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New Zealand win: Community spread of coronavirus eliminated — lockdown eases (a bit) tonight

New Zealand, Flag, Map.

As so it begins. The first country declares “elimination” success. Today New Zealand announces the effective elimination of coronavirus. Soon hopefully other countries can join and rebuild the “Virus Free Zone” – and the borders that surround them will expand as the infected zone shrinks.

Theirs was a very strict lockdown. Beaches, playgrounds, schools, businesses and restaurants closed. Not even takeaway sales.

New Zealand says it has stopped community transmission of Covid-19, effectively eliminating the virus.

BBC News

With new cases in single figures for several days – one on Sunday – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the virus was “currently” eliminated.

But officials have warned against complacency, saying it does not mean a total end to new coronavirus cases.

The news comes hours before New Zealand is set to move out of its toughest level of social restrictions.

The shift down to level 3 restrictions means things are still pretty strict:

Level 3 will see retailers, restaurants and schools allowed to reopen on a smaller scale. Schools will reopen on Wednesday for children up to Year 10 who cannot study from home, or whose parents need to return to work.

Workers will also be able to resume on-site work, provided they have a Covid-19 control plan in place, with appropriate health and safety and physical distancing measures. It is expected one million New Zealanders will return to work on Tuesday. – The Guardian

Almost no medical experts are even discussing elimination as a possibility. NZ may be the only land where they did:

New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the low number of new cases in recent days “does give us confidence that we have achieved our goal of elimination”.

He warned that “elimination” did not mean there would be no new cases, “but it does mean we know where our cases are coming from.

For a scientific advisor, it’s safer to be a cynic and aim low, but the price of not even discussing elimination — with all its benefits — is to misinform business and demotivate the people that governments were asking so much from. The talk of inevitable long lockdowns “for six to 12 months” played havoc with policy and business planning.

Many unambitious advisors were using old 1918 flu plans. They talked of flattening the curve, but they have not admitted it was a devastating  long slow bleed and impossible policy, and they’ve ended up Crushing the Curve instead as predicted here. They still call it “flattening the curve” but it is a very different strategy to what they originally suggested.

And yet most countries treated COVID-19 as if it were influenza, he said, trying to slow its advance rather than eradicate it. Nations including the UK and the US opted for such mitigation and suppression efforts after they found themselves overwhelmed by cases.

The man who should get the credit is Professor Michael Baker who had brave ambition and saw an opportunity because this was not the flu:

Wipeout: New Zealand’s bid to eradicate COVID-19

Australian Financial Review

Central to New Zealand’s approach is a scientific fact that most Western leaders appear to have ignored, according to Michael Baker, a professor at the University of Otago’s Department of Public Health in Wellington who sits on the government’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group. That is that the virus usually has a mean incubation period of five to six days, twice as long as influenza, and could be as many as 14 days.

“That means that when someone gets sick, if you isolate them quickly and round up their contacts, you can quarantine those people and interrupt that chain of transmission,” Professor Baker said. “With influenza you can’t really do that because by the time you’ve found their contacts it’s too late, they’ve infected other people.”

Even two weeks ago Australia’s chief medical officer did not seem to think eradication was possible:

Brendan Murphy, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, told a New Zealand parliamentary committee on April 14 that eradicating the virus was a “nirvana” scenario.

Keeping the virus out means strict borders and two week mandatory quarantines until there is a treatment or vaccine and the virus becomes a nicer mutant.

If the NZ model succeeds it will become a tantalizing option to follow for any country that can afford it. If nations adopt mass masks and treat Vitamin D deficiency, pandemic control can probably be even cheaper than the NZ model. Watch the world start to copy (if they are lucky enough to be able to).

New Zealand, around 5 million people, has only Covid-19 1,500 cases, and only 19 deaths so far.

We can ask if they could have done it cheaper, but it’s clear it was a success.

Australia allowed more business activity to continue, and has similar deaths per million (even slightly fewer) and will hopefully reach elimination soon too. It may be that extra sunlight, more space and a lower population density meant it didn’t have to go as hard. Time will tell which nation recovers faster economically.

There will be PhD’s worth of work in unpacking the factors and costs, but “Go Hard, Go Early” and Aim High was not only realistic but probably the best way to deal with any mysterious, deadly new virus. Defeatism is so uninspiring.

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Rating: 7.7/10 (57 votes cast)
New Zealand win: Community spread of coronavirus eliminated -- lockdown eases (a bit) tonight, 7.7 out of 10 based on 57 ratings

243 comments to New Zealand win: Community spread of coronavirus eliminated — lockdown eases (a bit) tonight

  • #
    toorightmate

    If my arithmetic is correct, NZ had less cases, BUT more deaths PER CAPITA than Australia.

    190

    • #
      AndrewWA

      In reality there is no material difference between the NZ experience and that of our own.
      CV19 outcomes for both countries have a long way to go.

      130

    • #
      MudCrab

      Did a quick and lazy check via worldmeters.info

      New Zealand cases per million = 305
      Australia cases per million = 264

      New Zealand deaths per million = 4
      Australia deaths per million = 3

      However possibly in context, New Zealand has also beaten Australia in the Tests per Million stat, 25698 to 20277.

      Tricky, I mean NZ is not Oz, so we are comparing small flightless birds to large flightless birds, but it does seem that NZ has put themselves into a lot more pain for a worse result.

      90

      • #

        But NZ has lower temperatures and probably lower Vit D levels. They were always going to need to do more than the sunniest country on Earth.

        94

        • #
          sophocles

          It’s been very cloudy here in Auckland but most of the rest of the country has not been as bad. We probably do get more cloud than West Island — maybe much like Tas.

          I started supplementing with tablets — and having a bit of a grizzle about the Big Guy Upstairs — because it was so mucky. But, apart from Auckland, the rest of NZ did better.

          40

        • #
          sophocles

          Jo: NZ has cleaner air so it would be a toss-up which country would do better in the Vit-d stakes. I noticed back in 1990 that Australia’s was dustier and direct experience has shown me that New Zealand air is not flammable :-D

          There is a curse on New Zealand: it’s the NZ Health Department for whom Vit-d Deficiency is Adequate. (We could maybe swap Health Departments! ?)

          It is my thought that’s where most of our deaths came from. But, without evidence …

          30

        • #

          There are a few nations that might argue about the sunniest label

          00

        • #
          paul bradden

          [Duplicate]

          00

        • #
          paul bradden

          NZ could have a nice herd immunity by now without many more deaths if they only locked down their vulnerable. Now they have to live in fear. they cant open their borders . The tourism industry will be out of action for years

          00

      • #
        Meglort

        The population density in New Zealand is 18 per Km2
        The population density in Australia is 3.3 per Km2

        Might be why NZ has higher ratio counts.

        10

    • #
      Lorraine

      As 10 of the deaths were from Rosewood Rest Home in Christchurch, a dementia unit, they were sadly inevitable. Of the deaths that we have had all were elderly.

      40

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    The way prime minister Ardern managed the Christchurch shootings, the Mt White eruption, motherhood and now the pandemic, is an inspiration. No doubt there will be quibbles about the level 4 lockdowns, but honestly, who knew what would work, sans a vaccine. Certainly the use of a variant of UBI helped to ease the pain, and having everyone at home stoped the farce about wheaten schools should be open, and who should wear face masks.

    155

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Oh dear Peter
      You’ve managed to wedge people on this post
      And courtesy of the fickle finger of fate
      You did it with the first comment.

      There are many much better things to say about the Kiwi response to the CCP Wuhan 19 virus.

      155

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        In view of “vaccines” mentioned by Peter Fitzroy.

        And with further respect to Bill In Oz

        There are many much better things to say about the Kiwi response to the CCP Wuhan 19 virus.

        Just one of many beacons of hope and further study.

        And from: https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/02/2004168117

        “Effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in severe COVID-19 patients”

        The viral load was undetectable after transfusion in seven patients who had previous viremia. No severe adverse effects were observed. This study showed CP therapy was well tolerated and could potentially improve the clinical outcomes through neutralizing viremia in severe COVID-19 cases. The optimal dose and time point, as well as the clinical benefit of CP therapy, needs further investigation in larger well-controlled trials.

        80

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          quotation mark typo…*The viral load was undetectable after transfusion in seven patients who had previous viremia. No severe adverse effects were observed. This study showed CP therapy was well tolerated and could potentially improve the clinical outcomes through neutralizing viremia in severe COVID-19 cases. The optimal dose and time point, as well as the clinical benefit of CP therapy, needs further investigation in larger well-controlled trials.

          40

          • #

            Ardern got lucky to have the wisest scientific advisor apparently on the planet. But presumably there were other advisors in NZ repeating the deadly 1918 Flu plan.

            Perhaps she deserves some credit for listening to the right advisor, hard to tell from here. But Boris, Trump and Scott Morrison were all let down dreadfully by academia. We hope the lesson for all leaders is to ask for many top opinions before they make up their minds.

            It’s a leaders job to listen to all the experts and choose the most convincing, and almost all the leaders failed. (Not Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea). Australia succeeded despite being too late and inept and being poorly planned. But is there any nation on Earth that had the same head start of being hot, summery, first world, distant and wealthy?

            93

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        You left something out;

        It’s; “the flying fickle finger of fate”,

        Or in its 2020 form;

        “the flying fickle finger of flu flux fate”.

        2020 The year that never was.

        50

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        [Snip about moderation] Please stay on topic at the top of a thread.

        121

    • #
      Serge Wright

      Yes Peter, Jacinta did manage the Christchurch shooting very well, even donning a hijab in true lefty form, but there are many critics of her COVID-19 eradication strategy and in this regard there is no guarantee of her being seen as an inspiration. In terms of her overall performance as PM, opinions are divided. Her lack of economic management understanding is indeed a weakness and she also showed poor judgement in the deal with Winston Peters to become PM. To many people she is beholden to Peters and despite the scandals that plague his party, she can’t bring herself to utter any words of criticism for fear of losing his support. Peters therefore effectively runs the show and controls Ardern, which relegates her status to follower rather than leader. This is hardly inspirational behaviour and my bet is she will be remembered as a one term wonder with unfortunately large teeth.

      421

      • #

        You can’t mention the teeth.

        110

      • #
        • #
          Greg in NZ

          Oh my gosh, you mentioned ‘the teeth’ – twice!!

          And Jo, using the BBC – and the Grauniad! – as reputable journalistic references? Puh-leeeze!

          The only Nirvana I know of was a grunge band back in the 90s or some mythical state of mind smelly rope-heads living in the hills of Queensland thought they had achieved back in the 80s.

          Jacinda’s PR team are going hell-for-leather at the moment in an attempt to soothe the disgruntled populace: simply look up the govt media outlet, known as Radio NZ (rnz) and keep a bucket handy as you’re gonna need it.

          Anyway I’m off for a swim in the ocean – Dear Leader and her hex-spurts have deemed it ‘safe and legal’ for we little people to put our heads under the waves once again. And please, no more talk of those teeth… :-)

          120

          • #
            shannon

            Banning people from beaches and swimming during this period…. just doesnt make sense to me…
            Surely salt water is the better of sanitizers…full body immersion should have been the ONLY rule if visiting the beach over the past 2 months and going forward…

            30

      • #
        MudCrab

        Jacitina handled Christchurch by banning any discussion.

        Her summation of the motivation for the pro China pro Green killer was to declare his name must never be spoken and his ramblings never be read.

        Her plan for the post Wuhan recovery of her economy is for her entire country to become the labour hire centre of Australia.

        Woman is a tyrant and New Zealand is a police state who’s only contribution to the world stage is quality rugby we can only dream of and Hobbits. If there wasn’t a warm 105 year old feeling of comradary we would probably throw rocks at them.

        301

        • #
          sophocles

          we did have a Smaug …

          but he died.

          30

          • #
            sophocles

            Peter Fitzroy claimed:

            Mount White was in NZ. To the best of my knowledge, that is not the case. There is a White Island which houses an active volcano, Whakaaro.

            Mudcrab:
            The pro China pro Green killer in Christchurch is an Australian.

            You lot throw rocks at us? :-D That’s what you think: we’ll wind White Island up and throw bigger hotter ones right back at you!

            21

    • #
      AndyG55

      We will not know who was “clever” for at least another 5-6 months.

      Only when/if lock-downs can be removed without a resurgence of the virus, and society can return to normal functionality, and economies recover, will we know who the “clever” ones were.

      20

      • #
        ImranCan

        Indeed. If the virus can be eradicated and/or a vaccine is available quickly, then it will all be seen as clever. If these things aren’t possible, then Jacinda will not survive.

        00

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    In regard to toorightmates comment, this might be an unusual chance to examine the role of vitamin D uptake on the susceptibility to CV19 in terms of disease acquisition and lethality.

    KK

    161

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    [ Snip off topic ]AD

    11

  • #
    el gordo

    Now that NZ is relatively free of Covod-19 they may find the time to assist Australia in an inquiry.

    ‘Foreign Minister Marise Payne has slapped down Beijing’s threat that a review would result in a Chinese consumer boycott of students and tourists visiting Australia.’ SMH

    The arrogance and ignorance of Beijing, they can stick their students and tourists.

    341

    • #
      AndyG55

      ” would result in a Chinese consumer boycott of students and tourists visiting Australia.’”

      Is that a threat or a promise ?

      151

      • #
        sophocles

        would result in a Chinese consumer boycott of students and tourists

        Hallelujah! The South Island’s roads would be safe again without those three species.

        NZ’s borders are still closed and will remain that way for a while yet. Some traffic Aus NZ has been mooted but it’s still in the mooted stage and likely to remain there for a while yet.

        20

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    And no govt sponsored “dobber-ware/snitch-ware” was required nor harmed in the making of this success…..

    92

    • #
      Greg in NZ

      Sorry to ruin your illusion, Steve, but ‘she’ was quoted as saying their spy-ware tracking app was now of a “good standard” (or was it gold standard?) and soon to be unleashed (released) upon a largely unsuspecting (gullible & frightened) population.

      Lest we forget the Christchurch fiasco/psyop.

      20

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Yeah I’m under no illusion as to what its really for.

        I suspect most people will install it, and forget its there, so it will faithfully record who they talk to every day, ad-infinitum.

        Many years of dealing with the powers that be has left me with a very clear idea of how they think.

        Often govt is just a the enforcement muscle for the agenda. Like UN Agenda 2030.

        If the “Pretty Communist” is saying its “gold standard” its burocratic speak for “the intel agencies are happy with the data collected”.

        Funny how this app has appeared globally, all about the same time. Most people would consider it was likely pre-planned…..now how could that be?

        10

    • #
      Mike Jonas

      I’ve no idea how the NZ app works (or not) but I’m satisfied that the Aus app is reasonable so I’ve installed it. I don’t fully agree with the Aus govt’s approach, but there are so many unknowns with this Wuhan virus that the only thing I can be sure of is that the Aus govt’s approach is the only one that Aus has, and I want it to work. It’s not a good situation, but it’s the one we’re in.

      52

      • #
        sophocles

        You’re not alone, Mike, neither do New Zealanders. That’s why I’m not going to be using it.

        30

  • #
    Serge Wright

    Assuming NZ do manage full eradication, they then face the far bigger challenge of managing to keep the country running with no international tourism or immigration for an indefinite period. International tourism provides their largest export earnings at 17% or 4% of GDP. They will also face near total collapse of tourism related businesses if the border lockdown remains for 12 months or more and it could take a decade or more to recover. You could also expect a mass exodus of younger Kiwi refugees headed over here looking for work, causing a brain and youth drain. Basically, NZ will be at the mercy of someone finding a vaccine within a year and if that doesn’t happen they will need to invent a plan B.

    In terms of plan B – re-opening borders with no vaccine, I can see only two options. The first option is to re-introduce the virus with a controlled spread, with social distancing (which should really be called anti-social distancing, btw :) and crowd control measures. This will be very unpopular because people will think the entire lockdown and eradication plan was all in vein. The resulting 30%+ reductions in house prices, 20-30% unemployment and the deaths that were always going to happen anyway, will then be seen as deep wounds inflicted by the government. The other possible option is to inject younger healthy people with the virus in a controlled manner and place them in quarantine for two to four weeks to recover. The idea being that you make the healthiest 60% of the population exposed to the virus to achieve herd immunity and then allow a slower natural spread to reach the other 40%, which will include the 10% of older and sick people that will need hospital treatment. Of course this measure will also be very unpopular because some people will still die, albeit a much smaller number, by the injection. You could possibly provide a cash injection bonus (eg: $1000) to gain enough volunteers and offset the pain point of the measure.

    If anyone has other Plan B ideas it would be useful to discuss, considering Australia might also end up in a similar situation if we don’t start opening up soon.

    Regardless of which plan B is adopted, the initial eradication scenario can be likened to the final scene in the movie “Finding Nemo”, where all the tank fish escape back to the ocean, but locked inside plastic bags, with the final words from Bloat of “Now What ???”.

    312

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Thoughtful scenario.

      50

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Indeed ++

        40

        • #

          Serge,

          On tourism, fear not. NZ domestic tourists can replace foreign ones up to a point, and Australian tourists will be able to visit probably soon too. Then will come others from other countries that have cleared the virus — as long as they maintain strong borders themselves and every clear country insists on a two week quarantine.

          Immigration doesn’t have to end at all — it only takes a two week quarantine. If they don’t want to do that, then they never cared enough to be immigrants.

          Then there is long stay tourism, which will do hugely well as NZ will be one of the safest countries on EArth to stay in.

          1713

          • #

            Crikey, a two week quarantine on top of the rigours of a 24 hour flight.
            I’ll have to give up my plans for more soujourns in NZ indefinitely.
            Travelled both islands by car back in ’96 and wanted to show the sights to my wife before we die but no chance now.
            What proportion of the NZ GDP is down to tourists who are not there for a long enough stay to tolerate a 14 day furlough ?
            How many nations will ever be able to satisfy the NZ requirement of ‘clearing the virus’?
            More likely, the rest of the world will acquire enough general immunity to live with it whilst NZ and possibly OZ will become strange, virus free nations forever condemned to isolation.
            The world will be split into two new poles of influence with those who accommodate the virus into everyday life and those who wish to forever remain pure.

            211

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              :-) :-)

              but I think you might get into “trouble” for this comment.

              32

            • #
              el gordo

              ‘ … virus free nations forever condemned to isolation.’

              I can live with that.

              31

            • #
              PTR

              So, “More than likely the rest of the World will acquire enough general immunity to live with it”.
              Quoting a sentence from Rumsfeld’s classic: “There are things that we know that we don’t know”. That certainly applies to the concept of immunity with regards to Covid 19. There are lots of “things” in this instance. With many suggesting that herd immunity is the only way that we will get through this crisis, I did a search (brief) to find an answer to something that I know I don’t know about, when it comes to herd immunity. What I don’t know is, what is an example of herd immunity that has been acquired by natural selection throughout the general population, and not though immunization? Didn’t find anything that fitted.

              10

            • #
              sophocles

              Oh it’s not that bad Stephen — you’re put up in a quality hotel at government expense (so your quarantine is supervised).

              00

          • #
            David

            Replacing foreign tourists with NZ domestic tourists means NZ domestics spending less on something else. Net gain 0.
            Expecting foreign tourists to agree to use two weeks to sit in quarantine at start of holiday makes me think of Alice in Wonderland.

            132

          • #
            Serge Wright

            Jo,

            I’m not as optimistic on the economic front as yourself. NZ has a small population base and relies heavily on overseas tourists binging in money. A local population of poor people without jobs won’t fill this gap. On the economic side, the virus can’t destroy your economy all by itself, it can only cause temporary disruption. The virus management strategy however can kill your economy and the highest risk strategy is one of elimination in the absence of an exit plan, which is the path chosen by Ardern.

            In the case of NZ, what would you do next ?. Assuming Australia sticks to it’s controlled spread approach with a flatter curve, how long do NZ borders remain shut ?. One year ?, Three years ?. There is no answer because there is no exit plan.

            Based on current global virus strategies adopted elsewhere, If we look 12 months into the future, then we would expect most borders to be open everywhere except to NZ. From a NZ perspective you would be trapped inside your own country, most likely living a miserable existence in a dead economy and the only exit available would be to Australia, where we have a bilateral immigration agreement. You would see many Kiwis and their businesses relocate over here, along with their rugby players and cricketers, who would be forced to relocate to continue playing their sports. This would suppress the domestic economy even further as well as create a depressing mood within their society. In terms of debt recovery if they do ever manage to re-open, they will face a very difficult problem with a record debt and the only means to repay that debt through higher taxes in an already dead economy, which will only add to the exodus of people moving to Australia, leaving fewer people and a smaller economy to service the huge and growing debt.

            Right now, looking at NZ’s position, I can’t see any other outcome except economic wipeout. I certainly hope I’m wrong, but I just can’t see how a recovery will be possible with no exit plan available or even one the horizon. This is why no country wants to adopt the elimination strategy and are choosing short term pain with deaths of older people, which is the lessor of two evils, but is still evil. :(

            181

            • #
              sophocles

              There is a third option you’ve overlooked, Serge. The NZ govt issues free Vitamin D supplements to the whole population. Incoming tourists either supply their own or pay for locally sourced ones.

              (This will never happen: there is a curse on New Zealand: the New Zealand Health Department.)

              20

          • #
            Ross

            Jo
            If you do not have a job ( or one of the two income earners in a family don’t have a job) then having a holiday will be very low on the list of priorities. If they do take a holiday it will one “on the cheap”. So local tourism is not going to save much.
            My guess is that prior to the economic melt down the local tourist dollar was a little bit of cream on the top of any tourist operators business. Foreign tourist dollars were the backbone –without the backbone they have no business.

            92

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              Golly gosh with all the student workers not coming
              Or the Temporary visa workers either
              Because of the CCP’s threats,
              There might be jobs for lots of us Australians
              In the cafes and hospitality industry generally !
              The law of intended consequences !

              00

          • #
            Mike Jonas

            Say I have a certificate from the Chinese government, signed by the WHO as well, that I have completed a two week quarantine. Are you going to let me in?

            40

            • #

              Mike, after China’s lies and deceit and the WHO sell out to China? Are you kidding?

              In any case, the problem with quarantines elsewhere is that once people get on a plane with potentially infected carriers, they need two weeks quarantine.

              So if the entire flight has a two week quarantine holiday in Christmas Island, and they all fly on one plane together with domestic staff that are clear, OK.

              86

    • #
      Slithers

      Plan ‘B’ for NZ.
      Butter Lamb And kiwi fruit Export FARM, FARM FARM. Probable needs some sort of conscription, employ those youngsters who want to go to Aus before they get a visa!11111
      The world will be crying out for food next year so do what the early settlers did FARM FARM FARM!!!

      100

      • #
        Annie

        You beat me to it Slithers! Before the appalling EEC/EU nonsense Britain imported large quantities of NZ dairy and lamb. It was a betrayal of our Commonwealth cousins when Britain joined that mob. Some of us in Britain were always upset by that betrayal; let’s hope we can trade with our Commonwealth friends again.

        100

        • #
          sophocles

          For all that Annie, we still sold sell a lot into the UK and hopefully we will continue to do so. NZ butter: best butter in the world! :-D
          Mushrooms fried in NZ butter are out of this world.

          (I hold no shares in Fonterra, the owner of the Anchor butter brand.)

          30

      • #
        shannon

        To carryout your suggestion, however..we need to “bring to a head” the Green regulations suffocating the farming sector..in Australia and of late New Zealand….

        30

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      It is remarkable how you ignore some key things Serge.
      This is a science blog.
      And we now that there is a veritable horde of scientists
      Working on vaccines and cures to this disease.
      So smashing the infection rate curve as the Kiwis have done and as we are doing
      Makes a lot of common sense.
      The first duty of ALL governments is to prevent infectious diseases destroying their countries.
      Rather than allowing this pandemic to run wild.

      And I think that in the near future the horde of scientists, including some Australian ones,
      Will via their research find cures and vaccines.

      And by way of stimulating that discussion here is a comment from
      E M Smith on Chiefio last night :
      ”It is quite possible that we have,( in the USA ) by letting asymptomatic spread run wild
      and quarantined for the symptomatic, selected for an asymptomatic mutant…..
      That would be a very good thing, not cause for recriminations.”

      Maybe we need to do some trials with the asymptomatic strain
      To see if it confers any immunity and can thus function as a sort of Vaccine ?

      17

      • #
        sophocles

        We (Australia and NZ) have our Sickness Season (mid to end August and early September) to go. That’s three and a half months away. I will not be at all surprised if that virus resurges and we do all this over again.

        20

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          It’s actually been a cold Autumn here in SA
          And BOM forecasts hail on Thursday.
          Ummm.

          In fact there have been no real warm days since late Feb.
          I know that because we spent a long weekend down at Normanville
          And scored 3-4 lovely warm beach days
          And left just as it got cool & wet.

          So Soph, I have my doubts about the direct link between
          Cold Winter & a high CCP Covid 19 illness.

          But come June, July & august
          We’ll all find out !

          10

          • #
            sophocles

            Remember Bill: it all hinges not on temperature but on sunlight. We’ve had some pretty cold winters with lots of cloud and bad ‘Sickness (Flu) seasons.’

            UV is a brilliant anti-viral disinfectant and when there’s no UV, well, it’s not rocket science, mate: think Dark Winter = Sick Winter.

            30

    • #
      george1st:)

      When the borders are re-opened Aus states and to NZ it will start to revitalize some of the economy .
      A choice of Jetstar to Auckland , smell the sulphur at Rotorua , or interstate and smell the relly’s .

      21

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      33 comments and not one mention of the HCQ, Zn, Z-pack cocktail of Didier Raoult, Ban Truong and Zev Zelevko, prescribed early and under medical supervision.

      There’s your Plan B.

      Empirical. Tested. The best available.

      Name me the alternative that’s performing better.

      40

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        But it has been repeatedly
        In other posts E S
        And nobody is disputing that it works.
        But there is no money in it for Big Pharma

        20

  • #
    bradd

    The “crush the virus at any cost” people seem to have given no consideration to this.

    134

  • #
    Harves

    Surely if the kiwis have ‘eliminated’ the virus based on a few days of single figures, then NT eliminated it weeks ago, SA, WA and Qld have also eliminated the virus?
    Yesterday NZ had 8 cases. Today we had 9. Yet they’ve eliminated it and we have a long way to go.

    210

    • #
      skeptikal

      The kiwis are claiming to have eliminated “community spread” of the virus. They will still get some new cases, but those will be from people returning home from overseas, not from community spread. I don’t know how many days since their last detected case through community spread, but it must have been quite a few days ago for them to be making the bold claim that they’ve actually eliminated community spread.

      70

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Have to admit there are questions…like, ‘what will it be like to be locked in a bubble of singular ‘perpetuity’ and so forth,? for want of a better word than that word used to signify “perpetuity”??….

      42

      • #

        And as I keep saying “Perpetuity” means months to a few years at most. Over and over…. this is temporary. There are hundreds of labs working on CRISPR, Monoclonals, Stem cells, RNIi and anti virals as well as vaccines.

        There has never been in all of history a time when so much high powered biotech was focused on the same problem.

        96

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Why is it that Jo’s common sense reply
          Got three Red Thumbs ?
          It’s almost as if some folks don’t want
          Researchers to find cures or vaccines
          For the CCP Wuhan Virus disease.
          Why ?
          Do they really want to ‘save their virus’ ?

          00

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            The Greens maintain there are too many people on the planet.

            They are red thumb activists. They infect most blogs with their red thumb mania.

            30

        • #
          Z

          One of the most common is the phrase “in perpetuity.” According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the definition of “in perpetuity” is “… that a thing is forever or for all time.” In practice, the phrase “in perpetuity” usually applies to a transfer of rights or clauses that survive contract termination

          10

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Yeah but ( and this is where my knowledge of how the powers that be work is useful ) they could drag out the number of “cases” for months if it suits thier agenda.

      I suspect until enough people have downloaded the snitch ware, they will have just enough “cases” to keep people scared.

      The USA had the Patriot Act and the hated T S A as “temporary ” measures.

      We have what is now a global push to install chinese-panoptiocon surveillance inspired “snitch-ware” on our phones.

      Funny how it appears globally all about the same time. Coincidence? I doubt it.

      Same old same old….power…control…power …control….

      51

      • #

        Yes, they could, and we should be wary of that.

        But there is the element of “community spread” which are the only transmissions that count. We can track and trace small numbers, as long we know the chain. The only scary numbers are the ones we can’t connect up. They suggest unknown asymptomatic people out there.

        The NT is obviously clear now, but I believe most other Australian regions still have some unknowns.

        54

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Jo, I think they just happen to be able to give the app some cred as it *could* be used for CoV19 contcat tricking….. so it appears to be “reasonable use”.

          The real test will be if the app is disabled after the Cov19 mess. I doubt it will be, its too juicy an opportunity for any govt to pass up. Its like real-time farcebook, and it conditions people to accept HK style “snitch/home arrest” bracelets more easily later.

          I’d suggest people will be in such a good mood to be past the CoV19 “storm”, they will give scant thought to the fact they have a mini “Stasi agent” in their pockets….

          21

          • #
            Robber

            Steve, you can delete this app any time you want. If you have bluetooth switched on, your phone can be seen by other nearby phones. All this app does is check if another phone is nearby for 15 minutes, then records on your phone the number of that adjacent phone. That data goes nowhere unless you contract the virus, and then you agree to upload the last 21 days of those close contacts from your phone.

            40

      • #
        shannon

        ….. and follow the money trail ! The amount of “research” money being sucked into this problem will be unbelievable !!…Also consider.. like the yearly Influenza…a “flu” shot will be necessary EVERY YEAR…(separate or included with the normal Influenza strains)…..Makes we wonder if the “latest flu” is only… to replace the crashing Global Warming vacuum !

        10

    • #
      Ross

      You are correct Harve. But you have to remember our Govt. (NZ) is playing with words. They started off using the word eradicate, now it is eliminate. Apparently for epidemiologists they have a different meaning. Ardern politicised this issue from day one and so this is all politics.

      60

      • #
        shannon

        Jacinda has completed her apprenticeship in socialism ..and now is vying to follow in Helen Clark’s footsteps… Career path the UN !! The woman is ALL politics !

        10

    • #
      Annie

      Our entire large shire, Murrindindi, has had precisely one case, nowhere near here and at least three weeks ago. I have heard if no other and it was in a place much nearer to Melbourne. Why do we need to be under such strictures?
      Commonsense precautions like masks and hand hygiene should be fine here now.

      50

      • #

        And if Andrews had divided the state into hard border regions, you might be able to lift the lockdown in the rural areas with no spread. That’s why I keep suggesting that we should cut areas up into small hard regions, because it’s the ticket to opening some parts up ahead of the pack, and getting their economies running full.

        But as long as people from Melbourne can drive to Murrindindi you are tied to the same opening schedule as them.

        53

        • #
          AndyG55

          “divided the state into hard border regions”

          With border crossings and road blocks ?

          41

        • #
          Annie

          People from Melbourne are not supposed to be coming up here and the road past us went very quiet for a while. However, it is becoming busier again and I suspect we are getting some of DD’s second home owners here. OK for them, but don’t you dare make a solitary round of the golf course in fresh air and sunshine or try to fish somewhere by yourself! We should have been allowed to continue cut off from Melbourne and other places for longer and had local freedoms, exercised with common sense.
          Our local supermarket is running very low on lots of different items now.

          20

    • #
      Blokeinauckland

      In NZ community transmission is a deduction – ie any case that cannot be connected to a known source, cluster or recent international travel is deemed “community transmission”.

      10

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Each jurisdiction must make its own decisions. New Zealand, a small island nation, faces one set of options.
    For Manhattan, a rather smaller island with a comparable population, different choices loom.
    Iceland, perhaps more like New Zealand. The Isle of Man might declare itself a sanatorium free state.
    Pitcairn is likely safe. Sri Lanka, unlikely. Hawaii, actually looking at quarantine again; their last was when they
    were a leper colony. Santa Cantalina has no Covid and no economy.
    I’m a bit cynical about the political generalization.
    But as an achievement, and useful lab experiment, bravo. And an honest hope that they can stay essentially COVID free.

    One would have to say that Jo’s asssertions of now five to six weeks ago have been proven right on the possibility of and method for actually
    zeroing out the virus were spot on, even when she was a lone voice in the wilderness.

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  • #
    Keith Harrison

    Let us hope the coming winter does not re-invigorate this virus to the effect felt in the Northern Hemisphere over the past months.

    70

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      I will be hoping the coming winter does not re-invigorate the virus too..cheers keith. Not an expert category in my case.

      40

    • #
      PeterS

      I hope not too but what can we do about it? We dare not have another round of heavy restrictions. That would send the nation crashing down. A more sensible approach would be to take care of the sick and elderly while the rest of us who still have jobs get back to work with care and responsibility in the way we distance ourselves, wash our hands and whatever else is required to keep a lid on the virus, at least until we get a vaccine, which might be months if not years away.

      52

      • #
        el gordo

        Social engineering is not to be feared, the government will ease off the brake very soon.

        In central west NSW the local hospital has prepared a whole section for the ‘second wave’, which is unlikely to eventuate. If we maintain distancing, continue hygiene and app, then there is a good chance that even the flu might be stopped dead in its tracks.

        43

        • #
          PeterS

          Easing off the brake is not enough. We need to push the pedal to the metal.

          35

        • #
          PeterS

          Also, if that means standing up to the CPC for their recent threat against us for our insistence in an independent investigation be conducted into the cause of the pandemic then so be it. The CPC is slowly but surely being exposed. Either they are deliberately hiding something or they are just so arrogant and childish they can’t see the error of their silly ways.

          41

      • #
        el gordo

        Absenteeism through illness costs $34 billion in lost productivity, so there are big savings to be made.

        12

  • #
    cedarhill

    Things have consequences. Sometimes not anticipated. Sometimes a conundrum. Late last week articles like this Newsmax are making the rounds in the US as well as on popular blogs:

    https://www.newsmax.com/finance/economy/meat-shortages-shutdowns-plant/2020/04/27/id/964782/

    And the reaction? Toilet paper and most other paper products have all but disappeared. The run on meats has started. I surveyed several large chain stores yesterday in my local (somewhere in the heartland) and found entire sections of fresh meats empty. One big box store only had packages of pork loin and hamburger and a smattering of other cuts. Also, entire sections of canned meats (tuna, salmon, chicken breast, Vienna Sausages, SPAM (luncheon meat) empty. Some stores were limiting purchases to one per customer. Several shoppers were unloading and returning for another go.

    What’s not (yet) mentioned is the really bad growing weather we had in the US “corn belt” last year due to cooler and much wetter weather. Farmers were out baling their corn field residue to feed their live stocks since hay all but disappeared in some locals. For the non-farm person, the residue provides some “free” fertilizer as well as some organic material. Baling the residue means more fertilizer will be needed this year. Additionally, many farmers chose to reduce their stock (thinning the herds). Some chicken farmers are simply slaughtering and discarding their layers (source of new chickens) for the simple reason there’s not a packing facility open in economical distance to their operations.

    This year’s weather is providing yet another wetter and colder spring in the US. Even in nations like Russia. Some farmers are beginning to scale back plantings because:
    1. wet/cool weather rots their seeds
    2. demand is projected to be way down because
    a. closure of slaughterhouses/packing plants means no place to sell the live stock
    b. closure of the restaurant,travel, vacation, etc., industries dramatically reduced demand in the supply chain resulting in “dumping” of perishable products before spoilage.
    c. the “thinning” of the herds noted above meaning there’s considerable lead times

    And if one puts on their Ag analysis hat and looks at the futures markets you’ll see contracts dramatically increasing to the tune of 40%+ out to mid 2021. Meaning they’re forecasting demand but supply is lacking. For example, it takes well over a year to produce and get to market a pound of hamburger. Longer to rebuild breeding herd size.

    Some are really ecstatic about this since this will drive huge populations to eat “meatless” especially in the West. Meaning restricting export of domestic products due to government imposing bans as part of “strategic” national security.

    How this will all play out will be one of the legacy stories of 2020. There may be a real issue of dramatic decreases in food supplies around the globe especially if the US puts a clamp on export either by government actions or simple domestic demand especially since the meat shortage seems to be following the TP shortage.

    Thus it appears, all things considered including global cooling, wet weather, etc., famines are a real risk with the lock downs and media reports adding to already sky high fears.

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    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Thanks cedarhill..
      Thanks Jo too.

      60

    • #

      Thanks Cedarhill. Sobering information.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Excellent description of the current state of play. I’ve been warning of mass food shortages for some time. Since the pandemic I now realize how even more vulnerable the world is to it. If we play our cards right would could help by producing more food but that requires a change of attitude towards farming and agriculture, and a mass investment into water storage and power generation. That’s means pushing aside the left and getting on with it. I just hope PM Morrison has the will to do it.

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    • #
      RickWill

      The most important aspect of shutdown was/is protection of essential services; energy, water, sewerage, shelter and food supply chain. There is no order of importance – they are ALL essential to life. However above all these, in modern society, is ORDER. The flip side of order is CHAOS.

      I have often pointed out how countries were heading for chaos before lockdowns were implemented. In Australia the “irrational” run on toilet paper was the beginning of chaos. The lockdown restored order.

      US prisons have become COVID19 breeding factories that is creating CV19 hotspots across the country. The virus has spread rapidly and widely through many of the prisons. They are far worse than any cruise ship for spreading as the guards go back and forth from prisons on a daily basis, transferring the virus into their communities. I expect US will have a severe second wave. It is building in the prisons:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/a-recipe-for-disaster-american-prison-factories-becoming-incubators-for-coronavirus/2020/04/21/071062d2-83f3-11ea-ae26-989cfce1c7c7_story.html

      With inconsistent access to soap and disinfectant and social distancing difficult to maintain, American prisons are becoming incubators for the coronavirus. Thousands of inmates are getting sick, and guards are spreading the virus back out to the larger community. This week, a single Ohio prison has become a top hot spot in the country, with 1,950 inmates — 78 percent of the prison population — testing positive for the virus.

      I have doubts US will crush the virus. NY may just be the beginning of a long battle with CV19.

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      • #
        RickWill

        One of the errors in reporting the cases in prison is use of the term “asymptomatic”. As noted above the virus has a long incubation period. It could be present 6 days before symptoms show. The term “presymptomatc” is more accurate. The infection rate could be doubling every day in the confines of prisons so in 6 days you go from 10 cases to 640 cases, with all potentially presymptomatic.

        With 21 days from infection to death, the full impact of the virus on the prisons populations and surrounding districts is a few weeks away:
        https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/20/us/coronavirus-in-prisons-illinois-ohio/index.html

        Late last week, ODRC tested all staff and inmates at the three facilities after initial results came back with positives, spokeswoman JoEllen Smith told CNN in an emailed statement.
        “Because we are testing everyone — including those who are not showing symptoms — we are getting positive test results on individuals who otherwise would have never been tested because they were asymptomatic,” Smith said.
        A total of 152 inmates tested positive in one dorm, 60 of them were asymptomatic, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Friday press conference.
        Five ODRC inmates who tested positive for coronavirus have died but no additional information on their deaths was immediately available.

        Here you see the use of the word “asymptomatic” (my bold), which probably means presymptomatic in the circumstances of the long incubation period for most of the cases where the rate if infection is so high.

        No doubt people are interpreting this as a lot of people being infected without symptoms and no risk. That is the WRONG interpretation. There is a good chance the US will lose around 1% of the population in prisons with near total infection. The death toll is only beginning.

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      • #
        WXcycles

        Before talk of a second wave we should first define where the first wave ended. It hasn’t, the US is still a very long way from active cases peaking, and then finally resolving to very low numbers, so what’s building in prisons is the middle part of the first wave.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      But I was listening to the Country Hour yesterday at midday.
      Farmers in SA, NSW, & Vic.
      Are rejoicing !
      Why ?
      Because the Break has come with good falls of rain
      Seeding is already happening
      With the soil still warm
      And a moist soil profile.
      It could not be better for
      Great crops come November/December.
      And if the news from Cederhil is right
      Then these crops will earn a great price.

      11

  • #
    neil

    A lockdown is little more than a delaying action, even if we eliminate CV19 in Australia we still have to isolate from the rest of the world until (if) a vaccine is widely available, this could be years or as some experts are suggesting CV19 is effectively a nasty common cold and we have never created a vaccine for the common cold.

    We will be hit like the USA and UK etc, but our health system will be in a better state to handle it.

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    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Flu vaccines are a bugger at the best of times i suspect,…. in my entirely non expert or even qualified opinion.

      81

    • #
      Orson

      Science mag has a report on the first Covid19 vaccine, and says it works in monkeys. (My Twitter discussion is link is posted below at #24.)

      This story draws from online discussion and remarks that it suggests that the virus is stable enough to provoke immune indicators like antibodies to 10 strains. Maybe proof of principle is, here, enough to raise some optimism? https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/covid-19-vaccine-protects-monkeys-new-coronavirus-chinese-biotech-reports

      50

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day neil,
      I suggest your words “… we still have to isolate from the rest of the world until (if) a vaccine is widely available, …” should include, as Jo did, the words “vaccine or cure”. And I suggest that a cure is already in use in several places and is highly effective if used early enough. NY’s Dr Zelenko’s work is promising, but being ignored, or denigrated, by the ABC et al.
      The zinc he includes kills the virus. But it’s not clear to me if it kills all the virus in a given patient?? Can its use completely remove the virus across our continent?
      Cheers
      Dave B

      20

    • #
      WXcycles

      lockdown is little more than a delaying action, even if we eliminate CV19 in Australia we still have to isolate from the rest of the world until (if) a vaccine is widely available … We will be hit like the USA and UK etc, but our health system will be in a better state to handle it.

      How is that ever going to be possible with a 14 day quarantine imposed?

      Don’t just avoid it, answer it. Why does your assessment make sense to you? Why are you not acknowledging that quarantine will be in place? Are you just presuming it won’t be? On what basis?

      If a traveler is positive or symptomatic at the end of 14 days, they’ll be staying in isolation, in quarantine, or else deported at the soonest, but they sure won’t be granted entry to Australia, so it’s not at problem for us to be concerned about.

      40

  • #
    observa

    It’s looking increasingly likely that islands like NZ and Australia can knock Covid19 on the head but the ramifications are perpetual quarantine isolation with a dangerous mutating virus.
    A full user pays 14 day quarantining and testing regime for anyone stepping on to Oz soil from OS is a massive paradigm shift and we have to pay for all the IOU printing at the same time.

    41

    • #
      RickWill

      Taiwan is another island that has eradicated CV19. It has a wealthy population with very high level of overseas travel. Their main destination is Japan but Australia and New Zealand would be an easy hop. A potential market and destination for AU and NZ.

      South Korea is essentially an island and they have controlled CV19 to the point of eradicating it.

      Japan have not really controlled it yet but are close – maybe another 10 days.

      If the World Health Organisation was useful they would already be standardising the contact tracing app. That will be the most effective control against CV19 and any other human-to-human contagion. Maybe GOOGLE will step up and devise a universal contact tracing app that is just part of Android and can be activated when required.

      There will be a growing number of countries that have eradicated the virus. They will have uninhibited travel among them. Only people who have had the virus will be willing to enter countries that still have a high risk.

      Australia has always quarantined every non human animal that enters the country. There could be a business opportunity for hotels to establish themselves as quarantine centres for entrants from high risk countries.

      Then there is the prospect of a vaccine!

      50

  • #
    JanEarth

    Not only NZ but the Northern territory has also stomped the CCP virus. Also in my state (SA) we have 5 days with no new cases. It is looking good all around the country in fact.

    The AusGov have handled this really well. Straight away they stepped in to support the people, small business, landlords and tenants… rather than provide welfare to big corporations. They knew that the best way to support the economy was to support people on low incomes because they know they will spend their money. Whem I heard the PM actually say this in a briefing I knew we would get through this OK. I almost fell off my chair to be honest as I never expected this reasoning from a conservative government but there is a reason it is called the Liberal party. I actually think they did better than the labour party would have because they have resisted calls to prop up Virgin airlines something the labor party could not do… as evidenced by the QLD labor party straight away jumping up with bags of cash to Chinese investors not to mention that climate change huckster Richard Branson. They got respect from me a few years ago when they gave GM their marching orders and refused to give them more cash but this is just icing on the cake.

    We are not out of the woods yet and this could still go pear shaped but at least I feel that AusGov can handle what the CCP has thrown at us.

    I applaud our support to the US in keeping freedom of navigation open in the eastern vietnam sea. We need to buckle up because this could end up a hot war in a short space of time. It all hinges on what the most powerful person in the world does… I hope Vladimir sees reason ;)

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  • #
    Terry Carruthers

    Did NZ and Australia actually do a great job of crushing the curve or were they just lucky that the virus hit during peak summer? I’ve taken a quick look and don’t see any countries in the southern hemisphere that have had a significant enough problem that it would even be recognizable if it wasn’t being actively looked for because it’s a “pandemic”.

    82

    • #
      JanEarth

      Time will tell…winter is just around the corner.

      20

      • #
        PeterS

        Also, by that time much of the restrictions should be lifted. We’ll see how the “curve” goes. Probably back up a tad but let’s not panic about it. There’s little more we can do about it, apart from taking the usual precautions as we live our daily lives as normally and as best we can.

        21

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Sounds logical.

      21

    • #
      RickWill

      I doubt that climate had much to do with it. Infection rates and death rates similar to elsewhere during the initial period. There was a great deal of effort put into effective contact tracing. Each state has substantial teams working on contract tracing.

      I do not consider Spain in late March to be a cold climate. It is well past its peak seasonal flu, usually in January. Spain already has a death rate of 496/M; one of the highest.

      The big benefits in Australia are distance and space. Most people take a long time to get to Australia. Travel distance almost halves the presymptomatic window where infection is likely; typically 2 to 3 days down to 1 to 2 days because the other day is spent travelling.

      Australians have space in their daily routine. The vast majority are not living in dormitory like housing. There is a good deal of single person car travel in contrast to packed trains and buses in subways. Once the virus was out in cities with high population density it spread very fast. New York and London both had doublings every 2 days until they went into lock down. Most other cities/countries were around 3 days per doubling. Japan was a clear exception with never much faster than 10 days between doubling.

      40

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Brazil !
      68,000 people infected according to their tests
      4603 dead so far
      Chile 13,000 + infected
      198 dead..
      But the figures look incomplete to..No updates recently

      00

  • #
    • #
      Kalm Keith

      An interesting start, but CV19 is a Multifactorial event and I do emphasise the Multi.

      Elsewhere I’ve questioned the possibility of vitamin D production in individuals being a factor that shows up in New Zealand. Is it visible?

      The two most immediately obvious factors from a cursory examination of news reports could be factors common to Wuhan, Italy and New York:

      extraordinary population flux and higher population density.

      These factors then also seem present within the European Economic Union countries.

      Then of course the recent social practice of placing the elderly in nursing homes to extend their lives out past normal “bedtime”.

      Many residents are immobile and others are barely aware of the world around them.

      Yes, CV19 is a Multifactorial event in progress.

      One of the biggest issues in nursing homes that never gets a mention is the routing of air conditioning. Is air taken from within and recycled or sourced from a safe location outside.

      Is air from individual rooms quickly extracted to outside or just left to trawl the corridors?

      Many many Factors.

      KK

      50

  • #

    Ashley Bloomfield would have been a hoot at Gallipoli, announcing enemy fire “eliminated” because all hostile fire is coming from the enemy. Word of a Kiwiland vaccine would be more reassuring.

    32

    • #

      Hank, Nah. There are 100 vaccines in the making at the moment, but none of them are ready and the testing is quite risky.

      Better if NZ had an antiviral in mass production with few side effects.

      82

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        convalescent plasma is an old fashioned recipe that is still in its infancy as far as possibilities go…

        Just let the old plasma do its thing and bingo, fresh antibodies.

        40

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          The only slight problem i can see so far with convalescent plasma is that there is very little money in it from what i can gather, unlike the vaccine industry.

          50

  • #

    Our UK Sunday papers were suggesting a two week trip to oz later this year.

    Shall I tell them about the Two week quarantine period or leave it to your tourist board?

    80

    • #
    • #
      sophocles

      To tonyb @ #19

      You could play the part of interested audience and sit back and watch the doings when everything/anything strikes rotating blades.

      Sometimes that can be highly amusing …

      Choose a Sunday paper: which one do you like least?

      00

  • #
    kevin a

    Elon Musk Endorses McAfee’s Theory: Hospitals Inflating COVID-19 Deaths
    John McAfee suggests hospitals are overstating deaths caused by COVID-19 due to higher pay incentives. Elon Musk supports his theory.
    https://www.ccn.com/elon-musk-endorses-mcafees-theory-hospitals-inflating-covid-19-deaths/

    Hospitals receive $39,000 from the U.S. Government for each Coronavirus death.

    Could this have anything to do with America’s statistically improbable death rate?

    Has anyone asked yourself:
    https://twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/1253961989937823745

    NYC has had 11,000 Covid deaths.

    Tokyo, the World’s largest and densest city, has had 93.

    NYC is locked down.

    Tokyo was never locked down.

    Both have had the virus for the same amount of time.

    Why is NYC’s death rate 250 times higher than Tokyo’s?

    Something fishy here.

    “Mcafee antivirus has some very valid points”.

    96% of people recover in California with no significant medical problems.

    You have a 0.03% of dying of COVID in California.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW9zT5kESr8&feature=emb_logo
    Dr Erickson COVID 19 Briefing

    03

    • #

      Kevin a:

      1. NYC increase in mortality (excess above normal) is even higher than the stated Covid deaths. Rather than overstating the deaths, the total is being understated due to deaths at home. People who never even get tested. Plus we know Covid causes heart attacks and strokes and it’s very difficult without an autopsy to even know how much to attribute to covid.
      2. NYC has a higher black, hispanic and obese population than Toyko. More Vit D deficiency and risk factors and a higher death rate.
      3. Japan has only 15,000 cases. NYC has 300,000. Docs and hospitals are overwhelmed. We already know that increases death rates by 10 fold.

      But, yes, high rise apartments are probably a bad place to keep infected people. Some of the NYC deaths are from other things because people won’t risk going to hospital. But deaths in NY were twice as high as normal on a daily basis. There are real bodies there, not just switching from one category to the next.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      NYC has had 11,000 Covid deaths.

      Not so, NYC has 22,623 deaths listed today.

      60

    • #
      WXcycles

      Elon Musk Endorses McAfee’s Theory

      Elon Musk Endorses McAfee’s Conspiracy Theory

      Fixed.

      And now even less impressed.

      50

    • #
      sophocles

      to Kevin a: @ #20

      I think you said it yourself: Something fishy here. You bet!

      In a word: diet.

      You could call Tokyo Sushi City, it’s such a popular food. You can get it anywhere and everywhere. It’s often (if not usually) prepared with fish and fish is rich in vitamin D3. When you live on fish, guess what? You’re never in Vit-D Deficiency. Tokyo’s inhabitants may not have the ideal levels of vitamin D3 but they won’t necessarily be dying because of Vit-D3 Deficiency either, hence Tokyo City’s lighter loads of both infections and deaths.

      NYC is Burger City. Not much Vit-D3 in MacDonald’s, Burger King, Colonel Cluck, Carls Jr, or similar. Maybe a bit of vitd-2 in the salads but not in sufficient quantities to be useful and protect against infection or death.

      I’m not at all surprised by the differences between the two cities. The lesson shown here: keep your vitamin D3 levels high and you too will survive. Eat lots of fresh seafood Sushi and no burgers (except for a fish burger, maybe).

      I’m spoiled: one of my neighbours is Japanese and I help her with her car maintenance. She rewards me with a Sushi-based meal. Being Japanese, she knows where to get the best Sushi, and who sells the real, not the imitation stuff. I discovered the sea-food ones right back at the beginning. They are delicious … so eat yer hearts out! This is the life! :-D

      So listen to your Auntie Jo: she’s calling it right …

      40

      • #
        sophocles

        South Korea and Taiwan own the largest fishing fleets in the world and harvest the highest tonnages. Fish are rich in vitamin D3, some much more so than others.

        How much of those two nation’s diets are seafood based could be a substantial part of how those two nations were, along with Japan, so successful in dealing with this pandemic.

        30

      • #
        kevin a

        To sophocles, Ridiculous. Any fish at the Wuhan wet market, Did fish protect the Wuhan people?
        Sardines provide (100) grams 331 IU, your body will produce 40,000 IU with 30 mins of half body exposure @ 30 degrees.
        How many people in NY arrived from China, or Wuhan?

        Great video “Dr Erickson COVID 19 Briefing” explains everything about corona.

        01

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      There is no world except the USA according to many Americans
      And this comment reflects that USA ‘Center’ of the world obsession

      So China did not happen
      Iran did not happen
      Italy did not happen
      Spain did not happen
      France did not happen
      Sweden is not happening
      The UK is not happening
      Brazil is not happening

      What are you taking Kevin A ?

      10

  • #
    TomRude

    So in the end the socialist confinement did not yield better results than Australia…
    Surprised you dd not mention Palmer Foundation HydroxyChloroquine gift or I missed that.
    Finally a word from Canada:
    In Canada, a neuroscientist who dared expose the mismanagement of the crisis in Saskatchewan, especially regarding to lack of testing, was forced to post an apology that sounded like a Communist show trial out of the 1930s
    Watch his apology dated April 14: https://www.facebook.com/588120184/videos/10158026757955185/

    But that was not enough.
    Nearly two weeks after his contrition act, the public broadcaster Canadian Broadcasting Corporation decided to go for the jugular and make an example of him through what amounts to a indictment piece
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/u-of-r-biology-prof-draws-ire-of-sask-scientists-1.5541748

    The message is clear: do not dare contradicting the WHO/Vaccine lobby or face consequences.
    Hence the uniform praise for their Health Officers media can shove up Canadian populace’s throats.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Thanks for putting this up Tom.

      In five years we will not remember the CV19 event but we will still be living the aftermath of “The Twenty Twenty Depression”.

      There will be plenty of analysis of the Economic and Social crisis however, as sixty nine percent of the population will then be employed by the ABCCCC or Humanities Faculties of our Universities.

      Australia, the intelligent country.

      ?

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      The vaccine paradigm is a heavy *control grid* on the population. People need to get their head around this.

      While some scientists no doubt have toiled for years trying to produce vaccines that help, its kind of a dual purpose thing.

      The fact they reacted like they did in Canada, tells you how exposed they are when someone questions it, and critically important it is to the Elite.

      Gates wants to inject people with nano micro chips inside vaccines. If you damage the Elites plans, they will pillor you.

      Its a bit like the Plod completely losing it if your number plate is accidentally covered up ( e.g. a bike on a bike rack , and you get a $500 fine to slam that reality into your noggin ) – its because they rely *heavily* on number plate recognition software. This is also how tolls and speed cameras work too.

      No plate, no control over population.

      30

    • #
      sophocles

      The WHO and the vaccine lobby are a bunch of crockpats. They ignore the better and cheaper path because of their ignorance. It’s better to not catch the infection in the first place and I haven’t seen hydroxychlorocine claimed to prevent that.

      10

  • #
    GrahamP

    This article in the oz answers some questions about vitamen D

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/sunlights-role-in-containing-the-coronavirus/news-story/ea0104fac291d253e4fd6b06629ab74b

    Interestingly it is not only vitamen D but also the production of nitric oxide and its effects that help fight the virus. From the above article:

    “For all vitamin D’s advantages, Neale doesn’t take vitamin D pills. She is cognisant of the emerging evidence that the sun provides more benefits than just the sunshine vitamin.

    Those other benefits are varied.

    Dermatologist Richard Weller from the University of Edinburgh discovered more than a decade ago that the body got a shot of a molecule called nitric oxide when exposed to sunlight. He has been curious about the notion that nitric oxide and sunlight may have some effect on COVID-19.

    Nitric oxide has been shown to cause blood vessels to widen, increasing oxygen flow and lowering blood pressure. The discovery of its role in the human body paved the way for Viagra.

    “There are mechanistic reasons to think about benefit,” says Weller. “Ultraviolet light (which produces nitric oxide in the skin) lowers blood pressure and also markers of diabetes. Both of these are risk factors for death from COVID-19.” He points out that most viral infections wax and wane with the seasons, probably because of ultraviolet light, not heat.

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    • #
      sophocles

      There is no doubt that nitric oxides are good for the cardiac system. The dermatologist’s `slip, slap, slop, stay out of the sun mantra’ is doing far more harm than good.

      Back in 1935 your odds of catching/developing a skin melanoma was about 1 in 1500. Then sunscreens were invented. Now, your odds of catching/developing a melanoma is about 1 in 66. If you think sunscreens cause melanoma from that, I can’t argue. Sunscreens do not protect against melanoma and basal cell carcinomas.

      There are other ugly truths about the modern ones which caused me to toss out all the sunscreens I possessed. I will not use them.

      I dress appropriately and I watch my exposed skin carefully to ensure I don’t burn. Wearing a sunscreen is like donning a shroud.

      10

  • #
    TdeF

    As I have written all along, eradication is not only possible, it should be the aim. Australia is tracking as well and the lockdown is clearly as effective.

    I would congratulate the Premiers, not so much the PM and his adviser who are not making sense. Morrison is inexplicably desperate to open the schools and his medical adviser is a fatalist, prepared to accept that you cannot solve this problem and have to live with a viruses. We disagree.

    This is also the prevailing view of many doctors, that mass innoculation is the only solution when we have an island continent and we can stop these things at the airport. Until this virus, we did not even try to do so, unless horses, dogs, cats, pigs or apples or grapes were involved. Humans are disposable but horses and pigs are valuable and big business. The idea that you die from flu, it is your fault for not getting the latest innoculation or you are too old is no longer acceptable. This is not 1918.

    And schools are the greatest disease centres in society as children are so often asymptomatic carriers who cannot be expected to engage in social distancing. Morrison has a fixation on getting them started again, when it can really wait. So much of school is simply social, sport and fundamentally child minding.

    Once we have 0 cases in all states for two weeks, say May 15th in Victoria, things can open again. The risk goes as the square of the number of people, so big sports, music festivals, crowded places are out but a lot of restaurants, gyms, parks, playgrounds can open, just not perhaps discos, dances and big sports. Masks will be a good idea on public transport and mandatory hand washing on entering any building. Why not? It’s always a good idea. For a month.

    Almost all of the known infections in isolation are in NSW, 774 of them left. The other states are 50-100 each. They should be clear by mid May as well, except the most extreme cases. Interstate travel could start again. And it’s hardly peak tourist season.

    By June though the airlines would do well to offer low fares to warm locations like Broome and FNQ, getting those expensive aircraft in the air. They cost as much on the ground anyway but it would do a lot for rural Australia. Why not the races at Birdsville, the Daintree rainforest, Alice Springs, Mildura, Hobart, the Gold Coast and so much more. Fill the planes.

    There should be a real boom in interstate holidays. NZ should look to Australia for a lot of tourists and v.v. The risks are the same. A lot of Australians have traveled the world and not been to NZ.

    If a single case is detected it is about fast reaction and containment. So while we move tentatively ahead, mid May should be the time when people are able to enjoy a restaurant meal and travel more freely. It’s all about caution and moderation until we are certain.
    We need testing to be available at airports.

    And then we want to stop this ever happening again. Flus, whooping cough, common cold, fevers, sick people arriving, sick children and being sent into society from the airports just as happened with the Ruby Princess. It was an unconscionable decision after the month of watching events unfold with the Diamond Princess in Yokahama. Our responsible authorities just ducked the problem and told everyone to go home and take the virus with them, so it would be someone else’s problem. That shocking decision should result in criminal charges.

    The job of the Federal Government was to make sure this did not happen. And WHO to notify us in good time and to tell the truth.
    We want a country where thousands of unnecessary deaths do not happen because of fatalists who believe you cannot do anything anyway or follow the religion of herd immunity, a fatalistic rationalization for doing nothing.

    You would think technology had not advanced since 1918. We have to do better than innoculating our whole population every year against the latest overseas mutations and inventions. Innoculations used to be something you did when you traveled, not something Australians had to do at home. We just gave up on protecting our borders.

    We spend hours in travel at every stop because of Isl*mic terrorism and not a second or a dollar on protecting our lives from viruses, which are far more deadly. No one checks your innoculations.

    And New York is now having a 911 event every few days. The lives saved in Australia this year could be in the thousands. The health disaster from annual imported viruses is no longer acceptable in Australia. Nor is the Federal equivocation on this issue.

    The Federal government’s area of responsibility is not police, schools, universities, hospitals but international issues of customs, trade and defence in particular. Viruses are part of that defence responsibility. From the common cold to potential bioweapons.

    We demand a strong health defence at our borders, as we used to have. And if you want to travel overseas, say to India, you have a long list of innoculations as always. And quarantine is a risk of travel. It used to be until quick profits from tourism overwhelmed reason and responsibilities.

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    • #
      RickWill

      My middle son is scheduled to do a rotation in the COVID ward of a major Melbourne hospital in three weeks. Hopefully he will be doing very little.

      40

    • #
      sophocles

      TdeF declared @ #23:

      the airlines would do well to offer low fares to warm locations .

      It’s Sunshine, Sunshine, SUNSHINE which counts!
      Warm? Doesn’t do anthing except melt the hail.
      Sunshine!

      00

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        As I mentioned earlier
        We are having a cool cloudy rainy time of it here in Southern Oz
        So not much UV.
        Been that way since Feb 25th.

        (No Global Warming in sight here either )

        00

  • #
    Orson

    An early report on the vaccine mission finds that there is room for some optimism as shown in this Twitter discussion.
    Florian-Kramer: “So, this is the first ‘serious’ preclinical data I have seen for an actual vaccine candidate. This one is an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine made by Sinovac. Seems to work in NHPs.” [link to pre print in original]

    A COMMENT from down thread:
    “This paper shows vaccine-mediated neutralizing antibody responses to 10 strains of #SARSCoV2 from China and Europe. This provides strong evidence that the virus is not mutating in a way that would make it resistant to a #COVID19 vaccine.”

    Another commenter notes how old-school this technology is, and that is would be easy and cheap to mass manufacture.
    https://twitter.com/florian_krammer/status/1252939460129538048

    For the tech minded, Lucy Walker provides a quick summary of the paper and the vaccine candidate: “Encouraging proof of principle….” https://twitter.com/LucyWalkerlab/status/1252365324512419848
    Carry on, scientists…carry on.

    Which reminds me of the riff and call out “SCIENCE!” from the 1980s geeky classic song, “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby. Apparently, this hit in 1982 is a top 100 ranked one-hit wonder.

    Dolby decided to have the voice over and call out voiced by an actual scientist in the UK, Magnus Pyke. He worked as a food scientist, and BBC science presenter. In September 1975, in a New Scientist readers poll, he came in third, after Newton and Einstein, as “best known” scientist.

    In case you don’t recall, Wikipedia reminds us that “The song features interjections from the British scientist and science presenter Pyke [1908-1992], who repeatedly interjects ‘Science!’ and delivers other lines in a deliberately over-the-top mad scientist voice, such as, ‘Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you’re beautiful!’ “*

    You might think of him, if this tune lives on in your head (like it does mine). I’m fortunate enough to have caught Thomas Dolby in smaller concerts twice.

    Finally, I have forgotten how interesting that time period was. For example, Wikipedia tells us that Dolby story-boarded the music video before even writing the song!

    He saw music videos as brief silent films. And this one shows himself as the stereotype of a mad scientist, taken away for safe confinement at the end of the video.

    Science meets mad love? The scientist surrenders to the chthonic? Indeed, don’t we all? And a call out to science by the world awaits the triumph and all laurels.

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  • #
    dkp

    If they lift the lockdown it will be the first but not the last because the rest of the world will keep bringing it to them. There’s still plenty of untouched victims left for this virus to exploit given opportunity (opportunity = population – total cases). This is the beginning of their second wave.

    21

    • #
      AndyG55

      Having felt the power that this virus seems to give politicians….

      .. why is it that people think that these “restrictions” will ever be fully lifted ??

      90

  • #
    AndyG55

    A brilliant point of view from Wim Rost on WUWT.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/27/from-green-blindness-to-a-new-reality/

    Well worth a read.

    30

  • #
    Yalla-Y-Poora Kid

    Airport interfaces are a frustrating experience in our previous attempts to foil bad actors. In 2019 have had run ins with the testing personnel with their swab sticks on my last two international trips from Melbourne airport. 6 to 7 people are corralled into to the test area ard the operator dabs his stick in everyones bag and on persons in one pass, effectively passing a possible contaminant to all subsequent test points after the fist potential detection.
    The last time an analysis machine failed to function so the dab stick with new pads was used multiple times among the test group.and a second machine used. I asked if they found a detection how would would it be identified given the confused protocol? No answer, seems to be a token process and a waste of everyone’s time in an already time consuming and stressful operation.
    I have tried twice to explain this to the operators to no avail. They are unwilling to understand with one operator ranting about ScoMo in response. The explanation was given that The Government wishes to have more people tested and don’t care about cross contamination.
    How absurd and unsystematic.

    70

  • #
    David

    To assert that the lockdowns worked and ‘saved’ the country is merely that – an assertion. There is no way of knowing if the assertion is correct. How do you know what would have happened had the lockdowns not been applied? If you feel they must have worked (it’s obvious isn’t it? surely they must have worked?), I contend that making draconian policy decisions based on feelings is akin to the green left movement activism over global warming. Before you toss millions on the scrapheap, don’t you think something more concrete than feelings is necessary? If you disagree, then demonstrate to readers how the assertion is fact.

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    • #
      Slithers

      David, Don’t you watch TV or read the newspapers, or browse the msm?
      The evidence that lock-downs work and have saved many lives here in Australia is there writ LARGE. I suggest you look at the cause of the hot spot in Tasmania’s North Western Hospital, a very foolish if not culpable person lied about contacts and continued to work instead of self isolating.
      Lives have been lost as a consequence.

      51

    • #
      RickWill

      David
      Did you hear about the guy standing under his umbrella convinced it was not raining because he was not getting wet. This is a perfect analogy for what you are suggesting about the ineffectiveness of lockdowns.

      Like Taiwan, South Korea and Australia, NZ has an effective contact tracing team. Details described here:
      https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-public/contact-tracing-covid-19

      It appears there were concerns the tracing team was underresourced in NZ but they managed the task effectively.

      Every nation that has succeeded in eradicating the virus has an effective contact tracing system. Lockdowns or other forms of effective social distancing has reduced the rate of spread below 1 in many countries so the virus would eventually die out if that continues. But the quick way out is to track every source and isolate the source before they spread to others.

      11

  • #
    Penguinite

    “PM Jacinda Ardern says coronavirus in New Zealand ‘eliminated” sounds a bit like George W Bush’s announcement that ‘Mission Accomplished’ in Iraq. He got covered in egg too!

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    • #
      PeterS

      That’s how I felt. I think she will live to regret saying it so soon but for all our sakes I hope she is right longer term not just in NZ but everywhere.

      20

      • #
        AndyG55

        Run by a marxist totalitarian..

        … let’s see how long She holds the lock-down for.

        And the effect if She ever releases it fully.

        40

        • #
          PeterS

          We are better off in that regard but PM Morrison keeps saying the virus is going to take lot of things from us. Yes, we already know that. In fact, it’s done already. How about PM you start doing things to reverse all that, such as encouraging new industries, cheap power, dams, farming, agriculture. These things don’t just happen. They need encouragement big time, at least the same sort of encouragement that was afforded to renewables. Come on Morrison, stop procrastinating. We need these things now far more than ever if we are to avoid being overrun by the Chinese steamroller economy. Or as I suspect PM Morrison is just as clueless as the next guy, and just mouthing words with no will to act? Time will tell that’s for sure. Trouble is time is running out. We need PM’s exit plan out on display right now. So, what’s the holdup PM? Timing is critical to get Australia growing again. Doing nothing about it and just going back to what we were doing before won’t do. We need new industries, cheap power, dams, farming, agriculture, etc.. We need such projects to start this year. They all take time to be completed so the clock is ticking. PULL FINGER OUT NOW! Or as I suspect the PM has no will to fight the left outside his own party let alone in his own party? As usual time will tell. He will stand or fall on what he does in the short term. In spite of the good job he has done with the pandemic issue, he has to understand he won’t be popular if he keeps diddle-daddling the way he has been doing prior to the pandemic. His immediate act ought to be to start proceedings to exit the Paris Agreement. That would be more than just a symbolic gesture. It will break the shackles from the nation destroying Greens Movement that’s still running around the Western world like a pandemic. We need to be honest and up front now that the economy is in shambles with so many small businesses permanently closed down and unemployment up alarmingly. We need true leadership now more than ever. Perhaps Morrison is not the right person for the job. If that’s the case then he needs to be replaced ASAP. However, I’m willing to be a little more patient and give him a couple of months to see. The clock is sticking.

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          • #
            el gordo

            ‘ … the economy is in shambles with so many small businesses permanently closed down and unemployment up alarmingly.’

            Look at the brighter side, it’d been a great financial boon to the very lowest class. You don’t understand the irrepressible nature of free enterprise, many small businesses may close and not reopen (they were already marginal), so Morrison is the right person for the job and after the scourge lifts the infrastructure spending begins.

            What infrastructure would you like the PM to construct?

            13

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Good point…its a bit like water restrictions…you never see them gone, just at a low level.

          Its a bit like the laughable “terrorist threat levels” …it just allows them to pull hard on the “reins” on the public at any time they want.

          I have no time for despots.

          20

    • #
      sophocles

      RIP Sars-Covir-2 aka Covid-19, a young virus in the Prime of Life, eliminated as a Political Road Death.
      At the Going Down of the Sun, we won’t remember it.

      00

  • #
    Robber

    Comparing NZ with Victoria using Worldometers for NZ data, covid19data for Vic:
    NZ 1469 total cases; 19 deaths, active cases 309, currently 5 new cases per day.
    Vic 1349 total cases; 17 deaths, active cases 52, 3 new cases per day.
    Similar size, population, climate.
    NZ level 4 restrictions, now reduced to level 3, Vic level 3.
    First to eliminate this virus will be?

    81

  • #
    GrahamP

    People who are celebrating the “success” of the lock down might like to contemplate the “cost”.

    Here are some insights from the National Bank (quotes from The Australian.)

    “National Australia Bank has set aside $807m for COVID-19 related loan losses, but warned they could balloon to $3.8bn if a severe recession grips the economy and it takes longer for key sectors to recover”

    “NAB’s results presentation showed it had approved repayment deferrals for 34,000 businesses and approved more than 1500 customers under the federal government’s 50 per cent guaranteed loan scheme.

    Since the crisis began, the bank has fielded more than 650,000 calls from business and personal customers and approved loan repayment deferrals for 70,000 home loan borrowers.

    The bank also provided data from its payment terminals which showed a near 70 per cent drop in transactions from the accommodation and food services sector, followed by a 50 per cent reduction in arts and recreational industries.”

    From the Comments section: “The politicians and their CMO’s have lit the fuse but have no idea how big the bang is going to be.”

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      “The politicians and their CMO’s have lit the fuse but have no idea how big the bang is going to be.”

      Why should they even think about other people;
      they’re alright Jack.

      11

  • #
    MudCrab

    From AFR;

    Central to New Zealand’s approach is a scientific fact that most Western leaders appear to have ignored, according to Michael Baker, a professor at the University of Otago’s Department of Public Health in Wellington who sits on the government’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group. That is that the virus usually has a mean incubation period of five to six days, twice as long as influenza, and could be as many as 14 days.

    So Mr Baker – or at least the AFR – are trying to claim that no one else in the world realised Wuhan Virus had an incubation period?

    Sorry, but that was one of the driving arguments from about day 2. Wuhan Virus was different because you could be contagious without having symptoms.

    I might have let this slip but the article writer also felt woke enough to use the phrase ‘most Western leaders’, possibly because Orange Man Bad looked at bit blatant.

    Sorry, but these entire claims are incredibly dubious and if anything show how badly NZ has managed this event. Basically if NZ has done everything so well, then why are they now downgrading to the level of social repression only Victoria has been using in Australia? Remember that for all the ‘lock down’ Australia was under you were still allowed to play club tennis in Alice Springs.

    Remember kids, China ALSO announced they had beaten the virus. You can beat anything these days with the right media.

    30

  • #
    Bulldust

    I recommend the latest MedCram video which explains the mechanism through which the CCP virus increases clotting, which in turn leads to high stroke and cardiac risk:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Bn8jsGI54

    It may well be that many deaths written off as unrelated could actually have been caused by this virus. People who are largely asymptomatic could be stroking out.

    50

  • #
    Serp

    Looks like an outbreak of hubris to me.

    21

  • #
    John Raat

    anyone who has read Orwells novel 1984 will know what we are in for. That ab all are talking abou is just the thin edge of the wedge . Once it is implemented I cant see any government giving it up easily.
    Mark my words I think worse is to come.

    51

  • #
    Gary

    The disease seemed to spread impossible fast.
    “There is no reason to suppose that it traveled more rapidly than persons could travel (but) it has appeared to do so,”wrote Dr.George A.Soper,Major in the United States Army.
    “But most revealing of all were the various heroic attempts to prove the infectious nature of this disease, using volunteers.All these attempts, made in November and December 1918 and in February and March 1919 failed.
    One medical team in Boston, working for the United States Public Health Services, tried to infect one hundred healthy volunteers between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five.”A passage from a book I’m reading.(The Rainbow Curtain )
    They weren’t successful, no matter what they tried and it sounded pretty disgusting.

    24

  • #
    WXcycles

    The global data is again badly affected by noise.

    For example, last week on Thursday, the 23rd of April, when a weekend-effect was not in the data, the new cases on that day were 112,200 — the highest single day total globally thus far. That’s a big number and 39,000 of them occurred in the USA. But today the global total its slightly over half of that peak, at just 65,878 new cases. Which is 58.7% of the peak from just 4 days back. It’s even ~6,500 cases lower than yesterday’s Sunday data which was the noisiest to date before this. The noise swings are getting bigger each week as the totals grow and the system is failing to keep up with the rapidly building numbers within the USA. The processing of tests and burying and reporting of corpses has badly backed-up in the US, and within other badly affected countries.

    The new deaths data is even more dodgy and than the new cases data. Badly affected countries are not reporting a big portion of the dead as they occur. They can’t bury or incinerate them quickly enough and it’s not clear the data is catching up after they are buried. In late March the projected numbers then indicated this would be occurring in the middle of April, but the reduction of the spreading and died curves meant this was delayed and has now commenced at the end of April, at this 1,929,274 active cases level.

    Look at this current graph of the proportions of the deaths within USA:

    https://i.ibb.co/vcn97nX/USA-Deaths-Graph-26th-April-2020.png

    Yet the “leading minds” and the shinning genius’s want to continue pretend that isn’t really occurring.

    OK, but if you get a positive test for COVID-19 within the USA today, you have a 32% chance of being dead by the middle of May.

    But that’s “fear-mongering”, right?

    The reality of COVID-19 is actually horrifying, scores of doctors and nurses have been saying exactly that. It was not being hyped, this is a killer pandemic disease for the symptomatic cases. There are currently 813,000 US citizens living with that reality, and something like ~32% of them are going to die.

    The 813,000 active cases is 42% share of the global infection, and the 32% “Death Rate” (not my terminology, see the graph) is why both the new cases, and the died data has become so backlogged today. The US can not build capacity to cope with it faster than the virus can create new cases and deaths. So the system stress is building into a progressive failure. As it turns out SARS-COV2 is actually a very deadly virus.

    Look at active cases:
    https://i.ibb.co/VVbbjPn/Active-cases-in-the-USA-26th-April-2020.png

    No one knows about (or cares about) a-symptomatic flu cases? Because that’s not an illness, a flu has to be an actual illness with symptoms before anyone knows or cares about it. But even then, when people catch the flu in the US, 1 in 3 symptomatic cases don’t die. That would be totally unacceptable! Right?

    But when people catch COVID-19 within the USA, 1 in 3 symptomatic cases do actually die from it.

    That’s what we now know, the actual illness itself kills 1 in 3 people. That is not acceptable!

    Any country that goes for herd-immunity with a disease like this one, when we don’t even know if herd-immunity effect will persist more than months is going to clean-up at the 2020 Darwin Awards.

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    • #
      Gary

      Kills 1 in 3 ,scaremongering crap

      315

      • #
        WXcycles

        lol … convincing.

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        • #
          Gary

          Well you two gentleman must be true experts in this field of science ,I’m certainly not, I actually thought I was listening to two front line doctors that might know what’s going on,they have 40 years of experience between them, Dr Erickson and his colleague, but apparently not, so could you Mr Bill and Mr Cycles inform me what you two gentleman do for a living and then I can make an informed decision on who to listen to.
          Professor Knut Wittkowski with 40 years in this field of science, gets ridiculed by self appointed experts here, he’s not a climate scientist making predictions for a 100 years in the future, he and others of the same opinion will be found to be right or wrong within 12 months.

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          • #
            WXcycles

            It’s OK Gary, I gather you’re threatened and feeling inadequate when facts are used, don’t be frightened by civil discussion, though probably not a place for infantile interjections either mate.

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          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Hi Gary
            @ April 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm

            I recently commented that a stampeding herd, governed and controlled by fear will resist anything that threatens to change the direction, however slight, of the said stampeding herd. Herd immunity in this analogy is developed collectively within the stamping herd, and is proportional to the level of fear that is created in the herd causing it to stampede.

            That is why even subtle new information or data is fiercely resisted by the herd and trampled underfoot. Like the new information of those doctors/experts you mention.

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              Environment Skeptic

              I shoiuld perhaps add that in my analogy, the “herd immunity” is manifested in such a way that the herd becomes immune to any new information that will lessen the fear or that leads to a better understanding of the threat causing the stampede for example. Clearly there is good herd immunity and bad herd immunity. This herd immunity in my analogy is the bad kind.

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      Bill In Oz

      Thanks WXCycles ! Once again you are putting under our noses the statistics which matter.
      Of course this is reality that some people find hard to understand
      Or even reject out of hand.
      But then there have always been such people around.

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      RickWill

      I have noticed a weekend effect in the number of cases in Sweden. There is a noticeable peak on Thursday or Friday during April.

      I surmise it is the result of drinks and nibbles from 12 days early; one week plus 5 days.
      Thur 2 Apr – 621
      Thur 9 Apr – 722
      Fri 17 Apr – 676
      Fri 24 Apr – 812
      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/

      The other point to note is that there is no “crushing” of the virus, rather a slight upward trend. Sweden is happy to sit around 100 deaths a day for the next month or more. They are heading to be the hardest hit country with 1000deaths/M.

      Maybe not happy because they have started closing down bars and restaurants:
      https://www.businessinsider.com/sweden-closing-bars-that-defied-social-distancing-guidelines-2020-4?r=AU&IR=T

      Swedish officials said that five bars and restaurants in Stockholm ignored social distancing guidelines over the weekend, and were forced to close because of it.
      Bars and restaurants are still allowed to provide table service in Sweden during the coronavirus pandemic, but Swedish officials say they’re concerned with overcrowding.

      The more countries that come out the other side in a matter of weeks after lockdowns is going to make Sweden look foolish in a couple of months. Who knows what damage they are actually doing to the population, experimenting with this novel virus.

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      RickWill

      OK, but if you get a positive test for COVID-19 within the USA today, you have a 32% chance of being dead by the middle of May.

      I provided some links above on US prisons. I made the point that there needs to a a distinction between “asymptomatic” and “presymptomatic”. The virus is spreading so fast in prisons that a large number of assessed cases are presymptomatic; a good number of these prisoners will die. An effective way to reduce the number of incarcerated.

      The IHME forecast death toll for USA is now climbing. It got down to low 60k. It is now back up to 74k. The virus appeared to be under control in the USA but with it running rampant through prisons and their neighbouring communities it has a lot longer to run.

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        WXcycles

        Yes, I read that distinction and agree with you.

        The US cumulative death total will go close to or else exceed 500,000 at this point, even if the infection peaked in the next two weeks and started a progressive decline. But that’s unlikely given the active cases data curve is not flattening out at all, and the local sentiment is all about reopening and reducing the isolation, pre a peak. Which is of course nuts with a virus circulating that kills 1 in 3 in the USA thus far (a proportion that’s very slightly falling with time). So if widespread reopening occurred (and I think it will) I expect a much higher death toll to develop from that during June and July.

        I suspect a part of the reason for that excessive mortality (if not the major reason) is aging plus the obesity factor and its associated chronic diseases, as was astutely described on Outsiders (Sunday before last) by a female NYC doctor, who’s name currently escapes me, who pointed out that the USA has many more obese people, and that the obese patients they do get end up on ventilators, and generally tended not to survive.

        It was also pointed out a few days back (by Steve of Cornubia, iirc) that obese people are also typically low in Vit-D3 due to a lack of outdoor work or exercise, even during Summer. Thus the horrible amplified mortality percent we can see in the US “case resolution” data.

        But if a general and popular re-opening of the less infected states, with community spreading still occurring takes place, I think the US will develop over a million deaths during the next 3 months. Just look at the John Hopkins’ US “Incidence Rate” map. Can you see any US State on it you can point to that should be reducing isolation, when 1 in 3 of symptomatic cases are dying, so far in the US?

        https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

        That IHME forecast looks even less realistic than an IMF global economic forecast.

        One look at the US data and you can see their model is massively low-balling the existing number trend.

        My guess is the IHME forecast model is being highly biased by a built in optimistic assumption that this particular “respiratory virus” will shrink with the arrival of the Summer heat and humidity. But the evidence in Singapore and other hot-humid locations is that this won’t occur. What actually occurs in the data is that contagiousness rises more in hot and humid conditions, than the tendency to thermally destroy the virus, decreases it.

        How it does this I don’t know, but the data is clear that more people catch it in hot and humid conditions than cold and dry conditions.

        Normally major respiratory virus infections don’t affect South East Asia, but this one sure does. So it’s not following the usual theoretical script about thermal breakdown, probably because the underlying contagiousness is so high and is enhancing with rising temperature in a non typical way. The IHME forecast will keep trending down and the disease will just keep rising into Summer.

        If US re-opening timing uses similar presumptions, that the late Spring and Summer thermal rises will attenuate the virus, the US is in for a terrible shock in June and July.

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        Serp

        An accelerated death rate of inmates could cause liquidity problems for private prisons so there’ll need to be a steady flow of incarcerated distance criminals to keep the shareholders happy.

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    7887

    If they have eliminated the virus why not open everything

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    Brent

    I don’t know where Michael Baker gets his information from. The problem with SARS-COV-2 is that people who become infected are normally infectious themselves within 2 days of being infected and this is usually several days before any symptoms appear. Some people remain asymptomatic for three to four weeks but are still infectious. This is why we have a pandemic. If you only became infectious after symptoms appear this virus would be easy to control and we wouldn’t need lockdowns and social distancing.

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    With reference to the suggestion from WXCycles about 1 in 3 US sufferers dying from the virus he achieves that ratio by:
    Excluding all those who have the infection but no symptoms
    Excluding all those who have symptoms but never get medical assistance
    Excluding all those who get some medical assistance but do not get tested.
    So, he is limiting the analysis to the most severe cases. On that basis such a ratio is nothing new given that once one needs ventilation the ratio goes to 1 in 2.

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      WXcycles

      Alternatively you could have said, 1 in 3 of all known resolved US COVID-19 cases have died, and you’d still be 100% correct.

      Italy = 29%
      France = 34%
      Belgium = 40%

      Do you remember that old B-movie, “The Invasion Of The Body-Snatchers”?

      Iran = 8%
      China = 6%
      Germany = 5%

      UK and Netherlands decided not to play.

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        Except that you do not have resolved numbers for the three categories that you left out.

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          WXcycles

          You mean you don’t have any of that data, Stephen.

          What I showed in that this virus is killing up to 40% of all known cases, at this point, and you refuted nothing with your remark, which although accurate, provided no insight which I would have thought was not already fairly obvious.

          But did you know that 40% of all confirmed resolved cases in Belgium have died, before I pointed this out to you?

          The essential fact is, COVID-19 is turning out to be a much more deadly disease than anyone was expecting it to be, and countries are finally realizing this is not a disease to take lightly, especially by the many fools who spend all day trying to underrating it.

          2 in 5 die in Belgium.

          2 in 6 die in the USA.

          Those a very relevant facts.

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            Environment Skeptic

            But there is no granularity to those statisitics/numbers of yours…they do not show
            infection without symptoms, or those who have symptoms that get no medical assistance, or those who get some medical assistance but do not get tested, and other.

            “For example, granularity is shown by way of example in Wikipedia:
            Data granularity

            “The granularity of data refers to the size in which data fields are sub-divided. For example, a postal address can be recorded, with coarse granularity, as a single field:

            address = 200 2nd Ave. South #358, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4313 USA

            or with fine granularity, as multiple fields:

            street address = 200 2nd Ave. South #358
            city = St. Petersburg
            state = FL
            postal code = 33701-4313
            country = USA

            or even finer granularity:

            street = 2nd Ave. South
            address number = 200
            suite/apartment number = #358
            city = St. Petersburg
            state = FL
            postal-code = 33701
            postal-code-add-on = 4313
            country = USA

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              WXcycles

              But there is no granularity to those statisitics/numbers of yours

              Oh shutup! They’re not my numbers, they’re the global data, look it up.

              Global data are not granular.

              Seriously, duh!

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                Environment Skeptic

                Among my various opinions that are still developing, we will know better once random testing for antibodies is conducted to show the percentage of the population that have been infected, that have been with or without symptoms

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            The virus kills 40% of those who experience symptoms severe enough to need high level medical attention.
            That category is a very small proportion of those who actually receive exposure to the virus.
            It is worse than influenza but does not justify shutting down entire economies beyond a point that avoids overwhelming health services.
            It is too infectious and has too long an infectious but asymptomatic incubation period for containment to ever have been a realistic long term proposition.
            Reliable antibody tests are needed to resolve the issue either way.

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              WXcycles

              The virus kills 40% of those who experience symptoms severe enough to need high level medical attention.

              No, absolutely not, the 40% dead is from EVERY known confirmed COVID-19 case in Belgium.

              Why are you continually trying to downplay this? Quit trying to obfuscate and re-couch it as something else, the 40% of deaths is from every confirmed and known COVID-19 case in Belgium than has been resolved as either a recovery, or a death.

              40% of them died.

              You can not equivocate that FACT away just because it spoils some false narrative which you much prefer. OK?

              All of the percentages I gave above to you are from the known US COVID-19 cases which resolved as a recovery, or a death.

              There are only two outcomes!

              40% of these two options died within Belgium Stephen! That’s a fact, so stop avoiding the truth.

              That horrific 40% proportion is likely to be more-or-less true for the remainder of the 29,060 active cases still remaining in Belgium in this morning’s data, and also for all of those active cases still to develop within Belgium. It’s real, stop treating it like it’s not or I’ll loose all respect for you. Respect the people who died in such numbers, and stop pretending they didn’t — it’s dishonorable! (a derivation of dishonest)

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    Slithers

    I think we should play Devils Advocate with the Renewable Power pushers. Let them make lots of proposals, Wind Farms on every hilltop, Solar Panels on every rooftop and on all flat land. Go for 100% renewable!

    The demand they cost the implementation and how we get the Yuan to pay for it.
    Perhaps more relevant how do we dispose of the worn-out items when they need replacing and who pays?
    How we earn the Yuan to replace in 25 years or less?
    Or do they envision perpetual debt!

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    Slithers

    My view of ‘Herd Immunity’…
    This term stems from nature, a herd of African Buffalo will stand and face a pride of hungry lions. The young and immature in the center being protected by the strong. In humans there is no such thing as herd immunity regarding infection from any disease. Vaccines provide some sort of group immunity but it is not something that I can pass on to you.The only way immunity to Covid-19 is at this time acquired by getting it and surviving. The death toll in Sweden could well continue to climb, God help them if the next seasonal out-break infects people who survived this strain.

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      Slithers,
      That isn’t quite how I understand ‘ herd’ immunity from what was being taught in the mid 20th Century.
      The issue is one of exposure rather than infection. A very light exposure can initiate an immune system response without an active infection developing.
      Thus someone with an active infection will pass varying levels of exposure to multiple contacts and in turn those contacts pass on varying levels of exposure to multiple other contacts and lots of people end up swapping low level exposures to and fro between themselves.
      The result is that many more people receive repeated minor exposures and build up their immune responses incrementally without ever getting to a severe enough infection to require treatment.
      That is why we are now seeing random antibody tests finding many more people with some antibodies than have ever reported an active infection.
      It also explains the high rate of problems for medical staff who receive repeated high level exposures in quick succession before their immune systems have a chance to ramp up.
      As the incremental immune system changes build up in the wider population the disease gradually loses its ability to spread until a new mutation restarts the process but usually at a lower level of virulence.

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        WXcycles

        Good try Stephen, but you forgot to add that the “immunity” part of it occurs if enough of the herd’s individuals have built up resistance to infection from past experience of it. Consequently the herd as a whole can not sustain an active rapid infection propagation to the other members of the herd which do not yet have any existing immunity. Thus those in the heard without immunity are mostly protected by sufficient numbers of those which do have immunity. So the > 40% that don’t have immunity are not partially wiped-out by a case of a virus, as only a few of them catch it at a time, then the infection can not propagate any further, as most hosts in the herd will reject that virus. And the one that do get infected mostly survive, the ones that don’t keep the lions happy. Eventually via enough such encounters with a virus means that all eventually become immune to the virus at some point during their life, thus protecting 99% of those > 40% of the heard which still have not encountered it yet.

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          WXcycles

          However, if a NOVEL virus comes along, one which no humans have immunity to, a virus which kills approximately 1 in 3 of those in the herd that sicken enough to be tested for it and are confirmed to have it, then ISOLATION is suddenly a whole lot safer than any HERD will be, for quite a long time.

          The other side of that coin.

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            Even a novel virus leads to a harmless, light exposure for many more people than receive sufficiently greater exposure to lead to an identifiable infection.
            So, resistance/ immunity is building up in the background at a faster rate than actual sickness is spreading.
            Otherwise, the random antibody tests would be negative for everyone who had not been sick.
            That is clearly not the case.

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      looks like you all need to look up the medical definition. Who cares what you learned 70 years ago or “think” it means. Look it up!

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        The modern definition simply conflates exposure with infection. Nothing wrong with that save that it does not fully reflect the variable nature of infection. Sometimes infection involves symptoms and a measurable sickness but at other times it does not.
        If one ignores the symptom free cases and those with symptoms which never get identified as an infection then one underestimates the rate at which immunity is building up in the background.
        Random tests are indeed showing more with antibodies than ever had an identified infection.

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    ianl

    > “Defeatism is so uninspiring”

    Hiding, ziplocked into international isolation with Ardern, waiting for something nice to happen somewhere else, IS defeatism.

    Aus has a very low population density outside the areas immediately north and south of the Bridge. This was pointed out here 4 weeks ago. Flickpassed.

    Viruses mutate constantly – South Korean labs have reported C-19 mutating 2x a week, with their viral strain differing from the European strain, which itself differs from the UK. Pointed out 4 weeks ago. Flickpassed.

    Using MSM-funded opinion polls with manipulated, loaded questions and unpublished sampling mechanics as evidence is precisely what the CAGW crowd do. Flickpassed.

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    kevin a

    “Great interview, looks like it was a waste of time, Sweden was right quarantine the old, not the young and health”

    Former Chief Scientist reveals coronavirus “is going on all around us”
    The former Swedish chief epidemiologist Johan Giesecke says he will be “watching with interest” how Australia comes out of lockdown, as he questions the effectiveness of the draconian measures implemented to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    In a wide-ranging interview with Sky News Australia, the professor spoke about Australia’s response to the COVID-19 crisis which has delivered world-leading health outcomes but at an immense economic cost.

    “No government that I know gave a minute’s thought about how they would get out of the different lockdowns that are installed,” he told Sky News.
    “Take your school closure for example. If you close the schools when are you going to open them and what’s the criteria?
    “I don’t think anyone thought about that when the closure was decided.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2TEOnOnHVM

    Beaches are banned but Supermarkets are ok?

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    it is well known that Belgium calculates mortality differently. Another “look it up” before debating. What a waste of words.

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    toorightmate

    You are missing something.
    It’s bang on topic.

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    Kalm Keith

    Thought provoking.

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