By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
Early in the Chinese-virus pandemic, Boris Johnson, the colorful British Prime Minister with the haystack-in-a-hurricane hairdon’t, talked of “squashing the sombrero”: for the curve of a pandemic that is allowed to progress until population-wide immunity is reached is approximately symmetrical about its peak, just as a sombrero is about its crown.
The UK’s chief medical officer showing the Press the difference between a sombrero graph and a Gibraltar graph, March 12, 2020
If, however, the progress of the pandemic is interfered with by a lockdown, the very large number of fatalities at the peak of the sombrero will never be reached.
Instead, the initial exponential growth will be interfered with, the pandemic will reach a far lower peak, and the curve will no longer be symmetrical. Instead, it will resemble the shapely profile of the rock of Gibraltar (British) as seen from across Algeciras Bay. The objective of a lockdown is to head for Gibraltar town by the fastest route, for once one is there one can lift the lockdown.
Late though the British lockdown was (if it had been just two weeks earlier, at least 50,000 of the 70,000 excess British deaths attributable to the virus would have been prevented), it was effective when at last it was introduced. In Britain, both daily new cases and daily deaths are heading not for the crown of the sombrero but for Gibraltar town:
In the United States, deaths are heading for Gibraltar town, though a little more slowly than in Britain. But there may be trouble ahead, because following the lifting of lockdown measures and the mass breaches of lockdown by far-Left demonstrators the number of daily new cases is heading not for Gibraltar town but for the sky. Two or three weeks from now, daily deaths are likely to rise too.
It is worth contrasting countries such as Britain, with a fierce lockdown, the United States, with a less fierce lockdown, and Sweden, with no lockdown at all. Increasingly, there is soul-searching in Sweden about the no-lockdown policy, for Sweden now has just about the highest daily number of new cases and of new deaths per head of population in the world.
Finally, the notion – advocated by many vexatious trolls here – that the coronavirus pandemic is “no worse than the annual flu” must now be dismissed out of hand. If one compares the daily incremental counts of flu and of the Chinese virus in the United States, by June 10 the latter was about six times the former.
Even if one compares apples with oranges – the daily incremental count of the Chinese virus against the estimated total for the entire flu season – the Chinese virus is twice as bad as the worst annual flu in the U.S., and the deaths are still increasing at about 1000 a day, and the daily incremental count is known to be a considerable underestimate.
Incremental daily coronavirus death count in the U.S.A. (cyan) compared with incremental daily counts for various recent flu seasons (solid curves) and with estimated final death counts for flu seasons (dashed curves).