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Californian antibody test finds only 1.5% of self selecting group in highest risk county actually had coronavirus

“Coronavirus may be far more widespread than known”. Or not.

Yet another small non-random study shows “48,000 – 81,000″ people in Santa Clara County had Coronavirus and didn’t know it, but all the study really shows may be the power of motivated reasoning.

The Santa Clara study looked at the county with the highest number of Covid cases in California, then advertised on Facebook  for people  to come forward for an unvalidated test, after which the results were adjusted upwards and converted into headline grabbing ratios and extrapolated to include the whole county and to calculate case fatality rates.

Advertising for participants creates an obvious selection bias straight away –  people who thought they may have had coronavirus are surely more likely to want to go and get tested. But people who knew they didn’t have it (because they had self isolated) might not want to turn up and stand in a queue or even catch coronavirus while they waited.

Basically, they found 50 people out of 3,330 tested positive. About half of which were likely to be false positives. They weighted the sample by zip code, race and sex, but for some reason, didn’t adjust for age, which is a defining characteristic of infection and fatality rates, but then they estimated fatality rates anyway.

Effectively, the study found only 1.5% of a group who probably thought they had had Coronavirus had actually had it. With post code adjustments, the rate was lifted to between 2.5% – 4.2%.

The headlines took a bad study and made it worse:

Stanford University antibody testing finds California virus infections are 50 TIMES higher than reported – suggesting COVID-19 is more widespread across the US

Coronavirus spread: Number of people infected by COVID-19 may be 50-80 times higher than official count

Commenters under the preprint are unimpressed.  Quite a few estimate that it is not possible to be sure there were any true positive results given the false positive rates. Though one defended the published confidence interval estimates by pointing out that people complaining about false positives had forgot to account for the false negatives. We know how good a study is when they need the false negatives to counteract the false positives so they know they got more than zero.

mendel3 days ago

First, he picked the county that had the earliest cases in California and had the outbreak the first, ensuring that the population would be undertested. This means that it’s likely that every other county in California has fewer unregistered infections than Santa Clara.

Second, study participants were people who responded to a facebook ad. This is a self-selected sample, and this property completely kills the usefulness of the study all by itself. This is a beginner’s error! People who think they had Covid-19 and didn’t get tested or know someone who did are much more likely to respond to such an ad than people who did not….

Third, age is the one most common predictor of mortality. He did not weigh the results by age, and old people are underrepresented in the study. Anything he says about mortality is completely useless if we don’t know how prevalent the infection was in the older population. (In Germany, cases show that the prevalence among tested older people was low initially and took a few weeks to rise.)

Fourth, instead he weighs prevalence by zip code–why? This exacerbates statistical variations, since there were only 50 positive results, and Santa Clara has ~60 zip codes. If you have a positive result fall on a populous zip code by chance where only a few participants participated, then the numbers are skewed up. They must have seen this happen because their estimated prevalence is almost twice as high as the raw prevalence.

Fifth, the specificity of the test is “99.5% (95 CI 98.3-99.9%)”. This means that theoretically, if the specificity was 98.5%, all of the 50 positive results could be false positives, and nobody in the sample would have had any Covid-19. This means the result is not statistically significant even if the sample had been well chosen (which it wasn’t). (It’s not even significant at the 90% level.)

Sixth, they used a notoriously inaccurate “lateral flow assay” instead of an ELISA test and did not validate their positive samples (only 50) with a more sensitive test — why not?

Seventh, The Covid-19-antibody test can create false positives if it cross-reacts with other human coronavirus antibodies, i.e. if you test the samples of people who had a cold, your speficity will suffer. Therefore, a manufacturer could a) test blood donor samples, they not allowed to give blood if they have been sick shortly before; b) test samples taken in the summer when people are less likely to have colds than in March.

To state the previous three points this in another way, a large number of positive results (a third if the specificy is actually 99.5%, but probably more than that) are fake, and depending on which zip codes they randomly fall in, they could considerably skew the results.

Spacecat56 asks what happened to data collected on prior symptoms?

The draft acknowledges the possibility of this bias but tosses it off as “hard to ascertain”. But the draft also says that data on prior symptoms were collected; data which are entirely omitted both from the published analysis and from the published tables.

Because the analysis ignores this factor and because of the potential for this bias to totally dominate the analysis, in my opinion after reading the study draft, we still know effectively nothing at all about the prevalence of infection in the studied population.

Were people who had been sick in the last month more likely to volunteer for testing?

Antibody tests are unreliable at this stage –  there may be cross reactivity with the common cold coronavirus, and apparently researchers only used 30 “pre-covid-19″ blood samples to rule that out. Could this be right?

Animesh Ray2 days ago

This manuscript should not have seen the light of the day in this form, let alone be published even in a pre-print format because of the sensitivity of the topic.

Here is the reason: The common cold coronaviruses that could potentially cross-react to existing pre-COVID19 IgM/IgG are quite prevalent in the population. To address this, the authors tested 30 pre-COVID19 sera.

Given an unadjusted detection rate of 2.8% seropositives in post-COVID-19 samples, if all were false positives, they needed to test, for 99% confidence, a MINIMUM of log(0.01)/log(0.972) = 162 pre-COVID19 sera of similar demographics (age/sex/location).

Instead, they tested only 30!

On this basis I cannot attach any value to this report.

 Other commenters note the test packets warn that other common cold viruses may test positive.

  • cnrcbioinfo I.J. Frame

    From the test package insert, “Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E.”

The lead author was writing in The Wall St Journal before the tests were even done that “projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.” As commenter Andy asks: Were they just shooting for what they wrote in the WSJ?

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Californian antibody test finds only 1.5% of self selecting group in highest risk county actually had coronavirus, 8.1 out of 10 based on 39 ratings

210 comments to Californian antibody test finds only 1.5% of self selecting group in highest risk county actually had coronavirus

  • #
    Raving

    For the nots

    “Singapore Seemed to Have Coronavirus Under Control, Until Cases Doubled”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/world/asia/coronavirus-singapore.html?referringSource=articleShare

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Raving, Jo our blog host
      Did a very science based post on the Santa Clara pre-print study.
      You had first opportunity to respond to Jo’s science based post
      And you flubbed it
      Instead putting up 2 comments about Singapore & Sweden.
      Mate that is frankly plain rude.
      If you cannot think of anything to say about this Santa Clara ‘study’
      Why not wait a while and then come in with your comments about elsewhere.

      Now : Thanks for doing this post Jo.
      Thanks for showing clearly that it is junk study.

      I read the abstract of this study days ago.
      And noted that it used Facebook to invite participants.
      That in my opinion, falsifies all it’s results immediately.
      How many of us here are on Facebook ?
      I am. But every time I mention it, I meet resistance
      From both young & old
      With awful stories to tell of what happened to them on Facebook.
      In this respect South Australia is no different to the USA.

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      • #
        Raving

        The wider topic is ‘Number of people with antibodies in the population’

        Describing a new cluster outbreak in Singapore which doulbles the country’s infections indicates the virus is not floating around in the background.

        Similarly, I pointed out that the Swedish claim of 2.5% infection in Stockholm was roughly consistent with the number of deaths there.Again that suggests there is no huge resevoir of antibodies.

        No my posts are not pinpoint focused on the topic of ‘high antibody rates’ but they sure do circumscribe it peripherally thereby centering on Jo’s post. Think of it as a ring surrounding a bulls eye

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      • #
        Raving

        Time is awastin’ Bill. We need to get control of this pandemic now!

        A big step forward is a reasonable description of virus transmission. The data indicates viral outbreaks into clusters of individuals. Think of it as an ember from a bush fire blowing a mile into the distance and igniting a fresh clump of brush. Once the brush starts burning it ignites all the fuel surrounding it easily.

        Describing an increasing pool of antibody resistance doesn’t help stop ignition from the ember virus until that antibody pool reaches a critically high level, this being the ‘herd immunity’. In wildfire parlance, embers cease to ignite the brush when it is sufficiently wet that it will not burn.

        Thus there is little purpose in talking about the background antibody levels until such time as it becomes high enough to confer ‘herd immunity’ on the resident population.

        Now look at what happens when a virus flies away to ignite an breakout in a cluster of people. The cluster being a ship, a meat packing plant, a bus, a supermarket, an old folks home.

        The virus gets into the cluster and explodes, infecting people easily. Over a period of a month, tthe numbers of people infected in the cluster grows from one person to two people to 1% to 5% to 10% to even more than 50% of all those in the cluster.. Sometimes the virus can infect 10 to 50 at a single short group encounter, a prayer meeting, a dinner buffet, or a funeral. These cluster outbreaks require people in close contact for an interval of time. The transmission is raid and even moderate background immunity wont slow it down. Things are moving too fast.

        Continued …

        01

        • #
          Raving

          continuing …

          1) Why is this breakout-in-clusters epidemic important? Pandemics happen. A load of money is spent fighting it.

          It matters because a lot of old people die. Currently 10% of those 60 and older in total aggregate will die. Feel free to call it 5% or 20%. ait doesnt make that much difference because either way it represents a heck of a lot of people. Let’s call it 20% of a population are aged 60 years or older.

          Australia has 5 m people aged 60 years or older. If 10% of them should die, that would be 500,000 deaths if the virus infected everyone but only killed 10% of those over age 60 but nobody younger. You can quibble about the 10% mortality but reported statistics from places were 50% of the population are known to be tested and infected, i.e. old age homes also indicate that 10% die

          You can argue about Icu beds and stuff but the point is that if the virus reaches 60% the will be way more dead bodies thancurrently reported. For Australia and 60% infection with 10% mortality in aggregate for all those over 60 years, it is 300k deaths

          You might not know much but you do know roughly that with 60% infection there will be 300k deaths

          There are NOT 300k deaths in Australia. It means the virus has not reached 60% infection

          Moreover although only 60+ year olds die in my simplified description, in real life the hospitals 40% filled with people younger than 60 years old who also die or more likely suffer in ICU for weeks and recover with persisting ailments resulting from the serious viral infection.

          Doesn’t matter the morgues will be beyond overflowing with 60+ year olds. Pandemics do that sort of thing

          01

  • #
    Raving

    Sweden tested a random sample of 773 people from the Stockholm region around about April 1st.

    Stockholm region is the highest area of infection in Sweden. From those 773 tested 2.5% were found to be infected with covid19

    Now 20 days later, Stockholm region reports 944 covid19 deaths

    Assuming 600,000 people 65+ in Stockholm region, 2.5% of that = 15,000 people aged 65+

    Assume only deaths from 65+ and at 10% mortality after 3 weeks = 1,500 deaths

    Compare this against 944 deaths reported for Stockholm region. They are comparable.

    Confirms that 2.5 infection for Stockholm is ballpark plausible

    see sweden pandemic wiki
    see https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/ny-studie-2-5-av-stockholmarna-bar-pa-viruset

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    • #
      R.B.

      Thanks for the data but unless a cure comes along soon, we will catch up once the country is at the point of collapse and strict isolation needs to be lifted. These numbers need to be viewed in the light that what Singapore and Sweden did was what we will need to do in the future.

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      • #
        FarmerDoug2

        Gave you a tick but we didn’t need to. If we had listened to Jo much earlier this could have been just border control. Now a few thousand have to die.
        Sorry Jo but there are to many dingbats.
        Doug

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        • #
          R.B.

          A dingbat is someone who doesn’t realise how many lives would have been saved if we had strict isolation before this virus leaked out of a lab. No (western) government banned homosexuality to stop AIDS. Do we say thousands died because of this?

          This is worse so I’m not saying that we should do nothing, but getting the response right is a bigger picture.

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            What bizarre & ignorant thinking !
            Homosexual practices changed greatly to avoid AIDS
            Among them condoms became very popular.
            Your comment sets all that aside.

            11

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          Thank goodness for Sweden…..when can we have a post on Sweden? Thank you Sweden for everything you do ! yayyyyy!

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      • #
        el gordo

        ‘… strict isolation needs to be lifted.’

        All in due course.

        ‘Students to attend class one day a week under proposal for a gradual return to school.

        ‘Under the proposal, due to be announced on Tuesday, attendance would be ramped up in stages if transmission of coronavirus within the community remains low.’ SMH

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Not the Australian experience R B
        Where are you on the planet ?

        13

      • #
        WXcycles

        Thanks for the data but unless a cure comes along soon, we will catch up once the country is at the point of collapse and strict isolation needs to be lifted. These numbers need to be viewed in the light that what Singapore and Sweden did was what we will need to do in the future.

        Clearing the community of COVID-19, and keeping it clear, plus having the hospitals functioning, is a feature, not a bug. We have the potential for sharp economic rebound from the second half of May and our major export industries are still making money in the usual way right now. Plus all the vital components of the domestic economy have adjusted and are still operating very nicely, and no doubt profitably.

        And as pointed out just below, Remdesivir is showing good results. Other Antivirals are as well, so its ridiculous to suggest Australia should just give up on success (achieved without those) to accept mere predictions of some imaginary “inevitable” failure. If we combine antiviral with what we are doing, we will always win against COVID-19.

        And guess what? People guarantee failure once they give up. Duh! But the people who don’t give up, tend to not fail, they hang on doggedly, refuse to fail, and actually succeed as a result! That’s how self-made success occurs.

        Refusing to fail is the first and last step to actually inevitable success. it’s just a matter of focus, effort and time and success becomes almost unavoidable.

        So it’s really silly to cognitively talk yourself into just giving-up. That’s a mental defeat, not an actual defeat. But it’s particularly silly (and getting tedious) to see yet 1 more person trying to convince us to just give up, and accept the “inevitable” failure that awaits us, as that would allegedly be the “smart” path to take! :-)

        And they’re not even kidding! :-)

        lol

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        • #
          bobl

          I don’t know,
          This is a respiratory virus related to the common cold that has achieved a wide distribution. It’s likely endemic already, we can’t keep this out for long.

          Antivirals are all well and good but not allowing the immune system to sort out the virus prevents antibodies and therefore immunity. The only way to tolerance of this pathogen is through immunity, whether it be natural or induced by a Vaccine. It isn’t giving up to say that immunity is required for management of this disease. It just recognising a fact of life. Once accepted then we can start the conversation on how to get there.

          12

        • #
          Raving

          Continuing …

          2) How to stop the virus setting off outbreaks in clusters of individuals?

          Many things can be done. Amongst such are

          - shielding long care homes, prisons ships and even countries from invasion by the virus. Quarantine upon entry is an example of such.

          - introduce infection control to stop and slow down the transmission. Masks gowns gloves, Procedures.

          - isolate and semi isolate – these are social distancing variations. It applies within a cluster, to the population as a whole and also the flow between the whole population and the cluster itself

          My point being that there are many ways of reducing Ro to below 1 (Ro as an abstract measure applied to clusters and populations of clusters)

          All that is needed to stop the epidemic is to decrease transmission such that seeded clusters shrink and disappear as opposed to grow until enveloping the whole population with herd immunity which stops the epidemic by virtue of being greater than a critical value.. lets say 60% of the pop has antibodies

          01

    • #
      Rolf

      A lot assuming that don’t make sense. You assume 600.000 in Sthlm are 65+ ? No, Sthlm city totally is 900.000. Metropolitan area is 2.2 million. Average in Sweden (2017) is 10% are 65+. That means about 220.000 and your reasoning is false.

      In the group 65+ you have by statistics so far a way higher mortality. But, now they test Remdesivir in Stockholm so mortality seem to go down. Even ICU and serious cases has slowed down significantly the last two days. I could say finally, there was a smaller test made public by March 9th showing glowing results. So all of this maybe doesn’t matter if there is enough of this medicine ?

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      • #
        Raving

        Used stockholm region which I assume is an admistrative district, Found a pop value for it of 2.4 m

        There 20% or more over age 65 but don’t know how many actually live in SthmR.
        https://www.indexmundi.com/sweden/age_structure.html

        The mortality of only those 60+ years dying and of that population just 10% is probably low. I ball parked it but will quote ontario government statistics to support that if you wish.

        Regardless there is the question of virus attack into elderly facilities which would be less than 1 if the elderly were cocooned and more than 1 if the virus propogated easily within those homes..

        See infection rates of 30% to 50% of long term care homes here. Same as meat packers and ships

        Thus the transfer rate from the 2.5% infected Stockholm population to the protected or independent aged 60+ population (take 200k to 600k .. general ballpark) is either less than 1 (they are protected) to greater than 1 ( infection spreading to 30%-50% of the population of a protected location)

        Have assumed that Sweden is better than all other places at all aspects of caring for the elderly and treating covid19. Frankly I do not know either way, if Sweden has slowed transmission sufficiently with the social distancing currently in place. Too many unknowns in the transfer from the young to the elderly population and the subsequent spread through the old

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      • #
        Raving

        Ontario epidemiological report.Follow link in provided below at the text bolded in the quote

        Status of cases in Ontario
        Ontario is now providing a more detailed summary of COVID-19 cases in the province that will be updated each day at 10:30 a.m.

        This daily epidemiologic summary replaces the

        https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-0

        14

        • #
          Raving

          Data extracted from the linked file within that above

          (Extracted and Edited. See file for details)

          percentage of those who are infected

          Ages: 60-79 23.1%
          Ages: 80 and over 20.7%

          Deaths

          Deaths reported in ages: 19 and under 0%
          Deaths reported in ages: 20-39 0%
          Deaths reported in ages: 40-59 0.9%
          Deaths reported in ages: 60-79 6.4%
          Deaths reported in ages: 80 and over 16.7%

          34

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    If anyone can screw up statistical studies it would be someone in California. I’ve lived in the Golden Sate all my life and I’ve watched things degenerate until there’s more than one screw loose in the thinking of a vast majority of Californians.

    It’s no surprise that Santa Clara county can’t get it right. It’s a hotbed of the 2 left-handed.

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  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    Unfortunately I think we are seeing people have become too invested in one viewpoint and they’ll just latch onto anything that confirms their view and trash the opposite. Both ways, not judging.

    But gut feeling is often the best you have in these situations when there is NO RELIABLE DATA on which to base an opinion.

    To me it is obvious that the lockdowns and all the different strategies have made little difference, it is obvious just letting it rip would have been the best option – short and sharp, it is obvious that it isn’t anywhere near as bad as feared, it is blatantly obvious that politicians are now trapped in a lockdown policy (that they now know is highly damaging and unnecessary) by their own logic of avoiding a peak of cases – because if they relax restrictions there’s a risk of a second peak and so it goes on… third…. fourth, thus having to hold out for a possible vaccine that will never come quickly enough if ever.

    Like I’ve said before, locking down China was the missed opportunity for strict action, once the horse had bolted you want it to run free, you don’t chase it up an alleyway so it can keep turning around and kick you in the face. The lockdown policy has certainly massively lengthened the damaging duration of the pandemic.

    This is a monumental economic disaster caused by a tiny – even individual – flipping expert and their/his doomsday models and hubris spooking world leaders. The UK government having ‘followed the science’, is already planning how to throw the scientists under the bus.

    Reasonable viewpoints:-

    https://cliscep.com/2020/04/19/modelling-catastrophe-in-a-climate-of-fear/

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8235979/UKs-coronavirus-crisis-peaked-lockdown-Expert-argues-draconian-measures-unnecessary.html

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    • #
      R.B.

      There were 100 000 attending a funeral in Bangladesh, yesterday. This lockdown was to buy us time. It is in now way a method of beating the virus.

      People talking about flattening the curve and comparing countries need to remember this. The best negation of spread with least disruption is the goal, even if the media will judge you as having caused deaths.

      80

    • #
      Gary

      Mr grimnasty you hit the nail on the head,I could never workout how a socalled virus on a cruise ship which is supposed to be so deadly killed a fraction of 1% (not so good if you happen to be one of them ) in a group of people who are considered to be at the highest risk, the elderly and now we are being told to jump overboard to escape the virus, by the way we have billions of viruses and millions of germs all over us, without them you wouldn’t be alive,so look after them, they fight battles everyday, I’m going outside to roll in the dirt.

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      • #
        me@home

        Good for you Gary. My grandfather used to say “you have to eat a bushel of dirt before you die”. Today we are so fussy about cleanliness kids can’t build up immunity from rolling in the dirt.

        41

      • #
        David A

        The D.P. death rate is about two percent and climbing. 8 percent are still sick 10 plus weeks later. They went into a semi quarantine quite early. 7 or about one percent are still serious critical.

        Mr Grimm nailed nothing, lots of opinions sans reasons. Once the DP practiced real quarrantine, guess what; ZERO new infections.

        Defensive protocols are clearly effective. How can they not be? Regular flu numbers dropped like a rock once the protocols were in affect. Deaths and hospitalizations associated with the flu also plummeted.

        Regarding the post and regular cold viruses testing positive, two thoughts… – As the cold is many times more common then the flu ( I think about 10 times as common) could this not account for many false positives.

        And my second thought is a question, if the Cold antibodies test positive for Covid-19, is it possible that having recently overcome a cold, one would develope resistance to Covid-19?

        10

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Golly gosh,
      Your opinion seems to follow your name
      ‘Mr Grim & Nasty’
      Not from analysis of evidence.
      We here in Oz are lucky you are not in charge.
      But wher are you ? ( Again )

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    • #
      Evidence Please

      Mr Nasty,
      Lots of people love the ‘let it rip’ option until they are asked to offer up their’ own grannies to the economic cause.

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      • #
        bobl

        However there is no doubt that the fast herd immunity strategy would have a lower final death toll than stretching the infection out over 2 or 3 seasons so indeed it is you who propose to create the most deaths.

        10

        • #
          David A

          There is great doubt of that assumption.. Let it rip and CFR can multiply by up to one magnitude.

          00

      • #
        Mike Mitchell

        I’m near 70 and would go if I knew I could take Dr. Zelenko’s Zn++ cocktail upon the first sign of worsening symptoms & tested positive.

        He’s given it to over 500 patients in the at-risk group who tested positive with serious symptoms. Only ~4 went to the hospital and ~2 of those died. 2 to 3X that number of his patients tested positive but weren’t in at-risk group and didn’t get serious symptoms so they did not receive the cocktail and just recovered at home like others.

        The science on WHY Zn++ works with an ionophore is well known – https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1001176

        00

  • #
    Graeme Bird

    I’m not trying to get on your blog. Just reminding you to get your extreme vitamin D. The motto for the ladies in the third world is “Two women for the King ( ie the husband). One white public lady and a secret little brown girl.” This is a catchy way of reminding them how to sunbathe in order to kill this thing. Actually thats just my own formulation but you get the idea. You can prepare. And you know how to do it.

    The attitude ought to be “I’m sick of worrying about the virus. Let the virus worry about me. ” And if you prepare enough thats the way it can be.

    00

  • #
    SteveS

    If you had a shot at containment and elimination I would go for it. Oz appears to be a good candidate. You buy much needed time to avoid overwhelming health care as happened where I live in NY area. Make no mistake that was real and a war zone. Extra time enables you to learn how to effectively treat patients, not necessarily to wait for a vaccine which might never come in time.

    Looking at the spread in the severity of infection in different locations, I almost wonder if we are looking at the effect of several variants of the virus.

    If Oz were to eliminate the virus, what would be the end game after that….waiting for the other shoe to drop or a vaccine. How do you move from total isolation to re-joining the world order.

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    • #

      Steve

      That is the question I bask here but can’t seem to get an answer for. It is excellent deaths have been so few in australia, but does that mean Australia in effect is isolated from the rest of the world until a vaccine comes along?

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      • #
        PeterS

        What you are perhaps implying is we become an isolated economy long term. Not possible even to a limited extent. If we had leaders with the will to do it it might be possible but it would take a very long time to achieve it.

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        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Goods are still be traded both in & out.
          The economy of the Internet is still happening also.

          It is humans travelling which is restricted.
          And frankly that is what we Australians want.
          No one has any right to come here
          And bring disease and death with them
          FULL STOP !

          In time science – a few months I suspect
          Will find measures that allow us and other countries
          To discover if any person is infected with this foreign virus
          And stop them boarding any plane for Australia.
          Or maybe we can train sniffer dogs to sniff out the virus infected ?

          45

          • #
            WXcycles

            Or maybe we can train sniffer dogs to sniff out the virus infected ?

            Dogs are known carriers of SARS-COV-2, family pets have been catching it (as probably do several other mammals).

            10

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Clearly the 5 red thumbs mean that
            Some foreigners think they have the right
            To bring any disease here to Australia.
            Good luck persuading Australians
            To agree with you
            Hell will freeze over first !

            20

        • #
          OrignalSteve

          I think the best option is now to re-open the economy

          But tell anyone 70+ to stay at home as much as possible, and like Sweden, tell them to be responsible for themselves.

          Those in nursing homes need to have very tight biosecurity around them as well.

          Having a good supply of antivirals at the ready seems sensible.

          This is a practical solution. Dont hold your breath for a vaccine, this virus will become part of the bio-landscape now, and we need to learn to live with it.

          22

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Having succeeded in Australia you want us to throw it away again ?
            Bugger !

            22

            • #
              OrignalSteve

              I think you have to be pragmatic.

              Will we get more cases? Likely.

              Do you want a functioning country again? Most people wold say “yes”.

              So it either let the country completely collapse economically, or eradicte every single case ( which you wont be able to do ) but these have been shown to be handled by use of antivirals etc as Ive already mentioned.

              So…choose….Cower in the corner, or push on.

              21

              • #
                bobl

                This is what Bill doesn’t get, we have a million visitors a month and are one of the biggest tourist destinations on the planet.

                As you say cower in the corner avoiding the dirt or meeting head on in the trenches Anzac style.

                Unless it dies out over the NH summer which I can’t see, this is here to stay, I think we need to take our lumps in a managed way that doesn’t overwhelm services (Eg over next summer say). We need a strategy for immunity not permanent isolation .

                00

          • #
            PeterS

            I was thinking along the same lines; protect the vulnerable and get everyone else back to work but with the usual precautions still in place such as safe distancing. Those who propose we continue the lock down any longer just have their heads in the sand and can’t see the real picture and dangers dead ahead.

            02

            • #

              Consider other deadly diseases that we have no immunity too. Should we let in “a little bit of rabies” or aim for zero?

              Answer, zero is so much better, and we are nearly there with Coronavirus (even though it is so much more contagious than Rabies.)

              How much of our economy depends on foreign tourists, foreign students? Compare that with how much of our economy depends on the older quarter (restuarants/sport/holidays/childcare)? Foreign students can still come with a two week enforced proper quarantine, so we won’t even need to forego them.

              Long tourism in Safe Australia will be attractive — even with a two week quarantine, because older folk from all around will love the idea of going to a country where they know they can’t catch Coronavirus. They might “overwinter” in Oz.

              In the “little bit of deadly virus” scenario — we gain foreign tourists and cluster outbreaks, but our older folk will be imprisoned — knowing they can’t visit grandchildren, can’t help with child care, can’t do social events, miss birthday parties and weddings. No restaurants and cafes for them.

              Hands up who wants more foreign tourists more cluster outbreaks and random local lockdowns, and less tourism from our own older citizens?

              I’d prefer we live like we used to before The Virus — but we skip overseas trips — except to other smart “zero-virus” nations (Taiwan/NZ/Greenland etc) — and we live without foreign tourists.

              Sometime in the next two or three years the virus will mutate to something nicer, or we’ll have studies on treatments all over the world, and then we can also allow foreign tourists without two week quarantine and we can do conferences and holidays overseas.

              International border control is a bargain compared to trace-n-track and local lockdown.

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              • #
                bobl

                That’s a false comparison, rabies is not a highly contagious aerosol transmitted disease, you need to be bitten by a rabid animal to catch it which is a rare event in itself, In order to quarantine rabies you don’t need to shut down the world economy.

                Tourism is if I recall our third largest industry and largest employer, how many jobs are you sacrificing? How many suicides?

                How many lives lost VS saved, particularly compared to a planned exposure strategy or a live virus vaccine.

                There is a pretty good chance that the factor exposing the elderly and even the younger generation is not age but ACE 2 receptor up regulation by ARBs change the blood pressure / diabetes meds and this becomes flu.

                20

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Well another thought to completely shift the game – especially with the US basically making actual “war preps” currently.

              The US have recently activated 1,000,000 Defence Reservists, and appear to have started putting military commanders in bunkers. I have also heard via sources within the US of steps being taken for Continuity of Govt.

              I also heard an interview with Stanislav Lunev, a high level Russian GRU defector to the USA, who said the planned russian tactic of war against the USA was :

              Step 1 – Biological attack
              Step 2 – Nerve agent attack
              Step 3 – Nukes

              Do we want to be worried about a few cases of a bug, when really we need to pivot out of our current “sitting duck” status, back into some form of active capability?

              I’m not saying the USA is under attack by Russia……

              What doesn’t sit with me is that we are a sitting duck currently.

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      • #
        ianl

        Yes, the C19 mutation rate is not well known. Perhaps the Wuhan lab may have a handle on that if they had observed it long enough before it was carelessly leaked. However, in the abscence of a vaccine (which may not ever be available – SARS1, ebola, MERS, HiV as examples) mutating to a less lethal strain is actually our best mid-term bet. A more lethal strain is also a possibility. This facet has been flickpassed here and on other websites, generally with arm-waving to obscure.

        Still 2 gotcha questions being perpetually flailed around:

        1) how many death are acceptable ? Answers vary from 0 (impossible) to who cares (equally impossible). The Aus curve is flat along the x-axis now for quite a while but the goalposts are not only moved but hidden. This is analagous to the CAGW argument in this respect

        2) “protecting the vulnerable, the elderly” is sanctimonious code for incarcerating the 70+ cohort, healthy or not, in indefinite isolation, no visits from children or grandchildren, box of groceries outside the door once a fortnight, waiting for … what ? For those who wish to answer this, please leave your true age visible.

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      • #
        WXcycles

        That is the question I bask here but can’t seem to get an answer for. It is excellent deaths have been so few in australia, but does that mean Australia in effect is isolated from the rest of the world until a vaccine comes along?

        Why do you keep on insisting on vaccine as some sort of solution, Tonyb? And why when you ask the question, and you get an answer, so you pretend you didn’t get an answer? What answer would you like, precisely?

        We know we don’t need a vaccine! International quarantine will do the job perfectly well, for as long as we need it to. We also know a vaccine is highly unlikely to be effective for long. So why keep banging on about a vaccine?

        If we add effective affordable ANTIVIRALS to the mix, and better and faster tests, Australia can probably dispense with a quarantine period within 6 months or so, also.

        But either way we’re not going to be opening our borders to unrestricted travel while so many COVID-19 actives cases are all over the planet, if we don’t have plentiful, effective, affordable antiviral drugs. Without that quarantine will remain on travelers for as long as it takes for COVID-19 to fall to undetectable levels in countries that have people who wish to travel here.

        There’s the answer Tony, what don’t you understand about it?

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        • #
          tonyb

          “Why do you keep on insisting on vaccine as some sort of solution, Tonyb? And why when you ask the question, and you get an answer, so you pretend you didn’t get an answer? What answer would you like, precisely?”

          So the answer is…? That is fine if you want to isolate yourselves. Six months? What is the rationale behind that figure and what are these effective anti virals of which you write?

          02

    • #
      RickWill

      It appears Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand have crushed the virus. No problem opening borders to each other without restriction. All other entrants need to enter two week quarantine or undergo a test for the virus and antibodies. Australian returning from infected countries also undergo test or quarantine as they have been doing for the past month.

      Taiwan already has a contact tracing system while both Australia nd New Zealand are developing something similar. Condition of entry would be to have the app on phone for own safety and safety of others.

      More countries will become clear of the virus but at a slower rate.

      There has been an economic cost attached to crushing the virus so countries that achieve that will not want to release the genie again.

      Most countries have now managed a reproductive rate less than 1 (even Sweden) so the virus will eventually run out of hosts providing effective social distancing is continued.

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      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        G’day Rick Will,
        I think your “have crushed” is premature for Australia, and will only be true when our “new cases” count has stayed at zero, in all states, for at least two weeks, then stays there. Unfortunately we’re not there yet, but we do seem to be reaching the starting line.
        Cheers
        Dave B

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        • #
          WXcycles

          Agree. Personally, I think maintain the lock-down and open up when we have zero active cases in the hospital wards in a region, because that implies the asymptomatic cases are most likely gone as well. In the interim, defined boundary rural areas that are free of active cases for over 2 weeks get a local ‘re-opening’. But can not travel in or out unless it’s to another opened up region and only via a direct connection (no travelling through active areas to get to clear areas). Keep a close eye for new cases plus begin random sampling (with all those millions of testing kits the State Health Depts have been wisely and busily hoarding in preparation … yeah, we’ll see).

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          • #
            truth

            IMO we need to keep the lockdown measures until we’re through and out the other side of the flu season…costly though that will be….then continue to try to eradicate the virus completely as well as spend CAGW-designated funding on research into all the anti-viral possibilities.

            In the interim the government should work on economic policy for the bounce-back and plan to increase the GST… balanced with abolition of stamp duty on housing…end all subsidies to RE and deploy a ‘razor gang’ to cut waste ….devise strategies for military and pandemic resilience…buy US off-the-shelf nuclear subs and buy in the expertise until it’s developed here…..deploy ‘buy-back-the farm’ strategies to put energy and medical supply infrastructure into majority Australian-owned hands plus rules to keep it that way….tighten IP security in universities.

            Welcome investment in all but essential industries and services.

            Ensure funding for PBS.

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  • #
    SteveS

    Well kind of, but your better off releasing the hounds when your medically prepared. I have no doubt treatment lessons learned from the US and elsewhere will make the “late” comers able to avoid the dramatic hospital conditions experienced here. As every day goes by, more is learned, and you have time for getting your Covid/Antibody tests ready for when you do release. Build up the test supplies…test..test…test and release slowly.
    Having said that, I really do believe there will be serious damage, both financially and casualty wise if you stay in shutdwon too long…..the media hype over deaths has jaded public opinion to see only one side of this. Postponing the effects of the virus is not free of pitfalls. I wouldn’t want to have to make that call, but someone will have to put the “bigboy” pants on and make a decision to re-open soon.

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    • #
      el gordo

      In Oz we are looking at May Day as a reopening (while maintaining distancing) where there have been no new cases for a couple of weeks. This could be done state by state or even by electorates and we intend to quarantine all new arrivals entering the country for a couple of weeks.

      Australia is primarily a tourist resort and quarry, we also have an education sector which has been taking in large numbers of Indian and Chinese students, now ground to a halt and may never start again.

      The good news is that Australians will have to spend their money at home.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Couldn’t agree with you more. All nations need to relax their restrictions in a controlled fashion immediately. It might already be too late but we need to act now to avoid any possibility of a world-wide depression, which will only result in massive problems all over the place with the end result of millions of deaths. As we relax the restrictions we have to monitor the situation closely and if necessary adopt a different approach to tackling the virus but still be at work. That wll mean gloves, hand sanitisers, safe distancing, masks, etc. everywhere and for free but still conduct our daily jobs as much a possible. Otherwise, the virus will end up being the least of our worries.

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      • #
        el gordo

        Ummm … no.

        This is only a brief economic blip, there will be winners and losers at a macro and micro level, free enterprise should rejuvenate to normalcy by November. So no depression on my watch.

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        • #
          PeterS

          Your naiveness is showing again. In case you haven’t noticed the oil based world economy is starting to collapse around our ears. If nothing is done about it very soon we will have a depression of unprecedented proportions.

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          • #
            el gordo

            Have you heard of the new world order? In this scenario the Yuan is king and Oz is once again an outpost of empire.

            15

            • #
              PeterS

              What are you talking about?

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              • #
                el gordo

                There won’t be a world depression because China is an economic counterbalance.

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              • #
                Bill In Oz

                All the major governments of the world wish to avoid a major depression.
                The USA, China, the EU, the UK, Japan
                Even Australia.
                So there will be a lot of deficit spending
                To maintain and then increase consumer demand and investment.
                Doing otherwise will be politically very painful
                For whichever individual governments don’t do this.

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              • #
                PeterS

                You still have blinkers on. Unless we revive our economies by beginning to relax restrictions world-wide in moderation, we will definitely have a depression. It’s understandable you can’t see it coming due to your blinkers. An economy running at half speed is far better than keeping it in a comma and letting it die.

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              • #
                PeterS

                As Boris below succinctly says, el gordo you have got your head in the sand, mate.

                21

              • #
                el gordo

                Bill is correct, zero interest rates worldwide and a collapse of the oil market, will require massive stimulus to reboot.

                Taking off my blinkers, we demand $130 billion dollars as repatriation and we want it in gold bullion. Alternatively, we could waver the debt if they build us a continental high speed rail network for a song.

                Constructed with Australian steel and human resources, infrastructure spending is the key to rejuvenate after a slumber.

                10

            • #
              Boris

              Bill In Oz

              April 21, 2020 at 12:38 pm

              All the major governments of the world wish to avoid a major depression.
              The USA, China, the EU, the UK, Japan
              Even Australia.
              So there will be a lot of deficit spending
              To maintain and then increase consumer demand and investment.
              Doing otherwise will be politically very painful
              For whichever individual governments don’t do this.

              You obviously haven’t been paying attention. See my post to your earlier nonsense about “………pure economics”.

              Or you have but are disingenuous since it’ll be good for central bankers and the likes of the .5% and their agents who will be able to buy assets with cents on the dollar. This includes whole economies.

              The middle class will be largely starting again. Let me spell it out for you.

              The nature of the fiat currency system means that for economic expansion to occur debt must rise. Tell me, how are the middle class going to borrow more after they have defaulted, or their real estate value drops by half?

              What are they going to use as security? It’ll be a long deep depression unless we get back to money with a positive value. But in the interim a dead cat bounce will result but after that it’s hard to see capital accumulation occur in the middle class. Demand for life necessities will always be there but with high unemployment and assets halving….

              Government deficits will pledge the future to the banksters in perpetuity, are you happy?

              Looks like pauperisation to me.

              11

        • #
          Boris

          You’ve got your head in the sand, mate.

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          • #
            el gordo

            All the signs are there, massive unemployment and a precipitous drop in house prices should lead to economic depression. This won’t happen because the fundamentals are sound and the system will only need a slight rejig to get it running again.

            11

            • #
              Boris

              >> This won’t happen because the fundamentals are sound and the system will only need a slight rejig to get it running again.”

              Fundamentals are sound??

              you’re kidding…. It’ll require nothing less than a return to sound money and all the paraphernalia that goes with it. I can’t see governments giving up their centralising power, can you?

              I see an internationalist communism coming, not an economic boom.

              BTW what makes you think your demand for 130 billion in bullion is going to happen, by asking nicely?

              11

  • #
    Raving

    From the cliscep reference …

    Climate change modellers never get it wrong,

    Epidemiological modelers often get it wrong.

    That’s why epidemiologists caution not to read too much into their predictions

    New Science: Its also the reason Ontario epidemiological modelers chose to split their models into 2 curves 1) Long term care 2) Everyone else

    Perhaps it is because this epidemic is about invading and growing within tight isolated/neglected clusters. You know, tight clusters such as buses malls schools political rallies and sporting events

    This certainly fits Singapore’s description. They neglected to look at the migrant labor camps. As for the UK, i am wary that they have reckoned with the havoc brought upon their aged care residents

    Maybe Ontario is just a horrible place to live. Our infections have been increasing at 6% or greater for weeks (5.7% today). Hope the ‘everyone else’ curve is flattening now

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  • #
    Broadie

    Symptom confirmed:
    Q. “Do I have redness, a rash on each cheek?”
    A. “Yes you do. Have you recently changed makeup brand?”
    Q. “No”.
    The diagnosis will conclude this my latest conjecture.

    For ‘Bilious’ AKA Bill in Oz.

    The percentage of positive tests for COVID-19 for those submitted to the University of Washington for what I understand to be a complex and arbitrary test in both sampling and the selection of the definition of positive has remained at around 10% through March and up to the 19th of April.

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

    Now the Puzzle!

    The same person who asked me to look at her cheek also drew my attention to a Facebook message from a Victorian Veterinarian to the Prime Minister. The Vet (Dr Dove ? as I am not on Facebook) evidently felt the Corona Virus was causing a pathological Carbon monoxide poisoning. He noted as did a New York Doctor, the subject of an interview by Jason Goodman of a blog ‘Crowd Source the Truth’ that the symptoms appeared to be similar to altitude sickness.
    Another anecdote from Jo’s blog has been that ventilators do not appear to be all that successful in treating the pandemic, and mechanical aspiration of elderly patients is often a cause of mortality and not the cure.
    Furthermore, I remember from a Dr Benjamin Carson’s interview on how to fix the health care system in the USA was the observation that a points system favoring treatment of lifestyle changes was his preferred means to avoid the Diabetes crisis that was occurring.

    And, from Rowan Dean’s ‘Ice Age Watch’ and his interview with another New York Doctor on ‘The Outsiders’ last Sunday, I learnt that the Northern Hemisphere has experienced a pro-longed and bitter winter and that the patients presenting to emergency suffer significant co-morbidity, in particular diabetes.

    So to throw this ‘rash of symptoms’ and unrelated events together for Jo’s audience to mull over.

    What happens when you add a lock down to a high density population sedentary and impoverished by the destruction of their wealth creating industries, fed on cheap and readily available food, rapidly ageing as the Baby Boomers come through, neglected and lonely as the State is expected to replace family as the carer, you make electrical heating expensive and gas heating cheap and you promote cooking at home as part of the lock down?
    Would you expect people to start turning up in Hospitals with some of the symptoms of influenza, yet without the vomiting, diarrhea or high temperature? The patient has stomach pains, does not respond to ventilation , but may respond to oxygenation (BoJo). In general Wealthy Celebs who test positive appear to be asymptomatic, they have Corona Virus yet are not confined to the living conditions of the masses.
    Could a significant proportion of these people being admitted to hospital and who predominately live in confined spaces in cold climates be suffering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning? The peak appears to occur after the lock down, eases with Spring and does not appear to be reflected in an increase in proportion of COVID-19 (UW dashboard above)

    Now to conclude the first diagnosis!

    Could the rash be the result of having to wear a mask to treat clients? Another unintended outcome of the cure for the Pandemic.

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    • #
      RickWill

      Brilliant splicing of observations with a good dose of assumptions to arrive at an interesting and engaging fairy tale. I read the whole way through.

      There needs to be a bit more detail and a few more assumptions to explain why Wuhan was recovering through the depths of winter. Also the cases were rising rapidly before people were asked to stay indoors.

      42

      • #
        Broadie

        Thanks RickWill,

        I am not brilliant, just curious as to why COVID-19 oscillates at around 10% of those tested for flu like symptoms in Washington State, why there isn’t dead bodies everywhere in Thailand, Vietnam, etc? I have tried to highlight the increase in accumulated positives could be an artifact of increased testing and publicity.

        Carbon Monoxide poisoning and Flu have many similarities and a long history of misdiagnosis.

        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-it-the-flu-or-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csJP9JAHgnw

        In Australia you have to be careful not to accept the soup du jour and this applies particularly to our Hospital and Medical system subject to the constant threat of ambulance chasing lawyers. I am not saying a COVID-19 pandemic does not exist, it is not my job. Carbon Monoxide poisoning does however explain what these doctors are struggling with in some of their cases. Is it pathological due to COVID-19 or due to confined environment I do not know?

        I am glad you enjoyed my missive, you did however neglect to mention my baiting Snip [Baiting someone will get you sin binned, keep your comments free from personal remarks and this goes the same for everyone posting here .] AD

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        • #
          Bill In Oz

          You demonstrate a complete ignorance of our medical system
          So clearly you are not in Australia.
          So we have a foreigner
          Who admits to not being ‘brilliant’
          Bulldozing his way around
          Telling Australians about how
          We should deal with this foreign virus.
          Arrogance, Ignorance and lack of brilliance all combined !
          What could possibly go wrong ?

          PS We who read here have known for days
          That this disease causes hypoxia
          By causing red blood cells to lose their capacity to carry oxygen.
          (Something similar to ‘altitude sickness’ if you will.)
          Jo did a post on it last week.
          You certainly missed that post.

          26

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Broadie
      I see you have resorted to personal insults as away of trying to undermine my opinions.
      That makes it very unlikely that I will read your comments mate.
      Meanwhile here in Oz we are doing well
      And coming out the other side
      Where are you ?
      Perhaps there is something you can learn from our experience
      That could help your people
      Where ever they are.

      17

      • #
        Broadie

        Dear Bilious,
        I am still waiting for your informed opinion as to why the University of Washington COVID-19 dashboard appears to run at around 10% of those tested for Flu like symptoms? You appear to consider your opinion worthwhile and have the time to pour forth what appears to be little more than bile against the people who visit this blog so go to it. Less than 2000 words to be handed in next week please.

        32

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          More determined abuse
          From some self confessed
          “not brilliant”
          Somewhere unknown on the planet.
          Wasting our time and energy.

          Why should I waste my effort writing about that study in the USA ?
          Don’t you realise, it’s a very weird & foreign country
          With 42500 dead already & rising !
          With a national government that cannot decide if this mass death pandemic is
          More important than your ‘economy’.
          Good luck with that ‘strategy’ !

          Meanwhile Australia’s total is now 67.
          And new cases are 13.
          We do not need any advice from you Broadie.
          Or abuse.

          And go try and sort out your own ‘House’ first
          Before telling others how to do.

          03

        • #
          TedM

          And the carbon monoxide source?

          10

          • #
            Broadie

            TedM

            Carbon Monoxide poisoning appears to be a common cause of concern in these crowded cities in winter. Hence the warnings and installation of CO detectors in dwellings.

            From my link above CBS article.

            Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an invisible, odorless gas that can be emitted by a number of appliances in homes, including improperly ventilated stoves, gas ranges, heating systems, gasoline engines, as well as burning charcoal and wood. The fumes can build up to toxic levels without anyone in the home realizing it’s happening

            Apologies for my delay in getting back to you. I was busy outside feeding all Bilious’s Straw men to my cattle. He appears to be running with a ‘your on my turf’ kind of bully thing today.

            21

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Ted Broadie mentioned he has cattle to feed.
            So while working in my garden the past 3 hours I pondered this
            Ummma – a Cattle farmer !
            Maybe he’s been infected by a Mad Cow disease prion ?
            Or a Foot & Mouth Disease virus ?
            And this has created mad thinking ?
            So we should be wishing him well and a safe recovery
            The poor bugger !
            :-)

            00

  • #
    H.B. Schmidt

    The takeaway is what,
    Self-selection + paranoia + bad math + bad science = headline grabbing fear mongering?

    Yeah, bloody brilliant.

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    • #
      Bulldust

      Perhaps the author was a ‘climate scientist’ prior to the CCP virus and switching horses to remain in the spotlight. Quality science such as this would have sailed through the climate change pal review.

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  • #
    PeterS

    There are numerous studies (Stanford and other places) now showing there are far more people who have the Coronavirus than once thought. This needs proper investigation, but it could mean either the virus got here many months before January or the lock downs were over the top and unnecessary. Sure, more deaths would have occurred if we didn’t apply the lock downs but the same can be said about other diseases, such as the common flu, which are also massively down. I am not sure of anything now but it is very well possible we have just been conned, just as we were with the CAGW scam, and we are heading for a depression unnecessarily. In any case, we need to start relaxing the restrictions in a controlled manner right now to avoid a depression, assuming it’s not already too late. The oil price going negative is a definite warning sign. Oil producers are now paying buyers to take the it off their hands to try and avoid a glut forming and causing their storage capacities to run out. This will have a ripple effect to the economy causing huge numbers of bankruptcies.

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    • #
      • #
        Boris

        Oil went negative for the first time in history

        https://www.bloomberg.com/energy

        30

        • #
          PeterS

          Spot futures yes. Physical price no but still they are plummeting. Another lost opportunity for us. We could be importing millions of barrels of oil (in quantity not actual barrels of course) at near record low prices to make us self sufficient for decades. Still waiting for those “exit plans” from PM Morrison. No matter, we can still enjoy the music while it lasts.

          60

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          This will fund the world economic recovery !
          Pure economics !

          16

          • #
            PeterS

            Not if the majors like Shell accelerate their move to reduce emissions by using renewables in the attempt to divorce ourselves from an oil based economy. That’s their current thinking. The trend to low/zero emissions is now being turbo charged as it’s collapsing the purely oil based industries. If the decision was made to move to nuclear I would be pleased. But that’s not what is happening. The two paths are more renewables or more low emissions coal fired power stations. So far we have been following the former path. I don’t see as yet any hint of that changing. PM Morrison, the ball is now in your court. If he announces a switch to more coal fired power stations and stops talking about emissions reductions then I will be pleased. Otherwise, it’s time for a new leader for the LNP.

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            • #
              Chad

              The two paths are more renewables or more low emissions coal fired power stations. So far we have been following the former path

              By “we” , i assume you mean Oz ?
              But that is not really likely to continue with the dropping of the RET.
              gas, is the favvored alternative in many countries, and will probably become more attractive as prices drop.

              10

              • #
                PeterS

                Actually, by “we” I mean the West, perhaps excluding the US given Trump’s attitude against reducing emissions using renewables.

                00

            • #
              David A

              Renewables will fail badly if what Peter suggests is done. They are extremely cost ineffective, and service defective.

              The larger the renewable market share ( Wind and Solar) the more their deficiencies manifest, and so, any short term supply failure of existing fossil fuel resources that manifest due to bankruptcy reorganization, will be more readily
              and inexpensively filled by existent fossil fuel resources.

              An inane attempt to lever the economic ramp up recovery with Solar and Wind will increase the already manifesting and prohibitive failures of solar and wind as their market share increase would more rapidly escalate prices and manifest the fatal intermittent supply flaw of solar and wind.

              But I will give you this, it doesn’t mean that government won’t do exactly what Peter suggests. ( “Only the Government can create a sand shortage in the desert”. M.F. )

              10

          • #
            Boris

            That remark reminds me of what the former CFO of Telstra – MBA graduate of Chicago University at the time of Milton Freedman – said to me a few years ago while defending a fiat currency system.

            I’m paraphrasing a little but in essence: that the fiat system is fine, deflation will allow defaults and start a new economic recovery again. His face glowed with satisfaction.

            I asked him if it had occurred to him that it was possibly a defective system since the end result – which he advocated as recovery – wipes out the life saving and accumulated capital of the middle class to leave them destitute?

            He blinked at me. I got the distinct impression he thought I was splitting hairs and being pedantic.

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      • #
        Boris

        Lots of big wipeouts coming for large & small speculators and of course, banks. This will directly impact us in everything.

        Here’s one example but there’ll be more coming…

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-19/hin-leong-is-said-to-have-failed-to-declare-800-million-losses

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    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      I wonder if those symptomless victims have sufficient dietary zinc to zap their (smaller ?) dose of the virus within that first three-day window?
      Cheers
      Dave B

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  • #
    PeterS

    Interesting times ahead indeed as per link below:
    We Call For Investigations Into The “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” For Medical Malpractice & Crimes Against Humanity
    I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist unless there is sufficient evidence to warrant one. In this case the evidence is piling up rapidly but there is also a lot of smoke around. It’s not yet clear whether any of this is true but if it is then it all fits with the globalisation agenda that the CAGW was trying to accomplish but was too slow for the globalists’ liking.

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    • #
      Boris

      >> I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist unless there is sufficient evidence to warrant one.”

      I’ve seen this repeated countless times in the last few years…. something must be going on, ya think?

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    • #
      Boris

      In fact, I should really point out that our society of transparency and high trust disappeared quite some time ago. I hale from central Europe so I may have recognised it sooner than others.

      Nefarious players seeded us educated western folk with the weaponised idea that conspiracy theories were for the primitive boorish people who lack intelligence and are not to be listened to. That made self-censoring the norm, shut down debate and discovery of what was being done right under our noses so they continued unhindered to build the world prison we live in now with worse to come if we don’t wake up and stop them.

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      • #
        PeterS

        Yes but down here we are slow to wake up. Too many are still asleep and pretending everything is OK with our illustrious leaders of recent past and present were/are astute enough to see the warning signs, and taking the necessary economic actions to avoid the coming depression, be it just around the corner or in the years/decades ahead. Apart from many exceptions we are such a dumb species over all.

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    • #
      MP

      Boris, The below video shows of what you speak,(all links are in the description) but well linked in the video its self.

      Only 20mins out of everyones life.

      The way out of this mess has already been planed.

      https://youtu.be/SkT0uIUSdWs

      Time to reprogram.

      31

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        More US bull.
        When will they learn
        That pushing crap
        Will never persuade anyone with a brain.

        04

      • #
        Boris

        Thanks, MP.

        It’s obviously for a younger audience with an American style, but he’s got most of the connections right.

        Disingenuous, Bill.

        11

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    SO this was conducted with the rigorous methodology of the typical climate study.
    And more and more we are hiving off into a world where a certain narrative about the virus is added to the intersectional grievances of the left,
    with the same “solution “give them all the money and power, and things will be fine”.

    We’re close to having enough experience with essential business operating (like a grocery store) to have some data, and people aren’t dying like flies.
    We’ll be open carefully, while folks with specific difficulties or lots of age may continue to be “safe at home”. But its time to start managing this thing.

    92

  • #
    Planning Engineer

    Clearly it was a sample impacted by motivated self selected individuals, My daughter and son-in-law live there. The two of them felt certain they had it. They were sick for two weeks with similar symptoms and he reported losing the sense of taste and smell. Because they were not in a high risk group they were told they were ineligible for testing. My daughter saw the Facebook ad for the Stanford study and was highly motivated to participate along with another friend. She was able to secure a slot and was tested in a parking lot. Initially they said expect to hear back in a week, but reportedly it is taking longer (but it could be they are slower with negative tests).

    80

    • #
      RickWill

      I could not find any specific data on this Californian study. I suspected the sampling was not random.

      There was an antibody study conducted in the Colorado, San Miguel County which includes ski town of Tellurude. This link has the data from the first batch of testing:
      https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=513

      There is some detailed information on the test results.

      Of the 986 tests from the first round of blood tests done on March 26th and March 27th, there were 8 positives, 23 “indeterminate” or borderline, and 955 negatives.

      A positive result on the first blood test means that individual has been exposed to COVID-19 (and may or may not have ever experienced symptoms).

      An indeterminate or borderline result on the first test indicates that the result produced a “high-signal flash” which is not enough to produce a positive result. It means that the individual may have been recently exposed to COVID-19 and/or may be in the early stage of producing antibodies.

      The test was free and offered to everybody in the county. From memory there were 6000 samples taken from a population of 8000. Testing of the remainder of samples was delayed due to CV19 affecting lab personnel in NY.

      I could not find any similar detail on the Californian testing but I suspected the method of getting volunteers would not result in a random sample.

      52

  • #
    PeterS

    Has Bill Gate’s evil objective just been revealed or made clearer? Are we still being conned? I’ve stopped trusting all politicians some time ago. Trump is perhaps the only exception.

    See this link:
    UN climate change fund calls coronavirus an ‘opportunity’ to re-shape the world

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  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    One thing stands out in an excellent post about sample bias and statistics is the unverified assertion that false positives would be 50%.

    Does this also mean that false negatives (not counted in this post) could also be 50%?
    Is the false positive figure comparable to other testing?

    Pity that a good analysis was ruined by such a stupid line

    64

    • #
      R.B.

      I think that you are just looking for a reason to be nasty.

      Fifth, the specificity of the test is “99.5% (95 CI 98.3-99.9%)”. This means that theoretically, if the specificity was 98.5%, all of the 50 positive results could be false positives, and nobody in the sample would have had any Covid-19.

      They rely on the probability that every false positive is countered by a false negative – a bit like the logic of more measurements make an average more precise. While it’s possible that all the those tested positive were false positives, it’s a small possibility although the same as exactly the same number of false postives as false negatives. It just highlights how big an uncertainty there is because of such a high chance of a false positive (From the published numbers) in the percentages they used to extrapolate data from a small population to the much bigger population.

      I would be interested in you clearing up exactly what you are complaining about except I know by now that you don’t really cope with the science stuff well at all.

      31

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        No it does not.
        Discounting the fact that such a test with such a rubbish rate of false positives, you are left with the actual statistics

        There are any number of statistical methods to test for bias, and a huge number of tests to estimate the underlying population.

        Further there are common methods which are used to correct both bias, and population distribution.

        Back to the false positive question – if those values are correct, I would be asking for the money paid on those test kits back.

        While this post is good in pointing out how sampling could affect the result, it fails in statistical analysis

        13

        • #
          R.B.

          As hard as you try to cover it, your lack of understanding comes through (and I’m not an expert epidemiologists). Someone else has looked at their methodology and in a convoluted way pointed out that its possible that all 50 tests could be false positives to point out how deriving a conclusion from such limited data is wrong.

          The criticism is of the data analysis rather than someone is adding extra information as to the accuracy of the test.

          00

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            I’m talking about statistical methodology, not epidemiology – If any test gave the number of false positives as claimed, then the test would be considered flawed, in a statistical sense.
            It is the same as calling heads and getting tails 50 times in a row.

            As to my alleged lack of understanding, it has been my experience here that as soon as I’m attacked, it is because I’ve won the debate. You mixup between statistics and epidemiology is a case in point

            13

            • #

              Reading the comments, there are two false positive rates mentioned — one is the manufacturers and I’m not sure where they get the other. But 7/375 is quoted, and 2/301.

              Simply multiplying up 2/301 to 3,330 tests shows about 22 false positives would be expected. The 7/375 suggests 62 would be expected.

              Normally a lab should be doing it’s own false positive testing alongside the test samples — they shouldn’t really be relying on the manufacturers estimates (done in a different lab in different conditions).

              It just shows how many corners were cut on this paper. In this case, the corners are so big, there is nothing left of the paper.

              There is a need for speed, but they have reported results suggesting policy changes that may endanger thousands of lives if they are wrong. Seems irresponsible and negligent to me not to also explain how wide their own error bars are and that they really can’t rule out zero positive cases.

              30

              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                Yep I agree about the quality of the paper.

                As to the False Positive question, what I was trying to say was we don’t know the sensitivity and specificity for the test, and as you say we just have to accept those figures.

                Even so, the chance of each of the positive results being false is around 1.87%,(using 7/375) not that most of the positive results are false

                01

            • #
              R.B.

              It’s the sort of statistical work an epidemiologist does. Statistics is quite a large area so although a stactician would follow the argument better than myself, one more familiar with that sort of work would follow it better.

              Again, someone noticed that it’s conceivable that all tests were false positives. Although unlikely, it highlights how useless such a small number of positives is when there is such a large chance of a false positive. It’s not that hard to follow.

              11

    • #
      RickWill

      The San Miguel County antibody study I linked in post #13.1 gives results for 986 antibody tests conducted on a less flawed sampling approach. There were 8 positive and 23 indeterminate with the rest negative. They give an explanation of “indeterminate”. However it is evident that the antibody testing currently has the accuracy of a blindfolded dart thrower.

      42

    • #
      TedM

      I would suggest that the false positives are the result of other corona viruses. If this is the case it’s a bit hard to see the absence of other viruses causing a false negative because the test would be giving as positive to covid-19 if it was present.

      10

  • #
    PeterS

    As per usual the truth is more likely in between the two extreme views about the virus. The lock downs were indeed necessary to flatten the curve but the globalists are now seeing a golden opportunity for them to turbo charge their CAGW scam. We need to be extremely careful. Regardless of the situation with the virus, the world needs to get back to business right now. This of course requires a continuation of the monitoring of the situation but we can’t remain locked down any longer. We also need to keep our eyes wide open to our leaders agreeing to their demands to save the planet from two potential catastrophes, one fake and the other that appears to be real, namely, CAGW and the pandemic. As I said before the only politician I have trusted of late is Trump but he too might be conned to the point of falling into the trap of the globalists. Our leader PM Morrison has already fallen into that trap with his ridiculous mantra about reducing our emissions. I hope the current pandemic crisis has woken him up, assuming he’s not a globalist himself.

    101

    • #
      el gordo

      The thing is that this pandemic has taken the steam out of AGW and I cannot see it returning because people don’t see it as a real threat. Consequently, unless some extraordinary weather event propels the story, the whole issue is resigned to history.

      33

      • #
        PeterS

        Again you have blinkers. The CAGW alarmists must now be jumping for joy seeing our oil-based economy is collapsing. They have already started to talk about their grand schemes on how to rebuild the world economy. Bill Gates is one of their leaders. Will our leader follow? We might not have much choice given the reluctance or even their awareness of the need to conduct a full investigation into the situation that’s unfolding in front of our very eyes. That’s assuming our leaders are not part of the whole show, apart from perhaps Trump.

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        • #
          RicDre

          “The CAGW alarmists must now be jumping for joy seeing our oil-based economy is collapsing.”

          Our indigenous loony, AOC, expressed exactly that sentiment, but then thought better of it and replaced it with a slightly less crazy comment.

          Ocasio-Cortez Deletes Praise of Oil Price Crash: ‘You Absolutely Love to See It’

          https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/20/ocasio-cortez-deletes-praise-of-oil-price-crash-you-absolutely-love-to-see-it/

          60

          • #
            PeterS

            She is so full of hate of Trump and the West it’s not funny. How anyone would even think of supporting her makes me wonder why we have so many brain dead voters. Is it the water?

            70

            • #
              RicDre

              She was elected by New York’s 14th congressional district where she fits in perfectly:

              New York’s 14th congressional district is a congressional district for the United States House of Representatives located in New York City, represented by Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

              50

            • #
              Boris

              It’s probably immigration combined with divide and conquer tactics through media manipulation of narratives and anti white vitriol at almost every turn, especially in the US.

              51

            • #
              RicDre

              “She is so full of hate of Trump and the West it’s not funny.”

              I am not sure if that is true or if she is simply willing to say whatever she is told to say so that she can keep her paycheck and her position in the limelight.

              22

              • #
                PeterS

                In either case why are voters so dumb they won’t stop supporting her?

                41

              • #
                RicDre

                “In either case why are voters so dumb they won’t stop supporting her?”

                She was a complete unknown when she ran for that congressional seat in 2018. The majority of the 706,440 people in that New York City congressional district that voted, voted for her because she had a D (Democrat) next to her name. It will be interesting to see if she is re-elected in 2020 because the Democrat Party is unhappy with her because she refuses to pay her Party dues to the Democrat party and is instead using the money to help fund far-left opponents of current Democrat House members.

                40

              • #
                dadgervais

                Actually, we don’t know how many voted for her, only how many were reported as voting for her. It’s a heavily D district with only D vote counters.

                If we could deduct all the illegal and fraudulent votes in ’16; Hillary probably didn’t win the popular vote either.

                20

      • #
        RickWill

        In Australia, we will start to see some reporting on, yet another, bushfire Royal Commission. Climate Change holds a significant spot in the terms of reference but I doubt that will lead to identifying any cause and remedy for Climate Change. That means the ABC will be making the case that the Royal Commission failed.

        One hopeful sign was that they will be reviewing the hundreds of other bushfire reports to identify their failure to prevent the 2019/2020 bushfires.

        22

  • #
  • #
    thingadonta

    If it’s not a randomised sample, it’s not worth reading.

    ‘If you want to volunteer, feel a little sick, can’t get a test any other way, know someone who has it, sign here’.

    Reminds of the 97% climate consensus. ‘If you agree with the consensus, can’t get funding any other way, know someone who agrees with the consensus, sign here’. Wella, 97%!

    30

  • #
    PeterS

    It’s now starting to become clearer. The UN is going to use this pandemic crisis to boost their previous plan for a low and ultimately zero emissions economy world-wide. If they adopted the nuclear option, I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with it but guess what? It’s all about renewables; the same old madness but on steroids.
    Work on National Climate Plans Is Not on Hold – UN Climate Chief
    So is the West going to fall for that trap? Will Trump defund the UN? What else will it take to give the UN a big and resounding NO to their grand plans? Or do we just sit back and continue to pretend we are not abiding by their demands when in fact we are with our current energy policy?

    61

    • #
      RicDre

      “The UN is going to use this pandemic crisis to boost their previous plan for a low and ultimately zero emissions economy world-wide.”

      I am sure they will try to do that. The problem is that the CAGW meme is so dependent on the word of Experts and the output of their Models both of which have been badly tarnished by their poor performance during the caronavirus pandemic.

      32

    • #
      RicDre

      “The UN is going to use this pandemic crisis to boost their previous plan for a low and ultimately zero emissions economy world-wide.”

      I am sure they will try to do that. The problem is that the CAGW meme is so dependent on the word of Experts and the output of their Models both of which have been badly tarnished by their poor performance during the coronavirus pandemic.

      22

      • #
        PeterS

        The illegitimate nature of the their climate models and predictions was proven many years ago but that didn’t stop their agenda. When I was following Climate Audit by Steve McIntyre it was made clear they were all fake. That was back some 20 years ago. What makes you think that has changed? If anything the economic crisis will be used to their advantage to cover up the weaknesses of the models even more easily.

        51

        • #
          RicDre

          “The illegitimate nature of the their climate models and predictions was proven many years ago but that didn’t stop their agenda.”

          You are correct, and it still won’t stop them from pressing their agenda. The difference could be that in the past, most people never bothered to check the Experts or Models and just assumed they were correct. Now though, after having seen a major failure of both Experts and Models, they may not be so trusting of either one. I could very well be wrong about this; we shall see.

          60

          • #
            PeterS

            Yes we shall see but even if the public did finally wake up to the truth it still will not be enough. What is required is a complete flush down the toilet all of the polices that have been either partly or fully adopted by the whole Western world to fight a fake crisis; CAGW. That can only ever happen if they all agree to dump the UN agenda. One way to achieve that is the people in the democratic nations to vote in governments that will do so. Not much hint of that happening as yet, except in the US so far. Also don’t expect the globalists to give up. They will fight back with much more delight and conviction. If that means a crisis much bigger than the two we are having at the moment then they will do it, make no mistake about it. As I see it it’s all inevitable. We are heading for some form of world government to “save” us, and it will be construed in a way so that most will accept it willingly to stop the pain. It will be based on at least one major false flag. That’s just the way I see it given the information at hand and the history of mankind. It all started though when good men did nothing and allowed evil ones to start building their new empire. I feel it’s gone too far to turn back but that doesn’t mean we don’t at least try. Try we must.

            20

            • #
              RicDre

              “Yes we shall see but even if the public did finally wake up to the truth it still will not be enough.”

              It may not be enough, but at least it is a start; you can’t make any progress until you at least get started in the right direction.

              00

  • #
    David

    As the saying goes, to a man (or woman) with a hammer every problem looks like a nail. You see it in the letters to the editor that begin “As a doctor, I am appalled at ..etc” or the bloggers and commenters who write “I studied microbiology/epidemiology/pandemics/etc and so listen to me ..” Those that claim credibility based on a qualification are often the most strident in arguing for strict lockdown. Doubts or adverse consequences are airily dismissed. “The economy will bounce back” they say. Well maybe it will, maybe it won’t. An economy is a complex set of relationships. Once those relationships atrophy, the economy will not bounce back. It took centuries to get our western economies to the current state.

    A balance sheet is a useful construct. Pluses and minuses. Advantages and disadvantages. What is the net asset of total lockdown? The liabilities seem to be given very little weight by those shouting at the so-called dingbats (such as I) who question the wisdom of killing the village to save it. All based on wildly wrong model projections and speculations. And stuff learned to get that qualification some time ago. Dissenters are shouted down and ridiculed. I’m used to it, though. I argued for the election of Trump in 2016, for Brexit and against the mad climate green catastrophism driving madness in energy policy. I’ve been shouted at and ridiculed for so many years, I’ve developed immunity.

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    • #
      PeterS

      It’s extremely hard to have the right strategy upfront. Hindsight eventually proves it right or wrong, and we are not even there yet, but at the early stages it was common sense to take the precautionary approach. The only other concern I have is have we been duped? The evidence is piling up to say we were but it’s far from crystal clear at this stage. Again in time with hindsight it will become clearer. What’s done is done. What we must do now is revive our economies pronto. There are ways and means to monitor the situation wrt the virus. It’s not easy but the alternative is to keep the economy in a comma until the patient dies. Then the pandemic will end up being the least of our worries.

      61

    • #
      Boris

      I understand completely!

      31

    • #
      RickWill

      The cost of not slowing the spread of the virus would be total chaos. That was already evident in Australia with the panic hoarding of toilet paper by people labelled as irrational but the rational thinkers were the ones who ran out of toilet paper and were flushing all sorts of bum wipers down their toilet. That collective act alone posed a serious threat to our most vital service, the sewage system. The hoarding of food items was also on the upswing before the lock down was implemented. That gives an indication of the chaos that would unfold without slowing the spread of the virus and protecting essential services.

      Modern industrial countries accomodate a massive amount of non-essential activity. We do not “need” much of what is available to us to survive. Allowing non-essential activities to jeopardise essential activities would add to the chaos. My wife spent about 20 years teaching our sons the difference between “need” and “want”. That difference is something that everyone should understand.

      A view that the lock downs were ineffective because there was no real threat indicates an inability to understand cause and effect. I saw a good analogy today – the man keeping dry while standing under his umbrella claiming it was not raining because he is dry.

      Death is terminal and chaos is deadly. Sitting at home on a paid holiday for a month is hopefully not what most people aspire to. But giving up freedom of movement for a brief period is the job of heroes. Essential workers are just doing what they are paid to do.

      My current concern is that the hairdressers are permitted to operate before my wife “wants” her hair cut – the threat that I will “need” to cut her hair is frightening for me and possibly her when she looks at the result.

      The CV19 threat will bring changes for a while at least and some may be permanent. Working from home could become more common. I did that amongst a great deal of air travel for the last 12 years of my work career. It is one of the easiest ways to reduce the load on the local transport network. The range of tourist destinations will shrink and fewer will travel overseas for a few years. Air travel will be down for quite a while. Working at a supermarket will not be derided. The efficiency of our economy could be improved as a result.

      34

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Rickwill I heard another good analogy yesterday .

        You’ve jumped out of a plane and are in freefall , you pull the cord the parachute opens and you slow down .
        At what point do you remove the harness ?

        41

        • #
          Serp

          …and where do you bury the survivors?

          30

          • #
            robert rosicka

            You don’t bury survivors but ironically where I learned to skydive the airport and cemetery were next to each other .

            10

        • #
          PeterS

          It won’t matter if that person misjudges wind directions and ends up smashing into cliff face. Get the picture?

          00

          • #
            robert rosicka

            PeterS I get what you’re saying and can I add that when we got to the right altitude they would throw a lead weighted streamer out above the drop zone to determine wind direction .
            On my last ever jump they forgot the streamer and threw me out instead , I landed about 2 metres from a fence that had a major road on the other side .

            10

        • #
          Chad

          robert rosicka
          April 21, 2020 at 11:45 am ·
          Rickwill I heard another good analogy yesterday .

          You’ve jumped out of a plane and are in freefall , you pull the cord the parachute opens and you slow down .
          At what point do you remove the harness ?

          Answer is simple ..
          Any time you want.. because the plane never took off !
          You were just told it was going to fly , and you accepted that blindly.

          11

          • #
            robert rosicka

            Chad when practicing you do jump from a plane on the ground , big difference .

            10

            • #
              Chad

              ..you should always check the situation and look , before you jump !
              But if you were advised wrongly, and the plane never took off,..it doesnt matter when you release the harness,,,you will hit the deck just as hard !

              11

              • #
                robert rosicka

                Release the harness on the ground is good , release the harness 100 metres from the ground not so good .

                10

  • #
    ianl

    This woman gives an incredibly honest, knowledgeable interview. She is acutely well-informed and experienced. No guile, no hidden agendas, no politics (especially anti-Trump) to interfere.

    Articulate, fearless, answers all the questions without hesitation. Compare that with Aus tv nanny staters, even Aus websites. Our nanny state simply will not supply hard, detailed, reliable information to the general population. Our front line doctors and nurses are incredibly brave, not so their tv spokespeople.

    https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6150547021001

    Highly recommended for how information SHOULD be given, freely and without hiding anything.

    50

    • #
      Annie

      Dr Ahmed is very impressive indeed. Thanks for the link; I’ve sent it around the family.

      30

    • #
      PeterS

      Thanks for the link. It has given me a chance to view it again after watching it on Outsiders live. It emphasises how complex the situation is. Too many have oversimplified the situation, which still is not clearly understood – not by a long short. It’s actually more complex than anyone has thought ever possible due to other parallel issues that are now surfacing.

      30

    • #
      RickWill

      The two cases she mentions – both 21 days from presentation to death. Gives a clear indication of why the medical care for CV19 has such an impact on intensive care resources.

      20

  • #
    PeterS

    ALP is responding to the Virgin collapse. If PM Morrison doesn’t pull his finger out and save the company, he will lose the next election big time and let loose a far-left wing government to take over. There are at least a couple of good ways to save the company. Come on PM Morrison, the pandemic is not the only crisis we are experiencing. You have told us that already. Now do something and quick!

    35

  • #
    WXcycles

    Daily percent spread in countries with above 250 total deaths:

    % New v Active | Country | Total Deaths | New Deaths
    15.4 … Mexico … 686 … 36
    13.0 … Brazil … 2,587 … 125
    9.9 … Russia … 405 … 44
    8.4 … Egypt … 250 … 11
    7.9 … Canada … 1,690 … 103
    7.8 … Peru … 445 … 45
    7.8 … Ecuador … 507 … 33
    7.2 … Algeria … 384 … 9
    6.8 … Iran … 5,209 … 91
    6.3 … India … 592 … 33
    6.2 … Turkey … 2,140 … 123
    5.9 … Belgium … 5,828 … 145
    4.6 … Denmark … 364 … 9
    4.3 … UK … 16,509 … 449
    4.1 … USA … 42,514 … 1,939
    3.8 … Poland … 380 … 20
    3.7 … Philippines … 428 … 19
    3.5 … Japan … 263 … 27
    3.4 … Indonesia … 590 … 8 (doing well, if spreading % is reflecting reality)
    3.4 … Portugal … 735 … 21
    3.1 … Sweden … 1,580 … 40
    2.9 … Romania … 478 … 27
    2.7 … Ireland … 687 … 77
    2.6 … Germany … 4,862 … 220
    2.6 … Switzerland … 1,429 … 36
    2.6 … Netherlands … 3,751 … 67
    2.5 … France … 20,265 … 547
    2.1 … Italy … 24,114 … 454
    1.6 … Spain … 20,852 … 399
    1.2 … Austria … 470 … 18
    1.2 … China … 4,632 … 0

    Percent Died in countries with more than 1,000 active cases:

    % Died | Country | Active cases | New Cases
    14.58 … Belgium … 25,260 … 1,487
    14.13 … Algeria … 1,235 … 89
    13.31 … Italy … 108,237 … 2,256
    13.23 … UK … 107,890 … 4,676
    13.04 … France … 97,709 … 2,489
    11.23 … Netherlands … 29,404 … 750
    10.69 … Sweden … 12,647 … 392
    10.42 … Spain … 98,771 … 1,536
    10.03 … Hungary … 1,518 … 68
    8.73 … Indonesia … 5,423 … 185 (Indonesia peaked at 407 new cases 4 days ago … not sure if it’s noise)
    8.30 … Mexico … 4,948 … 764
    7.50 … Egypt … 2,262 … 189
    6.63 … Philippines … 5,418 … 200
    6.35 … Brazil … 16,026 … 2,089
    6.24 … Iran … 19,023 … 1,294
    5.77 … Slovenia … 1,065 … 5
    5.60 … China … 1,031 … 12
    5.36 … USA … 677,856 … 28,123
    5.35 … Romania … 6,441 … 190
    5.17 … Greece … 1,860 … 10
    5.11 … Switzerland … 7,915 … 204
    5.01 … Ecuador … 8,471 … 660
    4.84 … Denmark … 2,839 … 131
    4.75 … Colombia … 2,984 … 185
    4.73 … Dominican Rep … 4,313 … 284
    4.69 … Morocco … 2,553 … 191
    4.68 … Argentina … 2,152 … 90
    4.59 … Canada … 22,553 … 1,773
    4.39 … Ireland … 14,888 … 401
    3.96 … Poland … 8,080 … 306
    3.52 … Portugal … 19,518 … 657
    3.43 … Bangladesh … 2,762 … 492
    3.31 … Germany … 50,703 … 1,323
    3.19 … India … 14,674 … 924
    3.18 … Austria … 3,694 … 46
    2.82 … Panama … 4,176 … 194
    2.81 … Czechia … 5,147 … 154
    2.79 … Lithuania … 1,047 … 28
    2.75 … Moldova … 2,021 … 76
    2.73 … Peru … 8,912 … 697
    2.64 … Ukraine … 5,200 … 261
    2.61 … Estonia … 1,330 … 7
    2.53 … Finland … 1,770 … 85
    2.53 … Norway … 6,943 … 78
    2.50 … Croatia … 1,063 … 10

    % New v Active | Country | Total Deaths | New Deaths
    0.6 … Australia … 71 … 0

    % Died | Country | Active cases | New Cases
    1.07 … Australia … 2,296 … 13

    Australia is knocking it down quick but the recovery trend is slowing, going to take ~3 weeks to clear known active cases, which IMO means we’ll need that long to be sure we’re clear of asymptomatic cases in the community as well. Mid-May still looking good to begin opening-up. Virus clear isolated rural areas may be able to get back to work (locally) before then.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      WXCycles, what is happening in Poland
      With 380 deaths total ?
      Right next door to Germany with 4,862 deaths
      And separated only by the river Oder.

      Dame landmass;
      Same climate;
      Similar & integrated economies
      Similar level of ‘civilisation and culture’
      And both in the EU.

      Why such a huge difference ?

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      • #
        Sapel Mirrup

        It’s the pierogi.

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      • #
        WXcycles

        Good question. I’m guessing an early national quarantine (and closed borders with China) which was more effective because Poland had far weaker direct connection to the most infected industrial areas of central China. More likely (like Australia) their infections predominantly were imported indirectly from Europe and the US.

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  • #
    Pat Cusack

    Why did the Nobel-Prize-winning inventor of the PCR test (Kary Mullis) insist it was NOT a diagnostic tool?

    Because he knew that it uses repeated temperature cycles to amplify one tiny RNA strand into millions of copies by doubling the number in each cycle.

    He knew that the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) process is not a binary output process; it does not provide a conclusive “YES or NO” result.

    A “diagnosis” is determined after an arbitrarily set number of temperature cycles (e.g. 30, i.e. 30 doublings, giving 2^30 copies). So, if you can “see” the RNA after it has been “amplified” 1,073,741,824 times, it’s a “positive” test. If you can’t see it after those 30 doublings, it’s a “negative” test.

    Mullis knew that, if you decreased the number of temperature cycles to 20 then almost nobody will be “positive”; increase the number of temperature cycles to 50 and practically everybody will be “positive”.

    Can’t you see how this so-called “test” is messing with your perception?

    Let’s end the pandemic now by declaring that “no more than 20 temperature cycles” be used in the amplification process, in honour of its recently-deceased inventor.

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    • #

      If there is no target DNA you will never get a positive.

      Some tests can detect far few than 30 doublings- RT-PCR for instance. Some PCR based methods can theoretically work on one cycle. Carey Mullis co-invented PCR, he didn’t have a hand in its future development.

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      • #
        Pat Cusack

        Even so, the actual diagnosis (as with AIDS) relies on a group of “symptoms”, not on any gold-standard identification of the isolated, purified and double-blind tested “virus”.

        CV “symptoms” are too general to provide “identification” of CV19.

        Or has someone actually isolated, purified and double-blind tested the actual CV19 “virus”?

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        • #

          Pat, we’d always prefer good data, but we don’t need it to know that the bodies are piling up just like a deadly new virus is running through the population.

          It looks like a pandemic, spreads like a pandemic, responds to isolation measures like a pandemic.

          We need to discuss and improve the tests (both PCR and Antibody) but we must keep our eye on the real ball. Even if all the tests said there was no virus, we’d know that lockdown is the only thing that stops the death train.

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  • #
    Orson

    I agree with RickWill. Especially with his #5 criticism. Jo has compiled at least two sets of critiques from posters into the top of her thread. Very comprehensive!

    Last night I came across a peer reviewed (in Nature Medicine?) critique of the Santa Clara County survey that a YouTube doc went through. What jumped out at me is a cleaver inverse label. Because of motivated self-selection, we are likely looking at not “super-spreaders” but super-reporters!

    That is, because mild cases cannot get tested for CV19 anywhere, people are especially moved to get free testing of their complaints done and hopefully validated, and through social media recruit the similarly minded! And viola – we have an unrepresentative over-reporting of novel Coronavirus exposure.

    Circular hopes generate circular data.

    Another critical test for these widely touted findings would be if blood donations or municipal sewage generated results of similarly high levels of viral exposure. My suspicions are that they would not. In other words, absent different sets of confirming evidence, the Santa Clara findings are properly ignored as scientifically too suspect to be taken at face value.

    After RickWll at #5, we have at #6 some interesting discussion of what a Health Passport CV19-free travel zone might look like: Oz plus Taiwan and maybe South Korea. Methinks that diplomats and health ministries shall be busy before the winter months devising standards for such a travel union.

    Yes. An outline of things to come. Thank you Joanne for hosting this useful, probing, and foreword looking discussion.

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    • #

      Orson thanks, feel free to post links to studies and youtube.

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    • #
      RickWill

      As you note, I neglected South Korea on the list of countries that have deprived the corona virus of hosts. Iceland and Austria are two more on that list of virus crushers but travel there would likely involve passing though infected airports.

      Thailand, Norway and Greece are on the cusp of depriving additional hosts.

      Thailand relies heavily on international tourism so they will be challenged in establishing access controls. They will not want to import new cases but CV19 free countries may not want to open borders to it unless they can demonstrate that departures are free of CV19. Thailand implemented airport temperature scans on 3rd JANUARY (how is that for a rapid response). Not fully effective in the circumstances but likely isolated the more contageous arrivals; those already with temperature and maybe a cough.

      This link provides a rapid view of where individual countries are:
      https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

      It is possible to scan through the country list on the left and get the plot of confirmed cases in the bottom right. Crushing requires the curve to be flat. A really good example of that is the Diamond Princess; straightlined at 712 because all the potential additional hosts were removed from the ship.

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  • #
    TdeF

    I think this virus is really at home in big dense cities, like New York, London, Wuhan.

    Poland like most of Russia, most of Eastern Europe are a rural countries. From the air, just a few houses at road intersections, villages at best.
    The only city over 800,0000 is Warsaw at 1.8 million. Germany has Berlin at 3.5, Hamburg at 3.8, Munich at 1.5 and Cologne at 1.0. History will confirm this.

    We have the same in Australia, which is why the food supply has not stopped. People in the country are in isolation anyway, even in America where 80% of the people live outside the cities.

    While the Democrats are openly cheering that the virus attacks older people, eliminating Trump voters, it is mainly in the big cities where the Democrats dominate anyway. And in the black communities in those cities. As Kanye West complained, they had a black president for eight years and blacks were no better off.

    So expect decentralized countries to do better. The surprise is Victoria, Australia as 83% of all Victorians live in Melbourne, but as one of the world’s largest cities by area (25th), it is very decentralized anyway.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      TdeF Poland’s population is 40+ million, That’s pretty dense for it’s area.

      However there is a massive entry on Wikipedia about Wuhan CoOVID 19 disease in Poland here.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Poland

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    • #
      RickWill

      Taipei has population density 20 times greater than Melbourne, twice London and essentially same as New York City. But Manhatten alone has almost three times the density of Taipei with 2/3rds of the population of Taipei.

      The reason for mentioning Taipei is that it has a high population density but still managed to crush the corona virus. That was achieved with early and effective action.

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  • #
    TdeF

    Years ago I asked a surgeon friend about the usual amazing Ripley’s Believe it or Not! medical pronouncements which everyone knew were rubbish. He said it was a sure indicator that the group was looking for fame and funding, a form of advertising.

    This one has garnered headlines around the world, front page in The Australian. That is what it was meant to do. I remember a hockey stick a few years ago which did exactly the same thing. And of course there are always those who want to believe it, the hidden virus theory, the vast numbers of unsymptomatic people who infect others who are also unsymptomatic. And man made Climate Change.

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    • #
      TdeF

      And the most infamous, 97% of scientists agree. Extracted torturously from a mere 100 responses from an entire survey of 10,000 people, mostly meteorologists who disagreed. No lies were told, but nor was the truth.

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    • #
      Lucky

      Yes, Taiwan took ‘early and effective action’.
      My reading is that it was not stopping people sitting alone on a park bench,
      but by immediate cessation of inbound flights from China.

      This is exactly what Australia and the US should have done earlier – had there not been misleading by statements from China and their subsidiary WHO.

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  • #
    Orson

    Bill in Oz at #23.1 asks a good question. Some quick thoughts come to mind.

    Poland is relatively poor. People do not travel for pleasure like the Germans do. Poles travel abroad for work and staying for that pay, most of all.

    Second, their largest foreign travel destination is the old East German states they border. This is the poorer, older and least travel-happy part of Germany. And thus also reports the lowest rates of CV-19 infections.

    I suspect these two or four facts are all we need to explain their low reported rates of CV-19.

    What would destabilise this? If joblessness in the EU drove Poles back to Poland is the big one that ought to worry Poland. They could start a new wave of infections.

    As an observer of Central Europe, I notice that the Czech’s looks relatively hard hit, despite going hard against the virus. While Croatia does not, and I read that they are already opening up travel within the country after having locked down.

    Which reminds me to add something that Jo’s critical piece on the clueless Prof Israel, what matters is less the state policy and much much more, what matters is the effectiveness of social isolation, mostly self-isolation. Policies are one thing, but only action or rather changed behaviours can halt viral life-cycle transmissions.

    We have the power to save lives through inaction. Just (don’t) do it! (For now.)

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  • #
    Another Ian

    The pot stirred

    “The Roth resolution and the Chinese virus”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/20/the-roth-resolution-and-the-chinese-virus/

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  • #

    I was wondering.

    Might this Wuhan Virus lead to a winding back of the Climate Change Scaremongering.

    Might then this crash in the cost of oil lead to a winding back in ‘talk’ of replacing the traditional car with electric vehicles.

    Who knows. Big V8′s might become popular again.

    Tony.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      Interested in seeing the Oz electron consumption trends since beginning of Feb Tony, got anything in a link?

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    • #
      PeterS

      That has already been discussed in some depth. The answer is not yet know but we already know the globalists are seizing on this situation to turbo charge their agenda. If they succeed then those who are keeping their blinkers on will not see it coming until it’s too late. We need to be very watchful of what’s unfolding around the world as we speak.

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      • #

        Have no fears.

        It all ends five minutes after they turn off that ‘critical’ coal fired power plant.

        As everything stops cold, The person in front of the camera (moving his hand slowly from the main power switch to the detonator switch) says ….. “What just happened then?”

        You just turned off the power ….. Sir!

        What, to this building?

        No Sir, the whole State.

        Huh! Why wasn’t I told this?

        I think you were Sir, you needed the votes though.

        Well, turn the f*****g thing back on then.

        You won’t be blowing it up then Sir?

        Turn those f*****g cameras off.

        Tony.

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        • #
          PeterS

          By that time our economy will be so badly smashed it won’t matter how many new power stations are built. It’s already going belly up. We need them now to smash the power price. Don’t you get it yet?

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        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Gold Thumbs Tony !
          The best laugh for the day
          Thanks
          Bill

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    • #
      PeterS

      It also depends on what we do in terms of the emissions reduction agenda as pushed by the left in general and by our own governments in particular. If we were really clever we would seize on this opportunity to spend several more billions, which is a drop in the ocean in the flood of debt we are creating, to build new coal fired power stations to crash the price of power to the floor and allow existing industries, what’s left of them to survive, and provide encouragement for new ones to start. It would be money well spent and will actually pay for itself in the recovery phase. I’d be shocked if it did happen though given our governments are far from being clever.

      10

    • #
      PeterS

      So as a follow-up to my last post I suggest you direct your question to PM Morrison. Will he stop his scaremongering about the need to reduce our emissions, and do what is really necessary to smash the cost of power instead of pretending all is OK on the front?

      10

      • #
        el gordo

        He hasn’t said anything lately and he is not going to mention the subject of emissions.

        In regards to a future economic depression, the editorial staff at China Daily agree with you.

        http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202004/21/WS5e9e55e8a3105d50a3d17a54.html

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        • #
          PeterS

          OK keep your head in the sand, mate. In case you haven’t noticed a significant part of the business world is on the verge of bankruptcy. If that’s not enough to pull your head out of the sand then nothing will.

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          • #

            PeterS, find me an economic modeler that correctly predicted what would happen in February.

            I’ve been ignoring all the models of doom in economics, because just like the useless epidemiologists who were stuck on their 1918 flu plan — determined to kill people — the economists in the news are stuck on their old models of recessions and depressions. I see no skill …

            That doesn’t mean there won’t be economic damage, but since all of this is going to be over (in Australia anyway) much faster than the epidemiologist-desk-top academics said (but as I predicted), the economic models based on the those incorrect timeframes are useless.

            30

            • #
              joseph

              Jo, here’s the latest economic news . . . . . doesn’t look good . . . . . to me . . . .

              “OIL ARMAGEDDON-What Will It Mean For You? Mike Maloney
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQuXDvA8l24&feature=emb_logo

              I came across this earlier . . . .

              RED ALERT! Oil Derivative Market Destroying EVERYTHING Tomorrow?! (Bix Weir)
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoyVabkWlqY

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              • #
                OriginalSteve

                Oil went to -37 dollars per barrel……

                Negative.

                00

              • #
                RickWill

                The dingbat in the first video link would go crazy if he ever saw the wholesale electricity price in Australia. It regularly goes to minus AUD1000/MWh currently equivalent to minus USD1070/barrell of oil. So his minus USD35 per barrel is small change to what occurs regularly in Australian electricity supply. A negative price is a very powerful signal to stop output. It simply reflects the cost of shutting down operations and the smartest at doing that will make money in the circumstances.

                I don’t hold any hope of ever getting paid to put fuel in my car. I do not expect planes getting in the air to burn fuel to make money. The WTI going negative is reflective of a shortage in storage capacity available to the hub and temporary demand/supply imbalance. The Middle East countries will have to curtail their weapons purchases while the Opec average price remains low. At USD18/barrel Aramco are still making USD15/barrel.

                The second guy just goes round in circles. If there is any risk of systemic failure due to oil market bets then the US government will bail them out as they had to with AIG; the song book is already written. If they are not too big to fail then so be it. China has a lot of USD looking for a home. They could end up owning a business or two that placed the wrong bet on oil price.

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            • #
              Raving

              So why didn’t SARS MERS or Eloba become pandemic which grew to kill millions of people? Yes you will say that COVID19 has asymptomatic transmission.

              How about a different explanation. SARS MERS and Ebola have mortality of +10%. It would be intolerable to allow such things to spread as an epidemic, if at all possible. In other words, people did what was necessary and it worked.

              As it is with COVID19 and a perceived mortality of whatever, it was sufficient for China and other countries to expend fortunes on quashing it.

              What has changed between 1918 and today is that countries have learned that they can spend vast fortunes rescuing the economic collapse and survive the expense with rejuvenated strength

              This time they might have bitten off more than they can chew

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      • #
        Chad

        What should be highlighted and shouted loudly and constantly, is the simple fact that despite the virtual shutdown of industry, and the 75% reduction in transporttation consumption of Fossil Fuels,…. the steadt increase in atmospheric CO2 continues unchanged

        20

        • #
          el gordo

          There might be a lag in the system, otherwise we’ll have to assume CO2 is being liberated from the oceans.

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  • #
    John

    The Stanford study randomized by sending invitations to facebook addresses. No invitation no test. When higher #’s were found from wealthier parts of the county adjustments were made.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/04/an-update-from-dr-b.php

    A second quality control run found 0 false positives and the two runs were combined.

    A second independent test in LA county produced similar results:

    http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/phcommon/public/media/mediapubhpdetail.cfm?prid=2328

    If these are confirmed would indicate the IFR is ~ 0.15% vs flu 0.10%

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    • #

      Thanks John.

      But they didn’t control for age – why even bother to use this for CFR estimates?.

      The quality control runs were still very small numbers as reported. And they used manufacturer false positive rates, is that right?

      They didn’t publish the numbers of people they tested who reported symptoms in the time leading up to the test, which would help estimate the “self selection” factor. They did not even try to estimate it?

      They didn’t include the Facebook Ad.

      It all looks like it was rush for the PR effect, not to find the answers.

      10

      • #
        John

        The USC test used a different randomization and got similar results:

        https://news.usc.edu/168987/antibody-testing-results-covid-19-infections-los-angeles-county/

        With help from medical students from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC researchers and public health officials conducted drive-thru antibody testing on April 10 and 11 at six sites. Participants were recruited via a proprietary database that is representative of the county population. The database is maintained by LRW Group, a market research firm.

        10

        • #

          John, yet they disagree wildly with results from truly randomized PCR testing, and with the rapid expansion still found in cluster outbreaks, and with the Diamond Princess.

          Why is Singapore suddenly overwhelmed, if they have been dealing with the virus for three months? Clearly it hasn’t spread far.

          China is behaving as though their people are unprotected despite this virus running amok there for longer than anywhere.

          The big problem with the antibody tests are false positives, and cross reactivitiy.

          20

  • #
    ImranCan

    We know from the diamond Princess and Italian data that the total mortality is about ~ 0.6%. Including those that would have died anyway from other co-morbidities.

    WE know that about 1200 Californians have died so far and we are about half way through the distribution of deaths from this wave so we should see about 2500 hospital deaths. Double that to account for those dying ‘in the community’ and you will have a total of about 5000 deaths in California from this wave. At 0.6% mortality this means about 800k have been infected. Out of a state of 40mln people. Which, surprise surprise, is about 2%.

    If you do the same for New York state you will find that the average infection rate in the whole state is about 50%. Obviously weighted towards New York City itself.

    All the data is there. The maths is isn’t complicated. Mortality is 0.6%, including co-morbidity patient, ie. they would have died shortly anyway. If you take those out of the equation you are down to about 0.1%. I understand the correct epidemiological term for this is lethality. Pretty much same as a bad flu.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The lock down in California is pretty strong.
      That has stopped the virus running amok.
      Cause & effect.
      Straight forward Logic
      But you do not take this into account.
      That is bizarre and actually dangerous.

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  • #

    How do they tell it is 2019-nCoV not 229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1 coronavirus?

    01

  • #
    Mike Mitchell

    It probably is closer to correct because the number of deaths per day has started to drop in the US thus indicating that herd immunity is setting in.

    02

    • #

      Mike, Movement in NY is down to 6% of normal and has been low for weeks.
      It has taken a massive lockdown to bring numbers down.

      20

      • #
        Mike Mitchell

        Time will tell who’s correct Jo!

        As I see the world data, the USA is following the same timing as other countries who got it sooner per this chart. (I gave up trying to embed the image!)

        Link to Ourworldindata chart

        What would shed WAY more light on it would be an antibody canvas in India. They aren’t “sheltering in place” and are generally far more crowded but have a very low death count. I hope someone is trying to figure out why? Massive consumption of some spice that acts as an ionophore? Lower life expectancy? Genetics related to survival of the 1918 pandemic (India really got hit badly then)? Just stronger immune systems because it is rife with so many other diseases?

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  • #
    Raving

    “Pickering long-term care home reports 31 deaths related to COVID-19, up from 4 last week”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/orchard-villa-retirement-residence-deaths-confirmed-cases-1.5539772

    00