JoNova

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


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Tucker: Black Lives Matter is now a political party

Watch this:

Tucker Carlson asks whether the insane, unpopular idea to “defund the police” means getting rid of the current police and bringing in a new BLM-compliant “force”? Is this just The March through yet another Institution?

No one is allowed to say anything against this ideology. People are losing their jobs for  the merest hint they they don’t wholeheartedly adopt an activist supporting role. But bullies thrive on grovelling obedience.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (103 votes cast)

Virus Eliminated: NZ is free

Just pausing for a moment to say “cheers, New Zealand”.

The last remaining barrier there are closed international borders.

LiveScience Updates

NEW ZEALAND EASES ALMOST ALL CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS AMID NO ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES

— New Zealand has no active cases of the coronavirus, and no new positive cases reported in the past 17 days, according to CNN. For the past 12 days, there are no patients in the hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19 and for the past 40 days, there is no evidence of community transmission, according to CNN. Now, New Zealand is lifting almost all of its coronavirus restrictions, while still encouraging social distancing, keeping borders shut to non-residents and requiring that residents traveling into the country to quarantine for 14 days, according to CNN. New Zealand will be under “alert level 1” rules which means there will be no restrictions on domestic transport and no restrictions on workplaces or services, according to CNN and New Zealand’s government website.

New Zealands daily new cases graphed. Black marks deaths. Wikipedia NZ timeline

Coronavirus cases, NZ

New Zealand 1,500 cases and only 22 deaths. The peak of the curve is somewhere around March 30th. The quarantine measures were ramped up between March 14-23

Plenty of other countries headed to zero and keen to join in soon.  See Switzerland. Norway. Hong Kong. Taiwan.

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Tuesday Open Thread

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Coronavirus may cause acute kidney damage in one third of hospital cases

Just another reason to keep the virus out until things improve.

Acute Kidney Injury Seen in Most Severe COVID-19 Cases

— One third of all hospitalized cases also affected in NYC data

New data from two health systems in New York City — where hospitals struggled to keep up with dialysis demands as they were flooded with COVID-19 patients — detailed a high rate of acute kidney injury among infected patients.

In the first 1,000 patients with COVID-19 at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, 33.9% developed acute kidney injury. Of the 236 who ended up in the ICU, 78% developed AKI, Ruijun Chen, MD, and colleagues reported in The BMJ.

In another study of 5,500 patients the rate was 36% of those hospitalized, and 89% of those in ICU on ventilators. Quite a few of these people went on to die, so, to put it bluntly, they wont be in need of dialysis or further care. But some part of the population in a post corona world will need ongoing care and won’t be able to work at their former level.

At least one person in the US likely died because there wasn’t enough dialysis equipment.

Docs are not sure if the kidney injury is from the virus or a side effect of the treatments. As we get better at treating this we may prevent this damage happening. Though, any disease involving mass clotting could cause damage in most organs, some of which can be repaired, but some of which will cause scarring that may be permanent. If Coronavirus is like a stroke-machine, the cognitive damage may be significant.

An Overlooked, Possibly Fatal Coronavirus Crisis

By Reed Abelson, Sheri Fink, Nicholas Kulish and Katie Thomas, New York Times.

April 18th, 2020

“Nothing like this has ever been seen in terms of the number of people needing kidney replacement therapy,” [said Dr. David S. Goldfarb, chief of nephrology at the New York campus of the New York Harbor VA Health Care System].

Keep reading  →

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Powerful: Protesters Spell Out ‘Love’ With Burning Homes

The Babylon Bee “reports”

Minneapolis, protests, Babylon Bee, Satire.

Powerful: Protesters Spell out ‘Love’ with Burning Homes

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—In a powerful display of their care for love and justice, protesters in Minneapolis burned the word “LOVE” into the city, arranging the inspiring message with homes and businesses set ablaze by their riots.

Heartfelt and moving.

The Bee is Dan Coats.

Be aware, the Bee’s point is very serious, but the reporting isn’t.

*  *  *

Commentators, due to Section 18C in Australia it’s illegal to discuss race or color since it may offend someone somewhere. Therefore the words black, white, yellow, red, skin, color, indigenous, indian, african, eskimo, asian,  european, sub-saharan, BLM, WLM, ALM, will go straight to moderation, and can only be published after Section 18C is repealed in 2073AD or thereabouts. We can have a no color conversation. Which means, we here, have arrived in Martin Luther King’s world, ahead of the protestors and looters:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation

where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,

but by the content of their character.

I have a dream that one day political parties will not seek to divide and segregate nations by skin color.

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Weekend Very Unthreaded

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Humans do Ultimate Paris Lockdown, CO2 hits record high anyway

The new figures from the Mauna Loa Observatory show humans are irrelevant

Despite the Ultra-Revolutionary-Carbon-Reduction-Program far beyond anything the UN has every dreamed of,  Global CO2 hit 417ppm. This is a record high since humans discovered test tubes but the 300 millionth time since life on Earth evolved.

It shows how all plans for carbon reduction known to mankind are futile. Obviously Ecoworriers want to take that failure and do more of it.

The world just broke a disturbing trend despite the global lockdown

Tracey Keeling

…the data reveals that two months of significantly reduced human activity did not make a dent in the damage we’ve done to the planet. It ultimately confirms that nothing short of wholesale systemic change will do – with the rejection of fossil fuels at the heart of that transformation.

 ”Surprised” is not the word. When the punters realize that empty streets and skies makes no difference, there could be a monumental crisis of motivation coming. Games up?

The Scientists Just Told Us Coronavirus Won’t Save Us from Climate Change

The National Interest

“People may be surprised to hear that the response to the coronavirus outbreak hasn’t done more to influence CO2 levels,” Ralph Keeling, a geochemist who runs the Scripps Oceanography CO2 program, said in a statement.

Daily emissions of CO2 were cut by an average of 17% worldwide in early April, but as COVID-19 lockdowns eased, the fall in emissions for the year as a whole is likely to be only between 4% and 7% compared to 2019.

Let’s just double this for five times as long, and never stop?

According to Scripps scientists, such small differences won’t reverse the devastating climate change course that the planet is currently on. However, if emissions reductions of 20% to 30% could be consistently achieved for six to 12 months, then the rate of CO2 increase on Mauna Loa would likely slow.

Roy Spencer predicted all this weeks ago:

Keep reading  →

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Huge Lancet study that was used to stop HCQ trials has been retracted

We discussed the inadequacies of the large Lancet study of hydroxychloroquine supposed used on 96,000 Covid patients from 671 hospitals. It was largely useless because it ignored zinc, wasn’t randomized and was mainly used on people who were already very ill, with a terrible 12% death rate. But it is far worse than that and has now been retracted. The number of deaths listed in Australia was higher than the official Australian tally on April 21. The number of Covid cases in Turkey was 80 times higher than official numbers.

All over the world the study spooked doctors and governments (with WHO help) into stopping the use of HCQ in their large trial across in 17 countries .That trial has since been restarted.

The authors have now retracted the paper after Surgisphere refused to transfer the full dataset “due to confidentiality”.

The Guardian investigated the company that came out of nowhere with this enormous dataset which was used in both The Lancet paper and a New England Medical Journal paper. It turned out to be small,  with a handful of employees and that include a science fiction writer, an adult content model, and few scientific qualifications.  When The Guardian contacted the Australian hospitals that were supposedly included, they denied any role in the database. The firms CEO, Sepan Desai  was listed as a co-author. When asked how the company accumulated so much data so quickly, Desai said it was with AI and machine learning.

But look how obviously dodgy this data was. After the Lancet study swept through the media like a breaking wave, will the media now work as hard to undo that news?

Surgisphere’s data called into question

by Elizabeth Hlavinka, and Amanda D’Ambrosio, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Alarms were first sounded about a recent Lancet study on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine for COVID-19 that appeared to have surprisingly high mortality rates overall. Researchers were also concerned that Surgisphere’s number of COVID-19 deaths in Australia exceeded the country’s published total.

Questions have been raised about Surgisphere, a data collection company founded by Sapan Desai, MD, PhD, that says it gathers and stores de-identified electronic health record data from 1,200 healthcare organizations in 45 countries.

Similar questions were raised about a New England Journal of Medicine study that found common blood pressure medications were not associated with in-hospital death among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, assuaging concerns about a possible harmful association. In that study, the number of COVID-19 cases Surgisphere counted in Turkey in mid-March was vastly greater than official numbers at the time — by a factor of about 80, according to a series of Twitter posts by Mike Johansen, MD, of Grant Family Medicine in Columbus, Ohio.

“At this point, there appear two viable options: the analysis and/or data were of such poor quality that it would render the studies unsuitable for publication, or the studies are derived from falsified data,” Johansen told MedPage Today in an email. “Two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals published studies by the same group of authors that are, at best, of no value with numerous obvious errors.”

Keep reading  →

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Announcing BomWatch: Auditing the fake warming created by site changes near the Great Barrier Reef

Fake Warming in Queensland: The BOM says the sites didn’t move, but photos show they did.

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Map, Satellite view.

The warming at these four sites alongside the Great Barrier Reef is due to site changes, incompetence, poor record keeping and “adjustments”. Map: Terrametrics, Map data Google 2020

All along the coast near the Great Barrier Reef, the BOM has claimed temperatures have warmed in the last 50 years, and they’ve calculated it to a tenth of a degree. To get that kind of accuracy the thermometers need to be carefully placed, and the BOM needs to know exactly where they were, but they don’t.

The BOM keeps long pages of site descriptions and exact dates of moves and equipment changes, but historic photos show the records are wrong. The BOM will solemnly swear a site was in the same place for decades but photographs and archives show the sites were often moved as developments sprang up around them. The BOM didn’t keep the records and didn’t bother to check. If the thermometer moved to a warmer location or it warmed because they replaced the standard 230-litre Stevenson screen with a 60-litre toy one, or no longer cleaned it of dust and grime that’s climate change at work (Ka-Ching).  There’s probably a thermometer 500km away that can be used to “correct” the record. (Like say, Coen or Musgrave which are used to “adjust” Cairns and are 452 km and 746 km away!).  Near enough’s rough enough! Homogenisation is fatally flawed and should be abandoned.

“The notion that the Great Barrier Reef is threatened by climate change and warming depends on incompetent records, unjustifiable ‘corrections’, super-sensitive thermometers in smaller boxes, and neglected sites” says Johnston.

Dr Bill Johnston has done the work documenting our sites that the million-dollar-a-day Bureau of Meteorology can’t find time to do. He uses aerial and satellite photos as well as ground based shots from the national archives. The BOM says the climate is the most important issue for life on Earth, but it isn’t important enough for the BOM to find the archived photos and documents that show the thermometers kept moving and the area around the thermometers kept changing.

If Blair Trewin and the Bureau director Dr Andrew Johnson had even the slightest interest in the Australian climate they would welcome the dedicated, historical work of Dr Johnston with a big thank you. Instead the BOM stopped answering questions, and Bill Johnston finds it difficult to get published anymore in meteorology journals. As the Bureau became an advertising agency for Big Government projects, the  scientific evidence apparently became a pain in the neck.

The same team that holds the raw data and the metadata, is also the same team that analyses it and makes political statements it. They are the only ones who know what the instruments are really measuring, they won’t explain in full how they adjust it. The raw data is deleted. The methods are a secret, and the team have become unaudited political actors.

So Bill Johnston has started publishing his meticulous work on his own website. There are four stations there and so many more to come. A life’s expertise and several years of work, done unpaid. The BOM say they are independent, but they are totally dependent on Big Gov for their existence. Bill Johnston really is independent. It’s cost him to publish this and do this work, but he’s done it anyway.

Say hello to BoMWatch!

 BoMWatch:  Climate of the Great Barrier Reef

Press Release June 5th, 2020

“Despite all the catastrophism and free money, there is no evidence that the climate of the Great Barrier Reef has changed or is likely to change in the future”, says Bill Johnston.

Dr Johnston uses maps and plans from the National Archives and National Library of Australia and aerial photographs and satellite images to check if changes in temperature data align with site changes detailed by Bureau of Meteorology site-summary and ACORN-SAT (Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature) metadata.

The site at Gladstone has changed dramatically from 1965 to 2016.

See the slower transition here.

BoMWatch: Gladstone

He has investigated and analyzed more than 300 of Australia’s most important long term sites, and 80 of supposedly top notch ACORN-SAT sites (which is about 75% of them).

Across Australia no sites have stayed the same. They’ve moved, the original 230-litre Stevenson screens have been replaced with more responsive 60-litre ones; automatic weather stations (AWS) have replaced thermometers; new sites have opened using PVC-screens in the hottest places they could find; observers have gone and they scrimp and save by not mowing the grass or cleaning equipment of dust and grime. “Australia’s warming is mostly due to poor maintenance and electronic thermometers operating in small Stevenson screens”, Dr. Johnston said.

“Evidence that the Bureau adjusts their datasets to support the warming narrative is unequivocal” Bill said; “sometimes they recognise a site change, sometimes they don’t; it’s a non-random pattern.  Many forgotten site changes create a trend they can blame on the climate”.

“Furthermore, as AWS are hard-wired to Melbourne,  Weather language has also changed. “They cook-up a record wherever you are and the weather is always extreme”, Bill said.

“Photographs, aerodrome plans and documents show metadata relied on to make adjustments are faulty and misleading”, said Bill. “For instance, at Gladstone, they replaced the radar; cleared the bush and installed a 60-litre screen 30-metres away; sacked the staff, demolished the office and its unsurprising that as instruments are no longer regularly serviced and cleaned, temperature has increased relative to the climate”.

It’s a debacle up at Cairns as well. They didn’t know what happened at the Post Office or that the original aerodrome site was located beside the old apron. They said that in December 1992 the site moved 1.5 km northwest (to the other side of the runway). However, they forgot that it moved to a mound near the centre of the airport in 1966 and that it moved again before September 1983. Also, as one was bulldozed to build the other and no data was missing, another site must have opened in the interim.

The 60L boxes are too small to allow all the equipment to operate at it’s best. The highly sensitive electronic thermometers at the back are barely 2cm away from the hotter north facing side of the screen. They will record one second spikes in temperature, and the Bureau of Meteorology accepts these spurious spikes as new “hottest day ever” records.

 

Townsville Screen, Thermometers, Stevenson, Bureau of Meteorology.

Inside the crowded little 60-litre screen at Townsville. Note the electronic thermometers at the back are about 2 cm closer to the north facing rear of the screen than maximum and minimum thermometers are; which is enough to make them warmer on warm days. Photo courtesy of BoM (http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/townsville/photos.shtml)


The Bureau claims the Townsville airport weather station has absolutely not moved: “There are no documented moves until one of 200 m northeast on 8 December 1994”. However, the site moved at least three, possibly four times while it was on the eastern side of the main runway and probably twice between January 1970 when it moved to a mound on the western side and the most recent move to the AWS. “By pretending the site didn’t move before 1994, they attributed trends and changes in the data to the climate”, Bill said.

Similarly at Rockhampton, where before it moved to a mound near the middle of the airport in about 1956, the original Stevenson screen was near the airport’s northern boundary beside the USAAF garrison and canteen. Warming caused by a satellite communications module installed close-by the second site in 1986 was ignored to imply it was due to the climate.

Keep reading  →

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Thursday Open Thread

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A cold snap in Queensland cut the state’s solar power to just 5% of its average daily output

As Paul McArdle of WattClarity says: “the NEM* is becoming increasingly dependent on the weather

Saturday week ago in Queensland was cold enough to break records. Brisbane “only” made it up to 17.9C (64F). It hasn’t been that cold there in May for 40 years. At the same time a band of cloud covered the populated slice of the state.

The cloud cover meant all the large solar “farms” in Queensland — with a total rated capacity of 1.7GW — produced only 79MW as an aggregate average daily output.

 Sunshine State forgets its own branding on Saturday 23rd May 2020

Averaged across the 24 hours in the day yesterday, average aggregate output across all of the Large Solar plant in QLD was a very meagre 79MW only:

1a)  Dividing this by an aggregate 1,664MW installed capacity* across the Large Solar plant in QLD this represents a capacity factor the day of just 4.7%

Not surprisingly the same clouds that ruined the large solar farms also wrecked the rooftop solar.

One in three homes in Queensland have solar panels. With 1.8GW of theoretical capacity, rooftop solar is Queenslands largest generator (except it hardly ever produces that much). At its peak in January the Qld solar farms worked at 31% of capacity. That’s a big slice of generation that may or may not be there.

There goes another Gigawatt — there one day and gone the next:

As Rafe Champion would say, “this was a chokepoint for solar”. We have to have the backups there to cover the worst days — even if the bad days are only a few days a year.

McArdle estimates that Queenslanders used 17% more electricity that day than the Saturday a week earlier. It was cold (for Queenslanders) so power use went up at the same time as clouds cut the states main generator. When clouds rolled into Alice Springs, they ended up with a nine hour blackout. That didn’t happen in Queensland, but there are five million people who depend on electricity there. There are similar warnings about clouds and solar power causing blackouts in Western Australia.

Coal was, of course, what saved Queensland:

Queensland Electricity Generation , May 23 2020

Watch the Australian experiment

If you think this is crazy, worse is coming. Wikipedia has a list of QLD solar farms. Ominously,  another 1.7GW are under construction and another 8GW have been approved. All of which would have been useless together on May 23rd.

Hey, but it’s only one day. They could just close some factories.

For those wondering if Queensland just needs to build some more solar plants “out west”, remember that generators need to be closer to the demand, and regional generators have been punished by price reductions because of the inevitable transmission losses. It’s just not economic to build far distant solar panel farms that earn less per MW than farms near cities. (Not that it’s economic to build solar farms near cities either.) Solar panels are so uncompetitive in 2016 the National Govt allocated $100m to set up 482MW of solar capacity throughout Australia. That was on top of the giant national RET scheme.

But let’s not forget the reason we are building solar panels in the first place: to change the weather.

To that end, consider that 2 million expensive solar panels cut Australian total CO2 emissions by a tiny 1%


Everything you don’t want to know about Solar power in Australia

__________________________________________________________________

 

*NEM. National Electricity Market. (Australian Eastern States Grid from SA to QLD and Tasmania).

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Sweden is trapped in an interminable deadly half-lockdown

The Swedish soft lockdown will cost a lot more in the long run

Despite the relaxed approach, Sweden still had major changes in behaviour and movement patterns. The “half lockdown” may have stopped the exponential growth, but it wasn’t enough to reduce the spread. So Sweden is now trapped into maintaining some kind of isolation measures for months while other countries open up around them, and possibly, fly right over.

Norway’s sharp hard action and closed borders cost more in the short run, but they are now tracking towards zero cases and recovery beckons. Sweden has twice as many cases per capita as Norway, and ten times as many deaths, and there’s little sign the new infections are declining, nor that herd immunity is close. Antibody tests show that by late April only 7% of Stockholm may have been exposed to the virus, much less than the 20+ percent that the Swedish Chief Epidemiologist was expecting. 

In the graph below the number of cases are on the same scale, though Sweden has twice the population. Given that viruses grow and decline on exponential scales, the Swedish curve could have still shrunk almost as fast as it rose — like Norway’s did.

Sweden compared to the UK, Covid-19, graph.

Sweden (grey) population 10 million, compared to Norway (red) population 5 million. Click to enlarge.

Norway: 12 days after major quarantine measures the curve gets crushed

In Norway, major lockdowns were announced on March 15, with headlines like: “Norway takes most far-reaching measures ever experienced in peacetime over coronavirus”.… and new daily cases peaked 12 days later on March 27th.

Norway is planning to reopen flights with Denmark and Finland on June 15. But the three Scandinavian countries will exclude Sweden for the moment because there are too many infections.

As other countries have reduced their cases and their deaths Sweden has risen to the top of the daily death rate chart in Europe.

Sweden’s coronavirus experiment has well and truly failed

Amit Katwala, Wired

The way the Swedish response has been structured has made the country more resistant to changing tack during the epidemic. Sweden’s expert agencies are kept quite separate from the government, which is generally a good thing, because it means that scientific issues don’t become politicised. “But if the expert agency is making bad decisions there is nothing to counter it,” [Lena Einhorn, a virologist and author] points out.

Swedes are generally more trusting of authority and science than those in other countries, he adds. Despite recent murmurings of disquiet, the agency remains broadly popular among the public – and Tegnell has become something of a cult figure in Sweden, with toasts on his birthday and people getting tattoos of his face. But that’s been part of the problem. “The biggest problem in Sweden is there is really only one voice – that voice is the public health agency, and in particular Anders Tegnell,” Einhorn says.

h/t Travis T Jones.

Mobility in Sweden was reduced by about half compared to reductions in Norway and London

Apple iPhone data suggests that requests for directions on public transport may have been reduced by nearly half in Stockholm. This compares to a 70% reduction in Oslo, Norway and the 85% fall in London, UK. See the graphs below.  These are requests for directions. They aren’t passenger records, and people doing regular trips probably don’t use them. But we can see that whatever the change in behaviour was in London, it was less severe in Norway, and about half in Stockholm.

Oslo Apple Traffic, graph, coronavirus, lockdown, data.

Oslo Apple traffic data

Pandemics cause economic pain regardless of what governments do

Even if the government doesn’t mandate restrictions, apparently many people choose to stay home anyway. This is what we see in Sweden.

Oslo Apple Traffic, graph, coronavirus, lockdown, data.

Stockholm Apple traffic data

Oslo Apple Traffic, graph, coronavirus, lockdown, data.

London Apple traffic data

Mobility Aps are an imperfect proxy for the economy. But there are at least some reports that suggest there is an economic pain in Sweden and claim a lot of people are out of work. By some estimates 17% of the workforce in Sweden is either unemployed or counted in the government furlough program.

 

The UK compared to Sweden

Even the UK, which was caught unprepared and with a high density population, is managing to reduce the spread. The late start meant the UK ended up with a dreadful tally, and had to do some of the most severe restrictions of the three. But even so, and even with the sabotage of open borders bringing in 10,000 people a day, the UK has gradually cut their 5,000 new cases a day down to one third of that.

Beware — there are two different scales on the graph below. (!) The UK population is six times larger than Sweden, it had ten times as many cases at the peak, but putting them on the same scale makes it hard to compare the shape of the curves.

The effects of the harder lockdown in the UK show in May. Daily new cases in the UK are now a third of what they were at the peak.

 

Sweden compared to the UK, Coronavirus, Graph.

Sweden (grey) compared to the UK (blue). Note the diffent scales, the UK daily cases are 10 times higher than Sweden. | Worldometer: UK peak daily infections

 

The UK decline in cases would have been faster if the borders in the UK were not open. Plane traffic into the UK was hugely reduced, but there were still 10,000 arrivals a day, bringing in something like 300 new infections a day which would go on to infect another 600 people before that line of infection died out. (This is assuming an Ro of 0.7 for the UK as estimated by Imperial College). So the UK tally was effectively inflated by 900 new cases a day, which made the severe lockdown much less effective, and not surprisingly draining enthusiasm.

I remain baffled that any government would demand 60 million people stay strictly at home while allowing foreigners to fly in without mandatory quarantine.The UK Swamp-Expert advisor were clearly thinking of ‘herd immunity” when they modeled some excuses not to close the borders.  It is almost a form of sabotage. The economic advantage of letting sick people fly in without putting them in mandatory hotel isolation must be a tiny fraction of the lockdown cost. It makes no sense and would burn through the patience and social capital of the UK people.

Sweden also kept borders open which presumably must work against the 50% lockdown. It would be good to have flight data in Sweden.

Citimapper Ap Data

Many media outlets have used the Citymapper Ap data, so I’ve included that here.

Keep reading  →

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Tuesday Open Thread

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Ivermectin, kills headlice and also coronavirus in a few early trials

Remember the Japanese wonder drug Ivermectin that killed Coronavirus in the lab? Some trials on patients in Bangladesh and the US are showing some promise. This is the drug I called “sheep dip” (but which is really more of a cow or horse drench now). It’s famous for stopping River Blindness and saving the eyesight of thousands. It’s also used against  roundworms, lungworms, mites, lice, scabies and hornflies, as well as cattle-ticks. So it’s another drug, like hydroxycholoroquine that has been road tested for safety’s sake up the kazoo.

The cost of Ivermectin is around 15c in the third world, and $50 for one round for a human in New York.  (But even that is a lot cheaper than a $5000 a day ICU bed.)

As I said — there may come a day when you can cure coronavirus and treat the kids headlice at the same time.  Handy.

So it’s good to know some trials are occurring, and even better to know that some doctors are very enthusiastic about the results. In terms of medical clinical trials, these are small. I’m not sure the enthusiasm is matched by the data. I’d only say “it’s not dead yet”. But in terms of drug testing, that’s an achievement. Here’s hoping it can live up to these plans.

[UPDATE: Some readers missed the meaning in the paragraph above, so I bolded it. If anyone thinks I'm raving about these small anecdotal reports, read the line above . - Jo]

But if Coronavirus can be treated with a common mass produced, safety tested chemical, some Big Vaccine makers might not be as enthusiastic.

Breakthrough drug Ivermectin shows “astounding” results

Friday 22nd May,  David Patten, NewsMax

Reports Friday from multiple trials in the United States and abroad indicate a drug already approved by the FDA to treat parasitic infections is showing “astounding” results, and could represent a breakthrough in efforts to vanquishing the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the heart of the global pandemic.

Emergency medical physician Dr. Peter H. Hibberd, M.D., of Palm Beach County, Florida, told Newsmax Friday evening in an exclusive interview that he’s optimistic the drug will prove to be an important therapeutic advance, although he expects more trials will be needed before it wins FDA approval for use as a COVID-19 medication.

“There’s a common denominator here,” said Hibberd. “This drug is salvaging people from their death bed.”

In some cases, doctors reported just one dose of ivermectin markedly improved a patient’s condition. U. S. patients received a single oral dose, and some of them received a booster dose seven days later. The FDA-approved dose for parasitic infections was used.

 

Bangladesh medical team says Ivermectin with antibiotic Doxycycline works to treat COVID-19 patients

“We have got astounding results. Out of 60 COVID-19 patients, all recovered as the combination of the two drugs were applied”, said Professor Dr Md Tarek Alam, the head of medicine department at private Bangladesh Medical College Hospital (BMCH).

My team was prescribing the two medicines only for coronavirus patients, most of them initially reporting with respiratory problems with related complaints, later to be tested COVID-19 positive, he said.

Bangladesh has so far reported 20,995 coronavirus cases. A total of 314 people have lost their lives in the country due to the disease.

The death rate in Bangladesh then is around 1.4% of known cases. No clues there either.

ICMR to review ‘wonder’ drug combo used to treat Covid patients in Bangladesh

According to doctors in Bangladesh, the combination of ivermectin and doxycycline is an effective treatment against Covid-19, with patients recovering within four days.

h/t Keith Harrison, Bill in Oz, Chad, Dave in the states, NezySquared, Another Ian.

 UPDATE: The early lab tests implied we would need to use Ivermectin at an impossibly high dose to get the effect we want. After the Monash paper suggested the drug was reducing viral titres by 5,000 fold, another paper quickly replied that the approved dose of Ivermectin [would] not [be] useful in treating Covid-19. That headline desperately needed a verb of some sort. I added the “would be” which tells the audience that this response came from modeling and estimates, not from any patient data. It’s a theoretical response, not an observed one. It’s a lesson that in humans, we just have to do the testing in vivo.  h/t Peter F

REFERENCE

Caly, L. et al (2020) The FDA-approved Drug Ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitrohttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104787

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Israel, Costa Rica, aim to be new quarantine-free travel bubble hubs from Aust-NZ to Europe

Global flight routes are getting remapped as countries close-to-zero start talking about connecting up without that pesky two-week quarantine.

An advantage of doing lockdown properly is getting free of it faster.

European gateway Israel and Costa Rica rush to join plans for Australia-New Zealand tourism bubble

Clare Armstrong, David Aidone, James MacSmith, News Corp Australia Network

Plans have been launched for a quarantine-free gateway to Europe through Israel by December, and a long-haul flight to Costa Rica, as countries that have managed COVID-19 effectively race to join Australia and New Zealand’s tourism bubble proposal.

Israel wants to schedule a permanent flight to its economic hub of Tel Aviv from either Sydney or Melbourne to open itself up as a stepping stone to ‘safe’ European countries including Norway, Denmark, Greece and the Czech Republic.

There are also reports some Pacific Islands, such as Fiji, could be included in a trans-Tasman bubble.

While the timeline includes the Pacific Islands, it has been labelled “aspirational” and the NZ and Australian government will make the final call.

Meanwhile, discounted plane tickets and free accommodation are among perks that will be offered to travellers as countries ease border restrictions.

Countries with plenty of virus could always travel freely to other countries with plenty of virus. But the country with the most infections, or the worst hospitals, gets the better deal.

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