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How High Is the Herd Immunity Level?
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Recently, there was a big hope that in many locations so many people had already been infected with coronavirus that the entire population was close to herd immunity. This would have been nice if true.

Largely, however, as more testing for antibodies (which measures whether the subject has ever been infected) has become available, that hope hasn’t much panned out, outside of New York City and inner city Boston, where Ever Infected percentages seems to be in the lower double digits. Most other places — e.g., Spain with 5% ever infected — have been down in single digits. With the usual estimate of 60% infected needed for herd immunity under Let ‘er Rip conditions, that seems like a fairly long way to go in terms of hospitalizations and deaths.

For example, Swedish government officials back in April were trumpeting projections that by May 1, Stockholm would be perhaps halfway to Herd Immunity. But since then they’ve largely dummied up on the topic. I did find an Uppsala University press release from May 13:

Recently, tests were conducted on 454 individuals in Stockholm. These tests showed that only 7.5 per cent had antibodies, which differed significantly from the calculations made by experts at the Public Health Agency.

“We will wait to say more about how immunity is progressing until we have conducted another round of tests in late May.”

So recently, hope has been shifting toward the alternative idea that the herd immunity level needed isn’t, say, 60%, instead it’s much lower.

One way to test that would be to see what the highest percentage ever infected has been under Let ‘er Rip conditions, since the maximum seen in the wild would offer a lower bound. My recollection has been that percentages infected in various towns in Bergamo province have been over 50% … For example, back in early April, it was reported that in Castiglione D’Adda, 40 out of 60 blood donors had the antibodies.

But, all I’ve seen are Google Translates of Italian newspaper articles, which I don’t trust all that much. Has anybody seen a more reliable study of the highest infection rates found in the hardest hit places?

 
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  1. Anon[218] • Disclaimer says:

    That antibody test is a work in progress, big false positive rates.

    • Replies: @Nikolai Vladivostok
  2. Anyone here with the nads to declare that they’ve bought back into the market yet?

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-stock-markets-dow-update-05-18-2020-11589778000

    Many out there have. I’m not one of them. The way I see it, even with a miracle cure, the best we can hope for is a long, painful slog back to ‘normal’ which as of Jan 2020 meant wildly overextended and ripe for a fall. So I’m staying out, and daring the markets to prove me misguided.

    If I am indeed, can the markets (and the larger economy) recover enough to rescue Trump? How many more Democrat voters are there in places like Texas and Florida, what with immigrant & felon voting?

  3. @Anon

    I’m thinking the same thing, and also that there may be false negatives given the multiple reports worldwide about dodgy tests. Here’s another one:

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/18-9-million-of-government-antibody-tests-inaccurate-review-finds-20200518-p54u22.html

    Also suss about falling death rates all over the place after lockdowns are lifted.

    Looks like the same situation we’ve had since January: no one knows nuffin.

  4. Sorry, here’s the article about the miracle vaccine:
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/moderna-says-initial-covid-19-vaccine-results-are-positive-11589805115

    The crucial question, of course, will be whether or not we can properly attribute the miracle vaccine to Kizzimekia or some other appropriate POC. And think how tricky this is: the media have to wait until the vaccine proves effective to make the attribution, because if it’s faulty it’ll have to be white men who did it. Like that pedestrian bridge in Florida. Of course there is always retconning, and this explains one reason why retconning is so popular.

    [MORE]

    Moderna Says Initial Covid-19 Vaccine Results Are Positive
    Experimental coronavirus vaccine induced immune responses in volunteers, raising hopes that a weapon to slow the pandemic could be on the horizon

    https://images.wsj.net/im-188004?width=1260&size=1.5
    Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, spoke to President Trump and others during a White House meeting of the Coronavirus Task Force on March 2.

    Drugmaker Moderna Inc. reported early results Monday from the first human study of its experimental coronavirus vaccine that gave a positive signal about the shot’s ability to protect people, raising hopes that a weapon to slow or halt the pandemic could be on the horizon.

    The company said the vaccine induced immune responses in some of the healthy volunteers who were vaccinated, and the shots were generally safe and well-tolerated.

    The results offered a preliminary but promising sign about one of the most advanced coronavirus vaccines in development, and suggested Moderna was on track to meet its ambitious timetable for producing it for possible emergency use in the fall.

    The vaccine still has much to prove. The results don’t show whether it actually protects people who are exposed to the new coronavirus, a key proof point. Many vaccines fail to pass muster even after showing positive signs in early testing.

    Yet the initial results for Moderna’s closely watched vaccine buoyed optimism. Moderna shares were up about 20% in afternoon trading Monday, helping to lift the broader market. The S&P 500 gained 3.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 899 points, or 3.8%, in New York trading.

    Moderna’s vaccine is among several front-runners that have emerged from the more than 100 coronavirus vaccines in development world-wide. At least seven other vaccines have started human testing, and several companies including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC are bulking up manufacturing capacity to make doses to meet global demand if vaccines they or their partners are developing prove successful.

    The early data suggest Moderna’s vaccine, code-named mRNA-1273, “has a very good chance to provide protection” from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in an interview.

    The company’s vaccine could be ready for emergency use as early as the fall, if it proves to work safely in the subsequent testing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently gave Moderna permission to begin the second stage of testing, and the company aims to enter the final stage in July.

    The progress is relatively quick for any experimental vaccine, let alone one like Moderna’s based on a new and unproven technology.
    Why Fully Recovering From Coronavirus Might Take Longer Than Expected
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    Understanding how the body clears the new coronavirus is becoming more important as the U.S. begins to reopen. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains how the body fights infection and why feeling better doesn’t equal being virus-free. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann

    Moderna, of Cambridge, Mass., codesigned its vaccine with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in January and rushed to manufacture doses for testing.

    NIAID is leading the clinical trial that began in March, starting at a site in Seattle and now expanded to Atlanta and Maryland. The trial is ongoing and aims to enroll up to 105 people, each receiving two shots about four weeks apart.

    The participants aren’t tested for their body’s ability to fight off the virus compared with a group that wasn’t vaccinated; such testing will come in a later stage.

    Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t contain the virus itself but rather genetic material called messenger RNA, which upon injection delivers instructions to the body’s cells to produce proteins resembling those on the surface of the coronavirus.

    The proteins in turn trigger an immune response that is supposed to subsequently protect a person against any exposure to the actual virus.

    Researchers can design and manufacture these types of gene-based vaccines quickly, but they have never been approved for widespread use against diseases in humans. Older vaccine technologies, such as those using a weakened virus or proteins, have a more proven record but generally take longer to develop.

    For some participants in the Moderna vaccine study ages 18 to 55, varying doses of the vaccine increased immune responses, including boosting certain antibodies to levels at or above those seen in blood samples from people who have recovered from Covid-19, Moderna said.

    The responses included both binding antibodies, which attach to viruses but don’t necessarily prevent them from infecting cells, as well as neutralizing antibodies, which do block infection.

    “If you get to the level of people who have had disease, that should be enough,” to be protective, Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said on a conference call with analysts Monday.

    The phase 1 study data reported Monday came from among the 45 people ages 18 to 55 who received three different dose levels of the vaccine. An additional 60 people over age 55 are being enrolled in the study.

  5. Luke Lea says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but we may be much closer to herd immunity than Steve seems to conclude. To go from patient zero to 7% of the population implies quite a few doubling times in the last three or four months, how many precisely I do not know. But assuming the same exponential rate of growth going forward (can we do that?) to go from 7% to 70% requires just three more doublings plus a tad.

    • Replies: @qwop
    , @Steve Sailer
    , @res
  6. This post contains the implicit assumption that we need to worry about herd immunity at all. Maybe we don’t.

    Maybe this thing is just sloping off as spring moves toward summer, as these things generally do.

    Maybe the quest for herd immunity is a snipe hunt. (Steve probably knows about snipe hunts, because he was a Boy Scout.)

    Sweden’s curve looks pretty much like many other country’s including ours here in the US. Maybe destroying people’s livelihoods and putting them under simulated martial law dindu nuffin’.

    As for the vaccine that is also implicit in so many stories like this one: Good luck getting me to let you stick a needle in me. I’ll take hydroxychloroquine + zinc + azithromycin though — if I come down with this dreaded illness — if the powers that be will allow me to.

    BTW: I now have a very nice tan from working in the yard shirtless and doing my usual four-mile walks in shorts. Sunshine, Vitamin D and fresh air, baby. Still legal in my town.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @MBlanc46
    , @DRA
  7. qwop says:
    @Luke Lea

    Current “doubling time” in Swedish COVID-19 deaths is in the excess of 50 days (last time I checked), but since the growth is no longer exponential since quite a while, this is not a constant and is pretty meaningless to discuss at this point.

    Moreover, the time to go from epsilon percent to 7% percent will depend on the population size, since what is doubling is the number of cases, not the percentage of cases in the population.

    But anyway, assuming Stockholm County with roughly 2.3 million inhabitants, 7% would equate to 160 000 individuals. Assuming it all started from one case (highly doubtful), that would be around 17 “doublings” (?) or a doubling every 4 days if we count from the beginning of February which is actually close to the value of 3-5 days doubling time I’ve often seen cited for the early pandemic.

    What if the doubling time never actually changed, but just the severity of the cases? If the threshold for observing a case (be it through hospitalization or death) remains the same, then the doubling time will apparently decrease with time, even though it stays the same. If I had the time, I would look into the plausibility of this by the numbers.

  8. Anonymous[582] • Disclaimer says:

    A few points. It may be x months until 60-80% infected but is that long-term herd immunity or only a herd immunity in the short term to end a wave?

    What are the daily cases doing? You only have doubling if in an exponential phase, and to see that you have to see what daily case numbers are doing.

    Good engineering practice is to be more conservative than you think (most or all professions too?) so it doesn’t say a lot for those hyping the 20% infected for herd immunity stat.

    And Steve, speaking of progressive Sweden…

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8331341/Swedish-girl-17-decapitated-Iraqi-born-boyfriend.html

    What advanced thinking from the rape capital of Europe to let this guy in the country . A lot of newspapers not printing photos or naming the accused lest conclusions be drawn…

  9. sizzurp says:

    Bronx was 27.6% 2+ weeks ago, so likely over 30% now

    It was not a random sampling, so might be off somewhat (unclear which direction).

    https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2020/05/02/antibody-survey-shows-virus-cases-predominantly-in-new-york-city

  10. @Luke Lea

    While going from 7% to 70% wouldn’t take very long in time under theoretical Let ‘Er Rip conditions, it would presumably lead to 9x as many deaths as going from 0% to 7%. And, it would probably lead to much more than that because having a huge number of people hospitalized in a short period of time would be pretty bad.

  11. @Anonymous

    … speaking of progressive Sweden…

    What advanced thinking from the rape capital of Europe to let this guy in the country.

    Understanding Sweden currently requires that ability of intelligent people to hold two differing thoughts in mind at the same time:

    1) Sweden has been smart about SARS-CoV-2.

    2) Sweden has been stupid about immigration.

    See how easy it is?

  12. Bernhard at Moon of Alabama reports three articles relating cross immunity between SARS2 and the common cold, here, here, and here.

    If true, this would make an absolute herd immunity level hard to calculate.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  13. Anon[243] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr McKenna

    I backed up the truck in late March. You get a stock market dump like this only once a generation.

    No investor can predict the bottom. What you do instead is admit your own imperfections. You invest something that’s “good enough.”

    The Dow was around 20,000 when I invested, and a 10,000 point drop off the high is good enough for me.

    The Dow has been a roller coaster for the past month or so because we were going through earnings season, and investors wanted to see which companies would be most affected by the virus. Now that earnings season is over and companies have made their reports, investors have a better idea of which companies will be battered by the virus, and which will weather it. They have already placed their bets accordingly.

    BTW, some big funds–not just individual investors–are now day-trading with a short-long strategy, and this is and will make the market seesaw quite a lot during its rise back up. This is not something big funds tend to do when stock prices are very stable because it doesn’t work very well, but it can make them a lot of money in an unstable market. It’s going to be a bumpy ride back up. I don’t recommend day trading like that for the amateur investor.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    , @Alfa158
  14. @James Speaks

    Who has data on large numbers of people with common colds? The military?

    • Replies: @James Speaks
    , @anon
    , @ic1000
  15. LondonBob says:

    Sweden looks close to herd immunity now. Interesting to look at Russia too, they test a lot so the data for ifr and progress of the virus is good. Also noteworthy the East Asian countries just haven’t had a big outbreak, quite possible Asians have some form of immunity, likely due to exposure to related coronaviruses.

    Similarly the r value might well not be as high as feared, which leads to questions like maybe this virus was given a big boost in spreading by people catching it on planes but outside certain circumstances has problems spreading.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  16. LondonBob says:
    @Anon

    The only way the US stock market moves higher from here is hyperinflation, in which case there are better assets to own.

    • Replies: @Inverness
  17. Manaus, in Brazil, is being very hard hit. There was collapse of hospitals, and pictures of mass graves in cemeteries went viral. A recent survey has found 11% infected. The sample was 250 people out of a population of 1.8 million. The number of dead at the time of the survey was 949 people, which gives an Infection Fatality Rate of 0.47%.

    The news story is in Portuguese:
    https://noticias.uol.com.br/saude/ultimas-noticias/redacao/2020/05/17/pesquisa-aponta-mais-de-200-mil-infectados-por-coronavirus-em-manaus.htm

    There is a possible error in that story when it says that they found 27 people “with the coronavirus” among the tested. It is a serological test, and thus I think they found 27 people with the antibodies.

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
    , @utu
  18. @LondonBob

    Sweden looks close to herd immunity now.

    Why?

    • Replies: @utu
  19. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Understanding Sweden currently requires that ability of intelligent people to hold two differing thoughts in mind at the same time:

    So… what is so smart about SARS-CoV-2 policy in Sweden, Buzz?

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

    Have a look at the daily new cases and see how it is hovering around 500/week, for weeks. What is herd immunity for 10M people? 8M? 6M? Now, that 500/week is probably an undercount but at that rate it’s years to reach so-called herd immunity through infection.

    To me it appears as though their CV policy is as well-planned as their immigration policy. CV has caused 3700 deaths so far, a lot more to go, a long time before it’s all over.

    But hey, their immigration policy implies that they don’t care about actual ethnic Swedes (they can just import new “Swedes”), so why not just “let ‘er rip!” and provide a great data point for everyone else to use? But that’s not what’s being done now, it’s a no-mans land of lengthy infection AFAICT.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  20. JimB says:

    Without herd immunity I guess it won’t be safe to let in Chinese tourists, students, and business travelers anymore. Oh, well. What will America do without them?

    • Replies: @Inverness
    , @dfordoom
  21. Sort of good news: the nursing home my grandmother is at thinks she beat the coronavirus. They’re treating her, but think she may have beat it on her own. Hopefully we’ll get confirmation in a week or two.

    • Thanks: Anon242
  22. Thoughts says:
    @Mr McKenna

    I’m in…I held through the downturn and now I am up a decent amount

    But I trade miners exclusively…get into silver stocks asap

    We are in a bull market until 2033

    • Replies: @Hail
  23. @Steve,
    just sampled a few Italian newspaper articles.
    All agree that they are a far cry from herd immunity. There don’t seem to be Italy wide sereological studies, just on a regional basis, with seroprevalence varying between 2 and 15 percent.

    For instance this article found 15 out of 1400 tested positive for antibodies in Viterbo which is north fof Rome, i.e. in the middle of Italy…
    https://www.cittapaese.it/tag/immunita-di-gregge/

  24. @Steve Sailer

    I would guess the CDC. For all cases presented for the flu, testing would determine what the patients had, would it not? Does the CDC report all the results of “flu” tests, or only positive versus negative?

  25. Inverness says:
    @LondonBob

    China’s got its trade war with Australia well underway, with many more countries to follow. That’ll affect valuations. I hope we dare to shut them down.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8332719/Fears-global-trade-war-China-Beijing-slaps-80-cent-tariff-Australian-exports.html

    We can survive without cheap Chinese crap just fine. How will they do with no one buying it anymore? Maybe they’ll get so mad that they bring all their overseas Chinese people home.

  26. Inverness says:
    @JimB

    Thanks, I missed this by searching for “China” rather than “Chin*”

    Anyway, great minds and that.

  27. B36 says:

    This analysis points out that 40 to 50% of all Covid deaths in the US have been in nursing homes and assisted living facilities:

    https://freopp.org/the-covid-19-nursing-home-crisis-by-the-numbers-3a47433c3f70

    In Minnesota the number is almost 82%. If we had instituted strict infection control and isolation measures in these institutions from the beginning the overall US numbers would be significantly lower. If Cuomo hadn’t issued his criminal order that nursing homes must admit Covid patients New York numbers would be so much lower.

    Maybe rather than fuss with society wide lockdowns and worrying about herd immunity, we should put most of our efforts into protecting the minority of people (in and out of the nursing home) who are most vulnerable.

    • Replies: @Kyle
  28. utu says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Sweden with 366 deaths/1M has 3.66% infection prevalence if IFR=1% or 7.32% is IFR=0.5%. But it is possible that Sweden is undercount their dead.

    It is possible that in the densely populated city herd immunity threshold is 80% while out in the country only 30%. Sweden has a long way to go.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  29. utu says:
    @Brás Cubas

    “Manaus, in Brazil, is being very hard hit. “

    . – Where is the humidifier salesman with his spiel about humidity?

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  30. Mike Tre says:

    On Topic:

    Bad Arguments For Lockdowns & The Burden Of Proof. Also: US States Analysis

    https://wmbriggs.com/post/30884/

    A few highlights from the article:

    [MORE]

    The burden of proof that lockdowns work is clearly on those imposing and supporting lockdowns. Lockdown skeptics are under no obligation whatsoever to show lockdowns do not work.

    In truth, the criteria will be the same as those used to institute them: when politicians think they will no longer be blamed for the virus causing deaths. Fear drives the crisis in our leaders just as much as it does in citizens.

    Another bad argument is that a majority agreed, and still agree, to willingly to have their movements restricted. This is absurd, because they could have locked their own selves down and let the minority who wanted to remain at liberty be free. But, no. The majority agreed to remove everyone’s liberty, in the belief that they themselves would be protected. Fear rules.

    The usual argument in favor of lockdowns runs like this: We know lockdowns work because lockdowns work, which is why we locked down, because if we didn’t lock down it would have been worse. It’s science.

    Lockdowns have known costs, but unproved benefits. Some say that we had to lock down to “flatten the curve”, and because we locked down therefore the curve was flattened. This is a circular argument. It is just another way of saying “lockdowns work because lockdowns work.” It still has to be proved lockdowns flatten curves, and that flattening curves is good.

    Stores owned by oligarchs were allowed to remain open. This implies the virus, as many joked, could tell the difference between Costco, which wasn’t locked down, and (say) a small jewelers, which was forced to close. The virus didn’t dare infect Costco shoppers, but those searching for wedding rings would have dropped dead on the spot.

    In the US, eight states never locked down. They were, with deaths per million (as of 17 May, using the COVID Tracking Project’s numbers): Iowa (111), Oklahoma (73), Nebraska (64), North Dakota (56), South Dakota (50), Arkansas (32), Utah (25), and Wyoming (14). Be careful with these numbers, as they are stated in relative terms. Wyoming, for example, has about 580 thousand souls, and had only 8 coronavirus deaths.

    The states with the harshest lockdowns were California (83), Illinois (330), Michigan (490), New York (1162), New Jersey (1166).

  31. Every bit of herd immunity, even if partial helps to slow the spread. It may take years to develop enough herd immunity to make this bug inconsequential.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  32. megabar says:

    If Sweden does level off, it gives some credence to the super-spreader idea, in that transmission rates appear to have leveled off despite no lockdown.

    On the other hand, Swedes are apparently self-imposing lockdown behavior. Furthermore, the Lombardy region argues against a significant leveling off. In I have my facts right, some regions in Italy did rapidly (weeks/months) approach herd immunity, implying that spread remained rapid.

    • Replies: @Daniel Williams
  33. @Jonathan Mason

    It may take years to develop enough herd immunity to make this bug inconsequential.

    But how does that work if each individual’s immunity wears off in 12 to 24 months, as is widely hypothesized?

  34. @Steve Sailer

    9x works out to roughly <17k Angeleans, which seems to be a healthy bump into the circa 64k all-cause deaths averaged in recent years, but it will be interesting to see what happens to the heart disease (11.3k), chronic lower respiratory disease (3k), diabetes (2.5k), and influenza/pneumonia (2k) deaths that factored into that annual average. I also wonder what will happen with suicides, which averaged 852 in recent years.

  35. Adrian E. says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    We can say many things about Sweden, but one thing that would be completely absurd would be to say that Sweden has beren „smart“ about the reaction to COVID-19.

    There are probably very few countries whose reaction to COVID-19 has been as bad as Sweden‘s. The number of COVID-19 deaths per population is much higher in Sweden than in most other European countries. Yes, in some countries that were surprised by a large early outbreak (Italy, Spain, Belgium), the cumulative numbers are still higher, but in these countries, the numbers of deaths per population have gone down, while they have remained on a high level, so that Sweden is surpassing more and more countries in the number of overall COVID-19 deaths per population.

    The economic damage in Sweden is similar to the one in other European countries (of course, it would be absurd to expect that people go on consuming as usual when so many people die from an infectuous disease, as currently in Sweden), but many more people are dying in Sweden compared to countries that had similar conditions in the middle of March.

    The irresponsible approach Sweden uses has different elements. An important one is certainly that Anders Tegnell, the Swedish chief-epidemiologist claims that there are few infections by people who don‘t have symptoms, and he went on claiming this when it was debunked. This meant that in Sweden, only people with symptoms were advised to restrict contacts with people in risk groups. Therefore, when people followed these inadequate recommendations, in Sweden particularly many people from risk groups were infected – the main reason why the number of COVID-19 deaths is so high in Sweden.

    There are many other areas with similar features. For example, without any evidence from studies (and quite some evidence to the contrary), Swedish authorities claim that face masks are bad because they allegedly create a false sense of security. The one thing that is consistent about the Swedish approach is that in case of doubt they always opt for the riskier option, also in cases where opting for the riskier option has no economic benefits, at all. Therefore , no one should be surprised that Sweden has more deaths per population than countries in which the recommendations are to a higher degree than in Sweden based on evidence and where in case of doubt (and without unreasonable costs) the safer option is recommended.

    We can say different things about Sweden‘s failure to react adequately to COVID-19, but when someone calls the Swedish disaster „smart“ I doubt this petrson has even looked at the basic facts and figures.

    We can discuss Swedish immigration policies. I am not convinced by them, but it is hardly a black-and-white matter. But everyone who looks at the concrete facts should agree that the Swedish reaction to COVID-19 has been a total disaster.

  36. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    I’ve lived in small towns before and seem to get the flu every year, often multiple times. If you have kids, schools and daycare centers are a big nexus of terrible hygiene. They come home and you get infected. This is a commonality wherever you go.

    And then there is work. You pick it up there as well. (And that impacts those without kids.)

    Then there is entertainment. Drinks, socializing, talking to each other, handshakes.

    All of these spreading opportunities happen in small towns, big towns and cities.

    A big city will have a few more things like elevators and apartment buildings etc. to deal with. Singapore with its crowded guest worker program is probably a case in point as to why the R0 may be higher there. My guess is that the updated 5.8 R0 might be the case in a city and in a town it might be 3, but that implies a 60-80% HIT. Heck, even at R0=2, that’s 50% HIT.

    Nice estimate of IFRs. It also seems like the excess deaths can nearly double what is measured. Whether that is due to actual CV or people not going to hospital and dying of things like heart attacks I’m not really sure.

    https://fullfact.org/health/covid-deaths/

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  37. Sean says:
    @Mr McKenna

    The markets have been running on Chinese growth.

    https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2020/05/06/Boom-Pandemic-Crash-History-Repeat/
    Peter Turchin, a Russian historian, has long argued that civilizations expand and contract in distinct waves or what he calls “secular cycles” that last about 300 years. Here’s my rough sketch of his sharp thinking: In the initial wave, a troop of united elites marshal the masses to go forth and connect parts of the world with newfangled trade and political networks. But as wealth and populations peak, the elites turn on each other as they seek to monopolize the spoils. (Turchin calls this a case of “elite overproduction.”) And then the cycle of expansionist thinking and radical growth comes to a crashing end with a roaring pandemic and other mayhem. […]

    Cycles of global expansion also tend to be humbled by incompetent leaders, climate change (always a factor in decline), food shortages and forced migrations of people, which in turn add more fuel to pandemic fires. According to Turchin, every growth cycle or pulsation comes in four distinct phases. A period of population growth, good eating and consensual elites is followed by stagflation, which begets some sort of economic or biological crisis that ends in a depression. And then the cycle renews itself. Epidemics tend to erupt during the stagflation period for several reasons. That’s when populations peak and economic misery increases. It is also a period when long-distance trade connects everything; cities get too crowded and migrants clog the highways.

    China is becoming top dog,? OK yeah, but at the end of a cycle. In Xi’s totalitarian state Chinese are now displaying banners saying Trump is an enemy of mankind.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EX_vgMtXYAcVauS?format=jpg&name=900×900

    —-
    A vaccine will be needed for Naturally reached herd immunity might work, but it’s completely academic, because the media wouldn’t see it that way and would portray it as sacrificing the population to business. There would be endless local outbreaks even after HI was reached. They know there little covid-19 bounce-backs local outbreaks would spawn endless accusation the lockdown was ended too soon. These are the same people who undereacted at the begining and so they are going to overreact at the end so as to impress everyone with their on-the-ball performance. The political consequence of the lockdown exit will be, as with so much in life, how the thing ends because that is what everyone remembers, and becomes the crucial factor in assessing performance.. Even if the politicians and officials knew better than to keep the lockdown past herd immunity point, the publicity would get them sacked. You would have to close down the media to make am exit of the lockdown via naturally reached herd immunity feasible. Lockdown news may be taking the steam out the anti-Trump media and Dems campaign too

    • Agree: Johnny Rico
    • Replies: @peterike
  38. @Anonymous

    It also seems like the excess deaths can nearly double what is measured. Whether that is due to actual CV or people not going to hospital and dying of things like heart attacks I’m not really sure.

    Right, that’s one of those things we really ought to figure out.

  39. Travis says:
    @Steve Sailer

    if we Let ‘Er Rip it is doubtful that even 50% would get infected before the winter months….most of the elderly would still stay home and avoid most situations with other people, like going to crowded restaurants, flying on crowded planes, going to the gym or theater..

    What would it look like in California if we Let ‘Er Rip ? Would people start going to the movies, bowling alleys and packed restaurants ? Would the governors ban the use of masks to Let ‘Er Rip in order to reach herd immunity by Christmas? Letting it Rip is no longer even possible, even if all the Governors allowed every businesses to open without any restrictions, because most people will not behave as they did in 2019. Even in Sweden , which kept the schools, bars and other businesses open they have failed to get 50% of the population infected.

    Can 70% of the population even be infected ? We may find that 25% of the population will never develop antibodies , because they will fight off this virus with their innate immune system. Even when they let it Rip on cruise ships only 20% of the crew were infected, despite living in close quarters for weeks..Most of the roughly 1,000 crew members slept in twin rooms….there were not enough rooms available to strictly enforce isolation…Crew members aboard the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship had continued contact with infected passengers even following a government request on Feb. 5 that passengers self-quarantine in their rooms. They even shared rooms with infected people, ate with infected people , slept with infected people, yet most failed to get infected. If we could not get 30% of the crew members infected , despite close contact with infected passengers and crew for weeks, it ill be difficult to get 30% of Californians infected over the next 6 months because people will be taking more precautions in their daily lives.

  40. @utu

    Yes, I wish there was some study trying to explain that. Anyway 0.47% IFR is not extraordinarily high, and perhaps the problem was too much infection due to too little social distancing.

    Also, the humidity there is very high (higher than 80%), which I think is not desirable. Very high humidity apparently prolongs the life of the virus outside the body. On the other hand, moderate temperatures and moderate humidity seem to be good for the respiratory system. I am not backed up with hard sources in any of these claims, so don’t take me too serious.

  41. anon[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Cross immunity is a thing. Most notably with the infamous Dengue Fever vaccine. It is a reputed cause of ADE or antibody dependent enhancement. Dengue Fever is from the Flaviviridae virus family which includes yellow fever, zika, and others, and there are four distinct, but closely related, serotypes of the virus that cause dengue (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4).

    An observed fact is that a second occurrence is sometimes much worse than the first. A hypothesis is that this is due to partial cross immunity, due to the 4 serotypes. But they aren’t quite sure how it happens.

    The vaccine works. But there is some evidence that antibody dependent enhancement can happen in vaccination of younger children rarely, but occasionally, and did in a Philippine usage in about a million children of whom 2 died.

    They looked at this in SARS-1 and MERS and maybe it happened. ADE, that is.

    But what I found interesting was that the vaccine was and still is approved in 17 countries, is effective, but isn’t used much pending the sorting out of the Philippines antibody dependent enhancement data. It’s usage (now) requires that there be evidence of at least one exposure to (one subtype) of the virus. This is where it gets confusing. ADE only happens in the second exposure, and not the third and subsequent exposure.

    ADE is a reason why it might take years to test a vaccine. And Dengue Fever is the proof cited, without describing the whole story. That ADE is uncommon in Dengue, that otherwise the vaccine works, and that ADE seems to occasionally happen with a second exposure Without a vaccine. So it’s not a vaccine thing so much as a second exposure thing.

    ADE will come up endlessly in arguments about why we can’t do a vaccine. But don’t let anyone get away with saying it is well understood or simple.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  42. @anon

    Thanks.

    Now my head hurts thinking about the complicated thinking upcoming.

  43. peterike says:
    @Sean

    Lockdown news may be taking the steam out the anti-Trump media and Dems campaign too

    But the lockdown news is all presented as anti-Trump news, so what’s any different?

    • Agree: Meretricious
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  44. peterike says:

    What does “herd immunity” mean when you can easily have 50-60% or more of people who are simply naturally immune to the ‘Rona, or have immune systems strong enough to knock it out whenever it might get into them? Such people will never “test positive,” they will never get symptoms and they will never infect anybody else. They will never get listed in any herd immunity study, yet they are immune.

    My guess is we started this thing with a base-level immunity in the 50-60% range (or possibly quite a bit higher). For instance, pretty much everyone 25 and younger is effectively immune. What percent of the total population does that include? Why aren’t we automatically adding that to the “herd immunity” number? Isn’t the reality that we only need to care about virus exposure in the 60-or-higher age group? Maybe 50 to be safe. What’s the virus exposure number for people 50 or older? The rest doesn’t really matter.

  45. anon[400] • Disclaimer says:

    One way to test that would be to see what the highest percentage ever infected has been under Let ‘er Rip conditions

    Meat packing plants seemed to have had maybe 50% infected when they closed the plants. You have some prisons.

    And the Diamond Princess which had around 20% when the experiment ended. But in normal settings, you always get a logistic or S curve, where r(t) decreases and is less than r(0) over time.

    A small prison should be studied, if anyone dared.

  46. @Adrian E.

    It may be too early to judge Sweden…if they escape the second wave of the pandemic in the coming winter , due to herd immunity. Time will tell. Sweden’s current strategy will soon be our strategy, as the extreme lockdowns in most states will be ending this summer.

    Deaths in the UK are much higher than Sweden. Excess deaths in the UK from March to May have been 67% above normal and just 27% above normal in Sweden. In Belgium, Spain, France and the Netherlands Deaths are over 50% above normal for the same time period. So Sweden is doing better than many European nations , despite the limited lockdowns. Sweden has kept the elementary schools open, but closed all the high schools and colleges and put limits in gatherings , bars and restaurants. So they have not exactly let it rip. In fact Restaurant business is down the same amount in Sweden compared to the rest of Europe. Swedes have drastically altered their behavior.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  47. @Anonymous

    You’re wrong. Sweden’s deaths per 10 million of population is right in the middle of the pack, better than some, not as good as others:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/daily-coronavirus-covid-19-data-graph-page/#001

    It’s curve is as flat as anybody else’s.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  48. Kyle says:
    @B36

    People in nursing homes were going to get this no matter what. They can’t social distance. They rely on nurses to accomplish daily tasks. My grampa is 93 and is recovering from covid-19. His case only reinforces my views on HBD. This isn’t going kill him because he has good breeding. His genes are strong and resilient so therefore mine are as well. Covid-19 patients had to be sent to nursing homes because these people need nurses to help perform simple life sustaining tasks. Such as bathing. Where did you want to send these people. To hospitals? I think people forget that nursing homes are medical facilities also. I’m sure all of the nurses were wearing their PPE. But that doesn’t matter. This was always going to sweep through the nursing homes, and complaining after the fact won’t change that.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  49. @Nikolai Vladivostok

    We know a lot more , but most of it is good news, thus the media fails to report it. Hospital beds are mostly empty, many treatments are showing promising results and we should expect the number of daily deaths will continue to decline. Georgia and other states are easing the restrictions , yet the predicted surge of new cases have not been observed. HCQ is showing benefits when given with Zinc, masks are available and most people are wearing them. Millions of Americans have the antibodies , millions more than predicted from the number of confirmed cases. Each day brings more good news and reason for optimism.

  50. @Adrian E.

    The number of COVID-19 deaths per population is much higher in Sweden than in most other European countries.

    Sweden’s deaths per 10 million is right in the middle of the pack, and similar to many, and its curve is a flat as most:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/daily-coronavirus-covid-19-data-graph-page/#001

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @epebble
  51. @Kyle

    Honestly, I’m less concerned about deaths in nursing homes than whether this will be bad for younger people in the long run, which we really don’t have a clue about.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @B36
  52. utu says:
    @Adrian E.

    Agree. And there are some issues with the Swedish data. They do not make sense. The two graphs of new daily sick cases and new daily deaths are taken from the Swedish gov official site (Today):
    https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd-beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/bekraftade-fall-i-sverige/

    The high amplitude periodic signal comes form their data keeping: they do not work on weekends or people do not get sick on weekends. Note that since March they are on a plateau with about 600 cases per day. One would expect that new daily deaths should be congruent with new daily sick cases when the time lag of about 2-3 weeks is accounted for.

    New daily deaths are dropping since April 27. One would expect that daily new sick cases should be dropping since April 13. We do not see it. Sick case for a long time were on a plateau of about 600/day while deaths cases are at about 70 per day. At IRF=1% they must be undercounting the sick cases by factor of 10 or 90% of people who died were not registered as the sick in their system.

    The strangest thing however is that I do not see changes in the shape of their new daily deaths graphs over many days. I keep checking it every few days. Its magnitude is changing but not its shape. Always the most recent several days are very low like 5, 10 cases per day. But Sweden total deaths is increased by several hundred every week. So, how this is possible? Graphing software problem or they are sending the new deaths cases back in time on the graphs as if they just discovered old dead bodies . But their graph looks always very optimistic as if the dying is about to be ever.

    Here how Swedish data look at worldometers.info

    We see the periodic pattern in daily deaths but most importantly there is no indication that the dying is about to be over.

    • Replies: @israel shamir
    , @Aliska
  53. @Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco

    Swedes are probably behind only Japanese and Finns at Let ‘Er Rip proclivities.

  54. peterike says:

    Interesting context for the numbers. Even with all the phony Covid death reporting, it’s still a middle of the pack killer at best.

  55. @peterike

    Exactly correct. 30% of the US population is under the age of 26, and they are basically immune. The government should be paying young adults to get infected , giving them access to the various treatments , to observe which ones help the most. We would learn quickly which treatments are most effective while building herd immunity. We would also determine how many will defeat the virus without producing any antibodies. How many twenty-year olds would be willing to get infected if paid $500 to be exposed to the virus ? If given access to HCQ and zinc ?

  56. @Steve Sailer

    Any idea where and how it became widely hypothesized that herd immunity only lasts 12-24 months? I too have noticed this hypothesization, but only as a recent event. I can recall Greg Cochran on James Miller’s podcast back around March saying more or less the opposite: that most viral infections result in immunity and most immunity is long term, which plausibly conforms to how chicken pox, mononucleosis, small pox, measles, and other famous viruses work. Then suddenly a week or two ago, everybody “knew” that coronavirus immunity only lasts 12-24 months even though the virus was only discovered about five months ago.

  57. @Adrian E.

    We can discuss Swedish immigration policies. I am not convinced by them, but it is hardly a black-and-white matter.

    Actually it is.

  58. @peterike

    It also shows how a very small reclassification from any of the large killers (cardio, cancer, respiratory) would massively swell the “COVID” number.

    It also implies that a small increase in any of the large killers (say, due to heart attack victims avoiding the hospital) could contribute as much or more to “excess deaths” statistics than all of COVID deaths.

    All of our COVID death statistics are from looking at a stream of difficult-to-diagnose deaths amidst multiple, larger, parallel streams of deaths. Not a recipe for reliable bookkeeping. And yet, the deaths are the most reliable COVID statistics. The “cases” and “infections” statistics are even worse because of the vast disparities in testing and diagnosis.

  59. Anonymous[822] • Disclaimer says:
    @Nikolai Vladivostok

    Yes and I just read an article today stating that thirteen crewmembers of the USS Roosevelt that had previously tested positive for coronavirus have tested positive for the virus a second time. Each of these sailors had been quarantined and tested negative twice before being allowed back on board the carrier. According to the article, some of the sailors who have retested positive have reported feeling symptoms a second time.

    This is really bad news. It means that even if people recover from the virus, they can catch it again in a short period of time and infect other people. Per Steve’s comments, I was trying to think of ways that public and private institutions could be innovative and begin to try ideas that could get us back on the path to normal. One of those ideas involved paying a premium to individuals who had been previously infected to work around high risk subjects such as nursing home patients. Without the guarantee of immunity conferred by catching the infection a first time, such plans go out the window. Scary news indeed.

    • Thanks: epebble
  60. Alfa158 says:
    @Anon

    It is isn’t just investors who can’t predict the bottom. I was at a meeting with an analyst for one of the biggest investment funds who had come out to California to present their analysis of the current market to clients. Coincidentally the market had just started the crash so he was taking the red-eye back to NYC that night.
    He said flat out that neither he nor anyone else on earth knew where and when the bottom would be, or, exactly, where the market would go from there. The markets are driven too much by a paradoxical combination of soulless automated trading programs and raw human emotions.
    The only thing the masters of the universe do know is that taking the Chinese style long view, the markets make money over the long term, so their job as fund managers is to look for opportunities to pick out bargains, spread out their bets and make smarter decisions than individual investors will make. They rely on the idea that it works like Vegas where the house always wins eventually.

  61. @peterike

    Here’s a good one: UW Medicine in Washington State has just furloughed 1,500 people. Maybe if we really buckle down, we can lay off all the medical people and close all the hospitals. After all, COVID-19 is our only medical problem.

    UW Medicine furloughs 1,500 staffers, with more on the table

    • Replies: @Coemgen
  62. @megabar

    On the other hand, Swedes are apparently self-imposing lockdown behavior.

    They’re afraid to go out, what with all the insane Muslims everywhere.

  63. @Almost Missouri

    “Any idea where and how it became widely hypothesized that herd immunity only lasts 12-24 months?”

    Immunity to any particular strain of the common cold lasts forever. Cold virums – aks coronavirums – mutate rapidly. So you are vulnerable to a new strain of common cold virus every few months. Blessedly, common colds are mild, as is this year’s superstar KoronaKoldKabuki19.

    This is also why there is no effective vaccine for coronavirums: by the time you’ve stockpiked enough materiel for the battle, you’re fighting last year’s war. You will see stories where the hatestream media gush over an effective trial vaccine for KKK19, but the vaccine will accomplish nothing on a mass scale months later. IFLScience makes this abundantly, inarguably clear.

    • Replies: @epebble
  64. JosephB says:
    @Anonymous

    Good engineering practice is to be more conservative than you think (most or all professions too?) so it doesn’t say a lot for those hyping the 20% infected for herd immunity stat.

    The problem is what does it mean to be “conservative” here? Lockdowns have a probability of 1 of causing economic harm, and in some cases crush businesses. How much health impact is there from losing your job or a business you’ve spent a lifetime building?

    My thinking is NYC had 20% testing positive. Corona was doubling every 2 or 3 days. For exponential growth, that’s ~6 days from hitting 100%. So either NYC was very fortunate in when they locked things down, or the virus has already hit asymptote. How many places do we have at over 50%? It just seems weird that we have nowhere near hitting herd immunity. Steve mentioned that Italian village that may have been that high, but we don’t know much about testing protocol or if the article was translated correctly.

    There is a lot of speculation with T-cell response not showing up as positive, to folks with colds not showing a response to, …

    So what is the conservative response here?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Anonymous
  65. Peter Shaw says: • Website
    @Almost Missouri

    Cochran actually flip flopped on that. But then he has lost a lot of credibility over this issue as he has been proven exactly wrong on almost every single prediction he has made

    • Replies: @gcochran
  66. res says:
    @Luke Lea

    I’m not sure if qwop was trying to make this point as part of his response, but I think this is important so want to be explicit.

    For doubling what is important is the active (infectious) cases. In an epidemic running free this does not really matter because the exponential growth means each doubling of active cases outweighs the number of recovering and especially of recovered cases. Especially with a high R0 (short doubling time).

    But in the presence of lockdowns the recovered cases can become a large proportion of the total case count. Those recovered cases will not be contributing to the baseline for further doublings. Consider the example of New York. I believe this IHME data is estimating active cases:
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/new-york
    If you look at their case counts estimated infections are down to about 1/16 (4 doublings) of the peak and confirmed infections are down to about 1/4 (2 doublings) of the peak. Hopefully the implications of this are clear. We are starting from a much lower baseline than the current “percent ever infected” would indicate.

    In addition, those recovered cases will be increasing the doubling time by decreasing the effective R (fewer susceptible individuals).

    So in short, not only do we have more doublings to go than you think, they will probably be slower than the initial doublings. Then there are the likely (or possible?) effects of seasonality and non-homogeneity on effective R, but that’s another comment.

    So this statement was very wrong (in fairness, you did ask, “can we do that?”): “But assuming the same exponential rate of growth going forward (can we do that?) to go from 7% to 70% requires just three more doublings plus a tad.”

  67. B36 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I guess if we write off people in the nursing home then it’s good for younger people in the long run. The calculated fatality rate for the vast majority of the population outside the homes suddenly becomes much lower.

  68. @JosephB

    The conservative response is to figure out what the key questions are and obtain the answers to them. For example, what is the antibody infection rate in the hardest hit Italian towns? Does it peak out below 50% or does it go quite high?

    The Northern Italians are not backward people so my impression is they’ve done a lot of testing to answer this question. Unfortunately, there is less interaction between Italian and English speakers than there is with some other languages, so I’m not sure that whatever the answer is has permeated into the English-speaking world. Let’s find out.

    • Replies: @JosephB
  69. anon[225] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    hydroxychloroquine + zinc + azithromycin

    President Trump is taking HCQ prophylactically. In a couple of weeks, we will know whether it is safe. If so, others can take it too if it is still available then (and doesn’t vanish like toilet paper). It is hard to argue it is dangerous when a man in his 70s with a plus size body can take it and stay healthy.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Anon
  70. epebble says:
    @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    Same with Influenza too. Every year they take a pot shot at the likely strains that may be prevailing next year and make a best guess vaccine. The result being the vaccine is a hit or miss year to year. The good thing is influenza is easy on most people.

  71. epebble says:
    @peterike

    I think a simple delta of this years deaths – last years deaths is the most objective measure one can have on the overall impact (medical, social, economic, psychological, psychiatric …)

  72. Coemgen says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Is it COVID-19 costs that are hurting UW Medicine or this cost: Washington medicine Allocates $180M to move to single EHR?

    COVID-19 isn’t costing them, it’s just not paying for their exorbitant “needs.”

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  73. res says:

    To discuss herd immunity effectively I think it is necessary to understand a few things.

    First, overshoot. I made a fairly long comment based on a paper reference here:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-exactly-is-herd-immunity-supposed-to-work/#comment-3901040

    In short, the herd immunity threshold is not the same as the maximum percentage infected we observe. And overshoot is decreased by both a slower approach to HI and a lower effective R during that phase. But both of those also extend the time to get there.

    Second, effective R is not a constant. It can vary based on local conditions (e.g. population density, subways), individual/group habits (e.g. reserved Finns, expressive Italians), current percentage recovered (fewer susceptible), various countermeasures (both individual and government), seasonality, non-homogeneity of social networks (e.g. most connected individuals infected and recovered first), and non-homogeneity of susceptibility (e.g. most susceptible individuals infected and recovered first).

    So in turn, the herd immunity threshold may vary with time and place. Based on all of those factors I think there is reason to believe HI can be achieved at lower levels than the simple SEIR model predicts.

    Third, more on seasonality since I think it may be important. This comment, the referenced paper, and the surrounding discussion give more background.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-exactly-is-herd-immunity-supposed-to-work/#comment-3897982

    The biggest takeaways I see are (assuming there is significant seasonality for COVID-19):
    – A second wave during the next flu season is a significant risk.
    – It would probably be more difficult, but safer, to try to achieve HI during summer rather than winter.

    Fourth, more on non-homogeneity since I think it is important. This comment, the referenced paper, and the surrounding discussion give more background.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-exactly-is-herd-immunity-supposed-to-work/#comment-3899765

    The biggest takeaways I see are:
    – There are two types of non-homogeneity being discussed. Social network connectivity and individual susceptibility.
    – Based on the referenced paper both types should decrease the HI threshold. With connectivity having the larger effect.

    I think this excerpt from the linked comment is worthwhile.

    First point is the paper focuses on both individual variation in susceptibility and exposure (connectivity). Based on figure 3 (there is a lot going on in that figure, I recommend spending some time to understand it) we can get some idea of how the herd immunity threshold and total epidemic size (see comment 86 for discussion of how moderate lockdowns may reduce the total epidemic size to be closer to the HI threshold, an important piece of the puzzle) vary with different levels of non-homogeneity.

    That figure assumes an R0 of 3 (raw HI of 67%) and presents susceptibility estimates which imply a resulting HI threshold of around 20% with total epidemic size of less than 40%.

    Here is a summary of my take on herd immunity as a tactic. More in the source comment and the associated discussion.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-exactly-is-herd-immunity-supposed-to-work/#comment-3903407

    This is why I keep talking about assumptions. My belief is that we are reaching herd immunity one way or another. I see roughly four options.

    1. A vaccine.
    2. A controlled effort to get to HI.
    3. An uncontrolled run to HI. Either intentional or not. Say if a second wave spins out of control during the next flu season.
    4. Interminable lockdowns (perhaps intermittent) which eventually end up at HI anyway. In a sense this is a subset of 2, but matches what I think our politicians are planning now (and your scenario quoted below) well enough that I think it deserves its own category.

    Do you disagree with this? If so, please elaborate. Then we can talk about the respective deaths and hardship resulting from the different scenarios.

    Other important assumptions include:

    – How possible is it to protect the vulnerable? For example, how much of the fatality count in NY and PA was caused by the boneheaded decision to send COVID-19 cases into nursing homes?

    – What percentage of recovered COVID-19 cases can be reinfected and in what timeframe?

    – What is the effect of seasonality on COVID-19? Both in terms of Re (effective) and fatality rate. Are summer cases milder?

    – What will the true HI threshold end up being? And can we decrease that by preferentially infecting high connectivity low risk individuals?

    – How much of an issue is overshooting HI? Minimizing overshoot would be one benefit of a slow approach to HI.

    • Agree: leterip
    • Thanks: qwop
  74. Mike1 says:

    Sweden, pop. 10 million. Cases: 30,799 Deaths: 3,743
    Cases which had an outcome: 43% Death Rate

    New Zealand, pop. 5 million. Cases: 1,503 Deaths: 21
    Cases which had an outcome: 1.4% Death Rate

    NZ: Five days since confirmed or probable case. Zero community transmission (every case that exists is within a known cluster).

    Sweden: Current uncontrolled community transmission. Deaths farcically collapse every Sunday in their data series.

    This is a perfect experiment: Let-er-rip vs Elimination.

    Herd immunity may end up being real for Covid-19. Lets hope so. But any claim we know that now is nonsense. Despite NZ’s advantages in beating the disease they have conclusively proven it is possible. Not sure why taking a 100% economic hit for 49 days (time to get the disease eliminated in NZ) is not preferable to a slow moving economic depression which is the herd immunity argument.

    NZ’s main problem is going to be that the rest of the world is diseased so they can’t reopen to tourists. But the US also has a vast tourist industry and every second person seems to rent out their house on Airbnb now to pay the mortgage.

    Cases which had an outcome in the US is at 20% which is horrifying. Personally I don’t care about the stupid argument that we are not catching all the cases so this number is inflated. We don’t catch all the flu cases either and we come up with Case Fatality Rates. Stats are made on known numbers not feelings.

    • Agree: utu
  75. Hail says: • Website
    @Mr McKenna

    Interesting point from Kip Hansen:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/05/18/the-covid-lockdown-and-u-s-stock-markets/

    The stock-market fall-off has pushed the numbers there back two years at most, at least as of today. Sometimes the act of simply pulling up a few-year-window can be very powerful.

    The same applies to Corona itself, of course.

    With the epidemic in Sweden on its way towards ending, I compared what is likely to be Sweden’s full-year-2020 excess mortality with that of previous peak-flu years back since the early 20th century. (“Stay-Open Sweden set to lose 0.02% of total population to Coronavirus, in line with usual peak flu years.”)

    TLDR: Corona, even in the now-worst-case final outcome as Sweden’s epidemic winds down and the Deaths curve pushes lower, will not be close to the worst flu-spike within the lifetime of the average adult Swede alive today. We can find evidence that at least several several observed flus in recent living memory were several times worse; the effect would be even less still if not for the relatively high numbers of Muslims and Africans who died.

    Super-Slim, five-word TLDR: Just the Flu vindicated again.

    • Replies: @utu
  76. Hail says: • Website
    @Thoughts

    We are in a bull market until 2033

    Why 2033?

  77. @Coemgen

    Well I can’t argue with you there. The thing is, as a practical person (LOL) I look at things from the perspective of: What do we have to work with?

    That means just because you have a stupid car, you don’t wreck it until you have something better. You need your car.

    We need our medical system, bloated as it is. Corona Panic is chipping away at it, as it is chipping at everything else.

    You couldn’t design a better way to destroy the United States and eliminate Liberty — if you planned it.

    Yes, Coemgen, there are very many stupid expenses added to our medical system, as well as many other systems. This is a problem. Somebody should fix it sometime.

  78. Anon[200] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t get how and when we’re supposed to open up. Supposedly they’re waiting for no new infections in a community for 2 weeks before opening that community, but what if someone from outside the community enters which they inevitably will, esp. to take advantage of the opened restaurants/shops that are still closed in their own communities? Wouldn’t that just restart the infection all over again?

    Now that we know >65% of cases in the country are linked to travelers from NYC, Trump should’ve made good on his threat to quarantine the tri-state area in March. Rhode Island turned back drivers from NYC in March, which explains why RI only has 12k+ cases and 506 deaths, out of population of 1 million, i.e. 1.2% confirmed infection rate.

    • Replies: @res
  79. @Buzz Mohawk

    Buzz, that’s a ridiculous and exceedingly crappy graph that logarithmically suppresses precisely the info that you want to see–especially want to see when comparing approaches. And even so Sweden looks to be one of the worse.

    Just look at the actual data, not torque it around to make a bogus a point:
    https://coronavirusgraphs.com/?c=dd10&y=linear&t=line&f=0&ct=&co=1,2,3,22,67,68,82,89,107,116,163,172,215,221,222

    Sweden was a week later getting hit, and is underperforming, more similar to the bigger countries hit earlier and does not seem to be rolling their curve over. I don’t know enough about the economic comparisons but i haven’t heard they’ve Sweden’s in any better shape than their neighbors–that they’ve gotten any big payoff.

    Note: i don’t think this is necessarily a big deal.

    Basically Sweden has front loaded their deaths. *If* there is no vaccine, then this may pay off for them at least a tiny bit next winter, and in the next several flu seasons to come. But if there is a vaccine Sweden is going to look like the great Scandinavian dumbass.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Lars Porsena
  80. edgar says:

    What does “herd immunity” really mean? As far as I can tell it doesn’t have anything to do with any person’s particular defense factors, as the word “immunity” seems to imply. Technically the phrase actually seems to mean that there is a reduction in the number of potential threats faced by those without antibodies, not that someone without antibodies is risk free. Back when he was still actively blogging, Arnold Kling used the “Avalon Hill game” analogy to encourage thinking about the virus in terms of offensive and defensive factors. From this perspective, we can think of “herd immunity” as a reduction in attack values. For people with low defense scores, however, the calculation may rationally lead to continuing lockdown at the personal level. In more typical pandemics, defense and offense are more homogenous across the population and thus it makes sense for the government’s sphere of influence to make public policy. With the highly heterogeneous offense and defense situations with this virus in the population, it no longer makes sense to have the government’s sphere of influence extend to these largely personal calculations. Reopening, therefore, should probably afford individuals the ability to opt out and not coerce individuals into having to enter high risk environments. For example, departments of motor vehicles should offer alternatives to having to go and sit in there for hours waiting. Similarly, schools could preserve online options. People seem to have demonstrated their ability to make these calculations well despite the dearth of reliable information in the media and the minimal expertise of the experts. As you have pointed out, people will self isolate on their own initiative regardless of government pronouncements, but to do so after reopening, they must be allowed the option.

    • Replies: @vhrm
  81. @anon

    He will be fine and he knows it. His doctor knows it. I know it. Sorry I can’t show my work. That medication is practically harmless, and everybody knows it.

    • Agree: Ben tillman
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  82. @AnotherDad

    I don’t know enough about the economic comparisons but i haven’t heard they’ve Sweden’s in any better shape than their neighbors–that they’ve gotten any big payoff

    As Sailer has mentioned on his blog, to further support his position, Sweden (and anyplace else for that matter) still suffers from the panic that is promoted by media. People are avoiding certain activities and businesses precisely because they have been propagandized into fear. (Whether or not this propaganda effort has been deliberate or just the usual stupidity we always write about here is irrelevant.) So, of course Sweden has suffered many of the same economic consequences.

    Notice how much Big Tech squashes dissenting opinions, ensuring that the fear reaches even into places like Sweden.

    But if there is a vaccine Sweden is going to look like the great Scandinavian dumbass.

    The vaccine is a Big Pharma + Big Government Industrial Complex tool. They have even you waiting for it. Think of the $Billions!

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  83. Anon[200] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Trump needs to call for massive increase of production of hydroxychloroquine and masks, now, before schools reopen in August. They are once again losing valuable time in a crucial time frame, like missing out on mass 3M mask manufacturing back in Jan/Feb.

    Trump can’t decide whether to take this seriously with so many of his gun-toting base screaming about lockdown tyranny and media hoax. But this thing is no joke. Just ask the Italians, Spaniards, or Boris Johnson, first lady of Canada, or anyone who’s recovered from it. It’s totally stupid to not take this seriously and massively boost production of at least surgical masks for everyone now. which are still in massive short supply. If China can make enough masks for 1.3 billion people to change daily, why can’t we make enough for 320 million?

  84. Irony of ironies. Life is not like it is supposed to be.

    https://covidgraph.com/

    Click the checkbox for Sweden just below the table, in “Select the countries for all the graphs” so it shows up in the graph. Good comparisons: Italy, Spain, Germany, practically anyone.

    Then scroll down to “Daily new cases and deaths per Million”. Select either cases or deaths as you prefer. Select either 3-day average or not as you prefer.

    Observe the irony:

    From March 10th to about April 17th, all the other countries spread faster and peaked higher per capita than Sweden.

    Since April 17th all these other fast-spreading locked down countries have dived below Sweden which has been puttering along pretty flat and consistently.

    IMO, given the way we are currently calculating the likely infected rates of society, this ‘herd immunity’ number is going to be way way lower than we think it is because we are under-counting cases.

  85. @AnotherDad

    Sweden has totally failed to front load their deaths.

    That being said, they aren’t doing any worse than anyone else, they are solid middle of the pack.

  86. @Adrian E.

    We can discuss Swedish immigration policies. I am not convinced by them, but it is hardly a black-and-white matter. But everyone who looks at the concrete facts should agree that the Swedish reaction to COVID-19 has been a total disaster.

    Fail.

    Sweden’s immigration policy is the issue that to any intelligent rational person is a “total disaster”.

    They are letting foreigners come in and replace Swedes in the territory that is their birthright–that belongs to them and should belong to their children, their children’s children, their children’s children’s children … on down through the generations. That alone is inarguably a disaster–if you are a Swede.

    Worse, they are inviting in hordes who are from low IQ, low conscientiousness, low cooperation races; from low trust societies and from a *different civilization* that has been the historic enemy of the West for 1400 years and remains hostile to it.

    It is indeed a “total disaster” for Sweden and Swedes which is the only metric by which Swedish immigration should be judged. If you don’t think that is “black and white”, you’re simply a nimrod. It is not the least bit arguable.

    ~~

    In contrast, their WuFlu policy … ho-hum.

    It looks like a mess to me. They’ve killed a bunch more people than their Scandi neighbors or comparable European mid-sized nations. (Say the Czech Republic which masked up right away.) And it’s not clear that that bought much in terms of their economy.

    On the flip side, they’ve probably got more people already infected/antibodied and will do a bit better next winter and in the coming flu seasons … *if* there’s no vaccine.

    If there is a vaccine, then the Swedes will probably look like bozos.

    But the one thing that’s certain: A decade out these WuFlu choices will have been of virtually no consequence to Sweden–just noise receding into history. While their immigration policy will continue to make Sweden a shittier place and degrade and destroy the future of actual Swedes.

    • Agree: Meretricious
  87. @Lars Porsena

    Countries which did not peak faster and dive below the spread of Sweden: US, UK. Both are doing the same thing as Sweden, puttering along flat. Although both are doing it higher than Sweden is.

    LOL

    Meanwhile, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands are started with higher rates and crossed.

  88. @Steve Sailer

    It is just a hypothesis at this point. If it was the case, we would be in rather the same position as we are with seasonal influenzas with health care workers and Medicare recipients strongly incentivized to get vaccinated (assuming that there is ever a vaccine.)

    No vaccine and no immunity? Space and time travelers arriving on Planet Earth five thousand years hence will marvel at the advanced and stable civilization built by horses and be puzzled by hominid-type fossils that were common over a few thousand years with colonies all over the planet until they apparently died out over the course of a few hundred years and became extinct.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  89. @Mr McKenna

    Anyone here with the nads to declare that they’ve bought back into the market yet?

    Didn’t get out and ergo haven’t bought in. (Admit i should have been more proactive.)

    I’m in this for the long term. I should have a lot of years left. I’m not planning on dying from the WuFlu. It would be just too damn painful to watch the glee of the “die boomer” folks here. (In the unlikely event i was granted an angelic perch to watch it from.)

    And my intent is to leave as much as i can to my kids, for their kids … Do the best i can to make up for the reduced economic opportunities and higher housing prices and overall shittier nation they are stuck with because of the “nation of immigrants” and “diversity is our strength” polices of our “global cosmopolitan” overlords.

    • Agree: Meretricious
  90. @Buzz Mohawk

    He will be fine and he knows it. His doctor knows it. I know it.

    He will be fine until he is not fine.

    One of the possible side effects is mental health changes, such as violent mood swings and hallucinations or delusions. It would be very hard to tell, in Trump’s case, if he had gone insane, due to lack of a proper sanity baseline.

  91. epebble says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is 6th worst in the world (behind only Belgium, Spain, Italy, U.K. and France). Even Ireland and USA are doing better.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Lars Porsena
  92. ic1000 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The best recent paper on coronavirus-caused colds was linked to by commenter res, a few days ago. It’s a summary of a long-running flu survey in Michigan that was rushed into print because of the relevance of the topic to Covid-19. It’s available at https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa161 and quite readable.

    Coronavirus Occurrence and Transmission Over 8 Years in the HIVE Cohort of Households in Michigan
    by AS Monto et al., The Journal of Infectious Diseases, published 4 April 2020.

    Background: As part of the Household Influenza Vaccine Evaluation (HIVE) study, acute respiratory infections (ARI) have been identified in children and adults from 2010 to 2018.

    Methods: Annually, 890 to 1441 individuals were followed and contacted weekly to report ARIs. Specimens collected during illness were tested for human coronaviruses (HCoV) types OC43, 229E, HKU1, and NL63.

    Results: In total, 993 HCoV infections were identified during the 8 years, with OC43 most commonly seen and 229E the least. HCoVs were detected in a limited time period, between December and April/May and peaked in January/February. Highest infection frequency was in children <5 years (18 per 100 person-years), with little variation in older age groups (range, 7 to 11 per 100 person-years). Overall, 9% of adult cases and 20% of cases in children were associated with medical consultation. Of the 993 infections, 260 were acquired from an infected household contact. The serial interval between index and household-acquired cases ranged from 3.2 to 3.6 days and the secondary infection risk ranged from 7.2% to 12.6% by type.

    Conclusions: Coronaviruses are sharply seasonal. They appear, based on serial interval and secondary infection risk, to have similar transmission potential to influenza A(H3N2) in the same population.

    • Thanks: res
    • Replies: @peterike
  93. @Buzz Mohawk

    The vaccine is a Big Pharma + Big Government Industrial Complex tool. They have even you waiting for it. Think of the $Billions!

    Don’t care.

    There’s a fair bit of modern medicine–especially some pharma–that is dubious/marginal.

    But vaccines are flat out one of the great wins for mankind–from cowpoxed milkmaids on. You’re an old guy Buzz, you remember. There was this one kid in my class who wore braces. He’d somehow picked up the polio virus, before his parents had gotten him in for the new vaccine. (Probably one of the last few thousand in the us to be hit.) Crappy way to go through life.

    I’d gladly pay several hundred just not to go through a really bad flu–life’s too short–never mind dying. And Uncle Sammy is going to pay for all this. Trillions are getting tossed around during this deal. Someone making a few bucks on a vaccine–big deal. At least we’re getting something useful out of it.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @res
    , @Anonymous
  94. @Jonathan Mason

    BS. I have never heard that except from you. If you read the side effects on any medicine, you can find virtually everything. If you take it literally, you won’t take the medicine at all. BS. Pure, lawyer boilerplate BS.

    People take hydroxychloroquine all the time as a precaution when they travel to places that still have malaria. Zinc is a dietary suppliment and essential nutrient. Azithromycin is an antibiotic. If you know of any effects from combining them, let us know.

    • Agree: Bernard
  95. @Anonymous

    Like General George Casey once said, it would be tragic if diversity became a casualty of this incident. Because diversity is the greatest strength of Fort Hood, the US Army, America and now Sweden.

  96. res says:
    @Anon

    Now that we know >65% of cases in the country are linked to travelers from NYC

    That needs a reference. Here is the NYT:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/us/new-york-city-coronavirus-outbreak.html

    Over all, Dr. Grubaugh estimated, infections spreading from New York account for 60 to 65 percent of the sequenced viruses across the country.

    Other scientists said that they would like to see more samples before calculating precise figures. But they agreed that New York’s prominence in seeding the national spread appears to have begun in early March, two weeks before stay-at-home orders were put in place.

    One might ponder the political response to Trump sending up a trial balloon of quarantining New York in late March. But it was probably too late then anyway.

    P.S. One of the comments at the NYT. Trolling or not?

    Raechel
    AustraliaMay 7
    Times Pick

    I’m concerned how this article might play out for Governor Cuomo and Mayor di Blasio.

    This could be the first science based information Donald Trump latches onto.

    For all the wrong reasons of course.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  97. Anonymous[374] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    No vaccine and no immunity? Space and time travelers arriving on Planet Earth five thousand years hence will marvel at the advanced and stable civilization built by horses and be puzzled by hominid-type fossils that were common over a few thousand years with colonies all over the planet until they apparently died out over the course of a few hundred years and became extinct.

    What would cause hominids to go extinct?

  98. @AnotherDad

    I’d gladly pay several hundred just not to go through a really bad flu…

    Me too. I agree with you there, Dad.

    FWIW I haven’t had “the flu” in as long as I can remember (except of course 1968 — Hong Kong Flu. I remember that.) I have never had a flu shot. I have had many bad winter “colds.” Maybe those were flus and I just didn’t know. I used to get sinus infections in the winter until a smart Ear, Nose, Throat surgeon fixed my deviated septum. Nothing since, thanks to proper drainage.

    BTW the graphs on my link are logarithmic for a reason, and they are good. Scroll around and read a little.

    Thanks for the discussion. It is okay.

  99. Anonymous[374] • Disclaimer says:
    @res

    P.S. One of the comments at the NYT. Trolling or not?

    Not. Have we seen any grounds in recent years to think that these people’s “moral” reasoning and political positions are anything other than outcome-determined?

    • Agree: ben tillman
  100. res says:
    @AnotherDad

    I’d gladly pay several hundred just not to go through a really bad flu–life’s too short–never mind dying.

    So would I. But that is not the actual choice being made. That is more along the lines of paying X dollars for a Y% chance of avoiding a really bad flu (Y probably small for those in good health and unlikely to get a bad case) and a Z% chance of a side effect significant enough to be bothersome (Z probably even smaller than Y).

    So say my Y is 5% (I think that is high) and X is $300 (your “several hundred”) and Z is 0 (again, conservative). That means probabilistically I am paying $6000 to avoid one bad case of the flu. Not sure I’d go for that.

    P.S. If you are interested in this sort of reasoning (and it is highly relevant to this conversation) look into the “number needed to treat” (aka NNT).
    https://www.thennt.com/thennt-explained/

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  101. @epebble

    6th worst

    Woo!

    Let’s have some perspective. How much different is it? At what cost have those slightly better made their “achievement?”

    It is essentially no different. You are splitting hairs to support your point. The cost is terrible. That is the thing that keeps getting left out. The cost of all this.

    • Replies: @epebble
  102. Anonymous[277] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    Unfortunately this thing has become politicized. I see it in real life from leftish people, with their exaggerated hygiene theater and generally hysterical, selectively judgy demeanors. It’s obvious that this thing has for many become a form of virtue signaling. I half-wish that Trump would go on TV and start talking about the need for strict quarantining, mandatory police-enforced public masking and other draconian measures because it would make all these people abruptly reverse course and go back to telling us how quarantines and masks don’t work. People would die as a result but at least we’d be spared all the bourgeois self righteousness.

    Unfortunately there’s a right-wing version of this to: Covid isn’t a big deal, any attempt to contain or combat it is pointless, vaccines are evil etc. If the left is worried about this, then they’re not. I don’t know what their threshold to care is, but apparently 100k dead in ~2 months doesn’t fit the bill.

    Clearly there’s a way to beat this thing: South Korea has given the world a blueprint, which both the left and the right in America have chosen to utterly ignore. We are a country in decline. Politicization will destroy us.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  103. @epebble

    In deaths per cases, they are twice as bad as the US.

    In deaths per capita, they are about 25% worse than the US.

    In cases per capita, the US is doing about twice as bad as Sweden.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  104. @Lars Porsena

    We’re also undercounting deaths. Sweden’s official COVID-19 deaths, for example, represent only about 70% of its excess deaths this year.

    Sweden is not testing. Look at the number of tests performed by each of Sweden’s Nordic neighbors and then look at Sweden’s test number.

    Sweden – 209,900 (population of 10.23 million)

    Denmark – 475,096 (5.81 million)

    Finland – 153,300 (5.52 million)

    Norway – 219,984 (5.37 million)

    The difference is remarkable, especially given that Sweden has chosen to let the virus rip through its country and the other three countries have not. That’s one reason no one should take seriously Sweden’s COVID-19 deaths. They are greatly underestimating their number of coronavirus cases *and* deaths.

  105. epebble says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    The deaths rates seem higher than neighbors and economic gains not more than neighbors. All in all, not a whole lot of gain/loss either way. Nothing wrong with that, but holding up Sweden as some sort of Gold Standard is meaningless. The real Gold Standard, if one wants, is Taiwan with 7 deaths and even more impressive, given its developing nation status, is Vietnam: 324 cases, 0 deaths!

    https://www.cfr.org/blog/vietnams-successful-battle-against-covid-19

    https://www.thenation.com/article/world/coronavirus-vietnam-quarantine-mobilization/

  106. @Steve Sailer

    The rate of infection spread is (approximately) logistic, which is approximately exponential when we are far from the asymptotic limit. Exponential curves have doubling times; logistic curves do not. Otherwise: what’s the doubling time when 51% are infected?

    • Replies: @utu
  107. George says:

    Herd immunity is probably impossible under a lock down situation. Being a conspiracy theorist, avoiding herd immunity to make vaccination necessary may have been the objective all along.

    • Agree: idrankwhat
  108. @Pincher Martin

    You are right that Sweden is doing crap testing compared to many other OECD nations.

    Compare Sweden to Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, the US, and France. I’m sick of nordic cherries. I don’t even have data on goddamn Finland. I can’t get it graphed. Geography is irrelevant. To hell with Denmark, Finland and Norway, I deny their existence. Norway is a hoax. It is a fabrication of Russian propaganda.

    Sweden has, according to it’s own statistics, not been good about letting the virus rip. They have had a slower and longer spread of virus than Spain or Italy had (or Germany or many others).

    Just look at deaths per capita spread. It does not matter if they are all 20% low, look at the curve (or lack of curve). Much slower pandemic in Sweden than in Spain prior to April 15th.

    Post April 15th, the pandemic has just about ended in Spain, but it still going at about the same speed it was before in Sweden.

    Now let’s address “such and such country is faking the numbers”. All the countries that disagree with my preconceived notions are faking the numbers. All fake. The US is faking the numbers for insurance reimbursement money. Rather than tossing any out, let’s expand the data set and look at more countries, and if countries are faking numbers that might show up that they are outliers compared to other countries. Otherwise, fuck it, I am using the numbers, even for China.

    By the way, testing in Spain is arguably even crappier than Sweden. According to the data I’m looking at, Spain didn’t even start testing until Apr 13th.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  109. vhrm says:
    @edgar

    Herd immunity threshold (HIT) is the level of immunity in the population that causes R for some disease to be < 1 with society operating normally.

    if you introduce an infected case in a population with immunity above the HIT it will die out instead of becoming an epidemic. Each such introduction still has a chance of causing secondary(and tertiary ) etc infections, but not enough to cause an outbreak.

    But since R_0, how much the disease spreads when nobody's immune, varies with things like density, culture, public transit, etc HIT required to prevent spread also varies from place to place. i.e HIT in NYC is higher than HIT in Austin.

    Anyplace where the new daily infections is lower than what it was around 5 days ago has an R < 1 so they are by definition above the "momentary HIT" (not a term I've seen used) in that area with those interventions in place.

    If society is reopened while there are still some seed cases around but the new cases don't explode then that area has herd immunity.

    This is a reason to believe that Sweden is near herd immunity: their R is low and their interventions are relatively modest.

    (Seasonality throws a wrench into all this so we won't really know until winter)

    • Agree: Polynikes
    • Replies: @res
    , @AnotherDad
  110. peterike says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    One of the possible side effects is mental health changes, such as violent mood swings and hallucinations or delusions. It would be very hard to tell, in Trump’s case, if he had gone insane, due to lack of a proper sanity baseline.

    I love this phony Liberal meme about Trump being “insane” or having “delusions” and so on. When in reality he is entirely level headed and sensible, easily the most common sense President since…. I dunno, Coolidge maybe. Oh, but he gets angry! Given the shit that phonies like you hand him 24×7, given the lies that are told about him constantly, given that he was illegally targeted in a massive spying operation, yeah, maybe he SHOULD get angry now and then.

    It’s really amazing to me that people actually believe the most blatant lies told about Trump, and even giant piles of contradictory evidence will not change their minds one bit.

    • Agree: Coemgen
  111. peterike says:
    @ic1000

    Conclusions: Coronaviruses are sharply seasonal.

    Another study “proving” something that your grandma could have told you.

  112. res says:
    @vhrm

    Thanks. I considered responding to that comment, but was too lazy.

    I like your way of thinking about that. A current R which varies with an assortment of conditions and is accompanied by a corresponding “momentary HIT” (perhaps “implied HIT” instead?). I think a model like that explains the cycling of the seasonal flu quite well.

    I’m trying to think of what could be done with this. For example, how close could a model of current effective R based on some kind of baseline R0 (e.g. R0 for Wuhan in January 2020) along with an assortment of situational modifiers get to predicting the dynamic spread of the virus locally? The real reason to create such a model is not prediction but to evaluate the situation-specific problem and the effect of countermeasures. Not sure how much value this would have compared to the agent based models which seem popular.

    As a hypothetical example, what was the percentage change to effective R caused by the NYC subway operating at March levels compared to a city without a subway? Can we build up a meaningful model based on factors like that?

    The way I see it is the specific factors affecting R are hugely important for deciding on appropriate countermeasures for specific times, places, and goals.

    P.S. One seasonality thought. Australia and New Zealand should offer us some clues in just a few months.

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  113. How High Is the Herd Immunity Level

    Steve, as you, of course, realize that depends directly on the reproduction ratio and ergo on who the people are and how they behave.

    For people/places that are seriously locked down the reproduction number is below 1, therefore they are already at “herd immunity” … but only if they keep behaving as they do.

    For say a people who are out and about and greet strangers with a long lingering French kiss, the reproduction number is going to be through the roof, and herd immunity only sets in at near 100% infected.

    For typical American suburbia, i’d guess that “normal life” reproduction number for the WuFlu is somewhere around 2-3 so you probably need to get to about 60% infected. But that’s just a flyer.

    ~~

    The main take home from these numbers doesn’t depend on having this nailed down.

    The main point from these numbers is this:

    We did *not* get the curves to roll over by getting anywhere near “herd immunity” for normal life.

    The curves have rolled over, entirely because people “changed their behavior” and drove the virus reproduction ratio below 1.

  114. @res

    What are agent based models? Models that just guess at R0 and then try to model how many will get it based on spread?

    For example, how close could a model of current effective R based on some kind of baseline R0 (e.g. R0 for Wuhan in January 2020) along with an assortment of situational modifiers get to predicting the dynamic spread of the virus locally? The real reason to create such a model is not prediction but to evaluate the situation-specific problem and the effect of countermeasures.

    This is the right way to build a model and use it.

    • Replies: @res
  115. @Pincher Martin

    They are greatly underestimating their number of coronavirus cases *and* deaths.

    Sweden is testing at a rate of 50% vs its neighbors. That only means they see no reason to test every dog and pony, not that they are underestimating anything. Where are the mass graves ? Stop with your fear-mongering.

    But here are some news that will warm your hear – one of the largest cities in Sweden is suspending its mass transit. Source: https://www.thelocal.se/20200519/gothenburg-trams-to-grind-to-a-halt-over-coronavirus-concerns Reason given: the unions want more protection for the drivers. Actual reason: they do not want to work while some WFH no-job parasites are still making more money than they do. The same reason the meat plant workers do not want to work, why should be making peanuts for doing actual hard work when all these WFH snowflakes keep getting richer ?

    My personal experience with WFH: people are becoming really lazy and starting to make a lot more mistakes than they usually do. And they do not really care. This will be yet another new class divide. WFH jobs are for the most parts completely unnecessary but they pay more than the actual hard work. Will be interesting how this will play out.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  116. I assume that “herd immunity” implies that “x” percent of people have developed antibodies. If so, that seems to present something of a conundrum in that in order to achieve immunity one would have to have survived an infection. But isn’t AVOIDANCE of infection the point of the mask, hand washing and safe distancing? This strikes me as cognitive dissonance.

    Bottom line: the only way out of this mess is a vaccine. The Moderna people may be on to something. Or maybe not.

  117. @vhrm

    Anyplace where the new daily infections is lower than what it was around 5 days ago has an R < 1 so they are by definition above the "momentary HIT" (not a term I've seen used) in that area with those interventions in place.

    This is what i’ve been pointing out.

    Seeing the curve roll over just means you have reproduction number < 1–with the behavior you have right now. That doesn’t translate to “herd immunity” for normal behavior.

    But

    If society is reopened while there are still some seed cases around but the new cases don’t explode then that area has herd immunity.

    This is a reason to believe that Sweden is near herd immunity: their R is low and their interventions are relatively modest.

    … don’t agree with either of these–unless you mean them tautologically.

    The behavior change is much more than “the lockdown”. It’s how people are behaving–the activities they do, the socializing they do, the personal behavior–hugging, kissing, wear masks, washing hands, etc. etc.

    “Reopening” doesn’t mean people jump back to their old ways. So the non-explosion of new cases just means the obvious–with the altered behavior reproduction is still below 1. (The immune have almost nothing to do with it, their numbers are tiny.) It’s still your “momentary HIT”.

    And Sweden is nowhere near herd immunity for normal life. The Swedes have radically changed their behavior, they just haven’t had the formal lockdowns. Unless they are geniuses and know how to treat this much, much, much better than anyone else, they simply haven’t had anywhere near enough cases–judged by deaths–to be close to herd immunity for normal life. (Maybe they’ve had 10% infected–maybe–while they need to get to 50%-70%.)

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    , @vhrm
  118. Coemgen says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    One of the possible side effects is mental health changes, such as violent mood swings and hallucinations or delusions.

    I can’t tell from the context: Are you trying to be ironic or are you trying to say that Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is an extremely dangerous drug?

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  119. @AnotherDad

    Except it’s not at all clear you need 50-70%. This is a corona virus, for all we know 25% are immune.

    According to Apple mobility data, the Swedes barely decreased moving around and they are way ahead of everyone else in returning to normal.

    That being said, I agree with you that Sweden is not done. The trend hasn’t gone down at all yet. The curve is not rolling they are flat.

    Very strange. Maybe they are just too socially distant by nature. Not socially distant enough to crush it, at the moment, but not open enough to let it rip either.

  120. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    #8 in the world, but behind 4 larger European countries (UK, Italy, Spain, France) . 371 deaths/1M people. It’s nothing to be proud of. #8 in the world is not “right in the middle of the pack”.

    Sweden does have measures in place to reduce transmission, which will sap the economy some, however at this rate it will last a very long time. Better to try to wipe it out IMO, and do so intelligently rather than through lockdowns.

  121. @res

    res, i don’t have any problem with that sort of “expected value” reasoning.

    I think my take on what the probabilities are just different than yours.

    I’m a late boomer–not too much older than Steve. I’m 10 lbs overweight–not an ugly ball of blubber like BoJo. Zero “co-morbidities”. But i’m still 60+.

    My swag:
    — truly asymptomatic — 5%
    — hey something’s off — 15%
    — regular cold flu — 20%
    — bad flu — 30%
    — ass kicking, beats me down, breathing issues, drained for a few weeks — 25%
    — need medical care, perhaps hospital — 4%
    — dead — 0 .5%-1%

    SWAG. Could be way off. Could be the real easy route is twice what i’ve written down and the nasty stuff half what i wrote.

    But still you’re talking about skipping a 10% chance of one of the shittiest months–or a tiny chance of the shittiest month–of my life for a few hundred bucks? Deal!

    No to me the real issue with the vaccine is just safety. Can’t be something where it works but there’s a 1% chance of an immune reaction that sets you up for a cytokine storm when you get the virus or some nasty stuff like that. If that’s the case, it won’t be a “for the general public” kind of thing.

    • Replies: @res
  122. utu says:
    @Hail

    “With the epidemic in Sweden on its way towards ending…” – No, the epidemic in Sweden is going pretty strong.

    Sweden tops Europe COVID-19 deaths per capita over last seven days
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-sweden-casualties-idUSKBN22V26A

    “While deaths are on the decline Sweden had 6.25 deaths per million inhabitants per day in a rolling seven day average between May 12 and May 19, according to Ourworldinsata.org. That was the highest in Europe and just above the United Kingdom, which had 5.75 deaths per million.”

    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
  123. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @JosephB

    I don’t think I have pushed lockdowns here. I have suggested that transmission should be lowered and elimination is a worthy goal. In Taiwan they kept their schools open but everyone wears a mask in public, and there is temperature testing everywhere you go. Economic consequences of those measures? Negligible.

    What is seen with flu is that prevalence of flu is at historical lows from what I have seen – and that spreads similarly. What we are doing is working, so the plateauing we see is not from herd immunity alone, if at all.

    I don’t know any lawyer who would say “Well, we won’t put this protective clause in the contract here, because the other party seems like such a swell guy!”, or any accountant who would say “Well, look at this year back in 2017, you had great cashflow there, go and greenfield this site because you could have a record year again and if that happens, you won’t need to worry about liquidity or solvency.” And I don’t know any engineers who would say “Well, according to the calculations the red line should be at 5000 rpm, but I’ve got a really good feeling about this so why not set it at 6000rpm and hope it all goes well!”

    And that’s what I’m seeing with the proponents of “Let ‘er rip”. Or even those who say “Let’s follow Sweden”. Not only do they not look at what is actually in place regarding measures, their math, when they do any at all, is done by assuming a lot of stuff that is helpful to their case.

  124. Dennis Dale says: • Website
    @Buzz Mohawk

    We on the right are heavily invested in hating Sweden and are anti-lockdown–the whole thing is less and less about the health crisis and a fight over what’s left after the apocalypse (phony or not).
    We’re in the two-buttons-meme-state.

    A new virus emerges. Severe Acute Swede-bashing, SAS-2020. Symptoms include hyperventilating, sweating and Tourette’s-like outbursts about “rape gangs” and “socialism”. Xers and Millennials most at risk.
    Social distancing is advised here, too.

  125. Dennis Dale says: • Website

    A dumb question I haven’t seen asked: don’t all these disappointing antibody results indicate the thing is nowhere near as contagious as they originally thought? I’m sure this is being accounted for if true, but I have seen no one talking about it.

    • Replies: @utu
  126. Dennis Dale says: • Website
    @utu

    Sweden’s death rate has been higher throughout. That doesn’t mean the epidemic might not be “on its way towards ending”–as you quote yourself above, that higher rate is “on the decline”.

    Sweden is arguing they’ll have fewer deaths long-haul with their strategy. Who knows if they’re right or wrong. But we should pay attention without bias.

    I suggest we watch them with the keen interest of someone compiling all the information he can in the face of a crisis.

    Not with the emotion of a sports fan who just hates that one team…

    • Replies: @utu
  127. res says:
    @AnotherDad

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. Right, that set of probabilities changes the tradeoff substantially. I suspect you are overestimating your risk with a good chance I am underestimating mine (assuming what I had in March was something different), but we are the ones who get to judge for ourselves.

    You are right that the safety issue is a big one. Especially since we are unlikely to know in advance.

  128. utu says:
    @Dennis Dale

    “Not with the emotion of a sports fan who just hates that one team…” – Tell it to the fans of the Team Sweden. They should look at New Zealand or Taiwan.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-high-is-herd-immunity-level/#comment-3905396

  129. utu says:
    @Dennis Dale

    “A dumb question I haven’t seen asked: don’t all these disappointing antibody results indicate the thing is nowhere near as contagious as they originally thought? “ – Why disappointing? Do you want more people to die? Apart from the false positive and false negative issue and how random was the sampling the tests show that social distancing and other countermeasures are effective. They also show that Sweden practices more countermeasures than people want to believe. Nobody goes to movie theaters.

    In Sweden 20%-25% of population lives in single-person households comparing to 5% in Italy and 3% in Spain. 40% of seniors live in one person senior household.
    https://www.oecd.org/els/family/HM1-4-Living-arrangements-age-groups.pdf

    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
  130. @Lars Porsena

    Just look at deaths per capita spread. It does not matter if they are all 20% low, look at the curve (or lack of curve). Much slower pandemic in Sweden than in Spain prior to April 15th.

    But how much of this is due to factors unique to Sweden?

    Before the virus hit Europe, Sweden led the E.U. in the percentage of its labor force that worked from home.

    Sweden has the highest percentage of one-person families. (Compare that to the multi-generational families living under the same roof in Spain and Italy.)

    Sweden is the least decently-populated of any European country in the top ten hit by COVID-19. It has the same approximate density as Minnesota. Even Stockholm, which is of medium density for a European city, is less densely-populated than Milan, Barcelona, Cadiz, Bilbao, Brussels, and Copenhagen. In fact, Stockholm is less dense than eight Spanish cities.

    All of these factors aid in slower transmission of the virus. When you consider them, is it really any surprise that Spain and Italy got hit much harder than Sweden? More importantly, even if we were to agree for argument’s sake that Sweden’s approach works for them (I don’t believe this), we still haven’t answered the question of whether their approach is transferable to other countries.

    Now let’s address “such and such country is faking the numbers”.

    I never said the Swedes faked the numbers. I said they undercounted the number of deaths from COVID-19. They are not alone in this. Most countries have dramatically undercounted COVID-19 deaths. But the Swedes’ excess death rate suggests their country is on the high end of that routine problem.

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  131. res says:
    @Lars Porsena

    What are agent based models? Models that just guess at R0 and then try to model how many will get it based on spread?

    They are models which simulate the actions of people as individuals (the “agents”). The Imperial model is of this type. Much detail at:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent-based_model
    Using Wikipedia’s terminology it might be more accurate to say multi-agent simulation.

    I think of the other kind of model as algorithmic or equation-based, but those are not great terms since the ABMs also include algorithms and equations. Anyone have a better term?

    The key distinction I see is the level of abstraction. Looking at different levels of abstraction gives different sets of tradeoffs (e.g. speed vs. accuracy).;

  132. @Black-hole creator

    Sweden is testing at a rate of 50% vs its neighbors. That only means they see no reason to test every dog and pony, not that they are underestimating anything. Where are the mass graves ? Stop with your fear-mongering.

    Look at the excess death rate. That’s the evidence. To be crude about it, Sweden has a lot more ground and a lot fewer people than Italy. The Swedes don’t need to dig mass graves. Their lower rate of transmission than northern Italy due to various environmental factors is also important, of course.

    As to the mass transit strike, I can’t comment on the particulars. But I think ascribing it to laziness is too easy.

  133. @Pincher Martin

    I did not ascribe the strike to “laziness”, on the contrary I attributed it to the class warfare. In a sane world, right now people working at Lowe’s would be making at least twice as much as an average WFH worker.

    The monthly death rate in Sweden is reported to be about on par with a bad flu outbreak. Yeah, it sucks but again, where are the mass graves ?
    https://www.thelocal.se/20200310/timeline-how-the-coronavirus-has-developed-in-sweden

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Pincher Martin
  134. utu says:
    @Alan Mercer

    Exponential curves have doubling times; logistic curves do not. Otherwise: what’s the doubling time when 51% are infected?

    One can always look at doubling time in the new daily infections or new daily deaths data. One can define the instantaneous doubling time DT(t) which changes with time t until the peak is reached and then on the way down one can call it the halving time or negative doubling time. The following equation for new daily case Y(t) can always be written: Y(t)=Y(0)*2^(t/DT(t)) where DT(t) is positive before the peak and negative after the peak. During the exponential growths or decay DT(t)=const.

  135. @Mike1

    The continued lockdowns are horrifying and preventing us from reaching herd immunity. We need to open the schools and allow businesses to re-open. The elderly don’t need to work and can stay home if they want, nobody is forcing them to leave their homes. The hospitals have plenty of empty beds, we flattened the curve , which was the objective of the lockdowns. No attempt was made to eliminate the virus because it was not possible in America, once the first death occurred it was too late, and it was not politically possible to quarantine NY and NJ and shutdown all air travel.

    Of the 3 million New Yorkers infected, only 2% were even hospitalized, (50,000 in New York , out of 3 million infected), less than 1% have died. People under the age of 55 have an extremely low risk of dying from this. Those under the age of 30 are basically immune. We now have further evidence that zinc and HCQ will reduce hospitalizations if people can gain access to it early. Nicotine is another prophylactic we have discovered. To suggest that over 1% will die from this is blatantly false. 20% of New Yorkers have antibodies already. If this the summer is not a good time to open , September will be far worse for the elderly in the coming winter. We should be encouraging people under the age of 30 to get infected , so they will gain immunity before Autumn. This will save lives when winter comes.

    • Replies: @Mike1
  136. Dennis Dale says: • Website
    @utu

    Lower levels of exposure portends a lot more tunnel before we see light.

    I suggest there’s good news in there in that the virus may not be nearly as contagious as their initial speculations warranting all these policies.

    But your data is interesting. Sweden presumably sends a higher percentage of old folks to homes, where we know they’re getting hit hard. Italy has a higher percentage of old folks living at home with youngsters coming and going and potentially infecting them.

    I’d say score one for the southern European household. The Swedes corral more of their oldsters into homes where it just takes one undisciplined Dominican, maybe, to infect the lot. The Italians have more of their oldsters spread out and in the care of loved ones.

    • Replies: @utu
  137. @Pincher Martin

    Sweden hasn’t done all that badly on the health side, but Denmark has done very well. On the economic side, I hear conflicting accounts, although I would imagine Sweden has done better.

    • Replies: @Black-hole creator
  138. MBlanc46 says:
    @Mr McKenna

    I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one among dissenters who doesn’t see much chance of re-election for President Trump. The Dems are not going to blindly wander into an ambush a second time. The economy was the one thing that he had going for him and that has burst like a balloon. Regarding your market question, Mme B has a telephone meeting with her broker tomorrow morning. I might have a report tomorrow evening.

  139. MBlanc46 says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    So you’re the one who’s hogging the sunshine! Around here, we’ve been trying to download ark plans.

  140. @Steve Sailer

    One variable that is not openly discussed is how many of Sweden’s sick are coming from their much larger immigrant community. Some reports were saying that they were getting sick at much higher rates. Interesting that the border between these countries is currently closed, just like the Canadian border is effectively closed for us. Wonder if there will be a pushback at some point. Then again some countries like Israel, Japan, Russia, Australia are turning away absolutely everybody.

    • Replies: @qwop
  141. HA says:
    @Pincher Martin

    “We’re also undercounting deaths. Sweden’s official COVID-19 deaths, for example, represent only about 70% of its excess deaths this year. Sweden is not testing.”

    Also, note that Sweden’s “success” in avoiding the medical system overload that many had predicted is by some reports largely due — in classic socialized-medicine-game fashion — to simply denying hospital admittance to the elderly sick and leaving them to die in their nursing homes — i.e. pretty much the same dirtbag move that Cuomo pulled. That boosts their CFR numbers as well — a win-win.

    Curiously, the main Swedish party that is making a stink of this is also the one trying to restrict their goofy immigration policies.

    But don’t tell that to the loons who want to believe that the Swedish government is the “champion of Western man” and who really do believe that“it’s just the flu” (note that one of the touchier hotheads around here became offended at the mere suggestion that anyone actually believes the latter slogan, outside of some straw-man caricature meant to cast a shadow over people like him). No, these same loons suddenly want us to believe that a cradle-to-grave socialized medical system is exactly the right solution for “Western man”, even while they warn us (with utter lack of self-awareness) that cures and solutions are sometimes worse than the disease. Frying pan, meet fire.

    Trump could do worse than focus on charlatans like Cuomo during his campaign, were it not for all the #coronatruthers in his camp who celebrate Sweden for using the same sleazy tactics.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  142. vhrm says:
    @AnotherDad

    So the non-explosion of new cases just means the obvious–with the altered behavior reproduction is still below 1. (The immune have almost nothing to do with it, their numbers are tiny.) It’s still your “momentary HIT”.

    The network is changed both because of fewer links (the behavior) and because more nodes are immune.

    In places where the attack rate has only been 1% or 2% so far of course it’s only the changed behavior (and maybe the weather/ humidity) that’s changing R.

    However in communities where above say 10% have had it i think both factors are significantly in play.

    I find that heterogeneity of infectiousness of different people model to be pretty persuasive. It’s been mentioned a few times via a WUWT link and @res has expounded on it at some length)

    (I don’t remember if he drew the direct line but it’s just a formalization of what Steve asked a month ago about whether Tom Hanks disease spreads less when you run out of Tom Hankses: and, yes it does.)

    Thus i think HIT could well be in the 20s or 30s which would leave us with a final infected rate in the 30s or 40s

    Unless they are geniuses and know how to treat this much, much, much better than anyone else, they simply haven’t had anywhere near enough cases–judged by deaths–to be close to herd immunity for normal life. (Maybe they’ve had 10% infected–maybe–while they need to get to 50%-70%.)

    In Stockholm their health authority think something like 1/3rd have had it (1).

    I ran out of steam putting together an estimate/argument for the “how do we reach HI “, thread but if you look at fatalities by age in NYC they are large for 65+. small for 44-65 and ignorable for < 44.

    So getting 40% infection rate among the non-vulnerable causes relatively few deaths IF you can protect the vulnerable.

    Or to put it another way, interventions only prevent deaths inasmuch as they protect the vulnerable olds. Preventing infections in the young and middle aged (and even the healthy olds) has little inherent value in terms of reducing mortality.

    Sweden "messed up" initially, as they have admitted, in not adequately protecting care homes just like the rest of us, but it looks like they've got that generally squared away now.

    For the US, 280m people < 65 yo. 0.4 attack rate. 0.05 % IFR_among_this_group (hand waved, but plausible and probably "high")
    = 56k deaths for the US to get to HI with "let er rip for under 65s"

    56k relatively healthy people is still a big number,
    but as has been said before that number, whatever it is, is already baked in unless a vaccine shows up or a new treatment etc.

    (Thus would assume perfect protection for the elderly/known vulnerable… which is unlikely so deaths would still occur in that group also)

    1) https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200501/sweden-sticks-with-controversial-covid19-approach

    • Replies: @res
    , @Travis
  143. dfordoom says: • Website
    @JimB

    Without herd immunity I guess it won’t be safe to let in Chinese tourists, students, and business travelers anymore.

    Actually it’s the other way around. It’s not safe for other countries to let in American tourists, students, and business travelers anymore. China has things under control so Chinese travelers aren’t a threat.

    If the US fails to achieve either herd immunity or elimination then other countries will have to quarantine the US.

    • Replies: @JimB
  144. HA says:
    @Black-hole creator

    “The monthly death rate in Sweden is reported to be about on par with a bad flu outbreak.”

    A claim that, according to your own link, the government was only able to make by comparing April covid death rates (note that Sweden’s first covid death wasn’t until March 11) to January rates for the flu.

    How many other “bad flu” outbreaks are killing the same number of people in April as the existing flu manages to kill during its peak-season?

    And you want to pretend that Sweden isn’t “underestimating anything”? Give me a break.

    • Replies: @Black-hole creator
  145. res says:
    @vhrm

    (I don’t remember if he drew the direct line but it’s just a formalization of what Steve asked a month ago about whether Tom Hanks disease spreads less when you run out of Tom Hankses: and, yes it does.)

    I did not. That is an excellent point. Steve nails another one early. He is good at that.

    For the US, 280m people < 65 yo. 0.4 attack rate. 0.05 % IFR_among_this_group (hand waved, but plausible and probably "high")
    = 56k deaths for the US to get to HI with "let er rip for under 65s"

    56k relatively healthy people is still a big number,
    but as has been said before that number, whatever it is, is already baked in unless a vaccine shows up or a new treatment etc.

    I think you’d probably want to drop the age limit a little more. Perhaps set a limit on the marginal IFR? (marginal IFR defined as IFR for an incremental group added to the leterip group, say a 1 or 5 year age bucket)

    Your approach would probably work even better (lower IFR) if you encouraged higher risk younger people to protect themselves as well. Again, try to judge the marginal (or individual) IFR.

    I like the idea of compensating people taking the risks (e.g. life insurance) but am not sure it is feasible.

    • Replies: @vhrm
  146. utu says:
    @Dennis Dale

    You are seeing in the graph what you want to see. Living alone does not mean living in the old folks homes. Sweden is naturally more self-distanced society than many other countries because Sweden is rich, land is not that expensive and there is lots of space. People can afford living alone. A lot of people have second houses. About 50% of society has an access to a second home. This does not mean that the number people living in nursing homes above some age in Sweden is significantly greater than in other countries.

  147. @HA

    Good post.

    • Thanks: HA
  148. @Pincher Martin

    But how much of this is due to factors unique to Sweden?

    Ostensibly all of it, unless there are seasonal factors.

    When you consider them, is it really any surprise that Spain and Italy got hit much harder than Sweden?

    No.

    But.

    Is there a difference in effectiveness of quarantine to be expected as well as initial susceptibility?

    The US (as a whole) is doing exactly the same on a daily per capita deaths graph as Sweden, a tiny bit lower and maybe a tiny bit more tilted. The UK for the last 3 months is doing the exact same thing as Sweden but shifted forward 6 days. A little less noisy and a bit more noticeably downward (which might be because of the oscillating noise is hiding a definite downward trend for Sweden).

    Looking at Apple’s mobility data (which may be worthless but it looks realistic), people went from normal to minimum travel in all these countries at about the same time. Differing amounts of time later, the deaths began to spike. But the travel has been arcing upward ever sense. So quarantine is working less and less than it was initially, social distancing is observed less as time goes on.

    But after about 2-3 weeks later, the deaths start to steadily fall. As people are increasingly violating close-down measures, pretty much the whole time since the first week, deaths have continued to fall from the peak for everywhere that had/has peaked. Illinois is peaking right now. California hasn’t even and has been flat for a month straight at absurdly low levels. Ohio is opening now because their cases are so low. Indiana was open the whole time and is about the same as Ohio. Not all places really even got a peak.

    Cases of infection are also continuing to fall, even as the number of tests is constantly increasing.

    We know most people don’t sick enough to go to a hospital to get diagnosed or tested. And we have still only tested small parts of the population that can only catch them in a 3 week window or so. It’s been 3 months. How many people have even been tested twice? How many once? About 0.5% once for a lot of countries.

    Italy didn’t get it that bad. Italy got early. As fast as they rocketed ahead and looked really bad, that is how fast they fell back down. They are almost exactly the same. So is Spain.

    Italy is lower overall and about 5-6 days ahead of Spain. But Spain, which peaked higher and later, has fallen further and is below and ahead of Italy now. Spain got it bad (not as bad as New York) and will be worse than Italy over all. But the graphs line up pretty neatly.

    The UK, which looks identical to Sweden but 6 days ahead, now looks almost identical to Italy, but 12-14 days behind Italy.

    On Daily Deaths /Million with a 3-day average, UK, Italy and Sweden all have the same height peak and the same scale and span of decline. Italy did not get it any worse than Sweden, it tracks very closely actually if you put Sweden 25 days behind Italy.

    Now Germany, looks more like Ohio. Or California. It doesn’t really fit. It’s too damn low. Australia, Florida. They don’t fit because they just stayed too low. But places that got hit hard, got hit very similar despite any differences.

    Other countries, slightly higher or lower vertically, are starting to follow the same relative horizontal shape of rise and decline, regardless of how different they are, like none of it mattered all that much to how the virus progresses. New York, 5 days behind Spain or so, hitting a lot higher, also a lot wider and worse overall, has the same basic pattern. A little different.

    Try it: https://covidgraph.com/
    Select the following countries: Sweden, UK, Italy. Get rid of the others.
    Go down to the graph of “Daily new cases and deaths per Million” and click on “DAILY DEATHS /M 3-DAY AVERAGE”. In your mind, move the UK 12 days to the left and Sweden 17 days to the left.

    What difference does it make, the differences between the UK, Italy and Sweden?

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  149. @Black-hole creator

    The monthly death rate in Sweden is reported to be about on par with a bad flu outbreak. Yeah, it sucks but again, where are the mass graves ?

    What is your fascination with mass graves? As far as I know, only China and Italy dug mass graves in response to coronavirus, and I have no idea whether they needed to use them.

    Are there mass graves in Belgium, Spain, and the UK? They’ve all been hit harder by coronavirus than has Sweden.

    • Replies: @Black-hole creator
  150. @HA

    Potato-tomato. Where are the mass graves ? Where are Swedish refugees fleeing the country in droves ? Undercounting, Sweden ? This is one of the most transparent and educated societies in the world. Youtube videos from some attention-seeking crackpots do not convince me.

    • Replies: @HA
  151. Travis says:
    @vhrm

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.15.20067074v3
    In Italy the IFR for those aged 30-39 was around .001%

    Pennsylvania has more COVID deaths over age 100 than under the age of 45.
    More deaths over age 95 than under age 60
    More deaths over 85 than under the age of 80

    \https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/COVID-19%20Death%20Reports/Weekly%20Report%20of%20Deaths%20Attributed%20to%20COVID-19%20–%202020-05-17.pdf

    We are seeing similar fatality statistics in every state. The average coronavirus death age 78, we have more people over the age of 80 dying than those under the age of 75 , with very few people under the age of 45 dying of coronavirus.

    • Thanks: vhrm
  152. @Pincher Martin

    Because mass graves are a sign of true pandemic. What I see around me is a pandemic of fear-mongering. There have not been a true pandemic in the world since the Spanish flu, and this is not one of them.

    Oh, and I keep bringing up mass graves because NYC was supposedly burying gazillions of victims in secret mass graves. I have seen some videos and you cannot un-convince me. Here is one

    TSA has been proven to be ineffective and has long since degenerated into some sort of institutionalized welfare program to annoy the bejesus of regular travelers. But it is staying with us. I suspect the current fear will produce some similarly idiotic procedures that will linger for decades. Not to mention the upcoming economic depression.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  153. Peter Shaw says: • Website
    @Mike1

    Nz has a small and very open economy so it will be uniquely harmed if it has to remain shut for a prolonged period of time. The tourist sector alone is 21% of gdp their economy. They might very well be forced to just open up and let it rip.

    • Agree: Mark G.
  154. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Mike1

    NZ’s main problem is going to be that the rest of the world is diseased so they can’t reopen to tourists.

    They’ll be able to reopen to tourists from Australia and China. And other countries that have the virus under control.

    Despite NZ’s advantages in beating the disease they have conclusively proven it is possible. Not sure why taking a 100% economic hit for 49 days (time to get the disease eliminated in NZ) is not preferable to a slow moving economic depression which is the herd immunity argument.

    I agree. Getting the pain over with quickly is usually more pleasant than long lingering pain. And for countries choosing the Let-er-rip option that pain could last for a long long time.

    • Replies: @anon
  155. @Coemgen

    It can have some serious side effects if the individual is predisposed. You would not want to start an obese 73-year-old man on it without running an EKG and CBC first for a baseline.

    Also remember that older people in general do not metabolize drugs as well and are more prone to side effects of mental confusion and overdosage.

    You also need to consider interactions with any other drug the patient is concurrently taking.

    The published statement from Trump’s doc is very vague and does not address specifics as to why the decision was made to prescribe Plaquenil. That’s why it could be misleading for medically naive people.

    • LOL: Coemgen
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  156. Mike1 says:
    @Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco

    What immunity? Everyone keeps talking about immunity like it exists. Like I said I hope it’s real. There is no proof at all. Not even a little bit.

    The US is not a magical kingdom a full border shutdown was completely possible. The US president has full authority to shut a border.

    NZ has eliminated the virus. It took 49 days.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  157. @Lars Porsena

    Is there a difference in effectiveness of quarantine to be expected as well as initial susceptibility?

    Yes, of course. We should expect large differences in outcomes based on nontrivial local differences.

    New York is extremely dense, filled with a lot of unhealthy minorities, and its main population center is heavily reliant on an old underground mass transit system.

    Sweden is lightly populated, more healthy, and its main population center is slightly less reliant on mass transit since so many Swedes had the option to work from home before this crisis even began.

    The differences between America’s lockdown and Sweden’s lack of lockdown are exaggerated. America is NOT a model for locking down a country during a pandemic, whereas Sweden is definitely a model for a country staying open during a pandemic because it’s the only example we have in the developed world (unless we include Japan’s very light touch in its lockdown).

    Unlike many countries, the U.S. backed into its lockdown. California, especially northern California, has done well, but for the most part the authorities around the country at both the federal and local level have been slow to respond with effective policies and good information.

    The Swedish authorities, however, did not back into their response, even if some of them later claimed to be surprised by the number of fatalities it caused. And from everything I’ve read the Swedes are following the government guidelines to avoiding the virus. The country is apparently not filled with people who think it’s their constitutional right to breathe on you.

    So quarantine is working less and less than it was initially, social distancing is observed less as time goes on.

    My sense in Santa Clara County is that people are getting out a lot more than they did two months ago, probably because of the great spring weather, but they are still respecting the social distancing measures.

    I see a lot more masks than I did in late March/early April, and stores which remain open are better equipped to handle the ingress and egress of customers than they once were. Plastic walls and barriers are nearly universal in the banks and stores I enter now, which was not true in late March/early April. Queues are well marked and respectfully followed by most people with few public complaints.

    Cases of infection are also continuing to fall, even as the number of tests is constantly increasing.

    Yes, which is a sign that the social distancing is working.

    • Replies: @vhrm
    , @Lars Porsena
  158. @Black-hole creator

    Because mass graves are a sign of true pandemic.

    Says who? This sounds like a made-up rule you created just to make the Swedes look good. “Well, the Swedes must be doing okay. They don’t have any mass graves, and they can still patronize their favorite restaurants.”

    • Replies: @George
  159. anon[223] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    They’ll be able to reopen to tourists from Australia and China. And other countries that have the virus under control.

    China does not yet have the virus under control.

    https://www.foxnews.com/world/more-than-100-million-people-in-china-face-new-lockdown-as-second-wave-of-covid-19-cases-emerge

    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/world/over-100-million-in-china-e2-80-99s-northeast-face-renewed-lockdown/ar-BB14eZMo

    The new eruption in NE China shows longer incubation and some different symptoms. A variation.

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1188898.shtml

  160. gcochran says:
    @Peter Shaw

    If I ‘flip-flopped’ , where?

  161. HA says:
    @Black-hole creator

    “Where are the mass graves ?”

    Again, what is with you and mass graves? Is this some creepy kink or something? (On second thought, don’t answer that.) You think as long as there are no mass graves, the government can’t be accused of overcounting?

    “Youtube videos from some attention-seeking crackpots do not convince me.”

    Ah yes, the shut-your-ears-la-la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you approach to news you don’t like. So convincing. Anyway, those videos or something like them apparently got the attention of the BBC which I also cited in the same comment:

    Now, increasing numbers of workers [in Sweden] are also coming forward to criticise regional healthcare authorities for protocols which they say discourage care home workers from sending residents into hospital…

    It dovetails pretty nicely with what the so-called crackpot is saying. But I get it, until there’s a mass grave, you’re not going to buy it. Just between you and me, it sounds like you’d be more at home in the comment sections of some of the other writers of unz.com.

    • Replies: @Black-hole creator
  162. qwop says:
    @Black-hole creator

    The border between Denmark and Sweden is not fully closed. Danes are welcome in Sweden, and many took advantage of this to get their hair cut and going to bars. Swedes, unless employed in Denmark, are not allowed into Denmark.

    • Replies: @Black-hole creator
  163. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Mike1

    What immunity? Everyone keeps talking about immunity like it exists. Like I said I hope it’s real. There is no proof at all. Not even a little bit.

    You just need to have faith. Just close your eyes really tight and wish for herd immunity and it will happen. Magic works.

    It’s like the vaccine. If we all wish really hard for it we’ll get a vaccine.

  164. vhrm says:
    @Pincher Martin

    Yes, which is a sign that the social distancing is working.

    idk, man… in the Bay Area we’ve been locked down for two months now and, as you say, many of the people are taking it seriously.
    Masks in stores is actually mandatory in all the Bay Area counties _except_ for Contra Costa and Napa.

    And for all that the new cases , deaths, and hospitalizations are still going. They’re low… but they were low to begin with.

    One scary aspect of the Freedom and Economy crushing SARS2 response is how ineffective it’s been.

    For all the bluster and fury 25% of NYC got hit and we had no idea. If this thing had SARS1 lethality and hit more ages the city would have collapsed.

    And for all bluster and beach closing out here in CA… we still didn’t crush the thing.

    Overall both the overreach and it’s ineffectiveness don’t make me too confident about SARS3 …

    Let’s hope lessons are learned.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  165. George says:
    @Pincher Martin

    “Says who?” A month or 2 ago the news was full of stories about mass graves and refrigerated trucks to be used to transport bodies to the mass graves implying they were expecting mass deaths. So wondering what happened to the mass graves and refrigerated trucks is reasonable.

    • Agree: vhrm
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  166. vhrm says:
    @res

    Yeah my sketch there is the barest “show your work” proof of concept of how we can reach HI without millions of deaths or anywhere near it.

    With optimizations such as you suggest hopefully the deaths could even be much lower.

    But self (or spouse) regulation would also take care of some of it. e.g let’s take our higher risk host, Steve. He won’t be going to choir practice, blogging from Starbucks, or getting his tongue pierced on the beach this summer regardless of what we or the government suggest. I assume many other higher risk middle aged people would also do the same.

  167. JosephB says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The conservative response is to figure out what the key questions are and obtain the answers to them.

    I’d agree that is a smart response, and one I wish we were doing more of. You’ve done a good job here at coming up with some guestimates about safe activities.

    But the response avoids the question anonymous and I were arguing: what policy decisions should a governor/mayor make right now, May 20? Status quo has clear costs, as does loosening restrictions. Saying “wait for better information” is equivalent to maintaining the status quo.

    Examining international data isn’t quite in the job description for mayors or governors. Six months ago I’d have said turn the WHO loose on it. Now…whose job is it? I guess we still have the CDC.

  168. @HA

    But I get it, until there’s a mass grave, you’re not going to buy it. Just between you and me, it sounds like you’d be more at home in the comment sections of some of the other writers of

    The mass grave was a powerful meme a few weeks ago as mentioned above by George. Now the fakestream media no longer brings it up, the way nobody brings up that the Nork dictator somehow suddenly got “resurrected” yet again. Morons like you obviously have no critical thinking and conveniently keep forgetting the past fake news. The current meme is that even though the virus is killing people at a rate of a bad flu, the long-term effects for the survivors are unknown and can be very bad, like dick-falling-off-bad. Why should I believe what the MSM keeps pushing on me ? I choose to believe my lying eyes. e.g. my ex is working in a fairly big private practice in SoCal catering mostly to elderly and they had no bad cases yet.

    Oh and to reply to you snarkiness, I think lemmings like you belong in the NYT comment section.

    • Replies: @HA
  169. @qwop

    The border between Denmark and Sweden is not fully closed. Danes are welcome in Sweden, and many took advantage of this to get their hair cut and going to bars. Swedes, unless employed in Denmark, are not allowed into Denmark.

    Exactly how the Canadian border is closed for us – Canadians are free to enter USA. Right now nobody speaks about this much, but eventually there will be a pushback. I wonder if Swedes are happy about this new Iron Curtain.

  170. Steve —

    I believe we are closer to herd immunity than people realize. Why? It is clear that many people (including children and young people) just aren’t very susceptible to this disease. Those people may not even advance to the stage of developing antibodies, but they still can contribute to herd immunity.

    Here’s an excerpt from the article “A Political Assault on Antibody Tests” in the Wall Street Journal:

    (begin excerpt)

    “Here’s how the immune system works: On viral infection, it reacts with two surges, “innate” and “adaptive” immunity. The innate response comes within minutes to hours and triggers alarms that result in effects across the body such as fever. Tissues and cells produce “interferons,” molecules that incapacitate many viruses and recruit white blood cells.

    For mild infections, innate responses are sufficient to defeat the foe. But some viral infections require a second wave of response, and adaptive immune responses arrive four or five days after infection. Molecular bits of the offending pathogen, known as antigens, are brought to the lymph nodes, where white blood cells called T and B lymphocytes respond. These lymphocytes head out to the front lines—the infected tissues, such as the lung for Covid-19. The wave of T cells that arrive at the battlefront deploy the principal weapon in their arsenal, the release of cytotoxins, to kill virally infected cells. The over-aggressive immune response causes much of the devastation in severe cases of the disease.

    Meanwhile, B cells pump out antibodies that over several weeks adapt to the pathogen. After the war is over, a few T and B cells linger in the lymph nodes and in the mucosa of the airways, forming an “immunological memory” that is programmed to fight faster and stronger the next time that pathogen shows up. Such cell memory provides “protective immunity,” which Thucydides first hypothesized in 430 B.C. ”

    (end excerpt)

    The point is, what if someone is exposed but their innate immunity takes care of the virus before it even goes anywhere? That seems to be what is happening with children and young people. In that case, herd immunity could be achieved at much lower levels than, say 50% or 60% or 70% of people having antibodies. That is, if you add the people who have antibodies with the people who have low susceptibility, together they add up to a substantially higher percentage. People with antibodies are therefore only part of the herd immunity picture.

    A way of thinking about this is forest fires in established western US forests. Giant trees (analogous in this discussion to people who aren’t susceptible) aren’t the cause of fire risk — it is the brush (analogous to those people most susceptible).

    This seems to be supported by the patterns we are actually seeing. The virus tapers off almost everywhere long before we get to 70% of the population having antibodies.

    Innate respiratory immunity is strongly season-dependent however (see figures 3 and 4 below).
    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-virology-012420-022445

    This unfortunately means that we could achieve ‘effective herd immunity’ in the summer but not the winter. As innate respiratory immunity goes down during winter, people rely much more on adaptive immunity (i.e. antibodies).

    This virus is showing itself to be substantially climate dependent. To continue the forest fire analogy, more of the forest becomes flammable during a drought (people typically have lower innate immunity during winter as the above paper explains) and the risk of fire grows (the susceptible population is higher).

    • Replies: @res
  171. @Lars Porsena

    In deaths per cases, they are twice as bad as the US.

    In deaths per capita, they are about 25% worse than the US.

    In cases per capita, the US is doing about twice as bad as Sweden.

    Lars, the three of these together pretty much assert that Sweden is seriously undercounting cases relative to the US. Yes, there is at least one other explanation which is that Sweden has been *particularly* bad at protecting their elderly and most vulnerable. Which apparently is true. But they really have to be really, really bad at it compared to the ho-hum–and in the case of NY state, absolutely disastrous–US.

    In fact, if the last of these were an accurate indication of underlying reality–i.e. fewer cases–Sweden would be failing in terms of its own approach, which seems to be “let’s continue as normally as possible, go ahead and have the cases now and get to herd immunity”.

    Simple explanation:
    — Swedes have changed their behavior. but somewhat less than others so their reproduction rate is closer to 1 than most other places and at a much higher disease load.
    — Sweden is not testing much and undercounting their cases.

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  172. @Pincher Martin

    Yes, of course. We should expect large differences in outcomes

    Yes, which is a sign that the social distancing is working.

    If social distancing is what’s doing it, it’s awful strange to me that the UK, Sweden and Italy have, effectively, no difference in outcome. Neither rise nor fall nor length at peak.

    But it says something to any maniacal Sweden boosters or bashers, that it is just identical to the UK and Italy, roughly in the middle of the pack.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  173. @AnotherDad

    US (national average) is doing quite very well overall.

    Inflate Sweden’s death toll, until it is the same as the UK’s. That just makes it look like the UK. Has the UK been doing atrociously bad? Not as bad as Spain or New York, but not as good as Germany or Ohio, and certainly nowhere near Australia or Texas.

    Sweden would be failing in terms of its own approach

    It is.

    Check the graphs I mentioned to Pincher Martin.

  174. HA says:
    @Black-hole creator

    “The mass grave was a powerful meme…

    That’s your reference point? MEMES, you say? Well, that explains a lot, but it doesn’t change the previously noted point that outside of China and NYC and some other places, mass graves are not the issue, however “powerfully” they affected the 4chan-addled meme-processing portion of your adolescent mind.

    The point remains, you’re the one who keeps inserting mass graves into the discussion. That makes it more an indication of what excites you as opposed to being particularly relevant. But hey, I guess there will need to be some mass graves and refrigerator trucks before anyone can claim the lockdowns and lost business are killing people, if that’s the rule going forward. Good to know.

    “The current meme is that even though the virus is killing people at a rate of a bad flu,…”

    Actually, you forgot the part about all that unprecedented social distancing, which is what brought that killing down to the “bad flu” level (which we know because groups that disregarded it — e.g. Somali Swedes, Orthodox Jews — took a disproportionate hit). Without that unprecedented offsetting factor, the kill rate would have been significantly higher. How come you’re so clued in to powerful memes and yet manage to overlook basic stuff like that? It’s almost as if your amnesia were calculated in some way.

  175. @Lars Porsena

    You’re comparing bananas and mangos. Sweden, for various reasons I’ve already explained, is not the UK or Italy. Yet for some reason, you keep defaulting to crude national outcomes as somehow critical to understanding the lockdown-versus-no-lockdown debate.

    Sweden has various advantages in fighting a virus which aren’t replicable by most other developed countries. A lot of Swedes live by themselves. A lot of Swedes can work from home. A lot of Swedes follow government guidelines as if they were laws. The country is one of the least densely populated in Europe, and even its largest city is no more densely populated than Hermosa Beach, California, a place I have never thought of as being that densely populated.

    And yet Sweden still has one of the worst outcomes in the world.

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  176. @George

    Yes, but is it a rule that a pandemic is not truly a pandemic if the mass graves and refrigerator trucks are not needed?

    Sweden’s top epidemiologist has already admitted that he’s surprised by the number of deaths Sweden has experienced, so you need to drop this idea that Sweden is just following a carefully-conceived plan that the rest of the world community is too hysterical to consider.

  177. @vhrm

    idk, man… in the Bay Area we’ve been locked down for two months now and, as you say, many of the people are taking it seriously.

    And look at the results.

    San Francisco ought to be one of the worst-infected places in the world. The city is the second most densely-populated in the country after NYC. Many people rely on mass transit (BART, ferries, buses, light rail, etc.) to work. And the virus was in the Bay Area early.

    But local leaders – none of whom I like or respect or would ever consider voting for – responded early and well to the crisis. As a result, only 36 San Franciscans have died from COVID-19 out of just over 2,150 confirmed cases. Hospitals have been functioning smoothly from day one.

    Compare that to New York and Boston. More Bostonians died on one day (May 1st) than San Franciscans have died during this entire two-month-plus epidemic.

    And for all that the new cases , deaths, and hospitalizations are still going. They’re low… but they were low to begin with.

    You make that sound like a non-accomplishment. Every place in “low to begin with.” Wuhan, New York City and Milan were “low to begin with.”

    The key is keeping it low. And in a place as densely populated as SF that’s no easy feat.

    And for all bluster and beach closing out here in CA… we still didn’t crush the thing.

    Well, we could have if the Bay Area’s response had been replicated around the country. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

    • Replies: @Peterike
  178. @Pincher Martin

    And yet Sweden still has one of the worst outcomes in the world.

    No it doesn’t. It has practically the exact same outcome as Italy and the UK.

    That is why I keep defaulting to crude national outcomes. Because in 3 cases, the crude national outcomes for 3 very different nations end up being the exact same thing.

    Sweden is not done yet, but if you assume it’s deaths are 10% low and it’s whole progression is 20 days later than Italy, the lines on the graph practically overlap and so do the numbers.

    Hypothetical:

    What if 20 days after Italy is finished, Sweden finishes, with pretty close to the same statistics? Sweden, with it’s very different policies and culture, would have the same length pandemic. It started 20 days later in Sweden so it ends 20 days later. Italy looks ahead because it’s early but Sweden catches up. And they both hit the same peak. Going by memory: 14 / M / day.

    Between UK, Italy, and Sweden, each one peaked early up front, and each one had about 2-4 days spent at 14 dead/M/day. After that each one has declined at almost the exactly same rate from the same peak.

    Only difference is the dates.

  179. res says:
    @DanHessinMD

    The adaptive/innate immune system issue as it relates to herd immunity is a good point. I have no idea how to quantify that though. Has anyone tried?

  180. @Lars Porsena

    Imagine if you could recenter all of them so that the early and highest peak of each country lined up on the same date.

  181. @Lars Porsena

    No it [Sweden] doesn’t [have one of the worst outcomes in the world]. It has practically the exact same outcome as Italy and the UK.

    Which also have among the worst outcomes in the world. See the data below.

    For much of those crisis, and perhaps even today, Italy has been the consensus pick as the hardest-hit country in the world. Even more so than China, what happened in Italy was the spur for lockdowns being implemented in so many places around the world. But Italy itself, perhaps because it had no Western model to copy, was slow to lockdown until it was too late for the north of the country.

    The U.K. actually started off with Sweden’s herd immunity strategy before they did the math and thought better of it.

    So why look at those two countries’ lockdowns as being models to be contrasted with Sweden’s more open strategy?

    Here are the top ten countries in COVID-19 deaths per million.

    1. Belgium – 801.1

    2. Spain – 596.9

    3. U.K. – 537

    4. Italy – 535

    5. France – 420

    6. Sweden – 376

    7. Netherlands – 333.6

    8. Ireland – 323.7

    9. United States – 288.3

    10. Switzerland – 222.2

    Sweden’s response has been a failure. The only way to make it look good – or at least make it look like just another Western country – is to compare it to other failures. Why not compare Sweden to Taiwan or New Zealand or Singapore or Japan or Australia or any of the other Nordic countries that locked down early, tested often, and are now starting to relax a little.

  182. @Pincher Martin

    Why not compare Sweden to Taiwan or New Zealand or Singapore or Japan or Australia

    Give me deaths/M/day graphs.

    The only one of those I have is Australia.

    Why not compare Sweden to Australia? Because Australia did not get a corona pandemic. They have had a total of about 8 cases and they quarantined them out of existence with strong immigration controls.

    That is great for them and everyone should have done that. But they didn’t.

    It’s not a comparable model for a corona pandemic at this point.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    , @vhrm
  183. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Pincher Martin

    Here are the top ten countries in COVID-19 deaths per million.

    1. Belgium – 801.1

    Nobody talks about Belgium. How on earth did they make such a goddawful mess of things?

  184. @dfordoom

    Are there language differences in infection/death rates, like there may be in Switzerland?

  185. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pincher Martin

    Sweden’s response has been a failure. The only way to make it look good – or at least make it look like just another Western country – is to compare it to other failures. Why not compare Sweden to Taiwan or New Zealand or Singapore or Japan or Australia or any of the other Nordic countries that locked down early, tested often, and are now starting to relax a little.

    Because that would mean that some people would lose an argument on the internet.

    BTW I initially argued for herd immunity way back when Steve put his first eradication argument out there on Takis I think it was. At the time I was thinking outside the box, playing devil’s advocate. But I have certainly embraced the elimination strategy, and it’s being proven effective in those countries you mention. While the other countries are stuck in limbo, the elimination countries will be getting their economies back to normal.

    • Agree: Pincher Martin, dfordoom
    • Replies: @res
  186. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    How did Belgium make such a goddawful mess of the EU? I think it’s just what they do there.

  187. DRA says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Does Afib increase risk, or is the heart irregularity that increases susceptibility a different thing? Strikes me that Trump’s Dr. knows, but I haven’t been able to find a reference to what specifically increases susceptibility that I can understand.

    I do know that zinc is as hard to find in the pharmacies as TP was a few weeks back.

  188. @Lars Porsena

    Give me deaths/M/day graphs.

    If you would stop with this monomaniac focus that this stat is the Rosetta Stone to understanding everything about the crisis, perhaps you will begin to see that many countries around the world are already having obvious success in battling coronavirus in such a way that didn’t require them to go for herd immunity. Their economics are opening back up, and they didn’t have to kill off a substantial number of their citizens to get them back open.

  189. @dfordoom

    Good question. I really don’t know. Belgium’s situation is certainly underreported here in the states.

  190. JimB says:
    @dfordoom

    No. China has been nearly the sole source of the worlds new diseases for past few millennia. As I like to say, somebody should build a Great Wall around China.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    , @dfordoom
  191. @JimB

    Sole source for the past few millennia?

    I hate to defend China, but I’m not even sure it has been the primary source for new diseases over the past century. AIDS and Ebola came out of Africa, not China. MERS came out of the Middle East. Nipah virus came out of Malaysia. I’m sure I’m missing many others.

  192. vhrm says:
    @Lars Porsena

    Give me deaths/M/day graphs.

    http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

    the /million graphs are at the bottom. He’s also recently added some new alignment options. (e.g to see last 8 weeks)
    And also ability to highlight multiple countries and to have a link to a particular graph with options.

    That said i don’t think you’ll get anywhere with Pincher on this stuff.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  193. @vhrm

    Are you another guy with an obsessive focus on this one stat because you believe it illuminates the entire lockdown debate?

    Look, it’s very simple. There are over a half dozen countries around the world which have locked down their countries to various degrees and kept their case loads and COVID death numbers low. And their domestic economies are now beginning to open back up. They’ve been successful in a way that Sweden and other slow-moving Western European countries have not been because they got an early start and were intelligent in how they went about fighting the virus. Why not focus on them when debating the value of a lockdown?

    Comparing a couple of failed lockdown cases, like the UK and Italy (which both came to their lockdowns late in the day) to the failed case of Sweden really doesn’t tell anything about the value of lockdowns.

    • Replies: @vhrm
  194. HA says:
    @dfordoom

    “Nobody talks about Belgium.”

    I suspect the reason for that involves a disproportionate number of cases in very crowded neighborhoods like Molenbeek, that are full of vitamin-D-deprived, non-socially-distancing folk of immigrant backgrounds that Western media have agreed to…well, not notice.

    And given that the exceptions to that consensus are particularly interested in the angry young Islamists who live there, whose anger could boil over at any moment with very little provocation, I suspect the residents would just as soon prefer, for the most part, to go on not being noticed.

  195. Peterike says:
    @Pincher Martin

    “ San Francisco ought to be one of the worst-infected places in the world. The city is the second most densely-populated in the country after NYC…

    But local leaders – none of whom I like or respect or would ever consider voting for – responded early and well to the crisis.”

    Or maybe they had nicer weather.

  196. res says:
    @Anonymous

    BTW I initially argued for herd immunity way back when Steve put his first eradication argument out there on Takis I think it was.

    Link? It’s not easy to search for Anon comments.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    , @Anonymous
  197. @Peterike

    My guess is that people who live in crowded conditions in San Francisco tend to be young — e.g., programmers crowded into expensive apartments, indentured immigrants sleeping in the back of the restaurants where they wash dishes — while people who own their own house in SF — e.g., they bought a 3 BR house for $35,000 in 1970 — tend to be old.

  198. @Peterike

    Nicer than southern California (which has fared slightly, but noticeably worse than northern California)?

    Nicer than New Orleans in March and April, when the temperatures are in the mid-seventies and precipitation is as low as it is during any other part of the year?

  199. @res

    Should a poster have to verify his claim when he admits to a self-described mistake?

    I can see asking for a link when someone claims prescience or novelty on some matter, but when someone admits to error, I take him at his word.

    • Replies: @res
  200. res says:
    @Pincher Martin

    There is a tradition here among trolls to claim to have held views in the past different from their present views in an effort to claim they are being open minded. Some of the Trump Derangement Syndrome folks are particularly fond of that (I supported Trump once but now he is a Bad Orange Man). When called on it they are always (well perhaps there is an exception, it’s just that I have not seen one yet) unable to offer supporting evidence.

    Anon413 does not really seem like a troll, but I like checking for things like that. I think it was a reasonable request.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  201. @Pincher Martin

    Austria has done remarkably well.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  202. @res

    I’ve often seen that with partisan sentiments, but most of them are transparently insincere. They fall apart when pressed because they have great difficulty pretending to be a member of the opposing tribe when asked simple questions like “Well, why did you vote for him in the first place?”

    But why pretend to believe in herd immunity? It’s not like that position was ever that popular. Or that one might reasonably think it’s worthwhile to infiltrate the believers to undermine them from within. It’s a fringe belief that has caught on among some of my fellow right wingers after they grew tired of saying “It’s just the flu.”

    • Replies: @res
    , @dfordoom
  203. @Steve Sailer

    All of central Europe seems to be doing well. Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Czechia, etc. At least they are doing much better than almost everywhere in Western Europe.

  204. res says:
    @Pincher Martin

    An additional part of the reason I asked is I would like to see the context. How well developed was the herd immunity statement? What exact form did it take?

    FWIW, I was never part of the “It’s just the flu.” brigade (unless you think saying COVID-19 would be between the 1968 and 1918 flus in severity counts as that). I think my comment history backs that up. I am really tired of people (not really you) who substitute categorizing people using simple heuristics (the most common being “he disagrees with me”) for engaging with different arguments and their nuances.

    Whether or not you (or anyone else) agree with me I think it is hard to deny I have thought hard about this and provided well developed positions. Few of the people arguing with me seem willing to do the same. Or engage with the positions I have detailed. Anon413 has been better than most in that regard.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    , @Anonymous
  205. @res

    Res,

    My comment had no underlying agenda. I was genuinely confused as to why you needed a poster to link to his previous position which he admitted was an error.

    I’ve always found you a highly intelligent and sane poster who was ready and willing to line up a formidable array of sources to back up his positions. But I have no clue what you’ve been arguing about COVID-19 because I float in and out of here on a whim and engage sporadically depending on my interest level and time.

    I sense you’ve read into my comments some slighting jibe at you or the positions you hold. Let me assure you that is not the case because I have no idea what positions you have taken on the pandemic and I generally hold you in high regard.

    I just thought it was weird you were asking some guy to link to his position which he said was a mistake. But you’ve now explained yourself and I get it.

  206. dfordoom says: • Website
    @JimB

    No. China has been nearly the sole source of the worlds new diseases for past few millennia. As I like to say, somebody should build a Great Wall around China.

    Didn’t the Spanish Flu, the worst pandemic of the past couple of hundred years, originate in the United States? It was certainly Americans who spread it across the globe.

    And it was certainly Americans who spread AIDS across the globe.

    • Replies: @HA
  207. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Pincher Martin

    But why pretend to believe in herd immunity? It’s not like that position was ever that popular. Or that one might reasonably think it’s worthwhile to infiltrate the believers to undermine them from within. It’s a fringe belief that has caught on among some of my fellow right wingers after they grew tired of saying “It’s just the flu.”

    Yes, that seems to be the case.

    Right-wingers have an uncanny knack for embracing policies that are both vicious and dumb.

  208. HA says:
    @dfordoom

    “Didn’t the Spanish Flu, the worst pandemic of the past couple of hundred years, originate in the United States?”

    That one probably came from China as well.

  209. @peterike

    Not quite.

    The Democrat/anti-Trump, mainstream-media, official-narrative that is being pushed is to be extremely cautious lifting the lockdown in the name of preventing a renewed spike in infections and deaths. At the longer-term expense of the economy.

    Trump has always been for getting this over as quick as possible and opening the economy back up as soon as possible.

    The virus appears to have burnt out in the major hot-spots of the United States. As states gradually open up (and this is a process that started three weeks ago in many places and is being phased in some of the most heavily hit states like Massachusetts this week), we will very quickly see how the numbers are effected.

    If people do not see an increase in new cases and deaths and those numbers continue to decrease when the lockdown is lifted as has been the case is notable countries like Belgium and Sweden – then pressure to lift the lockdowns and loosen social distancing guidelines will force the hand of politicians.

    In that case, Trump’s position will appear to have been the correct one, the 100,000+ deaths will be viewed as normal on a per capita basis and the destruction to the economy can be blamed on the Democratic-lockdown-Chicken-Littles.

    The true story will eventually be widespread knowledge – that half the deaths occurred in nursing homes and long-term care facilities for the mostly very old. And it was failure to protect those people that was the biggest failure.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  210. @Johnny Rico

    Austria has been opening up for the last 5 weeks and it’s number of active cases is down over 90% since late March.

    • Thanks: Johnny Rico
  211. vhrm says:
    @Pincher Martin

    Are you another guy with an obsessive focus on this one stat because you believe it illuminates the entire lockdown debate?

    No. just sharing a resource. The reason i said he should give up is because you’ve been going back and forth with him, me and others for 20 messages and the conversation isn’t converging or generating much shared understanding…

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  212. @Jonathan Mason

    be misleading for medically naive people.

    And yet, this could have been a teachable moment.

    Trump and his physician could have explained that he had an EKG, had a CBC and platelet count, his other medications were checked, what dose he is taking, and that his primary care doctor will continue to monitor his blood work and vital signs at the correct intervals, and the result would be that many American people would understand better what it means to “take medication under the supervision of a doctor.”

    And that is the problem with the Trump administration. They make decisions that may well be good decisions, but they communicate very poorly with the rest of the world, and don’t explain their rationale and how this serves a larger plan, so many people come away with the impression that they are just making random decisions.

    In this case the letter published by Trump’s physician just serves to create more confusion instead of clarifying the medical decision making process and how the physician deals with the conflicting issues like the desire of the patient versus legal liability issues.

  213. @vhrm

    The reason i said he should give up is because you’ve been going back and forth with him, me and others for 20 messages and the conversation isn’t converging or generating much shared understanding…

    I think it’s been a valuable discussion. I’ve pointed out that using the most-afflicted Western countries, which didn’t do a very good job of locking down, and comparing them to Sweden, which has several national and unreplicable characteristics that moderate the spread of the virus, is not a very good way for understanding the merits and demerits of locking down.

  214. @utu

    Here you can see TOTAL DEATH TALLY in Sweden, not only Covid and one can also check the changes they made over the time https://www.scb.se/en/finding-statistics/search/?query=preliminar+statistik+over+doda&lang=en
    Swedes are famous for their prompt stat reports, but it is true: they do not work on Sundays and holidays.

    there is no indication that the dying is about to be over.


    It is not. The Angel of Death keeps busy, and dying won’t be over, as long as people live.

  215. Aliska says:
    @utu

    https://www.scb.se/en/finding-statistics/search/?query=preliminar+statistik+over+doda&lang=en
    Here are the real total death numbers (from all cases not just Covid 19) in Sweden. The only reasonable data to think about, other manipulated easily and often, you never know what they count as the Covid death and what not and it’s different from country to country. But total number quit complicated to hide or change

  216. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @res

    Jesus. It’s not just hard for you to find Anonymous comments. It’s not easy for me either. I recall making those statements around the time of the “Crush CV Curve” article. I am 286 there. But I did not make those herd immunity conjectures there.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/crushing-the-coronavirus-curve/#comments

    Now, did I say this before, or after? Good question… and damn all the other articles you’ve got to search through as you look for “herd immunity”…

    Ok, finally found it. Anonymous 286. There you go.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/uk-strategy-lie-back-and-think-of-england/

    That’s an interesting concept. I was thinking about something similar.

    Maybe you can isolate the high risk individuals for say, a month or two while the rest of society is encouraged to get the virus. Nursing homes go into lockdown and half the carers self-isolate. The other half get the virus. Then the recovered staff go back to work and the remainder are infected.

    Smokers, and the elderly go into lockdown while the rest of society gains herd immunity. Because they are low risk, not too many hospital beds are occupied.

    What is wrong with this plan?

    And to my credit I put it out there as a hypothesis and asked for argument against it, which is of some relief.

  217. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @res

    res, when I respond to you or any HI argument, I am in part thinking about Hail and other intractable HI advocates, and also to the Knutcase, in fact just thinking about him irritates me, I guess I am reminded of some other elderly inflexible people who have grown unable to consider new data into their ways of thinking but cling on to power and decision making. I also write, in part, to Steve and the commentariat.

    To the extent that comes across as a straw man, I apologize. And sometimes my urge to make a joke, to caricature the situation or my oppositions arguments sometimes gets the better of me, but it can also be effective. People stew on such things; sometimes it can spark an epiphany.

    However, I do also kind of wish those I would argue with would also respond to the argument and to the real world examples of what I cite. For example, Taiwan has just had one new case but now is ~1.5 months into no new locally transmitted cases. So it is possible in a very population dense place of significant population to eliminate. (But… the border security is key.)

    https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202005210009

    Despite my somewhat irritating style at times (to my opposition) I do believe what I write, and if I think I am wrong I will admit it. I think it’s a good policy in life, because it is very frustrating to argue with someone who adopts constant course corrections to truth/correctness… yeah, you can say it’s a backflip or that you were wrong in an emerging situation, but it’s very hard to argue with someone who is consistently right (and not just because they won’t admit defeat).

    And btw I certainly respect you as a poster, I noticed you when you first started here, and was heartened when Ron awarded you the gold star. In general you have been one of the best posters on here.

    I’ve been on here a long time, on and off, and did have a handle before deciding to go anonymous for the time being, as of a year ago. If you look at my posting style you can probably work out which handle.

    I guess your main argument from memory has been heterogeneous infectiousness would lower the HIT. However, I think about the bulk of the population and think to myself, I find it not so persuasive. Most of us get the flu from time to time, and that has a lower R0 than CV.

    I also do like to harken back to what happens in the real world as a way to test models and those arguing from modeled evidence – do we see what they portend IRL? If not, why not?

    • Replies: @vhrm
  218. vhrm says:
    @Anonymous

    The early idea of yours on HI was good.

    My arguments against extinction are ones of practicality.

    New Zealand and Taiwan appear to have eliminated Covid-19. Well see how long it lasts. South Korea, Japan and even China were also down to very low daily numbers… until they weren’t.

    South Korea is a particularly good example: one outbreak set them back a month.

    China just re-locked down 100M in the north because of an outbreak there.

    So extinction is very fragile. Yes with iron control of borders for a few years it might work, but if China couldn’t do it (they_say_ the stuff in the North came in from Russia) what makes you think the West can do it?

    next:
    California. It locked down earlyish, it locked down fairly hard. It has mild weather.
    Hospitalizations and deaths have been fairly flat for about 7 weeks now. Extinction is not yet on the horizon.
    How will it be accomplished? How long would it take?

    Corona-chan really moved into primarily the black and Hispanics communities here.
    That’s partly because of higher density and partly because of low compliance.

    With your understanding of policing in the black community and the undocumented communities… are you really proposing contact tracing and forced isolation?
    Is it even worth talking about given how it’s gone so far?

    In any case the gov and the media drove the panic pretty hard, and at least in Red and Purple States the fever’s already broken. Newsom and Cuomo can fantasize about their millions strong Tracing Corps but if it hasn’t happened yet it’s not happening.

    phew, i feel a little better…

  219. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:

    The early idea of yours on HI was good.

    It’s only good depending on probability of lasting HI and ability to practically prevent the interactions between vulnerable and less vulnerable. Also there is the reality that there will be few attendants at “corona parties”. Most would rather freeload off the HI of others, anti-vaxxers to the extreme. And I don’t say that as a bad thing necessarily. It’s the reality, exponential is limited by human and government behavior, and there is no real response to this I’ve seen from HI enthusiasts.

    New Zealand and Taiwan appear to have eliminated Covid-19. Well see how long it lasts. South Korea, Japan and even China were also down to very low daily numbers… until they weren’t.

    I think a better example is probably Singapore, but they have cracked down on it now and are pushing masks for all, and targeting the guest workers from the 3rd world. But have a look at worldometers for each of Korea, Japan and China. New cases and active cases, it’s working. 100M Chinese locked down is <10% of country.

    So extinction is very fragile. Yes with iron control of borders for a few years it might work, but if China couldn’t do it (they_say_ the stuff in the North came in from Russia) what makes you think the West can do it?

    It’s mostly will, and the islands in the West (AU and NZ) have successfully done it. There used to be an iron curtain in Europe. I see no reason other than lack of will as to not get under control there and then re-open bilaterally as an interim step.

    California. It locked down earlyish, it locked down fairly hard. It has mild weather.
    Hospitalizations and deaths have been fairly flat for about 7 weeks now. Extinction is not yet on the horizon.
    How will it be accomplished? How long would it take?

    Refresh my memory (inform me). What are they doing in cali? Widespread testing/tracing, temperature testing in large stores, masks, what exactly? Any of that?

    With your understanding of policing in the black community and the undocumented communities… are you really proposing contact tracing and forced isolation?
    Is it even worth talking about given how it’s gone so far?

    Now this is really a question for Steve. But… I think you have to start identifying problem areas by demographics. Maybe a little visit from ICE if the “undocumented” don’t get the memo.

  220. vhrm says:

    Refresh my memory (inform me). What are they doing in cali? Widespread testing/tracing, temperature testing in large stores, masks, what exactly? Any of that?

    Schools are closed.
    offices are work from home.
    No gatherings of any size.
    Many stores closed.
    Parks and beaches are closed.
    You’re not supposed to leave the house except to get food and exercise.

    Restaurants are takeout only.
    A good portion of the stores and restaurants still open are order online or at the door only. They won’t let you into the building.

    Plexiglass barriers between customers and cashiers.

    Density in stores that do let you in is curtailed by managing occupancy. Everybody stands in line outside and they only let in some number of people at a time. Before the masks (see below) the limits were quite low. After the masks they’ve increased the numbers some. (Home Depot, Target and Trader Joe’s still have a line most of the time. Other super markets only part of the day.)

    San Francisco Bay Area “face covering” has been mandatory in stores for a month.

    No tracing or temperature checking that i know of.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  221. Anonymous[109] • Disclaimer says:
    @vhrm

    No contact tracing? Odd. If you are going to test, the tracing is a good way of fleshing out and isolating clusters.

    I will put this in this thread as well. Seasonality of cough and fever at record lows even though flu season has started. Not to say the impact of seasonality can be ignored but when transmission is low through measures, this result is what you get. The germ theory of disease is real.

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