The COVID Growth Curve (In Verse) #coronavirus

Guest verse by Denis Howarth

    On April 13, Israel’s Channel 12 television broadcast a discussion with Isaac Ben-Israel, who heads the Security Studies program at Tel Aviv University, chairs the National Council for Research and Development, and is a mathematician.  Ben-Israel said that his study of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus statistics shows “a set pattern” and “the numbers speak for themselves”, the pattern being that the rate of infection increases and then declines over the first 40 days, regardless of what policies countries employ to combat the virus.

    The following day, the Times of Israel published a report of the discussion, which apparently also included an angry doctor warning that “mathematicians – who know nothing about biology” should not be permitted to influence public health policies.    That Times of Israel report of April 14 has subsequently formed the basis for many news stories, including that report’s wholly undocumented assertion that Ben-Israel had claimed that the virus “plays itself out after 70 days”.

    On April 19, the Times of Israel published Ben-Israel’s study itself, which turns out to contain no such assertion.  Nevertheless, all the secondary news sources, feeding off the April 14 newspaper report rather than the April 19 study, continue to spread that claim, which – the claim that the claim was made – has now become internet dogma.

    As for the graphs of daily new infections in various countries, they show a clear decline in Italy, Germany, France, Norway.  There is not (yet) any such downward curve for the U.S., the U.K., or Canada.  The graph for Sweden (which implemented social distancing but no lockdown) shows infections still increasing.  Worldwide, the infection rate is flat.

        This virus thing.  I
        Have been looking at the graphs.
        So did someone else.

        An Israeli named
        Isaac Ben-Israel caused
        A bit of a stir.

        The press claims he claimed
        The virus plays itself out
        In seventy days.

        He does not know why.
        He just looked at the graphs and
        Made observations.

        Naturally, he
        Has been attacked as being

        When the press declares
        Crisis, one is not allowed
        To use one’s own eyes.

        Courageously, though,
        Ben-Israel did, and wrote
        A simple study.

        He is being called
        A prominent Israeli

        His study, though, which
        Of course I have read, uses
        No mathematics.

        It just shows some graphs,
        Which appear similar from
        Country to country.

        Most of the world has
        Countered the virus spread by
        Social distancing.

        That includes having
        No big social gatherings.
        No more party time.

        In addition, some
        Countries have locked down, which means
        Shutting down commerce.

        Whereupon a chunk
        Of their workers instantly
        Become unemployed.

        That is harsh, and it
        May turn out to have been an

        One could guess as much.
        But fortunately, the graphs
        Give us some data.

        They seem to show the
        Same pattern for countries with
        And without lockdowns.

        Which suggests that the
        Economic lockdowns were

        Very bad news for
        Responsible fear mongers
        And politicians.

        It is their job to
        Prevent the populace from
        Figuring things out.

        They have agreed on
        An official message, which
        Is simple though false.

        Always the case with
        Fear mongers.  But we fearless
        Ones check for ourselves.

        Which I, a fearless
        Person, do.  Apart from what
        Ben-Israel did.

        I neither approve
        Nor disappove of what he
        Made of the data.

        I can think of some
        Potential criticisms
        Of his conclusions.

        But that is not my
        Purpose here.  Instead, I shall
        Describe what I see.

        There are various
        Graphs available online.
        Some are not so good.

        The most useless graph
        Is the cumulative curve
        Of COVID cases.

        It starts low, then bends
        Steeply up, then heads on straight
        To infinity.

        It tells nothing, save
        The trivial history
        Of the first stages.

        It is the same as
        Summing all human deaths since
        This planet began.

        Obviously, that
        Kind of graph will never show
        Any turn downward.

        All it can show is
        That some ignoramus is
        Trying to scare you.

        Another fairly
        Useless graph is the doubling
        Rate of infection.

        The early rate is
        High.  The infection doubles
        Every three days.

        Then the doubling rate
        Falls off.  The doubling time gets
        Longer and longer.

        Duh.  That tells nothing.
        You have merely hit a stage
        Of linear growth.

        It is now pointless
        To calculate when twice as
        Many will be sick.

        Will it be thirty
        Days, sixty days, ninety days?
        It does not matter.

        Within whatever
        Period, as many will
        Get sick as get cured.

        So, what kind of graph
        Gives us good information?
        The daily growth curve.

        What it shows is that
        There is a period of
        Exponential growth.

        Then the curve levels
        Off, in about forty days
        From when it began.

        The growth levels off
        At ninety thousand, worldwide,
        New cases per day.

        The trend line is a
        Horizontal flat line, a
        Daily new ration.

        The main effect of
        Which is that hospitals are
        Not overloaded.

        As many come in
        The door each day as go out.
        (Dead, or recovered.)

        It also means that
        The problem does not increase,
        But goes on and on.

        However, the trend
        Line is just a summary.
        There is something else.

        The actual curve
        Is not flat.  Rather, it shows
        A wavy pattern.

        The wave goes up and
        Down with a period of
        Exactly one week.

        The count of daily
        New cases hits a high point
        Every Friday.

        Interesting.  What
        Does that wave mean?  One suspects
        A human factor.

        The whole human world
        Governs its activity
        By the calendar.

        We know people change
        Their activity as the
        Weekend approaches.

        Does that make them get
        Sick at some point in the week?
        Or just get treated?

        Or have hospitals
        Some pattern of admitting
        And of recording?

        Whatever it is,
        The curve displays this wave form
        Of just seven days.

        Somehow the new case
        Counts are highest on Friday
        And low on Monday.

        What the worldwide curve
        Does not show so far is how
        The whole thing goes down.

        There is no fall off,
        So far, in cases.  It is
        A steady problem.

        So we cannot tell
        How long the problem will last.
        That is a problem.

        The problem is that
        The Times of Israel did
        Some mis-reporting.

        Hardly a surprise.
        An instance of journalists
        Freely inventing.

        The paper’s lead was
        On a TV interview
        By Ben-Israel.

        Then, five days later,
        It printed Ben-Israel’s
        Actual study.

        The original
        Lead, very original,
        Made these two statements.

        First, that the spread of
        COVID-nineteen peaks after
        About forty days.

        Second, it declines
        To almost zero after
        Some seventy days.

        In the study by
        Ben-Israel, that second
        Statement is not found.

        Nor is the paper’s
        Lead paragraph supported
        In the story text.

        Nowhere other than
        In that lead, any mention
        Of seventy days.

        Yet that lead became
        The headline: that the virus
        Will play itself out.

        Gentle reader, do
        You apprehend danger in
        False journalism?

        Also, that all the
        Attacks on the study failed
        To notice that point?

        Is there a danger
        In false criticism of
        False journalism?

        The study made the
        Point that policy measures
        Had the same outcome.

        Whether or not a
        Nation imposed a lockdown,
        The growth was the same.

        Maybe so or not.
        The journalists invented
        Quite another point.

        They fantasized that
        The study said the virus
        Would play itself out.

        That is precisely
        What we do not know, because
        It has not happened.

        Get it?  What we can
        Know is the past.  That is what
        Science is based on.

        But journalists think
        That what scientists do is
        Predict the future.

        That is precisely
        What scientists do not do.
        Get that in your head.

        When a paper says
        “Scientists predict”, you know
        That it is lying.

        They have made it up,
        Or the “scientists” that they
        Quote are fraudulent.

        Newspapers publish
        Astrology columns that
        Are worth just as much.

        Now, as to what we
        Can know about the virus.
        We look at the stats.

        The observations
        By Ben-Israel and by
        Me are similar.

        The statistics tell
        What happened so far, and that
        Is all that they tell.

        We can see the curve
        Start, zoom upward, level off,
        And make little waves.

        We do not see the
        Curve going downward.  Therefore
        That part is unknown.

        We do not know how
        Long the virus will persist.
        We must wait and see.

        I have told you what
        The graphs show: the current spread
        Rate is linear.

        Ninety thousand new
        Cases each day, or somewhat
        Less if it’s Monday.

Copyright © 2020 Denis Howarth
(Author of Hackyu Won Too Free)

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April 28, 2020 6:45 am

a must see re lockdowns ect

Reply to  Eliza
April 28, 2020 7:05 am

Reposting your link so it shows up in player (hopefully).

Reply to  icisil
April 28, 2020 7:55 am

The UK’s Covid-19 today’s (Tuesday) update:

Reply to  Vuk
April 28, 2020 9:19 am

The graph for Sweden (which implemented social distancing but no lockdown) shows infections still increasing.

NO. Sweden has been essentially flat for about 3 weeks now.
comment image

UK, US essentially flat.
Canada still in slow increase.

Steve Case
Reply to  icisil
April 28, 2020 11:34 pm

icisil April 28, 2020 at 7:05 am

You Tube has taken your link

This very ugly message pops up:

This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s
Community Guidelines.
Learn more

I can only conclude that there is something very seriously wrong.

Reply to  Steve Case
April 29, 2020 5:50 am

There IS something serious wrong: YouTube (and their parent Alphabet) now think they know truth from fiction and censor deviance from official doctrine.

Steve Case
Reply to  Observer
April 29, 2020 5:24 pm

Observer April 29, 2020 at 5:50 am

We have anti-trust laws, it’s about time that Google, You Tube and maybe some others be broken up. If you have a problem with that idea, please pipe up.

I know that I am being actively deprived of free access to public facts.

Reply to  Eliza
April 28, 2020 7:11 am

Here’s another good one. Fear-driven policy forbids use of safer-for-patient non-invasive ventilation equipment causing increased patient mortality via invasive intubation.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  icisil
April 28, 2020 10:03 am

No steroids or bronchodilators? Is this serious?!

Steve Case
Reply to  Eliza
April 28, 2020 8:23 am

Watching on You Tube, I find this note from Mike Sessler:

YouTube pulled the original version of this video because it didn’t meet “community guidelines.

Outrageous if that’s true !

Reply to  Steve Case
April 28, 2020 9:30 am

Audio fixed, they write…..
What ever that means….

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Steve Case
April 28, 2020 9:45 am

It’s true. I checked this morning and the original video was missing from my watch history.

Reply to  Robert W. Turner
April 28, 2020 5:46 pm

YouTube no longer accepts anything that deviates from official dogma. Any deviation will be removed. Only the official version of the truth is allowed in America.

Bryan A
April 28, 2020 6:51 am

I wonder why the worst days seem to be Fridays?
Perhaps social weekends

Reply to  Bryan A
April 28, 2020 7:13 am

Less social distancing during weekend before ?

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 28, 2020 10:13 am

You don’t catch the virus and then get sick a day or two later. I think the key word is that the daily “reported” cases spike on Friday. Like the article says, a human factor must be suspected.

Reply to  Robert W. Turner
April 28, 2020 10:23 am

IMHO, between weekend end following Friday lie 5 – 6 days, am I wrong ???? 😀

Bryan A
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 28, 2020 12:10 pm

Perhaps Friday is the true sabbath and the Lord is just resting that day

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 28, 2020 5:25 pm

Without actually following individual cases in Sweden, this is only what I surmise.

From infection to symptoms can be 6 days – presymptomatic period. It then takes another 4 days before it becomes debilitating or recovery occurs. Then maybe 2 days for reporting for those getting to hospitals. Typically 12 days from infection to hospital. Infection rate increases on weekends as most bars and restaurants are still open in Sweden.

The cyclic nature is very clear in Sweden cases through April with distinct peaks in cases at the end of each week:
Thur Apr 2 – 621
Thur Apr 9 – 722
Fri Apr 17 – 676
Fri Apr 24 – 812
Some days are less than half the peak.

Sweden is content to track along at around 80 deaths per day for a long time yet as cases are still rising. They have closed some bars because they were not maintaining the distancing rules on the premises.

US has locked in more than 2000 deaths per day at least for the next month. The IHME forecast has risen to 74k deaths but it will be much higher than that. With present cases in the pipeline the death toll in US will easily reach 120k.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Bryan A
April 28, 2020 10:06 am

End of the week the administration is done. During the weekend most time you find lows: the administration of deaths is postponed to later moments.

Bryan A
Reply to  Wim Röst
April 28, 2020 12:12 pm

I see, Death gets weekends off…Must be an Angel Union

Reply to  Bryan A
April 28, 2020 10:13 am

Just reporting delay. Facilities are catching up paperwork on Fridays, and have fallen behind at the end of the weekend. (Just a guess, of course.)

Terry Bixler
April 28, 2020 6:55 am

The graphs suggest that the world has just wasted trillions of dollars. Of course those governments that have made foolish decisions will defend those decisions with all the force they can apply. The will not be proven wrong by the facts.

Jimmy Haigh
Reply to  Terry Bixler
April 28, 2020 7:03 am


Reply to  Terry Bixler
April 28, 2020 7:05 am

The graph shows what did happen, not what would have happened if there had been no shutdowns. So no, they do not show that money was wasted compared to what would have happened if we had instead applied ignorance, wishful thinking or stupidity.

Reply to  mcswell
April 28, 2020 7:17 am

Exactly right sir!

Reply to  mcswell
April 28, 2020 7:36 am

If the graph is the same for countries with shutdowns vs countries without shutdowns, it does show that shutdowns are ineffective.

Reply to  coaldust
April 28, 2020 7:46 am

If that was the only difference between countries, your point would definitely be correct.
However there are many differences between countries.
The number of tests given.
The rate in growth in the number of tests given.
Who the tests are being given to.
How the numbers are being reported.
The type and severity of the lockdowns.
Differing health statistics from the general population before the virus struck.
Social norms. Not all societies shake hands and hug as readily as we in the west do. Asians in general have a much larger personal space compared to western countries.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 11:46 am

So, if there are all these material differences, then why do all the curves look the same?

Bryan A
Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 12:17 pm

There is obviously a conspiracy and likely a corresponding theory … Just ask Stephan Lewandowsky, he’s superb a theorizing conspiracy ideation

Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 2:57 pm

Other than all of them rising, I don’t see that much similarity between the curves.

Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2020 12:19 am

Obviously you have never lived in Asia. I live in Vietnam and travel all over Asia. I’m always amazed how close people sit to one another. Having strangers leaning up against you is not unusual.

Reply to  mcswell
April 28, 2020 8:17 am

Actually, the statement that lockdowns did much of anything is false. All you need to do is look at Sweden and Iceland. But there is another way to look at the trillions of dollar that have been flushed down the toilet as a result of these lockdowns.

Let’s take the U.S. as an example (I’d use Canada, but the Trudeau “government” is hiding the total cost by announcing bits at a time so there is no way of knowing how much money that lunatic has poured into the toilet).

The ruse that the lockdowns have done much of anything except burn money is just a take off from the old “if it saves one life” nonsense.

The U.S. has now allocated at LEAST $3 TRILLION dollars to this lockdown. Let’s say that 100,000 people die from this in the U.S. The cost to try to save each one of those lives $30,000,000. Now how many people do you think could be SAVED if that $3 TRILLION was spread into things like transplants, cancer research, etc? I mean, the average cost of a heart transplant in the U.S. is $1.4 million…the average cost of a kidney transplant is $414,000. The average cost of a pancreas transplant is $350.000 and the average cost of a lung transplant is $860,000.

So that means for the amount of money the lockdown is costing, for each single Wuhan virus death, we could perform 21 heart transplants, 72 kidney transplants, 85 pancreas transplants or 34 lung transplants. So perhaps the cost to save one covid 19 life (which is not likely given there are limited therapies and co-morbidities play an enormous role) could have been used to say 21 heart patients, 72 kidney patients, etc. It’s called “opportunity cost”.

And also, a study done last fall by a university in Canada, indicated that for every 1% increase in the unemployment rate, the suicide rate increases by 2.8%.

The lockdowns were a waste of money and did little. If the “public health officials” (bureaucrats) had been on the ball and had listened to Taiwan and similar countries, they would have IMMEDIATELY shut down air travel and buttoned down nursing homes etc., tight as a drum right off the bat.

Reply to  Joey
April 28, 2020 9:27 am

The cost is disproportionate, as you rightly point out.

The reason is that this is not about “saving lives” it’s about saving banks. This is just another 2008 style bank bailout in disguise.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Joey
April 28, 2020 10:07 am

Well not to mention that if 100,000 people die from Covid 19, they weren’t actually saved at all despite the $3,000,000,000,000 spent thus far. They have it covered by them claiming it would have been much worse if not for the lockdowns – though in the end, states like South Dakota that never mandated a quarantine at all will rue that meme.

Reply to  Robert W. Turner
April 28, 2020 10:30 am

“I’ll tell you very brutally: We may save people in Germany who would be dead in six months anyway – due to their age and previous illnesses,” said the Mayor of Tübingen [Boris Palmer] on Tuesday on Sat.1 breakfast television.
Is it necessary to mention that he is a Green one ?

Not to forget the Green leader Habeck telling us, the incubation period of COV-19 is doubling every second day.

Reply to  Joey
April 28, 2020 2:38 pm

Could look at a health cost benefit analysis 3 ways
1. VSL value of statistical life = say US$10m per VSL , Benefit = 100000x10m = US$1T.
2. QALY quality adjusted life years = say US$150,000 per QALY. I guess no more than 5 QALYs lost per Covid patient so US$750,000 per death Benefit = US$75B
3. Add up all financial benefits provided by the each patient and all cost incurred by the patient if they died with or without Covid. Hmmm very hard but would probably be negative or very low benefit.
I suggest using QALYS would be the correct way given that most patients are old but not necessarily in aged care.
( please note values above are only for illustration purpose – I don’t actually known how many VSL of QALY the lockdown has saved)

Peter Carroll
Reply to  Waza
April 29, 2020 11:04 am

TWO THINGS: 1) I’ve seen estimates of the all-in costs of our response to this (in the US) of $6-8TN. 2) You shouldn’t really compare this to, or divide this by, the number of CoVID deaths so far, or anticipated. Those deaths are the failure of our responses, not its success. No, you really need to try (it’s hard) to guesstimate the lives saved (technically the life-years prolonged) of those who would have died in the absence of the $6-8TN response. I’ve run some of my own SWAGs on these numbers, adjusting for the age & life-quality profile of those who are actually dying. It looks to me like it’s costing about 10 times the value gained. In policy terms, this isn’t very good and supports, for example, Willis Eschenbach’s POV more than, for example, Chris Monckton’s

Reply to  Joey
April 28, 2020 5:53 pm

Do you really think it cost US government or its citizens USD3tr to create USD3tr in new money. The government makes it for free; just a change in computer data file. It never has to be paid back and never will be. It simply ends up in the bank deposits of savers, either on shore or offshore. With negative interest rates it becomes an asset. Denmark banks are offering home loans at minus0.5% with government bond rates at minus0.6%. So the banks still make money out of lending while paying borrowers to use it.

The only cost would be if it created inflation and that is highly unlikely while the food supply chain is intact.

US gets a fail for its handling of the CV19. Taiwan gets the high distinction; almost zero economic impact and 6 deaths. South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and a few others are worthy of a distinction for eradicating the virus within their borders.

The US has only flattened the curve. Cases are increasing daily by about 30k. Deaths running at around 2000/day.

US is not out of the woods yet. It could end up in chaos the way CV19 is progressing across the country. That will mean essential services and supplies are threatened. Then it is not far from chaos with panic buying of food.

The death rate in the US is more than 1%. Letting the virus run without restriction would result in at least 2,000,000 deaths. Even with draconian lockdown it will exceed 120k.

So there is no cost to supply new money. The lockdowns potentially saved the good part of 2 million lives BUT it is a long way from over in USA.

Jeffery P
Reply to  mcswell
April 28, 2020 8:36 am

On the contrary, most of our response we based on ignorance. Many things we thought we knew 6 – 12 weeks ago we now know aren’t true. Many other things are probably not true.

The experts we followed made their recommendations based on ignorance. This is not uncommon. You have to make decisions based on what you know now and error on the side of some overreaction.

Please think about considering whether what we did in ignorance still applies. You seem to not know every country or every US state imposed lockdowns. Turns out Italy and NYC are not good models for the rest of the US.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Jeffery P
April 28, 2020 11:54 am

While it is true that it is not uncommon to make decisions based on ignorance (lack of information), as a rule you should never go very far beyond what good data you do have. The reason is, that you can wind up exposing yourself to even greater dangers in the long run. You must be very careful, and move slowly when you have limited information. Kind of like being in a mine field. Seeing a safe spot 100 yards away and striding purposely forward is just stupid.

Reply to  mcswell
April 28, 2020 11:00 am

Rapid population infection 1.) overwhelms hospitals. 2.) Produces fairly rapid (months) population immunity. 3.) Short sequestration times (months) for the elderly and vulnerable. 4.) The economy hardly notices.

Slow population infection 1.) Impoverishes unused Hospitals if overdone (as we are inexplicably continuing to do). 2.) Postpones or totally prevents population immunity leaving open a second wave. 3.) Requires over a year…maybe two of sequestration of the elderly and vulnerable…and that is nearly IMPOSSIBLE…so most of the vulnerable and elderly will eventually become infected and die at “up to” the same % (minus an unknown rescue % by Therapeutics). 4.) Deep Economic recession lasting years is probable. Millions bankrupted.

Neither is good.

The obvious (to me) conclusion: 1.) We are past the point where hospitals will be overrun (management of opening the economy will not allow this). 2.) Do seriously tight sequestration of the vulnersbke 99.5% of the people who die for several months…thereby keeping fatality numbers tolerable. 3.) Return all younger and healthy to work to GET INFECTED…and any who already have immunity can return to work. 4.) A depression might be avoided…but a future worldwide “cascading-debt-crisis-led” economic depression is likely to take down the world economy even if we “dig out” quickly after the pandemic.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  DocSiders
April 28, 2020 11:57 am

Add to your second paragraph: Millions of people, mostly children, die of starvation over the next year because the U.S. is too weak to help them.

How many African children are worth each (mostly elderly) life here? 10, 100, 1000? That’s how you put a price on human life: with other lives.

Terry Bixler
Reply to  Terry Bixler
April 28, 2020 7:47 am

the -> they

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Terry Bixler
April 28, 2020 8:17 am

Maybe this is a cost effective may to put an end to climate hysteria costs.

Global Cooling
April 28, 2020 7:00 am

To infect the whole population of 7 000 000 000 at the rate 90 000 new cases per day will take more than 200 years. We get 70% herd immunity in around 150 years.

How many new babies will locking create in each day?

Reply to  Global Cooling
April 28, 2020 7:47 am

How do you know that the number of newly infected matches the number of new cases being detected?

Global Cooling
Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 11:12 am

There is no good data to know that. Iceland has tested 13,5,% of its population resulting in 1,795 (0,5% of population) detected cases. New York has tested 4,3% of its population detecting the virus from 1,5 % of its population. If my interpretation of Wordometers data is OK, which is strong if. Going deeper with global averages might not be a good idea.

Conjectures about the level of infections in the population that has not been tested need validation. We need data. Does the hit rate go down when we test more? Or do have a large hidden population of asymptomatic carriers?

Reply to  Global Cooling
April 28, 2020 8:19 am

Interesting, but useless. The virus is already spread much, MUCH deeper into the population than the “official” numbers indicate.

Reply to  Joey
April 28, 2020 10:47 am

Therefore, many, MANY more have developed immunity and can no longer spread the virus than anyone is reporting.

Reply to  Dan Pangburn
April 28, 2020 11:42 am

Assuming that recovering from the virus gives you long term immunity to the virus.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  MarkW
April 28, 2020 12:01 pm

Assuming that the spread has been greatly under reported, if recovering from the virus does not give you long term immunity, I would think we’d have a lot more hospitals overflowing with Covid-19 patients.

Mike McHenry
April 28, 2020 7:05 am

I’ve been following the New Jersey stats where I live. New Jersey was one the earlier outbreaks as part of NYC metro area. The growth in positives does seem to be declining. More importantly deaths have declined in the last few days. The latter driven by the decline in long term care facilities eg nursing homes deaths which make up a major portion of deaths here.

Mike Herzog
April 28, 2020 7:32 am

It’s sadly ironic how the crowd that decries the “climate deniers” as anti science, are the very same that are denying natural selection, and how it doesn’t care that our bureaucratic impositions are more self destructive and worthless when it comes to a virus. The silver lining is this is exposing the petty tyrants for who they really are.

Ron Long
April 28, 2020 7:33 am

Informative posting, Denis. A person attempting to make sense of the Covid-19 outbreak is likely to consult their favored news source. Liberals/left/socialists tend to consult CNN, New York Times, etc and persons from the right/conservative/capitalists might consult foxnews and Dr. Birx, for instance. What a totally different message each side will encounter. I tend to think that much of society is unable to sort through the noise and detect a clear report, but here’s the problem: both sides vote! If you guess I’m in favor of the idea of Thomas Jefferson, you would be correct. I am in a Province where the Covid-19 infection rate (based on testing of only persons with some symptoms or who were contact traced) is 1 per 50,000. Today is day 39 of a quarantine, but modified to allow persons to walk outside for 1 hour, no further than 500 meters from your house, and observing protocols. I took my dogs for a walk, they peed on all of the trees (I didn’t) and we all were thrilled. Stay sane and safe.

David Blenkinsop
April 28, 2020 7:41 am

Bravo Denis Howarth! Shakespeare could not have done better.

Brooks Hurd
April 28, 2020 7:51 am

The past weeks are illustrative of what occurs if the citizens of a country allow a government to control their daily lives. For the most part law enforcement was careful to avoid a heavy handed approach, there are more than a few stories of extreme enforcement by some government officials which lead me to the conclusion that the line between a free society and a police state is very thin. The consequences of government officials banning normal medical procedures resulted in doctors and nurses being furloughed in the midst of a serious epidemic. This is what one should expect in a centrally planned society. Food processing plants are shutting down which prevents farmers from selling their chickens and pigs which are now being culled. Without local slaughter houses in each town, there is no longer an alternate supply chain to get meat from the farm to your table.

All of theses impacts happened because China tried to hide the initial infection in Wuhan and then lied to the world about the numbers of new cases and deaths. This was then parroted by the utterly worthless WHO. The response to the infection was delayed needlessly by weeks and when countries did begin responding, the same type of horrible computer models, that readers of of this blog understand,were used to scare citizens into accepting the most draconian measures ever foisted upon the world.

Now the truth is coming out that COVID 19 is not nearly as deadly as the computer models showed and that aside from international travel restrictions, most of the draconian restrictions were unnecessary. The same governments that locked down their populations and crippled their economies will be emphasizing other impacts of COVID 19 like heart problems, blood clots, long term lung damage, brain damage and a host of other problems. These will be used to justify the damage caused by centralized government control. To each of these we must demand to see the data. What percentage of people had such issues based on widespread testing? Did the victims of these other issues have co- morbidities? Were these issues therapeutical side effects?

Reply to  Brooks Hurd
April 28, 2020 8:06 am

In some parts of Germany, if you don’t follow Socoal Distancing as requested, you may even be jailed.
On the other hand, because of Corona, you are discharged from prison, a question of place, if people will be infected. But that concerns only lighter criminal cases.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 28, 2020 8:22 am

So they throw people in jail for not “social distancing”, but let people OUT of jail because you don’t want inmates to get infected with the Wuhan virus. Yup….sounds like government, alright.

Reply to  Joey
April 28, 2020 8:33 am

Different handling in different German Federal Lands 😀

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 28, 2020 2:45 pm

They put one person in jail for a few days who repeatedly violated regulations on purpose. Not the weirdest thing to do.

Reply to  Ron
April 29, 2020 3:04 am

Not only one, afaik

Jeffery P
Reply to  Brooks Hurd
April 28, 2020 9:10 am

It’s sad to see so many people willingly submit to the restriction of our rights out of fear. The US Constitution does not have a Covid-19 exception and I’m sure the various state constitutions, county and city charters do not either.

The purpose of government is to protect our rights, not restrict them. We are not the nation our founders envisioned.

It’s interesting to see how people line up with the extreme measures are typically on the left side of the political spectrum while people in the right are more interested in less extreme alternatives.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Jeffery P
April 28, 2020 9:52 am

The idea our founders had for this nation flew out the window in 1913.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Jeffery P
April 28, 2020 12:18 pm

An observation or two:
There is no “right to safety” in the U.S. Constitution, nor is there any requirement that Government guarantee safety for every citizen. In fact, the law recognizes that you assume some “reasonable” risks just by participating in a society and that perfect safety is not in fact possible. There are also no mechanisms in the Constitution for even temporary suspension of people’s rights collectively. “State of emergency” statutes do not trump the Constitution, and most of them specifically state they are limited in scope and duration for this reason.

Reply to  Jeffery P
April 28, 2020 3:35 pm

It’s worse in France: the Conseil d’Etat (CE) is established to protect the citizen from the administration arbitrary interpretations of its rules and capricious decisions of its administrators.

But a collective of health care unions tried to get the CE to make un référé liberté = action to protect fundamental rights, to impose restrictions on basic rights. And they were denied but were mostly successful, like the Sharia application court ruling was denied by a European court, but for a marginal technical issues. The court accepted the request and its underpinnings.

April 28, 2020 8:48 am

Well… no. What we were told was that sans lockdown there would be uncontrolled growth. Sweden isn’t locked down and doesn’t exhibit uncontrollable growth; the infection curve would look radically different. You’d see mass graves from space and Swedes would be knee deep in bodies with an overwhelmed medical system. The entire lockdown was justified with the claim of medical overloading. Yes Sweden is seeing higher death rate in the short term but citing this is a move of goalposts. Keep your eye on the ball.

Reply to  randomengineer
April 28, 2020 9:07 am

But Sweden has social distancing etc, it isn’t they have nothing to reduce spreading.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 28, 2020 2:45 pm

voluntarily distancing and washing and so on are not the same thing as making businesses functionally illegal. I didn’t say they had zero measures.

April 28, 2020 8:56 am

another video ht Robert it seems the only way we can stop this madness is to post as many of these videos everywhere

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Eliza
April 28, 2020 10:18 am

Prison population is interesting but you cannot just throw out a number out of context. How many 65+ are there ( a lot less than national ave. ) Social distancing : that’s pretty much the definition of incarceration. I also imagine they have used covid to restrict the already very limited social mixing they get.

One idea test case to look at would be the case of Italy and Spain as they relax restrictions.

Italy has only relaxed a few shops so far but there has been not change to the general downward slope.
Spain should be the ideal test case since they have put factories and construction back on line. Sadly the data has gone to shit in the last week. ECDC have been retrospectively changing data and even managed one day with negative 1,400 “new cases”.

I looked Breliner Post data and Johns Hopkins and now have four different lines with different stories to tell.
comment image

The best we can get from that is the decline in daily cases seems stalled but there is no “second wave” or return to rapid rise in daily new cases.

That suggests we should stop screwing around and get the western economies off the ground ASAP.

Robert W. Turner
April 28, 2020 9:47 am

Non medical experts will stop giving their opinion on the virus the day that medical experts take all responsibility for the economic crash or offer their medical services for free ad infinitum.

Reply to  Robert W. Turner
April 28, 2020 3:09 pm

And when “experts” get transparent about their links with not only Big Pharma, and not only financing for research – also symposiums, honors, undeserved promotions, also incompetent people promoted in a government service only because their servility is even greater than their incompetence…

April 28, 2020 10:11 am

More good George Carlin

April 28, 2020 11:20 am

Has no-one else here seen that the author’s verse is in haiku rhythm! Well done, Denis Howarth. Not so well done, WUWT readers as a whole.

Reply to  Neil Lock
April 28, 2020 4:15 pm

Haiku is so obscure to most people. What did you expect?

Now name three steps in classical ballet (no looking up). (^_^)

Federico Bär
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 29, 2020 2:58 pm

Haiku may be (let me say: is) appropiate for poetic language. It is not, in my opinion, worth the effort for ordinary text. I felt like driving a car having to shift gears every four seconds.
Even so, I do appreciate the essence of the verse.

Richard Mann
April 28, 2020 11:25 am

Account of medical mistreatment in NYC. Do you believe this. Fake or real?
Sounds horrific. People forced on ventilators, not given alternative treatments (antiviral medication), non-invasive breathing assistance (CPAP).

Reply to  Richard Mann
April 28, 2020 12:39 pm

It’s consistent with other things I’ve heard/read.

April 28, 2020 11:46 am

Because most of the spread happens within a family, lockdowns do not have as much of an effect as one might think. It just takes one family member to go to doctors office, grocery store, get on a bus for them to get it and for disease to spread inside the family. In other words a large part of the R0 is due to people living together, and the lockdowns don’t prevent that transfer.

April 28, 2020 2:40 pm

I just heard and read, that Putin has extended the time, that Russians have not to work and to stay at home ’til May 11. So, the Russian people is than for 6 weeks at home – the full time and completely payed.

Richard Mann
April 28, 2020 2:59 pm

Please see the following article,

Note that the Oxford epidemiologist is the one who first predicted big death numbers, then walked those back. He also says the only way out is a number of waves of illness *until we have a vaccine*. That’s right, he, like Bill Gates and others, wants to vaccinate everyone.

April 28, 2020 3:30 pm

Does this most basic limitation not concern anyone?

CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

comment image?dl=0

The highlighted text reads: Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms.

What exactly, then, is being defined as a “case” with such certainty that the world can be locked down to destroy economies, thereby reducing the quality of lives to rock bottom?

This makes less and less sense each day.

April 28, 2020 4:43 pm

Ecuador lists the current number of deaths as 871. This video clearly proves that Ecuador has been hiding the true numbers. They have lost thousands so far. …

Who knows how many other nations do similar for their own reasons. China certainly has hid what happened in Wuhan. Iran’s numbers are somewhat suspect. Russia is another question mark. They have been hitting around 6,000+ new cases daily for 4 days in a row. They still have the cold air at 500 hPa over head. Note that a cold spot is over France once again. Let’s see if numbers rise in France in the next few days. …,54.76,826/loc=36.534,55.602

Reply to  goldminor
April 28, 2020 5:20 pm

Late numbers just popped up with US back up to 2,450. Both New York and New Jersey saw their numbers jump. Along with that jump in numbers was the return of cold dry air at 500 hPa after around 4 days of warmer air when the death rate dropped a bit. …,42.70,1713/loc=-72.911,40.780

April 28, 2020 5:57 pm

“Counts are highest on Friday and low on Monday.”

Does this mean that if governments decide that every day has to be a Monday the infection rate will go down?

April 28, 2020 7:26 pm

looks like nearly all virus cases in New York were actually Influenza flu but wrongly assigned to covid because all flu cases have magically disappeared over the last 2 months !!!see Laura Ingraham show 28/4/2020 fox. Biggest scam ever!!

April 29, 2020 8:23 am

Australia’s lockdown has largely worked.

The same cannot be said for Australia’s workforce, however.

At some stage this bill has to be paid. Just how and when that happens is not known. One feels rather like one is caught in a giant social experiment. Given that a century has passed since the outbreak of Spanish flu, one may have hoped for a more sophisticated pandemic response than placing life on an enforced siesta. By the time we are allowed to wake up, the pesetas may have run out.

May 1, 2020 6:53 pm

Here is another fascinating correlation of the corona virus with weather patterns. France just had its lowest count for new cases today since the very beginning of their outbreak, at 168. Take a look at France and tpw. France is almost covered with clouds. …,43.04,899/loc=144.311,-45.319

The West Coast of the US had early cases of the virus, but no major outbreak similar to what took place on the East Coast. This last winter started out cold and dry around here. By mid December it was starting to look like a possible dry winter then steady storms starting crossing the Pacific, and washing the West Coast in the second half of February. Did those storms dampen the early start of the corona virus on the West Coast? I took sick in late November and into mid December. I recently found out that many locals also had similar symptoms as what I got hit with. My brother and his son both had the flu shot and both ended up very sick in late November and into December. Then the rains came.

Reply to  goldminor
May 1, 2020 6:56 pm

Error: this was supposed to read December and not February “washing the West Coast in the second half of February”.

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