Coronavirus uncertainty

by Judith Curry

My thoughts on coronavirus and deep uncertainty.

I and my family are in isolation, in relatively comfortable, well-stocked and in safe circumstances (solar power with Tesla power wall).   My community (Reno NV) has relatively few cases and no apparent transmission as of yet; however Las Vegas NV is pretty hard hit as well as neighboring communities in California.

I am very fortunate not have to worry personally about jobs or $$ through this (apart from the financial well being of our extended family members and employees at CFAN).   We also live in a quasi-isolated location near the edge of wilderness, with many walking trails.

I am working to continue supporting the service people that we rely on (housekeeper, personal trainers, handyman etc).  My daughter is working to set up online music lessons, and our Tai Chi instructor is working on setting up online instruction.  Once the weather is nice, both music lessons and and Tai Chi sessions will be held outside in our very large driveway.

I have no idea where this is all headed, only that I expect us to be surprised.

My ‘prediction’ (well, hope) is that effective treatments will be identified (I have flagged dozens of such publications on twitter, lets discuss this on the technical thread), and that this will be brought under control within a few months.

Personally, my most immediate concern is that Netflix streaming doesn’t bring down the internet!

CV vs CC

There is much discussion about parallels with decision making under corona virus and climate change.  The climate change alarmists say that CV shows us how and why we need to act urgently on climate change.

Au contraire.  The main similarity between CC and CV are that they are both situations of deep uncertainty.

For CV, we are working from data from countries having the early outbreaks, plus epidemiological models.

Extreme precaution is advised immediately to save lives.  Individual people feel the urgent, visceral need for extreme precaution (well not all them, viz. the riotous spring breakers in Florida).  The economic and social consequences of this extreme precaution is beginning to be realized; the key is flexibility in our responses so we can shift course as needed.

I have written much on the topic of climate change and the precautionary principle.  Simply put, the precautionary principle is wrong trousers from the climate change problem.  Apart from the brainwashed Extinction Rebellion folk (assuming that they are doing this not because they are being paid to do it), no one feels the urgent visceral need to drop everything and ‘act’ on climate change.  The reason for that is that the potential adverse impacts of climate change have a long time horizon (decades to centuries),  there is no simple ‘action’ that will reverse climate change, premature actions could lock us into infrastructure that is not in our best long term interests.  And finally, diversion of all our resources to the climate change problem could make us more vulnerable to more urgent problems such as CV.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t act on climate change; I have long argued for no regrets actions such as energy technology R&D, adaptation to extreme weather events, planning for 21st century infrastructures, and minimizing pollution of air, water and soils.

However, inferring that the coronavirus policies will lead to comparably urgent climate change action is misguided, IMO.

Post CV

We will eventually get past this.  What are the long-term implications of our CV experiences?  Some of them arguably have implications for climate change.  But there are much broader implications for how we live and work, and also the social safety net.

The rate of epidemiological and immunological research that is getting conducted and published is breathtaking; after all this settles, the old publication model with peer review and paywall will arguably be dead.

The insanity of people travelling nonstop all over the world for conferences and meetings has been illuminated.  Apart from the CO2 emissions, this travelling is an insane loss of productivity and takes a toll on people’s health.  Even the IPCC is conducting its working group meetings via the internet.

With regards to scientific conferences, these are being posted on the internet.  These days on the rare occasions i go to conferences, I don’t attend any talks (look at them later on the internet), but set up meetings with people (collaborators, old friends, clients and potential clients).  That is the hard part, but everyone staying home has more of an opportunity to reach out to people over the internet.

Traveling and tourism will undoubtedly change. While I have never been on a big cruise trip, I can’t imagine getting on such a ship after all this.  I suspect that air travel won’t recover to its previous level.

Restaurants will change dramatically, more a focus on pick up and delivery than on dining.  Apparently millennials are already in this mode, rarely going to restaurants but relying on food pick up or delivery.

How we value employees at the lower end of the economic ladder will change, e.g. grocery store employees, truck drivers, health care workers, teachers, etc.

The CV experience has been a real eye-opener for the U.S. in terms of its fragile safety net for vulnerable people (pretty much every one is vulnerable at one time or another).  Sick leave (and pay), health care are being reconsidered.  Much flux for both political parties in the U.S.; here’s to hoping that something sensible emerges.

The perception of expertise is in flux.  As a result of climate change alarmism (both scientists and the media), scientific expertise took a hit in terms of political and public perceptions.  By contrast, the scientific experts on coronavirus are doing a superb job and politicians are taking them seriously.  What lessons the climate alarmed and dismissives will eventually learn from this remains to be seen.

With regards to health care, we are seeing the rise of TeleHealth.  Also this experience is highlighting the deep problems with the U.S. FDA; apart from the COV testing regulations fiasco, the latest is that hydroxychlorquine is not approved for coronavirus treatment in the U.S.; approval would take 90 days.

CO2 emissions are down, which is likely only temporary, but some of these post CV changes could have longterm impacts.

Well, this should be enough to kick off the discussion.  Stay safe, everyone.

415 responses to “Coronavirus uncertainty

  1. Good analysis from John Ioannidis showing that this panic is an overreaction. Should we destroy our economy to try to prevent something that is likely not much worse than the flu epidemic we suffer every winter?

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

    I do note that the states that have adopted the most Draconian (and unnecessary) measures are those governed by lefties who are also climate alarmists. Alarmism I guess is a mental disorder.

    • Dave, I think you are making a lot of worst case assumptions. We don’t know the level of care the Diamond Princess people got. I assume they all got tested. Most needed little or no care at all. You are also assuming that the reported trial results for already available drugs are wrong. One anti malarial drug looks quite promising.

      We can’t spend infinite money to reduce deaths to a minimum. Life is dangerous. Flu deaths this year so far are estimated at 22000 to 55000 in the US alone. Why aren’t we locking down the world lot save some of those? Because there is cost and benefit for every action.

      • dpy6629 wrote, “You are also assuming that the reported trial results for already available drugs are wrong. One anti malarial drug looks quite promising.”

        It still seems strange that so many people reply to things I’ve written, and tell me what I believe, and it doesn’t resemble what I actually wrote at all.

    • Re: “Good analysis from John Ioannidis showing that this panic is an overreaction”

      And many people pointed out the problems with Ioannidis’ analysis. But it’s funny to see climate contrarians cite Ioannidis when he’s basically stated that the level of certainty on humans causing climate change is about on par with the idea that smoking is killing people.

      17:17 to 18:30 :
      http://rationallyspeakingpodcast.org/show/rs-174-john-ioannidis-on-what-happened-to-evidence-based-med.html
      http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/f/8/9/f89584694d653aa6/rs174.mp3?c_id=13577443&cs_id=13577443&expiration=1584648769&hwt=736ba1cc30e54af900f17b584b4685ec

      • I see the cartoon character has made another irrelevant but long winded comment. I agree that humans are causing climate change. Ioannidis’s work on the fact that a lot of science is wrong and biased is important work. This applies to climate science too. Because all you ever do is cite papers you haven’t understood, you should do some self-reflection on whether your typical communication style (which is proof text based) is itself a bias trap. Grown up patterns of thought would make your contributions more interesting.

      • He has done no work indicating any climate science is wrong and biased.

        He has complimented climate science.

      • He’s in the medical field. His findings apply to my field and they apply to climate science too where uncertainties are large and models completely inadequate.

      • @JCH

        Re: “He has done no work indicating any climate science is wrong and biased.He has complimented climate science.”

        There’s no chance of getting dpy6629 to grasp that. It would require him to read sources of longer than a few sentences, which you trigger complaints about “proof text[ing]” and “long-winded”. Life can be hard for contrarians with short attention spans.

        More from John Ioannidis:

        “Many fields lack the high reproducibility standards that are already used in fields such as air pollution and climate change.
        […]
        It is a scandal that the response of governments to climate change and pollution has not been more decisive.”

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5933781/

      • Mind reading is another strength of the anonymous wiley coyote, a favored tactic of immature minds. Nic Lewis’ work has shown that a lot of climate science papers are wrong or at least biased. The use of uniform priors for so much ECS work over the last 20 years indicates that statistics is not a strong point of climate scientists.

        And then there is the pattern of SST warming, which we find out is wrong in GCM’s only when that becomes a talking point as to why EBM methods are biased low. Experts know GCM’s can only be skillful due to cancellation of large errors for outputs related to those used in tuning. Yet that fact is obfuscated by reams of false talk about “boundary value problems”. Ioannidis can be wrong on some issues even though generally his statistical work seems sound to me. It’s not a contradiction to say so.

      • Re: “Ioannidis can be wrong on some issues”

        You can stop acting as if his work supports your contrarian claims when it doesn’t, as he himself notes in work you didn’t bother to read. This is the problem with all your complaining of “proof text[ing]” and “long winded” replies: it’s just you covering up for the fact that you haven’t done your homework. Next time, don’t misrepresent Ioannidis’ work to those of us who bothered to read it. Is that clear? I hope my message was short enough this time that your attention span allows you to finish reading it, without whining about someone being “long winded”.

        I’ll leave you now for you to continue distorting sources you neither read nor understood.

      • “Though arguably appropriate for applications of theory to engineering and applied science, the associated emphases on truth and degrees of certainty are not optimal for the productive and creative processes that facilitate the fundamental advancement of science as a process of discovery. The latter requires an investigative approach, where the goal is uberty, a kind of fruitfulness of inquiry, in which the abductive mode of inference adds to the much more commonly acknowledged modes of deduction and induction.” https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016WR020078

        it is an unavoidable approach in climate science in which little is possible in terms of hypothesis testing in the traditional manner. If there is no testing possible then it cannot be replicated. There are of course many different interpretations of complex Earth system dynamics. Hurst-Kolmogorov phenomenon seem a rare exception. Although that is not something Atomski is even dimly aware of. The goal is the pursuit of a rich and flexible knowledge rather than certainty. Again, not a distinction Atomski can appreciate.

      • “The goal is the pursuit of a rich and flexible knowledge rather than certainty.”

        Some took that path and keep repeating it. We are certain. We are 97% certain. This is how right we are. All these other people are wrong.

        Certainty is found in a peer review paper, and if it’s not, we are sure you aren’t certain. The one thing you are is not certain.

        They never fixed the problem. They are not flexible. They won. And have nothing to show for it.

      • And as long as I am on the subject, show me one thing Potholer the youtube sensation ever fixed? Where is the great Green Miracle and the cheap reliable energy. There isn’t any. He slayed the dragons. Who cares? He made nothing better. I am going to guess he got paid a few dollars from youtube. But, I could be wrong and he donated it all to charity. That’s possible.

      • Atomsk’s Sanakan: “Many fields lack the high reproducibility standards that are already used in fields such as air pollution and climate change.
        […]
        It is a scandal that the response of governments to climate change and pollution has not been more decisive.”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5933781/

        Thank you for the link. I had misplaced or lost that essay. It’s a little scattershot, and I think he makes no case that double-blind placebo-controlled studies to evaluate drug effectiveness in the presence of covariates/confounders.

        That said, I think in the main you are correct. Ioannides has not criticized any irreproducibility in climate research as he has medical research.

      • “Many fields lack the high reproducibility standards that are already used in fields such as air pollution and climate change.”

        Of course, if climate change is
        ‘how will climate change in the year 2100?’
        or ‘what is the [sic]equilibrium temperature response’?
        then there is zero reproducibility, because unlike lab science,
        climate science is a single experiment, without controls, unblinded, and with no complete observations.

        So, no, I don’t think Ioannidis understand climate so much.

        But lots of smart people are right about one thing and also wrong about another.

      • As usual Wiley coyote is given specifics about failures in climate science and responds with content free insults. It’s the childish thought process of an immature mind.

        Ionnidis’ work shows an issue that can affect any field where the data is noisy and the effect sizes small.

    • dpy6629,

      John Ioannides phrased it as a question: A Fiasco in the Making?

      His emphasis, like that of Judith Curry here, was the uncertainty bred by the lack of enough reliable data.

      • I think he was clearly in the “we are overreacting camp”.

        I posted this on the other thread. An exponential growth function with an R0 of 2.5 and a reasonable case generation lifetime should result in 100s of millions of cases by now. One estimate performed on January 28th stated 180 million by February 21st assuming exponential growth of cases at that time. How can we not conclude that the assumptions are wrong? What am I missing?

        We have weeks of actual real world data. That data does not support the actions being taken. At a similar time in the 2009 H1N1 pandemic the US had 22 million cases and nearly 4000 deaths, almost 500 of them children.

      • Steven Mosher

        “His emphasis, like that of Judith Curry here, was the uncertainty bred by the lack of enough reliable data.”

        And then he went and relied on the diamond princess
        he is manifestly WRONG about testing.

        “his evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.”

        This is wrong.
        In Korea we have run over 300K tests. driven by contact tracing
        Thats why our positive rate is .05%
        In China 688,000 tested. Driven by contact tracing and symptoms.

        “Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. ”

        IS false.

      • steve mosher: “Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. ”

        IS false.

        And the real proportion is what?

      • dougbadgeroo: That data does not support the actions being taken.

        Which actions? Mass producing test kits and accelerating vaccine and medication development?

        What’s prudent? Before there were federal, state, and local actions, individual people and large organizations began cancelling trips and convocations (or virtualizing them). I thought that was prudent weeks ago.

        LA County and SD County (80 total cases so far for SD CO) closing down clubs, casinos, fitness centers? That might be prudent. As far as I can tell, I am on the low end of expectations for eventual total deaths, but I stopped going to the gym and such before the SD CO shutdown, and I cancelled my out of state trip. I am over 70. Did I overreact?

        I expect that one day we’ll look back and say something along the lines of “We kept the death count below 10,000 (insert your favorite number here) and it cost $1.5T (ditto) in lost goods and services. In the 50s before the Salk vaccine, polio killed about 25,000 per year (iirc); would it have been more “cost effective” to have let the novel coronavirus do that to us now?

      • You chose to cancel a trip based on your view of your risk. No one is suggesting we do nothing.

        We are shutting down large areas of the US economy, bars, restaurants, theaters, etc. It seems a virtual certainty that this will result in 100s of thousands of job losses and a recession unless it ends quickly…within a few weeks. During the Great Recession the suicide rate increased by 1.5 per 100,000 or over 4000 per year in the US. Consider also crime rates alcoholism and a host of other negative impacts from job loss and recession. We are already fighting over toilet paper.

        As Dr Ioannidis pointed out closing schools and daycares may put the most at risk in more jeopardy as grandparents are called upon to watch kids. I know that is true for my situation, though I am only in my 50s. As he pointed out there is no guarantee that these actions will help and some may actually be harmful.

      • doug badgeroo: No one is suggesting we do nothing.

        after

        That data does not support the actions being taken.

        That’s what you wrote. It is totally unhelpful as to who is taking any actions and what actions they are. The data actually support lots of actions by lots of different actors.

      • jungletrunks

        dougbadger, You do raise important questions. At what point does the cost of the cure become worse than the disease requires consideration. Squeezing economies to the breaking point will come with more than a destructive financial toll to markets; it could come with its own exponential death toll and destruction of lives economically; how much is a function relative to the length of time, and the amount of economic pressure applied to contain the pandemic. There are exponential risks no matter what decision is made, yet to date all the math and consideration is stacked on containment of the disease.

      • “You do raise important questions.”

        I know I do and it is socially unacceptable to even ask those questions in some circles right now. These actions had better be saving lives because they are almost certainly going to cost lives.

      • In Korea we have run over 300K tests. driven by contact tracing
        Thats why our positive rate is .05%
        In China 688,000 tested. Driven by contact tracing and symptoms.

        Contact tracing and symptoms are still selection bias.

        And then he went and relied on the diamond princess
        he is manifestly WRONG about testing.

        ???
        He pointed out the limitations of the Diamond Princess, but also pointed out that it was the only data set in which randomized sampling occurred.

        It may well be that COVID-19 is more fatal and contagious than influenza, but we can’t know this based on biased stastics.

        If COVID-19 is about the same or less fatal than influenza, then indeed, this panic will have caused more harm than benefit.

        Since the curve flattening appears to be similar in
        China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran,
        all with different governments, populations, policies.
        And since no policies are completely effective,
        we do have to wonder whether this is the result of policy,
        or is the natural course of the outbreak.

        If it is natural, and the death rates never even blipped compared to normal respiratory disease, the panic may have done more harm than the virus.
        There can be no counterfactual, since we’ve already panicked and we can’t compare results with not panicking, but these are important questions to understand.

        There is rapid evolution of viruses, in large part driven by this selection:

      • An R0 of 2.5 should result in a 53% increase per day in infections. Literally 100s of millions of cases by now. The assumptions are wrong. We are responding to a “computer generated mirage”, and our actions are virtually guaranteed to cost lives.

      • dougbadgero wrote, “An R0 of 2.5 should result in a 53% increase per day in infections.”

        That’s wrong.

    • Alarmism I guess is a mental disorder.

      (obsessive compulsive alarmism disorder)…

  2. “As a result of climate change alarmism (both scientists and the media), scientific expertise took a hit in terms of political and public perceptions. By contrast, the scientific experts on coronavirus are doing a superb job and politicians are taking them seriously.”

    Our first intimations of the greenhouse effect go back to Horace de Saussure with his solar oven experiments in the 1780s, followed by Fourier in the early 19th century, Tyndall in mid-century, Arrhenius at the end of the century, and so on.

    Our first intimations of the present pandemic were mere months ago.

    So the learning curve for the latter is something like three orders of magnitude steeper than that of the former.

    It should therefore come as no surprise to find that the “political and public perceptions” of scientific expertise on climate change should take a thousand times longer to ripen into respect for the accomplishments of the geophysical community than it has for the corresponding expertise of the medical community.

    “The perception of expertise is in flux.”

    Ain’t that the truth.

    It is interesting to compare the psychology of the “political and public perceptions” of two fields of expertise in respective states of flux differing by this many orders of magnitude.

    According to Max Planck (albeit somewhat less concisely), “science advances one funeral at a time.”

    Divide the lifetime of the average climate scientist by a thousand and we’re talking less than a month.

    That’s about how long it took the White House and the Senate to admit that maybe they’d underestimated the present pandemic.

    • It is still quite possible that the initial reaction from Trump downplaying this new virus is actually correct. See my link above. Panic in our era of yellow journalism is easy to start but hard to contain. One thing is certain. The death rates shouted from all the “mainstream” media outlets are just wrong and badly biased. They need to stop scaring people with distortions designed to generate clicks.

    • The issue with climate change is that it is way more complex than atmospheric CO2 concentration. Because the climate change problem has been framed too narrowly and politics has already decided on the preferred policy, we are not making very good progress in understanding climate change or predicting it.

      The CoV is a much more tractable problem to understand, associated with genuine urgency.

      • In some ways, the CV infection rate and death rate is also a complicated chaotic multi variable problem(similar to CC). Experts are asking why Northern Italy’s rate is so much higher than Germany. One reason is Northern Italy has a large Chinese population that travels back and forth to Wuhan. See this article:
        https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/16/the-chinese-workers-who-assemble-designer-bags-in-tuscany

        Another complicating factor is the deaths in Italy are elderly, primarily in Nursing Homes. My sister in California is the Nursing manager at a large hospital. She has a large percentage of asian nurses on her staff. I’m not sure how many Chinese nurses and orderlys support nursing homes in Northern Italy but a small number could skew the number of deaths.

        My point is the data especially for Italy and China is very suspect, and making sweeping policy statements based on this data is dangerous.(E.G. Governor Newsom claiming 56% of Californians will get CV, so he closes down the state)

        Here is an excellent article on the data and statistics:
        View at Medium.com

      • @JC: “The issue with climate change is that it is way more complex than atmospheric CO2 concentration.”

        Different definitions of “climate” result in strikingly different degrees of complexity of its change. For example the WMO defines it as GMST averaged over 30 years, which is a much wider window that many I’ve seen assumed here.

    • Vaughan
      Meditate on the difference between a computer model on one hand, and acute respiratory distress and a corpse in a hospital bed in another.

      AFAIK not many have died of rubisco poisoning. But quite a few have died of Coronavirus.

      • @ps: “Vaughan: Meditate on the difference between a computer model on one hand, and acute respiratory distress and a corpse in a hospital bed in another.”

        Phil, unfortunately I have no experience with or understanding of either CMIP5 models or SARS victims. Meditating on my navel would be more productive.

    • “Divide the lifetime of the average climate scientist by a thousand and we’re talking less than a month…That’s about how long it took the White House and the Senate to admit that maybe they’d underestimated the present pandemic.”

      The Trump administration may not have called the coronavirus a pandemic early, but neither did the World Health Organization. The administration initiated the travel ban on China in January, so you’re off over a month before “the west” recognized the virus as a pandemic, World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11. Trump was called a racist until the media caught up, after which they stated he wassn’t doing enough.

      The WaPost stated Jan 31st that, “The number of those infected has surpassed the SARS 2003 outbreak, but the new coronavirus appears to be less deadly.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/01/31/trump-weighs-tighter-china-travel-restrictions-response-coronavirus/ In other words, the media weren’t exactly on top of the idea coronavirus had become a pandemic in late January.

      Unless you’re willing to indict the World Health Organization, or essentially, review the timeline; it’s best to not elaborate on opinions.

      • @jt: “Unless you’re willing to indict the World Health Organization, or essentially, review the timeline; it’s best to not elaborate on opinions.”

        Your suggestion that prior to a month ago the WHO took global epidemics as casually as the US White House and Senate borders on libel.

      • You are wrong, doc. We expect better from you.

      • @DM: “You are wrong, doc. We expect better from you.”

        Wrong what? Wrong that the WHO has for years been taking global epidemics far more seriously than the White House and Senate did prior to WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, or wrong that to deny this libels the WHO?

      • jungletrunks

        I didn’t suggest anything about WHO, I stated that WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. Are you suggesting this fact could be libel because you believe it isn’t true? Did you try to look up this fact? Here’s some help. https://time.com/5791661/who-coronavirus-pandemic-declaration/

        Essentially Europe was behind Trump. Don’t you agree? Is it your belief they declare travel bans early? They didn’t. “The European Council agreed on March 17, to ban incoming travel other than citizens from countries in the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and United Kingdom”

        On January 31, the Trump administration declared the coronavirus a public health emergency.

        Can you enlighten on how the EU, or WHO, are more proactive than Trump? Here’s some help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travel_restrictions_related_to_the_2019–20_coronavirus_pandemic Are all these countries racist for implementing late travel restrictions? Note the dates.

        Here’s a timeline of the Trump administrations COVID-19 actions:

        December 31: China reports the discovery of the coronavirus to the World Health Organization.

        January 6: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for Wuhan, China due to the spreading coronavirus.

        January 7: The CDC established a coronavirus incident management system to better share and respond to information about the virus.

        January 11: The CDC issued a Level I travel health notice for Wuhan, China.

        January 17: The CDC began implementing public health entry screening at the 3 U.S. airports that received the most travelers from Wuhan – San Francisco, New York JFK, and Los Angeles.

        January 20: Dr. Fauci announces the National Institutes of Health is already working on the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus.

        January 21: The CDC activated its emergency operations center to provide ongoing support to the coronavirus response.

        January 23: The CDC sought a “special emergency authorization” from the FDA to allow states to use its newly developed coronavirus test.

        January 27: The CDC issued a level III travel health notice urging Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to China due to the coronavirus.

        January 29: The White House announced the formation of the Coronavirus Task Force to help monitor and contain the spread of the virus and provide updates to the President.

        January 31: The Trump administration declared the coronavirus a public health emergency. Announced Chinese travel restrictions. Suspended entry into the United States for foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

        January 31: The Department of Homeland Security took critical steps to funnel all flights from China into just 7 domestic U.S. airports.

        February 3: The CDC had a team ready to travel to China to obtain critical information on the novel coronavirus, but were in the U.S. awaiting permission to enter by the Chinese government.

        February 4: President Trump vowed in his State of the Union Address to “take all necessary steps” to protect Americans from the coronavirus.

        February 6: The CDC began shipping CDC-Developed test kits for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to U.S. and international labs.

        February 9: The White House Coronavirus Task Force briefed governors from across the nation at the National Governors’ Association Meeting in Washington.

        February 11: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expanded a partnership with Janssen Research & Development to “expedite the development” of a coronavirus vaccine.

        February 12: The U.S. shipped test kits for the 2019 novel coronavirus to approximately 30 countries who lacked the necessary reagents and other materials.

        February 12: The CDC was prepared to travel to China but had yet to receive permission from the Chinese government.

        February 14: The CDC began working with five labs to conduct “community-based influenza surveillance” to study and detect the spread of coronavirus.

        February 18: HHS announced it would engage with Sanofi Pasteur in an effort to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and to develop treatment for coronavirus infections.

        February 24: The Trump Administration sent a letter to Congress requesting at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

        February 26: President Trump discussed coronavirus containment efforts with Indian PM Modi and updated the press on his Administration’s containment efforts in the U.S. during his state visit to India.

        February 29: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed certified labs to develop and begin testing coronavirus testing kits while reviewing pending applications.

        February 29: The Trump Administration: Announced a level 4 travel advisory to areas of Italy and South Korea. Barred all travel to Iran. Barred the entry of foreign citizens who visited Iran in the last 14 days.

        March 3: The CDC lifted federal restrictions on coronavirus testing to allow any American to be tested for coronavirus, “subject to doctor’s orders.”

        March 3: The White House announced President Trump donated his fourth quarter salary to fight the coronavirus.

        March 4: The Trump Administration announced the purchase of $500 million N95 respirators over the next 18 months to respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

        March 4: Secretary Azar announced that HHS was transferring $35 million to the CDC to help state and local communities that have been impacted most by the coronavirus.

        March 6: President Trump signed an $8.3 billion bill to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The bill provides $7.76 billion to federal, state, & local agencies to combat the coronavirus and authorizes an additional $500 million in waivers for Medicare telehealth restrictions.

        March 9: President Trump called on Congress to pass a payroll tax cut over coronavirus.

        March 10: President Trump and VP Pence met with top health insurance companies and secured a commitment to waive co-pays for coronavirus testing.

        March 11: President Trump: Announced travel restrictions on foreigners who had visited Europe in the last 14 days. Directed the Small Business Administration to issue low-interest loans to affected small businesses and called on congress to increase this fund by $50 billion. Directed the Treasury Department to defer tax payments for affected individuals & businesses, & provide $200 billion in “additional liquidity.” Met with American bankers at the White House to discuss coronavirus.
        March 13: President Trump declared a national emergency in order to access $42 billion in existing funds to combat the coronavirus.

        March 13: President Trump announced: Public-private partnerships to open up drive-through testing collection sites. A pause on interest payments on federal student loans. An order to the Department of Energy to purchase oil for the strategic petroleum reserve.

        March 13: The Food & Drug Administration: Granted Roche AG an emergency approval for automated coronavirus testing kits. Issued an emergency approval to Thermo Fisher for a coronavirus test within 24 hours of receiving the request.

        March 13: HHS announced funding for the development of two new rapid diagnostic tests, which would be able to detect coronavirus in approximately 1 hour.

        March 14: The Coronavirus Relief Bill passed the House of Representatives.

        March 14: The Trump Administration announced the European travel ban will extend to the UK and Ireland.

        March 15: President Trump held a phone call with over two dozen grocery store executives to discuss on-going demand for food and other supplies.

        March 15: HHS announced it is projected to have 1.9 million COVID-19 tests available in 2,000 labs this week.

        March 15: Google announced a partnership with the Trump Administration to develop a website dedicated to coronavirus education, prevention, & local resources.

        March 15: All 50 states were contacted through FEMA to coordinate “federally-supported, state-led efforts” to end coronavirus.

        March 16: President Trump: Held a tele-conference with governors to discuss coronavirus preparedness and response. Participated in a call with G7 leaders who committed to increasing coordination in response to the coronavirus and restoring global economic confidence. Announced that the first potential vaccine for coronavirus has entered a phase one trial in a record amount of time. Announced “15 days to slow the spread” coronavirus guidance.

        March 16: The FDA announced it was empowering states to authorize tests developed and used by labs in their states.

        March 16: Asst. Secretary for Health confirmed the availability of 1 million coronavirus tests, and projected 2 million tests available the next week and 5 million the following.

        March 17: President Trump announced: CMS will expand telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. Relevant Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act penalties will not be enforced. The Army Corps of Engineers is on ”standby” to assist federal & state governments.

        March 17: President Trump spoke to fast food executives from Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Burger King to discuss drive-thru services recommended by CDC

        March 17: President Trump met with tourism industry representatives along with industrial supply, retail, and wholesale representatives.

        March 17: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with lawmakers to discuss stimulus measures to relieve the economic burden of coronavirus on certain industries, businesses, and American workers.

        March 17: Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a partnership between USDA, Baylor University, McLane Global, and Pepsi Co. to provide one million meals per weak to rural children in response to widespread school closures.

        March 17: The Treasury Department: Contributed $10bil through the economic stabilization fund to the Federal Reserve’s commercial paper funding facility. Deferred $300 billion in tax payments for 90 days without penalty, up to $1mil for individuals & $10mil for business.

        March 17: The Department of Defense announced it will make available to HHS up to five million respirator masks and 2,000 ventilators.

        March 18: President Trump announced: Temporary closure of the U.S.-Canada border to non-essential traffic. Plans to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to increase the number of necessary supplies needed to combat coronavirus. FEMA has been activated in every region at its highest level of response. The U.S. Navy will deploy USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy hospital ships. All foreclosures and evictions will be suspended for a period of time.

        March 18: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed: 1 million masks are now immediately available. The Army Corps of Engineers is in NY consulting on how to best assist state officials.

        March 18: HHS temporarily suspended a regulation that prevents doctors from practicing across state lines.

        March 18: President Trump spoke to: Doctors, physicians, and nurses on the front lines containing the spread of coronavirus. 130 CEOs of the Business Roundtable to discuss on-going public-private partnerships in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

        Your reply to Don:
        “Wrong what? Wrong that the WHO has for years been taking global epidemics far more seriously than the White House.”

        Please elaborate how, or why, prior to COVID-19, the administration didn’t take epidemics seriously?

      • jungletrunks

        My only statement about WHO was when they announced COVID-19 as a pandemic/

        Here’s the first relevant early entries on WHO’s actions up to Trumps Jan 31 travel ban; you tell me if you think WHO took COVID-19 casually, and support with background, why, or why not:

        Jan. 21 — WHO confirms human-to-human transmission of the virus. The total number of cases is now 222, including infections among health-care workers. Chinese authorities have also reported a fourth death. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has convened an emergency committee on Jan. 22 to decide whether this constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

        Jan. 22 — The emergency committee defers its decision on whether to advise WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to declare 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. The meeting takes place amid a significant rise in confirmed cases of individuals infected with 2019-nCoV, at 580, according to China’s National Health Commission. The death toll has now risen to 17, with all cases reported from Hubei province.

        Jan. 23 — WHO’s director-general decides to not declare the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern yet, as per recommendations by the emergency committee. The city of Wuhan shuts down public transportation, closing the airport and railway stations as of Thursday morning, in efforts to curb the spread of the 2019-nCoV. The suspension is in effect “until further notice.” Later in the day, another city is on lockdown: Ezhou. Beijing cancels plans for Chinese new year festivities and closes the Forbidden City. Another city, Huanggang, announces it will go into lockdown Friday. Singapore also confirms its first imported case, while Vietnam confirms two cases.

        Jan. 25 — The 2019-nCoV reaches more countries. Australia confirms the first case of 2019-nCoV in the continent, with health authorities announcing three more cases later in the day. France confirms three cases, the first in Europe. Malaysia also reports the first four cases, Canada reports its first case. Several infected countries also confirm new cases, such as Thailand and Japan. In China meanwhile, Chinese government reports 688 new cases, bringing the total to 1,975. Cases with severe conditions rise to 324, and deaths to 56 in total. Hong Kong meanwhile raises response to 2019-nCoV to the highest level, suspending all flights to and from Wuhan.

        Jan. 27 — WHO chief Tedros travels to Beijing to meet with government and health experts on 2019-nCoV outbreak response. Hong Kong denies entry to visitors with travel history from Hubei Province, China, in the past 14 days. Authorities in Hubei suspend passport application and the provision of exit and entry permits in efforts to contain the spread of the virus. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commits $10 million for the 2019-nCoV outbreak response in China, and screening and outbreak preparedness in Africa. Cambodia, Germany and Sri Lanka each confirm their first 2019-nCoV cases.

        Jan. 28 — WHO’s Tedros meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing to discuss the latest developments in the 2019-nCoV outbreak. China agrees for WHO to send in international experts to help increase global understanding of the outbreak and guide response efforts.

        Jan. 29 — Tedros decides to reconvene the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Thursday for advice on whether to declare the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. The announcement comes just a week after Tedros initially refrained from declaring the outbreak an emergency. As 2019-nCoV cases grow in number and spread to more countries, the virus reaches the Middle East for the first time, with the United Arab Emirates reporting imported cases in a family of four. Finland also reports its first confirmed case.

        Jan. 30 — WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declares the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, noting the potential spread of the virus to countries with weak health systems. The decision comes as more countries outside China report cases of infection, including the Philippines and India. Both confirm their first 2019-nCoV cases. Total confirmed cases in China reach 9,692, with 213 deaths. WHO recommends “2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease” as interim name for the disease.

        Jan. 31 — More countries are applying border control measures against foreign nationals with recent travel history from China, just as confirmed cases in China reach 11,791, with 259 deaths. The U.S. declares the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency domestically. The U.K., Russia, Sweden, and Spain also confirm their first 2019-nCoV cases.

      • What jungletrunks said.
        You are wrong, doc. And continuing to talk foolishness will soon become shameful.

      • @jt: “Can you enlighten on how the EU, or WHO, are more proactive than Trump?”

        Wow, I feel like I just landed on a different planet.

        1. Given that CV is moving much faster than CC, arguments about CV like yours based on a 3-month timeline are like arguments about CC based on the flatness of climate during 2000-2010, or the huge (⅔ °F) decline in global mean land temperature (CRUTEM4) during the two years 2016-2018.

        2. There are documents on WHO’s website dating back years to the effect that the world urgently needs to do a lot more than it’s doing in anticipation of future pandemics. In May 2018, on the hundredth anniversary of the Spanish flu, the WHO published a “concise” (255-page) manual titled “Managing Epidemics” that you can download from either of the two links at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/managing-epidemics/en/

        The second paragraph of this manual’s foreword by the WHO’s director-general raises the following concern in the context of the 1918 Spanish flu.

        “Thankfully, we have not seen a public health emergency on that scale since then. BUT WE MAY AT ANY TIME. Outbreaks are a fact of life, and the world remains vulnerable. We do not know where or when the next global pandemic will occur, but we do know that it will take a terrible toll, both on human life, and on the global economy.”
        (Caps mine. Amazing that this was written 100 years after the Spanish flu pandemic but less than two years before the COVID-19 pandemic began. It’s almost like he felt it was overdue!)

        Two paragraphs later, “Keeping the world safe is one of WHO’s three top strategic priorities in our new General Programme of Work. We are setting ourselves a goal that over the next five years, 1 billion more people will be
        better protected from epidemics and other health emergencies.”

        And then, “Ultimately, it’s the absence of universal health coverage that is the greatest threat to health security. Universal health coverage and health security are two sides of the same coin.” (Actually we’re almost there as most major countries in the world already have that as can be seen from the green portions of the map at https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/heres-a-map-of-the-countries-that-provide-universal-health-care-americas-still-not-on-it/259153/ . The US sticks out like a sore thumb on that map.)

        More still along those lines, and that’s just the one-page foreword at the start of this “concise” 255-page manual.

        3. At the same time (4 months after the publication of that WHO manual to be precise), Trump was trying his darndest to circumvent broad bipartisan US support for UN funding, as you can read about at https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/10/02/trump-stealthily-seeks-to-choke-off-funding-to-un-programs/ .

        This should come as no surprise as Trump has complained for years about how useless the UN is and how the US needs to stop funding it. Trump can’t bear to see US dollars leaving US shores.

        But it sounds like you’re on Trump’s side on this matter, and in any event the US is notorious for being alone among the world’s major countries against universal health care. So best that we simply agree to disagree.

      • OK, we get it now. This is about resisting the Big Orange Fella and doing all we can to see that he fails. It’s about universal health care, because people in the US don’t have healthcare. No, it’s about the Chinese virus that is ravaging the planet, through no fault of POTUS Donald J. Trump. You are making a fool of yourself.

      • jungletrunks

        Vaughan Pratt: In your earlier post you were attempting to turn the discussion into an overarching theme of how WHO handles global epidemics. this is irrelevant to what work they’ve done on COVID-19, what actions they’ve taken is on the record. You continue the misdirection here by quoting me out of context, my question was delivered with a COVID-19 link, the entire thrust of my post was about COVID-19.

        The context of my previous questions directed to you, the last two timeline posts, were on COVID-19. You still don’t provide evidence that either the EU, or WHO, took actions superior than the Trump administration in the beginning stages of this virus; the 2nd timeline especially focuses on January actions by WHO. I also pointed out the weak travel restrictions by the EU. It took over 6 weeks after Trumps first travel restrictions for the EU to state: “The European Council agreed on March 17, to ban incoming travel other than citizens from countries in the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and United Kingdom”.

        Like your previous post, you sidestep my questions, now using some mission statement history of WHO that you cobbled together from their website.

        Did WHO take COVID-19 casually? You appear to think not, I ask you again to elaborate; what specific actions did WHO take with respect to COVID-19 that’s superior to what Trump did between Dec 31 and Jan 31?

      • @jt: “the entire thrust of my post was about COVID-19.”

        If you’re referring to your reply with its long timeline, jt, it mentioned COVID-19 four times and Trump twenty-six times. Please excuse me for mistaking it for being almost entirely about Trump.

        I only entered this thread after JC said it should remain technical. The first mention of Trump in this thread was by dpy6629 and the second by you. If this is going to turn into a thread about Trump then I’m out of here.

        I did mention the White House, but the idea that there’s a causal connection between it and the Oval Office is about as believable as a connection between ancient Athens and Mt. Olympus. While it is true that many Greeks worshiped the occupants of Mt. Olympus, among those concerned with the smooth governance of Athens only the priests saw any need to swear allegiance to them.

      • @DM: “You are making a fool of yourself.”

        Still projecting after all these years, Don? ;)

    • stevenreincarnated

      VP, do you think the House reacted appropriately and so leave them out of it based on that or are you giving them a pass since they were too engrossed in their how dare he start looking at our corruption impeachment process?

      • The House is run by the Democrats. They are not racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist etc. etc. so they are exempt from criticism, even though they have done nothing but drag their feet on what The Donald is trying to do.

      • @steve: “do you think the House reacted appropriately”

        As it happened I had a 90-minute surgical operation under general anesthesia on March 5, which left me pretty groggy for the next few days. I was only able to sit up and pay attention to anything for the first time on March 11. While I was awake I just sat propped up in front of the TV.

        That day I channel surfed to find the most entertaining soap opera. Unexpectedly it turned out to be the Congressional hearings on the Coronavirus Response being broadcast by C-SPAN. Sworn testimony was on offer by Drs. Fauci (NIH), Redfield (CDC), Kadlec (HHS), Rauch (DoD), and Mr. Currie (GAO).

        During that day and the next, most questions were directed to Fauci and Redfield. There was considerable diversity in the questions, such as “why have you been dragging your feet on emergency preparedness?”, “how long is this going to last”, “why no tests yet?”, “how can you tell whether someone who’s recovered had COVID-19 or just the flu”, “why are you now refusing to take the emergency actions that Congress had previously authorized you to take in exactly this sort of emergency?”, “isn’t it great how responsive the president has been to this crisis?”, etc. Dr. Fauci answered some of them with a “flattening the curve” gesture. Dr. Redfield spoke about the importance of surveillance, that is, randomized testing to assess actual incidence of infections, and the impossibility of doing it with the limited tests available.

        (One obvious similarity between CC and CV is this striking diversity of the House’s questions at Congressional hearings about each of these topics.)

        You asked whether those” reactions” by the House were appropriate. I would expect CE denizens to have varying answers to your question.

        “are you giving them a pass since they were too engrossed in their how dare he start looking at our corruption impeachment process?”

        How did we get here? That’s an “oh look, a squirrel” type question. Are you assuming I’m a Democrat, perhaps? I’ve never registered with that party, and I don’t donate to either party, only to the occasional candidate whose values seem more likely to benefit the average American than the wealthy.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I hope you are doing well, VP. March 11th is pretty late in the game and you are only dealing with hindsight which as we all know is 20/20. I’m not going to be too impressed by the same people that thought the WH was over reacting when it mattered the most now complaining it under reacted so I’ll just take your word for it that you were and leave it at that. Now when the most important decisions were being made back in January I never heard the House members talking about CV other than some name calling over decisions that were made because they were busy. That’s not look squirrel. That’s look fact.

      • @sr: “March 11th is pretty late in the game”

        Odd that you of all people would point that out, Steven. I was still watching C-SPAN when POTUS interrupted the Coronavirus Response proceedings that evening to give a 9-minute speech differing in two respects from any previous speech I’d ever heard him give, even just days earlier.

        1. He did not digress from the speech for even a second to criticize any Americans, not even Democrats, not even the mainstream media, only those terrible foreigners responsible for this plague. Right then and there I was so proud of him.

        2. Reflecting on his speech afterwards, it occurred to me that he’d spoken in the sort of monotone you’d expect from a relative calling to inform you that he was unharmed and that his nice hosts would be more than happy to return him to you just as soon as you’d paid them the million dollar ransom they were asking. It was like he’d been sedated.

        No one has ever heard Donald Trump talk like that before.

        Either the long-held theory that DT can’t read has finally been debunked, or AI has been able to imitate his voice (though in that case it needs to make him sound way more animated).

        Boy, talk about “late in the game”.

      • Coronavirus Infections—More Than Just the Common Cold

        One of the authors was Dr. Anthony Fauci. It was published on January 23, 2020.

        Pneumonia is a common illness in hospitals. Because of seasonal flu, deaths from viral pneumonia in hospital settings are not uncommon. I’m told with elderly patients, 65 and over, an actual flu test is not always done in an ER. This could mean people were catching SRS-CoV-19 well before the first diagnosis of it in US was made, and even dying of it. Ancient old saying in American medicine: “When you hear hoofbeats, you don’t think “pangolins!”

        SARS and MERS are not on the radar of American doctors.

        While MERS has not caused the international panic seen with SARS, the emergence of this second, highly pathogenic zoonotic HCoV illustrates the threat posed by this viral family. In 2017, the WHO placed SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV on its Priority Pathogen list, hoping to galvanize research and the development of countermeasures against CoVs.

        The action of the WHO proved prescient. On December 31, 2019, Chinese authorities reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, most of which included patients who reported exposure to a large seafood market selling many species of live animals. Emergence of another pathogenic zoonotic HCoV was suspected, and by January 10, 2020, researchers from the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center & School of Public Health and their collaborators released a full genomic sequence of 2019-nCoV to public databases, exemplifying prompt data sharing in outbreak response. Preliminary analyses indicate that 2019-nCoV has some amino acid homology to SARS-CoV and may be able to use ACE2 as a receptor. This has important implications for predicting pandemic potential moving forward. The situation with 2019-nCoV is evolving rapidly, with the case count currently growing into the hundreds. Human-to-human transmission of 2019-nCoV occurs, as evidenced by the infection of 15 health care practitioners in a Wuhan hospital. The extent, if any, to which such transmission might lead to a sustained epidemic remains an open and critical question. So far, it appears that the fatality rate of 2019-nCoV is lower than that of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV; however, the ultimate scope and effects of the outbreak remain to be seen. (Click link to read entire article)

      • DT is going to be in charge of your adopted country for the next 58 months,
        doc. All the vicious attempts by the Dems, their stooges in the press, Hollywood pinheads, left loon academics, etc. etc. have backfired. The Chinese virus crisis that you all are trying to hype and pin on DT, is going to be far milder than your hysterical predictions. You all were hoping The Donald would get the blame, but he will instead get the credit for managing a better than expected outcome. Give up. Stop the foolishness. It is destructive.

      • stevenreincarnated

        VP, we could have had his critics in charge and I’m sure we’d be much further along, further along in the number of people building up an immunity since they thought closing the borders to China was an act of xenophobic racism. If Trump made porridge the Goldilocks Trump haters would do just as they do now, scream he made the porridge too hot and then when it becomes obvious that no, he didn’t make it too hot, they just start screaming he made it too cold.

      • That’s a perfectly normal response to a horrible person. The abnormal response is to defend a horrible person.

      • stevenreincarnated

        JCH, I haven’t noticed him being horrible but no, I have no interest in seeing a long list of accusations almost all of which have been debunked and we have probably already tested Judith’s patience by straying into politics a bit too much.

      • @DM: ” The Chinese virus crisis that you all are trying to hype and pin on DT, is going to be far milder than your hysterical predictions.”

        I only predict what is obviously going to happen. Let me know if one of my predictions on this thread turns out not to come to pass.

  3. Ireneusz Palmowski

    No other respiratory pathogens were detected. Her management was intravenous fluid rehydration without supplemental oxygenation. No antibiotics, steroids or antiviral agents were administered. Chest radiography demonstrated bi-basal infiltrates at day 5 that cleared on day 10 (Fig. 1b). She was discharged to home isolation on day 11. Her symptoms resolved completely by day 13, and she remained well at day 20, with progressive increases in plasma SARS-CoV-2-binding IgM and IgG antibodies from day 7 until day 20 (Fig. 1c and Extended Data Fig. 1).
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0819-2

  4. Michael van der Riet

    Somewhat off topic, Sabine Hossenfelder approaches uncertainty and uncomputability from a different direction. http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2020/03/unpredictability-undecidability-and.html

  5. “Restaurants will change dramatically, more a focus on pick up and delivery than on dining.”

    Maybe, but the Italian ‘Patient-zero seems to have been a food pick-up driver.
    https://summit.news/2020/03/05/coronavirus-patient-zero-in-italy-was-pakistani-migrant-who-refused-to-self-isolate/

    • Rick W Kargaard

      Cooking at home would seem to much safer as well as much tastier and otherwise healthier. Assuming a reasonable level of competence by at least one family member.

      • Roger Knights

        “Cooking at home would seem to much safer as well as much tastier and otherwise healthier.”

        Additional justification for the Instant Pot!

  6. Need to keep up with the latest this virus is a furfy and stop worrying its a copy of SARS ect look up “hydroxychloroquine” it will be over in two weeks it prevents and cures nearly at 100% in vitro and in Vivo patients look it up.

    • Crispin in Waterloo

      Good comment Hifast, but surely you are aware that calling something “the Wuhan shake” is “racist”? Isn’t anything that identifies a source “racist” these days”? Gotta worry about the global politically correct speech police.

      Perhaps cooler heads will one day prevail and we will be comfortable calling the Spanish Flu after the US State where it originated. We used to have “Asian flu” (remember 1957?) which even now might be acceptable. No doubt we will one day have the Argentine flu and the Nomenclatura will remain silent on nomenclature. It is difficult to remain politically correct when the object of ire is conservatism and sensibility.

      Personally I favour the WHO model of giving viruses their technical names like H1N1 and H5N7. SARS-cv-2 is catchy, right? Geddit?

      The big lesson these days is that there are universal threats that require global coordination and there is no respectable global administrative body with the authority and resources to direct global responses – the WHO is mostly a joke. There is a lot of remnant “island-ism” permeating the discussion. “They” are responsible for “our” problem. It’s childish, as is a knee-jerk resistance to calls for an international federation with the authority to deal with international problems. It is odd that anything to do with creating any global authority is opposed by assumptions of Hollywood-scale dystopias. If American conservatives are smart enough to dream up a Federation of States, why aren’t they smart enough to imagine a federation of nations? The situation in Italy would not persist in the present of a real WHO.

      “Meanwhile, the Brits are feeling the pinch in relation to the coronavirus threat and have raised their Threat Level from “Miffed” to “Peeved”. They may soon have to raise it again to “Irritated” or even, “A Bit Cross”. The Brits have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. The virus itself has been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance”, a warning level that was last issued in 1588 when threatened by the Spanish Armada.” [Seen circulating…]

      • We don’t have to imagine a federation of nations. Soviet Union comes to mind. EU. Dustbin of history also comes to mind. We have a real WHO. It’s called the WHO. You must mean a WHO with the authority and power to run the nations of the Earth with a combination of flawless wisdom, competence and benevolence that we ain’t gonna find on this here planet. Are you from another one? Or, you were being sarcastic?

  7. Unfortunately, many people who’re rightly skeptical of the “climate emergency” are also wrongly skeptical of this crisis. That misplaced skepticism is one of the hidden costs of the “climate emergency” scam. So-called “experts” have been screaming “wolf” so long and loud about the fictitious “climate emergency” that many smart people, who’ve learned that manmade climate change is actually modest and benign, have become too accustomed to disregarding cries of “wolf!”

    So when there’s a REAL catastrophe, and a different set of experts sound the alarm, many people wrongly assume it’s just another false alarm.

    That’s a mistake, which can have deadly consequences. In South Korea, the irresponsibility of one person, who they’re calling “Patient 31,” has directly or indirectly caused the infection of about 2500 other people, so far.

    Friends, THIS is not a false alarm. This is not another batch of scammers ginning up a fake “emergency” to pad their pockets. This one is real.

    If the USA’s current apparent† exponential growth rate (doubling about every three days) does not slow, the USA will exceed one million confirmed cases in less than three weeks.

    † I dearly hope that at least part of the current exponential rise in confirmed U.S. cases is because of the increase in testing capability. But even if it is, there’s no question that this disease is spreading extraordinarily rapidly. The fact that so many people have no symptoms, combined with the fact that this disease is very easily transmitted, make it very, very difficult to control.

    Do the math for the USA: if the number of COVID-19 cases were to continue to double every three days, it would take only 3 × log2(150,000,000) ≈ 81 days to infect about half of the U.S. population, and we’re already about 36 days into that 81.

    If 1% of them die, that’s 1.5 million U.S. deaths, most of them in the same month. To put that in perspective, in a typical month, about 230,000 U.S. citizens die (all causes combined). If and we don’t slow the spread of this disease, and 1% of those infected die, it could plausibly cause a temporary >600% increase in the overall U.S. death rate.

    That’s the kind of numbers we might be looking at, in a business-as-usual scenario, if we don’t drive down the infection rate, and if effective treatments are not found.

    It would not be unprecedented, either. It is believed that the 1918 flu pandemic killed about 2% – and that’s not the percentage of those infected, it is the percentage of the entire world population.

    If you want to see what happens when extraordinary control measures are implemented too late, look at Italy:
    Population 60 million (18% of U.S. population).
    35,713 cases confirmed.
    2,988 deaths.
    4,025 recoveries.
    28,710 remaining active confirmed cases.
    2,988 / 35,713 = 8.37%, so far.

    On one hand, some of those deaths were diagnosed postmortem, a fact which inflates the calculated mortality rate. But, on the other hand, we don’t know how many of the remaining active cases will also die, and the numbers are still rapidly worsening:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51952712

    Perhaps effective treatments will be found. There are some reports of success treating the disease with existing antivirals and/or chloroquine. If those reports are confirmed, then the death rate might fall sharply. Those eggs have not hatched, and should not be counted, but here are a few articles about possible treatments:

    a. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/17/an-effective-treatment-for-coronavirus-covid-19-has-been-found-in-a-common-anti-malarial-drug/
    b. https://www.physiciansweekly.com/cocktail-of-flu-hiv/
    c. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/coronavirus-drug-research-german-researchers-identify-japanese-drug,-camostat-mesylate-that-could-be-repurposed-to-treat-covid-19
    d. https://www.businessinsider.com/abbvies-hiv-drug-kaletra-treat-coronavirus-results-nejm-study-2020-3
    e. https://fortune.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-drug-trials-china-abbvie-fujifilm-gilead/
    f. https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australia-queensland-researchers-find-cure-want-drug-trial/news-story/93e7656da0cff4fc4d2c5e51706accb5

    Be careful out there, folks. Nearly half of the people who have the disease feel fine. So the healthy-looking person whose hand you shake, or who handed you the pen to sign the receipt, or who opened the door a few minutes before you did, might be one of them — or you might be one of them. Be like these guys, don’t take chances:

    • Dave, You ha e no idea what the ‘exponential’ growth means because the there are huge biases in data collection. Just as with flu, we will be lucky if infection numbers are within an order of magnitude. Don’t scare people with unreliable numbers.

    • Also, what’s your alternate? Long term social isolation and economic collapse? If this is as contagious as you say it’s only a matter of time until most people get exposed. You are not thinking critically.

      • dpy6629 wrote, “You ha e no idea what the ‘exponential’ growth means because the there are huge biases in data collection.”

        Did you miss the parts where I discussed those biases? I wrote, I dearly hope that at least part of the current exponential rise in confirmed U.S. cases is because of the increase in testing capability… [and]
        On one hand, some of those deaths were diagnosed postmortem, a fact which inflates the calculated mortality rate. But, on the other hand, we don’t know how many of the remaining active cases will also die, and the numbers are still rapidly worsening…”

        We must work with the imperfect information that we have, and, right now, the best information — imperfect as it is — indicates that this is that this is far more dangerous than the flu.
         

        dpy6629 wrote, “Don’t scare people with unreliable numbers.”

        If you think any of the numbers I used are wrong then please do correct them. (Of course, it’s been several hours since I posted, so the numbers keep increasing; Italy is now up to 41,035 confirmed cases [was 35,713], 3,405 deaths [was 2,988], and 4,440 recovered [was 4,025].) But if you’re not worried about this then you don’t understand what’s going on.
         

        dpy6629 wrote, “If this is as contagious as you say it’s only a matter of time until most people get exposed.”

        Even if you’re right, do you think that means the drastic measures to control its spread aren’t worthwhile? If that’s what you think, you’re wrong.

        Do you care whether there are ventilators and hospital beds available when you or your grandmother falls ill? You should!

        Do you care whether she falls ill before or after effective treatments are available? You should!

    • @db “It is believed that the 1918 flu pandemic killed about 2% – and that’s not the percentage of those infected, it is the percentage of the entire world population.”

      Beliefs are one thing, a careful examination of the data including reconciliation with what is theoretically possible is quite another. The December 2019 paper https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30202996 challenged the commonly cited estimate of 50-100 million deaths and estimated it was more like 15 million with 25 million being “not realistic based on the underlying mortality rates included in Human Mortality Database”.

      To put COVID-19 in perspective, here’s the current daily death rate for all serious diseases.

      For each COVID-19 death per average day, 215 people die of worse diseases as measured by average daily death rate.

      • What is the source or reference for your graphic please?

      • budbromley | March 19, 2020 at 4:09 pm |
        What is the source or reference for your graphic please?

        Click on it and you will see the source.

      • Curious George

        Too early to tell. The virus is still spreading. And there is no universally agreed treatment yet.

      • @budbromley: “What is the source or reference for your graphic please?”

        This is the 9th graphic at https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/covid-19-coronavirus-infographic-datapack/ .

        In cropping out that graphic to post here I inadvertently omitted its sources at the bottom of that 9th graphic:

        I’ll try to be more careful next time.

        If there’s some other way on Climate Etc. to insert a fragment of a page like that without cropping it out I’m all ears.

      • jungletrunks

        “To put COVID-19 in perspective, here’s the current daily death rate for all serious diseases.”

        I assume that when you say disease in your preamble leading to the chart, you’re referring to infectious disease; yet it still misrepresents data. While pneumonia is indeed a leading cause of death, it’s often grouped with flu in such charts because it’s the most likely complication from flu that leads to death. Same with COVID-19, it’s the end-stage complication of pneumonia that usually takes out its victim. So 215 people don’t die of worse diseases as you state, the end stage complication of COVID-19, that causes death, is in fact pneumonia.

        This chart wasn’t part of the NIH link in the same post, was it?

      • VP – take a screen shot and upload to to a free photo site:

      • @JCH: “VP – take a screen shot and upload to to a free photo site:.”

        Thank you for making my point, JCH: the cropping in your example was even worse than mine. My question was how to do it WITHOUT having to crop, which always runs the risk that you might inadvertently crop out something you shouldn’t have.

    • DaveBurton: Do the math for the USA: if the number of COVID-19 cases were to continue to double every three days, it would take only 3 × log2(150,000,000) ≈ 81 days to infect about half of the U.S. population, and we’re already about 36 days into that 81.

      Is it doubling every three days? That is something I have started to track.

      • Best estimate I’ve seen is doubling every 6 days. But its early, that was a few days ago.

        The reason we are seeing drastic actions by governments around the world is that statistic, and the number of patients (per current data) who become seriously or critically ill (~18%).

    • “If the USA’s current apparent† exponential growth rate (doubling about every three days) does not slow, the USA will exceed one million confirmed cases in less than three weeks.”

      Richard Epstein (a famous, 76-year-old legal scholar) downplays Covid-19 effects and countermeasures in a half-hour podcast—play at 1.25 speed:
      https://reason.com/podcast/richard-epstein-more-probable-than-not-total-number-of-deaths-at-under-50000/

      He claims that the often-used doubling-rate math is very wrong. He’s apparently written stuff on this, which would be faster to read, but I don’t have the link(s).

      • He is one of many who is poorly informed and making this argument. Smart? Yes. Able to crunch lots of data? Yes. Knowing the context for crunching the data – nope. In other words, sure, it isn’t doubling that often – but *only* because strong measures were taken to suppress it.

  8. Our state has shutdown restaurants and bars. Of those that are open, some have changed their operations to pickup only, most likely with lower volumes. Many of those establishments need working capital since they don’t have access to credit lines like the major corporations. We just purchased a gift certificate from such a small restaurant/bakery to be used only after several months which hopefully helps with their liquidity problems in the interim. In the meantime our usual purchases will continue but done in a slightly different manner.

    Whatever package is passed, I hope we are not included. The problem is lack of cash flow to bridge the rest of the year. This household doesn’t need it. The normal Keynesian proscription to goose economic activity will not address the root problem. Temporary liquidity shortages is the most pressing threat to the economy. Deal with demand later. Help those with interrupted cash flow.

  9. I have two doctors that I see regularly for checkups. I contacted both of them, and despite having several risk factors, NEITHER indicated they would prescribe hydroly-chloroquine even if it were a case of life or death. NEITHER ONE! There was a case in New Jersey where a man was saved from certain death using this drug and an HIV drug on recommendations from Chinese doctors. China and South Korea are using this to good effect but our medical community would prefer you die rather than use something that is known to work because of a lack of approval from the CDC. Stupid, really stupid.

  10. Alexandre Guedes da Silva

    Dear folks,
    I’m living at the edges of a sinking Europe, at its Westernmost point, the Municipality of Cascais and I can assure you that COVID19 is a ferocious killing machine.

    Like Judith I still can walk with my dog on safe and wild environments from the the Cascais/Sintra Natural Park but I know that’s even there is risky, mainly because this particular virus loves mild temperatures ranging from 5-11 and lots of humidity and because THIS IS NOT A COMMON FLU as many says.

    In fact, the main problems at the moment is that, many carriers are assintomatic or express very light symptoms that are not easy to detect but they have the power to infect elders and other susceptible people and when they do it the results are catastrophic 5,4% OF ALL THE INFECTED PEOPLE DIES (see the actual numbers for Hubei Province), that said if did nothing in Portugal and let all the population get infected (10M) we will expect a death tool of 540 000 people, is simple math.

    Do nothing and the expected tool for the US is a meaningless 17,82 million dead’s, SO PLEASE DO SOMETHING NOW and learn from the hard lessons from the others (China, Korea, Italy, Iran, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland and now the unfortunate UK).

    Those are harsh times but we will prevail,

    Alexandre Guedes da Silva
    “Facing you from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean”

    Reference:

    • @AGdS: “SO PLEASE DO SOMETHING NOW and learn from the hard lessons from the others (China, Korea, Italy, Iran, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland and now the unfortunate UK).”

      Interesting to see Italy and Germany lumped together when their death rates are currently 7.94% and 0.26% respectively. In that regard Italy is more than 30 times worse off than Germany.

      • Do not rely much on our italian numbers.
        We are sistematically underestimating the numbers of infected (because we do not test asymptomatic people), we have a lot of elderly people (who are most at risk) and the numbers of Death due to covid have still to be confirmed officially

      • No better proof than this list to show that present covid19 spread research is still unreliable. We only know it can spread fast and undetected.

  11. Quinine, the drug for malaria and also apparently efficacious against coronavirus, is in Tonic water. Fortunately not many know this so was able to get some in the shop today.

  12. Perhaps some good news out of Israel:

    Israeli scientists: ‘In a few weeks, we will have coronavirus vaccine’
    Once the vaccine is developed, it will take at least 90 days to complete the regulatory process and potentially more to enter the marketplace.
    MARCH 15, 2020 14:18
    https://www.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Israeli-scientists-In-three-weeks-we-will-have-coronavirus-vaccine-619101

  13. Ethnic restaurant just down the street – a throng of people waiting outside on the sidewalk for their takeout orders. Chinese scale – F minus

    Isolated neighbor – has his grandkids show up for a deep over – Chinese scale – F minus

    Isolated neighbor – maid has come 2 times this week. Chinese scale – F minus.

    Isolated neighbor – group of visitors, less than 10. Chinese scale – F minus.

    USA USA USA vaccine fast tracked. Hey, let’s go out and celebrate. Chinese scale – F minus.

    Daughter’s co-worker has a nurse for a husband. His clinic treated a flight attendant who worked a flight that had a passenger test positive. She came to his clinic sick. So far, no test result for the flight attendant. Nurse quarantined with his family. He has a high fever and nausea. So far, they have refused to test him. Chinese scale – F minus.

    • In 2003, the SARS outbreak emerged from China.

      Subsequent analysis suggested closing the ‘wet markets’ to prevent further outbreaks.

      2019, China brewed up another outbreak in Wuhan, home of the largest still open ‘wet markets’ and death tolls continue.

      Rest of the world scale: F minus minus.

      Com’ on JCH, you’re supposed to be the Ag advocate.
      Don’t you believe is regulated Ag?

      Steaks and roasts used to have that blue stamp of approval from the USDA.

      Do you really China should be munching down on non-inspected Pangolins and cooking up ever new viruses?

      It’s not just China, of course, Africa has lots of non-inspected bush meat.

      Factory farms aren’t without problems, even infections, but they’re a lot easier to centralize and regulate than the free for all farmers markets which were predicted to cause this outbreak.

      • You do not know it started in a wet market. One science paper says it started in November, long before the outbreak in the wet market.

        The cold war ended a long time ago.

      • Calls for global ban on wild animal markets amid coronavirus outbreak”

        “After Sars – the severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2002-3 caused by a very similar coronavirus to the one currently in China – there was a temporary ban on the wild animal markets. Chinese scientists wrote papers on the risks of allowing people to trade and eat wild meat.
        “But the markets are operating again and are widespread across China, Vietnam and other parts of south-east Asia, said Prof Diana Bell from the University of East Anglia’s School of Biological Sciences.”

        “Poorly regulated live animal markets, where wild animals, farmed wildlife, and domestic animals are transported from across the regions and housed together to sell for human consumption provide ideal conditions for the emergence of new viruses that threaten human health, economic stability, and ecosystem health.

  14. CV: has direct consequences of illness
    CC: depends mostly on indirect series of effects of global warming.
    this leads to ‘slippery slope’ imagination of effects.

    CV: has observable death counts,
    CC: none

    Perhaps motivated by numbers, death reports, or scenes from hospitals,
    both citizens and governments worldwide seem to believe CV is a crisis.
    Similar actions are not coming for CC because the people don’t see any more atmospheric calamity than usual.

    Even Barak Obama has indicated that he doesn’t believe climate change is a crisis.

  15. Italy new daily cases

    3/13 2,547
    3/15. 3,590
    3/18. 4,207
    3/19. 5,322

  16. Climate change crisis is old news. Now people have a real crisis to see how one looks like. And the economic crisis that comes afterwards is going to be humongous. Only a tiny fraction will remain concerned about the climate through this.

  17. “If you want to see what happens when extraordinary control measures are implemented too late, look at Italy:
    Population 60 million (18% of U.S. population).
    35,713 cases confirmed.
    2,988 deaths.
    4,025 recoveries.
    28,710 remaining active confirmed cases.
    2,988 / 35,713 = 8.37%, so far.”

    In contrast, in the UK, which has roughly the same population as Italy, had, until influenza vaccine became freely available for the over 60s, between 25,000 and 50,000 ‘Excess Winter Deaths’. These were from much the same part of the population as are dying from Covid-19.

    The inference is that unlike, say smallpox or measles, where any deaths would in excess of the natural death rate, those that die from Corvid-19 are amongst those whose deaths are not unexpected.

    • No they are not. They have underlying conditions, but the vast majority had years of fully active one in front of them. There are doctors and nurses in Italy who are watching people just like their active parents die.

      • They have underlying conditions, but the vast majority had years of fully active one in front of them.

        Those with metabolic syndrome have a significantly shorter life expectancy, irrespective of COVID.

        Fasting glucose tends to rise with age for everyone, but the longest lived are those that keep it relatively low:

      • They have apartments for active seniors, usually over 55. The age range in the one I am familiar with was 55 to 106. All of them living alone or with a spouse. Many of them had heart disease, diabetes, COPD, etc. They lived there year after year, flu after flu, winter after winter. Good grief.

      • Median age of COVID deaths in Italy is 81, not 55.

      • I didn’t say it was 55.

        I said it is people who are not likely to die this winter because of their underlying disease or of this flu.

        The average age in Italy could heavily skewed to the elderly as the internet is full of rumors about arbitrary triage – nobody over a certain age gets a ventilator. Battlefield medicine. Outside of a WW2 sickbay, an area of people who were marked to wait to the very last for care, if ever.

        Unless it’s a basketball player.

      • Fantasy…

        “According to the latest European monitoring report, overall mortality in all countries (including Italy) and in all age groups remains within or even below the normal range so far.”

        The only people dying are those expected to die in the normal course of events.

    • As someone in the category, I am tired of people writing off the risk to us because death is near. First, that’s crap. Second it’s inhuman and vile. Many of us are active and continue to contribute to society.

      Also, lots of younger people die of it. And if you don’t care about that, consider that a around half the people in serious or critical condition with this, require advanced care, are under the age of 50.

      • Excuse me, I live in Arizona in a 55 and older community, halve the people I first met here thirteen years ago are dead, a good percentage of the spouse of people have died in the last 13 years. When you are you have no idea how long you have, it only a guess I out lived my father I on only 67. Out of his five siblings dad died in his sixties, one died in her seventies, one in her eighties two in their nineties, the order they died had nothing to do with when they were born. Once you get into you sixties it a gamble how long you are going to live. Don’t tell me you have a lot of years left, the only thing you can say is I hope I have a lot of years left. As far as what you contribute to society is also pure bull, you do what you can and when you time comes they is not a damn thing you can do about it. The truth of the matter Flu on average kill more older adults than younger that just the way it is. Now my wife and I have do not resuscitate order in place not that we would like to die it just often at our age when you are resuscitated from an extreme event you get to look forward to life in a rest home. The same is often thru for those who work out a lot yes they live longer but at what level often they need knee replacements hips and shoulders..

  18. The perception of expertise is in flux. As a result of climate change alarmism (both scientists and the media), scientific expertise took a hit in terms of political and public perceptions.

    I still prefer it with all CAPS but agree 100%.

  19. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The number of deaths depends directly on the number of tests carried out, what can be seen in Germany. There they do not save on tests.

    • How does a test treat a disease? This one thing that CNN has probably gotten very wrong. Germany and South Korea had outbreaks heavily skewed to young people, so their death rates started out low. Germany, like the USA, has and elderly population with a high percentage of folks who live alone and tend to have few visitors. That simply means the virus will do a slower chew through that population, but chew it most likely will.

    • @IP: “The number of deaths depends directly on the number of tests carried out, what can be seen in Germany. There they do not save on tests.”

      Isn’t that backwards? If you have no tests for COVID-19 you have no basis for attributing any given death to COVID-19. So with more COVID-19 tests you’d expect their data to show more COVID-19 deaths, not fewer. As it is the death rate in Germany is 0.26%, less than 1/30 of the rate of 7.96% in Italy.

      Germany having fewer tests than Italy could explain that, though there are surely better explanations.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        The number of tests is very important. Allows early detection of the virus. Antiviral drugs are effective only in the first phase of treatment. When pneumonia occurs, we lose control over the course of the disease.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Germany began mass tests much earlier than Italy when it comes to the stage of the epidemic.
        https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      • Vaughan

        the explanation for fewer deaths is that the Germans are not highly tactile like the Italians and do not have frequent intergenerational family gatherings with much kissing and hugging and viruses being spread by those who didn’t know they have them, nor such an old population where one third are resistant to antibiotics, nor have any where near as many that have ruined their lungs by years of heavy smoking. Also due to the high prices in Northern Italy many people live in small flats with poor air quality due to traffic and industry

        There are many similarities with Chinese communities as well

        tonyb

      • There goes tony with that tactile word again. Just substitute fuzzy little foreigners for the word tactile (and you can see why the UK really wants out of the EU… 😉)

      • afonzarelli

        here is a definition of tactile

        https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/tactile

        From frequent visits to Italy I would observe that they are (generally) a tactile nation. They are tactile with strangers, but especially friends and family members. The young are especially tactile.

        In normal times it might be considered a charming trait and gives the Italian nation that characteristic that makes many of us return to the country year after year.

        I do not know what other word to use in relation to the fact that touching, kissing, hugging etc are much more likely lead to infection than staying apart from each other.

        Incidentally I am a proud European but I dislike the EU. They are two different things.

        tonyb

    • As far as I know in Germany deaths from pneumonia are not routinely tested for covid19 (at least until a few days ago) and there might be some bureaurocratic incentives not to report them as such. Tests seem to be in rather short supply generally. As far as I can see they manage this exceptionally badly.
      Two days ago the local newspaper ran a story where some official declared paper money and coins as harmless infection wise.

    • Curious George

      When you get tested .. are you less likely or more likely to die?

  20. Matthew R Marler

    Also this experience is highlighting the deep problems with the U.S. FDA; apart from the COV testing regulations fiasco, the latest is that hydroxychlorquine is not approved for coronavirus treatment in the U.S.; approval would take 90 days.

    Toxicity and pharmacokinetics of the related chloroquine compounds are well studied, and early news with respect to using them against CV are promising. But there are always surprises. Who would want to be the FDA employees who expedited approval of chloroquine for CV if it was later learned that it caused heart disease or pancreatic cancer in CV-infected patients? Reportedly (I am behind in my reading and someone is bound to correct me if I am wrong) ibuprofin is contraindicated for CV; as is aspirin for chicken pox; as is fen-phen for obesity; as is grapefruit for people taking atorvastatin (Lipitor); as is warfarin for people on fluoxetine (and vice-versa); as are anti-arrhythmia drugs for heart attacks. Merck once had a great drug for treating stroke but it unexpectedly caused aplastic anemia (I worked on some compounds derived from it.). Examples can be collected beyond the patience of anyone to read about them. Each such counter-intuitive and unexpected occurrence has a seemingly low probability of happening, but collectively there are surprises like this every month, at least. Merck once had a great drug for treating stroke but it unexpectedly caused aplastic anemia (I worked on some compounds derived from it.).

    There is no perfect cure for uncertainty in pharmaceutical research, but the best treatments are well-designed clinical trials with placebo controls, random assignment, and double-blind assignment and assessment. Everything else eliminates ignorance and misplaced faith more slowly. Despite everyone’s impatience, promoting ignorance over the best attainable knowledge isn’t beneficial in either the short run or long run.

    • oops, sorry for the repetition of the Merck example.

    • OTOH,

      Trump orders FDA Commissioner to overrule restrictions on chloroquine for CV. Note: Doctors already had the usual rights to prescribe it for “off label” use, whatever they were in this case.

      https://dailycaller.com/2020/03/19/trump-coronavirus-hydroxychloroquine-cure-anti-viral-therapies/

      I hope sound clinical trials start up. If CV affects liver function, there will likely be complications, because the drug accumulates to high concentrations in the liver where the half-life is about a month..

    • Curious George

      Are you recommending a double-blind clinical trial?

      • Curious George: Are you recommending a double-blind clinical trial?

        Yes. It is the best way to learn efficacy and toxicity (aka “side effects) in the population of people infected with the new coronavirus. There are also almost certainly differences between men and women, and among young, middle aged, and elderly.

        Right now it looks as though there is no reason to oppose widespread use of hydroxychloroquine for people with COVID-19, as long as there is careful monitoring of all cases, as with “post-marketing surveillance” of approved drugs. But as soon as possible there ought to be double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials with random assignment. If there are important toxicities it is best to learn about them as soon as possible. Every alternative to well-designed and conducted clinical trials slows the acquisition of reliable knowledge.

      • You are looking at introducing a drug into very sick patients with absolutely no clue what it is doing, which is why, I believe, this should not be allowed at all unless the patient is about to die, and guns are all out of bullets.

        Talk about panicking.

        Bet the black market on it is probably through the ceiling. Guido has probably filled a warehouse with stolen product, and the people who need it aren’t going to get it.

        Some barnyard medicine. You have 19 dead animals and 79 that appear are going to make it, and one that is very sick. You shoot apricot pit soup into it. It lives. At a rate of around 99.99%, what is the right conclusion?

      • Sorry, 20 dead animals. Oh well.

      • JCH: You are looking at introducing a drug into very sick patients with absolutely no clue what it is doing, which is why, I believe, this should not be allowed at all unless the patient is about to die, and guns are all out of bullets.

        I can’t tell whether you are serious or mocking somebody (“Poe’s Law”?). It is not true that there is no clue to what the drug does (cf Rud Istvan at WUWT); it will be administered to sick (and not so sick) patients in a wide range of ages; giving it only to people in whom you are sure it will not works inhibits learning anything about it.

  21. Cooking at home would seem to much safer as well as much tastier and otherwise healthier. Assuming a reasonable level of competence by at least one family member.

  22. Perfect isolation is little different than herd immunity. A virus cannot jump to a human in perfect isolation. A virus can jump to a human with immunity, but their immune system kills it faster than it can replicate.

    Both individuals are unavailable as hosts for viral replication.

    An infected person who dies and infected person who lives are basically the same. In each, the virus eventually dies. At least, usually. They are almost always no longer available as hosts for viral replication.

    In the environment, viruses have a wide timespan for viability. They cannot replicate. This virus appears to have a limited lifespan in the environment.

    This means it can be eradicated. The population of SARS-CoV-2 can be reduced to zero.

    The Chinese have reduced the total population of SARS-CoV-2 inside their border to a very low number. The rest of the world is twiddling their thumbs with an array of somewhat effective to ineffective countermeasures.

  23. Peter Zeihan has some info for the uncertainty.

    But still questions:

    Global COVID mortality rate close to global Flu mortality rate?
    55% of Americans at risk from existing health?

  24. By contrast, the scientific experts on coronavirus are doing a superb job

    That strikes me as less than fully true :
    (https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/16/panic-pandemic-why-are-people-who-should-know-better-buying-the-covid19-hype/)

    and politicians are taking them seriously.

    In EU, the reactions of the national governments have been criticised as belated and uncoordinated. (And when they happen they tend to be too hysterical: (https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-virologist-urges-world-leaders-to-calm-public-slams-unnecessary-panic/))

  25. The question “what will this change?” unfortunately gets ignored in imeadiacy of the problem, as the comments attest. I suspect as the post suggests that one significant shift will be in the use of virtual interactions.

    Two reasons, first a major barrier to uptake has been social and cultural. A year being forced to do it should significantly reduce those. The second is VR & AR technologies are being actively developed by the gaming industry with hardware platforms becoming widely available, but these have not been applied by and large to virtual interactions. Robotic avatars are emerging (see what ANA is upto as an airline). Once the demand arises these developments are available to rapidly improve the experience.

  26. I have seen US death projections ranging from 6000 to 1.2 million, making this just like the climate debate. Strong opposing opinions abound.

    • I have seen US death projections ranging from 6000 to 1.2 million…

      Meanwhile, in real-ville, we’ve just past the 200 mark. (prognostications at this point are of little value)…

      • David Wojick

        Except everyone’s strong opinion seems to be based on a choice of projection. Just as with climate change.

    • @DW: “I have seen US death projections ranging from 6000 to 1.2 million”

      That reflects the difficulty even the most expert epidemiologists have in forecasting the shape of the COVID-19 bell curve (the curve the NIH director Dr. Anthony Fauci kept saying we needed to “flatten” during the many hours of the Coronavirus Response hearings on C-SPAN last week).

      It is easy to describe the curve’s shape after it has flattened. But if you’re at an early stage in the development of the curve, specifically if you’re more than one standard deviation before the peak of the curve, then no one, not even the experts, can tell the difference between the curve itself, whatever it turns out to be, and a very scary exponentially growing curve that grows much higher before it turns into a flattened curve.

      Here’s a graphic making this point. It shows a standard gaussian (the peak or mean is at x = 0 while one standard deviation before the peak is at x = -1) along with the exponential function exp(x).

      You can easily see the dilemma faced by the experts who have only data prior to x = -1. Maybe the curve is just about to flatten, or maybe it will keep rising for a long time before it flattens!

      “…just like the climate debate. Strong opposing opinions abound.”

      That depends strongly on your cohort.

      The AGU Fall Meeting, back in SF for December 2019, had 28,000 attendees (I didn’t see JC there). Any “experts” still “strongly” debating global warming either didn’t make their presence known or skipped the meeting altogether, preferring meetings like the Heartland Institute’s annual meeting, the venue of choice for those with “strong opposing opinions”.

      In the case of CV, even the experts have to struggle with distinguishing a curve just about to flatten from one that is going to grow much later, as the above graphic should make very clear. One should therefore expect “strong opposing opinions” even between the CV experts.

      • “Strong opposing opinions abound.”

        At least we don’t have to wait until 2100 to find out which opinion is correct.

      • @pmhinsc: “At least we don’t have to wait until 2100 to find out which opinion is correct.”

        Excellent point.

        Although there is one climate projection I’ve been making, regarding not 2100 however but much closer, namely the next couple of decades.

        Not concerning temperature however which is being buffeted by all sorts of chaotic influences at annual, decadal, and multidecadal time scales.

        But rather CO2.

        For the past thousand years atmospheric CO2 has been rising in a remarkably predictable way, at least in hindsight. Except for small fluctuations of ±5 ppm, throughout that entire period the excess over 280 ppm, which could be called anthropogenic CO2, has been growing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2%, reaching 130 ppm in 2018 (so a total of 130 + 280 = 410 ppm).

        The following graphic shows the last 20 years of atmospheric CO2 as measured at Mauna Loa on a monthly basis (green curve). The red curve shows what annually-averaged CO2 would do thereafter if the CAGR of ACO2 remains at 2%, reaching 475 ppm by 2040. The blue curve is for a CAGR of 1.75%, reaching only 465 ppm by 2040.

        Keep an eye on the data from Mauna Loa. If it remains near the red curve then “business as usual”. But if it seems to be following the blue curve, or even drops below it, it would be our first sign that the world’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are actually having an observable effect on atmospheric CO2.

      • “But if it seems to be following the blue curve, or even drops below it, it would be our first sign that the world’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are actually having an observable effect on atmospheric CO2.”

        NO! We actually have the CO2 emissions observations/data and it shows the effects of the world’s efforts to reduce emissions. The atmospheric CO2 concentration curve can follow the blue curve or even drop bellow it, indepentent of the emissions (it follows the temperature integral).

      • David Albert

        Vaughan Pratt
        Can you see the 2012 to 2016 slowdown in world emissions on your graph. I can’t. The remarkable constancy of the atmospheric growth belies the causal effect of the nonconstant emissions (https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/19/co2responsiveness/). The thing to look for is to see if the Mauna Loa data show any rate change due to corona virus. February data is in and I can’t see any deflection even though the skies over China were cleared of real pollution from industrial activity.

      • Vaughan Pratt: Here’s a graphic making this point. It shows a standard gaussian (the peak or mean is at x = 0 while one standard deviation before the peak is at x = -1) along with the exponential function exp(x).

        Thank you for that graph. I have not seen that particular important point so well displayed elsewhere.

      • @edim: “NO! We actually have the CO2 emissions observations/data and it shows the effects of the world’s efforts to reduce emissions.”

        How do you know all the emissions were counted? Those are a lot easier to hide than the cumulative effect on the atmosphere of every last one of them.

        Besides, it’s not the emissions that are causing global warming, it’s their accumulation, which is what’s being measured remarkably reliably at various sites around the world, of which the one at 9300′ on Mauna Loa is the granddaddy of them all.

      • @DA: “The thing to look for is to see if the Mauna Loa data show any rate change due to corona virus. February data is in and I can’t see any deflection even though the skies over China were cleared of real pollution from industrial activity.”

        You’re like the so-called coal rollers who love to dump clouds of unburnt diesel fuel on passing/passed Priuses.

        Those Prius drivers who know a little chemistry get to chuckle at the fact that the more fuel the coal rollers turn into highly visible unburnt coal, the less invisible CO2 they add to the atmosphere per tankful of diesel.

        It remains to be shown how reliable the quantity of unburnt emissions is as an indicator of the quantity of CO2 emissions. In the extreme scenario of complete combustion it is no indication at all.

  27. There is a report from an Australian immunology laboratory on the course of a women ill, having traveled from Wuhan China whose immunological response was documented beginning around day 7 and followed and reported on day 20,

    https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0819-2

    The report, in Nature Medicine 2020 compares this woman’s responses to that of a person having the seasonal “flu” although the viruses are not comparable to Wuhan coronavirus, The other feature was the lack of specific cytokine and chemokine elevations as sometimes observed in a “cytokine storm” whereby the person’s immune system attacks otherwise healthy body tissues.

    This immunological cascade and timing is a helpful series of markers for disease progression and may be predictive of a far worse outcome than this woman apparently had.

    The COVID-19 pandemic response is engaging laboratories from around the world which has collaborative benefits and seems to side-step sometimes prima-donna lab personalities.

    • Sorry if I missed, but they never say when this happened. She did not go to the wet market, which would indicate this was very early?

    • @RiH008: “The COVID-19 pandemic response is engaging laboratories from around the world which has collaborative benefits and seems to side-step sometimes prima-donna lab personalities.”

      The thousand-fold factor between the respective rates of onset of CC and CV have allowed Planck’s principle, that science advances one funeral at a time, to take care of the prima donnas in CC. For CV one could hope that at least the most senior prima donnas would be at risk, except that those are unlikely to still be in charge of big labs.

      [URL’s, aka links, e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck%27s_principle , don’t seem to be working on CE this morning.]

  28. “Today, thanks to vaccines, fewer and fewer people remember what it was like to survive a succession of childhood diseases. Is the unfamiliar threat of serious sickness making us more afraid of COVID-19 than we need to be? Does a society that relies more on politics than faith now find itself in an uncomfortable bind, unable to lecture, browbeat, intimidate, or evade the incorrect behavior of a dangerous microbe?” Say your prayers and take your chances – https://www.city-journal.org/1957-asian-flu-pandemic

    Using an influenza model – and accounting for flu vaccine coverage and efficacy – the worst case for covid-19 infections in Australia is about 500,000 diagnosed cases. With some 15,000 deaths. The risk is extreme – about a 1 in 50 chance of contracting the infection and having symptoms severe enough to warrant medical intervention. Like climate change – risk can be reduced with some simple and practical precautions.

    Daisy is on a pineapple jag. Which I heartily endorse. It’s my favorite fruit. If there were any high protein flour left in the supermarket – I’d even make Hawaiian pizza. Her favorite. I may have 2 cups of flour left. 😊

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-pineapple#section9

    Is the 1957 flu pandemic a model for what happens when nothing is done? A worst case scenario?

    “It’s not that Asian flu—the second influenza pandemic of the twentieth century—wasn’t a serious disease. Worldwide, this flu strain killed somewhere between 1 and 2 million people. More than 100,000 died in the U.S. alone. And yet, to the best of my knowledge, governors did not call out the National Guard, and political panic-mongers did not blame it all on President Eisenhower. College sports events were not cancelled, planes and trains continued to run, and Americans did not regard one another with fear and suspicion, touching elbows instead of hands. We took the Asian flu in stride. We said our prayers and took our chances.” op. cit.

  29. Almost 100 comments and no mention of hoarding. Food supply is a zero sum game in the short run, so somebody is doing without whatever the hoarders are doing with in excess. Also no mention that the stock market drop is already a bigger percentage than the ’29 crash.

    I suppose how eating in restaurants might change is more interesting. My prediction is it will not change, once people have money again, because there are very good reasons for it.

  30. A very interesting skeptical post from Willis E.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/16/diamond-princess-mysteries/

    • These are new cases identified, not new cases infected. Many places are just getting test kits.

      • I believe they have state-reported test results to date of over 100,000 with 11,723 positives. It does appear that all private labs are reporting through that system. Today, through state reporting, there are over 3,900 positive tests, over 3,000 tests not yet returned from labs.

      • SB – not all private labs reporting through state reporting.

    • How many of those are false positives?

  31. Jerome Ravetz
    “I believe that epidemics of any sort provide examples of PNS.”

    Post-Normal Science and Epidemics
    Dr. Jerry Ravetz – on Willis, epidemics, rough & tumble debate, and post normal science

    The other was a group of academics, who had developed an expertise in epidemiological modelling. They made ‘pessimistic’ assumptions about the infectivity of the disease, and so their recommendations were on the side of a very aggressive approach. This suited Tony Blair’s political agenda, and so there was a severe quarantine and very extensive slaughtering.
    snip
    I believe that epidemics of any sort provide examples of PNS.
    Snip
    There is another lesson for PNS in the ‘foot and mouth’ episode. It was presented to the public as ‘normal science’: “here’s an epidemic, let’s apply the science and stop it”. The uncertainties and value-conflicts were suppressed. More to the point, the ‘extended peer community’ was nonexistent. Divisions among the scientists were kept under wraps. Damage to the rural communities was revealed piecemeal, and then as incidental to the noble effort of quarantine. Only the investigative journal Private Eye published the gory details of the exterminations.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/12/dr-jerry-ravetz-on-willis-epidemics-rough-tumble-debate-and-post-normal-science/

    • Carnage from a computer
      WE ARE USED to politicians suppressing the truth. When scientists do it as well, we are in trouble. Not one of the Government’s senior advisers, from Sir David King, the chief scientist, downwards, has yet dared to confirm in public what most experts in private now accept, that the mass slaughter of farm animals in the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak was not only unnecessary and inhumane, but was also based on false statistics, bad science and wrong deductions.
      The mistakes that were made in attempting to control the outbreak are laid bare in a devastating paper recently compiled by Paul Kitching, one of the world’s leading veterinary experts, and published by the World Organisation for Animal Health. It finds that, of the ten million animals slaughtered, more than a third were perfectly healthy; out of the 10,000 or so farms where sheep were killed, only 1,300 were infected with the disease; scientists were wrong to claim that the FMD virus was being spread through airborne infection; the epidemic had reached its peak before the culling began; the infamous 3km killing zone was without justification; estimates of infected premises were little better than guesswork.
      The language used in Dr Kitching’s report has a controlled anger about it. He talks of “a culling policy driven by unvalidated predictive models”, mentions the “public disgust with the magnitude of the slaughter” and concludes: “The UK experience provides a salutary warning of how models [statistics used to predict the course of an epidemic] can be abused in the interests of scientific opportunism.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20110310013433/http://www.land-care.org.uk/science/current_topics/2007/february%202007/glover_anne_15_02/link.carn.comp.pdf

      Use and abuse of mathematical models:
      an illustration from the 2001 foot and mouth
      disease epidemic in the United Kingdom
      R.P. Kitching (1), M.V. Thrusfield (2) & N.M. Taylor
      Summary
      Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a major threat, not only to countries whose economies rely on agricultural exports, but also to industrialised countries that maintain a healthy domestic livestock industry by eliminating major infectious diseases from their livestock populations. Traditional methods of controlling diseases such as FMD require the rapid detection and slaughter of infected animals, and any susceptible animals with which they may have been in contact, either directly or indirectly. During the 2001 epidemic of FMD in the United Kingdom (UK), this approach was supplemented by a culling policy driven by unvalidated predictive models. The epidemic and its control resulted in the death of approximately ten million animals, public disgust with the magnitude of the slaughter, and political resolve to adopt alternative options, notably including vaccination, to control any future epidemics. The UK experience provides a salutary warning of how models can be abused in the interests of scientific opportunism.

      http://www.oie.int/doc/ged/D3278.PDF

      • I was involved with the use of econometric models for years (first in 1966) as an economic policy adviser. Like any reputable economist, I’m very well aware of their limitations. We would generally look no more than ten years ahead (unlike climate modellers in a far more complex field!), and present the results as indicative – i.e., policy A is likely to produce X return and policy B Y, so A is preferred – and this would be a comparison, not a forecast. Anyone who stepped outside this framework (for example Ross Garnaut in Canberra and Peter Brain in Melbourne) to pursue a political agenda was not well-regarded by the profesion at large. (I worked with both, I liked and respected Garnaut but he took the path of fame and partisanship, not surprisingly in the global warming field where that is, unfortunately, more common than other fields I know of).

      • UK FMD Epidemic 2001
        WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OUR INSTITUTIONS?
        Roger Windsor’s talk, read on his behalf, to the Central Veterinary Society.

        The College and the profession should have refused to act when the direction of the campaign was taken over by politicians, and the Chief Scientist. The CVO stated that he was in control the whole time, but the public perception was that the Chief Scientist and his side-kicks Prof. Roy Anderson and Sir John Krebs had taken over. They decided that killing all animals on neighbouring farms and all animals within three kilometres of an outbreak was the only way to stop the disease, in time for a June General Election. Why anyone should listen to Anderson, a proven liar who was forced to resign his chair at Oxford is beyond me? (Ref for this statement is an article in Private Eye last year) Did he offer the politicians a quick fix ? His mathematical model indicated that a two km kill would be adequate. However, MAFF decided to follow EU advice and stuck to 3 km which more than doubled the number of animals that were killed. Roy Anderson should be called, not the Professor of Epidemiology, but the Professor of Extermination at Imperial College, London. I understand that he subsequently revised his model and came to the conclusion that the virus travelled no more than 500 metres. Too many animals (probably five million) were killed in the name of elections and mathematics. Alan Richardson considers that this was the largest animal experiment ever carried out, and that it was done without a Home Office licence !
        https://web.archive.org/web/20041019141754/http://www.warmwell.com/nov11windsor.html

        Following the outbreak of SARS, one thing was certain: Professor Roy Anderson of Imperial College would soon be hitting the headines.
        https://web.archive.org/web/20130922025814/http://www.warmwell.com/2may1pe.html

      • Imperial College has advised the government on its response to previous epidemics, including SARS, avian flu and swine flu. With ties to the World Health Organization and a team of 50 scientists, led by a prominent epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson, Imperial is treated as a sort of gold standard, its mathematical models feeding directly into government policies.

        NYTimes article above doesn’t note that SARS, Avian Flu and Swine Flu scares were also all overblown

        Neil Ferguson working under Roy Anderson was the lead author of many papers that lead to so much grief in the FMD debacle. (Kitching et al) This is the same Neil Ferguson now touted as influential expert on COVID-19

      • Latest flu outbreak is shaping up as fourth pandemic dud in the past six years
        Jul 22, 2009 04:30 AM
        DR. RICHARD SCHABAS
        MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH IN HASTINGS AND PRINCE EDWARD COUNTIES
        H1N1’s oink is proving to be far worse than its bite
        Toronto is gripped in a frenzy of worry about the dreaded “second wave” of H1N1 now scheduled for this fall. A severe “second wave” of H1N1 is possible, in the same sense that it’s possible the Blue Jays will win the World Series this year. Science and public policy need to look beyond possibilities and also consider probabilities. Our appreciation of probabilities should be based on evidence, not speculation.
        The evidence strongly suggests that a severe “second wave” of H1N1 is very unlikely. It will almost certainly be merely the latest instalment in a growing list of pandemic false alarms.
        Let’s begin by putting this warning in some context. This is the fourth pandemic alarm in the past six years. The first three have been wrong.
        The first alarm was about SARS. At the time, pundits predicted that SARS would become a pandemic and that more than 100 million people would die. Wrong. SARS died out because it was not really very infectious outside of hospitals.
        The second alarm was for H5N1 “bird flu.” We were told that this disease would leap across the species barrier and cause a devastating human pandemic. More than a billion people were supposed to die in an imminent catastrophe of unprecedented dimensions. Wrong. H5N1 remains a disease of birds that rarely infects people who live in close contact with birds. There is no scientific reason to expect this to change.
        The third alarm was for the dreaded “first wave” of H1N1. All of our pandemic planning had been directed toward this “first wave.” It was supposed to hit fast and hard. Eight to 12 million Canadians were supposed to fall ill over two to three months. Between 10,000 and 50,000 Canadians were supposed to die. H1N1 may have hit quickly but in public health terms it has not hit hard. Regular seasonal influenza kills 2,000 to 4,000 Canadians every year. H1N1 has killed fewer than 50 people in Canada in its “first wave.”
        So now we are warned about the H1N1 “second wave.” How serious is the risk? There are three general arguments supporting the “second wave” hypothesis. None of them stand up well to scrutiny.
        snip
        I’ll end with a challenge to the media. The media love this story and accept the pundits’ gloomy predictions uncritically. If this turns out to be the fourth pandemic false alarm in six years, as I think it will, it will be time to start asking some probing questions.Dr. Richard Schabas was Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health from 1987-97
        http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/669727

        WHO’s credibility questioned as pandemic fears fade
        OTTAWA — For those who have followed the swine flu outbreak, it has almost become a daily ritual, as routine as the morning weather forecast.
        Each day, at roughly 11 a.m. ET, a senior official from the World Health Organization, often speaking in a dry, matter-of-fact tone, has appeared on TV screens to update the world on the outbreak.
        But as fears of a catastrophic pandemic wane, some medical experts are questioning the apocalyptic statements that have occasionally emerged from WHO’s otherwise subdued press conferences.
        “Sometimes some of us think WHO stands for the ‘World Hysteria Organization,'” said Dr. Richard Schabas, who was Ontario’s chief medical officer of health from 1987 to 1997. “There seems to be a culture at WHO where they’ve convinced themselves that a pandemic is such an imminent danger that they overreact.”
        Perhaps the most sensational statement by WHO came on April 29, the day the UN agency raised its six-point pandemic alert to phase five, meaning it believes a global pandemic is “imminent.” Calling on all countries to “immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans,” WHO director-general Margaret Chan reminded the world: “it really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.”
        Ms. Chan qualified her remarks by noting the world is better prepared than ever before to fight a pandemic, and the agency was still gathering data to determine the potential severity of a swine-flu pandemic.
        Nevertheless, her “threat-to-humanity” quote hit the 24-hour news cycle with all the subtlety of a neutron bomb — triggering ominous headlines in newspapers and newscasts around the world.
        This week, WHO officials appeared to tone down their rhetoric in the face of mounting evidence the outbreak might be milder than originally thought. As of Friday, 44 deaths had been confirmed in Mexico, less than one-third the number of deaths suspected last week. Most cases elsewhere in the world have caused symptoms consistent with the seasonal flu.
        Ms. Chan has defended her statements, saying it’s her job to cautious.
        “I’m not predicting the pandemic will blow up, but if I miss it and we don’t prepare, I fail. I’d rather over-prepare than not prepare,” she told the Financial Times.
        https://web.archive.org/web/20130511204206/http://thisbluemarble.com/showthread.php?t=13612

        INTERVIEW: DR. RICHARD SCHABAS
        The hype and hysteria around the H1N1 pandemic, the millions of dollars spent so far on responding to it, and the dire warnings about it are all unwarranted, according to Schabas — who even questions the pandemic label.
        He spreads the blame among public health officials, governments and the media. The World Health Organization is jokingly referred to as the World Hysteria Organization, he said, and it set a tone in the spring with its messaging that was adopted around the globe
        Snip
        He spreads the blame among public health officials, governments and the media. The World Health Organization is jokingly referred to as the World Hysteria Organization, he said, and it set a tone in the spring with its messaging that was adopted around the globe.
        “They’ve just been (champing) at the bit waiting for a pandemic for the last 10 years and I think they dramatically overreacted,” said Schabas.
        http://www.canada.com/health/PERSON+RICHARD+SCHABAS/2221030/story.html

        Reconstruction of a Mass Hysteria: The Swine Flu Panic of 2009
        Swine flu kept the world in suspense for almost a year. A massive vaccination campaign was mounted to put a stop to the anticipated pandemic. But, as it turned out, it was a relatively harmless strain of the flu virus. How, and why, did the world overreact? A reconstruction. By SPIEGEL staff.
        The situation on June 11, 2009 did not correspond with these descriptions. Critics were already asking derisively whether the WHO had any plans to declare the latest outbreak of the common cold a pandemic. “Sometimes some of us think that WHO stands for World Hysteria Organization,” says Richard Schabas, the former chief medical officer for Canada’s Ontario Province.
        http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/reconstruction-of-a-mass-hysteria-the-swine-flu-panic-of-2009-a-682613.html

      • Britain’s most expensive myth
        Everyone knows that the claimed link between BSE and the singularly unpleasant disease “new variant CJD” set off the greatest and most expensive food scare in history. In the days that followed the health minister Stephen Dorrell’s fateful announcement in March 1996, predictions of deaths from eating beef ranged from 500,000 by the government’s chief BSE scientist, John Patteson, to many millions (The Observer).
        With very few exceptions (this column being one), the media unquestioningly accepted that there was such a link. As one result, #3 billion of public money was spent on incinerating elderly cows. The costs to industry and the UK economy, not least from a consequent thicket of further regulations, have been many times that, and are still continuing.
        The chief reason for doubting a link between beef and CJD lay in the epidemiological evidence, which even in 1996 suggested that the promised epidemic was a fantasy. Over the past seven years, as the incidence curve has begun a steady fall, that has seemed ever more certain. Now, after reviewing the evidence, Professor Roy Anderson and his Imperial College team have published a revised estimate of the total number of victims likely to die of vCJD in the future (link available through http://www.warmwell.com). Their figure? Not 400,000, or 40,000, just 40.
        As Britain’s farming and food industry grapples with the latest regulatory insanity inspired by the BSE scare, the EU Animal By-Products Regulation that is predicted to drain billions more pounds from the UK economy, it is clearer than ever that Mr Dorrell’s monumentally foolish statement in 1996 was the most costly blunder ever perpetrated by a British minister.
        https://web.archive.org/web/20140429192225/http://www.warmwell.com/2may18booker.html

        Public Release: 19-May-2003
        Scientists predict swift end to vCJD epidemic
        Dr. Azra Ghani, who carried out the work with other researchers from Professor Roy Anderson’s department, writes, “Our results suggest that the vCJD epidemic will continue to decline with a best estimate of only 40 future cases”. These are expected within the next five years.
        Snip
        Updated projections of future vCJD deaths in the UK
        Azra C Ghani, Christl A Donnelly, Neil M Ferguson and Roy M Anderson
        BMC Infectious Diseases 2003 3:4 (published 27 April 2003)
        https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/bc-sps051903.php

  32. Ireneusz Palmowski

    When Covid-19 causes severe pneumonia in people over 60, only prayer remains.

  33. UK-Weather Lass-In-Earnest

    I hope to see changes in people’s value judgements when the battle against coronanvirus-19 is finally concluded. Hopefully those changes will influence social policy for the better in the longer term and give us all a much better perspective of what is good for our planet and what is bad for our species.

  34. Prof Curry

    I cannot agree with you that the scientists on CV ‘have done a superb job’. On the contrary, their claims about how many cases would come in developed nations have zero crebibility whatsoever.

    The scientists who sequenced the CV genomes at lightning speed, those developing diagnostic tests at lightning speed, those racing for therepeutic options at lightning speed: praise where praise is due.

    But in Ireland, some twit was saying ‘2 million cases will come’.

    Let us do some maths:
    China had 80,000 odd cases, call it 150,000 to make it a round number with a population of c. 1.5bn. Let us assume they were pathological liars and there were 1.5 million cases, so 0.1% of the population.

    So for Ireland, even if a few million illegals brings the population up to 10 million, you would expect 10,000 cases worst case scenario. Even if they were medical cretins saying ‘bring on CV!’ they would get 100,000 cases.

    So the medical liars (I use that word carefully and with full implications of accusations of breaking the Hippocratic Oath involved) who said 2 million cases should quite frankly be struck off.

    It is very, very easy for you in retired safety to be sanguine. Entire industries are being wiped out as we speak: tourism, restaurants and bars, theatres, cinemas and concert halls, all professoinal sports, all museums. This is literally millions of people having their livelihoods wiped out overnight.

    It is NOT ACCEPTABLE to destroy economies in this way, particularly as the winners are going to be the richest in society.

    Particularly when the statistics quite clearly show that CV is no worse than seasonal flu outbreaks. No worse at all. There are not more deaths due to CV than there are due to seasonal flu and the vast majority of deaths where CV has been detected are in the elderly with pre-existing medical conditions.

    If you want to focus on resisting CV, I advise ensuring that your immune system is as healthy as possible. When I started my PhD in cancer research in 1986, it was well known that Southern Italy was almost free of both cancer and heart disease due to a very healthy diet, including plenty of olive oil.

    Make sure you exercise well, eat healthily (I mean food not stuffed with E numbers) and do anything and everything to keep your immune system in good shape.

    That is the best vaccine against CV.

    • On January 23rd China mobilized a massive, multi-pronged eradication effort.

      Eradication means completely eliminating the virus from inside their borders: nonexistent in the human population; hopefully nonexistent in the environment.

      You cannot compare any other country’s effort with China’s as all other countries are trying to flatten the curve, and allow the disease to rattle through their populations at a reduced rate so as to not overwhelm their healthcare systems.

      China has bent the curve back to almost zero.

      • What about South Korea, then? They have not used ‘lockdown’, but by testing and tracking those infected, they are rapidly bringing the outbreak under control without sacrificing their economy or their democratic way of life.

      • Latus Dextro

        Nothing, but nothing emanating from the CCP and China has any, or ever had any veracity. They should be damned in perpetuity not only for their genocidal record and tendencies, and their crushingly totalitarian regime but for their intentional and quite deliberate delay in properly managing and dealing with the CCP WUHAN Institute of Virology COVID-19 virus. The Beijing Commie Thugs merely decided not to let a rank incompetence get in the way of a great opportunity when they were obviously badly on the back foot.

      • China has bent the curve back to almost zero.

        Or maybe something else is going on: Covid-19: China relativized: But predominantly mild illness. (I relied on Google for a translation.)

        The upshot:

        The Chinese CDC published a fairly comprehensive analysis of the new corona outbreak yesterday Monday for the first time. In total, data on over 70,000 patients were collected. This analysis puts a lot of earlier fears into perspective. Our study confirms our assumption that the new coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19) is a disease that is more comparable to severe seasonal flu. Of course, it is still worth waiting for the further course, but overall the further experiences with the diseases outside of China seem to point in the same direction.

        Prof. Dr. med. Pietro Vernazza would probably agree that it is not necessary to destroy economies to combat this outbreak.

        Rather, according to him: ” Mathematical models were able to show that simple hygiene measures are sufficient to massively dampen the spread. We therefore recommend systematic compliance with general hygiene behavior, as the Federal Office of Public Health describes very clearly on its homepage under ” Hygiene in the event of a pandemic ” ( link on video ).”

        As to the underlying dynamics being hypothesized by Vernazza: Maybe 90% of corona infections go unnoticed! (Again, I’m relying on Google Translate.)

  35. “Anything up to 99.2% of all of Italy’s recent Covid19-associated deaths could have been caused by pre-existing chronic conditions, according to a report released by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian Institute of Health, ISS)”

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/19/iss-report-99-of-covid19-deaths-already-ill/

  36. “If you look at the data for what we are actually dealing with, I want to give this example. In Hubei, in the province of Hubei, where there has been the most cases and deaths by far, the actual number of cases reported is 1 per 1000 people and the actual rate of deaths reported is 1 per 20,000. So maybe that would help to put things into perspective, as to the actual rate and risks of this condition, because it is a lot lower in any other part of the world, including Italy, and certainly in Canada and the United States…

    [INTERRUPTED BY HOST AGAIN, INTERVIEW OVER]”

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/17/listen-cbc-radio-cuts-off-expert-when-he-questions-covid19-narrative/

  37. Judith

    I wish you and your family well.

    The constant take always we can see every week in Big Bang Theory (now alas, just repeats) is very depressing as they eat over sweetened pulp off of paper plates or tin foil dishes using plastic cutlery. UUrgghhh!

    We get the occasional takeaway meal such as fish and chips to eat overlooking the sea on a bench or the very occasional pizza but other than that restaurants are far more pleasurable as a social experience where you can enjoy the co of friends and interact with the staff whilst perusing the menu and sipping a drink.

    BTW looking at the data I do think this crisis is being hysterically overblown and if we carry on this way people will emerge blinking into the sunlight in 4 months time, their mental and physical health destroyed whilst surveying a wrecked economy

    We need to get a grip, look at the data and as in Italy recognise that the overwhelming number of deaths are amongst the very old who are also very ill and cluster in certain groups such as the Italians, who are famously tactile and enjoy frequent multi generational gatherings where illness can be quickly spread. Add in their heavy smoking, their poor air quality their resistance to anti biotics and you have the perfect storm.

    You have to take sensible precautions but the situation we see developing now goes far beyond that. Climate change seems so last year now doesn’t it?

    tonyb

  38. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Why not use the plasma of those who have recovered, if this could be the only rescue?
    If you do not manage to develop antibodies, that no drug will help.
    I cordially greet.

  39. stevenreincarnated

    Initial results indicate we can prophylaxis our way out of this pandemic using chloroquine for about $8 per person per week.

  40. The Chinese have vaccines in trials. Let’s say they are the only to succeed in producing a safe and effective vaccine, but it’s slow to produce. They have to do triage. Who do they pick to get it first? Countries on their borders. They have to protect themselves first. Who to pick last? Just me, but maybe they pick the countries where the media lies about them initially trying to cover up their outbreak and that have leaders who call it the “China Virus.” That’s the sort mean, vengeful thing Trump would do. See what he tries to do to whistleblowers.

  41. Ireneusz Palmowski

    In summary, we have found that patients with COVID-19 are prone to digestive symptoms and nearly half report a digestive symptom as their chief complaint. In rare instances, patient can even present with digestive symptoms in the absence of respiratory
    symptoms.
    Compared to COVID-19 patients without digestive symptoms, those with digestive symptoms have a longer time from onset to admission and a worse clinical outcome.
    These results obligate additional research evaluating the prevalence, incidence, predictors, and outcomes of digestive symptoms in this still emerging pandemic.

    https://journals.lww.com/ajg/Documents/COVID_Digestive_Symptoms_AJG_Preproof.pdf

  42. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients with digestive
    symptoms in Hubei, China: a descriptive, cross-sectional,
    multicenter study

    https://journals.lww.com/ajg/Documents/COVID_Digestive_Symptoms_AJG_Preproof.pdf

  43. Just to share a comment by someone claiming to be an epidemiologist by profession (I won’t ‘blockquote’ what follows just to keep things readable):

    Willem

    Epidemiologists can’t fight this, since they are observers and not trialists. They are also quite slow and never on call for ‘acute epidemiology’. There has never been such a thing that needed acute epidemiology. Until now.

    So let me tell you a little bit about my day. I am a clinical epidemiologist, as everyone is nowadays, with the difference that epidemiology is also my profession.

    So what are my observations in the hospital?

    First you have the doctors. They are fighting this fight courageously since they really think COVID19 is for real, including that they can die from it. But the feeling of doing things together, fighting the cause so to speak, gives them strength. They are also trained not to be scared of death, as they see death everyday and see it as a part of life. All that makes it quite nice to work with doctors. The only problem with doctors is that they are severely trained in obeying orders from top down. So if the clinical professor (who went through the same schooling as his co-workers) is saying that this virus means WAR, they will consider that this virus is war and fight it accordingly without further thinking.

    Then you have the clinical epidemiologists. They are trained in medicine and often still see patients. And so they have experience with death (and are therefore not afraid of it). They have more freedom than the doctors in terms of thinking critically and debating with the professor, since rationality, at least in theory, should always win from authority. This is what clinical epidemiologists teach and (speaking for myself) also believe and act upon. They are open for criticism and I can actually debate things like that the sensitivity of the CV19 test is no good, or that quarantine measures may not explain the fall in death rate only in China and Italy, since Spring arrived in those countries. They are also quite skeptical themselves about the realness of CV19, like saying that we should see that the chances of dying due to CV19 are very low and that what we see now is hysteria. Yet, when it comes to what they believe, they still hold to what is been told to them by the mainstream media (which includes lancet, science, NEJM). It’s puzzling, but it is probably related with the fact that society, as we are supposed to believe that society functions, with rulers who are always working in the interest of the population, has been kind to them. It feels good to believe in that good society and I understand. I have been there myself, until I started to doubt that narrative (and the rest is history).

    Then you have the epidemiologists who are trained in a medical field, yet never saw patients. They are an interesting lot: none of them arrived at work lately, and the last time I saw them they were completely convinced that CV19 is for real. Some of them are self-isolating and still work from home through email, Skype, etc. Others stopped doing that too. I guess they fear their own mortality (cannot handle death) and that this explains their irrational behavior.

    Then you have the theoretical epidemiologists: they are not trained in medicine, but in some related ‘life sciences’ and either act the same as the epidemiologists (don’t show up at work, too scared) or do show up at work, but act weird, I.e., are completely drained into their usual theoretical business. They are the ones I pity most: fearing both CV19 and trying to ignore it by doing ‘rational’. If you propose to them to do something that could be useful for this ‘epidemic’, they freeze.

    But the most curious group of people are the statisticians. They are the magicians at my department, the smartest of all, yet when it comes to counting they cannot see that 1+1+1=3 and not that 1+1+1=the reason to be afraid for CV19 (aka epidemiology on CV19 as presented in news papers).

    We are quite a strange bunch. We are trained to see through this thing by training, yet cannot see it. I think what I see in my colleagues (all nice people by the way), into how they are bamboozled into believing all this COVID19 nonsense is due to a combination of indoctrination of following authority and fear of death. They take CV19 far too personally. They cannot stand above this matter. Having observed them for a while I come to the conclusion that they truly can’t.

    Now all of this quite interesting for an epidemiologist, like me, who likes to observe, yet is not trained as an acute epidemiologist (as that profession did not exist until recently).

    Epidemiologists fight against very shrewd people. They always do, but usually it is unrelated to their own life, like fighting against claims from a drug company which drugs they don’t use. But CV19, man that is just coming too close. These shrewd people are able to bamboozle my collegues through biased samples, samples without control groups, faulty test methods and the only thing that may lead to their ‘treatment’ is by staying rational and giving the good example. I am working on that.Willem
    Epidemiologists can’t fight this, since they are observers and not trialists. They are also quite slow and never on call for ‘acute epidemiology’. There has never been such a thing that needed acute epidemiology. Until now.

    So let me tell you a little bit about my day. I am a clinical epidemiologist, as everyone is nowadays, with the difference that epidemiology is also my profession.

    So what are my observations in the hospital?

    First you have the doctors. They are fighting this fight courageously since they really think COVID19 is for real, including that they can die from it. But the feeling of doing things together, fighting the cause so to speak, gives them strength. They are also trained not to be scared of death, as they see death everyday and see it as a part of life. All that makes it quite nice to work with doctors. The only problem with doctors is that they are severely trained in obeying orders from top down. So if the clinical professor (who went through the same schooling as his co-workers) is saying that this virus means WAR, they will consider that this virus is war and fight it accordingly without further thinking.

    Then you have the clinical epidemiologists. They are trained in medicine and often still see patients. And so they have experience with death (and are therefore not afraid of it). They have more freedom than the doctors in terms of thinking critically and debating with the professor, since rationality, at least in theory, should always win from authority. This is what clinical epidemiologists teach and (speaking for myself) also believe and act upon. They are open for criticism and I can actually debate things like that the sensitivity of the CV19 test is no good, or that quarantine measures may not explain the fall in death rate only in China and Italy, since Spring arrived in those countries. They are also quite skeptical themselves about the realness of CV19, like saying that we should see that the chances of dying due to CV19 are very low and that what we see now is hysteria. Yet, when it comes to what they believe, they still hold to what is been told to them by the mainstream media (which includes lancet, science, NEJM). It’s puzzling, but it is probably related with the fact that society, as we are supposed to believe that society functions, with rulers who are always working in the interest of the population, has been kind to them. It feels good to believe in that good society and I understand. I have been there myself, until I started to doubt that narrative (and the rest is history).

    Then you have the epidemiologists who are trained in a medical field, yet never saw patients. They are an interesting lot: none of them arrived at work lately, and the last time I saw them they were completely convinced that CV19 is for real. Some of them are self-isolating and still work from home through email, Skype, etc. Others stopped doing that too. I guess they fear their own mortality (cannot handle death) and that this explains their irrational behavior.

    Then you have the theoretical epidemiologists: they are not trained in medicine, but in some related ‘life sciences’ and either act the same as the epidemiologists (don’t show up at work, too scared) or do show up at work, but act weird, I.e., are completely drained into their usual theoretical business. They are the ones I pity most: fearing both CV19 and trying to ignore it by doing ‘rational’. If you propose to them to do something that could be useful for this ‘epidemic’, they freeze.

    But the most curious group of people are the statisticians. They are the magicians at my department, the smartest of all, yet when it comes to counting they cannot see that 1+1+1=3 and not that 1+1+1=the reason to be afraid for CV19 (aka epidemiology on CV19 as presented in news papers).

    We are quite a strange bunch. We are trained to see through this thing by training, yet cannot see it. I think what I see in my colleagues (all nice people by the way), into how they are bamboozled into believing all this COVID19 nonsense is due to a combination of indoctrination of following authority and fear of death. They take CV19 far too personally. They cannot stand above this matter. Having observed them for a while I come to the conclusion that they truly can’t.

    Now all of this quite interesting for an epidemiologist, like me, who likes to observe, yet is not trained as an acute epidemiologist (as that profession did not exist until recently).

    Epidemiologists fight against very shrewd people. They always do, but usually it is unrelated to their own life, like fighting against claims from a drug company which drugs they don’t use. But CV19, man that is just coming too close. These shrewd people are able to bamboozle my collegues through biased samples, samples without control groups, faulty test methods and the only thing that may lead to their ‘treatment’ is by staying rational and giving the good example. I am working on that.Willem
    Epidemiologists can’t fight this, since they are observers and not trialists. They are also quite slow and never on call for ‘acute epidemiology’. There has never been such a thing that needed acute epidemiology. Until now.

    So let me tell you a little bit about my day. I am a clinical epidemiologist, as everyone is nowadays, with the difference that epidemiology is also my profession.

    So what are my observations in the hospital?

    First you have the doctors. They are fighting this fight courageously since they really think COVID19 is for real, including that they can die from it. But the feeling of doing things together, fighting the cause so to speak, gives them strength. They are also trained not to be scared of death, as they see death everyday and see it as a part of life. All that makes it quite nice to work with doctors. The only problem with doctors is that they are severely trained in obeying orders from top down. So if the clinical professor (who went through the same schooling as his co-workers) is saying that this virus means WAR, they will consider that this virus is war and fight it accordingly without further thinking.

    Then you have the clinical epidemiologists. They are trained in medicine and often still see patients. And so they have experience with death (and are therefore not afraid of it). They have more freedom than the doctors in terms of thinking critically and debating with the professor, since rationality, at least in theory, should always win from authority. This is what clinical epidemiologists teach and (speaking for myself) also believe and act upon. They are open for criticism and I can actually debate things like that the sensitivity of the CV19 test is no good, or that quarantine measures may not explain the fall in death rate only in China and Italy, since Spring arrived in those countries. They are also quite skeptical themselves about the realness of CV19, like saying that we should see that the chances of dying due to CV19 are very low and that what we see now is hysteria. Yet, when it comes to what they believe, they still hold to what is been told to them by the mainstream media (which includes lancet, science, NEJM). It’s puzzling, but it is probably related with the fact that society, as we are supposed to believe that society functions, with rulers who are always working in the interest of the population, has been kind to them. It feels good to believe in that good society and I understand. I have been there myself, until I started to doubt that narrative (and the rest is history).

    Then you have the epidemiologists who are trained in a medical field, yet never saw patients. They are an interesting lot: none of them arrived at work lately, and the last time I saw them they were completely convinced that CV19 is for real. Some of them are self-isolating and still work from home through email, Skype, etc. Others stopped doing that too. I guess they fear their own mortality (cannot handle death) and that this explains their irrational behavior.

    Then you have the theoretical epidemiologists: they are not trained in medicine, but in some related ‘life sciences’ and either act the same as the epidemiologists (don’t show up at work, too scared) or do show up at work, but act weird, I.e., are completely drained into their usual theoretical business. They are the ones I pity most: fearing both CV19 and trying to ignore it by doing ‘rational’. If you propose to them to do something that could be useful for this ‘epidemic’, they freeze.

    But the most curious group of people are the statisticians. They are the magicians at my department, the smartest of all, yet when it comes to counting they cannot see that 1+1+1=3 and not that 1+1+1=the reason to be afraid for CV19 (aka epidemiology on CV19 as presented in news papers).

    We are quite a strange bunch. We are trained to see through this thing by training, yet cannot see it. I think what I see in my colleagues (all nice people by the way), into how they are bamboozled into believing all this COVID19 nonsense is due to a combination of indoctrination of following authority and fear of death. They take CV19 far too personally. They cannot stand above this matter. Having observed them for a while I come to the conclusion that they truly can’t.

    Now all of this quite interesting for an epidemiologist, like me, who likes to observe, yet is not trained as an acute epidemiologist (as that profession did not exist until recently).

    Epidemiologists fight against very shrewd people. They always do, but usually it is unrelated to their own life, like fighting against claims from a drug company which drugs they don’t use. But CV19, man that is just coming too close. These shrewd people are able to bamboozle my collegues through biased samples, samples without control groups, faulty test methods and the only thing that may lead to their ‘treatment’ is by staying rational and giving the good example. I am working on that.Willem
    Epidemiologists can’t fight this, since they are observers and not trialists. They are also quite slow and never on call for ‘acute epidemiology’. There has never been such a thing that needed acute epidemiology. Until now.

    So let me tell you a little bit about my day. I am a clinical epidemiologist, as everyone is nowadays, with the difference that epidemiology is also my profession.

    So what are my observations in the hospital?

    First you have the doctors. They are fighting this fight courageously since they really think COVID19 is for real, including that they can die from it. But the feeling of doing things together, fighting the cause so to speak, gives them strength. They are also trained not to be scared of death, as they see death everyday and see it as a part of life. All that makes it quite nice to work with doctors. The only problem with doctors is that they are severely trained in obeying orders from top down. So if the clinical professor (who went through the same schooling as his co-workers) is saying that this virus means WAR, they will consider that this virus is war and fight it accordingly without further thinking.

    Then you have the clinical epidemiologists. They are trained in medicine and often still see patients. And so they have experience with death (and are therefore not afraid of it). They have more freedom than the doctors in terms of thinking critically and debating with the professor, since rationality, at least in theory, should always win from authority. This is what clinical epidemiologists teach and (speaking for myself) also believe and act upon. They are open for criticism and I can actually debate things like that the sensitivity of the CV19 test is no good, or that quarantine measures may not explain the fall in death rate only in China and Italy, since Spring arrived in those countries. They are also quite skeptical themselves about the realness of CV19, like saying that we should see that the chances of dying due to CV19 are very low and that what we see now is hysteria. Yet, when it comes to what they believe, they still hold to what is been told to them by the mainstream media (which includes lancet, science, NEJM). It’s puzzling, but it is probably related with the fact that society, as we are supposed to believe that society functions, with rulers who are always working in the interest of the population, has been kind to them. It feels good to believe in that good society and I understand. I have been there myself, until I started to doubt that narrative (and the rest is history).

    Then you have the epidemiologists who are trained in a medical field, yet never saw patients. They are an interesting lot: none of them arrived at work lately, and the last time I saw them they were completely convinced that CV19 is for real. Some of them are self-isolating and still work from home through email, Skype, etc. Others stopped doing that too. I guess they fear their own mortality (cannot handle death) and that this explains their irrational behavior.

    Then you have the theoretical epidemiologists: they are not trained in medicine, but in some related ‘life sciences’ and either act the same as the epidemiologists (don’t show up at work, too scared) or do show up at work, but act weird, I.e., are completely drained into their usual theoretical business. They are the ones I pity most: fearing both CV19 and trying to ignore it by doing ‘rational’. If you propose to them to do something that could be useful for this ‘epidemic’, they freeze.

    But the most curious group of people are the statisticians. They are the magicians at my department, the smartest of all, yet when it comes to counting they cannot see that 1+1+1=3 and not that 1+1+1=the reason to be afraid for CV19 (aka epidemiology on CV19 as presented in news papers).

    We are quite a strange bunch. We are trained to see through this thing by training, yet cannot see it. I think what I see in my colleagues (all nice people by the way), into how they are bamboozled into believing all this COVID19 nonsense is due to a combination of indoctrination of following authority and fear of death. They take CV19 far too personally. They cannot stand above this matter. Having observed them for a while I come to the conclusion that they truly can’t.

    Now all of this quite interesting for an epidemiologist, like me, who likes to observe, yet is not trained as an acute epidemiologist (as that profession did not exist until recently).

    Epidemiologists fight against very shrewd people. They always do, but usually it is unrelated to their own life, like fighting against claims from a drug company which drugs they don’t use. But CV19, man that is just coming too close. These shrewd people are able to bamboozle my collegues through biased samples, samples without control groups, faulty test methods and the only thing that may lead to their ‘treatment’ is by staying rational and giving the good example. I am working on that.

    • The repetition isn’t helpful! Re “as we are supposed to believe that society functions, with rulers who are always working in the interest of the population, has been kind to them.” As someone who from 1967 worked for a body chaired by the UK Prime Minister and later worked for Australian PMs and State premiers, I have some views on that. The first is that good government is small government, with limited reach, light-handed regulation and scope for individual enterprise, innovation etc. I read a variety of studies with different methodologies which found that economic growth was highest with a 22% government share, compared to 35-50+ in most countries now [without an immediate check on ther stats]. While GDP isn’t the be-all and end-all, it is strongly correlated with improvements in people’s lives.

      The second is that since 1967 the average politician has gone from being someone with a non-political background and a genuine interest in helping people (even if they had a big ego, cf Bob Hawke, Australia’s one very good PM since the 1960s) to being a political animal with a student politics-party office job-parliament progression, a very narrow frame of reference and understanding and an ideological framework.

      • Yes. Sorry about the repetition. Not exactly sure how that happened.

        For me, the important point being made by Willem is that despite being equipped with the wherewithal to assess the evidence at hand about the severity of the pandemic, the professionals in field are as susceptible as the general public to the media induced hysteria over this thing.

      • Yes, herd behaviour and gullibility prevail. The people I know are trying to apply common sense.

    • @NP: “I guess they fear their own mortality (cannot handle death) and that this explains their irrational behavior.”

      Much of what Don Monfort writes cracks me up, but this one really takes the cake. Norman, you would make a terrific platoon sergeant. “Men, get out of your foxholes and charge the enemy. Your fear of death is irrational, show them that you can handle death!”

      • I think Willem’s point is that while some eventually do come to accept their mortality, especially among those confronted by it daily, while others never quite get there, especially among those who rarely encounter it. He probably also has a point in suggesting that fear tends to inhibit rational thought. Certainly, panic tends to have that effect, as your remark seems also to attest. I think he also mentions something about the courage of front line workers . . .

  44. Ireneusz Palmowski

    BERGAMO – A war theater image: in the center of Bergamo. A long column of military vehicles stops in via Borgo Palazzo – a few hundred meters from the cemetery. They are the army vans used to transport the coffins from the Bergamo cemetery to the crematoria of other regions.
    The reason, as is now known, is that the mortuary in Bergamo has not been able to accommodate the coffin of coronavirus victims for days. And the same goes for the crematorium (there is only one in town, it is active 24 hours a day). Ever since Covid-19 began to mow down the Italian Wuhan – Bergamo remains the most affected province in the country so far – cemetery services and funeral agencies have gone haywire.
    To relieve the mortuary of the cemetery – with no more space available – it had been necessary in recent days to line up the coffins of the deceased in the church of Ognissanti, inside the cemetery. Since yesterday, the solution identified to deal with the emergency has been the use of army vehicles. Coronavirus victims are transported to other regions: starting from Emilia Romagna. The first shipments of the coffins were in Modena.
    > Lombardy, Fontana’s dramatic appeal: “Stay home, soon we will no longer be able to help those who get sick”.
    https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2020/03/18/foto/bergamo_non_c_e_piu_posto_70_mezzi_militari_portano_le_salme_fuori_dalla_regione-251650969/1/?ref=fbpr&fbclid=IwAR2zUPrDwk4PEHzBwSku5G39TNT3xHjVi41G018bGohhKpONh4MPzHpOELU#1

  45. Judith, do not bother driving to Incline Village for toilet paper, they are all out and it was expensive to begin with.

  46. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Italian doctors say Covid-19 is not like flu. Rather, it resembles chronic pneumonia.

  47. Without direct first or second hand experience, most people do not have an understanding of how damaging ICU can be. One must decide how effective or futile ICU might be considering one’s age and health.

    Once one needs ICU, one is likely unconscious or otherwise unable to make a decision.

    Do not burden your loved ones with this choice, make it now while you are able and well:

    https://fivewishes.org/five-wishes/individuals-families/individuals-and-families

    • Beware of “living wills” and “advanced directives” which limit the care you can receive. That includes the documents you’re typically handed to sign when you check into a hospital, or before an outpatient surgical procedure. Phrases like “extraordinary measures” don’t necessarily mean what you think they mean. An advanced directive which says that you don’t want extraordinary measures taken to prolong your life may be interpreted as prohibiting the use of a feeding tube or IV, through which you could receive hydration, nutrition, and perhaps antibiotics, even for a condition which might be temporary, or even during a medically-induced coma, and even if your family is advocating for your care.

      Many in the medical community, especially in the palliative care & hospice specialties, have become extraordinarily aggressive when deciding to cut off care for patients, especially patients who are elderly, or whose “quality of life” is deemed poor. For example, here’s an article written by a past President of the Wake County, NC Medical Society, in the WCMS newsletter, Wake County Physician, describing how he killed an ambulatory but troublesome dementia patient, by sedating him to unconsciousness and then depriving him of nutrition and hydration, until he died:
      https://burtonsys.com/old/lifetree/yellig_wcms_v8q3_2003.html

      The best way to protect yourself from that sort of thing is with a Healthcare Power of Attorney, naming someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf, in the event you are unable to make them for yourself. Alternately, many pro-life organizations have sample “Will To Live” documents available.

      Here’s one from Pro-Life Wisconsin:
      https://www.prolifewi.org/advance-directiveprotective-power-of-attorney-for-health-care-ppahc

      Because laws vary from State to State, National Right To Life has State-specific sample directives:
      http://www.nrlc.org/medethics/willtolive/states/

      • My experience was completely different.
        There was strong pressure to continue care for a family member.

        It is better for an individual to assess these things on their own rather than foist these decisions on others.

        Much of ICU care is futile and this appears to be particularly the case with COVID in Italy. If one is elderly and has metabolic syndrome and gets to ICU, one’s odds are not very good to begin with.

        Death is difficult of course. But we as a society must deal with these things. Accepting mortality and rejecting futile care are moral issues we need to address.

      • @TE: “Much of ICU care is futile … Accepting mortality and rejecting futile care are moral issues we need to address.”

        Agreed. The bad case is when the patient accepts this but the doctors don’t and use heroic measures to prolong a life that has lost all quality.

        A medical system in which respect for life takes priority over respect for the individual is a broken system.

        The profession needs to incorporate the hospice into its toolkit.

        That said, I was in an ICU for several days. But I was 48 at the time and am very grateful for what the ICU had to offer.

  48. The common cold is also a coronavirus.
    There is no therapy (just symptomatic treatment) or vaccine for it.
    Are the chances of success any better for Covid19?

    • The CDC says there is no vaccine for SARS, 2003 and 10% lethality, and MERS, 2012 and 34% fatalities, but a little birdie tell me there are candidates. One conclusion might be that’s it’s a prolonged and difficult endeavor. One, they make not a lot of money.

      Did China’s President say today 6,569 was soon going to drop close to zero? He could, but he’s not that foolish. It is dropping and will eventually approach zero. Could be under 1,000 is a few weeks:

      • Thanks.
        I’m also following the numbers on that worldometer site. There seem to be discrepancies between countries in the relative numbers of cases and deaths. Some due to different amount of testing and different strategies.

  49. We will be back to the old ways of living our lives within six months.

  50. Lodovico Volponi

    No we won’t. But it will a lot worse than before. Think for example of airport security. It was supposed to be temporary, but it’s never going away. They introduced a tax (TSA pre-check) for those who wanted to go back to the old ways. It will be the same after this crisis. Do you want good in-person instruction? Only the most expensive institutions will offer it. Ever other university will stay put on crappy online courses with no real labs or hands-on experience (the only true way to learn).

    And by the way, perhaps someone has said this already, but we were supposed to stop our way of life to save future generations from global warming. Now we’re stopping our way of life with zero regard for future generations, who are the least impacted by this virus (nobody who has died in Italy was below 30 years of age, and more than 80% of the dead were above 70 years old).

    • “we were supposed to stop our way of life to save future generations from global warming. ”

      CC denialists love trotting out that straw man argument.

      I leased a Toyota Mirai for three years (currently I don’t have a car) and my wife is still driving her leased Chevy Bolt. The idea that this “stopped our way of life” is absurd. Plugging in at night is a huge improvement over having to take the car to the gas station to refuel, not to mention considerably cheaper per mile. We also have solar panels which paid for themselves years ago.

      Gradually the car manufacturers are shifting over from ICEs to EVs. Volume pricing combined with simplicity of manufacture will drive the cost of the latter down. It will take a few decades, but no one’s way of life will be stopped by that evolution. Instead cars will stop emitting the many carcinogens and toxins produced by ICEs.

    • Lodovico Volponi

      Hopeless. Just stay home, so that you won’t be bothered by the homeless people and the street urchins.

  51. Today is 3/21/2020. Hysteria has turned into reality. Testing for the virus in the USA has become massive. This is only confirming the virus in those infected.
    The borders of the USA are closed to the virus as well as humanly possible. The American People are doing as requested by the President. This is eliminating the transmission as much as humanly possible. Those with the virus will have to live with it until the body eliminates it.
    The American people are eliminating the virus. Hopefully it will be eliminated in a few weeks. If you know a Spring Breaker see that they get tested. They are the leak we have no control over. Only the American people can eliminate the virus in the USA.
    THANK-YOU Mr. PRESUIDENT! THANK-YOU AMERICAN PEOPLE!

  52. Judith, I had naturally heard of you, but never read any of your papers or posts until today.
    Can I just say that it is with great pleasure that I read this, mainly because there are so few balanced people out there, who are concerned about what we are doing to our climate, but not being drawn into alarmism.
    I will follow you from now on.
    Thanks.

  53. Please explain why you deleted this before! Concur with his hypothesis or not, Dr Thomas Cowan is a legitimate doctor/researcher adding perspective to disease and the relationship of water to life. I find it extremely ignorant to ignore the electromegnetic environment that humans naturally live in and are subjected too…or do you have an agenda to deflect attention from all this …like the complete lack of discussion of electromagnetic weather manipulation in this forum!

    • @Ptor: In his 2018 book “Vaccines, Autoimmunity, and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness”, Cowan warns that “vaccination is an ineffective (and harmful) attempt to shortcut a complex immune response” and asserts that “the medical establishment has engaged in an authoritarian argument that robs parents of informed consent.of the dangers of vaccines.”

      Do you agree with him on that?

      In his 2019 book “Cancer and the New Biology of Water”, Cowan complains that “the oncogene theory is incorrect―or at least incomplete―and based on a flawed concept of biology in which DNA controls our cellular function and therefore our health.” He asserts that the root cause of cancer is instead “metabolic dysfunction that deteriorates the structured water that forms the basis of cytoplasmic―and therefore, cellular―health.” Cowan calls “structured water” a fourth phase of water distinct from its solid, liquid, and gas phases, and that without the correct structure in the body’s fluids cancer develops.

      Do you agree with him on that?

      And today he’s claiming that the establishment is wrong yet again, this time on what causes pandemics, which he attributes to EMF.

      You seem to be agreeing with him on that.

      If Cowan’s very interesting medical theories pan out he would obviously deserve the Nobel Prize in medicine. But if not then he may be putting at risk the lives of the millions of innocent victims of what the establishment presumably characterizes as logically flawed theories.

      The one positive thing that could be said about the latter outcome is that it could raise our average IQ.

      • @vaughan pratt Thank you for discussing!
        First point…yes (although I’m an engineer and not a virologist/biologist) the systems analysis component of his argument is logical…but this is not the topic here and irrelevant. If he’s wrong on this it doesn’t mean he’s wrong on the effects of 5g.
        Second point…yes, amongst other factors. The ‘structure’ of water is essential to life and thus far has remained on the fringe of science. I’ve even read here on this blog new perspectives on the thermodynamics of the upper atmosphere due to new realizations on the structuring of water vapour due to cosmic rays/solar radiation in terms of an unrecognized phase of water and subsequently it’s heat transfer properties. The structure of water has long been validated as being variable. Conditions are everything for living beings…from viruses to humans.
        In terms of pandemic, I could only begin to agree that bad emf exposure is responsible for the evolution/mutation/excretion of a virus if it can be proved that Covid-19 is not a bioweapon (in which case anything weakening the immune system would exacerbate it’s effects). Otherwise the sudden mutation to a lethal virus from mysterious interspecies spit swapping amongst bats and other things is pure conjecture.
        The topic of this page is ‘Coronavirus uncertainity’. Therefore in a complete analysis all factors must be taken into consideration…even the bioweapon option…especially when coincidences like 5g rollout and political strife coincides with some of the worst hit areas. It would be naive to not do so…especially considering NATO’s own recommendations for pandemic analysis. Besides, look whats happening…the sick (also contaminated by metals from their local pollution) are all ending up in 5g soaked urban centres to be treated…and dying.
        I’m not going to get into vaccine debate but “the establishment’s” perspective is obviously not that complete or effective. Integrating broader understanding to enlighten the public of the world beyond status quo scientific dogma and cronyism (as well as political correctness) could go along way in refining our approaches to things.
        Finally, as an engineer, I find it unacceptable to globally roll out a new technology (technocratically and not democratically) without having researched and reviewed the potential harmfull risks. The moratorium on 5g in Geneva seems like a ‘logical’ and rational thing to do at the moment considering the parts of the medical and scientific communities alarmed enough to rise up. We’re overwhelmed with this illusion of concensus denoting higher degree of scientific plausability these days. In this case, it would be disastrous if the few that were actually right were ignored and global system of very bad emfs was allowed to be installed, regardless if it’s the ’cause’ of covid-19. Cowan is absolutely correct in stating that it’s a ‘new condition’ humanity is now exposed to.
        So I’d think it extremely valuable at this point to consider Cowan’s hypothesis (especially given the historical precedents) and in doing so it would not mean forgoing the urgent protocol of pandemia. Think about it…if we’re going to shut down everything else and invite economic disaster to save humanity…if it’s that much of an emergency…why not shut down the 5g system as well to do ‘all we can’ and see what happens?

    • And why not asking: “Corona caused by the low solar activity?” :-)
      IMO the death rates per country are interesting:

      It’s some kind of strange that the death rate in Germany (D) (0.38%) is only 1/10th of France, 1/12th of UK and 1/3 rd of US and Swiss… Italy has a 24fold death rate.

    • @Ptor: “if we’re going to shut down everything else and invite economic disaster to save humanity…if it’s that much of an emergency…why not shut down the 5g system as well to do ‘all we can’ and see what happens?”

      Better yet, shut it down in 50% of the world’s regions, keep it up in the other 50%, and test Dr. Cowan’s hypothesis by seeing whether there is any statistically significance difference in COVID-19 in the two kinds of regions.

      Since 5g deployment is currently nowhere near 50%, for a balanced test we should use all the data from regions with 5g and an equal amount of data from the rest (so just a small fraction ot it).

      As deployment continues this experiment will improve as we get more data from the regions with 5g (and hence more data from those without even though they’re shrinking).

      By the time 5g deployment is up to 50% we should have a very good idea whether 5g is playing any role in the behavior of the disease. If that role is demonstrably important, that would be the time to ask the users of the cellular system whether they would like to see 5g shut down in the interest of a healthier environment.

      Simply shutting down 5g right now on the say-so of a doctor who disagrees with the medcal establishment on every debatable topic on dubious grounds that he has so far not succeeded in explaining convincingly sounds like unbridled Luddism to me.

      • Whether you are OK or not with his other positions of disagreement with the medical establishment is irrelevant to whether or not he is right about the degredation of the human immune system when exposed to 5G EMFs …especially when you offer no other reason he is wrong on this. Well then there’s all the other doctors and scientists, the already affected that have won court battles to have their local transmitters removed that probably also would like to see it shut down and… admittedly it’s my opinion to shut it all down because I feel it’s downright irrresponsible, disrespectful and dangerous to begin with…maybe even sinister. Seems like unbridled common sense to me. Also check out the other ‘quacks’ dealing with health at the most essential level of life .i.e. water…
        https://torustech.com/press/water-conference/

        Scientists egos can be such an impediment to broader understanding the nature of our reality! They seem to be succeptible to their own form of Gustav LeBon’s ‘Crowd’.

      • It’s not about Luddism, it’s just about protecting humanity from bad engineering! There far better and more harmonic technologies to come. Meanwhile, discuss with Dr Martin Pall PhD…
        https://www.emfacts.com/2018/08/martin-palls-book-on-5g-is-available-online/

      • @Ptor: “Whether you are OK or not with his other positions of disagreement with the medical establishment is irrelevant to whether or not he is right about the degredation of the human immune system when exposed to 5G EMFs ”

        In other words you are claiming that the reliability of his various positions are independent of each other.

        People don’t normally make that assumption. If someone is reliably wrong about things, the community tends to lose faith in him and gives less credence to what he has to say next.

        “especially when you offer no other reason he is wrong on this.”

        My reason is that he’s an unreliable source. What’s your reason for believing his theory that 5g causes COVID-19?

        ” there’s all the other doctors and scientists, the already affected that have won court battles to have their local transmitters removed that probably also would like to see it shut down”

        Are you suggesting that medical science be based on the outcome of court cases? Facts about physics, chemistry, etc. are never decided by courts of law, what makes medical science different from physics or chemistry in that regard?

        “I feel it’s downright irrresponsible, disrespectful and dangerous to begin with…maybe even sinister”

        So the world should shut down 5g immediately without even pausing to see whether it’s actually dangerous merely because of successful court cases together with your feelings in the matter? So how many court cases concerning shutting down 5g transmitters are we actually talking about here?

      • @Ptor: ” Meanwhile, discuss with Dr Martin Pall PhD…”

        It is redundant to call anyone “Dr. Pall PhD”, you only need to acknowledge his degree once (he also has a BA but no degree in either medicine or wireless technology). He’s a retired professor of biochemistry from Washington State University who after coming down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome proposed a nitric oxide cycle theory of it, https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Nitric_oxide_hypothesis ,
        (not to be confused with the nitric oxide hypothesis of aging).

        So far all we have from Professor Pall is his theories about the effects of millimeter wavelengths on body tissues. This is just pure speculation with no experimental support whatsoever.

        He has however been making predictions that happen to be easily tested, such as “in 2 years from now, if wireless networks will not be switched off immediately, people will become sterile and reproduction of human kind will cease”.

        Since it looks like 5g networks will go ahead, in 2 years we’ll find out if he was right or wrong.

        I seriously doubt that it is worth switching off all the world’s 5g networks right now just because of the scaremongering speculations of an elderly retired professor with no training in either anatomy or electrical engineering.

    • This is going to be addressed by the CDC. Tin foil hats are in the mail.

  54. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A complication of the flu is most often bacterial pneumonia, which is treated with an antibiotic. Covid-19 causes viral pneumonia quickly.

    • One third of Italians are resistant to anti biotics. Of the 30000 deaths per year in the EU caused by resistance, one third are in Italy

      tonyb

  55. “Climate change is really taking direct aim at historically marginalized residents and that’s whats going on with coronavirus as well,” says Cobb. ”It’s really going to leave those people out in the cold.”

    https://wdet.org/posts/2020/03/19/89373-one-climate-scientists-lessons-for-confronting-coronavirus/

    Hard times are hard on the poor. And the best way to keep poor people poor is to give them solar panels instead of cheap and reliable grid power.

    “One of my dim hopes is that, hopefully, at the end of this coronavirus situation we can recognize what it takes to marshal global scale cooperation to meet the demands of science.”

    The demands of science is good. Failed marketing. No wonder they haven’t fixed anything. Scientists need to figure out what Apple did. Do that.

    Science demands we use high density energy sources like nuclear power and natural gas. Do that. But your Green allies will not allow that. Speak up. Actually be a scientist.

    • Climate change leaves people out in the COLD????

      • The author of the article might have been looking for something catchy. The poor have been left out in the cold for the last 2000 years. Even a 5% increase in being left out in the cold, is not the problem to address. Solar panels are not solving their problems.

    • @Ragnar: ” the best way to keep poor people poor is to give them solar panels …”

      Someone’s proposing to give solar panels to the poor?

      “… instead of cheap and reliable grid power. ”

      Electricity from the grid is cheaper than electricity from solar panels?

      • “…if you really want people in the developing world to stay poor and miserable, there are few better ways of achieving this than by bribing them to build more wind farms or solar panels.”
        https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2015/09/29/6-billion-crappy-renewable-energy-just-third-world-needs/
        Using the Google, my opinion is a minority one. I argue a coal fired modern grid leads to the best economic results for 3rd world countries. Lomborg might also make this argument.
        Taking all cost into account including the extremely small big fossil fuel subsidies, yes. Average grid power is cheaper than power from solar panels, doubly so for home installed. Commerical solar will be cheaper. Full stop. But keep at it.
        You have to price in the ability dispatch and sustain or you’re running a con. This is basic accounting a teenager could do. When I priced a Powerwall, it was around $700 for one kilowatt hour of storage. Does home solar have 24 hours of back up? If not, they are making mud pies. How nice. Only $15000 for that deal.

      • Lomborg:
        “A new analysis from the Center for Global Development quantifies our disregard of the world’s poor. Investing in renewables, we can pull one person out of poverty for about $500. But, using gas electrification, we could pull more than four people out of poverty for the same amount. By focusing on our climate concerns, we deliberately choose to leave more than three out of four people in darkness and poverty.”
        https://www.eco-business.com/opinion/poverty-renewables/
        I say coal, he says gas. Coal is more plentiful, and cheaper. Which power plant is cheaper, I don’t know?
        The conservatives don’t care about the poor. The liberals don’t know how to help them. Rationally, I think the conservatives win for causing the least amount of harm.

      • @Ragnar:
        You won’t sound so cocky when the US looses status as the world’s reserve currency. Today (3/23/2020) the FED went full MMT and suddenly all those carefully crafted interdependent financial instruments are looking pretty shaky. What’s the cost of FF if you don’t have a reference point?

      • jacksmith4tx:
        Call me old fashioned. I don’t invest in those things as far as I know. Just stocks and bonds as God intendend us to do. We see how well that’s working lately.

  56. The national curves seem to be remarkably similar.
    Since even the extreme measures are not completely effective, and varied from place to place, it does raise the question as to whether declines are natural versus policy based.

    • The curves are not the same, and the plan for dealing for the virus starkly different. China embraced eradication of the virus; SK embraced flattening the curve. Therefore, SK’s number will continue to creep upward. If they are vigilant and fast, they could stay ahead of it, but they could also lose control and see another period of exponential growth.

      China embraced eradication. There is currently a very small population of SARS-CoV-2 inside China. It’s in their active case population, which is isolated. That population is dropping at around 500 cases per day and will soon be “15 cases will be close to zero.” Their only real risk is people traveling into China. The reports are they are placed into immediate 14-day isolation. China will eventually drive SARS-CoV-2 to a population level little different than extinct. It’s unlikely they have enough recovered people to have achieved anywhere close to herd immunity, so they will have to be vigilant until either a vaccine exists or for forever. Not unheard of. Veterinarians around the world are ever vigilant for viral outbreaks.

      It has been done with other viruses. The US media will not say the word “eradication”.

      China is now assisting Iran, and it’s not been for a long time. Their data is hinting at a flattening. Too soon to tell.

      • Therefore, SK’s number will continue to creep upward.

        No evidence of this and it sure looks flat for the last week.

        Italy and Iran appear to be on a similar course.

        It does raise the question as to whether this is the natural course of the outbreak rather than policy responses which are not the same, not complete, and not completely adhered to.

      • You have a remarkable ability to mess it up. China went into Iran about one week ago.

        A virus typically starts slow, builds, and then shoots through the roof. SK did not experience that. It blew up a religious cult that had a data bank with all the names, all the addresses, and all the phone numbers. The church population was young, so their death rate was not representative. Their response system is virtually identical to China’s, so they were able to identify a very high percentage of the contacts and isolate. Because of the rituals in the church, the spread was fast and intense, and that made the flattening easy. Meanwhile, in the general population, they have done less than China. The spread of the disease through that population is on a normal course: slowly increasing, which means there could be, COULD, a 2nd wave:

        Just in case, the smaller number is awhile ago; the bigger number is recent.

      • Curious George

        “The US media will not say the word “eradication”.”
        Eradication means something else.

      • Eradication of a virus is exactly what China is nearing. They did not contain it within Hubei or their borders. They are now approaching eradication. If successful, the population of SARS-C9V-2 in their population of 1.4 billion people will be essentially zero.

        Just as scientists and veterinarians eradicated the virus that causes hog cholera in the United States. I believe, not a single US case since 1976. A virus that likely originated here, and spread around most of the earth, was eradicated in the United States.

        The western approach, half-butted mitigation, is resulting in overwhelmed hospitals and a lot of death, and I don’t see anything they are doing that is going to slow it down. A virus always slows down eventually. The ones that don’t slow down fail to thrive. But a lot of countries are going to blow right through China’s number. Summer might slow it down, but Trump’s spiritual advisor apparent is higher on Easter.

  57. I would also like to see some attention directed to the apparent nationwide installation of 5G infrastructure during this outbreak. I feel there is an ominous disregard for human health, and that the climate debate has been eclipsed by the CV discussion. Meanwhile, unnoticed, the emf network (5G?) is being set up in schools during the shut-down, new towers are appearing on city streets, and we are all in actual peril. DNA and mitochondrial function are impaired by emf radiation, and 5G will be even more dangerous. The Climate Scam was a distraction. Now we have another. The “Internet of Things” is a sure way to reduce world populations by means of serious health impacts. Plenty of studies and common sense would confirm this. We evolved without emf radiation. The pulse of the Planet is at 7.85 Hz. Our brains, when in alpha, are functioning at 7.85 Hz. I’m no expert here, but feel threatened by emf more than any climate issues. Any rational thoughts on this?

    • My advice is to stay away from crackpot web sites like NaturalNews, Mercola, HotWhopper, Principia-Scientific, DeSmogBlog, etc.  5G EMR will not harm your “DNA and mitochondrial function,” but perusing crackpot websites like those seems to actually kill brain cells. (Or maybe it’s the cats.)

  58. Correction. 7.83 Hz. The Schumann resonance, linked to navigational ability of birds and insects.

    • What you need to understand is that the extreme techies are obsessed with going to live on Mars. For them, tech is ‘can it be done?’, not ‘what impact will it have on an ecosystem?’

      They literally only care about developing it technically and making money from it.

      The Tesla guy actually wants to go live on Mars. Off you go, mate. Do not tell us Earthlings how we ought to live here.

      Technology now is appropriate for space travel. It is no longer appropriate for planet earth.

      Problem is: politicians are too dumb to question these techies and the techie investors run rings round the mouthpieces.

  59. There are those who say the current drastic CV measures are unnecessarily harmful to the economy. I disagree, because it is possible to remove Case Fatality Rate uncertainty without having to assume anything about the fatality/cases denominator (the known unknown asymptomatic/mild problem). The method uses information from the Diamond Princess and a doctor in a hospital in Wuhan.

    Per Japan’s final report, PCR testing ultimately diagnosed 705 CV infections out of 3711 passengers and crew. 19% is probably a worst case infection rate given the ‘experimental’ conditions. But it is hard data. Of the 705, only 392 had symptoms (defined as fever >100.4F). 10.6%.

    In Wuhan, according to a senior doctor at one hospital, 81% of those diagnosed (symptomatic) eventually recovered starting about day 10 of symptoms. 19% did not, they worsened and needed hospitalization. Of the 19%, 14 became serious (needing supplemental oxygen in a hospital bed). 5 became critical, needing ventilation in an ICU bed. In that hospital, the doctor said about 20% of the serious and 80% of the critical died. That works out to 6.8% fatality among symptomatics.

    Do the math. 0.19 infections*0.106 symptoms*0.068 fatalities among symptoms in an overwhelmed hospital (like northern Italy now) is 0.001, or one fatality per thousand people (terrifyingly horrible) IN THE ABSENCE of drastic ‘bend the curve’ measures—which finally worked in Wuhan.

    • Why have we not long ago passed the point of no return? It has been spreading without serious mitigation for weeks. If the R0 for the general population is 2.5, cases should be increasing 53% per day. Millions of cases by now. The final R0 for 2009 H1N1 was around 1.5. Within a few months there were 10s of millions of cases in the US and nearly 4000 deaths. The real world is telling us our assumptions are wrong.

      • Two certainties based on my comment.
        1. There are at least 44% asymptomatics.
        2. Countries are ‘bending the curve’ using social distancing — in the extreme, 14 day quarantine.

        There were no known asymtomatics with the 2009 H1N1 swine flu. And flu spreads mainly by inhaling infected aspirate. The reason it is a winter phenomenon is twofold. One, people are more indoors. Two, winter indoor air is dry. Aspirate dries out and the virions remain in air circulation for many hours. That is why flu quarantine doesn’t work.

        Wuhan spreads via close person contact. Directly by exposure to cough particles. These are much larger than aspirate, don’t go more than a meter, and sink rapidly to surfaces where they remain experimentally (new NIH data) viable for 1-3 days depending of surface and environment. You touch an infected surface and then you mouth, nose, or eyes and infect yourself. That is why social distancing, frequent hand washing, and not face are effective at stopping transmission. With those three simple factors, Rnaught is much lower than 2.5 and can be driven below 1.

      • H1N1 first appeared in April. In October CDC estimated 10s of millions of cases in the USA. The first outbreak was not in winter. I am skeptical that our actions are reducing R0 that much, especially since our actions began weeks after initial cases existed.

        It is conjecture on my part but I believe cv19 may require multiple exposures in close quarters. This seems consistent with where it has been most harmful. Perhaps the nature of the initial exposure and initial virus load determines severity of symptoms also.

        Whatever the reason, the number of cases is not consistent with an R0 of 2.5, and I ain’t buying that our actions have made that much difference.

      • dougbadgero wrote, “If the R0 for the general population is 2.5, cases should be increasing 53% per day.”

        That’s wrong.

    • remember a simple fact of life: 1 fatality per 100 people is the background death rate, because we only live for about 80 years and there are more younger folks.

      So 1 in 1000 death rate is noise.

      • This is nonsense. A modern western hospital has never had a policy to look a perfectly savable person in the face and say we no longer allow people like you access to a life saving ventilator, so you’re going to die, years, maybe even decades ahead of time.

        No hospital has ever had a meeting where they ask and answer whether or not they can make an exception for Doc Doe, who is 72 and working downstairs in the ER and will likely get the virus. Answer – no. Do you know how much they love Doc Doe? A bunch. They have to vote to potentially kill him.

        My Dad did that many many many times on Iwo when the casualties were high. Didn’t smoke so he crawled and found a cigarette to let a Marine with no arms and mangled legs have his last one as he bled out. His last request. A few seconds of kindness, but odds too low for saving him, and it would have taken too much time. He crawled off to find wounded Marines he could easily save, and crawled by the ones who would take too much time. By the time this is over, there will a bunch of young Docs who will be living with what Dad lived with, my son perhaps among them.

        Unimaginable, but it’s upon us. Every big city hospital is likely in big soup soon. ~30,000 new cases worldwide yesterday, already 27,000 new cases to this time today. But yes, remain calm. Everything is under control. Stay seated. Finish watching the show. That smoke is just noise.

  60. Evidence Over Hysteria
    View at Medium.com

    More and more it appears that CV does correlate with climate change in that unscientific hysteria is more damaging than the phenomena.

  61. Also, many of our actions are counter productive. We just spent the last week with our grandkids because they couldn’t go to daycare. A scene being played out all over the US I am sure. This places the most vulnerable members of society at more risk, not less. Or the reduced grocery store hours guaranteeing we shop in larger crowds and in closer proximity to each other. How does this make sense?

    • Reduced hours potentially reduces the risk to the grocery store workers. But, you pick your spots. Shopped last night 20 minutes before midnight and there was one worker at checkout, and, at most, 3 customers in the entire store. I do not know why they continue to stay open that late. It’s next to a college, but there are no students.

      We’re on the herd immunity pathway, so death rates are likely going to go up because societies that started this with a high degree of the most vulnerable elderly (80, 90, even in the 100’s) living alone are going to see the virus gradually chew into that group because there are all sorts of exposures in how we are doing it. Low death-rate percentages are likely not real in a herd immunity pathway. But we’ll see.

      • Grocery stores in our area are setting aside early hours for seniors and vulnerable populations.

        On the other side, our governor is waiving the limitation of 10 people for churches.

      • Insane. The churches should have had their doors welded shut weeks ago. You could invent better ways to transmit viruses, not not much better. That guy they keep interviewing from a Georgia hospital, Clay, thinks he caught it singing in the choir. Says others in the church are sick. Hope he’s still getting better. Good old boy.

      • Yes, we went to our local supermarket at 7.30 this morning and it was empty the other one a hundred yards away was pretty quiet at 9. mind you we are fortunate in having a traditional high street with independent butchers, greengrocers, bakers, plus fishmongers and a popular cake shop and another independent supermarket. So there is a choice of outlets available which spreads the load. .

        Many communities have become far too dependent on a big out of town supermarket which has then closed down the competition and the results we can see before us when demand spikes up and people only have the one place to go to

        Support your local independent shops!

        tonyb

  62. JCH | March 21, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Reply

    Thank you for that informative graph.

  63. Ireneusz Palmowski

    You have to tell the truth. We don’t have a medicine that destroys the Covid-19 virus. You can only count on your antibodies. Take care of your immunity.

  64. I would like to add another comment here NOT based on ‘solid’ fact based stuff. The results are hopeful but not by any means certain. Most of the basics, (with one basic now admitted goof misremembering/confusing the RNA/DNA genetic simple code for the 20 amino acid protein code) remain correct and hopeful. Details over at the sticky top post at WUWT.

  65. To quote E.M. Smith:

    “ This Is NOT The Flu, Comparison To Flu Is Stupid

    We are only at the start of this pandemic. There is no immunity. We do not have proven vaccines available. It is rising exponentially. The death rate in actual practice in places with enough resolved cases for valid data is about 3.4% with good medical care, and up to 12% once the medical system is overwhelmed. Those not dead are often hospitalized for weeks to months and have significant lung damage.

    The Flu is at the end of season. We have many immune to flu, and we have vaccines for flu. The death rate is about 0.1%. Recovery generally does not require weeks on respirators nor result in permanent disability.

    Anyone attempting to equate the two is ignoring the time axis, the exponential math, the death rate differential, the damage, and more. They are not thinking.

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/20-march-2020-covid-19-usa-16000-cases-italy-4000-dead/

    • The healthcare system in the western world can handle the seasonal flu without blinking an eye. There are 1.9 million 90-year old people in the US, and only around 72 thousand of them will make it to 100 years of age. It’s built into the capacity. We have, whatever it is, ~29 ventilators per US 100 thousand people, because going from 1.9 million to 72 thousand pays for some of them.

      But also, there are living wills and DNR’s and hospice. A lot of people die of the seasonal flu without making demands on emergency medicine at all, and a growing number are opting to die at home. They have planned for the end of their life. Saving them on Monday so they can instead pass away of something else on Thursday makes no sense, though many families insist on exactly that. When they do, it’s done. Somebody recommended they talk to a panel of experts to discuss the futility and cruelty of the situation; somebody else branded them death panels.

      There are not, say, 46,000 US people showing up at ER’s pleading for their lives to be saved from the seasonal flu because they know they have a lot of wonderful years, even decades left. The seasonal flu is not, by and large, killing people who have a lot of years left. It is a deceptive stat. Hiding in it is the number taken before their time, which, just guessing, somewhere between 1 and 10% of the 46,000.

  66. Covid19 is a chimeric betacoronavirus.
    Half from the bat Rhinolophus.
    This is the pneumonia part.
    Half from the Malaysian pangolin Manis.
    This is the key to enter human cells part.

    https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-origins-genome-analysis-suggests-two-viruses-may-have-combined-134059

  67. Unfettered destructive panic. An intersection of ideologies. The CCP Wuhan Institute of Virology COVID-19 meets Christiana Figueres UNFCCC former Exec Sec. who stated: “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.” … “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

    ‘We estimate 86% of all infections were undocumented (95% CI: [82%–90%]) prior to 23 January 2020 travel restrictions. Per person, the transmission rate of undocumented infections was 55% of documented infections ([46%–62%]), yet, due to their greater numbers, undocumented infections were the infection source for 79% of documented cases.’ ‘These undocumented infections often experience mild, limited or no symptoms and hence go unrecognized, and, depending on their contagiousness and numbers, can expose a far greater portion of the population to virus than would otherwise occur.’ R. Li et al., Science 10.1126/science.abb3221 (2020).

    In Iceland: “Of 3,787 individuals tested in the country, a total of 218 positive cases have been identified so far. “At least half of those infected contracted the virus while travelling abroad, mostly in high-risk areas in the European Alps (at least 90),” the government said on Monday. Those numbers include the first results of the voluntary tests on people with no symptoms, which started last Friday. The first batch of 1,800 tests produced 19 positive cases, or about 1% of the sample. Early results from deCode Genetics indicate that a low proportion of the general population has contracted the virus and that about half of those who tested positive are non-symptomatic, the other half displays very moderate cold-like symptoms.”

    In the small northern Italian town of Vo, one of the communities where the outbreak first emerged, the entire population of 3,300 people was tested — 3% of residents tested positive, and of these, the majority had no symptoms, researchers said. The population was tested again after a two-week lockdown and isolation. Researchers found that transmission was reduced by 90% and all those still positive were without symptoms and could remain quarantined. Luca Zaia, the governor of the Veneto region told Italian media this week: “We tested everyone, even if the ‘experts’ told us this was a mistake: 3,000 tests. We found 66 positives, who we isolated for 14 days, and after that 6 of them were still positive. And that is how we ended it.”
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/coronavirus-testing-iceland?bfsource=relatedmanual

  68. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Early detection of coronavirus can determine life. In my opinion, antiviral drugs work up to about 5 days from the beginning of the infection (may I be wrong).

  69. Corona response measures are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous. There are english subtitles in the video.

  70. Interestng thread

    My only comment is that very early in my career I was reading an article about one of the most successful lobbyists in the world.

    He said that he accepted or rejected cases based on one simple formula:

    (Facts) x (The Ability to Hype The Facts)…times a factor

    My work involves mapping and helping to change large complex systems (demand/supply chains, industrial structure, govt policies, etc)

    This simple lobbyist screening tool might have been the third most important principle I have ever learned and applied…

    ….right after

    1. Do unto others, etc
    2. Follow the ants (for models of system change)

    All disease is tragic

    This one definitely complies with the lobbyists formula

    And seems to be the primary link between COVID and “Climate Change”

    Be safe and happy

  71. 99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says

    What did they have? Metabolic Syndrome. (More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.)

    Which is the ‘elephant in the room’:

    Metabolic syndrome is completely determined by lifestyle.
    But that’s Good News!
    Because metabolic syndrome is completely reversible.

    Eat for nutrition ( meat and veg ).
    Avoid energy dense foods ( sugar, flour, oil ).
    Do resistance exercise for muscle mass.

  72. The number of active cases in China is rapidly dropping, and they are nearly the total eradication of SARS-CoV-2 from their human population. Once they hit zero, they are most likely within one month from being able to open all their factories with little risk of starting another outbreak:

  73. Another interesting view here…

  74. I’m actually quite liking this unexpected pause from headless-chicken-running that much of the world is experiencing. It gives time to reflect, to make creative changes to one’s normal routine. The unaccustomed quiet covering cities and towns gives a night-like quality to the day.

    Many here are unhappy though at what they see as excessive and unnecessary reaction to covid19. Why this huge economic sacrifice just to prevent a bunch of reptiloid pensioners die a distressful death of suffocation without a ventilator? Especially when we can reassure ourselves that they’re to blame anyway for their unhealthy lifestyles, for their unconscionable failure to run a hundred miles and eat half the contents of a health food shop every day and thus make themselves immortal like a good American. The blissful, eternal sunshine of binary morality! All mishap and death is the victims’s fault and only G0d is good.

    Somehow though, I doubt that things will go back completely to what they were, post covid19. People’s taste of change will prevent that.

    • Nonsense. The actions we are taking will cost lives. Some in the inevitable effects of economic recession and some due the unintended, but completely predictable, behaviors because of the shutdowns of schools and daycares.

      Goldman Sachs predicts 2nd quarter GDP will collapse 24%. This would be far greater than the cumulative economic contraction during the entire Great Recession. Maybe it will be somewhat less, only 10 to 15% like other financial analysts predict. We know we are taking some businesses revenues to zero, and many more to small fractions of what they were. Millions of lost jobs, many failed businesses and lost livelihoods. A person would have to have lived a sheltered life indeed to not understand that this will result hardship and death. The longer it goes on the worse it will be.

      • This is a hard problem.
        The essence of our existence depends on the hamster-wheel of our economy, and sometimes it will stop.
        A sharp economic downturn always carries the risk of a political turn to the right. Populations could turn on immigrants for example. How to stop that happening should be the focus.

        Do we know how much economic contraction Wuhan province has expert? Or the whole of China?

      • expert
        experienced

  75. I have not seen a cost benefit analysis for the draconian CV measures that effect people’s economic wellbeing. The CDC list 47,173 suicides in the us: I would expect that number to go up as a result of job loss, business closures, bankruptcies, etc. The CDC list almost 1.9M deaths from other illnesses: I would expect that number to go up as a result of loss of health care or financial means to maintain medical insurance; each 1% increase is 19,000 lives. I wonder if those most affected would concur that these measures are not unnecessarily harmful to the economy.

  76. Too much foolishness and misinformation on this thread. Bottom line is that Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea are in close proximity to the CHINESE source of the virus and have extensive relationships and contacts with Red China. They have managed to avoid burying a lot of people without shutting down their economies.

    Old people and those with pre-existing conditions are dying from this virus. Isolate them and let the rest of us get on with our lives. Give the folks chloroquine. I have taken it daily for a couple of years, when working in the jungles. It’s safe and costs about a nickel a pill. My family has been taking it for past few weeks. Demand it for yourselves and your families. Good luck.

  77. I we just let the virus run its course, hospitals will be shut down and all the people with severe illnesses would not get treatment and die. The entire medical system would collapse. There isn’t time for clinical studies and economic cost-benefit anal-ysis. C-B studies are fraught with assumptions and too easily bent for political or otherwise purposes.

    • More nonsense. First the strawman argument. We can take sensible actions, actions we have taken for other pandemics, e.g. stay home if your sick, wash your hands, isolate yourself if you are at high risk. Maybe even close schools although this may be counter productive for this pandemic.

      Second, if that were going to happen it already would have. It has been in the USA since at least mid January. If the actual R0 applicable to the general population were 2.5, the cases would increase 53% per day. 10s of millions of cases in the USA by now, and 100s of thousands of deaths. The healthcare system would have been overwhelmed before we could have done anything about it.

      • dougbadgero: If the actual R0 applicable to the general population were 2.5, the cases would increase 53% per day.

        It has lately been 35%-40% per day, calculated from the tallies at worldmeters.com. You can see the recent exponential growth here if you choose the logarithmic scale:
        https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

        It mixes new infections with newly diagnosed extant infections, but even so it is a cause for concern. I am expecting the exponential growth to end soon, but I am also concerned that I may be wrong.

        I think it may be uncomfortable to accept that the data that we have are compatible with many possibilities for the future.

      • I believe the evidence is approaching overwhelming that the recent growth are newly diagnosed extant cases. I have been following the Johns Hopkins data for weeks and the new cases are certainly growing. However, through all of February the newly diagnosed cases were a fraction of what actual new cases must have been. Obviously the growth is exponential, the issue is what is R0 and what influences R0. I am sure you know there really is no true R0 unique to any virus. R0 is significantly dependent on social and cultural factors, i.e. how people actually live their lives. It is also possible that R0 is 2 or greater but then we have to accept that most cases are undiagnosed and the CFR is far far smaller than even the most optimistic believe it is. I cannot get passed the fact that the current conditions, cases and deaths, do not support an R0 near 2.5 and a CFR of anywhere near 1%. The infection rate even in Wuhan was less than 0.5%. (Briggs). Meanwhile we have people claiming possible infection rates of greater than 50%.

        If these actions had no negative impacts no one would question them, and we would do it for every pandemic. These actions are going cost many lives and damage many many more.

      • dougbadgero wrote, ” If the actual R0 applicable to the general population were 2.5, the cases would increase 53% per day.”

        Who told you that? It’s wrong.

        R0 = 2.5 means that each patient (on average) infects 2.5 additional (secondary) patients, leading to a total of 3.5 infected patients, before tertiary infections. But that doesn’t tell you when he infects those secondary patients.

        +53% per day is what you’d get if all 2.5 secondary infections occurred 2.946 days after the initial patient’s exposure:

        1.53**2.946 = 3.500

        In reality, most secondary infections probably occur much later than that. We’re told:
        ● that in patients who become symptomatic, symptoms typically appear 5 to 10 days after exposure;
        ● that initial symptoms are mild, and easily mistaken for a cold or allergies;
        ● that it can take a month or more for the disease to run its course; and
        ● that patients are most infections when they are symptomatic.

        So it is obvious that the average time to secondary infection must be much longer than three days.

      • It is the path it was on January 28th. Also, 2009 H1N1 had R0 of about 1.5 and it resulted in 10s of millions of cases in a few months. April to October 2009. Nearly 500 pediatric deaths by second week of August. (CDC) And it had a much lower CFR than current CoV. Bianco actually used 2.25 (2.0 to 2.5) for R0 of current pandemic and stated if the progression continued at that pace there would be 180 million cases on Feb 21st. I am quite sure that after the progression reached equilibrium the latency between catching and transmitting would not matter. Latency period would just determine time to reach equilibrium. I suppose it could be that the latency is very very long but that seems unlikely to explain the discrepancy between actual cases and predicted.

        https://www.biancoresearch.com/coronavirus-growth-rates-and-market-reactions-2/

      • dougbadgero wrote, “Bianco actually used 2.25 (2.0 to 2.5) for R0 of current pandemic and stated if the progression continued at that pace there would be 180 million cases on Feb 21st.

        Yes, they did — and it was and is pretentiously authoritative-sounding nonsense:

        Bianco wrote on Jan 28, “The blue line in the chart below shows the actual number of reported coronavirus cases stands at 4,515 as of January 27. The orange line is a simple progression that assumes a 53% increase in the cases every day. Or, one person infects 2 to 2.5 people. So it is a simple multiplier, nothing more. This is known as R0 (R-Naught), or the infection rate. Note the chart is a log scale. The reported number of infections perfectly track this simple multiplier. This is how viral inflections growth, along a geometric path. The chart below shows that the virus has tracked this growth rate 12 straight days.”

        Most readers of this blog learned that an awful lot of authoritatively stated “science” is actually nonsense. That includes material from both dodgy bloggers and highly cited experts, from both single individuals and government behemoths, from both fringe editorials and top peer-reviewed journals.

        For example, the following nonsense is in an onllne textbook on the NSF (National Science Foundation) web site. It is intended for educating schoolchildren, and it is introduced by none other than the Most Trusted Man in America,™ Walter Cronkite. The NSF wrote:

        The NSF evaluates about 40,000 grant applications per year, to determine which have the most scientific merit, and they approve about 1/4 of them. Yet, apparently, nobody there who worked on or read that very high-profile document had ever heard of Archimedes. After I pointed out the error to them, they fixed it in the html version of the book:

        They still hasn’t fixed the .pdf version. They’ve been teaching that nonsense to America’s schoolchildren for twenty years.

        Some very politicized fields, like climate science and “grievance studies,” are dominated by utter crackpottery.

        Here are NOAA OceanService and Climate Dot Gov web pages, both spouting absolute nonsense about sea-level.

        https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html
        https://web.archive.org/web/20190702235943/https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-sea-level

        Both of those web pages say that sea-level rise is accelerating (‘or “rising at an increasing rate”), and that it is measured by “satellite laser altimeter[s].”

        It’s complete nonsense, of coruse. Laser altimeters don’t measure sea-level, and this is what sea-level is really doing:

      • (Sorry about the many typos in my last comment, above.)

        If, as is claimed, the effects of any measure to control the spread of the epidemic take ≈2 weeks to show up in the statistics, that suggests that the mean time for “one generation” of infection (primary ⇒ secondary, or secondary ⇒ tertiary, etc.) is a few days short of two weeks, i.e., at least ten days, rather than just three days. If that is the case then R = 2.5 would result in about a 13% daily increase in case numbers:

        1.1335 ** 10 = 3.50

        A 53% daily increase in case numbers with a ten day generation period would mean R = 69, not 2.5:

        1.53 ** 10 = 70.

      • You are talking in circles arguing against something that is not in dispute. The progression of a virus through a population is exponential. The initial assumptions that the R0 of CoV 19 is 2.5 was wrong. The breathless alarmism was based on this assumption. All Bianco was doing was assuming the same geometric progression as many others where at the time. A lower R0 still results in exponential growth.

        The progression of H1N1 2009 was geometric and significantly faster than this one has been. The R0 was determined to be about 1.5.

    • jim2: There isn’t time for clinical studies

      Clinical studies are necessary to determine what chloroquine does in people who are infected with the SARS CoV-2 virus. It wouldn’t be the first drug that unexpectedly did more harm than good in a new condition. It wouldn’t be the first drug for which good early results were unexpectedly followed by bad results.

      • Hi Matt – the anti-malarial drugs have been used for decades. Could there be some confounding factor when used for COVID-19? Sure, but if I were dying in ICU, I would take it anyway.

      • Quinine does carry a small risk of serious adverse effects.

        Quinine was the “magic bullet” which cured my mother’s leg cramps, when nothing else would. But it wasn’t until she found an elderly doctor to prescribe it that she discovered that fact. Most young doctors will not prescribe it for leg crams, because the FDA warns against it. If you google-search for why that is the case you’ll find this:

        “Quinine is FDA-approved only for treating malaria and is sold with a warning against using it to treat leg cramps or muscle pain, because it increases the risk of bleeding and heart rhythm disturbances.”

        That’s apparently based on papers like this one:
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4347765/

        That paper says that quinine is only “modestly effective” for leg cramps. That might be true “on average,” but I know for a fact that in one particular case it was very effective.

      • jim2: but if I were dying in ICU, I would take it anyway.

        In that case you might risk arsenic.

        But if you were responsible for the care of many others, for whom would you prescribe chloroquine?

        It is being reported that 50% of SARS CoV-2 have digestive/intestinal problems. Would those affect or be affected by chloroquine?

      • So, Matt believes taking chloroquine is the same as taking arsenic. Interesting. Of course, some studies show arsenic is a required micro-nutrient, so yes, I might take it :)

      • jim2: So, Matt believes taking chloroquine is the same as taking arsenic. Interesting.

        Not quite. I said that choosing chloroquine in desperation because you are dying is the same as choosing chloroquinte in desperation because you are dying.

        Choosing one or the other if you are not dying for certain is different.

        Also, choosing for yourself is different from recommending/prescribing for (lots of) other people, especially if most of them will not die. Also, if you are a personal injury lawyer you will be on the lookout for people who die because of liver failure following chloroquine, when there is evidence that it alters liver function in people who are infected with SARS CoV-2. I do not expect such evidence to exist now, but as I wrote earlier, there is a history of adequate clinical trials producing harsh surprises. The malpractice angle is extreme, but optimistic trials have been terminated when the favored treatment shortened lives instead of prolonging them. I gave a few examples but the list is long.

      • mrm: same as choosing chloroquinte in

        oops, same as choosing arsenic. time for next cup of coffee.

      • You better warn Gov. Cuomo and the people dying of Chinese virus in New York. He is about to do something very very dangerous. Give folks that poisonous chloroquine.

      • DonMonfort: Give folks that poisonous chloroquine.

        I am sure they will tally the outcomes, and we’ll soon have better evidence of whether “there might be chloroquine toxicities in patients with COVID-19″ turns into “there is persuasive evidence for chloroquine toxicities in patients with COVID-19” or its negative. Stay tuned.

        For now I am in the “there might be toxicities” camp. It is worth the investment to get the best evidence possible.

      • Choloroquine has been extensively used in treating and preventing malaria for many decades. I have used it myself for at least two years. Using it now. There is significant evidence that it is effective against this Chinese virus. I am guessing that nobody could prove me wrong, if I claimed that chloroquine has been used over a billion times and I never heard until recently that anybody was scared of the stuff.

        It was just after POTUS Trump mentioned it’s possible usefulness in fighting this deadly Chinese virus, that the media discovered that it’s a potential deadly poison, that has not gone through the years long FDA clinical trial process and not been approved specifically for treatment of a deadly virus that just sprang up from Chinese Wuhan bat soup.

        I am really happy that POTUS Trump has moved the FDA to give backhanded blessing and encouragement of it’s use, so that lawsuit shy docs will have the guts to try it. We will know soon whether or not it shows consistent positive results and is saving lives. Guy was dying and doc advised him not to take chloroquine:
        https://www.foxla.com/news/a-man-with-coronavirus-who-works-in-la-says-the-drug-used-to-treat-malaria-saved-his-life

      • DonMonfort: There is significant evidence that it is effective against this Chinese virus. I am guessing that nobody could prove me wrong, if I claimed that chloroquine has been used over a billion times and I never heard until recently that anybody was scared of the stuff.

        I am not sure anybody has been “scared of the stuff”, but known side effects are not exactly news.

        from Wikipedia, fwiw:
        Side effects
        Side effects include blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headache, diarrhea, swelling legs/ankles, shortness of breath, pale lips/nails/skin, muscle weakness, easy bruising/bleeding, hearing and mental problems.[13][14]

        Unwanted/uncontrolled movements (including tongue and face twitching) [13]
        Deafness or tinnitus.[13]
        Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps[14]
        Headache.[13]
        Mental/mood changes (such as confusion, personality changes, unusual thoughts/behavior, depression, feeling being watched, hallucinating)[13][14]
        Signs of serious infection (such as high fever, severe chills, persistent sore throat)[13]
        Skin itchiness, skin color changes, hair loss, and skin rashes.[14][15]
        Chloroquine-induced itching is very common among black Africans (70%), but much less common in other races. It increases with age, and is so severe as to stop compliance with drug therapy. It is increased during malaria fever; its severity is correlated to the malaria parasite load in blood. Some evidence indicates it has a genetic basis and is related to chloroquine action with opiate receptors centrally or peripherally.[16]
        Unpleasant metallic taste
        This could be avoided by “taste-masked and controlled release” formulations such as multiple emulsions.[17]
        Chloroquine retinopathy
        Electrocardiographic changes[18]
        This manifests itself as either conduction disturbances (bundle-branch block, atrioventricular block) or Cardiomyopathy – often with hypertrophy, restrictive physiology, and congestive heart failure. The changes may be irreversible. Only two cases have been reported requiring heart transplantation, suggesting this particular risk is very low. Electron microscopy of cardiac biopsies show pathognomonic cytoplasmic inclusion bodies.
        Pancytopenia, aplastic anemia, reversible agranulocytosis, low blood platelets, neutropenia.[19]

        Aplastic anemia is something that you would probably want to avoid unless you already knew you were dying.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Those side effects sound scary until you take a look at the side effects of numerous commonly used drugs and then not so much.

      • You got a blind spot on this one, Matt. They use chloroquine in the millions of doses as a prophylactic for malaria. It has saved countless lives. Damn the side effects! Full speed ahead! Some times you just have to take what you got to work with and roll, Matt. You will know in a couple of weeks that it is going to be very useful against the deadly Chinese Wuhan Nancy Pelosi bat soup virus. Evidence has been piling up for some time from various countries. New York starts extensive use tomorrow.

      • stevereincarnated: Those side effects sound scary until you take a look at the side effects of numerous commonly used drugs

        “Scary” is the wrong word. They are worthy of attention, to determine whether incidence is high, and whether affected by the viral infection itself.

      • Don Monfort: New York starts extensive use tomorrow.

        Concurrently with multiple clinical trials.

        Is it hard to accept that no one knows what the SARS CoV-2 virus does to the enzymes and receptors in the body that handle chloroquine? Maybe nothing; maybe something; maybe a lot. Personally I am optimistic, but as I wrote, optimistic clinicians have killed patients with their chosen drug treatments; sometimes the people in the control group have fared better.

      • What effect do you think the virus itself could have on the drug, as the drug is theoretically wiping out the virus? Do you think the virus gets mad and fights back? You are reaching, Matt.

      • Matt, the point is that chloroquine’s actions and any reactions to chloroquine in vivo are very well known. There is no evidence or reason to believe that interaction with a virus is going to do anything but cause the virus problems. But we will see. That’s medical science. It’s not rocket science. It isn’t perfect, but if people are dying anyway, give it a shot.

      • @db: “That might be true “on average,” but I know for a fact that in one particular case it was very effective.”

        One would naturally expect the number of studies carried out with n subjects to be more or less inversely proportional to n.

        Amongst other things this could explain why one finds far more studies online with n = 1 than with n > 100.

        Which raises the interesting question, what is the least n below which a study can fairly be called anecdotal?

        Let’s see if DM takes the bait, Matt. ;)

      • I am sure a learned scholar like yourself knows the history of medicine, doc. Enlighten us on how medical science progressed and effective treatments were developed, before the recent era of double blind placebo controlled clinical trials.

        I don’t recall commenting on how many n subjects blah blah blah should be involved in whatever study you are talking about. I am talking about the effort to save lives in this emergency with chloroquine, where there don’t seem to presently be any better alternatives. The FDA has given approval to use chloroquine and derivatives “off label” (Google it) for treatment of Chinese Wuhan Nancy Pelosi Bat Soup Virus victims. It is already being used widely and is reported to be getting good results and saving lives, by the medical professionals who have had the good sense and the guts to use it.

        Please tell us what studies and n whatever that you are talking about.

      • Don Monfort: But we will see.

        That is what I have been advocating, to see as clearly as possible.

      • Over the last several trading days I have invested close to two million dollars into Nasdaq, DJ and S&P index funds. I been shorting China for some time. That’s how we do it.

      • Don Monfort: Do you think the virus gets mad and fights back?

        It affects the physiology of all the tissues, proteins, and organs that handle the chloroquine. The question is which of those impairments matter, and in which patients.. 5% of males in US over 50 have atrial fibrillation — you should at least think about the documented cardiovascular side effects before freely prescribing chloroquine to them. Others are taking statins which alter liver function. Then there is liver damage from excessive drinking and other drug abuse — I hope you do not think those are rare in clinical populations. What happens in those cases after the novel coronavirus infects them?

        With proper clinical trials, we’ll see.

      • The priority now Matt is to save lives and save the economy from collapsing. Double blind clinical trials cost a billion bucks and take many years. We don’t have time for that crap and no pharma is going to invest a billion$ in trials for a generic drug. This is on the job learning. It’s going to work. Index funds, Matt. I never lied to you before.

      • Don Monfort: The priority now Matt is to save lives

        Well, if you know for a fact that nothing can go wrong, … .

        Perhaps you ally with the early 19th century and late 18th century phlebotomists. They acted with high confidence and strong ethical commitment.

        Anyway, clinical trials with chloroquine are ongoing. Here’s hoping you are right.

      • What? “Perhaps you ally with the early 19th century and late 18th century phlebotomists.” You are being ridiculous, Matt. I am not one of the many medical professionals in many countries, who have decided to use chloroquine to treat this crap. That’s all the time I have for you.

      • stevenreincarnated

        What I advocate is the use of chloroquine a as a prophylactic in which case the presence of the virus wouldn’t be in high enough concentrations to change the reaction in the body to such an extent that you would expect any increase in the incidence of side effects. Those that are deathly ill should be given it as compassionate medication. Those that have the disease but only mild symptoms will be immune soon enough anyway.

      • The fake news boys had to take their shots at POTUS Trump, but this is a somewhat factual account and comprehensive list of trials planned or underway for clinical use and prophylaxis:
        https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/many-flock-to-malaria-drug-for-coronavirus-protect

      • Don, I thought better of you than to jump down an unproven drug rabbit hole.

        Even if you’re purely using it for wind up purposes, it puts you in a poor light.

      • Gov. Cuomo announces start of clinical use in NY of chloroquine treatment for Red Chinese Wuhan Nancy Pelosi Bat Soup Virus. Now he will get blamed for people drinking poison aquarium cleaner solution and dying. Alert David Appell:

      • Reality is outrunning you, verytrollguy. Try to catch up.

      • Don Monfort: I am not one of the many medical professionals in many countries, who have decided to use chloroquine to treat this crap.

        If it works as well as you expect we’ll all be happy. Meanwhile, clinical trials are underway and more are planned. We’ll soon have reasonable information on its effectiveness, in males and females, with and without comorbidities that are usually contraindications for chloroquine use.

        You don’t seem to have accepted both parts of my recommendation: Yes to clinical use now (with accurate record keeping); clinical trials are the fastest method to complete information of usefulness/side-effects trade-off and effects of comorbities.

      • The situation here is exactly the same as in every other case. Physicians can prescribe medications “off label” if they want. There is some preliminary evidence that chloroquine works. There are side effects but that’s true with every medication. Let doctors prescribe it if they think it might help.

        Quibbling about the level of evidence before Trump says anything is just stupid and more partisan hackery. Also a New York Times reporter trying to blame Trump for an Arizona couple who swallowed aquarium cleaner because the name sounded like the medication shows a level of depravity not seen since the McCarthy witch hunts. Yellow journalism at its lowest.

      • You are being disingenuous, matt. We expect better from you.

        “Perhaps you ally with the early 19th century and late 18th century phlebotomists.” That is just dumb and insulting to the medical professionals who are risking their lives to treat a deadly disease to which they have no immunity. Medical professionals who had the brains and the guts to try a treatment that had not gone through many years of very costly clinical trials for a deadly novel freaking virus with no known effective treatment. Do you think it was just based on dangerous helter-skelter guesswork or superstition? It was largely based on desperation. You going to ding them for that? This is an absurd conversation and I am done.

      • My bank called me today and told me that with the market going up I have to find other places to keep my money. I am taking up too much space in their vault. Still time to place your bets on the Trump economy. It will be great again.

      • Don Monfort: “Perhaps you ally with the early 19th century and late 18th century phlebotomists.” That is just dumb and insulting to the medical professionals who are risking their lives to treat a deadly disease to which they have no immunity.

        You missed the point so I’ll repeat it. Phlebotomy isn’t the only example, but you did ask for an introduction to the history of medical development before the age of clinical trials, and that is a good place to start. More recently there was blindness caused by pluripotent stem cell treatment for eye disease; a few decades ago there was the counterproductive treatment of heart attacks with anti-arrhythmia drugs (arrythmia having been promoted as a surrogate marker for heart attack recovery.)

        Doctors who have confidently denied the possibility of serious side effects of their proposed treatments have caused damage. It is no insult to anyone to cite a litany of times that untested treatments produced surprising ill effects, and that hydroxychloroquine may be an upcoming example.

        A large number of people who get sick have comorbidities, and this has been shown to be true of people sick with SARS CoV-2. Comorbidities include obesity, lung damage due to a history of smoking, liver damage due to a history of alcohol overuse, atrial fibrillation and hypertension; how chloroquine acts in a body that has had such comorbidities exacerbated by the virus hasn’t been tested.

        In the early 19th century before Semmelweis, Nightingale and Holmes demonstrated the importance of cleanliness, heroically working doctors carried infections from sick to healthy patients with fatal results. Those 3 were not treated kindly for their insights, by the way; they were accused of dishonoring the doctors. The establishment doctors were not evil, just wrong.

        I expect the drug to be beneficial on the whole. To be certain strikes me as wrong.

      • You can’t let it go. Can you cite a single case where a clinically tested and approved drug used as long and as widely with the safety profile of chloroquine has been administered off label by many medical professionals in many countries who desperately need something that works in a deadly pandemic and no adverse events have been reported only to find out later that it was a bad idea that killed or seriously harmed more people than it saved? So we are going to worry our little heads that some years down the road we just might find a side effect that was unforeseen, when we were saving lives back in the worldwide pandemic emergency.

        Who said anything about certainty? It’s my opinion based on available evidence that it works with no known dangerous side-effects. Even if I said I was certain, it’s irrelevant. I didn’t introduce the idea to use it. Do you think the doctors are promoting it as a certainty, with no possible adverse repercussions? They are the folks you are insulting with your silly nitpicking.

      • Don Monfort: They are the folks you are insulting with your silly nitpicking.

        If you are not certain there can be no ill effects, then how is it you find the recommendation of clinical trials to be silly nitpicking?

      • What was the control group in the French study?

        In the French study, what did they do with the participants who died during the study?

      • You are trying to straw man me, Matt. What TF has happened to you?
        I never said the recommendation of clinical trials is silly nitpicking. No problem with clinical trials. But I wouldn’t take part, as I don’t want to die taking a placebo.

        You started out by equating the likely life-saving off label use of a very widely used, well-studied FDA approved drug by highly trained dedicated medical professionals with phlebotomy. I am generously calling that silly nitpicking. It’s actually defamation per se. You have equated brave sensible medical professionals, who practice sound modern medical science, to olden days ignorant dangerous quacks. And you can’t provide an example that comes close to being relevant to this drug and this situation. End of story.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Perhaps someone can help me with the name of the drug I’m trying to think of. There was a clinical trial where the control group was dying off and the group that was being medicated was recovering. They called off the clinical trial because they decided it wasn’t ethical to watch people die when they had an effective treatment. That ring any bells with anyone?

      • Don Monfort: Can you cite a single case where a clinically tested and approved drug used as long and as widely with the safety profile of chloroquine has been administered off label by many medical professionals in many countries who desperately need something that works in a deadly pandemic and no adverse events have been reported only to find out later that it was a bad idea that killed or seriously harmed more people than it saved?

        Chloroquine is not a drug with “no adverse effects”.

        You started out by equating the likely life-saving off label use of a very widely used, well-studied FDA approved drug by highly trained dedicated medical professionals with phlebotomy.

        I did not “equate” them.

        No problem with clinical trials.

        I am glad to hear it.

        But I wouldn’t take part, as I don’t want to die taking a placebo.

        You are free to choose not to take part. Would you be happier to die of aplastic anemia? Any ethical Dr would warn you that is a risk associated with chloroquine, but the magnitude of the risk is not known in patients who are infected with SARS CoV-2.

      • dpy6629 wrote, “…New York Times reporter trying to blame Trump for an Arizona couple who swallowed aquarium cleaner because the name sounded like the medication…”

        Aquarium antibiotics are generally the same as antibiotics used for humans and animals. What that couple took was probably fine, they probably just got the dose wrong.

        “The dose makes the poison.” – Paracelsus

      • stevenreincarnated wrote, “There was a clinical trial where the control group was dying off and the group that was being medicated was recovering. They called off the clinical trial because they decided it wasn’t ethical to watch people die…”

        I think that sort of thing happens quite a lot. Something like that happened recently with a small clinical trial of the abortion-pill-reversal process.

        Chemical (a/k/a “medical”) abortions are done with two drugs: first a dose of mifepristone, and then, one to two days later, a dose of a prostaglandin, such as misoprostol. However, sometimes, after taking the mifepristone, the mother regrets her decision to abort her baby.

        Fortunately, the chemical abortion procedure can often be reversed at that stage. The “abortion reversal” process substitutes a course of oral progesterone for the prostaglandin. That usually reverses the abortion and saves the baby.

        A small clinical trial was done with volunteers who intended to abort their babies. All of them got mifepristone, and then, starting 24 hours later, half of them got progesterone and half got a placebo.

        Of five patients who got progesterone to reverse the effects of mifepristone, four experienced no serious complications, and all four unborn babies still had heartbeats two weeks later, indicating the abortion had been successfully reversed. (Unfortunately, the four babies’ deaths were only postponed, rather than prevented, because the mothers then had surgical abortions.) One patient who received progesterone experienced severe bleeding, when her baby was stillborn.

        The 80% success rate of the abortion reversal procedure in this tiny study was slightly better than typical success rates reported by pro-life ob-gyns (68%).

        The 20% adverse event rate is identical to the adverse event rate during completed chemical abortions, reported in this large study:

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19888037

        However, the “placebo” group in this study, who got mifepristone, but did not receive either progesterone (to reverse the abortion) or prostaglandin (to complete the abortion), had an unexpectedly high rate of adverse events. Three of them were hospitalized for severe hemorrhaging.

        None of them died, but the study was prematurely terminated because of the high rate of adverse events among the “placebo” group.

        (The spin from the abortion industry was, “A new study of unproven ‘abortion reversal’ treatments discovered they were so dangerous that the trial had to be stopped almost immediately.” That’s a lie, of course. The adverse event rate for patients who received the abortion reversal treatment was no higher than what is expected from completed chemical abortions. It was the patients who got mifepristone plus a placebo who were endangered.)

    • Have no idea if the above is true, but one can hope.

      • The 90-year old living in our my home has no underlying conditions, and is a candidate to make into their 100’s. Of course, unlike the remain calm people in NYC, I got insanely alarmed and overboard excited way too soon and began isolation long before the seriously calm people.

        Here at Cesspool Etc. that makes me mentally ill.

      • JCH- if you dislike the site why do U comment so much?

      • God called me.

      • that fever, again

    • How often do hospitals celebrate a patient recovering from flu? Exactly. Then it’s just “off you go, we need your bed”.

      Covid19 pneumonia is unusually severe and prolonged – weeks or months in hospital. With possibly permanent lung damage. With China long “recovered” from the outbreak, why else are there still >5000 patients hospitalised with the virus? CV19 cases have a long tail.

      The end of CV19 sickness is something to celebrate indeed – unlike flu or cold.

  78. Curious George

    Let’s stop racist characterizations of this virus as Wuhan or Chinese. As we are spending some $1 trillion on this virus, let’s call it proudly an American Virus. It should be a part of the spending bill, and it should ensure a wide Democratic support.

  79. A couple of more thoughts:

    With the proposed $2+ trillion emergency funding proposed to rescue the US economy from the current social distancing shut-down of our economy, my guess, there will be little political appetite for extravagant spending for health care initiatives or climate change initiatives that would further degrade our economy.

    The public shaming of the millennial generation observed in a snippet video of “spring break” in Florida, my guess, millennials will distance themselves even further from any political fray come the lead up to the November election in spite of Bernie and bandwagon promising free food, tuition, and access to novel recreational drugs.

    The coronavirus pandemic does provide one option for decision making in the face of uncertainty, and, like all previous attempts to divine the future from the past, will again lead to unexpected outcomes, which, is probably good thing given there would so much less to learn if we knew what to expect.

  80. The most frightening thing about the spread of CV is the rapid spread of infections and deaths in Northern Italy. The NY Times did another story today that I hoped would provide real analysis – It didn’t. Our PC culture doesn’t allow for uncomfortable facts.
    “Italy, Pandemic’s New Epicenter, Has Lessons for the World”
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/italy-pandemics-new-epicenter-has-lessons-for-the-world/ar-BB11vMrO

    Italy and Iran have signed recent trade agreements with China with delegations traveling back and forth. See – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47679760

    In addition, Northern Italy has a large Chinese population with over 8,000 small factories:
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/16/the-chinese-workers-who-assemble-designer-bags-in-tuscany
    Prata, a small town near Florence has the second largest Chinese population of any city in Europe. Flights between Wuhan and Italy are common and large groups of Chinese returned from China after the New Year.

    In order to make the optimum policy decisions, leaders must look at all the facts. Ignoring fundamental variables will lead to a worsening situation.

  81. There is some sense for young people to mingle and infect one another with COVID-19 virus as the majority will have minor symptoms, develop the appropriate immune response and unlikely to be a burden to the current medical care system. Of course, that is not true for those people who are vaping, or using THC who will become severely ill with their exposure and develop the consequences of infection and either damage themselves more or even die. Then there are those who have maintained some sort of balance with their HIV with drugs and now will cascade down that slippery slope towards disability and death.

    Mess with the immune system one way, and experience the consequences of such carelessness on the other hand.

    There is something to be said for social Darwinism.

    • Talked with a person who thinks SARS-CoV-2 was likely here well before what the medical community is calling patient 1. I asked how that could be if people were dying of it. Answer – they were writing it off as seasonal flu-associated pneumonia because they didn’t test for it. Just assumed flu from symptoms.Person thinks it likely first started in US in NYC. Confirms what a doctor who criticizes the seasonal flu says: there is often no test done for a glue deaths.

  82. “Extremes are connected to disasters. Shortage of disasters has never been the case but our perception on them is driven less by disasters per se and more by their communication. In this respect, one may notice increasing trends both on reporting disasters to the general public and on production of research articles on disasters. Such articles typically focus on particular areas recently hit by disasters. California is a popular example, but not the only one. Evidently, if we choose at random, say, 12 000 sites on earth, then every month we will have, on the average, one catastrophic event of a thousand year return period in one of the sites. The roots of intensification of disaster reporting belong to the domains of psychology (cf. the notion of availability bias) and sociology rather than of hydrology. Thus, Blöschl and Montanari (2010) note:

    There may also be a sociological element to the interpretation of flood trends which we term as the hydrologist’s paradox: A recent large flood in a catchment will often lead to funding a study on the flood history of that catchment which will find there was a large flood at the end of the record. Simultaneously analysing many catchments in a large region will help reduce the chances of these self-fulfilling prophesies.

    This social behaviour of targeting research to recent disasters, which however lose societal focus after some time, has been
    also known the hydro-illogical cycle, a term attributed to Vit Klemes (Kundzewicz et al., 1993) but perhaps used earlier by
    others (Anderson et al., 1977).” https://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/hess-2020-120/hess-2020-120.pdf

    Koutsoyiannis does a superlative job of interrogating modern data sources to redefine the components of the fundamental hydrological water balance equation. Note that climate variability in the graphic below is observed variability in precipitation and runoff and advection as a result of decadal scale Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics. Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics give little ground for complacency on extremes – it is just that global warming has not had an obviously discernible linear effect to date.

    But the relevance here is does disaster sociology condition the response to covid19? We have in Australia so far limited exposure, draconian government responses and extreme social panic. Daisy wants to drive 700 km next weekend to deliver groceries to her aged aunt. Borders and bars are closed. Spectators are banned at sporting events.

    I am beginning to wonder if we risk cost far exceeding benefit. Whether responses more focussed on vulnerable segments of the population would be saner. The very young, the old and the sick.

  83. Next Saturday is 14 days since the American People began to get serious about eliminating the virus. It is also the day the tests for virus should begin to be of value. Lets pray I am right and the Congress has wasted their time and our money will stay in the treasury.

  84. “The Hill” writers, Bradley A. Thayer and Lianchao Han, had this to say about the World Health Organization and China.

    “China and the WHO’s chief: Hold them both accountable for pandemic”

    The World Health Organization (WHO) last week finally declared the coronavirus from China that rapidly spread across the world a pandemic. Now, with more than 150,000 confirmed cases globally and more than 5,700 deaths, the question is why it took so long for the WHO to perceive what many health officials and governments had identified far earlier.

    We believe the organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, like China’s Xi Jinping, should be held accountable for recklessly managing this deadly pandemic. Tedros apparently turned a blind eye to what happened in Wuhan and the rest of China and, after meeting with Xi in January, has helped China to play down the severity, prevalence and scope of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    From the outset, Tedros has defended China despite its gross mismanagement of the highly contagious disease. As the number of cases and the death toll soared, the WHO took months to declare the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, even though it had met the criteria of transmission between people, high fatality rates and worldwide spread.

    When President Trump took a critical step to stop the coronavirus at U.S. borders by issuing a travel ban as early as Jan. 31, Tedros said widespread travel bans and restrictions were not needed to stop the outbreak and could “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.” He warned that interfering with transportation and trade could harm efforts to address the crisis, and advised other countries not to follow the U.S. lead.

    When he should have been focusing on global counter-pandemic efforts, Tedros instead was politicizing the crisis and helping Xi to shirk his responsibility for a series of wrongdoings in addressing the outbreak. Tedros used the WHO platform to defend the Chinese government’s gross violation of human rights. For example, from its first case discovered in November to its Wuhan lockdown, and even until today, China has been dishonest about the coronavirus’s origin and prevalence. People who tried to uncover it were detained or disappeared, their online reports and posts deleted. China has misinformed and misled the world, and Tedros joined this effort by publicly praising China’s “transparency” in battling the spread of the disease.

    When Xi ordered Chinese health officials to speed up the development of drugs by using “integrated Chinese traditional herbal medicine and Western medicine,” the WHO’s official publication, “Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19),” made a subtle change. Chinese netizens found a discrepancy between the Chinese and English versions of a list of measures deemed ineffective against COVID-19. The English version listed four items — smoking, wearing multiple masks, taking antibiotics, and traditional herbal remedies. The fourth item was not included in the Chinese version. (Today the English version also has deleted that item.)

    China recently pledged $20 million to help the WHO fight the COVID-19 outbreak, for which Tedros thanked Xi. But we note China’s connections to Tedros’s homeland of Ethiopia, now called East Africa’s “Little China” because it has become China’s bridgehead to influence Africa and a key to China’s Belt and Road initiative there. Indeed, China has invested heavily in Ethiopia.

    Tedros was elected to his position with the WHO in 2017, despite the fact that he was not trained as a medical doctor and had no global health management experience. A former minister of health and minister of foreign affairs for Ethiopia, Tedros is an executive member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) political party, which came to power through a struggle in 1991 and has been listed as a perpetrator in the Global Terrorism Database. After he became the WHO’s chief, critics questioned Tedros’s attempt to appoint then-Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe as a WHO goodwill ambassador.

    The coronavirus pandemic has shown that Tedros is not fit to lead the WHO. Because of his leadership, the world may have missed a critical window to halt the pandemic or mitigate its virulence. The world is now battling rising infections and many countries have imposed restrictions. As leader of the WHO, Tedros should be held accountable for his role in mismanaging efforts to control the spread of the virus.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/international/487851-china-and-the-whos-chief-hold-them-both-accountable-for-pandemic

    Bradley A. Thayer is professor of political science at the University of Texas-San Antonio and the co-author of “How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics.”

    Lianchao Han is vice president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, he was one of the founders of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars. He worked in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, as legislative counsel and policy director for three senators.

  85. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The weather in CA, just like in Spain, is very favorable for coronavirus spread.

  86. Thank you, Judith. Glad you’re doing well.
    This is what I sent to my list:
    Fauci on Levin remarks on the response to the virus.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnPU5IMGeTM … at 20 min. Sorry I can’t truncate it.
    The US is doing as well as anyone might hope.

    Steve Hilton on Fox has another point of view

    The economic catastrophe of the response to the epidemic…
    This is, in my view, similar to the effects of the immune reaction to some diseases that are the actual lethal effect. Hilton has some good ideas that government can do now.

    The question is how many people will suffer as a result of relaxing the closing down of the economy, versus the deaths from the virus. The numbers so far for worst case are reasonably assumable: 80% of the infected will have no symptoms or mild disease. 5% will have disease severe enough to be hospitalized. 1% will die, either before reaching hospital or after a week or two of ventilator support in the ICU. It is thought to be heartless to say that the ?slight increase in deaths due to relaxing the closures of businesses is preferable to the general disaster of the current total closures which will arguably result in more deaths and suffering. This is a decision matrix which has been seen before, but is still heart-rending.

    The complaint has been made that testing for virus is not population-wide so we do not know the actual numbers. But we don’t need to know the numbers to know what to do. Indeed, testing will not provide treatment, only information for where and when measures, such as they are, can be allocated. That may be useful for bureaucrats, but not for the people at risk, since there is at present no drug, no vaccine, no antiviral serum to make any difference to them.

    Testing comes in two forms: surveillance, and diagnostic.
    Diagnostic testing is performed, usually, to confirm a clinical suspicion of disease or, occasionally, to confirm freedom from a possible disease. For example, we used to test every patient admitted to an acute care facility for syphilis – many decades ago, indeed, but it continued for years for women admitted to obstetric care. We used to test schoolchildren for TB with the Mantoux skin test. Once we determined that TB was no longer endemic, we stopped. I was tested for TB in grammar school, and again on entering medical school, and again in third year med school. The point, of course, was that once there was a positive test, we could treat. That is not the case today for this disease. Testing will be useful eventually, but not at the moment.
    Diagnostic testing then is used to confirm or deny a positive suspicion.

    Surveillance testing is used for confirmation of freedom from unsuspected findings. We test the water for coliform organisms that are not supposed to be there, for arsenic, for lead. And ad hoc for other contaminants when the suspicion arises.
    The purpose is that the investigation will provide confirmation of a negative assumption. Surveillance testing is performed on an entire population, not on a suspected individual. It is based on statistics, and will be performed at different times, different places, to investigate an adequate sample of the interrogated population.

    So, in my view, universal testing of the population for covid19 is inappropriate at this time. It will not lead to any treatment, and will not change the current practice of quarantine and isolation. The furor for testing, the clamor for test kits, etc, is entirely pointless and hysterical. It will be very interesting, in a year, to find out what the distribution of the infection was, where it was more lethal or less, and hopefully why. We may find out why NYC has a lethality surpassing Italy’s, which surpasses China’s. That will be useful. I will refrain from casting aspersions.

    One last point.
    The catastrophic effect of full mitigation on the economy, and the people who depend on it, must be weighed against the rather meager death toll on the, for the most part, inconsequential members of the population. I speak, of course, as one of the latter. I will be perfectly comfortable with taking that risk for the sake of joining my friends at our favorite restaurant, which will be able to survive if not prosper during this difficult time. Of course, I used to ride motorcycles…

    Note that relaxation of full mitigation does not mean cancellation of all mitigation. Keep the sports and concerts and shows closed, but leave the shops and restaurants open. I will miss the summer Olympics.

    More Steve Hilton, if you can bear it:
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/steve-hilton-dr-fauci-coronavirus-school-closures
    https://www.bizpacreview.com/2020/03/09/steve-hilton-begs-media-stop-the-wild-reckless-overreaction-to-coronavirus-895552

  87. Ireneusz Palmowski

    People who develop coronovirus almost asymptomatic have plasma antibodies. This can be used as a temporary vaccine. Wuhan shows that you can not get infected a second time. So plasma with antibodies can be effective.

    • Alas.
      https://nypost.com/2020/03/17/diamond-princess-cruise-ship-passenger-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-a-second-time/

      A Japanese man who recovered after testing positive for coronavirus aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship caught the bug a second time at home, according to a new report. The man, in his 70s, first tested positive for COVID-19 Feb. 14 while on board the vessel off the coast of Yokohama, Japanese news agency NHK reported.

      He was confirmed negative for the bug on March 2, and was allowed to take public transportation home from the Tokyo medical facility where he was staying to western Japan’s Mie prefecture, according to the report. But it wasn’t long before he started to feel sick again, and developed a fever of about 102 degrees on Thursday, according to the report. He went to the hospital Friday, and was confirmed to be infected again on Saturday.

  88. “Our main problem is that no one will ever get in trouble for measures that are too draconian. They will only get in trouble if they do too little. So, our politicians and those working with public health do much more than they should do.”
    “Should it turn out that the epidemic wanes before long, there will be a queue of people wanting to take credit for this. And we can be damned sure draconian measures will be applied again next time. But remember the joke about tigers. “Why do you blow the horn?” “To keep the tigers away.” “But there are no tigers here.” “There you see!””

    https://www.deadlymedicines.dk/corona-an-epidemic-of-mass-panic/

  89. Ireneusz Palmowski

    For most people Coronavirus is like the flu or even a cold, but for 20% it’s something awful. Even in younger patients — a few seemingly fit and healthy 40 and 50 year olds are gasping for air as their lungs fill with blood and fluid and it’s “like a near death drowning” or “inhaling caustic gas”. Forgive the language in the headline — those were this docs exact words. He’s working at a New Orleans hospital and his whole attitude to the virus has changed dramatically.
    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/03/doc-talks-about-his-holy-s-moment-horrible-lung-failure-even-in-young-patients/#comment-2296481

    • A sobering article indeed.
      “I’ve never seen a microorganism or an infectious process cause such acute damage to the lungs so rapidly. That was what really shocked me”

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  92. The last generation of heavy smokers is the baby boomers. If pneumonia is in the lungs, it follows they will be the most affected.

  93. more on the potential side effects of chloroquine. Start here:
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0320/Covid-19_cardiac.php3

    There is evidence that chloroquine interferes with proper heart function. Will it exacerbate the cardiac effect of SARS CoV-2? Doesn’t everybody want to know? Yes. Is there a better way to find out than proper clinical trials? No.

  94. Some signs of hope, or just noise?

    Decelerating new cases for Washington, Colorado, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts.

    Still accelerating for: California, Texas, New York, New Jersey.

  95. After the first travel ban Jan 31st by the Trump administration that banned travel to and from China, the World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said widespread travel bans and restrictions were not needed to stop the outbreak and could “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.” He warned that interfering with transportation and trade could harm efforts to address the crisis, and advised other countries not to follow the U.S. lead.

    “The Hill” states: Tedros was elected to his position with the WHO in 2017, despite the fact that he was not trained as a medical doctor and had no global health management experience. The Hill also noted China’s connections to Tedros’s homeland of Ethiopia, now called East Africa’s “Little China” because it has become China’s bridgehead to influence Africa and a key to China’s Belt and Road initiative there. Indeed, China has invested heavily in Ethiopia.

    Apparently his qualifications were that he was a former minister of health and minister of foreign affairs for Ethiopia, an interesting combination of titles.

  96. This is what experts were saying about “uncertainty” just after Trump’s first travel ban, on Tuesday, Feb 4, a decisive day for Trump:

    Coronavirus quarantine, travel ban could backfire, experts fear

    The Trump administration’s quarantine and travel ban in response to the Wuhan coronavirus could undercut international efforts to fight the outbreak by antagonizing Chinese leaders, as well as stigmatizing people of Asian descent, according to a growing chorus of public health experts and lawmakers.

    EU leaders leaders separately called for a coordinated government response and warned authorities against profiling people of Asian descent while addressing the threat.

    Voluntary measures and education usually work better than edicts that may lead people to lie about their symptoms and travel history, and encourage countries to conceal outbreaks, public health experts say. In addition, travel restrictions hurt economies and divert public health resources into enforcing a ban that may not be useful at preventing the spread of infection, according to Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute of Global Health.

    The Chinese government on Monday accused the U.S. of having “inappropriately overreacted” to the outbreak.

    Bera, who will chair a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on the epidemic on Wednesday, said he’s concerned the Trump administration’s cautionary measures may be backfiring…Bera added that the mandatory quarantines “may be overkill,”

    The American Civil Liberties Union has warned that the administration’s measures infringe on civil rights. Any detention of travelers or citizens must be “scientifically justified and no more intrusive on civil liberties than absolutely necessary,” said Jay Stanley, an ACLU senior policy analyst.

    Because epidemics feed feelings of powerlessness, politicians may feel they have to “do something,” Yale’s Omer said.

    https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2020/02/04/coronavirus-quarantine-travel-ban-could-backfire-experts-fear-1258757

    Feb 4th, the World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said widespread travel bans and restrictions were not needed to stop the outbreak and could “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.” He warned that interfering with transportation and trade could harm efforts to address the crisis, and advised other countries not to follow the U.S. lead.

  97. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Findings from the Wang et al study published on JAMA and based on 138 hospitalized patients
    Common symptoms included:
    (Wang et al study)
    Fever
    98.6%
    Fatigue
    69.6%
    Dry cough
    59.4%
    The median time observed:

    from first symptom to → Dyspnea (Shortness of breath) = 5.0 days
    from first symptom to → Hospital admission = 7.0 days
    from first symptom to → ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) = 8.0 days (when occurring)
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-symptoms/#examples

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  100. Fresh food is the original JIT industry (Just In Time) so it won’t take long to see this work it’s way through the food chain (pun intended).
    https://www.foodandwine.com/news/usda-domestic-farm-workers-mexico-restrictions-coronavirus
    “However, though consumers hopefully won’t see any major disruptions, the farmers growing our fruits and vegetables might not be so lucky. In response to the coronavirus, this week, the federal government said it would temporarily stop processing H-2A visas in Mexico which allows seasonal farmworkers into the U.S.—a move that the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC) said “will undoubtedly cause a significant disruption to the U.S. food supply.”

    It turns out, the Trump administration doesn’t completely disagree because, yesterday, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) were working together to help deal with the issue. “Ensuring minimal disruption for our agricultural workforce during these uncertain times is a top priority for this administration,” Perdue said in a statement.

    The two departments “have identified nearly 20,000 H-2A and H-2B certified positions that have expiring contracts in the coming weeks. There will be workers leaving these positions who could be available to transfer to a different employer’s labor certification,” a USDA press release explained.

    But as Modern Farmer points out, plenty of other potential roadblocks exist, too. “Many H-2A holders are skilled workers in specific areas, and may not be trained to work in whatever other aspect of agriculture needs workers,” the site explains. “That also doesn’t account for the fact that even before the suspension of H-2A in Mexico, there was already an intense shortage of farm labor.” Reportedly, about 250,000 H-2A visas were granted in 2018, meaning 20,000 workers accounts for less than 10 percent of the H-2A workforce.”

  101. (….re-posting, hopefully to be acceptable to moderation this time.)

    “The Political Advantages of Murky Data”

    Well first, here is a list of “Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic” , and then I’d like to float a mild hypothesis.
    https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/24/12-experts-questioning-the-coronavirus-panic/

    Mild Hypothesis: The number of reported cases is strongly a function of number of tests and the false-positives percentage for the test.
    ( A less-mild hypothesis might change “strongly” to “entirely”.)

    If true, then reporting number of cases, without showing number of tests, is highly misleading. Same for showing doubling rate of cases, without showing doubling rate of testing.
    The authorities choose which statistics to show the public. And they choose to show highly misleading metrics when better choices are available.

    As nickels and Robert Clark posted, it would be helpful to see the percentage — ratio of #positive tests to #total tests. Is this ratio increasing? (Or is it about equal to the false-positives rate for the test method?)

    Some important items which are missing:
    1) no evaluation of quality of the test: its rate of false-positives;
    2) no evaluation of percent of reported case fatalities (people who tested positive and then died) that would have died anyway regardless of Covid.
    (This is important for key data such as Diamond Princess cruise ship, and it is not that hard to make 10 phone calls to follow up. So, why missing?)
    3) no reports of ratio of #cases to #tests over time, to look for trends.
    4) no report of hospital ICU admissions, trend and comparison to 2019.
    5) no clear (by age group, apples-to-apples) comparison to risks for common flu;
    6) no testing results for existing herd immunity;
    7) no obvious pre-crisis preparedness plan, no apparent rational decision models in use.

    The level of murky data is off the chart and beyond any reasonable attribution to mere incompetence.

  102. This explanation was written by a doctor in the Midlands in England and elaborates on why some people get mild symptoms while others become critically ill: https://myhomefarm.co.uk/coronavirus-and-viral-load

    It’s also got a lot of helpful advice for families that are self-isolating.

    I’ve been following all the news, updates and advice, but no one has really been focusing on viral load, which is strange because it makes an awful lot of sense.

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