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Lockdowns work: Influenza cases are 85% down across 17 countries

Lockdowns appear to be reducing all flu-like diseases

Influenza infections, 17 nations, WHO data

This years flu season is smaller than the last five years

Good news: due to the pandemic it’s likely many people are not catching Influenza and other respiratory diseases.This shows a rather  predictable result that quarantine reduces the spread of respiratory diseases. It’s a banal and uncontroversial finding.

Chris Gillham is a part of the unofficial BOM audit team here, and below he looks at WHO data across 17 countries for Influenza. (The WHO Chief of course is a belt-n-debt-trap apologist for China, but this is not their modeled interpretation, just the data). Laboratory indicated influenza cases are down an astonishing 87% in 17 nations compared to the five year period.

Quarantine is textbook microbiology, and for most of history, the best way to reduce the spread of disease. In many countries 12 days after major isolation measures started, viral growth flattened off the dreaded exponential curve. Despite that, some commentators still wonder if the lockdowns achieve anything for Coronavirus. And so it is, that we reach this strange point in the debate, where it is worth stating the blandly obvious: that lockdowns slow the spread of respiratory viruses. This is not to say they are cheap, just effective.

Some argue that “coronavirus cases are inflated”, and in the pandemic fog some deaths no doubt are. But the big-picture is writ in the all-cause-mortality data which shows the opposite. In cities where Coronavirus is known to kill many, the deaths are far higher than even the confirmed coronavirus deaths — possibly 60% higher. And we know that Coronavirus causes massive clotting, leading to strokes, heart disease, and pulmonary embolism. Far from overestimating the deaths from Coronavirus, many deaths are going unrecorded, as people die in homes without even getting tested. Contrary to this, deaths due to influenza are often inflated, with modeled, statistical estimates of the “burden” raising the death tolls from 3,000-15,000 up to “60,000″.

Time to move the debate along

Instead of asking if lockdowns work, we should be talking about which aspects are the most cost effective. The more effective the lockdown is, the shorter it needs to run. We also need to ask why anyone (especially the US and the UK) would lock up their citizens but allow foreigners to fly in through airports, and not even bother to enforce the quarantine. Why are so many nations paying the expense of a lockdown, but not doing the cheap masks and Vitamin D options? It’s almost like the Expert Swamp doesn’t want to eliminate the virus…

The US and UK are flying into a perfect storm. To anyone who wants to find a way out of The Virus Trap, and wants the economy to fly again, keep an open mind and your eye on the target (and the target is not the people who also want the same thing you do).

A healthy economy starts with a healthy population. When there is a deadly new virus around, worried citizens don’t want to eat out, send their kids to school, or get a new Gucci. Nor do they want to lock up the 60+ group, or lose 1 in 10 grandparents. The best way to restart the economy is to get rid of the virus, which is exactly what most rich western nations are doing. The few that aren’t may get stuck in the slow bleed option where neither the people, nor the economy, are healthy.

Because no one stopped the Virus-Flights in February, with a new unknown disease spreading rapidly, the lockdowns were the only choice. Now, in countries tracking to zero, they’re being lifted. It’s time to restore manufacturing, national borders, and get back to work. If only the US and UK didn’t knobble their own lockdowns…

– Jo

PS: In comments it would be useful if people could be polite, well mannered, and logical.

 ________________________________________________

Are COVID lockdowns suppressing other diseases?

Guest Post by Chris Gillham
Influenza data from the World Health Organization hints at a reduction of almost 90% in global infections of communicable diseases, the only sensible explanation being social distancing lockdowns imposed to target the COVID-19 virus.
The WHO website provides influenza laboratory surveillance information from most countries, although not all of them keep their notifications up to date. It’s not know how they reflect on actual flu numbers in each country’s community but it’s assumed there’s a correlation since the WHO publishes the data and keeps it fairly current.
Spotlight on 17 countries
I chose 17 countries, partly because of their population size, partly because of the media attention they’ve attracted over the past few weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, and partly based on whether or not they’ve supplied adequately up-to-date weekly reports within the timeframe.
His analysis starts in week 14 of 2019 and goes to week 18 of 2020, which was the end of April.
This allows a comparison of positive flu tests in the 17 countries from week 14 to week 18 of both 2019 and 2020. The most recent WHO notification from the US at the time of analysis was week 14.
Firstly, the 11 countries that had flu test results from week 14 2019 through to week 18 2020 …
Influenza infections, 17 nations, WHO data

The difference in influenza rates one year apart in 11 countries

Compare the first five columns with the last five columns in the above graphic and it’s pretty clear that a lot fewer people in those 11 countries have this year had the sniffles, a cough or potentially died from influenza.
It’s worth magnifying the figures during those five week blocks …
Influenza infections, 17 nations, WHO data

That’s an 88.0% reduction in positive laboratory influenza test notifications from 11 countries.
I added three more countries which had recent positive influenza test notifications up to week 17 2020 …
Influenza infections, 17 nations, WHO data

That’s a 92.6% reduction in positive laboratory influenza test notifications from 14 countries.
To include the US, all 17 countries can be compared in week 14 of 2019 and 2020 …
Influenza infections, 17 nations, WHO data

That’s a 90.9% reduction in positive laboratory influenza test notifications from 17 countries.
It’s worth running a magnifying glass over some of the 17 countries …
Australia weeks 14-18 2019 : 852
Australia weeks 14-18 2020 : 29
Down 96.6%
US week 14 2019 : 6,903
US  week 14 2020 : 215
Down 96.9%
UK weeks 14-18 2019 : 2,262
UK weeks 14-18 2020 : 49
Down 97.8%
China weeks 14-17 2019 : 9,250
China weeks 14-17 2020 : 63
Down 99.3%
Japan weeks 14-16 2019 : 449
Japan weeks 14-16 2020 : 2
Down 99.6%
Spain weeks 14-18 2019 : 1,541
Spain weeks 14-18 2020 : 67
Down 95.4%
Russia weeks 14-18 2019 : 926
Russia weeks 14-18 2020 : 924
Down 0.2%
The Russian results are interesting because Putin didn’t seriously enforce a lockdown until late March. But look at the Russian flu trend since week 14 this year …
Week 14 2020 - 537
Week 15 2020 - 231
Week 16 2020 - 99
Week 17 2020 - 47
Week 18 2020 - 10
Flu cases can be expected to decrease as the weather warms in Russia, but the 10 positive lab tests in week 18 of 2020 compares with an average 216 in week 18 of the previous six years.
However, the UK and USA have been criticised for a relatively slow lockdown reaction to COVID-19, and Sweden had a 95.7% reduction in positive influenza test results comparing weeks 14-18 in 2019 and 2020 (1,541 > 67) despite only a partial lockdown.
It’s difficult to draw clear conclusions from these early WHO flu figures, but laboratory influenza test results from most countries indicate that social isolation has suppressed the spread of communicable diseases other than COVID-19. It’s a bit hard to argue that the lockdowns haven’t affected the spread of COVID-19 when other diseases such as the common flu have been affected.
What about earlier years?
Annual influenza numbers can be erratic, so what if weeks 14 to 18 2019 were particular high so their 2020 equivalents aren’t anomalously low?
I scooped up all the WHO data in weeks 14 to 18 from 2014 to 2020 in the 17 countries to compare their totals.
Influenza infections, 17 nations, WHO data

 

2014-2019 averages for weeks 14-18 in 11 countries = 10,432 vs 1,550 in 2020 – an 85.1% reduction.

 

Influenza infections, 17 nations, WHO data

2014-2019 averages for weeks 14-17 in 14 countries = 14,820 vs 1,572 in 2020 – an 89.4% reduction.
Influenza infections, 17 nations, WHO data

2014-2019 averages for week 14 in 17 countries = 9,166 vs 1,164 in 2020 – an 87.3% reduction.
Potential lockdown benefits
These positive influenza test results out of global laboratories aren’t necessarily a direct reflection of how many people are suffering or spreading the flu in China, the UK, etc, although it’s hard to interpret them as anything but an influenza reduction in those communities.
So consider, if you will, a report in mid February 2020 about influenza infection in the US
Currently, there have been 13 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in the United States, yet flu cases for the 2019-20 US season have topped 22 million. This is an increase of 4 million cases over the span of 1 week.

The last 3 weeks of surveillance indicate that flu activity continues to increase and is expected to continue for weeks to come.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) FluView reports that last week the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza stands at 7.1%, just below the epidemic threshold of 7.2%.

The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza at clinical laboratories also increased last week, rising from 28.4% to 29.8%. At this time, 47 jurisdictions are experiencing high influenza-like illness activity, compared with 44 jurisdictions the previous week.

Recent estimates indicate that of the 22 million flu cases in the US thus far, 210,000 hospitalizations have occurred, and 12,000 deaths have been reported. In total, there have been 78 pediatric deaths so far this season, with 10 new deaths reported last week.
That was mid-February. According to the WHO data above, the US specimens testing positive for influenza at clinical laboratories were just 215 in late March/early May this year, compared to 6,903 in the same week of 2019.
Think about 22 million and then think about a 96.9% reduction in positive laboratory influenza tests. Interesting.

The Lockdown Argument

Analysis of non-COVID disease rates isn’t a judgement of whether or not governments should have imposed social and economic lockdowns to control the virus, although it adds a new dimension to the debate.

A popular argument is that doctors are assuming COVID is the cause of many deaths even though they may be due to other respiratory diseases such as influenza.

It seems an odd argument that people keeping their distance, wearing face masks, washing their hands frequently, etc, to suppress the spread of a disease doesn’t work either on the target virus COVID-19 or on other communicable pathogens.

Some critics of lockdowns are even claiming that doctors and hospitals have a financial incentive to report more coronavirus deaths. This analysis involves 17 countries, almost all of which show a similar trend despite completely different health funding systems, and it’s unlikely all their figures are similarly biased because there’s a dollar to be made.

Alternatively, there might be an argument that influenza and other respiratory disease cases have dropped because people are scared to attend GP clinics and EDs for fear of COVID-19 infection.

Australia’s National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (http://www9.health.gov.au/cda/source/rpt_1_sel.cfm) reports on total cases of 67 diseases apart from COVID-19 (including hepatitis, salmonella, tuberculosis, Ross River Virus, syphilis and including influenza) …
April 2019 – 40,482
April 2020 – 14,077
May 2019 – 55,003
To 13 May 2020 – 3,091
According to the ABS, Australia had 3,102 deaths from influenza/pneumonia in 2018 and 1,255 deaths solely from influenza in 2017.
At the time of writing this, Australia had a COVID-19 death toll of 98.
Is it possible that COVID-19, or the lockdown reaction to it, has been a lifesaver – at least in Australia?
Public health a winner
The WHO influenza results cover about 36% of the world’s population from 17 different countries.
So an argument can be put that if positive laboratory influenza tests are a reasonably accurate reflection of infection percentages and trends in their broader communities, and if influenza can be considered an infection rate indicator of the several dozen other communicable diseases, the COVID-19 lockdowns have resulted in a ~90% reduction in global infections.
These are early days and it may be presumptuous to draw conclusions from the WHO flu data, but COVID-19 has provided a unique global isolation experiment to gauge what happens to numerous other infectious diseases (e.g. meningococcal, hepatitis, cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, syphilis, whooping cough, measles, meningitis, dengue, ebola, tetanus, etc).
It seems likely that many people will maintain social distancing practices when lockdowns are lifted, at least while the COVID memory lingers, and the WHO influenza figures suggest that several months of isolation might provide broader public health benefits than just keeping COVID-19 under control.
Cheers!
Chris
__________________________________
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Rating: 7.0/10 (52 votes cast)
Lockdowns work: Influenza cases are 85% down across 17 countries, 7.0 out of 10 based on 52 ratings

224 comments to Lockdowns work: Influenza cases are 85% down across 17 countries

  • #
    Mikky

    The ideal response to an epidemic is probably LOCAL lockdowns, if someone in an indoor work site gets it the entire site closes and all the employees and their families are quarantined, but that probably needs Chinese levels of state control, as well as reliable and speedy testing. Local lockdowns may succeed in reducing the spread to manageable proportions without shutting down the whole economy.

    The widespread lockdowns in Western countries have been much easier to do, but are sledge hammers, whereas the problem have only been nuts, hence the reluctance to do them before the death rate spiked.

    I suspect that it was the social distancing aspect of the lockdowns that did most of the reduction of the spread, rather than the stay-at-home aspect. Swedes have done the social distancing just by being asked, but for most people it was the lockdown that lead to the fear, that then led to the social distancing.

    The lockdowns have been awful sledge hammers, but they may well have been necessary to generate enough fear for non-Swedes.

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    • #

      No Mikky, the ideal solution is to stop the flights. Just don’t let a new major virus in. We didn’t even need spies in China to see this was coming. It was all over Twitter.

      With the next pandemic, if it turns out that it really is only like the flu, it’s only cost a few weeks of tourists, and everything can return to normal. But if it is a vascular, clotting disorder that drains hospitals and leaves permanent or long lasting damage to a significant number of people, you’ll have saved yourself billions of dollars.

      Closing borders is the cheapest solution of all.

      3524

      • #
        Broadie

        Dear Jo,
        Lock downs sure do work.
        Look at German Samoa! before the arrival of the mail steamer with the Spanish Flu, all healthy. After arrival one of the highest mortality rates.
        Look at Australia prior to the arrival of the convict ships.
        The only problem is we are now dealing with a reality where any bug can be anywhere in the world within 24 hours, not some kind of totalitarian utopian ideal where clever bureaucracies are selectively locking up people.

        208

        • #
          TdeF

          “clever bureaucracies are selectively locking up people” I am not aware of anyone ‘locked up’. There are reasonable rules which we all obey in the interests of others and to save many lives. This is not being ‘locked up’.

          As for the parties, golf games, football games, pub nights foregone over the last six weeks, tough. People are making reasonable and minor sacrifices of their favorite pastimes in the interests of others and the lives they are saving may be their parents, their friends and even the crowds at the football. That is also not being locked up.

          Now it appears we are saving many more lives from other communicable diseases which have been a growing and even very big problem in many countries. We have also reduced deaths in car accidents and real pollution from overcrowded road systems. And that’s not CO2.

          However it means less petrol sold, a problem for vendors. Perhaps less beer sold, a problem for brewers. A real hit to restaurants and cafes, booming businesses which did not exist not long ago. And almost no entertainment travel, domestic or international.

          When it all returns, we will have a different view not only of this virus but all imported diseases and for Australia, they are all imported.

          And we may have a different way of life, work, communicating, doing business, holidaying. A better one.

          In a rapidly growing world population, it was about time we looked at the implications of all disease transmission, let alone a pandemic with 5x the population of 1918. International travel had become too fast, too common and from a human health perspective completely careless.

          1417

          • #
            Broadie

            I thought we were talking about the proposition isolation will reduce many communicable diseases not pondering some Malthusian tragedy or waxing lyrically for the BBC’s ‘The Good Life’. You do that and the same will happen as has occurred with electricity generation. While you are sitting in your imagined Nirvana hoping for the sun to shine or the wind to blow the Chinese Communists will be making your antibiotics (for the lethal symptoms of the next infection you lack antibodies for) with coal-fired generation and you will be coughing up more of the family silver to buy your survival.
            You may hope as John Ralston-Saul does in ‘Voltaire’s Bastards’ that the tribe that takes over from you is kind to you.
            Good Luck

            PS:

            they are all imported

            Ever been to the Chinese suburb of Hendra, fished in Mekong River tributary Ross River or been to community of Kaffir Lime?

            116

            • #
              TdeF

              Didn’t understand a word. Sorry.

              93

              • #
              • #
                Broadie

                My apologies.
                I was attempting to deal with your arguments.

                64

              • #

                Broadie, try writing in coherent sentences and perhaps assume that most readers here already understand the pointlessness of wind and solar power and the risks of Chinese monopolies.
                PS: Jo on German Samoa. Feb 7th.

                121

              • #
                Broadie

                Thanks Jo

                Sitting in some puritan agrarian utopia while a totalitarian regime aggressively takes advantage of our every concession to the Green Gods will not save us from the next wave of infection. We have to advance science. Just look at Flight Radar and tell me there is a lock down. 984 flights scheduled out of Wuhan in the next 7 days!

                I made a simple point based on a comments I saw from a couple of Germans, a Virologist and a Pulmonologist. I quoted examples of Samoa and Colonial Australia as to the danger of isolation.

                To again concentrate on my initial concern of mine with this topic on a whole:

                Why didn’t the percentage of COVID-19 positives as tested by University of Washington State Virology go past~ 10% of those presenting? Any virulent pathogen would have taken off.

                Happy to hear a rational explanation not some vicious bile or tale of the benefits of closing breweries.

                53

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              Broadie, it’s clearly of interest to YOU. So it’s your problem.

              22

              • #
                Broadie

                A problem shared is a problem halved!

                I have realized data is just not your thing from your initial rash reaction. I apologize for mistakenly calling you ‘Bil-i-ous’ and hope we now understand each other better.

                Maybe you can help cure my fixation with the University of Washington COVID dashboard by finding me another established source reporting both negatives and positive results for the COVID-19 virus.

                00

            • #
      • #
        GlenM

        Closing borders, no doubt there. If infected here target the nodes. Practical isolation not lockdowns. This virus requires diligence not paranoia.

        134

      • #
        Geoff Croker

        We do need a universal mask that allows breathing but no viral entry. Useful for police, ambos, fireys and medical responders and people on aircraft flights. Possible to make something that works. No vaccine required.

        70

  • #
    The other Brad

    I just looked at the graphs. But I’m curious how many people did not go to the doctor because of the lockdowns so the reported cases may be skewed. But what do I know.

    312

    • #

      A good question. Here in WA the number of gastro presentations at the local ED;s is the same as normal. Gastro isn’t affected much by isolation, so that suggests at least here, the fear was not stopping people from going to the hospital. That would have been different I expect in New York… but would it have been so in Ohio, or Nevada?

      NSW reports testing for respiratory conditions was increased. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/Influenza/Publications/2020/march-influenza-report.pdf

      1410

      • #
        Calvin in California

        How about quantifying the drain on hospitals…

        84

        • #

          I’ll just look into the crystal ball to find out how many ’000 people can’t get elective surgery for months due to hospitals being overwhelmed or running out of PPE because of “its just the flu”.

          1514

          • #
            MudCrab

            I appreciate you are trying to keep the banter light, but not really helpful here, Jo.

            Hospitals have been shown to be largely empty. In Victoria (yes, Dan Andrew’s Victoria) they reopened hospitals to elective surgery because even they couldn’t think up an excuse not to.

            In NY they activated military assets… and then closed them again.

            Yes, there is an argument that hospitals need to be protected from collapse, but hospitals exist to protect the people, not the other way around. A hospital that is deliberately kept empty is not helping the people.

            105

            • #

              Mudcrab, the reason the hospitals shut down was because they didn’t have enough PPE.

              You’ll be shocked to know it was government mismanagement, not the virus directly, that meant all elective surgery had to be abandoned. We had only one mask factory in the whole country, they didn’t ramp it up til the second half of March, and the Chinese agents had cleaned out our stocks in Jan and Feb.

              I have spoken to a specialist at an Australian ICU who said they had “three boxes of masks” in early March.

              That’s not to say that a big second wave wouldn’t shut down hospitals here because the virus took over the wards, but in this wave it was all bad planning.

              We were completely unprepared.

              152

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Yes.

                Our governments and public services showed their complete lack of preparedness.

                Will there be an inquiry into this failure to protect hospital staff and patients?

                Failure of public health officials to supervise Nursing homes and ensure upgraded ventilation and adequate PPE also must be investigated.

                Let’s get real about what the Public Service is there for. And lest we forget: the Public Service is subject to political oversight and supervision.

                KK

                90

              • #
                WXcycles

                We were completely unprepared.

                Translated into Newspeak:

                We were completely prepared and were following “World’s Best Practice” guidelines.

                81

              • #
                peter

                Two decades of working with hospital staff showed me that they were resistant to advice on respiratory PPE. That was the nurses. Doctors wouldn’t even listen to me. Now they’re all talking as if they are the virus-PPE experts. Hospitals have always kept stocks of theatre masks. How did they run out so quickly? With the COVID tsunami on the horizon in February why didn’t they order more? Theatre masks are quite adequate unless you are working in a ward full of extremely ill COVID patients and then P2 masks should be worn (OR P1 masks which are of exactly the same filter material). I would bet that there are crates of P1 masks sitting in safety-gear warehouses but no-one wants them. Now they’re all demanding P2 masks with fit-testing. Even in Port Macquarie I’m told? Have they even got one hospital COVID case up there? Or did a cruise ship run aground on their beaches overnight by chance?

                You do not have to discard your mask every time you walk out of a ward or consulting room only to put a new one on an hour later. Some staff will put on new masks several times a shift. No wonder they run out of masks. I’ve seen hospital staff storing masks, opened, in rooms where exposure is occurring. This, no doubt, was to ensure that the inside of the mask was then contaminated BEFORE they used them, thus enabling greater direct exposure to the face. Brilliant! Medical expertise in action. Some US doctors, faced with P2 mask shortage, have worn a theatre mask over the P2 mask, to prolong the use-time of the P2. Good idea, do it. You could use the same P2 mask for weeks, if need be – as long as you keep the inside of the mask clean and/or sterile – not easy. The order and technique of removing PPE after a shift is important. If not careful, staff could e a s i l y contaminate their face and hands with soiled PPE.

                No doubt hospital staff would all say “yeah, yeah we know all that”. Well, no problem then.

                130

              • #
                Bright Red

                So Jo are you saying that in Australia we did not have enough PPE for even business as usual without CV19? If that is the case it would be criminal. But given the amount of PPE used in a business as usual situation how much extra PPE was really required to cover CV19 in Aus given the very low number of hospitalisations here?
                If there was a shortage why stop all elective surgery why not just cut back a bit to free up the necessary PPE for CV19 as required.

                31

              • #

                Get ready, our predictable vulnerability to China for PPE and drugs was criminal.

                Doctors were telling me in February they were nervous treating patients and they only had one or two masks. These were in suburban medical situations which did not need masks often, til suddenly Covid came and every patient could be a threat.

                Obviously, we didn’t know how much PPE we would need to treat covid cases. If you use your time machine you could go back and help them, eh?

                41

              • #
                Bright Red

                I am not sure if this is correct but it seems we had a stockpile of 20million masks. The states just needed to ask for some of them.
                https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-29/coronavirus-covid19-causes-national-medical-stockpile-to-open/12003980
                While I can see small clinic operations not having the purchasing, warehousing or planning expertise to ensure a supply under abnormal conditions hospitals and governments have no excuses.
                I’m also not sure how a suburban clinic running short on PPE impacts on surgeries at hospitals.

                12

              • #

                Do the maths and read my comments. This is not just surburban docs:
                “I have spoken to a specialist at an Australian ICU who said they had “three boxes of masks” in early March. ”

                A nation of 25 million people has a stockpile of “20 million masks”?

                In an ICU ward they need a new one every four hours at most, or for each new patient at best. My friend in the ICU paid for a reusable PPE helmet because she knew they would not have enough. ICU staff at Australian hospitals were contemplating at what point would they resign if there was not enough PPE — or at what point they would split from their family to protect them. For medical staff trained in PPE use to be told they had to reuse masks was stressful.

                Days away from running out:
                https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-25/coronavirus-queensland-ppe-mask-shortage-doctors/12086562

                Doctors were raiding Bunnings for supplies. https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/doctors-raiding-bunnings-dentists-close-coronavirus-panic-mask-supply/

                I know they were also lying awake at night worried and able to quote numbers of deaths in health workers overseas. If people expect them to keep working like that for months, they are seriously ignorant of the front line conditions in most countries. We got very very lucky.

                30

          • #
            Bright Red

            Jo people in Australia could not get elective surgery and our hospitals remained essential empty due to CV19. Your selective use of worst case is alarmist.

            188

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              It seems you would prefer the hospital system to continue as usual during a pandemic.
              And that of course means that the hospitals become a major source of community transmission.
              So elective surgery patients get infected !
              Not a wonderful idea.

              Now that the virus is almost destroyed
              Here in SA, elective surgeries are being rescheduled.

              613

              • #
                Bright Red

                Have you considered that more people could have more life years lost and worse outcomes that they have to live with for the rest of their lives than any life years lost from CV19? Due to the delayed medical intervention. It seems the big picture still eludes you.

                125

              • #
                yarpos

                Once again leaping to the extreme, that the orginal poster never said, to try and make a point.

                73

              • #
                bobl

                Fer goodness sakes Bill. Every hospital I’ve been in and I see a few, has a separate Covid Ward and clinic just so that doesn’t happen. The air is filtered and sterilised (except in small rural Hospitals).

                Give a little credit that our doctors know how to separate the infectious from the not so infectious.

                113

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                Talk to KK Bob
                His estimate of pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic infection is 32%. ( My own from reading elsewhere is 20% ) Having hospitals open for walkins in apandemic when such infected persons are on the street, means that the hospitals would be overwhelmed completely with the infection process in the hospitals.

                In fact this is what happened in Wuhan, In Iran, In Italy in Spain and in New York ( USA )

                And BTW this also happened in the SARS pandemic in Canada 17 years ago.

                22

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Bright Red,

              What has alarmed me here is the complete and unbending approach taken to the unpleasant consequences of prioritising CV19 potential patients.

              The loss of function, relief of pain and anxiety missed by so many is huge.

              That it remains invisible to some here, along with business collapses and the crushing of decades of hard work lost; well it’s almost incomprehensible.

              KK

              32

            • #

              BrightRed, please lift your game. Hijacking the top of a thread and saying vague things like “Your selective use of worst case is alarmist.” (What worst case?) adds flames, but has no context nor quote, and then lecturing us with trite banalities “have you considered the obvious” is timewasting.

              92

              • #
                Bright Red

                Yes Jo I should quote you more often. From Jo above.
                I’ll just look into the crystal ball to find out how many ’000 people can’t get elective surgery for months due to hospitals being overwhelmed or running out of PPE because of “its just the flu”.

                So Jo what does your crystal ball say about the many ”000 people who can not get surgery for months due to governments closing down elective surgery even though many hospitals have practically no CV19 cases to deal with.
                As for an exit plan how do you propose we catch up with elective surgery. The queues were already unacceptably long and are rapidly getting longer. Some cases will become critical and some will die waiting as the hospitals will not be able to cope with clearing the Lockdown caused backlog. The hospitals alone will take years to get these queues down to acceptable.

                42

              • #

                Since we are using Crystal Balls I would solve this with my time machine. I’d go back and stop the flights.

                Health Minister Jo thinks the nation will get more elective surgery done if we keep the borders closed and get rid of this virus. You think rushing out and getting a second wave will shorten the queues?

                41

      • #
        STJOHNOFGRAFTON

        Jo,

        “Gastro isn’t affected much by isolation…” ?

        “https://www.cdc.gov/hai/pdfs/norovirus/229110A-NorovirusControlRecomm508A.pdf

        23

        • #

          Exactly why I said “much”. Most Gastro is food handling, not infectious. Biggest outbreaks of gastro happen every year here at Christmas. Norwalk / Noro are the cruiseship infectious gastro’s.

          71

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Bradd I have been to the local GP twice in the past 6 weeks. Once for myself and once with my lady.
      On each occasion I noticed that the clinic was empty where as usually it’s very busy. So far fewer people have been showing up at the GP clinic.

      But this was not a result of personal ‘fear’. It has been a policy driven initiative by state & Federal government.

      This clinic along other clinics has been discouraging face to face consultations as part of the lock down. Most consultations are now happening by phone or computer screen. And this has been promoted and funded by Australia’s Medicare system. The aim was to reduce local transmission of the Corona virus in GP’s clinics and also prevent medical staff getting infected.

      This has undoubtedly worked in it’s intended aim.

      But I suggest it has also had an unintended benefit : it has reduced transmission of all viruses across Australia.
      I note that here in South Australia Winter started in APRIL with low temperatures and wet windy conditions. That has continued in May. It is currently 3 degrees outside as write on May 14th. This is not normal.
      ( Where oh where, has Global Warming got to when we need it ? )

      We were set up for an early hard flue season here in South Australia. Yet despite this early onset of Winter Flu infections have dropped.
      There are explanations: 1) the lack of overseas arrival flights bring new variations of the flu into Australia, and 2 ) the state wide lock downs and social distancing.

      These have reduced local transmission of all community transmissible diseases..

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      • #

        remember surgeries are enabling fewer people needing to turn up physically while maintaining health service – there are phone consultations, arrangements for renewing scripts etc

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      • #
        Annie

        Good post Bill.

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        • #
          RickWill

          Yep, maybe different devices for comments. I like the one that makes full lines in the window not split lines. Full lines makes reading easier.

          30

          • #
            Annie

            It certainly does, which is why I could read Bill’s last one at #2.2 without distraction.

            40

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              This is not directed to you Annie but at all Bill’s red thumbs.

              That is: the red thumbs are not adverse so much to his (generally very insightful comments) but to the mode of transmission, or the device he uses to make the transmission.

              If that’s true, it tells us all we need to know about many who visit this site.

              Pathetic.

              24

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                Sam. I have no knowledge of who is red thumbing TdeF or WXC or Rick or Jo etc…Or who is red thumbing me.
                And you have no idea who is handing out red thumbs either.
                So your accusation is wild speculation.
                And an ad hominem as well.
                your comment is Not worthy of this blog Sam.

                This blog is about Science Sam. So I hand out red thumbs that are not about science & especially to comments that peddle wild political ‘conspiracy’ theories with no evidence. And on occasion to comments that are off topic and a deliberate attempt to derail the discussion set by Jo, our host.

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      • #
        Geoff Croker

        Yes. Most viruses are caught waiting for treatment by medical practitioners or pathologists. Simply changing this will dramatically reduce contagion.

        or put simply

        visiting the doctor can make you sick, if you are old it may eventually kill you.

        It would be interesting to know if the spread of Covid-19 could be stopped simply by preventing ANY medical help after locking down the borders. Sounds like Vietnam.

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    • #
      Scott

      Could also be that everything is reported as CV19.

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  • #
    Calvin in California

    Now do suicides and deaths due to no access to medical care!

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    • #

      Would you like me to just make those numbers up for you Calvin, or would you prefer actual data that doesn’t exist yet?

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      • #
        bobl

        I think Calvin has a point, some at risk people need face 2 face care but they are being forced into an impersonal medium for care. This is a huge risk for depression related suicide.

        I really don’t think Calvin wanted the numbers, just to point out that its not all upside.

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    • #
      bradd

      It has been reported that cancer diagnosis in Australia is down 20%. Cancer screening facilities have been shut down. People have been browbeaten and terrified into avoiding cancer checks. I figure that if 5 percent of delayed diagnoses lead to premature death, there will be over one thousand excess cancer deaths due to the shutdown.

      If Australia had been shutdown 3 years ago when I had my cancer diagnosis, I would not be alive today, because I would not have had the routine check that detected it.

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    • #
      peter

      Leading youth mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry TV-interviewed recently opinioned that it would take 12-18 months for any suicide stats to show up the problem.

      40

  • #

    Could the reduction of other respiratory illnesses be a result of a modest level of improved personal hygiene and a bit more space between people rather than lockdown?
    I suggest that because the UK experience is that the infection peak was on 8th April and the advised behavioural changes started on the 16th March.
    We need a 21 day lead time for the UK because symptoms can take 12 to 14 days to show up but it takes another 7 days for them to become severe and people were advised to self isolate at home unless the symptoms became severe.
    Thus 16th March is a better fit for the peak on 8th April than the lockdown start date of 23rd April.
    We also had the phenomena of passengers on a returning flight from a cruise ship failing to get the disease despite several of their number later proving to be infected and the bus drivers who then transported them to hospital did not catch it despite having no protective equipment.
    Additionally, the super spreader who returned from Italy infected many but he and all the others only had mild symptoms, several members of our cabinet including Boris suffered from it and only Boris had the severe version with no significant spread to any others despite frequent close contact.
    The Nightingale hospitals were never needed and are now being mothballed.
    No significant problems observed from unusual blood clotting events by any of those people.
    On various cruise liners and on many flights the vast majority have not become infected.
    The initial fears of an apocalyptic event are gradually dissipating and the avoidance measures look likely to have far worse consequences in lives when one considers disruption of supplies of food and medicine to poorer parts of the world.
    The high UK death total is likely to turn out to be an artifact of low initial testing and rigorous recording of every death where Corvid 19 was observed or suspected even if the death was from another cause.
    I have a client who was given two weeks to live due to her multiple comorbidities but Corvid 19 got added as an acquired infection and it now appears on her death certificate. Such instances are not unusual.The system kept her alive long enough to acquire an additional infection.
    No doubt Covid 19 will produce a spike in the average all causes death rate but it is far from clear whether in the end that spike will be much greater than previous flu epidemics and even if it is there may be a reduced toll over the following few years with a near net zero effect overall due to it focusing primarily on people who would have died from other causes during those few years.
    Are the avoidance and mitigation measures really going to produce an overall net benefit to mankind or are they going to cause immense economic, political and sociological damage far in excess of that which the virus could have caused ?

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      Stephen, absolutely social distancing would help prevent the flu and Covid as would hygiene.

      The lead time to peaking might be longer in the UK due to policy changes. I suspect in some countries people were already isolating before lockdowns, and in others there was less compliance, so I was surprised the 12 day timing was so close in that post.It was almost suspiciously neat.
      Though SARS CoV-2 has a 5 day average incubation. But it’s Day 7 or 8 of symptoms when the shortness of breath hits and gets people into hospital and on the scoreboard. Hence perhaps there is a reason for the 12 day lag that is not so flexible.

      21 days sounds very long.

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      • #

        Hi Jo,

        The incubation period seems to be pretty variable:

        https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-incubation-period/

        The problem we have is deciding on the best balance between improvements in hygiene and distancing on the one hand and lockdown on the other.

        In view of the fact that the disease is mild for so many whilst lockdown is potentially disastrous for the global economies and thus for the poor of the world I would favour relying on hygiene and distancing rather than lockdowns.

        It could still be the case that transmission is less easy than initially thought as per the examples I gave above.

        The experience of Australia and New Zealand suggests that the chain of transmission can be broken fairly readily by hygiene and distancing. For that reason I think that your proposal to isolate nations in order to eliminate the virus from them forever might be overkill. You could indeed split the world into those nations free of the disease and those who live with it but the economic consequences for the ‘pure’ nations would be considerable.

        It is quite easy for Australia and New Zealand to cut themselves off from the rest of the world but for those of us with hugely mobile populations and deeply intertwined economies the necessary bars to free movement of peoples would be crippling. How could the UK quarantine up to 18 million people for two weeks each at any one time. Apparently that was our airport throughput in the first couple of months of 2020. We have had to repatriate over 1.5 million scattered around the world often in inaccessible places and the process is still ongoing.

        The numbers moving in, out and through the UK are truly enormous. The economic and societal consequences of a sudden stop would be unacceptable for a virus that attacks primarily the old and frail but spares the vast majority of the active members of society.

        Many nations have vast populations and primitive or chaotic public administration. Unless this disease fades away naturally as did SARS-1 there is never going to be a global elimination. You mention that there are immune response limitations so that makes a fully effective vaccine unlikely and many vaccines have side effects.

        We have to take the view that in due course this virus will fade in its effectiveness one way or another and it will just become another background risk like standard flu and pneumonia affecting the vulnerable but sparing most.

        Maybe we have gone too far in using technology in preserving life at all costs with little regard to quality. Pneumonia has been described as ‘the old man’s friend’ because it carried away those who only had suffering ahead of them. Perhaps this is just Nature regaining its power to determine our fate after we ran too far ahead of it ?

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          Bill In Oz

          A different world much more localised, nation focussed economy is being forged in the COVID furnace.

          Global travel will be much reduced not just because of the necessity for quarantine, but also the simple fact that many many potential overseas travellers have discovered that the risk of getting sick & dying are far higher than in the past.

          A further disincentive is that not many travel insurance policies will cover sickness due to COVID 19; Or perhaps offer such polices only at prohibitive rates.

          And there is another factor is cost of flying. Cheap flights are built on big crowded flights. A lot less people will be travelling and that means airlines will be not offering cheap flights in the foreseeable future. ( This is not the time to be getting into airline company shares or Cruise ship company shares like Carnival, I suspect.

          of course there are companies and individuals committed to the old model, keen to resusitate it. I can’t see it happening any time soon.

          And another incidental consequence of this big change is that there will be far fewer poor country asylum seekers roaming the word to find a new wealthier place to migrate to. Less flights which are far more expensive will stop that whole charade. as well.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Thanks Stephen, good reading.

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  • #

    Lockdown start date of 23rd March, not April.

    20

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Stop the flights?

    Jo, I appreciate the logic of decisions made for reasons of public health.

    But in the US, a large part of the political tribe on the left has made closing borders
    in any way a cause celeb, to the tune of a million illegal entries or so a year.

    Every attempt to limit travel between cities, states, regions, or countries has been met with immediate legal challenge;

    A conundrum; we have a political system designed specifically to limit and disperse government power, in a case where
    only enlightened despotism (a real ask everywhere) can solve the problem.

    I actually think we’ve done pretty well muddling through, as most folks have shown some individual responsibility.

    I don’t want to pretend the response here won’t cost lives….it will. Maybe even mine, I’m old.
    But I think our hope is we’ll end up still being the US when we get through this.

    China will be China; if that’s the model for a very large society no thank you.

    I think that’s why many of us are willing to take some risk, and fear that some of our leaders prefer the Chinese model.

    We blew our chance to get it right. We’ve been rich these past few years, and blew our chance to pay down our debts far enough to make
    this easier to cope with. We are unfocused and politically inept internationally; changing governments every few years can lead to lack of focus.

    But things here are far better on the ground than those who make a living trumpeting our failures to world would have you believe.
    I think you have to take a stupid pill to be a reporter.

    The virus is bad, and unknown risk. We haven’t had much luck with corona vaccines in general, so I ‘m more hopeful for treatment. It may mutate.
    It may be random. No sentient being believes it’s not awful. It may have ended New York City as we know it forever. But the death rate in my state is about
    what we usually suffer on a regular basis from auto accidents, unlike “flu deaths” that’s a discrete count. So if we have to, we’ll learn to live with it.

    If you give Americans the choice of learning to live with this or drop out of the middle class, most will work. Some will accept dependence, and be exploited for
    their votes. IF Americans aren’t given the choice there will be civil disobedience on a massive scale. This is not new here.

    Its funny; we live pretty well, but don’t govern ourselves that well. Some of us believe there is a connection.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Yes YOU live in a very weird country Stephen.
      Where an infectious pandemic disease is allowed to spread
      Because of lawyers mounting legal challenges.
      That is playing out with catastrophic infection & death rates
      Compared to elsewhere.
      It would be wise for USA contributors here to recognise that simple fact.

      ( This legal aspect of this reminds me of a joke told to me years ago by my lawyer brother re the USA:
      Him : “A 20 seater plane with 19 lawyers crashed and killed all on board. ”
      Me : Ummm ?
      Him : Waste of space !” )

      614

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day Richard,
      I also am more hopeful of a cure or prophylactic than of a vaccine, especially as there is evidence that both exist already. For a cure, the work of Drs Zelenko and Bann sound good to me, and for a prophylactic, ensuring a satisfactory vitamin D level in everyone seems appropriate, as Jo has posted before, and mentions above:

      http://joannenova.com.au/2020/04/perhaps-solve-the-other-pandemic-vitamin-d-deficiency-to-help-beat-coronavirus/

      (I’m now taking zinc and vitamin D supplements. and a low dose of Quercertin – an over-the-counter zinc ionophore – in place of hydroxychloroquine. In hope, with confidence, but not certainty.)
      Cheers
      Dave B

      30

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Hush, hush David… The name Zelnko is banned on this blog. You see his cure is for a harmless virus which is not a threat to anyone at all,… No the virus threat is only an ‘excuse’ to deprive the world’s citizens of all rights and lock them down forever in their homes. Anything that undermines that evidence free view of this pandemic must be hidden and never mentioned.

        ( For the less well informed here, I am being somewhat sarcastic. )

        33

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    When they are finally released from lockdown and tales of death from coronavirus, children will be free to return to school where they will be assailed with stories of death from climate change [failed doomsday global warming].
    (h/t: bishop hill)

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Unguarded moments #1.1 …

    “She says while evidence showed schools were not a high-risk environment for the spread of the virus, closing them down would help people understand the gravity of the situation.
    “So sometimes it’s more than just the science and the health, it’s about the messaging.”
    - Jeannette Young, Queensland CMO.

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/jeannette-young-who-is-the-woman-leading-queensland-s-fight-against-covid-19-20200406-p54hmd.html

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      What a lovely article. Thanks for pointing me to it Travis.

      Clearly Dr Jeannete Young is a very exceptional doctor & person. I note this quote in the story :
      “On the 22nd of January, I thought, ‘now, this is going to be pretty awful’. I hoped I was wrong and that I was over interpreting the information,” she says. “Unfortunately, I think I was right to be wary.
      “I can remember going into that weekend thinking ‘this might be the last weekend of sanity before this all blows’, and it blew on the Saturday.”
      On Saturday, January 25, Australia confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Three days later, the virus invaded Queensland, and by March, the state was recording dozens of new cases a day.”

      Ummm ? Here we have a CMO who like Jo here on this blog, was on the ball in January seeing the train wreck coming and wanting to stop it happening. That’ is excellent to know.

      But of course you want to shaft here for the advice she gave on closing the schools. I think you are nit picking mate. Here in Australia schools are communities of students, teachers, office staff, cleaning staff, grounds staff, buss drivers, canteen staff, and parents – lots of parents and other relatives ! And of course there are PTA’s happening and sports events. So keeping schools open necessarily means that the Stay At Home would not be “Stay at Home. ”

      maybe schools are differnt in the USA ? Or maybe you just don’t know about the nature school communities ?

      813

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Travis,

      Similar sentiment showed up in the link put up by Geoff C earlier.

      A light hearted “cartoon” approach used to get the messages across rather than the “do it or we’ll crush you” message adopted by our media fixated politicians.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-13/coronavirus-vietnam-no-deaths-success-in-south-east-asia/12237314

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        The Vietnamese government used nationalism
        To ensure that all the population of Vietnam adhered to the rules.

        China has attempted to conquer & occupy Vietnam numerous times.
        In ~100 BC; again in ~900 AD; Again in ~ 1300 AD.
        The last time was in 1979.

        There is a basic awareness in the Vietnamese psyche of the threat from China.
        The Chinese CCP virus was rightly seen as another threat to the Vietnamese nation.
        Not adhering to the rules stopping this virus
        Were seen as being pro Chinese and anti Vietnam.

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    fran

    Jo, I wanted to thank you for your reporting on this issue; I find that many other climate “skeptic” blogs are going full on conspiracies whilst yours is pretty rational about this issue.
    Here in Chile the government just mandated a total lockdown of the entire city of Santiago and many of its adjacent municipalities, because in the past week the cases went up like crazy and the health system is about to collapse. We’ve had several lockdowns all around the country, some with great success, but in Santiago only certain zones had them for a while, so obviously the thing started spreading elsewhere. At the beginning the cases concentrated in the richests neighborhoods (people coming back from holidays), so the lockdowns and quarantines there weren’t hard to institute – people have money to survive – but when it started spreading to poorer areas, the shit hit the fan. The government made a huge mistake by allowing this to happen; it is clear now that total lockdown was needed weeks ago. We could’ve stopped this by its tracks but didn’t…it’s awful.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Hi Fran,

      Don’t be too hard on your government.

      It’s not a clear cut issue at all with many variable factors ensuring that the solution is not a “one case fits all” type of thing.

      One method of approach is seen in Vietnam where long historical perspective of several thousand years mixed with current technology is working.

      Schools were closed early but generally the “crushing” mentality wasn’t evident.

      Lots of forehead temperature checks but nothing terribly invasive.

      One example of the response type approach as compared to the all our crushing thing.

      https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/two-binh-thuan-streets-locked-down-as-covid-19-cases-rise-4068752.html

      KK

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    • #
      RickWill

      Fran stated:

      Here in Chile the government just mandated a total lockdown of the entire city of Santiago and many of its adjacent municipalities

      I have posted this link in two other locations on this thread because Chile should provide definitive evidence on the effectiveness of lockdowns – it is most appropriate to follow here:
      http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/?chart=countries&highlight=Chile&show=-10&trendline=none&y=highlight&scale=linear&data=cases-daily-7#countries

      There are a vast number of people viewing exponential decay in infection in countries like Australia that it is the result so-called “herd immunity”. Fundamentally they speculate that way more people have been infected than the cases reported, which is simply wrong.

      41

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        ?
        Rick, could you clarify that?

        21

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Jo asks;

        “Instead of asking if lockdowns work, we should be talking about which aspects are the most cost effective”.

        Now we’re talking.

        Lock down outbreaks locally.

        See the Vietnam example.

        http://joannenova.com.au/2020/05/lockdowns-work-influenza-cases-are-90-down-across-17-countries/#comment-2329532

        Experience, common sense, pragmatism and a bit of humour.

        Surely in Australia complete lockdown should have been no more than one working week with localised quarantining thereafter.

        Of course in New York and London etc they got bigger problems.

        KK

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        • #

          No KK -= we started the lockdown too late. We had to do at least 4 weeks. But we should have already released a few regions (like the Murchison in WA) and the NT earlier than we did.

          We should have cut Vic/Qld/ NSW into subregions with hard borders so that the rural businesses could go back to work faster and not wait for Sydney-Melb-Bris to clear their virus.

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          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Jo,

            I didn’t mention the starting date, and I agree with you there. Problem is we have damaged the country by the actions taken.

            My comment related to the set up time required to identify and isolate areas of infection.

            “Surely in Australia complete lockdown should have been no more than one working week”.

            It wouldn’t have been too hard given that it was coming in through Sydney heads.

            I also like the hard internal borders idea.

            KK

            KK

            42

      • #
        Fran

        Rick,
        Those types of charts clearly show how incomparable countries are in this regard. As I said, some lockdowns in Chile have been very effective (ex: Temuco and Chillan) but the uniqueness of our situation is that Santiago holds almost half of the population of the country, so anything that happens here will greatly affect the numbers. The spike in cases is solely because of Santiago, where the lockdown hasn’t really been used until now (this Satirday). All the other cities in the country that had a lockdown were completely closed! Having half-assed measures like closing some parts of Santiago whilst keeping the majority open, took us to the situation we are now; too many folk here were free to roam in between the different areas. So your chart doesn’t say anything about the effectivness of lockdowns, really.

        20

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Thanks Fran for keeping us up to date with Chile.
          Do you get any news of the situation in Argentina?
          i have friends there and wonder how they are going.
          BA’s is still in lock down I read yesterday ..
          But nothing about Equerel or the Andean provinces.

          11

          • #
            fran

            I honestly don’t know the details in Argentina…only that they’ve had a country-wide lockdown unlike us. We’ve had almost the same number of deaths, even when we have a third of their population. There has been a bit of a political quarry between our government and theirs, on what policy has been better. Until a week ago ours seem good enough, now not so much…

            10

  • #
    ivan

    PCR tests for respiratory pathogens other than covid 19 are not being performed in Victoria,Oz,The labs have put a moratorium on them ..at least for community testing
    This may explain the figures above

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  • #
    dinn, rob

    virus news
    ndia new cases/current cases 8% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/india/
    Russia 11/186.6= 6% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/russia/
    Brazil 10% rise; South Africa 11.5% rise (70/609); https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/
    USA 14.75/1010== 1.5% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us
    Mexico 130/835= 15.6% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/mexico

    Canada 118/320= 3.7% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada
    Germany 6/176= 3.4% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/germany
    Peru 324/4328= 7.5% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/peru
    Pakistan 17/310= 5.5% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/pakistan
    Spain 1.4/60.7= 2% rise https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/spain
    …………………………………………………………………………
    .5-12 President Trump has ordered a board not to go forward with a plan to invest United States federal employees’ retirement savings in an index that includes Chinese firms, some of which are involved in military activities, espionage, and human rights abuses. The order was delivered to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board in a May 11, 2020, letter https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/12/trump-halts-plans-to-invest-u-s-federal-retirement-funds-in-chinese-companies/

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Could he write a similar letter prohibiting the “investment”/misdirection of Australian superannuation funds in Green Renewables here?

      An interesting mix of potential beneficiaries from a former pm/ JHewsn to Union Stewards on the “boards”.

      KK

      82

  • #
    Another Ian

    Around this thread

    “Wuhan Virus Vaccines”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/05/13/wuhan-virus-vaccines/

    60

    • #
      Another Ian

      Note this from above!

      “But except for a canine enteric coronavirus vaccine (Merck Animal Health), which does NOT protect against the canine respiratory form of the same virus, there has NEVER been a successful coronavirus vaccine developed–ever. So despite Dr. Fauci’s hopes and efforts, that may well remain true with Wuhan. This is a risky uncharted business with significant economic consequences.”

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        So it’s saying
        “We have always failed so far.
        So we should not try now”

        Of course not trying guarantees future failure.
        Just what we need.

        316

    • #
      Another Ian

      And

      “Just reported yesterday on Medrx.com, a retrospective study of 900 critical Covid-19 patients in the NYU hospital system. Half were given HCQ plus azithromycin, half HCQ plus Az plus Zinc sulfate. The HCQ plus zinc arm had 1.5x faster time to discharge, and a 44% less chance of dying. Clinically VERY significant. What Fauci demanded, now done. Bad news for Fauci and big pharma. There IS a proven cheap, safe COVID-19 therapy regime.

      The results of the better designed prospective U.Mn/McGill study are not yet available, but probably will be similar since they reduced the original design sample size to speed it up.”

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/05/13/wuhan-virus-vaccines/#comment-2993230

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  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Mikky at #1 nails it in the first two paragraphs.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      No KK
      She got it all wrong
      This virus has only ever been eliminated when governments have gone early & gone hard.
      Why do you want a ‘soft soap ‘ type lock down ?
      And how could it ever work ?

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      • #
        GlenM

        So Bill, you would like the State and its police enforcing restrictions on your freedom. I’ll apply my version of common-sense thank you.

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Glen,
          you’ve responded to a comment where the author has brought Economics to a Science fight.

          :-)

          31

  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    It would also be no surprise if all attention/testing/resources were focused on CV19 and testing for minor stuff relegated?

    Flu varies so much in peak/period/duration year on year that this sort of comparison is risible:-

    UK weeks 14-18 2019 : 2,262
    UK weeks 14-18 2020 : 49

    In the UK, by week 12, flu was effectively over, then almost immediately the acute respiratory reports in care homes started. If you look at Fig 4 here, the 2 flu seasons you quote are unusually near identical, but the peak in 2020 was 8 weeks earlier – it was over before CV19 appeared.

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882403/National_influenza_report_30_April_2020_week_18.pdf

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    • #
      el gordo

      Good point Mr Nasty. This southern hemisphere winter should give us a clearer picture and no doubt we’ll all be avidly watching.

      My gut feeling is that influenza in Australia can be stopped in its tracks, saving $30 billion a year in lost wages and productivity.

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    gareth

    Jo, as a longtime follower of your blog, and me thinking that you are fairly liberal (in the old fashioned sense) in your views, I’d appreciate your take on this:

    https://realclimatescience.com/2020/05/peaceful-protest-illegal-in-australia/

    Is it OK for police to crack down on folks with dissenting views?

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    • #

      Gareth. I don’t have time to watch cropped clickbait screamer videos (or any videos usually). That was 30 seconds of pain for zero info.

      If the issue is important to you, please respect my time, and explain the context and link to an article which has information.

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      • #
        bobl

        This IS an issue; we have a right to freedom of movement (especially between states), freedom of association and freedom of assembly but the state governments have illegally shut down those freedoms. Good Judges should rule these laws unenforceable.

        This doesn’t mean that the government can’t patrol the border requesting people crossing to not do so, but I don’t believe that this can be enforced (forceably preventing a crossing or fines etc).

        Likewise assembling a protest can’t be stopped on social distancing grounds – that would violate the right to freedom of assembly.

        The government is getting away with this only because no-one at the moment is in a mind to mount an expensive court challenge, but such a court challenge if mounted should succeed.

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        gareth

        Apologies Jo, it wasn’t intended as clickbait nor to waste your time. The context is that the link is to Tony Heller’s Real Climate Science site and shows someone (albeit an “activist”) getting arrested for peaceful protest. We’ve seen similar heavy handed policing in the UK.

        Both Tony and you do facts and evidence in the Climate Science field and seem to have the same viewpoint, which I share. Your views on the Covid epidemic though are rather different, and you seem (to me anyway) to a) consider it as a much more serious threat and b) be prepared to go along with the sacrifice of much more freedom. Hence me asking your views, especially about policing of dissenting views.

        All the best.

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        • #

          No problem Gareth. I do see this as a more serious threat and if you keep reading here, I’ll convince you too ;- )

          Tony is a great man, but I’m not sure he’s reading the same medical journals I am.

          I am willing to sacrifice short term freedoms only in the quest for long term liberty. If the virus does cause deaths in the order of 0.5 – 1.5%, does cause long term health consequences, and is easily transmissible, then treating it as a hoax, or the flu, will cause tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and could be the downfall of Donald Trump (and not good for Boris either). It could be a slow bleeding economic and health crisis that will run til the elections in Nov. Right now, our future freedom may depend on understanding the science of SARS-CoV-2.

          I know there are hypocritical and ridiculous rules and heavy handed police, but my eye is on bigger targets.

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            Bill In Oz

            Tony Heller are demonstrated an appalling ignorance of all things medical.
            Why ?
            Now that the COVID CCP virus has overtaken the planet
            And made his site less relevant
            He has started using his acknowledged expertise and knowledge of the Global warming scam
            To draw back readers & contributors..
            It’s . a way of staying in business.

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  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    The monthly number of flu and respiratory cases also mirrors the amount of air pollution. On the east coast of Australia this relationship was demonstrated during the bushfires, where it went up, and now when it has gone down.

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      el gordo

      That is only a coincidence, influenza and air pollution are unrelated, but I accept that winter slow burns would increase respiratory cases on the east coast.

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        Peter Fitzroy

        Both affect the lungs, as I pointed out, more pollution = more presentations at the hospital. I gave you two examples, bushfires (higher pollution) and now (lower pollution)

        How is it not related?

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Really?

        One week of mild smoke, probably lit when the wind was blowing away from the greatest population density.
        I know, the wind does change but compared with the full on smoke for several months it’s a minor problem.

        I would rather put up with a weeks smoke than by incinerated in an out of control green inspired conflagration.

        180 Victorian dead and more recently. Look at what has been sacrificed for the CV19 98.

        KK

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      GlenM

      I guess it’s insignificant compared with our ancestors who died from Emphysema living in hovels. Just a point.

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    Zigmaster

    Lockdowns should also have reduced the numbers killed in car accidents. They are extremely effective at reducing certain death rates. With coronavirus whatever people try to show the vast majority of people who die are the old and the sick. In many instances these are people who are facing imminent deaths ( in the context of a lifetime. This trend was obvious from very early on in the global spread. This is not so common with other viruses which have a more demographic impact and in some cases are worse for younger people. The psychological impact of lockdowns on a society that has already had its confidence impacted by a twenty year scare campaign on global warming has created an environment where a large part of the population will be too scared to leave the house without government intervention.If you incentivise them by paying them 80% of their salary like in the UK you’ll never get them out of the house. Add the economic damage that flows from it and a total lockdown strategy is still questionable when looking at the overall impact.
    Surely with the obvious characteristic that 80+ % of the people who die are elderly faced with the same situation in the future smarter policies than a total lockdown could be formulated to deal with such events.
    This in no ways suggests that the data shown is not accurate and that lockdowns don’t help but that perhaps the extreme lockdown hypothesis could be varied in future cases in a way that would provide better total outcomes for society. Otherwise we risk creating a society that will fear social interaction, travel, adventure, going outside, going to sport, partying , working all aspects of life we considered normal.

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      Bill In Oz

      A dense long winded statement with no evidence, that frankly is impossible to understand Zigmeister.
      You can do better.
      The we here will all understand your comment better.

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Zigmaster,
      Doubt that lockdown could cause fewer motor accidents.
      In Melbourne, lower traffic density gave more open roads and more speeding by drivers feeling liberated to exercise their speed driving skills in built-up areas. More accidents.
      Surely you noticed this. Geoff S

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Geoff I have noticed this in Adelaide & the Hills.
        And have suffered as well from this phenomenon
        With a car totalled by a young P plater
        Driving at night at speed with no head lights.
        Bloody fool !

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      Kalm Keith

      A great comment that covers a lot.

      KK

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    • #
      yarpos

      Used to many words Zig , you upset the headmaster

      Yes I guess we can protect people from all kinds of potential risks with lockdowns. Deeming that a success I guess is another thing.

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    Peter

    Why does this comparison start in week 14 of 2019? I assume there is data from the first 13 weeks?

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    Ruairi

    At first, we all went along,
    Not wanting to cause any wrong,
    So we bought the alarm,
    To avoid doing harm,
    But full lockdown has gone on too long.

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    PeterS

    Of course lock-downs do work. Most people here, me included have always stated that lock down were necessary. At the time there were too many unknowns, so much so the logical choice was to lock down hard. It’s a natural reaction to fear of the unknown. Better to apply the precautionary principle in this case since the deaths were real and mounting rapidly for a while.

    As we learn more about the spread and impact of the virus we can adjust and relax our lock-downs as and when required, which we are doing now. The speed at which we do it is debatable but at least we are heading in the right direction.

    Some in the past proposed we keep the lock-downs until the virus is eliminated or a vaccine is made available. That’s pie in the sky stuff since neither is likely to occur in the foreseeable future, if at all.

    So, yes lock-downs do work to reduce the death toll due to various causes, such as the common flu, car accidents, etc. but that’s not the point. The point was we didn’t know how bad the pandemic could have been if left unchecked. There were suggestions many thousands would have died here, and worse still a runaway pandemic might have been catastrophic. We now know it’s not catastrophic but we will never know if many thousands would have died if we didn’t lock down.

    In any case, what’s done is done and it was the right thing to do at the time. Let’s move on and try to get our nation back on its feet ASAP. That’s another crisis hardly anyone is taking seriously enough. Again there are so many unknowns in the face of already massive unemployment and increasing suicides. If we don’t get it right this time around then we will be facing another crisis of massive proportions, perhaps even catastrophic. As usual time will tell but that’s no excuse to pretend everything is going back to normal on their own.

    We must make some drastic changes to the way we work and grow our economy. For starters, we should drop the emissions nonsense forthwith. I don’t see much hope of that happening by our state and federal governments. That ought to be a major concern but I appear to be the only one pointing it out. Perhaps I’m mistaken and it will be OK to go back to the way were were and keep reducing our emissions but I can’t accept that given countries like Japan, China and India are building massive numbers of coal fired power stations, albeit they might be postponing some of them due to the global economic slowdown. IMHO the precautionary principle is applicable here as much as it was for the pandemic. We should be scrapping the emissions reduction agenda once and for all, and do it now!

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    Rod King

    Wearing masks is a cost effective way to control covid-19. If R0 = 2.4 and everyone wears a 50% effective mask then R0 will be reduced to below 1. Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review
    Link with thanks from Judith Curry.

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      Bulldust

      Shame that we were all reddled the absolute lie that they do nothing to stop the spread in the early days. I suspect that had more to do with a mask shortage meaning health professionals were being impacted. And why did we have a mask shortage? Nothing to do with certain individuals buying up all the available stocks and shipping them to Chy-na I bet … oh noes, couldn’t possibly be that… all roads lead back to CCP.

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        el gordo

        There was lot of misinformation around, which is of concern, even Andrew Bolt said masks were only good for keeping hands away from face.

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      Bill In Oz

      I agree Rod.
      But our medical authorities in Oz told us not to wear masks.I suspect that this was to ensure that medical people had them without competition from the rest of the population.
      But if masks reduce the R0, then fewer people get infected.

      This is definitely an issue which needs to be reviewed properly here.

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        Rod King

        That’s why I linked it, with luck some one that makes these decisions will read the paper. I’m in Australia, wearing masks may mean we can open up more.

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    Bright Red

    Sure lockdowns work in the short term but our future is long term. Does anybody really think the flu won’t be back with a vengeance when the lockdowns are lifted? Same with CV19. Lockdowns just buy some time nothing more and do that at a great cost. As for saving lives that depends on how the time is used i.e to develop cures or vaccines. Trouble is that we are not yet fast enough at doing either so for the lockdown to be beneficial it has to be very long. Jo keeps on talking about promising breakthroughs but they or may not actually happen and in any case are not ready NOW so are of no use and can not be relied on.
    One thing all pro lockdowners ignore is the cost of the lockdown in both lives lost and reduced standard of living.
    Whatever happened to first do no harm. I guess that doesn’t extend to everybody and only applies to the patient or prospective patients. It seems the damage done and deaths caused (suicide) to the other 80% or so who have nothing to fear from CV19 can be ignored.
    If the government was honest about people’s individual risk then 80% of the population would be business as usual. Jo’s idea that everybody would be too scared to go to a restaurant even if they were open is way off the mark and looks like nothing more than excuse making to justify the lockdown.

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      robert rosicka

      Bright Red enlighten us with your wisdom please , what would you have done and when would you have done it ?

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      el gordo

      ‘It seems the damage done and deaths caused (suicide) to the other 80% or so who have nothing to fear from CV19 can be ignored.’

      Suicide is a first world problem., the Morrison government is putting a lot more money into mental health to handle the pandemic.

      ‘Does anybody really think the flu won’t be back with a vengeance when the lockdowns are lifted?’

      That would be me sir, the population is now much better informed and aware. Social distancing could become common place during the flu season and all new arrivals coming into the country should be tested. Using the new App clusters could be quickly identified and suppressed.

      So no this won’t be a typical flu season, with numbers way down on previous years.

      Forget the cost of lockdown, its only going to be a short sharp shock to the economic system. The fundamentals are sound and if we can prevent annual flu outbreaks it will be financially beneficial in the long run.

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    RickWill

    The evidence in Australia shows that border controls were at least as important as home quarantine in limiting the spread of CV19 throughout Australia.

    Flights from China to Australia for Chinese citizens were stopped from 9 February. The high proportion of young adults with CV19 in Australia indicates that students entering from China was an initial source; 11% of CV19 recorded cases were 20-29yo female while they are only 6.6% of the entire population; males 20-29 also disproportional number to population but not as high as females. So stopping flights from China prevented rapid spread from that source.

    All entries of non citizens were stopped on 20 March. Australians returning went into self-quarantine initially then enforced quarantine later in the month.

    The quarantine in home was implemented on 24 March.

    Australia turned the corner on number of cases on 30 March:
    http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/?chart=countries&highlight=Australia&show=-10&trendline=none&y=highlight&scale=linear&data=cases-daily-7#countries
    It is unlikely that the quarantine 6 days before resulted in turning the corner. The quarantine at home prevented a big bounce like some countries have observed. For example, Chile has just implement home quarantine day, 5 May, as cases are starting to skyrocket:
    http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/?chart=countries&highlight=Chile&show=-10&trendline=none&y=highlight&scale=linear&data=cases-daily-7#countries

    The data provides clear perspective that the priorities are:
    #1 Tight border controls on ALL arrivals as soon as the risk is identified – aim to quarantine the source.
    #2 Fast, effective testing regime of all symptomatic cases
    #3 Efficient and effective contract tracing of all positive cases

    Get those right and not much else matters.

    . Note there is no need for home quarantine if these are done well.

    If the virus gets into the community then the only available approach is to quarantine everyone from everyone else. The simplest means to do that is home quarantine for people not involved directly in supplying essential services and supplies.

    One feature of Germany’s control not widely reported in Australia was border controls that prevented non-essential entry from Austria, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Denmark.

    The countries that have faired badly have not controlled borders, externally and internally, very well – notably USA, UK and Sweden.

    Interestingly, Denmark closed its borders with Sweden on 14 March. Finland closed borders with Sweden on 11 April. So Sweden is being isolated from the rest of Europe but not by its own choice.

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    Mardler

    That is an incorrect interpretation.

    The reason for the decrease in e.g. influenza deaths is simple: they’re being recorded as C19!

    Here in the UK everyone recording a death has been instructed to register it as C19 on a whim i.e. no matter what the cause if you believe C19 might in some tenuous way be involved then it must be recorded as dying from C19 even if no test has been done (especially if no test has been done!).

    Italy was the same, the US is.

    There have even been UK cases of RTA victims being recorded as C19! Hospitals and coroners are being sued by the bereaved.

    I know UK doctors who are livid at the deliberate manipulation of the data. The purpose is to increase the virus numbers to scare people, unfortunately for the perpetrators a few citizens have smelled the rat(s) and unpicked the data with very worrying results.

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    bradd

    Isn’t it an obvious inference that flu cases have plummeted because anyone with flu-like symptoms is now being designated Covid19 +ve?

    I did see one report that in early February, newspapers in New York were reporting a terrible flu season. Then in the first 2 weeks of March, influenza cases in New York dropped to near zero almost overnight while ‘Covid’ was suddenly ramping up.

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    Bill In Oz

    A medical infectious disease expert sacked by Trump goes public with his criticisms of the way the pandemic is being handled:

    “America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus, says a government whistleblower who alleges he was ousted from his job for warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic.
    Immunologist Rick Bright made the sobering prediction in a statement prepared for his appearance before a US government committee on Thursday (local time).
    A federal watchdog agency said it found “reasonable grounds” Dr Bright was removed from his job, as the head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, for sounding alarm about the pandemic at the Department of Health and Human Services.
    “Our window of opportunity is closing,” Dr Bright said in prepared testimony posted on the committee website.
    “If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.”"

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-14/trump-unhappy-with-fauci-coronavirus-pandemic-scientist-warning/12246256

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    • #
      RickWill

      The IHME 10 May forecast for US deaths has increased again to 147k.

      Both California and Texas have increasing daily cases and they are now significant numbers.

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    • #
      dinn, rob

      here in US we push synthetic biology and the rest of that tale. not too Dr. Bright. many things done in america are heavy-handed, short-sighted, lame, selfish, vain. karma is measured out, that’s one no one can really dodge. it’s a vast vast reckoning that makes words pale, oh yes. one day America with a capital A, but I hope not a skyscraper A.

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    • #
      Richard Ilfeld

      A progressive media, Plus, If it Bleeds it Leads.

      From years of climate change talk on this blog, it should be clear that the progressive tactic of finding
      an “authority”, further endowing him or her with credibility by adding the label “whistleblower”
      (“truth to power, don’t you know”), and using polemics and 72 point type to make one’s point
      is standard.

      Scare the hell out of the proles before demanding all money and power to solve the problem.

      If you have day-to-day familarity with the outlets pushing Dr. Bright’s point of view, you understand he is simply
      temporarily replacing a warmest-year-ever ever story, and that the last paragraph is the same: ‘give us all the power and all the money
      and we’ll save you.’

      He probably wasn’t in Richmond in the Winter of 1865……

      By the way, last year was the warmest ever again, it just wasn’t scary enough to lead.

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        Bill In Oz

        Sooooo… You believe that an infectious disease expert, is wrong because the media which published this story also published the global warming hoax story..

        Utterly amazing ‘logic’ Richard.
        I nominate it for the IgNoble Blog comment of the year..

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        • #
          Richard Ilfeld

          No, oh exaulted one, I am simply suggesting that Dr. Bright’s views be added to those of literally hundreds of other Doctors and other scientific types
          similarily credentialed and with views spanning a wide spectrum of though as we unwashed try to make sense of a difficult situation.

          The elevation of the loudest and scariest is a feature of the media presentation, not necessarily the quality of the underlying thought.

          Away from the current discussion, here is the abstract situation.

          A person works for an entity. He or she is demoted or let go. He or she goes public loudly condemning the former employer and all they stand for.
          Should we agree with the opinion, the complaint is by a whistleblower of noble motive.
          Should we disagree, its just a disgruntled ex-employee who can be safely ignored.

          Another headline on one of the editorial pages flogging Dr. Bright’s views was “Georgia’s re-opening an experiment in human sacrifice”.
          Outside of the emotion of the current discussion, I don’t think even Dr. Bright would appreciate the context.

          By the way, my comment was on the tactics of the progressives, not the medium of publication. There is a huge difference.

          Some media publish a wide variety of views; the tactics of those promoting a certain point of view remain.

          I try to use calm reason and a little humor to make my points; and don’t much mind if I fail from time to time. Sorrt to have offended you.

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    Meglort

    The stats are really interesting and makes one wonder if the big drive to get people to go along and get a flu vaccine when it was almost certain it was not going to be an issue this year for obvious reasons was subject to any kind of pre-emptive thought.

    Cogitatioscientiapoxia, the chicken-little-like neurological disease of human-induced climate change fear and anxiety caused by a deficiency of rational thought seems to be rapidly spreading again though despite the lockdown, social distancing and economic suppression caused by the CCP Virus. Clusters in the ABC, MSM and ALP/Greens.

    So there are clearly some ailments that keeping them separated has not addressed.

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    Dwayne

    Canada’s last weekly flu report was the week ending Apr 4. That is the end of the flu season, according to Health Canada, and the next report will be out 15 May.

    Canada had a mild flu season according to the report. In fact they believe that the flu season ended around March 12, before the lock down across Canada.

    “In week 14, the percentage of tests positive for influenza remained below 5%. This suggests that the end of the influenza season at the national level occurred in week 12 (mid-March).”

    How mild was the flu season in Canada? “The percentage of tests positive for influenza this week (0.75%) is at the lowest level ever recorded for week 14 (end of March) for the past nine seasons. This level is usually not seen until mid to late summer.”

    https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/fluwatch/2019-2020/week-14-march-29-april-4-2020.html

    So I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into the report from a Canadian perspective.

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    TdeF

    There is a great discussion of the terrible 1918 pandemic from 2006.

    The question is why did it stop in a year, considering that as now there was no inoculation? Some would say reflexively, ‘herd immunity’ but that would have killed many more. Rather it seems the virus mutated into less deadly forms and was still responsible for the H1N1 variants which arose from time to time but were far less deadly. This was a form of widespread natural inoculation, not herd immunity at all. Based on history, chasing herd immunity with a deadly pathogen is possibly misguided.

    It is certain that this new virus will also mutate into both more deadly and less deadly forms and the less deadly form effectively inoculated populations where the more deadly forms were very obvious and so quarantined. This is the only explanation, not herd immunity.

    Could it be possible that as well as trying to invent an inoculation, the medical R&D world should be positively looking for a benign variant created by accident in the population? This would be a viable second path and one which will have to be taken if we fail to invent an inoculation. It would mean looking to see if mildly sick people or asymptomatic people actually have a different strain and isolating that strain. Letting the trillion monkeys of millions of a million RNA factories make a mistake and come up with a relatively benign but similar virus. Which is after all what an inoculation is.

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    • #
      TdeF

      In fact as RNA mistake in replication are much more likely in old people, I would check aged care homes for anyone who had symptoms but recovered without much intervention or even had no symptoms at all. The new antibody test just approved in the UK would help.

      Test everyone in the aged care system where there had been an outbreak. An asymptomtic old person with the virus may have an unexpected immunity, a surprisingly strong immune system or a much milder version of the virus. If that could be isolated, we would have our innoculation.

      Not the antibodies, the actual mutated virus if it still exists.

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      • #
        TdeF

        Or even an outbreak in an aged care facility where a large proportion were relatively well, which would be the clue that a new benign strain had emerged.

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      • #
        bobl

        Live virus Vaccines… As already used for many pathogens (EG Polio vaccine is an attenuated virus vaccine (One bred to have mild symptoms). Unfortunately attenuated virus have mutated back to the more dangerous forms in some cases, but they are still useful and we still use them.

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        • #
          TdeF

          The point being that unlike denatured virus, vaccination with live benign virus uses the same rapid exponential growth as the virus itself, displacing the virus. I can only think that the spread of benign versions is why deadly infections seem to stop, not herd immunity to the original lethal pathogen virus. Yes there is the risk of more mutation, which is why we see versions of H1N1 continually, none as deadly as the original.

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          • #
            TdeF

            In short, herd immunity to a rampant but benign version of the virus. This has been confused with mass infection by a deadly pathogen. And this total misunderstanding is behind the attempt to infect everyone with the original deadly version, as in Sweden and the UK. Given time and isolation, a benign version has historically done the job.

            My theory is that if we can identify a benign version, we can save a lot of lives.

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            • #
              TdeF

              And it may explain why small groups like the Pacific islands were so decimated by the Spanish flu. They were simply too small to generate a competing benign virus.

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              • #
                TdeF

                And as a benign virus, it would not be detected and isolated, meaning it would easily out compete the deadly pathogen, saving the balance of the people.

                As the antibody is likely indistinguishable, it would look exactly like herd immunity to the original deadly pathogen. In fact it was created by accident and spread by being undetectable.

                If we could find this virus, we could save a lot of lives. I suspect no one is looking for it. Maybe this is a wholly new theory?

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              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Sounds good and logical. Is this your theory?

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              • #
                TdeF

                Yes. It is a developing idea based on the puzzle that so many survive a deadly pathogen where the search for herd immunity as an objective would decimate an entire population.

                The puzzle is not how many died with the Spanish flu, but how so many survived and the fact that it ended a year later without any vaccine? Mathematically the search for herd immunity would have killed many more people, as is true today.

                I think there is core misunderstanding which would change the policies of Sweden and Brazil. Herd immunity happens but not to the original pathogen and searching for it is a disaster.

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            • #
              TdeF

              Consider someone who is 100 who survives. How? Their aged system makes copies of the RNA but a single poor copy in trillions and this copy is the one which replicates. And it is benign. That gives the person the time to produce antibodies and they survive, not the original killer virus but the benign copy. And the antibodies would work as well on the killer original. So the person survives! Based on a mistake.

              If anyone is doing amazingly well at an advanced age, the virus needs to be extracted and analysed if possible. An infective benign version of the virus could save millions.

              This is my logical conclusion. It does explain why the virus stops after say a year. It does explain how so many survive against the odds. More importantly it means we now can look for even a single benign virus rather than a potentially fruitless and long search for a man made dead one. And it solves the delivery problem. No need for millions of vaccinations.

              This would turn the tables on the virus, based on the fact that millions of infected people producing trillions of exact copies will make mistakes. We just have to find them. And the place to look is in the Aged care homes. Maybe.

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          • #
            bobl

            All true TDef

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        Kalm Keith

        Interesting point.

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  • #
    BenV

    Or doctors are simply labeling flu patients as Covid patients for money and agenda reasons.

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    • #

      And all the extra heart attacks and strokes which are far higher than normal weekly mortality are just a coincidence right?

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      • #
        7887

        Your evidence?

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      • #
        Aaron Christiansen

        “And all the extra heart attacks and strokes which are far higher than normal weekly mortality are just a coincidence right?”

        One anecdote goes like this

        My background:

        I am in healthcare.

        I’m not in NYC.

        I work at a hospital that has the largest number of #COVID19 patients in our county.

        Far from the war-zone-esque imagery I had seen from abroad, and increasingly,
        within the United States, what we experienced was unprecedented, eerie quiet.
        Not only did the surge, perpetually two weeks away, never come, but even the normal emergencies
        were mysteriously absent. The absence of traumas was maybe understandable since everyone
        was stuck at home. But where were the heart attacks? Where were the strokes? [Me: 2 biggest killers in the world]

        Tragically, we learned where they were some time later. They were at home. They didn’t
        come in either because they thought we were too busy on the “front lines” to care for
        them, or because they thought the risk of catching the virus in the hospital was a
        greater threat to their health than their relentless crushing chest pain or the
        sudden inability to move half their body. By the time they did come in the damage
        was often irreversible.

        And now the traumas have shown up, with a vengeance. We’re seeing broken bones
        as people go stir crazy and engage in ill-advised home improvement projects on
        their roofs. Assaults are up, too. Worst of all are the injuries born of despair,
        such as the guys who have been drinking non-stop since they got laid off, who
        eventually fall and hurt themselves. Our observed death toll from self-inflicted
        gunshot wounds alone eclipses that of #COVID19.

        I make no assertions about what public policy should be, and I don’t rule out the
        possibility that the virus eventually sweeps in and fulfills the prophecies of
        doom. I will suggest, however, that any debate regarding ongoing responses to
        the virus take the very real costs of forced inactivity into consideration.

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          Bill In Oz

          Aaron that for that information about the situation in your home city in the USA. Clearly it is not New York.
          However it would be useful if you could say where in the USA you are

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          • #
            Aaron Christiansen

            Bill

            If you look really carefully at the words “One anecdote goes like this”
            you will (or might) see that it is a link to the twitter feed from where
            I copied the text of the anecdote.

            If you click on the link, you can read all about the person who wrote the
            words and if you like, ask him directly where he is from.

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    Joe

    I was dwelling on Jo’s comment: “It’s almost like the Expert Swamp doesn’t want to eliminate the virus…”.
    Jo has published many many comments over the years about the green lefty swamp dwellers wanting to nobble industry, wipe out the poor, have us living in caves with their global warming scam that has gone on for the last 30 years but now we seem to have gotten so much closer to that in the short space of a few months. Now even without considering that this is anything more than an unfortunate accident and some human bungling, it would seem very obvious that such a virus is a very effective means to ruin an economy and lots of lives. Why wouldn’t it become the weapon of choice of any of these swamp dwellers and external enemies we hear and fear so much about if it is not already a bioweapon? All of our strategies to date seem to be aimed at just the incidental and accidental spread of the virus by closing borders for a while. I think it is fair to say that agents of many nations come and go into other nations totally covertly. No lock down strategy is going to prevent that. It just seems like much less of a technical and logistic hurdle for any would be swamp dweller to bring in a bit of virus than to build and launch a nuclear weapon or hijack and fly some passenger planes or spend all of our money on windmills and solar panels which are our current fears.

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    Speedy

    Hi Jo. I’ll try to take on board your suggestion about being logical & polite etc. You’ll understand my difficulties in this regard…

    It’s an interesting point you make, about the drop off in flu cases. It could mean that more people are getting their flu jabs this year, but also that the conditions for viral transmission of each have been attenuated by the Covid lockdowns. In which case, it would be interesting to use the attenuation of the flu cases to calculate where we’d be if we didn’t have the lockdowns in place?

    Cheers,

    Speedy

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    “Lockdowns work” says the heading. Out of curiosity, has anyone ever said they don’t work? Not that I’m aware of. The question is not whether lockdowns work, but rather are they worth the cost? And before the usual crowd here starts yelling back at me, guesses about the future are merely guesses, and mostly they are staggeringly wrong. Anyone who adheres to the Imperial College (et al) starting point ‘assuming no change in behaviour then (insert millions dead, plague, etc) is guilty of mental laziness: in the face of a pandemic, behaviour always changes, even among those who seem to need a state authority to tell them what to do, when to wash their hands etc. Adaptive behaviour to mitigate risks is inherent in humans, and silly fools like Prof Ferguson don’t know how to allow for that, hence it is ignored.

    “Lockdowns are worth it” would be a more interesting headline. I would be keen to see the justification of that. So, I expect, would be the 600,000 newly unemployed Australians who lost their jobs in April. But I’m not going to hold my breath waiting to see it here.

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      RickWill

      The question is not whether lockdowns work, but rather are they worth the cost?

      Most definitely YES. There needed to be a safety valve. Many people were frightened and panic buying had already broken out. Chaos was around the corner. Those with short memories should be reminded how it was a couple of months back:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-2Fwu_bOdM

      Certainly it is debatable if Australians were home quarantined for too long but no one in Australia has needed to go without water, food, energy, sewerage, rubbish collection and shelter. Both State and Federal governments acted responsibly in the face of an emerging threat. Sooner action may have avoided any home quarantine but given the spread that was already apparent in the community; lack of testing facilities; lack of hospital preparation; panic buying; lack of masks for public and absolute need to protect essential supplies and services, home quarantine has proven extraordinarily effective in crushing the spread of the virus. That was the only option once the virus was in the community.

      The whole situation would be handled differently in hindsight. China would simply be isolated from the rest of the world when they isolated Wuhan internally – 23 January. Still some economic impact but likely no deaths outside China and most countries going along near normal. But that is wishful thinking now. Taiwan had an effective plan; not many other countries though.

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      el gordo

      ‘Out of curiosity, has anyone ever said they don’t work?’

      Sweden.

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        7887

        Sweden did not say they didn’t work.
        They knew the cost would be herendous and we’re not prepared to ruin the economy.
        They are of the view in the long term lockdown would be ruinous and produce a worse outcome.

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      Aaron Christiansen

      Until I see a consistent definition of, “work”, the claim and question are very difficult to answer.

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    John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

    Maybe we should have a permanent lockdown. No more Indonesian surf trips for me :-)

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      yarpos

      There are people who are very risk averse and welcome being confined and coddled for their own good. That is great for them but its seems they like to manage other peoples lives as well. You see them on blogs making the “if it only saves one kiddie” comments or denigrating those who do adventure sports as “Darwin Award candidates”

      Life in a beige, cotton wool lined box, makes some happy. I’d get the Indon trips in early, you never know what lies around the corner. Daniel Andrews end up PM.

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        Serp

        Dan would be acceptable to the CCP; maybe this current strongman performance is an audition for the job; after all once they’ve crashed our economy and been handed the Commonwealth of Australia on a platter they’ll be looking for just such a “friendly” local to run the show for them.

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    OriginalSteve

    This is concerning – regardless of your view on vaccines, the pressure and what appears to be in real terms, implied lack of choice, is concerning.

    Not exactly what I’d expect to see in a democracy.

    I suspect the Elite, after getting a black eye from the Folau case, were keen to make sure what appears to be their other relied-upon societal control mechanism ( vaccines ) isn’t questioned.

    Given the push to make a vaccine the only solution the MSM and the Elite want people to accept, the pressure must be immense.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/focus-on-cartwright-after-titans-teammate-kelly-agrees-to-flu-shot-20200514-p54sul.html

    “Gold Coast centre Brian Kelly has agreed to take the flu shot, leaving teammate Bryce Cartwright as the only Queensland-based NRL player yet to do so.

    “The Titans have put a Thursday deadline on the pair to officially inform them of their decision in a bid to provide clarity about their squad ahead of the NRL’s season resumption on May 28. The Queensland government has extended its “no jab, no play” policy to all major sports, meaning all NRL players who don’t adhere will be prevented from entering the state.

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      bobl

      So it’s OK for women to say, my body, my choice but not for sports people? I’m pretty sure the state government does not have the power to do this, and the NRL should frankly just call her considerable bluff on this. Bryce Cartwright is absolutely on the right side of this issue. It’s HIS body and it’s HIS decision what he puts into it.

      Look at the back of every medicine, it has dosage advice and usually notifies you about side effects, one of which is often DEATH. That information is put there so YOU can decide whether YOU are prepared to take the risk. The side of the packet does not say ask Annastacia Palaszczuk to decide whether you should take this medicine.

      Certain side effects might be a worry for elite sports people notwithstanding the side effect DEATH < 0.1%, well thank goodness that the death side effect is only 1:1000. For example the side effect “paralysis (including Bell’s Palsy)” might cause second thoughts in a sportsperson as well as the rest of us.

      Anyway read and weep and what Anna wants to force on people.

      General
      The most common adverse events were local reactions, myalgia, and headache.[Ref]

      Local
      Very common (10% or more): Tenderness (89%), erythema/redness (76.4%), pain (73.8%), induration (58.4%), swelling (56.8%), injection-site pruritus (46.9%), itching (28%), bruising (18%), injection-site ecchymosis (14.9%), mass (11%)

      Common (1% to 10%): Reaction, hemorrhage

      Postmarketing reports: Cellulitis, injection site inflammation, injection site sterile abscess[Ref]

      Other
      Very common (10% or more): Crying abnormal (41.2%), malaise (38%), fever (16%)

      Common (1% to 10%): Chest tightness

      Rare (less than 0.1%): Death

      Postmarketing reports: Hot flashes/flushes[Ref]

      Musculoskeletal
      Very common (10% or more): Myalgia (40%)

      Common (1% to 10%): Chills/shivering, back pain

      Postmarketing reports: Muscle weakness, arthritis, arthralgia, myasthenia[Ref]

      Nervous system
      Very common (10% or more): Headache (40%), drowsiness (37.7%), lethargy (14%)

      Common (1% to 10%): Migraine

      Postmarketing reports: Neuralgia, paresthesia, convulsions (including febrile seizures), encephalopathy, neuritis or neuropathy, transverse myelitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, abnormal gait, dizziness, hypoesthesia, hypokinesia, tremor, somnolence, syncope, facial or cranial nerve paralysis, encephalopathy, limb paralysis, confusion, paralysis (including Bell’s Palsy), vertigo, exacerbation of symptoms of mitochondrial encephalomyopathy (Leigh syndrome), meningitis, eosinophilic meningitis, vaccine-associated encephalitis[Ref]

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        joseph

        Can’t wait to read the list of most common adverse events resulting from the upcoming COVID vaccination . . . .

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    el gordo

    Hubei Province can also whip up a very good avian flu.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29410505

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    Marko8

    I will assume Corona is about as contagious as the flu. If flu levels are down 85% then, in the absence of a lockdown, corona would have have killed thus far 97*100/15=650 people. The govermment is saying the lockdown is costing about $4 billion per week so lets say the total cost will be, very conservatively, over 4 months, about $65 billion dollars.That comes to $100 million per life saved. I wonder what the cost would be in QALY. Probably not much different.

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      Mark,
      No one knew what the deaths would be, or the long term damage, the loss of productivity, any permanent sequelae (we still dont). Locking down was the only sensible option after we blew the chance to keep the virus out. It worked incredibly well, and may have avoided a far greater spread during winter (remains to be seen).
      We also saved countless businesses from the slow bleed of six month (or 12 months) of rolling waves of infection, plus the business losses associated with repeat lockdowns (we hope) and the business losses due to fear and people just not spending or going out. Plus we will get our hospitals back into normal use soon, and we might have lost them for months longer.

      We only had one late summer chance to go hard and fast, and the options were bad or awful and we got lucky. Watch the UK and the US.

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    Aaron Christiansen

    Someone previously implied Vit D should have been part of the response to this, particularly for the elderly.

    In my reading yesterday I found a study that shows Vit D supplementation may not have been effective.

    I’ll confess I do not understand the conclusion fully (maybe it was perfect for COVID-19?), but “without improving antibody production” doesn’t sound too positive.

    Design: Deficient volunteers (Vit-D serum <30 ng/mL) were assigned (V1) to receive
    either 100,000 IU/15 days of cholecalciferol (D, n = 19), or a placebo (P, n = 19), over a
    3 month period. Influenza vaccination was performed at the end of this period (V2), and
    the vaccine response was evaluated 28 days later (V3). At each visit, serum cathelicidin,
    immune response to vaccination, plasma cytokines, lymphocyte phenotyping, and
    phagocyte ROS production were assessed.

    Conclusions: Vit-D supplementation promotes a higher TGFβ plasma level in response
    to influenza vaccination without improving antibody production. This supplementation seems to direct
    the lymphocyte polarization toward a tolerogenic immune response.

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      Not relevant. Different virus. Different form (real v vaccine). Doesn’t tell us anything much.

      Children may beat coronavirus through innate immunity which Vit D enhances, Not through antibodies. Older folk produce more antibodies but have higher death rates too. It’s not clear whether the antibody reponse is useful or detrimental. It may increase clotting.

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    Another Ian

    So was Piltdown man

    “‘We Are Guided by the Science’: British Govt Shrugs Off Responsibility For Open Borders, No Arrival Testing”

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/05/13/we-are-guided-by-the-science-british-govt-shrugs-off-responsibility-for-open-borders-no-arrival-testing/

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      Bill In Oz

      Home Secretary Priti Patel is an incompetent fool. How does the Conservative party mange to elect such nongs ?
      Time for Boris to sack the silly dolly. And put in her place a person who understands the science and is willing to act on it.

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    UK-Weather Lass

    Any sense of professionalism in the analysis of the 2020 influenza season is IMO going to have to wait a very long time to appear since much of the data I am aware of in the UK is already suspect and tainted from changes in rules, lack of reliability of the sources, and a bureaucracy on the back foot. What we don’t know about this virus is far greater than what we do know. There are many potential reasons for this and among the more reasonable suggestions has been the lack of long term planning and coordination, period. We got complacent, careless and obsessed with short term thinking.

    The very idea that lock down is anything but a last desperate measure to contain something that should have been under constant control from day one is more worrying to me than SARS-Cov-2 ever has been and makes me wonder just how feeble minds have become to even think it ever is/was ‘the right thing to do’.

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    WXcycles

    If you want to see what occurs when a country dispenses with lockdowns and quarantine in order to “save the economy“, just have a look at sunny, warm and Vit-D3 sufficient Brazil’s graphs:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/brazil/

    Brazil had 190,137 total cases today but over 100,000 of them are new within the last 13 days. There were 11,555 new cases yesterday. It’ll be about 8 to 9 days to get to 300,000 cases. They’ll reach half a million in the first week of June. Brazil is set to be the first country to reveal what an unmitigated spread of COVID-19 looks like.

    The deaths will not show up for 2 to 3 more weeks, and will take much longer to process as the numbers rise exponentially, and most of them will not be in hospitals or reported. There will then be a predictably 4th week of downplaying it all, then forced policy actions in the 5th week, so Brazil’s deaths may top out in the 7th or 8th week from now, if all goes reasonably well. So maybe by mid-July the daily deaths will peak. But Brazil alone will have millions of cases by then, and bottling that up will be impossible — without the army running the politics of martial law and national lock-down.

    Brazil’s daily deaths today reached the level of Italy’s during the third week of March. They will pass Italy’s peak in the next few days.

    But that is just the beginning, it’s likely any isolation policy from there will fail to reverse the spreading, so they’ll get tens of millions of cases before the end of the year. The country will of course become a failed-state, without an effective democratic government. The govt will collapse or be overthrown and the armed forces and police will takeover to enforce a hardcore lockdown.

    COVID-19 will probably become one of the greatest disasters in South America since the arrival of Conquistadors as that pattern will play-out in many South and Central American countries. Consequently the US will be getting a full-length southern border wall in the near future.

    Time to move the debate along
    Instead of asking if lockdowns work, we should be talking about which aspects are the most cost effective. The more effective the lockdown is, the shorter it needs to run. … The US and UK are flying into a perfect storm. To anyone who wants to find a way out of The Virus Trap, and wants the economy to fly again, keep an open mind and your eye on the target (and the target is not the people who also want the same thing you do).

    I’ll add that Bolsonaro’s preferred policy of let it rip to “save the Brazilian economy“, will be the very thing that destroys it, and the viability of the State, and his government, and democracy, and quite possibly the food supply of Brazil and its medical system.

    Brazil faces ‘economic collapse’ in 30 days due to lockdown, minister says

    Issued on: 08/05/2020 – 02:06

    NEWS WIRES

    Brazil could face “economic collapse” in a month’s time due to stay-at-home measures to stem the coronavirus outbreak, with food shortages and “social disorder,” Economy Minister Paulo Guedes warned Thursday. Brazil, Latin America’s biggest economy, is also the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the region.

    But far-right President Jair Bolsonaro — who appeared alongside Guedes, his free-market economics guru — opposes stay-at-home measures to slow the virus, saying they are unnecessarily damaging the economy. “Within about 30 days, there may start to be shortages on (store) shelves and production may become disorganized, leading to a system of economic collapse, of social disorder,” Guedes said. “This is a serious alert.”

    Bolsonaro, who has compared the new coronavirus to a “little flu,” said he understood “the virus problem” and believed that “we must save lives.” “But there is a problem that’s worrying us more and more… and that’s the issue of jobs, of the stalled economy,” Bolsonaro added. “Fighting the virus shouldn’t do more damage than the virus itself.”

    https://www.france24.com/en/20200508-brazil-economy-minister-paulo-guedes-jair-bolsonaro-covid-19-coronavirus-lockdown-protests

    The people who misguidedly want to “open the economy”, in order to “save the economy”, should familiarize themselves with the concepts of triage (instead of hand-wringing) because opening the economy with a disease like this one is to destroy the country, and not just lose a chunk of its necessarily sacrificed economy.

    For the unlucky countries who gave up before they really even tried, this is now about saving the parts of the economy you can. And President Bolsonaro will not be “saving” the Brazilian national economy via re- opening it while COVID-19 is exponentially growing within Brazil.

    Today, South America as a whole had 355,291 total cases, but it also had 19,667 new cases in one day, and the disease is growing at 9.4 % each day now. So the economies in South America will not be “saved” via failing to burnout the virus — they’re living in a fantasy.

    After this all blows-up in late June and July, and there are some countries that eliminated the virus entirely via lockdown and follow-up control efforts, and have kept it out completely via quarantine since then, it will become obvious to everyone at that point what the mistake within north and south America was. But it’ll then be too late to prevent much worse to come. Economic triage will take on a whole new meaning once these countries realize that the economy is going to go down even harder now, without any lockdown or effective quarantine.

    The “save the economy” via reopening it narrative will be moot by then, there will be no saving of the economies within the Americas via going down that futile misled path. You blew it at that point, the option of “saving” the economy by exposing it to mass infection and death is now out of the question.

    They will end up with a post-war level economy and austerity rations metered out by a military governing authority, under martial law. The people who want to “save the economy”, now, via reopening it, are the same people who are going to provide leftists (everywhere) with the authoritarian post-industrial socialist “utopia” that they have craved.

    The countries that used lockdowns, quarantine, and isolation, plus a careful adaptive reopening process, will emerge from COVID-19 almost economically intact. Our economy may shrink 20%, but we’ll still have one, our government will survive, no one will starve, chaos will not rein, our hospitals will still function and our utilities will work.

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      UK-Weather Lass

      … [The people should] familiarize themselves with the concepts of triage …

      Indeed triage has been a serious problem in English hospitals (and no doubt elsewhere) for several years especially in peak seasons of human frailty of which seasonal ‘flu is but one component. That is why we vaccinate for what we can vaccinate for.

      One of my family who was a nurse on triage duty in 2016/17 has told me of the countless multiple ‘life saving’ choices that doctors and nurses just couldn’t believe that they were being asked to make in an accident and emergency scenario with absolutely nowhere else to go. That has been the reality for some people unlucky enough to be seriously ill at the wrong moment in time. I throw no policy weight to either the left or the right but simply ask people to tell me what a hospital is for if it isn’t to save all those who can be saved? In the years when the UK put together the framework of the welfare state it was to cover those areas that history told us remained unresolved by private enterprise alone. It was their idea of where the bottom line should be drawn and I don’t see evidence of a more effective bottom lines some seventy plus years later. It attempted to cover all the less than adequate bases. If only that thinking had been present in the UK in the past decade plus.

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      Bill In Oz

      A slander of a USA native animal – the racoon.
      How can anyone find such nonsense credible or even slightly amusing.

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    Aaron Christiansen

    Handling nursing home residents looks like the biggest area for improvement.

    A list of US states and % of COVID-19 deaths that occurred in nursing homes as @ May 7:

    Colorado 58%
    Connecticut 55%
    Delaware 65%
    Florida 38%
    Georgia 48%
    Indiana 35%
    Kentucky 57%
    Louisiana 37%
    Minnesota 81%
    Mississippi 44%
    New Hampshire 77%
    Oklahoma 43%
    Rhode Island 76%
    Tennessee 25%
    Wisconsin 42%
    Pennsylvania 67%
    Massachusetts 60%
    Maryland 60%
    North Carolina 60%
    Virginia 57%
    New Jersey 50%
    NB: New York does not count care home residents who are removed and die in hospital as “care home death”

    Some countries, with caveats as at May 3rd
    % of COVID-19 deaths at or from care home residents
    Australia 25 %
    Belgium 53%
    Canada 62%
    Denmark 33%
    France: 51%
    Germany 36%
    Hungary 19%
    Ireland 60%
    Israel 32%
    Norway 60%
    Portugal 40%
    Singapore 11%
    Sweden 45%

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      Serp

      Singaport care homes is the gold standard with Australia awarded silver alongside Tennessee…

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    Aaron Christiansen

    Dr Cahill, Prof in Immunology, says lockdown is unnecessary

    Boost immune system with Vit D, VIt C & Zinc, quarantine specifically sick and elderly, the rest can carry on, 80-90% won’t even know when they get it, by which time HIT is accomplished.

    She developed a vaccine in Africa – meningitis B – and says COVID-19 vaccine will not happen.

    Longer video on youtube

    Prof Dolores Cahill Immunologist who has worked on antibody testing, vaccines and in a Level 4 biohazard virus lab

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      Bill In Oz

      Posted on the 12/5/2020.
      So it is all ‘hindsight’.
      Thanks for that.
      On January 30th we needed excellent foresight.
      Jo gave it at that time.
      And has posted about Vitamin D3, Zinc, Vitamin C, Ivermectin etc as the knowledge of these things became available.

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      Bright Red

      Thanks for posting

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    Richard Ilfeld

    SO how come folks who have been flogging us with the “precautionary principle” for years, ie ‘global warming might be real so we have to take action
    now just in case, can’t even abide planning for: No vaccine, minimal treatments, and we can’t live without a functioning economy.

    Oh, I guess that’s not “scientific”.

    In the US, outside of New York and nursing homes, about 1 in 500 is known to have had the virus. That leaves us a very long way to go, and its hard
    for me to see how we can proceed very far under even partial lockdown circumstances, the more so because most have been arbitrary, capricious and political.

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    cedarhill

    Those that believe lockdowns/social distancing/etc., etc. worked should visit Watts Up With That site and read Willie Eschenbach’s latest article:

    Attention, Citizens! The #COVID-19 Emergency Is Over!

    Maybe this site and the WUWT site and create a thread where they debate the subject?

    MEANWHILE: Exchenback’s main point is RE-OPEN.

    All the graphs, numbers, charts, RO, et al, is just ignoring the only issue that kicked off the hysteria: overwhelming the ventilators and replacing it with various confirmation bias using poor quality epidemiological data. The most specious one is the “reducing deaths by” . It’s an assertion without science regardless of how one attempts to spin the numbers. Specious – look it up.

    If we counted causes as the CV-19 experts count deaths, my locale (mid-America)_ has seen a 10 fold increase rate of homicides in the past 3 weeks due to the Lockdown. Same for domestic violence reports — all due to Lockdown. Just sayin’.

    While the USA tends away from rioting as is now beginning is some EU nations regarding the Lockdown, we’re at the point where multiple US courts are voiding all or part of the Lockdown. Governor media sites/phones are starting to be overwhelmed with messages/calls to end the Lockdown. People are beginning to confront these leaders outside their homes. Call it push back but it’s more like a hostile backlash. The social media in the US is swamped with videos of deserted medical facilities, texts from laid off health care workers and very spirited threads accusing people of wanting to “kill grandma to make a buck” verses those pointing out what Eschenback points out. As states like Georgia and South Dakota go fully open, the discontent will reach fever pitches.

    Compare CV-19 to a war, the US has won the war not to overwhelm. To continue Lockdown is like, after VE and VJ day, for Australia to declare war on the South Pole and ramp up conscription, double the war budget and start sending troops to Antarctica. The government would topple and that’s exactly the scenario if the Lockdown continues.

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      Bill In Oz

      Willii’s on a political crusade. His purpose ? To get Trump re-elected.
      What’s Wrong With That ?
      1: Thus is an infectious disease pandemic. It needs to be sorted in each country using the advice of medical experts. That’s primary.
      2: Trump would have a better chance of re-election if he stopped bumbling around on this infectious disease and let the infectious disease experts get on with the job. His current path will I suggest lead to a Democrat party being gifted with victory.

      The curious thing is I have just been reading about the USA response to the Spanish Flu in 1918-19. It was just as chaotic as now and was politicised as well. And I remember the AIDS medical crisis in the late 1980′s. Now that was a bunfight as well. Medical emergencies don’t seem to be something that the USA handles well

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      Kalm Keith

      Good stuff.
      Let’s get real: for many parts of America, not New York, the extreme lockdown is inappropriate.

      Here in Australia we have relatively few infected, at least that we know about. Continued lockdown is inappropriate

      Lockdown needs serious rethink and urgent change, it’s doing too much damage in a situation where Confirmation Bias was identified weeks ago.

      The Good news!!!!

      TdeF is back.

      Read his very lucid outline on the likely process behind the adaptation of the damaging version into a non lethal strain that then competes with the parent strain, and takes the load off. Super logical.

      KK

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      Kalm Keith

      Good stuff.
      Let’s get real: for many parts of America, not New York, the extreme lockdown is inappropriate.

      Here in Australia we have relatively few infected, at least that we know about. Continued lockdown is inappropriate

      Lockdown needs serious rethink and urgent change, it’s doing too much damage in a situation where Confirmation Bias was identified weeks ago.

      The Good news.

      TdeF is back.

      Read his very lucid outline on the likely process behind the adaptation of the damaging version into a non lethal strain that then competes with the parent strain, and takes the load off. Super logical.

      KK

      Immoderata Variant Strain V 11.

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        WXcycles

        Let’s get real: for many parts of America, not New York, the extreme lockdown is inappropriate.

        That is thorough nonsense thinking Kieth, do you not pay any attention to what is being pointed out for the past 3 months? Your advise is easily rejected. Lockdown becomes necessary everywhere, simply because:

        (1) We can not tell where it is — you do not know Keith, stop deluding yourself, you have no answers — we have tests which are unreliable, and we have no means to test everyone in a timely manner, and most probably never will, and no means to process them if we did.

        (2) A strict and cooperative lockdown everywhere with continuous social-distancing will eliminate 100% of the virus — there is zero need to even know where it is for that to work. And we will, and have, found out where the disease that way, via people becoming sick and reporting an illness which can be viably tested (several times to be sure) and the symptoms confirmed, and any re-transmissions logged and further isolated. Which completely negates (1) and means nothing gets through the lockdown process, the country will come out of it completely clear of cases. Any lingering local outbreaks will be completely isolated and restricted until they are gone too.

        (3) Strong border control and obligatory national quarantine combined with copious testing of all necessary or elective casual travelers — at their costwill keep it out of the country.

        Your approach and advice is faulty to useless, it leaves room for this all to fail and to greatly extend the potential disruptions and increase of damage to the economy.

        Our unemployment numbers yesterday were much lower than expected. We have hibernated the economy, we have preserved capital, we have increased the money available to the economy to restart it, and this is a fat economy, it had and still has the reserves to Winter-over COVID-19 while asleep, on a paid ‘holiday’, and if done right, and emerged from adaptively and carefully, it will not have to be done ever again.

        Plus we are putting in place the procedures and systems in place to defeat all virus from here. We won’t get caught out like this again, we won’t have to do this again, we are sacrificing now so that the next generations won’t have to. We are going to defeat virus in the same way we have largely defeated bacteria.

        And that process of defeating bacteria was, and is continuous to this day! It costs our economy to constantly defeat bacteria, and it’s completely worth it. Defeating virus continuously will also cost our economy, it will also come out of our pockets, and that will also be completely worth the cost.

        A short, strict lockdown ends this and the associated adaptions and control measures put in place and enforced means it will not be coming back to damage our economy and lives again in future. Did smallpox come back? No, we made sure it never would, and it worked, and it will work with COVID-19 as well.

        However, 50% of the land area electoral seat divisions in QLD had zero cases recorded. It’s the cities and larger towns that are connected to these cities that got the disease, and community spreading did not get a chance to establish in Townsville, all 24 cases here came from outside the community. The lockdown completely prevented the establishment of community spread here, and as of Tuesday there are now zero active cases in the city. The lockdown completely ended it here so now we just need to make sure it does not get back in via visitors. We’re almost back to normal.

        Electoral seats where there was no disease cases recorded up to two weeks ago could have been opened and connected up already, and operating normally, while maintaining social distancing , especially toward people from outside the community.

        I don’t believe our area will slip back as we know now exactly how to defeat it, everything is in place to make sure COVID-19 can’t make a successful comeback. This process is also ensuring that other diseases won’t get much of a chance to spread. That is a net positive outcome for the community. We got healthier, we ate better, we got fitter and took better care of ourselves, we take vitamin supplements to strengthen health and immunity. We increased the resistance to the virus in every way in the process.

        And large parts of the local economy are getting back to normal. I’m very happy with the outcome of the lockdown, we have learned a lot. We have also practically figured out how to defeat a biological attack, if one ever occurred. We put in place the arrangement to make sure the defense forces were protected and have strengthens our defense capacity in the process.

        Keith you, and several others, focus to great excess on economic damage, but you’re just like the CO2 worriers, you highlight the evils of the virus (or CO2), but you’re ignore all the massive benefits that come for it. Instead of continuing your endless economic doom portrayal, why not be honest and open to the good coming out of this? I have not seen my community so united and cooperative in decades, or more willing to make sure we succeed. This will not be an economic apocalypse, where there’s damage and loss it will result in the rebuilding of a better capacity, community and economy to come. And the parts that were damaged, were already weak. Stress reveals the weakness and the weak fail, as is necessary to make stronger.

        Let’s get real: for many parts of America, not New York, the extreme lockdown is inappropriate.

        Rubbish!

        Lockdown is completely appropriate and necessary everywhere for a deadly novel pandemic virus where there’s zero preexisting immunity.

        Your ‘logic’ is hopeless nonsense, it’s been wrong, misguided and foolish all along, IMHO. If New York city had properly locked down and prevented travel, they would also be re-normalizing their economy after COVID-19 had burned-out in the city.

        Instead, NYC had 2,128 new cases yesterday, ~25% of which will die, and a large number permanently health impaired people who will partially recover, some fully recovering — all the result of a section of the NYC population who decided to ignore the local lockdown and made it fail (so far) and thus ensured others would die, and the economic damage will become much greater than it ever needed to be.

        Keith, your position on lock-downs is absurd, unbalanced and extremely misguided, as well as inexcusably foolish. And your tedious incessant gripes about “the economy” are exaggerated. Your advice would (foreseeably) do the opposite of what you claim. It would not “save the economy“, it would it assure it’s damaged all the more and for longer, and that more people would sicken and die, and suffer for longer.

        It would also permit much worse to develop from there.

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          I have never complained about any downturn in the economy.

          My concern, if you switched off the filter, has always been about the Massive Human Damage that is ignored by the cognoscenti.

          Another of my concerns has been the datarisation of this problem when obviously that data is flawed and misleads those supposedly looking for a solution to CV19.

          You cannot compare CV19 data from anywhere to anywhere else with much validity for many reasons besides the shoddy accumulation of said data.

          CV19 is a Multifactorial problem as mentioned previously and Jo has even used the term once or twice.

          Very early on I pointed out two things;

          1. Italy was a special case because it was effectively a branch state of the PRC operating within the EEU.

          2. Old Age was strongly, absolutely linked to the early Australian CV19 deaths.

          Then there are the photos I put up indicating CV19 was possibly associated with Diabetes T2.

          There are a great many more factors such as population density, local climate and even ethnic susceptibility.

          Have all those factors been carefully isolated in The Data?

          No.

          On a more positive note one of the more exciting things was TdeFs post yesterday that postulated on the potential to harvest a valuable component of elderly survivors vital juices for use in accelerating widespread immunity.

          Good analysis.

          KK

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            WXcycles

            1. Italy was a special case because it was effectively a branch state of the PRC operating within the EEU.

            Italy is not a special case, it never was, it’s a myth. There are many countries going through the same things that Italy went through. The only difference is the time period.

            Italy is proving beyond dispute that lockdown and quarantine defeats COVID-19. Now they have to resurrect their economy as well, and they will, but with much less reliance on a Chinese workforce.

            Brazil is going through the same things now and as a result of the Brazilian govt failure to isolate and quarantine the population. And this will certainly destroy the State of Brazil, and also crush their economy. Brazil had a problem with an infected toe but Brazil needed to keep walking to work on it, so instead of getting it treated and taking a break and losing a month’s income in the process, Brazil decided to do nothing much and kept walking to work on it. After a few months the doctors had to amputate the leg at the thigh to “save” Brazil. Though continuing on had made economic sense at the time.

            Have all those factors been carefully isolated in The Data?

            What has that go to do with preventing the spread of what we know to be a deadly disease, which pushes so many into a grave and leads to unexpected lasting heath and function impairments within others? We know all we need to know from the data in order to stop that.

            I have never complained about any downturn in the economy.

            No, you have many, many times.

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            • #
              Kalm Keith

              No No No, many times No.

              You have simply inferred that as you do with other people’s comments as well.

              My concern has always been about the devastation of people’s lives and the Human Suffering.

              Many can’t see it, don’t see it, won’t see it.

              I freely admit that I know little about the biology associated with viruses; not so with Statistics where my knowledge and assessment tells me that the CV19 Statistics are Junk.

              Flawed data accumulation, failure to isolate relevant factors and a focus that has led to not seeing other relevant things about the CV19 situation.

              KK

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    Bill In Oz

    The ABC attempts to be balanced on Taiwan and it’s request to attend WHO meetings. Also a good summary of how Taiwan avoided being a major infection by the CCP Corona Virus.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-14/taiwan-says-who-forgot-neutrality-by-barring-island-covid-19/12250420

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    • #
      toorightmate

      No one knows China better than Taiwan. Hence, they have won the Gold Medal.

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Vietnam knows China pretty well too and is constantly reminded of China’s urge to expand and dominate.

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    ren

    This graph shows that the second wave in the autumn-winter period is almost certain. One can only hope that it will not occur in parallel with the wave of seasonal flu.
    https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/daily-world-minus-china-ceemd-20200512.png?w=689&ssl=1

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  • #

    Interesting data from (UK) where 26% of deaths from the virus had diabetes.
    My wife is Type 1 diabetic and tells me that hospitals are hopeless at controlling the glucose levels of diabetic in patients and high glucose levels result in clots, strokes and heart attacks.
    Maybe what we are seeing is not attributable to the virus directly but rather to poor blood glucose control in diabetic patients with the virus.

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  • #
    ralf ellis

    Not necessarily so, Jo.
    It is more likely that we are all getting paranoid about hygiene.
    Normal flu virons are finding it harder snd harder to find a new host, without being flushed down a sink.

    Ralph

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  • #
    ralf ellis

    Not necessarily so, Jo.
    It is more likely that we are all getting paranoid about hygiene.
    Normal flu virons are finding it harder snd harder to find a new host, without being flushed down a sink.

    Ralph

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  • #
    ralf ellis

    .
    Not necessarily so, Jo.

    here is a different perspective from Willis Eschenbach.
    The lockdown appears to have done nothing at all.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/05/13/attention-citizens-the-covid19-emergency-is-over

    If the lockdown was effective, then our infection rate should have been radically curbed within one or two weeks, and the death rate radically curbed within two or three weeks. The fact that they were not means that there was significany ‘leakage’ – the virus was circumnavigating the isolation.

    There are many possible routes of transmission around the isolation, but the most obvious is it was delivered to our door on out groceries. Not sure about Oz, but the UK has not tested groceries or any other possible transmission routes.

    In Britain we have not even done any random testing, so we have no idea how many have been asymptomatic, and how they got the virus. Anecdotal evidence suggest a vast number of people have already had the virus. And random testing in Santa Clara and Germany suggests that 50x more people have had the virus, than has officially been detected. In short, in the UK at least, we have no ideas whatsoever.

    Our medics and government are flailing in the dark, because they don’t even know what the true death-rate is.

    Ralph

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    Ralfellis

    See my post on the new Thursday thread regarding uk testing

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  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    The damned liars on the left (and the right) are at it again.
    They are saving lives. hey are basking in the self proclaimed glow of being saviours.

    During the entire Obama Administration, by very rough estimation, the value of a life saved or death prevented had an economic cost to society of ten to twenty million
    dollars. While these numbers may be wildly wrong, I have never seen evidence that the value is less than these numbers.

    If we’ve saved a million lives in the lockdown, and the net economic cost is ten trillion dollars, we’re at that ten million dollars per life number.
    If flattening the curve delays rather than prevents the virus, how many lives have we saved? And what are we buying at a ten million dollar unit cost?

    There is a risk-reward equation the public has. It is different for different people. I saw on TV a New Zealand Mayor bungee jumping to celebrate ending the
    lockdown. Glad the cord held; some folks wouldn’t take that risk fr anything.

    The point is, we have a collective sense. We drive, and license teenagers to share the roads with us. And drunks. Absent the last two we might not have seat belts and airbags.
    We tweak the rules and vehicles on a continuous basis to adjust the risk. But we refused to “drive 55″ to satisfy the eco warriors. Twas unenforcable.

    Each of us thinks we can decide about driving because we have wide personal experience on the roads, including much before we take the wheel.

    We are no gathering considerable social data about this virus. Where the one-size-fits-all solution of a tiny tyrant doesn’t fit the local experience is where the fault lines are forming. These are worrisome; we only reach the scale of large scale demonstrations in state capitals once in a while and it doesn’t always end well.

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    ralf ellis

    .
    It ain’t necessarily so, Jo.

    Here is yet more evidence that the lockdown has been a waste of time and wealth – the majority of NY Cov-19 cases were from people in lockdown….

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/05/06/majority-of-new-coronavirus-cases-in-new-york-are-from-people-staying-at-home-not-traveling-or-working

    Ralph

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