CoV discussion thread

by Judith Curry

Some articles I’ve flagged, plus emails I’ve received.

Here are some articles I’ve flagged for discussion; I am not personally endorsing anything here:

Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance

NYT:  Harsh Steps Are Needed to Stop the Coronavirus

New Yorker:  The Coronavirus and better strategy for fighting pandemics

N95 Mask shortage is horrible manifestation of America’s crazy defense priorities

Victor Davis Hanson:  Some Coronavirus Humility

Coronavirus will change the world permanently.  Here’s How

How the coronavirus became a national catastrophe.

Flattening the curve:  The South Korean Approach to CoV

Dangerous Curves – American Greatness

Twitter thread from Nicholas Christakis

Friedman: A plan to get America back to work

Greg Goodman’s Italy analysis

The number of cases of COVID-19 reported in Italy is still rising exponentially as is the total number of cases. There is no obviously visible change since ten northern regions were put under restricted movement regulations on 8th March and this was extended to all italian territory between 8th and 11th March 2020.

However, studying the logarithm of the number of new cases reported each day does reveal and change.

On a logarithmic scale an exponential rise becomes a straight line. The slope represents the constant term which describes the form of the exponential.

The linear regression of the logarithm shows the slope reduced by more than a factor of two after the measures were introduced.

This will mean that ( all other conditions remaining the same ) the outbreak will take twice as long to reach its peak but the rise in daily new cases will make it more manageable for the local health services. This strategy is often referred to as “flattening the curve”. Over the limited period since these measures were put in place this appears to have had a detectable effect, though it remains limited in magnitude.

On the 21st March 2020, a limited military deployment was established in the northern region of Lombardy, the centre of the epidemic, to more effectively enforce the existing measures.

The lengthening of the doubling time for new cases will allow more time for already swamped emergency services to adapt to increasing case load but it remains an exponential growth.

So far there is no indication of a peak in cases or an end to the exponential phase of the epidemic in Italy.

For details of the analysis method, see Greg’s post at climategrog

This is really the kind of graph  we need to be looking at to detect
change during early exponential phase.

Here is a similar log graph including China and France, which looks like
it is flattening out as clampdown has had time to pass through
incubation period.

USA is still in very aggressive growth which is faster than any EU
countries even in early phase.

Only S. Korea was faster, they rose fast, peaked early and contained the
epidemic faster than China. ( Probably having gained from being
pre-warned ).

Emailed from Oregon – unintended consequences:

Today my wife and I talked to a gas station attendant who looked to be 30 or so about the situation in town due to this response.  He first just mentioned what was happening to business in the vicinity of the gas station..  After a moment, though, he told us how this was affecting him directly.  He said he has stomach cancer and fortunately he was diagnosed in Stage 1.  The prognosis was very good when he was diagnosed  because it was caught so early.  But he was supposed to get an evaluation at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland (about 90 miles north of Corvallis) on March 24th as the best course of aggressive treatment to give him the best chance of cure. It’s been cancelled without being rescheduled so the only cancer research institution in our state can prepare for the COVID-19 epidemic we are told is coming soon, even though SARS-CoV-2 with an R0 of 3,  a doubling time of 3-4 days, and a CFR of perhaps 3% may have been circulating in the US since late December 2019.  He’s now on a maintenance protocol under the direction of a doctor here for the foreseeable future that makes him immuno-compromised and is not care that has the best chance of stopping his cancer from progressing   His entire care plan has been disrupted, possibly at risk to his life.  His actual care is being de-prioritized relative to potential care for severe COVID-19 patients projected by a model built on unreliable data.

260 responses to “CoV discussion thread

  1. My husband had his second mild stroke on March 10. He is recovering nicely at home. We have been told to isolate because he would be high risk from this virus. Our doctor is in isolation due to possible exposure to the bug. Regulations have been changed to allow him to telephone us but he has to have the computer files open in front of him and he can’t get connected from home to his computer in order to be able to legally telephone us and talk to us. I have instructions for my husband’s aftercare that include adjusting his medication after follow up with our doctor in one week. That was last Friday. His case is complex and other physicians just say “Wait until your regular doctor can talk to you” if I try to deal with whoever is on call. I feel stuck between a rock and hard place. Our problems seem minor in the great scheme of things but this is so frustrating.

    • Hi

      I thought I hadn’t see you posting for a little while. My sincere best wishes that you can resolve this problem. It is surely possible for your doctor to remotely access his surgery computer from home?

      My tech people have done it twice for me as a private individual in order to solve a problem I had by taking over my computer from their office. so I would have thought this was a common problem in the medical world with experts able to sort it out


      • We just got through to my doctor and I got my answers and things are fine. However my poor doctor, who is young and healthy reports he had a mild case where he just felt like had been run over by a truck for four days.

      • Oh and tech people fixing such issues are becoming just as important as the doctors and nurses.

      • Very glad to hear it worked out for you tumbleweedstumbling. Sadly if this insanity continues, it will end up taking far more lives than any virus.

        Homes, health, relationships and lives will be the casualties of an engineered crisis.

        Media are having a field day with alarmist headlines which pales climate Armageddon in comparison.

        Europe has about 8 million fatalities per year ( all causes ). That is around 22,000 per day every day. So far there are 8,000 COVID attributed deaths in Europe. The media breathlessly report “spikes ” of a hundred deaths like no one would ever die if it was not for COVID-19.

        France has average of 9000 seasonal flu deaths per year. Today is 670 covid fatalities.

        The only urgency is the state of the underfunded emergency health care which has been pared back to “save money”. They are now counting the cost of the “savings” in hundreds of billions of “emergency funds”.

        IMO this is just a bank bailout in disguise. What where the money goes in current measures being voted in the Senate.

      • Very glad to hear it worked out for you tumbleweedstumbling. Sadly if this insanity continues, it will end up taking far more lives than any virus.

        Homes, health, relationships and lives will be the casualties of an engineered crisis.

        Media are having a field day with alarmist headlines which pales climate Armageddon in comparison.

      • Europe has about 8 million fatalities per year ( all causes ). That is around 22,000 per day every day. So far there are 8,000 COVID attributed deaths in Europe. The media breathlessly report “spikes ” of a hundred deaths like no one would ever die if it was not for COVID-19.

        France has average of 9000 seasonal flu deaths per year. Today is 670 covid fatalities.

      • The only urgency is the state of the underfunded emergency health care which has been pared back to “save money”. They are now counting the cost of the “savings” in hundreds of billions of “emergency funds”.

        IMO this is just a bank bailout in disguise. Watch where the money goes in current measures being voted in the Senate.

  2. As of noon today 88% of the new cases reported in the US were from New York State. 5,085 out of 5,805.

    • Cuomo increased testing, both number and turnaround.

    • Ceresco

      They often say that London-the epicentre of our cases- is a foreign city. Is New York mostly populated by Americans or by those from elsewhere?


      • Lots of very rich foreigners. Very few Americans could even begin to afford to live on Manhattan.

        In-law’s Manhattan apartment, spartan, but nice, is $60,000 per year. She knows people who fly out and in 4 or more times a month. It’s a global soup.

        But so are Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Austin, etc. It will just start later. DC area on verge of exponential, if not already there.

      • Tony

        I understand what you are asking me but I’m going to try to delicately tread in my answer. I consider all of them Americans, regardless of their ethnicity or birthplace. There are 800 languages spoken in New York City. It’s a wonderfully diverse city. When going to see my son, who works on Wall Street, it is always a treat just because of the city’s diversity.
        Just off the top of my head, I attribute the high rates to sheer density of the population and the millions who pass through the city as travelers each year.
        I visited my son 20 years ago when he lived in a 5th floor Manhattan apartment. It didn’t take long for me to become claustrophobic because of the close quarters. We literally had to turn sideways when passing someone in the hall. Social distancing must be difficult.

  3. Robert Clark

    We are in the Chicago area.scheduled for a hip relacement on the 26th. Will remain in limbo. Have done all the preoperation stuff.

  4. “So far there is no indication of a peak in cases or an end to the exponential phase of the epidemic in Italy.”

    Italy implemented national lockdown on March 9, two weeks ago.
    That’s longer than the average 5 day incubation.

    Does this mean that lockdown is not effective and that it has been a very damaging panic move?

    • It was executed by the completely incompetent, so it is completely ineffective.

      • Perhaps.

        I does look, on the face of it, that US new cases are declining?

        Up to the incubation window ( peaking at March 11 through March 14 ),
        there were four straight days of declining new cases?

        Is that right?

      • Eddie, I think you are misreading the graph. It’s “by date of illness onset” so obviously there are less cases where illness only began yesterday. There is a note on the graph saying those figures will understated.

        Look at the third of my graphs which Judith posted above, US cases is in strong exponential growth. It is improbable that will change in the near future even with severe restrictions.

        Italy implemented national lockdown on March 9, two weeks ago.
        That’s longer than the average 5 day incubation.

        That is MEDIAN incubation. Read the text. It can go from 2d to 12d.

        Does this mean that lockdown is not effective and that it has been a very damaging panic move?

        It shows a very helpful increase in the doubling time for new admission numbers. If I was working in a hospital I would prefer my workload increase in 6days rather than 3. But it is still serious enough.

        Will that be justified by the consequences of the economic fallout … ?

        Even without the clampdown, tourism is screwed and IIRC about 30% of Italian GDP is tourism related.

      • climategrog: US cases is in strong exponential growth. It is improbable that will change in the near future even with severe restrictions.

        Do you have an idea on “near” future? 7 days? 14 day? Same in rest of country as NYC?

        I have calculated 35% per day increase over past several days. That’s a disaster if it continues.

      • Do you have an idea on “near” future? 7 days? 14 day? Same in rest of country as NYC?

        I have calculated 35% per day increase over past several days. That’s a disaster if it continues.

        I don’t do tea-leaves: too many variables which are as yet undetermined: known unknowns + unknown unknowns

        I estimate current exponential growth with a doubling time for daily new cases of 2.3 days.

        Even if everyone stays in their room there are 5-10 days worth of “locked-in” infections incubating away right now. You need to use both your market forces and massive govt. action to build new resources ASAP.

        Ask the Chinese how to build a hospital in 3 days and call in the Army engineer corp.

        Not much can be done about the case load, so get ready. Ensure the case load does not turn into a fatalities.

        S. Korea has very high density cities , it grew fast peaked early and decayed fast. Their initial growth rate was similar. Look at what they did.

      • I have seen viruses kill a high percentage of animals in a herd on a farm, and I have seen them fizzle out. Sometimes they kill every animal and set quarantines.

        This one is novel, and we’re about this far into it:

      • David Appell

        What was incompetent about the execution of Italy’s lockdown?

    • turbulent

      It ,means that people are locked up in small rooms going mad and losing their health whilst destroying their relationships. Then they meet up on landings, hallways and courtyards and re-infect everyone again. Madness.

      • I agree. France is considering banning even more than a short walk out side. Lets see how that works out with domestic violence and knife fights at the supermarket after 15 days !!

        The seem to be forgetting what expressions like “stir crazy ” and “cabin fever ” refer to.

      • climategrog

        absolutely. Many living in cities have small flats because of the cost and no garden. there could be several generations of one family in a tiny space all cross infecting each other and getting on everyone’s nerves as they want to do their own thing..i can only assume those imposing the rules live in nice large houses with big gardens.


      • John Ferguson

        We spent October in China. We were astonished by the vitality (enthusiasm?) of the people we saw, and met in the public parks. Ballroom dancing at 9:00am, Tai Chi of course, walking around and admiring each other, and being nice to the two of us, 77 year old Americans. We probably spent 12 hours total on our trip in parks in Beijing, Xian, Chong Qing, Shanghai – just walking around and looking at people. It was wonderful.

        It occurs to me that they live in very small apartments in 30 story apartment towers and welcome the opportunity to get out.

    • Matthew R Marler

      climategrog: I estimate current exponential growth with a doubling time for daily new cases of 2.3 days.

      That’s close to my 35% per day. Neither should be taken as exact.

  5. To be honest, I wouldn’t give too much credit to officially reported cases. They are a scientifically unholy mix of undertesting (only direct contacts, only hospitalized etcpp), testing capabilities (people are told to stay at home with symptoms (Germany, US), and plain missing out on “just a cold” quasi asypmtomatic cases. Especially data from china has to be mistrusted. If someone ramps up testing while basically everyone already has it, it also drives an exponential curve on reported cases. For all we know, we know very very little about the real spread.

    • I agree, way too many confounding factors. Unreliable and changing collection and classification methods.

      A few days back, Germany went from 10-20 cases per day to 125 over night. Attributed deaths took a similar jump. This is completely impossible physically, it must be collection methods. I suspect they have started classifying all “flu-like” symptoms as COVID. ( This was just the day before they brought in stringent movement restrictions. Coincidence? ) .

      There was a similar jump in China but at least they were up front and in advance announced they were changing reporting methods.

      • Johann Hermann von Oehsen

        I have these numbers for th first 10 days in Germany: 16, 18, 21, 26, 53, 66, 117, 150, 188, 262. That is not ” from 10-20 cases per day to 125 over night.”

    • thank you

    • For all we know this virus could have been present for months.
      The CDC director admitted that some flu cases have retroactively been determined Covfefe-19:

    • Curious George

      Two quarantined cruise ships illustrate the problem beautifully. The Diamond Princess cruise ship went from having 10 cases of the novel coronavirus to more than 700 over the course of its two-week quarantine in Japan. Its sister ship, the Grand Princess, had 21 cases (19 crew members, all since recovered, and 2 passengers) when it arrived in Oakland, California in the middle of the quarantine. All passengers disembarked and are quarantined on military bases till March 24. Authorities are tight-lipped about the number of cases during the quarantine. All passengers were offered a test, with an irresistible incentive of an additional 14 day quarantine for everybody testing positive. Everybody refused. It might have been a great opportunity to get exact numbers at the time when it matters, but we will only know when it is over..

      The Diamond Princess carried 3700 people, the Grand Princess 3500. Apparently they did something different on the Grand Princess – but what? I like mysteries…

      • “with an irresistible incentive of an additional 14 day ”
        Given that choice on the first day , I’d jump at it. On day 13 it’s less appealing.

        Leaving quarantine knowing you are already immune would be a life changer.

      • Yes, lets solve some mysteries.
        So, a person from Hongkong boards the Diamond Princess on the 20th of january in japan(!) and supposedly carries the virus with him because he was tested positive after disembarking later in Hongkong (timeline in
        So at the time of the boarding japan had one(!) official Coronavirus case. Look here:

        After embarking to ship with a supposed carrier it takes 14 days to get the ship quaratined. So it takes supposedly that amount of time to infect roughly 20% of people in something that is basically a sardin can…
        So IF it is that exponential, it would basically take only one more day to infect everyone possible on the ship, but spread stopped at 20% positive tested cases.

        Why did it stop at 20%? From typical bell curves at that stage growth is supposedly extremely strong and basically only a few hours +- would result in way more, or way less cases. Is this virus maybe around way longer than we think, but less virulent, especially considering that at time of embarking japan had only one case (which doenst make sense)?

      • Curious George

        I am not sure what exactly a positive test result means. Does it mean that you are immune? I doubt it.

      • So my take is: The virus must be around for longer than we think, and it spreads slower than we think. And right now we are in a situation where it infected already way more people than we think (unnoticed) and our containment falls in the period where it is already well established and not just coming.

  6. A few considerations.

    This virus has so far killed no one under 10 in the entire world. It seems to strike the elderly primarily; in Italy, the median age of death I believe is 79 years, and one virologist, at least, believes that it’s likely that the virus has been circulating in Italy so that people are dying WITH the virus, not FROM it.–OnPxYAKNLa/index.html The virus leaves healthy working-age individuals with a case of the flu but doesn’t seem to kill them to any extraordinary degree.

    There have been 24 TSA workers infected with COVID-19 ( and this in a work force of some 50,000, so if we assume (for the sake of argument) that only 25,000 of those TSA workers are actively screening passenger, that means an infection rate among workers who are highly-exposed to the population and only wear gloves is 0.09%. I was in airports in early March and TSA workers weren’t wearing anything other than gloves.

    Test kits: China can build what was it, three hospitals in a matter of weeks?And we (the US) can’t get test kits out in a timely fashion?

    Maybe as Dr. Iaonnidis has said, this is largely an epidemiological disaster, not a true health crisis on a par with smallpox, which is what we’re making it out to be. Instead of crashing the entire world economy, it might have made more sense to let younger healthy workers keep working, and maybe build hospitals exclusively for elderly and sick COVID-19 patients and direct testing toward them. If we need help with learning how to do things quickly, we can always ask the Chinese. Taking care of the highest risk population would have cost a heck of a lot less than the proposed bailouts will. For the rest of us, well, it’s basically just the flu, isn’t it?

    • You don’t get the kind of death rate reported in Italy from “just the flu” or people dying of other stuff coincidentally.

      • Actually, this is not a high death rate. Seasonal respiratory infection deaths in the UK are about 15,000 each winter. The “excess winter mortality” in the UK is between 30 and 40,000 each year, with half of these attributed to respiratory infections. Winter is defined as 4 months (Dec-Mar) so this would be about 3,000 per month To date, the deaths in the UK attributed to COVID19 are not distinguishable from a normal winter flu season.

        Italy has been hit hard, but why the death rate is so much higher there is a difficult question to answer at this stage. As noted, the median age of death is 79 so it seems as though the infection has affected the older population disproportionately, possibly those already in the health care system. This would be a very unfortunate circumstance, but it has been seen – on a smaller scale – in Washington Sate where the majority of deaths occurred in a single nursing home.

        Similarly, a major part of the spread in Norway was traced back to a doctor who returned from a skiing holiday and examined over a hundred patients before there was any indication of illness.

      • Rob

        Some stats on the UK

        I think we need to ask why the laudable desire to save lives from covid 19 does not extend to other measures to save far greater numbers every year in the Uk? Of which compulsory flu immunisation, driving 10mph slower, ensuring people live a healthy life style, banning smoking and drugs , providing more affordable heating etc etc would all save many more lives each year without crashing the economy.

        A crashed economy will mean greater deaths and problems in the future due to not enough tax being available for treatments and a big leap in suicides, depression and ill health caused by the lockdown, both physical and mental

        “In 2017, approximately 23% of all deaths in the UK were considered avoidable (141,313 deaths out of 607,172). Avoidable mortality in the UK has statistically significantly decreased since 2016, from 228.7 deaths per 100,000 population to 224.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2017.”

        Covid 19 probably would not have happened 25 years ago. Medical advances in that time means the number of over 80’s with 3 or more severe health issues (i.e each is life threatening on its own) has grown from a few thousand to many tens of thousands and it is in this grouping that people are mostly sadly losing their lives. Tragic as it is, a sizeable number would still be appearing in the awful phrase ‘excess winter mortality’ figures for 2020. Can EVERYONE be saved indefinitely?

        When this is all done I think that our own ‘excess winter mortality’ figures in the UK are likely to be relatively light compared to 2017 and 2014 (27000 and 48000 flu deaths respectively) as ironically the biggest killer by far-common flu-is pretty light this year, presumably because people are not catching it due to social distancing and the mild winter.


      • Of which compulsory flu immunisation, driving 10mph slower, ensuring people live a healthy life style, banning smoking and drugs , providing more affordable heating

        Well affordable heating would be good but as for the rest the answer is because we are supposed to have a degree of free choice and we are not livestock !!

        If someone wants to smoke or drink themselves to death it is not my job or yours forcibly prevent them. I would like them to have counselling if they need help but defend their right to chose, I don’t want to live in a distopian nightmare society with “therapeutic” drugs in our tap water forceable injections with suspect medication.

      • Climategrog

        Free choice? Yes I agree, but complaining about the loss of freedom of choice in order to save 149000 deaths a year seems a little irrational bearing in mind we are losing the greatest amount of freedoms in our history to save a few thousand corona virus sufferers, whilst crashing our economy.

        Ironically lifestyle choices seem to be a factor in the most serious cases

        If you have indulged too much you are taking up a resuscitation machine that could have been used elsewhere. That persons freedom is taken away because another one exercised their right to over indulge

        Now I would agree that freedom of choice is important but we are eroding that anyway by forcing up the price of cigarettes and drink, otherwise many more people might exercise their freedom to drink or smoke more.

        Is asking people to drive a few mph slower in order to save 3000 lives eroding their rights or enhancing the rights of those who would otherwise die. in a crash? We are in agreement about heating costs as cold is said to cause some 40000 deaths a year.


      • In the United States roughly 2 million people per year die. You can raise the heat and that number is not going to change.

        Instead of dying on Monday, they will die next Thursday.

      • If you have indulged too much you are taking up a resuscitation machine that could have been used elsewhere.

        That is only a problem if you have a totally inadequate health care system which is struggling to cover mean demand of services and has no capacity to cover a surge.

        Germany has 26k cases and only about 100 deaths. They also have 120,000 ICUs against UKs 4,000 for a roughly similar population.

        We are now about to sink the entire friggin economy because we played “austerity” with essential care.

      • The variability of critical care bed numbers in Europe

      • That’s not enough to explain it.

      • David Appell

        JCH says:
        In the United States roughly 2 million people per year die. You can raise the heat and that number is not going to change.

        What data says this?

    • China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong all gathered after SARS – low spread, high death rate – and developed a surveillance and containment and mitigation, if necessary, infrastructure. The W.H.O. was involved in it. As was the US to some degree.

      I don’t know about China’s other neighbors like Vietnam, etc., but some of them were probably in on it as well.

      I sincerely doubt US doctors and the US healthcare system, on its own, would have caught a novel coronavirus with a lower than SARS-CoV lethality for at least three months after first introduction. It looks SARS-CoV-2 started in China in late November.

      Because South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong were warned quickly, along with the REST of the world, those countries have employed the eradication strategy without lockdown. China was ground zero, so their response had to be far more severe.

  7. Can we just sequester the elderly and vulnerable?

    The young, who are the ones losing their jobs, could resume income while herd immunity developed.


    • At what age will you do the cut off? 50 to 59 run about 3%, 60-69 run about 9%, and so on. At one age do you think we should declare that population expendable?

      • At one age do you think we should declare that population expendable?

        Com’on – declare expendable?

        People could be free to choose for themselves rather than governments creating a global depression which will indirectly kill how many?

        By the way, COIVD is a viral infection, but it’s also a disease of ‘metabolic syndrome’. At what point did people declare themselves expendable by poor health choices?

        Shutting down the entire economy is not sustainable – businesses will be gone.

        And it’s not really clear that Italy locking down the country two weeks ago did anything.

      • There is no need to mandate any particular age. You tell people what the risk factors are and let them decide their level of response. Why do so many believe in the omnipotence of our government overlords?

      • dougbadgero: “There is no need to mandate any particular age. You tell people what the risk factors are and let them decide their level of response. Why do so many believe in the omnipotence of our government overlords?”

        Amen. If older people are at risk, tell them, tell them what precautions to take, make resources available for free, and let the rest of us go about our business.

        And why’s the FDA so slow in approving on-site COVID-19 testing? They want to control the epidemic but find no urgency in getting people tested? Don’t know how to do it? Worried about accuracy? Pick up the phone and call South Korea. But no ….

        The more I learn about this COVID-19 crisis, the more it doesn’t smell right. Why are we wrecking the economy? And why did Saudi Arabia, supposedly America’s ally, start an oil trade war at the exact time COVID-19 was breaking, when this war will bankrupt small oil companies? Where were the US and Europe when they should have been calling Saudi Arabia and reading them the riot act? What a funny coincidence that this happened at this time.

      • I am inclined to agree. Something doesn’t smell right. However I am staying in my home in lock down until this is all long over.

      • David Appell

        Turbulent Eddie wrote:
        People could be free to choose for themselves rather than governments creating a global depression which will indirectly kill how many?

        Yes, how many?

        That’s the very crucial question. It’s not enough just to ask it.

      • tumbleweed, I certainly wish you and yours good health as I do everyone.

        I am in a riskier age group.

        I am not suggesting that older people increase their risk – quite the contrary – they should sequester.

        But economic depression will not help, it’s already hurting everyone.

        And hiding doesn’t make the virus go away.
        Only immunity makes the virus go away, whether through exposure,
        or vaccination which is a longer term proposition.

        Let’s be smart about who and how we sequester.

      • I actually agree. Hubby dearest and I have been on lockdown for two weeks now. We have retirement income. We are in a rural community. We don’t need to be working or running about. However those in nursing homes and cities don’t have that luxury.

      • But maybe I’m wrong.

        Scott Gotlieb is on now citing statistics of high hospitalizations among 30 and 40 somethings.

        And Peter Attia, believes NYC intensive care is already on path to fill up within days, meaning the ugly specter of rationing ICU.

      • Freidman’s article, which I had not read, is spot-on. People under 60 who get this either get something like a case of the flu or are asymptomatic, and extremely few (or no?) children under 10 have died from this. Instead of firing a bazooka, target vulnerable populations and let the rest of us get back to work. We have to balance things; the medical community is going to recommend isolation– that’s their job– but we have to balance this against the virulence of the disease (looks like it’s fairly low despite the doomsday projections and the scare stories) and the need to get things done. When you see all the numbers, remember that the world population is something like 7.8 billion, and the 400,000 COVID-19 cases– most of which, we know, are not life-threatening and a good portion of which are asymptomatic– are pretty much noise.

        India has something like 500 cases. 500!! In India, land of slums and close proximity and inadequate health care for the poorest, land of 1.3 billion souls. Is this virus really doing what we imagine it might do? Or are we modeling-up extreme worse-case scenarios and using them to feed panic?

        I have to buy more toilet paper.

      • That malaria drug Trump discussed is readily available in most of India, like aspirin here. One of our colleagues in India told us people are using the drug prophylactically without a doctor’s supervision or FDA okay. I am wondering if this might explain why India does not seem devastated yet. I sure hope so.

      • The global death rate on the alleged deaths and confirmed cases is 4.4% as of yesterday. The disease may already be widely spread in India, including deaths, because they have dispersed and mistakenly listed as seasonal flu. It is common there for the elderly to live in the household of one oof their children’s family’s, so the death rate, if their case load accelerates will be high. In the wings, Brazil. Every wrong move, they’re making it.

        Italy 655 twenty-nine days ago and yesterday:

      • stevenreincarnated

        American health care workers are using it as a prophylactic. I made a comment on it but it hasn’t shown up yet.

  8. Rob Johnson-taylor

    It’s not the worry about the virus that’s the problem. It’s the isolation that is going to cause the problems. This will be the major cause of depression, self-harm, & suicide.
    We are gregarious tactile creatures. The idea of locking oneself away for weeks and for some months, may result in more deaths in the long run than the virus.
    Doing things, indoor hobbies, looking on the bright side etc., will not help.
    There are going to be IMHO serious social, and societal problems when this dies down.

    • Rob

      I 100% agree. Locking people up will destroy their physical and mental health whilst destroying their relationships. The divorce figures following a weeks Christmas shut down illustrates this.


    • I am an introvert. I am loving it that I don’t have to force myself to relax to accept a hug or shake hands with strangers. Some of us will not be troubled by this.

  9. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Bad forecast for New York state.

  10. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Take care of your psyche. I would recommend melatonin.

  11. This site provides graphs on Cartesian and logarithmic (semi-log) axes. For graphs of individual countries, click on the country name in the table.

    Numbers are also presented separately for US states and for other regions.

  12. Alan Longhurst

    I dont know how effective it will be, but here in rural France the lockdown is well observed.
    Streets are almost empty of pedestrians, all shops except food stores and newsagents are closed – and there is very little through traffic. Apart from travel to work-site, for medical reasons and to buy food, we are confined to a radius of 500m from home – ‘for exercise and the needs of your dog’, Penalties run from small fines to prison for repeated offences.

    • Here the execution of stay at home is maybe, at most, 10% more staying in the house than it was when the world was normal. Schizophrenic messaging from on top. “Stay at home.” “Go back to work.” “Whoops, stay at home.” “No groups of more than 500.” “Whoops, no groups of more than 200.” “Whoops, no groups of more than 50.” “Whoops. no groups of more than 10.” “Whoops, except church.” “Republican senators can have lunch together and use the senate gym.” “Whoops.”

      Hey, I give myself a 10.

      Oh, “Binge on malaria drugs.” “Whoops.”

  13. Monday morning quarterbacking is out in full force in some of the articles.. We should have seen this coming. Yeah, ok, but first let’s put the current crisis into perspective.

    Globally it is estimated 600,000 die from flu and ancillary effects each year.
    COVID19 deaths globally as of yesterday ~15,000.
    US number of deaths from flu for 2018 was ~61,000.
    COVID19 deaths so far in the US ~500.

    Would the authors who knew this was coming several weeks ago with such certainty been willing to lose lose their job permanently back then based on the uncertainty of what was to come? The trade off of draconian measures involves massive dislocations in our economy. Even though there is an optimism of recovery, that is not guaranteed. We are no more certain at this time about our economic health a year from now, than we were certain about our physical health in January.

    Responsible officials have suggested 30% unemployment is possible. The US had an unemployment rate 25% in 1932. In 1937, with industrial production falling by 30%, the unemployment rate had gone back up to 19% after a fall to 14% since 1932. Income tax revenue was $1.16 Billion in 1928. By 1931 Individual Income Tax Revenue had dropped to $246 Million (About $2 per person in the US), a drop of about 80%. Such a drop is not expected, but what if there was?

    A prolonged Depression-like economy would a mean loss of government resources for addressing threats to our society over the next decade. Our ability to support the existing $3.2 Trillion of Social Program Spending still depends on Americans making more than what they made last year. And if the jobless rate falls from 30% but continues in the double digits? Do we really believe Social Programs will remain at the present levels or be able to increase given greater social stresses? Those programs will be needed to address the health of the public over the next decade just as much as they are needed to address COVID19 now. But without a robust economy tax revenue to pay them won’t be there. What will the death rates be then?

    • i hope that people will begin to realize what we are doing to ourselves when economic data starts coming in. The first one may be weekly unemployment claims. I suspect we will see numbers never before seen, perhaps in excess of 1,000,000 million in a week.

  14. David Wojick

    The debate is just as polarized as climate change. Here is an anti-lockdown view from Willis E.

    I like his data because he uses deaths, which unlike cases are not a function of testing. There is still the confusion of death with virus versus death due to virus.

    At the other extreme, Jo Nova calls for total lockdown. She posts at length almost daily. Here is a recent example:

    • Jo’s rather extreme and alarmist analysis ASSUMES no change in hospital capacity. As the Chinese showed you need to act and act decisively to expand capacity. Assuming “all else being equal” is not a valid way to analyse a crisis response.

    • David Appell

      Glad to get the thoughts of two experts like WUWT and Jo Nova.


  15. 22 March

    Reported CV mortality in the UK.

    I have been following and recording the reported deaths here in the UK since they were first announced on March 5.

    In the UK, our public National Health Service NHS is organised into many NHS Trusts. An NHS Trust can include one or more hospitals in any given area.

    The NHS governing body in England is known as NHS England.

    The government health department is known as the Department of Health and Social Care DHSC.

    Up until March 16, NHS England were reporting the CV daily totals of tests, positive tests and mortality on their own website. After March 16, the DHSC has taken over this role.

    Neither body has so far published on any day, a list of the NHS Trusts and / or hospitals at which these reported deaths occurred. The locations of the reported deaths are reported by the media. These reports are usually disparate and fragmentary. Rarely does a single media outlet report a comprehensive list for any given day. Because of this, in order to obtain a full and comprehensive list of the hospitals involved, most often the details need to be compiled from several media reports.

    Once the daily mortality figures are announced by the DHSC, each NHS Trust is then supposed to publish the figures as a press news release on their own websites. This procedure has been confirmed to me in emails several times form different NHS Trusts in response to my enquiries.

    Not all NHS Trusts have been following this procedure. Some have replied that they do not publish each day’s coronavirus death total and have no plans to do so.

    It has therefore become increasingly difficult to reconcile media reports of CV mortality with press releases from NHS Trusts on behalf of their hospitals.

    Be aware that NHS Trusts & hospitals do not do their own CV testing. Samples have to be sent to testing centres. The test results are then reported back to NHS England, who then inform the originating hospitals of the results.

    The most significant points so far discovered are :

    1. No government or NHS England announcement nor any NHS Trust or hospital press release has ever stated that a patient has died from CV or from the effects of CV.

    2. All such press releases and announcements simply state that someone has died and that they had tested positive for CV.

    3. All such press releases and announcements have so far stated for every single “reported CV death” that the patient had underlying health conditions.

    4. In every case, the media reports convert these carefully worded press releases into “died from CV”.


    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      If a person infected with CV dies as a result of acute respiratory failure (suffocates from pneumonia), he dies from coronavirus regardless of other diseases.

      • Death certs. are issued on cause of death, not “he used to smoke at lot , so we’ll call it smoking”. The patient dies of cancer.

        This is why seasonal flu has to be teased out of annual statistics since it is rarely the recorded cause of death. Same applies to COVID.

      • Seasonal flu depends on the flu that happened. But a rough rule of thump is: 50,000 deaths equal 45,000 from pneumonia; 5,0000 from flu. They are dying of old age. If they had not died on Tuesday, they would have died from something else soon enough. They are dying of old age, not a category.

        The actual flu deaths are often people who do not seek out medical care soon enough. Jim Henson, the creator of the muppets, is an example.

        SARS-CoV-2 is not the seasonal flu, and it its pointblank insanely ridiculous to conflate them. Ditto for car wrecks, snake bits, gunshots, etc.

      • thumb, 5,000, whatever

      • French hospitals kill 3000-4000 per year with surgical “accidents” and infections.

        A fraction of the current costs would have done wonders in that direction.

      • “SARS-CoV-2 is not the seasonal flu, and it its pointblank insanely ridiculous to conflate them.”

        Who is conflating? Is it conflating to compare the death rate of so-called flu virus deaths to deaths caused in a similar manner by the Chinese corona virus? If this hangs around long enough, it will be another type of seasonal flu. You seem to be very excitable. Are you conflating this with your climate change hysteria?

      • David Appell

        JCH wrote:
        They are dying of old age. If they had not died on Tuesday, they would have died from something else soon enough

        Another claim based on no evidence whatsoever.

      • Pneumonia is simply an inflammation of the lungs, which causes fluid build up, among other things. Flu is the disease. It causes pneumonia, which reduces lung capacity, and oxygen absorption.

      • David Appell

        Covid-19 also causes fluid buildup in the lungs.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Pneumonia can be bacterial and is treated with antibiotics and viral pneumonia for which there is no cure.

      • No, covid causes pneumonia. Pneumonia is the pathology tbat results in fluid filled lungs and swelling of the alveolar/capillary space. This reduces lung capacity and diffusion of oxygen into the blood. I see a lot of confusion on this issue.

      • Not just viral or bacterial, although those are the most common causes. Also things like fungi, noxious gas inhalation, and aspiration of stomach contents when vomiting.

      • David Appell:
        “Covid-19 also causes fluid buildup in the lungs.”


        And what can we use that’s cheap, readily, available, and works to clear up fluid buildup in the lungs? How many have forgotten already?

      • Sepsis is a different problem to pneumonia but still an issue for patients with severe infections like CV19 can produce. A ventilator is still required to help a patient survive a pneumonia severe enough to reduce oxygenation below certain levels.

  16. According to the increased doubling period with the social distancing measures taken by Italy according to climategrog and my own little model these measures effectively reduced the probability of someone meeting another infectious person by a factor of about 0.5 (assuming a spacially uniform distribution over Italy). Thats way too low a number to suppress the infection. For effective suppression back to a few thousand cases that factor has to be greater than 0.9, ideally >0.95.
    So it seems that what is achievable even with severe NPI measures is just enough for mitigation, perhaps reducing the maximum of infected people by half and moving that maximum perhaps one or two months into the future.
    Having a lot of unknown non symptomatic cases which may reduce the CFR by a factor of 10 if being of that order will move the max forward by some weeks. It will be sometime in summer. We will see if this may be the case by the number of deaths per day. If I did the numbers about right for Italy this may mean about a thousand a day. If it goes much above that the CFR may be greater than the optimists assume (taking 0.4% as an optimistic number) .

  17. Fair enough.

    1. No government or NHS England announcement nor any NHS Trust or hospital press release has ever stated that a patient has died from CV or from the effects of CV.

    1(a). No government or NHS England announcement nor any NHS Trust or hospital press release has ever stated that a patient has died from acute respiratory failure.


    • David Appell

      Mark Gobell wrote:
      1. No government or NHS England announcement nor any NHS Trust or hospital press release has ever stated that a patient has died from CV or from the effects of CV.

      Cue the ugly conspiracy theorists, right on time.

      • David Appell :

        I have posted the facts of the matter.

        Why do you see a conspiracy ?


  18. Has anyone access to the actual case and death rates in Wuhan that could corroborate this page?

  19. An example of a reported UK “coronavirus death” …

    TAKING ITS TOLL Boy, 18, becomes UK’s youngest coronavirus victim as UK death toll hits 281

    Ellie Cambridge

    22 Mar 2020, 10:28
    Updated: 23 Mar 2020, 11:43

    BRITAIN’S coronavirus death toll rose to 281 with news an 18-year-old boy has become the country’s youngest victim.

    The tragic death of the teen boy came as the number of people infected with the killer bug in the UK more than quadruple to 5,683 in just six days.

    The teen victim died at University Hospital in Coventry.

    Professor Kiran Patel, Chief Medical Officer for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said: “We can confirm that sadly a patient who was being treated for significant underlying health issues has passed away at University Hospital, Coventry.

    “They had also tested for COVID-19 on the day before they died but this was not linked to their reason for dying.

    “Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patient’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.”


    Coronavirus: 18-year-old ‘youngest’ to die in UK as fatalities rise by 48 to 281

    18-year-old youngest to die as UK coronavirus deaths rise to 281

    British teen dies one day after testing positive for coronavirus

    Teenager, 18, becomes UK’s youngest coronavirus victim

    18-year-old is UK’s youngest coronavirus victim as tragic death of youngster announced

    Coronavirus claims Britain’s youngest victim at 18

    etc etc


  20. Don’t shoot the scientists

    Firstly, there is the way that data is collected. Any model is only ever as good as the data used to create it, and assumptions about what the data is actually measuring can be very dangerous but very easy to make. For example, it now seems that the nightmarishly high Italian mortality rates from Covid-19 may be partially a function of the way Italy records cause of death, inflating the statistics when judged from a British perspective.

    Why have so many coronavirus patients died in Italy?
    The country’s high death toll is due to an ageing population, overstretched health system and the way fatalities are reported
    But Prof Ricciardi added that Italy’s death rate may also appear high because of how doctors record fatalities.
    “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

    • I also saw an interview with another Italain doc who said they were now often classing any flu-like symptoms as a case of COVID. I did not keep a link.

    • David Appell

      Excuse me if I don’t take my science from a blogger called “conservativewoman.” Why would you??

    • Feb. 19: It was the biggest soccer game in Atalanta’s history and a third of Bergamo’s population made the short trip to Milan’s famed San Siro Stadium. Nearly 2,500 fans of visiting Spanish club Valencia also traveled to that Champions League match.

    • Italian scientists investigate possible earlier emergence of coronavirus
      Italian researchers are looking at whether a higher than usual number of cases of severe pneumonia and flu in Lombardy in the last quarter of 2019 may be a signal that the new coronavirus might have spread beyond China earlier than previously thought.
      Adriano Decarli, an epidemiologist and medical statistics professor at the University of Milan, said there had been a “significant” increase in the number of people hospitalized for pneumonia and flu in the areas of Milan and Lodi between October and December last year.

  21. 23 March

    UK PM, Boris Johnson addressed the nation at 20:30 :

    PM address to the nation on coronavirus: 23 March 2020

    That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

    shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
    one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
    any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
    travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

    That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home.



    • Looks like medical managers have explained that the gutted health system is not capable of following the “herd immunity” strategy. If Britain has not destroyed its heath care system over recent decades that was probably a sound strategy and least destructive economically.

      Funny how “saving money” ends up costing $100 billion .

    • Coronavirus : Ihre Papiere, Bitte!,_please

      Daily Mail : Boris Johnson announces the most draconian lock-down in British peace or wartime history: People are banned from leaving home except for food, medical treatment, ONE exercise per day or ‘essential’ work… or the police will FINE you : PM address to the nation on coronavirus: 23 March 2020

      Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on coronavirus.
      Published 23 March 2020
      From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
      Delivered on: 23 March 2020 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)


      That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

      shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
      one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
      any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
      travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

      That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home.



      Nazi Germany : 23 March 1933 :
      The Enabling Act

      Adolf Hitler absolute dictator : Birth of the 3rd Reich

      = 87 th anniversary …


      • Mark Gobell, thank you for the references to the Third Reich. But you need not fear, this crisis will be used for a good cause beside allowing for arbitrary dictates, and that is to help remove informed consent to vaccination across the globe, for, as Germany taught us well, no harm can ever come from removing informed consent. Especially during emergencies.

  22. The 1918 pandemic came in three waves, Spring, Fall, and Winter. Most of the deaths were during the Fall outbreak. Areas that had more extensive outbreaks in Spring had lower death rates in the Fall outbreak. Now this worries me. Is this panic now making the next possible wave worse? 73% of so called experts believe there will be a second wave…

    • If they get a move on with hydroxychloroquine testing and production any second wave will be controllable.

      If they scew around hoping to make billions out of a vaccine, probably not.

      • 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.

        This agreement could explain why Professor Roy Anderson, one key scientific advisor to the British government, declared the swine flu a pandemic on May 1. What he neglected to say was that GSK was paying him an annual salary of more than €130,000 ($177,000).

      • David Appell

        Two people in the US just died from hydroxychloroquine.

        Trump’s fault.

      • Appel

        What is your source?

      • David Appell

        One death, one critical. One murder by Trump. His weapon: stupidity

        “Man dies after self-medicating with chloroquine,” Axios 3/23/20

      • Appel

        It was fish tank cleaner. He didn’t tell anyone to take fish tank cleaner. Get your facts straight. Why should anyone listen to a blogger like you. This is why I ignore your absurdities about global warming. You get brainwashed by unreliable fake news sites.

      • David Appell

        These people took this chemical BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT TRUMP RECOMMENDED IT. Because he was stupid enough to do so.

        Trump murdered these people.

      • David Appell

        And the science-oriented commenters at my blog would pummel the likes of you anyway, so you definitely should stay away. From what I see deniers stick to where it’s safe for them.

      • Which one of the three commenters at your blog would you put up as your champion, Dave?

      • By the way Dave, that was chloroquine phosphate, not the medical stuff. If you drink Drano, the lye will kill you dead. But they make tortillas with lye, Dave. You wouldn’t know this stuff, so you can be excused for making that very stupid comment.

      • David Appell: “Man dies after self-medicating with chloroquine,” Axios 3/23/20

        You really should never self-medicate. Did they even bother to follow the instructions on the label?

      • Are you kidding, Matt? The stuff was an aquarium cleaning product. The label would have had a skull and crossbones on it. DON’T DRINK THIS IT WILL KILL YOU!

      • David
        These people took this chemical BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT TRUMP RECOMMENDED IT. Because he was stupid enough to do so.
        Trump murdered these people.

        I have a lot of respect for your informed and level-headed contributions here, even where we don’t agree. But this statement puts that to the test I’m afraid. These people drank fish-tank cleaner. Trump never told anyone to do that.

        You are being deceived by the leftwing press in the USA which confirms my description above. They are more concerned with using coronavirus against Trump than saving any lives. All over the left wing media the fishtank story is being fraudulently peddled. The MSN headline that the couple took the cloroquine “DRUG” – their word – and died of it. Only near the end of the article do they admit it was fishtank cleaner. Calling fishtank cleaner a drug is a lie – a transparent politically motivated lie which helps no-one.

        They did not take a drug, such that Trump talked about. They drank fishtank cleaner.

        If the Trump-obsessed media continue to see Trump as a more important target than coronavirus, everyone will see this and there will be a price to pay.

      • stevenreincarnated

        David, I’m sure there have been a few people that tried curing/preventing CV by drinking bleach by now. Who are you going to blame their stupidity on?

      • I’m curious how drunk they were when they decided to drink fish tank cleaner.

      • BBC at the same game – calling fish-tank cleaner a “drug” just to smear Trump:

        Coronavirus: US man dies after taking drug he thought stopped virus

        They’re a national disgrace.

    • The first argument is historical, based on the 1918 “Spanish Flu” pandemic. In the spring of 1918 there was a relatively mild “first wave” of influenza followed by a much more severe “second wave” in the fall. The problem is that the cause of influenza was a mystery in 1918. The influenza virus itself was not discovered until 1933. There is no reliable basis to conclude that the two 1918 “waves” were caused by the same virus. Based on everything we have learned about influenza in the last 75 years, it is much more likely that the mild 1918 “first wave” was caused by a different influenza virus. This argument is more folklore than science.

      • Thanks, those are fair points and I hope the author is correct. That said, H1N1 2009 spared the elderly because they had some immunity due to exposure to similar viruses. We are at least potentially missing an opportunity to build some immunity to this type of CoV, especially in the young that are not seriously affected by this one at their age today.

  23. Boris panicked. Joined Trump in panicking. They’re both very excitable.

  24. nobodysknowledge

    Iceland is in the forefront of testing. They have now found 40 mutations of the virus in the country, From the danish newspaper Information:
    There are 3 major types, one with origin in Italy, one in Austria, and one in England. The theory says that the virus will become more infectious and less deadly as it mutates.
    They have found one person who infected others with a mutation which was new, and not with the virus he/she had recieved her/himself. And they found a person who had received two different mutations.
    And: “DeCode Genetics tested 5,571 people who did not show symptoms of the disease and who were not at risk but who volunteered to be tested. The genetics company has found 48 cases of coronavirus in which the tested person showed no symptoms of any kind.” This shows that almost 1% of the population can be infected. About 3000 out of 360000 inhabitants? About 500 cases have been diagnosed, through intensive testing. So perhaps 5 out of 6 is not discovered in the most testintensive country in the world.

  25. Some more reasonable voices are beginning to enter the narrative.

  26. Politico, etc

    Will the media-academia-chattering class see anything more in the coronavirus than just another opportunity to attack Donald Trump? So far the signs are not hopeful.

    • David Appell

      Is there any reason at all to think Trump is doing a good job?

      • He psychologically traumatizes leftwing extremists every day……the best reason possible.

      • David Appell

        That’s all Trump does and that’s all a certain class of people in the US expect. Until a time like now, when people are dying for the lack of government action.

      • Most of the folks give him positive reviews, despite the cabal of left loon pols, Hollywood weirdos, seditious commie academics and the shameful DNC stooge media trying to undermine our hardworking POTUS every second of every day. Did I cover you in that list, Dave? Should I have mentioned disheveled navel gazing hermits living in off the grid shacks in the woods?

      • David, is natural for people to be political because humans evolved in small groups, probably led by a dominant leader.

        But the significance of leaders has probably become less and less since those evolutionary days. It is a blinding trait to see politics for those seeking to understand the world.

        I’m struck by the similar nature the course of outbreaks has occurred in nations all around the world with many different politics.

        When I see reflexive responses from people in terms of a particular POTUS, I’m sympathetic, because I share the same evolution, but at the same time, I’m critical, because it doesn’t reflect a lot of thought.

      • David Appell: Is there any reason at all to think Trump is doing a good job?

        First of all, he restricted travel from China — for this he was called a racist, but it was a good thing to do.

        He restricted travel from Europe and other countries that have SARS CoV-2 — for this he was called a racist.

        He promised backing to private industries in their efforts to provide help.

        He promised backing to the governors in their efforts, and encouraged them to negotiate their own deal and avoid the Federal bureaucracy.

        In that and other ways he has been respecting our Federal system, which grants almost all power over health and safety to the states — 9th and 10th amendments in the Bill of Rights, subsequently confirmed by Supreme Court decisions.

        He has resisted calls for the arbitrary arrest and detention of people who appear to have symptoms.

        He urged the FDA to accelerate its approval of chloroquine.

        He has directed military assets to help out in many locales, including sending a Navy hospital ship to NYC.

        He has resisted calls for the Federal Govt to take over control of the whole economy.

        Maybe you find those reasons unpersuasive, but they are reasons, as you requested.

      • OH, I forgot — he hasn’t crushed dissent, opposition press, opposition politicians.

        I noticed that Anthony Fauci was not invited to today’s press conference, but he is still free to speak out about his disagreements with Donald Trump any time he wants to. Like McClellan and MacArthur, he might lose his job, but he’d be free to run for president.

      • also, Trump ordered a large shipment of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to NY (example of support to Governors).

      • Don Monfort | March 24, 2020 at 1:39 pm |

        Thanks for that.

  27. Two items:
    1) The virus can live longer than first reported, still viral up to 17 days. I suspect the original estimates may be because they used a mechanical atomizer and not a live viral patient.
    “The virus ‘was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted,’ the researchers wrote.”

    2) Limited sample sizes and lack of test kits may under estimate how long people should be quarantined. Larger surveys indicate 17 to 21 days and only after you test negative on the last day of your quarantine.
    “A team of scientists from five universities in China and Canada released a study in mid-March that found that nearly 1 in 8 patients had incubation times longer than 14 days, leading them to question whether current quarantine recommendations are optimal.

    “As the outbreak is fast-moving in the world, based on this analysis we recommended that an extension of adults’ quarantine period to 17 or 21 days could be more effective,” they wrote.

    That team found that of the 2,015 COVID-19 cases they studied across China – a sample that included nearly 100 children – 233 patients had incubation periods longer than the 14-day quarantine period recommended by WHO and the CDC, or nearly 12%. The range of incubation days they saw ranged from 0 to 33 days.”

  28. Ireneusz Palmowski

    We have very little time to rescue 20% of those infected with coronavirus. Just 7 days.

    • 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)
      Dry cough
      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)

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      If you are at risk, don’t think it’s just the flu. No, it’s viral pneumonia.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        The blood of patients who are infected with coronavirus asymptomatically should be tested to detect the cause of their immunity.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      A vaccine is needed immediately. Otherwise many thousands will die in torture.

    • Curious George

      The other 98% have to rescue themselves.

  29. UK-Weather Lass-In-Earnest

    I assume the best host from Covid-19’s point of view is the one who is completely untouched by the infections and gaily continues to infect as many others as possible without ever being tested …

  30. FollowTheAnts

    Interesting debate

    Could use some financial/economic/human organizational perspective

    Note: there are many people worldwide right now who are experiencing real challenges, including mortal ones.

    This – spontaneous and perhaps rambling – note is written with deep sympathy and sensitivity to that.

    It is written with one objective – to put some real perspective around one fast-spreading meme that “the global economy” is collapsing.

    It could easily shrink. And it could just as easily re-frame itself.

    I have no idea – and am myself fearful of the unknown and how it might affect the communities I live in and love.

    But – as to the short term headlines on the ‘collapse’ of the economy – I offer some longer term thoughts that might provide hope.

    There is no such thing as “THE” economy

    There are many metrics of human activity that can be measured in “money” – in many ways

    And there are many metrics that are measured in money that should not be. IRS requires non-monetary barter to be measured in “money” and then a cash check must be sent to IRS. (IRS Topic 420)

    GDP/GNP are pretty rough metrics. That’s what most folks call “the economy” but if you look at how the sausage is made, it’s pretty similar to measuring “the climate”

    All human networks, and most natural ones have two parts. For simplicity, if we measure networks as “nodes” and “links” – then the network characteristics can be defined by the relative permanence of links between nodes.

    The portion of networks that have relatively stable links can be called the “command” portion – as in “command and control”

    The portion of networks that have unstable or no links can be called “emergent” because that “soup” is constantly changing form

    There is lots of discussion above about “THE economy” Again, no such thing. The “economy” are just several ways of measuring the COMMAND network of things measured in “money”.

    But 90% of the global economy is “emergent”. It changes minute by minute via the constant creativity of humans – and all other organisms on the planet.

    So forecasts of “the economy” are highly variable – because the official aggregate statistics do not measure innovation, adaptation, and ingenuity, and the constant optimistic adaptation of species.

    Just like Climate Science shows that “the” climate is influenced by “emergent” forces far out into space, and deep into the Earth – not just on its human-supporting atmospheric surface. (For example, see the role of “constant gravity” in forecasting ocean influence on land.)

    The debate on “Virus Change” – the Covid-19 virus…which is both “novel” and “emerging” …which is what viruses do, and why they are so lethal…has clear parallels to the constantly emerging debate on “Climate Change. (In which debate, humans are the ‘virus’)

    (See how virus models and climate models have similar – human imposed – forms)

    The only part of “the economy” that is collapsing fast is “the” stock market – because it has become the primary metric of business performance – for “faith-based” reasons – starting in 1984 (how ironic)…and because it is a “house of cards” …”skating quickly over thin ice” – and because it is controlled by a tiny government protected cartel of licensed traders and “qualified investors”. (Most of us can’t invest directly, we have to pay fees to licensed traders who make money whether stocks are going up or down (“churn”)

    See data. Look at for a graph of the S&P 500 “Price to Earnings Ratio”. That’s a company’s stock price divided by its Earnings per Share” (EPS)

    Notice that for 140 years the P/E was about 14

    Two world wars, truly lethal flu epidemics, pre-vaccine death rates, the Great Depression, etc, etc …….
    ….and it remained at 14

    Then P/E ratio begins to separate from this reality and soared from 14 to about 70 times in boom, and then a nominal 123 in the flash peak of the “mortgage derivatives” crisis of 2007-8 – in which US government “regulated” mortgage trading caused a ripple effect of about 20% to 30% of inflated worldwide share value across the world. The Great Recession.

    Ask yourself, how could a 140 year proxy ratio of human economic activity – with a massive sample size – move from 14 to 123?


    A small group of humans – fewer than 1 million – who had legal central control of economic and monetary statistical measures (GDP, inflation, etc) somehow CHANGED THEIR FANTASIES OF THE FUTURE

    For 140 years stock price forecasting was largely tied to P/E ratios. That is, price was linked to a REAL value – current actual CASH profit per share. Maybe forecasting not much more than a year in advance.

    That’s a concrete metric – like predicting how fast you can run a mile. If your ratio of VO2 max (like P/E) limits you to a 20 minute mile, it is very likely you will be near that next year.

    If all of a sudden you increase your exercise for awhile, lose some weight, and take tons of amphetamines….you might cut your time to 17 minutes per mile – but you will regress toward your mean of 20 min as your body burns out.

    P/E was that kind of metric It is hard for a company to triple earnings per share (E) for more than year or two. So for 140 years the stock market P/E was around 14 times.

    Then the legal powers running/regulating the stock markets decided to change their metrics. As companies began to buy and sell each other alot, the stable relationship between P and E was harder to track, so companies, and their bankers/traders could begin to sell the EXPECTATIONS that this new merger would have higher value than past (15 times) and it might have “synergies” that could raise P/E to say 18…or 20…

    That’s a “faith based” future expectation. Think about it.

    Selling faith that the future of this particular merger will outperform the 140 year average

    Then thousands of MBA’s – and quants – were trained in this new way of thinking, and they were given privileged jobs in the regulated “stock trading” industry.

    And collectively this new govt-approved “faith in the future” brought P/Es way up above the century-long 14X

    The the boom happened

    Magic tiny companies suddenly had – not 1 million car buyers – they had 200 MILLION NEW USERS – FOR “FREE”

    Because more than 7 billion humans – yes, that’s 7 billion humans – got access to a mobile device that could connect to THE Internet – it was easy to claim “1 billion customers”

    The California Gold rush was limited by the physical ore in the stream there,l

    But a single network that could reach everyone on Earth?

    That’s “infinite and growing” – think about that phrase.

    If you were GM, you could only sell the expectation in the stock market – that you would sell 3 million cars next year

    If you were a whiz – you could sell the expectation of an “infinite and growing” few billion customers or subscribers


    S&P P/E ratio goes from 14 to more than 100

    Then dot.bomb reveals “clicks” need “cash” and P/E’s drop….but not back to 14 times. Because hope springs eternal.

    What next?

    Where does this hopeful “expectation money turn”

    Hmmm, I have an idea, why don’t we use low interest rates, and home improvement programs on TV – and now online – to millions of internet users – to sell houses – by lowering borrowing standards for mortgage borrowers…who last year would not qualify for a mortgage…so that they could try “flipping houses” almost like they were like the “ startups” we were flipping a year ago?

    It was easy to “sell future expectations” for start ups – because the world really did add almost 7 billion devices and a new global network in 5% of the time it took to create ATT

    So this optimistic positive “EXPECTATIONS” energy view of the future was a fire hose that proved quite easy to point toward the “flipping houses” future fantasy.

    We all know what happened. Can’t flip houses like internet companies.

    So – real CASH recession worldwide,

    But notice that global P/Es – based on EXPECTATIONS – did not come down to century-long 14 times

    To cut this story short – just after the crash of 2007-8, governments around the world freed up significant amounts of new debt – and licensed financial traders basically got bailed out by the amazing rise of Chinese manufacturing (see what Amazon is selling today) – and little-noticed Indian global communications systems (that we affectionately call “call centers”).

    Global floods of cheap Chinese goods, and global service networks springing from roots in India changed the global economy in 5 years, not a century or two as in the past.

    So the financial trading industry was able to keep P/E’s substantially above the century long 14.

    So what?

    What we are seeing today in the Covid scare is the next phase in adjusting inflated stocks, and money, back down toward that long term P/E reality

    The “economy” has not collapsed (yet)

    The stock market, and the huge fees traders get, are ratcheting down, because we humans are realizing that SELLING EXPECTATIONS at ratios much higher than century-long norms – is really hard.

    These are tragic times for many because our financial accounts and retirement “savings” in the stock market are dropping fast.

    And few people are rushing out to buy new cars and houses.

    But billions of people are still shopping online

    And billions of people are talking to each other across all the nations of the world

    Some of this communication is spreading panic and sorrow

    But most of it is assuring most humans that most other humans in the world are alive, healthy and DOING MANY INNOVATIVE THINGS TO HELP ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD GET THROUGH THIS AND MAKE LIFE BETTER.

    It has been common in the US and EU to sell fear.

    The Climate Change buzz is partly science, with a very large dose of fear.

    History shows that this kind of Covid disease is not new. This RNA is “novel” but RNA has been novel for centuries.

    But in this global pandemic – global communication is demonstrating concretely that most humans are kind and caring..

    The species is workIng overtime to beat these bits of RNA

    And we are doing it with global scope across 7 billion people wired to the same future – who are sharing innovations like never before in human history.

    Notice how fast the physical supply chains for alcohol, medicine, and advice are reacting to the CV virus particles,

    The stock market is not the economy. It is a tiny industry with extreme visibility

    And even if the real economy takes a hit – and if P/Es are dropping from 123 toward that long term 14

    This is an amazing time in human history – and terribly scary- and mortal – and at the same time it reveals that the vast majority of 7 billion of us are trying in any way we can to help make the future better.


  31. FollowTheAnts

    I had typo in link to S&P index in my comment above.
    Correct one is:

  32. Where are we with anti-body tests?

    If we could identify the immune, at least they could go back to work.

    • Between the ones who have gone back to work or are working at home, they probably almost all back to work. The home delivery services are hiring in big numbers.

      Around a week ago I suggested on twitter that all doctors and nurses who have recovered from a positive test should be mobilized and sent to hotspots to be the surrogate face-to-face medical staffs. They would still need PPE, but would be unlikely to require the disease. The idea showed up on CNN this morning.

      But I’m a mentally ill and overly excitable alarmist.

  33. jungletrunks

    In certain places, CA is using drones with audio capability to surveil people who are out and about, warning individuals if they’re not using proper social distancing, among other things. I can’t wait for greater Orwellian advances.

    • Science is a thought process, technology will change reality and politics is how you rationalize the change.
      PS: Your phone is spying on you.

    • China deployed robots to do the same thing. I’ve read they also had robots that would tell people they had a temperature and the ordered them to report to a fever clinic. They tracked cellphones, so potentially they also knew the identity. Don’t know if I believe that one, but I agree with Reggie White that Asians can make a big-screen TV out of a refrigerator.

    • jungletrunks

      Not just science, everything conceived is a thought process.

      That politics is how you rationalize change is a platitude. Printing money doesn’t have a cost, it allows everyone to have free things; this is an example of such a political change platitude that’s rationalized by the politically captured inept, representing many. I presume the latter excludes you, that you’re among the politically rational level headed.

    • jungletrunks

      “China uses drones with THERMAL CAMERAS to check quarantined residents’ temperatures and drop face masks in bid to control coronavirus outbreak. The devices could identify the person with the body temperature in a crowd.. They were spotted on Tuesday in Fuxin in eastern China’s Liaoning Province. UAVs were also used to drop vegetables, face masks and disinfectant products.”

      Hilarious on one level.

  34. If it’s determined that this thing can’t be contained perhaps we should also be considering assigning households numbers staggered periodic isolation periods to smooth out spread.

  35. “Corona Is a Very Mild Virus, No More Deadly Than Many Others We Don’t Make a Fuss About

    The level of media hysteria, social panic and government repression totally unwarranted”

  36. Robert Clark

    This week the testing lines begin to show how well we did stopping the virus. The percentage found compared to the number tested should be going down. It would be nice if it was real low by Friday. We will still have to keep the borders closely watched.

  37. New York beginning to see what the unbent curve looks like.

    Fortunately, this is not everywhere at once – some states seem to exhibit deceleration. But NY is troubling, hopefully we can learn from the experience.

  38. Pingback: Wuhan Coronavirus: Lessons from the Italian Skew | al fin next level

  39. Ireneusz Palmowski

    New York state is also running a clinical trial beginning Tuesday of a treatment regimen of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, two drugs that doctors in Africa and elsewhere say they’ve seen anecdotal evidence it may help fight the virus. The state health department will also be running a clinical trial using the blood plasma of recovered patients to treat new infections, he said.

    • Why are they not running a separate trial for azithromycin alone. In the combo they will have no idea whether it was one or the other or both or none. One could offset the other: no effect, masking a beneficial effect azithromycin.

      When animals are dying of a disease for which there is no known cure, you can throw the kitchen sink and squirt a Hail Mary in each one. If they stop dying the most reasonable conclusion is they were going to stop dying anyway. Miracle cures are few and far between. Thousands of things have worked in test tubes, and then on rats, and have completely failed on human beings. Right now one thing works: isolation. You can’t get this virus if you are isolated.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        The antibiotic is to protect against sepsis.

      • Curious George

        JCH, congratulations, you are so ABSOLUTELY knowledgeable about EVERYTHING.

      • UK-Waether Lass-In-Earnest

        The one thing, used in conjunction with isolation, that has worked in overcoming previous epidemics is a comprehensive testing regime. It saddens me that so many wealthy nations were so slow off the mark in having truly effective testing regimes and, even now, lag well behind the best performers in this category.

  40. This article from the NYTimes is by a public-health specialist MD, and advises the same policy that the Trump administration is considering, that the Boris Johnson administration considered and got shouted down, and that even I have suggested, too.

    It depends, of course, on the expected delay of 12-18 months for a vaccine, and the absence of any effective pharmaceuticals, neither of which is more than a coin toss.

    The development of herd immunity depends on allowing a segment of the population to become infected and develop immunity to the agent. It is accepted, but not spoken, that some of those youngsters will die in this process, incurring the wailing of Bill Gates, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden if he can remember. The benefit is to those sequestered, the most vulnerable (of whom, ahem, full disclosure, I am one) who, when released from confinement, will be very unlikely to encounter the virus since the survivors will be immune to infection.

    Unfortunately, the sequestered, those over 70, are the least valuable segment of the population. They can’t breed, they don’t do much productive work – look at the politicians – and they don’t spend enough money.

    Then there’s the fact that they present a new vulnerable population when the virus resurrects – as coronaviruses tend to do; look at the flu epidemics every year or so.

    The advantages of course are that the economy, wounded but still vital, continues to provide resources for both segments of the population, sequestered and not. And that the restaurants and bars are open, have not failed, throwing their employees onto the street.

    If we apply the facts known from the Diamond Princess, 80% of those exposed will not become infected, for one reason or another including genetic or inherent insusceptibility. Of those infected, about half will be asymptomatic. About 1% of the infected will die, almost all of them elderly. These numbers are based on an insufficient sample. They refer to past performance and are not a predictor of future performance. You’ve seen that before, haven’t you…

    What are the consequences of a Great Depression, arguably much worse than in 1929, when the world didn’t produce anywhere near as much stuff or spend anywhere near as much money? Your speculation is as good as mine, but it could easily be much much worse than what is outlined above. The loss of businesses more essential than restaurants and bars, the loss of trained workers, the anguish entailed. I myself find it hard to accept that trade, and I am willing to bet my life on it. This does not mean resuming concerts and ball games and lectures.

    Here’s the appropriate comment:
    >>Today my wife and I talked to a gas station attendant who looked to be 30 or so about the situation in town due to this response. He first just mentioned what was happening to business in the vicinity of the gas station.. After a moment, though, he told us how this was affecting him directly. He said he has stomach cancer and fortunately he was diagnosed in Stage 1. The prognosis was very good when he was diagnosed because it was caught so early. But he was supposed to get an evaluation at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland (about 90 miles north of Corvallis) on March 24th as the best course of aggressive treatment to give him the best chance of cure. It’s been cancelled without being rescheduled so the only cancer research institution in our state can prepare for the COVID-19 epidemic we are told is coming soon, even though SARS-CoV-2 with an R0 of 3, a doubling time of 3-4 days, and a CFR of perhaps 3% may have been circulating in the US since late December 2019. He’s now on a maintenance protocol under the direction of a doctor here for the foreseeable future that makes him immuno-compromised and is not care that has the best chance of stopping his cancer from progressing His entire care plan has been disrupted, possibly at risk to his life. His actual care is being de-prioritized relative to potential care for severe COVID-19 patients projected by a model built on unreliable data.<<

    So… are you a betting man? Do ya feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?
    You've got better odds than I do.

  41. Modelling transmission and control of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia

    In this paper we develop an agent-based model for a fine-grained computational simulation of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. This model is calibrated to reproduce several characteristics of COVID- 19 transmission, accounting for its reproductive number, the length of incubation and generation periods, age-dependent attack rates, and the growth rate of cumulative incidence during a sustained and unmitigated local transmission. An important calibration outcome is the age-dependent fraction of symptomatic cases, with this fraction for children found to be one-fifth of such fraction for adults. We then apply the model to compare several intervention strategies, including restrictions on international air travel, case isolation, social distancing with varying levels of compliance, and school closures. School closures are not found to bring decisive benefits. We report an important transition across the levels of social distancing compliance, in the range between 70% and 80% levels. This suggests that a compliance of below 70% is unlikely to succeed for any duration of social distancing, while a compliance at the 90% level is likely to control the disease within 13–14 weeks, when coupled with effective case isolation and international travel restrictions.

  42. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Chloroquine increases the effectiveness of zinc anti-viral activity, and the antibiotic protects against additional bacterial infection. Plasma from people who have antibodies can be very effective. The virus is not transmitted through blood.

  43. All-cause weekly mortality levels in up to 24 European countries – even less than business as usual.

    • Pay attention to the COVID-19 questions.

    • Very interesting – I wondered about this.

      What will the difference in All Cause Mortality be for 2020?, assuming
      that mortality would be higher. 1% higher? Will it be lower?

      ‘Social distancing’ and economic shutdown mean reduced spread of other diseases, such as influenza, as well as fewer accidents, and probably a lot of other factors.

      I do note the caution that death reports have a delay, and maybe the disruptions have delayed things further.

      But the problem seems to be that COVID will cause a crush for ICU care rather than impose huge death counts. That’s certainly the case so far for the US – less than 1000 COVID deaths ( though rising ) while annual All Cause deaths are around 2,800,000.

  44. As of this moment there have been a total of 784 deaths in the US from COVID19.

    In 2018 there were ~1.2 million deaths from heart disease and cancer.

    If we had a 24 hour counter running on our TV sets for the daily 3,000 deaths from heart disease and cancer, would the public support increase for more research and attention to these constant causes of death?

    • Ceresco kid

      We have some 600,000 deaths a year in the UK of which 140,000 (yes you read that correctly) come under the category of ‘avoidable’ everything from people dying of cold through to obesity and car accidents. So any clock would need to include the overall figure, those by various category including flu and ‘avoidable deaths.’ and ‘excess winter mortality’ of which some of those with covid 19 would presumably otherwise have figured in 2020

      The numbers that need not have died will dwarf those with covid 19 yet we are prioritising this last group over all others when tens of thousands of ‘avoidable deaths’ could be saved each year.

      here is the US debt clock

      which serves as a reminder of how such a death and illness categories could be organised, as well as the fantastic cost of dealing with a small sub set of deaths by closing down the economy. This in turn will impact for generations on all aspects of life, not the least being far mess money to spend on healthcare and presumably a ratcheting up in deaths..

      Test test and test again and isolate when necessary then test again


      • Hi Tony

        Thanks for the link to the Debt Clock. On the upper left corner is the US Total Debt of ~$23.4 Trillion. Of that total, but not shown, is about $17.5 Trillion known as Debt Held by the Public. The $6 Trillion difference is what the Federal Government owes to itself, mostly to the Social Security Trust Fund. I’m not sure how many Nations have this situation, and it affects the Debt to GDP ratio that is quoted when comparing nations indebtedness.

        But that is not why I made the distinction between Total Debt and Debt Held by the Public. The latter and Debt Service Payments on that amount affect the budget instantly. That is, the Federal Government will be paying out next month and coming years all those Debt Service Payments which squeeze out the ability to spend money on Social Programs and Defense etc etc.

        And further to my point of building up our Debt. In 1945, after the massive amount of Debt from WWII, the Debt Held by the Public was $235 Billion. That amount was nearly double the amount of what Americans made, known as Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), which was $120 Billion.

        Over the next 15 years Debt Held by the Public increased by 1%, to $237 Billion. The Debt Held by the Public of $17.5 Trillion today is 4.6 times larger than in 2000. (AGI is $11 Trillion) For the 55 years after WWII, the Real Growth in AGI averaged 3.3%. Since 2000, the average Real Growth in AGI has been 1%.

        Today, Congress is going to pass a $2 Trillion stimulus package. That means the deficit this year could increase by $3 Trillion instead of $1 Trillion, and the Debt Held by the Public (Debt) will go over $20 Trillion.

        Here is my long winded bottom line. In 1945 the Debt was 2 times AGI but we had 55 years of Real Growth in Income of 3.3%. We have had only 1% Real Growth in Income since 2000 and Debt is going to be 2 times of AGI, just like post WWII, but our Real Growth in Income is growing 1/3 of what it was the last half of the 20th Century.

        The stimulus package is necessary. But our ability to pay for these mounting problems, (who knows how many more crises in the future) is dwindling each year because our economy hasn’t been growing like it did post WWII.

  45. Ireneusz Palmowski

    “With our coronavirus patients, once they’re on ventilators, most need about the highest settings that we can do. About 90% oxygen, and 16 of PEEP, positive end-expiratory pressure, which keeps the lung inflated. This is nearly as high as I’ve ever seen. The level we’re at means we are running out of options.

    “In my experience, this severity of ARDS is usually more typical of someone who has a near drowning experience — they have a bunch of dirty water in their lungs — or people who inhale caustic gas. Especially for it to have such an acute onset like that. 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.”–terrifying-lung-failure-from-covid19-even-in-his-young-patients

  46. jungletrunks


    China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday took another swipe at media outlets in the United States, claiming Beijing’s decision to kick out American journalists was well within its right and accused three of the country’s most widely read and prestigious newspapers of being propaganda pushers peddling in fake new

    “The measures taken by the Chinese side against The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, among other U.S. media, are all necessary countermeasures against the US’ unreasonable oppression of Chinese media in recent years,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. “The U.S. side provoked China first and China was only responding in legitimate self-defense.”

    Anyone pushing data from China as having veracity, especially concerning COVID-19, needs to have their head examined.

    • You’re wrong.

    • China’s active case load is dropping rapidly. When they hit zero, they can theoretically wait 14 days and have high confidence their population of 1.4 billion is disease free and be ready to go back to work full-time with the west in shambles.

      The America media tells its people China’s numbers are unreliable, but the intelligence services know they’re likely spot on. They’re panicking.

      • jungletrunks

        You’re gullible.

      • Nope. You’re living in the Cold War of the past. There were western doctors and scientists there for almost the entire thing. Fauci published twice in January.

      • jungletrunks

        I’m sure you believe those few doctors in China have had the liberty and freedom to canvas the entirety of China to audit pandemic conditions.

        Save the end of the Cold War kumbaya cliche, it’s naive. We know unequivocally the Chinese covered-up initial disclosures about the disease; that they used censorship and propaganda to obstruct truth. And this sort of behavior by the Chinese isn’t unique to this disease, BTW.

        I’m not saying new COVID-19 cases aren’t dropping fast, or that it’s partially true, or that it’s completely untrue; I’m saying that you can’t trust the veracity of anything the Chinese are saying, they have demonstrably earned this sentiment.

        But President Xi thanks your commitment, work a bit harder on China’s behalf and you may just receive a recurring monthly retainer check for your hard work supporting communist China.

  47. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Bad weather forecasts for New York.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      A person infected with coronavirus must have quick access to a respirator. Self-care is life threatening.

    • phil salmon | March 25, 2020 at 11:14 am | Reply

      So … it’s just super-oldies on death’s door who get coronavirus??


      Phil : You may benefit form developing your spidey BS senses a little and promise yourself not to instantly believe everything your read in the ze papers …

      If you are in the UK or are aware of what is happening in the UK at the moment, do you not find the timing just a tiny bit suspicious ?

      The reported case of 21 yo Chloe Middleton who “is believed to be” blah blah blah …

      Just a day after the UK was placed under house arrest with no law yet in place to enforce the edict …

      The day before the new Coronavirus Bill 2019-20 will be rubber stamped by the House of Lords to become Law and give lawful effect to the house arrest edict …

      Amidst “media reports” describing how it is mainly the young who appear to be ignoring said edict, by going to the beach, congregating in the park, having BBQs etc etc.

      We have a media story from a caring, mourning mother and aunt warning us all that its not just the old that catch the bug of death thingy …

      How did that story get into ze papers I wonder ?

      Have you seen the autopsy Phil ?

      Do we know that Chloe Middleton dies from the virus or from the effects of the virus ?

      Do you know Phil ?

      Have you seen this Phil :

      Reported CV mortality in the UK

      and this :

      An example of a reported UK “coronavirus death” …


    • Mark
      That is quaint – imitating a German accent (z instead of th) to convey conspiratorial creepyness. “Vee have vays of making you verk from home”. Reminds me of school 40 years ago.
      Yes the UK’s reporting of cases and deaths is haphazard. Not only in Britain I’m sure. But deaths remain the most reliable indicator of virus prevelance albeit one that lags 2-4 weeks. Deaths are harder to miss than infections.

      The ITV news article continues:

      However, over the past two weeks, there have been more cases of younger people getting the disease. A report from the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found 20% of those who had to be in hospital after contracting coronavirus were aged 20-44-years-old and 18% were 45-54-years-old.

      Of those admitted to intensive care, 12% were in the younger age bracket while 36% were in the 45-54-year-old range.

      “Clinicians who care for adults should be aware that COVID-19 can result in severe disease among persons of all ages,” said the report, published on 18 March.

      “Social distancing is recommended for all ages to slow the spread of the virus.”

      • Phil – you are clearly very astute, your recognition of my “quaint” use of ze German inflection leads me to suspect you might not be the dullard I suspected.

        However, you have somehow managed to miss the point of my asking you about both links.

        The point of the UK mortality reportage question and link was, as you know, to point out that no source for any of the reports has stated that anyone has died from or from the effects cv. The media state that but the sources do not.

        The point of the question about the stinking tabloid The Sun’s “report” of the supposed youngest 18 year old cv victim, was that he was not a victim at all, as can clearly be read in the same article, ie – the headline does not agree with the report detail.

        Why you have ignored my questions is a mystery, unless of course your have an agenda which includes ignoring inconvenient facts …

        Phil, this is article I linked to in my post – please read it and comment.

        TAKING ITS TOLL Boy, 18, becomes UK’s youngest coronavirus victim as UK death toll hits 281

        Then tell me why you believe everything you read in ze papers.

        Could you also share your thoughts on why the UK NHS Trusts, NHS England, the Dept of Health nor any other official body state that anyone has died from cv and also why you think it is that the media does state that.

        I look forward to your analysis.


      • Phil

        Are you familiar with interpreting BBC “news reports” ?

        Here’s one from auntie on the Chloe Middleton “story” …

        Chloe Middleton: Coronavirus victim, 21, ‘had no health issues’

        What do you see in the headline Phil ?

        A 21-year-old woman with no underlying conditions has died after contracting coronavirus, according to her family.

        Chloe Middleton, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, died last week.

        In a Facebook post, her aunt Emily Mistry said Ms Middleton “had passed away from Covid-19” and urged others to “do your bit” to stop the spread of the disease.

        How do you interpret the quotation marks in the BBC report Phil ?

        According to government figures, most patients who have died with coronavirus had pre-existing medical conditions.

        There have been concerns that younger people were ignoring warnings over its spread, believing the contagion was only a danger to the elderly.

        But in a series of Facebook posts, Ms Middleton’s family urged the public to heed safety advice and take the virus “seriously”.

        What do you think the message is in the above text Phil ?


        Her mother, Diane Middleton, wrote: “Please think again.

        “Speaking from a personal experience, this so-called virus has taken the life of my 21-year-old daughter.”

        “This so-called virus” – what do you make of that Phil ?

        Ms Mistry added: “My beautiful, kind-hearted 21 year old niece has passed away from Covid-19.

        “She had no underlying health conditions.”

        She said the family was “shattered beyond belief”.

        “The reality of this virus is only just unfolding before our very eyes,” she added. “Please, please adhere to government guidelines.

        “Do your bit. Protect yourselves and protect others. The virus isn’t spreading, people are spreading the virus.”

        What do you make of that text Phil ?

        Should young people be worried about coronavirus?

        Ms Middleton’s sister, Amy Louise, added that it was “about time people took this seriously, before too many people end up in this devastating position”.

        An 18-year-old man who died in hospital at the weekend after testing positive was being treated for “significant underlying health issues”.

        What do you make of that Phil?
        An 18-year-old man died in hospital …
        But we know that CV had nothing to do with his death don’t we Phil ?
        So why do you think the BBC repeats the nonsense Phil?

        How deadly is the coronavirus?

        The elderly and the unwell are more likely to die if they contract coronavirus.

        But even among older people, “the great majority will have a mild or moderate disease”, according to the UK’s chief medical advisor, Prof Chris Whitty.

        He also pointed out some young people have ended up in intensive care, and should therefore not dismiss it as a “trivial infection”.

        Current estimates from Imperial College London are that the death rate is almost 10 times higher than average for those over 80, and much lower for those under 40.

        As well as age, those with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart or breathing problems are also deemed more at risk.

        Read more: How deadly is the coronavirus?

        Phil: Your thoughts would be appreciated.


      • MG
        Your constant repetition of “what do you think Phil – what do you think Phil?” is faux intimidating in an entertaining kind of way. Did you just play doctor Evil from Austin Powers at your local amateur pantomime club – and you’ve forgotten to come out of character?

        I don’t have time to private detective-investigate every UK media report. I’m not going to go down the road of believing it’s all a big conspiracy though.

        The central fact that shows that the coronavirus is a pandemic more serious than flu-colds is the issue of respirators. Hardly anyone needs a respirator for flu. But where covid19 cases grow, suddenly more and more respirators are needed. A whole lot of people all get pneumonia together, like in 1918 (but not so bad). The worst case with covid19 is a traumatic death by pneumonia-suffocation. Even a very low incidence of a very bad outcome is a bad thing.

        And the new reports from the USA indicating a slight increase of serious Covid infections in younger people is a great cause of concern.

        We are casting around in the dark still for all our supposed molecular-genetic and mathematical-epidemiological expertise. Time will make things clearer.

    • @ Phil Salmon

      Phil baby, is interesting to me that you characterise my asking you the same question about different reportage extracts, as “faux intimidating” and “entertaining”. It would appear that you are now attempting to play the victim card in a discussion. The refuge of an intellectual scoundrel if you ask me.

      My repetitive use of the question, “what do you think Phil” are attempts to get to know what you think about said reportage extracts and the other links I posted. The reason for me having to ask you what you think about them is because it appears that your logic is at best erratic and for me, is difficult to understand. Hence my quest for further exposition.

      You post a “news story” which alleges that a 21 yo has died from CV.

      You use that to justify asking this audience this lame attempt at a rhetorical question, because from that one media report, you clearly think you already have the answer :

      “So … it’s just super-oldies on death’s door who get coronavirus??”

      So, I respond to your question and attempt to provoke you into some further consideration of the issue and the reportage.

      You first respond with an appeal to ridicule because of my long standing penchant for using “ze papers” instead of “the papers”, an idiosyncratic flourish, which you further ridicule as quaint. It was meant to be ever so slightly entertaining.

      I ask you repeatedly what you think about various aspects and you now resort to playing the victim and obstinate refusal to engage.

      You refuse to answer any questions about the media examples I gave, one of which is an obvious, glaring example of journalistic fraud, since the report detail does not support the sensational headline. Completely ignored by you.

      Then, on both replies so far, you attempt to redirect the discussion away form my questions concerning your original post, while proclaiming you “don’t have time to private detective-investigate every UK media report.” A further lame attempt at appeal to ridicule and a convenient excuse not to engage.

      But you are quite happy to cherry pick the ones which suit your agenda but will not enjoin in any discussion of same.

      You place boundaries around any chance of you have of understanding anything other than that which you desire and make your dissonance known by proclaiming, “I’m not going to go down the road of believing it’s all a big conspiracy though.”

      Seems to me Phil, you really are not interested in trying to justify your use of certain media reports, nor examine their content further, nor in any analyses of the possible reasons why they might exist, for fear that it might take you down a road less travelled…

      Seems to me Phil, you are an intellectual coward who runs for the hills when challenged who is incapable to arguing to support your own position on any terms but your own.

      Here’s another UK media report of the same story :

      UK woman, 21, with no health issues dies from Covid-19, family say

      “Chloe Middleton, from High Wycombe, died from the virus on 21 March, according to her mother and aunt. Health officials have not confirmed the death or its cause.”

      What do you think if that Phil ?


    • @ Phil Salmon

      Phil, read it and weep.

      Now, will you at least re-evaluate the issue of trusting stories in the media, especially at times like these ?

      Mark Gobell

      The Guardian : Chloe Middleton: death of 21-year-old not recorded as Covid-19

      Source says coroner linked death to coronavirus but hospital took different view

      Matthew Weaver
      Fri 27 Mar 2020 14.59 GMT
      Last modified on Fri 27 Mar 2020 15.38 GMT

      The death of 21-year-old Chloe Middleton – the UK’s youngest coronavirus victim, her family believe – has not been recorded in the official toll because of confusion about how she died, the Guardian can reveal.

      Middleton was taken to Wexham Park hospital in Slough last weekend after she had a heart attack. Attempts to resuscitate her failed and she was pronounced dead soon after arriving, a source said.

      A Berkshire coroner said the death was related to Covid-19 after being told Middleton had a cough, the source said. But this surprised medics at the hospital, who have not recorded it as coronavirus incident.

      As result of the hospital’s view, the death has not been recorded among the NHS tally of UK coronavirus deaths.

      A Facebook post by Middleton’s aunt claiming she had no underlying health issues has since been deleted. Her family has been subjected to online abuse and accusations of spreading alarmist news about her death.

      An NHS source said this was unfair. “They have been given the information officially from the coroner that this is [a] Covid death,” they said. “And that’s their understanding of it.” But the source said the coroner’s move “raised eyebrows” at the hospital because she had not tested positive for the disease.


  48. Didn’t realize China’s rate of smoking was so high (54% of men), compared with Italy (24%) and the US (16%).

    Folks, if COVID follows other seasonal viruses, there will be a decline toward summer followed by renewed infections in the fall. To some extent, the worst outcomes are self-induced and preventable.

    If you still smoke, use this time to stop.

    If you are insulin resistant, roughly correlating with obesity, use this time to lose fat and gain muscle.

    Fear can be useful in changing behavior and it’s not just CV but all cause mortality that improves with smoking cessation and improved insulin sensitivity.

    • Speaking of changing behavior this popped up in my RSS feed:
      1. A new appreciation for the benefits of self-sufficiency.
      4. Universal basic income.
      11. Paying our heroes with more than just applause.
      13. Updated emergency protocols.
      14. Longevity reimagined.
      15. An understanding of what is possible through collective belief.

      Some of these ideas carry some weight while others look to be jumping on for the bandwagon effect even though the payoff might be away off. In times of crisis there seems to be more ‘system 2’ thinking as the time frames are generational in scope.

    • Not related to smoking but what I found a surprising statistic about health issues in China.

      About 300 million Chinese have chronic liver disease, which is above 20% of the population. Deaths from liver cancer account for 51% of global deaths from liver cancer.

      About 4.5 million adults in the US have chronic liver disease, at a rate of 1.8% of the population.

      The incidence of liver disease in China has increased over the last 30 years, some of that being attributed to alcohol consumption.

    • Turbo-Ed
      Didn’t realize China’s rate of smoking was so high (54% of men), compared with Italy (24%) and the US (16%).

      I guess you also didn’t realise (neither did I till I looked it up) that Germany’s rate of smoking is >30%.

  49. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Having worked extensively in infectious diseases, Dr Spencer’s past work experience saw him contract the deadly Ebola virus. In 2015, after treating patients in West Africa, he was diagnosed and treated in New York City for the viral hemorrhagic fever, which on average kills 50 percent of those infected.

    Despite having survived such a deadly illness, Dr Spencer states that he’s worried about COVID-19 and is making a direct plea to anyone who is still under the impression that it’s tantamount to “just another” strain of flu to take physical distancing seriously.

  50. ‘The virus isn’t going anywhere,’ says Ontario doctor
    CBC March 22, 2020
    Dr. Richard Schabas, the former chief medical officer of Ontario, says lockdown measures are ‘unsustainable.’

    This is what Dr Schabas said in 2009. Unfortunately the there has been no probing
    July 22, 2009
    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.

  51. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The number of fatalities in Spain is already greater than in China.
    Coronavirus Cases:
    Given the number of healed, the number of victims will be terrifying.

  52. Update on chloroquine: be careful of formulation (avoid fish tank cleaner) and dose (2 g is often lethal.)

    Remember usual cautions: consult a Dr first; read the label.

  53. chloroquine update:

    Note the comment about “intent to treat” and dropouts related to treatment. Patients with comorbidities were not enrolled in the study.

    • follow up: a quote from late in the article: However, clinical use should either adhere to the Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered Interventions (MEURI) framework or be ethically approved as a trial as stated by the World Health Organization.

      I recommend reading the whole thing.

    • stevenreincarnated

      What I’s really like to see is the results of an anonymous survey of health care workers on the front lines that have been using chloroquine as a prophylactic. It still wouldn’t be unbiased but I suspect the numbers would be large enough to give a reasonable idea as to its efficacy.

  54. David Wojick

    Fight virus not carbon
    By David Wojick

    The vast sums proposed to be spent under dubious national Green New Deals should be spent instead on health care, especially virus prevention and protection. This is the gist of an “Open Letter to World Leaders” from the Climate Intelligence Foundation.

    Here is what CLINTEL says up front: “Your Excellencies, compared to COVID-19 climate change is a non-problem! It is based on immature computer models and it looks into the distant future. In the current health emergency, however, your attention to the peoples’ needs is today! Please, don’t continue pushing your zero carbon emission ambition in a time that the world is dealing with a deadly global crisis. Yes, there is an emergency, but it is NOT climate.”

    CLINTEL specifically speaks to the leaders of the UN and EU, saying “People need an inspiring narrative that promises them a hopeful future. Today, for instance, it is totally inappropriate that the billion-dollar Green New Deal focused on climate is still on the agenda of leaders such as Mr. Antonio Guterres of the UN and Mr. Frans Timmermans of the EU.”

    In the EU’s case green funds could begin to flow to the virus crisis almost immediately. There is a hundred billion euros of European Green Deal money that could be instantly reprogrammed. Listen to this: “The EU will also provide financial support and technical assistance to help people, businesses and regions that are most affected by the move towards the green economy. This is called the Just Transition Mechanism and will help mobilise at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027 in the most affected regions.” Hence, just replace in the Mechanism ‘green economy’ by ‘corona crisis’.


    All the EU has to do is abandon this mindless transition to a so-called “green economy”. It would result in a very poor economy with very low returns. Overall the European Green Plan (EGP) proposes spending a trillion euros on a foolish attempt to change the global climate. CLINTEL says it would be far wiser to spend that money on greatly improving health care, with priority to virus protection.

    In reality the EGP would cost many trillions of dollars, as would the U.S. Green New Deal endorsed by the Democrat presidential candidates. Candidate Bernie Sanders pegs his pet version at $11 trillion, which is still way low. Estimates run to $91 trillion. Some of that spending should go to upgrading the health care system, while the rest just goes way without harming the economy. The Democrats should endorse CLINTEL’s call for action instead of the foolish Green New Deal.

    More broadly, the UN pushes all of the nations in the world to adopt expensive zero carbon plans, preferably as soon as the Glasgow climate summit in November. Now it is clear that the UN has the very wrong focus, already for decades. Instead the world needs to fix the present virus problem and prepare for the next. Again, global warming is a non-problem. The economic crisis due to the corona pandemic will hit all countries, including those with relatively small virus outbreaks. With proper prevention and response systems in place there is no reason to have these economic disasters being escalated.

    CLINTEL’s strong advice to the world leaders is: “To revive the global economy don’t further increase government debts. Instead, apply the money intended for your costly Green New Deal to the present needs of people and society. Call it the COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAN. Be aware that in today’s crisis the conjectural policy of CO2 reduction is highly counterproductive!”

    The letter’s eloquent summary statement says it all: “The world is moving to an open global economy of ten billion people. Top priority must be given to significant investments in a global health system that makes any pandemic less catastrophic. Considering COVID-19, climate alarmists and climate critics should admit that global warming is a non-problem. Therefore, stop fighting, step over your own shadow and work together against the deadly virus. In this tough battle we need each other!”

    The full letter is here:

    The health emergency is real; the climate emergency is constructed.

    Fight virus, not carbon.

    • Right on, David! Nat Geo, pushing St. Greta’s climate prevention program, asked for feedback from subscribers. Here’s mine:
      David Beard and Emma Marris and Elizabeth Kolbert write in the April issue as if “doing something” means mitigating CO2 in the atmosphere. It doesn’t. What it should mean is taking care of actual threats to life and livelihood, which means, at the moment, Covid19.

      Activists focus on CO2 because it is the only handle we could conceivably have on climate change, which has been ongoing for the past 550 million years. But CO2 is not in control of climate change, and we are not in control of CO2.

      In support of the first, there has never been a temperature reversal in 550 million years preceded by a CO2 change.

      In support of both, the natural experiment was performed in 1929-1931, when human CO2 production declined by 30%, atmospheric CO2 continued its languid rise, and global temperature continued to rise until 1941. Then of course in WWII and postwar reconstruction with massive human output, CO2 did not change its slope, and the world did not warm. Indeed, temperature fell slightly, enough to generate alarms about THE COMING ICE AGE – see Time and Newsweek and ScienceNews in the early ’70s.

      Not even theory supports a CO2 control at this time, at these levels. The GHG effect of CO2 is at 50% with the first 20 ppm, and as Arrhenius noted it declines exponentially after that. We are in the fifth half-life of that decline, so with the next doubling to 800 ppm we can expect its GHG effect to increase by 2%. In theory. Meanwhile the other 8 forcings that we know of will be asserting their vector sum influence, and Mother Gaia will do as she wishes.

      What we do know how to do, and are able to do, as the Dutch do, is deal with rising sea levels no matter what CO2 does. That will perhaps cost as much as CO2 mitigation, but it at least will have some benefit. With what’s left over we can clean up the plastics in the rivers and oceans.

      Klaus-Eckhart Puls has said, “Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection. it’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate. One has nothing to do with the other.” That deserves more attention than St. Greta’s Little Red Book.
      Best wishes…

    • David, there may be a rather bleak benefit to this pandemic. We may get to repeat and therefore confirm the experiment in 1929-1931, when human CO2 production went down by 30%, atmospheric CO2 continued its gentle rise, and global temperatures continued to rise until 1941.

      The Great Depression took 10years, and a world war, to resolve. Pray we do better than that.

  55. “As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.”

    Off-Guardian : 12 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic

    Comment by : Yossi

    “The UK has removed Covid19 from the official list of High Consquence Infectious Diseases (HCID), stating that mortality rates are „low overall“.

    see :

    WTF is going on?

    * : Guidance : High consequence infectious diseases (HCID)

    Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England.

    Status of COVID-19

    As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

    The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

    The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

    The need to have a national, coordinated response remains, but this is being met by the government’s COVID-19 response.

    Cases of COVID-19 are no longer managed by HCID treatment centres only. All healthcare workers managing possible and confirmed cases should follow the updated national infection and prevention (IPC) guidance for COVID-19, which supersedes all previous IPC guidance for COVID-19. This guidance includes instructions about different personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles that are appropriate for different clinical scenarios.

    Definition of HCID

    In the UK, a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) is defined according to the following criteria:

    acute infectious disease
    typically has a high case-fatality rate
    may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
    often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
    ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
    requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely

    Classification of HCIDs

    HCIDs are further divided into contact and airborne groups:

    contact HCIDs are usually spread by direct contact with an infected patient or infected fluids, tissues and other materials, or by indirect contact with contaminated materials and fomites

    airborne HCIDs are spread by respiratory droplets or aerosol transmission, in addition to contact routes of transmission


  56. nickels | March 23, 2020 at 11:08 pm |
    Error alert!
    Saddam Hussein had WMD, left over from the war with Iran.
    And he claimed he had worse – so there may be a failure of intelligence work, definitely not a ‘lie’ as neo-Marxist conspiracy theorists claim. The US and allies took him at his word and eliminated his regime that had used WMD against Kurds.

    • Tragically the US and allies did not put a proper system of government in place in Iraq and Afghanistan, in contrast to Japan, they allowed tribes too much power (they fight each other) and constitutions were weak (for example, Afghanistan’s new constitution has an ‘unless Allah decides otherwise’ which allows various evil people to claim they are channeling Allah, whereas the constitution the US ghostwrote for Japan explicitly required separation of church and state.

      (I recommend John David Lewis book Nothing Less Than Victory for the story of the malevolent Imperial Shinto regime in Japan.)

  57. Stephen Brown

    There is much debate and comment suggesting that the overall number of additional deaths is relatively trivial.

    This argument was made in a comment on an article in Saturday’s London Times (below).

    The response to the comment gives a convincing and brutal rebuttal to this notion.

    Links, plus the original comment and reply are below.


    In the Italian city of Bergamo, recorded deaths/month have averaged c.200 over the last ten years.This March so far (Friday’s Times) there have been over 700 deaths. This is not insignificant.

    Please see below for links to the article, plus text of the original comment and reply.



    Current test-positive death figures in Italy are still less than 50% of normal daily overall mortality in Italy, which is around 1800 deaths per day. Thus it is possible, perhaps even likely, that a large part of normal daily mortality now simply counts as ”Covid19“ deaths (as they test positive). This is a point that was stressed by the President of the Italian Civil Protection Service.
    However, by now it is clear that certain regions in Northern Italy, i.e. those facing the toughest lockdown measures, are experiencing markedly increased daily mortality figures. It is also known that in the Lombardy region, 90% of test-positive deaths occur not in intensive care units, but instead mostly at home. And more than 99% have serious pre-existing health conditions.
    According to Italian Professor Walter Ricciardi, ”only 12% of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus“, whereas in public reports ”all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus“. This means that Italian death figures reported by the media have to be reduced by at least a factor of 8 to obtain actual deaths caused by the virus. Thus one ends up with at most a few dozen deaths per day, compared to an overall daily mortality of 1800 deaths and up to 20,000 flu deaths per year.


    You couldn’t be more wrong… The real death toll in bergamo province is likely to be 3-4 times higher than the officially reported figure. The reason is because the majority of people who die are not even tested. (I know of 5 people who have died and only 2 were tested). The local newspaper has launched an investigation to discover the truth – unfortunately the only way is to count the increase in deaths compared to previous years in all the towns of the region. Here’s a couple of examples since you like statistics. The city of bergamo has registered approximately 200 deaths during the month of March for the past 10 years. March 2020: deaths are already more than 700 (the month isn’t finished yet). So 500 deaths more than usual. The small town of Nembro had around 13 deaths during the month of March last year. This year it is more like 120. That’s an increase of at least 100… In a town of 10,000 people. (1% of the population wiped out in a month!). If we go on like this for the entire province of Bergamo Town by town i think you may start to get the picture. The official figures for the entire province are 1200 deaths from covid-19 – however the real figure is likely to be around 4000.

  58. Chloroquine phosphate was part of both China and Korea’s general treatment plans.

  59. “It appears that in societies and individuals, the increased risk of disease can have an impact on the personality traits (mapped to the five-factor model of human personality) that influence our political views. At times of high disease risk, our heightened disgust dials down “openness to experience,” which is positively correlated with political liberalism and negatively with authoritarian-nationalism (this relationship appears to be true for overall ideology, attitudes to individual political issues, and party preferences).”

    They take a different tack. The question is, Why do people do what they’ve done for the past 10,000 years? We fear outsiders for evolutionary reasons. Taking classes in some woke theory of John Lennon’s blissful world runs up against this situation. Nature wins.

    The five-factor model doesn’t have to be politicized though it can be just as climate science has been. There is utility in immigration control. Pluses and minuses.

    The Governor of MN has us sheltering in place. Which must mean he’s a closet authoritarian.

    A former leader of Germany probably had heightened disgust. Which could be defined in his case as barking mad, dangerous and evil. But if we listen to the scientists, there is a place for fear of outsiders as a point of view worth discussing.

    • Ragnaar: The Governor of MN has us sheltering in place. Which must mean he’s a closet authoritarian.

      The Gov of Rhode Island is barring New Yorkers from entering the state.

  60. Another optimistic hydroxychloroquine report:

    On the face of it, the contrast between the French outcome (with HCQ) and the Chinese outcomes (without HCQ) is pretty persuasive, but depends on how comparable the Chinese and French patients were, and how comparable the other aspects of patient care in the two settings were.

    What you can’t tell reliably from this study is whether these French patients, in this environment, in this hospital, with this team of researchers doing their best, benefited from the HCQ. Of course the health care providers would not intentionally slack off when treating “control” patients, but routine practice in busy hospitals is always different from practice in clinical trials.

    In answer to a question someone posed a few days ago, it is considered ethical and practical to have more patients in the active group than in the control group, and to change the random assignment ratios as the accumulation of outcomes seems to favor one group or another. Designs like that are called “sequential designs”, and there is now a large body of published literature on their theoretical and practical attributes. All the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA know about them.

  61. Help comes to New York city:

    Soon to follow: Army Corps of Engineers, Reserves, National Guard.

  62. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup # 404 – All My Daily News

  63. I have already linked to the European Monitoring of Excess Mortality for Public Health Action (EuroMOMO) site and their data showing a lower than usual excess mortality season. Here some more info from offGuardian:

    “So, the question is, if we didn’t have a lockdown in 2017, and we didn’t have a lockdown in 2018, and we didn’t have a lockdown in 2019….why do we have a lockdown now?”