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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Good sign: South Korea may be getting control of Coronavirus — is this the middle scenario future?

Watching South Korea — it appears to have stopped the exponential spread of Coronavirus

Heartening. At its peaks last Saturday and Tuesday, South Korea acquired 800 new infections per day. Since then, whatever it is doing, South Korea has managed to keep the new daily cases between 300-800. That may not sound like much, but in exponential terms it could have been a lot worse. Is this the future for us in the West? Perhaps with aggressive action, and local or statewide lockdowns, wealthy western nations may get outbreaks under control. Will we spend the next year with periodic major lockdowns as outbreaks occur, but manage to keep the virus from en masse spread without hospitals being overwhelmed? But can poor countries achieve this? If not, we will have to close flights to stop repeated debilitating and deadly outbreaks, while doing our best to help them. The world will become divided into nations which have this controlled, and those who don’t. This is still the pandemonium I’ve been talking about for six weeks; we could have avoided it, but it’s better than other scenarios. It’s a middle-run scenario.

We are fortunate that this is not as airborne and infectious as measles, which might have made even this impossible. (Note that Coronaviurs is perhaps 500 or more times more deadly than measles, whose fatality rate is 1 per 100,000. Note the mass panic those outbreaks cause.) Keep the pantry stocked. Reduce your risk. Travel less. Avoid crowds. Wash hands. etc.

The death toll so far in South Korea is 48. Theoretically, even if they have passed the peak of new cases, the death toll will still double in coming weeks. In this one outbreak, 100 people may die, 10,000 plus people will have suffered a potentially debilitating disease, and tens of thousands will have been inconvenienced by quarantine and travel bans. There is also the financial cost of closing workplaces. Note also that there are major privacy issues with the South Korean approach to mapping and tracking victims and their movements by their phones.

When will the Australian Government stop telling people to keep going about their business as if nothing is happening? Presumably when there is an outbreak and it’s two weeks too late?

South Korea, new cases Coronavirus, Graph.

South Korea, new cases Coronavirus

South Korean cases of Coronavirus.

South Korean cases of Coronavirus.

 

Extrapolating further than I should, if this is the peak and the decline starts soon and there are no new outbreaks, then in a month or so it may be safe to open flights again to South Korea. (Though if our outbreaks are not controlled, they won’t want our planes.)

The daily growth rate is shrinking — yesterday increasing by 7%. This is ideally a bell curve type rise and fall, and the huge spike on the 20th Feb is probably the discovery of all the cases that existed but weren’t detected in the days before. Is that what we are about to see in the US, which hasn’t been doing nearly enough testing?

Growth in Coronavirus cases in South Korea, Graph.

Growth in Coronavirus cases in South Korea

Two weeks ago South Korea had only 200 cases, now it has 7,000. So the death toll of 48 (with a two week lag) is not a number we want to calculate, because it’s surely a wild overestimate. South Korea had more undetected cases then. Guess. Guess. Guess. O for data.

Deaths still rising following that “new cases” curve with a two (or three week) delay.

It will be at least another week before it levels off.

Total Cases

….

The first few cases in South Korea were very early (11 cases on Jan 31). It was doing well, but lost control.

Taiwan is worth watching:

How Taiwan managed to avoid a coronavirus outbreak

Taiwan is 81 miles off Mainland China. It is a highly urbanized state of 24 million people with an extremely high population density. It is also one of the first places where the new coronavirus epidemic manifested itself. All things considered, Taiwan was expected to have the highest number of cases outside China. Yet Taiwan successfully managed to avoid an uncontrolled outbreak and only has 44 confirmed cases.

Less than one year after the SARS outbreak, a National Health Command Center (NHCC) was established. The NHCC is meant to serve as a disaster management center command point…

Technology is a key ally when you’re fighting an outbreak, Taiwan realized. So they leveraged the national health insurance database to create a smart system to warn citizens and keep an eye on the situation.

The database was integrated with the customs information to generate a pool of big data. This data generated real-time alerts based on people’s travel patterns. It used QR code scanning and online reporting of travel history and documented health symptoms to classify passengers’ infectious risks. Then, Taiwanese authorities acted based on what the data suggested — and took some pretty draconic precaution measures.

People with the lowest risk were issued fast travel clearance, but people with higher risk were likely to be quarantined at home, whether they liked it or not.

Obviously, there is a lot of big government involvement. Again, we see hi tech tracking. Is that necessary? How much freedom will we have to trade in order to reduce the toll and curb the rising fear? Can we control this just with old fashioned quarantines and public information updates?

 

______________________________________________

Coronavirus Background: ☀ The Demographics: the young are spared, but the severity increases with age, and slightly more for men than women. ☀ The Ro is 2 – 3 and exponential curves are steep. See the importance of an ICU unit in treating ARDS (the severe respiratory disorder). ☀ Illness progression: Dry coughs and Fevers, Aches. In 15% of people, by day 5 breathing trouble starts. In 3% (?) by day 8 they may need an ICU (intensive care unit). ☀ The good case of Singapore but the ominous calculations of how fast the ICU beds may run out. ☀ The story of how American Samoa avoided Flu Deaths with quarantine in 1918. ☀

Economics: ☀ The huge impact on the Chinese economy, the awful case of Iran.☀

Beware UN advice:Ethiopian WHO chief was part of China’s debt trap diplomacy ☀

Stats and Data:  ☀ John Hopkins Live Map   ☀  Worldometer

 

 

9.5 out of 10 based on 43 ratings

167 comments to Good sign: South Korea may be getting control of Coronavirus — is this the middle scenario future?

  • #
    LightningCamel

    Hi Jo, I hope you are right that this is the back of the curve but I’m not terribly hopeful yet. I still think it is highly likely that the earlier rapid expansion of the known cases was, as the Koreans themselves predicted, an artifact of increased awareness and ramp up of screening resources rather than any true reflection of disease behaviour. The recent numbers fit with a steady progression through the peak days and it needs a day or two yet before we can be confident that it is trending down rather than establishing a new trend. One hopeful sign is that the new cases for this time of day are lower than previous days, a dodgy statistic to be sure but, if we apply the climate science theory of data selection, it should be grasped with enthusiasm. (Sorry, I’m scratching to find humour in all this)

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      LightningCamel

      Well look at that, number one comment, there’s a first! Whacko. 🙂

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Right now Australia has 103 with 10 new cases today.
      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
      I remember reading 2 days ago that Australia had 84 cases of COVID 19
      So we now have 19 more cases in 2 days !
      That’s growth of ~ 22% over 2 days…Or just over 10 % each day..
      So I wonder how many days till it is double what it was on Sunday ?
      My wonky calculations are a week..
      Bugger !

      00

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    Thanks Jo.

    Starting to sound a little better for some.

    I liked your summary and links in the yellow box at the bottom.

    Saves me hunting through my “Bookmarks” (which I need to reorganise).

    🙂

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  • #
    Judge Dredd

    I hear that South Korea has a death rate of 0.6%, much lower than other reporting countries. Perhaps they are better at reporting even the sniffles as Corona-chan. Even then they are under-reporting actual cases.
    So, when this all fizzles out like the 10 or so other “we’re all going to die” flu scares, will the majority of people still be thinking “thank God, the government saved us”, or wake up to the fact that these are manufactured crisis?

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    • #
      Rolf

      South Korea mortality varies a lot. Will hopefully go down from todays 28.92%. Have been higher and a bit lower, but now they have a lot of cases that will probably be recovering so rate will go down in little less than two weeks time.

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      • #
        Peter

        If you calculate the mortality rate as the number of death per number of confirmed cases you now get 51/7382*100% = 0.7%.

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    • #
      Tom

      I honestly don’t understand the hysteria around this virus. It essentially just anther flu.
      Some people will get it a huge percentage won’t and of the ones who do 99.5% recover

      This is based on known cases but I contend the amount of unknown cases would be at least double the known cases so death rate rate is probably about .25%

      So again the hysteria is crazy.

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        tell that to the three Aussies who have died so far because the govt was to slow to close the border .

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        • #
          cedarhill

          And the 136 children and 20,000 adults that have died of Influenza A and B in the US. he hysteria will eventually go away. However, Aesop’s Boy and Wolf may actually show up some day. But it’s likely all the hysteria-shouting folks will have convinced every one that the planet was yet again saved.
          Simply put, with the Wuhan circulating internationally for months, it’s more likely you have caught the Wuhan and not even noticed.

          Meanwhile, real people have started fighting in the oddest places. One might call it the epicenter of the panics created by the blogasphere, politicians and media with agendas create things like this even in Sydney https://youtu.be/GVHYTdGUAZM

          20

      • #

        Well, I’m curious Tom. Not sure what I’m missing, or what else I can say. I’m keen to figure out why there is such a gap between our understandings.

        I look at the math of an Ro of 2-3 (double influenza), with a long lag time of up to 5 weeks from infection til people die, with a population that has no natural immunity, and no vaccines, and a death rate five to ten times worse than influenza (which is 0.1%) and I see a health issue we haven’t faced since 1918.

        On the Diamond Princess, in a few weeks, mostly under quarantine conditions, fully a fifth of the boat caught it. Of them 5% were classed as Severe and 1% died. 32 are still in a severe state. Let’s assume they all get better.

        We have one ICU per 12000 people (2000 beds). Most ICU’s are busy but lets assume no one gets sick this winter from anything else. The Diamond Princess people are older than average so lets say the death rate is 0.5% not 1%. PRobably 1% will need ICU. (Could be 2%).

        So erring on the lowest side with a couple of miracles as well (no other illnesses), in Australia when infections hit 200,000 people in the same 2 week window we run out of ICU rooms to save them and the mortality rate may double or more.

        With 60 patients doubling each week we hit that point in 11 weeks unless we do drastic lockdowns.

        If there are less ICU beds available, more severe cases, a normal flu season, a shorter doubling time, our hospitals get overwhelmed sooner. Mayhem and very sad choices.

        We don’t know how many mild versions there are. But we know the whole Diamond Princess got tested, every last one. I see no reason to halve their death rate beyond the halving I did for their age profile.

        Even a new flu that could infect 60% of the whole population with a death rate of 0.25 would be a disaster.

        Again, if I’m crazy, I want to know how.

        The only way out now is mass domestic quarantines — see Italy / South Korea. It may work (if 100 deaths and 2000 in hospital is called “success”).

        China has crashed it’s own economy. Italy is now locking down one third it’ population. Are they crazy too?

        IF you are in the age bracket of “the Diamond Princess” that’s a 1% fatality rate unless there is some ethnic gene advantage we don’t know about.

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        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          Just a logistics comment here. If the Diamond Princess was quarantined, then logically if someone in a hospital has C19, does that then mean the entire hospital needs to be quarantined too.
          Nobody allowed in or out of the hospital for 14 approx days?

          I might be missing something here. It just occurred to me.

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          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            That previous comment was on top of another notion i had about specialised flu ICU’s not located in general hospitals and equipped to specifically treat the virus. Perhaps specialised ICU’s for severe cases are what is needed, not located in existing hospitals.

            I am sure i am missing something here too.

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            • #
              Environment Skeptic

              Good that the question of trading freedom is finally mentioned briefly. I have been waiting for the mention though there may have been mention of it elsewhere that escaped me.

              In the case of freedom and hi tek tracking, once given up, it will never be relinquished. That is quite obvious now. For the greater good of course and so on.

              Obviously, there is a lot of big government involvement. Again, we see hi tech tracking. Is that necessary? How much freedom will we have to trade in order to reduce the toll and curb the rising fear? Can we control this just with old fashioned quarantines and public information updates?

              And there is also the slight tendency [sarc] best described by The Stanford Prison Experiment, the *dark side* of all this, and something to increasingly look out for.

              10

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                I found a link with respect to the ‘experiment’ from Reuters.

                ““It’s like the Stanford prison experiment,” she added, referring to the 1971 psychology experiment to investigate perceptions of power that assigned a group of the university’s students to be either prisoners or guards.

                The Jingzhou government could not be reached by Reuters for comment.

                10

        • #

          just a note on your “lag time”. I assume this is the time between dying and the time of detection of the virus or of feeling first symptoms. Have you seen data on cause of death? Is the virus lingering in the system and driving the death, is this a slow death of a weakened person getting multiple complications like secondary infections or some sort of mixture depending on the person?

          30

      • #
        PeterS

        The hysteria is crazy only if it turns out the virus fizzles out soon. It’s not crazy if it turns out to be a major pandemic with millions of death. The point I’m making is we simply do not as yet know how serious it is. So we can’t be sure if the hysteria is warranted or not. So unless someone has a time machine, we just have to wait and see – time will tell.

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      • #
        Andrew McRae

        Why coronaskeptics obsess over minimising CFR I do not know, as Connor Reed’s description makes it abundantly clear that even when it doesn’t kill you, you still do not want to take the 1 in 5 chance of getting the severe version of this illness. Even a relatively fit 25 year old Welsh guy can be aching and bedridden for at least 9 awful days. For others it’s longer and requiring a ventilator to stay alive – and if the limited number of ventilators are all taken then bad luck.

        What trade off are you making here? You want play Wuhan Roulette, and force others who face more risk than you do to play Wuhan Roulette, just so you don’t have to miss out on… what exactly?

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        • #
          PeterS

          People are dying so unlike CAGW sceptics calling someone a corona virus sceptic is misleading and dishonest. The point is we do not know how far this virus is going to spread and how many will die from it. If it’s really as serious as we dare hope it’s not then millions will eventually die no matter what precautions we take. Its pure arrogance to thing we can stop a deadly virus form becoming a major pandemic. We simply do not have the facilities to isolate everyone. The virus is already out and the horse has bolted. We just need to find a vaccine ASAP. Meanwhile individuals need to take the necessary precautions to minimise the risk of catching the virus, such as washing hands and voiding people infected with eh virus.

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          • #
            PeterS

            Perhaps not voiding people but at least avoiding them 🙂

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          • #
            Andrew McRae

            You’re being misleading by saying I’m being misleading. It’s not misleading at all to refer to people who are unconvinced of the threat to society posed by the virus as coronaskeptics. The word does not imply in any way that they don’t believe the virus exists or that nobody has died from it, you made that part up.
            The severe symptoms that guy experienced are the type of evidence that should convince such skeptics that it can happen to them too, they may not be able to just shrug it off like water off a duck’s back.

            There’s also the description that 40 year old australian woman from Diamond Princess gave after she recovered from it. She is not in high risk category because she’s under 50, but she still talked about the bedsheets being completely soaked with sweat every day from the fever she had. Again, anyone skeptical about the potential severity of the illness should take note of descriptions like that.

            In the face of all this eyewitness testimony, if someone still says the virus is no big deal and no great expense should be incurred in stopping it… I just hope such people are not in the majority.

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            • #
              Environment Skeptic

              I am not a corona skeptic, i am a corona researcher who might morph into a corona skeptic lol :). Like others researching here, one can be skeptical about certain individual facts about the corona without the objectification of being ‘labeled’ skeptical about every corona related data…

              The reason it is misleading to call someone a skeptic is because it is an ‘absolute measure’ and does not indicate the degree of skepticism or exactly the specific aspect one is skeptical about in a general subject matter. Merely calling someone a skeptic does not indicate any degrees or exactly what one is skeptical about.

              Hmmmm….i think i might have to call myself Environment Researcher to indicate i am researching the environment of the corona in this case, political, medical or the social environment, and later back to researching the climate. 🙂

              Maybe i should call myself Environment Critic. There is plenty out there in any environment for a critical mind to ponder about 🙂

              If anyone can help, let me know.

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          23 days?

          20

    • #
      TedM

      JD ignores that only 1000 of the 7313 cases have been resolved, to get his 0.6% (actually closer to 0.7%) death rate. If one cares to look at the % of deaths the number of resolved cases (died and recovered) you get 38%. As unrealistic representation of what the final death rate will prove to be as JD’s 0.6%.

      What is worth noting is the disparity in death rates in different locations. Possibly/probably a demonstration in the virulence of the two varieties of this virus. This may be the result of which variety of this virus, or the relative abundance of the two varieties that are present in any given location.

      30

  • #
    Rolf

    Hope you are right. The sad thing is it takes so many to get infected and many to die before governments act. People may do the most themselves by changing behavior when death knocks on neighbors door. My daughter still goes to the gym almost every day, in LA. Doesn’t matter what I say. Guess it takes one or two in their block to be infected before she change her habits. I changed mine in January, but am old. Sometimes it’s easy to teach old dogs !

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  • #
  • #
    David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

    Evening Jo,
    There’s a story in today’s “The Sunday Telegraph” (NSW) on page 10, by Sue Dunlevy. Sorry, no link, I read it in the hard copy version and it’s behind a paywall. But I think it’s good news. I think, and hope.

    It reports on two clinical trials in China using Remdesivir against COVID-19, involving 760 people, with results to be reported in late April, and the hope that it could be approved for use in China as early as May. It also mentions of the drug’s use in the US as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
    Australia is watching, and is looking for an early release here.
    ….

    Cheers
    Dave B

    70

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Hi Jo, it’s good to see good news from South Korea & Taiwan.
    Though a tanguera friend in Taiwan says it is till a lockdown situation with all gatherings of the public banned.

    Meanwhile I have just been reading about patient zero in Italy. Apparently he is a Pakistani working in a Chinese restaurant.He was diagnosed ages ago with COVID 19 and told to self isolate. But did not; he kept working at the restaurant and also did home deliveries from the restaurant. He only stopped working when arrested by the police. : https://summit.news/2020/03/05/coronavirus-patient-zero-in-italy-was-pakistani-migrant-who-refused-to-self-isolate/

    I do not know this link or how reliable it is and it doe snot have any sources.But it feels about right.

    And here in Australia we have a similar incident with a Nepali student working part time in a hotel in Hobart continuing to work after being diagnosed with COVID 19. Maybe another super spreader !

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  • #
    Raving

    If the aggressive isolation, proves to to be effective in China, S. Korea and Italy, it will copied elswhere. The world will be a different place in one to two weeks time

    90

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Tulsi was tweeting about that yesterday, schooling The Donald on common sense.
      https://mobile.twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1236282703605006338

      Hardly a peep about it from other presidential candidates.
      I don’t follow him, but still the only thing I’ve seen Bernie say about coronavirus recently was to moan that every worker in America should have paid sick leave.
      Yes, they probably should, Bernie, but how is that in any way a proactive strategy for stopping the spread? Not as sick leave that’s for sure. The only way quarantines and isolation work is if every company in the market does it at the same time, so why would a company’s own sick leave entitlements pay for that unusual situation? I’d love to know how all the employers in America are going to agree to a free-market led co-ordinated hold on production.
      And how would they do that without implicitly violating cartel and price-fixing laws?
      Bernie’s not firing on all cylinders here.

      50

  • #
    RickWill

    Taiwan and Iran are probably worth comparing with regard to COVID-19 control. The democracy leaning government in Taiwan places high priority on protecting the population. Repressive religious rule in Iran is not quite so benevolent.

    The UN CAGW religious zealots no doubt admire the Iranian regime.

    100

  • #
    WXcycles

    Perhaps people becoming neurotically fearful of it actually works to slow it down?

    60

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      I was saying this the other day. All the hype about CoVID19 is like a societal inflammation; the reaction helps to fight off the infection even if it has been triggered by a minor threat.

      The virus is not like radiation because rads aren’t contagious and the sources are other people not static objects. But the virus is a bit like radiation in the sense that you cannot see the source of the danger, you won’t immediately know you were exposed, and you may not have any illness until several days afterwards, and while the sickness can be horrible and fatal it is often survivable.
      For most people exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is like 3.6 Roentgen: Not great, but not terrible. 😀

      Without a vaccine and with no way to absolutely prevent it spreading, the only way out is through, by catching the disease and hoping you survive it. Survival is very likely and is made easier if there’s a free ICU bed if you need it. That is why slowing down the spread is important, and more isolation and quarantine is essential to achieve that. This greater (but not total) isolation has to be continued until mid 2021 when the first vaccines will probably ready.

      People won’t change and volunteer for the economic hit unless they have the carrot and the stick. The stick is the awful symptoms of a severe case or knowing you’ve accidentally infected someone who dies from it, plus the certainly large economic cost of the rest of the year from letting it get out of control. There is currently no carrot, but that is why I proposed starting the 2020 Olympics on schedule as an international goal to stimulate behavioural change. It is something everyone can enjoy if everyone does their part.
      But they must all start serious international and domestic isolation programmes by 7 April to reduce pressure on healthcare and also to ensure the virus is mostly eradicated by 24 June. That’s possible, but politicians and business shareholders would have to agree to the certain short term cost for a benefit that may accrue to their customers but not their own bottom line. Will the gold medal be stronger than the gold bar? I reckon it’s worth a shot.

      30

      • #
        Rolf

        And if there is short time immunity or very little ? You also have no idea about the tissue damage might have long time effect. Going down that road may be more dangerous than thought of.

        30

      • #
        Rolf

        I am soon 70. SO my odds is more like 10%. 10% to die in three weeks time ? No, I will go for the 100%, stay clean from this s–t. (Someone will snip that word ).

        50

        • #
          Andrew McRae

          Yes, Rolf, and if you read my other earlier comments you will see I was saying that people may end up infecting and killing others through carelessness simply because they don’t think it will kill themselves. When I said “the only way out is through” I was being descriptive, not prescriptive, I’m not saying people should try to catch this in order to develop antibodies to it because they have a high risk of passing it on before they recover, not to mention the huge cost it creates.
          I apologise for not communicating my opinion accurately, and that is the cause of you misunderstanding me. I’ve been trying to describe this threat as neither nothing nor the end of the world, because it is in the middle.
          Greater isolation and hygiene is our short term substitute for the vaccine we don’t have, and it is needed mainly to protect people in high risk categories such as yourself.

          20

          • #
            Rolf

            Yes it’s probably not the end of the world or an end to life. But we don’t know about long time effect on people on society as we knew it yesterday. And guess it’s only in the middle for those who may be there to see the other side of it 🙂

            20

  • #
    TdeF

    I expect other good news. While we discount the flu, “In Australia, influenza on average causes 3,500 deaths, about 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations each year.” In the US, 60,000 people die each year. At this point in the flu season, 20,000 Americans have died from the flu. And those who survive can have damaged hearts and lungs and general health.

    What if that all stopped? The precautions are the same. Screening. Self isolation. Temperature checks at points of entry and exit. Maybe more? Think of not just the lives saved, but the cost. Inoculation is a great invention, but preventing infection might have to be prioritized in a world where viruses are competing with humans.

    What is increasing is the rate of creation of new viruses, especially in China. That needs to be stopped, cutting the nexus to live bats and pangolins. But also a degree of care. Children coming home from that holiday overseas, just a sniffle for them can be lethal to another child’s parents. Sanitising handrails. Toilets without doors. What is the point of washing your hands if you have to grab the door handle? That always struck me as thoughtless. Many airports have walk through toilets with no doors, as it should be.

    For too long we have treated rampant viral infections as just bad luck. That’s not true.

    And if we stop the spread, as we have with so many viruses, we might live in a relatively virus free world. It’s about time.

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    • #
      Peter C

      Toilets without doors. What is the point of washing your hands if you have to grab the door handle?

      The Romans invented those a long time ago. I visited Ephesus (Turkey) last year and had the chance to view a public toilet from the time. The citizens sat on long benches, with holes, and had a good chat while sitting on the loo. The water flowed constantly though a channel below the bench and took all the waste out along a drain (cloaca) to the sea.

      As far as I know they had no toilet paper, but a slave would be standing by with a bucket and a sponge on a stick.

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Peter C:
        That slave had a sh*t of a job.

        90

      • #

        Countries w/out borders,
        toilets w/out doors,
        I eschew the former,
        much prefer the latter-
        minus yer slaves’ (serfs’)
        unpaid labour.

        70

      • #
        TdeF

        It was the essential invention which allowed Rome to grow to a city of a million people, unprecedented in human history. Hygeine.

        England never had this. They had to discover all over again that sewage was essential to stop cholera, the curse of the Victoria era. It ravaged Australia too. Sewage was retrofitted to Melbourne in the 1880s. Prior to that it was known as Marvellous Smellbourne. And if you had real money, you lived on top of the hill. Never at the bottom.

        Suburban Caulfield had 3,000 cases of Cholera in a single year. The collectors of ‘night soil’ dumped it on the boundaries of the suburb. In fact when the St. Kilda Blessington gardens was being converted from a gravel pit to the glorious botanic gardens of today, everything was dumped in the pit. In the middle of the suburb.

        Life was awful in England, brutal. And disease wiped out populations. Maternal mortality was an unimaginable 30% because doctors never washed their hands! Melbourne is full of disused orphanages, a standard feature of Victoria society. Or the children grew up with the ‘evil’ stepmother, as in the stories.

        It’s all about transmission of disease, bacterial, viral or fungal. We are learning this all over again.

        And it is also responsible for so much early settlement, as jailing young people in a prison hulk on the Thames was a death sentence, inappropriate for minor offences. Deportation saved their lives. Often they were convicts, not criminals and built early Australia. It’s all down to the impact of hygeine.

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        • #
          Peter C

          Excellent summary of the importance of hygiene TdeF. It is probably the greatest medical discovery made to date.

          50

    • #
      Roger Knights

      “Toilets without doors. What is the point of washing your hands if you have to grab the door handle?”

      How about label affixed to the inner door saying, “Grasp handle while holding a wad of toilet paper”?

      And/or a second label saying, “Give door handle and your hand a squirt from this spray bottle of sanitizer (hanging from a hook in the door—if such a handbag-hook doesn’t exist, drill a hole for one and install it.).

      20

  • #
    tonyb

    To date the UK is well behind the expected upwards curve with some 206 cases. lets hope we keep within the current tens of new daily cases rather than the expected daily near doubling

    I had been wondering if there were any sort of difference between races-Anglos, Arabs, Chinese etc but Taiwan is currently running counter to that possibility although it may be more due to their being an island nation willing to impose ‘draconian’ measures

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I want to see figures on the ages of those who have died.

      Italy appears to look “bad” from what I can tell, due to Italy having an older population who live in the wealthy north. It would be useful to respectfully compare age at death in the poorer south of the country – you could expect a slightly lower average age at death from this thing.

      It is proving challenging finding age at death, although i believe most of deaths in Oz have been of people over 70.

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      • #
        tonyb

        We have had two deaths so far in the UK both elderly with both having existing very serious health issues. Italy is a different kettle of fish. They are praised for their mediterrenean diet but on the other hand many of them still smoke. So as you say a much better analysis is needed looking at all the factors

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Seems to a disease dangerous predominately to the elderly….thus far.

        http://Www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2020/03/coronavirus-death-toll-reaches-19-york-declares-emergency-200308064614290.html

        “About 500 US cases have been reported of coronavirus, which originated in China last year and causes the sometimes deadly respiratory illness COVID-19. The outbreak has killed more than 3,700 globally.

        “More than half of the 50 US states have reported cases, including the first ones in Virginia and Connecticut on Sunday.

        “Fauci downplayed the likelihood of the type of large-scale quarantines put in place in China and Italy, while saying nothing could be ruled out.

        “”I don’t imagine that the degree of the draconian nature of what the Chinese did would ever be either feasible, applicable, doable or whatever you want to call it in the United States,” he said in an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes.

        “”But the idea of social distancing, I mean, obviously, that’s something that will be seriously considered,” he said, urging those most at risk to limit travel.

        “US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said cases would rise, adding the average age of death for people with the virus was 80, and the average age of those needing medical attention was 60.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Also good teference for morbidity and mortality, takes a sensibly cautious approach and says “hey we dont know everything yet ”

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.livescience.com/amp/is-coronavirus-deadly.html

      “Scientists can’t yet say for sure what the fatality rate of the coronavirus is, because they’re not certain how many people have become infected with the disease. But they do have some estimates, and there is a widespread consensus that COVID-19 is most dangerous for elderly patients and those with preexisting health burdens.

      “These numbers shouldn’t be taken as the inevitable toll of the virus, however. The case-fatality rate is determined by dividing the number of deaths by the total number of cases. Epidemiologists believe the total number of infections with SARS-CoV-2 is underestimated because people with few or mild symptoms may never see a doctor. As testing expands and scientists begin using retrospective methods to study who has antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 circulating in their bloodstreams, the total number of confirmed cases will go up and the ratio of deaths to infections will likely drop.

      “Complicating the matter, mortality numbers lag behind infection numbers simply because it takes days to weeks for severely ill people to die of COVID-19. Thus, current death rates should properly be divided by the number of known infections from the previous week or two, researchers wrote in February in Swiss Medical Weekly.

      “Another factor affecting the deadliness of the new coronavirus is the quality of medical care. Already, there is evidence that the overwhelmed medical system in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, led to more deaths. The World Health Organization’s joint mission report from Feb. 28 found that among 56,000 laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases, the case-fatality ratio was 3.8%. However, the case-fatality ratio in Wuhan was 5.8%, while the rest of the country — spared the overwhelming bulk of sick patients — saw a rate of 0.7%.

      “This means fewer people are likely to die if the medical system is prepared to face an influx of coronavirus patients.

      “As the virus has spread into different parts of the world, new data has emerged. The Diamond Princess cruise ship provided a look at an isolated, well-observed population exposed to the new coronavirus. On that cruise ship, 707 people caught the virus and six died, for a case-fatality ratio of 0.8. It takes about six weeks to determine whether someone with COVID-19 will recover or succumb, so the number of deaths from the cruise ship outbreak could still rise. The current ratio tops the seasonal flu case-fatality ratio in the United States of 0.1%, but it is dwarfed by the 10% case-fatality ratio of SARS, another coronavirus that emerged in China in 2002.

      “However, the Diamond Princess numbers may not be representative of what happens in the rest of the world. Cruise ship passengers skew older than the general population, putting them at risk of more serious complications. On the other hand, because the outbreak on the ship was closely watched, patients had access to quick medical care.

      “In South Korea, the outbreak of coronavirus among members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus is beginning to provide new data on transmission, severity and mortality, Marc Lipsitch, the director of the center for communicable disease dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in a forum on Monday (March 2). In South Korea, as of March 4, 5,186 cases have been diagnosed and 28 have died. However, he said, those data are still preliminary and hard to interpret. In the United States, testing for coronavirus is still too inadequate to provide any firm numbers, he added. Thus, any calculations of mortality rate should be taken with a grain of salt.

      “”All of those numbers are very much in flux, and very speculative,” Lipsitch said.

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      • #
        Rolf

        Hi Steve,
        where did you get the numbers from ?

        Feb 28th China reported 36883 recovered cases and 2,788 deaths and 44,415 open cases. From 56.000 a death rate of 3.8% when there was less than 40.000 resolved cases and still 8.095 severe cases on ICU.

        Fabricated ?

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Hi

          The link is

          http://www.livescience.com/amp/is-coronavirus-deadly.html

          The chinese numbers are questionable imho.

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          • #
            Rolf

            Yes, that is how you do not count. That is how you fabricate numbers you want to show. Not what you have. WHO seem to have at least one hand in the cookie jar. Payed by Xi ?

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          • #
            Rolf

            They also report Diamond Princess as 6 dead and mortality of 0.8%. Strange, there are still 444 open cases and 32 in serious condition. Like we say in Sweden, don’t say anything until you are over the stream. You may fall. What we have at the Cruise ship so far is : 245 recovered, 6 dead, 444 active cases from which 32 are serious or critical. That is a low mortality rate of 2.78% compared to most other places. But it’s far from over. They count as if all 444 will be recovered in advance. That is just wrong.

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  • #
    DonS

    Ah Jo sometimes you make me laugh. On the one hand you seem to be for the police state forcfully “locking down” free citizens on a just in case basis yet you are worried about big government using electronic tracking to keep on eye on the movements of possible virus carriers. Shouldn’t that be the other way around? I mean isn’t better for the authorities to use high tech to keep track of people than to have a nervous policeman with a gun on every street corner responsible for keeping people locked up?

    If the silly self quarantine thing were to actually work then using electronic tracking of people identified as infected is the only way to make sure they are following the rules, if they don’t THEN you lock them down for the good of the community. Government restricting free movement, freedom of association in a free society is the last thing we want because once they start doing it then it will become normal practice for whatever reason they can think up.

    Bye the way I think your telco probably already tracks your movements via your mobile devices and as people have accepted that then I’m not sure what more we have to lose by using the technology for this purpose.

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    • #
      TdeF

      That’s an odd view of freedom. The freedom to infect at will, cause great harm to others. I don’t remember that being a basic human right. 37 million people died from the Spanish flue in 1918. And with a world population 5x as large and aircraft, we could see a billion deaths. What sort of freedom is that?

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      • #
        TdeF

        And the ‘silly quarantine’ thing was the only hope for humanity in history. Plagues swept countries, wiping out up to half the people. Quarantine has allowed us to trap and eliminate Smallpox. With the ‘silly quarantine’ thing, we could take control and save hundreds millions of people. The cost of doing nothing would be devastation, a world economic depression which would make the 1928 depression look like a picnic.

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  • #

    DonS – if the government had just shut down the flights and instigated a 2 week quarantine we wouldn’t need any domestic lock downs, or any tracking. Obviously that was my preferred option. Max freedom given the situation we faced. So far the news just keeps showing I was correct.

    South Korea and Taiwan both probably had their tracking in place years ago. Now, our only option is a lockdown and isolation.

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    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      It is indeed strange that we can not close down travel from Italy (I’ve got some F1 tickets for sale by the way) Mind you cat is now out of the bag and chasing that bolting horse.
      The question now is when will you be infected, not if.
      Ideally you would want to delay it as long as feasible, so that you miss the peak, when all services will be at breaking point. Best to limit travel, particularly that using public transport, and attending large gatherings like the F1

      /I don’t really have F1 tickets

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  • #
    Bulldust

    And we have our fourth case. A lady traveled back from Cuba through London to Perth. Tested on a Friday, went to a WASO concert Saturday, and the test came back positive Sunday:

    https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/wa-records-fourth-case-of-coronavirus-20200308-p54803.html

    There is not much detail, but you have to wonder why someone would attend a gig when concerned about their health under the current circumstances.

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  • #
    WXcycles

    Another 7 countries were added to the list today. The number of cases outside China was ~4,400 on the 2nd of March, and a week later the number is ~26,000.

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    • #
      Bulldust

      I’d say a lot of that is a lack of testing previously. As testing becomes more commonplace the number of cases increases rapidly. We saw that in the USA for example. I expect the USA will have well over 1,000 cases next week.

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  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Corona 19 Virus is detected in urine.
    https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-news-sars-cov-2-coronavirus-also-detectable-in-urine-samples

    So is it also surviving in our sewerage treatment plants ?
    This is very important question !
    Many towns & cities ( eg Adelaide ) draw water from the Murray darling river system for their water supply. The water supply is cleaned up for distribution. Then after the sewerage is then treated ( tertiary treated for most but not all ) and sent back to the river.
    I wonder if this dangerous virus is killed by treatment with Chlorine ? I’m j asking the question as I don’t have any answers.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Large city sewage treatment is a long process involving many phases and the water is not returned. River water has a very high level of treatment because it has to go back in as clear, very safe drinking water. From what I can read, apart from final charcoal filters, they use gaseous chlorine. There are very high standards for river water. Plus other things to extract such as phosphorous. Ultimately there is also massive dilution as in all cleaning and the normal way an airborne virus infects through inhalation is not a pathway for river water.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Thanks TdeF
        But in countries with less advanced water purification systems I think this will be a major issue.
        Africa
        India
        Pakistan
        Bangladesh
        etc

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        • #
          TdeF

          The worst would be Egypt with 81,000,000 people on the one river, the only source of water. And the water has other things, like snails which eat your lungs. So I expect you have to sterilize the water. Boiling at the very least. This was true world wide, which is why so many countries relied on beer as their only drink, an early form of pasteurization. In St. Petersburg Tchaivosky committed suicide by drinking the water and died of cholera. Even without that, the water had giardia. Water is often not safe, even without human contamination. Beer and wine were the solution. Very light.

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  • #
    thingadonta

    A couple of points:
    The death rate for my many diseases declines over longer periods as people become more immune, and the virus itself seems to evolve to become less lethal. Eg measles used to be a lot worse than today’s rate of ~1in 100,000. In 1875 for example, 1 in 3 Fijians died from an outbreak of measles because they had no immunity to it. Some historical epidemics that hit Rome and others are thought to be measles also. Many current diseases are known to have been much worse when they first appeared, declining in severity over time, eg the H1N1 strain of flu which caused the Spanish flu very high death rate (estimates vary from 1->10%-there just isn’t enough information to be accurate) is still around, but it doesn’t cause nearly as many deaths anymore. It has evolved to be less lethal.

    Another interesting thing that occurs is they often evolve to become ‘childhood diseases’, as a population becomes immune. So measles, chicken pox, mumps, etc usually only effect children, or to be more accurate , we give children cases of the disease (before modern vaccination from ~1970s) so they don’t get it later. (A similar process incidentally, often occurs with new religions, over time they often evolve to affect mostly only children, as in ‘Sunday school’, we expose children to religion’s sillier ideas when young, so they generally see how silly they are when older and become ‘immune’, and a population as a whole generally becomes more immune to them, and the population itself ‘grows out of it’. Unfortunately adults can still get these silly ideas also – you know adult creationists, various sects etc, -ideas can behave much like viruses).

    It is likely, though not by any means certain, that covid19 will evolve to become less severe, but this will take years. Sometimes however, they can and do get worse, if they eg acquire new genetic information from other coronaviruses, which is what is thought to have occurred with the Spanish flu in 1957 and 1969 which acquired new information from other circulation flu strains and became temporarily more severe again, something which could also happen again. The Spanish flu of 1918 itself is thought to be an entirely new strain which jumped from pigs and birds which was why it was so severe at the time-the population had no immunity to it, similar to covid19 now which is entirely new.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Yes, but that’s survival of the fittest. Fine if you survive. Not if you don’t.

      In the 20th century we have fought against natural selection with many diseases and disabilities because we have developed a sense of the value of every person. Many things like diabetes, appendicitis, even minor injuries like broken bones, a splinter, a bacterium, a virus could kill. We have decided not to let that happen, so as a population we have accepted that selection will stop. We rely now on prevention, immunization, not natural selection.

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    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      About immunity.
      It is interesting to find, as a very interested student, that our immunity is governed in the main by bacteria and also virus’s. Given that we as humans are comprised of DNA, 10% Approx is human and the other 90% are a bacterial and viral, these have a very important role in orchestrating how the immune response is generated.

      From: https://www.sciencealert.com/not-all-viruses-are-bad-for-you-here-are-some-that-can-have-a-protective-effect

      “Not All Viruses Are Bad For You. Here Are Some That Can Have a Protective Effect
      CYNTHIA MATHEW, THE CONVERSATION
      10 AUG 2019”

      “Viruses are mostly known for their aggressive and infectious nature.

      It’s true, most viruses have a pathogenic relationship with their hosts – meaning they cause diseases ranging from a mild cold to serious conditions like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). They work by invading the host cell, taking over its cellular machinery and releasing new viral particles that go on to infect more cells and cause illness.

      But they’re not all bad. Some viruses can actually kill bacteria, while others can fight against more dangerous viruses. [My bolding] So like protective bacteria (probiotics), we have several protective viruses in our body.”

      Question: What is different about the community of bacteria and virus’s hosted in one group of people who may be asymptomatic and never develop a given disease ‘X’, and those of another group who do develop ‘X’?

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      • #
        Dennis

        I understand that Vitamin D3 can be beneficial in dealing with colds and flu, and Vitamin C another, but what about colloidal silver best quality, might it be a good under the current COVID-19 situation?

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  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Grand Princess cruise ship is to dock on Monday.
    Likely ~all of these folks are over age 10. Under 10 seem to be very resistant.**
    The process of getting these 5,000 folks off, tested,
    and quarantined for two weeks will provide good information.
    [ a sister-in-law is on the Grand Princess ]

    **Footnote:
    Read the recent post by Luboš Motl
    https://motls.blogspot.com/2020/03/children-in-lombardy-should-undergo.html

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  • #
    PeterS

    Many hysterias flying around. Toilet paper hysteria is certainly one of them. Not only governments are slow to act but also businesses. The limit of one package per customer should have been put into effect over a week ago.

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    • #
      PeterS

      In case anyone hasn’t noticed yet the hysteria over toilet paper has become serious. Many are already struggling to find some who are on their last roll. Placing a limit of one per customers can only reduce the hysteria not make it worse.

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      • #
        TdeF

        At least it’s locally made and a boon for industry, the one industry the Climate Change Greens have not managed to shut down. And they have tried hard.

        Why is it that the Greens want to close every industry, all manufacturing, all farming, all travel in Western democracies? How can that possibly be for our own good? There is no pressure on China. Apparently China, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia are all socialist/communist paradise? At least according to Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and Adam Bandt. So pollution and saving the planet has nothing to do with the Green Agenda. There would be no toilet paper panic in progressive socialist countries. And no toilet paper.

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        • #
          PeterS

          Why do the Greens act that way? I thought it was obvious by now. They hate our Western way of life and Western democracies so they want to destroy them and replace them with some socialist regime. Note though the LNP governments are not innocent of the mess we are in. They are allowing the Chinese communist party to buy out more and more of our own industries and businesses. Most of us don’t like the idea of our government taking over a business and nationalising it but allowing a foreign government to do the same is much worse. Go figure!

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          • #
            Kalm Keith

            It’s O.K. Peter: most of it is only 99 year leases.

            Perhaps there are “considerations” involved behind the public facade.

            KK

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            • #
              PeterS

              Most? Not good enough. Besides we could have several world wars over that sort of period. What happened to national security? Out the window it appears. Of course one could be enough to wipe out all of us but that’s another story.

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              • #
                Kalm Keith

                🙂 There was some irony in the mention of those long leases: it does give the ring of “ownership” and by that time we will probably be Chyna’s southernmost state anyhow.

                KK

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              • #
                PeterS

                Province, not state, and yes the way things are going it looks like it’s very likely destiny. It might take a decade or two but unless we change direction I feel it’s very likely.

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          • #
            truth

            Two prominent people in Melbourne at the moment…one a visiting American academic…here for a conference …the other a ‘Senior Policy Adviser’ to the Daniel Andrews Labor government ..the latter simultaneously …judging by his Linked-In photograph and his Red Flag Australia photograph also an extremely active activist for the teachings of Karl Marx and the hardest of hardline Communists of the Soviet Union…spell out their opposing views.

            Professor Stephen R.C.Hicks is pro-human…pro-individual….pro-freedom..pro-Western civilization…pro-Reason…

            ‘When Indoctrination Replaces Education….Post-Modernism’s Political Correctness in Action’

            https://www.skynews.com.au/details/5e65843e1de1c4001c5cba1d

            The other…James Plested…the one with a box seat and a bully pulpit by proxy…to do Australia enormous existential harm…shows himself in his prolific writings for Far Left Socialist and Communist sites and publications…to be … IMO…. anti-human….anti-individual….anti-freedom…anti-Australia…anti-Western Civilization…anti-Reason…anti-Enlightenment.

            Both finish their articles with similar calls to the Australian people and the world…

            The American Professor says…

            ‘ the results of applying post-modern theory to educational practice…for two generations now…is the great lesson of our time…one that needs to be challenged with every fibre of our being’.

            The Daniel Andrews adviser says….

            ‘the answer is ‘system change , not climate change’…

            And… after quoting the revolutionary Communist Nikolai Bukharin….Plested says…

            ‘We are in the battle of our lives. The entire future of the human experiment ..depends on what we do in the coming years and decades’

            He calls for ‘a society liberated from the competitive scramble…the name for such a society is socialism. And our challenge is to build a movement powerful enough to overthrow the existing destructive order and begin the task of building it’.

            https://redflag.org.au/node/7028

            The photographs of the Labor adviser and the Red Flag Australia revolutionary seem to be of the very same man….see what you think.

            Turnbull and Morrison …enthusiastically mimicking GreenLabor…have no time apparently for the views of the Professor …and for protecting education from the assault of the Communists…but instead have Australia on the path of the rabid revolutionary…..so our WetLeft LNP government is doing all it can to feed Red Flag’s [and Daniel Andrews’IMO ]‘movement to overthrow the existing order’ and thereby hasten the Communist revolution.

            I wonder do the Doctors and the Doctors’ wives and assorted luvvies who voted for GreenLabor …..and the WetLeft Libs who plotted and worked 24/7 to destroy Australia’s only real PM Tony Abbott…to make sure Australia will be the only once-modern nation on earth to have a completely unstable unreliable 100% weather-dependent electricity system and no industry…I wonder do they know what the outcome of their soon-to-be-realized dream will mean for Australia…their children…their health…safety…security etc?

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            • #
              PeterS

              Hence my pleas to stop voting for either major party and give a third party at least a controlling balance of power of one of them to form government. Unfortunately the vast majority are too asleep to realise what’s happening right under their noses. They will wake up one day and learn the lesson the hard way. By that time it will be too late to avoid our worst fears.

              20

        • #
          Peter C

          Is paper still made locally? I hope so. The APPM factory in Melbourne (Alphington) closed a few years ago and is rapidly being transformed into a high density suburb.

          And can our feactories ,if they exist, make paper surgical masks? The Australain stockpile was 1.2M, less the 250,000 released a few days ago. We need 100M masks right now and more in the months to come.

          50

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            We have the know how, if the govt was forced to act to stat manufacturing everything locally, they could. Its only the UN-backside kissing globalists who have hanstrung our ability to survive by sending manufacturibg to china.

            Globalism, through this cov19 malarky, has show us how vulnerable we are by creating dependence on one country for manufacturing.

            We need to bring manufacturing back in house and tell the globalists to get lost.

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            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Here, here!

              Let’s give the population something to do that is useful.

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            • #
              PeterS

              Toilet paper is mostly made locally so let’s keep it that way. Our local manufacturers have already been asked to increase production to make up for the reduction from imports. So there is no reason for the hysteria. If everyone just bought what they need as per usual there would be plenty fro all no matter how bad the virus gets.

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    • #
      RickWill

      China supplies 12% of global exports in toilet paper. Australia produces about 60% of internal requirements. So Australia is dependent on imports to some degree.

      My wife felt some of the buying in Australia was similar to the powdered milk issue with local Chinese sending packs back to China. I have not seen any reports that confirm this.

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      • #
        PeterS

        See my post above. There is no need to panic over toilet paper. It’s just pure nonsensical hysteria and it’s causing unnecessary problems for those who desperately are trying to buy just one package when they are running low at home. Pure selfishness on the part of those who are buying more than one package.

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          A friend who is a security guard, was off duty and shopping at a local supermarket. He said people are still crazy over loo paper.

          Hate to say it, but i suspect its the not so well educated part of the population that seems to be freaking out the most.

          40

          • #
            PeterS

            Yes indeed but it’s now serious as I know individual who can’t buy the stuff and they are soon running out of it. It has to stop and supermarkets must step in to stop the panic buying somehow otherwise it will continue to spread to other products, which already has started. I suspect they are hoping the hysteria will slow down soon but it doesn’t help many who are now worried they can’t replenish their normal supplies. The hysteria over the corona virus breakout has gone too far. What next? A bank rush to withdraw all their money? That would cause another GFC that will be worse this time.

            10

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Well I wondered about lack of quarantine and shutting borders.

              None of it makes sense unless ( theorizing here ) the objective is to strengthen govt powers and / or throw lots of money at large pharma companies.

              Call me jaded, but we’ve seen this with previous “crises”, but the outcome always seem to be more clumsy govt intrusion into peoples lives.

              I recall the equine industry was almost completely shut down when a virus allegedly “escaped” from a govt lab. The outcome was greater surveillance and control.
              Now moving a horse anywhere requires the relevant govt agencies to be notified and paperwork etc.

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        • #
          Peter C

          There is no need to panic over toilet paper.

          Your comment assumes that toilet paper supplies will catch up soon and then we will have an abundance.

          If Rick Will is correct (we make 60% of our local needs) then the manufacturers need to ramp up supply soon.

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          • #
            OriginalSteve

            I have friends who bought bolt-on bdays toilet seat for thier toilets and never bought loo paper again, as they loved it so much……

            Who needs kleenex or equivelent?

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          • #
            greggg

            From the Woolies web site:
            ‘For example, the makers of Kleenex are now manufacturing 24 hours, 7 days a week at their Millicent, SA factory, as are Sorbent in their NSW and Victorian facilities. And the makers of Quilton have tripled their normal production across their factories in Queensland, NSW and WA.’

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            • #
              Kalm Keith

              At last!

              Jobs for Australians.

              Admittedly it may only be overtime for a few months but it’s a start.

              KK

              10

            • #

              You could walk down the toilet paper aisle during normal times, and at times, probably half of the many different ‘lots’ of paper from the different brands were on special, and there was always at least four or five of those tags to be seen.

              Not any more. Not one ‘on special’ tag along the whole aisle.

              Same with all the products that are in short supply. No specials on offer there either.

              I’ll bet Woolies, Coles, Aldi, etc, are actually making a huge ‘profit’ on all of this.

              Tony.

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              • #
                TedM

                None in Coles or Woolies to put on special in my town. Shelves as bare as old mother Hubbard’s cupboard.

                20

              • #
                robert rosicka

                I posted this elsewhere but the woolies in town have had a security guard all day guarding empty shelves and they don’t know when their next truck load is coming .

                00

  • #
    Rolf

    Have noticed the recovery rate in Iran. That is bogus. From studies in China we learned there is a > 11 days from arriving at hospital until recovery. They ‘recover’ more than they had three days before. The same three days the death toll was higher than the total number three days earlier. Just something is really wrong there.

    30

  • #
    Roger Knights

    The Washington Post, March 7, 2020 at 11:19 a.m. PST
    Squandered time: How the Trump administration lost control of the coronavirus crisis: 10 times Trump downplayed the coronavirus

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-coronavirus-response-squandered-time/2020/03/07/5c47d3d0-5fcb-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html

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  • #
    Binny Pegler

    Note also that there are major privacy issues with the South Korean approach to mapping and tracking victims and their movements by their phones.

    mygovid in order to deal with the Australian Gov in any way shape or form.
    You now must have and app ‘ON YOUR PHONE’ that positively identifies you. Not on you business computer ON YOUR PHONE

    30

    • #
      Dennis

      In NSW we can request our photo driving licence as an app.

      I just renewed mine but was issued with a plastic card licence.

      22

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I hate smart phones, so I am biased, but – once soneone hacks your phone, your licence is then potentially for sale on the open black market.

        I work in IT, and we have a group of IT people working stupid hours every week patching security vulnerabilities on our systems.

        No way woukd i trust gurgle or anyone elses OS to be secure enough to protect the holy grail for identity thieves…..

        Keep the plastic card, its worth it.

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        • #
          tonyb

          Yes, keep the plastic card.

          Also from practicality I avoid downloading such things as airline tickets and prefer paper versions as several times I have seen passengers denied access as their phone had died or not scanned and airline systems are wide open to hacking.

          stopped banking online some 5 years ago when I was in a queue at my bank and the other 4 people in front of me had all come in to complain about being hacked.

          I now have a debit card which never has more than £50 on it for small internet transactions.

          we are way too reliant on smartphones and have a touching belief that those storing our personal details are smarter than those wanting to hack into their systems

          small and nimble crooks beats lumbering legacy systems every time

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  • #
    joseph

    Here’s a short video delving into some different aspects of this whole thing . . . .

    “Coronavirus – Follow The Money”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx8TpLeWqAo&feature=emb_logo

    20

  • #
    Matty

    The Korea downturn? I suppose all numbers are tied to human behavior – the willingness to report symptoms? Already we are seeing instances of people choosing to not self isolate or to sit on their symptoms and you can understand the disincentive. Many people are not in a position to simply not work for two weeks. Especially when it dawns on them that they are unlikely to get very ill. The psychological reactions to Covid 19 may come to underpin the numbers and that surely isn’t very comforting.

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  • #
    PeterS

    OT but it’s serious. Our stock market is suffering a blood bath. Oil price is crashing, which is a sign of a looming world-wide recession. Looks like the hysteria is spreading everywhere, not just over toilet paper. I hope Morrison’s stimulus package is sensible and helps to stem the decline. We can forget about any surplus that’s for sure.

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    • #
      Bulldust

      Oil price tanked overnight because of the breakdown in OPEC talks. Hardly surprising. They were looking to limit production, but the OPEC members are getting hit by the virus and need the oil funds to boost their budgets.

      Gold is up to US1,700 per ounce, the ASX down over 5% (at the time of writing), oil stocks down 20%+. Bear in mind that cruise stocks are down 50%, and I imagine airlines are suffering a similar fate.

      Once the dust settles somewhat, expect China to massively boost government spending to fire up their economy again on a debt sugar hit. Those with liquid assets will be able to buy in and ride the resource stocks up again.

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      • #
        PeterS

        I’m keeping my powder dry to step in and buy big time for the next phase of this historic bull market, possibly a sling shot move so fasten your seatbelts either way.

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        • #
          Meglort

          On the assumption that P/E ratios recover anytime soon. Not gaming on that.
          Maybe a decade, if things are ever the same again. It is still unravelling.

          China has clearly become a global security risk despite them hacking our parliament and bureaucracy several times in the last couple of years (APT10).
          Despite them building armaments in the SCS and bullying sycophant nations.

          Security risk now in the sense of pharma, manufacturing, clothing, building materials, tools, tech, list goes on. The post modern global economy is unravelling based primarily on this risk factor now materialising.

          China has made its most significant export yet in the Wuhan virus.

          A few folks I know were looking at retiring this year or next and now have been wiped out. Others that have been taking EPP options rather than taxed bonus. Bad mistake, saw that happen during the GFC and moved to cash and fixed assets. Some local businesses are already illiquid. This will have flow on effects.

          The actual virus is insignificant to what this will all do, even if it clears up in a few weeks and was all a misunderstanding and Wall Street recovers.

          If it persists in reservoir populations (e.g. developing world) the economic dystopia will only get worse until a vaccine or treatment arrives since whatever travel continues will deliver shock breakouts in contained populations if no quick, reliable and cheap test can be made at the point of entry. That will change the way global travel and connectedness operates.

          “The Zodiacal Rat is the first of the repeating 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac, constituting part of the Chinese calendar system”.

          Welcome to the new cycle.

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Yes the global travel industry will contract greatly.
            The Cruise ship industry is now cactus !
            And the global tourism industry will contract.
            But industries that do not involve the movement of humans around the planet will benefit.

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            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Well its interesting.

              I did a scan through the Oz MSM and its mostly cv19 lead stories, the sky is falling blah blah….

              *yawn*

              However, what is now surfacing is that its a flu, yes, but its not the black death nor ebola.

              However – the Establishment is slamming this thing and hyping it worse than global warming.

              So if things continue to play out like they are currently, in the West, like any bad flu, it will take lives, and thats tragic, but will see much worse than a bad flu?

              See, simple reality is it has to either go full EOTWAWKI , or the Establishment has a big mind bust on its hands.

              What no one is slamming the MSM on is its implicit support for training the population to be conitioned to being herded by the authorities
              on command. 16 million lock down in Italy? For what…? Its massively disproportionate.

              Its killing economies beautifully though….

              Is that the real aim?

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              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Perhaps another very highly, mega quantitative stimulus of really freshly printed fiat can help here.

                All of a sudden, debt disappears, people stop being stressed about finance, factories rivaling Tesla’s begin manufacturing millions of the very latest mobile corona ICU’s with ten beds per unit (solar powered USB chargers for people with mobile phones 🙂 ) with trained staff to operate all the dials that go ‘Bing!!’, and so on.

                In fact, an entire car production line is converted over to manufacturing the ‘ten bed mobile ICUS’s overnight.

                If the global banking system starts pulling its weight, what could we not do?

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    • #
      PeterS

      S&P 500 futures in the US was limit down a few hours ago and trading halted due to circuit breaker rules. Not looking good. I hope value buyers come on board when the US stock market opens soon.

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  • #
    WXcycles

    I made a ratio by dividing the deaths by critical cases to see what the underlying differences are within these bigger groups:

    China Cases Ratio Death to Critical = 0.59

    Outside China Ratio Death to Critical = 0.82

    Diamond Princess Ratio Death to Critical = 0.22 (curiously low)

    Italy Ratio Death to Critical = 0.56

    S Korea Ratio Death to Critical = 1.39

    The ratio for South Korea is well out of whack with all other COVID-19 infection stats. To me it indicates the Korean numbers have serious problems, for whatever reasons they are not the truth. Looking at the ratio comparison it seems much more likely that ‘Italy’ and ‘Outside China’ numbers are closer to the truth than South Korea’s numbers, which seem to be describing a completely different virus.

    We need to stop praising South Korea result and start asking some hard question as to what the heck’s going on there, because those numbers look like fiction, even compared to China.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      I checked all countries and found the following countries with significant cases also had a high total deaths to current critical cases ratios.

      S. Korea = 1.39 (7,313 cases)
      Spain = 1.54 (674 cases)
      USA = 2.75 (538 cases)
      Netherlands = 3 (265 cases)
      Australia = 3 (80 cases)

      Japan = 0.24 (502 cases – curiously low, like Diamond Princess in Japan)

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Great. Bow can yoy split it into age groups for both morbidity and mortality.

        Im almost at a point to call this thing to not be the boogey monster the Establishment would try have you quake in fright over.

        If we see its the elderly hit the hardest with a similar mortality rate as the normal flu….well….

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        • #
          TedM

          Do you mean that the winner will be Centrelink.

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        • #
          tonyb

          original Steve

          ironically, this appears to be a very light flu year in the UK with nothing like the average 17000 a year attributable deaths seen over the past 5 years. Consequently the hospitals do not have the extra pressure and whether some of those now ill with Covid 19 might have succumbed to flu in a normal season -as they fit into the vulnerable category- it is too early to tell.

          The 3 who have died so far have been previously diagnosed with multiple health issues.

          The British are generally undemonstrative and I wonder if this standoffishness means that people are not in such close proximity as the Italians, who generally (but of course not all) are demonstrative with hugging, kissing and close personal contacts even with strangers.

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      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        At issue in the case of the USA, the “Life Care Center” in Kirkland – with about 150 elderly residents, missed the development of this.
        The place has generally 3 to 7 deaths a month. Until the number got well past 7 there was nothing out of the ordinary, and folks were being carried to local hospitals (Fire & Rescue with medical) in a routine manner. These elderly (many 80+ of age) already have medical issues. A worst case situation.
        After passing 7 deaths and continuing to climb the virus was spreading in the facility and in the medical personnel that come into regular contact with them. Of the 19 coronavirus deaths reported in King County, 16 are associated with Life Care Center In Kirkland. [Seattle is the major city in the County.]
        Having missed the development of the virus in this care facility there are now significant resources devoted to slowing further cases.
        I do not know if they have identified the “zero” case of this. They might not be able to, but that would be interesting.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      1 : the figures for China are crap put out for propaganda

      2: The figures for the Diamond Princess are weirded because of all the folks who were taken off the ship & flown back to their home countries where they then became part of their countries’ totals.

      3: Japan had for a long while a policy of not testing unless the symptimns were obvious.

      4 : In Italy there seems to have been a complete lack of awareness for 3-4 week period with many people dying or getting ill but not attributed to Corona 19 Virus. And Northern Italy is the center for Community Transmission in Europe with many outbreaks in other EU countries ( and Australia ) having their origins in Italy.

      5: South Korea on the other hand instituted a policy of compulsory testing in all the members of the sect where it started and their families.. In other word THOROUGH !

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      • #
        Peter

        Dear Bill,
        Fully agree with your point number 5. Thorough testing of the people of that church in Daegu and their families is indeed what happened.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/man-in-his-60s-is-third-person-to-die-in-uk-after-positive-coronavirus-test/ar-BB10V3xb?ocid=mailsignout

        “A man in his 60s has become the third person to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.

        “The patient had “significant underlying health conditions” and was being treated at North Manchester General Hospital when he died, according to England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty.

        “He had also recently returned from a trip in Italy.

        “The announcement from Manchester on Sunday comes just days after the first two deaths were reported in the UK in patients who had tested positive for the illness.

        “Both had underlying health conditions and died in hospital on Thursday.

        “The first, a woman in 70s, lost her life in hospital in Reading, Berkshire, while the second, an 83-year-old man, died while being treated at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

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      • #
        WXcycles

        Yes, but this does not explain the the Korean data.

        (1) The Death rate is very low (yes, probably accounted for by more thorough testing)

        (2) The critical cases rate is unrealistically low (and is completely out of proportion to other country’s mortality v critical).

        (3) The death number is much higher than critical case number. Nothing like that is seen in the other top-10 most infected countries today. Something major is not explained there.

        i.e. #(1) can be understood by thoroughness of testing, but #(2) and #(3) do not fit the COVID-19 pattern elsewhere, at all.

        Current SK numbers:

        S Korea % cases who died = 0.72 %
        S Korea % cases critical = 0.49 %

        There’s no way that can be correct, as the critical number should be at least double the mortality percent, to be in proportion with the COVID-19 illness trait and pattern in other countries. I conclude that either South Korea is not giving out the correct numbers or they have a completely different strain of the virus in South Korea.

        They have some explaining to do as to how their numbers are possible.

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    • #
      Peter

      “S Korea Ratio Death to Critical = 1.39”. Indeed strange to have a number larger than one.

      Part can be explained by the fact that some people were tested after they died. They were already in the hospital for some reasons and died with Corona symptoms. They were marked as a Corona fatality, but were reported as a critical case. I know of three cases. Of course, it does not explain all. There is something interesting in the numbers.

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  • #
    Wayne Job

    It is sad that china is suffering and in the doldrums, but perhaps it is poetic justice, it would seem they invented this virus in a lab,
    the first cases were in the lab courtyard.
    A week or two ago a doctor gave an old bloke like myself who had this virus a HIV shot and a Flu shot and two days later he was over it.

    It is odd I have heard nothing since if this combination works what is going on?

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  • #
    WXcycles

    I spoke too early, a new data release shows 13 new countries were added to the list of infected countries today.

    Now 110 countries have had cases. The number of known cases outside of China = 29,334.

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  • #
    Peter

    The Korea Center for Disease Control (KCDC) keeps track of all the cases in Korea. For those who can read Korean, here is the link to their list of cdaily reports:
    https://www.cdc.go.kr/board/board.es?mid=a20501000000&bid=0015

    This morning, the CDC announced that Korea had another 248 new cases and 1 new death (total of 51) on Sunday. 90% of these new cases are in or around the city of Daegu. This area (with roughly 3mln people) is the only area that is heavily infected. Of the total 7382 cases 6678 cases (or 90%) is in that region. Of the total of 51 deaths, 49 are in this region.

    Average age of the people who died is 73; the average time between a positive result and death is four days. Some people were after they passed away and got positive test results. The reason why no one died in the beginning, is that the first case (until the Daegu-outbreak) were all relatively young people. IMHO a death lag time of two weeks is two big.

    Important is to prevent and monitor for new large outbreaks. Korea is doing a lot to prevent a new big outbreak. Social distancing, no mass-gatherings, no big events, working from home, no face-to-face business meetings, hardly any foreign travel (even to countries without Corona), … Restaurants are having a hard time; online shopping and food delivery services are seeing record high sales.

    Korea has done almost 200,000 corona tests. It is one of the reasons for the high number of cases, but it has also put people into a hospital or quarantine in an early stage, which has helped prevent the virus from spreading.

    Furthermore, it is important to keep an eye on the number of severe and critical cases. The KCDC does not mention this in its reports. Korean media is reporting these numbers. Unfortunately, these numbers are going up. About a week ago, there were 13 critical cases and 14 severe cases. Now there are 36 critical cases and 24 severe cases. As Joanna mentioned, the death toll will unfortunately go up.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      I extracted the 10 countries with the most active cases presently, to derive the percent of the active cases given as serious/critical.

      Country | Active cases | Serious Critical | % of Active that are serious/critical cases

      China | 19,015 | 5,111 | 26.9 %

      S. Korea | 7,163 | 36 | 0.5 % (very suspicious)

      Italy | 6,387 | 650 | 10.2 %

      Iran | 4,238 | | 0.0 % (Iran simply have no data)

      France | 1,178 | 45 | 3.8 %

      Germany | 1,022 | 9 | 0.9 % (again, very suspect)

      Spain | 625 | 11 | 1.8 %

      USA | 505 | 8 | 1.6 %

      Diamond Princess | 444 | 32 | 7.2 %

      Japan | 419 | 29 | 6.9 %

      South Korea and Germany stand out but South Korea is by far the poorest fit with the other country’s COVID-19 experiences, so something is very wrong in their data. I would not make an issue of this except for the fact that S Korea is now the second most infected country on earth and half as infected as China (claims to be), so South Korea’s data should now be much less suspicious and more rationally consistent. So South Korea needs to adequately explain this strong divergence in the proportions of their COVID-19 data, and they need to do it very soon.

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      • #
        Peter

        When it comes to comparing data, you need to make sure that their measurement methods are the same. While many countries are only doing tests if a person is showing symptoms, Korea has been testing people who should no symptoms. The Korean government ordered people of the church in Daegu (with the big outbreak) plus their families to get tested. They found many cases with mild symptoms that would have gone unnoticed it this mandatory test was not done. Other countries (which only test people with symptoms) miss several mild cases.

        Then there is the question of “serious/critical cases” to which I have no answer: are all countries using the same classification for “serious/critical cases”?

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        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          From: https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000338
          “Applying the science of measurement to biology: Why bother?”
          “Abstract

          “Both basic and translational research are continuously evolving, but the principles that underpin research integrity remain constant. These include rational, hypothesis-driven, and adequately planned and controlled science, which is carried out openly, honestly, and ethically. An important component of this should be minimising experimental irreproducibility. Biological systems, in particular, are inherently variable due to the nature of cells and tissues, as well as the complex molecules within them. As a result, it is important to understand and identify sources of variability and to strive to minimise their influence. In many instances, the application of metrology (the science of measurement) can play an important role in ensuring good quality research, even within biological systems that aren’t always amenable to many of the metrological concepts applied in other fields. Here, we introduce the basic concepts of metrology in relation to biological systems and promote the application of these principles to help avoid potentially costly mistakes in both basic and translational research. We also call on funders to encourage the uptake of metrological principles, as well as provide funding and support for later engagement with regulatory bodies.”

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        • #
          WXcycles

          This remains outstanding Peter:

          (3) The death number is much higher than critical case number. Nothing like that is seen in the other top-10 most infected countries today. Something major is not explained there.

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          • #
            Peter

            Dear WXcycles,
            The number of critical cases in Korea is indeed low compared to other countries. Maybe it has something to do with the way that various countries define “critical”. I do not know. In Korean media I read something about the classification in Korea. People that have to use an oxygen mask are “severe” patients; people who are on a respirator are seen as critical. Any idea how other countries define “critical”?

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  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Interesting post at catallaxy files:

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2020/03/09/jeffrey-tucker-why-this-draconian-response-to-covid-19/

    Linking to nejm article:

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387

    “On the basis of a case definition requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia, the currently reported case fatality rate is approximately 2%.4 In another article in the Journal, Guan et al.5 report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity. If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”

    Panic over….

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  • #
    el gordo

    Its a little O/T but as we are talking about immunity, the smallpox epidemic in early Sydney destroyed the local inhabitants.

    https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/smallpox-epidemic

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  • #
    Miso

    In my tiny country of Slovenia (2 mil. inhabitants) an influenza epidemic has spread (as it does every year) in the period of global Corona panic. 3000 people were hospitalised with severe symptoms, 6 died. Expanded to the global population of app. 7.8 bil. this translates into 11.700.000 hospitalised and 23.400 deaths, which is about in the middle of what common flu causes every year.

    As a doctor said to me “[Corona] virus is just like every other [respiratory disease] virus; just this one comes with top-class marketing.”

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  • #
    Miso

    It already has. About 20 infected so far, all isolated, none with serious symptoms, no deaths. So common flu still leads about 3000 and 6 v. 20 and 0.

    You do not get it, do you? The horrible threat of corona virus is a result of media feeding frenzy – while at the same time common flu is infecting by an order of magnitude more people, and killing more. I guess common flu just ain’t media sexy any more.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      It seems the globalist Establishment are doubling down on hysteria as the whole cv19 meme is falling apart, as the facts come out that its predominately the elderly ( surpise!….not ) affected.

      Unless of course its a “living under martial law” test run….

      https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/public-gatherings-banned-across-the-whole-of-italy-as-death-toll-jumps/news-story/fba49ddfe3ee091f9660472a2dfe8dc2

      “The whole of Italy has gone into lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak, after the death toll jumped by 97 in a single day.

      “75 per cent of the deaths are aged between 70 and 89, with 13 per cent aged over 90, 10 per cent in their 60s and just 1 per cent in their 50s.

      “Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced restrictions on public gatherings would be extended to cover the whole country, rather than just the epicentre of the outbreak in the north.

      ““Restrictions will include banning all public gatherings and preventing all movement other than for work and emergencies,” Mr Conte said.

      “The restrictions will take effect on Tuesday and like those in northern Italy will last until April 3, he said.

      ““There won’t be just a red zone,” he told reporters, referring to the quarantine order he signed for a vast swath of northern Italy with a population of 16 million over the weekend.

      “Mr Conte said the country’s “night life” of young people gathering to drink and enjoy themselves would no longer be permitted.

      “”We can’t allow this anymore,” he said. Restaurants and cafes have also been ordered to close at dusk.

      “All sporting events, including Serie A, the nation’s top soccer league, have also been suspended. Schools and universities will also remain closed as part of the measures.

      “The nationwide lockdown comes after Italy’s death toll rose by 97 in a single day.

      “The country’s death toll now sits at 463, marking a 20 per cent increase in just 24 hours.

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      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        My cousin lives in Italy after moving back in the 70’s……has been trying to sell his home over there and come back for the past decade.

        He says the Italian government is the most corrupt government in the world lol

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