JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

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



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Beware: the famous Flu death tally is “highly adjusted” and Coronavirus is still 10 times worse

The annual Flu death tally is not what it seems 

It’s another bubble I don’t want to pop. Thanks for sticking in there in the quest for data that counts.

People worry that doctors are inflating the number of Coronavirus-deaths by listing other kinds of deaths in the Covid category. Fair enough. But they miss that this has effectively already been done with the famous flu death count.  The national discussion is stuck in a rut, because it’s trying to compare confirmed cases of Coronavirus with modelized broad category influenza “burdens”.

It’s tempting to cite the current toll of 72,000 US Coronavirus deaths and wonder why we’ve reacted so differently to the worst influenza season where 62,000 people died of the flu (supposedly). But the actual confirmed cases of influenza deaths in the US are only 3,000 – 15,000 annually. Coronavirus really is on a different scale.

The headline grabbing flu numbers are modeled guesses based on assumptions about things like how many people go to hospital, how many get tested, or what other diseases were around at the time. It’s called the Influenza Disease Burden, not the List of Those Who Died, because it’s statistics and word-games. And probably the biggest adjustment of them all  is that the big killer, pneumonia, is bundled in with influenza when it could be caused by as many as 30 different things. Thus a whole range of viral, bacterial, and mycoplasma-related pnumonia cases get collected under the “influenza” banner. It’s as if we are comparing all known respiratory diseases with the new one on the block.

Death is messy and multifactorial. There will be heart attacks labeled as “Covid” that shouldn’t have been, but there will be Covid deaths labeled as heart attacks that never got tested for Covid. And somewhere there will even be someone sitting behind a wheel who’s tired with coronavirus, who makes a mistake they wouldn’t have made… The best we can do is look at is all-cause-mortality  or at least, confirmed cases. What matters is that we compare like with like to decide what to do.

As Doctor Jeremy Faust noticed, despite all the deaths he’d seen, he could hardly remember more than a single person who had died from the flu, and nor, he found, could his colleagues:

Comparing COVID-19 Deaths to Flu Deaths Is like Comparing Apples to Oranges

Jeremy Samuel Faust,  Scientific American

…it occurred to me that, in four years of emergency medicine residency and over three and a half years as an attending physician, I had almost never seen anyone die of the flu. I could only remember one tragic pediatric case.

Based on the CDC numbers though, I should have seen many, many more. In 2018, over 46,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses. Over 36,500 died in traffic accidents. Nearly 40,000 died from gun violence. I see those deaths all the time. Was I alone in noticing this discrepancy?

I decided to call colleagues around the country … Most of the physicians I surveyed couldn’t remember a single [flu death] over their careers. Some said they recalled a few. All of them seemed to be having the same light bulb moment I had already experienced: For too long, we have blindly accepted a statistic that does not match our clinical experience.

 He calculates that in the worst ever week of both covid and flu deaths, the confirmed covid deaths were 10 to 44 times higher:

 In the last six flu seasons, the CDC’s reported number of actual confirmed flu deaths—that is, counting flu deaths the way we are currently counting deaths from the coronavirus—has ranged from 3,448 to 15,620, which is far lower than the numbers commonly repeated by public officials and even public health experts.

… we have to compare counted deaths to counted deaths, not counted deaths to wildly inflated statistical estimates. If we compare, for instance, the number of people who died in the United States from COVID-19 in the second full week of April to the number of people who died from influenza during the worst week of the past seven flu seasons (as reported to the CDC), we find that the novel coronavirus killed between 9.5 and 44 times more people than seasonal flu.

My kingdom for good statistics

We want good stats, but we’ve got what we’ve got. Both Flu and Covid contribute to heart attacks and strokes (and undoubtedly others too — as the burden of a major disease adds one more straw to any condition.) We just know Coronavirus bodies clot so fast, from head to toe that even Heparin can’t stop it. But even with a $5000 autopsy for every patient — which won’t be done — we won’t always be alble to say if the heart attack was 46% Covid, or 64% Covid. And then there are the people who die in their homes and will never be tested.

US testing statistics for Covid are still inadequate and missing some cases — with a positive rate (positive results per test) up in the 20% range — it means  there are still more people out there with Covid who don’t know it, than are showing up in tests.

Deaths from coronavirus are almost certainly underestimates:

If Coronavirus were stealing bodies from the cardiovascular tally — the all-cause-mortality numbers would show that. Instead there’s a wave of people dying above and beyond what we’d expect in places like London and New York, and there are deaths even above and beyond what we’d get from adding normal deaths to Coronavirus deaths. It’s likely thousands of people in corona-hot-spots are also dying of strokes and heart disease or things related to clotting and inflammation.

Weekly deaths in New York, 2020, Coronavirus

All cause mortality shows this is “not just the flu”. Though thankfully action stopped it hitting most places as bad as it hit New York.

 

Whatever it is running through the biggest cities of the Northern Hemisphere (and places like Ecuador) looks like a deadly pandemic, spreads like a deadly pandemic, and kills like a deadly pandemic…

Lawrence Solomon, who wrote “The Deniers” –a book about climate skeptics who stood up to global warming hysteria — wrote in 2014 that the CDC were inflating flu numbers as a way to market flu vaccines.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Flu Deaths

Lawrence Solomon, Huffington Post.

“U.S. data on influenza deaths are a mess,” states a 2005 article in the British Medical Journal entitled “Are U.S. flu death figures more PR than science?” This article takes issue with the 36,000 flu-death figure commonly claimed, and with describing “influenza/pneumonia” as the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

“But why are flu and pneumonia bundled together?” the article asks. “Is the relationship so strong or unique to warrant characterizing them as a single cause of death?”

 Dr. David Rosenthal, director of Harvard University Health Services. “People don’t necessarily die, per se, of the [flu] virus — the viraemia. What they die of is a secondary pneumonia.”

The CDC itself acknowledges the slim relationship, saying “only a small proportion of deaths… only 8.5 per cent of all pneumonia and influenza deaths [are] influenza-related.”

“Cause-of-death statistics are based solely on the underlying cause of death [internationally defined] as ‘the disease or injury which initiated the train of events leading directly to death,’” explains the National Center for Health Statistics. Because the flu was rarely an “underlying cause of death,” the CDC created the sound-alike term, “influenza-associated death.”

Using this new, loose definition, CDC’s computer models could tally people who died of a heart ailment or other causes after having the flu. As William Thompson of the CDC’s National Immunization Program admitted, influenza-associated mortality is “a statistical association … I don’t know that we would say that it’s the underlying cause of death.”

The CDC’s response was its “Seven-Step ‘Recipe‘ for Generating Interest in, and Demand for, Flu (or any other) Vaccination,” a slide show Nowak presented at the 2004 National Influenza Vaccine Summit.

So the same team that hyped flu deaths cannot be trusted on Coronavirus deaths  either, but the freezer trucks are backing up to hospitals and the morgues are overflowing. At least “all cause mortality” just amounts to the counting of bodies and those coronavirus deaths all have names.

We know corruption is endemic, but hopefully we can still, at least, count the dead.

 

Things worth knowing about Coronavirus:

 

h/t David and Joseph.

REFERENCES

Excess Mortality in the US state by state. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

Fluview Interactive Mortality Surveillance from the National Centre for Health Statistics  https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/mortality.html

US State by State Testing of Covid data

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (58 votes cast)
Beware: the famous Flu death tally is "highly adjusted" and Coronavirus is still 10 times worse, 7.3 out of 10 based on 58 ratings

200 comments to Beware: the famous Flu death tally is “highly adjusted” and Coronavirus is still 10 times worse

  • #
    TomRude

    After this coverage, I won’t be reading your site the same way.

    176

    • #
      Curious George

      Don’t believe uncritically any media, from New York Times down (down? maybe up?)

      161

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      I won’t be reading your site the same way.

      Hi Tom,

      That’s all a bit oblique for me. How did you “read” it previously?

      How will you “read” it in the future?

      Have we converted you to the sceptics’ view of the world? If so, welcome. But be warned, it’s not an easy road.

      93

  • #
    Another Ian

    Around this area

    “Delingpole: Who Would Buy a Used Computer Model from ‘Bonking Boffin’ Neil Ferguson?”

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/05/06/would-buy-a-used-computer-model-from-bonking-boffin-neil-ferguson/https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/05/06/would-buy-a-used-computer-model-from-bonking-boffin-neil-ferguson/

    A race horse with a track record like that wouldn’t be (IMO)

    151

  • #
  • #
    H.B. Schmidt

    What matters is that we compare like with like to decide what to do.

    Nothing about what to do? Just a bunch of rhetoric about what we think we know, but really don’t, because testing isn’t adequate and reporting standards/autopsies aren’t being done to validate Covid-19 mortality? Wow … colour me shocked.

    What DO we do, Jo? Do we continue a global lockdown on commerce to save lives? Do we reopen, only to have another quarantine in the northern hemisphere autumn? Do we live in perpetual fear? Do we make being around other people an absolute paralysis of fear? What will that do to long-term mental health in young people, not to mention how they form emotional connections with others? What do we do about the inevitable collapse of the airline, cruise, hotel, restaurant, and tourism industries? What’s the price of living vs. surviving in fear?

    That protester in Tennessee who held a sign saying “Sacrifice the weak” is indicative of what MUST be done. Is it more ethical to destroy a global economy, or even national, by enforcing a quarantine that kills small businesses (and thus, no tax money for the government) versus letting nature run its course since we’re all going to get infected anyway?

    EVERYONE has to die someday. Some people have better luck than others (the 101-year old who recovered from Covid-19 but not the 3-year old) but ultimately, life has to go on. A global disease that no one can control or escape from (no effective vaccine will be developed) becomes just one more risk factor in life, just like crossing a busy street, smoking, or eating truck stop sushi. It’s way past time to be fretting needlessly about this-or-that with Covid-19, and time to create herd immunity.

    316

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      @ HB Schmidt
      “That protester in Tennessee who held a sign saying “Sacrifice the weak” is indicative of what MUST be done. ”
      Ummmm ?
      There we have it then, bluntly stated.
      Sacrifice the weak.
      And supposedly this a ‘Christian ‘God Fearing’ nation!
      I once lived in the USA for almost a year.
      And been back to visit for a month.
      I saw it is a very different country to my own land Australia.
      But I did not realise that it was that different.
      But truely it is a weird place.
      I wish I did not have family there.
      Australians commenting on this blog,
      Please take heed.

      716

      • #
        R.B.

        It’s a stupid way of saying that you shouldn’t sacrifice everybody’s quality of life for those on their last legs. There is a limit to the sacrifices people make for others. We don’t need to be like the Spartans. Isolation is the best approach to stop infections and deaths, but it’s not a solution.

        143

      • #
        bobl

        But of course you have no feeling for the families going to the wall because of the economic consequences of government overreaction to this virus. Bill, you are so myopic – broaden your horizons to look at the big picture.

        It is possible to have disease control AND an economy, but you for some reason don’t like economies.

        264

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          My base university education was in economics Bob.
          I know quite a bit about economies.
          I’ve also studied history extensively.
          Plagues run rampant destroy economies.
          Who bothers to invest when sudden death lurks on the shoulder
          Unseen, Unheard, Not even smelled.
          That’s why preventing
          The spread of infectious disease
          Takes precedence Bob.

          PS It would be more honest if you acknowledged
          That ~70% of the Australian economy continues undamaged.
          Exports continue as before.
          The main sector to be impacted is the ‘ hospitality & services’ sector which involves
          Lots of close face to face contact.

          And that reflects an inherent human need for such services.
          It will recover.

          613

          • #
            bobl

            PS It would be more honest if you acknowledged
            That ~70% of the Australian economy continues undamaged.

            You see there you are prepared to be rational, if 70% continues undamaged then 30% is damaged. – Thats a huge cost, is it worth the deaths prevented if there are any?

            The problem is that in one case you can count the cost, in the other case you can’t count the benefit – —you can’t count lives saved— because you have no idea about total deaths for each scenario and frankly for the people that died you don’t know if they would have died in any case. In your case you don’t count costs on the other side, depression, Suicide, DV.

            151

            • #
              toorightmate

              bobl,
              Very true. We don’t know the cost of lives saved, BUT we do know the cost per death – >A$2BILLION per death in Australia at present.
              As Forrest Gump would say, “Then all of a sudden, no one died of natural causes any more”.

              71

              • #

                Cost per death — How is that anything other than meaningless trivia?

                What’s the cost of being in the best position in the world to reopen the economy almost in full, and without the pervasive fear keeping customers at home holding tight on their wallets?

                We got a bargain.

                1014

              • #
                bobl

                But it’s not a bargain, on the actual statistics we should not be locked down now, we should have taken other actions with a lower cost. I know you don’t agree but the math is telling.

                The spread of this virus here was contained by the international border control. The small internal spread that there was over summer and Autumn could have been controlled by real (geographic) quarantine of all Covid positive cases at a much lower cost than we are suffering. It still can because numbers are still small. We NEVER had a situation here that was unmanageable by geographic quarantine. But the damage is done 1/2 a trillion dollars for 100 people.

                We could have gotten to the same place for an outlay of less than 1 billion with less deaths if we continued to properly isolate covid positive cases away from their homes like we did for the Diamond Princess returnees.

                122

              • #
                bobl

                It’s more than that! The direct cost to the government is 130 Billion and rising, but the economic damage is around 300 billion and rising together probably upwards of $450 Billion. That’s about 4.5 Billion per death

                102

              • #
                toorightmate

                It looks like the new trick is that I am unable to “reply” to Jo.
                It may be trivia, but it is certainly not meaningless.
                Meaningless is when raw data is altered – a la past temperatures and CV deaths in New York (and elsewhere??).
                The “meaningless trivia” Jo has a very real (and unfortunate) denominator and a real (perhaps deflated) numerator.

                10

              • #
                PeterS

                Bill and Jo, you are both so blind to the damage being done to the economy and lives especially if the lock downs continue for much longer. I’m hoping PM Morrison is aware of this and will do something about it very soon.

                92

              • #
                Another Ian

                “The COVID lockdown and spendathon – was it worth it and what is to be done?”

                http://catallaxyfiles.com/2020/05/07/the-covid-lockdown-and-spendathon-was-it-worth-it/

                21

            • #
              RickWill

              It’s more than that! The direct cost to the government is 130 Billion and rising, but the economic damage is around 300 billion and rising together probably upwards of $450 Billion.

              It cost the government nothing. It cost the population nothing. It is all new money the government made by changing the figure in a balance sheet on a computer. If interest rates end up negative in Australia like Denmark, Japan and the ECB then it will be a money spinner for the federal government.

              There is so poor understanding of sovereign government debt and scare mongering around it, I am reminded of the climate emergency around a minuscule amount of CO2. At least CO2 could have some impact as it is a measurable physical entity. Sovereign government debt is just a completely meaningless number with no specific bearing on the physical world.

              43

              • #
                JanEarth

                Onya RickWill

                About time someone laid some reality on some of the ridiculous statements that have been sprouted here.

                The economy is fine. It always is and always has been no matter what disaster has come our way. Statements that the economy has been ‘destroyed’ are quite clearly hyperbole at the very least.

                Short of a Cosmological catastrophe ( plenty of those to chose from) there is nothing here on Earth that could really kill the economy. It could be knocked back a peg or two but never completely destroyed.

                45

              • #
                H.B. Schmidt

                Sovereign government debt is just a completely meaningless number with no specific bearing on the physical world.

                Tell that to the Weimar Republic, Zimbabwe, or now Veneuela. If you think unlimited sovereign government debt isn’t a risk to a nation’s viability or a contagion to surrounding sovereign entities, you’re sorely mistaken.

                20

          • #
            H.B. Schmidt

            That’s why preventing
            The spread of infectious disease
            Takes precedence Bob.

            Except the quarantines were never meant to stop the spread, only slow it.

            Why is it no one is TALKING about that explicit FACT?
            Has the whole world been deaf to the experts saying it is INEVITABLE that we’re all going to get infected?
            And what is the end game, especially if we never develop a vaccine?
            Why isn’t that #1 in the discussions of continuing the quarantine?

            40

        • #
          WXcycles

          It is possible to have disease control AND an economy, but you for some reason don’t like economies.

          That’s hysterical, we’ve had multiple decades of growth, and then 2 months of a national health emergency, so we suspend economic activity for 2 months, and put it on a drip feed of robust govt support to maintain it in a viable state, get out of isolation in a much shorter time window then expected and still some commenters still carry on like it’s the end of the economy of Australia to say a few hundred thousand Australians. You guys are amping the economic doom and gloom narrative way beyond anything close to credible.

          55

    • #
      el gordo

      If no vaccine is discovered then Australia and New Zealand will become a South Sea bubble. It will be possible for tourists to come here and enjoy our pristine environment, but on arrival they must spend 14 days in quarantine at a five star hotel.

      Indian nationals are being evacuated from Oz and that should give us space to get our people back to work. Immigration has virtually stopped, this is great news.

      180

      • #
        bobl

        If we improve testing, the quarantine can be for just the period needed for a high confidence negative test, that could be as little as 3 days. It would be nice if the travel time to get here was enough to incubate the virus enough to show up on a test, but I can’t see that. Australia should be developing this test NOW so we can reopen tourism.

        101

        • #
          AndyG55

          “It would be nice if the travel time to get here was enough to incubate the virus enough to show up on a test, but I can’t see that.”

          Come by cruise ship ;-)

          120

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      HB, I disagree with all your pathetic arguments to ignore the terrible consequences of a new and deadly disease allowing it to run rampant and kill all those without sufficient immunity. You’re another of those people shouting herd immunity when you have no understanding of it’s meaning and consequence. And no! we do not ‘sacrifice the weak’. Your suggestion is a disgrace in a civilised society. As for your bleating about the damage to ‘the global lockdown on commerce’ well then so be it. In fact the main commerce effected is the holiday travel, entertainment and services etc. All things we can manage without for some time yet. Construction, manufacture, international trade, and transport etc as well as education and much more are all getting back to normal. I agree totally with the measures that the government has initiated and thankfully they have not listened to arguments such as you have put forward. Some peoples lives come before other people’s livelihoods.
      GeoffW

      64

      • #
        H.B. Schmidt

        And no! we do not ‘sacrifice the weak’. Your suggestion is a disgrace in a civilised society.

        We do just that in war — it’s called triage. And in “civilised” society, do you abort unborn babies because it’s civilised to kill babies but not adults? Who is more weak than a baby?

        You can disparage me all you want, but you know what? Covid-19 overwhelmingly affects the old and chronically ill, who use a disproportionate amount of healthcare dollars already, and who have already lived the majority of their lives. That’s an indisputable FACT.

        Some peoples lives come before other people’s livelihoods.

        So in your perfectly civilised world, what’s the end game for the quarantines? What of the lives lost to economic ruin and mental health issues, those who lose their homes and businesses, who resort to self-medicating on opioids, recreational drugs, alcohol, or abusive/aggressive behavior? Are a few thousand lives worth MILLIONS of people’s livelihoods? Where is the government going to get its tax revenue with all those non-corporate businesses dried up like dust? Or are you so short-sighted you can only look at saving every possible life regardless of cost in the here and now without addressing any of the long-term consequences?

        21

        • #
          Geoffrey Williams

          HB, don’t forget that that this country, indeed all countries were built, and have been built, by those same old people that you now wish to cast aside to the fate of Corvid 19. Think, in 40-50 years time you could be in their same situation and how would you feel. Using your logic the elderly should all be ‘culled’ off as part of some economic rationalisation. Your arguments about war and abortion are separate issues. Quarantine has to, and will continue at our borders for the foreseeable future and rightly so. We cannot ever again allow those with the wherewithal, to travel around the world and bring back future pandemics to our country. Finaly we are not yet in economic ruin and the government has enacted measures to help bussiness recover and I believe it will do so.
          GeoffW

          11

  • #
    Salome

    Can’t help with counting flu deaths, but apparently Britain is shifting to a means of counting corona deaths that involves comparing how many died in the analogous period last year with how many died this year.

    70

    • #
      Mike Jonas

      Comparing total deaths is what Jo is advocating (if I’ve read her article correctly). And I think that’s just about the only way of getting useful numbers at present, given the awful standard of stats both past and present.

      But the difference doesn’t give the number of Wuhan virus deaths, it only gives the net increase. So, for example, it also reflects the number of people not getting flu because of Wuhan-induced social distancing.

      There’s a variation year-to-year in total deaths, so it is difficult to know whether the difference between this year’s deaths and last year’s deaths is really from Wuhan (direct and indirect). But as Jo says – and I think we are agreeing – total deaths is the best measure we’ve got.

      My hypothesis on causes of death is that our health fluctuates over time, generally decreasing as we age but not uniformly. There’s a dotted line on the “chart” and when we hit that we die. So if we die with advanced age plus conditions A, B and C, they combined to cause our death. Death is not attributable to any one on its own. So having stats which record just one cause of death – as I think all official stats do – is just nuts. (JMHO!)

      40

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Half a green thumb Mike !

        05

      • #

        Mike, if you look at annual stats of mortality — despite corruption as to the cause of death — the number of people that die each week, each month, is a steady predictable tick tick tick.

        What we thought of as a large variation in seasonal deaths, and the bigger difference from one winter to the next is eclipsed by the coronavirus phenomenon. See the NY graph.

        Despite the swamp in our universities, we still count bodies, and getting some useful information out of excess mortality data is possible.

        I gather the US CDC methodology for labeling deaths allows Docs two options, so they can at least write, the primary cause of death as well as a secondary contributor.

        I don’t think frontline docs could go too much further down the layers of cause and effect without doing a proper autopsy. Docs may like to step in here and may disagree…?

        Perhaps the CDC should allow more layers.

        Perhaps we should sack the CDC swamp and start again? Where were they in preventing this disaster?
        They could have saved the US economy trillions by stopping the flights in time.

        102

        • #
          Mike Jonas

          Hi Jo – sorry if I gave the wrong impression, I wasn’t trying to say total deaths wouldn’t tell us anything, I was trying to say they are just about the only statistic that can tell us anything. But the difference between this year and last year totals can only give us approximate net Wuhan deaths.

          Looking at UK figures (because it’s a much longer record than I can find for Aus) – https://tinyurl.com/yce9384e – annual excess winter deaths range from 17k to 106k. Last winter (2018/19) at 23k was half the previous winter’s 49k. So we can’t really know more accurately than say 20k, or maybe a lot more, how to interpret this year’s UK total deaths for the Wuhan effect.

          60

        • #
          WXcycles

          Perhaps we should sack the CDC swamp and start again? Where were they in preventing this disaster?
          They could have saved the US economy trillions by stopping the flights in time.

          Intelligent timely moves were not going to occur, US government is by the farce, for the farce. Canberra better get ready for a world where people who want to reopen the US economy (even as it reaches over 1 million US active cases tomorrow, with no end of that growth in sight) purportedly to “save the economy“, are about to close it once again in June, for 2 to 3 times as longer than was originally necessary to wipe it out. The population is willful, there’s no self discipline, no sense of the greater good, no delayed-gratification to produce better outcomes for others, not sense of a need to sacrifice to achieve better. Clowns in the Democrats even openly talk about infecting people at Trump Rallies, and nothing happens! What can we expect of a country where a large chunk of the population is stoned 24/7. They can’t even erect a proper border wall but have been trying to since Ronald Reagan. Now many have decided to play Russian Roulette with COVID-19.

          24

  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    I’ve struggled to get good data/graph comparisons for UK or England alone but the best I could do…….

    The bottom graph is whole of UK CV only, the top graph England only showing the effect of the ‘bad’ 2015 flu compared to previous 5 year average. The flu impact was also lessened by a vaccine that was supposedly 33% effective.

    You have to use a bit of imagination/deduction, but clearly, so far CV is very much the same order as the 2015 flu (although not in the traditional flu season) – nothing like ten times as bad, twice would be pushing it.

    62

    • #
      • #
        RickWill

        Just silly comparing any flu season that did not have a complete lockdown with what has occurred in 2020.

        The CV19 death rate was doubling every two days in the UK until it reached 14k cases on 27 March. The daily increase then began to slow down. So something changed around that time. Maybe the virus mutated and became less virulent. Maybe the herd immunity that Boris was aiming for was achieved. Maybe the weather warmed and there was less cloud. My bet is that the reduction in reproductive rate was ALL due to the lockdown that was implemented on 24 March.

        To do a valid comparison with any flu season and CV19 you would need to look at the last flu season when the country went into forced quarantine – good luck finding that.

        Only one nation across the entire globe got it right, Taiwan. They recognised the CV19 risk in December 2019; closed the country to Chinese arrivals in January 2020 and began contract tracing with every available means to track down contacts of positive cases. They so far have 439 cases an 6 deaths. Near zero economic impact.

        92

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Ummmm ?
      Those graphs date from the period when
      Only Corona deaths in hospitals were included.
      Those who died at home or in aged care centers
      Were not included.

      58

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Seven (7) reds on Bill’s comment at the time of this post of mine.

        Can any one of the red thumbers please tell us what it is about a factual comment that they don’t agree with?

        12

  • #
    disorganise

    influenza-associated mortality is “a statistical association … I don’t know that we would say that it’s the underlying cause of death

    Isn’t the same also true for covid-19? There’s plenty claiming the figures are hyped and debating whether people died *because* of Covid-19 or *with* Covid-19.

    Dr John Campbell (YouTube) started using the UK 5 year average all-cause death rate as a comparison a couple of weeks ago, and it was clear that the overall death rate has gone up. To what do we attribute the ‘excess’ deaths if not Covid-19? [https://youtu.be/5lCkmeVpbeM?t=371]

    Has anyone come across similar stats for Australia? Any I’ve found so far, seem to end in 2017. Is there a fairly current all cause mortality stat somewhere. Interested to see if it went *down* because we aren’t driving.

    52

    • #
      Bright Red

      So the all cause death rate has gone up compared to the 5year average. This is rubbish information designed to mislead as you are comparing raw with data that has a different filtering. This is as bad as the hockey stick graph. How do we know the 5 year average data did not contain similar spikes in deaths. We don’t from the information provided. To see the effect of CV19 we need to wait until some time in the future when we have enough data to properly do the averaging.
      Who knows but it looks to me that CV19 while increasing the death rate now is simply bringing them forward and that with less old and sick we will have less deaths in the old in the future. So no long term change on overall mortality except maybe for the suicides and deaths caused by lower living standards due to trashed economies.

      54

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        So Aged care centers
        Become Aged persons
        Concentration camps eh Bright Red !

        47

        • #
          Bright Red

          A bit over the top to to describe age care centres as concentration camps. We need to protect the vulnerable and delay them getting CV19 as long as possible but this needs to be within reason and putting everybody under house arrest is way over the top given the actual risk to the larger population. Retirement villages and the like are also easy to quarantine.

          43

      • #

        How do we know the 5 year average data did not contain similar spikes in deaths

        The NY graph is monthly data. It’s not smoothed, doesn’t use a proxy that changes halfway through. No one turned the data upside down. :- ) No “hiding of declines” that I know of.

        It’s nothing like the manufactured hockeystick graph.

        91

        • #
          Bright Red

          So Jo do you actually think we have enough data on all cause deaths to make a decision as the the long term effect of CV19 on it?

          33

  • #
    TedM

    “Beware: the famous Flu death tally is “highly adjusted” and Coronavirus is still 10 times worse
    The annual Flu death tally is not what it seems “

    I have been persuaded from the beginning of claims and counter claims that this will prove in the end to be the case. Listening to Drs. that are working on the front line of this epidemic, along with a bit of critical thought, caused me to think this way.

    I would also like to mention that the Drs. and nurses working on the front line of this pandemic deserve an enormous degree of respect from all of us.

    123

    • #
      RickWill

      I have been persuaded from the beginning of claims and counter claims that this will prove in the end to be the case. Listening to Drs. that are working on the front line of this epidemic, along with a bit of critical thought, caused me to think this way.

      I was convinced CV19 was dangerous when I saw images of China building a massive hospital in Wuhan in late January. Once it got outside China I recognised the potential economic impact:
      http://joannenova.com.au/2020/02/outside-china-5-of-cases-are-severe-singapore-may-be-three-months-away-from-running-out-of-hospital-beds/#comment-2276733

      This is shaping to have a greater economic impact than the GFC. The data indicates China’s manufacturing is rapidly shutting down. That alone will devastate the global economy.

      The GFC took about 12 months incubation before the impacts were widely felt and a number of years before the general population had any idea of what happened. That situation was relatively easily resolved by the US government guaranteeing those deemed too big to fail.

      I was surprised by the ease that China got out of CV19. I was aware that their medical prowess was second to none but was aghast at the measures they took to contain the spread.

      There is already talk that China will be part of the Pacific “bubble” that is CV19 free. Do we trust that China has eradicated the virus within its borders?

      42

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        With a population of 1.4 billion
        In such a huge country ?
        The answer is obvious : NO !
        And the CCP needs to make reparations for the damage they have done
        By allowing this virus to escape from the Wuhan lab
        And be then spread across the planet.

        63

        • #
          JanEarth

          Bill

          China will pay nothing to nobody.

          The CCP has questions to answer namely why did they allow international flights out of Wuhan but not domestic flights and if they suppressed information in late 2019. Those questions can have logical and rational answers but I doubt the CCP will answer them. Where the Virus originated from is academic at this point.

          If you see what they did to contain this virus your claims that it is widespread or they have millions of deaths needs some serious and credible evidence. None of that can come from USGov because they are spinning as much propaganda as the CCP and anything they say is suspect…. remember WMD in Iraq?

          I find my opinions changing almost on a daily basis. The only thing that has not changed is my belief the one party system in China is reprehensible. But the Chinese people have to sort that out for themselves. I believe we can help them on that front. I also do not think a two party state is much cop either but that is another story.

          By the same token I believe that US citizens pursuit of individual liberties above the health and welfare of the people is also reprehensible. But the big difference is that US citizens have the freedom to change that although that is hampered by the lack of true representation afforded by a two party state.

          But at the end of the day I live in Australia and I enjoy a fantastic lifestyle with plenty of individual freedoms. I truly believe we have struck an effective balance between individual freedoms and concern for the common good. I would not want to live anywhere else.

          31

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            China will pay nothing to nobody.

            I think you’ll find that they will pay, one way or the other, JanEarth.

            They have already started paying. It takes the appearance of Integrity Renminbi. The rate of interest on the outstanding balance charged by the free world will be usurious.

            Then there’s the on-shoring response. Then the ring-fencing of research and development cooperation in the R&D establishments of the free world. Then there’s the cost of its pariah status. Already people are refusing to buy China products. That will accelerate.

            Oh. They’ll pay JanEarth. Rest assured.

            40

      • #
        truth

        Not a chance-not for a nanosecond.

        How could we possibly think we could ever trust a brutal murderous Communist dictatorship that imprisons and enslaves millions of people…conducts organ transplants using involuntary or murdered ‘donors’…has misappropriated and militarized a large part of the South china Sea…stole even more islands and sank Vietnamese boats under cover of the pandemic they unleashed on the world…steals intellectual property from every major country in the world…entraps poor countries in debt as a tactic of asymmetric warfare?

        Never!

        10

    • #

      Ted, Rick, exactly my thoughts. All data and all academic institutions are suspect, but China is not stupid (Communism is), and they were closing 80% of their economy and acting like this was the plague.

      52

  • #
    yarpos

    Changes in total deaths are probably a more reliable guide to the impact of any major event. Its interesting to note how the media shifts focus on different numbers over time to suit the drama they wish to create.

    120

    • #
      Bulldust

      My thinking exactly. The deviation of total deaths is the best indication we will have of the impact of this virus. Given how few are attributable to CCP virus in Australia, the social distancing and isolation probably dropped total deaths over the last month or two. Then again, the lack of ‘elective’ surgeries, depression, drug use etc might be raising the over death count.

      21

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    The data you need depends on the question you ask.
    Eg Will I get the flu? – probably, Will it kill me? – not likely
    Compared to
    Will I get Covid? – unknown, Will it kill me? – possibly.

    This is because the data around Covid is dependant on so many other variables, answers to the question ‘will I get it’ are imprecise, whereas the individual risk of getting the flu is relatively well known, and survival rates are also known.

    Would better data on flu help? Not really, Covid is not the flu after all, and there is not enough data around Covid anyway

    103

    • #
      bobl

      But the problem is that you are non-specific

      In Australia Will I get the flu? – Probably, about 1 chance in 3, Will it kill me? – No, with a chance if you are a baby, over 80, a drug user, or AIDS/ athsma / COPD sufferer.

      In Australia Will I get Covid? – probably not: 1 chance in 724 , Will it kill me? – No, With a possible chance if you are over 70, a drug user, AIDS / athsma / COPD sufferer or you have a cardiovascular issue

      Part of the problem is – In Australia:

      If you die with flu but your cause of death is heart failure they list you as dying of heart failure

      If you die with Covid-19 but your cause of death is heart failure they list you as dying of Covid-19

      So in Australia currently you have LESS chance of dying from COVID than the flu because of the probability of infection is lower 1 in 724 VS 1 in 3.

      PS NOBODY with Covid-19 dies of Covid-19:

      By all reports they die mostly of Pneumonia, with some from strokes or heart attacks. If things were being accounted properly we should be able to compare pneumonia mortality, but while they treat the Virus as a cause of death rather than the pneumonia, as Jo rightly says it almost impossible to compare the two. Note AIDS also results in pneumonia and probably accounts for differences in some jurisdictions (particularly Africa), much of the increased fatality over influenza is the “or you have a cardiovascular issue” bit. Heart conditions are the number one potentially fatal conditions world wide and any virus that pushes sufferers over the edge is going to be a killer.

      113

      • #
        RickWill

        The probability of getting flu or CV19 in Australia at the moment is so close to zero that it is not measurable. Both have been deprived of hosts this year.

        70

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        I forgot to include the impact of the flu vaccine on those statistics. Those with the vaccine will still be infected with the flu, but will not display any symptoms. Which group do you put them in?

        42

        • #
          toorightmate

          Has your wife fully recovered and if so, are there any after effects?

          30

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            toorightmate, thanks for asking.

            Karen only really exhibited mild symptoms, and at that stage, with us both just returned from America, we put it down to jet lag. Ongoing, and working from home, she really only has the small residual aches and pains, and some reduced lung capacity. This is, according to gossip at the TAFE, similar to what most experienced.

            The patient zero, in this case (at least for us) was a 14 year private school student, Karen was 2 degrees of separation away from her, which might be a factor. ie the might have only got a very small, attenuated dose.

            Interestingly, reports of cases predating our trip to the US are emerging, notably from a mayor near New York and a doctor in France, and those also displayed milder symptoms, only testing positive for antibodies later. It is a mystery, that is for sure.

            61

        • #
          TedM

          Exposed to the flu PF. Not infected with it.

          22

  • #
    Boambee John

    What stands out from this item is the wieful quality of the data upon which decisions have been made.

    Will we ever know if closing down much of the economy saved more deaths from Kung Flu than it caused by deferred medical treatments for cancer, heart, strokes etc?

    131

    • #

      Assuming the academic swamp does not hide or destroy the data, yes we will be able to do some wide estimates.

      We can look at all cause mortality. Deaths from cancer, suicide, etc.

      To some extent we will after-the-fact be able to do proper antibody studies telling us how many people got Covid, which will give us some idea of how many would died of it if we did nothing. (Though we won’t know for sure what the death rate would be if hospitals got overwhelmed, we will still be able to put up estimates).

      With the whole world involved in various runs of the same experiment we will get some idea of which policies were cost effective (when introduced at a certain point in the climb).’

      But yes, depressingly, the medical scientific swamp is captured by money and influence, just like climate science is. I suspect the medical crooks are better paid and smarter.

      42

  • #
    Zigmaster

    They kill whatever arguement they are trying to make by the figures that are quoted by saying that this kills between 9.5 and 44 times , or if you google how many people die from flu it says 350,000 to 600,000. That 3000- 15000 becomes 72000 as some sort of official figure. You can drive a truck through these figures and still miss the real number. With Coronavirus the data is presented as some sort of tabulated fact not dissimilar to a scoreboard. To determine which team wins you look at the score. The reality is that when everyone is making judgments and policies based on these numbers no one knows the truth . Politics and money influence how likely the data is to be exaggerated or underestimated. I have assumed that places like Russia, China and Iran underestimate numbers because from a PR point of view they want to be viewed as relatively successful whereas places like US , UK and Australia there maybe a tendency to overstate numbers because hospitals recognise that inflating Covid numbers will increase access to government funds and also they form part of the public service which seems to have as their public duty a need to make the situation appear worse than possible to try to damage the governments they hate , or possibly to help the governments to justify these draconian measures and to get the public’s unquestioning acquiescence.
    Whether it’s Coronavirus, flu, GDP , unemployment, inflation so much data that is presented as fact is really about best guesses ( in fact often not “best”) that need to be interpreted in the context of who’s making the claims and what is their likely agenda. Everyone tends to use data to boost their point of view and in the end each individual has to make a character judgement about the motives and integrity of the person making the claims to judge whether they believe them or not. Each persons natural biases will determine whether when someone says that 50,000.-100000 might die they use the lower or higher figure or they in fact as they would probably be correct say the whole things a lot of garbage and the figures a lot lower.
    As a long time cynic I have always assumed for instance that Chinese GDP figures were always overstated just like BOM temperature data . It’s sad but my initial inclination is always to distrust information that I’m told and will trust my gut instinct. I naturally trust Scomo but distrust Dan Andrews because I believe they have different agendas and Dan Andrews is being advised by Climate change alarmists and leftists.
    In fact it is interesting to follow your Jonova blog because as a climate sceptic you would naturally be dubious about articles that may exaggerate claims but as a scientist who has a specialist understanding for virology you recognise the massive dangers that Covid 19 plays in how you present your material . The articles you present are generally add weight to your belief that Covid is worse than people are saying.
    Most climate sceptics world naturally move towards a more sceptical view that would suggest that the dangers of Covid have been exaggerated.
    The reality is that the answer lies somewhere in between and I interpret data in the context of the person giving the data and their agenda recognising that the real answer could still be way off target even outside the given range. That’s why when using data for setting policies is so difficult and why Scomo I think has done a remarkable job in steering a middle course, to manage these unprecedented circumstances.
    Whether this is worse or better than flu is irrelevant, ignoring it ,was an unpalatable option but so was total lockdown and unfortunately the use of data to influence policy is still open to interpretation. Climate science has taught us rightly to be sceptical but in the end you just have to have a positive view that things will work out in the end otherwise you’ll go nuts.
    I

    163

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The CCP Corona virus & Covid 19 disease
      Is not a part of the Climate Change ‘debate’.
      The evidence of this pandemic is before your eyes
      Should you care to look.
      Unfortunately many folks have decided that this pandemic is not real
      is is another manifestation of the Climate Change plot.

      And to be frank, that is a delusional thinking.
      How odd that the term ”
      ‘Denier’ so frequently used by Greenists
      To reduce the credibility of anyone challenging the Climate Change hoax
      Now that the Climate Change hoax has been consigned to the rubbish bin of history
      Is richly deserved when the discussion turn to this global infectious disease.

      59

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        These discussions are ignoring the elephant in the room – what is going to happen to where the virus came from?

        My concern is that if it was done deliberately ( …and I’m not saying it was… ) but whats to stop something very nasty like this re-occurring?

        We can argue about facts until the cows come home, how do we now make sure this never happens again?
        But if it does, I suspect a chunk of china may disappear in a nuclear flash….

        71

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Steve that is a very valid concern.
          And a very worrying one.
          This sort of micro-organism disease was predicted
          In the 1990′s when the whole debate about genetic engineering
          Was at full throttle.

          But that debate turned toward focussing on GE free food.
          And the enormously threat posed by GE diseases was allowed to slip into the shadows.

          Funding for this kind of microbial GE research must be stopped
          In all nations.
          To prevent this ever happening again.
          But how can that be done ?
          It’s a huge issue.
          This CCP Corona 19 virus pandemic
          Shows that it is urgent global issue

          34

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Its easy – remove Western factories from China – the CCP appears to worship power and money, so deprive the money, remove the power.

            70

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              It’s not just China Steve.
              Pandora’s GE box has now been opened.
              I do not think this was released as a bio-weapon.
              But it demonstrates the destructive capacity of such things.
              There are many others watching this and pondering how this GE technology can be used for their advantage

              24

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        And to be frank, that is a delusional thinking.

        O. Goodness me. No. No. No.

        Original Steve will be offended by you poor manners, Bill?

        01

      • #
        truth

        It’s consigned nowhere …AEMO and COAG are rocketing ahead with their transition of Australia to de-industrialization.

        AEMO has released its RIS Report..saying ..

        ‘RIS analysis finds that, in the next five years the NEM power system will continue its significant transformation to world-leading levels of renewable generation’…

        …and then what follows is more like a ransom demand from a rampaging mob that has the government either by the throat or in its thrall.

        It lists all the ‘challenges’ the hostage-takers are encountering in trying to keep Australia’s lights on with their windmills and solar panels…challenges that coal-fired plants would meet inherently without taxpayer or battery involvement… then says they can’t go on much longer without you know what in the billions…not spelling out the extent of the government taxpayer ‘support’ required…just leaving it hanging in the air that it could all come crashing down sometime soon…lights out… without lots of it.

        They’re positioning to induce their next bout of mass hysteria…they’ll tell the kids that if we don’t stop climate change by 2025 pandemics will get us.

        30

    • #
      RickWill

      Climate science has taught us rightly to be sceptical but in the end you just have to have a positive view that things will work out in the end otherwise you’ll go nuts.

      I did not need Climate science to teach me to be sceptical. My education taught me to be sceptical. I trust my ability to work things out. No one can understand everything, for example Australian tax law, but I have enough grasp of science and maths to eventually work through ideas, concepts and data to appreciate what is going on.

      50

    • #

      Agree with you Zigmaster

      I believe that the total lockdown a la NZ was an excessive response and still believe that we were excessive in our response. Instinctively early in this crisis my gut feel was that just like in climate we had leftists proposing over the top and wrong solutions – and despite what Jo may say I still believe that the response we had was over the top and ignores the extra deaths caused due to the coming economic problems.

      South Australia is a case in point and tells me that we can immediately reduce many of our restrictions. Sweden may ultimately be proven to have adopted the right solution here if no vaccine comes.

      Early on Taiwan showed the way and I believe that temperature monitoring was also part of their success. This was simple and was effectively continuous testing. The factory I work at instituted it weeks ago for all people entering – but why were Scomo and others not doing this. My belief is that the Leftists were desperate for a heavy handed and seen to be heavy handed solution. They wanted to show how hairy chested they were and temperature checking does not fit that bill.

      As noted above I do not believe that Jo and others appreciate fully the damage to the economy of the lockdowns and what this will do in the future. Economic disruption creates all sorts of issues and are fertile grounds for extremists to come to the fore – and the extremists will almost certainly come from the Left, which is what we see right now.

      101

  • #
    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Our ‘Stats’ teacher at uni opened the introductory lecture with the observation that the greatest use of statistics is to tell lies with numbers.

    190

  • #
    Roger Knights

    New CRISPR Coronavirus Test Could Be a Pandemic ‘Game-Changer’
    Cheap accurate testing would enable the safe reopening of the U.S. economy.
    RONALD BAILEY | 5.6.2020 3:00 PM

    The researchers have created molecular tags that latch onto sections of viral genes and emit a signal when their presence is detected. The new STOPCovid  https://www.stopcovid.science/ test enables the detection of as few as 100 copies of the coronavirus in a sample. “As a result, the STOPCovid test allows for rapid, accurate, and highly sensitive detection of Covid-19 that can be conducted outside clinical laboratory settings,” note the researchers. The test initially used standard nasal swab samples, but preliminary data suggest that it will work using much more easily collected saliva samples.

    The research team is talking with manufacturers to further simplify and produce the test. The New York Times reports https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/health/crispr-coronavirus-covid-test.html that they estimate that the materials for one test would cost about six dollars now and would fall even further when mass-produced. “The ability to test for Covid-19 at home, or even in pharmacies or places of employment, could be a game-changer for getting people safely back to work and into their communities,” said team member Feng Zhang in the press release.
    https://reason.com/2020/05/06/new-crispr-coronavirus-test-could-be-a-pandemic-game-changer/?utm_medium=email

    80

    • #
      bobl

      This is what we need to reopen tourism, an accurate test that works after just 1 or 2 days of incubation. Not while incubation can take up to two weeks we have to remember that the mean incubation time is 5 days not 2 weeks.

      A sensitive and accurate test like this allows quarantines to be shortened because you know infection status well before symptoms appear.

      70

  • #
    Boambee John

    Woeful, not wieful, but the latter works too.

    11

  • #
    Lance

    Which death tally for which mutation? Compared to which flu? How is this relevant?

    At present, there are some 30+ mutations of the covid19 virus.
    Which one(s) are being tested by mutation? Which one(s) are worse mortality than others?
    Which vaccine is targeting which mutation? When do they arrive and what good will they do to whom for which mutation?
    Pfizer is prepared to ramp up production of at least 1 of 7 possible vaccines by October. Is it the correct one?

    Remdesevir is some 42% to 50% effective in late stage infection. What good is that, really? At USD 1200 per pill?
    HCQ+AZ+Zn is some 90% effective regardless of mutation apparently if given before the cytokine storm. USD <20 per treatment cycle.

    US has incurred debt of some USD 9000 per person so far with no end in sight, food chain breaking, 26 million out of work and on govt financial support. Wealth down some 16 Trillion USD. Thousands of businesses never to come back.
    Airline travel is down 95%. The oil industry is tanking. No place to put the oil, reduced demand, tankers anchored with no where to deliver and USD 200,000 / day demurrage fees.

    Dairy and meat production is frozen. Millions of kgs of meat being plowed under along with milk and produce because of supply chain disruptions. US is some 14 days away from food supply breakdown.

    We can argue about "tallys" right up until we can't. And that is about 9 meals after the supply chain collapses.

    I'd suggest people stop arguing about esoteric things that are unknown or unknowable, and start formulating plans that work given what is known and knowable. Quickly.

    Priority to the food supply chain, medical workers, food chain workers, nursing homes, etc.
    Prioritize treatments (HCQ etc) as prophylactic, early intervention, and hail mary, categories.
    Enlist Abbot Labs to build quick detection of covid by mutation and get a handle on which one(s) are where and which one(s) are more dangerous than others.

    All the hand waving about vaccines that are 6 to 12 months away are useless activities.
    Tallies and testing without knowing the strain or mutation is fairly useless.
    Untargeted data is useless.

    I'd much rather see a plan than all of the politicized nonsense being used as justification for dubious actions without any marginal guarantee of outcomes.

    Knee jerk time is past being over. If Govts keep doing what they presently are doing, there will never be a solution.

    160

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Lance I assume you are writing about the USA.
      The political situation there is hopeless I agree.
      It feels to me as if the very USA nation is fracturing.
      Though perhaps that is me being pessimistic.

      However I stay informed about the food chain in the USA
      Via E M Smith on : https://chiefio.wordpress.com/
      And no major supply disruptions are being discussed there,
      Yet.

      Turning to Australia, what you say simply is not true.
      The food chain is in fine form.
      The only shortages are in electronic gadgets
      Imported from such countries as China & South Korea.
      So my lady’s plan to buy a new Samsung mobile is on hold
      Truely a disaster !

      But what is happening in Brazil. As you are living there
      I’d appreciate any news of how this pandemic is playing out there.

      38

    • #
      bobl

      Enlist Abbot Labs to build quick detection of covid by mutation and get a handle on which one(s) are where and which one(s) are more dangerous than others

      .

      Yes, and seriously consider innoculating the community with a less harmful strain if it confers immunity from the deadly strains. (Live Virus innoculation)

      42

    • #
      RickWill

      US has incurred debt of some USD 9000 per person so far with no end in sight

      So what – new money produced at zero cost. Will end up in savers’ bank deposits.

      food chain breaking,

      The main risk to food supply is when the virus impacts on essential workers. The lockdowns were intended to limit that risk. It certainly worked in Australia and in many other countries. Spain, which spread the virus widely, appears to have limited damage and is on the road to recovery.

      26 million out of work and on govt financial support.

      Taking a paid holiday at home.

      Wealth down some 16 Trillion USD.

      Only if materialised. The worst thing anyone can do now is sell shares. Now is the time to buy using savings put away for circumstances like this. I would avoid airlines though. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is up USD24bn in the 1st quarter. So on-line shopping is solid and supermarkets are doing well. Any technology to do with home schooling and working from home is also doing well right now but that may not last as shackles are loosened.

      Actually Bezos’s wealth covers the new money Australia created to cover the CV19 impact across the entire country.

      A fellow in Australia was complaining about the time it took to add $50 worth of fuel to his car. It seems to take forever now compared with pre CV19. Sometimes he cannot even get $50 worth into the tank.

      41

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Unleaded last night here in Adelaide $0.89 cents a liter
        LPG $0.55.9 cents a liter
        We have not had fuel prices like this since 2005.
        So some major living costs are falling.
        :-)

        24

        • #
          Lance

          Yeah, that’s great, Bill. In the US it is about $ 0.40 / liter for petrol.

          But that’s with oil selling at negative values and tens of thousands of people at risk as well as a national economy.

          So just go on there puffing those temporary savings at the cost of other’s jobs, lives, and futures.

          Such a bargain.

          Don’t know what you do for a living, but if it went to Zero, then according to your logic, it’d just be another example of some major living costs falling.

          Isn’t logic wonderful?

          61

      • #
        Lance

        Rick, that’s a bunch of nonsense.

        ” US has incurred debt of some USD 9000 per person so far with no end in sight

        So what – new money produced at zero cost. Will end up in savers’ bank deposits.”

        No money is ever produced at zero cost. That is totally ignorant. Debt is Debt. 50% of US citizens don’t pay taxes because of the “progressive” tax structure that “taxes the rich”. So that is USD 18K / person paying taxes. At 2% rate, not zero, in 10 yrs it is USD 22K/person paying taxes. In 30 yrs it is $32K/ person. What that means is that at best, every tax paying family of 4 people owes between USD 80K and USD 128K in addition to the existing debt of 23 Trillion for a total of USD 263K they owe as of today, per family of 4 who pay taxes. Evidently, economics isn’t your forte. You cannot finance bonds at zero percent. You can give taxpayers zero percent rates on return, but not to anyone buying the debt.

        ” 26 million out of work and on govt financial support. Taking a paid holiday at home.”

        That is totally ignorant of fact and reality. Let’s say a working person earns USD 4K/month. That’s over USD 100 BILLION/month. Since the debt to provide their income replacement at 50% is some 50 Billion/month, plus they are not paying taxes while on the dole, it is more. Your paid holiday is actually a debt bomb passed off to their children as economic enslavement. So yes, do go ahead and call it a holiday, except for their children and their own old age.

        ” Wealth down some 16 Trillion USD. Only if materialised. ”

        That too, is ignorant. Retirement savings in the US have MANDATORY withdrawals for persons over 70 yrs at 5% rate. So that means ACTUAL losses of USD 38 Billion if only 20% of the US is affected, per year, until this settles down, and their portfolio has lost 22% in 3 months so they likely will never recover because they are unemployed and dependent upon their prior investments. Young people will have to wait 3 to 10 years to recover what they have “lost”.

        “Actually Bezos’s wealth covers the new money Australia created to cover the CV19 impact across the entire country.”

        After you’ve convinced Jeff Bezos to cover that new money in Australia, tell us all about it. Until then, your statement is nothing but pure sophistry.

        Got any more economic fantasies to sell?

        71

        • #
          RickWill

          No money is ever produced at zero cost. That is totally ignorant. Debt is Debt.

          Debt of a sovereign nation is nothing like debt of a private individual. When was last time the US had zero federal government debt? When is it ever going to be paid back?. When interest rates go negative like they are in Denmark, the government debt becomes an income earner for them.

          Your paid holiday is actually a debt bomb passed off to their children as economic enslavement.

          No it’s not. Never will be paid back and never needs to be. Have a look at Denmark, Japan and ECB to name a few; all offer negative interest rates on short term government debt. The banks loan the government money and then pay the government interest to look after it for them. In fact in Denmark, private individuals get paid interest to take out home mortgages. Current mortgage rate MINUS 0.5%. This is a fundamental fact of ageing populations that have high propensity to save.
          https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/aug/13/danish-bank-launches-worlds-first-negative-interest-rate-mortgage
          The banking system gets flooded with private savings so the government charges them to put the money to use. You may think that is ridiculous but no individual is going to front up to a bank with a wheelbarrow to load their life savings so they can take it home and stuff it into their mattress or a hole in the backyard. The government guarantee of the capital is worth a small annual charge.

          Retirement savings in the US have MANDATORY withdrawals for persons over 70 yrs at 5% rate.

          What fool would have their retirement savings exposed to the stock market. Anyone going into retirement is very cautious to protect their savings. Wise folk have savings in government guaranteed term deposits. Even if they are exposed to the stockmarket they have only materialised a loss for the amount withdrawn since the market fall. In any case market has been two months at about 30% down; so 0.05/12 x 2 x 0.3= 0.25% materialised loss of total saving IF all savings held in ordinary stocks. And retirement savings in the stockmarket is a tiny fraction of the total market. So a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction is next to no material loss unless individuals panicked and chose to withdraw all funds.

          You are scare mongering because you do not take the time to understand the real situation.

          21

          • #
            RickWill

            The idea that sovereign nations need to pay back sovereign debt comes out of the same thinking process as CO2 causes global warming. Both situations demonstrate limited understanding of the entire process.

            11

      • #
        toorightmate

        Cant beat printing money.
        Oh Bummer made an art form of it!!!!

        31

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Lance at #16.0 said:

      HCQ+AZ+Zn is some 90% effective regardless of mutation apparently if given before the cytokine storm. USD <20 per treatment cycle.

      And some medicos are obtaining results far, far better than that. Dr Zev Zelenko is a case in point at just 0.05%.

      Secondly, the 90% figure is degraded by the inclusion in that analysis of the V.A. study which has been debunked as a biased (unscientific?) fabrication.

      http://joannenova.com.au/2020/04/thursday-open-thread-7/#comment-2316874

      And not only by me. Other have also critiqued it and found it wanting:

      In a tweet posted earlier Wednesday, world-renowned physician and microbiologist Dr. Didier Raoult, MD, PhD, accused the study of containing “three major biases that invalidate its conclusions.”

      Look:

      L’étude publiée en pre-print le 21/04 sur Medrxiv par Maganoli et al comporte trois biais majeurs qui invalident ses conclusions, de toute manière absurdes et incompatibles avec la littérature. Nous avons détaillé ces biais dans la lettre ci-dessous.https://t.co/f8s7fKSg8x

      — Didier Raoult (@raoult_didier) April 22, 2020

      A Google translation of his tweet reads as follows: “The study published in pre-print on 21/04 on Medrxiv by Maganoli et al contains three major biases that invalidate its conclusions, in any case absurd and incompatible with the literature. We have detailed these biases in the letter below.”

      Read the lot. Raoult considers it to be “closer to scientific fr**d than reasonable analysis”.

      https://www.bizpacreview.com/2020/04/23/scientific-misconduct-ingraham-shreds-media-fawning-over-weak-study-that-pans-hydroxychloroquine-912057

      20

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        So, Why include a study in the analysis that is clearly incompetently conducted?

        Sceptics know the probable answer to that.

        Left wing politics kills. OK?

        10

  • #
    Bright Red

    Flu data for Australia 2017.
    https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/3303.0~2017~Main%20Features~Deaths%20due%20to%20influenza~5
    Latest data for CV19 in Australia
    https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/05/coronavirus-covid-19-at-a-glance-coronavirus-covid-19-at-a-glance-infographic_4.pdf
    Check out the deaths by age graphs in both links.
    They are both disease of the “OLD”.
    Also similar co morbidities ore found in the dead.
    Perhaps flu and CV19 compete for the same customers with CV19 benefiting from the flu vaccine which provides it with a bigger pool of potential victims.

    Laboratory confirmed Influenza is a notifiable disease in Australia so the actual spread of the flu is likely much higher.

    In any case carrying on about all cause mortality at this point in the game is just scare mongering. It will be some time before we have enough data to see if there was any overall change to yearly numbers.

    72

  • #
    GTB

    Has anybody seen this video? https://youtu.be/V40Lixl0yjs
    It’s.called plandemic. Behind the scenes of the Pandemic, from an expert, who worked under Fauci
    G

    62

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Golly gosh, yet another US video saying how awful the USA is…
      This is an Australian based blog with an international audience
      Why is this USA internal stuff relevant here ?

      113

      • #
        joseph

        “Why is this USA internal stuff relevant here ?

        Bill,

        You really don’t know?

        82

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Joseph I do not care a tinker’s fart
          For USA distraction stuff.
          If you live there
          Fine – But it’s your problem not mine.

          [ Bill we have many people who live in the states commenting here and this subject is just as relevant to them as it is to us .]AD

          015

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            No wonder people are disillusioned with this blog.

            91

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            AD If you wish to influence this discussion
            Surely you should do it as a commentator
            NOT from the moderator’s throne.
            Your commentary on the rest of us as a ‘moderator’
            Are a new feature of the blog.
            As I note elsewhere I am AUSTRALIAN
            I decline to become involved in the bizarre
            Intricacies of the USA political scene
            It is not science.

            [ Noted ! But the host includes the US in the discussion above and this virus knows no borders .]AD

            17

            • #
              Annie

              For goodness sake Bill! Stop banging on about not being interested in anywhere but Australia; take a look at the quote on the banner at the top. It’s Jo’s blog in which we are all guests, not yours; you don’t make the rules.
              BTW, I am now one of your red thumbers as I frequently can’t be bothered to read your comment with its strange writing style; almost unreadable to me.

              Jo, this is a wonderful blog. I’ve been following it for years now and started while we were living in Gloucestershire. Thankyou for years of reading about all sorts of interesting stuff, science, politics and other. :0

              81

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                Annie, you have the right to decide not to read what I write.
                And the right to red thumb my comments unread.

                That you do so because of my ‘style’ of writing
                Rather than the content,
                Says more about you than me.

                And the very best of luck to you
                In the open paddocks of the Victorian country side.

                17

              • #
                yarpos

                If extra effort is required,extra value has to be perceived

                31

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                There are so many low value comments here recently
                And most of them with long windy paragraphs.
                I try to stay short & sharp.
                I do not have time to compose lengthy verbiage.

                13

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                William,

                We appreciate your presence.

                It’s not often we get a personage of such high rank deigning to grace these pages.

                As Ambassador at large, how do you feel about the new case of CV19 discovered in your state of South Australia?

                Do you think that it means the start of a new wave of the bloody virus or is it the last gasp?

                KK

                22

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                Annie, I’m not a Christian like you have said you are.
                I much prefer the thoughts of Marcus Aurelius, the stoic,
                ( Yes he was an emperor too )
                Today this thought from him from 1700 years ago
                Seems appropriate :
                “All the praise and and all the criticism are really the same thing: a clacking of tongues.
                Throw away the recognition, throw away the gossip,
                Throw away all the grousing from your haters -it’s worthless. ”

                A couple of hundred years later Christians gained power
                Banished & suppressed the Stoics and the Epicureans as well
                They were too much of an intellectual threat.

                01

          • #
            yarpos

            Ita almost like the blog is a private parochial plaything. Oz is a tiny part of the human world.

            50

      • #
        Lance

        So, Bill, are you saying the USA ought not give a tinker’s fart for any problems in AU because it’s “their problem”?

        Ok then. Have a go at that.

        61

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Frankly Lance that is exactly what I think Americans
          Here on this blog think.
          I remain a committed nationalist for my Country and it’s future
          Australia
          I advocate for what is working for us.
          If Yanks don’t like that ‘tough’.

          110

          • #
            Lance

            Talk is cheap, Bill.

            Oz didn’t say that in 1942, did they?

            Or do you pretend to speak for everyone?

            Me and mine will always, without reservation, support AU.

            121

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              Australians are tired of being ‘bombed’ by Deniers from the USA
              With BS about this virus and the COVID disease.
              We’re eliminating it mate.
              So we have our normal lives again.
              Our strategy is working !

              But the USA is in the midst of complete and utter medical & political stuff up.
              It’s the Mad Hatter’ s Tea Party writ large.
              74,804 Americans are dead as of today
              And many more are dying
              As a result.

              And Americans on this blog the gall & arrogance to say we’ve got it wrong ?
              That’s utter tripe.
              Get your own house in order
              And then maybe think about making suggestions about how other countries should do things
              Based on how successful you are.

              Now as I’ve said before, I have a vested interest in the USA getting this right.
              I have a son & grandchild living there in the USA.
              I hope that both survive this time of American madness and this disease unscathed.

              I hope you, an American in Brazil do the same.
              But I see that president Bolsanao is as mad a hatter as well.
              So you’ll need some luck.

              212

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                Australians are tired of being ‘bombed’ by Deniers from the USA

                Mate, even I don’t agree with that.

                It’s nonsense. Count me out.

                I welcome the views of those in the USA. And all other places. Brazil, Spain, Italy, UK. France. Even China (when the poor chappies are permitted to comment).

                The input from around the world is a real value add.

                Keep ‘em coming you guys. God bless the free world and those people who wish to be free.

                41

            • #
              Annie

              Lance, he doesn’t speak for me. Apologies to our American friends are in order methinks.

              Annie English Australian

              61

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                I think that the ghosts of 74,804 Americans
                Want their country’s medical crisis to be sorted properly.

                06

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                And the ghosts of 97 Australians
                Dead due to thus virus,
                Are puzzled why Australia acted so late
                To stop this disease coming to our shores.

                After all Jo among others was sounding the tocsin
                In early February.

                16

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Lance,

          On behalf of all the Australian commenters here I would like to apologise for the exponential behaviour of the Ambassador From South Australia.

          We deplore it.

          KK

          131

  • #
    Steve of Cornubia

    I shouldn’t be so sceptical, I know, but those awful ‘flu numbers are what drives the ‘flu vaccination industry, aren’t they?

    Are ‘flu vaccines a big earner for pharma companies perhaps?

    82

  • #
    AndyG55

    No new cases in Hunter/New England region for a couple of weeks now..

    1 still in the acute ward at Belmont hospital.

    70

  • #
    nb

    At the moment all-cause deaths is the only figure that can be trusted, and even that can be inflated/distorted if a region takes from other areas patients who might, in other circumstances, have died elsewhere. You’d probably need the figure for New York state to get a good idea of a change in numbers.

    60

  • #

    In my work, if the actual emerging experience differs from my modelled projections, I accept that it is my model that is wrong. Yet I see a large number of pandemic modellers sticking to their models and saying future experience will catch up, just wait for the second wave, it’s too soon to open economies because the virus might break out again, Swedish death rates are about to explode, any body who argues against lock down is a dingbat etc. At what point is real data sufficient to accept the models are wrong? If you accept the models are wrong, what justification is there for remaining in lockdown?

    91

    • #
      RickWill

      The IHME forecast are constantly being adjusted to reflect the controls in place and the accumulated experience in each location.

      The forecast toll for the USA was down to the low 60k a few weeks ago. Last week it was taken back upon to 74k. That was clearly wrong because new cases are running at over 25k per day and death to resolved ratio is currently 27%. So in the typical 21 days from case identification to death they already have another 140k deaths in the pipeline. Two days ago the IHME forecast went up again to 134k:
      https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america
      I expect USA already has 72k + 140k = 212k in the pipeline making the 134k extremely optimistic. The 212k would be without any more cases, which seems unlikely as well.

      The comparison between USA and Spain is stark. The virus spread rapidly in Spain:
      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/spain/
      With peak daily death of 866; in fact similar to New York. But Spain had the most draconian lock down of all locations apart from Wuhan in China. That resulted in a rapid fall to now 164 deaths per day now.

      By comparison US daily deaths is stuck around 2k per day:
      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
      The lock down has been inconsistent and only partially effective.

      I expect US and Sweden will vye for the wooden spoon. Both are heading to displace Belgium, that presently holds that position. But Belgium lockdown has been effective.

      32

  • #
    Robber

    This year, Australia began with relatively high flu rates: it had 6962 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in January and 7161 in February. However, cases have since nosedived, with 5884 recorded in March and only 229 in April, compared with 18,705 in April 2019. This is despite more flu testing being conducted this year.

    Australia’s FluTracking surveillance system, which surveys about 70,000 people each week and records their flu-like symptoms, shows that, in the week ending 26 April, only 0.2 per cent of Australians had symptoms. This figure was 1.4 per cent at the same time last year.

    80

  • #
    Scott

    Some more links to “see” what is going on.

    You are being lied to by some governments and the main stream media.

    The numbers are rigged, there is a “cure”, there are bigger things happening and the “plandemic” is being used as cover.

    https://twitter.com/IngrahamAngle/status/1257754348395864068

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-tanzania/tanzania-suspends-laboratory-head-after-president-questions-coronavirus-tests-idUSKBN22G295

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30251-8/fulltext
    When the protein sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding site was analyzed, an interesting result was found. While SARS-CoV-2 is overall more similar to bat coronaviruses, the receptor binding site was more similar to SARS-CoV.

    https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30262-2?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867420302622%3Fshowall%3Dtrue
    Both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV use the same host cell receptor. It also found that, for both viruses, the viral proteins used for host cell entry bind to the receptor with the same tightness (affinity).

    21

  • #
    Ross

    Here is a review of the Imperial College software which was one of the keys bits of information that got the world economy into this mess

    https://lockdownsceptics.org/code-review-of-fergusons-model/

    The following is a review of the UK situation. It outlines how deaths were recorded up until Covid 19 (including the historical changes made in the rigorous process) and what is happening now to record Covid deaths.
    We know how death certificates are being “manipulated” in the US by hospitals, because get can more money.

    I would doubt any of the figures being published.

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/05/covid-19-is-a-statistical-nonsense/

    81

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      From your first link
      “It isn’t the code Ferguson ran to produce his famous Report 9. What’s been released on GitHub is a heavily modified derivative of it, after having been upgraded for over a month by a team from Microsoft and others.”

      Ohhhh ? So it isn’t the code used for ferguson’s model…Ummmm ?

      Meanwhile we here in Oz are eliminating this CCP Corona 19 virus …
      South Australia : Zero new cases for 15 days..
      We will get our normal lives back soon
      But without the risk f it being brought here again
      Because we have state border restrictions with quarantine for 14 days.
      And all international arrivals quarantined in designated locations with supervision for 14 days.

      It ‘s a real pity we did not do this in early February.
      If we had, we would now have normal lives –
      Just like Taiwan which acted early

      110

      • #
        Ross

        Bill, did you think for 30 seconds about the bit you highlighted from the review? Surely it tells us what Fergusson used was WORSE than what has been reviewed because they were trying to upgrade his mess of a program.

        91

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          That’s what you say.
          But Ferguson’s program has not been released.
          So there is NO EVIDENCE for your assertions.

          19

        • #
          Graeme#4

          That was my reading of it as well Ross. Also I believe that the comments by experienced programmers tend to backup what you are saying. In any case, running the same program numerous times and obtaining significantly different results should sound many alarm bells about the code.
          It also seems that Australia relied on this code for its modelling which is another concern.

          51

    • #

      I think it is safe to assume we have seen the end of Prof Neil Ferguson.

      61

      • #
        Ross

        I’m not so sure David. Firstly has he resigned from the Imperial College or just the Government committee? Secondly he has been funded a lot by Gates so if he is out of main job my guess is Gates will employ him.

        61

  • #
    Bill_W_1984

    Jo,

    Do you know if the CDC data on the 1957 and 1968 flu pandemics is based on models as well? Both years, the claim is a million or more deaths world wide and over 100K in the US.

    Thanks

    50

  • #
    bobl

    Jo,
    I know is hard on an emotive issue like this, but as an Engineer I’ve been forced to place a price on death. There is a principle called ALARP in safety – ALARP = As low as reasonably practical. To practise this you need to place a price on the probability of an event – you can’t use any death is unacceptable (Infinite price on death) otherwise we couldn’t:

    Drive cars (1.2 million deaths P/A),
    Go for a walk (600,000 deaths P/A from falls)
    Eat food (420000 deaths from food).

    There is an inherent risk in everything we do and experience, CV-19 is a risk considering the cost benefit it is no worse a risk than road deaths currently 1100 P/A but we have accepted up to 3700 P/A. CV-19 is about 100. Worldwide CV-19 is 1/4 to 1/5 as dangerous as motor vehicles. We accept 18 million worldwide deaths from cardiovascular diseases without shutting down the world. CV19 even running rampant would never eclipse the number one cause.

    So please some reason, lets put the seatbelts in ( Protect the vulnerable, allow a HCQ prophylactic over the counter, give sound management advice, keep borders tight and do the proper quarantine) but let’s not cripple the country for a risk that’s lower than road accidents.

    I’m sorry to say but your blog is being very alarmist, we need a reasoned approach that reduces risk to ALARP while allowing our society to function.

    ========== a quick calculation ==========
    At a guess we reduced fatality by 50%, thats 100 people “Saved” but the cost is about 1/2 a trillion, that’s 5 billion dollars per person saved, because of the death statistics it’s an even worse cost in person years against an average lifespan of 80 years. If the average age of CV-19 deaths is 70 then each death represent 12% of a lifespan saved and we therefore saved 12 lifespans. That’s 41 Billion dollars per lifespan saved. Sorry that’s just not defensible.

    Let me put this another way, if 100 x 70 year old people were killed in an airline accident do you think the court would award the families of these people 5 Billion dollars each in compensation?

    This is why this is an overreaction.

    212

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Reason why this is such an emotive debate in my opinion is largely because some people want to put a dollar figure on a life , as I see it your just being skeptical but using a cost benefit ratio in something like this just comes across as a bit cold .
      And no I’m not saying your wrong to do that because you’re not alone , most of the whatifs are just unknown .
      I accept there is much unknown about the virus but I’m left wondering why in this day and age of medical and technological advancements is there such a gap .
      Some doctors saying it’s just a flu and some doctors warning of Armageddon, add the MSM and social media and wow just who or what to believe , and yes at what point do we have the discussion about returning to business as usual .
      If only we locked down oz to overseas earlier we wouldn’t be in the state we’re in now .

      46

      • #
        bobl

        The thing is that putting a dollar value on life and limb is done every day in actuarial tables for example, but also in SAFETY, in WA where Jo lives I think the official metric is about 6 Million for a life. On that basis the current mess warrants a total government spending of 6 x 1000 = 600 Million. We’ve “Spent” 1000 times that – 500 Billion in direct and economic costs.

        Yes, it appears cold to price a life. Engineers don’t talk about this part of the job much because of the sensitivity. But it does happen! ALL THE TIME, for example the government will not list a medicine on the PBS if the average cost per life saved is greater than a particular metric. Mostly you don’t know its happening behind the scenes, deaths from safety incidents just gradually get lower and lower because we do actually want to save lives, but our budget for doing that is $6 Million per each. Trust me that’s good, most of the planet implicitly prices a life in the single digit thousands and some in the hundreds (N Korea say).

        You can do your own math, heart disease is a good one because stats tend to be available, get a countries total spending on heart disease and divide by the deaths from heart disease, this tells you the governments implicit valuation for saving a life from heart disease. Its interesting to see breast cancer vs prostate cancer to see a countries gender bias in valuation of life.

        For USA see

        https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-12-526

        132

        • #
          Robber

          Well said Bobl. It’s not talked about, but governments regularly put a price on saving a life.
          For example: Ambulance Victoria reported 84.2 percent of Code 1 ambulances reached patients within 15 minutes.
          But if we had more ambulances, how many lives could be saved if ambulances responded 90% of the time within 8 minutes?
          It’s a cost/benefit analysis that has been applied.
          Similarly, lives could be saved on the roads if speed limits were all reduced by 20 kmph, but there is a cost/benefit decision applied.
          Seat belt regulations were imposed because for a minor cost increase, lots of trauma and deaths could be avoided.
          In NZ, in order to do its cost-benefit calculations for making decisions about the cost of transport fatalities, the Ministry of Transport currently values a life saved by any policy intervention at $4.37 million.
          In Australia, if the cost of the CV19 response is $320 billion, and we value a life at that NZ rate of $4.4 million, lives saved equivalent would be 73,000.
          Up to 150,000 Australians could die from the coronavirus under a worst case scenario, the Morrison government says.
          Under the best case scenario of a 20 per cent infection rate, about 50,000 people out of 5 million infected with COVID-19 would die.

          42

          • #
            bobl

            Yes, New York is pretty much a worst case scenario, ridiculously high population densities, winter, yet of 19 Million population, deaths are (currently) 25000 and they are pretty much at herd immunity by my calculations ,25/18 * 25. That would put a ceiling on Australia of about 34000 at NZ 4.4 million losses due to CV-19 should be limited to about 100 Billion – and that’s facing a nightmare scenario like New York which is impossible here. Why is it impossible – because 1/3 of our population don’t live in the capital cities.

            62

    • #
      el gordo

      In economic terms it appears indefensible, but if its the catalyst to restructure society for the better, then obviously its money well spent. Out of the $130 billion set aside to fight this virus, there should be plenty left over for infrastructure spending.

      The two airline system seemed to work, but it constantly fails, so a high speed rail network up against Qantas is the sort of thing which will finally succeed. There are endless examples, what is on your wish list besides new dams and coal fired power stations?

      21

    • #
      joseph

      Well put bobl . . . . .

      The deaths from prescribed pharmaceuticals is another figure that wouldn’t have been out of place on that list. And I wonder what models exist to attempt to determine what number of deaths are likely after a ‘one size fits all’ vaccine has been given to 7 billion people.

      82

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Another awful “white feather” moment….?

    Remember the propaganda WW1 slogan : “Daddy…what did you do in the War?”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-07/has-your-mp-downloaded-the-coronavirus-tracing-app/12215092?nw=0

    “The Federal Government is trumpeting the importance of downloading the COVIDSafe tracing app, saying it is crucial to reviving businesses and returning to normal life, but at least three of its own MPs have not downloaded it.

    “The ABC has checked whether every MP and senator in Parliament has downloaded the app, either by contacting them directly or checking the public record for definitive statements on the matter, ahead of restrictions potentially being lifted tomorrow.

    “The Government has flagged the number of app downloads as a critical factor influencing how quickly those restrictions are lifted
    But that has not been enough to convince all of those in Parliament, with at least one member of every party choosing not to download COVIDSafe.

    “That includes Government MPs Barnaby Joyce and Llew O’Brien and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
    Several MPs and senators, including frontbenchers Michaelia Cash, Dan Tehan and Trevor Evans, did not respond to the ABC’s requests for clarification of their positions, while former cabinet minister Bridget McKenzie declined to comment.

    22

  • #
    cedarhill

    The more one knows about the experts, their ways and models cast doubts on everything, as in every-single-thing, they say. It’s like watching a game show contest titled “Most Believable Lie and Misdirection”.

    In the legal business, there’s a concept called “impeaching a witness” (search it) which, if successful, mostly destroys a witness’ credibility. Inaccurate, misleading, conflict of interests, withholding information, misdirection — and that’s just in something as basic as counting.

    Double counting, counting based on suspicions, with holding counts, ever changing guidelines, and, most importantly, dramatic shifting of “avoiding excess deaths” by “flattening the curve” using methods from STD experts declared to be super virologists which have never been proven (with “violators” being cited, fined, arrested and even jailed).

    And people pushing agendas from climate activists declaring this is a good trial run for controlling CO2 emissions to the usual fascist wing of the socialist demanding even more permanent power.

    —————————————————–
    and then there’s yet another chapter to the HCQ story
    —————————————————–
    The wayback machine discovers on Pubmed (the US’s NIH repository of all medical trials, articles, etc.) that hydroxchoroquine in 2005 — that is about 15 years ago:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232869/

    original article “Chloroguine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread” published in BMC’s Virology Journal co-authors included six (6) employees of CDC along with three Canadians. Note hydroxycholoquine has the same structure as chloroquine but adds and OH to the chain. The authors concluded:

    “Chloroquine, a relatively safe, effective and cheap drug used for treating many human diseases including malaria, amoebiosis and human immunodeficiency virus is effective in inhibiting the infection and spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. The fact that the drug has significant inhibitory antiviral effect when the susceptible cells were treated either prior to or after infection suggests a possible prophylactic and therapeutic use.”

    The SAR-CoV in the early 2000′s was also described as “novel” and obviously widely studied but no one seems able to describe why are leading experts are so forgetful. Nor can any one explain what happened after the 2005 CDC research not anything else other than “it’s not proven”.

    The public relies on these experts yet every day it something surfaces which requires one or more to “explain” why things yesterday were not really correct. It reminds one of the adage that governments only work with the consent of the governed. Applied to the virology experts they’re failing that trust.

    72

  • #
    thingadonta

    One has also has to be a little skeptical of some figures for the Spanish Flu. You hear anywhere from 20 million to 100 million deaths, with up to ~1/3 of world at the time infected-about 500 million-giving roughly a 4%-20% death rate. But all these figures are rubbery. Thoroughly reviewed estimates at the time put it at no more than 20-30 million deaths, and the number infected might have been well under 500 million, as flu only has an R0 of ~1.3. If the number infected was 200 million and 20 million died, that gives a death rate of 10%-exceptionally high because this was a brand new flu which killed mostly healthy young people. I still think it was worse overall than covid19 (larger the higher death rate), but it wasn’t nearly as infectious as covid19, with covid19 estimates of the R0 up to ~4, which is exceptionally contagious. Flu doesn’t survive ~3-9 days on glass in cool conditions like covid19 does.

    With covid19, there is something like an extra 5,000 excess deaths in a week in one province in Ecuador, in areas which don’t get much testing, and never will get much testing. Brazil just recorded 11,000 cases a day on 6/5/20(up from a few thousand a week or two ago), and much of the country doesn’t get tested. India now gets 4,000 cases a day and rising, many reginal areas do not get testing. Indonesia gets about 400 cases a day for the last few weeks without rising, likely because that is close to the limits of the testing.

    13

  • #
    bradd

    The EuroMomo site has overall death weekly figures for Europe going back some years. This reports deaths from all causes, but you can now see the spike in deaths caused by Covid 19. I would stress that the figures are independent of cause including Covid 19.

    I took the Eurmomo data and calculated the recent ‘excess’ deaths over and above the normal baseline (note that ‘normal’ means 50000+ deaths per week in Europe, something that we tend to forget about). Over 9 weeks, I calculated 138,000 excess deaths so far in the Covid-19 outbreak. As it happens the official death toll in Europe is 135,000, surprisingly close given that Euro Momo is not measuring Covid19 per se, just excess deaths.

    I did the same for the bad flu season of 2016-17. In that case I got 104,000 excess deaths over 14 weeks.

    The Covid toll is ongoing although easing off now. It may be 160-170,000 before returning to baseline. Conclusion, Covid-19 is definitely worse than a bad flu season, but not hugely so.

    I did a rough calculation for the first wave of the Spanish flu in 1918, using other data. That came to 4 million deaths in 8 weeks! (for all of Europe). And bear in mind that the second wave of Spanish flu was much worse than the first.

    EUROMOMO’s most recent figures are subject to change as more reports come in. They do try to correct for this in their published figures, however. Worth watching over the next few weeks.

    12

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      But Bradd the 2016-17 flu was allowed to run it’s course
      Without any major interventions..
      This novel virus has seen a major spike in total deaths
      Despite the lockdowns/ border closures in virtually all European countries
      ( The exceptions being the Netherlands and Sweden )

      PS The cause of the Spanish Flu was not understood in 1918-19.
      And so the measure taken to stop it spreading were flawed.
      It was we now know, mostly spread by the troops of the waring nations
      Both before the armistice of November 1918 in the midst of the battles,
      And afterwards with the repatriation of the troops and auxillary men.
      This happened on crowded ships and trains.
      An infected man on the ships or trains quickly spread it to others.
      General Monash, after November 1918
      In charge in the UK of repatriating troops back to Australia by ship
      Tried to delay the repatriation process.
      But the Diggers wanted to get home
      And so did their families back here.
      So eventually the ships started sailing to Oz
      And brought the disease with them.

      47

  • #
    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Chen Wei is Chinese citizen worth having here in Oz.
      Can we swap him for Twiggy Forest ?

      13

  • #
    StuF

    Thanks for your excellent and thoughtful coverage on this subject, Jo. I wish Andrew Bolt could spend a bit of time absorbing some of it.

    64

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    So,

    the Statistics relating to Inflenza are seriously flawed, if not deliberately made that way.

    I can accept that.

    What I can’t believe is that anyone would deliberately misrepresent CV19 Death Statistics in 2020.

    No! That’s not possible, that would be unethical.

    Let’s just put all of this doubt behind us and accept what the government experts tell us; society must close down; until They say it’s safe to come out.

    Trust the government, it’s all we have.

    KK

    31

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Jo’s put up the stats for TOTAL DEATHS Keith.
      There is a massive spike.
      Are you denying that as well ?

      18

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Show Your Work! Ferguson Sex Scandal Prompts Calls for UK Govt to Release Coronavirus Models

    Ferguson’s Imperial Model
    May 6, 2020 Rand Simberg 5 Comments

    A code review.https://lockdownsceptics.org/code-review-of-fergusons-model/

    The code. It isn’t the code Ferguson ran to produce his famous Report 9. What’s been released on GitHub is a heavily modified derivative of it, after having been upgraded for over a month by a team from Microsoft and others. This revised codebase is split into multiple files for legibility and written in C++, whereas the original program was “a single 15,000 line file that had been worked on for a decade” (this is considered extremely poor practice). A request for the original code was made 8 days ago but ignored, and it will probably take some kind of legal compulsion to make them release it. Clearly, Imperial are too embarrassed by the state of it ever to release it of their own free will, which is unacceptable given that it was paid for by the taxpayer and belongs to them.

    Good lord.

    This reminds me an awful lot of the code that was leaked from CRU. S**t climate coding has done a lot of economic damage, but nowhere near as rapidly as this has, with tens of thousands of deaths to boot.

    [Update a few minutes later]

    A devastating conclusion:

    All papers based on this code should be retracted immediately. Imperial’s modelling efforts should be reset with a new team that isn’t under Professor Ferguson, and which has a commitment to replicable results with published code from day one.

    On a personal level, I’d go further and suggest that all academic epidemiology be defunded. This sort of work is best done by the insurance sector. Insurers employ modellers and data scientists, but also employ managers whose job is to decide whether a model is accurate enough for real world usage and professional software engineers to ensure model software is properly tested, understandable and so on. Academic efforts don’t have these people, and the results speak for themselves.

    Same with climate modeling. Get it out of the universities. Particularly Penn State.

    [Update a while later]

    What Ferguson’s booty call tells us about our “elites.”

    71

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Oops – Reference Ferguson’s Imperial Model
    May 6, 2020 Rand Simberg 5 Comments

    http://www.transterrestrial.com/2020/05/06/fergusons-imperial-model/

    11

  • #
    PeterS

    Not only is thee a wide spread of opinions there is a lot of posters talking at cross purposes. Very little is still known about the virus and associated factors. Yet most are talking s though it’s a well understood entity and they are experts. I’m getting tired of it. How about we move onto other topics for a while until the real experts know more of the facts.

    41

    • #
      TdeF

      And who are the real experts? The ones who advised Boris Johnson that herd immunity was best? Now 30,000 deaths. Or the one advising the Swedish government with 24,000 cases and 3,000 deaths, with only 10 million people?

      This is a political decision, how many people are allowed to die. There are people who think it’s just karma, fate, inevitable. And besides, they are safe so what does it matter?

      Then there are those who think every life is precious.

      And those who think because we have had almost no deaths, we overreacted.

      And those experts who think the ‘economy’ is the only thing which matters to everyone. Jobs, income, golf, beaches and overseas travel and death is just bad luck.

      So we debate the truth. Because people have a different view. And because even ‘experts’ can be wrong. It’s one thing to understand the biochemistry, another to form a view as to what is right and wrong in society, the likely consequences of actions.

      Most people do not want to die. And in Australia we agreed.

      And perhaps Sheridan in the Australian was right. The bushfires kept the masses of Chinese tourists away, so our viral load at the outset of this was far lower than elsewhere?

      Al Gore is an expert. Tim Flannery is another expert. Greta Thunberg has lectured the United Nations. Who is an expert?

      And Morrison is advised by experts. What I care about is that we have to get rid of this thing as we have nearly done, even if a lot of experts said that was impossible without a vaccine. They were wrong.

      Which is not surprising as this has never happened before. Not a pandemic, the communications systems which allow us to coordinate a response. We are the envy of the world. And I have believed from the outset that this could and should be done.

      We have to have two weeks without a single case. Then it is gone.

      What can let us down now is that every sign of the virus must be hammered, understood, corralled and eliminated. Or it all starts again. That did not happen with Cedar Meats, as in my next comment. Now we have to know why.

      44

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        TdeF
        I’m coming to the conclusion that there are a bunch of folk here who are ‘denialists’ by nature
        Not by evidence.
        Not matter what is presented to them by way of evidence
        They will find hair splitting reasons to deny it.
        Bugger !
        Such science !

        However we can take cheer from the basic fact that this bunch are completely unrepresentative of the Australian people.
        Among ordinary Aussies there is a deep awareness of the dangers of relaxing all the restrictions and throwing away all the fruit of the past 2 months.
        All of us Aussies are keen to get our normal lives back.
        And almost all are unwilling to take huge risks.
        And kill thousands in the process.

        15

      • #
        PeterS

        Well they are certainly not here that’s for sure. Or are you claiming to be one? Do you have the right qualifications and experiences? Bit like getting advice from a normal guy instead of an expert mechanic on how to fix a car. I would choose the latter even though we all know there are some who are charlatans.

        41

  • #
    TdeF

    A comment about the Abattoir scandal, Cedar Meats in Melbourne.

    Is it possible that they detected the virus in a worker and told absolutely no one? If so why? Is that because the owner is a sizable contributor to the Labor party and asked his friends in high places to hush it up and protect the business? Where did this worker get the virus if not at work?

    In most areas you become aware of anyone local who is infected. In our area a clinic, a primary school and a few other rumors.

    If the other workers at the abattoir had heard that one of the others was infected, or their customers or their families then things might have been very different. The 60 year old nurse who help the man with his severed finger now has the virus and her life may be over. Absolute tragedy. Hell on earth for doing your job helping others. The worker was obviously unaware that he could have it and it was only a casual check because he had flu symptoms. The nurse was also unaware when she treated him three times without any protective gear. The government knew but clearly no one working at the abattoir including any friends. How many more would have had checks weeks ago?

    So why were the other employees not aware? Why was it accepted that he could not have infected coworkers or even that he had not picked it up at work?
    Why was the source of infection ignored? Or written off as unknown? All obviously wrong now.

    There is so much more to this, as much as the Ruby Princess. Someone hid this by saying nothing, to everyone’s great cost and many people could die. Total infections from this site, coworkers, friends, families are now over 70. How many will die or have their lives totally ruined. Why? A lapse of judgment? Ridiculous. An unexplained infection from nowhere? Not possible. Any why was no one else at the abattoir checked? Surely even if he was not at work, some of the workers were friends?

    This was not an accident, an oversight. Someone called in a favor. Most damning, even when the mass infection was announced, they still hid the name of the company. As with the Ruby Princess, this was a decision from high up, not a lapse of judgement. Too many people said nothing, reported nothing.

    Don’t tell me it was calling a favor for the Labor party. What else can it be? This is criminal.

    72

    • #
      Serp

      About as criminal as signing the Belt and Road MOU and trying to keep it secret, about as criminal as Dastyari’s antics; there’s been deep penetration of all Australian institutions by the PRC most conspicuously the ALP. You’ve got to wonder which side Labor would support were the US and China to go to war.

      70

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      TdeF
      The owners are mates of the Labor party
      Brooklyn is an industrial labor heart land suburb.
      I saw a photo of one of the owners with a Labor MP taken ages ago for publicity.

      But also in play is that most of the people on the line are migrants employed as casuals.
      No work = No pay & No sick leave either )
      Mostly from [Snip] countries as the main market is exporting Halal certified meat into overseas countries.
      I suspect that case zero at this plant is migrant employee who went home for a holiday in January
      And brought the infection back with him.
      And passed it on to the poor bloke who lost his thumb.

      Yes I do think this was a ‘hushed up’ incident as a favour to a mate.
      And so it has grown into a big cluster that is still infecting others.

      [Yes Bill blame 18C .]AD

      03

  • #
    Robber

    Victoria’s DHHS has finally released information on the location of the 101 active CV19 cases.
    There are now zero active cases in 40 of 70 local government areas. There are just 8 CV19 cases in hospital in Victoria.
    The meat processing plant cluster account for 62 current cases who are mostly isolated in western Melbourne. Only two local council areas have more than 10 cases.
    Ease the restrictions now.

    50

    • #

      I heard the Federal Health Minister say today that it will be really important as restrictions are eased that people maintain the 1.5m distancing, we wash our hands and we stay at home if feeling sick. Well, duh! We were all doing that months ago before the panicked political class enforced a catastrophic lock down. Next he will claim credit for this.

      41

  • #
    toorightmate

    Christopher Monckton appears to be totally convinced that the CV statistics have been artificially manipulated.

    31

  • #
  • #
    observa

    A blast from the past with Covid Parties
    What will the authorities do? Make it illegal for people to catch viruses?

    Apart from Australia and NZ islands who could possibly nail this virus it’s fairly clear the rest of the globe has to live with it as it will be rife everywhere well before a vaccine is ready to go into precious medicos. So where does that leave the full user pays 14 day quarantine and testing ANZACS vis a vis the rest of the world? These lockdowns can’t hold globally as the economic imperative swamps the medical problem.

    11

  • #
    ImranCan

    The comparison with flu epidemics is a bit meaningless at this stage. For a couple of reasons :

    1) We will really only know the true lethality of Covid19 when the epidemic has run its course and we can calculate the genuine excess deaths. Then we can compare with previous epidemics.

    2) It clearly isn’t like normal flu. The disease is different. For younger people its much less deadly than flu but for elderly its much more deadly. Children less than 10 reportedly don’t even show they have ever had it and the % of people who die aged < 40 is <0.5% of the total deaths. But if you are over 80 and you catch Covid19 you have a 6-7% chance of dying. Its not flu.

    10

  • #
    ren

    “However, even the more complete figures provided by the Office for National Statistics appear to be a significant undercount. For instance, the ONS weekly statistical report for the week ending April 24 shows that 8237 Chinese-virus deaths occurred. However, the excess mortality compared with the same week averaged over the previous five years was 11,539, suggesting that even HM Government’s revised death counts are underestimating the true position by 40%. If so, the true cumulative death toll may well exceed 41,000.

    In the long run, and in the absence of a competent, internationally-standardized reporting protocol, it is the excess deaths that will be the best guide to the true fatality rate.

    That the statistics should have been so inadequately kept as to allow a grave discrepancy between Chinese-virus deaths and excess mortality even in Western countries is bad enough. However, elsewhere in the world the under-reporting is still more severe.

    In Brazil, for instance, where the President decided that no lockdown was needed despite the high population densities in the major cities, the hospital system has been overwhelmed, mass graves are being dug and the number of deaths reported is a severe understatement of the true position. The President also fired his health minister, who had criticized him for not following social distancing guidelines.”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/05/06/using-excess-deaths-to-correct-chinese-virus-mortality-counts-coronavirus/

    00

  • #
    ren

    The largest number of additional deaths will occur when seasonal flu appears along with the second wave of the virus. In the northern hemisphere it may be in October.

    00

  • #
    Hhill

    Hmm so the “freezer trucks are backing up and the morgues are overflowing”? Strange that I just read that most hospitals are emptier than usual, so much so that physicians are worried that people with any condition other than Corona/SARS are avoiding seeking healthcare. It’s hard to seriously consider an article that wants to discuss and debunk statistics when it’s full of rhetoric and purposefully inflammatory language. The author seems to have an opinion and an axe to grind. So much for credibility.

    00

  • #
    G.I.

    Quick Quiz for all here:

    Q1. How many people known to you have/had the flu this year?

    Q2. Same question for COVID 19.

    42

  • #
    toorightmate

    Nil and nil.

    31

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    None & None !
    One of the many benefits of
    Closing the borders,
    The Lock down,
    And practising social distancing !

    44

  • #
    DOC

    It’s really splitting hairs over cause of death, unless its murder or suicide where one
    can’t argue too much about the termination of a life prematurely. Even in some of these situations
    one can argue it wasn’t the act itself that caused the death. It was the mental stress or the
    mental anger or the grog taken before one acted.

    One could argue that people said to have died of heart attacks or strokes didn’t die from the attacks. It was the smoking, the hypertension or the hypercholesterolemia that killed. What’s the point other than to be arguing one’s ideas that this virus is no worse than the flu, and seeking reasons to down play this virus as though it’s just old age killing people by a different agent and they were going to die soon anyway. Anything to justify the argument that the economy should not have been subordinated to get control of the epidemic.

    Knowledge of this virus is still accumulating and is full of surprises, particularly about the way it works throughout the body and the damage it leaves behind to be coped with for, possibly, life. Maybe there are some in politics and the bureaucracies that see this as a chance to repress us as little dictators, but I don’t know anyone who isn’t aware of the economic collateral damage and wish it to end. But similarly,looking at the mess in the USA where people are rebelling and the death toll keeps racing up,it’s hard to see where that’s really going to end. I don’t know anybody that wants us to go down that track either, but we might get another surprise.

    There’s more than enough problems with this virus that we shouldn’t try to under-rate it. It shouldn’t be a surprise that bringing the virus into a home is the easiest way to spread it, but it appears, +/- distancing outside of confined quarters in the sun is a good way of controlling it. That appears against the stay at home orders where workers can introduce infection more readily. Everyone is learning.

    What I am trying to say is, a death certificate wants a cause and may have a list of comorbidities. If one gets a virus, makes the patient ill and patient dies, then the virus
    has killed the patient that was otherwise carrying comorbidities which did not precipitate death, even if they assisted the dying. When the New World brought measles to the tribes of the old,
    the comorbidity of lack of resistance was there, but the measles etc caused the deaths. Similarly when doctors went to Africa to treat Ebola and died, they died from Ebola.

    The attempt to downplay this virus by those trying to force open the economy is an injustice to
    the community that is itself aware of the economy – often more so perhaps, through loss of jobs and income – than those better off, who remain employed or are better off and able to withstand
    the imposts. The right way to handle this virus is currently unknown and will only become
    appreciated when the epidemic ends and the methodologies from around the world can be compared.
    Mistakes will be made in the reopening, no doubt. I also have no doubt that those currently demanding a quick reopening will be absent from action and quiet as churchmice. The government
    will be loudly blamed and excoriated even when it too has to act by trial and error and knows
    it has to get the economy resuscitated. It needs support, not intimidation to succeed.

    41

  • #
    DOC

    If you were in Britain, Spain, Italy, or the USA I wonder if those same questions would be so easily put to support a point of view. Even Sweden is catching up with the eighth highest deaths
    per million and lagging well behind its adjoining countries of Finland, The Netherlands etc.
    The fact is, one could make the case that the early attack of Morrison on the borders and routes into the country, plus the rest of it, is all that saved us from a similar fate. As has been said
    in Jo’s blog over the weeks, if we had acted sooner we would have been even better off. But that’s
    what missed chances do, and to get as far as we did was down to ignoring expert advice by the PM.

    If it wasn’t for that decision perhaps you would not be able to put those questions as a
    point that the economy should not have been hit. The reverse of that position is, it is only
    possible that we will come out of the damage much sooner, and better off, than most other nations BECAUSE Morrison took the action when he did. Could have been better? Maybe! But not many other nations acted earlier and we can look on to see the damage we have escaped rather than that we had to do.

    61

  • #
    observa

    As it transpired I caught a raging URTI from my 9 month old grandson at the very beginning of the lockdown. He had a runny nose and the next day was clingy and grizzly with mum all day and a bit of a restless night and then bounced back no probs. It was about 3 days later I’m heading to bed and I feel a tickle in the throat and a bit fuzzy in the head to wake up in the morning with a sore throat and a bit of a headache.

    I jump on the Gummint Covid advice site and it’s a question of have I been OS or in contact with same and have I got breathing difficulties. No to all so naff off we’re busy basically. So the throat’s getting worse and so is the headache and the next night I wake up in the middle of the night with my throat on fire and I’m not well. Knocks me around for 3 days and then it eases off and develops into coughing up sputum for a few days gradually ameliorating. The throat did have a a mild second bite as I’m getting better but all in all about two weeks before I can say I’m over it completely and no bother to anyone.

    So I could have had laryngitis, pharyngitis, rhinovirus, enterovirus, coronavirus, RSV or common or garden flu so why wasn’t I beating down the door of ER like most would? Well you see I’d already experienced the 3 yr old granddaughter hitting ER at 3 months of age and she’s in serious trouble on a ventilator in the ICU and they’re testing her for meningitis. Phew it aint that but she’s still in serious trouble with bronchiolitis as she’s been hit with RSV, a rhinovirus and enterovirus all at once. Well she pulled through but she wasn’t the only bub or tacker in trouble like that at the Adelaide Childrens Hospital at the peak of the flu season.

    But I’d learned something that not only do mum and dad need a good thermometer to look out for fever a relatively inexpensive fingertip pulse oximeter will tell you if lung function is being compromised. No fever or falling spo2 was telling me this aint Covid19 so grin and bear it and it was all top end infection. What about your households with the flu season kicking off?

    40

  • #
  • #
    Sense

    But.. but.. it’s all so scary glen.. I mean even our fruit is at risk! Wake up man!
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/tanzania-president-questions-coronavirus-kits-animal-test-200503174100809.html

    31

  • #
    PeterS

    OK then let’s close down all roads to reduce car accidents to 0, not.

    73

  • #
    TdeF

    No, that’s just nuts.

    We introduced seat belts, speed limits, dropped speed limits, introduced roundabouts, built freeways, side impact collision, crumple zones, seats for babies, better brakes, better tyres, alcohol limits, drug detection, even eyeball monitoring for sleepy drivers and radar operated brakes, white line tracking and more, lanes for trucks.

    Three decades ago car deaths in Victoria were over 1,200 a year with half the population and now a quarter of that so down x10. And we have a long way to go.

    However with very infectious killer disease and no vaccine, you have no choice. Even with lockdown (UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, New York) It is killing more people in a day in comparable countries than we lose on the roads in a year.

    35

  • #
    yarpos

    I’m sure Dan is tempted. I mean if it saves just one life …..

    I mean how important is driving around compared to lives saved

    52

  • #
    Annie

    Please don’t give him ideas!

    41

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Well we’ve both had the flu vax
    And been isolating
    No kids at all..
    So no flus

    02

  • #
    JanEarth

    Bill

    That’s overkill if what you have been saying about your megadosing of vitamin D is correct….or is that all just nonsense?

    Nothing wrong with being careful but it does seem you lack faith in your convictions.

    I visited family today and tomorrow will be catching up with some good mates…. not all at the same time mind you. That 2 person indoors directive seems reasonable.

    It’s nice to get out again :)

    10

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    My Lady is a carer at an Aged care center.
    They are sitting ducks for infection
    By staff who are asymptomatic carriers.
    So we take the extra precautions.

    00