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

Good: Rumors whole US set to go into two week quarantine lockdown. Bad: UK recycles old flu policy to come up with Very Stupid Plan

 Scuttlebutt that crossed my desk today says “”US to have nationwide quarantine for 14 days’”. h/t Scott.

I hope this is correct. My reply:”Brilliant”. Finally, a hint of an attitude determined to beat this. It’s so refreshing after all the defeatist fatalism telling us this is a disease we have to have. I predict if the US does this, other countries will follow. This is the fastest way to get borders open, and people back to work, and reduce the death toll. Flights will be able to reopen among countries that have done this and done this well.

UPDATE: Officially denied already? The Whitehouse has been forced to deny national shutdown rumours.(A search for “Rumor US two week lockdown” turns up almost no news items?) Don’t believe anything til it is officially denied… but don’t believe the rumours. The fact is there are no facts.

Forgive me if I repeat: A virus is just an inanimate chemical code. It can’t reproduce and it can’t repair itself. To beat it, all we have to do is out-wait it. Without machinery to copy the code it will degrade into foodsafe ingredients. Air, oxygen, time and light will crack the code. The longer we feed it, the stronger it gets.

A perfect quarantine needs two weeks. An imperfect one will need longer. But giving up social contact, income, parties and holidays isn’t the end of the world. Obviously, some people will bear a larger cost than others. (Hope temporary measures can look out for them). But everyone will bear a smaller cost in the long run if we go hard, go early and get serious.

No more feeding it free bodies. Except apparently in the UK, where that is actual policy…. ? Seriously?

UK recycles old measles/flu policy to come up with Very Stupid (Sounding) Plan

UPDATED: UK Local, Stephen Wilde warns it was a bit more complicated and Hanage at The Guardian spun a side comment for political effect. But the stories about the Herd Immunity Plan went right across the Atlantic and popped up downunder too and given what Sir Patrick Vallance said, seem to fit.

The U.K.’s Coronavirus ‘Herd Immunity’ Debacle

Ed young The Atlantic:  The country is not aiming for 60 percent of the populace to get COVID-19, but you’d be forgiven for thinking so based on how badly the actual plan has been explained.

This sstill sounds like the influenza “we have to have” plan. Not the deadly virus plan:

With the peak of the pandemic still weeks away, the time hadn’t come yet for stricter measures, Johnson and his advisers said. They worried about “behavioral fatigue”—if restrictions come into force too early, people could become increasingly uncooperative and less vigilant, just as the outbreak swings into high gear. (As of yesterday, the U.K. has identified 1,391 cases, although thousands more are likely undetected.) And while suppressing the virus through draconian measures might be successful for months, when they lift, the virus will return, said Sir Patrick Vallance, the U.K.’s chief scientific adviser.

To avoid a second peak in the winter, Vallance said the U.K. would suppress the virus “but not get rid of it completely,” while focusing on protecting vulnerable groups, such as the elderly. In the meantime, other people would get sick. But since the virus causes milder illness in younger age groups, most would recover and subsequently be immune to the virus. This “herd immunity” would reduce transmission in the event of a winter resurgence. On Sky News, Vallance said that “probably about 60 percent” of people would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity.

 Half-baked quarantines don’t work very well. But a serious quarantine can save thousands of lives. Why not aim high?

What is Boris thinking? Why would anyone aim for “Herd Immunity” to a disease people don’t may not stay immune to?

Unlike many diseases Coronaviruses are not ones humans appear to develop lifelong protection to. It’s hard to imagine that the UK is seriously going to hide away 70 year olds and over for “four months” of isolation to protect them, but then sacrifice some 30 – 70 year olds while letting the virus run wild through the most productive sector of the population in the hope of creating herd immunity that might only last months. Someone needs to explain to Boris that this really is not Influenza. Antibodies to swine flu can last 50 years. Catching it properly can give lifelong protection. With Coronavirus, after we kill off the fragile under 70s, in a few years time, next year we can do it all again. Age and time will generate a new pool of target victims in regular cycles (until we get a treatment, vaccine, antiviral, etc).

Ed young The Atlantic: ...we don’t know how long immunity against the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, lasts. When people are infected with OC43 and HKU1—two other coronaviruses that regularly circulate among humans and cause common colds—they stay immune for less than a year. By contrast, immunity against the first SARS virus (from 2003) holds for much longer. No one knows whether SARS-CoV-2 will hew to either of these extremes…

Trying to manage this viral caseload is macabre, high risk roulette.

The margin for error is tiny (how many should we infect this week?)– At risk is the loss of control of hospital beds. Even if the UK doesn’t lose control of the hospital ICU situation, even a 1% death rate will kill hundreds of thousands of people, and if they do lose control, deaths could be 4 to 10 times higher.

This is gobsmacking: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/13/herd-immunity-will-the-uks-coronavirus-strategy-work

To reach herd immunity, about 60% of the population would need to get ill and become immune, according to Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser. Though it could need as much as 70% or more. Even scientists who understand the strategy are anxious.

 I’m with this man:

I’m an epidemiologist. When I heard about Britain’s ‘herd immunity’ coronavirus plan, I thought it was satire

Your house is on fire, and the people whom you have trusted with your care are not trying to put it out. Even though they knew it was coming, and could see what happened to the neighbours as they were overwhelmed with terrifying speed, the UK government has inexplicably chosen to encourage the flames, in the misguided notion that somehow they will be able to control them.

When I first heard about this, I could not believe it. I research and teach the evolution and epidemiology of infectious disease at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health. My colleagues here in the US, even as they are reeling from the stumbling response of the Donald Trump administration to the crisis, assumed that reports of the UK policy were satire – an example of the wry humour for which the country is famed. But they are all too real.

…The UK should not be trying to create herd immunity, that will take care of itself. Policy should be directed at slowing the outbreak to a (more) manageable rate. What this looks like is strong social distancing. Anyone who can work from home, should. People who do not yet work from home should be encouraged to do so. Employers should guarantee sick pay, including for contacts of known cases, and do everything they can to discourage the practice of “presenteeism”. You should not shake hands. Not with anyone. You should wash your hands for 20 seconds several times a day and whenever you enter your home (or someone else’s home). Call a halt to large gatherings. Educate people about masks and how they should be reserved for the medical professionals who need them. All this and more should have started weeks ago.

In other news, Louis Vuitton owner will use perfume factories to start making hand sanitiser. Nice.

Everyone is closing borders now. Shame they didn’t do it three weeks ago!  Germany closes borders to try to slow virusGermany’s neighbours such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Denmark have already closed borders or introduced severe restrictions.

 


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

 

______________________________________________

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

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

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

Stats and Data: John Hopkins Live Map Worldometer

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (50 votes cast)
Good: Rumors whole US set to go into two week quarantine lockdown. Bad: UK recycles old flu policy to come up with Very Stupid Plan, 8.7 out of 10 based on 50 ratings

147 comments to Good: Rumors whole US set to go into two week quarantine lockdown. Bad: UK recycles old flu policy to come up with Very Stupid Plan

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Question – do we know for sure that people cant develop immunity after getting it & getting over it?

    90

    • #
      Analitik

      We don’t know either way but there are reports from China about re-infection for recovered cases (FWIW)

      10

  • #
    Mark D.

    I’m in the US and have not heard anything about a two week quarantine.

    70

    • #
      John McClure

      The world doesn’t understand the USA is a Rebublic of States.

      Each State governs absolutely unless it’s a Federal issue.

      At this point, Bars and Restaurants are locked down to in-service yet can do delivery in some states.

      It’s a developing situation

      30

    • #
      John McClure

      Mark,
      “I’m in the US and have not heard anything about a two week quarantine.”

      [Snip ] No need for that , if you think a comment is wrong prove it is wrong or give a counter argument .
      Please read the “Guide for commenting” ] AD

      10

      • #
        Mark D.

        Jeeze John McClure I don’t know what you typed that got snipped but I can’t imagine why my comment antagonized you so much.

        20

    • #
      Roger Knights

      Several counties in the SF Bay area have announced hunker-down-at-home lockdowns.

      00

  • #
    CriddleDog

    Apologies if the following has been posted before.

    I have found the reason for the run on toilet paper.

    They thought it was the Coroma virus.

    100

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    This is a good detailed epidemological survey of the Italian sitation :

    https://www.epicentro.iss.it/coronavirus/bollettino/Bollettino-sorveglianza-integrata-COVID-19_12-marzo-2020.pdf

    Translation:
    “Reading note: This bulletin is produced by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and integrates data microbiological and epidemiological data supplied by the Regions and by the National Reference aboratory for SARS-CoV-2 of the ISS. The data is collected through a dedicated web platform and includes all COVID-19 cases diagnosed by regional reference laboratories. The data is updated daily from each Region although some information may take a few days to their insertion. For this reason, there may not be complete agreement with what reported through the information flow of the Civil protection and the Ministry of Health which report aggregate data.

    “The data collected is in a continuous consolidation phase and, as expected in a situation emergency, some information is incomplete. In particular, it should be noted, especially in the Regions in which a sustained local transmission of the virus is taking place, the possibility of a delay a few days between the time of the execution of the swab for diagnosis and reporting on the dedicated platform. Therefore, the decrease in cases observed in the past two days (Figure “1), must be interpreted as a delay of notification and not as descriptive of the trend epidemic.

    “The bulletin describes, with graphs, maps and tables, the spread over time and space, of the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy. It also provides a description of the characteristics of the affected people.

    “The national situation

    “ At 4 pm on March 12, 2020, a total of 13,882 cases of COVID-19 were reported on the platform, diagnosed by the regional reference laboratories as positive for SARS-CoV – 2 (5,540 cases more than the previous bulletin referred to March 9, 2020), of which 1,957 out of 1,983 samples processed confirmed by the national reference laboratory (ISS). 803 deaths were reported (446 more deaths than in the previous bulletin).

    “ Figure 1 shows the trend of cases diagnosed by sampling / diagnosis date (available for 13,323 / 13,882 cases). A growing trend of the new ones is confirmed diagnosis from 20 February to 9 March 2020. It should be emphasized that this data can however affected by changes in the offer policies of the test. In fact, in accordance with the Circular Ministerial 0005889 of 25 February 2020, the test should be carried out on suspect cases of COVID-19, a per case definition issued by the Ministry of Health, and to cases symptoms of ILI (Influenza-Like Illness, Influenza-like Syndrome) and SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infections, but no longer on contact asymptomatic.

    “ The symptom start date is currently available only in 8,331 of the 13,882 cases. This can be due to the fact that part of the diagnosed cases has not yet developed symptoms and / or the non- onsolidation of the data itself. Figure 2 shows the distribution of cases for the beginning of the symptoms, which highlights how the first symptomatic cases date back to end of January, with an increasing trend in the number of cases up to 2 March 2020.

    “The epidemiological investigation suggests that the transmission of the infection is occurred in Italy for all cases, with the exception of the first three cases reported by Lazio region that are likely to have become infected in China.
    “ The clinical status of patients is not yet classified in all Regions / PPAAs in a standardized way according to the methods provided for by COVID19 surveillance, but this information is being collected. Currently it Clinical status is only available for 4,535 cases, of which 388 (9%) are asymptomatic, 272 (6%) pauci-symptomatic, 722 (16%) with symptoms for which the severity level, 1,923 (43%) with mild symptoms, 949 (21%) with severe symptoms to be requested hospitalization, 241 (5%) with a critical clinical picture which requires ICU admission.
    “ Hospitalization in the hospitalization ward is reported for 1,755 cases (12.6% of cases Total); of these 249 (14%) are hospitalized in intensive care

    (median age 66 years )

    (0-18 years: 0%;
    19-50 years: 11.9%;
    51-70 years: 51.2%;
    > 70 years: 36.9%).

    “Even this figure is not yet classified in all Regions / PPAA in such a way standardized in the manner provided for by COVID-19 surveillance, but yes is collecting this information. Therefore the status data clinical and inpatient wards are particularly subject to change due to their progressive consolidation.
    “ Figure 3 shows the cumulative data, reported by the Ministry of Health and by Civil Protection as of March 12, 2020, on the condition of hospitalization and isolation eon the outcomes of COVID-19 cases diagnosed by reference laboratories regional.

    “Figure 4 and Table 2 show the incidence and distribution of the reported cases by Region / PA. As of March 12, 2020, 101/107 Italian provinces in all Regions / PPAA have reported at least one case of COVID-19. The cases are concentrated especially in northern Italy, especially in Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, however 8 other Regions / PPAAs reported over 100 cases of infection, with higher numbers in the Marche and Piedmont. In most others Regions, cases are sporadic or attributable to very transmission chains limited. However, the situation is constantly changing.

    “ Figure 5 compares the cumulative incidence data by province of domicile / residence, collected by the ISS and the Ministry of Health / Civil Protection (aggregated data). It can be observed that, although the incidence with the data collected by the Ministry of Health / Civil Protection is slightly higher, the two maps they show superimposable pictures relative to the diffusion areas.

    “Risk factors

    “ With the exception of the first three cases with travel history in China, no cases notified reported a travel history in countries with sustained transmission from SARS-CoV-2 during the 14 day incubation period.

    “ 1,116 cases have been diagnosed among healthcare professionals. Although that figure indicate the profession and not the methods of exposure to the pathogen, it is necessary
    keep the attention on the risk of nosocomial transmission high and put maximum attention to the methods of prevention and control of infections.

    “ Currently it is not possible in all Regions to reconstruct the for all patients transmission chain of the infection. Most of the cases reported in
    Italy reports an epidemiological link with other cases diagnosed in Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto, the areas most affected by the epidemic.

    60

    • #
      ivan

      Steve, that just shows reported and confirmed cases as do all the other stats I have seen. The problem is that there is NO reliable count of all those that have caught it and ignored the symptoms because they considered them too trivial to go and see a doctor.

      The fact that people may have it but consider it to be nothing but the normal winter flu and so don’t report it leaves the various risk and death rates in a very unreliable state.

      151

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I included it as I thought it might be useful….

        50

      • #
        WXcycles

        Steve, that just shows reported and confirmed cases as do all the other stats I have seen. The problem is that there is NO reliable count of all those that have caught it and ignored the symptoms because they considered them too trivial to go and see a doctor.

        The current observe death rate percentage of people who HAVE been confirmed and HAVE died is 7.71% this morning. You may not find these absolute numbers and the analysis of what’s occurring interesting but most thinking inquisitive people will.

        30

        • #
          ivan

          The current observe death rate percentage of people who HAVE been confirmed and HAVE died is 7.71% this morning.

          That figure is meaningless unless you are pushing scare tactics. By not including the TOTAL number of those infected no one has any idea of just how bad it is. To get real numbers you would have to test the whole population every 7 days.

          00

  • #

    “The UK should not be trying to create herd immunity, that will take care of itself. Policy should be directed at slowing the outbreak to a (more) manageable rate. What this looks like is strong social distancing. Anyone who can work from home, should. People who do not yet work from home should be encouraged to do so. Employers should guarantee sick pay, including for contacts of known cases, and do everything they can to discourage the practice of “presenteeism”. You should not shake hands. Not with anyone. You should wash your hands for 20 seconds several times a day and whenever you enter your home (or someone else’s home). Call a halt to large gatherings. Educate people about masks and how they should be reserved for the medical professionals who need them. All this and more should have started weeks ago.”

    All that has been put in hand incrementally over the past several weeks. Everyone I know is social distancing, cancelling holidays, trips and gatherings and stocking up for a period of self isolation.
    The statement by Vallance about herd immunity did not present it as a policy but rather implied that in due course it would take care of itself which is exactly what Hanage says.

    The policy has been misrepresented by political opponents behaving opportunistically.

    We are still running behind other countries with the numbers of infected and will tighten up further at a moment judged to be of maximum effectiveness.

    With hindsight, it would have been helpful for every nation to have gone into total lockdown for a few weeks at the same time as Wuhan back in January but that could never have got past the global population at that time.

    It is still a matter of balancing deaths from the virus against deaths from lack of food and medicines if international supply chains are broken for too long.

    Both problems involve deaths but from different sections of the global population.

    I remain puzzled by the lack of spread within China beyond Hubei province. Either the virus has been contained in which case transmissibility is not so ferocious or there have been vast numbers with milder infections as the virus spread out from Wuhan. In the latter case the lower numbers in the rest of China may be a result of immunity built over recent months. In the former case then social distancing should soon start to have a mitigating effect.

    It is too soon to be alarmist about immunity not being long term. Once one has immunity to one strain of a particular virus then it is easier to build additional immunity against the next strain. Note too that immunity starts to build from mere exposure so repeated exposure to a small viral load can build immunity without necessarily producing symptoms. That is how warm blooded creatures are designed by evolution.

    190

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Best wishes Stephen.
      Start now and self isolate yourself for 4 weeks from all contact with Boris Johnston.

      51

    • #
      Meglort

      Pretty much all living things from an ecological point of view actually.
      It only takes one bacterium to develop antibiotic resistance for example and hand the plasmid to another that then replicates to allow the species to continue.

      From a population perspective it will live on, quite of few individual organisms will expire to ensure this continuity.

      A noble sacrifice on a personal level for the greater good, given this skew of sacrifice to the more higher dependent social strata, the forward estimates will improve, a win/win some would say.

      What is good for the population may not be so good for the individual and vice versa: https://peh-med.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1747-5341-5-1

      20

  • #
    Deplorable Lord Kek

    Coronavirus Australia: Queensland researchers find ‘cure’, want drug trial

    Some patients who tested positive for coronavirus in Australia have already been treated with one of the drugs and “all did very, very well,” researchers say.

    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australia-queensland-researchers-find-cure-want-drug-trial/news-story/93e7656da0cff4fc4d2c5e51706accb5

    20

    • #
      Enoch Root

      That is too sensationalist, even for Seven standards. The “cure” is being deployed in China since the very beginning, with mixed and unreliable results…

      20

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      This is old news.

      However, why would “Queensland researchers” be pretending to have discovered something that’s been known for weeks? It was published in the BMJ, and it wasn’t the Queenslanders’ research.

      Does integrity in science mean nothing anymore?

      60

    • #
      truth

      Sceptical Sam: I agree!

      There’s something very strange about that story.

      What does this mean….['he' being the Australian researcher..]

      ‘He said the research was sparked by Chinese patients, who were first given the drug in Australia, showing their doctors information on the internet about the treatment used overseas.

      “Our doctors were very, very surprised that a HIV drug could actually work against the novel coronavirus and there was a bit of scepticism,” he said.

      “That first wave of Chinese patients we had (in Australia), they all did very, very well when they were treated with the HIV drug.’

      The Australian researchers can hardly claim they found a cure if their Chinese patients suggested it as a treatment.

      The drugs could possibly be Plaquenil and Hydrochloroquine which are being researched for Coronavirus treatment…. and a French researcher Professor Didier Raoult is trialing them with Corona virus patients in France right now.

      I have a relative who has been prescribed them for an auto-immune condition so am hoping they prove effective against Corona.

      Possibly the journalist has the whole story wrong.

      60

      • #
        el gordo

        Professor Patterson in Brisbane is adamant that this is a breakthrough.

        My understanding is that they’ll test the two drugs independently on patients and see which one works best. Chronic cases get the combo.

        40

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          A breakthrough?

          Sure it might be. But it’s not Patterson’s breakthrough as best I can determine from what’s published.

          What’s the “breakthrough” the Queenslanders have made?

          20

  • #
    Tim Spence

    1200 new cases yesterday in Spain, where I am confined to house. Can go out to Supermarket for essential foodstuffs, the Chemist for essential meds, and phoneshops for telephone supplies. I can walk the dog close to home, but I’m not allowed to walk the baby for some fresh air. Thankfully I don’t have a baby but shame I didn’t get the dog.

    120

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Where does Boris get his advisors from ?

    Not Monty Python gang !

    If only John Clease & co were still around to really laugh this ‘plan’ into the dustbin of history
    Or perhaps string up the idiots promoting it on Golgotha !

    30

    • #
      truth

      I tend to believe this …

      “People have misinterpreted the phrase herd immunity as meaning that we’re going to have an epidemic to get people infected,” says Graham Medley at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Medley chairs a group of scientists who model the spread of infectious diseases and advise the government on pandemic responses. He says that the actual goal is the same as that of other countries: flatten the curve by staggering the onset of infections. As a consequence, the nation may achieve herd immunity; it’s a side effect, not an aim. Indeed, yesterday, U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated, “Herd immunity is not our goal or policy.”

      Their policy fits with Hanage’s recommendation.

      Hanage seems to have a chip or an agenda .

      I think their huge mistake was to mention ‘herd immunity’.

      Their strategy and ours rests on it being true that most people apart from the old and chronically ill of whatever age…will be able to recover without having to be hospitalized in large numbers…especially without needing ventilators .

      If it’s more severe for the general population than we’ve been told…we’ll be in trouble here just as they will be there …it seems to me.

      I wouldn’t expect either there or here that they wouldn’t be including recommendations of all the other distancing..cleanliness etc measures.

      We have after all been told again and again that we’ll probably all get the virus…and that sounds scarier to me than ‘herd immunity’.

      If journalists were doing their jobs now they’d be pinning Morrison and Murphy down to telling us whether they’re getting industry to manufacture a whole lot more ventilators…a policy UK’s Health Minister announced last night…saying unequivocally that the UK government would buy as many ventilators as the manufacturers could make.

      Here, the question is met with dodging and weaving…causing instant suspicion that they intend to try to ‘make-do’

      If so …that will be the biggest scandal of the year…a weasely conscious decision to save the money and let people die.

      I’ll never forgive them if one or more of my at-risk loved ones die for lack of a ventilator while billions are spent transitioning Australia into a 3rd world 100% weather-dependent electricity system…plus batteries.

      110

      • #

        Their biggest mistake was not mentioning herd immunity, it was thinking it. They can’t weasel out now and pretend they meant something else. But it is good to see them rapidly retreating on a stupid idea,

        Herd immunity means 60- 95% of the population gets it and recovers.

        150

        • #
          Curious George

          Actually it is about herd mentality.

          40

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            …it is the ‘heard/hearer mentality’

            Broadly described by Gurdjieff in Beelzebub’s Tales To His Grandson….

            “CHAPTER 13 Why in man’s Reason fantasy may be perceived as reality”

            “In general, a new conception is crystallized in the presences of these strange beings only if Mr. Smith speaks of somebody or something in a certain way; then if Mr. Brown says the same, the hearer is quite convinced that it is just so and could not possibly be otherwise.”

            50

        • #
          TedM

          Unfortunately the UK has lost valuable time. I fear for them particularly in the high population density areas. So many people commute on the tube.

          10

      • #
        Andrew McRae

        that will be the biggest scandal of the year

        In 2020 that is making a big call.

        Besides, didn’t we establish last week the universities, airlines, and the federal government were the biggest contributors to Australia’s Wuhan blues? How the State health departments deal with the triage and the mass cremations is somewhat secondary to the original cause, or tertiary if you consider China’s gastronomical, political, and medical shortcomings to be the original cause.

        11

    • #
      tom0mason

      No not exactly Monty Python…

      Notes from the Civil Service Handbook outlines the basic operational parameters within which Boris as the Prime Minister, and the UK government officials must operate.
      Here is a salient example …

      https://youtu.be/HSD1d-6P6qI?list=PL00253ECF36106F03

      41

  • #
    Virtual Reality

    Here as some interesting statistics on the C-Virus

    Total world population

    7.53 Billion (Based on 2017)

    Total Confirmed cases
    169387 (16.03.2020)
    0.00225 % of total world population

    Total Confirmed deaths
    6513 (16.03.2020)
    0.0000868 % of total world population

    The data is provided by John Hopkins Universtiy.
    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

    PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG ON THE PERCENTAGES … WHO KNOW I MIGHT HAVE GOT IT ALL WRONG.

    82

    • #
      Tom O

      And what is your point? This is the sort of mindset that allows any disease to have the opportunity to spread. the flu is a worldwide virus, it has been so for decades, but there was a time, I am sure, when it, too, was a “novel” virus.

      What you are saying is that “this is no big deal, too much fuss over nothing.” Truth is, its new, no one really knows that much about it, it has had very definitely severe affects, and it would be nice to NOT have it become a worldwide disease like the flu.

      80

      • #
        LightningCamel

        Don’t know why so many are afraid of data. VR presented some data which is accurate, he made no other claims for it. Put it together with other data to develop a more informed view. If it appears not to support your particular point of view then maybe you need to modify your view or look again at the data.

        There is no need or value in setting up a straw man argument and then accusing him of something he did not do.

        The same thing happened back at #4 where Steve presented some good information from Italy and, in the subsequent comments, people who pointed out that the basis for mortality figures was still very dodgy were accused of not being thinking or inquisitive people. I’m not sure if it is rude or laughable but it sure is not good science.

        Lest a couple of people feel picked on, these are just examples, there are many others scattered through these threads.

        This is a tense time for many and it is important that try to think about what people have said and respond to that rather that assuming motive and reacting.

        30

        • #

          It is actually just the number of cases and deaths versus a particular number and he chose a big irrelevant one. I agree with Tom O – he used global population so that he could have lots of zeros after the decimal point in order to make it seem insignificant. Why? Who knows, but it is misleading.

          Also like Tom O I could say – at one point there were only 10 people with Spanish flu that’s 0.0000000005 of the world’s population.

          That comparison and use of stats is just as stupid as VRs

          50

    • #
      GD

      Yes, VR, that’s now, but wait two weeks, then compare. You won’t be pushing the same line,

      61

    • #
      Meglort

      The percentage of people that die from drunk drivers is a miniscule percentage of the overall population.

      Should that be ignored then on that basis given your chance of being killed by a drunk driver or dying whilst drunk and driving compared to the population of the earth is low?

      12

  • #
    paul

    people . the figures out of Italy PROVE that this is a non event for healthy people under 70 years of age. If you are over 70 or unhealthy or newly unwell with any similar symptoms to flu YOU MUST STAY HOME.

    Destroying your economy with a stupid dictatorial clampdown is stupid

    The UK is totally correct for this virus Spanish flu is all together different

    74

  • #
  • #
    paul

    trying to post the proof…… how ?

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ETLTEqEXkAEBi77?format=png&name=small

    maybe this . so use to twitter

    10

  • #
    paul

    remember William Hanage writes for the The Guardian

    he hates boris, trump , conservatives

    If we were talking Spanish flu he might have a point’

    something else

    i am hearing reports of bird flu emanating out of the Philippines

    It would be easier to isolate these 3rd world shit holes of countries that wont even join the 20th century let alone 2020 with their food production

    Dont fall for the never ending clampdown by our would be dictators , you know the same dictators that are silencing true climate believers

    91

    • #
      patrick healy

      YES Paul,
      It was only a matter of time until the Guardian found a use, what with this toilet paper shortage and all that …..
      BTW I am wondering if you know anyone who would want to swap a new set Ping irons for 6 rolls of slightly used toilet paper. Joaanne has my e mail address
      I see its Paddy’s day already in Aus. I have no intention of NOT celebrating it here when it comes Wuhan Flu or not.

      60

      • #
        Annie

        Happy St Patrick’s Day to you, patrick healy, and to all with Irish ancestry (some in mine too).

        30

  • #
    thingadonta

    Some ideas.

    I don’t think this virus is turning out to be as bad as the 1918 flu, which didn’t discriminate so much with age, in fact it actually mostly killed healthier people from 20-40 years old, as their immune system over-reacted to a brand new flu virus by filling their lungs with fluid.

    Some similarities, but some differences to 1918, are going on here. Most deaths from this ‘SARS2′ (or ‘SARS3′ if you count MERS-the 3 are all related) occur in people whose immune system seems to be over-reacting to a brand new virus it has never seen before in their lungs, causing them to be unable to get enough oxygen. But a key difference is the demograpghics-death rates with this ‘SARS2′ are heavily correlated with the elderly, with virtually no effect on the very young, whilst the 1918 flu was heavily correlated with young adults, with some skewness to both the very old and the very young. (It is just plain luck that very young children don’t die form this new disease-this often doesn’t occur with brand new diseases).

    There is an analogy (and some differences) with allergies here also. One only ever suffers an allergic reaction the second time one is exposed to something. So if one has an allergic reaction to bees, or hornets (as I do), it only ever occurs the second (or later) time you get stung, never the first-as in this case the body ‘over-reacts’ to something it has encountered before and then recognises as a threat. There is a built-in mechanism of ‘immune learning’, but it simply over-reacts. The lack of any over-reaction in the young with SARS2 might relate to the fact they have never encountered anything of the sort before, perhaps an evolutionary predisposition one loses as one gets older. (???)

    The lack of effect on this latest virus with the young might partly relate to the lack of over-reaction of their immune systems themselves. Young children and babies immune systems ‘expect’ to encounter entirely new viruses they haven’t seen yet, so they don’t over react and only get mild conditions. (?)

    The idea of ‘herd immunity’ is relevant here I think, the idea that the general population not only ‘shields’ those more vulnerable over time, but immune systyems collectively also stop ‘over-reacting’ over time, much the same as the immune system stops ‘over-reacting’ with de-sensitisation and allergies- these can lessen over time as the body itself gets ‘used’ to the allergy. It is known that local populations living in close proximity over time with things like wasps, hornets, bees, various herbs etc etc develop far less allergic reactions than foreigners/outsiders who have never been exposed to these things, who occasionally then suffer sever reactions or die on the second time they are stung (which I have seen several times upon second stings with outsiders, during several years spent within the tropics). The locals in these areas hardly ever get such local ‘allergic’ reactions, let alone die. There is a kind of ‘herd immunity’ which lessens the ‘allergic reaction’ within the population compared to outsiders who have never seen it.

    Some things to think about.

    110

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Thanks Thingadonta,

      A great line of thought.

      KK

      30

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The football world is mourning the death of 21-year-old football coach Francisco Garcia, who died after contracting coronavirus.
      The Spanish coach, who had served as Malaga-based club Atletico Portada Alta’s youth team manager since 2016, has become the fifth and youngest victim of the illness in the region.

      Garcia died on Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19 last week, having been sent to the Regional Hospital of Malaga for treatment.
      Upon his arrival at the facility, Garcia was found to be suffering from a form of leukaemia which made him more vulnerable to the virus currently sweeping the globe.

      30

    • #
      Meglort

      You are spot on.

      It mostly trims the high dependency population and leaves those that pay tax and those that will in the future whilst reducing the cost management burden after a little structural cost incursion. There is sadly a little collateral damage, but a small price to pay for the greater good. Just need to focus on reducing the necessary structural separation charges.

      In corporate governance this is called reducing the bottom line and increasing the top line. Maybe it was designed by the finance department.
      A biological involuntary societal redundancy program.

      13

      • #
        thingadonta

        The point is, the overall mortality rate was higher in 1918-1919, somewhere between 1->10% , depending on how many unknown ‘milder’ cases there was. However flu doesn’t usually cause mild symptoms, so some researchers think the mortality rate was closer to 10% than 1%. This is supported for example, by known cases where entire villages lost more than 80% of all inhabitants. For this virus the overall mortality rate is very likely below 1%, still very bad because so many catch it, but not as bad as in 1918 where also many caught the virus, but with a higher fatality rate, regardless of age. Also in both cases, mortality rate was high for the elderly, but in this latter virus mortality is low for those especially below 20-30, unlike the 1918-1919 flu.

        10

  • #
    EJW

    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=286145

    The implications for mutation indicated in this article and the research being done in China are interesting. The idea that by removing the most deadly strain(s) by isolating them into hospitals this then allows a weaker though just as virulent strains to mutate through error, persist and spread.

    At least this is how I am reading it.

    20

  • #
    sophocles

    Jacinda has finally acted (over the weekend). Incoming flights to be quarantined. (I saw two big jets coming in from the West just before sunset on Sunday evening after this announcement. They seemed to be heavily laden — lots of incoming virus?) Sports gatherings exepecting over 500 people are to be cancelled. Schools and Universities haven’t been closed. Yet. A warning was made that there might be more announcements over the week.

    This is all just about two weeks too late.

    This is now two weeks since an Iranian was admitted to Ak Hosp with symptoms. Satellites show Iran is digging mass graves. Prayer is not enough. (Bugger, I’ve got an appointment there this week. I won’t be popular if I stay home! Move the appointment: I’m self-isolating! but, it took me four months to get this one … )

    NZ Reserve Bank has lowered interest rates again to “stimulate the economy.” Lots of very cheap moolah if you want to borrow but certainly it will really discourage people from keeping their money in the bank. Best place to not keep it, now. Hmm, do I need a new car? Jet-ski? A “non-polluting” Electric air-liner?

    It’s not going to stimulate the economy except for inflation.

    50

    • #
      Dennis

      Your comment supports the comment I posted yesterday …

      15 March 2020

      “Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced plans to impose mandatory self-quarantine on all new arrivals to Australia in an attempt to slow the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak. The measure will take effect from 12 am on March 16 until further notice but will exclude arrivals from the Pacific Islands because the area has so far been unaffected by the crisis.

      The decision by the Australian government to impose such strict entry restrictions comes just a day after New Zealand premier Jacinda Ardern announced a similar 14-day self-quarantine order on all new arrivals including returning Kiwis.”

      As I posted earlier, Immigration and other government decisions are usually based on the relationship between Australia and New Zealand, Closer Economic Relations (CER) in place since the 1980s and other agreements such as the ANZUS Treaty.

      30

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Two posts about effects of social distancing and quarantine.

      1. Some model animations lifted from Washington Post showing how different levels of immobility reduce the person-to-person interactions and so greatly lower both transmission rate and also slightly lower the total infection percentage.
      Why outbreaks like Coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”. A disease outbreak simulation.
      https://imgur.com/gallery/SVZgc5a

      2. The effect on the environment of the lockdown in Venice
      After almost a week of lock down the canals in Venice are all clear and full of fishes.
      https://imgur.com/gallery/xEk95HI/comment/1822059683

      Kindof eerie seeing these famous tourist hotspots and catching a glimpse of The World Without People.

      10

  • #
    nc

    Article was going good until it mentioned bumbling response from Trump administration. Trump took action banning flights from China, Iran Korea weeks ago. The problem is past administration not doing anything to prepare for something like this. Biden Hillary bernie have been professional politicians for decades and only polished thief own plates. Trump has been in only 3 years.
    Hey we have Trudeau in hiding and airliners still hauling in passengers from China and no screenings.

    72

  • #
  • #
    Tom O

    Excuse me if I say I do NOT understand what you are saying here -

    “:Forgive me if I repeat: A virus is just an inanimate chemical code. It can’t reproduce and it can’t repair itself. To beat it, all we have to do is out-wait it. Without machinery to copy the code it will degrade into foodsafe ingredients. Air, oxygen, time and light will crack the code. The longer we feed it, the stronger it gets.”

    IF a virus was an inanimate chemical code and can’t reproduce, could you please explain how it was able to infect more than one person? This is a nonsensical statement as it has to be able to replicate or it would not be a communicable disease. Not only can it replicate, but it can nutate. And it doesn’t need “fresh bodies,” it only needs one host to happily keep its strain alive and well into the future. “Fresh bodies” only allows the establishment of more colonies.

    56

    • #
      Fred Streeter

      As viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens they cannot replicate without the machinery and metabolism of a host cell.

      Google “viral replication”.

      80

    • #
      sophocles

      Tom O said:

      :Forgive me if I repeat: A virus is just an inanimate chemical code. It can’t reproduce and it can’t repair itself. To beat it, all we have to do is out-wait it. Without machinery to copy the code it will degrade into foodsafe ingredients.

      So how do you propose to keep virus replication machines (cells in human bodies) away from this virus’s RNA? That’s the first necessary step to out-waiting it — avoiding infection.

      30

    • #

      Tom, this virus is a 29,000 base sequence of ribonucleic acids encased in a protein type capsule. It is inert, dumb, useless and does nothing til it locks onto one of our cells. Just like a computer virus it then commands the machinery and energy factories and generations billions of copies of itself. These are shed like a cloud of seeds to float for a bit in the air and fall wherever. PEople get them on their hands, and touch door knobs, the next person opens the door and rubs their eye. Infected.

      Some viruses even infect plants and manage to spread. There are ways….

      If the viral particles fall on bare ground they will crack up and disintegrate in hours to days depending on the environment.

      These sort of viruses can’t “live on” inside a human forever. The immune system will eradicate them. Therefore they need a new host always and in a continuous chain.

      Yes, they mutate, but unless they turn into a bacterium they have no metabolism, and no ability to do anythign without a long line of fresh bodies. A retrovirus like HIV can insert itself in to our genes. That’s different. A DNA virus can use our repair mechanisms. But an RNA virus cannot.

      I do fear that if animals can be those bodies then we may not eradicate. We will have to vaccinate or do some biochemical warfare.

      141

  • #
    observa

    The question is whether a 14 day lockdown would knock it out or cause a rinse repeat again for no long term gain. You’re simply trading off medical benefits for economic costs and I suspect the cure could be worse than the disease if you bankrupt large swathes of economic wellbeing. Frankly as a grandparent I don’t want you shifting my medical health and well being onto the economic wellbeing shoulders of my children and grandchildren Jo so on balance I’m with the UK approach at present.

    Get the productive back to work and we’ll all take our chances but as retirees we come dead last for any medical help with this virus. Yes it’s likely a death sentence for my older brother and aunt in aged care already and for many Boomers too but we know the priorities here. Do you seriously think nan and pop want their carers and medicos put at risk caring for them rather than their children and grandchildren and I can speak for my brother and aunt here. Get real as we’ll be caring for our young the moment we’re needed whatever the risk so toughen up snowflakes as this is war except this time the aged are the front line troops. We’re not done for yet and we’re always optimistic it won’t be us but we know the ropes.

    60

    • #

      Fastest way to rescue the ecomony would to to block flights before it spread. Since they didn’t do that — next option is to block flights and Go Hard on a quarantine.

      The slow bleed option is playing with fire, can go feral at any time. People won’t go to work. They won’t send kids to school. Fear will run everything.

      Italy has 30k out of 60m infected and they broke their hospitals already. We can save 4 out of 5 people if we keep infections so low that there is an ICU unit for everyone. The economy is screwed utterly with the “Let it Rip” option. But if we do a proper major quarantine we will minimize costs.

      I suspect it has to be a month long, and done extremely well. But all countries that accomplish that will be keen to open up flights again.

      111

      • #

        Too pessimistic, Jo.
        In the UK we now have a movement of volunteers being created to help out those over 70 and with underlying problems during their period of isolation.
        Modern technology such as What’s App is proving invaluable.

        60

        • #

          Stephen

          It seems there are more volunteers than there are people needing help.

          Our number of cases and deaths per million remain amongst the lowest in the world and I don’t understand the criticism of the UK position. It seems pretty sensible to me with the caveat that we musn’t totally shut down business or else the economic collapse will be the lasting legacy of this panic

          50

      • #
        observa

        The slow bleed option is playing with fire, can go feral at any time. People won’t go to work. They won’t send kids to school. Fear will run everything.

        I agree with that and if the productive young are to stay calm and put their kids in childcare and carry on then they’ll only do that with a volunteer Grey Army putting themselves at risk and covering their backs prepared to be in the front line as required. Already The Australian reports of many retired doctors ready to step up to the plate but it needs a national coordinated approach for all sorts of volunteers. Medical care facilities don’t just run on doctors but nurses orderlies cooks cleaners and maintenance staff and they will get sick and need replacing by any idle volunteers with the skills. Where do they enlist to volunteer right now? Nowhere but the man with the qualifications and experience to set up lead and inspire such a volunteer Grey Army with the full imprimatur of Federal Govt is among us right now. That’s Tony Abbott.

        10

    • #
      WXcycles

      And while suppressing the virus through draconian measures might be successful for months, when they lift, the virus will return, said Sir Patrick Vallance, the U.K.’s chief scientific adviser.

      What’s the problem living and operating with a standard 14-day quarantine for all arrivals after the virus peak has been quashed? You don’t even have to remove that requirement until a vaccine or antiviral treatment is available.

      We had entry quarantines successfully for over a century and it worked. It will work again as countries re-open borders to travel. We won’t be able to treat open borders as an unimpeded on/off switch as re-infection will occur. So only people who are healthy and can afford a two week quarantine (in time and money) will wish to travel anyway. The tourism related sector will have to accept that free unimpeded travel is not coming back soon, domestic travel earnings only.

      The desire to travel to countries with lower infection level will be high, conversely, the desire to travel to a highly infected country will be low.

      So the flow from re-opening borders would be skewed. Countries where COVID-19 not under control would be shunned, as the traveler faces a two week quarantine on arrival, and another two week quarantine when they return home. So letting the virus have its way unopposed in a country is not going to produce more trade, travel and a healthier economy sooner.

      An effective antiviral medicine would change all that in a few months.

      40

  • #

    This gigantic global stunt, similar to the climate beat-up but obviously faster and more immediate, needs a special strategy.

    The strategy is called “flooding the zone”. The buzz phrase came up often amid the nauseating corporate-speak of last October’s coronavirus exercise at Johns Hopkins (Bloomberg) with funding from Bill and Mel. Thanks to the physical immediacy, what the controllers would love to do with the climate issue, they really can do with disease, even if the disease has relatively few cases and deaths and may well be confounded with other infections and causes of death (multiplying lily pads etc not withstanding).

    As Event 201 planned, the populace is engulfed in “information” to the point that even a refugee from media can’t avoid saturation. Makes one yearn for the good old days of RussiaRussiaRussia, GretaGretaGreta, firefirefire.

    This lady, bit of a Trump-booster, is sometimes worth a listen, especially on the all-important subject of conditioning. Here in a video about Event 201 she describes “flooding the zone” as building a wall of noise. Seems about right. https://tinyurl.com/w2vnt45

    Hit those red thumbs, people…and flood that zone!

    112

    • #
      joseph

      Event 201. It’s worked so well! The time frame! The coordination! The figures! The media!
      We ain’t getting back from this in a hurry.

      And from Our Interesting Times – “Medical Martial Law”. There’s a particularly sobering segment on the CDC.

      https://tkelly6785757.podomatic.com/

      31

      • #

        Thanks Joseph. I’ll check out Tim Kelly later today.

        The retro-fiddling with Spanish Flu history has been interesting. That enormous event has always been weirdly neglected, especially when you consider the possible origins, the speed of lethality and the bizarre tendency to afflict the young and vigorous (including right out of war zones) while the aged showed surprisingly good immunity, even against ordinary flu, at the same time. Much to learn there…but something tells me that, as with climate, we won’t be learning it now that global dogma has been imposed ex cathedra.

        While Yemen has been a petri dish of 19th century heirloom diseases for years (helped by starvation) that embarrassing scuffle has been given the prominence of Tasmanian croquet results. As for confounding a global economic crisis with a new flu strain…it couldn’t be done till now. It never occurred to the most corrupt controllers of past years that one could simply remove the Vietnam War, the Biafran crisis or Harold Holt’s credit squeeze from the public mind simply by talking (and talking!) about something else.

        This degree of statist control and media uniformity across all boundaries is the new thing and the real plague. As simple as: volume up, volume down. Why, it even seems to have brought warmies and skeps into a cuddly consensus – with added scienciness!

        Not this skep.

        Red me, please.

        90

    • #

      attention seeking. Looks like you’re not having the ego boost you hoped for.

      03

      • #

        I am definitely seeking attention and I definitely want those red badges of honour. I thought about walking, decided to stay and dish out, annoy some of the old finger-wagging warmies as a bonus. (I can tell when you’re annoyed.)

        So is this a good time for war? Those Iranians have been doing mass burials or cremations visible from space. Or something. In any case, we don’t like ‘em.

        Who’d notice a good cleansing war right now? It would rate even less attention than a global economic crash.

        Red me!

        21

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      There was a hint of the 2020 US election being cancelled…Emporer Trump?

      I have seen reports China may be past the worst of it and factories and offices returning to normal slowly…

      10

  • #
    EternalOptimist

    jo,
    I understand that a total lockdown would finish the virus, but is a total lockdown ever possible ? if there is even one leak, you would have to go through it again and again, till there is a cure.
    My daughter is a paramedic, she saves lives on a daily basis, if she were to go into complete isolation how many would die ?

    80

  • #

    Every day we wait makes it harder. The sooner we start the sooner we win.

    We have to turn our society upside down. Guard our medical staff, delivery boys, drivers, truckies, fruit pickers. We need to test them every day to make sure they are clean. They need to do deliveries with an air gap.

    One leak we can handle — as long as it is detected soon. We need lots of testing and tracking and isolation.

    What we can’t handle are planes full of leaks.

    101

  • #
    Reed Coray

    No sarcasm or tongue-in-cheek intended–I would like an answer to the following question: “What is it about COVID-19 that warrants a reaction so different from the actions taken to combat most flus?” Every year a flu that starts in Asia sweeps across the world. People are currently recommending we take actions (some would say drastic actions) to combat COVID-19 that are seldom if ever recommended for other flus. There must be a reason or reasons for combating COVID-19 differently. Is the reason some form of “the precautionary principle;” or is it knowledge (not guessing, knowledge) that COVID-19 warrants those changes? For example, a COVID-19 100% death rate would obviously constitute a valid reason.

    91

    • #

      Just the numbers.
      The proportion requiring medical assistance will overwhelm every national health system on the planet unless stringent measures ‘flatten the curve’.
      The UK has asked multiple manufacturers including Rolls Royce and GEC to produce more ventilators and other intensive care equipment as fast as possible regardless of cost.
      The military will be supporting hospitals as necessary and increased testing facilities are being created with a high degree of urgency.
      A lot has been going on in the background in the UK that Jo could not have been aware of when she created this post.

      50

    • #
      PeterS

      To answer your question it would involve a length essay. In short it’s due to a panic outbreak, which in itself is due to a number of factors. One, public sentiment was already on edge due to financial stress over concerns about job security, ever escalating prices of many things coupled with little or no wages growth. Two, the propaganda pushed by the MSM and politicians on both sides over fears of catastrophic climate change and the apparent urgency to reduce our emissions. That fear has now morphed into the fear of the current pandemic supposedly ending our world. Three, the lack of action on the part of China to warn the rest of the world the outbreak late last year and instead trying to cover it up. There are more but those reasons will suffice.

      61

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        That and as I predicted a new “crisis” as needed to divert attention from the flimsy world economic system that has been bled dry….

        10

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘Is the reason some form of “the precautionary principle;”

      Yes, as you correctly point out we are invaded by new waves of flu every year and thousands die, mostly the old and frail. So from the start I saw this as an MSM beat up.

      The damage to the economic fabric of the western world is a sight to behold and we should all be grateful that the Guardian has put global warming on the back burner.

      31

    • #
      el gordo

      Importantly, its not influenza and we are dealing with something truly novel, so not overwhelming the medical service is a priority.

      The MSM has been reporting for years that we should expect a pandemic, its surreal.

      20

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I was musing over how hard it nailed China and cant shake the idea that because there was such a scramble to get on top of it, suggests it caught the chinese well and truly iff guard, which opens the doors for how the “novel” but came about.

        10

  • #
    joe lori

    The rumor of a shutdown is not true, as of noon, mountain time, USA. What is interesting is that most states are implementing their own shutdowns and restrictions. So is some states or even counties, almost everything is shut down and in others you would never know there is a crisis. Think Sydney precautions versus those in Alice Springs.

    20

    • #
      William Astley

      it is now politically incorrect to be open and take the risk … and the change occurred in a day…

      so almost every event in the US and in Canada that can be closed/cancelled. Schools, sporting events, gyms, libraries, shopping stores, and so on are now closed. No more large or small groups of people. Travel bans into and out of almost all developed countries.

      It appears all of the developed countries are going to try their best efforts isolation.

      10

  • #

    Johnson’s press conference, just concluded, creates a whole new scenario.

    Tomorrow morning I’ll be reorganising my law firm accordingly.

    I am just a few months over 70, my wife has Type 1 diabetes and I have a pregnant staff member.

    Life changes completely from the coming weekend.

    Daily presentations will be provided by Johnson and his advisors to keep up with the crisis.

    51

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Have just gone through the forty five comments above and find it amazing.

    Jo has not only created a continuous stream of highly detailed comment but accumulated other perspectives from contributors.

    Looking in from outside the sum total is an info analysis that would do any national government proud but the fact is it’s coming from Jo’s blog. Congratulations.

    Comments in some cases may have been seen as contradicting Jo’s theme that we must institute a period of quarantine, but what has come through, to me, is that the comments have been complementary in that they reinforce the total picture being built and give a bigger picture to work with.

    Well done all.

    KK

    60

    • #
      PeterS

      Yes indeed this crisis has exposed the good in most of us but sadly it has also exposed the bad in others. Hoarding for example must now be curtailed somehow to stop the panic buying causing shops to be emptied of essential items leaving many people empty handed and desperate. We as a nation should now unite and treat this like a war situation to help each other and not go nuts over things like toilet paper. It has already gone too far. Most of us are sensible about things and now only buy enough for our immediate needs. If we all did that there would be no shortages at the shops once the deliveries are made from the suppliers.

      31

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Statistics.

    A highly useful area of scientific backup when real data is not available, but.

    The statistics surrounding this new disease must be treated with caution because of the varying input factors that make comparison between nations very unreliable.

    Some here have made comment on countries in Europe where in recent years “migrants” have created an imbalance in the numbers with old diseases that have become new again.

    Stats on death rates may be statistically messed up when the real cause of death was 90% pre_existing factors with Corona being just the last straw.

    A difficult situation made more difficult by the usual political/activist hyperventilating designed with one purpose in mind; control!

    KK

    30

    • #
      PeterS

      Also it’s clear the virus affects people with pre-existing conditions, which happens more often with the elderly. Statistics IMHO are at the moment are not telling the real story since we are at the early staged of the spread of the virus and things can turn more nasty that we could imagine. On the other hand it might not. It all depends on the nature of the virus and how it might mutate. A lot is unknown so it’s not a good idea to extrapolate and speculate what will happen in the future. We just need to treat the situation as serious but not be alarmed to the point of scaring everyone out of their wits.

      40

  • #
    dinn, rob

    all strength, all healing of every nature is the changing of (energy) vibrations from within,, according to Edgar Cayce
    https://aumladder.blogspot.com/2020/03/all-strength-all-healing-of-every.html

    30

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    The most interesting statement from the British plan is the need to isolate the over 70’s for up to 4 months. In Australia, we are not thinking that far ahead. For example, the $750 for the poorest in our society is not going to e enough, even if we only plan for 4 weeks.

    And since we are going to have a lot of casuals, gig workers etc, i would suggest that plans are made to have them help out in those more essential tasks like fruit picking and farm work (no backpackers or Islanders due to the travel bans) cleaners, delivery drivers, and grocery pickers (for the increased volume of online orders).

    /please note that according to he lord of comments I’m unqualified to offer any comment on this subject. H/T AD

    [ Peter I think that's enough ] AD

    47

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      http://joannenova.com.au/2019/10/the-state-of-destruction/#comment-2201946

      His “contribution” was acknowledged by Forty Seven readers.

      He has done better though and on one occasion broke 50.

      _______________#

      Peter Fitzroy

      October 10, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      This is probably a better description of what most commentators use when posting on this site

      Boetcker also spoke of the “Seven National Crimes”:

      I don’t think.
      I don’t know.
      I don’t care.
      I am too busy.
      I leave well enough alone.
      I have no time to read and find out.
      I am not interested.

      1 Green. 47. Red.

      Go Peter.

      Please.

      40

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        And just in case; this response was provoked by the last line /,,,,,, referring to the l o c.

        But I guess that he’s entitled, as we’ve been informed, he’s a “contributing” contributor.

        20

    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      I’m happy to remove the /line now that the point has been made.

      Back to my original post.
      We are facing up to 3 months of disruption.
      So far we have stopped all the all the normal fruit pickers from entering the country – who is going to do that job now.
      We have no plan to support those who are going to be in social isolation – just the big stick – if you are caught not at home.
      We have no resource plan to keep essential services (power, water, food) functioning.

      20

  • #
    James Murphy

    France is closing borders to non citizens on Tuesday for 30 days (matching with the rest of the EU/Schengen countries), restricting travel in France, banning all public gatherings, but allowing people to continue “essential activities”, but indicating penalties if the rules aren’t followed. This is for at least 15 days. I think it will be longer.

    Tax payments, various utility bills and rent payments are to be suspended (not sure exactly who this applies to yet), and unemployment benefits will be extended to people who are not allowed to work. €300 billion in funds will help to keep businesses afloat (I imagine this will go up).

    There was something about free taxi travel for health workers too, but I didn’t catch it all. The 2nd round of local government elections have been postponed. New government legislation will be drafted and submitted by Thursday. Macron repeatedly referred to this as a war.

    They are also setting up a military field hospital in Alsace because obviously they need one.

    40

  • #
    Another Ian

    “It has been determined that the C19 corona virus has been exposed to President Trump….

    The Democrats have now asked the virus to self quarantine for 14 days. ”

    https://www.redpowermagazine.com/forums/topic/128501-wouldn%E2%80%99t-it-be-ironic/?tab=comments#comment-1400566

    40

    • #
      PeterS

      How does one quarantine a virus but not the person carrying the virus? I presume they mean Trump himself should be quarantined. In that case are they suggesting this is an assassinati0n attempt with the assumption no other politician on either side has been exposed to the virus? If people want him quarantined then the all politicians should be quarantined, which wouldn’t be such a bad idea to stop the Democrats rambling like a bunch of fools.

      41

  • #
    cedarhill

    Good!
    Just destroyed the US Economy!
    Shortly a loss of 50% in market values in the US alone!
    Democrat governors shutting down private business such as restaurants!
    Airlines filing for bankruptcy protection!
    Currency trashed around the globe as rates plunge to zero or below!
    The entire US small business sector to be bankrupt.
    Schools closed!
    Currency trashed around the globe!
    World recession assured!
    World depression likely!

    Massive bailout to roll out!
    Massive welfare programs about to roll out!
    Universal guaranteed income gaining steam!
    TCurrency trashed around the globe!
    Canada closing borders!
    Mexico considering closing it’s US border!
    Germany closing something!
    Desperate parents forcing kids to drinking bleach to treat the virus!
    Entire villages in India drinking cow urine to treat the virus!
    Sheriffs in the US standing watch on a person that refused to self-quarantine!

    And that is just a sampling. The only real thing being taught is you cannot stop a panic.
    China must be having parties and plotting their next virus actions since they’ve very effectively defeated the West. The West will never recover as free societies.

    All the climate skeptics should all just close shop. This is their final chapter. Once you have promoted and ceded uncontrolled power to the ruling elite, it is impossible to recover it

    And thus, not with a bang, but with a common cold.

    94

  • #
    James Murphy

    Where are the Telephone sanitisers when we need them?

    70

  • #
    Konrad

    The Chinese already worked out what the problem with the herd immunity approach was: the virus had too much evolutionary latitude due to its long asymptomatic infectious period.

    That means if just let loose, it could just as easily mutate into a more deadly strain and still be a successful virus.

    This is what their mass “quarantine” centers with hundreds locked into sports halls with armed guards was all about. They were trying to create evolutionary pressure with the tools they had available. This is why they boasted that only the CCP had the means to fight this.

    There is an alternative for the west: massive testing program that uses testing that picks up the virus before it manifests in the respiratory tract. But given our “experts” never actually believed asymptomatic transmission was possible, it is doubtful they could understand the need for this approach.

    40

    • #
      LightningCamel

      Konrad, agree with most of what you say but I think the problem with the long asymptomatic infectious period is that it deeastically reduces the oressure on the virus to mutate into a less virulent form because it has ample opportunity to reproduce before it kills its host. Herd immunity is more to do with being infected and surviving.

      10

  • #
    Delta

    Hmm – Richard North on his Eu Referendum blog has some very relevant advice based on his own experience. He writes “as a student public health inspector, back in the early ’70s, I received formal training in the theory of epidemiology and the control of communicable diseases – more intensive than medical doctors received.”

    If I summarise what he says it is that the only sensible way to address the Coronavirus is to test, test, test, then trace the infection chain and isolate all identified people for as long as necessary because nothing else can be guaranteed to work. He stresses the urgency of this approach. And also he says there’s no evidence that “flattening the curve” to delay the peak will work.

    “It would be just as foolish to assume that the so-called “delay” phase will have any material effect on the shape of the epidemic curve.”

    He is scathing about the herd immunity approach which could easily lead to more than half a million deaths in the UK.

    It’s worth reading his recent posts:
    Coronavirus: a recipe for failure Monday 16 March 2020
    Coronavirus: a change of pace? Sunday 15 March 2020
    Coronavirus: bring out your dead Saturday 14 March 2020
    And earlier posts too.

    40

  • #
    DonS

    Hi Jo

    I wake up this morning to see some Australian “newspapers” with headlines screaming 150 000 deaths possible in Aus. Why are the media so stupid? There is no evidence for this idiotic scare headline, no doubt they have a pet “expert” telling them all about their doomsday wet dream.

    The total number of confirmed cases worldwide since December is about 140 000 with a mortality of about 2.5%. Even it the official figures of number of cases is out by a factor of 10, which I suspect, and we took no action at all, which we are not, then I can see no way a country like Australia could expect more than about 5000 deaths given the experience of countries that have been dealing with this for a few months now.

    That would be bad enough but apparently that’s not enough for our media gods who think it best to scare the crap out of an already nervous population. Do they want riots in the streets? OH yeah what was I thinking, of course they do!

    The situation is bad enough without hyperventilating by the extinction, doomsday obsessed media and their fake news machine grinding out this sort of crap. They can get away with it on climate change because almost no one really believes the climate is going to kill us but this is a very different thing. I suppose when a story is getting 24/7 coverage a news organisation feels the need to make their coverage stand out so they resort to this sort of reporting. Sick!

    130

  • #
    The Depraved and MOST Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

    Very sorry if this is redundant, but I’ve not had time to sort through the rest of the comments on this topic.

    Our daughter, a Registered Nurse, apparently found something on-line and it is in regard to the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.

    The long and the short of it is that the best treatment, in that day and age, PRE-ANTIBIOTIC was treating both flu (or other upper respiratory infections) and battlefield patients with fresh air.

    Many physicians of the day noted that patients who were kept in tightly-closed hospital wards had a higher mortality rate than patients who were either outside (sunshiny!) or in wards with strong cross-ventilation. Why the open air seemed to be better was not established, but one previous post here related the production of Vitamin D (sunshine) to a better immune response.

    Now, most hospitals in the Western world, to my knowledge, use some form of HVAC to keep some circulation going at all times, though not necessarily just fresh outside air (it may have some processing or conditioning; let’s face it — – it is still winter in the Northern Hemisphere, where I am [Wyoming], so I do not see taking URI patients outside to be treated in the open air). What was interesting is that with the advent of widespread and effective antibiotics, this apparent wisdom seems to have gone by the wayside.

    Wyoming is blessed, even in the super frigid winter months, with abundant sunshine (about 300 days per year, on average), so even bundled up against the elements, one can still get some small measure of sunlight, and the Vitamin D effect, even if only on one’s face.

    Hope someone can find the article my daughter found; it is worth the read. Please post here if you do,

    Vlad

    50

  • #
    WXcycles

    ABC put together an insightful page on COVID-19 cases within Australia which they have been keeping up to date.

    Coronavirus data reveals how COVID-19 is spreading in Australia – Updated 11 minutes ago

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/coronavirus-data-reveals-how-covid-19-is-spreading-in-australia/12060704

    Makes clear the reason for the low death and critical cases rate in Australia so far is that most people who have it are in the younger age groups under 60 years old, while only 49 people above 60 have contracted it so far.

    50

  • #

    Yet Chinese infections outside Hubei never increased in the manner anticipated in the comments above and now the whole of China is proceeding on the basis that domestically the epidemic is winding down.
    I don’t trust Chinese figures but if it were still ripping through the Chinese provinces we would know about it.
    Something slowed the infection rate and that something has not yet been factored into western expectations.

    40

    • #
      WXcycles

      It does seem unlikely, except the population got a big fright after Chinese new year. I saw plenty of videos of vigilante justice against ‘outsiders’ trying to escape infected areas to other parts of China. Apparently regional accents are distinctive so it’s fairly easy to detect outsiders and start investigating their recent steps. So the population quickly realized during early Feb that it was fast becoming more dangerous to escape infection sites and ignore travel restrictions, than it was to stay where they were. There was no safety outside, and those that survived furious mob-justice were being forcibly returned to their infection site anyway with a beating and warning to others. A stronger fear of travelling away from home areas may have worked to quickly limit geographic spread. So one month later the spread did not occur and the other sites of budding infections were caught early enough to prevent a high peak via quarantine lock down.

      40

  • #
    Zane

    A middle aged female Greenie in the public library here was crowing about how wonderful this crisis was and how it was helping with climate change by reducing emissions, especially in China. The brainwashing runs deep amongst the dumb. Unfortunately, they have exactly the same vote as us enlightened skeptics…

    50

  • #
    WXcycles

    Telco/ISPs are beginning to get their act together to maintain online work, communications, bill payments and ordering services, good to finally see.

    COVID-19 support for Optus customers – A message from Kelly Bayer Rosmarin – Optus CEO (designate)

    https://www.optus.com.au/for-you/support/answer?id=20065

    20

  • #
    Roger Knights

    Get a load of this:
    ————–
    “A War Footing: Surfing the Curve”
    Joshua Gans Medium, Mar 14 · 7 min read
    https://medium.com/swlh/a-war-footing-surfing-the-curve-f5ffe6134e37

    The health care system capacity is likely way lower than the diagram is showing beyond what flattening the curve can actually achieve.

    When everything is laid out this way, the policy solution is obvious. If we can’t flatten the curve enough, we must dramatically increase health care capacity.

    To that end, I believe all governments should consider the following policies:

    Placing the military in charge of health care expansion nation-wide.
    Taking control of all bed, medical device and related manufacturing capacity. I don’t mean this physically but I do mean this in terms of being able to direct activity.
    Putting in place measures to conscript anyone who can be useful in this task. Conscription is an ugly word but you are not sending anyone to fight or die. You are putting people to work. Moreover, we just shut down the Universities and I know we all talk about continuing stuff online, let’s face it, students can do something else for the rest of the year and we will recover. Part of that work could be taking care of dependents while more qualified people do the work.
    This is already happening but there needs to be a Manhattan Project like activity to find a vaccine. The world is going to need it.

    The health care system needs to surf the curve (#surfthecurve). This is war and there is no need to keep our plans secret from the enemy.

    Update (14 March 7pm): Not sure of the details yet but Boris Johnson seems to be putting the UK on a war footing along these lines — language and all.

    01

  • #
    Roger Knights

    And now for something completely different:
    ————-

    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
    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 glycól 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.

    20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Why not use neat propylene glycol? No need for the other junk.

      How long does protection last? I used to use lots of propylene glycol in the laboratory but that was 20 years ago.

      10

      • #
        Roger Knights

        “Why not use neat propylene glycol? No need for the other junk.”

        Some vapers are close to doing that: They omit the nicotine and just vape the flavors and glycol (and perhaps some 3rd harmless (?) ingredient).

        10

  • #
    Meglort

    Imagine a scenario where everyone that could work from home, mostly did so, and people no longer commuted to the office each day to do what largely they could at home. Face to face meetings were the exception rather than the rule.

    Imagine the same, where education was delivered online and as with working, collaboration was achieved through live stream meetings and technology. Practical, hands-on needs are scheduled accordingly to minimise the logistics and rethink timetables. They still happen, just with better organisation wrapped around them.

    Public transport and road infrastructure mostly get used for non-routine travel, goods transport and for those that cannot work from or learn from, home.

    It would encourage critical infrastructure and utility providers to implement automation and systems engineering where in many cases they still rely on manual work and workarounds. We still have air gaps here in Australia, that may be tested in the next little while.

    If this is going to go on for six months or more, it could be possible that things never return to the way they were. There may be a lasting legacy of this virus that encourages society to rethink where it invests in infrastructure and how society operates.

    It would be a rethinking of the logistics of society that has mostly apart from scale, remained the same since Victorian times. It would save a fortune on roads, reduce congestion and improve societal well-being, especially for large cities and we can turn all of those car parks into parks and rather than more toll roads, build things that actually benefit our society rather than make it more miserable.

    History teaches us that when events like this happen globally, things never bounce back to the way they were before. But elements of this may be the new normal.

    20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Meglort:

      Won’t be allowed to happen. For a start a lot of the jobs affected (made redundant etc.) are filled by Labor or Green voters.

      My late brother-in-law (a teacher for many years) was of the opinion that for High School most teachers could be replaced by on-line lessons. Those that wanted to learn would quickly jump ahead, whereas those bored and uninterested could be directed to other things e.g. trades type employment.

      20

      • #
        Meglort

        Graeme No.3, that has been my experience as well.

        Online learning has been resisted by the education union specifically, but without getting into the conspiracy theories, maybe change is being forced on that cohort as it often happens.

        One of my sons just got home from high school (Yr 11) where they had a Wuhan Flu incident today and as from tomorrow his classes are being trialled as online…he was ecstatic! They were told possibly for the foreseeable future…

        20

  • #
    MarkMcD

    “On Sky News, Vallance said that “probably about 60 percent” of people would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity”

    Wow! That figure has come well down. In attacking the caution people have over vaccine they were telling us nothing less than about 95% ‘herd immunity’ would work so we ALL had to get shots.

    Never mind that herd immunity will INCREASE the mutation rate of any self-respecting bacteria or virus. It’s when they have trouble spreading that they mutate seeking more ‘profitable’ configurations.

    Add to that the risks associated with vaccine ‘extras’ – never mind that normal immunity is not built around getting injections, the additional components hold very real risks for autoimmune diseases – which are correlated quite strongly to vaccine program success.

    One example – quite a number of vaxxes prove to have fetal DNA in them due to the culturing process. That DNA is very similar if not identical to DNA we all have – train the immune system to react to that and it begins to react to it all over the body and most of it is YOURS!

    That’s called auto-immune reaction.

    As for covid-19 there is a very interesting fact recently published – the DNA of CV-19 is 96% identical to the nearest CV and 92% to the next one down. (Bat and Pangolin IIRC)

    Here’s the problem – given human and chimp are 98% identical DNA and we are different species, how does a virus mutate so far with no apparent closer relatives? How is there a jump that large, which would be a different species in any other phyla, and no in-between versions?

    A virus reacts to success. It does not try 1 thing, then keep that and try another on top of it, then another and so on. The failures are discarded and a new approach is tried.

    Do we have to accept a virus can perform a trick for which we have no actual evidence at any time in history or prehistory and which is still mere hypothesis?

    It’s the smoking gun that this virus is tailor-made in a lab. Most likely in Wuhan lab, from material brought there from Harvard where Prof Lieber and his 2 Chinese associates have been arrested for exactly that… smuggling bio material to Wuhan.

    But possibly some good news. Comparing China to rest-of-world, it is possible to see this is not the doom scenario being propagandaed across the MSM.

    https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/styles/is_full/public/images/novel-coronavirus-distribution-cases-worldwide-2020-03-16.png?itok=agx59yw6

    It is reasonable to think we are at or near the peak and cases will drop drastically from now.

    From https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases

    20

  • #
    MarkMcD

    AD – I changed it. Para removed.

    [ Noted thanks ] AD

    10

  • #
    Drapetomania

    Jo said

    “A virus is just an inanimate chemical code. It can’t reproduce and it can’t repair itself”

    Typo….should read “it can’t reproduce itself outside the host”.
    Inside the host, of course it can using the lytic/lysogenic cycles.. :)

    10