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From Nature Medicine, a small study from China:

Temporal dynamics in viral shedding and transmissibility of COVID-19

Xi He, Eric H. Y. Lau, Peng Wu, Xilong Deng, Jian Wang, Xinxin Hao, Yiu Chung Lau, Jessica Y. Wong, Yujuan Guan, Xinghua Tan, Xiaoneng Mo, Yanqing Chen, Baolin Liao, Weilie Chen, Fengyu Hu, Qing Zhang, Mingqiu Zhong, Yanrong Wu, Lingzhai Zhao, Fuchun Zhang, Benjamin J. Cowling, Fang Li & Gabriel M. Leung

Abstract
We report temporal patterns of viral shedding in 94 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and modeled COVID-19 infectiousness profiles from a separate sample of 77 infector–infectee transmission pairs. We observed the highest viral load in throat swabs at the time of symptom onset, and inferred that infectiousness peaked on or before symptom onset. We estimated that 44% (95% confidence interval, 25–69%) of secondary cases were infected during the index cases’ presymptomatic stage, in settings with substantial household clustering, active case finding and quarantine outside the home. Disease control measures should be adjusted to account for probable substantial presymptomatic transmission. …

Significant presymptomatic transmission would probably reduce the effectiveness of control measures that are initiated by symptom onset, such as isolation, contact tracing and enhanced hygiene or use of face masks for symptomatic persons.

That sounds like bad news for Track and Trace strategies.

Even higher proportions of presymptomatic transmission of 48% and 62% have been estimated for Singapore and Tianjin, where active case finding was implemented. Places with active case finding would tend to have a higher proportion of presymptomatic transmission, mainly due to quick quarantine of close contacts and isolation, thus reducing the probability of secondary spread later on in the course of illness. In a rapidly expanding epidemic wherein contact tracing/quarantine and perhaps even isolation are no longer feasible, or in locations where cases are not isolated outside the home, we should therefore observe a lower proportion of presymptomatic transmission.

Okay, so maybe I’m interpreting this too pessimistically: what it seems to be saying is that in places where the authorities started to come down like a ton of bricks on isolating symptomatic people, much of the subsequent transmission was by the pre-symptomatic.

Our analysis suggests that viral shedding may begin 2 to 3 days before the appearance of the first symptoms. After symptom onset, viral loads decreased monotonically, consistent with two recent studies8,9. Another study from Wuhan reported that virus was detected for a median of 20 days (up to 37 days among survivors) after symptom onset10, but infectiousness may decline significantly 8 days after symptom onset, as live virus could no longer be cultured (according to Wölfel and colleagues11). Together, these results support our findings that the infectiousness profile may more closely resemble that of influenza than of SARS (Fig. 1a), although we did not have data on viral shedding before symptom onset6,12. Our results are also supported by reports of asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission13,14.

For a reproductive number of 2.5 (ref. 2), contact tracing and isolation alone are less likely to be successful if more than 30% of transmission occurred before symptom onset, unless >90% of the contacts can be traced15. This is more likely achievable if the definition of contacts covers 2 to 3 days prior to symptom onset of the index case, as has been done in Hong Kong and mainland China since late February. Even when the control strategy is shifting away from containment to mitigation, contact tracing would still be an important measure, such as when there are super-spreading events that may occur in high-risk settings including nursing homes or hospitals. With a substantial proportion of presymptomatic transmission, measures such as enhanced personal hygiene and social distancing for all would likely be the key instruments for community disease control.

 
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  1. It’s a novel coronavirus. So everything you think you know about it you should believe with low confidence. Things will be much clearer in, oh, five years time.

    • Agree: Coemgen, 22pp22
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    Things will be much clearer in, oh, five years time.
     
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9e/8d/de/9e8ddeb67eacbb51d9bc003959b44fff.gif
  2. That sounds like bad news for Track and Trace strategies.

    That won’t stop government from demanding you submit to being tracked as a condition of being able to leave your home.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
  3. Governor De Santis was hot on segregating those who tested positive from their family even if they did not require hospitalization. Same for those requiring 14 day quarantine after leaving a cruise ship, returning from abroad etc. Besides the problem of whether he had the authority to separate a wife from her husband and children he also lacked the testing capacity.

    Besides public health he also, likely, had an idea of throwing a few dollars towards the state hotel industry. If Trump was going to let some cruise ship dock and make the state put the sick in local hospitals requiring the rest of the 2000 or so people on board to rent a hotel room for 14 days would at least generate some business.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Governor De Santis was hot on segregating those who tested positive from their family even if they did not require hospitalization."

    Apparently not segregating wrestlers. Classic i-Steve content. Perhaps our intrepid host will NOTICE the rot.

    https://www.ibtimes.com/trump-economic-team-includes-wwes-vince-mcmahon-raising-conflict-interest-questions-2959193
  4. UK says:

    We are told that a number of Asian countries magically eradicated the virus with just contact tracing, and that they did not shut down.

    Yet that always made little sense as contacts in cities simply aren’t that easy to trace.

    Instead it seems that already standoffish social norms naturally tightened in response to the outbreak and the virus did not transmit much after that.

    Gregariousness kills in an outbreak and East Asians tend to be less gregarious (or so horrible racist stereotypes say.)

    • Replies: @Redman
    And Italians, Jews and blacks (the bedrock of NYC) tend to be the most gregarious.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

    But why did Iran get hit so hard (although Wuflu seems to have petered out there with no significant media reporting)?
    , @PiltdownMan
    Singapore found that contact tracing worked really well, until it didn’t. They have their hands full now, with untraceable cases and an outbreak in their crowded migrant worker dorms.
  5. @dearieme
    It's a novel coronavirus. So everything you think you know about it you should believe with low confidence. Things will be much clearer in, oh, five years time.

    Things will be much clearer in, oh, five years time.

  6. @UK
    We are told that a number of Asian countries magically eradicated the virus with just contact tracing, and that they did not shut down.

    Yet that always made little sense as contacts in cities simply aren't that easy to trace.

    Instead it seems that already standoffish social norms naturally tightened in response to the outbreak and the virus did not transmit much after that.

    Gregariousness kills in an outbreak and East Asians tend to be less gregarious (or so horrible racist stereotypes say.)

    And Italians, Jews and blacks (the bedrock of NYC) tend to be the most gregarious.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

    But why did Iran get hit so hard (although Wuflu seems to have petered out there with no significant media reporting)?

    • Replies: @Jake
    Iran has been filled recently with large numbers of Chinese on trading missions. Northern Italy is beloved by many Chinese tourists.
    , @anon
    But why did Iran get hit so hard

    Well, there are clues beyond the mindless "CIA dunnit!' that's popular with some leftards.
    Here is one possibility.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF41zOVw2Gc

    (although Wuflu seems to have petered out there with no significant media reporting)?
    Iranians may not be as ignorant as some people assume?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvyIipeN1VI
  7. @Redman
    And Italians, Jews and blacks (the bedrock of NYC) tend to be the most gregarious.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

    But why did Iran get hit so hard (although Wuflu seems to have petered out there with no significant media reporting)?

    Iran has been filled recently with large numbers of Chinese on trading missions. Northern Italy is beloved by many Chinese tourists.

  8. People can be infectious in the absence of symptoms? You don’t say. We’ve only known this since January.

    And everyone from government agencies to the MSM is pretending they still don’t know.

    Well, maybe they’re not pretending.

    • Replies: @sayless
    The FBI submitted dodgy FISA warrant applications on Carter Page? You don't say. We've only known this for eighteen months or so. CBS only found out last Friday.
    , @Kratoklastes

    And everyone from government agencies to the MSM is pretending they still don’t know.
     
    In Australia, last night was the first time that a national broadcaster (the ABC) showed a chart of deaths by age - which is kind of a 'pink pill', since it makes clear that mortality risk for under-60s is as near to zero as makes no odds: the 'red pill' is when you delve further and consider how sick the victims are in the older groups.

    Like journalism generally (whether left or right of centre), the ABC is institutionally innumerate (and economically ignorant) and hostage to any self-promoting charlatan who self-refers as an 'expert'. So they were effectively an amplifier for the braying cockheads like Sanjay Gupta - a guy who spent 30 years as a True Believer Anti-Weed Campaigner... then confessed he hadn't read any research. (Note that the TIME article from 2009 where he said he would vote against medical weed has been MemoryHoled, as has a HuffPo article "Sanjay Gupta Apologizes for Misleading the Public About Weed" from August 8 2013").

    Anyway, the chart in question was a slightly-slicker version of this one ->

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bvlvqqe2aiynsqb/AU_AgeGroupDeaths.png?dl=1

    Literally the only reason that fucking chart went up, was to score a point against the (pretend-'conservative') Prime Minister who has responded to a media chorus[1] that the 'lockdown' be reversed, STAT.

    In his Damascene conversion from "nobody move or we'll all die" to "We will remove lockdowns in about 4 weeks", Morrison (the PM) simply said that if schools re-opened, teachers are at more risk than kids.

    Then the chart went up, and the host (Leigh [f] Sales) pointed out - smarmily - that teachers are mostly under 60 and there have been fuck-all deaths in Australia under 60 (there has been 1 death in the 50-59s).

    It's not clear how the fuck she thought that invalidated the PM's point, but I don't give a fuck - the image was there for all to see.

    A week ago they were focused on the fact that the global (age-agnostic) CFR was ~4% and the largest age group among positive-tests, was 20-29 ... as if that immediately meant that 4% of infected 20-29yo Australians were going to die.

    So the Australian government - responding to innumerate Doomers - has devastated the Australian economy. It has made decisions that directly generated at least 15% unemployment and brought the economy to a standstill - to prevent deaths in chronically-ill over-75s (who have a life expectancy in low single-digits and a HALE of zero).

    The average age of the fatalities in Australia is 79; the median age is 80-something; the modal age is 80-something (for a few of the fatalities, the only publicly available age data is "in his 50s", "in her 70s" etc), and 84% of fatalities are over 70.

    And it (the ridiculous, excessively-costly reaction) was predictable:

    Even with the terrible terrible (hopeless, woeful) methodologies used to estimate VSL[3], the numbers being talked about for the policy response are absolutely cuckoo – even if government spent money wisely and only did things that worked.

    Ask yourself: what is the actuarially-fair amount of expenditure to undertake to prevent the covid19-related death of a person who has already reached their adult life expectancy? (me, March 14th
     
    [1] The media chorus is just as fake, and just as 'made for TV', as the corresponding media chorus at the start of this bullshit.

    And the 'narrative switcheroo' - including its timing - was predictable:

    Wait until late April when the daily temps on the East Coast of the US start to routinely get into the 20s: this story will be dropped quicker than you can say “Wasn’t there that Mexican-beer virus a week ago?” (me, March 21 (4 days before Victoria imposed initial, limited lockdowns);
     
    and

    It’s a pity for the Doomers that it’ll be warm soon: the political walk-back is already being pumped out of CNN, CNBC, Fox, Sky News here in Australia, absolutely non-stop (and of course the morning shows for stupid housewives will join the chorus on Monday).

    Another 3 news cycles and they will have brainwashed enough housewives, and it will be “Full speed ahead” as if it never happened. (me, April 11th
     
    It's barely 3 full news cycles today[2]. Yesterday the Australian PM finished his conversion; CNN is discussing - as I type - the different 'Stages' of lockdown-reversal in the US after Trump's speech last night.

    [2] A 'news cycle' is not 24 hours. It's the amount of time between changes in the dominant talking point on a specific element of the agreed-upon narrative. 36 hours is about right (on weekdays); nobody thinks up new shit on weekends.
  9. As I posted on January 27, 2020:

    Incubation – Latent Period
    HAS NO NAME IN EPIDEMIOLOGY!!!

    Why ALL CAPS with 3, count them 3, exclamation points???

    This difference is most important to the highest impact/cost public health decisions. That’s why.

    It is the period of time during which someone is asymptomatic yet infectious. The bigger that time interval, the more draconian the public health measures must be.

    Without a NAME FOR THIS QUANTITY it is virtually guaranteed that public health bureaucrats will NOT based their decisions on it.

    Check out Table 1 of this paper:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3935673/

    I had thought of “Stealth Period” as a candidate. Paul Ewald wrote the book, which I highly recommend in any event:

  10. Natural caution always does the heavy lifting. The lack of spread of the disease in East Asian countries is not merely due to them having take-charge governments and an obedient population, but also a high level of innate anxiety. Infection by the COVID-19 pathogen in the West moving through the population much slowly than experts modeled is in all probability due to many members of the herd watching the international news and distancing before their government mandated any kind of lockdown.

    The virus in Britain did not spread as fast as any study had anticipated because the various epidemiological models had tendentious reasons to ignore that most people, often consciously, often subliminally, seek out and incorporate information relevant to their individual survival and independently take precautions on their own account.

    The total lockdown will cause extra deaths in the coming winter if there is an epidemic by a more virulent COVID-19 mutation. But neither a high death rate epidemic or immunity against a much more lethal second wave is going to sweep through a real world modern society in which people are made subtly anxious and altered by events on the other side of the globe, as well as in nearby countries.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Jedi Night
    So, basically, private citizens manage their own lives better than distant bureaucrats manage it for them? You don't say! Who'da thunk it?
    , @Russ

    ... most people, often consciously, often subliminally, seek out and incorporate information relevant to their individual survival and independently take precautions on their own account.
     
    Most plausible. Now imagine the mayor of a large U.S. city making this point, _even if s/he could fathom it.
    , @Bill
    We know different people, I guess. Overwhelmingly, the people I know thought it was nothing to worry about and did not change their behavior noticeably until well into March. That is, they followed the government/media/academia propaganda line to a T.
  11. Posting this yet again as evidence that our ability to track this virus is laughably far behind its spread:

    Terrifying cellphone ‘heat map’ shows just how much people are still traveling

    https://www.dailydot.com/debug/cellphone-heat-map-coronavirus/

    A heat map highlighting cellphone location data within the U.S. is providing a frightening insight into the movements of humans amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

  12. Contact tracing is still fine, but you need more aggressive testing – “drive-by testing” – not testing of the symptomatic only.

    Testing the healthy is cheap. Isolating the sick is expensive. That’s why your insurance company will literally pay you to have annual physicals.

  13. OK, but what about the Lunar New Year holiday, where hundreds of thousands or millions of workers journeyed from Wuhan to their family homes in the far-flung towns and villages of Southern China? There to hang out for a couple of weeks with their children, parents, and cousins? With an R of 2.5 and no public knowledge of the virus, why didn’t all of South China explode, 2 to 3 weeks later? AFAIK, these places didn’t undergo the ferocious lockdown that Wuhan itself experienced. Where is the mass morbidity and mortality?

    Same question about NYC as a seed. Sure, Covid-19 has spread, to the Orthodox in Westchester and Rockland, and beyond. But why hasn’t every burg in the Northeast been stricken as hard as Albany, Georgia by now?

    Aside from Wuhan city, Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan, social distancing doesn’t seem to have been stringent enough to cause SARS-CoV-2 to depart from exponential growth, as significantly as it has, pretty much everywhere.

    Some important parts of the story are underappreciated, or missing.

    • Replies: @unit472
    Why hasn't every burg in the NE been as stricken as Albany, Ga ( or Westchester, NY)? Do you know they haven't been? Small rural counties don't have a lot of population. For example, just north of Dougherty County, Georgia where Albany is lies Terrell County. It only has 8800 people but, as of today, it also has 137 covid cases and 11 deaths. Next door is Lee County , population 29,000 with 284 cases and 15 deaths. Pretty much the same all around Albany, Ga. but because of the small populations they don't make the news... unless you live there
    , @Jim Bob Lassiter
    "But why hasn’t every burg in the Northeast been stricken as hard as Albany, Georgia by now?"

    Occidental Dissent seems to have a plausible grasp on the Albany, GA area vector paradox. Read it carefully, as Blacks aren't to blame in the sense of negligence or disobedience.

    http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2020/04/14/why-covidiots-will-kill-people-in-the-south/
    , @Intelligent Dasein
    Yes. Those are the right questions to ask. Something unusual is going on here and I do not trust it.
  14. anon[110] • Disclaimer says:
    @Redman
    And Italians, Jews and blacks (the bedrock of NYC) tend to be the most gregarious.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

    But why did Iran get hit so hard (although Wuflu seems to have petered out there with no significant media reporting)?

    But why did Iran get hit so hard

    Well, there are clues beyond the mindless “CIA dunnit!’ that’s popular with some leftards.
    Here is one possibility.

    (although Wuflu seems to have petered out there with no significant media reporting)?
    Iranians may not be as ignorant as some people assume?

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    Sprayer dude seems to be kind of lackidaisical about waving that wand around.

    If you are spraying insecticide in a small orchard or treating invasive weeds in a field, you really don't want to miss a spot. For weed application, there is a powerful vegetable die marker you can mix into the tank to see what you have already sprayed, but even with that, you have to be systematic with how you go about this.

    The guy in the video appears to be applying whatever disinfectant (bleach? peroxide?) rather haphazardly.
    , @Reg Cæsar
    How's the Blarney Stone doing?



    Giles got it from Daphne
    She got it from Joan
    Who picked it up in County Cork
    A-kissin' the Blarney Stone



    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6WHSVOVLmNY
  15. Benjamin J. Cowling

    Do you detect a whiff of tokenism here?

  16. @UK
    We are told that a number of Asian countries magically eradicated the virus with just contact tracing, and that they did not shut down.

    Yet that always made little sense as contacts in cities simply aren't that easy to trace.

    Instead it seems that already standoffish social norms naturally tightened in response to the outbreak and the virus did not transmit much after that.

    Gregariousness kills in an outbreak and East Asians tend to be less gregarious (or so horrible racist stereotypes say.)

    Singapore found that contact tracing worked really well, until it didn’t. They have their hands full now, with untraceable cases and an outbreak in their crowded migrant worker dorms.

  17. When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?

    • Agree: AaronInMVD
    • Replies: @Jedi Night
    "Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort). This fallacy, which is related to loss aversion and status quo bias, can also be viewed as bias resulting from an ongoing commitment."

    It's ok, Steve, we'll forgive you for this one. Just let go and admit you were wrong. You'll feel better afterwards I promise.
    , @Corvinus
    "When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?"

    He won't, and it hasn't been.
    , @NOTA
    Probably not while NYC’s hospitals are still full of people trying not to die of pneumonia.
  18. @Sean
    Natural caution always does the heavy lifting. The lack of spread of the disease in East Asian countries is not merely due to them having take-charge governments and an obedient population, but also a high level of innate anxiety. Infection by the COVID-19 pathogen in the West moving through the population much slowly than experts modeled is in all probability due to many members of the herd watching the international news and distancing before their government mandated any kind of lockdown.

    The virus in Britain did not spread as fast as any study had anticipated because the various epidemiological models had tendentious reasons to ignore that most people, often consciously, often subliminally, seek out and incorporate information relevant to their individual survival and independently take precautions on their own account.

    The total lockdown will cause extra deaths in the coming winter if there is an epidemic by a more virulent COVID-19 mutation. But neither a high death rate epidemic or immunity against a much more lethal second wave is going to sweep through a real world modern society in which people are made subtly anxious and altered by events on the other side of the globe, as well as in nearby countries.

    So, basically, private citizens manage their own lives better than distant bureaucrats manage it for them? You don’t say! Who’da thunk it?

  19. @anon
    But why did Iran get hit so hard

    Well, there are clues beyond the mindless "CIA dunnit!' that's popular with some leftards.
    Here is one possibility.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF41zOVw2Gc

    (although Wuflu seems to have petered out there with no significant media reporting)?
    Iranians may not be as ignorant as some people assume?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvyIipeN1VI

    Sprayer dude seems to be kind of lackidaisical about waving that wand around.

    If you are spraying insecticide in a small orchard or treating invasive weeds in a field, you really don’t want to miss a spot. For weed application, there is a powerful vegetable die marker you can mix into the tank to see what you have already sprayed, but even with that, you have to be systematic with how you go about this.

    The guy in the video appears to be applying whatever disinfectant (bleach? peroxide?) rather haphazardly.

  20. @Sean
    Natural caution always does the heavy lifting. The lack of spread of the disease in East Asian countries is not merely due to them having take-charge governments and an obedient population, but also a high level of innate anxiety. Infection by the COVID-19 pathogen in the West moving through the population much slowly than experts modeled is in all probability due to many members of the herd watching the international news and distancing before their government mandated any kind of lockdown.

    The virus in Britain did not spread as fast as any study had anticipated because the various epidemiological models had tendentious reasons to ignore that most people, often consciously, often subliminally, seek out and incorporate information relevant to their individual survival and independently take precautions on their own account.

    The total lockdown will cause extra deaths in the coming winter if there is an epidemic by a more virulent COVID-19 mutation. But neither a high death rate epidemic or immunity against a much more lethal second wave is going to sweep through a real world modern society in which people are made subtly anxious and altered by events on the other side of the globe, as well as in nearby countries.

    … most people, often consciously, often subliminally, seek out and incorporate information relevant to their individual survival and independently take precautions on their own account.

    Most plausible. Now imagine the mayor of a large U.S. city making this point, _even if s/he could fathom it.

  21. It’s just the flu. Coronavirus makes up about 5%- 17% of the flu viruses every season; it’s normal. The flu deaths this year in the US combined with this scary new virus will be about normal for a flu season (I am sure the faking upwards of the numbers – as admitted just recently by the NYT, and per the released CDC guidelines – will be offset by so-called social distancing).
    Sure, shutting down the country means fewer road deaths, fewer workplace deaths and so on, but what of the cost to society?
    The average age of death from this new fake flu is 80 (with underlying comorbidity). But the media insists on making the 50% of the population that follows their nonsense believe that young healthy people are dropping like flies. Not so.
    It’s just the flu, and we broke the entire country – no world – for the damn flu.
    I knew TPTB would do anything to stop Trump; but it did not occur to me that they would take the world and burn that mother down.

  22. @Luke Lea
    When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?

    “Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort). This fallacy, which is related to loss aversion and status quo bias, can also be viewed as bias resulting from an ongoing commitment.”

    It’s ok, Steve, we’ll forgive you for this one. Just let go and admit you were wrong. You’ll feel better afterwards I promise.

  23. @ic1000
    OK, but what about the Lunar New Year holiday, where hundreds of thousands or millions of workers journeyed from Wuhan to their family homes in the far-flung towns and villages of Southern China? There to hang out for a couple of weeks with their children, parents, and cousins? With an R of 2.5 and no public knowledge of the virus, why didn't all of South China explode, 2 to 3 weeks later? AFAIK, these places didn't undergo the ferocious lockdown that Wuhan itself experienced. Where is the mass morbidity and mortality?

    Same question about NYC as a seed. Sure, Covid-19 has spread, to the Orthodox in Westchester and Rockland, and beyond. But why hasn't every burg in the Northeast been stricken as hard as Albany, Georgia by now?

    Aside from Wuhan city, Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan, social distancing doesn't seem to have been stringent enough to cause SARS-CoV-2 to depart from exponential growth, as significantly as it has, pretty much everywhere.

    Some important parts of the story are underappreciated, or missing.

    Why hasn’t every burg in the NE been as stricken as Albany, Ga ( or Westchester, NY)? Do you know they haven’t been? Small rural counties don’t have a lot of population. For example, just north of Dougherty County, Georgia where Albany is lies Terrell County. It only has 8800 people but, as of today, it also has 137 covid cases and 11 deaths. Next door is Lee County , population 29,000 with 284 cases and 15 deaths. Pretty much the same all around Albany, Ga. but because of the small populations they don’t make the news… unless you live there

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The janitor's big funeral on February 29 in Dougherty County, Georgia is seen as southwest Georgia's superspreader event.
    , @ic1000
    Maybe SARS-CoV-2 is spreading like the Plague did in Europe in the mid-14th century. In a given year, it would hit some places hard, bypassing others. But few if any cities or towns escaped unscathed for the five or six years following its appearance in 1347.

    By this model, there are burgs that haven't been stricken yet. But they will be, and at an earlier date, if social distancing is relaxed sooner.

    Influenza exhibits a different rhythm. It gets worse, and then infectiousness declines and the case load goes down. The flu is obviously seasonal, maybe this coronavirus is similar. Or maybe the dominant factor(s) is (are) something else.

    As far as re-starting the economy, it's pretty important to have those factors in mind. Common sense says that social distancing helps. But the rate of growth seems to be slowing pretty much everywhere, and well before herd immunity should be the driver. It would really help to understand these kinetics better.
  24. @unit472
    Why hasn't every burg in the NE been as stricken as Albany, Ga ( or Westchester, NY)? Do you know they haven't been? Small rural counties don't have a lot of population. For example, just north of Dougherty County, Georgia where Albany is lies Terrell County. It only has 8800 people but, as of today, it also has 137 covid cases and 11 deaths. Next door is Lee County , population 29,000 with 284 cases and 15 deaths. Pretty much the same all around Albany, Ga. but because of the small populations they don't make the news... unless you live there

    The janitor’s big funeral on February 29 in Dougherty County, Georgia is seen as southwest Georgia’s superspreader event.

  25. @ic1000
    OK, but what about the Lunar New Year holiday, where hundreds of thousands or millions of workers journeyed from Wuhan to their family homes in the far-flung towns and villages of Southern China? There to hang out for a couple of weeks with their children, parents, and cousins? With an R of 2.5 and no public knowledge of the virus, why didn't all of South China explode, 2 to 3 weeks later? AFAIK, these places didn't undergo the ferocious lockdown that Wuhan itself experienced. Where is the mass morbidity and mortality?

    Same question about NYC as a seed. Sure, Covid-19 has spread, to the Orthodox in Westchester and Rockland, and beyond. But why hasn't every burg in the Northeast been stricken as hard as Albany, Georgia by now?

    Aside from Wuhan city, Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan, social distancing doesn't seem to have been stringent enough to cause SARS-CoV-2 to depart from exponential growth, as significantly as it has, pretty much everywhere.

    Some important parts of the story are underappreciated, or missing.

    “But why hasn’t every burg in the Northeast been stricken as hard as Albany, Georgia by now?”

    Occidental Dissent seems to have a plausible grasp on the Albany, GA area vector paradox. Read it carefully, as Blacks aren’t to blame in the sense of negligence or disobedience.

    http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2020/04/14/why-covidiots-will-kill-people-in-the-south/

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Right, you can't much blame a family of blue collar blacks in Georgia for having a big, emotional funeral for their brother back in February. A lot of the superspreader events turned out to normal parts of normal life.
  26. @ic1000
    OK, but what about the Lunar New Year holiday, where hundreds of thousands or millions of workers journeyed from Wuhan to their family homes in the far-flung towns and villages of Southern China? There to hang out for a couple of weeks with their children, parents, and cousins? With an R of 2.5 and no public knowledge of the virus, why didn't all of South China explode, 2 to 3 weeks later? AFAIK, these places didn't undergo the ferocious lockdown that Wuhan itself experienced. Where is the mass morbidity and mortality?

    Same question about NYC as a seed. Sure, Covid-19 has spread, to the Orthodox in Westchester and Rockland, and beyond. But why hasn't every burg in the Northeast been stricken as hard as Albany, Georgia by now?

    Aside from Wuhan city, Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan, social distancing doesn't seem to have been stringent enough to cause SARS-CoV-2 to depart from exponential growth, as significantly as it has, pretty much everywhere.

    Some important parts of the story are underappreciated, or missing.

    Yes. Those are the right questions to ask. Something unusual is going on here and I do not trust it.

  27. @Jim Bob Lassiter
    "But why hasn’t every burg in the Northeast been stricken as hard as Albany, Georgia by now?"

    Occidental Dissent seems to have a plausible grasp on the Albany, GA area vector paradox. Read it carefully, as Blacks aren't to blame in the sense of negligence or disobedience.

    http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2020/04/14/why-covidiots-will-kill-people-in-the-south/

    Right, you can’t much blame a family of blue collar blacks in Georgia for having a big, emotional funeral for their brother back in February. A lot of the superspreader events turned out to normal parts of normal life.

  28. I was skeptical contact tracing would work but I am pleasantly surprised about our results. Iceland never went into hard lock down and our cases numbers are dropping like stone in past few days.
    Hit the ‘data’ button to view the data: https://www.covid.is/english

    Ban of gatherings of more than 20, 2 meter distance rule for the rest. Businesses with close contact shut down, hair saloons etc. People urged to work from home if possible…

    The above + contact tracing is clearly working pretty good.

    Two things supporting contact tracing works:
    Out of ~1700 ‘cases’ in Iceland only 8 are of unknown origin. Meaning the contact tracing teams couldn’t find out where they got the infection. I find this number incredible but I have no reason to suspect it’s wrong.

    54% of all ‘cases’ came from people put in quarantine by the contact tracing teams. This is because they cast a wide net around each infected. Family, friends and possible contacts and put them in 2 week quarantine. So lot of people with early (undetectable) infection was pulled out of the game – a great contribution to cut down the infection rate among the public.

    I think contact tracing could be very useful tool after lock-downs are lifted and it seems no ‘apps’ are necessary to do the job.

    Ps
    If Iceland really did find the origin of almost all ‘cases’ this seems to indicate few got infected while grocery shopping or walking in the mall. I still haven’t seen anyone wearing a mask in public. So much for airborne infections?!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks. If Iceland really has a clue on how 99% of its infections spread, that could be good news for finding out how it is likely to spread.
    , @res
    Thanks. Could you elaborate on how schools have been handled? I looked through
    https://www.covid.is/announcements
    but on 4/14 I see talk about schools reopening, but no explicit closure earlier.

    The 3/23 advisory on schools seems quite sensible (hopefully at some point politicians in the US will consider being sensible, it would be a pleasant change). Some example statements.

    It is extremely important that children’s parents and guardians simultaneously reduce the number of people in their children’s contact network outside of school in order to avoid working against these measures.
    ...
    Schoolmates who are not in the same group in school (the same class) should not interact closely outside of school.
     
    P.S. It helps quite a bit to be an island with 364 thousand people rather than a country with land borders and 330 million people.
  29. @unit472
    Governor De Santis was hot on segregating those who tested positive from their family even if they did not require hospitalization. Same for those requiring 14 day quarantine after leaving a cruise ship, returning from abroad etc. Besides the problem of whether he had the authority to separate a wife from her husband and children he also lacked the testing capacity.

    Besides public health he also, likely, had an idea of throwing a few dollars towards the state hotel industry. If Trump was going to let some cruise ship dock and make the state put the sick in local hospitals requiring the rest of the 2000 or so people on board to rent a hotel room for 14 days would at least generate some business.

    “Governor De Santis was hot on segregating those who tested positive from their family even if they did not require hospitalization.”

    Apparently not segregating wrestlers. Classic i-Steve content. Perhaps our intrepid host will NOTICE the rot.

    https://www.ibtimes.com/trump-economic-team-includes-wwes-vince-mcmahon-raising-conflict-interest-questions-2959193

  30. @Luke Lea
    When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?

    “When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?”

    He won’t, and it hasn’t been.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I just did write about how the biggest fear -- hospitals being overwhelmed by having to devote all their staff to minding ventilator patients -- turned out to be overblown because ventilators don't work very well for this new disease.
    , @fish

    He won’t, and it hasn’t been.
     
    FACT CHECK.....CORVYVIRUS SETTING YOU STRAIGHT DAILY @ UNZ.COM!
    , @ken
    I've got an empty 2,000 bed makeshift field hospital at McCormick Place in Chicago that says you're wrong.
  31. @niceland
    I was skeptical contact tracing would work but I am pleasantly surprised about our results. Iceland never went into hard lock down and our cases numbers are dropping like stone in past few days.
    Hit the 'data' button to view the data: https://www.covid.is/english

    Ban of gatherings of more than 20, 2 meter distance rule for the rest. Businesses with close contact shut down, hair saloons etc. People urged to work from home if possible...

    The above + contact tracing is clearly working pretty good.

    Two things supporting contact tracing works:
    Out of ~1700 'cases' in Iceland only 8 are of unknown origin. Meaning the contact tracing teams couldn't find out where they got the infection. I find this number incredible but I have no reason to suspect it's wrong.

    54% of all 'cases' came from people put in quarantine by the contact tracing teams. This is because they cast a wide net around each infected. Family, friends and possible contacts and put them in 2 week quarantine. So lot of people with early (undetectable) infection was pulled out of the game - a great contribution to cut down the infection rate among the public.

    I think contact tracing could be very useful tool after lock-downs are lifted and it seems no 'apps' are necessary to do the job.

    Ps
    If Iceland really did find the origin of almost all 'cases' this seems to indicate few got infected while grocery shopping or walking in the mall. I still haven't seen anyone wearing a mask in public. So much for airborne infections?!

    Thanks. If Iceland really has a clue on how 99% of its infections spread, that could be good news for finding out how it is likely to spread.

    • Replies: @niceland
    Hopefully, even if I have hard time believing these numbers and in all likelihood they will translate differently to larger populations. Still, perhaps there is useful lesson in there.

    Ps
    They claim almost all get infected in their own close circles of friends, family and coworkers. Personally I can relate to that. After weeks of being careful I laid down my guard in the presence of close friend and got the virus.
  32. @Corvinus
    "When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?"

    He won't, and it hasn't been.

    I just did write about how the biggest fear — hospitals being overwhelmed by having to devote all their staff to minding ventilator patients — turned out to be overblown because ventilators don’t work very well for this new disease.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    Except what you wrote is about a MEDICAL procedure during the treatment of process of Covid-19 patients, not whether this pandemic itself and its risks themselves have been greatly overblown.

    Moreover, the fear of hospitals is being overwhelmed by patients in their ICU, with the staff being devoted to the patients there, which includes supervising those on ventilators. Here is a more nuanced article about ventilators and their benefits/risks.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-04-15/are-ventilators-helping-or-harming-covid-19-patients
  33. @Corvinus
    "When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?"

    He won't, and it hasn't been.

    He won’t, and it hasn’t been.

    FACT CHECK.….CORVYVIRUS SETTING YOU STRAIGHT DAILY @ UNZ.COM!

  34. @unit472
    Why hasn't every burg in the NE been as stricken as Albany, Ga ( or Westchester, NY)? Do you know they haven't been? Small rural counties don't have a lot of population. For example, just north of Dougherty County, Georgia where Albany is lies Terrell County. It only has 8800 people but, as of today, it also has 137 covid cases and 11 deaths. Next door is Lee County , population 29,000 with 284 cases and 15 deaths. Pretty much the same all around Albany, Ga. but because of the small populations they don't make the news... unless you live there

    Maybe SARS-CoV-2 is spreading like the Plague did in Europe in the mid-14th century. In a given year, it would hit some places hard, bypassing others. But few if any cities or towns escaped unscathed for the five or six years following its appearance in 1347.

    By this model, there are burgs that haven’t been stricken yet. But they will be, and at an earlier date, if social distancing is relaxed sooner.

    Influenza exhibits a different rhythm. It gets worse, and then infectiousness declines and the case load goes down. The flu is obviously seasonal, maybe this coronavirus is similar. Or maybe the dominant factor(s) is (are) something else.

    As far as re-starting the economy, it’s pretty important to have those factors in mind. Common sense says that social distancing helps. But the rate of growth seems to be slowing pretty much everywhere, and well before herd immunity should be the driver. It would really help to understand these kinetics better.

  35. @anon
    But why did Iran get hit so hard

    Well, there are clues beyond the mindless "CIA dunnit!' that's popular with some leftards.
    Here is one possibility.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF41zOVw2Gc

    (although Wuflu seems to have petered out there with no significant media reporting)?
    Iranians may not be as ignorant as some people assume?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvyIipeN1VI

    How’s the Blarney Stone doing?

    Giles got it from Daphne
    She got it from Joan
    Who picked it up in County Cork
    A-kissin’ the Blarney Stone

  36. @Steve Sailer
    Thanks. If Iceland really has a clue on how 99% of its infections spread, that could be good news for finding out how it is likely to spread.

    Hopefully, even if I have hard time believing these numbers and in all likelihood they will translate differently to larger populations. Still, perhaps there is useful lesson in there.

    Ps
    They claim almost all get infected in their own close circles of friends, family and coworkers. Personally I can relate to that. After weeks of being careful I laid down my guard in the presence of close friend and got the virus.

  37. @Steve Sailer
    I just did write about how the biggest fear -- hospitals being overwhelmed by having to devote all their staff to minding ventilator patients -- turned out to be overblown because ventilators don't work very well for this new disease.

    Except what you wrote is about a MEDICAL procedure during the treatment of process of Covid-19 patients, not whether this pandemic itself and its risks themselves have been greatly overblown.

    Moreover, the fear of hospitals is being overwhelmed by patients in their ICU, with the staff being devoted to the patients there, which includes supervising those on ventilators. Here is a more nuanced article about ventilators and their benefits/risks.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-04-15/are-ventilators-helping-or-harming-covid-19-patients

    • Troll: Manfred Arcane
  38. @Luke Lea
    When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?

    Probably not while NYC’s hospitals are still full of people trying not to die of pneumonia.

  39. Anonymous[190] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, you do realize that testing of contacts of positives yields asymptomic, presymptomatic and symptomatic positives, right? And the contacts of the positives yielded by tracing get a further round of testing?

    That’s part of a winning solution.

  40. @niceland
    I was skeptical contact tracing would work but I am pleasantly surprised about our results. Iceland never went into hard lock down and our cases numbers are dropping like stone in past few days.
    Hit the 'data' button to view the data: https://www.covid.is/english

    Ban of gatherings of more than 20, 2 meter distance rule for the rest. Businesses with close contact shut down, hair saloons etc. People urged to work from home if possible...

    The above + contact tracing is clearly working pretty good.

    Two things supporting contact tracing works:
    Out of ~1700 'cases' in Iceland only 8 are of unknown origin. Meaning the contact tracing teams couldn't find out where they got the infection. I find this number incredible but I have no reason to suspect it's wrong.

    54% of all 'cases' came from people put in quarantine by the contact tracing teams. This is because they cast a wide net around each infected. Family, friends and possible contacts and put them in 2 week quarantine. So lot of people with early (undetectable) infection was pulled out of the game - a great contribution to cut down the infection rate among the public.

    I think contact tracing could be very useful tool after lock-downs are lifted and it seems no 'apps' are necessary to do the job.

    Ps
    If Iceland really did find the origin of almost all 'cases' this seems to indicate few got infected while grocery shopping or walking in the mall. I still haven't seen anyone wearing a mask in public. So much for airborne infections?!

    Thanks. Could you elaborate on how schools have been handled? I looked through
    https://www.covid.is/announcements
    but on 4/14 I see talk about schools reopening, but no explicit closure earlier.

    The 3/23 advisory on schools seems quite sensible (hopefully at some point politicians in the US will consider being sensible, it would be a pleasant change). Some example statements.

    It is extremely important that children’s parents and guardians simultaneously reduce the number of people in their children’s contact network outside of school in order to avoid working against these measures.

    Schoolmates who are not in the same group in school (the same class) should not interact closely outside of school.

    P.S. It helps quite a bit to be an island with 364 thousand people rather than a country with land borders and 330 million people.

  41. That sounds like bad news for Track and Trace strategies.

    I’m not an epidemiologist, but I’m guessing that depends what a pre-symptomatic viral load profile looks like.

    If the max viral load is at symptom onset, then it is no doubt positive for some time before that. Then the Track and Trace effectiveness is partly dependent upon the sensitivity of the test to less-than-max viral loads of the recently infected but asymptomatic.

    Of course infected subjects with viral loads below the test sensitivity threshold will not be identified. That gets back to the saying that the Perfect is the enemy of the Good Enough. So what is considered Good Enough test sensitivity to reopen the economy?

  42. @Corvinus
    "When will Steve start writing about how the dangers of this pandemic may have been grossly exaggerated?"

    He won't, and it hasn't been.

    I’ve got an empty 2,000 bed makeshift field hospital at McCormick Place in Chicago that says you’re wrong.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    Because of the social distancing measures put in place and the stay at home orders. That's why the numbers are lower.
  43. If a country clamps down on symptomatic people a higher proportion of spread would then have to be from presymptomatic people.

    Many act as if this potential for presymptomatic spread were some terrifying new capability of this disease. It isn’t. We think people are contagious a few days before symptoms for the same reason we think that of flu- we can detect viral shedding in a mucous membrane at that time. You know what- we still don’t know how much flu transmission occurs at this time in practice because there isn’t a good way to run the experiment and there are too many confounding data.

    You can’t get perfect control of an epidemic. People who cling to testing are hoping for a guarantee. Not possible. All the measures we take are about slowing it down. My position is that we could have afforded to slow it down much less than this

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
  44. @Sean
    Natural caution always does the heavy lifting. The lack of spread of the disease in East Asian countries is not merely due to them having take-charge governments and an obedient population, but also a high level of innate anxiety. Infection by the COVID-19 pathogen in the West moving through the population much slowly than experts modeled is in all probability due to many members of the herd watching the international news and distancing before their government mandated any kind of lockdown.

    The virus in Britain did not spread as fast as any study had anticipated because the various epidemiological models had tendentious reasons to ignore that most people, often consciously, often subliminally, seek out and incorporate information relevant to their individual survival and independently take precautions on their own account.

    The total lockdown will cause extra deaths in the coming winter if there is an epidemic by a more virulent COVID-19 mutation. But neither a high death rate epidemic or immunity against a much more lethal second wave is going to sweep through a real world modern society in which people are made subtly anxious and altered by events on the other side of the globe, as well as in nearby countries.

    We know different people, I guess. Overwhelmingly, the people I know thought it was nothing to worry about and did not change their behavior noticeably until well into March. That is, they followed the government/media/academia propaganda line to a T.

  45. @Inverness
    People can be infectious in the absence of symptoms? You don't say. We've only known this since January.

    And everyone from government agencies to the MSM is pretending they still don't know.

    Well, maybe they're not pretending.

    The FBI submitted dodgy FISA warrant applications on Carter Page? You don’t say. We’ve only known this for eighteen months or so. CBS only found out last Friday.

  46. @ken
    I've got an empty 2,000 bed makeshift field hospital at McCormick Place in Chicago that says you're wrong.

    Because of the social distancing measures put in place and the stay at home orders. That’s why the numbers are lower.

  47. @Inverness
    People can be infectious in the absence of symptoms? You don't say. We've only known this since January.

    And everyone from government agencies to the MSM is pretending they still don't know.

    Well, maybe they're not pretending.

    And everyone from government agencies to the MSM is pretending they still don’t know.

    In Australia, last night was the first time that a national broadcaster (the ABC) showed a chart of deaths by age – which is kind of a ‘pink pill’, since it makes clear that mortality risk for under-60s is as near to zero as makes no odds: the ‘red pill’ is when you delve further and consider how sick the victims are in the older groups.

    Like journalism generally (whether left or right of centre), the ABC is institutionally innumerate (and economically ignorant) and hostage to any self-promoting charlatan who self-refers as an ‘expert’. So they were effectively an amplifier for the braying cockheads like Sanjay Gupta – a guy who spent 30 years as a True Believer Anti-Weed Campaigner… then confessed he hadn’t read any research. (Note that the TIME article from 2009 where he said he would vote against medical weed has been MemoryHoled, as has a HuffPo article “Sanjay Gupta Apologizes for Misleading the Public About Weed” from August 8 2013“).

    Anyway, the chart in question was a slightly-slicker version of this one ->

    Literally the only reason that fucking chart went up, was to score a point against the (pretend-‘conservative’) Prime Minister who has responded to a media chorus[1] that the ‘lockdown’ be reversed, STAT.

    In his Damascene conversion from “nobody move or we’ll all die” to “We will remove lockdowns in about 4 weeks“, Morrison (the PM) simply said that if schools re-opened, teachers are at more risk than kids.

    Then the chart went up, and the host (Leigh [f] Sales) pointed out – smarmily – that teachers are mostly under 60 and there have been fuck-all deaths in Australia under 60 (there has been 1 death in the 50-59s).

    It’s not clear how the fuck she thought that invalidated the PM’s point, but I don’t give a fuck – the image was there for all to see.

    A week ago they were focused on the fact that the global (age-agnostic) CFR was ~4% and the largest age group among positive-tests, was 20-29 … as if that immediately meant that 4% of infected 20-29yo Australians were going to die.

    So the Australian government – responding to innumerate Doomers – has devastated the Australian economy. It has made decisions that directly generated at least 15% unemployment and brought the economy to a standstill – to prevent deaths in chronically-ill over-75s (who have a life expectancy in low single-digits and a HALE of zero).

    The average age of the fatalities in Australia is 79; the median age is 80-something; the modal age is 80-something (for a few of the fatalities, the only publicly available age data is “in his 50s”, “in her 70s” etc), and 84% of fatalities are over 70.

    And it (the ridiculous, excessively-costly reaction) was predictable:

    Even with the terrible terrible (hopeless, woeful) methodologies used to estimate VSL[3], the numbers being talked about for the policy response are absolutely cuckoo – even if government spent money wisely and only did things that worked.

    Ask yourself: what is the actuarially-fair amount of expenditure to undertake to prevent the covid19-related death of a person who has already reached their adult life expectancy? (me, March 14th

    [1] The media chorus is just as fake, and just as ‘made for TV‘, as the corresponding media chorus at the start of this bullshit.

    And the ‘narrative switcheroo’ – including its timing – was predictable:

    Wait until late April when the daily temps on the East Coast of the US start to routinely get into the 20s: this story will be dropped quicker than you can say “Wasn’t there that Mexican-beer virus a week ago?” (me, March 21 (4 days before Victoria imposed initial, limited lockdowns);

    and

    It’s a pity for the Doomers that it’ll be warm soon: the political walk-back is already being pumped out of CNN, CNBC, Fox, Sky News here in Australia, absolutely non-stop (and of course the morning shows for stupid housewives will join the chorus on Monday).

    Another 3 news cycles and they will have brainwashed enough housewives, and it will be “Full speed ahead” as if it never happened. (me, April 11th

    It’s barely 3 full news cycles today[2]. Yesterday the Australian PM finished his conversion; CNN is discussing – as I type – the different ‘Stages’ of lockdown-reversal in the US after Trump’s speech last night.

    [2] A ‘news cycle’ is not 24 hours. It’s the amount of time between changes in the dominant talking point on a specific element of the agreed-upon narrative. 36 hours is about right (on weekdays); nobody thinks up new shit on weekends.

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