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Corona Probably Out of Control in Dagestan
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Russia has been running at ~100 deaths per day for the past three weeks. As most everywhere (~60% across 14 analyzed countries), this is an underestimate – in Moscow, by a factor of ~3x.

Something that we can tell when the gross mortality stats became available a week ago, suggesting ~2,000 excess deaths vs. 642 official deaths from COVID-19.

“Not great, not terrible.” Much worse than East Asia. Worse than Visegrad. But still better, per capita, than the US and most of Western Europe – at least to date.

However, if there’s one region where the data is off by an order of magnitude – as has been intermittently alleged – it is the North Caucasus.

A couple of days ago, Dagestan’s Health Minister said that 700 people had died of community acquired pneumonia in Dagestan, including more than 40 doctors. The official figure is 32 deaths (as of today).

In an open source project to track doctor deaths from coronavirus, Dagestan is far in the lead, with 38/241 names (as of today and the time of writing). For comparison, Moscow, with an official population that is four times greater and, with 1,651 deaths as of today, commonly recognized as the epicenter, accounts for 71 of the names. In per capita terms, Dagestan’s epidemic may even be worse than Moscow’s. (Or perhaps their hospitals have an exceptional lack of PPE, with their doctors getting infected at much higher rates).

But more likely there is some extreme undercounting going on it Dagestan.

Other badly affected regions:

  • Moscow – 70/241
  • Moscow oblast – 44/241
  • Dagestan – 37/241
  • Saint-Petersburg – 20/241
  • Chechnya – 4/241
  • Krasnodar krai – 3/241
  • Leningrad oblast – 3/241
  • North Ossetia – 3/241
  • Nizhny Novgorod oblast – 2/241
  • Ingushetia – 1/241
  • Other regions – 54/241

Although Dagestan is a clear outlier even there, the other two DICh republics are also overrepresented, with 4 doctor deaths in 1.4M Chechnya, 1 in 0.4M Ingushetia. Also hard hit is North Ossetia, with 3 doctor deaths out of 0.7M.

This is much higher per capita than in the ex-megapolis Russian heartlands, e.g. 3 deaths in 1.7M Leningrad oblast (which surrounds Saint-Petersburg), 2 deaths in 3.3M Nizhny Novgorod oblast, and 3 deaths in 5.2M Krasnodar krai (which is a popular tourist destination, hosting Sochi).

“Other regions” has about 110M people, which generated 54 doctor deaths. So, about 2 per million.

Interestingly, this seems to parallel non-white Europeans (and Black Americans) dying at much higher rates than the white majorities in Europe and the US.

***

The Business Insider article that reported this story in English suggests that if all Russia was undercounted like Dagestan there’d be 50,000 deaths, which already makes Russia as bad as the US.

If the overall rate of infection and death in Russia followed the same pattern as Dagestan’s, Russia could have actually been hit by more than a million cases and already suffered more than 50,000 deaths from the pandemic.

But this would also suggest that all Russia is as bad as Moscow (2,000 real deaths*10 = 20,000, and perhaps 2.5x as much in the nineteen days since), where we know the situation quite well thanks to the April figures for gross mortality.

This is not very plausible given its status as epicenter, as well as the doctor deaths stats above.

So how many actual deaths in Russia? Officially, Moscow accounts for 1,651 / 2,837 as of today. If we assume a 2-3x undercount in Moscow based on the discrepancy between official COVID-19 deaths and excess mortality in April, the real figure in the capital is 4,000 by now. If in turn we then assume that doctor deaths are on average equally likely to be reported to that doctor deaths database across regions, where Moscow accounts for ~30% of deaths – twice lower than 60% in the official figures (1,651/2,837) – then we may guesstimate that Russia’s total numbers of deaths right now is perhaps 13,000, or a fourfold discrepancy with official figures.

This is of course very back of the envelope stuff. But it’s clear that deaths are substantially higher than official figures, while being lower than wildest extrapolations.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Corona, Dagestan, Epidemiology, Russia 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Dmitry says:

    I think this early (relative to epidemic stage of development), long, and expensive lockdown (non-working days) in Russia, has been successful to push Moscow’s epidemic into early summer. In the summer, we can speculate for some mix of temperature/humidity, UV light and behavioural reasons, it is likely at least easier to reduce the rate of virus spread, and Moscow has already passed a peak of new infections in the first wave. Daily new infections.

    (Idiocracy has encouraged people to spread the virus around the country until late March, and then encouraged cities lockdown because of those returned tourists they had sent from Moscow airports days earlier – but that is another topic https://www.unz.com/akarlin/bcg-vaccine/#comment-3843429 ).

    The greatest victory prize of a lockdown, is to totally suppress the first wave, so that there will be no “second wave”, or that such a second wave starting from a low base can be suppressed with methods like contact tracing, instead of expensive lockdown.

    The lockdown in Russia has succeeded in pushing the epidemic into the summer, where it will be easy to keep in control. However, total suppression of the epidemic has not been attempted (and more lockdown is probably unaffordable into the summer).

    Iran seems to show that second wave is a real danger after lockdown to “flatten the curve”, as an epidemic’s first wave is not fully quarantined and suppressed.

    Lockdown in Iran has perhaps helped “flattened the curve”, but then after, internal restrictions were perhaps reduced too much to keep rate of infection below 1 in different areas of the country.

    On the other hand, in China (which has also used interregional quarantine, that was lacking in Russia) – there is what should be the objective of such an expensive lockdown. To suppress the epidemic, so the country can reduce internal restrictions without a high possibility of a second wave.

    I add some more countries below the more tag.

    [MORE]

    New Zealand – even as they enter winter, it might be possible suppressed enough that it will be possible to stop second wave with contact tracing.

    South Korea has almost succeeded, and beginnings of second wave may then be easier to suppress from a low base (with contact tracing)
    In Taiwan

    Australia. As they enter winter, the first wave might have been suppressed enough, to allow second wave to be suppressed with contact tracing.

  3. It’s worth noting that in terms of deaths (assuming an almost universal 3-4x undercount) Russia has done better than all the Visegrad with the exception of Slovakia. Czechia is at 28 deaths per million, Hungary 46/m, and Poland 24/m. This compares to Russia at 18/m.

    Now this may change, since the Visegrad seems to have gotten its caseload under control quicker – though not by much. I expect Russia and the Visegrad to have similar per capita death rates when all is said and done. Though the DICh outbreak could throw that estimate off if it ends up running rampant.

    Regardless, no one will be crying if the DICh gets Coronachan’d.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  4. Dmitry says:
    @AltSerrice

    in terms of deaths

    According to the director of the epidemiology research centre in the Ministry of Health – this lower death rate is because Russia has more population immunity*. (I think the chief epidemiologists are crazier than average random people on internet forums).

    If I recall, a couple months ago this guy was saying, don’t worry because the summer weather will stop the epidemic.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Swedish Family
  5. Znzn says:

    Is the US’ extra freedom worth 100000 deaths? Yes/no? How many body bags is freedom worth?

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  6. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    If I recall, a couple months ago this guy was saying, don’t worry because the summer weather will stop the epidemic.

    Oops I am confusing experts – it is a different expert who was arguing how the summer will stop the epidemic’s activity: Nikolay Briko. Briko is epidemiologist working in the Ministry of Health.
    ( https://iz.ru/990235/2020-03-23/v-minzdrave-nazvali-sroki-spada-aktivnosti-koronavirusa )

    Considering this kind of opinion – it’s likely this has been one of the main ideas for the timing of lockdown. Policy idea in Russia with the timing of lockdown, has been to push the epidemic into the summer, when it will be easier to control without need of strict lockdown, for temperature/humidity, UV light and behavioural reasons.

    It’s an logical overall strategy, but unambitious compared to “overwhelming suppression” of the first wave policy in China/Taiwan/New Zealand, et al – if summer mostly suppresses the epidemic to low levels in Russia, then this implies a difficult to control second wave beginning from September/October, if too much virus is still able to survive in the country by passing through insufficiently decreasing numbers of people through the summer.

  7. Kinez says:

    Dagestan has one of the highest life expectancies in Russia. Would need to see a breakdown of those who died by age, but it seems reasonable to think that this could be a factor in the higher death rate, given the disease affects the elderly most severely.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  8. @Kinez

    This is irrelevant, the median age is much lower than the Russian average despite higher LE.

    • Replies: @Kinez
  9. Anatoly,

    I’m very disappointed in you for being so retarded on this issue. You’re quoting a small conspiracy group on Facebook, their chart is fake, and not based on available statistical data.

    Is it also rather dumb for you to adopt New York Times methodology for attributing all “excess deaths ” in Russia to coronavirus. Some modest variation in mortality occurs naturally and by definition there will be years when number of deaths exceeds average. For example 12.000 people died in Moscow in March 2018, followed by another 11.000 in April – if this spike in mortality doesn’t show on your Facebook chart, it’s because your chart is fucking fake, and not based on actual data!

    Worse than Visegrad.

    I continue to be bemused by your proclivity to jerk off to Visegrad. Since no analysis of “excess deaths” has been made available on Visegrad, you’re comparing apples and oranges here.

    A self-styled researcher and scientist should do better.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dmitry
  10. melanf says:

    Here is the total number of deaths for April. For this month the hypothesis of mass hidden mortality from coronavirus is clearly unreliable

    • Agree: Denis, AnonFromTN
    • Thanks: mal
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  11. Kinez says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Not saying that this is the case, but “lower median age” and “higher proportion of people aged 70+” are not mutually exclusive.

  12. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    Your chart is for Russia, so it would likely more seem to support Karlin’s view that there are excess coronavirus deaths in Moscow, above those which are recorded. In Russia (where in most of the country there is very little epidemic), deaths fall during the non-working days – whereas excess deaths are in Moscow, where there is co-incidentally the only city with a significant coronavirus epidemic in Russia.

    The fact there are excess deaths in the same place with a coronavirus epidemic, while in the rest of the country (where is no real coronavirus epidemic) the opposite – as expected when people have been sitting at home.

    It would be a co-incidence that excess deaths occur in the city where there is significant coronavirus epidemic, and in the non-coronavirus cities (co-incidentally) there is on average the opposite (less deaths than normal in April).

  13. @Felix Keverich

    Is it also rather dumb for you to adopt New York Times methodology for attributing all “excess deaths ” in Russia to coronavirus.

    This is absolutely standard practice. Without it, how many people died in, say, the early 1930s Soviet famine, would be mostly guesswork.

    The April 2020 spike is distinct and you’d need an alternate explanation for it then. E.g., was there a heatwave as in summer 2010 that we all missed?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  14. @melanf

    What is your source?

    Data I have for April 2019 has it at 153,867 deaths, though it is from an archive of Rosstat preliminary data, so it could have been adjusted. http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/2019/demo/edn2019.rar Though that would be a big adjustment.

    As for April 2020 – Rosstat only reveals data towards the end of the following month, i.e. it should still be about a week before it gets released. So especially interested to know the source.

    Finally – I would note that my 13,000 guesstimate refers to deaths up to this point, i.e. May 19. Note that about ~60% of Russian Corona deaths accrue to May (as of the time of writing), because the epidemic was still accelerating at the end of April. So “only” ~5k of these excess would apply to April.

    Additional note: This year (first three months) has seen strong mortality improvements, with deaths falling from 472,860 in Jan-Mar 2019 to 459,994 during the same period in 2020. A fall of 13k, or an average of 4k per month. All else equal, we should expect a fall of around 4k (if with large uncertainty either way). One thing that we certainly need to do, once April data is fully released, is to check mortality in Dagestan. Since monthly deaths in Dagestan are usually slightly over 1,000, a spike of 500+ would be easily noticeable.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @melanf
  15. @Anatoly Karlin

    The April 2020 spike is distinct

    It’s not. April 2020 in Moscow falls within normal range and does not require an explanation to it.

    You didn’t address any of the criticisms I’ve made, such as you following conspiracy groups on Facebook and reposting their fake mortality charts.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  16. @Anatoly Karlin

    He has every right to download his own dubious charts from the internet just like you did.

    While you’re exploring gks.ru, check out its data for monthly mortality in Moscow, and compare it to this weird chart you copied from Facebook:

    Like wtf, it doesn’t match at all!

  17. @Felix Keverich

    These graphs have been printed across Western and Russian media.

    If you think the stats are wrong/invented – let’s hear it. If you have an alternate explanation for why deaths in April zoomed upwards by ~20% relative to baseline, beating all previous Aprils on record since at least 2006 – again, let’s hear it.

  18. @Anatoly Karlin


    From this FT graph we can infer that there was a hidden corona epidemic taking place in Moscow in March-April 2018…Or that this mortality falls within normal range and does not require conspiratorial explanation to it.

    I don’t like that you continue to dance around the real issue: that chart you copied from Facebook was clearly fake. And that Facebook group from what I can tell is a bunch of conspiracy nutters.

    • Agree: mal
  19. Mitleser says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The focus on handling the Covid-19 infected means the system will neglect helping other ill people, hence many excess death are the result of the Corona crisis, but not directly killed by Corona, ergo there is less underreporting than one might think after looking at the stats.

  20. Denis says:

    Hi Anatoly,

    Are you willing to bet on the accuracy of your earlier prediction that Corona will kill millions? Because it is looking less and less likely.

    • Replies: @mal
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  21. @Dmitry

    According to the director of the epidemiology research centre in the Ministry of Health – this lower death rate is because Russia has more population immunity*. (I think the chief epidemiologists are crazier than average random people on internet forums).

    This is not a fringe view. Here’s Karol Sikora, professor of medicine at the University of Buckingham and ex-director of the WHO Cancer Program, expressing similar ideas in an interview yesterday.

    His argument, if I understand the good doctor right, is (1) that previous exposure to other, very common, coronaviruses might give partial immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and (2) that many Britons have such great immune systems that they fight off SARS-CoV-2 without breaking a sweat. This last point seems to me key since it means that this group will be something like “immune”* to SARS-CoV-2 despite testing negative for antibodies.

    Regarding your earlier post, I must also stress again that your “Daily New Cases” is actually “Daily New Confirmed Cases” — a huge and key difference. “Daily New Confirmed Cases” is a useless metric since the sample is non-random with extremely poor coverage. A more sensible strategy would be to test a random sample of Muscovites, say, every day and keep an eye on the trend.

    * Since they will only carry it a short time, if at all.

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  22. mal says:
    @Denis

    He was right about it crashing the economy though.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Felix Keverich
  23. No he is not willing to bet you because he is a God fearing man who stays away from gambling, porn, rum running and money lending. His figure of millions and possibly billions dying painful, lonely deaths along with the graphs, numbers, experts opinions and government studies still hold. Remember that he has only provided us with the stats, almost daily, of Moscow, New York, Paris, Berlin etc. The numbers from Timbuktu, Congo, Afghanistan, Lesotho and Islamabad are presently being compiled. Expect another load of graphs and figures. I dont know about you but I can hardly wait for the next article. I can guarantee it will be a nailbiter !

    AK: From your commenting history it seems you’re just some generic right-wing NPC cretin. Banned.

  24. @Denis

    Has the pandemic ended, or something? I am currently just one OOM off even by official figures, which are underestimates. Even if it magically vanishes right now, I will still be more correct than the vast majority of people.

    PS. To go meta, I also predicted people would call the end of the pandemic in May, as effects of lockdowns become visible and many countries begin to reopen.

    • Replies: @Denis
  25. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Regardless, there is some spike for April 2020. https://data.mos.ru/opendata/7704111479-dinamika-registratsii-aktov-grajdanskogo-sostoyaniya/row/1035521177?pageNumber=13&versionNumber=3&releaseNumber=42

    11846 deaths for April 2020, is ranging from 9% more deaths than previously most deadly April (April 2018,) to 27% more deaths than the best April (2011).
    Compared to last year it is just 18,4% more deaths (excluding official Covid deaths it is 12,4% higher).

    Of course, you cannot attribute this to the coronavirus pandemic in Moscow prematurely at this early stage. It’s just some kind of possible hint or clue, which would be more indicative if it is only in Moscow at the same time as coronavirus, whereas not in the regions.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  26. Dmitry says:
    @mal

    Karlin was optimistic (or let’s say – “well balanced”) about coronavirus, compared to most type of conspiracy theory, doomers and survivalist kind of people, especially in YouTube, as well as the anti-China people. They were saying like it was going to be the zombie apocalypse and it was time for us to escape down into the bunker.

    The ironic that in January, it was “fashionable” for people to hype about the epidemic (or imply it is a Chinese bioweapon made from combining HIV and Ebola), and say like half the world would die from coronavirus. Whereas after a few months that mainstream media began to view the pandemic more seriously, then it is fashionable to say “it was hyped too much”.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @mal
  27. Dmitry says:
    @Swedish Family

    useless metric since the sample is non-random

    It’s very imperfect, but not completely useless though, and it’s not like there is a more useful information available to substitute for it.

    For example, if tests are constant or increasing, while the number of confirmed cases is falling -. I.e. if the ratio positive test results is becoming smaller. It might seem unlikely to have such a result – although possible -, without there being a real plateau (at least in the first stage of the epidemic which is centred in Moscow).

    Here are a total new cases in Russia against the testing numbers.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Swedish Family
  28. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    Swedish new daily sick cases data are not congruent with the new daily deaths data.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-high-is-herd-immunity-level/#comment-3905202

  29. @Dmitry

    Regardless, there is some spike for April 2020. https://data.mos.ru/opendata/7704111479-dinamika-registratsii-aktov-grajdanskogo-sostoyaniya/row/1035521177?pageNumber=13&versionNumber=3&releaseNumber=42

    Tell me, why is this stupid website so impossible to navigate? Why does it show 3950 births in Moscow in April, when the normal figure is around 10.000?

    This data is either wrong, or incomplete, yet extensive “research” has been performed on the basis of it.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  30. @mal

    Corona didn’t crash the economy. Lockdowns did, and Karlin is a big supporter of lockdowns, so in a way he wanted this to happen.

    • Replies: @mal
    , @Denis
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  31. mal says:
    @Dmitry

    Thats fair. I believe the title of his post was “Corona chan will crash economy and kill millions”.

    I think lockdowns more or less worked and medical systems weren’t too overwhelmed, so deaths will be under a million, but if second wave forces more lockdowns economy is done for.

    I don’t know about Europe, but US economy is entirely based on credit funded consumption. After a few months of bill non payments even if people get jobs somehow their credit scores will be ruined, so they won’t be able to get loans and spend anymore. This economic second wave will ruin a lot of businesses, and send people straight back to unemployment.

    Russia doesn’t rely on credit spending as much so I expect it to do better.

    Anyway, if Karlin named his post “Corona chan will crater the world economy OR kill millions” he would be spot on. 🙂

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  32. mal says:
    @Felix Keverich

    If medical system got overwhelmed we would see a lot more corpses i think.

  33. Denis says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I highly doubt it will just vanish, but as you mention, the current counts may well be huge underestimates. I have few ways of being sure, but it’s certainly possible, and I DO think that the stated numbers* rarely reflect the actual number of cases and deaths in most countries. Rather, I suspect that they are primarily a reflection of how much testing is done, how broad the qualifications for a coronavirus death are, etc.

    In other words, the reported deaths and cases may vary based on how they are reported and recorded more than anything else, so even though the virus will almost certainly not disappear, the reported numbers of cases and deaths could easily decline and drop to nil once the hysteria subsides and governments cease testing as widely. Alternately, the number of cases and deaths reported could increase if wider testing is done.

    *stated on Reuters and other such mainstream news sources, that is

  34. Denis says:
    @Felix Keverich

    I highly doubt Anatoly wants the economy to collapse for the sake of proving a point on his blog.

  35. This is of course very back of the envelope stuff

    Sounds more like BS. The difference between reported covid deaths and excess deaths is much greater in Europe and the US than in Moscow or Russia. It does not mean that all those extra deaths were from covid anywhere. Stress, lockdowns, delayed medical care, etc., all result in additional deaths. Just ask even semi-qualified health professional.

  36. @mal

    Hopefully most Americans, or the majority in most States, will not obey a second police-state lockdown.

    Hopefully they’ll also develop more consensus in favor of a universal basic income that will put a floor under consumer spending, to some meaningful degree, in the event of an enforced lockdown or other major economic shock,

    • Agree: mal
  37. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    What is your source?

    From
    https://vz.ru/society/2020/5/16/1039609.html

    I can’t guarantee the authenticity of the source. If these figures are not correct, and the figure of 153,867 deaths in April is correct, then an additional 5,000 deaths still looks unlikely, given the decrease in deaths compared to last April

    You can look at it differently – if in Moscow (where there was a strong epidemic of coronavirus) in April 2020, the death rate actually increased compared to April 2019 (which is at least partly explained by the coronavirus), then in St. Petersburg, the death rate in April 2020 and April 2019 did not change (5303 died in April 2020 and 5207 in April 2019). Given that in all other regions (except the Moscow region), the epidemic was much weaker than in St. Petersburg, in April, the coronavirus had a serious impact on mortality only in Moscow.

    In Moscow in April this year, an increase of 1800 deaths over April of the previous year. If we assume that all these deaths are determined by the coronavirus, then there will be 1200 “hidden” deaths from the coronavirus in Moscow (and 600 “official” deaths from the coronavirus). It’s not 5000

    Again: here is data on mortality in Moscow by month for 2017 and 2018 https://ritual.ru/poleznaya-informacia/articles/statistika-smertnosti-v-moskve/


    So what? in March-April 2018, was a hidden (by the authorities) epidemic of coronavirus with thousands of deaths?
    Here are the deaths in Moscow over the past three years for the period March-April:
    2018 — 22,613 people
    2019 — 20,065 people
    2020 — 22,244 people

    In General, Russia (without any doubt) has “hidden” deaths from coronavirus, but their total number for April (and March) can not be very high. And this number cannot be determined by comparing the overall death rate with the previous year. It may be different in May, but it is so for April

    Additional note: This year (first three months) has seen strong mortality improvements, with deaths falling from 472,860 in Jan-Mar 2019 to 459,994 during the same period in 2020. A fall of 13k, or an average of 4k per month. All else equal, we should expect a fall of around 4k

    This is a completely incorrect statement. This year’s winter was the warmest in history, without any analogues. For this reason (due to extremely abnormal weather), the mortality rate has significantly decreased. For this reason those who would have died in a normal winter did not die. But these are mostly people who are on the verge of death – now they will die in April, Мay, etc.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dmitry
  38. @Swedish Family

    Are there significant global differences in exposure to coronaviruses?

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  39. @Felix Keverich

    OK, the collapse in registered births in April is very weird. Good point. I have no explanation for that.

    More convenient format, just browse by year/month: https://data.mos.ru/opendata/7704111479-dinamika-registratsii-aktov-grajdanskogo-sostoyaniya

  40. @Felix Keverich

    I supported short, hardcore lockdowns (as in Wuhan) to hammer down r0 and to buy time to learn more about the disease.

    The second point at least has paid off.

    The first point proved politically impossible in democracies, including even nominal ones like Russia. So we got a kind of idiot’s limbo where r0 fell to 0.6-1.0 (instead of the 0.3 observed in “cybergulag” Wuhan), failing to stamp out the epidemic, but the economy collapsed anyway. This was aggravated by the insane decision of many authorities not to institute mandatory mask wearing, which I was calling for early on.

  41. @utu

    Yes, that’s pretty weird. No idea about details of Swedish record keeping.

  42. @Anatoly Karlin

    From what I can tell the idea of shutting down the economy to combat epidemics is a fairly novel concept. It was embraced by the scientific community following SARS epidemic, but with little empirical evidence to support its effectiveness. And by now, we have plenty of evidence that lockdowns don’t actually work.

    China might be the only country, where lockdown worked, but as I recall, infections in China began to decline after emperor Xi demanded a “victory”. We don’t have an accurate picture of epidemic situation in China, and have to rely on doctored official statistics.

    Then there is India, where daily infections and deaths continue to increase exponentially months after lockdown was implemented. The government just keeps extending the lockdown hoping for a miracle.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/india/

  43. @Anatoly Karlin

    The absurdity of this FT graph for Moscow becomes apparent once you compare it with other international cities. Check this out: one of these cities is not like the others.

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
  44. @Dmitry

    It’s very imperfect, but not completely useless though, and it’s not like there is a more useful information available to substitute for it.

    Thinking it all over, it’s actually even worse a metric than I thought, for we have the added headache that the bias is variable (and hard to measure at that). For every day in your graph, a new selection bias brings a new non-random sample.

    For example, if tests are constant or increasing, while the number of confirmed cases is falling -. I.e. if the ratio positive test results is becoming smaller. It might seem unlikely to have such a result – although possible -, without there being a real plateau (at least in the first stage of the epidemic which is centred in Moscow).

    That would be my guess too, sure, but with the selection bias changing daily, this is a poor metric for comparisons. A better way is to look at death and hospital figures over time, and maybe also the result of antibody tests.

  45. @Anatoly Karlin

    Are there significant global differences in exposure to coronaviruses?

    A quick search didn’t turn up any data, sadly, but it might be out there.

    I found this blog post, on the same subject, interesting:

    In their preliminary analysis of the clinical parameters of COVID-19, from the first 425 patients, Li et al noted that there were no pediatric cases, and that the median age was 59 years old. While there are sure to be pediatric cases now that the total number of confirmed cases has topped 70,000, the impression has been that the pediatric age group has been very much spared a major impact from SARS-CoV-2.

    Li et al surmised that perhaps the pediatric age group had some inherent resistance to SARS-CoV-2 infection via the non-specific immune response. While there is precedent for such clinical resistance in other viral infections, such as Hepatitis A and Epstein Barr virus, another explanation may lie in the annual exposure of this age group to other coronaviruses causing upper respiratory disease.

    In 2018, Zhang et al published a five-year survey of upper respiratory disease in Guangzhou, to the south of Hubei province in Guangdong province, focusing on the principal upper respiratory coronavirus, OC43. Not only was OC43 circulating in four of the five years, but also throughout the year. Other coronaviruses HXU1, 229E and NL63 were less prominent, but there was an outbreak of upper respiratory coronavirus infection every year, likely continuing to this day. Furthermore, the age distribution of those viruses was markedly skewed to the very young pediatric age group.

    Thus, infants in China are exposed to OC43 and other upper respiratory coronaviruses every year of their early life. It is likely that their surface immunity to these viral agents is regularly boosted.

    The age distribution of OC43 is contrasted to that of SARS-Cov-2 from Li et al, adjusting the age stratification to reconcile the two studies, is shown here.

    The contrast between the two age distributions could not be more stark, almost to the point of being mutually exclusive. It should be noted that both samples included hundreds of patient samples.

    That is to say, young people’s far greater exposure to OC43 might have made them more resilient to SARS-CoV-2. If such differences in exposure to OC43, or other coronaviruses, could be shown between regions or countries, that would certainly make very interesting data.

  46. @utu

    Swedish new daily sick cases data are not congruent with the new daily deaths data.

    Even with constant or rising daily new cases, daily new deaths might still fall if the newly infected are less frail than the infected who came before them (and who gave rise to the present death figures). If 10,000 infected at t-4 weeks (I’m making the figure up) are all 90-year-olds and 10,000 infected at t are all 70-year-olds, we should expect more daily deaths at t (from the group of 90-year-olds) than at t+4 weeks (from the group of 70-year-olds).

    • Replies: @utu
  47. @Anatoly Karlin

    The first point proved politically impossible in democracies, including even nominal ones like Russia.

    You should read this.

    It’s from a libertarian source (blech), but is not tainted by bias.

    https://www.aier.org/article/the-2006-origins-of-the-lockdown-idea/

    The kind of long, unexplained, and unjustified* lockdown here in the states is unprecedented, and presumably is allowed to continue because big box stores and multinational corporations – e.g. Globohomo – are not only not harmed, but are receiving benefits from it. (((Home Depot’s))) stock is at an all-time high. Anyone who supports this crap at this point is either a profiteer or simply a dullard.

    *In my state of residence, the Democrat governor refuses to answer any requests for information on what justifies his arbitrary rulings. He’s even ignored subpoenas!

    By the way, the “public health experts” have managed to memory-hole their March insistence that masks were counter-productive. Now they’re making us wear them even in rural areas that long ago reached their peak.

  48. @mal

    Over a month ago the Democrat-backed public health experts switched their tune from saying we had to have lockdowns for the sake of the medical system to saying we have to keep destroying livelihoods till we have “better tracing” or something. Their excuses are all very vague.

    In Pennsylvania, which is run by an arrogant boomer and a Jewish tranny, the government openly admits it has no criteria for a full reopening.

  49. @Denis

    While that may be true, I also highly doubt that he gives two shits if the American economy collapses.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  50. @Znzn

    Good question.

    I assume that you are counting the deaths that will result from increased suicides from despair after people lose their life’s work (their business), their home, their vehicle, their employment-based medical insurance, their dignity and hope, their connection with normal human interaction?

    I also assume that you are counting additional or earlier deaths from conditions that have gone, and will go, untreated or unoperated as people avoid surgery and hospitals generally due to this hysteria and the lockdowns?

    But there is one area where we should be able to agree, and save lives without impairing people’s freedom or material well being at all: people who can do their jobs well from home 3, 4, or 5 days per week — a large segment of the white-collar workforce — should be allowed to do so. The massive shift to teleworking has led to a correspondingly massive decrease in driving, which results in fewer people dying from vehicular accidents.

    Continued teleworking on this scale also yields a meaningful reduction in the poisons that our vehicles spew into the air (and then into our water and land as well). That reduces deaths and suffering from various cancers.

    It’s time to escape the fog of the viral hysteria and restore what freedom we still had in this country — but that shouldn’t mean a return to the absolutely retarded and destructive practice of requiring everyone to commute and physically be at a central workplace. There is something good we can take from all this amidst so much absolutely unnecessary destruction caused solely by the lockdowns.

    Another useful upshot from this plan-demic could be greater awareness of, and support for, a universal basic income. Although this was not and is not a severe pandemic as so relentlessly advertised, there will be one someday. When we encounter a REAL pandemic or other severe economic shock, the mass of the people should not be instantly on the verge of losing everything and becoming destitute and even homeless.

  51. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    politically impossible in democracies

    I had some progressive disbelief, from watching a video of Israeli streets today on YouTube. (Israel is a democratic chaotic country). They have no social distancing and looks like 95% normal life there by now.

    Here my annotation

    0:18 – Israeli people do not care about social distancing, everyone stands close together

    1:55 – ice cream shop are open

    3:41 – restaurant seems open for takeaway?

    4:01 – cafe open with outdoor seating

    5:00 souvenir/clothes shop is open,
    opticians shop is open

    6:40 – actually restaurants are open, clothes shops open

    7:40 bars are open, just people sit outside

    9:40 – people eat in takeaway, don’t care about disinfecting their hands. No gloves or special hygiene, etc.

    10:40 – people sit in cafes and restaurants (like with the policy in Sweden)

    13:00 – everyone sits close to each, no-one wears mask – Israeli people are not social distancing

    Compare to the desolation in London

    Israel has an advantage compared to UK, that summer arrives around 4 weeks earlier (summer begins in early May or late April in Israel). But it is not that much earlier – it is more that summer lasts until much later in Israel (until November).

    On the other hand, in UK even this summer they will not be able to return to normal life.

    Cambridge University: All lectures to be online-only until summer of 2021

    There will be no face-to-face lectures at the University of Cambridge over the course of the next academic year due to coronavirus, it has been announced.

    However, lectures will be available to students online and “it may be possible to host smaller teaching groups in person” if they meet social distancing requirements, the university said.

    University campuses have been closed this term by the Covid-19 outbreak.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52732814

    So – in Israel, they have ended most of lockdown for almost a month ago now, everything looks like normal. While Great Britain is still closed, economy destroyed, and they plan things will not return for normal until late 2021.

    What is the difference UK? I think just that Israel had some policies like travel restrictions from early March and quarantining the infected people into hotels.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  52. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    In response to pandemic, the cultural orientation of the country seems to have more influence, than people like to present – and the country’s experts are using “logical” reasoning to justify their cultural orientation, rather than the logical thought leading the policies.

    Sweden has one of the most distinctive cultural orientation, and the eccentricity of their policies is maybe not the surprise. I sense that Swedish unconscious approach to the virus is some kind of pagan Gaianism – “it’s just part of nature, and what is natural cannot be bad for you”.

    Swedish epidemiologists are then sometimes providing overestimated predictions of how many people are infected, and the chief epidemiologist of Sweden was claiming things like <0,1% infection fatality rate of Covid-19, even though this contradicts studies published in medical journals (which are sometimes arguing for over 0,6% infection fatality rate).

    I watched an interview with Swedish epidemiologist, and found he was logical at times. But then there's a lot of "gaps" in his arguments, where the missing steps are more like intuitive and religious views.

    Can you see the parts where are the illogical and almost religious assumptions, in his arguments.

    • Replies: @Znzn
    , @Swedish Family
    , @utu
  53. Znzn says:
    @Dmitry

    Or maybe stupid is as stupid does?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  54. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    Your argument is supporting the opposite conclusion than you claim. I.e. this is an hint that increases the chance that the spike of mortality mortality in Moscow would be related to the virus.

    If mortality increases in Moscow (it is the most deadly April for over 14 years), while mortality decreases in Russia – where there was also lockdown.

    This is an hint or suggestion that there may possibility be excess deaths for coronavirus, as it would be a surprising co-incidence that the same place where there is a spike in mortality (Moscow), is also the only city in Russia where there was a real coronavirus epidemic in April.

    On a related topic – as for data in the rest of the country in May. We also know anecdotally from family, that some coronavirus deaths are not being included in official statistics in other parts of the country.
    https://news.ngs.ru/more/69264850/

    One of the standard method* that will be used to study this, will be to look at excess deaths to estimate the mortality instead.


    * For example, mortality of London smog is estimated by looking at excess deaths in London in the records of 1952: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241789/pdf/ehp0112-000006.pdf

  55. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    As an American, I hope that AK has some concern for those peaceful, sensible Americans who are stuck living under this imperial corporate/banker State.

    On a less emotional level, nobody, in Russia or elsewhere, should wish for collapse and chaos in a major nuclear power.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Znzn
  56. Znzn says:
    @RadicalCenter

    You need launch codes to actually launch the missiles, without them the missiles would just be inert, and would just be dirty bombs.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  57. Dmitry says:
    @Znzn

    He’s not stupid, but he is justifying his policy choice .

    So to do this, he inserts various “inflexible” assumptions below his arguments, and he also has the unfortunate habit of converting a “valid criticism of a policy”, into a decisive rule which he views as “do not pass”.

    For example of the latter, if you watch what he says at 11:40 https://youtu.be/bfN2JWifLCY?t=699 Then compare this with – a bit shocking to me – video in Israel today, where they returned to 95% normal commercial street life already with almost no social distancing.

    So, it’s true that it “can be difficult to climb down from lockdown” (UK is an example of such a trap). That is a good criticism of the lockdown policy, he had. But “can be difficult to” is not the same as “cannot do”. There are places which already climbed down their lockdown in April as well (e.g. Wuhan) when he was interviewed.

  58. Anuxicus says:

    Why does Jakarta have so few deaths on average compared to Moscow (5,000 vs 15,000)? Is this due to alcohol consumption or health system? Age demographics? Climate?

  59. @Znzn

    A fair point. But we could have quite a bit of mass impoverishment, widespread property crime, widespread violent crime, race-based combat, loss of medical care, decay in infrastructure, etc., with the regime retaining control over much of the military and the ability to launch or sell nukes.

  60. @Dmitry

    The one last ditch solution for these “chaotic democratic” places is to order everything outside.

    Preliminary studies suggest that risk of transmission is very low outside, and that even masks may not be necessary there. (They are obviously critical indoors and in public transport).

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  61. @Dmitry

    I watched an interview with Swedish epidemiologist, and found he was logical at times. But then there’s a lot of “gaps” in his arguments, where the missing steps are more like intuitive and religious views.

    Can you see the parts where are the illogical and almost religious assumptions, in his arguments.

    I like Giesecke, but I cringed a little when he said that democracies “can’t do” what the Chinese did to tackle the virus*. It was such a textbook example of mixing up ideological limits and actual limits, an error one meets all the time in Swedish public life. Also cringed when he went on that rant about Orban and other authoritarians seizing this moment to further their power, which might be true but should have zero bearing on what policies are best for Sweden.

    He has since taken back the claim that the coronavirus is merely a severe flu, by the way, but I still think he and other spokesmen for the Swedish way are downplaying its deadliness too much. As things stand, even ten times the deaths of a normal Swedish flu season (about 500 to 800 deaths) would be a fantastically low final death toll.

    * Sure you can: just turn your society into the pandemic answer to a “war economy” and then go back to normal once the danger is gone.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  62. @neutral

    On my Facebook, I saw a Dagestani joking настоящий джигит корону победит / nastoyashi dzhigit, koronu pobedit (true jigit will beat Corona).

  63. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    Agree with you, Dmitri. You are onto something about the Swedes.

  64. utu says:
    @Swedish Family

    The simplest explanation is that they are cooking the books. And they demonstrated their inclination to cook the books in article on April 3:

    Sweden’s Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell
    https://archive.fo/seBhv#selection-981.0-981.230

    The Swedes believe that changing how the figures are reported will cut the number of people dying from coronavirus by as much as four fifths, and slash the death rate to well below 1 per cent, perhaps even lower than seasonal flu

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  65. @utu

    The simplest explanation is that they are cooking the books. And they demonstrated their inclination to cook the books in article on April 3:

    Sure, everything is possible, but an easy answer to this charge is that Sweden had among the lowest discrepancies between reported deaths and expected mortality in Financial Times’ comparison on April 26 (if anyone has more recent figures, I would be happy to see them).

  66. utu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    “…we got a kind of idiot’s limbo…” – Exactly.

    New Zealand went for elimination and succeeded.

    New Zealand eliminates COVID-19
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31097-7/fulltext

    “On March 23, a month after the country had recorded its first case, New Zealand committed to an elimination strategy. ”

    New Zealand edges back to normal after quashing coronavirus in 49 days
    https://www.washingtonpost.com

    Why NZ could do it? They kind of care for each other as people should. Something similar people of Iceland have who when police had to kill a suspect went to national mourning. America never had it and never will because ‘homo homini lupus est’ is at American’s foundation.

    How New Zealand beat the coronavirus
    https://www.politico.eu/article/kiwis-vs-coronavirus-new-zealand-covid19-restrictions-rules/

    “The German dead remained anonymous. They were numbers in a utilitarian equation: How many lives are we willing to sacrifice for the greater good of reopening?”

    In the New Zealand papers, every single loss of life was mourned individually. “A real Kiwi bloke,” read the headline of one obituary.”

  67. Another troubling datapoint:

    Hopes to the contrary would be based on the idea that the memorial list of doctors dead from COVID-19 is somehow false or perhaps a Navalny operation to discredit Putin (or whatever).

    But it correctly identifies Dagestan as a hotspot. Which is backed up both by official bodies (who say 20x more than official deaths) and a multitude of anecdotal observations.

    Otherwise, it looks like my 13k estimate is broadly correct and perhaps on the optimistic side. This suggests Russia’s epidemic is approaching those of the major European countries in absolute numbers.

  68. Znzn says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Maybe it is very hard to control an epidemic in such a large country without resorting to Chinese measures? Basically keeping people home at gunpoint? And 10 year jail terms?

  69. Znzn says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Stop sweating so much over a little cold.

  70. utu says:

    A. Karlin: Here is my take on masks. There is anti-mask conspiracy in it! (Would like to hear your opinion.)

    Why does the anti-mask propaganda from WHO and CDC continue?. CDC continues promoting their position that masks are ineffective with this May 2020 paper:

    Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures
    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

    The paper reviews old research and does some sort of meta study: “we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.51–1.20; I2 = 30%, p = 0.25)”

    Is there a flaw in their studies? Yes. Mask do not protect 100%. Everybody knows it. If a mask wearer is being repetitively exposed to virus eventually he will get infected in long enough time. Because flu season is long a mask wearer will eventually catch the flu. This is how the studies were conducted. Give a person a mask and send him into a room crowded with Typhoid Marys until he gets infected. That is not how one should look at mask efficacy.

    What if the mask wearer is surrounded by mask wearers versus when the mask wearer is surround by people w/o masks? Mask wearing is not only about your personals safety. It is about the whole community safety. If everybody wears it there is a synergic effect which in first approximation is like multiplying probabilities that are less than 1 which makes them even smaller.

    Mask wearing is community effort to reduce the reproductive number R0 to the point that the epidemic will stop. It is not that nobody with mask gets infected but it is about that the infectious people infect less people and this is most efficacious when both the infectious people and the uninfected wear masks. When the infectious person infects less than 1 other person on average the epidemic will die out.

    Why does CCD miss the most important point about masks? Why do they concentrate only on masks as personal protective measures when masks are much more than that? Why don’t they look at it form the point of epidemic control? Why don’t they use epidemiological studies comparing East Asian countries with America and Europe that historically do not wear masks? The most important thing about masks is the synergic effect of reducing the reproductive number R0. And this is not promoted by CDC. This most important fact is buried by the minutiae of irrelevant research.

    Is it possible that CDC is in the business of promoting flu vaccines which are rendered less important when the synergic effect of everybody wearing masks is implemented? Is it possible that East Asian countries are lagging behind in the vaccination programs promoted by WHO and CDC? Are they lagging because they wear masks? Should wearing mask be discouraged in order to make promotion of vaccination program more persuasive?

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(03)14870-2/fulltext

    https://www.valueinhealthjournal.com/article/S1098-3015(14)02439-5/fulltext
    “Influenza vaccination rates have not been high enough in Japan.”

    “Overall vaccination rates were low in Japan with no increase in vaccination rates from the prior year. All WHO-recommended vaccination groups had rates less than 50% and a large gap remains between these recommendations and vaccination behavior. In 2011, the influenza vaccination rates among adults in the United States were 36.2%, almost twice the vaccination rate in Japan.”

    Otoh, A paper that does epidemiological studies and stochastic simulations proving effectiveness of universal (80%) mask wearing measure was submitted in April, 2020.

    Universal Masking is Urgent in the COVID-19 Pandemic: SEIR and Agent Based Models, Empirical Validation, Policy Recommendations
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2004.13553

    Figure 2 shows the simulation results for a repre- sentative scenario: universal masking at 80% adoption (red) results in 60,000 deaths, compared to maintaining a strict lockdown (blue) which results in 180,000 deaths. Masking at only a 50% adoption rate (orange) is not suf- ficient to prevent continued spread and eventually results in 240,000 deaths.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  71. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Which is backed up… a multitude of anecdotal observations.
    Otherwise, it looks like my 13k estimate is broadly correct and perhaps on the optimistic side.

    If such arguments are used, then here is my anecdotal evidence: among all the people that I somehow directly know ( about 100 people), I do not know a single case of coronavirus disease and not a single case of a person getting sick with symptoms of coronavirus. In particular, sellers of cheap stores near my house did not wear masks until may 12 (and many of them now wear masks formally lowered on the neck, only to avoid a fine). These sellers communicate with hundreds of people every day in violation of all norms for a safe distance (these stores are too small). None of these sellers are ill, they are all working.

    13 thousand dead means at least a million patients with severe symptoms. I live in the suburbs of St. Petersburg (administratively-in St. Petersburg itself) that is, in a place where the level of infection should be significantly higher than the average for the country. For this reason based on my anecdotal experience conspiracy figures do not seem reliable to me today

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  72. melanf says:
    @melanf

    In General, we need to wait for data on total mortality for may (and accurate data for April). Then it will be possible to assess the impact of the coronavirus. Until then, all conspiracy calculations are a waste of time.

  73. @melanf

    I know a few people. SPB has fewer cases than Moscow (even adjusting for more undercounting), overall infection rates still in single digit percentage points even in Moscow, and you probably communicate with higher quality people who take more precautions. So this is not surprising.

    These sellers communicate with hundreds of people every day in violation of all norms for a safe distance (these stores are too small). None of these sellers are ill, they are all working.

    See above. Some are probably already infected and spreading it. Countries with more r-selected retards like these shopkeepers will have a harder time containing this epidemic, that’s long been obvious.

    • Replies: @melanf
  74. @utu

    Interesting theories, both on masks and the lockdowns (at least in UK) being designed to fail (at suppression, anyway).

  75. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I know a few people, one of them this guy.

    I assume that you know significantly more people than I do (200-300 instead of 100), in addition, you are a Muscovite where about 1% are officially diagnosed with coronavirus. If I’m right about your social circle, then your case is consistent with official statistics

    See above. Some are probably already infected and spreading it.

    If this happened for a long time, it would somehow manifest itself (for example in the case of infection it is unavoidable that out of 5 employees of the store, at least one inevitably fall down with an obvious coronavirus etc.). So there is reason to believe that these idiots did not have any coronavirus, at least until very recently. After all, my settlement is part of St. Petersburg, but the permanent population is small and knows each other well. Here it is impossible to spread the infection for a long time without knowing about it, and so that others do not know about it.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  76. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    Not implying it is necessarily something at all related to coronavirus, but there is also something with unusual amounts of pneumonia in Peter at the moment?

    С начала марта 2020 года от внебольничных пневмоний в Петербурге скончались 697 человек. Об этом 13 мая в ходе отчета губернатора перед городским парламентом заявил Александр Беглов.

    Также губернатор сообщил, что по итогам последней недели заболеваемость пневмониями выше среднего показателя в 5,5 раза. Всего с начала пандемии в городе скончались 63 человека с подтвержденным COVID-19.

    https://www.fontanka.ru/2020/05/13/69256300/

    • Replies: @melanf
  77. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    There was also a lot of semantic confusion for the word “masks”, which allowed people to rationalize and cite experts for their pre-existing prejudice (mainly a Western /European consensus that “wearing masks is weird, hysteria, cowardly, Chinese*” etc), without challenge.

    If we were like anecdotal eskimos with 50 words for snow, – but with 50 words for different masks – then such a claim like “masks don’t reduce spread of respiratory infections”, would be impossible.

    Just as you can say “masks will not stop carbon monoxide poisoning”. Well except if you have one of the masks which is certified to stop carbon monoxide poisoning.

    * Anglosaxon is the most hilarious media about this (although even in Russian media there was the same attitude – it was a childish European consensus to laugh about masks as something “looks funny”, which shows how man never really leaves the school playground)
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8098703/Coronavirus-Australia-Sydney-man-turns-heads-wearing-300-respirator.html

    I still remember well how we were in the school playground (it feels like yesterday to me that we were still kids in the schoolyard). It’s hubris of adults, that we pretend we behave much more differently, than we did in those youthful days.

    Mask wearing is community effort to reduce the reproductive number R0 to the point that the epidemic will stop. It is not that nobody with mask gets infected but it is about that the infectious people infect less people

    This “all or nothing” interpretation is common in a lot of policies, although usually as a way to bypass something that challenge the larger strategy.

    For example, London has said that it does not screen passengers’ temperature in the airport, because they had commissioned scientists to investigate on this, and there is no “evidence” it is effective.

    Look at the policy paper London used to justify not screening passengers in page 38 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213717/dh_131040.pdf “Such measures are largely ineffective, impractical to implement and highly resource intensive”.

    And then you can read the citation indicated in that policy paper in page 38. And the citation actually says that it is effective (just not “completely”)

    Results
    Implementation of entry screening policies was associated with on average additional 7-12 day delays in local transmission compared to nations that did not implement entry screening

    Conclusions
    Entry screening may lead to short-term delays in local transmission of a novel strain of influenza virus.

    https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2334-10-82

    • Thanks: utu
  78. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    But it is pretty sad – for example I compare between England and Israel’s approach for the coronavirus, when Israel is a usually much more chaotic and disorganized country than England, with lower state capacity in most areas of life.

    The main mistake of Israel, was to delay travel restrictions against America (because of fear of Trump’s response or not to anger the Americans, presumably). Israel was only brave to close the border to America, when it closed it to all countries at the same time.

    More than 70% of coronavirus patients in Israel were infected by a strain that originated in the United States, according to a new study published Monday by Tel Aviv University.

    Flights from Europe and other parts of the world began to be halted between February 26 and March 4 – but not from the US. Only beginning on March 9 did Israel block its borders to anyone who came from abroad who couldn’t complete 14 days of quarantine in Israel.

    “There was this gap in policy, and this gap allowed people to return from the US who thought that they could go wherever they wanted, so they probably spread the virus that way,” Stern said.

    The Health Ministry began considering adding American states to the list of places from which travelers were required to quarantine as early as March 5, but it was only after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a conference call with US Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday, May 8 that he decided to close the country’s borders to all countries, including the US.

    https://www.jpost.com/health-science/70-percent-of-coronavirus-in-israel-came-from-the-united-states-new-study-628448

    ^This story of Israel’s idiotic mistakes in not having sufficient border restrictions against America to stop the development of the epidemic in the country, while UK had an open borders policy for all countries.

    However, after the epidemic is established in Israel, Israel has followed a couple of different policies than Great Britain – Chinese and Soviet style policy:
    (i) Infected people are quarantined into special hotels
    (ii) Haredi ghettos (with high infection rates, disobedient population and low average ages) were taken by the army, old people were evacuated, and the areas were sealed with soldiers on all exit/entry points.

    This is how you would test a “herd immunity” strategy – in Bnei Brak (median age 18-19) was sealed by the army, so this Haredi ghetto could not infect more vulnerable Tel Aviv (median age 35). There were reports 38% of Bnei Brak was infected, if true, would presumably have resulted with an “politically acceptable” low infection fatality ratio (if indeed they had achieved 38% infection rates – which would attain herd immunity if rate of infection of the virus was less or equal than 1,613)

  79. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    In St. Petersburg (in connection with the epidemic), five new centers of x-ray computed tomography are conducting free medical screening of citizens (for pneumonia)....”

    partly these pneumonias are coronaviruses, and partly other pneumonias that have not been detected before without tomography

  80. Dmitry says:
    @Swedish Family

    when he went on that rant about Orban and other authoritarians seizing this moment to further their power,

    The problem of that part of the interview, for my confidence in Giesecke, is that you can find this story of Orban is false, if you do 5 minutes of additional research. Orban party and allies currently control the parliament, so such a conspiracy theory (that Orban is using the pandemic to close the parliament and become dictator) would not make sense.

    It is natural and perhaps a sign of healthy Swedish confidence that Giesecke, looks down and laughs at the politics in a comparatively poorer, primitive Hungary, and to find Orban’s rhetoric (which is aimed to market to lower class people of Hungary) as a distasteful one.

    But it’s not healthy, for the “personality type” of an epidemiologist – that they should not research for 5 minutes the fact that Orban’s party already controls parliament in Hungary, before he talks about the topic in public.

    If an epidemiologist wants to his political views – this is fine. If he dislikes Orban, this is sign he is probably a politically normal for Sweden. But if an epidemiologist is not a sufficiently pedantic, OCD type of personality to double check everything carefully before speaking – this is probably less than fine for his profession.

    • Agree: melanf, Swedish Family
  81. Couple of updates:

  82. @Anatoly Karlin

    FFS Karlin

    1. Associating doctor deaths to overall deaths when the denominator ( overall deaths in Russia) is very low…and THEN comparing it to other countries, is as dumb as connecting blue-painted chickens to the Holocaust.

    2. What is important is not ratio of death but, engagement activity of doctors and nurses, which is made clear by:
    I) overall coronavirus case numbers

    II) Russia have much more nurses and doctors per capita compared to all those other countries, except maybe Germany

    III) the fact that in Russia, cancer treatments and several other types of operations and treatments have not been delayed or cancelled like in those other countries – so again, FAR more engagement

    3. As for total number of medic deaths – these retard journalists are too dumb to notice that same number as Italy, despite twice size population…. and 40% of US medic deaths, with population about 40% of US….. represents a totally acceptable number, especially when considering number, engagement, and covid case numbers!

    4. That list has about a majority of pensioner age medics in it! About 70 over 65 years… some 84 and 96 year olds! It’s BS that they were treating patients at the time for most of them, even accounting for some pension age limits not fully applying to them.

    As for. Dagestan

    1. LOL- that is still 640 pneumonia-designated deaths for the YEAR SO FAR you dummy! Taken with registered COVID-19 that is (or was) 670, of which it would be completely reasonable to assume several hundred to have died from normal pneumonia as for every year.

    2. Unlike the rest of the country, nearly zero autopsies happening in Dagestan

    3. Asymptomatics in Dagestan are something like 10-12%, for the rest of Russia it is 40+%!

    4. I think Popova said 60% who got it in Dagestan required hospitalisation

    5. Obviously there is a problem but not a disaster. Maybe a significant part, say 20%, of those who died from pneumonia had COVID-19, with culture and mentality exacerbating the problem – but overall these numbers are inferior to other kavkaz and Eastern Europe…. but not to western Europe.

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