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Arguably Wrong” emails:

Here, stayed up too late working on this. Let me know what you think and then I’ll post it to be shared. I had to split the figure into two because the three curves don’t fit on the same plot.

Key points that might be useful to point out to decisionmakers:
* Both the moderate and strict approaches keep you from overloading hospital capacity
* No controls is very bad
* No controls ends the epidemic around a year from now
* Moderate controls ends the epidemic late in 2021
* With moderate controls, the peak of the epidemic is Election Day
* With strict controls, the epidemic is over and under control by September
* Strict controls means now, and hard, the same way the Chinese did, not a week from now and not pussyfooting around.

The first graph is the now famous #FlattenTheCurve graph. It’s better than nothing but not as good as #CrushTheCurveNow (the second graph).

In other words, a Wuhan style lockdown would get the epidemic over by summer.

An Angela Merkel-style moderate response would imply that about one million Americans would incrementally die, the plurality of them Trump voters, with the peak death rate around Election Day. (Do you understand what this would mean?)

A let it rip response would run into mid 2021 with 2.5 million incremental deaths.

Do it NOW.

In response, commenter Probably Wrong, who is not Arguably Wrong, writes:

Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?

1) What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?

Tests have been rationed in all countries since the outbreak. Until now, those being tested are the subset of the population sick enough to want to be tested or those with specific risks like fever and recent travel to China. We also know some percentage of cases are asymptomatic.

Most analysts indicate there are vastly more cases in the wild than reported by official testing. That is actually good news! It indicates the true hospitalization rate is much lower than the reported rate. If that is true, then the likelihood of the health system collapsing or millions of deaths is much lower than suspected.

Another suggestive point is the severity of the flu season. This has been driven by the flu vaccine being unusually ineffective this year. This is more speculative, but what if many “flu” cases were actually coronavirus? That would explain the vaccine not working as expected. It would also mean the US health system has absorbed many times the coronavirus cases as currently supposed without collapsing.

2) What if Italy and Iran are outliers?

The death rate in Italy is ~7% and Iran is unknown but presumably high. So far the death rates in the rest of Europe range from 0.1% in Germany and Switzerland to 0.2% in Spain as of this writing. There are reasons to think the worst case countries are outliers rather than inevitabilities.

Italy’s population is unusually elderly and the most affected state has close ties to China. Iran’s infrastructure has been hurt by decades of sanctions. Both countries have higher than average smoking rates.

3) What if straight line estimates of infection rates are wrong?

Any straight line estimate ignores Farr’s law, which indicates the end of an epidemic will generally be as swift as its onset. Additionally, epidemiologic evidence is suggestive that coronavirus will be much like other respiratory viruses in being suppressed by warmer weather. So far the southern hemisphere has seen very little spread. With warmer weather incoming there is likely to be relief in the northern hemisphere in the next month.

Lockdown measures are not without costs. Most of the world is highly indebted and recessions are associated with higher death rates from all causes. I have not seen any report from expert or armchair analyst alike that includes error bars in the analysis and I suspect we should be far more uncertain about outcomes here than we currently are.

 
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  1. With the peak death rate around Election Day. (Do you understand what this would mean?)

    Hold on, that would be the infection rate, not the death rate, right?

    It would mean a lot of potential voters would be in makeshift hospitals in the Dakotas?

    What it also means is that someone will get the “Russian Plot to Interfere in Muh Democracy, Coronoavirus is Novichok Reloaded” shtik out of the drawer. Unless she has gotten the virus by then?

    Cue soundtrack music

  2. An Angela Merkel-style moderate response would imply that about one million Americans would incrementally die, the plurality of them Trump voters, with the peak death rate around Election Day. (Do you understand what this would mean?)

    Might mean that it is hard for anti-Trumpers to support a Wuhan-style lockdown.

    If Trump would manage to initiate this kind of non-pussyfoot hard approach of an immediate Wuhan style lockdown even though up until next week, this alone would be a be a perfectly good reason for his re-election.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    @Dieter Kief


    "If Trump would manage to initiate this kind of non-pussyfoot hard approach of an immediate Wuhan style lockdown even though up until next week, this alone would be a be a perfectly good reason for his re-election."
     
    It's true. People respect a show of strength even as they gripe about the inconvenience. In reality, they feel privileged to take part in an exercise that calls upon each to act for the benefit of all. They will brag about it to future generations, just as WW2 survivors do about having endured the privations of food and gas rationing, Rosy the Riveter women in the workforce, recycling aluminum drives, etc.

    Replies: @Known Fact

  3. Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?

    1) What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?

    Tests have been rationed in all countries since the outbreak. Until now, those being tested are the subset of the population sick enough to want to be tested or those with specific risks like fever and recent travel to China. We also know some percentage of cases are asymptomatic.

    Most analysts indicate there are vastly more cases in the wild than reported by official testing. That is actually good news! It indicates the true hospitalization rate is much lower than the reported rate. If that is true, then the likelihood of the health system collapsing or millions of deaths is much lower than suspected.

    Another suggestive point is the severity of the flu season. This has been driven by the flu vaccine being unusually ineffective this year. This is more speculative, but what if many “flu” cases were actually coronavirus? That would explain the vaccine not working as expected. It would also mean the US health system has absorbed many times the coronavirus cases as currently supposed without collapsing.

    2) What if Italy and Iran are outliers?

    The death rate in Italy is ~7% and Iran is unknown but presumably high. So far the death rates in the rest of Europe range from 0.1% in Germany and Switzerland to 0.2% in Spain as of this writing. There are reasons to think the worst case countries are outliers rather than inevitabilities.

    Italy’s population is unusually elderly and the most affected state has close ties to China. Iran’s infrastructure has been hurt by decades of sanctions. Both countries have higher than average smoking rates.

    3) What if straight line estimates of infection rates are wrong?

    Any straight line estimate ignores Farr’s law, which indicates the end of an epidemic will generally be as swift as its onset. Additionally, epidemiologic evidence is suggestive that coronavirus will be much like other respiratory viruses in being suppressed by warmer weather. So far the southern hemisphere has seen very little spread. With warmer weather incoming there is likely to be relief in the northern hemisphere in the next month.

    Lockdown measures are not without costs. Most of the world is highly indebted and recessions are associated with higher death rates from all causes. I have not seen any report from expert or armchair analyst alike that includes error bars in the analysis and I suspect we should be far more uncertain about outcomes here than we currently are.

    • Disagree: 415 reasons, eugyppius
    • Replies: @El Dato
    @ProbablyWrong


    Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?
     
    Then it will just be like "Y2K".

    Everybody gets back on foot, systems have been flushed, not many dead.

    Know-it-all assholes will afterwards say "it was just a conspiracy to make us all spend money and completely unnecessary" but dump trucks have been invented to take these people away.

    Replies: @Toddy Cat, @Polynikes

    , @eugyppius
    @ProbablyWrong


    What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?
     
    They are exaggerated, but what does it matter. When you have 10k apparent infections under a Euro-style testing regime, the lesson of italy is that this adds up over time to 1k-1.5k people in the icu, and 5k in the hospital. You only get to hope for less at the same numbers if you are testing markedly better than italy was just before the wave approached them. When you are rocketing exponentially upward with slovenly numbers that give you these critical and hospitalisation rates, you are also rocketing exponentially upward of course on mild and asymptomatic cases that remain invisible to the system, but why does that matter?

    Put another way, we are essentially with our bad testing programs talking about a subset of covid19 infections. Call them apparent covid19 (acovid19) infections, those with severe enough symptoms to get officially recorded. On the upside of the curve and without better testing we are only concerned with acovid19. We have every reason to believe, in Europe outside of Germany where acovid19 is milder (slightly better testing) that acovid19 cases require 10% respiratory assistance and 55% hospitalisation. We are flying upwards exponentially in acovid19 infections.

    And here is a thought: US testing is probably much worse than Euro testing, so while German acovid19 is a little milder, American acovid19 may turn out to be rather worse.


    The death rate in Italy is ~7%
     
    That happens when your healthcare system is overcapacity which is what measures are designed to prevent happening.

    So far the death rates in the rest of Europe range from 0.1% in Germany and Switzerland to 0.2% in Spain as of this writing.
     
    1) Their systems are not yet overcapacity. 2) But also, the true death rate of acovid19 will tend in most cases outside south korea (testing, so they know much more about true covid19 and are not dealing merely with acovid19; and they keep cases open forever) to hover between two limits: deaths over open cases (.1% in Germany) and deaths over resolved cases (15% in Germany). The lower death rate estimate of covid19 in general is around .3% and in more stressed systems between 1 and 2%. What is more important for the public health crisis is however not the death rate but the critical rate, because of the enormous resources these cases require.

    Additionally, epidemiologic evidence is suggestive that coronavirus will be much like other respiratory viruses in being suppressed by warmer weather.

     

    This keeps coming up. Nothing suggests it is true and scholars are wholly uncertain with recent papers saying the weather will have marginal effects. The spanish influenza had an initial pandemic wave in the summer and only became seasonal thereafter, which is a current projection for covid19. I sincerely hope this is wrong but we cannot count on the weather.

    Replies: @eugyppius

    , @Nicholas Stix
    @ProbablyWrong

    I think you're ProbablyWrong.

  4. While this is interesting I would like to see some serious discussion of how furious & enraged the American populace, or a significant fraction of it (by which I mean only a powerful fraction with a will to speak & act on their fury) may change the whole dimension of our politics concerning immigration, law, & the immorality of vain & hypocritical cosmopolitanism. When vital resources mean life or death the immorality of saving foreigners over one’s own is felt most acutely.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    @Bouvard

    The very wealthy will barricade themselves inside their country manors. They will have already hired a staff of private physicians and have purchased complete hospital-grade ventilation equipment. They will be insulated from the plague that afflicts the general population.

    Emerging from their shelters after the crisis has passed they will resume their posts at the helm, going on as though nothing happened. They will not be held accountable. Their will be no negative feedback. Since they suffer no consequences, they will not be culled and will therefore carry on as before, heedless of the suffering and damage they have caused. This is why nothing changes in America. The population will bear the brunt and the very wealthy will skate.

    Steve often posts about who are the truly wealthy in America. This will be a litmus test. If you can afford a private clinic at your domicile, you make the grade. If not, then you are merely well to do.

    , @Dieter Kief
    @Bouvard


    may change the whole dimension of our politics concerning immigration, law, & the immorality of vain & hypocritical cosmopolitanism. When vital resources mean life or death the immorality of saving foreigners over one’s own is felt most acutely.

     

    I'd be hesitant. CO-19 might not be an trustful ally of yours.
    This is not how such changes in the consciousness and the mentality which you'd need for your scenario to actually be realized, evolve.
  5. Is less old people really a bad thing? Wouldn’t this be good for the immigration restrictionist crowd as the old ‘we need more immigrants to support our ageing population’ used by open borders advocates would be null and void, or at the very least severely weakened?

    • Replies: @Houston 1992
    @Just Passing Through

    68 million people approx receive social security—not all reside in the USA anymore btw

    Callously allowing older ,generally Whiter, people to die preventable deaths would
    1) probably provide the Dems with the margin of victory they need in 2020
    2) demoralize the White remnant as they see again how expendable they are
    3) even three million deaths would only reduce the number of recipients by about 5% —easily replaced by numbers from the Next Great Amnesty.

    https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2019/fast_facts19.html

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    , @Lowe
    @Just Passing Through

    Older people tend to be more conservative, including on immigration. So the voting populace would tend toward pro-immigration, if there were a die-off of the elderly.

    However, it would be an economic boon, because the elderly are mostly a liability. Pension obligations would be reduced, and some assets like land and fixed income might get cheaper. Average productivity would increase.

    Immigration would increase, but anyone with a large amount of money, or a good job, would likely benefit, although not due to the immigration.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Just Passing Through


    Is less old people really a bad thing?
     
    "Old" being anyone who remembers the word "fewer".

    Replies: @Kim, @Hypnotoad666

    , @Anon7
    @Just Passing Through

    How about fewer young people? Since younger people are generally healthier, they should be used (as likely will happen anyway) to be the ones who fetch and carry all of the stuff that older people hiding in their homes will need. They will stock the stores, drive the Amazon trucks, take care of the sick and so forth.

    Yes, they will be exposed. They will get the coronavirus, and some will get sick and a relative few will die. But then, their herd immunity will protect us older folks.

    So, separate the populations and let the young folks bear their share of the virus burden quicker, and we'll get this over with sooner.

    Young whippersnappers.

    , @ben tillman
    @Just Passing Through


    Is less old people really a bad thing? Wouldn’t this be good for the immigration restrictionist crowd as the old ‘we need more immigrants to support our ageing population’ used by open borders advocates would be null and void, or at the very least severely weakened?
     
    No.

    1. That argument has very little traction.
    2. The old people are the ones most opposed to immigration.
  6. OT: What’s old very important former candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg up to? (Without him, nobody would have been discussing… How to pronounce his name?) Well being the vague ‘diversity! but don’t worry, I’ll set tax rates like the first term of GWB!’ candidate seems to make one popular with the rich and famous, he guest hosted Jimmy Kimmel. (Giving Kimmel a day off from faintly insulting and borderline harassing his guests or maybe he has coronavirus or something.)

    He had Patrick Stewart on to have a not humiliating game of Star Trek trivia with.

    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
    @Altai

    99% of pedophiles are Trekkies, so it’s interesting that Mayor Pete is an avid fan.

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5857

    Often it’s the most degenerate who rise to the top as frontmen, since those who are most blackmailable can be controlled by the back room boys. Jeffrey Epstein, with his pleasure island of secret cameras, knew this more than most.

  7. The strict control would have the epidemic restart after election but it’s not bad. The best seems to be the herd immunity strategy.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Bruno

    "The best seems to be the herd immunity strategy."

    What evidence is there that recovery confers immunity for more than a few weeks? Some people in China have been infected twice.

  8. @ProbablyWrong
    Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?

    1) What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?

    Tests have been rationed in all countries since the outbreak. Until now, those being tested are the subset of the population sick enough to want to be tested or those with specific risks like fever and recent travel to China. We also know some percentage of cases are asymptomatic.

    Most analysts indicate there are vastly more cases in the wild than reported by official testing. That is actually good news! It indicates the true hospitalization rate is much lower than the reported rate. If that is true, then the likelihood of the health system collapsing or millions of deaths is much lower than suspected.

    Another suggestive point is the severity of the flu season. This has been driven by the flu vaccine being unusually ineffective this year. This is more speculative, but what if many "flu" cases were actually coronavirus? That would explain the vaccine not working as expected. It would also mean the US health system has absorbed many times the coronavirus cases as currently supposed without collapsing.

    2) What if Italy and Iran are outliers?

    The death rate in Italy is ~7% and Iran is unknown but presumably high. So far the death rates in the rest of Europe range from 0.1% in Germany and Switzerland to 0.2% in Spain as of this writing. There are reasons to think the worst case countries are outliers rather than inevitabilities.

    Italy's population is unusually elderly and the most affected state has close ties to China. Iran's infrastructure has been hurt by decades of sanctions. Both countries have higher than average smoking rates.

    3) What if straight line estimates of infection rates are wrong?

    Any straight line estimate ignores Farr's law, which indicates the end of an epidemic will generally be as swift as its onset. Additionally, epidemiologic evidence is suggestive that coronavirus will be much like other respiratory viruses in being suppressed by warmer weather. So far the southern hemisphere has seen very little spread. With warmer weather incoming there is likely to be relief in the northern hemisphere in the next month.


    Lockdown measures are not without costs. Most of the world is highly indebted and recessions are associated with higher death rates from all causes. I have not seen any report from expert or armchair analyst alike that includes error bars in the analysis and I suspect we should be far more uncertain about outcomes here than we currently are.

    Replies: @El Dato, @eugyppius, @Nicholas Stix

    Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?

    Then it will just be like “Y2K”.

    Everybody gets back on foot, systems have been flushed, not many dead.

    Know-it-all assholes will afterwards say “it was just a conspiracy to make us all spend money and completely unnecessary” but dump trucks have been invented to take these people away.

    • Replies: @Toddy Cat
    @El Dato

    If everyone is wrong, then we have spent a bunch of money on a lot of stuff, much of which will be useful later, and some people lose some money in the stock market, most of which will be recouped if this turns out to be nothing. If everyone is right, 2.5-5 million dead.

    I know how I'm betting...

    , @Polynikes
    @El Dato

    Nope. More like we have thousands of dead from suicide or other ill effects from the economic shock. There are risks to panicking.

  9. @Just Passing Through
    Is less old people really a bad thing? Wouldn't this be good for the immigration restrictionist crowd as the old 'we need more immigrants to support our ageing population' used by open borders advocates would be null and void, or at the very least severely weakened?

    Replies: @Houston 1992, @Lowe, @Reg Cæsar, @Anon7, @ben tillman

    68 million people approx receive social security—not all reside in the USA anymore btw

    Callously allowing older ,generally Whiter, people to die preventable deaths would
    1) probably provide the Dems with the margin of victory they need in 2020
    2) demoralize the White remnant as they see again how expendable they are
    3) even three million deaths would only reduce the number of recipients by about 5% —easily replaced by numbers from the Next Great Amnesty.

    https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2019/fast_facts19.html

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Houston 1992


    probably provide the Dems with the margin of victory they need in 2020
     
    Not everything is about politics. This sounds like a great opportunity to cull the herd.

    Replies: @El Dato

  10. @Just Passing Through
    Is less old people really a bad thing? Wouldn't this be good for the immigration restrictionist crowd as the old 'we need more immigrants to support our ageing population' used by open borders advocates would be null and void, or at the very least severely weakened?

    Replies: @Houston 1992, @Lowe, @Reg Cæsar, @Anon7, @ben tillman

    Older people tend to be more conservative, including on immigration. So the voting populace would tend toward pro-immigration, if there were a die-off of the elderly.

    However, it would be an economic boon, because the elderly are mostly a liability. Pension obligations would be reduced, and some assets like land and fixed income might get cheaper. Average productivity would increase.

    Immigration would increase, but anyone with a large amount of money, or a good job, would likely benefit, although not due to the immigration.

  11. The argument for Strict Controls implies that once people emerge from the lockdowns, the virus will have magically disappeared.

    But, what if the infections just start all over again? Of course, none of know–but that possibility has to be factored into the Pros/Cons of a Strict Controls strategy. To me, the worst possible outcome is Strict Controls, torching of the world economy, people emerge from lockdowns, and the madness starts all over again.

    You can’t just assume that with Strict Controls, the pandemic is over and done with in September.

    As for data out of China: Utterly and completely untrustworthy. Discard all of it, and start over.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @Bitfu


    As for data out of China: Utterly and completely untrustworthy. Discard all of it, and start over.

     

    Stop thinking like an 18 year with the megaphone at his ear.
    , @Altai
    @Bitfu

    This also assumes that people previously infected will have appreciably immunity or immunity to the strain from subsequent waves. It also assumes that the young and healthy won't have an adverse reaction to subsequent infections. Given that quite a few young medical staff in Wuhan developed severe symptoms and died, it's something to consider.

    , @Sam Lowry
    @Bitfu

    Although I like the Strict Control option best, the virus is still going to be lurking out there biding its time until we come out of our shelters. The Spanish Flu waxed and waned for more than a year. The summer might help slow things down somewhat.

    Coming up with a vaccine, manufacturing it in large quantities and administering it to the US population (let alone the rest of the world) will take a very, very long time. Think late 2021 or 2022 if we're lucky. Would herd immunity of some sort develop before then?

    With a death peak, under these scenarios, in the second half of 2020, kids will not be going back to school this Fall. Summer vacations for most of the world will not take place. Hosts of businesses will fail (my favorite bars and restaurants will be gone in a few months) and tons of people will be unemployed. This will be happening right around election time--so blaming the incumbent president will be a natural response. This assumes Trump and Biden don't come down with the virus themselves and drop out. Biden is clearly not a healthy person as it is, so who do we end up with? President Harris?

  12. It seems to me that the proper way to think about this pandemic, or any pandemic for that matter, is as a system, rather than a process. Every input will change the system in some way, many unknowable with current knowledge. For example, lots of credentialed experts thought China was too late in locking down the infected. They could not foresee the downstream consequences of the lock-down.

    Lots of Chinese people responding on their own was a force multiplier. Most likely, local officials were a lot tougher than advertised. There’s a lot we don’t know and all the usual caveats about Chinese math, but the results in China are not what was predicted. That should be a lesson about modeling this thing in the US. Lots of inputs have already changed since Trump gave his speech.

    All that being said, if this is as deadly as it appears, it will run its course. There will be no eradication. No Manhattan project to beat the Wu-flu. The America capable of that is long gone. Instead, we will get the British plan, either fast or slow.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
    • Replies: @Anon7
    @The Z Blog

    You don't need a Manhattan project - you need a functional vaccine, which will be available in 6-16 months (or less, see below). So, you stomp hard on the epidemic by unprecedented social distancing; some people will get it, a few will die, most who got it will recover and be immune. This herd immunity will protect the rest until the vaccine is ready.

    Efforts to develop a vaccine are already underway. I've been trying to figure out how long it took to develop and deliver the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine, but I think it was less than a year.

    A Canadian company says they are on track to have a Covid-19 vaccine available by this summer:


    Canada-based biotech firm Medicago, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, on Thursday announced it had successfully produced a virus-like particle (VLP) of the coronavirus just 20 days after obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 (virus causing the COVID-19 disease) gene.

    Production of the VLP is the first step in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 which will now undergo pre-clinical testing for safety and efficacy. Once this is completed, Medicago expects to discuss with the appropriate health agencies to initiate human trials of the vaccine by summer (July/August) 2020.

    The PharmaLetter
     

    Replies: @Autochthon

  13. Using “Arguably Wrong” in the titles of these posts make them completely incomprehensible. How about, for instance,

    — What Trump Should Do: Blogger “Arguably Wrong” Ballparks 3 Different Strategies

    And maybe,

    — Epidemiological Modeling Blogger: Potential American Deaths Range from 5k to 5 Million

    • Agree: MEH 0910, vhrm
  14. Anonymous[116] • Disclaimer says:

    I have to question the hunch that lethality of COVD-19 in Italy — relative to other European countries — is due to Italy’s “elderly” population.

    Germany, Spain and Switzerland all have median populations roughly similar to Italy. Around 45-46 years of age. All of Europe is aging, as readers of Unz probably know from articles analyzing past decades’ spur to immigration into those countries.

    Sumpn’ else seems to be going on. What was Italy’s INITIAL response in terms of closing borders, for example. I haven’t followed the different European countries’ first responses.

    • Replies: @Travis
    @Anonymous

    Italy was the first European nation to close their borders to China. Italy Banned Flights From China before America did

    Italy imposed a ban on flights from China in January, immediately after a Chinese couple in Rome tested positive for the virus. The U.S. began to restrict flights from China 4 days later. But while Italy enacted a full ban, the U.S. policy was only a restriction, with wide exemptions.

    , @eugyppius
    @Anonymous


    Sumpn’ else seems to be going on.
     
    Nothing, in Italy's initial response is outside EU norms. In some respects they have been better, and in later stages as they got the sense something was wrong testing in Lombardy was briefly probably the best in Europe. The outbreak in Lombardy has also happened in a region with excellent hospitals.

    The Italian outbreak is simply more advanced than the rest of the EU. That, as far as everyone knows, is the beginning and the end of it. It is the reason for growing concern of academics and now, at a time lag, but finally, government officials. The reasons that Italy got out in front are probably hidden in the circumstances of the earliest cases. When the numbers are still very small, accidents can have a disproportionate influence on the growth rate, bump you up a few iterations on the curve. Accidents like Patient 1 in Lombardy being such a prolific spreader, infecting all kinds of friends and doctors etc.

    But there is also a lot we don't know about the earliest stages of this pandemic. Patient 0, who infected Patient 1, appears to have had the 'Munich strain'. This is thought to be the virus that was brought to Starnberg in January by an employee of Webasto. He got it from a colleague in Shanghai, and the Shanghai woman got it directly from her parents in Wuhan. But there is no evidence, that I know of, tying this unknown Patient 0 in Lombardy, officially at the head of the Lombardy outbreak, to the Webasto outbreak near Munich: even though it was the same strain of the virus.

    So, perhaps Patient 0 is somebody somehow connected to Webasto, though the timeline is very tight. But the scarier and I think more probable conclusion is that Patient 0 had the Munich strain not from Munich, but from Wuhan. Patient 0 separately introduced this strain, and maybe he was not even the only one. And so all those early cases that our medical system tied to Munich, because the patients had the Munich strain -- maybe not all of them were actually related to Munich at all, and what we read about the origins of the pandemic is totally wrong, focusing on the one known point of infection (Webasto) when in fact the same strain had multiple entry points and the disease was far more widespread, earlier, than investigations have uncovered.

    Replies: @Art Deco

  15. @Altai
    OT: What's old very important former candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg up to? (Without him, nobody would have been discussing... How to pronounce his name?) Well being the vague 'diversity! but don't worry, I'll set tax rates like the first term of GWB!' candidate seems to make one popular with the rich and famous, he guest hosted Jimmy Kimmel. (Giving Kimmel a day off from faintly insulting and borderline harassing his guests or maybe he has coronavirus or something.)

    He had Patrick Stewart on to have a not humiliating game of Star Trek trivia with.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBRqQ78U3Pk

    Replies: @TelfoedJohn

    99% of pedophiles are Trekkies, so it’s interesting that Mayor Pete is an avid fan.

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5857

    Often it’s the most degenerate who rise to the top as frontmen, since those who are most blackmailable can be controlled by the back room boys. Jeffrey Epstein, with his pleasure island of secret cameras, knew this more than most.

    • LOL: LondonBob
  16. @Just Passing Through
    Is less old people really a bad thing? Wouldn't this be good for the immigration restrictionist crowd as the old 'we need more immigrants to support our ageing population' used by open borders advocates would be null and void, or at the very least severely weakened?

    Replies: @Houston 1992, @Lowe, @Reg Cæsar, @Anon7, @ben tillman

    Is less old people really a bad thing?

    “Old” being anyone who remembers the word “fewer”.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • LOL: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Kim
    @Reg Cæsar

    I thought I was the only one left.

    , @Hypnotoad666
    @Reg Cæsar

    If you see old people as a fungible commodity rather than individuals, then "less" seems like the appropriate word. Language has consequences.

    Replies: @Anon

  17. “1) What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?”
    Bruce Aylward explained why this is not so in China. They went back and tested 100k+ swabs they’d collected for flu, and concluded they haven’t been missing much corona. Sampling bias may be happening in various places, but the idea that the hospitalization and death rates are really very different is just wishful thinking. The death rate is about 1% with advanced care (e.g. machines that oxygenate the blood outside the body), like in China (ex-Wuhan) or South Korea. 5%+ without, as in Wuhan, Italy, Iran or places where the medical system is overwhelmed. We don’t have the machines, we’ll be like Italy.
    Also, keep in mind that the 80% “mild” cases means “those not needing breathing assistance.” 20% of cases need a ventilator/oxygen (that’s how they define “severe”), and 5% proceed to organ failure (“critical”). Those last ones will die without ICU help. Also explained by Aylward in his interview in early March.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @H I

    About 9% of the active cases are categorized as 'serious / critical' right now. Outside of China, the share is currently about 3.5%. The proportion varies a great deal from one European country to another. with Italy's the highest at 9%.

    Replies: @James Speaks

  18. To get an idea of what those 20% who need breathing assistance feel like, hold your breath and keep restricting your oxygen, even partially, for a long time. More than a few minutes. Now imagine that forever.

  19. @Reg Cæsar
    @Just Passing Through


    Is less old people really a bad thing?
     
    "Old" being anyone who remembers the word "fewer".

    Replies: @Kim, @Hypnotoad666

    I thought I was the only one left.

  20. Younger people seem to have much milder symptoms and might* not need hospitalization and ventilator machines. So maybe the ideal plan is to quarantine people over 30 or 40 for the duration in hopes the young become immune fast. International flight for people under a certain age would be fine. Shutting schools is counter productive.

    * damned if I know

  21. @Houston 1992
    @Just Passing Through

    68 million people approx receive social security—not all reside in the USA anymore btw

    Callously allowing older ,generally Whiter, people to die preventable deaths would
    1) probably provide the Dems with the margin of victory they need in 2020
    2) demoralize the White remnant as they see again how expendable they are
    3) even three million deaths would only reduce the number of recipients by about 5% —easily replaced by numbers from the Next Great Amnesty.

    https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2019/fast_facts19.html

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    probably provide the Dems with the margin of victory they need in 2020

    Not everything is about politics. This sounds like a great opportunity to cull the herd.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @ScarletNumber

    You mean there should now be random attacks by heavily armed white supremacist operatives on liberal hideouts as they squabble over the last toilet paper rolls?

    DO IT!

  22. Having reached the age of 86 I stand a good chance not to survive coronavirus should/when I contract it. What to do? I have switched my YouTube music feed from jazz to Renaissance religious music to get in the right mood. I have an appointment with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety Motor Vehicles on Monday next to get my junker re-registered through a waiver. With that paperwork in hand, I should/could/would go to the Travis County complex to get the car registration renewal. But that office historically is always jammed, every seat taken as you wait for your number to be called. If I procede to the county complex, I’ll wear a carpenter’s dust mask – couldn’t hurt. First coronavirus cases announced this morning in Travis County. One a 60 year old man from a rural county already in serious condition transported to one of our city’s hospitals as is the SOP with rural counties. The other a 30 year old woman apparently was infected in Houston and is quarantined with her family. The city’s epidemology section of the health department is backtracking her movements. That sounds like a crock.

  23. Data from South Korea, which provided drive through testing of large segments of the population, suggests the death rate is around 0.6%, which is about 6X more lethal than the normal flu. If the normal flu kills 50K Americans/year, we’re looking at 300K deaths from Coronavirus. Not great, but not the end of times either. Though we don’t practice social distancing with the normal flu, so perhaps the numbers will be much better than 300K deaths.

  24. Uh-oh, Masters golf tourney postponed, Boston Marathon to September. Churchill Downs folks might be getting worried now too — they host 250,000-plus first weekend in May

    Are we reaching Oversold/Overhyped indicator yet?

  25. @Bruno
    The strict control would have the epidemic restart after election but it’s not bad. The best seems to be the herd immunity strategy.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    “The best seems to be the herd immunity strategy.”

    What evidence is there that recovery confers immunity for more than a few weeks? Some people in China have been infected twice.

  26. Do you know what you are writing about?

    In China only 3000 died out of 58 million in Hubei Province; most were old who could have died from ANY roaming flu virus or bacterium like TB; how many of these old people would have died without COVID-19? Millions will not die. China is different disease — from a mycobacterium, as is Italy.

    The epidemic is over when the earth tilts back on its axis toward the sun.

    The fearmongerers can’t get enough deaths to happen to fit their agenda- -> universal vaccination, which could kill 1 million

    Pray everyone gets exposed and infected and the healthy will develop antibodies and no vaccine needed. Would result in over 95% who are immune; best “vaccine” going; natural immunity. The unhealthy would have succumbed to ANY infectious agent anyway.

    Bill Sardi

  27. @El Dato
    @ProbablyWrong


    Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?
     
    Then it will just be like "Y2K".

    Everybody gets back on foot, systems have been flushed, not many dead.

    Know-it-all assholes will afterwards say "it was just a conspiracy to make us all spend money and completely unnecessary" but dump trucks have been invented to take these people away.

    Replies: @Toddy Cat, @Polynikes

    If everyone is wrong, then we have spent a bunch of money on a lot of stuff, much of which will be useful later, and some people lose some money in the stock market, most of which will be recouped if this turns out to be nothing. If everyone is right, 2.5-5 million dead.

    I know how I’m betting…

  28. the reason to not do a draconian total lock down for 2 months is the economy craters, which means Trump loses the election. he has to try to stem the virus without cratering the economy. so that is the balancing act. this isn’t like normal conditions where a complete crack down makes the most sense for the well being of the nation. that works in other countries that aren’t in civil war conditions. America is.

    let’s be clear here – NOTHING matters other than Trump being re-elected. and i don’t mean to Trump. i mean to all of us.

    WHO CARES if Trump stops Covid-19 with a hard crack down that craters the economy then Biden says thanks, i’ll take it from here. the country ends if Biden is elected. if Trump did ‘the smart thing’, he would just be helping the Democrats end the country. the Democrats WANT the economy to crater.

    this virus is a miracle from god for the Democrats. it’s bizarre to see this total hysteria. you could live hundreds of years and never see anything like this. during polio, small pox, tuberculosis, HIV, nothing was shut down. now the entire country is about to shut down over something much less dangerous.

  29. @Just Passing Through
    Is less old people really a bad thing? Wouldn't this be good for the immigration restrictionist crowd as the old 'we need more immigrants to support our ageing population' used by open borders advocates would be null and void, or at the very least severely weakened?

    Replies: @Houston 1992, @Lowe, @Reg Cæsar, @Anon7, @ben tillman

    How about fewer young people? Since younger people are generally healthier, they should be used (as likely will happen anyway) to be the ones who fetch and carry all of the stuff that older people hiding in their homes will need. They will stock the stores, drive the Amazon trucks, take care of the sick and so forth.

    Yes, they will be exposed. They will get the coronavirus, and some will get sick and a relative few will die. But then, their herd immunity will protect us older folks.

    So, separate the populations and let the young folks bear their share of the virus burden quicker, and we’ll get this over with sooner.

    Young whippersnappers.

  30. @Reg Cæsar
    @Just Passing Through


    Is less old people really a bad thing?
     
    "Old" being anyone who remembers the word "fewer".

    Replies: @Kim, @Hypnotoad666

    If you see old people as a fungible commodity rather than individuals, then “less” seems like the appropriate word. Language has consequences.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Hypnotoad666

    Mass noun versus count noun. Less ice cream, fewer Oreos.

    Replies: @HammerJack

  31. @Bitfu
    The argument for Strict Controls implies that once people emerge from the lockdowns, the virus will have magically disappeared.

    But, what if the infections just start all over again? Of course, none of know--but that possibility has to be factored into the Pros/Cons of a Strict Controls strategy. To me, the worst possible outcome is Strict Controls, torching of the world economy, people emerge from lockdowns, and the madness starts all over again.

    You can't just assume that with Strict Controls, the pandemic is over and done with in September.

    As for data out of China: Utterly and completely untrustworthy. Discard all of it, and start over.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Altai, @Sam Lowry

    As for data out of China: Utterly and completely untrustworthy. Discard all of it, and start over.

    Stop thinking like an 18 year with the megaphone at his ear.

  32. @ScarletNumber
    @Houston 1992


    probably provide the Dems with the margin of victory they need in 2020
     
    Not everything is about politics. This sounds like a great opportunity to cull the herd.

    Replies: @El Dato

    You mean there should now be random attacks by heavily armed white supremacist operatives on liberal hideouts as they squabble over the last toilet paper rolls?

    DO IT!

  33. @The Z Blog
    It seems to me that the proper way to think about this pandemic, or any pandemic for that matter, is as a system, rather than a process. Every input will change the system in some way, many unknowable with current knowledge. For example, lots of credentialed experts thought China was too late in locking down the infected. They could not foresee the downstream consequences of the lock-down.

    Lots of Chinese people responding on their own was a force multiplier. Most likely, local officials were a lot tougher than advertised. There's a lot we don't know and all the usual caveats about Chinese math, but the results in China are not what was predicted. That should be a lesson about modeling this thing in the US. Lots of inputs have already changed since Trump gave his speech.

    All that being said, if this is as deadly as it appears, it will run its course. There will be no eradication. No Manhattan project to beat the Wu-flu. The America capable of that is long gone. Instead, we will get the British plan, either fast or slow.

    Replies: @Anon7

    You don’t need a Manhattan project – you need a functional vaccine, which will be available in 6-16 months (or less, see below). So, you stomp hard on the epidemic by unprecedented social distancing; some people will get it, a few will die, most who got it will recover and be immune. This herd immunity will protect the rest until the vaccine is ready.

    Efforts to develop a vaccine are already underway. I’ve been trying to figure out how long it took to develop and deliver the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine, but I think it was less than a year.

    A Canadian company says they are on track to have a Covid-19 vaccine available by this summer:

    Canada-based biotech firm Medicago, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, on Thursday announced it had successfully produced a virus-like particle (VLP) of the coronavirus just 20 days after obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 (virus causing the COVID-19 disease) gene.

    Production of the VLP is the first step in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 which will now undergo pre-clinical testing for safety and efficacy. Once this is completed, Medicago expects to discuss with the appropriate health agencies to initiate human trials of the vaccine by summer (July/August) 2020.

    The PharmaLetter

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    @Anon7

    Friend, that's a Japanese company.

  34. @Dieter Kief

    An Angela Merkel-style moderate response would imply that about one million Americans would incrementally die, the plurality of them Trump voters, with the peak death rate around Election Day. (Do you understand what this would mean?)
     
    Might mean that it is hard for anti-Trumpers to support a Wuhan-style lockdown.

    If Trump would manage to initiate this kind of non-pussyfoot hard approach of an immediate Wuhan style lockdown even though up until next week, this alone would be a be a perfectly good reason for his re-election.

    Replies: @ThreeCranes

    “If Trump would manage to initiate this kind of non-pussyfoot hard approach of an immediate Wuhan style lockdown even though up until next week, this alone would be a be a perfectly good reason for his re-election.”

    It’s true. People respect a show of strength even as they gripe about the inconvenience. In reality, they feel privileged to take part in an exercise that calls upon each to act for the benefit of all. They will brag about it to future generations, just as WW2 survivors do about having endured the privations of food and gas rationing, Rosy the Riveter women in the workforce, recycling aluminum drives, etc.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    @ThreeCranes

    Neighborhood kids will eagerly gather 'round to hear me recall once again the month Aqueduct ran its cards with no live fans admitted

  35. Trump should keep his mouth shut and leave everything to his advisers. He should also get himself tested.

  36. Timing too coincidental, AW and iSteve inspired a NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/us/coronavirus-deaths-estimate.html

    And LOL at how often “expert” gets used. I guess they really gotta gussy it up.

  37. @Bouvard
    While this is interesting I would like to see some serious discussion of how furious & enraged the American populace, or a significant fraction of it (by which I mean only a powerful fraction with a will to speak & act on their fury) may change the whole dimension of our politics concerning immigration, law, & the immorality of vain & hypocritical cosmopolitanism. When vital resources mean life or death the immorality of saving foreigners over one's own is felt most acutely.

    Replies: @ThreeCranes, @Dieter Kief

    The very wealthy will barricade themselves inside their country manors. They will have already hired a staff of private physicians and have purchased complete hospital-grade ventilation equipment. They will be insulated from the plague that afflicts the general population.

    Emerging from their shelters after the crisis has passed they will resume their posts at the helm, going on as though nothing happened. They will not be held accountable. Their will be no negative feedback. Since they suffer no consequences, they will not be culled and will therefore carry on as before, heedless of the suffering and damage they have caused. This is why nothing changes in America. The population will bear the brunt and the very wealthy will skate.

    Steve often posts about who are the truly wealthy in America. This will be a litmus test. If you can afford a private clinic at your domicile, you make the grade. If not, then you are merely well to do.

  38. There is a lot of Mara Gay math going around these days. China has 1.4 billion people and 81,000 total cases of COVID-19. And they are finding only a few dozen new cases daily and dropping. But the USA is going to have 70 million to 150 million cases, two-thirds of Germans are going to be infected, and 80% of Britons will contract it. Uh huh.

    Leftwing Thomas Friedman types are of course swooning over the allegedly effective autocratic Chinese response and crediting it for sharply bending the curve to the right. But Japan and South Korea have managed to shaply bend their curves as well without resorting to anything like the heavyhanded (and in many cases counterproductive) Chinese tactics.

    The ridiculous Malthusian virus numbers going around are based on what could happen if everyone in the West remained unaware of the virus and did nothing to prevent its spread. More realistic are the provisos quoted in this Yahoo News article:

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-infection-rate-uk-government-151655898.html

    Coronavirus could affect up to 80% of the UK population in a worst case scenario – but the real amount is likely to be much lower, England’s chief medical officer has said…

    A government “battle plan” revealed at a No10 press conference stated that as much as 80% of the population could be infected in the coming months, but Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, said the real amount is likely to be less than that.

    “The proportion of the population who get infected is likely to be lower than that and probably a lot lower than that,” he said.

    • Agree: Yahya K.
  39. One possible upside. Not hearing much about coronavirus cases from south of the border. Maybe some of the invader types will figure things are safer back home, and decamp South for the duration. Afterwards they may find it harder to get back.

    Making lemonade!

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    @peterike

    Oh, Mexico may get its share, but our media won't dare stoke that panic -- it would make tougher border security easier to sell

  40. @Bouvard
    While this is interesting I would like to see some serious discussion of how furious & enraged the American populace, or a significant fraction of it (by which I mean only a powerful fraction with a will to speak & act on their fury) may change the whole dimension of our politics concerning immigration, law, & the immorality of vain & hypocritical cosmopolitanism. When vital resources mean life or death the immorality of saving foreigners over one's own is felt most acutely.

    Replies: @ThreeCranes, @Dieter Kief

    may change the whole dimension of our politics concerning immigration, law, & the immorality of vain & hypocritical cosmopolitanism. When vital resources mean life or death the immorality of saving foreigners over one’s own is felt most acutely.

    I’d be hesitant. CO-19 might not be an trustful ally of yours.
    This is not how such changes in the consciousness and the mentality which you’d need for your scenario to actually be realized, evolve.

  41. @Bitfu
    The argument for Strict Controls implies that once people emerge from the lockdowns, the virus will have magically disappeared.

    But, what if the infections just start all over again? Of course, none of know--but that possibility has to be factored into the Pros/Cons of a Strict Controls strategy. To me, the worst possible outcome is Strict Controls, torching of the world economy, people emerge from lockdowns, and the madness starts all over again.

    You can't just assume that with Strict Controls, the pandemic is over and done with in September.

    As for data out of China: Utterly and completely untrustworthy. Discard all of it, and start over.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Altai, @Sam Lowry

    This also assumes that people previously infected will have appreciably immunity or immunity to the strain from subsequent waves. It also assumes that the young and healthy won’t have an adverse reaction to subsequent infections. Given that quite a few young medical staff in Wuhan developed severe symptoms and died, it’s something to consider.

  42. @Hypnotoad666
    @Reg Cæsar

    If you see old people as a fungible commodity rather than individuals, then "less" seems like the appropriate word. Language has consequences.

    Replies: @Anon

    Mass noun versus count noun. Less ice cream, fewer Oreos.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    @Anon

    Whoosh!

  43. @Bitfu
    The argument for Strict Controls implies that once people emerge from the lockdowns, the virus will have magically disappeared.

    But, what if the infections just start all over again? Of course, none of know--but that possibility has to be factored into the Pros/Cons of a Strict Controls strategy. To me, the worst possible outcome is Strict Controls, torching of the world economy, people emerge from lockdowns, and the madness starts all over again.

    You can't just assume that with Strict Controls, the pandemic is over and done with in September.

    As for data out of China: Utterly and completely untrustworthy. Discard all of it, and start over.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Altai, @Sam Lowry

    Although I like the Strict Control option best, the virus is still going to be lurking out there biding its time until we come out of our shelters. The Spanish Flu waxed and waned for more than a year. The summer might help slow things down somewhat.

    Coming up with a vaccine, manufacturing it in large quantities and administering it to the US population (let alone the rest of the world) will take a very, very long time. Think late 2021 or 2022 if we’re lucky. Would herd immunity of some sort develop before then?

    With a death peak, under these scenarios, in the second half of 2020, kids will not be going back to school this Fall. Summer vacations for most of the world will not take place. Hosts of businesses will fail (my favorite bars and restaurants will be gone in a few months) and tons of people will be unemployed. This will be happening right around election time–so blaming the incumbent president will be a natural response. This assumes Trump and Biden don’t come down with the virus themselves and drop out. Biden is clearly not a healthy person as it is, so who do we end up with? President Harris?

  44. @Just Passing Through
    Is less old people really a bad thing? Wouldn't this be good for the immigration restrictionist crowd as the old 'we need more immigrants to support our ageing population' used by open borders advocates would be null and void, or at the very least severely weakened?

    Replies: @Houston 1992, @Lowe, @Reg Cæsar, @Anon7, @ben tillman

    Is less old people really a bad thing? Wouldn’t this be good for the immigration restrictionist crowd as the old ‘we need more immigrants to support our ageing population’ used by open borders advocates would be null and void, or at the very least severely weakened?

    No.

    1. That argument has very little traction.
    2. The old people are the ones most opposed to immigration.

  45. More shit comes from this place than an elephant ass.

  46. @ProbablyWrong
    Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?

    1) What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?

    Tests have been rationed in all countries since the outbreak. Until now, those being tested are the subset of the population sick enough to want to be tested or those with specific risks like fever and recent travel to China. We also know some percentage of cases are asymptomatic.

    Most analysts indicate there are vastly more cases in the wild than reported by official testing. That is actually good news! It indicates the true hospitalization rate is much lower than the reported rate. If that is true, then the likelihood of the health system collapsing or millions of deaths is much lower than suspected.

    Another suggestive point is the severity of the flu season. This has been driven by the flu vaccine being unusually ineffective this year. This is more speculative, but what if many "flu" cases were actually coronavirus? That would explain the vaccine not working as expected. It would also mean the US health system has absorbed many times the coronavirus cases as currently supposed without collapsing.

    2) What if Italy and Iran are outliers?

    The death rate in Italy is ~7% and Iran is unknown but presumably high. So far the death rates in the rest of Europe range from 0.1% in Germany and Switzerland to 0.2% in Spain as of this writing. There are reasons to think the worst case countries are outliers rather than inevitabilities.

    Italy's population is unusually elderly and the most affected state has close ties to China. Iran's infrastructure has been hurt by decades of sanctions. Both countries have higher than average smoking rates.

    3) What if straight line estimates of infection rates are wrong?

    Any straight line estimate ignores Farr's law, which indicates the end of an epidemic will generally be as swift as its onset. Additionally, epidemiologic evidence is suggestive that coronavirus will be much like other respiratory viruses in being suppressed by warmer weather. So far the southern hemisphere has seen very little spread. With warmer weather incoming there is likely to be relief in the northern hemisphere in the next month.


    Lockdown measures are not without costs. Most of the world is highly indebted and recessions are associated with higher death rates from all causes. I have not seen any report from expert or armchair analyst alike that includes error bars in the analysis and I suspect we should be far more uncertain about outcomes here than we currently are.

    Replies: @El Dato, @eugyppius, @Nicholas Stix

    What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?

    They are exaggerated, but what does it matter. When you have 10k apparent infections under a Euro-style testing regime, the lesson of italy is that this adds up over time to 1k-1.5k people in the icu, and 5k in the hospital. You only get to hope for less at the same numbers if you are testing markedly better than italy was just before the wave approached them. When you are rocketing exponentially upward with slovenly numbers that give you these critical and hospitalisation rates, you are also rocketing exponentially upward of course on mild and asymptomatic cases that remain invisible to the system, but why does that matter?

    Put another way, we are essentially with our bad testing programs talking about a subset of covid19 infections. Call them apparent covid19 (acovid19) infections, those with severe enough symptoms to get officially recorded. On the upside of the curve and without better testing we are only concerned with acovid19. We have every reason to believe, in Europe outside of Germany where acovid19 is milder (slightly better testing) that acovid19 cases require 10% respiratory assistance and 55% hospitalisation. We are flying upwards exponentially in acovid19 infections.

    And here is a thought: US testing is probably much worse than Euro testing, so while German acovid19 is a little milder, American acovid19 may turn out to be rather worse.

    The death rate in Italy is ~7%

    That happens when your healthcare system is overcapacity which is what measures are designed to prevent happening.

    So far the death rates in the rest of Europe range from 0.1% in Germany and Switzerland to 0.2% in Spain as of this writing.

    1) Their systems are not yet overcapacity. 2) But also, the true death rate of acovid19 will tend in most cases outside south korea (testing, so they know much more about true covid19 and are not dealing merely with acovid19; and they keep cases open forever) to hover between two limits: deaths over open cases (.1% in Germany) and deaths over resolved cases (15% in Germany). The lower death rate estimate of covid19 in general is around .3% and in more stressed systems between 1 and 2%. What is more important for the public health crisis is however not the death rate but the critical rate, because of the enormous resources these cases require.

    Additionally, epidemiologic evidence is suggestive that coronavirus will be much like other respiratory viruses in being suppressed by warmer weather.

    This keeps coming up. Nothing suggests it is true and scholars are wholly uncertain with recent papers saying the weather will have marginal effects. The spanish influenza had an initial pandemic wave in the summer and only became seasonal thereafter, which is a current projection for covid19. I sincerely hope this is wrong but we cannot count on the weather.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
    @eugyppius

    Oh, and as to Farr's Law (5k google hits for this law, like the law of gravity, which has 8 million), promoted since about 8 March as a reason not to care about this because it is literally just the flu:

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/08/coronavirus-going-to-hit-its-peak-and-start-falling-sooner-than-you-think/

    The point is that as more people become immune the pathogen has less opportunities to infect other persons and can be expected to decline as it arose. The basic idea is already present in r0. We are already talking about it. Covid19 has not reached a natural peak anywhere. It has been held off by extreme measures in Asia, and it is just starting in the west. It will only peak when it hits so much of the whole population that the virus can't find non-immune to infect again. Does that happen at 70%? 40%? We only know the number is a lot. Then it will decline naturally with a similar downward slope, precipitously sure, but from very high up.

    Replies: @eugyppius

  47. @Anon
    @Hypnotoad666

    Mass noun versus count noun. Less ice cream, fewer Oreos.

    Replies: @HammerJack

    Whoosh!

  48. @eugyppius
    @ProbablyWrong


    What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?
     
    They are exaggerated, but what does it matter. When you have 10k apparent infections under a Euro-style testing regime, the lesson of italy is that this adds up over time to 1k-1.5k people in the icu, and 5k in the hospital. You only get to hope for less at the same numbers if you are testing markedly better than italy was just before the wave approached them. When you are rocketing exponentially upward with slovenly numbers that give you these critical and hospitalisation rates, you are also rocketing exponentially upward of course on mild and asymptomatic cases that remain invisible to the system, but why does that matter?

    Put another way, we are essentially with our bad testing programs talking about a subset of covid19 infections. Call them apparent covid19 (acovid19) infections, those with severe enough symptoms to get officially recorded. On the upside of the curve and without better testing we are only concerned with acovid19. We have every reason to believe, in Europe outside of Germany where acovid19 is milder (slightly better testing) that acovid19 cases require 10% respiratory assistance and 55% hospitalisation. We are flying upwards exponentially in acovid19 infections.

    And here is a thought: US testing is probably much worse than Euro testing, so while German acovid19 is a little milder, American acovid19 may turn out to be rather worse.


    The death rate in Italy is ~7%
     
    That happens when your healthcare system is overcapacity which is what measures are designed to prevent happening.

    So far the death rates in the rest of Europe range from 0.1% in Germany and Switzerland to 0.2% in Spain as of this writing.
     
    1) Their systems are not yet overcapacity. 2) But also, the true death rate of acovid19 will tend in most cases outside south korea (testing, so they know much more about true covid19 and are not dealing merely with acovid19; and they keep cases open forever) to hover between two limits: deaths over open cases (.1% in Germany) and deaths over resolved cases (15% in Germany). The lower death rate estimate of covid19 in general is around .3% and in more stressed systems between 1 and 2%. What is more important for the public health crisis is however not the death rate but the critical rate, because of the enormous resources these cases require.

    Additionally, epidemiologic evidence is suggestive that coronavirus will be much like other respiratory viruses in being suppressed by warmer weather.

     

    This keeps coming up. Nothing suggests it is true and scholars are wholly uncertain with recent papers saying the weather will have marginal effects. The spanish influenza had an initial pandemic wave in the summer and only became seasonal thereafter, which is a current projection for covid19. I sincerely hope this is wrong but we cannot count on the weather.

    Replies: @eugyppius

    Oh, and as to Farr’s Law (5k google hits for this law, like the law of gravity, which has 8 million), promoted since about 8 March as a reason not to care about this because it is literally just the flu:

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/08/coronavirus-going-to-hit-its-peak-and-start-falling-sooner-than-you-think/

    The point is that as more people become immune the pathogen has less opportunities to infect other persons and can be expected to decline as it arose. The basic idea is already present in r0. We are already talking about it. Covid19 has not reached a natural peak anywhere. It has been held off by extreme measures in Asia, and it is just starting in the west. It will only peak when it hits so much of the whole population that the virus can’t find non-immune to infect again. Does that happen at 70%? 40%? We only know the number is a lot. Then it will decline naturally with a similar downward slope, precipitously sure, but from very high up.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
    @eugyppius

    I just want to be clearer on this important point of Farr. Pretend that immunity is the pathogen. The virus provokes it. The right hand side of the curve is blossoming burgeoning immunity all the way down.

    The Farr Law is no measures.

    we want to influence r0 with measures so we do not have the equivalent of a nuclear misunderstanding.

    covid19 has not had a natural run to the sky anywhere. so it takes longer than any national covid19 pandemic we‘ve seen to reach earth, because the peak is so much higher and so much worse.

    We must shut everything for six months. Put the army to work making masks, masks, masks, and ventilators, and testing, insane testing.

    a positive case in your villages gets you a bundeswehr helicopter visit with a testing team who test every last person and issue certificates of house quarantine for positives. four, yes four, weeks at home, unless you are deemed essential, then some kind of bureaucratic shite.

    If we run out of protective gear, as seems likely:

    Designate infected zones in hospitals where it is assumed you have the virus.

    Draft battalions of young low risk people to work there without protection moving patients changing sheets and bedpans holding old ladies‘ hands and reading them their detective novels in the tents as they die.

    give our volunteers two-day crash courses on whatever they can be taught to do in that time. we want to keep frontline staff out of the way and we’ll rested so they can keep things running through really, really dark days.

    can we get 80 year-old doctors doing anything helpful behind cameras/ over the phone with our youth brigades on the spot? i have no idea butaybe someone else can think of something.

    They sent people to die at ypres in wwi, risk is lower here but still soldierly. and what about a week of training? a month? when realistically speaking with a battlefield error rate can you intubate, take blood, recuscitate? i have no idea but we need to be thinking like this because the wave is coming.

    Replies: @d.dicon

  49. @ThreeCranes
    @Dieter Kief


    "If Trump would manage to initiate this kind of non-pussyfoot hard approach of an immediate Wuhan style lockdown even though up until next week, this alone would be a be a perfectly good reason for his re-election."
     
    It's true. People respect a show of strength even as they gripe about the inconvenience. In reality, they feel privileged to take part in an exercise that calls upon each to act for the benefit of all. They will brag about it to future generations, just as WW2 survivors do about having endured the privations of food and gas rationing, Rosy the Riveter women in the workforce, recycling aluminum drives, etc.

    Replies: @Known Fact

    Neighborhood kids will eagerly gather ’round to hear me recall once again the month Aqueduct ran its cards with no live fans admitted

  50. @peterike
    One possible upside. Not hearing much about coronavirus cases from south of the border. Maybe some of the invader types will figure things are safer back home, and decamp South for the duration. Afterwards they may find it harder to get back.

    Making lemonade!

    Replies: @Known Fact

    Oh, Mexico may get its share, but our media won’t dare stoke that panic — it would make tougher border security easier to sell

  51. With the peak death rate around Election Day. (Do you understand what this would mean?)

    You don’t think they might postpone the election in the midst of a mass die-off?

    In any case, I’m going fishing ….

  52. • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    @MEH 0910

    I watched most of the conference.

    Trump sounded like he's ill. Very tired and had a difficult time getting complete sentences out. Seemed to struggle to form and express complete thoughts.

    None of the CEO scum said anything of note. But we have a website. By Google. And drive through CV testing coming soon.

    Of course the Fed pumped this into and after the close.

  53. @Anonymous
    I have to question the hunch that lethality of COVD-19 in Italy -- relative to other European countries -- is due to Italy's "elderly" population.

    Germany, Spain and Switzerland all have median populations roughly similar to Italy. Around 45-46 years of age. All of Europe is aging, as readers of Unz probably know from articles analyzing past decades' spur to immigration into those countries.

    Sumpn' else seems to be going on. What was Italy's INITIAL response in terms of closing borders, for example. I haven't followed the different European countries' first responses.

    Replies: @Travis, @eugyppius

    Italy was the first European nation to close their borders to China. Italy Banned Flights From China before America did

    Italy imposed a ban on flights from China in January, immediately after a Chinese couple in Rome tested positive for the virus. The U.S. began to restrict flights from China 4 days later. But while Italy enacted a full ban, the U.S. policy was only a restriction, with wide exemptions.

  54. The Gov of Ohio stated there were 100,000 undiagnosed cases of CV19. This bases on a rough estimate from health dept officials who estimated current exposure at 1% of the pop. They also stated that the number would double every five days.

    Obviously some math is in order, but I’m too busy panicking to do the work.

    The equation would include terms for exponential increase, tapering off of increase due to reduction in available population that has not been infected, reduction in number as disease progresses, and of course, die-off.

  55. @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1238552142094442496

    https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1238547861358309377

    Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    I watched most of the conference.

    Trump sounded like he’s ill. Very tired and had a difficult time getting complete sentences out. Seemed to struggle to form and express complete thoughts.

    None of the CEO scum said anything of note. But we have a website. By Google. And drive through CV testing coming soon.

    Of course the Fed pumped this into and after the close.

  56. @eugyppius
    @eugyppius

    Oh, and as to Farr's Law (5k google hits for this law, like the law of gravity, which has 8 million), promoted since about 8 March as a reason not to care about this because it is literally just the flu:

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/08/coronavirus-going-to-hit-its-peak-and-start-falling-sooner-than-you-think/

    The point is that as more people become immune the pathogen has less opportunities to infect other persons and can be expected to decline as it arose. The basic idea is already present in r0. We are already talking about it. Covid19 has not reached a natural peak anywhere. It has been held off by extreme measures in Asia, and it is just starting in the west. It will only peak when it hits so much of the whole population that the virus can't find non-immune to infect again. Does that happen at 70%? 40%? We only know the number is a lot. Then it will decline naturally with a similar downward slope, precipitously sure, but from very high up.

    Replies: @eugyppius

    I just want to be clearer on this important point of Farr. Pretend that immunity is the pathogen. The virus provokes it. The right hand side of the curve is blossoming burgeoning immunity all the way down.

    The Farr Law is no measures.

    we want to influence r0 with measures so we do not have the equivalent of a nuclear misunderstanding.

    covid19 has not had a natural run to the sky anywhere. so it takes longer than any national covid19 pandemic we‘ve seen to reach earth, because the peak is so much higher and so much worse.

    We must shut everything for six months. Put the army to work making masks, masks, masks, and ventilators, and testing, insane testing.

    a positive case in your villages gets you a bundeswehr helicopter visit with a testing team who test every last person and issue certificates of house quarantine for positives. four, yes four, weeks at home, unless you are deemed essential, then some kind of bureaucratic shite.

    If we run out of protective gear, as seems likely:

    Designate infected zones in hospitals where it is assumed you have the virus.

    Draft battalions of young low risk people to work there without protection moving patients changing sheets and bedpans holding old ladies‘ hands and reading them their detective novels in the tents as they die.

    give our volunteers two-day crash courses on whatever they can be taught to do in that time. we want to keep frontline staff out of the way and we’ll rested so they can keep things running through really, really dark days.

    can we get 80 year-old doctors doing anything helpful behind cameras/ over the phone with our youth brigades on the spot? i have no idea butaybe someone else can think of something.

    They sent people to die at ypres in wwi, risk is lower here but still soldierly. and what about a week of training? a month? when realistically speaking with a battlefield error rate can you intubate, take blood, recuscitate? i have no idea but we need to be thinking like this because the wave is coming.

    • Replies: @d.dicon
    @eugyppius

    you are still extrapolating from patients already hospitalized due to bad symptoms tho. heck, you even mention the virus getting milder in places with "better testing" - arrow of causality backwards, the better testing maybe finds the virus getting milder?
    Italians supposedly, like other Europeans, have the wonderful universal healthcare that is supposed to be best in these circumstances - of course, they're also Italians, with their vices. in America likewise, the vice of (((avarice))) will cause death among the uninsured with low defenses specially - but most aren't them.
    thus, 2 weeks of quarantines will need to happen to both prevent hospital overloading, and hopefully also prevent the working insured old people from getting it while greeting people at 7am at Walmart at 69 years old. America's shit public transport and multiracially dangerous public areas can be easily abandoned. the end will be certain for several thousand, Trump may lose due to the old dying specially; although then again Dems will lose healthcare mafia votes among the sick, and what better reason to steely shut the southern border than now and prevent illegal vote...
    the billionaires and corporations will lose some money, perhaps now the state can force them to give workers something after it's all over. it will need to happen, else the recession would be worse than 2009.
    it's not ypres though. take care of yourself and your property, simply.

    Replies: @eugyppius

  57. For whatever reason both China and South Korea benefitted from having a concentrated outbreak. In China in the Wuhan area and in South Korea amongst an indentifiable population belonging to the Christian cult, Shincheonji. Italy too had its outbreak focused initially in Lombardy but either did not detect it or react to it fast enough.

    In the US we are having cases pop up everywhere as travellers from all three hotspots travelled freely for a month or more. Had Seattle not had the bad ( or good perhaps) fortune of having a severe outbreak in a nursing home that caused many fatalities ( about half of all US fatalities to date) it might have not been detected so soon there. Something similar occurred in New Rochelle.

    We just don’t know where the clusters are because testing is woefully inadequate. By the time we do start seeing more clusters it will be too late to ‘stop’ the virus because it will be too widespread.

  58. Is there a precedent for postponing elections? If coronavirus makes a comeback in the fall, having millions of people voting in crowded facilities might not be a good idea. Hell, even the Dems should delay their primaries!

  59. @eugyppius
    @eugyppius

    I just want to be clearer on this important point of Farr. Pretend that immunity is the pathogen. The virus provokes it. The right hand side of the curve is blossoming burgeoning immunity all the way down.

    The Farr Law is no measures.

    we want to influence r0 with measures so we do not have the equivalent of a nuclear misunderstanding.

    covid19 has not had a natural run to the sky anywhere. so it takes longer than any national covid19 pandemic we‘ve seen to reach earth, because the peak is so much higher and so much worse.

    We must shut everything for six months. Put the army to work making masks, masks, masks, and ventilators, and testing, insane testing.

    a positive case in your villages gets you a bundeswehr helicopter visit with a testing team who test every last person and issue certificates of house quarantine for positives. four, yes four, weeks at home, unless you are deemed essential, then some kind of bureaucratic shite.

    If we run out of protective gear, as seems likely:

    Designate infected zones in hospitals where it is assumed you have the virus.

    Draft battalions of young low risk people to work there without protection moving patients changing sheets and bedpans holding old ladies‘ hands and reading them their detective novels in the tents as they die.

    give our volunteers two-day crash courses on whatever they can be taught to do in that time. we want to keep frontline staff out of the way and we’ll rested so they can keep things running through really, really dark days.

    can we get 80 year-old doctors doing anything helpful behind cameras/ over the phone with our youth brigades on the spot? i have no idea butaybe someone else can think of something.

    They sent people to die at ypres in wwi, risk is lower here but still soldierly. and what about a week of training? a month? when realistically speaking with a battlefield error rate can you intubate, take blood, recuscitate? i have no idea but we need to be thinking like this because the wave is coming.

    Replies: @d.dicon

    you are still extrapolating from patients already hospitalized due to bad symptoms tho. heck, you even mention the virus getting milder in places with “better testing” – arrow of causality backwards, the better testing maybe finds the virus getting milder?
    Italians supposedly, like other Europeans, have the wonderful universal healthcare that is supposed to be best in these circumstances – of course, they’re also Italians, with their vices. in America likewise, the vice of (((avarice))) will cause death among the uninsured with low defenses specially – but most aren’t them.
    thus, 2 weeks of quarantines will need to happen to both prevent hospital overloading, and hopefully also prevent the working insured old people from getting it while greeting people at 7am at Walmart at 69 years old. America’s shit public transport and multiracially dangerous public areas can be easily abandoned. the end will be certain for several thousand, Trump may lose due to the old dying specially; although then again Dems will lose healthcare mafia votes among the sick, and what better reason to steely shut the southern border than now and prevent illegal vote…
    the billionaires and corporations will lose some money, perhaps now the state can force them to give workers something after it’s all over. it will need to happen, else the recession would be worse than 2009.
    it’s not ypres though. take care of yourself and your property, simply.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
    @d.dicon

    no, extrapolating from the pool of positive tests in EU countries where testing programs have lagged the true scale of the pandemic and caught primarily only very sick people who have gone to the hospital. germany a partial exception, stress on partial.
    Milder virus with better testing was my way of trying to conceptualize apparent covid19 vs actual. If you test more, not just really sick people in your ER, you get many more infected, and so a bigger denominator of cases. but you still have the same number of serious stats.
    It is a matter of perception totally orthogonal to the public health catastrophe that is already guaranteed.
    lombardy has a world class healthcare system. US has maybe slightly lower per capital hospital capacity (not sure about icu capacity) in comparison, which will obviously vary by region which is more important.

  60. @H I
    "1) What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?"
    Bruce Aylward explained why this is not so in China. They went back and tested 100k+ swabs they'd collected for flu, and concluded they haven't been missing much corona. Sampling bias may be happening in various places, but the idea that the hospitalization and death rates are really very different is just wishful thinking. The death rate is about 1% with advanced care (e.g. machines that oxygenate the blood outside the body), like in China (ex-Wuhan) or South Korea. 5%+ without, as in Wuhan, Italy, Iran or places where the medical system is overwhelmed. We don't have the machines, we'll be like Italy.
    Also, keep in mind that the 80% "mild" cases means "those not needing breathing assistance." 20% of cases need a ventilator/oxygen (that's how they define "severe"), and 5% proceed to organ failure ("critical"). Those last ones will die without ICU help. Also explained by Aylward in his interview in early March.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    About 9% of the active cases are categorized as ‘serious / critical’ right now. Outside of China, the share is currently about 3.5%. The proportion varies a great deal from one European country to another. with Italy’s the highest at 9%.

    • Replies: @James Speaks
    @Art Deco


    About 9% of the active cases are categorized as ‘serious / critical’ right now. Outside of China, the share is currently about 3.5%.
     
    Useful data to have for each geographical area.
    Median age of deceased
    Number of deaths per age group broken out by comorbidity

    and one more

    Total number of anomalous cases of pneumonia that have not been tested, going back a month or so.
  61. Quarantine Western Washington, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York south of West Point.

  62. I really appreciate this article, but on the subject of strategies…

    OT: Is this the end of the “Bro Hug”? If so, thank God. As a stalwart Midwesterner, I can’t stand the hugs and kisses cultural pollution that swept in from Mexifornia. Fist or elbow bumps – no thanks. Hand shakes are still good – for business deals.

    I for one welcome the return of the grave nod.

    • Agree: Corn
  63. @Art Deco
    @H I

    About 9% of the active cases are categorized as 'serious / critical' right now. Outside of China, the share is currently about 3.5%. The proportion varies a great deal from one European country to another. with Italy's the highest at 9%.

    Replies: @James Speaks

    About 9% of the active cases are categorized as ‘serious / critical’ right now. Outside of China, the share is currently about 3.5%.

    Useful data to have for each geographical area.
    Median age of deceased
    Number of deaths per age group broken out by comorbidity

    and one more

    Total number of anomalous cases of pneumonia that have not been tested, going back a month or so.

  64. @d.dicon
    @eugyppius

    you are still extrapolating from patients already hospitalized due to bad symptoms tho. heck, you even mention the virus getting milder in places with "better testing" - arrow of causality backwards, the better testing maybe finds the virus getting milder?
    Italians supposedly, like other Europeans, have the wonderful universal healthcare that is supposed to be best in these circumstances - of course, they're also Italians, with their vices. in America likewise, the vice of (((avarice))) will cause death among the uninsured with low defenses specially - but most aren't them.
    thus, 2 weeks of quarantines will need to happen to both prevent hospital overloading, and hopefully also prevent the working insured old people from getting it while greeting people at 7am at Walmart at 69 years old. America's shit public transport and multiracially dangerous public areas can be easily abandoned. the end will be certain for several thousand, Trump may lose due to the old dying specially; although then again Dems will lose healthcare mafia votes among the sick, and what better reason to steely shut the southern border than now and prevent illegal vote...
    the billionaires and corporations will lose some money, perhaps now the state can force them to give workers something after it's all over. it will need to happen, else the recession would be worse than 2009.
    it's not ypres though. take care of yourself and your property, simply.

    Replies: @eugyppius

    no, extrapolating from the pool of positive tests in EU countries where testing programs have lagged the true scale of the pandemic and caught primarily only very sick people who have gone to the hospital. germany a partial exception, stress on partial.
    Milder virus with better testing was my way of trying to conceptualize apparent covid19 vs actual. If you test more, not just really sick people in your ER, you get many more infected, and so a bigger denominator of cases. but you still have the same number of serious stats.
    It is a matter of perception totally orthogonal to the public health catastrophe that is already guaranteed.
    lombardy has a world class healthcare system. US has maybe slightly lower per capital hospital capacity (not sure about icu capacity) in comparison, which will obviously vary by region which is more important.

  65. @ProbablyWrong
    Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?

    1) What if hospitalization and death rates have been greatly exaggerated by sampling bias?

    Tests have been rationed in all countries since the outbreak. Until now, those being tested are the subset of the population sick enough to want to be tested or those with specific risks like fever and recent travel to China. We also know some percentage of cases are asymptomatic.

    Most analysts indicate there are vastly more cases in the wild than reported by official testing. That is actually good news! It indicates the true hospitalization rate is much lower than the reported rate. If that is true, then the likelihood of the health system collapsing or millions of deaths is much lower than suspected.

    Another suggestive point is the severity of the flu season. This has been driven by the flu vaccine being unusually ineffective this year. This is more speculative, but what if many "flu" cases were actually coronavirus? That would explain the vaccine not working as expected. It would also mean the US health system has absorbed many times the coronavirus cases as currently supposed without collapsing.

    2) What if Italy and Iran are outliers?

    The death rate in Italy is ~7% and Iran is unknown but presumably high. So far the death rates in the rest of Europe range from 0.1% in Germany and Switzerland to 0.2% in Spain as of this writing. There are reasons to think the worst case countries are outliers rather than inevitabilities.

    Italy's population is unusually elderly and the most affected state has close ties to China. Iran's infrastructure has been hurt by decades of sanctions. Both countries have higher than average smoking rates.

    3) What if straight line estimates of infection rates are wrong?

    Any straight line estimate ignores Farr's law, which indicates the end of an epidemic will generally be as swift as its onset. Additionally, epidemiologic evidence is suggestive that coronavirus will be much like other respiratory viruses in being suppressed by warmer weather. So far the southern hemisphere has seen very little spread. With warmer weather incoming there is likely to be relief in the northern hemisphere in the next month.


    Lockdown measures are not without costs. Most of the world is highly indebted and recessions are associated with higher death rates from all causes. I have not seen any report from expert or armchair analyst alike that includes error bars in the analysis and I suspect we should be far more uncertain about outcomes here than we currently are.

    Replies: @El Dato, @eugyppius, @Nicholas Stix

    I think you’re ProbablyWrong.

  66. @El Dato
    @ProbablyWrong


    Hate to spoil the panic parade but what if everyone is wrong?
     
    Then it will just be like "Y2K".

    Everybody gets back on foot, systems have been flushed, not many dead.

    Know-it-all assholes will afterwards say "it was just a conspiracy to make us all spend money and completely unnecessary" but dump trucks have been invented to take these people away.

    Replies: @Toddy Cat, @Polynikes

    Nope. More like we have thousands of dead from suicide or other ill effects from the economic shock. There are risks to panicking.

  67. @Anon7
    @The Z Blog

    You don't need a Manhattan project - you need a functional vaccine, which will be available in 6-16 months (or less, see below). So, you stomp hard on the epidemic by unprecedented social distancing; some people will get it, a few will die, most who got it will recover and be immune. This herd immunity will protect the rest until the vaccine is ready.

    Efforts to develop a vaccine are already underway. I've been trying to figure out how long it took to develop and deliver the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine, but I think it was less than a year.

    A Canadian company says they are on track to have a Covid-19 vaccine available by this summer:


    Canada-based biotech firm Medicago, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, on Thursday announced it had successfully produced a virus-like particle (VLP) of the coronavirus just 20 days after obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 (virus causing the COVID-19 disease) gene.

    Production of the VLP is the first step in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 which will now undergo pre-clinical testing for safety and efficacy. Once this is completed, Medicago expects to discuss with the appropriate health agencies to initiate human trials of the vaccine by summer (July/August) 2020.

    The PharmaLetter
     

    Replies: @Autochthon

    Friend, that’s a Japanese company.

  68. @Anonymous
    I have to question the hunch that lethality of COVD-19 in Italy -- relative to other European countries -- is due to Italy's "elderly" population.

    Germany, Spain and Switzerland all have median populations roughly similar to Italy. Around 45-46 years of age. All of Europe is aging, as readers of Unz probably know from articles analyzing past decades' spur to immigration into those countries.

    Sumpn' else seems to be going on. What was Italy's INITIAL response in terms of closing borders, for example. I haven't followed the different European countries' first responses.

    Replies: @Travis, @eugyppius

    Sumpn’ else seems to be going on.

    Nothing, in Italy’s initial response is outside EU norms. In some respects they have been better, and in later stages as they got the sense something was wrong testing in Lombardy was briefly probably the best in Europe. The outbreak in Lombardy has also happened in a region with excellent hospitals.

    The Italian outbreak is simply more advanced than the rest of the EU. That, as far as everyone knows, is the beginning and the end of it. It is the reason for growing concern of academics and now, at a time lag, but finally, government officials. The reasons that Italy got out in front are probably hidden in the circumstances of the earliest cases. When the numbers are still very small, accidents can have a disproportionate influence on the growth rate, bump you up a few iterations on the curve. Accidents like Patient 1 in Lombardy being such a prolific spreader, infecting all kinds of friends and doctors etc.

    But there is also a lot we don’t know about the earliest stages of this pandemic. Patient 0, who infected Patient 1, appears to have had the ‘Munich strain’. This is thought to be the virus that was brought to Starnberg in January by an employee of Webasto. He got it from a colleague in Shanghai, and the Shanghai woman got it directly from her parents in Wuhan. But there is no evidence, that I know of, tying this unknown Patient 0 in Lombardy, officially at the head of the Lombardy outbreak, to the Webasto outbreak near Munich: even though it was the same strain of the virus.

    So, perhaps Patient 0 is somebody somehow connected to Webasto, though the timeline is very tight. But the scarier and I think more probable conclusion is that Patient 0 had the Munich strain not from Munich, but from Wuhan. Patient 0 separately introduced this strain, and maybe he was not even the only one. And so all those early cases that our medical system tied to Munich, because the patients had the Munich strain — maybe not all of them were actually related to Munich at all, and what we read about the origins of the pandemic is totally wrong, focusing on the one known point of infection (Webasto) when in fact the same strain had multiple entry points and the disease was far more widespread, earlier, than investigations have uncovered.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @eugyppius

    The Italian outbreak is simply more advanced than the rest of the EU.

    Again, Germany had more cases than Italy as late as 20 February, as did a number of other EU countries.

    Replies: @eugyppius, @LondonBob, @Johann Ricke

  69. @eugyppius
    @Anonymous


    Sumpn’ else seems to be going on.
     
    Nothing, in Italy's initial response is outside EU norms. In some respects they have been better, and in later stages as they got the sense something was wrong testing in Lombardy was briefly probably the best in Europe. The outbreak in Lombardy has also happened in a region with excellent hospitals.

    The Italian outbreak is simply more advanced than the rest of the EU. That, as far as everyone knows, is the beginning and the end of it. It is the reason for growing concern of academics and now, at a time lag, but finally, government officials. The reasons that Italy got out in front are probably hidden in the circumstances of the earliest cases. When the numbers are still very small, accidents can have a disproportionate influence on the growth rate, bump you up a few iterations on the curve. Accidents like Patient 1 in Lombardy being such a prolific spreader, infecting all kinds of friends and doctors etc.

    But there is also a lot we don't know about the earliest stages of this pandemic. Patient 0, who infected Patient 1, appears to have had the 'Munich strain'. This is thought to be the virus that was brought to Starnberg in January by an employee of Webasto. He got it from a colleague in Shanghai, and the Shanghai woman got it directly from her parents in Wuhan. But there is no evidence, that I know of, tying this unknown Patient 0 in Lombardy, officially at the head of the Lombardy outbreak, to the Webasto outbreak near Munich: even though it was the same strain of the virus.

    So, perhaps Patient 0 is somebody somehow connected to Webasto, though the timeline is very tight. But the scarier and I think more probable conclusion is that Patient 0 had the Munich strain not from Munich, but from Wuhan. Patient 0 separately introduced this strain, and maybe he was not even the only one. And so all those early cases that our medical system tied to Munich, because the patients had the Munich strain -- maybe not all of them were actually related to Munich at all, and what we read about the origins of the pandemic is totally wrong, focusing on the one known point of infection (Webasto) when in fact the same strain had multiple entry points and the disease was far more widespread, earlier, than investigations have uncovered.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    The Italian outbreak is simply more advanced than the rest of the EU.

    Again, Germany had more cases than Italy as late as 20 February, as did a number of other EU countries.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
    @Art Deco

    those are just known cases, the numbers are almost meaningless. we have no idea how many true infections there were, and where they were, that early. differences in national and regional testing strategies are still confounding us to this moment.

    Replies: @eugyppius, @Art Deco

    , @LondonBob
    @Art Deco

    The Germans efficiently identified the Bavarian cluster and then traced contacts all the way, same with the super spreader we identified in Britain, Italy failed in this, as well as not sending out public messages encouraging distancing, even doing quite the opposite.

    Replies: @Jane Plain

    , @Johann Ricke
    @Art Deco


    Again, Germany had more cases than Italy as late as 20 February, as did a number of other EU countries.
     
    The Italian custom of hugs and kisses may not have done wonders for keeping infections limited.
  70. @Art Deco
    @eugyppius

    The Italian outbreak is simply more advanced than the rest of the EU.

    Again, Germany had more cases than Italy as late as 20 February, as did a number of other EU countries.

    Replies: @eugyppius, @LondonBob, @Johann Ricke

    those are just known cases, the numbers are almost meaningless. we have no idea how many true infections there were, and where they were, that early. differences in national and regional testing strategies are still confounding us to this moment.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
    @eugyppius

    And, I don't know about Italy, but you couldn't be tested in Germany in February without demonstrated contact with a known case or at-risk travel. So think again about the phantom Patient 0, whose infection was not known, and who was discovered only by accident as Lombardy became aware of its own outbreak. It is very unlikely that anyone Patient 0 infected would have been tested back then. Cases like that were totally out of sight. Italy and Germany at first found only what they were looking for, i.e. cases related to people who had been in China or who had contact with known cases.

    , @Art Deco
    @eugyppius

    those are just known cases, the numbers are almost meaningless. we have no idea how many true infections there were, and where they were, that early. differences in national and regional testing strategies are still confounding us to this moment.

    If they require hospitalization, they are known cases.

    Replies: @eugyppius

  71. @eugyppius
    @Art Deco

    those are just known cases, the numbers are almost meaningless. we have no idea how many true infections there were, and where they were, that early. differences in national and regional testing strategies are still confounding us to this moment.

    Replies: @eugyppius, @Art Deco

    And, I don’t know about Italy, but you couldn’t be tested in Germany in February without demonstrated contact with a known case or at-risk travel. So think again about the phantom Patient 0, whose infection was not known, and who was discovered only by accident as Lombardy became aware of its own outbreak. It is very unlikely that anyone Patient 0 infected would have been tested back then. Cases like that were totally out of sight. Italy and Germany at first found only what they were looking for, i.e. cases related to people who had been in China or who had contact with known cases.

  72. @Art Deco
    @eugyppius

    The Italian outbreak is simply more advanced than the rest of the EU.

    Again, Germany had more cases than Italy as late as 20 February, as did a number of other EU countries.

    Replies: @eugyppius, @LondonBob, @Johann Ricke

    The Germans efficiently identified the Bavarian cluster and then traced contacts all the way, same with the super spreader we identified in Britain, Italy failed in this, as well as not sending out public messages encouraging distancing, even doing quite the opposite.

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
    @LondonBob

    What did they do with the cluster? Quarantined them?

    Replies: @LondonBob

  73. @Art Deco
    @eugyppius

    The Italian outbreak is simply more advanced than the rest of the EU.

    Again, Germany had more cases than Italy as late as 20 February, as did a number of other EU countries.

    Replies: @eugyppius, @LondonBob, @Johann Ricke

    Again, Germany had more cases than Italy as late as 20 February, as did a number of other EU countries.

    The Italian custom of hugs and kisses may not have done wonders for keeping infections limited.

  74. @LondonBob
    @Art Deco

    The Germans efficiently identified the Bavarian cluster and then traced contacts all the way, same with the super spreader we identified in Britain, Italy failed in this, as well as not sending out public messages encouraging distancing, even doing quite the opposite.

    Replies: @Jane Plain

    What did they do with the cluster? Quarantined them?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    @Jane Plain

    Yep they isolate everyone that the spreader came in to contact with. To be fair to Italy patient 1 was a particularly sociable fella who spread it to many people, including the hospital he went to.

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/patient-icu-virus-pushes-italy-brink-69498352

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120178521/coronavirus-on-the-trail-of-italys-patient-one-to-learn-why-country-hit-so-hard

    That said they think the virus was probably spread already by Chinese tourists, undetected, outside of the main cluster.

    Replies: @Jane Plain

  75. @Jane Plain
    @LondonBob

    What did they do with the cluster? Quarantined them?

    Replies: @LondonBob

    Yep they isolate everyone that the spreader came in to contact with. To be fair to Italy patient 1 was a particularly sociable fella who spread it to many people, including the hospital he went to.

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/patient-icu-virus-pushes-italy-brink-69498352

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120178521/coronavirus-on-the-trail-of-italys-patient-one-to-learn-why-country-hit-so-hard

    That said they think the virus was probably spread already by Chinese tourists, undetected, outside of the main cluster.

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
    @LondonBob

    I hope when this is all over and the genes sequenced we find out exactly HOW Lombardy was invaded.

    I can't believe this was one especially gregarious superspreader (meets an elderly, vulnerable population, etc....) although that sure didn't help.

    Thanks.

  76. “That said they think the virus was probably spread already by Chinese tourists, undetected, outside of the main cluster.”

    Sounds like Lombardy was hit by multiple viral bombs at once.

    “To be fair to Italy patient 1 was a particularly sociable fella who spread it to many people, including the hospital he went to.”

    Any idea who this fellow is/was?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Jane Plain

    He's known as Mattia the marathon runner.

    My impression is that this disease is being spread by the healthiest and most energetic members of our society.

    Replies: @Jane Plain, @Sean

  77. @Jane Plain
    "That said they think the virus was probably spread already by Chinese tourists, undetected, outside of the main cluster."

    Sounds like Lombardy was hit by multiple viral bombs at once.

    "To be fair to Italy patient 1 was a particularly sociable fella who spread it to many people, including the hospital he went to."

    Any idea who this fellow is/was?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    He’s known as Mattia the marathon runner.

    My impression is that this disease is being spread by the healthiest and most energetic members of our society.

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
    @Steve Sailer

    This says that Mattia was Patient 1, who caught it from Patient 0:

    https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/-2019-ncov-new-coronavirus/italy-2019-ncov/836342-coronavirus-9-specialized-doctors-arrived-in-italy-from-china


    The 'zero patient' of the coronavirus outbreak in Lombardy has been identified. He is a 28 year old man who works in a Fiorenzuola d’Arda company and has returned from a trip to China. Initially it was negative for tests carried out at the Sacco hospital in Milan. But the Istituto Superiore di Sanità has confirmed that man has fallen ill, albeit in a lighter form. Normally the 28-year-old manager spends most of the year in China, with limited periods in Italy. He returned from China between January 20 and 21, but he has always been well (and still is healthy), except February 10, when he had mild flu symptoms. Immediately there had been doubts.

    The 'patient 1' is, instead, a 38-year-old man from Codogno, also infected his wife, who is hospitalized in the Sacco hospital in Milan, and four other people residing in the same area, hospitalized with a clinical picture of pneumonia. About three hundred people under examination, including close colleagues, doctors and nurses from the Codogno hospital who helped him. In the last two weeks, the 38-year-old has had a very wide social activity: for example, he has participated in a running race and a soccer match. 150 'close contacts' will be buffered, plus 160 Unilever employees, who have been asked not to leave the offices pending the test.
     
    I don't understand this. Came across it and thought it might help.

    Replies: @Jane Plain

    , @Sean
    @Steve Sailer

    Is Marathon running healthy or is it more something you have to be healthy to do, but that will leave you, forgive the pun, run down for a few days? Art Devany thinks it is a fast track to the grave if you are really competitive about it. This Italian fellow seems to have got unusually badly hit for a 38 year old. Had he not been serious ill early on when there were lots of resources to go round he might have become the youngest person to die that had no preexisting condition.

    As for the Ski vacationing jet set being the ones spreading coronavirus there is is a lot of evidence for that from the London cases being concentrated in Kensington and Chelsea. It seems to me that recreational skiers would be exerting themself far beyond what they were used to. On top of which, people often pick up bugs when travelling internationally, because one's sleep rhythms are disturbed ECT. Travelling and running a marathon would be dipping into the reserves, maybe leaving him immunologically equivalent to an 80 year old for a week or so.

  78. @eugyppius
    @Art Deco

    those are just known cases, the numbers are almost meaningless. we have no idea how many true infections there were, and where they were, that early. differences in national and regional testing strategies are still confounding us to this moment.

    Replies: @eugyppius, @Art Deco

    those are just known cases, the numbers are almost meaningless. we have no idea how many true infections there were, and where they were, that early. differences in national and regional testing strategies are still confounding us to this moment.

    If they require hospitalization, they are known cases.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
    @Art Deco

    ? the early cases as of 20 Feb. were mostly mild and hospitalised for quarantine/observation purposes. i.e. if they hadn't been part of the Starnberg cluster they would've been totally under the radar. only a case of at-risk travel brought this disease cluster to light. what about some other german who has never left bavaria, was infected by the Italian Patient 0 at the local pub, has mild flu-like symptoms, and then goes to infect his office? we would know about none of it. without travel history/contact it is doubtful that even really sick cases ever would've been tested. the early numbers especially are a total accident.

  79. @Art Deco
    @eugyppius

    those are just known cases, the numbers are almost meaningless. we have no idea how many true infections there were, and where they were, that early. differences in national and regional testing strategies are still confounding us to this moment.

    If they require hospitalization, they are known cases.

    Replies: @eugyppius

    ? the early cases as of 20 Feb. were mostly mild and hospitalised for quarantine/observation purposes. i.e. if they hadn’t been part of the Starnberg cluster they would’ve been totally under the radar. only a case of at-risk travel brought this disease cluster to light. what about some other german who has never left bavaria, was infected by the Italian Patient 0 at the local pub, has mild flu-like symptoms, and then goes to infect his office? we would know about none of it. without travel history/contact it is doubtful that even really sick cases ever would’ve been tested. the early numbers especially are a total accident.

  80. @LondonBob
    @Jane Plain

    Yep they isolate everyone that the spreader came in to contact with. To be fair to Italy patient 1 was a particularly sociable fella who spread it to many people, including the hospital he went to.

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/patient-icu-virus-pushes-italy-brink-69498352

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120178521/coronavirus-on-the-trail-of-italys-patient-one-to-learn-why-country-hit-so-hard

    That said they think the virus was probably spread already by Chinese tourists, undetected, outside of the main cluster.

    Replies: @Jane Plain

    I hope when this is all over and the genes sequenced we find out exactly HOW Lombardy was invaded.

    I can’t believe this was one especially gregarious superspreader (meets an elderly, vulnerable population, etc….) although that sure didn’t help.

    Thanks.

  81. @Steve Sailer
    @Jane Plain

    He's known as Mattia the marathon runner.

    My impression is that this disease is being spread by the healthiest and most energetic members of our society.

    Replies: @Jane Plain, @Sean

    This says that Mattia was Patient 1, who caught it from Patient 0:

    https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/-2019-ncov-new-coronavirus/italy-2019-ncov/836342-coronavirus-9-specialized-doctors-arrived-in-italy-from-china

    The ‘zero patient’ of the coronavirus outbreak in Lombardy has been identified. He is a 28 year old man who works in a Fiorenzuola d’Arda company and has returned from a trip to China. Initially it was negative for tests carried out at the Sacco hospital in Milan. But the Istituto Superiore di Sanità has confirmed that man has fallen ill, albeit in a lighter form. Normally the 28-year-old manager spends most of the year in China, with limited periods in Italy. He returned from China between January 20 and 21, but he has always been well (and still is healthy), except February 10, when he had mild flu symptoms. Immediately there had been doubts.

    The ‘patient 1’ is, instead, a 38-year-old man from Codogno, also infected his wife, who is hospitalized in the Sacco hospital in Milan, and four other people residing in the same area, hospitalized with a clinical picture of pneumonia. About three hundred people under examination, including close colleagues, doctors and nurses from the Codogno hospital who helped him. In the last two weeks, the 38-year-old has had a very wide social activity: for example, he has participated in a running race and a soccer match. 150 ‘close contacts’ will be buffered, plus 160 Unilever employees, who have been asked not to leave the offices pending the test.

    I don’t understand this. Came across it and thought it might help.

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
    @Jane Plain

    Wow, that part of Flu Trackers was edited, and the link no longer gives the passage I quoted.

  82. @Steve Sailer
    @Jane Plain

    He's known as Mattia the marathon runner.

    My impression is that this disease is being spread by the healthiest and most energetic members of our society.

    Replies: @Jane Plain, @Sean

    Is Marathon running healthy or is it more something you have to be healthy to do, but that will leave you, forgive the pun, run down for a few days? Art Devany thinks it is a fast track to the grave if you are really competitive about it. This Italian fellow seems to have got unusually badly hit for a 38 year old. Had he not been serious ill early on when there were lots of resources to go round he might have become the youngest person to die that had no preexisting condition.

    As for the Ski vacationing jet set being the ones spreading coronavirus there is is a lot of evidence for that from the London cases being concentrated in Kensington and Chelsea. It seems to me that recreational skiers would be exerting themself far beyond what they were used to. On top of which, people often pick up bugs when travelling internationally, because one’s sleep rhythms are disturbed ECT. Travelling and running a marathon would be dipping into the reserves, maybe leaving him immunologically equivalent to an 80 year old for a week or so.

  83. @Jane Plain
    @Steve Sailer

    This says that Mattia was Patient 1, who caught it from Patient 0:

    https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/-2019-ncov-new-coronavirus/italy-2019-ncov/836342-coronavirus-9-specialized-doctors-arrived-in-italy-from-china


    The 'zero patient' of the coronavirus outbreak in Lombardy has been identified. He is a 28 year old man who works in a Fiorenzuola d’Arda company and has returned from a trip to China. Initially it was negative for tests carried out at the Sacco hospital in Milan. But the Istituto Superiore di Sanità has confirmed that man has fallen ill, albeit in a lighter form. Normally the 28-year-old manager spends most of the year in China, with limited periods in Italy. He returned from China between January 20 and 21, but he has always been well (and still is healthy), except February 10, when he had mild flu symptoms. Immediately there had been doubts.

    The 'patient 1' is, instead, a 38-year-old man from Codogno, also infected his wife, who is hospitalized in the Sacco hospital in Milan, and four other people residing in the same area, hospitalized with a clinical picture of pneumonia. About three hundred people under examination, including close colleagues, doctors and nurses from the Codogno hospital who helped him. In the last two weeks, the 38-year-old has had a very wide social activity: for example, he has participated in a running race and a soccer match. 150 'close contacts' will be buffered, plus 160 Unilever employees, who have been asked not to leave the offices pending the test.
     
    I don't understand this. Came across it and thought it might help.

    Replies: @Jane Plain

    Wow, that part of Flu Trackers was edited, and the link no longer gives the passage I quoted.

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