The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden: an update

By Nic Lewis

I thought it was time for an update of my original analysis of 28 June 2020. As I wrote then, the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden is of great interest, as it is one of very few advanced nations where no lockdown order that heavily restricted people’s movements and other basic freedoms was imposed.

Unfortunately, some of the comment on how the COVID-19 epidemic has developed in Sweden has been ill-informed. Indeed, a shadowy group of academics, opinion leaders, researchers and others who are upset about Sweden’s strategy and are actively seeking to influence it has been unmasked. They have been coordinating efforts to criticize media coverage of Sweden’s strategy and to damage both the image of Sweden abroad and the reputation of  individuals who work in this field.

I present here updated plots of weekly new cases and deaths, with accompanying comments.[1]

Key Points

  • Despite Swedish Covid cases falling to low levels in the summer, they resurged in the autumn
  • This second wave, which was very likely a seasonal effect, now appears past its peak
  • Excess deaths in East Sweden were high in the first wave and low in the second; for South Sweden the opposite is true. This suggests that population immunity and/or the remaining number of frail old people are key factors in the severity of the second wave.
  • Excess deaths in Sweden to end 2020 were modest, particularly for 2019 (when deaths were abnormally low) and 2020 combined. They appear to be much lower relative to the population than in England, despite far harsher restrictions being imposed there.
  • Only 3% of recorded 2020 COVID-19 deaths in Sweden were of people aged under 60, compared to 6% in England & Wales

Overall development of the epidemic

Figure 1 shows the overall picture for confirmed weekly total new COVID-19 cases, intensive care admissions and deaths in Sweden, up to data released on 9 February 2021. The criteria for testing were widened during the early months, so case numbers up to June 2020 are not comparable with subsequent ones. Weekly new cases have been divided by 50 in order to make their scale comparable to that for ICU admissions and deaths.  Death numbers for the two final weeks will be noticeably understated due to delays in death registrations.

Fig. 1 Total weekly COVID-19 confirmed cases, intensive care admissions and deaths in Sweden

In late summer 2020 it looked as if the epidemic had burnt itself out, however a strong second wave developed during September to December. Although start of school and university term, along with more relaxed behaviour, may have started the second wave off, over the period as a whole the primary driver was almost certainly a seasonal increase in the virus’s transmission and hence reproduction number. Studies that indicated a lack of substantial seasonality in transmission[2] [3] have been proven wrong.

Analysis by age group

The changing age composition of new cases over time is shown in Figure 2. Case numbers before and after June 2020 are not comparable because of the major widening of testing during June 2020. However, it is clear that the second wave has been dominated by infections of people aged 10 to 59 years.

Fig. 2 Weekly COVID-19 confirmed cases by age group in Sweden

After falling to very low levels in late July 2020, weekly COVID-19 recorded deaths rose strongly from late October on, across all age groups (Figure 3). The data show the number of people with confirmed COVID-19 who died, regardless of the cause of death. In total, about 50% of deaths occurred up to and after 30 September 2020, that is in the first wave and in the second wave (which is, however, not over yet). During the second wave, a slightly higher proportion of deaths have been of people aged 80+ years than in the first wave.

Fig. 3 Weekly COVID-19 recorded deaths by age group in Sweden

Regional analysis

I turn now to regional analysis. Figure 4 shows weekly confirmed new cases for each of the 21 regions in Sweden. Although widening of testing (mainly in the second quarter of 2020) varied between regions, it is evident that Stockholm and Västra Götaland, which dominated cases during the first wave, were also two of the three regions dominating the second wave, with Stockholm region leading both waves. However, while Skåne had relatively few first wave cases, it broadly matched Stockholm in the second wave, albeit with a delay. Cases have fallen quite sharply in almost all regions since the turn of the year.

Fig. 4 Weekly COVID-19 confirmed cases by region in Sweden

Regions have varying populations, so confirmed cases per 100,000 head of population give a better picture of relative disease incidence (Figure 5). There is negligible correlation between the regions that had the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases during the first wave (including or excluding June to August) and the post-September 2020 period. In the absence of growing population immunity having an effect, one might expect that in those regions in which the virus spread most easily prior to September 2020 (by which time it was well ensconced in all regions) – for instance, due to greater urbanisation – it would also have spread most easily in the second wave, in the absence of changes in other factors. A lack of correlation between cases in the first and second waves is consistent with greater population immunity in those regions that were harder hit in the first wave counteracting, during the second wave, the greater ease with which infections spread there when population immunity was low.

Fig. 5 Weekly COVID-19 confirmed cases per 100,000 head of population by region in Sweden

As for cases, it is difficult to discern an obvious relationship across regions between COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people in the first and the second waves, and the correlation between them is negligible. The non-identity between recorded COVID-19 deaths and those actually caused by the disease may be one reason for this. A somewhat clearer picture comes from examining weekly excess deaths in geographical super-regions, as shown in a recent Swedish report.[4]

Fig. 6 Weekly deaths (purple line) up to week 3 of 2021 in Sweden compared with the expected normal death toll (solid green line) and its 95% confidence interval (dashed green line)

Figure 6 shows the position for Sweden as a whole. Data go up to week 3 2021; data for more recent weeks are incomplete. Peak excess deaths were higher in the first wave than in the second wave, the opposite relationship to that for recorded COVID-19 deaths. While this likely partly reflects an element of undercounting of deaths caused by COVID-19 at the peak of the first wave, it appears to be mainly due more to a considerably larger over counting of COVID-19 deaths throughout the second wave. While the second wave is not over yet, it does appear that excess deaths have peaked.

Figure 7 shows deaths for East Sweden, the population of which is dominated by Stockholm region.  Excess deaths in the first COVID-19 wave were further above normal than for Sweden as a whole, but excess deaths during the second wave peaked at a level not much above that in the 2017/18 flu and pneumonia season, and fell back within the 95% confidence interval by the end of 2020 (and to close to normal for Stockholm region alone).

Fig. 7 As Figure 6 but for East Sweden (Stockholm, Uppsala, Södermanland, Östergötland, Örebro, Västmanland)

However, in Southern Sweden, the picture is quite different (Figure 8), with the second wave of COVID-19 excess deaths being considerably larger than the first, which was smaller than in the 2017/18 flu season.

Fig. 8 As Figure 6 but for South Sweden (Jönköping, Kronoberg, Kalmar, Gotland, Blekinge, Skåne, Halland, Västra Götaland)

The population of South Sweden is dominated by that of Västra Götaland in the north west and Skåne in the south, which contain respectively Sweden’s second and third largest cities (Gothenburg and Malmö). In southernmost Sweden, the first wave barely breached the upper bound of the 95% confidence interval for normal deaths, while peak excess deaths in the second wave were three times that level (Figure 9). In the remainder of South Sweden, excess deaths in the second peaked at a broadly similar level to in the first wave. The same is true for North Sweden, which is relatively sparsely populated and has few sizeable cities.

Fig. 9 As Figure 8 but for southernmost Sweden (Blekinge, Skåne) alone

In my view, the pattern of excess deaths in waves one and two in Stockholm-dominated East Sweden, compared to that in other parts of Sweden, suggests that much of the pool of people in East Sweden vulnerable to dying from COVID-19 had already succumbed by the end of wave one. On the other hand, although the level of previous infections and hence population immunity in Stockholm region at the end of wave one was more than adequate to inhibit large scale spread of COVID-19 during the summer, at the level of population mixing occurring then, with hindsight it was at that stage clearly insufficient to provide herd immunity in the winter, when transmission is higher, causing both the virus’s reproduction number (R0) and the herd immunity threshold to rise.[5]

Although it is too early to be certain, at present it appears that population immunity in both Stockholm region and Sweden as a whole is now adequate to prevent large-scale COVID-19 epidemic growth even in winter, at least at the current level of population mixing. However, there is a caveat in that the B.1.1.77 (UK-discovered) variant, which is estimated to be about one-third more transmissible[6] – and hence faster growing – only became apparent in Sweden during December. While present in 35% of all Swedish sequenced genomes during the first three weeks of 2021, it is not yet dominant, so transmission can be expected to rise as it achieves dominance over the next two or three months.

Total Swedish deaths due to COVID-19

Sweden had 10,082 deaths with confirmed COVID-19 infection for the 53 reporting weeks of 2020, ending 3 January 2021, including those reported subsequently.[7] On another measure[8], there were 9,432 deaths. Only 0.9% of deaths were of people under 50 years old, and only 3% were of under 60 year olds (which compares with 1.0% and 6% respectively for England and Wales). People over 70 years old accounted for over 91% of COVID-19 deaths.

The definition of COVID-19 deaths imposed by the WHO is likely to over count deaths caused by COVID-19, since where there are multiple causes contributing to a death clinically-compatible with COVID-19 (normally respiratory failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome) it will be recorded as a death due to COVID-19 where SARS-CoV-2 infection is confirmed or suspected, even if COVID-19 is not considered to be the main cause of death.[9] Moreover, some countries have adopted even more over-pessimistic definitions of COVID-19 deaths. Others have likely undercounted COVID-19 deaths. And in many countries some deaths caused by COVID-19 at the start of the epidemic were probably not recognised as being such. Therefore, excess mortality over a normal level is usually thought to be the best measure of deaths due to COVID-19.

Excess mortality is primarily affected by the severity of respiratory disease (mainly influenza) winter seasons. A severe flu season, which may be caused by a new influenza virus strain, results in many more very frail unhealthy old people dying than a mild flu season. Severe flu seasons may occur in pairs in adjoining years, for instance due to widespread vulnerability to a new strain.

It follows that, other things being equal, fewer deaths will tend to occur in a flu season that follows a severe flu season, even more so where that is the second of a pair of severe flu seasons, as there will be fewer than normal very old and frail people alive. Correspondingly, more deaths than usual will tend to occur in a season following one or more mild flu seasons. This is known as the “dry tinder” effect. It has been shown, for example, that across 32 European countries there is a significant negative correlation (–0.63) between flu intensity in winter 2018/19 and 2019/20 combined and the COVID-19 mortality rate in the first wave (Figure 10).[10]

Sweden had unusually low mortality in 2019, which is largely a reflection of mild late 2018/19 and early 2019/20 flu seasons (the early and late part of each flu season falling in different calendar years). It thus had higher than usual “dry tinder” when the COVID-19 epidemic started.

A detailed analysis by a Danish researcher of the influence of “dry tinder” in Sweden, published by a US economic research institute, concluded that it accounted  for many COVID-19 deaths.[11]

Similarly, an analysis by an economics researcher at a US university[12], which looked at 15 factors apart from severity of government interventions that might explain the higher COVID-19 deaths in Sweden than in other Nordic countries, concluded that the “dry tinder” factor was the most significant one. That paper also considered it plausible that Sweden’s lighter government interventions accounted for only a small part of Sweden’s higher Covid death rate than in other Nordic countries.

Fig.10 Death rate from COVID-19 up to 10 June 2020 by total 2-year flu intensity for 32 countries. The R2 of 0.396 (r=−0.63) is significant at the 1% level. A reproduction of Figure 1 in reference 10.

A fair estimate of excess deaths in Sweden caused by COVID-19 in 2020 should reflect the unusually large number of very old and frail people who survived 2019. That can be done by comparing actual and predicted deaths for 2019 and 2020 combined.[13]

I calculated excess mortality in Sweden for each year from 2000 on, by 5-year age group and sex, as the difference between actual mortality and normal mortality predicted by a regression fit to actual mortality rates over either 2000–2018 or 2009–2018, and then used population data to derive the expected number of deaths in a normal year for 2019 and 2020.[14] Mortality rates have been declining since 2000 in all age groups, although more slowly over the last decade. However, the effect on overall mortality of declining mortality rates at each age is partially counteracted by the increasing average age of the population.

When estimating normal mortality from trends in mortality over ,alternatively, 2000–2018 or 2009–2018, the excess combined 2019 and 2020 deaths were respectively 4,500 or 2,100, representing 0.043% or 0.020% of the mid-2020 Swedish population. For 2020 on its own, calculated excess deaths are 6,900 or 5,600 for the two regression bases (0.066% or 0.054% of the mid-2020 Swedish population).

Excess deaths for 2019 and 2020 combined were largely of men aged 65–79 and (to a lesser extent) aged 80–89 and 90+. Excess deaths of women were under 30% of those of men, based on mortality predicted by regressing over 2000-2018, and were actually negative based on regressing mortality over 2009-2018. On both regression bases and for both sexes, 2019 plus 2020 deaths of under 65 year olds were lower than predicted. And average overall mortality for 2019 and 2020 combined was lower than for any previous year this century (and very probably ever).

A more detailed analysis of Swedish mortality in 2020, but which used incomplete deaths data, was published a month ago by the blogger swdevperestroika; it is well worth reading.[15] That article made similar points, and reached similar conclusions, to my own analysis.

Comparison of Swedish and English excess deaths

I applied a similar analysis method to derive excess deaths in England for 2019 and 2020. The data published in England are rather less satisfactory than in Sweden, so the derived estimates should be regarded as approximate. I used data from Table 1 of the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) monthly mortality analysis for December 2020, which spans 2001 to 2020.[16] Doing so gives best estimates for combined 2019 and 2020 excess deaths of 113,000 (0.20% of the population) when predicting normal deaths by regressing age-standardised annual mortality rates over 2001–2018, or 44,000 (0.08% of the population) when regressing over 2009–2018. The estimated excess deaths for 2020 alone were respectively 95,000 and 58,000. Other data published by the ONS suggests 2020 excess deaths in England were modestly below the average of these two estimates, and represented some 0.13% of the population.[17]

Conclusions

Whether the longer or shorter regression periods provide better estimates of normal mortality in 2019 and 2020, it seems clear that excess deaths, as a proportion of the population, were much higher in England than in Sweden. Excess deaths in England per 100,000 population were about four times those in Sweden for 2019 and 2020 combined, and about double those in Sweden for 2020 alone, .

 

Nicholas Lewis                                                                                       18 February 2021

Originally posted here, where a pdf copy is also available

Update 19 February: Comparative percentage of Covid deaths aged under 60 in England and Wales added.

 



[1]  The data is largely from daily Excel workbooks made available at https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd-beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/statistik-och-analyser/bekraftade-fall-i-sverige. I use versions published from 2 April 2020 (the earliest I could obtain) to 9 February 2021. During that period data ceased to be published at weekends and then also on Mondays. Data are presented as 7-day totals to a day of the week for which there is no missing cumulative dataset. Save for regional breakdowns of cases, I use the data as originally reported on each date, not the final adjusted daily figures (which do not provide the required breakdowns). There is a one day lag in reporting. Death numbers continue to be revised for up to several weeks due to reporting delays.

[2]  “All pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions are currently believed to have a stronger impact on transmission over space and time than any environmental driver.” Carlson CJ, Gomez AC, Bansal S, Ryan SJ. Misconceptions about weather and seasonality must not misguide COVID-19 response. Nature Communications. 2020 Aug 27;11(1):1-4. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18150-z

[3]  Engelbrecht FA, Scholes RJ. Test for Covid-19 seasonality and the risk of second waves. One Health. 2020 Nov 29:100202.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2020.100202

[4]  https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/contentassets/4b4dd8c7e15d48d2be744248794d1438/rapport-overdodlighet-vecka-3.pdf

[5]  https://www.nicholaslewis.org/covid-19-why-did-a-second-wave-occur-in-regions-hit-hard-by-the-first-wave/

[6]   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/959426/Variant_of_Concern_VOC_202012_01_Technical_Briefing_5.pdf

[7]  https://www.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/content/items/b5e7488e117749c19881cce45db13f7e/data. Downloaded 12 February 2020; available via link Ladda ner data from copy of https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd-beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/statistik-och-analyser/bekraftade-fall-i-sverige saved at http://www.webarchive.org

[8]  https://www.socialstyrelsen.se/globalassets/1-globalt/covid-19-statistik/statistik-over-antal-avlidna-i-covid-19/statistik-covid19-avlidna.xlsx

[9]  International guidelines for certification and classification (coding) of COVID-19 as cause of death. World Health Organization 20 April 2020

[10] Hope, C. COVID-19 death rate is higher in European countries with a low flu intensity since 2018. Cambridge Judge Business School Working Paper No. 03/2020, September 2020.

[11] https://www.aier.org/article/swedens-dry-tinder-accounts-for-many-covid-19-deaths/

[12] Klein, DB. 16 Possible Factors for Sweden’s High Covid Death Rate among the Nordics. George Mason University, Department of Economics Working Paper No. 20-27, August 2020. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3674138

[13] The 2020 death data, stratified by broad age bands, is currently available for reporting week numbers 1 to 53, plus some unallocated deaths. Since weeks 1 and 53 extend into respectively 2019 and 2021, I estimated deaths for the 2020 calendar year by deducting (53 * 7 – 362.25) times the average number of daily deaths in weeks 1 and 53 combined. I also adjusted up the actual 2019 deaths by 365.25/365 to give those for an average length year, which is what the regression fit estimate will be for.

[14] I undertook linear ordinary least squares regression of log(mortality), since mortality is more likely to improve by a certain fraction each year rather than by a fixed absolute amount. Results are almost identical if absolute mortality is regressed instead. Regressing over a longer the period reduces the influence of fluctuating flu intensity, but is less reflective of any change over time in the rate of improvement in mortality. Regressing over a shorter, ten year, period (2009–18) estimates a slightly slower fall in mortality over time than regressing over 2000–18. I downloaded annual mortality data for the whole of Sweden by sex and 5-year age bands on deaths generated at https://www.statistikdatabasen.scb.se/pxweb/sv/ssd/START__BE__BE0101__BE0101I/DodaHandelseK/.  Likewise end 1999 to 2019 population data by sex and 1-year age bands from https://www.statistikdatabasen.scb.se/pxweb/en/ssd/START__BE__BE0101__BE0101A/BefolkningNy/. 2020 population estimates were taken from https://www.scb.se/en/finding-statistics/statistics-by-subject-area/population/population-composition/population-statistics/pong/tables-and-graphs/monthly-statistics–the-whole-country/preliminary-population-statistics-2020/. Deaths in 2020 were downloaded from https://scb.se/hitta-statistik/statistik-efter-amne/befolkning/befolkningens-sammansattning/befolkningsstatistik/pong/tabell-och-diagram/preliminar-statistik-over-doda/ on 8 February 2021.

[15] https://softwaredevelopmentperestroika.wordpress.com/2021/01/15/final-report-on-swedish-mortality-2020-anno-covid/

[16] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/monthlymortalityanalysisenglandandwales

[17] The ONS has published provisional estimates of 2020 weekly excess deaths for 2020, but the data for the final two weeks appear to be incomplete. A crude adjustment for incompleteness implies that there were approaching 75,000 total excess deaths in 2020. That is in line with the ONS figure for recorded COVID-19 deaths in 2020. Public Health England estimates that there were approximately 70,000 excess deaths in 2020 from when COVID-19 deaths started occurring: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/static-reports/mortality-surveillance/excess-mortality-in-england-week-ending-01-Jan-2021.html

787 responses to “The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden: an update

  1. Reblogged this on ClimateTheTruth.com and commented:
    Sweden’s COVID strategy worked better…

  2. Pingback: The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden: an update – Climate- Science.press

  3. Excellent work Nic. Thank you.

    • yes, thanks to Nic for all the time and expertise he puts into this.

      One question:
      “This second wave, which was very likely a seasonal effect, now appears past its peak”

      What is the basis for that conclusion? Was this same genome, or a “new strain” as happened in UK and France.

      There seems to be an erroneous, default assumption that sars-cov-2 is seasonal “because flu”.

      It has been shown in vitro that beta corona viruses including this one do NOT respond in the same way to humidity and temperature as does influenza.

      Are we supposed to conclude that UK “second wave” +ve tests peaked on 29th Dec 2020 because that is when winter ended in UK ???

      No, it was not the vaccine either which had bare even started deployment at that time let alone had time to produce an immune response. The second wave has already run its course. Vaccines *may* be helping if fall a little fast in the last week or two.

      • I originally accepted the conclusions of papers (including one in Nature) that found SARS-CoV-2 infectivity not to be significantly seasonal. However, I now see those papers as wrong. Infections by coronaviruses that cause common colds are highly seasonal. See doi.org/10.4414/smw.2020.20224. There are physical reasons to expect greater transmission of an airborne virus like SARS-CoV-2 when absolute humidity (which is strongly correlated to temperature) is lower, irrespective of the characteristics of the virus. Moreover, the timing of second waves correlates with the latitude of the country concerned (doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81419-w), perhaps suggesting a link to vitamin D status and hence immune system strength as a driving factor in seasonality.
        I didn’t suggest that the passing of 2nd wave peaks was due to winter ending, which it clearly hadn’t.

        IMO the onset of autumn and winter was a main driving factor in the initiation and growth of second waves, with behavioural relaxation and start of term mixing perhaps also having a role in their initiation in some cases at least. But as the 2nd wave progressed population immunity, which had already proven high enough to cause the epidemic to shrink in the summer, increased and put a natural break on the size of the 2nd wave. In addition, in many countries people either chose to, or were forced by government fiat to, mix less. In the UK, the second wave was exacerbated by the growing influence of the more transmissible B.1.1.7 strain. That is now occuring in some other countries,which B.1.1.7 reached later. It is possible that in some countries, possibly including Sweden, that B.1.1.7 growth may cause the 2nd wave to be double peaked. Much vaccination so far is of old people who mix less and are less likely to either receive or transmit infection, so I’m doubtful that vaccination has had a major effect on the infection rate yet, at least in most countries.

      • This review paper is about seasonality:https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/222/7/1090/5874220
        I’ve also found this article, which is all about Covid-19 seasonality and gives links to lots of studies: https://lockdownsceptics.org/the-seasonality-of-covid-19/

  4. Pingback: The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden: an update | OlRedHair's Blog

  5. Nic –

    > t seems clear that excess deaths, as a proportion of the population, were much higher in England than in Sweden.

    It’s truly remarkable that after all this time you persist in making this kind of facile comparison, without control for confounding variables, as if it’s meaningful.

    Are you being deliberately misleading?

    • This seems like a new claim of herd immunity after deaths almost doubled since the last claim.

      • > This seems like a new claim of herd immunity after deaths almost doubled since the last claim.

        Notice the switch mid-stream to a new metric of choice, no discussion of the uncertainties related to that new metric, the lack of accountability for previous predictions that were off by many multiples, the introduction of considerations and explanations that were never mentioned in the earlier go-round, cherry-picking of references to fit a narrative, etc.

        It’s as if the notion of accountability is old fashioned.

      • Sweden compared to Finland…

        The same level of testing. Far more cases in Sweden. Far more deaths from COVID in Sweden.

        Does “seasonality” explain that comparison? Does “dry tinder” explain that comparison?

        It’s amusing how policy advocates will look around to find details they can use to support their favored ideological narratives.

    • Nic’s statement is true. End of story.

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      I think there are all sorts of factors that could lead to a (50% I am not sure the exact figure) higher mortality in the UK. Maybe they killed more care home people here. Docs in the UK do not like to treat over 65’s. If you look at the ICU stats, the % of 65 year olds being treated was (60%), the % of 75 y/o s being treated was 30%, the % of 85 y/o s being treated was (5%)..They do not like treating unhealthy people, and unhealthiness is correlated with dying from Covid…In the UK, these 3 factors are significant, because with Covid, mostly it is the elderly and unhealthy who die. We should all live in India where cases have declined by 7.3 times and relatively few elderly die, there being relatively few because they have mostly died before Covid got them. Of course the reason why cases have fallen so fast in the USA, Sweden, UK and India is HIT. If these countries had done like Denmark or China and locked people up until vaccines came out then fewer lives would have been lost.

  6. Nic –

    > That paper also considered it plausible that Sweden’s lighter government interventions accounted for only a small part of Sweden’s higher Covid death rate than in other Nordic countries.

    Tegnell has talked about how the measures that Sweden did implement, and the level of societal adaptation to COVID in Sweden, make a “light touch” characterization of Sweden in comparison to the other Nordic countries misleading.

    Why do you persist as if it’s meaningful? Surely you’re aware of this critique.

  7. It would be interesting to correlate death rates in countries with other societal impacts like unemployment rate, poverty rate, drop in education, suicide rates etc. I think this would swing the result hard over to Sweden’s response.

    • > I think this would swing the result hard over to Sweden’s response.

      On what evidence do you base that belief?

      What evidence do you have that Sweden has had significantly fewer effects of that sort when compared to similar countries – such as Norway, Finland, or Denmark – in association with a differential in societal changes aligned resulting from mandates vs. suggestions from governments?

      • Stop joshing, the evidence is About the same as your assertion that the countries you mention are similar to Sweden.

  8. Nice to see that all is well here at Joshua, etc.

    RIE, keep spreading the love. been enjoying your commentary all the more since being relegated to lurker status at the beginning of all things covid. (just because nobody says it, it doesn’t mean that you’re not appreciated)…

    • Joe - the non epidemiologist

      Josh’s Comment – “Don’t you think it’s interesting that Nic will simultaneously point to “seasonality” as an explanation for why his precious prediction was off by so much, and then effectively ignore the effect of behavioral changes as an explanation for why rates of infection have dropped in Sweden (after they tightened up considerably on the government response to COVID)?”

      Josh – seems you fail to notice the drop off which in most areas of the NH started in Dec was near universal and irrespective of the level and/or change in levels of mitigation protocols.

      Since the timing of the second wave, the start, the peak and the decline was near universal, most objective observers would consider seasonality to be a reasonable possibility. Objective being a key word.

  9. Matthew R Marler

    Nic, thank you for the essay.

    Switzerland, a comparator of yore, has nearly “caught up” with Sweden in deaths per million: ca. 1100 to ca. 1200, respectively, in worldometers.

    The US, at ca 1500 per million is near the top, but with much geographic variation: CA at about half of NY; FL and TX a little over half of NY. NC, VA, OR, and UT “much” lower. Hard to make a case that anything in particular accounts for the differences. NJ is worse than NY w/o copying Gov Cuomo’s costly nursing home decision, for example.

    Vaccinations proceeding apace, with WVA up over 8% fully vaccinated:
    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/map-covid-19-vaccination-tracker-across-u-s-n1252085

    As of Feb. 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 39 million first doses were administered and more than 15 million were people fully vaccinated.

    I, by the way, got COVID19 in mid Jan, recovered in about a week. I got first dose of Vaccine in mid Feb, scheduled for second in early Mar. I am in SD CO, CA.

    • Matthew

      Do you know under what circumstances you got your covid infection? Glad you are better.

      Tonyb

    • Glad you are back. Sounds like you had a mild illness. How severe were your symptoms? You said before you were in a high risk group.

    • Are you sure NJ didn’t copy NYs nursing home decision?

    • My mother got it in Nov. She just had a fever for a day. She felt off enough to get tested and tested positive. However, I think her infection was too superficial to develop full immunity. Neither my parents tested positive for antibodies.

      I was somewhat optimistic this summer that the virus was still spreading without really being detected and people were developing some immunity that would at least slow the second wave, but I think the seasonal reduction in spread reduced initial exposures so much that infections were fought off before a full, virus specific antibody response was developed.

      The people probably have some level of immunity, but are still vulnerable to a more substantial exposure or weakened/stressed immune state.

  10. “COVID-19”, just a new label that REPLACED the labels of “cold”, “flu” and “pneumonia”.

    As for the deaths, no novelty whatsoever. Animals that don’t take proper care of their own Organisms die easier. Of course that with the Artificial Extension of Life (most of it without any quality at all) the old animals die also easier. Also nothing new! Just look at the Past…

    So new label “COVID-19” is what the SRF & Billionaires needed to invent in order to deploy the tools they need to RESHAPE Their civilization. Some even believe “Their Planet”.

    We can say “Thank You”…

    • Lawrence Barden

      Can we assume that SRF is an acronym for Svenska Rugbyförbundet (Swedish Rugby Club)? Please comment.

  11. Since “cases” are based on the photocopier machine/technique PCR, and since the Chinese folks already said PUBLICLY that they didn’t isolated the RNA, and since there are different protocols running around (one of these even has as primer a sequence 100% equal to Human DNA bit!), all those “cases” can easily be “none-cases”. Because with PCR we can have the final result we most desire. Just look at the CLEAR example of Cristiano Ronaldo.

    • > . all those “cases” can easily be “none-cases”.

      How do you explain why hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths track (up and down) with the number of positive cases? Is it all just a vastly complex conspiracy?

      • Clearly you don’t understand how PCR functions!

        Just following WHO guidelines…

        And since vast majority of the population has high levels of Ignorance and also (specially in the US) are in very bad Health a simple cold nowadays is reason for many to go running for “salvation”!

      • voza0db –

        Clearly, I lack your in-depth expertise – even compared to my fellow ignorant Americans. For that reason, I’m asking you to share just a tad of your scientific wisdom.

        Do that’s why i ask you – how do you explain why hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths all track with positive PCR tests?

      • First I need to know if you know what is a “positive” PCR?

        To help you I leave the following
        https://postimg.cc/47kDRh1j

      • > First I need to know if you know what is a “positive” PCR?

        A positive PCR test means that there was evidence found indicating an infection occurred (it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is infectious at that time).

        I’m surprised that you need that explained, given your extensive expertise.

        Now will you explain why hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths all track with positive tests?

  12. An outstanding affirmation of Lewandowsky. Well played.

    Indeed, a shadowy group of academics, opinion leaders, researchers and others who are upset about Sweden’s strategy and are actively seeking to influence it has been unmasked.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/coronavirus-plandemic-and-the-seven-traits-of-conspiratorial-thinking-138483

    • Lewandowsky is a discredited pseudo-scientist in a deeply flawed field where the majority of papers fail replication.

  13. Joe - the non epidemiologist

    Nic – thanks for the update

    Couple of observations
    A) First Sweden’s results fall slightly on the high side of the middle range of all of europe and most all of the states in the United States. There is little of distinction between Sweden’s results vs those other countries and states based on the mitigation steps taken. Finland and Norway are the outliers, not Sweden
    B) Steve McIntyre’s thoughts on the reason that Finland and Norway are outliers is that covid had not embedded itself into Norway or Finland by the time governments reacted, and therefore escaped the covid onslaught. That appears to be the more reasonable hypothesis and not that Sweden did something wrong.
    C) Sweden’s summer decline and hard second wave in Sept/Oct/Nov/ Dec with rapid decline in January is consistent with the rest of Europe and the US and is also consistent with the Hopes-Simpson curve. I find it strange that the “experts” never discuss Hopes- Simpson as if basic historical knowledge is to be ignored, lest that it would infect the narrative.
    D) You have received repetitive condemnation from a few for being “wrong” on the level and/or the timing of reaching herd immunity. My observation is that if there was an error in your analysis is that is due primarily to the covid strain being so completely new, that there was no partial and/or cross immunity from other forms of influenza. As such, the required level of herd immunity is much higher that other prior strains of viruses.
    E) The deadliness of this virus (covid ) appears to be related to the newness of the virus and not due to covid being inherently more deadly. I base that observation on the fact that covid is killing the old and sick yet killing very few otherwise healthy individuals whereas, prior strains of the flu have a much higher percent of the healthy and young.

    Nic – look forward to any comments and critique.

    • “Steve McIntyre’s thoughts on the reason that Finland and Norway are outliers is that covid had not embedded itself into Norway or Finland by the time governments reacted, and therefore escaped the covid onslaught. That appears to be the more reasonable hypothesis and not that Sweden did something wrong.”

      Crazy. Norway had more hospital admissions early in March than Sweden. And more confirmed infections.

      Number of deaths Sweden March 11. – Sept 1.: 5791. After Sept. 1.: 6774

      His thoughts are just wrong.

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        Ehak – I looked back at the data for norway and sweden for March at 91-divoc which did show Norway with a high infection rate during the March, so I stand corrected.

    • Joe – thanks; I will reply. But can you give me a link to Steve M’s tweet or post re your point B?

    • A) I agree. A key point is that Sweden is more internationally connected than other Nordic countries, so imported more cases early in the epidemic. There is an very good analysis of this issue at https://necpluribusimpar.net/why-did-more-people-die-of-covid-19-in-sweden-than-in-other-nordic-countries-it-probably-had-little-to-do-with-policy/. The author finds that the key reason Sweden has suffered more from Covid is that, by the time other Nordic countries decided to go on lockdown, the epidemic was already far more advanced in Sweden. He writes, based on his modelling: “To be more specific, if I look at the median number of infections for each country in my simulations, on the day before Denmark went on lockdown, there were almost 7 times more infections in Sweden than in Denmark. On the day before Finland went on lockdown, there were more than 18 times more infections in Sweden than in Finland. Finally, on the day before Norway went on lockdown, there were more than 14 times more infections in Sweden than in Norway.”
      A point specific to Finland, which may well partly account for infection spreading less there and the Covid mortality rate being lower than in Norway and Denmark, is that it has a much lower ‘lived population density’ (population-weighted local population density: arxiv.org/abs/2005.01167) than other Nordic countries.
      It may also be the case that other Nordic countries were better at isolating people in care homes from Covid infection. Both Sweden and the UK, and many other countries, failed miserably at that.

      B) I can’t locate where Steve M expressed his thoughts, but as per my reply to A) I think they are valid, although not necessarily the only reason. However, I haven’t myself studied the Covid epidemic in other Nordic countries so I could be wrong.
      I dispute ehak’s claim that Steve’s thoughts are wrong. Case measures are not comparable between countries, and even hospitalisations aren’t a very good measure. Deaths are generally thought to be the most comparable across countries, despite some differences in what is counted as a Covid death.
      Up to 31 March 2020 – which corresponds to infections up to around 7 March, some 330 Covid deaths occurred in Sweden, as compared to only 39 in Norway (per 91-DIVOC). That’s 4.5 times as many deaths in Sweden per head of population than in Norway, from infections occurring prior to Norway locking down. So necpluribusimpar and Steve M are correct.

      C) Agreed, seasonality certainly seems to be a key factor in the Covid epidemic. In the UK its effects in autumn 2020 were top of the increase in transmission as new variant B.1.1.7 rose to dominance. That is occurring later in other countries, and may be behind the decline in cases in Sweden recently ceasing, with signs of sustained growth in Stockholm and several other areas. I suspect that the effect of B.1.1.7 on transmission is being felt in Stockholm first.

      D) It could be so. But whatever the cause, I suspect that I, along with many other researchers, initially underestimated the R0 value for Covid. And, as I wrote, I didn’t allow for seasonality. Many scientists are still failing to do so – e.g. Imperial College in their modelling.

      E) Flu also mainly kills the old and infirm, but I think its effects in children are relatively worse than for Covid. It is unclear how much more inherently deadly SARS-CoV-2 infections are than infections by common cold coronaviruses or influenza virus, and how much of the higher mortality rate is due to a lack of immunity arising from prior infection early in life.

    • I think the cultures are a lot more different than people think as well. The reason we talk so much more about sweden than finland and norway is that sweden is much more global, open, and culturally diverse.

  14. Here’s a Sweden vs. Norway comparison of total (all causes) deaths/100 in age group from 2000-2020.
    https://ibb.co/NxV5qyq

  15. Nic, thanks for the detailed analysis.

    One problem I have with any analysis looking at government mandated NPI’s (which this one didn’t for the post part), is a failure to account for personal decisions – either to use NPI’s even without government mandates, or to ignore the mandates to some extent.

    I think that changes in these behaviors might also impact the wave effects that are interpreted as seasonality. As I’ve mentioned before, Arizona had two major peaks – one during our very hot, very dry summer, and one during our mild and somewhat dry winter. Even the Vitamin-D contribution to seasonality fails in the Arizona case.

    • Agreed on mandated NPI being different from what people really do. And i grant it can go both ways. Using a marker like cell phone mobility / mobility one or 2 years ago together with the official restriction time-line would help a lot.

      Iirc, in my country (Belgium) mobility tracked quite well (little delay or anticipation) the measures, at least 2020, while contamination correlation was less obvious. For 2021, mobility is going up without much changes in the measures. This is coherent with my personal observation : restrictions are less and less observed, and it’s changing fast.
      Without any perceptible effect on contaminations.

  16. Nic – not on topic for this post, but you may find this interesting in regard to your prior posts on heterogeneity. This is a small but interesting study of super spreaders in Houston, TX.

    https://academic.oup.com/jid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/infdis/jiab097/6135117

    Comments from the ProMed moderator: “This is a disturbing finding if it holds that individuals with high
    viral titers and very high viral titres can remain asymptomatic or
    display mild symptoms and transmit efficiently since they would go
    undetected for the most part. In what is known as the 20/80 rule, a
    small percentage of individuals within any population has been
    observed to contribute most to transmission.”

  17. This article provides current covid stats on the UK, the US and Sweden

    https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/broken-lives-and-a-bleak-future-the-tragic-toll-of-a-years-lockdown-lunacy/

    I think it is difficult to compare Sweden with other Nordic states as they are all very different to each other

    tonyb

    • It’s a good article Tony. The real toll of these policies will be felt over the next few years and could be severe. The financial system is already under a lot of stress I expect de facto devaluation of currencies to become the rule.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        I am a financial ‘expert’ ho ho.
        I do not think, technically, currencies will be devaluing. Most countries have adopted foolish policies so should Sweden devalue vs UK or the other way?
        As a result of Quantitative easing in many countries, govts have printed lots ie huge amounts of electronic money. When Covid is over, consumer confidence will return as it has already begun in USA, and then people will start spending borrowing etc. The amount of goods is roughly unchanged so there will be masses of money chasing the same amount of goods: inflation. So, inflation will rise. So central banks will raise interest rates to halt the rise.
        Instead of real interest rates at -1% they will become +2%, say. Nominal rates will increase dramatically.
        So, just take as an example, stocks. US equities are on a PE of 30. An earnings yield of 3%. This will rise to 6%. Stock prices will halve.
        Then we will have a recession. Stock prices will fall..
        And then there will be a labour govt in the UK and Biden in the US to steal wealth via tax increases Stock prices will fall further.

  18. Thanks for this analysis Nic. Well worth the time as usual. The insight about 2019 being lower mortality and providing a larger stock of vulnerable people for 2020 is a new insight for me. Pay no attention to Josh’s vague but hostile verbal formulations which lack quantification and insight. Josh develops unhealthy obsessions with his intellectual betters who he then stalks on the internet.

  19. Joe –

    > Josh – seems you fail to notice the drop off which in most areas of the NH started in Dec was near universal and irrespective of the level and/or change in levels of mitigation protocols.

    What I notice is that the drop inany places around the globe seems to be happening oaefekybirreoseficd of the rate of population infection.

    Seems to me that the signal of “seasonality” are rather mixed. For example, why would “seasonality” explain the drop in the US, across so many states, in basically the middle of winter when we wouldn’t expect large-scale behavioral changes as the result of weather (as the weather hasn’t much yet changed)?

    Lots o’ uncertainty still, imo.

    • Heh –

      oops…let’s try that again

      What I notice is that the drop in infection rate many places around the globe seems to be happening almost independently of the rate of population infection (the infection rate is dropping some places where the population infection is low, and even the rate has stayed high in some locations where the population infection rate is high).

    • This is similar to NIc’s earlier mistake of attributing a drop in infection rate to “herd immunity” without having a viable theory of mechanism. He obviously didn’t base his attribution on the specifics of Sweden, such as the rate of household size or number of people at vacation homes in the country or the ease with which people could work from home or the % of immigrants in the population, or the restriction of visits to nursing homes or the policies at nursing homes regarding elderly people who were infected, etc. He just looked at some lines on a screen and worked backwards to reverse engineer an explanatory theory.

      That’s why the number of additional dead from COVID has been some 3 X more than what he predicted months ago – because he wasn’t working from a plausible theory of causal mechanism. That’s why Nic agreed with Willis when Willis looked at some lines on his screen and predicted that 0.085% would be a “hard limit” on population fatality. They looked at their screens, projected lines going forward, and made up a magical theory of causation to explain what they thought they’d see going forward on their screens. What they lacked was a carefully justified theory of causal mechanism.

      So people look at their computer screens and the see a drop at a particular time and they say “Aha, seasonality must be the explanation!” Well, maybe – but what’s the actual theory of causal mechanism? What changed about behaviors in Sweden because of changes in the season, that would cause such a dramatic change in the rate of infection since January?

      Everyone wants to look at correlation and assign causation in a way that matches their favored political ideology.

      • Joshua

        I was intrigued by your comment about computer screens and if there is any industry that could be applied to, it would be the climate industry.

        I thought you would enjoy this;

        “Why are so many professors now advocating lockdowns and restrictions? The psychological explanation lies partly in “the law of the instrument” first expressed by philosopher Abraham Kaplan in his book The Conduct of Inquiry: “I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.”

        Scientist should never have been given the almighty hammer of lockdowns, but now they have been given the hammer, MPs need to stop them pounding.”

        as far as Sweden goes, it is very different to other Nordic countries so in that context has Sweden performed badly, well, or in the middle? I don’t claim to know

        Factors that have arisen here is seasonality of course, and that we generally suffer from lack of Vitamin D. Age of course-by far the biggest factor, especially when combined with co morbidities. Due to improved medical care the UK has far more over 80’s than 20 years ago of whom a good proportion will have a number of severe health problems caused often when they were younger, such as smoking.

        last but not least, it is becoming clear that the overweight and especially the obese die in far greater numbers, by definition very many of these will have some of the illnesses that increase death likelihood, from diabetes to heart disease.

        I agree with you that we need to look at all factors when attributing causation. As with the climate there is a lot we don’t understand with covid..

        Treatments are improving and as the stats emerge the prime causes of covid deaths will emerge. How many factors Sweden will share with its Nordic neighbours I don’t know, but for sure that country is very different to its neighbours and that information won’t come from a computer screen unless it has been factored into the programme

        tonyb

      • Tony,
        Notice how Joshua never addresses the fact that the second wave happened in “locked down” states as well as Sweden?
        The “mistake” with herd immunity was that the immunity seems to be short-lived and/or limited, unlike with other viruses.
        So neither lock-downs nor herd immunity prevented the second waves.
        Covid has done lasting damage to politicized “science.”
        You couldn’t “prevent the spread,” but you could reduce the impact by protecting the elderly and focusing on treatments and vaccines. Unfortunately, Donald Trump said that and Gov. Cuomo intentionally endangered the elderly, so those infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome must deny the obvious to protect their narrative.
        A narrative so thoroughly wrong that they’re literally writing arbitrary exclusions to it- you must “lock down” unless you’re going to a left-wing protest, but not a right-wing protest. You must not gather indoors with strangers unless you’re a Democratic Party politician who wants to have a birthday party at a fancy restaurant. Masks “don’t work” until they “work” and are “mandatory” except here’s the guy who made them mandatory taking selfies without a mask with strangers. The spread in the second wave is obviously happening among young people- those under 30 – in cities who are simply ignoring lockdowns and other “preventive” measures because they can, safely. Look at the demographics of cases. But the young are alleged to be the progressive base so we’re all supposed to pretend the spread is by 50-year-old Trump supporters in woods of North Dakota.
        But the most narrative failure is taking place right now. The CDC – science – says to open the schools. The science tells us that closing schools is doing lasting damage to students. But the teachers’ unions don’t like the science and are massive fundraisers for Democrats, so the “party of science” is ignoring the science and hurting school children, and redefining “reopening schools” to be not reopening schools. All while people get angrier and angrier.

      • jeff

        I posted this just above

        https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/broken-lives-and-a-bleak-future-the-tragic-toll-of-a-years-lockdown-lunacy/

        It is very difficult to see that lockdowns worked nor that masks were effective. The data keeps coming up that infections started to decline before the lockdowns and it seems that the waves have some sort of natural time span.

        That it is being spread by the young and incautious seems to be a fact and that keeping your distance helps.

        Other than that a lot is still unknown other than this is not the plague but scientists and politicians have acted as if it is, with enormous damage to all parts of our society

        tonyb

      • Tony –

        > How many factors Sweden will share with its Nordic neighbours I don’t know, but for sure that country is very different to its neighbours..

        The more relevant point about Sweden w/r/t its neighbors isn’t that it’s identical – but that more like it’s Nordic neighbors than some place like the UK w/r/t factors that are highly predictive of health outcomes such as SES, race/ethnicity, population density and distribution, access to healthcare, ability to work from home, social safety net, people per household, % of immigrants, baseline health (comorbidities like obesity), etc.

        Therefore, to the extent that people want to compare across countries (a process that I think is inherently a breeding pool for confirmation bias), comparing to the other Nordics makes waaaaay more sense (in general) as there’s a kind of natural (but still highly imperfect) control for confounding variables.

        > “I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.”

        I don’t discount that notion as a general concern, but ironically, applying that principle too broadly becomes holding a hammer and thinking everything’s a nail.

        Bottom line for me is that (1) there’s an obvious lock that interventions can reduce spread, (2) reducing spread reduces negative outcomes and, (3) people who broadly claim that they can see “lockdown deaths” inevitably, in my experience, completely fail to account for very fundamental logical flaws in their approach.

        > Factors that have arisen here is seasonality of course, and that we generally suffer from lack of Vitamin D.

        As for Vitamin D, as IMO with much else that I’ve seen from the rightwing cohort related to COVID, I see much of what seems to me to be oversimplification – likely driven by ideological predilection. Anyway, here’s someting you might find interesting:

        https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/covidvitamin-d-much-more-than-you

      • Joshua

        Thanks for the link. Whilst I would not claim Vit D helps to prevent covid it should help to boost your overall immune system and at our latitude and during a long and cloudy winter it would seem best to take a supplement during the winter.

        Mind you quite how you manage to make VitD a right wing political construct I don’t know. You do overcomplicate things sometimes.

        tonyb

      • Tony –

        > Whilst I would not claim Vit D helps to prevent covid it should help to boost your overall immune system and at our latitude and during a long and cloudy winter it would seem best to take a supplement during the winter.

        Well, as for supplements, I take Vitamin D, and I like to hope it would help should I be exposed to or get COVID. That said, I think the jury’s still out.

        Another coupla links.

        https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(15)00509-4/fulltext#sec7

        https://khn.org/news/how-michael-holick-sold-america-on-vitamin-d-and-profited/

      • Joshua

        Thanks for those links. I have never heard of Dr Holick so he has not influenced me. Over here there was a gradual realisation last winter and spring that most peoples health would likely be better if we took vitd which eventually was endorsed by the NHS.

        I think most people hope it will boost their health generally rather than be a miracle cure for covid.

        tonyb

      • Tony:
        “It is very difficult to see that lockdowns worked nor that masks were effective. ”

        Lockdowns and masks were supposed to flatten the curve and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. They never could prevent the spread. Once they accomplished their mission, politicians moved the goal posts and kept the lockdowns. They couldn’t figure out how to wriggle free of their false claim that politicians could prevent the spread.
        That was a media myth created for the purposes of shouting at Trump and the governors of Florida and Georgia- but not New York and California.

    • Some of Nic’s references address differences in the Nordic countries and actually do data analysis, unlike Josh who just does word salads. [11] and [12] are good in providing evidence for the dry tinder explanation. Basically Sweden had very mild flu seasons prior to COVID-19. Other Nordic countries not so much. My earlier article on flu gave some convincing evidence on the Vitamin D effect. It’s a great article.

    • https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29

      Here’s the influenza paper link. I find it very odd that Josh criticizes people for “sitting in front of computer screens” when he spends most of his time doing so. At least Nic and Willis make real contributions.

  20. Josh, Your comment is vague and meaningless aggression and bullying. Willis’s estimate might be off a factor of 2 or 3, but all predictions about this epidemic have been wrong, often by factors of 5 or even 10. No one else is going to even read it for this reason.

    • However Josh have a point here, and in fact somewhat agrees with this contribution from Nic : end of first wave was attributed to herd immunity, but the second wave shows it was wrong, it was not the cause or at least not the single one. Seasonality is one other possible cause, governmental restrictions another, and individual changes in behavior another one. I feel Seasonality is the main one. For the second wave, Seasonality is out, restrictions not but lockdown fatigue is general across Europe so my guess is restrictions (self chosen or imposed) are less a factor than for the first wave. Herd immunity looks like it really is the cause this time… also the decrease pattern is quite different this time, a long tail while it was more abrupt the first time, at least for my country. No predictions are sure, but Nic’s natural herd immunity looks more probable this time… Simply because the other possible causes for the decrease are less probable…

      • Well I think many places did cross a herd immunity threshold this summer. Like with the flu, winter arrived and things changed. But we don’t have any idea what was really behind it any more than we know why flu is so strongly seasonal. The paper I linked argues its Vitamin D deficiency in the winter. But the evidence is not conclusive.

      • I think the restrictions were actually increasing the severity and even spread.

  21. Pingback: The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden: an update |

  22. Pingback: The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden: an update – Watts Up With That?

  23. Pingback: The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden: an update – Climate- Science.press

  24. nobodysknowledge

    There seems to be a clear policy change in Sweeden, Tegnell has lost power and government takes over. They are afraid of the third wave and take new measures, especially to prevent mutations to spread.

  25. It turns out convalescent plasma isn’t working as expected. The same may be true for monoclonal antibodies.

    Mount Sinai Health System in New York said that it will no longer allow doctors to use convalescent blood-plasma to treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients, citing emerging clinical trials data that didn’t show a benefit for patients who received the therapy.

    What does work consistently? Ivermectin!

    • Covid treatments summary, including Ivermectin:

    • The problem with convalescent plasma is that the level of protective antibodies varied significantly from donor to donor.

      What does work are the two therapeutic antibodies that are now fully approved and on the market! They provide a much large quantity of reliable antibodies than convalescent plasma. That is what President Trump’s doctors gave him. Note that they didn’t give him ivermectin OR HCQ.

      (FWIW, If I were to get COVID and not be hospitalized, I’d request outpatient treatment with one of these antibodies. A single IV infusion lasts more that a week, plenty of time for you immune system to get going.)

      Note that convalescent plasma and HCQ were given emergency approval on the basis of observational studies and not random assignment clinical trials. That is the same situation as with ivermectin.

      • The other problem with use of convalescent plasma is that it can amount to carrying out a sort of gain-of-function experiment in a completely bio-insecure hospital setting. This is the leading hypothesis for how the UK B.1.1.7 variant arose, and there have been other similar cases elsewhere.

        The UK government keeps urging people to “protect the NHS” (which is treated by many/most people as sort of a national god), but the reality in some ways is that the people need protecting from the NHS. Apart from its use (for the best of motives, of course) of the convalescent plasma in an unsafe setting, 30-40% of Covid infections here are estimated to be caught in hospital.

      • I would take the cheap but very effective ivermectin.

  26. The paper linked below shows for the first time that the risk of transmission depends significantly on the patient’s viral load. The risk of transmission doubled from 12% to 24% from the lowest viral loads to the highest. Given that viral load may be measured only once during the course of the infector’s illness and probably changes over the course of illness, the relationship between viral load and infectiousness is probably much stronger than this data suggests. (This raises some questions about why children that have high viral loads aren’t believed to be as infectious as adults, but this study didn’t look at children.)

    The same study looked at the effect of coughing and runny nose in the infector on transmissivity and didn’t find a statistically significant effect. The confidence intervals in this case were much wider than for viral load, so it would be unreasonable to conclude that symptoms have NO effect on transmission, but they probably do have a weaker effect.

    FWIW, aerosols are generated by sheer forces in the narrowest passages in the lungs while sprayed droplets may be associated with symptoms. The CDC’s latest recommendation to double mask (with a surgical mask that blocks aerosols and a snug cloth mask to reduce leaks around the edges) make a lot of sense to me, because ordinary cloth masks provide little protection against aerosols.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30985-3/fulltext

    • “The paper linked below shows for the first time that the risk of transmission depends significantly on the patient’s viral load.”

      That is interesting.

      I have wondered if there will be a study about the probability of getting COVID19 and or it’s severity being influenced by having had either the Asian flu in 1957, which I had, or the Hong Kong flu in 1968, which my wife had.

      We have signed up for the vaccine at multiple venues over the internet which are filled up in minutes of posting. Hopefully we will be lucky in March.

      • ceresco

        We were asked if we wanted ours 8 days ago, we said yes and got an appointment locally the next day .We are not in the top 5 vulnerable groups who have now all had the vaccination

        It was all like a very well oiled machine and within 20 minutes of walking in, we were walking out again, including the mandatory 15 minute wait to ensure there were no immediate after effects.

        tonyb

      • Our 2 teacher daughters were in a priority group and got theirs a couple of weeks ago. Our youngest stayed in her car, was in one of multiple lines, drove through the pavilion, stopping only long enough for the shot and observation period, and continued driving out.

        She said it was the most organized thing she ever saw. That is saying a lot since she has been to DisneyWorld several times.

  27. Thanks, Franktoo. I actually downloaded a copy of that paper a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn’t got round to reading it. I’ll do so now.
    IIRC, coughing results in many more virus particles being exhaled, but with a higher average size. So aerosol generation by coughs is a smaller multiple of that from breathing than one might otherwise expect.

  28. That’s quite fun to play with. I shows normalized excess mortality for all european countries, including sweded, overall or per age groups….

    https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps#map-of-z-scores

    • Playing with it, it seems the real outlier in Europe is UK, the only place where you can see something affecting middle-aged people…Something is very wrong in UK apparently…
      Second wave seems milder overall that first, with 2 strong exceptions: UK (again) and Portugal….Apparently Portugal also have a specific problem, maybe the variants with a very small first wave?

      • Yes. The UK had a (likely NHS grown) fast growing variant much earlier than other countries. And there are a high proportion of overweight middle aged people, many with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the UK both failed to effectively protect people in care homes in either wave, and has an extremely high rate of hospital-acquired infections (30%-40% of all infections). And we have a bureaucratic nationalised monopolistic health service. That is good for some things (like rolling out vaccines or carrying out nationwide trials) but bad overall IMO.

        It is also possible that the UK is overzealous in recording deaths as due to Covid-19, as I have read Belgium (which tops recorded Covid deaths per million population) is.

        I know little about Portugal, but I think you are correct that they had a small first wave and now have a more infectious variant around, although I’m not sure that is around at large scale yet.

      • I’m from Belgium, and we’ll aware of our world record 😂 however, looking at the graph, it seems there is nothing special here, considering the popularion density (Belgium, especially the flemish part, is more a big city+suburb than a classic country)… Except an abysmal treatment of the people in the retirement homes, during the first wave. I suspect there is ground for criminal prosecution there, but nothing like that is mentioned in national media… Not surprising, media behavior during covid is abysmal almost everywhere…
        That aside, out of those institutions, belgium looks quite normal for Europe, and excess deaths say the same story.

      • Nic

        I agree with your post. There are three major vectors of infection. The first being care homes where we have deliberately worsened the situation twice, by pushing people from hospitals into care homes , hospitals themselves, where up to 40% of people who entered them catch covid, vulnerable people in their own homes being infected by carers who were not tested or did not have PPE, our own homes, some of the smallest in Europe where virus circulates freely in badly ventilated rooms and which we are told to remain within, when it is far safer being outdoors.

        Combine this with people dying with covid but not of it and the icing on the cake, some of the fattest people in Europe with diabetes and other related illnesses such as heart disease.

        Despite all this, excess deaths , adjusted for population size/age ,were greater in each year prior to 2011 than they were in 2020. This is not the bubonic plague but our govt is treating it as such

        Tonyb

      • greg

        care homes were not protected in the UK and not in Italy. There were also many deaths in Swedish care homes but joshua believes ( I think) that it was because sick people were not transferred to hospital rather than the flow coming the other way.

        I dont know about France. They had as traumatic time with many care home deaths in the 2003 (i Think) heatwave. New measures were put in place to safeguard care home residents and that might have protected them this time round.

        tonyb

  29. https://www.wsj.com/articles/well-have-herd-immunity-by-april-11613669731?mod=hp_opin_pos_1

    It does appear that both cases and deaths are dropping rapidly in the US and if anything there has been a relaxation of the harsher mitigation measures.
    If this is correct and perhaps 55% of the US population has been infected then we can do a rough calculation of the IFR. State population fatality rates range from .256% down to .030%. Neglecting the top 10 and the bottom 10, the range is from .98% to .192%. That gives an IFR range from roughly 0.2% to 0.4%. I believe that in Sweden, the population fatality rate at the moment is 0.13%. That’s to be expected as Sweden is a much healthier country than the US.

    For those who have been throwing spit balls at Ioannidis from the peanut gallery, his guess in March of the IFR was 0.3% which he called a mid range estimate based on the Diamond Princess data. It’s also not inconsistent with the Santa Clara study.

    Joshie’s Lord and Savior Herr Dr. Fauci guessed 1% – 2% I believe. Fauci is increasingly looking like a hack after his comment that Cuomo was a model governor last year and his refusal to comment this year on Cuomo’s performance. Yes, a model of dissembling, bullying, and covering up incompetence. Ferguson’s guess was 0.9% I believe.

    Just noting that Sanakan’s tirades on the subject cited a number of papers that found numbers like 1.4% probably due to serologic studies underestimating the number infected perhaps by a lot.

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      The way I figure it is attack rate USA 60%, Sweden 70%, England 54% ball park.
      IFR based on official figures of deaths for the whole period is therefore US 0.25%, Sweden 0.18%, England 0.35%. Of course this excludes those they murdered in care homes or in LA/NYNY etc.
      Actually, for the UK, we have a huge database of symptomatic cases and even though it has some completely absurd features, it enables one to track infections as distinct from cases/deaths across time. I roughly tied it in to the UK serological testing results also. This suggests that IFR for new cases now is 0.56%. My view is that this is due to some horrible Kent strain and not because it is now August.

  30. Brazil is an interesting case:

    Relatively bad at testing rates.

    10 million identified cases. Wouldn’t be surprising to me if they had a 10 to 1 ratio of identified to un-identified cases. I wouldn’t be surprised if their population infection rate is 50%?

    And yet, their infection rate is yet still high (as is their death rate).

    Time for Nic to stitch together some more explanations.

    • er…. unidentified to identified.

      • Except that in virtually every other country you will get similar IFR’s. Sweden is almost exactly the same as Brazil’s. Case pretty much closed. Ioannidis and other realists were right and second rate scientists like Herr Dr. Fauci and Ferguson were wrong. You need to admit your error and apologize for participating in a smear job. Or perhaps you are following the lead of Cuomo and will just try to move on with the coverup.

      • Lol.

        David, the majority analyses differ from Ioannidis’. The latest best guess from the CDC was 3 X Ioannidis estimate. If you believe Ioannidis’ estimate for the US, you believe that 2/3 of Americans have been infected. In other words, at least double the number of people the CDC has said have been infected.

        There’s no serological evidence that 66% of Americans have been infected. Even in the cohorts with the highest infection rates, such as North Dakota, the rates are only now approaching thst level.

      • North Dakota’s population fatality rate is about 0.2%. If 66% have been infected that gives 0.3%. Studies have been all over the place but it looks like those showing high values were wrong. Serologic studies will get less accurate over time as antibodies fade. Long term immunity is always T cell immunity. Ioannidis was right and alarmists were badly wrong. But because you wear a white hood on the internet you will no doubt continue your imitation of that terrible governor of your home state.

      • OK David –

        So 66% if Americans have been infected. You should let all those people know who predicted a MUCH lower herd immunity threshold.

      • You should update Ioannidis as well; as I recall he thought maybe only a coupla million Americans would get infected. I’d say that 220 million (and counting) is just a tad higher than what he thought.

      • Yeah – he speculated about a “mid-range” guess based on his Diamond Princess extrapolation and 3.3 million infections. That’s how he got to
        speculating about 10,000 deaths.

        Tell me David, do you think he’s learned yet the basic tenet of epidemiology – that you shouldn’t speculate about extrapolating from unrepresentative convenience sampling?

        The funniest part is that he did that wildly off speculating in an article about the dangers of speculating given the uncertainties in the data.

      • Josh you are continuing your Cuomo imitation. Your example of North Dakota shows Ioannidis was right and you were wrong. Trying to drown out the truth with word salads may work in the leftist paradise of New York for a while but it looks like even Cuomo is going to have to face the truth.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        In terms of antibody fade, I did some detailed work based on Zoe symptomatic data and the UK serological population studies. A best fit is fading at 0.5%/day. It is huge. Of course, I do not know whether it will continue to fade like this after (1) year.

    • And if that’s true, you need to apologize for being part of the street mob support for the bullying of our best scientists concerning the IFR. Brazil’s population fatality rate today is 0.12%. Making the IFR roughly 0.24% assuming your 50% infected number. Right in line with the Santa Clara, Miami-Dade and Los Angeles early studies. Likewise for our other resident anonymous squirrels.

      • David –

        If you like using the excess deaths metric, check it out for Brazil.

        Personally, I think it’s a bad metric but that doesn’t change that it is widely thought that Brazil’s reporting in deaths is a significant undercount. Their obvious lack of testing in itself points to a vast undercount.

    • You will notice that in his first rate Cuomo imitation, Josh bobs and weaves and change the subject to avoid admitting that he was wrong and that he behaved in a bullying way.

      On Herd Immunity, we’ve been over this literally scores of times. There is no contradiction. Herd Immunity is NOT a universal constant but varies all over the place depending on population characteristics, the season, behaviors, etc. It is quite possible for Nic to have been right that HIT was achieved during last summer and that it was low at that time. Winter came, vitamin D levels fell by a factor of 2, people behaved differently, it got cold, and HIT went up by a factor of 2 or 3. This is only a contradiction in some simple minded world of sophistry.

  31. UK-Weather Lass

    I wonder if Mr Lewis has any comment to make on those epidemiologists who are suggesting that given prevalence of infection (via positive tests after allowing for false positives) herd/population immunity is or may be very close to being attained. This coupled with the significant levels of vaccination first doses in the UK is surely some good news for the first time in twelve months I would suggest.

    • It is indeed good news. In the US anyway the insanity will continue with St. Fauci saying we might get back to normal by Christmas (that’s insane in my book). The disheartening lesson of all this is that “epidemiology” is barely a science at all with little predictive power and dominated by crude mechanistic narratives that often lack rigorous quantification. The way the West responded to this disease will be looked back on as an instance of mass insanity. Coupled with the insanity of intersectionality taking over our main institutions, the corruption of the media, and the replication crisis make 2020 the worst year in a long time.

      • I see a lot of jacket turning here in europe, even if it’s slow and there is still plenty of alarmists saying we need to double down on the measures, that an xth wave is coming or that we need to stay confined until 70+% of the population is vaccinated.

        Personally i hope jacket turning remains slow and that alarmists maintain the pressure and keep locking down society until the is enough outrage for a proper accounting, and plenty of heads falling. Only that would help reverting the attacks on liberties and the progress of state control. A quiet relaxation of (some) measures will not ensure this, on the contrary, state will claim victory and economic recession will further help transition to full control…
        I guess we will see quickly which side it will fall, spring should tell…

    • It is difficult to be sure whether herd immunity for all seasons is close to being achieved in the UK, given confounding factors like the introduction of a faster growing variant, seasonal changes and changes in behaviour (whether due to legal restrictions or otherwise). But it could well be, with vaccinations adding to naturally acquired immunity.

      Certainly, rapidly increasing vaccination coverage is good news, although the reluctance of the government to remove repressive measures other than extremely slowly is bad news.

      • UK-Weather Lass

        Thank you for your response, Mr Lewis.

        I have assumed the epidemiologists accept that SARS-CoV-2 will remain in circulation in a population for a long time and will reappear at times seasonally and otherwise, as its ancestors have done. This will happen among all age groups either in original or variant form for the foreseeable future both ensuring continued herd immunity and the need to protect the more vulnerable via vaccination or whatever other measure can be tolerably encouraged.

        What irks me about the official line is the apparent lack of reliable evidence based knowledge created by e.g. poor testing regimes. This then introduces dubious concepts like the emphasis placed upon asymptomatic infections when it would seem unlikely that an infection so mild as to not inconvenience the infected party could produce a viral load sufficient to infect someone else. I sincerely hope that people like you have a significant say in how things need to be more carefully organised and supervised in general public health for the future in the UK. IMO we really had a mountain to climb in the UK because we had taken our eyes of the PH knowledge base since the 2012 decimation of the older and wiser operation. That is why I believe we panicked over events in China and Italy.

  32. Shyam JB Mehta

    I am a mathematician from Cambridge Uni and have been of course following Covid. I write to a circle of friends about my findings.
    Here is my latest:
    Herd Immunity

    LockdownSceptics.org reminded me today
    “In December, Professor Neil Ferguson (of Imperial College) admitted to the Times the critical role of Italy in bringing lockdowns to the West:
    [China] is a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought… and then Italy did it. And we realised we could.”
    This is what academia is like nowadays. Ferguson of course has a long history of being associated with China.

    So why is it that cases and deaths etc are falling so rapidly in for example India (cases: 7.3 fold decline), USA (3.5 fold),
    Sweden (2.3 fold) and the UK (5.3 fold)? Of course it may not be a linear decline, there are other factors from time to time.
    Bear in mind that because of a large % of false positives we should not anymore see much decline, at least in some countries.
    Is it because of lockdowns? R in the UK pre lockdown was 0.81, afterwards it was also 0.81.
    Is it because of vaccines? No. The UK vaccine programme did not begin until 4 Jan.
    I picked these countries because they are the only ones that do serological testing and show, respectively that 20%, 27%, 40% and 19% of
    people have had Covid (a while ago). It does not sound very high. In reality it is:
    1. The tests measure antibodies and these wane with time, at a rapid rate of about 0.5%/day. So, the UK govt figure of 19% is actually
    33% of the population having had Covid as of today.
    2. Scientists have found that only 60% of patients develop antibodies (see below. Both studies if you allow for antibody wane give exactly
    the same result). So, for the UK, 33%/0.6 = 54% have had Covid. This figure of course implies that a very large % of cases are
    asymptomatic.
    3. In addition, a large % of the population are naturally immune from getting Covid. Studies show that this could be between 20% and 50% of
    the population. 20% is a more realistic figure. So, for the UK, up to 75% of the population are immune, ignoring additional numbers from
    the vaccines. Of course, I am not saying that 75% is a hard number. It could be a bit less. It is ‘ball’ park.
    We have reached ‘herd immunity’, the % of the population immune such that the epidemic will not spread.
    4. For technical reasons, herd immunity might be (not is) much lower than people think (eg see https://judithcurry.com/2020/05/10/why-herd-immunity-to-covid-19-is-reached-much-earlier-than-thought/)
    5. So, in all the 4 countries for which data is available, herd immunity has been more or less reached. This means that R is low, since
    the more people who are unable to be infected the lower the chance of infecting someone.
    6. For example, for the UK, weekly deaths on 20 Jan in England were 1135/day. With R being continuing at 0.8, with no vaccination programme,
    they would have automatically reduced to below 70 by 8 April. The vaccination programme in the UK has advanced the date by 2 or 3 weeks.
    7. India and developing countries do not need vaccines, it is a complete myth.
    8. Horrible variants etc. do not need to be worried about, they have already happened and their possibly higher
    transmission rate may be overstated by a factor of 2 (https://judithcurry.com/2020/12/29/the-relative-infectivity-of-the-new-uk-variant-of-sars-cov-2/)
    9. This means, in reality, that you do not really need to take the vaccine, bearing in mind its long term side effects and bearing in mind
    that it is largely untested. In the UK, some 800,000 people over the next few months are likely to get Covid, the vast majority with no
    symptoms. This figure reduces rapidly, at the rate of 24%/week or more. So, in 1 week it will be 600,000 people. On 22 March it will be
    180,000 people. On 21 April it will be 60,000…Your chance of getting Covid is rather low. I should state that a few weeks ago, I had calculated the odds at higher than these
    numbers and being 68, did in fact take the vaccine.
    10. If you do decide to take the vaccine, I cannot see any reason to take two jabs. As far as I am aware, two jabs are
    not needed for protection, one suffices. Obviously, scientists do not know how long you get protection if you get Covid or take a vaccine. Therefore,
    the herd immunity point we have reached may decline. But, even if that were the case, the greatest likelihood is that the govt would
    still be vaccinating people and so you would not need to take a vaccine nor worry.

    Vaccination programme

    A friend said “Still, 7 weeks have passed since 4/1, thus we should see some effect of vaccination.” and I replied
    “Of course you are right. Allowing for lags, 6.9% of the population have been injected. So,
    1. Yes it is true that the mortality rate has declined, by 13%
    2. Yes it is true that 2% or 3% more are immune (6% less the % already immune)
    3. However, the R rate has not changed.”

    Tests do not pick up all infections

    Some people have TCells, but not antibodies. So, even if you do get infected, in 40% of cases the tests may not pick it up because you do not produce or produce enough antibodies.
    “The scientists from MedUni Vienna’s Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research discovered that only around 60% of
    patients who have had COVID-19 and recovered from it develop protective antibodies”
    Or, some people have TCells, but not antibodies. So, even if you do get infected, in (50)% of cases the tests may not pick it up
    because you do not produce antibodies.
    See https://innovationorigins.com/proven-not-everyone-infected-with-covid-19-produces-antibodies/
    “We were surprised that half of the infected people who had been diagnosed with the virus 6 weeks earlier, did not have antibody
    titers (titer = quantity of certain antibodies in the blood; ed.), even though we looked for them in six different tests,”
    Prof. Pletz notes. “This surprising result raises a lot of new questions. It is evident that even with a negative antibody test,
    it can’t really be ruled out that a COVID infection has happened before.”
    Or https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/antibody-tests-may-miss-people-had-mild-symptoms-coronavirus/
    Of the 903 people who tested positive for antibodies on one test, 47 per cent reported a loss of their sense of taste or smell.
    But among those whose test results fell just below the threshold for a positive antibody result, meaning that they would currently
    be classed as not having had the virus, 30 per cent also reported a loss of sense of taste or smell.
    “Professor Will Irving, a virologist at the University of Nottingham who was not involved in the study, said:
    “It is very difficult, in fact impossible, to know to what extent we are underreporting positives. But we are missing some patients,
    and what is shown in this paper is that one particular reason for this is that the cut-off is set too high.”

    • Shyam –

      > We have reached ‘herd immunity’, the % of the population immune such that the epidemic will not spread.

      Coming to such certain conclusions seems highly unsupported to me – particularly if you then consider yourself in a position to opine on whether other people should be getting vaccinated.

      Consider Denmark versus Brazil. Has Denmark not reached “herd immunity” with a considerably lower per capita rate of infection, whereas Brazil with a higher per capita rate seeing a “herd immunity” impacdt?

      Denmark has done far, far more testing per capita and yet has identified considerably fewer cases per capita. The implication being that the population infection rate in Brazil is much, much higher than in Denmark. Yet, the case rate in Denmark has dropped like a stone. And in Brazil? The case rate has dropped a bit lately but not nearly to the extent it did in Denmark and of course, it remains much, much higher in comparison (given that the baseline rate was much higher at it’s peak than in Denmark).

      Is it because there’s a more infectious variant in Brail? Seems to it that could be the case (even if Denmak has identified one of the more infectious variants). I certainly am not in a position to judge. Yet you apparently think yourself to be in such a position, and you have dismissed the effect of the variants.

      Obviously, to the extent that there’s a seasonal effect, it would likely be quite different in Brazil and Denmark (although, I don’t see why there would be (1) a seasonal effect in Denmark since mid-December when the drop started, given that there hasn’t really been a seasonal change in association with the dramatic change in case rates or (2) a seasonal explanation for the case rate trend in Brazil – although I would imagine given the range of climate in such a large country you’d need to do an actual sensitivity analysis to have much of a good take on that (e.g., the more humid rainy season might suggest a drop even as maybe people are spending more time indoors if it’s raining more).

      I would imagine that the influence of behaviors could be very different in Denmark and Brazil, respectively.

      Yet you mention absolutely nothing about the effect of behaviors as predictive.

      I find it quite notable, given how much uncertainty there is about all the different potential influences, people reach such levels of uncertainty about the causal mechanisms behind the trajectory of the virus.

    • Shyam –

      > We have reached ‘herd immunity’, the % of the population immune such that the epidemic will not spread.

      Coming to such certain conclusions seems highly unsupported to me – particularly if you then consider yourself in a position to opine on whether other people should be getting vaccinated.

      Consider Denmark versus Brazil. Has Denmark not reached “herd immunity” with a considerably lower per capita rate of infection, whereas Brazil with a higher per capita rate seeing a “herd immunity” impacdt?

      Denmark has done far, far more testing per capita and yet has identified considerably fewer cases per capita. The implication being that the population infection rate in Brazil is much, much higher than in Denmark. Yet, the case rate in Denmark has dropped like a stone. And in Brazil? The case rate has dropped a bit lately but not nearly to the extent it did in Denmark and of course, it remains much, much higher in comparison (given that the baseline rate was much higher at it’s peak than in Denmark).

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Thank you.
        I did an analysis of case numbers, new infections (from the Zoe data set) and tests in the UK. The false positive rate is massive. The more testing one does the more ‘cases’ one finds. Roughly, in the UK, the false positivity rate seems to be about 1.5%. For 1000 tests, there are 15 false positive cases implied. In the UK, I think they send the tests to Ireland and people are overwhelmed and there is lots of contamination of results. I have not looked at Denmark other than to note they do masses of testing and it seems false positives are lower.
        Btw, about R. The best data set I think, but out of date, is Zoe. It is based on a huge number of symptomatic cases. R for new infections on 4/1/21 was 0.81. R on 13/1/21 was 0.81. But since then it has declined to 0.78 as at 18/1/21. My best estimate is that it is now declining at 0.012/week. Regression results suggest that a best estimate for R for new infections on 21/2/21 is 0.73. But, of course there is considerable uncertainty about that.

      • > The false positive rate is massive.

        All over the world, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths track rather well with case ascertainment from PCR tests (in the US, from around August up to maybe a month ago, there was a reasonably consistent ratio where between @1.4-1.6% of positive tests turned into deaths some @4 weeks or so later.

        > I have not looked at Denmark other than to note they do masses of testing and it seems false positives are lower.

        Well, it’s pretty much inevitable that false positives will be lower where the base rate of true cases is lower (if nothing else because of greater probability of contamination, all else being equal).

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Well, I set out the logic of why herd immunity had probably been/nearly been reached in UK, India, USA and Sweden: the serological
        numbers are there, antibodies wane, tests only record 60% of infections and natural immunity. If you disagree with any of these
        please let me know. It is not just me but (1000) others who say that herd immunity happens when a large % of the population are immune.
        In my opinion, vaccination has such harmful long term effects, and not being tested, it is appropriate to give an opinion as in a ‘free’
        (sick joke) country one can.

        “deaths track rather well with case ascertainment from PCR tests”. I have not looked all over the world. I have looked at the UK.
        In the UK, SAGE wants cases to decline to 1000/day when tests are at 500,000/day. From the data set, I believe false positives
        in the UK are at 1.5% ie. 7,500/day. We will never get to 1000/day.
        About Denmark, I believe you are agreeing with me that they do lots of tests and are probably agreeing with me that I have no idea
        why this does not result in lots of cases. Maybe they do testing better in the USA, Denmark and all over the world?

      • > In New South Wales, the state that I live in, we conduct more than 115,000 tests every week with <40 positive results. Even if every one of those were a false positive, the false positive rate would still be less than a fraction of 0.1%.

        https://gidmk.medium.com/most-positive-coronavirus-tests-are-true-positives-60c95fe54fec

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        I am so sorry you live in a fascist state. We in the UK are not a million miles away from that too.
        They probably kill the lab staff in NSW if they do a bad job. Here they get paid a fortune for churning out rubbish.

      • BTW – IIRC they retest those positives and they invariably turn out to be true cases.

      • Shyam –

        Lol. I gave you the link. I don’t live in a “fascist state.”. It so happens I live in the US. And if you think that Australia is a “fascist state”…well, you’re entitled to your opinion but I will say it’s a bit extreme.

        Regardless, it’s information w/r/t the rate of “false positives” with the PCR test. Now of course, part of the reason their “false positive” rate is so low is because their base rate is so low.
        Anywhere with a higher base rate is bound to have more false positives due to a greater risk for contamination. But still, all this shrill wailing about “false positives” looks much more like political rhetoric than anything scientific.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Sorry, I thought you said you lived in NSW. In my opinion obviously a socialist/fascist state. Eg, ruler X says ‘wear mask’ or you go to jail. USA, some states are some are not.
        I have no idea about stats in NSW. I live in the UK. In the UK not a political statement, just looking at the data, it is likely that the false positive in practice is about 1.5%. Already we see the R rate from cases quite a bit higher than the true rate, 0.84 (less than 1 probably because tests have declined) compared with 0.78. Cases in my view are stopping their decline because tests are not falling any more.

      • Shyam –

        > In my opinion obviously a socialist/fascist state.

        Yah. New South Wales and N*azi Germany = same, same but different (I mean after all, their uniforms aren’t the same colors).

        > Eg, ruler X says ‘wear mask’ or you go to jail. USA, some states are some are not.

        Would you mind telling me which states it is where “the ruler[s]” are telling people to wear masks or they go to jail? I haven’t yet heard about those “rulers.”

    • Is it because there’s a more infectious variant in Brail? Seems to it that could be the case (even if Denmak has identified one of the more infectious variants). I certainly am not in a position to judge. Yet you apparently think yourself to be in such a position, and you have dismissed the effect of the variants.

      Obviously, to the extent that there’s a seasonal effect, it would likely be quite different in Brazil and Denmark (although, I don’t see why there would be (1) a seasonal effect in Denmark since mid-December when the drop started, given that there hasn’t really been a seasonal change in association with the dramatic change in case rates or (2) a seasonal explanation for the case rate trend in Brazil – although I would imagine given the range of climate in such a large country you’d need to do an actual sensitivity analysis to have much of a good take on that (e.g., the more humid rainy season might suggest a drop even as maybe people are spending more time indoors if it’s raining more).

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        About Brazil. I had a look at the data just now and it seems that R is about 1. I expect, but do not know, that the new variant is more transmissible so they have not yet reached herd immunity or maybe they do not accurately record deaths. No idea.
        About Denmark, I believe they have had fairly strict lockdown policies so that they will not have reached herd immunity: in the absence of vaccines delaying deaths. There are so many tests that the cases numbers are likely to be meaningless because of false positives. As to why deaths increased to 30/day and then now 6/day, no idea. In the UK it would be something like doctors deciding to treat patients but I suspect it is different in Denmark.

      • > About Brazil. I had a look at the data just now and it seems that R is about 1. I expect, but do not know, that the new variant is more transmissible so they have not yet reached herd immunity or maybe they do not accurately record deaths.

        It seems pretty clear that they don’t accurately record deaths (from COVID): There’s a lot of reporting that they don’t, and anyway, how could they when their testing is so poor? And given that their testing is so poor, i don’t see why you think there’s much value in speculation based on R number.

        At any rate – evidence points to Brazil having a relatively very high population infection % – considerably higher compared to other localities where people look at dropping infection rates and attribute them to population infection % – even as it’s case detection rate is quite high despite poor testing (poor case ascertainment). Tharlt should be explained, imo, and in context specific ways, by people who are making confident speculations about the dynamics of COVID herd immunity.

        Seems to me that without a plausible *AND CONTEXT SPECIFIC* explanation of a mechanism of cauality that predicts and holds true across the significantly different ratios of population infection % to trends in rate of infection in different countries, speculating about “herd immunity” is weakly supported – and reverse engineering that in almost every case is predicted by alignment with political predelictions, should be viewed with skepticism.

        We’ve seen many times as the pandemic has unfolded, people’s confidence in that sort of reverse engineering has proven misplaced. And we’ve also seen that people have been inclined towards CYA when events didn’t unfold in ways that were consistent with their predictions.

        But I’m not a mathematician, and I’ve never even visited Oxford let alone obtained a degree from there, so what do I know? .

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        I almost give up on Brazil. Never been there. Not much idea about it. Ditto Denmark. Just an informed guess really that 75% of the population of Denmark have not been infected, not immune, but that with Brazil maybe there is less stopping the spread. If India is probably at herd immunity, why not Brazil unless it is new variant pushing up the R and the herd immunity level? With Denmark, at least I have an explanation why R from deaths is low: doctors no longer kill (20) people /day. I am pretty sure that Danes used to kill lots of Brits a while back but fewer now. So it is all consistent.

    • I would imagine that the influence of behaviors could be very different in Denmark and Brazil, respectively.

      Yet you mention absolutely nothing about the effect of behaviors as predictive.

      I find it quite notable, given how much uncertainty there is about all the different potential influences, people reach such levels of uncertainty about the causal mechanisms behind the trajectory of the virus.

      • heh – I think it’s notable that people reach such levels of *certainty*, that is…

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Well, about Denmark and Brazil, as I see it people are people. They are averse to death, long covid in both countries. The behaviour of the epidemic leave all the nonsense from Imperial by an epidemc rapidly growing
        roughly at rate R. R is an observable, it can be measured how fast the epidemic is growing. And of course if people do not hold hands it grows less rapidly. So, maybe people in Denmark cut back on holding hands 55% and in Brazil 20%, or whatever. The result is the measured R from which you can make predictions.
        Of course there are factors like seasonality, new variants to take into account also.

    • Good stuff. I was also a Cambridge Uni mathematician, BTW.

      You say that R hasn’t changed yet. One wouldn’t expect vaccination in the UK to have had much effect on the reproduction rate yet, because the vast bulk of people vaccinated up to the end of January were pretty old and play a lesser role in transmission. However, the REACT-1 study of prevalence in the community estimates that while sampling data in rounds 8 (6-22 January) and 9 (4-13 February) imply an R value of 0.80, when estimating just using the later (16-22 January) data in the case of round 8, the implied R value is 0.72. So that does point to a reduction in R over the last 6 weeks.

      Also, re the higher transmission rate of the UK B.1.1.7 new variant, Public Health England has cut their best estiamte of its growth rate advantage to 33%, under half the 70% that had been estimated by some other organisations advising the UK government. And as that variant is now almost totally dominant in the UK, it should have no further effect on changes in R.

  33. Shyam JB Mehta

    By the way, about commenting on whether or not one should take a vaccine.
    Everybody and his dog comments. The UK NHS. BoJo. Whitty… The WHO. Bill Gates…In the UK it is huge advertising at taxpayer’s expense.

  34. Just saw this. If preliminary studies are correct, half of all infections do not produce an antibody response and are missed by seroprevalence studies.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3364

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      Yes, see also the following excerpt from my note:
      Some people have TCells, but not antibodies. So, even if you do get infected, in 40% of cases the tests may not pick it up because you do not produce or produce enough antibodies.
      “The scientists from MedUni Vienna’s Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research discovered that only around 60% of
      patients who have had COVID-19 and recovered from it develop protective antibodies”
      Or, some people have TCells, but not antibodies. So, even if you do get infected, in (50)% of cases the tests may not pick it up
      because you do not produce antibodies.
      See https://innovationorigins.com/proven-not-everyone-infected-with-covid-19-produces-antibodies/
      “We were surprised that half of the infected people who had been diagnosed with the virus 6 weeks earlier, did not have antibody
      titers (titer = quantity of certain antibodies in the blood; ed.), even though we looked for them in six different tests,”
      Prof. Pletz notes. “This surprising result raises a lot of new questions. It is evident that even with a negative antibody test,
      it can’t really be ruled out that a COVID infection has happened before.”
      Or https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/antibody-tests-may-miss-people-had-mild-symptoms-coronavirus/
      Of the 903 people who tested positive for antibodies on one test, 47 per cent reported a loss of their sense of taste or smell.
      But among those whose test results fell just below the threshold for a positive antibody result, meaning that they would currently
      be classed as not having had the virus, 30 per cent also reported a loss of sense of taste or smell.
      “Professor Will Irving, a virologist at the University of Nottingham who was not involved in the study, said:
      “It is very difficult, in fact impossible, to know to what extent we are underreporting positives. But we are missing some patients,
      and what is shown in this paper is that one particular reason for this is that the cut-off is set too high.”

      • Shyam –

        You might consider whether you’re running a just a tad ahead of the evidence regarding T-cells, especially with respect to whether they confer immunity to infection (or just help prevent severe disease). I surely hope you’re correct, but given the fast-developing nature of COVID research you might want to wait for more confirmation of your beliefs before you start recommending people not get vaccinated.

        Here’s something recent on the topic of T-cells and variants.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00367-7

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Possibly you are unaware that Johnson, WHO, Whitty, the NHS..ARE recommending you take vaccines. AND they use taxpayer’s money to promote their views…
        About the Nature article, thank you. I had a quick look, I do not think it is contradicting the other research that I referred to.

  35. It’s great news of course that Sweden has reached herd immunity (again!).

    I’m sure reaching herd immunity is compatible with the static or slightly rising caseload across Sweden for the last month or so. People who would expect cases to fall once herd immunity is reached doubtless lack the mathematical skills necessary.

    And the colleague I spoke to in Gothenburg this morning who tells me schools have been closed to try and contain the epidemic? I expect she’s mistaken in some way.

    This herd immunity concept sure is useful in public health.

    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data-explorer?yScale=log&zoomToSelection=true&time=2021-01-04..latest&country=~SWE&region=World&casesMetric=true&interval=smoothed&perCapita=true&smoothing=7&pickerMetric=location&pickerSort=asc

    • “People who would expect cases to fall once herd immunity is reached doubtless lack the mathematical skills necessary. ”
      No doubt you are attempting sarcasm with this statement, but in fact it is a reasonable assertion. Caseload (whether infected case count or hospital loading) does not start to fall until some time after HIT is reached. This can be long after HIT depending on entry/exit controls for “cases”.

      However, even more curious is where your colleague from Gothenburg is getting her information. The data from the Swedish Public Health Authority show a three-fold reduction in daily confirmed cases and a tenfold reduction in daily deaths, both relative to peaks around the end of last year. ICU bed usage has fallen from a peak of 387 to 205. Recent deaths are averaging less than 10 per day.

      https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/09f821667ce64bf7be6f9f87457ed9aa/page/page_0/

      https://www.covid19insweden.com/en/healthcare.html#intensive_care

      • I wonder where kribaez gets his info on the voting machine election fraud.

        I wonder if it’s the same place where Sydney Powell and Lin Wood got theirs.

        Anyway, seems a bit early to me to be assuring Swedes that they’ve reached “herd immunity” (especially if you also told them they’d reached it some 8 months ago). Their rate of case identification certainly seems to have dropoed from its peak, (even if it still seems considerably higher than it was at the peak of the first wave), but I wonder if the following is relevant to the disagreement between my friends here?

        > with the static or slightly rising caseload across Sweden for the last month or so.

        >> both relative to peaks around the end of last year.

        Hmmm. I wonder if the fact that the end of last year was more than a month ago is relevant here.

      • Kribaez, we should give them a break. Case counts and hospitalization counts are dropping like a stone everywhere.

        It’s a difficult time to be an alarmist whose grand policy ideas don’t work and whose reason to be a control freak is rapidly disappearing.

        Which reminds me of some other interesting recent news. Here’s the Paris Accord in action: in 2020 alone, China added three times more coal-fired power plants than the rest of the entire world combined. That was in line with the global action plan written by people who claim to be terrified of CO2 (depending on where it’s emitted, of course). They added enough coal-fired electricity generation in 2020 to power all of California.
        https://www.voanews.com/science-health/study-chinas-new-coal-power-plant-capacity-2020-more-3-times-rest-worlds

        But those CO2 molecules don’t count, and couldn’t have happened anyway given that renewables are “less expensive” than fossil fuels and all the media are all-in on “reporting” that China is “the world leader in renewable energy.” And everyone knows that the mighty Obama achieved an “historic agreement” with China- an actual (non-binding) promise from a communist leader. A promise – well, a solid “maybe” anyway – to behave in 20 or 30 years.

      • “I wonder where kribaez gets his info on the voting machine election fraud.”
        How very strange. I have written only one post that touched on voting machine election fraud, and that was to draw attention to the important and highly relevant history of the dismantling of democracy in Venezuela from 2003 to 2006. I had a front-row seat for the events in Venezuela as they unfolded, since I lived and worked there on and off for the greater part of the period between 1994 and 2008. Aun hablo castellano con acento venezolano. A more relevant question is “I wonder why Joshua insists on equating a short objective history of Venezuela to a 2020 election conspiracy theory as though knowledge of the first implies belief in the second?”
        Examine your own ideation and pues ya basta con la pura paja.

      • Yeah. Just an innocent description of Venezuela. Any suggestion of drawing parallels with the US are just completely unfounded!

        > Of course, nothing like this could ever happen in the USA. Inability to audit the vote counts against registration? Denial of access to observers? Irregular closure and reopening of vote counts? Direct electronic reassignment of vote? Most people in Venezuela in 1998 could not believe that any of this could happen either.

        How very strange (said while pearl clutching from my fainting couch)…

      • “Any suggestion of drawing parallels with the US are just completely unfounded!”
        Say wha? Of course there are parallels and common elements. Look up what “highly relevant” means. This is the last muddy footprint that I will leave on Nic’s post.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        I cannot exactly (i.e. at all) respond to your question. But about 2 weeks ago I looked at R for various countries, based on cases, on hospital admissions and ICU admissions. Of course there are lots of ifs and buts and ball parks, but
        The following table illustrates how Covid is ending right across the world:
        Location R Herd immunity near?
        Australia 0.92
        Austria 0.94 Yes
        Belgium 1.01 Yes
        Brazil 0.94 Yes
        Canada 0.85
        Croatia 0.84 Yes
        Czechia 0.96 Yes
        Denmark 0.76
        Egypt 0.86
        Finland 1.00
        France 1.07 Yes
        Germany 0.76
        Greece 1.36
        India 0.93
        Ireland 0.88 Yes
        Israel 0.94 Yes
        Italy 0.82 Yes
        Japan 0.70
        Luxembourg 1.13 Yes
        Netherlands 0.93 Yes
        New Zealand 0.77
        Norway 0.83
        Pakistan 0.85
        Poland 0.75 Yes
        Portugal 0.80 Yes
        Slovakia 1.04 Yes
        South Africa 0.58 Yes
        Spain 0.61 Yes
        Sweden 0.88 Yes
        Switzerland 0.89 Yes
        United Kingdom 0.80 Yes
        United States 0.89 Yes
        World 0.89
        Some of the “Yes’s” are a bit on the hopeful side I suppose. It was mainly the R’s that I was looking at. And then Sweden spoiled my analysis.

    • Herd immunity is flexible so populations can reach it again and again and experience the relief that the epidemic is over and restrictions can be relaxed.

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      I have not looked at your data reference, and also not checked with detailed modelling. But, suppose Sweden is impacted by a (Taiwanese) new variant.
      Suppose before that its’ attack rate is 60% or whatever and they are having 1%/day true new infections with R = 0.9. (No idea of the actual numbers). Then Taiwanese come along and bump up new infections to 1.01%/day as of (2) months ago. And the .01% increases at R = 1.3 or whatever (you can see I am not so good at arithmetic). Then 2 months later Taiwan has taken over Sweden and it is at 70% attack rate, R = 1, new infections still 1% (the old strain having died off) and Sweden is back near HIT with a different HIT.
      In my opinion something like this happened in the UK, but a few months ago, before Kent, the UK was not near HIT.

  36. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #444 – Climate- Science.press

  37. Shyam JB Mehta

    Serological testing in Sweden shows that 40% have had Covid. Given antibody wane that figure should be increased to 50% or more. Since only 60% of infections develop antibodies, possibly 80% of the population of Sweden have been infected.

    • And yet cases in Sweden are rising, even with restrictions in place. What a mystery!

      • In all fairness, it’s not unreasonable that what they’re seeing is “overshoot.”

        Or it could just be that Sweden got into a time machine and dialed back to 8 months ago so they could experience the thrill of reaching “herd immunity” once again – as James suggests above.

      • Denmark is an interesting comparison to Sweden.

        @ 5 X the per capita testing rate in Denmark compared to Sweden, with a cumulative identified cases per capital rate that’s maybe @60% that of Sweden – so I’d say it’s safe to say that population infection % rate is much higher in Sweden than Denmark. At least 40% higher but probably much higher than that, actually.

        That might lead armchair epidemiologists, including those with degrees from Oxford uni, ton conclude that Sweden is much further along towards establishing “herd immunity.”

        Yet, it looks like the current infection identification rate is about 3 X higher in Sweden than in Denmark. Hmmm. Why would their case identification rate be so much higher even if they test less and have a much higher population infection %?

        I means it’s possible that the difference is because of behavioral differences, but the architect of Sweden’s pandemic policies has said that the behavioral changes in Sweden are roughly similar to those of their Nordic neighbors. And I’m sure that we’ve all read that in Sweden they’ve started to do things like close more schools and the like. So I tend to wonder if more government interventions is the reason for slower spread in Denmark (not to mention that we’ve been told over and over by really smart people that government interventions don’t actually slow the spread of the virus).

        Again, it’s it weird that the % of the population infected is prolly much higher in Sweden and yet so is their rate of case identification much higher, even as their rate of testing is much lower?

        And don’t forget, apparently they’ve discovered some of the more infectious variants in Denmark – I’m not sure about Sweden…

        Sure wish I had a degree in math from such a good uni, if I did it would sure help me to come up with some mathematical explanations for those apparent contrasts.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Yes, I agree with you, I sure wish you had a degree in maths from a good uni. Sorry to be impolite.

      • Of course, I should put in the caveat that comparing across countries is highly problematic due to potentially confounding variables, even countries that are somewhat similar like Denmark and Sweden.

        Good thing that no one is making comparisons between Sweden and countries that are far more dissimilar, such as the UK. “Cause that would be really bad.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Cases in Sweden have fallen by a factor of 2.3 times in the last few weeks.
        Maybe there is a new Taiwanese strain in the last 2 days which has bumped up cases?

      • > Sorry to be impolite.

        No worries. I don’t expect politeness.

        > Cases in Sweden have fallen by a factor of 2.3 times in the last few weeks.

        In Denmark they’ve fallen by a factor of 7 since the end of December.

        And that’s with a much lower % of their population infected, and possibly less of a change in behaviors over that time period, and with the identification of a more infectious variant.

        Once again, a much higher % of the population infected in Sweden, a significantly lower rate of testing, a less steep drop in case identification, and a significantly higher rate of case identification recently.

        How does that fit with your Oxford uni degree maths?

        Maybe ’cause Denmark is more fascistic?

      • I must ask if any of you can put down the keyboard long enough to read Nic’s post. He has 2 references that are persuasive that the dry tinder effect explains why Sweden had a much higher excess deaths in 2020. If indeed their seropositivity is 40% then they are close to herd immunity. Denmark may or may not be.

      • Shayam –

        > Cases in Sweden have fallen by a factor of 2.3 times in the last few weeks.

        Actually, in the last few weeks cases in Sweden have increased by some 25%, even if they are down quite a bit since the end of last year (while still much higher than the peak of the first wave).

    • Thank you for the substantive comment, dpy.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Many thanks. Today I looked into the fascinating subject of UK R. A few days ago I thought it was static. Then a couple of days ago I thought it was declining. Today I 50% changed my mind and think it might be rising. Hospital admissions suggest it might head up, eg 0.83. Actually last 5 days they have been at 0.86. Basically I will possibly determine a final answer sometime.
        I also wrote a piece for some friends on lockdown. If you do not want to read it…
        “A couple of people have asked me about my comments as to lockdowns not working.
        With good wishes
        Shyam

        Do lockdowns work in practice?

        “Which lockdowns don’t work? Taiwan as I remember had strict lockdowns that worked. UK lockdown meant pubs close at 8pm or
        something.”

        1. China. 18 months on. People still shut in their apts with doors welded, and jumping out of windows.
        2. Australia. They never did get cases down to near zero, one year later at 4/day. Which implies infections at say
        40/day. If you remember your history, these are ex cons from England so it does not matter, they should be locked up anyways.
        3. New Zealand. After about 2 months they got cases (not new infections presumably) down to zero. Then they increased to 11/day, now
        3/day. If, as they did, start off with a maximum of only 74 cases/day, it does not take too long to get them down to less than 1.
        4. Taiwan. After 2 months, they got cases down to near zero. Has it worked in Taiwan? They are now getting 0.7 new cases/day.
        Which probably means (5) new infections/day. What happens if one day soon they want to open their borders to let China conquer them? Then they would have 10000000 new infections/day.
        5. UK. It is truly strict. I have to wear a mask if I go on a bus. Of course, no one checks up on whether I do or not.

        About lockdowns not working, the evidence:

        1. https://mises.org/wire/evidence-keeps-piling-lockdowns-dont-work
        2. I will not give all the quotes in the Mises article, from the Lancet and other references it gives, but eg
        “The five places with the harshest lockdowns—the District of Columbia, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts—had the heaviest caseloads.”
        “Luskin searched for a clear correlation between lockdowns and better health outcomes in relation to covid-19. He found none.”
        “there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities.”…
        3. The NBER study (www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w27719/w27719.pdf) it refers to says
        “First: across all
        countries and U.S. states that we study, the growth rates of daily deaths from COVID-19 fell from a
        wide range of initially high levels to levels close to zero within 20-30 days after each region
        experienced 25 cumulative deaths. Second: after this initial period, growth rates of daily deaths have
        hovered around zero or below everywhere in the world. Third: the cross section standard deviation of
        growth rates of daily deaths across locations fell very rapidly in the first 10 days of the epidemic and
        has remained at a relatively low level since then. Fourth: when interpreted through a range of
        epidemiological models, these first three facts about the growth rate of COVID deaths imply that both
        the effective reproduction numbers and transmission rates of COVID-19 fell from widely dispersed
        initial levels and the effective reproduction number has hovered around one after the first 30 days of
        the epidemic virtually everywhere in the world. We argue that failing to account for these four
        stylized facts may result in overstating the importance of policy mandated NPIs for shaping the
        progression of this deadly pandemic.”
        (23 countries and 25 U.S. states)
        4. There is the case of Florida, South Dakota and Sweden.
        5. In the UK, there was little change in R (i.e. growth rate) upon introduction/removal of lockdowns.
        6. However, my view is that extreme lockdowns do work.

        Why do lockdowns not work?

        1. Maybe people behave sensibly and do not need to be told what to do, just as they are not sent to jail
        for crossing the road, they know they should not socialise with cars.
        2. In https://mises.org/wire/its-far-too-late-think-lockdowns-can-make-covid-19-go-away
        it says:”The lockdown strategy only works to completely stop a disease if certain conditions
        can be met. Specifically, the lockdown must be extremely strict, and it must be maintained
        indefinitely—perhaps for years—until a safe and effective vaccine is widely available.”
        See below. This may not be true.
        3. If you have no foreign travel, if you introduce lockdown logically the epidemic should last a lot longer.
        Without lockdown, if people do not restrict social contact or whatever, then logically R should
        continue at a high level until herd immunity is reached and the epidemic should end soon. The fact that it did not suggests that
        people maintained social distancing or whatever, and then in the autumn a new strain came along to boost R.
        4. The evidence is that masks make no impact, neither does washing hands. These are BoJo myths.
        Neither does closing schools.
        http://www.aier.org/article/school-closure-a-careful-review-of-the-evidence/
        5. One of the groups most impacted in the UK are lorry drivers who are socially distant 24/7.
        6. Many scientists believe Covid is seasonal. Countries did not lockdown Autumn.
        7. And then there is Firstenberg who says it is flu+mobile phone/wireless use. Mobiles were not banned. A theory not to be dismissed
        in my view.
        8. Why? Beyond 1,4,6,7 I do not really know.

        How long should you keep people hungry?

        1. “Yuval Harari pointed out in an interview that if the world totally locked down for 2 weeks straight, the virus would be over.”
        In the UK we have about 33,000 new infections/day. Obviously if you weld doors shut as in China and R
        falls to 0.0 then this number would fall to below 1 pretty quickly (people in China are still jumping
        out of windows though so it has not been 0.0). Currently R is about 0.8 in the UK. We have the equation 0.5= 33000*0.8^N, to get new infections below 1 would
        take 10 months, not 2 weeks. Long time to feel hungry, I was reading about hunger in Cornwall now.
        Even if we got R down to 0.4 which China never (says) it did would take 3 months. Yuval Harari is talking rubbish, unless the USA or
        China said we will nuke you all unless you starve to death as is desired in China. I am not sure whether it is permitted in China to jump out of windows if you are hungry.
        2. “If lockdowns make people die later, and in that time they receive a vaccine, that’s good, right?”
        Yes, it is true, if lockdowns work then unhealthy 80 year olds die at 85 not 80, in principle.
        But, in England docs mostly send ill 80 year olds into care homes to die and refuse to treat over 65 year olds.
        We had/have a lockdown and they still did/do it. So, do lockdowns make people die later? It is not absolutely clear.
        3. Actually, another reason why lockdowns do not work is that 80 year olds are really really wise and nowadays
        do not socialise much (nor want to go to hospital where the UK govt says 40.5% of Covid cases happened in the 1st wave).
        Their infection rates are far lower than for 7 year olds who do their homework nowadays and have read/seen
        that lockdowns do not work.
        4. “The vaccine might work and then fewer die.”
        I think there is evidence that vaccines do work in cutting the mortality rate (eg it is down a little, 6%, in England. Ball park, this
        is the same as expected, this could easily be a coincidence, it is a bit early to tell).
        In my model I have assumed they cut mortality by 90%.
        5. Alternative: why not just round up all over 80 year olds and send them to hotel detention centres as they probably did in Australia?
        That ought to cut the mortality rate for a few weeks until you let them out after herd immunity is reached. You would not then need to experiment on the whole population
        with untested vaccines, and unhealthy 80 year olds could die at 85 instead of with vaccine side effects at 83. ”
        Here it is, in case interesting to anyone.

  38. Nic, your expositions of the factors operating in the Covid-19 pandemic put forth here at Climate Ect. are much appreciated. In your post here I was glad to see your concentration on excess deaths as an explanatory metric and suggestion that seasonal changes have been a major factor with the latest surge in Covid-19 cases. I have also found that attempts to reveal the different heterogeneous sources of infections of Covid-19 can lead to better understanding, at least in a general sense, of how the disease has spread and how and at what level herd immunity can be obtained by local and regional populations.

    I think for many of us, who have followed the pandemic and searched for science and statistical understanding of the Covid-19 factors involved with its spread, it has been a learning experience and more appreciation over time of the complicated nature of the spread of the disease. With the politicalization of the information coming out of the pandemic for the general public consumption, it is refreshing to see online blogs where individuals have a go at explanations.

    While I have not dug sufficiently deep into the studies of the spread of Covid-19 into and within the family unit I would think that this is an area that could have with more attention and analysis lead to some significant reductions in the spread of Covid-19.

  39. Shyam JB Mehta

    Joshua
    My apologies. About Denmark, I just read about Vikings in history. As far as I know they were unable to count. Presumably still the case. Cannot think of another explanation unless they are sensibly just locking up Danes.
    Suppose that Danes are afraid of Covid or the govt introduced a $100 penalty. And fear increased from 20% to 90%. Then they would stop breathing etc. by a factor of 80%/10% =8 x. They probably just realised that Covid/govt was worth being afraid of.
    Or 90% left Denmark to go to Sweden? Very sensible too.
    Of course Denmark is a socialist state. My definition of socialism is a ruler controlling the people can be a monarchy, can be a democracy, a communist regime regime, a dictatorship, it makes no difference.. For my analyses I use tax take/GDP as a rough indicator of how socialist they are, and from recollection Denmark is highly socialist. Rulers there can jail you as they can in Sweden, UK, USA, Switzerland,..

  40. Interesting development, considering that herd immunity was reached 8 months ago in Stockholm as well as a 2nd time more recently.

    > Between the first and second week of February, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus rose by 24.1 percent in the Stockholm region, as The Local reported last week. In the week after that, there was a further 27 percent increase (ie between the week ending February 14th and the week ending February 21st).

    >> She also said that lower and upper secondary schools were recommended to move to full-time distance teaching the week after the break, with exceptions only for students with special needs or practical modules and exams.

    https://www.thelocal.se/20210223/stockholm-set-to-announce-new-coronavirus-measures?

    • Don’t know how up to date Worldometers is for Sweden, but it looks like Sweden on the whole may also be up some 25% or so over the past two weeks.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Probably Joshua strain.
        Incidentally, Kings College/Zoe has just without any explanation reduced the numbers of symptomatic cases today and in the past by c. 25%. It is by no means the first time that they change their minds. Their numbers are so ridiculous you cannot believe it, implying 200% of the population have had Covid, but I use the R from them because it is based on so many cases.

    • Joe - the non epidemiologist

      Josh’s comment – “Between the first and second week of February, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus rose by 24.1 percent in the Stockholm region, as The Local reported last week. In the week after that, there was a further 27 percent increase (ie between the week ending February 14th and the week ending February 21st”

      Yet down 60+% since first week in January 2021

      Gotta love someone drawing erroneous and meaningless conclusions by cherry picking data

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      In my modelling of the UK, although I say ‘herd immunity’ has been reached, that is not quite true. I model infections, not cases, and there are some 30,000 new infections/day. With R at about 0.8, it actually takes a long time for infections to decline to less than 1. Eg October. And of course in the mean time we could get Joshua strain to change HIT and R as I explained yesterday but Joshua presumably did not understand or did not read.
      Hopefully Swedes are enjoying some sunshine (joke, I used to work there, it is always covered in 6 ft of ice and snow) and that is the reason for the minor increase in cases.

      • Wait –

        Shayam says that “sunshine” explains the increase case rates in Stockholm (after advising people to not get vaccinated), and my comment laughing at his science gets deleted?

        Seriously?

  41. Joe –

    > Gotta love someone drawing erroneous and meaningless conclusions by cherry picking data

    Yeah, good point:

    >>Their rate of case identification certainly seems to have dropoed from its peak,

    https://judithcurry.com/2021/02/18/the-progress-of-the-covid-19-epidemic-in-sweden-an-update/#comment-944005

    (1) I didn’t draw any conclusions and, (2) while not dispositive of anything, it’s not irrelevant that there is a significant short-term trend of increase in Sweden (and Stockholm in particular) even as people are confidently proclaiming that they’ve reached “herd immunity” (even though the case identification rate is higher in Sweden than in neighboring countries that test far more and have a much smaller population infection %).

  42. As noted above, cases for Sweden might be on a slight rise at the moment:
    Perhaps someone else can confirm or show me wrong, but I took a very quick look at its neighbours; Norway might be doing similar, Finland is rising a lot. Most other countries also either flat or possibly rising as I follow the trail south through east europe then west along parts of North Africa? If true its an intriguing line its following, apparently missing Russia, South Africa, west europe (except perhaps France?), or are we all about to do the same? I’m keen to understand this asap in case it’s a very significant development.

  43. Personally, I think that excess death is problematic as a measure (of course all metrics are problematic), but FWIW:

    • This is more disinformation from Josh and Twatter. Real professionals don’t use raw mortality numbers but mortality adjusted for population and age. By that measure, mortality in the West has been falling for 150 years. 2020 will come in at about 2013 levels as Nic has observed.

      Why Josh do you continue to post this disinformation?

    • The excess deaths in Sweden are almost entirely from people 90 years of age or older. https://ibb.co/NxV5qyq

  44. Shyam JB Mehta

    In regard to the UK I am puzzled/have no idea etc. about many things, but 1 in particular. We have serological testing data of the population. It seems to be basically believable until the beginning of this year. And then it becomes too little, assuming that tests pick up say 80% of vaccinated cases and 60% of infected cases. I have assumed that when vaccinated you do not develop antibodies for 10 or 11 days. Is my 80% too high? Or should the figure of 10 or 11 days be much longer for the antibodies to build up sufficiently for tests to pick them up?

    • Shyam,
      I understand that some serological tests which can pick up naturally occurring convalescent antibodies do NOT pick up vaccine-induced antibodies. It depends on the type of test being carried out.

      People who have been vaccinated may be interested in getting a serology test, to see if the vaccine “worked,” but a vaccinated person is very likely to get a negative result from a serology test, even if the vaccine was successful and protective. Serology tests are typically used to determine whether a person has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in the past and developed antibodies against the virus. Different serology tests detect antibodies to different parts of the virus, but after vaccination with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the antibodies formed will only be to one part of the virus: the spike protein. Some serology tests do not detect antibodies specific to spike protein at all, while others are specific for antibodies that target regions within the spike protein (like the receptor binding domain, or RBD). For example, the Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S assay detects antibodies to spike RBD, while the the Platelia SARS-CoV-2 Total Ab assay from Bio-Rad detects antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein. These tests would not yield a positive result even after vaccination. Therefore, a negative serology test after vaccination does not necessarily mean the vaccine failed and reinforces that serology tests should not be used for this purpose. To understand if vaccination stimulated an antibody response, a test specifically designed for the antibodies of interest would need to be used.
      https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/variants-vaccines-and-what-they-mean-for-covid19-testing.html

    • Many serological tests will not yield a positive result for vaccine-induced antibodies.
      https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/variants-vaccines-and-what-they-mean-for-covid19-testing.html

    • UK-Weather Lass

      This is evidence from the pre-print study in Israel of vaccinated individuals as compared to non-vaccinated individuals where the Ct value of a PCR test viral load reduces from 25 to 27 in the vaccinated group. It represents a replication (viral load) ratio of 1.5m non-vaccinated to 400k vaccinated which looks encouraging when you consider the Ct threshold for an infectious viral load is considered to be 24 or lower.

      Dr Daniel Griffin discusses this TWiV 721 (see YouTube) among many other things SARS-CoV-2.

      • UK-Weather Lass

        I should have been more careful before posting because the Ct difference is the length of time elapsed between vaccination and PCR test. Both groups has been vaccinated but the lower Ct (higher replication) exists eleven days after vaccination and the lower value after eighteen days.

  45. -snip-

    Within Europe, death rates due to covid-19 vary greatly, with some countries being hardly hit while others to date are almost unaffected. This has created a very heated debate in particular regarding how effective the different measures applied by the governments are in limiting the spread of the disease and ultimately deaths. It would be of considerable interest to pinpoint the factors that determine a country’s susceptibility to a pandemic such as covid-19. Here we present data demonstrating that mortality due to covid-19 in a given country could have been predicted even before the pandemic hit Europe, simply by looking at longitudinal variability of death rates in the years preceding the current outbreak. The variability in death rates during the winter influenza seasons of 2015-2019 correlate strongly to excess mortality caused by covid-19 in 2020 (R2=0.48, p<0,0001). In contrast, there was no correlation with age, population density, latitude, GNP, governmental health spending, degree of urbanization, or rates of influenza vaccination. These data suggest an intrinsic susceptibility in certain countries to excess mortality associated with viral respiratory diseases including covid-19.

    […]

    to Covid-19 (R2=0.78, p<0.0001). It is clear that excess mortality varies greatly within Europe in 2020. In fig 1b we show that countries normally experiencing fluctuating mortality exhibited higher excess mortality also in 2020 (R2= 0.48, p<0.0001), while those not affected during the preceding years were spared. This pattern is clearly seen when longitudinal mortality rates (Z-scores) for some countries are exhibited (Fig. 1c). Thus, some countries, including Spain, Belgium and Italy that were severely hit by the current pandemic also displayed high excess mortality during the preceding winter influenza seasons. Conversely, Norway, Luxembourg and Estonia show hardly visible fluctuations in mortality rates over the entire study period, including 2020.

    Click to access v1.pdf

  46. Nic,
    Thanks for this series of articles.

    I have reached the uncomfortable conclusion, however, that we have now lost any hope of predicting the trajectory of COVID-19, if indeed we ever had the potential for such at the start of the pandemic. We have not quite lost sight of the potential for explanatory models, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for a variety of reasons.

    One of the severely restricting limitations of any SEIR-type model is in its treatment of connectivity of the population of interest. Your own work on the subject of heterogeneity adds much insight when applied to well-connected populations WITHIN the nodes of the connected network – a single town, say, with known or estimable distributions of age, sex, ethnicity, general health and susceptibility . However, models require significant amendment to deal with connections BETWEEN the nodes. IMO, no amount of modification of single distributions to describe likelihoods of exposure and transmission can accommodate this problem in the realm of prediction. It is, for example, easy to show that the infection trajectory for any country as a whole is heavily dependent AEBE on the timing of community transmission being reached in the different population centres; variations of these timings can give rise to single peaks, plateaus or multiple peaks in cumulative infections with time, even when transmission characteristics WITHIN each population centre are assumed to remain the same. It was obvious in June of last year that great swathes of Europe, including whole cities, had been left untouched by the first wave, leaving large susceptible populations as hostages to future misfortune.

    None of the above precludes the intelligent application of SEIR models within towns for explanatory information and insight.

    However, this brings me to the second reason why I no longer believe we can develop a credible predictive ability.
    On Feb 19th 2020, there was a solidarity letter published in the Lancet which argued that SARS COV 2 was a naturally occurring zoonotic virus, and which called for an end to “China-bashing”. (By the purest coincidence, it was written by a group of authors, nearly all of whom had some direct connection to gain-of-function research.) One of the arguments advanced at the time in support of natural origins of the virus was its relative stability. An accidentally released designer virus would be expected to show rapid evolution after release, while a naturally occurring virus should already have achieved a certain meta-stability in terms of transmission and morbidity.

    Within a couple of months of that letter, hundreds of thousands of viral mutations had been identified, grouped into thousands of haplotypes within 6 main clades. One of the mutations, first identified in February 2020, was the D to G mutation in amino acid 614 (D614G), which showed major transmissibility advantages over its ancestors, and which became a key marker in the subsequently dominant GR clade in Europe and the GH clade in the USA. It was proven in 3Q definitively that this mutation had the ability to re-infect individuals who had already gone through confirmed infection from previous strains less than 180 days previously. Although this was demonstrated in only a handful of cases, the limited PCR testing and even more limited genome testing during the first wave meant that this handful of cases masked a larger but unknown number.

    In August 2020, the D614G variant found its way to Malaysia. Up to that time, Malaysia had done an extremely good job of dealing with COVID-19. However, immediately following the introduction of D614G, a second wave started which saw a 30-fold increase in cumulative cases and an 8-fold increase in deaths. It is most unlikely that this can be explained by any seasonal effect – Malaysia has a tropical monsoon climate and displays two mild bumps in seasonal influenza rather than a single peak.
    However, we cannot rule out the possibility that some even-later strains of SARS COV 2 have had an impact on these Malaysian numbers.

    Since October, in quick succession, we have seen the identification of :-
    the B.1.1.7 lineage in England (with an extraordinary 17 variants relative to last closest ancestor, including deletions Del 69-70 plus an N501Y),
    the South African variant 20H501Y.V2 which includes N501Y and E484K,
    the Brazilian variants P1 and P2 which include an N501K and E484K, and which appear to be primarily responsible for the large second wave in Manaus,
    the new English variant identified in mid-December (from an earlier sample) B1.1.7 plus an E484K.

    The above variants are playing havoc with test results, particularly the amino acid deletions for tests which rely on specific genome identification. More importantly, they all show the characteristics of “escape mutants” in the sense that, according to lab results, they are to a greater or lesser extent masked from convalescent antibodies generated from previous infections and can bypass the immune system memory. For modeling purposes then, they carry different transmissibility characteristics from previous variants and prescribe a different definition of the susceptible population. Disturbingly, preliminary reports also suggest that they might cause a higher frequency of severe illness in younger age groups.

    Most SEIR models assume that they are dealing with a single virus with some characteristic transmissibility, a fixed viral property which only changes with other externalities. It is also assumed that over the modeled period, an infected person cannot re-enter the susceptible pool once they have been infected. I now suspect that neither of these assumptions is valid. We are in reality dealing not with a single virus, but rather a number of different viruses with little knowledge on which to base any sound grouping of properties for either the present or future suite.

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      I have a strong suspicion that your knowledge is greater than mine.
      In the UK, I believe the govt did a study of reinfection rates, but I did not study it. I do not think though they were too high.
      In my modelling, I think there was a new variant in (August) and so what I did was take the old with a relatively low R, quickly dying out, and take the new with a high R quickly taking over until HIT was nearly reached.
      I am going to revisit this, because unfortunately Kings College completely revised their data set with no explanation. They have done it before. It means that the reliability of (their data and) my conclusions is in question.

      • “I have a strong suspicion that your knowledge is greater than mine.” Unlikely. The more I have learned, the less I know, and that is not intended to be humourous. I am feeling around in the dark.
        The UK study you mention was probably the SIREN study.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00071-6

        It is worth noting that the concern that I am raising with Nic does not just refer to reinfection. It refers to the change over time of key controls on susceptibility and transmission. It is entirely feasible that someone with a natural resistance/low susceptibility to an early variant has poor resistance to a later one after exposure to a similar titre. It is also feasible – indeed it is likely if you believe the SIREN conclusions – that someone who is infected or re-infected with a later variant can pass the virus on more readily than someone who was infected early on. My concern is that we have no way of forecasting the changes in the controlling parameters – a necessary condition for predictive skill. At best, we can try to explain things retrospectively, but inferences are increasingly uncertain as the system becomes more (mathematically) chaotic. Put simply, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish with any confidence between the effects of behavioural changes, environmental changes (incl. seasonal), intra-city mobility changes, inter-city mobility changes and the impacts of new variants of the virus. The unknown effects of vaccination programmes on near-term transmission and longer-term viral mutation add further seasoning to this mix.

      • -snip-

        New Coronavirus Variant Is Spreading in New York, Researchers Report
        The variant contains a mutation thought to help the virus dodge the immune system, scientists said.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        About new variants, Kent for example, that is what I analysed out for the UK, as I have explained. I have never said that there is only 1 new variant.

    • Paul,
      Apologies for being slow to reply. I agree that it is extremely difficult to predict accurately the progress of COVID-19 epidemics. As well as the uncertain future effects of factors that you mention, uncertainty as to the past influence of their effects and the effects of other variables makes it difficult to estimate epidemiological parameters with acceptable accuracy.

      However, I think (although I could be wrong!) that the roll out of vaccines will hugely reduce COVID-19 related, deaths, hospitalisations and (to a lesser, but still major, degree) infections. [Ironically, given EU governments’ disparagement of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (because it was developed in the UK?), it seems in practice to provide if anything slightly better protection than the Biontech-Pfizer vaccine, at least when only one dose of either has been given. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.01.21252652%5D

      New variants may cause a problem, but as long as governments let COVID become an endemic disease, rather than foolishly seeking to eliminate it, population immunity seems likely to prevent it becoming a major problem again.

      You say about escape variants: “Disturbingly, preliminary reports also suggest that they might cause a higher frequency of severe illness in younger age groups.” While there was, IIRC, some indication of this in early UK data for the B.1.1.7 variant, I believe that as more data came in it proved not actually to be the case, although there may be slightly higher overall mortality for this variant.

      • > New variants may cause a problem, but as long as governments let COVID become an endemic disease, rather than foolishly seeking to eliminate it, population immunity seems likely to prevent it becoming a major problem again.

        Once again, irresponsible over-confidence that if people look to you for leadership, could well lead to many more deaths.

      • Josh isn’t just boring, he’s behind the times on his party narrative. New York City and San Francisco just announced they reopened movie theaters. The party covid heroes – Granny Killer Cuomo and French Laundry Newsom – can’t be wrong so we’re at the end stage.
        Except for schools. Team Blue has already decided to stop pretending anything happens in blue city schools so the teachers might as well not go to work anymore.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Vaccines
        It seems that the short run risks of taking vaccines may be a lot higher than I had assumed. The main data for this are from Israel where a
        large % of the population have been vaccinated, data from the UK, some from France, Germany, Gibralter, Jordan, UAE and USA.

        Israeli study

        Dr. Hervé Seligmann of Aix-Marseille University Faculty of Medicine Emerging Infectious and Tropical Diseases Unit says about Israel’s data
        “mortality hundreds of times greater in young people compared to mortality from coronavirus without the vaccine, and dozens of times more in the elderly, when the documented mortality from coronavirus is in the vicinity of the vaccine dose, thus adding greater mortality from heart attack, stroke, etc.”

        UK PHE data

        I looked at the data for deaths by age grouping in the latest available week, to 19/2/21 cf 12/2/21. So far the evidence is that vaccines are cutting ‘covid’ deaths for the elderly, but may be increasing other deaths more or less correspondingly.
        For example, the decline for total deaths was 11% for over 85’s and 9% for under 59’s, a statistically insignificant difference.

        UK study

        According to the UK PHE sponsored study (www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.01.21252652v1), there is a positive effect of vaccination
        “COVID-19 vaccination was associated with a significant reduction in symptomatic SARS-CoV2 positive cases in older adults with even greater protection against severe disease.”
        But, it says
        “Individuals aged >=80 years vaccinated with BNT162b2 prior to 4th January, had a higher odds of testing positive in the first 9 days after vaccination” (48% higher).
        So, vaccines do have effectiveness, but they are being exaggerated: “Vaccine effectiveness was therefore estimated relative to the baseline post-vaccination period. Vaccine effects were noted from 10-13 days after vaccination, reaching an effectiveness of 70% (95% CI 59-78%) from 28-34 days, then plateauing.”
        In other words they are measuring vaccine effectiveness from the higher chance of getting covid in those first 9 days.

        “Individuals aged >=70 years vaccinated from 4th January had a similar underlying risk of COVID-19 to unvaccinated individuals.”

        Conclusions

        Since, new infection numbers if not necessarily deaths are declining rapidly, assuming this continues, the chance of contracting Covid over the coming months is rather small and one should think twice about taking the vaccine.

        Papers

        https://unitynewsnetwork.co.uk/british-and-israeli-government-data-confirm-covid-19-vaccine-risk-infections-increase-in-fortnight-after-jab/
        http://www.nakim.org/israel-forums/viewtopic.php?p=276314
        http://www.nakim.org/israel-forums/viewtopic.php?t=270812&s=The_uncovering_of_the_vaccination_data_in_Israel__reveals_a_frightening_picture
        https://mises.org/wire/what-weve-learned-israels-covid-vaccine-program

  47. Speaking to another Swedish colleague today, this time in Stockholm.

    She told me that cases in Stockholm are “exploding” (her word, she’s Swedish), I’ve not checked any official stats. The site she works at is putting together a contingency plan for employee absences.

    Can someone let me know whether I should reassure her not to worry as they have herd immunity? Or have they lost that yet again? It’s so confusing!

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      I do not know about actual data in Stockholm.
      In Sweden as a whole cases are increasing at 12%/week. (R= about 1.1). They are at less than half the levels on say 11/1/21.
      In my view
      1. Sweden is close to herd immunity (‘HIT’). Since cases >0, it is not actually at HIT.
      2. I do not have the latest serological data but for week 2 of 2021 it showed 39.5% of the population had been infected. Allowing for tests not picking up 40% of cases and also for say 0.5%/day wane in antibodies, this implies that about 70% of Swedes have been infected. If R0 is say 4.5 with a new strain,
      then Re would be 4.5*(1-.7) less the effect of social distancing. i.e. 1.35 less say 20% to get to Re = 1.1. True or false, I do not know, just running with logic and data and guesses..
      3. How many infections/day are there? This would help determine when Re would decline further. In 2021 week 2, allowing for wane and 40% not being picked up, there were 0.6% of the population additional new infections/day. (i.e. if it is 70% say on 1/1/21, it is 70% + .6% * (54 days) = 102% of Swedes have now been infected (if Re=1; in practice it was <1 for most of the period so a bit less that this %). Just running with logic,..
      4. Conclusions. The 40% may be out. The wane factor may be out. The govt may be fibbing about their antibody results. But, chances are that cases are NOT going to explode, they will decline, sometime soon.

      • People need to stop talking about herd immunity. It doesn’t mean what they think it means. Implicit in the discussion of herd immunity is the assumption that a virus does not change sero-type. That is unlikely for any virus. Measles and mumps are the exceptions not the rule.

        I suspect this virus will become endemic with reduced severity of disease as we are all exposed to it and its genetic descendants as time passes. The high death toll in the infirm is because the virus was “novel” and many had never been exposed to a genetically similar virus. Get the vaccine and that first “exposure” is nearly a given to not cause severe disease. I plan to get the J&J vaccine when available.

        https://science.sciencemag.org/content/371/6530/741

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        What logic, what data and what guesses do you disagree with, or perhaps you agree with all?

      • Right, so cases in Sweden are rising, but the conclusion that herd immunity has been reached isn’t false.

        If you say so!

      • Richard Greene

        Don’t get excited about herd immunity. In plain English it ONLY means the number of infections has stopped growing, or is declining.

        Stopped growing, or slightly declining, is not so great — a lot different than a sharp decline of cases.

        Flu viruses mutate and the result, in the past, is that flu vaccines are less effective than originally thought. Sometimes much less effective.

        For example, the Sinovac (Chinese) vaccine used in Brazil was found to be only 10% effective with a new strain of COVID in Brazil.

        The AtraVenica vaccine was found to be only 50% effective with a new strain of COVID in Sourth Africa.

        The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will probably be less effective with new strains of COVID that are just coming into the US. No one knows. The history of flu vaccines is over-promises effectiveness.

        With all the vaccines, no one knows how long they last, or what the long term side effects are.

        Those taking the vaccine are involved in a scientific experiment, with a new technology, developed in record time.

        Even worse, the US government has exempted Pfizer and Moderna from lawsuits for side effects.

        Most disturbing to me is that vaccines traditionally take years for development, not nine months.

        The chance of dying from COVID is less than one percent for most people outside of nursing homes — that’s already small — a vaccine will reduce that number for an unknown period of time, with unknown effectiveness against new strains of COVID.

        For now I chose not to take part in the vaccine experiment, with a new technology developed in record time.

        I don’t see how taking the vaccine would allow me to return to “normal” pre-COVID behavior, even with 95% effectiveness for an unknown period of time. … Because I would have no idea how my post-vaccine immune system would handle any of the new strains of COVID showing up in many places.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        About herd immunity, I did do some research on this en route to being a qualified epidemiologist. In my opinion, it is a nonsense concept
        and I agree with you that there are better things to get excited about. Watching the BBC at home, for example.

        About Brazilians wanting to use vaccines that do not work, and risk infertility etc. that seems to me to be up to them. I had a Brazilian
        gf once and hope she does not take it.

        About the Oxford jab, when a qualified epidemiogist says it is 50% effective, does that mean 0% or 100% or somewhere in between?
        I submit they have no idea (neither do I).

        About the Oxford jab in the UK, over 80’s have seen a 7% decline in mortality relative to under 80s, in 1 week. Maybe improving
        longevity trends?

        “With all the vaccines, no one knows how long they last, or what the long term side effects are.” I agree with you fully.
        In my opinion, ALL western pharmaceutical product is toxic to the body, filled with nasty chemicals etc. which do long term
        harm, cause cancer etc. Why do 50% of people get cancer nowadays when it was 0% in 1850? My favourite author on health and the importance
        of natural foods, organic etc. is Anthony William and he sets out in my view a convincing case for the harmful effects of pharma/toxicity etc.
        He has not however commented on vaccines.(https://www.medicalmedium.com/).

        So, when the vaccines came out in Nov, I did some research on ‘long covid’. I believe it is truly horrible (as a possibility).
        So, I weighed up the negatives of cancer from Oxford Uni (in 10 yrs, say) and long covid and decided I preferred cancer.
        Unfortunately, I have now forgotten what I assessed my chances of getting long covid were.

        I have in 68 years never taken a vaccine before. But I opted for the Oxford jab even though the Germans and French say (presumably
        on no evidence) that it does not work for over 65s. I recommended a few of my friends do the same.

        But now, with case nos declining dramatically, the % chance of getting infected in the England is rather small. By my reckoning only
        1% of the population will catch Covid in the coming months. Hence I think there is no need any more to risk taking an untested vaccine.
        Let the Queen do it, she hopefully will not live for another 10 years to catch cancer.

        Basically I am a libertarian. I do not believe govts should exist at all and they should certainly not give exemptions from prosecution.
        The regulators are in league with pharma. Another bad aspect is that pharma is given limited liability.
        It is heads they win and tails they win. And I wonder how much money the CCP/Bill Gates has gotten from them?

        I agree with all you say, but I do have “normal” pre covid behaviour (except I wear a mask when going on a bus and sometimes in shops, because we have CCP in charge).

  48. > The govt may be fibbing about their antibody results.

    Interesting.

  49. Where’s Don132?

    Was just lucky enough to find a spot to get the vax. Wanted to let him know that if I somehow manage to survive, if he gets in touch with Bill Gates he can now track me through the microchip they just dropped into my bloodstream.

  50. With all the trouble that Cuomo appears to be in now, it’s laughable how the Leftwing media slobbered all over him last year, including talk about his run for the Presidency.

  51. -snip-
    Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Lofven, said there’s now a “high risk” of a new spike in coronavirus infections, potentially warranting the country’s first lockdown since the pandemic started almost a year ago.

    “We are seeing an increase in cases again, we need to take new measures,” Lofven said at a press briefing in Stockholm on Wednesday. “If the situation gets worse, the government is prepared to enforce a possible lockdown in parts of Sweden. Hopefully that will not be needed.”

    https://fortune.com/2021/02/25/s/

    • I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a sort of Streisand effect here: Nic declares “herd immunity” in Sweden and then they see a spike.

      Well, let’s hope that this is just a short term “blip.” Nic was wrong when he bought the last massive spike was just a blip but that doesn’t mean that this recent increase won’t be a blip.

      Or if it isn’t, let’s hope that the Swedish government will implement some interventions that will have a beneficial effect.

    • “If the situation gets worse, the government is prepared to enforce a possible lockdown in parts of Sweden. Hopefully that will not be needed.”

      Lock downs are a well known side effect of herd immunity. Move along now.

  52. As for this argument that a “dry tinder” effect explains the higher rate of COVID deaths in Sweden in comparison to its neighboring Nordic countries…

    There’s obviously a positive correlation between the number of COVIS infections and the number of resulting hospitalizations and deaths. The ratio may differ across countries, of course – perhaps due to differences in the relationship of infectiousness versus virulence of the variants that are spreading in different areas – but common sense implies that as a general rule where there are more cases there is more morbidity and mortality.

    Of course, the measure of cases is complicated by a variety of variables related to testing – so drawing robust conclusions requires a comprehensive analysis. But from a bird’s eye view we can see some important indicators looking across the Nordics.

    Compared to Finland, on a per capita basis Sweden has far more deaths and far more cases with a similar level of testing.

    Compared to Denmark, on a per capita basis Sweden has almost double the cases and far less testing.

    Compared to Norway, on a per capita basis Sweden has around 5 X as many cases with a fairly similar level of testing.

    Of course, there are many complicating factors when exploring the causality behind the differential mortality rates among the Nordics. i’m certainly no expert, but it sure seems to me that there are many interaction effects between any variety of mediators and moderators on the relationship between # of cases and extent of morbidity and mortality. But I have to wonder if the “dry tinder” theory is basic CYA – where people hunt out correlations and assign causality in order to confirm pre-existing, ideologically-aligned, biases.

    If you want to go with the “dry tinder” theory to explain the higher deaths in Sweden relative to its neighboring countries, then you should control for the basic association between # of cases and extent of morbidity and mortality.

    • This should be better:

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Probably that dreadful Joshua strain again.

      • Thanks Joshua; interesting.

        Does anyone know roughly how he’s getting R? Is it based on the cases curve? What is the basic form of the equation?

        I’ve recently started trying to calculate my own R from my plots of adjusted cases adjusted based on amount of testing and % positive. But maths is not my strong point. But I’m finding the results very interesting.

        I assumed, probably wrongly R is related to the gradient of the cases curve and R=1 when gradient=0. Problem with my method is R tends to 1 again when the cases curve levels off as it approaches the baseline. But how do we define or measure R as cases tail off to low levels? Some of my UK locations curves showed an attempt at leveling off about 1/3 or 1/2 way down from the peak and slight increase in R, but then carried on dropping again.

        Based on my method (which I suspect is wrong) I think I understand why his R has gone up now but I’m not sure how he currently has an R above 1 based on his cases graph. However, I do agree; I think some locations around the world have stopped dropping and some increasing again. New variant(s)? But if so I’m surprised we haven’t heard about it yet.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        I am probably being silly and may have misunderstood you.
        I think one should not calculate Re based on cases but for example, new cases , new deaths/day, new admissions, or actual serological data as to numbers of new infections each day (which unfortunately govts either mostly hide or do not or are not competent to calculate). Let us call this series S(t). Then Re for new infections at t is Re(t) = S(t+s+L)/S(t+L) where L is the lag between eg infection and death (about 19 days in the UK), and s I believe is the serial interval. Why epidemiologists cannot use a sensible interval like day or week is beyond me. Of course the serial interval s is unmeasurable. So, I just use s=6 because that is roughly what the loons at Imperial College use. Different epidemiologists will use different numbers so Rs cannot be compared.
        About new cases, I have not done enough work, but it is distorted by the amount of testing, false positives, and presumably other factors.
        Deaths and admissions Re are distorted by things like refusing to treat people (eg as in Italy in early 2020), new strains..

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        By the way, about adjusting cases for tests. It is in my view not as simple as it sounds. A test on date t will relate to infections (20) days earlier. A case will refer to infections (10) days earlier, on average. Who knows what 10 and 20 really are, their statistical distribution etc. One epidemiologist says 20=20, another says 20=17 or 20= 14-21. Their maths skills are possibly a little short. And I do not think there will be a simple linear relationship cases/tests.
        This means that R from new cases around the world are a bit suspect.
        And R from deaths or admissions presumably lag cases (I have not checked) so are out of date.

      • Many thanks Shyam, I have found your comments on this thread most interesting and informative. So far no one has given me any feedback on my methods so I am most grateful as I don’t know if it is all wrong; I am very much a beginner at this, a mechanical engineer. I might be writing before I’ve fully absorbed your comments on R etc and talking nonsense and posting in a hurry as new comments appearing so fast.

        Yes, silly me, looking at your equation that is effectively where I started thinking, (ratio between values on a series a certain number of days apart) but in effect not knowing s I ending up looking at gradient, all done very hurriedly in a few minutes after a quick internet search failed to find me an equation. Then it stuck as at least my graphs looked believable even if not technically R and I was surprised how much interesting detail I could see such as R (from my adjusted cases) in my England graphs suddenly increasing a lot between 16th and 25th December (I assumed might be Christmas shopping etc and celebrations) then plummeting to below 1 (I assumed people suddenly being more careful and on holiday) and staying comfortably below 1 with a slight increase in January (I thought may be due to a return to work), but still below 1. But also realise it may all just be wrong calculations/data and my imagination seeing what I might expect. But, yes, I think next I should use the ratio with, as you suggest a 6 day delay.

        I am probably misreading your reply: By cases, I think I mean new cases logged for each day, the basic data we see all the time, and not prevalence.

        I share your reasons for expecting problems with the cases data, hospitalisations and deaths and did not expect to get much useful information from them.

        If we had a 100% accurate number for new cases each day then wouldn’t that be a good (or even the most relevant) series to calculate R?

        I first started looking at cases back in early December when realised Swale in Kent appeared to be out of control, perhaps would only stop if a kind of herd immunity reached in the part of the population not adequately shielding. Initially, just out of curiosity, realising the cases data was heavily influenced by amount of testing I wondered what it would look like after a simple adjustment for tests and % positive, not expecting the data to be good enough (for similar reasons you pointed out), but to my surprise the cases curves now looked much better. I looked at more places, for example Los Angeles county, the dip in cases over Christmas now becomes instead a steady rise to and from a peak where the trough was.
        But what really amazed me was how well my adjusted cases curves match the deaths and hospitalisations (with a delay) since the start of the pandemic: I believe what I’m seeing is a ski jumping effect where deaths closely follows cases as they rise, but then ski jumps over the peak and down the other side, I presume because most deaths are a certain number of days after infection, but we get quite a few taking a bit longer and a few a lot longer.

        Now, I may be doing this wrong, but if not does it perhaps mean two things:

        1) The data for cases, tests, % positive, hospitalisations, deaths is actually considerably better than we at first think, it may not be correct in the absolute value sense (and can perhaps be calibrated using serological results, preferably well away from peaks so tests not done while cases rising or falling), but in trends and cases agreeing with deaths etc extremely good (after appropriate adjustment to cases).

        2) If the ski jumping effect is real, does it mean we are too high in our R calculation as we get several weeks into a wave and particularly as we pass peaks when calculating it from deaths or hospitalisations?

        I’m not quite following the 2nd response re dates and tests and cases. I suspect the small discrepancy between my adjusted cases and deaths for Los Angeles county near the peak is in part because of a slight misalignment in effect of dates of the different series, and when I get around to it I keep meaning to try moving dates of the series a little to see if this helps. Yes, it can be a minefield, but I suspect not too difficult to figure out.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Dear Paul
        Rather a long note of yours to absorb!
        About s, based on a detailed analysis of 339 Chinese in Feb 2020, it is 5.290001.
        (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7276043)
        In regard to that study you should read
        https://ccpgloballockdownfraud.medium.com/the-chinese-communist-partys-global-lockdown-fraud-88e1a7286c2b

        I am sure Imperial said it was 6.5 days.+- a large margin for error (of course they call it guassian or something).
        About cases, there is such a large relationship between testing and new cases (85% correlation, with a 3 day lag) that I personally think
        it doubtful one can draw conclusions about covid as distinct from testing from them. If it was 100% then I could see one could just
        take the ratio of cases/tests.
        So, I am very suspicious about drawing conclusions about population behaviour over Xmas, I think this is just BBC propoganda.
        It is in my view entirely possible that herd immunity approached as the new strain took over and that was the reason for the fall in R.
        In fact, I did model this but then unfortunately the fools at Kings College completely revised their data set (which implies that 200% of the
        population have had Covid), and I may need to do it again.

        New cases. The UK govt did produce new cases data until Nov 2020. It also produces data on the % of the population infected and also
        about the attack rate (% who have had Covid). I have not studied the % infected from time to time, but the other 2 series ball park match
        up, in aggregate.
        “If we had a 100% accurate number for new cases each day then wouldn’t that be a good” I wonder why the govt keeps this secret now?

        “(or even the most relevant) series to calculate R?”
        There are 2. One: the Kings College Zoe symptoms, I can tell you how to calculate new cases from this if you wish, and also every week
        the govt generously tells us how many under (50) year olds have died.

        “in the part of the population not adequately shielding.” Govt propoganda. With 100,000 5G satellites orbiting the earth etc. we will
        soon not be able to shield anyway. Why on earth should we have to shield?

        “Los Angeles county” LA is a jail. I have been there. My x’s family lives there. Who knows (guess) what the prisoners there do.
        They are trying to flee as fast as possible.

        “But what really amazed me was how well my adjusted cases curves match the deaths”
        But how can one adjust cases for tests, maybe you can tell me what you did?

        “I believe what I’m seeing is a ski jumping effect where deaths closely follows cases”
        Of course, if you have appropriately allowed for testing, I can see why this may be true.

        “The data for cases, tests, % positive, hospitalisations, deaths is actually considerably better than we at first think”
        If CCP tell PHE to say X they will say X. Last year they were shown to have lied about the numbers of tests. Deaths of course they definitely lie about, all the time,
        as you will know if you go to LockdownSceptics.org. Hospitalisations. They are hardly going to say ‘we have no covid patients’ are they? Of course they lie about that.

        “If the ski jumping effect is real, does it mean we are too high in our R calculation as we get several weeks into a wave and
        particularly as we pass peaks when calculating it from deaths or hospitalisations?”
        I did not really understand ‘ski jumping’. I would not dream of ski jumping. At first sight, to me, this is just for Westerners.
        Peaks, waves and things I do not see the relevance of.

        “the small discrepancy between my adjusted cases and deaths for Los Angeles county”. CCP should kill them all, and probably will, with
        the next wave and also troughs.

      • Back to Joshuas original graph, seems more obvious now cases rising in more places.

        Many thanks again Shyam, very much appreciated, sorry I wrote so much (and this seems to be longer than I meant), wasn’t necessarily expecting answers to everything, but most grateful for all criticisms and answers. Thanks for links. I’ll have a closer look at the Zoe data.

        Unfortunately I don’t know how to attach images otherwise I’d attach a couple of my graphs, easier than many words.

        Plotting R: Now I’ve got correct method it is showing similar trends to what I had before but now I can compare my values to other sources, thanks.

        Prevalence: I’ve also only recently started plotting prevalence. My value for prevalence for England at the peak this winter is 1.8%, having just checked the ONS site that is quite similar to their value also to my surprise. I’m currently calculating prevalence as sum of last 10 days from my adjusted cases.

        Ski jumping: In case any confusion, basically the term was an attempt to avoid a long description. Referring to a phenomena like a skier encountering bumps who will follow the rising portion of the bump but then may take off and land a lot later, long after passing the bump or even hit the next bump half way up. I’m seeing similar effect in my graphs when comparing hospitalisations and deaths to cases. Although currently that does not seem to be happening on my England graph yet since last peak, not sure if it’s data yet to come in or real and perhaps a sign of better recovery rates.

        Adjusting cases: At moment I’m nervous of sharing my exact equation as I’m sure it is wrong. I was sort of hoping someone better at maths than me would come up with a better equation in a fraction of the time it would take me. It was initially just a quick attempt to see if something might be possible to improve the cases data thinking others must already be doing this so eventually I’d find their equation, or I’d improve my equation, but my maths is not good so I keep putting it off, but, as I say appears to be working surprisingly well. I started by plotting raw cases, tests, % positive on one graph, did same for various locations and looked at all 3 lines and it seemed % positive seemed a reasonable indicator, but went higher when testing low, etc, etc, so began wondering if an equation combining all 3 would get closer to the truth. I think my current equation goes slightly wrong when testing very high and % positive very low.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        About why anyone would want to ski jump is beyond me. Sounds like you could easily break a leg. Surely the Swiss have public transport? What I do is put in a spreadsheet all series based on an assessed infetion date.
        To assess the lag between reporting date and infection date for the series, rightly or wrongly I calculate R for the series eg deaths and cases.
        Then I correlate the two R series, and see which lag period gives the highest correlation. Eg, people in the UK are detained in hospital
        about 9 days before death, 19 days after infection so if the reporting date is 25/2/21 I call it 6/2/21. Whether this relates to ski jumping
        not so sure.

        About adjusting cases, I suppose my question is what is the purpose? Is it to find the most up to date assessment of R? Or to find a best
        estimate eg of current new infections/day or the attack rate? Who knows what the NHS do when reporting cases? Comply with the changing WHO guidelines?
        I am a bit suspicious also about when one has low levels of cases as now whether that leads to a different relationship because of a high
        false positive rate? Anyways, is your formula new infections/day = %positive*population/60%, the latter to adjust for T-Cell
        undercount? Am I being silly? I have not looked at cases etc. but will check it out later.

        For current R post the vaccination programme, I use a combination of the weekly data for deaths by age, for those age groups who have not been vaccinated, and Zoe.

        About the current attack rate, originally I was using the Kings College data set. But, they have radically revised history 3 times now and who
        knows what credibility can be really given to a series from a UK uni for obvious reasons and where total infections sum to 200% of the population?
        So, now I use new infections = deaths/.00352 until vaccination hit and then new infections = 21.125% of Kings College/Zoe.
        It seems to fit the various UK govt serological % who have been infected data quite well, assuming a best fit antibody wane rate of 0.465%/day.
        This wane rate is rather lower than asserted by Imperial, 0.7%/day, I do not know why.
        The current conclusions I have are R = about 0.73, attack rate = 57%, new cases/day = 27,000. In addition I assume 15% of people are naturally immune.
        Really, more important than all this is putting Fergusson et al behind bars and investigating Kings College, Warwick Uni, Oxford Uni etc. links with Bill Gates and the CCP, and bankrupting them all to give compensation to 50 mn people.

      • Many thanks again Shyam, it is interesting and useful seeing how others collect and analyse the data.

        Why use cases? I am thinking the new cases data is closer to todays date and therefore you see potential changes sooner. When it comes to smaller locations the population is too low for data on hospitalisation and deaths to be much use.

        I started out more wanting to look at smaller locations to look for effects of different factors like lockdown, herd immunity, new variants etc by comparing lots of individual smaller areas like Swale or Medway that were among the first badly affected by the Kent variant, Liverpool that had a bad outbreak in autumn, and wanted to try and do the same for places around US, Sweden etc, looking at how R might relate to season, cumulative cases/serological results, new variants etc.

        Adjustment calculation: I included both % positive and number of tests in my adjustment, e.g. adjusted cases proportional to cases times some function of %positive/some function of number of tests. But if cases equals tests times % positive perhaps it could be rewritten leaving out one of the 3.

        My method seems to be working well for UK with data from the gov uk coronavirus website and Los Angeles county using their gov website. I wasn’t aware of the world in data coronavirus spread sheet until last night, so just been trying to plot Israel and Sweden from there with my method and having a lot of trouble; looking at % positive for Sweden it looks like a whole load of positive cases were misplaced around Christmas then reappeared 2 weeks later, but this looks like potentially different data from the original article here.

  53. Shyam JB Mehta

    By the way, I keep track of how the City of London are reacting to Covid/lockdown prospects. I have an index average of 3 companies badly affected by lockdown. Obviously they went up in Nov 2020, +28%, with the vaccine announcement. Then basically static until end Jan. Now +21%.
    USA confidence (retail sales, housing starts..) is very positive, oil prices +60%, UK retail expected footfall for April 2021 is +48%…

  54. When we had our vaccination in Torquay on 13 feb we were told it takes between 15 to 28 days to become effective and that is for both the astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccines

    Tonyb

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      Thank you. An epidemiologist friend of mine said 2-3 weeks, so I used 17.5 days in modelling. I will revise that to 20.

    • Tony,
      You may be waiting much much longer than that it you are waiting for the Astrozeneca vaccine to become effective against the South African variant (B.1.351).

      “[The research] indicated the modified adenovirus-based vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) had a vaccine efficacy of 21.9% (95% CI, -49.9 to 59.8) in protecting from COVID-19 more than 14 days after the booster dose was administered to seronegative patients, versus placebo.
      In the 42 endpoint cases of COVID-19 detection, 15 mild cases and 4 moderate cases were observed in participants to receive both ChAdOx1 doses, versus 17 and 6 cases in placebo recipients, respectively.
      Among the 41 primary endpoint cases sequenced and classified, 39 (95.1%) were B.1.351 variant infection.”
      https://www.contagionlive.com/view/astrazeneca-vaccine-preprint-covid-19-variant-response
      Mmm. I feel quite certain that, if this had been a HCQ or Ivermectin trial, then the conclusion would have been presented quite differently. The conclusion should read that the vaccine showed no significant benefit over a placebo.

      • kribaez –

        > The conclusion should read that the vaccine showed no significant benefit over a placebo.

        Wouldn’t you want info on efficacy in preventing severe infection and death before reaching that conclusion?

        Further, there’s an exponential quality to even marginal protection against infection, if it occurs.

      • I think this is key. The reason there are no human CoV vaccines isn’t because we can’t stimulate an immune response, it is because vaccines are not effective against CoVs. IMO our best hope, and the most likely outcome, is vaccines train our immune system and prevent severe disease.

        This will become endemic and it will hopefully become no more severe than a cold virus when we have been exposed to its genetic descendents throughout our life.

  55. Further to my long comment above about the challenge of predicting viral trajectory when the realworld problem involves multiple variants with changing properties, last night the French PM Jean Castex made a broadcast which commented inter alia on the recent surge in cases in France attributed to the extraordinarily rapid progression of the English Variant (“le variant anglais”), otherwise known as B.1.1.7 or 20I/501Y.V1 (UK). Castex reported that le variant anglais now represents about half of the positive cases in France. (!)
    The French authorities have elected to keep the raw data confidential, which is annoying, but reliable reports based on data up to 20th February suggested that the frequency of B.1.1.7 on screening tests had reached over 50% in 15 of the French Departements, and in Corsica had reached 80%. At that time it had already achieved dominance (>50% of all active cases) in 3 of the French regions.
    The first identified case was a Frenchman, resident in England, who returned for the Christmas holidays to his home in Tours in central France and tested positive for B.1.1.7 just before Christmas. However, it is most unlikely that he was the true index case, since the variant was identified in a September sample in the UK. This variant is now widely expected to achieve full dominance in France by early March, if it has not already done so.
    To add further complication, the Brazilian and South African variants are already in France, with the latter showing up with increasing frequency particularly in eastern France.
    The time series for total confirmed infections in France shows a major peak in early November followed by a major decline, followed by a series of ups and downs. The most recent movement is upwards. How much of this profile is explained by seasonality, how much by the Christmas holiday effect and how much by the emergence of these new transmissible strains of virus? What would this profile have looked like if the B.1.1.7 lineage had not come into existence? If we cannot unpick these questions credibly to explain the profile in recent history, then IMHO it seems a vain hope that we can predict its future trajectory with any confidence.

    • “….a broadcast which commented inter alia on the recent surge in cases in France attributed to the extraordinarily rapid progression of the English Variant (“le variant anglais””

      it is not an English variant it is just that the UK had the only genome sequencing facilities in Europe sophisticated enough to identify there was a new variant. It probably started in the south.

      It was already present in some 15 EU countries when we identified it.the AZ vaccine is effective against this strain.

      France is still very sore at us leaving the EU as we have seen with their killing their own citizens by refusing them the Astra Zenecca vaccine and refusing to allow fishermen to land catches they had previously agreed to.

      tonyb

    • Yes, kribaez, That’s my conclusion too. After trying to come up to speed on this field for a year, I find that viral epidemiology is a primitive field dominated by crude mechanistic narratives mostly lacking rigorous quantification. Just as an example, we don’t even really understand pathways of transmission of viruses in a quantified way. This paper was one I found incredibly enlightening.

      https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29

      Abstract: “The epidemiology of influenza swarms with incongruities, incongruities exhaustively detailed by the late British epidemiologist, Edgar Hope-Simpson. He was the first to propose a parsimonious theory explaining why influenza is, as Gregg said, “seemingly unmindful of traditional infectious disease behavioral patterns.” Recent discoveries indicate vitamin D upregulates the endogenous antibiotics of innate immunity and suggest that the incongruities explored by Hope-Simpson may be secondary to the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency. We identify – and attempt to explain – nine influenza conundrums: (1) Why is influenza both seasonal and ubiquitous and where is the virus between epidemics? (2) Why are the epidemics so explosive? (3) Why do they end so abruptly? (4) What explains the frequent coincidental timing of epidemics in countries of similar latitude? (5) Why is the serial interval obscure? (6) Why is the secondary attack rate so low? (7) Why did epidemics in previous ages spread so rapidly, despite the lack of modern transport? (8) Why does experimental inoculation of seronegative humans fail to cause illness in all the volunteers? (9) Why has influenza mortality of the aged not declined as their vaccination rates increased? We review recent discoveries about vitamin D’s effects on innate immunity, human studies attempting sick-to-well transmission, naturalistic reports of human transmission, studies of serial interval, secondary attack rates, and relevant animal studies. We hypothesize that two factors explain the nine conundrums: vitamin D’s seasonal and population effects on innate immunity, and the presence of a subpopulation of “good infectors.” If true, our revision of Edgar Hope-Simpson’s theory has profound implications for the prevention of influenza.”

    • I also am convinced that all this “follow the science” narrative is a purely partisan cudgel pushed by a corrupt media and their allies on the left. The masking controversy is emblematic of the deeply emotional and virtue signaling nature of what passes for “science.” There is no real evidence that masking in a community setting makes a difference. There is evidence that continuous wearing of a well fitted N95 mask makes a difference for health care workers, assuming you can get them to comply with a regimen that is not comfortable and in some cases dangerous. Hypoxia is a real danger especially when doing physical work.

      • “a corrupt media and their allies on the left. ”

        Paging Lewandowsky.

        Again.

      • We’ve been over this many times. Lewandowsky is a discredited pseudo-scientist in a field where in one large study 2/3 of the papers failed replication. His work is just another example of politicization of science that actually degrades science.

    • Sorry, I forgot to mention that the modeling here is not skillful. The problem is ill-posed and sensitive to the parameters of the model. It was impossible to predict the winter surge we have experienced. We don’t even know why flu is seasonal.

    • Paul, It is arguably desirable that the B.1.1.7 strain become strongly dominant in France before the S Africa and Brazilian strains, which have the antibody-resistant E484K mutation as well as the N501Y greater transmission mutation, are able to take off. Natural immunity from infection is more broadly based than that from vaccines, at least those based on the spike-protein (which the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, etc, ones are). So it may be that the greater proportion of the younger population who are infected by B.1.1.7, the better protected everyone will be in the future from E484K and other antibody-escape variants.

  56. Interesting article on the “vanishing” of the flu. No, its probably not due to lockdowns.

    https://redstate.com/michael_thau/2021/02/25/about-that-mysterious-decline-in-flu-cases-n332538

    • You crack me up dpy.

      dpy:

      “His work is just another example of politicization of science that actually degrades science.”

      Redstate: “Conservative Blog & Conservative News Source for Right of Center Activists”

      Priceless.

    • > And, of course, nothing in the Independent piece explains how it’s even remotely possible that the COVID-19 restrictions could have so effective against the flu that they completely eliminated it this year, yet so ineffective against COVID-19 itself that England has already seen over 1.6 million reported cases since January 1.

      Basic logic fail, for two obvious reasons. The first is that the logic implies that interventions haven’t reduced the spread of COVID infections simply because there have been a lot of infections. Circular logic. They assume interventions aren’t effective and then apply that assumption to say that they haven’t prevented any infections.

      The 2nd is that it ignorea many of the reasons why COVID is more infectious than the flu, and thus interventions would have an outsized effect with the flu compared to with COVID.

      Remarkable.

    • The new to me insight was about flu testing and how even a few days delay can cause someone with the flu to test negative.

      You ignore as usual Josh the other point, viz., even in places with no covid restrictions, the flu has also vanished including US states with no mask mandates and few others measures.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        About flu, right or wrong I saw somewhere that many more people had the flu vaccine this time in England.
        Interestingly (for me), I took a look at the relationship between cases and tests in England. Tests seem to relate to infections around 3 days earlier than cases of course ball park. I took logs of the two series and the slope of ln(cases) on ln(tests) was 0.94, over the period for which data is available, from 8/3/20.
        Of course, I do not pretend that this relationship is solid/constant…
        Since tests have doubled in the last few days this could be why the UK govt is saying cases have increased in some areas of England (they have not overall, but were on a declining trend). Imperial College have probably not heard about regression analysis.
        There is some evidence that vaccines reduce deaths. In England most vaccines are I believe the Oxford Uni ones. I looked at the govt stats for cases where a death is mentioned on the death cert for England and Wales. For the week to 12/2/21 compared with the previous week, that is infections around 20/1/21, R was about 0.78 for over 80 y/o s compared with 0.84 for under 80 y/o s. Allowing for 20 days for vaccines to take effect, and since the vaccination programme only started around 4/1/21, we would not expect much of a reduction yet. More recent data for deaths at a 25/1/21 inception date shows R = 0.71, but this is not far from Zoe 0.73, so there is no further evidence that the vaccines are working.

      • Interesting. I would expect the effect to show up in a few weeks. One of the mysteries my flu article brought up is that in Italy where flu vaccination increased from 10% to 60% of the elderly population there was no decrease in flu fatalities in that age group. That surprised me.

        As I and kribaez said we really know very little about viral epidemics.

  57. “No COVID restrictions” says absolutely nothing concrete about the level of behavioral changes. Further, the claim is completely unvalidated. Finally, it’s not like the flu stops at borders. “No COVID restrictions” areas are next to COVID restrictions areas.

    But sure, if you want to go with blog science, that’s certainly your prerogative.

    • Here’s one excerpt from people who actually study this, as opposed to cherry-pick blog articles:

      –snip–
      Seasonal influenza activity was lower in 2020 than in previous years in Japan. Influenza activity may have been affected by temperature5 or virulence (although influenza activity in the 2019/2020 season was moderately severe in other parts of the world6), but also by measures taken to constrain the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. While closure of schools and suspension of large events occurred late in the influenza season, awareness regarding measures to reduce the risk of disease transmission was high among the Japanese public from early in the year. Limitations of this study include lack of availability of age-specific weekly data on influenza activity and information regarding means of diagnosis. Concerns regarding the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak may have changed detection of influenza through changes in symptomatic individuals seeking medical attention or in physicians’ inclination to test for influenza.

      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2764657

    • Except that this is a largely tangential point to the main point. The testing issue is also more than adequate to explain this. You, despite starting to do the argument by sneering, have provided no evidence that covid restrictions are the cause. Another possibility mentioned is viral exclusion. There is evidence that it’s quite hard to have 2 viruses simultaneously.

      And of course your quote amounts to saying “there are lots of possibilities.” And I was actually starting to think you had gotten past the intellectual age of 18.

      • David –

        You linked to a blog article with gaping logical holes from an overtly and non-scientific website to conclude “No, it’s probably not due to lockdowns.”

        If that’s your view of being scientific, more power to you. Maybe your vast experience as a scientist gives you an insight I could never understand.

      • Well like most things about viral epidemics we really don’t know. I happen to think that since flu ‘disappeared’ everywhere this season it’s more likely to be something other than covid restrictions. We still have no real conclusive evidence they work. The burden of proof is on those advocating them and not on me.

  58. I’m not sure it’s helpful calling this “wave 2”. The reason I say this is because governments make the false assumption that their measures have worked and each time cases rise they use that as a justification for renewed lockdown and restrictions. It is clearly a continuation of the evolution of the virus from a highly virulent and deadly virus to a more rapidly transmissible yet less deadly one. These variants essentially confirm that.

    Are the numbers reliable for past year influenza? The world is hyper focused on covid – in a way never applied to past respiratory illnesses… Is that being accounted for?

    I have a question, why do we see large numbers of covid cases but low numbers of traditional flu? Surely if the measures were effective against the flu they should be against covid? Curious.

    • Preston,
      There is no doubt that the subject abounds with false assumptions and unsubstantiated hypotheses.
      You state:-
      “It is clearly a continuation of the evolution of the virus from a highly virulent and deadly virus to a more rapidly transmissible yet less deadly one.”

      The word “clearly” does not really belong in this sentence. Most viruses do evolve to be more transmissible and less deadly. There is a simple causal explanation for this, based on natural selection. However, the successful variants of the SARS-COV 2 viruses all have the property that there is an unusually long asymptomatic period when the virus can be transmitted. There is a major evolutionary advantage in this with regard to transmissibility. (Typically, herd animals and tribal animals will avoid an obviously sick member of the herd through atavistic instinct. In the case of humans, we try to isolate an obviously sick person asap.)
      We can hence expect that this property will be retained by any natural selection mechanism. This considerably weakens one of the main drivers of viral attenuation – which is to keep a host alive and active long enough to ensure survival of the virus through transmission.
      I thought that there was some evidence of viral attenuation up to end 3Q last year, when I noted that in many locations where we had good data, there was evidence of a reduction in indicators of disease severity (IFR and ICU admissions) across all age groups. However, there is disturbing preliminary evidence that the new variants are more aggressive. A Danish study, for example, found that out of 2,155 people infected with B.1.1.7 (the English variant), 128 were hospitalized – a rate 64% higher than people infected with previous variants.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        If you look at the data for deaths/new infections per the Zoe symptoms study, covid has become much more deadly in the last few months.
        But, I tried to recalibrate my model to get the shape of R etc. we saw in 2020 based on the revised Kings College Zoe data and the new estimate of an increase in transmissibility of 1.27 x not 1.5 x. And, it does not work…
        In my opinion, this does not invalidate the model predictions for the future since as I have outlined if we fit to the govt’s serological data, the UK has more or less reached herd immunity unless of course an even more dramatically transmissible strain emerged. So, my prediction is for infections to continue to decline at 25%/week and deaths to decline very rapidly indeed. And, removal of lockdown will not have much effect. We will not get to the 130,000 deaths imagined by Imperial College and Warwick unis.

      • Kribaez,

        I was not aware of the Danish study. Have there been any studies that looked into the effect of preventing spread? I wonder whether the policies have effectively ensured that this lasts much longer because we are preventing the less deadly variant from spreading.

        I appreciate the reply as well, thanks.

  59. UK-Weather Lass

    Although it may take a little while longer to penetrate the so called ‘woke’ elements of the UK media, e.g. BBC, The Guardian, etc., phrases such as ‘Covid-19 is here forever, we have to live with it’ and we have to maintain herd immunity with the help of vaccines, are creeping into media script. Of course there have been virologists, epidemiologists, scientists and doctors who have been saying this from the beginning of the ‘panic’ because it has been the case with almost every ‘flu virus we have encountered. It begs the question as to why we and our leaders entertained the losses of our freedoms in an attempt to defeat SARS-CoV-2.

    We also have in the UK a much more serious row brewing over the number of deaths which have been attributed to Covid-19. Some of the higher profile examples are not good news for our statistics gathering communities – official and unofficial – and will hardly help to provide better information in future outbreaks. Surrounded by all this patent dishonesty what should be done to restore some dignity to our public health sciences and official data collecting agencies? Something has to done if we are not to suffer similar distortions and defects in future planning as have happened with climate change with similar disastrous consequences and expensive failed alternative solutions.

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      My view is that complete dishonesty is here to stay. It is not new.
      I am a retired ‘actuary’, insurance financial mathematician. I consulted to the European insurance and pensions industries. The amount of incompetence, self interested dishonesty cannot be believed. (90)% of British actuaries saying that a pension fund was ‘funded’ to give trustees the impression that it was solvent.
      I to an extent follow India. The East India Company doctored the ancient Indian scriptures to fool Brits and Indians alike and nowadays all you see is the doctored texts, outside of India.
      It is all to do with government intervention in the lives of people.
      Climate change is companies
      1. exempt from prosecution by the govts, and even if not facing class action suits that are bound to fail because they would be heard by supreme court political appointees. The UK govt is preventing people from going to court re Covid lockdown because the costs they would face would be massive
      2. given limited liability so if the damage done is £1000 tn, the worst that happens is their share price goes down a notch, rather than them losing their homes.
      3. Companies in cahoots with govts, giving them cash, getting cash,..
      Would the CCP do a better job? Chinese people with their doors welded shut. Chinese jumping out of their windows. Would Stalin Starmer do a better job? No, worse.

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      I became enthralled with libertarian philosophy in 1974, from a Guardian article. At the time there was a lot of research about the benefits
      of liberty, free markets…So, I do not think we should have ‘public services’.
      There is no need for CCP planning in a free market, when everyone is free.
      There was an interesting article about how NY could easily have coped with a crisis like Covid when its health care system was free,
      also about how courteous..doctors were, how they did not turn away the poor (whether they turned away black people I do not know).
      The crisis in the NHS is all to do with socialism and socialist provision. Every year there is a crisis in order to promote doctors’ and nurses’ interests.
      Whether doctors were really as nice as that see
      https://sebastianrushworth.com/2021/02/26/medical-reversals-when-doctors-hurt-patients/

      CCP in my view is going to take over the world. What is there to stop them?
      https://unherd.com/2021/02/the-communist-party-on-campus/
      https://unherd.com/2021/02/chinas-plan-for-medical-domination/
      https://unherd.com/2021/02/the-rise-of-green-imperialism/
      Public services are going to get a lot worse, even if that sounds impossible.

    • UK Weather Lass

      I remember bringing up the real number of covid deaths with you nearly a year ago. Doesn’t seem possible this is all still going on and that we are still making such a meal of it. It is serious of course but it is not the plague.

      I know a number of people who went into hospital and caught covid there. I also know 2 who supposedly died with it but their families are trying to get this cause removed as they say it wasn’t what they died of. Captain Tom falls into this category .

      I think it would help the overall discussion if ‘other’ causes of deaths were made known. I don’t think people here realise that some 640,000 people die in the UK every year and by no means all of them die of covid despite the media and Govt hysteria that might make the public believe it is the only cause of death.

      tonyb

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        For what it is worth, I looked at deaths in England and Wales in 2020. Nos on death certificates, 77686. Actual, based on a regression analysis for the period 2010 to 2019, 57837. From memory this was +-13000 with 5% CI. Who cares about 20,000 deaths, when lockdown will probably cause 200,000 or whatever. More important is that BoJo, Whitty,..doctors should be sent to jail.

      • You have probably seen this new campaign gathering momentum

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9305405/Grieving-relatives-demand-inquiry-loved-ones-wrongly-certified-virus-victims.html

        Let us hope any enquiry is thorough and names names. Mind you we were paying follow my leader so questions need to be asked in many other countries

        Tonyb

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Sturgeon. Starmer. BoJo. Whitty Fergusson….1000 doctors re care home deaths…I have named their names. Of what use is that? Zero. Of what use is an enquiry? Zero. They should go to court and seek £1000 mn compensation. But they cannot because the govt have said they will bankrupt them with costs if they lose. The govt has all the cards.
        Btw, I reckon the UK mortality rate has fallen now by 12% since vaccinations started. With plausible assumptions it should decline by a factor of 10 over 2 months.

      • Tony –

        It’s intersting that in such a long article there’s no mention of even the possibility that someone might have died at home with no treating doctor, or in a nursing home where no test was performed and COVID was not listed as a cause of death – but where in actuality COVID could reasonably have been considered the cause.

        Maybe that’s because in their exhaustive investigation, the reporters determined that’s never happened, eh?

      • Of course, many people who do this sort of investigation as professionals have suggested that if anything, COVID deaths have been undercounted rather than overcounted – but my guess is that they’re all collectively in on some kind of fascist conspiracy to deceive the public. Prolly to rob people of freedoms.

    • UK-Weather Lass

      Let’s look at what happens when someone dies and SARS-CoV-2 may be implicated.

      At home such a death may be impossible to attribute to Covid-19 unless a partner can specifically state that the relevant symptoms were present. In such a case the doctor would be acting in a reasonable and responsible way when notifying a cause of death ‘involving’ a notifiable disease (e.g. Covid-19). That, however, does not exclude the possibility that a seasonal ‘flu was ‘really’ to blame.

      In a hospital the same potential issues arise since symptoms anecdotally remembered by a patient would be similar to cough, fever, loss of smell, fatigue, and shortness of breath which are present in a whole range of respiratory disorders and tests are never 100%. We just hope that doctors A) act honestly, professionally and reasonably and are not under pressure or instruction to state things that are not true; and B) do not put words into patients, or their relatives, mouths.

      I would suggest that in normal times there is no pressure upon doctors to produce data which are useful to those who collate reasons for hospital admissions and/or deaths. The problem is we didn’t treat Covid-19 as a normal viral illness and there IMO is the potential root for trouble. The disease was politicised very early on and once that is done you lose control of professional practice across so many disciplines and to such great cost to the general public.

      • convenient treatment of uncertainties:

        > That, however, does not exclude the possibility that a seasonal ‘flu was ‘really’ to blame.

        Nor does it exclude the possibility that COVID was to blame and the people providing information didn’t understand provide the details to make that clear, and no test was performed.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        As I understand it doctors are required to certify a death as covid if the person had a positive test sometime in the previous 28 days, it is nothing whatsoever to do with having symptoms or covid or anything. But, who knows what docs who refuse to treat 70+ year olds really do? There should be a proper police investigation into all doctors’ actions and docs responsible sent to jail and bankrupted and required to give compensation to their victims.

      • UK-Weather Lass

        “Nor does it exclude the possibility that COVID was to blame and the people providing information didn’t understand provide the details to make that clear, and no test was performed.”

        In the example I gave, Joshua, if only you would allow yourself an open mind for a few seconds , the data would have included Covid-19 on the death certificate but perhaps in error. I know it may sometimes be hard for you, but balance is a gift you should not be so quick to give away.

      • > In the example I gave, Joshua, if only you would allow yourself an open mind for a few seconds , the data would have included Covid-19 on the death certificate but perhaps in error. I know it may sometimes be hard for you, but balance is a gift you should not be so quick to give away.

        Lol. Yes, my point was that your “example” was highly selective. Of course there might be people who would be wrongly classified as having COVID. There’s also the possibility that people died with COVID as a key factor, but where that was never identified.

        The people who actually study such things as how deaths are attributed, and who have been doing this for years, seem to generally think that the deaths are probably undercounted.

        But there’s nothing to prevent online experts (who actually have zero domain-relevant knowledge), who are highly inclined to draw conclusions in line with their political predispositions, from drawing their conclusions.

  60. https://larrysanger.org/2020/05/wikipedia-is-badly-biased/

    For VTG, Josie, and other handmaidens of the lefty narrative, a founder of Wikipaedia denounces the platform. Wikipaedia has been captured and is not a reliable source on any issue.

    As with the New York Times, what is most insidious is that they claim objectivity. Until they get caught admitting they skew ‘news’ to fit the narrative.

    • Look up “Judith Curry” on Wikipedia, and then read the notes and time history of edits on my site. Absolutely comical (well, maybe comical isn’t the right word) to see my career reduced to such drivel. Some good stuff on wikipedia, but if a topic is the least bit controversial or political, it becomes nonsense.

      • Judith, I’m not going to subject myself to another smear as the last 4 years have seen the technique become more common than at any time since the Red scare. It was probably written by a skeptical science kid. But I forgot they won an award!! Just like Andrew Cuomo won an Emmy for convincing the corrupt media he was the best governor in the US while he was really killing thousands with a politically motivated policy. Oh and he looks to be an abuser and harasser too.

        The last four years of media corruption are worse than anything since the Gilded Age.

    • > a founder of Wikipaedia

      Seems that Larry’s a serial quitter:

      Sanger served as Wikipedia’s community leader in Wikipedia’s early stages but became increasingly disillusioned with the project and left it in 2002. Sanger’s status as a co-founder of Wikipedia has been questioned by fellow co-founder Jimmy Wales but is generally accepted.

      […]

      He founded Citizendium in 2006 to compete with Wikipedia, stepped down as editor-in-chief of the project in 2010, and left Citizendium entirely in 2020. In 2017, he joined Everipedia as chief information officer (CTO), but resigned from this position in 2019 to establish the Knowledge Standards Foundation and the Encyclosphere.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Sanger

      Best of luck to Larry’s new elitist gig.

  61. Spoke to my brother last night. Covid Is dying out rapidly in his hospitals. But ICUs are still full mostly with people who got sick some time ago but were too frightened to seek treatment until they got deathly sick. More casualties of irrational fear.

    He also pointed me to studies of flu vaccination in older people. Risk of death or serious illness was not decreased, but overall chances if any symptoms did decrease. This confirms what I pointed to above from 2007. So why are governments pushing flu vaccinations so hard? Has there been any cost benefit analysis? Just another case of a pervasive narrative that’s a half truth.

    My trust in medical authorities is not very high. This field of ‘science’ is quite primitive.

    • > Risk of death or serious illness was not decreased.

      Lol.

      For the individual or for the society?

      >> So why are governments pushing flu vaccinations so hard?

      That’s funny. The guy who thinks that we’ve hit herd immunity at a low population infection % asks why public health officials want fewer people to get infected with the flu.

      Apparently the concept of compounding growth and protecting vulnerable people from getting infected and limiting the stress on our healthcare workers and limiting the costs to our healthcare system, and that more illness and more hospitalizations as a society are bad health outcomes and will also lead to more OVERALL death, are all concepts that are foreign to this fella.

    • More emotional argument by irony. You know that the secondary attack rate is low for the flu. Flu epidemics are no better now than 20 years ago before mass vaccination. QED

      • > Flu epidemics are no better now than 20 years ago before mass vaccination.

        OK Whatever you say. David. Lol.

        > Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year. For example, during 2019-2020, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, 105,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths.

        https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-benefits.htm

      • I delved into this a little, which perhaps you did not do Josh. These are all CDC “estimates” with a host of caveats. I looked at one study of influenza vaccination and heart disease that concluded that there was not a statistically significant effect and a double blind large trial was needed. The double blind trials do not lie, according to my brother, vaccination did not statistically significantly reduce either flu deaths or ICU admissions. Other studies say otherwise.

  62. date isolated increase % total tests
    2/11/2021 94,195 6,460 7.3 1,592,480
    2/12/2021 91,083 -3,112 -3.3 1,833,118
    2/13/2021 78,271 -12,812 -14 1,723,298
    2/14/2021 63,446 -14,825 -18.9 1,745,616
    2/15/2021 49,567 -13,879 -21.9 1,253,530
    2/16/2021 57,024 7,457 15 1,085,182
    2/17/2021 67,132 10,108 17.7 1,236,497
    2/18/2021 61,480 -5,652 -8.4 2,685,892
    2/19/2021 71,335 9,855 16 2,010,675
    2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
    2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
    2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
    2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
    2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
    2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
    2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
    2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
    61,685 is 2.8% of total tests.
    Stayed to long at the UK one.
    Yesterday % was 3.9%. Pretty large drop for 24 hours on basically the on same base. 61,285 is a drop from yesterday and although 2,194,360 really looks good, and it is what I asked for, I do not believe it.

    • date isolated increase % total tests
      2/11/2021 94,195 6,460 7.3 1,592,480
      2/12/2021 91,083 -3,112 -3.3 1,833,118
      2/13/2021 78,271 -12,812 -14 1,723,298
      2/14/2021 63,446 -14,825 -18.9 1,745,616
      2/15/2021 49,567 -13,879 -21.9 1,253,530
      2/16/2021 57,024 7,457 15 1,085,182
      2/17/2021 67,132 10,108 17.7 1,236,497
      2/18/2021 61,480 -5,652 -8.4 2,685,892
      2/19/2021 71,335 9,855 16 2,010,675
      2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
      2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
      2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
      2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
      2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
      2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
      2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
      2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
      2/28/2021 45,945 -15,740 -25.5 1,298,459
      45,945 is 3.8% of total tests.
      I hope some of you found me over here. The numbers look like they could be accurate. That means this is getting close to where you had it back in June.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
      2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
      2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
      2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
      2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
      2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
      2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
      2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
      2/28/2021 45,945 -15,740 -25.5 1,298,459
      2/1/2021 47,464 1,519 3.3 1,337,875
      47,464 is 3.5 of total tests. One you must remember is that the positive includes tests required by the contact tracers. This should be the highest % of all those tested.
      I hope you found me over here. I believe you are about to see the results of one year’s work of all the AMERICAN PEOPLE involved.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
      2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
      2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
      2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
      2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
      2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
      2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
      2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
      2/28/2021 45,945 -15,740 -25.5 1,298,459
      3/1/2021 47,464 1,519 3.3 1,337,875
      3/2/2021 51,345 3,881 8.2 1,582,622
      51,345 is 3.3% of total tests.
      3.3% shows Texas did the right thing by opening up the state. It also shows the $1.9 trillion dollar bill is not necessary for the country to reopen.

      • Robert Clark

        Since 12/3/2020 to 3/2/2021 the contact tracers and testers have asked 12,994,710 to self quarantine for 14 days. If I assume the antibodies have cured a little less it means the American People and antibodies are responsible for vaccinating around 24,000,000 individuals in the last 3 months. That is why the % total positive to total tests has dropped from around 10% to around 4%.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
      2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
      2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
      2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
      2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
      2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
      2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
      2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
      2/28/2021 45,945 -15,740 -25.5 1,298,459
      3/1/2021 47,464 1,519 3.3 1,337,875
      3/2/2021 51,345 3,881 8.2 1,582,622
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      62,364 is 2.5% of total tests.
      Hopefully the total test number is correct. The contact tracers and testers are working extra hard around the border and they are finding that many positive individuals.
      The new story about the Government sending buss loads if immigrants to the states, with a few positive covid-19 individuals inside, is the worst fake news story ever.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
      2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
      2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
      2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
      2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
      2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
      2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
      2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
      2/28/2021 45,945 -15,740 -25.5 1,298,459
      3/1/2021 47,464 1,519 3.3 1,337,875
      3/2/2021 51,345 3,881 8.2 1,582,622
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      61,338 is 3.9% of total tests.
      We are back to treading water. Remember how fast the virus grew from June to September. Now it is the vaccine verses the virus from over the border.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
      2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
      2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
      2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
      2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
      2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
      2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
      2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
      2/28/2021 45,945 -15,740 -25.5 1,298,459
      3/1/2021 47,464 1,519 3.3 1,337,875
      3/2/2021 51,345 3,881 8.2 1,582,622
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      60,432 is 3.4% of total tests
      I do believe the Positive number is correct. The actual number of tests is probably higher. We are treading water.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
      2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
      2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
      2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
      2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
      2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
      2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
      2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
      2/28/2021 45,945 -15,740 -25.5 1,298,459
      3/1/2021 47,464 1,519 3.3 1,337,875
      3/2/2021 51,345 3,881 8.2 1,582,622
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      55,008 is 4.0% of total tests.
      Still treading water. Total tests still have their unexplainable bumps.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      2/20/2021 62,426 -8,904 -12.4 1,009,330
      2/21/2021 51,106 -11,320 -18.1 3,619,308
      2/22/2021 50,911 -195 -0.4 1,295,489
      2/23/2021 65,651 14,740 29 1,520,891
      2/24/2021 64,969 -682 1 1,457,049
      2/25/2021 73,827 8,858 13.6 1,766,243
      2/26/2021 70,940 -2,887 -3.9 1,803,122
      2/27/2021 61,685 -9,255 -2.8 2,194,360
      2/28/2021 45,945 -15,740 -25.5 1,298,459
      3/1/2021 47,464 1,519 3.3 1,337,875
      3/2/2021 51,345 3,881 8.2 1,582,622
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      39,586 is 3.6% of total tests.
      LOOKS VERY PROMISSING.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      49,942 is 2.9% of total tests.
      It is still looking good. Maybe the vaccine will stay ahead of the open border
      The contact tracers, testers and antibodies are still bringing the % down.

      • Robert Clark

        DATE POSITIVE TOTAL TESTS % POSITIVE
        2/24/2031 67,969 1,457,049 4.7
        2/25/2021 73,827 1,766,243 4.2
        2/26/2021 70,940 1,803,122 3.9
        2/27/2021 61,685 2,194,360 2.8
        2/28/2021 45,945 1,298,459 3.8
        3/1/2021 47,464 1,337,875 3.5
        3/2/2021 51,345 1,582,622 3.3
        3/3/2021 62,364 2,462,764 2.5
        3/4/2021 61,336 1,573,810 3.9
        3/5/2021 60,430 1,785,764 3.4
        3/6/2021 55,008 1,367,723 4
        3/7/2031 39,086 1,107,191 3.6
        3/8/2021 40,942 1,404,562 2.9
        From Sept. 1st thru Dec. 31st the contact tracers and testers probably averaged isolating over 150,000 a day. The antibodies probably vaccinated a similar number. Although we do not know how long that lasts , it is probably still active in all of them. The above shows that.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      51,205 is 4.0% of total tests.
      Tests went down while % went up. Not a good sign.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      55,996 is 4.9% of total tests.
      In June you had it down to 20,000 positive per day. It took until September for us (me) to see the 6 day rule. That was my fault. The answer was right in front of me. For that I apologize
      Now we had it down to 40,000 positives per day. The answer to the increase is understood by the American People. You know the individual responsible for this rise in positive.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      57,939 is 3.8% of total tests.
      39,586 to 57,939 is an increase of 46,3% in 4 days.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      63,245 is 3.8% of total tests.
      The contact tracers, testers and antigens had daily positive down to 40,000. We were waiting for the vaccine meet on our way down.
      Yesterday in a speech I heard 500,000 deaths was a bad number. I thought it was a good number because the AMERICAN PEOPLE worked hard to keep it that low. Cuomo is not alone anymore.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      47,960 is 3.4% of total tests.
      I expected positives to go up significantly.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      36,381 is 1.3% of total tests.
      Last night they added about 1,500,000 tests to the total test number.
      Although they show a fantastic drop in daily positive, which is what we are trying to accomplish, I have no faith in the number.
      We will see wha t happens over the next few days.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      42,550 is 3.4% of total tests.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      50,279 is 4.9% of total tests.
      New Deaths 2 days ago 631
      New Deaths 1 day ago 785
      New Deaths today 1,076
      To me this is the open border.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      59,088 is 4.3% of total tests.
      It is not the looks that counts. It is the information within that counts. They worked for almost one year to control the virus spread and get it down to around 40,000 positive and save hundreds of thousands of lives (my opionion).
      Today 1,191 deaths.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/3/2021 62,364 11,019 21.5 2,462,764
      3/4/2021 61,336 -1,028 -1.6 1,578,910
      3/5/2021 60,432 -904 -1.5 1,785,764
      3/6/2021 55,008 -5,424 -8.8 1,367,732
      3/7/2021 39,586 -15,422 -28 1,197,191
      3/8/2021 40,942 1,356 3.4 1,404,562
      3/9/2021 51,205 10,263 25 1,286,493
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      60,660 is 3.5% of total tests.
      3/14/2021 total isolated 36,381 total deaths 631
      3/18/2021 total isolated 60,660 total deaths 1,669
      4 days deaths up 164.5%
      THIS IS OPEN BORDERS!!!!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      3/19/2021 63,122 2,462 4.1 1,645,927
      63,122 is 3.8% of total tests
      Total deaths today is 1,141. Down 528 from yesterday. % has been staying in the 3’s and 4’s for a couple of weeks.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      3/19/2021 63,122 2,462 4.1 1,645,927
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      53,270 is 3.9% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 780.
      % is staying low in the3’s. We are treading water. The contact tracers, testers, antibodies are keeping up with the virus being spread by the border crossers. On 3/14/2021 the border crossers overtook the antibodies.
      My hope is today’s results show we just met the manufactured vaccine.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      3/19/2021 63,122 2,462 4.1 1,645,927
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      38,166 is 3.5% of total tests.
      LOOKING VERY GOOD.
      Total deaths today 439. Down 341.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      3/19/2021 63,122 2,462 4.1 1,645,927
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.2vaccine
      40,186 is 3.6% of total tests.
      If the % goes up the virus coming across the border is doing it.
      If the % goes down the vaccine is doing it.
      Right now we are treading water.
      Total deaths today 578.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      3/19/2021 63,122 2,462 4.1 1,645,927
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      56,233 is 4.7% of total tests.
      Today’s deaths 850.
      We have the answer to yesterday’s question.
      How far over 150,000 new positives per day will it be by 4/1/2021?

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      3/19/2021 63,122 2,462 4.1 1,645,927
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      64,573 is 4.1% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 1,218.
      I guess that over the last year the contact tracers, testers, and antibodies have vaccinated between 80,000 and 1,000,000 individuals.
      All we can do now is wait until the vaccine meets the antibodies.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      3/19/2021 63,122 2,462 4.1 1,645,927
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      62,333 is 4.3% of total tests.
      I meant to say the antibodies may have already vaccinated as much as one third of the country.
      Look at the tests for the last 3 days. The contact tracers, and testers are keeping the number up.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/10/2020 55,996 4,791 9.4 1,146,456
      3/11/2021 57,939 1,943 3.4 1,146,456
      3/12/2021 63,245 5,306 9.2 1,662,266
      3/13/2021 47,960 -15,285 -24.2 1,428,900
      3/14/2021 36,381 -11,579 -24.1 2,724,178
      3/15/2021 42,550 6,169 17 1,255,292
      3/16/2021 50,279 7,729 18.2 1,024,851
      3/17/2021 59,088 8,809 17.5 1,368,973
      3/18/2021 60,660 1,572 2.7 1,356,796
      3/19/2021 63,122 2,462 4.1 1,645,927
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      73,620 is 4.0% of total tests.
      total deaths today 1,213.
      1,834,568 total tests is up from yesterday. % is 4.0 which is dawn from yesterday’s 4.3.
      MORE TESTS. YOU ARE GOING TO BEAT THIS THING.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      62,898 is 4.9% of total tests.
      Deaths today 772
      Listening to NEWSMAX today Xpresident Trump was interviewed. He mentioned that in the beginning experts estimated that deaths could be as high as 2.5 million. As of tonight it is 561,977. He knows it was the AMERICAN PEOPLE that kept it that low.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      40,072 is 4.0% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 466.
      What did I say about April 1st above ?
      OH, me of little faith.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      55,695 is 4.1% of total tests.
      Todays deaths 624
      More tests. Vaccine has to beat the boarder crossers. It took 12 months to get to this point.
      WE CAN NOT LET DICTATORIAL POLITITIONS RUIN OUR CHILDRENS FUTURE!!!!!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      3/30/2021 60,738 5,034 9 1,404,005
      60,738 is 4.3% of total tests.
      We are treading water again. The % is holding in the low 4%.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      3/30/2021 60,738 5,034 9 1,404,005
      3/31/2021 66,587 5,855 9.6 1,182,013
      66,587 is 5.6% mof total tests.
      It appears we are beginning to lose to the border crossers.
      The dictatorial politicians (THE SWAMP) used COVID-19 to win the election. Before the change of administrations THE AMERICAN PEOPLE were gradually defeating the virus. Are they using the virus again?

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      3/30/2021 60,738 5,034 9 1,404,005
      3/31/2021 66,587 5,855 9.6 1,182,013
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      74,685 is 4.2% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 927.
      Today on FOX news Dr. Siegel mentioned that over the last 12 months the antibodies may have vaccinated up to 100,000,000 individuals. Maybe someone is watching what you are doing.
      1.7 million tests today. They are really in a hurry to meet the vaccine.
      MORE TESTS!!!!!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      3/30/2021 60,738 5,034 9 1,404,005
      3/31/2021 66,587 5,855 9.6 1,182,013
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      66,916 is 1.8% of total tests.
      total deaths today 912.
      CDC added about 2 million tests to total tests after noon GMT today.
      tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      3/30/2021 60,738 5,034 9 1,404,005
      3/31/2021 66,587 5,855 9.6 1,182,013
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      64,730 is 4.7% of total tests.
      Deaths today 790
      2 down days in a row of the positive number.
      MORE TESTS.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      3/30/2021 60,738 5,034 9 1,404,005
      3/31/2021 66,587 5,855 9.6 1,182,013
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      CDC had a bad weekend.
      After 1200 GMT today they added about 1,000,000 tests to total tests.
      Maybe in a couple of days it will make sense again.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      3/30/2021 60,738 5,034 9 1,404,005
      3/31/2021 66,587 5,855 9.6 1,182,013
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      47,162 is 3.7% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 404
      % is less than 4%. 3/23/2021 is the last time it was below 4%.
      74,685 to 47,162 looks pretty good. Lets see how well you can do over the next 7 days.
      MORE TESTS!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      3/20/2021 53,270 -9,852 -15.6 1,402,461
      3/21/2021 38,166 -15,104 -28.3 1,087,511
      3/22/2021 40,186 2,020 5.3 1,130.28
      3/23/2021 56,233 16,047 39.9 1,205,778
      3/24/2021 64,573 8,340 14.8 1,559,180
      3/25/2021 62,333 -2,240 -3.4 1,440,705
      3/26/2021 73,620 11,287 18.1 1,834,568
      3/27/2021 62,898 -10,722 -14.5 1,275,039
      3/28/2021 40,072 -22,826 -36.2 991,925
      3/29/2021 55,695 14,973 37.3 1,357,983
      3/30/2021 60,738 5,034 9 1,404,005
      3/31/2021 66,587 5,855 9.6 1,182,013
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      60,912 is 3.9% of total tests.
      Deaths today 893.
      There has been talk about completing the border wall. Maybe the dictatorial politicians care about your controlling the virus.
      MORE TESTS

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      4/7/2021 72,597 11,685 19.2 1,118,601
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      76,993 is 4.4% of total tests.
      Total tests today 968.
      “The idea we have so many people dyeing in America due to gun violence, that is what is important in America.” That is what our leader said today.
      Look at the test number.
      MORE TESTS!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      4/7/2021 72,597 11,685 19.2 1,118,601
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      82,312 is 5.0% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 896
      MORE TESTS!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      4/7/2021 72,597 11,685 19.2 1,118,601
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      65,003 is 4.5% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 717.
      Around January 22 2021 the dictatorlty polatitions shut down the pipe line, thus raising the price of fuel. This costs the middle and lower class a high percentage of their cost of living. Later they gave each a total of $2000.00. The higher cost of fuel will quickly eat that up and will last for many years.
      At the same time they also opened the southern border. You had the virus under control while we waited for the vaccine to finish it off. The positive number and deaths were down. Governor Cuomo looks like an amateur.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      4/7/2021 72,597 11,685 19.2 1,118,601
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      4/11/2021 46,662 -18,341 -28.2 1,141,718
      46,662 is 4.1% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 268.
      Sunday today so tests are down a little.
      % is down again, a good sign.
      Tomorrow is another day.
      MORE TESTS.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      4/7/2021 72,597 11,685 19.2 1,118,601
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      4/11/2021 46,662 -18,341 -28.2 1,141,718
      4/12/2021 51,326 4,664 10 1,372,935
      51,326 is 3.7% of totalk tests.
      Total deaths today 450
      Total tests is back below 4.0%. A good sign.
      The dictatorially (dictionary) politicians, with their border crossers, can not beat the antibodies, contact tracers, testers and virus. If they do not close the border, they will keep many employed.
      More tests!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      4/7/2021 72,597 11,685 19.2 1,118,601
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      4/11/2021 46,662 -18,341 -28.2 1,141,718
      4/12/2021 51,326 4,664 10 1,372,935
      4/13/2021 75,262 23,936 46.6 1,275,845
      75,262 is 5.9% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 804
      Remember June to September, how fast the % number grew. You stopped the asymptomatic growth with the 6 day rule. Now our government is taking the asymptomatic and shipping them to all the states.
      NEVER LET CRISIS GO TO WASTE.
      The wife and I just got our second injection. Thank-you Donald Trump!!!!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      4/7/2021 72,597 11,685 19.2 1,118,601
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      4/11/2021 46,662 -18,341 -28.2 1,141,718
      4/12/2021 51,326 4,664 10 1,372,935
      4/13/2021 75,262 23,936 46.6 1,275,845
      4/14/2021 76,767 1,505 2 1,386,467
      76,767 is 5.5% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 915.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/1/2021 74,685 8,098 12.1 1,793,882
      4/2/2021 66,916 -7,769 -10.4 3,629,100
      4/3/2021 64,730 -2,186 -3.3 1,377,895
      4/4/2021 36,202 -28,528 44 -655,016
      4/5/2021 47,162 10,960 30.2 1,259,613
      4/6/2021 60,912 13,750 29.1 1,577,641
      4/7/2021 72,597 11,685 19.2 1,118,601
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      4/11/2021 46,662 -18,341 -28.2 1,141,718
      4/12/2021 51,326 4,664 10 1,372,935
      4/13/2021 75,262 23,936 46.6 1,275,845
      4/14/2021 76,767 1,505 2 1,386,467
      4/15/2021 71,913 -4,854 -6.3 1,475,218
      71,913 is 4.9% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 877.% down a little today and they are keeping the test number relatively high.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      4/11/2021 46,662 -18,341 -28.2 1,141,718
      4/12/2021 51,326 4,664 10 1,372,935
      4/13/2021 75,262 23,936 46.6 1,275,845
      4/14/2021 76,767 1,505 2 1,386,467
      4/15/2021 71,913 -4,854 -6.3 1,475,218
      4/16/2021 78,738 6,825 9.5 1,686,425
      78,738 is 4.7 % of total tests.
      total deaths today 860.
      They say it takes 8 weeks from the first injection (4+2+2) for the vaccine to be working. They started vaccinating around 12/1/2020. The end of March will be over 16 weeks. The antibodies did 100,000,000. Right now we are treading water with that virus coming over the border and being shipped to all the states. My guess is the antibodies and the vaccine pass the border crossing virus by the end of May.
      Look at today’s test number. They are trying to make look like a fool!!!!!

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      4/11/2021 46,662 -18,341 -28.2 1,141,718
      4/12/2021 51,326 4,664 10 1,372,935
      4/13/2021 75,262 23,936 46.6 1,275,845
      4/14/2021 76,767 1,505 2 1,386,467
      4/15/2021 71,913 -4,854 -6.3 1,475,218
      4/16/2021 78,738 6,825 9.5 1,686,425
      4/17/2021 62,885 -15,835 -20.1 1,635,448
      62,885 is 3.8% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 710.
      Deaths down 150 from yesterday. Total tests over 1,600K two days in a row.
      The best number today is % back under 4%.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • Robert Clark

      date isolated increase % total tests
      4/8/2021 76,993 4,396 6.1 1,736,528
      4/9/2021 82,312 5,319 6.9 1,645,430
      4/10/2021 65,003 -17,309 -21 1,443,515
      4/11/2021 46,662 -18,341 -28.2 1,141,718
      4/12/2021 51,326 4,664 10 1,372,935
      4/13/2021 75,262 23,936 46.6 1,275,845
      4/14/2021 76,767 1,505 2 1,386,467
      4/15/2021 71,913 -4,854 -6.3 1,475,218
      4/16/2021 78,738 6,825 9.5 1,686,425
      4/17/2021 62,885 -15,835 -20.1 1,635,448
      4/18/2021 42,981 -19,904 -31.6 1,107,914
      42,981 is 3.9% of total tests.
      Total deaths today 735.
      today ois Sunday, so the number of tests and positive are expected to be down. The number that counts is 3.9% which is still under 4%.
      Tomorrow is another day.

  63. Malaria
    One side effect of watching hours of immunologist discuss the COVID-19 pandemic I can remember hearing comments about other breakthroughs that were in the pipeline. Well maybe the roomers were true.
    https://academictimes.com/first-vaccine-to-fully-immunize-against-malaria-builds-on-pandemic-driven-rna-tech/
    “Their design circumvented the sneaky protein, allowed the body to produce the needed T-cells and completely immunized against malaria. The patent application for their novel vaccine, which hasn’t yet been tested on humans, was published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Feb. “

  64. -snip-
    Indeed, for much of 2020, Sweden’s strategy was spearheaded not by politicians but by a health official, Anders Tegnell, the state epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency of Sweden. In advocating for a light-touch approach, Tegnell noted in September 2020 that controlled spread of the virus over the population should provide Sweden with greater protection in the second wave vis-à-vis its Nordic neighbors, who opted for conventional strategies. Thus, the cost of a high death rate in the first wave would be more than offset by the benefit of a low death rate in the second wave. 

    So, has this hypothesis been upheld? Were libertarians the voice of reason all along?

    No. If they had been correct, then during the second half of 2020, excess mortality in Sweden—from all causes and not just COVID-19—should have ticked lower in comparison to that of the other Nordic countries. In fact, no such thing happened. During weeks 46 to 52 of 2020, Sweden’s standardized excess mortality rates were persistently above the “normal range” (Figure 1, above). By contrast, all of Sweden’s Nordic neighbors combined had just three instances of excess mortality outside the “normal range” during weeks 36 to 52.

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/ethics/swedens-actual-covid-policy-herd-immunity

    • Joshua

      From LDS

      “We, of course, cut ourselves off from the world, so perhaps our figures are artificially low. So let’s consider the “nightmare scenario” playing out in Britain.

      Last month the UK’s Office of National Statistics added its provisional 2020 figures to a series that goes back almost 200 years. It shows a rate of 1043.5 deaths per 100,000 population, ahead of 2019’s number of 925.

      I would describe that rise with the COVID-appropriate word “unprecedented”, except the rate has been higher before, most recently in 2008, when I don’t believe the world shut down. Oh yes, and it was higher in every single year before 2008, right back to 1838, when the records begin.

      So if the impact of deaths from COVID (and I think we all know by now we should be saying “with”, not “from”) is not as bad as it first appeared, why are British hospitals reported to be almost overflowing, at or near 90% occupancy? Unprecedented again, until you note the country’s National Health Service has the entirely reasonable efficiency goal of having fewer than 15% of beds lying vacant at any time.

      Or might the fact that in the past 30 years Britain has reduced the number of hospital beds from 300,000 to 140,000, while adding 10 million to its population, shed some light on the situation?

      Sweden, poster nation for personal freedom during the pandemic, and whipping boy for lockdown enthusiasts, has recorded a 2020 death rate that has not been matched in its history since — drum roll, please — 2015.”

      tonyb

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Hospital admissions in England (I do not track occupancy) have fallen from 3800/day to 994/day. Of course the NHS is going to allege that they are busy. They probably test more staff so 50% are on leave instead of 30%, and keep beds 20 ft apart instead of 10 ft.
        It is a good thing that beds have reduced. We should not have a socialist health service. It should be privatised with all the benefits that would bring. People could be given vouchers to buy services if that is what they wished.

      • Tony –

        > Sweden, poster nation for personal freedom during the pandemic, and whipping boy for lockdown enthusiasts, has recorded a 2020 death rate that has not been matched in its history since — drum roll, please — 2015.”

        From what I’ve seen, you fund a lot of material about COVID credible doesn’t seem credible to me. For example, your claims that the most recent implementation of interventions ithe UK ndidn’t coincide with the massive drop in case ascertainment rate.

        Or tbat statement you made above – I’ll repost from above:

      • Josh, You should stop repeating misleading information from Twitter. Mortality is not meaningful. All the experts look at mortality adjusted for age and population. You are just ensuring that no one will take you seriously.

      • > You should stop repeating misleading information from Twitter.

        Lol. They are the official stats on excess deaths.

      • And population adjusted.

      • But maybe you should update Nic, that he shouldn’t be talking about population adjusted excess mortality.

        Oh, and Tony, too.

        ‘Cause they’re just ensuring thst no one will take them seriously.

      • It needs to be adjusted for the age structure of the population to mean anything Josh. You were corrected about this above when you posted this. In the references to Nic’s post is a correct analysis. Mortality correctly adjusted in Sweden in 2020 is about what it was in 2013 and lower than any previous year going back at least a half century.

        Why do you continue to discredit yourself? Is it because you want to make Sweden look bad to support your biased narrative?

      • Joshua

        If you disagree with the data I posted on the UK or England, you need to take it up with the office of National statistics from whom it was derived. They have been keeping data since 1838 but I am sure they will be willing to learn where they are going wrong.

        tonyb

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      One possible simple explanation for higher Swedish deaths.
      A couple of infected Chinese entered the country 2 weeks before infectious Swedes entered Norway. Two weeks makes a huge difference when R=4 or whatever.
      Another. Chinese entered Sweden on date X and Swedes entered Norway on the same date, say. The Swedish public reacted to curb their social distancing and R 2 weeks later than did the Vikings.
      Another, flu. Maybe it is as Firstenberg suggests flu + mobile phone use. Maybe Swedes use mobile phones more.
      Or because Sweden is always under 6 ft of snow and ice, they have much more flu than Norway.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        By ‘infections’ do you mean ‘cases’? They are two quite different things. I have a sneaking suspicion that no country was testing 100% of the population for covid infections back in Jan 2020, so they would not know when the first infection arrived.
        Anyways there were the other explanations I gave also.
        Here is another paper which also sets out why Sweden had more deaths than its neighbours:
        https://necpluribusimpar.net/why-did-more-people-die-of-covid-19-in-sweden-than-in-other-nordic-countries-it-probably-had-little-to-do-with-policy/

        It says for example,
        “by the time the lockdown came into effect, there was far more people who had already been infected in Sweden than in other Nordic countries”.
        I think it is obvious to anyone that this is true.
        Sweden did have lockdown. People of their own accord socially distance. It is not possible to apportion a % to govt and a % to voluntary action, except for the 30 studies which suggest that lockdowns do not work. Florida vs California, for example.

    • This is totally inconclusive. Nic’s references make a strong case for the dry tinder hypothesis. Sweden had exceptionally mild flu seasons in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. Denmark and the rest of the Nordic countries did not.

  65. FAKE TESTS ( courtesy of the government):

    Coronavirus Fact-Check #10: Why “new cases” are plummeting. The number of “new cases” reported is tumbling in many countries around the world, and has been for over a month. So what’s causing it?

    As you can see, the global decline in “Covid deaths” starts in mid-to-late January.

    What else happened around that time?

    Well, on January 13th the WHO published a memo regarding the problem of asymptomatic cases being discovered by PCR tests, and suggesting any asymptomatic positive tests be repeated.

    This followed up their previous memo, instructing labs around the world to use lower cycle thresholds (CT values) for PCR tests, as values over 35 could produce false positives.

    Essentially, in two memos the WHO ensured future testing would be less likely to produce false positives and made it much harder to be labelled an “asymptomatic case”.

    In short, logic would suggest we’re not in fact seeing a “decline in Covid cases” or a “decrease in Covid deaths” at all.

    https://off-guardian.org/2021/02/26/coronavirus-fact-check-10-why-new-cases-are-plummeting/

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      I took a look at the world. I never look at cases, because they are distorted by tests etc. The following table is based on deaths [(D(t+6)/D(t)] roughly last 2 available weeks:
      Location Latest R Previous R
      Austria 0.98 0.94
      Belgium 0.74 1.01
      Brazil 1.05 0.94
      Canada 0.78 0.85
      Croatia 0.78 0.84
      Czechia 1.11 0.96
      Denmark 0.59 0.76
      Egypt 0.98 0.86
      Finland 0.88 1
      France 0.80 1.07
      Germany 0.86 0.76
      Greece 1.08 1.36
      India 1.05 0.93
      Ireland 0.84 0.88
      Israel 0.88 0.94
      Italy 0.96 0.82
      Japan 0.91 0.7
      Luxembourg 1.09 1.13
      Netherlands 0.92 0.93
      New Zealand 1.00 0.77
      Norway 1.08 0.83
      Pakistan 0.96 0.85
      Poland 0.99 0.75
      Portugal 0.59 0.8
      Slovakia 0.96 1.04
      South Africa 0.79 0.58
      Spain 0.83 0.61
      Sweden 0.84 0.88
      Switzerland 0.75 0.89
      Average 0.90 0.89
      The average of 0.90 is not population weighted, just a straight average.
      The data come from https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-source-data as at today’s date.
      Why anyone should want to obey WHO is beyond me.
      Unfortunately, for some reason the data excludes US and UK, but UK R is around about 0.73.

  66. Maybe a bit too early to tell, just looked on the worldwide graph – are cases in Isreal increasing again now?

    • Shyam JB Mehta

      About Israel, in my view one should not look at deaths because this is affected by testing, for example. But the latest data from deaths is R = 0.88, compared with when I last assessed it, 0.94. Of course impacted by vaccination.

      • Deaths is affected by testing?

        There are no perfect measures but it seems unlikely that the criterion used (for decidimg to test) that would mediate the correlation between # of deaths and # of tests would change much over time.

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        Apologies. I have lost the original post but meant to say ‘cases’ not ‘deaths’.
        Except for 1 thing. If as in the UK, one does masses of testing, then masses of people will go to hospital falsely accused of having Covid. And, the chance of getting Covid in hospital is enormous because obviously nurses and docs do not care about safety standards (UK govt: in the first ‘wave’ 40.5% of cases were caught in hospital). Hence good chance that there is a relationship between testing and deaths, but I admit to not having looked into the numbers here.

  67. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #443 – Watts Up With That?

  68. Interesting update on the new viral strains with info to 27th February:-
    https://covidreference.com/variants

  69. UK-Weather Lass

    This is the UK Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock’s excuse for not having made contact with a tested member of the public found to have the Manaus variant virus (note the paperwork submitted with the test couldn’t be read):

    “Not having the contact details happens in about 0.1% of tests*. In this case, we think that the test was done as part of a home test kit where obviously it is incumbent on the individual to set out those details.

    Because home test kits can be both sent to your home, in which case, of course, we have the details of where it was sent, or in response to surges, they can be taken round by the local authority teams and dropped off and, therefore, we need to find out exactly where this one was dropped off.
    The team have done a very, very good job of narrowing down to 379 households where this may be. The callout at the weekend has been answered with a number of leads and we’re working hard to make sure that we can find the individual concerned.”

    *Meaning at least 91,000 tests do not have contact details!

    Now if the test kit has an exclusive identifier then you would think that the issuing or delivering personnel would simply link in that address within a computer system. Of course an address could refer to a house of multiple occupancy which would be difficult to track if all the kits were simply left inside the entrance area for residents to help themselves but three hundred and seventy nine households is the size of a well populated village.

    And our parody of a responsible minister thinks ‘his team has done a very, very good job’. The infected individual has been on the loose for over a fortnight since the test was processed and could be anywhere.

    UK standards have fallen oh so very, very low in this epidemic.

    • ‘The government’s vaccines minister Nadim Zahawi said PHE was also working with the postal service to “look at other data points” to try to locate the person…
      But Zahawi, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today, defended the “robustness” of the UK’s testing approach, adding, “The border controls that we have are pretty stringent. Even countries that had hotel quarantine from the start, like Australia, still have to deal with the variants challenging them. We’ve got one case where they didn’t fill in the test card details.” ‘
      (BMJ Article)
      Seems a bit careless, but, honest, guv, it’s just one case. Mmm. It also happens to be one third of the cases of this escape mutant identified in England up to 28th February. I suspect this will not be the last case.

  70. Many people are sure they know why COVID outcomes have varied across countries. And you can always predict their explanation by looking at their politics.

    A good overview of how uncertainty needs some respect.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/01/why-does-the-pandemic-seem-to-be-hitting-some-countries-harder-than-others

  71. Not sure if this has been linked before – but an interesting look at excess mortality in some European countries, Sweden included.

    https://www.efta.int/publications/news/covid-19-excess-mortality-selected-european-countries-521261

  72. Lest anyone forget, in Sweden the case identification rate has increased by 30%+ over the last three weeks, despite “herd immunity” having been achieved there (caveat, I have no idea about the trend in their rate of testing over that period) .

    I’m certainly glad they’ve reached “herd immunity” there, for the 2nd time after reaching it 9 months ago, or otherwise they’d be seeing a trend of increased cases.

    • Looks like Stockholm, which according to some “herd immunity” policy advocates is the “herd immuniy-est” of all of Sweden, has seen the most dramatic increse in the last three weeks…

      -snip-
      Swedish officials have warned that the country may need to implement its first lockdown amid the pandemic as the number of COVID-19 infections surged 100% in Stockholm over the past three weeks.

      https://nypost.com/2021/03/03/sweden-warns-of-first-lockdown-amid-surge-in-covid-19-cases/

      • dpy,

        On herd immunity, neither cases, ICUs, or deaths since support your continued contention that Sweden was in herd immunity in early February.

        This despite Sweden being under the strictest restrictions of the whole pandemic and vaccine doses now totalling near 20% of the population being administered.

        This is a quite astonishing inability to deal with reality.

        On Ioannidis, his IFR latest remains an outlier. You cannot offer any precedent for his use of a peer reviewed paper to engage in personal abuse of a junior researcher, a clear act of academic bullying.

        Your response to this is to throw around insults. It’s embarrassing.

      • Ah, threaded wrong. No matter, dpy would only respond with more insults regardless.

      • VTG, You really haven’t said anything of substance in this latest contribution.

        Ioannidis’ IFR estimate is not really an outlier. He said in March a mid range estimate is 0.3% for the US. His latest paper says that in Europe and the Americas, 0.3% to 0.4% is a good number. That’s supported by population fatality ratios in the US and reasonable estimates by the CDC of infection numbers. Population fatality rates in the US average around 0.16%. Cases are at 10% or in some cases higher and the CDC says actual infections are 4 or 5 times that number. Do the math yourself.

        Sweden’s population fatality rate is about 0.14% and is lower than many other European countries. Deaths continue to decline despite Joshua and your gaslighting this issue. The current curve on Worldometer is monotone decreasing. To say that it has plateaued is a falsehood. Monotone decreasing means that they continue to decline and were at 15 per day on March 31. They were at 19 on March 15 and at 21 on March 1 and 24 on February 15.

      • VTG, You are gaslighting this issue of “bullying.” Do you remember the editor who was forced to resign after publishing the Spencer paper? Of course you forgot because it doesn’t fit your current narrative.

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/editor-in-chief-of-remote-sensing-resigns-from-fallout-over-our-paper/

        Spencer has been subjected to all kinds of abuse by climate activists and other scientists. Skeptical Science perfected the art of smearing scientists by gaslighting their work.

        The modern world has pretty much gone all in on nasty online personal attacks. Ioannidis has been subjected to such an attack. He is perfectly entitled to respond and is doing a public service by pointing out how much pseudo-science there is on twitter propagated by anonymous or unqualified “scientists.” Meyerowitz-Katz’s work is seriously flawed and biased and he is really unqualified to do work in this field. Yet he is on twitter advocating for policies.

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        Ioannidis used a peer review paper to abuse Meyerowitz-Katz.

        That’s completely unprecedented, you know it and can’t provide any other examples anywhere.

      • verytallguy

        Reporting of deaths in Sweden isdelayed, as has been exclaimed to you on multiple occasions.

        Here’s an explainer, as you are otherwise incapable of understanding this simple point.

        https://ourworldindata.org/covid-sweden-death-reporting

        Deaths in Sweden are not falling, and even if they were, 20% of the population have been vaccinated.

        Cases, admissions and deaths all clearly show Sweden has not been in herd immunity for the past two months, as you quite ridiculously continue to assert.

      • verytallguy

        And finally, seeing as you claim CDC support an IFR of 0.3%, here’s their stated age stratified IFR per million current best estimate.

        0–17 years old: 20
        18–49 years old: 500
        50–64 years old: 6,000
        65+ years old: 90,000

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

        13% of the US populating is currently over 65.

        Do the maths.

      • The Imperial College paper related to your link is one of the two that came in for the most devastating critique from Ioannidis. I know its a stretch for you but you would benefit from reading the actual paper. If anything the Imperial numbers are outliers.

        You didn’t understand what I said about the CDC and came up with something from their modeling effort that is way out of date. Those are based on models. It’s simple math. Population fatality rate is 0.16%. 10% of everyone is a confirmed case. CDC says that 4 to 5 times more have actually been infected, meaning that 40% to 50% have natural immunity. Doubling 0.16% gives 0.32%. Right in line with Ioannidis March of last year estimate. I think this is a much more solid estimate than something from a CDC model developed last summer. There is vastly more complete data now.

        I gave an example of cancellation of an editor that goes far beyond bullying. You must be gaslighting me here as you know full well that this kind of thing has happened hundreds of times in climate science. Did you forget about Lewandowski or Oreskes? I guess memory fails when the narrative changes.

        I know there is a delay in reporting deaths, that’s why I didn’t go beyond March 31. There is no way to definitively prove whether or not herd immunity has been reached or not. I believe its a strong possibility especially since we are well into spring when the epidemic receded strongly last year.

      • > I gave an example of cancellation of an editor that goes far beyond bullying.

        You rather gave an example of an editor who resigned in response to a journal publishing Roy’s crap without proper review, David:

        Wolfgang Wagner, editor of the journal Remote Sensing, has resigned from his post after an internal review revealed that a paper published in his journal by climatic scientists Roy Spencer and William Braswell had not been properly reviewed before publishing. Subsequently, he says a paper that was fundamentally flawed was allowed to be printed, damaging the integrity of the journal, and thus the only right thing for him to do was resign.

        https://phys.org/news/2011-09-editor-remote-journal-resigns-citing.html

        Try again.

      • There is a lot more to the story than that Willard. You omitted information about the nasty attacks on Spencer by other climate scientists. Given this nasty climate, its rather clear that Wagner decided to yield to the intense pressure of activist scientists.

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/09/05/update-on-spencer-braswell-part-ii/

      • You simply misrepresented Wagner’s resignation, David.

        Be a man. Own your porky.

      • I’ll just note for Joshie and VTG that in many American states, cases are also rising while deaths continue to decline. It’s true in Washington state for example just as in Sweden.

        One explanation is that vulnerable people are getting vaccinated so that the IFR is falling rapidly.

        Both of you are gaslighting this issue citing vague issues such as delayed death reporting. In the US, that’s not really an issue as reporting is much better. I have given you actual numbers that prove that deaths in Sweden continue to decline.

      • I will note that David’s latest fancy goes against what Wolfgang wrote in his editorial on the affair:

        After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.

        With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate [contrarians] have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements , e.g., in a press release of The University of Alabama in Huntsville from 27 July 2011, the main author’s personal homepage, the story “New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism” published by Forbes, and the story “Does NASA data show global warming lost in space?” published by Fox News, to name just a few. Unfortunately, their campaign apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication.

        doi:10.3390/rs3092002

        I’ll let him decide if what Roy and Newscorp did counts as activist fallacies.

      • David –

        > I have given you actual numbers that prove that deaths in Sweden continue to decline.

        Lol.

        In Sweden, ICU admissions are up 15% over the last week or so, and 30% since mid-February.

        To create your “monotone,” you skipped over the dates which weren’t monotonic.

        Now I notice you’ve dropped the “strongly” from “strongly decline” – so at least that’s an improvement. There’s hope for you yet.

      • > In the US, that’s not really an issue as reporting is much better

        That’s also hilarious, as Sweden has about the “best” reporting in the world – they just have a different system for reporting the dates.

        We’ll see, but after a drop up until late February, the trend in reported deaths has been flat (despite your lame attempts to claim otherwise). The dramatic rise in ICU admissions (remember your hilarious claim that they are in decline 😅) suggests that as the lag gets frilled in there may well be a rise despite the effects of the vaccinations. Not as likely as it would be without vaccinations but such a steep increase in ICU admissions doesn’t bode well.

        But let’s hope, for once, you’re right.

        I mean that partial list of your year’s long record of whoppers I provided above is funny (I could dig up more of you’d like), but stopped clocks and all that.

      • What Judith said on the Wagner affair is more accurate in my opinion. I would expect Willard to defend the standard narrative on it however. Independent judgment likely did not enter the picture.

      • Joshua makes an obvious error with regard to deaths in order to attack me. The data are quite noisy so smoothing is needed to evaluate trends. I was refering to the 7 day average curve on Wikipaedia which is monotone decreasing just as I said. It is a fantasy to say it has plateaued. this I think is #12 in your list of falsehoods in the last 48 hours alone.

      • Even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while.

      • This is number 13 for you Josh. Usually US deaths at least as reported on Wikipaedia don’t show much lag. Sweden’s data seems to have a lag that at one time last fall was perhaps 3 weeks. Maybe that’s improved but you used the lag to explain away the monotonically decreasing curve.

        13 falsehoods in less than 48 hours is so impressive, it might lead to the conclusion that everything you say is either a falsehood or a half truth.

      • David –

        You listed specific/individual dates for comparison of the seven day average, and skipped the specific/individual dates where the seven day average didn’t fit your “monotonic” narrative. Of course it’s noisy, particularly given the lag, but that doesn’t change that you left out the dates that didn’t fit the narrative.

        The point is that with the lag, your declaration of “continue to decline” (present continuous) is sheer nonsense because you don’t know. Maine if you had said up until the last few weeks it wouldn’t have been as nonsensical.

        It’s rather like when you said that T-cell immunity “explained” why the curve flattened all over the world – what was that, nearly a year ago? I’d think by now you’d start respecting uncertainty and stop making claims about things where you lack the requisite knowledge.

        Well, maybe in the future if not yet. There’s always hope.

      • Here David –

        You seem to have forgotten what you said thst was so wrong. I’ll remind you – free of charge for now but I may have to start charging you eventually.

        >>>> Despite ‘case’ growth, deaths and ICU admissions *continue to fall.*

        (emphasis added for your clarification).

      • > What Judith said on the Wagner affair is more accurate in my opinion.

        In David’s opinion, Judy’s ridiculous conspiracy is more accurate than Wagner’s own editorial in which he slams Roy and Newscorp, and her indirectly for she’s part of the whole circus.

        You can’t make this up.

      • This is so obviously wrong that it needs to be corrected.
        VTG: On Ioannidis, his IFR latest remains an outlier.

        Real imminent scientist in a peer reviewed paper.
        https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/eci.13554

        “Six systematic evaluations were eligible. Each combined data from 10 to 338 studies (9- 50 countries), because of different eligibility criteria. Two evaluations had some overt flaws in data, violations of stated eligibility criteria and biased eligibility criteria (eg excluding studies with few deaths) that consistently inflated IFR estimates. Perusal of quantitative synthesis methods also exhibited several challenges and biases. Global representativeness was low with 78%- 100% of the evidence coming from Europe or the Americas; the two most problematic evaluations considered only one study from other continents. Allowing for these caveats, four evaluations largely agreed in their main final estimates for global spread of the pandemic and the other two evaluations would also agree after correcting overt flaws and biases.”

      • > Six systematic evaluations were eligible

        By serendipity:

        I am the author of one of the six evaluations assessed in this
        article.

        Search for “Disclosures.”

        I particularly like this distanciation:

        Bobrovitz calculated medians (overall and across several subgroups of studies), and Ioannidis calculated sample size-weighted means per location and then medians across locations. Their approaches avoid multiple counting of locations with many estimates available.

        John rubberstamps John.

        True science at work.

      • dpy,

        In order to refute the fact that Ioannidis is an outlier, you cite a paper by… …Ioannidis.

        Words fail me.

      • VTG and Willard of course seem unable to address the science so they try to cast doubt indirectly by a fallacious observation. Let me translate this into activist anonymous laymen’s English for you. I do understand that reading is a challenging activity especially science.

        There were 6 studies that qualified. 4 were in broad agreement. The outliers were Imperial College and Meyerowitz-Katz. These latter two had very serious biases and methodological errors. When these two were adjusted to correct the errors, they agreed with the other 4. Thus all 6 studies were in broad agreement.

        This shows among other things that VTG was quite wrong to describe Ioanniudis’ early work as an outlier. But I know that’s the alarmist narrative as found on that science journal of record Twitter and the Guardian.

      • > so they try to cast doubt indirectly by a fallacious observation

        Fallacies are improprieties of reasoning, David.

        Don’t quit your day job.

      • if the conclusion drawn from the obversation is wrong that’s fallacious. You are just playing word games, which is the point of the game you invented and like to play.

      • dpy,

        In order to establish your contention that Ioannidis is not an outlier, you need to cite work that agreesc with his conclusions on IFR.

        Ioannidis most recent review paper has come under considerable criticism, which will doubtless surface in the peer review literature in due course.

        In the meantime, if you wish to substantiate your view that his work is not an outlier, you need to cite other work, by different authors, which agrees with him.

        I have cited other work which shows him to be an outlier.

        Just to reiterate, as you don’t seem to grasp this particular nuance:

        You cannot cite the work of Ioannidis in order to prove the work of Ioannidis is not an outlier.

      • What rubbish VTG. There are 4 meta-analyses that largely agree, one by Ioannidis. There are two outliers including the one you cited and claimed was “mainstream.” You could read these papers but that might require some background work which you have in the past been too self-limiting to do. The world is vastly bigger than Twitter and the Guardian which seem to be your preferred sources of scientific information.

        There are by now hundreds of serological surveys and they have a large variation in results. That’s why meta-analysis is needed to arrive at accurate results. Imperial College had a draconian exclusion criterion that excluded almost all this data and that a priori excluded data with a low IFR. Excluding studies with less than 100 deaths at the midpoint of the survey would exclude most low IFR results. The other paper you cited is really rubbish as a moments thought would reveal, i.e., the Meyerowitz-Katz paper.

      • > if the conclusion drawn from the obversation is wrong that’s fallacious

        And what would be that conclusion, David?

        Look. You have no idea how fallacies work. All you got is cheap smears to detract from the points being made. You can’t even acknowledge that John indeed retracted his personal attacks. In a few comments you’ll try to rationalize it, for instance by suggesting that John has been bullied. Which won’t work because he added more crap to his paper.

        What you call “the science” is one meta-study, and what you call a “broad agreement” is four studies that John found a way to amplify with a set of criterias that are far from being objective. And you always find a way to omit that one of these studies is one of his.

        You should have made peace with J or Very Tall a long time ago.

        I am not here to bring peace.

    • I was noticing that the drop in ICU cases in Sweden was leveling off…

      -snip-
      “It certainly looks like we’re heading into a third wave,” Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a news conference. “It’s starting to have an impact on intensive care. We don’t see a dramatic increase but not the decrease we had for a time.”

      So I guess that “herd immunity” and “third wave” aren’t mutually incompatible?

      https://www.malaymail.com/news/world/2021/03/02/sweden-heading-into-third-wave-of-pandemic-covid-czar-warns/1954319

      • Shyam JB Mehta

        R from cases is 1.06, tests 1.05 making a net R of 1.01. R from ICU is 0.88.
        We have already discussed 1000 times why eg if a new strain with R=6 compared with old at R=3 herd immunity changes

      • So reaching “herd immunity” will be a regular and ongoing development, and as you define the term it has no utility?

        In other words, “herd immunity” just like fascism means whatever you want it to mean at any particular moment.

  73. Intersting context on the GBD guy from the Karolinska Institute who came under a lot of pressure:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/03/critics-slam-letter-prestigious-journal-downplayed-covid-19-risks-swedish

    • verytallguy

      Tony, if you continue relying on right wing libertarian websites for your knowledge, you’ll continue being wrong.

      • VTG

        I know what a busy person you are so would refer you to the summary of the 259 perfectly respectable studies that were evaluated by someone who may or may not share your politics, but hopefully science is blind and looks at evidence rather than prejudices. Or do things only become true if published in the Guardian?

        “Has the Efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine been Misrepresented?

        So, has much of the world failed to benefit from an effective, early-stage treatment for COVID-19 because early trials of hydroxychloroquine were misleading? Based on the evidence now accumulating it would appear so. But one of the surprises, to this author, is that the negative view of the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine is highly country-specific, being universal across anglophone countries, whilst most other countries have continued to deploy it. The reader may speculate about the reasons for this.

        Rick Bradford is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering at the University of Bristol.”

        I have no idea either way as to whether this drug is effective or not, hence the question mark.

        tonyb

      • verytallguy

        “I have no idea either way as to whether this drug is effective or not, hence the question mark”

        Alternatively

        “I have no idea either way as to whether this drug is effective or not, hence the need to link to a nakedly unreliable source promoting it”

      • Play the ball not the man. The summary contains a lot of studies. Are you dismissing them ALL without even reading them??

        tonyb

      • I fear Tony that VTG can’t play the ball as that would require some attempt to learn some math and science and then get outside the narrative.

      • verytallguy

        Tony,

        It’s a blog post on Toby Young’s site. The content is transparent dross.

        It starts off lauding Raoult’s notorious study.

        Of course I haven’t read the rest.

        The only thing of interest here is why you choose such as your source.

      • I think a more interesting question is what is the correct information or at least better information. Since VTG never provides an alternative, his “contribution” is just a smear and a contentless one at that. When he provides information, it often contradicts his point or narrative. That I suspect is why he usually neglects to provide anything.

      • > I think a more interesting question is what is the correct information or at least better information.

        A wise Denizen once told me that an adult would wait until the data is in and stop the endless citations of suggestive but inconclusive data, David.

        Wanna know who?

      • We don’t need to wait to conclude that VTG is smearing the source by calling it “right wing.” No subsrtance is offered as always its just political narratives with no real objective content;

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        We don’t need to wait to conclude that VTG is smearing the source by calling it “right wing.”

        Thanks for the sideswipe, dpy. Feel free to justify that as a reliable source. Should be amusing.

        Speaking of reliable sources, Ioannidis’ latest is quite a doozy, isn’t it? A peer reviewed publication with adhoms against junior researchers *and* and IFR below US PFR.

        Quite something.

        Who deserves that apology again?

        Now, do tell, what was the case rate in Sweden when this OP was written, and what is it now?

        And just how many times has Sweden been in and out of herd immunity?

        Enquiring minds and all that.

      • It’s hard to imagine a better example of simplistic pseudo-scientific narratives than VTG’s comment.

        The IFR Ioannidis gives is a worldwide average. Many countries seem to have a very low PFR especially those with young age structures. For the US, it will be higher than the worldwide average.

        “Even correcting inappropriate exclusions/inclusion of studies, errors, and seroreversion, IFR still varies substantially across continents and countries. Overall average IFR may be ~0.3-0.4% in Europe and the Americas (~0.2% among community-dwelling non-institutionalized people), and ~0.05% in Africa15 and Asia (excluding Wuhan). Within Europe, IFR estimates were probably substantially higher in the first wave in countries like Spain,68 UK,69 and Belgium70 and lower in countries like Cyprus or Faroe Islands (~0.15%, even case fatality rate is very low),71 Finland (~0.15%)72 and Iceland (~0.3%).73 One European country (Andorra) tested for antibodies 91% of its population.74 Results74 suggest an IFR less than half of what sampling surveys with greater missingness have inferred in neighboring Spain.”

        And then of course pointing out and analyzing the public record of activists and scientists is not an ad hominem. Speaking of which, you as always didn’t respond to any of the substantial criticisms Ioannidis’ makes of the Twitter “track record” of Sanakan and Meyerowitz-Katz. Those twitter droppings have appeared here many many times so its about time someone debunked them. It is of course all normal science except to those who view everything through a political sense and lack scientific experience.

        I would just point out that in March of 2020 Ioannidis gave a mid range estimate of the IFR based on the Diamond Princess data and came up with 0.3%. It’s amazing how accurate that turned out to be. Vastly better science than Fauci (1%-2%) or Ferguson.

      • VTG, As usual your comment reveals a compendium of narratives and overly simplified ideas that are not scientific.

        What Ioannidis actually says is vastly different from what you quoted out of context.
        “Even correcting inappropriate exclusions/inclusion of studies, errors, and seroreversion, IFR still varies substantially across continents and countries. Overall average IFR may be ~0.3-0.4% in Europe and the Americas (~0.2% among community-dwelling non-institutionalized people), and ~0.05% in Africa15 and Asia (excluding Wuhan). Within Europe, IFR estimates were probably substantially higher in the first wave in countries like Spain,68 UK,69 and Belgium70 and lower in countries like Cyprus or Faroe Islands (~0.15%, even case fatality rate is very low),71 Finland (~0.15%)72 and Iceland (~0.3%).73 One European country (Andorra) tested for antibodies 91% of its population.74 Results74 suggest an IFR less than half of what sampling surveys with greater missingness have inferred in neighboring Spain.”
        In fact, Ioannidis’ mid range estimate for the IFR in March was 0.3% and that’s quite close to what his latest paper shows for the US and Europe. Much closer than most other experts who were way off.

        Analyzing the public pronouncements of scientists who use a cloak on twitter is not an ad hominem. It is just normal science because it reveals that some are politically motivated activists and casts doubt on their research. That’s particularly true for Sanakan and Meyerowitz-Katz who appear to have made numerous obvious errors that bias their analyses to the high side.

      • verytallguy

        dpy

        “Analyzing the public pronouncements of scientists who use a cloak on twitter is not an ad hominem”

        In a peer review journal?

        It’s without any precedent. It’s an attempt at bullying.

        And what’s this “cloak”? Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz is completely open about who he is.

        You’re embarrassing yourself as much as Iaonnidis is. Which is a high bar indeed.

        https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/what-the-heck-happened-to-john-ioannidis/

      • > Analyzing the public pronouncements

        That’s not what JohnI does, tho.

      • > I would just point out that in March of 2020 Ioannidis gave a mid range estimate of the IFR based on the Diamond Princess data and came up with 0.3%.

        I haven’t seen an updated seroprevalence study for Santa Clara County, but an estimate from Orange County, CA, in Feb, 2021, put seroprevalence at @12%.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-82662-x

        That would lead to an IFR in Orange County of around 1.3%

        In Spring 2020, Ioannidis and his fellow researchers used a flawed study to project an IFR of 0.17% for Santa Clara County.

        Admittedly, comparing across localities is fraught with potentially confounding variables – for example, Orange County is more densely populated and there is a lower median income.

        But that just goes to show why it was highly irresponsible for Ioannidis and his co-authors to go on a national TV campaign to widely argue that their estimate based on Santa Clara was appropriate for assessing the IFR more generally.

        If their projection of 0.17% IFR was accurate for extrapolation as they argued, it would mean that some 90% of the residents in Orange County would have been infected by Feb., 2021.

      • Wait…

        Those numbers won’t work – the data for the seroprevalence estimate in Orange Country was from July-August 2020, so the IFR I calculated wouldn’t be correct since that was based on deaths at the current time – when presumably the seroprevalence is much higher than it was when that number was estimated. Yeah, it seemed that 12% was much too low, especially since they said their estimate was 7 X greater than the official number of COVID infections and the official number is now close to 9%. Should have thought that through more before posting….

      • Anyway, the 1.7% clearly wasn’t applicable for Orange county, but based on current numbers somewhere between 3% and 4% probably wouldn’t be that far off (if you figure they have had 5 X more cases than the number that has been ascertained) – and the IFR in Orange County is prolly to higher than in Santa Clara County.

      • This looks like Josh and VTG playing the sky dragon role here. They haven’t read or understood any of the source material. They are just blindly doing the merchants of doubt thing and doing it poorly.

        VTG you are just ignorant df what is or is not proper in a peer reviewed paper. Ioannidis is just calling out two partisans in this debate who made serious errors that need to be corrected. It’s been done in climate science many times before. I’ve done it myself and it’s common in any field that is not corrupt.

        Josh, flogging a dead horse doesn’t change the fact that the latest paper looks pretty solid and shows that Ioannidis was prescient while alarmists were very wrong. You are. A purely negative and unhelpful cat attacking the feet of an elephant. You are lucky you don’t matter to anyone or you might be next to be exposed as a fraud.

      • David –

        Ioannidis has been repeatedly wrong throughout the pandemic. He consistently erred in estimating the trajectory of the pandemic and the severity of COVID all along, always on the low side.

        It’s OK to be wrong, especially when there is so much uncertainty, even when it is always on one end of the uncertainty as has been the case with Ionnidis and COVID.

        The bigger issue is with the poor quality of his science. Extrapolating from unrepresentative, non-random convenience sampling is a fundamental scientific error. But no less fundamentally wrong is how he has always rhetorically underplayed the uncertainties in one direction while leaning heavily into the uncertainties on the other side. We can see that in how he has focused on the uncertainties that might lead to an overcount of deaths but ignored the ways they could lead to an undercount. We can see it in how he discussed the range of prevalence that would lead to “herd immunity.” We can see it in how he discussed “T-cell immunity,” falling into the pattern of discussing that immunity as if it would lead to immunity from infection when the evidence shows that is unlikely even if it might lead to a kind of immunity that would reduce the severity of infection. We can see it in how he employs a facile counterfactual assumption about what might have happened had there been no interventions when he makes the basic mistake of conflating correlation with cauation in attributing deaths and unemployment and other negative outcomes to interventions as differentiated from the pandemic itself.

        It’s fine that he sees himself as a policy advocate. Unlike with the (highly selective) outcries from the likes of Judith and many other “skeptics, ” I think it’s silly to criticize scientists for advocating for policies they think are important. Of course scientists will do that – as is their right.

        But the problem is when in so doing, they allow their policy views to degrade the quality of their science. It’s particularly unfortunate when it happens with 🦁’s.

      • > This looks like Josh and VTG playing the sky dragon role here.

        See, David?

        That’s what an ad hom looks like.

      • David –

        I’m wondering if you would mind explaining why you so frequently go into this name-calling mode in these comment threads?

        It’s a curious behavior. After all, I’m sure that an accomplished and renown scientist such as yourself must not be someone who goes into name-calling mode as a regular behavior. And I have seen you many times complain when other people have called you names so obviously you think it’s poor behavior.

        What makes it even harder to explain is that you take time out from your busy schedule of creating science that matters to people, to write comments full of name-calling directed against someone who is just expressing opinions critical of Ioannidis’ science, anonymously on a blog, and obviously isn’t going to affect the trajectory of influence of a powerful scientist such as Ioannidis.

        It sees to me like very peculiar behavior, so I’m wondering if you could just take a moment of your valuable time to explain?

      • So Josh and Williard believe if someone calls them ignorant of the fact, it’s name calling? Hmmm …

      • Calling a sky dragon a sky dragon is not an ad hominem, it’s a statement of fact. This means that their views are baseless narratives and not real science.

        There is no substantive content to refute here from either VTG or Joshie. There are just vague narratives supported by literally nothing but insinuation and cherry picking.

        I looked at VTG’ s blog post citation. It’s literally mostly regurgitated Twatter ramblings. Ioannidis doesn’t have a twitter account so this is just a one sided smear job. It’s the usual recitation of out of context and wrong characterizations of what’ was actually said. The author is an actual medical scientist but also active in public disputes with other scientists.

      • A more interesting question for Joshua is why he values his time so little that he wastes many many hours writing repetitious comments that merely reveal a biased and unfocused intellect. You have rehashed your Ioannidis narrative literally scores of times here. You never balance it at all. It’s as if you can’t read real evidence and use it to rethink your narrative.

        I only do this as a learning tool. It’s a good way to see what the alarmist scientists are saying and what the Twitter narratives are. These are usually wrong and it’s usually pretty easy to see why.

      • David –

        > I only do this as a learning tool.

        Did you learn what happened with ICU admissions in Sweden?

        It’s interesting what a difficult time you have acknowledging it when you’re wrong.

        So tell me David, why do you take time say from your valuable science to write insult-filled comments so often? What do you learn from it?

      • Josh, Now you are lying. I told you what I found. Deaths in Sweden are continuing to decline. Admissions and cases are less definitive but are increasing. Yet you cherry picked a statistic to attack Nic wrongly.

        You didn’t answer my question. Glad to hear that you know none will care what an anonymous persona with a strong bias says. Why are you willing to invest time on something that has no value to anyone?

      • verytallguy

        “Ioannidis doesn’t have a twitter account so this is just a one sided smear job.”

        dpy,

        I mean, you’re normally funny but this is positively hilarious.

        Poor John, hopelessly hobbled by an inability to use twitter, so lacking any platform.

      • David –

        > Josh, Now you are lying. I told you what I found. Deaths in Sweden are continuing to decline.

        They declined for weeks up until a few weeks ago. They haven’t declined since, and may well be going up once you account for the lag. Too early to say.

        >> Admissions and cases are less definitive but are increasing.

        No David, that’s wrong. They have definitely been increasing for weeks. And although you left it out this time, before you specifically mentioned ICU admissions. Here is what you said:

        >>> Despite ‘case’ growth, deaths and ICU admissions continue to fall.

        Here, click on this link that I have given you before:

        https://portal.icuregswe.org/siri/report/corona.covid-dagligen

        That’s just wrong. ICU admissions aren’t “continuing to fall.” They’re rising significantly, which is a leading indicator that deaths during this period are rising once the lag is accounted for.

        Why do you insist you weren’t wrong about that? Are you just refusing to click on the link? It’s comical but strange.

      • Here David, I’ll give you the link again.

        https://www.icuregswe.org/en/data–results/covid-19-in-swedish-intensive-care/

        ICU Admissions are rising significantly. They aren’t “continuing to fall” as you said:

        https://www.icuregswe.org/en/data–results/covid-19-in-swedish-intensive-care/

      • Ioannidis is quite capable of responding to Twitter misinformation. Yet you whine when he does it in a peer reviewed paper. Less qualified graduate students use Twitter to publicize their flawed work.

        Just to note there has been no substance here, just rhetorical posturing. That’s perhaps because understanding the paper would require actual expertise and more than the 30 seconds it takes to read a bit of Twitter misinformation.

      • Josh, You are so biased that you can’t acknowledge that deaths are continuing to fall. Cases and ICU admissions are less definitive because they depend on somewhat arbitrary criteria. It is somewhat of a mystery unless there is a huge delay in reporting.

      • David –

        > Josh, You are so biased that you can’t acknowledge that deaths are continuing to fall.

        I’ve stated multiple times that they fell..and have leveled off.. and given that ICU admissions are on the rise, with an appropriate allowance for the lag they may well actually be rising at the current time. You have used the present continuous – that they are “continuing to fall.”. You don’t know whether that’s true or not because of the lag. It’s intersting that no matter how many times people fail to account for the lag and see that it made them wrong, they continue to fail to account for the lag.

        >> Cases and ICU admissions are less definitive because they depend on somewhat arbitrary criteria.

        You stated that ICU admissions are continuing to fall. You’re wrong about that. Your statement was false. There is no lack of definitive was. You qwrw wrong, wrong wrong. Not only are ICU admissions not continuing to fall, they have been rising, significantly.

        Shall I prove you with the link so that you can see that you were wrong about that? I kind of remember having already given you the link. Are you having some kind of trouble clicking through on the link?

        >It is somewhat of a mystery unless there is a huge delay in reporting.

        Thera no mystery. There is significant lag, and there has been one continuously.

      • The generally accepted lag is 2 weeks. Deaths have been declining strongly for 8 weeks while cases have been rising. That’s from Wikipaedia.
        The data is inconsistent with accepted science. You cherry picked the data you liked and omitted that which you didn’t like. You continue to do it over and over again. It a sign of disingenuousness or a weak intellect.

      • Since Feb. 1, 7 day averaged deaths have declined from about 55/day to less that 20/day neglecting the last week of data. That is a strong decline. Your claim that they are leveling off is wrong. Cases have risen from about 3000 per day to almost 6000 per day. That is inconsistent with accepted science unless at least one set of data is biased. I think cases is more likely to be biased.

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        You are remarkable.

        Firstly, Sweden has a death reporting system which has considerably longer lags than almost anywhere else – you’ll see Sweden deaths revised upwards far more than other countries.

        Second, Nic’s analysis is based on cases, and proposes (yet again!) that herd immunity through infection has been reached.

        Thirdly, vaccine doses, concentrated on the most vulnerable, equivalent to ~10%
        of the population have been administered. This should be expected to have a significant impact on deaths, not to mention some impact on cases and admissions.

        Fourthly, Sweden currently has the most restrictions in place it’s has since the start of the pandemic.

        Nevertheless, we see cases doubling, ICU admissions increasing and reported deaths flat.

        Still you claim Nic was right that we had reached herd immunity two months ago.
        You dole out increasingly absurd insults to anyone still paying attention to your strident contradictions of the facts.

        It’s quite astonishing.

      • It’s you VTG along with Josh, who produce very repetitious comments on the mostly irrelevant issue of “cases.” In most places with strong vaccination programs the epidemic is receding quickly in terms of fatalities which is a more meaningful metric.

      • The other real content here which you didn’t substantively respond to is Ioannidis’ complete demolition of Meyerowitz-Katz’s paper and endless twitter “contributions.” The paper is quite biased, yet its been cited endlessly here by people like yourself and Sanakan. You criticize Ioannidis’ paper for doing normal science by focusing on irrelevancies and blog posts that are literally just reproductions of Twitter threads. I know that for some people, Twitter is the journal of record for science. I would recommend you at least try to challenge yourself intellectually and read a few papers. It would be a better use of your time and enable you to write more interesting comments that go beyond rhetorical superficialities.

      • verytallguy

        dpy

        “In most places with strong vaccination programs the epidemic is receding quickly in terms of fatalities which is a more meaningful metric”

        Indeed. A point I made above. What does this have to do with Nic’s failed hypothesis of herd immunity through infection?

      • More vague unscientific words. Herd immunity through natural immunity is not a failed theory but a fact well developed in basic epidemeology. There is disagreement about what the herd immunity threshold is and it strongly varies over time and with place. But given an R, one can compute it quite rigorously.

        All of this is just your unqualified “opinion.” What is really important is Ioannidis’ paper debunking the Meyerowitz-Katz paper and showing how thoroughly biased it is. That’s a failure of science, not some fact of basic epidemiology you are apparently ignorant of. Your attack on Ioannidis here is really pathetic. It’s a blog post that is virtually all a regurgitation of threads from your go to journal of record, Twitter. Oh and you say wrongly that analyzing people’s public posts on Twitter has no place in a peer review publication. And what is your expertise to say that?

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        Ioannidis attacked someone else’s credentials, not their science.

        In a peer reviewed clinical journal on. Which he used to be editor in chief of. Whoda thunk.

        That’s academic bullying.

        If you think this is normal, you’ll be able to cite other examples.

        I await with interest.

        On the subject, cases, ICUs, and deaths in Sweden all clearly falsify Nic’s hypothesis. Why you can’t admit that is an issue for you.

      • VTG, You I think are completely wrong about attacks on others credentials in science. It’s done ALL the time by climate scientists when they have said that a critic hasn’t any expertise in climate science. People compare publication records all the time. Since you have been around for all those incidents in climate science of credential attacks, its amazing you can’t recall them. Ioannidis’ analysis of Mereywitz-Katz’s public record looks totally justified to me. Sanakan’s totally biased and cherry picked nonsense deserves to be highlighted as such.

        You would be more credible if you did a minimum of research yourself before commenting.

      • > Calling a sky dragon a sky dragon is not an ad hominem, it’s a statement of fact.

        Here’s what you said, David:

        This looks like Josh and VTG playing the sky dragon role here.

        https://judithcurry.com/2021/02/18/the-progress-of-the-covid-19-epidemic-in-sweden-an-update/#comment-946507

        A sky dragon refers to somebody who disputes the Tyndall gas effect.

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/01/31/slaying-a-greenhouse-dragon/

        You are thus comparing J & VTG to skydragons.

        This is not a statement of fact.

        That’s just your opinion.

        But of course statements of fact can be ad hominem. Think about that, imbecile.

      • Willard is also lying here. Calling someone a sky dragon refers to their beliefs, not to them personally. It’s not an ad hominem. It says they hold unscientific views that are wrong.

      • David Young, who works or used to work for one of if not the biggest producer of military weapon in human history, switches from facts-cannot-be-ad-hom to personal-beliefs-are-not-personal, another dud as it’s obvious that there’s no wedge between beliefs and the person who holds them.

        Here’s a primer. Saying that a belief is false isn’t ad hom. Saying that a belief can only be explained by denial is ad hom. Saying that a belief is like the ones that deniers hold is ad hom.

        It’s not that complex.

      • Saying that someone’s beliefs are wrong and pseudo-scientific is not an ad hominem. Ad ad hominem is when you attack the person. Attacking their beliefs is not falacious.

      • > Saying that someone’s beliefs are wrong and pseudo-scientific is not an ad hominem.

        That’s not what you did, David.

        You compared your interlocutors to Sky Dragons.

        There’s nothing wrong per se with ad hominem arguments.

        Your problem is that you want to dish it out while pretending you don’t, all this while whining when you’re being called out as being an obdurate, obnoxious, and offensive troglodyte.

        Again, the CB model is quite simple.

        You play the ball, you plan the man, or you play both.

        If you want to play the ball only, here’s a pro-tip:

        NEVER refer to your opponent.

        In other words, only talk about the science.

        I’m sure you can find ways to bypass that tip, but at least that’s a start.

      • Comparing someone to a sky dragon is tantamount to saying their views are wrong and pseudo-scientific. At least that’s what I meant by it.

      • This whole “denial” thing is where I think you are erring Willard. Sky Dragons are wrong in their views but I don’t subscribe to the whole pseudo-science about denial that has been constructed by activist scientists and psychologists to describe their opponents. I think however there is an odd contrast when non scientists seem to think that climate science is really really settled but take a debunked paper such as Meyerowitz-Katz’s as dispositive in epidemiology.

        Your childish name calling has been duly noted.

      • C’mon, David.

        Your verbal defenses remind me of a vaxxer.

        Your views are so ridiculous that they’re very similar to a flat earther.

        Your pertinaciousness can only be compared to a climate contrarian.

        (Oh, wait, that last one is true!)

        Do you really think that I’m only suggesting that your view are wrong?

        No.

        i’m telling you something about you, your mental aptitudes, your lack of common sense, your inability to process information in a reasonable manner, your overall wisdom.

        I’m undermining your credibility.

        If you can’t stand the heat, have the fortitude to stay out of the CB kitchen.

      • Well, My view that Ioannidis was mostly right about this pandemic turned out to be correct despite a few stray predictions that turned out to be wrong. When you consider the full out propaganda the media was and is spreading, including a few hit pieces on Ioannidis, that’s rather an indication of wisdom. Online anonymous bullies and their house “scientists” like Meyerowitz-Katz were very wrong on the most important issues.

      • David –

        > despite a few stray predictions that turned out to be wrong….

        Stray predictions – like when he went on a national TV campaign to say that COVID is in the same ballpark as the season flu (despite a significantly higher IFR at all age groups except the very young, and being considerable more infectious, presenting a potentially significantly higher risk for hospitalization and long-term sequelae, and with no existing vaccines when he made such inane comments).

        Stray predictions that included the possibility of 10k dying of COVID and only 1% getting infected. Stray predictions like projecting “herd immunity” based on a “T-cell immunity” that included immunity from infection and not just an increase chance of less severe infection.

        By definition, if coursez anything he got wrong was just a “stray prediction, cause the man’s a 🦁.

      • Josh once again falsifies the record. Ioannidis statement about 10K deaths was a CONDITIONAL statement that was true at the time and true today. At that time frame he mentioned a large number of possibilities. These are possibilities and not predictions.

        I don’t think Josh that this behavior of yours is normal or adult.

      • “In the ballpark of the flu” is true actually if the worldwide IFR is 0.15%. You are really really discrediting yourself here with quote mining and reliance on pseudo-scientific sources.

      • Allow Andrew to explain:

        [G]etting a forecast wrong is fine. It’s the nature of probabilistic forecasts that there will be uncertainty. We forecasted that Joe Biden would win between 259 and 415 electoral votes. He actually got 306, so that was in our range, but it was lower than our point prediction. I can’t fault Ioannidis for considering 10,000 deaths as a possibility; as Gorski says, the problem came later with a failure to fully reassess his models in light of the forecast’s (inevitable) errors. This is not a problem unique to any particular epidemiologist; similar issues arose in the other direction with Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson. Again, the point is not that Ferguson was unreasonable, just that making a prediction in a time of uncertainty is step 1 of a two-step process. Step 2 is going back afterward and assessing how your forecast did.

        https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2021/03/30/a-tale-of-two-epidemiologists/

        To try to minimize “stray predictions” misses the point.

      • David –

        > “In the ballpark of the flu” is true actually if the worldwide IFR is 0.15%. You are really really discrediting yourself here with quote mining and reliance on pseudo-scientific sources.

        In the ballpark of the flu is wrong at many levels, as I explained to you.

        When Ioannidis made that inane comparison, it was about the time when he was saying the IFR 0.17 FOR THE US, a number that was off by at least a factor of 2, probably more, and based on a highly flawed study and extrapolating from that study with unrepresentative and non-random convenience sampling – an obvious failure to live up to basic epidemiological standards.

        But as I explained to you, it’s even worse as a comparisons because of factors other than IFR. I guess I have to explain it yet again.

        It’s more infectous (and more problematicaly infections because of asymptomatic and presymptomatic spread), compounding he higher IFR. And it’s more likely to cause hospitalizatons and serious illness and long term harmful sequelae. And when he made that inane comparison, there was no vaccine, which is another reason that comparing or to the flu as a public health problem was…well…inane.

        Is this going to have to be one of those situations where I have to explain to you how you were wrong, over and over, in the hopes that eventually I can help you to understand?

        > reliance on pseudo-scientific sources.

        Psuedo scientific sources? I’m “relying” on what Ioannidis wrote and said. Are you calling Ioannidis psuedo scientific?

      • David –

        > Josh once again falsifies the record. Ioannidis statement about 10K deaths was a CONDITIONAL statement that was true at the time and true today.

        Nothing I said was inaccurate:

        > > Stray predictions that included the possibility of 10k dying…

        Possibly you missed “possibility of?”

        It was an outlier “possibility” at the time, for a reason, as was the speculation about the possibility of 1% population infection.

        He did later revise upwards, to 40k.

        I guess some might call that better? After vaccinations it may only be off by what, 1,500%?

      • This is your 9th misrepresentation in the last roughly 24 hours. Ioannidis said in late March that a “mid range estimate” for the US based on the Diamond Princess data was 0.3%. You are conflating a single local study that had a large number of authors with “Ioannidis was saying” about the whole country.

        When you reach a dozen lies, I’m going to write Judith and ask you be put on moderation as you are hopelessly cluttering conversations here with utter and easily ascertained falsehoods.

      • What Willard is doing represents a classic activist fallacy. He quotes a small snippet from a controversy about which hundreds of thousands of words have been written. Ioannidis and perhaps half a dozen collaborators published in November a much more sophisticated statistical analysis of the antibody test used that pretty much confirmed the earlier work. Have you asked Gellman about that? I’m shocked that Willard tries to present a biased narrative by cherry picking. Well, maybe on second thought, its what he has always done.

      • I’m surprised that Gellman doesn’t realize that Ioannidis and his scores of collaborators are continuing to work like beavers to sharpen their analysis and models. It is not a good look to cherry pick one statement and ignore a vast body of work in peer reviewed journals.

        But I’ve noticed that covid19 has brought out the worst instincts of people and we’ve seen a very high level of nasty and completely false personal attacks on scientists. Ioannidis is a very soft spoken, understated, and totally a political scientist. The attacks on him are shameful and show how everything nowadays has become political and is being lied about.

      • So now Josh you are criticizing top notch scientists for completely true statements. What is next? Will you criticize Newton because he didn’t see that relativity would be a little bit more accurate?

        Childish, childish obsession. You latch onto a narrative and then make a series of misrepresentations to support it.

      • > What Willard is doing represents a classic activist fallacy.

        See, David? Another ad hominem.

        To repeat, your “stray predictions” misses the point. Predicting is hard. It’s OK to fail. What isn’t OK is to fail to own your failure.

        You’re so thick that you also miss that the bit I quote from Andrew gives you, Nic and John a chance to save your reputation.

        And you keep misdirecting.

        Worse, you’re inventing a fallacy that is textbook ad hominem.

        You can’t make this up.

        This does not look good on you.

      • On the whole Gellman’s latest is well balanced. He avoids getting down in the weeds with josh on his mostly irrelevant laundry list which shows good judgment. I do think he is wrong to imply that Ioannidis is not updating his thinking as more data becomes available. He obviously is doing so.

        I do think most of this is just the usual politicized debate. You mine someone’s massive public record and find a few errors or wrong predictions or 1 very early paper with some statistical issues. Then You spend endless time repeating them. In Josh’s case he also misrepresents them. Willard, this is also your MO. A better user of time is to try to learn enough science to make a contribution.

        I also note that no one has laid a glove on the fact that about the most important issue, Ioannidis was prescient.

        I also note that Andrew’s comment thread is shot through with ad hominems and speculations about motives.

      • David –

        > I also note that no one has laid a glove on the fact that about the most important issue, Ioannidis was prescient.

        -snip-
        If I were to make an informed estimate based on the limited testing data we have, I would say that covid-19 will result in fewer than 40,000 deaths this season in the USA.
        -snip-

        Prescient. And a 🦁

      • David –

        In April, Ioannidis said that findings from the (highly flawed) Santa Clara study – with its projected IFR of 0.17 – suggests COVID has an infection fatality in “the same ballpark” as the seasonal influenza.

        Yeah. Prescient 🦁.

      • As always Josh you dodged. I was referring to his March IFR mid range estimate. Above you essentially agreed it was close.

      • David –

        BTW, in April 2020 Ioannidis said that we had probably peaked in COVID deaths in Europe and the US.

        I kid you not. Last April.

        Yeah, precient 🦁.

        But I will say this… he wasn’t any less ridiculously far off than you were when you said the spike in cases last summer was no biggie, or when you said that “T-cell immunity” explained why NYC had peaked last spring… or… geez, there were so many times you were ridiculously way off… it’s just too hard to choose which ones to laugh at the hardest.

      • David –

        Actually I changed my mind. For now I’m going to stick with this one being your best – even if it isn’t as good as Ionnidis’ inane comparison to the seasonal flu:

        -snip-
        dpy6629 | May 17, 2020 at 1:49 pm |
        Wow Don, That’s incredibly good news and explains a lot about why virtually everywhere the curve has peaked and is going down.

        Yeah. “T-cell immunity explains why” virtually everywhere” peaked in May 2020. 😂

        Oh, my sides. Too much.

      • > I do think he is wrong to imply that Ioannidis is not updating his thinking as more data becomes available. He obviously is doing so.

        That’s better, and in one sense you’re right:

        In our personal exchange, he seemed very forthcoming, and openly admitted he got it way wrong.

        I guess it’s a lot easier to do that one-to-one than go on a big mea culpa tour on t.v.

        Of course, he was perfectly willing to go on a big t.v. tour when he was spouting media-friendly, attention-grabbing, contrarian opinions.

        Not sure what my point is here – just that humans are complex. He certainly seems like a very decent and smart dude from all of his work and my limited interactions. I don’t know how well I would react to a massive public humiliation like this either.

        https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2021/03/30/a-tale-of-two-epidemiologists/#comment-1775085

        It’s hard to own mistakes made in public.

        I do hope Denizens know that already.

        Take care,

        W

      • More crap from Willard from second hand remembered year old phone conversations. No specificity on what predictions were way off. Ioannidis has a massive public track record. It’s therefore easy to find statements that when taken out of context look questionable. That’s a political propagandists tactic.

      • Well, David, we certainly can entertain the idea that John never conceded in private having been wrong about something that is obviously wrong.

        I really don’t mind at all.

  74. Look like Nic’s record may remain intact (and that’s not good for Nic).

    > Although it is too early to be certain, at present it appears that population immunity in both Stockholm region and Sweden as a whole is now adequate to prevent large-scale COVID-19 epidemic growth even in winter,

    -snip-
    A total of 318 patients were being treated in Stockholm’s hospitals for Covid-19 on Wednesday, 48 of them in intensive care units – an increase from 29 less than two weeks previously.

    “We have a third wave of infection and it’s here now,” the acting head of healthcare Johan Bratt said at a press conference.

    For three weeks in a row, the number of new cases has risen by around 25 percent. Last week a total of 6,336 new cases of Covid-19 were reported, up from 3,225 new cases three weeks earlier.

    “The more contacts we have, the more people are infected. The absolute most important thing you can do now is, all the time, to avoid all forms of crowding and continue keeping distance in all environments,” Bratt said.

    https://www.thelocal.se/20210303/stockholm-healthcare-chief-the-third-wave-of-covid-19-is-here/

    • David –

      Cases are up in Stockholm by 100% over the last three weeks:

      Here’s what Nic said almost three weeks ago:

      > Although it is too early to be certain, at present it appears that population immunity in both Stockholm region and Sweden as a whole is now adequate to prevent large-scale COVID-19 epidemic growth even in winter,

      Maybe testing is way up. Maybe it’s a blip. Maybe you can quibble about the definition of “large-scale.” Or maybe Nic was wrong.

      Again.

  75. -snip-

    While it is not anticipated that circulating memory T cells would be effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, it is plausible that they can reduce COVID-19 severity

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.27.433180v1

  76. An update on Swedish mortality. Quite detailed.

    https://softwaredevelopmentperestroika.wordpress.com/

  77. In the 3 weeks since Nic wrote the following:

    > Although it is too early to be certain, at present it appears that population immunity in both Stockholm region and Sweden as a whole is now adequate to prevent large-scale COVID-19 epidemic growth even in winter, at least at the current level of population mixing.

    The case identification rate in Stockholm has doubled.

    Nic put in a caveat

    > However, there is a caveat in that the B.1.1.77 (UK-discovered) variant, which is estimated to be about one-third more transmissible[6] – and hence faster growing – only became apparent in Sweden during December.

    So maybe the caveat applies. Or maybe it’s a “blip.” Or maybe Nic was wrong.

    Again.

    • An adult would wait until the data is in and stop the endless citations of suggestive but inconclusive data.

  78. Very well done, Nic!

  79. The governor who is deep in a COVID19 nursing home scandal, is even deeper in doodoo with yet another accuser of sexual harassment coming forward. Last week the number of accusers against New York Governor Cuomo equaled the number of days in a week ending in the letter Y.

    Apropos of the beginning of the NCAA basketball tournament, the number of women coming forward has now reached 8, the Elite Eight, perhaps.

    Is this just the beginning? Or is it the end….. of him.

    https://www.whec.com/news/report-8th-woman-comes-forward-with-allegations-against-cuomo/6047900/

  80. Shyam JB Mehta

    I took a look at R in a number of countries at 20/3/21, averaged over the last 2 weeks.
    Location Cases Deaths 27/2/21 R
    Austria 1.12 1.08 0.98
    Belgium 1.19 1.18 0.74
    Brazil 1.08 1.20 1.05
    Canada 1.06 0.89 0.78
    Croatia 1.26 1.09 0.78
    Czechia 0.93 1.06 1.11
    Denmark 1.23 0.81 0.59
    Egypt 1.05 0.97 0.98
    Finland 1.05 1.09 0.88
    France 1.09 0.90 0.8
    Germany 1.22 0.83 0.86
    Greece 1.07 1.24 1.08
    India 1.32 1.22 1.05
    Ireland 0.97 0.85 0.84
    Israel 0.70 0.88 0.88
    Italy 1.08 1.13 0.96
    Japan 1.08 0.89 0.91
    Luxembourg 1.06 1.52 1.09
    Netherlands 1.15 0.89 0.92
    New Zealand 1.03 n/a 1
    Norway 1.30 n/a 1.08
    Pakistan 1.36 1.00 0.96
    Poland 1.26 1.15 0.99
    Portugal 0.80 0.66 0.59
    Slovakia 0.90 0.94 0.96
    South Africa 1.01 0.97 0.79
    Spain n/a 0.67 0.83
    Sweden 1.05 0.86 0.84
    Switzerland 1.13 1.10 0.75
    Average 1.09 1.00 0.9

    I have not adjusted R from cases for increasing or decreasing numbers of tests.

  81. OK –

    So the 7-day infection rate in Sweden has doubled from when in February Nic last indicated he thought there were likely enough infections to “prevent large-scale COVID-19 epidemic growth even in winter…”

    I’m trying to figure out whether he was more wrong in February, or more wrong last June when he thought there’d likely be only @1,000 more deaths in Sweden only for there to be @8,000 more deaths. He thought there would be around 15% more deaths when there was actually 100% more deaths.

    I guess you could say that he was more wrong more recently since he should have learned from his previous errors…but I’d say he still has a while to go before he’s as wrong as he was back in June.

    • Despite ‘case’ growth, deaths and ICU admissions continue to fall. We’ve been over this many times. There can be lots of reasons cases grow or fall, including frequency of testing. Hospitalizations is a better measure.

      • Moving the goalposts never gets old with some folks.

        Nevertheless:

        https://www.icuregswe.org/en/data–results/covid-19-in-swedish-intensive-care/

      • David –

        I’m guess that your goal is to make Nic look better by comparison, by offering frequent examples of being wrong in an even more obvious way and by an even bigger margin?

        I didn’t think you could have topped how wrong you were about the surge in the summer, the pandemic being “over” all those many months ago, the testing and case rates in Florida relative to Texas (or was it Cali?) and New York, just to name a few examples – but yet you’ve managed to do it.

        Remarkable. You’ve got talent.

      • You Josh are picking unreliable statistics to argue that Nic is wrong when more reliable ones show you are wrong. Looks like cherry picking to attack someone vastly more qualified and unbiased than you. But we all here know you are a bias machine.

        And you owe me and Ioannidis an apology for citing amateurish analyses on IFR. Not surprising since you have no knowledge of statistics or science.

      • David –

        You said:

        > Despite ‘case’ growth, deaths and ICU admissions continue to fall.

        Here, maybe you didn’t click on the link. I’ll give it to you again. Click on it:

        https://www.icuregswe.org/en/data–results/covid-19-in-swedish-intensive-care/

      • Joshua

        From your favourite source a perfectly logical piece From Dr Noah Carl on how we could have directed our efforts to those that needed it most and the pointlessness of house arrest-aka Lockdowns .

        Boris and his house trained scientists have admitted that we are far safer outdoors than in our homes and they should have responded quicker to the studies that showed this and of course, common sense. So the message is now ‘stay outdoors’ rather than stay indoors. WE surely knew all this a year ago?

        https://lockdownsceptics.org/what-would-a-focused-protection-strategy-have-looked-like/

        tonyb

      • Tony –

        > Lockdowns have not been associated with substantially fewer deaths from COVID-19, except in geographically peripheral countries that imposed strict border controls at the start.

        This is the kind of shallow approach that does no one any good. First, the reference to “lockdowns” is shallow. What does it mean? Does it mean limiting gathering in pubic spaces? Does it mean giving extended unemployment to people who have lost jobs? Does it mean limiting access to senior housing? There’s no meaningful differentiation between different interventions and no discussion of the timing. Second, there is a variety of evidence and views w/r/t the efficacy of different interventions with different timing in different localities, yet this fella lumps all that together. Third, this fella fails to address the counterfactual assumption underlying his statement: We can’t making a certain statement about whether interventions resulted in fewer deaths (which this fella has done) without believing that we know what would have happened absent interventions. Yet no argument is presented in support of that counterfactual assumption being presented.

        Let’s go on:

        > And the societal costs of lockdowns have been substantial, with preliminary analyses suggesting they almost certainly outweighed the benefits.

        Let’s move past a 2nd blanket and shallow and self-serving characterization of a diverse body of research findings, to again see that we have an assumption about a counterfactual argument, without evidence. The statement that analyses suggest that the cost of interventions (again, undifferentiated) “almost certainly outweighed the benefits” again makes an argument that relies on counterfactual assumptions. Merely saying that negative outcomes are associated with interventions doesn’t cut it as support for the conclusions this fella has drawn.

        Look, I have no doubt that more targeted interventions could have improved outcomes. Devoting more resources to staffing and running senior living communities in ways that would have reduced infections would undoubtedly have saved lives in those facilities. Offering more financial support to vulnerable people, so they could have more easily stayed home and limited their contacts could have reduced community spread. I have no argument with anyone making that argument.

        But that article looks to me like nothing other than rhetorical gamesmanship, intended to help people whose minds are already made up that they’ve made the right decision. Looks to me like nothing other than a shallow treatment – with a specific purpose (prolly not conscious) of helping an “us” feel better about their disgust for a “them.”

      • You are cherrypicking Josh as is often the case. If you look at the Wiki page on the Swedish epidemic cases and admissions are indeed both rising but deaths were declining throughout March.

        As has been explained to you over and over again cases are a poor measure to use because of differences of changes in testing policy. Similarly admissions will be dependent on policy changes as any hospital administrator knows.

      • David –

        You brought up ICU admissions.

        Here:

        > > Despite ‘case’ growth, deaths and ICU admissions continue to fall.

        I have given you a link that shows you that not only do ICU admissions not continue to fall, they have been rising quite a bit.

        Why it’s so difficult for you to just ack iwkesge your error is confusing to me – but it is a patten of behavior you have displayed quite often.

        Deaths also aren’t falling significantly over the past few weeks. They fell for a while but seem to have stabilized and with allowing time for the lag, given the rise in ICU admissions, may very well turn out to be rising over this period – as would be suggested by the significant rise in ICU admissions.

        Nic made predictions about the rate of spread of the virus, the rate of infections. Of course the rate of infections is to some degree a function of the rate of testing. But to a large degree they track in parallel trends. This had been the case all over the world throughout the pandemic. Remember when you thought they would be decoupled (and decoupled from hospitalizations and deaths) doing the summer – as you said confidently that the spike in cases in the States was a nothingburger because it was only a function of more tests and more younger people grating positive?

        Have you forgotten how wrong you were about that?

        As jim2 says below, it is certainly possible that where there is a high rate of vaccination we may start seeing a decoupling of infection ascertainment from serious morbidity and mortality, but I doubt that Sweden has reached that stage in vaccination as of yet.

        Regardless, you’re statement about ICU admissions in Sweden is laughably wrong. Indeed, you’re keeping your string of being laughably wrong alive. But I do find it amusing that you somehow think that acting like you weren’t wrong makes it less obvious that you were wrong.

        But you can keep trying to lamely deflect from that if you wish. Knock yourself out.

      • > From Dr Noah Carl

        You don’t know Noah, TonyB, do you?

      • joe the non epidemiologist

        Sweden’s ICU’s usage is up – compared to what, last week? Last month, last year, last decade? lets have some context?

        Though Swedens death rate remains below every country in europe except for Norway, Finland and denmark.

      • > Sweden’s ICU’s usage is up – compared to what, last week? Last month, last year, last decade? lets have some context?

        The contact was already given. Compared to when Nic last made his predictions about what was going to happen with the infection rate going forward in Sweden.

        And the death rate in Sweden as compared to Europe is a non sequitur. Nic’s prediction was about Sweden, compared to, well, Sweden.

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        Josh’s comment – “The contact was already given. Compared to when Nic last made his predictions about what was going to happen with the infection rate going forward in Sweden.”

        Josh – why do you have a problem providing more complete data – Are you opposed to providing context – since it might contradict your premise

      • > Josh – why do you have a problem providing more complete data – Are you opposed to providing context – since it might contradict your premise

        Joe – the context was already given.

      • David –

        In case you forgot, here is what you said.

        > > > Despite ‘case’ growth, deaths and ICU admissions continue to fall.

        At best, you might be right about deaths, but the available evidence says that they aren’t “continuing to fall” and may actually be rising.

        There is no ambiguity about icu admissions. You said they are continuing to fall. In fact, they are rising.

        You were wrong.

        Wrong.

      • ICU admissions are rising. You cherry picked that fact to hide the fact that deaths are strongly declining and have been for quite a while. The lag from cases to deaths is usually said to be 2-3 weeks so its at least 2 weeks behind schedule unless there is another explanation which I think may be the explanation.

        All together, your biased cherry picking is just another chapter in your attempt to nip at Nic’s heels. He’s vasty your better in statistics and data inference. Since you have zero skills in this area, as you said above, no one is going to care what you say.

      • David –

        Most hilarious post yet.

        > ICU admissions are rising. You cherry picked that fact.

        You said that ICU admissions were continuing to fall. I punted out that you were wrong, and you call that cherry picking.

        That’s beautiful.

        You also said that deaths were continuing to fall.

        I pointed out that actually, the rate of deaths has flattened out after a significant drop, and that once you consider the lag (in conjunction with the significant increase in ICU admissions) they may actually be rising.

        You were wrong about ICU admissions. Should I provide you with the link?

      • You are wrong on the death data. The usual lag people use is 2 weeks between cases and deaths. Deaths have been falling for at least 8 weeks while cases have been increasing. Only in the world of cherry picked data does this show that Nic was wrong. What it would indicate is that reporting of cases might have changed or perhaps there are a lot more tests being done. But as jim2 points out for you context is always missing.

        BTW, since you constantly berate the Santa Clara study, you might find this if you actually read anything technical from Ioannidis’ latest paper. Some fellow scientists rate it low risk of bias. Merowitz-Katz’s throughly debunked study rated it a high risk of bias.

        “To illustrate the confusion that can arise from divergent scoring between raters, let us consider here one study, the Santa Clara study.37 Bobrovitz scored the study as “yes” on 5 items, as “unclear” in 1 item, and as “no” in 3 items of the Joanna Briggs checklist. Conversely, according to Rostami the study scored “yes” on 9 out of 10 items of the earlier Joanna Briggs checklist and was classified as overall “low risk of bias”. According to Meyerowitz-Katz, the study scored “yes” on only 5 of 10 items of the Hoy et al. checklist and was thus classified as “high risk of bias.”

      • David –

        Particularly in Sweden, there are two elements to the lag. One is the lag between cases and deaths, but there is another lag in the recording of deaths – which can often add a other two weeks or more.

        Obviously, the lag between ICU admissions and recording of deaths won’t be as long as the lag between case ascertainment and death.

        This has been the situation in Sweden throughout the pandemic.

      • David –

        > Only in the world of cherry picked data does this show that Nic was wrong.

        Nic’s prediction was directly related to the rate of case case identification. More cases could just be fully explained by increased testing, but that is unlikely. The significant increase in ICU admissions is obviously not juat a function of increased testing.

        The particular prediction of Nic’s that I poonted to was related to infections in particular.

        But he has also made predictions about deaths, that have also been rather notably wrong. At one point he predicted about 1,000 or so more deaths, where he was off by somethingike a multiple of 7 or so (I don’t remember exactly but with your remarkable scientific skills I’m sure you can figure it out).

        But none of that changes that you were wrong about ICU admissions, and quite possible wrong about deaths.

      • Josh, I’m talking actual numbers. you are talking unquantified generalities, so typical of your unfocused intellect. ICU admissions have been rising almost exactly tracking cases. It’s actually been 7 weeks since Feb. 1. That long a lag is very unlikely. If I grant you 2 weeks, which once again you have no evidence for, that still 3 weeks overdue for the increase in deaths given the widely acknowledged 2 week expected lag.

        You were wrong to claim that deaths were leveling off and you cover that with more very repetitious word salads, another sign of an unfocused intellect.

      • BTW, Your silly focus on cases is also seen to be not very useful except for nit picking at vastly more serious and qualified people is shown by the fact that US cases have been rising slightly for a month while deaths continue their strong decline. Could it be that cases is becoming more meaningless over time as vaccinated people test positive even though they will have a mild disease? Overall the way you conflate infections with cases is a dodge and shows an obcession with “proving” your betters wrong often by conflating terms and measurements.

      • I misspoke. It’s been 9 weeks since Feb. 1 leaving a 5 week Josh missing gap. Something is wrong with this data or something else has changed a lot.

      • David –

        There was a significant drop in deaths prior to late Feb. Then the number of deaths was pretty flat from late Feb. to late March. It’s too early to judge what’s happened since late March, but the continued rise in ICU admissions may well be a sign the number will increase as the deaths from late March until now get filled in.

        You were wrong about the ICU admissions should I quote you again and give you the link again that charts the ICU admissions?

      • BTW –

        Sweden isn’t very high on the list of vaccinations distributed. They have about 5% fully vaccinated, with about 1.7 millions doses administered. Probably a bit early to manifest as a signal in changing the ratio of infections to deaths, and obviously wouldn’t likely significantly affect the ratio of ICU admissions to deaths. More likely might be an increase, relatively, in the number of infections among younger people and that they’re doing a better job of preventing infections in senior housing (and that seniors are more likely vaccinated andsmynidnrjenlire vulnerable have already been infected or even infected and died).

        But you were wrong about ICU admissions. The issie of infections is relevant to Nic’s predictions that were wrong on infections just as they were wrong in deaths.

        I’ll give you the link if you want do see how wrong you were about icu admissions. List let me know.

      • BTW –

        About 25% if the cases in Sweden have come since the most recent time Nic said there wouldn’t like any epidemic growth (along with the doubling in rate of case ascertainment).

        Streisand effect?

      • This is mostly vague speculation on your part Josh. It appears to be true that in many places cases and deaths appear to be becoming decoupled. In the US, cases have been flat for 6 weeks while deaths continue their sharp decline. In France, cases have been rising throughout 2021 while deaths are flat. This is perhaps due to vaccination effect or perhaps that the epidemic has burned through the vulnerable people and is not affecting mostly younger people who are much less likely to die.

        No matter how you slice it though deaths seem to be dropping in most Western countries. Focusing on “cases” which are less meaningful is for those with too much time on their hands who nip at the heels of those vastly more qualified and objective than themselves.

      • David –

        > Focusing on “cases” …

        This notion of “focusing on cases” exists only in your head. Noting the trends in cases doesn’t equate with “focusing on cases.” Cases, along with outcomes like hospitalizations and ICU admissions and deaths, are relevant for a number of reasons. One is that throughout the pandemic, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths have all tracked with cases all over the world – even if there is variation in the proportional ratio. Another reasons is because many people, throughout the pandemic, have erroneously engaged in magical thinking that cases could be decoupled from hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths. You might recall how you engaged in such magical thinking in the summer, when you pronounced the pandemic over – and said that the spike in cases was irrelevant because it was only a function of more younger people testing positive, and more testing – only to fall silent when that spike in cases was followed by significant increases in illness and death and suffering. The whole “casedemic” nonsense is a good example of that magical thinking.

        A third reason is that “cases” track with outcomes like illness short of hospitalization and deaths, and other negative outcomes from widespread infections.

        None of that means, however, that there can’t or won’t be a decoupling in a sense, where the ratio changes over time as treatments improve and more people are vaccinated. Of course, that’s obvious.

      • BTW –

        ICU admissions in Sweden were up to 319 towards the end of last week – a signifiant increase over the weeks prior.

        Today they’re up to 356. Here, David, in case you want to see a graph to help you see what’s going. Click on the link:

        https://www.icuregswe.org/en/data–results/covid-19-in-swedish-intensive-care/

      • So ICU admissions are in the area of 180% of where they were when Nic last offered one of his projections of the end of the pandemic in Sweden.

        And in your mind, ICU admissions “continue to fall.”

        Somehow, because of your superior understanding of science, you manage to determine that increasing by 80% = “continue to fall.”

        Beautiful.

      • > Swedens death rate remains below every country in europe except for Norway, Finland and denmark.

        Compared to what, last week? Last month, last year, last decade? Let’s have some context.

      • Josh, you should just admit that you cherry picked one statistic of questionable reliability out of literally hundreds used to measure the severity of the epidemic. You did it the same way a teenager who is confronted with a vastly more knowledgable adult grasps at straws. Growing up would make you more interesting. And drop the constant repetitions. It really clutters up Judith’s threads.

        But you have a strong track record of obstructing useful discussion on blogs especially here when you tried to tell Judith that her thinking was biased. You of course had no idea about that. Just as you have no idea about whether Nic’s work is of very high quality. I believe its a desire to not appear to be completely unqualified to comment by attacking others on quite minor points.

      • Actually Sweden is in the middle of the pack among all European countries. They have a lower rate than many of the countries with much more restrictive policy responses overall. These facts explain why Ioannidis and many co-authors found that lockdowns had no detectable value. The data is pretty clear.

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/1111779/coronavirus-death-rate-europe-by-country/

        It looks like the median fatalities per million is around 1300 to 1500, quite consistent with the lower IFR studies that people here have baselessly caviled at while citing a badly flawed study by Meyerowitz-Katz. Bad science is spread by inexpert activists on twitter and here, a pattern that is becoming the norm, not just on the internet either. Public health officials have consistently cited very weak science to justify their advice and dictates.

      • David –

        > Josh, you should just admit that you cherry picked one statistic.

        You brought up ICU admissions. You said they are continuing to decline.

        I pointed out you were wrong. You were wrong, David. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Not even close. You said they were continuing to decline. They’re increasing significantly.

        ICU admissions is obvosuly an important statistic. For one thing, it indicates a serous level of illness, obviously. It’s an indication for how taxed hospitals are. It’s an indication for how overtaxed hero healthcare workers are. You can dismiss that as insignificant if you want, but the healthcare workers and the very sick peope and their families think that ICU admissions is an important star.

        For another thing. it’s generally a leading indicator for deaths.

        David, you were wrong in what you said about ICU admissions. Totally wrong. Not even close.

        You brought it up. So I responded. And then you said I’m cherry-picking because I responded to your incorrect statement.

        If you’d like, I’ll give you a link that shows you how wrong you were.

      • Josh, You are just lying now. You brought up cases in a long winded comment aimed at Nic. I then said deaths and ICU admissions were declining which I later corrected to include only deaths. You said deaths were essentially steady which is also wrong. You are being really childish here.

      • > questionable reliability

        Questionable reliability?

        The ICU admissions stats in Sweden are of questionable reliability?

        What evidence do you have for thst dtemenr. David? From what I’ve heard, Sweden’s medical records are considered to be extremely accurate.

        On what basis do you claim their ICU admissions stats are questionable?

        I think you have no idea what you’re taking about. But I could be wrong. Show me your evidence.

      • See my previous comment. Josh is just lying about what happened or to be charitable perhaps his undisciplined intellect rewrote it to support a personal attack.

      • David –

        You brought up ICU admissions and said they were declining. I shhiwdd you were wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

        I said deaths had declkned significantly, and then flattened out – and that with the lag they may actually be unceasing. That’s all true.

        I spoke of cars because that’s the most relevant metric to Nic’s erroneous prediction – because his odeixfik was related to cases. It I didn’t only focus on cases.

        I also talked a out deaths, sczusd. IC was also way off in deaths. He predicted mk ths ago there’d likely be a out 1,000 more deaths or 15% more than there a had already been when actually there have been like 8,000 more deaths (and still counting) and the number has almost almost doubled.

        So there is absolutely no reason that I wouldn’t talk about deaths when I’m talking about the ways in which Nic had been wrong.

        Anyway David you were totally wrong about icu admissions. And you were wrong about deaths. And you have been wrong about cases in the past. That’s called a trifecfa.

        Congratulations.

      • Here – I’ll fix thisb

        I said deaths had declined significantly, and then flattened out – and that with the lag they may actually be increasing. That’s all true.

        I spoke of casss because that’s the most relevant metric to Nic’s erroneous prediction – because his prediction was related to cases. It I didn’t only focus on cases.

        I also talked about deaths, because Nic was also way off in deaths. He predicted months ago there’d likely be about 1,000 more deaths or 15% more than there a had already been, when actually there have been like 8,000 more deaths (and still counting) and the number has almost almost doubled.

        There. I hope that helps.

      • Cases is an unreliable statistic just as I said and Josh cherry picked it in a small minded attack on Nic. Then Josh nitpicked a misstatement of mine that I quickly corrected. This is schoolyard stuff. Repeating it shows real biased thinking.

        But this is the same Josh who harshly and wrongly criticises Ioannidis, a top notch scientist, while not seeing that the real pseudo-science comes from Meyerowitz-Katz in a biased study he and others quoted to cast doubt on Ioannidis vastly better work. If this looks like narrative based extreme bias, that’s because it is.

      • David –

        > Cases is an unreliable statistic just as I said and Josh cherry picked it in a small minded attack on Nic.

        Cases are a problematic metric to an extent, as the ascertainment number will to some extent be a function of the number of tests conducted.
        But I don’t see any particular reason to think that the huge jump in cases identified in Sweden recently is just a function of more testing. It’s not like there was a drop in their positivity rate – in fact it went quite high and stayed there – which would be an indication that the rise in cases WAS just a function of more testing.

        But further, the number of cases is relevant because one of the predictions that Nic got wrong was related to the rate of spread. The results with respect to the number cases identified strongly suggests a contradiction to his predictions. Of course it’s theoretically possible that could all be explained by a massive jump in the number of tests conducted – but that seems unlikely, particularly given the reports of their hospitals being hard pressed and the significant jump in ICU admissions – something that happened in parallel with the increse in cases and indeed, suggest the rise in cases is NOT just a function of more testing

        Of course, cases is not the only relevant metric. ICU admissions is also important, and they have risen dramatically just as cases have – despite your strange error where you said they were declining, something that is easily checked and an error which makes it obvious that you didn’t even bother to check before you made your statement – which I have to say is hard to explain coming from a renown scientist such as yourself.

        Of course, you were also wrong about the rate of deaths, and of course Nic was way off in his predictions about deaths as well. But that’s another matter.

      • More nitpicking and biased speculation. Josh, do you have a life outside anonymous endlessly repetitive internet stalking?

      • David –

        You’ve been wrong about what case rates signal (i.e., you thought the rise in cases in the summer DIDN’T signal a coming rise in hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths. You were just wrong about that).

        You’ve been wrong about the relative rates of testing and infections across states.

        You’ve been wrong about the rate of ICU admissions in Sweden (you said they “continue to decline” even as they were rising dramatically).

        And you’ve been wrong about the rate of deaths in Sweden when you said they “continue to decline” – in fact, they fell for a while up until late February and they were essentially flat from late February to late March. It’s to early to assess what the trend is subsequent to late March, but the significant rise in ICU admissions since then suggests it may rise and certainly don’t “continue to decline.”).

        Just acknowledge that you were wrong and move on. You’ll feel better.

      • Go to hell Josh. After lying about the content of our conversation several times, you should apologize.

      • David –

        Every characterization I made of what you said is spot on accurate.

        Last summer you thought that the spike in cases was nothing to worry about because you thought it was just a function of increased testing and younger people getting infected. You fell silent when the hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths speed after the lag from the spike in infections.

        Recently you said that in Sweden, the deaths and ICU admissions “continue to decline.”.

        You were wrong on both counts, the icu admissions spectacularly so.

        If you’d like, I could give you a link so you could see a graph demonstrating how wrong you were. Would you like that?

      • Continuing a conversation with someone who lies as a matter of course (such as you) is not a good use of my time.

        This is what Judith and Nic have both concluded and they are right.

  82. Ioannidis has struck back and completely dismantled a couple of the high IFR papers cited here by our usual anonymous cherry pickers. He also looks at the Twitter ‘contributions’ of two advocates of those flawed papers including Sanakan.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/eci.13554

    It’s very detailed and complete. It will be interesting to see if the woke mob will ever admit that Ioannidis was right early on last year and that alarmists were wrong and caused immense harm.

    • With over 550,000 deaths in the US, the alarmists seem to me to have been spot on.

      Any kind of global analysis is likely to be flawed because of: 1) inadequate testing and reporting in many countries; 2) actions taken by many countries have mitigated the spread; 3) mortality will vary by demographics and cultural dynamics; and 4) now vaccines are altering the course of disease and providing a first glimmer of herd immunity.

      • A moments thought will show that Ioannidis was right and the alarmists badly wrong. US population fatality rate is in the vicinity of 0.15%. In many areas the case rate is 15%. Assuming only a third of infections get caught, that’s 45% infected and recovered. That’s an IFR right around 0.3% which was Ioannidis’ mid range estimate from last March based on the Diamond Princess data.

        This is a rough calculation though. If you think that nursing homes were much harder hit due to stupid policies, that would tend to decrease population wide estimates of the IFR.

        Certainly Fauci’s estimate of 1% to 2% was wrong and the early WHO estimate of 3.7% was really really wrong.

      • David –

        > US population fatality rate is in the vicinity of 0.15%.

        Given how many people have died from COVID in the US, an IFR of 0.15% would mean that some 400,000,000 people have been infected.

        Which is a pretty good trick given that the population is only around 330,000,000.

        I mean I know that some people have probably been infected twice, but even 400,000,000 distinct infections might just be a tad of an overreach.

        Doncha think?

        Also, it’s interesting that you simultaneously think that “herd immunity” kicks in at a low population infection percentage (say > 30%?) and that the population infection percentage is some 120%.

      • Sorry, my bad. You said population fatality percentage, not infection fatality percentage.

      • This is another example of how Josh lies about what is said by others and then gives a lengthy calculation that is meaningless.

      • > Assuming only a third of infections get caught, that’s 45% infected and recovered.. .

        […]

        >> That’s an IFR right around 0.3%

        Assuming only a third of infections get caught, that means that we’ve had 90,000,000 infections. With a minimum of 600,000,000 deaths once all is said and done, the IFR would obviously be considerably higher than 0.3%

        The latest CDC estimate I’ve seen, however, is that the number of actual infections is probably between around 4 X or 5 X the number that has been identified. That was a while back so it could be that the number missed was higher then, as testing has expanded – but then again with vaccinations going up there may well be a higher percentage of asymptomatic infections and that could mean a higher % missed.

      • Obviously, 600,000 deaths not 600,000,000.

      • Every characterization I made of what you said is spot on accurate.

        Last summer you thought that the spike in cases was nothing to worry about because you thought it was just a function of increased testing and younger people getting infected. You fell silent when the hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths speed after the lag from the spike in infections.

        Recently you said that in Sweden, the deaths and ICU admissions “continue to decline.”.

        You were wrong on both counts, the icu admissions spectacularly so.

        If you’d like, I could give you a link so you could see a graph demonstrating how wrong you were. Would you like that?

      • Josh, You must lied about what I said not more than an hour ago. Then you go on to lie again and say everything you said is spot on. Go to hell.

      • David –

        Not only have I not lied, I haven’t even gotten anything wrong when I said what you said.

        I quoted what you said about population fatality rate, and mistook it for you saying infection fatality rate. And then I immediately clarified that I mistook what you said.

        Here, let’s try this again…

        Every characterization I made of what you said is spot on accurate.

        Last summer you thought that the spike in cases was nothing to worry about because you thought it was just a function of increased testing and younger people getting infected. You fell silent when the hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths speed after the lag from the spike in infections.

        Recently you said that in Sweden, the deaths and ICU admissions “continue to decline.”.

        You were wrong on both counts, the icu admissions spectacularly so.

        If you’d like, I could give you a link so you could see a graph demonstrating how wrong you were. Would you like that?

      • Are you next going to say I “lied” when I mistakenly said that 600,000,000 had died, and then immediately corrected that to 600,000?

        BTW, just let me know if you want that link to that graph where you can see how you were wrong about how deaths and ICU admissions in Sweden “continue to decide.”

        I’d be happy to provide the link for you.

      • What you are doing Josh here is bullying and harassment. You lied multiple times unless you can’t read which I suppose is another possibility.
        Repeating something 40 times is something children do. Are you really a man child?

      • David –

        I’m trying to help you to realize that not only did I not lie about what you said, I absolutely correctly characterized what you said.

        So I repeat my characterization so that you can see it was accurate. Every time I characterized what you said I was accurate.

        I correctly characterized what you said about the significance of the spike in cases last summer. (And I explained how you were wrong in what you said).

        I correctly characterized what you said about deaths and ICU admissions in Sweden. (And I explained how you were wrong in what you said).

      • You lied and now are doubling down on that lie.

      • And you lied about what you are “trying to do” in that last comment. You are not trying to help me in any way.

      • David –

        I’ve lied about nothing. I don’t understand why you’re so confused about whether I’m lying, and I’m trying to help you understand that I’m. Not lying.

        You said, in the summer, that the spike in cases wasn’t consequential, and that it was only a function of more testing and more hunger people – who wouldn’t suffer from COVID – getting infected. You were wrong about that. It’s what you said. You were wrong. No lies.

        You said recently that deaths and ICU admissions in Sweden “continue to fall.” You were wrong about that. Deaths are flat. ICU admissions have risen significantly. I quoted you.yoi were wrong. No lies.

        No lies. I’m trying to help you to see that there were no lies. It’s not because I care about you. It’s necizs I’m trying to get you to see how you are wrong. A out what you said about COVID. And about whether I have lied.

        You were wrong. I accurately described what you said and I explained why you were wrong.

        No lies.

      • > You are not trying to help me in any way.

        I’m trying to help you see that you were wrong.

        About whether I’m lying.

        And about COVID.

        Admittedly, it is a difficult task, trying to help you see that you’re wrong. Although it is abundantly obvious, for some reason that I can’t understand you can’t see that you’re wrong even though it’s obvious.

        If there’s anything further I can do to help you see what’s so obvious, that you are wrong, let me know what it is. Within reason, I’d be happy to help you see what’s so obvious but which you have trouble seeing.

      • You are lying about wanting to help me. It will help me if you stop lying and shut up. Since you don’t do that it shows that your claim to want to help me is a lie. That’s your third lie so far. That’s not counting your lie about where cases first came up. Then you lied about what I said about population fatality rate assuming it was about IFR. You lied about that lie by claiming that everything you had said was true.

      • David –

        > You are lying about wanting to help me.

        I’m not trying to help you because I care about you. I’m trying to help you see how wrong you are. I want you to see how wrong you are. Because then maybe you’d stop claiming that I’m lying.

        You were wrong aboir COVID Amat mjtoole levels.

        You were wrong when you did that I “lied” a out what you said.

        I’m not sure what else I can do to help you see that other than to keep explaining it to you.

        But I’m willing to keep trying. One of these times you might somehow see what’s so obvious.

        It will help me if you stop lying and shut up. Since you don’t do that it shows that your claim to want to help me is a lie. That’s your third lie so far. That’s not counting your lie about where cases first came up. Then you lied about what I said about population fatality rate assuming it was about IFR. You lied about that lie by claiming that everything you had said was true.

      • David –

        > Then you lied about what I said about population fatality rate assuming it was about IFR.

        I quoted you. I quoted when you said population fatality rate and responding mistaking that for infection fatality rate. And then I corrected for my mistake.

        So no, I didn’t “lie” about what you said about population fatality rate. It’s almost like you don’t even know what “lie” means.

        David – you were wrong about what you said about the spike in infections in the summer. I explained your error to you. (you were also wrong about the relative rates of infections and testing in different states).

        You were wrong about the death and ICU admissions in Sweden. I explained to you how you were wrong.

        Explaining to you how you were wrong doesn’t mean I’m lying. It just means I’m explaining to you how you were wrong.

        Perhaps you are confusing explaining to you how you were wrong with lying.

      • David –

        > That’s not counting your lie about where cases first came up.

        Here is what you said:

        >>> Despite ‘case’ growth, deaths and ICU admissions continue to fall.

        After you said that, I explained your error to you. I explained to you that actually, ICU admissions increased significantly (and deaths are flat).

        No lies. I hope that helps you to see that there were no lies. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you see that just telling you that you were wrong, when you were wrong, doesn’t mean that I’m lying. I’m here to help.

      • Here’s the list.
        “>Josh, you should admit that you cherry picked one statistic.
        You brought up ICU admissions. You said they are continuing to decline.”
        This is untrue Josh. I was referring to the cases statistic. That was the one you cherry picked to attack.

        “>US population fatality rate is in the vicinity of 0.15%.
        Given how many people have died from COVID in the US, an IFR of 0.15% would mean that some 400,000,000 people have been infected.”
        That is falsehood #2. Unless you simply can’t read which is possible. In any case you totally wrongly characterized what I said.

      • “Every characterization I made of what you said is spot on accurate.”
        That’s a bald faced falsehood and coming quickly after the second falsehood. Amazing.

        “Not only have I not lied, I haven’t gotten anything wrong when I said what you said.” A fourth blatant falsehood given the first two examples.

        “I’m trying to help you to realize that not only did I not lie about you said, but I absolutely correctly characterized what you said.” A fifth blatant falsehood given the first two examples of extreme mischaracterization.

        “I’ve lied about nothing. I don’t understand why you’re so confused about whether I’m lying, and I’m trying to help you understand that I’m not lying.”
        Another blatant falsehood. That’s number six.

        Are you even aware that you are just lying?

      • David –

        You: > “Josh, you should admit that you cherry picked one statistic.

        Me: >You brought up ICU admissions. You said they are continuing to decline.”

        You: >This is untrue Josh.

        Here’s us what you said:

        >>> Despite ‘case’ growth, deaths and ICU admissions continue to fall.

        You brought up deaths and ICU admissions. I responded, a explaining how you were wrong.

        >I was referring to the cases statistic. That was the one you cherry picked to attack.

        Once again, you brought up deaths and ICU admissions. That is what I respnded to you on. Then you accused me of “cherry-picking” when I respnded to you in the issues you brought joz and I expanded that you brought those issues up.

        Not to mention all along I focused on cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions. I hope now you understand that rhres were no lies. You brought up the issue of icu admissions I reponded showing you were wrong.

        No lies. Only explaining to you why you were wrong. Don’t gaslight yourself.

        “> That is falsehood #2. Unless you simply can’t read which is possible.

        David – I quoted you. How can I mischaracterize what you said by quiting you? Quoting you isn’t “lying” about what you said, it’s quoting you.

        >In any case you totally wrongly characterized what I said.

        I quoted you. I can’t mischaracterize what you said by quoting you. I mistakenly thought you said “infection” fatality rate when you said “population” fatality rate. And then I immediately corrected my error.

        There. See? No lies.

        I hope that helps you to understand now. No lies. Only explaining your errors to you and correcting my own error.

        And if you’d like I can give you a link to websites where you can see why you were wrong about (1) the significance of the spike in cases in the US in the summer, (2) recent trend of deaths in Sweden and, (3) recent trend of icu admissions in Sweden.

        Just let me know if you want that info that shows how wrong you were.

      • On your lie #1, I referred to cases as a cherry picked statistic. You misinterpreted what I said as about ICU’s. That proves lie numbers 3 and 4 were lies.

        On lie number 2, you of course mischaracterized what I said as being about IFR and wrong a long silly comment about it. That also proves lies 3 and 4 were lies.

        You are pathological and need help.

      • > On your lie #1, I referred to cases as a cherry picked statistic. You misinterpreted what I said as about ICU’s.

        I said you brought up the issue of ICU admissions. You did bring up the issue of icu admissions. You said I lied about who raised the issue. You were wrong. Not only about icu admissions. You were also wrong when you said i “lied” when I said you first brought up the issue.

        > you of course mischaracterized what I said as being about IFR

        I didn’t “mischaracterize” what you said about IFR. I quoted what you said about IFR. I mistook what you were referring to, and immediately corrected my mistake.

        So you’ve been wrong about cases, deaths, ICU admissions, and whether I lied. Congrats, you improved on your trifecta.
        >

      • “On your lie #1, I referred to cases as a cherry picked statistic. You misinterpreted what I said as about ICU’s. That proves lie numbers 3 and 4 were lies.

        On lie number 2, you of course mischaracterized what I said as being about IFR and wrong a long silly comment about it. That also proves lies 3 and 4 were lies.

        You are pathological and need help.” – dpy6629

        🇨🇳Josh-u-are🇨🇳 is a member of the CCP and is paid handsomely in yen per word. He enjoys causing this mayhem. China is scared that the western world will eventually take the Scandinavian lead in dealing with their kung-flu.

        They are determined to coerce western governments into their authoritarian way of doing things.

        🇺🇸Mike Pompeo🇺🇸 for president.

      • Thanks for contributing to my income, Alan (I get paid extra each time you mention me in a comment – because you’re such an important focus of the CCP).

      • BTW –

        India has recently had the highest ever rate of infections.

        The Streisand effect of Nic’s projections of “herd immunity” remains intact.

        Every time he projects a locality reaching a HIT, they experience a significant increase in infection rate shortly thereafter. Happened in Sweden (twice no less), Stockholm specifically, NYC, now India (I’m trying to remember if there are others – London maybe?).

      • You are pathological Josh u a. I mentioned your cherry picking the cases statistic, which is not very meaningful. You quoted me and thought it was about ICU admissions, which is a misrepresentation of what I said.

        That’s proof that numbers 3 and 4 are lies. You then went on to say that you represented what I said correctly. That’s simply a lie. I quoted your exact words.

      • Vintage July 2020:

        We are clearly nearing the end of this epidemic. Now we will bear the real human costs of accelerated deaths due to mass unemployment, delayed screenings, etc. Something is dysfunctional in the Western world.

        https://judithcurry.com/2020/07/06/covid-discussion-thread-part-x/#comment-920377

        Let us hope the end is still nearing.

      • Willard –

        This one was one of my favorites, although there are better ones than this also:

        > If Nic is correct that the ultimate population fatality rate will be 0.06%,…

        And David maintains the Nic got it right.

        This one’s good too…

        > In any case, this is largely a meaningless issue as the real question is how many will ultimately die before herd immunity is reached. That number will likely not be dramatically different between Sweden and its neighbors.

        https://judithcurry.com/2020/06/28/the-progress-of-the-covid-19-epidemic-in-sweden-an-analysis/#comment-919886

        From the same page:

        > The important question is whether neighboring countries will have a similar death rate when herd immunity is reached.

        This one’s good:

        > Without a vaccine, nothing can prevent reaching herd immunity and suffering roughly 0.06% fatalities.

        > IFR for people under 70 is lower than the flu and even Sweden will probably have a PFR of 0.06%.

        > You should know that fully effective virus vaccines are usually not possible. For most viruses there is no vaccine at all. The flu vaccine is only partially effective. Counting on that for covid19 is grasping at straws.

        From June 30th:

        > Florida’s average age of those testing positive has declined from 65 to 37. Most of these new cases are going to recover just fine.

        > Refusing to accept the good news that Sweden hospitalizations and deaths are way way down from the peak and that fatality rates will end up under 0.1%, he wants to focus on how much “better” neighboring countries did (while ignoring that they will do worse in the future while Sweden has herd immunity)

        > 2. Also viral vaccines have a bad track record. We may be lucky and find a reasonable effective vaccine, but historical evidence is not encouraging.

        From July 4th

        > frank, “Cases” are surging but I’m not worried by that. It is also true that the average age of those cases has declined in Florida from 65 to 37 over the course of the epidemic. That means a much smaller percentage of those cases will require hospitalization. I heard today from a physician in the Texas area that the reason hospitals are more full than previously is not due to covid19 but to pent up demand caused by the lockdown. People defered elective and in some cases emergency care for strokes, heart problems, etc. Those people are now coming in for treatment.

        […]

        > Surging cases is in my view a phony statistic because its an strongly related to how extensive testing is.

        [“phony statistic” – prior to deaths spiking in Sweden]

        July 5th was a good one;

        > Just looking at case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths it appears that the epidemic is almost over in Europe and the US. In the US cases are surging but deaths continue to decline. This trend is even more clear in the Swedish data. Spain has had only 30 or 40 deaths in the last 2 weeks. Now we will see the slow excess mortality caused by mass unemployment, delayed screenings, delayed treatment for strokes and heart attacks, and cancer. When the history of this mass panic attack is written, it will become obvious that something is deeply dysfunctional in the West.

      • David –

        It’s quite interesting to watch all the ways that you can find to accuse me of lying and misrepresenting you by quoting you. This one’s good:

        Me: > There is no ambiguity about icu admissions. You said they are continuing to fall. In fact, they are rising.

        > You were wrong.

        > Wrong.

        You: dpy6629 | April 5, 2021 at 8:48 pm |

        >> ICU admissions are rising. You cherry picked that fact to hide the fact that deaths are strongly declining and have been for quite a while.

        So I’m “cherry-picking” a fact [that ICU admissions are up] and misrepresenting what you said about that fact, by pointing out to you that you was ABSOLUTELY WRONG about that fact, as well as wrong about “deaths are strongly declining” – when actually they’ve been flat for the last month that updated and reliable data are available, not
        strongly declining (stated in the present continuous tense).

      • David –

        This one’s good:

        dpy6629 | May 17, 2020 at 1:49 pm |
        Wow Don, That’s incredibly good news and explains a lot about why virtually everywhere the curve has peaked and is going down. If 40% – 60% of unexposed individuals are already immune, that means New York City has reached effective herd immunity.

        So up to 60% of NY immune and herd immunity reached, after which the number of deaths almost doubled and the number of cases increased almost 6 fold.

        Imagine what would have happened if NY HADN’T reached “herd immunity” back in May if last year. Might have been bad…

      • “>> ICU admissions are rising. You cherry picked that fact to hide the fact that deaths are strongly declining and have been for quite a while.

        So I’m “cherry-picking” a fact [that ICU admissions are up] …”

        This is yet another misrepresentation by you Josh. What you quote is way upthread. Your misrepresentation #1 was your response to a totally different point, namely, that you cherry picked the cases statistic to attack Nic.

        So that’s your 7th misrepresentation in less than 24 hours.

      • And Josh follows up with his 8th misrepresentation.

        I said: “Wow Don, That’s incredibly good news and explains a lot about why virtually everywhere the curve has peaked and is going down. If 40% – 60% of unexposed individuals are already immune, that means New York City has reached effective herd immunity.”

        These are conditional statements and were true at the time and are true now.

        That’s 8 lies in the space of roughly 24 hours.

      • David –

        > That’s incredibly good news and explains a lot about why virtually everywhere the curve has peaked and is going down..

        So “explains why the curve has peaked and is going down” is conditional?

        Interesting.

      • David –

        Am I misrepresenting you by quoting you here?:

        > while ignoring that they will do worse in the future while Sweden has herd immunity.

        How’s that worse outcomes in neighboring countries because of Sweden’s herd immunity working for you?

        How many times is that now that I’ve misrepresented you by quoting you?

      • Even for you Josh, this is an exceptional level of gaslighting. You quote obviously true statements as if they are evidence of something. You misrepresent what people say to support your baseless personal attacks. What this shows is that anonymous nonscientist activists on the internet routinely lie to support a narrative and attack vastly more qualified and trustworthy people. Pathetic and disturbing.

      • David –

        >   You quote obviously true statements

        There’s nothing obvosuly true about the following statement. There’s nothing subtly true about it or partially true or even remotely true.

        It’s just weird.

        > while ignoring that they will do worse in the future while Sweden has herd immunity.

        You talk of someone “ignoring” something that was merely a figment of your imagination. The neighboring countries didn’t do worse “while Sweden has herd immunity” but continued to do MUCH better in part because Sweden DIDN’T have herd immunity. (and still doesn’t).

        You mistakenly and confidently predict they will differentially benefit from “herd immunity,” criticize others for not sharing your mistaken belief, and then claik that your belief is “obviously true” even though it is false.

        And of course throw in some more insults while you’re at it.

      • Also not “obviously true” is that “T-cell immunity” explained why the curve was going down “virtually everywhere.”

        What’s “obviously true” is that you confidently claimed that causal mechanism was explanatory even though it’s obviously self-evident that you lacked sufficient knowledge to make such an assertion.

        You saw a pattern of correlation and mistakenly conflated that correlation with causation.

        That’s a common error, even if it’s somewhat surprising to see such a renown scientist as yourself make such a rookie mistake.

  83. Yep, as vaccinations continue in the US, hospitalizations and deaths from covid should decouple from cases. Vaccinated people can still get it, but it’s more like a cold than like flu.

    • jim –

      > Yep, as vaccinations continue in the US, hospitalizations and deaths from covid should decouple from cases.

      As opposed to the most recent time (how many were there?) you thought that hospitalizaton ratea would be decoupled from infection rates, yes this time there’s at least a chance that will happen as more people get vaccinated.

      It remains to be seen, however, how many people will buy into the vaccine conspiracy ideation being promoted by Tucker and Berenson and that crew.

      I’d like to think that most people will come to their senses over time but it does seem that at least for now the fear- and conspiracy-mongering is having a relatively significant impact in discouraging Republicans from getting vaccinated.

      • Joshua

        Bearing in mind its still quite early days in the vaccination roll out, what sort of % of Dems or Republicans have said they will not have the vaccine and what reasons are they giving?

        Over here its very much by race rather than party, although as we go down the scale to the young and therefore unlikely to be too much bothered by the virus, the % refusing may increase.

        In that case the threat of a covid passport being necessary will no doubt be hanging over them. No vaccination means no pubs or football or music events

        tonyb

  84. Comparatively, about 87 percent of Democrats included in the survey said they planned on getting the COVID-19 vaccine or had already received it.

    Among Republicans overall, 56 percent said they would get the vaccine or already had got the vaccine.

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/542814-49-percent-of-gop-men-say-they-wont-get-vaccinated-pbs-poll

  85. The vaccine is already having an effect …

    People under 60 are accounting for the majority of new Covid-19 cases across the country — likely a testament to the success of the vaccines that have been administered to primarily older, more vulnerable Americans.

    But doctors say that patients seeking care this time around are younger and, notably, not as sick.

    In New York, where cases are rising, some Covid-19 patients still require hospitalization, but the numbers of such patients are nowhere near the “astronomical” levels from a year ago, said Dr. Frederick Davis, an associate chair of emergency medicine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Hospital.

    Now, Davis said, Covid-19 cases are mostly mild.

    More than 73 percent of people over age 65 has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and nearly half are fully vaccinated. Monday, the CDC reported that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are 90 percent effective against Covid-19 in the real world.

    Nationwide, “the number of 25-to-49-year-olds visiting U.S. emergency departments for diagnosed Covid-19 is now higher than the number of visits among patients 65 and older,” the CDC said in a statement to NBC News.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/new-rise-covid-cases-shows-yes-vaccines-work-n1262457

    • The Trump-initiated vaccine is a success! Trump was so good for this country. It’s too dang bad the Dimowits stole the Presidency.

      • To the extent Trump deserves credit, and I don’t doubt he does to some extent, he desreves credit.

        > It’s too dang bad the Dimowits stole the Presidency.

        Lol. Yeah, and Sydney Powell had all that evidence!

        Tell me, how do you feel about her lawyers’ argument that only fools would have believed her?

      • It’s, well, a lawyer’s argument after all. And, well, per usual you misquoted the defense. It was “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact”

        It could be interpreted to mean it sounds so far out there that no reasonable person would believe it. I wouldn’t have believe the FBI would try to unseat a sitting President if you had asked me 10 years ago. I, as a reasonable person, would not have believed it. But now, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Now, I believe it.

      • > It could be interpreted to mean it sounds so far out there that no reasonable person would believe it.

        It it could be interpreted to mean… I’ll let Denzel spell it out for you…

  86. From Ioannidis’ latest paper. In the internet age, activists spread disinformation on Twitter and indeed here as well. Sanakan hasn’t commented here since my detailed debunking of his work. He is a prime source of propagating this disinformation.

    “Overall, one potential explanation is that the flaws of the Meyerowitz-Katz evaluation may simply reflect lack of experience and technical expertise of otherwise well-intentioned and smart authors with a heightened sense of advocacy during a serious pandemic that represents undoubtedly a major crisis. It is well-known that most published systematic reviews and meta-analyses in the literature have substantial flaws anyhow. For students performing their first evidence synthesis ever, choosing a topic that requires advanced expertise due to unusual cross-design features, difficult methodological challenges and convoluted and often erratic data, a highly-flawed final product should not be surprising. Perusal of the voluminous Twitter comments of Health Nerd similarly demonstrates immediately the wonderful enthusiasm, but also lack of adequate expertise required to conduct such analyses in any rigorous way. Nevertheless, it is worrisome that trustworthy media like Scientific American and The Guardian have espoused Meyerowitz-Katz’s views and serious organizations may guide their planning based on a flawed paper. Meyerowitz-Katz is a columnist also at the American Council on Science and Health (https://www.acsh.org/profile/gideon-meyerowitz-katz), a pro-industry advocacy group. He reports no conflicts of interest.”

    • See, David?

      That’s ad hominem.

    • I don’t see an ad hominem. People’s credentials are crtitical information in evaluating their work and their global activism. If a medical student was on Twitter and had a massive following tweeting about how cheese cures arteriosclerosis and attacking the scientists saying we don’t know yet, its worth noting. It is perfectly appropriate for senior scientists to say this in a peer reviewed paper.

      I don’t get why you and VTG want to defend Meyerowitz-Katz so much that you ignore much more solid science. I know he supports alarmist narratives, but effective thinking requires accurate information. That’s all that is going on here.

      • > People’s credentials are crtitical information in evaluating their work and their global activism.

        Then ad hominems are critical to you, David.

        It’s really not complex.

  87. After reading this entire Blog, as well as its predecessors, and the climate blogs as well, it seems clear that in regard to both climate and pandemic, there is limited data and considerable uncertainty. Those of the persuasion that climate change is not a problem, and the impacts of the pandemic have been greatly exaggerated (these views are strongly coupled R ~ 0.9) seem to be wrong over and over again. It seems to me that Joshua, Willard and VTG have honestly examined the data and have shown the errors of Alfred E. Neumann and company. As well as we can compute (and it isn’t that good) the effects of the pandemic are far worse than the Neumanns will admit. There is no doubt at all that masks and distancing had a major effect in some regions in reducing the impact. Whether government edicts on top of personal choice for masks and isolation provided a good benefit/cost ratio remains difficult to resolve. Nic was wrong, and remains wrong. It has been demonstrated.

    • It is impossible to evaluate your comment Donn as it lacks real secificity. It is obvious that the media have exaggerated the seriousness of the epidemic. An obvious one is the alarmist reporting of cases and fatalities in March of last year showing case fatality rates of 10 or in some cases 15%. That needlessly scared people.

    • Donald –

      > Whether government edicts on top of personal choice for masks and isolation provided a good benefit/cost ratio remains difficult to resolve.

      Indeed it does. But that won’t prevent people who don’t respect the uncertainty from “resolving” it (wink, wink).

      Also meso and Frank have made very helpful comments in these threads – which takes some courage given their orientation w/r/t other issues discussed here, and the resulting insults they got from certain unnamed individuals who like to throw around insults.

      • There is indeed a lack of evidence that strong measures make any difference. Yet that doesn’t prevent people from “following the science” and acting as mask police. Usually when there is a lack of evidence for a policy with huge costs rational people wouldn’t enact that policy.

      • dpy6629 | June 28, 2020 at 2:55 pm |
        Joshua, you once again find “bias” everywhere when you don’t like the conclusion. In any case, this is largely a meaningless issue as the real question is how many will ultimately die before herd immunity is reached. That number will likely not be dramatically different between Sweden and its neighbors.

  88. Today, Miami-Dade County leads US counties (with a city of at least 100,000 people) with 16.8% of the population cumulatively having tested positive. Let’s suppose there a 1, 2, 3, or 4 other people acquired immunity from asymptomatic or mild infections without being tested for everyone who has tested positive. That would imply that 33%, 50%, 67% or 84% of the population in Miami-Dade is immune due natural infection.

    There have also been vaccinations in Miami-Dade. If I allowed 10 days after injections to acquire immunity and assume 67% immunity between injections, a few days ago I calculated 24% immune grin vaccination. Some vaccinations are “wasted” when those who acquired immunity from infection without having tested positive by PCR get vaccinated. If we pessimistically assume previous diagnosed or undiagnosed illness has no influence on the decision to get vaccinated, an additional 16%, 12%, 8%, and 5% have acquired immunity from vaccination. That brings the totals up to 49%, 62%, 75%, and 89% immune.

    Since the pandemic is still raging in Miami-Dade, IMO this data rules out the hypothesis that we are detecting 1 in 5 infections (or worse). The consensus seems to believe that we are detecting 1 in 4 who have acquired immunity, but that is looking dubious to me. If the current pandemic involves more transmissible variants than the early pandemic, 1-1/R0 might be 80% instead of 75% and heterogeneity might not significantly reduce effective herd immunity below theory. However, the pandemic is really raging right now in Miami-Dade: 1% of the population is testing positive every 20 days! That would be 1% acquiring immunity every 10, 7, 5 or 4 days. To that we can add 1% acquiring immunity (from 2 injections) every 2 days. IMO, the best we can hope for now is that PCR is detecting 1 in 2-3 people acquiring immunity.

    Miami-Dade is not unique. In Burleigh Country, ND (Bismarck) and Minnehaha County (Sioux Falls) 15.5% of the population has tested positive and the pandemic has recently REBOUNDED by at least a factor of 2. These areas are ahead of Miami-Dade in vaccination. In the suburban counties around NYC, 12.5% of the population cumulatively has tested positive and limited testing certainly caused us to miss a lot more cases last spring than we have since. These NYC suburbs lead Miami and the Dakotas in per capita death rate by 50%.

    Clearly, reality is that 15+% cumulative detected infections and 25+% vaccination has not produced herd immunity. The US will be lucky if 50% of adults get vaccinated. Will that end to pandemic? (Since the pandemic was more easily controlled in Europe last summer (though not Republican states in the US), the coming of summer may help.

    • Frank –

      > That brings the totals up to 49%, 62%, 75%, and 89% immune.

      But wait… don’t forget about “T-cell immunity.” David Young let us know 11 months ago that a 40%-60% immunity from T-cells “explained” why infection rates started dropping there all the way back then.

      -snip-
      dpy6629 | May 17, 2020 at 1:49 pm |
      Wow Don, That’s incredibly good news and explains a lot about why virtually everywhere the curve has peaked and is going down. If 40% – 60% of unexposed individuals are already immune, that means New York City has reached effective herd immunity.
      -snip-

      So between immunity from infection (50%?), vaccination (15%?), and the bottom range of David’s “T-cell immunity” (40%), I’d say that well over 100% of the population there already has immunity.

      Who knows, considering the knowledge contributed by David Young (Nic signed on as well to *T-cell immunity* from infection), maybe total immunity has reached 150% down in Miami-Dade? 😁

      • dpy6629 | April 25, 2020 at 8:17 pm |
        Jez Josh, You are a perfect picture of fooling yourself. The track record on viral vaccines and antiviral medications is terrible. It took decades to develop effective HIV drugs and there is no vaccine and perhaps never will be. Wishful thinking here is not something I take seriously.

      • Joshua: I’m trying to make a point about “functional immunity” in enough people to guarantee that future outbreaks die out and don’t grow exponentially given normal behavior and policy. That is my working definition of “herd immunity”. When the pandemic began and people were behaving normally and there were no lockdowns, R_0 was estimated to be about 3 and perhaps has risen to 4 with more transmissible variants.

        For “functional immunity”, I don’t care whether immunity is mediated by neutralizing antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, non-neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, T-cells that respond to SARS-CoV-2 or T-cells that responded to other coronaviruses. The only people that we know FOR SURE are functionally immune (for at least roughly a year) are: 1) those who have gotten sick enough to get a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 and tested positive. 2) 95% of those vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna. 3) 70-80-% of those vaccinated with AZ or J&J.

        We do know that some asymptomatic or mildly-ill contacts test positive by PCR and many others test positive for coronavirus antibodies – but we do not know what fraction of this large group of people are functionally immune to re-infection and can’t sustain a pandemic. Thus I’m approaching the problem by saying I don’t know whether 1, 2, 3, or 4 additional people are functionally immune for every person who has tested positive. I’m trying to deduce from observing the worst of the pandemic what portion of this range is viable. (When the South Africa and Brazil variants become important in the US, my deductions could be obsolete.) Despite the rising number of cumulative infections and vaccinations, the pandemic is still going Miami-Dade and cities in the Dakotas.

      • Frank, With respect, I just went to a lot of trouble to prove to you that the epidemic is still receding in the Dakotas and in Florida. Cases is a largely meaningless number as it tells us nothing about who is testing positive.

        One explanation that I like is that as vulnerable people get vaccinated, the demographic of “cases” shifts to much less vulnerable people. That’s how cases can be flat or even rising as in Sweden while deaths continue to decline.

        I don’t know for sure about ICU admissions but my brother tells me they can vary a lot because they depend on each hospital’s policy on these things which changes over time as ICU usage changes or capacity changes. That would lead me to assume that deaths is a more reliable statistic.

    • Frank, Thank you for providing one of the few substantive comments in this thread. I think you are painting a vastly too negative picture by focusing on case data, which is pretty unreliable. I looked at the actual data on usafacts.org. For the man children such as Joshie here I used the 7 day averages.

      For Miami-Dade county:
      date cases deaths
      Feb. 1. 1799 23
      Feb. 15. 1360. 21
      March 1. 1099. 19
      March 15. 1037. 16
      March 31. 1145. 15

      That’s a consistent decline in deaths and in cases with an essentially flat case count for March.

      For all of North Dakota its a similar picture with deaths for those dates as follows: 2,1,1,0,0

      This picture is being reproduced in many places such as Washington state where cases are rising slightly while deaths continue to decline. There are at least three possibilities that come to mind that explain this.

      1. With a strong rise in immunity among vulnerable people through past infection and vaccination, the profile of infections is shifting to younger people who are not getting very sick.
      2. People are just sick and tired of being under house arrest and are refusing to comply with the unprecedented suspension of the Bill or Rights.
      3. Treatment continues to improve in effectiveness.

      I think possibility 2 is unlikely because there is essentially no evidence that harsh measures make any difference. Bear in mind that many places in the US are fully open such as Oklahoma, Texas, and South Carolina. Businesses still require masks, but that’s about it. I have even forgotten to wear a mask in some cases and entered stores without one. I was able to shop and check out without being challenged. In all three states, deaths continue to decline often strongly. I believe cases are flat to declining in Texas. However you slice it the epidemic seems to be receding based on the fatality data which is the most important measure. Last year, you may recall that about this time of year the first wave also started to recede.

      One thing that is emerging clearly is that draconian policy restrictions seem to have no detectable signature in the data. New York with very strong measures continues to do worse than Florida and in cumulative deaths is dramatically worse. Of course Saint Andrew the Pious probably single handedly caused thousands of extra deaths in nursing homes. This also points to just how despicable our media have become. They have demonized Ron DeSantis who actually appears to have done a good job and canonized Cuomo who in addition to have done a bad job, covered it up when the Feds investigated and appears to be a terrible sexual abuser of women as well.

      • dpy6629 | July 7, 2020 at 8:38 pm |
        Yes, its excellent. We are clearly nearing the end of this epidemic. Now we will bear the real human costs of accelerated deaths due to mass unemployment, delayed screenings, etc. Something is dysfunctional in the Western world.

      • dpy6629: Thanks for recognizing my “substantive comments”. Above I replied to Josh, not you. There are a variety of metrics by which a pandemic can be measured: confirmed cases, deaths, seropositivity, hospitalizations, etc. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Policymaker appear to be driven mostly by hospitalizations, because overflowing hospitals represent a gross breakdown of civilization/health care.

        From my personal perspective, I’m most worried about the fraction of people around me who are testing positive and can infect me and those I care about. Before vaccination, there was no way to “protect the vulnerable” from the threat posed by those in the community who were infected (but faced little risk of dying). No one publishes separate tallies of those who are testing positive and dying in nursing homes, but I dug into the data in late September (after Rapid Tests became available) and found that the average nursing home resident was 6X more likely to test positive than the average American, despite all of the efforts made to protect them. And they, of course, are hundreds of times more likely to die from infection than the average American. Overall, those 74-84 (who mostly live in the community, must protect themselves, and are afraid to visit their doctors) have been only 2X less likely to test positive than the average American and those 65-74 and above 84 are only about 50% less likely. So I think the GBD and “protecting the vulnerable” is political BS and focus my attention on the number of new cases testing positive.

        As you note, the death rate in Miami-Dade has fallen about 2-fold while the number of new cases has remained high and roughly constant simply because about 50% of those most likely to die have now been protected by vaccination. The demand for vaccination among the elderly has mostly been met and 30-50% of those above 65 remain unvaccinated. They will continue to die from the roughly 0.3% of people in Miami-Dade who have tested positive in the past week and are presumably infectious and some multiple of that percentage who are infectious and aren’t getting tested. From my perspective, the decline in deaths is meaningless because it is a temporary artifact of vaccination, not a sign that the pandemic is being brought to an end by approaching herd immunity.

        Could changes in testing be misleading us about whether the pandemic is increasing or decreasing? Sure, but all past changes have been accompanied by changes in the fraction of tests that are positive. So we haven’t been fooled by changing access to testing and testing policies since last spring. (I acknowledged that the high death rate last spring compared with the number of cases means that cumulative infections around NYC are artificially low compared to the Dakotas or Miami.) The death rate is also misleading us about the pandemic: Treatment is improving – except when hospitals stressed or overflowing. After spring, hospitals began admitting more younger patients. The most transmissible variants are also more deadly. (My hypothesis is that “more transmissible” really means equally transmissible but “more detectable”: a larger fraction of infected people get sick enough to get tested and hospitalized and die.)

        So your death rate data doesn’t change my opinion about the data I cited above from the hardest hit areas of the country”: Vaccination plus cumulative detected cases*4 predicts we should have reached herd immunity, but that clearly isn’t happening.

      • Franktoo, We will see but I suspect we are pretty close to herd immunity in many places. Except in Michigan cases are flat or only increasing a little after having declined dramatically since the first of this year. What is probably happening is that its mostly younger people who are getting covid19 and the vast majority will not die or get seriously ill. I also think hospitals may be admitting more people just to be safe and because they have the capacity.

        Another reason I am optimistic is that the epidemic did wane last spring through early summer especially in those places hit hard by the first wave. It looks to me that this virus is seasonal to a degree just like flu is.

        I don’t focus on nursing homes that much. While what happened is a trajedy, most people in nursing homes are already quite ill and many are near death. All infectious diseases take large tolls in nursing homes. From society’s perspective, people with a productive contribution to make should be worried about. Perhaps with better policies such as paying workers to live on site for extended periods might have helped. I suspect most of the transmission was form workers to residents but don’t really know.

        The other important measure to look at is mortality adjusted for population and age. In this measure, 2020 was bad, but at the same level as 2003 in the US and 2013 in Sweden. This measure has been decreasing in the West for 150 years with some exceptions. Overall, I don’t think it was nearly as bad as the media made it out to be. Above in response to Willard the climateballer, I linked a study showing that the US media were almost completely negative on the epidemic and our response compared to either in Europe or internationally. I think that was their hatred of Trump personally. But it makes it easy to buy into the narrative that the world is ending. It is not.

    • Proving the relentlessly biased and negative covid coverage by US media. Is it any wonder that some people panic?

      https://www.nber.org/papers/w28110

      • Right on, David.

        On the one hand, we are nearing 3 million deaths, in part caused by how it has been minimized by Newscorp and tools like you.

        On the other hand, we now have less meetings.

        The future is bright.

      • I provide a careful analysis of the media and Willard comes back with a politically motivated assertion with NO supporting evidence. Then there is the childish name calling. Pathetic really. Your comments would be improved by actually reading some science.

      • dpy

        “Then there is the childish name calling. “

        C’mon dpy, peruse your own comments.

        There is scarce one without a childish name called.

        Don’t make me quote them.

      • Willard has admitted that for him this is an exercise in climateball and that he is not genuinely concerned with evidence or facts. The same is obvious for you and Josh. It’s easy to get frustrated with these disingenuous tactics.

        The best example perhaps that I just responded to is your claim that Ioannidis’ IFR estimates are outliers. That’s simply untrue and its backed up by nothing except a link to a web page for Imperial College. That study has quite serious flaws including a draconian exclusion criterion that excluded virtually all the data and even that standard was not really used accurately.

      • > I provide a careful analysis

        See for yourself:

        Proving the relentlessly biased and negative covid coverage by US media. Is it any wonder that some people panic?

        But you’re right. For once you give a link.

        It took you a decade or so, but at last you give links.

        Thank you for that.

  89. Above (April 10, 2:59), I concluded that data from the real pandemic was consistent with the possibility that 1 or 2 other people – but not more – acquired immunity from asymptomatic or mild infections. Seropositivity surveys have suggested that 3-10 others acquire immunity for each person who tests positive by PCR. How can this be?

    One possibility is that a positive test for antibodies does not guarantee immunity that lasts more than a few months and may not guarantee immunity at all. 31 million Americans have now tested positive for COVID by PCR, so we can say with high certainty that very few of those who get sick enough to get tested have gotten re-infected. How many Americans have been tested for antibodies to COVID? Perhaps 31 thousand in scattered studies. Has anyone looked to see how many later tested positive by PCR?

    We now know that all COVID antibodies are not created equal in terms of providing immunity. The antibodies produced by the AstraZeneca vaccine do not provide much protection against the major variant in South Africa. The antibodies produced by the South Africa and Brazil variants protect against common variants, but the antibodies produced by common variants don’t provide much protection against the South African and Brazil variants. The idea that sero-positivity implies immunity for at least a year may be a gross over-simplification.

    • It is possible that the experts are wrong. Given how primitive a field viral epidemiology is, I don’t rule out much. It is also possible that the variants of covid will develop resistance to antibodies to earlier variants. Life is uncertain and dangerous.

      As an antidote to pessimism, I would point you to the most widely used statistic for measuring public health and the performance of the health care system. This is mortality adjusted for population and age structure. On this measure, in the West, we’ve been improving consistently for 150 years. In Sweden, on this measure, 2020 is about the same as 2013 and better than all previous years. So yes 2020 was a bad year for health but not by very much. In the US, 2020 is about the same as 2003, so its been worse in the US than in Sweden.

      It is also worth bearing in mind that one reason 2020 was so bad is that in Sweden for example 2019 and 2018 were both very mild flu seasons so that there was a backlog of vulnerable people who were very ill and near death. Covid pushed many of these over the edge. This is tragic but less tragic than if younger healthy people were dying in large numbers.

      • John Digregorio

        The official total (all causes) death rates by age group in Sweden (1968-2020) as well as the 2020 death rate anomaly by age group (2020 vs. 2000-2019 mean) are plotted here. Note that only the 90+ age group had a positive 2020 anomaly and that was only 4%.

        https://ibb.co/qmJstHb

      • Thanks John, That data clearly shows the long term declining mortality in Sweden.

      • You’re welcome. Most importantly the 2020 data from Sweden ( a country that was vilified for its relatively light-handed approach) show that Covid-19 is a nasty cold virus but the majority of government/media responses are grossly disproportionate to the the actual lethality of the disease.

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        thanks John Digregorio

        that provides some context that has been lacking

  90. The best reason to believe that sero-positivity studies may have been misleading us about what fraction of the population is becoming immune is that these studies SOMETIMES indicate an IFR that is similar to influenza – a conclusion that now appears absurd. About 30 million Americans contracted seasonal influenza in an average year over the past decade, roughly the same number as have tested positive for COVID by PCR. Nevertheless, 560,000 Americans have died of COVID about 15 times the 37,000 who die of influenza in an average year. And this has happened despite lockdown, social distancing, and masks.

    On the other hand, lockdowns, social distancing, and masks have totally suppressed this year’s epidemic of seasonal influenza – these measures are obviously effective against respiratory viruses! However, when poorly implemented, these measures aren’t able to contain the somewhat more transmissible coronavirus and especially the more transmissible variants that have evolved.

    If you believe that PCR testing is missing more that 1 or 2 cases for every coronavirus infection that is detected, nothing makes sense: a) Herd immunity should exist in the hardest hit areas in the US – but it doesn’t. b) Seasonal influenza and COVID have similar IFR’s – but COVID has killed 15 times more than typical for influenza – despite measures that have totally eliminated seasonal influenza this year. COVID has an impact that has been roughly 100 times worse than seasonal influenza. Both of these dilemmas vanish if seropositivity studies are misleading us about how many people are becoming immune to COVID.

  91. “One possibility is that a positive test for antibodies does not guarantee immunity that lasts more than a few months and may not guarantee immunity at all.“

    That is the million dollar question and the billion dollar threat. And not just for COVID19 and its variants, but all future pandemics.

  92. On the level and duration of immunity acquired through infection.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00675-9/fulltext

    84% at 7 months.

    • Thanks, VTG. So a non-trivial number of those testing positive last spring have lost protection against re-infection (detected by PCR). And those with asymptomatic infection or mild infections who never got tested by PCR – but may have had detectable antibodies in zero-positivity studies – might lose protection against re-infection even faster. I tend to be too much of a pessimist, but here is more evidence pessimism is warranted.

      • Frank, There are a substantial number of people walking around whose immune systems are depressed by various treatments, particularly for cancer or auto-immune diseases. I don’t think this result is reason for pessimism any more than the fact reinfection by the same bacteria is also quite common. It’s just a fact of life that there are hazards out there and those hazards gradually increase with age until we all inevitably pass from this world.

        Virtually all men will eventually develop artereoschlerosis. Obsessively focusing on the progression of your own disease is not a productive activity that leads to happiness. Just friendly advice. :-)

      • dpy6629: Your comment is correct, but is it relevant to the critical question: How close is the US to “herd immunity” that will suppress all future outbreaks of COVID? 1) The slowly fading immunity of those who have tested positive by PCR is a critical issue. 2) The immunity of those who acquired some type of antibodies to COVID without testing positive by PCR is an even more critical issue. Their immunity is likely fading faster than those who tested positive by PCR. Many more people are assumed to have acquired antibodies than have tested positive by PCR. 3) As “more transmissible” and “more deadly” variants have evolved, is a larger fraction of those infected getting sick enough to be detected by PCR?

        You are also correct that health hazards increase with age and we become accustomed to living with them. Two winters ago, I got pretty sick from seasonal influenza for the first time I can remember and was shocked how much better my first “hit” from an asthma inhaler made me feel. However, I have no intention of allowing fear of dying of seasonal influenza make me change my lifestyle – I’m accustomed to that risk. COVID, however, is a problem that is about 2 ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more dangerous than seasonal influenza: It has killed about 20-fold more Americans than seasonal influenza does in an average year – DESPITE lockdowns, social distancing and masks that have totally eliminated seasonal influenza this winter. The total absence of seasonal influenza this winter is the best evidence that these measures after effective against both respiratory infections.

        Everyone seems to have forgotten that detected cases in the US doubled every 2.5 days for almost the entire month of March a 5000-fold increase. My log(cumulative infections) vs time plot was almost perfectly linear until the last few days of the month, as the exponential growth phase began to slow in response to voluntary changes in behavior and government-imposed lockdowns that began one-incubation period before the last days of the month. Those lockdowns and voluntary changes produced a plateau in the second week of April and prevented hospitals from overflowing in all but a few cities. If we had waited another 10 days begin lockdowns AND people’s behavior didn’t change, the problems at hospitals could have been 10-fold worst – so the governors in hard-hit states were forced to issue stay-at-home orders.

        Nic and others were right when they pointed out that heterogeneity in transmissibility and susceptibility COULD produce “herd immunity” below 1-1/R_0 and a large number of people COULD have acquired immunity from asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic infections. However, those “COULDs” aren’t proof that this is what actually happened. Based on my reading about the Spanish influenza, that pandemic occurred in three non-synchronous waves over 3 years in many places – all without producing herd immunity as best I can tell. Each wave was brought to an almost complete halt by government policy (lockdowns and social distancing) and fear. Those halts were somewhat easier to achieve with influenza than COVID because R_0 is somewhat smaller for the former and fear was much greater (since people in the prime of life were at greatest danger of dying from the cytokine storm). So every time optimists were saying that a particular observation (say Sweden) suggested that herd immunity must be near, I’ve always thought that fear and/or policy COULD also explain that observation.

      • Frank, I think you are interpreting all the evidence in the same pessimistic direction. I don’t think your 20 times more deadly than the flu is accurate. There have been flu seasons in my lifetime with hundreds of thousands of fatalities. In addition, we are in our second year of tracking covid fatalities. You should base fatalities on the flu season. By that standard the fatalities of covid will come down a factor of 2 at least.

        Even the CDC says that for people under 50, this is half as dangerous as the flu. And there is plenty of evidence that the IFR is around 0.3%, worse than the flu, but not the plague either.

        I also don’t think there is any evidence that strong mitigation measures work. Certainly there is no obvious correlation in the US where states with almost no prolonged measures like Florida and Texas are about where California is with the most Draconian measures anywhere on the planet. New York has done terribly despite very strong measures.

        There is little credible evidence that masks work. Cloth masks simply don’t work period.

        I don’t have time now to go through a list fo 20 references to the literature, but you might try the panda site someone else linked on Judith’s current post.

      • David –

        > Even the CDC says that for people under 50, this is half as dangerous as the flu.

        Really?

        -snip-
        The estimated IFR is 0.002 percent for people 17 or younger, 0.05 percent for 18-to-49-year-olds, and 0.6 percent for 50-to-64-year-olds. The CDC’s prior estimates used somewhat different age groups, which makes direct comparisons tricky. But the estimated IFR for the oldest age group has risen dramatically, from 5.4 percent for 70+ to 9 percent for 65+.
        -snip-

        What does the CDC say is the flu IFR for 18-39 year-olds, David?

        > And there is plenty of evidence that the IFR is around 0.3%, worse than the flu, but not the plague either.

        Really? I thought you’re going with the CDC?

        -snip-
        The CDC’s new numbers do not include an overall IFR for the United States, which a July update estimated was about 0.65 percent. That estimate presumably would be higher now.
        -snip-

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/reason.com/2021/04/02/new-cdc-estimates-suggest-covid-19-is-deadlier-than-the-agency-previously-thought/%3famp

      • 18-29 year-olds.

      • Arrggh.

        18-49 year-olds, that is

      • Here’s an excellent analysis of Swedish deaths data that points how most of what you see in the media is not representative of the full range of facts. It’s cherry picked to support a narrative. Hope this helps Frank. I don’t even read the corporate media anymore.

        https://softwaredevelopmentperestroika.wordpress.com/2021/03/26/excessive-excess-deaths-or-media-disinformation-warfare/

  93. UK-Weather Lass

    If less than one percent of Covid-19 cases arise from asymptomatic infections as much data suggests then it is people with symptoms who are responsible for the spread. I would guess that that is also true of almost every ‘flu virus under the Sun. In other words the virus wants to spread as every other virus does – freely and easily – and not result in fatalities if they can be avoided.

    Our ‘experts’ and the ‘politicians they advise’ need to do a lot of soul searching if they think they have done a good job at any level of this pandemic. Perhaps next time we will have proper public health services at the ready and no panic.

    • Weather Lass –

      > If less than one percent of Covid-19 cases arise from asymptomatic infections as much data suggests then it is people with symptoms who are responsible for the spread. I would guess that that is also true of almost every ‘flu virus under the Sun. In other words the virus wants to spread as every other virus does – freely and easily – and not result in fatalities if they can be avoided.

      Before telling the experts that you know more about this than they, perhaps you should brush up on the most basic facts, such as the existence of presymptomatic infectiousness, and whether that occurs with the seasonal flu?

      Also, you might want to check a bit more widely into the literature before reaching a conclusion that “asymptomatic” accurately chacterizes only 1% of COVID infections.

      • UK-Weather Lass

        Joshua

        Here is an information paper issued in New Zealand in 2017 which attempts to show the difference between asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, and symptomatic influenza infection with 7 references.

        Click to access Asymptomatic%20influenza%20transmission%2020170421.pdf

        However, there is still no settled and explicit explanation of the differences between asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic since both situations are anecdotal and all seasonal ‘flu studies appear to have struggled to satisfactorily find representative cohorts of either or both. Certainly the references in the above have been as heavily criticised as similar studies in 2020 on SARS-CoV-2. For example does a person who has a steady cough every ‘flu season pay less attention to the arrival of the cough and more attention to other symptoms, e.g. a high temperature which is more indicative of a new infection. If I, as a non-vulnerable person, consult a doctor’s practice with a cough and fever during ‘flu season they are very likely to advise me to stay in bed and report sick to my workplace since that helps to prevent further spread. I am already symptomatic regardless of the type of virus causing the infection.

        If you are ‘infected’ surely there must be evidence of the infection being capable of delivering a viral load sufficient to infect someone else (PCR Cts <24). Such a person is pre-symptomatic by way of not noticing their symptoms sufficiently to be inconvenienced – similar to a muscle pull causing tolerable pain/discomfort where it doesn’t limit the person’s ability to move around and do things. It may get better or it may get worse.

        If this pandemic achieves anything I hope It will encompass serious studies into this notion of asymptomatic infection and the potential there is for someone who has not apparently been infected (no symptoms) and yet there is proof they produced a viral load (PCR Cts<24) while in this state. I am happy with pre-symptomatic infection but I personally view asymptomatic infection as a situation that is far from proven.

      • Yes weather lass, Viral epidemiology is a crude field in which there is very little solid quantified information, it’s mostly crude and unquantified narratives about things like modes of transmission. But it’s not convincing.

      • Weather Lass –

        > I personally view asymptomatic infection as a situation that is far from proven.

        Sorry I missed this response earlier.

        IMO, “proof” in this context isn’t a very useful standard. We have to act without proof, make decisions about risk, and high damage low probability risk, in the face of uncertainty.

        Along those lines, while I agree “proof” is lacking and all choices should be provisional pending more information, from what I’ve seen there’s sufficient evidence to operate from the probability that asymptomatic spread of COVID is significantly higher than the figure you offered, and is very likely much more of an issue than it is with seasonal flu.

        We can always look for outlier evidence and put all our chips down on it being an ace in the hole. Sometimes you wind up a big winner by going with that strategy. But even still, it’s a good practice to not make that kind of wager with more money than you can afford to lose.

  94. BTW – in case anyone missed it, we shouldn’t forget that London likely reached “herd immunity” in March of last year.

    -snip-
    Nicholas Lewis 29 Jul 2020 at 09:45 – Reply

    Thanks, Will. I agree that it is likely that the HIT had been reached in London before lockdown on 23 March. 
    -snip-

    https://nicholaslewis.org/why-herd-immunity-to-covid-19-is-reached-much-earlier-than-thought-update/

    • And let’s not forget that Nic reassured us that New York state likely reached “herd immunity” status in July of last year:

      -snip-
      Nicholas Lewis 28 Jul 2020 at 10:49 – Reply
      Thanks, Christopher. I’m afraid that I don’t follow State level developments in the USA very closely. The only one I’ve looked at much is New York State. IMO herd immunity has already been reached there.
      -snip-

      • Wait –

        London, Stockholm, NYC, Geneva, and various other large cities reached “herd immunity” in April of last year:

        -snip-
        Nicholas Lewis 17 Aug 2020 at 15:33 – Reply

        […]

        I likewise concluded that NYC reached herd immunity in April. I think London and Stockholm have also done so, and no doubt various other major cities as well. I view Stockholm as an important case study, since it never had a lockdown and behaviour now seems not to be too far off normal. The same goes for Geneva, save that it did have a lockdown originally. Deaths there are now virtually zero, with new infections non-negligible but very few of them in the 70+ age groups where almost all the deaths occurred.

  95. Wait –

    London, Stockholm, NYC, Geneva, and various other large cities reached “herd immunity” in April of last year:

    -snip-
    Nicholas Lewis 17 Aug 2020 at 15:33 – Reply

    […]

    I likewise concluded that NYC reached herd immunity in April. I think London and Stockholm have also done so, and no doubt various other major cities as well. I view Stockholm as an important case study, since it never had a lockdown and behaviour now seems not to be too far off normal. The same goes for Geneva, save that it did have a lockdown originally. Deaths there are now virtually zero, with new infections non-negligible but very few of them in the 70+ age groups where almost all the deaths occurred.

    • Maybe all of the deaths since then were just natural variation, not really caused by COVID?

      • James –

        You are misunderstanding something, lions such as Ioannidis, Nic Lewis, and even the renown scientist David Young told us that the pandemic was probably over back in April, 2020.

        With such lions stacked up on one side, noting that the pandemic sure didn’t actually seem to end in April of 2020 amounts to nothing other than being mean.

  96. Here is a long and detailed piece about why many attacks on solid science come from liberals. It is relevant to the anonymous nonscientsts here attacking Nic and Ioannidis.

    https://www.thecut.com/2015/12/when-liberals-attack-social-science.html

    • David –

      > It is relevant to the anonymous nonscientsts here attacking Nic and Ioannidis.

      Pointing out that their science has been highly flawed doesn’t mean attacking them as individuals:

      Here, is the kind of science that deserves criticism.

      Nicholas Lewis 17 Aug 2020 at 15:33 – Reply

      […]

      I likewise concluded that NYC reached herd immunity in April. I think London and Stockholm have also done so, and no doubt various other major cities as well. I view Stockholm as an important case study, since it never had a lockdown and behaviour now seems not to be too far off normal. The same goes for Geneva, save that it did have a lockdown originally. Deaths there are now virtually zero, with new infections non-negligible but very few of them in the 70+ age groups where almost all the deaths occurred.

      Have you looked at what happened in NYC, London, Stockholm, and Geneva subsequent to Nic’s inane “conclusion?”

      Or how about when Ioannid, s said back in April 2020 very much the same thing, that the pandemic had probably peaked in Europe and the US, or compared COVID to the seasonal flu?

      Hopefully, they aren’t snowflakes and don’t get too terribly upset when someone criticizes their bad science, but one of the problems with bad science is that it leads people who don’t look at the evidence carefully enough make the following kind of statement:

      > > Just looking at case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths it appears that the epidemic is almost over in Europe and the US.

      Good thing no one here would have made such an inane statement back on July 5th, right?

    • Josh you have repeated this quote thousands of times now. It’s childish and shows a schoolyard bully personality.

      No one knows whether New York reached herd immunity or not. We’ve been over this scores of times.

  97. David –

    Here, again, I demonstrate the problem when people don’t pay attention to scientific errors just because they think the scientists who produce those errors are “lions”

    dpy6629 | June 28, 2020 at 2:55 pm |
    …That number [deaths before “herd immunity” is reached] will likely not be dramatically different between Sweden and its neighbors…. If Nic is correct that the ultimate population fatality rate will be 0.06%, that’s much much less than expected annual mortality,…

    dpy6629 | June 29, 2020 at 12:42 am |
    IFR for people under 70 is lower than the flu and even Sweden will probably have a PFR of 0.06%.

    dpy6629 | June 28, 2020 at 4:48 pm |
    …You should know that fully effective virus vaccines are usually not possible. For most viruses there is no vaccine at all. The flu vaccine is only partially effective. Counting on that for covid19 is grasping at straws.

    dpy6629 | June 30, 2020 at 9:59 pm |
    On this post Josh does a classic rendition. Refusing to accept the good news that Sweden hospitalizations and deaths are way way down from the peak and that fatality rates will end up under 0.1%, he wants to focus on how much “better” neighboring countries did (while ignoring that they will do worse in the future while Sweden has herd immunity) and then whines that comparisons between countries don’t mean much.

    Note the date here:

    dpy6629 | July 4, 2020 at 11:06 pm |
    Don is right of course. This is why cases are rising strongly in the US but deaths are on a downtrend. Similarly in Sweden where the trend is much more striking. Cases doubled over the last 3 weeks where new hospitalizations are down under 10 per day from a high of around 40.

    dpy6629 | July 4, 2020 at 1:11 pm |
    frank, “Cases” are surging but I’m not worried by that….
    […]
    If you look at the Wikipaeda page for the Swedish epidemic you will see that cases have surged in the last 3 weeks too, while new hospitalizations continue to decline and are now in single digits and deaths also continue to decline. Surging cases is in my view a phony statistic because its an strongly related to how extensive testing is.

    py6629 | July 5, 2020 at 10:53 pm |
    …My own hypothesis is that the vulnerable population has already mostly been exposed, leading to an early high IFR which will decline as time goes on.

    dpy6629 | July 10, 2020 at 12:08 am |
    Frank, Check the Sweden covid19 wikipedia page. While cases have surged from about 4 weeks ago, deaths and hospitalizations have continued to decline.
    […]
    If indeed a lot of younger people are getting infected, that’s not a bad thing because very few will die and they will recover and help us ultimately get to herd immunity.

    • Another children’s propaganda tool is quote mining. You see a perfect illustration here from Josh, yet again. One could even consider it an ad hominem as its designed to attack the person without any context.

  98. When Nic wrote this post, he had this to say:

    > Although it is too early to be certain, at present it appears that population immunity in both Stockholm region and Sweden as a whole is now adequate to prevent large-scale COVID-19 epidemic growth even in winter, at least at the current level of population mixing.

    On that day, their ICU admissions were 199

    Today, they’re 391. Close to double.

    Large-scale epidemic growth (as Spring arrives for that matter)?

    You make the call. .

  99. dpy,

    Just to check, this is further evidence of herd immunity, right?

    Sweden has reported Europe’s highest number of new coronavirus cases per head over the past week and has more patients in intensive care than at any time since the pandemic’s first wave…

    …392 people were being treated in the country’s intensive care units on Monday, more than the second-wave peak of 389 in January

    Two months and vaccine doses corresponding to ~15% of the population since the claim was made.

    • Once again it’s a cherry picked statistic that doesn’t mean much. I guess the question is why does this tell us much. Time will give a better idea on which to judge.

      • Carry on like this and I’ll end up admiring you for your sheer ability to carry on entirely impervious to the facts.

    • 392? France has 5,952. You know, because lockdowns work.
      Oh, but your stat must be interesting if we do it by rate per million.
      France- 91.5 per million in serious/critical
      Sweden- 39.1 per million.
      Sorry to disappoint you.

      Italy 3,500+ in critical.
      Spain 2,152
      Poland 3,500
      Belgium- the lockdown capital of EU, 899.

      and on and on and on.

      • You think Sweden’s in herd immunity too?

        Great stuff.

        Any more takers, denizens?

      • > and on and on and on.

        Should we play the game and talk about the other Nordic countries? Is that what you meant by “and one and on and one?”

        Why do you think the outcomes in Sweden are so much worse than in Norway, Denmark, and Finland.

        I’m old enough to remember when certain of our favorite renown scientists said that Sweden would be much better off by now, much better off, because of reaching “herd immunity” by this point. Yet not only were the pandemic outcomes much worse then in the other Nordics, they’re also much worse in Sweden than the other Nordics to this day. Much worse.

        And this despite folks like Nic saying that Sweden reached “herd immunity,” what, is it 9 months ago now? And then again a month and a half ago?

        I can remember the many times I’d heard it said that Sweden had reached “herd immunity” because of their ‘light touch.” I’ve heard it said that they’d avoid all the terrible outcomes that can be attributed to “lockdowns” – because they’d achieve “herd immunity” faster than their neighbors.

        What’s your theory, Jeff. Why have the outcomes been so much worse than in their neighboring countries? Not just a little worse, but a whole lot worse. And why is morbidity and mortality STILL occurring at a faster rate in Sweden than in the neighboring countries? Still worse, and on and on and on.

      • Josh, You have asked this question at least 10 times and you have been given credible ideas which were given by Nic in the post. I suggest you avoid the repetition and read about the dry tinder hypothesis. You will learn something perhaps.

      • David –

        > you have been given credible ideas..

        I don’t think they’re “credible.”

        And I asked Jeff, ’cause I was hoping he’d have a more credible answer than the ones Nic threw at the wall.

      • So you haven’t read it. How did I know? I read it and its full of government statistics on flu for the last 4 years. You don’t have the expertise to really judge the hypothesis especially since you haven’t read it, therefore you simply can’t evaluate it in a meaningful way. Also constant repetition makes people question if you learn over time at all.

      • “And I asked Jeff, ’cause I was hoping he’d have a more credible answer than the ones Nic threw at the wall.”

        Sometimes it’s useful to discover what isn’t true on our way to learning what is true.
        New York has 929 people in the ICU today. https://covidactnow.org/us/new_york-ny/?s=1752673
        That’s 2.4 times as many as the entire nation of Sweden (and, of course, the CDC tells us the spread of Covid in NY right now is much higher than it is in the evil unlocked states of Texas and Florida.)

        Do I think NY or Sweden have reached “herd immunity”?

        Do you think lockdowns are working to reduce spread and hospitalizations?

        I think we have the answer to one of those two questions right now, so we can dispense with your mythology while we look at the other.

        I think the better question with herd immunity right now is how it relates to vaccination rollout. Democrats and their PR outlets attacked Florida for prioritizing the elderly for the vaccine yet the science seems to suggest it was smart:
        https://www.wsj.com/articles/italys-covid-19-vaccinations-bypassed-the-elderly-and-more-are-dying-11618398015
        I’ve been looking at the disparity of vaccination rates per 1,000 population in my state (Virginia). They range from the high 20s to over 50%. You can see some evidence the spread is lower in the areas with the higher vaccination rates, but not as high as you’d expect with half the population vaccinated. Hospitalization rates are lower. That’s probably because they prioritized elderly and the sick in my state (which is blue, so the plan wasn’t evil. It’s only evil if DeSantis does it). So “which half is immune” turns out to be important. The answer is: the half of the population that spends their time at home. The half that’s out and about all day (the young) isn’t vaccinated, hasn’t reached herd immunity and never really was locked down because lockdowns don’t work and they figured out early on y’all were lying about the danger.

        I think we are still learning a lot from this epidemic, including just how bizarrely far people will go to cling to their cratering narratives. For example – claiming 392 people in critical in a nation is really high, when they know better but they post it anyway because admitting the lockdowns were a mistake is just too painful. Almost as painful as giving them up.

      • Lol.

        Jeff – you replied to my comment but apparently didn’t read it?

        Should we play the game and talk about the other Nordic countries? Is that what you meant by “and one and on and one?”

        Why do you think the outcomes in Sweden are so much worse than in Norway, Denmark, and Finland.

        I’m old enough to remember when certain of our favorite renown scientists said that Sweden would be much better off by now, much better off, because of reaching “herd immunity” by this point. Yet not only were the pandemic outcomes much worse then in the other Nordics, they’re also much worse in Sweden than the other Nordics to this day. Much worse.

        And this despite folks like Nic saying that Sweden reached “herd immunity,” what, is it 9 months ago now? And then again a month and a half ago?

        I can remember the many times I’d heard it said that Sweden had reached “herd immunity” because of their ‘light touch.” I’ve heard it said that they’d avoid all the terrible outcomes that can be attributed to “lockdowns” – because they’d achieve “herd immunity” faster than their neighbors.

        What’s your theory, Jeff. Why have the outcomes been so much worse than in their neighboring countries? Not just a little worse, but a whole lot worse. And why is morbidity and mortality STILL occurring at a faster rate in Sweden than in the neighboring countries? Still worse, and on and on and on.

      • Thanks Jeff, Best comment of this thread because it focuses on the most important metrics while ignoring Josh’s trivialities. It does appear that there is zero evidence that strong measures work. The pandemic’s severity seems to depend on many local factors about population structure, how bad the flu was the last couple of years, etc. A very mild flu season (as happened in Sweden in 2018 and 2019) means more vulnerable people will be around in 2020 to catch covid and perish.

        https://softwaredevelopmentperestroika.wordpress.com/

        has lots of useful information about how to measure meaningfully mortality data and also media manipulation of that data.

      • Jeff –

        There’s conflicting evidence regarding the efficacy of various interventions in various localities and circumstances in terms of mitigating spread and morbidity and mortality. There’s conflicting evidence on the differential effect of various interventions in various localities and circumstances in terms of collateral impact on economies, unemployment, and the like.

        There’s conflicting evidence on the efficacy of mask-wearing for limiting spread.

        So it’s reasonable, IMO, for people to lean one direction or the other as the better path forward to mitigate risk in the face of uncertainty.

        Trading selective choices of evidence that goes in only one direction or the other seems pretty pointless to me. Of course, it’s reasonable to ask how people reconcile evidence that goes in one direction or the other as an exploratory process. (Which is why I asked you how you explain Sweden’s relatively poor performance compared to its neighbors). But simply proclaiming with certainty, knowledge about these issues, is not something that makes sense to me.

        But no doubt, people will continue to do so.

        All that said, Jeff, since you claim certain knowledge about the efficacy and impact of interventions (and I assume you might do so with masks as well), you should have a clear and compelling explanation for why Sweden has to date, so much worse than it’s neighbors both in terms of per capital infections, as well as per capita rates of hospitalization, serious illness, and death.

        Yes, it has done better on those metrics than quite a few other European countries, but when you choose to compare the efficacy of approaches across countries the best way to do so is with the highest level of control for confounding variables. This, it’s logical to compare countries that have the greatest amount of similarity on key variables, such as age profile, cultural attitudes and norms related to things like social distancing, healthcare systems, ability to work from home, baseline health status, % of people (and older people) living in congregate housing, number of people who live in multi-generational households, access to healthcare, International travel (particularly early on, and particularly to/from hotspots), etc.

        If you think that comparing Sweden to other European countries is equally or more informative than comparing it to it’s neighboring countries, then you should do so. Perhaps you have an analytical reason for having that opinion. If so, you could share that along with, if you choose, explaining why you think Sweden has done so much more poorly relative to its neighbors in mitigating the impact of the pandemic. Of course, you might also think that in the grand scheme of things, a much worse performance on mitigating the impact of the pandemic isn’t a serious issue of concern. I would disagree – but that’s another question entirely.

      • “Which is why I asked you how you explain Sweden’s relatively poor performance compared to its neighbors.”

        I answered that as a matter of fact. Sweden has lots of “neighbors” in Europe and did much better than many of them and much worse than others. There are many interesting possibilities as to why, but one of them is not lockdowns.
        The evidence is not “conflicting” about lockdowns, they didn’t work. In Europe or the US. Sweden did much “better” than locked down states and worse than some. You could do something interesting and try to figure out why they didn’t work, but you never do anything interesting. Just in case, here’s a neat news nugget that helps explain why lockdowns don’t work: it turns out Mumbai has a massive high caseload right now, so they’re doing the same old “thinking” from the left about lockdowns, which of course, is causing a mass exodus from Mumbai. Just like there was from NYC last year around this time. Guess what all those trains out of Mumbai are carrying. Go ahead, guess. When the lockdown doesn’t “work” how much time are you going to waste pretending otherwise.
        https://www.wsj.com/articles/indias-migrants-flee-to-their-villages-as-covid-19-prompts-new-lockdown-11618392602

        As a reminder, this thread started with the flatly false suggestion that Sweden was experiencing an unusually high number of people hospitalized in critical condition. They are not. The number of people in critical is 2.5 times less than it is in locked down states. You and your pal knew that, of course, yet chose to “climate science” with stats.

        There is one piece of information about Covid that science tells us is definitely not “conflicting”- the fact that, at some point thanks to infections and vaccines, herd immunity will be reached. That is a simple statement of fact. One that is worthy of examination and question. I did that too, but you missed it. Again.

      • Here’s a Sweden vs. Norway comparison of total (all causes) deaths/100 in age group from 2000-2020. Note that in 2020 (the year of Covid-19) the only significant difference is the 90+ age group which was about 10% higher in Sweden relative to Norway.
        https://ibb.co/NxV5qyq

      • Great comment jdigreg. Kind of gives the lie to Josh’s naive conclusion that Norway did vastly better than Sweden. Like most things of this type, correctly measured data is hard to find. Mortality must be adjusted for age structure and population as your source does.

      • jdigreg –

        > Note that in 2020 (the year of Covid-19) the only significant difference is the 90+ age group which was about 10% higher in Sweden relative to Norway.

        Excess mortality as a metric has certain advantages over identified COVID deaths, but it has some drawbacks as well. No metric is fully informative, and indeed identified COVID deaths has some weaknesses as a metric.

        That said, if we compare identified CASES per capita in Norway and Sweden, we see it’s about 4.5 times higher in Sweden. And that’s true despite Norway having conducted some 15% more tests per capita. Unless there’s some kind of significantly higher IFR in Sweden vs. Norway, it seems reasonable to conclude that their much higher death rate is a function, at least to some extent, of the much higher spread of the virus in Sweden.

        Of course, the context for this is the projections, from some 9 months ago as well as more recently, from Nic that Sweden was going to receive advantages because their COVID policies would result in them reaching “herd immunity” faster than their neighbors. So the most salient question at hand here is whether Sweden is seeing a lower INFECTION rate, because INFECTION rate is best measure of whether “herd immunity” has been achieved.

        That’s not to diminish the importance of death rate in terms of outcomes from COVID policies. But there again, in terms of looking at outcomes, deaths is only one of the important metrics. Obviously, serious illness short of death is an important metric. High rate of spread in and of itself has a significant impact on the economy, as we saw all over the world prior to interventions being implemented. Stress on our healthcare system and healthcare workers from hospitalizations and serious illness is an important metric.

        I haven’t compared those other metrics in Sweden and Norway, but my guess is that Sweden is coming up with worse outcomes.

        Finally, Z-scores or P-scores are somewhat similar to excess deaths as a metric, but probably more useful:

        https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/excess-mortality-p-scores

      • Sorry ’bout that. Not sure why that link didn’t work:

        https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/excess-mortality-p-scores?country=NOR~SWE

      • Jeff –

        > Sweden has lots of “neighbors” in Europe and did much better than many of them and much worse than others. …The evidence is not “conflicting” about lockdowns, they didn’t work.

        Ok. I tried to have a reasonable convo. Clearly not going to happen. Can blame me for trying.

      • Just one piece of why a reasonable convo seems hopeless:

        > As a reminder, this thread started with the flatly false suggestion that Sweden was experiencing an unusually high number of people hospitalized in critical condition.

        The points about ICU admissions in Sweden were: (1) it has increased dramatically since Nic’s most recent projection of “herd immunity” in Sweden and (2) it has increased much more dramatically in Sweden relative to the most comparable countries subsequent to Nic’s most recent projection of “herd immunity” in Sweden.

        I get that you want to push an agenda. More power to you. If you change your mind and want to have a convo, just let me know.

      • Joshua, since you’re obsessed with Norway, I’ll address it.
        Norway locked down for a month in 2020. The reopened in April 2020. They aren’t the poster-child for lockdowns that you think they are.
        https://time.com/5885554/europe-schools-reopening-germany-scotland-norway/
        Denmark was the same way.

        “The points about ICU admissions in Sweden were: (1) it has increased dramatically since Nic’s most recent projection of “herd immunity” in Sweden and (2) it has increased much more dramatically in Sweden relative to the most comparable countries subsequent to Nic’s most recent projection of “herd immunity” in Sweden.”

        I addressed these two points and let’s not pretend any more that you’re interested in Sweden for any reason other than the fact that it became the global example of “the state that didn’t lock down” (even though that narrative is mostly false- they were the state that lock down 30 days less than Norway and Denmark)
        1. ICU admissions are up all over Europe, including in locked down and non-locked down states and, one more time, they’re not up dramatically for the region in Sweden. In fact I already demonstrated that they are up to a lesser extent than in other places.
        Herd immunity? One more time, it’s useful to speculate on when herd immunity will be reached because it will be reached. It’s not useful to pretend that Sweden is some crazy outlier in dangerous spread (due, obviously, to your belief in lockdowns) because it isn’t an outlier.
        If you really want to know my thoughts on herd immunity- I think we’re learning that immunity doesn’t last as long as we once thought, that Covid (and its new variants) was more contagious than we thought and the virus is less deadly than we thought.
        In short, it’s ping-ponging around the youth population in Sweden, France, and New York, to a much higher degree than we know because the young don’t know they have it, might be getting it more than once, and rarely end up in the hospital. All of those would impact any projection of when we’ll reach herd immunity and all are far more interesting topics than your made up ones.

      • Jeff, Thanks for pointing again to the important information about ICU admissions. It does seem that in many places, cases and admissions are rising while deaths continue to decline. My hypothesis is that vulnerable people are getting vaccinated and there are more young infections. I also think its possible that hospitals are doing less triage of cases and admitting less ill people. Joshie’s irrelevant quibbles about these facts are largely meaningless. You refused to speculate about silly questions that no one knows the answer to and Joshie calls that bad faith. No, it shows you are an adult whose time is valuable.

        I agree that in fact its quite hard to prove anything about herd immunity since it changes due to many factors over time. No one knows why the range of population fatality rates is quite large. Joshie wanting to have a “convo” about it shows that he likes to vaguely speculate without any facts and data. Oh and depending on whether he had coffee within the last hour, he says comparisons aren’t that meaningful or that comparisons are something others should “respond” to.

        Trying to interact with Joshie is hopeless. You will notice that he responded to your detailed comment with vague word salads and repetitious comments and accused you of not acting in good faith. In fact, he is the one acting in bad faith. That’s true of virtually every one of his literally hundreds of comments here. He is the proud possessor of an unfocused mind, incapable of quoting in context or fairly evaluating anything and a paragon of accusing others of exactly what he is doing. He cherry picks data, making statements about lags he knows nothing about. He constantly misquotes and rephrases what he says (and what others “said”) so its almost impossible to determine what that is. My hypothesis is that he doesn’t know exactly what he wants to say but wants people to pay attention to him. Rather like a dog peeing on you leg. I’m really surprised that Judith doesn’t put him back on permanent moderation or ban him outright as other blogs have done.

      • Jeff –

        This is just more of the same – a non-serious response in terms of having a convo.

        > They aren’t the poster-child for lockdowns that you think they are.

        (1) I didn’t say they were a “poster-child” for “lockdowns.”

        (2) I have said that there’s conflicting evidence on the benefits of interventions – despite your attempts to box me in a corner in that regard. Obviously, I think that examining the efficacy of interventions is complicated, and requires careful consideration of potentially confounding variables.

        (3) There’s evidence, actually, that to some degree that the whole notion of Sweden not being in “lockdown” versus Norway being in “lockdown” is often being subjectively and/or arbitrarily, rather than carefully, defined.

        (4) I’ve asked you to give your thoughts on why the outcomes in Sweden were so much worse than its neighbors – by which I mean the nearest neighbors, by which I mean the other Nordic countries, and I explained the reasons why I make that choice.

        It’s disappointing while you take the time to respond, you don’t make any effort to make your response part of a reasonable conversation.

      • Jeff –

        > I addressed these two points

        lol.

        I ask, (1) why you think that ICU admissions have increased dramatically since Nic’s most recent projection of “herd immunity” in Sweden (in other words, does it mean that Nic’s projections were wrong along with all the others who have been claiming for close to a year that Sweden has reached “herd immunity) and (2) why they they have increased so much more dramatically in Sweden relative to the most comparable countries subsequent to Nic’s most recent projection of “herd immunity” in Sweden.

        And your “answer?”

        > 1. ICU admissions are up all over Europe,

        It is to laugh.

        And the most interesting part is that it’s actually possible that you really do think that you addressed the points.

        I give up – until you actually demonstrate both an interest in, have written a comments which does, advance an actual discussion.

      • David Young –

        Just in case you missed it:

        On April 5, you said:

        > ICU admissions are rising. You cherry picked that fact to hide the fact that deaths are strongly declining and have been for quite a while.

        So when I pointed out that actually, the trend of deaths in Sweden had flattened out, and in fact with the lag in reporting it was even possible that the death rate is increasing, you, David Young, a renown scientist, accused me of lying, being unqualified to have an opinion on the topic, and added in all manner of other insults.

        From Worldometers – the 7-day moving average of daily deaths Sweden;

        On Feb 27th, 20
        On April 2, 18

        So a drop of two over more than a month. And it’s quite likely that the reported number of deaths for April 2 will go up over the next week or so.

        So are you my friemd, David Young, a noted scientist, correct when you said that deaths Sweden were “strongly declining?” Were you right to call me a liar, and insult me in all manner? Was you right to say I lacked the needed expertise to have a reasonable opinion on the topic?

        Will you, David Young, the renown scientist, show up to be accountable for being wrong (yet again) and rehabilitate your credibility?

        Hmmm. I wonder. But I suggest that no one holds their breath waiting for you to show up.

      • I said deaths were strongly declining and gave you data for Feb 1 – March 31. Over that time frame they did strongly decline. I was not wrong. Your claim that I was is a lie and by now a deliberate lie.

      • David –

        On April 5, you said they are “strongly declining,” present continuous tense.

        I said that the declining trend before late February had flattened out and might be unceasing. You said I lied..

        You were wrong.

        As you have been many times through the pandemic.

        BTW – I thought you weren’t golf to respond to my comments any more. Your time was too precious. What happened. Did your time get less precious?

      • David –

        Why do you say so many things that are obviously proven false, and then claim that they aren’t false or that you didn’t say them?

        In April 9 you said:

        > Deaths continue to decline despite Joshua and your gaslighting this issue

        On April 13 you said:

        > March 1 was 21 and April 1 was 15

        Of course you didn’t listen when I told you that the number for April 1 would increase.

        In April 9 you also said:

        > I have given you actual numbers that prove that deaths in Sweden continue to decline.

        Shall I continue?

      • On April 4 you said:

        > I told you what I found. Deaths in Sweden are continuing to decline.

      • David –

        On April 5 you said:

        > Since Feb. 1, 7 day averaged deaths have declined from about 55/day to less that 20/day neglecting the last week of data. That is a strong decline. Your claim that they are leveling off is wrong.

        There is essentially no trend of decline since late February, and certainly since early March – yet you claimed in early April that the decline was continuing.

        You picked the number of 15 on April 1 to prove your point even though I told you that the number for April 1 would rise, as it has.

        But you wouldn’t listen. Instead you trotted out you long list of insults and told me I wasn’t qualified to speak on the subject.

      • David –

        In April 10, you said:

        > That’s how cases can be flat or even rising as in Sweden while deaths continue to decline.

      • Now, tonight, you say this:

        > I said deaths were strongly declining and gave you data for Feb 1 – March 31. Over that time frame they did strongly decline. I was not wrong.

        As if you limited you assertion of a decline to an end date of March 31, and didn’t assert that the decline was continuing in April?

        You double down on being wrong by making an absurd claim that is so easily proven to be obviously wrong?

        Why do you do this?

      • David –

        And it would be wrong to extend the “decline” to March 31 anyway. The decline clearly flattened out in late February. As I said all along. And for which you accused me of “lying.”

        Worldometers 7-day moving average of daily deaths in Sweden:

        Feb 28, 20
        March 31, 19

        Just stop, David. Or better yet, just step up and say you were wrong. You don’t even have to apologize for all the insults. I couldn’t care less if you insult me. But you can take a small step towards rehabilitating your credibility and accountability by just acknowledging that you were wrong.

        The longer you make this transparently desperate attempt to argue that you weren’t wrong the worse it is for you.

      • Your last series of unfocused repetitious comments proves what I said to Jeff who is too smart to reply to you.

        Trying to interact with Joshie is hopeless. You will notice that he responded to your detailed comment with vague word salads and repetitious comments and accused you of not acting in good faith. In fact, he is the one acting in bad faith. That’s true of virtually every one of his literally hundreds of comments here. He is the proud possessor of an unfocused mind, incapable of quoting in context or fairly evaluating anything and a paragon of accusing others of exactly what he is doing. He cherry picks data, making statements about lags he knows nothing about. He constantly misquotes and rephrases what he says (and what others “said”) so its almost impossible to determine what that is. My hypothesis is that he doesn’t know exactly what he wants to say but wants people to pay attention to him. Rather like a dog peeing on you leg. I’m really surprised that Judith doesn’t put him back on permanent moderation or ban him outright as other blogs have done.

      • “why you think that ICU admissions have increased dramatically since Nic’s most recent projection of “herd immunity” in Sweden ”

        I did answer it. You are ignoring the evidence. First, as I proved conclusively, ICU admissions in Sweden are not “up dramatically” compared to like nations, in fact they are dramatically lower than many places in Europe.
        As for herd immunity, I answered that directly as well. Since you can’t grasp the simple concept, I’ll give you an example:
        In a county in Virginia, the number of vaccinated people is over 50% yet even though case counts are much lower, they aren’t gone. Hospitalizations and deaths have stopped. So… HIT? My theory- based on real world prioritization for vaccine in the state, the rate of people over 55 and with known vulnerabilities vaccinated in that county is over 90% and the rate for 20-30 year old in the 10% range and the rate for under 20 is almost zero. So HIT is reached for the old, but nowhere near it for the young, which you grab on to and screech “see! HIT isn’t here!”
        If you were clever, you’d want to know why ICU admissions are so much lower in Sweden, but your politics requires you to ignore the reality.
        The answer, as I said before, I think is because which half of the population is immune matters as does general health of the population, length of immunity, and willingness to take responsibility to avoid infecting the vulnerable.
        The latter point is, I think, important in looking at why New York and Michigan continue to be far more “dramatically increasing” than Texas, Florida and Sweden (another set of facts your politics requires you to refuse to accept.)
        The constant media drumbeat is the myth that NY and MI are “safe” – they must be because CNN says only Texas, Florida and Georgia are dangerous and it’s because those evil states don’t have all the good lockdown rules that Cuomo and Whitmer so brilliantly deploy. There’s no need to think for yourself about protecting yourself or others.
        The Washington Post considers Virginia to be within its local coverage area. They constantly attack the governors of Texas and Florida while remaining silent about the governors of Maryland and Virginia doing the exact same thing. Virginia is actually more “open” than Florida and has been since last summer- beaches, restaurants, and amusement parks were open last summer and are now, but our gov has a D by his name (and photos of himself in KKK regalia) so instead of coverage of a virus we get mythology designed to entertain Karens and assuage the fears of Democrats who are increasingly concerned they have it all wrong.
        This will be the first epidemic where partisan hacks sit on open beaches in Virginia writing social media posts attacking Florida for having an open beach.

      • Jeff –

        I asked why the rate increased so much in Sweden (doubled) and increased so much relative to the other Nordic countries.

        Your response:

        > as I proved conclusively, ICU admissions in Sweden are not “up dramatically” compared to like nations,

        Per Worldometers:

        “serious cases” in Finland (pop 5.5 million) = 34

        “serious” cases in Denmark (pop 5.8 million) = 36;

        “serious” cases in Sweden (pop 10.1 million) = 391.

        Have a nice day.

      • “relative to the other Nordic countries.”

        I’ll bite- what’s your theory for that? It isn’t lockdowns because those aren’t in place. It isn’t HIT because you think HIT talk is nuts. It isn’t vaccination because that leads to HIT
        And why shouldn’t we point out that all nordic countries, including Sweden, have significantly lower ICU admissions right now than Europe, New York, Michigan, etc? Why do you think ICU admissions are actually “dramatically” high in France but not Sweden comparatively? HIT, blonde hair, Trump, herring, immigration?

        You won’t answer any of those questions because you can’t. And because you aren’t interested in the actual epidemic.

        You wrote: “I’m old enough to remember when certain of our favorite renown scientists said that Sweden would be much better off by now…”

        We’ve demonstrated that Sweden actually is much better off now than France, Belgium, New York, Poland, Spain, Italy, etc etc etc etc, and worse than Norway (yay for you!)
        Asking why is interesting. Ignoring the facts isn’t.

  100. Sweden –

    7-day moving average of death rate (according to Worldometers):

    18 per day on March 7th.

    19 per day on March 26th.

    We’ll have to see where it goes from here, but according to our favorite renown scientist, there’s no doubt that the death rate in Sweden is “strongly” declining.