JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Strap Yourself in: just three weeks from 3 patients to a hospital system on brink of collapse. 12% need intensive care.

Get out of the way of this virus.

Could Italy be suffering from a different and nastier strain?

Figures from South Korea and the Diamond Princess may not be a good guide to what’s happening in Italy and Iran. There something seriously different going on there. Death rates are much higher than expected. Three weeks ago, Italy officially had three cases, now a thousand people are dead and 12,000 have the virus. The hospital system is already at the point of being overwhelmed. Reports say that even stroke patients are now missing out on help, the ICU wards are overflowing, and the staff are prioritizing younger people because they have a better chance of survival.

Perhaps Italians hug more and spread more, perhaps it’s worse because they have an older demographic. But perhaps this is a deadlier strain than the one Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea appear to be containing. The Italian strain, whatever it is, is from the Iranian strain. Every country that has imported infected passengers from Iran will likely also have the Iranian strain.

Do we really want to follow Iran and Italy?

It’s not impossible — Just stop feeding the virus fresh bodies

The great weakness of this 32 k bit of inanimate code is that it constantly needs fresh bodies — all we have to do is stop feeding it fresh fuel. (A bit like fighting a bush fire.)

We can outwait it now, then later outwit it. The code can’t spread without hijacking our cells machinery. It can’t spread if we don’t put it on a plane. It may last for nine days on surfaces, but eventually the code breaks, degrades, and is no longer a threat. Sunlight, air and time can save us.

Comparing this with influenza is irresponsible. We have no herd immunity. No vaccines, no treatments. The black swan inside the black swan is the shortage of ICU beds. This is a bad event until we run out of ICU beds, then it’s off-the-charts. Yes, the death rate is much higher in older people, but that doesn’t make it OK. Do we like grandparents or not?

The exponential curve we don’t want that I’ve been warning of for six weeks is upon us.

As I keep saying, we have only 1 ICU bed per 12,000 people (I assume this is similar in the US and UK etc). If 12% (!) need an ICU bed, then Australia can only afford to allow the number of cases to be 16,000 simultaneously (and that assumes all our ICU beds are free, or that we have increased the number dramatically.)

Coronavirus: Hospitals to be swamped ‘within weeks’, by Natasha Robinson.

Australian hospitals are likely to be swamped by thousands of corona­virus cases within a month, experts say. …

“Basically the doubling time of the epidemic is six days,” Professor MacIntyre [head of the biosecurity program at the UNSW’s Kirby Institute] said. “So it’s going to get worse very, very quickly.

“If it becomes widespread, there is the potential for the health system to be overwhelmed.” …

Doubts have emerged about the need to quarantine people for 14 days, with suggestions this could be reduced in the future. It follows a report by Johns Hopkins Univer­sity in the US that symptoms appear in most people five days after infection.

The TRajectory compared. The AUstralian. Coronavirus

Hospitals will be swamped in weeks. The Australian

To drone on: this is so simple – Quarantine all flights Now. Israel has, Russia has. Every day we wait, we kill more people. International quarantine will no longer stop this virus on it’s own, but it still helps. Then as Yasha Mounk says in The Atlantic  “Cancel Everything”.

We now get to do both international quarantine and domestic quarantine. If we don’t do international quarantine we will need to do longer and tougher domestic ones.

The US, Donald Trump, has finally blocked all flights from Europe.  When will we? Every plane that flies in without a two week quarantine potentially means we run out of ICU beds even faster. It doesn’t matter if there is some spread in the community. Tom Hanks and his wife have caught the virus and are in a Qld hospital. We hope they won’t be using one or two of our ICU units next week, but we won’t hesitate to give one to them. But there is a limit and it’s days away.

It’s a bad sign when stars and politicians and stars are going under, but they are a high risk group — they fly and shake hands. Hopefully it is the wakeup call the pollies need.

Time is everything

Possibly China could have avoided 66% of all cases if it had moved One Week Faster. Maybe it could have avoided 95% of cases if it moved just Three Weeks Sooner. To state the bleeding obvious, every day we delay action will kill people.

The Italian situation is out of control

In Time Magazine they graph about 2,000 cases (below) and find that in nearly every country mortality rates fall as testing increases — meaning South Korea found more of the asymptomatic patients than anyone else, and the true death rate is probably under 1%. This looks like good news. But Italy is suffering a 3% mortality rate and it has been doing a lot of testing. I’m not sure how they calculate “mortality rate” and whether that includes delays. But infections must be running undetected through the wider population in Italy, or the death rate would be even higher than this.

Message to readers: The way out is to stay home, order supplies. Sit this out for the moment until we know more. The less you venture out the less likely you are to catch this. Wash hands, don’t touch faces, space yourself from other people.

Do we know what we are letting in to the country?

Coronavirus, mortality, tests done, graph, Time Magazine

Mortality rate compared to tests done. Italy breaks the trend.  |  Time Magazine

 

Statistics from Italy:  Ouch? Could ONE person have caused all but the first three cases? ( I have my doubts). But these numbers are dark.

Higher Institute of Health Press Release N ° 20/2020 – Coronavirus, transmission in Italy for all cases except the first three

ISS, March 10, 2020

The transmission of the Sars-Cov-2 infection occurred in Italy for all cases, with the exception of the first three reported from the Lazio region that were probably infected in China, and a person of Iranian nationality was later reported by the Lombardy region however, it was not indicated where the infection could have occurred even though the person was likely to become infected in Iran. This is suggested by the epidemiological survey conducted by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, contained in the in-depth analysis that will be published starting today on Tuesday and Friday on the Epicentro website.

Currently, we read in the document based on the situation at 10 am on 9 March 2020, it is not possible to reconstruct, for all patients, the transmission chain of the infection. Most of the cases reported in Italy report an epidemiological connection with other cases diagnosed in Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto, the areas most affected by the epidemic.

Clinical status is only available for 2,539 cases, of which 518 (9.8%) asymptomatic, 270 (5.1%) pauci-symptomatic, 1,622 (30.7%) with symptoms for which the severity level is not specified , 1,593 (30.1%) with mild symptoms, 297 (5.6%) with severe symptoms, 985 (18.6%) critical. 21% of cases are hospitalized, and among those whose hospitalization is known (1,545) 12% are in intensive care. The median age is 69 years (0-18 years: 0%; 19-50 years: 10%; 51-70 years: 46%;> 70 years: 44%).

“The investigation – stressed the president of ISS Silvio Brusaferro – finds a significant percentage of cases under 30 years of age, a figure that confirms how crucial this age group is in the transmission of the virus”.

The news is also that young people spread infections. Close those schools.

Italian doctors ‘forced to choose who to save from coronavirus

Italian hospitals are so ‘overwhelmed’ by the coronavirus outbreak that stroke patients are going untreated, a doctor has revealed. The entire country has been placed under an unprecedented quarantine as officials desperately try to contain the virus, which has killed 631 people so far – the highest number of fatalities outside of mainland China. More than 10,000 have contracted the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus, with tens of thousands more being tested in hospitals. A medic in northern Italy said hospitals were running at ‘200 per cent capacity’ with doctors forced into life-or-death decisions over who should receive intensive care.
Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/10/italian-doctors-forced-choose-save-coronavirus-12377883/?ito=cbshare

 

Graph, Coronavirus, Mortality compared to Tests done. Time.

Mortality demograhics from a few weeks ago. Based purely on the ages of the populations we would expect to see a higher rate of deaths in France, Germany, Greece and presumably Italy. Am I reading this correctly? 1% in China means 3 -4% in some parts of Europe?

To reduce your risks: stay home, order food and deliveries. Avoid large gatherings. Wash your hands. Stock up responsibly. If you do have to go out, practice social distancing, don’t touch your face.  Everyone who feels even slightly unwell should stay home and isolate themselves at the very minimum.

Then sit back, relax, and send messages to politicians and newspapers telling them to Quarantine ALL arrivals, starting two weeks ago.

Will we need to stop flights forever? No

Obviously flight quarantines are temporary. This is how the future pans out. We do massive action to control this immediately, asap, and the more the better. We spend the next 1 – 2 years living with the fear of repeat outbreaks. We don’t allow flights from countries that don’t have this controlled except with a two week mandatory quarantine. But sooner or later we will defeat this or find a cure or it will become “another common cold”.

We stop the flights til:
1. We get data and understand the enemy. How bad IS this virus?
2. We get rid of all cases within our nation by standard isolation procedure. Starve the virus. No more free bodies to feed it.
3. The rest of the world copies us (or does it with us) and sooner or later one by one we open up the flights to each nation as it gets rid of the infection. We’re talking weeks.
4. We were lucky with SARS. That was easier because there was no asymptomatic infection. Once we knew this one could spread asymptomatically all that has happened since then was utterly text book predictable.
5. Yes, the deadly exponential curve has been stupidly and recklessly unleashed. People are going to die that didn’t need to. But every day we put off doing what we should have done at the start more people will add to that horrible tally. We can have a big pile or a bigger pile.
6. It’s not a case of aiming to keep the infection rate lower than the point where our hospital system collapses. There is no single more important priority right now. Surely we are willing to spend “quite a lot” to stop the death rate going from 0.5% to 4% because we can’t find enough ICU beds?
7. Australian citizens – bring them home with a 2 week quarantine. There have been no infections in Australia from the Wuhan rescue flights. None from the Diamond Princess.
8. Then after the calm — Then we will need a two week quarantine for flights from countries that have the virus. When the odd incident occurs — as they will — we go straight for isolation and tracking. No holds barred containment. And by then, we might have antivirals. The virus might have mutated. We might have antibodies or CRISPR something. Gene therapy. Stem Cells. RNAi. Biotech will beat this. Let’s give it time.

This could end up being biotech’s great moment. But bureaucracies dumbest mistake.

______________________________________________

Coronavirus Background: ☀ The Demographics: the young are spared, but the severity increases with age, and slightly more for men than women. ☀ The Ro is 2 – 3 and exponential curves are steep. How Coronavirus kills: why the number of ICU units matters so much. ☀ Illness progression: Dry coughs and Fevers, Aches. In 15% of people, by day 5 breathing trouble starts. In 3% (?) by day 8 they may need an ICU (intensive care unit). ☀ The good case of Singapore but the ominous calculations of how fast the ICU beds may run out. ☀ The story of how American Samoa avoided Flu Deaths with quarantine in 1918. ☀

Economics: ☀ The huge impact on the Chinese economy, the awful case of Iran.☀

Beware UN advice:Ethiopian WHO chief was part of China’s debt trap diplomacy ☀

Stats and Data: John Hopkins Live Map Worldometer

 

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Rating: 10.0/10 (69 votes cast)
Strap Yourself in: just three weeks from 3 patients to a hospital system on brink of collapse. 12% need intensive care., 10.0 out of 10 based on 69 ratings

165 comments to Strap Yourself in: just three weeks from 3 patients to a hospital system on brink of collapse. 12% need intensive care.

  • #
    Deplorable Lord Kek

    “Australian hospitals are likely to be swamped by thousands of corona­virus cases within a month, experts say”

    which, if it had been managed properly, should 100% NOT happen.

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    • #
      yarpos

      Emergency rooms are already getting swamped by people with assorted colds and sniffles.

      Not sure on what basis you can say things like 100% should not happen when so little is actually known and there is a two week asymptomatic and highly contagious phase.

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      • #
        Deplorable Lord Kek

        What should not happen is: the government fails to close the border, mass infection, hospital system collapses, virus rages out of control, people dying in their homes.

        What should not happen is exactly what has happened in Wuhan, Italy and Iran.

        Three precedents to show the government what NOT to do.

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        • #
          David A

          Regarding hospital ICU beds, typical US ICU occupancy is 57 percent to 82 percent. So if Australia’s occupancy is similar and they have 2000 ICU beds, then only 360 to 860 are available.

          The mortality percentage in the Chart from Jo’s post is very wrong! Using total deaths to total cases, Italy’s CFR,
          12,462 cases and 827 dead, is 7 percent, and U.S. CFR, 1336 cases, 38 deaths, about 2.8 percent. ( This alone invalidates the chart).

          Testing and following up on contacts from positive cases, has much more to do with slowing the infection rate down. Jo, this Time Magazine error is aggregious, and Time may have a political motive. Please consider an update to the post.

          All the best…

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          • #
            David A

            Link to updated Coronavirus numbers.
            https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

            By the way, Italy’s CFR based on death to recovered is 79 percent. Something besides age is going on there.

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            • #

              David A, since I discovered how useless Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is (forgive me readers who corrected me — you wre right) I don’t use it. With a two week lag from symptoms to death most cases on the exponential growing curve have not played out.

              The CFR should rise as more people in the larger cohort progress through the disease. Which is scary, but even in Italy it appears there are a lot of undiagnosed cases which brings mortality rate down. I stopped trying to calculate mortality in countries on that rapid acceleration part of the curve. I quote the rate of experts, but hope they are doing the complicated modeling to estimate the true cases two weeks ago. I don’t know if they are.

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              • #
                TedM

                It is true that undiagnosed cases would bring the death rate down, and that is quite legitimate. However what is not legitimate is assuming a number of undiagnosed cases and using the result of that when making comparison to other diseases. I hear this repeatedly on radio by prsenters who are playing the CV threat down. Diseases such as the flu where undiagnosed cases have never been considered in calculating the death rate.

                Such comparisons should always be diagnosed cases cf diagnosed cases. I am not suggesting that you have done this Jo, I’m referring to what I regularly hear on radio and at times see in comments online, including occasionally on this blog.

                Thanks for persisting with this topic, it has been very educational and no doubt when this is all over, it will have saved some lives. The contribution of other commenters has also been invaluable. Thanks to all of you.

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              • #
                David A

                Hi Jo, and thank you for the response. Yes, I have been beating the drum on CFR for some time. If you find the time this portion of the Worldometer site basically gets it right…https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/

                With one exception, while acknowledging there are many cases that never get officially recorded, they fail to acknowledge the many deaths caused by Cov19, yet never officially recorded either.

                And as we all acknowledge, China’s numbers are FUBAR. Their group quarantines of “potentially exposed” with zero individual seperation, should be classified as democide – death by government. It is credibly argued that Wuhan had 75 k cases, when they were reporting less then 700.

                https://www.businessinsider.com/wuhan-coronavirus-75k-infected-doubling-every-64-days-lancet-says-2020-1?utm_source=reddit.com

                Well Jo, you rightly warned me about making posts to long, as people tend not to read those, so just one more comment here. (I guess the phrase, ” brevity is the soul of wit” leaves me lacking.)

                My main concern with the time magazine chart was that it’s valitity
                was based primarily on the statistics of two nations, Italy and the U.S. and they got those two completely backwards from reality, understating Italy, and overstating the U.S.

                All the best…

                10

          • #
            ivan

            The other interesting thing about this is that there is no comparison graphs or data between this and ‘normal’ flu that a lot of people get and die from every year.

            30

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Got a call from a relative who is a receptionist in a doctors office near a university.

        Possibly some of them unwell, and that’s fair enough, however apparently its true snowflake country with all the uni students…..

        40

    • #
      Geoff

      What meds would be common to people over 60? Young people are probably carriers but remain unaffected. They do not take meds.

      30

  • #

    So many assumptions re the Coronavirus but here is a test study RE USE OF Zinc and Chloroquine an ionaphore used for Malaria cases, and now in S Korea for the C virus, maybe why S Korea has low Case Fatality rate,CFR, than Italy
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2020/03/08/7-march-2020-covid-19-california-quarantine-exponential-math/#comments

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    • #
      • #
        Bulldust

        Beat me to it – was going to link this. They also did a video previously on the meta-study which showed decreased incidence of ARDS with low dosage of vitamin D daily.

        I am much more inclined to believe that the South Koreans are treating the disease differently and getting better results. Given the lack of treatment information, there is no way to know if this is the main reason for the CFR variance.

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        • #

          Bulldust. Phew. I hope so.

          Lower rates of D in winter are I believe a significant reason for more flu transmission in winter. It explains why winter flu is even common in Brisbane in winter despite the mild temperatures. People stay indoors more, wear jeans and have lower D levels as well as closer contact and cooler room temperatures.

          Supplementing with Vit D now would be cheap, low risk and probably of some use. (We have been for weeks/years. I have followed the star progression of cholecaliferol/D3 in medical research papers for twenty years now.) In Australia luckily D levels will be higher due to summer. May help slow hospital crisis.

          D supplementation at this point has mostly upside. Not too much money wasted if D levels are OK (it probably only helps if your D is low). I would not go to doc to test at this point since being in medical treatment offices is best avoided. Unless you know you have had enough sun, supplementing with D is low risk insurance. It is possible to overdo it (like anything). But there is a large safety margin if I recall correctly.

          Can you tell us what dose they used? How many IU/daily?

          10

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Jo I have been taking 20,000 IU a day since 2014.
            No ill effects.
            Jeff T Bowles has a number of books on Vitamin D3
            The first was published in 2012 “The miraculous Results of Extremely High Doses of Vitamin D3 and my Experiments with huge does from 25,000 to 100,000 IU a day for long periods”
            He goes into the supposed toxicity at high doses and cites studies from the 1930′s which show this is false.
            And why it is so beneficial for our health

            00

      • #
        Bulldust

        BTW Jo, for the more bio-technically minded you may want to add this to your list of Covid-19 resources: https://nextstrain.org/ncov

        It tracks all the genetic variants of the current coronavirus.

        60

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        In this approach, up-regulating the immune system is key. :)

        Kiran Krishnan of Microbiome Labs and Dr. Tom O’Bryan DC, CCN, DACBN team up…the dynamic bio nerd duo

        How to Boost Your Immune System and Combat the Coronavirus
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUlhB9ADksY

        The Fascinating Relationship between Bacteria, Genes, the Microbiome and Our Immune Systems
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0wNjqLi4cs

        theDr.com
        10.6K subscribers
        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzlefeGh3JA-Nm0jtf9iYoQ/videos

        00

      • #
        joseph

        Another interesting article . . . . . .

        https://nexusnewsfeed.com/article/geopolitics/chinese-medical-team-report-successful-treatment-of-coronavirus-patients

        With high-dose vitamin C . . . .

        “A medical team from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University in China has reported the successful treatment of coronavirus patients with vitamin C. In a press release posted on the hospital website, the team describes how patients suffering from severe coronary pneumonia, a potentially fatal complication of the new coronavirus COVID-19, have recovered after being treated with high doses of the vitamin. The medical team recommend that for critically ill patients and those with severe neonatal pneumonia, vitamin C treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after admission to hospital.

        Significantly, the press release acknowledges that early application of vitamin C can have a strong antioxidant effect, reduce inflammatory responses, and improve endothelial function. It also describes how numerous studies have shown the dose of vitamin C used has a lot to do with the treatment’s effect. The medical team say their past experience shows that high-dose vitamin C can not only improve antiviral levels, but more importantly can prevent and treat acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress”.

        50

        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          Thanks Joseph,
          I’m a fan of vitamin C, and read a paper back in 1969 recommending the use of massive doses of it, especially used intravenously, as a curative for several otherwise intractable diseases. But it’s use never seemed to become widespread.
          Any time vitamin C gets mentioned someone attacks it with the statement that you just piss it out, without any recognition that that is one of its strengths, i.e. that any excess is merely excreted and doesn’t react with other vitamins and cause damage.
          So you won’t be surprised that I’m a regular take of vitamin C, orally, and daily. Until the last few days I’ve taken 1500 mgs daily, in one one hit. (I like the 500 mg orange flavoured.) But I’ve decided to change in an attempt to boost my immune system during the day when I’m most likely to have some interaction with others. My new routine is to take 1000 mg each time, morning noon and night, doubling my daily intake, but hopefully maintaining a saturated level.
          That’s a bit less than your link recommends for me, but I currently have no symptoms, and I’m thinking that may be enough to be preventative.
          What do you think?
          Cheers
          Dave B

          00

    • #
      TedM

      I don’t think there are any chloroquine stocks in Australia. It ceased being used here because of side effects experienced by Australian soldiers who used it long term as an anti malarial. There may be other reasons also.

      To the best of my knowledge it replaced paludrine which the army used when I was in PNG in the 1970′s. Not sure if there was something else used in between.

      00

  • #

    almost 100000 people at the MCG a few days ago. No one could have predicted that one of them would test positive less than a week later.

    First confirmed case in Canberra today.

    94

    • #
      Konrad

      It was entirely predictable.

      We kept the flights coming and even relaxed travel bans for people with low ACE2 receptor count that had been in the hot zone at the time of the outbreak. We intentionally imported 11,000 of the people most likely to be carriers and most likely not to be detected by screening.

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    • #

      No could have predicted it — except for anyone with an internet connection and half a brain.

      340

      • #
        Konrad

        I think this rules out Scott Morrison. He may have almost half a brain, but he only has a Dr Brendan Furphy connection.

        He still thinks the politician’s excuse “But medical advice at the time didn’t indicate …” will save him, even as Tiawan, Singapore, South Korea, Israel, Russia and the US prove that to be no excuse at all.

        140

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        I object to you describing people who do not agree with me as having half a brain.

        00

    • #
      Deplorable Lord Kek

      just like no one could have predict the sun will (probably) rise tomorrow… oh, wait.

      80

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘ … the young are spared, but the severity increases with age, and slightly more for men than women.’

    This Southern Hemisphere winter should see an increase in grey nomads heading to the Top End.

    I’m assuming that the virus decays over 26 degrees and doesn’t like H2O, a midlatitude disease?

    40

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      EG Vitamin D3 makes a difference
      So it is sunlight which is necessary
      Not warmth per se.

      80

      • #
        Bulldust

        Here’s the Medcram on the possible benefits of Vitamin D with acute lung infections:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmqgGwT6bw0

        It’s the kind of dosage you’d see in a common multi-vitamin tablet. Don’t overdo it :)

        40

      • #
        Rob Leviston

        So maybe locking people up inside may not be the best idea?

        40

        • #
          Bulldust

          We have a balcony … as long as they drone us supplies and don’t cut off our power and internet, we’ll be good :D

          60

      • #

        No Bill, sun = Vit D = good.

        But heat = virus instability = also good.

        Viruses are long chemical code chains. They are always more fragile with heat. Where warmth helps bacteria grow (up to a point), heat is deadly to viruses.

        Whatever you do don’t freeze a virus laden thing. That’s what we used to do in a lab when we wanted to preserve a virus. It will last months in the freezer.

        We will need to warn people when we are on the downslope of this outbreak that if they bought a pack of contaminated peas (due to packer at Coles being sick) those viruses may be stored in their freezer on the outside of the pack and they should handle accordingly. IF the packer at the McCains Pea factory was sick it may not matter as long we we cook peas before eating.

        10

    • #
      TedM

      Not all the young are spared el gordo. Lower death rate yes but not zero.

      40

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    A heart ailment, valve transplant, and complications had my wife in an ICU for 55 days (2009-’10). Such are expensive facilities and the staff is highly trained and experienced. Increasing the number of “beds” isn’t just a matter of buying beds.
    If triage is necessary the results will be (pick a word or phrase that suits you).

    100

    • #
      Konrad

      Triage is what is happening in Italy right now. No intubation for those over 60. Next week they will probably drop that age to 50.

      This is the mistake many people are making. Because they see the highest mortality rate is currently in older people, they think it is only older people needing acute care. But people of all ages over 20 can need ventilation to survive, it’s just that younger persons respond better. When there is not enough ventilation equipment, the average age of mortality will drop swiftly.

      160

      • #
        Revo

        An interesting, though disturbing, interview with a senior Italian doctor on his first-hand experience. The reason that the death rate might be so high in Italy is that, apart from the older age demographic, the fact that the medical facilities have been overwhelmed has meant that some people who, with proper treatment could have survived, have had to be let go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mrPHO-nkVE

        10

    • #
      TedM

      ‘If triage is necessary the results will be “pick a word or phrase that suits you”. Err cr*p?

      20

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      John add to that the probability that staff will be forced into quarantine.

      Every chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In this chain every link is at risk. The number of beds is at risk of diminishing for want of able bodied staff.

      30

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Exactly. As i have been pointing out for some time.

        I do not think the most important thing is lock downs. Far from it. The cat is out of the bag. Repeating this mantra of lock downs is not helpful and all that is being generated right here in the non mainstream media is panic.

        I do not think hospital ICU’s should be reserved for the Corona.

        There should be a ban on patients with corona being admitted into hospitals.

        Corona should be treated elsewhere.

        I am sure ICU’s for corona can be arranged without putting a strain on the hospital system.

        But many do not see that.

        13

        • #

          Enviroskeptic. It’s just hard numbers. Lockdowns slow the exponential. Every bit of slowing right now will save lives.

          As does quarantining flights. On the inflection point of the exponential explosion every single case we avoid translates into many lives.

          20

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            I suppose my attention is on specialized corona ICU’s.
            The act of admitting a new virus into existing medical infrastructure is questionable.

            00

            • #
              Environment Skeptic

              These specialised corona ICU’s should be, perhaps, staffed by surviving asymptomatic corona virus survivors…the 97%?…this is still all so new. And the subject is very slippery!

              00

              • #
                David A

                Survivors have zero guaranteed immunity and the potential of a far more virulent 2nd round, as hasben reported in numerous cases.

                Not to mention they would rarely have needed qualifications.

                00

              • #
                Mark D.

                Hire Chinese doctors?

                00

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Just hire from the 97% who have a good working immune system and have already fought the corona off many times over.

                Simple as that.

                00

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                If this was my blog, unlike Jo, i would be talking about shutting down the fast food industry and processed junk food industry. Lock it down!! lol. People unable to stay away from fast food outlets are forced into health food detention. If that does not work, draconian actions like forcing people to have broccoli could be signed into law.

                Imagine a prime minister banning travel to fast food hotspots would be the first! Imagine the love and lives that could be saved by such simple measures?

                The death toll from junk food is a pandemic that is not getting much attention recently. I wonder about that :)

                00

  • #
    stalking

    yes but in AUS gov and every educational institution is addicted to chinese cash so they did the sums and Australians don’t count, you are worth less than UNI profits

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      Konrad

      Yes “UNI profits”, but you are not getting the full picture. Notice the “Full fee paying foreign student” game is totally focused on the children of rich South East Asians, not an even global mix?

      This is also about proping up the population/property ponzi scheme. Educational visas lead to residency. Residency leads to dual citizenship. Then purchase of freehold title, not strata, using daddy and mommy’s money from China.

      Average young Australians can no longer afford to buy average properties. The only way to prop up the ponzi scheme is foriegn buyers. While around 80% of Australian politicians own speculation (“investment”) properties, they will never move against the property ponzi scheme.

      Now the question is how long will it take Scotty from Marketing to realize his ghastly mistake?

      He chose “Full Italy ahead!”, “Kill the old!”. He chose … poorly.

      If he stays on course, all his little rent entrapped tax slaves are suddenly going to inherit a house to live in and a rental property to boot. Property ponzi scheme? That weasel ain’t gonna make it halfway around the mulberry bush …

      It’s probably best we retire Scotty and Brendan. Maybe to an aged care facility in Ryde or Epping.

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    Bulldust

    Dang I just saw Viking is suspending all cruises until the end of April:

    https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/health-safety/viking-cruises-suspends-luxury-cruise-ship-sailings/news-story/582a3de0a14b1cc7f4b0dd5997d3a3d8

    In other news, NCL is at a quarter of it’s peak price mid-January.

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    • #
      Bulldust

      Princess Cruises (part of CCL – Carnival group of cruise companies) has followed suit. Given they own the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess, this is a good move on their part. It remains to be seen if others follow suit. This might be the year of no cruises. The following web site shows how the industry market share breaks down:

      https://cruisemarketwatch.com/market-share/

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      ivan

      A good move on their part for the simple reason that cruise ships are an ideal place for all airborne bugs to thrive with their enclosed spaces and forced air circulation.

      10

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    Bruce

    Re the number of ICU beds per capita in the US. A quick google search found that they have around 10 times the number of ICU beds per capita than the UK. Does anyone know how Australia fares in this metric?

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    • #

      Hard to get numbers. Best I could find was 2000 ICU beds per pop of 25 million. But I’d love to get a more recent reference.

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        Andrew McRae

        I found one from 2019 a few days ago when I was making an epidemic model.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30857602

        The estimated numbers of critical care beds per 100 000 population were 9.3, 14.1, and 9.1 in the UK, Australia, and NZ, respectively.

        This is why my model assumes 3525 ICU beds exist in Australia.

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        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          We received responses from 257 UK (response rate: 97.7%), 35 Australian (response rate: 32.7%), and 17 NZ (response rate: 94.4%) hospitals (total 309).

          She’ll be right mate.

          We’re flat out, like a lizard drinking. Haven’t got time to fill out forms.

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          David A

          Andrew, f so, then based on US ICU occupancy rates Australia has a best case of 1500 ICU beds not occupied, and, based on 83% pre-existing occupancy, about 600 beds.

          So, based on the potential 12% figure, 5000 cases could bring Australia to 100 percent ICU occupancy. And we should keep in mind that outbreaks are not geographically distributed. Meaning a much smaller National total infected number number, concentrated in one or two cities, could overwhelm those cities ICU capacity.

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            Andrew McRae

            That is a very relevant point, David, about the non-uniform distribution of cases, although somewhat counteracted by the non-uniform distribution of hospital beds. They do tend to put the biggest hospitals where the most people are. Agreed that if most cases are concentrated in just two cities then the rest of the major hospitals’ beds probably go unused. I can imagine the Sunshine Coast taking the overflow from Brisbane, but can’t imagine Perth and Darwin taking overflow from Melbourne and Sydney.
            To model that would require taking the model to the next level of detail, that being a multi-cluster model using the sum of multiple S-curves.

            FYI, here is what the two scenarios looked like yesterday, before I had read your suggestion today about occupancy rates. Considering the asymptomatic spread, I don’t think the initial projection is an exaggeration and based on your suggestion it is probably an underestimate of the impact. There are a whole raft of factors that I currently cannot model, like the effect of weather, social network outdegree, and different isolation behaviours. So I take the model not as a prediction but as an illustration of some “what-if” scenarios and how changes in a subset of the known factors can affect the outcome and timeline.
            It reinforces the point that people have to prevent themselves getting SARS-CoV-2 from a seemingly healthy person, they cannot just run business-as-usual and hope all the sick will get treated because that cannot be done.

            The cancellation of the Melbourne Grand Prix this morning is hopefully a sign of more isolation changes that the public will adopt to slow down the contagion.

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    • #
      tonyb

      Bruce

      For some reason medical opinion in the UK (and political pressure) has decided that far fewer ICU and normal beds are required for a growing population with an older demographic . I think that is patent nonsense but its where we are in the UK. However beds here are free and available to all, whereas many of those in the US will be subject to fees and having the right insurance

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        David A

        Tony, US ICU beds and ERs are full on non paying customers.

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      • #
        Roger Knights

        “whereas many of those in the US will be subject to fees and having the right insurance”

        I read in the WaPo today or yesterday that Trump arranged a deal with insurers that they wouldn’t charge their clients a co-pay fee for coronavirus testing, and maybe not much for treatment. If not, a bill will be passed to make treatment effectively free or nearly so for all.

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      David A

      Bruce, please consider you may be mistaking total beds for ICU beds.
      The US has just under one million total hospital beds. About one for every 330 people.

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    Rolf

    I am from Sweden and it’s so sad to see what is going to happen. In 18 days, we went from 1 to 500 confirmed cases. First one, dead today. Papers promoting the idea it’s more or less only elderly who are at risk. I have bombarded Swedish journalists with facts, and proven right all the way until today when the pandemic was declared.

    Now the situation is really delicate. In Sweden, a high tech country, there is a shortage of ICU before this pandemic will hit. Takes another week or two. Even worse, it’s the Italian and Iranian strain coming. If Jo is right, it’s going to be nasty.

    I have been sitting at my daughters place in US but soon has to go somewhere. Traveling on ESTA means I only have three month’s then I need to leave the continent. But there is nowhere to go ! I found that Macao seem like the best place, at least today. Is there anyone who have a good idea what to do, where to go ? I was thinking of buying a yacht and go sailing again. But my wife don’t want to do the Pacific again. I think that will be much better than digging down at a hotel somewhere.

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      yarpos

      I doubt enforcing ESTA limits is going to be a high priority especially for people that are up front about it and open about their location.

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  • #
    David Brunt

    Was planning to spend 5 months in Greece and Turkey on our boat. But now seriously considering deferring for a year. Many others on boating apps and FB now thinking similarly.

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  • #
    thingadonta

    The R0 may not be 2-3. Note measles is 14-18.

    Many studies more or less take ‘confirmed cases’ as a guide; if there are many un-symptomatic spreaders, then by definition the R0 is higher, and worse if the tests aren’t perfect (false negative).

    And forget it if the virus is simply quickly evolving to spread faster. A virus that spreads without symptons and then kills obviously has a lot of natural selection behind it, it’s got this way though millions of years of selection in bats probably-even bats probably probably won’t hang next to another bat that is obviously sick.

    And if the virus has evolved to be more or less ‘dormant’ for a period? Well rabies is a bat virus and lies ‘dormant’/'has very long incubation’ for up to several months and then makes the infected bite and scratch other bats/animals…..why, because it has evolved to spread that way.

    Sorry to be nasty, but the quickness suggests the R0 may be both higher, and ?variable.

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  • #
    Orson Olson

    Roof, consider Taiwan. They may have benefitted from cut ties to China pre-Covid19, stanching flights and virus transport. Or not, and more due to a latitude of 25degrees and the sub Troptical climate.

    Also, consider Okinawa, 1000km South of the market main island. (English in Chitan because close to US air Base, makes for convenience fee well as more isolated suburban style housing.) Choose a bungalow for better isolation.

    Finally, distance, isolation, and fewer uni students in New Zealand means that they seem to be two to three months behind in Covid19 virus infections, just 5 compared to 120 in Australia, yesterday.

    NZ health figures expect that without aggressive social isolation measures, the people will suffer 40-60% infection. Of course, due to smaller population there, not many carriers could change these “favorable” refuge stats swiftly. Keep an eye out.

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Nope.
    Didn’t see that one coming …

    2008: Deadly by the Dozen: 12 Diseases Climate Change Global Warming May Worsen
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/twelve-diseases-climate-change-may-make-worse/

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    RickWill

    I wonder about the level of care available in Italy. Does it match what China and South Korea can achieve?

    Tom Hanks and wife have been hospitalised on the Gold Coast. Movie production halted. Nine Today hosts in quarantine.

    NBA season has been cancelled.

    I will be surprised if AFL season starts. There is no way clubs can avoid the virus if the season goes ahead. The season will end as soon as one player tests positive as happened in the NBA.

    Lewis Hamilton made it clear that he thought staging the F1 GP was mad in the circumstances.

    Australia is about 3 weeks behind what it should be doing. The toilet paper run gives hope that people are making their own plans to isolate; maybe misguided actions but at least limiting contact.

    A month of inconvenience could avoid a glut at the crematoriums.

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      RexAlan

      I agree with Lewis Hamilton. What’s the point of holding the Australian F1 GP. It’s not as if were are going to have an Italian, Monaco perhaps a French, German and Spanish GP’s anyway. The season is effectively a write of already.

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        Chad

        McLaren have just anounced they have withdrawn from the Melb GP.
        Apparently several of their team members are quarentined with cv19
        Now i am waiting for the full cancellation !

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    Steve of Cornubia

    If there is indeed a deadly ‘Iranian strain’ then it’s already here in Oz. Two or possibly three (reports are not clear) confirmed cases involve people who had recently returned from Iran.

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    Orson Olson

    We’ve known better. But I know Dutch health leaders have claimed otherwise. This study shows the Covid19 virus can spread throught the air force few hours:

    Tests indicate coronavirus can survive in the air
    The Hill ^ | March 11th, 2020 | By John Bowden
    Posted on 3/11/2020, 10:09:21 PM by Mariner

    Federally funded tests conducted by scientists from several major institutions indicated that the novel form of coronavirus behind a worldwide outbreak can survive in the air for several hours.

    A study awaiting peer review from scientists at Princeton University, the University of California-Los Angeles and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted online Wednesday indicated that the COVID-19 virus could remain viable in the air “up to 3 hours post aerosolization,” while remaining alive on plastic and other surfaces for up to three days.

    “Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of HCoV-19 is plausible, as the virus can remain viable in aerosols for 42 multiple hours and on surfaces up to days,” reads the study’s abstract.

    The test results suggest that humans could be infected by the disease simply carried through the air or on a solid surface, even if direct contact with an infected person does not occur. That finding, if accepted, would come in stark contrast to previous media reports that suggested the virus was not easily transmittable outside of direct human contact.

    (Excerpt) Read more:
    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/487110-tests-indicate-coronavirus-can-survive-in-the-air

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      OriginalSteve

      Does sound rather hardy, doesn’t it….almost like it was ( ahem ) built that way…..

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      LightningCamel

      The paper was also careful to say that the tests were under artificial conditions and that there was still no evidence that the virus had become airbourne in the wild

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    Deplorable Lord Kek

    “The Australian government’s top health advisors have told the national security committee they do not recommend putting a travel ban on Europe at this stage, after the United States banned much of the travel from the continent.”

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    tonyb

    Last week I posted a comment remarkably similar to the first paragraph of jo’s piece above and was roundly told off by one commentator.

    A hint of why Italy has been so badly affected might come from the item towards the foot of the Italian article I previously linked to.

    “Italians are famously afraid of being “struck by air”. Many believe that having your neck or other delicate areas exposed to draughts will guarantee you’re swiftly struck down with flu or pneumonia.

    While this isn’t strictly true, according to the Italian health ministry, the weather can indirectly influence how flu spreads. In very cold weather, people spend more time shut indoors and the dry air may make the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract more susceptible to infection. Meanwhile, droplets coughed up by patients could float around for longer in dry air shut inside rooms during cold weather.”

    If the wider Italian lockdown confines people to their homes it might cause more problems than it solves as they will be inhaling their own germs.

    I understand that over 80 percent of those who have died in Italy of the virus are over 70 and the vast majority of those who have died had serious existing medical conditions that made them vulnerable, whether to corona virus or to flu

    To summarise;

    The virus is overwhelmingly more serious for older people than younger ones, especially those with existing health problems . Italy has one of the oldest populations in Europe. They socialise more, and have a strong family oriented culture whereby the old and young-without symptoms- might mix more than in more reticent cultures.

    Italy has a higher incidence of smoking than the UK or Australia, compromising underlying health . It is a much more tactile country -hugging and kissing even strangers, helping to spread the virus. Italians are much more likely to go home, close the windows and stew in their own germs (see article) . I also understand that the ‘L’ strain prevalent in Italy is by far the most virulent strain.

    So you have a perfect storm of factors and whilst I appreciate there are a lot of generalities they do have some truth in them. Italy has a surprising number of flu infections and it is sad but likely that some (many?)of the corona virus deaths might have succumbed otherwise to the flu virus during this season.

    Like Trump today we should have banned flights from virus hot spots, but I suspect that horse bolted 2 weeks ago. So the advice remains of washing hands frequently with soap and water, not mixing with crowds, don’t socialise, ventilate houses and of course buy as much toilet paper every day that you can stuff in your car.

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      David A

      Tony, while I agree with most of your post, one question and one disagreement.

      Do you have any evidence of lower then average influenza in Italy? ( The US is having an above average influenza year). As Italy’s hospitals are over run, I seriously doubt the relevancy of your speculation here.

      As to the ‘horse is out of the barn” assertion, how is that cogent to not stoping flights now? Importing more infected equals more out breaks in more cities requiring greater travel restrictions and quarantines to control.

      Oh, and yes, hopefully most populations will not be as sucepitable to this virus, meaning travel restrictions and quarantines will be more effective in preventing hospitals from being overrun.

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        tonyb

        David

        “Do you have any evidence of lower then average influenza in Italy?”

        I don’t see where I claimed that. Rather I was surprised by the number of Italian flu cases as I tend to think of it as being more prevalent in colder, wetter countries. From the original Italian link I note this:(dated jan 19th)

        “Since the start of flu season in October 2019, 2,768,000 cases across the country have been confirmed by laboratory tests, according to data from InfluNet published on January 19.

        A total of 488,000 cases were reported last week alone, signalling that flu season is hitting its peak in January as predicted.

        READ ALSO: These are the Italian regions worst hit by the flu outbreak

        240 deaths have so far been reported, slightly lower than the expected 258. Most of the fatal cases are elderly patients who suffered complications after contracting the virus.”

        I do not know the progression of flu since then in Italy .

        As regards the UK with which I am much more familiar, it has to date been a very light season. The average of 17000 deaths annually over the last 5 years is likely to be fortunately well short, whether you add in flu and Covid 19.

        As regards flu, I think that the correct strain of vaccine was chosen this year. In 2014 we had 28000 deaths from flu. Bearing this in mind-and I know its different- the panic over covid 19 seems overdone. We have had 10 covid 19 deaths unfortunately since the first outbreak on Jan 31st. In an average season we would be having some 76 deaths a day from flu. The media seem far less exercised by this.

        Don’t forget that only a decade or so ago we were told up to 400,000 deaths in the UK were expected from BSE. We have had 177 to date, so there is some natural scepticism amongst the older generation.

        No its not too late to shut the stable door, but a whole herd of horses has already escaped that it would have been better to pen in the barn two weeks ago. I expect diplomacy got in the way

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          David A

          Hi Tony, I read your…

          “I understand that over 80 percent of those who have died in Italy of the virus are over 70 and the vast majority of those who have died had serious existing medical conditions that made them vulnerable, whether to corona virus or to flu”

          …as indicative of your expressed attitude that concern here is overdone and indicative of a view that they would have died anyway.

          While panic is never an advised response, the only reason this virus has not burned it self out, (Infected 70 plus percent of a cities population, making Italy’s dire situation today look like a walk in the park) is that the hard hit areas have done complete travel bans, and strong quarantines.

          In those areas as the virus spread then slows, some are then saying, ” Oh look, we overreacted”. It is not logical, but human. IMV you are politely and gently moving in that direction.

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            David A

            I do not understand your skepticism of much of “science” these days.
            I tend to watch what governments do, not what they say. I am convinced there is good reason for the strong actions in this case. Like you, I wish they had done more sooner.

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              David A

              Tony, I meant to say I DO understand you skepticism…

              Also, speaking of flu in the UK, Tony says…”The average of 17,000 deaths annually over the last 5 years…”

              Wow, that’s really high for your population. The last 10 year average in the US is about 30,000 deaths. But 327 million people. The UK flu death would equate to an annual US flu mortality of about 85,000. A bit worse then our worst year.

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              • #

                David

                The average was skewed by 28000 deaths in I think 2014 when the wrong vaccine was chosen

                I checked the numbers after someone elsewhere claimed 68000 deaths in the US which I was sceptical about but it turned out to be correct.

                Numbers are very variable year on year and as I say if they were highlighted as being around 75 deaths a day they put the current virus numbers into perspective

                However for some reason they don’t get highlighted which is probably fortunate in as much the panic over one death a day would be nothing compared to 75 a day

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        Environment Skeptic

        There is a lot of under-reporting in other countries. Spain, Germany etc…

        The numbers in Italy are very uncertain in my opinion.

        I have cousins in Italy who are asking, maybe there is under-reporting in Italy.

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    joseph

    This caught my attention . . . . and it’s a very interesting article . . . . 20,000 are American . . . .

    https://nexusnewsfeed.com/article/geopolitics/30-000-soldiers-arrive-in-europe-without-masks

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    Mikky

    In the UK there have been 8 deaths, all elderly people in poor health. Think about what that implies. Where did these people catch it? Not from skiing trips to Italy, or business trips to China, it must have been from garden centres, supermarkets, buses, or doctors surgeries.

    The virus must already be widespread, being spread by people who think they only have a cold or the flu.

    A Chinese study of a cluster found that it arose from a bus trip taken by an infected person, 13 people on the bus ended up with it.

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    beowulf

    Here’s the news out of Lombardi from the coordinator of 600 ICU beds.
    Coronavirus was “a bomb”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=374&v=9mrPHO-nkVE&feature=emb_logo

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    beowulf

    If you need some comic relief from the virus threat. An old skit from Cheers.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tqdOwOxY3s&feature=emb_logo

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    WXcycles

    Something very strange in Germany’s situation too. Almost 2,000 cases and a puny number of died and critical. Completely unlike Italy.

    Germany | Died | % Died
    1,966 | 3 | 0.15

    Germany | Critical | % Critical
    1,966 | 9 | 0.46

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      David A

      Must remember to look at recovered numbers. Currently Germany is 1996 cases, only 25 recovered. From symptoms to the ICU is at least a week. In long duration to critical condition diseases, experiencing exponential growth, especially in the beginning, the death count will always be low. A high early death count indicates poor testing.

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        WXcycles

        No, it isn’t that. France and Spain both have a similar number of cases to Germany, but their deaths and critical cases are and order of magnitude larger, but also quite consistent with each other.

        France | Died | % Died
        2,281 | 48 | 2.10 %
        France | Critical | % Critical
        2,281 | 105 | 4.60 %


        Spain | Died | % Died
        2,277 | 55 | 2.42 %
        Spain | Critical | % Critical
        2,277 | 126 | 5.53 %

        Germany has a completely different situation.

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          David A

          True WX, good post, as Germany only shows 9 serious – critical.

          Keep in mind Spain shows 189 recovered to only 12 in Germany, so the mortality record of death to recovered is much closer. ( possibly indicating older cases in Spain) Keep in mind that Germany’s fatalities just doubled in one day. If I had the will I would check the age of the total cases in each nation. Other possibilities, different strain of the virus. Better health care. Starting in a younger crowd.

          Another critical thing to look at is testing, when it began, how many are tested, how closely where potential exposed found and tested.

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            WXcycles

            Good points David. Starting and spreading in a younger more isolated group seems a likely source of difference.

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    Mike Jonas

    Jo – Something that you could perhaps add : only the movement of people has to be stopped. With suitable care, goods can still be transported. So although the economic effect will be large, a lot of business can continue, using video conferencing (climate scientists – do you hear me?) and other electronic communication while there can still be movement of goods. Large gatherings – concerts, sporting events, etc -and some transport are likely to be hardest hit.

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      robert rosicka

      Mike it was mentioned in one of the first threads Jo did on the virus , it takes weeks for a ship to travel here .

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    TdeF

    One observation is that the virus is reported to be very intolerant of heat and dies quickly at 25-26C and above. This is not the flu season for that reason. In Italy, Wuhan and Iran, it is cold.

    In Melbourne today, 31C and less at night and it will cool tomorrow for the Grand Prix, but it may cover partially for the failure to stop the flights and minimize transmission during the asymptomatic period. Any good news is welcome.

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      TdeF

      Also it is not school holidays, the worst period for transmission as children are not touched by this virus and as I have observed all my life, the greatest vector for new flus into Australia. Two weeks after the start of term, these little virus harvesters have done their job, every term, every year.

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      el gordo

      ‘ … very intolerant of heat and dies quickly at 25-26C and above.’

      I’ll need a link before I roll up my swag?

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      Analitik

      intolerant of heat and dies quickly at 25-26C and above

      Awesome! My body temp is higher than that so I’ll be immune.

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    Tim Spence

    Yes, it occurred to me that different strains were out there already.
    Another thing is that Italians and Spanish greet with a kiss on each cheek, even on first acquaintance, men kiss women, women kiss women, and close family men sometimes kiss.

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    Bill In Oz

    “All healthcare staff ensure additional protection by using protective goggles to prevent nosocomial infections or what is known as hospital transmissions. Also, those in high risk occupations having to deal and come in contact with lots of people each day such as immigration officials, security guards, sales and service staff, should also be using protective goggles to avoid the risk of exposure to the virus from asymptomatic individuals.”

    https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/virus-research-shows-that-mask-alone-not-sufficient-as-protective-goggles-also-required-by-healthcare-staff-and-others-to-prevent-contracting-sars-cov

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  • #
    Deano

    This reminds me of a slow-motion version of the September 11 attacks. We’re all watching it happen, seeing it with our own eyes and knowing it’s not a movie but not quite being able to believe it’s actually happening. But of course, Nostradamus predicted this 465 years ago!

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    Richard Ilfeld

    The US has taken pretty bold action. Since the CDC is admitting it will slow, but not stop the virus, clearly we are trying to flatten the curve in order to extend
    health care resources. The US does not have a huge number of ICU beds compared to other countries. It does have a huge number of medical facilities. The political complaint often heard in our elections is the we spend far more on “health care” than other nations. But we get something for our money. We have a vast array of medical facilities, from
    casual “come-in-if-you-slip-and-fall” clinics to a vast array of outpatient surgical sites. We’ve built more-or-less capable “clinic” facilities into sports arenas, high schools,
    industrial installations, police and fire stations. We may not need these, if the draconian travel and event canceling measures work.
    The US is just coming out of winter, and will see very warm temperatures everywhere within 90 days, and in 80% of our geography within 60 days.

    It is interesting to watch a slow motion crisis unfold during a political campaign.

    If we all spend a month or two at home, and have more time to think, and deal with ideas instead of things, and plan on how we will change our lives
    when we get to the other side of this, we may be very changed.

    Part of our brain will year for life to return to “normal”. It will not.

    The airlines, for example, are now ‘fogging’ planes with disinfectant between flights. They are screening flyers. Why would this change back?

    In many ways, large and small, there will be a new normal. I think it is worth pointing out, in this context, that all of the policies on the left are,
    in many ways, reactionary. There is no socialist theory of wealth creation, or for funding (capitalizing) innovation and research, or for the creative destruction of
    old business models and the developments of new ones. Redesign of sports arenas so you can operate at a reduced level in the next crisis is not a problem of
    interest to socialism. Neither is increasing medical costs to provide reserve capacity for the infrequent epidemic.

    AS I’ve sat at home for the last few days, mostly thinking, I found myself trying to remember the last times I sat at home for a few days, mostly thinking.

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    Orson Olson

    Germany’s Bundeswehr Institute for Microbiological Research confirms big viral shedding early on in asymptomatic Covid19 virus infections:

    “Patients infected with the coronavirus are the most contagious BEFORE they get severe symptoms – and they can still spread the killer illness when they feel better, study finds”

    -DailyMail

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      Susan Fraser

      Hey Orson,
      Thanks for that reference
      The Guardians story by Ian Sample 22 March is also finally telling the story of infections spread by people yet to show symptoms.
      I’m trying hard to get this story told in NZ where our Ministry of Health advice that Covid19 is only spread by people showing symptoms. And the NZ Catholic Bishops haven’t listened yet either.

      Now it’s out in the mainstream thank goodness

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        Susan Fraser

        The NZ Catholic Bishop have let me know they have taken action to protect against Covid19 infection. At last and thank you to Cardinal John Dew and Bishops

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  • #

    In Colorado there are 9 Australians in Pikin county that all have tested positive for corvid-19.

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    Henning Nielsen

    Italy is so heavily affected because the first virus victims were healthcare staff, treating Chinese persons. And before the danger was fully realised, it had spread through the healthcare systems of Lombardia, and huge numbers of contacts with patients and their relatives. It was not of Iranian origin.

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    Deplorable Lord Kek

    Israeli Research Center to Announce It Developed Coronavirus Vaccine, Sources Say

    “Scientists at the Biological Research Institute are making significant breakthroughs in understanding the virus, the sources say, but a long process of pre-clinical and clinical trials is to follow

    According to medical sources, the scientists have recently had a significant breakthrough in understanding the biological mechanism and qualities of the virus, including better diagnostic capability, production of antibodies for those who already have the virus and development of a vaccine. ”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-research-center-to-announce-it-developed-coronavirus-vaccine-sources-say-1.8665074

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    Robber

    From Australian Dept of Health: “As at 11:00 hrs on 12 March 2020, we have 126 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including 3 deaths, in Australia.”
    That’s up from 25 cases at the start of March. First 5 days of March, 32 new cases, next five days 55 cases.

    China reached 100 coronavirus deaths just nine days after it passed 100 cases of infection, while Italy took 10 days to reach that mark. By comparison, Japan has recorded only 12 deaths, 19 days after it hit 100 cases of infection, while South Korea is up to 61 deaths, 20 days after its 100th infection. Countries that have adopted radical “social distancing” measures, such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, have slowed the spread of the disease within their borders, while countries with less rigorous policies — including Italy and the US — had experienced exponential growth in case numbers and deaths.

    As Australia passed 100 cases on March 10, and it seems we have only just started to ramp up testing, what will be the numbers by March 20?

    From WHO, USA now 987 cases, with 291 new in 24 hours, 29 total deaths, UK now 460, 87 new, 6 deaths.
    At the start of March, USA had 62 cases, UK had just 23 cases.

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      Andrew McRae

      Those figures look like +14% per day, but they are inflated by bursts in discovery. The rate from 3.5 weeks of Australian case data is closer to +9% per day.
      As challenging as that may be for us, other countries have been logging cases compounding at nearly +33% per day [ https://i.imgur.com/J4Gg3qB.png ] .

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      Robber

      “As at 11:00 hrs on 13 March 2020, we have 156 confirmed cases”.
      So big jump of 34 from previous day – highest daily increase had been 20.

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        Bill In Oz

        Last Saturday it was 84 !
        Doubled in 6 days !

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        Andrew McRae

        Sure, so that is right on track, as I said.
        The exponential regression of the previous 3.5 weeks data produces a projection of 129.9 cumulative cases by 11 March, 155.2 for 13 March, and 169.6 by end of Saturday. This is what exponential growth at 1.962 * e^(0.089*t) looks like. The discoveries are being made in variable sized infection clusters so the actuals aren’t smooth, they’re bursty, and it will take another 2 weeks of data to tell if the underlying trend is changing.

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      Environment Skeptic

      Thanks David.
      It goes to prove my point that nuclear power is never a good idea.
      If the key maintenance staff are absent, nuclear power is the worst kind of accident waiting to happen.

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    Susan Fraser

    CNN interesting story on how Seegeene developed their Covid19 test kits in three weeks fo $20 each, mechanized bulk anaysis

    Might be how they’ve kept their mortality rate lower, by identifying asymptomatic infections

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    dinn, rob

    complexities everywhere; simplicity could help
    3-11-20 China has offered to send teams of experts as well as surplus protective gear, respirators and other equipment it no longer needs now that the virus is on the retreat there but spreading in other countries. https://www.heraldextra.com/business/the-latest-spain-s-virus-cases-pass-hit-elderly-hard/article_eccb6f9f-b73b-5421-be1f-7789f793a800.html
    ……………….
    NEW CASES IN PAST WEEK
    TOTAL CASES
    CASES PER 100K RESIDENTS
    Italy
    11,255
    15,113
    25
    Iran
    6,562
    10,075
    12
    Spain
    2,691
    2,950
    6
    France
    2,496
    2,876
    5
    Germany
    1,887
    2,369
    3
    Sources: Local governments; The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University; CIA World Factbook. Data as of 5:14 p.m. E.T., Mar. 12. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps-italy-iran-korea.html

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  • #

    Too much chatter about a global economic crash after years of money-printing and pumped-up markets. I could have missed that virus story! (Fortunately I was alerted when Pope Francis had his coughing fit round the time of the toilet paper truck fire.)

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    doubtingdave

    Last thing I expect of this blog is for conspiracy theory , calm down . The flu has a inoklulation but this virile does not yet , take a chill pill and calm down

    [ Dave I can't find a post that has any mention of a conspiracy] AD

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    Bill In Oz

    Jo in her post focussed on the situation in Italy. Here is a doctor’s report and suggestions,
    On the current situation in Italy
    ( And No I do not often read Newsweek )
    https://www.newsweek.com/young-unafraid-coronavirus-pandemic-good-you-now-stop-killing-people-opinion-1491797

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      Bill In Oz

      The Philippines with just 51 COVID 19 disease cases has declared a lockdown for the city of Manila with 12 + million people !
      No domestic travel in or out of Manila.
      Some thing weird is going on I think.
      1 : For Duterte to do this, there must be far far more unreported COVID 19 cases happening. Probably because testing is relatively expensive in the Phiippines and is paid by the person being tested.

      2: it seems that flying in or out of the Philippines is still allowed. There are 35,000 Australians living in the Philippines. Mostly older retired with Pinoy families. So Australia had best prepare for a significant number of COVID refugees to fly in shortly seeking a safer place to live until this burns itself out.

      https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1241003/duterte-puts-metro-manila-under-community-quarantine

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    Peter Fitzroy

    What are we going to do when triage rejects people over 60 (like me) as a strained system is unable to cope.
    Given that we have failed at the borders, we are likely to fail in treatment.
    Why?
    We had time to stockpile test kits (there are many manufacturers in the world, Germany makes the best), but we did not.
    Effective and efficient and cheap testing would work
    Now we face a lack of resources, and a disincentive for part timers and casuals (who are the main customer focused workers) to self isolate ,means that the boomers will be the most likely thrown onto the pyre, as this pandemic takes hold

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    LightningCamel

    I had a thought about something useful the government could do. There are many people in Australia, many of them older, who are right now struggling with a decision to go or not on an overseas trip where they have already paid airfares. Commonsense would tell you that the safe course is to stay at home. For many an overseas trip is a significant, perhaps once in a lifetime, event which imposes great pressure to take the risk.

    ScoMo could do a good thing for the little people by requiring airlines and travel companies to refund purchases or provide open dated replacements for people caught in this position. This would be good for the individuals and good for the country because these travellers would have to be cared for or quarantined if they made it back home.

    Another data source with some interesting customisable graphs and projections https://avatorl.org/covid-19/ This is a resource heavy site which takes a long time to load on my tablet but OK on my pc.

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    PeterS

    With so many things happening (virus, run on various essential items, financial crises, etc.) it’s hard to imagine Trump not declaring a national emergency. Once he does it should give him more resources and powers to combat the spreading disease.

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    • #
      el gordo

      This is all your fault, manifesting crash and burn illustrates the power of one.

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      • #
        PeterS

        This is not the crash and burn scenario I’ve been warning about, at least I hope not. The crash and burn scenario is till a long way away. I have several reasons to believe that but won’t go into them here as they would take pages.

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    Bill In Oz

    In order to stop the further spread of Corona 19 virus in India,
    India is suspending the issuing of all visas to travellers wishing to enter India until April 15th
    ( Exceptions apply for diplomatic personnel )
    India ( officially ) had just 73 cases on the 12/3/2020

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-51847620

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    • #
      el gordo

      It would be good if we had some clarity on this.

      ‘RR Gangakhedkar from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said he was confident of India’s capability in managing the outbreak. But he added that there was no evidence that a rise in temperature will be helpful.

      “We don’t have data to support the theory that the coronavirus won’t be as effective in summers,” he added.

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        Bill In Oz

        Ket’s see what what sunlight & vitamin D3 does.
        I don’t think that temperature per se makes any difference.

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      el gordo

      “Other viral respiratory diseases are seasonal, including influenza and therefore in many viral respiratory diseases we do see a decrease in spring and summer,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said. “And so we can certainly be optimistic that this disease will follow suit.” CNBC

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    Anne

    I have faithfully read your site for years, but feel I will not be doing so in the future. You have contributed to this scare/panic. With regards to Italy, if you had read a little more you would have known that many factories in northern Italy have been sold to Chinese people. Apparently there were direct flights from Wuhan into the region and something like 100,000 Chinese were working in these factories. Easy to see why the virus has taken hold….

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      Environment Skeptic

      I am nearing that impression too Anne.
      If there was some variety in the posts, however it is all doom and gloom and fear…lots of fear with a focus on lockdown.
      I have family in Italy and it is the view of my brief talk with key family members that many think other countries are under-reporting numbers. They themselves do not know anyone who has contracted the virus in their circle of friends.
      It is not as easy as simply quoting numbers, bits here, bits there.

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        David A

        Facts are not fear, and facts are not individually rooted. Fear however is.

        If you disagree with the general assertion that, sans the travel band and quarantines, this virus will only run out of steam when it runs out of hosts; after infecting 70 plus percent of the population, then state your reasons.

        Explain why you would risk both an economic colapse, and a macrabe death scene that would make the current struggles in Italy ook like a cake walk.

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    RickWill

    The Aus F1 GP has been cancelled. Just before first test runs.

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      Chad

      Why the delayed announcement ?
      It seems some (all?) the teams knew yesterday such that key personell and some drivers were on early morning flights today ack home !
      So why the farce at Albert Park this morning ?

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    RickWill

    All Ords peaked at 7255 a few weeks back. Right now it is at 5012 – 7255/5012 = 1.50. 50% increase needed to recover lost ground in just a couple of weeks.

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    RickWill

    This is an interesting video on recovery from COVID-19
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9oqvJ3iXGI

    Connor Reed, a British man who works at a school in Wuhan, explains how it felt to have the Covid-19 coronavirus, discusses what life is like after 40 days in lockdown and how he thinks people in the UK would cope in similar circumstances.

    He has been in his room for 40 days.

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    TedM

    Considering the dispersion of the Australian populous, I fear the the flying doctor may be more than a little over taxed. I guess it depends on just how quickly we isolate affected communities to restrict the spread.

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    Matty

    Was thinking the same thing last night. How many light aircraft pilots would want to be in that seat with infected persons on board. Moving these people around will be a challenge. Won’t be enough planes actually.

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    Bill In Oz

    The ABC online has published a list of “Victoria’s public exposure sites”
    Places currently known where infected persons have spent time in the last week.
    I think we urgently need this type of information for all the states & territories of Australia.
    So we can assess whether we have perhaps been infected also.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-13/victoria-coronavirus-outbreak-sites-grow-as-schools-prepare/12053174

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