Lockdown Fail In One Easy Graph

Guest “Excel-lent!” by David Middleton

What happens if you crossplot the “lockdown” rating of the Lower 48 states and DC with the COVID-19 infection rate?

Lockdown Fail

To the extent there is a correlation, the states with the tightest lockdowns have the highest infection rates. Alaska and Hawaii were the only states ranking in the top 10 most aggressive lockdowns that didn’t have high infection rates. They are also isolated relative to the contiguous United States.

But, but, but… Correlation is not causation! States could have locked down more tightly in response to the infections! The lockdown rating was as of April 6, 2020 and the infection data are as of May 11, 2020.

Data Sources

WalletHub. Most Aggressive States Against the Coronavirus, Adam McCann, Financial Writer. Apr 7, 2020

Worldometer. WORLD / COUNTRIES / UNITED STATES. Last updated: May 11, 2020

StateLockdown RatingTotal Cases/1MDeaths/1MDeaths % of pop.
New York117,7551,3780.14%
District of Columbia28,8874580.05%
New Jersey515,7631,0430.10%
Rhode Island610,6423980.04%
New Hampshire92,259980.01%
West Virginia10760300.00%
South Carolina281,486640.01%
New Mexico332,319950.01%
North Carolina371,424540.01%
North Dakota381,957460.00%
South Dakota503,835380.00%

Addendum 5/12/2020 11:04 AM CST

The population density of the 50 US states correlates fairly well with the infection rate.

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May 12, 2020 2:15 am

“I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself”

― Winston S. Churchill

Reply to  Alex
May 12, 2020 10:31 am

It appears that East Europeans are far better at ‘doctoring statistics’ than their western counterparts, since there is a startling difference in mortality rates between two Europe’s areas (Austria and Germany being exceptions).
In the last few days the most of East Europe (excluding Russia) is attempting to return to some kind of semi-normality. Time will tell if they are doing right thing.

Reply to  Vuk
May 12, 2020 12:31 pm

There are more papers coming out re: different supertypes, one being worse than the other. This is a good paper from Russia. https://www.cato.org/blog/two-supertypes-coronavirus-east-asian-european

Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 1:50 pm

Thanks for the link. On this one science will not be settled for years to come.

W.L. Hyde
Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 7:31 pm

In regard to the timing of the ‘pause’ in this paper, I would point out that Chinese New Year Occurred on Feb. 19th this year. Hundreds of thousands of of Chinese workers and students headed home for the celebrations and then returned to their postings three weeks later.

Reply to  W.L. Hyde
May 12, 2020 7:47 pm

Pretty sure it was Jan 25th this year.

Reply to  Scissor
May 13, 2020 2:20 am

In that article the term “coronavirus genomic samples” is used. I think that applies to an RNA test, and not a virus test[?].

This article states it clearly
“…the scientists [in a study published in New England Journal of Medicine] arrived at the idea of COVID-19: they took lung fluid samples and extracted RNA from them using the PCR test. It admits that the coronavirus failed Koch’s postulates”

More: “If the virus exists, then it should be possible to purify viral particles. From these particles RNA can be extracted and should match the RNA used in this test. Until this is done it is possible that the RNA comes from another source, which could be the cells of the patient, bacteria, fungi, etc. ”

I have been coming across a range of opinions of what COVID-19 actually is.
1) it doesn’t exist,
to 2) it’s genetically engineered from SARS.

I consider the link [which I posted above] is quite informative for confused people like me.

Gene Selkov
Reply to  McBryde
May 13, 2020 8:25 am

The coronaviruses are RNA viruses, so any “genomic” sample presumably has some RNA in it. How useful that RNA can be for any purpose is a big question. There is no way it can be a complete genome simply because it is too large for PCR amplification, and assembling it from fragments for the purposes of testing would be an expensive fool’s errand. CoV genomes are the largest of all viruses and the most unstable.

There is a good overview of CoV genomes here:

If there was a detection test that made any sense, it would target a conserved feature, or a few. Targeting the purported “novel” features would be another fool’s errand. It’s only novel for 5 minutes, and then you don’t see it anymore. My suspicion is the tests in circulation now are designed to be always positive by targeting the most conserved sequences, but they even fail at that. The official characterization of CoV tests is that they are “comparable to flu tests”, with the false negative rate of about 50%. That can’t be true because flu is fairly easy to pick up. All of its segments can be amplified with the same pair of primers.

CoV genomes have been a moving target with the most of the observed variation lacking functional characterization. Serology is next to non-existent. They are not harmful enough to warrant any attention, at least not on the scale of influenza research, with global surveillance, clinical studies, molecular biology — all supported by infinite funding.

Someone clever saw this as a fitting background for theater show in production today.

Reply to  Vuk
May 12, 2020 1:17 pm

Those with the least blood to be siphoned off will be the first back to work !

Confinement is an annoyance; getting you into debt by preventing you working gets you mad; nothing to feed the family is when you get go out ki11.

This is a fun idea but the negative log fit is pretty meaningless. Firstly, there is no logical reason to fit a negative log fn. other than it has the curvature going the right way. Secondly, the x axis is not even a quantitative variable, it’s an ordering, so the regression is BS anyway.

So just look at the data …

It seems to me that the 25 least affected states show a constant variability with no relation to the order variable.

The lower end of the most affected 25 states seem to have the same base line as the rest , somewhere around 1000 cases / million, but the variability goes up inversely proportional to x. So there is a mix of the most hard hit states and lowest hit states and the more extreme the lockdown the more extreme the differences are.

Notably there is Alaska and Hawaii, among the least affected states near the top of the lockdown scale. Why is that happening.

Someone may want to do the same graph with blue and red markers …

comment image

Robert B
Reply to  Vuk
May 12, 2020 6:54 pm

Australia had 7000 cases and only 98 deaths, or 1.4% of cases instead of the near 15% of some European countries. That can’t be explained by dodgy reporting. 15% of Australian deaths were in the one nursing home. 50% of deaths in Beglium were elderly in care homes.

Keeping it out of these places was the key to keeping the death toll down.

Reply to  Robert B
May 12, 2020 9:55 pm

But bear in mind, we have no idea here in Australia how many have been infected, are infected or if eventually tested and are negative, were ever actually positive at any stage.

Carl Friis-Hansen
May 12, 2020 2:15 am

But, but, but… Correlation is not causation!

You said it David!
Why is it that the severity of CoVid-19 is always determined by one factor, and one factor only?

It is a bit, or a lot, like the global average temperature, which is difficult to measure in the first place, is solely dependent on CO₂, in particular the black magic CO₂ from oil and natural gas./SARC

old white guy
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 3:53 am

The only number that matters is the fatality rate vs population. So far the virus has not even come close to killing the numbers racked up by the seasonal flu.

Reply to  old white guy
May 12, 2020 8:19 am

It’s like a very bad flu year in the U.S., probably will be about like the Hong Kong flu.

Reply to  old white guy
May 12, 2020 10:38 am

And of course that can’t be because we took more precautions in this covid time than we took in flu times, right? /s

Reply to  old white guy
May 12, 2020 1:01 pm

Hey old white guy, the “the numbers racked up by the seasonal flu.” are not numbers at all, they are complete guesses–the numbers we have with covid are real. (well as real as we’ll ever get.”

Reply to  Shelly
May 13, 2020 8:48 am

They are not remotely real. Lots of people dying of other stuff but dying having tested positive. In many countries there will be a deficit of cancers, respiratory illnesses & CV deaths in 2020, because COVID has taken a slice of all of them.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 7:21 am

Thank you David,

In my considered opinion, based on analysis of the most credible data:

The full lockdown was a huge error – a costly debacle. I told you so 21Mar2020. So did Willis E, independently. Sweden was correct – no full lockdown. So were we.

Nic Lewis is a very intelligent gentleman with a good track record of being correct. I don’t have the time to duplicate his work, but he is probably correct, that herd immunity was achieved early. See his latest paper on wattsup. Here is supporting evidence:

Total mortality in Sweden peaked in Week 15 2020, the week of 6Apr2020 to 12 Apr2020. In Europe, it peaked in Week 14, on average.
It is probable that herd immunity was reached ~2 weeks prior, circa Week 12 or 13, 16Mar2020 to 29Mar2020.

Herd immunity was probably also achieved by ~mid-to-late-March or early-April 2020 in many countries. The lockdown was too late and had little effect, except to trash the economy and impoverish billions of low-wage earners, especially young people who don’t suffer from the disease.

The high death toll in London, New York, Montreal and elsewhere was concentrated in old folk’s homes and similar – due to extraordinary incompetence by the authorities, such as deliberate policies that actually increased infections in homes for the elderly and infirm.

The low-risk population was grossly over-protected and the high-risk population was enormously under-protected – the exact opposite of the correct procedure (that I recommended on 21Mar2020).

I suspect Trump had it right – until his over-cautious advisers persuaded him to go “full-Gulag”.

I repeat – what a grotesque, unnecessary, costly debacle!

May 12, 2020 8:26 am

Proof of what was posted on 21-22Mar2020. We could have saved trillions of dollars and prevented serious damage to hundreds of millions of young lives.

Next time, puleeese listen to your old Uncle Allan, who cares greatly for you and tries his very best to take good care of you. 🙂

Note the shiny new one-link policy as suggested by Anthony – other links are included in the original post.


As it becomes increasingly clear that the Covid-19 “pandemic” was similar in total fatalities to a bad winter flu season like 2017-2018 and less dangerous than the Hong Kong flu of 1968-69, rational voices have suggested that the full lock-down of the economy made “the cure worse than the disease”. While this was a tough call based on limited data, that was the conclusion I published early in the lockdown on 21March 2020:

[excerpt- posted 21Mar2020]
Isolate people over sixty-five and those with poor immune systems and return to business-as-usual for people under sixty-five.
This will allow “herd immunity” to develop much sooner and older people will thus be more protected AND THE ECONOMY WON’T CRASH.

[excerpt- posted 22Mar2020]
This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again.

It is notable that Sweden sensibly rejected the full Covid-19 lock-down, and that strategy has been far more successful in total than the “full-gulag” adopted by Canada and many other countries and states.

May 12, 2020 9:11 am

I think this picture pretty much sums it all up:


Robert W. Turner
Reply to  SteveB
May 12, 2020 10:36 am

Collectivist/socialist ideology insists that if one person is ran over then everyone (save for our elitist saviors – the guy flipping the switch in the comic) should be ran over. It’s for the public good comrade.

Reply to  SteveB
May 12, 2020 10:42 am

When the Democrats finally realize all the people dying are Democrats, they just might change their tune. NY state currently has 21,640 fewer Democrats, all in the NYC area. If this keeps up, upstate NY will be able to gain back some control.

Reply to  SteveB
May 12, 2020 8:54 pm

No — the Democrats will just have more dead people voting!

Clyde Spencer
May 12, 2020 9:57 am

You remarked, “… he is probably correct, that herd immunity was achieved early.”
From the graphs I have seen, it appears that most countries, irrespective of how they have reacted, seem to peak in about 30 days. That suggests to me that herd immunity is more important than any social responses except maybe individual fear responses of better hygiene and voluntary distancing.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 12, 2020 2:17 pm

Yes Clyde, or maybe it was even simpler. Repeating from above:

Total mortality in Sweden peaked in Week 15 2020, the week of 6Apr2020 to 12 Apr2020. In Europe, Total Deaths from All Causes peaked in Week 14, on average.
It is probable that significant herd immunity was reached ~2 weeks prior, circa Week 12 or 13, 16Mar2020 to 29Mar2020.

The big difference between countries was not timing of the death peak – it was magnitudes – the mortality of the elderly and infirm. Some countries did a great job of protecting high-risk populations and had no significant “total death peak”, others did less well and had moderate total deaths, and London and New York “went the extra mile” and knowingly exposed their elderly and infirm to the virus, killing them off in droves. Attaboys all around.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 12, 2020 4:12 pm

Yes, everyone seems to have done a poor job of protecting the most vulnerable, while overreacting to protecting the least vulnerable.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 12, 2020 5:27 pm

This guy is sticking to 60-70% infection threshold for herd immunity. He’s an expert. I don’t see how one can believe this looking at what’s happening in reality in Italy, France, Spain and Sweden.


Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 12, 2020 7:59 pm

Hi Scissor – I appreciate your posts – thank you.

Much of the data for Covid-19 is poor quality – the one stat that is difficult to mess up is “Total Deaths From All Causes.”

Whatever the number is that creates “herd immunity” in a given population, whether it is deemed to be 20% in one case or 80% in another, just examine “Total Deaths From All Causes” and when it peaks, and it peaked in 2020Week14-15 across Europe, regardless of full lockdown or minimal lockdown.

From infection to death takes ~2-3 weeks, so peak infections happened 2-3 weeks prior, about mid-March2020. That is when most lockdown’s started.

I therefore conclude the lockdowns were too late and had little or no effect on mortality but they sure did a great job of destroying the economy and impoverishing the young and the poorly paid and wasting trillions of dollars.

Attaboys all around!

May 12, 2020 2:18 pm

“The full lockdown was a huge error – a costly debacle. I told you so 21Mar2020. So did Willis E, independently. Sweden was correct – no full lockdown.”

With the epidemic curve for Deaths now also in decline, I calculate that Sweden may lose <0.03% of total population to the Wuhan Coronavirus flu (deaths from the virus, not deaths with it), which is less than many flus in living memory (including several of the past thirty years) and nowhere near the Doomsday-Panic estimates:


Panic-attributable deaths in many places will exceed virus-attributable deaths. Plus the major unemployment sike and other disruptions. That is the very definition of 'Debacle'!

A C Osborn
Reply to  Hail
May 13, 2020 7:51 am

Hail has done good work collating Sweden’s data.
However he is comparing Apples with Oranges.
Population and population density are both important factors in CORVID-19 spread as is lifestyle and there are many confounding factors in it’s deaths.
Sweden is 9th worst in the world for Deaths/Million populaton, it has not conducted many tests, so therefore we do not know it’s case rate.
Compared to it’s neighbors who did some style of lock down like Norway, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland it is not doing well.
Compared to Czechia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tawain it is doing very badly.

By the way I am not in favour of Country wide Lockdowns, but his case is very weak when comparing Apples with Apples.
I prefer Quarantine, Test, Track/Trace, treatments and Immunity Boosting with Vitamins C, B12, D and Zinc.
But the western world has forgotten how to do Quarantine and were far too late in reacting due to Chinese and WHO hiding the seriousness of the desease.
Individual Hot spot Quarantine should have been used, but Politics, especially in the USA would never allow it.

Reply to  Hail
May 13, 2020 5:39 pm

AC wrote: “Sweden is 9th worst in the world for Deaths/Million population,”
AC – Please provide your data and source that supports your statements.

Sweden admits that its large-size old-age homes are not as safe as Norway’s smaller old-age homes for containing contagion, and they could have done better.

But Sweden still performed better than many countries that fully locked-down and THEY DID NO TRASH THEIR ECONOMY AND THROW THEIR YOUNG PEOPLE UNDER THE BUS.

I am confident that a review of this debacle, if fairly performed, will conclude that the full lockdown was unnecessary and unjustified, based on a competent early analysis of the data – not the deeply flawed models of “gazillions of deaths” that prompted the disastrous lock-down decision.

Reply to  Hail
May 17, 2020 5:44 pm

Reply to A C Osborn:

“Life is not a game of all-out-efforts to suppress flu viruses. […] Life is a game of continuing the work of civilization, the arts, religion, philosophy, learning, economic productivity, happiness, discovery, the passing on of traditions and sometimes the creation of new ones, the nurturing of social bonds, raising the next generation… (keep adding to the list for the next hour if you want).

All of the above and more were disrupted by the Lockdown policies of some countries, and will be for apparently some time to come. Even after the Lockdown ends, the unnecessary major recession will disrupt many people’s lives, and devastating some (marginal suicides alone will easily exceed corona deaths for those under-60; worse health outcomes from the recession will swamp the corona effect many, many times over), which hobbles the aforementioned work of civilization. The major empowerment of a Chinese-style “police state” is another of the worrying corona trends.

Meanwhile, Sweden was minimally affected […]”

Continued here: https://hailtoyou.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/against-the-corona-panic-part-xi-stay-open-sweden-set-to-lose-0-02-of-total-population-to-coronavirus-in-line-with-usual-peak-flu-years-2020-may-equal-2018-in-total-mortality-why-did-we-destroy-t/#comment-42232

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 9:25 am

Exactly. Tell Fauci et al. that they can take complete responsibility for the economic impact their recommendations have and I bet they change their tune. Having consequences for continuously being wrong would sure change a lot about academia and government work.

Reply to  Robert W. Turner
May 12, 2020 9:29 am

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

― Thomas Sowell

Reply to  SteveB
May 12, 2020 8:57 pm

… and whose income is still assured.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 1:39 pm

“….as Michael Mann’s opinion about how we should power the economy….”
It goes both ways. Those who power the economy should not be telling us whether the climate is changing and what to do about it.

Reply to  Simon
May 12, 2020 3:48 pm

Duh. We already know the climate is changing, always has been. What the “eminent” scientists haven’t been able to tell us is whether or not we’re seeing anything that hasn’t happened before, on even greater scales. As much as they try, there’s no “there” there.

Ian Magness
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
May 12, 2020 3:08 am

Carl, it’s funny that you should mention both “one factor” and the fabricated “global average temperature”. Here in the UK Boris and team are telling everyone that the continuation of the lockdown relaxation measures is pretty much solely dependent on the wondrous R number saying below 1. Initially I was angry with this because, like the GAT, the R number is clearly a pretty meaningless academic modelling exercise that is extremely variable with all sorts of input factors (like age, population density and so on) that the modellers and powers-that-be decide. Constructing a national average is clearly futile. Then I thought: no, wait. Boris and team can make this number anything they want in order to get people back to work (which even Boris realises is essential) and nobody in political circles can challenge them. Maybe it’s a clever ruse after all.

Reply to  Ian Magness
May 12, 2020 5:50 am

It’s a more civilized manipulation than throwing doctors out of windows in Russia.

Reply to  Ian Magness
May 12, 2020 10:11 am

For the UK number of infected hospitalised people provided a metric which I call Rp that clearly shows infection transmission rate among severely affected that required hospitalisation.
Regretfully at the end of April the government website stopped published data for the hospitalised cases only.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
May 12, 2020 4:46 am

” is solely dependent on CO₂,”

sorry that is not the theory

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 5:10 am

Well then how about giving us the short on what the “theory” is and how CO2 plays into it.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 5:11 am

Point taken, Mr. Mosher. But you do acknowledge that greenhouse theory is just that. A THEORY, not an established fact.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
May 12, 2020 6:53 am

I thought it was just a hypothesis not a theory.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 12, 2020 9:28 am

More like comic book science.

Reply to  Oldseadog
May 12, 2020 9:37 am

It’s a MYTH.

Joseph Goebbels: “There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be ‘the man in the street.’ Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.”

Reply to  Oldseadog
May 12, 2020 10:57 am

A “conjecture” is a reasonable way to describe it, before contrary evidence begins piling up.

At this point I’m not sure “conjecture” is even warranted.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
May 12, 2020 11:28 am

Depends on what you mean by “greenhouse theory.” The version that says imposing a barrier on the outgoing IR is, I hope all would accept, a fact. The versions that deal with individual greenhouse gases, especially those gases whose concentrations will increase or decrease with changes in temperature, are much more difficult to work with, because of positive or negative feedback.

Reply to  mcswell
May 12, 2020 2:06 pm

Re: The Goebbels quote…Upon this rock is politics built and maintained.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 5:25 am

” is solely dependent on CO₂,”

sorry that is not the theory

It is in the models. Control runs dont produce climate change. Climate change only occurs when CO2 is added.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 5:38 am

If it’s not the theory, Steven, why is the whole of western civilisation making fundamental changes to its industry, its energy production, its lifestyle, and anything else you can think of specifically to end the use of fossil fuels BECAUSE they cause the emission of CO2 and that is the ONLY WAY that we can keep the rise in temperature to less than 2° (compared with some figure plucked out of the air by Schellnhuber — yes, he did, and he admitted as much in an interview)?

Perhaps you could explain the theory, assuming there actually is one.

Reply to  Newminster
May 12, 2020 9:11 pm

It’s due to the left’s insatiable appetite for the power to control all aspects of life for us poor plebs. They’re exempted of course.

Hokey Schtick
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 5:57 am

Not even ridiculous.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 6:30 am

sorry that is not the theory…..

..and for the reading challenged…..>>>> /SARC

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 6:51 am

sorry that is not the theory
The theory is that you can train scientists to bark on command if you reward them with research grants.

John Endicott
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 7:19 am

If that’s not the theory, then why the focus on reducing man’s emissions of CO₂?

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 8:27 am

There’s a theory that more CO2 causes an increase in H2O levels, however that theory has never been validated either.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 4:17 pm

Not the theory?? How very odd, then, that the ONLY cure is to cut CO2.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 13, 2020 2:55 pm

If “that is not the theory”, then why is the only solution ever promoted based on eliminating the sources of CO2 ?

May 12, 2020 2:24 am

“States could have locked down more tightly in response to the infections! The lockdown rating was as of April 6, 2020 and the infection data are as of May 11, 2020.”

I’m sure the States did. The infection data is cumulative. Lockdowns do not have immediate effect. The test is not whether lockdown goes with high infection (it’s a big motivator). It is whether lockdown leads to declining infection in due course. And yes, it does.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 3:12 am

“New Jersey has the second highest infection rate and Illinois’ infection rate is 5x that of Texas.”

Texas infection rate has been continuously increasing. Illinois’ appears to have peaked about 1 May, although more data will help confirm that (or not). The rate in New Jersey is now less than half its peak rate. The California lockdown slowed the growth, but unfortunately did not stop it. Despite having among the first cases, Cal is still at 1751 cases/Mill, Texas 1409. NY, with the tightest lockdown, now has an infection rate about 1/5 of its peak. Plots of Johns Hopkins data are from here.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 4:56 am

Guvner Jelly Belly Pritzker of Barackistan (formerly Illinois) just stated that the peak in this state will not occur until Jun 1.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 7:58 am

Thanks for the daily Nick reply with excellent detail and findings.

J Mac
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 1:00 pm

Ole! A masterful slaying of bullschist.
You are awarded both ears and the tail, torreadore David!

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 2:31 pm

Yea; don’t pick a fight with David. He’ll body-slam ya every time 🙂

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 5:25 am

I agree with Nick here. It may indeed be that the lockdowns are not as effective as expected, but none of the data you presented are suitable for figuring it out. There are too many confounding variables of which mentioned a couple (stage of progression when lockdown occurs, etc.) but more importantly your proposed response variable (#infected) pools together infections both before and after lockdowns.

David Joyce
Reply to  MJB
May 12, 2020 5:37 am

Considering the dramatic negative effects of lockdown, we should see a dramatic effects of lockdown on reducing covid19 as well. It is not enough to say “Well, it could have been worse” – emphasis on the “could”. That’s like the operators of windmill farms claiming that without them, the climate would have been worse. If I hypothesize that lockdowns will dramatically reduce the infection and death rate, and we look for the dramatic impact 25 days after lockdown, and don’t see it, we should accept the data and reject the hypothesis. If I further look at countries that never locked down, and do not see dramatically worse situation, this is further evidence that the hypothesis is wrong. What to people not get about the scientific method? Hypotheses you cling to without evidence is called faith, – it’s not science.

Reply to  David Joyce
May 12, 2020 7:42 am

Very well stated.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  David Joyce
May 12, 2020 8:00 am


Robert of Texas
Reply to  David Joyce
May 12, 2020 9:51 am

Finding myself in agreement, but in this case we were “testing” the hypothesis so I do not criticize the initial decision, just the hesitation to learn from the results.

We have NO IDEA what degree of damage we have done to the economy and people’s economic situations. It is going to be really ugly. We have GOT to get back to work, making a living, and spending or the damage will last for years – it likely will anyway.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  David Joyce
May 12, 2020 10:49 am

Soon the puppet media will be reporting about the millions of people that were saved due to the rapid response of any Democrat politician despite Republicans doing the best they could to infect your grandma.

Reply to  David Joyce
May 12, 2020 11:35 am

“It is not enough to say “Well, it could have been worse” – emphasis on the “could”.” Do you have a time machine so you can go back in time and try alternative realities?

If you had arterial bleeding from a wound, and someone staunched the flow, and you’re alive today, then you can be pretty sure it “could have been worse.”

“If I hypothesize that lockdowns will dramatically reduce the infection and death rate, and we look for the dramatic impact 25 days after lockdown, and don’t see it…” See what? How would you know an impact if you saw it? If the rates are stable or declining 25 days later, then you probably saw an impact, because it’s reasonable to think that the infections and deaths would have kept going up until either the population was reduced (like what happened with the Black Death), or something else intervened. But without a time machine and the ability to affect the past, it is pretty hard to say with certainty.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  MJB
May 12, 2020 9:47 am

Meanwhile, back in reality, all the data show that quarantining the healthy has no effect. Backed by the data, backed by common sense, backed by basic science, but we’d better check to see what CNN and Dr Faily says first.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 9:41 am

You are assuming that each state should have had similar infection rates and outcomes all with no lock downs or all with lock downs, but I am suspicious that would not have, so you are comparing different experiments as if they were the same. Lots of factors (in my opinion) affected the infection and death rates – not just a lock down (or not).

If we understood what impacted the infection and death rates better, we could likely extract a subset of states where the lock down improved outcome. In the rest of the states, the lock down probably served little purpose.

The infections in Texas (or at least in the DFW area) still have not crested – we really do not know how far this has to go. With the lock down loosening up, the infection rate *might* increase more. I am basing this on what my wife sees at her hospital and hear about other regional hospitals – ICU’s are filling up in our area.

I think because Texas large cities use very little mass transit, our outcomes will be different then New York. Also, more sunlight, warmer temperatures, and probably the racial mix will all impact our results – with or without a lock down in place.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 11:24 am

Very difficult to make meaningful comparisons–too much variability. Texas is, as they like to say, a big place; outside of places like DFW, Houston, and maybe Austin, people are pretty spread out…sort of like the difference between NYC and most of the rest of New York state. NJ is pretty densely populated, although less so near the southern end. Illinois: Chicago (Cook County) and the surrounding suburbs are dense, most of the rest of the state much less so. And South Dakota is pretty wide open, apart from a certain meat packing plant.

In sum, probably better to compare urban areas with urban areas regardless of the state, and rural with rural. Or like Nick said, look at the progression within a given area before and after lockdown (if any).

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 3:12 am

“Nick Stokes May 12, 2020 at 2:24 am

And yes, it does.”

Not in Aus as most were in CONFINED AGED CARE FACILITIES! Disproving your whole point!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 12, 2020 3:21 am

“Not in Aus as most were in CONFINED AGED CARE FACILITIES! Disproving your whole point!”

In fact, there have been just 63 cases in aged care facilities, mostly NSW. Australia cases, in total, have been 6970 , so less than 1%. Data here.

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 4:33 am

Is nick comparing apples and moon rocks again. Here in EnZed ,of the 21 deaths, 11 of them were from aged care homes.

Reply to  Richard of NZ
May 12, 2020 5:12 am

and one of those deaths was of an eighty six year old guy with severe renal failure.

Reply to  Richard of NZ
May 12, 2020 5:32 am

Not surprising, they’re the highest risk.

But the point Nick made, stands. Lockdown happened and transmission was highly localised and manageable. Its unfortunate that some of those “highly localised” places were nursing homes.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Richard of NZ
May 12, 2020 11:10 am

Stokes is here to bog down any productive discussion by dragging on about how many angels can dance on the edge of a pin – which is why people like him are so poisonous. He chokes the process by attempting to strangle it with details.

Mike McHenry
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 6:36 am

In New Jersey, USA where I live 50% of deaths from the virus were in such facilities. There are similar results elsewhere in the USA. In my semi rural county 80% of deaths are there. New Jersey has been lock down since early March

John Endicott
Reply to  Mike McHenry
May 13, 2020 9:05 am

In the county I live, about 25% of the total cases were in such facilities while about 75% of the total deaths were so located. This disease tends to hit the oldest and the ill the hardest, so it should be no surprise that such facilities are extremely vulnerable places. And yet we have idiots in government sending Chicom-19 positive patients into such facilities (thank you Gov Cuomo, And I thought your brother was supposed to be the Fredo of the family. I’m just glad you’re not my Gov.).

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 7:05 am

From your “Data”
In NSW 24 of the 44 deaths are from aged care.

In one aged care facility Newmarch house the are more than your 63 cases.

Reply to  Waza
May 12, 2020 3:38 pm

“From your “Data””
It isn’t “my” data. It is the Australian Government Department of Health data.

What is the source of “your” data about Newmarch House?

John Endicott
Reply to  Waza
May 14, 2020 2:34 am

His “data” comes from news reports about Newmarch house. You could have easily found those yourself with a simple google on “Newmarch house”. Even you favorite rag, the guardian, has written about.

John Endicott
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 9:12 am

No, Nick, according to your link there have been just 63 cases in “Australian Government subsidised residential aged care facilities”. Is every aged care facility in Australia subsidized by the Government? Are they all residential facilities? And how do you square a total of 63 cases when one facility alone, Newmarch House, has 69 cases?

From your own link, notice the death by age and sex chart. All the deaths on that chart are in the 40+ and above age grouping. with the vast majority being above the 60+ grouping. It’s disproportionately killing the elderly.

J Mac
Reply to  John Endicott
May 12, 2020 2:39 pm

Don’t expect a response from Nick, John. He’s been ‘caught out’ repeatedly on this thread…. and he just jumps to his next bullschist comment.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 9:24 am

Nick is playing troll games. The largest numbers of deaths in Australia are all link to cruise ships where old retired fossils (like him) tend to do retirement trips. Then we had some retards in Public Service who decided it would be a good idea to let a couple of ship loads of infected people off and just walk around.

There is an ongoing inquiry looking to lay criminal charges because of the subsequent deaths and all the Public Servants and Ship Officers are currently trying to dig holes to hide in.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 3:15 am

Eating mince pies leads to declining infection, because the infection will naturally decline whatever you do.
I realise lockdown is like a wet dream for socialists and greens everywhere, but Mr Stokes do you have to be so blatant by commenting every time someone posts about it?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 6:40 am

Yes it does? But not in the time frame that would indicate that it was the controlling factor.

More in the manner that all(well most) infectious viruses take a similar rapid spread, plateau, slower decline – as the flu does nearly every year – with no lockdown.

The recent post on WUWT regarding an unexpectedly low herd immunity threshold is probably insightful.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 9:40 am

This is a clear case of ignoring the evidence.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 9:47 am

Not sure what ” lockdown leads to declining infection in due course” means. The lock down is designed to flatten the infection curve, but may not lead to fewer infections over the course of the pandemic. The more aggressive the disease, the more important that a flattening of the curve occurs early on.

This is a basic health control – do not over run your health facilities ability to treat patients. The flattening also gives you more time to build additional infrastructure, produce needed materials, and more time to study the disease – all of which are very important.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Robert of Texas
May 12, 2020 10:21 am

Instead we have 99% of hospitals below capacity and many at the point to where they have furloughed workers.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
May 12, 2020 1:19 pm

Thank you Robert of Texas–I don’t understand why “we” participants on this blog keep conflating the reason for the lockdown except to get political.

The lock down is designed to flatten the infection curve, but may not lead to fewer infections over the course of the pandemic. The more aggressive the disease, the more important that a flattening of the curve occurs early on.

We know enough now to begin the discussion of “flattening the curve” lockdowns, semi-lockdowns, protecting the vulnerable–verses “letting it burn.” I wish everyone would stop “proving” lockdowns don’t work when that is part of the process and gaining info–we did flatten the curve although probably it won’t change the numbers over the long haul–but we gave ourselves time to get it together–now lets be productive and stop creating graphs that feed our egos.

James Clarke
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 12, 2020 10:40 am

“It is whether lockdown leads to declining infection in due course. And yes, it does.”

Every imaginable course of action or inaction inevitably leads to declining infection in due course, so this statement is irrelevant. Lockdowns only daily the eventual spread of the disease through the majority of population. They do not reduce the number of people who will eventually be infected ‘in due course’.

Spring is the most likely reason for the slow down in the virus in the Northern Hemisphere. Not lockdowns. This will be born out if cases increase in the Southern Hemisphere as they move into their winter.

Now we know that complete lockdowns were not necessary in most areas, as the health care systems have not been overloaded, even in the Greater New York city area. If we have another wave of COVIDS-19 in the Northern Hemisphere next December through February, it is clear that we need to lock down only those with who are elderly and/or have underlying health issues, while keeping the rest of society functioning. Eventually ‘herd-immunity’ will be the thing that keeps this virus in check for the long run. Lockdowns delay the arrival of ‘herd-immunity’.

Jimmy Haigh
May 12, 2020 2:32 am

There is a heck of a lot more validity to these statistics than there was to Ferguson’s ludicrous prediction…

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
May 12, 2020 5:07 am

Or Ferguson’s predictive track record, completely wrong on every occasion, and yet still people in power listen to him.

Reply to  Redge
May 12, 2020 5:42 am

A sort of “Ehrlich for Our Time” — never known to be right but always believed by the Great and the Good with an agenda to pursue!

May 12, 2020 2:43 am

Hmm, in Sweden death rates it does correlate very well with the degree of foreign born (I did a test run of data for municipalities and districts in the Stockholm region). Areas with many foreign born also have a lower soci-economic standard, worse health outcomes (mainly due to diet, smoking etc) and types of work that do not allow for working from home (though they may get furloughed) which may explain this. Is there a similar correlation with the above mentioned US states?

Reply to  SL
May 12, 2020 3:51 am

On YouTube the other day, Dr John Campbell discussed vitamin D deficiency in swedish of Somali origins

Reply to  Michael
May 12, 2020 5:32 am

To be political correct one can not cite race but I did read that in UK BAME (black, asian & middle east) are several times their proportion in the population represented in the deaths. I believe that in New York state African Americans and Hispanics are also very much more represented in deaths than in the population. Also look at this
Those over 70 year make up 90% of the deaths. There was no compulsory lockdown in Sweden which has a socialist government which does not care about old people. The death rate for migrants maybe higher because Sweden has no go areas where police, ambulances and fire engines do not go.

Reply to  cementafriend
May 12, 2020 7:00 am

no-go Sweden
Snopes says false
But Swedish police were quick to tell us that these so-called no-go zones do not exist. The term originated with newspaper columnist Per Gudmundson, who used it to refer to a police report identifying “problem areas” in the country, where there is a criminal milieu. In these areas, there is high crime, low socioeconomic status, and lack of social integration and cooperation which presents a special challenge to police. But Erik Jansåker, a police chief in Malmö’s southern areas (the city is often singled out as a high-crime area), told us that the term “no-go zone” never appeared in the report itself – and Gudmundson admits as much in his column. However, since he used it, the term has taken hold in the popular imagination.
Jansåker’s jurisdiction includes two “problem areas,” Malmö neighborhoods Rosengård and Seved. He told us that local investigators have been overwhelmed with the caseload from 14 recent murders — 8 to 10 in the same time span would be normal for the area – but that there aren’t areas where police can’t go.

Police Chief Erik Jansåker
To drive the point home, one of Janåsker’s employees, Officer Johannes Schultz, took us along on his regular foot patrol of Rosengård. He walked briskly and frequently stopped to greet or chat briefly with citizens. One little boy stepped in his path to ask for a high-five, and Schultz happily obliged. Another child on a scooter smiled at him and sought his attention by calling shyly, “Johannes!” Schultz said hello. People were out walking and children crowded playgrounds.
“You’re in the ‘no-go zone,’” Schultz said jokingly. “Are you scared? Me neither.”
It is clear that Schultz and other officers in his cohort spend a lot of time in the neighborhood. He described going out and talking to schoolchildren in an effort to build rapport, and every other person he passed seemed to not only know him, but to like him. Despite the negative attention, Schultz said that Rosengård is a tight-knit community where people look out for each other:

Reply to  cementafriend
May 12, 2020 7:48 am

In the U.S. it would be very interesting to compare rates vs. political party affiliation.

Reply to  Michael
May 12, 2020 7:10 am


This is common in Melbourne especially for conservative Muslim women who cover when outdoors.


John Peter
Reply to  SL
May 12, 2020 6:18 am

Lack of Vitamin D?

Reply to  John Peter
May 12, 2020 7:32 am

…or maybe lack of interest in the prevailing culture.

In UK, the prevailing culture is obvious. Messages from the Health Department, NICE, or whomever, are perceived as relevant if you perceive that they are part of your culture.

When I go to another country – even another state, or city – and the local news comes on, the local news has nearly zero interest or appeal to me.

A shooting at an apartment complex. A car crash on the freeway. A city budget deficit. No interest.

But in my town, I look to see if the shooting was in my area. Will the car crash slow me on my drive to work. Will the budget deficit get addressed by cuts to k-12 or police force, or by new taxes?

There are cultural groups of people who simply do not perceive that they are part of the prevailing culture. This is true in UK, and in USA. And other places.

This fits in a major reason why it is not a great idea to address the problem of Syrian war refugees by sending them to Minnesota, or Manchester.

For their sake, the powers-that-be should have, and could still, identify places where the culture is more congruent for the refugees. Where Islam is the predominant religion. Where the community has people that speak the same language, share holidays, and so on.

It is difficult to engineer UK culture and society to be as accommodating to these refugees as the good-hearted globalists are judging is necessary.

Near Syria, and certainly closer than Manchester or Minnesota, are countries that are not war-torn, and are culturally far more compatible and congruent.

These countries have money, and space.

If general health messages are broadcast in such places, the Syrian refugees are far more likely to perceive the messages as being for them, versus for an alien other culture.

This makes sense. So, why have the Syrian refugees been guided to bypass more geographically and more culturally adjacent nations of refuge?

–Because the Marxists, for whom our prevailing culture and society is the enemy, have worked to get in positions of influence in these prosperous nations, rather than going down to these nations with difficulties, such as Syria, and devoting their magnanimous effort to straightening things out over there. Here, they can use our money and our good will to fundamentally change our prevailing society. Which is Enemy Number One, for them.

Immigrant populations are the victims being toyed with, and set up.

donald penman
Reply to  John Peter
May 12, 2020 8:54 am

I drink a glass of orange juice now and again and fruit is abundant in the shops despite the panic buying we had a while ago, we no longer have rickets anyway in the UK.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  donald penman
May 12, 2020 2:42 pm

I think you will find that rickets is making a comeback. It’s probably because people are terrified of the sun. I know people there who slather on sunscreen if there’s any sun at all, especially on their kids.

This is so bad now that the government has recommended 20 minutes of sunshine a day (as if there was that much most days) to help.

Reply to  SL
May 12, 2020 7:50 am

Poor diet leads to poor health. Who knew?

Reply to  SL
May 12, 2020 10:39 am

There is remarkable difference in mortality rates between Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbours Norway, Denmark and Finland.
I have no idea why it might be so, but Denmark also has high Afro-Asian immigration.

Reply to  Vuk
May 12, 2020 12:03 pm

It is remarkable. Also, compare Portugal vs Spain or Germany and Austria vs neighboring countries.

Norway and Finland have a higher proportion of the less virulent strain, but Denmark and Sweden have about the same proportion at least according to this source:


Reply to  SL
May 12, 2020 2:33 pm

Nothing to do with socioeconomics mumbo jumbo. The answer is in front of you: hygiene.

Ron Long
May 12, 2020 2:45 am

Interesting graph, David. If you removed the New York Metroplex (statistically, not with a bomb) from the data, that is New York, New Jersey in your data, with death rates of .14%, .10%, and .08%, the rest of the USA would not be at any alarming level of people dead from this Chicom Virus. Maybe this agrees with the suggestion that the New York area got its virus from Europe, Italy particularly, and a lot of the other states got theirs from China, suggesting a more deadly mutation from Italy? For me, quarantine is forced adherence to protocol, to some degree, and most professional persons can adjust to the protocol all by themselves on a responsibility basis. Stay sane and safe.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Ron Long
May 12, 2020 4:50 am

I think it points more to the correlation with overcrowded, dirty cities.
If you also removed Detroit and Chicago, the rates would go down even further.

Ron Long
Reply to  Tom in Florida
May 12, 2020 7:07 am

Thanks, Tom, I was not brave enough to say that.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron Long
May 12, 2020 7:47 am

“Maybe this agrees with the suggestion that the New York area got its virus from Europe, Italy particularly, and a lot of the other states got theirs from China, suggesting a more deadly mutation from Italy?”

The first two cases of Wuhan virus in Oklahoma came from Italy. They arrived in Oklahoma about two days before President Trump put a travel ban on Europe. The Trump administration was seeing infection flareups at lots of places in the U.S. from people coming in from Europe.

May 12, 2020 3:01 am

1. lockdown is an empty phrase. People’s behavior defines the efficacy of a lockdown. If people are restricting themselves to only 2 contacts/day that already might be sufficient to halt the spread of the pandemic:


2. Even an effective lockdown results in high rate of hospitalization if applied to late:

comment image

So you cannot reliably compare lockdowns without knowing what the numbers of infected people were when the lockdown was put in place.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 5:05 am

“So you cannot reliably compare lockdowns without knowing what the numbers of infected people were when the lockdown was put in place.”


And you have to know if people are really reducing contact.

This analysis is a joke.

For example.


Clue, that is NOT a lockdown.
that makes them #50 on any “rating scale”

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 5:09 am

Sending them to nursing homes and locking them in is not a lockdown. Got it! And for your pleasure, PA Gov Wolf is going to force PA nursing homes to take Chinese Disease patients and block none infected elderly from being removed from same, at least till they die, them he does not care where they go.

Reply to  2hotel9
May 12, 2020 7:08 am

2hotel9 May 12, 2020 at 5:09 am
What is this “Chinese disease” to which you refer?
is it in fact:
Wuhan Wet Market Bat Pangolin Civet Cat Allowed By The Chinese Communist People’s Army Virus?

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 12, 2020 8:48 am

Oops, you forgot 5 letters, LSMFT! Nomenclature, ain’t it cool?

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 12, 2020 9:33 am

I thought it was GIAFI 🙂

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 12, 2020 12:42 pm


Lucky Strike Means Fine Tabacco!

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 12, 2020 1:10 pm

Wish I could find the video of Humphrey Bogart on Jack Benny Show, he did the LS promo during a good cop/bad cop skit, even sang the end of it.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 6:48 am

And not to the (two?) US Navy hospital ships moored nearby?
That is completely crazy.
What motivated such madness?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  bonbon
May 12, 2020 12:48 pm

“What motivated such madness?”

That’s a good question. I think we can probably rule out that Governor Cuomo deliberately wanted to kill old people, but other than that, I don’t know. It certainly was the wrong decision in hindsight.

Unfortunately, this is a hard lesson learned, but we have now learned it, and won’t repeat it.

Patrick MJD
May 12, 2020 3:04 am

What we have in Australia right now is state and Federal Govn’ts ACTIVELY trying to back-pedal, it’s funny watching them squirm. But they will be ok!

Until the next election!

My workplace is being fitted out with markers on the floor telling “us” where we are supposed to be during a “working week”.

It’s madness!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 12, 2020 3:39 am

It will be interesting to see what happens in Australia and NZ over the next few months, since you are just at the beginning of your flu season.

Reply to  Klem
May 12, 2020 5:19 am

Klem, I too am waiting and wondering the same!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 12, 2020 5:40 am

What we have in Australia right now is state and Federal Govn’ts ACTIVELY trying to back-pedal, it’s funny watching them squirm. But they will be ok!

So do you think Australia’s management of the virus hasn’t been effective thus far?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
May 13, 2020 4:21 am

They would have been better off targeting the real at risk people and letting others get on with life! The figures show that is largely true!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 13, 2020 5:26 am

Yeah maybe. We’ve painted ourselves into a corner now and need a vaccine to be able to move forward but we needed to do what we did in case our hospitals were massively overloaded and at the time nobody knew. The best information we had was Italy and they were a basket case.

From here on out, I generally agree with you…assuming a vaccine is still genuinely a long way off. But its from here on out, not a foreseeable error in judgement that we now need to correct.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
May 14, 2020 3:32 am

Australia didn’t act on the information from Italy. It acted on the out putted predictions from Prof. Lockdowns’ computer models. Along with all his other predictions failing miserably over the last 20 or more years. Where are the 150,000 Australian deaths when globally it’s less than 300K? Near 1 million people out of work now.

Reply to  TimTheToolMan
May 14, 2020 4:06 pm

Australia didn’t act on the information from Italy.

Of course it did. The decisions governments made were based on lots of factors and Italy was a real world example of how the virus might progress (in Australia)

Where are the 150,000 Australian deaths

Or indeed where are the, lets say, 10K deaths that ought to have happened?

“The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

– Hubert Humphrey

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 12, 2020 7:53 am

Australians have to be careful what they protest.

Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 9:32 am

It was pretty funny when police have emergency powers obey them or else ….. I believe she was to be charged with disobeying a lawful instruction. If you don’t like the use of the powers talk to the politicians or vote at next election don’t be stupid and go out to protest.

Reply to  LdB
May 12, 2020 12:13 pm

Some people are rightfully upset that protesters on the left can disrupt normal citizens with usually little consequence.

At least in the U.S. for the time being, we have freedom of assembly.

Reply to  Scissor
May 13, 2020 12:12 am

All Australian freedoms were lost the moment they used the emergency powers act … they can command you to do anything you must obey. The US has the bill of rights which would clash with emergency powers and to be honest I am not sure how that plays out.

Australia has no bill of rights just laws that say things you can’t do and anything not covered is your freedom. So while emergency powers are in force you do what you are told …… there is no arguing and no way to challenge it.

The lady was stupid and probably watched to much US TV shows and thought she had rights 🙂

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 9:44 am

Those police are clearly violating social distancing. Too bad Australians gave up their only protection against government tierney.

Reply to  Robert W. Turner
May 12, 2020 12:09 pm

A rugby team could have “diffused” the situation.

Reply to  Scissor
May 12, 2020 7:22 pm

What a bunch of dumb over-reaching Ozzie cops. A young mom peacefully demonstrating with her young child; imbecilic cops manhandling the woman and terrorizing the child. How offensive!

On the brighter side, in Calgary they would have beaten her, slammed her on the ground and handcuffed her – all in front of her screaming kid – that’s how they roll – lots of video evidence.

Having been held at gunpoint a few times, I used to be anti-guns. Not any more – now that the latest brand of National Socialists (Nazis) have taken control of our lives.

The First Amendment guarantees basic freedoms. The Second Amendment guarantees the First. Now we know why they exist, and why we need them in Canada.

May 13, 2020 12:14 am

She was actually lucky they did not do exactly that and they could have and yes Australia has no protections at all once emergency power gets used.

May 12, 2020 3:06 am

This could be cart before the horse, hard lockdowns were likely implemented as a panic response because of high rates of Covid infection, not the other way around.

May 12, 2020 3:29 am

The cost to world wide economies due to the Wuhan virus has been devastating. Someone commented on how middle white collar workers were essentially earning alot more than blue collar/small business owners.

Another comment suggested that public servants and bureaucrats were earning unwarranted amounts of money and I have to agree. In fact I am right royally pi$$ed off. You would have thought that public servants and bureaucrats could tighten their belts and ‘survive’ without a pay increase for a year or two. Noooo! The premier of NSW is proposing a pay increase of $87,000 for our Police Commissioner, yes that’s right that would just be the increase! If it goes through he would be the highest paid public servant in the world! We have many bureaucrats earning in excess of $800,000.

There are country folk who for years have been struggling with drought, bushfires, floods and now the Wuhan virus. Stop the pay increases for a year or ten and stop subsidising the renewables! The droughts and bushfires are not new, but build some dams, stop selling water to the Chinese and spend some money on bushfire management.

I used to be proud to be an Australian, I am disgusted that anyone could think that they are so far above and so much more important than the ‘average’ Australian. I am sick of being treated like $hit!

Reply to  Megs
May 12, 2020 3:17 pm

Correction. Turns out the Police Commissioner in Australia would be the highest paid public servant in the world was fake news. Bloody journalists.

I still stand by $800,000 plus being outrageous, that figure is correct.

May 12, 2020 3:53 am

Cart here, horse there.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 4:14 am

2 weeks to develop symptoms, growth for 2 weeks after the lockdown, followed by a bumpy decline.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 12, 2020 10:17 am

Yeah, exactly like every place on Earth that didn’t lockdown.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 5:20 am

That is exactly the curve you would expected to see if the lockdown would be done too late and not in the early days of an epidemic:

comment image

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 7:37 am

Ask Iceland and New Zealand. It works if you act early.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 8:31 am

UK is an island as well but with late lockdown. Find the difference in outcome.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 9:20 am

South Korea, Taiwan have higher population densities as UK. Austria and Denmark have relatively high ones. Germany and Switzerland nearly on par.

Most Western countries have underestimated the power of spreading and how important border closing and early testing is to have an idea of the state you’re in.

Germany was against closing its borders first out of liberal delusions but was early with testing so had a timely alarm when lockdown was inevitable to not let the ERs flood with patients.

Switzerland was hesitant about lockdown and closing borders but decided just in time before their health care system was overwhelmed to drastically change its policies. Lockdown was still efficient in a short amount of time.

Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland went into lockdown early and closed borders. Good outcome.

If your lockdown comes to late the costs are way higher than if you do it early and have the control. That will be the lesson of this pandemic.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 11:04 am

Actually, if it weren’t for the CDC either doing everything it could to spread the virus into the US or being 100% incompetent, early testing would have slowed the spread.


Of course the propaganda machine is spinning this to claim that Trump botched early testing, but he’s the one that stepped in and told them to end their asinine policy of not allowing private labs to create and give tests. The claim is often made in support for more government takeover of healthcare – a classic case of collectivists ruining something so that they can claim they need more of what is doing the ruining in the first place.


Look at the graph on this page. About 825,000 tests conducted since the CDC allowed private labs to work.

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 9:36 am

“California’s statewide lockdown order was given on March 19, the first in the nation.”

The date is only important dependent of the state of the epidemic you are in. March 19 might have perfectly worked for Sweden but would have been devastating for China. Apples and oranges.

Germany discovered first cases in late January but wasn’t forced to act through the dynamic of the spread before early March when big events were cancelled. That tells you something how long it might take from a few cases to become a threat.

Therefore we can’t even decide how good or bad the re-opening goes before a month is over.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 10:25 am

It’s been well past the 14 day mark to see if a mandated lockdown has had any effect at all. Please look at the graph of CA data posted above…

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 12:08 pm

If you don’t know your infections you can’t decide how your lockdown would impact on the curve.

Until March 16 there wasn’t nearly any testing at all:


Curves generated from this data can’t tell you anything from where you are coming from.

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 11:35 am

“Closing borders was a good, effective move. Shutting economies down (lockdowns) was not.”

You have quite a selective perception. All countries that succeeded had to implement some additional measures in addition to closing their borders. New Zealand did a very harsh lockdown plus border control. The benefit is still there cause you can go back to a relative normal quite fast.

Short and timely lockdown is better than letting the genie out of the bottle.

“contact tracing, an option that was not feasible in the UK, US or most other large western democracies.”

South Korea has a population of 51 million. France has 67, UK 67, Spain 47. You can do contact tracing. But no tracing without testing a lot and early.

The resources needed are defined by the people infected so you should shut the borders and go in a lockdown at the beginning. The limiting factor is therefore not the size of your population but the number people infected and their contacts. Limiting contacts and infections is decreasing the resources you need.

And that is what functional lockdowns do: limiting contacts and infections.

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 1:13 pm

“New Zealand did a very harsh lockdown plus border control. The benefit is still there cause you can go back to a relative normal quite fast.”

Not sure I follow. Does “relative normal” included never opening borders again? Because slamming the doors shut completely could conceivably have blocked any introduction of a virus that is now a permanent part of the global seasonal influenza landscape.

Unless NZ is banking on the mandatory vaccination route, in which case they’ll be fully cut off from the rest of the world for a 16+ months (just like the good old days when they were the overflow penal colony for Australia).

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 1:32 pm

Contact tracing will hopefully be an effective tool as we reopen the economy.

Why are you “hoping” for constitutional violations? The only time that make sense, even without considering constitutional rights, is before you have a spread. Afterwards it’s too late.

Now, if you have a +ve test, test the whole household. Maybe like S.K. if it’s a tower block residence, test everyone immediately above and below.

66% of new cases in NYC are from people who have been in lockdown for weeks. You cannot “trace” everyone you crossed in the grocery store. The rest is illegal intrusion into personal contacts which will NOT get “forgotten” by the state when COVID is over.

One of the biggest dangers here is that we accept suspension of the constitution “for a few weeks ” naively expecting it will come back intact once the infections die down.

Rights are won by the inch and lost by the mile. DO NOT accept any suspension of the constitution. It won’t come back.

As a great man once said: those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 1:42 pm

“Two months isn’t short.”

The needed time is a function of the biological properties of the virus. Not so much you can do about in this case except to bear with it. If it would have been more like the first SARS but only as deadly as it is now it would be faster. Less incubation time, no asymptomatics, only infectious with symptoms.

“The US, UK, Spain, France and Germany are all in the same “ballpark”.”

No. Important for tracking is number of daily new cases over a time per population. Which is further highly impacted by number of contacts. So cancelling mass events early is a good way to keep this number down.

Number of active cases over time greatly differ between these countries as well per population. Not in the same ballpark.

“The US needs about 100,000 contact tracers to do this.”

I had this discussion over a month ago with a friend how to accomplish sufficient number of people and the answer to this question was: the military.

Only organization that has the manpower needed for the job available on short notice. Filling out lists and making phone calls should be possible for soldiers. Except nobody picks up because of commercial calls but that’s a different story.

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 1:57 pm

“Does “relative normal” included never opening borders again?”

I don’t know. I guess they will enforce 14 days quarantine and/or testing for the time being. The death of tourism of course but at least your population can have a barely affected life.

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 12:14 pm

“Actually, if it weren’t for the CDC either doing everything it could to spread the virus into the US or being 100% incompetent, early testing would have slowed the spread.”

I totally agree. The CDC is to blame for that and not Trump. There was nearly no testing in whole of March. That was crucial time wasted.

Steve Christie
Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 9:33 pm

SteveB. New Zealand was never a penal colony.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Ron
May 13, 2020 4:29 am

“Steve Christie May 12, 2020 at 9:33 pm

SteveB. New Zealand was never a penal colony.”

That’s because Aus sends back NZ criminals in Aus *BACK* to NZ. It’s as penal as it gets.

May 12, 2020 4:12 am

In Australia we had many restrictions including closed borders, closed pubs, clubs and sporting venues. And social distancing.

Reported covid cases peaked around March 30 and lockdowns started on March 31. Any effects from the lockdowns wouldn’t hav been observed until April 10 because of incubation and testing time. (10 days).

By April 10, reported cases had dropped by around 75% and none of that can possibly be attributed to the lockdowns.

After April 10, cases kept dropping at a reduced rate and it appears that the lockdowns had virtually no effect.

Reply to  Peter
May 12, 2020 5:50 am

Any effects from the lockdowns wouldn’t hav been observed until April 10 because of incubation and testing time. (10 days).

Before we had lock downs we had hygiene and distancing and most importantly, closing the borders. At that stage almost all the new cases were covid-19 positive people coming from overseas.

By April 10, reported cases had dropped by around 75% and none of that can possibly be attributed to the lockdowns.

Importantly what you means is “reported new cases” and that was now restricted to transmitted cases rather than migrated from overseas. Lockdown was designed to minimize transmission and history shows that worked.

Reply to  TimTheToolMan
May 12, 2020 9:08 pm

From memory the borders were closed about March 20.

Any effects from the lockdowns wouldn’t have been observed until April 10 because of incubation and testing time. (10 days).

It’s totally irrelevant what happened prior to March 31.

Reply to  peter
May 13, 2020 2:44 am

Take a look at


Specifically… COVID-19 cases by source of infection by state and territory

And you will see the majority of Australia’s cases were from overseas. About two thirds. So the border closure was key to stopping the spread and it happened early enough to make contact tracing a reality.

Social distancing, hygiene and finally the lock down kept the virus from getting out of control.

Reply to  Peter
May 12, 2020 12:51 pm

Stepping back a bit, let’s consider this:

Australia is a major destination for travel from China. Between December and mid-March (when the border closed), there were as many as 60,000 *weekly* one-way passenger seats of airline travel from China to Australia. This included the Chinese New Year period in late Jan and early Feb. That’s a substantial flow of people during a time when infections are known to have been ramping up in China.

Isn’t it entirely possible (or even probable) that the virus had already sufficiently spread to Australia in January or February, reached herd immunity levels through local transmission by early- to mid-March (without much fanfare), and all that’s being measured since is the echo, which would be masked by the fact that PCR testers have been scaling up their hunt for COVID the past couple of months?

In fact, that’s exactly what appears to have happened in British Columbia, Canada (population 5 million). Vancouver has roughly 120+ weekly arriving flights from China. They also hosted 100,000 people for the Rugby 7’s tournament March 7 & 8. Have a look at their data:


Figure 2 (page 3) shows symptom onset peaking around March 18th, so peak infection would have been about a week prior to that. (PS. Their claim of “public health measures” being enacted March 14th is pure fantasy/nonsense. They’re just trying to take credit for “flattening a curve” that had already peaked by saying that spring break for elementary schools — which actually started 2 days later on Monday, March 16th — was somehow their stroke of genius.)

For whatever reason, both Canada and Australia have been very late to the game in doing widespread randomized serology testing. It will be very interesting to the seroprevelence % for Australia and BC, which should illuminate things very nicely.

Reply to  SteveB
May 12, 2020 4:11 pm

Isn’t it entirely possible (or even probable) that the virus had already sufficiently spread to Australia in January or February, reached herd immunity levels through local transmission by early- to mid-March

No, I think this is highly unlikely.

It would have been detected with the testing for the virus. You cant hide a virus in some significant portion of 25M people and only find less than 7K instances of it using hundreds of thousands of tests targeting those most likely to have it (ie showing symptoms)

Reply to  TimTheToolMan
May 12, 2020 10:12 pm

I think you’re confusing the tests, unless I’m missing something.

PCR is a moment-in-time snapshot detecting an active virus. Antibody tests tell if someone had the pathogen at some time in the recent past.

In fact, we’ve repeatedly seen antibody tests lately proving that the PCR testing was only telling a fraction of the story.

Reply to  SteveB
May 13, 2020 6:27 am

There’s just no way that the 8 week window Jan/Feb would have introduced herd immunity to Australia undetected with all the testing that was being performed.

And only 97 deaths to date.

Compare that with most other countries where its blindingly obvious the virus is still rampant, being detected easily and causing thousands and thousands of deaths.

There’s just no chance Australia has stealthily acquired herd immunity.

Reply to  TimTheToolMan
May 13, 2020 7:50 am

My comparison was the British Columbia data I referenced. There, as expected, % transmission from international travelers was very high when testing started in late February, but was in steady decline through March, being replaced by higher % transmission from domestic/local exposure.

The threshold for herd immunity (peak infection) is reached a week before the peak of symptom onset — looking at the graphs, that puts it around early March.

As for number of deaths in Australia, there’s a lot of factors but an obvious one that comes to mind was it was summer which would reduce the viral load and create reduced symptom severity.

Again, this is all just for rational consideration. I don’t have a horse in this race. I just like looking at numbers.

Reply to  SteveB
May 12, 2020 9:40 pm

Interesting info about BC. As expected most of the cases are on the coast where the huge Chinese population lives. I think it was already there for quite a while and not noticed or misdiagnosed.

May 12, 2020 4:12 am

The writer has failed the most elementary logic : correlation does NOT mean causation. Obviously the states with the strongest lockdowns have done so because they have experienced the largerst rates of infection.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  ColMosby
May 12, 2020 5:07 am

True, but you must start by looking at correlations. Otherwise you are just wandering around in the dark grasping at straws.
In the end, IMHO, when political correctness is set aside, I think we will find that the real culprit to the rates and severity of infection will be the conditions of the inner cities. Places where people live in crowded, less than clean, rundown environments that have been allowed to fester for decades. Places where politicians come with promises of hope and change every election cycle only to turn their backs on them until they need their vote again.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Tom in Florida
May 12, 2020 5:30 am

In the end what we will “find” is whatever serves the political interests of those that appoint the people charged with doing the “looking”. What did we “find” from all the commissions charged with investigating ClimateGate?

Every disaster is followed by a search for the guilty, which leads to the punishment of the innocent.

There is much that could and should have been done better. Any useful lessons that might be learned will be drowned out by orchestrated campaigns to gain political advantage.

Reply to  ColMosby
May 12, 2020 5:10 am

Their infection rate climbed DURING lockdown, not before. So lockdown fail it is.

Reply to  2hotel9
May 12, 2020 5:26 am

Wrong. Their number of people TESTED for infection climbed. But that is not an arithmetic of the infection rate.

Look at this graph showing you the curves for lockdowns starting on different day after 10,000k infected:

comment image

If you start on day 35 you still get an increase of 4x before the peak. Acting early is what defines the numbers.

Reply to  Ron
May 12, 2020 5:43 am

Lockdowns happened, infection rate climbed, lockdown fail.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  2hotel9
May 12, 2020 12:56 pm

Lockdowns happened, infection rate climbed, but not as much as it would have without the lockdown, lockdown successl.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 12, 2020 1:18 pm

Wrong, NY is the proof, their rates climbed substantially well after lockdowns began. Flu spreads, those who are high risk should take precautions, everyone else just get it and get over it.

Komrade Kuma
May 12, 2020 4:41 am

How about you plot infection/deaths vs population density. Here in Oz the highest infection rates are in the cities except for a few cruise ships and hospitals or aged care facilities which are high population density sites in themselves. i.e. its just the probablility of infectious transmission which is distance and number of interactions related.

Governments can assess their local situations and impose lockdowns accordingly.

Our infection rate in Oz is down to about 0.4 per million with an aggregate of less than 100 to date for 25 million people and we have had some tough lockdowns. In our case the outcome has been the result of the action.

This whinging about reduction of freedom regarding lockdowns is just hillbilly selfishness legless on the moonshine of petty ‘rights’.

Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 5:02 am

please stop with the nonsense.
his rating is a non physical metric. There is no guarantee that his “1” rating is 1 unit away from a 2 rating
or that the 36 rating is the same distance away from the 37.

junk .

Lockdown does have a physical manefestation.
basically fewer people mixing.

A lockdown POLICY may aim at reducing mixing, but people will behave however the hell they choose to.

so if you want to judge the effectiveness of lockdowns, you have to

1. Control for density or the baseline mixing network
2. measure the mixing networks before/after lockdown.

Mixing networks represent the ways people meet, cluster and exchange contact.
It is a huge unknown. One way people try to look at it is my looking at mobile phone data.
who is moving where.

His analysis is so wrong that only a geologist could love it.

to put it in rock simple terms.

take NY
take Oklahoma.

to judge the effectiveness of lockdowns, You have to compare

NY with a lockdown against NY without a lockdown.
and OK with and without.

This controls for the baseline differences in the meeting and mixing networks,

OR you could pick two regions ( state sized regions are too large and heterogenous )
where the baseline networks were similar.

To see the folly of the statebased approach just compare two different counties in the same state.
compare LA county with Butte county in CA.

Same state. same lockdown. Butte has 0 deaths.

His mistakes are junior league

John Endicott
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 7:35 am

please stop with the nonsense.

You complaining about the nonsense of others? the self-awareness is weak in the drive-by king.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  John Endicott
May 12, 2020 9:31 pm

“To see the folly of the statebased approach just compare two different counties in the same state.
compare LA county with Butte county in CA.”

take the challenge

John Endicott
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 13, 2020 2:33 am

“If that’s not the theory, then why the focus on reducing man’s emissions of CO₂?”

take the challenge!

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2020 12:17 pm

“Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game … you’r nuthin but ….” — O. W.

May 12, 2020 5:04 am

It is almost like this was somebody’s plan. And now state governors are ordering positive infection cases to be moved into facilities which house elderly people, all of whom are at high risk of death from this flu. Again, almost like it was somebody’s plan, to drive up the number of deaths perhaps. That number is certainly giving a great deal of power to a tiny, Democrat Party led, group of people.

Reply to  2hotel9
May 12, 2020 6:18 am

That’s manslaughter

Tom Abbott
Reply to  2hotel9
May 12, 2020 1:06 pm

Any evidence of murderous actions on the part of Democrat governors?

Democrat governors are a lot of things but I can’t think of a one of them that I would think would want to deliberately murder an innocent person. Suggesting that is possible is a little bit out there in left field, especially when there is not a shred of evidence to back up such a claim.

Unsubstantiated conspiracy theories are poison to the public dialog. Some conspiracy theories end up being true. Most do not.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 12, 2020 1:43 pm

When you order patients with highly contagious, and lethal for the very people in long term care homes, disease to be moved into long term care homes filled with people who are the most in danger from the highly contagious disease you are committing a criminal act, and judges will rule so. Cuomo and Wolf are both going to be sued over this sh*t.

May 12, 2020 5:15 am

Some interesting correlations. Deaths per million vs latitude, very little correlation – the sunshine theory is looking weak. Deaths per million vs population density, its pretty scattered, but I’m getting the sense it doesn’t hurt to be in a place with a low population density.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 12, 2020 5:19 am

Data is average latitude / US state pulled from Google, population density / US state pulled from Google, deaths per million is David’s numbers.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 12, 2020 8:03 am

I think maybe labeling a few big states would help as well as the axes. Also, the key vectors in many states is institutionalized populations and lack of controls or emphasis there.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 12, 2020 10:00 am

Eric, you are making an assumption that the data is adequate to your conclusion. The problem is the world data is entirely compromised. Even just the data in the U.S. is iffy based on how different states are measuring.

Take Brazil as an example – no one has any clue how many there have died due to CovID-19 if measured the same way as in New York City.

There is nothing wrong with your mental approach – but I seriously doubt the world data is good enough to trust for much of any analysis.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 12, 2020 2:42 pm

Given the differences even in parts of some cities, I don’t think state data is useful. The data really needs to be broken down much more tightly, maybe by zip code, otherwise there are too many conflating factors. People in large cities get less sunlight than rural residents, just for one example. Louisiana’s fatality rate drops considerably within 40 miles of New Orleans, which itself is fairly low density for a city. NY/NJ similar differences outside of NYC. State/country level data is likely clouding analysis much more than helping it. There are probably multiple key variables which are different within the populations. This problem applies to the article as well. It’s like comparing a blend of ten random foods to a different blend of ten random foods. What are you actually measuring?

Dr Deanster
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 12, 2020 7:33 am

As a few have pointed out, a single variable does not explain anything. In this case, there is an interaction between multiple variables.

1) Population Density
a) natural social distancing
b) applied social distancing
c) international travel volume
2) Vitamin D Levels
a) effects of latitude
b) effects of skin color
c) effects of supplementation.

The interplay of the above perfectly explaIn the spread.

Dr Deanster
Reply to  Dr Deanster
May 12, 2020 7:35 am

I meant deaths.

Reply to  Dr Deanster
May 12, 2020 11:29 am

d) possible effect of BCG vaccination in the early childhood (In East European Countries was compulsory from the late 1940’s

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 12, 2020 9:36 pm


the infection is local.
density is local.
Countries are the wrong spatial scale
States are the wrong spatial scale.
Counties gets close as long as there is nt a lot of county to county networking.

What matters is the network of contacts. How often people meet and interact for extended

That variable is the one you have to control for to do a proper analysis.

and the data for that is largely uncollected

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 12, 2020 5:17 am


The conclusion I’ve come to when I look at world data from worldometers is that different countries are clearly using different criteria to count “recovered” cases (see Germany and Spain for example), so I suspect the data reported does not really support conclusions on what works and what doesn’t. I suspect the same lack of consistency applies between different states/provinces in each country as well. IOW, we’re all throwing sophisticated statistics at questionable data.

On another post, Steven Mosher posted this link: https://rt.live/
To show the rate of infection by state relative to when lockdowns were enacted.

As I look at that I see no evidence lockdowns are effective. The dates on the state graphs are fixed and some states’ lockdown dates are earlier than the graph start (I could not find a way to adjust the display dates for the individual state graphs). But where there is a reasonable amount of data both before and after the lockdown date (take Georgia for example), in almost every case the infection rate was declining before the lockdown and the rate of decline remained constant afterwards, and usually leveled off (stopped declining) within two weeks of the lockdown — exactly when you’d expect to see the start of a steeper decline. With a few outliers an R of 0.80 appears to be about the best achieved, lockdown or not.

David Joyce
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 12, 2020 5:56 am

Alan Watt, I agree that “…we’re all throwing sophisticated statistics at questionable data.” But I would still say that the data is fit for the purpose of testing the hypothesis that lockdowns will have a dramatic effect on trasnmission, so after about 6.7 days (average time to symptons for >40) we should see a dropoff there, and we should see a more discernible effect on deaths (the tests for deaths are more definitive) after 18.5 more days (average time to death post symptoms.) I used ECDCP data to look at countries’ days to peak death post lockdown. In the simple universe that lockdowns are the biggest effect, every country should show their peak deaths at 25 days post lockdown. This takes care of whether countries are counting their deaths the same or not, as long as they don’t change how they count them. here is the result:


It looks like a plurality of countries did go through a peak around that time, but that does not support the hypothesis. Most countries do not show a peak in death rates at lockdown + 25. Unless there is some country by country specific reason that the timing of the effects of lockdown are increased or decreased, this shows that lockdowns don’t have the dramatic effects we should have seen. They may have had an effect, but it wasn’t dramatic.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 12, 2020 4:04 pm

“But where there is a reasonable amount of data both before and after the lockdown date (take Georgia for example), in almost every case the infection rate was declining before the lockdown and the rate of decline remained constant afterwards, and usually leveled off (stopped declining) within two weeks of the lockdown — exactly when you’d expect to see the start of a steeper decline.”

Same is true for Germany but there is an easy explanation for that: if you look at mobility data from google people had already changed their behavior. They saw the pictures from Bergamo, Italy and first measures like no mass events, closing schools, home office where in place one to two weeks before the “real” lockdown happened.

People are no robots. They will do as they deem necessary.

May 12, 2020 5:24 am

US flu seasons of 1957 and 1968 had the equivalent of 200,000 fatalities/year (adjusted for population) and the 2017~2918 flu season had 80,000 fatalities..

Historians will look at US’ insane economic shutdown in response to the Wuhan flu and attribute it mass hysteria caused by the worst media and clueless crop of politicians in US history.

People soon forgot, that the ONLY purpose for the shutdown was to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. They never were, even at the height of infection rates..

The total number of eventual Wuhan flu infections/deaths is relatively fixed by the herd immunity threshold and how well we sequester 65+ year olds and nursing homes…

All the insane shutdown did was: delay herd immunity, cause 30 million Americans to lose their jobs, destroy the economy, and run up the national debt another $8 trillion…

Leftists are evil…

Reply to  SAMURAI
May 12, 2020 7:25 am

Yes – see my post above.

Joel O’Bryan
May 12, 2020 5:48 am

The relevant economic question is not whether the lockdowns worked in lowering the infection rates.
The relevant economic question is were they worth the cost?

And cost is not just a single dollar metric of GDP or unemployment.
Its the destroyed financial futures of millions of small business owners. The increase in domestic violence. The increase in alcoholism and drug use. The probably far more severe than many understand, the incalculable costs of delayed education of a hundred million US children and young adults.
The bankruptcy industry is going to be crushed now.

May 12, 2020 5:49 am

“But, but, but … correlation does not mean causation” is correct. One needs to establish a valid cause & effect mechanism. Maine’s Phase I, implemented 1 April, helps validate David’s and Ron’s #1 .

Phase I NEGLECTED those most vulnerable to dying with ChiComm19. It NEGLECTED them even though the most vulnerable were known BEFORE Phase I was implemented. A tragic result is at the end of April, congregate care residents accounted for about 55% of all deaths with ChiComm19 in ME. Another 5-10% of ME deaths almost certainly occurred amongst staffers–also neglected by Phase I.

Phase I failed to flatten the new infection rate. Instead, the curve was flattened by developments started WEEKS BEFORE Phase I. Those developments include precautions WILLINGLY undertaken by Mainers concerned about their health and the health of others. Many limited social interaction and time in public places. Churches switched to online services. Municipal government offices prevented the public from entering. Businesses let more employees work from home. This goes to Ron’s #1 point.

See for yourself at https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/maine Pls note: The confirmed new infections per day line (orange) trends DOWNWARDS beginning 1 Apr. New infections trend DOWNWARDS even though the # of tests rises rapidly. An implication is: The % of positive tests fell precipitously throughout Apr. During the first half of Apr, the declines in new infections & % of + test results must be attributed to developments in March for at least 2 reasons. Maine limited tests to people exhibiting severe symptoms. And, such symptoms occur 1-3 weeks AFTER infection.

Time to conclude: Maine confirms David’s point & Ron’s #1 point. Maine’s results to date also necessitate profound and immediate improvements to the official reaction.

Ethan Brand
May 12, 2020 5:54 am

Hi David
It would be logical for higher lock down efforts to be correlated with higher infection rates. Rather than support a no (strong) lock down policy, I think the graph supports the observation that higher rates generally lead to stronger lock downs.
The Big Question is…is there a meaningful correlation between lock down strength and the objectives such locks are designed to meet: “Flatten the Curve” (approximately 2 weeks after strong lock down), lower ICU utilization rate, maybe lower death rate (due to more experienced/informed care of sick).
Pretty well established that higher population densities have the highest infection rates…I put this one in the “duh” category 🙂
What is the actual population behavior in a lock down situation?:…here is northern Michigan, the lock downs are somewhat of a oxy moron…:) (we don’t live here because we like crowed areas…..)

I completely agree that the one size fits all lock down policies are based more on politics than efficacy…BUT, I cannot escape the conclusion that if I have no close contact with any other human beings, THEN I am not going to get infected.

Lord Monckton , I think, presents the reality of lock downs: They are the result of a witches brew of politics, fear and data with only the slightest connection to reality.

In short, I conclude that there are way too many moving parts in the lock down analysis:
Do lock downs slow infection rate?: probably…can’t be infected if I have no contact with an infected person.
Are locks downs worth the extremely high cost?: Some are, probably most aren’t.
Analyzing lock downs after the fact is educational and interesting, but the decisions were made in March…when in reality there was less experienced data, and more speculative fear.
The question is, not what would you do now, but what would you have done in March? I find that I have difficulty casting that as an easy answer.

For those actually tasked (elected or hired) to make such decisions, they were, and are, basically faced with a series of lose-lose decisions. That’s why we have such a complex political structure (and why most of us probably don’t want to be politicians).

I imagine, that like the Spanish Flu, 100 years from now, we will be debating the same questions and issues about Covid-19. And reaching the same contradictory conclusions….I do not think that there are any right answers here. Just a messy compromise of crappy ones.

In the meantime, I have no doubt we will slowly crawl out of this quicksand, clean ourselves up a bit, and carry one. I do think we (humanity) get slowly incrementally “better” at our collective decisions. My supportive “data”…there are nearly 8 Billion of us, and we are far better off than at any time in the past….

Ethan Brand

Dr Deanster
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 7:40 am

And Texas also has about half the population density of California. So the data look as they should.

Henry Pool
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 8:34 am

The curves may be normalized for population, but they are not normalized for population density.

Henry Pool
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 9:29 am

Correct, and “social distancing” decreases population density.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 1:24 pm

“Most businesses could have stayed open with social distancing measures”
Inside enclosed spaces (manufacture, assembly lines, packaging, etc) with high intensity fresh air ventilation (preferably floor-to-ceiling direction) with a reasonable ‘distancing’ would reduce cross-infection to a negligible minimum.

Ethan Brand
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 7:53 am

Hi David

Thank you for the reply notes.

I am not sure how the above graphs help your assertion. The contrary hypothesis is that lock downs are in response to real (or perceived) infection rates. The only “real” information we can probably all agree on is that infection rates and death rates are generally falling worldwide. We have thousands (if not millions) of various strategies at work world wide, coupled with huge variations in population density, cultural “norms” (relative to social interaction), biological differences, population age, health…etc. Frankly I cannot see how one can extract any meaningful data out of such a mess. I am sure there are pockets of true “cause-effect” correlations…but as I read here and elsewhere, even my “heroes” of WUWT are sometimes 180 degrees out from one another in their analysis. I reiterate my current “position” (an intentionally foggy term): The Covid-19 event is far too complicated to have any easy answers (absent a good vaccine or treatment). One of the basic reasons I continue to be so skeptical about the AGW crowds assertions is that they seem to be convinced that they have the simple answer to an extremely complex problem. I suspect, that like AGW, Covid-19 response has no real answers (again absent vaccine or treatment). As I have noted in previous posts, human beings hate not having answers, and those that say “I don’t really know” are, and will continue to be, ignored whereas those that say “I have the answer” are either heroes or villains with little middle ground.

Ethan Brand
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2020 8:11 am

Hi David

A second comment, which I think is supportive of my “I don’t really know” observation, and my 180 degree comment:
Previous post:

An influenza test for whether lockdowns work
Guest Blogger / 9 hours ago May 11, 2020
By Chris Gillham
“Therefore, if positive laboratory influenza tests are a moderately accurate reflection of infection percentages in their broader communities, and if influenza is a common indicator of community infection among the several dozen other communicable diseases, it might be said that the COVID-19 lock downs have resulted in a ~90% reduction in global infections.”

In order to ferret out any meaningful conclusions, we MUST reconcile your analysis with Christopher Monckton, with Willis Eschenbach, with Chris Gillham, with Rud Istvan, and others not mentioned here. I respect all of these analysts. What their fundamental disagreements tell me is that there may not be any good answers. I reiterate my plea for the above to specifically address these glaring differences in conclusions….and I suspect that is not possible.

Ethan Brand

May 12, 2020 6:22 am

I’m not convinced that comparing case rates or infection rates has much validity without first somehow controlling for the extent of testing in the locales you are comparing. An area with high testing percentage will have a higher case rate irrespective of whether people actually get sick, go to hospital, die, etc.

Jeffery P
Reply to  F4F111Col
May 12, 2020 9:36 am


Eustace Cranch
May 12, 2020 6:27 am

Bottom line: Regardless of public policy, infection rates correlate to amount of human interaction, PERIOD.

Democratic governments can only do so much to control that, without becoming de facto dictatorships.

Reply to  Eustace Cranch
May 12, 2020 7:23 am

And most infections come from household member to household member, so lockdowns are not effective within a household once another household member has acquired the disease.

Ethan Brand
Reply to  Eustace Cranch
May 12, 2020 7:26 am

Simple observation…I like it.

Dean s
May 12, 2020 6:42 am

Step one of the lockdown was closing the border with China. That surely did not work

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Dean s
May 12, 2020 7:54 am

Well, it was not 100% effective . . . but then again it also did not happen until well (more than two full months) after “patient zero” in Wuhan . . . with the CCP in the interim actively spreading disinformation around the world about the virulent nature of COVID-19, and intentionally allowing internationally-connecting flights out of Wuhan with absolutely no screenings of those departing for potentially carrying COVID-19.

Notwithstanding the above, we will never know how many US lives were saved by President Trump making banning incoming flight from China when he did.

Reply to  Dean s
May 12, 2020 9:26 am

“Step one of the lockdown was closing the border with China.”

Based on what we know now, it was closed well after the disease had begun spreading in the US. So it surely helped, but couldn’t stop it.

As I understand it, the biggest source of infections on the West coast was China, and the biggest source on the East coast was Europe. To some extent that’s explained by different travel patterns, but also because the disease hadn’t really spread to the East from China by the time travel was shut down.

If there’s a lesson from the border closures, it’s that they were too little and too late. If you wanted to stop CCP-19 reaching the US, all borders needed to be closed as soon as the disease was known to be spreading in China.

That would have been much, much cheaper than shutting down the US economy for months.

Coach Springer
May 12, 2020 6:59 am

Lockdown has some effect. Results by variation in lockdown from zero to house arrest suggest small effect. Each factor by itself suggests relatively small effect. Intersections of more than a couple factors suggests increased effect. NYC had it all and did everything wrong. Got it.

Talking right past the key thing. This disease kills once in awhile, but it is not an existential threat. Until you make it one.

May 12, 2020 7:47 am

Lock down Australia-

May 12, 2020 7:55 am

Lockdowns are a panicked “instinct” reaction to a severe threat only dimly perceived.
At least 3 viral pandemic threats in 20 years, has alerted some to the danger, and more to come, as the WHI researcher warned, likely even more infectious. The Spanish flu hit a destroyed WWI economy, the Plague hit a totally collapsed European economy back in the 1340’s.

Some think that proof of no present danger is our 8 billion population now.

But ask the question, what if that population cannot be supported by the reining global economic platform, what happens if the relative potential population density of the platform drops below actual population?

It is not hard to see how we got to that level, steady increases in energy user per capita over many years, until the determined policy to break that with “controlled” destruction of the economic platform . That started in earnest in 1971, so decades of breakdown have brought us to the point of collapse. The biosphere will make up for it with Sylvatics (from the wild) using us as fuel. So from the Bretton-Woods breakup under Nixon to globalization and now an incredible insane green lurch, resulting in panic, not a clear look at policy.

Interesting that WUWT , dimly , notices some kind of connection between climate nonsense and the pandemic. That connection is there, it involves real physical economics. This pandemic has unhinged otherwise smart engineers and scientists – instead of groping blindly, instinctively, connecting-the-dots straighten up and fly right!

Gordon A. Dressler
May 12, 2020 8:01 am

As Richard Feynman famously said, “If it disagrees with experiment (observation), it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is. It doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”

To the extent that correlation does not equal causation, one can also say that correlation MAY be indicative of causation. If the latter be true in David Middleton’s article above, it is past time to honestly question the effectiveness of societal “lockdowns” in response to COVID-19.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
May 12, 2020 1:21 pm

“it is past time to honestly question the effectiveness of societal “lockdowns” in response to COVID-19.”

It is time to examine the Wuhan virus lockdown, now that we know something about it.

When the next unknown virus comes along, however, society will lock down again, unless we have developed the ability to nip the infection in the bud by that time.

We won’t be able to say that just because the Wuhan virus wasn’t extremely dangerous, that a new virus won’t be more deadly. So we will be able to apply some Wuhan virus lessons to a new outbreak (like not shutting down hospitals when it is unecessary), but we still have to take steps to slow the infection rate (lockdown) until we can know how infectious and deadly the new virus is.

Let’s hope the next one doesn’t come along for another 100 years, and when it comes, we are prepared for it. We will be. Much better prepared than we were for the Wuhan virus.

It’s time to get back to work now. Safely.

May 12, 2020 8:18 am

Infection rate based on test confirmed cases is not a good factor in judging the effectiveness of measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Testing procedures vary from state to state and within states, vary with time. I think a better metric to watch, as restrictions are being lifted, is rolling number of deaths per week per million population for each state.

May 12, 2020 8:25 am

You will also find that states with the wettest sidewalks have the most rain.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  MarkW
May 12, 2020 9:17 am

MarkW, in your conclusion did you also consider wet sidewalks from morning dew? Or states having cities that experience recurring heavy fog, like Maine, Washington and California? 😉