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19 April 2020

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Deap

The good news is COVID-19 is the cure for the common flu. Since no one is complaining any longer about getting the regular flu, somehow COVID-19 must have eradicated it.

Isn't science great? /s

Allen

So all the fear mongering, flat-curvers are 100% convinced that social distancing is the reason that we have been spared 2.2 million deaths.

OK, fine, let’s explore that. California was he first state to lock down on March 19th. Eastern states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and a few others followed within 3 to 4 days and by April 1, 37 states (plus Washington DC) had some form of social distancing/stay at home orders. There were many states that did not have official orders until the first week of April and some never had any.

With that in mind, on March 31, The White House announced that the new models suggest that there would be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. The reason stated was that social distancing was flattening the curve and what the American people were doing was working. On that same day, March 31, the distancing orders of more than 30 states was less than 1 week old and at least 10 states still had zero orders. This is what they claim changed the projections from 2.2 million to 100,000 to 240,000.

But wait, there’s more. If we assume a mortality rate of 1%, which I do not agree with, but lets just say it’s 10 times deadlier than the flu for sh!ts and grins. For social distancing to change the projected death toll from 2.2 million to 100,000, fewer people need to be infected. Right? People stay away from each other, less transmission. Got it! But how many fewer infections do we need to change it from 2.2 million to 100,000? Well, if the mortality rate is 1% and 2.2 million people were going to die, that would mean we were on pace for 220,000,000 infections before social distancing, roughly 10 times the amount of infections in the entire world and 2/3 of all men, women and children in the US. To get to 100,000 deaths we would need to infect 210,000,000 fewer people. Let me say that again. We are to believe that we were on pace to infect 220 million people, but after a week of panic buying at the grocery stores, standing in lines, not wearing masks, congregating in parks and celebrating Spring break, the experts were able to determine that the efforts so far, if kept up, would reduce infections by 210 million and save 2.1 million lives, all with less than 1 week of more than 30 state’s mitigation plan being in effect and without any orders from 10 other states who either started after the model change or not at all.

Pretty Amazing!

Godfree Roberts

cui bono?

The Twisted Genius

This doesn't surprise me. Even in the early days when MSM was reporting wildly high mortality rates, the caveats about not knowing the rate of infection was mentioned. Having a lower mortality rate is only mildly comforting. In the last couple of weeks, MSM concentrated on the death toll even more than the number of infections confirmed by testing. The present death toll, in the light of a low mortality rate, would indicate an extremely high rate of infection, higher than most if not all infectious diseases.

I posted a link to a similar chart about weekly death totals due to various causes in an earlier comment. I found a better graph. The point of the graph is that Covid-19 has a much higher spike than the 2017-2018 flu and pneumonia season ever had. The chart comparing Covid-19 deaths to deaths by all other causes in NYC is even more startling. We'll know in 8 to 10 weeks how fast that rate declines. It'll never reach the total deaths caused by heart disease and cancer, but it will probably dwarf recent flu seasons in the US. If the mortality rate for Covid-19 proves to be in line with other flu strains, that means that the infection rate is many times higher. And we don't yet know what longterm pulmonological, neurological or other organ damage this new virus causes in survivors.

https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/not-like-the-flu-not-like-car-crashes-not-like

Ulenspiegel

1) There are different numbers for mortality. Each definition makes sense in a certain context.

2) The mortality of all infected people can be estimated by the fate of the passengers on the Diamond Princess. An age corrected rate gives around 0.5% (+/- 0.2%) mortality of all infected. Experts in the field work with this numbers for months.

3) Even with 0.3% or 0.5% mortality you would have hundred of thousands of deaths before reaching herd immunity without a vaccine.

Strictly speaking, even the best case scenario is cruel, and if your ICUs beds hit the ceiling you have of course a much higher mortality. The discussion of misuse of mortality rates does not change this.

The issue in many countries is that they are not even prepared for the best case scenario, even less for a second wave during next winter after premature return to normal.

Walrus

TTG, with the greatest respect, perhaps in military terms you are confusing harassing fire with a barrage.

Covid19 may have exactly the same mortality as seasonal flu. However seasonal flu does not produce 70 million cases in ten weeks. - which is what Covid19, unregulated, might do.

Covid19 would overrun our health systems without mitigation. Once that happens the current economic troubles would look like a minor scratch.

Terence Gore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGUgrEfSgaU

Dr. Ioannidis in short interview about Santa Clara Study

Fred

TTG,

" when MSM was reporting wildly high mortality rates"
Where were they getting those numbers from, special MSM sources or the same place Dr. Fauci and company were getting theirs?
" the infection rate is many times higher."
Missing in the graphs is: The red line with the arrow which mysteriously disappears after week 7. Apparently nobody has died since week 7. I'm sure that is not an intentional distortion, just an editing error. They've only had a week to fix it.

"Strikingly, in the state of New York" The author's don't seem to find it striking that the mass transit system has remained in operation the entire time. Quality work there "New Atlantis", quality work.

Bill H

"Covid-19 has a much higher spike than the 2017-2018 flu and pneumonia season ever had.

Assuming, of course, that the two counts have equal validity. Did the 2017-2018 flu season count include 3700 deaths added in one day which were not known to have died from the flu but were merely presumed to have done so? Did the CDC issue instructions in 2017-2018 to certify the death as caused by flu even when flu was not known to be present?

Making calculations and predictions from a death count which is know with certainty to be greatly inflated is not, perhaps, the most useful of enterprises.

Ken Robert

I'm with TTG and Ullenspiegel on the meaning of the stats. This is an extremely serious disease outbreak because it puts stress on the health care system, particularly ICU capacity, health care worker (HCW) staffing, and personal protection equipment (PPE). Many HCW people are working 2 shifts/day, PPE inventories are low, and some ICUs may be running near capacity. The risk is that too many cases, not spread out over months, could overwhelm parts of the system and cause local collapse -- much as seen in northern Italy, eg, anecdotally -- with many more deaths than necessary, if we can spread out the rate of appearance of severe/critical cases.

I posted some estimates for the US previously. Long run the extra deaths might be a 25 percent increase, over next 4-5 years. That assumes that system is sized up to handle the extra workload.

I don't keep up with percents of GDP spent on health care, but suppose it was 16 pct previously. That will have to go up to about 20 pct. The 4 pct is achievable, as we are now seeing a drop of GDP maybe 15 pct overall due to isolations. But there will need to be a focus on training HCWs, making PPE, and such. Many HCWs will burn out, leave the field, so we need to train even more than 25 pct increase. Remarks about who-said who-did in the past are not very relevant to the needs of the situation.

Canada has established a national HCW volunteer database, with some screening, and the provinces and other HC related organizations can draw upon that inventory. I don't know what the US does but it is likely somewhat similar. Almost everyone can do something as a volunteer. Eg a friend who cooks dinners for a guy who is a respiratory tech, so he can focus on going to work not going to grocery store.

Take care, and best wishes.
kr.

Eric Newhill

TTG,
With sincere respect, there is a serious problem with the graph you posted. If you look at the one I posted in response (thread about the Stanford study), mortality rates by week 2013 to present, deaths are not constant across the year. They never are. There is always a peak in the Winter months to early Spring. The graph you posted averages mortality rates and thus has a straight line for some of the leading causes of death with CV19 shooting up through that average. That's pure data manipulation for the purpose of maintaining fear.

When people talk about "flattening the curve" they are making it clear that they don't realize that there is always a curve with a sharp peak for all kinds of deaths, but especially the flu/pneumonia. Again, look at the graph I posted. There is a spike in mortality in the Winter of 2018 that Winter 2020 has not come close to matching and won't even once the lagged data comes in, IMO, based on known lag factors.

If I recall, another issue with the graph you posted is that it parses out pneumonia to compare to CV19, but it shouldn't. It should have a line for a combination of infectious diseases that kill people, e.g. flues, pneumonia, etc. CV19 deaths have not surpassed those. And the CDC is clear that it is including any death that had CV19 like symptoms in its figures for CV19. many flues present with CV19 like symptoms. because of that definition, the CDC even shows CV19 like ER admission rate starting Oct 1, 2019. That date should be a red flag as to how many CV19 attributed admissions and death are actually the seasonal flu - unless you really believe CV19 was here and causing hospital admissions back in Oct 2019. Definitional issues explains why mortality rates, Winter 2020 have not peaked above Winter 2018 (a bad flu) or even other previous Winters.

I feel like a complete dork battling graphs on the internet. But this is a serious matter in terms of impact on our country and I guess someone has to contribute some perspective in the discussion.

The Twisted Genius

Walrus,

I am agreeing with you that Covid-19 is a serious problem. I'm with you in believing that without mitigation efforts, the number of infections and deaths would be a lot higher and that the nightmare of an overrun health care system would come to be.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

The data for Covid-19 deaths stops at week 7 because we are only at week seven since the first Covid-19 death in the US. There is nothing mysterious about it. No one has died since week 7 because those future deaths have yet to happen. Unless your a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, that's how it works. Whether we are at the peak, approaching the peak or on the downward slope won't be known until that data arrives.

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill,

Yes, I agree we can get down right Talmudic about battling graphs. This graph does have separate entries for flu along and flu and pneumonia deaths and explains that the flu alone figures undercounts flu deaths while the flu with pneumonia line overcounts flu deaths. The distinction in included because it is not clear whether pneumonia deaths are included in the Covid-19 deaths.

The graph I posted shows the number of new deaths each week, not the cumulative total. The total deaths are the areas under the curves. It shows that cancer and heart disease deaths will continue to dwarf other causes, including Covid-19. After a few more months, we'll be able to see what the area under the Covid-19 curve looks like.

The graph you posted stopped just as recorded Covid-19 deaths started picking up. Once the data for a few more months are input, your graph will give a good view of what is happening this year.

Deap

Echos of Vietnam War body counts, used as surrogates for "winning the war".

Should become obvious when comparing all cause death rates in the US for the past five years, did reported Covid-19 deaths increase above and beyond, or merely distort the "normal" reporting numbers.

Rene Laclerk

Perhaps we might agree that the two key take-aways from this piece are (1) CV-19 is much less deadly than has been portrayed; and (2) the rate of infection is much higher than has been portrayed.

Put another way, it's not too deadly, but it spreads efficiently. It was 'out there' in significantly higher numbers than realized. That it doesn't kill its hosts at too high a rate is a survival skill, as is its contagiousness. That it can infect without drawing attention to itself is its 'secret sauce'.

It strikes me as odd that some are taking comfort (or even vindication?) from this article. Anyone who isn't concerned by the key points raised in this analysis - that the virus is not too deadly but it spreads efficiently, even silently - doesn't fully understand the significance of these points in the context of a novel coronavirus.

Marc b

MA department of health stats for 4-19. 146 deaths attributed to CV19, cumulative dates of death 3-27 to 4-19. (Why and how they are including deaths during this period of time is not explained.). Average age of decedent is 77.26. MA life expectancy is 80.5 as of 2018. Problem with CV death numbers is that they are grouped by decade. If you assume that everyone grouped by decade is actually that age plus 3 (e.g. actual average of all deaths grouped as ‘70s’ is 73) then the average age of death by CV19 is 80.26.

Jack

A follow-up interview of Dr. Jay Battacharya from Stanford who did the antibody study in Santa Clara.

https://youtu.be/k7v2F3usNVA

voislav

Good way for estimating the death rate is to look at it on per population basis (per 1 million inhabitants), as this takes out the bias of testing.

Last flu season (2018/2019) caused estimated 57,000 deaths in the US or 170 deaths per 1,000,000 people. Coronavirus deaths for US today sit at 125 per million people. You can say, well there is the evidence, it's no worse than the flu. But that's because we are averaging nationally and much of the country is still to face the brunt of the epidemic.

To get closer to the real number we have to look at the state level. New York, which was the hardest hit so far, has the current death rate of 940 per million, so already 6 times higher than the last flu season. Final number for New York will probably be in 1500-2000 range, so 10 times higher than the last flu season.

This is without even going into the mess of deaths being counted as coronavirus related or not. That's a whole separate issue.

Laura Wilson

Basically, the US has absolutely horrible reporting standards. It isn't the "fault" of the researchers, it is the fault of all of the individual states and counties that have different standards or delay reporting. In addition, of course, are the folks who have the virus or have died from the virus and don't know it or it wasn't noted as cause of death.

Actually, record-keeping would probably by hugely aided by a national health service type delivery system....uniform reporting would be at least one benefit.

Eric Newhill

TTG,
I agree with most of what you say. And yes, my graph does does cut off at just about the point CV19 started amping up, according to reports. That said, CV19, all by itself, would have to kill a heck of a lot more people that would have lived to get to the 2017/2018 flu deaths level. My graph will be updated next month and we'll see what it says about all of this.

I'm just trying to point out that
a) Death has a seasonality to it that people need to keep in mind when quoting "facts and figures" about "spikes", etc
b) That the only way to understand the true mortality due to CV19 will be from a retrospective view. The "models" were clearly wrong.
c) The CDC definition of a CV19 death isn't very reassuring when one is seeking accurate information; "COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death. Certifiers should include as much detail as possible based on their knowledge of the case, medical records, laboratory testing, etc. If the decedent had other chronic conditions such as COPD or asthma that may have also contributed, these conditions can be reported in Part II." Which is why I say that the retrospective approach is the only one worth taking.

What is for certain is the cost of the govt reaction in terms of economics destruction that weakens our country as a whole and many individuals within it. Healthwise, the policy will certainly (and there is already real time ample data) result in suicides, drug and alcohol related deaths, mental health issues and erosion of social order. These are all costs - some in terms of mortality - that must be weighed against what advoactes believe would be the CV19 deaths without the policy.

JJackson

There is no reason to think this epidemic will go away and return in the winter like a flu epidemic, that is just wishful thinking. Flu pandemics have shown a distinct wave structure due to flu's extreme seasonality and the breaking effects as the population approaches heard immunity levels. The epidemiological curve for this epidemic looks similar up to the peak but this is entirely artificial having been caused by the lockdowns preventing transmission. The underlying conditions that allowed for exponential growth have not changed. Only China and S Korea have managed to relax their lockdowns without cases rapidly rising again. To achieve this they needed to reduce transmission to a level they could find and test new cases without loosing control of the situation again. The rest of us need to be able to test and contact trace to a point where we have clusters but not wide spread community transmission. Next winter we will have a problem, not because that is when a second wave will appear but, because flu cases will be added to the COVID cases. None of the numbers are reliable not new case, or deaths and certainly not any estimates for the number of mild recovered cases or herd immunity levels.

Fred

TTG,

Thanks for pointing out my error, however I stand by my conclusion that the graph is intentionally misleading.

"The distinction in included because it is not clear whether pneumonia deaths are included in the Covid-19 deaths." That's in your reply to Eric. Dr. Birx indicated in one of last week's White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings that all deaths in which Covid19 is present are recorded as a death from that cause. She indicated in a later one that the jump in deaths recording in NYC is due to adding in even more. It is intentionally misleading.

walrus

JJackson,

Australia has mooted stopping the lockdown and replacing it with high capacity local contact tracing based on an App.

......Modeling indicates if 40% use e App, we can open up again without restarting mass infection.

The trouble is that the usual conspiracy theorists are railing against big brother and the App, despite Government offers to release the source code and enact supporting privacy legislation.

I am reminded of the conspiracy theorist character “ Alan Krumwiede” in the movie “contagion” by a lot of the internet.

Eric Newhill

JJackson,
The virus will shortly be gone with the wind, like peak oil; except in the fevered imaginations of some who cannot admit they were wrong.

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