A million have recovered from the Chinese virus

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Some good news: more than a million people have now recovered from the Chinese virus.

And some more good news: lockdowns are being unwound by little and little. Even HM Government, which has moved with all the vim, dash and rapidity of a glacier flowing uphill over a vat of superglue, is talking of setting out an unlocking plan sometime next week. Maybe. Once it has had a nice cup of tea. Here are the dates on which various territories locked down, and the dates on which some began to unlock:

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Georgia, one of the last states to go into a strictish lockdown, is among the first to unlock. The Governor, Brian Kemp (Republican) has issued a down-to-earth, practical, quite detailed and very clearly-explained unlock strategy. Here are a couple of slides encapsulating some aspects of that strategy. More at his website:

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It is not only the “Democrats” who are beside themselves with fury, on the ground that there may be a second peak if the state is unlocked. Health professionals are also muttering into their beards. But the Governor is banking on people following the rules he has set out, and using their common sense. Georgia, then, will join Sweden as one of the places to watch.

Some more good news (h/t Mosher, who has kindly been supplying first-class information on the pandemic). Research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that lockdowns have discernibly halted the infection’s exponential spread in some countries, though not in all. Take the United States:

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Mr Trump declared a state of emergency on March 13. Four key states – New York, California, Illinois and New Jersey – locked down between March 19 and March 22. About a week later, a peak in new infections (which the School estimates occur a couple of week before the cases were reported) was reached in the U.S.A.

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Looking at six populous states, the lockdown had no apparent effect in California, Illinois or Massachusetts, and the peak in Pennsylvania was ten days after the lockdown, but in densely-populated New York and New Jersey the peak was reached within a week of the lockdown.

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In the UK the lockdown came into full effect on March 24 and the peak in new infections was on April 4, 11 days later. However, the half-dozen most-affected regions all showed near-immediate peaks following the UK-wide lockdown:

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One notable feature of all these curves of daily cases is that, though the approach to the peak is steep the decline from it is slower. The reason is that lockdowns delay the acquisition of “herd immunity” and, therefore, the symmetrical shape of the curve either side of the peak that, as my good friend Willis Eschenbach has rightly pointed out, is characteristic of a pandemic following the logistic curve does not arise.

For contrast, here is Sweden, which has not locked down at all. The School thinks a peak has been reached nonetheless:

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One more piece of good news: our daily graphs show that in the United States estimated active cases (on the cautious, weekly-averaged basis) are at last declining.

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Fig. 1. Mean compound daily growth rates in estimated active 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 April 1 to April 30, 2020.

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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 8 to April 30, 2020.

Ø High-definition Figures 1 and 2 are here.

Sweden now has the highest growth-rate in estimated weekly-averaged active cases among all the countries we are following, and the third highest death-rate. Its Public Health Authority is no longer holding daily press conferences, and the director of the Authority is currently preparing a report on why so many people have died in care homes (a problem that has afflicted Britain and many other European countries, with the notable exception of Germany).

Finally, I apologize for having mangled yesterday’s equation (1). I explained that once the deaths are falling by one-nth per day, on the assumption that deaths will continue to decline at that rate, one can estimate the total deaths T from any day d simply as the product of n and that day’s deaths m. The corrected equation for the sum of the relevant infinite series is:

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Ø A growing number of commenters here are providing valuable information about best practice in public policy and in approaches to treatment of the virus. Keep this information coming and I shall feature the best information here from time to time, as I have today.

250 thoughts on “A million have recovered from the Chinese virus

  1. “And some more good news: lockdowns are being unwound by little and little”

    The good news from Thailand is that new cases are dying out and ARE dead in 44 of the 76 provinces including mine where the beer ban will be lifted on Sunday and lockdown will be gradually eased and fully lifted by May 30th.

    • Dear Lord Monkton,

      This is irrelevant to your post, but have you viewed the movie “The Planet of the Humans”?

      Yes it has been created by a number of left wing types including Michael Moore but the incredible thing is that Michael Moore has actually seen the facts and has clearly shown each effort to combat CO2 has failed and in fact has been created by charlatans.
      Incredible as it may seem, I think you really would appreciate viewing this movie!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE

      Cheers

      Roger (From New Zealand)

      • Certaijnly worth watching, though Moore has still not gotten the point that there will not be enough global warming to cause net harm in any event.

    • My hypothesis is that more will will become sick and feel like they are dying from lifting the beer ban than from the corona.

  2. “The reason is that lockdowns delay the acquisition of “herd immunity” and, therefore, the symmetrical shape of the curve either side of the peak that, as my good friend Willis Eschenbach has rightly pointed out”

    I think he pointed out that the canonical curve (related to herd immunity) was the Gompertz curve, which is not symmetrical, and does trail off more slowly than exponential. However, the declines we see here are happening far before herd immunity is a factor (delayed or not). The reason for the slower decay is that it is a function of Reproduction Number Rₜ. The objective of social distancing is to reduce this substantially below 1. How much below 1 determines the rate of decay, which is not related to the rate of rise, hence no symmetry. The efficiency of social distancing varies over time too, so you can’t expect decay to be exponential. It depends on what is done.

    • No, Willis pointed out, correctly, that not the logistic curve but the curve of new infections is typically symmetrical either side of the peak, and he showed several examples. However, where exponential growth is well under way before a lockdown interferes with transmission the downslope the far side of the peak will tend to be less steep than the near-exponential upslope leading to it. In such circumstances, the distribution is fat-tailed and one cannot simply double (or even multiply by e) the cumulative cases at the peak, for that will be likely to underestimate the final total.

  3. I don’t see why people 65 and over who are healthy and live independent lives in their own homes should be forced to ‘shelter in place’.
    It’s the state’s role is to advise not force, statistically over 65s may be more vulnerable but it should be left to informed individuals to decide for themselves what risks with their own lives they are prepared to take.

    • Chris

      Agreed . Many are in better shape than younger counterparts. Let us substitute that phrase about ‘over 65” for ‘People from the BAME community’ What a fuss there would be but statistically, at least in the UK that is the grouping by far the worst hit with up to 6 times the infection and death rates of others in the wider community. Extremely ageist comment. Was there a kick back?

      tonyb

    • “I don’t see why people 65 and over who are healthy and live independent lives in their own homes should be forced to ‘shelter in place’.
      It’s the state’s role is to advise not force, statistically over 65s may be more vulnerable but it should be left to informed individuals to decide for themselves what risks with their own lives they are prepared to take.”

      Fair enough.

      Now, having warned you that you should stay isolated because

      A) you run a higher risk of being hospitalized
      B) run a higher risk of dying.
      I would say I need you to Agree to the following.

      1. You will be low priority for hospital beds
      2. You will be low priority for ICU

      Now, In Korea if you were to Flout the governments advice to stay isolated they would

      A) Charge you for the Hospitalization of any people you infect.
      B) Consider murder charges against you.

      And if you can’t pay the hospital bill there is debtors prison.

      Funny story here. Some Korean college kid who was in school in America came home
      She was ordered to quarantine
      She of course KNEW BETTER

      Here is how a civilized country handles Idiots

      https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/jeju-island-south-korea-coronavirus-lawsuit-intl-hnk/index.html

      • Steven Mosher at 12:29 am,
        I agree that 1 & 2 are part of being fully informed.

      • Simply based on data coming in from doctors who are rejecting invasive intubation protocols and having success using more passive ventilation approaches, 1 & 2, IMO, would undoubtedly save lives given a half competent and compassionate physician was available who actually cared about saving life more than following protocols. Embrace the paradigm shift that the high mortalities of intubated patients (60-80%) are being fear-driven by the wrong treatment stemming from misdiagnoses rather than the virus.

        • Even with the other procedures the death rate is still high. It’s not 80+X% as Mount Sinai reported but it’s also not going below 30% anywhere. And of course you need enough staff to monitor and adjust the treatment fast at all time. That is why you want relatively empty ERs.

          • It depends on what procedures are being done and where. In the litigious, profit-driven US I don’t expect to see a lot of groundbreaking success. One European hospital, though, that used alternative ventilation methods had 0% mortality. And this German doctor appears to be quite successful.

            German Physician Explains His Alternative Ventilation Strategy for COVID-19
            https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/929609?src=soc_tw_200429_mscpedt_news_mdscp_ventilator&faf=1

          • It’s extremely significant if it is actually addressing the cause for a lot of the mortality. But some number will not be saved no matter what is done because they are in such bad health to begin with.

          • Might just be that a mixture of insufficient oxygenation and vascular impairment is to blame for that. If the right heart chamber has to increase the pressure too much to pump enough blood into the lung it can result in heart failure and death. Especially if SARS-CoV-2 damages the supply of the heart in addition.

            It may well be that the practice to count deaths from heart failure with a SARS-CoV-2 infection as from COVID-19 – which is heavily criticized here on this page – is biological justified.

      • Is there a magical line drawn between ages 64 and 65? Why not move it to 66 or 67? Is there data that shows a drop off below a certain age or is the effect gradual? Will those over 65 who have not retired be compensated because the shelter-in-place policy prolongs their lack of income?

        • Why 65? When SS was established, the age picked was based on when more than 1/2 of the population would be dead. Life expectancy was about 61 at the time. What a great sales job by progressives under Roosevelt. SS was always meant to be for those who survied that long. Now the US life expectancy is much higher at around 79!

          So the 65 is from SS, an illegitimate number. It should be 75 for healthy individuals in my opinion. I am 64, my wife 69. We hike 4 miles in under 70 minutes at 9000 ft elevation daily. On sidewalks, we do 4 miles in under an hour. I am diabetic, being genetically predisposed to that affliction. I was the oldest in my family, by far, at onset. Everyone in my family has it, brother, sister, mother, father. Even my daughter was diabetic before I was. I was told by doctors for 30 years that with my family history, I would be, and eventually they were proven correct.

          BTW, my mother, who has been diabetic for over 40 years, although not insulin dependant, will be 90 this July. She was very active into her 80’s when she fell and broke her hip. Still mentally sharp.

          • I’m about your wife’s age, and run trails. But I haven’t lived at 9000 feet since I used to live in Quito, decades ago. Where do you live at that altitude?

            But more to the point, you write “I am 64, my wife 69.” This brings up a point about staying in after the age of 65: not everyone in a household is the same age, and sometimes there will be multiple generations in a house. What to do then? My (mid-) understanding is that if one person in a house gets covid-19, the others are likely to do so as well, despite precautions. If there’s a ruling (or suggestion) that people over 65 should shelter at home, what should a multi-generational household do? assuming they don’t own two houses, so the young people can go to one, the old folks to another.

          • Mcswell points out one of the many difficulties that this pandemic poses. In the end, though, it is probably best for governments to make sure that everyone knows the elderly and infirm are most at risk from this pandemic and would be well advised to take sensible precautions against it. Once all are fairly warned of the danger to elderly people, common sense will come into play. It should not be underestimated. People will look after themselves as best they can.

      • Well…glad we settled who is civilized and who is not civilized, and who is an idiot; I was worried about that.
        Oh, by the way, hope the rules apply to all viruses and not just those that some government’s caprice decides they should apply too. And, as long as we are at it, why not apply them to any situation that the government decides to call an “emergency.”

      • “B) Consider murder charges against you.”

        Yes, indeed, let’s start throwing people in prison for murder because they are sick. That’s a very good idea. In fact, why bother with prison? Let’s just execute them. Then they can’t reoffend. /sarcasm

        That is a terrible idea. Criminal charges are for criminal offenses. Being sick is not a criminal offense.

        • Crimes are whatever the government says the are.
          But flippancy aside, if your actions put others in danger, then you are committing a potentially criminal activity.

          • MarkW
            But, it is the younger ones that are infected that are endangering the older people who are not infected. The people dying in retirement homes (sheltered in place) were infected by younger care givers.

          • Governments should certainly have done more to prevent those who had been treated for the Chinese virus from returning to their care homes, and should have had programs in place for screening staff and banning visitors there. Here, Germany got it right.

        • Matthew
          The story was about somebody knowingly putting other people at risk to get a life threatening disease just to have her holiday vacation with restaurant visits.

          What would be your opinion about an HIV positive having unprotected sex knowingly with other people lying about the condition?

          • Ron and MarkW

            “knowingly putting other people at risk,” “put others in danger,” “potentially criminal activity”

            That’s a lot of hypotheticals, there. The flu is a life-threatening illness that may put other people at risk. Do we start throwing people in prison for murder for knowingly leaving the house with that? Ditto for malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, and a host of other diseases. Where does it stop? Who do we put under indefinite and unlimited house arrest for potentially causing harm? Should we go back to the days of leprosy, with people ringing bells to warn others away? Or maybe imprison them in sanatoriums?

            And that’s just infectious diseases. Do we start charging people with murder for potential harm caused from other things? Maybe start charging poor drivers with murder proactively, because a lapse in attention can possibly cause people to die. Or maybe start charging gun owners with murder proactively because their guns may be used to cause harm to others.

            The point here is twofold.
            First, murder is a very specific offense: there is no malice aforethought here, to borrow from the Common Law tradition, so it is not murder. Maybe involuntary manslaughter in the example you cited, but IANAL. And you posed a hypothetical with no details, anyway, Ron, just like climate alarmists do, so I will mostly ignore it rather than treat it as real.

            Second, risk exists everywhere and in every situation. There is a risk of getting hit by lightning, getting hit by a car, dying unexpectedly, getting shot, getting whatevered. There is risk with every single surgery done. There is even risk in touching raw flour. The question is: what level of risk is acceptable?

            Now, if you want to make that decision for yourself, all fine and dandy, but I resent you thinking you can make that decision for me. You don’t get to tell me how to live my life because you are terrified of the bogeyman. You don’t get to have me arrested and thrown in prison for the next 20 years because my sense of risk doesn’t match yours. You certainly don’t get to have me arrested and charged with murder over some potential harm that may be caused by my existence, maybe.

          • Matthew
            So you are okay with me driving drunk? Cause how dare you restricting my freedom not allowing this and arresting me for doing so!

            If you want to go into a hospital’s cafeteria during flu season in New York you have either to have a flu shot or wear a mask. Long before now.

            “And you posed a hypothetical with no details, anyway”
            That was actually a historic example, you can just google it.

            This stupid girl was coughing like crazy and instead of seeing a doctor she went to restaurants. Which had to closed down and lost money because of her selfishness.

          • Ron,

            “The question is: what level of risk is acceptable?”

            A second question would be: what level of punishment is appropriate?

            Going to prison for murder is extreme. Being beaten with a cat-o’-nine-tails is extreme. Being pilloried is extreme.

            “If you want to go into a hospital’s cafeteria during flu season in New York you have either to have a flu shot or wear a mask. Long before now.”

            Sure, you get denied entry, not charged with murder. Not horsewhipped in the streets. Not stuffed into a gibbet. It’s a reasonable response.

            “Which had to closed down and lost money because of her selfishness.”

            Then charge her the lost money? Again, charging her with murder is ridiculous.

            Let’s see, my two points were:
            1) murder is a disproportionate response.
            2) what level of risk is acceptable?

            I’d now add 3) what level of punishment is appropriate?

            You addressed none of those points in your reply. You just reacted emotionally with a desire for bloody vengeance to be enacted on the girl you deemed to be “stupid.” So, whatever, I guess.

      • When did it become the government’s job to ensure no one gets sick and no one dies?

        • Paul H my like to read Cicero’s De Legibus (On the laws), in which Cicero says: “Let the health and well-being of the people be the highest law”.

          He may also like to read the history of how cholera was discovered to be a water-borne disease, and how London eradicated the disease by enacting public-health measures against water companies drawing their supply from the then grossly-polluted Thames.

          Or the history of how smallpox was eradicated. Like or not, public-health measures are, for good reason, a traditional role of governments.

          • My point may have been lost in my hasty reply. My point is, people do get sick and people do die, despite any government’s or individual’s best efforts. No one is imortal. I do, however, expect “best efforts” from as many good souls as possible, and dealing with cholera/smallpox diseases is indeed a duty for competent government bodies.

            Coincidentally, a few years ago I read “The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World” by Steven Johnson (available on amazon and elsewhere). A fascinating read, although a strong stomach is required for the opening chapter.

      • Now, having warned you that you should stay isolated because

        A) you run a higher risk of being hospitalized
        B) run a higher risk of dying.
        I would say I need you to Agree to the following.

        1. You will be low priority for hospital beds
        2. You will be low priority for ICU”

        Now, having warned you that you should not ride a motorcycle because…
        Now, having warned you that you should not drive because…
        Now, having warned you that you should exercise regularly…
        Now, having warned you that you should maintain a specified BMI…
        Now, having warned you not to talk to strangers…

        How far do we take this?

        • Another Doug should not be silly. A more grown-up approach is called for. The families of those who have died would expect no less.

      • So is this what you are suggesting we do for all infectious diseases? Charging someone and convicting someone are two different things and lawyer worth his degree would get you unless the world you live has one person with wuflu and one person without. I look forward to all the murder charges against people who don’t vaccinate for the flu.

      • Mosher
        The reason I have medical insurance is to cover my medical expenses should I get sick. Now, if my insurer wants to impose restrictions, that is a different situation from the government forcing compliance with the barrel of a gun.

        Priority for a bed is of little consequence. Except for Lombardy, the western world hasn’t really seen shortages. They even sent the Navy hospital ship away because it was being underutilized.

        If I’m infected while out of my house, it would have to be from someone else who is infected. Shouldn’t that person have been quarantined? At the very least, the person infecting me has culpability in spreading the infection because if they didn’t infect me, they might well infect someone under the age of 65. I don’t think that anyone has demonstrated that the over-65 people are more susceptible, just that the consequences are likely to be more severe.

        Do you view a civilized country as being one with the least personal freedoms?

      • Steven
        Whoa on your student. The student arrived from overseas, had flu like symptoms, was told to isolate, didn’t self isolate and was then found to be covid positive. Throw the book at them.
        Here in Victoria the police have fined parents taking their kids on driving lessons.
        Additionally, the following is my more general very simple opinion on Koreans and their willingness to follow lockdown rules.
        1. Human behaviour is due to a complex mix of genes and environment.
        2. Rice has been grown in Korea for more than 2500 years
        3. Rice is cultivated by the community compared to livestock which are run by individual
        4. As the community gets stronger, individualists ( risk takers) feel less welcome.
        5. Dopamine receptor drd4 is associated with risk taking
        6. In times of trouble- say prolonged drought or earthquake non-risks takers tend to band together while risk takers tend to leave and seek a better life.
        7. Over time the community genetically have less risk takers and more rule followers.
        8. The new frontier, genetically has more risk takers and non rule followers
        9. IMO this is the dominant reason why Australia and USA culture is what it is.
        10. Korean migrants to USA are likely to be risk takers but still retain Korean culture of supporting each other. This has made them very successful.
        Cheers waza

    • I’m with you as well. I’m not sure where the emphasis on us “geriatrics” started but there doesn’t seem any thought-out logic to it. I would very much like to see figures for “comorbidities” or “underlying health conditions” without an age attached to put the situation in perspective — for the sake of advisers and policymakers as much as for mine!

      I have no doubt that this would predominantly point the finger at my cohort for the very simple reason that we are the ones more likely to be suffering from those “underlying health conditions” but why those of us who don’t should be included in continued stringent house arrest suggests a view among policymakers and advisers which is at odds with reality.

      But, I confess, is one which is not unknown among local government employees, politicians, and even medical staff! Tonyb is right. Try taking this approach with any ethnic minority group — regardless of the statistics — and wait for the explosion. Old people don’t matter, as witness the fairly clear sub-text (in the UK at least) that we are more likely to become hospitalised which will ”increase pressure on the health service” though so far I have seen no evidence that we are, in the absence of the underlying …., etc, more likely to contract the disease or statistically more likely to need hospital treatment than our children.

      I’m more than happy to limit my contacts for the moment and to wear a mask when in places where there is likely to be relatively close contact with others but, according to media reports in the UK, it is young, white males who have been the ones that have not heeded the quarantine, not Hell’s Grannies! I really think we can be trusted to behave sensibly and do not need uniquely to be kept under house arrest. For our own good. Allegedly!

      • Comorbidities is the real issue here. It is the elephant in the room.

        We are flying blind, not knowing what risks this virus really presents, and what is its true death toll, without carrying out full autopsies on all patient deaths.

        I recall reading a summary of a review carried out by Italians that examined the deaths of around 360 to 380 patients, all of whom had been tested positive. At the time of this study, there were around 4,000 deaths so this sample was about 10% of all CV19 related deaths. Quite a sizable sample.

        They found that only 12 patients had died exclusively by the virus. In the others, it was merely a contributory factor, and materially thought not to be the dominant one. The conclusion was that it had advanced the date of death by days perhaps by weeks, but those others were already well on the pathway to death.

        Indeed, at one stage, in Italy, the average age of CV19 deaths was just over 80!!

        We will never be able to have any faith in any of the statistics when full autopsies are not being carried out. We will be left, just like in Climate Science, with poor quality data that is easy to twist to whatever narative the person wishes to run with.

        • Average age of dead from the flu last season in Germany is even higher – 84 years…

          • Wrong, it’s statistics. There is a lot of data about how long people with which morbidity usually still have to live on average. From there you can extrapolate. Not complicated. You only need good data.

          • Ron
            Thanks for the paper.
            This is really a model.
            The paper states that’s Years life lost YYL is about 10.
            And comorbidities don’t make much difference. If this is the case across all countries, they may suggest it’s related more to a person’s immune system than comorbidities. How ready is your immune system the DAY you got the virus.

          • Oops I mean YLL – years life lost.
            In this case I think they are saying YLL =DALY = Disability adjusted life years.
            DALYs are what should be use to assess the cost effectiveness of the prevention.

            WHO recommend 3xGDP per capita.
            Say US GDP pp= $62000
            YLL due to COVID = 10 years pp
            Then an acceptable cost to save a life would be $1.86m.
            We could then establish the cost effectiveness of each countries lockdown

          • Additionally
            Just because the lockdown was cost effective doesn’t mean it is more cost effective than prevention for other diseases say tb or malaria or providing clean water to poor.

    • I’m very glad that the UK lockdown allows all people to go out for exercise and to get supplies.
      Some virologists have stated that the danger of getting infected outdoors is essentially zero, providing of course you observe the normal precautions. I’m sure that’s true.
      I believe that in some cases such as Spain people can’t go out for exercise. If that’s so then it’s completely mad and will probably kill more people.

      Being out in the sunshine and getting exercise is essential for good health, and it also boosts immunity to the virus. In fact, if the policy were based on the science, governments should be encouraging the old and the sick to be out and exercising as much as possible, obviously providing they don’t congregate with other people.

      I’m 74 and in pretty good condition, and go out on my bike every day for half an hour. Thank goodness I can still do that under UK lockdown conditions. I’m absolutely sure that if I had been forced to stay indoors all day my health would suffer.
      Chris

      • The govts guidelines are that you do not go out for exercise though…and your health is only part of the problem. Your body, irrespective of your health, has a massively reduced capacity to fight-off new infections. You ought to also consider that at over 70, if you do become seriously ill at this time, your chances of being admitted to a critical-care unit are almost zero..

        • JohnM
          “…your chances of being admitted to a critical-care unit are almost zero..”

          Why shouldn’t an otherwise healthy person not be admitted? Most of the hospitals are, as I hear it, underwhelmed and have capacity. So I think you speak of a worst case scenario.

          • Most of the hospitals have extended their critical-care facilities. Unfortunately, the staff cannot be extended, there is a finite amount of trained critical-care staff. The reduction of staffing levels in the *English* medical system over the last decade has led to many areas of care being understaffed, and critical-care is one of those. One highly-trained nurse per bed has now slipped to one per half dozen beds, and similar for doctors. And that ignores that many staff are falling sick with the virus too. I’ll ignore things like shortages of ventilators/ecmo etc….and of course, PPE for the staff. This is a worst case scenario.

          • JohnM
            Yes. Actually I think there are two kinds of worst case situations. The one you described with understaffed hospitals, and the other one were hospitals had to lay off people because the ‘normal’ patients weren’t admitted because of Corona-preparation.
            I just get angry when political or organizational stuff kills people…

    • In line with current actions to keep the community safe from COVID-19, I propose the following:

      (1) People who enter restaurants must be weighed and measured at the door, and those who exceed height/weight measures for their age should be restricted to structured meals, legislated by the state, assuring a variety of vegetables, and a set number of calories. This insures the community’s protection against heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other safety-endangering issues.

      (2) People registering for a marriage certificate must first enroll in a mandated child-rearing program to insure that they raise their children by the best standards for their safety and well being. All course materials will be mandated by the state, in accordance with the latest expert guidance on child bearing and child raising. This insures the safety of children in the community.

      (3) All smoking paraphernalia stores will be required to eliminate devices related to smoking and to restructure for selling bubble-blowing devices, chewing gum, and other distractions that reduce the prevalence of practices that harm the community’s lungs.

      (4) All people in the community will be required to be outfitted with pedometers, in accordance to a state mandate requiring each citizen to walk at least ten thousand steps per day for physical activity that will insure the community’s safety against inactivity. Citizens who do not meet the daily requirement will be fined accordingly, and, on the third offense, will be subject to mandatory behavioral modification seminars to instill the good habit of walking that protects him/her self as part of the community. Those individuals with disabilities, special needs, and physical conditions making this impossible must apply for a special exemption, BUT with the understanding that they pursue alternative activities, mandated by the state for their particular limitations.

      This is just a start.

      Please feel free to add other suggestions to the list, and when a substantial list forms, I will relay it to all state governments pronto.

      Thank you for your part in keeping the community safe.

        • No more silly than you when you instance Georgia and don’t mention the 8 ‘swedens’ in the US who have had no lockdowns. And your attempt to stigmatise Sweden is unworthy.

          • If JimW read more and yelled less from behind a craven curtain of anonymity he would know that, far from stigmatizing Sweden, the head posting has a graph showing that, in the opinion of the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Sweden has achieved a peak in its epidemic without a lockdown. The words “No lockdown” are plainly stated on the slide. And Sweden has featured on the daily charts for the same reason. And I have written in earlier postings, and again here, that I hope Sweden succeeds, for then all states with similarly low urban population densities can learn from it.

            But I have also fairly pointed out the difficulties, such as the fact that Sweden, while having a lower death rate per head of population than some European countries, has the highest such rate in Scandinavia by a large margin.

            I have thus fairly reflected both sides and, like it or not, I shall continue to do so.

      • Robert
        I want to commend you for putting forth a road map to becoming more civilized.

      • I would add that anyone applying for life or health insurance must complete a 5K run in under an hour, or a 10K bike or wheelchair race, and attest they are not addicted to Coke, Pepsi or Mountain Dew.

    • “Whereas age-related alterations of the components within the adaptive immune system are well documented, detailed analysis of the impact of advancing age on the innate immune system remains unresolved. The clinical features of immunosenescence clearly indicate a dysfunction in innate immunity and in the last few years several studies have tried to address this issue.12–14 Investigations now suggest that ageing is associated with the increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by macrophages and fibroblasts for example.15,16 Elevated levels of these mediators are believed to be responsible for most of the age-associated diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis because they all share an inflammatory pathogenesis.15,16 Termed ‘inflamm-ageing’, it has been hypothesized that as a result of constant antigenic challenge, the continual production of inflammatory mediators could potentially trigger the onset of associated inflammatory diseases. Indeed, emerging evidence suggests that the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines can be used as a profile to indicate frailty and mortality in older individuals.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2265901/

    • South Africa, with its drastic lockdown regulations, has been effectively leaving the translation of vague regulations up to individual policemen. So we have idiocies such as a mother and father arrested because they left the pathway and ran on to the beach to recover their two-year old child who’d run away from them. Would be-surfers were arrested because they were standing still and not exercising, because ‘swimming isn’t exercising’. The regulations are changing daily, usually in response to some government minister’s likes or dislikes. Any day now, I’m expecting to be hauled over by police for “driving while old” or “failing to allow myself to be locked up while ‘vulnerable'”!

      • “…translation of vague regulations up to individual policemen…”

        Because nothing could possibly go wrong with that…

  4. Some states in Australia have also started easing lockdowns.

    https://10daily.com.au/news/politics/a200426nairc/qld-to-cut-lockdown-rules-after-new-covid-cases-plummet-20200426

    As Nick said we’re nowhere near herd immunity, assuming that is possible, and if the disease is still present in the community it could start growing again.

    The horrible experiences in China, Italy and UK show this bug is not something to ignore, it has to be handled carefully.

    • Australia is the polar extreme of herd immunity it is the land of vestal virgins. Total eradication will probably occur in 2 states and 1 territory in the next couple of weeks. Northern Territory now has 0 active cases, South Australia 15 active cases and Western Australia has 16 active cases. All three are reporting 0 new infections for multiple days on the back of thousands of daily tests on population with stock standard flu symptoms.

      What it does mean is Australia will have to quarantine incoming visitors for 14 days for many years to come if no vaccine is created.

    • Since we have no idea yet of how many people are asymptomatic we have no idea how close to herd immunity we are. Some studies are showing that as little as 10% many show symptoms. This many be way lock downs show such wide variation in effectiveness.

    • Mr Worrall is quite right: ending the lockdowns in those countries that needed them should be handled with care.

  5. As Steven Mosher has previously stated all lockdowns are not the same.
    The key Australian dated was not 23 March but 1 February when 100000 to 200000 Chinese students were effectively shut out.
    IMO the flight restrictions part of the lockdown were far more important than restrictions on internal movement.

    • The effective reproduction number, as calculated at Easter, was shown to be below 1 in all Australian states in the first half of March. This was due to closing the borders early, highly organised and professional case identification and contact tracing, and voluntary physical distancing and hand washing. These were the key factors, and the stay-at-home orders, instigated on 23 March, have been largely irrelevant except for probably the ban on large gatherings.
      https://twitter.com/j_mccaw/status/1249592269977423879
      Those same government-appointed data experts are now saying there are too few Australian cases for them to calculate the effective reproduction number any more.

  6. Lockdowns for “safety” are Newsom’s and Garcettii’s foolishness. The cure was long ago flattened. Such interest in control and no interest in treatment. Seems like treatment is the most important thing to focus on. Beaches have not been double blind tested as a source of virus as opposed to lockdowns of rest homes. Well really so far rest homes have been shown to be hot beds of bad outcomes. What is being done there as opposed to preaching about beaches and parks.

    • As the graphs in the head posting show, Mr Bixler is manifestly incorrect. One must be led by the data, and not by prejudice or by the nose. Certainly, the strictly exponential initial growth of the infection had begun to slow by the time lockdowns were introduced, but the later they were introduced the worse the outcome for the population, and the greater the economic cost.

      Acting decisively and above all swiftly right at the outset of a pandemic is the correct strategy, as South Korea and Taiwan have shown.

      • Thank you for the reply. I do notice the chart for California and New York could be taken as similar except for the order of magnitude scaling used. Funny how details like that are presented for viewing. But I guess the data did not conveniently fit on the charts with the same scale. So the prejudice is mine?

        • In response to the vexatious Mr Bixler, I reproduced all the group charts to the same aspect ratio as one another, just as the original credited source did. If he objects, let him take the matter up with that source, not with me.

      • There was no lockdown in S Korea.
        And it didn’t have SARS experience, it had MERS experience. And SARS 2 is nothing like SARS1.
        And all the lockdowns without exception started after peak infection and hospitalisation.
        You are modelling failed policy not the virus.

        • There was no lockdown in S. Korea because they didn’t need one; they followed a better strategy by massive initial testing plus tracking and quarantine of all contacts regardless of symptoms for 14 days, thus executing a real and successful containment strategy. As a result, Korea enjoys a relatively normal economy now. New cases are rare. Masks are worn everywhere, and they check your temperature entering (say) a restaurant or gym, but those facilities are open and operating relatively normally. “Social distancing” is not required because the population prevalence was and is being kept exceedingly low.

          We lost the opportunity to do that very early. The Korean leadership interrupted the country’s Chinese new year celebrations in January, as soon as rumors started leaking out of China, hauling in every big pharma exec in the country, and started them cranking out test kits. By the time we even acknowledged the possibility, it was loose in the community in too many localities to stop. The idea of contact tracing is quite useless now, because once the prevalence gets to a certain point the fan-out of contacts gets geometrically impossible (remember that notion of only 6 degrees of separation between two random people?).

      • Interestingly, within England there have been some areas where infections have been much more rife later in the piece. Consider this map:

        https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/OvtCA/4/

        Hull, North Lincs, Blackpool and Tyneside among others have all seen a surge in cases since the national average peak, while in parts of London where the spread was rapid and early, case levels have fallen dramatically – and the peak was much earlier. For a long time Hull had extremely low case rates – among the lowest in the whole country – yet the lockdown failed to save them. Whether that was due to outbreaks in care homes, or visiting seamen, or a breakdown of lockdown discipline, or just a superspreader at a supermarket might make for some interesting research.

        This map from 22nd April was an attempt to look at the timing of peak case levels geographically:

        https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/eFD6C/1/

        Of course, cases tested positive follow quite some days after infection – probably at least a week on average. The change in testing regime now makes this approach to looking at the data less useful for further monitoring of progress, since tests will now pick up much more in the way of mild cases rather than being used to confirm the condition of people in hospitals.

  7. As a Michigander, I can assure you the only ‘loosening’ of WuFlu dictates occurred just a week ago – now allowed to have lawn mowed and travel to the cottage. Otherwise, our Governor is extending lockdown until Joe Biden is President.

    • I am in favor of lockdowns. The right kind

      I saw them work in China.

      But as a Michigander looking at what she is doing I have to say storm the capital.

      Her restrictions are crazy and not based in what is known to work.

      Everything we know from China and Korea and Hong Kong and places that KEEP TRACK
      of HOW and WHERE clusters happen suggests that targeted Lockdowns will take
      a big bite out of the spread.

      There are three things that need to be BALANCED.

      1. Stopping the Spread (lowering death)
      2. Keeping the economy running
      3. Protecting the Hospitals.

      The is no real calculus for doing this. there is no calibrated model or tools to FINE TUNE
      the solution to the problem.

      All you have is the proven experience of countries that MIGHT BE comparable to your
      situation.

      A pragmatist will start with what is known to work. measure and adjust and share the lessons with others.

      Korea, HK, China, Singapore, Washington state, and prior outbreaks demonstrate that clusters drive
      the numbers. cases go like this
      1,2,1,2,1,3,100,1,2,3,4,296,

      So your first step is to suppress clusters and measure.

      Korea has a whole list of cluster situations.

      1. Crowded church
      2. Government office
      3. Crowded call center
      4. Gyms.
      5 Nursing homes
      6. Hospitals

      China added a few

      7. Prisons
      8. Resturants with family tables
      9. large festivals

      Singapore added

      10. large living dormatories.

      USA and Germany added

      11. Business meetings
      12. Funerals and weddings

      NOWHERE IN THE WORLD is grass cutting associated with mass outbreaks or clusters.
      Nowhere in the world is any cluster tied to a walk in the park or a round of golf.
      Korea has traced dozens of clusters. China too. we have good evidence of where these types
      of outbreaks occur. is it SCIENCE? nope it’s common sense.
      So they dont close parks. They impose some more park rules.

      It’s useless to look back now, but some relatively painless measures where open to
      the governments in early Feb.

      But they didn’t act.

      here is what I find funny.

      The Wuhan officials knew something was up at the end of December and they went ahead with
      a BIG festival. Every western government saw this mistake. And some were critical of the Wuhan officials for not moving quickly. bad Wuhan did not stop a festivale.

      Yet, when the first case hit US soil, nobody moved to take simple steps to prevent clusters.

      In early Jan (3rd or 4th) Hong Kong moved to protect nursing homes and hospitals.
      Why? CLUSTERS. history teaches us this.
      But today in New York if you are diagnosed with covid you are sent BACK to your nursing home.

      This drive me crazy. With documented cases from Korean hospitals and nursing homes all people had to do was LOOK AT THE PUBLIC DATA. Hey it makes sense to lockdown nursing homes.

      • Mosh

        Good post. Clusters of infections and deaths can be seen to be most definitely care homes and hospitals, and to this can be added the very old, (often in care homes and hospitals), the very overweight/obese with associated diseases (spread throughout society) the BAME community generally (but especially the old and overweight) who are often in specific inner city areas.

        The over 65’s are not in themselves a ‘cluster’. Some will fall into the categories above whilst very many will not and should not be treated as one problematic ‘cluster’. To suggest if they flout the guidelines they should be possibly charged with murder (your earlier post) or hospital costs is hyperbole, as they are not one clearly defined group who are likely to bring problems whilst sensibly going about their business

        tonyb

        • It is typical of bureaucratic thinking (and all doing central planning and control) to simplify, making gross categorizations without fine distinctions, and then to act on those simplifications. The real world is just too complex for them to use for decisions (cf. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom).

          Like the amazing process of thousands of car drivers sharing a road, following general rules and making myriad Individual decision with only occasional collisions, a free people in free markets produce far better outcomes than central planners.

          In this pandemic, keeping a light governmental hand over a free, but educated public, will produce the best outcomes. A brief period of government control, while lessons are learned and disseminated widely, may be helpful, as Lord M has argued. But the destructive effects of a heavy government hand accumulate and will eventually, perhaps quickly, overwhelm the benefits.

          We have reached that point. It is time for government officials to attend to their addiction to power and control and return freedom and its blessings to the people.

          • Kwinterkorn is right. Most people have now learned that they should take sensible precautions, and the government’s role should be to ensure that everyone knows the risks, and knows what precautions to take, and, only where essential, to prosecute anyone who deliberately spreads the infection with intent to cause harm.

      • But as a Michigander looking at what she is doing I have to say storm the capital.

        But anyone doing so would be breaking the rules, and the Governor is a civilised woman. According to the Steven Mosher standard of civility (sometimes known as state corporatist authoritarianism) there isn’t much she can’t do to them in the name of public safety.

        I am in favor of lockdowns. The right kind

        I saw them work in China.

        They welded the effing doors shut and left those inside to their fate.

        Amongst the many things to look forward to on the other side of the pandemic is your attendance in the comments threads reducing back down to cheap-shot drive-bys.

        • Welded bars across doorways occurred in Jiangsu province in a number of instances. Overzealous CCP person. Bars removed shortly after because they realised it was stupid.
          Continue with your story. Far more interesting than the truth. I’m not a commie . I just read stuff properly.

      • The lockdown in China included welding highrise apartment doors shut so no one could get out alive. But that’s the “right kind” of lockdown.

      • Mosher
        You said, “Hey it makes sense to lockdown nursing homes.” How does one lockdown nursing homes when the support staff doesn’t live there? The retirees are essentially helpless victims with no way to avoid “superspreaders.”

        • You make the support staff live in isolated accommodation. Treat it like an offshore oil rig. 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off (but you must isolate for a few days and then test negative or antigen positive before being allowed to resume work). There’s plenty of edge of town hotel space that could be used.

  8. Christopher……..I always enjoy your posts. However, I find some of the content of recent posts disingenuous so will risk your disapproval by commenting.

    We are all used to the CAGW proponents being selective in their choice of time periods to help them claim this or that is unprecedented. Selecting some arbitrary peak or dip as their “baseline” or starting point knowing full well that eliminating prior information skews the interpretation of the data.

    I read the above piece and note the comments on Sweden which has adopted a lighter touch in enforcement of social distancing rules but which also continue to attract your apparent ire at their intransigence in not adopting YOUR preferred lockdown criteria.

    So, while your statements regarding death rates or case load in Sweden vs other countries may be true in the time segment you specified, those are snapshots only, the relevance of which remains controversial.

    Sweden’s death rate per capita today taken across the duration of the pandemic stands at 263/million……..which is ~identical to Ireland, lower than sensible Holland at 286/million and a very long way from Belgium’s 665/million, Spain’s 531/million or Italy’s 485/million.

    So, yes, perhaps the derivative this week was high because Sweden was approaching its peak but that’s true if ANY country at that phase in the pandemic. Looking at the graphs, it can certainly be argued that deaths may have peaked recently but I guess we’ll know more in the fullness of time.

    Anyway, I’d rather see proper context on this rather than just a drive-by put down of Sweden every day. Thanks!

    Sent from my iPhone

      • The insufficiently identified “richard” provides yet further evidence that he does not read the head postings, several of which have mentioned both South Korea and Japan.

        South Korea is clearly identified and plotted on the graphs every day.

    • I doubt that Sweden is approaching its peak. The evidence for that is compromised by too low testing numbers and delayed reports of deaths. Too early.

      People are also thinking the measures Sweden put in place have no impact on the economy. That is plain wrong. The are expecting a very significant decrease in their GDP:

      https://tradingeconomics.com/sweden/gdp

      Compare that to Germany which had a “lockdown”:

      https://tradingeconomics.com/germany/gdp

      “Lockdown” is just a word. You have to fill it with meaning and this meaning is very different in different countries.

      • I doubt that Sweden is approaching its peak. The evidence for that is compromised by too low testing numbers and delayed reports of deaths. Too early.

        Agreed – sparse testing is not a good indication. Harder evidence however is the hospitalization rate – especially intensive care as the main purpose of lockdown is to protect healthcare system from overwhelming as number of cases grows almost exponentially. Data I was able to find show that hospitalization rate (no of patients per million) in Sweden is significantly higher compared with its neighbors yet does not show significant growth since 13th April. Data from 30th April – pale blue curve is no of people in intensive care in Sweden:

        ICU comparison

    • In response to Mr Rae, I am certainly not trying to put down Sweden: I write about it often because it is perhaps the most interesting counterexample to the lockdown strategy. In a posting a day or two ago I said I very much hoped that the Swedish experiment succeeded because we could all learn from it if it did.

      The real test for the Swedish lockdown will come this month. Sweden trusted its population to take sensible steps without being nannied to do so. If that trust proves to be well founded, nanny states elsewhere should learn the lesson from it.

      In the head posting you will find a brief discussion of the ending of the very brief lockdown in Georgia, where the Governor has set down some very clear guidelines, having clearly thought the matter through very carefully. That, too, will be an interesting counterexample to watch.

      Lockdowns are not the correct course. The South Korean or Taiwanese course is correct: test all showing symptoms, isolate all carriers, track and test their contacts, and repeat. If China had been honest and had complied with the International Health Regulations right from the outset, we’d have had some chance of making that strategy work.

      As it once, once that opportunity had not been taken, in countries with high population densities lockdowns were essential. In Sweden, whose population density in central Stockholm is about a quarter that of London, limited restrictions may well have proven to be sufficient. I hope so.

      • @MoB
        “The real test for the Swedish lockdown will come this month. Sweden trusted its population to take sensible steps without being nannied to do so. If that trust proves to be well founded, nanny states elsewhere should learn the lesson from it.”

        But what would be the mode of action for “nanny” states if their population is way less compliant?

        Measures are not judged by words but by deeds.

        • Try looking at the UK then…..today, all stores that are open are packed with consumers. Not socially distancing, and ignoring the “keep a 2 metre distance” signs. And I mean packed.

          • Here in an isolated community in BC Canada with 0 (zero) Covid cases, the people are like scared sheep. In the grocery store, if you stop to pick something off the shelf, those behind you don’t just halt: they back quickly to ensure about 3 meters. They are staying inside their houses for fear of what might be in the air except for the grocery store, which is a nightmare of directional aisles. The aged are convinced they will be ‘triaged’ if they get sick. This is a bad situation, but it is apparently what Trudeau and our provincial health bozo want. And to prevent criticism for closing everything from parks to washrooms, they need to keep this fear going. In fact, everyone who publicly stated that the lockdowns were good are defending them now, and that includes MoB.

            NB it has been known for years that Canadians, particularly the dark skinned ones, are vitamin D deficient even in summer. No public health recommendations around this issue. When I was a kid in India, vitamin deficiencies were front and centre for public health.

      • Christopher
        You said, “… the Governor has set down some very clear guidelines, having clearly thought the matter through very carefully.” I question that appraisal.

    • Phil
      You remarked, “… the relevance of which remains controversial.” Yes, the differences in the new case rate for Sweden, with Ireland, Canada, USA, and the world is insignificant and the ranking may change again tomorrow. Ireland and Canada have higher death rates than Sweden, and Sweden essentially is identical to the USA. These are not substantive differences!

    • In response to Mr Rae, I have in fact given balanced and repeated coverage to the Swedish experiment, pointing out its good features but also its bad features. I have included it from the earliest days in the daily graphs. I have stated that its death rate per head of population is less than in most European countries, but I have also stated that it is higher than in any other Scandinavian country, by a considerable margin. In short, I have fairly given both sides, which is the correct approach, and I shall continue to do so. To describe this balanced approach as “a drive-by put-down of Sweden” is contrary to the facts.

      And, as a curve approaches its peak, the derivative does not increase: it diminishes.

      • Christopher…..I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my questions & concerns…….much appreciated.

        I’m not the maths genius you are but I do understand that the inflection point (peak) represents an instantaneous slope of zero. However, in the week prior to that point, in many of the countries examined, the slope is rather steep due to the large incremental increases in numbers, presaging the peak.

        Indeed, in your own words from the above article, “though the approach to the peak is steep, the decline is slower”. That sounds like exactly what I was trying to say in my previous comment i.e. the derivative is high just before the peak. “Flattening the curve” by slowing the case growth diminishes this effect, to some extent, but I’m sure you understand my point.

        Anyway, we shall all, hopefully, be able to understand the progression of this pandemic better and what strategies work best, as the story continues to unfold. In the meantime, thanks again & please keep up the good work against the CAGW cabal.

  9. Only future will show.
    There will be NO “herdimmunity” to this virus, as there is no “herdimmunity” against the other 4 coronaviruses circulating in the population.
    We are going to have Covid19 seasons each year as we have the flu seasons.
    There will be no vaccine either as there is no vaccine against SARS or MERS.
    We are going to watch how the virus changes with time and adapts to us.
    Probably, it will limit our life expectancy.

      • The “lockdowns” are not “control” per se.
        Control is that the government knows where you are, what you are doing every minute using your smartphone and the cameras outside.
        Exactly these capabilites were greatly enhanced thanks the virus.
        They can identify you even if your face is covered and you switch off your phone.
        You do a couple steps – and they now exactly who you are.

    • “Probably, it will limit our life expectancy’ good reasons to keep healthy. It was mainly the old and already ill that died.

    • @A!ex – 4 coronaviruses ? 4,000+ coronavirus is more like the figure (including all hybrids), but this rather reinforces your point though, that its nigh on impossible to find or develops any artificial “vaccine” for them. Of course there is also much confusion of terms in this arena, and Politicians, Newscasters, and the General Public, don’t seem to realise that. SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), CoViD-19 (Corona Virus Disease #19); are descriptive acronyms and NOT actual viruses. So yes what Alex says may have been correct for the Disease #19, at that time, though it’s now thought there are 6 or more strains of the original “Wuhan” variety. We don’t really know how many MERS strains there were, but they likely still exist though mutated into less virulent forms. SARS is a widely used acronym and can be caused by very many different reasons, including bacterial pneumonia, and collapsed lungs due to physical injury, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, Allergies and so on. There is absolutely not even a ghost of a chance of finding a universal vaccine or panacea for SARS !

      Humans survived all these many thousands of years, because they have an innate immune and self defence mechanism, that includes not just blood borne antibodies, macrophages etc., but also a chemical “second pathway” defense mechanism (it’s what causes fever amongst other things). Again, and not restricted to the gut, Humans have vast colonies of symbiotic “friendly” bacteria on the skin, and in every orifice and mucosa, and indeed intradermally; in staggering numbers that the unaware would hardly believe. There are vast Trillions of thousands of species, and they vary in every associative Human grouping, by Race, Nation, Creed, and Family or Social Group. This can explain why it is that there are sometimes groups of deaths from the CoViD-19 syndrome, when the causative pathogen find some vulnerable hosts at the same locus, such as for example a care home.

      Yes medicine can help in extreme cases, in alleviating dangerous symptoms, until infection passes. Medicine can even assist the body, by helping out the second pathway attack. But ultimately it is evolution of that strange amalgamation of chemicals, and electrical impulses, that we call the Human body that will though attrition and natural selection abate, if not entirely defeat the so called “coronaviruses”. We should, must, and shall still strive to keep alive our less able individuals, be cause that too is part of who we all are as Humans. Above all others we are the reasoning, planning, thoughtful animal.

      So let’s actually use those skills and knowledge then, instead of running around like headless chickens, panicked by self serving media and vested interest coteries. We must all play to our strengths and recognise our weaknesses and reinforce those, by for example fortifying our innate immune system.

      I’m not going to give specific nutritional recommendations here. You all instinctively know what to do and consume, but take advice from your elders, those who are the longest lived. They survived that long for good reasons, and not just an accident of DNA synthesis.

  10. Some good news: more than a million people have now recovered from the Chinese virus

    A million people in the U.S., based on testing of people with significant symptoms. Extrapolating from the results of random blood tests for antibodies in several places around the world, it’s a safe bet that far, far more than 1 million people have been infected and recovered (or never got sick). Next phase, herd immunity. End the lockdowns.

    We know that something like 99% of all deaths are people with serious pre-existing health conditions and the vast majority are over 70 years old. The rest of us who get it, and a lot of us probably will given how contagious it seems to be, will either have no noticeable symptoms, mild symptoms, or a nasty case similar to a flu, but recover at home. Let’s get on with our lives and stop the mass lockdown madness.

    • “it’s a safe bet that far, far more than 1 million people have been infected and recovered (or never got sick). Next phase, herd immunity. End the lockdowns.”

      more infected means a higher R0, means more required for herd immunity

      • Yes some forget that fact. I have seem some projections on USA based on such a scenario and this goes on for nearly 2 years just because of it’s population.

      • Yes that’s correct, and my own guesstimate for what it’s with is that Billions have been exposed, but only a tiny percentage were affected significantly enough to suffer symptoms, and only a small percentage of those required hospital interventions. We know some various figures beyond that, and depending on whose methodology you believe, but still most “cases” went on to recover. Millions of “new” Humans arrive on the Planet each week, and let’s not forget that. All of those are not the same!

      • Not exactly the complete picture. More infected could reflect higher transmissibility or it could reflect passage of a certain amount of time. Given that it appears the virus was active in the US and other countries for a number of weeks earlier than people originally believed, but was not yet widely recognized as a separate infectious agent, large numbers of people could have been infected. Some analyses of data from the influenza-like illness surveillance network in the US and Spain suggest that there was a heightening of activity early in the year that could actually have been coronavirus disease.

      • True – but is also means that there is a chance that the immune herd has grown sufficiently to allow an intermediate level of social distancing to be workable. If 20% of the population are now immune, then a post lockdown R can rise to 1.25 without creating an epidemic – there is no need to keep R below 1. At least to the extent that crude SIR models are “good enough”. Which in reality they are not, since it’s plain that local outbreaks occur precisely for the sorts of superspreader environments you discussed earlier.

  11. The reason is that lockdowns delay the acquisition of “herd immunity” and, therefore, the symmetrical shape of the curve either side of the peak that, as my good friend Willis Eschenbach has rightly pointed out, is characteristic of a pandemic following the logistic curve does not arise.

    No it’s not – it is the nature od exponenetial decay; where the reproductive rate is less than 1. Sweden has not yet got their reproductive rate below 1 so cases are still accelerating.

    Herd immunity only begins to show up if there is no drastic effort to quarantine. No country is anywhere near close to herd immunity. The first one to do that will have a CV19 death toll of around 1% of population.

    • “death toll of around 1% of population.”

      That is ok.
      1.5% of population dies every year anyway.

        • Well, you can put it the other way around
          32,000,000 years of social costs spared
          Who wants to live forever?

        • This is a model!!!. How does that fit with the average age of victims in Italy? I guess it means that 79 year olds expect another 10 years? Lets get real. Here in Canada more than half the deaths are in residential care homes. Do these all have 10 years more of being assisted in their wheelchairs to stimulating activities?

          Meanwhile, a lady in the grocery store was complaining that she could not hire workers because Trudeau’s $2000/month was better than a minimum wage job.

        • Ron perhaps cares more for the economy than for 3.2 million deaths. Fortunately, responsible governments do not share his unconcern for their mere citizens’ lives.

      • Alex is unduly callous. Allowing an additional 1% of the population to die would kill 78 million who would probably not otherwise have died this year. Fortunately, responsible governments are not so insouciant when contemplating wholesale and sudden loss of life and the harm to families and eventually to public order (e.g. Ecuador) if the pandemic is allowed to rage uncontrolled.

        For Heaven’s sake, think a little.

        • It would seem equally appropriate to consider the harms done by measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. The UN is estimating that as many as 300 million will face starvation as a result of the worldwide economic depression. Here in the US, people are putting of needed health care out of excessive fear and government ordered shutdowns of “elective” care. This includes people avoiding emergency rooms when they are having heart attacks, people not being able to access cancer chemotherapy treatments, clinical trials for cancer and other serious illnesses being closed, etc. Not to mention the mental illness toll. I have a business that manages transplants, cell and gene therapies and other complex treatments for payers. The volume of transplants has dropped in half. People die as a result. So prudent policymaking might include an informed balancing of the harms and benefits of any action.

    • Mr Eschenbach is correct and RickWill is wrong: the symmetrical shape of the curve of new infections arises as a consequence of a pandemic following the logistic curve, as any run of one of many publicly-available S-I-R models will demonstrate. If, however, lockdowns interfere with the normal course of the logistic curve, a fat tail can be – and in a number of countries has been – produced. That means one cannot – as one can otherwise, double the cases at the peak and take that as a reliable estimate of total cases by the end of the pandemic.

  12. Correction to the quote;

    The reason is that lockdowns delay the acquisition of “herd immunity” and, therefore, the symmetrical shape of the curve either side of the peak that, as my good friend Willis Eschenbach has rightly pointed out, is characteristic of a pandemic following the logistic curve does not arise.

    No it’s not – it is the nature od exponenetial decay; where the reproductive rate is less than 1. Sweden has not yet got their reproductive rate below 1 so cases are still accelerating.

    Herd immunity only begins to show up if there is no drastic effort to quarantine. No country is anywhere near close to herd immunity. The first one to do that will have a CV19 death toll of around 1% of population.

  13. CMoB,

    The real numbers of recovered of SARS-CoV-2 are likely 30 times higher. Maybe 100 times higher.
    And that’s just here in the rebel Colonies and our friends to the north, Canada.

    This is just a bad cold for those who get symptoms and under 60 with good health. It’s been a very poor moral trade-off when we could have still protected the vulnerable in nursing homes, without setting off an economic Depression for the other hundreds of millions of young who deserve better.

    History will not be kind to us.

    • “This is just a bad cold for those who get symptoms and under 60 with good health. It’s been a very poor moral trade-off when we could have still protected the vulnerable in nursing homes”

      Well, it seems if one better protected the vulnerable in nursing homes, that could reduced total death by say, 25%.
      But there a lot people 60 and older who not in nursing homes and isolating both could have reduced it to closer to 90%- and if did that one would not have had problem of overcrowding hospitals.
      So if isolated about 70 million Americans, you do get a lot to lower total deaths, and significantly lower infection to health workers.

        • Well in US, long term care in some states might be close to how bad it is in Canada.
          Or it also possible Canada manages to successful kept an older population as compared to US, therefore had more older people which could die from this virus.
          But anyhow, so far, Florida has one high population of older people, and has been successful in safeguarding it’s older population- and New York City has not vaguely been successful. But I would not guess that NYC has as high as 90%.
          Or I would say, NYC lockdown was at least a few days too late, and with it’s high population density that killed a lot more people between 40 and 60 than what is the average/normal in terms US generally.
          But also NYC had bad policy in terms dealing with nursing home patients.

    • In response to Mr O’Bryan, in the early stages of a pandemic, before testing is widespread, the confirmed cases tend to be the more serious cases. The fact that so many confirmed cases have recovered is good news.

  14. It’s just all the same sensible advice for the flu season (yes it’s not the same, a bit worse).

    There never was need for lockdowns – individual responsibility and common sense would have sufficed.

    Where was hardest hit in the UK flu of 2015 – yes care homes!

    “…….reports of numerous outbreaks of the virus[flu] in care homes.”

    “Last year[2015] there were 529,613 deaths registered in England and Wales, an increase of 5.6% compared with 2014, with 86% of the extra deaths occurring in the over 75s and 38% in the over 90s.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35987316

    Notice the different emphasis in this BBC article.

    “Respiratory diseases, such as flu, were also mentioned in a third of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s last year.”

    Now its killed by CV19 , nothing else full stop. The fact a person was in their last weeks of life anyway is ignored in the frenzy to feed the virus panic and maintain the justification for the crazy political response.

    There was a sobering interview with a relative of a 91 year old dementia care home CV19 ‘victim’. Despite the attempts of the BBC interviewer to feed the MSM narrative, the relative said in truth, it was a blessed relief.

    • MrGrimNasty’s prejudice has been declared on many occasions in these columns, but then armchair epidemiologists do not set policy: responsible governments do. In countries with high population densities and exponential growth in infections, it was necessary to introduce lockdowns. And, as the head posting shows, in some countries – particularly in the high-population-density regions of Britain – it is visible from the data that the lockdowns worked, and halted the exponential transmission of the infection.

      Now it is time to bring the lockdowns carefully to an end. But it is futile for those who opposed lockdowns to go on whining to the effect that they should never have been imposed. They lost that argument, and responsible governments acted responsibly.

  15. In the days before Pet Passports and Rabies Vaccine animals coming into the UK were subject to 6 months quarantine, which kept Rabies out. Quarantine started in 14th century, about 40 days to keep out plague.
    Like convoying ships in wartime lessons of history are forgotten or wrongly applied.. In WW2 the American reluctance to use “British” convoys because of an Anglophobic Admiral cost many ships and merchant seaman’s lives. U Boat captains called it the Second Happy Time.

  16. Here in the UK the supposed lockdown sometimes has a somewhat surreal aspect . On our daily permitted walk around the streets, we would meet other temporarily released internees, exchange a nod and make sure that we passed by on the other side of the street. Elsewhere on the walk we would come across numerous sites of building works, men with no masks or gloves working longside each other, or, if on their breaks, sitting on the boots of their vans , side by side , smoking and drinking tea or coffee .

    • It’s all daft, not quite as daft as banging pans on your doorstep, but suggesting maintaining 2m grants immunity. If I can smell if someone is a smoker or detect their perfume from considerably further away, I could get infected. Yes I get that the risk decays with distance, but then we go into the supermarket where the air is probably contaminated anyway, and in the closed space the equivalent ‘safe’ distance (to 2m outside) would probably not be possible.

      I watched the Spanish all crowding the streets and exercising like mad after their partial release, yes they were probably mostly all 2 apart, but there was so many of them they were obviously all breathing in air which was a soup of exhaled aerosols.

  17. I believe that this virus will not be contained. Nor should we wait for (and accept) a vaccine. The key is proper diagnosis, contact tracing, and treatment. To that end, hydroxychloroquine shows promise. I am not alone in saying this, many Doctors have advocated this. Unfortunately there seems to be considerable resistance from health agencies and state authorities. Please see the following link,

    https://aapsonline.org/aaps-letter-asking-gov-ducey-to-rescind-executive-order-concerning-hydroxychloroquine-in-covid-19/

    April 27, 2020

    The Honorable Doug Ducey
    1700 West Washington St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85007

    Dear Governor Ducey:

    This concerns your Executive Order forbidding prophylactic use of chloroquine (CQ) or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) unless peer-reviewed evidence becomes available.

    Attached and posted here (https: //bit.ly/cqhcqresearch ) is a summary of peer-reviewed evidence, indexed in PubMed, concerning the use of CQ and HCQ against coronavirus. We believe that there is clear and convincing evidence of benefit both pre-exposure and post-exposure.

    In addition, Michael J. A. Robb, M.D., of Phoenix is compiling all reports as they come in. As of this date, the total number of reported patients treated with HCQ, with or without azithromycin and zinc, is 2,333. Of these, 2,137 or 91.6 percent improved clinically. There were 63 deaths, all but 11 in a single retrospective report from the Veterans Administration where the patients were severely ill.

    Most of the data concerns use of HCQ for treatment, but one study included used the medication as prophylaxis with excellent results. Many nations, including Turkey and India, are protecting medical workers and contacts of infected persons prophylactically. According to worldometers.info, deaths per million persons from COVID-19 as of Apr 27 are 167 in the U.S., 33 in Turkey, and 0.6 in India.

    Based on this evidence, we request that you rescind your Executive Orders impeding the use of CQ and HCQ and further order that administrative agencies not impose any requirements on the prescription of CQ, HCQ, azithromycin, or other drugs intended to treat or prevent coronavirus illness that do not apply equally to all approved medications that may be used off-label for any purpose.

    Respectfully,

    Michael J. A. Robb, M.D.
    President, Arizona State Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

    Jane M. Orient, M.D.
    Executive Director, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

    CC Speaker Rusty Bowers, Rep. Warren Petersen, Rep. Nancy Barto, Sen. Karen Fann, Sen. Rick Gray, and Sen. Kate Brophy-McGee

    Attachments:

    Sequential CQ / HCQ Research Papers and Reports, January to April 20, 2020 https: //bit.ly/cqhcqresearch

    The probabilities of clinical success using hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc against the novel betacoronavirus, COVID-19, revised Apr 26, 2020 https: //bit.ly/hcqtable

    • I suspect you anti-vaxers will be on your own in not taking a vaccine if it’s available simply because HCQ may help when you have the virus but it won’t stop you getting it. We are never going to convince you and you will never convince us so lets just agree to disagree.

      • I suspect you vax-worshippers will bow your heads and speak in hushed, reverent tones about the holy jab even if it ki!lls or maims you.

        • Happy to roll that risk as I have done with countless vaccinations since it was my choice at 16. I respect your right to make your own choice and I am not one of those who would pressure you to do anything.

          • It’s really confusing how anti-vaxxers are okay with possible very strong side effects of drugs but not any side effects a vaccine may have. Very confusing.

            Ever really read the whole SDS? Even ibuprofen can kill you if you are unlucky. It is just very unlikely. All about chances. That is what clinical trials are for and why you need big numbers in phase 4.

          • Ron
            You are assuming that others are as rational and logically consistent as you are.

      • Yes but the point is that to be effective the Human immune system *needs* limited exposure to non lethal doses of myriad pathogens. If there’s zero exposure, that’s when social groups die in very large numbers …. Aztecs, Native Americans, etc.

        • No, their immune system was probably very good against other diseases the invaders suffered from. That works in both directions.

          Both you have a point there: At the moment the whole world is like the Aztecs. Something coming in that we’ve all been never exposed too. That’s why it’s so deadly.

          • I don’t think it’s really all that deadly, except to certain at-risk groups, i.e., people who are obese and/or in bad health, or who have the misfortune of being misdiagnosed and ending up in ICU on a ventilator. Most peoples’ immune systems seem to work just fine.

          • icisil is entitled to his opinion, which he has expressed with tedious repetitiveness here, but the mounting global death toll suggests that a more cautious approach than what one “thinks” is needed. The infection overwhelmingly targets the old and infirm, but it targets them in large enough numbers to require that it be taken seriously. Fortunately, icisil and his like have lost the argument comprehensively, and responsible governments have taken precautions to slow the rate of spread, buying time to ensure sufficient hospital capacity and to allow some room for effective treatments and vaccines to be discerned and developed.

            When Mr Trump announced the national state of emergency on March 13, there had been about 5000 cumulative deaths worldwide. Now there are 5000 deaths a day. Governments answerable to their peoples, rather than armchair epidemiologists reluctant to see both sides of a question, are rightly taking a grown-up, cautious approach.

      • People who decline a flu vaccine are not anti-vaxxers. One can support vaccinations against fatal diseases like polio without supporting mass vaccination against less severe diseases like the flu. Calling us anti-vaxxers runs along the same line as calling people who question the catastrophic climate models “climate deniers.”

      • There is no vaccine which would be required in order to be anti-vax. That makes your argument moot. In addition, it changes nothing about the letter sent to the governor of Arizona, which never mentioned a vaccine of any sort.

  18. New York State. Evidence coming out that infected patients were returned to nursing homes from hospital. I know hindsight is 20/20 but sometimes things don’t add up.
    Current deaths (per 1M): 1,227 (NY), 55 (California).
    Did you know that NYC built a tent city in central park to treat COVID patients? One wonders if nursing home patients could have been sent there instead of being returned to infect others.

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/28/andrew-cuomo-refuses-to-face-facts-on-nursing-home-coronavirus-horrors/

    • That is something to take up with your local authorities. In many Australian states the homeless are in hotel rooms vacant because there are no tourists and travelers and paid for by the state to ensure that doesn’t happen. Each country and state is taking there obligations differently which is to be expected.

  19. Why do you persist in using confirmed cases as a guide to the progress of the outbreak? Cases are hugely dependent on the testing regime and especially the number of tests and who’s tested. Deaths are also problematic (with and from, suspected and confirmed) but much better and infections can then be inferred to precede them 21 days previously. That’s the best way to look at the effect of lockdowns on infections – not by looking at case data.

    • In response to Mr Jones, testing is increasing everywhere, and yet the rate of increase in confirmed cases is falling. That, whether he likes it or not, is useful information.

      And the graphs in the head posting are of active cases and of deaths, not of confirmed cases.

      And, as Edmund Burke used to say, there is no knowledge that is not valuable. If Mr Jones does not find these postings valuable, he need not read them. But there is very little purpose in merely whining about them.

      • Yes the positive rate tells you something. But that’s not what you’re using. The positive rate from a representative sample really tells you something. But that’s definitely not what you’re using. Infection rate should be inferred from death rate not from confirmed cases.

        • In response to Mr Jones, I pointed out in an earlier post in this series that casting back deaths to arrive at an indication of the true infection rate would lead one to expect that that rate is somewhere between 0.1% and 1% of population.

          However, during the early stages of a pandemic, when there is little testing at scale, the cumulative confirmed cases are indeed the most crucial number for policymaking, because they are the more serious cases, many of which will require hospitalization.

          With this particular virus, a significant fraction of the cumulative confirmed cases – currently about 7.5% worldwide – have died. That is not a small fraction. And it tells us that there are many more deaths to come before this is over. This is one of the chief considerations that led governments to impose lockdowns.

          • If that’s what you’re after then you should use hospitalisation rate. Using case rate as a proxy for infection rate is where the problem lies as it gives a false impression of the stage and spread of the epidemic. For example, peak infection in London can be inferred from peak deaths on 4 April to have been 14 March. But at that stage case rate was almost zero because there was little testing. UK case data shows an exponential increase in cases then emerges, but from the death data we now know that that increase was entirely created by the increase in tests as the number of infections at that time was actually in decline.

          • The graph we use is of estimated active confirmed cases – those that are more likely to be hospitalized. But some will not be hospitalized, and yet capable of transmitting the infection. Therefore, the estimates include them too.l

  20. In relation to Mr Mosher’s comments and the matter of the over-65s.

    1. Old people are no more likely to infect others than young people.

    2. If they die sooner than they would otherwise owing to taking more risks, that will save health services resources in the medium term.

    3. If there really are too few health service resources at a given moment, younger people should get priority. That is the only concession the risk-taking over-65s need to make.

    4. Given the above, I can see no rational grounds for imposing compulsory isolation on the over-65s.

  21. CMoB. I would like to see your graphs based on excess deaths. I think that it is the best measure of the outcome of COVID-19 pandemi.
    Now some countries have a negatve number of excess deaths, as average death rate is bigger than the death rate for the last weeks. In Europe Finland and Norway have negative numbers, as opposed to Sweden. And Hungary and Greece have negative numbers. COVID-19 prevents people from dying in these countries.

    • “While our understanding of COVID-19 has been progressing relatively quickly, there is still so much we don’t know. This virus appears to be acting like syphilis, “the great imitator,” with so many different manifestations in people—and we don’t know why that is true.” Judy Stone.
      Many people are dying from blood clots, heart attacks, renal failures, with an underlying virus infection. All the people dying in their homes. How can the real cause of death be established, when there are hundred of bodies?

    • And lives will be damaged by neurological problems. With every infection there follows cases with post-viral fatigue. Young people will be hit by that. We don`t know the scope of destruction by this and other diseases.

      • What are you talking about? Most people who get it don’t even know they got it. The people with lasting fatigue are those few who survive intubation, whose organs and brains are permanently damaged by the toxic sedation drugs they receive.

      • Perhaps not so innocent that your wishful thinking, icisil.
        “As case numbers of COVID-19 continue to rise around the world, we are starting to see an increasing number of reports of neurological symptoms. Some studies report that over a third of patients show neurological symptoms.
        In the vast majority of cases, COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that causes fever, aches, tiredness, sore throat, cough and, in more severe cases, shortness of breath and respiratory distress. Yet we now understand that COVID-19 can also infect cells outside of the respiratory tract and cause a wide range of symptoms from gastrointestinal disease (diarrhoea and nausea) to heart damage and blood clotting disorders. It appears that we have to add neurological symptoms to this list, too.
        Several recent studies have identified the presence of neurological symptoms in COVID-19 cases. Some of these studies are case reports where symptoms are observed in individuals. Several reports have described COVID-19 patients suffering from Guillain–Barré syndrome. Guillain–Barré syndrome is a neurological disorder where the immune system responds to an infection and ends up mistakenly attacking nerve cells, resulting in muscle weakness and eventually paralysis.
        Other cases studies have described severe COVID-19 encephalitis (brain inflammation and swelling) and stroke in healthy young people with otherwise mild COVID-19 symptoms.
        Larger studies from China and France have also investigated the prevalence of neurological disorders in COVID-19 patients. These studies have shown that 36% of patients have neurological symptoms. Many of these symptoms were mild and include things like headache or dizziness that could be caused by a robust immune response. Other more specific and severe symptoms were also seen and include loss of smell or taste, muscle weakness, stroke, seizure and hallucinations.”
        https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-many-patients-reporting-neurological-symptoms-136692

        • Ventilator induced lung injury (VILI/VALI) and toxic drugs (used to make patients comatose during ventilation) can and frequently do damage organs and brain.

    • In response to nobodysknowledge, yesterday’s head posting considered the question of excess deaths.

  22. hmmm,195 countries with Corona- 92% of deaths were in 11, mainly, 1st world countries. 40 countries have had no deaths. There must be something wrong with the health system in first world countries. Or not specifying died “with” or ‘of’ on the death certificate played its part.

    WORLDOMETERS.INFO

    • You exclude the other choice that something went wrong in those 11 countries and they failed at what every other countries did not.

    • I think invasive intubation probably is used more in wealthier, 1st-world countries. It would be interesting to compare country-by-country practice with mortality.

    • Belgium 670 deaths/million what have they done wrong ?
      Greece 13 deaths/million
      Slovakia 4 deaths/ million
      Japan 4 deaths/million what haave they done right ?
      New Zealand 4 deaths /million

      When you get to Africa/parts of Asia no one has a clue. Reported cases /deaths are low which could be due to a combination of factors ; perhaps widespread TB vaccinations, youth of populations and poor reporting.

      In due course we will sort of know. But Belgium ?

  23. Not sure about the date of UK lockdown on your coloured table of lockdown dates. I watched Boris Johnson announce it on Friday 20th March and we have had just short of 30k deaths since. I think Angela Merkel announced the German lockdown on Sunday 22nd.

    • Watch again the daily press conference given by Boris Johnson on 23 March at 5 pm.

  24. I wish that the collateral damage should be analysed and charted with the same rigor as the condition. Overlay the above graph with changes in employment, bankruptcies, GDPs, sovereign debt, household incomes, petty crime …………Then and only then can we consider the whole picture

    We have not yet reached the end of the beginning. This virus has a sting in its tail I recon

    • It was only centuries later that we Humans recognised the significance and effects of the great plaguyes of the so called Black Death of PestisPestis. Again only centuries later was it confined that Gaol or Newgate Prison disease was actually Typhus. Centuries from now they’ll be calling this disease The Great Hysteria, I’ll hazard a guess. Historians reading these columns decades into the future will make it into a Drama Serial on TV or suchlike. The script has already been written, but we just don’t yet know the ending !

      • In response to Mr Black, the Black Death was Yersinia Pestis, if I remember correctly. And there has been no hysteria in the head postings, just a presentation and discussion of such data as are available.

    • A very interesting plot , Vuk. One might almost think that there were 2 variants of the virus active in Europe, one more fatal than the other. However the difference in mortality between Portugal and the adjacent Spain surely quashes that idea.

      • Hi MW
        I have thought that might be the case too, unless these countries entered covid pandemic some weeks later, or their lock-down measures were much more effective. I noticed that all of ex-East Block have a score less than 10/100k together with Germany, Austria, Denmark and Greece. Medical science and the health authorities in the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium will have to find out and learn why they are so badly hit.

  25. Excess deaths as proxy for COVID-19 fatality.
    There will be a balance between deaths prevented by measures taken by people (and their governments) as we see in Finland, Norway, Hungary, Greece and parts of Germany, and reinforced fatality by shortcomings of a health system under pressure. If these two aspects are balanced, excess deaths will be a good proxy.

  26. CMofB

    March 24th was a Tuesday. The UK lockdown was announced on March 20th and effectively began on that day. Schools officially closed on Monday 23rd.

    My daughter had been working from home at least a week earlier. Social distancing guidelines for the elderly had already been introduced. Bear in mind also, that the WHO didn’t declare a pandemic until March 12th.

    However, the half-dozen most-affected regions all showed near-immediate peaks following the UK-wide lockdown:

    So lockdown was not necessary. UK cases were from hospital tests. Incuubation = ~5 days ; Symptoms (mild to severe) = ~ 7days. Conclusion: Infections happened before lockdown.

    PS I think you’ve still got the equation wrong.

    • Mr Finn has repeatedly declared his prejudice against the lockdowns that brought the rapid exponential growth in the infection to an end. He does not need to go on whining like a stuck gramophone record about it. He is entitled to his opinion, but his opinion did not prevail among responsible governments with high population densities and fast exponential rates of growth in confirmed cases.

      And what is wrong with the equation?

      • Mr Finn has repeatedly declared his prejudice against the lockdowns that brought the rapid exponential growth in the infection to an end.

        I’m not against the lockdowns. On balance, I support them – just. However, while we’re on the subject of ‘stuck gramophones’ I don’t agree with your constant criticism that the UK was particularly slow in taking measures. You’ve even argued we should have acted a month before we did. It’s quite possible that the initial light touch measures were working well enough but I accept we couldn’t afford to take the chance.

        And what is wrong with the equation?

        It depends on whether or not m is included in the cumulative total M.

        If not then the summation should go from 0 (not 1) to infinity , i.e.

        m(1 + x + x^2 + x^3 ……. ) where x =(n-1)/n

        This does lead to the product m * n.

        However, I think the summation from 1 to infinity gives m * (n-1) which would be ok if m was included in M. I’ve checked it in a spreadsheet using n=5 to give 0.8 + 0.64 + 0.512 ……

        • I’ll chime in on both sides here.

          I’ll support Christopher on the date of the UK lockdown. It was announced to the public on the evening of March 23rd. Ergo, it took effect on March 24th.

          But I’ll support John Finn over the issue with Christopher’s equation. I’ll try to explicate it as simply as I can without using complicated mathematical notation. If z is a real number between 0 and 1:

          SUM from k=0 to infinity (z to power k) = 1/(1-z). E.G. 1+1/2+1/4+1/8+…=2. Or 1+1/3+1/9+1/27+…=3/2.

          Taking the n out of the brackets in Christopher’s equation, and setting z=(1-1/n), he’s OK so far for n=2. Because SUM from k=1 to infinity (z to power k) = z/(1-z) for 0<z<1. And for z=1/2, that ratio is 1.

          Now, let n=10/9, shall we? Or z=0.1. A super-optimistic scenario, in which we beat the virus so hard that new cases each day are down to 10% of the previous day. Then if we had m deaths today, we’d have m/10+m/100+m/1000+… in total from now on in. That is, m/9. But Christopher’s formula gives m*n=m*10/9. Ten times too high!

          John Finn is right: Christopher seems to have confused the total deaths from now with the total deaths from the start of the epidemic.

          • I’ll support Christopher on the date of the UK lockdown. It was announced to the public on the evening of March 23rd. Ergo, it took effect on March 24th.

            The schools closed on Friday 21st March. Pubs and restaurants closed on the Friday night. We were in lockdown that week-end.

        • Mr Finn has not, perhaps, read the head posting. It is there stated that the calculation is done from day d. Do the multiplication as shown, include day d and Bob’s your uncle.

          As for Mr Lock, he quibbles about n=1.1. However, by that time it will be clear even to him that there will not be many deaths to come.

          • The equation, as stated above, is wrong

            If you sum [(n-1)/n]^d for d = 1 to infinity the result is (n-1) * m

            If you sum [(n-1)/n]^d for d = 0 to infinity the result is n * m

            For the equation to be correct you need to either change the summation to start at d=0 or change the result to (n-1) * m

          • Monckton of Brenchley May 3, 2020 at 4:02 am

            Don’t quibble.

            I realise we’re not doing strict peer review on WUWT but don’t you think it gives a more professional look if errors or mistakes are acknowledged and corrected. You could accuse me of pedantry, I suppose, but I’m not doing this to score points. While not agreeing with everything you write, I recognise that you have a published a number of interesting & technically accurate WUWT posts. A minor error hasn’t changed that.

      • I think it is necessary to look at the disaggregated picture locality by locality to understand where lockdowns may have been more or less useful. It is quite notable that early centres of epidemic spread such as Islington had high case rates but also an early date for the local peak in cases. Yet we have also seen late post lockdown surges in cases in places like Hull and Blackpool, where the lockdown hasn’t prevented spread. There are doubtless a variety of local factors that are important to understanding the facts, which are not that simple in the first place.

  27. In order to know how many people recovered, you have to know how many people actually had the ailment, which we do NOT.

    We might have some idea of how many people have recovered from detected “cases”, where a “case” is suspiciously defined in some instances (is it really a case or what?). But we do not know how many people ever had the virus, with no or minimal symptoms, … where “recovery” would be either not an issue or an issue so trivial that the person sought out neither testing nor treatment.

    The continuing hoopla over ill-defined “cases” and suspect “deaths”, then, seems like overblown showmanship, using the current crisis-fabrication as source material.

    The graphs, as always, are pretty to look at, of course, but what they represent is the graphic art of deception rather than the science of what we really know.

    It’s probably good that someone can use those numbers to offer some semblance of hope, but it’s a shallow good, lacking in rational depth.

  28. Bad data leads to bad decisions. Unfortunately we are a ways a way from having good data.

    – Inconsistent qualification of what is a COVID-19 death
    – Unknown false positive and false negative rate on tests
    – Too few initial and follow up tests
    – Poor characterization of virus transmission – surface vs air
    – Poor understanding of virus transmission from symptomless carriers
    – Inconsistent lockdown rules
    – Behavior changes somewhat independent of timing of government lockdown decisions
    – Significant data lag on impact of lessening lockdown restrictions

    Over the long run the data will get better and we will learn more. However I expect for the interim we will make far less than optimum decisions for deaths vs economic impact based on the poor quality of the data.

    • Mr Norris is right. The statisticians were shockingly unprepared. During the early stages of a pandemic, knowing how many have recovered is every bit as important as knowing how many have died, so that one can work out a reasonable first stab at a case fatality rate: died / (recovered + died). But the UK does not even count those who have recovered.

      It is also important, right from the outset, to distinguish between confirmed cases hospitalized and confirmed cases not requiring hospitalization. Even that vital distinction has not been drawn in most countries.

      • And from looking at the recovery reports from different countries it seems inescapable to me that Germany is using different criteria to count someone as recovered than say Spain and Italy. Maybe it’s just they do a better job of following up, or maybe the criteria really are inconsistent.

        Regarding point #2: BINGO! It also seems that reports on “serious/critical” cases can’t be taken too seriously (S. Korea has been stuck at 55 every time I’ve looked the past two or three weeks).

        Since there is not even a remotely reasonable hope of maintaining the lockdown until a vaccine is developed, the best we can do is put reasonable measures in place to reduce the rate of transmission and investigate better treatment options while getting as many people back to work as possible. The virus is not going to be eradicated and because it is capable of both airborne and casual contact transmission, the odds are high we will all be exposed to it sooner or later. If it is seasonal it will fade with summer but come back (possibly mutated) next winter.

        Even if we get a vaccine it is likely to be about as effective as flu vaccines, which over the past 10 years in the US have seldom been even 50% effective and one season (2014-2015) only 19%. Are we going to go into a 50% lockdown once we have a vaccine?

        If we shut down the industries and activities necessary to keep modern urban civilization going, a whole lot more people are going to die than even the worst-case COVID-19 projections. The economic cost to the US so far exceeds 9/11 and all the hurricanes this century put together and we’re by no means done yet.

        As an aside, I appreciate your favorable review of our Georgia Governor’s plan. He’s been getting a whole lot of heat over it, and not just from Democrats. He is I believe relying heavily on counsel from State Public Health commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey, formerly with the CDC. We will see what happens, knowing full well that anything bad or anything that can be made to appear bad will be blamed on Governor Kemp.

        Even though over 65 I went out with my wife and son today to watch the combined Blue Angels / Thunderbirds flyover of Atlanta from a shopping center parking lot. There were quite a few other people there for the same purpose. Then we stopped at a market and wine shop on the way home to stock up on essentials. I’m happy to report there were no drones scolding us for being outside our homes or snitching neighbors to turn us in.

        • I’m in agreement with your points. I’m in Atlanta too and did pretty much the same for the flyover. I’m 4 months short of 60, so at the edge of statistical vulnerability.

          One question, how do I achieve Level 7?

      • yep, we need to have faith in the data. We will never know how many died “with” or “of” . It has become political and all about the optics now.

        So we are entering the new age of madness and wearing face masks.

        Have to keep up the government was correct and you are safe in our hands and do as we say.

        Sanity went out the window when Neil Ferguson opened his mouth.

  29. More model madness:

    “Imperial College Model Applied to Sweden Yields Preposterous Results”

    https://www.aier.org/article/imperial-college-model-applied-to-sweden-yields-preposterous-results/amp/

    “Although only time will tell how the comparative strategies continue to hold up, these early results do not speak well of the accuracy of predictions built around the ICL model. Assuming the Swedish modelers correctly adapted the ICL approach (and their accompanying data appendix appears to do so, drawing its stated parameters directly from Ferguson’s work), the failure of its predictions would seem to suggest that its underlying assumptions about the effectiveness of specific lockdown policies are completely unfounded.”

    • In response to PaulH, in an earlier piece in this series I pointed out that during the early stages of the pandemic some models – notably that from Imperial College – predicted very large numbers of infections and fatalities provided that lockdowns were not introduced. Since lockdowns were introduced, in most countries we shall not be able to put the Imperial College model to the test.

      That model takes population density into account. Stockholm has about a fifth of central London’s population density: therefore, the control measures it was able to adopt were less severe than those that were necessarily adopted in London.

      The death rate per head of population in Sweden is noticeably higher than in any other Scandinavian country.

        • If only richard would read more and shout less. Let him read about Hokkaido and then, for once, think rather than merely rebarbatively spouting his childish prejudice.

          • and your shouting the same childish nonsense?

            every other day- sheesh – enough.

            Why don’t you fess up and just say the numbers are based on guess work, it’s become political . The 92% of deaths in 11, mainly 1st world countries illustrates this.

            Do some investigation and stop pushing the lock down meme. Stop being a baggage carrier for these inept governments.

  30. some more data.

    You need to remember. LOCKDOWN has no units well unless its 0 or 1, where 0 means nobody
    leaves their home ever.

    Lockdowns vary and the important things are:

    1. Are people ACTUALLY moving about
    2. Where are they going?
    3. How many others do they encounter?

    So, how are they moving about?

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/05/01/apple-data-shows-shelter-in-place-is-ending-whether-governments-want-it-to-or-not/#234d1ba16fb5

    so basically anybody who looks at lockdowns versus “cases” or deaths is in danger of fooling themselves.

  31. More deaths in the U.S. than expected:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/us-reports-66000-more-deaths-than-expected-so-far-this-year/2020/04/29/b6833548-8a68-11ea-ac8a-fe9b8088e101_story.html

    In my State of Oklahoma folks have been moving around for about a week and this morning it is reported Oklahoma has had the third-largest two-day increase in cases since the Wuhan virus showed up in Oklahoma. I don’t know if the two things are connected. It bears watching.

  32. The rules list the obese as those who should isolate
    Isn’t that most of them? I’ve been to Georgia

  33. So, Sweden, which has not locked down has reached peak and their medical system is still up and running?
    $10,000,000,000,000 to save 0 people. What a bargain. I am sure that loss of wealth will cost absolutely the same 0 lives?

    • Mr Stoner has made his blind prejudice repeatedly known here. If he were to read more and scream less, he would discover that Sweden has various control measures in place, though they fall well short of the tighter restrictions that were found necessary in countries with greater urban population densities and larger mean household sizes. And Sweden has by far the highest death rate per head of population in Scandinavia. On the other side of the account, if the Swedish experiment proves to have been successful we can learn from it, after making appropriate adjustments for urban population density, mean household size, intensive-care capacity and other factors which tend to differ from nation to nation. It is a shame that Mr Stoner is incapable of raising his game and conducting this discussion in a less blinkered, less discourteous and more balanced and polite fashion.

  34. https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/16/coronavirus-six-bay-area-counties-to-shelter-in-place/

    A minor point, but a good chunk of CA counties lockeddown 3/16 prior to State order on 19th.

    Mission accomplished, curve flattened, now what? Delaying exposure doesn’t equal avoidance forever.

    Just a longer fatter tail in the year of the rat.

    Contolled random testing would be useful.
    Cliff Mass pointed out the terrible quality of data.

    Note the difference on Worldometer for US active military v. Veterans Affairs. Fairly similar groups seperated in time that have very different morbidities.

    This is a disease that culls the herd of the sick and aged. Even in NYC where it’s been 20x more devastating, 99% of the entire population have not and likely will not require hospitalization.

    Covid substitutes one kind of death for another, the primary statistical effect might be average life expectancy drops a tiny amount. Roy Spencer pointed to the inverse malarial exposed v. not exposed countries correlations hinting at an unknown immunity mechanism, bug maybe the third world just has really young populations and a much lower life expectancy baseline.

    Just looking at covid death counts without subtracting all the heart and cancer and lung and obesity and diabetes and alzheimers and accident and kidney disease deaths that did not occur in the same time frame overstates the urgency.

    We dislike disorder so much, and are so scared, so unused to the competitive nastiness of the natural world, naively believing we are owed a certain lifestyle, a certain retirement, an easy happy luxurious life that we have lost the humility or gratitude or respect for the immensly complicated interconnected economy that makes it possible.

    • Mission accomplished, curve flattened, now what?

      Let’s see, massive immune system protection for months for millions of people, now released into the path of germs they were always exposed to, before the Lockdownocene, suddenly taking ill en mass to the previously ordinary pathogens that challenged the immune systems, now needing doctors at an astonishingly high rate, but doctors who furloughed because of the Lockdownocene and, thus, unavailable, creating a demand for doctors that cannot be accommodated, hence, another lock down, hence another crisis, more stimulus packages based on money that does not exist, perpetuating the fantasy of solving a problem at a further level of absurdity, as the universe laughs in our information-over-stimulated faces.

      Too pessimistic?

      • Mr Kernodle can be forgiven in present circumstances for exhibiting signs of combined prejudice, petulance and panic, but responsible governments have to keep their heads and make decisions based on such data as are available, and on the ancient principle that the health, safety and well-being of the people should be the highest law.

        • MB,

          No panic here. (^_^) Nice consonance, however, in your scholarly, yet off-the-mark, characterization of my response. Let me suggest the sequence, “perceptive, pejorative and prescient”, to more accurately capture my compositional disposition.

          I agree that RESPONSIBLE governments have to keep their heads [I can hardly keep from laughing at your implication that they are]. Making decisions based on data about economic collapse would seem more in line with kept heads, rather than the shaky data upon which current actions seem to be based.

          The tier of evidence supporting the current global apocalyptic reaction seems inferior to the tier of evidence supporting the possibility of global apocalyptic economic collapse.

          Which is more certain? — excessive millions of lives being lost because of COVID-19 (inconsistently defined, tabulated, assessed), or excessive millions of livelihoods being lost and excessive millions of LIVING people loosing life-quality from shutting down society (ascertained within well-known parameters of economic well-being)?

          Supposed kept heads are not looking at the scales properly. THEY are the ones in a panic, as I see it, from where I stand in the Pandemic Reich.

        • RK – We dont need a vaccine to use the summer for mandatory pro-infection immersion camps for the under thirties. By Christmas 99.9999% of grandkids could get Grandma’s unwanted cheek pinch without posing a threat to her health.

          The UK data trumpeted in a new
          WUWT article confirms what was obvious 5 weeks ago in the NYC hospitalization data. Surprise! Old sick people presenting with covid are at serious, lethal risk, and the rest of us kinda aren’t.

          Did Mr. Brenchely’s beseeching “forgiveness” on your behalf bring you comfort?

  35. I think a very important point in the Sweden data is being overlooked. Simply looking at total deaths is misleading, because some deaths are simply being deferred.

    The original purpose of the lockdowns was to prevent health services from being overrun by exponential growth. Now we are seeing mission creep and the lockdown are being justified on the grounds of minimizing deaths.

    This mission creep is misplaced because of the problems with differed deaths.

    For the past month the daily new cases and deaths in Sweden are flat. The average length of infection is about 2 weeks. As a result, the number of active cases in Sweden must be relatively constant, or the data is wrong.

    And if the number of active cases is constant in Sweden, then they have achieved the objective of the lockdown, without having done a lockdown.

    The problem is that mission creep is obscuring why we had a lockdown in the first place, which makes it impossible to evaluate the lockdown.

    • ferdberple complains of mission creep: but the truth is that, once the initial danger of overwhelming the healthcare system has been averted, lockdowns have to be cautiously eased or that danger may re-emerge.

  36. For example, looking at worldview I eyeball that 400 new cases and 100 deaths are happening each day in Sweden. These numbers have been flat for the past 30 days..

    If you now assume that on average a case lasts 15 days, then 400 new cases today, in 15 days 300 will recover and 100 will die. But on average those 400 cases are now gone.

    So you only need on average 15 days times 400 cases capacity. And this is a constant. It is not increasing. Otherwise, the average time before recovery must be increasing, which means treatment has changed.

    Now of course averages are not peaks, but there are rules of thumb to go from average to peak.

  37. Every day 200000 people mostly old people die 56000000 per year! Seems Mockton thinks no one must die what a joke cheers. WE ARE BORN AND WE DIE GET OVER IT enjoy life while you can. Think of it the minute you were born you start to die! I predict that all the lockdowns will end up as distasters look at Sweden it has the same mortality as Ireland with complete lockdown https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/how-sweden-faced-the-virus-without-a-lockdown-1.4240944. the countries that will really suffer long term are New Zealand and maybe Australia because they have no immunity

    • Eliza
      Fascinating how our government continues believe in lockdowns. California’s government believes as do New Zealand and Australia. Quite a record and as we know the virus is indifferent to the politicians.

    • In response to the semi-literate and entirely-uninformed and unsatisfactorily-identified “Eliza”, being childish is not a good response to this pandemic. Responsible governments owe their citizens a general duty of care, whether “Eliza” likes it or not, which is why her hysterical viewpoint has not prevailed among them.

    • The furtively unidentied “Eliza” says I “no nothing about viruses”. Well, I know how to spell “know”, which is more than the semi-literate and hysterical “Eliza” does. I wrote one of the earliest models of the transmission of the HIV virus at the request of one of Britain’s hospitals, using matrix addition, which proved to be a most effective way of modeling the spread of that type of infection, with its long period of asymptomatic latency. I also wrote in January 1986 that it would kill tens of millions worldwide, because Western susceptibilities would not allow sensible control measures at the outset. Since then, 30-50 million have died.

      As to attributions of excess mortality, the statisticians are currently of the view that the great majority of the excess deaths now evident in Europe and, more recently, in some parts of the United States are attributable to the infection. If “Eliza” disagrees with that analysis on any ground other than that of the petulant and rebarbatively-repeated prejudice that she has demonstrated so tediously here, let her take it up with them. She is wasting her time here.

  38. I actually liked mockton because after his exhaustive 1.5C warming analysis which in my view was meaningless he assumed re climate change do nothing. I wish he would see have seen the same for this coronavirus (like the Swedes did) cheeeers and enjoy your lives and stop watching coronavirus stuff my advice

    • And yet another malevolent but unenlightening and meaningless posting from “Eliza”. One wonders who is paying her to attempt so inelegantly and ignorantly to disrupt this thread. Rather poor value for money. For she cannot be writing these comments unpaid. Otherwise, what would be the point of being so childishly repetitive, so relentlessly unconstructive, so helplessly uninformed, so irremediably semi-literate?

  39. “Everybody follows the same shaped curve, no matter what approach they take. Countries which did a better job isolating seniors have lower death counts. Spain, Italy, France and the UK have draconian lockdowns. Sweden has schools, restaurants and bars open, and the result there is exactly the same”

    • richard has declared his prejudice over and over and over again, like a small child shrieking from his stroller. The truth is that Spain has begun lifting its lockdown, and Sweden’s result is not “exactly the same”: despite its low urban population density, it has by far the highest death rate per head of population in Scandinavia. A more balanced approach to the data is needed.

    • richard is indeed a novice and has believed only those results that suited his blind prejudice. In these columns, though, we are giving information from all sides, and discussing the extent to which the data are reliable. One day, perhaps, richard may learn to be similarly dispassionate. In the meantime, it is not at all surprising that the profoundly prejudiced and irrational, such as he, have lost the argument comprehensively. Responsible governments have rightly paid no heed to the extremists and are being far more nuanced and careful in their approach. And no amount of spoiled-brat shrieking from the furtively unidentified “richard” will make the slightest difference.

      • says the novice without a blind bit of evidence that the numbers dying are ‘with” or “of ” Corona- makes me speechless that you can be so gullible, once a baggage handler always a baggage handler.

        92% of deaths in 11 countries, mainly 1st world countries says how political it has become. They have to illustrate a pile of deaths to con us into thinking they knew what they are doing.

        They listened to one man with a terrible track record.

        And yet , Mr Monckton, shrieking it was the right thing to do, without a blind bit of evidence about the numbers, is in the same camp as nonsense from the climate change brigade.

        Stop now , please, Mr Mockton.

  40. All known species of Corona tail off into April , May and June.

    For most countries it was never a problem as out of 195 with Corona, 92% of deaths happened in 11 countries.

  41. The numbers are being manipulated but even if you believe them as Mr Monckton obviously does-

    It is mostly the old and ill that are dying.

    CDC report-
    “The overall cumulative COVID-19 associated hospitalization rate is 40.4 per 100,000, with the highest rates in people 65 years and older…

    …for people 65 years and older, current COVID-19 hospitalization rates are similar to those observed during comparable time points* during recent high severity influenza seasons.
    For children (0-17 years), COVID-19 hospitalization rates are much lower than influenza hospitalization rates during recent influenza seasons.

  42. Hey Ron,

    I said I don’t believe Sweden has its peak. That includes if they are staying constant. Because the peak would be in the middle of the constant area when it finally declines and I don’t see that there is convincing data to talk about a decline.

    I reckon we are talking about not allowing uncontrollable rise in cases what would overwhelmed healthcare system? Now, you’re talking about the decline what is rather different kettle of fish. So far Sweden, by means of softer lockdown, seems to be avoiding sharp peak predicted by models – they are able to flatten and spread the peak and keep some schools, restaurants and coffee shops open.

    Sure, to see longer term effects we need to wait. Maybe they’re doing terrible mistake which manifests itself in few weeks or months time. But equally well they may be showing that in their situation they can manage without strict lockdowns.

    • If you define success as not overwhelming the health care system than Sweden succeeded so far.

      If you count success in death toll by society than not as much.

  43. “all five ‘no lockdown’ nations are shown to have performed substantially better than a leading first world nation (UK) which boasts one of the best health services in the world’

    “Johnson’s wholesale house arrest not only has crippled Britain’s economy, it has not permitted the British public the opportunity to acquire the natural herd immunity already developed in those non-lockdown countries. This may be why there are fears of a second wave of infections when the Johnson lock down is lifted’

    Britain’s Legacy of Pandemic Panic and Pain

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s key error appears to be in relying on the very same ‘expert’ blamed for past medical national travesties – Professor Ferguson of Imperial College, London.

    Ferguson had a history of wildly overestimating death rates – his 2001 disease model was criticized as “not fit for purpose” after it predicted that up to 150,000 people could die in the U.K. from mad cow disease (just 177 deaths to date).

    How could any competent PM once again follow the advice of Ferguson, who failed so ineptly in the past?

    “UK Ministers claimed, as they did with climate change, that they were being ‘led by the science.’ But their chosen ‘experts’ relied on the same kind of junk computer models that projected wholly exaggerated scenarios for man-made global warming”

    I am sure “baggage handler” will wish to respond.

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