JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Doc talks about his “Holy S***” moment — horrible lung failure even in young patients

For most people Coronavirus is like the flu or even a cold, but for 20% it’s something awful. Even in younger patients — a few seemingly fit and healthy 40 and 50 year olds are gasping for air as their lungs fill with blood and fluid and it’s “like a near death drowning” or “inhaling caustic gas”. Forgive the language in the headline — those were this docs exact words. He’s working at a New Orleans hospital and his whole attitude to the virus has changed dramatically.

h/t Analitik

A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients

by Lixzzie Presser, ProPublica

“It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube and out of his mouth. The ventilator should have been doing the work of breathing but he was still gasping for air, moving his mouth, moving his body, struggling. We had to restrain him. With all the coronavirus patients, we’ve had to restrain them. They really hyperventilate, really struggle to breathe. When you’re in that mindstate of struggling to breathe and delirious with fever, you don’t know when someone is trying to help you, so you’ll try to rip the breathing tube out because you feel it is choking you, but you are drowning.

If you don’t feel motivated to stay home and order online, then go read all of this story at ProPublica from end to end. Most likely, if you catch Coronavirus, this won’t happen to you. But the whole pain of quarantine might look like a small price to pay. How many people in each cohort does this dire situation occur too? Perhaps it’s only 1 in a 1000. Or perhaps it’s more. Can someone find the latest stats from Italy on how many need ICU in different cohorts. Presumably, if the mortality rate is 40% with ARDS, then this happens to 2.5 times whatever the mortality rate is.

UPDATE: In comments Lee Valentine points out the doc’s in New Orleans should not have restrained the patient. They should have been paralyzed and unconscious (as the other ICU specialist described in this video).

I was disappointed to read this report of the corona virus ARDS cases. Disappointed because the cases were mismanaged. ARDS victims should NOT be restrained, EVER. They MUST be paralyzed with drugs.

So far, I have had only one corona ARDS patient. He arrived four days ago. There are two now in my hospital. It’s a serious worry that if Los Angeles gets many more we’ll not have enough specialists who know how to manage them. If our current rate of new cases continues, we’ll have all ventilators available in use for corona ARDS in a few weeks.” — Lee Valentine

This is knocking out what should be perfectly fit, healthy people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…then all of a sudden, they go into complete respiratory arrest, shut down and can’t breathe at all.”

“It’s called acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS. That means the lungs are filled with fluid. And it’s notable for the way the X-ray looks: The entire lung is basically whited out from fluid. Patients with ARDS are extremely difficult to oxygenate. It has a really high mortality rate, about 40%.

“In my experience, this severity of ARDS is usually more typical of someone who has a near drowning experience — they have a bunch of dirty water in their lungs — or people who inhale caustic gas. Especially for it to have such an acute onset like that. I’ve never seen a microorganism or an infectious process cause such acute damage to the lungs so rapidly. That was what really shocked me.”

“Once I saw these patients with it, I was like, Holy shit, I do not want to catch this and I don’t want anyone I know to catch this.”

There is also lung damage so bad that survivors may suffer long term scarring and loss of capacity. In his hospital they are already rationing masks, working 12 hour shifts, and it has barely begun.

China didn’t tell the world.

______________________________________________

Coronavirus Background: ☀ The Demographics: 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. ☀ Proof that viruses don’t have wings and we should have stopped all flights so much earlier. ☀ The story of how American Samoa avoided Flu Deaths with quarantine in 1918. ☀ The story of Vo, the Italian town that stopped the virus. ☀ Delay = Death, statistics show mortality rates rise tenfold if hospitals are overwhelmed. ☀ Projections of all US States death tolls depending on quarantine levels and the date that hospitals could be overwhelmed ☀ One doctor describes his “Holy S***” moment ☀ ☀ ☀

We must Crush the Curve to save lives and the economy.

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 Coronavirus data in Australia

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.8/10 (57 votes cast)
Doc talks about his "Holy S***" moment -- horrible lung failure even in young patients, 8.8 out of 10 based on 57 ratings

226 comments to Doc talks about his “Holy S***” moment — horrible lung failure even in young patients

  • #
    PeterS

    How does it compare to influenza-related ARDS?

    60

    • #
      Analitik

      The doctor in the ICU says it’s far worse. Read the article (pink foam from blood coming out of the lungs with the ventilator turned up to max + oxygen)

      Again, no one saw my earlier post on this article – sigh

      60

      • #
        Don B

        The U.S. is doing something important.

        Topline: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that drug trials to test coronavirus treatments will begin in the state Tuesday, after President Trump on Thursday said the Food and Drug Administration approved one of the drugs for clinical trials, as New York becomes the epicenter for the pandemic in the U.S.

        During a Sunday press briefing, Cuomo said 750,000 doses of chloroquine, 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine and 10,000 doses of Zithromax were acquired by New York state for the trial.

        Chloroquine (an anti-malaria drug) and hydroxychloroquine (used for lupus and arthritis) were approved by the FDA for clinical trials as possible coronavirus treatments, while Zithromax is a brand-name antibiotic.

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/03/22/new-york-to-begin-clinical-trials-for-coronavirus-treatment-tuesday-cuomo-says/#2dbcb8814203

        110

        • #
          observa

          Bully for them.
          That’s the Hypocritic Oath at work is it? Now I wonder what sort of doctors would prescribe drugs for their mates on a rumour?

          214

          • #

            Given the very positive ‘anecdotal’ reports and the known safety of these drugs, would it even be ethical to do the double blind test required to establish efficacy? If you had Covid-19, would you want the placebo?

            BTW, doctors have been prescribing both of these drugs for Covid-19 patients even before the FDA said it was an approved treatment. I suspect that these drugs also contributed to the curves flattening out in both China and S Korea.

            120

          • #
            William Astley

            Come on man. It is the patient’s decision, not the doctor.

            There is clinical evidence that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can kill the virus and save your life.

            There are not enough ventilators and you do not want lung scarring.

            I would call that a no brainer.

            140

        • #
          Spetzer86

          Given that the chloroquines are widely used and have a long safety history, even if the probability of success was low it’d make sense to start dosing front-line health care workers. The few studies out there regarding corona and these drugs are very promising.

          My concern here is like everything else, where do you think the drug comes from and how much of these drugs do you think is available globally? The volumes you’d need to treat a significant amount of the global population is pretty staggering. Just ramping production up to treat known cases likely exceeds current ability just because there isn’t enough of the drug to hand.

          Also, at least in the USA, doctors can prescribe just about any available drug for a condition if they have reason to believe it will benefit the patient. Most will stick to the tried and true, but it doesn’t preclude them from trying something from the fringe.

          140

          • #
            Konrad

            Yes! Start dosing the health workers. The drug is not just useful in treating infections, it appears to also have a prophylactic effect, preventing infection. This could dramatically reduce health worker’s risk.

            60

  • #
    Greg

    Joe,
    Big thx for the Propublica link which really should be publicised further as compulsory reading – may wake some of the moronic beach-goers at Bondi, etc that this virus is really serious…thank you China…..lest we forget….

    111

  • #
    bradd

    “Many are relatively young, in their 40s and 50s, and have minimal, if any, preexisting conditions in their charts.”

    This is so totally unlike the experience in Australia, or every other place I have read about, that I am baffled.

    I wish we could get some hard information from our hospitals on the number of patients being treated, their condition, and their ages. Such figures are vastly more important than “Number of Cases” which we hear endlessly about.

    180

    • #
      Deplorable Lord Kek

      Maybe two (or more?) strains?

      120

      • #
        Bulldust

        There are many variants … RNA changes relatively quickly. One of the hopes is that a relatively innocuous variant spreads out and inoculates most of the population.

        https://nextstrain.org/ncov

        Ebola mutated into a relatively harmless variant which created herd immunity. Think about it this way … if it kills too quickly a bug will wipe itself out unless the contagion rate is very high. A successful virus will not impair the host too much, or only kill very slowly, giving it a lot of opportunity to spread. The combination of a relatively contagious virus, in this case, lowish mortality (unless hospitals get overwhelmed, or the medical infrastructure is poor) and a long incubation period makes this one particularly nasty.

        110

    • #
      icisil

      When it doesn’t make sense, start looking at other factors.

      Do they have hypertension and take ACE inhibitors that increase ACE2 expression in the lungs, possibly making for nastier infections? Anthony Fauci of the NIH thinks that possibility needs to examined, and fast. Start @ 10:22.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXY76TKNy2Y

      Do they vape? Vaping illness (EVALI) has the same symptoms, morbidity and mortality as this illness and appeared for the first time just a few months before this illness.

      https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/investigations/2019/09/19/vaping-illness-deaths-symptoms-what-we-know-lung-injury-outbreak-ecigarettes-juul-thc/2365322001/

      Are they immigrants from countries with endemic TB? TB has the same symptoms as this illness and can’t be diagnosed without a TB test.

      We really can’t determine anything until we have these data.

      60

      • #
        Roger Knights

        “Do they vape? Vaping illness (EVALI) has the same symptoms, morbidity and mortality as this illness and appeared for the first time just a few months before this illness.

        https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/investigations/2019/09/19/vaping-illness-deaths-symptoms-what-we-know-lung-injury-outbreak-ecigarettes-juul-thc/2365322001/

        The Sept. 19, 2019 story you linked to deals with the situation in Wisconsin and misleadingly says, “The only common thread was vaping.” However, the story IT links to, from three days earlier and with much more detail, says:
        “In Wisconsin, the vast majority of teens and adults who became sick had used THC vape cartridges, which are illegal in the state but readily available on the black market.”

        Interestingly, one of the four ingredients in vape fluid, polypropylene glycol, when vaporized has an antiviral effect. Here’s a string of four comments from an article on the Reason magazine site on the 16th that include a link to a medical article:

        lafe.long, March.16.2020 at 3:50 pm
        The Protection of Mice against Infection with Air-borne Influenza Virus by Means of Propylene Glycol Vapor.
        They have now extended their observations to the effect of propylene glycol vapour on influenza virus. Vapour was employed instead of an aerosol because it has been found that the glycols are much more active in this form, very much smaller amounts being required for effective air sterilization.
        https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19422701086

        Preliminary experiments were made to determine the amount of atomized virus suspension required to produce regular infection of mice followed by extensive lung consolidation and death within 4 to 10 days. Mice were then exposed to this lethal concentration of virus in a chamber into which propylene glycol vapour had been introduced; they regularly failed to contract the infection.

        Diane Reynolds (Paul.), March.16.2020 at 4:00 pm
        So… vaping protects you from virus infection?

        lafe.long, March.16.2020 at 4:12 pm
        According to this study, at least for mice, it would appear so.

        Thirty-two control mice all died in 6-10 days with extensive lung consolidation, whereas 32 mice exposed in the glycol chamber all remained well and showed normal lungs when killed on the 8th day.

        Roger Knights, March.16.2020 at 7:48 pm
        “So… vaping protects you from virus infection?”

        I hope “Are You a Vaper?” gets added to questionnaires given to Covid-19 test-takers and hospitalizations. And that its results indicate a strong prophylactic property. And that the government is then forced to encourage the purchase of e-cigarettes and refills by compensating buyers for their costs. A scene I’d like to see.

        Maybe a machine could do the vaporizing, in hospital rooms, say.
        https://reason.com/2020/03/16/the-cdcs-shift-from-vaping-to-covid-19-highlights-the-crucial-differences-between-real-and-metaphorical-epidemics/#comment-8168762

        00

    • #
      LightningCamel

      All fair questions, that report has been around for some time and sounds like another drip in the “keep them frightened” feed.

      As icicil points out at #3.2, there are other things which do this, how many of these cases are there, is Wuhan virus the actual cause of what is happening or is it, like some of the official Italian cause of death reporting, another case of they had Wuhan virus so that is what they died of.

      20

  • #
    TdeF

    “A crisis is emerging over a cruise ship off Perth carrying 1700 passengers, 250 of them with “upper respiratory illnesses”.

    I would suggest a deal rather than another Ruby Princess, which had no sick people and only 4 cases were found after testing when they had gone home.

    250 is a virus ship and a fully infected ship is likely. That’s 5,000 people on board. They cannot disembark.

    Get 5,000 of those new 30 minute new kits and test everyone on the ship. Including the perhaps 1,500 staff.

    Those who have the virus must stay on board. The rest can disembark only into quarantine, just in case the tests are not perfect.

    The ship must be a floating hospital and containment area for as long as it is needed. No one with the virus should disembark.

    Given the age group likely, hundreds of lives can be saved and hundreds more will be lost.

    280

    • #
      TdeF

      The news item for a ship heading for Perth.

      70

      • #
        TdeF

        These people are on a world cruise, Genoa Italy to Genoa. Not loaded to the maximum, the total number on board might be closer to 3,000 to 3,500. Even those who are not sick will probably be infected by now. This is a catastrophe ship a long way from home.

        140

    • #
      Choroin

      That sounds very disconcerting.

      Totally agree that the ship should be forceably designated a floating hospital.

      It’s not like the cruise ships have anything else do do for the next year or two.

      140

      • #
        TdeF

        An expensive world trip. The average age on this boat is likely 75 with few under 60 except the crew.
        This will impact Australia’s numbers instantly unless the whole ship is classified separately, as happened in Yokohama.

        It is far hotter up North. Perhaps the boat can sail North, to somewhere the average temperature is high enough to kill the airborne virus,
        say Port Hedland at 36C? Turn off the airconditioning. Minimize infection of the staff, who are likely infected already.

        And lots of the new proposed mass treatment with chloroquinine. Nothing to lose. These people will not want to wait for FDA approval.
        The survival of the virus in high temperatures and chloroquinine are the best chance to save them. With this age group and preexisting conditions, the respirators are not going to help any more than in Italy.

        181

        • #
          el gordo

          ‘And lots of the new proposed mass treatment with chloroquinine. Nothing to lose.’

          Good opportunity to test the value of that treatment and hopefully a quick breakthrough.

          170

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Interesting, el gordo.

            I spoke to a couple of pharmacists in Perth today when I was stocking up on Zn and Vit D. I asked them if they could supply hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, if I had a prescription. They said, no; they had none in stock, and I was not the first to ask according to one of them. He also mentioned that he’d made enquiries, this very day, with his suppliers and had been informed they had none either – out of stock.

            So who has it?

            Where’s it gone?

            150

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Are there any Australians on board ?
          Definitely do not allow anyone to disembark !
          And make it a designated hospital..
          Sailing North to Broome would be a good idea
          Except Broome has no capacity to support 3-4000 sick elderly foreigners.
          Better they go to Singapore.
          Let the Singapore government impose their system of managing this disease.
          It’s pretty effective !

          70

          • #
            TdeF

            Nor has Perth. This is more than our National total! The boat is the hospital and it can be isolated, serviced in Port Hedland. It can be attended as well as Perth without the risk to the rest of the city. Fly in, fly out, something for which Perth is famous.

            Maybe Christmas Island? What is most important is some sort of treatment. Hot air 37C, chloroquinone, anything.
            The respirators have not worked in Italy. That is why they are given preferentially to young people as in the story.

            These people are already victims. We have to try something other than just watch and hope. Or infect Perth.

            130

            • #
              TdeF

              And a lot of the rooms are singles. The capacity is 2500 with twin share and with 1700 people, 800 rooms are singles. A hospital does not get any better except for equipment such as oxygen. The laundries on these boats are massive. And it is by definition isolated. This will be a test for everyone in Perth, in Australia. If we can save these people, we might just save a lot of Australians too.

              100

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                Yep. The WA Government has decided to allow the vessel entry to the Port of Fremantle, to refuel, tomorrow.

                There will be no disembarkation permitted.

                Good decision by Premier McGowan.

                Amazingly, the vessel has advised that it has no health issues on board. That’s very good news. That means it can sale on, all the way back to Genoa, without a worry in the world – except for a few passengers who might have wanted to enjoy the delights of Fremantle and Perth.

                We look forward to seeing them when the coast is clear, some time in the future. :-)

                110

              • #

                What are the odds that they still do have some with flu like symptoms but don’t want to tell the world that – now that they realize “it’s every man for himself” and no one wants to help?

                If so, what a humanitarian disaster

                Surely we can achieve something to help them, like as you say, Choroquine, (which factory makes this and is it ramping u p x 100?) The ones that are healthy can be dropped off at Christmas Island?

                There must be something…

                10

              • #
                bobl

                Jo,
                When I get sick with a URTI/LRTI which usually begin with a cough and sore throat I immediately load my vaporiser with pure tea tree oil (TTO) (about 5 drops) and Eucalyptus oil, heat the room to above 25 and put the vaporiser on overnight. I also gargle with a tea made from the leaves of a Malaeluka Alternifolia tree I have in the back yard. That knocks these viral infections out in under 3 days. Just did that successfully a week ago for a particularly nasty sore throat.

                Because there’s an antiviral Vapour in the air being drawn through the windpipe and lungs the virus cant really progress. Nor can the virus propagate well because of the Tea tree Vapour in the room both in the air and settling on surfaces. The Viral load is probably significantly reduced.

                While I am NOT suggesting anyone else follow my suggestion (I’m NOT a doctor and injesting too much TTO can lead to toxicity) I would dearly like somebody to research this very simple infection control method that can be used at home. At the very least low levels of aerosol TTO might be used to protect health workers.

                If I’m wrong no harm done, but if I’m right?

                00

    • #
      tonyb

      But when did these characters set off? If it was within the last six weeks or more then my sympathy is limited. if it was a much longer cruise that set off before this all blew up then my sympathy returns.

      90

      • #
        tonyb

        I wonder if it is this ship

        https://www.iglucruise.com/msc-magnifica/5th-january-2020_c160367

        If so it set sail on 5th January long before anyone had any idea this would happen. Mind you cruises hold not the slightest appeal to me and presumably this sector is now destroyed for years.

        70

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Tony where has it docked since then ?
          And was the virus present at those ports ?
          Probably !
          Ad for the ship’s captain saying “no COVID 19 infections on board”
          Frankly who wants to believe him ?
          If there are infected people on board
          He just wants to get them off his ship ASAP !
          To save the rest on board.
          If they are taken off in Perth
          Then he can ‘wash his hands’ of them.

          20

  • #
    Choroin

    Yep, it was clear quite a while ago that this virus is a totally different animal than the flu.

    I really hope those reports of chloroquine + zinc arresting corona RNA transcription in lung cells turns out to be the silver bullet we need right now to save lives.

    We at least need something to take the edge off of the ARDS.

    It’s quite clear that our hollowed out manufacturing sector can’t even make disposable masks let alone ventilators.

    A vaccine is too far away to prevent the crest of the wave, the ventilators are a no go it seems, and people in Australia are too materialistic and selfish to care about the greater social effect of their carelessness … so, its chloroquine + zinc, or broke, imo.

    100

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    This sounds horrible if confirmed to be a common feature of CV19.

    The notes claim the description to be verified by health professionals. Can this be verified.

    It would be informative to have professional comparisons of extreme cases of Tuberculosis and Influenza.

    Whatever. There’s a link on the site so please feel free to donate to the cause?

    KK

    40

  • #
    Sceptical lefty

    Here’s a question that should be answered — and I’m sorry if someone has already beaten me to it: Is there a point at which the adverse economic, social and political consequences of the actions taken to defeat this virus become greater than the consequences of ‘soldiering on’ (with basic precautions) and allowing the pandemic to run its course? If so, do we know where that point is? (Current toll: about 15,000 worldwide.)
    This isn’t supposed to be a ‘loaded’ question, but a genuine inquiry.

    91

    • #
      PeterS

      I’ve been asking the same question to myself every day. I don’t think anyone really knows the answer. Governments are taking the precautionary approach and doing everything they think is necessary to slow down the spread and minimise the number of deaths.

      The huge spending packages are not going to work for the simple reason small businesses are already making lots of people redundant. My two sons work for two different companies and they both announced today they are getting rid of about half of their workers. Fortunately for my two sons they get to keep their jobs, at least for now. The unemployment rate is going to sky rocket. Business failures will sky rocket. I can’t see what else the government can do to stop the haemorrhaging in the economy. Yet we are being told there is worse to come. Oh dear! Let’s hope we get some good news on the vaccine and/or cure front sooner than we expected.

      90

    • #
      Deplorable Lord Kek

      as – i believe – trump said, once it is over there will be a massive economic boom.

      100

      • #
        PeterS

        That’s what I’ve been expecting for a while now but I’m starting to worry. The sling shot will be impressive. This is provided the markets don’t keep going down hard for more than another week or so. If they do it’s all over red rover and we have to put up with a long bear market perhaps lasting for years.

        81

      • #
        ivan

        But we need to watch out for just who is buying the almost bankrupt companies. I think it will be the likes of Soros and Goldman Sachs and with their backgrounds it doesn’t look a good solution.

        50

    • #
      PeterS

      I’ve also stated many times we run the real risk of throwing the baby out with the bath water thus making things worse not better. There is no way of knowing what is going to happen until it’s mostly over. Anyone who says they do know must have an active link to God or have access to a time machine.

      70

    • #
      Mike Jonas

      Sceptical lefty – I think you ask an extremely good question. The fact that it may make a lot of people uncomfortable is IMHO no reason not to ask it. The government seems to be taking the line that there’s a discontinuity in the curve at the point where the hospital system gets fully loaded. With less cases than that there’s a relatively clear connection between the cost of suppressing the virus and incidence of the virus, so ending up anywhere below full hospital capacity would represent a bit of the economy being “wasted”. But as soon as the hospital system goes overloaded, real human costs go up so fast that it would be very difficult to offset them against any economic benefit. Now that doesn’t really fully answer your question, but I think a reasonable starting point is to say that the full economic+human cost-benefit could be at optimum somewhere near full hospital capacity.

      It could be years before we know, and even then we might not know – it depends on who puts themselves in charge of declaring it, and whether people believe them.

      40

    • #
      Choroin

      Personally, I don’t think taking extreme measures is worse than allowing the virus to ravage the nation and kill large portions of our senior citizens, immune compromised citizens, break civil order and overly traumatize our medical personnel. If we can’t protect the health of such people, then we don’t deserve to have our own nation – I’m not in an at risk group and am healthy male in my late 30′s, for the record.

      Keep in mind, that people will be analyzing this disaster for decades to come, and those nations which were able to manage their way through this while also delivering good outcomes to their citizens, will be remembered by the investment community.

      If other countries crumble into martial law chaos during this crisis, but Australia manages to keep our sh*t together by acting where necessary even if unpopular, investors will see this as the sign of a proactive and responsible investment environment.

      Sometimes long-term thinking has to prevail over the temptation for short-term gain, especially when it means CHOOSING pain in the present.

      Delayed gratification, in human psychology, correlates highly with future prosperity.

      101

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      I can do the calculation for you Sceptical lefty. No problem.

      I can even model a range of outcomes for you and with far greater accuracy than any of the hundreds of climate models have ever been able to obtain.

      I have all the data I need except one figure.

      What value does a Sceptical Lefty put on a human life?

      Give me that figure and we’re away. I’ll hit “Go”.

      60

      • #
        Sceptical lefty

        I’m sure that other contributors have their preferred examples, so I’ll try not to be too extreme.
        It cost something over 500,000 Iraqi lives — many of them children — to contribute to the eventual destruction of Saddam Hussein and his WMDs. According to Madeleine Albright, “It was worth it.”
        A couple of dozen Australian lives were lost in the recent bushfires. This was a national tragedy.
        With a little effort the range could be made more extensive, but I suppose it boils down to whose ox was gored.
        I find myself wondering about the blighted lives of those trying to survive in a deliberately crashed economy. The suffering is broadly spread, but it’s real and lasting for those experiencing it. Those who lived through the Great Depression never forgot the experience, and the (Australian) Depression of the 1890s was arguably worse. Still, while the Black Death resulted in improved conditions for the surviving peasantry, it wasn’t exactly a giggle for those in the middle of it, either.
        If you’re after a direct answer, I don’t place a very high value on the odd life — apart from my own, of course. I’m more focussed on social conditions and the overall minimisation of suffering. I see an excellent prospect of protracted general suffering in the near future if the current crisis is not very carefully managed. Averting this may well be worth a few lives. When it comes to life, I tend to prefer quality to quantity.
        It’s difficult to be more precise. I just hope I can subsequently feel that the actions taken were largely correct.

        40

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          OK. So you can’t put a value on a life. Can you give me an estimated range, that I could plug in to my model?

          Perhaps you might find it easier to slot the deaths into categories? Perhaps something like: poor people, middle class people, rich people, business owners, workers, children, criminals, unemployed, union members, capitalists etc?

          You say: “Averting this may well be worth a few lives. When it comes to life, I tend to prefer quality to quantity”. Perhaps you could be a little more precise on how many lives (deaths really) you think might be appropriate in each category?

          How many is a few? Three? Five? Is the current seven deaths about right? Or does that need to increase by a few orders of magnitude so as to get a better mix across the categories?

          I’m also interested why you place a higher value on your life than on others? Perhaps it’s to do with relativities. Do you value your children’s lives more than your mother’s for example. Relative value will give me a bit of an insight as to what you might think the marginal utility is of life. That would really help.

          At what point do you think there is enough (human) life in the world? What’s your cut-off?

          All I want to do is hit “Go”. Should be a fascinating calculus, no?

          31

          • #
            tonyb

            Sceptical Sam

            To answer your question on estimate ranges you posed to SL I think you first need to ask why the laudable desire to save lives from covid 19 does not extend to other measures to save far greater numbers every year? Of which compulsory flu immunisation, driving 10mph slower, ensuring people live a healthy life style, banning smoking and drugs , providing more affordable heating etc etc all of which would save many more lives each year without crashing the economy.

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

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

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

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

            So perhaps you can factor in 5000 lost due to CV,(minus those who likely would have died in 2020) but saving 141,313 PLUS those not dying due to a healthy economy still providing continued tax resources to the Govt

            70

            • #
              Sceptical lefty

              I just blundered into this link (http://www.theblogmire.com/an-analysis-of-the-covid-19-response-weighing-up-the-threat-from-the-virus-and-the-threat-from-the-reaction/) which I’ll drop here to help inform the debate. It makes my point better than I did.

              30

              • #

                Sceptical

                It seems that people’s lifestyle choices are having a direct impact on their reaction to covid19 as two thirds of those needding a life support machine are overweight obese or morbidly obese according to a report in the Daily Mail

                40

              • #
                Andrew McRae

                It is only really in the last week or so that proper, reliable data has begun to emerge.

                Oh really? Then the actions planned and done up to last Friday were done based on the only data available at the time. Completely destroys the “overreaction” narrative.

                If we know better now, sure, we can change course.
                But 1.4% is still a fair old whack. At an 80% attack rate that’s 280k people down under, in more ways than one. Stopping infection at 10% would still mean 31,000 cark it by 1 July. Still not a good look, and we don’t even have any plan on how to limit it to 10%… other than total lockdown and that probably won’t be perfect.

                10

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Sam, are you overinterpreting this comment?

            10

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Probably.

              But I’m enjoying doing so.

              What fascinates me is the glib approach to the issue.

              Where’s the analyis of the cross-over in cost (in human lives) and benefit? Dollar values need to be ascribed. When it comes to actually putting value on life, all of a sudden it’s a little more complex. Sceptical lefty shied away from it. He made the suggestion but when it came to the crunch – nup.

              So do politicians. And for good reason. Unless, of course, they happen to be members of the Chinese Communist Party. Then glib is their guiding light. Think, Xi and his lock-down. Think, Mao and his Great Leap Forward, or his Great March, or his One Hundred Flowers Blooming. Or Deng Xiaoping’s Tiananmen Square. Or Pol Pot and his Red Khymers, or any of the other psychopaths that seem to think such an analysis is possible and rational.

              I was pleased that Sceptical lefty shied away and passed the buck. There’s hope for humanity in that.

              20

              • #
                LightningCamel

                Sam, you may find the glib approach fascinating but I am finding it annoying, especially things like sidetracking discussion of the relative merits of different options on essentially trivial questions of the dollar calue of a life. If you really want to know that, bureauocrats love those things, the answer is here

                The more important question is the cost benefit, in lives, of these simplistic total shutdown proposals. I don’t know what your model says but there seems to be an assumption that a shutdown will prevent almost all Wuhan virus deaths and that it will cause few deaths of its own. The validity of either assumption is open to serious question.

                30

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                I’m aware the statistical calculation is there LC, along with a range. I’ve been around this stuff for some time.

                Do you think Sceptical lefty would accept $4.2 million (+CPI adjustment) for his life? Or for that of his children?

                The whole cost/benefit analysis proposed by Sceptical lefty is nothing more than an academic navel gazing exercise, in a democracy. A barren exercise.

                Of course, in a totalitarian state you don’t need the analysis.

                Incidentally, in what way will the shut-down cause “deaths of its own”.

                01

              • #
                Sceptical lefty

                O.K., I’ll bite.
                Let’s keep it local for the time being. Australia’s health expenditure is (very) roughly $7500 per citizen per annum at normal levels. We have to come up with a proportionate response to COVID-19 that doesn’t seriously inhibit our economic means of recovering in the post-emergency phase of the crisis.
                For the sake of argument, tack on another $2500 per citizen and we can round the figure nicely to $10000 per citizen.
                Now you have a figure you can plug into your model and press ‘GO’.

                Incidentally, I would be very surprised if governments around the world are not making similar, sanguine calculations — no doubt factoring in esoteric variables such as the political palatability of any proposed solutions and the need to be seen to be doing something.

                00

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      My perspective is that this thing has dropped into the planet via china , fully formed it seems, easily transmissable via air, survives a long times on surfaces, is highly contagious and creates severe upheaval with significant mortality.

      If this doesnt consitute a biow**pon, its a heck of a coincidence or a signifcant Act of God.

      Interesting times….

      81

      • #
        PeterS

        China is saying the US did it. I hope Trump doesn’t take the bait and treat them as fighting words but I suspect China will keep pretending they are innocent in all this. They just hate loosing face. It’s time the world turned on China and told them to grow up.

        130

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          I was speaking to a good friend in the UK, very interesting guy. Hes Indian, done very well in property, owns almost half of south east london I think.

          Anyway, his child is a doc here in Oz, literally on the Cov19 front line in a hospital. Presumably he keeps his father updated on what he’s doing.

          I asked our friend his thoughts on what were dealing with, he was very clear he considered it not of nature.

          Geo-politically, it changes the balance some what in that China and Russia now have their currencies backed by literally tonnes of gold.

          Thinking out loud here as a private citizen, its also possible if the West is sufficiently crippled, China and Russia could dictate terms. Russia also has hypersonic weapons that are very hard to hit.

          If the finger is pointed, with the West in its crippled state and Russia with what appears to be an upper hand, could potentially decimate the West right now.
          China also holds a lot of Americas debt in bonds etc. If it were to call it in……

          Is this a message of “dont mess with us?”

          11

          • #
            PeterS

            That and a few other derivations of that conspiracy theory have been touted for some time. When Putin started visiting China many years ago I suspected Russia and China were up to something. More likely though when the West does crash and burn regardless of what or who causes it, Russia and China will not be in a position to act like vulchers. Rather they too will be crashing and burning. Then steps in the anti-christ and I think you know the rest.

            21

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Actually, its not a conspiracy theory per se, rather something that occurred to me a possible outcome in all this, based on thinking through lines of thought around the big geo-political chess game that constantly goes on. One outcome of weakening the USA is a rush away from the US dollar, which incidentally is underpinned by oil, which Russia appears to be currently is doing its best to, by direct consequence, devalue through huge oil over-production.

              Seems to be a 1-2 hit.

              Now all China has to do is call in most of the US debt they own, and the USA could be in a bad way.

              China already has large land and company ownership around the world, once it emerges from this and the US and the West is still reeling, the bargaining position moves in Chinas favour.

              Interesting times.

              10

      • #

        Well, there is that level 4 bio ‘research’ facility near where the pandemic started in Wuhan …

        Of course, even if there was an accidental release from the lab, China would never admit it because it would be evidence that they are still developing outlawed WMD’s. The bottom line is that we will never know unless a whistle blower gets the word out before the government has a chance to neutralize them or genetic sleuthing figures it out.

        While malaria is a parasitic protozoan and Covid-19 is a virus, the life threatening complications are very similar, including pulmonary edema. Given the apparent efficacy of chloroquine, it’s almost like some of the nasty bits of RNA used by P. falciparum got wrapped in a corona shell making it an air born contagion. Given the current state of bioengineering, it wouldn’t be impossible to engineer such a virus, although this certainly doesn’t preclude a natural evolution.

        40

    • #
      John

      That’s the million dollar question – what’s the correct balance between saving lives and saving the economy? No one knows the answer.

      30

      • #
        el gordo

        If a virus like this emerged in Europe 600 years ago (along the Silk Road) the locals might think it an act of god. It primarily takes the old people while the rest of the population gets on with life and build up an immunity.

        10

      • #
        Chad

        If this “threat” were a conventional invasion by an aggressive hostile ,foreign armed force, ..we would not hesitate to throw thousands of young healthy ADF “bodies” at the problem ..knowing full well the fatalities would be enormous…..just to protect our existing life style and economy.
        What price would you put on those ADF bodies ??
        Whilst i do not doubt the symptoms and reports quoted above, i do not believe it should be preceeded by such missleading and alarming comments as this…

        For most people Coronavirus is like the flu or even a cold, but for 20% it’s something awful.

        So far , Australia has less than 2000 “positive tests” from 120,000+ tests,…..and only a few of those “cases” are serious.
        Do the maths !

        20

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Chad if you give people a choice of standing in a cue at a Centrelink or laying on a slab in a morgue your maths suddenly go out the window !

          10

          • #
            macha

            Its not a and/or decision. people go to war And other at home still make a living.
            The implication above is people die from the virus and others are stopped from making a living.

            Just surmising.

            20

    • #
      RickWill

      Australia would have no CV-19 health issues now if it had stopped all international travel at the beginning of February as China was waking up to the severity of the disease. All disembarking passengers should have been tested or quarantined. Would seem draconian at the time but would now be viewed as enlightened.

      The longer the delay on any action, the greater the consequences in both health and economic terms.

      Paying people a subsistence wage to stay home and avoid social contact is zero cost to the economy but has huge benefits. It ensures fast economic recovery once the virus is controlled as the population has remained healthy.

      Allowing infected people to freely spread the disease in Australia would quickly cripple the supply chains for essential items. Many in primary production are vulnerable. Many in transport are vulnerable.

      The next time there is a new virus, there will be a much faster global response. The WHO should be disbanded. They gave bad advice.

      51

    • #
      bobl

      I was also of this opinion until yesterday when I read an article contrasting Mitigation VS Suppression sent out by Senator Malcolm Roberts. Because of the contagiousness and the fact that this is an RNA virus (Like the common cold) Covid-19 is Mutating – FAST. I’m now of the opinion that getting Covid-19 will probably not make you immune from other strains and a herd immunity approach wont work, though it might make the other strains less fatal as our immune systems eventually learn how to kill it quickly.

      The most fatal strains will also probably burn themselves out, very fatal diseases have a habit of decimating their own host cohort. The strains which survive are generally those that don’t kill the hand that feeds them so to speak.

      I still feel that relief will come over the NH summer when propagation becomes far more difficult for the virus. While hot climates haven’t prevented outbreaks, equatorial countries have certainly had a better time of it. There is a College of Surgeons Paper that shows climate effects on Covid19 mortality. It might indeed be wise to establish a quarantine zone in the North and have the airforce move all infected patients there for treatment as winter approaches. Australia is one of the few places that can employ such a strategy.

      Finally we need to be given better advice on how to home nurse patients with respiratory viruses and appropriate products to reduce viral loads in our loved ones when they are sick. For example lots of people spray glen 20 around, I use a vaporizer with tea tree oil to achieve the same thing. Others use other traditional concoctions, Honey, Lemon, Garlic and Ginger is a common one. How well does doing this work on Covid-19? what are the best approaches for both the patient and carers? Does an air purifier with a virus filter help, does adding silver or activated carbon filters to aircon air intakes help? Burning kerosine in a kero heater has a side effect of killing a lot of bugs, kerosine is a very old (19th century) remedy that does work on certain infections, what do the fumes from a kero heater do to this virus? The medical fraternity don’t handle the effective use of complimentary medicine very well. I was in hospital not more than 2 weeks ago and the hospital was FREEZING, the doctors tell me it’s cold to control bacteria, but Covid-19 loves the cold and hates the heat. The evidence is that Covid-19 isolation wards need to be kept warm, not freezing cold.

      Finally this year we need home heating more than ever to dehydrate and kill off those flu and cold viruses, including Covid-19 the insane renewable energy policies driving heating expenses to the point of unaffordability need to be IMMEDIATELY DROPPED or many more people will die from Coronavirus supercharged by Fuel Poverty over winter.

      10

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    This time last year I had 33 days in hospital, the first half being a fever that went above 38C each day and rendered me outside of sane mind. Then it was gone and just as suddenly, I had pneumonia, pleurisy, pericardial effusion and pleural effusion. The left lung was drained, the rest more or less correcteed themselves over months with standard medication.
    Then a fortnight ago I was admitted again with shorthess of breath and a dozen other uncomfortable symptoms. This cleared in a few days but left me with pneumonia again.

    In both of these episodes, I experienced breathing problems similar to those described here. I can tell you that even if mine were less severe, they were pretty bad. You do not need pain so bad that you cannot lie on your back to sleep, only on the side that is most painful when sitting up. Pain that grabs your chest with every slight body movement. Pain described as “Being kicked in the chest by a cow”. It is all very uncomfortable and leaves me somewhat in fear of catching this current virus.
    So I am willingly cooperating with distancing, etc., anything to minimise the spread. Do help me by being good avoiders, all of you.
    Geoff S

    230

    • #
      TdeF

      And the idea that this should ‘run its course’ when in fact that is half a million dead? And not all over 70. The case in point was a relatively young man. 20% of hospital patentints are under 44.

      There is also no expectation of ‘herd immunity’ and we let a viral pneumonia become part of the winter landscape. No.

      This can be stopped and must be stopped. Like all viruses. Just outlast it. that will take three weeks of isolation. Then it is dead. That’s not even a sacrifice, just a total nuisance.

      And then use the new tests to stop it ever entering this country again, by boat or plane, the only two ways to get here.

      It should never have left China. And this is not the first time.

      130

    • #
      tonyb

      Geoff

      I am 12000 miles away from you. I think I have done my bit :)

      30

      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        Hi TonyB,
        I enjoy reading your comments on various blogs that we read in common. Like you, I favour good research ahead of emotion. Indeed I am about to blog somewhere about some differences between old-fashioned hard science and trendy modern soft science. The critical difference is that hard excludes human emotion, soft depends on it.
        Keep well. Geoff S

        10

  • #
    Andrew McRae

    How many people in each cohort does this dire situation occur too? Perhaps it’s only 1 in a 1000. Or perhaps it’s more.

    Way back in the good old days of 14 March, less than 10 days ago, Australia only had 298 total known cases of COVID19. The federal stats said

    Of the 295 confirmed cases, 53% (n = 156) reported symptoms (Table 2). A total of fifteen symptoms were reported with fever being the most commonly reported by 69% of cases (n = 108). Fifty-four percent (n = 84) reported cough, 46% (n = 72) reported sore throat, 35% (n = 55) reported shortness of breath, and 31% (n = 48) reported diarrhoea. Only 1% of all cases reported either joint pain, pneumonia or acute respiratory disease (ARD).

    Jo, that tends to suggest COVID19 is manifesting as ARDS in only 0.33% of cases so far.

    (I also used that document to estimate that in Australia the incidence of “critical” severity cases was only 1%, much less than the 5% usually given for the international average. So my model assumes in Australia only 1% of cases will be critical and need an ICU. We may still find this rate reverts to the international average as transmission switches from mostly airliner imports to mostly community spread.)

    81

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Andrew,

      Good analysis.

      I suspect it will revert to the mean- even in Australia, unfortunately.

      I hope I’m wrong.

      BTW, when Sceptical lefty sends me the missing data point (as per 7.6 above) I’ll ask you to put it through your model to see if you can replicate my result.

      20

      • #
        Andrew McRae

        Sure, why not, as long as we’re all just having a go to try to make educated guesses about this covid chaos.

        The cost of a total shutdown for 4 weeks is the same regardless of how many deaths are postponed because of it. So the price that you effectively put on postponing the death of another will go up or down depending on how many are likely to be postponed because of the action.

        For me estimating the economic cost of the shutdown is the more difficult part. The progress of the disease seems simpler to model than the whole economy, but I guess the models of either one can be as complicated as you want to make it. I’ve taken the attitude that if you can get 80% of the value with 20% of the effort then go for it. So no matlab or python involved yet, just a spreadsheet with an evolutionary algorithm solver was enough to get started. Heheh.

        It’s important to gauge how transmissible this virus is. Here’s Qld Health:

        There are a number of reasons why it’s not a good idea, or even legal, to give the public all the details about the movements of a confirmed case while they might have been infectious, if we can contact people at risk directly instead.

        Because of how novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads, we know it’s very unlikely a person will catch it from someone without spending a significant amount of time with them. You are at higher risk of infection if you have had face-to-face contact with a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more, or you’ve shared an enclosed space with them for more than two hours. The risk for people that may have passed a confirmed case on the street or in a shop is extremely low, because we know you probably won’t catch this particular virus in those situations.

        It’s not easily airborne, still very much droplet and mucous-membrane based transmission. This example of being in a shop at the same time for a few minutes suggests we don’t have to shut down everything, but people were not taking as much precautions and hygiene as was instructed. There is a middle ground which might be good enough, and we may still have the opportunity to do a partial reopening in a few weeks if experts, politicians, and the public can all meet in the sensible middle.
        I still think it was a good idea to shutdown for a limited period, because it cuts the peak height, buys us time, and imports into the present some of the seriousness that was definitely bound to arise reactively in the future. It shows what has to be done if people don’t take the isolation and hygiene seriously.

        I am concerned that many new draconian powers have been suddenly gained and exercised without any sunset date on the enabling legislation. The threat already has a foreseeable end in 2021 and so should the lockdown laws. It is encouraging that here in Qld there is a sunset date on the duration of the Declared Public Health Emergencies which will automatically revert the maximum period to 14 days from its current 90 days in March 2021. The bill’s own explanatory note explicitly says it can infringe on human rights, and so it is concerning that the PHE Act still has these powers within it, even if they are not used for more than 14 days at a time.

        As I said 2 weeks ago, it was likely that with an unknown virus creating a threat most people have not had to deal with during their lifetime, that our sensibilities and institutions were not prepared and that our initial response will be an underestimate or overestimate or alternating sequence of both. As we understand the risk level better we may see convergence on optimal solutions.

        40

    • #
      Analitik

      It would be interesting to know the breakup of those 295 confirmed cases now, 10 days later to track their development and recovery.

      60

  • #
    Phoenix44

    But lets be aware of the maths of testing. Assume a test with 99% accuracy (1% false negatives) and a 5% false positive rate. Assume the trsted population has an actual infection rate of 3%.

    So if you test 1,000 people, 30 have the disease. The test correctly identifies 99% of those – call it all 30. But it also falsely identifies a further 49 people as infected – (1000-30)x5%.so the test says 79 people have the disease. But that’s over twice the actual rate and if you test positive, you only have a 38% chance if actually being infected.

    So it’s perfectly possible with any disease and any test for the numbers to be utterly misleading. With CV, we just don’t know.

    21

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      You started with “Assume” and assumed some more stuff after that.
      And then proceeded with your logic & your modelling.
      Establish the accuracy of your assumptions please.

      13

      • #
        Chad

        Bill,….P44 was giving a theoretical example to demonstrate the potential for errors in data analysis from imprecise sources.
        It was not a estimate of actual errors in current data.
        ……that could be much worse !..or better ????

        10

    • #
      Choroin

      I’m pretty sure with the outcomes in Spain and Italy coming to light, providing empirical data about what happens once this thing goes gangbusters, that regardless of the maths right now, for at least a month or two, extreme measures to control it are justified. It’s not like it matters anymore what the market thinks as the bubbles have all popped already.

      70

    • #
      Choroin

      I’m pretty sure with the outcomes in Spain and Italy coming to light, providing empirical data about what happens once this thing goes gangbusters, that regardless of the maths right now, for at least a month or two, extreme measures to control it are justified. It’s not like it matters anymore what the market thinks as the bubbles have all popped already; these bubbles were already in existence and they were all going to pop anyways at some point, so I guess now is as good a time as any.

      50

  • #
    Broadie

    Dear Jo
    Linked from Willis at wattsupwiththat.com

    Some data made available from the University of Washington.

    http://depts.washington.edu/labmed/covid19/

    and this when I looked from another source:
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/18/virus-claims-university-of-washington-pathology-pr/

    20

    • #
      Phoenix44

      And from that data you can see how you can have a growing epidemic simply by testing more (plot the positive tests). Pretty much everyone is using utterly meaningless data. Testing is not remotely random, and so we are seeing at least some of the increase due solely to more testing. In Italy, anyone dying having tested positive is listed as dying from CV. We don’t know the underlying infection rate so we can’t calculate what the false positives mean. There is curve fitting with non-random and totally incomplete data (UK vs Italy). Its a mess.

      130

    • #
      Broadie

      My mistake! I was reading Willis’s blog on ice mass

      Correct accreditation.
      https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2020/03/temperature-forecasts-cherry-blossoms.html

      31

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      There is an interesting aspect that is not discussed much.
      The USA has almost become a basket case as regards COVID 19 disease.
      There are reasons; a huge number of reasons.
      But they all come down effectively to NOT acting quickly.
      Unlike Taiwan & South Korea.
      And meanwhile WUWT has basically pursued a contrarian view
      Supporting not acting quickly.
      Unlike Jo here on this blog
      Unlike EM Smith on Musings from Cheifio.
      Unlike Dr Campbell in the UK
      And others ….
      Who have all basically said “Be Prepared” !
      So many have ignored that simple message;
      The Cruise boat folk from all over the planet,
      Now wanting to be healed of this bloody virus in Australia !
      And the backpackers in Peru who basically D
      Did not bother to stay informed or prepare.
      And the climbers stranded in Nepal who left Australia on March 3rd !
      Mountain climbers who were not prepared !
      Bugger !

      23

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Yep!

        Lots of Idiots there Captain.

        There’s no hope for humanity.

        22

      • #
        Broadie

        Where was the contrarian view on Watts up with that?
        And, I would love to know how you have drawn that conclusion that USA is a ‘basket case’ from that graph Bill? The graphic is the number of tests and the positives over time. Despite more testing the positives aren’t increasing exponentially in fact over that short period in that petri dish the rate of infection detection may be slowing. The facts do not meet the models, the same problem the useful idiots have always found in arguing with the material on wattsupwiththat and jonova.
        I am still waiting for those figures you preferred from South Australia. Monthly figures could back up your missive, these don’t.
        The one thing we know about Jo is she will admit when she has erred and do her best to correct any error. A Memebot or Useful Idiot won’t.

        21

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          I’m not piling in on you here Broadie, but my reading of much of the commentariat’s comments on this issue at WUWT tends to support Bill’s view.

          There are some weird and unwonderful inputs of late. Where did they all come from? Are they green-lefty lurkers who think they have found their moment to push their eugenicists nonsense?

          40

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          I doubt from here on, given the rate of growth and lack of test kits etc, that you will get decent data.

          And at some point, it will become meaningless – if we have another “Italy” on our hands here.

          At some point it just moves to containment and burials…and waiting for a noticeable reduction in rate of either attempted hospitalizations and or burials.

          10

        • #
          RickWill

          The US has a higher trajectory at 30K+ cases than China; with a much smaller population. They are infecting faster than both Spain and Italy. Reported cases could be related to the ability to test but then deaths are almost twice the number of recovered so that suggests testing is slow.

          China acted with brutal force to quarantine. The US has been slow to act internally and action has been disjointed across states.

          Anthony Watts suggested early on to be prepared to quarantine. Larry Kummer provided some of the early detailed blogs on CV-19:
          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/01/26/the-2019-ncov-virus-shows-that-weve-built-a-better-world/
          He suggested that some people were exaggerating the dangers. He considered the WHO response reasonable.

          10

        • #
          LightningCamel

          Have to join in here Broadie, WUWT have not gone with the current herd and have produced an analysis of the data to back that up. This little exchange is straight out of the global warming crackpot play book.

          People with a different view are labelled contrarians, or passive or even green lefty lurkers, bit like deniers really, means you don’t have to think.

          Then there are the straw men. Willis is captured by the WHO. What? Really? Analitik at #11.3.3, that is just more name calling. How about telling us where their comments are not supported by the data they are presenting or where their data is false. Comfortable though, don’t have to think about what he says.

          Then there are the appeals to authority, “fifty top specialists” and the like. Followed by a dodgy data table with percentage increase in social distancing as a variable. Lots of problems with this. Percentage of what? Wuhan normal? Daegu on market day? Milan? The social distance achieved in these places with severe lockdowns would struggle to approach that in Australia in a normal day. Really that column is just a rename of the transmissability parameter in a simple epidemic model and there is no data to link the two in any quantitave fashion. That For Jo to use as an arguement in support of lockdowns islockdowns, I don’t know, unscientific, rank confirmation bias, make up your own. All I know Jo is that you would rightly rip to shreds any argument of that standard from the CO2 freaks. And no, a little caveat at the bottom of the article does not absolve you.

          Then there is that sublime faith that the chosen solution is right. If we don’t do this thousands will die, sort of the coral reefs will be dead in ten years. There is just total refusal to acknowledge the data which say that both these assertions are false. The exponential phase of growth can be and is being aborted. Even Italy has recorded two days of reduced growth on about the earliest date that the effect of social measures could be expected to be seen.

          Lest you think that is an endorsement of lockdowns in Australia, see my earlier comments here on the extent of social distancing required. In comparison with other countries we are three parts there.

          I really don’t see how this group is going to hold its head up in the climate science argument in the future. The extreme view jay be right but it will be by chance.

          31

          • #

            Lightning Camel, not at all. You forget that this is not a post in isolation. I’ve already gone through all the data. Did you miss the posts on the Diamond Princess, South Korea, the Ro, The exponential curves, the transmission of the viruses, and the proven effectiveness of quarantine?

            Been there, done that, this model in the post produced estimates that fit with textbook theory, and with national data from Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, South Korean, Iran, Italy, Spain, cruise ships, everywhere.

            If you have data that shows it’s false, why don’t you post it?

            If nations are falling off the curve two weeks after doing a massive lockdown that is exactly what I predicted and shows quarantine is right and they just didn’t do enough until they got Serious.

            Before any groups of “50 scientists” were saying anything I was already saying it here based on first principles of epidemiology. Perhaps my big failure is in communicating the chemistry and physics of how viruses spread and multiply. If people understood those basics they would know that what those models show is merely the obvious (we can argue over the dates and definitions but you are not doing that) — the models merely put estimates on paths i’ve been predicting all along, and what’s been happening at every step.

            When “50 scientists” repeat what I’ve said, should I not mention that “in case” it could be misconstrued as a consensus argument for something I’ve already made the case for? Or is it an interesting news item showing that the world is figuring out the best path and that — just like in the climate skeptic world, I speak for the hands-on front line scientists, not the WHO committees and political hacks dressed up as “advisors”.

            Some skeptics though resort to UN words that they would never accept in the climate world.

            20

            • #
              LightningCamel

              Hi Jo, I came back to this this morning wondering what I would find, thanks for taking the time to respond. I have read all your posts and a large proportion of the comments. People who disagree with you have not necessarily misunderstood you. I have commented sparingly along the way as well so yes I am engaged.

              My comment on your headline is twofold, its a blatant appeal to authority as support. Just like the “50 top climate scientists” headlines we are all so sick of. The first colum of the table suffers from the deficiencies I talked about. I am not aware of any good data on defining social distancing, quantifying the extent of it or relating that quantity to transmissability. If you have that please send me a reference I would love to get my hands on it. I am afraid that social distancing works we have to shut everything down does not qualify.

              Willis over at WUWT quotes a comment from Steve Mosher on the situation in Korea. Among other interesting things he says

              Our cases are going up in Seoul. So we will have 15 days of voluntary social distancing.

              I’ve put a comment on there asking Willis to see if he can get some description of what social distancing in Seoul looks like. I have been fortunate enough to visit Seoul and my impression is that it would take herculean efforts to get to a normal day in Australia.

              The main part of Willis’ article is an analysis of the anomalous data out of Italy. I think it is a very useful addition to our understanding of that situation.

              However, the main point I was trying to get across was that, in these discussions people are using exactly the same logic errors and invalid argument as are routinely used by those fixated on CO2. One I neglected to mention is indiscriminate application of the precautionary principle but there is plenty of that here too.

              We get annoyed at these and we should be doubly annoyed at ourselves for doing the same thing because we already know that they are an impediment to understanding.

              Lest you think this is invalid comment, reflect on what is contained within the last sentence of your reply.

              00

      • #
        Analitik

        Yep, Willis, Rudd and Larry have all written articles largely based on the early WHO position to call the reaction of government quarantines as alarmist. Their stance against alarmism seems to have overriden any suspicion of intergovernmental agencies.

        30

        • #
          RickWill

          They certainly condemned what they considered alarmist views. WUWT was far from the ball compared with Jo. She displayed clarity and certainty responding to those promoting conspiracy theories or government obsession with control.

          Re-reading one of Larry Kummer’s early posts he lists Thailand and Singapore screening incoming passengers as early as 3rd January. Australia was so far behind that we are a joke. Allowing 2700 passengers from a petrie dish carrying the virus to spread it freely through Sydney and beyond last weekend is way beyond incompetent.

          Current controls could have been avoided had Australia quarantined and tested all incoming passengers beginning early January. Many of Australia’s cases originated in the USA.

          50

  • #
    Deplorable Lord Kek

    Cuomo says New York will start implementing the trial drugs to treat Coronavirus and that they have acquired 70,000 Hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 Zithromax, and 750,000 Chloroquine from the Federal Government. Trial starts Tuesday.

    NYC hospitals have apparently been using it without FDA approval.

    Laura Ingraham: “Lenox Hill in New York among many hospitals already using Hydroxychloroquine with very promising results. One patient was described as “Lazarus” who was seriously ill from Covid-19, already released.”

    80

    • #
      Mike Jonas

      Chloroquine is an established drug with known risks. I cannot see any reason for not using it in this emergency. With care of course, but use it. If it doesn’t work there’s still no harm done.

      40

    • #
      Adam Davidson

      We should be following this trial and if it’s successful we must implement the regime immediately in Australia WITHOUT any further testing .

      50

      • #
        TedM

        The TGA is unlikely to let that happen until the required number of people have died.
        Snip.

        00

      • #
        TedM

        In the same way as the PM will not announce a lock down until this has got out of control, or shutdown the schools until enough students have infected their parents, so that the parents can’t care for the children, which is the excuse that the PM uses for not closing the schools in the first place.

        00

    • #
      Adam Davidson

      I have reconsidered. We should be treating every case of CV19 now
      We should be asking our dopey national cabinet why we are not treating every patient with chloroquinine and arithromycin NOW. Every delay is unforgivable since this treatment and its success was reported in South Korea and China about a month ago.

      90

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        We should be asking our dopey national cabinet why we are not treating every patient with chloroquinine and arithromycin NOW.

        I strongly suspect that, even if the “Cabinet” made such a decision, the necessary quantities of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine are not available in Australia at the moment, as I pointed out at 4.2.1.1.1 above, from my “one-off” experience in Perth, today. I didn’t ask about Azithromycin; I’d not be too confident on that count either.

        Of course, if the government knew those drugs were in very short supply, do you think it’d tell that to the multi-party “Cabinet”?

        The knowledge is more likely to be leaked by the Labor activists in the “Australia Public Service” in the coming days, after the Labor opposition or their ABC set up the Prime Minister for a big “Gotcha” moment.

        Interestingly, you might have seen the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, recently placed a restriction on the export of Chloroquine from the UK.

        50

  • #
    John in Oz

    I would like to hear the parameters for removing some or all of the inhibitions that are being put in place.

    This would at least give us something to aim for and a possible end to the disaster.

    Would no new cases for x days be the trigger for businesses to open again.

    Someone with more knowledge than me in medicine and politics might give some suggestions. No politician has, as far as I have heard.

    50

    • #
      TdeF

      It’s different. We know the virus cannot survive outside the human body for a week, sometimes far less. If we can eliminate person to person contact, those people who have it will kill it or die but must not be allowed to transmit it. So when everyone has recovered and there are no more reported infections, we have won.

      At the same time, we are getting 500,000 test kits, so we test everyone. Health workers first as they cannot isolate as easily as members of the public. Anyone who thinks they are at risk. And then use the kits to lock down any infection, something we could not do when the tests took a laboratory and 4 days.

      It will be over when there are no new infections. I would guess three to four weeks maximum. Gone as fast as it arrived.

      70

      • #
        TdeF

        Does anyone have a figure for the time between infection and being free from infection?

        I also read “Patients with the new coronavirus keep the pathogen in their respiratory tract for as long as 37 days”. Is this true?

        So its all about testing. We need to know if there are passive carriers, people with no symptoms but active carriers of the virus. That’s a scary thought.

        40

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          So much we don’t know TdF.

          I’m confident that we are not Robinson Crusoe in that regard.

          The Chief Medical Officers of the Commonwealth and the States and Territories don’t know either.

          The WHO doesn’t know. Like all United Nations agencies, why would it know anything. It’s played by the Chines to not know.

          The only people who possibly know are the Chinese. And they have no regard for you or me, or for the Chinese people, if it comes to that.

          So, we’re on our own. The freedom loving West, that is.

          40

        • #
          Roger Knights

          “TdeF
          March 23, 2020 at 7:46 pm · Reply
          Does anyone have a figure for the time between infection and being free from infection?

          I also read “Patients with the new coronavirus keep the pathogen in their respiratory tract for as long as 37 days”. Is this true? ”
          ===========

          If true, perhaps they should vape. See my comment upthread at http://joannenova.com.au/2020/03/doc-talks-about-his-holy-s-moment-horrible-lung-failure-even-in-young-patients/#comment-2296976

          10

        • #

          TdeF — people can shed virus for a long time after an infection, but whether it is in partial pieces of viral RNA or as whole viruses takes a special kind of test.

          We may be able to identify “pieces” of virus, but those may not cause infection.

          An RNA test is looking for key segments that identify the virus but that doesnt mean all 30K bases are intact and working.

          I doubt we know the answer for sure.

          10

  • #
    Tim

    What I don’t understand is Germany.
    24000 infections and only 94 dead

    Can any body explain that

    50

    • #
      Choroin

      Yeah, Germany has more ventilators per capita than poorer Med nations.

      Not to mention they are testing at greater rates.

      Italy and Spain’s extreme death rate can be attributed to hospital wards which cannot treat ARDS as it explodes upon unprepared hospitals.

      Ventilators seem to be the limiting factor in all of this.

      If # of cases in Germany get to the point that ventilators are all in use, expect to see that death rate explode there too.

      90

    • #
      TdeF

      The answer is that they were far better prepared. Five times as many respirators, for example. What is it with Germans and machinery?

      90

      • #
        Choroin

        What is it with Germans and machinery?

        Healthy dose of nationalism in the blood kept the impulse to protect industry, maybe* ;)

        *insert generic disclaimer here.

        40

    • #
      tonyb

      I am not sure we are comparing like for like in as much Germany has a lot of care homes or people supported in their own flats and whether deaths would be recorded as covid19 or flu or some other over riding ailment, the stats do not show

      90

    • #
  • #
    ren

    People who develop coronovirus almost asymptomatic have plasma antibodies. This can be used as a temporary vaccine. Wuhan shows that you can not get infected a second time. So plasma with antibodies can be effective.

    30

    • #
      TdeF

      I am also skeptical about all the information coming out of Wuhan. And the lifetime of the resistance. Is it 50 years or far shorter? And when it mutates, what then?

      As for survivors donating plasma, they are probably considerably damaged, even the ones who make it through.

      51

      • #
        ren

        Do you have another suggestion for quick rescue? Five days after infection, lung infiltrates are already formed. Isn’t it worth trying everything? There are no new infections in Wuhan, which means these people have acquired immunity.

        60

        • #
          TedM

          You mean that China says there are no new infections in Wuhan. Lines of peole attending hospitals and the opening of new coronavirus testing sites suggests otherwise.

          110

          • #
            TdeF

            Exactly. (Illegal) internet contacts out of Wuhan say they just stopped reporting, a miracle after President Xi visited. And bats will fly.

            70

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Pink bats?

              50

            • #
              WXcycles

              They are still reporting a dribble of about 38 to 40 new cases each day for the past 3 days. Suspiciously consistent. They said the first 39 were all foreigners though. Very convenient, that.

              60

              • #
                el gordo

                The propaganda wing of the dictatorship (WorldNews) says they are all inbounds, I believe them.

                ‘China on Sunday reported 46 new cases of coronavirus, the fourth straight day with an increase, with all but one of those cases imported from overseas, according to the country’s National Health Commission.

                ‘While China has drastically reduced the number of reported domestically transmitted cases — the one reported on Sunday was the first in four days — it is seeing a steady rise in imported cases, mostly from Chinese people returning from abroad.’

                20

        • #

          Ren, no new infections does NOT indicate everyone has immunity (even if it is true and not CCP spin).

          This is really important, if Wuhan has stopped the spread it’s only due to drastic quarantine. Not “herd immunity”.

          Most of China didn’t catch this and are still vulnerable which is why China is checking and quarantining all arrivals,. If this virus has run right through China it would have no need to do that.

          10

          • #
            ren

            I agree, but the number of new infections has dropped dramatically in the Wuhan region. People have to have immunity because they don’t become infected again.

            00

            • #
              bobl

              Or, In my opinion more likely, the Chinese have an antidote they are not telling anyone about … Unlike the west China doesn’t have the complication of clinical trials.

              00

  • #
    TdeF

    The Black Death killed one in three. What good did that do? It came back again and again.

    We have the chance to kill this thing. I am so delighted that state governments are ordering lock downs.
    Kill this thing. Now. There is no alternative! We do not have to tolerate mass deaths, every killer virus or bug which invades our society!

    And we do not have to locate every carrier, we only have to outwait it.

    Then test for it, in case someone is carrying the virus without reaction.
    That is the only way it can survive a three week lockdown.

    As for those people who resent having their pub or watering hole or gym closed for three weeks. They will be saved too.

    And as the case numbers dwindle and resolve and vanish completely, cautiously and vigilantly going back to normal, we will have won.

    Then ask the Chinese to stop eating live bats. Or stay home.

    110

  • #
  • #
    TdeF

    And just in from Nigeria, people have overdoes on Chloroquinine. They blame Presdient Trump but the story was out long before he said anything.

    30

  • #
    el gordo

    Italy flattens out.

    ‘ … a drop in the rate of deaths and new infections between Saturday and Sunday night could indicate that the curve is finally starting to flatten out, two weeks after the entire country was placed into lockdown.’ UK Mail

    50

  • #
    Lance

    For general interest, antiviral effects of azithromycin were published in 2014/15

    “Novel antiviral properties of azithromycin in cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells”

    https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/45/2/428

    interesting article.

    40

  • #
    Boris

    Not sure I trust anything Propublica reports considering its connection to the Sandler family foundation and Soros’ money, known for framing and controlling the narrative (propaganda).

    https://youtu.be/sC-fb5X3luw

    30

  • #
    The Dark Lord

    setting global or national economic policy by anecdote is the right way to approach things I guess … These Chains Will set You Free !!!

    10

  • #
    WXcycles

    I took a look at countries with highest percentages of deaths, above WHO’s 3.4% level, to see where the more serious infection trends are occurring. I split them into two groups, the first above 275 total cases and a second below 275 cases.

    Cases Greater-Than 275:

    % Died | Country | Total Cases
    9.26 … Italy … 59,138
    8.46 … Indonesia … 579
    7.86 … Iran … 23,049
    7.14 … Philippines … 462
    6.59 … Spain … 33,089
    4.94 … UK … 5,683
    4.28 … Egypt … 327
    4.26 … Netherlands … 4,204
    4.09 … France … 16,481
    4.03 … China … 81,093
    3.72 … Japan … 1,101

    The countries in South East Asia are a nasty surprise. The virus remains highly contagious and severe within tropical heat. There’s little if any apparent reduction in contagiousness or severity. Countries counting on a change in seasonal weather to moderate the illness are in for a disappointed.

    The possible good news for Australia and other Southern Hemisphere countries is colder conditions may not make it more severe, which has been a real worry. But it will still combine with the seasonal colds and flu to complicate the situation for active cases that contract both.

    Cases Less-Than 275:

    % Died | Country | Total Cases
    10.7 % … San Marino … 175
    9.09 … Bangladesh … 33
    8.65 … Iraq … 266
    8.46 … Algeria … 201
    7.14 … Mauritius … 28
    6.45 … Puerto Rico … 31
    5.26 … Guatemala … 19
    5.26 … Guyana … 19
    5.26 … Jamaica … 19
    4.55 … Montenegro … 22
    4.55 … Paraguay … 22
    4.49 … Albania … 89
    4.19 … Hungary … 167
    4.17 … Ghana … 24
    4.11 … Ukraine … 73
    4.04 … Burkina Faso … 99
    3.45 … Guam … 29

    Obviously some countries are only detecting very ill cases and this is raising their death percent of known cases. But this means there’s probably a large reservoir of unseen active cases in the country. There will also be countries with a less healthy population with older age range, etc.

    Modern San Marino with 10.7 % deaths from 187 cases is surprising. Did 187 cases with 13 serious cases fully overwhelm their hospitals and resources? And Iraq with 8.65% from 266 cases, and Algeria at 8.46% from 201 cases, should be watched.

    As I write this I’m watching on Credlin a new UK SKY News report from a Northern Italy Hospital saying that many of their ICU patients are now young people, and very few of those are likely to survive. So much for it being an old people disease.

    90

    • #
      Chad

      Eventually, some time in the future, we will find out what the full story is with Italys data. And its horrendous situation.
      It is so much out of proportion to all its near countries, there is something very odd happening.
      Sure we know of many possible suggestions,…age demographics, The Chinese population, limited medical resources, etc etc, … but no single factor would seem able to result in such a difference.
      There are big lessons to be learned.

      40

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Yes.
        Control your borders.

        20

      • #
        RickWill

        My view on Italy is its connection with Wuhan. I suspect what you see in northern Italy is already being repeated in Spain and France but with a slight delay.

        I expect the UK will follow Italy or be somewhat worse. Crowded parts of the US are likely to be worse than Italy unless there is an effective cure or treatment.

        Australia has a natural advantage with natural limits on interaction with rest of the world. However the response has been slow and some inaction beyond incompetence so it may already be widespread without actually knowing.

        41

        • #
          WXcycles

          I agree with your remarks almost entirely, Rick.

          Spain is indeed only statistically different in time, not in proportion. The died percent in Spain shows the same ominous gradual rise as occurred in Italy. Indeed all the “above 275 cases” listed from France up show that same slow gradual rise process.

          I think the thesis that demographics is responsible in Italy is wrong.

          Demographics will matter a lot, initially. We see that clearly in the lower died % within Australia, due to less older people catching it so far, and the opposite occurring in the higher died % within the US.

          What is really driving this later phase continued rise in mortality is not mysterious or confounding, it is a total lack of medial care once hospitals are overwhelmed and people are sent home with no professional treatment. We may be surprised to find Spain or France’s % died number gradually slightly overtakes Italy. This won’t surprise me though, I’m expecting it.

          The lesson for Australia, and for all other countries, is that Hospitals have to be National Priority #1.

          Here we have 2 weeks, or at the most 3 weeks, to build a massive new level of hospital capacity. We won’t be able to build enough of it fast enough, the virus cases will build faster.

          Thus we have literally 2 weeks (only) to enact a strong personal and family isolation on a national scale, to help ensure Hospitals expanded capacities which we can produce during the interim, can cope with the surge.

          Or we’ll surely follow Western Europe. Our rate of new cases yesterday was as bad or even worse that the worst spread in Western Europe. We’re moving fast now but still not actually isolating yet. We need a dramatic slowing in the percent of daily new cases, within 10 days, or we’ll go the same way as Spain. Strong sudden sustained isolation is the only way to prevent dying in large numbers at home without medical care.

          Italy is now 9.5% died, but the percent of new-cases as a fraction of the active-cases is down to 9.5%, it was high 11% region yesterday, so the quarantine is finally beginning to show a drop in addition of new cases. Now we have to hope it drops to less than 1% in the next 10 days. A faint glimmer of hope there for Italy.

          51

    • #
      Boris

      Do we have some way to check or corroborate whether what we are seeing being reported or the “data” we getting are real facts?

      Just asking.

      20

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        The “go to” text on that is Lewis Carroll’s “Through a Looking Glass”; Chapter 6, page 205.

        00

      • #

        Spend time doing twitter enquiries searching on #coronavirus italy etc. See photos and first hand stories that show that behind the numbers are families, fear, and doctors.

        I’ve seen nothing on twitter that suggests this is hype (though there are many claims that it is, they lack any evidence other than citing “its the flu” and “flu stats”.

        What I saw them doing in China showed they were acting as though it was the plague and at great cost. Doesn’t prove it is, but proves that the fear and the stats were not a mismatch.

        20

    • #
      bobl

      No, No, No.
      In the early stages of the infection death rates look bad, because its Deaths/Recovered, death when it happens occurs faster than recovery (there is a 4 week lag) while the curve is rising deaths rates are always going to be high because the recoveries of the cohort of patient that contracted the virus at that point wont happen until 3 weeks later. The representative point is when the rate of infection curve levels off.

      00

  • #
    Bob in Baltimore

    “The citizens of my country are not intelligent enough nor civic-minded enough to effectively slow the spread of Coronavirus. Furthermore, my country does not have the ingenuity or wherewithal to develop alternative or temporary health care measures or produce addition health care items such as ventilators to treat everyone who will be infected with Coronavirus. It is inevitable that our country’s hospitals will be overrun and 125,000 Australians needlessly die.

    If only everyone would have listened to me! There is nothing left for me to do other than berate everyone and add biting commentary such as “laughing…” to my posts to show just how cool I am.”

    Jo

    23

  • #

    I’m all for the idea of a limited shutdown of all human interactions that could enable transmission for a period longer than the virus can sustain itself.
    However, Murphy’s law suggests that however hard one tries to achieve that desirable outcome this damned virus will continue moving between people in a world of 7 billion or so due to carelessness, errors and pure chance so that the desired outcome cannot be achieved in any less time than would be required for herd immunity to develop. Similar to the usual colds and flu. If it works for this virus it would also wipe out colds and flu globally would it not ?
    Would love to be wrong.

    40

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      I like the direction of your comments Stephen.

      Wish there was an alternative to the term “herd immunity” as it seems to invoke aggro and or extension/interpretation of the meaning.

      As a child I experienced contact with nature and experienced the Vomits, the Runs and pimples, along with grazed knees and elbows, bee stings and bully ant bites.

      My imagination gives me a vision of an immune system that is, as a result of these adventures, more likely to cope with strange new challenges than it otherwise might have been.

      Meanwhile in the modern pure pristine world we have children whose systems have been so protected that they can’t even eat peanuts without a violent reaction.

      The world is a complicated place and is made more so by the intervention of politicians following the guide of university graduates with PhDs in Science Communication rather than science itself.

      We have too many layers of confusion in an already confused world. Let’s keep it simple and Honest.

      KK

      30

    • #
      WXcycles

      China says you are Stephen ;-) … well, yeah.

      Watched a bunch of TV commentators yesterday self-congratulating over closure of Australian State border traffic (the last is QLD which closes tomorrow). Which is fine, an unexpected rapid development, but that’s just act #1 in the war. The public are still mixing freely all over the place within my Town and missing the opportunity to not spread it around. So closing the borders will do very little when we already have 300 to 400 spreading right through QLD’s main centres and th public seem to think it’s not a problem yet. That’s how it gets us, nothing, nothing, nothing, then it’s everywhere.

      Seeing video of professionals working with the sickest patients reassures that transmission can be prevented in close proximity, with basic equipment, good tactics and habits. It’s bad, but isolation will mostly work if the transmission links are being abbreviated by sustained mutual isolation, and avoidance.

      Going to the shops and handling grocery items both there and at home looks to be my biggest risk factor, visitors won’t be entering my home after today. So that’s were the tactics need to be in place, as there’s little chance of catching at other times.

      If isolation stops hospitals being overwhelmed we have won. If hospitals succeed we’ll pull out of this with the least economic damage and demoralization. Demoralization will be a problem if isolation drags on ineffectually so turns draconian to get it to work.

      If herd immunity is the aim then IMO it would be better later than sooner, as long as we can test and detect its presence early and isolate (little evidence of that yet) we won’t need heard immunity to defeat it. We’ll soon see if anyone else can replicate the CCP’s push to Final-Victory. Russia is determined and ruthless plus proud enough to try to beat it early but the number show they also are failing. It may be that we do have to go to a draconian level of isolation policies to force it back under control as has China. Gradualism seems to be failing everywhere.

      Latest stats show 196 countries (plus Diamond Princess) now cases, so this leaves only 1 internationally recognized country that has not reported a case yet. No idea which country that is, but we now know it’s all over Africa and South America.

      30

    • #
      RickWill

      The aim is to avoid nonessential activities from impinging on essential activities for as long as it takes to get control. Control is indicated when daily increase in cases is falling.

      This is a new virus and there is no broad community immunity. It spreads fast and kills many. It cannot be permitted to run its course because all essential actives would be compromised. That would be far worse than self-isolating for a month or two.

      There are precautions taken against “flu”. Those precautions limit the harm caused each year.

      20

    • #

      Murphy is not involved in epidemiology.

      owever, Murphy’s law suggests that however hard one tries to achieve that desirable outcome this damned virus will continue moving between people in a world of 7 billion or so due to carelessness, errors and pure chance so that the desired outcome cannot be achieved in any less time than would be required for herd immunity to develop. Similar to the usual colds and flu. If it works for this virus it would also wipe out colds and flu globally would it not ?

      Stephen, please read this carefully:

      1. We could stop flu transmission the same way we stop Coronavirus. We don’t because it isn’t worth the cost. The high death rate, massive disruption makes the cost-benefit equation different.

      2. Sadly because humans are gregarious and sometimes selfish or stupid, yes we need to have draconian rules — it’s safe for a few people to walk their dog but not OK for apartment blocks of people to do it, therefore one rule for all = no walking. It’s coming.

      When the government says we “can’t stop influenza” what they really mean is “we can’t afford to stop influenza”. But they don’t want to say that. $ = lives.

      10

  • #
    Betapug

    Three decades of alarmist climate messaging that we are all about to be drowned by rising seas, roasted alive or shrivelled with thirst, has desensitized many citizens to warnings about real emergencies.
    The youthful “planet savers” and “panicked klimat strikers” seem especially blind to empirical evidence. No wonder.

    60

    • #
      PeterS

      I don’t see it that way. The fabricated alarmist talk over climate change has heightened many peoples’ anxiety levels. Look at how a lot of people in particular kids were reacting to Greta’s speeches how the end of the world was fast approaching. That I suspect has exasperated the panic over the current crisis. People are panicking over all sorts of reasons because the pandameic was the last straw for them and they had to release their tensions somehow. I see some good out of this though. Once enough of the steam has been let out and if the pandemic subsides quickly enough things will quickly settle down and perhaps we can recover very quickly too. Only time will tell.

      40

  • #
    Betapug

    Since many will have negligible symptoms when infected and will not be virus shedders after recovery, we need to identify the herd members who are now immune and rapidly return them to the economy to have anything left for the rest to return to. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/21/to-save-our-economy-roll-out-antibody-testing-alongside-the-active-virus-testing/

    50

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      We need more positivism like that.

      There are ways through this disaster and good government could find them.

      Unfortunately good government is hard to find because the people have stopped insisting on it.

      KK

      40

      • #
        PeterS

        Unfortunately good government is hard to find because the people have stopped insisting on it.

        Brilliant statement and 1 million percent correct.

        40

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Thanks,

          and that’s not meant to disparage voters.

          It’s more a commentary on the poor ethics of our “leaders” who are elected to buy and acquire the best advice possible on each challenge that society faces.

          Instead they engage with the public service and ABCCCC type media to cement their publicly funded futures.

          Stuff keeping the voters well informed.

          30

          • #
            PeterS

            You’re welcome. It all started many decades ago when the quality of our leaders had begun to drop and started to tell lies. Voters started to become distrustful of them and slowly but surely they lost interest in politics. That’s the big mistake on the part of voters but it’s to be expected. It then becomes a viscous spiral downwards and it always ends in tears. Recently we’ve reached a low point and very few people now trust the politicians on either side. Perhaps this crisis will awaken politicians and start considering the nation’s interest instead of their careers. Somehow I doubt it since I don’t think this is the crash and burn I’m expecting. That will be many years away and it will be necessary to make the big changes necessary to turn things around for the next big cycle.

            40

    • #
      PeterS

      Our politicians continue to tell lies. They say there are restrictions placed on people entering the country yet people are still entering without any checks at all. The cruise ship debacle is just one example of many. People are flying into our country as per normal. So much for leadership. We have none; just parrots.

      51

  • #
    PeterS

    It’s all an exaggeration (I hope). Time will tell if this person is correct. See:
    Why this Nobel laureate predicts a quicker coronavirus recovery: ‘We’re going to be fine’

    40

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Good perspective.

      30

    • #
      Sapel Mirrup

      I’m all for positivity, but the way the LA Times presented Levitt’s evidence was careless, naming only two data points out of many in the ‘number of new deaths’ series.
      So I checked them out. Here is the series for China in that early period, from 22nd January (Day 1) to 5th February (Day 15):

      Day…..No.
      1…..8
      2…..8
      3…..16
      4…..15
      5…..24
      6…..26
      7…..26
      8…..38
      9…..43
      10….46
      11….45
      12….57
      13….64
      14….65
      15….73

      When plotted using Excel, the rate of new deaths shows the relationship is essentially linear, with some expected statistical deviation.

      The best that can be said for these data is that they are not exponential. So the proportion of infected patients dying is decreasing. But the daily rate did not slow to a plateau during the period in question. The values 38,43 and 46 were just a local ‘blip’, with the number jumping up again on day 12.

      He was right about the rate of infection peak however.

      10

    • #
      Chad

      That is a very simplistic analysis of a very unreliable data set.
      The daily number of new cases is totally dependent on the number of new tests done…and that is highly variable and unknown…rendering the “new cases” data pretty much worthless.
      As for the results from China…. does anyone actually believe what they say ??

      22

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Yes the figures out of China are propaganda !
        But they are what China is releasing to the world
        And probably contain a kernel of truth at some level.
        So…. making sweeping generalisations about the worth of Sapel’s chart is unwarranted.
        think again Chad.

        30

        • #
          Chad

          Sorry, i should have said i was refering to Lovitt’s analysis…
          …i had not seen Sapels post, which is logical ..if still based on an unreliable source
          Timing is the key !

          10

        • #
          Sapel Mirrup

          Bill, I think Chad’s criticism was probably directed to Levitt’s analysis. His timestamp is 08:30 and mine 08:29, so I doubt he would have had time to read my post and write a reply, all within one minute. He also was referring to new cases of infection, whereas I was addressing the daily counts of new deaths, in order to expose Levitt’s careless and rather cavalier commentary on those data specifically, which was bad form, considering he’s a Nobel laureate.

          I think we all agree that the number of cases of infection in China is likely to be under-reported. Not sure about the death rate though.

          20

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      I hope he is right about the future.
      But I read this with doubts
      “Levitt told the China Daily News that the virus’ rate of growth had peaked. He predicted that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China would end up around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths.” And he was right ??????

      Or are those figures just Chinese government propaganda broadcast to fit such expectations made by people like Lovitt ?

      20

  • #
    Lee Valentine

    I was disappointed to read this report of the corona virus ARDS cases. Disappointed because the cases were mismanaged. ARDS victims should NOT be restrained, EVER. They MUST be paralyzed with drugs.

    So far, I have had only one corona ARDS patient. He arrived four days ago. There are two now in my hospital. It’s a serious worry that if Los Angeles gets many more we’ll not have enough specialists who know how to manage them. If our current rate of new cases continues, we’ll have all ventilators available in use for corona ARDS in a few weeks.

    70

    • #
      RickWill

      My mother-in-law went through a period of respiratory distress and it would have been criminal to restrain her instead of anaesthetising her. I do not know the medical implications of such action but it is the “kind” response. In her circumstances the lung damage was already permanent.

      10

    • #

      Lee, good to hear. The story of this patient sounded like torture. That’s exactly what the ICU doc in the video I posted said: Paralyzed, prone and low tidal flow. http://joannenova.com.au/2020/03/69670/

      Sorry to hear the future numbers look unhappy in LA.

      20

  • #
  • #
    dinn, rob

    my holy shit moment is:
    Lombardy general practitioners “remember having seen very strange pneumonia in December and even November”

    40

  • #
  • #
  • #

    The new Superspreader – every Centrelink office.

    We have a Centrelink office very close by and every morning I pass it on my morning walk.

    This morning (at 7.30AM) the queue out the front stretched for almost 300 Metres.

    I’ve been inside those offices during normal times, and there’s usually 100 people waiting to be seen, and a staff of around 50 to 60 people inside that cavernous building.

    I wonder what it’s like with ‘social distancing’ in place and I also wonder how heated it’s going to get in there, and surely they’ll finish for the day, and not get through half the people waiting, oh, and there’s no ‘social distancing’ in the queue.

    This is a superspreader disaster waiting to happen already happening.

    Tony.

    60

    • #
      macha

      Although centrelink were quick to advertise no Ned to queue, can use online.
      Also increased capacity 10 fold.

      Easy to be critical. Infrastructures take time and we are not China with a huge population to pull stuff out of massive warehouses.

      Just shows how crappy globalisation is.

      20

      • #

        My contact with Centrelink is for the disability, and then the age pension for my good lady wife, and my own age pension.

        Centrelink Online usually ‘carries’ around 5,000 people online at any one point in time.

        It was designed to cater for 55,000 online at any one point in time, perceived as overkill in days gone by, and never even getting close to that number during peak periods. The same with their Call Centres, sometimes hours waiting time, and I have never got through straight away.

        Yesterday, in the early AM, there were approximately 98,000 attempting to get online and it crashed. Because of those huge numbers it ‘gave the impression’ of a DDOS, but it was actually that number of people attempting to access the site.

        I have been inside that same Centrelink Office I mentioned three times now, and the longest visit, I was in a queue of ten people, all of them inside the doors. I was then directed to one of four banks of seating, all of them mostly full, and I had a wait of around half an hour to see someone, for what turned into a 20 minute face to face session, and it all went smoothly. So, that was an hour inside the building.

        This morning, that queue was 300 metres long outside the doors at 7.30AM.

        There’s nothing they can do to change what will be taking serious amounts of time, be it online, call centres, or in person at their Offices.

        Tony.

        40

        • #
          WXcycles

          Tony, applications can be made online, and supporting evidence and documents can be supplied vie taking a photo of the evidence with a camera and uploading the image, then details can be confirmed later at a formally arranged face to face appointment time. And face to face appointments are being suspended. Those will probably turn into telephone appointments from here. So most of the people in that line probably don’t have access to a phone, or don’t know they can do almost everything online or over a phone at this time.

          On top of this everything does not need to be done immediately, you just have to declare an intent to make a claim early, via opening a claim session online, and then provide the details of a formal claim for support later, by a certain day (I think it’s over a month), in order to get retrospective coverage from the date of the initial claim. So only the initial online claim needs to be made now.

          And if the computer system is bad for new users imagine how bad is for Centrelink’s workers and contract service providers. That also is going to slow things down a lot.

          50

  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    Here’s something to scare you some more.

    Right from the 21st of January, I created a spreadsheet to track the numbers. Out of sheer curiosity.

    Today I split out the data into two sheets. World numbers and Australian numbers.

    Then, since the data is logarithmic, I created some trend line columns so I could experiment with future projections.

    The world cases number is increasing at 10.4% compounding daily.
    the Australian cases number is increasing at 27.0% compounding daily.

    I believe the world number is lower than the Australian number because the leading increase is a lot slower than it is 30 days in. And the world has a lot of countries with very small numbers, so the total increase is artificially low for this reason.

    I believe given another 30 days, the world figure will be getting closer to the real number (which could be 25% increase compounding daily, approx.)

    Sooooooo…. Using yesterdays value as being correct (todays figure will change by the end of today). on the 22nd March we had 1,609 cases. In 7 days time we’ll have about 10,000 cases. And 10 days after that we’ll have 110,000 cases.

    Cheers!

    10

    • #
      Chad

      Greg,
      Is’nt the number of new cases proportional to the number of tests completed each day ?
      So even if the actual proportion of cases in the population is the same in 2 different countries, then the country doing more tests will record more new cases !

      30

      • #
        Chad

        ..i intended to add..
        The only numbers of any consequence really, is the deaths,..and rhe rate of deaths.
        Even they are potentially error prone and wrongly reported ( italy has admitted some miss diagnosis),..but gemerally its hard to seriously distort death records ( unless you are in China or Russia)
        Deaths per 100,000 population is the key indicator of the severity of the problem and the only way to even attempt compare countries
        So ..Deaths per 100k population,..a few examples..
        Italy ..10.0
        Spain…4.7
        France .1.3
        China..0.25
        USA …0.16
        Germany .0.14
        Australia 0.03
        Taiwan ..0.008
        + many others below 1.0
        diamond Princess ..270.0 ( the only one we can say is 100% verified and complete.

        There are many questions to be asked here, and not many answers that add up..

        21

        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          I don’t look at deaths too much, as there is such a lag between catching it, being diagnosed, and dying, that it’s almost unrelated to the reported cases. Too early to know too much about those percentages.

          02

          • #
            Chad

            Sure there is a lag in reporting deaths , and as a total it can only increase until it “flatlines” ….
            …..but the daily “death rate” should be a real tell tale of the situation
            But, as i said,..it is the only piece of data that is relatively reliable.

            10

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        I can only go on what’s reported. I can’t use figures that don’t exist.

        But yea, there is a lot of under-reporting. So the real figure could be several magnitudes higher.

        10

    • #
      bobl

      Greg,
      I think you should probably constrain yourself to indigenous spread, imported cases muddy the picture of the influence of Covid-19 in Australia because the conditions under which the infection occured are not the same. Quite a lot of the Covid-19 infections actually occured in the northern hemisphere, they are going to have quite different progression to locally acquired disease because of climate factors.

      Can you give us the equivalent numbers for local infections?

      00

  • #
    RickWill

    One of the seriously bad messages being promoted is that this is an old man’s problem. This video provides an alternative perspective:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbAYN9zKIJQ

    Mark Stubbs was a superfit 28-year-old living life to the full – until he was struck down with the coronavirus and almost lost his life. Mark describes how although he was really healthy he felt like he had been struck by a bus, couldn’t sit up in bed and was coughing up blood whilst in ICU for 13 days. Despite being a marathon runner with strong and healthy lungs, Mark still struggles with breathing and has liver damage with a long recovery still ahead. Mark has a stark warning for those who refuse to follow the government’s guidelines.

    20

  • #
    WXcycles

    Spain just reported finding a large number of bodies at nursing care homes. None of the necessary medical care forthcoming. They’re saying criminal charges will be laid.

    50

  • #
    PeterS

    Interesting to hear on 2GB how Abbott in 2005 warned about some future virus paramedic and the need to prepare for it. Too bad he had only a couple of years as PM to do something about it. I suppose he got in the way of ideologies of the left in his own party so he had to be pushed out.

    60

  • #
    DonS

    Hi Jo

    “If you don’t feel motivated to stay home and order online”

    Hope you’ve got your rubber gloves and a bucket of disinfectant to wash down you goods before taking them inside. Ordering stuff online does not isolate them from all the hands, and sneezes, that come in contact with your goodies.

    If you are one of those who think “out of site out of mind” then order away in complete confidence that you will be somehow avoid coming in contact with the virus. If your interested then I also have an almost new Sydney Harbour Bridge you might be interested in. :)

    10

    • #

      I did honours in a microbiology lab.

      I ordered or already had hazmat type dust suits, gloves, masks, 5L of cleaning alcohol, sanitizer, in January. All mail since then from China (and now Oz) is assumed to be at risk.

      No veges eaten raw now that anyone could have “coughed” on at Coles, (for the last two weeks). Only cooked now, or cabbage/ peelable stuff.

      Last Woolworths delivery was washed outside. Overkill, yeah. But it will matter soon.

      10

    • #
      Roger Knights

      Goods arriving can be opened while wearing gloves.
      The packaging and envelopes can be safely dropped in a wastebasket.
      The gloves can be dropped on the floor by the door.
      The virus can’t live on soft surfaces (like paper or cardboard) for more than a day.

      00

      • #
        bobl

        I hate the missinformation about surfaces.

        This parameter is temperature and humidity sensitive, A day at 3C, at 25C its MUCH shorter, we need much better information about environmental survival. I’m worried about other host cohorts, if this virus did come from bats, can it still infect and circulate in bat populations, we have a lot of those.

        10

  • #
    David

    ‘I’m a doctor, so listen to my expert view’ began one comment to an article published in the Oz yesterday. Having to claim authority or credence from a qualification means the argument is immediately lost. This situation is multi-faceted. Some economists could have a different view of the policy response. So could some constitutional lawyers. If all three say ‘listen to me, because I’m a (insert profession)’ who has priority? By what power?

    30

  • #
    AndrewWA

    At last some real data rather than wort case scenarios.

    Dr John Campbell on Death Rates in Italy and China.

    30

  • #
    ren

    Findings from the Wang et al study published on JAMA and based on 138 hospitalized patients
    Common symptoms included:
    (Wang et al study)
    Fever
    98.6%
    Fatigue
    69.6%
    Dry cough
    59.4%
    The median time observed:

    from first symptom to → Dyspnea (Shortness of breath) = 5.0 days
    from first symptom to → Hospital admission = 7.0 days
    from first symptom to → ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) = 8.0 days (when occurring)

    10

  • #
    observa

    The real question is whether China has managed to get their pandemic under control permanently-

    “Now the leadership has put a very heavy emphasis on resuming economic activity,” said Victor Shih, a politics professor at the University of California, San Diego.
    “One way to resume economic activity without panic is to cover up cases while still doing the government’s best to trace and contain them,” he said. “There is a risk it will lead to another outbreak but for now that seems like a risk the government is willing to take.”
    Still, sceptics of the positive statistics also acknowledge the difficulty of continuing the restrictions. Many citizens have lost months of income while others are tired of putting their lives on hold.
    One internet user wrote: “Why bother with data! Wuhan’s lockdown for so long is irrational in itself. People need to live!”

    Which is the greater threat to the greatest number? Medical or economic? That is the only question now.

    10

  • #
    ren

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

    10

  • #
    ren

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

    10

  • #
    ren

    Death from viral pneumonia is like torture. It’s a drowning feeling. Therefore, many patients must be kept in a pharmacological coma.

    30

  • #
    ren

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

    00

  • #
    ren

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

    00

  • #
    JH#6

    OK why is everyone’s BS radar not going off big time.
    (1) I have never seen anything pushed this hard by the mainstream media, not climate change, not Australia consuming bush fires, not Donald Trump, not anything.
    (2) Pollies are in with their ears back, in front of the cameras all the time. What coverage!
    (3) Experts are popping up everywhere in the media getting their 15 minutes of fame.
    (4) Hollywood celebrities are being asked for their opinions.
    (5) Stock markets down big on huge volume. Some parties are buying big time.
    Stay safe, stay sane people, JH#6

    00

  • #
    JH#6

    We haven’t seen peak stupid yet.
    But our Pollies are ahead of the curve.
    Stay safe, stay same people. JH#6

    00

  • #
    el gordo

    Real facts are hard to come by in a time of misinformation, but what the editor posts here is true and correct.

    10

  • #
    RickWill

    OK – once would be enough-

    just saying

    10

  • #
    el gordo

    That character must have been purged.

    Should we exterminate all native Chinese bats for the sake of humanity?

    10

  • #
    farmerbraun

    And the incidence of this outcome is 1 in a million? 1 in 100,000? 1in 10,000?
    Too soon to say.

    Epigenetics . . . . where the rubber hits the road.

    Or the virus sets up a frontline and the immune system goes ballistic.

    00

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>