop the virus and the fear.

    • “What we are waiting now for, is billions of masks.”

      We do not need flaky paper masks made in China which are not even effective with a beard ( currently in vogue it seems). Anyone can place a tee-shirt over their nose and tie the sleeves behind their head. Tuck the rest down your shirt and you have an all enclosing “mask”. Keep two, wear one, wash the other in soapy water.

      There’s a dozen ways to make a basic mask. The Pentagon even made a video.

      If you want to stop the fear, turn off the TV. You’ll feel better right away !

    • hmmm-
      “Swiss chief physician Pietro Vernazza
      The Swiss chief physician of Infectiology, Professor Pietro Vernazza, has published four new articles on studies concerning Covid19.

      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“.”

      • Since no one can be sure who does and who does not have the virus, obviously everyone must wear a mask, since even the most intransigent will admit that masks reduce virus being emitted by the infected.
        Now, if they block virus escaping the body, obviously they to the same job in the other direction, as long as it is made to be the case that all air you are inhaling is passing through the fabric.
        There are a welter of studies on this topic, and the only way one can say they do not work to help and assist to prevent a person from being infected, is due to lack of compliance in usage.
        They do not block every particle, but they do not have to.
        One must use them as a part of an organized and rational barrier strategy.
        And a barrier is only as effective the least effective aspect of it.
        When we are out in public, and people with and shedding the virus are crossing our path, we must keep in mind what they means. We must keep in mind the presence of fomites.
        Particles settle onto our footwear, so we must take that into account.
        Gloves become contaminated, so we must have a plan for eliminating that contamination without ever spreading it to our face…mouth, nose, eyes, etc.
        Clothes will have virus on them.
        We all need to have a grab kit when we go out.
        Lysol spray, disposable gloves, disinfectant wipes, 93% isopropyl, squeeze bottle of iodine solution (iodine on hands is proven to provide residual antimicrobial action for at least one hour after application, which means virus will be killed when it touches your hand), safety glasses, goggles…

        What I do is rotate footwear.
        Remove all clothes and immediately place into washing machine.
        Rinse hands, spray feet, wipe handles of cars, carts, doorknobs, wipe steering wheel, glasses, keys, every thing you touch.
        You cannot remove your barriers willy nilly.
        You must think about which things must be done in what order, and do not make a mistake.
        Do not touch your face until you have been wiped and rinsed.
        I carry a set of microfiber clothes (packs of 100 are about $10 at Sam’s club) for wiping my face.
        Then after using it once, place it into a plastic back to go into the laundry machine with the clothes. Have a bunch of them, and a bunch of sandwich bags, and a bunch of those thin plastic shopping bags. Shop at big stores and do self check out.
        Sam’s Club has scan and shop.
        You scan items with phone as you wander around the store, and then they scan your phone real quick at the exit door and email a receipt.
        No one touches anything you touch and vice versa.
        Do not contaminate your grab bag kit.
        Lysol spray, Clorox wipes, several kinds of plastic bags both zip lock and thin type, supply of clean microfiber clothes, glasses (sunglasses if you have no goggles, N-95 mask (they can be sterilized and have been shown to not be contaminated in most cases even in hospitals, but assume they are and make sure to sterilize. Heat and UV are a sure bet. Viruses are fragile…it is not like trying to kill bacteria. Assume virus is everywhere and on everyone and behave accordingly. Turn away when passing people. Speak at a distance. If someone coughs hurry away. Avoid non mask wearers like the the plague…or like a Zombie Apocalypse…because they are the ones who are not only most likely to have stupidly gotten themselves infected and to not be being careful, but they are also to ones spewing far and wide if they are infected.
        Give everyone a wide berth and walk around the long ways. Avoid the dumb people strictly. Face away when passing, especially if it is people waking together and talking, etc.
        Spray all packages except stuff like produce that it will be impossible to remove it from. There are sprays for that if you want.
        And take a shower right away before getting dressed and putting on clean clothes.
        Wash stuff with bleach, either oxygen or chlorine type.
        Whoever invents a two way viricidal mask gets filthy rich, but it is ridiculous to suggest that a clothe will only block a particle in one direction.
        They fail due to poor compliance.
        However, if one is not going out much, and hurries through shopping, and avoids others as much as possible or feasible, it is not hard to be perfect, and easy to be very good re compliance.

        The problem is the weak link in the chain effect.
        And realize you do not need to prevent every possible virion from touching you.
        If you are careful and fastidious and attentive, if you do get some virions, it will be far less than otherwise, and that may be better than no virions. But do not count on that, just let it set your mind away from being a nervous Nellie.
        Even if you get infected you have and overwhelming likelihood of being fine.
        Most eckspeshally iffen you know where clinical trials are in your area…care is superior in such trials. Data is being recorded, everyone is getting paid extra (one reason it costs billions to get a new drug approved), the clinicians are top notch, and care is spelled out in explicit detail.

        The longer one does not get infected, the better, for many reasons:
        -Care is improving as the learning curve in all settings advances,
        -Treatments are being winnowed based on what has and what has not been shown to work.
        -Less virus is in circulation if new cases are declining in an area, at leas tit is likely this is the case. –The people you encounter and more likely to be immune/recovered.
        -Stupid people are removed from circulation.

        From Nick’s Pandemic Handbook, Volume 1.

  50. A general principle of passive antibody therapy is that it is more effective when used for prophylaxis than for treatment of disease. When used for therapy, antibody is most effective when administered shortly after the onset of symptoms. The reason for temporal variation in efficacy is not well understood but could reflect that passive antibody works by neutralizing the initial inoculum, which is likely to be much smaller than that of established disease (5). Another explanation is that antibody works by modifying the inflammatory response, which is also more easily achieved during the initial immune response, a stage that may be asymptomatic (6). As an example, passive antibody therapy for pneumococcal pneumonia was most effective when administered shortly after the onset of symptoms, and there was no benefit if antibody administration was delayed past the third day of disease (7).

    For passive antibody therapy to be effective, a sufficient amount of antibody must be administered. When given to a susceptible person, this antibody will circulate in the blood, reach tissues, and provide protection against infection. Depending on the antibody amount and composition, the protection conferred by the transferred immunoglobulin can last from weeks to months.
    https://www.jci.org/articles/view/138003

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