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Iceland has a fortuitous combination of factors making it about the best place in the world to come by good data on coronavirus. It’s an island, it has a small homogenous and cooperative population, and it is home to deCODE Genetics:

In Iceland’s case, it has done this through a combination of rigorous testing and tracing. Authorities say Icelanders are heeding social distancing recommendations.

Stefansson said Iceland’s randomized tests revealed that between 0.3%-0.8% of Iceland’s population is infected with the respiratory illness, that about 50% of those who test positive for the virus are asymptomatic when they are tested, and that since mid-March the frequency of the virus among Iceland’s general population who are not at the greatest risk – those who do not have underlying health conditions or signs and symptoms of COVID-19 – has either stayed stable or been decreasing.

Whatever the R0 of coronavirus is, the consensus seems to be that it is higher than that of the seasonal flu. It’s estimated that the flu infects around 10% of the populations of Western countries each year, yet Iceland’s coronavirus infection rate is estimated at under 1%.

Because of social distancing and sheltering in place, right? If social distancing and other preventative measures have kept coronavirus from spreading to even 1% of the population during flu season, we should expect to see drastically lower levels of influenza infection rates this year as well, shouldn’t we? We’re only talking a month or two in for coronavirus compared to a full six month season for the flu, but even if over the duration of the flu season coronavirus infected just 5% of the population on account of social distancing and other preventative measures, influenza rates would conceivably be even lower than 5%–somewhere between 2%-3% on an R0 for coronavirus around 2.5 and for the flu of around 1.3.

That should be detectable in flu testing results for the 2019-2020 season, shouldn’t it? Even though flu tests aren’t ubiquitous, differential results from this year to last among high-risk groups for which flu testing is fairly common, like pregnant women, would conceivably provide sufficient data to tell.

If social distancing is effective, Iceland and Norway should have considerably fewer flu infections per capita than Sweden does this year. If, on the other hand, flu rates are similar to rates in other years, it would seem to imply that social distancing hasn’t done much and that coronavirus isn’t nearly as contagious as was feared early on. We should see something similar in the US, with flu season being far more mild in California, Washington, and New York this year relative to previous years, while flu rates in states like the Dakotas that have not issued any restrictive measures should be on par with those of other years.

The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results. Other jurisdictions, including some in the United States, are in the process of conducting randomized testing of their own, so we’ll see if the low total infection rate holds in other places.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Science • Tags: Coronavirus, Science 
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  1. The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.

    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I’ve long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I’ve been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case…

    Italy has peaked.

    Spain has peaked.

    Netherlands has peaked.

    US has peaked.

    World has peaked.

    New York State has peaked.

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    • Replies: @Jay Fink
    I have an essential job in a crowded enviornment in a city with a high per capita infection rate. My cousin (a lawyer who also has a medical degree) is convinced I have been exposed to the virus many times over. He tells me not to worry my immune system handled it already. It sounds like you would agree with him. I hope it's true.
    , @iffen
    Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence

    Nobody answers for incompetence.
    , @Kratoklastes
    To date there have been 38,672 pneumonia deaths in the US, and 4718 influenza deaths - hence 43,390 deaths from respiratory disease where COVID19 was not present.

    Influenza deaths with pneumonia are counted as Influenza deaths, while COVID19 deaths with pneumonia are counted as COVID19 deaths (that's made clear on the data page linked below).

    This is from the CDC's "Provisional Deaths by Age" data, which only has 6,930 COVID19 deaths as at 13 April 2020: it's running at a ~1wk lag because it takes and codes data direct from death certificates.

    Compared to previous years, the 'flu has been broadly worse than last year, but broadly better than 2017/18 (images below are from CDC's weekly influenza monitoring)

    People reporting Flu Symptoms
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/ILI14_small.gif

    People hospitalised with lab-confirmed influenza
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/EIPRates14_small.gif

    P&I Mortality - 10% of all deaths (i.e., ~50k deaths so far this year)
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/NCHS14_small.gif

    As the page makes clear:


    While the percent of all deaths due to P&I has increased during weeks 9-13 (7.4-10.0%), the percent of all deaths with Influenza listed as a cause have decreased (from 1.0% to 0.7%) over this same time period. The increase in pneumonia deaths during this time period are likely associated with COVID-19 rather than influenza.
     
    Translation: when a very ill, very old person dies of pneumonia, they tick the box marked 'COVID19' instead of 'Influenza'.

    .

    Obviously, pneumonia patients who die don't require ventilators - coz there's a fuckton more of them than there are of COVID19 patients, and I've never heard bleating about a dearth of ventilators until a month ago and never in the context of 10% of all deaths being from pneumonia or influenza.

    , @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    I’ve long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production.
     
    Cool theory but there is literally no evidence for it. Even totally non-lethal "common" colds tigger an immunological response. And since there is another, completely logical explanation (that most people are still not infected) totally in accordance with scientific norms, it seems a lot like wishful thinking.

    If this virus has already hit everywhere, how do explain the *tenfold* increase in deaths/week in Italy and other hard-hit areas, while other regions are barely affected at all? I'm actually curious about your answer, not just trying to be rhetorical.

    Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it... somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.
     
    "Histronic panic" is never a good thing. But the response of world governments has been anything but histronic, in the West it has probably even been too lax (the disasters in Lombardy and NYC could have been totally avoided if flights to China had been stopped sooner). The fact that heroes like Dr. Fauci have managed to stem the spread of the virus through severe measures shows that elites actually are willing to put competant people in charge when their own hides are threatened, as opposed to the usual state of affairs.
    , @res

    The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I’ve been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case…
     
    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/your-sacrifices-are-saving-lives-social-distancing-is-working/

    There are more graphs at those links, but I think this one makes a good summary.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Santa-Clara-and-Miami-Dade-County-Share-of-Population-with-Flu-Like-Illness-1.png

    This 538 article published today compares COVID-19 with our other recent epidemic scares (SARS, MERS, Ebola, and 2009 H1Ni swine flu). I think it makes a good primer for those who believe this would have been just another flu season without countermeasures.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-did-the-world-shut-down-for-covid-19-but-not-ebola-sars-or-swine-flu/

    In brief the difference is the combination of high transmissibility (R0) and relatively high fatality rate (IFR/CFR). SARS, MERS, and Ebola were all more deadly than COVID-19, but had a relatively low R0. The 2009 H1N1 (swine flu, a descendant of the 1918 virus) had a high enough R0 (at 1.4-1.6 significantly less than the over 2 estimated for COVID-19 without countermeasures, 1.5-3.5 stated in the article) to spread widely, but had a fatality rate less than a tenth of that estimated for COVID-19 (and I mean the less aggressive estimates, like 1% IFR).

    All of that said, I think the countermeasures we have taken have been excessive. Take another look at the plot above. We can see the roughly 5 day incubation period (infection to symptoms) and how the steep declines line up with early countermeasures like school shutdowns. It is not clear that the full shutdowns made much difference at all. By that measure at least.
    , @Lars Porsena
    I've been through many of these things before.

    Sorry. No one will answer for it.

    They will either forget it happened or insist that it only turned out OK because their panic fixed it.
    , @obwandiyag
    Taleb's got your number:

    "People flood their story with numbers and graphs in the absence of logical argument. Further, people mistake empiricism with flood of data. Just a little bit of significant data is needed when one is right."

    You flood your posts with garbagingarbageout graphs and think that proves you are right. It just proves your trying to snow people.
    , @Hail
    "On Friday, 10 April 2020, at the Coronavirus Daily Update press briefing, Matt Hancock, the [UK] Health Secretary, made a startling admission. He was asked how many people would die due to the economic harm resulting from the government’s response to the coronavirus. Hancock admitted that the government did not know, or even have a ball park figure.

    However, he was quick to reassure us that 'as an economist' he took this very seriously, and he and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would (future tense) be looking into this. In other words, the government decided on a policy that could potentially cause hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths without weighing those lost life years against the potentially saved life years of the adopted policy. This is the very definition of irrational policy-making."

    -- Steve Hayes
    , @anon
    I’ve long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production

    What have you long based that belief upon? Knowledge of virology and the human immune system? Knowledge of epidemiology? Or something else not necessarily based in physical reality?

    Just wondering.
    , @Divine Right

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it.
     
    Apples. Oranges. Nearly all of those areas you listed are under heavy lock down, so that's not a fair comparison. A peak under those conditions does not necessarily mean the virus is less virulent than you have implied. It also doesn't mean it can't spread after you release the quarantine. Do we ever lock down the entire country for seasonal influenza? Come back to me in about a year after they've opened everything and we'll see. My prediction: someone will do a study years from now and they'll probably find out that far more peopled die than was reported.

    Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.
     
    No explanation is necessary. The virus is as deadly as claimed at around 7 - 10x the annual flu with far more hospitalizations. When was the last time morgues were overwhelmed in multiple cities at once with the regular flu?

    Deaths in New York City Are More Than Double the Usual Total

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/10/upshot/coronavirus-deaths-new-york-city.html
     
    https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-04-13_18-01-54-2.png

    Weekly flu deaths versus weekly COVID-19 deaths in New York State:

    https://d2eehagpk5cl65.cloudfront.net/img/q60/uploads/2020/04/NewYorkStateDeathsFluCovid.jpg

    Influenza mortality by week for the past 8 seasons vs. Covid-19:

    https://editorial.fxstreet.com/miscelaneous/coronavirus-deaths-vs-flu-637224837116939314.jpg

    Flu vs. Covid-19 Death Rates by Age in South Korea:

    https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2020/3/14/saupload_5e6a7b2584159f1962421227_thumb1.jpeg

    How Covid-19 compares to Swine Flu:

    ~61 million Americans, infected and 12,469 died from swine flu in about a year. No lock downs. More than twice that number have died from Covid-19 in the United States in about 2 and half months. Historic nation-wide lock downs.

    How Covid-19 compares to the worst week of seasonal flu 2017 / 2018:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/fyqno3/hi_im_the_guy_who_aggregated_processed_the/

    Lay off the Tucker Carlson, please. That guy is going to get a lot of people hurt carrying water for Trump's reopening the economy nonsense. The truth: they can't control it, and this gig economy can't handle a shutdown, so they are gearing up to lie about the virus by peddling misinformation like what you've posted here; they'll let it spread and try to sweep it under the rug while guys on the Dissident Right do an "I told you so" thinking they were right about this being "just the flu, bro." BTW, a hydroxycholorquine study just got stopped because it caused irregular heartbeats. To answer Tucker Carlson's question, maybe that's why the media was against it.

    Small chloroquine study stopped after irregular heart beats detected in subjects

    https://thehill.com/policy/international/492460-small-chloroquine-study-stopped-after-irregular-heart-beats-detected-in
     
    , @utu

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place.
     
    Are you channeling Knut Wittkowski? Dishonest and manipulative arguments. We have 34,000 deaths in the US with 678,000 infected as of April 17. We are in the mid point of the epidemic in the US while under the countermeasures. W/o the countermeasures we would have millions of infections. In a typical flu season 26 million people show symptoms (there are many more w/o symptoms) out of which 20,000-60,000 people die. So, if we did not have countermeasures, you can easily calculate that the US would have 1,300,000 deaths from covid assuming that only 26 million got infected with covid which is an underestimation.

    Here about your Wittkowski:
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/models-the-logic-of-failure/#comment-3843129
  2. Hail says: • Website

    Iceland’s randomized tests revealed that between 0.3%-0.8% of Iceland’s population is infected with the respiratory illness

    Iceland population: 341,500

    Therefore ca. 1,025 to 2,750 Icelanders are positives.

    But this 0.3% to 0.8% figure is, if I understand correctly, current-positives, does not account for past-positives whose immune systems dealt with and eliminated the virus in the usual way and who no longer show up as positives (as always happens with normal viruses for most of us). They would need a different type of test to determine that. Several such tests are now ongoing in Europe. The upcoming major Swedish study of this kind may be the death knell for the CoronaPanic-pushing holdouts remaining.

    Depending on how far along Iceland’s epidemic-arc got, the “past-positives” will have a multiplier effect (cf. the Gangelt antibody study) on the denominator within the “coronavirus death rate” calculation the media so loves to shove at people to keep them scared and in line, always using incomplete, and sometimes obviously bad, data.

    In other words, the true number of Icelanders whose bodies had contact with the virus could easily be past 10,000.

    Iceland has 9 deaths now and several more current-positives likely to die, drawn from the weakest and most infirm. The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%. And that’s not even getting into “died with” vs. “died of”! Given the “died with vs. died from” problem and given that no virus ever infects everyone, we are looking at a coronavirus-attributable population loss that may well round to 0.0% when it all is said and done, [i.e. <0.05%, which in Iceland's case means 170 deaths or fewer]. The chances that coronavirus-attributable deaths will show a distinct and unprecedented spike in the final mortality data for the year, as the bloodthirsty media wanted so bad, seem very low.

    TLDR: "Just The Flu" vindicated.

    It's time to de-escalate the CoronaPanic; take back control over our own destinies; Stop the CoronaMadness.

    __________

    (Note that the past-positives-with-full-recoveries problem is mentioned explicitly in the article but not explained well in the context of how it lowers the implied fatality rate:)

    [MORE]

    Still, in terms of collecting actionable data about coronavirus, Hange, the Harvard epidemiologist, questioned whether Iceland would be better off focusing on serological tests that could determine whether a person had developed certain antibodies in the blood indicating that they were infected by the virus without knowing it, and recovered.

    Knowing whether these antibodies exist in someone’s blood could, potentially, enable tens of millions of people around the world to reenter the workforce

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    Iceland's one of the few countries that has good, current, open, data on infections, recoveries, and deaths by age - that can be retrieved programmatically (although with some annoyances).

    Current-positives from that page is 723, with 989 recovered - for a total case count of 1,720 and 8 deaths (1 under 60; 6 over 70).

    https://www.covid.is/data

    By contrast, South Korea's data is an absolute mare's nest: really comprehensive, but the table structures are diabolical.

    OT: There has been a significant upside to this 'Plandemic': 'Cognitive Dissonance' - one of the few ZeroHedge readers who has been around that (now-)shithole as long as me - has graced ZH with some non-clickbait content. Non-bullshit content is rare for ZH since the 'OG' TD&Marla sold the site.

    CogDis: "Papers Please!".

    If I didn't have a hard-line "Fuck Patreon" rule, he's one guy I would subscribe to (I refuse to call it being a 'Patron' because FUCK PATREON).
    , @Divine Right

    But this 0.3% to 0.8% figure is, if I understand correctly, current-positives
     
    This kind of testing is open to error. I wouldn't rush to accept the results unless they are replicated. You really need some kind of serological follow up.

    Study Suggests Potential High Rate of False-Positives For Some COVID-19 Testing

    “In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the ‘asymptomatic infected individuals’ reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.”

    “Results: When the infection rate of the close contacts and the sensitivity and specificity of reported results were taken as the point estimates, the positive predictive value of the active screening was only 19.67%, in contrast, the false-positive rate of positive results was 80.33%. The multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analysis results supported the base-case findings, with a 75% probability for the false-positive rate of positive results over 47%.”

    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/03/16/study-suggests-potential-high-rate-of-false-positives-for-covid-19-testing/
     

    In other words, the true number of Icelanders whose bodies had contact with the virus could easily be past 10,000.
     
    Iceland's first reported case was on Feb 28, about six weeks ago -- a single person in his 40s returning from a ski trip. With a two week incubation time and figuring that a person is most contagious when presenting symptoms / only 25% or less are infectious when asymptomatic ... well, I'm not sure I agree that 10k people have been exposed and have then cleared it as of when this data was collected.

    Iceland has 9 deaths now and several more current-positives likely to die, drawn from the weakest and most infirm.
     
    We don't know that. The first patient was a younger man in his 40s, and he returned to Iceland a fairly short time ago. For all we know, even with a randomized sample, the infected are weighted towards younger demographics. A randomized sample of the population does not necessarily ensure the sample itself is randomized in all aspects. Say a teenager returns from Europe to a small town with a highly infectious pathogen. He returns to school the next day and spreads it around. Then I do a randomized sample of the town just a few days after. I find that X percent of the population has it and I estimate mortality based on that figure. Is that really so fair a judge? Presumably, those in close contact with the kids -- students, teachers, and family -- will get it first; both demographics are fairly young. But that may not be representative of the whole. A lot of people don't have kids or are old and live in care centers or are older and live by themselves, kids long moved out. They wouldn't have had time to come into contact with the virus if the sampling is done very early, so calculating a death rate among those already infected is not necessarily representative of the whole averaged over all age / health / income demographics. You may need to wait another few weeks or months for that.

    The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%.

    Other ongoing estimations put the figure at around 0.72%. < 0.2% seems too low considering reported deaths vs. normal weekly averages. I'd bet 0.7% is closer. You don't usually see what we've seen with 0.2%. The hospital system should be able to handle that. In fact, it does regularly. Seasonal flu fatality rates vary by year, with some being much worse than others. We can compare NYC then vs. now and even under the worst circumstances since 2000 we find this is worse. 0.2% is almost certainly too low. I might be willing to accept 0.4 or 0.5%, but my instinct tells me 0.7 - 0.8% will ultimately be closer when this is examined a year or two from now, assuming we don't get lucky with an asymptomatic variant arising and inoculating the population before then with these lockdowns.
    , @Divine Right

    The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%.
     
    This might be possible if the virus is much more contagious than the flu, which is probably the case. In that case, much of the fatality cases would be front loaded, giving a false impression of the over all mortality; serological testing will help to clear that up. If that were the case, it'd represent a failure of the government health services (CDC) moreso than the media or the public. They saw what they saw -- morgues spilling over, hospitals crowding, makeshift hospitals, ventilator shortages, etc. If your doctor prescribes you the wrong medication and you take it, you can likely still sue him. The patient isn't expected to know the pharmacology and counterindications of whatever he is taking.

    Alternatively, there is what we know of the Diamond Princess. I believe most or all of the passengers were tested, some multiple times. There were 12 fatalities and 712 confirmed cases. Most deaths were old, over 60 -- most 70+. Cut that by ~65% and it's ~0.6%. That's tracking with some current studies.
  3. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    I have an essential job in a crowded enviornment in a city with a high per capita infection rate. My cousin (a lawyer who also has a medical degree) is convinced I have been exposed to the virus many times over. He tells me not to worry my immune system handled it already. It sounds like you would agree with him. I hope it’s true.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
    Intelligent Dasein will be one of the first spectators here to drop dead from COVID. Mark my words (they were inspired by God).
  4. anon[308] • Disclaimer says:

    I’d be happy if the disease has been widespread in some fashion and hence is less severe than commonly thought. But I dont think so. Intelligent Dasein’s latest theory, an untestable immunity isn’t directly testable, so effectively unknowable.

    But antibody testing would require a small sample and should be done ASAP. And if it is shown that positives are a small percentage (1%-2%), it’s time to classify this line of thought as wishful thinking.

    The reason being that a small antibody positive rate is really bad news. It means they lengthened the curve to forever. So, in the absence of a willingness to let it rip through the population, they need to look at more extreme measures solve this. Like if a few hundred billion were no object, what could be done. Or if you are willing to suspend civil liberties, why all the squeamishness over testing? Just pay some human subjects and let the scientists have their way with them. For example.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    I’d be happy if the disease has been widespread in some fashion and hence is less severe than commonly thought. But I dont think so. Intelligent Dasein’s latest theory, an untestable immunity isn’t directly testable, so effectively unknowable.
     
    And that's what the powers that be are counting on, of course.

    At the risk of appearing simple, I'm just going to say this very plainly without a lot of verbal adornment. These upcoming serology tests that Fauci and others keep harping upon are a gigantic red herring. This is "the Mueller investigation" translated into the domain of national health. It is an open-ended platform for government interference in every gathering, every private business, and every individual life. Have you heard about Gov. Newsom's Six Conditions for Reopening California? They include things like the mass tracking of infected individuals, the authority to rezone floor spaces of every business in order to ensure social distancing, and the permission to reimpose the lockdown at any time. This is carte blanche emergency powers; or, as I described it in another post, the perfect Foucaultian wet dream.

    But for now it's all predicated on the notion that serology tests can definitively establish who has already had the virus and who hasn't. There is no scientific basis for this presumption. A given individual may have been infected with a mild case of the virus and never produced any antibodies, or he might have produced them in the past but lost them. But in any case, the tests are not free. They impose a cost both in money and time to carry out, and so far we are just talking about conditions before the economy can be provisionally reopened. Such a plan would take months or years to carry out; in fact, it is doubtful under these conditions if California will ever be reopened.

    I doubt much of it will ever be implemented, but that is not the point. The point is to keep everyone in a state of perpetual uncertainty for months while the politicians seize ever more control.

    Under the basic power-law model that I have been proposing, we can expect 20% of the population to have been exposed to the virus, 20% of those to have been infected, and about half of the infected to show an immunological response sufficient to produce serum antibodies. (This is under normal social conditions, not special cases like the Diamond Princess. Local results will vary somewhat.) This means that serology-measured "infection" rates will run at between 2-4%, making it seem like: A) The fatality rate is much higher than it really is; and B) A huge swath of the population is still vulnerable.

    This claim is ridiculous. We can't keep the economy shut down for 18 months, so eventually it's all going to get walked back or quietly ignored. The only reason it's being bothered about is not to promote public health but to perpetuate the fake state of emergency. This whole "herd immunity" idea needs to exposed for the absolute nonsense that it is. The herd already has immunity, with or without antibodies. If it didn't the whole herd would already be sick.
  5. @Jay Fink
    I have an essential job in a crowded enviornment in a city with a high per capita infection rate. My cousin (a lawyer who also has a medical degree) is convinced I have been exposed to the virus many times over. He tells me not to worry my immune system handled it already. It sounds like you would agree with him. I hope it's true.

    Intelligent Dasein will be one of the first spectators here to drop dead from COVID. Mark my words (they were inspired by God).

    • Disagree: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    You are much more likely to die of acute stupidity while we spectators are still laughing at the Infotainment Panic-Fest shitshow and the otherwise intelligent people who bought into it.
    , @Elmer's Washable School Glue
    I doubt it. He will probably be fine, precisely becuase the medical and governmental institutions which he derides have finally taken significant actions to protect him.

    He's exactly the same as anti-vaxxers who will probably never get measles precisely becuase most people are vaccinated, and then turn around and use that as "evidence" that vaccines aren't needed.
  6. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence

    Nobody answers for incompetence.

  7. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    To date there have been 38,672 pneumonia deaths in the US, and 4718 influenza deaths – hence 43,390 deaths from respiratory disease where COVID19 was not present.

    Influenza deaths with pneumonia are counted as Influenza deaths, while COVID19 deaths with pneumonia are counted as COVID19 deaths (that’s made clear on the data page linked below).

    This is from the CDC’s “Provisional Deaths by Age” data, which only has 6,930 COVID19 deaths as at 13 April 2020: it’s running at a ~1wk lag because it takes and codes data direct from death certificates.

    Compared to previous years, the ‘flu has been broadly worse than last year, but broadly better than 2017/18 (images below are from CDC’s weekly influenza monitoring)

    People reporting Flu Symptoms

    People hospitalised with lab-confirmed influenza
    P&I Mortality – 10% of all deaths (i.e., ~50k deaths so far this year)
    As the page makes clear:

    While the percent of all deaths due to P&I has increased during weeks 9-13 (7.4-10.0%), the percent of all deaths with Influenza listed as a cause have decreased (from 1.0% to 0.7%) over this same time period. The increase in pneumonia deaths during this time period are likely associated with COVID-19 rather than influenza.

    Translation: when a very ill, very old person dies of pneumonia, they tick the box marked ‘COVID19’ instead of ‘Influenza’.

    .

    Obviously, pneumonia patients who die don’t require ventilators – coz there’s a fuckton more of them than there are of COVID19 patients, and I’ve never heard bleating about a dearth of ventilators until a month ago and never in the context of 10% of all deaths being from pneumonia or influenza.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Thanks.
    , @Hail
    https://hailtoyou.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/us-mortality-from-influenza-week-ending-late-2015-thru-march-28-2020-.gif
    .
    That graph shows a spike consistent with a recent-past year.

    Comparing to a different dataset, total deaths, for Western Europe, we see the same kind of spike in which the novel-coronavirus-associated epidemic of March/April 2020 is comparable in magnitude to the spikes produced by previous peak-flu-events (the same ones no one has ever cared about before; of all that went on in the 2010s, no one cared):

    https://hailtoyou.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/euromomo-week-14-pooled-number.png

    Roughly speaking, the snapshot in time for the European graph (reflecting deaths thru ca. April 2, as best I can tell) is a bit after the US one (reflecting deaths to March 28).

    We know that new confirmed-infections were down in both places as of April 1 (probably indicating a decline in transmissions before shutdown orders went out in many cases), and so death peaks have probably also passed, certainly by now.

    By this writing, mid-April, I can only call 'untenable' the pro-CoronaPanic position.


    the pro-CoronaPanic position
     
    = "Millions could/will die! Easily 1% of total population will die! All of those will be marginal deaths; normal-year mortality will at least double, maybe triple or more! And it affects the young and healthy, trust us! PANIC NOW! BUY TOILET PAPER NOW! All power to the government and to the Holy Media!"

    Not all the 'pro-CoronaPanic' side was for "All power to the government(s) and to the Holy Media," but those were the inevitable results. We shall forgive, but it's time to put this behind us and work to de-escalate and re-open ASAP.

  8. @JohnPlywood
    Intelligent Dasein will be one of the first spectators here to drop dead from COVID. Mark my words (they were inspired by God).

    You are much more likely to die of acute stupidity while we spectators are still laughing at the Infotainment Panic-Fest shitshow and the otherwise intelligent people who bought into it.

    • Replies: @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    I give JohnPlywood credit, though: he is at least consistent. Seriously, check out his comment history. Virtually every comment posted under that name is full of arrogant bile.
  9. @Kratoklastes
    To date there have been 38,672 pneumonia deaths in the US, and 4718 influenza deaths - hence 43,390 deaths from respiratory disease where COVID19 was not present.

    Influenza deaths with pneumonia are counted as Influenza deaths, while COVID19 deaths with pneumonia are counted as COVID19 deaths (that's made clear on the data page linked below).

    This is from the CDC's "Provisional Deaths by Age" data, which only has 6,930 COVID19 deaths as at 13 April 2020: it's running at a ~1wk lag because it takes and codes data direct from death certificates.

    Compared to previous years, the 'flu has been broadly worse than last year, but broadly better than 2017/18 (images below are from CDC's weekly influenza monitoring)

    People reporting Flu Symptoms
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/ILI14_small.gif

    People hospitalised with lab-confirmed influenza
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/EIPRates14_small.gif

    P&I Mortality - 10% of all deaths (i.e., ~50k deaths so far this year)
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/NCHS14_small.gif

    As the page makes clear:


    While the percent of all deaths due to P&I has increased during weeks 9-13 (7.4-10.0%), the percent of all deaths with Influenza listed as a cause have decreased (from 1.0% to 0.7%) over this same time period. The increase in pneumonia deaths during this time period are likely associated with COVID-19 rather than influenza.
     
    Translation: when a very ill, very old person dies of pneumonia, they tick the box marked 'COVID19' instead of 'Influenza'.

    .

    Obviously, pneumonia patients who die don't require ventilators - coz there's a fuckton more of them than there are of COVID19 patients, and I've never heard bleating about a dearth of ventilators until a month ago and never in the context of 10% of all deaths being from pneumonia or influenza.

    Thanks.

  10. @Achmed E. Newman
    You are much more likely to die of acute stupidity while we spectators are still laughing at the Infotainment Panic-Fest shitshow and the otherwise intelligent people who bought into it.

    I give JohnPlywood credit, though: he is at least consistent. Seriously, check out his comment history. Virtually every comment posted under that name is full of arrogant bile.

  11. Yes, it’s a big mystery.

    Gunner careerists are terrible at figuring things out and solving open-ended problems.

    We’re being run by people who memorized the study guide. SARS-2 wasn’t in the book.

    Nobody knows anything. All this “public Health” stuff has just been blue team sinecures for many decades.

    China probably understands this fairly well but of course they aren’t telling us.

    Understanding the particulars of the disease doesn’t matter if you don’t have the will or the ability to take the right action

    Did SARS-1 reoccur the next year?

  12. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    I’ve long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production.

    Cool theory but there is literally no evidence for it. Even totally non-lethal “common” colds tigger an immunological response. And since there is another, completely logical explanation (that most people are still not infected) totally in accordance with scientific norms, it seems a lot like wishful thinking.

    If this virus has already hit everywhere, how do explain the *tenfold* increase in deaths/week in Italy and other hard-hit areas, while other regions are barely affected at all? I’m actually curious about your answer, not just trying to be rhetorical.

    Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it… somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    “Histronic panic” is never a good thing. But the response of world governments has been anything but histronic, in the West it has probably even been too lax (the disasters in Lombardy and NYC could have been totally avoided if flights to China had been stopped sooner). The fact that heroes like Dr. Fauci have managed to stem the spread of the virus through severe measures shows that elites actually are willing to put competant people in charge when their own hides are threatened, as opposed to the usual state of affairs.

    • Replies: @res

    the disasters in Lombardy and NYC could have been totally avoided if flights to China had been stopped sooner
     
    The NYC part of that is unclear to me. Most of the NYC cases were of a European strain, but it is possible shutting down the China-Europe flights earlier would have shut that link off.

    From this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/new-york-vs-california/#comment-3831654

    It has been established that the dominant strains in New York and California are different. NY mostly got it from Europe, CA mostly from Asia. Thanks to utu for pointing me to this article:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8206625/America-hit-COVID-19-two-continents-studies-suggest.html

    Here is one site they referenced. https://nextstrain.org/

    I think this is the Cambridge University paper mentioned.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/07/2004999117

    I have not seen anything indicating the strains differ in virulence.

     

    It seems hard to blame Italy for waiting until 1/31 to ban flights from China:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/20/dr-fauci-is-wrong-italy-did-close-its-border-china/

    Note from that article that the first (known, detected) case in the US was 1/21 and the first case in Italy was 1/30.
    , @Audacious Epigone
    What about states like Arkansas, Iowa, and the Dakotas, and a country like Sweden? The biggest missing piece for a rank amateur like myself is that the control groups don't seem to be doing much worse than the places that are locking down.
  13. @JohnPlywood
    Intelligent Dasein will be one of the first spectators here to drop dead from COVID. Mark my words (they were inspired by God).

    I doubt it. He will probably be fine, precisely becuase the medical and governmental institutions which he derides have finally taken significant actions to protect him.

    He’s exactly the same as anti-vaxxers who will probably never get measles precisely becuase most people are vaccinated, and then turn around and use that as “evidence” that vaccines aren’t needed.

  14. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I’ve been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case…

    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/your-sacrifices-are-saving-lives-social-distancing-is-working/

    There are more graphs at those links, but I think this one makes a good summary.

    This 538 article published today compares COVID-19 with our other recent epidemic scares (SARS, MERS, Ebola, and 2009 H1Ni swine flu). I think it makes a good primer for those who believe this would have been just another flu season without countermeasures.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-did-the-world-shut-down-for-covid-19-but-not-ebola-sars-or-swine-flu/

    In brief the difference is the combination of high transmissibility (R0) and relatively high fatality rate (IFR/CFR). SARS, MERS, and Ebola were all more deadly than COVID-19, but had a relatively low R0. The 2009 H1N1 (swine flu, a descendant of the 1918 virus) had a high enough R0 (at 1.4-1.6 significantly less than the over 2 estimated for COVID-19 without countermeasures, 1.5-3.5 stated in the article) to spread widely, but had a fatality rate less than a tenth of that estimated for COVID-19 (and I mean the less aggressive estimates, like 1% IFR).

    All of that said, I think the countermeasures we have taken have been excessive. Take another look at the plot above. We can see the roughly 5 day incubation period (infection to symptoms) and how the steep declines line up with early countermeasures like school shutdowns. It is not clear that the full shutdowns made much difference at all. By that measure at least.

    • Agree: John Achterhof
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.
     
    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don't agree with the Kinsa data.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map. And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?
    , @Hail
    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense: potentially All Loss, No Gain. At best, "Big Loss, Very Minor Gain of Questionable Long-Run Value."

    Viral 'epidemics' in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued. There is real evidence for this. (And, in any case, even totally uncontained the virus was simply not a Mass Killer Apocalypse Virus and never was.There remains no good evidence for, and substantial evidence against.)


    A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the „lockdown“, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a „lockdown“.
     

    The Swiss magazine Infosperber criticizes the information policy of authorities and the media: „Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign„. Misleading figures and graphics are used to spread at least partly unjustified fear.
     
    "Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign" is a great summary of CoronaMania.

    Also, Sweden is doing fine.

    One more nugget out of Switzerland:


    According to the latest report of the Federal Office of Public Health, the median age of test-positive deceased is now 84 years.
     
    (The above from "A Swiss Doctor on COVID-19," published by Swiss Propaganda Research, a website that has distinguished itself throughout this artificial crisis for consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd.)
    , @Audacious Epigone
    There is some begging of the question in that 538 article, though. There are parts of the world that did not shut down, and their curves seem to be following trajectories quite similar to places that did shut down. In the US, the states that never issued any kind of order are faring quite well. But they have some cases, so it wouldn't appear to be a result of missing the virus entirely.
  15. If one digs a bit around the outbreak in Albany, Georgia one can find both a medical and political reason why ‘re-0pening the economy’ may not happen soon, at least in the US.

    This outbreak began on February 29th after a large funeral service for a janitor. Since that event Dougherty County ( 61.2% black) has experienced 1245 cases ( 2nd only to Atlanta/Fulton County) and is first in number of deaths with 78.

    https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report

    The adjacent counties also have elevated covid rates. Terrell population 9300, eg., also is over 60% black has reported 110 cases and 10 deaths. These are catastrophic numbers for such small communities and it seems to keep on spreading. Obviously, given the political situation in the US and similar high rates of infection and death in places like Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore etc. the idea that the US can just resume business as usual when negroes are, for whatever reason, becoming infected and dying at vastly higher rates is a recipe for civil unrest this summer.

    • Replies: @Hail
    unit472, something in your post made me realize something about the way "the coronavirus crisis/pandemic" is being perceived and understood by many:

    It's Voodoo.

    Let me explain.

    First, here is the way a flu epidemic works:

    (1) a flu virus (or group of viruses) mutate and tap into a transmission network somewhere;
    (2) the virus spreads, 'virally' (think of the social media sense, in which a tweet suddenly gets a million retweets out of nowhere);
    (3) the flu virus pushes a small number of the very weakest and unhealthiest among us onto the other side. In quite a lot of cases, this simply hastens an imminent death. For every death, several thousands of others have immune systems that encounter the virus, become 'positive' for a time, and defeat/expel the virus;
    (4) once enough people become immune and/or other conditions change (like the onset of spring), the virus fades away, the epidemic is over.

    "This no ordinary virus," you often hear. For a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this comment, a Panic was created. Here is the point, the observation that occurred to me from your comment:

    No virus sticks around in a (2)-->(3)--(2)-->(3) endless feedback loop, but I think a lot of people believe this is the case here, induced to such thinking by the Panic itself. "This is no ordindary flu virus!" or a close variant has been a very standard thing to hear; I guess for many this suspends all normal virus-transmission rules, if they ever knew them anyway. This is 'voodoo' thinking and not science; the implicit belief driving Corona discourse is that that the virus hangs around like an evil spirit haunting humanity, or particular cities/regions, or particular ethnic groups, whatever, as in voodoo belief.

    I think quite a few are scared of the virus in exactly the terms that a voodoo-believer is scared of a voodoo spell. The mechanism by which respiratory-illness epidemics begin and end is well understood, but remember, This Is No Ordinary Virus. (But what if it is? The more data we get, the more it looks like it was, after all, Just the Flu, or at worst something like Just the Flu x2.)
  16. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    I’ve been through many of these things before.

    Sorry. No one will answer for it.

    They will either forget it happened or insist that it only turned out OK because their panic fixed it.

  17. @res

    The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I’ve been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case…
     
    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/your-sacrifices-are-saving-lives-social-distancing-is-working/

    There are more graphs at those links, but I think this one makes a good summary.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Santa-Clara-and-Miami-Dade-County-Share-of-Population-with-Flu-Like-Illness-1.png

    This 538 article published today compares COVID-19 with our other recent epidemic scares (SARS, MERS, Ebola, and 2009 H1Ni swine flu). I think it makes a good primer for those who believe this would have been just another flu season without countermeasures.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-did-the-world-shut-down-for-covid-19-but-not-ebola-sars-or-swine-flu/

    In brief the difference is the combination of high transmissibility (R0) and relatively high fatality rate (IFR/CFR). SARS, MERS, and Ebola were all more deadly than COVID-19, but had a relatively low R0. The 2009 H1N1 (swine flu, a descendant of the 1918 virus) had a high enough R0 (at 1.4-1.6 significantly less than the over 2 estimated for COVID-19 without countermeasures, 1.5-3.5 stated in the article) to spread widely, but had a fatality rate less than a tenth of that estimated for COVID-19 (and I mean the less aggressive estimates, like 1% IFR).

    All of that said, I think the countermeasures we have taken have been excessive. Take another look at the plot above. We can see the roughly 5 day incubation period (infection to symptoms) and how the steep declines line up with early countermeasures like school shutdowns. It is not clear that the full shutdowns made much difference at all. By that measure at least.

    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.

    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don’t agree with the Kinsa data.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map. And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?

    • Replies: @res

    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don’t agree with the Kinsa data.
     
    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion ("common sense") to data. I think that says it all.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?
     
    Compared to what? You don't like any of the other data out there which disagrees with your opinion either.

    As with almost all data, the Kinsa data has issues. Primarily that it is limited to people who have their thermometers and are using them. Now on to the substantive part of your comment.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map.
     
    It helps if you understand what you are looking at. Based on those statements you are looking at the "Atypical Illness" version of the map (default on their website). I'm not sure why there are so many N/As. I asked about that in this comment (linked because there is some more discussion around it which might help you understand the map, as well as giving my questions when I first looked at the data).
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/new-york-vs-california/#comment-3833652

    Try switching to the "Observed" map view. And then let's try having this conversation again after you do that and read the rest of my comment.

    Here's a link so you don't even have to change the mode:
    https://healthweather.us/?mode=Observed

    And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.
     
    Part of that is probably the sampling issue I mention above. People are probably using their thermometers more when they think they are sick. The relevant comparison would be to prior flu seasons. And they kindly provide that data for us.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/flu-season-in-review-2018-2019/

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/National-Illness-Levels-Past-3-Years.png

    I'd say the 7% looks a bit more reasonable compared to those numbers.

    Lastly, there is the big issue I see with the data. Why is the Observed illness rate so low across all of the US (0.17%) when there are still significant case counts and deaths? We see a small area of Moderate for Observed in Louisiana, but other than that the map is a sea of the lowest bucket with a few islands of the next bucket.

    This is where things get speculative. I would appreciate constructive criticism of my analysis (especially from AE and James Bowery, if they care to comment).

    My take is that what we are seeing is that the vast majority of people who have been or are going to get sick (i.e. show new symptoms) in the immediate future are either:
    - Recovered so no fever, or
    - Under care so not using their Kinsa thermometer

    This may vary based on specific location so it is good to look at the zip code/county level data (use the search box just above the map), but first some comments about the overall US curve.

    First, the graph shows a steady decline from 7.24% on 2/15 (end of week 7 for comparison with past years above) to 5% on 3/1 (end of week 9). This is where Kinsa considers us to depart from trend remaining flat around 5 until 3/19. At that point we begin a sharp decline down to 1.57 on 3/28 (less than half of typical!). From there we have a shallower, but steady, decline down to 0.17 on 4/13 (less than 1/10 of typical!).

    So I think the full US data agrees with my assessment (earlier comment above) that the later (say post 3/16 or so, especially post 3/23) countermeasures were probably overkill (again, this will vary by location, different places are progressing differently).

    At this point I think it makes sense to look at individual areas. In particular, I would recommend locations in the states mentioned in this post (WA, OR, CA, NY, SC, MI, FL) because they give various shutdown dates and some statewide plots through 3/23.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/

    I would recommend looking at the three locations Kinsa has discussed in blog posts. Santa Clara County, CA and Miami-Dade, FL (see earlier comment) and New York County, NY (plot below for context).
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/tale-of-two-cities-atypical-illness-trends-for-santa-clara-and-miami-dade-county/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/early-social-distancing-measures-reduce-the-spread-of-illness-in-new-york-city/

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/New-York-County-Share-of-Population-with-Flu-Like-Illness.png

    This comment has gone on long enough so I will just suggest looking at those three locations in the interactive map while having the corresponding blog post open in another window. My brief observations:

    Santa Clara County, CA - Declining to 5.28% on 3/1 which is when Kinsa considers it to have left trend. Then roughly flat until 3/17. Sharp decline from 4.72% on 3/17 to 0.98% on 3/27. Then slow decline to 0.71% on 4/4. Followed by a drop to about 0.2% or less through 4/13.

    Miami-Dade County, FL - sharp rise from 3.41% on 3/2 to 7.06% on 3/19. Followed by sharp decline from there to 1.71% on 3/28. Then a slower but steady decline to 0.49% on 4/13.

    New York County, NY - Steady (and sharp) decline from 6.43% on 3/17 to 0.86% on 4/12.

    Miami looks like it could have been ugly without the school closings.

    New York's decline started 3/17, just 5 days after ONLY restrictions on public gatherings over 500 people were in place. That and schools closing are looking like the most effective countermeasures to me.

    P.S. [email protected]#$ autoformatting ate the last part of my comment because I was careless about using less than and greater than. That's why I deleted and recreated it.
    , @utu
    "I say that because my common sense tells me so." - You should never trust your common. You do not have it. I haven't detected it in your comments.
  18. The demographics of Iceland are vastly different from Italy and the United States

    The elderly population of Iceland is 14% (65 and older population)
    The elderly population of Italy is 24%

    The biggest risk factor is age. Thus we should expect the death rates to be much higher in populations with more elderly people.

  19. The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.

    A fourth possibility is that cultures with a higher immune response to cold weather illnesses might already have some inherent resistance to infection to novel viradae.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @LoutishAngloQuebecker
    Anglo master race confirmed.
  20. Hail says: • Website
    @res

    The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I’ve been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case…
     
    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/your-sacrifices-are-saving-lives-social-distancing-is-working/

    There are more graphs at those links, but I think this one makes a good summary.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Santa-Clara-and-Miami-Dade-County-Share-of-Population-with-Flu-Like-Illness-1.png

    This 538 article published today compares COVID-19 with our other recent epidemic scares (SARS, MERS, Ebola, and 2009 H1Ni swine flu). I think it makes a good primer for those who believe this would have been just another flu season without countermeasures.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-did-the-world-shut-down-for-covid-19-but-not-ebola-sars-or-swine-flu/

    In brief the difference is the combination of high transmissibility (R0) and relatively high fatality rate (IFR/CFR). SARS, MERS, and Ebola were all more deadly than COVID-19, but had a relatively low R0. The 2009 H1N1 (swine flu, a descendant of the 1918 virus) had a high enough R0 (at 1.4-1.6 significantly less than the over 2 estimated for COVID-19 without countermeasures, 1.5-3.5 stated in the article) to spread widely, but had a fatality rate less than a tenth of that estimated for COVID-19 (and I mean the less aggressive estimates, like 1% IFR).

    All of that said, I think the countermeasures we have taken have been excessive. Take another look at the plot above. We can see the roughly 5 day incubation period (infection to symptoms) and how the steep declines line up with early countermeasures like school shutdowns. It is not clear that the full shutdowns made much difference at all. By that measure at least.

    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense: potentially All Loss, No Gain. At best, “Big Loss, Very Minor Gain of Questionable Long-Run Value.”

    Viral ‘epidemics’ in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued. There is real evidence for this. (And, in any case, even totally uncontained the virus was simply not a Mass Killer Apocalypse Virus and never was.There remains no good evidence for, and substantial evidence against.)

    A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the „lockdown“, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a „lockdown“.

    The Swiss magazine Infosperber criticizes the information policy of authorities and the media: „Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign„. Misleading figures and graphics are used to spread at least partly unjustified fear.

    “Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign” is a great summary of CoronaMania.

    Also, Sweden is doing fine.

    One more nugget out of Switzerland:

    According to the latest report of the Federal Office of Public Health, the median age of test-positive deceased is now 84 years.

    (The above from “A Swiss Doctor on COVID-19,” published by Swiss Propaganda Research, a website that has distinguished itself throughout this artificial crisis for consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd.)

    • Replies: @res

    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense
     
    Quite a few people of all descriptions are saying things of questionable accuracy. More than a few of them are posting comments on the Unz Review. One thing I like about the Unz Review is we tend not to take the word of "credentialed experts" as gospel. Especially given how much various "experts" disagree about this issue. Are we to believe the people you call expert but not any of the others? How do we decide?

    If you can get past scare words like "crippling" perhaps we can have a real discussion about this? Because I think the Kinsa data I have posted here provides clear evidence that at least SOME of the shutdowns have had value.

    I also believe that same Kinsa data suggests that the more drastic measures were unnecessary. And may even (probably IMHO, at least for much of it) justify the rhetoric you are using.

    Viral ‘epidemics’ in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued.
     
    See the 538 article mentioned in my earlier comment (TLDR: both R0 and IFR appear to be higher than normal for COVID-19). And then take a look at the data for Miami I gave. That Miami data looks like a serious blowup in progress before the school shutdowns occurred. I think things could have been even worse in areas more favorable climatically for the disease.

    Try taking a look at various flyover counties in Kinsa. Here is a sample at random.
    https://healthweather.us/?regionId=46093&mode=Observed

    They were having a regular flu season with a suggestive (but not "Atypical") uptick in early March. They closed schools on 3/16:
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/south-dakota
    and the illness rate dropped from 4.7% on 3/19 down to 0 on 4/10. It is possible (likely IMHO) they could have gotten away with even lesser measures. It is also possible that things would have blown up without the school closings.

    The thing is public health officials are dealing with uncertainty. It is highly likely the outcomes will be in one of these forms.
    1. Things blow up and get ugly.
    2. The measures taken prove to be excessive to some degree.
    3. Things never get ugly and we muddle through (think SARS, MERS, Ebola, 2009 H1N1; then go read that 538 article again).

    The key thing I see is to be adaptive (and selective by locality) and try to minimize the excess in the measures taken. Also realize that if we are to have any room for error with countermeasures, 2 is going to happen in almost all cases.

    Again, the reason I keep harping on the Kinsa data is it only seems to have a 5 day lag before the effects of countermeasures become visible. That is a big deal when trying to apply adaptive controls!

    consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd
     
    The Unz crowd seems to be splitting into two camps (Hoax! Apocalypse!) yelling at each other. I think both camps are wrong. Or right, depending on how you look at it.

    In particular, my key claims. Notice the mix from each camp.

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.

    Please tell me what you disagree with there. The real conversation we should be having now is about 2. Things like:

    A.What types of intervention have the best cost/benefit profile?
    B. How do we know when to apply and remove various levels of intervention?
    C. At what level of granularity (city, county, state, country?) should various interventions be applied?

    I think the Kinsa data could help with B and the local choices part of C (but administrative facts and practical details often dictate granularity to use).

    Based on the Kinsa data I have seen so far (and a closer look at more localities could probably tell us MUCH more) the high value interventions for A have been school closings and restrictions on large gatherings.

    P.S. It would help this conversation if you gave an explicit proposal for how you would have handled COVID-19 in the US. Just arguing "too much" is no good. What would you recommend doing/having done?
  21. @The Alarmist

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    A fourth possibility is that cultures with a higher immune response to cold weather illnesses might already have some inherent resistance to infection to novel viradae.

    Anglo master race confirmed.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    On s’en calisse.
    , @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S50bcZwUoco
    , @Tusk
    The Eternal Anglo wins again brother.
  22. Hail says: • Website
    @Kratoklastes
    To date there have been 38,672 pneumonia deaths in the US, and 4718 influenza deaths - hence 43,390 deaths from respiratory disease where COVID19 was not present.

    Influenza deaths with pneumonia are counted as Influenza deaths, while COVID19 deaths with pneumonia are counted as COVID19 deaths (that's made clear on the data page linked below).

    This is from the CDC's "Provisional Deaths by Age" data, which only has 6,930 COVID19 deaths as at 13 April 2020: it's running at a ~1wk lag because it takes and codes data direct from death certificates.

    Compared to previous years, the 'flu has been broadly worse than last year, but broadly better than 2017/18 (images below are from CDC's weekly influenza monitoring)

    People reporting Flu Symptoms
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/ILI14_small.gif

    People hospitalised with lab-confirmed influenza
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/EIPRates14_small.gif

    P&I Mortality - 10% of all deaths (i.e., ~50k deaths so far this year)
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/images/NCHS14_small.gif

    As the page makes clear:


    While the percent of all deaths due to P&I has increased during weeks 9-13 (7.4-10.0%), the percent of all deaths with Influenza listed as a cause have decreased (from 1.0% to 0.7%) over this same time period. The increase in pneumonia deaths during this time period are likely associated with COVID-19 rather than influenza.
     
    Translation: when a very ill, very old person dies of pneumonia, they tick the box marked 'COVID19' instead of 'Influenza'.

    .

    Obviously, pneumonia patients who die don't require ventilators - coz there's a fuckton more of them than there are of COVID19 patients, and I've never heard bleating about a dearth of ventilators until a month ago and never in the context of 10% of all deaths being from pneumonia or influenza.

    .
    That graph shows a spike consistent with a recent-past year.

    Comparing to a different dataset, total deaths, for Western Europe, we see the same kind of spike in which the novel-coronavirus-associated epidemic of March/April 2020 is comparable in magnitude to the spikes produced by previous peak-flu-events (the same ones no one has ever cared about before; of all that went on in the 2010s, no one cared):

    Roughly speaking, the snapshot in time for the European graph (reflecting deaths thru ca. April 2, as best I can tell) is a bit after the US one (reflecting deaths to March 28).

    We know that new confirmed-infections were down in both places as of April 1 (probably indicating a decline in transmissions before shutdown orders went out in many cases), and so death peaks have probably also passed, certainly by now.

    By this writing, mid-April, I can only call ‘untenable’ the pro-CoronaPanic position.

    the pro-CoronaPanic position

    = “Millions could/will die! Easily 1% of total population will die! All of those will be marginal deaths; normal-year mortality will at least double, maybe triple or more! And it affects the young and healthy, trust us! PANIC NOW! BUY TOILET PAPER NOW! All power to the government and to the Holy Media!”

    Not all the ‘pro-CoronaPanic’ side was for “All power to the government(s) and to the Holy Media,” but those were the inevitable results. We shall forgive, but it’s time to put this behind us and work to de-escalate and re-open ASAP.

  23. @LoutishAngloQuebecker
    Anglo master race confirmed.

    On s’en calisse.

  24. @Intelligent Dasein

    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.
     
    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don't agree with the Kinsa data.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map. And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?

    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don’t agree with the Kinsa data.

    prefers his opinion (“common sense”) to data. I think that says it all.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?

    Compared to what? You don’t like any of the other data out there which disagrees with your opinion either.

    As with almost all data, the Kinsa data has issues. Primarily that it is limited to people who have their thermometers and are using them. Now on to the substantive part of your comment.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map.

    It helps if you understand what you are looking at. Based on those statements you are looking at the “Atypical Illness” version of the map (default on their website). I’m not sure why there are so many N/As. I asked about that in this comment (linked because there is some more discussion around it which might help you understand the map, as well as giving my questions when I first looked at the data).
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/new-york-vs-california/#comment-3833652

    Try switching to the “Observed” map view. And then let’s try having this conversation again after you do that and read the rest of my comment.

    Here’s a link so you don’t even have to change the mode:
    https://healthweather.us/?mode=Observed

    And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.

    Part of that is probably the sampling issue I mention above. People are probably using their thermometers more when they think they are sick. The relevant comparison would be to prior flu seasons. And they kindly provide that data for us.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/flu-season-in-review-2018-2019/

    I’d say the 7% looks a bit more reasonable compared to those numbers.

    Lastly, there is the big issue I see with the data. Why is the Observed illness rate so low across all of the US (0.17%) when there are still significant case counts and deaths? We see a small area of Moderate for Observed in Louisiana, but other than that the map is a sea of the lowest bucket with a few islands of the next bucket.

    This is where things get speculative. I would appreciate constructive criticism of my analysis (especially from AE and James Bowery, if they care to comment).

    My take is that what we are seeing is that the vast majority of people who have been or are going to get sick (i.e. show new symptoms) in the immediate future are either:
    – Recovered so no fever, or
    – Under care so not using their Kinsa thermometer

    This may vary based on specific location so it is good to look at the zip code/county level data (use the search box just above the map), but first some comments about the overall US curve.

    First, the graph shows a steady decline from 7.24% on 2/15 (end of week 7 for comparison with past years above) to 5% on 3/1 (end of week 9). This is where Kinsa considers us to depart from trend remaining flat around 5 until 3/19. At that point we begin a sharp decline down to 1.57 on 3/28 (less than half of typical!). From there we have a shallower, but steady, decline down to 0.17 on 4/13 (less than 1/10 of typical!).

    So I think the full US data agrees with my assessment (earlier comment above) that the later (say post 3/16 or so, especially post 3/23) countermeasures were probably overkill (again, this will vary by location, different places are progressing differently).

    At this point I think it makes sense to look at individual areas. In particular, I would recommend locations in the states mentioned in this post (WA, OR, CA, NY, SC, MI, FL) because they give various shutdown dates and some statewide plots through 3/23.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/

    I would recommend looking at the three locations Kinsa has discussed in blog posts. Santa Clara County, CA and Miami-Dade, FL (see earlier comment) and New York County, NY (plot below for context).
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/tale-of-two-cities-atypical-illness-trends-for-santa-clara-and-miami-dade-county/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/early-social-distancing-measures-reduce-the-spread-of-illness-in-new-york-city/

    This comment has gone on long enough so I will just suggest looking at those three locations in the interactive map while having the corresponding blog post open in another window. My brief observations:

    Santa Clara County, CA – Declining to 5.28% on 3/1 which is when Kinsa considers it to have left trend. Then roughly flat until 3/17. Sharp decline from 4.72% on 3/17 to 0.98% on 3/27. Then slow decline to 0.71% on 4/4. Followed by a drop to about 0.2% or less through 4/13.

    Miami-Dade County, FL – sharp rise from 3.41% on 3/2 to 7.06% on 3/19. Followed by sharp decline from there to 1.71% on 3/28. Then a slower but steady decline to 0.49% on 4/13.

    New York County, NY – Steady (and sharp) decline from 6.43% on 3/17 to 0.86% on 4/12.

    Miami looks like it could have been ugly without the school closings.

    New York’s decline started 3/17, just 5 days after ONLY restrictions on public gatherings over 500 people were in place. That and schools closing are looking like the most effective countermeasures to me.

    P.S. [email protected]#$ autoformatting ate the last part of my comment because I was careless about using less than and greater than. That’s why I deleted and recreated it.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational

    I was careless about using less than and greater than.
     
    The preview button is your friend.
    , @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    That and schools closing are looking like the most effective countermeasures to me.
     
    Schools closing is fine.

    Banning certain large public gatherings is fine.

    What is not fine is telling Home Depot and Lowe's to stay open and sell all kinds of supplies while forbidding independent garden stores from competing with them. And the examples of such arbitrary and inconsistent closures are legion in the Democrat-run states, particularly in the northeast.

    And why can't restaurants, ala Sweden, serve meals to smaller gatherings of people?

    What is not fine is telling churches to close down completely while allowing abortion clinics to use precious PPE on murdering the unborn.

    The lockdown crowd baffle me with their implicit trust of a state that has proven itself to be evil and inept.

    , @Twinkie

    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion (“common sense”) to data. I think that says it all.
     
    He is wrong about so many basic things, but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room. So now he is making up his own epidemiological theories and ignoring contrary data in order to double down on his previous pronouncements.

    Examples:

    "People are already mostly infected, but are recovering without producing antibodies." Really? No antibody? What's neutralizing the pathogen then? (Miraculous recoveries do exist, but are EXTREMELY rare. That's why they are called miracles.)

    "Social distancing is ineffective." Set aside a mountain of data for a moment. Social distancing has been ALWAYS effective for flattening the curve of any kind of human-to-human transmissible virus. That's just a basic medical fact - it's almost a tautology (less human-to-human contact = fewer human-to-human transmissions).

    As for data, just a simple internet search will present loads of them, including the now well-publicized comparison of Philadelphia and St. Louis in the 1918 Spanish Flu.

    "These useless policies have cost trillions of dollars." Assuming that, without a government-recommended or -mandated lockdown, the economy would have functioned normally is a complete nonsense. The fact is, when people are concerned with a pandemic, there is a dramatic decrease in economic activities regardless of government intervention. Example: the airlines are still operating, but the demand for air travel has all but collapsed. Without social distancing policies, what would happen instead is a huge decline in economic activity AND a minority of people who ignore recommendations/suggestions and spread the virus - you end up with the worst of both worlds.

    "This is not even a bad flu season." In NYC, in just THREE DAYS, Covid-19 killed as many people as flu does in a whole year. As you noted, the transmission rate and the lethality of Covid-19 are much greater than ordinary influenza.

    As you have stated elsewhere, the more interesting and useful question is what kind of social distancing policies are the most effective and/or offer the "best bang for the buck." What policies will help reduce the incidences of transmissions, yet allow people to go about their lives as normally as possible? That's the million (or billion/trillion) dollar question.

    It is quite true that you don't have to "lock down the whole country" to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited - he's a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g


    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn't own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I'd imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn't get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that's 4 PM to 10 AM the next day - that's something like 2 working hours - obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don't have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

  25. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    Taleb’s got your number:

    “People flood their story with numbers and graphs in the absence of logical argument. Further, people mistake empiricism with flood of data. Just a little bit of significant data is needed when one is right.”

    You flood your posts with garbagingarbageout graphs and think that proves you are right. It just proves your trying to snow people.

    • Replies: @utu
    Intelligent Dasein's contentious eloquence only very rarely goes with logic.
  26. @res

    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don’t agree with the Kinsa data.
     
    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion ("common sense") to data. I think that says it all.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?
     
    Compared to what? You don't like any of the other data out there which disagrees with your opinion either.

    As with almost all data, the Kinsa data has issues. Primarily that it is limited to people who have their thermometers and are using them. Now on to the substantive part of your comment.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map.
     
    It helps if you understand what you are looking at. Based on those statements you are looking at the "Atypical Illness" version of the map (default on their website). I'm not sure why there are so many N/As. I asked about that in this comment (linked because there is some more discussion around it which might help you understand the map, as well as giving my questions when I first looked at the data).
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/new-york-vs-california/#comment-3833652

    Try switching to the "Observed" map view. And then let's try having this conversation again after you do that and read the rest of my comment.

    Here's a link so you don't even have to change the mode:
    https://healthweather.us/?mode=Observed

    And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.
     
    Part of that is probably the sampling issue I mention above. People are probably using their thermometers more when they think they are sick. The relevant comparison would be to prior flu seasons. And they kindly provide that data for us.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/flu-season-in-review-2018-2019/

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/National-Illness-Levels-Past-3-Years.png

    I'd say the 7% looks a bit more reasonable compared to those numbers.

    Lastly, there is the big issue I see with the data. Why is the Observed illness rate so low across all of the US (0.17%) when there are still significant case counts and deaths? We see a small area of Moderate for Observed in Louisiana, but other than that the map is a sea of the lowest bucket with a few islands of the next bucket.

    This is where things get speculative. I would appreciate constructive criticism of my analysis (especially from AE and James Bowery, if they care to comment).

    My take is that what we are seeing is that the vast majority of people who have been or are going to get sick (i.e. show new symptoms) in the immediate future are either:
    - Recovered so no fever, or
    - Under care so not using their Kinsa thermometer

    This may vary based on specific location so it is good to look at the zip code/county level data (use the search box just above the map), but first some comments about the overall US curve.

    First, the graph shows a steady decline from 7.24% on 2/15 (end of week 7 for comparison with past years above) to 5% on 3/1 (end of week 9). This is where Kinsa considers us to depart from trend remaining flat around 5 until 3/19. At that point we begin a sharp decline down to 1.57 on 3/28 (less than half of typical!). From there we have a shallower, but steady, decline down to 0.17 on 4/13 (less than 1/10 of typical!).

    So I think the full US data agrees with my assessment (earlier comment above) that the later (say post 3/16 or so, especially post 3/23) countermeasures were probably overkill (again, this will vary by location, different places are progressing differently).

    At this point I think it makes sense to look at individual areas. In particular, I would recommend locations in the states mentioned in this post (WA, OR, CA, NY, SC, MI, FL) because they give various shutdown dates and some statewide plots through 3/23.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/

    I would recommend looking at the three locations Kinsa has discussed in blog posts. Santa Clara County, CA and Miami-Dade, FL (see earlier comment) and New York County, NY (plot below for context).
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/tale-of-two-cities-atypical-illness-trends-for-santa-clara-and-miami-dade-county/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/early-social-distancing-measures-reduce-the-spread-of-illness-in-new-york-city/

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/New-York-County-Share-of-Population-with-Flu-Like-Illness.png

    This comment has gone on long enough so I will just suggest looking at those three locations in the interactive map while having the corresponding blog post open in another window. My brief observations:

    Santa Clara County, CA - Declining to 5.28% on 3/1 which is when Kinsa considers it to have left trend. Then roughly flat until 3/17. Sharp decline from 4.72% on 3/17 to 0.98% on 3/27. Then slow decline to 0.71% on 4/4. Followed by a drop to about 0.2% or less through 4/13.

    Miami-Dade County, FL - sharp rise from 3.41% on 3/2 to 7.06% on 3/19. Followed by sharp decline from there to 1.71% on 3/28. Then a slower but steady decline to 0.49% on 4/13.

    New York County, NY - Steady (and sharp) decline from 6.43% on 3/17 to 0.86% on 4/12.

    Miami looks like it could have been ugly without the school closings.

    New York's decline started 3/17, just 5 days after ONLY restrictions on public gatherings over 500 people were in place. That and schools closing are looking like the most effective countermeasures to me.

    P.S. [email protected]#$ autoformatting ate the last part of my comment because I was careless about using less than and greater than. That's why I deleted and recreated it.

    I was careless about using less than and greater than.

    The preview button is your friend.

    • Replies: @res
    Sometimes. The problem is that Preview formats slightly differently so I tend to save my whole comment in the paste buffer then publish. If there is a major problem I recreate from that. But in this case I had fixed a mistake in the middle and made the mistake of republishing (and overwriting my paste buffer with the truncated comment) before reviewing to the end.

    Reviewing long comments twice (preview then publish) is not an acceptable alternative for me. Therefore occasionally I make a mistake like this one. I should probably go back to my older practice of saving long and/or complicated comments in a separate editor before publishing.
  27. Of general interest, commenter Mehen has posted a great anti-CoronaPanic poem:

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/open-thread-2/#comment-3837543

    [MORE]

    THE COVID CABAL

    (1)
    Those who run things down here
    Rule the world with fallacy and fear
    All wealth and power be their goals
    While discord fills their pitiful souls.
    The globalists, the bankers, they sat to conspire
    With pharma and 5G investors to make it so dire.
    Selecting the virus to shut down your nation
    Like it was threatening everything in creation.

    (2)
    Frederic, Chapel Hill, Winnipeg the bug did travel,
    And finally, to Wuhan where they made it unravel.
    Without real evidence the panic was risen
    Way out of proportion to anything given.
    The media and the state well into the lie,
    Had to make the numbers appear very, very high,
    Helping the virus to shut down your nation
    Like it was threatening everything in creation.

    (3)
    They hired their flakes to make us their fools,
    Their media, their networks, their paid-off tools,
    Phoney politicians, agencies, spin doctors galore,
    Anything to make the death number soar. […..]

    (CONTINUED)

  28. @Hail
    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense: potentially All Loss, No Gain. At best, "Big Loss, Very Minor Gain of Questionable Long-Run Value."

    Viral 'epidemics' in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued. There is real evidence for this. (And, in any case, even totally uncontained the virus was simply not a Mass Killer Apocalypse Virus and never was.There remains no good evidence for, and substantial evidence against.)


    A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the „lockdown“, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a „lockdown“.
     

    The Swiss magazine Infosperber criticizes the information policy of authorities and the media: „Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign„. Misleading figures and graphics are used to spread at least partly unjustified fear.
     
    "Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign" is a great summary of CoronaMania.

    Also, Sweden is doing fine.

    One more nugget out of Switzerland:


    According to the latest report of the Federal Office of Public Health, the median age of test-positive deceased is now 84 years.
     
    (The above from "A Swiss Doctor on COVID-19," published by Swiss Propaganda Research, a website that has distinguished itself throughout this artificial crisis for consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd.)

    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense

    Quite a few people of all descriptions are saying things of questionable accuracy. More than a few of them are posting comments on the Unz Review. One thing I like about the Unz Review is we tend not to take the word of “credentialed experts” as gospel. Especially given how much various “experts” disagree about this issue. Are we to believe the people you call expert but not any of the others? How do we decide?

    If you can get past scare words like “crippling” perhaps we can have a real discussion about this? Because I think the Kinsa data I have posted here provides clear evidence that at least SOME of the shutdowns have had value.

    I also believe that same Kinsa data suggests that the more drastic measures were unnecessary. And may even (probably IMHO, at least for much of it) justify the rhetoric you are using.

    Viral ‘epidemics’ in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued.

    See the 538 article mentioned in my earlier comment (TLDR: both R0 and IFR appear to be higher than normal for COVID-19). And then take a look at the data for Miami I gave. That Miami data looks like a serious blowup in progress before the school shutdowns occurred. I think things could have been even worse in areas more favorable climatically for the disease.

    Try taking a look at various flyover counties in Kinsa. Here is a sample at random.
    https://healthweather.us/?regionId=46093&mode=Observed

    They were having a regular flu season with a suggestive (but not “Atypical”) uptick in early March. They closed schools on 3/16:
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/south-dakota
    and the illness rate dropped from 4.7% on 3/19 down to 0 on 4/10. It is possible (likely IMHO) they could have gotten away with even lesser measures. It is also possible that things would have blown up without the school closings.

    The thing is public health officials are dealing with uncertainty. It is highly likely the outcomes will be in one of these forms.
    1. Things blow up and get ugly.
    2. The measures taken prove to be excessive to some degree.
    3. Things never get ugly and we muddle through (think SARS, MERS, Ebola, 2009 H1N1; then go read that 538 article again).

    The key thing I see is to be adaptive (and selective by locality) and try to minimize the excess in the measures taken. Also realize that if we are to have any room for error with countermeasures, 2 is going to happen in almost all cases.

    Again, the reason I keep harping on the Kinsa data is it only seems to have a 5 day lag before the effects of countermeasures become visible. That is a big deal when trying to apply adaptive controls!

    consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd

    The Unz crowd seems to be splitting into two camps (Hoax! Apocalypse!) yelling at each other. I think both camps are wrong. Or right, depending on how you look at it.

    In particular, my key claims. Notice the mix from each camp.

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.

    Please tell me what you disagree with there. The real conversation we should be having now is about 2. Things like:

    A.What types of intervention have the best cost/benefit profile?
    B. How do we know when to apply and remove various levels of intervention?
    C. At what level of granularity (city, county, state, country?) should various interventions be applied?

    I think the Kinsa data could help with B and the local choices part of C (but administrative facts and practical details often dictate granularity to use).

    Based on the Kinsa data I have seen so far (and a closer look at more localities could probably tell us MUCH more) the high value interventions for A have been school closings and restrictions on large gatherings.

    P.S. It would help this conversation if you gave an explicit proposal for how you would have handled COVID-19 in the US. Just arguing “too much” is no good. What would you recommend doing/having done?

    • Agree: vhrm
    • Replies: @UK
    A clear and concise message from government followed by restaurants and bars being limited to table service/75% occupancy, mass gatherings like music festivals being postponed, a war time style effort to make an abundance of PPE for those who want it and a public health messaging campaign about hygiene.

    Keys vectors, especially hospitals, need measures in place in future. Perhaps including Chinese style emergency hospital building or requisitioning of conference space as in the UK.

    This can then all be played around with as proper testing is brought online. Sadly the Chinese delayed the building of such facilities by admonishing the world for racism even while they ensured they had all of the necessary resources.

    It might sound silly but if actual respirators and hazmat suits were available to anyone for free then there'd be no need for any of this. Those who wanted to wear them could, and be safe, others could not. Obviously job discrimination against hazmat wearers etc would need to be prohibited, though I very much doubt anyone would actually be fired for it.
    , @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.
     
    I agree. However, I'm not remotely convinced that it isn't going to be between those two levels anyway in spite of excessive and counter-productive shutdowns.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.
     
    I agree. Primarily school closures and the banning of certain large public gatherings.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.
     
    Certainly true! And it cannot be understated the extent to which the "shutdown" is arbitrary as opposed to comprehensive. This is particularly the case in states run by moronic fanatics who have proven themselves to be destroyers of families, poisoners of public morality, promoters of usury, and supporters of Zionist war spending.

    It is worth noting that the American people forced the so-called "public health experts" to admit that masks should be worn in public. It was not the other way around.
    , @Dutch Boy
    Cost/benefit? Obviously you are not a politician or health bureaucrat! Even one death is unacceptable unless you are a monster.
    , @anon
    Oh dear res, useless data and longwinded detours are not what decision makers need right now. As usual, the sensible thing for governments to do is little or nothing. It's the no-cost, all benefit approach!

    Weeks ahead of time, they come out and say, "There's a flu coming. Be prepared to work and study from home where possible, maybe cover your face when you go out. If you are 60+ years of age, it might be time to run and hide. Best of luck!"

    Under no circumstances do you shut down the economy over this:
    https://i.insider.com/5e5fc740fee23d14eb3dd212?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp
    When the dust settles, I predict no relationship between government intervention and body count (as if a few dead retirees were a bad thing).

  29. @Mr. Rational

    I was careless about using less than and greater than.
     
    The preview button is your friend.

    Sometimes. The problem is that Preview formats slightly differently so I tend to save my whole comment in the paste buffer then publish. If there is a major problem I recreate from that. But in this case I had fixed a mistake in the middle and made the mistake of republishing (and overwriting my paste buffer with the truncated comment) before reviewing to the end.

    Reviewing long comments twice (preview then publish) is not an acceptable alternative for me. Therefore occasionally I make a mistake like this one. I should probably go back to my older practice of saving long and/or complicated comments in a separate editor before publishing.

  30. What about Greece?

    They should be having a high number of cases like Spain or Italy (similar in terms of old age of the population and gregarious culture), yet they are doing better even than Germany.

    I don’t know much about they’re policies, this is from the Grauniad:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/14/how-greece-is-beating-coronavirus-despite-a-decade-of-debt

    If true, then it must mean that lockdowns have some validity (even though I tend more towards skepticism and prefer the Swedish approach)

    • Replies: @Wielgus
    I am there. In lockdown for over three weeks.
    All the Balkan countries have relatively low death tolls. It may point to some efficacy of lockdowns although I am seeing more people moving about in recent days as a result of good weather and perhaps increasing frustration.
    The Greek death toll has only gradually crept up, with two deaths today taking it into three figures - 101.
    The Greek government jumped on this thing early, probably. That may have been as important as the lockdown itself.
  31. Hail says: • Website
    @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    “On Friday, 10 April 2020, at the Coronavirus Daily Update press briefing, Matt Hancock, the [UK] Health Secretary, made a startling admission. He was asked how many people would die due to the economic harm resulting from the government’s response to the coronavirus. Hancock admitted that the government did not know, or even have a ball park figure.

    However, he was quick to reassure us that ‘as an economist’ he took this very seriously, and he and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would (future tense) be looking into this. In other words, the government decided on a policy that could potentially cause hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths without weighing those lost life years against the potentially saved life years of the adopted policy. This is the very definition of irrational policy-making.”

    Steve Hayes

    • Replies: @UK
    It is very sad to say that the government actually made a rational decision as a lot of parts of New Britain would have been entirely unable to cope with the general sense of hysteria without the cold grip of authority around their throats.
  32. @Dumbo
    What about Greece?

    They should be having a high number of cases like Spain or Italy (similar in terms of old age of the population and gregarious culture), yet they are doing better even than Germany.

    I don't know much about they're policies, this is from the Grauniad:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/14/how-greece-is-beating-coronavirus-despite-a-decade-of-debt

    If true, then it must mean that lockdowns have some validity (even though I tend more towards skepticism and prefer the Swedish approach)

    I am there. In lockdown for over three weeks.
    All the Balkan countries have relatively low death tolls. It may point to some efficacy of lockdowns although I am seeing more people moving about in recent days as a result of good weather and perhaps increasing frustration.
    The Greek death toll has only gradually crept up, with two deaths today taking it into three figures – 101.
    The Greek government jumped on this thing early, probably. That may have been as important as the lockdown itself.

  33. UK says:
    @res

    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense
     
    Quite a few people of all descriptions are saying things of questionable accuracy. More than a few of them are posting comments on the Unz Review. One thing I like about the Unz Review is we tend not to take the word of "credentialed experts" as gospel. Especially given how much various "experts" disagree about this issue. Are we to believe the people you call expert but not any of the others? How do we decide?

    If you can get past scare words like "crippling" perhaps we can have a real discussion about this? Because I think the Kinsa data I have posted here provides clear evidence that at least SOME of the shutdowns have had value.

    I also believe that same Kinsa data suggests that the more drastic measures were unnecessary. And may even (probably IMHO, at least for much of it) justify the rhetoric you are using.

    Viral ‘epidemics’ in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued.
     
    See the 538 article mentioned in my earlier comment (TLDR: both R0 and IFR appear to be higher than normal for COVID-19). And then take a look at the data for Miami I gave. That Miami data looks like a serious blowup in progress before the school shutdowns occurred. I think things could have been even worse in areas more favorable climatically for the disease.

    Try taking a look at various flyover counties in Kinsa. Here is a sample at random.
    https://healthweather.us/?regionId=46093&mode=Observed

    They were having a regular flu season with a suggestive (but not "Atypical") uptick in early March. They closed schools on 3/16:
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/south-dakota
    and the illness rate dropped from 4.7% on 3/19 down to 0 on 4/10. It is possible (likely IMHO) they could have gotten away with even lesser measures. It is also possible that things would have blown up without the school closings.

    The thing is public health officials are dealing with uncertainty. It is highly likely the outcomes will be in one of these forms.
    1. Things blow up and get ugly.
    2. The measures taken prove to be excessive to some degree.
    3. Things never get ugly and we muddle through (think SARS, MERS, Ebola, 2009 H1N1; then go read that 538 article again).

    The key thing I see is to be adaptive (and selective by locality) and try to minimize the excess in the measures taken. Also realize that if we are to have any room for error with countermeasures, 2 is going to happen in almost all cases.

    Again, the reason I keep harping on the Kinsa data is it only seems to have a 5 day lag before the effects of countermeasures become visible. That is a big deal when trying to apply adaptive controls!

    consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd
     
    The Unz crowd seems to be splitting into two camps (Hoax! Apocalypse!) yelling at each other. I think both camps are wrong. Or right, depending on how you look at it.

    In particular, my key claims. Notice the mix from each camp.

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.

    Please tell me what you disagree with there. The real conversation we should be having now is about 2. Things like:

    A.What types of intervention have the best cost/benefit profile?
    B. How do we know when to apply and remove various levels of intervention?
    C. At what level of granularity (city, county, state, country?) should various interventions be applied?

    I think the Kinsa data could help with B and the local choices part of C (but administrative facts and practical details often dictate granularity to use).

    Based on the Kinsa data I have seen so far (and a closer look at more localities could probably tell us MUCH more) the high value interventions for A have been school closings and restrictions on large gatherings.

    P.S. It would help this conversation if you gave an explicit proposal for how you would have handled COVID-19 in the US. Just arguing "too much" is no good. What would you recommend doing/having done?

    A clear and concise message from government followed by restaurants and bars being limited to table service/75% occupancy, mass gatherings like music festivals being postponed, a war time style effort to make an abundance of PPE for those who want it and a public health messaging campaign about hygiene.

    Keys vectors, especially hospitals, need measures in place in future. Perhaps including Chinese style emergency hospital building or requisitioning of conference space as in the UK.

    This can then all be played around with as proper testing is brought online. Sadly the Chinese delayed the building of such facilities by admonishing the world for racism even while they ensured they had all of the necessary resources.

    It might sound silly but if actual respirators and hazmat suits were available to anyone for free then there’d be no need for any of this. Those who wanted to wear them could, and be safe, others could not. Obviously job discrimination against hazmat wearers etc would need to be prohibited, though I very much doubt anyone would actually be fired for it.

    • Replies: @res

    A clear and concise message from government followed by restaurants and bars being limited to table service/75% occupancy, mass gatherings like music festivals being postponed, a war time style effort to make an abundance of PPE for those who want it and a public health messaging campaign about hygiene.
     
    That would be a good start. I would say doing that then monitoring the growth rate and closing schools if the growth rate has not moderated after a week (or two, maybe even three, we would be doubling from a low base) would be a worthwhile addition.

    I would also add travel restrictions (either a ban or two week mandatory quarantine) for travel from areas (either other countries or specific US locations, like NYC) where the virus is active.
  34. @Hail
    "On Friday, 10 April 2020, at the Coronavirus Daily Update press briefing, Matt Hancock, the [UK] Health Secretary, made a startling admission. He was asked how many people would die due to the economic harm resulting from the government’s response to the coronavirus. Hancock admitted that the government did not know, or even have a ball park figure.

    However, he was quick to reassure us that 'as an economist' he took this very seriously, and he and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would (future tense) be looking into this. In other words, the government decided on a policy that could potentially cause hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths without weighing those lost life years against the potentially saved life years of the adopted policy. This is the very definition of irrational policy-making."

    -- Steve Hayes

    It is very sad to say that the government actually made a rational decision as a lot of parts of New Britain would have been entirely unable to cope with the general sense of hysteria without the cold grip of authority around their throats.

  35. anon[138] • Disclaimer says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    I’ve long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production

    What have you long based that belief upon? Knowledge of virology and the human immune system? Knowledge of epidemiology? Or something else not necessarily based in physical reality?

    Just wondering.

    • Replies: @Hail
    One weird feature of the Corona Panic-and-Mass-Delusion Event of 2020 is the disempowering, marginalization, and silencing of actual experts.

    This whole thing bears all the hallmarks of a social panic, a mass-hysteria, and actually in retrospect it always has. It was never based in rational thinking or goo data, all based on kneejerk reactions, fear, ans craven surrender to Doomer-ism. (It would be a little like the US in normal times redirecting 30% of GDP to fight alien abductions).

    Even the best of us can fall for these things, but all it takes to break the spell is get a little out of earshot of the pro-CoronaPanic media drumbeat, do actual independent thinking, find context, and find dissenting voices and listen to what they're saying that's different from the Drumbeat. That is what I see Intelligent Dasein and others doing.

    “The only means to fight the plague is honesty.” -- Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)

  36. @Hail

    Iceland’s randomized tests revealed that between 0.3%-0.8% of Iceland’s population is infected with the respiratory illness
     
    Iceland population: 341,500

    Therefore ca. 1,025 to 2,750 Icelanders are positives.

    But this 0.3% to 0.8% figure is, if I understand correctly, current-positives, does not account for past-positives whose immune systems dealt with and eliminated the virus in the usual way and who no longer show up as positives (as always happens with normal viruses for most of us). They would need a different type of test to determine that. Several such tests are now ongoing in Europe. The upcoming major Swedish study of this kind may be the death knell for the CoronaPanic-pushing holdouts remaining.

    Depending on how far along Iceland's epidemic-arc got, the "past-positives" will have a multiplier effect (cf. the Gangelt antibody study) on the denominator within the "coronavirus death rate" calculation the media so loves to shove at people to keep them scared and in line, always using incomplete, and sometimes obviously bad, data.

    In other words, the true number of Icelanders whose bodies had contact with the virus could easily be past 10,000.

    Iceland has 9 deaths now and several more current-positives likely to die, drawn from the weakest and most infirm. The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%. And that's not even getting into "died with" vs. "died of"! Given the "died with vs. died from" problem and given that no virus ever infects everyone, we are looking at a coronavirus-attributable population loss that may well round to 0.0% when it all is said and done, [i.e. <0.05%, which in Iceland's case means 170 deaths or fewer]. The chances that coronavirus-attributable deaths will show a distinct and unprecedented spike in the final mortality data for the year, as the bloodthirsty media wanted so bad, seem very low.

    TLDR: "Just The Flu" vindicated.

    It's time to de-escalate the CoronaPanic; take back control over our own destinies; Stop the CoronaMadness.

    __________

    (Note that the past-positives-with-full-recoveries problem is mentioned explicitly in the article but not explained well in the context of how it lowers the implied fatality rate:)


    Still, in terms of collecting actionable data about coronavirus, Hange, the Harvard epidemiologist, questioned whether Iceland would be better off focusing on serological tests that could determine whether a person had developed certain antibodies in the blood indicating that they were infected by the virus without knowing it, and recovered.

    Knowing whether these antibodies exist in someone's blood could, potentially, enable tens of millions of people around the world to reenter the workforce
     

    Iceland’s one of the few countries that has good, current, open, data on infections, recoveries, and deaths by age – that can be retrieved programmatically (although with some annoyances).

    Current-positives from that page is 723, with 989 recovered – for a total case count of 1,720 and 8 deaths (1 under 60; 6 over 70).

    https://www.covid.is/data

    By contrast, South Korea’s data is an absolute mare’s nest: really comprehensive, but the table structures are diabolical.

    OT: There has been a significant upside to this ‘Plandemic’: ‘Cognitive Dissonance‘ – one of the few ZeroHedge readers who has been around that (now-)shithole as long as me – has graced ZH with some non-clickbait content. Non-bullshit content is rare for ZH since the ‘OG’ TD&Marla sold the site.

    CogDis: “Papers Please!”.

    If I didn’t have a hard-line “Fuck Patreon” rule, he’s one guy I would subscribe to (I refuse to call it being a ‘Patron’ because FUCK PATREON).

    • Replies: @anon
    Too long and repetitive, skimmed to the bottom. Just another Doomer poast @Zerohedge.
    Blackpilling has become really boring. It's all "Wolf!" all the time, but never any action item. Just "oh, noes, lookee here! It's them at it again! Whut'll we do?"

    My message to any sane people who may be left @Zerohedge:

    Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. Stop whining. Stop Dooming.

    Thanks, though, for reminding me why I quit even skimming Zerohedge years ago.
  37. Doesn’t data from our own hospitals confirm this? We don’t need to look at Iceland. Several doctors and hospitals have come out in recent days saying that hospitals are seeing much lower volume than usual, and the overwhelming majority of inpatients are COVID-19.

    If hospitalization for other diseases (including the flu) is down, then so is transmission.

    Anecdotally, while I’ve been working remotely, no one has missed “work” in a month, including people who routinely get sick. This could of course also be because it’s easier for lazy people to literally phone it in, but it makes sense that some are actually not getting sick.

  38. anon[326] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes
    Iceland's one of the few countries that has good, current, open, data on infections, recoveries, and deaths by age - that can be retrieved programmatically (although with some annoyances).

    Current-positives from that page is 723, with 989 recovered - for a total case count of 1,720 and 8 deaths (1 under 60; 6 over 70).

    https://www.covid.is/data

    By contrast, South Korea's data is an absolute mare's nest: really comprehensive, but the table structures are diabolical.

    OT: There has been a significant upside to this 'Plandemic': 'Cognitive Dissonance' - one of the few ZeroHedge readers who has been around that (now-)shithole as long as me - has graced ZH with some non-clickbait content. Non-bullshit content is rare for ZH since the 'OG' TD&Marla sold the site.

    CogDis: "Papers Please!".

    If I didn't have a hard-line "Fuck Patreon" rule, he's one guy I would subscribe to (I refuse to call it being a 'Patron' because FUCK PATREON).

    Too long and repetitive, skimmed to the bottom. Just another Doomer poast @Zerohedge.
    Blackpilling has become really boring. It’s all “Wolf!” all the time, but never any action item. Just “oh, noes, lookee here! It’s them at it again! Whut’ll we do?”

    My message to any sane people who may be left @Zerohedge:

    Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. Stop whining. Stop Dooming.

    Thanks, though, for reminding me why I quit even skimming Zerohedge years ago.

    • Replies: @Hail

    @Zerohedge: [...] Stop Dooming.
     
    I remain curious what it was that led some -- including some intelligent and reasonable people whom I generally like, respect, and admire, who are not normally followers of the 'mob' -- to just cave in to the Panic and stick with it, while others either never quite fell in or sooner or later liberated themselves from the evil-beast of this Panic, conducted a rational analysis, and regained their senses.

    It’s all “Wolf!” all the time
     
    This is a point I've seen made on the margins and it is worth making again. This bout of mass delusion over what expert consensus is an unremakrable virus WILL do serious damage to the credibility of authorities when there might, at some future date, be an actual pandemic to deal with.

    Many of the key movers within the various factions of the pro-CoronaPanic side should be ashamed of themselves for a lot of reasons, but this is a big one. Their choice to promote CoronaPanic (for whatever mix of selfish- and/or panic-based reasons they did) and shove unnecessary, counter-productive, and devastating shutdowns on us that hurt their own people so much, WILL produce a Boy Cries Wolf Effect when people realize they've been 'had,' that the Corona Apocalypse was a washout, a fraud, a fiasco of terrible data and media-driven insanity.

  39. @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    I’ve long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production.
     
    Cool theory but there is literally no evidence for it. Even totally non-lethal "common" colds tigger an immunological response. And since there is another, completely logical explanation (that most people are still not infected) totally in accordance with scientific norms, it seems a lot like wishful thinking.

    If this virus has already hit everywhere, how do explain the *tenfold* increase in deaths/week in Italy and other hard-hit areas, while other regions are barely affected at all? I'm actually curious about your answer, not just trying to be rhetorical.

    Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it... somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.
     
    "Histronic panic" is never a good thing. But the response of world governments has been anything but histronic, in the West it has probably even been too lax (the disasters in Lombardy and NYC could have been totally avoided if flights to China had been stopped sooner). The fact that heroes like Dr. Fauci have managed to stem the spread of the virus through severe measures shows that elites actually are willing to put competant people in charge when their own hides are threatened, as opposed to the usual state of affairs.

    the disasters in Lombardy and NYC could have been totally avoided if flights to China had been stopped sooner

    The NYC part of that is unclear to me. Most of the NYC cases were of a European strain, but it is possible shutting down the China-Europe flights earlier would have shut that link off.

    From this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/new-york-vs-california/#comment-3831654

    It has been established that the dominant strains in New York and California are different. NY mostly got it from Europe, CA mostly from Asia. Thanks to utu for pointing me to this article:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8206625/America-hit-COVID-19-two-continents-studies-suggest.html

    Here is one site they referenced. https://nextstrain.org/

    I think this is the Cambridge University paper mentioned.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/07/2004999117

    I have not seen anything indicating the strains differ in virulence.

    It seems hard to blame Italy for waiting until 1/31 to ban flights from China:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/20/dr-fauci-is-wrong-italy-did-close-its-border-china/

    Note from that article that the first (known, detected) case in the US was 1/21 and the first case in Italy was 1/30.

    • Replies: @anon
    It seems hard to blame Italy for waiting until 1/31 to ban flights from China:

    What was the date when the US banned flights from northern Italy, again?
  40. @UK
    A clear and concise message from government followed by restaurants and bars being limited to table service/75% occupancy, mass gatherings like music festivals being postponed, a war time style effort to make an abundance of PPE for those who want it and a public health messaging campaign about hygiene.

    Keys vectors, especially hospitals, need measures in place in future. Perhaps including Chinese style emergency hospital building or requisitioning of conference space as in the UK.

    This can then all be played around with as proper testing is brought online. Sadly the Chinese delayed the building of such facilities by admonishing the world for racism even while they ensured they had all of the necessary resources.

    It might sound silly but if actual respirators and hazmat suits were available to anyone for free then there'd be no need for any of this. Those who wanted to wear them could, and be safe, others could not. Obviously job discrimination against hazmat wearers etc would need to be prohibited, though I very much doubt anyone would actually be fired for it.

    A clear and concise message from government followed by restaurants and bars being limited to table service/75% occupancy, mass gatherings like music festivals being postponed, a war time style effort to make an abundance of PPE for those who want it and a public health messaging campaign about hygiene.

    That would be a good start. I would say doing that then monitoring the growth rate and closing schools if the growth rate has not moderated after a week (or two, maybe even three, we would be doubling from a low base) would be a worthwhile addition.

    I would also add travel restrictions (either a ban or two week mandatory quarantine) for travel from areas (either other countries or specific US locations, like NYC) where the virus is active.

  41. @anon
    I'd be happy if the disease has been widespread in some fashion and hence is less severe than commonly thought. But I dont think so. Intelligent Dasein's latest theory, an untestable immunity isn't directly testable, so effectively unknowable.

    But antibody testing would require a small sample and should be done ASAP. And if it is shown that positives are a small percentage (1%-2%), it's time to classify this line of thought as wishful thinking.

    The reason being that a small antibody positive rate is really bad news. It means they lengthened the curve to forever. So, in the absence of a willingness to let it rip through the population, they need to look at more extreme measures solve this. Like if a few hundred billion were no object, what could be done. Or if you are willing to suspend civil liberties, why all the squeamishness over testing? Just pay some human subjects and let the scientists have their way with them. For example.

    I’d be happy if the disease has been widespread in some fashion and hence is less severe than commonly thought. But I dont think so. Intelligent Dasein’s latest theory, an untestable immunity isn’t directly testable, so effectively unknowable.

    And that’s what the powers that be are counting on, of course.

    At the risk of appearing simple, I’m just going to say this very plainly without a lot of verbal adornment. These upcoming serology tests that Fauci and others keep harping upon are a gigantic red herring. This is “the Mueller investigation” translated into the domain of national health. It is an open-ended platform for government interference in every gathering, every private business, and every individual life. Have you heard about Gov. Newsom’s Six Conditions for Reopening California? They include things like the mass tracking of infected individuals, the authority to rezone floor spaces of every business in order to ensure social distancing, and the permission to reimpose the lockdown at any time. This is carte blanche emergency powers; or, as I described it in another post, the perfect Foucaultian wet dream.

    But for now it’s all predicated on the notion that serology tests can definitively establish who has already had the virus and who hasn’t. There is no scientific basis for this presumption. A given individual may have been infected with a mild case of the virus and never produced any antibodies, or he might have produced them in the past but lost them. But in any case, the tests are not free. They impose a cost both in money and time to carry out, and so far we are just talking about conditions before the economy can be provisionally reopened. Such a plan would take months or years to carry out; in fact, it is doubtful under these conditions if California will ever be reopened.

    I doubt much of it will ever be implemented, but that is not the point. The point is to keep everyone in a state of perpetual uncertainty for months while the politicians seize ever more control.

    Under the basic power-law model that I have been proposing, we can expect 20% of the population to have been exposed to the virus, 20% of those to have been infected, and about half of the infected to show an immunological response sufficient to produce serum antibodies. (This is under normal social conditions, not special cases like the Diamond Princess. Local results will vary somewhat.) This means that serology-measured “infection” rates will run at between 2-4%, making it seem like: A) The fatality rate is much higher than it really is; and B) A huge swath of the population is still vulnerable.

    This claim is ridiculous. We can’t keep the economy shut down for 18 months, so eventually it’s all going to get walked back or quietly ignored. The only reason it’s being bothered about is not to promote public health but to perpetuate the fake state of emergency. This whole “herd immunity” idea needs to exposed for the absolute nonsense that it is. The herd already has immunity, with or without antibodies. If it didn’t the whole herd would already be sick.

    • Replies: @Dissident

    This is carte blanche emergency powers; or, as I described it in another post, the perfect Foucaultian wet dream.
     
    Assuming you were referring-to Michel Foucault, I'm afraid that describing his "perfect wet dream" could be too much even for Unz Review...
  42. “P.S. It would help this conversation if you gave an explicit proposal for how you would have handled COVID-19 in the US.”

    I would have immediately approached Taiwan or S. Korea, and said: “We are inept, with a severely relaxed performance standard, and our politics is complex, drawn-out, hostile, gridlocked, secretive, devious, and corrupt. This unraveled condition we um, yuh know, accept, for normal things, like homeless encampments, the Boeing Max, infrastructure decay; I could go on and on. But this is potentially very different: It involves protecting the people from devastating harm. Asteroids, accidental nuclear detonations, and pandemics. This is why we’re here. So tell us what to do, and we will do it. Whatever you say. Money is no object. We cannot do it ourselves; we admit this.

    • Replies: @res
    I was going to tag this with an LOL (it IS funny), but on reflection there is far too much truth in that for me to just laugh it off as a joke.
  43. @Intelligent Dasein

    I’d be happy if the disease has been widespread in some fashion and hence is less severe than commonly thought. But I dont think so. Intelligent Dasein’s latest theory, an untestable immunity isn’t directly testable, so effectively unknowable.
     
    And that's what the powers that be are counting on, of course.

    At the risk of appearing simple, I'm just going to say this very plainly without a lot of verbal adornment. These upcoming serology tests that Fauci and others keep harping upon are a gigantic red herring. This is "the Mueller investigation" translated into the domain of national health. It is an open-ended platform for government interference in every gathering, every private business, and every individual life. Have you heard about Gov. Newsom's Six Conditions for Reopening California? They include things like the mass tracking of infected individuals, the authority to rezone floor spaces of every business in order to ensure social distancing, and the permission to reimpose the lockdown at any time. This is carte blanche emergency powers; or, as I described it in another post, the perfect Foucaultian wet dream.

    But for now it's all predicated on the notion that serology tests can definitively establish who has already had the virus and who hasn't. There is no scientific basis for this presumption. A given individual may have been infected with a mild case of the virus and never produced any antibodies, or he might have produced them in the past but lost them. But in any case, the tests are not free. They impose a cost both in money and time to carry out, and so far we are just talking about conditions before the economy can be provisionally reopened. Such a plan would take months or years to carry out; in fact, it is doubtful under these conditions if California will ever be reopened.

    I doubt much of it will ever be implemented, but that is not the point. The point is to keep everyone in a state of perpetual uncertainty for months while the politicians seize ever more control.

    Under the basic power-law model that I have been proposing, we can expect 20% of the population to have been exposed to the virus, 20% of those to have been infected, and about half of the infected to show an immunological response sufficient to produce serum antibodies. (This is under normal social conditions, not special cases like the Diamond Princess. Local results will vary somewhat.) This means that serology-measured "infection" rates will run at between 2-4%, making it seem like: A) The fatality rate is much higher than it really is; and B) A huge swath of the population is still vulnerable.

    This claim is ridiculous. We can't keep the economy shut down for 18 months, so eventually it's all going to get walked back or quietly ignored. The only reason it's being bothered about is not to promote public health but to perpetuate the fake state of emergency. This whole "herd immunity" idea needs to exposed for the absolute nonsense that it is. The herd already has immunity, with or without antibodies. If it didn't the whole herd would already be sick.

    This is carte blanche emergency powers; or, as I described it in another post, the perfect Foucaultian wet dream.

    Assuming you were referring-to Michel Foucault, I’m afraid that describing his “perfect wet dream” could be too much even for Unz Review…

    • LOL: iffen
  44. @SafeNow
    “P.S. It would help this conversation if you gave an explicit proposal for how you would have handled COVID-19 in the US.”

    I would have immediately approached Taiwan or S. Korea, and said: “We are inept, with a severely relaxed performance standard, and our politics is complex, drawn-out, hostile, gridlocked, secretive, devious, and corrupt. This unraveled condition we um, yuh know, accept, for normal things, like homeless encampments, the Boeing Max, infrastructure decay; I could go on and on. But this is potentially very different: It involves protecting the people from devastating harm. Asteroids, accidental nuclear detonations, and pandemics. This is why we’re here. So tell us what to do, and we will do it. Whatever you say. Money is no object. We cannot do it ourselves; we admit this.

    I was going to tag this with an LOL (it IS funny), but on reflection there is far too much truth in that for me to just laugh it off as a joke.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    I actually stole the idea...a large movement in Australia asked New Zealand to please annex Australia and order us what to do.
  45. @res

    the disasters in Lombardy and NYC could have been totally avoided if flights to China had been stopped sooner
     
    The NYC part of that is unclear to me. Most of the NYC cases were of a European strain, but it is possible shutting down the China-Europe flights earlier would have shut that link off.

    From this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/new-york-vs-california/#comment-3831654

    It has been established that the dominant strains in New York and California are different. NY mostly got it from Europe, CA mostly from Asia. Thanks to utu for pointing me to this article:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8206625/America-hit-COVID-19-two-continents-studies-suggest.html

    Here is one site they referenced. https://nextstrain.org/

    I think this is the Cambridge University paper mentioned.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/07/2004999117

    I have not seen anything indicating the strains differ in virulence.

     

    It seems hard to blame Italy for waiting until 1/31 to ban flights from China:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/20/dr-fauci-is-wrong-italy-did-close-its-border-china/

    Note from that article that the first (known, detected) case in the US was 1/21 and the first case in Italy was 1/30.

    It seems hard to blame Italy for waiting until 1/31 to ban flights from China:

    What was the date when the US banned flights from northern Italy, again?

    • Agree: res
  46. The MSM until recently:

    Trump is offering no national leadership. He didn’t lockdown America quickly enough. He’s not co-ordinating a national effort. He’s not providing the states with ventilators. States are following different options. He won’t force uniformity. He won’t even force the states that have not issued lockdown orders to do so, yada, yada, yada.

    Trump: I am going to decide when to re-open America.

    The MSM (non-partisan, impartial, objective):

    You can’t do that! It’s up to the governors. You don’t have the authority!

    • Agree: Talha
  47. One benefit of the corona pandemic is that Creepy Joe will have to keep his distance and keeps his hands and fingers to himself.

    #IStandWithTara

    • Replies: @anon
    #IStandWithTaraButSixFeetAway
  48. @iffen
    One benefit of the corona pandemic is that Creepy Joe will have to keep his distance and keeps his hands and fingers to himself.

    #IStandWithTara

    #IStandWithTaraButSixFeetAway

    • LOL: iffen
  49. @res

    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don’t agree with the Kinsa data.
     
    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion ("common sense") to data. I think that says it all.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?
     
    Compared to what? You don't like any of the other data out there which disagrees with your opinion either.

    As with almost all data, the Kinsa data has issues. Primarily that it is limited to people who have their thermometers and are using them. Now on to the substantive part of your comment.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map.
     
    It helps if you understand what you are looking at. Based on those statements you are looking at the "Atypical Illness" version of the map (default on their website). I'm not sure why there are so many N/As. I asked about that in this comment (linked because there is some more discussion around it which might help you understand the map, as well as giving my questions when I first looked at the data).
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/new-york-vs-california/#comment-3833652

    Try switching to the "Observed" map view. And then let's try having this conversation again after you do that and read the rest of my comment.

    Here's a link so you don't even have to change the mode:
    https://healthweather.us/?mode=Observed

    And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.
     
    Part of that is probably the sampling issue I mention above. People are probably using their thermometers more when they think they are sick. The relevant comparison would be to prior flu seasons. And they kindly provide that data for us.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/flu-season-in-review-2018-2019/

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/National-Illness-Levels-Past-3-Years.png

    I'd say the 7% looks a bit more reasonable compared to those numbers.

    Lastly, there is the big issue I see with the data. Why is the Observed illness rate so low across all of the US (0.17%) when there are still significant case counts and deaths? We see a small area of Moderate for Observed in Louisiana, but other than that the map is a sea of the lowest bucket with a few islands of the next bucket.

    This is where things get speculative. I would appreciate constructive criticism of my analysis (especially from AE and James Bowery, if they care to comment).

    My take is that what we are seeing is that the vast majority of people who have been or are going to get sick (i.e. show new symptoms) in the immediate future are either:
    - Recovered so no fever, or
    - Under care so not using their Kinsa thermometer

    This may vary based on specific location so it is good to look at the zip code/county level data (use the search box just above the map), but first some comments about the overall US curve.

    First, the graph shows a steady decline from 7.24% on 2/15 (end of week 7 for comparison with past years above) to 5% on 3/1 (end of week 9). This is where Kinsa considers us to depart from trend remaining flat around 5 until 3/19. At that point we begin a sharp decline down to 1.57 on 3/28 (less than half of typical!). From there we have a shallower, but steady, decline down to 0.17 on 4/13 (less than 1/10 of typical!).

    So I think the full US data agrees with my assessment (earlier comment above) that the later (say post 3/16 or so, especially post 3/23) countermeasures were probably overkill (again, this will vary by location, different places are progressing differently).

    At this point I think it makes sense to look at individual areas. In particular, I would recommend locations in the states mentioned in this post (WA, OR, CA, NY, SC, MI, FL) because they give various shutdown dates and some statewide plots through 3/23.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/

    I would recommend looking at the three locations Kinsa has discussed in blog posts. Santa Clara County, CA and Miami-Dade, FL (see earlier comment) and New York County, NY (plot below for context).
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/tale-of-two-cities-atypical-illness-trends-for-santa-clara-and-miami-dade-county/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/early-social-distancing-measures-reduce-the-spread-of-illness-in-new-york-city/

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/New-York-County-Share-of-Population-with-Flu-Like-Illness.png

    This comment has gone on long enough so I will just suggest looking at those three locations in the interactive map while having the corresponding blog post open in another window. My brief observations:

    Santa Clara County, CA - Declining to 5.28% on 3/1 which is when Kinsa considers it to have left trend. Then roughly flat until 3/17. Sharp decline from 4.72% on 3/17 to 0.98% on 3/27. Then slow decline to 0.71% on 4/4. Followed by a drop to about 0.2% or less through 4/13.

    Miami-Dade County, FL - sharp rise from 3.41% on 3/2 to 7.06% on 3/19. Followed by sharp decline from there to 1.71% on 3/28. Then a slower but steady decline to 0.49% on 4/13.

    New York County, NY - Steady (and sharp) decline from 6.43% on 3/17 to 0.86% on 4/12.

    Miami looks like it could have been ugly without the school closings.

    New York's decline started 3/17, just 5 days after ONLY restrictions on public gatherings over 500 people were in place. That and schools closing are looking like the most effective countermeasures to me.

    P.S. [email protected]#$ autoformatting ate the last part of my comment because I was careless about using less than and greater than. That's why I deleted and recreated it.

    That and schools closing are looking like the most effective countermeasures to me.

    Schools closing is fine.

    Banning certain large public gatherings is fine.

    What is not fine is telling Home Depot and Lowe’s to stay open and sell all kinds of supplies while forbidding independent garden stores from competing with them. And the examples of such arbitrary and inconsistent closures are legion in the Democrat-run states, particularly in the northeast.

    And why can’t restaurants, ala Sweden, serve meals to smaller gatherings of people?

    What is not fine is telling churches to close down completely while allowing abortion clinics to use precious PPE on murdering the unborn.

    The lockdown crowd baffle me with their implicit trust of a state that has proven itself to be evil and inept.

  50. @res

    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense
     
    Quite a few people of all descriptions are saying things of questionable accuracy. More than a few of them are posting comments on the Unz Review. One thing I like about the Unz Review is we tend not to take the word of "credentialed experts" as gospel. Especially given how much various "experts" disagree about this issue. Are we to believe the people you call expert but not any of the others? How do we decide?

    If you can get past scare words like "crippling" perhaps we can have a real discussion about this? Because I think the Kinsa data I have posted here provides clear evidence that at least SOME of the shutdowns have had value.

    I also believe that same Kinsa data suggests that the more drastic measures were unnecessary. And may even (probably IMHO, at least for much of it) justify the rhetoric you are using.

    Viral ‘epidemics’ in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued.
     
    See the 538 article mentioned in my earlier comment (TLDR: both R0 and IFR appear to be higher than normal for COVID-19). And then take a look at the data for Miami I gave. That Miami data looks like a serious blowup in progress before the school shutdowns occurred. I think things could have been even worse in areas more favorable climatically for the disease.

    Try taking a look at various flyover counties in Kinsa. Here is a sample at random.
    https://healthweather.us/?regionId=46093&mode=Observed

    They were having a regular flu season with a suggestive (but not "Atypical") uptick in early March. They closed schools on 3/16:
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/south-dakota
    and the illness rate dropped from 4.7% on 3/19 down to 0 on 4/10. It is possible (likely IMHO) they could have gotten away with even lesser measures. It is also possible that things would have blown up without the school closings.

    The thing is public health officials are dealing with uncertainty. It is highly likely the outcomes will be in one of these forms.
    1. Things blow up and get ugly.
    2. The measures taken prove to be excessive to some degree.
    3. Things never get ugly and we muddle through (think SARS, MERS, Ebola, 2009 H1N1; then go read that 538 article again).

    The key thing I see is to be adaptive (and selective by locality) and try to minimize the excess in the measures taken. Also realize that if we are to have any room for error with countermeasures, 2 is going to happen in almost all cases.

    Again, the reason I keep harping on the Kinsa data is it only seems to have a 5 day lag before the effects of countermeasures become visible. That is a big deal when trying to apply adaptive controls!

    consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd
     
    The Unz crowd seems to be splitting into two camps (Hoax! Apocalypse!) yelling at each other. I think both camps are wrong. Or right, depending on how you look at it.

    In particular, my key claims. Notice the mix from each camp.

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.

    Please tell me what you disagree with there. The real conversation we should be having now is about 2. Things like:

    A.What types of intervention have the best cost/benefit profile?
    B. How do we know when to apply and remove various levels of intervention?
    C. At what level of granularity (city, county, state, country?) should various interventions be applied?

    I think the Kinsa data could help with B and the local choices part of C (but administrative facts and practical details often dictate granularity to use).

    Based on the Kinsa data I have seen so far (and a closer look at more localities could probably tell us MUCH more) the high value interventions for A have been school closings and restrictions on large gatherings.

    P.S. It would help this conversation if you gave an explicit proposal for how you would have handled COVID-19 in the US. Just arguing "too much" is no good. What would you recommend doing/having done?

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.

    I agree. However, I’m not remotely convinced that it isn’t going to be between those two levels anyway in spite of excessive and counter-productive shutdowns.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.

    I agree. Primarily school closures and the banning of certain large public gatherings.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.

    Certainly true! And it cannot be understated the extent to which the “shutdown” is arbitrary as opposed to comprehensive. This is particularly the case in states run by moronic fanatics who have proven themselves to be destroyers of families, poisoners of public morality, promoters of usury, and supporters of Zionist war spending.

    It is worth noting that the American people forced the so-called “public health experts” to admit that masks should be worn in public. It was not the other way around.

    • Replies: @res

    However, I’m not remotely convinced that it isn’t going to be between those two levels anyway in spite of excessive and counter-productive shutdowns.
     
    This is one of the important open questions. Someone posted a critique of the shutdown based on modelers truncating the death count in the summer and not accounting for a potential second wave during the next flu season. Does anyone have a link to that? I am having trouble finding it.

    One additional thing that concerns me is the states seem to have moved from shutdowns to prevent exceeding ICU capacity to shutdowns intended to take the disease rate down to near zero. Why else extend the west coast shutdowns for three more weeks? I think that increases the risk of a severe second wave along with the increasingly unacceptable social and economic consequences.

    And it cannot be understated the extent to which the “shutdown” is arbitrary as opposed to comprehensive.
     
    Yes. Another thing which is being driven home to me is how the increasingly finer grained shutdowns (e.g. first some parking lots, then some parks, then almost all parks and some other common areas) are funneling people into an ever smaller number of places. Which actually increase the risk of spreading disease IMO. Although one could argue this serves to make things more comprehensive.

    P.S. True or not, I'm not sure the final sentence of your next to last paragraph is going to help get this message across to the people who need to hear it.
  51. @LoutishAngloQuebecker
    Anglo master race confirmed.

    The Eternal Anglo wins again brother.

  52. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.
     
    I agree. However, I'm not remotely convinced that it isn't going to be between those two levels anyway in spite of excessive and counter-productive shutdowns.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.
     
    I agree. Primarily school closures and the banning of certain large public gatherings.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.
     
    Certainly true! And it cannot be understated the extent to which the "shutdown" is arbitrary as opposed to comprehensive. This is particularly the case in states run by moronic fanatics who have proven themselves to be destroyers of families, poisoners of public morality, promoters of usury, and supporters of Zionist war spending.

    It is worth noting that the American people forced the so-called "public health experts" to admit that masks should be worn in public. It was not the other way around.

    However, I’m not remotely convinced that it isn’t going to be between those two levels anyway in spite of excessive and counter-productive shutdowns.

    This is one of the important open questions. Someone posted a critique of the shutdown based on modelers truncating the death count in the summer and not accounting for a potential second wave during the next flu season. Does anyone have a link to that? I am having trouble finding it.

    One additional thing that concerns me is the states seem to have moved from shutdowns to prevent exceeding ICU capacity to shutdowns intended to take the disease rate down to near zero. Why else extend the west coast shutdowns for three more weeks? I think that increases the risk of a severe second wave along with the increasingly unacceptable social and economic consequences.

    And it cannot be understated the extent to which the “shutdown” is arbitrary as opposed to comprehensive.

    Yes. Another thing which is being driven home to me is how the increasingly finer grained shutdowns (e.g. first some parking lots, then some parks, then almost all parks and some other common areas) are funneling people into an ever smaller number of places. Which actually increase the risk of spreading disease IMO. Although one could argue this serves to make things more comprehensive.

    P.S. True or not, I’m not sure the final sentence of your next to last paragraph is going to help get this message across to the people who need to hear it.

    • Replies: @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    P.S. True or not, I’m not sure the final sentence of your next to last paragraph is going to help get this message across to the people who need to hear it.
     
    You have a point. I often neglect to remember just how widely read this site is by people outside its various movements.
  53. @res
    I was going to tag this with an LOL (it IS funny), but on reflection there is far too much truth in that for me to just laugh it off as a joke.

    I actually stole the idea…a large movement in Australia asked New Zealand to please annex Australia and order us what to do.

    • Replies: @Tusk
    Australia should annex NZ is what I would like to say, but I much prefer the current arrangement where we just deport NZ criminals and the Ardern has a cry.
  54. Hail says: • Website
    @anon
    I’ve long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production

    What have you long based that belief upon? Knowledge of virology and the human immune system? Knowledge of epidemiology? Or something else not necessarily based in physical reality?

    Just wondering.

    One weird feature of the Corona Panic-and-Mass-Delusion Event of 2020 is the disempowering, marginalization, and silencing of actual experts.

    This whole thing bears all the hallmarks of a social panic, a mass-hysteria, and actually in retrospect it always has. It was never based in rational thinking or goo data, all based on kneejerk reactions, fear, ans craven surrender to Doomer-ism. (It would be a little like the US in normal times redirecting 30% of GDP to fight alien abductions).

    Even the best of us can fall for these things, but all it takes to break the spell is get a little out of earshot of the pro-CoronaPanic media drumbeat, do actual independent thinking, find context, and find dissenting voices and listen to what they’re saying that’s different from the Drumbeat. That is what I see Intelligent Dasein and others doing.

    “The only means to fight the plague is honesty.” — Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    This whole thing bears all the hallmarks of a social panic, a mass-hysteria, and actually in retrospect it always has.
     
    I agree. I have smelled this particular stench before. It wafted its way all throughout Russiagate and it seems to have a special association with Bill Clinton and his associates. We are now dealing with politicized unprovable assertions on a global scale, leading to mass anxiety and panic.

    While I would never go so far as to assert that this novel coronavirus is not a real virus, I am beginning to seriously think that the pandemic is not a real pandemic. Much of it is being manufactured out of statistical noise and the iatrogenic effects of the lockdown itself.

    Why is there not a continued outbreak within China, not all of which was ever locked down? How did the virus manage to spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world but not to the rest of China? Why is Sweden doing just fine without any lockdowns? What ever happened to Iran? What about the teeming, disgusting, unsanitary cities of India and Africa, where people are too poor to buy food let alone to wear masks and social distance? What's going on in the places that are totally off the radar screen like Turkey, Syria, Central America? How do three US aircraft carriers become floating petri dishes? Why does this virus seem to spread so easily just where it's convenient to the propaganda machine, but merits a yawn everywhere else?

    And one more thing. I'm not going to engage in any flame wars on this thread, by the personal scorn for me that seems to motivate the panic brigade, as any reader can acquaint himself with above, is a little over the top. Insults, slander, wild speculations about my backgroand, and an incestuous degree of mutual appreciation---it's all a little thick.
  55. Hail says: • Website
    @anon
    Too long and repetitive, skimmed to the bottom. Just another Doomer poast @Zerohedge.
    Blackpilling has become really boring. It's all "Wolf!" all the time, but never any action item. Just "oh, noes, lookee here! It's them at it again! Whut'll we do?"

    My message to any sane people who may be left @Zerohedge:

    Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. Stop whining. Stop Dooming.

    Thanks, though, for reminding me why I quit even skimming Zerohedge years ago.

    @Zerohedge: […] Stop Dooming.

    I remain curious what it was that led some — including some intelligent and reasonable people whom I generally like, respect, and admire, who are not normally followers of the ‘mob’ — to just cave in to the Panic and stick with it, while others either never quite fell in or sooner or later liberated themselves from the evil-beast of this Panic, conducted a rational analysis, and regained their senses.

    It’s all “Wolf!” all the time

    This is a point I’ve seen made on the margins and it is worth making again. This bout of mass delusion over what expert consensus is an unremakrable virus WILL do serious damage to the credibility of authorities when there might, at some future date, be an actual pandemic to deal with.

    Many of the key movers within the various factions of the pro-CoronaPanic side should be ashamed of themselves for a lot of reasons, but this is a big one. Their choice to promote CoronaPanic (for whatever mix of selfish- and/or panic-based reasons they did) and shove unnecessary, counter-productive, and devastating shutdowns on us that hurt their own people so much, WILL produce a Boy Cries Wolf Effect when people realize they’ve been ‘had,’ that the Corona Apocalypse was a washout, a fraud, a fiasco of terrible data and media-driven insanity.

  56. @SafeNow
    I actually stole the idea...a large movement in Australia asked New Zealand to please annex Australia and order us what to do.

    Australia should annex NZ is what I would like to say, but I much prefer the current arrangement where we just deport NZ criminals and the Ardern has a cry.

  57. @res

    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense
     
    Quite a few people of all descriptions are saying things of questionable accuracy. More than a few of them are posting comments on the Unz Review. One thing I like about the Unz Review is we tend not to take the word of "credentialed experts" as gospel. Especially given how much various "experts" disagree about this issue. Are we to believe the people you call expert but not any of the others? How do we decide?

    If you can get past scare words like "crippling" perhaps we can have a real discussion about this? Because I think the Kinsa data I have posted here provides clear evidence that at least SOME of the shutdowns have had value.

    I also believe that same Kinsa data suggests that the more drastic measures were unnecessary. And may even (probably IMHO, at least for much of it) justify the rhetoric you are using.

    Viral ‘epidemics’ in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued.
     
    See the 538 article mentioned in my earlier comment (TLDR: both R0 and IFR appear to be higher than normal for COVID-19). And then take a look at the data for Miami I gave. That Miami data looks like a serious blowup in progress before the school shutdowns occurred. I think things could have been even worse in areas more favorable climatically for the disease.

    Try taking a look at various flyover counties in Kinsa. Here is a sample at random.
    https://healthweather.us/?regionId=46093&mode=Observed

    They were having a regular flu season with a suggestive (but not "Atypical") uptick in early March. They closed schools on 3/16:
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/south-dakota
    and the illness rate dropped from 4.7% on 3/19 down to 0 on 4/10. It is possible (likely IMHO) they could have gotten away with even lesser measures. It is also possible that things would have blown up without the school closings.

    The thing is public health officials are dealing with uncertainty. It is highly likely the outcomes will be in one of these forms.
    1. Things blow up and get ugly.
    2. The measures taken prove to be excessive to some degree.
    3. Things never get ugly and we muddle through (think SARS, MERS, Ebola, 2009 H1N1; then go read that 538 article again).

    The key thing I see is to be adaptive (and selective by locality) and try to minimize the excess in the measures taken. Also realize that if we are to have any room for error with countermeasures, 2 is going to happen in almost all cases.

    Again, the reason I keep harping on the Kinsa data is it only seems to have a 5 day lag before the effects of countermeasures become visible. That is a big deal when trying to apply adaptive controls!

    consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd
     
    The Unz crowd seems to be splitting into two camps (Hoax! Apocalypse!) yelling at each other. I think both camps are wrong. Or right, depending on how you look at it.

    In particular, my key claims. Notice the mix from each camp.

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.

    Please tell me what you disagree with there. The real conversation we should be having now is about 2. Things like:

    A.What types of intervention have the best cost/benefit profile?
    B. How do we know when to apply and remove various levels of intervention?
    C. At what level of granularity (city, county, state, country?) should various interventions be applied?

    I think the Kinsa data could help with B and the local choices part of C (but administrative facts and practical details often dictate granularity to use).

    Based on the Kinsa data I have seen so far (and a closer look at more localities could probably tell us MUCH more) the high value interventions for A have been school closings and restrictions on large gatherings.

    P.S. It would help this conversation if you gave an explicit proposal for how you would have handled COVID-19 in the US. Just arguing "too much" is no good. What would you recommend doing/having done?

    Cost/benefit? Obviously you are not a politician or health bureaucrat! Even one death is unacceptable unless you are a monster.

  58. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it.

    Apples. Oranges. Nearly all of those areas you listed are under heavy lock down, so that’s not a fair comparison. A peak under those conditions does not necessarily mean the virus is less virulent than you have implied. It also doesn’t mean it can’t spread after you release the quarantine. Do we ever lock down the entire country for seasonal influenza? Come back to me in about a year after they’ve opened everything and we’ll see. My prediction: someone will do a study years from now and they’ll probably find out that far more peopled die than was reported.

    Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    No explanation is necessary. The virus is as deadly as claimed at around 7 – 10x the annual flu with far more hospitalizations. When was the last time morgues were overwhelmed in multiple cities at once with the regular flu?

    Deaths in New York City Are More Than Double the Usual Total

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/10/upshot/coronavirus-deaths-new-york-city.html

    Weekly flu deaths versus weekly COVID-19 deaths in New York State:

    Influenza mortality by week for the past 8 seasons vs. Covid-19:

    Flu vs. Covid-19 Death Rates by Age in South Korea:

    How Covid-19 compares to Swine Flu:

    ~61 million Americans, infected and 12,469 died from swine flu in about a year. No lock downs. More than twice that number have died from Covid-19 in the United States in about 2 and half months. Historic nation-wide lock downs.

    How Covid-19 compares to the worst week of seasonal flu 2017 / 2018:

    Hi, I’m the guy who aggregated & processed the dataset for the two COVID-19 posts that went to the front page yesterday. Here’s my visualization of how that dataset compares to other causes of death. [OC] from dataisbeautiful

    Lay off the Tucker Carlson, please. That guy is going to get a lot of people hurt carrying water for Trump’s reopening the economy nonsense. The truth: they can’t control it, and this gig economy can’t handle a shutdown, so they are gearing up to lie about the virus by peddling misinformation like what you’ve posted here; they’ll let it spread and try to sweep it under the rug while guys on the Dissident Right do an “I told you so” thinking they were right about this being “just the flu, bro.” BTW, a hydroxycholorquine study just got stopped because it caused irregular heartbeats. To answer Tucker Carlson’s question, maybe that’s why the media was against it.

    Small chloroquine study stopped after irregular heart beats detected in subjects

    https://thehill.com/policy/international/492460-small-chloroquine-study-stopped-after-irregular-heart-beats-detected-in

    • Disagree: Manfred Arcane
    • Replies: @Hail
    https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-04-13_18-01-54-2.png

    This is a New York Times graph created by their own staffers using dubious methods, is not official, and may be garbage, a microcosm of the whole Corona Statistical Fiasco.


    It seems that the author simply took the average number of deaths and manually added all corona virus deaths as incremental deaths. None of the cited sources provide data for any non-flu or non-corona related deaths for the period current period that is charted (March/April 2020).

    It seems very problematic to assume all deaths will be the same and all corona-related deaths are necessarily incremental to the total death count.
     

    In Corona Fantasy Land, 100% of deaths positive for some unremarkable flu virus are deaths caused by that virus.

    “The good news is, we’ve cured cancer!” — one Corona Apocalypse survivor to another

    (There is, in addition, the problem of deaths even in the immediate term directly caused by the Panic. It is documented now that heart attack victims are too scared to seek treatment because the media says the Coronavirus Apocalypse is going on. A big fall-off in heart attack admissions at NYC hospitals, up to 4/5ths. This is why you don't want panic, and why it is a terrible idea to empower the Panic-pushers and the-ultra-worst-case-scenario-is-not-hardline-enough 'Doomers,' especially when the data is all against them.)

  59. @Hail

    Iceland’s randomized tests revealed that between 0.3%-0.8% of Iceland’s population is infected with the respiratory illness
     
    Iceland population: 341,500

    Therefore ca. 1,025 to 2,750 Icelanders are positives.

    But this 0.3% to 0.8% figure is, if I understand correctly, current-positives, does not account for past-positives whose immune systems dealt with and eliminated the virus in the usual way and who no longer show up as positives (as always happens with normal viruses for most of us). They would need a different type of test to determine that. Several such tests are now ongoing in Europe. The upcoming major Swedish study of this kind may be the death knell for the CoronaPanic-pushing holdouts remaining.

    Depending on how far along Iceland's epidemic-arc got, the "past-positives" will have a multiplier effect (cf. the Gangelt antibody study) on the denominator within the "coronavirus death rate" calculation the media so loves to shove at people to keep them scared and in line, always using incomplete, and sometimes obviously bad, data.

    In other words, the true number of Icelanders whose bodies had contact with the virus could easily be past 10,000.

    Iceland has 9 deaths now and several more current-positives likely to die, drawn from the weakest and most infirm. The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%. And that's not even getting into "died with" vs. "died of"! Given the "died with vs. died from" problem and given that no virus ever infects everyone, we are looking at a coronavirus-attributable population loss that may well round to 0.0% when it all is said and done, [i.e. <0.05%, which in Iceland's case means 170 deaths or fewer]. The chances that coronavirus-attributable deaths will show a distinct and unprecedented spike in the final mortality data for the year, as the bloodthirsty media wanted so bad, seem very low.

    TLDR: "Just The Flu" vindicated.

    It's time to de-escalate the CoronaPanic; take back control over our own destinies; Stop the CoronaMadness.

    __________

    (Note that the past-positives-with-full-recoveries problem is mentioned explicitly in the article but not explained well in the context of how it lowers the implied fatality rate:)


    Still, in terms of collecting actionable data about coronavirus, Hange, the Harvard epidemiologist, questioned whether Iceland would be better off focusing on serological tests that could determine whether a person had developed certain antibodies in the blood indicating that they were infected by the virus without knowing it, and recovered.

    Knowing whether these antibodies exist in someone's blood could, potentially, enable tens of millions of people around the world to reenter the workforce
     

    But this 0.3% to 0.8% figure is, if I understand correctly, current-positives

    This kind of testing is open to error. I wouldn’t rush to accept the results unless they are replicated. You really need some kind of serological follow up.

    Study Suggests Potential High Rate of False-Positives For Some COVID-19 Testing

    “In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the ‘asymptomatic infected individuals’ reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.”

    “Results: When the infection rate of the close contacts and the sensitivity and specificity of reported results were taken as the point estimates, the positive predictive value of the active screening was only 19.67%, in contrast, the false-positive rate of positive results was 80.33%. The multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analysis results supported the base-case findings, with a 75% probability for the false-positive rate of positive results over 47%.”

    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/03/16/study-suggests-potential-high-rate-of-false-positives-for-covid-19-testing/

    In other words, the true number of Icelanders whose bodies had contact with the virus could easily be past 10,000.

    Iceland’s first reported case was on Feb 28, about six weeks ago — a single person in his 40s returning from a ski trip. With a two week incubation time and figuring that a person is most contagious when presenting symptoms / only 25% or less are infectious when asymptomatic … well, I’m not sure I agree that 10k people have been exposed and have then cleared it as of when this data was collected.

    Iceland has 9 deaths now and several more current-positives likely to die, drawn from the weakest and most infirm.

    We don’t know that. The first patient was a younger man in his 40s, and he returned to Iceland a fairly short time ago. For all we know, even with a randomized sample, the infected are weighted towards younger demographics. A randomized sample of the population does not necessarily ensure the sample itself is randomized in all aspects. Say a teenager returns from Europe to a small town with a highly infectious pathogen. He returns to school the next day and spreads it around. Then I do a randomized sample of the town just a few days after. I find that X percent of the population has it and I estimate mortality based on that figure. Is that really so fair a judge? Presumably, those in close contact with the kids — students, teachers, and family — will get it first; both demographics are fairly young. But that may not be representative of the whole. A lot of people don’t have kids or are old and live in care centers or are older and live by themselves, kids long moved out. They wouldn’t have had time to come into contact with the virus if the sampling is done very early, so calculating a death rate among those already infected is not necessarily representative of the whole averaged over all age / health / income demographics. You may need to wait another few weeks or months for that.

    The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%.

    Other ongoing estimations put the figure at around 0.72%. < 0.2% seems too low considering reported deaths vs. normal weekly averages. I'd bet 0.7% is closer. You don't usually see what we've seen with 0.2%. The hospital system should be able to handle that. In fact, it does regularly. Seasonal flu fatality rates vary by year, with some being much worse than others. We can compare NYC then vs. now and even under the worst circumstances since 2000 we find this is worse. 0.2% is almost certainly too low. I might be willing to accept 0.4 or 0.5%, but my instinct tells me 0.7 – 0.8% will ultimately be closer when this is examined a year or two from now, assuming we don't get lucky with an asymptomatic variant arising and inoculating the population before then with these lockdowns.

    • Replies: @Hail

    Iceland’s first reported case was on Feb 28, about six weeks ago — a single person in his 40s returning from a ski trip.
     
    The whole point is, we don't know.

    It might be useful data to learn of the first report, but not to the point of ignoring measurements. If the measured data contradicts the report, these need to be reconciled. The most plausible way to do so is to say the report was wrong, and transmission began through other avenues earlier, totally undetected, partly because the Panic had not yet set in and no one was testing.

    This (e.g.) appears certain in the case of Italy. All indication and expert consensus is that their flu epidemic associated with this virus began transmitting within Italy weeks before the first reported case. This is not controversial.

  60. @Hail

    Iceland’s randomized tests revealed that between 0.3%-0.8% of Iceland’s population is infected with the respiratory illness
     
    Iceland population: 341,500

    Therefore ca. 1,025 to 2,750 Icelanders are positives.

    But this 0.3% to 0.8% figure is, if I understand correctly, current-positives, does not account for past-positives whose immune systems dealt with and eliminated the virus in the usual way and who no longer show up as positives (as always happens with normal viruses for most of us). They would need a different type of test to determine that. Several such tests are now ongoing in Europe. The upcoming major Swedish study of this kind may be the death knell for the CoronaPanic-pushing holdouts remaining.

    Depending on how far along Iceland's epidemic-arc got, the "past-positives" will have a multiplier effect (cf. the Gangelt antibody study) on the denominator within the "coronavirus death rate" calculation the media so loves to shove at people to keep them scared and in line, always using incomplete, and sometimes obviously bad, data.

    In other words, the true number of Icelanders whose bodies had contact with the virus could easily be past 10,000.

    Iceland has 9 deaths now and several more current-positives likely to die, drawn from the weakest and most infirm. The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%. And that's not even getting into "died with" vs. "died of"! Given the "died with vs. died from" problem and given that no virus ever infects everyone, we are looking at a coronavirus-attributable population loss that may well round to 0.0% when it all is said and done, [i.e. <0.05%, which in Iceland's case means 170 deaths or fewer]. The chances that coronavirus-attributable deaths will show a distinct and unprecedented spike in the final mortality data for the year, as the bloodthirsty media wanted so bad, seem very low.

    TLDR: "Just The Flu" vindicated.

    It's time to de-escalate the CoronaPanic; take back control over our own destinies; Stop the CoronaMadness.

    __________

    (Note that the past-positives-with-full-recoveries problem is mentioned explicitly in the article but not explained well in the context of how it lowers the implied fatality rate:)


    Still, in terms of collecting actionable data about coronavirus, Hange, the Harvard epidemiologist, questioned whether Iceland would be better off focusing on serological tests that could determine whether a person had developed certain antibodies in the blood indicating that they were infected by the virus without knowing it, and recovered.

    Knowing whether these antibodies exist in someone's blood could, potentially, enable tens of millions of people around the world to reenter the workforce
     

    The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%.

    This might be possible if the virus is much more contagious than the flu, which is probably the case. In that case, much of the fatality cases would be front loaded, giving a false impression of the over all mortality; serological testing will help to clear that up. If that were the case, it’d represent a failure of the government health services (CDC) moreso than the media or the public. They saw what they saw — morgues spilling over, hospitals crowding, makeshift hospitals, ventilator shortages, etc. If your doctor prescribes you the wrong medication and you take it, you can likely still sue him. The patient isn’t expected to know the pharmacology and counterindications of whatever he is taking.

    Alternatively, there is what we know of the Diamond Princess. I believe most or all of the passengers were tested, some multiple times. There were 12 fatalities and 712 confirmed cases. Most deaths were old, over 60 — most 70+. Cut that by ~65% and it’s ~0.6%. That’s tracking with some current studies.

    • Replies: @iffen
    Excellent comments, thanks for taking the time to post them.

    Since it will be 2-3 years, at the minimum, if then, before treatment and vaccines (efficacy?) are available, and since the curve seems to have been flatten enough so the hospitals are not overwhelmed, isn't it time for the old people to stay home, if they want, and let the younger people go back to work? This could be combined with greater emphasis on dealing with rest homes and protection for front line workers.

    Comparison of total deaths with prior time periods seems to be the most meaningful. How many people will be dying in the coming year because they didn't get their melanoma, cardiac disease, etc. diagnosed and treated?
    , @Hail

    hat we know of the Diamond Princess. I believe most or all of the passengers were tested, some multiple times. There were 12 fatalities and 712 confirmed cases. Most deaths were old, over 60 — most 70+. Cut that by ~65% and it’s ~0.6%. That’s tracking with some current studies.
     
    The Diamond Princess data is what led Dr. Iaonnidis, contorlling by age and condition, to make his original "0.025% to 0.625% total fatality rate" estimate in early and mid-March, which he published March 17. He later revised this down, with better data from elsewhere, to 0.01% to 0.1%.

    This is the finding also independently reached by many researchers. I am aware of individual specialists or teams in the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden that have all come in the 0.01% to 0.2% range as the best guess.

    A big study now underway in Stockholm meant to determine how many got the virus and whose immune systems easily expelled and were never sick (as, it turns out, with any unremarakble flu virus), i.e. the true denominator for the total-fatality calculation. The result is expected to be another nail in the coffin for the Corona Apocalypse brigade, and the holdouts who argue for anything close to the irresponsibly-promoted "3% deaths! 5% deaths! Who knows! Panic NOW!" and even Ron Unz' 1%. None of those are tenable, or even close according to every serious, comprehensive study we have. They only fit when people do [Deaths]/[ConfirmedPositives].

    Professor John Oxford of Queen Mary University London, one of the world’s leading virologists and influenza specialists said March 31:


    Personally, I would say the best advice is to spend less time watching TV news which is sensational and not very good. Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. [...] We are suffering from a media epidemic!
     
  61. @res

    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don’t agree with the Kinsa data.
     
    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion ("common sense") to data. I think that says it all.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?
     
    Compared to what? You don't like any of the other data out there which disagrees with your opinion either.

    As with almost all data, the Kinsa data has issues. Primarily that it is limited to people who have their thermometers and are using them. Now on to the substantive part of your comment.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map.
     
    It helps if you understand what you are looking at. Based on those statements you are looking at the "Atypical Illness" version of the map (default on their website). I'm not sure why there are so many N/As. I asked about that in this comment (linked because there is some more discussion around it which might help you understand the map, as well as giving my questions when I first looked at the data).
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/new-york-vs-california/#comment-3833652

    Try switching to the "Observed" map view. And then let's try having this conversation again after you do that and read the rest of my comment.

    Here's a link so you don't even have to change the mode:
    https://healthweather.us/?mode=Observed

    And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.
     
    Part of that is probably the sampling issue I mention above. People are probably using their thermometers more when they think they are sick. The relevant comparison would be to prior flu seasons. And they kindly provide that data for us.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/flu-season-in-review-2018-2019/

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/National-Illness-Levels-Past-3-Years.png

    I'd say the 7% looks a bit more reasonable compared to those numbers.

    Lastly, there is the big issue I see with the data. Why is the Observed illness rate so low across all of the US (0.17%) when there are still significant case counts and deaths? We see a small area of Moderate for Observed in Louisiana, but other than that the map is a sea of the lowest bucket with a few islands of the next bucket.

    This is where things get speculative. I would appreciate constructive criticism of my analysis (especially from AE and James Bowery, if they care to comment).

    My take is that what we are seeing is that the vast majority of people who have been or are going to get sick (i.e. show new symptoms) in the immediate future are either:
    - Recovered so no fever, or
    - Under care so not using their Kinsa thermometer

    This may vary based on specific location so it is good to look at the zip code/county level data (use the search box just above the map), but first some comments about the overall US curve.

    First, the graph shows a steady decline from 7.24% on 2/15 (end of week 7 for comparison with past years above) to 5% on 3/1 (end of week 9). This is where Kinsa considers us to depart from trend remaining flat around 5 until 3/19. At that point we begin a sharp decline down to 1.57 on 3/28 (less than half of typical!). From there we have a shallower, but steady, decline down to 0.17 on 4/13 (less than 1/10 of typical!).

    So I think the full US data agrees with my assessment (earlier comment above) that the later (say post 3/16 or so, especially post 3/23) countermeasures were probably overkill (again, this will vary by location, different places are progressing differently).

    At this point I think it makes sense to look at individual areas. In particular, I would recommend locations in the states mentioned in this post (WA, OR, CA, NY, SC, MI, FL) because they give various shutdown dates and some statewide plots through 3/23.
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/

    I would recommend looking at the three locations Kinsa has discussed in blog posts. Santa Clara County, CA and Miami-Dade, FL (see earlier comment) and New York County, NY (plot below for context).
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/tale-of-two-cities-atypical-illness-trends-for-santa-clara-and-miami-dade-county/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/early-social-distancing-measures-reduce-the-spread-of-illness-in-new-york-city/

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/New-York-County-Share-of-Population-with-Flu-Like-Illness.png

    This comment has gone on long enough so I will just suggest looking at those three locations in the interactive map while having the corresponding blog post open in another window. My brief observations:

    Santa Clara County, CA - Declining to 5.28% on 3/1 which is when Kinsa considers it to have left trend. Then roughly flat until 3/17. Sharp decline from 4.72% on 3/17 to 0.98% on 3/27. Then slow decline to 0.71% on 4/4. Followed by a drop to about 0.2% or less through 4/13.

    Miami-Dade County, FL - sharp rise from 3.41% on 3/2 to 7.06% on 3/19. Followed by sharp decline from there to 1.71% on 3/28. Then a slower but steady decline to 0.49% on 4/13.

    New York County, NY - Steady (and sharp) decline from 6.43% on 3/17 to 0.86% on 4/12.

    Miami looks like it could have been ugly without the school closings.

    New York's decline started 3/17, just 5 days after ONLY restrictions on public gatherings over 500 people were in place. That and schools closing are looking like the most effective countermeasures to me.

    P.S. [email protected]#$ autoformatting ate the last part of my comment because I was careless about using less than and greater than. That's why I deleted and recreated it.

    prefers his opinion (“common sense”) to data. I think that says it all.

    He is wrong about so many basic things, but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room. So now he is making up his own epidemiological theories and ignoring contrary data in order to double down on his previous pronouncements.

    Examples:

    “People are already mostly infected, but are recovering without producing antibodies.” Really? No antibody? What’s neutralizing the pathogen then? (Miraculous recoveries do exist, but are EXTREMELY rare. That’s why they are called miracles.)

    “Social distancing is ineffective.” Set aside a mountain of data for a moment. Social distancing has been ALWAYS effective for flattening the curve of any kind of human-to-human transmissible virus. That’s just a basic medical fact – it’s almost a tautology (less human-to-human contact = fewer human-to-human transmissions).

    As for data, just a simple internet search will present loads of them, including the now well-publicized comparison of Philadelphia and St. Louis in the 1918 Spanish Flu.

    “These useless policies have cost trillions of dollars.” Assuming that, without a government-recommended or -mandated lockdown, the economy would have functioned normally is a complete nonsense. The fact is, when people are concerned with a pandemic, there is a dramatic decrease in economic activities regardless of government intervention. Example: the airlines are still operating, but the demand for air travel has all but collapsed. Without social distancing policies, what would happen instead is a huge decline in economic activity AND a minority of people who ignore recommendations/suggestions and spread the virus – you end up with the worst of both worlds.

    “This is not even a bad flu season.” In NYC, in just THREE DAYS, Covid-19 killed as many people as flu does in a whole year. As you noted, the transmission rate and the lethality of Covid-19 are much greater than ordinary influenza.

    As you have stated elsewhere, the more interesting and useful question is what kind of social distancing policies are the most effective and/or offer the “best bang for the buck.” What policies will help reduce the incidences of transmissions, yet allow people to go about their lives as normally as possible? That’s the million (or billion/trillion) dollar question.

    It is quite true that you don’t have to “lock down the whole country” to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited – he’s a Muslim convert):

    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn’t own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I’d imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn’t get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that’s 4 PM to 10 AM the next day – that’s something like 2 working hours – obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    • Replies: @Znzn
    Why has nobody used Vietnam as an example, they have a population one fourth of the US and have only 267 cases and 0 deaths, on the other hand, they locked down very very early and they have rules like Official signs in Ho Chi Minh City warn that those not wearing a face mask who are found to have infected another person with a dangerous disease could face up to 12 years in prison.
    , @Znzn
    He has a point, there are a lot of people who have recovered from coronavirus with very low levels of antibodies, so having had coronavirus will not confer them protection from being reinfected again.
    , @res

    but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room.
     
    That is a big part of what drives me crazy about ID. He very much reminds me of people I encounter who are significantly smarter than average (say >130 IQ, or about 98th percentile) but have hardly ever been in settings where they weren't the smartest guy in the room (especially during their formative years). Having gone to a college where that level of smarts was pretty much the price of admission I have real trouble understanding the mindset. At this point I rather prefer not being the smartest guy in the room. It makes life much more interesting.

    Thanks for the example from South Korea. It is frustrating to have to look outside the US for examples of what a sensible response might be.
    , @nebulafox
    > But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    Singapore didn't manage to avoid a lockdown in the end, despite having all the above factors and immediately implementing social distancing, tracking, etc. What finally tipped the balance was repeated cluster outbreaks in the guest worker dormitories, which are too overcrowded and have sanitation problems.

    If nothing else, maybe the pandemic will get people to reconsider the value of cutting corners at the expense of public health in an age where a virus can travel oceans within a day.

  62. @res

    However, I’m not remotely convinced that it isn’t going to be between those two levels anyway in spite of excessive and counter-productive shutdowns.
     
    This is one of the important open questions. Someone posted a critique of the shutdown based on modelers truncating the death count in the summer and not accounting for a potential second wave during the next flu season. Does anyone have a link to that? I am having trouble finding it.

    One additional thing that concerns me is the states seem to have moved from shutdowns to prevent exceeding ICU capacity to shutdowns intended to take the disease rate down to near zero. Why else extend the west coast shutdowns for three more weeks? I think that increases the risk of a severe second wave along with the increasingly unacceptable social and economic consequences.

    And it cannot be understated the extent to which the “shutdown” is arbitrary as opposed to comprehensive.
     
    Yes. Another thing which is being driven home to me is how the increasingly finer grained shutdowns (e.g. first some parking lots, then some parks, then almost all parks and some other common areas) are funneling people into an ever smaller number of places. Which actually increase the risk of spreading disease IMO. Although one could argue this serves to make things more comprehensive.

    P.S. True or not, I'm not sure the final sentence of your next to last paragraph is going to help get this message across to the people who need to hear it.

    P.S. True or not, I’m not sure the final sentence of your next to last paragraph is going to help get this message across to the people who need to hear it.

    You have a point. I often neglect to remember just how widely read this site is by people outside its various movements.

  63. @Divine Right

    The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%.
     
    This might be possible if the virus is much more contagious than the flu, which is probably the case. In that case, much of the fatality cases would be front loaded, giving a false impression of the over all mortality; serological testing will help to clear that up. If that were the case, it'd represent a failure of the government health services (CDC) moreso than the media or the public. They saw what they saw -- morgues spilling over, hospitals crowding, makeshift hospitals, ventilator shortages, etc. If your doctor prescribes you the wrong medication and you take it, you can likely still sue him. The patient isn't expected to know the pharmacology and counterindications of whatever he is taking.

    Alternatively, there is what we know of the Diamond Princess. I believe most or all of the passengers were tested, some multiple times. There were 12 fatalities and 712 confirmed cases. Most deaths were old, over 60 -- most 70+. Cut that by ~65% and it's ~0.6%. That's tracking with some current studies.

    Excellent comments, thanks for taking the time to post them.

    Since it will be 2-3 years, at the minimum, if then, before treatment and vaccines (efficacy?) are available, and since the curve seems to have been flatten enough so the hospitals are not overwhelmed, isn’t it time for the old people to stay home, if they want, and let the younger people go back to work? This could be combined with greater emphasis on dealing with rest homes and protection for front line workers.

    Comparison of total deaths with prior time periods seems to be the most meaningful. How many people will be dying in the coming year because they didn’t get their melanoma, cardiac disease, etc. diagnosed and treated?

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
  64. @Twinkie

    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion (“common sense”) to data. I think that says it all.
     
    He is wrong about so many basic things, but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room. So now he is making up his own epidemiological theories and ignoring contrary data in order to double down on his previous pronouncements.

    Examples:

    "People are already mostly infected, but are recovering without producing antibodies." Really? No antibody? What's neutralizing the pathogen then? (Miraculous recoveries do exist, but are EXTREMELY rare. That's why they are called miracles.)

    "Social distancing is ineffective." Set aside a mountain of data for a moment. Social distancing has been ALWAYS effective for flattening the curve of any kind of human-to-human transmissible virus. That's just a basic medical fact - it's almost a tautology (less human-to-human contact = fewer human-to-human transmissions).

    As for data, just a simple internet search will present loads of them, including the now well-publicized comparison of Philadelphia and St. Louis in the 1918 Spanish Flu.

    "These useless policies have cost trillions of dollars." Assuming that, without a government-recommended or -mandated lockdown, the economy would have functioned normally is a complete nonsense. The fact is, when people are concerned with a pandemic, there is a dramatic decrease in economic activities regardless of government intervention. Example: the airlines are still operating, but the demand for air travel has all but collapsed. Without social distancing policies, what would happen instead is a huge decline in economic activity AND a minority of people who ignore recommendations/suggestions and spread the virus - you end up with the worst of both worlds.

    "This is not even a bad flu season." In NYC, in just THREE DAYS, Covid-19 killed as many people as flu does in a whole year. As you noted, the transmission rate and the lethality of Covid-19 are much greater than ordinary influenza.

    As you have stated elsewhere, the more interesting and useful question is what kind of social distancing policies are the most effective and/or offer the "best bang for the buck." What policies will help reduce the incidences of transmissions, yet allow people to go about their lives as normally as possible? That's the million (or billion/trillion) dollar question.

    It is quite true that you don't have to "lock down the whole country" to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited - he's a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g


    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn't own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I'd imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn't get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that's 4 PM to 10 AM the next day - that's something like 2 working hours - obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don't have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    Why has nobody used Vietnam as an example, they have a population one fourth of the US and have only 267 cases and 0 deaths, on the other hand, they locked down very very early and they have rules like Official signs in Ho Chi Minh City warn that those not wearing a face mask who are found to have infected another person with a dangerous disease could face up to 12 years in prison.

  65. @Twinkie

    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion (“common sense”) to data. I think that says it all.
     
    He is wrong about so many basic things, but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room. So now he is making up his own epidemiological theories and ignoring contrary data in order to double down on his previous pronouncements.

    Examples:

    "People are already mostly infected, but are recovering without producing antibodies." Really? No antibody? What's neutralizing the pathogen then? (Miraculous recoveries do exist, but are EXTREMELY rare. That's why they are called miracles.)

    "Social distancing is ineffective." Set aside a mountain of data for a moment. Social distancing has been ALWAYS effective for flattening the curve of any kind of human-to-human transmissible virus. That's just a basic medical fact - it's almost a tautology (less human-to-human contact = fewer human-to-human transmissions).

    As for data, just a simple internet search will present loads of them, including the now well-publicized comparison of Philadelphia and St. Louis in the 1918 Spanish Flu.

    "These useless policies have cost trillions of dollars." Assuming that, without a government-recommended or -mandated lockdown, the economy would have functioned normally is a complete nonsense. The fact is, when people are concerned with a pandemic, there is a dramatic decrease in economic activities regardless of government intervention. Example: the airlines are still operating, but the demand for air travel has all but collapsed. Without social distancing policies, what would happen instead is a huge decline in economic activity AND a minority of people who ignore recommendations/suggestions and spread the virus - you end up with the worst of both worlds.

    "This is not even a bad flu season." In NYC, in just THREE DAYS, Covid-19 killed as many people as flu does in a whole year. As you noted, the transmission rate and the lethality of Covid-19 are much greater than ordinary influenza.

    As you have stated elsewhere, the more interesting and useful question is what kind of social distancing policies are the most effective and/or offer the "best bang for the buck." What policies will help reduce the incidences of transmissions, yet allow people to go about their lives as normally as possible? That's the million (or billion/trillion) dollar question.

    It is quite true that you don't have to "lock down the whole country" to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited - he's a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g


    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn't own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I'd imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn't get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that's 4 PM to 10 AM the next day - that's something like 2 working hours - obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don't have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    He has a point, there are a lot of people who have recovered from coronavirus with very low levels of antibodies, so having had coronavirus will not confer them protection from being reinfected again.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    so having had coronavirus will not confer them protection from being reinfected again.
     
    That’s not what he is saying. Read his first paragraph again.
  66. @Znzn
    He has a point, there are a lot of people who have recovered from coronavirus with very low levels of antibodies, so having had coronavirus will not confer them protection from being reinfected again.

    so having had coronavirus will not confer them protection from being reinfected again.

    That’s not what he is saying. Read his first paragraph again.

  67. Hail says: • Website
    @Divine Right

    The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%.
     
    This might be possible if the virus is much more contagious than the flu, which is probably the case. In that case, much of the fatality cases would be front loaded, giving a false impression of the over all mortality; serological testing will help to clear that up. If that were the case, it'd represent a failure of the government health services (CDC) moreso than the media or the public. They saw what they saw -- morgues spilling over, hospitals crowding, makeshift hospitals, ventilator shortages, etc. If your doctor prescribes you the wrong medication and you take it, you can likely still sue him. The patient isn't expected to know the pharmacology and counterindications of whatever he is taking.

    Alternatively, there is what we know of the Diamond Princess. I believe most or all of the passengers were tested, some multiple times. There were 12 fatalities and 712 confirmed cases. Most deaths were old, over 60 -- most 70+. Cut that by ~65% and it's ~0.6%. That's tracking with some current studies.

    hat we know of the Diamond Princess. I believe most or all of the passengers were tested, some multiple times. There were 12 fatalities and 712 confirmed cases. Most deaths were old, over 60 — most 70+. Cut that by ~65% and it’s ~0.6%. That’s tracking with some current studies.

    The Diamond Princess data is what led Dr. Iaonnidis, contorlling by age and condition, to make his original “0.025% to 0.625% total fatality rate” estimate in early and mid-March, which he published March 17. He later revised this down, with better data from elsewhere, to 0.01% to 0.1%.

    This is the finding also independently reached by many researchers. I am aware of individual specialists or teams in the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden that have all come in the 0.01% to 0.2% range as the best guess.

    A big study now underway in Stockholm meant to determine how many got the virus and whose immune systems easily expelled and were never sick (as, it turns out, with any unremarakble flu virus), i.e. the true denominator for the total-fatality calculation. The result is expected to be another nail in the coffin for the Corona Apocalypse brigade, and the holdouts who argue for anything close to the irresponsibly-promoted “3% deaths! 5% deaths! Who knows! Panic NOW!” and even Ron Unz’ 1%. None of those are tenable, or even close according to every serious, comprehensive study we have. They only fit when people do [Deaths]/[ConfirmedPositives].

    Professor John Oxford of Queen Mary University London, one of the world’s leading virologists and influenza specialists said March 31:

    Personally, I would say the best advice is to spend less time watching TV news which is sensational and not very good. Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. […] We are suffering from a media epidemic!

    • Replies: @res

    The Diamond Princess data is what led Dr. Iaonnidis, contorlling by age and condition, to make his original “0.025% to 0.625% total fatality rate” estimate in early and mid-March, which he published March 17. He later revised this down, with better data from elsewhere, to 0.01% to 0.1%.
     
    It would really help if you gave references for your assertions. It is also worth noting that eight passengers had died as of 3/17 and five more have died since.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_on_Diamond_Princess#Deaths
  68. Hail says: • Website
    @Divine Right

    But this 0.3% to 0.8% figure is, if I understand correctly, current-positives
     
    This kind of testing is open to error. I wouldn't rush to accept the results unless they are replicated. You really need some kind of serological follow up.

    Study Suggests Potential High Rate of False-Positives For Some COVID-19 Testing

    “In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the ‘asymptomatic infected individuals’ reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.”

    “Results: When the infection rate of the close contacts and the sensitivity and specificity of reported results were taken as the point estimates, the positive predictive value of the active screening was only 19.67%, in contrast, the false-positive rate of positive results was 80.33%. The multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analysis results supported the base-case findings, with a 75% probability for the false-positive rate of positive results over 47%.”

    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/03/16/study-suggests-potential-high-rate-of-false-positives-for-covid-19-testing/
     

    In other words, the true number of Icelanders whose bodies had contact with the virus could easily be past 10,000.
     
    Iceland's first reported case was on Feb 28, about six weeks ago -- a single person in his 40s returning from a ski trip. With a two week incubation time and figuring that a person is most contagious when presenting symptoms / only 25% or less are infectious when asymptomatic ... well, I'm not sure I agree that 10k people have been exposed and have then cleared it as of when this data was collected.

    Iceland has 9 deaths now and several more current-positives likely to die, drawn from the weakest and most infirm.
     
    We don't know that. The first patient was a younger man in his 40s, and he returned to Iceland a fairly short time ago. For all we know, even with a randomized sample, the infected are weighted towards younger demographics. A randomized sample of the population does not necessarily ensure the sample itself is randomized in all aspects. Say a teenager returns from Europe to a small town with a highly infectious pathogen. He returns to school the next day and spreads it around. Then I do a randomized sample of the town just a few days after. I find that X percent of the population has it and I estimate mortality based on that figure. Is that really so fair a judge? Presumably, those in close contact with the kids -- students, teachers, and family -- will get it first; both demographics are fairly young. But that may not be representative of the whole. A lot of people don't have kids or are old and live in care centers or are older and live by themselves, kids long moved out. They wouldn't have had time to come into contact with the virus if the sampling is done very early, so calculating a death rate among those already infected is not necessarily representative of the whole averaged over all age / health / income demographics. You may need to wait another few weeks or months for that.

    The true death rate once again looks like <0.2%.

    Other ongoing estimations put the figure at around 0.72%. < 0.2% seems too low considering reported deaths vs. normal weekly averages. I'd bet 0.7% is closer. You don't usually see what we've seen with 0.2%. The hospital system should be able to handle that. In fact, it does regularly. Seasonal flu fatality rates vary by year, with some being much worse than others. We can compare NYC then vs. now and even under the worst circumstances since 2000 we find this is worse. 0.2% is almost certainly too low. I might be willing to accept 0.4 or 0.5%, but my instinct tells me 0.7 - 0.8% will ultimately be closer when this is examined a year or two from now, assuming we don't get lucky with an asymptomatic variant arising and inoculating the population before then with these lockdowns.

    Iceland’s first reported case was on Feb 28, about six weeks ago — a single person in his 40s returning from a ski trip.

    The whole point is, we don’t know.

    It might be useful data to learn of the first report, but not to the point of ignoring measurements. If the measured data contradicts the report, these need to be reconciled. The most plausible way to do so is to say the report was wrong, and transmission began through other avenues earlier, totally undetected, partly because the Panic had not yet set in and no one was testing.

    This (e.g.) appears certain in the case of Italy. All indication and expert consensus is that their flu epidemic associated with this virus began transmitting within Italy weeks before the first reported case. This is not controversial.

  69. Hail says: • Website
    @Divine Right

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it.
     
    Apples. Oranges. Nearly all of those areas you listed are under heavy lock down, so that's not a fair comparison. A peak under those conditions does not necessarily mean the virus is less virulent than you have implied. It also doesn't mean it can't spread after you release the quarantine. Do we ever lock down the entire country for seasonal influenza? Come back to me in about a year after they've opened everything and we'll see. My prediction: someone will do a study years from now and they'll probably find out that far more peopled die than was reported.

    Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.
     
    No explanation is necessary. The virus is as deadly as claimed at around 7 - 10x the annual flu with far more hospitalizations. When was the last time morgues were overwhelmed in multiple cities at once with the regular flu?

    Deaths in New York City Are More Than Double the Usual Total

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/10/upshot/coronavirus-deaths-new-york-city.html
     
    https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-04-13_18-01-54-2.png

    Weekly flu deaths versus weekly COVID-19 deaths in New York State:

    https://d2eehagpk5cl65.cloudfront.net/img/q60/uploads/2020/04/NewYorkStateDeathsFluCovid.jpg

    Influenza mortality by week for the past 8 seasons vs. Covid-19:

    https://editorial.fxstreet.com/miscelaneous/coronavirus-deaths-vs-flu-637224837116939314.jpg

    Flu vs. Covid-19 Death Rates by Age in South Korea:

    https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2020/3/14/saupload_5e6a7b2584159f1962421227_thumb1.jpeg

    How Covid-19 compares to Swine Flu:

    ~61 million Americans, infected and 12,469 died from swine flu in about a year. No lock downs. More than twice that number have died from Covid-19 in the United States in about 2 and half months. Historic nation-wide lock downs.

    How Covid-19 compares to the worst week of seasonal flu 2017 / 2018:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/fyqno3/hi_im_the_guy_who_aggregated_processed_the/

    Lay off the Tucker Carlson, please. That guy is going to get a lot of people hurt carrying water for Trump's reopening the economy nonsense. The truth: they can't control it, and this gig economy can't handle a shutdown, so they are gearing up to lie about the virus by peddling misinformation like what you've posted here; they'll let it spread and try to sweep it under the rug while guys on the Dissident Right do an "I told you so" thinking they were right about this being "just the flu, bro." BTW, a hydroxycholorquine study just got stopped because it caused irregular heartbeats. To answer Tucker Carlson's question, maybe that's why the media was against it.

    Small chloroquine study stopped after irregular heart beats detected in subjects

    https://thehill.com/policy/international/492460-small-chloroquine-study-stopped-after-irregular-heart-beats-detected-in
     


    This is a New York Times graph created by their own staffers using dubious methods, is not official, and may be garbage, a microcosm of the whole Corona Statistical Fiasco.

    It seems that the author simply took the average number of deaths and manually added all corona virus deaths as incremental deaths. None of the cited sources provide data for any non-flu or non-corona related deaths for the period current period that is charted (March/April 2020).

    It seems very problematic to assume all deaths will be the same and all corona-related deaths are necessarily incremental to the total death count.

    In Corona Fantasy Land, 100% of deaths positive for some unremarkable flu virus are deaths caused by that virus.

    “The good news is, we’ve cured cancer!” — one Corona Apocalypse survivor to another

    (There is, in addition, the problem of deaths even in the immediate term directly caused by the Panic. It is documented now that heart attack victims are too scared to seek treatment because the media says the Coronavirus Apocalypse is going on. A big fall-off in heart attack admissions at NYC hospitals, up to 4/5ths. This is why you don’t want panic, and why it is a terrible idea to empower the Panic-pushers and the-ultra-worst-case-scenario-is-not-hardline-enough ‘Doomers,’ especially when the data is all against them.)

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    It's also ridiculously misleading regardless of whether it's accurate or not. That is a manufactured spike, the appear to have taken a whole month's worth of deaths (all the deaths over the dashed grey 'predicted' part) and stuck them all on 1 day to create a vertical line that may or may not even be different from the grey dashed line.

    The media is useless, hysterical and sensational. There is no reason why the National Enquirer should not be just as respectable as the NYT.
  70. @Hail
    https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-04-13_18-01-54-2.png

    This is a New York Times graph created by their own staffers using dubious methods, is not official, and may be garbage, a microcosm of the whole Corona Statistical Fiasco.


    It seems that the author simply took the average number of deaths and manually added all corona virus deaths as incremental deaths. None of the cited sources provide data for any non-flu or non-corona related deaths for the period current period that is charted (March/April 2020).

    It seems very problematic to assume all deaths will be the same and all corona-related deaths are necessarily incremental to the total death count.
     

    In Corona Fantasy Land, 100% of deaths positive for some unremarkable flu virus are deaths caused by that virus.

    “The good news is, we’ve cured cancer!” — one Corona Apocalypse survivor to another

    (There is, in addition, the problem of deaths even in the immediate term directly caused by the Panic. It is documented now that heart attack victims are too scared to seek treatment because the media says the Coronavirus Apocalypse is going on. A big fall-off in heart attack admissions at NYC hospitals, up to 4/5ths. This is why you don't want panic, and why it is a terrible idea to empower the Panic-pushers and the-ultra-worst-case-scenario-is-not-hardline-enough 'Doomers,' especially when the data is all against them.)

    It’s also ridiculously misleading regardless of whether it’s accurate or not. That is a manufactured spike, the appear to have taken a whole month’s worth of deaths (all the deaths over the dashed grey ‘predicted’ part) and stuck them all on 1 day to create a vertical line that may or may not even be different from the grey dashed line.

    The media is useless, hysterical and sensational. There is no reason why the National Enquirer should not be just as respectable as the NYT.

    • Thanks: Manfred Arcane
  71. @Twinkie

    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion (“common sense”) to data. I think that says it all.
     
    He is wrong about so many basic things, but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room. So now he is making up his own epidemiological theories and ignoring contrary data in order to double down on his previous pronouncements.

    Examples:

    "People are already mostly infected, but are recovering without producing antibodies." Really? No antibody? What's neutralizing the pathogen then? (Miraculous recoveries do exist, but are EXTREMELY rare. That's why they are called miracles.)

    "Social distancing is ineffective." Set aside a mountain of data for a moment. Social distancing has been ALWAYS effective for flattening the curve of any kind of human-to-human transmissible virus. That's just a basic medical fact - it's almost a tautology (less human-to-human contact = fewer human-to-human transmissions).

    As for data, just a simple internet search will present loads of them, including the now well-publicized comparison of Philadelphia and St. Louis in the 1918 Spanish Flu.

    "These useless policies have cost trillions of dollars." Assuming that, without a government-recommended or -mandated lockdown, the economy would have functioned normally is a complete nonsense. The fact is, when people are concerned with a pandemic, there is a dramatic decrease in economic activities regardless of government intervention. Example: the airlines are still operating, but the demand for air travel has all but collapsed. Without social distancing policies, what would happen instead is a huge decline in economic activity AND a minority of people who ignore recommendations/suggestions and spread the virus - you end up with the worst of both worlds.

    "This is not even a bad flu season." In NYC, in just THREE DAYS, Covid-19 killed as many people as flu does in a whole year. As you noted, the transmission rate and the lethality of Covid-19 are much greater than ordinary influenza.

    As you have stated elsewhere, the more interesting and useful question is what kind of social distancing policies are the most effective and/or offer the "best bang for the buck." What policies will help reduce the incidences of transmissions, yet allow people to go about their lives as normally as possible? That's the million (or billion/trillion) dollar question.

    It is quite true that you don't have to "lock down the whole country" to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited - he's a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g


    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn't own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I'd imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn't get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that's 4 PM to 10 AM the next day - that's something like 2 working hours - obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don't have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room.

    That is a big part of what drives me crazy about ID. He very much reminds me of people I encounter who are significantly smarter than average (say >130 IQ, or about 98th percentile) but have hardly ever been in settings where they weren’t the smartest guy in the room (especially during their formative years). Having gone to a college where that level of smarts was pretty much the price of admission I have real trouble understanding the mindset. At this point I rather prefer not being the smartest guy in the room. It makes life much more interesting.

    Thanks for the example from South Korea. It is frustrating to have to look outside the US for examples of what a sensible response might be.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational

    It is frustrating to have to look outside the US for examples of what a sensible response might be.
     
    Indeed.  While the Koreans got s#*! done, our FDA and CDC actively blocked US testing labs from doing tests while producing defective kits.  Last I saw, we were still arguing about doing single-factor vs. multi-factor tests.  Multi-factor tests, such as for ordinary flu and COVID-19 antibodies, would reveal who's had the disease already and can return to work immediately.  If lots of people are already immune, the lockdown can be narrowed to only those who need to self-protect.

    We can't get common-sense things because people like Fauci are tied to Bill Gates' vaccine company and are pushing agendas to line their own pockets.

  72. @Hail

    hat we know of the Diamond Princess. I believe most or all of the passengers were tested, some multiple times. There were 12 fatalities and 712 confirmed cases. Most deaths were old, over 60 — most 70+. Cut that by ~65% and it’s ~0.6%. That’s tracking with some current studies.
     
    The Diamond Princess data is what led Dr. Iaonnidis, contorlling by age and condition, to make his original "0.025% to 0.625% total fatality rate" estimate in early and mid-March, which he published March 17. He later revised this down, with better data from elsewhere, to 0.01% to 0.1%.

    This is the finding also independently reached by many researchers. I am aware of individual specialists or teams in the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden that have all come in the 0.01% to 0.2% range as the best guess.

    A big study now underway in Stockholm meant to determine how many got the virus and whose immune systems easily expelled and were never sick (as, it turns out, with any unremarakble flu virus), i.e. the true denominator for the total-fatality calculation. The result is expected to be another nail in the coffin for the Corona Apocalypse brigade, and the holdouts who argue for anything close to the irresponsibly-promoted "3% deaths! 5% deaths! Who knows! Panic NOW!" and even Ron Unz' 1%. None of those are tenable, or even close according to every serious, comprehensive study we have. They only fit when people do [Deaths]/[ConfirmedPositives].

    Professor John Oxford of Queen Mary University London, one of the world’s leading virologists and influenza specialists said March 31:


    Personally, I would say the best advice is to spend less time watching TV news which is sensational and not very good. Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. [...] We are suffering from a media epidemic!
     

    The Diamond Princess data is what led Dr. Iaonnidis, contorlling by age and condition, to make his original “0.025% to 0.625% total fatality rate” estimate in early and mid-March, which he published March 17. He later revised this down, with better data from elsewhere, to 0.01% to 0.1%.

    It would really help if you gave references for your assertions. It is also worth noting that eight passengers had died as of 3/17 and five more have died since.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_on_Diamond_Princess#Deaths

    • Replies: @Hail
    This is the "Coronavirus as a Statistical, Bad-Data Fiasco" article which got a lot of attention in mid-March. I am sure that those, including you, who has followed this discussion is familiar with it. (If not, they should be.)

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

    Ths initial Ioannidis estimate is not an obscure fact. Steve Sailer blogged about the Ioannidis paper and referenced it many times. Greg Cochran (who has entirely discredited himself in this Corona affair, to my view, completely caving-in to Doomerism) wrote a long attempt to refute Ioannidis, which boiled down to accusing Ioannidis of "lying for money" or some ridiculous thing.

    Several other teams across the world found the same range, also in March, but got less coverage thaneven the meager wave Ioannidis was able to make. The media-driven panic caused all these voices to be drowned out entirely, as the Doomers had taken over the ship and were at the helm.

    Just about every day we seem to get more data from all over for the true fatality rate in the 0.1% range (and even that is arguably high with the tricky deaths-with-vs-deaths-from problem). Here is one from the US this week as summarized in the Economist:


    The paper reckons that 7m Americans were infected from March 8th to 14th, and official data show 7,000 deaths three weeks later. The resulting fatality rate is 0.1%, similar to that of flu.
     
    The paper is "Using ILI surveillance to estimate state-specific case detection rates and forecast SARS-CoV-2 spread in the United States." (Justin D Silverman, View ORCID ProfileNathaniel Hupert, View ORCID ProfileAlex D Washburne).
  73. Hail says: • Website
    @unit472
    If one digs a bit around the outbreak in Albany, Georgia one can find both a medical and political reason why 're-0pening the economy' may not happen soon, at least in the US.

    This outbreak began on February 29th after a large funeral service for a janitor. Since that event Dougherty County ( 61.2% black) has experienced 1245 cases ( 2nd only to Atlanta/Fulton County) and is first in number of deaths with 78.

    https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report

    The adjacent counties also have elevated covid rates. Terrell population 9300, eg., also is over 60% black has reported 110 cases and 10 deaths. These are catastrophic numbers for such small communities and it seems to keep on spreading. Obviously, given the political situation in the US and similar high rates of infection and death in places like Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore etc. the idea that the US can just resume business as usual when negroes are, for whatever reason, becoming infected and dying at vastly higher rates is a recipe for civil unrest this summer.

    unit472, something in your post made me realize something about the way “the coronavirus crisis/pandemic” is being perceived and understood by many:

    It’s Voodoo.

    Let me explain.

    First, here is the way a flu epidemic works:

    (1) a flu virus (or group of viruses) mutate and tap into a transmission network somewhere;
    (2) the virus spreads, ‘virally’ (think of the social media sense, in which a tweet suddenly gets a million retweets out of nowhere);
    (3) the flu virus pushes a small number of the very weakest and unhealthiest among us onto the other side. In quite a lot of cases, this simply hastens an imminent death. For every death, several thousands of others have immune systems that encounter the virus, become ‘positive’ for a time, and defeat/expel the virus;
    (4) once enough people become immune and/or other conditions change (like the onset of spring), the virus fades away, the epidemic is over.

    “This no ordinary virus,” you often hear. For a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this comment, a Panic was created. Here is the point, the observation that occurred to me from your comment:

    No virus sticks around in a (2)–>(3)–(2)–>(3) endless feedback loop, but I think a lot of people believe this is the case here, induced to such thinking by the Panic itself. “This is no ordindary flu virus!” or a close variant has been a very standard thing to hear; I guess for many this suspends all normal virus-transmission rules, if they ever knew them anyway. This is ‘voodoo’ thinking and not science; the implicit belief driving Corona discourse is that that the virus hangs around like an evil spirit haunting humanity, or particular cities/regions, or particular ethnic groups, whatever, as in voodoo belief.

    I think quite a few are scared of the virus in exactly the terms that a voodoo-believer is scared of a voodoo spell. The mechanism by which respiratory-illness epidemics begin and end is well understood, but remember, This Is No Ordinary Virus. (But what if it is? The more data we get, the more it looks like it was, after all, Just the Flu, or at worst something like Just the Flu x2.)

  74. Hail says: • Website
    @res

    The Diamond Princess data is what led Dr. Iaonnidis, contorlling by age and condition, to make his original “0.025% to 0.625% total fatality rate” estimate in early and mid-March, which he published March 17. He later revised this down, with better data from elsewhere, to 0.01% to 0.1%.
     
    It would really help if you gave references for your assertions. It is also worth noting that eight passengers had died as of 3/17 and five more have died since.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_on_Diamond_Princess#Deaths

    This is the “Coronavirus as a Statistical, Bad-Data Fiasco” article which got a lot of attention in mid-March. I am sure that those, including you, who has followed this discussion is familiar with it. (If not, they should be.)

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

    Ths initial Ioannidis estimate is not an obscure fact. Steve Sailer blogged about the Ioannidis paper and referenced it many times. Greg Cochran (who has entirely discredited himself in this Corona affair, to my view, completely caving-in to Doomerism) wrote a long attempt to refute Ioannidis, which boiled down to accusing Ioannidis of “lying for money” or some ridiculous thing.

    Several other teams across the world found the same range, also in March, but got less coverage thaneven the meager wave Ioannidis was able to make. The media-driven panic caused all these voices to be drowned out entirely, as the Doomers had taken over the ship and were at the helm.

    Just about every day we seem to get more data from all over for the true fatality rate in the 0.1% range (and even that is arguably high with the tricky deaths-with-vs-deaths-from problem). Here is one from the US this week as summarized in the Economist:

    The paper reckons that 7m Americans were infected from March 8th to 14th, and official data show 7,000 deaths three weeks later. The resulting fatality rate is 0.1%, similar to that of flu.

    The paper is “Using ILI surveillance to estimate state-specific case detection rates and forecast SARS-CoV-2 spread in the United States.” (Justin D Silverman, View ORCID ProfileNathaniel Hupert, View ORCID ProfileAlex D Washburne).

  75. The state of Pennsylvania is requiring people to wear masks at grocery stores and the like.

    I actually don’t have a problem with this. In fact, I’ve been advocating for masks for months now.

    But this is notable in that, over a month ago, PA, like the CDC, was claiming that mask use was not particularly efficacious.

    The powers that be are doing a true “memory hole” operation. Luckily for them most people don’t have the attention span to remember that they were previously devoutly anti-mask.

  76. In 3 months, 13 people out of 1300 people over 70 have died. That’s 1 in 25 over a given year. Ages 75-84 men have a 1 in 15 chance and women have a 1 in 21 chance.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    How do you calculate the 4% "over a given year" when it is 1 per cent of known cases?
  77. @Hail
    One weird feature of the Corona Panic-and-Mass-Delusion Event of 2020 is the disempowering, marginalization, and silencing of actual experts.

    This whole thing bears all the hallmarks of a social panic, a mass-hysteria, and actually in retrospect it always has. It was never based in rational thinking or goo data, all based on kneejerk reactions, fear, ans craven surrender to Doomer-ism. (It would be a little like the US in normal times redirecting 30% of GDP to fight alien abductions).

    Even the best of us can fall for these things, but all it takes to break the spell is get a little out of earshot of the pro-CoronaPanic media drumbeat, do actual independent thinking, find context, and find dissenting voices and listen to what they're saying that's different from the Drumbeat. That is what I see Intelligent Dasein and others doing.

    “The only means to fight the plague is honesty.” -- Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)

    This whole thing bears all the hallmarks of a social panic, a mass-hysteria, and actually in retrospect it always has.

    I agree. I have smelled this particular stench before. It wafted its way all throughout Russiagate and it seems to have a special association with Bill Clinton and his associates. We are now dealing with politicized unprovable assertions on a global scale, leading to mass anxiety and panic.

    While I would never go so far as to assert that this novel coronavirus is not a real virus, I am beginning to seriously think that the pandemic is not a real pandemic. Much of it is being manufactured out of statistical noise and the iatrogenic effects of the lockdown itself.

    Why is there not a continued outbreak within China, not all of which was ever locked down? How did the virus manage to spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world but not to the rest of China? Why is Sweden doing just fine without any lockdowns? What ever happened to Iran? What about the teeming, disgusting, unsanitary cities of India and Africa, where people are too poor to buy food let alone to wear masks and social distance? What’s going on in the places that are totally off the radar screen like Turkey, Syria, Central America? How do three US aircraft carriers become floating petri dishes? Why does this virus seem to spread so easily just where it’s convenient to the propaganda machine, but merits a yawn everywhere else?

    And one more thing. I’m not going to engage in any flame wars on this thread, by the personal scorn for me that seems to motivate the panic brigade, as any reader can acquaint himself with above, is a little over the top. Insults, slander, wild speculations about my backgroand, and an incestuous degree of mutual appreciation—it’s all a little thick.

    • Replies: @res

    And one more thing. I’m not going to engage in any flame wars on this thread, by the personal scorn for me that seems to motivate the panic brigade, as any reader can acquaint himself with above, is a little over the top. Insults, slander, wild speculations about my backgroand, and an incestuous degree of mutual appreciation—it’s all a little thick.
     
    Any time you want to make a substantive response to my comment 25 feel free. It is a bit rich you criticizing others for flame wars, etc.
    , @anon
    Why does this virus seem to spread so easily just where it’s convenient to the propaganda machine, but merits a yawn everywhere else?

    "Seem".

    You should look more carefully and more deeply into these issues. I choose one example: the Theodore Roosevelt made a port call in Viet Nam earlier this year. It is all but certain that COVID-19 was one of the parting gifts to the crew. That port call was in multiple media sources. An intelligent person would know that by doing just a little bit of search.

    Why didn't you know about it? Please try dealing in facts rather than opinion, starting with your absurd misconceptions regarding immunology.
  78. @res

    but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room.
     
    That is a big part of what drives me crazy about ID. He very much reminds me of people I encounter who are significantly smarter than average (say >130 IQ, or about 98th percentile) but have hardly ever been in settings where they weren't the smartest guy in the room (especially during their formative years). Having gone to a college where that level of smarts was pretty much the price of admission I have real trouble understanding the mindset. At this point I rather prefer not being the smartest guy in the room. It makes life much more interesting.

    Thanks for the example from South Korea. It is frustrating to have to look outside the US for examples of what a sensible response might be.

    It is frustrating to have to look outside the US for examples of what a sensible response might be.

    Indeed.  While the Koreans got s#*! done, our FDA and CDC actively blocked US testing labs from doing tests while producing defective kits.  Last I saw, we were still arguing about doing single-factor vs. multi-factor tests.  Multi-factor tests, such as for ordinary flu and COVID-19 antibodies, would reveal who’s had the disease already and can return to work immediately.  If lots of people are already immune, the lockdown can be narrowed to only those who need to self-protect.

    We can’t get common-sense things because people like Fauci are tied to Bill Gates’ vaccine company and are pushing agendas to line their own pockets.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    >If lots of people are already immune, the lockdown can be narrowed to only those who need to self-protect.

    Do we have evidence that catching the virus makes one immune yet? Not a sarcastic statement, real question. We can't assume that. Biology isn't physics, despite all the physicists who have become ansatz biologists.

    >We can’t get common-sense things because people like Fauci are tied to Bill Gates’ vaccine company and are pushing agendas to line their own pockets.

    Disgusting.

    My Domitianic tendencies on how to deal with deviant, spoiled aristocrats who put everybody else's lives at risk for profit are coming to the forefront, observing dynamics like that. Senators trading off stocks with private knowledge, bailing out hedge funds with what will be a massive tax burden on the middle and working classes, the idiots that don't realize that maybe unrestricted supply chains and globalization are going to inevitably lead to one nation's problems becoming the entire world's problems... these people are a threat to national security, and should be dealt with as such.

  79. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    WHY?? WHY!!

    OK – sorry, had to get that off my chest. Back to radio silence.

    Peace (hopefully) – because I’m going to have a hard time sleeping y’all!

    • Replies: @Tusk
    I was very dissapointed by this too. It's a pity, I like Villenueve, but I won't be seeing this in the cinemas now and will wait for Bluray rip. Though Kynes was White in Lynch's adaption I wouldn't have been upset with a brown casting choice (because of the obvious Middle Eastern setting) but to both swap the gender and cast a sub-Saharan African in the role is ridiculous.

    It's also ridiculous that they are making Lady Jessica a "warrior Princess" instead of a "space nun" which completely invalidates the lore, the setting, and the dynamic between her and Paul. Thanks for nothing Hollywood.
    , @res
    Perhaps the best objection is from this comment there.

    Matrix29bear
    1 day ago

    Jay Sherman: "IT STINKS!"
    Black female Fremen leader?!? Yeah, just like all the black female ARABIC MUSLIM leaders in Saudi Arabia... oh wait, that ain't gonna happen. Congrats to the Production Teams of Legendary Pictures, Villeneuve Films, and Warner Bros. Pictures... you just SERIOUSLY pissed off the Arab viewerbase and the Role Playing diehards for NOTHING of value in return for this insult-gamble.
    https://dune.fandom.com/wiki/Fremen
    The Fremen typically lived in patriarchal collectives, known as sietches, which were led by a Naib. Each sietch resides within one of the numerous rocky formations that dot the sands of Arrakis. Collectively, all Fremen belonged to the Ichwan Bedwine, or broad brotherhood.

    Naib is a Zensunni and later Fremen term which is used to denote the leader of a Sietch. A Naib is typically male. In the language of the Fremen, Naib means, "one who has sworn never to be taken alive by the enemy". To become a Naib, one usually has to fight and kill the previous Naib.

    "Naib" is an Arabic word, نائب, meaning deputy. The word is used today for members of parliament in Arab countries.
     
    , @anon
    Why are you surprised? After what has been done to every other science fiction movie recently, why would you expect Dune to be exempt? As soon as I was told a remake was coming, I knew it would be pozzed.

    Di$ney is crushing $tar War$ with poz. The expected new audience isn't there, and they continue to alienate all the fan base. Just one example. The poz is bankrupting movie companies. It cannot go on forever.

    , @iffen
    Relax, Talha, emulation is a key ingredient in assimilation.
  80. @Twinkie

    @Intelligent Dasein prefers his opinion (“common sense”) to data. I think that says it all.
     
    He is wrong about so many basic things, but he has to, just has to be the smartest guy in the room. So now he is making up his own epidemiological theories and ignoring contrary data in order to double down on his previous pronouncements.

    Examples:

    "People are already mostly infected, but are recovering without producing antibodies." Really? No antibody? What's neutralizing the pathogen then? (Miraculous recoveries do exist, but are EXTREMELY rare. That's why they are called miracles.)

    "Social distancing is ineffective." Set aside a mountain of data for a moment. Social distancing has been ALWAYS effective for flattening the curve of any kind of human-to-human transmissible virus. That's just a basic medical fact - it's almost a tautology (less human-to-human contact = fewer human-to-human transmissions).

    As for data, just a simple internet search will present loads of them, including the now well-publicized comparison of Philadelphia and St. Louis in the 1918 Spanish Flu.

    "These useless policies have cost trillions of dollars." Assuming that, without a government-recommended or -mandated lockdown, the economy would have functioned normally is a complete nonsense. The fact is, when people are concerned with a pandemic, there is a dramatic decrease in economic activities regardless of government intervention. Example: the airlines are still operating, but the demand for air travel has all but collapsed. Without social distancing policies, what would happen instead is a huge decline in economic activity AND a minority of people who ignore recommendations/suggestions and spread the virus - you end up with the worst of both worlds.

    "This is not even a bad flu season." In NYC, in just THREE DAYS, Covid-19 killed as many people as flu does in a whole year. As you noted, the transmission rate and the lethality of Covid-19 are much greater than ordinary influenza.

    As you have stated elsewhere, the more interesting and useful question is what kind of social distancing policies are the most effective and/or offer the "best bang for the buck." What policies will help reduce the incidences of transmissions, yet allow people to go about their lives as normally as possible? That's the million (or billion/trillion) dollar question.

    It is quite true that you don't have to "lock down the whole country" to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited - he's a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g


    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn't own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I'd imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn't get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that's 4 PM to 10 AM the next day - that's something like 2 working hours - obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don't have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    > But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    Singapore didn’t manage to avoid a lockdown in the end, despite having all the above factors and immediately implementing social distancing, tracking, etc. What finally tipped the balance was repeated cluster outbreaks in the guest worker dormitories, which are too overcrowded and have sanitation problems.

    If nothing else, maybe the pandemic will get people to reconsider the value of cutting corners at the expense of public health in an age where a virus can travel oceans within a day.

  81. @Mr. Rational

    It is frustrating to have to look outside the US for examples of what a sensible response might be.
     
    Indeed.  While the Koreans got s#*! done, our FDA and CDC actively blocked US testing labs from doing tests while producing defective kits.  Last I saw, we were still arguing about doing single-factor vs. multi-factor tests.  Multi-factor tests, such as for ordinary flu and COVID-19 antibodies, would reveal who's had the disease already and can return to work immediately.  If lots of people are already immune, the lockdown can be narrowed to only those who need to self-protect.

    We can't get common-sense things because people like Fauci are tied to Bill Gates' vaccine company and are pushing agendas to line their own pockets.

    >If lots of people are already immune, the lockdown can be narrowed to only those who need to self-protect.

    Do we have evidence that catching the virus makes one immune yet? Not a sarcastic statement, real question. We can’t assume that. Biology isn’t physics, despite all the physicists who have become ansatz biologists.

    >We can’t get common-sense things because people like Fauci are tied to Bill Gates’ vaccine company and are pushing agendas to line their own pockets.

    Disgusting.

    My Domitianic tendencies on how to deal with deviant, spoiled aristocrats who put everybody else’s lives at risk for profit are coming to the forefront, observing dynamics like that. Senators trading off stocks with private knowledge, bailing out hedge funds with what will be a massive tax burden on the middle and working classes, the idiots that don’t realize that maybe unrestricted supply chains and globalization are going to inevitably lead to one nation’s problems becoming the entire world’s problems… these people are a threat to national security, and should be dealt with as such.

    • Replies: @iffen
    Biology isn’t physics, despite all the physicists who have become ansatz biologists.

    ROFLMAO
  82. @Talha
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
    https://twitter.com/BoundingComics/status/1250064173926678530

    WHY?? WHY!!

    OK - sorry, had to get that off my chest. Back to radio silence.

    Peace (hopefully) - because I'm going to have a hard time sleeping y'all!

    I was very dissapointed by this too. It’s a pity, I like Villenueve, but I won’t be seeing this in the cinemas now and will wait for Bluray rip. Though Kynes was White in Lynch’s adaption I wouldn’t have been upset with a brown casting choice (because of the obvious Middle Eastern setting) but to both swap the gender and cast a sub-Saharan African in the role is ridiculous.

    It’s also ridiculous that they are making Lady Jessica a “warrior Princess” instead of a “space nun” which completely invalidates the lore, the setting, and the dynamic between her and Paul. Thanks for nothing Hollywood.

    • Agree: Talha
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Lady Jessica a “warrior Princess” instead of a “space nun” which completely invalidates the lore, the setting, and the dynamic between her and Paul.
     
    Agree with everything except this a little. Jessica was a Bene Gesserit, which means she had prana-bindu training, the Weirding Way, etc. She could fight and fight extremely well. Far more than a “space nun.”

    But Bene Gesserits also rarely, if ever, revealed their true capabilities or intentions to outsiders, stayed in the background or shadows, were never seen to be violent, and relied upon manipulation and inculcation to move others to achieve their goals. So your overall criticism about her dynamic with others, including her son, is on the mark.
  83. @Intelligent Dasein

    This whole thing bears all the hallmarks of a social panic, a mass-hysteria, and actually in retrospect it always has.
     
    I agree. I have smelled this particular stench before. It wafted its way all throughout Russiagate and it seems to have a special association with Bill Clinton and his associates. We are now dealing with politicized unprovable assertions on a global scale, leading to mass anxiety and panic.

    While I would never go so far as to assert that this novel coronavirus is not a real virus, I am beginning to seriously think that the pandemic is not a real pandemic. Much of it is being manufactured out of statistical noise and the iatrogenic effects of the lockdown itself.

    Why is there not a continued outbreak within China, not all of which was ever locked down? How did the virus manage to spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world but not to the rest of China? Why is Sweden doing just fine without any lockdowns? What ever happened to Iran? What about the teeming, disgusting, unsanitary cities of India and Africa, where people are too poor to buy food let alone to wear masks and social distance? What's going on in the places that are totally off the radar screen like Turkey, Syria, Central America? How do three US aircraft carriers become floating petri dishes? Why does this virus seem to spread so easily just where it's convenient to the propaganda machine, but merits a yawn everywhere else?

    And one more thing. I'm not going to engage in any flame wars on this thread, by the personal scorn for me that seems to motivate the panic brigade, as any reader can acquaint himself with above, is a little over the top. Insults, slander, wild speculations about my backgroand, and an incestuous degree of mutual appreciation---it's all a little thick.

    And one more thing. I’m not going to engage in any flame wars on this thread, by the personal scorn for me that seems to motivate the panic brigade, as any reader can acquaint himself with above, is a little over the top. Insults, slander, wild speculations about my backgroand, and an incestuous degree of mutual appreciation—it’s all a little thick.

    Any time you want to make a substantive response to my comment 25 feel free. It is a bit rich you criticizing others for flame wars, etc.

    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    It is a bit rich you criticizing others for flame wars, etc.
     
    On top of making up his own epidemiological theories, now he’s playing a victim.

    I posted a clip of Arnold in “Commando” as a joke (to indicate that I finally agreed with him on something, namely distributism), and his response was an unhinged mix of arrogance (telling me to read about the relevant encyclicals like he’s the only trad Catholic here who knows about it), repeated name-calling (“world’s toughest Korean act,” et al.), and girlish histrionics (“death threat”).

    Not only is he much less intelligent than he thinks, he is also incapable of ever admitting he is wrong, which speaks to immaturity and insecurity. Playing the victim now is just a cherry on top of all this.
  84. @res

    And one more thing. I’m not going to engage in any flame wars on this thread, by the personal scorn for me that seems to motivate the panic brigade, as any reader can acquaint himself with above, is a little over the top. Insults, slander, wild speculations about my backgroand, and an incestuous degree of mutual appreciation—it’s all a little thick.
     
    Any time you want to make a substantive response to my comment 25 feel free. It is a bit rich you criticizing others for flame wars, etc.

    It is a bit rich you criticizing others for flame wars, etc.

    On top of making up his own epidemiological theories, now he’s playing a victim.

    I posted a clip of Arnold in “Commando” as a joke (to indicate that I finally agreed with him on something, namely distributism), and his response was an unhinged mix of arrogance (telling me to read about the relevant encyclicals like he’s the only trad Catholic here who knows about it), repeated name-calling (“world’s toughest Korean act,” et al.), and girlish histrionics (“death threat”).

    Not only is he much less intelligent than he thinks, he is also incapable of ever admitting he is wrong, which speaks to immaturity and insecurity. Playing the victim now is just a cherry on top of all this.

  85. @Tusk
    I was very dissapointed by this too. It's a pity, I like Villenueve, but I won't be seeing this in the cinemas now and will wait for Bluray rip. Though Kynes was White in Lynch's adaption I wouldn't have been upset with a brown casting choice (because of the obvious Middle Eastern setting) but to both swap the gender and cast a sub-Saharan African in the role is ridiculous.

    It's also ridiculous that they are making Lady Jessica a "warrior Princess" instead of a "space nun" which completely invalidates the lore, the setting, and the dynamic between her and Paul. Thanks for nothing Hollywood.

    Lady Jessica a “warrior Princess” instead of a “space nun” which completely invalidates the lore, the setting, and the dynamic between her and Paul.

    Agree with everything except this a little. Jessica was a Bene Gesserit, which means she had prana-bindu training, the Weirding Way, etc. She could fight and fight extremely well. Far more than a “space nun.”

    But Bene Gesserits also rarely, if ever, revealed their true capabilities or intentions to outsiders, stayed in the background or shadows, were never seen to be violent, and relied upon manipulation and inculcation to move others to achieve their goals. So your overall criticism about her dynamic with others, including her son, is on the mark.

    • Replies: @Tusk
    True. It is obviously hard to say how she will be portrayed in the movie before even a trailer is out but I find the need to even promote the movie like that disturbing. I agree that Jessica (and the Bene Gesserit) are strong which is evidenced by her in the second half of the book, I just hope they aren't going to try and make her like other "badass" females in Sci-fi when her role is second to the stronger Paul.
  86. @Twinkie

    Lady Jessica a “warrior Princess” instead of a “space nun” which completely invalidates the lore, the setting, and the dynamic between her and Paul.
     
    Agree with everything except this a little. Jessica was a Bene Gesserit, which means she had prana-bindu training, the Weirding Way, etc. She could fight and fight extremely well. Far more than a “space nun.”

    But Bene Gesserits also rarely, if ever, revealed their true capabilities or intentions to outsiders, stayed in the background or shadows, were never seen to be violent, and relied upon manipulation and inculcation to move others to achieve their goals. So your overall criticism about her dynamic with others, including her son, is on the mark.

    True. It is obviously hard to say how she will be portrayed in the movie before even a trailer is out but I find the need to even promote the movie like that disturbing. I agree that Jessica (and the Bene Gesserit) are strong which is evidenced by her in the second half of the book, I just hope they aren’t going to try and make her like other “badass” females in Sci-fi when her role is second to the stronger Paul.

  87. @Talha
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
    https://twitter.com/BoundingComics/status/1250064173926678530

    WHY?? WHY!!

    OK - sorry, had to get that off my chest. Back to radio silence.

    Peace (hopefully) - because I'm going to have a hard time sleeping y'all!

    Perhaps the best objection is from this comment there.

    Matrix29bear
    1 day ago

    Jay Sherman: “IT STINKS!”
    Black female Fremen leader?!? Yeah, just like all the black female ARABIC MUSLIM leaders in Saudi Arabia… oh wait, that ain’t gonna happen. Congrats to the Production Teams of Legendary Pictures, Villeneuve Films, and Warner Bros. Pictures… you just SERIOUSLY pissed off the Arab viewerbase and the Role Playing diehards for NOTHING of value in return for this insult-gamble.
    https://dune.fandom.com/wiki/Fremen
    The Fremen typically lived in patriarchal collectives, known as sietches, which were led by a Naib. Each sietch resides within one of the numerous rocky formations that dot the sands of Arrakis. Collectively, all Fremen belonged to the Ichwan Bedwine, or broad brotherhood.

    Naib is a Zensunni and later Fremen term which is used to denote the leader of a Sietch. A Naib is typically male. In the language of the Fremen, Naib means, “one who has sworn never to be taken alive by the enemy”. To become a Naib, one usually has to fight and kill the previous Naib.

    “Naib” is an Arabic word, نائب, meaning deputy. The word is used today for members of parliament in Arab countries.

    • Thanks: Talha
    • Replies: @Talha
    A couple of points on this - and that guy makes some very good points himself:
    1. A lot of the terminology does come from Arabic - and a lot of the other cultural tribal references comes from the mountain warrior culture of the Caucasus:
    “ Islamic theology, mysticism, and the history of the Arab world clearly influenced Dune, but part of Herbert’s genius lay in his willingness to reach for more idiosyncratic sources of inspiration. The Sabres of Paradise (1960) served as one of those sources, a half-forgotten masterpiece of narrative history recounting a mid-19th century Islamic holy war against Russian imperialism in the Caucasus.”
    https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-secret-history-of-dune/

    2. The person being black or dark-skinned is not a huge deal. The character being a female is a HUGE deal. There is no way the tribal cultures that Dune seeks inspiration from would have female leaders. That they may have had female priestesses (as in pre-Islamic times) is reflected in the book and them taking in Lady Jessica as a priestess. You can ask Yahya K. for details, but in a place like Saudi, some tribes are very dark skinned and some are light skinned, it just depends* so a variety of shades of skin color among the Fremen would be quite reflective of desert people (though perhaps not from the same tribe, or Seitch in this case).

    Peace.

    *You can see this in a video of a scholar from the Salafi-Wahhabi school that is giving an interview ( reflecting on how they have to deal with the fact that a group like Daesh has borrowed from their doctrinal basis); note the contrast between his color and that of the interviewer:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=4KQiJdIFsgQ
  88. anon[102] • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
    https://twitter.com/BoundingComics/status/1250064173926678530

    WHY?? WHY!!

    OK - sorry, had to get that off my chest. Back to radio silence.

    Peace (hopefully) - because I'm going to have a hard time sleeping y'all!

    Why are you surprised? After what has been done to every other science fiction movie recently, why would you expect Dune to be exempt? As soon as I was told a remake was coming, I knew it would be pozzed.

    Di$ney is crushing $tar War$ with poz. The expected new audience isn’t there, and they continue to alienate all the fan base. Just one example. The poz is bankrupting movie companies. It cannot go on forever.

    • Agree: Talha
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    The poz is bankrupting movie companies. It cannot go on forever.
     
    With any luck the coronavirus panic will bankrupt Hollywood. Disney is particularly vulnerable.
  89. anon[102] • Disclaimer says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    This whole thing bears all the hallmarks of a social panic, a mass-hysteria, and actually in retrospect it always has.
     
    I agree. I have smelled this particular stench before. It wafted its way all throughout Russiagate and it seems to have a special association with Bill Clinton and his associates. We are now dealing with politicized unprovable assertions on a global scale, leading to mass anxiety and panic.

    While I would never go so far as to assert that this novel coronavirus is not a real virus, I am beginning to seriously think that the pandemic is not a real pandemic. Much of it is being manufactured out of statistical noise and the iatrogenic effects of the lockdown itself.

    Why is there not a continued outbreak within China, not all of which was ever locked down? How did the virus manage to spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world but not to the rest of China? Why is Sweden doing just fine without any lockdowns? What ever happened to Iran? What about the teeming, disgusting, unsanitary cities of India and Africa, where people are too poor to buy food let alone to wear masks and social distance? What's going on in the places that are totally off the radar screen like Turkey, Syria, Central America? How do three US aircraft carriers become floating petri dishes? Why does this virus seem to spread so easily just where it's convenient to the propaganda machine, but merits a yawn everywhere else?

    And one more thing. I'm not going to engage in any flame wars on this thread, by the personal scorn for me that seems to motivate the panic brigade, as any reader can acquaint himself with above, is a little over the top. Insults, slander, wild speculations about my backgroand, and an incestuous degree of mutual appreciation---it's all a little thick.

    Why does this virus seem to spread so easily just where it’s convenient to the propaganda machine, but merits a yawn everywhere else?

    “Seem”.

    You should look more carefully and more deeply into these issues. I choose one example: the Theodore Roosevelt made a port call in Viet Nam earlier this year. It is all but certain that COVID-19 was one of the parting gifts to the crew. That port call was in multiple media sources. An intelligent person would know that by doing just a little bit of search.

    Why didn’t you know about it? Please try dealing in facts rather than opinion, starting with your absurd misconceptions regarding immunology.

  90. @res
    Perhaps the best objection is from this comment there.

    Matrix29bear
    1 day ago

    Jay Sherman: "IT STINKS!"
    Black female Fremen leader?!? Yeah, just like all the black female ARABIC MUSLIM leaders in Saudi Arabia... oh wait, that ain't gonna happen. Congrats to the Production Teams of Legendary Pictures, Villeneuve Films, and Warner Bros. Pictures... you just SERIOUSLY pissed off the Arab viewerbase and the Role Playing diehards for NOTHING of value in return for this insult-gamble.
    https://dune.fandom.com/wiki/Fremen
    The Fremen typically lived in patriarchal collectives, known as sietches, which were led by a Naib. Each sietch resides within one of the numerous rocky formations that dot the sands of Arrakis. Collectively, all Fremen belonged to the Ichwan Bedwine, or broad brotherhood.

    Naib is a Zensunni and later Fremen term which is used to denote the leader of a Sietch. A Naib is typically male. In the language of the Fremen, Naib means, "one who has sworn never to be taken alive by the enemy". To become a Naib, one usually has to fight and kill the previous Naib.

    "Naib" is an Arabic word, نائب, meaning deputy. The word is used today for members of parliament in Arab countries.
     

    A couple of points on this – and that guy makes some very good points himself:
    1. A lot of the terminology does come from Arabic – and a lot of the other cultural tribal references comes from the mountain warrior culture of the Caucasus:
    “ Islamic theology, mysticism, and the history of the Arab world clearly influenced Dune, but part of Herbert’s genius lay in his willingness to reach for more idiosyncratic sources of inspiration. The Sabres of Paradise (1960) served as one of those sources, a half-forgotten masterpiece of narrative history recounting a mid-19th century Islamic holy war against Russian imperialism in the Caucasus.”
    https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-secret-history-of-dune/

    2. The person being black or dark-skinned is not a huge deal. The character being a female is a HUGE deal. There is no way the tribal cultures that Dune seeks inspiration from would have female leaders. That they may have had female priestesses (as in pre-Islamic times) is reflected in the book and them taking in Lady Jessica as a priestess. You can ask Yahya K. for details, but in a place like Saudi, some tribes are very dark skinned and some are light skinned, it just depends* so a variety of shades of skin color among the Fremen would be quite reflective of desert people (though perhaps not from the same tribe, or Seitch in this case).

    Peace.

    [MORE]

    *You can see this in a video of a scholar from the Salafi-Wahhabi school that is giving an interview ( reflecting on how they have to deal with the fact that a group like Daesh has borrowed from their doctrinal basis); note the contrast between his color and that of the interviewer:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=4KQiJdIFsgQ

  91. @Talha
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
    https://twitter.com/BoundingComics/status/1250064173926678530

    WHY?? WHY!!

    OK - sorry, had to get that off my chest. Back to radio silence.

    Peace (hopefully) - because I'm going to have a hard time sleeping y'all!

    Relax, Talha, emulation is a key ingredient in assimilation.

  92. @nebulafox
    >If lots of people are already immune, the lockdown can be narrowed to only those who need to self-protect.

    Do we have evidence that catching the virus makes one immune yet? Not a sarcastic statement, real question. We can't assume that. Biology isn't physics, despite all the physicists who have become ansatz biologists.

    >We can’t get common-sense things because people like Fauci are tied to Bill Gates’ vaccine company and are pushing agendas to line their own pockets.

    Disgusting.

    My Domitianic tendencies on how to deal with deviant, spoiled aristocrats who put everybody else's lives at risk for profit are coming to the forefront, observing dynamics like that. Senators trading off stocks with private knowledge, bailing out hedge funds with what will be a massive tax burden on the middle and working classes, the idiots that don't realize that maybe unrestricted supply chains and globalization are going to inevitably lead to one nation's problems becoming the entire world's problems... these people are a threat to national security, and should be dealt with as such.

    Biology isn’t physics, despite all the physicists who have become ansatz biologists.

    ROFLMAO

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    I said ansatz biologists, not bad ones. ;)
  93. @iffen
    Biology isn’t physics, despite all the physicists who have become ansatz biologists.

    ROFLMAO

    I said ansatz biologists, not bad ones. 😉

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    I'm not finding a definition for "ansatz" as an adjective.
  94. @nebulafox
    I said ansatz biologists, not bad ones. ;)

    I’m not finding a definition for “ansatz” as an adjective.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    I'm using copious doses of Kingfisher (strongest booze I can afford-well, there's the flavored fruit soju that one store sells, but I don't like that stuff-8 percent isn't bad for beer) to deal with being stuck in my unventilated tropical flat along with books and algorithms practice, so my comments might be a bit more off kilter than usual, sorry.

    Seriously, though, I've known tons of physics people who've gone into biological fields. Always wondered if I made a serious mistake by not doing so. It's cool stuff.

    , @Intelligent Dasein
    Perhaps the issue here is "ersatz."
    , @Wielgus
    If Aussatz had been written it might have been a reference to leprosy, strangely appropriate to these times.

    https://www.wordreference.com/deen/Aussatz

    However it was most likely a mistake for ersatz.
  95. @Mr. Rational
    I'm not finding a definition for "ansatz" as an adjective.

    I’m using copious doses of Kingfisher (strongest booze I can afford-well, there’s the flavored fruit soju that one store sells, but I don’t like that stuff-8 percent isn’t bad for beer) to deal with being stuck in my unventilated tropical flat along with books and algorithms practice, so my comments might be a bit more off kilter than usual, sorry.

    Seriously, though, I’ve known tons of physics people who’ve gone into biological fields. Always wondered if I made a serious mistake by not doing so. It’s cool stuff.

    • Replies: @iffen
    I’ve known tons of physics people who’ve gone into biological fields. Always wondered if I made a serious mistake by not doing so. It’s cool stuff.

    Since y'all have failed to deliver fusion generated electricity that is too cheap to meter, you might as well find someway to make yourselves useful.
  96. @Mr. Rational
    I'm not finding a definition for "ansatz" as an adjective.

    Perhaps the issue here is “ersatz.”

  97. @Mr. Rational
    I'm not finding a definition for "ansatz" as an adjective.

    If Aussatz had been written it might have been a reference to leprosy, strangely appropriate to these times.

    https://www.wordreference.com/deen/Aussatz

    However it was most likely a mistake for ersatz.

  98. anon[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @res

    Quite a few credentialed experts have been saying that the crippling shutdowns were probably totally ineffective and therefore a disaster in a public-policy sense
     
    Quite a few people of all descriptions are saying things of questionable accuracy. More than a few of them are posting comments on the Unz Review. One thing I like about the Unz Review is we tend not to take the word of "credentialed experts" as gospel. Especially given how much various "experts" disagree about this issue. Are we to believe the people you call expert but not any of the others? How do we decide?

    If you can get past scare words like "crippling" perhaps we can have a real discussion about this? Because I think the Kinsa data I have posted here provides clear evidence that at least SOME of the shutdowns have had value.

    I also believe that same Kinsa data suggests that the more drastic measures were unnecessary. And may even (probably IMHO, at least for much of it) justify the rhetoric you are using.

    Viral ‘epidemics’ in a sense happen every year, in that new strains affect a lot of people before burning out, and this one may well have been already on the decline in many/most places by the time the crippling shutdown orders were issued.
     
    See the 538 article mentioned in my earlier comment (TLDR: both R0 and IFR appear to be higher than normal for COVID-19). And then take a look at the data for Miami I gave. That Miami data looks like a serious blowup in progress before the school shutdowns occurred. I think things could have been even worse in areas more favorable climatically for the disease.

    Try taking a look at various flyover counties in Kinsa. Here is a sample at random.
    https://healthweather.us/?regionId=46093&mode=Observed

    They were having a regular flu season with a suggestive (but not "Atypical") uptick in early March. They closed schools on 3/16:
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/south-dakota
    and the illness rate dropped from 4.7% on 3/19 down to 0 on 4/10. It is possible (likely IMHO) they could have gotten away with even lesser measures. It is also possible that things would have blown up without the school closings.

    The thing is public health officials are dealing with uncertainty. It is highly likely the outcomes will be in one of these forms.
    1. Things blow up and get ugly.
    2. The measures taken prove to be excessive to some degree.
    3. Things never get ugly and we muddle through (think SARS, MERS, Ebola, 2009 H1N1; then go read that 538 article again).

    The key thing I see is to be adaptive (and selective by locality) and try to minimize the excess in the measures taken. Also realize that if we are to have any room for error with countermeasures, 2 is going to happen in almost all cases.

    Again, the reason I keep harping on the Kinsa data is it only seems to have a 5 day lag before the effects of countermeasures become visible. That is a big deal when trying to apply adaptive controls!

    consistently sound, rational, data-based, anti-Panic information; I wish I could say the same for the Unz crowd
     
    The Unz crowd seems to be splitting into two camps (Hoax! Apocalypse!) yelling at each other. I think both camps are wrong. Or right, depending on how you look at it.

    In particular, my key claims. Notice the mix from each camp.

    1. COVID-19 would probably have been a big deal without intervention. I estimate between the 1918 and 1968 pandemics.

    2. Some level of intervention was necessary (at minimum desirable) to prevent this.

    3. The level of shutdown in the US as a whole and individual localities has been excessive. Clearly worse than more considered alternatives, and at this point quite likely even justifying claims of the cure being worse than the disease.

    Please tell me what you disagree with there. The real conversation we should be having now is about 2. Things like:

    A.What types of intervention have the best cost/benefit profile?
    B. How do we know when to apply and remove various levels of intervention?
    C. At what level of granularity (city, county, state, country?) should various interventions be applied?

    I think the Kinsa data could help with B and the local choices part of C (but administrative facts and practical details often dictate granularity to use).

    Based on the Kinsa data I have seen so far (and a closer look at more localities could probably tell us MUCH more) the high value interventions for A have been school closings and restrictions on large gatherings.

    P.S. It would help this conversation if you gave an explicit proposal for how you would have handled COVID-19 in the US. Just arguing "too much" is no good. What would you recommend doing/having done?

    Oh dear res, useless data and longwinded detours are not what decision makers need right now. As usual, the sensible thing for governments to do is little or nothing. It’s the no-cost, all benefit approach!

    Weeks ahead of time, they come out and say, “There’s a flu coming. Be prepared to work and study from home where possible, maybe cover your face when you go out. If you are 60+ years of age, it might be time to run and hide. Best of luck!”

    Under no circumstances do you shut down the economy over this:
    https://i.insider.com/5e5fc740fee23d14eb3dd212?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp
    When the dust settles, I predict no relationship between government intervention and body count (as if a few dead retirees were a bad thing).

  99. @nebulafox
    I'm using copious doses of Kingfisher (strongest booze I can afford-well, there's the flavored fruit soju that one store sells, but I don't like that stuff-8 percent isn't bad for beer) to deal with being stuck in my unventilated tropical flat along with books and algorithms practice, so my comments might be a bit more off kilter than usual, sorry.

    Seriously, though, I've known tons of physics people who've gone into biological fields. Always wondered if I made a serious mistake by not doing so. It's cool stuff.

    I’ve known tons of physics people who’ve gone into biological fields. Always wondered if I made a serious mistake by not doing so. It’s cool stuff.

    Since y’all have failed to deliver fusion generated electricity that is too cheap to meter, you might as well find someway to make yourselves useful.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  100. @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    I’ve long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production.
     
    Cool theory but there is literally no evidence for it. Even totally non-lethal "common" colds tigger an immunological response. And since there is another, completely logical explanation (that most people are still not infected) totally in accordance with scientific norms, it seems a lot like wishful thinking.

    If this virus has already hit everywhere, how do explain the *tenfold* increase in deaths/week in Italy and other hard-hit areas, while other regions are barely affected at all? I'm actually curious about your answer, not just trying to be rhetorical.

    Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it... somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.
     
    "Histronic panic" is never a good thing. But the response of world governments has been anything but histronic, in the West it has probably even been too lax (the disasters in Lombardy and NYC could have been totally avoided if flights to China had been stopped sooner). The fact that heroes like Dr. Fauci have managed to stem the spread of the virus through severe measures shows that elites actually are willing to put competant people in charge when their own hides are threatened, as opposed to the usual state of affairs.

    What about states like Arkansas, Iowa, and the Dakotas, and a country like Sweden? The biggest missing piece for a rank amateur like myself is that the control groups don’t seem to be doing much worse than the places that are locking down.

    • Replies: @res
    They are not true control groups at this point. See my comment above. Take a look at the Kinsa data map and notice now the total illness rate is down to almost zero all over the US.
    https://healthweather.us/?mode=Observed

    We could learn a great deal from what those places are doing (and what has been done for them, e.g. canceling sports leagues), but don't think that if NYC had done the same things last month they would be just fine now.

    My big worry at this point is the possible rebound phase in the winter. Especially for those places which never saw much infection.

    P.S. Here are some of your "control places."

    Dakotas: schools closed since 3/16
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/north-dakota

    Arizona: schools closed since 3/16, stay at home order since 3/30
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/arizona

    Iowa: schools closed since 4/4
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/iowa
  101. @res

    The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I’ve been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case…
     
    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/social-distancing-and-its-effect-on-reducing-the-spread-of-illness/
    https://www.kinsahealth.co/your-sacrifices-are-saving-lives-social-distancing-is-working/

    There are more graphs at those links, but I think this one makes a good summary.

    https://www.kinsahealth.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Santa-Clara-and-Miami-Dade-County-Share-of-Population-with-Flu-Like-Illness-1.png

    This 538 article published today compares COVID-19 with our other recent epidemic scares (SARS, MERS, Ebola, and 2009 H1Ni swine flu). I think it makes a good primer for those who believe this would have been just another flu season without countermeasures.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-did-the-world-shut-down-for-covid-19-but-not-ebola-sars-or-swine-flu/

    In brief the difference is the combination of high transmissibility (R0) and relatively high fatality rate (IFR/CFR). SARS, MERS, and Ebola were all more deadly than COVID-19, but had a relatively low R0. The 2009 H1N1 (swine flu, a descendant of the 1918 virus) had a high enough R0 (at 1.4-1.6 significantly less than the over 2 estimated for COVID-19 without countermeasures, 1.5-3.5 stated in the article) to spread widely, but had a fatality rate less than a tenth of that estimated for COVID-19 (and I mean the less aggressive estimates, like 1% IFR).

    All of that said, I think the countermeasures we have taken have been excessive. Take another look at the plot above. We can see the roughly 5 day incubation period (infection to symptoms) and how the steep declines line up with early countermeasures like school shutdowns. It is not clear that the full shutdowns made much difference at all. By that measure at least.

    There is some begging of the question in that 538 article, though. There are parts of the world that did not shut down, and their curves seem to be following trajectories quite similar to places that did shut down. In the US, the states that never issued any kind of order are faring quite well. But they have some cases, so it wouldn’t appear to be a result of missing the virus entirely.

    • Replies: @res

    There is some begging of the question in that 538 article, though.
     
    I agree, but which parts did you specifically have in mind? Their R0/IFR estimates?

    There are parts of the world that did not shut down, and their curves seem to be following trajectories quite similar to places that did shut down. In the US, the states that never issued any kind of order are faring quite well. But they have some cases, so it wouldn’t appear to be a result of missing the virus entirely.

     

    I think there are a number of variables we don't fully understand yet. One big difference is between places where the virus got a toehold before there was public concern and those where it only showed up late if at all.

    In the locations which did not have shutdowns I doubt anyone (much less a health commissioner!) has been encouraging their citizens to go to massive gatherings (like Chinese New Year in NYC) since say mid-March.

    I think what we are seeing is strong evidence that much lighter countermeasures would have been sufficient for the places which did not get a head start (in other words, e.g. NOT NYC). If you don't already have an outbreak it is probably enough to discourage large gatherings, ask people to exercise caution, not go out if sick, perhaps wear masks, etc. And if those aren't enough, the Kinsa data indicates that shutting down schools works. Though the lighter school measures they took in Iceland might be a better choice.

    I think if those non-shutdown locations were engaging in business as usual (say as in February) they would be seeing much worse results.

    There is a reason I keep requesting people say what measures they would recommend. Because i think two things are quite clear at this point.

    1. Continuing business as usual would have resulted in major problems (between 1918 and 1968 fatalities).
    2. Applied early enough, much less restrictive measures would have been sufficient.

    As far as I know NO locality (at least in the temperate zone which is usually worst hit by the flu) is engaging in business as usual. They might not be shut down, but measures are being taken.
  102. @Audacious Epigone
    There is some begging of the question in that 538 article, though. There are parts of the world that did not shut down, and their curves seem to be following trajectories quite similar to places that did shut down. In the US, the states that never issued any kind of order are faring quite well. But they have some cases, so it wouldn't appear to be a result of missing the virus entirely.

    There is some begging of the question in that 538 article, though.

    I agree, but which parts did you specifically have in mind? Their R0/IFR estimates?

    There are parts of the world that did not shut down, and their curves seem to be following trajectories quite similar to places that did shut down. In the US, the states that never issued any kind of order are faring quite well. But they have some cases, so it wouldn’t appear to be a result of missing the virus entirely.

    I think there are a number of variables we don’t fully understand yet. One big difference is between places where the virus got a toehold before there was public concern and those where it only showed up late if at all.

    In the locations which did not have shutdowns I doubt anyone (much less a health commissioner!) has been encouraging their citizens to go to massive gatherings (like Chinese New Year in NYC) since say mid-March.

    I think what we are seeing is strong evidence that much lighter countermeasures would have been sufficient for the places which did not get a head start (in other words, e.g. NOT NYC). If you don’t already have an outbreak it is probably enough to discourage large gatherings, ask people to exercise caution, not go out if sick, perhaps wear masks, etc. And if those aren’t enough, the Kinsa data indicates that shutting down schools works. Though the lighter school measures they took in Iceland might be a better choice.

    I think if those non-shutdown locations were engaging in business as usual (say as in February) they would be seeing much worse results.

    There is a reason I keep requesting people say what measures they would recommend. Because i think two things are quite clear at this point.

    1. Continuing business as usual would have resulted in major problems (between 1918 and 1968 fatalities).
    2. Applied early enough, much less restrictive measures would have been sufficient.

    As far as I know NO locality (at least in the temperate zone which is usually worst hit by the flu) is engaging in business as usual. They might not be shut down, but measures are being taken.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Applied early enough, much less restrictive measures would have been sufficient.
     
    I think Ohio is a good example of this.

    What seems to matter more than restrictive vs. less restrictive is the time of intervention. Early intervention of preventing the obvious mass transmission events (e.g. conventions, sporting events, etc.) appear to be crucial. However, once there is significant community tranmission, "selective" measures are too little, too late.

    We should, however, caution ourselves that this is all still very early in terms of gathering comprehensive data. The peaks seem to have passed in early outbreak areas (e.g. Italy, NYC, etc.), but there could still be flare-ups in other areas.

    Also, China revised its death toll in Wuhan with a 50% increase.
  103. @Audacious Epigone
    What about states like Arkansas, Iowa, and the Dakotas, and a country like Sweden? The biggest missing piece for a rank amateur like myself is that the control groups don't seem to be doing much worse than the places that are locking down.

    They are not true control groups at this point. See my comment above. Take a look at the Kinsa data map and notice now the total illness rate is down to almost zero all over the US.
    https://healthweather.us/?mode=Observed

    We could learn a great deal from what those places are doing (and what has been done for them, e.g. canceling sports leagues), but don’t think that if NYC had done the same things last month they would be just fine now.

    My big worry at this point is the possible rebound phase in the winter. Especially for those places which never saw much infection.

    P.S. Here are some of your “control places.”

    Dakotas: schools closed since 3/16
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/north-dakota

    Arizona: schools closed since 3/16, stay at home order since 3/30
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/arizona

    Iowa: schools closed since 4/4
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/iowa

  104. Some articles on this site were about the 1980s AIDS epidemic. There was universal agreement that closing gay bathhouses (“socially distancing” would-be sexual partners from each other) and contact tracing would stop the spread of infection in America and result in a lower death toll than if nothing was done (way too little was actually done, due to resistance of gay men who would rather risk a horrible death than go without easy anonymous sex for a while). Now how is this virus different that it provokes such heated arguments about the similar containment measures? Not even about the economic problems, but whether the measures themselves are more effective than doing nothing?

    • Replies: @Wielgus
    My recollection of the 1980s and early 1990s was a certain hysteria about groups outside obvious high-risk ones getting AIDS. That is, the high-risk ones were homosexuals (and particularly promiscuous ones at that), drug addicts using dirty needles, haemophiliacs whose blood transfusions often contained infected blood etc. Cases involving none of the above, including heterosexuals, were built up by the media but were rare and unrepresentative, just as people who are not elderly and immune-compromised are rare among Covid-19 dead but media attention on dead from those groups is turned on full blast. Or, in the case of Boris Johnson, even ones who do not die.
  105. @Toronto Russian
    Some articles on this site were about the 1980s AIDS epidemic. There was universal agreement that closing gay bathhouses ("socially distancing" would-be sexual partners from each other) and contact tracing would stop the spread of infection in America and result in a lower death toll than if nothing was done (way too little was actually done, due to resistance of gay men who would rather risk a horrible death than go without easy anonymous sex for a while). Now how is this virus different that it provokes such heated arguments about the similar containment measures? Not even about the economic problems, but whether the measures themselves are more effective than doing nothing?

    My recollection of the 1980s and early 1990s was a certain hysteria about groups outside obvious high-risk ones getting AIDS. That is, the high-risk ones were homosexuals (and particularly promiscuous ones at that), drug addicts using dirty needles, haemophiliacs whose blood transfusions often contained infected blood etc. Cases involving none of the above, including heterosexuals, were built up by the media but were rare and unrepresentative, just as people who are not elderly and immune-compromised are rare among Covid-19 dead but media attention on dead from those groups is turned on full blast. Or, in the case of Boris Johnson, even ones who do not die.

  106. @anon
    Why are you surprised? After what has been done to every other science fiction movie recently, why would you expect Dune to be exempt? As soon as I was told a remake was coming, I knew it would be pozzed.

    Di$ney is crushing $tar War$ with poz. The expected new audience isn't there, and they continue to alienate all the fan base. Just one example. The poz is bankrupting movie companies. It cannot go on forever.

    The poz is bankrupting movie companies. It cannot go on forever.

    With any luck the coronavirus panic will bankrupt Hollywood. Disney is particularly vulnerable.

  107. @res

    There is some begging of the question in that 538 article, though.
     
    I agree, but which parts did you specifically have in mind? Their R0/IFR estimates?

    There are parts of the world that did not shut down, and their curves seem to be following trajectories quite similar to places that did shut down. In the US, the states that never issued any kind of order are faring quite well. But they have some cases, so it wouldn’t appear to be a result of missing the virus entirely.

     

    I think there are a number of variables we don't fully understand yet. One big difference is between places where the virus got a toehold before there was public concern and those where it only showed up late if at all.

    In the locations which did not have shutdowns I doubt anyone (much less a health commissioner!) has been encouraging their citizens to go to massive gatherings (like Chinese New Year in NYC) since say mid-March.

    I think what we are seeing is strong evidence that much lighter countermeasures would have been sufficient for the places which did not get a head start (in other words, e.g. NOT NYC). If you don't already have an outbreak it is probably enough to discourage large gatherings, ask people to exercise caution, not go out if sick, perhaps wear masks, etc. And if those aren't enough, the Kinsa data indicates that shutting down schools works. Though the lighter school measures they took in Iceland might be a better choice.

    I think if those non-shutdown locations were engaging in business as usual (say as in February) they would be seeing much worse results.

    There is a reason I keep requesting people say what measures they would recommend. Because i think two things are quite clear at this point.

    1. Continuing business as usual would have resulted in major problems (between 1918 and 1968 fatalities).
    2. Applied early enough, much less restrictive measures would have been sufficient.

    As far as I know NO locality (at least in the temperate zone which is usually worst hit by the flu) is engaging in business as usual. They might not be shut down, but measures are being taken.

    Applied early enough, much less restrictive measures would have been sufficient.

    I think Ohio is a good example of this.

    What seems to matter more than restrictive vs. less restrictive is the time of intervention. Early intervention of preventing the obvious mass transmission events (e.g. conventions, sporting events, etc.) appear to be crucial. However, once there is significant community tranmission, “selective” measures are too little, too late.

    We should, however, caution ourselves that this is all still very early in terms of gathering comprehensive data. The peaks seem to have passed in early outbreak areas (e.g. Italy, NYC, etc.), but there could still be flare-ups in other areas.

    Also, China revised its death toll in Wuhan with a 50% increase.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @res

    I think Ohio is a good example of this.
     
    Could you elaborate? Based on the data here it seems like they locked down pretty hard. Though you are right about early (especially relative to severity of outbreak locally at the moment of lockdown).
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/ohio

    What seems to matter more than restrictive vs. less restrictive is the time of intervention. Early intervention of preventing the obvious mass transmission events (e.g. conventions, sporting events, etc.) appear to be crucial. However, once there is significant community tranmission, “selective” measures are too little, too late.
     
    Agreed about early intervention with mass transmission events being key for effectiveness.

    I'm not sure about "more" overall though. There is a whole continuous range of both (strictness and timing) and it is hard to make simple statements like that. In theory we could create a 2D graph (e.g. heatmap) of restrictiveness vs. days after first (true, not detected) infection indicating the outcomes (e.g. % infected, % dead, both first wave only or total).

    I am pretty sure that graph would show the best bang for your buck (say compare severity of restrictions times days required vs. number of deaths) would be with the earlier interventions.

    I am an advocate of early interventions but incremental and adaptive. If temperature monitoring (e.g. like Kinsa) gives us a five day lag (roughly one doubling) before we start getting feedback on the effectiveness of countermeasures then I think this idea works. The noisiness of case data and the 2-3 week time lag of deaths data make those inadequate for adaptive measures IMHO.

    We should, however, caution ourselves that this is all still very early in terms of gathering comprehensive data. The peaks seem to have passed in early outbreak areas (e.g. Italy, NYC, etc.), but there could still be flare-ups in other areas.
     
    Worth remembering. The different progressions will be important to keep in mind if there is a second wave with different places starting with different levels of herd immunity.

    Also, China revised its death toll in Wuhan with a 50% increase.
     
    Interesting. Do you have more details (e.g. when) or a reference?

    P.S. It is important to remember the possibility of a second wave. The US (with its extended severe lockdowns) seems to putting all its eggs in the "we will develop an effective treatment and/or vaccine" basket by not letting the infection run at least a little of its course in places like Ohio. I worry that a second wave which does not have the headwind of improving weather fighting against it could be much worse.
  108. @Intelligent Dasein

    The third possibility–that the infection rate is much higher and the mortality rate much lower than generally believed–is unsupported by the Icelandic results.
     
    Not necessary. Hitherto everyone has just been assuming that infection equals antibody production, and therefore only those testing positive for CV-19 antibodies have been infected. I've long believed that there is a missing step in between there, i.e. that there is such a thing as a milder version of infection which is resisted by the body without requiring a full blown immunological response that involves antibody production. Just about everybody, I would think, has already been exposed to CV and those who were going to get sick have gotten sick by now. The idea that social distancing is ineffective, since so many places are still open anyway, is also something I've been talking at length about for at least a month. In any case...

    Italy has peaked.

    https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-italy-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Spain has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-spain-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Netherlands has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-Netherlands-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    US has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-US-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    World has peaked.

    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-world-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    New York State has peaked.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/daily-NY-deaths-as-of-2020-04-13.png?w=717&ssl=1

    And all the countries (including Sweden, by the way, which has not locked down) are quite noticeably flat by now.

    https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/corona-deaths-20200413.png?w=717&ssl=1

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn't look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place. Somebody will have to answer for this incompetence and the histrionic corona-panic brigade has quite a bit of explaining to do.

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place.

    Are you channeling Knut Wittkowski? Dishonest and manipulative arguments. We have 34,000 deaths in the US with 678,000 infected as of April 17. We are in the mid point of the epidemic in the US while under the countermeasures. W/o the countermeasures we would have millions of infections. In a typical flu season 26 million people show symptoms (there are many more w/o symptoms) out of which 20,000-60,000 people die. So, if we did not have countermeasures, you can easily calculate that the US would have 1,300,000 deaths from covid assuming that only 26 million got infected with covid which is an underestimation.

    Here about your Wittkowski:
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/models-the-logic-of-failure/#comment-3843129

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    The 40,000 figure I quoted is what I would expect if the tests were ideally accurate and the numbers ideally reported. The sad fact of the matter is that both the testing and the reporting is haphazard. The numbers are far too imprecise and politicized to tell us much that is useful. I think the reality of the big picture needs to be inferred from the number of excess deaths, and there does not seem to be very many.
  109. @obwandiyag
    Taleb's got your number:

    "People flood their story with numbers and graphs in the absence of logical argument. Further, people mistake empiricism with flood of data. Just a little bit of significant data is needed when one is right."

    You flood your posts with garbagingarbageout graphs and think that proves you are right. It just proves your trying to snow people.

    Intelligent Dasein’s contentious eloquence only very rarely goes with logic.

  110. @Intelligent Dasein

    How you can say that in the face of data like the following baffles me.
     
    I say that because my common sense tells me so. I don't agree with the Kinsa data.

    Kinsa is recording absolutely no illness at all for all of southern California. They are recording either no illness or no data for a contiguous 4-state area consisting of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. About 90% of the land area of the continental US is without data, according to their health weather map. And the idea that 7% of the population (1 out of 14 people) was sick with flu-like illnesses at the same time on Feb 15th is preposterous. The real number is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of that.

    Is this supposed to be reliable?

    “I say that because my common sense tells me so.” – You should never trust your common. You do not have it. I haven’t detected it in your comments.

  111. @utu

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it. And this entirely normal-range occurrence was purchased for you at the bargain basement price of just $6.6 trillion, not to mention the priceless loss of time and opportunities and life experiences suffered by everyone now sheltering in place.
     
    Are you channeling Knut Wittkowski? Dishonest and manipulative arguments. We have 34,000 deaths in the US with 678,000 infected as of April 17. We are in the mid point of the epidemic in the US while under the countermeasures. W/o the countermeasures we would have millions of infections. In a typical flu season 26 million people show symptoms (there are many more w/o symptoms) out of which 20,000-60,000 people die. So, if we did not have countermeasures, you can easily calculate that the US would have 1,300,000 deaths from covid assuming that only 26 million got infected with covid which is an underestimation.

    Here about your Wittkowski:
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/models-the-logic-of-failure/#comment-3843129

    The 40,000 figure I quoted is what I would expect if the tests were ideally accurate and the numbers ideally reported. The sad fact of the matter is that both the testing and the reporting is haphazard. The numbers are far too imprecise and politicized to tell us much that is useful. I think the reality of the big picture needs to be inferred from the number of excess deaths, and there does not seem to be very many.

  112. @Twinkie

    Applied early enough, much less restrictive measures would have been sufficient.
     
    I think Ohio is a good example of this.

    What seems to matter more than restrictive vs. less restrictive is the time of intervention. Early intervention of preventing the obvious mass transmission events (e.g. conventions, sporting events, etc.) appear to be crucial. However, once there is significant community tranmission, "selective" measures are too little, too late.

    We should, however, caution ourselves that this is all still very early in terms of gathering comprehensive data. The peaks seem to have passed in early outbreak areas (e.g. Italy, NYC, etc.), but there could still be flare-ups in other areas.

    Also, China revised its death toll in Wuhan with a 50% increase.

    I think Ohio is a good example of this.

    Could you elaborate? Based on the data here it seems like they locked down pretty hard. Though you are right about early (especially relative to severity of outbreak locally at the moment of lockdown).
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/ohio

    What seems to matter more than restrictive vs. less restrictive is the time of intervention. Early intervention of preventing the obvious mass transmission events (e.g. conventions, sporting events, etc.) appear to be crucial. However, once there is significant community tranmission, “selective” measures are too little, too late.

    Agreed about early intervention with mass transmission events being key for effectiveness.

    I’m not sure about “more” overall though. There is a whole continuous range of both (strictness and timing) and it is hard to make simple statements like that. In theory we could create a 2D graph (e.g. heatmap) of restrictiveness vs. days after first (true, not detected) infection indicating the outcomes (e.g. % infected, % dead, both first wave only or total).

    I am pretty sure that graph would show the best bang for your buck (say compare severity of restrictions times days required vs. number of deaths) would be with the earlier interventions.

    I am an advocate of early interventions but incremental and adaptive. If temperature monitoring (e.g. like Kinsa) gives us a five day lag (roughly one doubling) before we start getting feedback on the effectiveness of countermeasures then I think this idea works. The noisiness of case data and the 2-3 week time lag of deaths data make those inadequate for adaptive measures IMHO.

    We should, however, caution ourselves that this is all still very early in terms of gathering comprehensive data. The peaks seem to have passed in early outbreak areas (e.g. Italy, NYC, etc.), but there could still be flare-ups in other areas.

    Worth remembering. The different progressions will be important to keep in mind if there is a second wave with different places starting with different levels of herd immunity.

    Also, China revised its death toll in Wuhan with a 50% increase.

    Interesting. Do you have more details (e.g. when) or a reference?

    P.S. It is important to remember the possibility of a second wave. The US (with its extended severe lockdowns) seems to putting all its eggs in the “we will develop an effective treatment and/or vaccine” basket by not letting the infection run at least a little of its course in places like Ohio. I worry that a second wave which does not have the headwind of improving weather fighting against it could be much worse.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2020-04/17/content_75943843.htm

    The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan as of the end of April 16 was revised up by 325 to 50,333, and the number of fatalities up by 1,290 to 3,869.
     
  113. @res

    I think Ohio is a good example of this.
     
    Could you elaborate? Based on the data here it seems like they locked down pretty hard. Though you are right about early (especially relative to severity of outbreak locally at the moment of lockdown).
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/ohio

    What seems to matter more than restrictive vs. less restrictive is the time of intervention. Early intervention of preventing the obvious mass transmission events (e.g. conventions, sporting events, etc.) appear to be crucial. However, once there is significant community tranmission, “selective” measures are too little, too late.
     
    Agreed about early intervention with mass transmission events being key for effectiveness.

    I'm not sure about "more" overall though. There is a whole continuous range of both (strictness and timing) and it is hard to make simple statements like that. In theory we could create a 2D graph (e.g. heatmap) of restrictiveness vs. days after first (true, not detected) infection indicating the outcomes (e.g. % infected, % dead, both first wave only or total).

    I am pretty sure that graph would show the best bang for your buck (say compare severity of restrictions times days required vs. number of deaths) would be with the earlier interventions.

    I am an advocate of early interventions but incremental and adaptive. If temperature monitoring (e.g. like Kinsa) gives us a five day lag (roughly one doubling) before we start getting feedback on the effectiveness of countermeasures then I think this idea works. The noisiness of case data and the 2-3 week time lag of deaths data make those inadequate for adaptive measures IMHO.

    We should, however, caution ourselves that this is all still very early in terms of gathering comprehensive data. The peaks seem to have passed in early outbreak areas (e.g. Italy, NYC, etc.), but there could still be flare-ups in other areas.
     
    Worth remembering. The different progressions will be important to keep in mind if there is a second wave with different places starting with different levels of herd immunity.

    Also, China revised its death toll in Wuhan with a 50% increase.
     
    Interesting. Do you have more details (e.g. when) or a reference?

    P.S. It is important to remember the possibility of a second wave. The US (with its extended severe lockdowns) seems to putting all its eggs in the "we will develop an effective treatment and/or vaccine" basket by not letting the infection run at least a little of its course in places like Ohio. I worry that a second wave which does not have the headwind of improving weather fighting against it could be much worse.

    http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2020-04/17/content_75943843.htm

    The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan as of the end of April 16 was revised up by 325 to 50,333, and the number of fatalities up by 1,290 to 3,869.

    • Thanks: res
    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    Something similar albeit on a smaller scale happened this week in New York.

    This is extremely frustrating wrt trying to make data inferences.
  114. @UK
    In 3 months, 13 people out of 1300 people over 70 have died. That's 1 in 25 over a given year. Ages 75-84 men have a 1 in 15 chance and women have a 1 in 21 chance.

    How do you calculate the 4% “over a given year” when it is 1 per cent of known cases?

  115. @Twinkie
    http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2020-04/17/content_75943843.htm

    The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan as of the end of April 16 was revised up by 325 to 50,333, and the number of fatalities up by 1,290 to 3,869.
     

    Something similar albeit on a smaller scale happened this week in New York.

    This is extremely frustrating wrt trying to make data inferences.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    You need some kind of touchstone wherewith to disentangle the politics, incompetence, and outright lying from the reported data. The only way to do that is the total number of deaths from all causes. Nevermind the Covid-19 numbers, whether we're speaking about virus-positive, sero-positive, deaths with, deaths from, total cases, IFR, CFR---they're all garbage.

    We can only infer how reliable the rest of the data are from the number of extra people dying. But we also have to subtract from that number the number of people whose deaths were caused by iatrogenic effects of the lockdown (e.g. suicides, elderly people being abandoned in nursing homes, people not receiving routine medical care because of coronavirus restrictions, vulnerable people being herded into crowded ERs, etc.). Once this is done, coronavirus does not seem to account for any statistically significant number of excess deaths. As Hail has written about in several recent posts, we are unable to reject the null hypothesis.

    And no, this is not a success story for social distancing. The half-assed social distancing measures that we've adopted, which ought rather to be called Potemkin Social Distancing or Social Distancing Theater, would not have been effective enough to stop the spread of the virus if it really had a mind to spread. It is not possible to impose medical grade prophylaxis upon all of society when so many places of business still remain open, and plenty of people still have to interact.

    The case numbers and death numbers will always be revised higher, never lower, because more corona means more stimulus money and more lucrative security theater for governments. But it has already become abundantly clear that this occurred only because corona miraculously cures every other disease. No one dies of anything else when corona is in town, and people who would have died anyway are especially pitiable when dying of corona.
  116. Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it.

    The United States is set to surpass 40,000 deaths tomorrow, just five days after this comment was posted. This illustrates just how easy it is to arrive at an erroneous conclusion from cherry-picked data. The top poster quotes predicted values from a few places — nearly all of which are under strict stay-at-home orders — and uses a “peak deaths” projection which has resulted from those measures as a means to insinuate the virus itself is intrinsically less dangerous than seasonal flu. That’s not the correct way to look at it. The spread of seasonal flu is never limited like this, so it’s an apples to oranges comparison.

    To put 40,000 deaths into perspective, that’s higher than 6 of the last 10 estimated flu season deaths that occur over an entire year in only about 6 weeks (first Covid-19 death: Feb 29th). By the end of next week, Covid-19 will surpass all but maybe one seasonal flu death projection going back 10 years. Again, flu is never contained this way, so that only makes Covid-19 even worse.

    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html

    Also, the mortality from this virus certainly can’t be anything under 0.2% as another poster suggested above. If that were the case, then our hospital system would have been overwhelmed during some previously bad flu seasons. That didn’t happen, so Covid-19 has to be worse by some multiple. It’s just a matter of determining by how much.

    I noticed a few moments ago a story in my feed (Fox News): ~“Florida beaches reopen amid models predicting lower mortality.” Well, yes. Those models predict deaths based on quarantines. But if you aren’t going to do that …

    In the coming days, I predict you’ll hear various crackpot cable news hosts and internet webzines claim all manner of nonsense about Covid-19 in a desperate bid to reopen the economy for their investors. First, they tried lying about its seriousness; Trump compared the virus to the flu and dismissed dire predictions as a “hoax” and said it would all go away like magic. Then, Tucker Carlson started downplaying the virus by suggesting we had a BS miracle medicine waiting and ready to go, hydroxychloroquine; a recent study had to be stopped because it caused cardiac arrhythmia. Next, Carlson — as hyperbolic and rude as ever — tried insinuating the public has a right to yell fire in a crowded theater; he attacked the New Jersey governor’s quarantine order on “Bill of Rights” grounds. Now, Fox News is misinterpreting models to claim “iTsjUStthEFLUbRo”.

    Even Rich Lowry at National Review got this right:

    The Absurd Case against the Coronavirus Lockdown

    “By Bennett and Leibsohn’s logic, we could just as easily ask: Why did we adopt tough-on-crime policies when crime rates are at historic lows? Why did we work to find a treatment for HIV/AIDs when so many of the people with the disease now have normal life expectancies?

    Of course, it was precisely the actions we took that caused those welcome outcomes.

    Consider the perversity of their reasoning a different way. If we had shut down the country a month sooner and there had been, say, only 2,000 deaths, then on their terms they’d have an even stronger argument, i.e., “We did all this, and there were only a couple of thousand fatalities?”

    In other words, the more effective a lockdown would have been, the more opposed Bennett and Leibsohn would be to it.”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/04/coronavirus-crisis-case-against-lockdown-absurd/

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    Your sober caution is appreciated, but the glaring problem that I've still yet to see a satisfactory answer to is why states that have done nothing have apparently been fine.

    A week or two into the initial stay-at-home orders going out in other states and it could be convincingly argued that they were going to get theirs. But now we're more than a month into the outbreak in New York and yet still there is almost nothing in the Dakotas, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska despite these states being fat and old--putatively two of the highest risk factors. If it's because they don't have high population densities, does that mean we're good to reopen any city that isn't larger or more densely populated than Des Moines?

  117. @Audacious Epigone
    Something similar albeit on a smaller scale happened this week in New York.

    This is extremely frustrating wrt trying to make data inferences.

    You need some kind of touchstone wherewith to disentangle the politics, incompetence, and outright lying from the reported data. The only way to do that is the total number of deaths from all causes. Nevermind the Covid-19 numbers, whether we’re speaking about virus-positive, sero-positive, deaths with, deaths from, total cases, IFR, CFR—they’re all garbage.

    We can only infer how reliable the rest of the data are from the number of extra people dying. But we also have to subtract from that number the number of people whose deaths were caused by iatrogenic effects of the lockdown (e.g. suicides, elderly people being abandoned in nursing homes, people not receiving routine medical care because of coronavirus restrictions, vulnerable people being herded into crowded ERs, etc.). Once this is done, coronavirus does not seem to account for any statistically significant number of excess deaths. As Hail has written about in several recent posts, we are unable to reject the null hypothesis.

    And no, this is not a success story for social distancing. The half-assed social distancing measures that we’ve adopted, which ought rather to be called Potemkin Social Distancing or Social Distancing Theater, would not have been effective enough to stop the spread of the virus if it really had a mind to spread. It is not possible to impose medical grade prophylaxis upon all of society when so many places of business still remain open, and plenty of people still have to interact.

    The case numbers and death numbers will always be revised higher, never lower, because more corona means more stimulus money and more lucrative security theater for governments. But it has already become abundantly clear that this occurred only because corona miraculously cures every other disease. No one dies of anything else when corona is in town, and people who would have died anyway are especially pitiable when dying of corona.

    • Agree: Johnny Rico
  118. @Divine Right

    Are we even going to get to 40,000 deaths here in the US? Is this even going to be as bad as a bad flu year? It doesn’t look like it.
     
    The United States is set to surpass 40,000 deaths tomorrow, just five days after this comment was posted. This illustrates just how easy it is to arrive at an erroneous conclusion from cherry-picked data. The top poster quotes predicted values from a few places -- nearly all of which are under strict stay-at-home orders -- and uses a "peak deaths" projection which has resulted from those measures as a means to insinuate the virus itself is intrinsically less dangerous than seasonal flu. That's not the correct way to look at it. The spread of seasonal flu is never limited like this, so it's an apples to oranges comparison.

    To put 40,000 deaths into perspective, that's higher than 6 of the last 10 estimated flu season deaths that occur over an entire year in only about 6 weeks (first Covid-19 death: Feb 29th). By the end of next week, Covid-19 will surpass all but maybe one seasonal flu death projection going back 10 years. Again, flu is never contained this way, so that only makes Covid-19 even worse.

    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html

    Also, the mortality from this virus certainly can't be anything under 0.2% as another poster suggested above. If that were the case, then our hospital system would have been overwhelmed during some previously bad flu seasons. That didn't happen, so Covid-19 has to be worse by some multiple. It's just a matter of determining by how much.

    I noticed a few moments ago a story in my feed (Fox News): ~"Florida beaches reopen amid models predicting lower mortality." Well, yes. Those models predict deaths based on quarantines. But if you aren't going to do that ...

    In the coming days, I predict you'll hear various crackpot cable news hosts and internet webzines claim all manner of nonsense about Covid-19 in a desperate bid to reopen the economy for their investors. First, they tried lying about its seriousness; Trump compared the virus to the flu and dismissed dire predictions as a "hoax" and said it would all go away like magic. Then, Tucker Carlson started downplaying the virus by suggesting we had a BS miracle medicine waiting and ready to go, hydroxychloroquine; a recent study had to be stopped because it caused cardiac arrhythmia. Next, Carlson -- as hyperbolic and rude as ever -- tried insinuating the public has a right to yell fire in a crowded theater; he attacked the New Jersey governor's quarantine order on "Bill of Rights" grounds. Now, Fox News is misinterpreting models to claim "iTsjUStthEFLUbRo".

    Even Rich Lowry at National Review got this right:

    The Absurd Case against the Coronavirus Lockdown

    "By Bennett and Leibsohn’s logic, we could just as easily ask: Why did we adopt tough-on-crime policies when crime rates are at historic lows? Why did we work to find a treatment for HIV/AIDs when so many of the people with the disease now have normal life expectancies?

    Of course, it was precisely the actions we took that caused those welcome outcomes.

    Consider the perversity of their reasoning a different way. If we had shut down the country a month sooner and there had been, say, only 2,000 deaths, then on their terms they’d have an even stronger argument, i.e., “We did all this, and there were only a couple of thousand fatalities?”

    In other words, the more effective a lockdown would have been, the more opposed Bennett and Leibsohn would be to it."

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/04/coronavirus-crisis-case-against-lockdown-absurd/
     

    Your sober caution is appreciated, but the glaring problem that I’ve still yet to see a satisfactory answer to is why states that have done nothing have apparently been fine.

    A week or two into the initial stay-at-home orders going out in other states and it could be convincingly argued that they were going to get theirs. But now we’re more than a month into the outbreak in New York and yet still there is almost nothing in the Dakotas, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska despite these states being fat and old–putatively two of the highest risk factors. If it’s because they don’t have high population densities, does that mean we’re good to reopen any city that isn’t larger or more densely populated than Des Moines?

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    I've seen an article with a sob story about some immigrants who work in a Smithfield pork-packing plant who don't speak English and at least one of them got the virus.  It was an argument for closing the plant, of course.
  119. @Audacious Epigone
    Your sober caution is appreciated, but the glaring problem that I've still yet to see a satisfactory answer to is why states that have done nothing have apparently been fine.

    A week or two into the initial stay-at-home orders going out in other states and it could be convincingly argued that they were going to get theirs. But now we're more than a month into the outbreak in New York and yet still there is almost nothing in the Dakotas, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska despite these states being fat and old--putatively two of the highest risk factors. If it's because they don't have high population densities, does that mean we're good to reopen any city that isn't larger or more densely populated than Des Moines?

    I’ve seen an article with a sob story about some immigrants who work in a Smithfield pork-packing plant who don’t speak English and at least one of them got the virus.  It was an argument for closing the plant, of course.

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