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Ioannidis: Under 65 Europeans Don't Need to Worry Much About Dying (Under 65 Americans on the Other Hand ...)
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From a not-yet-peer-reviewed preprint (PDF) by Stanford’s John Ioannidis et al:

Population-level COVID-19 mortality risk for non-elderly individuals overall and for nonelderly individuals without underlying diseases in pandemic epicenters

John P.A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc, Cathrine Axfors, MD, PhD, Despina G. Contopoulos-Ioannidis, MD

Individuals with age <65 account for 5%-9% of all COVID-19 deaths in the 8 European epicenters, and approach 30% in three US hotbed locations. People <65 years old had 34- to 73-fold lower risk than those ≥65 years old in the European countries and 13- to 15-fold lower risk in New York City, Louisiana and Michigan.

I highlighted New York City, where 30% of deaths have been under age 65. Keep in mind that New York City has a fairly wealthy and healthy population, with fewer really fat people than is average in the U.S. due to many people not having cars and thus having to walk a mile or two to and from public transportation every day. (Public transportation might well increase the odds that you will be infected while decreasing the odds that you will die from your infection.)

I’d also like to see the UK figures, which I suspect from some other numbers might lean more toward the US than toward Italy.

The absolute risk of COVID-19 death ranged from 1.7 per million for people <65 years old in Germany to 79 per million in New York City. The absolute risk of COVID-19 death for people ≥80 years old ranged from approximately 1 in 6,000 in Germany to 1 in 420 in Spain. The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City).

Is that driving 415 miles per day on the Interstates or driving 415 miles per day around New York City? The latter sounds nerve-wracking. (Answer: “For New York City, we used motor vehicle fatality data pertaining to New York State,” so some of those 415 miles per day are driving around NYC, but not all.)

Anyway, the more relevant question has not been what has been the average risk so far during the pandemic, but what is the current risk and what is the expected future risk.

People <65 years old and not having any underlying predisposing conditions accounted for only 0.3%, 0.7%, and 1.8% of all COVID-19 deaths in Netherlands, Italy, and New York City.

Let’s keep in mind that at least one of those predisposing conditions, hypertension (high blood pressure), is awfully common in the U.S. From the CDC:

Back to Ioannidis:

People <65 years old have very small risks of COVID-19 death even in the hotbeds of the pandemic and deaths for people <65 years without underlying predisposing conditions are remarkably uncommon. Strategies focusing specifically on protecting high-risk elderly individuals should be considered in managing the pandemic.

Something I’ve noticed is that downplayers like Ioannidis tend to go back and forth on the question of: Is your life worth living? To caricaturize their contrasting lines of thought:

A. If you have hypertension but not coronavirus, you are practically dead already, so who cares if coronavirus pushes you over the edge? Your life is barely worth living as it is!

B. If you have coronavirus but not hypertension, all that matters is that you not die of coronavirus. Nobody knows how bad this novel disease’s long term effects will be on your health and quality of life, but who cares? All that matters is you survive!

Both points of view are somewhat defensible, but it just should be pointed out that they are contradictory.

Another point is of course that most of his analyses assume a functioning, non-overwhelmed medical system. For example, I hope that PM Boris Johnson survives his hospital stay. The odds currently seem to be in his favor. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?

By the way, I presume 55-year-old Boris Johnson has some predisposing conditions, but he is the man who just four months ago finally resolved the seemingly endless Brexit crisis with his historic triumph in the General Election. Like Miss Jean Brodie, he is in his prime.

Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that, as Ioannidis demonstrates, this new disease is demographically opposite from the Spanish Flu, which preyed hardest on young men.

 
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  1. The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City).

    So this Chinese bug has effectively sentenced me to life … as a long-haul trucker.

    Seven years of college down the drain.

    • Replies: @Anon
    “20 years of schoolin’ and they put you on the day shift”
    , @Charon
    Never quite understood how long-haul truckers survived anyway. Not when they were fat old white guys at least. Now many are young immigrants so they have more years before the sedentary aspect takes its toll.
  2. His analysis is pretty similar to what I’ve thought from the outset, whilst it’s unacceptable to our somewhat high risk of mortality from covid gerontocracy that their freedoms should be restricted, it is pretty obvious that it’s a nonsense that young who are at low risk of mortality and who prop up the stock market and income taxes thus state benefits that retirees rely on should be confined in the same way

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    That is not at all what he says and go take a flying leap, liar.
  3. Another point is of course that most of his analyses assume a functioning, non-overwhelmed medical system. For example, I hope that PM Boris Johnson survives his hospital stay. The odds currently seem to be in his favor. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?

    Hate to say it Steve, but given your “history” i wouldn’t even go to the hospital if it gets bad for you.

    They’ll be some tedious SJW doc-ette who reads SPLC “reports” like holy scripture and will let all the POC on the ward know you’re a bad thinker.

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospital.

    Get yourself a CPAP and oxygen concentrator, take your hydroxychloroquine and stay at home in your closet.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    They’ll be some tedious SJW doc-ette who reads SPLC “reports” like holy scripture and will let all the POC on the ward know you’re a bad thinker.
     
    No, but see, that's why we need government-controlled errr, single-payer health care in America. There'll be rules and all, so that kind of thing won't happen.

    Seriously, that's good advice to iSteve. Laying in bed for days, getting woken up every 2-3 hours, and being in an environment with all kinds of sick people is not good for you, unless you are getting some really serious treatment that you can't get at home.

    I've been there - the days last weeks.

    , @Anon
    You're not very likely to get a secondary dose of lethal pneumonia at home; only from the hospital where it's circulating around the air vents after being coughed up by other patients. Anyway, has everyone forgotten what they learned from 1918? You're supposed to treat patients outdoors. In the sunlight, viruses are killed by UV and you boost Vitamin D levels. In the 1918 pandemic, they saved a lot of lives that way. This is a prescription that gives you the right to lol around on your porch every day.
    , @anonintron333
    This is wildly retarded advice born of egregious over-exposure to arguing with disembodied strangers on the internet.
    , @jsm

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospita
     
    This.

    I have a grown daughter. Can you imagine if she were pregnant and due right about now? Some hospitals aren't even allowing Dad to be in with the woman... or the grandparents to visit.
    Why would any well woman in labor want to go to the hospital, to be treated like that, and she and her infant exposed to Covid as a bonus? Who wouldn't want to stay home?
    I know, I know, pain relief..
    There should be mobile epidural vans out there. Hey! I can see a new growth industry!

  4. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that, as Ioannidis demonstrates, this new disease is demographically opposite from the Spanish Flu, which preyed hardest on young men.

    If this thing hangs around it may cause a real generation gap between the old people who hold power in this country (and who don’t want to die of Coronavirus) and the young people who are tired of putting their lives on hold for a disease that poses very little threat to them.

    It’s hard to argue with either position. Which group has more people in it?

    • Replies: @Anon
    These young people have parents and grandparents. They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their "freedom".
    , @Lockean Proviso
    Already the youngest generations have had a significant part of their future sacrificed by the most entitled generation, Boomers selling out their future for the short term gains of stock portfolios, drawing Social Security with no means testing or increased retirement age, much lower government support for affordable public universities than the Boomers enjoyed, offshored jobs and imported scab labor and competition for housing, and exorbitant spending on keeping the elderly alive for an extra few months. Boomers were born on third base and think that they hit a triple. Time for another sacrifice play by the youngest if this is kept going indefinitely. Make masks and ventilators here and then reopen the economy.
  5. Old people vote.

    Obviously a heavy toll on older Americans is going to affect whites most, at least theoretically. But NYC finally released the racial breakdown, probably because they finally found the angle they were secretly hoping for: blacks and browns hardest hit.

    The Hispanic numbers were a surprise, but really it’s pretty fair.
    Hispanics make up 34% of the fatalities (They are 29% of NYC’s population)
    Blacks make up 28% of the fatalities (22% of the population)
    Whites make up 27% of the fatalities (32% of the population)
    Asians make up 7% of the fatalities (17% of the population)

    Sounds believable. Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can’t stay away from social gatherings. For them, 15 is company, 50’s a crowd. Social clustering.

    A lot of other people live by ‘social distancing’ principles anyway, especially whites and Asians.

    I don’t know why people say America was unprepared. We built an entire society around sitting in front of a TV or communicating with people on another screen, with access to almost any practical information we might need. They still deliver pizza in NYC, for chrissake.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Daniel Williams

    Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can’t stay away from social gatherings.
     
    Coronavirus is especially dangerous for obese people. Whites and Asians in NYC tend to be trim. Blacks and Hispanics are big and fat.

    Here’s a paper about it, written (hilariously) by S. Lim: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265895/#!po=0.877193

    , @Hibernian
    I'm kind of old (65) and I hate being under house arrest.
    , @Triumph104

    The Hispanic numbers were a surprise, but really it’s pretty fair.
    Hispanics make up 34% of the fatalities (They are 29% of NYC’s population).
     
    Not surprising. Most Hispanics in New York City have African ancestry, although few will admit it. NYC's Hispanic population is about 1/3 Puerto Rican and 1/3 Dominican.

    It is important to note the Hispanic country of origin. Cubans and Mexicans have about the same health outcomes as whites. Puerto Rican outcomes tend to be somewhere between whites and blacks. (I haven't found data on Dominican Americans, a group with more African ancestry than Puerto Ricans.)
    , @Ed
    I’m guessing the black numbers are decent relative to population due to the high rate of immigration. I suspect on average Africans/Caribbean blacks are healthier than Americans. It’s probably the same for all ethnic groups really. “Real” American cities with low rates of immigration are going to have high death rates if the virus spreads like it did in NYC.

    Researchers have been baffled at how immigrant blacks have infant mortality rates that are at the white average whereas American black mothers have high infant mortality rates. Researchers just gave up determining a cause for the disparity and blamed racism.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2594154/
  6. One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we’re still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that’s just my guess.

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    Like most inaccurate models, the problem is with your assumptions. It’s more likely it’s 50% asymptomatic. 40% with mild symptoms. 5% with serious but not hospitalization level symptoms. 4-5% needing hospitalization and 1-2% needing ICUs.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Good questions. Right, in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator.

    Does anybody know what percentage of American patients are getting hydroxychloroquine or other new treatments? Is it enough to show up in the data yet?
    , @Buzz Mohawk

    ... low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs...
     

    ... the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs.
     
    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.

    You and Steve seem now to be searching for explanations for, with all due respect, what has seemed like an overreaction and a dwelling on worst-case scenarios at the expense of everything else.

    The simple fact might be that this illness hits older people and/or those with serious, preexisting health problems far more severely than it does everyone else. Thus the sharp cutoff you are seeing between hospital cases and all the others.

    And yes, the special (old, common) drugs have by now been shown to benefit many patients, but those tend to already be in hospital care, don't they?

    We appreciate the work you guys have been doing, and this is not intended as a mean criticism, just an honest thought.

    , @JimDandy
    I think you're right about the hydroxichloiquine, etc. But I think it's mostly killing the already-seriously-vulnerable and not hitting the rest of the population that hard.

    I have no respect for The National Review, but this article is definitely worth a read:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/04/coronavirus-response-sweden-avoids-isolation-economic-ruin/

    , @Hypnotoad666
    The models were based on faulty data that over-measured the deaths actually caused by the virus and under-measured the number of infections. That's all.
    , @utu
    Tuesday (as of Monday) statistics from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-update.html
    NY
    Confirmed cases: 138,836
    Hospitalized: 17,493 (12.5% of confirmed)
    In intensive care: 4,593 (26% of hospitalized)
    Deaths: 5,489

    NJ
    Confirmed cases: 44,416
    Hospitalized: 7,017 (15.6% of confirmed)
    In critical care: 1,651 (23% of hospitalized)
    On ventilators: 1,540
    Deaths: 1,232

    Connecticut
    Confirmed cases: 7,781
    Hospitalized: 1,308 (17% of confirmed)
    Deaths: 277
    _______________________

    Yes, Cuomo wanted 50,000 or 100,000 extra beds in NYS several weeks ago.
    , @utu

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs.
     
    Where did the numbers 15-20% and 5% come form? And you mix them with your assumption of 1%. There is another interpretation independent of your assumption. For 15-20 hospitalized patients there are 5 patients in ICU and there will be one that dies. The numbers in NY hospitals are very close to that: 16,837 hospitalized, 4,504 in ICU, 731 dead on Monday ( 23 : 6 : 1 proportions).

    The proportion 23 : 6 : 1 is true (because it is empirical) regardless of what is the mortality rate. Perhaps the mortality rate is 4% in NYC and then the number of infected 2-3 weeks ago was 150,000 not 600,000 so the number of hospitalized calculated your way would be 4 times lower.

    My other two comments in this thread are on data from NYT on hospital beds and ICU.

    , @niceland
    When covid-19 hit my country the numbers you cite were what some experts were pushing forth. Needless to say we were extremely worried about a flu capable of sending 20% of the infected to hospital and killing 2-4%. Thankfully these numbers are way off for our situation. And I think overall as well for this disease.

    The key to understand is how many out there are indeed infected and never show up as 'cases' Even here were we are close to the world record in contact tracing and number of samples per capita; Randomized testing of our population clearly shows that less than 20% of those infected ended up as 'cases'. For most countries this ratio is probably in the single digits % vise.

    Unfortunately I can't link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment - assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.

    Simple example to look at is New Zealand. They decided not to flatten the curve but to eliminate the virus. They might be the closest nation on the planet to find all infected. They currently have 1239 cases, 1 death and 4 in serious or critical condition. Assuming they all die this will result in about 0.4% mortality rate.

    It's still bad enough and even with such 'low' mortality rate covid-19 is much worse than the seasonal flue because it can infect almost everybody as there is no immunity either to inhibit infection nor to slow the spread. So even with 'only' 2-3 times higher mortality rate it can kill perhaps 10-20 times more people and overwhelm even the best of health care systems - resulting in even worse outcome. So direct comparison with 'the flu' is nonsense.

    Doing nothing - like you correctly pointed out in recent article - is a disaster. However, perhaps it's possible to focus the effort better like Dr. Ionnidis is suggesting.


    Another factor to keep in mind is this is primarily a respiratory disease and at least some of the hardest hit areas have bad air quality. Wuhan in China, North Italy and Madrid. It wouldn't surprise me if this could be a factor for New York as well.

  7. My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well …

    Why isn’t Cuomo crowing about it, though? He made big noise about bringing in those drugs—hundreds of thousands of doses—but hasn’t said anything about how they’re faring for weeks now. I can’t imagine any politician turning down the chance to brag about saving so many lives.

    • Agree: HammerJack
  8. The only difference between the “down players” and the panic stricken “doomers,” is that the former admit there are costs to the solutions and question the viability of such solutions.

    The doomers, on the other hand, avoid any questions about when to open back up, how much the hard shut downs cost society, or what you plan to do when this spikes back up when we end the shut down as their models suggest. Doomers are just all “shut-up and watch Netflix, bro.”

    Sidenote: there’s a new test case in the works. Early numbers from the USS Roosevelt, currently sidelined. 93% of the ship tested. About 11% of the ship tested positive. Zero hospitalizations.

    • Agree: Lot, MikeatMikedotMike
    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    Early numbers from the USS Roosevelt, currently sidelined. 93% of the ship tested. About 11% of the ship tested positive. Zero hospitalizations.
     
    For anybody under 65 who is healthy, "it's just the flu." The science is getting increasingly settled on this point.
    , @Kyle
    In regards to the USS Roosevelt. What’s the n number bro?
    , @nier
    https://thehill.com/policy/defense/491977-roosevelt-sailor-admitted-to-icu
  9. Anon[650] • Disclaimer says:

    Perhaps those under 55 could return to work then, while continuing to pay those above 55.

    If we shut the whole economy down for 6 full months, the ensuing depression will probably kill more than corona chan ever would have.

    Democrats, utterly insane with hatred of Trump and his voters, seem to be willing to drive our national car off a cliff just to beat the guy/blame him. I mean, by July or so…….we have to get back to making products and performing services or warehouses really will be getting near empty, with no money to import new solid goods, and folks too broke too pay for necessary services.

    Btw……if you wanna see real hate: watch CNNs Don Lemon or MSNBCs Racheal Maddow.

    If you wanna read real hate, take a gander at Bill Kristol’s TheBulwark.com. The Bible spoke better of Satan and his demons than they do about Trump and his deploreables.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Not a bad plan, but make the age 65.

    And continue to require masks and prohibit larger gatherings among the under-65s who are out and about. Specifically, N95 masks, which should be provided free of charge.
  10. Anon[279] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve come across something potentially alarming. If Covid-19 is indeed giving people symptons like severe altitude sickness, anyone who lives at a higher elevation may be in real trouble. Colorado has our highest average elevation, and in Denver, people live at 5000 feet. I was looking at Colorado’s latest report and saw that a full 20% of all their cases needed hospitalization.

    https://covid19.colorado.gov/case-data

    The numbers are very stark:

    5,655 total cases
    1,162 hospitalized

    That’s a lot. The website also says this about their total cases: “The number of cases also includes epidemiologically-linked cases — or cases where public health epidemiologists have determined that infection is highly likely because a person exhibited symptoms and had close contact with someone who tested positive.”

    In other words, they’re even including people who they think might have it but who have not been tested. I noticed this because only 6% of the people with Covid in my own state have needed to go to the hospital. The only thing that explains this huge a difference is that Covid has spread pretty quickly inside the Colorado health care system to patients who were already in the hospital, or being at a higher altitude makes it more likely you will need an oxygen supplement once Covid starts depriving you of oxygen.

    There’s a skiing connection there for you. You had a bunch of wealthy people who don’t normally live at high altitude going to a mountainous skiing resort, and they got hammered by a virus that gives you something like a very bad case of altitude sickness on top of any altitude sickness they already had. Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.
     
    Bingo! The skiing connection is very telling.

    And thus COPDers, smokers, and the obese and those with hypertension (often comorbid with congestive heart failure) are at higher risk. Interestingly though, men, who generally have higher hemoglobin levels than women, seem to be worse affected. Anemia is much more common in women.
    , @TomSchmidt
    Hmmm.

    Madrid is over 2000 feet in elevation. But Bergamo is only 800 feet, and Milan maybe 300. NYC is at sea level. Wuhan itself is at 121 feet.

    So, you'd need more data.
    , @FPD72
    I can think of another risk factor that is prevalent in Colorado. It involves being high but isn’t related to altitude. I wonder what the age demographic is for those who are hospitalized in contrast to other states.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    I would think it would be the opposite.

    The body's adaptation to high altitude is to increase oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. This should put all Colorado folks at an advantage.

    Sure, they might feel short of breath easily, but once you reverse the oxygen deficit of altitude with an oxygen mask, they should be in a really good position.
  11. @AnotherDad

    Another point is of course that most of his analyses assume a functioning, non-overwhelmed medical system. For example, I hope that PM Boris Johnson survives his hospital stay. The odds currently seem to be in his favor. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?
     
    Hate to say it Steve, but given your "history" i wouldn't even go to the hospital if it gets bad for you.

    They'll be some tedious SJW doc-ette who reads SPLC "reports" like holy scripture and will let all the POC on the ward know you're a bad thinker.

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospital.

    Get yourself a CPAP and oxygen concentrator, take your hydroxychloroquine and stay at home in your closet.

    They’ll be some tedious SJW doc-ette who reads SPLC “reports” like holy scripture and will let all the POC on the ward know you’re a bad thinker.

    No, but see, that’s why we need government-controlled errr, single-payer health care in America. There’ll be rules and all, so that kind of thing won’t happen.

    Seriously, that’s good advice to iSteve. Laying in bed for days, getting woken up every 2-3 hours, and being in an environment with all kinds of sick people is not good for you, unless you are getting some really serious treatment that you can’t get at home.

    I’ve been there – the days last weeks.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    What an asshole. Against nationalized health care. Which every other first-world and second-world country in the world has.

    You are one of those Americans who does not even know that the rest of the world exists. Europe? Is that near Mexico? you ask. Is France the capital of Paris? you ask.

    People are having their life savings evaporate thanks to coronavirus. Not to mention people sick from other things. But you don't care. You got yours.

    What you got, then? Employer-provided insurance? Ha. Real safe and secure. You'll never lose that. Medicare? You mean nationalized healthcare for the old? Or, like most of the idle retarded young, do you just believe in your own immortality?

    Clown.
  12. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Old people vote.

    Obviously a heavy toll on older Americans is going to affect whites most, at least theoretically. But NYC finally released the racial breakdown, probably because they finally found the angle they were secretly hoping for: blacks and browns hardest hit.

    The Hispanic numbers were a surprise, but really it's pretty fair.
    Hispanics make up 34% of the fatalities (They are 29% of NYC’s population)
    Blacks make up 28% of the fatalities (22% of the population)
    Whites make up 27% of the fatalities (32% of the population)
    Asians make up 7% of the fatalities (17% of the population)

    Sounds believable. Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can't stay away from social gatherings. For them, 15 is company, 50's a crowd. Social clustering.

    A lot of other people live by 'social distancing' principles anyway, especially whites and Asians.

    I don't know why people say America was unprepared. We built an entire society around sitting in front of a TV or communicating with people on another screen, with access to almost any practical information we might need. They still deliver pizza in NYC, for chrissake.

    Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can’t stay away from social gatherings.

    Coronavirus is especially dangerous for obese people. Whites and Asians in NYC tend to be trim. Blacks and Hispanics are big and fat.

    Here’s a paper about it, written (hilariously) by S. Lim: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265895/#!po=0.877193

    • Replies: @HammerJack

    Whites and Asians in NYC tend to be trim. Blacks and Hispanics are big and fat.
     
    It's a good point. Blacks and Hispanics tend to have a host of bad health habits, incredibly poor diets, no exercise, drugs and drink (respectively), and on and on.

    The MSM won't dare breathe a word of this, because it suits them to blame white people for everything.
    , @Anonymous
    Yes, fat people have difficulty breathing in normal times. If something goes wrong with their lungs they are in big trouble.
  13. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City).

    Why is driving in Germany so dangerous? Is it the autobahn?

    Driving in NYC is not very dangerous. You can drive fast on the FDR and West Side highways in Manhattan, but most of the driving there is relatively slow, stop and go driving that won’t kill you.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    The risk in ny is so much higher it's equivalent to driving a longer distance.
    , @GermanReader2

    Why is driving in Germany so dangerous? Is it the autobahn?

    Driving in NYC is not very dangerous. You can drive fast on the FDR and West Side highways in Manhattan, but most of the driving there is relatively slow, stop and go driving that won’t kill you.
     
    Driving in Germany is less dangerous than it is in the US. In fact, the most deadly parts (deaths per miles driven) of the autobahn are the stretches, where you are only allowed to drive 60 km/h (40 miles per hour, usually there is construction going on in one lane to justify that kind of speed limit)

    What the article said, is that the chance of dying of Wuhan virus in Germany is equivalent to driving 9 miles a day in New York state, while the chance of dying of Wuhan virus in New York City is equivalent to driving 415 miles a day in New York state.
  14. @Ron Unz
    One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we're still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that's just my guess.

    Like most inaccurate models, the problem is with your assumptions. It’s more likely it’s 50% asymptomatic. 40% with mild symptoms. 5% with serious but not hospitalization level symptoms. 4-5% needing hospitalization and 1-2% needing ICUs.

  15. @Ron Unz
    One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we're still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that's just my guess.

    Good questions. Right, in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator.

    Does anybody know what percentage of American patients are getting hydroxychloroquine or other new treatments? Is it enough to show up in the data yet?

    • Replies: @O'Really

    in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator
     
    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.
    , @Joe Schmoe
    Isn't it possible that the USA is just doing a much better job saving the old folks from dying? Perhaps we are both giving it our all to save the younger folks, but Europeans are kinda more psychologically ready to let the elderly go.
  16. Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Americans sure do eat a lot of salt and sugar, Seth, more than Europeans, from what I've seen personally. I'm sure they will catch up! I only wrote to point out another thing though. The BP machines at the drug stores and grocery stores, at least the exceedingly annoying* "Higi Stations", have changed from showing over 130 mm-Hg Systolic pressure to over 120 mm-Hg meaning Hypertension. I wonder if the definitions vary between America and Europe.

    BTW, the dark blue bars in Figure 1 ought to be labeled "18 and under".

    .

    * Getting through the menus to GET to the point of measuring your blood pressure increases hypertension itself! You've gotta run a few do-overs to see a normal reading.

    , @The Germ Theory of Disease
    "why is high blood pressure so common in the US?"

    Si responsam requiris, circumspice.
    , @RichardTaylor

    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?
     
    I think we are fatter. We eat more bad carbs. Also, we have a large African population which has higher blood pressure.
    , @Neoconned
    There's salt on EVERYTHING. I have mild hypertension. Runs in my family. My mother has it & shes skinny as a twig.

    If you move to New Orleans you'll understand why its so hard to avoid it.

    I'm on Norvasc. It's some kinda ACE inhibitor. But im also EXTREMELY active. I stand up 7 to 14 hours a day as i do a laborer job...and i often work in 90F temps in 100% humidity when i go outside or in a confined area @ work.
    , @res

    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?
     
    Probably this:
    https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2019/11/25/08/57/comparison-of-the-acc-aha-and-esc-esh-hypertension-guidelines

    https://www.acc.org//~/media/Non-Clinical/Images/Latest%20in%20Cardiology/Articles/2019/11/Prevention_EAO_Sharma_table1.png

    Acronyms from the text.


    2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) and 2018 European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/European Society of Hypertension (ESH) guidelines.
     
  17. @AnotherDad

    The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City).
     
    So this Chinese bug has effectively sentenced me to life ... as a long-haul trucker.

    Seven years of college down the drain.

    “20 years of schoolin’ and they put you on the day shift”

  18. Anon[422] • Disclaimer says:

    I wonder if there is some underlying reason or moderator (in a Fifth Law of Behavioral Genetics sense) that people with hypertension are at risk, since hypertension itself is trivially controllable with medicine these days for the vast bulk of people? Most people in the developed word “with hypertension” do not actually have high blood pressure, assuming they take their meds.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    I wonder if there is some underlying reason or moderator (in a Fifth Law of Behavioral Genetics sense) that people with hypertension are at risk, since hypertension itself is trivially controllable with medicine these days for the vast bulk of people?
     
    I don' t think there is any real secret about this. At least not for anyone who has ever worked in any kind of health care environment. A lot of people with HTN are overweight and their HTN is poorly controlled, they eat poor diet, and uncontrolled HTN is linked to congestive heart disease, which causes a build up of fluid in the lungs and often swelling of the feet. This is far from trivial.

    If you see people who are kind of fat, and puffing and a bit purple in the face when they hurry, then probably they have high BP and are vulnerable.

    Of course there are also lots of people who take medication for somewhat elevated blood pressure and they do fine, so you are not entirely wrong, just missing the whole picture.
  19. “Something I’ve noticed is that downplayers like Ioannidis tend to go back and forth on the question of: Is your life worth living?”

    A: You can’t live something well that you no longer have. First step is to survive and then concentrate on living, and never again take it for granted. Sometimes a severe illness will tend to do focus a person toward that perspective.

    As for the first question, hypertension can be controlled with medication. In some cases, it can be better managed/regulated thru proper diet and exercise.

  20. Ioannidis

    For a moment there, I thought this was Milo.

    Despina G. Contopoulos-Ioannidis = Insipid and unapologetic! So soon!

    • LOL: Rob
  21. With all these “covid 19 ” corpses about, the underlying cause of death might be of interest. Narrative “uber alles” I suppose.

  22. Anon[279] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    Another point is of course that most of his analyses assume a functioning, non-overwhelmed medical system. For example, I hope that PM Boris Johnson survives his hospital stay. The odds currently seem to be in his favor. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?
     
    Hate to say it Steve, but given your "history" i wouldn't even go to the hospital if it gets bad for you.

    They'll be some tedious SJW doc-ette who reads SPLC "reports" like holy scripture and will let all the POC on the ward know you're a bad thinker.

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospital.

    Get yourself a CPAP and oxygen concentrator, take your hydroxychloroquine and stay at home in your closet.

    You’re not very likely to get a secondary dose of lethal pneumonia at home; only from the hospital where it’s circulating around the air vents after being coughed up by other patients. Anyway, has everyone forgotten what they learned from 1918? You’re supposed to treat patients outdoors. In the sunlight, viruses are killed by UV and you boost Vitamin D levels. In the 1918 pandemic, they saved a lot of lives that way. This is a prescription that gives you the right to lol around on your porch every day.

    • Agree: dogbumbreath
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    A lot of doctors don't seem to believe that Vitamin D is good for you. They don't believe in the efficacy of any kind of natural nutritional supplements, only the latest medications pushed by Big Pharma. There's a reason that pharma companies hire saleswomen who look like this:


    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/09/23/1411450364831_wps_25_Leonard_and_Amy_make_and_.jpg

  23. Anon[339] • Disclaimer says:

    In NYC, nobody lives one mile away from a bus stop.

    Most of them New Yorkers are fugly precisely for being fat. You hear about people from Spain or from Sydney as looking decent. I rarely heard that about a New Yorker. When I did, it was mostly about showbiz teens who weren’t given enough time to stuff their faces in their famous pizza.

    New Yorkers are uglier and far less fit than the mutts of LA or San Diego.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Beg to differ. We live in LA. There are MILLIONS of obese people, mostly Mexicans and Guatemalans, in L.A. County alone (pop. 10.5 million). It is the standard look more than anything else.

    The Obesity is widely prevalent, to a somewhat lesser extent, in neighboring Orange County (pop. 3.3 million).

    I’ve lived in or split time in nine States plus DC and visited almost every State in the mainland US and most Canadian provinces. I’ve never seen a fatter, uglier group of people than right here in Southern California. The actual and would-be models and actors catch your attention, but they are outnumbered by Latino trolls ten to one.

    To be fair, throw in some chunky Koreans and white people (we know a good number of the latter in the OC), and we’ve got nothing on the NYC area in the health or looks department.

  24. >How Honest is the COVID Fatality Count?

    Dr. Scott Jensen is both a physician and a Minnesota state senator. Yesterday he was interviewed by a local television station and dropped a bombshell: he, and presumably all other Minnesota doctors, got a seven-page letter from the Minnesota Department of Health that gave guidance on how to classify COVID-19 deaths. The letter said that if a patient died of, e.g., pneumonia, and was believed to have been exposed to COVID-19, the death certificate should say that COVID-19 was the cause of death even though the patient was never tested, or never tested positive, for that disease.<

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/04/how-honest-is-the-covid-fatality-count.php

    • Agree: another fred
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    Do note, that the order to be more liberal with the classification of Corona deaths comes recently, well into the start of the pandemic, and not right at the beginning, so as to ramp up the numbers at the appropiate time to follow an increasing curve.
  25. • Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease
    If true, then rest assured that going forward it will be perfectly A-OK, even preferred, to call it the White Virus, because extra smugpoints and totally Not Racism.
    , @Anonymous

    Most New York Coronavirus Cases Came From Europe, Genomes Show
    New research indicates that the coronavirus began to circulate in the New York area by mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case

    “I’m quite confident that it was not spreading in December in the United States,” Dr. Bedford said. “There may have been a couple other introductions in January that didn’t take off in the same way.”
     
    Trump travel ban on China: Jan 31
    Trump travel ban on Europe: March 11

    Sad!
    , @HammerJack
    It's amazing how much genome results they can find and publish when they want to. If you know what I mean.
    , @Hypnotoad666

    The virus came to the New York area mainly from Europe, not Asia,
     
    Yeah. But it got to Europe from Asia. So, whatever.
  26. @Seth Largo
    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?

    Americans sure do eat a lot of salt and sugar, Seth, more than Europeans, from what I’ve seen personally. I’m sure they will catch up! I only wrote to point out another thing though. The BP machines at the drug stores and grocery stores, at least the exceedingly annoying* “Higi Stations”, have changed from showing over 130 mm-Hg Systolic pressure to over 120 mm-Hg meaning Hypertension. I wonder if the definitions vary between America and Europe.

    BTW, the dark blue bars in Figure 1 ought to be labeled “18 and under”.

    .

    * Getting through the menus to GET to the point of measuring your blood pressure increases hypertension itself! You’ve gotta run a few do-overs to see a normal reading.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    oops, disregard the remark about the graph - just missed the 5-minute mark. I guess that's the number for all adults.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson Three
    According to this article in JAMA: Association of Isolated Diastolic Hypertension as Defined by the 2017 ACC/AHA Blood Pressure Guideline With Incident Cardiovascular Outcomes they changed the definition based on "expert" opinion.

    In the 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) guideline, the definition of hypertension was lowered from a blood pressure (BP) of greater than or equal to 140/90 to greater than or equal to 130/80 mm Hg. The new diastolic BP threshold of 80 mm Hg was recommended based on expert opinion and changes the definition of isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH).
     
    The essential point is that they changed the 2003 definition in 2017 based on opinion and not on data. The conclusion:

    there was no significant association between IDH as defined by the 2017 ACC/AHA guideline and incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease.
     
    is that having readings within the 2003 guidelines (140/90) does not increase the IDH risk when compared to the 2017 thresholds (130/80). I would expect that if you dig a little, you will find that lowering the value to 120 has a similar pedigree.
  27. @Achmed E. Newman
    Americans sure do eat a lot of salt and sugar, Seth, more than Europeans, from what I've seen personally. I'm sure they will catch up! I only wrote to point out another thing though. The BP machines at the drug stores and grocery stores, at least the exceedingly annoying* "Higi Stations", have changed from showing over 130 mm-Hg Systolic pressure to over 120 mm-Hg meaning Hypertension. I wonder if the definitions vary between America and Europe.

    BTW, the dark blue bars in Figure 1 ought to be labeled "18 and under".

    .

    * Getting through the menus to GET to the point of measuring your blood pressure increases hypertension itself! You've gotta run a few do-overs to see a normal reading.

    oops, disregard the remark about the graph – just missed the 5-minute mark. I guess that’s the number for all adults.

  28. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Old people vote.

    Obviously a heavy toll on older Americans is going to affect whites most, at least theoretically. But NYC finally released the racial breakdown, probably because they finally found the angle they were secretly hoping for: blacks and browns hardest hit.

    The Hispanic numbers were a surprise, but really it's pretty fair.
    Hispanics make up 34% of the fatalities (They are 29% of NYC’s population)
    Blacks make up 28% of the fatalities (22% of the population)
    Whites make up 27% of the fatalities (32% of the population)
    Asians make up 7% of the fatalities (17% of the population)

    Sounds believable. Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can't stay away from social gatherings. For them, 15 is company, 50's a crowd. Social clustering.

    A lot of other people live by 'social distancing' principles anyway, especially whites and Asians.

    I don't know why people say America was unprepared. We built an entire society around sitting in front of a TV or communicating with people on another screen, with access to almost any practical information we might need. They still deliver pizza in NYC, for chrissake.

    I’m kind of old (65) and I hate being under house arrest.

  29. @Ron Unz
    One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we're still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that's just my guess.

    … low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs…

    … the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs.

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.

    You and Steve seem now to be searching for explanations for, with all due respect, what has seemed like an overreaction and a dwelling on worst-case scenarios at the expense of everything else.

    The simple fact might be that this illness hits older people and/or those with serious, preexisting health problems far more severely than it does everyone else. Thus the sharp cutoff you are seeing between hospital cases and all the others.

    And yes, the special (old, common) drugs have by now been shown to benefit many patients, but those tend to already be in hospital care, don’t they?

    We appreciate the work you guys have been doing, and this is not intended as a mean criticism, just an honest thought.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.
     
    Sure, that's certainly possible. I'm obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they're correct, that could be what's drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn't take those drugs since they haven't been officially "endorsed" by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that's why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.
  30. I highlighted New York City, where 30% of deaths have been under age 65. Keep in mind that New York City has a fairly wealthy and healthy population, with fewer really fat people than is average in the U.S. …

    Is there a racial breakdown, and a breakout by BMI, of these people, or pre-existing conditions? New York certainly has a lot of walkers, but it also has a “vibrant” population, one that includes many members of high-risk groups. Think Black Americans, with high blood pressure and obesity, among those rich, slim New Yorkers you are talking about. I’ve seen plenty of them there.

    I don’t know, and I’m not nitpicking or trying to be overly critical, just looking for answers. We can all agree at least that the trend looks good and that this is a good thing.

  31. By the way, I presume 55-year-old Boris Johnson has some predisposing conditions

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/21/police-called-to-loud-altercation-at-boris-johnsons-home

    Police were called to the home of Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging.

    A neighbour told the Guardian they heard a woman screaming followed by “slamming and banging”. At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”.

    It is not clear whether Johnson is a teetotaller.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Nor is it clear that Johnson is always the picture of health.

    http://www.sickchirpse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Boris-2-500x1000.jpg
    , @Mr. Anon
    It's remarkable that Boris Johnson, PM of Britain, is just shacking up with a woman (who is pregnant by him). The previous President of France, Francois Hollande, was also just shacking up with a "partner". The fact that western heads of state can't even be bothered to follow customary social norms is emblematic of the rot in the western world.
  32. @Seth Largo
    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?

    “why is high blood pressure so common in the US?”

    Si responsam requiris, circumspice.

    • LOL: Keypusher
  33. @Anon
    I've come across something potentially alarming. If Covid-19 is indeed giving people symptons like severe altitude sickness, anyone who lives at a higher elevation may be in real trouble. Colorado has our highest average elevation, and in Denver, people live at 5000 feet. I was looking at Colorado's latest report and saw that a full 20% of all their cases needed hospitalization.

    https://covid19.colorado.gov/case-data

    The numbers are very stark:

    5,655 total cases
    1,162 hospitalized

    That's a lot. The website also says this about their total cases: "The number of cases also includes epidemiologically-linked cases -- or cases where public health epidemiologists have determined that infection is highly likely because a person exhibited symptoms and had close contact with someone who tested positive."

    In other words, they're even including people who they think might have it but who have not been tested. I noticed this because only 6% of the people with Covid in my own state have needed to go to the hospital. The only thing that explains this huge a difference is that Covid has spread pretty quickly inside the Colorado health care system to patients who were already in the hospital, or being at a higher altitude makes it more likely you will need an oxygen supplement once Covid starts depriving you of oxygen.

    There's a skiing connection there for you. You had a bunch of wealthy people who don't normally live at high altitude going to a mountainous skiing resort, and they got hammered by a virus that gives you something like a very bad case of altitude sickness on top of any altitude sickness they already had. Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.

    Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.

    Bingo! The skiing connection is very telling.

    And thus COPDers, smokers, and the obese and those with hypertension (often comorbid with congestive heart failure) are at higher risk. Interestingly though, men, who generally have higher hemoglobin levels than women, seem to be worse affected. Anemia is much more common in women.

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    There were early reports that the high blood pressure medication was the problem, not necessarily the existence of high blood pressure itself. I haven’t heard much about that lately.
    , @Simon Tugmutton
    Highly suggestive theory about Colorado and the skiers. What also has to be taken into account are the compromised immune systems of most people today. Vitamin D deficiency is a glaring example, as also the industrial diet pioneered by the U.S. and exported to any country that can afford it. Such a diet is deficient in all kinds of things the immune system needs. On top of that are lack of exercise and the so-called metabolic syndrome (obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.) associated with that diet, which together lower the body's defences against microbial attack. Plus of course the cocktail of drugs so many people are rightly or wrongly prescribed for chronic conditions.

    Vitamin D has been identified as important in tackling infections in the upper respiratory tract:

    https://youtu.be/fmDng_uMCnY

    I would add that there is growing evidence that the pulsed electromagnetic fields generated by cell towers, cell phones, wi-fi, bluetooth, wireless keyboards/mice and the like do in fact have an adverse effect on the body. Such EMFs are like nothing in nature, have been definitively shown to reduce sperm count, and are implicated by many doctors in such diverse conditions as cancer, Alzheimer's and autism. The underlying mechanism could be disruption of calcium metabolism:

    https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.6.13.1397839

    See also:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300355

    This is a useful site for those interested in exploring further:

    https://ehtrust.org/
  34. @Jonathan Mason

    Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.
     
    Bingo! The skiing connection is very telling.

    And thus COPDers, smokers, and the obese and those with hypertension (often comorbid with congestive heart failure) are at higher risk. Interestingly though, men, who generally have higher hemoglobin levels than women, seem to be worse affected. Anemia is much more common in women.

    There were early reports that the high blood pressure medication was the problem, not necessarily the existence of high blood pressure itself. I haven’t heard much about that lately.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
  35. @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1248071228520304641

    If true, then rest assured that going forward it will be perfectly A-OK, even preferred, to call it the White Virus, because extra smugpoints and totally Not Racism.

  36. @Steve Sailer
    Good questions. Right, in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator.

    Does anybody know what percentage of American patients are getting hydroxychloroquine or other new treatments? Is it enough to show up in the data yet?

    in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator

    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    This was my assumption until recently, but it doesn't appear to be true. It's not like this disease was dumped onto frenetic emergency rooms of the sort you've seen on TV dramas like ER. In reality, outside of rare mass casualty events, American hospitals are pretty quiet and orderly, in my experience. The ones in NYC are busier now, certainly, but there's been no video of patients in hallways because there's a lack of rooms available, and the 2500-bed field hospital set up at the giant Javits Convention Center (home of New York's auto show) was treating just 66 patients as of a couple of days ago.

    The first hint to me that something didn't add up was in a Twitter thread a week or two ago by an NYC-area hospitalist talking about how bad things were. Someone asked for evidence that local hospitals were over capacity and someone else shared a video from Italy. Then the hospitalist shared a video of a reporter touring an NYC hospital, which didn't look terribly busy inside, although it had a number of patients on ventilators.

    I think there's been a bit of a miscommunication here. Emergency departments and intensive care units are likely busier than they were before the virus, and that's reflected in comments by front line medical staff, who have the added stress of being at personal risk. But the warnings of exceeding hospital capacity in NYC haven't come to pass, as evidenced by the mostly empty field hospitals, and Governor Cuomo's recent change in tone, now saying he has enough ventilators, etc.
    , @Thatgirl
    Haven't New York hospitals always had a problem with overcrowding?

    My sister-in-law had a baby in a Brooklyn hospital about ten years ago. She labored for hours in the hallway because there were no rooms available.
    , @Ron Unz

    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.
     
    Since you're a longtime iSteve commenter and seem to have an inside view of the medical aspect of the NYC outbreak, what's your sense of why the ICU load has apparently grown much less rapidly than originally predicted?

    Also, are the doctors finding that those special drugs are anything like as effective as their advocates have been claimed? The story is that they work best soon after infection, and may greatly reduce the need for hospitalization.
  37. @Jonathan Mason

    By the way, I presume 55-year-old Boris Johnson has some predisposing conditions
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/21/police-called-to-loud-altercation-at-boris-johnsons-home

    Police were called to the home of Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging.


    A neighbour told the Guardian they heard a woman screaming followed by “slamming and banging”. At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”.

    It is not clear whether Johnson is a teetotaller.

    Nor is it clear that Johnson is always the picture of health.

  38. @Buzz Mohawk

    ... low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs...
     

    ... the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs.
     
    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.

    You and Steve seem now to be searching for explanations for, with all due respect, what has seemed like an overreaction and a dwelling on worst-case scenarios at the expense of everything else.

    The simple fact might be that this illness hits older people and/or those with serious, preexisting health problems far more severely than it does everyone else. Thus the sharp cutoff you are seeing between hospital cases and all the others.

    And yes, the special (old, common) drugs have by now been shown to benefit many patients, but those tend to already be in hospital care, don't they?

    We appreciate the work you guys have been doing, and this is not intended as a mean criticism, just an honest thought.

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.

    Sure, that’s certainly possible. I’m obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they’re correct, that could be what’s drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn’t take those drugs since they haven’t been officially “endorsed” by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that’s why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    • Replies: @newrouter
    >Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn’t take those drugs since they haven’t been officially “endorsed” by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that’s why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.<

    Stay away from goofy ideas.
    , @Jonathan Mason

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn’t take those drugs since they haven’t been officially “endorsed” by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that’s why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.
     
    It was reported that he didn't even see a doctor until he had been sick for a week.
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Throughout history, the experts conventional wisdom has been less than stellar. For example, there was a time when the experts collectively agreed that the earth was flat, and explicitly stated so.

    Of all things, perhaps it would take the likes of the Z man and Ramzpaul to bring a little bit of sanity and balance to this whole scheme of things.

    When attempting to predict 'So, how many will pass from this once it's all over?'

    Instead of charging full force and naming an estimate, the prudent answer, of course, would be to state: "At this time we simply don't know, and we won't name a number. What we can do, is to prepare for the worst possible outcome. If it turns out that it wasn't so bad after all, then we will have succeeded in averting what could have been a bad situation."

    And let it go at that. Rather than coming across like Paul Ehrlich (or worse, Jeanne Dixon) by attempting to name an actual number when there simply isn't hard evidence for one.

    , @anon
    Mr wRONg strikes again.
    You said there would be 100 Million deaths worldwide., and now you're trying to walk it back.
    It's fine for youRon, because you're rich, and eh, you couldnt give a fuck about the rest of us plebs.
    This shutdown is causing untold unnecessary harm to a lot of people.
    , @UK
    *eyeroll
    , @Hail
    The EU's European Mortality Monitoring Project's latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago. Reporting delays vary by country, but generally reach near-final counts within a few days of death. This means the data you see graphed reflects conditions by ca.April 2, with partial data for the following few days, largely-complete-data for previous days, and very-near-100% for all earlier weeks.

    Here it is:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVLPapvU0AAZo3h.png

    Observations:

    - The epidemic is now well past peak. Like observing a distant star, this data is a snapshot of the past, and not just because of the administrative reporting delays aforementioned. Conditions as of the second week of April are much better still.

    - Overall excess mortality can be seen by the total area under the the observed-death curve(s) and above the baseline. The Coronavirus-flu-associated spike in deaths looks a lot like the 2016-17 peak-flu-season spike in Europe; when all is said and done, March to April 2020 may yet outpace the 2016-17 spike and there may be marginally more excess deaths. But from the latest data available all signs are that it had not, and the end of the epidemic is now easily extrapolatable. And, temperatures are rising fast. Spring is here. Spring, the eternal enemy of all the forward-march of all viruses.

    __________

    Comparison with past years. The 2019-20 flu season, in which excess mortality peaked in March instead of the more-usual January or Feburary, vs. the 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 flu seasons:

    - Milder in each case for age 15-to-65s;

    - No difference for children under age 15;

    - For over-65s, it's looking like it will equal 2016-17.

    As Dr. Klaus Püschel, head of forensic medicine in Hamburg and one of the latest major CoronaHeretics (again a German), said a few days ago:


    Corona in itself is a „not particularly dangerous viral disease“ [...] I am convinced that the Corona mortality rate will not even show up as a peak in annual mortality.“

    (Translated from the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper.)
     

    Needless to say, the rhetorical battle over what caused total excess deaths to be about 2016-17-season levels (a bad flu season), rather than something like 1918-19 levels, as originally predicted by some and as widely promulgated by the media, will go on.
    , @Scott Locklin
    Hey Ron: you can actually download the (right censored) pneumonia deaths and overall deaths, the ratio of which is used by the CDC, along with the (presumably STL) model they use to normalize it and look for things out of range; aka new respiratory viruses.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/#S2

    So far, you can see a slight bump in their graph, which as I said, is a plot of the ratio of pneumonia to over all deaths, but if you look at the raws, it seems to be attributable to lower overall mortality rather than the expected increase in pneumonia deaths (locking people up is good for their health, I guess). You can also see the giant historical spike in 2017/2018 flu season, which was considerably worse, at least so far, presumably because nobody thought to shut people up in their homes for a few months to prevent its spread. Mind you, this data is right censored.

    FWIIW looking at this data, data published by the CDC mind you, is roundly denounced as "delialist" by right thinking people in the media, twitter and other such extremely online places. That's not cool.

    The 15-20% hospitalization/infection figure; not sure where that came from; would love to know, but it surely didn't take into account all the asymptomatic infections. "Experts" say a lot of things, some of which are nonsense. For example, nobody has any clue what the total infection numbers looks like. We certainly have no idea if hospitalization for a virus for which there is no accepted treatment is iatrogenic or not. For all we know, the lowered over all death rate in the US is a result of people keeping away from hospitals in general (it's not automotive related).

    I don't have much idea of what's going on, and am a humble counter of things, but I figure it's easy to be fooled by models (especially models with exponential growth), and expert prognostications, but it is hard to argue with actual dead bodies.
  39. @Seth Largo
    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?

    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?

    I think we are fatter. We eat more bad carbs. Also, we have a large African population which has higher blood pressure.

    • Replies: @GermanReader2

    I think we are fatter. We eat more bad carbs. Also, we have a large African population which has higher blood pressure.
     
    In my opinion another big reason is the nearly complete lack of exercise of a large part of the American population. I once read a book by an American woman, who had married a well-known German TV-host and lived with him in Germany, about the differences between the US and Germany. She wrote, that even though she had canceled her gym-membership upon moving to Germany and did a lot less exercise in Germany than she had done in the US, she had lost about 10 pounds since her move and felt overall fitter.
    She attributed her better fitness in Germany to the fact, that she moved a lot more in everyday situations. (For instance they lived in an apartment on the third floor, that did not have an elevator and so she had to walk a lot of stairs daily. She also wrote, that her parents have only ever been once in her apartment, because climbing the stairs was too strenuous for them)

    I have several acquaintances, who have seen slight reductions in weight but dramatic improvement in their cholesterol/hypertension etc. once they increased the time they walked each day (one got a dog, another two started playing Pokemon Go). I think a big problem when it comes to exercise is that a lot of people think they have to go to the gym five times a week and lift as many kilos as Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Mister Universe time in order to get healthy, when even daily moderate exercise (going for a 30 minute walk each day) can have a big positive impact on your health.
  40. @Ron Unz

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.
     
    Sure, that's certainly possible. I'm obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they're correct, that could be what's drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn't take those drugs since they haven't been officially "endorsed" by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that's why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    >Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn’t take those drugs since they haven’t been officially “endorsed” by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that’s why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.<

    Stay away from goofy ideas.

  41. @AnotherDad

    Another point is of course that most of his analyses assume a functioning, non-overwhelmed medical system. For example, I hope that PM Boris Johnson survives his hospital stay. The odds currently seem to be in his favor. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?
     
    Hate to say it Steve, but given your "history" i wouldn't even go to the hospital if it gets bad for you.

    They'll be some tedious SJW doc-ette who reads SPLC "reports" like holy scripture and will let all the POC on the ward know you're a bad thinker.

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospital.

    Get yourself a CPAP and oxygen concentrator, take your hydroxychloroquine and stay at home in your closet.

    This is wildly retarded advice born of egregious over-exposure to arguing with disembodied strangers on the internet.

  42. Anonymous[334] • Disclaimer says:
    @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1248071228520304641

    Most New York Coronavirus Cases Came From Europe, Genomes Show
    New research indicates that the coronavirus began to circulate in the New York area by mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case

    “I’m quite confident that it was not spreading in December in the United States,” Dr. Bedford said. “There may have been a couple other introductions in January that didn’t take off in the same way.”

    Trump travel ban on China: Jan 31
    Trump travel ban on Europe: March 11

    Sad!

  43. @Ron Unz

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.
     
    Sure, that's certainly possible. I'm obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they're correct, that could be what's drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn't take those drugs since they haven't been officially "endorsed" by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that's why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn’t take those drugs since they haven’t been officially “endorsed” by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that’s why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    It was reported that he didn’t even see a doctor until he had been sick for a week.

  44. I highlighted New York City, where 30% of deaths have been under age 65. Keep in mind that New York City has a fairly wealthy and healthy population, with fewer really fat people than is average in the U.S.

    Hmmm… I dunno about this.

    Yes, I suspect New Yorkers, on average, tip the scales at less than residents of, say, New Orleans or Houston, but when I think of NYC I think Eloi and Morlocks; e.g. lots of people who look like Larry David mixed in with black guys named Yusef walking around muttering about white people, plus dumpy little guys named Jose cleaning windows. In short, the Eloi, the crowd you see huffing around the reservoir in Central Park, are pretty fit, but the Morlocks, while they don’t have the mass of folks in, say, Columbus, Ohio, are not on par with the cross country skiing set in say, Denver, CO or Salt Lake City, UT. And they don’t age well.

  45. Boris johnson’s fiancee, who has symptoms herself, is also expecting their child, which is pretty worrying.

  46. “Keep in mind that New York City has a fairly wealthy and healthy population, with fewer really fat people than is average in the U.S. due to many people not having cars and thus having to walk a mile or two to and from public transportation every day.”

    So then, living in the suburbs, where people’s houses tend to be spread out a bit and not similar to row houses and cramped style apartments, give people a natural advantage of social distancing. It’s not surprising that NYC is getting slammed the hardest with COVID-19, as it was also slammed the hardest during the Spanish Flu epidemic as well. Which is similar to various plagues throughout history, which also tended to hit urban centers of commerce while sparsely populated rural areas were spared the worst of the pandemics.

    Colds, flus, pneumonia, and viruses such as COVID-19 tend to strike the hardest in densely populated areas, where folks scurry around like ants with no room on overcrowded streetcars, subways, and streets.

    So with infectious viruses, flus, and colds, as well as high crime, and inferior performing public schools, why exactly should people make a bee line for the cities again?

    Suburbs. Live there, and live longer as well as to the fullest. Because you can’t live your life to the fullest if you’ve been cancelled due to a virus.

  47. @Ron Unz
    One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we're still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that's just my guess.

    I think you’re right about the hydroxichloiquine, etc. But I think it’s mostly killing the already-seriously-vulnerable and not hitting the rest of the population that hard.

    I have no respect for The National Review, but this article is definitely worth a read:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/04/coronavirus-response-sweden-avoids-isolation-economic-ruin/

  48. Data tables from the Italian Statistics site:

    https://www.istat.it/it/files//2020/03/mortalit%C3%A0-per-giorno-periodo-01_01-30_04-anni-2015-2019-totali.zip
    https://www.istat.it/it/files//2020/03/Tavola-sintetica-decessi.xlsx
    From these official tables the total death rates for Lombardy region for the month of March from 2015 to 2020 are:

    2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
    8552 8037 8059 8523 8543 8587

    Lombardy includes Bergamo the superstar of coronadeath city, with military trucks needed to move the coffins. I don’t quite see the reason to panic.

    Now, for the US: CDC data from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/data/NCHSdata13.csv
    Total death rates for the first twelve weeks of 2020 are utterly unremarkable, both for Pneumonia/flu and for total death rates. If there were no tests for the corona, it would be a normal flu season, with zero warning that things are maybe not ordinary! The total death rates are actually dropped from 50000 per week to only 40000 per week since the lockdawn, probably due to less driving, and emptied hospitals, reducing iatrogene death rates.

    I am convinced, that most corona cases are just relabeled pneumonia/flu cases as otherwise they would show up as increased total death rates. It is hysterical moronic imbecility world wide.

    • Thanks: TomSchmidt
  49. @Ron Unz

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.
     
    Sure, that's certainly possible. I'm obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they're correct, that could be what's drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn't take those drugs since they haven't been officially "endorsed" by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that's why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    Throughout history, the experts conventional wisdom has been less than stellar. For example, there was a time when the experts collectively agreed that the earth was flat, and explicitly stated so.

    Of all things, perhaps it would take the likes of the Z man and Ramzpaul to bring a little bit of sanity and balance to this whole scheme of things.

    When attempting to predict ‘So, how many will pass from this once it’s all over?’

    Instead of charging full force and naming an estimate, the prudent answer, of course, would be to state: “At this time we simply don’t know, and we won’t name a number. What we can do, is to prepare for the worst possible outcome. If it turns out that it wasn’t so bad after all, then we will have succeeded in averting what could have been a bad situation.”

    And let it go at that. Rather than coming across like Paul Ehrlich (or worse, Jeanne Dixon) by attempting to name an actual number when there simply isn’t hard evidence for one.

    • Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease
    "there was a time when the experts agreed that the earth was flat"

    This is a wive's tale that just won't die. No serious-minded educated person has thought the earth was flat for nearly 3,000 years.

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.
    , @dfordoom

    For example, there was a time when the experts collectively agreed that the earth was flat, and explicitly stated so.
     
    Was there? The ancients knew the earth was a sphere. The medievals knew the earth was a sphere. I doubt that there was ever a time in history when experts thought the earth was flat.
  50. Interesting. In NYC, Louisiana, Detroit and Milwaukee, a high percentage of the deaths were black. Hypertension is often associated with overweight/obesity. Could this be because a large percentage of blacks are overweight/obese? Something like 80% of black women over 40 are overweight/obese.

  51. @Anon
    Perhaps those under 55 could return to work then, while continuing to pay those above 55.

    If we shut the whole economy down for 6 full months, the ensuing depression will probably kill more than corona chan ever would have.

    Democrats, utterly insane with hatred of Trump and his voters, seem to be willing to drive our national car off a cliff just to beat the guy/blame him. I mean, by July or so.......we have to get back to making products and performing services or warehouses really will be getting near empty, with no money to import new solid goods, and folks too broke too pay for necessary services.


    Btw......if you wanna see real hate: watch CNNs Don Lemon or MSNBCs Racheal Maddow.

    If you wanna read real hate, take a gander at Bill Kristol's TheBulwark.com. The Bible spoke better of Satan and his demons than they do about Trump and his deploreables.

    Not a bad plan, but make the age 65.

    And continue to require masks and prohibit larger gatherings among the under-65s who are out and about. Specifically, N95 masks, which should be provided free of charge.

  52. @Daniel Williams

    Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that, as Ioannidis demonstrates, this new disease is demographically opposite from the Spanish Flu, which preyed hardest on young men.
     
    If this thing hangs around it may cause a real generation gap between the old people who hold power in this country (and who don’t want to die of Coronavirus) and the young people who are tired of putting their lives on hold for a disease that poses very little threat to them.

    It’s hard to argue with either position. Which group has more people in it?

    These young people have parents and grandparents. They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their “freedom”.

    • Replies: @Daniel Williams

    They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their “freedom”.
     
    And when did anyone ever do anything rash for that?

    Young people deserve today the things that old people had yesterday. They should go to parties, fall in love, make new young people, become old themselves, and then die. That is life.
    , @XYZ (no Mr.)
    Many of these young ones -- I certainly wish many more in America -- also want to be parents and grandparents one day. 'Freedom' sadly nowadays includes the ability to make living and support a new family. Which was hard enough prior to the Wuhan virus. Why would loving parents and grandparents wish to deny to their young what they themselves enjoyed?
    , @Anonymous Jew
    What are you talking about? Why do I need to visit my 70-something father with two heart surgeries under his belt before this thing is over? I told him to stay put, stay isolated, order his food in and then sanitize it. It makes sense that he should bear the costs of this crisis instead of everyone.

    Young people don’t put old people at risk unless we come into contact with them, which can be avoided. That’s much easier to to deal with than the next Great Depression and loss of personal freedom.

    For many boomers, it’s still all about them.

  53. @Anon
    In NYC, nobody lives one mile away from a bus stop.

    Most of them New Yorkers are fugly precisely for being fat. You hear about people from Spain or from Sydney as looking decent. I rarely heard that about a New Yorker. When I did, it was mostly about showbiz teens who weren't given enough time to stuff their faces in their famous pizza.

    New Yorkers are uglier and far less fit than the mutts of LA or San Diego.

    Beg to differ. We live in LA. There are MILLIONS of obese people, mostly Mexicans and Guatemalans, in L.A. County alone (pop. 10.5 million). It is the standard look more than anything else.

    The Obesity is widely prevalent, to a somewhat lesser extent, in neighboring Orange County (pop. 3.3 million).

    I’ve lived in or split time in nine States plus DC and visited almost every State in the mainland US and most Canadian provinces. I’ve never seen a fatter, uglier group of people than right here in Southern California. The actual and would-be models and actors catch your attention, but they are outnumbered by Latino trolls ten to one.

    To be fair, throw in some chunky Koreans and white people (we know a good number of the latter in the OC), and we’ve got nothing on the NYC area in the health or looks department.

    • Agree: HammerJack
    • Replies: @RAZ
    Just checked and the top 8 states for obesity are southern (if you include W. Virginia and Kentucky as southern).

    Years ago when kids were young we went to Disney World and I couldn't help noticing that there were a LOT of overweight parents there with their kids. Even more than Europeans would expect from Americans. Somehow I was talking with someone about this and they explained it was because the schools in Louisiana were on break that week and lots of heavy Louisiana families were visiting.

    Colorado and Utah are usually at the other end with the lowest obesity rates.
  54. Well, you’ve got to hand it to the man: he knows how to double down. Horribly wrong the first eight times? Maybe, but I’ve got a good feeling about this time!

  55. @Anon
    I wonder if there is some underlying reason or moderator (in a Fifth Law of Behavioral Genetics sense) that people with hypertension are at risk, since hypertension itself is trivially controllable with medicine these days for the vast bulk of people? Most people in the developed word “with hypertension” do not actually have high blood pressure, assuming they take their meds.

    I wonder if there is some underlying reason or moderator (in a Fifth Law of Behavioral Genetics sense) that people with hypertension are at risk, since hypertension itself is trivially controllable with medicine these days for the vast bulk of people?

    I don’ t think there is any real secret about this. At least not for anyone who has ever worked in any kind of health care environment. A lot of people with HTN are overweight and their HTN is poorly controlled, they eat poor diet, and uncontrolled HTN is linked to congestive heart disease, which causes a build up of fluid in the lungs and often swelling of the feet. This is far from trivial.

    If you see people who are kind of fat, and puffing and a bit purple in the face when they hurry, then probably they have high BP and are vulnerable.

    Of course there are also lots of people who take medication for somewhat elevated blood pressure and they do fine, so you are not entirely wrong, just missing the whole picture.

    • Replies: @botazefa

    Of course there are also lots of people who take medication for somewhat elevated blood pressure and they do fine, so you are not entirely wrong, just missing the whole picture.
     
    And your answer doesn't really illuminate the big picture in my opinion. Here's @anon's comment you were responding to:

    I wonder if there is some underlying reason or moderator (in a Fifth Law of Behavioral Genetics sense) that people with hypertension are at risk
     
    The answer to that is, potentially yes. I don't know the physics or biology of the process, but apparently Covid19 acts on ACE2 receptors.

    Many anti-hypertensive medications are ACE inhibitors. That is why some have speculated that hypertension is a risk factor. It's not necessarily hypertension that is the risk factor, but ingestion of ACE inhibitors.

    My point is that @anon was asking a good question.

  56. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Throughout history, the experts conventional wisdom has been less than stellar. For example, there was a time when the experts collectively agreed that the earth was flat, and explicitly stated so.

    Of all things, perhaps it would take the likes of the Z man and Ramzpaul to bring a little bit of sanity and balance to this whole scheme of things.

    When attempting to predict 'So, how many will pass from this once it's all over?'

    Instead of charging full force and naming an estimate, the prudent answer, of course, would be to state: "At this time we simply don't know, and we won't name a number. What we can do, is to prepare for the worst possible outcome. If it turns out that it wasn't so bad after all, then we will have succeeded in averting what could have been a bad situation."

    And let it go at that. Rather than coming across like Paul Ehrlich (or worse, Jeanne Dixon) by attempting to name an actual number when there simply isn't hard evidence for one.

    “there was a time when the experts agreed that the earth was flat”

    This is a wive’s tale that just won’t die. No serious-minded educated person has thought the earth was flat for nearly 3,000 years.

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.

    • Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease
    Possibly the most important scientific discovery of all time was the realization that planetary orbits are not circular, they are ellipsoidal, viz they have two centers not one. (Actually they have numerous centers but only two significant ones.). They only LOOK like they're circular, because one center of mass, the sun, is so much more powerful than the other center. From this realization stems all of scientific physics, the development of which was held up for centuries by an idealistic admiration for "perfect" shapes like circles and spheres, instead of for sloppy reality.

    Consider that like Ptolemy, we have extremely accurate data regarding things like test scores and achievement differentials. The conclusions from this data are painfully obvious. But we still cling to the retarded idea that there is a mysterious "gap" that can and must somehow be "fixed."

    Think of how many idiotic assumptions about circles and spheres are needed to support this worldview.
    , @Mr. Anon

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.
     
    There was nothing even wrong with the use of the data. One could argue that his model of planetary motion was the best available theory at the time. You can't really blame him for not being Copernicus or Kepler. Nobody was until over a thousand years later.

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.
    , @kihowi
    Yeah this is obviously embarrassingly wrong, but whenever that happens I always try to understand what point they were trying to make instead of jumping on top of a detail like that.

    Talking about flat earths, it's a great of way sniffing out idiots who are only accidentally right. Next time you see someone fulminating against flat earthers, ask them why they think it's round, without resorting to "the tv says so". Probably won't be able to.

    There are a few pretty obvious observations, even besides the ships on the horizon, but they won't know about those.

  57. @Anon
    These young people have parents and grandparents. They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their "freedom".

    They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their “freedom”.

    And when did anyone ever do anything rash for that?

    Young people deserve today the things that old people had yesterday. They should go to parties, fall in love, make new young people, become old themselves, and then die. That is life.

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @BB753
    Older Boomers would rather see the whole world perish than die 5 years before their time.
    "Après nous, le déluge!"


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apr%C3%A8s_nous_le_d%C3%A9luge
    , @LoutishAngloQuebecker
    More like: get in college debt, live at home, play videogames all day, die alone. Or wageslave all day, live paycheque to paycheque, die alone.

    Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps! After all, I just had a high school diploma and ended up as a senior manager due to hard work. Millenials are just lazy!
  58. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    "there was a time when the experts agreed that the earth was flat"

    This is a wive's tale that just won't die. No serious-minded educated person has thought the earth was flat for nearly 3,000 years.

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.

    Possibly the most important scientific discovery of all time was the realization that planetary orbits are not circular, they are ellipsoidal, viz they have two centers not one. (Actually they have numerous centers but only two significant ones.). They only LOOK like they’re circular, because one center of mass, the sun, is so much more powerful than the other center. From this realization stems all of scientific physics, the development of which was held up for centuries by an idealistic admiration for “perfect” shapes like circles and spheres, instead of for sloppy reality.

    Consider that like Ptolemy, we have extremely accurate data regarding things like test scores and achievement differentials. The conclusions from this data are painfully obvious. But we still cling to the retarded idea that there is a mysterious “gap” that can and must somehow be “fixed.”

    Think of how many idiotic assumptions about circles and spheres are needed to support this worldview.

  59. Somewhat off-topic, Ionannidis, while born in the USA, was raised in Athens. I watched a YouTube interview of his a few days ago and detected a very slight Greek accent.. and a smirk! Very funny guy, with the mad scientist/shepherd look!
    I’d love to see him debate Greg Cochran, if only for the entertainment value.

    • Agree: Polynikes
  60. @Anon
    These young people have parents and grandparents. They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their "freedom".

    Many of these young ones — I certainly wish many more in America — also want to be parents and grandparents one day. ‘Freedom’ sadly nowadays includes the ability to make living and support a new family. Which was hard enough prior to the Wuhan virus. Why would loving parents and grandparents wish to deny to their young what they themselves enjoyed?

  61. @Ron Unz
    One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we're still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that's just my guess.

    The models were based on faulty data that over-measured the deaths actually caused by the virus and under-measured the number of infections. That’s all.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Excuses, excuses.

    The experts got it wrong, once again.

    If their own computer models can't get an accurate hold on something such as a new virus, why exactly should they be trusted to tell us about world wide damage caused by coming climate change? Yet one more example of the experts not getting something correct. Will they collectively concede this? (e.g. a spokesperson for the scientific community going on TV and stating, 'we were wrong, our model estimates didn't accurately convey the facts.') Of course not. They seldom ever do.
  62. @Polynikes
    The only difference between the “down players” and the panic stricken “doomers,” is that the former admit there are costs to the solutions and question the viability of such solutions.

    The doomers, on the other hand, avoid any questions about when to open back up, how much the hard shut downs cost society, or what you plan to do when this spikes back up when we end the shut down as their models suggest. Doomers are just all “shut-up and watch Netflix, bro.”


    Sidenote: there’s a new test case in the works. Early numbers from the USS Roosevelt, currently sidelined. 93% of the ship tested. About 11% of the ship tested positive. Zero hospitalizations.

    Early numbers from the USS Roosevelt, currently sidelined. 93% of the ship tested. About 11% of the ship tested positive. Zero hospitalizations.

    For anybody under 65 who is healthy, “it’s just the flu.” The science is getting increasingly settled on this point.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Disagree: Sean
  63. @Daniel Williams

    Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can’t stay away from social gatherings.
     
    Coronavirus is especially dangerous for obese people. Whites and Asians in NYC tend to be trim. Blacks and Hispanics are big and fat.

    Here’s a paper about it, written (hilariously) by S. Lim: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265895/#!po=0.877193

    Whites and Asians in NYC tend to be trim. Blacks and Hispanics are big and fat.

    It’s a good point. Blacks and Hispanics tend to have a host of bad health habits, incredibly poor diets, no exercise, drugs and drink (respectively), and on and on.

    The MSM won’t dare breathe a word of this, because it suits them to blame white people for everything.

  64. I highlighted New York City, where 30% of deaths have been under age 65. Keep in mind that New York City has a fairly wealthy and healthy population, with fewer really fat people than is average in the U.S. due to many people not having cars and thus having to walk a mile or two to and from public transportation every day. (Public transportation might well increase the odds that you will be infected while decreasing the odds that you will die from your infection.)

    New Yorkers are fast walking and talking; breathing down your neck and ‘in your face’. Them standing closer together–than Iowans for example–while conversing in an animatedly emphatic fashion perhaps means infections there may disproportionately start with a whopping initial viral load to the nasopharynx, right on the button marked ‘Goodnight Vienna’.

  65. @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1248071228520304641

    It’s amazing how much genome results they can find and publish when they want to. If you know what I mean.

  66. @O'Really

    in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator
     
    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.

    This was my assumption until recently, but it doesn’t appear to be true. It’s not like this disease was dumped onto frenetic emergency rooms of the sort you’ve seen on TV dramas like ER. In reality, outside of rare mass casualty events, American hospitals are pretty quiet and orderly, in my experience. The ones in NYC are busier now, certainly, but there’s been no video of patients in hallways because there’s a lack of rooms available, and the 2500-bed field hospital set up at the giant Javits Convention Center (home of New York’s auto show) was treating just 66 patients as of a couple of days ago.

    The first hint to me that something didn’t add up was in a Twitter thread a week or two ago by an NYC-area hospitalist talking about how bad things were. Someone asked for evidence that local hospitals were over capacity and someone else shared a video from Italy. Then the hospitalist shared a video of a reporter touring an NYC hospital, which didn’t look terribly busy inside, although it had a number of patients on ventilators.

    I think there’s been a bit of a miscommunication here. Emergency departments and intensive care units are likely busier than they were before the virus, and that’s reflected in comments by front line medical staff, who have the added stress of being at personal risk. But the warnings of exceeding hospital capacity in NYC haven’t come to pass, as evidenced by the mostly empty field hospitals, and Governor Cuomo’s recent change in tone, now saying he has enough ventilators, etc.

    • Thanks: HammerJack
    • Replies: @O'Really
    You are sadly mistaken. The Javits Center and Comfort are a red herring - they were not supposed to be taking COVID patients and have basically become a bureaucratic fiasco. The hospitals themselves are as I said. Just because you haven't seen video, doesn't mean it's not happening. It is happening - far worse than anything you would see on ER.
  67. @Anon
    You're not very likely to get a secondary dose of lethal pneumonia at home; only from the hospital where it's circulating around the air vents after being coughed up by other patients. Anyway, has everyone forgotten what they learned from 1918? You're supposed to treat patients outdoors. In the sunlight, viruses are killed by UV and you boost Vitamin D levels. In the 1918 pandemic, they saved a lot of lives that way. This is a prescription that gives you the right to lol around on your porch every day.

    A lot of doctors don’t seem to believe that Vitamin D is good for you. They don’t believe in the efficacy of any kind of natural nutritional supplements, only the latest medications pushed by Big Pharma. There’s a reason that pharma companies hire saleswomen who look like this:

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    My understanding is they're starting to hire cute guys also, because of so many female doctors now.
    , @black sea
    I used to know someone who worked in pharma sales. She told me that the companies particularly sought out college cheerleaders, both male and female. Attractive, healthy-looking young people who are over-brimming with "pep," apparently this is what doctors gravitate toward at the end of a long day.
  68. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    "there was a time when the experts agreed that the earth was flat"

    This is a wive's tale that just won't die. No serious-minded educated person has thought the earth was flat for nearly 3,000 years.

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.

    There was nothing even wrong with the use of the data. One could argue that his model of planetary motion was the best available theory at the time. You can’t really blame him for not being Copernicus or Kepler. Nobody was until over a thousand years later.

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.

    • Replies: @Dave3

    epicycles ... could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.
     
    Astronomy programs calculate the Moon's position by adding up a bunch of sine waves from a table. A Keplerian orbit doesn't work because the Moon is buffeted about by the Sun and other planets, and integrating Newtonian orbits takes too long.
    , @res

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.
     
    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book. There is a discussion of Fourier expansions of electron orbits in the context of quantum mechanics on pp. 38-39.

    And Fourier transforms of star orbits is a real thing:
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1979ApJ...234..275M

    Here are some references talking about Fourier Transforms (or series/expansions) and Ptolemaic ideas.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1977Obs....97...84D
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferent_and_epicycle

    I'd be interested in additional references if anyone knows of any good ones.
  69. @Mr. Anon
    A lot of doctors don't seem to believe that Vitamin D is good for you. They don't believe in the efficacy of any kind of natural nutritional supplements, only the latest medications pushed by Big Pharma. There's a reason that pharma companies hire saleswomen who look like this:


    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/09/23/1411450364831_wps_25_Leonard_and_Amy_make_and_.jpg

    My understanding is they’re starting to hire cute guys also, because of so many female doctors now.

  70. @Jonathan Mason

    By the way, I presume 55-year-old Boris Johnson has some predisposing conditions
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/21/police-called-to-loud-altercation-at-boris-johnsons-home

    Police were called to the home of Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging.


    A neighbour told the Guardian they heard a woman screaming followed by “slamming and banging”. At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”.

    It is not clear whether Johnson is a teetotaller.

    It’s remarkable that Boris Johnson, PM of Britain, is just shacking up with a woman (who is pregnant by him). The previous President of France, Francois Hollande, was also just shacking up with a “partner”. The fact that western heads of state can’t even be bothered to follow customary social norms is emblematic of the rot in the western world.

    • Agree: Farenheit
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    It’s remarkable that Boris Johnson, PM of Britain, is just shacking up with a woman (who is pregnant by him).
     
    I know, but politicians have a lot more privacy over there and a mistress is referred to as a "partner" as if they were in a law fim, or something. Making an honest woman of her is considered really passe, and there is no such position as a First Lady in the UK.

    The press is not even sure how many children Boris has. (Actually 4 from his second marriage, plus one bun in the overn.) He has refused to discuss his children with the press and said "they are not running for election."

    , @Dave3
    In Europe, shacking up with a partner is a "customary social norm".
    , @Hail

    The fact that western heads of state can’t even be bothered to follow customary social norms is emblematic of the rot in the western world
     
    And he's a Conservative. (Whether he is also a conservative (small-c) by current UK standards is debatable. Many conservatives and nationalists seemed to really dislike/distrust him over a long period but tacitly supported him given the Brexit situation by the end of the 2010s.)

    (Btw, How would history have been different had Bill Clinton divorced Hillary in the '90s and lived with a live-in girlfriend at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?)

    , @Anonymous
    Marriage is for homos.
  71. anon[307] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.
     
    Sure, that's certainly possible. I'm obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they're correct, that could be what's drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn't take those drugs since they haven't been officially "endorsed" by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that's why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    Mr wRONg strikes again.
    You said there would be 100 Million deaths worldwide., and now you’re trying to walk it back.
    It’s fine for youRon, because you’re rich, and eh, you couldnt give a fuck about the rest of us plebs.
    This shutdown is causing untold unnecessary harm to a lot of people.

  72. utu says:
    @Ron Unz
    One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we're still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that's just my guess.

    Tuesday (as of Monday) statistics from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-update.html
    NY
    Confirmed cases: 138,836
    Hospitalized: 17,493 (12.5% of confirmed)
    In intensive care: 4,593 (26% of hospitalized)
    Deaths: 5,489

    NJ
    Confirmed cases: 44,416
    Hospitalized: 7,017 (15.6% of confirmed)
    In critical care: 1,651 (23% of hospitalized)
    On ventilators: 1,540
    Deaths: 1,232

    Connecticut
    Confirmed cases: 7,781
    Hospitalized: 1,308 (17% of confirmed)
    Deaths: 277
    _______________________

    Yes, Cuomo wanted 50,000 or 100,000 extra beds in NYS several weeks ago.

    • Replies: @utu
    Let's look at the NY numbers:

    Deaths: 5,489, up 731 from early Monday
    Hospitalized: 17,493 people statewide, up from 16,837
    In intensive care: 4,593, up 89 from 4,504 on Monday

    Assume that all 731 died while hospitalized then new patients needing hospitalizations: 17,493 - (16,837-731)=1397 in one day. 26% of them (363 patients) will end up in ICU (see the previous comment)

    1397/16,837=+8.3% daily intake of new patients

    731/16,837=-4.34% daily death rate among hospitalized

    and if we assume that all 731 died while in the intensive care then new patients entering intensive care: 4,593 - (4,504-731)=820

    820/4,504= +18.2% daily intake of new ICU patients

    731/4,504=16.2% daily ICU death rate

    820/16,837= 4.87% of hospitalized moved to ICU in one day.

    731 is 16.2% of 4,504 and 16.2% of 4,593 is 744 which would be the expected number of deaths on the following day. According to https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en
    the following day 780 died in the NYS.
  73. Anonymous[170] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Williams

    Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can’t stay away from social gatherings.
     
    Coronavirus is especially dangerous for obese people. Whites and Asians in NYC tend to be trim. Blacks and Hispanics are big and fat.

    Here’s a paper about it, written (hilariously) by S. Lim: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265895/#!po=0.877193

    Yes, fat people have difficulty breathing in normal times. If something goes wrong with their lungs they are in big trouble.

  74. @Anon
    I've come across something potentially alarming. If Covid-19 is indeed giving people symptons like severe altitude sickness, anyone who lives at a higher elevation may be in real trouble. Colorado has our highest average elevation, and in Denver, people live at 5000 feet. I was looking at Colorado's latest report and saw that a full 20% of all their cases needed hospitalization.

    https://covid19.colorado.gov/case-data

    The numbers are very stark:

    5,655 total cases
    1,162 hospitalized

    That's a lot. The website also says this about their total cases: "The number of cases also includes epidemiologically-linked cases -- or cases where public health epidemiologists have determined that infection is highly likely because a person exhibited symptoms and had close contact with someone who tested positive."

    In other words, they're even including people who they think might have it but who have not been tested. I noticed this because only 6% of the people with Covid in my own state have needed to go to the hospital. The only thing that explains this huge a difference is that Covid has spread pretty quickly inside the Colorado health care system to patients who were already in the hospital, or being at a higher altitude makes it more likely you will need an oxygen supplement once Covid starts depriving you of oxygen.

    There's a skiing connection there for you. You had a bunch of wealthy people who don't normally live at high altitude going to a mountainous skiing resort, and they got hammered by a virus that gives you something like a very bad case of altitude sickness on top of any altitude sickness they already had. Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.

    Hmmm.

    Madrid is over 2000 feet in elevation. But Bergamo is only 800 feet, and Milan maybe 300. NYC is at sea level. Wuhan itself is at 121 feet.

    So, you’d need more data.

  75. @Mr. Anon
    A lot of doctors don't seem to believe that Vitamin D is good for you. They don't believe in the efficacy of any kind of natural nutritional supplements, only the latest medications pushed by Big Pharma. There's a reason that pharma companies hire saleswomen who look like this:


    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/09/23/1411450364831_wps_25_Leonard_and_Amy_make_and_.jpg

    I used to know someone who worked in pharma sales. She told me that the companies particularly sought out college cheerleaders, both male and female. Attractive, healthy-looking young people who are over-brimming with “pep,” apparently this is what doctors gravitate toward at the end of a long day.

    • Replies: @Sean

    https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691190785/deaths-of-despair-and-the-future-of-capitalism
    From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline. For the white working class, today’s America has become a land of broken families and few prospects. As the college educated become healthier and wealthier, adults without a degree are literally dying from pain and despair. Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and, above all, to a rapacious health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages into the pockets of the wealthy.
     
  76. @Anonymous

    The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City).
     
    Why is driving in Germany so dangerous? Is it the autobahn?

    Driving in NYC is not very dangerous. You can drive fast on the FDR and West Side highways in Manhattan, but most of the driving there is relatively slow, stop and go driving that won't kill you.

    The risk in ny is so much higher it’s equivalent to driving a longer distance.

  77. @newrouter
    >How Honest is the COVID Fatality Count?

    Dr. Scott Jensen is both a physician and a Minnesota state senator. Yesterday he was interviewed by a local television station and dropped a bombshell: he, and presumably all other Minnesota doctors, got a seven-page letter from the Minnesota Department of Health that gave guidance on how to classify COVID-19 deaths. The letter said that if a patient died of, e.g., pneumonia, and was believed to have been exposed to COVID-19, the death certificate should say that COVID-19 was the cause of death even though the patient was never tested, or never tested positive, for that disease.<

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/04/how-honest-is-the-covid-fatality-count.php

    Do note, that the order to be more liberal with the classification of Corona deaths comes recently, well into the start of the pandemic, and not right at the beginning, so as to ramp up the numbers at the appropiate time to follow an increasing curve.

  78. In the UK the percentage of deaths from people under 65 is 13%. So: closer to Italy.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/weeklyprovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredinenglandandwales

    Ioannidis is not making any grand point about whose life is worth saving or living, rather the simple point that mitigation efforts should be focussed on over 65 since that’s where the much greater part of the risk is.

    • Agree: Polynikes
  79. @black sea
    I used to know someone who worked in pharma sales. She told me that the companies particularly sought out college cheerleaders, both male and female. Attractive, healthy-looking young people who are over-brimming with "pep," apparently this is what doctors gravitate toward at the end of a long day.

    https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691190785/deaths-of-despair-and-the-future-of-capitalism
    From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline. For the white working class, today’s America has become a land of broken families and few prospects. As the college educated become healthier and wealthier, adults without a degree are literally dying from pain and despair. Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and, above all, to a rapacious health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages into the pockets of the wealthy.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Thanks,I had missed that aspect of Case and Deaton.
  80. @Jonathan Mason

    Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.
     
    Bingo! The skiing connection is very telling.

    And thus COPDers, smokers, and the obese and those with hypertension (often comorbid with congestive heart failure) are at higher risk. Interestingly though, men, who generally have higher hemoglobin levels than women, seem to be worse affected. Anemia is much more common in women.

    Highly suggestive theory about Colorado and the skiers. What also has to be taken into account are the compromised immune systems of most people today. Vitamin D deficiency is a glaring example, as also the industrial diet pioneered by the U.S. and exported to any country that can afford it. Such a diet is deficient in all kinds of things the immune system needs. On top of that are lack of exercise and the so-called metabolic syndrome (obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.) associated with that diet, which together lower the body’s defences against microbial attack. Plus of course the cocktail of drugs so many people are rightly or wrongly prescribed for chronic conditions.

    Vitamin D has been identified as important in tackling infections in the upper respiratory tract:

    I would add that there is growing evidence that the pulsed electromagnetic fields generated by cell towers, cell phones, wi-fi, bluetooth, wireless keyboards/mice and the like do in fact have an adverse effect on the body. Such EMFs are like nothing in nature, have been definitively shown to reduce sperm count, and are implicated by many doctors in such diverse conditions as cancer, Alzheimer’s and autism. The underlying mechanism could be disruption of calcium metabolism:

    https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.6.13.1397839

    See also:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300355

    This is a useful site for those interested in exploring further:

    https://ehtrust.org/

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    I would add that there is growing evidence that the pulsed electromagnetic fields generated by cell towers, cell phones, wi-fi, bluetooth, wireless keyboards/mice and the like do in fact have an adverse effect on the body.
     
    You would therefore expect to find women particularly hard hit since they spend so much of their life using cell phones to get on Facebook and to chat with their friends.
  81. What I wonder is if it is really the co-morbidities like hypertension and diabetes that open the door to a COVID-19 death, or if it might be the medications used to treat them. Remember that thing about ACE2 Inhibitors that was played up early on?

    • Agree: botazefa
  82. @Ron Unz

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.
     
    Sure, that's certainly possible. I'm obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they're correct, that could be what's drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn't take those drugs since they haven't been officially "endorsed" by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that's why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    *eyeroll

  83. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Old people vote.

    Obviously a heavy toll on older Americans is going to affect whites most, at least theoretically. But NYC finally released the racial breakdown, probably because they finally found the angle they were secretly hoping for: blacks and browns hardest hit.

    The Hispanic numbers were a surprise, but really it's pretty fair.
    Hispanics make up 34% of the fatalities (They are 29% of NYC’s population)
    Blacks make up 28% of the fatalities (22% of the population)
    Whites make up 27% of the fatalities (32% of the population)
    Asians make up 7% of the fatalities (17% of the population)

    Sounds believable. Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can't stay away from social gatherings. For them, 15 is company, 50's a crowd. Social clustering.

    A lot of other people live by 'social distancing' principles anyway, especially whites and Asians.

    I don't know why people say America was unprepared. We built an entire society around sitting in front of a TV or communicating with people on another screen, with access to almost any practical information we might need. They still deliver pizza in NYC, for chrissake.

    The Hispanic numbers were a surprise, but really it’s pretty fair.
    Hispanics make up 34% of the fatalities (They are 29% of NYC’s population).

    Not surprising. Most Hispanics in New York City have African ancestry, although few will admit it. NYC’s Hispanic population is about 1/3 Puerto Rican and 1/3 Dominican.

    It is important to note the Hispanic country of origin. Cubans and Mexicans have about the same health outcomes as whites. Puerto Rican outcomes tend to be somewhere between whites and blacks. (I haven’t found data on Dominican Americans, a group with more African ancestry than Puerto Ricans.)

  84. utu says:
    @utu
    Tuesday (as of Monday) statistics from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-update.html
    NY
    Confirmed cases: 138,836
    Hospitalized: 17,493 (12.5% of confirmed)
    In intensive care: 4,593 (26% of hospitalized)
    Deaths: 5,489

    NJ
    Confirmed cases: 44,416
    Hospitalized: 7,017 (15.6% of confirmed)
    In critical care: 1,651 (23% of hospitalized)
    On ventilators: 1,540
    Deaths: 1,232

    Connecticut
    Confirmed cases: 7,781
    Hospitalized: 1,308 (17% of confirmed)
    Deaths: 277
    _______________________

    Yes, Cuomo wanted 50,000 or 100,000 extra beds in NYS several weeks ago.

    Let’s look at the NY numbers:

    Deaths: 5,489, up 731 from early Monday
    Hospitalized: 17,493 people statewide, up from 16,837
    In intensive care: 4,593, up 89 from 4,504 on Monday

    Assume that all 731 died while hospitalized then new patients needing hospitalizations: 17,493 – (16,837-731)=1397 in one day. 26% of them (363 patients) will end up in ICU (see the previous comment)

    1397/16,837=+8.3% daily intake of new patients

    731/16,837=-4.34% daily death rate among hospitalized

    and if we assume that all 731 died while in the intensive care then new patients entering intensive care: 4,593 – (4,504-731)=820

    820/4,504= +18.2% daily intake of new ICU patients

    731/4,504=16.2% daily ICU death rate

    820/16,837= 4.87% of hospitalized moved to ICU in one day.

    731 is 16.2% of 4,504 and 16.2% of 4,593 is 744 which would be the expected number of deaths on the following day. According to https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en
    the following day 780 died in the NYS.

    • Thanks: keypusher
  85. @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1248071228520304641

    The virus came to the New York area mainly from Europe, not Asia,

    Yeah. But it got to Europe from Asia. So, whatever.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    The NYT wants to make sure it can be blamed on Europeans and those of European descent. They know it's not really true, but they and their kind play a long game and they know they can make it true eventually.
  86. @Daniel Williams

    Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that, as Ioannidis demonstrates, this new disease is demographically opposite from the Spanish Flu, which preyed hardest on young men.
     
    If this thing hangs around it may cause a real generation gap between the old people who hold power in this country (and who don’t want to die of Coronavirus) and the young people who are tired of putting their lives on hold for a disease that poses very little threat to them.

    It’s hard to argue with either position. Which group has more people in it?

    Already the youngest generations have had a significant part of their future sacrificed by the most entitled generation, Boomers selling out their future for the short term gains of stock portfolios, drawing Social Security with no means testing or increased retirement age, much lower government support for affordable public universities than the Boomers enjoyed, offshored jobs and imported scab labor and competition for housing, and exorbitant spending on keeping the elderly alive for an extra few months. Boomers were born on third base and think that they hit a triple. Time for another sacrifice play by the youngest if this is kept going indefinitely. Make masks and ventilators here and then reopen the economy.

    • Agree: Neoconned
    • Replies: @another fred

    Make masks and ventilators here and then reopen the economy.
     
    As a boomer who has railed against the recklessness of my generation since the '60s I have much sympathy with your complaint, but it is not just about us. It is also about the health care workers who are on the front line and taking the brunt of the blow.

    I'd like to don a mask and go fishing this morning, but am not doing so because of what my risk means to health care workers (some of whom are dear to me), not because of my personal risk. We will eventually get to the solution you propose, but not until the tide has ebbed a bit, hopefully just a few weeks out.

    , @Neoconned
    Preach brother! Preach!
  87. When talking about cause of death one must also be aware of the complexity of modern medical coding and how computers are used to compile figures. Whether a death is a cardiac event or corona virus depends on what particular word a Doctor speaks into a recorder that the nurse translates into a number that goes into a computer that gets to the CDC the next day. Comorbidities are recorded, but deeper in the weeds.

    It will be a long time before the statistics make any clear sense, if ever. Comparing European statistics to American statistics may be comparing apples and oranges at this stage of the game.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    That's why total deaths are interesting.
    , @Hypnotoad666
    Speaking of apple's and oranges, they only count the infection rate based on infections "confirmed" by a test. But the same person who is not counted as part of the infection rate will be counted as a Covid-19 death as soon as they die.
  88. @another fred
    When talking about cause of death one must also be aware of the complexity of modern medical coding and how computers are used to compile figures. Whether a death is a cardiac event or corona virus depends on what particular word a Doctor speaks into a recorder that the nurse translates into a number that goes into a computer that gets to the CDC the next day. Comorbidities are recorded, but deeper in the weeds.

    It will be a long time before the statistics make any clear sense, if ever. Comparing European statistics to American statistics may be comparing apples and oranges at this stage of the game.

    That’s why total deaths are interesting.

    • Replies: @another fred

    That’s why total deaths are interesting.
     
    True, but it seems that the reporting of corona deaths is in the fast lane while other numbers are lagging, so isn't our current snapshot distorted?
  89. “predisposing conditions” – both for analysis and policy-decisions this category is much to broad. Of course physicians and scientists just don’t know yet, but it should be explored now which predisposing conditions interact specifically with COVID-19, also it should be explored in which way different severity levels of specific predisposing conditions do increase risk with COVID-19. E.g. the german federal agency for disease control (RKI) list as members of the risk group, apart from older people, everybody who predisposing conditions regarding the:
    – cardiovascular system
    – the lunge
    – the liver
    and also people with Diabetes, problem with the immune system and some other groups.
    This broad description means that a large part of the population falls into the “risk-group”, thus it is not really usable when it comes to manage COVID-19 after the end of the Shut-Down, e.g. by “cocooning” people at risk.
    It is understandable that everybody wants to stay safe by including every potentially relevant disease and especially severity level into the risk-group. But at some time experts have to narrow it down.

    • Replies: @Fredrik

    It is understandable that everybody wants to stay safe by including every potentially relevant disease and especially severity level into the risk-group. But at some time experts have to narrow it down.
     
    Agree,
    but it doesn't look like doctors really know what's causing this or why some people are suffering more.
  90. @Steve Sailer
    That's why total deaths are interesting.

    That’s why total deaths are interesting.

    True, but it seems that the reporting of corona deaths is in the fast lane while other numbers are lagging, so isn’t our current snapshot distorted?

  91. @Lockean Proviso
    Already the youngest generations have had a significant part of their future sacrificed by the most entitled generation, Boomers selling out their future for the short term gains of stock portfolios, drawing Social Security with no means testing or increased retirement age, much lower government support for affordable public universities than the Boomers enjoyed, offshored jobs and imported scab labor and competition for housing, and exorbitant spending on keeping the elderly alive for an extra few months. Boomers were born on third base and think that they hit a triple. Time for another sacrifice play by the youngest if this is kept going indefinitely. Make masks and ventilators here and then reopen the economy.

    Make masks and ventilators here and then reopen the economy.

    As a boomer who has railed against the recklessness of my generation since the ’60s I have much sympathy with your complaint, but it is not just about us. It is also about the health care workers who are on the front line and taking the brunt of the blow.

    I’d like to don a mask and go fishing this morning, but am not doing so because of what my risk means to health care workers (some of whom are dear to me), not because of my personal risk. We will eventually get to the solution you propose, but not until the tide has ebbed a bit, hopefully just a few weeks out.

  92. Ed says:
    @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Old people vote.

    Obviously a heavy toll on older Americans is going to affect whites most, at least theoretically. But NYC finally released the racial breakdown, probably because they finally found the angle they were secretly hoping for: blacks and browns hardest hit.

    The Hispanic numbers were a surprise, but really it's pretty fair.
    Hispanics make up 34% of the fatalities (They are 29% of NYC’s population)
    Blacks make up 28% of the fatalities (22% of the population)
    Whites make up 27% of the fatalities (32% of the population)
    Asians make up 7% of the fatalities (17% of the population)

    Sounds believable. Whites and Asians are more obedient, cooperative and civic minded ( or conformist if you want.) Blacks and Spanish people can't stay away from social gatherings. For them, 15 is company, 50's a crowd. Social clustering.

    A lot of other people live by 'social distancing' principles anyway, especially whites and Asians.

    I don't know why people say America was unprepared. We built an entire society around sitting in front of a TV or communicating with people on another screen, with access to almost any practical information we might need. They still deliver pizza in NYC, for chrissake.

    I’m guessing the black numbers are decent relative to population due to the high rate of immigration. I suspect on average Africans/Caribbean blacks are healthier than Americans. It’s probably the same for all ethnic groups really. “Real” American cities with low rates of immigration are going to have high death rates if the virus spreads like it did in NYC.

    Researchers have been baffled at how immigrant blacks have infant mortality rates that are at the white average whereas American black mothers have high infant mortality rates. Researchers just gave up determining a cause for the disparity and blamed racism.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2594154/

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Researchers have been baffled at how immigrant blacks have infant mortality rates that are at the white average whereas American black mothers have high infant mortality rates.
     
    Researchers might want to look at the poor dietary habits of many poor African American women who have a high rate of gestational diabetes and also look at the amount of exercise they get.

    People in the Caribbean tend to use rice as a staple and do not eat a lot of bread. Meals generally do not have desserts.

    Immigrant blacks are likely to have grown up doing a lot more walking rather than riding. Washing clothes by hand is much more exercise than using a washing machine. Many of the islands are mountainous and have steep hills. Most of the densely inhabited areas of the US are rather flat. Many Americans live in single story homes and are not running up and down stairs several times a day.

    People in the Caribbean tend to use rice as a staple and do not eat a lot of bread. They hardly ever bake cakes. Meals generally do not have desserts. A lot less sugared soda drinks are drunk, though that is increasing.

    Researchers really need to get out more.
  93. @Hypnotoad666

    The virus came to the New York area mainly from Europe, not Asia,
     
    Yeah. But it got to Europe from Asia. So, whatever.

    The NYT wants to make sure it can be blamed on Europeans and those of European descent. They know it’s not really true, but they and their kind play a long game and they know they can make it true eventually.

  94. @Seth Largo
    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?

    There’s salt on EVERYTHING. I have mild hypertension. Runs in my family. My mother has it & shes skinny as a twig.

    If you move to New Orleans you’ll understand why its so hard to avoid it.

    I’m on Norvasc. It’s some kinda ACE inhibitor. But im also EXTREMELY active. I stand up 7 to 14 hours a day as i do a laborer job…and i often work in 90F temps in 100% humidity when i go outside or in a confined area @ work.

  95. @Lockean Proviso
    Already the youngest generations have had a significant part of their future sacrificed by the most entitled generation, Boomers selling out their future for the short term gains of stock portfolios, drawing Social Security with no means testing or increased retirement age, much lower government support for affordable public universities than the Boomers enjoyed, offshored jobs and imported scab labor and competition for housing, and exorbitant spending on keeping the elderly alive for an extra few months. Boomers were born on third base and think that they hit a triple. Time for another sacrifice play by the youngest if this is kept going indefinitely. Make masks and ventilators here and then reopen the economy.

    Preach brother! Preach!

  96. GermanReader2 [AKA "GermanReader2_new"] says:
    @Anonymous

    The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City).
     
    Why is driving in Germany so dangerous? Is it the autobahn?

    Driving in NYC is not very dangerous. You can drive fast on the FDR and West Side highways in Manhattan, but most of the driving there is relatively slow, stop and go driving that won't kill you.

    Why is driving in Germany so dangerous? Is it the autobahn?

    Driving in NYC is not very dangerous. You can drive fast on the FDR and West Side highways in Manhattan, but most of the driving there is relatively slow, stop and go driving that won’t kill you.

    Driving in Germany is less dangerous than it is in the US. In fact, the most deadly parts (deaths per miles driven) of the autobahn are the stretches, where you are only allowed to drive 60 km/h (40 miles per hour, usually there is construction going on in one lane to justify that kind of speed limit)

    What the article said, is that the chance of dying of Wuhan virus in Germany is equivalent to driving 9 miles a day in New York state, while the chance of dying of Wuhan virus in New York City is equivalent to driving 415 miles a day in New York state.

  97. @AnotherDad

    The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City).
     
    So this Chinese bug has effectively sentenced me to life ... as a long-haul trucker.

    Seven years of college down the drain.

    Never quite understood how long-haul truckers survived anyway. Not when they were fat old white guys at least. Now many are young immigrants so they have more years before the sedentary aspect takes its toll.

  98. @Anon
    I've come across something potentially alarming. If Covid-19 is indeed giving people symptons like severe altitude sickness, anyone who lives at a higher elevation may be in real trouble. Colorado has our highest average elevation, and in Denver, people live at 5000 feet. I was looking at Colorado's latest report and saw that a full 20% of all their cases needed hospitalization.

    https://covid19.colorado.gov/case-data

    The numbers are very stark:

    5,655 total cases
    1,162 hospitalized

    That's a lot. The website also says this about their total cases: "The number of cases also includes epidemiologically-linked cases -- or cases where public health epidemiologists have determined that infection is highly likely because a person exhibited symptoms and had close contact with someone who tested positive."

    In other words, they're even including people who they think might have it but who have not been tested. I noticed this because only 6% of the people with Covid in my own state have needed to go to the hospital. The only thing that explains this huge a difference is that Covid has spread pretty quickly inside the Colorado health care system to patients who were already in the hospital, or being at a higher altitude makes it more likely you will need an oxygen supplement once Covid starts depriving you of oxygen.

    There's a skiing connection there for you. You had a bunch of wealthy people who don't normally live at high altitude going to a mountainous skiing resort, and they got hammered by a virus that gives you something like a very bad case of altitude sickness on top of any altitude sickness they already had. Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.

    I can think of another risk factor that is prevalent in Colorado. It involves being high but isn’t related to altitude. I wonder what the age demographic is for those who are hospitalized in contrast to other states.

    • Replies: @anon
    I can think of another risk factor that is prevalent in Colorado.

    Especially to certain demographics. "Muh legal POT" was a great Libertarian victory, for sure.
  99. @RadicalCenter
    Beg to differ. We live in LA. There are MILLIONS of obese people, mostly Mexicans and Guatemalans, in L.A. County alone (pop. 10.5 million). It is the standard look more than anything else.

    The Obesity is widely prevalent, to a somewhat lesser extent, in neighboring Orange County (pop. 3.3 million).

    I’ve lived in or split time in nine States plus DC and visited almost every State in the mainland US and most Canadian provinces. I’ve never seen a fatter, uglier group of people than right here in Southern California. The actual and would-be models and actors catch your attention, but they are outnumbered by Latino trolls ten to one.

    To be fair, throw in some chunky Koreans and white people (we know a good number of the latter in the OC), and we’ve got nothing on the NYC area in the health or looks department.

    Just checked and the top 8 states for obesity are southern (if you include W. Virginia and Kentucky as southern).

    Years ago when kids were young we went to Disney World and I couldn’t help noticing that there were a LOT of overweight parents there with their kids. Even more than Europeans would expect from Americans. Somehow I was talking with someone about this and they explained it was because the schools in Louisiana were on break that week and lots of heavy Louisiana families were visiting.

    Colorado and Utah are usually at the other end with the lowest obesity rates.

  100. ” I’ve noticed is that downplayers like Ioannidis ”

    Might as well just call him a denier.

    Some of us might refer to him as a realist. :/

  101. @Mr. Anon
    It's remarkable that Boris Johnson, PM of Britain, is just shacking up with a woman (who is pregnant by him). The previous President of France, Francois Hollande, was also just shacking up with a "partner". The fact that western heads of state can't even be bothered to follow customary social norms is emblematic of the rot in the western world.

    It’s remarkable that Boris Johnson, PM of Britain, is just shacking up with a woman (who is pregnant by him).

    I know, but politicians have a lot more privacy over there and a mistress is referred to as a “partner” as if they were in a law fim, or something. Making an honest woman of her is considered really passe, and there is no such position as a First Lady in the UK.

    The press is not even sure how many children Boris has. (Actually 4 from his second marriage, plus one bun in the overn.) He has refused to discuss his children with the press and said “they are not running for election.”

  102. @Ed
    I’m guessing the black numbers are decent relative to population due to the high rate of immigration. I suspect on average Africans/Caribbean blacks are healthier than Americans. It’s probably the same for all ethnic groups really. “Real” American cities with low rates of immigration are going to have high death rates if the virus spreads like it did in NYC.

    Researchers have been baffled at how immigrant blacks have infant mortality rates that are at the white average whereas American black mothers have high infant mortality rates. Researchers just gave up determining a cause for the disparity and blamed racism.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2594154/

    Researchers have been baffled at how immigrant blacks have infant mortality rates that are at the white average whereas American black mothers have high infant mortality rates.

    Researchers might want to look at the poor dietary habits of many poor African American women who have a high rate of gestational diabetes and also look at the amount of exercise they get.

    People in the Caribbean tend to use rice as a staple and do not eat a lot of bread. Meals generally do not have desserts.

    Immigrant blacks are likely to have grown up doing a lot more walking rather than riding. Washing clothes by hand is much more exercise than using a washing machine. Many of the islands are mountainous and have steep hills. Most of the densely inhabited areas of the US are rather flat. Many Americans live in single story homes and are not running up and down stairs several times a day.

    People in the Caribbean tend to use rice as a staple and do not eat a lot of bread. They hardly ever bake cakes. Meals generally do not have desserts. A lot less sugared soda drinks are drunk, though that is increasing.

    Researchers really need to get out more.

    • Agree: HammerJack
  103. @Daniel Williams

    They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their “freedom”.
     
    And when did anyone ever do anything rash for that?

    Young people deserve today the things that old people had yesterday. They should go to parties, fall in love, make new young people, become old themselves, and then die. That is life.

    Older Boomers would rather see the whole world perish than die 5 years before their time.
    “Après nous, le déluge!”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apr%C3%A8s_nous_le_d%C3%A9luge

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Older Boomers would rather see the whole world perish than die 5 years before their time.
     
    In my own experience it's Boomers who are more likely to be Corona Sceptics and it's Gen Xers and especially the Millennials who are freaking out and hiding under the bed.

    I don't think Corona Sceptics and Corona Alarmists divide neatly along generational lines. I think it's more true to say that the big divide is between different personality types. Some people are just psychologically inclined to mass hysteria and some people are just psychologically inclined to scepticism.

    And of course there's a big ideological divide. But the generation thing doesn't seem to be significant.
  104. German study just out from North Rhine Westphalia (worst hit but of Germany) — 15% have antibodies, true CFR is 0.37%, 35% of deaths in nursing homes

    https://www.welt.de/vermischtes/article207155699/Coronavirus-Studie-Heinsberg-15-Prozent-immun-erste-Lockerungen-moeglich.html

  105. Downplayers? Why not just go all the way and accuse Ioannidis and his ilk of being Deniers?

    Pointing out that unless you are both old and otherwise compromised you have minimal risk of dying or being seriously affected by the coronavirus is not the same as saying if you are old and sick your life is worthless so who cares if you die of it. Sure, we see some of those insipid anti-Boomer* rants here and elsewhere (not from Ioannidis, who specifically says we should focus on protecting those populations), but that is not the general claim. The general claim, as with Neil Ferguson’s radically reduced prediction of 20,000 UK deceased, approximately two-thirds of whom would have died this cold and flu season or this year anyway, is simply that they would have died anyway. Not that it’s fine that they would have died anyway, but that they would have.

    As for a functioning, non-overwhelmed medical system being necessary and sufficient to significantly improve the outcome here, we have seen no evidence of that here. None was offered before we wrecked the lives of the working class on a hunch, none has been presented during the whole ordeal, and when the dust settles we will probably find that rushing Boris Johnson into the ICU and putting him on a ventilator (if he gets on one) had essentially no effect on his case. It’s something you have to do because you have to do it, because if you don’t the armchair quarterbacks will claim that was the play that would have worked.

    The whole obsession with ICUs and ventilators is a lot like the fixation on donating blood after 9/11. Let’s all go down and donate blood. Have you donated blood yet? Why not? It’s the wrong answer to the wrong question, but like the insistence on undergoing soul-cleansing societal self-deprivation in order to placate the gods of the virus, it allows people to think they are affecting things.

    People were driving their whole families around the Tri-State area last month desperately trying to get tested for Covid-19, exposing themselves and others to additional risk of infection. Why? Some doctors rationally pointed out that there is no cure for the novel coronavirus and the treatment is exactly the same as for any other cold or for flu. Get some rest, stay hydrated, stay as isolated as possible. The Italy debacle seems to have been significantly caused by everyone demanding to be admitted to overcrowded hospitals.

    *I get that a lot of the fun of the Okay Boomer and other anti-Boomer rhetoric is specifically Zoomers knowingly directing it toward their Gen X parents or at preachy Millennials. It has become a catch-all term for anyone three to 90 years older than the speaker used to twit them, and the less of an actual Boomer the target is, the funnier. But for the record most of the deaths from Covid-19 will be among the Silent Generation rather than actual Baby Boomers.

    • Agree: Charon, botazefa
    • Replies: @Sean
    Not seen him here for a while but Chuck Orlowski used to work as an emergency planner. They exist in great numbers, even at local level and they run simulations and tabletops for massive terrorist atrocities and all sorts of things, including pandemics that overwhelm medical services requiring life or death triage decisions.

    Just as there were many simulations and plans concerning WMD terror attacks after 9/11, following SARS and Swine flu there were plans for dealing with a respiratory disease pandemic that hospitalised 4% of those infected. They understood exactly what it would be like (minimum 200,000 deaths was predicted in a 2011 UK government document) so Fergusson came as no surprise. They rated it as much more likely to happen than other emergencies). The original UK Influenza Preparedness plan was herd immunity under another name and was in line with long standing contingency planning to get through the worst as fast as possible and put it behind the country. This 'flattening the curve' was not considered viable because that would require an open ended total lockdown.

    Some might say flattening the curve was envisioned as lengthening it a certain limited amount, but the same thing has happened with 'flattening the curve' as 'herd immunity': the politician balked because simple are not willing to take a real world decision that will result in mass deaths, which ending lockdown would mean because COVID-19 would bounce back with a vengeance . No immunity by infection was allowed, so the lockdown has a beginning but it will never have a point at which it is politically feasible to end it. Eventually I suppose it there will be such desperation that the lockdown will be phased out, not having saved anyone but actually produced more deaths than there would otherwise have been. The economic damage will be beyond imagining.

  106. @Dave Pinsen
    This was my assumption until recently, but it doesn't appear to be true. It's not like this disease was dumped onto frenetic emergency rooms of the sort you've seen on TV dramas like ER. In reality, outside of rare mass casualty events, American hospitals are pretty quiet and orderly, in my experience. The ones in NYC are busier now, certainly, but there's been no video of patients in hallways because there's a lack of rooms available, and the 2500-bed field hospital set up at the giant Javits Convention Center (home of New York's auto show) was treating just 66 patients as of a couple of days ago.

    The first hint to me that something didn't add up was in a Twitter thread a week or two ago by an NYC-area hospitalist talking about how bad things were. Someone asked for evidence that local hospitals were over capacity and someone else shared a video from Italy. Then the hospitalist shared a video of a reporter touring an NYC hospital, which didn't look terribly busy inside, although it had a number of patients on ventilators.

    I think there's been a bit of a miscommunication here. Emergency departments and intensive care units are likely busier than they were before the virus, and that's reflected in comments by front line medical staff, who have the added stress of being at personal risk. But the warnings of exceeding hospital capacity in NYC haven't come to pass, as evidenced by the mostly empty field hospitals, and Governor Cuomo's recent change in tone, now saying he has enough ventilators, etc.

    You are sadly mistaken. The Javits Center and Comfort are a red herring – they were not supposed to be taking COVID patients and have basically become a bureaucratic fiasco. The hospitals themselves are as I said. Just because you haven’t seen video, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. It is happening – far worse than anything you would see on ER.

    • Replies: @vhrm
    i admit that i don't know exactly what's happening, but i can guarantee that if there were any real hellscapes they'd be all over social media and shortly after on the MSM as they were in Italy.

    Whatever footage were seeing is probably the 95th percentile of seriousness since ER/ICU healthcare professionals, media, and state politicians are all aligned in wanting to maximize the spectacle of this. There's no incentive to minimize it or to cover it up.
  107. @Simon Tugmutton
    Highly suggestive theory about Colorado and the skiers. What also has to be taken into account are the compromised immune systems of most people today. Vitamin D deficiency is a glaring example, as also the industrial diet pioneered by the U.S. and exported to any country that can afford it. Such a diet is deficient in all kinds of things the immune system needs. On top of that are lack of exercise and the so-called metabolic syndrome (obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.) associated with that diet, which together lower the body's defences against microbial attack. Plus of course the cocktail of drugs so many people are rightly or wrongly prescribed for chronic conditions.

    Vitamin D has been identified as important in tackling infections in the upper respiratory tract:

    https://youtu.be/fmDng_uMCnY

    I would add that there is growing evidence that the pulsed electromagnetic fields generated by cell towers, cell phones, wi-fi, bluetooth, wireless keyboards/mice and the like do in fact have an adverse effect on the body. Such EMFs are like nothing in nature, have been definitively shown to reduce sperm count, and are implicated by many doctors in such diverse conditions as cancer, Alzheimer's and autism. The underlying mechanism could be disruption of calcium metabolism:

    https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.6.13.1397839

    See also:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300355

    This is a useful site for those interested in exploring further:

    https://ehtrust.org/

    I would add that there is growing evidence that the pulsed electromagnetic fields generated by cell towers, cell phones, wi-fi, bluetooth, wireless keyboards/mice and the like do in fact have an adverse effect on the body.

    You would therefore expect to find women particularly hard hit since they spend so much of their life using cell phones to get on Facebook and to chat with their friends.

  108. Is untreated hypertension the risk factor? I take a pill which keeps my BP in the safe range.

    Or is it somehow just the underlying causes of hypertension that put you at risk?

    • Replies: @anon
    Is untreated hypertension the risk factor?

    Maybe. Chinese and now Italian and Spanish research finds a connection.
    One treatment for hypertension involves ACE-2, another treatment uses beta-blockers.
    COVID-19 uses the ACE-2 receptor in cells as an entry.

    So it could be that people who take ACE-2 related drugs for hypertension are at a greater risk either to catch the virus (not likely) or to have more serious reaction to the virus.

    Whatever you are taking, you should keep taking it or talk with your doc via phone / Skype / Zoom about it.
    , @vhrm
    Unknown.
    People are speculating it's the (or some) treatments that are at issue, but then again those treatments might make covid-19 LESS bad. nothing definitive.

    https://medshadow.org/do-ace-inhibitors-cause-coronavirus/
  109. I see (at least) a couple huge selection bias problems I’d like to resolve before drawing any conclusions.
    1) what is the age profile in NYC vs those countries? NYC has a huge immigrant population, I presume younger working age. Because of cost of living, I would expect older New Yorkers to retire to warmer and cheaper locations. This would skew the age curves and bias the numbers.

    2) What are the infection rates by age? Younger New Yorkers were working in a very dense social environment. What of the older New Yorkers? Do they live alone or with the young working families?

    Yes, there are other confounders, but this is a problem with observational studies. You need to get a lot of contextual data and think through the biasing mechanisms.

  110. Hail says: • Website

    I hope that PM Boris Johnson survives his hospital stay. The odds currently seem to be in his favor. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?

    By the way, I presume 55-year-old Boris Johnson has some predisposing conditions, but he is the man who just four months ago finally resolved the seemingly endless Brexit crisis with his historic triumph in the General Election

    Or, Boris Johnson’s latest publicity stunt.

    Despite, it was later revealed, being only a precaution, not having pneumonia, not being a prime candidate for hospitalization, he was hospitalized — and the very evening before the UK total-death data through the end of March was published. This pre-emptive strike by Mr. Self-Promoter (Boris Publicity Stunt Johnson) deflated the sails of the good news that the UK’s total deaths through the end of March were lower year-to-date death rate than the running average for 2015-to-2019, more strong evidence against the CoronaApocalypse.

    Although we are not necessarily going to ever know for sure, the strong possibility that Boris’ sudden “turn for the worse” (“Only to heroically pull through!” curtain; Act III) raises several possibilities. Whose choice was the hospitalization? His own, a classic Boris move to gain sympathy? Or was it other members of the “Corona Coup d’Etat” faction, who want UK’ers to show more damned respect for the Corona Panic, our substitute God now that Easter has been cancelled?

    (And what better example of a one-time heretic to the Holy CoronaReligion to make than Boris, who led a readeguard action until late in the game against the Corona Panic, resisting the mass shutdowns longer than the other cavers-in?)

    • LOL: BB753
    • Replies: @Hail

    Boris Johnson’s latest publicity stunt
     

    Boris’ sudden “turn for the worse” (“Only to heroically pull through!” Curtain; Act III)
     
    And, sure enough, now this:

    U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson out of intensive care
    NBC News
     
  111. Ah, look at those hypertension stats! Jeez, no wonder school shootings are so common there, they’re stressed to the point where their body chemical system gets confused!

  112. Or, Boris Johnson’s latest publicity stunt.

    I doubt it. Too many doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators would have been involved in caring for this celebrity patient in an intensive care bed, and will have seen his blood work results and oxygen saturation levels etc. or heard about them on the hospital grapevine, and I can guarantee that if he was faking it there would be whistle blowers. It is not like the National Health Service is a hotbed of always-Boris conservatism.

    Nice idea, though.

  113. @Anon
    These young people have parents and grandparents. They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their "freedom".

    What are you talking about? Why do I need to visit my 70-something father with two heart surgeries under his belt before this thing is over? I told him to stay put, stay isolated, order his food in and then sanitize it. It makes sense that he should bear the costs of this crisis instead of everyone.

    Young people don’t put old people at risk unless we come into contact with them, which can be avoided. That’s much easier to to deal with than the next Great Depression and loss of personal freedom.

    For many boomers, it’s still all about them.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes

    It makes sense that he should bear the costs of this crisis instead of everyone.
     
    That's a slightly unfair way to put it, although everyone knows what you mean.

    The 'best' outcome is the one that achieves the maximum risk reduction, at minimum cost - which will be a combination of the not-at-much-risk having much-reduced personal contact with the at-risk, and the at-risk understanding that they should strongly-isolate themselves and it's nothing personal.

    Next problem, thoughj? Being recovered may not make you immune.

    As evidence of reinfection of 'resolved' individuals mounts, this issue is moving from "Probably testing error" or "Relapse, Not Reinfection" towards "Known Issues: Reinfection" .

    The first two would be bad enough: if it turns out that (some?) people do not acquire immunity, then there is a whole other ball of wax. (like: if you get can it a second time, does it predictably hit you harder?)

    Frankly, I'm having a ball with this.

    Even my sole irrational superstition - fear of dying ironically - is being kept in check ("covid19-ocaust denier dies of covid19" will only happen to high-profile people KEK), but it's why I am being super-scrupulous on a project that ought to be finished by now.
  114. @another fred
    When talking about cause of death one must also be aware of the complexity of modern medical coding and how computers are used to compile figures. Whether a death is a cardiac event or corona virus depends on what particular word a Doctor speaks into a recorder that the nurse translates into a number that goes into a computer that gets to the CDC the next day. Comorbidities are recorded, but deeper in the weeds.

    It will be a long time before the statistics make any clear sense, if ever. Comparing European statistics to American statistics may be comparing apples and oranges at this stage of the game.

    Speaking of apple’s and oranges, they only count the infection rate based on infections “confirmed” by a test. But the same person who is not counted as part of the infection rate will be counted as a Covid-19 death as soon as they die.

    • Replies: @another fred
    Yeah, it's really not consistent at all. Fog of war and all that, I guess.
  115. @Jonathan Mason

    I wonder if there is some underlying reason or moderator (in a Fifth Law of Behavioral Genetics sense) that people with hypertension are at risk, since hypertension itself is trivially controllable with medicine these days for the vast bulk of people?
     
    I don' t think there is any real secret about this. At least not for anyone who has ever worked in any kind of health care environment. A lot of people with HTN are overweight and their HTN is poorly controlled, they eat poor diet, and uncontrolled HTN is linked to congestive heart disease, which causes a build up of fluid in the lungs and often swelling of the feet. This is far from trivial.

    If you see people who are kind of fat, and puffing and a bit purple in the face when they hurry, then probably they have high BP and are vulnerable.

    Of course there are also lots of people who take medication for somewhat elevated blood pressure and they do fine, so you are not entirely wrong, just missing the whole picture.

    Of course there are also lots of people who take medication for somewhat elevated blood pressure and they do fine, so you are not entirely wrong, just missing the whole picture.

    And your answer doesn’t really illuminate the big picture in my opinion. Here’s ’s comment you were responding to:

    I wonder if there is some underlying reason or moderator (in a Fifth Law of Behavioral Genetics sense) that people with hypertension are at risk

    The answer to that is, potentially yes. I don’t know the physics or biology of the process, but apparently Covid19 acts on ACE2 receptors.

    Many anti-hypertensive medications are ACE inhibitors. That is why some have speculated that hypertension is a risk factor. It’s not necessarily hypertension that is the risk factor, but ingestion of ACE inhibitors.

    My point is that was asking a good question.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    There doesn't seem to be any clear evidence that taking ACE inhibitors makes individuals more vulnerable to COVID-19.

    There is an interesting, though rather technical paper here that discusses the matter as to whether patients with COVID-19 infections should have their ACE inhibitor antihypertensive medication changed to another medication group and the short answer is usually no.

    https://theskepticalcardiologist.com/2020/03/14/coronavirus-and-ace-inhibitors-do-not-stop-taking-your-blood-pressure-medication/
  116. To caricaturize …

    Aw, Mr iSteve, “to caricature” is a perfectly cromulent verb.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    Personally I have always found the verbifying-by-suffix of things that are already verbs, to be a peculiar feature of Yanklish, and particularly of journo-Yanklish. They also seem more prone to verbification generally, and antimeria even more generally.

    Then again, that might be a caricaturisation; one thing I always try to avoidificate is speaking caricaturisationally.

    KEK
  117. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Throughout history, the experts conventional wisdom has been less than stellar. For example, there was a time when the experts collectively agreed that the earth was flat, and explicitly stated so.

    Of all things, perhaps it would take the likes of the Z man and Ramzpaul to bring a little bit of sanity and balance to this whole scheme of things.

    When attempting to predict 'So, how many will pass from this once it's all over?'

    Instead of charging full force and naming an estimate, the prudent answer, of course, would be to state: "At this time we simply don't know, and we won't name a number. What we can do, is to prepare for the worst possible outcome. If it turns out that it wasn't so bad after all, then we will have succeeded in averting what could have been a bad situation."

    And let it go at that. Rather than coming across like Paul Ehrlich (or worse, Jeanne Dixon) by attempting to name an actual number when there simply isn't hard evidence for one.

    For example, there was a time when the experts collectively agreed that the earth was flat, and explicitly stated so.

    Was there? The ancients knew the earth was a sphere. The medievals knew the earth was a sphere. I doubt that there was ever a time in history when experts thought the earth was flat.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Well, the bible says the world is flat 'with four corners', so the ancient Jews believed it was flat. They probably got this from the Egyptians, who held a similar belief.

    People think controversies over biblical inerrancy are a modern (or early-modern) thing, but there must have been ancient arguments over this which haven't come down to us, since the Greeks and Romans, when they adopted Christianity, didn't start believing in a flat earth.
  118. Let’s keep in mind that at least one of those predisposing conditions, hypertension (high blood pressure), is awfully common in the U.S.

    By “hypertension”, we of course mean “obesity”, especially the astonishing and distinctively american spectacle of being a landwhale. Oh, other countries have an obesity problem too, Australia not least of them, but three and four hundred pound people are pretty rare here.

    The other problem is smoking, and the other other problem is “muh freedoms”, specifically church services.

  119. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?

    In his particular case, excellent. All he ever needed was a pulse oximeter and an oxygen concentrator or a CPAP machine. He could have been given both of these at home, no problem, with the instructions to summon an ambulance if his oxygen readings dropped below a certain level.

    For this disease, hospitals turn out to be of little use. There is no (currently accepted) real treatment for Wuhan Virus, and especially not one that can only be given in a hospital. The only they can do is to ventilate you and in most cases ventilation for Wuhan Virus is ineffective and may even make things worse. Putting all these people in hospitals might even lengthen the epidemic because the medical personnel are getting infected and bringing the infections home.

    This entire crisis has been made infinitely worse by our natural bias in favor of “doing something” and not just stand there in the face of an epidemic. No matter that the stuff that we do makes things worse, activity is preferred to inactivity. In many air crashes, it turns out that if the pilots had just taken their hand off the controls, they would have been fine. But due to disorientation or misinterpretation of instrument readings, they end up putting a perfectly good aircraft into a fatal dive. Bad action is worse than no action.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "All he ever needed was a pulse oximeter and an oxygen concentrator or a CPAP machine."

    It sounds as if you're saying that instead of ventilators, the US medical community should be focusing on getting more oxygen concentrators. If they are indeed more effective than ventilators, (and easier to obtain) seems as if they could help do the job of keeping the patient alive. And in the comfort of the patient's own home. But then, the medical community wouldn't be as useful, since the patient could in theory recover from home without their help.
    , @dfordoom

    This entire crisis has been made infinitely worse by our natural bias in favor of “doing something” and not just stand there in the face of an epidemic. No matter that the stuff that we do makes things worse, activity is preferred to inactivity...
     

    Bad action is worse than no action.
     
    Yes, I agree very strongly.
  120. jsm says:
    @AnotherDad

    Another point is of course that most of his analyses assume a functioning, non-overwhelmed medical system. For example, I hope that PM Boris Johnson survives his hospital stay. The odds currently seem to be in his favor. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?
     
    Hate to say it Steve, but given your "history" i wouldn't even go to the hospital if it gets bad for you.

    They'll be some tedious SJW doc-ette who reads SPLC "reports" like holy scripture and will let all the POC on the ward know you're a bad thinker.

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospital.

    Get yourself a CPAP and oxygen concentrator, take your hydroxychloroquine and stay at home in your closet.

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospita

    This.

    I have a grown daughter. Can you imagine if she were pregnant and due right about now? Some hospitals aren’t even allowing Dad to be in with the woman… or the grandparents to visit.
    Why would any well woman in labor want to go to the hospital, to be treated like that, and she and her infant exposed to Covid as a bonus? Who wouldn’t want to stay home?
    I know, I know, pain relief..
    There should be mobile epidural vans out there. Hey! I can see a new growth industry!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Women who give birth at home usually say later that they don’t regret the lack of pain drugs, they are glad they did it straight although it did hurt at the time. They generally seem to recover much faster. Hospitals tend to push pain relief procedures for institutional convenience. Doctors need to feel useful, also and resent their efforts being rejected.
    , @dimples
    Oh no, not another 'This'. Stop them now, or I warn you, they will be everywhere and you will go mad.
  121. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    "there was a time when the experts agreed that the earth was flat"

    This is a wive's tale that just won't die. No serious-minded educated person has thought the earth was flat for nearly 3,000 years.

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.

    Yeah this is obviously embarrassingly wrong, but whenever that happens I always try to understand what point they were trying to make instead of jumping on top of a detail like that.

    Talking about flat earths, it’s a great of way sniffing out idiots who are only accidentally right. Next time you see someone fulminating against flat earthers, ask them why they think it’s round, without resorting to “the tv says so”. Probably won’t be able to.

    There are a few pretty obvious observations, even besides the ships on the horizon, but they won’t know about those.

  122. @Hypnotoad666
    The models were based on faulty data that over-measured the deaths actually caused by the virus and under-measured the number of infections. That's all.

    Excuses, excuses.

    The experts got it wrong, once again.

    If their own computer models can’t get an accurate hold on something such as a new virus, why exactly should they be trusted to tell us about world wide damage caused by coming climate change? Yet one more example of the experts not getting something correct. Will they collectively concede this? (e.g. a spokesperson for the scientific community going on TV and stating, ‘we were wrong, our model estimates didn’t accurately convey the facts.’) Of course not. They seldom ever do.

  123. @Jack D

    But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?
     
    In his particular case, excellent. All he ever needed was a pulse oximeter and an oxygen concentrator or a CPAP machine. He could have been given both of these at home, no problem, with the instructions to summon an ambulance if his oxygen readings dropped below a certain level.

    For this disease, hospitals turn out to be of little use. There is no (currently accepted) real treatment for Wuhan Virus, and especially not one that can only be given in a hospital. The only they can do is to ventilate you and in most cases ventilation for Wuhan Virus is ineffective and may even make things worse. Putting all these people in hospitals might even lengthen the epidemic because the medical personnel are getting infected and bringing the infections home.

    This entire crisis has been made infinitely worse by our natural bias in favor of "doing something" and not just stand there in the face of an epidemic. No matter that the stuff that we do makes things worse, activity is preferred to inactivity. In many air crashes, it turns out that if the pilots had just taken their hand off the controls, they would have been fine. But due to disorientation or misinterpretation of instrument readings, they end up putting a perfectly good aircraft into a fatal dive. Bad action is worse than no action.

    “All he ever needed was a pulse oximeter and an oxygen concentrator or a CPAP machine.”

    It sounds as if you’re saying that instead of ventilators, the US medical community should be focusing on getting more oxygen concentrators. If they are indeed more effective than ventilators, (and easier to obtain) seems as if they could help do the job of keeping the patient alive. And in the comfort of the patient’s own home. But then, the medical community wouldn’t be as useful, since the patient could in theory recover from home without their help.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    A CPAP is not a complete substitute for a ventilator (although they are similar devices and some hospitals have been rigging CPAPS as ventilators - the main difference is that in a ventilator they shove a tube down your throat). Some people are not breathing well enough on their own that a CPAP would help them. At that point they ventilate you - otherwise you might die within a matter of hours. Once they ventilate you, you can last another week or two in heavy sedation and THEN die - can't you see how much better that is?

    Once in a while, someone with Wuflu even survives the ventilator. The other day I saw a clip of a middle aged man being discharged from the hospital after having been on the ventilator for Wuflu. As he was being wheeled out, all the doctors and nurses lined the hallway and applauded, as if he was some kind of miracle baby. Which he was, in a sense. Psychologically, they were ecstatic because 1 guy like this validates that they are really saving lives (or at least A life) and that what they are doing is not all just for nothing. But in reality he was the exception that proves the rule.

  124. @Hypnotoad666
    Speaking of apple's and oranges, they only count the infection rate based on infections "confirmed" by a test. But the same person who is not counted as part of the infection rate will be counted as a Covid-19 death as soon as they die.

    Yeah, it’s really not consistent at all. Fog of war and all that, I guess.

  125. @Seth Largo
    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?

    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?

    Probably this:
    https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2019/11/25/08/57/comparison-of-the-acc-aha-and-esc-esh-hypertension-guidelines

    Acronyms from the text.

    2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) and 2018 European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/European Society of Hypertension (ESH) guidelines.

    • Thanks: TomSchmidt
  126. @Mr. Anon

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.
     
    There was nothing even wrong with the use of the data. One could argue that his model of planetary motion was the best available theory at the time. You can't really blame him for not being Copernicus or Kepler. Nobody was until over a thousand years later.

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.

    epicycles … could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.

    Astronomy programs calculate the Moon’s position by adding up a bunch of sine waves from a table. A Keplerian orbit doesn’t work because the Moon is buffeted about by the Sun and other planets, and integrating Newtonian orbits takes too long.

    • Thanks: vhrm
  127. @Mr. Anon
    It's remarkable that Boris Johnson, PM of Britain, is just shacking up with a woman (who is pregnant by him). The previous President of France, Francois Hollande, was also just shacking up with a "partner". The fact that western heads of state can't even be bothered to follow customary social norms is emblematic of the rot in the western world.

    In Europe, shacking up with a partner is a “customary social norm”.

    • Replies: @GermanReader2

    In Europe, shacking up with a partner is a “customary social norm”.
     
    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.
  128. @Erik Sieven
    "predisposing conditions" - both for analysis and policy-decisions this category is much to broad. Of course physicians and scientists just don't know yet, but it should be explored now which predisposing conditions interact specifically with COVID-19, also it should be explored in which way different severity levels of specific predisposing conditions do increase risk with COVID-19. E.g. the german federal agency for disease control (RKI) list as members of the risk group, apart from older people, everybody who predisposing conditions regarding the:
    - cardiovascular system
    - the lunge
    - the liver
    and also people with Diabetes, problem with the immune system and some other groups.
    This broad description means that a large part of the population falls into the "risk-group", thus it is not really usable when it comes to manage COVID-19 after the end of the Shut-Down, e.g. by "cocooning" people at risk.
    It is understandable that everybody wants to stay safe by including every potentially relevant disease and especially severity level into the risk-group. But at some time experts have to narrow it down.

    It is understandable that everybody wants to stay safe by including every potentially relevant disease and especially severity level into the risk-group. But at some time experts have to narrow it down.

    Agree,
    but it doesn’t look like doctors really know what’s causing this or why some people are suffering more.

  129. Hail says: • Website
    @Mr. Anon
    It's remarkable that Boris Johnson, PM of Britain, is just shacking up with a woman (who is pregnant by him). The previous President of France, Francois Hollande, was also just shacking up with a "partner". The fact that western heads of state can't even be bothered to follow customary social norms is emblematic of the rot in the western world.

    The fact that western heads of state can’t even be bothered to follow customary social norms is emblematic of the rot in the western world

    And he’s a Conservative. (Whether he is also a conservative (small-c) by current UK standards is debatable. Many conservatives and nationalists seemed to really dislike/distrust him over a long period but tacitly supported him given the Brexit situation by the end of the 2010s.)

    (Btw, How would history have been different had Bill Clinton divorced Hillary in the ’90s and lived with a live-in girlfriend at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?)

  130. Hail says: • Website
    @Ron Unz

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.
     
    Sure, that's certainly possible. I'm obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they're correct, that could be what's drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn't take those drugs since they haven't been officially "endorsed" by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that's why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    The EU’s European Mortality Monitoring Project’s latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago. Reporting delays vary by country, but generally reach near-final counts within a few days of death. This means the data you see graphed reflects conditions by ca.April 2, with partial data for the following few days, largely-complete-data for previous days, and very-near-100% for all earlier weeks.

    Here it is:

    Observations:

    – The epidemic is now well past peak. Like observing a distant star, this data is a snapshot of the past, and not just because of the administrative reporting delays aforementioned. Conditions as of the second week of April are much better still.

    – Overall excess mortality can be seen by the total area under the the observed-death curve(s) and above the baseline. The Coronavirus-flu-associated spike in deaths looks a lot like the 2016-17 peak-flu-season spike in Europe; when all is said and done, March to April 2020 may yet outpace the 2016-17 spike and there may be marginally more excess deaths. But from the latest data available all signs are that it had not, and the end of the epidemic is now easily extrapolatable. And, temperatures are rising fast. Spring is here. Spring, the eternal enemy of all the forward-march of all viruses.

    __________

    Comparison with past years. The 2019-20 flu season, in which excess mortality peaked in March instead of the more-usual January or Feburary, vs. the 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 flu seasons:

    Milder in each case for age 15-to-65s;

    – No difference for children under age 15;

    – For over-65s, it’s looking like it will equal 2016-17.

    As Dr. Klaus Püschel, head of forensic medicine in Hamburg and one of the latest major CoronaHeretics (again a German), said a few days ago:

    Corona in itself is a „not particularly dangerous viral disease“ […] I am convinced that the Corona mortality rate will not even show up as a peak in annual mortality.“

    (Translated from the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper.)

    Needless to say, the rhetorical battle over what caused total excess deaths to be about 2016-17-season levels (a bad flu season), rather than something like 1918-19 levels, as originally predicted by some and as widely promulgated by the media, will go on.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    The EU’s European Mortality Monitoring Project’s latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago.
     
    How does this sort of argument make any sense? As far as I can tell, the current outbreaks in Europe are just in scattered regions, probably amounting to something like 10% of the total population, so even very high death rates there would only slightly move the total figures. The reasons for the lockdowns and quarantines are to keep the Coronavirus from spreading everywhere else.

    Suppose the Bubonic Plague broke out in Palo Alto, and quickly killed half the 60,000 residents, with a tight quarantine of the city imposed by the federal government. Since millions of Americas die every year, the Palo Alto deaths would hardly be noticeable in the monthly national totals. So perhaps you would say that proves the Bubonic Plague really isn't dangerous at all, and there's no harm in lifting the quarantine and letting it spread everywhere else.

    Here's another example. As of today, per capital daily Coronavirus deaths are now running TWO HUNDRED TIMES GREATER in New York than in California, mostly because CA's more competent and courageous government officials were faster in imposing lockdowns:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/the-government-employee-who-may-have-saved-a-million-american-lives/

    Since CA has twice NY's population, are you saying we should average the two death-rates, thereby proving that the virus is almost 70% less dangerous than people would otherwise think based upon NY?

    The Chinese government believed that the virus was so dangerous they locked down 700M Chinese to stamp it out, and therefore only suffered a few thousand deaths. But if you told them that the relatively small number of deaths in such a huge country proves that the lockdown was unnecessary, they'd think you were nuts.

    I realize that Coronavirus Hoaxers/Minimizers may be ideologically and psychologically invested in the positions they've been advocating for the last month or two, but the logic of these arguments escapes me.
    , @dfordoom

    And, temperatures are rising fast. Spring is here. Spring, the eternal enemy of all the forward-march of all viruses.
     
    Spring is when people stop huddling together indoors and go out and enjoy the sunshine. So keeping the population under house arrest may be a seriously bad idea.
  131. New York’s chattering classes from the Mayor on down are messaging this exactly as you’d expect.

    It’s inequality!!

    The now documented disparities should “cause great concern,” de Blasio said.

    The disparities in coronavirus deaths correlates with healthcare disparities faced by low income and minority communities, who may not have access to or be able to afford quality healthcare, he said.

    “The truth is that in so many ways the negative effects of coronavirus — the pain it’s causing, the death it’s causing — tracks with other profound healthcare disparities that we have seen for years and decades in this city,” he said solemnly.

    “We’re seeing folks who have struggled before really being hit particularly hard by the coronavirus,” he added. “That’s a blatant inequality.”

    It’s anti-immigration sentiment!! (Translation: Orange Man’s fault).

    The City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot said immigration status and fears around it could also be playing a role in how the virus is disproportionately killing Latinos.

    “I am very concerned when I see the large percentage of Latinos who have died of this illness,” she said.

    While the city’s public hospitals treat all New Yorkers regardless of their immigration or insurance status, the fear prevails among Hispanic New Yorkers, Barbot said.

    “The overlay of the anti-immigrant rhetoric across this country I think has real implications in the health of our community.”

    The most important thing is FAIRNESS!!

    “The public hospitals are the greatest guarantee we have that there will be fairness in saving lives,” the mayor said.

    We must stay calm, but I will indulge my righteous anger!

    “We’re all trying to fight this battle and keep focused and keep calm in the midst of a battle that we must win,” de Blasio said. “And as leaders we have to stay calm, but it made me angry to see that the disparities that have plagued this city — this nation — that are all about fundamental inequality are once again causing such pain and causing innocent people to lose their lives.”

    There’s no helping these people. If any of you think that the “it’s white people’s fault” mentality will be changed by this, I would suggest you’re right: it’s going to get even worse.

    • Agree: Charon
  132. res says:
    @Mr. Anon

    It is always worth remembering, however, that Ptolemy built his zany earth-centered cosmological model, with the wacky planetary epicycles and then later on, epicycles-within-epicycles, using extremely accurate scientific observations. The data were right, it was his use of the data that was wrong.
     
    There was nothing even wrong with the use of the data. One could argue that his model of planetary motion was the best available theory at the time. You can't really blame him for not being Copernicus or Kepler. Nobody was until over a thousand years later.

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.

    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book. There is a discussion of Fourier expansions of electron orbits in the context of quantum mechanics on pp. 38-39.

    And Fourier transforms of star orbits is a real thing:
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1979ApJ…234..275M

    Here are some references talking about Fourier Transforms (or series/expansions) and Ptolemaic ideas.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1977Obs&#8230;.97…84D
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferent_and_epicycle

    I’d be interested in additional references if anyone knows of any good ones.

    • Replies: @utu
    If you do not mind one interjection. IMO, bringing up Fourier series when teaching orbital mechanics does a disservice to students and particularly when the Fourier series are supposed to explain the Ptolemaic system of epicycles. Fourier series are cool and now everybody can do FFT and results produce nice visual animations, so the topic is overhyped in the era of internet and YT. But it is not that simple. Everything is more complicated.

    (1) An elliptic orbit can be drawn with parametric equations in the complex plane z(t)=a*cos(iwt)+ib*sin(iwt) that looks like a term of a Fourier series but it does not describe the motion of the planet because t is not time. From Kepler's 2nd law there is a long way to express t in terms of time. Actually you need a Bessel series:

    http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys440/lectures/ellipse/ellipse.html

    (2) The z(t) for ellipse is actually a sum of two terms of Fourier transform.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0307904X9390109T

    (3) A finite sum of Fourier series is periodic as each term of the series has period that is an integral fraction of the base period but orbits of planets observed from Earth are not necessarily exactly periodic.

    It is possible that epicycles might be more efficient way of expressing an orbit as less terms are necessary because periods of the epicycles unlike Fourier terms do need to have a common multiple.
    , @Mr. Anon

    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book.
     
    I must have mixed that one up with another of Heisenbergs' books. I might have been thinking of Physics and Beyond. I read that one (and maybe the other I mentioned) many years ago. The Fourier expansion reference was, I believe, in the context of a discussion Heisenberg had with Wolfgang Pauli when they were students. If memory serves, Physics and Beyond was rather autobiographical.
    , @The Alarmist
    But when one quotes Heisenberg, can one really be certain one is actually quoting Heisenberg?
  133. @Daniel Williams

    They will subject their loved ones to this virus if they insist on having their “freedom”.
     
    And when did anyone ever do anything rash for that?

    Young people deserve today the things that old people had yesterday. They should go to parties, fall in love, make new young people, become old themselves, and then die. That is life.

    More like: get in college debt, live at home, play videogames all day, die alone. Or wageslave all day, live paycheque to paycheque, die alone.

    Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps! After all, I just had a high school diploma and ended up as a senior manager due to hard work. Millenials are just lazy!

    • Replies: @Daniel Williams
    Don’t forget that the most conservative old people enjoy the free healthcare and universal basic income favored by the most liberal young people.
  134. @Hail
    The EU's European Mortality Monitoring Project's latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago. Reporting delays vary by country, but generally reach near-final counts within a few days of death. This means the data you see graphed reflects conditions by ca.April 2, with partial data for the following few days, largely-complete-data for previous days, and very-near-100% for all earlier weeks.

    Here it is:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVLPapvU0AAZo3h.png

    Observations:

    - The epidemic is now well past peak. Like observing a distant star, this data is a snapshot of the past, and not just because of the administrative reporting delays aforementioned. Conditions as of the second week of April are much better still.

    - Overall excess mortality can be seen by the total area under the the observed-death curve(s) and above the baseline. The Coronavirus-flu-associated spike in deaths looks a lot like the 2016-17 peak-flu-season spike in Europe; when all is said and done, March to April 2020 may yet outpace the 2016-17 spike and there may be marginally more excess deaths. But from the latest data available all signs are that it had not, and the end of the epidemic is now easily extrapolatable. And, temperatures are rising fast. Spring is here. Spring, the eternal enemy of all the forward-march of all viruses.

    __________

    Comparison with past years. The 2019-20 flu season, in which excess mortality peaked in March instead of the more-usual January or Feburary, vs. the 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 flu seasons:

    - Milder in each case for age 15-to-65s;

    - No difference for children under age 15;

    - For over-65s, it's looking like it will equal 2016-17.

    As Dr. Klaus Püschel, head of forensic medicine in Hamburg and one of the latest major CoronaHeretics (again a German), said a few days ago:


    Corona in itself is a „not particularly dangerous viral disease“ [...] I am convinced that the Corona mortality rate will not even show up as a peak in annual mortality.“

    (Translated from the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper.)
     

    Needless to say, the rhetorical battle over what caused total excess deaths to be about 2016-17-season levels (a bad flu season), rather than something like 1918-19 levels, as originally predicted by some and as widely promulgated by the media, will go on.

    The EU’s European Mortality Monitoring Project’s latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago.

    How does this sort of argument make any sense? As far as I can tell, the current outbreaks in Europe are just in scattered regions, probably amounting to something like 10% of the total population, so even very high death rates there would only slightly move the total figures. The reasons for the lockdowns and quarantines are to keep the Coronavirus from spreading everywhere else.

    Suppose the Bubonic Plague broke out in Palo Alto, and quickly killed half the 60,000 residents, with a tight quarantine of the city imposed by the federal government. Since millions of Americas die every year, the Palo Alto deaths would hardly be noticeable in the monthly national totals. So perhaps you would say that proves the Bubonic Plague really isn’t dangerous at all, and there’s no harm in lifting the quarantine and letting it spread everywhere else.

    Here’s another example. As of today, per capital daily Coronavirus deaths are now running TWO HUNDRED TIMES GREATER in New York than in California, mostly because CA’s more competent and courageous government officials were faster in imposing lockdowns:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/the-government-employee-who-may-have-saved-a-million-american-lives/

    Since CA has twice NY’s population, are you saying we should average the two death-rates, thereby proving that the virus is almost 70% less dangerous than people would otherwise think based upon NY?

    The Chinese government believed that the virus was so dangerous they locked down 700M Chinese to stamp it out, and therefore only suffered a few thousand deaths. But if you told them that the relatively small number of deaths in such a huge country proves that the lockdown was unnecessary, they’d think you were nuts.

    I realize that Coronavirus Hoaxers/Minimizers may be ideologically and psychologically invested in the positions they’ve been advocating for the last month or two, but the logic of these arguments escapes me.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    You are assuming that the lockdown is the only difference between NY and CA, between life and death. This is a fact not in evidence.

    Wuhan Virus deaths seem to be varying greatly between different countries, states and cities and the variation is not always correlated with the timing or degree of lockdown. It does seem to be correlated with some other things - average age, health status and ethnic composition of the population, population density and social patterns (again with ethnic correlations). And there are chance factors - who the local patient zero was and how many people he seeded. Chances are that the conditions in NYC or Bergamo or other places where high mortality was seen were the result of some perfect storm alignment of factors and that, even if you did nothing, you couldn't pull the lever and get 3 Lemons on the Wuhan slot machine to come up just anywhere, let alone everywhere else. Now that new cases are starting to fall, they are falling everywhere so chances are the difference between Berkeley and NYC is not just three or six weeks but something more.
    , @TomSchmidt
    The reasons for the lockdowns and quarantines are to keep the Coronavirus from spreading everywhere else.

    That's exactly NOT how it was sold. The purpose isn't to keep it from spreading, but to "flatten the curve" which still leaves the same number of people getting sick, but eliminates the possibility of people dying who could have been saved if the medical system weren't overloaded. The assumption is that, by spreading out cases, we could avoid unnecessary deaths.

    Eliminating the virus, as done in New Zealand, wasn't in the cards by March.
    , @Joey Pastrami
    The sweet irony of you calling people Corona Hoaxers/Minimizers/Deniers!
  135. @Steve Sailer
    Good questions. Right, in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator.

    Does anybody know what percentage of American patients are getting hydroxychloroquine or other new treatments? Is it enough to show up in the data yet?

    Isn’t it possible that the USA is just doing a much better job saving the old folks from dying? Perhaps we are both giving it our all to save the younger folks, but Europeans are kinda more psychologically ready to let the elderly go.

  136. @Jack D

    But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?
     
    In his particular case, excellent. All he ever needed was a pulse oximeter and an oxygen concentrator or a CPAP machine. He could have been given both of these at home, no problem, with the instructions to summon an ambulance if his oxygen readings dropped below a certain level.

    For this disease, hospitals turn out to be of little use. There is no (currently accepted) real treatment for Wuhan Virus, and especially not one that can only be given in a hospital. The only they can do is to ventilate you and in most cases ventilation for Wuhan Virus is ineffective and may even make things worse. Putting all these people in hospitals might even lengthen the epidemic because the medical personnel are getting infected and bringing the infections home.

    This entire crisis has been made infinitely worse by our natural bias in favor of "doing something" and not just stand there in the face of an epidemic. No matter that the stuff that we do makes things worse, activity is preferred to inactivity. In many air crashes, it turns out that if the pilots had just taken their hand off the controls, they would have been fine. But due to disorientation or misinterpretation of instrument readings, they end up putting a perfectly good aircraft into a fatal dive. Bad action is worse than no action.

    This entire crisis has been made infinitely worse by our natural bias in favor of “doing something” and not just stand there in the face of an epidemic. No matter that the stuff that we do makes things worse, activity is preferred to inactivity…

    Bad action is worse than no action.

    Yes, I agree very strongly.

  137. @Ron Unz

    The EU’s European Mortality Monitoring Project’s latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago.
     
    How does this sort of argument make any sense? As far as I can tell, the current outbreaks in Europe are just in scattered regions, probably amounting to something like 10% of the total population, so even very high death rates there would only slightly move the total figures. The reasons for the lockdowns and quarantines are to keep the Coronavirus from spreading everywhere else.

    Suppose the Bubonic Plague broke out in Palo Alto, and quickly killed half the 60,000 residents, with a tight quarantine of the city imposed by the federal government. Since millions of Americas die every year, the Palo Alto deaths would hardly be noticeable in the monthly national totals. So perhaps you would say that proves the Bubonic Plague really isn't dangerous at all, and there's no harm in lifting the quarantine and letting it spread everywhere else.

    Here's another example. As of today, per capital daily Coronavirus deaths are now running TWO HUNDRED TIMES GREATER in New York than in California, mostly because CA's more competent and courageous government officials were faster in imposing lockdowns:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/the-government-employee-who-may-have-saved-a-million-american-lives/

    Since CA has twice NY's population, are you saying we should average the two death-rates, thereby proving that the virus is almost 70% less dangerous than people would otherwise think based upon NY?

    The Chinese government believed that the virus was so dangerous they locked down 700M Chinese to stamp it out, and therefore only suffered a few thousand deaths. But if you told them that the relatively small number of deaths in such a huge country proves that the lockdown was unnecessary, they'd think you were nuts.

    I realize that Coronavirus Hoaxers/Minimizers may be ideologically and psychologically invested in the positions they've been advocating for the last month or two, but the logic of these arguments escapes me.

    You are assuming that the lockdown is the only difference between NY and CA, between life and death. This is a fact not in evidence.

    Wuhan Virus deaths seem to be varying greatly between different countries, states and cities and the variation is not always correlated with the timing or degree of lockdown. It does seem to be correlated with some other things – average age, health status and ethnic composition of the population, population density and social patterns (again with ethnic correlations). And there are chance factors – who the local patient zero was and how many people he seeded. Chances are that the conditions in NYC or Bergamo or other places where high mortality was seen were the result of some perfect storm alignment of factors and that, even if you did nothing, you couldn’t pull the lever and get 3 Lemons on the Wuhan slot machine to come up just anywhere, let alone everywhere else. Now that new cases are starting to fall, they are falling everywhere so chances are the difference between Berkeley and NYC is not just three or six weeks but something more.

    • Agree: Lot
    • Replies: @utu

    average age, health status and ethnic composition of the population, population density and social patterns (again with ethnic correlations)
     
    Population density should be proportional to Ro and so it may account for some difference between CA, NJ and NY. The ethnic is BS and you know it but if you at it and insist check if 3 and 2 times higher per cap Jewish population in NY and NJ , respectively than in CA could correlate with deaths per capita. An if it fails try just the Orthodox super spreaders angle.
  138. @Hail
    The EU's European Mortality Monitoring Project's latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago. Reporting delays vary by country, but generally reach near-final counts within a few days of death. This means the data you see graphed reflects conditions by ca.April 2, with partial data for the following few days, largely-complete-data for previous days, and very-near-100% for all earlier weeks.

    Here it is:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVLPapvU0AAZo3h.png

    Observations:

    - The epidemic is now well past peak. Like observing a distant star, this data is a snapshot of the past, and not just because of the administrative reporting delays aforementioned. Conditions as of the second week of April are much better still.

    - Overall excess mortality can be seen by the total area under the the observed-death curve(s) and above the baseline. The Coronavirus-flu-associated spike in deaths looks a lot like the 2016-17 peak-flu-season spike in Europe; when all is said and done, March to April 2020 may yet outpace the 2016-17 spike and there may be marginally more excess deaths. But from the latest data available all signs are that it had not, and the end of the epidemic is now easily extrapolatable. And, temperatures are rising fast. Spring is here. Spring, the eternal enemy of all the forward-march of all viruses.

    __________

    Comparison with past years. The 2019-20 flu season, in which excess mortality peaked in March instead of the more-usual January or Feburary, vs. the 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 flu seasons:

    - Milder in each case for age 15-to-65s;

    - No difference for children under age 15;

    - For over-65s, it's looking like it will equal 2016-17.

    As Dr. Klaus Püschel, head of forensic medicine in Hamburg and one of the latest major CoronaHeretics (again a German), said a few days ago:


    Corona in itself is a „not particularly dangerous viral disease“ [...] I am convinced that the Corona mortality rate will not even show up as a peak in annual mortality.“

    (Translated from the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper.)
     

    Needless to say, the rhetorical battle over what caused total excess deaths to be about 2016-17-season levels (a bad flu season), rather than something like 1918-19 levels, as originally predicted by some and as widely promulgated by the media, will go on.

    And, temperatures are rising fast. Spring is here. Spring, the eternal enemy of all the forward-march of all viruses.

    Spring is when people stop huddling together indoors and go out and enjoy the sunshine. So keeping the population under house arrest may be a seriously bad idea.

  139. @Ron Unz

    Maybe the conventional wisdom was wrong, upon which you based the assumptions in your calculations predicting perhaps millions of American deaths.
     
    Sure, that's certainly possible. I'm obviously not a medical expert, but that seemed to be what most of the experts were saying based upon the data they had available.

    So maybe they were just dead flat wrong. But I personally suspect that something may have changed the situation, like the widespread use of those special drugs. And from the claims of its advocates, the drugs work best if given very early, when symptoms are mild and long before hospitalization. So if they're correct, that could be what's drastically reducing the need for hospitalization.

    Someone also speculated that as PM, Boris Johnson couldn't take those drugs since they haven't been officially "endorsed" by the British medical establishment. So perhaps that's why he ended up needing hospitalization at age 55.

    Hey Ron: you can actually download the (right censored) pneumonia deaths and overall deaths, the ratio of which is used by the CDC, along with the (presumably STL) model they use to normalize it and look for things out of range; aka new respiratory viruses.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/#S2

    So far, you can see a slight bump in their graph, which as I said, is a plot of the ratio of pneumonia to over all deaths, but if you look at the raws, it seems to be attributable to lower overall mortality rather than the expected increase in pneumonia deaths (locking people up is good for their health, I guess). You can also see the giant historical spike in 2017/2018 flu season, which was considerably worse, at least so far, presumably because nobody thought to shut people up in their homes for a few months to prevent its spread. Mind you, this data is right censored.

    FWIIW looking at this data, data published by the CDC mind you, is roundly denounced as “delialist” by right thinking people in the media, twitter and other such extremely online places. That’s not cool.

    The 15-20% hospitalization/infection figure; not sure where that came from; would love to know, but it surely didn’t take into account all the asymptomatic infections. “Experts” say a lot of things, some of which are nonsense. For example, nobody has any clue what the total infection numbers looks like. We certainly have no idea if hospitalization for a virus for which there is no accepted treatment is iatrogenic or not. For all we know, the lowered over all death rate in the US is a result of people keeping away from hospitals in general (it’s not automotive related).

    I don’t have much idea of what’s going on, and am a humble counter of things, but I figure it’s easy to be fooled by models (especially models with exponential growth), and expert prognostications, but it is hard to argue with actual dead bodies.

    • Replies: @Trebitch
    Agree. The total death rates are important control on sanity. Were there no test for the coronavirus, nobody would raise an eyebrow from the weekly total numbers or for the pneumonia and flu cases.
  140. @Polynikes
    The only difference between the “down players” and the panic stricken “doomers,” is that the former admit there are costs to the solutions and question the viability of such solutions.

    The doomers, on the other hand, avoid any questions about when to open back up, how much the hard shut downs cost society, or what you plan to do when this spikes back up when we end the shut down as their models suggest. Doomers are just all “shut-up and watch Netflix, bro.”


    Sidenote: there’s a new test case in the works. Early numbers from the USS Roosevelt, currently sidelined. 93% of the ship tested. About 11% of the ship tested positive. Zero hospitalizations.

    In regards to the USS Roosevelt. What’s the n number bro?

  141. anon[929] • Disclaimer says:
    @tony_k
    Is untreated hypertension the risk factor? I take a pill which keeps my BP in the safe range.

    Or is it somehow just the underlying causes of hypertension that put you at risk?

    Is untreated hypertension the risk factor?

    Maybe. Chinese and now Italian and Spanish research finds a connection.
    One treatment for hypertension involves ACE-2, another treatment uses beta-blockers.
    COVID-19 uses the ACE-2 receptor in cells as an entry.

    So it could be that people who take ACE-2 related drugs for hypertension are at a greater risk either to catch the virus (not likely) or to have more serious reaction to the virus.

    Whatever you are taking, you should keep taking it or talk with your doc via phone / Skype / Zoom about it.

  142. anon[929] • Disclaimer says:

    Another pattern is emerging: countries where the BCG vaccine is given to protect against tuberculosis appear to be showing lower rates of COVID-19 spread and possibly lower number of deaths.

    https://www.rt.com/news/485206-tb-vaccine-covid-19/

    Here’s a reference from iSteve’s home town:
    https://ktla.com/news/coronavirus/heres-how-a-100-year-old-vaccine-for-tuberculosis-could-help-fight-covid-19/

    BCG is widely used, including in Mexico.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062527/

    The Dutch and Germans are already experimenting with the BCG vaccine as a preventative / treatment for COVID – 19.

  143. Our State (TN) just started releasing statistics by age.

    As of 4/9 here are the numbers:

    Age Cases Deaths Fatality Rate
    0-10 51 1 2.00%
    11-19 218 0 0.00%
    21-30 991 1 0.10%
    31-40 747 1 0.10%
    41-50 730 5 0.70%
    51-60 845 9 1.10%
    61-70 586 23 3.90%
    71-80 288 24 8.30%
    81+ 156 30 19.20%
    PENDING 22 0 0.00%

    Apologize for the formatting. I would throw out the 0-10 fatality rate because the denominator is too low.

    Basically, in TN if you are under 40, you are in great shape. Also, I think the under 20 case count is way under represented. I have kids in that age group, and they are always catching something. If this is really that contagious, there should be a lot more cases in children. They are most likely walking around with the disease and no symptoms.

    They update the numbers daily here: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html

  144. @Achmed E. Newman
    Americans sure do eat a lot of salt and sugar, Seth, more than Europeans, from what I've seen personally. I'm sure they will catch up! I only wrote to point out another thing though. The BP machines at the drug stores and grocery stores, at least the exceedingly annoying* "Higi Stations", have changed from showing over 130 mm-Hg Systolic pressure to over 120 mm-Hg meaning Hypertension. I wonder if the definitions vary between America and Europe.

    BTW, the dark blue bars in Figure 1 ought to be labeled "18 and under".

    .

    * Getting through the menus to GET to the point of measuring your blood pressure increases hypertension itself! You've gotta run a few do-overs to see a normal reading.

    According to this article in JAMA: Association of Isolated Diastolic Hypertension as Defined by the 2017 ACC/AHA Blood Pressure Guideline With Incident Cardiovascular Outcomes they changed the definition based on “expert” opinion.

    In the 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) guideline, the definition of hypertension was lowered from a blood pressure (BP) of greater than or equal to 140/90 to greater than or equal to 130/80 mm Hg. The new diastolic BP threshold of 80 mm Hg was recommended based on expert opinion and changes the definition of isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH).

    The essential point is that they changed the 2003 definition in 2017 based on opinion and not on data. The conclusion:

    there was no significant association between IDH as defined by the 2017 ACC/AHA guideline and incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease.

    is that having readings within the 2003 guidelines (140/90) does not increase the IDH risk when compared to the 2017 thresholds (130/80). I would expect that if you dig a little, you will find that lowering the value to 120 has a similar pedigree.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Thanks, Mr. Wilson. In all fairness, the machines I've been using are possibly just using their own ranges based on what someone in Corporate decided. Putting the scare in people with the needle in the red @ 122 mm-Hg Systolic is likely to get more people to enter their email addresses and other info to be "in the system" for subsequent sessions with these too-clever-for-their-own-good machines.

    As I discussed in New drugstore blood-pressure raising monitoring machines*, there was nothing at all wrong with the other older machines that had 2 buttons, a red and a green, with a three 3-digit LED displays (Systolic, Diastolic, and HR). If you haven't seen one of these Higi dealies, well, enjoy it if you are into Artificial Stupidity (h/t J. Derbyshire for the term).

    .


    * Follow up a couple of years later here.
  145. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "All he ever needed was a pulse oximeter and an oxygen concentrator or a CPAP machine."

    It sounds as if you're saying that instead of ventilators, the US medical community should be focusing on getting more oxygen concentrators. If they are indeed more effective than ventilators, (and easier to obtain) seems as if they could help do the job of keeping the patient alive. And in the comfort of the patient's own home. But then, the medical community wouldn't be as useful, since the patient could in theory recover from home without their help.

    A CPAP is not a complete substitute for a ventilator (although they are similar devices and some hospitals have been rigging CPAPS as ventilators – the main difference is that in a ventilator they shove a tube down your throat). Some people are not breathing well enough on their own that a CPAP would help them. At that point they ventilate you – otherwise you might die within a matter of hours. Once they ventilate you, you can last another week or two in heavy sedation and THEN die – can’t you see how much better that is?

    Once in a while, someone with Wuflu even survives the ventilator. The other day I saw a clip of a middle aged man being discharged from the hospital after having been on the ventilator for Wuflu. As he was being wheeled out, all the doctors and nurses lined the hallway and applauded, as if he was some kind of miracle baby. Which he was, in a sense. Psychologically, they were ecstatic because 1 guy like this validates that they are really saving lives (or at least A life) and that what they are doing is not all just for nothing. But in reality he was the exception that proves the rule.

  146. utu says:
    @res

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.
     
    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book. There is a discussion of Fourier expansions of electron orbits in the context of quantum mechanics on pp. 38-39.

    And Fourier transforms of star orbits is a real thing:
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1979ApJ...234..275M

    Here are some references talking about Fourier Transforms (or series/expansions) and Ptolemaic ideas.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1977Obs....97...84D
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferent_and_epicycle

    I'd be interested in additional references if anyone knows of any good ones.

    If you do not mind one interjection. IMO, bringing up Fourier series when teaching orbital mechanics does a disservice to students and particularly when the Fourier series are supposed to explain the Ptolemaic system of epicycles. Fourier series are cool and now everybody can do FFT and results produce nice visual animations, so the topic is overhyped in the era of internet and YT. But it is not that simple. Everything is more complicated.

    (1) An elliptic orbit can be drawn with parametric equations in the complex plane z(t)=a*cos(iwt)+ib*sin(iwt) that looks like a term of a Fourier series but it does not describe the motion of the planet because t is not time. From Kepler’s 2nd law there is a long way to express t in terms of time. Actually you need a Bessel series:

    http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys440/lectures/ellipse/ellipse.html

    (2) The z(t) for ellipse is actually a sum of two terms of Fourier transform.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0307904X9390109T

    (3) A finite sum of Fourier series is periodic as each term of the series has period that is an integral fraction of the base period but orbits of planets observed from Earth are not necessarily exactly periodic.

    It is possible that epicycles might be more efficient way of expressing an orbit as less terms are necessary because periods of the epicycles unlike Fourier terms do need to have a common multiple.

  147. GermanReader2 [AKA "GermanReader2_new"] says:
    @RichardTaylor

    Why is high blood pressure so common in the U.S. compared to Euro countries?
     
    I think we are fatter. We eat more bad carbs. Also, we have a large African population which has higher blood pressure.

    I think we are fatter. We eat more bad carbs. Also, we have a large African population which has higher blood pressure.

    In my opinion another big reason is the nearly complete lack of exercise of a large part of the American population. I once read a book by an American woman, who had married a well-known German TV-host and lived with him in Germany, about the differences between the US and Germany. She wrote, that even though she had canceled her gym-membership upon moving to Germany and did a lot less exercise in Germany than she had done in the US, she had lost about 10 pounds since her move and felt overall fitter.
    She attributed her better fitness in Germany to the fact, that she moved a lot more in everyday situations. (For instance they lived in an apartment on the third floor, that did not have an elevator and so she had to walk a lot of stairs daily. She also wrote, that her parents have only ever been once in her apartment, because climbing the stairs was too strenuous for them)

    I have several acquaintances, who have seen slight reductions in weight but dramatic improvement in their cholesterol/hypertension etc. once they increased the time they walked each day (one got a dog, another two started playing Pokemon Go). I think a big problem when it comes to exercise is that a lot of people think they have to go to the gym five times a week and lift as many kilos as Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Mister Universe time in order to get healthy, when even daily moderate exercise (going for a 30 minute walk each day) can have a big positive impact on your health.

    • Agree: James Speaks
    • Replies: @James Speaks
    Walking is underrated. Walking while carrying a load, say a thirty pound duffel bag, is a forgotten skill.
  148. GermanReader2 [AKA "GermanReader2_new"] says:
    @Dave3
    In Europe, shacking up with a partner is a "customary social norm".

    In Europe, shacking up with a partner is a “customary social norm”.

    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.

    • Replies: @keypusher

    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.
     
    That's an awfully specific customary social norm.
  149. Another data point:

    Harvey Weinstein has survived his bout with coronavirus.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8206121/Harvey-Weinstein-beats-coronavirus-released-quarantine-remains-suicide-watch.html

    Harvey (68) does not appear to be the picture of good health and perhaps the care you get in a prison hospital is not the best, but he made it OK.

  150. utu says:
    @Jack D
    You are assuming that the lockdown is the only difference between NY and CA, between life and death. This is a fact not in evidence.

    Wuhan Virus deaths seem to be varying greatly between different countries, states and cities and the variation is not always correlated with the timing or degree of lockdown. It does seem to be correlated with some other things - average age, health status and ethnic composition of the population, population density and social patterns (again with ethnic correlations). And there are chance factors - who the local patient zero was and how many people he seeded. Chances are that the conditions in NYC or Bergamo or other places where high mortality was seen were the result of some perfect storm alignment of factors and that, even if you did nothing, you couldn't pull the lever and get 3 Lemons on the Wuhan slot machine to come up just anywhere, let alone everywhere else. Now that new cases are starting to fall, they are falling everywhere so chances are the difference between Berkeley and NYC is not just three or six weeks but something more.

    average age, health status and ethnic composition of the population, population density and social patterns (again with ethnic correlations)

    Population density should be proportional to Ro and so it may account for some difference between CA, NJ and NY. The ethnic is BS and you know it but if you at it and insist check if 3 and 2 times higher per cap Jewish population in NY and NJ , respectively than in CA could correlate with deaths per capita. An if it fails try just the Orthodox super spreaders angle.

  151. @O'Really
    You are sadly mistaken. The Javits Center and Comfort are a red herring - they were not supposed to be taking COVID patients and have basically become a bureaucratic fiasco. The hospitals themselves are as I said. Just because you haven't seen video, doesn't mean it's not happening. It is happening - far worse than anything you would see on ER.

    i admit that i don’t know exactly what’s happening, but i can guarantee that if there were any real hellscapes they’d be all over social media and shortly after on the MSM as they were in Italy.

    Whatever footage were seeing is probably the 95th percentile of seriousness since ER/ICU healthcare professionals, media, and state politicians are all aligned in wanting to maximize the spectacle of this. There’s no incentive to minimize it or to cover it up.

    • Replies: @O'Really

    i can guarantee that if there were any real hellscapes they’d be all over social media

     

    I can guarantee that you are wrong. Medical staff are not carrying cell phones in their PPE.
  152. @O'Really

    in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator
     
    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.

    Haven’t New York hospitals always had a problem with overcrowding?

    My sister-in-law had a baby in a Brooklyn hospital about ten years ago. She labored for hours in the hallway because there were no rooms available.

    • Replies: @O'Really

    Haven’t New York hospitals always had a problem with overcrowding?

     

    There's a big difference between constantly running at 103% capacity and running at 150-200% capacity, especially when that capacity is made up almost entirely of highly contagious people requiring PPE protocols and 20% of your staff is out sick.
  153. @tony_k
    Is untreated hypertension the risk factor? I take a pill which keeps my BP in the safe range.

    Or is it somehow just the underlying causes of hypertension that put you at risk?

    Unknown.
    People are speculating it’s the (or some) treatments that are at issue, but then again those treatments might make covid-19 LESS bad. nothing definitive.

    https://medshadow.org/do-ace-inhibitors-cause-coronavirus/

  154. @vhrm
    i admit that i don't know exactly what's happening, but i can guarantee that if there were any real hellscapes they'd be all over social media and shortly after on the MSM as they were in Italy.

    Whatever footage were seeing is probably the 95th percentile of seriousness since ER/ICU healthcare professionals, media, and state politicians are all aligned in wanting to maximize the spectacle of this. There's no incentive to minimize it or to cover it up.

    i can guarantee that if there were any real hellscapes they’d be all over social media

    I can guarantee that you are wrong. Medical staff are not carrying cell phones in their PPE.

  155. @Thatgirl
    Haven't New York hospitals always had a problem with overcrowding?

    My sister-in-law had a baby in a Brooklyn hospital about ten years ago. She labored for hours in the hallway because there were no rooms available.

    Haven’t New York hospitals always had a problem with overcrowding?

    There’s a big difference between constantly running at 103% capacity and running at 150-200% capacity, especially when that capacity is made up almost entirely of highly contagious people requiring PPE protocols and 20% of your staff is out sick.

  156. @Ron Unz
    One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we're still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that's just my guess.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs.

    Where did the numbers 15-20% and 5% come form? And you mix them with your assumption of 1%. There is another interpretation independent of your assumption. For 15-20 hospitalized patients there are 5 patients in ICU and there will be one that dies. The numbers in NY hospitals are very close to that: 16,837 hospitalized, 4,504 in ICU, 731 dead on Monday ( 23 : 6 : 1 proportions).

    The proportion 23 : 6 : 1 is true (because it is empirical) regardless of what is the mortality rate. Perhaps the mortality rate is 4% in NYC and then the number of infected 2-3 weeks ago was 150,000 not 600,000 so the number of hospitalized calculated your way would be 4 times lower.

    My other two comments in this thread are on data from NYT on hospital beds and ICU.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Perhaps the mortality rate is 4% in NYC and then the number of infected 2-3 weeks ago was 150,000 not 600,000 so the number of hospitalized calculated your way would be 4 times lower.
     
    Sure, I suppose that's possible. But the (roughly) 1% short-term death rate seems pretty solidly established based upon the data from China and South Korea. I think the numbers in Lombardy are more like 4+%, but that's probably because of the total collapse in the health care system.

    If the death rate really has been 4% in NY and infections 2-3 weeks ago were only 150K rather than 600K, that's probably bad news since that much higher death rate has 99% of the population available as targets. A 4% death rate with a functional health system would be very worrisome.

    My own guess is that the wide use and effectiveness of those special drugs may be the explanation for these anomalies.
  157. My take on NYC data, American and European experience seems to be the same. The difference is young Americans have more preexisting conditions.

    https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-daily-data-summary-deaths-04092020-2.pdf

  158. @FPD72
    I can think of another risk factor that is prevalent in Colorado. It involves being high but isn’t related to altitude. I wonder what the age demographic is for those who are hospitalized in contrast to other states.

    I can think of another risk factor that is prevalent in Colorado.

    Especially to certain demographics. “Muh legal POT” was a great Libertarian victory, for sure.

  159. I’d also like to see the UK figures

    So would I.

    It really appears that the UK is actively trying to not produce them, which is bizarre. It’s a vast contrast to Iceland, which has a JSON link. Australia is in between (as is NYC): both present the data in forms where the underlying data can’t be obtained programmatically.

    As to prevalence of hypertension…

    In Australia, the prevalence of untreated hypertension is relatively low in under 45s. It’s worst in 75+ women (prevalence of 51%).

    That’s using the retarded ≥140/90 mmHg ‘benchmark’ favoured by the vendors of antihypertensives.

    Not to worry (especially for under-50s): hypertension → CVD is yet another thing about which received medical wisdom has the same empirical basis as miasma theory.

    It’s being walked back – slowly, as should be expected since the current ‘wisdom’ is a massive money-spinner for pharmaceutical companies, who have always spent tens of millions funding fudged research.

    The main HBP walk-back to date has been establishing that systolic BP is irrelevant for under-50s (yea verily even unto a SBP of 200), and diastolic is irrelevant for over-50s. (Taylor et al (2011))

    The Cochrane Colaboration (Diao et al (2012)) also found absolutely no evidence that antihypertensives (like atenolol) have any therapeutic benefit for moderate hypertension (‘moderate’: SBP 140-150; DBP 90-99).

    Pharma companies are mad as fuck about their HBP money-train being derailed. Those guys are already mad about the exposure that their other revenue wet-dream – “daily statins for no-CVD-history males over 50” – has a 5-year NNT as follows:
     •  to prevent a non-fatal heart attack: ~200;
     • to prevent a non-fatal stroke: 300).
     • Side effects: 1 in 50 will develop diabetes; 1 i n10 will suffer pain from muscle damage.

    I can get my BP up, just by thinking about deliberately ‘fighting’ the cuff. My PR is 211/140. And two minutes later I can ‘think’ it back down to 130-140/85-90.

    Any test where you can do that, is not a useful test: it would be like being able to think yourself from ‘normal’, to 10% bodyfat, a height of 6’7″ or an IQ of 150.

    Reference
    Taylor, B. C., Wilt, T. J., & Welch, H. G. (2011). Impact of diastolic and systolic blood pressure on mortality: implications for the definition of “normal”. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(7), 685–690.

    Diao D, Wright JM, Cundiff DK, Gueyffier F. Pharmacotherapy for mild hypertension. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD006742

    • Replies: @anon
    Perhaps you should look at work more recent than 9 years ago. For example the SPRINT study which found a clear advantage in keeping resting BP at 120 or below.

    Hypertension does a lot of damage to systems. It's not just coronary issues, it's renal and brain as well. Even BP in the area of 140 does a constant hammering to capillaries in the brain, eventually leading to bleeding which is commonly called a "stroke".

    Renal issues
    Urine Markers of Kidney Tubule Cell Injury and Kidney Function Decline in SPRINT Trial Participants with CKD.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32111704

    Some data from 2018.
    Comparison of Frequency of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular and Safety Events With Systolic Blood Pressure <120mm Hg Versus 135-139mm Hg in a Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial Primary Prevention Subgroup.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30115425

    Here is a work in Korea.
    Effect of Blood Pressure on Cardiovascular Diseases at 10-Year Follow-Up.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30871744
  160. @botazefa

    Of course there are also lots of people who take medication for somewhat elevated blood pressure and they do fine, so you are not entirely wrong, just missing the whole picture.
     
    And your answer doesn't really illuminate the big picture in my opinion. Here's @anon's comment you were responding to:

    I wonder if there is some underlying reason or moderator (in a Fifth Law of Behavioral Genetics sense) that people with hypertension are at risk
     
    The answer to that is, potentially yes. I don't know the physics or biology of the process, but apparently Covid19 acts on ACE2 receptors.

    Many anti-hypertensive medications are ACE inhibitors. That is why some have speculated that hypertension is a risk factor. It's not necessarily hypertension that is the risk factor, but ingestion of ACE inhibitors.

    My point is that @anon was asking a good question.

    There doesn’t seem to be any clear evidence that taking ACE inhibitors makes individuals more vulnerable to COVID-19.

    There is an interesting, though rather technical paper here that discusses the matter as to whether patients with COVID-19 infections should have their ACE inhibitor antihypertensive medication changed to another medication group and the short answer is usually no.

    https://theskepticalcardiologist.com/2020/03/14/coronavirus-and-ace-inhibitors-do-not-stop-taking-your-blood-pressure-medication/

  161. @Charles Erwin Wilson Three
    According to this article in JAMA: Association of Isolated Diastolic Hypertension as Defined by the 2017 ACC/AHA Blood Pressure Guideline With Incident Cardiovascular Outcomes they changed the definition based on "expert" opinion.

    In the 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) guideline, the definition of hypertension was lowered from a blood pressure (BP) of greater than or equal to 140/90 to greater than or equal to 130/80 mm Hg. The new diastolic BP threshold of 80 mm Hg was recommended based on expert opinion and changes the definition of isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH).
     
    The essential point is that they changed the 2003 definition in 2017 based on opinion and not on data. The conclusion:

    there was no significant association between IDH as defined by the 2017 ACC/AHA guideline and incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease.
     
    is that having readings within the 2003 guidelines (140/90) does not increase the IDH risk when compared to the 2017 thresholds (130/80). I would expect that if you dig a little, you will find that lowering the value to 120 has a similar pedigree.

    Thanks, Mr. Wilson. In all fairness, the machines I’ve been using are possibly just using their own ranges based on what someone in Corporate decided. Putting the scare in people with the needle in the red @ 122 mm-Hg Systolic is likely to get more people to enter their email addresses and other info to be “in the system” for subsequent sessions with these too-clever-for-their-own-good machines.

    As I discussed in New drugstore blood-pressure raising monitoring machines*, there was nothing at all wrong with the other older machines that had 2 buttons, a red and a green, with a three 3-digit LED displays (Systolic, Diastolic, and HR). If you haven’t seen one of these Higi dealies, well, enjoy it if you are into Artificial Stupidity (h/t J. Derbyshire for the term).

    .

    * Follow up a couple of years later here.

  162. @utu

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs.
     
    Where did the numbers 15-20% and 5% come form? And you mix them with your assumption of 1%. There is another interpretation independent of your assumption. For 15-20 hospitalized patients there are 5 patients in ICU and there will be one that dies. The numbers in NY hospitals are very close to that: 16,837 hospitalized, 4,504 in ICU, 731 dead on Monday ( 23 : 6 : 1 proportions).

    The proportion 23 : 6 : 1 is true (because it is empirical) regardless of what is the mortality rate. Perhaps the mortality rate is 4% in NYC and then the number of infected 2-3 weeks ago was 150,000 not 600,000 so the number of hospitalized calculated your way would be 4 times lower.

    My other two comments in this thread are on data from NYT on hospital beds and ICU.

    Perhaps the mortality rate is 4% in NYC and then the number of infected 2-3 weeks ago was 150,000 not 600,000 so the number of hospitalized calculated your way would be 4 times lower.

    Sure, I suppose that’s possible. But the (roughly) 1% short-term death rate seems pretty solidly established based upon the data from China and South Korea. I think the numbers in Lombardy are more like 4+%, but that’s probably because of the total collapse in the health care system.

    If the death rate really has been 4% in NY and infections 2-3 weeks ago were only 150K rather than 600K, that’s probably bad news since that much higher death rate has 99% of the population available as targets. A 4% death rate with a functional health system would be very worrisome.

    My own guess is that the wide use and effectiveness of those special drugs may be the explanation for these anomalies.

    • Replies: @utu
    March 18 Italy

    Italy has a world-class health system. The coronavirus has pushed it to the breaking point.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/italy-has-world-class-health-system-coronavirus-has-pushed-it-n1162786
    "More than 2,500 people have died in about four weeks in Italy. "

    "Nearly 13,000 of Italy's coronavirus patients are hospitalized with symptoms, and of those, more than 2,000 are under intensive medical care, straining hospitals' resources."
     

    On March 18 475 died and total of 35,000 cases.

    So the proportions of hospitalized : ICU : dead is 27 : 4 : 1 which is similar to what we are seeing in NY now. We do not need to know the mortality rate for this.

  163. @Ron Unz
    One surprising development has been the relatively low numbers of severe but non-fatal infections requiring hospitalization and ICUs, a fact that various officials in NYC and elsewhere have noted.

    For example, NY has had well over 6,000 deaths, and assuming 1% short-term fatality, that suggests over 600K infections 2-3 weeks ago. I think the conventional wisdom had been 15-20% of infected would need hospitalization, including 5% requiring ICUs. Huge numbers like that would have been enough to crash the local health care system and produce a large spike in deaths. But nothing like that seems to have happened, which is one reason we're still getting 1,000 deaths/day in NY, rather than three or four times that as I might have expected by now.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the reason? My own guess is that those special drugs actually work pretty well if given early, and are greatly reducing the severity of the infection and the need for ICUs and hospitalization. But that's just my guess.

    When covid-19 hit my country the numbers you cite were what some experts were pushing forth. Needless to say we were extremely worried about a flu capable of sending 20% of the infected to hospital and killing 2-4%. Thankfully these numbers are way off for our situation. And I think overall as well for this disease.

    The key to understand is how many out there are indeed infected and never show up as ‘cases’ Even here were we are close to the world record in contact tracing and number of samples per capita; Randomized testing of our population clearly shows that less than 20% of those infected ended up as ‘cases’. For most countries this ratio is probably in the single digits % vise.

    Unfortunately I can’t link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment – assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.

    Simple example to look at is New Zealand. They decided not to flatten the curve but to eliminate the virus. They might be the closest nation on the planet to find all infected. They currently have 1239 cases, 1 death and 4 in serious or critical condition. Assuming they all die this will result in about 0.4% mortality rate.

    It’s still bad enough and even with such ‘low’ mortality rate covid-19 is much worse than the seasonal flue because it can infect almost everybody as there is no immunity either to inhibit infection nor to slow the spread. So even with ‘only’ 2-3 times higher mortality rate it can kill perhaps 10-20 times more people and overwhelm even the best of health care systems – resulting in even worse outcome. So direct comparison with ‘the flu’ is nonsense.

    Doing nothing – like you correctly pointed out in recent article – is a disaster. However, perhaps it’s possible to focus the effort better like Dr. Ionnidis is suggesting.

    Another factor to keep in mind is this is primarily a respiratory disease and at least some of the hardest hit areas have bad air quality. Wuhan in China, North Italy and Madrid. It wouldn’t surprise me if this could be a factor for New York as well.

    • Disagree: James Speaks
    • Replies: @James Speaks

    Another factor to keep in mind is this is primarily a respiratory disease and at least some of the hardest hit areas have bad air quality. Wuhan in China, North Italy and Madrid. It wouldn’t surprise me if this could be a factor for New York as well.
     
    A factor to keep in mind is that this is primarily a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease yet damages multiple organs, thus obscuring the ultimate cause of death.
    , @Ron Unz

    Unfortunately I can’t link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment – assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.
     
    That's very interesting about Iceland getting such low fatality rates, apparently without use of those special drugs.

    By contrast, South Korea seemed to do an enormous amount of testing, and the numbers they got were entirely different, a longer-term fatality rate of 1.5%-2%.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/corona-cfr-in-korea/

    It seems like every seemingly-solid estimate that comes out is quickly contradicted by different one. Maybe some of those claims floating around are correct, and there are actually several different strains of the virus, hitting different countries.
  164. @dearieme
    To caricaturize ...

    Aw, Mr iSteve, "to caricature" is a perfectly cromulent verb.

    Personally I have always found the verbifying-by-suffix of things that are already verbs, to be a peculiar feature of Yanklish, and particularly of journo-Yanklish. They also seem more prone to verbification generally, and antimeria even more generally.

    Then again, that might be a caricaturisation; one thing I always try to avoidificate is speaking caricaturisationally.

    KEK

  165. anon[982] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    I’d also like to see the UK figures
     
    So would I.

    It really appears that the UK is actively trying to not produce them, which is bizarre. It's a vast contrast to Iceland, which has a JSON link. Australia is in between (as is NYC): both present the data in forms where the underlying data can't be obtained programmatically.


    As to prevalence of hypertension...

    In Australia, the prevalence of untreated hypertension is relatively low in under 45s. It's worst in 75+ women (prevalence of 51%).

    That's using the retarded ≥140/90 mmHg 'benchmark' favoured by the vendors of antihypertensives.

    Not to worry (especially for under-50s): hypertension → CVD is yet another thing about which received medical wisdom has the same empirical basis as miasma theory.

    It's being walked back - slowly, as should be expected since the current 'wisdom' is a massive money-spinner for pharmaceutical companies, who have always spent tens of millions funding fudged research.

    The main HBP walk-back to date has been establishing that systolic BP is irrelevant for under-50s (yea verily even unto a SBP of 200), and diastolic is irrelevant for over-50s. (Taylor et al (2011))

    The Cochrane Colaboration (Diao et al (2012)) also found absolutely no evidence that antihypertensives (like atenolol) have any therapeutic benefit for moderate hypertension ('moderate': SBP 140-150; DBP 90-99).

    Pharma companies are mad as fuck about their HBP money-train being derailed. Those guys are already mad about the exposure that their other revenue wet-dream - "daily statins for no-CVD-history males over 50" - has a 5-year NNT as follows:
     •  to prevent a non-fatal heart attack: ~200;
     • to prevent a non-fatal stroke: 300).
     • Side effects: 1 in 50 will develop diabetes; 1 i n10 will suffer pain from muscle damage.

    I can get my BP up, just by thinking about deliberately 'fighting' the cuff. My PR is 211/140. And two minutes later I can 'think' it back down to 130-140/85-90.

    Any test where you can do that, is not a useful test: it would be like being able to think yourself from 'normal', to 10% bodyfat, a height of 6'7" or an IQ of 150.


    Reference
    Taylor, B. C., Wilt, T. J., & Welch, H. G. (2011). Impact of diastolic and systolic blood pressure on mortality: implications for the definition of "normal". Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(7), 685–690.

    Diao D, Wright JM, Cundiff DK, Gueyffier F. Pharmacotherapy for mild hypertension. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD006742

    Perhaps you should look at work more recent than 9 years ago. For example the SPRINT study which found a clear advantage in keeping resting BP at 120 or below.

    Hypertension does a lot of damage to systems. It’s not just coronary issues, it’s renal and brain as well. Even BP in the area of 140 does a constant hammering to capillaries in the brain, eventually leading to bleeding which is commonly called a “stroke”.

    Renal issues
    Urine Markers of Kidney Tubule Cell Injury and Kidney Function Decline in SPRINT Trial Participants with CKD.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32111704

    Some data from 2018.
    Comparison of Frequency of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular and Safety Events With Systolic Blood Pressure <120mm Hg Versus 135-139mm Hg in a Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial Primary Prevention Subgroup.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30115425

    Here is a work in Korea.
    Effect of Blood Pressure on Cardiovascular Diseases at 10-Year Follow-Up.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30871744

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    I reckon I would've read 50 SPRINT papers - there's never a shortage of pharma money being backdoored into p-hacked grid-searches that are little more than glorified advertisements for antihypertensives.

    It's interesting that access to the pill-vendors' ads are invariably behind paywalls (so doctors won't read them when the pharma rep mentions them).

    Fortunately, on the side of the angels there are a bunch of people who review the pill-vendors' drivel so that we don't have to. Their output is, of course, open access.

    The Cochrane Collaboration frequently updates its review on pill-pushers' claims about how anyone with SBP over 120 will die unless we take their pills... and the OR/HR is always statistically 1.

    The latest revision is Saiz et al (2018) -

    We included six RCTs that involved a total of 9484 participants. Mean follow‐up was 3.7 years (range 1.0 to 4.7 years). All RCTs provided individual participant data.

    We found no change in total mortality (risk ratio (RR) 1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.91 to 1.23) or cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.29; moderate‐quality evidence). Similarly, we found no differences in serious adverse events (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.08; low‐quality evidence) or total cardiovascular events (including myocardial infarction, stroke, sudden death, hospitalization, or death from congestive heart failure) (RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.00; low‐quality evidence). Studies reported more participant withdrawals due to adverse effects in the lower target arm (RR 8.16, 95% CI 2.06 to 32.28; very low‐quality evidence). Blood pressures were lower in the lower target group by 8.9/4.5 mmHg.
     
    Seriously: if there was an untainted paper resulting from an RCT (rather than cherry-picking subsets from RTCs) with a RR/HR/OR solidly stronger than 1, I would be aware of it.

    I am genuinely interested in my own health, which is why I have read thousands of pages on this stuff: the sorts of relative risk being discussed by pill-hawkers, moves my 10-year 'Framingham' risk of CVD (not death, just CVD) from 3% to 3.24%, which is pure noise.

    (Me: 55yo male non-diabetic non-smoker in healthy weight range who exercises to maxHR for 40mins 5 times A week, gets plenty of sun and iodine, eats mostly vegetables, and drinks too much).

    Better than that, I have a CAC of ZERO(which is a better predictor of cardiac mortality risk than Framingham, which fails to signal high risk for 75% of CVD deaths).


    Reference
    Saiz LC, Gorricho J, Garjón J, Celaya MC, Erviti J, Leache L. Blood pressure targets for the treatment of people with hypertension and cardiovascular disease, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD010315. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010315.pub3.
  166. @O'Really

    in NYC there seem to be fewer than expected Boris Johnson level cases that need hospitalization but not a ventilator
     
    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.

    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.

    Since you’re a longtime iSteve commenter and seem to have an inside view of the medical aspect of the NYC outbreak, what’s your sense of why the ICU load has apparently grown much less rapidly than originally predicted?

    Also, are the doctors finding that those special drugs are anything like as effective as their advocates have been claimed? The story is that they work best soon after infection, and may greatly reduce the need for hospitalization.

    • Replies: @utu

    Military sending doctors into New York hospitals hard hit by coronavirus as new facilities sit mostly empty
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/08/politics/military-doctor-surge-nyc/index.html

    "The number of patients hospitalized is down," Cuomo said Wednesday, adding that, "we don't just look at day-to-day data, you look at the three-day trend, but that number is down."

    The Pentagon said Tuesday that 325 military medical personnel have arrived in New York and would start embedding in 11 public hospitals on Wednesday, including New York City Health and Hospitals-Bellevue, Coney Island, Elmhurst, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings County, Lincoln, Metropolitan, North Central Bronx, Queens, and Woodhull.

    "Each hospital is receiving 20 to 30 medical personnel to augment the hospital's civilian staff. This includes doctors, assistants, nurses, respiratory therapists and other professionals," Hoffman said

    De Blasio acknowledged the surge in personnel Wednesday, saying that nearly 300 military medical personnel have been deployed throughout New York City's public hospitals, but said that additional help is needed "quickly."
     
    And this about people dying outside of hospitals:

    "I mean a normal, non-COVID sort of a day, you know maybe 25 people need to be removed from homes that, where they've passed away," Lengyel said. "Those numbers are up significantly, and 150 people a day are needing to be taken via mortuary affairs and we're concerned -- we have some National Guard units that are trained to do this, so that people can be -- human remains treated with dignity and respect," he added.
    , @O'Really
    I wouldn't get hung up on ICU numbers -- whole wings of hospitals are basically makeshift ICU's which are probably not fully counted. If only formally licensed ICU beds are countable in the official stats, then you will quickly hit a ceiling on the count.

    Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to know about the relative success of different medication protocols.

  167. @Anonymous Jew
    What are you talking about? Why do I need to visit my 70-something father with two heart surgeries under his belt before this thing is over? I told him to stay put, stay isolated, order his food in and then sanitize it. It makes sense that he should bear the costs of this crisis instead of everyone.

    Young people don’t put old people at risk unless we come into contact with them, which can be avoided. That’s much easier to to deal with than the next Great Depression and loss of personal freedom.

    For many boomers, it’s still all about them.

    It makes sense that he should bear the costs of this crisis instead of everyone.

    That’s a slightly unfair way to put it, although everyone knows what you mean.

    The ‘best’ outcome is the one that achieves the maximum risk reduction, at minimum cost – which will be a combination of the not-at-much-risk having much-reduced personal contact with the at-risk, and the at-risk understanding that they should strongly-isolate themselves and it’s nothing personal.

    Next problem, thoughj? Being recovered may not make you immune.

    As evidence of reinfection of ‘resolved’ individuals mounts, this issue is moving from “Probably testing error” or “Relapse, Not Reinfection” towards “Known Issues: Reinfection” .

    The first two would be bad enough: if it turns out that (some?) people do not acquire immunity, then there is a whole other ball of wax. (like: if you get can it a second time, does it predictably hit you harder?)

    Frankly, I’m having a ball with this.

    Even my sole irrational superstition – fear of dying ironically – is being kept in check (“covid19-ocaust denier dies of covid19” will only happen to high-profile people KEK), but it’s why I am being super-scrupulous on a project that ought to be finished by now.

  168. @GermanReader2

    I think we are fatter. We eat more bad carbs. Also, we have a large African population which has higher blood pressure.
     
    In my opinion another big reason is the nearly complete lack of exercise of a large part of the American population. I once read a book by an American woman, who had married a well-known German TV-host and lived with him in Germany, about the differences between the US and Germany. She wrote, that even though she had canceled her gym-membership upon moving to Germany and did a lot less exercise in Germany than she had done in the US, she had lost about 10 pounds since her move and felt overall fitter.
    She attributed her better fitness in Germany to the fact, that she moved a lot more in everyday situations. (For instance they lived in an apartment on the third floor, that did not have an elevator and so she had to walk a lot of stairs daily. She also wrote, that her parents have only ever been once in her apartment, because climbing the stairs was too strenuous for them)

    I have several acquaintances, who have seen slight reductions in weight but dramatic improvement in their cholesterol/hypertension etc. once they increased the time they walked each day (one got a dog, another two started playing Pokemon Go). I think a big problem when it comes to exercise is that a lot of people think they have to go to the gym five times a week and lift as many kilos as Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Mister Universe time in order to get healthy, when even daily moderate exercise (going for a 30 minute walk each day) can have a big positive impact on your health.

    Walking is underrated. Walking while carrying a load, say a thirty pound duffel bag, is a forgotten skill.

  169. @niceland
    When covid-19 hit my country the numbers you cite were what some experts were pushing forth. Needless to say we were extremely worried about a flu capable of sending 20% of the infected to hospital and killing 2-4%. Thankfully these numbers are way off for our situation. And I think overall as well for this disease.

    The key to understand is how many out there are indeed infected and never show up as 'cases' Even here were we are close to the world record in contact tracing and number of samples per capita; Randomized testing of our population clearly shows that less than 20% of those infected ended up as 'cases'. For most countries this ratio is probably in the single digits % vise.

    Unfortunately I can't link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment - assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.

    Simple example to look at is New Zealand. They decided not to flatten the curve but to eliminate the virus. They might be the closest nation on the planet to find all infected. They currently have 1239 cases, 1 death and 4 in serious or critical condition. Assuming they all die this will result in about 0.4% mortality rate.

    It's still bad enough and even with such 'low' mortality rate covid-19 is much worse than the seasonal flue because it can infect almost everybody as there is no immunity either to inhibit infection nor to slow the spread. So even with 'only' 2-3 times higher mortality rate it can kill perhaps 10-20 times more people and overwhelm even the best of health care systems - resulting in even worse outcome. So direct comparison with 'the flu' is nonsense.

    Doing nothing - like you correctly pointed out in recent article - is a disaster. However, perhaps it's possible to focus the effort better like Dr. Ionnidis is suggesting.


    Another factor to keep in mind is this is primarily a respiratory disease and at least some of the hardest hit areas have bad air quality. Wuhan in China, North Italy and Madrid. It wouldn't surprise me if this could be a factor for New York as well.

    Another factor to keep in mind is this is primarily a respiratory disease and at least some of the hardest hit areas have bad air quality. Wuhan in China, North Italy and Madrid. It wouldn’t surprise me if this could be a factor for New York as well.

    A factor to keep in mind is that this is primarily a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease yet damages multiple organs, thus obscuring the ultimate cause of death.

    • Replies: @niceland

    a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease
     
    Never seen the causality you claim. Could you please provide a source for this?
  170. @Hail

    I hope that PM Boris Johnson survives his hospital stay. The odds currently seem to be in his favor. But what would be the odds if he couldn’t get into a hospital because they were all full?

    By the way, I presume 55-year-old Boris Johnson has some predisposing conditions, but he is the man who just four months ago finally resolved the seemingly endless Brexit crisis with his historic triumph in the General Election
     

    Or, Boris Johnson's latest publicity stunt.

    Despite, it was later revealed, being only a precaution, not having pneumonia, not being a prime candidate for hospitalization, he was hospitalized -- and the very evening before the UK total-death data through the end of March was published. This pre-emptive strike by Mr. Self-Promoter (Boris Publicity Stunt Johnson) deflated the sails of the good news that the UK's total deaths through the end of March were lower year-to-date death rate than the running average for 2015-to-2019, more strong evidence against the CoronaApocalypse.

    Although we are not necessarily going to ever know for sure, the strong possibility that Boris' sudden "turn for the worse" ("Only to heroically pull through!" curtain; Act III) raises several possibilities. Whose choice was the hospitalization? His own, a classic Boris move to gain sympathy? Or was it other members of the "Corona Coup d'Etat" faction, who want UK'ers to show more damned respect for the Corona Panic, our substitute God now that Easter has been cancelled?

    (And what better example of a one-time heretic to the Holy CoronaReligion to make than Boris, who led a readeguard action until late in the game against the Corona Panic, resisting the mass shutdowns longer than the other cavers-in?)

    Boris Johnson’s latest publicity stunt

    Boris’ sudden “turn for the worse” (“Only to heroically pull through!” Curtain; Act III)

    And, sure enough, now this:

    U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson out of intensive care
    NBC News

  171. @GermanReader2

    In Europe, shacking up with a partner is a “customary social norm”.
     
    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.

    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.

    That’s an awfully specific customary social norm.

    • Replies: @James Speaks

    That’s an awfully specific customary social norm.
     
    Applies to any product of two prime numbers whose sum equals or exceeds 16. Thus would apply if age equaled 39 but not 42.
    , @GermanReader2


    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.
     
    That’s an awfully specific customary social norm.
     
    In Germany it is the customary social norm for middle and upper middle class people to marry, when they are expecting a child. (This is the latest somewhat acceptable time, for instance my sister will marry this fall and has said, that she and her partner will start trying out for a child right after the wedding.)

    In Boris Johnson's case there are two factors at play, that make his lifestyle-choice more baffling to me:
    -Shacking up is generally done more by the younger people. Boris Johnson is a late baby-boomer and therefore should have been raised with way more conservative values than millenials
    -He is the head of the conservative party in Britain. His lifestyle should reflect the values of party he belongs to, especially since he is the head of the party.

  172. @Ron Unz

    Perhaps the mortality rate is 4% in NYC and then the number of infected 2-3 weeks ago was 150,000 not 600,000 so the number of hospitalized calculated your way would be 4 times lower.
     
    Sure, I suppose that's possible. But the (roughly) 1% short-term death rate seems pretty solidly established based upon the data from China and South Korea. I think the numbers in Lombardy are more like 4+%, but that's probably because of the total collapse in the health care system.

    If the death rate really has been 4% in NY and infections 2-3 weeks ago were only 150K rather than 600K, that's probably bad news since that much higher death rate has 99% of the population available as targets. A 4% death rate with a functional health system would be very worrisome.

    My own guess is that the wide use and effectiveness of those special drugs may be the explanation for these anomalies.

    March 18 Italy

    Italy has a world-class health system. The coronavirus has pushed it to the breaking point.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/italy-has-world-class-health-system-coronavirus-has-pushed-it-n1162786
    “More than 2,500 people have died in about four weeks in Italy. ”

    “Nearly 13,000 of Italy’s coronavirus patients are hospitalized with symptoms, and of those, more than 2,000 are under intensive medical care, straining hospitals’ resources.”

    On March 18 475 died and total of 35,000 cases.

    So the proportions of hospitalized : ICU : dead is 27 : 4 : 1 which is similar to what we are seeing in NY now. We do not need to know the mortality rate for this.

  173. @niceland
    When covid-19 hit my country the numbers you cite were what some experts were pushing forth. Needless to say we were extremely worried about a flu capable of sending 20% of the infected to hospital and killing 2-4%. Thankfully these numbers are way off for our situation. And I think overall as well for this disease.

    The key to understand is how many out there are indeed infected and never show up as 'cases' Even here were we are close to the world record in contact tracing and number of samples per capita; Randomized testing of our population clearly shows that less than 20% of those infected ended up as 'cases'. For most countries this ratio is probably in the single digits % vise.

    Unfortunately I can't link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment - assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.

    Simple example to look at is New Zealand. They decided not to flatten the curve but to eliminate the virus. They might be the closest nation on the planet to find all infected. They currently have 1239 cases, 1 death and 4 in serious or critical condition. Assuming they all die this will result in about 0.4% mortality rate.

    It's still bad enough and even with such 'low' mortality rate covid-19 is much worse than the seasonal flue because it can infect almost everybody as there is no immunity either to inhibit infection nor to slow the spread. So even with 'only' 2-3 times higher mortality rate it can kill perhaps 10-20 times more people and overwhelm even the best of health care systems - resulting in even worse outcome. So direct comparison with 'the flu' is nonsense.

    Doing nothing - like you correctly pointed out in recent article - is a disaster. However, perhaps it's possible to focus the effort better like Dr. Ionnidis is suggesting.


    Another factor to keep in mind is this is primarily a respiratory disease and at least some of the hardest hit areas have bad air quality. Wuhan in China, North Italy and Madrid. It wouldn't surprise me if this could be a factor for New York as well.

    Unfortunately I can’t link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment – assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.

    That’s very interesting about Iceland getting such low fatality rates, apparently without use of those special drugs.

    By contrast, South Korea seemed to do an enormous amount of testing, and the numbers they got were entirely different, a longer-term fatality rate of 1.5%-2%.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/corona-cfr-in-korea/

    It seems like every seemingly-solid estimate that comes out is quickly contradicted by different one. Maybe some of those claims floating around are correct, and there are actually several different strains of the virus, hitting different countries.

    • Replies: @utu
    He divides by the current infected total not by what it was 2-3 weeks ago.
    , @utu

    there are actually several different strains of the virus, hitting different countrie
     
    How America was hit with COVID-19 from two continents: Majority of cases in US epicenter New York came from Europe - but a DIFFERENT strain spread from China to the West Coast, genome studies reveal
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8206625/America-hit-COVID-19-two-continents-studies-suggest.html
    , @niceland
    Ron,
    The difference in mortality rate is easily explained. As far as I know Iceland is the only country where randomized testing has been done on majority of the population. So we actually know - within reason - how many are indeed infected. And hence able to calculate IFR morality rate based on these numbers.

    Most, if not all of the rest -including South Korea - are dealing with CFR, - case fatality rate.

    If we assume all ICU patients die in Iceland the CFR is ~1% But because of our randomized testing we know about 5 times more are infected so the IFR is close to 0.2% under the same assumption.

    BTW Iceland has done over 9 times as many tests per capita as South Korea. So it's extremely unlikely their 'case' number is closer to true number of infections than ours.
    See; https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    I think the mortality rate is indeed very similar. The difference is - we tested and found larger portion of those truly infected.
  174. @Ron Unz

    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.
     
    Since you're a longtime iSteve commenter and seem to have an inside view of the medical aspect of the NYC outbreak, what's your sense of why the ICU load has apparently grown much less rapidly than originally predicted?

    Also, are the doctors finding that those special drugs are anything like as effective as their advocates have been claimed? The story is that they work best soon after infection, and may greatly reduce the need for hospitalization.

    Military sending doctors into New York hospitals hard hit by coronavirus as new facilities sit mostly empty
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/08/politics/military-doctor-surge-nyc/index.html

    “The number of patients hospitalized is down,” Cuomo said Wednesday, adding that, “we don’t just look at day-to-day data, you look at the three-day trend, but that number is down.”

    The Pentagon said Tuesday that 325 military medical personnel have arrived in New York and would start embedding in 11 public hospitals on Wednesday, including New York City Health and Hospitals-Bellevue, Coney Island, Elmhurst, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings County, Lincoln, Metropolitan, North Central Bronx, Queens, and Woodhull.

    “Each hospital is receiving 20 to 30 medical personnel to augment the hospital’s civilian staff. This includes doctors, assistants, nurses, respiratory therapists and other professionals,” Hoffman said

    De Blasio acknowledged the surge in personnel Wednesday, saying that nearly 300 military medical personnel have been deployed throughout New York City’s public hospitals, but said that additional help is needed “quickly.”

    And this about people dying outside of hospitals:

    “I mean a normal, non-COVID sort of a day, you know maybe 25 people need to be removed from homes that, where they’ve passed away,” Lengyel said. “Those numbers are up significantly, and 150 people a day are needing to be taken via mortuary affairs and we’re concerned — we have some National Guard units that are trained to do this, so that people can be — human remains treated with dignity and respect,” he added.

  175. @James Speaks

    Another factor to keep in mind is this is primarily a respiratory disease and at least some of the hardest hit areas have bad air quality. Wuhan in China, North Italy and Madrid. It wouldn’t surprise me if this could be a factor for New York as well.
     
    A factor to keep in mind is that this is primarily a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease yet damages multiple organs, thus obscuring the ultimate cause of death.

    a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease

    Never seen the causality you claim. Could you please provide a source for this?

    • Replies: @James Speaks

    Never seen the causality you claim. Could you please provide a source for this?
     
    Sure. Google.

    This: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/heart-damage-in-covid-19-patients-puzzles-doctors/
    And this: https://khn.org/news/mysterious-heart-damage-not-just-lung-troubles-befalling-covid-19-patients/
    And this: https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200406/mysterious-heart-damage-not-just-lung-troubles-befalling-covid-19-patients
    And so on and so on.

    It helps to be curious, and to try looking for news stories such as these by searching using terms such as "COVID" AND "causes of death." Hope this helps.
  176. @keypusher

    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.
     
    That's an awfully specific customary social norm.

    That’s an awfully specific customary social norm.

    Applies to any product of two prime numbers whose sum equals or exceeds 16. Thus would apply if age equaled 39 but not 42.

    • LOL: Daniel Williams
  177. @Ron Unz

    This is incorrect. I can assure you that what is happening in NYC hospitals is a mind-numbing horror show with patients almost literally stacked on top of each other. That the system has not yet crashed, is merely a testament to the incredible fortitude of the doctors, nurses, and staff.
     
    Since you're a longtime iSteve commenter and seem to have an inside view of the medical aspect of the NYC outbreak, what's your sense of why the ICU load has apparently grown much less rapidly than originally predicted?

    Also, are the doctors finding that those special drugs are anything like as effective as their advocates have been claimed? The story is that they work best soon after infection, and may greatly reduce the need for hospitalization.

    I wouldn’t get hung up on ICU numbers — whole wings of hospitals are basically makeshift ICU’s which are probably not fully counted. If only formally licensed ICU beds are countable in the official stats, then you will quickly hit a ceiling on the count.

    Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to know about the relative success of different medication protocols.

  178. @Ron Unz

    Unfortunately I can’t link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment – assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.
     
    That's very interesting about Iceland getting such low fatality rates, apparently without use of those special drugs.

    By contrast, South Korea seemed to do an enormous amount of testing, and the numbers they got were entirely different, a longer-term fatality rate of 1.5%-2%.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/corona-cfr-in-korea/

    It seems like every seemingly-solid estimate that comes out is quickly contradicted by different one. Maybe some of those claims floating around are correct, and there are actually several different strains of the virus, hitting different countries.

    He divides by the current infected total not by what it was 2-3 weeks ago.

  179. @LoutishAngloQuebecker
    More like: get in college debt, live at home, play videogames all day, die alone. Or wageslave all day, live paycheque to paycheque, die alone.

    Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps! After all, I just had a high school diploma and ended up as a senior manager due to hard work. Millenials are just lazy!

    Don’t forget that the most conservative old people enjoy the free healthcare and universal basic income favored by the most liberal young people.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    After paying into the fund all of their working lives.
  180. @res

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.
     
    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book. There is a discussion of Fourier expansions of electron orbits in the context of quantum mechanics on pp. 38-39.

    And Fourier transforms of star orbits is a real thing:
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1979ApJ...234..275M

    Here are some references talking about Fourier Transforms (or series/expansions) and Ptolemaic ideas.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1977Obs....97...84D
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferent_and_epicycle

    I'd be interested in additional references if anyone knows of any good ones.

    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book.

    I must have mixed that one up with another of Heisenbergs’ books. I might have been thinking of Physics and Beyond. I read that one (and maybe the other I mentioned) many years ago. The Fourier expansion reference was, I believe, in the context of a discussion Heisenberg had with Wolfgang Pauli when they were students. If memory serves, Physics and Beyond was rather autobiographical.

    • Replies: @Scott Locklin
    FWIIW the attribution of the idea of Fourier expansion to Eudoxus/Hipparchus/Ptolemy is pretty common; it's everywhere in the lore of the three body problem. It's not exactly true, but it's close enough. When you look at stuff like Dieter Wintgen's semiclassical quantization of helium spectra, which quantizes using symbolic dynamics as a sort of Fourier transform, well the hand wavey stuff makes more sense.
    , @res
    Thanks. That book has a discussion of planetary motion contrasting Ptolemy and Newton, but I don't see any Fourier reference. The tone does seem about right though. Sample quote after the MORE.


    Otto did not find my examples particularly convincing. "I can see only differences in degree, but no basic distinction. Ptolemy's astronomy must have been very good, else it would not have lasted for fifteen hundred years. Newton's didn't seem much better at first; it took quite some time before astronomers came to appreciate that it led to more accurate predictions of the motions of the planets than Ptolemy's cycles and epicycles. I cannot really grant you that Newton did something fundamentally better than Ptolemy. He merely gave a different account of planetary mo- tions, one that happened to prove more successful in the long run. " Wolfgang found this argument too one-sided and much too positivistic. "I, for one, see a basic distinction between Newton's astronomy and Ptolemy's," he said. "To begin with, Newton posed the whole problem quite differently: he inquired into the causes of planetary motions and not into the motions themselves. These causes, he discovered, were forces, and in our planetary system they happen to be much simpler than the motions. He described them by means of his law of gravitation. If we say that Newton helped us to understand the motion of the planets, we only mean that more precise observations have shown that it is possible to reduce the complicated motions of the planets to something very simple, namely, to gravitational forces, and to explain them in that way. Admittedly, Ptolemy could describe all the complicated motions of the planets by the superposition of cycles and epicycles, but he had to treat them as empirical facts. Moreover, Newton was also able to show that the motions of the planets are governed by the same laws as those that determine the motion of a projectile, the oscillation of a pendulum or the spinning of a top. The mere fact that Newton's mechanics reduced all these different phenomena to a simple principle namely, 'mass X acceleration == force,' shows that his planetary system is vastly superior to Ptolemy's."
     
  181. @Ron Unz

    Unfortunately I can’t link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment – assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.
     
    That's very interesting about Iceland getting such low fatality rates, apparently without use of those special drugs.

    By contrast, South Korea seemed to do an enormous amount of testing, and the numbers they got were entirely different, a longer-term fatality rate of 1.5%-2%.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/corona-cfr-in-korea/

    It seems like every seemingly-solid estimate that comes out is quickly contradicted by different one. Maybe some of those claims floating around are correct, and there are actually several different strains of the virus, hitting different countries.

    there are actually several different strains of the virus, hitting different countrie

    How America was hit with COVID-19 from two continents: Majority of cases in US epicenter New York came from Europe – but a DIFFERENT strain spread from China to the West Coast, genome studies reveal
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8206625/America-hit-COVID-19-two-continents-studies-suggest.html

    • Replies: @res
    Thanks! Interesting article. I think that helps validate the wisdom of Trump's China travel ban and perhaps argues that blowback (racist!) from that had a material negative impact by slowing the corresponding European travel ban.

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

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

    Unfortunately I can’t link to any published material, but I have fairly good data from my local sources to calculate that: covid-19 sends about 2% of infected to the hospital and for the moment – assuming all of our ICU patients die the mortality rate is in the 0.2-0.3% range.
     
    That's very interesting about Iceland getting such low fatality rates, apparently without use of those special drugs.

    By contrast, South Korea seemed to do an enormous amount of testing, and the numbers they got were entirely different, a longer-term fatality rate of 1.5%-2%.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/corona-cfr-in-korea/

    It seems like every seemingly-solid estimate that comes out is quickly contradicted by different one. Maybe some of those claims floating around are correct, and there are actually several different strains of the virus, hitting different countries.

    Ron,
    The difference in mortality rate is easily explained. As far as I know Iceland is the only country where randomized testing has been done on majority of the population. So we actually know – within reason – how many are indeed infected. And hence able to calculate IFR morality rate based on these numbers.

    Most, if not all of the rest -including South Korea – are dealing with CFR, – case fatality rate.

    If we assume all ICU patients die in Iceland the CFR is ~1% But because of our randomized testing we know about 5 times more are infected so the IFR is close to 0.2% under the same assumption.

    BTW Iceland has done over 9 times as many tests per capita as South Korea. So it’s extremely unlikely their ‘case’ number is closer to true number of infections than ours.
    See; https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    I think the mortality rate is indeed very similar. The difference is – we tested and found larger portion of those truly infected.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Iceland started with skiers who went to Northern Italy.
    , @Ron Unz

    Most, if not all of the rest -including South Korea – are dealing with CFR, – case fatality rate.

    If we assume all ICU patients die in Iceland the CFR is ~1% But because of our randomized testing we know about 5 times more are infected so the IFR is close to 0.2% under the same assumption.

    BTW Iceland has done over 9 times as many tests per capita as South Korea.
     
    Well, if that turns out to be correct and fully applicable to other populations, it would certainly be a huge relief. Perhaps that explains why NY hasn't been totally overwhelmed as many (including myself) had expected.

    If we assume herd immunity would limit it to 12M New Yorkers, total deaths wouldn't be more than about 24K, and they've already reached around 1/3 of that. So maybe this week really will mark the NY peak. Plus the much smaller number of hospitalizations meant that the health system wasn't overwhelmed.

    On the other side, the death rates from Lombardy (pop. 10M) and especially some of the hardest-hit cities and towns seem much higher than we'd expect from a 0.2% mortality rate.

    Also, the number of medical workers who've apparently died suggests that viral load may be an important factor.

    But given Iceland's tiny population, top-quality genetics industry, and the massive testing you describe, it certainly seems a case worth closely considering. I'd be very interested in hearing what someone like Greg Cochran, who's been following the issue carefully for many weeks, would think of the data.
    , @res
    Have you accounted for the infection-mortality time lag in your IFR calculation? (as utu mentions in comment 178)

    Giving the calculation details as well as the reference you used for the numbers would be helpful.
  183. Anon[208] • Disclaimer says:

    All these models are garbage. They are using simple stat models for complex interactions. Anyone with more than a basic stat background knows how poor these models are. They are designed to bullshit the public. Obviously we need to consider many different variable. Age, BMI, racial background (we know from Chinese studies that their alveoli are more susceptible to the virus, e.g.). Just imagine something that we are comfortable with, and then imagine how many variables what we might assign. Instead we are getting bulk data for a specialized problem. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. or GIGO as the computer people put it.

  184. @niceland
    Ron,
    The difference in mortality rate is easily explained. As far as I know Iceland is the only country where randomized testing has been done on majority of the population. So we actually know - within reason - how many are indeed infected. And hence able to calculate IFR morality rate based on these numbers.

    Most, if not all of the rest -including South Korea - are dealing with CFR, - case fatality rate.

    If we assume all ICU patients die in Iceland the CFR is ~1% But because of our randomized testing we know about 5 times more are infected so the IFR is close to 0.2% under the same assumption.

    BTW Iceland has done over 9 times as many tests per capita as South Korea. So it's extremely unlikely their 'case' number is closer to true number of infections than ours.
    See; https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    I think the mortality rate is indeed very similar. The difference is - we tested and found larger portion of those truly infected.

    Iceland started with skiers who went to Northern Italy.

    • Replies: @niceland
    Yes we did but early on we discovered we were also getting infections from Austria Ischgl ski resort and were the first to alert Austria to that problem.

    However, sequencing the virus RNA/DNA (whatever) from samples it seems we were also getting a lot of infections from the U.K. at the same time. At that time the U.K. was considered 'safe'.
  185. @BB753
    Older Boomers would rather see the whole world perish than die 5 years before their time.
    "Après nous, le déluge!"


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apr%C3%A8s_nous_le_d%C3%A9luge

    Older Boomers would rather see the whole world perish than die 5 years before their time.

    In my own experience it’s Boomers who are more likely to be Corona Sceptics and it’s Gen Xers and especially the Millennials who are freaking out and hiding under the bed.

    I don’t think Corona Sceptics and Corona Alarmists divide neatly along generational lines. I think it’s more true to say that the big divide is between different personality types. Some people are just psychologically inclined to mass hysteria and some people are just psychologically inclined to scepticism.

    And of course there’s a big ideological divide. But the generation thing doesn’t seem to be significant.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    I have been a Corona Skeptic since I first saw how watery it looked in the bottle.

    Plus, if you have to put lime in a beer to make it palatable, any claims that it's la cerveza mas fina are a priori hyperbolic (which is scarier than ZOMFG EXPERNENSHUL).

    I briefly flirted with 1664 Blanc-denialism (for five minutes), but reformed after two bottles.

    I'm not a Chimay skeptic, or a Grolsch skeptic, or a Carslberg skeptic, or a Steinlager skeptic, or a 150 Lashes skeptic, or a White Rabbit skeptic, or a 333 skeptic, or a Heineken skeptic, or a Tsingtao skeptic.

    In the ordinary course of things, you would probably consider me pretty beer-gullible. Even Asahi - which looks almost as piss-pale as Corona.
  186. @Steve Sailer
    Iceland started with skiers who went to Northern Italy.

    Yes we did but early on we discovered we were also getting infections from Austria Ischgl ski resort and were the first to alert Austria to that problem.

    However, sequencing the virus RNA/DNA (whatever) from samples it seems we were also getting a lot of infections from the U.K. at the same time. At that time the U.K. was considered ‘safe’.

  187. Oh… I keep forgetting to sticky-tape the image below somewhere. It’s from the CDC’s the Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) which is quite informative since it gives a reasonable wealth of detail.

    Of note: total deaths in the US to date is 12% lower than trends suggest ought to be expected. Hurray!

    If we actually locked everyone in solitary and shut off all the electricity, maybe Death Shall Have No Dominion.

    Weirdly, the CDC thinks that there were only 4,065 covid19 deaths-with as at April 4.

    My data says 8,457, which agrees with a bunch of sources (including the one I nicked it from).

    That is weird since the CDC says its data was correct as of yesterday.

    Thankfully, Anthony “AIDS Will Kill Loads of Heteros” Fauci has let it be known that if someone questions the CDC numbers it’s a conspiracy theory (he didn’t go straight for ‘antisemite‘? He’s not under enough pressure yet)…

    Fauci dismisses ‘conspiracy theory’ of overstated US Covid-19 death toll.

    The sites that disagree with the CDC must be the ones that are helping push falsely high numbers… now I know better that to trust fucking conspiracy theorists.

    Just kidding.

    It does show though, that all the data is a bit of a moving feast, and the CDC couldn’t find its ass with both hands.

    What’s been relatively stable though: fuck-all people are sick enough to be hospitalised – 0.017% of over-85s, with under-65s an order of magnitude and a power of 2 lower.

    NB: CDC data for the chart above (the age breakdown) is only available until March 28th, and only from a network that covers ~10% of the US population. The table snippet at top comes from as table that uses data for the whole country

    As we all know, everything’s ZOMFG EXPERNENSHUL!!, so by now it’s probably like 6 million hospitalisations per 100k.

  188. @dfordoom

    Older Boomers would rather see the whole world perish than die 5 years before their time.
     
    In my own experience it's Boomers who are more likely to be Corona Sceptics and it's Gen Xers and especially the Millennials who are freaking out and hiding under the bed.

    I don't think Corona Sceptics and Corona Alarmists divide neatly along generational lines. I think it's more true to say that the big divide is between different personality types. Some people are just psychologically inclined to mass hysteria and some people are just psychologically inclined to scepticism.

    And of course there's a big ideological divide. But the generation thing doesn't seem to be significant.

    I have been a Corona Skeptic since I first saw how watery it looked in the bottle.

    Plus, if you have to put lime in a beer to make it palatable, any claims that it’s la cerveza mas fina are a priori hyperbolic (which is scarier than ZOMFG EXPERNENSHUL).

    I briefly flirted with 1664 Blanc-denialism (for five minutes), but reformed after two bottles.

    I’m not a Chimay skeptic, or a Grolsch skeptic, or a Carslberg skeptic, or a Steinlager skeptic, or a 150 Lashes skeptic, or a White Rabbit skeptic, or a 333 skeptic, or a Heineken skeptic, or a Tsingtao skeptic.

    In the ordinary course of things, you would probably consider me pretty beer-gullible. Even Asahi – which looks almost as piss-pale as Corona.

    • LOL: BB753
  189. Anonymous[173] • Disclaimer says:
    @jsm

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospita
     
    This.

    I have a grown daughter. Can you imagine if she were pregnant and due right about now? Some hospitals aren't even allowing Dad to be in with the woman... or the grandparents to visit.
    Why would any well woman in labor want to go to the hospital, to be treated like that, and she and her infant exposed to Covid as a bonus? Who wouldn't want to stay home?
    I know, I know, pain relief..
    There should be mobile epidural vans out there. Hey! I can see a new growth industry!

    Women who give birth at home usually say later that they don’t regret the lack of pain drugs, they are glad they did it straight although it did hurt at the time. They generally seem to recover much faster. Hospitals tend to push pain relief procedures for institutional convenience. Doctors need to feel useful, also and resent their efforts being rejected.

  190. @Scott Locklin
    Hey Ron: you can actually download the (right censored) pneumonia deaths and overall deaths, the ratio of which is used by the CDC, along with the (presumably STL) model they use to normalize it and look for things out of range; aka new respiratory viruses.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/#S2

    So far, you can see a slight bump in their graph, which as I said, is a plot of the ratio of pneumonia to over all deaths, but if you look at the raws, it seems to be attributable to lower overall mortality rather than the expected increase in pneumonia deaths (locking people up is good for their health, I guess). You can also see the giant historical spike in 2017/2018 flu season, which was considerably worse, at least so far, presumably because nobody thought to shut people up in their homes for a few months to prevent its spread. Mind you, this data is right censored.

    FWIIW looking at this data, data published by the CDC mind you, is roundly denounced as "delialist" by right thinking people in the media, twitter and other such extremely online places. That's not cool.

    The 15-20% hospitalization/infection figure; not sure where that came from; would love to know, but it surely didn't take into account all the asymptomatic infections. "Experts" say a lot of things, some of which are nonsense. For example, nobody has any clue what the total infection numbers looks like. We certainly have no idea if hospitalization for a virus for which there is no accepted treatment is iatrogenic or not. For all we know, the lowered over all death rate in the US is a result of people keeping away from hospitals in general (it's not automotive related).

    I don't have much idea of what's going on, and am a humble counter of things, but I figure it's easy to be fooled by models (especially models with exponential growth), and expert prognostications, but it is hard to argue with actual dead bodies.

    Agree. The total death rates are important control on sanity. Were there no test for the coronavirus, nobody would raise an eyebrow from the weekly total numbers or for the pneumonia and flu cases.

  191. @jsm

    But personally, staying *out* of hospitals is a good thing. People die there. Often killed by the hospita
     
    This.

    I have a grown daughter. Can you imagine if she were pregnant and due right about now? Some hospitals aren't even allowing Dad to be in with the woman... or the grandparents to visit.
    Why would any well woman in labor want to go to the hospital, to be treated like that, and she and her infant exposed to Covid as a bonus? Who wouldn't want to stay home?
    I know, I know, pain relief..
    There should be mobile epidural vans out there. Hey! I can see a new growth industry!

    Oh no, not another ‘This’. Stop them now, or I warn you, they will be everywhere and you will go mad.

  192. @Patrick Sullivan
    Downplayers? Why not just go all the way and accuse Ioannidis and his ilk of being Deniers?

    Pointing out that unless you are both old and otherwise compromised you have minimal risk of dying or being seriously affected by the coronavirus is not the same as saying if you are old and sick your life is worthless so who cares if you die of it. Sure, we see some of those insipid anti-Boomer* rants here and elsewhere (not from Ioannidis, who specifically says we should focus on protecting those populations), but that is not the general claim. The general claim, as with Neil Ferguson's radically reduced prediction of 20,000 UK deceased, approximately two-thirds of whom would have died this cold and flu season or this year anyway, is simply that they would have died anyway. Not that it's fine that they would have died anyway, but that they would have.

    As for a functioning, non-overwhelmed medical system being necessary and sufficient to significantly improve the outcome here, we have seen no evidence of that here. None was offered before we wrecked the lives of the working class on a hunch, none has been presented during the whole ordeal, and when the dust settles we will probably find that rushing Boris Johnson into the ICU and putting him on a ventilator (if he gets on one) had essentially no effect on his case. It's something you have to do because you have to do it, because if you don't the armchair quarterbacks will claim that was the play that would have worked.

    The whole obsession with ICUs and ventilators is a lot like the fixation on donating blood after 9/11. Let's all go down and donate blood. Have you donated blood yet? Why not? It's the wrong answer to the wrong question, but like the insistence on undergoing soul-cleansing societal self-deprivation in order to placate the gods of the virus, it allows people to think they are affecting things.

    People were driving their whole families around the Tri-State area last month desperately trying to get tested for Covid-19, exposing themselves and others to additional risk of infection. Why? Some doctors rationally pointed out that there is no cure for the novel coronavirus and the treatment is exactly the same as for any other cold or for flu. Get some rest, stay hydrated, stay as isolated as possible. The Italy debacle seems to have been significantly caused by everyone demanding to be admitted to overcrowded hospitals.

    *I get that a lot of the fun of the Okay Boomer and other anti-Boomer rhetoric is specifically Zoomers knowingly directing it toward their Gen X parents or at preachy Millennials. It has become a catch-all term for anyone three to 90 years older than the speaker used to twit them, and the less of an actual Boomer the target is, the funnier. But for the record most of the deaths from Covid-19 will be among the Silent Generation rather than actual Baby Boomers.

    Not seen him here for a while but Chuck Orlowski used to work as an emergency planner. They exist in great numbers, even at local level and they run simulations and tabletops for massive terrorist atrocities and all sorts of things, including pandemics that overwhelm medical services requiring life or death triage decisions.

    Just as there were many simulations and plans concerning WMD terror attacks after 9/11, following SARS and Swine flu there were plans for dealing with a respiratory disease pandemic that hospitalised 4% of those infected. They understood exactly what it would be like (minimum 200,000 deaths was predicted in a 2011 UK government document) so Fergusson came as no surprise. They rated it as much more likely to happen than other emergencies). The original UK Influenza Preparedness plan was herd immunity under another name and was in line with long standing contingency planning to get through the worst as fast as possible and put it behind the country. This ‘flattening the curve’ was not considered viable because that would require an open ended total lockdown.

    Some might say flattening the curve was envisioned as lengthening it a certain limited amount, but the same thing has happened with ‘flattening the curve’ as ‘herd immunity’: the politician balked because simple are not willing to take a real world decision that will result in mass deaths, which ending lockdown would mean because COVID-19 would bounce back with a vengeance . No immunity by infection was allowed, so the lockdown has a beginning but it will never have a point at which it is politically feasible to end it. Eventually I suppose it there will be such desperation that the lockdown will be phased out, not having saved anyone but actually produced more deaths than there would otherwise have been. The economic damage will be beyond imagining.

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @BB753
    Knowing the UK had it all wrong (covid-19 is a different beast from influenza, what if there's no herd immunity, what about long term effects on organs other than lungs?), let's take a look at Germany, shall we?
    No total lockdown, widespread use of masks, hospitals aren't overwhelmed, and 2,607 deaths so far, a tenth of the (undercounted) fatalities in Spain, a country with almost half the population as Germany, which is in total lockdown.
    Maybe they're doing something right.
  193. GermanReader2 [AKA "GermanReader2_new"] says:
    @keypusher

    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.
     
    That's an awfully specific customary social norm.

    If your partner is pregnant by you and if you are already 55 and the prime minister, then the customary social norm is to get married.

    That’s an awfully specific customary social norm.

    In Germany it is the customary social norm for middle and upper middle class people to marry, when they are expecting a child. (This is the latest somewhat acceptable time, for instance my sister will marry this fall and has said, that she and her partner will start trying out for a child right after the wedding.)

    In Boris Johnson’s case there are two factors at play, that make his lifestyle-choice more baffling to me:
    -Shacking up is generally done more by the younger people. Boris Johnson is a late baby-boomer and therefore should have been raised with way more conservative values than millenials
    -He is the head of the conservative party in Britain. His lifestyle should reflect the values of party he belongs to, especially since he is the head of the party.

  194. @niceland
    Ron,
    The difference in mortality rate is easily explained. As far as I know Iceland is the only country where randomized testing has been done on majority of the population. So we actually know - within reason - how many are indeed infected. And hence able to calculate IFR morality rate based on these numbers.

    Most, if not all of the rest -including South Korea - are dealing with CFR, - case fatality rate.

    If we assume all ICU patients die in Iceland the CFR is ~1% But because of our randomized testing we know about 5 times more are infected so the IFR is close to 0.2% under the same assumption.

    BTW Iceland has done over 9 times as many tests per capita as South Korea. So it's extremely unlikely their 'case' number is closer to true number of infections than ours.
    See; https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    I think the mortality rate is indeed very similar. The difference is - we tested and found larger portion of those truly infected.

    Most, if not all of the rest -including South Korea – are dealing with CFR, – case fatality rate.

    If we assume all ICU patients die in Iceland the CFR is ~1% But because of our randomized testing we know about 5 times more are infected so the IFR is close to 0.2% under the same assumption.

    BTW Iceland has done over 9 times as many tests per capita as South Korea.

    Well, if that turns out to be correct and fully applicable to other populations, it would certainly be a huge relief. Perhaps that explains why NY hasn’t been totally overwhelmed as many (including myself) had expected.

    If we assume herd immunity would limit it to 12M New Yorkers, total deaths wouldn’t be more than about 24K, and they’ve already reached around 1/3 of that. So maybe this week really will mark the NY peak. Plus the much smaller number of hospitalizations meant that the health system wasn’t overwhelmed.

    On the other side, the death rates from Lombardy (pop. 10M) and especially some of the hardest-hit cities and towns seem much higher than we’d expect from a 0.2% mortality rate.

    Also, the number of medical workers who’ve apparently died suggests that viral load may be an important factor.

    But given Iceland’s tiny population, top-quality genetics industry, and the massive testing you describe, it certainly seems a case worth closely considering. I’d be very interested in hearing what someone like Greg Cochran, who’s been following the issue carefully for many weeks, would think of the data.

    • Replies: @niceland
    I have been following this outbreak since late January. And as a layman it took me far to long to make a clear distinction between CFR and IFR. No thanks to the big media or the WHO and indeed some experts as well. I just don't understand why this issue isn't made clear by the MSM and governments.

    I was expecting our already overloaded health care system to be flooded in the first weeks after the first case was discovered. If covid-19 was anything of the sort the WHO was describing at the time this would have happened. Thankfully it didn't.


    One thing I forgot to mention. Our current 0.2-0.3% mortality rate is probably on the lower end of the spectrum because considerable effort was taken to prevent the sick and the elderly from being infected. And for the most part we have been lucky in this regard. It seems the situation in Germany is similar. Italy and Spain were not so lucky and ended up clogged hospitals from the high risk groups, driving up the mortality rate.

  195. @anon
    Perhaps you should look at work more recent than 9 years ago. For example the SPRINT study which found a clear advantage in keeping resting BP at 120 or below.

    Hypertension does a lot of damage to systems. It's not just coronary issues, it's renal and brain as well. Even BP in the area of 140 does a constant hammering to capillaries in the brain, eventually leading to bleeding which is commonly called a "stroke".

    Renal issues
    Urine Markers of Kidney Tubule Cell Injury and Kidney Function Decline in SPRINT Trial Participants with CKD.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32111704

    Some data from 2018.
    Comparison of Frequency of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular and Safety Events With Systolic Blood Pressure <120mm Hg Versus 135-139mm Hg in a Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial Primary Prevention Subgroup.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30115425

    Here is a work in Korea.
    Effect of Blood Pressure on Cardiovascular Diseases at 10-Year Follow-Up.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30871744

    I reckon I would’ve read 50 SPRINT papers – there’s never a shortage of pharma money being backdoored into p-hacked grid-searches that are little more than glorified advertisements for antihypertensives.

    It’s interesting that access to the pill-vendors’ ads are invariably behind paywalls (so doctors won’t read them when the pharma rep mentions them).

    Fortunately, on the side of the angels there are a bunch of people who review the pill-vendors’ drivel so that we don’t have to. Their output is, of course, open access.

    The Cochrane Collaboration frequently updates its review on pill-pushers’ claims about how anyone with SBP over 120 will die unless we take their pills… and the OR/HR is always statistically 1.

    The latest revision is Saiz et al (2018) –

    We included six RCTs that involved a total of 9484 participants. Mean follow‐up was 3.7 years (range 1.0 to 4.7 years). All RCTs provided individual participant data.

    We found no change in total mortality (risk ratio (RR) 1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.91 to 1.23) or cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.29; moderate‐quality evidence). Similarly, we found no differences in serious adverse events (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.08; low‐quality evidence) or total cardiovascular events (including myocardial infarction, stroke, sudden death, hospitalization, or death from congestive heart failure) (RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.00; low‐quality evidence). Studies reported more participant withdrawals due to adverse effects in the lower target arm (RR 8.16, 95% CI 2.06 to 32.28; very low‐quality evidence). Blood pressures were lower in the lower target group by 8.9/4.5 mmHg.

    Seriously: if there was an untainted paper resulting from an RCT (rather than cherry-picking subsets from RTCs) with a RR/HR/OR solidly stronger than 1, I would be aware of it.

    I am genuinely interested in my own health, which is why I have read thousands of pages on this stuff: the sorts of relative risk being discussed by pill-hawkers, moves my 10-year ‘Framingham’ risk of CVD (not death, just CVD) from 3% to 3.24%, which is pure noise.

    (Me: 55yo male non-diabetic non-smoker in healthy weight range who exercises to maxHR for 40mins 5 times A week, gets plenty of sun and iodine, eats mostly vegetables, and drinks too much).

    Better than that, I have a CAC of ZERO(which is a better predictor of cardiac mortality risk than Framingham, which fails to signal high risk for 75% of CVD deaths).

    Reference
    Saiz LC, Gorricho J, Garjón J, Celaya MC, Erviti J, Leache L. Blood pressure targets for the treatment of people with hypertension and cardiovascular disease, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD010315. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010315.pub3.

    • Agree: vhrm
  196. @res

    Heisenberg once wrote (I think it was in Physics and Philosophy) that the epicycles and deferents of Ptolemy could be thought of as a Fourier expansion of Keplerian orbits.
     
    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book. There is a discussion of Fourier expansions of electron orbits in the context of quantum mechanics on pp. 38-39.

    And Fourier transforms of star orbits is a real thing:
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1979ApJ...234..275M

    Here are some references talking about Fourier Transforms (or series/expansions) and Ptolemaic ideas.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1977Obs....97...84D
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferent_and_epicycle

    I'd be interested in additional references if anyone knows of any good ones.

    But when one quotes Heisenberg, can one really be certain one is actually quoting Heisenberg?

    • Replies: @res
    LOL! Only if no one else is observing you?
  197. @Mr. Anon

    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book.
     
    I must have mixed that one up with another of Heisenbergs' books. I might have been thinking of Physics and Beyond. I read that one (and maybe the other I mentioned) many years ago. The Fourier expansion reference was, I believe, in the context of a discussion Heisenberg had with Wolfgang Pauli when they were students. If memory serves, Physics and Beyond was rather autobiographical.

    FWIIW the attribution of the idea of Fourier expansion to Eudoxus/Hipparchus/Ptolemy is pretty common; it’s everywhere in the lore of the three body problem. It’s not exactly true, but it’s close enough. When you look at stuff like Dieter Wintgen’s semiclassical quantization of helium spectra, which quantizes using symbolic dynamics as a sort of Fourier transform, well the hand wavey stuff makes more sense.

  198. @Sean
    Not seen him here for a while but Chuck Orlowski used to work as an emergency planner. They exist in great numbers, even at local level and they run simulations and tabletops for massive terrorist atrocities and all sorts of things, including pandemics that overwhelm medical services requiring life or death triage decisions.

    Just as there were many simulations and plans concerning WMD terror attacks after 9/11, following SARS and Swine flu there were plans for dealing with a respiratory disease pandemic that hospitalised 4% of those infected. They understood exactly what it would be like (minimum 200,000 deaths was predicted in a 2011 UK government document) so Fergusson came as no surprise. They rated it as much more likely to happen than other emergencies). The original UK Influenza Preparedness plan was herd immunity under another name and was in line with long standing contingency planning to get through the worst as fast as possible and put it behind the country. This 'flattening the curve' was not considered viable because that would require an open ended total lockdown.

    Some might say flattening the curve was envisioned as lengthening it a certain limited amount, but the same thing has happened with 'flattening the curve' as 'herd immunity': the politician balked because simple are not willing to take a real world decision that will result in mass deaths, which ending lockdown would mean because COVID-19 would bounce back with a vengeance . No immunity by infection was allowed, so the lockdown has a beginning but it will never have a point at which it is politically feasible to end it. Eventually I suppose it there will be such desperation that the lockdown will be phased out, not having saved anyone but actually produced more deaths than there would otherwise have been. The economic damage will be beyond imagining.

    Knowing the UK had it all wrong (covid-19 is a different beast from influenza, what if there’s no herd immunity, what about long term effects on organs other than lungs?), let’s take a look at Germany, shall we?
    No total lockdown, widespread use of masks, hospitals aren’t overwhelmed, and 2,607 deaths so far, a tenth of the (undercounted) fatalities in Spain, a country with almost half the population as Germany, which is in total lockdown.
    Maybe they’re doing something right.

    • Replies: @Sean
    There are professors of disaster risk reduction in Britain , and a leading one says that COVID-19 being novel and not a influenza is "immaterial", the fact is that this pandemic is almost exactly what they had planned for, and testified to parliamentary committees on how it would play out. It's rather less that what they had planned to 'take on the chin' as Boris put it, without all-age social distancing. Yet all the preparedness and government worst case guidance to apply instructions on how to assess for organ failure (ie kick the patient out the ICU to die so that someone more savable could get a scarce place) was abandoned when it came down to it.

    The same thing is happening with flatten the curve, except with FTC lockdown the political consequences of ending are swiftly becoming regarded as unacceptable. Flatteners are hoist by their own petard, because the politicians feared mass deaths they would be held accountable for, and ending the FTC lockdown or even just loosening, it will mean just that due to there being no immunity firebreak second epidemic. But there is a country which has done what Britain planned to do: Sweden. Isolation of the old folk only.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/10/europe/sweden-lockdown-turmp-intl/index.html

    They will be in excellent immunological and economic shape a couple of weeks hence. Britain will be desperate after months of lockdown af finally call a halt having gained nothing but an enormous breach in national wealth and the inevitability of a second epidemic.

    I think it is becoming obvious that there is in fact an extreme reluctance to go to the doctor because of lacking health care insurance, fear of infection in hospital, consideration for those more in need of medical attention, and perhaps above all, repugnance at the prospect of being triaged back into the waiting room by a very cheeky nurse. People prefer to risk dying at home, and they are dying a lot. The emergency extra hospital capacity is nowhere near being overwhelmed though and that, not saving lives, is what Flatten The Curve's primary aim was.
  199. @Ron Unz

    Most, if not all of the rest -including South Korea – are dealing with CFR, – case fatality rate.

    If we assume all ICU patients die in Iceland the CFR is ~1% But because of our randomized testing we know about 5 times more are infected so the IFR is close to 0.2% under the same assumption.

    BTW Iceland has done over 9 times as many tests per capita as South Korea.
     
    Well, if that turns out to be correct and fully applicable to other populations, it would certainly be a huge relief. Perhaps that explains why NY hasn't been totally overwhelmed as many (including myself) had expected.

    If we assume herd immunity would limit it to 12M New Yorkers, total deaths wouldn't be more than about 24K, and they've already reached around 1/3 of that. So maybe this week really will mark the NY peak. Plus the much smaller number of hospitalizations meant that the health system wasn't overwhelmed.

    On the other side, the death rates from Lombardy (pop. 10M) and especially some of the hardest-hit cities and towns seem much higher than we'd expect from a 0.2% mortality rate.

    Also, the number of medical workers who've apparently died suggests that viral load may be an important factor.

    But given Iceland's tiny population, top-quality genetics industry, and the massive testing you describe, it certainly seems a case worth closely considering. I'd be very interested in hearing what someone like Greg Cochran, who's been following the issue carefully for many weeks, would think of the data.

    I have been following this outbreak since late January. And as a layman it took me far to long to make a clear distinction between CFR and IFR. No thanks to the big media or the WHO and indeed some experts as well. I just don’t understand why this issue isn’t made clear by the MSM and governments.

    I was expecting our already overloaded health care system to be flooded in the first weeks after the first case was discovered. If covid-19 was anything of the sort the WHO was describing at the time this would have happened. Thankfully it didn’t.

    One thing I forgot to mention. Our current 0.2-0.3% mortality rate is probably on the lower end of the spectrum because considerable effort was taken to prevent the sick and the elderly from being infected. And for the most part we have been lucky in this regard. It seems the situation in Germany is similar. Italy and Spain were not so lucky and ended up clogged hospitals from the high risk groups, driving up the mortality rate.

  200. @Daniel Williams
    Don’t forget that the most conservative old people enjoy the free healthcare and universal basic income favored by the most liberal young people.

    After paying into the fund all of their working lives.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    You should know though that (aside from the fact that the government takes the money that you pay in and spends it immediately - the only asset in the "Trust Fund" is IOU's from the government) Social Security has never been run on an actuarially sound basis. Beneficiaries on average end up drawing out more than they have paid in plus interest, with the difference made up by using the contributions of "later investors" to pay out to the older investors. We have a name for this - it's called a "Ponzi Scheme".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMt8qCl5fPk

    , @TomSchmidt
    Medicare started taxing in 1966. My father, now on Medicare, could not have paid into the system before that year. And he did work for years before then.
  201. Everything got shut down because the “experts” were projecting a minimum of 5 million deaths, which changed to 1.5 million, then 500, 000, then 200,000, then 100,000, then 80,000, then 60,000.

    How much lower will it go? Any guesses? You may as well guess because you or I would appear to have just a good of a chance as being accurate as “the experts”.

    But then your or my guess won’t wipe out trillions of dollars of wealth, trash tens of thousands of small, family-owned businesses, and cause tens of millions to become unemployed.

    The lowest circle of Hell is too good a punishment for these “experts”. Do you think we will ever get an apology? Not holding my breath.

    • Replies: @Trebitch
    "How much lower will it go? Any guesses?"
    Yes. Fit a logistic curve to the reported cumulative death cases. Excellent fit, gives the following:

    >fit.ad
    Nonlinear regression model
    model: xd_country.US ~ SSlogis(day, Asym, xmid, scal)
    data: US_dead
    Asym --- xmid --- scal
    28607.079 --- 77.818 --- 4.183
    residual sum-of-squares: 510473

    Total max dead: ~29000, I'd say around 30000.
    The date of the inflection (turnaround) point is > d[78][1] "2020-04-08", or two days ago.

    The model uses the github data from the Johns Hopkins Univ:

    https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/tree/master/csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_time_series

    It has been consistent with the two parameters (total dead and turnaround date) since the last five days, underestimating both before that.

    Cheers.

  202. @Hibernian
    After paying into the fund all of their working lives.

    You should know though that (aside from the fact that the government takes the money that you pay in and spends it immediately – the only asset in the “Trust Fund” is IOU’s from the government) Social Security has never been run on an actuarially sound basis. Beneficiaries on average end up drawing out more than they have paid in plus interest, with the difference made up by using the contributions of “later investors” to pay out to the older investors. We have a name for this – it’s called a “Ponzi Scheme”.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Jack, I understand, but I resent people who imply or say outright that it's just a welfare program, although it gets more and more that way as the system approaches collapse. BTW, I'm not collecting Soc. Sec. or getting my healthcare from medicare yet despite being a little over 65 because I'm still employed.
    , @obwandiyag
    Utterly false.

    Lying with the truth is still lying. You are too stupid to understand what I mean by that.

    But you are a liar nevertheless. Or a fool. Either way, wrong.
  203. @Mr. Anon

    Interesting thought, but I am unable to find the words Ptolemy, epicycle, or deferent in that book.
     
    I must have mixed that one up with another of Heisenbergs' books. I might have been thinking of Physics and Beyond. I read that one (and maybe the other I mentioned) many years ago. The Fourier expansion reference was, I believe, in the context of a discussion Heisenberg had with Wolfgang Pauli when they were students. If memory serves, Physics and Beyond was rather autobiographical.

    Thanks. That book has a discussion of planetary motion contrasting Ptolemy and Newton, but I don’t see any Fourier reference. The tone does seem about right though. Sample quote after the MORE.

    [MORE]

    Otto did not find my examples particularly convincing. “I can see only differences in degree, but no basic distinction. Ptolemy’s astronomy must have been very good, else it would not have lasted for fifteen hundred years. Newton’s didn’t seem much better at first; it took quite some time before astronomers came to appreciate that it led to more accurate predictions of the motions of the planets than Ptolemy’s cycles and epicycles. I cannot really grant you that Newton did something fundamentally better than Ptolemy. He merely gave a different account of planetary mo- tions, one that happened to prove more successful in the long run. ” Wolfgang found this argument too one-sided and much too positivistic. “I, for one, see a basic distinction between Newton’s astronomy and Ptolemy’s,” he said. “To begin with, Newton posed the whole problem quite differently: he inquired into the causes of planetary motions and not into the motions themselves. These causes, he discovered, were forces, and in our planetary system they happen to be much simpler than the motions. He described them by means of his law of gravitation. If we say that Newton helped us to understand the motion of the planets, we only mean that more precise observations have shown that it is possible to reduce the complicated motions of the planets to something very simple, namely, to gravitational forces, and to explain them in that way. Admittedly, Ptolemy could describe all the complicated motions of the planets by the superposition of cycles and epicycles, but he had to treat them as empirical facts. Moreover, Newton was also able to show that the motions of the planets are governed by the same laws as those that determine the motion of a projectile, the oscillation of a pendulum or the spinning of a top. The mere fact that Newton’s mechanics reduced all these different phenomena to a simple principle namely, ‘mass X acceleration == force,’ shows that his planetary system is vastly superior to Ptolemy’s.”

  204. @utu

    there are actually several different strains of the virus, hitting different countrie
     
    How America was hit with COVID-19 from two continents: Majority of cases in US epicenter New York came from Europe - but a DIFFERENT strain spread from China to the West Coast, genome studies reveal
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8206625/America-hit-COVID-19-two-continents-studies-suggest.html

    Thanks! Interesting article. I think that helps validate the wisdom of Trump’s China travel ban and perhaps argues that blowback (racist!) from that had a material negative impact by slowing the corresponding European travel ban.

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

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

  205. @niceland
    Ron,
    The difference in mortality rate is easily explained. As far as I know Iceland is the only country where randomized testing has been done on majority of the population. So we actually know - within reason - how many are indeed infected. And hence able to calculate IFR morality rate based on these numbers.

    Most, if not all of the rest -including South Korea - are dealing with CFR, - case fatality rate.

    If we assume all ICU patients die in Iceland the CFR is ~1% But because of our randomized testing we know about 5 times more are infected so the IFR is close to 0.2% under the same assumption.

    BTW Iceland has done over 9 times as many tests per capita as South Korea. So it's extremely unlikely their 'case' number is closer to true number of infections than ours.
    See; https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    I think the mortality rate is indeed very similar. The difference is - we tested and found larger portion of those truly infected.

    Have you accounted for the infection-mortality time lag in your IFR calculation? (as utu mentions in comment 178)

    Giving the calculation details as well as the reference you used for the numbers would be helpful.

    • Replies: @niceland
    I will try to address your questions, please bare with me, I am covid-19 positive and not feeling very well at the moment.

    Click on 'data' and you can view statistics for Iceland here https://www.covid.is/english

    Yes there is considerable time lag, some people spend weeks in hospital before they finally die. And it's possible we are seeing a buildup of the most severe cases in the past few days since I did this estimate. It's possible this could move the numbers a bit higher. However our number of cases is going down and active cases as well.

    To understand how I arrive at my numbers a backstory is needed: Two groups are doing tests in Iceland.

    NHS for pure medical purposes, and to trace infections in order to quarantine those possibly infected. Typically you don't get a test unless you are showing considerable symptoms including 38.5c° fever. They may test few people around each case they find and then proceed to put dozens more into two week quarantine.

    The other is a private firm DeCode Genetics. Beginning in 15.th of mars they offered the public free virus test. And continue to do so. However, if you are in quarantine you can't get such test. From the beginning their number were showing 0.6-1% of tests came out positive - from the 'wild'. But there is a possible bias in these numbers, if so probably fading with time. However 4. of april they published results from randomized tests done on 2300 people, indicating 0.6% of the population were positive. A figure very close to their earlier numbers. So the bias wasn't so big after all.

    Assuming 0.6% of the population not in quarantine is infected this gives ~ 2100 people.

    At the time we had ~10.000 people in quarantine, a number quite steady for the past weeks. And from the beginning 55% of all cases came from this group, and 45% from the rest of society. So it seems reasonable we have as many with no or very mild symptoms not tested, in both groups. So perhaps ~2100 infected people in quarantine.

    At the time ~30% of known cases had recovered. Meaning, no symptoms and negative virus test. Something similar must be happening out in the wild and quite possibly faster because people with no or mild symptoms are likely to get rid of the virus faster than the group that got sick and became 'cases'. The randomized test didn't find this group and based on the first results from DeCode I think 30% is considerable underestimate. But let's use 30% on top of the 4200 number giving ~5500

    So 1400 cases vs 6900 total infections. A ratio close to 5.

    If we apply this to our current numbers, 6 days later: 7 dead, 11 in ICU, all hospitalized 38.
    Assuming all hospitalized (including ICU) die + the 7 already dead we get IFR 0.65% This would be the worst possible outcome I guess. Highly unlikely because many people have recovered and been sent home from hospital already.

    If all 11 ICU patients die we get IFR ~0.25% perhaps a bit optimistic but not so far off I think.
  206. @Jack D
    You should know though that (aside from the fact that the government takes the money that you pay in and spends it immediately - the only asset in the "Trust Fund" is IOU's from the government) Social Security has never been run on an actuarially sound basis. Beneficiaries on average end up drawing out more than they have paid in plus interest, with the difference made up by using the contributions of "later investors" to pay out to the older investors. We have a name for this - it's called a "Ponzi Scheme".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMt8qCl5fPk

    Jack, I understand, but I resent people who imply or say outright that it’s just a welfare program, although it gets more and more that way as the system approaches collapse. BTW, I’m not collecting Soc. Sec. or getting my healthcare from medicare yet despite being a little over 65 because I’m still employed.

  207. @The Alarmist
    But when one quotes Heisenberg, can one really be certain one is actually quoting Heisenberg?

    LOL! Only if no one else is observing you?

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    LOL, sounds more like Schrödinger's Physicist. Sorry if my imprecision Bores you.
  208. @res
    Have you accounted for the infection-mortality time lag in your IFR calculation? (as utu mentions in comment 178)

    Giving the calculation details as well as the reference you used for the numbers would be helpful.

    I will try to address your questions, please bare with me, I am covid-19 positive and not feeling very well at the moment.

    Click on ‘data’ and you can view statistics for Iceland here https://www.covid.is/english

    Yes there is considerable time lag, some people spend weeks in hospital before they finally die. And it’s possible we are seeing a buildup of the most severe cases in the past few days since I did this estimate. It’s possible this could move the numbers a bit higher. However our number of cases is going down and active cases as well.

    To understand how I arrive at my numbers a backstory is needed: Two groups are doing tests in Iceland.

    NHS for pure medical purposes, and to trace infections in order to quarantine those possibly infected. Typically you don’t get a test unless you are showing considerable symptoms including 38.5c° fever. They may test few people around each case they find and then proceed to put dozens more into two week quarantine.

    The other is a private firm DeCode Genetics. Beginning in 15.th of mars they offered the public free virus test. And continue to do so. However, if you are in quarantine you can’t get such test. From the beginning their number were showing 0.6-1% of tests came out positive – from the ‘wild’. But there is a possible bias in these numbers, if so probably fading with time. However 4. of april they published results from randomized tests done on 2300 people, indicating 0.6% of the population were positive. A figure very close to their earlier numbers. So the bias wasn’t so big after all.

    Assuming 0.6% of the population not in quarantine is infected this gives ~ 2100 people.

    At the time we had ~10.000 people in quarantine, a number quite steady for the past weeks. And from the beginning 55% of all cases came from this group, and 45% from the rest of society. So it seems reasonable we have as many with no or very mild symptoms not tested, in both groups. So perhaps ~2100 infected people in quarantine.

    At the time ~30% of known cases had recovered. Meaning, no symptoms and negative virus test. Something similar must be happening out in the wild and quite possibly faster because people with no or mild symptoms are likely to get rid of the virus faster than the group that got sick and became ‘cases’. The randomized test didn’t find this group and based on the first results from DeCode I think 30% is considerable underestimate. But let’s use 30% on top of the 4200 number giving ~5500

    So 1400 cases vs 6900 total infections. A ratio close to 5.

    If we apply this to our current numbers, 6 days later: 7 dead, 11 in ICU, all hospitalized 38.
    Assuming all hospitalized (including ICU) die + the 7 already dead we get IFR 0.65% This would be the worst possible outcome I guess. Highly unlikely because many people have recovered and been sent home from hospital already.

    If all 11 ICU patients die we get IFR ~0.25% perhaps a bit optimistic but not so far off I think.

    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for the details. And I hope you get well soon! Thanks for keeping us informed about what is happening in Iceland while you are ill.

    The issue I see is that if it takes 2-3 weeks from initial infection (not symptoms, those happen after about a 5 day incubation period) to death then to calculate the IFR you need to calculate
    IFR = (# deaths as of today) / (# infections 2-3 weeks ago)

    If you are willing to consider that (# cases) / (# infections) is holding steady then if I am understanding your approach correctly (looking at infections 6 days ago?, call it a week for analysis below) we can compare the following based on https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/
    cases today - 1648
    cases 1 week ago - 1319
    cases 2 weeks ago - 802
    cases 3 weeks ago - 330

    So if the infection-death lag is two weeks I would expect your IFR estimate to be a factor of 802/1319 = 0.61 too low. If the lag is three weeks that would be 330/1319 = 0.25
    Though presumably including ICU and hospitalized people in your numbers accounts for at least some of that.

    So there is significant uncertainty in the IFR estimate right now given that the 2-3 week infection-death lag includes a period of high case growth. The relatively steep growth in cases ended 3/23 (17 days ago) so the numbers should solidify some soon.

    Do you see what I am trying to say? What do you think?

    All of that said, even looking at the age data deaths/recoveries it seems that Iceland is doing well at keeping people from dying. One thing that caught my eye in your earlier comments was making an effort to protect the sick and elderly (comment 199). Do you have a link describing the measures taken or a brief description?

    P.S. Some details about the flu season in Iceland which may be of interest to you and others.
    Influenza Epidemics in Iceland Over 9 Decades: Changes in Timing and Synchrony With the United States and Europe
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530371/
  209. @res
    LOL! Only if no one else is observing you?

    LOL, sounds more like Schrödinger’s Physicist. Sorry if my imprecision Bores you.

    • LOL: res
    • Replies: @res
    Shouldn't that be Bohrs me? ; )

    Or is that being too blatant?
  210. @Hibernian
    After paying into the fund all of their working lives.

    Medicare started taxing in 1966. My father, now on Medicare, could not have paid into the system before that year. And he did work for years before then.

  211. @BB753
    Knowing the UK had it all wrong (covid-19 is a different beast from influenza, what if there's no herd immunity, what about long term effects on organs other than lungs?), let's take a look at Germany, shall we?
    No total lockdown, widespread use of masks, hospitals aren't overwhelmed, and 2,607 deaths so far, a tenth of the (undercounted) fatalities in Spain, a country with almost half the population as Germany, which is in total lockdown.
    Maybe they're doing something right.

    There are professors of disaster risk reduction in Britain , and a leading one says that COVID-19 being novel and not a influenza is “immaterial”, the fact is that this pandemic is almost exactly what they had planned for, and testified to parliamentary committees on how it would play out. It’s rather less that what they had planned to ‘take on the chin’ as Boris put it, without all-age social distancing. Yet all the preparedness and government worst case guidance to apply instructions on how to assess for organ failure (ie kick the patient out the ICU to die so that someone more savable could get a scarce place) was abandoned when it came down to it.

    The same thing is happening with flatten the curve, except with FTC lockdown the political consequences of ending are swiftly becoming regarded as unacceptable. Flatteners are hoist by their own petard, because the politicians feared mass deaths they would be held accountable for, and ending the FTC lockdown or even just loosening, it will mean just that due to there being no immunity firebreak second epidemic. But there is a country which has done what Britain planned to do: Sweden. Isolation of the old folk only.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/10/europe/sweden-lockdown-turmp-intl/index.html

    They will be in excellent immunological and economic shape a couple of weeks hence. Britain will be desperate after months of lockdown af finally call a halt having gained nothing but an enormous breach in national wealth and the inevitability of a second epidemic.

    I think it is becoming obvious that there is in fact an extreme reluctance to go to the doctor because of lacking health care insurance, fear of infection in hospital, consideration for those more in need of medical attention, and perhaps above all, repugnance at the prospect of being triaged back into the waiting room by a very cheeky nurse. People prefer to risk dying at home, and they are dying a lot. The emergency extra hospital capacity is nowhere near being overwhelmed though and that, not saving lives, is what Flatten The Curve’s primary aim was.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Well, there's this from Gangelt, NRW, Germany, where a broad sample tested showed 15% infected (adjusted for overlap between 14% antibodies present, 2% infected), translating to a 0.37% CFR.

    https://www.land.nrw/sites/default/files/asset/document/zwischenergebnis_covid19_case_study_gangelt_0.pdf

  212. @Ron Unz

    The EU’s European Mortality Monitoring Project’s latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago.
     
    How does this sort of argument make any sense? As far as I can tell, the current outbreaks in Europe are just in scattered regions, probably amounting to something like 10% of the total population, so even very high death rates there would only slightly move the total figures. The reasons for the lockdowns and quarantines are to keep the Coronavirus from spreading everywhere else.

    Suppose the Bubonic Plague broke out in Palo Alto, and quickly killed half the 60,000 residents, with a tight quarantine of the city imposed by the federal government. Since millions of Americas die every year, the Palo Alto deaths would hardly be noticeable in the monthly national totals. So perhaps you would say that proves the Bubonic Plague really isn't dangerous at all, and there's no harm in lifting the quarantine and letting it spread everywhere else.

    Here's another example. As of today, per capital daily Coronavirus deaths are now running TWO HUNDRED TIMES GREATER in New York than in California, mostly because CA's more competent and courageous government officials were faster in imposing lockdowns:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/the-government-employee-who-may-have-saved-a-million-american-lives/

    Since CA has twice NY's population, are you saying we should average the two death-rates, thereby proving that the virus is almost 70% less dangerous than people would otherwise think based upon NY?

    The Chinese government believed that the virus was so dangerous they locked down 700M Chinese to stamp it out, and therefore only suffered a few thousand deaths. But if you told them that the relatively small number of deaths in such a huge country proves that the lockdown was unnecessary, they'd think you were nuts.

    I realize that Coronavirus Hoaxers/Minimizers may be ideologically and psychologically invested in the positions they've been advocating for the last month or two, but the logic of these arguments escapes me.

    The reasons for the lockdowns and quarantines are to keep the Coronavirus from spreading everywhere else.

    That’s exactly NOT how it was sold. The purpose isn’t to keep it from spreading, but to “flatten the curve” which still leaves the same number of people getting sick, but eliminates the possibility of people dying who could have been saved if the medical system weren’t overloaded. The assumption is that, by spreading out cases, we could avoid unnecessary deaths.

    Eliminating the virus, as done in New Zealand, wasn’t in the cards by March.

  213. @Corona Panic
    His analysis is pretty similar to what I've thought from the outset, whilst it's unacceptable to our somewhat high risk of mortality from covid gerontocracy that their freedoms should be restricted, it is pretty obvious that it's a nonsense that young who are at low risk of mortality and who prop up the stock market and income taxes thus state benefits that retirees rely on should be confined in the same way

    That is not at all what he says and go take a flying leap, liar.

  214. @Achmed E. Newman

    They’ll be some tedious SJW doc-ette who reads SPLC “reports” like holy scripture and will let all the POC on the ward know you’re a bad thinker.
     
    No, but see, that's why we need government-controlled errr, single-payer health care in America. There'll be rules and all, so that kind of thing won't happen.

    Seriously, that's good advice to iSteve. Laying in bed for days, getting woken up every 2-3 hours, and being in an environment with all kinds of sick people is not good for you, unless you are getting some really serious treatment that you can't get at home.

    I've been there - the days last weeks.

    What an asshole. Against nationalized health care. Which every other first-world and second-world country in the world has.

    You are one of those Americans who does not even know that the rest of the world exists. Europe? Is that near Mexico? you ask. Is France the capital of Paris? you ask.

    People are having their life savings evaporate thanks to coronavirus. Not to mention people sick from other things. But you don’t care. You got yours.

    What you got, then? Employer-provided insurance? Ha. Real safe and secure. You’ll never lose that. Medicare? You mean nationalized healthcare for the old? Or, like most of the idle retarded young, do you just believe in your own immortality?

    Clown.

  215. @Sean

    https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691190785/deaths-of-despair-and-the-future-of-capitalism
    From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline. For the white working class, today’s America has become a land of broken families and few prospects. As the college educated become healthier and wealthier, adults without a degree are literally dying from pain and despair. Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and, above all, to a rapacious health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages into the pockets of the wealthy.
     

    Thanks,I had missed that aspect of Case and Deaton.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Thinking a little more about it, the cost of going to the doctor for those without health care insurance may be a significant reason people are dying of COVID-19 through failing to seek treatment early when something could have been done to save them. The White Death: Reloaded.
  216. @Jack D
    You should know though that (aside from the fact that the government takes the money that you pay in and spends it immediately - the only asset in the "Trust Fund" is IOU's from the government) Social Security has never been run on an actuarially sound basis. Beneficiaries on average end up drawing out more than they have paid in plus interest, with the difference made up by using the contributions of "later investors" to pay out to the older investors. We have a name for this - it's called a "Ponzi Scheme".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMt8qCl5fPk

    Utterly false.

    Lying with the truth is still lying. You are too stupid to understand what I mean by that.

    But you are a liar nevertheless. Or a fool. Either way, wrong.

  217. @Polynikes
    The only difference between the “down players” and the panic stricken “doomers,” is that the former admit there are costs to the solutions and question the viability of such solutions.

    The doomers, on the other hand, avoid any questions about when to open back up, how much the hard shut downs cost society, or what you plan to do when this spikes back up when we end the shut down as their models suggest. Doomers are just all “shut-up and watch Netflix, bro.”


    Sidenote: there’s a new test case in the works. Early numbers from the USS Roosevelt, currently sidelined. 93% of the ship tested. About 11% of the ship tested positive. Zero hospitalizations.
  218. @Sean
    There are professors of disaster risk reduction in Britain , and a leading one says that COVID-19 being novel and not a influenza is "immaterial", the fact is that this pandemic is almost exactly what they had planned for, and testified to parliamentary committees on how it would play out. It's rather less that what they had planned to 'take on the chin' as Boris put it, without all-age social distancing. Yet all the preparedness and government worst case guidance to apply instructions on how to assess for organ failure (ie kick the patient out the ICU to die so that someone more savable could get a scarce place) was abandoned when it came down to it.

    The same thing is happening with flatten the curve, except with FTC lockdown the political consequences of ending are swiftly becoming regarded as unacceptable. Flatteners are hoist by their own petard, because the politicians feared mass deaths they would be held accountable for, and ending the FTC lockdown or even just loosening, it will mean just that due to there being no immunity firebreak second epidemic. But there is a country which has done what Britain planned to do: Sweden. Isolation of the old folk only.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/10/europe/sweden-lockdown-turmp-intl/index.html

    They will be in excellent immunological and economic shape a couple of weeks hence. Britain will be desperate after months of lockdown af finally call a halt having gained nothing but an enormous breach in national wealth and the inevitability of a second epidemic.

    I think it is becoming obvious that there is in fact an extreme reluctance to go to the doctor because of lacking health care insurance, fear of infection in hospital, consideration for those more in need of medical attention, and perhaps above all, repugnance at the prospect of being triaged back into the waiting room by a very cheeky nurse. People prefer to risk dying at home, and they are dying a lot. The emergency extra hospital capacity is nowhere near being overwhelmed though and that, not saving lives, is what Flatten The Curve's primary aim was.

    Well, there’s this from Gangelt, NRW, Germany, where a broad sample tested showed 15% infected (adjusted for overlap between 14% antibodies present, 2% infected), translating to a 0.37% CFR.

    https://www.land.nrw/sites/default/files/asset/document/zwischenergebnis_covid19_case_study_gangelt_0.pdf

    • Thanks: niceland
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    This is the town in Heinsberg, Germany with the Carnival dance party on 2/15/20 that turned into a superspreader event.
  219. @niceland

    a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease
     
    Never seen the causality you claim. Could you please provide a source for this?

    Never seen the causality you claim. Could you please provide a source for this?

    Sure. Google.

    This: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/heart-damage-in-covid-19-patients-puzzles-doctors/
    And this: https://khn.org/news/mysterious-heart-damage-not-just-lung-troubles-befalling-covid-19-patients/
    And this: https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200406/mysterious-heart-damage-not-just-lung-troubles-befalling-covid-19-patients
    And so on and so on.

    It helps to be curious, and to try looking for news stories such as these by searching using terms such as “COVID” AND “causes of death.” Hope this helps.

    • Replies: @niceland
    When I said covid-19 is primarily a respiratory disease you disagreed and said:

    A factor to keep in mind is that this is primarily a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease yet damages multiple organs, thus obscuring the ultimate cause of death.

     

    I fail to see how these articles support your claim. There is nothing to indicate coronary problems manifests as respiratory problems. The causality is more likely the other way around.
  220. @TomSchmidt
    Thanks,I had missed that aspect of Case and Deaton.

    Thinking a little more about it, the cost of going to the doctor for those without health care insurance may be a significant reason people are dying of COVID-19 through failing to seek treatment early when something could have been done to save them. The White Death: Reloaded.

  221. @The Alarmist
    Well, there's this from Gangelt, NRW, Germany, where a broad sample tested showed 15% infected (adjusted for overlap between 14% antibodies present, 2% infected), translating to a 0.37% CFR.

    https://www.land.nrw/sites/default/files/asset/document/zwischenergebnis_covid19_case_study_gangelt_0.pdf

    This is the town in Heinsberg, Germany with the Carnival dance party on 2/15/20 that turned into a superspreader event.

  222. @James Speaks

    Never seen the causality you claim. Could you please provide a source for this?
     
    Sure. Google.

    This: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/heart-damage-in-covid-19-patients-puzzles-doctors/
    And this: https://khn.org/news/mysterious-heart-damage-not-just-lung-troubles-befalling-covid-19-patients/
    And this: https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200406/mysterious-heart-damage-not-just-lung-troubles-befalling-covid-19-patients
    And so on and so on.

    It helps to be curious, and to try looking for news stories such as these by searching using terms such as "COVID" AND "causes of death." Hope this helps.

    When I said covid-19 is primarily a respiratory disease you disagreed and said:

    A factor to keep in mind is that this is primarily a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease yet damages multiple organs, thus obscuring the ultimate cause of death.

    I fail to see how these articles support your claim. There is nothing to indicate coronary problems manifests as respiratory problems. The causality is more likely the other way around.

    • Replies: @James Speaks
    In many cases the cause of death is heart failure yet the patient was being treated for respiratory failure.

    The critical fact to be learned is that novel Coronavirus SARS2 attacks the heart. This is not the time to get into a pissing contest over semantics. Perhaps this helps, “You are so much smarter than me that I am honored to be corrected by you.”

    The virus kills lung tissue.

    The virus kills heart muscle.

    The virus causes kidney damage.
  223. @niceland
    I will try to address your questions, please bare with me, I am covid-19 positive and not feeling very well at the moment.

    Click on 'data' and you can view statistics for Iceland here https://www.covid.is/english

    Yes there is considerable time lag, some people spend weeks in hospital before they finally die. And it's possible we are seeing a buildup of the most severe cases in the past few days since I did this estimate. It's possible this could move the numbers a bit higher. However our number of cases is going down and active cases as well.

    To understand how I arrive at my numbers a backstory is needed: Two groups are doing tests in Iceland.

    NHS for pure medical purposes, and to trace infections in order to quarantine those possibly infected. Typically you don't get a test unless you are showing considerable symptoms including 38.5c° fever. They may test few people around each case they find and then proceed to put dozens more into two week quarantine.

    The other is a private firm DeCode Genetics. Beginning in 15.th of mars they offered the public free virus test. And continue to do so. However, if you are in quarantine you can't get such test. From the beginning their number were showing 0.6-1% of tests came out positive - from the 'wild'. But there is a possible bias in these numbers, if so probably fading with time. However 4. of april they published results from randomized tests done on 2300 people, indicating 0.6% of the population were positive. A figure very close to their earlier numbers. So the bias wasn't so big after all.

    Assuming 0.6% of the population not in quarantine is infected this gives ~ 2100 people.

    At the time we had ~10.000 people in quarantine, a number quite steady for the past weeks. And from the beginning 55% of all cases came from this group, and 45% from the rest of society. So it seems reasonable we have as many with no or very mild symptoms not tested, in both groups. So perhaps ~2100 infected people in quarantine.

    At the time ~30% of known cases had recovered. Meaning, no symptoms and negative virus test. Something similar must be happening out in the wild and quite possibly faster because people with no or mild symptoms are likely to get rid of the virus faster than the group that got sick and became 'cases'. The randomized test didn't find this group and based on the first results from DeCode I think 30% is considerable underestimate. But let's use 30% on top of the 4200 number giving ~5500

    So 1400 cases vs 6900 total infections. A ratio close to 5.

    If we apply this to our current numbers, 6 days later: 7 dead, 11 in ICU, all hospitalized 38.
    Assuming all hospitalized (including ICU) die + the 7 already dead we get IFR 0.65% This would be the worst possible outcome I guess. Highly unlikely because many people have recovered and been sent home from hospital already.

    If all 11 ICU patients die we get IFR ~0.25% perhaps a bit optimistic but not so far off I think.

    Thanks for the details. And I hope you get well soon! Thanks for keeping us informed about what is happening in Iceland while you are ill.

    The issue I see is that if it takes 2-3 weeks from initial infection (not symptoms, those happen after about a 5 day incubation period) to death then to calculate the IFR you need to calculate
    IFR = (# deaths as of today) / (# infections 2-3 weeks ago)

    If you are willing to consider that (# cases) / (# infections) is holding steady then if I am understanding your approach correctly (looking at infections 6 days ago?, call it a week for analysis below) we can compare the following based on https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/
    cases today – 1648
    cases 1 week ago – 1319
    cases 2 weeks ago – 802
    cases 3 weeks ago – 330

    So if the infection-death lag is two weeks I would expect your IFR estimate to be a factor of 802/1319 = 0.61 too low. If the lag is three weeks that would be 330/1319 = 0.25
    Though presumably including ICU and hospitalized people in your numbers accounts for at least some of that.

    So there is significant uncertainty in the IFR estimate right now given that the 2-3 week infection-death lag includes a period of high case growth. The relatively steep growth in cases ended 3/23 (17 days ago) so the numbers should solidify some soon.

    Do you see what I am trying to say? What do you think?

    All of that said, even looking at the age data deaths/recoveries it seems that Iceland is doing well at keeping people from dying. One thing that caught my eye in your earlier comments was making an effort to protect the sick and elderly (comment 199). Do you have a link describing the measures taken or a brief description?

    P.S. Some details about the flu season in Iceland which may be of interest to you and others.
    Influenza Epidemics in Iceland Over 9 Decades: Changes in Timing and Synchrony With the United States and Europe
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530371/

    • Replies: @niceland
    Hi res, thanks for kind words and good comment.

    Here is my general view on the number of 'cases'.

    In some nations this number is close to be a direct product of the disease. It seems to me in Italy one becomes a case only if seriously ill, even hospitalized. I found indirect proof of this several days ago in remarkable correlation in data from Italy between total number of deaths vs total number of cases. Multiply the former by 6 and time shift it 6 days you get the latter. This makes the number of 'cases' useful indicator for the situation on the ground when trying to figure out the progression of the outbreak.

    For nations not hard hit, and doing more preventive testing the picture becomes blurred. Our cases number is a mixed bag. In recent weeks our media has been interviewing infected people and the reoccurring pattern is - people get symptoms and after a week or so they get a test and become 'case'. This is my own story and of my friend who infected me. But our 'cases' number also include people tested by contact tracing teams, often without symptoms. And the 'cases' found by Decode testing the public. Half of those tested positive by Decode either have no symptoms or so mild they don't expect to be infected according to Dr. Kari Stefanson head of Decode. And then of course is the number who get really sick.

    So our number of 'cases' is dependent on many things. And my backstory wasn't clear enough. For example over a week period few tests were done here because of shortages of sampling pins and it show in the number of 'cases' discovered during this period around 22nd of Mars. And actually the number of samples taken from late February to 14th of Mars isn't very impressive.

    My point: I think our 'cases' curve does not display the correct pattern for the outbreak here. Meaning the bulk of infections happened sooner than it indicates. And when our cases show up in the numbers they could easily have the mean time of 10 days from infection, perhaps even more. High ratio of them being mild symptoms makes the picture even more blurred.

    Secondly, our infection rate is clearly low enough so we are seeing less and less cases every day now. This is a result of measures taken mars 13 and tightened on mars 24. with no change since. So I presume the actual infection rate (low) has been stable since so I think wast majority of severe cases is already weeks behind us in time and this people is already in hospital.

    Unfortunately I don't have data for number of hospitalized over time. From memory this number jumped rather fast about two weeks ago and has risen slowly in recent days. I think we might be very close to the peak in number of hospitalized right now if we haven't passed it already.

    So I think if all of our currently hospitalized patients die this would be the worst case scenario for the estimated total of ~7000 people infected from the beginning in Iceland a week ago. Currently this would result in IFR ~0.6%

    I am optimistic the number will be considerably lower, but not knowing the conditions of these people It's difficult to tell.

    It's also worth noting since I did my estimate a minor accident happened in a nursing home infecting 5 very old and sick people. With such few deaths and ICU patients the numbers can shift quickly.

    Supporting my estimates in all of this are the numbers from Gangelt in Germany posted on this blog yesterday.

    I hope the U.S. will experience similar figures even if I am not optimistic about that.

    regards.
  224. @The Alarmist
    LOL, sounds more like Schrödinger's Physicist. Sorry if my imprecision Bores you.

    Shouldn’t that be Bohrs me? ; )

    Or is that being too blatant?

  225. @niceland
    When I said covid-19 is primarily a respiratory disease you disagreed and said:

    A factor to keep in mind is that this is primarily a coronary disease that manifests as a respiratory disease yet damages multiple organs, thus obscuring the ultimate cause of death.

     

    I fail to see how these articles support your claim. There is nothing to indicate coronary problems manifests as respiratory problems. The causality is more likely the other way around.

    In many cases the cause of death is heart failure yet the patient was being treated for respiratory failure.

    The critical fact to be learned is that novel Coronavirus SARS2 attacks the heart. This is not the time to get into a pissing contest over semantics. Perhaps this helps, “You are so much smarter than me that I am honored to be corrected by you.”

    The virus kills lung tissue.

    The virus kills heart muscle.

    The virus causes kidney damage.

    • Agree: BB753
  226. @rienzi
    Everything got shut down because the "experts" were projecting a minimum of 5 million deaths, which changed to 1.5 million, then 500, 000, then 200,000, then 100,000, then 80,000, then 60,000.

    How much lower will it go? Any guesses? You may as well guess because you or I would appear to have just a good of a chance as being accurate as "the experts".

    But then your or my guess won't wipe out trillions of dollars of wealth, trash tens of thousands of small, family-owned businesses, and cause tens of millions to become unemployed.

    The lowest circle of Hell is too good a punishment for these "experts". Do you think we will ever get an apology? Not holding my breath.

    “How much lower will it go? Any guesses?”
    Yes. Fit a logistic curve to the reported cumulative death cases. Excellent fit, gives the following:

    >fit.ad
    Nonlinear regression model
    model: xd_country.US ~ SSlogis(day, Asym, xmid, scal)
    data: US_dead
    Asym — xmid — scal
    28607.079 — 77.818 — 4.183
    residual sum-of-squares: 510473

    Total max dead: ~29000, I’d say around 30000.
    The date of the inflection (turnaround) point is > d[78][1] “2020-04-08”, or two days ago.

    The model uses the github data from the Johns Hopkins Univ:

    https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/tree/master/csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_time_series

    It has been consistent with the two parameters (total dead and turnaround date) since the last five days, underestimating both before that.

    Cheers.

    • Replies: @nier
    The number of death in US increased by 624 fold during the month of march, 624 fold increase in a month is crazy fast, so 60000 death is almost certainly an underestimation
  227. @Trebitch
    "How much lower will it go? Any guesses?"
    Yes. Fit a logistic curve to the reported cumulative death cases. Excellent fit, gives the following:

    >fit.ad
    Nonlinear regression model
    model: xd_country.US ~ SSlogis(day, Asym, xmid, scal)
    data: US_dead
    Asym --- xmid --- scal
    28607.079 --- 77.818 --- 4.183
    residual sum-of-squares: 510473

    Total max dead: ~29000, I'd say around 30000.
    The date of the inflection (turnaround) point is > d[78][1] "2020-04-08", or two days ago.

    The model uses the github data from the Johns Hopkins Univ:

    https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/tree/master/csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_time_series

    It has been consistent with the two parameters (total dead and turnaround date) since the last five days, underestimating both before that.

    Cheers.

    The number of death in US increased by 624 fold during the month of march, 624 fold increase in a month is crazy fast, so 60000 death is almost certainly an underestimation

  228. @Anon
    I've come across something potentially alarming. If Covid-19 is indeed giving people symptons like severe altitude sickness, anyone who lives at a higher elevation may be in real trouble. Colorado has our highest average elevation, and in Denver, people live at 5000 feet. I was looking at Colorado's latest report and saw that a full 20% of all their cases needed hospitalization.

    https://covid19.colorado.gov/case-data

    The numbers are very stark:

    5,655 total cases
    1,162 hospitalized

    That's a lot. The website also says this about their total cases: "The number of cases also includes epidemiologically-linked cases -- or cases where public health epidemiologists have determined that infection is highly likely because a person exhibited symptoms and had close contact with someone who tested positive."

    In other words, they're even including people who they think might have it but who have not been tested. I noticed this because only 6% of the people with Covid in my own state have needed to go to the hospital. The only thing that explains this huge a difference is that Covid has spread pretty quickly inside the Colorado health care system to patients who were already in the hospital, or being at a higher altitude makes it more likely you will need an oxygen supplement once Covid starts depriving you of oxygen.

    There's a skiing connection there for you. You had a bunch of wealthy people who don't normally live at high altitude going to a mountainous skiing resort, and they got hammered by a virus that gives you something like a very bad case of altitude sickness on top of any altitude sickness they already had. Covid-19 appears to be drawn to people who are already short of oxygen, or is harder on them, at any rate.

    I would think it would be the opposite.

    The body’s adaptation to high altitude is to increase oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. This should put all Colorado folks at an advantage.

    Sure, they might feel short of breath easily, but once you reverse the oxygen deficit of altitude with an oxygen mask, they should be in a really good position.

  229. @Mr. Anon
    It's remarkable that Boris Johnson, PM of Britain, is just shacking up with a woman (who is pregnant by him). The previous President of France, Francois Hollande, was also just shacking up with a "partner". The fact that western heads of state can't even be bothered to follow customary social norms is emblematic of the rot in the western world.

    Marriage is for homos.

  230. Anonymous[134] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    For example, there was a time when the experts collectively agreed that the earth was flat, and explicitly stated so.
     
    Was there? The ancients knew the earth was a sphere. The medievals knew the earth was a sphere. I doubt that there was ever a time in history when experts thought the earth was flat.

    Well, the bible says the world is flat ‘with four corners’, so the ancient Jews believed it was flat. They probably got this from the Egyptians, who held a similar belief.

    People think controversies over biblical inerrancy are a modern (or early-modern) thing, but there must have been ancient arguments over this which haven’t come down to us, since the Greeks and Romans, when they adopted Christianity, didn’t start believing in a flat earth.

  231. @res
    Thanks for the details. And I hope you get well soon! Thanks for keeping us informed about what is happening in Iceland while you are ill.

    The issue I see is that if it takes 2-3 weeks from initial infection (not symptoms, those happen after about a 5 day incubation period) to death then to calculate the IFR you need to calculate
    IFR = (# deaths as of today) / (# infections 2-3 weeks ago)

    If you are willing to consider that (# cases) / (# infections) is holding steady then if I am understanding your approach correctly (looking at infections 6 days ago?, call it a week for analysis below) we can compare the following based on https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/
    cases today - 1648
    cases 1 week ago - 1319
    cases 2 weeks ago - 802
    cases 3 weeks ago - 330

    So if the infection-death lag is two weeks I would expect your IFR estimate to be a factor of 802/1319 = 0.61 too low. If the lag is three weeks that would be 330/1319 = 0.25
    Though presumably including ICU and hospitalized people in your numbers accounts for at least some of that.

    So there is significant uncertainty in the IFR estimate right now given that the 2-3 week infection-death lag includes a period of high case growth. The relatively steep growth in cases ended 3/23 (17 days ago) so the numbers should solidify some soon.

    Do you see what I am trying to say? What do you think?

    All of that said, even looking at the age data deaths/recoveries it seems that Iceland is doing well at keeping people from dying. One thing that caught my eye in your earlier comments was making an effort to protect the sick and elderly (comment 199). Do you have a link describing the measures taken or a brief description?

    P.S. Some details about the flu season in Iceland which may be of interest to you and others.
    Influenza Epidemics in Iceland Over 9 Decades: Changes in Timing and Synchrony With the United States and Europe
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530371/

    Hi res, thanks for kind words and good comment.

    Here is my general view on the number of ‘cases’.

    In some nations this number is close to be a direct product of the disease. It seems to me in Italy one becomes a case only if seriously ill, even hospitalized. I found indirect proof of this several days ago in remarkable correlation in data from Italy between total number of deaths vs total number of cases. Multiply the former by 6 and time shift it 6 days you get the latter. This makes the number of ‘cases’ useful indicator for the situation on the ground when trying to figure out the progression of the outbreak.

    For nations not hard hit, and doing more preventive testing the picture becomes blurred. Our cases number is a mixed bag. In recent weeks our media has been interviewing infected people and the reoccurring pattern is – people get symptoms and after a week or so they get a test and become ‘case’. This is my own story and of my friend who infected me. But our ‘cases’ number also include people tested by contact tracing teams, often without symptoms. And the ‘cases’ found by Decode testing the public. Half of those tested positive by Decode either have no symptoms or so mild they don’t expect to be infected according to Dr. Kari Stefanson head of Decode. And then of course is the number who get really sick.

    So our number of ‘cases’ is dependent on many things. And my backstory wasn’t clear enough. For example over a week period few tests were done here because of shortages of sampling pins and it show in the number of ‘cases’ discovered during this period around 22nd of Mars. And actually the number of samples taken from late February to 14th of Mars isn’t very impressive.

    My point: I think our ‘cases’ curve does not display the correct pattern for the outbreak here. Meaning the bulk of infections happened sooner than it indicates. And when our cases show up in the numbers they could easily have the mean time of 10 days from infection, perhaps even more. High ratio of them being mild symptoms makes the picture even more blurred.

    Secondly, our infection rate is clearly low enough so we are seeing less and less cases every day now. This is a result of measures taken mars 13 and tightened on mars 24. with no change since. So I presume the actual infection rate (low) has been stable since so I think wast majority of severe cases is already weeks behind us in time and this people is already in hospital.

    Unfortunately I don’t have data for number of hospitalized over time. From memory this number jumped rather fast about two weeks ago and has risen slowly in recent days. I think we might be very close to the peak in number of hospitalized right now if we haven’t passed it already.

    So I think if all of our currently hospitalized patients die this would be the worst case scenario for the estimated total of ~7000 people infected from the beginning in Iceland a week ago. Currently this would result in IFR ~0.6%

    I am optimistic the number will be considerably lower, but not knowing the conditions of these people It’s difficult to tell.

    It’s also worth noting since I did my estimate a minor accident happened in a nursing home infecting 5 very old and sick people. With such few deaths and ICU patients the numbers can shift quickly.

    Supporting my estimates in all of this are the numbers from Gangelt in Germany posted on this blog yesterday.

    I hope the U.S. will experience similar figures even if I am not optimistic about that.

    regards.

  232. @Ron Unz

    The EU’s European Mortality Monitoring Project’s latest total death data (2020 Week 14; which ends April 5 in their recording system) was released a few hours ago.
     
    How does this sort of argument make any sense? As far as I can tell, the current outbreaks in Europe are just in scattered regions, probably amounting to something like 10% of the total population, so even very high death rates there would only slightly move the total figures. The reasons for the lockdowns and quarantines are to keep the Coronavirus from spreading everywhere else.

    Suppose the Bubonic Plague broke out in Palo Alto, and quickly killed half the 60,000 residents, with a tight quarantine of the city imposed by the federal government. Since millions of Americas die every year, the Palo Alto deaths would hardly be noticeable in the monthly national totals. So perhaps you would say that proves the Bubonic Plague really isn't dangerous at all, and there's no harm in lifting the quarantine and letting it spread everywhere else.

    Here's another example. As of today, per capital daily Coronavirus deaths are now running TWO HUNDRED TIMES GREATER in New York than in California, mostly because CA's more competent and courageous government officials were faster in imposing lockdowns:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/the-government-employee-who-may-have-saved-a-million-american-lives/

    Since CA has twice NY's population, are you saying we should average the two death-rates, thereby proving that the virus is almost 70% less dangerous than people would otherwise think based upon NY?

    The Chinese government believed that the virus was so dangerous they locked down 700M Chinese to stamp it out, and therefore only suffered a few thousand deaths. But if you told them that the relatively small number of deaths in such a huge country proves that the lockdown was unnecessary, they'd think you were nuts.

    I realize that Coronavirus Hoaxers/Minimizers may be ideologically and psychologically invested in the positions they've been advocating for the last month or two, but the logic of these arguments escapes me.

    The sweet irony of you calling people Corona Hoaxers/Minimizers/Deniers!

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