JoNova

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This is going to be shorter and faster than people think

Option three gathers wings

Finally the world is tossing out the pointless old Influenza Pandemic plan that called for six months of slow bleeding. Leaders are waking up to the high speed, hard and fast option. Tonight 20% of the worlds’ population are crushing that curve with a full lockdown because it’s the only option. 1.3 billion people in India are now in a three week home quarantine, joining France, Italy, China, Poland, Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, New York, California, South Africa, Colombia, Bolivia, Jordan and Tunisia and New Zealand. Sadly half a million people (at least) have caught Covid-19 and there will be another few doublings before the new lockdowns even start to show on the graphs.

Maybe stop feeding it fresh meat?

The Lucky Country Downunder, meanwhile, is copying the Italian-plan-that-failed with a bunch of wishy arbitrary rules that change by the day and are not remotely enough. We know the infection is spreading, but we’re still able to share our germs in Centerlink queues, at Kmart and while getting a haircut. We can’t have 6 people at a wedding, but we can have 600 at a school. Borders are closed but people are still going through them for essential jobs, and “every job is essential” says Scott Morrison.

Obviously after more people die, we’ll do the hard sharp lockdown too. I predict exponential numbers will rise exponentially in Australia, and the PM and Brendan-two-weeks-too-late-Murphy will say “it looks worrying but this is what we expected.” Then they’ll make some excuse for how people are not social distancing enough on their way to work and school and back and how, now, “medically” the time is right for a lockdown.

Simpletons will wonder why, if they knew numbers would rise, they didn’t do it earlier.

But even smart people won’t be able to answer that.

The worst of this will hopefully be over in four to six weeks. Not six months. The sooner we start the better. It’s not the end of the world to mind the kids at home (parents do it every school holidays).

The difference between Covid-19 and Influenza is that this disease is so awful we can afford (we have to afford) to eradicate it — or at the very least — deal with it, find a treatment, a cure, a vaccine. Everyone thinks we can’t possibly stop Influenza, but the truth is, if it hurt this much, we could. We’d find a way. We don’t because the price is just too high.

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This is going to be shorter and faster than people think, 8.4 out of 10 based on 77 ratings

362 comments to This is going to be shorter and faster than people think

  • #
    PeterS

    It can’t be eradicated. Like all viruses it is here to stay. The best we can do is mitigate it, and also find a cure that works well. Also, there will be other viruses yet to come. This is not the first nor the last.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      I’m sure that TdeF will take this apart forensically.
      But frankly the facts already prove you wrong.
      Complete lockdown will work
      Is Working in Singapore
      In South Korea
      In Taiwan
      Even in bloody China.

      610

      • #
        PeterS

        Where did I say I was opposed to a lockdown?

        Yes let’s get it over and done with by having a full lockdown. I think PM Morrison is just getting there in steps to try and “ease” us into that phase. However, it needs to be managed properly once we get there.

        I expect an apology from you but I won’t hold my breath.

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        • #
          John PAK

          Sites like this could become boring if we failed to exercise some different thoughts. If others in the blog-sphere disagree with me that’s probably constructive. Indeed, I sometimes provoke reactions tho’ I try to avoid being rude to anyone. Being a no-body I don’t need apologies.

          81

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Hi John,

            Thoughts and disagreements are fine but there’s other stuff to consider.

            30

            • #
              Tanner

              Jo,

              Thank you for a wonderful blog. I often visit this site though very seldom comment. I am a bit surprised at the COVID 19 commentary. I am interested in the data to back up the statement
              “the difference between covid 19 and influenza is the disease is so awful we can afford to eradicate it?

              For example – covid 19 symptoms

              1. Very mild – no symptoms
              2. Mild – dry and rough cough in the throat for 3 to 4 days with a slight temperature up to 38C
              3. Severe – virus moves to lungs causing pneumonia.

              Australia to date – 2,676 covid 19 cases – 11 deaths
              Current infections 2,547 with 2,536 in mild condition, 11 in serious or critical condition.

              Australia 2020 influenza cases to 23 March – 19,710.

              Australia 2019 influenza cases 310,000 with over 900 deaths.

              Influenza % of deaths by age group from 2018-19 stats from CDC.

              Age 0-4 = 0.8%, 5-17 = 0.6%, 18 – 49 = 7.2%, 50 – 64 = 16.6%, 65+ = 74.8%

              Covid 19 % of deaths by age group for Australia. Age 0 – 64 = 0% 65+ = 100 %

              So is covid 19 worse than influenza for all age groups?

              I do understand that it is a difficult decision between killing the virus and killing people’s jobs and the economy.

              I will be very interested in a comparison between the final data on covid 19 and the 2020 flu season data!

              Thanks again for a great and informative blog.

              [Congrats Tanner, on your survival through permanent lung damaging disease including near death drowning effects of COVID19. I'm sure that has tempered your comments in every way. Lets hope none of your experience has colored your opinion nor ability to think rationally. ]ED

              191

              • #

                Tanner, you are asking a question many ask. I will have to post directly on this. The difference is that in a flu season we never have to ask the Army to transport coffins because the local funeral house is overrun. We don’t tell people to go home and die because we’ve run out of ICU units.
                We don’t pick cut offs — Eg if you are over 60, we give up and say “sorry”. We don’t cancel all elective surgery for months.

                This is 10 – 100 times worse than the flu.

                Covid “symptoms” include economy wide panic, people afraid to send kids to schools, to go to work themselves, or to hold social events and things like that. The solution is not to lie to them and say “it’s the flu” and “keep doing what you normally do” (which was standard medical advice til last week).

                The inhumanity of watching so many die, of finding that we no longer have functional hospitals is why we have to defeat this virus, and we will.

                2110

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Hi Jo,

                I must admit to not watching the news so don’t get the full picture but is that outline you gave of Australia.

                The first six or seven Australian deaths were the elderly, the youngest being 77, I think.

                The New York family tragically suffered several deaths and they were all reported as CV19. The group photo accompanying the article suggested that there were other aspects of the situation that had been downplayed for journalistic reasons.

                Italy and China have engaged in comingling for some time.

                The last few days have been the strangest in my life because our country has almost shut down.

                There are no statistics that can be used to compare CV19 from one country to another and government action has been ramshackle and media responsive rather than medically based.

                We live in dangerous times.

                KK

                90

              • #
                Bulldust

                Prof Crabb is coming down on the hard quick lockdown side:

                https://www.watoday.com.au/national/this-is-war-professor-says-immediate-lockdown-will-stop-the-spread-of-virus-20200326-p54e6d.html

                Quote:
                Professor Brendan Crabb of Melbourne’s Burnet Institute said there should be “the strongest possible containment measures, with the exception of essential services” for a period of two-to-six-weeks in order to give the nation the best chance of containing community transmission.

                40

              • #
                robert rosicka

                This is why it’s important that we see both sides of any issue Tanner , easy to say the flu kills more or allergic reactions kill more etc etc etc but if all ICU beds are full and you or someone you love has an accident or heart attack someone has to die .
                And die unnecessarily because all the ICU beds are being used
                Doesn’t happen with a normal flu .

                70

              • #
                TedM

                Tanner you seem to overlook the fact that the flu is already endemic. Covid19 has only recently arrived. Also when has such an effort been made to prevent cases of the flu as has been made to prevent cases of covid19, if we did, what would the the figures look like then.

                I get so frustrated when I hear a commentator or read a journalists column saying, but there have only been 6 deaths (12 now). Completely overlooking that in most cases it is two weeks or more from diagnosis to death. Look at the figures from fifteen days ago, there was just 101 infected persons. I would expect the death toll to start to rise significantly as more patients approach that two weeks since diagnosis.

                31

              • #
                Richardw

                Influenza:

                300,000 resolved cases, 900 deaths.

                CCPFlu:

                100,000 resolved cases, 14000 deaths

                50

              • #
                Tanner

                The initial blog post compared covid-19 with the flu.
                It has since being stated covid-19 is 10 to 100 times worse than the flu
                I have just provided the current data for comparison for Australia.

                To date now 13 deaths (one person over 65, 12 people over 70, all with health issues)
                75% of flu related deaths are people over 65 with health issues.

                The positive news is that it looks like the combination of Chloroquine with an antibiotic might be a great help in treating the disease.
                There will shortly be testing kits available that can test for antibodies and Igg with results in 15 mins.

                Dr Fauci (Trumps medical advisor) has advised that this disease may become seasonal like the flu! Hopefully not!

                I think it would be helpful to have an idea of some of the things that may assist in preventing or coping with the disease. For example, drink hot beverages like tea or coffee rather than cold drinks. The virus does not like heat so try to kill the virus whilst it is your throat area before it can move to your lungs. Keep your mouth wet. Take a spoon of high strength Manuka honey (about 400 mga or more) as soon as you start with a sore throat and 2 to 3 times a day if needed.

                I think we need to be careful of over hyping the disease and adding to the fear and panic.

                How covid-19 compares with the flu remains to be seen. I remain hopeful that it may not be as bad as initially feared and that people will be able to get back to work sooner, rather than later.

                50

          • #
            PeterS

            I agree but what relevance has it in context of what was said here?

            30

          • #
            Mark D.

            John, you’re thinking in a kindred way. Tribes must have made it through such calamities previously. How could that be? Because we are here!

            Rude can be tolerated, constructive while rude is rudimentary!

            I know it is genius……

            51

        • #
          Andrew McRae

          We have to interpret symbols within a context.
          Jo starts off talking about the world situation, then switches to spend most of the (short) article talking about Australia and what we can do here in Australia.
          In that context, your first reply…

          It can’t be eradicated. Like all viruses it is here to stay.

          …is ambiguous as to whether “here” and “eradicated” are talking about the world or Australia.
          As the last thing Jo was talking about, and spent the most time talking about, it was plausible to interpret your reply as talking about Australia. Saying the virus is here to stay in Australia absolutely implies that no vaccine will ever be found and a lockdown will not eliminate it (because if either one of those things worked the virus would not be here to stay in Australia). Saying “The best we can do is mitigate it” also implies you would be opposed to a lockdown as a futile activity.

          As long as there are bats fluttering in the sky and pangolins probing the ground there will be a host of the virus somewhere. However it is possible for a lockdown to succeed in eliminating it from Australia while not eradicating it from the world. Probably our bats haven’t caught it yet and we don’t have pangolins.

          Although that does require a much more strictly enforced quarantine on international arrivals than seems to be happening so far. Arrival in Australia is currently prohibited to foreigners, which is a very necessary but not sufficient condition. Aeroplanes and cruise ships continue to land with nothing more than Scout’s Honour stopping Aussies reintroducing the virus. “I promise to self-isolate… in my family home with 3 other people coming and going all the time.” Yeah, nah. We should recognise adventurous arrivals are a different risk class than stick-in-the-muds, and exploit the fact they are already physically separated to apply a different isolation regime than is applied to the general population. The arrival accommodation has to be suitable for the purposes of quarantine, and arrivals should stay at a 50% subsidised airport hotel if it isn’t (because it was their decision to travel overseas, but they are self-isolating for our benefit not their own). So you are half right, the virus will not be eradicated from Australia under current management.

          40

          • #
            Andrew McRae

            Can I just say in my defence that although my proposal for quarantining returning Aussies seemed to reach the Prime Minister’s office because 28 hours later he announced the same as a new official policy, I never intended or suggested sending in the army to perform a civilian policing job, nor that the government would be intervening in commercial lease contracts.
            It was particularly unsettling to be told that all these other Orwellian advances were being done because of the supportive actions and responses of the Australian people earlier this week. As though we are somehow responsible for the decisions of the national cabinet. Erm, no, we didn’t ask for any of this other stuff. Overton Window opportunistically zooming off to the Left quicker than I’d imagined.

            10

        • #
          Roger

          “at least 350 patients with the COVID-19 have been successfully treated with Hydroxychloroquine. A New York City physician reports a 100% efficacy rate, meaning zero of the “hundreds” of infected patients receiving the treatment required hospitalization.”

          https://notrickszone.com/2020/03/26/350-covid-19-test-cases-hydroxychloroquine-tremendous-positive-results-potent-efficacy-no-hospitalizations/

          90

      • #
        TdeF

        No need. It’s the Que sera, sera approach, fatalism. We have one opportunity worldwide to eliminate this manufactured killer virus and there is always someone who thinks millions should die and it will be fine. Jo’s post is all about how the world is realising the cost of a softly, softly approach. Scott Morrison is wrong, schools must be closed. In a school year it matters nothing. People will cope but not with mass death. The population of Hobart being cremated is not que sera, sera. The Italians would agree.

        115

      • #
        Komrade Kuma

        Even our cities have 5 to 10 times lower population density than the ones you list not to mention the UK, Spain and Italy etc, much, much lower use of public transport and hence a much lower baseline probability of close contact with others. We should not need the more draconian isolationism that has been imposed in many of the places mentioned. Also it is clear that the primary vector for initial infection has been overseas travellers so for us border controls are likely to be relatively more effective in stopping widespread initial infection clusters, especially being an island nation.

        30

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Its like its the new “ebola”…

      38

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        It is looking like it is a lot more benign than the Spanish flu.

        Marginally more serious than a normal flu.

        125

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Tell that to the Chinese, Italians & Spanish E S !
          I suspect they would call you a liar.
          And be extremely angry !

          58

          • #
            TdeF

            Liar no. Something else.

            The flippant disregard for the lives and suffering of others is amazing. And who wouldn’t have stopped the Spanish Flu if they knew how? We can stop this and for some reason we because it’s not as bad, yet? What is the point at which saving lives is important? A hundred, a thousand, a million or 100 million deaths? This is few plane loads of people dead every day in Italy and it had to happen? No.

            Or is it other people’s lives which don’t matter.

            95

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            The feeling on the ground in Italy is not angry, a bit dismissive, but not angry. For example, i have big family in Italy and my relatives in Au go to the Italian clubs…there is currently no news of any losses or even so much as catching the ordinary flu…i find this quite compelling.

            My relatives in the hot spot have not even heard of a friend of a friend dying from the corona.

            Bizarre isn’t it?

            My own market research is a hobby of mine. I love to verify things that i think i know i know.

            63

            • #
              TdeF

              So if it has not affected you or someone you know, it is not true? And there is nothing to worry about? And it is all fantasy?

              There are 60 million people in Italy. Only 67,000 cases. That’s one in 1,000. So there is nothing to worry about. Only 7,000 dead, but no one you know? That’s good.

              The problem is doubling every 3 days in Italy. At this rate in 30 days at 2^10 this is 1,000x so 67 Million cases. That’s everyone in a month. And 7 Million dead. Then you should have a different story.

              91

              • #
                TdeF

                And 20% of those people will require hospitalization. So 12 million who will not fit into any hospital. So it will be much worse. And it will hit you and everyone you know. Why do you think the world is slamming the doors? Fantasy?

                70

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                ‘Gain of function’ research has to stop too. IMO (In my opinion) From the Lancet..Just to be on the safe side.
                From:https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(18)30006-9/fulltext

                Ban on gain-of-function studies ends

                “Talha Burki

                “Published:February, 2018
                “The debate is focused on a subset of gain-of-function studies that manipulate deadly viruses to increase their transmissibility or virulence. “This is what happens to viruses in the wild”, explains Carrie Wolinetz, head of the NIH Office of Science Policy. “Gain-of-function experiments allow us to understand how pandemic viruses evolve, so that we can make predictions, develop countermeasures, and do disease surveillance”. Although none of the widely publicised mishaps of 2014 involved such work, the NIH decided to suspend funding for gain-of-function studies involving influenza, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV.”…..

                10

        • #

          Marginal doesn’t usually mean “ten times worse” or 1000%.

          Sigh.

          Ro is twice as bad. There are five times (at least) as many potential victims in the population. (zero past immunity.) There are no vaccines. And the death rate = 10 to 50 times worse (depending on whether hospitals are functioning).

          How many times do I have to go through these numbers?

          Covid = 2 x 5 x 10 times as bad as the flu (at best). = 100 shades of awful. And much much worse if hospitals get overwhelmed which they are guaranteed to on the Let It RIP option and also on the “Slow Bleed Option”. Therefore it is a 100% given fact that societies will not let either option stand and all countries will do the lock down of varying degrees. Dumb countries captivated by the swamp or red tape will do the slower lockdown which will be longer, more deadly and more expensive.

          154

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Something i keep verifying regularly with my Italian cousins and by questioning my mum about her regular talks to family in Italy is if anyone in the family has come down with the flu or the corona flu.

            When i start hearing at least one case of an Italian relative, or friend of relative, or a friend of a friend of a relative, then your numerical postulations might begin to make more sense to me.

            Maybe the Italians i am speaking to have more corona resistant DNA..

            It is all speculation.

            64

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              It is all speculation.

              No it’s not.

              It mathematics. Pure and simple.

              The numbers continue to grow. People continue to die. There’s no vaccine. Possible treatments are downplayed by those who dismiss the studies that have been done, and show promise:

              Gautret et al. (2020) Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial. “International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents” (In Press 17 March 2020). A copy here:

              https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Hydroxychloroquine_final_DOI_IJAA.pdf

              Xueting Yao, Fei Ye, Miao Zhang, et al. In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxychloroquine for the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). “Clinical Infectious Diseases”, (ciaa237, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa237) Published: 09 March 2020.

              The same people seek to diminish the death rate by comparing it to the “flu”. That is an incommensurable comparison. Flawed.

              Why do they seek to diminish it is my question.

              What is their agenda?

              52

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Maybe there really are many ways of looking at the enigmatic corona.

                agenda?

                Here is some cutting edge, level headed opinion from a microbiologist.

                From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdj30eHkyTI
                Dr Inna interviews Kiran Krishnan on the topic of Corona Virus Pandemic
                192 views
                •Mar 21, 2020

                10

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                It mathematics. Pure and simple.

                It’s certainly not just mathematics, IMOSF…(In my opinion so far)

                For example, I agree with Kiran, in the context of his video interview with Dr Inna, that we need to increase support for the first line defenders responsible for the initial response to infection.

                Increased support for the…
                Dendridic cells,
                Killer cells
                Cytokine cells
                T cells
                Macrophages…etc

                10

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Typo..*Natural killer cells.

                00

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Not only that…Kiran points out that the virus can survive in the body for up to two to three weeks post original infection, so it can hang around for some time, and that it might be behind the idea being discussed out there about re-infection and people testing positive again, …and so that idea needs to be taken with a really big grain of salt according to the study Krishnan was talking about at 10:40 in the interview….

                OOps Typo *A cytotoxic T cell
                “(also known as TC, cytotoxic T lymphocyte, CTL, T-killer cell, cytolytic T cell, CD8+ T-cell or killer T cell) is a T lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) that kills cancer cells, cells that are infected (particularly with viruses), or cells that are damaged in other ways.

                “Cytotoxic T cell – Wikipedia

                10

            • #

              By the time you “know” people who are dying, the people close to them will likely be sick or infected, and you are guaranteed to be three weeks too late to stop the ten people around them also getting sick.

              Whatever we do has a lag of 12 days…

              20

          • #
            LightningCamel

            How many times do I have to go through these numbers?

            Sorry Jo but I think you will have to keep going through them for as long as they remain so dodgy. The Ro has shown itself to be open to effective manipulation by social means without trashing societies so to keep using the raw figure is beginning to look like scare tactics. We have to do something but there is a lot of nuance in what.

            I don’t know the proportion of potential victims but neither do you. What is becoming clear is that, for a pandemic, this is a bit of a wimp. Even Italy, the current leader with enough score on the board to be meaningful has indentified only just over one hundredth of one percent of the population as infected. Now I know about half full jars of microbes and half covered lily ponds but everywhere where the data exists the exponential growth phase is being turned over early in the process so the infection of 60%, 80% of the population in a short time is not supported by the data.

            The death rate calculation is entirely dependent on the assumptions made about the data. The raw data we have, say in Worldmeter, do not allow any meaningful calculation as the number to use as denominator represents a biased subsample. The data is not there to make any determination but a death rate, as a proportion of the infected population, similar to the flu is not ruled out. Couple this with a what could well be a lower proportion of the population infected and Wuhan virus could become just another Chinese product, starts well, doesn’t last.

            I have a couple of posts left in me on this and then I think I’m out of here. This is all becoming too shrill and incestuous. I find TdeF’s post accusing people who disagree of having a flippant disregard for human life, and other posters making similar accusations, deeply offensive. There is still a serious debate to be had on this but I do not see it happening here.

            The posts I intend to do are one commenting on the short sharp shutdown idea and another with a copy of an email to the Prime Minister. First time I’ve ever done that. I will put these at the end of this thread wherever it happens to be at the time.

            106

            • #
              TdeF

              No, 67,000 out of 60million is 1 in a thousand or 0.1%. And the death rate has been tragic and the hospitals have overflowed. They cannot save people who might have lived with enough respirators and this is all with a country under lockdown with no one to leave their homes without a signed document. Without this the loss of life would be in the millions within two months.

              You can be deeply offended, but you should get your numbers right first and realise the implications of numbers doubling very three days, as is currently the case.

              60

              • #
                TdeF

                And consider that on official figures, Italy now has more cases than China with 1/20th of the population. The difference is that the Chinese knew what was coming, long before the Italian government had any idea and thought this was just a bad flu.

                60

              • #
                LightningCamel

                Yep, true, my bad. The number I had was deaths not cases, still one tenth of one percent is not a huge proportion and does not change the offensiveness of your accusation of “flippant disregard for human life”. Your continued assertion that people don’t understand doubling rates is just getting boring.

                52

            • #
              Roger

              LC
              There is another aspect to all of this which has not been commented on so far as I can see, and that is the strength of immune systems in different populations. This was first noted after the Malayan insurgency when both British and Australian troops were spending extended time in the jungle fighting the communist insurgents. The British troops at that time were far less susceptible to jungle infections than were the Australians. The researchers discovered that it was down to the British troops having stronger immune systems than the Australians because they grew up in far less hygienic conditions.

              In recent decades in the UK there has been a permanent marketing push for people to disinfect all kitchen surfaces with ‘germ killing’ cleansers. Coincidentally there has been a significant increase in asthma which is often triggered as an immune response. We know that excess hygiene weakens the immune system by preventing the development of immunity to various environmental factors and disease. I do wonder if there may be a relationship between the increase in hygiene and the increase in asthma.

              It would be interesting for someone to study population responses to Covid 19 and at the same time measure the strength of immune systems and see what, if any, relationship there might be between the strength of immune systems in specific country’s infection and mortality rates. I suspect that the Chinese population has stronger immune systems than the Italian and it should be a topic for research.

              In these times when we know that antibiotics are becoming less and less effective due to overuse perhaps there should be research into ways to strengthen the immune system to increase natural resistance and reduce the need for antibiotics – but of course there is ‘No Profit’ in that.

              50

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                I touched on that a few days ago.

                Kids have not gotten dirty in recent decades and now we have peanut induced anaphylaxis.

                20

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Transplant

                Kalm Keith
                March 24, 2020 at 4:59 am · Reply

                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

            • #

              Lightning Camel, I was being conservative with the Ro and other numbers. I’ve seen estimates of 1.4 right up to 7. Most are from 2 to 3 which is twice the rough Ro of influenza. Though the more recent estimates were the higher ones.

              That the Ro is changed by our behaviour is a standard thing in epidemiology. That’s how it works. We want to bring it down.

              For more solid numbers I still prefer South Korea’s and The Diamond Princess, but it appears that numbers are not going to be enough.

              This is useful for me to know. I’ll dig out the other kind of evidence and see if that helps “Bridge the gap”.It wasn’t numbers on their own that convinced me. I wouldn’t have believed them if there weren’t a lot of images that showed something major was occuring.

              30

          • #
            TedM

            “How many times do I have to go through these numbers?”

            Until some readers drop their confirmation bias.

            40

          • #
            Bob-l

            It’s not quite that bad, remembering that people recovered from a strain are immune to that strain, there is a point at which the probability of encountering a never infected person falls below 1 the strain dies out. That is, as the distance between the infected and never infected increases with the immune in between the infection rate falls. You won’t get to 100% infection.

            Also Jo it’s occurred to me that we need to know where the infected are quarantined. If a town has no infection it’s economy can be released and only locked down when the disease is detected there. A map is needed.

            50

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          The Spanish Flu predated antibiotics. How many SF victims died of pneumonia which antibiotics might have relieved?

          40

          • #
            TdeF

            The Spanish Flu was the virus H1N1. It produced a massive reaction in young men who drowned. The young and the old were spared. I believe it ended war in the trenches. Antibiotics are irrelevant except they may have saved those who later developed an opportunistic bacterial lung infection like pneumonia.

            40

            • #
              TdeF

              I believe, on the evidence, that this is a weapons grade pathogen which escaped the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Except they didn’t tell anyone.

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              • #
                TdeF

                Which actually confirms it.

                50

              • #
                OriginalSteve

                Either that or it was dropped on them and they no knowledge of it, which could explain why they had to scramble so hard and fast to get on top of it.

                11

              • #
                Bob-l

                Quite possible, and the fact that the Chinese have contained it so easily suggests to me that they have an antidote.

                20

              • #

                Bob-l if you spent hours on twitter in January like I did you’d know there was nothing easy about what China did. There are books and movies worth of pain that loss and lockdowns like you would not believe.

                20

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              may have saved those who later developed an opportunistic bacterial lung infection like pneumonia.

              “bacterialpneumonia that came on the heels of mostly mild cases of flu killed the majority of the 20 to 100 million victims of the so-called Spanish flu.”

              ‘“We agree completely that bacterial pneumonia played a major role in the mortality of the 1918 pandemic,” says Anthony Fauci,…..’

              2008.

              https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14458-bacteria-were-the-real-killers-in-1918-flu-pandemic/

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              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                Hence Azithromycin is indicated under the present circumstances?

                20

              • #
                TdeF

                It’s a fair proposition. Unfortunately this is far beyond living memory and their understanding of the role of microbiological agents then was non existent, so based on forensic forensics. My memory of the soldiers dying in the front line was that they drowned. Nothing less than a respirator could have saved them, but then they hadn’t been invented either. As far as I know.

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              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                Yes, TdF. They drowned.

                As a result of secondary bacterial pneumonia infection; not the H1N1 (Spanish flu) virus.

                Hence, Azithromycin in conjunction with HCQ, as Didier Raoult has demonstrated in the Marseilles study.

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    • #
      Roger

      In Italy less than 1% (3 out of 335 in a sample group) had No underlying life-shortening / life-threatening illness (Willis Eschenbach analysis of Italian data at wattsupwiththat.com The Italian Connection). The 99% all had 1-3 comorbidities. Worth reading.

      The other interesting mortality statistics from an Italian government study of the 2,023 deaths up to that time were:
      under 40′s 0.2%
      40-49 1%
      50-59 3%
      60-69 9%
      70-79 35%
      80-89 42%
      90-100 10%

      A study by Professor Gupta of Oxford University, a modelled epidemiological study suggested that 50% of the UK population has already been exposed and largely asymptomatic or recovered without medical assistance of testing.

      My wife and my daughter had Covid 19 full range of symptoms as described by doctors in the UK and USA who have had and recovered from it. Neither of mine were tested and nobody wants to test them! Neither I nor my son who helped me keep them watered and ‘paracetamolled’ have had any sickness, although i had a couple of days feeling i wss going down with flu but fighting if off.

      Daughter went down with it 4.5 weeks ago a week after her return from a week-long business conference with people from around the world in Tampa, Florida. People there started goung down with ‘extreme flu’ in the last 2 days and of the 9 people from her office who flew back together 7 went down with Covid 19 full range symptoms on their return. The worst two were off work for 10 and 14 days. In common with wife and daughter, as well as 2 others I know, all said it was the worst ( illest ) they had ever felt in their lives.

      Daughter was knocked out for 4 days and 3 days after she recovered wife went down with it for 4 days. Both coukd not get out of bed and slept 16-18 hours a day (unheard of for either) and the ‘throat’ made them unable to swallow food.

      I have no doubt there are far more people in the UK who have had it and fully recovered than anyone currently knows. If I and my son are anything to go by then there are people who are immune and asymptomatic.

      The average winter deaths from ‘flu in the UK over the last 10 years is around 17,000 a year- current UK death toll from Covid 19 is around 460.

      Stay safe but don’t be panicked by it.

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Thanks. Good rundown.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Been there
        Read that
        Don’t bother !

        Willi’s post is crap
        The medical staff in Italy are triaging.
        The old are NOT getting the care needed to survive.
        They are dying !
        The young are getting that care instead.
        They are surviving but badly injured by the disease.

        Willi has stuffed up badly.
        And is blinded by ideology
        Bad Willi E

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        • #
          Bill In Oz

          And all the WUWT fanatics are going to red thumb again !
          And frankly I do not give a brass razoo for your red thumbs.
          You are wrong.
          Full stop
          And so is Willi E

          He should talk to the Italians about what they think of his callous analysis
          I suspect they would not give him the time of day.

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        • #
          LightningCamel

          Geez Bill, that’s a particularly trite and poorly thought out reply, even for you.

          And yes, I gave you a red thumb because you bl**dy deserve it. Anyone who reads WUWT is now beyond the pale eh. Pathetic.

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        • #
          Roger

          Bill,
          hope you have added a comment of your criticism to Willis’ post – a great thing about him is he asks for criticism, responds to it and where it is correct he takes it on board and revises.

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      • #
        AbysmalSpectator

        Gupta’s model doesn’t predict that circa 50% have already been exposed, but that it is a theoretical possibility for a set of parameters that is consistent with the pattern of deaths up until the 15th of March based on the MASSIVE assumption that the vast majority of the population get this asymptomatically or with extremely mild symptoms. Other parameter sets were given in the paper consistent with the data used; the circa 50% exposure by March 19 cases were just the ones that caught the media’s attention…

        Oh, wait a minute, that wasn’t an accident. The discussion in the paper spent all its time dwelling on the model runs which assumed that only a small proportion of the population is at risk of having the disease severe enough to be hospitalisd, 1% or 0.1%. If 10% are at risk of having the disease severe enough to require hospitalisation, then the model shows that this disease has hardly penetrated the population at all. This case, which is given in some of the graphs isn’t discussed at all. That seems incredibly irresponsible to me, but would be okay is there wasn’t real world data out there.

        My major concern with this paper’s “prediction” is that it neglects the observations of distribution of disease severity in known clusters and data from “contained” experiments like the Diamond Princess, and the estimates of case fatality rates arrived at in their own list of citations. Very difficult at present to get good data even from the Diamond Princess, but the bits I could find in preprints don’t seem to fit the “already wide exposure case.”

        The other thing that bothers me is that the limitation of the data to mid-March, whilst justified, might also be just plain tendentious and I would like to see how the low virulence cases they dwell upon in their discussion continue to fit with the mortality data we have 11 days later. Surely they have rerun their models and compared them to the present real world data. Why don’t the graphs have predicted numbers of fatalities out to a couple of weeks so people can judge how the well models are standing up to new data? That being missing has a bad whiff about it in my opinion.

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        • #
          Roger

          A.S.
          Biggest problem in any UK Covid 19 research, projections or statistics currently is the lack of testing and hence lack of any solid data and sampling on Covid 19. Up until yesterday (25th March) only 97,019 out of a population of some 60 million have been tested and in the early weeks a risibly small number were being tested. As we all know (or should know from climate models) modelling without solid data on all of the parameters or failing to identify and include all of the parameters is fairly meaningless and valueless. Even with all the data and parameters it can be heavily skewed by the modeller’s own assumptions or predilections or by badly created formulae.

          Currently, from talking to health professionals, it appears that apart from high profile individuals the only people tested are those exhibiting clear Covid 19 symptoms or living with someone who does – because of limited test facilities. There is no background data on people who have self-treated and recovered from ‘extreme ‘flu’ (Covid 19) during the last 7 weeks because there has been no testing, nor on others who have been living or working with them and may be asymptomatic yet carrying the virus. In the next week or so it appears that there will be the ability for people to buy low-cost self-test kits but without a formal reporting mechanism there will be no meaningful data gained or added.

          I tried unsuccessfully to contact Prof Gupta to discuss her study – I had read reports on it but couldn’t find the report itself. I also suggested to Public Health England ten days ago that they might like to test my family to see if there is any useful data or antibodies that might be gained from us – they have just replied suggesting I write to Oxford Uni where some trials are proposed.

          We wait and watch as the self-employed sit at home with no income and while companies close down, some never to re-open and while some 15,000 nurses and doctors, some retired, volunteer to return to the NHS and more than 400,000 people volunteer in less than 48 hours to help the NHS and patients. We see companies develop prototype ventilators in days and commence manufacture in response to a call from government – I hope that a lesson is learned from that about avoiding unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy in future government procurement.

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          • #
            OriginalSteve

            I have tooled up at home to build basic ventilators as needed…hopefully i dont need to….one of the benefits of having all the workshop gear like mig, lathe and mill etc.

            100mm ID Pvc pipe and a basic variable length crankshaft to vary air volune etc. One of the benefits of beilding steam engines is a lot of the knowledge is transferrable.

            If push comes to shove, many people could build ventilators as needed.

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          • #
            Kalm Keith

            I just went through your comments again; also those from Lightning Camel.

            Obviously this is a tragedy for the world and especially so for frontline medical staff but there are serious issues with the data.

            How useful is the data when building the true picture of this mess?

            Your posts cover many aspects of this event that are important and which should prompt the world to gather real information before embarking on extreme and perhaps highly damaging counter measures.

            KK

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          • #
            AbysmalSpectator

            Everyone was tested in Vo. Approximately 50% of those who tested positive were asymptomatic.

            https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-21/one-italian-town-is-bucking-the-countrys-coronavirus-curve/12075048

            Anyhow, here is a link to the Gupta preprint:

            https://www.dropbox.com/s/oxmu2rwsnhi9j9c/Draft-COVID-19-Model%20%2813%29.pdf?dl=0

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            • #
              AbysmalSpectator

              To be explicit, the point of the Vo data is that it suggests that, although there are a lot of asymptomatic cases, it is unlikely that Gupta’s assumptions of only 0.1% of those infected requiring hospitalisation is valid. Similarly for the 1% assumption.

              Of course V’s data proves nothing one way or the other, but taking into consideration Diamond Princess data and the like, I’d be putting my money on the range 3% to 10%.

              10

            • #
              AbysmalSpectator

              Iceland’s mass testing also shows similar results to those found in Vo.

              00

      • #
        TedM

        “The average winter deaths from ‘flu in the UK over the last 10 years is around 17,000 a year- current UK death toll from Covid 19 is around 460.”

        And just how long has covid19 been in the UK.

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        • #
          Roger

          TedM
          Too short a period and too little data to understand what the actual implications, infection rates, mortality rates and immune responses creating longer immunity are or might be – or indeed if and how many people are not susceptible (resistant) or have some form of immunity.

          We also know little about any mutations occurring in Covid 19, some papers suggest there are, others suggest that genetically it is unlikely / cannot. We do however know that ‘flu mutates regularly and frequently making effective vaccines very difficult – when they are produced there is no foreknowledge of the coming winter’s strain or mutated strain. Hence high annual mortality rates.

          The chinese ‘data’ is not trustworthy.

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  • #
    farmerbraun

    In NZ , essential workers are practising social distance because we all are to continue working with the normal cautions as to hygiene.
    India can’t do it in some places. It doesn’t look good.

    “how could they reasonably expect the Indian citizens to practice ‘social distancing’ in the big cities? The population density of Mumbai is approximately 73,000 per square mile, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Or what about Dharavi, a locality in Mumbai, and the world’s second-largest slum with a population density of 717,780 per square mile?”

    Michael Every at ZH

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Yes about some big cities you are I suspect right FB
      I have lived in Manilla in the Philippines
      There are barios in Manila where the density of population is hugely high
      I can’t see a lockdown working there effectively.
      This vile bit of chemistry will find lots of victims in the densely crowded slums of the world.

      Thank god here in Australia we do not have such densely populated cities
      Mostly we are spread out with houses & gardens in suburbs.
      Which incidentally proves just how much BS
      Is the Greenist desire for dense high cities in Australia.

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    ren

    “The pace of our initial progress in COVID-19 is attributable to the capability of our plant-based platform, which is able to produce vaccine and antibody solutions to counteract this global public health threat. The ability to produce a candidate vaccine within 20 days after obtaining the gene is a critical differentiator for our proven technology. This technology enables scale-up at unprecedented speed to potentially combat COVID-19,” said Dr. Bruce Clark, CEO of Medicago.
    https://www.biospace.com/article/releases/medicago-announces-production-of-a-viable-vaccine-candidate-for-covid-19/

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  • #

    Fight virus not carbon
    By David Wojick
    https://www.cfact.org/2020/03/25/fight-virus-not-carbon/

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

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

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

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

    See https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

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

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

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

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

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

    The full letter is here: https://clintel.org/message-clintel-fight-virus-not-carbon/

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

    Fight virus, not carbon.

    End of article.

    Please share, post and cite this article.

    David

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      PeterS

      Excellent. I’m still waiting for PM Morrison to act out his call for “team Australia” himself and dispense totally the push to reduce our emissions.

      100

      • #
        Sapel Mirrup

        Yes. I’d wager that the confusion and skepticism in the overall public mind regarding the virus, thinking that the government may be over-reacting and talking up the dangers, is directly attributable to the government’s failure over a LONG time to “crush the curve” of the climate change hoax. After pushing that barrow for so long while the climate here either stays much the same relatively, or gets cooler after the hot El Nino laden 90s, is it any wonder that the public do not believe what they say about any major crisis? The government, and the politically driven opposition have a lot to answer for. Their, at best, fence-sitting behaviour has been reprehensible. If they had grasped the nettle with respect to climate lies and the genuine ongoing need for CLEAN fossil fuel power, maybe the public would have, in turn, grasped the nettle with regard to the virus a lot earlier.

        And while I’m on this topic, I’ll just mention JuiceMedia, which while known for their justifiable satire targeting the government of this country, are way off the mark with their embracing of climate alarmism, without any demonstrable evidence that they have investigated the topic properly and rigorously. Considering what they do, that’s a major FAIL for them.

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        • #
          PeterS

          I’ve given believing anything what governments say a long time ago. However, I still believe it is our duty and our right to be concerned and stay in touch with what they are doing as distinct from what they are saying, and act accordingly. That now means we should stop voting for either major party and vote for something elese. Where that would lead us is uncertain at this stage but I refuse to vote for them. A vote for either is a vote for more of the same, and that’s guaranteed to lead to a crash and burn scenario.

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          • #
            Sapel Mirrup

            Well Peter, you show here your more advanced thinking according to Kohlberg’s moral development theory,in that your default now is to disconnect from what the government spins, but many of the public live at a lower stratum, paying some attention to what the authorities say, but instinctively registering that something doesn’t quite gel. So the government is answerable for creating that dissonance between what is said and what is, which leads to confusion and panic in times of crisis. So by all means, let’s vote them out; getting the people to agree all together to act this way is another matter.

            Frankly, I would rather the PM had access to a team of genuine experts who were not aspiring career bureaucrats from any field they have exited,and less exposed to vested interests, and were not paid to be ‘chief this or that officer’ but instead those who are ‘on the ground’ currently practising their skills actively in hospitals, farming,power generation and other industries etc.

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            • #
              PeterS

              Yes relying on a groups of experts is preferable provided those experts are true experts. I too often see today lots of experts running around who are fake or are wrong. The climate change experts are typical examples of that. Experts who claim the recent bush fires were due to climate change is an insult to anyone’s intelligence. It’s similar to Greta’s outbursts of unintelligent clap trap.

              The issue then is how one filter out those so called experts from the real ones? The only way I can think of is to listen to all of them, do some research and come to their own conclusion. Yes it’s a big ask for a government to do all that but that’s their job, or at least it used to be. Of course things will not really change and they will continue to fumble around until a much bigger crisis hits them and we go through a full reset. I often hope I’m not around when it happens.

              30

    • #
      DOC

      Amen to that.

      Look at the composition of the UN and you see so many nations with so many different
      ways of gaining from the Anthropogenic Global Warming farce. Most of the pursuit of a
      nation’s wealth, and the means by which it is obtained, is against the Western Nations,
      particularly the anglosphere ones. With the EU pushing it, that’s an enigma but with the
      politics of the EU, especially the French citizens, it is possible to see some sort of
      bizarre ideology seeking renewables for renewable’s sake to ‘save the planet’. That ‘save the planet’ theme has been around since the 1950′s, and it was all originally about depleting the world’s resources on the basis of ‘feelings and emotion. It could also be based at somehow, anything, to reduce the power of the USA in the world; a sort of feeling of
      inferiority in the aristocracy that they should depend on the bold usurpers for protection and
      economic expansion.

      Climate issues could all be settled by the anglosphere pulling out of the UN IPCC movement, open
      up the debate using their own scientific organisations, drop the idea something is proven – until it is proven. This would prevent the crazy, wild, social disruption that we get now, between the true believers and those that disagree but are amenable to proof. Most climate events could described as normal climate variation without requiring any intervention by humans. It is up to the true believers to prove their CO2 theory in science. It is not up to the rest to prove any alternate proposition although that is how

      Someone must give real proof of basis BEFORE we destroy our economies on a UN based ‘just in case’ theory, pushed by nations in general, most of whom have something to gain, unlike we of the anglosphere. The deviousness of formerly trusted, bureaucratic government organisations like the BOM and CSIRO. In putting out amended data, amended by methodology that obviously can’t stand perusal by experts, using incompetent computer programs to forecast ever-increasing,
      fearsome predictions without even being able to statistically prove their basic premise, is
      beyond me. Why did and do nearly all Western governments approve this stuff, especially when it
      is capable of destroying their economies on the basis of an unproven (after 40years) theory.

      I might be dumb, but if so that only increases the strength of the argument.

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    • #
      Roger Knights

      That Open Letter should have made these points:

      1. Green energy will double or triple the cost of energy, when all side-effects (e.g., on grid stability, on equipment longevity, and on profit margins for back-up power supplies) and hidden costs are considered. (To the extent that electricity doesn’t become quite as costly, the government will provide subsidies that increase its indebtedness, as in Texas.)

      2. What “we” do in Europe and America by reducing our CO2 emissions by going Renewable will not slow or reverse the global CO2 level, which is projected to increase strongly in coming decades from the increasing use of coal power in the developing world. So it’s futile as well as expensive.

      3. The developing world’s countries are not choosing renewables (except for a few Potempkinvilles) because they have done the math and examined the outcomes of pioneer efforts in other developing countries. (E.g., China, which recently slashed its renewable energy subsidies.) Politicians in the West have favored renewables because they have more margin for error (i.e., our need for cheap electricity isn’t so stark) and because of intense pressure on them from an alarmist media, opposition parties, green pressure groups, and phony green studies (like the one in the UK). The developing world’s refusal to be similarly frog-marched is conclusive proof against the argument that renewables are affordable.

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  • #
    Lance

    Things would go much faster if nasty people wouldn’t spit on the produce at the supermarket. No idea why anyone would do these things. Yucky icky.

    “One video shows a Chinese woman deliberately sneezing on produce while at a supermarket in Australia:”

    https://bigleaguepolitics.com/shock-video-chinese-people-repeatedly-attempt-to-spread-coronavirus-in-public/

    [BE wary - the woman spitting may not be the one arrested. May not be real. - Jo]

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    • #
      PeterS

      It’s almost as bad as spitting at someone. Spitting in NSW can be considered as an assault even if there was no contact. By law in NSW, under section 61 of the NSW Crimes Act, common assault is an offence and punishable by up to two years in prison.

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        Had two cases that I know of locally both female both spitting at shop staff , another went into an expletive ridden rant after being told “NO” he couldn’t buy the dripping from the bottom of the roast chook rotisserie.

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        • #
          PeterS

          I wonder of such circumstances a person has the right to hit back in self defence with say a bat (no pun intended; the other kind not the one that might have been the source of the current virus). After all I would consider spitting as an assault with a potentially deadly weapon, namely spit full of any virus or disease that can lead to death, known or unknown.

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          • #

            Until very recently many European countries with large numbers of tourists staying in hotels used to issue notes to the tours telling them how to behave.

            This included no spitting in public and not sneezing over produce or into the open air. They were third world tourists suddenly released into a different world and behaved as they did at home. This is of course a generalisation but the ordinary mass tourists unfortunately did not always conform to westen standards

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        • #
          Analitik

          A friend told me that while she was out on a walk, a small group of kids (~10 years old) on bikes rode past and then one of them spat on a woman who was approaching from the other direction and sped off.

          You really do have to wonder at the mentality of some folk (and the way they raise their kids)

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          • #
            Kalm Keith

            That’s Australia 2020.

            And I don’t think it’s necessarily the parents.

            Children are brought up by the village they live in.

            Kranky Keith

            20

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Some kids need a bit of “old school” management….clearly the parents arent diciplining them.

              But that said, we have laws made by touchy feely idiots who are clueless on how kids needs proper management and every child wins a prize….

              Id have very much dealt the little grub who spat on the woman….

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              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Problem is Steve you might “deal with him” but there are many more out there.

                I am horrified at what I see on TV and hear on radio that’s used as entertainment and “social” education by youngsters.

                Click bait rubbish.

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    • #

      stop spreading racist drivel

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      • #
        PeterW

        GA is the racist here.

        Only racists assume that behaviour like spitting is generic to race, rather than an aspect of learned behaviour that anyone can adopt or discard..

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      • #
      • #
        PeterPetrum

        Gee Aye – have you actually lived and worked in Mainland China as I have? I can assure you that the majority of the population have a very different approach to personal and public hygiene than we in the west do. Clearing of throats and spitting the residue onto the footpath is normal. Using your chopsticks to select food and put it on another’s plate is normal (happened to my wife). Putting used toilet paper into a bucket instead of down the WC is normal. So please do not call this racist drivel. It is factual.

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        • #
          TdeF

          After the epidemics of tuberculosis and polio in Melbourne in the first half of the 20th century, there was a real drive to stop people spitting in public. Even today if you go under Flinders Street station, say Degraves Street, the walls are tiled. Every so often is an admonition DO NOT SPIT. It was a real effort to wipe this out. Nose blowing as well, without anything. And open coughing. Sneezing over food at say Smorgys. And those people were not Chinese. These skills to prevent infection are learned things, cultural differences. That is not racism.

          If you accuse the Chinese Communist Party of creating, releasing and hiding this pandemic, they will accuse everyone of racism and xenophobia. In fact they are now blaming the American military. It’s not as if the Chinese military had not reported creating precisely this type of Bat virus in their Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017 and explained how they had made it infective for humans. Of course it could not escape. That’s xenophobia. And virophobia.

          And do not forget that they just reverse everything, as with Climate Change. Now the Chinese in China are historic Climate victims who require international cash to prevent Climate Change. And they get it. In one case because of a hydroelectric dam they were building anyway. It’s what happens when you put up a sign which reads ‘free cash’.

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        • #

          how could I have lived as you have? The video was demonising not just pointing out cultural differences.

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          • #
            Lance

            So, video evidence of people intentionally spitting on their hands and wiping said hands upon lift buttons is demonizing?

            Spitting onto produce in a public market and being videographed whilst doing so is demonizing?

            Please.

            Explain exactly how.

            They didn’t do what they did on video? Give me a break.

            Wanton and willful transmission of germs is somehow excusable?

            Very difficult to see whatever point it is you are trying to make.

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          • #

            what happened to my reply? Did I write racist too many times?

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            • #
              Peter C

              Who cares,
              Probably

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              • #

                I do. Keep it civil please. Videos look disgusting but can be faked, edited, out of context. Stay skeptical.

                FWIW I saw videos of a similar behaviour in China during January. Apparently deliberate. But who knows? Spite? Revenge? Mental illness? Agents?

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  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from this CV19 Tragedy concerns Government.

    Our government is Inept, Corrupt, Uncaring about its responsibilities, Dysfunctional and Delusional.

    All levels of Australian government have been hijacked for personal use by activists and are effectively useless.

    The next two months are going to be very interesting because government action for that period is going to be scrutinised harshly. When we look back what will we see?

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    • #
    • #
      Ross

      KK

      Like most countries it would not which party is in Government, the same measures would be taken. On issues like this it is the bureaucrats who are driving the majority of the decisions. So in Australia if Labor was in Govt much the same would have occurred.

      30

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Yes, Rudderless.

        50

        • #
          yarpos

          So do you imagine should happen Keith? A leader with a big S on his or her chest should emerge and lead us to glorious victory?. You are calling the governments advisors and politicians all sorts of names but offer no alternate system that would better deal with understanding and reacting to fast moving chaotic situations.

          To easy to carp and say “be like xxxxx” when its all hindsight

          26

    • #
      PeterS

      KK, the vast majority of sensible people I think would agree with your words. It is time governments turned things around and acted responsibly to serve us the majority people and not keep appeasing the minority of people who all they ever wanted is to destroy our Western way of life and go the way like the old and now extinct Soviet Russia.

      I will only ever be convinced our governments at all levels have turned is if they dropped the push for emission reductions. That must include our PM to follow Trump’s move to get out of the Paris Agreement. If those steps do not happen then we the people MUST stop voting for them to voice our opposition to them. There is simply no other way to make the necessary change to avoid a crash and burn scenario. By voting either major party back into power it only means we the people don’t give a damn and so we deserve what we will get in the end. I for one will vote 1 for any party that opposes the emissions reduction insanity as it’s pivotal to our very survival as a nation we fought two world wars to protect against the likes of extremists of today who hate the West.

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Well said.

        50

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘KK, the vast majority of sensible people I think would agree with your words.’

        I don’t agree with his comment that ‘Our government is Inept, Corrupt, Uncaring about its responsibilities, Dysfunctional and Delusional.’ And I agree with ren, government will find a vaccine.

        ‘An arthritis drug being used to treat coronavirus in China cured 95 per cent of critically ill patients, scientists have claimed. Tocilizumab, marketed as Actemra, is taken by patients with rheumatoid arthritis to lower inflammation. Chinese doctors gave it to 20 patients during the peak of the country’s epidemic, and claim 19 were discharged from hospital within two weeks.’

        Daily Mail

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          “And I agree with ren, government will find a vaccine”

          Where did I ever bring that up?

          If our Governments are so good why were passengers allowed to enter Australian territory through airports without even a simple 30 second temperature screening?

          Will our “government” now go and belatedly round up the 2700 passengers who recently left the Sydney love boat. Was money involved in looking the other way after so many cruise ships had previously reported CV19 events.

          ?

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          • #
            Annie

            KK, I largely agree with you re. the ships and aircraft from overseas. I would not want to be in government though…you can’t win no matter what you do, especially with a whingeing opposition. Labor excel at whingeing.

            I think, perhaps, you can be Kranky Keith for a while! :)
            It’s hard to be Kalm right now.

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            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Yes Annie,
              a difficult time to be in government and I don’t think that anyone can expect miracles from government.

              The best that we can expect is that the government has selected and installed the most competent people available in every department and that when the time comes those specialists can rise to the occasion and give sound advice.

              There are many aspects of our current society which could have been changed to help minimise the spread of CV19 without the almost complete closure we have now. I’m looking at devastation from the shutdown and hope that sacrifice has been worth it.

              In the meantime, Dan Brown is still open .

              All the best.

              Kranski Keith.

              It is the

              40

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                ? Where did those three words come from?

                30

              • #
                el gordo

                ‘When we look back what will we see?’

                They will realise that off the shelf big pharma products can treat the effects of Covid-19.

                ‘I’m looking at devastation from the shutdown and hope that sacrifice has been worth it.’

                The utopian socialists see it as a new beginning in a more rational world. Depression and WW3 will be averted because Beijing has ‘selected and installed the most competent people available in every department …’

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  • #
    Ross

    It looks like Sweden will provide the “control” for the debate about different ways to manage the virus issue.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8151111/Swedish-people-disregarding-Covid-19-lockdown-going-pint.html

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Interesting ! And curious !
      Sweden will definitely be locked out of Europe and the rest of the world
      As it will continue to be a hive of virus infection.

      I suspect that this government will get such a boot in the bums from Swedish voters
      That the pollies will have sore arses for a long while.

      10

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        In moderation ?
        Maybe becasue I said the naughty word ‘A@se ‘ ?

        [ To avoid the filter Bill either use that spelling or a derivative although I have released the post ] AD

        10

    • #
      TdeF

      The country has the highest suicide rate in the world. This is consistent.

      10

  • #
    Drapetomania

    Yes, over faster than people think..but not from what the post is implying. :)
    They have probably over estimated the death rate…
    Bog standard influenza mortality figures below..

    Until recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the annual mortality burden of influenza to be 250 000 to 500 000 all-cause deaths globally; however, a 2017 study indicated a substantially higher mortality burden, at 290 000-650 000 influenza-associated deaths from respiratory causes alone, and a 2019 study estimated 99 000-200 000 deaths from lower respiratory tract infections directly caused by influenza.

    Global mortality associated with seasonal influenza epidemics: New burden estimates and predictors from the GLaMOR Project

    So..nope..
    So that they can cover their arses and say it a couple of months time “

    see, our methods worked

    “.
    Its the exact same games and tricks as “climate science” uses every day.
    Updated data implies that UK modelling hugely overestimates the expected death rates from infection

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    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Thanks Drapetomania.

      That’s an agenda.

      1. Over-estimate deaths.

      2. Do nothing useful.

      3. Count lower number of deaths.

      4. Claim victory.

      5. More money to the WHO, if you will.

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  • #
    GAZ

    Question: Italy has been in lock-down since 9 March. Well over the 14 days incubation period. Why isn’t the infection rate going down? Maybe lock-down doesn’t work?
    About half the states in the US are locked down. Fantastic scientific case study. Let’s compare the infection rates of the locked and non-locked states. So far, NY that I think was the second to lock-down, is not doing well.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Check the chart for daily infection rates here : https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

      The infection rate is slowing down in Italy.
      There may be delays in the process while individual Italians finally tarted staying home !
      They have not used huge dominant force there unlike China !

      10

    • #
      yarpos

      Because testing rates are going up? Beause 14 days is an estimate not a gaurantee? Becauae the lock down is imperfect? Because those licked down can still infect each other ? (Multi generational living) there could be many contributing factors

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      • #
        GAZ

        Absolutely. Maybe a perfect lock-down works. But in reality, for the reasons you mentioned, and many other contributing factors, it appears not to. Yet lock-down has enormous cost in unemployment, mental health and economic activity. I was happy to be able to shop in Bunnings yesterday, and the Bunnings’ staff were happy to have job.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      [snip duplicate]

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      GAZ re Italy
      Please go check the figures & charts for Italy on worldometers

      I’ve tried to post the actual link previously but this site has suppressed my comment with the link both times. And that by the way Jo is a huge source of irritation.

      CENSORSHIP is happening ! Why ?

      But if you look at the daily figures & chart you will notice that the rate of infection is stabilising.

      30

    • #
      RickWill

      Italy’s daily death toll peaked at 800 on 22 March, 12 days after the lock down. The daily death toll is now in decline. It appears they have their situation under control.

      Without any lock down the death toll would track close to the original trajectory of doubling every 3 days. So there would have been 4 doubling by now and Italy would be experiencing 4000 deaths per day by now.

      Italy had direct connection with Wuhan. Northern Italy should have locked down when Wuhan was locked down. They could have avoided thousands of deaths.

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      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        And not a single corona case among my cousins in Italy, or talk of their immediate friends in Italy, or friends of their friends have caught the corona in Italy….and then there are my relatives here, aunties, uncles who go to the local Italian club, and no reports of family and friends there with the corona….so it is definitely a bit odd there is not a single case that i can say “hey, i heard my cousins mate was sick with the corona”…nada!

        No wonder i am sceptical about true numbers, or indeed any reliable information beyond hearing celebrities like Prince Charles tested positive..

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      • #
        GAZ

        Rubbish. Italy’s death toll is on the rise again.

        00

    • #
      WXcycles

      Question: Italy has been in lock-down since 9 March. Well over the 14 days incubation period. Why isn’t the infection rate going down?

      It is. The new infections are falling. As it keeps trending down the recoveries will rise then the active cases number will slowly start to fall. The isolation is working now (for three days). It will require another two to three weeks to get a strong falling trend in the active cases but that will come as recoveries build, and deaths also clear out a lot of active cases.

      As long as the new cases, as a percentage of active cases, is gradually falling lower, the isolation process is working.

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  • #
    Rosco

    We need to stop catastrophising about this.

    In Australia there are less than 1 infected person in ten thousand and these are concentrated in areas where people returning from overseas brought it.

    Worldwide there are 500,000/7.5 billion or 1 infected person in fifteen thousand.

    Compare this to the Spanish flu which occurred when there was no worldwide air travel and voyages by sea took a week or more :-

    “The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919. In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.” source – CDC Influenza.

    If health authorities are so concerned that we need to shut down Aussie icons like the footy, the pubs and lots of people’s jobs why were they so cavalier when they allowed the Ruby Princess to dock ?

    They had to know people likely had it !
    They had absolute authority to control the ship docking !
    I’ve been to the Sydney cruise terminal and it is one of the easiest places to lock down imaginable – quarantine would have been a breeze !

    And yet authorities did nothing and you have to ask why !

    Perhaps they don’t really believe their hype or, even worse, our public officials in charge of crucial government functions are stupid beyond belief.

    And when, or if, we are all forced to embrace the net zero emissions dystopian future we’ll all look back with nostalgia for the good old days of the COVID19 lockdown !

    And

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    • #
      yarpos

      I was perplexed by the State v Federal agency finger pointing at the dock. Is it or is it not a point of entry to Australia? What seems clear and unambigous at an airport suddenly becomes confused because its a boat? I guess what isnt clear is if had first docked elsewhere and Sydney was juat a domestic transit leg.

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    • #
      PeterS

      You are assuming the pandemic is somehow would not continue to increase exponentially if we don’t take the necessary steps to slow down the spread by various means, such as shut downs and lock downs. Do you have the evidence to support such an assumption? If not then by not taking the steps to curtail the spread we risk a much bigger threat where millions end up dying, just as was the case in many previous pandemics. I’m not prepared to take that risk and prefer the governments continue with their current approaches, badly managed as they are. Sure they might end up taking advantage of the situation and take away more of our freedoms. I am expecting that. That has happened already with the 9/11 event. I expect more to occur in the future thus eroding more of our freedoms until eventually we will have something along the lines of an Orwellian world. It’s one way how civilisations rise and fall. We just have to live with it as best we can.

      20

    • #
      WXcycles

      … even worse, our public officials in charge of crucial government functions are stupid beyond belief.

      BINGO!

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  • #
    yarpos

    Why do we focus on beating up on politicians when they are just the mouthpieces? There is group of highly placed , medical experts behind their actions and inactions. Seems to be shooting messenger unless there is evidence they are going against advice (and not commentariat advice)

    24

    • #
      GAZ

      Yarpos – refer to comment #12 from Bill in Oz. This is a crisis that has more aspects than just health. Yet the doctors have been in control of the government response. I wouldn’t call them experts, because I doubt that they studied in medical school, let alone experienced, the management of such a pandemic.
      Doctors, as they should, see the health aspect as the most important one. The Prime Minister needs to take this advice, together with advice from other experts: economists, political advisors etc and strike a balance.
      It’s tough, but this is what managers do. In my first week in the MBA program I was told: If you are a CEO, the finance director will tell you that the balance sheet is the most important thing, the HR director will tell you that the staff are the most important, the marketing director will tell you that the brand is most important, etc. As a manager, you need to listen to all, and devise a balanced approach.
      It is good to see that Scott Morrison has now a COVID-19 coordination commission of non-doctors. See how it’s going to work in the shadow of the doctors.

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      • #
        yarpos

        Of course it has more aspects but it is primarily driven by health, everything else is fallout

        The Commission is really only going to deal with that fallout not the response. Glad you are inspired by a cluster of senior managers and Combet, I’m not as encouraged. Australia isnt, and never has been awash with good management talent, its painfully obvious once you work overseas for a while. Hopefully they got the right ones because they arent thick on the ground, despite their egos telling them otherwise.

        10

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    The really huge issue that this pandemic highlights, is that a globalised connected world comes with huge risks
    Health
    Economic
    Social
    Political

    I suspect that we will not be going back to such an interconnected world after this Corona 19 virus has been destroyed.

    An example of what will not be in future : the Cruise ship industry. The airline industry also will face national restrictions to stop such health hazards spreading.

    It will not be ‘One World’ … And that for us here in Oz will be a good thing I think.

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    • #

      I’d argue the opposite. You are blending two things; Globalised borders, trade etc and internationalised cooperation to follow rules and procedures. It is the latter that has been let slip with the weakening of WHO and other international groups that are meant to allow cooperation between countries for the benefit of all. Many failures have happened because the international system was too weak and permitted self interested actions by various countries to occur that had detrimental outcomes within and without their borders.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        G A CHINA !
        A totalitarian regime that deceived the rest of the world & it’s own people about this disease
        And allowed it to spread all around the world.

        China was at the heart of the old ‘Globalised world’.
        Who will ever trust them again ?

        But the problem is that the Global One World ideology is flawed & ignores these risks.
        We are now all paying the price of adopting that ideology as a de facto working model.
        It’s stuffed mate !

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        • #

          Thanks for missing my point and for proving it at the same time.

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          • #
            Deplorable Lord Kek

            the point you miss GA, is that there is no effective way to make international groups accountable.

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          • #
            Lance

            Please explain how an unaccountable, international, group of “administrators” , somehow have the best interests of Your nation at heart.

            Nobody fights for my kin more so than I do. Nobody.

            If you wish to subject your family and kin and nation to others, well, that’s your choice. I wouldn’t do that at all.

            Travel a bit. See how “Liberty” exists outside your own bubble.

            I asked an African in Botswana what he thought about “freedom” in 2005.
            He said “My Tribe on top, everyone else, slaves”.

            My response to him was: “Well, best of luck with that.”

            My response to everyone else is that they ought believe in God before they challenge my home or family, or nation. Because they are about to meet Him.

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        • #
          Deplorable Lord Kek

          and china also runs the WHO and UN, so it’s not so much ‘globalized world’ as it is ‘chinese world’ aka ‘the chinese century’.

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      • #
        DOC

        I’d suggest the system has become too corrupt to trust. Worse, when politicians use the
        External Affairs powers to force us to accept a deal, or a value, they are really saying
        “We want this deal but there’s no way the people do, so we’ll force it down their throats!”
        Try the UN HRC, or the IPCC, or now the WHO with its ‘gracious’ President.

        International Agreements seem to have a reliability expiry date which happens usually
        when those overseeing it get too comfortable and slack on one side of the agreement. The
        other problem is to look at the UN groups that control the selection of who forms various
        committees that generally sleight the West that half the time feeds them etc.

        The premise on which the UN works is false. To work, each nation has to have the same high,
        acceptable levels of values. They definitely don’t, national values vary, often to the point
        of being totally the reverse of each other, and everyone knows it. So we, with our values, get censored to make them work.

        Then each country makes its own set of mutual agreements. Trump has shown that bureaucrats
        and politicians make hopelessly poor, unfair trade agreements for his nation. He acts!
        NATO is another case in point, on so many levels where the Europeans make no attempt to pay
        up and some have just enough troops to put on a parade.

        So, the bottom line on all these agreements is they have very short life spans before the rot
        sets in. In our case, they also become used to twist our arm, and China is the expert of
        experts in all this stuff. A very long winded way of agreeing with Gee Aye @ 0834Hr

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        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Simple solution : No International treaties which restrict Australian sovereignty
          Unless approved by the people in a referendum.

          Put the people first !

          50

          • #
            Deplorable Lord Kek

            yes, 130 years ago when the Australian constitution was being written there were very few international treaties.

            they have now become the de facto way of subverting the sovereignty of the nation state.

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      • #
        yarpos

        A lot of great UN weasel words there GA, you missed your calling

        30

      • #
        Lucky

        Gee Aye writes,
        ‘.. the international system …permitted…self interested actions by various countries’.

        I wish my country acted in self interest rather than pandering to the moral posturing eco-fanatics of the international system.

        10

  • #
    bradd

    For those who have such touching faith in the ability of our leaders to protect us by piling on ever-more draconian ‘lockdowns’, consider the situation at our entry ports. There is the Ruby Princess of course, but also our airports. I have a close relation who is cabin crew on long haul flights. Here is how she described Sydney International arrivals when she last flew in a few days ago…

    ” Sydney airport is chaotic – thousands of people, having landed from all corners of the world, were all squashed together trying to get through immigration. It was pandemonium and no one could avoid being pushed up against others, with a swarm of people going halfway up the arrivals concourse. I’m still trying to understand why there is no temperature check on arrival here. In Asia, your temp is checked every time you enter a hotel or a shop or anywhere really. ”

    What is the point of shutting down schools when we allow this?

    My relative now has ‘symptoms’. She called the hotline and they said not to bother with a test, just stay at home and call an ambulance if it gets worse.

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  • #
    RickWill

    News report that Prince Charles has Covid-19.
    https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-update-prince-charles-tests-positive-for-covid-19-c-762645

    “The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual,”

    30

  • #
    Chris

    Check out ‘Principa -Scientific’ and its link to ‘The Lancet 2003″ -re Chloroquine.

    30

  • #
    macha

    For Jo and apparent preoccupation with Italy…
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/24/the-italian-connection/
    Maybe just lockdown on those with pre-existing conditions.?

    But then that would be prejudicial, yes. Politically incorrect and unwoke to be so judgemental and treat people of a particular stereotype differently. Let’s apply all rules to everyone at all times.
    Blanket mentality…expedience.
    Even Victoria gov. Targeting tighter lockdown but felt it was too confusing to have one rule for city versus country folk.

    So now it’s honest people get fined or jailed for exiting homes but criminals can break in and steal because police are too busy elsewhere.
    Someone will soon say prisons are mass gatherings just like schools and want the crims let out…a life is a life to precautionarily save, yes.
    ugh.

    Wealthy societies put such effort into saving every single life.
    Reality is life is usually cheap and Australians are just lucky enough to have lived in a time to have forgotten it.
    The natural, animal world, is far more agressive and pragmatic.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Where do you live Macha ?
      I asked before and got no reply.
      This might be an blog with people from across the globe
      But solutions to this will be national & local.

      So you need to establish that YOUR link & thoughts are relevant before I will bother looking at them

      33

    • #
      RickWill

      You clearly do not have children working in health care. Why should my children be exposed to unnecessary risk from dingbats who think they are bullet proof and are happy to spread this virus with gay abandon. They have responsibility to their aged patients as well. There is no way to draw a line

      On this matter, Willis has proven to be a dingbat. He did not even consider the possibility of the cause of the very old dying was simply because they were beyond the threshold of getting intensive care. Last time I saw a number was that those older than 60yo were not getting intensive care and was still falling.

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    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Hi macha..and fellow colleagues here :)

      Effectively, i have access to asking questions ot a lot of Italians both here and in the veneto region. Every time i ask if any immediate family have been affected the answer is so far no, no, and no.

      That includes friends or friends of friends. My other source is italian family here and what they hear at the Italian social club which increases my net substantially and the there is no talk of anyone in italy that are known by family and friends her in Au that are reporting back of a case of the corona that a friend of a friend of a friend has contracted. Not even one!! It’s bizarre.

      The corona emergency will be over in italy in less than a month i suspect…

      This is my own research and make of it what you will.

      Always check with accredited health agencies :)

      Thanks.

      31

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Effectively, i have access to asking questions ot a lot of Italians both here and in the veneto region.

        I respect that ES.

        However, I have access to asking questions to a lot of Australians in Western Australia and the Eastern States. These are my friends.

        So far I’ve got two positives and one death. In Australia.

        00

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          In my Australian friendship circles i have no positives to report although some not so unusual corona flu negatives i am assuming.

          It might be appropriate to have a dedicated corona victim obituaries run by government or a reasonably reliable news media?

          For example, the Italian Il Globo have obituaries and in my view, why not have a dedicated obituaries page for corona victims that fought and lost against the virus? The Hearald Sun also has obituaries and could probably help with a dedicated corona obituaries page.

          Who they were, age, region/state etc.

          00

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Yrah but Victoriastan is effectively a failed Communist state…so they would be *loving* locking down the population…the sickos…

      20

  • #
    PeterS

    It appears NSW has woken up. All ships (passenger and freight) will not be allowed to disembark anyone unless the passenger is Australian, and that person will be placed in quarantine for 2 weeks. At least that’s the news I’ve heard on 2GB. It better be true.

    40

  • #
    Sapel Mirrup

    A tiniest glimmer of hope:

    Just checked the latest infections curves for Italy and Australia. Bear in mind that this is a conclusion derived from only two or three successive data points, which may be just a variational ‘blip’ and therefore unreliable, but let’s see what we get:
    Current data doubling time for Italy = 9.1 days.
    Current data doubling time for Australia = 4.0 days (three points) or 4.8 days (two points).

    Thus, the Italian curve appears to be flattening out (from the 3-4 day doubling times a week ago).

    The Aussie curve is far less convincing, as for the three most recent points it seems not to have shifted significantly, but may be just beginning to inflect, who knows?

    So, we watch and wait. Hopefully this inflection will continue, and if so, it will be directly due to the more stringent measures finally adopted, and which for this virus, come into play only after a latent period has elapsed.

    40

    • #
      RickWill

      It appears inflection occurs at 12 days after lock down. In the case of Italy, their daily death toll peaked at 800 on 22 March.

      Australia has only been in something like a lock down for 3 days so it is likely early April before we see an inflection. By then our death toll should be concerning.

      80

      • #
        sophocles

        It’s Day 2 (Friday) of NZ’s 28 day lockdown.

        We entered stage 4 at 23:59, Wednesday night.
        It’s been quite eventful so far.
        1. The sun rose; (actually on time)
        2. It’s raining. (It had been forecast last night but I don’t know if it was on time. Whatever, it not only happened, it’s still happening.)
        3. Mail (a bill) was delivered (a day late, but it was delivered).

        The kiddies are bored already: a `Battle of The Stereos’ started in the ‘hood, — My Stereo is louder than your stereo and my Music is Cooler than your music — and almost immediately stopped (or were stopped :-) – their `curves were crushed’ in mid … um … track. Good. It’s still quiet :-D )

        Next major event today is expected to be sunset. Boring …

        20

        • #
          sophocles

          Saturday:
          Day 3 of lockdown.
          Same as Day2 but without the stereophonics. It rained briefly … Boring.

          Police breaking up covid parties.

          10

  • #
    DOC

    Interesting. Trump’s thinktank on the am briefing Sky puts on each morning.
    The US is expecting this disease to be annual and seasonal – just like influenza.

    I would add, this one is far more ‘contagious’. We are going to need a vaccine quickly,
    or this chaos could become annual. Pray those drugs work a treat, or something better is found.
    The other thing is, once we get control of this beast how do we keep control and get back to
    work as usual, at least until we get a vaccine, which could be a year away.

    Dr Fauci stated even China is warning nations that once they get on top of this outbreak
    it is imperative they control their borders to avoid reinfection. Interpretation: This is
    going to be a very long term, continuing disruption to international travel and we are going
    to have to be a lot more judicious on how we vet those students and everyone else migrating.
    That means the tertiary education system is going to have to become very cooperative and maybe
    have a thought about changing their operating models.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      Remember when the human genome was decoded and we were all assured marvelous insights and things would come about to defeat all manner of diseases, with all manner of new tools?

      Where’s my flying car?

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  • #

    The concept of a short, hard, shut down to kill off the virus is futile. There is no way that the virus will be killed off on every cubic millimeter of the earth’s surface and inhabitants. So, it will spread again. You cannot live in a bubble. Take NZ’s latest move – stay where you are and don’t move. What happens in 2 weeks time? Does the NZ PM really believe that the virus will be eradicated from the world by then? If not, when will NZ be permitted to rejoin the world? It is folly. There are consequences of doing nothing and there are consequences of doing something. Too many leaders, and panicked commentators, appear to downplay the consequences of doing something.

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      RickWill

      The global population is already building immunity. The methods of treating the disease are improving. Hard lock down have bought incredibly important time.

      Italy was way to slow in implementing its lock down. Its medical care is overwhelmed and doctors must let older people die to give care to younger people. Other countries are trying to avoid the same situation by buying time.

      With essentially all borders closed, the rate of spread across borders has been dramatically reduced. It has bought time to be prepared. Countries that do not get it under control will remain cut off.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      This vile bit of viral RNA chemistry
      Can only spread & breed via humans.
      Deny it that meal of victims and it will fall apart in a few weeks.

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  • #

    I keep hearing the “lockdown mantra” but I think that people are missing another option.

    The lockdown in Italy is not working too well and if one has pockets of people with the virus it will all start up again.

    The following link is more where I believe we need to be coming from . Isolate the vulnerable and high risk and LET THE VIRUS GO THROUGH.

    Lockdown ignores that there will be a large number who come out of it without having had the virus, and you only need a few people still with it to start the whole thing up again.

    https://notrickszone.com/2020/03/24/lock-downs-and-shutdowns-will-lead-to-meltdowns/

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Best that P Gosselin
      Stick to his climate change ‘knitting’
      He’s good at that.

      After all the Climate change fanatics forecast total disaster in 30-50 years….
      But this is a global health disaster in weeks.

      22

    • #
      RickWill

      Isolate the vulnerable and high risk and LET THE VIRUS GO THROUGH.

      This is what dingbats say who have not given an ounce of thought to the situation. There are plenty of people in their 20 and 30s in intensive care with CV19. Right now they able to get that level of treatment if needed; even in Italy if less than 60yo.

      If you isolate those deemed high risk then you also need to isolate all those who come in contact with those deemed high risk. That means that special supply lines have to be set up for those in isolation. Healthcare workers inevitably treat high risk people without the virus so they also have to be isolated and so it goes on.

      The cavalier “let it rip” approach is an idea promoted by dingbats who have not thought it through. China showed the way. They enforced their lock down in the most draconian way. They crushed their dissenting dingbats with whatever was required. The rest of the world has seen what works.

      I believe most people living in northern Italy wished they were locked down at least two weeks earlier.

      Australia will not see any impact of the current lock down till early April. By then, some hospitals will be struggling.

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      • #
        ianl

        Yes.

        Mostly, your comments deserve more attentive responses than they do get.

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      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        The cavalier “let it rip” approach is an idea promoted by dingbats who have not thought it through.

        I suspect many of them have thought it through. And they have an agenda; maybe even more than one.

        The rest are just, as you say, “dingbats”.

        I’m interested it what those agendas might be.

        10

    • #
      WXcycles

      The lockdown in Italy is not working too well and if one has pockets of people with the virus it will all start up again.

      Not a chance, there will be continuous monitoring and testing to isolate and trace every case found thereafter. That’s what was missing in the initial build up to the present lock down. The build up of virus to a lock down takes months. It only has to be interrupted at any earlier point by a local isolation. Remember the case of the first town in Italy that went into total isolation? They cleared the entire town of virus in a couple of weeks. I bet it still is. They may gotten one or two cases since, but not 10% to 50% of the population.

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      • #

        I don’t share your optimism here. Who will do all that monitoring and tracing? And where are all the test kits to identify all these cases?

        One towns situation cannot be then extrapolated to a country.

        Sorry but chanting lockdown at every opportunity misses the point that the lockdown has to be accompanied by China style strong arm tactics, or every extensive testing. Neither of which will happen here. And I would not call Chinas situation over.

        We only need a small number to kick off the whole thing again – and another lockdown…

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    • #
      sophocles

      There is a something everyone seems to be overlooking:

      The Northern Hemisphere is in its Coughs, Colds ‘n Flu season — late winter into very early spring.

      The Southern Hemisphere is out of step and is in it’s late summer. That alone will ease those who acquire the virus.
      I have a feeling the Southern Hemisphere may suffer a “a double-humped curve of infection with a bad Coughs, Colds ‘n Flu season (August into September) when it all comes back. Perhaps a lock down in the SH could be the wrong thing to develop national immunity …

      20

      • #
        sophocles

        Why is there a “Coughs, Colds ‘n Flu” season?

        It’s when the population’s Vitamin D levels are at their lowest. Vit D is the Sunshine Vitamin and it’s intimately entwined with the human immune system with most cells in the human body having a Vit D receptor.

        The Coughs Colds ‘n Flus strike when the immune systems are compromised …

        (Yes, it’s boring and, yes, it’s a hobby horse of mine …
        but go back to my question:

        Why is there a “Coughs, Colds ‘n Flu” season every year? )

        Compare the responses between/across the two hemispheres.

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  • #
    WXcycles

    Most infected countries in order of the percentage who have died from confirmed cases:

    % Died | Country | Total Cases
    10.09 … Italy … 74,386
    7.69 … Iran … 27,017
    7.37 … Spain … 49,515
    7.34 … Indonesia … 790
    5.97 … Philippines … 636
    5.55 … Netherlands … 6,412
    5.27 … France … 25,233
    4.88 … UK … 9,529
    4.61 … Egypt … 456
    4.04 … China … 81,218
    3.61 … Belgium … 4,937
    3.44 … Japan … 1,307

    The most infected countries in order of where COVID-19 is spreading fastest:

    % New v Active | Country | Total Cases
    26.0 … Russia … 658
    23.9 … Turkey … 2,433
    22.2 … South Africa … 709
    21.6 … Portugal … 2,995
    20.1 … India … 657
    20.1 … Colombia … 470
    19.7 … Chile … 1,142
    19.0 … Israel … 2,369
    18.4 … Spain … 49,515
    18.2 … Canada … 3,367
    17.7 … Luxembourg … 1,333
    16.3 … UK … 9,529
    15.9 … Egypt … 456
    15.9 … Czechia … 1,654
    15.9 … Belgium … 4,937
    15.7 … USA … 64,832
    15.6 … Singapore … 631
    15.3 … Saudi Arabia … 900
    15.2 … Ireland … 1,564
    14.8 … Indonesia … 790
    14.7 … Philippines … 636
    14.6 … France … 25,233
    14.6 … Poland … 1,051
    14.4 … Iran … 27,017
    14.3 … Croatia … 442
    14.1 … Netherlands … 6,412
    13.9 … Romania … 906
    13.6 … Peru … 480

    Australia’s not on the list only because today’s numbers haven’t been added yet.

    The world exceeds half a million cases today with ~25,000 deaths. On April 1st it will be just over 1 million cases, and ~49,500 deaths. i.e. the disease will double during the coming 7 days. The following week it almost exactly doubles once more (4 times more than now). But after the 7th of April the numbers climb very much faster than that.

    2 weeks

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    • #
      WXcycles

      OZ numbers updated just now, 359 new cases today, 2,676 total cases.

      The percent of new verses active cases today = 14.1%

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      • #
        Chad

        What do we hope to learn from these % stats’ ?
        As i have pointed out before, the number of new cases daily is dependant on the number of tests done, likewise the total number of cases….and we do not know in most countries how many cases are done in total, daily, or even if a similar number are done each day !
        Why do we not get told the number of tests done ?
        We do infact know that tests are restricted by resource availability, and targeted to those “most likely”. To be positive ! That alone massively skews the data.
        Note: there was some info for Australia (115,000 tests total) as of last MONDAY..

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        • #
          Andrew McRae

          Health is mainly a State level responsibility. The State health departments have been reporting the number of samples tested for over 2 weeks. For example Queensland Health has done 38860 so far. But that completely disguises how many unique individuals have been tested. This leads to the second point.

          As you pointed out last week and again today, the cumulative case count is totally skewed by the test eligibility criteria. As of today that criteria in Qld has been expanded to become what I can only interpret as political rather than medical, just see for yourself.
          Testing to protect the vulnerable is surely the department’s first priority, but apparently some are more First than others.

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      • #
        sophocles

        you could add NZ’s numbers …

        451 by Saturday 28th,
        no deaths (so far)
        12 hospitalized.

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  • #
    DOC

    The heading of the thread is about shorter and faster.

    Maybe in getting on top of this round. However, without any means of actually
    medicating away the bug, at least this time round, it is looking like it may be
    a long drawn-out process to end this round medically, economically and withdrawing
    socially controlling measures. The US is expecting the disease to be cyclical
    at the moment, until the major part of the population gains lasting immunity.
    The problem there is knowing just how big is that population currently. The
    epidemiologist in Trump’s group said, if one worked on the known numbers
    that have been infected now, it is very apparent that that group is minute compared
    to the size of the population – nationally or globally.

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  • #
    Rocket Rod

    This will make everyones day.
    Iceland scientists find 40 mutations of Coronavirus. Yet to be peer reviewed.
    Country specific variants?
    Interesting. As I said very early on we need to fear what comes AFTER Covid-19.

    Seen on a t-shirt:
    “Make yourself hard to kill”

    My sentiments exactly.
    If you get infected you want an immune system that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger rather than Homer Simpson.

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  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Unless the world is able to control infections all at the same time, what chance is there that there will be a second, third or fourth wave, just like in the Spanish flu (which according to Mr Trump would need to be renamed)

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    • #
      PeterS

      Of course there will be more pandemics. Is anyone seriously thinking this one is the last?

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      • #
        Analitik

        He’s referring to waves of CoViD-19 infections. Not pandemics from other diseases.

        We almost certainly will have secondary and tertiary waves but hopefully some level of herd immunity will have become established, especially amongst health workers, so the peaks will not be as potentially large as for the first wave. This will make them less likely to overwhelm the medical facilities so the lockdowns will hopefully be able to be more relaxed as well.

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        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          Analitik – yes that is what I’m thinking. The consequence is that you might have to do two weeks quarantine, and test negative before you can enter/leave our country. The news from China is that is why they are concentrating on arrivals now (they still allow travel). This will have to be maintained for all 195 countries in the world, so even though we might get the short path, we will have to wait for the slowest country before we can go back to normal.

          10

    • #
      WXcycles

      Is this a sly argument for a UN global dictatorship?

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      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Only if there’s no short-term successful treatment and longer-term vaccine.

        Hmmmm….

        Agenda, anyone?

        1. UN coordination through WHO.

        2. Send money. Lots of it.

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        • #
          sophocles

          Apply a virus tax …

          payable to WHO to distribute to the worst hit
          … China, Italy, Iran etc.

          If the country is a malaria repository, it can pay a mosquito tax at a reduced rate … and receive donations of insecticides.

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    • #
      yarpos

      Yes PF , imagine if we had a world organisation that did useful things and actually helped rather than hindered. Perhaps we could call it the Useful United Nations or something.

      30

    • #
      toorightmate

      Peter F,
      Seeing that Ebola and Ross River Fever are named after rivers, should the Coronavirus be renamed the Yangtze virus? (rather than the Chinese or Wuhan virus).

      30

    • #
      sophocles

      That’s a good question, Fitz.

      I’m picking the SH will see a double-humped curve with the second hump occuring during our “normal” cough-cold-and-flu season from late July through August into September.

      Many of those who don’t contract it this time round will get it then.

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  • #
    max

    George Friedman:
    a total quarantine is impossible, and second, the more aggressive the quarantine is, the more pressure it puts on vulnerable supply chains that sustain life.
    Much of the economy cannot be sustained with social distancing. Social distancing reduces economic activity and could lead to economic failure. The danger of the social distancing strategy in all of its dimensions is not only the immediate decline of the economy but its systemic destruction. The destruction of current business activity can result in permanent destruction.
    Creating a system in which all other human beings are seen as potential threats will have unfortunate effects. But to be simplistic about this, there is the concept of cabin fever.
    The longer-term outcome of the medical solution and the damage to the economy could be a depression neither the government nor society can cope with.
    The economic system cannot withstand social distancing for that long without consequence. The social system cannot withstand the stress of isolation coupled with fear of poverty. The stresses snowball.
    we should remember that economic destruction due to war gave rise to Hitler and Lenin. Economic destruction in any form is destabilizing. But that is for later.
    For now, the crisis is not only the virus but the inability to combat it without massive economic cost, and ultimately social unrest. During Europe’s great Black Death, citizens marched with torches and burned those they felt were ill and those they felt were responsible for the illness. It was not only the plague that created a time of horror but the legitimate fear it generated in people and the inability of the state to protect them, in a world where kings were as likely to die as peasants. The virus is dangerous. The follow-on effect can be far more dangerous.

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    max

    The number of COVID-19 fatalities is small compared to the 12 million total number of people who have already died this year from all causes, but the numbers could reach 3.6 million in just eight weeks at the current pace of deaths doubling each week. In the counterfactual, without COVID-19, we would expect 60 million global deaths in 2020, with 18 million people dying from heart disease, 10 million from cancer, 6.5 million from respiratory diseases, 1.6 million from diarrhea, 1.5 million in road incidents, and 1 million deaths from HIV/AIDS. Suicides could number 800,000.

    It’s hard to estimate the impact on total deaths from the COVID-19 disease because, in addition to the direct effects that are measured, there are also large indirect effects from the policy responses. For a start, the direct impact itself is totally unknown and unknowable at this point. There are too many uncertainties to have any sensible range of estimates. At one end, it looks as if China may be able to contain deaths to about 3,500 (they are at 3,260 with about eight to 10 new deaths each day). This is less than 0.03 percent of the 10.5 million people who are expected to die in China this year.

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2020/03/23/a-mortality-perspective-on-covid-19-time-location-and-age/

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    • #

      The number of COVID-19 fatalities is small compared to the 12 million total number of people who have already died this year from all causes, but the numbers could reach 3.6 million in just eight weeks at the current pace of deaths doubling each week. In the counterfactual, without COVID-19, we would expect 60 million global deaths in 2020, with 18 million people dying from heart disease, 10 million from cancer, 6.5 million from respiratory diseases, 1.6 million from diarrhea, 1.5 million in road incidents, and 1 million deaths from HIV/AIDS. Suicides could number 800,000.

      Climate Change – Everyone.

      (Whatever happened to Climate Change?)

      Tony.

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    max

    If COVID-19 ends up being similar to seasonal influenza, then the case-fatality rates for COVID-19 are inflated by a factor of 20 to 100. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. NIAID, co-authored an editorial for the New England Journal of Medicine in which he wrote:

    “If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively [emphasis added].”

    We have reason to believe this view is closest to reality. In South Korea, public health officials screened about 100,000 people and detected over 7,300 cases. So far, the death toll is 50, which translates to a case-fatality rate of 0.7 percent. That’s still seven times worse than seasonal flu, but it’s far lower than the initial reports from China.

    https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-most-important-coronavirus-question/

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    max

    Stat News describes two possible scenarios that epidemiologists envision for the future of COVID-19. In the first, COVID-19 becomes just another cold virus, and possibly evolves to become less lethal as well. What we call the “common cold” is actually caused by roughly 200 different viruses. Each year, about 25 percent of common colds are due to four coronaviruses, and some scientists think COVID-19 could eventually join this group as its fifth member. In the second scenario, COVID-19 behaves more like a severe seasonal flu, vanishing in the summer and returning to hit us hard in the winter.

    In neither scenario does COVID-19 resemble the Spanish flu of 1918, which disproportionately killed young people. In neither scenario does the virus mutate to become more lethal. Most likely, the opposite will be true. There is an inverse relationship between lethality and contagiousness; that is, the most contagious viruses tend to be less lethal. Evolutionary pressures – namely, the biological imperative to reproduce as far and wide as possible (which means not killing people) – may push COVID-19 down this path.

    For now, influenza remains the far bigger global public health threat. Each year, about 1 billion people become infected with seasonal flu, killing some 300,000 to 500,000. This season alone (2019-20), about 20,000 Americans have died from flu, including 136 children. Yet, very few people fear the flu. Society has accepted it as part of reality, and people carry about their daily lives without excessive concern over influenza. This is the likely future for COVID-19.

    https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-most-important-coronavirus-question/

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      “possible scenarios”…
      Ummmm ?
      I do not want the Australian government to roll the dice hoping one of your your scenarios are right.

      20

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Max, you say:

      In neither scenario does COVID-19 resemble the Spanish flu of 1918, which disproportionately killed young people.

      History is important.

      The Spanish flu killed because of the secondary bacterial infections.

      It disproportionately hit young people because hundreds of thousands of them were service men and women, in trenches, in field hospitals, in very close contact with one another and in a generally debilitated state due to cold, hunger, stress of war, incompetence, and lack of anti-biotics.

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14458-bacteria-were-the-real-killers-in-1918-flu-pandemic/

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  • #
    Another Ian

    Semi-O/T

    Why?

    “Wife and I went up to the local dollar general store last night to get some things to donate to the school so they can give the kids some care packages while they are at home. We were talking with one of the workers about the toilet paper or the lack there of, she said every Thursday they get a delivery for the week, and there’s usually a pallet or 2 of tp, paper towels, kleenex, and diapers. By Friday at noon it’s gone! She said she’s been paying attention to the to buyers, and she said it’s the same people buying the tp every Friday morning. We are a town of 360 people, so it’s easy to know your customers. How much tp does one household need???????

    https://www.redpowermagazine.com/forums/topic/128747-wish-i-would-have-cought-it-on-camera/?tab=comments#comment-1404622

    Anyone noticed similar here?

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    • #
      PeterS

      Well the people in the small town ought to know where to go when they run out of it and are desperate. Sort of like preppers who brag about what they are doing and where they live. In a real crisis their lives won’t be worth much as others start hunting them down.

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        Most Preppers keep what they do to themselves family and friends and very few will admit exactly what they have secreted away .
        Depending on where you are in the world even if you know someone’s got a stockpile , getting to that stockpile won’t be an easy thing .

        10

        • #
          PeterS

          I can understand that. I was only trying to give an analogy of what would happen if a preppers are silly enough to brag about their whereabouts. I’m sure all of them are not that silly – I think.

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  • #
    Another Ian

    Stimulus??

    “Trying to grow a flower by watering its petals instead of its roots”

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2020/03/26/trying-to-grow-a-flower-by-watering-its-petals-instead-of-its-roots/

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    max

    Markets vs. Socialism: Why South Korean Healthcare Is Outperforming Italy with COVID-19

    South Korean Healthcare

    Although South Korea does have a state-monopolized system providing a universal health insurance, this state-provided insurance is not able to set prices in the market for healthcare. Hospitals and clinics routinely charge patients more than the state insurance will pay, which has caused many Koreans to take out private insurance to cover the difference. TheKorea Bizwire reports that eight out of ten Koreans take out such insurance, with the average Korean paying just over 120,000 won (about $120) a month for it.

    Care is provided by a set of hospitals that are 94 percent privately owned, with a fee-for-service model and no direct government subsidies. Many of these hospitals are run by charitable foundations or private universities. Private hospitals in the country exploded in number from 1,185 in 2002 to 3,048 in 2012. The result is that South Korea has 10 hospital beds per 1,000 people, more than twice the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average (and nearly three times as many as Italy’s 3.4 beds per capita). These private hospitals also charge significantly less (between 30–85 percent of the price) than US hospitals (which are also often required to get a “certificate of need” from the government before construction, depending on what state they are built in).

    Italian Healthcare

    In Italy, by contrast, surgeries and hospitalization provided by public hospitals or by conventional private ones are completely free of charge for everyone regardless of their income. This is entirely paid for by the the national health service, the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) (as are family doctors’ services). Waiting times can be up to a few months for large public facilities, though they are somewhat shorter for small private facilities with contracts to provide services through the SSN. Public and private medical providers offer “free market” options in which the patient pays directly, but this is rarely taken up and thus contributes very little to hospital revenues. Emergency medical service is always free of charge.

    Italy experienced an ongoing health worker shortage even before COVID-19 struck the country. The number of hospitals in the country has been on a steady decline over the last couple of decades, from 1,321 in 2000 to 1,063 in 2017. SSN prices for payments to hospitals were set below market rates for the purpose of saving money on healthcare, and the results were as expected for a de facto price control.

    Conclusion

    Currently, the Italian healthcare system is overwhelmed by the tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases it is already facing. They have turned to rationing care to prioritize the young, leaving those most at risk of the virus to essentially fend for themselves. Most just chalk this up to the severity and danger of the pandemic. However, the evidence tells a different story. It portrays a situation made far worse by a reliance on government-centralized healthcare that manages costs by de facto price rationing rather than a free market system.

    https://mises.org/wire/markets-vs-socialism-why-south-korean-healthcare-outperforming-italy-covid-19

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Interesting information but some added info is needed.
      The situation with the SSN has nothing to do with private versus public provision of health care.

      The pressure to reduce health budget outlays is from the EU
      Because Italy is part of the Eurozone.
      It cannot ‘devalue’ as it could when it had the lira as it’s currency.

      Once again the EU project causing unexpected stuff ups !
      Britain is lucky it is getting out !

      40

  • #
    Robber

    Australian increased number of cases each three days, going backwards: 996; 834; 393; 205; 122
    So one good sign – no doubling in last 3 days.
    Maybe the restrictions are starting to work?
    Care to make a prediction on total cases by April 1?

    40

    • #
      Robber

      And we should also see reported the increasing number of people out of work – that must be exponential at the moment.
      Westpac chief economist Bill Evans estimates the number of unemployed will rise by 814,000 people in coming months, with the unemployment rate leaping from 5.1 per cent to 11.1 per cent.

      31

    • #
    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      What’s the ordinary garden variety flu doing?

      Hospital admissions for the ordinary flu and many other transmissible diseases must be cratering.

      20

  • #
    farmerbraun

    7 weeks after abandoning the quarantining of arrivals from infected areas NZ re-instates the same procedure .
    Jeez Wayne.

    https://thebfd.co.nz/2020/03/covid-19-update-26-march-2020/

    20

  • #
    Susan Fraser

    This may be of interest

    FoxNews interviews Robert Davey (PhD University of Adelaide)
    Microbiologist testing drugs on live coronovirus sample “I’m very optimistic”

    Sorry I dont know how to copy paste on my phone!!

    30

  • #
    farmerbraun

    From a symptoms point of view , nearing the end of the second week of the “Covid experience” it feels like it’s sapping energy and I’ll have to make a determined effort to eat more energy-dense foods if I’m going to head it off.
    I’m still able to work a 12 hour shift, but there’s a bit of lethargy sneaking up on me.
    This would be the turning point where, if you get a chill and let energy levels drop , you’ll run into trouble.
    I might up the Vitamin C to 5 grams /day ; maybe add in some curcumin. Also keeping zinc level elevated.

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  • #

    Coronavirus exposes the problems and pitfalls of modelling – Guardian

    Models based on assumptions in the absence of data can be over-speculative and ‘open to gross over-interpretation’

    The irony…

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  • #
    Bill In Oz

    FACE MASKS !
    “In mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan, the broad assumption is that anyone could be a carrier of the virus, even healthy people. So in the spirit of solidarity, you need to protect others from yourself.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52015486

    The WHO recommends against wearing facemasks . And so it’s clear that the WHO has stuffed up on this as well.

    Time we here in Oz learned this lesson from our Asian neighbours and wore face masks as well.

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    • #
      Sunni Bakchat

      Bang on Bill. Here’s the scenario in Switzerland.

      Today we were able to buy hand sanitiser for the first time in weeks. One bottle ration per person from the pharmacy.

      Basic surgical masks are starting to appear at convenience stores.

      No word on testing.

      Here’s the kicker. Anecdotally, percentage of folks over 45yo wearing masks at the local supermarkets estimated at 80%. Under 45yo, nobody. Including shop staff. Didn’t see one younger person today at either of the supermarkets i shop at wearing a mask. Wonder why its spreading huh!

      Will people get very irritated with younger people not caring to wear a mask fairly shortly?

      It strikes me that heirarchical government systems that don’t respond with a devolved, network and node strategy, will end up with their backsides handed to them by this very viral virus. Feedback and iteration is the modus operandi of this virus. not command and control.

      20

  • #
    WXcycles

    Countries with new cases higher than 250 per day:

    New Cases | Country | Active cases
    13,347 … USA … 66782
    7,457 … Spain … 40501
    5,210 … Italy … 57521
    4,332 … Germany … 33570
    2,929 … France … 20002
    2,206 … Iran … 15315
    1,452 … UK … 8929
    1,020 … Switzerland … 10613
    852 … Netherlands … 6053
    668 … Belgium … 4212
    633 … Portugal … 2930
    617 … Canada … 3188
    561 … Turkey … 2348
    439 … Israel … 2306
    359 … Australia … 2547
    307 … Brazil … 2493
    305 … Austria … 5549
    260 … Czechia … 1638

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  • #
    Tides of Mudgee

    A couple of little things the first one of which might help to lift the spirits, the second a tribute to Simon and Garfunkel

    https://youtu.be/oXvJ8UquYoo

    https://multimedia-english.com/videos/esl/fight-the-virus-based-on-simon-garfunkels-sound-of-silence-alvin-oon-6841

    ToM

    30

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Meanwhile back in January & February
    The Chinese “Greenland company’ sent huge amounts of
    Face masks, sanitiser, toilet paper ventiatirs etc too China from Australia.

    They were Chinese looking after Chinese.
    but our Australian government was NOT looking after Australians
    BY banning this from happening so we would have them when this disease got here.
    Thanks SLOMO & HUNT !

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/chinese-company-shipped-out-millions-of-australias-masks-hand-sanitiser-glove-supplies/news-story/d5324e3676d38af509d5ac25c56e7cec

    30

  • #
    Deano

    This shut down is also useful for demonstrating what life would be like if we tried reducing emmissions to 0. Massive job losses, shortages, economic collapse, queues for government assistance etc.

    30

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    This is what I wrote elsewhere, slightly changed.
    I have regard for our national economy at front of mind.
    The gubmint is handing out $$$ for pensioners and small business and more. You have to ask where this money is coming from. In reality, it can only be past taxes getting returned to people, or future taxes due to rise.
    I am cynically reviewing in my mind such factors as the economic worth of different economic pursuits.
    Some decades ago I raised a newspaper storm by suggesting that Australia could do without Qantas. We do not manufacture aircraft, we do not produce much aviation fuel, in short we have no natural advantage to make Australia an envy location for an airline HQ. Airlines do not manufacture anything of lasting value. There might be an advantage to have a big airline if some types of war happened, but in the main it is how I said it years ago “Horribly expensive machines with red skippies on their tails and contributing not much to the economy.” There are other Australian industries contributing bugger all of tangible value, like sport with AFL & NRL and so on. I mention these because they tend to be the first to lay off staff in an emergency, because they are not tangibly productive. They also tend to hold out hands for gubmint money as if they were indispensable. Then, perhaps beyond their pay grade to understand, they are major, undisciplined honey pots for spreading a virus like Corona.
    So, there are some industries that do produce tangibles in time of need, like the engineers tooling up to make ventilators. At a future review date, we have to ask whether we have our national spending priorities right. As Geoffrey Blainey wrote recently in Quadrant, our manufacturing industry has become brittle.
    Maybe it takes a medical emergency like this to highlight the “bread and circuses” divide. Geoff S

    50

  • #
    Another Ian

    “How a communist Chinese-owned company stripped Aussie medical supplies & shipped them to China”

    Sydney Morning Herald via

    https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/03/how-a-communist-chinese-owned-company-stripped-aussie-medical-supplies-shipped-them-to-china.html

    40

  • #
    Gerard

    Sarc on if you want to have a large wedding enrol your guests in a school, because schools are safe places

    40

  • #
    Rocket Rod

    Daily tidbit:

    On the UK government website – Covid is now downgraded and no longer considered an HCID. Crisis over. Everyone back to work.
    Heh.

    10

  • #
    ren

    It is enough to produce a protein that is in the envelope of the virus so that the human body produces antibodies. Such a vaccine is possible in a shorter time.

    20

  • #

    See the backdown from Premier Palaszczuk in Queensland, now saying that schools will be a student free zone as of Monday.

    She oh so ‘artfully’ couches this decision in having ‘listened to the community’. (Yeah, right!)

    See the point here.

    She needed all those State schools for her election this Saturday, hence all those schools just HAD to be designated as safe zones right up until the day of the election, and what happens after that is, well, who cares really.

    She had to listen to the faction ruled by the Teachers Union in all of this, and compromise, but only after the election had been held, eh!

    Oh and that election. I’m certain all of you have stood in long queues at polling booths and for long times as well. Imagine now those queues with the correct social distancing in place. Imagine inside the polling place as well with that social distancing, the number of people allowed inside, considering there are already those people in place to do all the election admin etc. So only a few at a time will be allowed in, and there will be less of those cardboard polling booths all correctly spaced. Oh, and people have been asked to bring their own pencils as well. Oh, only allowing people in as others are leaving with the correct spacing in place. I also wonder how many spruikers will be on site adding to the crowds. 5 people for a wedding, ten for a funeral, hundreds at each and every polling station.

    I predict that there will be huge numbers who will still be waiting as polling closes, not having reached the doors to get in.

    So now the time involved in voting has virtually more than doubled or trebled, and to top it off, rain is forecast for South East Queensland.

    No worries though, as Government Ministers have said, there are large fines in place for not voting.

    That Palaszczuk government will make a fortune out of this election, and nudge nudge wink wink, phew, we can the close those schools down on Monday. I wonder what deal was made with the Union here.

    Tony.

    110

    • #
      toorightmate

      Excellent Tony.
      She and Ms Trad are/have been a disaster for Queensland.
      I can not identify one single member of her cabinet who possesses one milligram of quality.

      60

    • #
      WXcycles

      That Palaszczuk government will make a fortune out of this election

      That is it exactly Tony, Labor in QLD is nothing but extortion at every turn, more threats, more fines and more garnishee of bank accounts is standard fare for QLD.

      20

    • #
      Ian Hill

      The Courier Mail called the election proceeding “madness”. Couldn’t read the article without subscribing. However I was able to read that the reporter said he won’t be voting, expects to get fined and wrote “see you in court”.

      Speaking to someone a short while ago who had just moved to Brisbane, he expects the election to be called off.

      20

  • #
    dinn, rob

    creating super-viruses–courtesy of US National Institutes of Health
    https://aumladder.blogspot.com/2020/03/creating-super-viruses-courtesy-of-us.html

    20

  • #
    ren

    The same day that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the initiation of a clinical trial using blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced wider support for the practice.

    The FDA said Tuesday that it will allow physicians to use what is referred to as convalescent plasma collected from recovered COVID-19 patients in an attempt to treat patients who are critically ill from the virus that was declared a pandemic. The idea is that the plasma, which contains antibodies against the virus, will be administered into patients who are critically ill. In a guidance announced Tuesday, the FDA said it is possible that the treatment could be effective against the infection, although there is scant evidence to support that as of now. The use of convalescent plasma has been studied in outbreaks of other respiratory infections, including the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic.
    https://www.biospace.com/article/fda-expedites-use-of-convalescent-plasma-treatment-for-covid-19-patients-with-life-threatening-conditions/

    20

  • #
    JH#6

    It astounds me that a group of people that sniffed out the Climate Change con suddenly lost their sense of smell when Convid-19 was released by the world media.
    Same source, same playbook.
    Stay safe, stay sane people. JH#6

    44

    • #
      el gordo

      It may just be a Chinese hoax, but we can’t take a chance, hence the precautionary principle comes into play. It’ll all be over by Xmas.

      ‘Despite the impassioned pleas from the Prime Minister, NSW Premier and chief medical officer, Oberon still is not practising social distancing. In our local supermarkets and main street, people are standing close together chatting without a thought for the welfare of the community.’

      Western Advocate

      30

    • #
      PeterS

      Conspiracy theories are not worth a cracker unless backed up by evidence.

      30

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Agree PeterS but unfortunately the ABC printed the Chinese “official” claiming the virus was the work of the Americans.
        Which then legitimised the tinfoil hat brigade .

        40

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Not all of us.

      I think that the sloppy? behaviour of government checking borders has been dangerous and that the “bureaucrats” responsible should be charged with negligence.

      Overseas we find deaths being attributed to CV19 which were most likely pre-existing conditions other than CV19.

      How can government proceed with a plan when they don’t even bother with the basics.

      Then, to save their skins, they put on a show and close the nation down.

      They might look proactive on the media but they really look uninformed at the moment.

      KK

      10

  • #
    PeterS

    US so far has announced a $6 trillion economic relief package for coronavirus. Makes our effort look puny even after taking into account the relatives sizes of our economies.

    10

    • #
      RickWill

      Similar per person as Australia and the Australian opposition did not try to hold out for their climate ambitions.

      Australia is a reasonable margin ahead of the USA on the CV19 curve. We have been in a partial lock down for 4 days. All States now have border controls. US is all over the place. Some States have not attempted any lock down.

      US is rapidly heading to top of the chart as far as CV19 deaths is concerned. Citizens will need all the support they can get.

      20

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Just noticed most if not all MSM when mentioning the death toll in Australia immediately put in a qualifier that they were old and had pre existing medical conditions .
    Much like some of the commentary here but when did it become acceptable in modern society to put the lives of one cohort above the lives of others ?

    20

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Robert, I think that’s unfair.

      I’ve often mentioned that the Australian CV19 victims are aged 77 to 90 years and the reason I have done this was primarily to do with the honesty of reporters and politicians.

      Of the seven Australian deaths that I’m aware of all have been called CV19 deaths. What I want to know is the truth of their medical situations.
      What other illnesses were they carrying and what was the primary illness?

      KK

      10

    • #
      RickWill

      Reporting like this is perpetuating a myth. We are not far from those in news media learning of the death of a young person. They then look for an existing condition to justify their belief that it kills mostly old men. At some point they will realise anyone is vulnerable to severe illness.

      I watched news footage tonight inside a New York hospital and the people laying around on the floor or propped up against walls were mostly under 40yo. Maybe older people are treated earlier but there are plenty of young people waiting for treatment.

      8 of the 200 in ICU in the UK are under 40. So far 25 treated in ICU in Spain are under 30 while 55 people treated were/are under 50. Italy simply did not put their old and infirmed into ICU. They pointed them toward death’s door; that is what an overwhelmed medical system looks like.

      30

    • #
      doc

      I guess what it is saying Robert is that with their pre-existing illness the body couldn’t cope with the extra stress of the viral illness.
      Where lung capillaries meet lung gases, the minute alveolus, fluid accumulation from the viral disease process thickens the divide and O2 diffusion plummets.
      A pre existing problem with heart or lungs, not enough O2 gets to the blood and death ensues from heart, lung, liver, kidney or brain issues or the lot together.

      The virus is enough to precipitate death in a person who is previously unwell but surviving. I guess that’s still a viral caused death. I think the
      media in this case simply report what they are officially told.

      Your point about the morality of ageism in selection about who will die is unfortunately the last point at which the medics have to make awful decisions. It
      is the final point of having to, being forced to, to triage patients. It’s not really a decision based directly on age, even if that’s the end result. In
      this case its a matter of incipiently dying people in the situation of deficient resources where the choice being made is really which patient has the greater
      chance of survival with what’s available. I have difficulty with the morality of government or anyone else making that blanket age cut off. Maybe, when the chips
      are really down, the HEALTHCARE SYSTEM itself is crashing and you have patients everywhere needing full treatment to live and overwhelming you, this may be the
      only way to utilise the few healthcare people left with you and your minimal resources. That’s what Italy must have looked like in the trenches. I wonder if Spain
      is any better where troops have been called up to assist and are finding dead bodies in residences they have to check.

      You can see from my verbosity this is a difficult area, but its reality. You call whether it is right or not. I can’t, and thank God I will never have to.

      30

  • #
    TdeF

    As I explained earlier, the fact that you cannot see people dying around you does not mean the threat is not real.

    Consider poor Italy, now with more cases then China despite having only 5% of China’s population. That’s because the CHinese knew what it was. The Italians had hug a Chinese person day.

    It works like this. 67,000 people in Italy infected. Sure, only 0.1% of the 60 million population.

    However this is doubling ever 3 days and doubles ten times in a month. That is 1024x. Now you have the entire population infected and 20% of those presenting with severe respiratory problems are under 44. So 12 million people looking for hospital beds and respirators and drugs and doctos which do not exist.

    At present 7,500 people have died in Italy. x1000 is 7.5 Million people dead just counting the people under 44. This is just Italy, not India or Nigeria or Brazil.

    And I read in these comments that this is not a real pandemic? That people are overreacting? That it isn’t in your neighbourhood yet? You do not know any dead people?

    Why are so many countries in total lockdown? Why is our Prime Minister making announcements every night? Why is every world leader trying to prevent panic with nightly broadcasts?

    This is going to be bigger in death toll than Hiroshima, bigger than all of WWII without total lockdown. Conversely, with total lockdown, the virus will die. We have no choice. We have to kill this.

    It’s easy. Do not give the virus another body. It cannot live without people. It’s your choice.

    90

  • #
    TdeF

    If you do not believe the maths, check out this web site of facts. Please note the vertical axis is a log graph. 1, 1000, 10,000, 100,000, 1000000 people. The graphs would all be a mile high if they did not use logs. And even on a log chart few are showing flattening, except China. But then they knew about it much earlier and what it was. That’s not xenophobia. That’s reality.

    70

    • #
      PeterS

      Yes the threat is real. We just don’t know yet where and when it will turn. Those who are trivialising the virus do not know any more than the rest of us and are just blowing smoke. The same can be said about those at the other extreme who are proclaiming this is the end of the world. Time will tell how bad this really is and it will take a long time to be sure. We are lucky here so far with such few deaths so let’s hope it stays that way. I suspect we will enter the full lock down stage soon if it does get much worse. We just have to be patient and do our bit to minimise the spread of the virus. Wash hands and all that. Take care.

      50

      • #
        RickWill

        4 more deaths in Australia on Thursday 26th to take total to 13. 3 of those were not in intensive care. We could expect another 13 by Sunday night.

        If Australia’s lock down has been successful we could see a reduction in daily deaths before the toll reaches 100. If that eventuates then we will have achieved what South Korea managed; not quite as effective as Japan but then they had the early scare with the cruise ship.

        US death toll shows no sign of flattening. I think New York will be dire.

        60

      • #
        TdeF

        Agreed. But we want to stop the spread of the virus. This is a key concept. It has to spread or die.
        Maybe we can only eliminate it from Australia. That would be good. Like that other bat virus, rabies.
        I cannot believe Morrison thinks missing school for a few weeks will harm a child’s future. That’s some special sort of school. Learning is so slow at most schools you could skip years and catch up in weeks. It’s mostly child minding. And in the higher forms, you teach yourself.
        But 600 asymptomatic carriers meeting every day at a distribution centre, that means we cannot kill the virus.

        40

  • #
    RickWill

    New York hospitals are beginning to see the Tsunami:
    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/25/health/coronavirus-covid-hospitals/index.html

    The doctor, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity out of concern for his job, described a hospital that was woefully unprepared for an influx of Covid-19 patients that started roughly two weeks ago — which has already stretched the hospital’s resources thin and led to severely ill patients outnumbering ventilators.

    40

  • #
    UK-Weather Lass

    Almost one week into lock down.

    My personal self isolation/distancing is now three weeks old.

    The streets are surreal; few vehicles, few pedestrians, people not even looking at each other as if eye contact might just mean cross infection. Shopping was a nightmare on day one of lock down but some sense of normality was present on my last shop two days ago. I shared a bit of a laugh with some assistants I know as we observed safe distancing. It felt like there was something more relaxed about everyone than before the lock down as we knuckle down to accept out fates.

    Not very much optimistic content on press and TV, but I have used this period to learn as much as I can about this pandemic from as many sources as I can. That has been bewildering on much the same scale as climate change – the facts and figures are being used to back up previously held views as humans tend to do. In most cases I concluded that we simply do not know much more than what has already happened and much of that is less than clear.

    My mind is open about how I come out of this. I do not want to be another burden upon our already overstretched health services and so I’ll be careful not to take risks.
    What puzzles me much though is how we have come to this in the twenty first century – panic driven policy, gutless leadership, no long term plan, and I wonder whether this is the main thing that will change in society when we get out of this tunnel. I sincerely hope we do end up having proper policy, proper leaders and proper long term plans.

    80

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      That’s great; Go Lassie go!

      We may have sent men to walk on the Moon but Group dynamics doesn’t seem to have made any improvement at all.

      KK

      20

    • #
      TdeF

      It is surprisingly hard for people to live in self isolation, even with freedom of movement and infinite resources and the internet.

      Personally as restaurants are off limits and coffee shops and dinner parties and even birthday parties, major functions and weddings and funerals, I have combined it with a diet I had meant to be on. That’s working, so there is some point to it all and some good will come out of it. Because we have Lite’n'Easy it also solves shopping and cooking and being tempted and in fact having to do much with food at all. So I intend to come out the other side lighter and fitter and ready to enjoy.

      The big break through will be cheap, readily available testing. Then there is no reason to isolate, at least from closer friends and relatives who are tested.

      Then of course immunization. But in this case I want to see this virus gone completely and testing moved to airports and the docks. We used to have quarantine but it has been over a century since the last great scourge (not counting Aids), we have simply forgotten all about it. And have no memory of 1/3 of the population dying as happened so often in history.

      We will certainly have a different world view after this. I cannot bear to think what will happen in Africa and South America.

      40

  • #
    PeterS

    US Senate has passed a $2trillion relief package. It includes a direct payment of US$1,200 to individuals making up to US$75,000, or US$2,400 for couples making up to US$150,000. Each dependent child increases the amount by an additional US$500. The amount decreases for individuals with incomes above US$75,000, and payments cut off for those above US$99,000.

    Expanded unemployment benefits that boost the maximum benefit by US$600 per week and provide laid-off workers their full pay for four months. Eligibility is extended to independent contractors and the self-employed.

    Makes our efforts so far look so pedestrian.

    30

    • #
      TdeF

      Directly scaling on populations (26 to 330) that’s about about $100Billion. Our Federal taxation receipts are around $500Bn, so 2 months receipts. It is probably what will be spent.
      And banks will contribute and landlords, simply by not charging. That is probably more significant for most people. It is what is needed so that when this is over, we can return to normal quickly, paying our taxes, living in our houses and well.

      I would have to think the 1 million Australian tourists who go overseas each month, 12 million a year could easily spent that sort of money overseas each year. In the new world coming, people might have to holiday at home and discover Australia. It would be great for everyone in the country and especially remote areas.

      30

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Yes you are right TdeF
        And Australians knowing more about Australia from first hand
        Will kill off the whole climate change scare campaign as well.

        20

      • #
        PeterS

        The ration 26/330 gives about $160billion but after taking into account the exchange rate it’s more like $2600billion for us. In any case we might end up spending that amount by the time it’s all over. Perhaps much more. It’s on our money, right?

        10

        • #
          PeterS

          $2600billion -> $260billion

          20

        • #
          TdeF

          Exchange rate doesn’t matter. This is our money. And a lot of these figures come from a lot of different places. It depends on how they arrived at an amazing figure, putting a value things. If a government does not collect tax, is this a gift or not? If they do not charge for services, is this a gift? There will be a lot of barter in those figures but someone had to turn it into a cash equivalent.

          10

          • #
            PeterS

            You think those are amazing figures? How about the US$200 trillion of unfunded liabilities and the like as well as the US$23trillion national debt? Then there are the 100′s of trillions more of derivatives debt being swished around.

            The exchange rate does matter if we are to compare like for like. We don’t use US dollars here for “our” money.

            20

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      “and provide laid-off workers their full pay for four months.”

      That’s a very interesting one.

      Likely to help businesses get straight back to the task as soon as the all clear sounds: hopefully well inside 4 months.

      30

      • #
        PeterS

        Make no mistake about it. The US is going to spend whatever amount it takes to avoid a depression. Time will tell if it works. They hold the reserve currency status (for now) so they can spending limit is huge. Where the cut-off is that would cause a run on their bonds and lead to a collapse in their financial system is anyone’s guess.

        30

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          And if the U.S. had substantial borrowings from China designated in USD then a little “quantitative easing” internally would make it easier to pay off the debt.

          Also, China would find their purchasing power reduced.

          Wall Street wins again. Everyone else??

          KK

          20

          • #
            TdeF

            And a lot of cash has flooded into the US, the only safe haven. Probably a lot of Chinese cash too. At close to zero interest rates. Debt has never been cheaper. But the impact on world currencies has been as bad as the impact on share prices. And the $A has risen slightly from last week’s low. Worse with the British Pound which is now = $A2.00

            30

            • #
              PeterS

              Yes the “flight to quality” has stepped up recently. Not sure how long that will last. At some stage the tide will turn and the world will lose confidence and trust in the US. Not there yet.

              20

          • #
            PeterS

            Actually China doesn’t hold most of the US debt. The US Federal Reserve Bank and US residents do. So the US national debt is owned mostly in the US. Only small part of the US$23trillion national debt is foreign owned – some US$5trillion and is owned predominantly by Asian economies. Given the US $ is the world’s reserve currency it gives them a virtual open cheque book. It won’t last forever though. Once they lose that status … boom!

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      • #
        Chad

        NSW is one of the few sources of data for not only the number of daily new/total cases , but also the daily number of TESTS completed
        https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pages/20200326_00.aspx
        So that 186 yesterday from approx 6000 tests suggests a 3.1% infection rate
        Preceeding days were ..
        25th..190
        24th ..210
        And since the daily number of tests has remained approx the same at 6000/day
        So currently the trend is a reducing number of cases ??

        00

  • #
    TdeF

    What happened to those 500,000 Corona virus tests which arrived last week?

    I am really worried about Morrison’s argument that schools have to continue, if only to look after the children of health workers. These are the people most likely to bring the virus home, straight to the kids and kids straight to the school and the other health workers.

    He really needs to think this through! Any gathering of children is a virus transfer and 600 children! It goes as the square of the number of people, the number of potential contacts. A school is a community disaster children. Farm the children of health workers out if necessary, but this is lethal logic.

    Children would be better with live parents. Shut the schools. Everyone knows they are virus centers. Long before this emergency.

    30

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Noticed in last night’s press conference Dep CMO Kelly sang the praises of all the testing being done, and said:

      We’re testing more categories of people. Also many more tests. … About 10,000 a day is our capacity. …
      One hundred and seventy eight thousand tests. That’s a lot. Probably more on a per population basis than anywhere else in the world. … Here our test positivity rate is 1.5%. That demonstrates firstly that we are doing a lot, and secondly that convinces me that we’re finding the ones we need to look for.

      He only ever talks about how many samples were tested, he never says how many different people were tested, and every mention of “per capita” basis is a furphie because that doesn’t indicate how widely they are testing. He never says we are finding all the cases in reality, he just makes a statement about himself by saying the low positivity in testing convinces him. Yes well gullibility would do that too.

      Then the resumption of elective surgery has enraged the surgeons. The cancellation was proposed to conserve PPE. The surgeons are still wanting to prepare for the worst case, and even Kelly says they’re expecting an increase in ICU utilisation, which is just stating the bleedin’ obvious.

      30

  • #
    Red Edward

    “Essential Takeaways from China’s Response to COVID-19″

    “This memo has been written by three top-level Norwegian scientists with links to China and the pharmaceutical industry:

    •Yun Zhou PhD,Biomedical Researcher from Wuhan, living in Norway. Dr. Zhou reads and speaks Chinese (Mandarin) fluently and has been communicating with some physicians and family members in China and Wuhan about the COVID-19 epidemic, and read Chinese newspapers and searched Chinese web sites on a daily basis since the first cases were reported.
    •Niels Chr. Danbolt MD, PhD, Professor,Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, has worked with Dr. Zhou to acquire insight about effective treatments and containment strategies for COVID-19.
    •Stefan KraussMD, PhD, Professor,Centre Director HTH Center of Excellence, University of Oslo, has a background in drug development.

    Key points:

    1.The morbidity and mortality rates are so high that the virus causes the healthcare systems to be overwhelmed. The virus must be contained, and that explains the massive Chinese response with extensive quarantine measures.

    2.While an approved drug for COVID-19 treatment does not exist, some drugs appear to be effective in treating the disease. One of these is the malaria drug chloroquine (both the phosphate version, and the hydroxy-variant). Chloroquine appears to be most effective if given early in the disease when symptoms are mild. This was reported in Chinese newspapers and other state-controlled media as early as early February. Chloroquine is the drug most often mentioned in Chinese newspapers. It simple and fast to producein large quantities and its side effects are well known and controllable.

    3.For patients not tolerating or responding to chloroquine, three other drugs have been tried: Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir and Umifenovir(Arbidol). All of these have moderate to severe side-effects (https://www.nasdaq.com/artihttps://www.statnews.com/ph…, they are less studied, and they are more expensive to produce.

    4.Chinese authorities have, according to our open-source intelligence, placed large orders on chloroquine, and we have got the impression that they maybe using this drug on a vast scale (e.g. https://www.yicaiglobal.comhttps://www.shine.cn/biz/ec…. Guangzhou Baiyunshan Guanghua Pharma has resumed full production capacity and has a daily capacity of 2 million tablets, suggesting that the Chinese authorities believe that chloroquine is effective.

    5. A key point is that Western publications have not caught up with the above information as it is only available in Chinese. The authors of this memo are concerned that Western authorities (e.g. CDC and WHO) are unaware of important information that can be used to effectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Information on the potential benefits of chloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 mediated disease is beginning to appear in Western media

    6.To what extent chloroquine treatment has been a key factor in the apparent Chinese success in fighting COVID-19 is unknown, but the evidence for a key role of chloroquine in this epidemic is compelling and needs to be investigated.

    7.Our sources indicate that chloroquine administered at a sufficiently early stage maylower the number of patients that will require hospitalization. In fact, this is what the Chinese have tried to do. Early treatment of infected people in Wuhan City reduced the percentage of severe conditions from 38% to 18%. In contrast, when the disease has progressed into a serious condition requiring intensive care admission and artificial ventilation, the treatment is less effective and a significant number of patients will die.

    To summarize:
    a.There is an existing drug, well tested, well documented and with manageable side effects, which is neither exceptionally expensive nor difficult to produce and is fairly effective if administered at the correct time.

    b.In order to maximize the effectiveness of chloroquine it will be necessary to identify infected patients as early as possible through extensive testing with a rapid turn-around time.

    8.There are also rumors that chloroquine may prevent the development of the disease if given at smaller doses to asymptomatic individuals. If this is correct, then prophylactic treatment of people at risk (e.g. health personnel and individuals with underlying conditions) may be possible.

    9.A high percentage of infected people may be absent from work for months and the Chinese are becoming stricter with respect to declaring an infected patient disease-free. Effective March 6th, 2020, they only release infected patients from quarantine after they have developed COVID-19 neutralizing antibodies. Infected patients with no or minimal antibody response are kept in quarantine as there is increasing evidence that they continue to shed virus and therefore can infect others. We have also been told by friends in Wuhan (undocumented personal information)
    that China is considering 4 weeks of quarantine rather than the current recommendation of 2 weeks. 1

    10.There are speculations that some patients die from an uncontrolled immune response (a.k.a. “cytokine storm”) and the immune suppressing drug Tocilizumab is being tested to prevent or stop this serious complication.

    11.There are discussions whether ADE (antibody-dependent enhancement) may complicate vaccine development and pose a significant risk if reinfection occurs with a mutated virus.

    12.Because the disease originated in animals, it may be worthwhile to check whether domestic animals need protection.

    https://www.docdroid.net/80

    30

    • #
      TdeF

      So Donald Trumps great hope that chloroquinine could help are well founded.

      And he is still being pilloried for ‘telling lies’ and causing deaths and misinforming. The media hatred of the US President knows no bounds, even in the biggest world crisis in seventy years. They even switched off his address or muted the sound and talked over him.

      As Trump continues to lead from the front, Hollywood and the media are looking like true villains. Singer Cher openly calls the president a m*rderer. These are all yesterday’s people and enemies of at least half of America’s population. And the UN/WHO still defend China even though the US pays the bills.

      Lines are being drawn and there will be an accounting when all this is over. Those who fought the Coronavirus plague and those who their time and energies attacking the President and the people. The Pelosi/Schumer/Schiff attack on the bi-partisan senate rescue bill was the most damning act in partisan politics seen in years. Taking advantage of six Republican senators in quarantine to take control of government. It made the Mueller prosecution and the Impeachment seem trivial.

      I would not be surprised if the people who vote Democrats have seen enough of their leaders. And the ultra woke Hollywood movies no one watches.

      When we get back to the idi*tic issue of make believe UN Climate Change, everything will have changed. And the money will stop. Similarly in the EU states where the globalists will take a hiding. Countries threw up their old walls, to save themselves while the EU chastised Donald Trump for daring to stop flights to the US without their permission.

      A rejection of UN/EU Climate Change, Globalization, no borders and uncontrolled political and economic migration. The people who were supposed to be watching out for our welfare were completely missing, as has been the case for decades. The IPCC should be shut down. And WHO needs to prove they can do their jobs beause they failed totally and are still defending the Wuhan Virus as natural and unknown. Despite the loud warnings from Taiwan in December.

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      • #
        TdeF

        And I would not be surprised if Macron sends in the army to clear out St. Denis on the Seine, 5km North of Montmarte, where hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants in flats and tents simply refuse to comply with the shutdown. It is a now deadly cancer in the very middle of Paris and one which will kill millions of Frenchmen and stop life returning to normal ever.

        There will be an explosion and the memory of the Bataclan mass m*rders and Je Suis Charlie are still fresh and nothing has been done. The villains fled to the safety of no go suburb St. Denis where they were caught after a shootout. Ordinary Frenchmen have had enough of illegals and Macron and Climate Change and carbon taxes and the Coronavirus will light the fuse. Like the Germans, the French will not play games if Macron declares martial law. And not before time. Or Macron and his globalist banker buddies vanish.

        30

        • #
          yarpos

          Went to St Denis in 2012 to look at the Cathedral (its a wonder that hasnt burnt down) and felt decidedly out of place and not in a Paris suburb. Cant imagine it now.

          10

  • #
    ren

    New York Governor Cuomo says:

    Peak number of cases is still 2 to 3 weeks away in New York
    “We’ve procured about 7,000 ventilators. We need, as a minimum, other 30,000 ventilators. This is a critical and desperate need for ventilators [..] We need them in 14 days. Fema is sending 400 ventilators only. Federal action is needed to address this now through the Federal Defense Production Act”
    “The numbers are higher in New York because it started here first, it has a lot of international travelers and has high density, but you will see this in cities all across the country, and in suburban communities. Where we are today, you’ll be in 4 weeks or 6 weeks.
    Probably “hundreds of thousands of people” have already had Covid-19, didn’t know they had it, and recovered. Should be tested for antibodies so they could go back to work and keep the economy going.

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  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Not many people in Australia think about the Philippines except Filipinos living here and their Australian partners.
    Manila the capital is a city of about 15 million. Manila has been in full lockdown for almost 10 days. It is being policed by the police & military who have a reputation for being trigger happy since 2016 when Duterte came to power. It is densely packed city with people except in the few very wealthy barios like Makati.

    The public health system is not very effective being underfunded. That is what most Filipinos are obliged to use.The private health system is very good but available only to those with money to pay before being discharged. Patients can & are prevented from leaving/discharging until the bills are paid. ( Personal experience ! Visa cards wav very useful )

    And now I read that all the major private hospitals in Manila with COVID 19 wards are completely full and not accepting any more patients.
    Please Note : The private health system for the wealthy of Manilla is overwhelmed.

    God only knows what is happening for the majority of people who are poor & have to use the public health system.

    Outside on Manila in some regional areas, local mayors have physically blocked roads to prevent outsiders bring ing the disease to their barios or towns. The road blocks are manned with armed security guards.

    Officially only 707 people are infected with this disease. And officially only 45 people have died. But the official figures are rubbish. Getting a test costs money that the overwhelming population do not have. And many are dying without any hospitalisation at all at home.

    By force of circumstance the Philippines is a country which can only adopt a “Herd Immunity” policy.

    So for those here who would like Australia or the USA or the UK to go the Herd Immunity route, watch the Philippines space. Plenty of horror & gore and tragedy to tickle your fancy !

    10

  • #
    LightningCamel

    I have been worried and disturbed as I watch way the idea of the “short sharp shutdown” has assumed almost Cargo Cult status over the last few days on this site. Now, this is Jo’s site and she is absolutely free to publish what she wishes and long may that continue. She also gives us the ability to comment and I want to use that to put a different position. This has been brewing for a while. Several times I have thought “why bother” and I have come to the conclusion that it is important to me that I say it. There are some really fundamental questions tied up in this.

    These are not uniquely my thoughts, you will find bits and pieces from others in this blog and elsewhere but they are my thoughts.

    The idea of a short sharp shutdown has been around here for some time but recently it is being propounded with increasing shrillness and disagreement is being met with name calling and insult. Very sad.

    So, the basic concept is that a two week quarantine of everybody will essentially eliminate the Wuhan virus from the population giving us an interlude where countermeasures will become available and life can go on. The crush the curve scenario.

    I have thought about this a lot. I understand people are frightened and wish it would all go away but I cannot escape the conclusion that this is about as much use as pulling the sheet over your head and waiting for the boogey man to go away. I will attempt to give some of my reasoning.

    Provided, as I believe to be the case, no one is suggesting that people be locked up to starve in the dark then health services must be maintained, utility services must be maintained, food sales must be maintained, food distribution must be maintained, any number of logistics chains must be maintained. This will require people. Then these people need to be maintained, for example, who is going to feed the truckies, distribute fuel for the trucks, service the trucks, these things go through a thousand litres of fuel a day and travel upwards of 2000 kilometers a day every day, they don’t do that without skilled attention. The result of all this being that there will be many, many thousands of people out and about and in contact. People who blithely say that we will, in some unspecified fashion, maintain these services have missed the point. When you add in the up to two thirds of infected people who have low or no symptoms then it is inevitable that we would come out of a lockdown with a community which is still infected and away we go again except that this time we start with a broken social fabric and a ruined economy.

    If this brainstorm was valid then we could have eradicated the flu any time in the last few decades. We have not even tried and the flu is still way way ahead in the death stakes and so far, not looking like losing the race. I briefly commented on that way back in #1.2.1 or thereabouts.

    The second part of the short sharp theory is that it will prevent deaths. In my view this is wishful thinking. Deaths from Wuhan virus will still occur in lockdown from those infected before the thing started or from infections during the quarantine period, family members and all those not in quarantine. The extreme social dislocation will increase direct Wuhan flu death rates. At best there will be some reduction in growth rate, there will not be a cessation of deaths.

    Set against that will be all the deaths directly caused by the lockdown through stress, people who crack because they can’t feed their families, people who can’t get out and are missed by the system and so on. Then you have to add the long tail of excess deaths resulting from the economic destruction caused. There will be less jobs, huge stress on people trying to make ends meet, reduced government services and delays in provision of improved services. All these will kill people who would otherwise not have died. You cannot shutdown a complex interdependent economy such as ours and expect it to spin up to full activity two weeks later when you press the go button. It will take a long long time.

    Any death is a tragedy but a Wuhan virus death is not more tragic than any other. There is no clear winner. A short sharp lockdown is not “clearly superior” and there is a lot of analysis which says it is likely to be worse. Arguments along the lines of how many people have to die before we ..(insert your favourite extreme reaction).. are invalid. It is not a simple binary choice.

    Is this the only alternative we have? Clearly not. China and South Korea have shown that social distancing coupled with, especially in Korea, targeted testing have been effective in reducing the transmission of the virus to the point required to bring the spread under control. Data from Italy over the last four days give hope that the effect of the measures taken there are beginning to show. This is about the earliest date this could be expected. Italy is an outlier in many ways, much has been written here about social differences and Willis over at WUWT added some more data (with references to the originals) which is useful. That paper has drawn so many strawmen in these pages that it could be used for drought relief. It, along with much of the extremely long comment thread is well worth a read. In any event, the Italians eventually responded to their situation with extreme measures which seem to be working. I am not going to attempt to tease out the truth of the steps taken by China but they are clearly working, a few Twitter and Instagram posts notwithstanding. As an aside, when did those two become reliable data sources in any objective discussion?

    Then we come to Korea. In the famous WUWT thread Stephen Mosher, who actually lives in Seoul and is nobody’s fool, was kind enough to reply to my request for an on the ground take on the measures being taken. It turns out that, in response to an uptick of infections, guidance in social distancing has been given. This reads as very similar to that which we already have in place. There is a copy in my next post if interested.

    These measures work in a city which has a population similar to that of the whole of Australia. There are no lockdowns, no destruction of social fabric, no economic ruin. We start with a normal social distance very much greater than that of Korea and we know that they can produce the distance needed to reduce transmission of the virus with simple changes. I cannot see that we need or can justify destructive policies. Australians are already making the changes, it is not that hard. If you choose to isolate for whatever reason then you can still do that and you will have a functioning society around you to assist. We need to up our testing game, in particular test those in the health sector until they are fed up with it, than keep testing. Dig up some info on the Korean testing campaign. It is interesting and it works.

    The fears that the virus will storm through the population like wildfire and kill tens of thousands (in Aus) in a short period are not supported by the data. The data show that after the initial growth, due more to ramp up of testing rather than disease progression, the growth curve can be bent downwards. So far the proportion of populations infected is in the hundredths of one percent range and it is hard to see how it will accelerate wildly from there. The exponential growth is being interrupted.

    If we keep the country running the pressure on everyone is much reduced, Australians, as well as keeping their lives and communities together, can contribute to producing the needed supplies and use their skills and intelligence to work towards improved testing, treatment and eventually a cure. What is more we can keep this up for an extended period if required. This gives us time and ability to achieve full control. In the meantime, we know that the number of deaths will not run away uncontrollably. A shutdown is a one shot proposition and we are left with a shambles. The notion that keeping the place running is putting money before lives is both ignorant and rude.

    The final point I want to make is a plea for our country. The suggestions in these pages that peoples rights and freedoms should be curtailed are many. I have read that people should be locked in their houses, should not be able to visit friends, should not be able to travel interstate or even within their State, that people should be digitally tagged so that authorities can do whatever it is they want to do with the individual and on and on. The whole package adds up to a wish list that Chairman Xi would be proud of and people are clamouring for our government to enact laws to implement these things. I also notice a strong undercurrent of we “know” what is the correct thing to do and everyone else should be required to comply, other options are unacceptable. Two things. First, you don’t know, you are working from incomplete data and other interpretations are equally, perhaps more valid. Second, that attitude is the road to tyranny. You may not want to go there but others will use the path you provide.

    Once these things are enacted they will never go away and the bar for using the powers will get lower over time. The laws enacted will not be clean, there will be all sorts of harmful stuff tacked on, look at what that awful harridan in US tried to tack onto their relief bill, look at the calls from greenies to leverage their fantasies into the act. The downstream effect of this could be horrible.

    Then there is the effect on our National and individual pride and sense of self worth. Australians are still a reasonably open, relaxed and inventive lot. If, and I think there is an if, we all submit to being locked up, unable to control our destiny or help ourselves and dependent on someone else to decide when we can be released then our character will be changed. How can we claim to be strong and independent when we have submitted to that extent. Travel between States is likely to have little net effect on the number of cases, as many will leave as arrive but people in one state or region want to lock everyone else out because they see some advantage for themselves, what a miserable unAustralian divisive attitude is that. I will mourn the death of the Australia I grew up in.

    I am sure someone will ask if a matter of principle is worth even one life. A lot of people have been asked that question and thousands of them died in the belief that those principles and way of life were worth risking their lives for. Are we going to dishonor them because we are a little bit afraid?

    If you have read this far, thank you for making the effort. I hope that what I have said contains a little comfort and hope that there are acceptable options. I will drop in from time to time but I can no longer participate in what is happening here.

    Best wishes and good luck to you all.

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    LightningCamel

    Earlier I promised two posts. Today for the first time ever I wrote to our Prime Minister. This was written earlier than my post at #63 but it is a condensed version of the same ideas. It also has the Korean social distancing guidance I mentioned.

    Dear Prime Minister,

    I am taking the, for me unique, step of writing to you about the Governments actions in relation to COVID19. My purpose is to both congratulate and to plead with you.

    First, I congratulate you on your response so far to this virus, it has been rational and effective. There will be a delay before the results appear in the figures which will be a cruel test of nerve but these measures have worked elsewhere.

    Secondly I beg you not to destroy the economy and, more importantly, the soul of Australia by forcing people to cower helplessly in their homes waiting for someone else to save them. For Australians to be forced to give up that much of our cherished freedoms and self reliance to retreat into passive obedience would change our country for ever.

    I know you must feel every death and that the pressure to “do something” must be immense. I also believe that you must frequently be placed in the awful position of balancing relative harm. Any death is tragic but a COVID19 death is no more tragic than any other. I ask that you resist the clamour and keep the balance in mind.

    Undoubtedly you have experts laid on but I would like to give you the thoughts of a quiet Australian on some of the choices which have to be made. I believe these views are both defensible and explainable to Australians. There are references for all of this if they should be required.

    There is much noise around a “total” shutdown for a period of two weeks or more. I understand that people are frightened and the idea of “just a couple of weeks and it will all be over” is comforting but it is unlikely to work. Unless we are to have people starve in darkness services will have to be maintained, health services will still be required, food transport will be required, food distribution will be required, truck drivers will need to be fed and so on and on. All this will require that many, probably hundreds of thousands of people will not be isolated. Add to that the up to two thirds of infected people who have minimal or no symptoms and it is almost certain that the infection will still be abroad in the community at the end of any shutdown and the trajectory will resume. Deaths will not be prevented.

    On the other hand there will be many deaths caused directly through such a shutdown and a long tail of additional deaths through stress, joblessness and reduced services caused by the economic carnage which would follow. You touched on some of this in your address a couple of nights ago. That is all on top of the social damage.

    It is not a trade with a clear winner. Please let Australians loose to use our skills and energy to defeat this thing.

    China and South Korea show that social distancing works to reduce the rate of spread of this disease. Italy also looks to be over the peak with reduction in cases over the last four days at about the earliest time from when the effect of their social restrictions could be expected.

    It is important we aim at achieving the effect required and not be dragged into copying the most severe laws and methods used in other countries. After all, it would require major changes to a big Korean or Italian city to achieve the social distancing that is usual for much of Australia on a normal day. There has been a small upsurge in infections is Seoul and social distancing policies have been advised. I have included a copy of these recommendations at the end of this letter. They are similar to those we already have.

    Korea has been very successful with these social distancing policies coupled with a carefully targeted testing program. The outcomes produced have been shown to work and they have not needed to destroy their society or economy. Korea does have a social order where there is more pressure to conform to peer expectations than in Australia so will rapidly achieve a high degree of compliance. We may need the occasional breakup of a gathering to get there but, as always, Australians are adapting already. How much easier it is in Australia to get to where we need to be, we have so little distance to go. Trust us. Give us information and guidance. Don’t shut us down, let us get to it. Please.

    Full disclosure. I’m 72, live in rural Victoria. I’m limiting social contact, maintaining distance but still meet friends, go do the shopping and the like. Seems the responsible thing to do, I’m in the target age group, have no need to do anything else and people don’t need to have to look after me when I can easily avoid it. By the same token if, say, my family need help I’m out of here in a cloud of dust.

    Thank you for your attention. May God support and guide you.

    Yours faithfully,

    Selwyn Ellis

    Typical Korean Guidance

    “In light of the continued emergence of outbreaks in various venues such as religious facilities and workplaces, the KCDC urged everyone to participate in enhanced social distancing campaign for the next 15 days (22 March – 5 April). Citizens are advised to stay home as much as possible other than for going to work, visiting a healthcare provider, and purchasing necessities. Working citizens are asked to maintain a distance from other people during lunch breaks, refrain from using break rooms and other social venues, and pay closer attention to maintaining personal hygiene (e.g. washing hands). Employers are advised to implement various methods of minimizing person-to-person contact for employees, such as reorganizing workspaces to ensure greater distancing and implementing work-from-home and flexible hours systems. Those who show symptoms should be advised not to show up at work. Workers who develop symptoms mid-day should be sent home immediately. The government has also limited the operation of high-risk facilities including religious facilities, some indoor fitness facilities, and nightlife venues. Venues that remain in operation must strictly comply with infection prevention guidelines (e.g. disinfecting, ventilation, distancing, mask wearing) set by the authorities.”

    00

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    Surprise, surprise;

    Australia runs out of ICU beds in ten days according to epidemiological research published the Medical Journal of Australia today. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2020/212/10/when-system-breaks-queuing-theory-model-number-intensive-care-beds-needed

    I would love this modelling to be badly flawed, subject to hysterical bias, a conspiracy, scientific BS, etc. The chances are it won’t be anything other than a good approximation of reality in ten days time.

    Australia might still end up being the lucky country in the end. But as Donald Horne also said, it is run by second rate people. Here’s the full quote;

    “Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise”

    20

    • #
      Deplorable Lord Kek

      yes, and all very predicable, even without a scientific study: “you don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.”

      00

  • #
    TdeF

    And if you are wrong, you will have killed a lot of people. The mathematics of this are unbelievable and clearly you do not believe them. Yes, we can stop all the flus the same way. That we have not is because people think it is not worth the inconvenience and most of the people who die are elderly anyway. I am angry about the flu deaths but many show a callous indifference.

    But your basic thesis is about the mathematics.

    “The data show that after the initial growth, due more to ramp up of testing rather than disease progression, the growth curve can be bent downwards.
    ..it is hard to see how it will accelerate wildly from there. The exponential growth is being interrupted.” Really? Where is this data?

    Not on the graphs I can see where to my dismay we are still a straight line on a log scale, indicating exponential growth, doubling every 3 days. One month is 1000x at this rate. Two months, one million x. There is no ‘flattening’. It is a run away train.

    On the other hand we are isolating, apart from schools.

    As for your argument about essential services, they are relatively small and can be tested continually. And they do not work in crowded offices or on assembly lines or travel on public transport. They know all about hygiene and if they have enough equipment, they can avoid infection, we hope. So that does not change anything except for Morrison’s mad idea that their children should go to school.

    The other stuff about being Australian and rights and freedoms is useless. This is a tiny sacrifice to kills a deadly contagion which cannot live without a continual supply of live human hosts. We cannot shoot it, but we can deprive it of more victims. Then it dies.

    As for Italy being an ‘outlier’, that’s a poor excuse for logic or facts. They are in total National lock down now, but far too late. Basically they had no idea what was going on. The admirable Chinese government had hidden it, denied it, as their lackeys at the UN/WHO still do. The Taiwanese have made that very clear but WHO refused to listen with their One China policy. And I do not believe the numbers coming out of China but with extreme lockdown, they may have stopped the growth. Life is beginning to return in China, slowly.

    Your advice is a recipe for the biggest disaster in Australian history. A voluntary lockdown for a few weeks is not really a cost. Boring, inconvenient and a suspension of day to day life, it is not like six years of war as in 1939-1945 or a loss of liberty or self worth. There is no property destruction. Not a thing is harmed. It is a small price to pay. In fact most people are more than happy to comply and governments are going to pay wages from taxes and landlords will forgive rents and banks may even suspend interest. Everyone is in this together.

    If I am wrong as you believe, great. Wonderful. I could not be happyer. However if you are completely wrong as I believe and the data actually show, what are the consequences? Unbelievable loss of life. That is the problem with contagion, it is fundamentally unbelievable. As a mathematician among other things, I can tell you it is true. And most of the world’s politicians are belatedly starting to agree. It is essential to stop this virus dead.

    And I hope we stop all those flus at the same time. Think of the saving of not being sick this year. The US lost 60,000 people to flu last year and 22,000 so far this year. This attitude will change. We can beat this, but we have to act together.

    00

    • #
      TdeF

      And if you find it all unbelievable, I share that feeling. I wish I was wrong but the numbers are clear. This has happened many times before, killing 1/3 to 1/2 of whole populations. All forgotten now except in the history books. And I believe this one is man made but it hardly matters, we still have to beat it. The skills and technology used to make this thing have to be used to defeat it but while we wait for the miracle, we can buy time. And maybe, just maybe on an island like Australia, we can eliminate it completely.

      If only those damn boats would stop coming. There are about 14 of the things trying to dock. And the door is still open for people from many countries fleeing the contagion. QANTAS has upped the flights from Dubai from 777s to A380s to cope with demand. So expect the numbers to keep rising as long as the doors are still open and the schools are still acting as virus exchange centres. My only hope is that the 500,000 new fast tests are good enough to pick up infected people at point of entry. If they are being used as they should.

      00

  • #
    Red Edward

    One more thing. . .

    I have not read anything recently (last few days) on treating advanced cases with rheumatoid arthritis drugs. One drug, at least, seems to be promising to stop the IL6 cascade (the cytokinase cascade). I will research further.

    00

    • #
      yarpos

      mmmmm rhuemataoid arthritis sufferers also use Plaquenil , a product name for hydroxychloroquine.

      Maybe why the mother in law hasnt fallen of the perch yet?

      10

  • #
  • #
    Robber

    Stop the imports: The NSW Chief Medical Office, Dr Kerry Chant, has revealed NSW now has 1405 cases, a rise of 186 from yesterday.
    Of those, 877 were overseas-acquired, while 278 were locally acquired. She said 134 were receiving care — 62 “hospital in home” and 19 in intensive care, 53 were in a hospital ward.
    In NSW, number of increased cases every three days working backwards: 550; 316; 343; 98
    In Vic, number of increased cases every three days working backwards: 165; 177; 84; 45
    In Qld: 174; 135; 106; 32
    At least the doubling every 3 days seems to be declining, are restrictions working?

    10

  • #
    yarpos

    I wonder about these alleged restrictions we are living under. The only significant change I see is the closure of socialising venues and cancelling events, other wise people see to be carrying on normally without much regard to risks for themselves and others. Some observations from a shopping trip yesterday to my local town:

    - PO shop lady upset that hunters turned up from Melbourne buying supplies. They were taken aback by her what are you doing here? attitude
    - APost contractor there bragging about how he doesnt distance or sanitise and its all BS. The guy that drops to roadside mailboxs and branch POs
    - In town older women, taking even older (barely ambulatory) women to the supermarket for shopping
    - Chemist shop takes people in a one or two at a time now. End result is a scrum on the footpath as people wait and keep their queue spot, great for distancing
    - heard 2nd hand that a guy who should be isolating turned up at the garden supply place , had stuff loaded and paid by shouting his credit card details from the car (only in the country)

    There is some good news. Our car club cancelled events early March and there were no complaints. Most members we meet are being pretty sensible , probably because many of them are older and feeling more exposed.

    10

    • #
      ren

      In Poland, emergency services are already overloaded. Duty hours last 36 hours. A dozen or so hours in a protective suit, without food or drink. It is not known how long they will last.

      00

  • #
    denis

    public health bureaucrats go crazy, let’s look at their numbers. Let’s accept their reality for the moment—the reality they claim to be working from—and trace the implications. Buckle up.Start with Europe and just plain flu. Not COV. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe [1], “During the winter months, influenza may infect up to 20% of the population…” That’s ordinary seasonal flu.

    The population of Europe is 741 million people. This works out to 148 million cases of ordinary flu. Not once. Every year. EVERY YEAR.According to statista.com [2], “As of March 23, 2020, there have been 170,424 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the whole of Europe since the first confirmed cases in France on January 25.”

    I urge readers to roll those comparative figures around in their minds, and realize that ordinary flu has never been called a pandemic, and has certainly never resulted in locking down countries.WTF is going on?

    00

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