« HARPER: TIME FOR A BIG BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL | Main | RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 2 APRIL 2020 by Patrick Armstrong »

02 April 2020

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

walrus

It does make sense Larry, and thank you for posting this discussion. The problem with Covid is that the cases will appear all at once.

David Lentini

Not mention is the reliability of the tests themselves. We all know the expression, "Garbage in, garbage out". Bad data leads to bad predictions no matter how good the mathematical modes are.

And the tests for COVID-19 have been rife with problems. Even early on it was noted that the tests were giving false positive rates of 80%. Several countries, including the Czech Republic and Spain, have return the tests to China for the reason.

More alarming, the Telegraph reported that tests received in England were actually contaminated with the virus!

Still problematic is the nature of the test itself. Being based on polymerase chain reaction ("PCR"), the test can only identify the presence of a nucleic acid fragment that is associated with COVID-19. Even the CDC admits that the test cannot tell whether the patient's symptoms are caused by COVID.

In other words, we're arresting bystanders because they happen to be near the scene of the crime. This is illustrated well by the fact the vast majority of "COVID-19–related deaths" are in fact persons who are in some way weakened immunologically.

All if this is play pen for those who want to lie with statistics and cause panic. Unreliable tests, perhaps even contaminated to spread the disease, are used to gin-up figures for the "pandemic".

Sounds a lot like Iraq's WMDs to me.

BillWade

Larry, thanks for all you do.
Nurses in our local hospitals are reporting shortages of masks, gowns, etc.. We have 26 confirmed cases in Charlotte County, so - given your stats, perhaps 3 have been hospitalized. Why on earth are there shortages, the hospitals charge an arm and a leg for them - you'd think they would always have enough, it's a profit maker. 3 possible hospital admissions here does not make for a "overwhelming surge". Due to the nature of our population (2nd oldest by age county in the nation), just a bunch of old folks with pensions and decent health insurance. The hospitals here should not be short of anything - but,somehow they are. The whole thing stinks to high-heaven.

English Outsider

Agree - " Life is not risk free. We learn to live with risk. We need to learn to live with Corona as well."

That, unfortunately, is what all are having to do. To "live with Corona". Whether a country goes into lockdown or not, and whatever the various governments do, tens of millions of the vulnerable have already made their own personal decisions about how to live with Corona. The decision is to avoid as far as possible any contact that might result in their death.

And the aggregate effect of all these personal decisions is catastrophic for the economy - again regardless of how governments now act.

That's not to say that government measures to control the spread are superfluous. But whatever the efficacy of government measures the economic effects of those measures are no more than superimposed on that aggregate economic effect that is the sum of all our personal decisions on how to "live with Corona".

In short, the economy has taken a big hit because many consumers are not out and about buying as they were and there's nothing much any government can do about that.

I'm not sure either that all the talk about such matters as whether we should be following the South Korean model or not is that much to the point. Certainly in the UK it's not - we don't have the administrative infrastructure to take South Korean measures even were we to want to. That infrastructure has been neglected for years and getting it in place fast is as difficult as attempting to construct a General Staff for an army in the middle of a war.

In these circumstances all the governments can do is attempt to improvise an effective response as urgently as possible and promote a public mood of resolve rather than of panic.

Trump's doing that brilliantly, as far as I can see, though hampered by partisan animosities that are still running very high. Our own PM's not doing too badly either. He's sitting on top of a pretty well dysfunctional administrative machine and attempting to cut through the problems that that leads to while still managing to communicate an atmosphere of purpose.

But however well or badly the various leaders cope the emergency will run its course to some extent independently of their efforts. And afterwards we're going to be faced with a partially wrecked economy. There is going to be no return to business as usual, no return to the status ante quo. Reality has hit the already creaking economies and financial structures of the West and we must adapt to a new "normal".

Yesterday Harper put out an article in SST showing one way that should be attempted. First one I've seen anywhere on the subject. Governor Cuomo in a recent press conference, even in the middle of the crisis in New York, devoted a few minutes of that conference to examining the new reality we are going to be faced with afterwards.

Maybe premature to discuss such matters even before that "Battle on the Mountain" that Governor Cuomo describes has been won or lost, but I suspect that if those whom AG Barr describes as "Conservatives" don't get their act together on that, those he describes as "Progressives" will forestall them.

Petrel

Larry --

Not only does the Center for Disease Control (CDC) not count real flue deaths but the government agency inflates them -- big time.

The American Lung Association (ALA), the doctors who actually treat patients with lung illness, publishes yearly statistics of flue deaths. In 2006 ALA reported that 849 died of flue. For 2006, the CDC reported deaths of 15,573 in other words 18 times more deaths than the ALA. (LewRockwell.com, Bill Sardi 3.26.2020.)

So how does the CDC manage to turn 849 flue deaths into 15,573 ?

Well . . . the CDC combines deaths from flue + pneumonia + all other respiratory and heart conditions into a grand total. As such hyper-inflation by the CDC of flue numbers is typical for the last 20 years, current CDC statistics of Covid deaths should be divided by something between 18 to 22 to determine what the morbidity of the ongoing "Pandemic" might be.

JJackson

Seasonal influenza deaths are spread over half the year and do not require PPE for HCWs outside of critical care. COVID does and no one has stockpiled the quantities needed. You can pick who ever you like to blame for this but it is not going to solve the problem. If we can not solve this problem then staff will either not work or get sick and not be able to work. Either way patients will suffer and avoidable deaths will increase. Any measures we can take now to slow spread and buy time for PPE production will help.

re testing.
PCR testing is the only current test for new cases and is in short supply. A trial in Washington State showed that if all new hospital admissions with a COVID symptoms set are tested then you get a 10% positive rate. I do not have US numbers to hand but in the UK when the case numbers were low we were also getting 10% but if you look at the data now this is 40% as the limits of testing capacity are causing them only to be used for conformation of clinical diagnosed cases.
All of the quick test that are becoming available, like the ones Spain are returning to China, do not test for SARS-2 virus but for IgM and IgG which are antibodies produced once the adaptive immune response gets up to speed. They do not build up until later so could be used in late stage patients which would let PCR capacity be used for early case detection and contact tracing. For any of this to happen we need to bring the case count down to a point the daily new case count is a reflection of how many people have SARS-2 not how many test we had available. In the UK we had 1,500 tests/day capacity aiming to get it to 10,000 which was updated to 25,000, however the latest actual figure I saw was 6,000 which tracks with the daily numbers.

turcopolier

BillWade

You are implying that someone is making money selling medical materiel out the "back door?"

Bill H

I fit pretty much all of the "risk categories," starting with age, 76.
I have severe emphysema, 40%+ destruction of both lungs
I've been hospitalized (10 days+) three times for pneumonia.
I've had a heart attack and have three irregularities in my heartbeat.
I have pulmonary hypertension.
I've had multiple small strokes.
I have Parkinson's Disease.

I do, however, walk daily for exercise, and did work out at a gym twice weekly with a personal trainer. My weight and blood pressure are good because I enjoy this planet and plan to remain on for a while yet.

In video conference with my pulmonary doctor yesterday I was informed that the brief and fairly uncomfortable illness I had in February was actually Covid19. I had kind of been suspecting it might be, but was avoiding alarmist thinking. He gave me some advice about the uncertainty of my immunity and wants to see me for some lung imaging as soon as circumstances permit.

My wife either did not catch it, or she did and had no symptoms whatever. Perhaps the panic over this thing is less than fully justified.

j. casey

Stanford doc/data scientist, Dr. John Ioannidis, gave an excellent lecture (here in YT) that throws a whole lot of light on the data collection problems Mr. Johnson describes here, and especially on Italy, where it appears the lethality has been massively overstated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=d6MZy-2fcBw&feature=emb_title

j. casey

Also, I've been thinking a lot about a comment made by the Colonel on a recent post about the apparent DNC effort of oust POTUS via a lawfare-focused information operation. If I'm not mistaken, he said there was probably a "war room" somewhere pushing out narrative on a regular basis. Today, I saw Bill Gates calling for governments to enact some sort of certificate of CV vaccination, when such becomes available, before people would be allowed to travel internationally. At some point, doesn't this hysteria start to very much resemble a psy op/info op being used to drive a shopping list of Globalist "needs."

voislav

I'll drop in a note regarding shortages of protective equipment. Typically, hospitals will stock a 3-6 month supply because there are no issues reordering when the stock runs low.

But under normal conditions only personnel in high-risk areas use it (infectious disease ward, ICU, during surgeries). Normal rate of usage is maybe 10% of what it is now, when all the personnel has to wear it. So that 6-month supply becomes a 3-week supply and you would start to run out about now.

Under the current system, US hospitals have no responsibility to provide extra capacity for emergencies, including emergency stocks of PPE. This mandate falls on different levels of government, so surprise surprise.

ponderer

@BillWade

Keep in mind that PPE has to be used regardless of how many patients there are that are ill.

Though, I am surprised by our lack of equipment. If nothing else I would expected the military to have some sort of plan for a biological attack on the US and plans to in-source any needed supplies. As a civilian, I thought the Pentagon planned for everything. I expect the same for the CDC and Homeland Security. It seems like we weren't very prepared because no one wanted to bring up our lost manufacturing capability and our tenuous health care system. It doesn't bode well for an actual biological attack where we might be relying on our enemies to supply necessary life-saving materials.

turcopolier

ponderer

You can think abut all contingencies but you can't stockpile for all contingencies. That would require more money than is politically available in normal times.

BillWade

No Sir, not at all. I'm implying that there should be no shortage as there's been no crisis here, the parent company of this particular hospital has made 23 Billion dollars over the past decade. It doesn't seem logical to not continue to milk this cash cow they have here, so - why have they seemingly done so - I just don't know/understand.

I think it only stands to reason that our society could continue to function fairly well if the workers wore masks instead of sitting things out at home. Fauci is saying we have to stay home till the last case of this virus is finally over - there will be no economy left if we do that. Taiwan had 100% participation in mask wearing, but we have no masks - seems intentional to me that we don't. Leftist governments in Europe and their confederates here want the economies to crash. President Trump arrived just in the nick of time. I think this whole virus scenario was planned for a HRC presidency, it would have been the perfect opportunity for her to implement globalist plans, she didn't wear Chinese cut clothing during the debates for nothing. People can call me a nut if they want, I don't care. Fauci and the scarf lady are Clinton's people.

The CDC says in the beginning of the crisis, "masks are useless". Now they say (after it's too late), masks work, but, "we don't have any,

Peter VE

I think that the only real way we can know the effect of Covid19 is by looking back at the final death rate for the Time of Covid vs. the death rate for the same time period in previous years. Dying while testing positive for Covid is not the same as dying of Covid. It appears that the death rate in Northern Italy has taken a leap from previous years, but we may never know for sure if accurate numbers are buried.

I have tried looking up statistics for numbers of deaths in the US, and trying to find something as simple as a total number of deaths on the CDC's website is a chore.

optimax

How many people get flu shots? What would be the number of deaths from flu if there were no vaccine? Since there is no vaccine for Covid 19, comparing recent numbers of flu to C 19 deaths means very little if anything. Is the 1918 flu a better model? The 1918 flu killed more of the young and, like today's virus, people weren't immune to it. Or should we act according to models based on Italy's numbers?

Christian J Chuba

I think that Trump and co are talking about 100,000 - 200,000 deaths on the premise of under-promise / over-deliver. Anything under 50,000 will be considered a miracle.

Not commenting on what the numbers will be but w/early intervention it could have been less than 1,000, possibly much less. Both N.Korea and Japan are both < 200 and each had earlier and more cases then we did. Even in the U.S., CA is hovering at around 200 cases just by implementing a lockdown 1 week earlier than New York and that isn't Boise Idaho.

Jack

The question is what are the objective criteria to determine that Wuhan virus is highly infectious and so lethal that we should collectively suffer an economic depression to prevent its spread?

And what are the criteria by which we’ll decide that the scare is over and get back to re-starting the economy?

Another question: Not all states are in lockdown. Shouldn’t we see a disproportionate growth in those states? What if that’s not happening?

The cost is enormous. The Fed is estimating 30% unemployment. Larger than the Great Depression. This will impact mostly the working poor and small businesses. Not those working for state, local and the federal government or those employed by large corporations who can afford to continue to pay while their business is essentially on hold or those receiving pension & social security benefits.The upper middle class with salary income and financial reserves could weather the storm but not those below.

FWH

The latest from the Vancouver Sun Newspaper (on line edition): 1,066 confirmed cases in British Columbia, 25 deceased with median age of 85 years, 606 recovered, 142 in the hospital with 67 of these in ICU, 293 recovering in isolation.

Why can't more of the US press provide information like this? It would probably not stop the panic that has already been whipped up. It would help people who have lost jobs and been ordered to stay home to better judge for themselves how reasonable the decision making has been.

David Keating

My wife is a Nurse practitioner. She holds a doctorate in epidemiology and biostats. She was also on the floor of a hospital in a region hit hard by the SARS epidemic of 2003 and lost a colleague to it as well as saw 2 other nurses whose lungs were so badly damaged by the virus they were never able to work again.

What she tells me is the number of confirmed cases is irrelevant because that only tells you about testing not the spread of the virus. Comparing the numbers killed with other epidemics is also irrelevant at this point.

What matters isn't the numbers of dead but the rate at which they are dying. Three days ago there were 3000 dead in the USA. Three days prior to that there were 1500. She predicted by the end of the day today there will be 6000 .... we were just under 5000 first thing this morning and now at 2:30 PM we are at 5316.

This is exponential growth with the number of deaths doubling every 3 days. 3 days from now it will be at 12,000 .... 24,000 .... . If nothing is done to slow the spread of this virus we will be at 1.6 million dead by the end of the month .... not 100,000 or 240,000.

And it won't stop there. This virus will circle the globe in waves until either everyone becomes immune or we come up with a vaccine. You don't get complete immunity to most viruses, immunity lasts for a year or so on average.

We managed to contain and eradicate SARS in 2003 by tracking and tracing every infected individual. SARS only exists in labs today. This virus is much more infectious than SARS and we lost control of it

12% of people being adversely affected by Covid-19 is a small number however from 30% to 70% of a population could be infected. Lets say 50% of Americans are affected and 12% of them are affected badly enough to look for treatment. That's 19,500,000 people and that's not the worst case scenario. Remember this virus is affecting people exponentially and the number dying is doubling every 3 days.

Forget about how small the death rate is or it compares to other diseases. This is a tsunami period.

SoMuchToLearn

I fully agree with the author regarding panic, flawed models and the quality of the data.

An informative 'take' on the mortality figures for England is provided by the British government for older people who died in hospital in 2017. The big surprise I had when reading the tables was that flu is NOT an identifiable cause of death. The most common underlying cause of death for people aged 75 years and older who died in hospital in 2017 was cancer, followed by heart disease and then pneumonia. My daughter was a registrar of births, marriages and deaths and she confirmed that flu did not appear on the death certificates which she issued. It's worth pointing out (see the article by Dr Lee below for the present status) that there is no testing for flu in these 2017 figures. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/older-people-who-died-in-hospital-england-2017/older-people-who-died-in-hospital-england-2017

Yet this article in the Spectator, by a Dr Lee, a retired UK pathologist, points out that there has been a radical change here in the UK: deaths are now in 2020 being stated as due to this new coronavirus. As he further points out, a patient may well go into hospital with the virus (as in past years, other patients went in with flu symptoms) but die subsequently from pneumonia - yet the cause of death (as there is now a test for corona virus) is now stated to be due to coronavirus. Hence the sensational figures, day by day through the media, on the coronavirus death totals. As he remarks, what distinction (if any) is there in these statistics between death from the virus and death with the virus? https://spectator.us/deadly-coronavirus-still-far-clear-covid-19/

In this interview with a member of the Russian Academy of Science, Alexander Chuchalin, there is an interesting and detailed description of the progress of this new corona virus from cold-like symptoms to the often fatal end-point: destruction of certain lung cells allowing bacteria to do their work, filling the lungs with fluids and causing pneumonia. A grim handover from the virus to the bacteria - but only, remember, in the great majority of cases, for older persons with existing health problems. Surprisingly, he offered some sound advice to complement the science side of things: salt gargling for the throat and, just as important, salt washing of the nasal passages. http://thesaker.is/how-to-treat-coronavirus-infection-covid-19/

Some more science from Germany: How Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg sees the current Corona pandemic - hint, he thinks it's hyped (English subtitles):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_AyuhbnPOI&t=7s The surprise take-away for me from this video is that, every year, there are many different viruses which can cause respiratory diseases, where the coronavirus causes around 7%-15% (which fluctuates) of the respiratory diseases from 'the mix' of 10 viruses for which they had tests. This claim is based on research by scientists at Glasgow University from 2005-2013, where testing of 10 different viruses was being carried out.

Another Specator author describes the panic... https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/Coronavirus-and-the-cycle-of-panic
Key take-away, for me, from this article: If China had not taken such dramatic steps to stop the disease, we wouldn’t be half as worried.

Might it be the case that the Chinese government were 'spooked' by this new, mutated, coronavirus into the draconian measures they implemented and that, since then, other governments (and in particular their scientific advisers) have followed along on the basis of 'better safe than sorry'?

marc

i think the only conclusion that can be reached right now is that the numbers are shit. the tests aren't accurate, or maybe are becoming increasingly accurate with false positives the most likely result of faulty testing. test kit availability and testing protocols from state to state aren't uniform. there is no uniform procedure to attribute a death to covid, or one of the many other pre-existing, chronic conditions at the time of death in most cases. in my home state, the supposed mecca of medical expertise, there were 33 new deaths attributed to covid on april 1. from the available info the mean age of decedents was 78 according to data published by the dept of health, and that is low, as the dept only identifies age by decade grouping (a 79 yo is identified the same way as a 71 yo, both being in their '70s') the number of persons with a 'preexisting condition' is skewed lower with reports of persons in their 80s and 90s dying and having an 'unknown' status as to whether they had a preexisting condition at the time of death. (there is also a column to identify whether or not a person was hospitalized at the time of death, with status being 'unknown' for several persons, including someone in their '100s'. how the bleep does the dept of health not know if someone was hospitalized at the time of death? i mean, who reported the death to begin with?)

confusedponderer

Larry,
re "It does not make sense. Life is not risk free. We learn to live with risk. We need to learn to live with Corona as well."

The about completely unpleasant derelicteer Dominic Cummings in the UK advised the also unpleasant but less creepy Boris Johnson probably inspired by watching too long into a mirror that herd immunity would be a splendid idea to 'attack COVID-19' and iirc commented along the line "Well, old people die all the time, what's the big deal?".

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirus-herd-immunity-meaning-definition-what-vaccine-immune-covid-19-a9397871.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity

While life is not risk free a herd imunity approach is not an exactly sensible way to learn to live with a yet unknown risk. But - indeed - let's get as many as possible sick so immunity will be created in the survivors!

ISOLATION SCHMISOLATION!!! - LET'S HAVE AN AS BIG AS POSSIBLE CORONA PARTY!!! And, mental note, don't forget to apply for this years' Darwin Award.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_Awards

A not so charming bastard, known also for making a Downing Street Nr. 10 job advertisement explicitly asking for weirdos, misfits, nutters and extraordinary nerds willing to utterly give up a normal life. The scarier part here is that one of the successful applicants will get to work as Cummings’ personal assistant for a year (he needs company in his cave).

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dominic-cummings-weirdos-job-civil-service-boris-johnson-brexit-government-a9268371.html

The fact that the UK's NHS has been budget cutted and gutted into incapability to deal with a pandemy doesn't help either. The BREXIT doesn't help as well since it makes the island not just a little lonelier.

But, in a way it's "instant karma", Cummings (just like Johnson) is (are) now in corona infection isolation so that he (they) can practically help to create that herd immunity he (they?) liked.

If that sounds like Schadenfreude, it isn't. It's just an expression of disgust. But then, what's the big deal? Well, a big deal is the problem of nasty side effects of lunacy like death (personally a pretty permanent problem) to unhappy bystanders.

I dislike the Cummings person as much as the Cummings approach since according to media there have been first corona deaths in my city. That it is worse in NY or Wuhan doesn't comfort me at all.

marc

@ david.
even the number of deaths is not a 'hard' statistic. we don't know who/how deaths are attributed to covid. i don't deny that there is a 'new' virus, and that people are dying from it (or with it), but this probably can't be sorted out statistics-wise for a while. and maybe even in the future, all we will know for certain is that there were problems with diagnosis and reporting that need to be fixed.

Fred

j.casey,

"... Bill Gates calling for governments to enact some sort of certificate of CV vaccination, when such becomes available, before people would be allowed to travel internationally."

It is so kind of Bill to call for a global police state tracking document and mandatory "trust us" vacination program. Is he also calling for ending illegal immigration and voter i.d. in the US? I think not. How did his "Common Core" experiment end? DIsaster but at least none of his children or grandchildren had to suffer with it.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

October 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Blog powered by Typepad