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Little Uruguay, Not Many Dead
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Uruguay is a small country on the eastern coast of South America between Argentina and Brazil. Mostly European in demographics, it was long considered the Switzerland of South America because, fearful of the usual local tendency towards dictatorship, it shared power in a plural executive, was early in separating Church and State, in giving votes to women, allowing divorce, and generally being sensible. It has low corruption, high press freedom, a democratic tradition which survived a 70s lapse into military dictatorship, and no terrorism, a good standard of living, and an excellent standard of beaches. In fact, think of a 400-mile beach with an excellent farm attached. In truth, it also has a fine capital city of Montevideo where half the population lives, which gives it a high population density; and Punta del Este, the continent’s premier beach resort, which helps draw in 4 million tourists a year. Agriculture and tourism are major sources of income.

The interest lies in how this country, with only 3.45 million citizens in an area larger than England, has coped with coronavirus, given that it knows with reasonable certainty that the entry point was Montevideo airport on or about 6 March, and is a society in which most people know each other, or at least can trace connections pretty easily. Three arrivals at the airport spread the disease. Two took a 6-hour bus ride north on 8 March, and one already infected lady on 7 March attended a society wedding with 500 guests, and kissed, conversed and danced with enough of them to infect a reported 44 people.

Half of Uruguay’s cases can be traced to that party. One of those infected, a young woman, went to work and infected a male colleague in her office, and that young man passed it on to his mother, a friend of mine, who later recounted her illness in detail. It was over 3 weeks before she felt fully recovered.

The socialite who flew in denied having any knowledge of her infected status, though she had been in Milan in January and fallen ill afterwards, but she was not screened at the airport. She was later reported for having received family visitors while in quarantine. Folklore songs have been composed about her, none of them flattering. Contact tracing has been done on the wedding event but detailed reports are not yet available.

What has happened since?

Coincidentally, on first of March the ruling Left-wing coalition gave way after 15 years to a Centre Right coalition of traditional parties, the more rurally-inclined one celebrating by getting many of its farmers to attend the inauguration on horseback in full gaucho regalia, a spontaneous innovation which was a joy to behold. With only a week’s notice, the newly installed government took advice, and soon went into lockdown. (This had been started progressively the moment cases were announced, with universities, schools, public theatres and cinemas introducing various distancing measures immediately, though the airport was not finally closed till 20 March). Kids at public schools already had a personal computer, so distant learning was already established. Health officials traced contacts, and used widespread testing. Uruguay had had the wit to ensure that the Pasteur Institute, looking for a South American location for a new centre, chose Uruguay (because an ex-president remembered that Uruguay had excused France a post-war bill for meat, and deserved something in return), so test systems were on hand.

http://pasteur.uy/en/home/

The government designed an app so that information could be disseminated by WhatsApp and a system for border control, so that if any flights came in they had advance notice of names and health status.

http://socialdigital.iadb.org/en/covid-19/regional-response/4679

Currently, Uruguay has had 737 cases and 20 deaths. Here are some comparative rates (rates per million, not percentages).

Brazil death rate 79
Argentina death rate of 8.5
Uruguay death rate of 5.8

Uruguay has been 13 times safer than Brazil, where the President is against lockdowns though many state leaders are for it; and a bit safer than Argentina, which also went into lockdown. Brazilian contacts tell me that compliance has been variable, and much lower among the hard-pressed poor, despite welfare payments. Argentine contacts say that compliance was mostly good, and it remains to be seen if it holds up.

By the way, Uruguay is not a culture in which deaths could be covered up. At most, there seem to be 3 degrees of separation. News travels fast, and family connections are strong, so a body on the street would soon have a crowd at a distance sending social media announcements.

How come Uruguay has few cases and very few deaths? As discussed, Uruguay does not have many airline connections with the countries of origin of the infection, and by March the big holiday season influx of tourists was over. The health service is good, and there are strong professional medical links with the US and also with Europe. The new government maintained progress on transition tasks but concentrated heavily on the threat. Social distancing was observed, and the minority of infractions related to walks on the beach or in parks, which is less dangerous. Given that the transfer of power between sharply contrasting political coalitions (ex-terrorist Tupamaros leaving power, landed gentry and business owners taking power) had been peaceful and even convivial, there was a sense of national unity.

Uruguay even took time out to help some cruise ships with Covid patients on board, who had been refused docking in other countries, treating them and then letting the whole lot get into buses to take flights out. To the great surprise of the cruise passengers, who had been refused a berth at other countries, Uruguayans came out at night to clap and cheer them on their way home.

In the last few weeks, before agreeing to lift lockdown, it started up the construction business under strict distancing protocols, and monitored the workers in a large sample of workplaces. Not a single one tested positive. Equally, they let rural primary schools open, finding that they could do so without further outbreaks. They have worked carefully, testing each step of the way.

They have also been conducting research, some of which is already published. A local research group has done some backward tracking on the first cases encountered world-wide, showing it was active earlier than publicly stated.

It is too early to make a final judgment about which countries have done best. The debate will be about which of them got the biggest dose to begin with: airport connectivity and entrepot status. Then some debate about population density, and the age structure. Is Africa doing well because of previous experience with Aids and Ebola, or is it just that it is a very young continent? Did Uruguay benefit from being far away in airline terms from China, and having completed most of its summer tourism by mid-February?

Comparatively, it is wise to have airports which do not connect directly with airports in countries with the infection, nor with other countries which themselves have direct flights to sources of infection. Closing airports is probably the best thing that any country could have done in this pandemic and, though costly in itself, by far the cheapest. It would also have saved most lives. British planners found that option offensive, perhaps on the grounds of it being simple and effective. Early on, they washed their hands of it.

Uruguay is a tantalizing case: if it had closed its airports on 1st March it would most probably not have had any cases.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease, Uruguay 
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  1. dearieme says:

    British planners found that option offensive, perhaps on the grounds of it being simple and effective.

    Weren’t there voices from The Left saying it would be racist?

    The famous strategy document argued against closing airports and also against checking the temperatures of passengers disembarking. Those were recommendations made in calm times.

    In principle any citizen could have looked at the document and cried “Don’t be daft!” But we pay civil servants and politicians so that we shouldn’t need to do that sort of thing.

    Anyway well done, Uruguay. England may not be a good comparator but Scotland, Wales, and NI might be defensible ones. 🙁

    Tell me, does anyone know how Jersey, Guernsey, Man, and Gib have done?

  2. The Urus seem to be a common sense oriented bunch of Europeans. Pragmatic is good. But watch out, now loads of third worlders will be clamoring to immigrate there to use their social safety net as a hammock.

    • Replies: @Sunshine
    , @Joaquin
    , @Joaquin
  3. res says:

    Thanks for the interesting post. One thing, did I miss any mention of possible seasonality of COVID-19 as a factor in limiting the outbreak? Though I have not seen any definitive proof yet, I think that is likely to be important. Same issue applies to Africa and other places in the Southern Hemisphere.

  4. Anon[276] • Disclaimer says:

    JT,

    Trump instituted a Chinese travel ban, which was called racist and xenophobic in late January.

    The Chinese let people from the Wuhan district either stay in that province locked down or fly out of the country. Some 400,000 flew out, many to Europe, and then to the United States from Europe.

    Bill de Blasio and his health czarina-nutjob both encouraged New Yorkers to go to a Manhattan Chinese festival and to “hug a Chinese” person in February, I suppose to make fun of Trump and his Travel Ban, which the media was still saying was stupid. Many rode the subways to this event, and back home thereafter.

    A few weeks later, people are getting sick. We were told that the virus lives on surfaces for a zillion years and could withstand 160 degree tempretures, so to wash our hands everytime we touched something, but that masks were not important in fighting this respiratory virus.

    It was insinuated that Trump was being plain cruel to isolate some passengers from cruise ships who were sick, and even ordering some to stay out at sea a little longer until we were ready to handle them.

    Trump wanted to quarantine the badly hit state of New York, but governor “Cuoma” threw a fit about it, so New Yorkers could still travel to other states and infect everybody.

    The world’s leading epidemiologist from France claimed he had success treating *early stage* covid with hydroxychloriquine plus zinc and axithromycin. The media immediately claimed a 60 year old lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and malaria indication was very dangerous. There were even quickie studies conducted in which hydroxychloroquine ALONE was given to *advanced stage* covid oldies without the zinc and without the azithromycin in which it looked like a dud indication. A rigged study in other words.

    Its been made illegal to go outside in some places despite the fact that higher vitamin D levels are generally helpful against respitory diseases.

    Notice anything? Everything we we told early would have made it worse. Big media is full of Mockingbird CIA and DeepStaters. I think its on purpose. The Israel Times claimed the CIA warned them about a Chinese virus back in November, weeks before the Chinese noted anything themselves. How did they know before the Chinese did?

    Hell is going to be a crowded place. There will be plenty of English screamed there between gnashed teeth, blaming others of course.

  5. Meanwhile there seems to be some evidence that French doctors treated someone for Covid-19 back around November 16, 2019:

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/498087-french-doctors-believe-they-may-have-treated-coronavirus-patients-last-fall

    X-rays obtained exclusively by NBC News show two patients with symptoms in their lungs consistent with the novel coronavirus dated Nov. 16 and Nov. 18, months before COVID-19 was believed to be spreading in the country. Researchers from Colmar, France, announced the X-rays last week and are working to confirm whether the patients had coronavirus.

    It will be interesting to see if this pans out.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  6. @res

    If so, Brazil would have fewer cases than Uruguay.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Beckow
  7. Covid19 Lethality: Unhysterical Data Are Emerging

    The interesting part, IMO, is:

    Moreover, when asked specifically about the current number (prevalence) of those infected in the U.S. (as of April 17-19, 2020), given covid19 cases dating back to January, 2020 (on 1/19/20, the first covid19 case was reported in WA state), lead investigator Silverman commented (14:48-15:05), “at least 10% of the U.S. population”—a minimum of ~33 million Americans infected (current U.S. population equaling 329.5 million). The CFR from these data, 37,938 deaths (per the JHCRC)/33,000,000 cases, or 0.11%—generates a current estimate for covid19 less than half the 0.26% CFR of the 1957-58 H2N2 influenza pandemic.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Hail
  8. jpb999 says:

    I was in Uruguay from 02 March to 30 March on vacation. The new government was hands in to the Infection and very transparent in every aspect. I enjoyed my time with very few restrictions.

  9. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Good point. I wasn’t trying to imply Uruguay wasn’t doing things well. More that they had a (possibly, slightly, somewhat?) easier set of conditions (you noted a few) which potentially included seasonality.

    And if they did have easier conditions, good on them for using that and their superior response otherwise to help the cruise ships.

    Not sure if I have mentioned it in your blog (I have repeatedly in iSteve), but one aspect of seasonality which could help those of us in the Northern Hemisphere is getting a preview of how things change going through the next flu season by watching the Southern Hemisphere.

  10. res says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    I think there are two issues with that excerpt.

    First is I think it would be more accurate to call that an IFR. They are estimating infections, not counting cases.

    Second, I can’t tell for sure, but I think they are making the classic (I can’t count how many times I have seen this, at this point I consider it a sign of bias, as I also consider conflating IFR and CFR) error of calculating the IFR based on current deaths and current infection rate. Since there is a lag between infection and death (three weeks is commonly assumed) that undercounts the death. You need to compare the current deaths with infections three weeks ago. That is a big deal when the epidemic is growing exponentially, but becomes less important during an extended flattening phase like we seem to be in now.

    Maybe I am being unfair, but when I see multiple examples of what looks like bias to me I tend to dismiss a source out of hand and go look for the references they used to see if those are useful. But I find the paragraph containing your excerpt to be filled with links which are inadequately connected with the facts and points being presented so am not even motivated to try to untangle the references.

  11. @Peripatetic Commenter

    I can’t find the links again, but a US Governor(?) claimed he and his wife were sick with Covid symptoms before Thanksgiving and recovered. It turns out they are positive for the virus.

    Italian doctors reported a strange new pneumonia in late November https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/other/coronavirus-strange-pneumonia-seen-in-lombardy-in-november-leading-italian-doctor-says/ar-BB11xyTO

    Of course, ignore Judy Mikovits when she says that Chapel Hill and Fort Detrick were involved with Wuhan, and as Ron Unz has pointed out, US intelligence knew about the outbreak before the Chinese government did.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  12. @Anon

    A rigged study in other words.

    There are plenty of them. The Mayo Clinic claimed it replicated Linus Pauling’s mid 50s trial on terminally ill cancer patients. They didn’t. They gave patients the dosage orally when Pauling gave the dosage intravenously. To no one’s surprise, “Pauling’s” Vitamin C therapy didn’t work.
    The original study had 3 groups 1) conventional treatment; 2) do nothing; and 3) Vitamin C. The Vitamin C group survived the longest. Remember, these were patients declared terminally ill.

    Today’s “Western” medicine (allopathy) isn’t traditional Western medicine. Traditional Western medicine, like traditional Chinese medicine was plant based. “Old wives” and herbalists understood the healing power of plants.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  13. AaronInMVD says: • Website

    I find it very interesting that you neglect to mention the “lockdown” without discussing how very different the “lockdown” here has been from the British and North American ones.

    There was NEVER a mandatory quarantine. Public spectacles were canceled, schools were closed, and the borders were closed with a few exceptions. The nearly all businesses that closed did it WITHOUT government orders.

    The malls here closed because the council of mall owners decided to do it, after the government requested they do some. No small businesses were forcibly closed. A handful of unionized labor groups negotiated special vacation early in the fog while “what comes next?” was an open question.

    There was only one evening of panic purchases immediately after the first cases were announced. The following weeks were quiet as folks stayed inside of their own volition. The police actually had their hands tied, they could request “agglomerations” disperse, but were forbidden from doing anything other than asking.

    Here in Pocitos there are even a handful of barber shops that didn’t close. Many kioskos never closed. The horses also ran this weekend for the Battle of Las Piedras day races albeit with empty stands. Unlike in the one time “first world”, the government here under President Luis Lacalle Pou emphasized from the start that keeping the motors of the economy running and defending liberty would be the priorities. As a point of fact Luis Lacalle Pou’s principles in addressing COVID19 have been far closer to Jair in Brasil than Alberto in Argentina.

    The lack of an actual lockdown in our “lockdown” lead to substantial criticism towards Lacalle Pou from PIT-CNT and the rest of the local left.

    The truth of the matter is that Lacalle Pou is probably the best sitting President in the Americas, and he’s better than anyone western Europe can put forth. Uruguay is the first world now, and it’s probably all that is left of the free world.

    Of course, everything could go to hell in June when normal cold and flu season arrives.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman, Mike Tre
  14. In early March in Punta del Este it was difficult to buy alcohol hand gel and masks in pharmacies. I got my masks in a hardware store in Maldonado. We seem to differ in our assessment of whether lockdown was compulsory. It was certainly widespread, with some infractions.
    Lacalle Pou is a good quality leader, well supported by professional advisors, and his performance has been exemplary. I know that the First World/Third World issue still rankles, but should no longer do so. Yes, we have to wait another year to look at the overall outcome, but Uruguay has had a very good first half.

  15. @Anon

    The Chinese let people from the Wuhan district either stay in that province locked down or fly out of the country. Some 400,000 flew out, many to Europe, and then to the United States from Europe.

    Not so. Human-to-human transmission was confirmed on January 21 and the last flight left Wuhan on January 22.

    Besides, Covid-19 was already circulating widely in the US in November, as this video attests (stay to the end and you’ll understand why we have not heard about this):

    • Thanks: Kratoklastes
  16. @Curmudgeon

    See the video of that mayor in #15, below.

    • Thanks: Curmudgeon
  17. @Curmudgeon

    I’ve been searching for written information on the Pauling case. Do you have a source for your account?

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  18. AaronInMVD says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    I stocked up on the Ancap 95% rectified liquid alcohol and FFP2 masks late February (This is another point on which Uruguay is extremely free should someone bring up Sweden, the 95% is labeled potable and safe for culinary uses). Shortages of alcohol in gel didn’t last long in Pocitos or Buceo. The liquid though only recently returned to shelves here in appreciable quantity.

    The Prefectura and the Republicana on the Rambla had been as friendly as they every were. The nag-o-copter flights suggesting people get off the beach were short lived. I’m curious who got hit for “lockdown infractions”, because I have not seen or heard about anything targeting people who did not have confirmed, active cases. I can think of a handful of bar/restaurants that never underwent an extended closure though they did reconfigure.

    I hate to repeat the local left’s talking points, but almost everything came down from the government as exhortations with very few orders. From a legal perspective, this is far closer to the “Swedish model” than anything in the US or Western Europe. That the Uruguayos are very obedient people doesn’t transform exhortations into a UK style police state.

  19. @James Thompson

    Well, even so, Uruguay sounds like a nice place. Bien, aun así, parece que Uruguay es un lugar agradable.

  20. 22pp22 says:

    This exactly parallels the case in NZ where the left-wing, ultra PC government Jacinda Ardern has the good sense to close the airports.

    Now – 1 person in hospital
    21 – dead
    35 active cases

    Winter is kicking in. I hope it does not flare up now we are free to live our lives again.

    • Replies: @JRB
  21. SFG says:
    @James Thompson

    It’s about as close to the First World as you get in the Third World, from what I know.

  22. dearieme says:

    Here’s an interview with Professor Sunetra Gupta of Oxford. Interesting stuff.

    • Agree: idrankwhat
    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @res
    , @utu
  23. @dearieme

    Yes. Saw it a few days ago, and had some point of difference, which I have now forgotten. Too sunny to comment on at the moment.

  24. res says:
    @dearieme

    Thanks. For those who prefer text see the accompanying article at.
    https://unherd.com/2020/05/oxford-doubles-down-sunetra-gupta-interview/

    This seems to be the key point:

    Asked what her updated estimate for the Infection Fatality Rate is, Professor Gupta says, “I think that the epidemic has largely come and is on its way out in this country so I think it would be definitely less than 1 in 1000 and probably closer to 1 in 10,000.” That would be somewhere between 0.1% and 0.01%.

    She gets to that by assuming an earlier arrival of the disease and a large body of undetected infection. Does anyone have a paper link for her doing this calculation?

    Do you find those numbers plausible? I find it very hard to credit a 0.01% IFR estimate. But if that were true it would change everything. 0.1% seems in the range of possibility, but low probability to me.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  25. 0.1% seems in the range of possibility, but low probability to me.

    That is in the region, Johan Giesecke and Anders Tegnell are talking about – and German epidemiologists Wodarg, Streeck, and Professor em. for microbiology Sucharit Bhakdi from Mainz University et. al. – they also agree with Sunetra Gupta in saying that the big threat of CO-19 in Europe is over.

    (I just want to add, that the success of Albania with it’s very close ties to Northern Italy is usually overlooked – death toll so far: 11 per million. The measures taken were strict and fast (no flights, no ferries to Italy, police-backed lockdown).

    • Replies: @Hail
  26. Maybe 3.5 million people is just the right number for a nation. I have been experiencing it myself this week meeting everybody else in Wales thinking seriously about masks from ICU nurses to carers (Downs’ syndrome and dementia sufferes cannot understand masks) to GP’s to public health officials. 70 people in a video meeting is everyone. They are all going to be the same peopl ein 10 years time so you need to be civil and work for consensus.

    These are the results for my small country. Good beach here too but it’s an hour away by foot. No cars allowed allowed right now.

  27. Dr Harry Cohen, advisor to the Uruguayan government, was asked by a journalist if the Uruguayan Covid statistics could be trusted. He said there were only two numbers that were hard to fake or cover up: the number of people in intensive care beds, and the number of dead.
    Compared to that, the absolute number of infected persons in the population is harder to judge, but the random samples suggest that the percentages are low. In the UK, below 5% it would seem. Better figures will be obtained when antibody testing is carried out on a large scale.

    Albania: 10.8 per million. Good by European standards, certainly, and given proximity to Italy with 545 per million, an absolute triumph. No flights, no ferries: who would have thought that might make a difference?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @LondonBob
    , @HA
  28. dearieme says:

    Today’s Telegraph carried a story revealing that Experts were recommending a return to hospitals devoted to infectious diseases. It seems to me that Colonel Thompson’s Light Infantry had reached that conclusion ages ago.

    Experts? Pah!

  29. @James Thompson

    I agree. Crunching other numbers i come up with a 3.5-5% attack rate (succesful infection) for Wales. The range is due to uncertainty that the whole rural population was ever exposed. Given the larger area of Uraguay that uncertainty would apply even more there. I really want beef stew now! Also to pack my rucsac and walk to the beach for a barbecque.

  30. Vietnam claims they have 0 deaths.

    who believes some of these numbers?

    i certainly don’t believe Uruguay, or any other third world pissant country.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
    , @Parfois1
    , @Uncoy
  31. Nice piece: good to have a little light along with the heat.

  32. appreciated this article

  33. Alfred says:
    @res

    I think it would be more accurate to call that an IFR. They are estimating infections, not counting cases

    Sampling is a very accurate statistical method for getting numbers out of a large population. You don’t have to test everyone to increase the accuracy to any degree. But you have to pick the size of samples carefully. In Hawaii, the percentage tested should be greater than in California to get the same degree of confidence in the result. Elementary mathematical statistics my dear Watson. 🙂

    • Replies: @res
  34. JRB says:
    @Anon

    Mostly agree with what you say here. One point to add: since its now nearly certain that some French and Italian athletes came back infected with an early version of COVID-19 from the military games in Wuhan at the end of October (we now know there were cases in November in the Southern Alsace) and we also heard enough rumors now that at least four American athletes were admitted to a hospital in Wuhan, it’s not beyond the capacity of the CIA to write a report in November that there was a problem in Wuhan with viruses and lung disease.

    • Replies: @Parfois1
  35. Alfred says:

    I do wish Gates would take over a small country like Uruguay and try out his experiments there.

    Why doesn’t he vaccinate himself and his own kids first?

    What a scumbag of a psychopathic piece of merde!

    Gates Claims The Shutdown Must Include States with Only 200 Cases – No Regard for People | Armstrong Economics

    • Replies: @Uncoy
  36. JRB says:
    @22pp22

    It’s quite clear now that the virus spreads easily in dry weather with temperatures between 5 and 12 degrees Celsius, not so much in warmer weather. I suspect that New Zealand has a classical flu season, especially on the South Island. It would be wise to be extra careful in this period, especially with so called super spreading events in places with low ceilings and bad ventilation. Note also that in Europe at least twenty thousand, maybe even fifty thousand have died in nursing homes mainly because of bad or ill-maintained ventilation systems.

  37. Covid-19 is a massive hoax. It does not exist. Health authorities world wide are merely reclassifying deceased people in nursing homes as “covid deaths” and the mass media is hyping up insane levels of hysteria over “covid” death stats that really equal that of the flu.

    But the real plan all along was to crash western economies through insane lockdowns and shut downs, impoverish the west totally and universally, construct a massive totalitarian surveillance super state, and probably sell the solution as world war with Russia, China, and Iran.

    In the early stages of this hoax the media would not even permit the discussion of economic fallout of these actions. Yet the economic collapse will be the real health pandemic as people suicide, die, and OD on drugs, not to mention the starvation and enduring despair.

    The only reason China, Russia, and Iran played along with this silly hoax is because they could see that the West would be the real casualty. As soon as that was clear they dropped this dumb silly fairy tale and are back to business while we in the West get handled with kiddie gloves by all these cunt mommy governers who have popped up all over the place overseeing the controlled demolition of the West.

    • Agree: Alfred, CanSpeccy
  38. utu says:
    @dearieme

    Professor Sunetra Gupta? Very low IFR necessitates high IR (infection rate) which necessitates much earlier start of the epidemic which further necessitates low or moderate R0 and that is where she stumbles. We know from various places that R0 was high in early stages when the doubling period of daily deaths was two to three days. So when she is asked about R0 she avoids committing to any number and makes statement that to me seems to be false:

    “I think you can’t calculate R in the absence of knowledge of how many people are immune.” (19:30)

    • Replies: @Alfred
    , @res
  39. The total COVID-19 related deaths for Malawi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania which have a total population 181.57 million stands at 74.

    • Replies: @Alfred
    , @Jim Bob Lassiter
  40. LondonBob says:
    @James Thompson

    Most people don’t have antibodies, even then London had 17% with antibodies according to the serology tests Hancock said they have done.

    • Thanks: Parfois1
    • Replies: @450.org
    , @res
  41. Thomasina says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Amazing Polly has put out a new video regarding the President of Madagascar defending his country’s use of a plant-based cure for Covid-19. Of course, he is being severely criticized for this stance. I forget the name of the plant in question, but it’s been long used for treating malaria.

    In the video she also features the President of Tanzania saying that they wanted to test the “testers” by providing them anonymous samples of blood. One sample was from a goat and another from a bird, and they all came back positive for Covid-19.

    Check it out; it’s a good listen.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Replies: @acementhead
  42. Beckow says:
    @James Thompson

    Too short timeframe. People can get it now or they can get it later – or isolate until a ‘cure’. One’s body creating anti-bodies works the best, except for the elderly.

    In Europe the small country Slovakia (5.5 million people) has had 28 deaths and a little over 1,000 cases, most asymptomatic. The testing has been very extensive, medical care is universal and totally unconnected to the US overkill medical methods. That helped, Slovakia has the lowest numbers in Europe. It is similar in size to Uruguay, but it is in the centre of Europe with surrounding countries having an order of magnitude more cases and deaths. We had a lot of tourists, skiers and travel all the way through early March. Then the border was shut, masks outside became mandatory, and patients were treated with common sense, not ventilators. We also don’t have almost any Third World migrants who seem to be especially hard hit by corona in Western Europe, and logically are probably among its main spreaders.

    Nobody is celebrating here, we know that it will come in the next wave. Maybe the ones exposed to corona this time with few symptoms are the lucky ones.

    • Agree: Adûnâi
    • Replies: @Adûnâi
    , @anon
    , @Parfois1
  43. Did Uruguay benefit from being far away in airline terms from China, and having completed most of its summer tourism by mid-February?

    Maybe the country was spared because the Bush family and a few other Oligarchs have compounds there.

    Is Africa doing well because of previous experience with Aids and Ebola, or is it just that it is a very young continent?

    Perhaps the fasting regime most Africans follow, not by choice in many cases, strengthens their immune response. Not entirely out of the realm of possibility, in most parts of Africa, they don’t consume as much processed crap as their cousins who migrated north or south to better economies. It could be that living nearer the Equator helps their bodies overcome the effects of melanin and generate more vitamin D. It could also be that their public health statistics simply suck.

  44. Alfred says:
    @utu

    I think you can’t calculate R in the absence of knowledge of how many people are immune.

    This statement is perfectly correct. R0 is a variable and it decreases as herd immunity (those with antibodies to Covid-19 or similar viruses) progresses in the population. The only way to determine R0 is the number of people with antibodies.

    What is the problem with that? Still trying to confuse people? 🙂

  45. Alfred says:
    @Phil the Fluter

    The total COVID-19 related deaths for Malawi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania which have a total population 181.57 million stands at 74.

    But wait till Bill Gates gives them his special vaccine. As for their fertility, that is another matter entirely. 😂

  46. Seems to be a general pattern that small countries – Uruguay, Iceland, NZ – with high social solidarity seem to do well with #coronavirus.

    That said: Montevideo – 2M people; Buenos Aires – 15M people. This banal fact may explain most or all the difference with Argentina?

  47. Neoconned says:

    Uruguay would be a good place for Boers and other white South Africans to immigrate to in order to get the hell out of Africa.

    • Replies: @Truth
  48. Maybe, and this is just a wild guess, maybe Uruguay has so few Covert19 cases, because they do not give their hospitals $19 000 for every case they report?

  49. Alfred says:

    Coronavirus: ‘Only 10% of Italians have developed antibodies

    This is a typical piece of BBC/Times propaganda. Making a truthful assertion while hiding the full story.

    Any ordinary bod who reads this article will assume that the whole population of Italy needs to get infected and develop antibodies before herd immunity is achieved. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have repeatedly stated on unz.com that 20% is probably sufficient. It might be lower but it will never be much higher – due to the structure and interactions in any human society.

    I suspect that Italy is very close to herd immunity. The chart below is what the lying Times does not want its readers to see. Heavens! They might do some critical thinking!

    • Agree: idrankwhat, CanSpeccy
    • Thanks: Ann Nonny Mouse
    • Replies: @Parfois1
  50. Uncoy says: • Website
    @Alfred

    It’s astonishing that someone rolled out Bill Gates in sweater, corduroys and soft-collared shirt as some kind of latter day Mr Rogers to tell us fairytales about vaccines. The man personally funded campaigns which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths due to vaccine experiments gone wrong in the third world – and now he’d like to persuade us to try something new.

    And none of that covers how MS Windows was the original forbidden fruit for intelligence agencies with secret partitions on hard drives with built-in exploits.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  51. @Anon

    Enough of your racism against Chinese and Asians already. It’s getting tiring.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  52. Uruguay, with an European culture, a very low level of density, with hardly any indios and less than 5% blacks and miniscule number of chinamen is bound to have its share of sensible leaders that can protect its population … but who held that large wedding party that could have had a very grave consequences.

    Was it a Hasidim gathering like the ones in Brooklyn?

  53. @res

    In looking again at that blog posting, I found this:

    It is understandable, during the early throes of an outbreak like covid19 disease, that rapid tests which detect (ostensibly) “live virus antigen” (i.e., specific fragments of its genetic code “RNA”), in readily accessible body fluids (eg., from the throat, or mouth), among the most ill, are prioritized, often to the exclusion of blood seroprevalence antibody testing.

    That suggests that the author is confused about some fundamental things.

    On the other hand, IFR is highly likely to be less than CFR, while using the current death count goes in the other direction, but it seems that there are a very much larger number of people with mild or no symptoms from this thing than those needing hospital care.

    Since the current CDC numbers suggest that we are at or perhaps past the peak (I have been watching them for a while now) we may be able to use the current numbers as a proxy for the final death count.

  54. @Derek Jeter

    Enough of using meaningless terms like racism</b.

    It's getting tiresome.

  55. Patric says:

    How does the author of this article know all these details about how the ‘virus’ first entered the country. I think the short answer is he does not so therefore I had a hard time even finishing reading his article. This is the kind of hocus pocus that is always wheeled out in these bogus ‘outbreaks’ Patient X Patient Y etc etc blah blah blah

    • Replies: @Republic
  56. res says:
    @Alfred

    Do you know the difference between IFR and CFR? Because I don’t think you addressed my point at all.

    https://www.virology.ws/2020/04/05/infection-fatality-rate-a-critical-missing-piece-for-managing-covid-19/

    we need to understand the difference between case fatality rate (CFR) and infection fatality rate (IFR). CFR is the ratio of the number of deaths divided by the number of confirmed (preferably by nucleic acid testing) cases of disease. IFR is the ratio of deaths divided by the number of actual infections with SARS-CoV-2.

    P.S. I would hope my comments here make clear I already know what you tried to explain to me. In case not, I’ll just note that the sample size required varies as the square root of N.

  57. Alfred says:
    @Uncoy

    The man personally funded campaigns which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths due to vaccine experiments gone wrong in the third world

    The details of the Gates’ horrendous vaccines in India and Africa have been well hidden. In these places, a few million dollars strategically doled out can effect miracles. Case material disappears. Witnesses vanish. Judges become absent-minded. And lawyers look forward to their rewards on this earth.

    Gates is an insider. No other insider is ever going to criticize him. Only outsiders can do that. But outsiders are denied attention by the media and they have limited funds.

    MS Windows was the original forbidden fruit for intelligence agencies

    I still have Windows 7 Pro on my PC. But that does not mean that it is secure in any way. I just hope it is not as bad as Windows 10. I really cannot understand why the Russians or Chinese don’t develop an OS with a similar user interface and give it away. It is not that difficult if it is thought out properly.

    • Agree: Parfois1
    • Thanks: Uncoy
  58. 450.org says:
    @LondonBob

    And, even those with antibodies doesn’t mean they’re the good antibodies that actually neutralize the virus rather than the bad antibodies that actually are used by the virus to proliferate. Yes, corona viruses can use antibodies to their benefit.

    This excellent article explains the complexities of antibodies and antibody testing.

    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/4/28/21237922/antibody-test-covid-19-immunity

    Most antibody tests just test for the presence of antibodies, not the quality of them.

    Add to this the quality of the antibody tests and it’s clear herd immunity is a mountain too high.

    • Thanks: Parfois1
  59. Uruguay and other countries taking the pandemic seriously took the right way, there is no doubt about that. Without a lockdown the economic situation would be even worse than it is. Some people think that people only know and do what the government tells them to do and newspapers say, and that nobody would notice that there is a pandemic in the world if the newspapers didn’t tel them about that. But this is not true.

    If there was no lockdown people would be even more afraid than they are, there would be hard conflicts as many people would think that they are being sacrificed for profits, the virus would spread faster. We would be in the middle of a complete caos. Only a lockdown can save the economy. Countries which did it are now in a better position and can beginn to open their economy.

    • Replies: @AaronInMVD
  60. res says:
    @utu

    Good point. In the quote you give she is clearly talking about Re and not R0. And since (IIRC) she was explicitly asked about R0 that reply seems evasive because I am sure she knows the difference.

    To add to your point, her quote and assumption of early unknown infections would imply that the early estimates would have been underestimates of R0 (since there were already infections out there by her account and they would be measuring the reduced Re).

    Her reasoning seems off, and her 0.01% IFR conclusion seems implausible to me given the data, which is why I would really like to find a reference to a paper with more details about her estimates. Presumably she would be averse to making unsupportable claims in a formal paper.

    • Agree: utu
  61. ariadna says:
    @James Thompson

    Alcohol –straight or in gel– was difficult to get the first couple of weeks because the ANCAP factory that produces it (among other things) was shut down but the government acted swiftly and reopened that portion and ever since the alcohol in whatever form can be bought anywhere. Lacalle Pou’s administration has been nothing less than exemplary in this and just about anything else.

    • Agree: AaronInMVD
  62. res says:
    @LondonBob

    Thanks. Sounds like 2-3x might be a good heuristic for estimating infection rate from antibody tests then.

    BTW, worth mentioning that the article estimates a herd immunity threshold of about 80%. This implies an R0 of 5 which is at the high end of estimates.

    Do you have a paper link for his numbers? I’d like to look at the details.

    Consider this article and its headline:
    Study Finds Nearly Everyone Who Recovers From COVID-19 Makes Coronavirus Antibodies
    https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/05/07/study-finds-nearly-everyone-who-recovers-from-covid-19-makes-coronavirus-antibodies/

    Reading down into the text we find (emphasis mine):

    In their study of blood drawn from 285 people hospitalized with severe COVID-19, researchers in China, led by Ai-Long Huang, Chongqing Medical University, found that all had developed SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies within two to three weeks of their first symptoms.

    Gee, do you think severity makes a difference for whether or not antibodies are developed?

    Interestingly, this paper seems to claim it does not. But given that they tested confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases I suspect they did not get a good look at the mildest infections.
    SARS-CoV-2 Antibody responses do not predict COVID-19 disease severity
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.15.20103580v1

  63. “Closing airports is probably the best thing that any country could have done in this pandemic ”

    I very much concur. In a comment on another Unz article I lay out the case for Australia and come to that conclusion.

    For all of you amateur researchers out there are some very interesting numbers at worldometer to investigate.
    For example Sweden, Belarus, Singapore all have around 30 000 total cases, but the death counts are vastly different: 3925, 190 and 23 respectively.

    Possible reasons for the vast (apparent) differences in death rate per infection:
    -Total cases reported very inaccurate (Swedes really much greater?)
    -Age demographics (Swedes more elderly)
    -Lockdowns (Swedes less locked and locked down people don’t die as much!?)
    -vulnerability of nursing homes
    -Different methods of reporting COVID deaths
    -lies

    I have searched the reported mortalities in Singapore via news reports and found about half have either hypertension, usually with high cholesterol and diabetes or heart disease.
    Average age about 78.
    Please post the results here thanks.

  64. “If there was no lockdown people would be even more afraid than they are, there would be hard conflicts as many people would think that they are being sacrificed for profits, the virus would spread faster. We would be in the middle of a complete caos. Only a lockdown can save the economy. Countries which did it are now in a better position and can beginn to open their economy.”

    logic is on lockdown in this quote.

    how in god’s name can anyone say such garbage when the pandemics of 57′ and 68′ proved otherwise.

    is this a visitor from that nasa parallel universe i read about the other day?

  65. ariadna says:

    Thank you for a superb article, Mr. Thompson.
    I am an ex-pat living in Montevideo for almost 9 years now and I have nothing but admiration and respect for the Uruguayan mentality in general, their reaction to adversity–humane solidarity and empathy on display in the case of the cruiser, and for their generosity.
    The new government is a blessing. I hope your article gets translated and circulated here. I myself plan to send it to Lacalle Pou.
    My only fear was that the borders with Brasil and Argentina would be opened too soon. Punta del Este (and also Colonia), depending almost entirely on the tourists from Argentina and Brazil, has been hit hard by the lockdown and the closing of the borders. I was relieved to hear that in his press conference they other day Lacalle Pou detailed the plan to advance cautiously: if and only if no new increase in infections occurs, open on October 1. If there is a setback, postpone until December. Worst case scenario: wait until next year.
    .

  66. Emily says:
    @Anon

    The world’s leading epidemiologist from France claimed he had success treating *early stage* covid with hydroxychloriquine plus zinc and axithromycin

    Many of the trials of this were deliberately ‘sabotaged’.
    It is no longer under licence and can be produced for pennies – denying big pharma mega profits as they tried to push the Gilead/Rumsfield Ebola drug at massive mark up and thousands in price.
    A British company is reported as starting to make the stuff in large quantities.
    Yesterday the NHS here in Britain started a trial of the Hydroxychlorinequine on its staff as a preventative.
    It will be interesting to see what happens.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/21/hydroxychloroquine-nhs-staff-take-drug-part-global-trial-coronavirus
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52737169

  67. Mike P says:

    The only real difference that these country statistics measure is that in the mendacity of official health statistics. It is totally absurd and impossible for Belgium to have a death rate eight times higher than adjacent Germany.

    Note the correlation of death rate and magnitude of past fake terror events. UK, France, Belgium all had big fake terror events, and now they have big fake virus death counts.

    Aspiring emigrants, look carefully at these statistics – pick a country with low fake death counts as your destination.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Marshall Lentini
  68. Republic says:
    @Patric

    Patient #1 was Carmela Hontou,who had just returned from a trip to Spain.

  69. Mike P says:

    A close relative works as a hospital physician in a country in central Europe. The hospital in question is responsible for a population of approximately 150-200,000.

    At the peak, this hospital had 7 Covid patients; the number has since dropped to 0, although now and then 1-2 patients do show up. Death count at this hospital for the entire time is a big fat Zero.

    There may of course have been some deaths outside this hospital, for example in some senior care institutions. However, the low number and severity of cases in the hospital – only 1 patient required ICU care – does suggest that overall the severity is not great. There are many infectious disease specialists who have looked at the numbers and come to that same conclusion. It is about time for paying attention to them.

  70. AaronInMVD says: • Website
    @UncommonGround

    Once again, there was no mandatory lockdown here in Uruguay, much to the consternation of the local left. The government made exhortations, the police had their hands tied, and the Uruguayos simply followed the government’s recommendations. The only actual closure orders involved schools and “public spectacles.” Even the malls closed not because of a government order, but because the mall owners all sat down and agreed to do it.

    Schools open back up here in June.

    The government from the start emphasized the importance of keeping the motors of the economy running, and President Luis Lacalle Pou has also declared several times that preservation of personal liberty has been guiding his decisions to prefer requests to orders.

    One huge open question here is whether or not tourism meaningfully returns as it had been a reliable intake of about 2 billion USD in foreign income to the country. Historically much of this had been from Argentina, but in recent years Brasil’s portion has grown substantially as Argentina’s economy has begun the journey from rivaling Angola’s before last fall’s election towards contracting towards an economy more like South Sudan’s.

    If you want a nearby point of comparison to see what an actual “lockdown” does, look at Argentina. They have one of the strongest in the world. Let us see next June who handled this panic better, Lacalle Pou with “Please stay home if you can and please wear masks indoors” versus Fernandez “Fuck you, police in the streets and mandatory quarantine UK/NY/Chicago style” though… I suspect this will be a very unfair comparison.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  71. Mike P says:

    A careful study done by virologists in Germany showed the following: Coronavirus RNA could readily be detected on doorknobs etc. – however, no live virus could be cultivated from such samples..

    Add in the fact that the virus can’t multiply on our skin, but only within our respiratory mucous membranes, and it is clear that surface contamination plays no role in transmission. Accordingly, all this disinfection business is just irrelevant.

    This is perfectly typical of viruses with a particle structure of this kind – they are just very fragile and simply don’t survive for long in the environment. There are viruses that are more resistant; e.g. you can contract hepatitis A or polio by playing in a contaminated sandbox. However, you cannot contract yellow fever, influenza, or Coronavirus in this manner.

    • Thanks: Alfred
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  72. Alfred says:
    @450.org

    Add to this the quality of the antibody tests and it’s clear herd immunity is a mountain too high

    Where’s the problem? This company has a good solution. Soon, there will be others.

    BTW, we are well past the peak – in case you have not noticed.

    The serology test has a specificity greater than 99.8% and sensitivity of 100% (14 Days post-PCR confirmation)

    Roche’s COVID-19 antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization and is available in markets accepting the CE mark

  73. @AaronInMVD

    It looks like a better lock down than the American one without an official govt lock down order.

    Argentinian govt got fucked just like how the Brazilian one did. Elections are easily influenced by the 3 letter agencies.

  74. Miro23 says:

    The government from the start emphasized the importance of keeping the motors of the economy running, and President Luis Lacalle Pou has also declared several times that preservation of personal liberty has been guiding his decisions to prefer requests to orders.

    This is very good – involving treating the public as adults not children.

    It may not always work, but congratulations to Uruguay. The totalitarian inclined British government would NEVER follow this line. People get the governments they deserve, with the whole of the UK (and its media) filled with ninnies shouting for new laws, controls, lockdowns and arrests.

  75. Dumbo says:
    @prime noticer

    i certainly don’t believe Uruguay, or any other third world pissant country.

    Just by this comment, it is clear that you are a bit of a moron, without knowledge or interest in the world at large, even as the U.S. is slowly but surely becoming “third world” as well. So much that those old categories don’t even mean anything anymore, if they ever did. (What’s “second world” anyway).

    I personally have more trust in news from Uruguay (or Vietnam) than in anything coming from the U.S. government or media.

  76. Mike P says:
    @450.org

    Add to this the quality of the antibody tests and it’s clear herd immunity is a mountain too high.

    Herd immunity happens with any virus. Why would this one be different?

    Antibodies are always produced in a scattershot manner – there always are multiple clones that recognize each of the antigens on the virus particle surface. Not all clones are neutralizing, but enough of them are – this is why you don’t get measles twice, and this is also why you won’t get this blasted Covid twice.

    • Agree: idrankwhat
  77. Truth says:
    @Neoconned

    Uruguay would be a good place for Boers and other white South Africans to immigrate to in order to get the hell out of Africa.

    Death! Destruction! Dude you should see the plague of satanic locusts flying around over there…

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/29/trust-me-mr-president-white-south-africans-are-doing-just-fine-219614

    https://www.huckmag.com/art-and-culture/photography-2/sydelle-willow-smith-south-africa-white-privilege/

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  78. Anon[328] • Disclaimer says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Godfree,

    Same Anon here. The Chinese did indeed allow flights out of the country. Im practically certain I had covid in December. Our company trades all over the earth, extensively in Asia. We are worldwide. Lasted 3-4 days. I had a purple sore on the top of a foot, temp, aches, strep-like-sore-throat, and it was a cough-a-thon. I took a buncha’ antivirals (elderberry gummies, ginger, garlic, zinc, C, black pepper, throat lozenges-constantly, and dayquil at work). I, of course, thought it was just a bad flu at the time, but after learning later sores on feet was a covid symptom realized what I assuredly had (have never had a sore on my foot). It was a tough bug to be sure. I dont wish it on anybody-worldwide. I think it was probably a deep state operation to screw the economy up to defeat Trump first, throw sand in China’s gears second, institute more accepted top-down social folkaways globally third, get vaccinations to be accepted fouth, and take a swipe at Iran’s leadership (they hit their target here, several upper-crust Iranian deaths) fifth.

    Its been fairly successful towards those ends so far. Fight is far from over on a few of those fronts.

  79. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Isn’t the correct inference from the experience of Uruguay that circumstances alter cases? As you say, the country is a gigantic beach with a farm attached, i.e., a place where social distancing happens almost automatically. The important question, and I don’t think the case of Uruguay considered alone can possibly answer it, is whether, by the time the epidemic is over, any country will have gained anything as a result of the lockdown.

    Certainly, when one factors in the economic cost of lockdowns and the impact that that cost will have on mortality due to causes other than covid-19, it remains possible that Sweden will ultimately prove to have been the country handling the infection in the most sane, humane, and economically sound way.

    Were you aware, incidentally, that the title of your piece resonates strongly with the one for which Malcolm Muggeridge, when a Manchester Guardian journalist, won a small contest with colleagues for the most boring news headline of the week:

    Small Earthquake in Chile: Not Many Dead.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  80. HA says:
    @James Thompson

    “Dr Harry Cohen, advisor to the Uruguayan government, was asked by a journalist if the Uruguayan Covid statistics could be trusted. He said there were only two numbers that were hard to fake or cover up: the number of people in intensive care beds…”

    It is worth nothing that the number of people in intensive care beds is easy to manipulate so as to fake a narrative — all you have to do is deny people access to those beds. Remember, you’ll never overload the system if you deny enough people access to the system. That’s socialized medicine 101.

    That seems to be how Sweden avoided its much-predicted meltdown that never materialized — they issued protocols encouraging health care workers to hold off sending sick elderly people into hospitals and to instead simply dope them up with morphine and let them die (morphine, being a muscle relaxant, hastens death for pneumonia patients struggling to breathe, but at least it makes them less aware of what is happening). You play that game often enough with a disease like this, and you’ll always have plenty of spare ICU beds.

    It’s a cheat, of course, but it is one that Cuomo notoriously played in New York (as did the Irish government). In those cases, nursing homes were forced by the government to accept sick residents.

  81. @Godfree Roberts

    Last flight out of Wuhan was 22 January you say. But so what if people could fly out of China after that? What was Pres Trump being criticised for banning visitors from China as late as 1 February if there weren’t any?

  82. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    I find it very hard to credit a 0.01% IFR estimate. But if that were true it would change everything. 0.1% seems in the range of possibility, but low probability to me.

    We’ll never know what the rate is. Deaths are being attributed to Covid on the basis of what in most cases, are perfunctory judgments by doctors with little interest in corpses when surrounded by sick people needing urgent attention.

    What is clear, though, is that in terms of lost years of life, the impact of covid is trivial relative to automobile accidents, for example, or suicide. Since we don’t shut the economy down to reduce car crashes or suicides, it makes no sense to do so for the new corona virus.

    Perhaps the true story of Covid-19 is that it is a Chinese Fifth Generation Warfare attack to take down the US of A, and it seems to be working like a charm.

    First, China develops a highly infectious, but barely pathogenic virus and release it upon the world.

    Second, China floods the Internet with horrific images of Chinese people collapsing on the streets, convulsing and dying; of vast corona virus hospitals going up over night; of crowded city streets immersed in clouds of disinfectant from huge spray trucks, etc.

    Third, the West teeters at the edge of sanity before plunging on the basis of idiotic academic models from a corrupt academia into the abyss of economic self-destruction seeking to slow the spread of a viral infection that causes no serious harm to 99% of the population.

    Fourth, China orders its people back to work.

    Fifth, China emerges as the world’s largest economy, even as measured in the highly unrealistic comparative unit of the $US.

    Sixth, America and Europe collapse into a condition of mass unemployment and economic decline as the combination of Covid-induced depression, educational system corruption, and health decline due to effects of a toxic diet of of cheap fat, sugar, and refined starch packaged in desirable form by Coke, Pepsi, MacDonald’s Heinz-Kraft and all the other great companies owned by Warren Buffet and America’s other wonderful billionaires in pink sweaters.

    Game over.

    • Agree: Alfred, Achmed E. Newman
    • Disagree: Emily
  83. @Alfred

    “What does it matter if a few foreigners die when we are serving the god of science?”

  84. @res

    Tell that to Alabama.

    • Replies: @res
  85. Adûnâi says:
    @Beckow

    > “In Europe the small country Slovakia (5.5 million people) has had 28 deaths and a little over 1,000 cases, most asymptomatic. The testing has been very extensive, medical care is universal and totally unconnected to the US overkill medical methods.”

    That is some fascinating news from Slovakia, thanks! I wonder whether your people consider wearing the masks a sign of slavery? This is the view of the Americans, and of my countrymen Little Russians. Look at them arguing in the comments of this news article announcing the lifting of the lockdown! They are calling each other names, and spamming parentheses, and serving the forces of Chaos.

    Are you judging by yourself? )))
    You seem narrow-brained, you are dumb like the Russian-chromosomed.

    https://censor.net.ua/news/3197243/ukraina_pereshla_k_adaptivnoyi_modeli_karantina_infografika

    Do the Slovaks have a higher IQ than this Slavic trash?

  86. @450.org

    Actually, not such an excellent article.

    It does not point out that in the case of some viruses, like influenza, the body decoys them with sialic acid embedded in mucus, and thus could do the same with the ACE2 proteins.

    In addition, the Wikipedia article it refers to does not get into enough details. The devil is in the details.

    For example, it does not mention the specifics of neutralizing antibodies. Do they mob a virus and bind to all spike proteins (in the case of corona viruses) or use some other, unstated, mechanism for preventing such virions from reaching cells? Do they only need to cover approximately half of the virion’s spike proteins or some other number.

    Also, what is the measure of quality? I would expect it to be a number between 0 and 1.

  87. mike99588 says:

    Pauling’s ambush by Mayo/Moertel over cancer and vitamin C is covered in parts by various articles, books, and the biographies on Pauling from different perspectives, and levels of competence, up to today.

    There were actually many discrepancies between Mayo clinic trials and Pauling’s work. These differences are so numerous, it’s kind a Rorschach test. Those who say Mayo tests replicated LP or were even well controlled replication, are stupid, ignorant, smoking something, corrupt or some combination.

    Always important are Pauling’s prior written views, from Cancer and Vitamin C, 1979. He mostly talks about (temporary) cancer control and improved quality of life, with a potential “cure” in a very small minority.

    Book most dedicated to the Mayo-Pauling story: Vitamin C and Cancer: Medicine or Politics by sociologist Evelleen Richards.

  88. Ruckus says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Somehow, I wonder if Godfree would have found this post if the word “chinese” wasn’t included in it.

  89. Isn’t amazing what living in a relatively small populated area can do for things like viruses? If only we were still a country of 60 -70 million people.

  90. res says:
    @obwandiyag

    Compared to what? Looks like it is doing better than most places in the US and they started relaxing their countermeasures three weeks ago.
    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/alabama

    Remember that seasonality does not mean nothing happens. There are many factors in play.

  91. @CanSpeccy

    Deliberate. Glad someone spotted it. An age-related joke, no doubt.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  92. anon[127] • Disclaimer says:
    @Beckow

    The Visegrad group as a whole seems to be doing well, at least as well as Switzerland / Austria and better than many other countries. Of course, the governments there actually like the populace and you don’t have the mass media denouncing medical treatments for political reasons. Must be nice.

  93. anon[127] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mike P

    It is totally absurd and impossible for Belgium to have a death rate eight times higher than adjacent Germany.

    Why?

    • Replies: @Mike P
  94. @Thomasina

    Amazing Polly has put out a new video regarding the President of Madagascar defending his country’s use of a plant-based cure for Covid-19. Of course, he is being severely criticized for this stance. I forget the name of the plant in question, but it’s been long used for treating malaria.

    I have not seen the video, nor shall I bother, but the “plant-based” substance is very likely quinine. There is extreme reluctance of the medical cabal to its use because the drug companies will make very little money(if any) from its use. It has been used against malaria at least since the 1800s, and possibly in ‘traditional medicine’ before then , I dunno.

    Another president, who shall remain nameless, has been touting a more modern analog, which is also off-patent so not very profitable to the cabal.

  95. Hail says: • Website
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    The CFR from these data, 37,938 deaths (per the JHCRC)/33,000,000 cases, or 0.11%—generates a current estimate for covid19 less than half the 0.26% CFR of the 1957-58 H2N2 influenza pandemic.

    Most randomized studies since that time have been finding <0.1%. I have yet to see a large study that finds over 0.2%.

    Yet the True Believers persist.

    • Agree: idrankwhat
  96. Hail says: • Website
    @Dieter Kief

    the big threat of CO-19 in Europe is over.

    I would agree, but I would go further and say: The threat was never there at all. Not unless peak-flu-events that occur every few years are threats.

    The real threat turned out to be (1) the media, (2) a handful of reckless (or motivation unknown) experts who predicted doom and made-up some scary graphs claiming “millions of deaths”. They were wrong. We said it all along.

    Sweden shows the way:
    _

    • Replies: @Miro23
  97. The statistics show that MOST covid VICTIMS are dying in hospitals and care homes

    solution

    shut down the hospitals and care homes before it istooo late

  98. utu says:

    IFR is heavily weighted by old age. I could find only the fraction of 65 years old in populations.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_age_structure
    If we had fractions of the over 70 and over 80 for each country I am confident that the calculated IFR for each country would explain 10% at least of the variance in mortality per capita. We already know that population density explains more than 50% of variance among 26 European countries. Age demographics plus population density possibly could explain 60% or more of variance. The most outstanding outliers like Sweden, Ireland, France and Belgium could be explained by the incompetence and political class betrayal like in the case of Sweden.

    Top 6 European countries with the highest deaths per capita in Europe (are older)

    Belgium 18.6%. (795 death/1M)
    Spain 19.4%
    Italy 23 %
    UK 18.5%
    France 19.7%
    Sweden 19.9%

    European countries with the lowest deaths per capita (are younger)

    Serbia 17.4%
    Poland 16.8%
    Croatia 19.7%
    Lithuania 19%
    Greece 20.4%
    Cyprus 13.4%
    Albania 13.2%
    Slovakia 15.1% (5 deaths/1M)
    _________________

    Uruguay 14.7% (6 deaths/1M)

    And then comes Africa. Nigeria with 2.8% 65+ fraction is expected to have its IFR at least 8 time lower than Italy.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  99. This is an interesting article.

    But shouldn’t a lower infection and death rates should be expected in smaller countries with limited exposure.

    Though I admit. It sounds like a great place to live. I am tempted to say something cliche’ like,

    If Uruguay can do it why then the rest of the South American Countries can do it as well.

    • Replies: @ariadna
    , @anon
  100. Mike P says:
    @anon

    It is totally absurd and impossible for Belgium to have a death rate eight times higher than adjacent Germany.

    Why?

    Because

    1. there must have been extensive travel between both countries before the lockdown, so the prevalence of the infection should be similar,

    2. the general standard and conditions of living are similar,

    3. quality and availability of healthcare is similar.

    The statistics are being fudged everywhere, just to different degrees. It just seems to be particularly bad in Belgium.

  101. Miro23 says:
    @Hail

    The real threat turned out to be (1) the media, (2) a handful of reckless (or motivation unknown) experts who predicted doom and made-up some scary graphs claiming “millions of deaths”. They were wrong. We said it all along.

    Motivation unknown but can be suspected:

    Wall St. received $ trillions in the “Corona virus bailout”, the Iranian leadership succumbed to a particularly virulent strain, and China was blamed for the whole emergency.

    Really, rather too neat, considering Israeli interests (and their current extreme love affair with India).

    • Replies: @SaneClownPosse
  102. The CDC has provided a new document:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios-h.pdf

    Using data to 4/29/2020, and introducing a term new to me, it says that the Overall Symptomatic Case Fatality Rate for its five scenarios are:

    Sc1: 0.002
    Sc2: 0.002
    Sc3: 0.010
    Sc4: 0.010
    Sc5: 0.004

    It also has numbers for different age ranges.

    Those look interesting.

  103. @Godfree Roberts

    Alas, no. I recall reading about it, probably 20 years ago. The study was done with a Canadian doctor whose name I cannot remember. This, however, provides some background.
    http://www.doctoryourself.com/cameron.html

  104. Sounds like Uruguay was working to get out of lock down, not working to make lock down longer and harder.

    Also, a reminder of the benefits of a homogeneous society/nation.

  105. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    The most outstanding outliers like Sweden, Ireland, France and Belgium could be explained by the incompetence and political class betrayal like in the case of Sweden.

    That remains to be seen. The epidemic is ongoing everywhere. In Sweden, where virus spread has been unobstructed by a lockdown, the peak in new cases has passed (down 25% from the highest total on April 29), the reduction in R0 presumably due in large part to rising Covid immunity which is reported to be in the vicinity of 7.3%.

    We don’t know what rate of immunity equals herd immunity, which in any case is not a fixed quantity, but something that may change with the weather, or with changes in behavior as people become more or less anxious about avoiding infection. But Alfred has suggested that something like 15% will get you herd immunity, which seems plausible, given the non random dynamics of social interaction and the voluntary adjustment in behavior to reduce risk of personal infection. And if that is the case, Sweden is well on its way to seeing the end of the epidemic.

    But what about those who locked down fast and firmly. Mostly, they seem to be troubled by a second wave (e.g., South Korea and China). Moreover, here in Canada, though we have certainly flattened the curve at the expense of destroying large tracts of our economy (20% orf mortgages now in default, a massive rise in personal debt to GDP) , we are being warned of an inevitable second wave, i.e., when the lockdowns end as they presumable will have to at some point.

    It appears, therefore, that without a vaccine, compulsory or otherwise, the result of the epidemic will be about the same with or without a lockdown, but those with a lockdown will have a more long drawn out epidemic and be at or near bankruptcy by the end of it.

  106. @Miro23

    “The real threat turned out to be (1) the media, (2) a handful of reckless (or motivation unknown) experts who predicted doom and made-up some scary graphs claiming “millions of deaths”. They were wrong. We said it all along.”

    Exact same quote can, and should be, used for the Climate Change scam.

    “Earth Day 2020 – 50 years of ten years left to save the planet.”

  107. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Mike P

    Do you have a reference to that study, to hand? — Would be interested to read the paper. It would be good to have reason to quit the endless hand-washing.

    • Replies: @Mike P
  108. @Peripatetic Commenter

    Of course, you have to use their estimate of the percentage of cases that are asymptomatic (50%) to get the true IFR, I guess.

  109. ariadna says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    “I am tempted to say something cliche’ like,
    If Uruguay can do it why then the rest of the South American Countries can do it as well.”

    It is not cliche but simply wrong, based as it seems to be on the premise that being on the same continent is a commonality that weighs more in the balance than their differences do.
    Would say the same thing about European countries, like:
    “If Sweden [or Germany] can do it why then the rest of Europe [or Albania or Bulgaria] could not?
    In fact the differences may be even greater in South America: Guatemala is nothing like Uruguay, nor Bolivia like Argentina.

  110. Neoconned says:
    @Truth

    I’ve had several white South Africans beg me to find out how to immigrate to America.

    I figure like always there are some who do fine….but also lots & lots of them who would love to leave….as to farmer murders they’re well documented with photographs and media references…

    • Replies: @Truth
  111. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    Though I admit. It sounds like a great place to live.

    A prudent man would have to learn Spanish. Are you up for that?

    I am tempted to say something cliche’ like,If Uruguay can do it why then the rest of the South American Countries can do it as well.

    A good question. A curious man would look into the history, geography and demographics of Uruguay and then compare them with Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Much would be learned, some of it borderline “forbidden knowledge”. But one could do that just with Wikipedia. Are you up for that?

  112. Mike P says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Do you have a reference to that study, to hand?

    No, unfortunately I do not. It was carried out with the participation of virologist Hendrick Streeck, and I watched him explain those results on TV. However, PubMed doesn’t yet seem to know about it.

    He did explain the findings very clearly in those terms though – RNA amplification from contaminated surfaces positive, culture negative, risk of transmission through such surface contamination negligible.

    Since coronaviruses are rather similar in structure to measles, rubellar, or influenza viruses – all of them being enveloped RNA viruses – I would expect their ability to remain infections in the environment to be very similar (similarly low). Maybe you can find studies on those others that address this question experimentally.

    • Thanks: CanSpeccy
  113. Parfois1 says:
    @prime noticer

    i certainly don’t believe Uruguay, or any other third world pissant country.

    You should have a little more self-respect and not splashing around your mean nature and ignorance. Any “third world” country is, a priori, more believable than your country (whatever that country is) because your country, by producing morons like you, must be the lowest of the low.

    And you call yourself a “prime noticer”!!! What a hilarious joke!

    PS – I rarely lose my patience with idiots, but you are really and exceptional one.

  114. res says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    Thanks! I think it helps to understand what their five scenarios represent.

    • Scenarios 1 through 4 are based on parameter values that represent the lower and upper bounds of disease severity and viral transmissibility (moderate to very high). The parameter values used in these scenarios are likely to change as we obtain additional data about the upper and lower bounds of disease severity and the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

    • Scenario 5 represents a current best estimate about viral transmission and disease severity in the United States, with the same caveat: that the parameter values will change as more data become available.

    Table 1 lays out the parameters which vary for each scenario. I think it is useful to summarize these as lower bound/best estimate/upper bound.

    R0: 2/2.5/3
    Symptomatic CFR (all with symptoms, not just identified cases): 0.002/0.004/0.010 (they break it down by ages 0-49, 50-64, 65+)
    Percent of infections that are asymptomatic: 20%/35%/50%
    Infectiousness of asymptomatic individuals relative to symptomatic individuals: 50%/100%/100%

    Table 2 lays out the parameters which are fixed for each scenario. Some highlights.

    Percentage of transmission occurring prior to symptom onset: 40%
    Time from exposure to symptom onset: ~6 days (mean)
    Mean number of days from symptom onset to death (standard deviation): 0-49 years: 14.9 (7.7) , days, 50-64 years: 15.3 (8.1) days, ≥65 years: 12.9 (7.6) days
    Mean number of days from death to reporting (standard deviation): 0-49 years: 7.1 (7.7) days, 50-64 years: 7.2 (7.7) days, ≥65 years: 6.6 (7.3) days

    So they are estimating an exposure-death lag mean of about 3 weeks. With a further reporting delay mean of 1 week.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  115. Parfois1 says:
    @JRB

    … we also heard enough rumors now that at least four American athletes were admitted to a hospital in Wuhan,

    They were not rumours, but officially confirmed facts. In addition, there were reports that the US athletes left a trail of infections amongst the staff of the hotel where they stayed in during the games.

    It’s surprising the Chinese government’s reluctance to use that information to counter the US hogwash. Those inscrutable Chinese might be keeping the powder dry for the big occasion.

  116. Parfois1 says:
    @Beckow

    In Europe the small country Slovakia (5.5 million people) has had 28 deaths and a little over 1,000 cases, most asymptomatic. The testing has been very extensive, medical care is universal …

    Very good… in a sea of bad news. It has been noticed and reported here that, somehow, Eastern Europe overall has had a fairly good run, except the surge now taking place in Ruslands in number of cases but, mercifully few deaths.

    By the way, Uruguay is much bigger (area) than Slovakia: over 3x bigger.

  117. Parfois1 says:
    @Alfred

    … the whole population of Italy needs to get infected and develop antibodies before herd immunity is achieved. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have repeatedly stated on unz.com that 20% is probably sufficient.

    I know you are a committed apostle for the mythical “herd immunity” doctrine and wish you good luck for humanity’s sake if that helps to kill the bug or make it harmless permanently. Many a times belief can bring a cure, as with miracles, and there is also the placebo effect as a side effect…

    I remain a skeptical about the Holy Grail of epidemiology because “herd immunity” is not a scientific fact nor a law of nature and it is as elastic as convenience requires. I have read many reports by experts that “herd immunity” requires the infection of as many as 40, 50, 60 or even 80 per cent of the population concerned but your figure of only 20% is more soothing to the converts-to-be. Basically what you are saying is that once 20% become immune, the rest will take care themselves or rely on the luck cure.

    When an epidemy brakes out it is not the right time for the experts to speculate what will be the right percentage of dead bodies required to bring about immunity for the selected few. That stinks of eugenics. That is the time to use the ages-long practical tasks of isolating the focus of the epidemic, treat the victims if possible and protect the sound population from the ravages of the pathogen. And I would add: keep out the modern companion to disasters, politics.

    Once the bug is restrained, as the Chinese and a few others have done, then let the experts argue the results of statistical tables.

    I find it amazing no-one crows about the only true success of the pandemonium: China. Today’s score: China (1,400 million people) 4,634 deaths; Sweden (10 million people) 3,925 deaths.

    That is the stark lesson of numbers to take home.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  118. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Parfois1

    I know you are a committed apostle for the mythical “herd immunity” doctrine and wish you good luck for humanity’s sake if that helps to kill the bug or make it harmless permanently. Many a times belief can bring a cure, as with miracles, and there is also the placebo effect as a side effect…

    The fact that you cannot understand the concept of herd immunity does not mean that the concept is without meaning.

    The fact that China has reported barely more deaths from covid19 than Sweden does not mean that China eliminated the disease with a brief lockdown or that it has actually had barely more covid deaths than Sweden.

    For one thing, China has returned to a lockdown for over 1oo million people in Jilin Province so Covid19 is presumably still racking up deaths in China.

    And for another thing, Covid infection and death stats are simply numbers produced by bureaucrats without valid criteria for the determination of either number, and therefore with no scientific credibility whatever.

    And here’s someone who for 20 years was head of the Head of the Department of Biostatistics Epidemiology and Research Design at Rockefeller University who says, among other things:

    With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity.

    Maybe he’s wrong. But at least he probably knows what he’s talking about.

  119. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    Deliberate.

    Interesting that you recalled the form of the quote having read it presumably just once probably decades ago, and I recognized the form having read the original also long ago.

    It is a peculiar and rare form of genius to express ideas in ways that make such an indelible impression. Most, perhaps all, great journalists have it: Twain, Mencken, Churchill, Orwell, and Muggeridge among those that come immediately to mind. It is also the gift of the poet, the humorist, the great national leader, military or civilian, the propagandist, and the advertising copy writer.

    Perhaps IQ test should be broadened to include a jokes section to assess this faculty.

  120. Alfred says:

    I remain a skeptical about the Holy Grail of epidemiology because “herd immunity” is not a scientific fact nor a law of nature and it is as elastic as convenience requires.

    It is an empirical fact. Not even the Black Death killed more than a fraction of the inhabitants of London or any other city. This is not negotiable. It is a historic fact. Science has to fit in with reality – and not the converse. 🙂

    The best way to try to understand how epidemics work is with stochastic simulations. This is not a predictive tool. It is a learning tool. It helps people who understand these things to explain it to skeptics like you.

    I searched online and I was unable to find anything realistic. It seems that the academics are in love with their mathematics more than in trying to reproduce something that gets close to reality. I guess I could write my own program where people can put in their own assumptions but I have other priorities at present.

    The good news is that professor Montagnier has said that this virus is bound to mutate over time. These mutations will result is something less malign. It is not coming back next December – unless the Americans/Chinese come up with an “improved” version 2.0

  121. @Alfred

    The Gates of Hell has had one big failure: he doesn’t own the Internet. Prior to Windows 95 his customers weren’t allowed to know the Internet existed. His email program was for his private, non-TCP/IP network. For Internet email one had to download apps from non-Microsoft sources. It did appear that he was at war with the Internet. Because it was not his.

  122. Tadeo says:

    As discussed, Uruguay does not have many airline connections with the countries of origin of the infection, and by March the big holiday season influx of tourists was over.

    I work for an air cargo company in Madrid, Spain and we had full flights to Montevideo every day till March 15th. (Air Europa and Iberia) According to our so-called specialists, the virus was already circulating in Madrid and Barcelona since February.

    It sounds like a reasonably written article but this little glitch makes me doubt the information behind it. Propaganda perhaps?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  123. Quintus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Thanks Godfree. Your angle and insights are very valuable. I’m sharing the video.

    • Thanks: Godfree Roberts
  124. @res

    However, the interesting thing in the document, assuming it is ‘scientifically’ accurate (wouldn’t want to be a science denier,) is that their best estimate of the IFR seems to be 0.26% overall, and 0.86% for those over 65.

    That seems to put it in the range of the 1957/58 Flu pandemic.

    Was there a lockdown at that time, or were people tougher back then?

    • Replies: @res
  125. Uncoy says: • Website
    @prime noticer

    It’s been proven that the USA deliberately falsifies its statistics to suit its domestic and foreign policy goals. Assassinated CIA Director William Casey let the mask fall in 1981. “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” Fatboy Pompeo in April 2019 taught Texas A&M students: “I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses [on lying].” Robust applause from American students.

    Third world countries often lack either the agenda or the means to falsify their economic or health stats. This contempt for other countries demeans only the USA itself: the empty bravado of the bully. Every bully I’ve ever known has eventually ended face down in a ditch bawling or riddled with bullets, dead.

  126. @Tadeo

    Montevideo gets flights, but it is not a major node on the global network, in the way that Heathrow is. Thank you for your information about the cargo flights. I do not see cargo as a vector of infection. Did you mean they also carried passengers?

  127. res says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    That is indeed interesting. And I am more than a little curious what they used to arrive at those numbers. Has anyone seen similar or lower estimates from a government source?

    That seems to put it in the range of the 1957/58 Flu pandemic.

    I think you are right, but let’s flesh that out a bit. Here are the CDC and Wikipedia on that flu.
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1957-1958-pandemic.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1957%E2%80%931958_influenza_pandemic
    BTW, that flu was a subtype of H2N2 which does not seem to appear in current flu shots. I wonder what happened to it since variants of 1918 H1N1 and 1968 H3N2 still appear.

    US population in 1958 was 175 million. Now let’s try to estimate IR (in context of R0 and HIT) and IFR.

    First, one tidbit from this paper about the UK experience:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2714797/

    the core group of main sufferers was aged 5–39 years with 49% between 5–14 years.

    That is an argument for the 1957/58 flu actually being “worse.” I think it also speaks to the possibility of cross-immunity with another flu about 15 years early (right in the middle of WWII when there were some much worse flu seasons). But I see statements elsewhere that this was not so in the US? US data from
    https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2007.119933

    Wikipedia gives a CFR of 0.67% which would seem a bit higher than COVID-19. This 2/10 (!) article estimates the COVID-19 IFR as 0.3-0.6% and compares it to 1957/58 so let’s use that range as an IFR estimate.
    https://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/2020/02/the-rate-of-underascertainment-of-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-infection-estimation-using-japanese-passengers-data-on-evacu.html

    Wikipedia gives a range for US deaths of 70-116k. Let’s use those numbers to estimate the percent infected in the US. Formula is percent infected = (deaths / IFR) / population
    Using the four extremes of the ranges along with their averages we get the following. I think I got the percentage conversions right, but would appreciate a double check. IFR and IR are in %. Some R code to calculate this (in case anyone wants to try different numbers).

    covid <- data.frame("IFR" = c(0.3, 0.3, 0.6, 0.6, 0.45), "deaths" = c(70000, 116000, 70000, 116000, 93000) )
    covid$infected <- covid$deaths / (covid$IFR / 100)
    covid$IR <- covid$deaths / (covid$IFR / 100) / 175e6 * 100
    kable(covid)

    | IFR| deaths| infected| IR|
    |—-:|——:|——–:|———:|
    | 0.30| 70000| 23333333| 13.333333|
    | 0.30| 116000| 38666667| 22.095238|
    | 0.60| 70000| 11666667| 6.666667|
    | 0.60| 116000| 19333333| 11.047619|
    | 0.45| 93000| 20666667| 11.809524|

    So I’d say 15% is a reasonable estimate of the percentage infected based on the numbers I used. This source estimates 25% (full text at Sci-Hub) and has a detailed account of that flu in the US:
    Public Health and Medical Responses to the 1957-58 Influenza Pandemic
    https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bsp.2009.0729?journalCode=bsp

    They give a reference for the 25% figure which is DOI 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a120063 (you know where to go). But I am not finding that 25% in a quick search? Anyway, moving on…
    Asian Influenza in the United States, 1957-1958
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/13670166/

    So it seems that the big open question comparing that flu to COVID-19 is how many will become infected this time around. Two HI estimates here would be
    flu R0 1.5, HIT 33%
    COVID-19 R0 2.5, HIT 60%

    That flu estimate seems reasonably in line for the 1957/58 results. I would expect the HIT estimate to be decreased by non-homogeneity with the final infections number being increased by overshoot.

    Given that (I think) overshoot should be greater with a higher R0 I think it is reasonable to estimate COVID-19 would have infected twice as many people as the 1957/58 flu. With a similar IFR this would imply twice as many deaths.

    TLDR: Based on what we see here I would expect COVID-19 to have had (absent interventions) about twice the fatality rate of the 1957/58 flu.

    P.S. This excerpt from Henderson 2009 might be of interest.

    Economic Impact
    Despite the large numbers of cases, the 1957 outbreak did not appear to have a significant impact on the U.S. economy. For example, a Congressional Budget Office estimate found that a pandemic the scale of which occurred in 1957 would reduce real GDP by approximately 1% ‘‘but probably would not cause a recession and might not be distinguishable from the normal variation in economic activity.’’29(p2) As a comparison, industrial production in Canada was 1.2% below trend during the peak of the pandemic in October and at trend in November of 1957.30 According to the Canadian Department of Finance, ‘‘[o]verall, the picture that emerges from the 1957 and 1968 pandemics is of possible very small direct economic impacts and no indirect impacts.

  128. @Mike P

    Aspiring emigrants, look carefully at these statistics – pick a country with low fake death counts as your destination.

    Unless that’s Russia. Definitely do not come here. “Lockdown” is light, but you don’t want to be trapped here in winter (i.e. six months) in some murderously stuffy little Soviet apartment, totally surrounded by old people, with nowhere to go and the ruble crashing. Putin is already parroting the nonsense about a “second wave in the fall”, which means they’ll do this again, and remain “locked down” until well into next year. They can do that, because like most Russians even under normal circumstances, all the siloviki goons care about is retreating to their dachas as much as possible.

    • Replies: @Mike P
  129. Mike P says:
    @Marshall Lentini

    Unless that’s Russia. Definitely do not come here.

    Thanks, I’ll make a note of that – though where I live, the temperatures often reach -30°C in winter too. But at least we do have space indoors 😉

  130. dearieme says:

    If the Wuhan coronavirus behaves like some other coronaviruses:

    https://nypost.com/2020/05/23/coronavirus-immunity-could-disappear-after-six-months-study/

    • Replies: @res
  131. res says:
    @dearieme

    Thanks. There is some interesting information in the paper underlying that article.
    Human coronavirus reinfection dynamics: lessons for SARS-CoV-2
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341467148_Human_coronavirus_reinfection_dynamics_lessons_for_SARS-CoV-2
    Supplementary Material available at
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.11.20086439v1

    They tested year round so got a good look at the seasonality. During the summer infection prevalence goes down to about a third or half of that during the winter.

    They seem to have ignored two questions I think are key.
    1. How infectious are people during reinfection? Same as an initial infection?
    2. How severe is the disease course of the reinfections compared to earlier infections? (ideally this would be compared to initial infection, but those probably predate the study start).

    Their definition of infection might be of interest.

    Infections by seasonal coronaviruses were defined as 1.4‐fold increase in antibody levels occurring between two visits (1), and additionally the standard deviations of the mean at both visits not overlapping.

    This does raise serious concerns for herd immunity being effective over time if during reinfection people can infect naive individuals with a full strength version of the disease..

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  132. @Phil the Fluter

    That’s about as far as they can count on their primitive abaci.

  133. Truth says:
    @Neoconned

    Over the course of South African History, tribal warfare predominates. There are 11 major tribes whom have done awful things to each other. Two of them, the Angles and the Boers are the two who have been the most wicked to each other, and have established the lawlessness in play today. The major difference between the 11 major tribes is that two tribes, the two richest, consider themselves “more equal than the others.”

  134. CR19 says:

    A couple of Facts about Uruguay.

    Uruguay has a Free Health Public Service that covers all inhabitants of the country, not only citizens, since 1900. These health services have high international standards.

    Free Public Education at all levels exists since 1900 also.

    China is the biggest trade partner of Uruguay and the air traffic between them is high.

    “400-mile beach with an excellent farm attached” is not a fair description of the land.
    Wikipedia description of Uruguay is better: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguay

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @ariadna
  135. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    A problem with comparing the lethality of flu with that of covid19 is that during flu epidemics it has not been the practice to kick elderly flu-infected patients out of hospitals and send them to care homes where they are likely to infect other sick and elderly people, causing many to die.

    But kicking elderly Covid19-infected patients out of hospital and sending them to care homes is precisely what has been done in Canada (where 81% of covid19 deaths have been of care home residents), and in many other jurisdictions, e.g., the UK, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, etc.

    This alone seems to make comparison of the relative lethality of the flu and covid19 difficult if not impossible on the basis of the available data. What is clear, though, is that a comparison of mortality of non-care-home resident will give a very different picture, at least for some countries, from that provided by a comparison of total virus-related mortality rates.

    In addition, there appear to be high rates of error in both the designation of cause of death, whether due to flu or covid19, and in the determination of infection rates, which makes one wonder if the question of relative IFRs is even worth considering.

    What one can say, however, is that in some countries, mortality due to Covid19 outside of care homes has been extremely low. In Canada for instance, one thousand two hundred people to date, which is 0.003% of the population, or three in one hundred thousand.

  136. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    True. It is amazing how much of our decision making has been driven by the fear hospital capacity would be overwhelmed. And the nursing home example you give is an epic example of bad decision making.

    In Canada for instance, one thousand two hundred people to date, which is 0.003% of the population, or three in one hundred thousand.

    Do you have a reference for this? Does anyone else have similar data for other countries?

  137. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Do you have a reference for this?

    The Star: 82% of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths have been in long-term care, new data reveals

    The Lancet: England and Wales see 20 000 excess deaths in care homes

    Care Home Professional: European survey reveals England has lowest rate of COVID-19 care home deaths

    Any discussion of covid deaths that fails to treat it primarily as a care home disaster resulting from an inappropriate over-reaction to the virus seems to be missing the main point.

    • Replies: @res
  138. @CanSpeccy

    What one can say, however, is that in some countries, mortality due to Covid19 outside of care homes has been extremely low. In Canada for instance, one thousand two hundred people to date, which is 0.003% of the population, or three in one hundred thousand.

    However, we don’t know the total number of infected people.

    On the other hand, it does seem that certain public officials have acted in a reprehensible manner and in at least one case, behaved in a manner indicating that she know what was going on because she removed her mother from an aged care facility.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  139. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Thanks. And agreed.

    The shocking stat to go along with that from your article from The Star:

    The National Institute on Aging says that as of May 6, 3,436 residents and six staff members of long term care settings had died of COVID-19, representing 82 per cent of the 4,167 deaths reported as of Wednesday.

    Dr. Samir Sinha, research director at the institute, says it is a staggering figure, given the roughly 400,000 residents living in care homes represent just one per cent of Canada’s population.

    82% of the deaths occurred in 1% of the population.

    That article links to another covering more countries:
    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/05/06/the-proportion-of-covid-19-deaths-in-long-term-care-was-measured-in-14-countries-canada-had-the-worst-record.html
    But it is paywalled. CanSpeccy, if you have a subscription could you please post a summary of percentage by country?

    This PDF referenced at your final link looks like a good resource for Europe:
    https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/covid-19-long-term-care-facilities-surveillance-guidance.pdf

  140. ariadna says:
    @James Thompson

    “Chiste”
    I bet a porteño told it to you…

  141. @res

    Do we have a breakdown by age for those influenza outbreaks in the past?

    Off the top of my head it seems clear:

    1. Old people are more vulnerable to disease,
    3. The likelihood of death among those older than 65 is probably not uniformly distributed.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  142. ariadna says:
    @CR19

    “high international standard”? well….
    The medical system in Uruguay, despite its modern technology, is antiquated in some respects. An odd feature that was eliminated in the US as far back as the 50s still persists here: doctor house calls. I verified this a few years ago when I had a bout of flu and a Uruguayan friend advised me to stay put and call the “medico de radio.” I did so and a few hrs later a doctor indeed arrived at my house
    examined me and prescribed treatment. Even now, with the pressures of COVID19, a doctor promptly came to see a friend of mine when he called Medica Uruguaya to say his throat felt “raspy”…
    These people refuse to fully enter the 21st century.
    PS. I pay $2,000 pesos/mo (approx. $50) for full coverage.

  143. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    it does seem that certain public officials have acted in a reprehensible manner and in at least one case, behaved in a manner indicating that she know what was going on because she removed her mother from an aged care facility.

    If you have a link to a report on that, I’d be glad to have it.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  144. CanSpeccy says:
    @res

    Here’s one line of evidence on the infection fatality rate.

    Twenty percent of Stockholm residents are said to be antibody positive.

    There are reported to be 10,777 confirmed cases in Stockholm, and for Sweden as a whole the death rate is about 10% of the confirmed case rate, implying about 1100 covid deaths in Stockholm. That implies an infection specific mortality rate of 0.05%, exactly the number for the UK suggested by Professor Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University.

  145. @ariadna

    These people refuse to fully enter the 21st century.

    Wait. What? We are supposed to work from home and social distance but go to a place full of sick people when we need medical attention?

    I notice that another country that some people look up to have a similar service, although mainly for out-of-hours medical care:

    https://www.doctordoctor.com.au/

    Perhaps you are just weird.

    • Agree: AaronInMVD
    • Replies: @ariadna
  146. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Re: the article in the Star, no I have no subscription.

    Good quote that you extracted.

    That zero point zero five percent number for the IFR in Stockholm seems to work well for the UK too.

    The current infection rate has been estimated at 25%, so probably well past half way to herd immunity. There are reported to have been 36,000 covid19 deaths so far, or close to 0.1%. However, the initial mortality rate was elevated due to carnage in the care homes. As the antibody-positive count continues to rise, mortality as a percent of future infections will likely be much lower, so an end value near 0.05% looks pretty certain.

    Thanks for the link to the care home deaths report. It looks like Covid19 is basically a care home problem, not a reason for general panic, let alone universal house arrest.

  147. anon[133] • Disclaimer says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    “Her”, no. This mentally ill person allegedly treats children.

    And yes, this mentally ill person got its mother out of a care facility before issuing an order that condemned a lot of other mothers to premature death.

    Cruel sicko. That’s what this is.

    • Replies: @Truth
  148. Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals

    Understanding adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is important for vaccine development, interpreting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis, and calibration of pandemic control measures. Using HLA class I and II predicted peptide ‘megapools’, circulating SARS-CoV-2−specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells were identified in ~70% and 100% of COVID-19 convalescent patients, respectively. CD4+ T cell responses to spike, the main target of most vaccine efforts, were robust and correlated with the magnitude of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgA titers. The M, spike and N proteins each accounted for 11-27% of the total CD4+ response, with additional responses commonly targeting nsp3, nsp4, ORF3a and ORF8, among others. For CD8+ T cells, spike and M were recognized, with at least eight SARSCoV-2 ORFs targeted. Importantly, we detected SARS-CoV-2−reactive CD4+ T cells in ~40-60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.

  149. Truth says:
    @anon

    Tiiiip Toooooe

    Through to toooo-liiiips…

  150. ariadna says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    “Perhaps you are just weird.”

    or…. perhaps you benefitted from herd immunity to irony.

  151. @Peripatetic Commenter

    The huge 2nd wave in 1918 conspicuously killed younger people and left millions more younger people with sleeping sickness.

  152. A Study on Infectivity of Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Carriers

    Conclusion: In summary, all the 455 contacts were excluded from SARS-CoV-2 infection and we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers might be weak.

  153. @Philip Owen

    The huge 2nd wave in 1918 conspicuously killed younger people and left millions more younger people with sleeping sickness.

    Influenza (HxNy) is a different beast that Corona Viruses because Influenza has a segmented RNA genome. This means that an organism that is infected with two strains of HxNy can result in four or more different strains since they can exchange whole RNA segments.

    That ability to exchange genetic material is much less possible in Corona Viruses.

  154. @Philip Owen

    Why do you compare this to the 1918 Flu epidemic when the correct thing to compare it to is SARS, since SARS-Cov-2 is related to SARS-Cov-1 not HxNy.

    I cannot find any evidence of a ‘second’ wave of SARS affected individuals.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  155. Sunshine says:
    @Hannah Katz

    I’ve long considered Uruguay as an escape from the Third World USA. They probably wouldn’t let us in though and I can’t blame them.

    • Replies: @Republic
  156. AaronInMVD says: • Website
    @ariadna

    Funny how the international standard inflated away the convenience of house calls. This crisis ought to be making people wonder what “First world” and “developed” really mean.

  157. Uruguay sounds like a nice place to relocate to before the real holocaust begins. population 3.4 million. Jews 17,000 = .005%. That’s about as good as you’ll find outside the orient.

    • Replies: @acementhead
  158. dux.ie says:

    It is curious about what the Chinese SARSCoV2 Clade B (WuFLu) is doing in Uruguay (67%) and Spain (39%)?? Could Spain or Uruguay which have higher concentration of Clade B than China be the souce which spread to China during the World Millitary Games at Wuhan or by the secretive Christian Cult?? (Ya ya ya SARSCoV2 is not flu but they are classified as Influenza Like Illness.)


    [MORE]

    Although high concentration of certain clade does not imply that that is the source, the example of the Singapore highest global concentration of Clade Untyped also has the MaxAge global Clade Untyped sample is noted. Although Uruguay has only 9 fully sequenced samples, 6/9 belong to Clade B WuFlu. It will be more interesting to fully sequence more Uruguay sample. At least the WuFlu is mild in fatality and it tends to go with Clade Untyped SingFlu which is even milder, as in Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and India.

    GISAID SARSCoV2 Genetic Phylogeny Tree (Genetic Linage):
    |—-|—-|—NODE_0004660
    |—-|—-|—-Greece/145/2020 (B)
    |—-|—-|—-Jordan/SR-039/2020 (B)
    |—-|—-|—-Spain/Valencia209/2020 (B) 85 <–
    |—-|—-|—-NODE_0004681
    |—-|—-|—-|NODE_0001211
    |—-|—-|—-|-NODE_0001215
    |—-|—-|—-|–Colombia/Antioquia79256/2020 (B)
    |—-|—-|—-|–NODE_0001216
    |—-|—-|—-|—Germany/NRW-39/2020 (B) 29
    |—-|—-|—-|—NODE_0004687
    |—-|—-|—-|—-Uruguay/UY-5/2020 (B) <–
    |—-|—-|—-|—-Uruguay/UY-6/2020 (B) <–

    Some of the trends can be confirmed from an independent paper from the US Michigan State Univeristy paper which genotyped 6156 SARS-CoV-2 genome
    s
    worldwide up to 2020 April 24 and splitting the sample into 5 cluste
    rs, C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5,
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2004.14114

    In Korea Clade B and Clade Untyped averaged only about one infection per day for the early 28 days. With such low infection rate they would not arise suspicion for investigation unless triggered by another more startling event like the Korean infection exploded after the curious introduction of Clade A1a from Wuhan which is very rare in China (0.94%) but could be from Spain via the Christian Cult Conference at Wuhan. Though Spain has significant Clade B WuFlu it has much more the late occurance of the virulent Clade A2a YankFlu accounting for the high fatality just like NewYork, Brazil, Italy and Sweden. Of course from the GISAID dataset the dominant Uruguayan Clade B can be traced to be from Spain via Colombia and Germany, and to the disappointment of the WuFlu Hoaxers Italy has zero fully sequenced sample of Clade B WuFlu but 97% of the Clade A2a YankFLu (China only has 4%).

    It is interesting to estimate the relative coef of SARSCoV2 infection in t
    he change of infection per million pop with 1 percentage point change in t
    he clade percentage. As expected Clade A2a (YankFlu) seems to be more infectous than Clade B (WuFlu) but Clades B4, B1 and Untyped seem to be more infectous. The relationships are statistically very significant and can be used to describe general trends although the Rsq is nothing to crow about.

    SARSCoV2 Relative Infection Coefficients:
    Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
    (Intercept) -22948.89 5782.68 -3.969 0.000175 ***
    B4 405.00 198.74 2.038 0.045403 *
    B1 292.38 78.62 3.719 0.000404 *** <– CanFlu
    Untyped 261.72 65.20 4.014 0.000149 *** <– SingFlu
    A2a 250.94 58.45 4.293 5.64e-05 *** <– YankFlu
    B 233.42 57.44 4.063 0.000126 *** <– WuFLu
    A6 206.15 70.42 2.928 0.004624 ** <– RusFlu
    A1a 200.21 59.94 3.340 0.001355 ** <– EuroFLu

    Signif. codes: 0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1
    Residual standard error: 1308 on 69 degrees of freedom
    Multiple R-squared: 0.3344, Adjusted R-squared: 0.2669
    F-statistic: 4.952 on 7 and 69 DF, p-value: 0.0001411 (VVSig)

    On the other hand the clade effects on fatality are different, the results only show which clades have lesser fatality with change clade percentages. The more practical result is that clade Untyped had produced less fatality. Thus the low fatality rate for China, Korea and Japan are not due to Clade B WuFlu but they are due to Clade Untyped. However from the Chinese data the reproduction of Clade Untyped is impeded by lock-down which allows other new more virulent clades to emerged earlier under more constrained conditions. The new more virulent clades will still emerge under free environments.

    Clade Untyped could be the ideal candidate for herd immunity if the effects are valid for other SARSCoV2 clades (the equivalent of cow-pox against small-pox??). It is more infectous and thus spread faster in unconstrained situations and it produces less fatality. This confirms my previous speculation though with different logics that Singapore might reach herd immunity much earlier than Sweden and with less fatality even when it is not their stated objectives. Sweden is ravaged by the more virulent and fatal Clade A2a YankFlu. Asian countries and US.CA have relatively less fatality because of the relatively higher percentage of Clade Untyped they have.

    SARSCoV2 Relative Fatality Coefficients:
    Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
    (Intercept) 212.7002 39.8905 5.332 1.04e-06 ***
    A3 -12.2656 3.9221 -3.127 0.002534 ** <– OzFlu
    A1a -5.3472 3.2409 -1.650 0.103255 <– Not Sig
    Untyped -3.0523 0.7777 -3.925 0.000195 *** <– SingFlu

    Signif. codes: 0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1
    Residual standard error: 145.4 on 73 degrees of freedom
    Multiple R-squared: 0.2312, Adjusted R-squared: 0.1996
    F-statistic: 7.318 on 3 and 73 DF, p-value: 0.0002344 (VVSig)

    • Thanks: Parfois1, Philip Owen
  159. Thank you for posting these interesting results, and for your interpretation of what may be happening.

  160. Republic says:
    @Sunshine

    US citizens get a visa upon arrival for 90 days

  161. Joaquin says:
    @Hannah Katz

    We are measured people in a very hot blooded continent and I think that has played a lot in our favor in this case.
    I don’t believe Uruguay has done anything right though in this case since all this pandemic BS is clearly aimed at restricting liberties, and eventhough here the restrictions have been very soft comparing with the rest of the continent, I don’t believe that’s something to take pride in.

    I would recommend to anyone watching what the New Germanic Medicine says about this all. It’s very interesting and make’s it obvious to the eye that we need to switch from traditional Medicine’s paradigm or this will only get worse

  162. Joaquin says:
    @Hannah Katz

    Actually the country’s politicians have been long trying to turn the country in a multicultural shithole but they always (fortunatelly for us) fail miserably. I think it’s because the country is not appealing maybe because of cultural footprint on the world. Because Argentina has got thousands of migrants from Africa lately and it has a much lower life standard for normal people

  163. scg16121 says:

    Southern Hemisphere

  164. dux.ie says:

    Since it has been established that the Korean SARSCoV2 infection exploded when an infected super-spreader patient 31 Christian cult member returned from the cult meeting at Wuhan and SARSCoV2 Clade A1a only detected since then, it can be concluded that it was the Clade A1a from Wuhan that triggered the explosive Korean SARSCoV2 infection. Hence it is important to trace the occurance of Clade A1a in China.


    China started the full sequencing of SARSCoV2 since 2019-12-25. The early clades detected were mostly Clades Untyped and B. However, after 30 days since the start of the full sequencing a Clade A1a sample Hangzhou/HZCDC0167/2020 (age 53) was detected on 2020-01-24 (could be from the alleged 1 million exodus from Wuhan prior to the lock-down on Jan 23) among the 100 full samples collected so far, i.e. at a very rare 1%. Two days later another A1a sample Hangzhou/ZJU-01/2020 (age 36) was found. The third and the last A1a sample Hangzhou/HZCDC6789/2020 (age 21) detected up to 2020-05-08 was found on 2020-04-16. Overall percentage for Clade A1a is a very rare 0.94%. All three A1a samples were found in Zhejian Province with relatively higher percentage of Christians in China. Is that Korean cult member was so unlucky that he was able to pick up the 1% chance A1a if that clade was not more numersous in the Christian meetings? The Singapore infections were also traced to the returning Christian from Wuhan and spread from church groups to other church groups.

    From the GISAID 2020-05-08 dataset the global MaxAge A1a sample (age 95) was from Spain Spain/Madrid201738/2020. All the high age A1a sample were from Europe till the Asian MaxAge A1a sample (age 80, rank 16) was from Hongkong HongKong/HKPU73-0802/2020 host ethnicity unknown. Since many of the earliest A1a generations were found in Europe and the detection of A1a in China was linked to the Christian meetings, it can be concluded that the Chinese A1a sample was imported directly or indirectly from Europe. It can be seen from the Korean situation how fast a single A1a case can spread without lock-down, and that the hard lock-downs in China had stopped the spread of A1a in China.

    Rank| Age | Clade | Collection | Country | Strain
    1| 95 | A1a | 2020-03-08 | Spain | Spain/Madrid201738/2020
    2| 91 | A1a | 2020-04-17 | Belgium | Belgium/ITM_C585/2020
    2| 91 | A1a | 2020-03-26 | Belgium | Belgium/JJC-0325165/2020
    4| 90 | A1a | 2020-03-18 | Germany | Germany/BAV-MVP0055/2020
    5| 89 | A1a | 2020-03-15 | United Kingdom | England/NOTT-10DF7E/2020
    5| 89 | A1a | 2020-02-26 | United Kingdom | England/20102088002/2020
    7| 87 | A1a | 2020-03-16 | United Kingdom | Wales/PHWC-23EEF/2020
    8| 86 | A1a | 2020-03-25 | Australia | Australia/VIC586/2020
    9| 85 | A1a | 2020-03-26 | Belgium | Belgium/BJ-0325181/2020
    9| 85 | A1a | 2020-03-24 | United Kingdom | England/SHEF-C0628/2020
    9| 85 | A1a | 2020-03-25 | United Kingdom | England/20132106004/2020
    12| 84 | A1a | 2020-03-24 | United Kingdom | England/20132002304/2020
    13| 82 | A1a | 2020-03-15 | Finland | Finland/14M20/2020
    13| 82 | A1a | 2020-03-25 | United Kingdom | England/20132080604/2020
    15| 81 | A1a | 2020-02-29 | United Kingdom | England/200990725/2020
    16| 80 | A1a | 2020-04-18 | Austria | Austria/Graz-MUG17/2020
    16| 80 | A1a | 2020-02-23 | Hong Kong | HongKong/HKPU73-0802/2020
    A note on the relationship between generation age and collection date which are relatively have very loose link. For example in human situation if the DNA of your youngest child is sequenced today and that of you uncle the next day, is it logical to conclude that your youngest child is of older generation than you uncle who might be youger in age?? A dinasour bone collected today the specie cannot be younger than the human specie. That is the logic flaw of the notion that just because of the early detection of SARSCoV2 in Wuhan makes them the source rather than the incompetent pussyfooting delays and actively and forcefully detered SARSCoV2 detections and sequencing. Using their logics those who insist on calling that could be labelled as the “Original Orange African” since the earliest modern human were found in Africa.

    • Replies: @Parfois1
  165. Parfois1 says:
    @dux.ie

    Thank you Dux for your Covid-19 sleuthing. What you are doing is quite remarkable and I expect it to be the trigger for an avalanche of comments about the search for the “smoking gun”, which appears to have been swept under the carpet for a while. Your post is the first glimpse I have had about a detailed geographic distribution of the strains.

    I am intrigued and very curious about your research and its aims and regret my inability to follow your clade sequencing methodology (it would most appreciated some guidance there for us uninitiated) but I’m hopeful your work will shed a bright light into the murky origin of this virubusiness. Good luck and take care. Ar aghaidh!

    • Replies: @dux.ie
  166. dearieme says:

    An interesting look at the UK saga.

    https://thecritic.co.uk/the-lockdowns-founding-myth/

    • Thanks: res
    • Replies: @res
  167. res says:
    @dearieme

    Thanks. That is an informative and thoughtful article. I can’t even imagine someone in the US publishing anything like that right now–which is depressing.

    Can you give some background on The Critic? I am not familiar with it.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @dearieme
  168. @Peripatetic Commenter

    But 4 other Covid viruses in humans cause 20% of common colds and persist with summers and very short periods of herd immunity intervening. This could still go either way. Prudence suggests anticipating a pattern like the flu or the 4 existing corona viruses.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  169. dearieme says:
    @res

    Sorry, I’m not familiar with it either.

    I found the link here.
    https://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com

    Here’s their “about” page.
    https://thecritic.co.uk/about-the-critic-2/

  170. dearieme says:
    @res

    You’ve inspired me to have a little poke around at their site. I thought this pretty interesting.

    https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/june-2020/the-nhs-is-the-new-church-militant-and-triumphant/

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @res
  171. @dearieme

    I wonder how many scientific advisory bodies ever say to Governments: “Frankly, we are a bit confused, and not sure what to advise you”.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  172. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    If they were truly scientific the expression “we don’t know” would be much used.

    They might then reasonably move into advisory mode, confident that they’d made clear how sketchy their knowledge was, how tentative their conclusions.

    All we have to do is ask ourselves which sort of scientists will push themselves forward for these sorts of roles: “I don’t know” or “I can assure you that”?

  173. @Philip Owen

    Sure, but they have never risen to the level of the 1918 Flu, and there is reason to believe they cannot mutate as quickly as HxNy can.

    So, there is essentially no reason to expect another round.

    However, there is disturbing new* evidence that SARS-CoV-2 has the ability to down regulate MHC-1 proteins in cells in the same way that HIV does.

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.24.111823v1.full.pdf

    * Well, and Indian group had to withdraw an early paper claiming that SARS-CoV-2 had AIDS-like inserts.

  174. res says:
    @dearieme

    Thanks. It sure is. This was news to me.

    Then, as so often happens, the situation turned on a pin’s head. The revolution, for it was no less, took place in a matter of hours over the weekend of 14-15 March. Three things happened: the death figures doubled; President Macron threatened to close the frontier unless Britain imposed the same sort of lockdown as France; and, above all as I am informed by a reliable press source, Northwick Park Hospital in north-west London was almost overwhelmed in scenes that bore an uncomfortable resemblance to the mayhem in Italy and Spain.

    The Critic is fairly new (November 2019). I was intrigued that they launched as a print magazine as well (print seems to be in decline). I thought their launch editorial was worth reading.
    https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/november-2019/introducing-the-critic/
    The first paragraph:

    New magazines should be honest with themselves and their readers from the start. We are born out of failure. The Critic finds itself in a world deeply imbued with bad ideas. Our purpose is to say that. Self-censorship and state-policed opinions go hand in hand in common purpose. A self-regarding consensus of virtue does not welcome critical voices. It finds them troubling, triggering, insensitive and disrespectful. This is the closed mind we exist to speak against.

  175. dux.ie says:
    @Parfois1

    The clade data are directly from the public GISAID dataset, I just aggregated them by countries. The data also has the genetic age and collection date.

    • Replies: @dux.ie
  176. dux.ie says:
    @dux.ie

    > the search for the “smoking gun”, which appears to have been swept under the carpet

    There are other more formal earlier studies but they were ignored just because the papers were from China and some were not peer reviewed. The first I came across was Tang’s S and L strains paper that was peer reviewed. The PC academic reviewers were more interested in chiding Tang et al for using the phrase “explosive growth” even when the new L strain managed to reach 70% from 0 and suppressing the propagation of the older S strain. Some sort of equality of outcomes must be adhered.

    Tang, Xiaolu, et al. “On the Origin and Continuing Evolution of SARS-CoV-2.” National Science Review, doi:10.1093/nsr/nwaa036.

    The one that was more controversial was the not peer reviewed paper by Yu which results could have been used by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to counter US’s assertions, and the results used by Godfree extensively without citing the original source,

    http://www.chinaxiv.org/abs/202002.00033
    “Decoding the evolution and transmissions of the novel pneumonia coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) using whole genomic data”

    Yu split the sample into 5 clusters and gave the geographical distributions.

    Then there was the peer reviewed paper from Cambridge Univerty by Forster which was previously discussed here. What is interesting is that the Forster’s results totally supported the results from Tang and Yu. Although the authors had used different clustering methods and had determined different critical SNPs for clustering into different number of groups, the inherent structures and results are the same.

    The YuCLades A and B totally merged into ForsterClade A, YuCLades C and E totally merged into ForsterClade B, and YuCLade D totally merged into ForsterClade C, i.e. YuCLades are totally subgroups of the larger ForsterClades. With independent and peer reviewed confirmation, that increases the credibility of Yu’s paper. Some example,

    ForsterClade | YuClade | Accession | SARSCoV2 Label
    A | B | EPI_ISL_404895 | USA/WA1/2020
    A | B | EPI_ISL_406034 | USA/CA1/2020
    A | A | EPI_ISL_406223 | USA/AZ1/2020
    A | A | EPI_ISL_403932 | Guangdong/20SF012/2020
    A | B | EPI_ISL_406801 | Wuhan/WH04/2020
    A | A | EPI_ISL_406030 | Shenzhen/HKU-SZ-002/2020
    A | A | EPI_ISL_405839 | Shenzhen/HKU-SZ-005/2020
    A | A | EPI_ISL_406593 | Shenzhen/SZTH-002/2020
    A | B | EPI_ISL_408484 | Sichuan/IVDC-SC-001/2020
    A | B | EPI_ISL_408480 | Yunnan/IVDC-YN-003/2020

    B | C | EPI_ISL_402123 | Wuhan/IPBCAMS-WH-01/2019
    B | C | EPI_ISL_406798 | Wuhan/WH01/2019
    B | C | EPI_ISL_402119 | Wuhan/IVDC-HB-01/2019
    B | E | EPI_ISL_406594 | Shenzhen/SZTH-003/2020
    B | E | EPI_ISL_408009 | USA/CA4/2020
    B | E | EPI_ISL_408008 | USA/CA3/2020

    C | D | EPI_ISL_406036 | USA/CA2/2020
    C | D | EPI_ISL_406597 | France/IDF0373/2020
    C | D | EPI_ISL_406596 | France/IDF0372/2020
    C | D | EPI_ISL_406031 | Taiwan/2/2020
    C | D | EPI_ISL_406844 | Australia/VIC01/2020
    C | D | EPI_ISL_408977 | Sydney/3/2020

    The more recent papers were mostly ignored even when they were from US institution because they did not following the current political narratives, e.g. A New York City study by Gonzalez-Reiche et al from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (US institution) showed that out of the 85 sequenced cases of SARSCov2 found there only 1/85 was from Asia/Oceania,

    https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.08.20056929
    “Introductions and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the New York City area”

    From US Michigan State Univeristy genotyping of 6156 SARS-CoV-2 genomes worldwide up to 2020 April 24 and splitting the sample into 5 clusters/clades/haplog roups, C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 and none of the very dominant non-Asian clusters 3, 4 and 5 variants were found in Asian countries.
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2004.14114
    “Decoding SARS-CoV-2 transmission, evolution and ramification on COVID-19 diagnosis, vaccine, and medicine”

    The public access GISAID dataset from Germany is where the international SARSCoV2 researchers submit their fully sequenced data and they are the source data for most of the research in this area. GISAID determines the clade from genetic similarity and the genetic age from the number of mutations from the reference set. Thus it is not possible for example for China to know back in January which clade the sequenced data they submited would be assigned to. The clade and age are determined from the pooled data and they might change with new submissions. China would not know before hand that one of the sample they submitted in 2020-01-24 would be assigned as clade A1a (but they would know that it was rare in China) and they would not know that much later the independent sample submitted by Korea that caused the Korean infection explosion was also Clade A1a and that clade was not detected in Korea until that sample.

    > clade sequencing methodology

    The GISAID dataset is too large to be handled by desktop computer. However GISAID has produced data like the phylogeny tree, clade and genetic age data which can be used directly. If you want to play with raw data the supplementary dataset from Forster is a good practice source as they are not too large and only the smaller cut down concise SNP data are provided (instead of the much larger full RNA sequence data) which could be handled by a home computer. The Michigan State Uni paper was analysed on the external NVIDIA super computer cluster.

    • Replies: @res
  177. Can we gather these findings together, and get a good data visualization of the process? For example, could we show a migration path of virus variants in different colours as they move to different countries? Also, give estimates of how these variants differ in lethality and infectivity?

    • Replies: @res
  178. res says:
    @dux.ie

    Thanks for all of this detail! Is the public GISAID dataset that you are using the one with the RNA sequences (which requires registration) or the derivative datasets? AFAICT the latter lack any sequencing information leaving the only real alternative for looking at sequence data the Forster dataset.

    Do you have any thoughts on Forster’s bat origin analysis? I looked into that some in this comment chain:
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/models-the-logic-of-failure/?showcomments#comment-3840450
    and the region around the connection to the bat genome seemed too tangled (in an odd way, as if the same mutation occurred multiple times or there was recombination) to draw strong conclusions.

    I suspect the full sequencing data would help clarify the origin (compared to the Forster subset), but it sounds like I could not do the analysis even if I could obtain the data.

    P.S. I wonder if Steve Hsu knows anything about this given the involvement of Michigan State?

    • Replies: @dux.ie
  179. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Have you looked at the GISAID Next hCov-19 App?
    https://www.gisaid.org/epiflu-applications/next-hcov-19-app/

    I think it does a good job of visualizing the migration paths of the different variants. But I also find it difficult to link it up with other data sources (e.g. Forster).

    dux.ie, have you had much success using that app to work with your clades?

    I have not seen a good resource tying variant lethality and infectivity into this. Anyone?

    P.S. Does anyone have access to the Supporting Materials for the Michigan State paper? The paper notes (under Data Availability):

    Eighteen tables are provided in the Supporting Material for SNP variants of 6156 SARS-CoV-2 samples across the world, SNP variants of 1625 SARS-CoV-2 samples in the US, SNP variants in five global clusters, SNP variants in three US clusters, and mutation records for eight SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The acknowledgments of the SARS-COV-2 genomes are also given in the Supporting Material.

    • Replies: @dux.ie
  180. Wow! That does most of it, though it takes some working through. Fabulous collaborative program. Someone with better graphic skills than me will create a simplified version, I hope.

  181. dux.ie says:
    @res

    The GISAID dataset is too large for desktop computer. The data I used is the meta data file supplied which have clade, age, location, collection date, etc. Even with the smaller Forster dataset my computer can handle the Forster genetic phylogeny tree but crashed on the time phylogeny tree.

    The Forster data mapped into the merged GISAID 2020-04-18 and Bedford phylo tree,

    • Replies: @res
  182. res says:
    @dux.ie

    Thanks for your reply. Do you have a version of the graphic which is large enough for the text to be legible?

    • Replies: @dux.ie
    , @dux.ie
  183. dux.ie says:
    @res

    The hosting site shrinks it.

  184. res says:

    OT (for this post, but not for your blog ; )

    I have been having a go round with a commenter in another thread about David Becker’s estimate for Haiti’s IQ and would like an expert opinion (yours or perhaps you could ask David Becker to clarify?).
    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/alt-wrong-paradigms/#comment-3928538

    I think this excerpt from Lynn and Becker’s 2019 book gives a good overview of the Haiti estimate.

    2.3.46. Haiti (HAI)
    Cotten (1985, Tab.IV) administered the CPM on a national sample of Children with a mean age of 10.00y from Haiti. A rural and an urban sample scored on average 55.00, which is described as the “percentage of the mean score obtained by children of a given age in a reference population” (p.48). The used reference population was not named, however, the CPM-manual of 1965 (Raven, 1965) was cited, which refers to the British standardization in Dumfries of 1947 (Flynn, 2009), in which 10.00y olds obtained a mean raw score of 28.15 (Green & Ewert, 1955, Table 1). So, 55.00% would be equivalent to a raw score of 15.48. This is at the 0.81st GBR-P and equivalent to an uncor. IQ of 63.91, on which 5.46 had to be added for FE-correction to 69.37.
    De Ronceray and Petit-Frere (1975, Tab.II) compared an experimental sample instructed in Creole compared to two control samples, one instructed in French and one which was independent from the study. No significant differences could be found between the three groups in SPM-performance, therefore all were used in this dataset. The mean age was 6.00y and the mean raw score was
    15.02, therefore at the 38.97th GBR-P and equivalent to an uncor. IQ of 95.80. Adding 1.05 for FE-correction resulted in 96.85. Both samples together gave Haiti an unweighted national IQ of 83.11 and a final national IQ of 82.10 after weightings. School assessment data were not available.

    Note that the 1.3.2 version of the spreadsheet fixed “several errors within a sample from Haiti (ID: HTI5439)” (apparently raising the estimate from the published 82.10 to the current 88.60?).
    https://viewoniq.org/

    My concern is with the other Haitian study HTI7223. As discussed above that study gives an estimate of 96.85 for Haitian IQ. Jason Malloy gives a link to the study PDF (in French) at:
    https://humanvarietiesdotorg.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/hvgiq-haiti/
    https://humanvarietiesdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/1975-roncoray-cpm-f.pdf

    Tableau II Raven Test on page 11/14 has the data. In the text the test is described as

    le “PROGRESSIVE MATRICES TEST” de RAVEN

    What I don’t understand is why Becker assumes the test in question was the SPM rather than the CPM. The CPM was specifically designed for children from 5 to 11 years old (and other low scoring groups). While based on Becker’s NORM sheet the SPM is only normed down to age 6.5.

    Given that the other study used the CPM for 10 year olds why would someone use the SPM for 6 year old Haitian children?

    Here is some R code based on the NORM sheet (notice how the SPM result corresponds to the excerpt above). The IQ score results are not all that different for the same raw score (which I find surprising, thoughts? Though perhaps the respective CPM and SPM max scores being 36 and 60 explains it).

    RS <- 15.02
    IQ <- 0.0027*RS^3-0.1961*RS^2+7.4182*RS+11.351 # CPM age 6 GBR 2007
    IQ
    # [1] 87.68112

    IQ=0.0013*RS^3-0.1349*RS^2+5.6575*RS+36.8616 # SPM age 6.5 GBR 1979
    IQ
    # [1] 95.80883

    Given the wildly divergent study estimates for Haitian IQ (69.37 vs. 96.85) it seems like what we really need is a current study. Or Haiti could administer standardized tests allowing an estimate from those results. Apparently there is at least some standardized testing in Haiti. Odd that no results ever seem to be published.
    https://ed.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/edouard_lopatinfellowship_finalreport.compressed.pdf

    The education system in Haiti has been hit with difficult times primarily due to the 2010 earthquake. However, even prior to that catastrophic event, the education system suffered from a much deeper systemic problem tied to the lack of funding and an education system shaped by pedagogical practices of rote memorization that yielded low achievement in standardized tests for the majority of students.

    Has anyone ever tested the IQ of Haitian adults (or at least late high school)?

    Perhaps I shouldn’t trust my priors so much, but it is hard to believe an IQ estimate of 96.85 for a country with an education system like this.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Haiti

    • Replies: @David Becker
    , @res
  185. This looks extremely messy, which sometimes happens when there is little data to go on, and papers with odd methods of measurement have to be parsed for some meaning.
    I will get Becker to comment on your interesting observations.
    As to your priors, they seem to be similar to mine.

    • Thanks: res
  186. @Godfree Roberts

    ” … human transmissin was established … “. Really? How, when and where? Human transmission has only been assumed, then loudly broadcast.

  187. dux.ie says:
    @res

    Forster’s results are too coarse grain and they are already out of date. In the GISAID 2020-04-18 tree, the ancestor of Forster’s Clade B Wuhan-Hu-1/2019 is outside the subtree of Forster’s mv1, the MRCA for Guangdong/20SF012/2020 and USA/WA1/2020 which are a few generations below that. The new MRCA for Forster’s tree should be two generations above mv1 at NODE_0003122.

    NODE_0003122: Time for Most Recent Common Ancestor tMRCA (back of envelop estimation)
    Yu’s mutation rate: 2019-10-26
    Forster’s Asian mutation rate: 2019-08-18, [2019-04-30, 2019-10-01]
    Forster’s non-Asian mutation rate: 2019-10-25, [2019-09-22, 2019-11-13]

    In the GISAID 2020-05-08 tree the pivots for the tree should be the two MaxAge datapoints Singapore/40/2020 (age 102) and Italy/TE26425/2020 (age 101)

    =======
    Part of GISAID 2020-04-18 Phylogeny Tree

    YA,YB,YC,YD,YE: YuClades A,B,C,D,E
    FA,FB,FC: ForsterClades A,B,C

    NODE_0003122 <<—– New MRCA to include Forster's clade B ancestor
    |NODE_0000696

    |-NODE_0000697 <<—– Forster's mv1 MRCA ??
    |–NODE_0000795
    |—NODE_0000817
    |—-NODE_0000821
    |—-|NODE_0000824
    |—-|-Shenzhen/SZTH-002/2020 #YA **FA
    |—-|-Guangdong/20SF012/2020 #YA **FA <<—-
    |–NODE_0000946
    |—NODE_0000982
    |—-NODE_0000983
    |—-|USA/WA1/2020_travel_history
    |—-|-USA/WA1/2020 #YB **FA <<—–

    |NODE_0000565
    |-NODE_0000043
    |–NODE_0000056
    |—NODE_0000057
    |—-NODE_0000058
    |—-|Wuhan-Hu-1/2019 ##YC **FB <<—– Forster's cluster B ancestor

    =======

    Part of Bedford's Potential Animal Hosts Phylogeny Tree:
    |–NODE_0000008
    |—NODE_0000009
    |—-pangolin/Guangdong/1/2020 <—
    |—-pangolin/Guangdong/P2S/2019 <—
    |—-?? GISAID NODE_0003122 ??
    |—NODE_0000010
    |—-bat/Yunnan/RaTG13/2013 <—
    |—-NODE_0000011
    |—-|?? GISAID NODE_0003122 ??

  188. @res

    Dear res,

    Thank you for your comment. You are right in places. The paper of de Ronceray & Petit-Frere (1975) don’t give a clear statement about which of the Raven’s test forms was used. That is, of course, a very frequent problem in studies which worked only with raw-scores and not with IQs, since they don’t need the norms of the specific form.

    The age of the children suggests the CPM rather than the SPM, that’s correct. However, there are a lot of studies administering Raven’s tests for older people to younger individuals or vice versa, so the age of the sample isn’t a reliable indicator (it is not a big problem, since conversions between different Raven’s forms are possible).

    I finally decided to use SPM-norms instead of CPM, since they named the test “PROGRESSIVE MATRICES TEST”, which was the name of the SPM before other forms were developed, and is used in other papers for the SPM but never for the CPM. But you are right, I should have noted this in the book and will insert this important note in later versions of the dataset. Maybe I’m wrong.

    After all, it doesn’t matter in this case. Suggesting they used CPM, you calculated an IQ of 87.68 correctly. However, the formula was developed by using the UK-norms of 2006, so you have to correct this IQ-score for the FLynn-Effect in UK between 1974 (date of measurement) and 2006 (time of standardization), which forces you to a test time adjustment of +6.72, and the corrected IQ would be 94.39, very close to 96.85 that was calculated according to SPM-norms.

    Best, David

    • Replies: @res
  189. res says:
    @David Becker

    Thanks for your reply, David.

    I finally decided to use SPM-norms instead of CPM, since they named the test “PROGRESSIVE MATRICES TEST”, which was the name of the SPM before other forms were developed, and is used in other papers for the SPM but never for the CPM.

    Thanks for that explanation. That is the kind of thing an expert in the field would know and I would not.

    After all, it doesn’t matter in this case. Suggesting they used CPM, you calculated an IQ of 87.68 correctly. However, the formula was developed by using the UK-norms of 2006, so you have to correct this IQ-score for the FLynn-Effect in UK between 1974 (date of measurement) and 2006 (time of standardization), which forces you to a test time adjustment of +6.72, and the corrected IQ would be 94.39, very close to 96.85 that was calculated according to SPM-norms.

    Interesting. Thanks for the analysis. It is just so hard to reconcile that with Haitian performance as a country and in the results which leak out (e.g. that Stanford PDF I linked). I guess what we need is a better IQ study in Haiti and/or Haiti to start administering and publishing the results for standardized tests.

    Do you think there were any significant selection effects involved with that study? Their use of rural students inclined me to think not, but IIRC they talked about student characteristics in a way which made me wonder (I don’t read French anywhere near well enough to be sure and the translation I looked at was poor).

    One question about the standardizations and the FLynn-Effect correction. Have you tried using other standardizations and comparing the results? It seems like a good check of the FLynn-Effect corrections would be to compare different standardizations using the appropriate corrections for the year they were done.

    And again, thank you for creating and publishing your spreadsheet! It is a monumental piece of work. Regardless of any small issues (which are impossible to avoid in a project so large and complex IMHO), having all of that evidence gathered and organized in one place is a fantastic resource.

    Best, res (it’s moments like this when being pseudonymous is annoying).

    • Replies: @David Becker
  190. dearieme says:

    I saw photos O/L of an interesting example of cultural appropriation – people in London protesting against the murder of the chap in Minneapolis.

    But, lo, they weren’t social distancing. What can it mean? The lack of distancing, I mean, not the cultural appropriation. What can we deduce about their intelligence?

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  191. @dearieme

    I didn’t think the politicians would so blatantly demonstrate that it was a hoax.

  192. dux.ie says:
    @res

    > tying variant lethality and infectivity into this

    It was buried that in my previous mesage, the clade relative coef of infection and fatality. Clade Untyped SingFlu turned out to be more infectious but with less fatality, i.e. ideal candidate for herd immunity. Countries like Japan, Korea, Singapore, USA/CA have high percentages of Clade Untyped and the early Clade Untyped infection / partial immunization might produce relatively lower infection and fatality later on. Korea has early infections of Clades B and Untyped, and the average infection was about 1 per day over 28 days. Exception is Philippines which has poor health-care system. Clade A2a YankFlu has the exceptional tendency to almost exclusively dominate and suppressing other clades, and with high fatality rate.

    Sweden with sparse population and with the killer Clade A2a YankFlu dominant at 93% (Italy 97%) it might be a folly and suicidal trying to go the herd immunity route. Sweden cannot emulate Korea in having no lockdown, Korea does not have the killer Clade A2a YankFlu and might already be partially immunized by the Clade Untyped which Sweden has none. In GISAID 2020-04-18 dataset Sweden had ONLY ONE SUBMISSION of the fully sequenced SARSCoV2. Even tiny Iceland had 121 samples. Sweden was flying blind and did not know what it was dealing with.

    Rank| PctSubm|NSubm|Country
    1| 20.53|641|USA
    2| 9.32|291|United Kingdom
    3| 9.16|286|Belgium
    4| 9.06|283|China
    5| 6.47|202|Australia
    6| 5.86|183|France
    7| 5.25|164|Netherlands
    8| 3.87|121|Iceland

    47| 0.03|1|Sweden

    =========
    lm(formula = ConfirmPMC ~ A1a + A2a + A3 + A6 + B + B1 + B2 + B4 + Untyped)
    Coefficients:
    Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
    (Intercept) -22948.89 5782.68 -3.969 0.000175 ***
    B4 405.00 198.74 2.038 0.045403 *
    B1 292.38 78.62 3.719 0.000404 ***
    Untyped 261.72 65.20 4.014 0.000149 ***
    A2a 250.94 58.45 4.293 5.64e-05 ***
    B 233.42 57.44 4.063 0.000126 ***
    A6 206.15 70.42 2.928 0.004624 **
    A1a 200.21 59.94 3.340 0.001355 **

    Signif. codes: 0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1
    Residual standard error: 1308 on 69 degrees of freedom
    Multiple R-squared: 0.3344, Adjusted R-squared: 0.2669
    F-statistic: 4.952 on 7 and 69 DF, p-value: 0.0001411 (VVSig)
    =========
    lm(formula = DeathPMC ~ A1a + A2a + A3 + A6 + B + B1 + B2 + B4 + Untyped)
    Coefficients:
    Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
    (Intercept) 212.7002 39.8905 5.332 1.04e-06 ***
    A3 -12.2656 3.9221 -3.127 0.002534 **
    A1a -5.3472 3.2409 -1.650 0.103255
    Untyped -3.0523 0.7777 -3.925 0.000195 ***

    Signif. codes: 0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1
    Residual standard error: 145.4 on 73 degrees of freedom
    Multiple R-squared: 0.2312, Adjusted R-squared: 0.1996
    F-statistic: 7.318 on 3 and 73 DF, p-value: 0.0002344 (VVSig)

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  193. @dux.ie

    That is very interesting.

    Do they have enough genetic material from each clade to determine which of them has the immune suppressive propensities claimed in this paper:

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.24.111823v1.full.pdf

  194. res says:
    @res

    One additional thought on this. If I understand correctly, the goal of the NIQs is to represent the average IQ in a country. Part of this is done through considering the median age for a country. A relevant excerpt from Lynn and Becker, 2019 (page 184):

    however a strong positive correlation between cor. IQs and age deviation (r=.54; N=667; p<.001; Fig. 9) and a moderate negative correlation between cor. IQs and time deviation (r=-.15; N=667; p<.001) has been found. This means that samples which obtained higher IQs have, on average, mean ages more distant to the median age of their countries’ populations, and test administrations on samples with lower IQs used, on average, test norms more up to date regarding the time the test was administered.

    More detail on ‘Age deviation’ from page 14. Numerical discussion of how that contributes to sample rating is on page 15.

    ‘Age deviation’ represents the absolute difference between the mean age of a sample and the median age of its respective nation in years, provided by the CIA (2017, Index: “Median age”).

    For some perspective, here are descriptive statistics for mean age in the studies from page 182:

    Variables M Lowest Highest SD N
    Mean age (y) 14.57 3.00 71.00 9.95 665

    The two Haiti studies had a mean age of 10 and 6 with the higher scores achieved at age 6. Based on the age deviations given the median age in the country is 23. I had not realized the population was so age skewed there.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Haiti

    The reason I am going on at length about age is this excerpt from pp. 358-359 of The g Factor:

    Age Variation. Black infants score higher than white infants on developmental scales that depend mainly on sensorimotor abilities. Scores on these infant scales have near-zero correlation with IQ at school age, because the IQ predominantly reflects cognitive rather than sensorimotor development. Between ages three and five years, which is before children normally enter school, the mean W-B IQ difference steadily increases. By five to six years of age, the mean difference is about 0.70σ (eleven IQ points), then approaches about 1σ during the elementary school years, remaining fairly constant until puberty, when it increases slightly and stabilizes at about 1.2σ. The latest (1986) Stanford-Binet IV norms show a W-B difference in prepubescent children that is almost five IQ points smaller than the W-B difference in postpubescent children. (The W-B difference is 0.80σ for ages 2 through 11 as compared with 1.10σ for ages 12 through 23.) This could constitute evidence that the mean W-B difference in the population is decreasing. Or it could simply be that the W-B difference increases from early to later childhood. The interpretation of this age effect on the size of the W-B mean difference remains uncertain in this instance, as it is based entirely on cross-sectional rather than longitudinal data. Both kinds of data are needed to settle the issue. The cause of variation in the mean IQ of different age groups all tested within the same year (a cross-sectional study) may not be the same as the cause of variation (if any) in mean IQ of the same group of individuals when tested at different ages (a longitudinal study).

    So based on that I would expect a small difference between ages 6 and 10 but a significant (order 0.3σ or 4.5 IQ points) effect between those ages and post-puberty or adult IQs.

    If the most accurate country IQ estimates are desired it seems to me that this effect should be accounted for. But I understand why that might be politically impossible.

    It would be interesting to try to determine how much of the age deviation correlation noted in my first excerpt above is caused by this effect.

  195. dearieme says:

    Hugh Pennington is a distinguished bacteriologist and virologist, a man who writes some of the few worthwhile pieces on the TLS blog. Today he wrote in the Telegraph. Since it’s paywalled I’ll quote only bits of it, assuming that the Tel would welcome a bit of free publicity.

    ‘I consider that the evidence supporting the notion of a second wave or peak of Covid-19 infections in the UK that would swamp the NHS is very weak. …

    The idea of a devastating second wave comes almost entirely from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. … The first was mild and the second was lethal. It is yet to be explained why the infections occurred in waves and why the virus faded away after the first and then returned.

    Mathematical modelling textbooks do not discuss it. There was no effective social distancing in 1918 and it had nothing to do with herd immunity.

    Flu is very different from Covid-19. … There have been no flu-like second waves (or even peaks) in China, South Korea or New Zealand. There was no second wave with Sars, another coronavirus. …

    Defeatist flu models still lurk behind current Covid-19 predictions. That the virus will persist for ages is a flu concept. These predictions should be put to one side. Like Sars, and unlike flu, the virus is eradicable.’

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  196. @dearieme

    Flu is very different from Covid-19. … There have been no flu-like second waves (or even peaks) in China, South Korea or New Zealand. There was no second wave with Sars, another coronavirus. …

    I have been saying that based on the difference in genomic architectures of both viruses.

    Flu is much more likely to make big changes in it genome by being able to swap RNA segments with other strains of the virus. SARS-CoV-2 and Corona viruses in general, being single-strand RNA viruses do not have access to that mechanism and can only rely on copying mistakes to mutate.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  197. dearieme says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    What I don’t know (does anyone yet?) is how a country such as NZ is going to handle this in future. If almost nobody in NZ has been infected there is presumably little immunity. (Unless other coronaviruses have imbued the Kiwis with some degree of immunity?)

    Will that mean that once NZ opens itself to visitors from (say) the US/UK/France the disease will start to spread in NZ?

    I can see that if the introduction is on a small scale – from a handful of visitors, say – then tracing and quarantining might be effective.

    Or does this idle chat from me mean that I too am under the influence of a false analogy with the flu?

    I read that the SARS outbreaks just faded away. Is that true? If it is, does anyone know why?

    By the way, Pennington’s remark that particularly struck me was “Mathematical modelling textbooks do not discuss it”.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  198. @dearieme

    I suspect that the elderly are always going to be more susceptible to this thing because the elderly do not get anywhere near as much time outside (in the sun and fresh air) as younger people do. They have lower vitamin D levels.

    However, one thing I am still concerned about is whether or not the claims that (some strains of) the virus can destroy MHC-I molecules in the cells they infect.

    • Replies: @acementhead
  199. Interesting. To sort all this out we will need a grading system for lockdowns, and measures like use of public transport and google map direction searches to get real data, not just stated intentions.
    Apart from age distribution, and population density, finding out how connected the main airport is to other airports, and when it was closed down, will be key in my opinion.

    • Replies: @res
  200. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Not sure if you noticed the source of the airport data in the paper you linked in your “Sneeze and Fly” post.
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.02.20050773v2

    Finally, we also downloaded air transportation data from the OpenFlights [30] database regarding the airports of the world, which informs where each airport is located including country location (7,834 airports), and whether there is a direct flight connecting the airports (67,663 connections). We checked the Openfligths database to make the airports and connections compatible by including missing or fixing airport codes and removing six unidentified airport connections resulting in a total of 7,834 airports and 67,657 connections. We used this information to build an air transportation network that reflects the existence of a direct flight between the airports while considering the direction of the flight. Thus, the airport network is a unipartite, binary, and directed graph where airports are nodes and flights are links (Fig 1, Fig S1). In the following step, we collapsed the airports’ network into a country-level network using (e.g., United States had 613 airports that were merged in a single vertex representing the country).

    Here is the website. It looks like they stopped updating the data in June 2014.
    https://openflights.org/data.html

    One thing that confuses me is this excerpt from that page. Notice how the number of airports is less than half of that stated above in the paper. Anyone know why that is?

    As of June 2014, the OpenFlights/Airline Route Mapper Route Database contains 67663 routes between 3321 airports on 548 airlines spanning the globe

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  201. @res

    Dear res,

    There is a major problem in the current method of NIQ-estimations that should be taken care of soon, and maybe it is related to the case of Haiti.

    Different countries not only show different levels of IQ, but also differences between the speed and trends of cognitive development. These development trends show weaker speed in many developing countries. Therefore, IQ-differences to the British standard sample increase by age, which might explain the differences between the two samples from Haiti. The Cotten et al. sample has a mean age of 10y, the de Ronceray & Petit-Frere sample of 6y, so the 6y-samples should be closer to the 100 than the 10y-sample, which is exactly the case. By this reason, the younger sample would be expected to outperform the older one, but not necessarily to such an extent.

    However, to make a systematic age-correction for all countries, we first have to make a systematic analysis about cross-national differences in the speed of cognitive development, which is difficult due to a lag of data for test-subscales and longitudinal studies. We tried to publish a paper in which we meet this problem, but it was rejected since we used a cross-sectional design instead of a longitudinal design.

    I really hope to could care about this issue in the near future.

    Best, David

    • Replies: @res
  202. dearieme says:

    The good Dr Pennington provides some useful context here before moving onto COVID. I hadn’t met the technical term “overdispersion” before.

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/june/overdispersion

    • Replies: @res
  203. res says:
    @dearieme

    I am glad Dr. Pennington is talking about overdispersion. I started commenting on the importance of non-homogeneity in mid-May (search my comments for non-homogeneity and connectivity). I mostly focused on differences in social connectivity, but differences in infectiousness are also an issue as ic1000 pointed out (see PS).

    Here are two papers which I think help establish a quantitative way for us to think about overdispersion in general and in the particular case of COVID-19.

    The first paper, Lloyd-Smith et al. 2005, Superspreading and the effect of individual variation on disease emergence
    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature04153
    was written in the aftermath of SARS. It looks at multiple examples of disease spread and develops a theoretical framework for how the dispersion parameter affects disease spread and how that works in conjunction with control measures. I think these two figures serve as a good overview.

    That is Figure 1. Notice how the k = 0.1 estimate below fits in (I’m curious how accurate that is since the original SARS was estimated at 0.02).

    That is Figure 3. Focus on panel c where the blue line is the k=0.1 case [other lines k = 0.5 (green), k = 1 (black) or k → ∞ (purple)]. First notice how likely containment is even with no control (c=0). Then notice how much more effective targeted individual-specific control (dashed lines, focus on 20% most infectious cases) is compared to population-wide (solid lines) and random individual-specific controls (dotted lines).

    This recent paper looks specifically at COVID-19.
    Estimating the overdispersion in COVID-19 transmission using outbreak sizes outside China
    https://cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/overdispersion-from-outbreaksize.html
    https://akira-endo.github.io/COVID19_clustersize/COVID19_clustersize.html

    They conclude:

    For the likely range of R0>2 , the overdispersion parameter k was estimated to be around 0.1, suggesting that the majority of secondary transmission is caused by a very small fraction of individuals (80% of transmissions caused by ~10% of the total cases) (Liu et al.30462-1)). This suggests that the effective reproduction number could be drastically reduced by interventions targeting potential superspreading events.

    Note that final sentence. Used properly this could be a good thing for containment. It also means the herd immunity threshold would be lower than the classic estimate of 1 – 1/R0 because the superspreaders (who tend to be more socially connected) tend to become infected and then recovered first.

    P.S. This comment (and the comment thread) has much more discussion of overdispersion:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/cdc-finally-admits-touching-things-less-risky-than-talking-to-people/#comment-3919908
    Thanks to ic1000 for bringing the first paper to my attention and the rest of that conversation.

  204. res says:
    @David Becker

    Dear David,

    Thanks! I am glad to hear you are way ahead of me on this.

    I look forward to seeing your long term results (both for this specific application and because I find the topic of differential developmental rates interesting in general). Is there any chance of seeing a preprint of your rejected paper? I understand that may not be possible for a variety of reasons, but thought it would not hurt to ask. Perhaps just the abstract?

    Best, res

  205. res says:
    @res

    One thing I just noticed rereading that comment. There is a significant discrepancy between the conclusions those papers appear to draw for the k = 0.1 case.

    The second paper states:

    For the likely range of R0>2 , the overdispersion parameter k was estimated to be around 0.1, suggesting that the majority of secondary transmission is caused by a very small fraction of individuals (80% of transmissions caused by ~10% of the total cases)

    While Figure 1c in the first paper seems to indicate that for k=0.1 the most infectious 20% of cases only account for about 50% of transmission. (80/10 is more like the original SARS at k around 0.02)

    I wonder what explains that discrepancy. Anyone have any ideas? Perhaps something to do with the R0 estimates used?

  206. dearieme says:

    Those who can bring themselves to watch BBC’s Question Time might care to know that Hugh Pennington is on tonight’s panel.

    • Replies: @res
  207. …was early in separating Church and State, in giving votes to women, allowing divorce, and generally being sensible.

    Switzerland was the very last country in Europe to give women suffrage and allow divorce. Geneva also had the dubious claim to fame of being a Calvinist totalitarian theocracy.

  208. @res

    It may be a minor point, but I think it is probably related. When Heiner Rindermann and I looked at racial differences in scholastic attainment in the US in our 2013 paper for the special issue on the Flynn effect, we found that there was considerable narrowing in the younger age groups, say 9 year olds, but by 17 years the old familiar gap was there again.

  209. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks! To add some context and make it easier for anyone else who wants to follow up on this, here is a link to your 2013 blog post about that paper:
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/jason-richwine-and-some-hispanic-data/

    Are there equivalents to Figures 3 and 4 for the 9 and 13 year old cohorts?

    Did you analyze the developmental trajectories in detail? It would be interesting to know how the current 9/13/17 year old trajectories compare for the different races as well as looking at how that has changed over time. If I interpret your comment correctly, the earlier gaps closed more which would seem to indicate the developmental trajectory effect has become relatively more important. Is that a reasonable assessment?

    The four year spacing of both the testing and cohorts seems convenient (I assume that is intentional?). Doesn’t that mean you can (at least approximately) take a longitudinal look at specific cohorts, which would seem like the best approach for looking at developmental trajectory? Has this been tried?

    P.S. This 2015 predictive followup using the 2012 NAEP data (the earlier paper used 2008 data, has that analysis been repeated to see how the trend is holding up?) might also be of interest here.
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/future-us-intelligence/
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138412
    Table 1 looks like a decent update of the earlier results with all other groups improving relative to whites by a significant (0.6 – 1.3 IQ points) amount.

    P.P.S. It looks like there is about a four year lag for releasing the NAEP long term data:
    https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2016102
    (or less given the previous 2015 paper used the 2012 data, while the data files I linked were only released in June 2016?). Can we expect another update to this work anytime soon?

  210. @James Thompson

    This strongly suggests to me that brain development in the neocortex develops for longer in some groups (races) than others (although I would expect variance within each race as well.).

    That would also seem to jibe with measurements suggesting differences between groups in brain volume and I suspect those differences are in total neocortex volume.

    It would be interesting to see a chart showing the cognitive problem limits of different groups.

  211. res says:
    @dearieme

    Thanks. Here is a link to the show:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jrpw

    And a 1:17 excerpt where he discusses his skepticism about a second wave.

    I tend to disagree with him (I only watched the latter link, if anyone watches the full version please elaborate on what he had to say). I think a possible seasonality effect is the cause for concern and that would explain why we have not seen any second waves anywhere yet. I think we need to watch the Southern Hemisphere over the next three months. Hopefully their experiences will provide a useful lesson (either way) for the next Northern Hemisphere flu season. The problem is, if that lesson is seasonality matters we will only be learning it right when we need to start locking down again.

    I think the paper discussed in this comment (thanks to vhrm for pointing me to it) is helpful for thinking about this. Comparing the figures I included there gives a good idea how the presence/lack of seasonality might interact with lockdown release timing to influence the timing of a second wave.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-exactly-is-herd-immunity-supposed-to-work/#comment-3897982

    The most interesting conclusion I draw from those graphics is that a more severe lockdown may result in more people infected over the long term (if there is a second wave). Notice that they use the simple SEIR calculation for herd immunity threshold of 1 – 1/R0. I think overdispersion (as discussed above) makes it likely that estimate is too high. And that would probably impact the relative long term effectiveness of the different lockdown levels.

  212. @res

    Thanks. I hadn’t noticed any of these discrepancies. I think I was in a “yes, yes, well done with the nodes and links idea, just tell me the answer” mood.
    Can you question the authors for me? I had hoped their database could be used in later studies, but before any of that, your points need to be answered.

  213. @res

    I have looked at your comments again, and find that this paper supports (though in a far more detailed and complex way) the hypothesis I was tentatively passing on some time ago, that super-spreaders were the main force behind this pandemic, and that once they got infected (and presumably developed some antibodies) things would calm down considerably.

  214. @the grand wazoo

    population 3.4 million. Jews 17,000 = .005%.

    No, it isn’t. Incorrect by an order of magnitude. The correct value is .05%.

  215. @Peripatetic Commenter

    I suspect that the elderly are always going to be more susceptible to this thing because the elderly do not get anywhere near as much time outside (in the sun and fresh air) as younger people do. They have lower vitamin D levels.

    Yes the “elderly”, in general, do have lower vitamin D levels but there is is no need at all for this to be the case. It is only so because of the criminal medical cabal lying for their own profit. There is no profit, for the cabal, in healthy people.

    In New Zealand, the medical establishment has lied for decades about nutritional supplements. The official word has been “No need for nutritional supplements, all anyone needs is a “good balanced diet””. This is absolutely useless ‘information’. No defined GBD is ever laid down nor is it examined what proportion of people have the fabled “Good Balanced Diet”. My opinion(no data available, but supermarket shelves viewable) is that almost nobody(? <5%) has optimum intake of all required nutrients.

    Engineering, and nature, is all compromise. Vitamin D formed by UVB comes at the cost of damage to skin and skin cancers. Safer, by far, is ingestion of a few thousand units a day of man-made vitamin D3. It is cheap and safe. Nobody needs to have a low vitamin D level.

    The NZ government, Health Department, has issued a

    Consensus Statement on Vitamin D and Sun Exposure in New Zealand

    https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/vitamind-sun-exposure.pdf

    which advises exactly the opposite of the correct way to get vitamin D from sun exposure.

    Government advice: Between September and April, in the early morning or late afternoon, a daily walk or some other form of outdoor physical activity is recommended.

    The proper way to expose self to the sun is when the ratio of UVB to UVA is highest. That occurs at midday and gives the most vitamin D for the least damaging total UV radiation.

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