Coronavirus Update XIII

Coronavirus Update XIII

All the good stuff, caveats, code, data sources and explanations are linked, some in Update III, and the most important in Update II, Update IV, Update V, Update VI, Update VII, Update VIII, Update IX, Update X, Update XI, Update XII, Bayes Theorem & Coronavirus, and the Sanity Check Perspective, so go to them first before asking what-about-this-and-that. Skip to the bottom for the latest model. Thanks to everybody emailing me sources, including Ted Poppke, Jeff Jorgensen, Jim Fedako, Joe Bastardi, Philip Pilkington, John Buckner, Harry Goff, John Goetz, Warren McGee, Robert Kinney III. Sorry I’m slow answering emails.

Doubts Grow

Salon: Deborah Birx reportedly tells task force she can trust “nothing from the CDC”

During a task force meeting Wednesday, a heated discussion broke out between Deborah Birx, the physician who oversees the administration’s coronavirus response, and Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Birx and others were frustrated with the CDC’s antiquated system for tracking virus data, which they worried was inflating some statistics — such as mortality rate and case count — by as much as 25 percent, according to four people present for the discussion or later briefed on it.

Trump had a press conference and mentioned bad models. CSPAN gave the transcript (they wrote in all caps):


Make of this what you will. Because some people are still believing the models. “Citing forecasts that COVID-19 deaths could rise to 3,000 per day in June, they say that reopening without better defenses against infections is reckless.” It’s clear they’re not looking at the data, but at models, to get a number like that.

How about this model? Coronavirus Latest: New University Of Penn Model Predicts 350,000 Deaths By End Of June If All States Fully Reopen. Idiots (a professional opinion). South Dakota never locked down and had one of the lowest (if not the lowest) per capita death rates. Yet these model lovers say up to 350,000 deaths by the end of June? Good grief.

Speaking of models, somebody did a code review of Imperial College’s model. They discovered it stinks. We knew this was true before the code review, because that model predicted the coronavirus would be worse than the Spanish Flu! It had something like 50,000 Americans dying a day at the peak. That model should have been tossed out and never listened to.

Better no model at all than an obviously absurd one.

Propaganda works. Large majority of Americans worried more about reopening too fast than too slow. 71%, they say. I find this most depressing. Maybe Ann Coulter was right.

Below we’ll see evidence lockdowns cause harm. Here’s, of all places, NBC agreeing: “A ‘shocking’ two-thirds of patients recently hospitalized in NY had been staying home“. Who could have guessed that clapping up everybody, healthy and sick together would cause the infection to spread?

Answer: just about anybody.

Weekly All Cause Death

Our source, the COVID Tracking Project, reports 75,107 deaths in the US. The CDC reports 49,876. But they also report 107,825 “Deaths with Pneumonia, Influenza, or COVID-19”, which is quite high. The bulk is coming from pneumonia, which the CDC says is 74,756.

Here are the weekly per-capita (per 100,000) all cause death counts, using all our sources (explained in this post; those drop offs are caused by late reporting).

I expressed doubt, but this year’s peak did beat the 2017-2018 flu year! Congratulations to those who were cheering for high death counts. We’ll have to wait on the totals to firm up before we see if this whole flu season beats 2018, though. It’s close, but the flu still has the edge.

Anyway, coronavirus has no chance of catching years from the 1960s and before, as we saw before. This was our first panicdemic, though.

You can see it was a small flu count year. Let’s look at the blow up of the end:

The green is from the CDC’s COVID page, and the black the traditional weekly count, all linked above. There are discrepancies. The dashed green is the all-cause minus the COVID reports. We’re accepting the numbers as accurate.

As you can see from previous years, we’re normally on the way down. The coronavirus killed some, but then that dashed line means there are still more deaths than we normally see, caused by something other than coronavirus. The good news is that, even with late-reporting, this is clearly on the way out.

The cumulative difference between the solid and dashed green line is 49,876, the CDC’s reported death total. Obviously, the late-reporting is causing the drop off. We’ll have to wait, as usual, a few weeks for this to catch up (about two to three to get close enough to the total, though the CDC says up to eight to get full total).

It’s just a guess, but it’s looking like there’s an additional 10 thousand deaths or so caused by, perhaps, the response to the virus. Even NPR is worried about that! Eerie Emptiness Of ERs Worries Doctors: Where Are The Heart Attacks And Strokes?

The patient described it as the “worst headache of her life.”

She didn’t go to the hospital though. Instead, the Washington state resident waited almost a week.

When Dr. Abhineet Chowdhary finally saw her, he discovered she had a brain bleed that had gone untreated.

The neurosurgeon did his best, but it was too late.

“As a result, she had multiple other strokes and ended up passing away,” says Chowdhary, director of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute in Bellevue, Wash. “This is something that most of the time we’re able to prevent.”

Chowdhary says the patient, a stroke survivor in her mid-50s, had told him she was frightened of the hospital.

She was afraid of the coronavirus.

This is proof the panic caused that death. The figures suggest it’s many more. In the US “ER volumes are down about 40% to 50%”. So much for overwhelming the system.

We saw the signal much clearer in England, which had a much more aggressive lockdown. Let’s see.

England & Wales per capita all cause deaths (latest numbers, which only go to 24 April, which is about three weeks behind):

The corona peak doesn’t look like the winner here, sadly, though the ONS does adjust the numbers, too, in time. So there’s still a possibility.

Here’s the blow up (we don’t need per capita here):

Same as before: the dashed line is the all cause minus the official COVID figures. The difference is the official reported COVID total so far, which is 22,351.

There are thus many, many more deaths than normally seen in England and Wales at this time of the year. These are, officially anyway, non-COVID deaths. About 20 thousand. (I’ll firm all these up once the data is final final.)

I’d do Europe as a whole, but they’re only showing the past couple of years, which makes coronavirus really pop. They used to go back a number of years, but lately changed the site so you can’t see the old data. This kind of maneuver always makes me suspicious. And they’re emphasizing z-scores, which is ridiculous.

Don’t trust any data source comparing coronavirus unless that source goes at least back in the 1990s. We see above that this is far, far from the worst thing that every happened. Here’s more perspective.

I’d plot up Taiwan (with 2 and half times the population of Sweden), which had 6 reported deaths, and no lockdown, but a plot of 6 is rather boring.

The evidence is still that of the ancients: panic kills.

Global Model

Once more, these are models of reports and not actual numbers. Nobody knows the actual numbers. No body. As in nobody.

Reported totals:

It’s easy to see where increased testing is driving reported cases up. Anyway, new totals: 4.5 million cases, 300 thousand deaths. Last week: “3.9 million cases, 275 thousand deaths.” Our under-forecast is decelerating, meaning we’re likely looking at Swine Fly totals. Median estimate for that is 375 thousand, with up to 525 thousand.

No lockdown, no panic, no social distancing, no mass insanity with Swine Flu.

Reported naive case-fatality rate:

This is the global reported deaths divided by global reported cases. We’ve looked at this every week, and knew we would be past peak when this plot leveled off and went down.

Again, there is no way this bug is killing 6.8% of the people it infects. Therefore we know that (1) cases are under-counted, (2) deaths are over-ascribed, or (3) both. In what proportion , we don’t know for sure.

Assuming death reports are accurate, then we know where are 58 to 96 million actual cases, if the bug in real life kills 0.5% or 0.3%, numbers which seem more likely.

Tired of writing this, but because this is true, they can use increased testing to reveal already present cases, and make the panic last longer, by implying cases are increasing. When it’s just testing revealing already present infections.

Don’t believe it?

Daily reported cases:

There’s the increase in testing right there. Sure looks like it’s getting worse! Watch for this in the media. Look for stories of cases without deaths, or words about “doubling times” or whatever.

Daily reported deaths:

The naive model can be asymmetric on the right side, but it isn’t doing a great job, hence the under-reporting. Still, Swine Flu territory is a good bet. There is no indication whatsoever it’s a bad bet.


The US is roughly 4% of the world’s population. Yet the US has 32% of the world’s reported cases, and 26% of the reported deaths. In what most consider the country with the best medical system.

Now either those numbers are correct or the way the US is counting is different from most other places. I say the latter.

Vietnam, for instance, 95.5 million souls: 288 reported cases, and 0 reported deaths. Could be government there keeps things quiet. Could be accurate, too. Good weather in Vietnam; anti-bug weather, that is. Whereas NYC, Detroit, Chicago all had lousy weather; no spring at all.

Or Vietnam could be taking it easy, calmly reporting numbers. Whereas we’re probably juicing them, as we saw above.

Anyway, here the reported totals:

New totals: 1.39 million cases, 79 thousand deaths. Last week: “1.23 million reported cases, 67 thousand reported deaths.” Same kind of under-forecasting as the global model—-which is not surprising, given the USA numbers are a third of it!

Reported naive case-fatality rate:

Reported deaths divided by reported cases. Again, this bug is not killing 5.6% of those it infects. That means there are about 15 to 25 million actual cases in the US, if the bug is killing 0.5% to 0.3%.

Again, watch testing increase cases, and watch the media and dictatorial governors to use the coming increases to extend their power grabs.

Again, don’t believe me?

Reported daily cases:

Testing is slowing down, but not as much as deaths.

Reported daily deaths:

Like I said last week, we picked a bad day to do updates, because there’s always a minimum of reports over the weekend, and our data is always from Monday night. It’s still very much worth looking at the wide variability, though.

Given the under-forecasting of these reports (who knows about the actual deaths), it’s looking past 1 June.

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  1. Harry G

    To date less than 100 people have died WITH Covid 19 in Australia. Yet the annual Flu-tracking has shown a historically low rate of influenza activity. Also the number of deaths from other causes particularly road deaths are down. Interestingly crime levels are also down according to the police. All this we can put down to the lock-downs and the fact that the Covid 19 hit us in summer – late summer, so infection routes were minimized because of the prevailing weather. Our politicians and their medical advisers with the aid of a compliant media have conned the populace. Where is General Paton and his like when you need him most?

  2. JR Ewing

    I am ambivalent about whether it’s a “hoax” or not. There’s clearly some “there” there, but I think the evidence is clearly showing that it’s not any more special than any other occasional epidemic.

    But what is really getting me nowadays is the religious aspect some people have for this. How they are CONVINCED that this is somehow special or uniquely dangerous, even when the data has been very clear that it’s not. I’m talking about all of the mask wearing, and reports on politicians who get the sniffles, and discussions about whether we can have football games in the fall. Seriously?


    I know that there is a political aspect to it. I know that it’s media driven and a huge part of it is the failure of “Russian Collusion” and Impeachment… But why are normally sane Americans so sure of this despite all of the evidence to the contrary?

    If you didn’t wear a mask before during previous flu seasons, you don’t need one now and you damn sure don’t need to be hectoring others who don’t do the same thing.

    It’s just ridiculous.

  3. Michael Dowd

    Is there a way to find out if the ‘lockdown’ has caused more deaths than the virus? Maybe if the deaths from other causes than Covid-19 are up significantly in part due to recent changes in hospital policies adapting to expected virus effect, etc.

  4. Briggs


    We won’t be able to tell for, say, 6 to 8 weeks, maybe a bit longer. Eventually, yes, a case might be made, depending on how it falls out.

  5. JR Ewing

    Forgot another thing that chaps my hide these days.

    The discussions about whether it’s “safe” to do mundane things like go to a restaurant or try on clothes or sit in a cubicle at work or get in an elevator.

    It’s all so ludicrous.

    Again, given the evidence that we have now about this virus, nothing – NOTHING – is any less “safe” than it was 4 months ago. A tiger with a machine gun is not hiding around the corner now. If you weren’t worried about “safety” during previous flu seasons, there is no need to be worried about it now.

    Maybe it’s just lazy speech on the part of the safetyniks, but it’s still so damn illogical and especially annoying.

  6. Dr. Bruce A. Wineman

    Well, there are ‘doubts’! The ‘Fear’ and ‘Panic’ seem to be able to be created. Who would have guessed that some statistics that relate to people moving around would go ‘Down’? Since the ‘Model’ approach is what all think is ‘Fact’ (perhaps I should not paint ‘All’ with the same brush), we could try putting the population of descenting folks in ‘Solitary Confinement’ to see if we get even better results.

    I would like to get some factual information, however, and that is the ‘Best’ statistics from India and what, if any treatment/prophylactic methods are being used. I suspicion that they are not as ‘Catastrophic’ as the countries being reported. The numbers and methods could assist a lot in making some medical judgments in the future.

  7. Michael Dowd

    Thanks Briggs. Hope you will look into the possibility that ‘lockdown’ deaths were higher than the virus or a least significant.

  8. Sheri

    JR: “WE NEVER ACTED THIS WAY BEFORE, WHY NOW?!?!?!!?!” We have models and after decades of indoctrination, believe the models are reality. AGW partially delivered that, plus a severely debiliatating dependence on computers that makes us incredibly stupid. Plus, as Briggs said yesterday, belief in the experts, even when they are always wrong. Also, have you checked ALL corners for a tiger with a machine gun? I’m not sure there isn’t one. ?

    People keep paying psychics millions to predict incorrectly and keep on believing them. People are stupid.

    Blame Evil Gates for the model obsession (shocking a computer guy would push models). He has been pushing the world cabal to use said models to get the outcome desired. Been doing it with AGW for decades. Wrong every time, but many, many do not care.

    Wyoming has the lowest rate for deaths, only 7 to date. The state closed a lot of restaurants, theaters and and the schools, but there was no official lockdown. The roads were as busy as usual, nothing looked like a ghost town (it will soon due to the oil bust, but Covid didn’t cause that so it can’t go on the death certificate).

    Yes, Anne Coulter was right. Women never should have been allowed to vote and certainly not to be evil dictator governors. No one noticed the suffragettes were angry, evil females out to castrate males???? Really?

    Part of the reason ER volumes are down is lack of car accidents. I haven’t read of a good 50 car pileup in weeks.

    I don’t fear coronavirus in the ER, but I really do not like the Gestapo agent at the metal detector that takes your keys and pocket knife and whatever else they see you have (while letting your fully loaded purse just float on through), then lead you into an ER room with hundreds of sharp objects. That kind of dumb is terrifying. Forget the virus—stupid at this level is 10th level horror movie scary. (It’s like at the grocery store. The clerk said he could not touch my discount card, I had to turn it over for the UPC reader. I blurted “BUT YOU’RE GOING TO TOUCH EVERYTHING I BOUGHT PUSHING IT OVER THE SCANNER!!! He sighed and said “management”. At least the bagger got a mask and gloves. Last time I was there only the guy pushing items over the scanner had a mask and no gloves, just hand sanitizer. Lead me to think the bagger was not really valued. The mask is worthless and the gloves are great for spreading the virus on all my good, but hey…..)

    “This kind of maneuver always makes me suspicious. “ You’re just so suspicious.

    Real numbers are just so hard to deal with. You have to get people to report, use the same criteria…..Modeling is so much easier and impossible to verify. Perfect for the post-reality world.

    Testing to show people had a virus they NEVER KNEW they had. Yep, that’s real scary. An invisible virus with invisible results that had ZERO effect on the people who had it. At the worst, it was like a cold. HORRORS. They may be defeating their own argument.

    Vietnam, a communist stronghold, lie? You must be kidding. Russia? Same thing. How to Lie with Statistics to stupid people who “want to believe”. The “modern” world has perfected the scam. How quaint. Bet we could sell millions in fake products for this, as long as we avoid Nazi Zuckerberg and maybe Amazon.

  9. John B()

    Speaking of Vietnam

    Anyone remember when inaccurate body counts was a thing (scandal)?

  10. Dr. Bruce A. Wineman

    Sheri, well said. That was just a start to describe the ‘Insanity’ that is taking place. The suggestion is that ‘Reason and Logic’ will not prevail.

  11. Jim Fedako

    Regarding the US health care system and high COVID death count …

    Because our health case system is very good, we are able to keep many fragile folks alive longer than countries with a not-as-good system. So the virus is killing folks who likely would have died long ago in other countries.

  12. Joy

    There is the analogy of the tipping point or the arcade game where coins teeter on the edge waiting for one coin that lands in a sweet spot to happen along.
    Modern infection control, therapies, treatment and vaccines mean that any standard well developed country, (not just special ones beginning with a “U” but really ordinary boring ones), build up something of a backlog of living human beings,who were once cute new born babies. Those vulnerable to viral pneumonias or new infectious diseases are NECESSARILY waiting for something new to float in the air.

    It hasn’t escaped the notice of healthcare providers. A little more trust wouldn’t go amiss…
    As said before, the battle is always ongoing. Only one severe infectious disease has been wiped out by humans, so far as I know.

    It is akin to trying to wipe out dandy lions! A gardener’s work is never done.
    Same fo infection control.

    In a situation of mitigation where worst reasonable case scenarios are predicted, it stands to reason that action taken is to avoid that worst case. There’s no need to jump up and down about models at this early stage. If deaths are few people will say,
    “the pesky models were over predicting.”

    If the deaths are really high?
    “lotta good the modelling was!”
    What happened to,
    “all models are wrong but some are. useful?
    Without honesty there can be no accuracy of numbers. Best practice must be based on as much of the actual data as possible. Counts are defined and in healthcare, always as good as the staff ticking the box. You have to work with the data you have and stop complaining that it isn’t perfect. That’s where the uncertainty is supposed to be included.
    Deaths are harder to hide than some medical statistics. Excess mortality is still fraught with uncertainty but unless you’re giving out medals for ‘goodie two shoes’ nations, or unrealistically believing that some future number will be absolute or definitive, those are not the focus or purpose of searching for answers.
    It matters to those who are trying to make things better, solve problems, find solutions, if only from learning from mistakes of countries who didn’t get the inconvenience of going first, giving others the heads up.

    Leave those kinds of things to the media, you do their job for them with all the misunderstanding and projection of what scientists think or believe about the models.

    Climage is not epidemiology. Just because they both use models. Not everybody is wrong! *not everybody needs a model either, to know what to do. They can do the mental experiment. The idea it simply to put those ideas in some depicted numerical form that others can scrutinise and pass on to those in authority to make executive decisions. That way clever people who think they know everything get to pretend to be ‘more rational’, so as also to be seemly and give news and social medias something to do while they sit at home aboidig catching the virus!

  13. Ken

    Besides mine, are any readers companies doing broad employee population sampling for active cases and antibodies in those having unsuspectedly fought off the virus? Goal here is 100% testing for both active and antibody cases (2 tests per employee).

    Too early to really extrapolate, but I will anyway based on several 100s (well over 500) tested, excluding the several 10s who felt sick enough weeks ago to self-quarantine and get tested while sick to confirm infection.

    Extrapolating the small % who were found (surprise!) to have Covid-19 or antibodies unawares to the US overall suggests there are an additional 1.6M infected or who have already beat the virus, all unsuspecting out in the broad population.

    So far, this based on a small sample size. Enough to give some credence to other sampling & observations, but, also small enough to be reckless to base hard conclusions as more data may substantially alter such an extrapolation.

    If/as I get updates I’ll post the broad trend. Curious to see how sample size & variability trend or diverge with updates. Final tally will breach 10K tested. So far, the co is not treating the broad macro numbers as sensitive.

  14. Joy

    avoiding catching the virus.
    (blaming blue tooth keyboard I typed it perfectly. It’s those computer engineers that made the keys too unergonomic, they should have asked a physio. )

  15. ~ Nona

    Something almost never discussed are the public health implications of the shutdowns.

    The stress of relentless isolation coupled with worry and anxiety about jobs and finances has consequences. I personally know of two recent suicides (one a family member), ages 34 and 23 respectively.

    If the shutdown orders are lifted, some will get sick; a few may die. This is the argument for keeping the lockdowns.


    If the shutdown orders are NOT lifted, some will get sick, a few may die, some by their own hand.

    So I ask: Does it make sense to deal a critical blow to the entire economy to “save lives”…if lives will likewise be lost due to those self-inflicted blow? With arguably more lives lost?

    For the record, there has been a sharp uptick in drug use, drinking, domestic violence, child abuse as well as a substantial increase of calls to suicide hotlines and actual suicides.

    In addition, there are questions about important health care deferred by thousands with likely negative consequences.

    All these matters strongly suggests that it’s time to recognize the public health implications of the lockdowns themselves including — especially! — the health effects of persistent, unremitting stress on large segments of the population.

    We should all be given an immediate Get Out Of Jail Free card.

  16. Joy

    Infection rate studies in the UK are indicating a low number, estimated in single or early double figures. Which is not what had been hoped.

    There is no reliable antibody test to date. Anywhere in the world.
    (80%. reliable.). Useful for “modelling” not useful for individual clinical decision making.

  17. Sheri

    “Dr. Fauci: Deaths from COVID-19 ‘likely higher’ than what’s been reported” Headline from Twitchy today. So, what we are now being told is “we are making up numbers and we WILL make sure you believe the fantasy or we’ll keep making up more and more and more until you do.” So by Fauci’s logic, more people died of AIDS, swine flu, seasonal flu, car accidents, etc, etc, that what was reported so our numbers are what we call “garbage”. Pretty well sums up the entire circus.

  18. Joy

    1. death from virus despite adequate appropriate care given. (no cure.)
    2. death from virus but patient inability to access healthcare due to overwhelming of services/shortfalls in services.
    Norm’s causes:
    3. indirect death due to serious diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type 1 diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, other sepsis, uncontrolled bleeding, and suicide:
    Due to overwhelming of the system;
    patients either unable
    or unwilling to access services.
    4. indirect death due to the socioeconomic effects of ‘shut down’.
    The indirect deaths were an. important consideration in Uk Gov decision making. During Ebola indirect deaths made up a large preportion or mortality.
    All need to be considered in combination, rather than weighed against each other because the system is one circle. The economy isn’t separate from health considerations when deadly infectious disease is so widespread or uncontrolled.

    2. and 3. were major considerations in actions taken in the UK to protect services. Not because everybody’s in love with the NHS but that is how the messaging was put out.
    It appeals to the selfish motive in people and to the more generous spirited.

    Leaving things to chance is what a primitive state does.
    They did their best.

  19. Chad Jessup

    Ken, I am with you and that. For example, on the Diamond Princess cruise ship where there were @ 700 infected, 50% were asymptomatic, so it would be justified to assume for every detected case there is one other undetected case.

  20. Maixiu

    Joy, I don’t recall seeing anyone here suggest “leaving things to chance”. I think we’re all fine with restrictions being put on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, as well as certain measures where those ill come to be treated. We might be fine with temperature checks at certain locations, such as work and school, and recommendations to stay home when one is ill. Beyond that, however, they (I assume you mean the UK and/or US government; it’s difficult to tell as your posts are often confusing and muddled) hardly “did their best.” In fact, I’m trying to imagine how this could have been handled worse.

  21. Fredo

    Who wuda thunk they’d stoop so low lyin wid sadistics.

    ‘They just brought down this new model government and say
    it explains everything.’ FST

    Briggs writes:
    ‘In what most consider the country with the best medical system.’
    Most but certainly not all….you know what they say about the majority
    it’s always wrong.

  22. Aaron Glover

    Thanks, Dr. Briggs, for the updates and for using Roman numerals.

    In Canada, we have been finding, with our version of the virus, that it is the vulnerable population(s) being particularly susceptible to succumbing. The straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    And of course it is like trying to get a camel through the eye of the needle to convince anyone that the healthy should be freed while those vulnerable ones are subjected to home arrest. I mean social isolation. Or quarantining.

    Canadian socialism. Or, colloquially, Trudeau-ism.
    (side note: PM Trudeau, former drama teacher, did prepare for his daily public briefings by growing, suspiciously, a graying beard over the Christmas holidays. He’s quite respectable and solemn now)

  23. Joy

    So we disagree what’s new? It doesn’t mean I’m muddled.

    I know what I’m reporting with respect to the motives and reasoning for taking certain action to mitigate.
    To say they’re not telling the truth would be very strange.

    It is a temporary situation. To choose to do nothing would be callus. Quote a few people seem surprised that the elderly and vulnerable are the ones being saved. I find that strange THAT was a given.

    Your measures would not be enough. They are what most, including the UK, thought they would be doing until more data came in about the infection’s features.

    Temperatures aren’t an accurate test of infection: (for the stats people that means lots of false negatives) To me it means you haven’t developed a temperature YET.

    Some people never develop a temperature.
    Some have a temperature intermittently; peaking at certain times and at night as inflammatory conditions often do, having to do with drops in blood pressure and natural daily patterns.
    So it’s not a great screening method.

    The community already disagrees so how affective would the rather routine seasonal measures be? Realistically?

    This is not just like another flu season. In the UK and presumably the US, herd immunity due to vaccination programmes prevents death numbers as used to be seen. Many catch the flu and take themselves off while infectious so most are immune. Not so for covid 19. You are infectious too or three days before you have any symptoms. How sneaky is that? You may, as you know, have none! How effective is only isolating symptomatic people when the R rate is so high?

    Your point about trying to spot cases in the community illustrates the problem. The reinfection rate goes rapidly to three if left unchecked. That was the rate in the UK at shut down. The UK had no plans at the time to close schools if at all. So in line with your thinking. They had to quickly switch to mitigation.

    That meant a doubling every three days or so. This leads to eighty percent infection rapidly (which is estimated maximum population infection.) Take any large population and divide it by a tiny number and it’s still a lot as a brute number which would not have died from flu but WOULD/WILL die from Covid if exposed. Perhaps they could take volunteers to catch the disease for everybody else. It wouldn’t take long bt would help with immunity!

    Something fishy is going on and I like to think people are misinformed rather than really believing it should be left to run unchecked like the average nasty flu season.
    Perhaps had it arrived on time, during flu season it would have been more economical on deaths. May is not flu season.

    The discussion will be cirular if
    Jabs are given in October and November in the UK. Without those control measures, people wouldn’t in large numbers be making old bones. So when you save lives you have to keep Saving them, or people get upset. There are more and more to save, more vulnerable. I was also making that point illustratively above.

    Had the virus come in early January/Feb, the relative excess deaths of younger people would have been proportionately higher. It is still not possible to protect the vulnerable from this since vulnerable is a vague term. It requires some clinical knowledge to recognise the difference. Four months has produced information that was not known at the time of the outbreak when a decision had to be made.

  24. Joy

    Sorry for the random “circular” editing error up there, too.
    Was going to say that this is a circular discussion.
    I don’t harbour any ill will towards you MX, I’m not muddled though.
    Facts are facts though. I wasn’t making things up.
    On testing, there has been a lot conflicting information going around, as well as over certainty.

  25. Sheri

    Joy: “They did their best.” Maybe so, but doing one’s best can still be a complete failure, disaster of epic proportions, etc. Reality does not care how hard “they tried”.

  26. John B()

    You hear on Face Book ad nausum that Covid is not the flu
    I doubt if I could convince anyone that it’s the common cold but corona viruses do otherwise play a role in the common flu. I’ve been trying to piece together some facts and ideas on this for some time. With the right search, I finally happened on this USNEWS report from July of 2019.

    Dr. Cameron R. Wolfe, an infectious disease specialist at Duke University Hospital. “We lump a whole series of viruses under the one umbrella of ‘common cold,’” “But in fact, there are many different viruses that cause colds. And each virus has a different seasonality.”
    Rhinovirus, which causes about 30 to 50% of colds, is mostly rampant during the fall and spring, whereas corona virus is most active in the winter, and entero virus in the summer.” Rhinoviruses and corona viruses tend to cause upper respiratory symptoms (gee).
    Here’s the kicker: Summer’s entero viruses seem to pack an extra punch. Along with the usual coughing, congestion and fever that all these viruses can cause, entero viruses are also associated with a host of other nasty symptoms, including diarrhea, sore throat, rashes and body aches, to name a few. “With some of the summer illnesses, there’s a little more potential for overall feelings of malaise, says Dr. Joy C. Drass, a pediatrician at Geisinger in Danville, Pennsylvania. Wolfe adds that entero viruses can last longer than other viruses – meaning it might take you a little longer than normal to feel 100% again if you’re infected.

    So it’s kinda like they pasted an entero virus (even the name suggests Covid: “Enter O Great and Nasty One.”) onto a corona virus.
    Let’s hope that it’s still a corona virus and has the basic traits and properties of a corona virus. There was a lot of questions about why Tokyo had so much better results with Covid-19 than New York City (despite both being high density/high population cities and New York locked down while Tokyo had minor voluntary adjustments). Tokyo is much more temperate than NYC. This is why the Northeast and Midwest were hit the hardest and the last to recover.
    I’d also heard that on the Aircraft carrier, a lot of the men had already been fighting the ‘Common cold’ when Covid hit. Don’t know if that helps explain results in other countries and areas but it’s somewhere to start. Maybe some temperate or even warm climes that have issues don’t ordinarily have cold/flu seasons?
    As for the US, I trust that we’ve pretty well put covid behind us. I expect there’ll be less than a death per state per week from the “Flu”. There’ll be around 2500 plus pneumonia deaths each week through the summer and into fall.
    That would explain Briggs finding the pneumonia cases so high. There is always an expectation of pneumonia deaths. So like has been discussed already about excess deaths, there are also excess pneumonia deaths.
    So back in 2017/2018 there were over 15000 flu deaths and over 120000 pneumonia deaths. When they first figured the flu related deaths for that year they came up with 80000; the 15000 known flu cases added to the 65000 excess pneumonia cases. I guess they found that pneumonia had been running higher before and after the season and they adjusted the flu down to 61000 – models.

  27. John B()

    corona viruses do otherwise play a role in the common COLD

    darn bugs

  28. Dave

    Agreed that the acceleration in testing will provide a muddy picture of how infections are truly trending. Better to watch the trend of daily death counts, which are more accurately counted (even if there may be some disagreements with it), to get a better feel of how infections are really trending.

  29. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    Ann Coulter may be right about letting women vote but the destruction of once vibrant America has been due to the decisions made by men

  30. Michael Dowd

    Want to put the country on the right track? Abrogate the 19th Amendment.

  31. Sheri

    ABS: It was the decision not to decide and just to capitulate to women that caused the problem. Back to the Garden of Eden, where Adam knew better but went along. He bore the blame for the mess that ensued, since he was in charge (women hate that fact…..). Men hiding in the basement and ignoring what the women were up to is definitely the problem. Women should never have been allowed to vote or hold office.

  32. Joy

    John B () regarding what the virus IS/how it is classified:
    Chris Whitty Gresham College lecture on Covid 19 @9:42 minute.

    “There are six corona viruses that affect humans”
    “Many more affect animals”

    Most cause familiar mild illness in humans such as the common cold. In elderly or very young or otherwise immune suppressed they cause viral pneumonia and secondary chest infections.

    CFR=case fatality rate
    IFR-=Infection fatality rate

    To Anybody who’s still thinking beyond the politics:

    Many think erroneously that Novel virus is just the same kind of consideration as the above. That contagion is about the same and action taken needs be similar, “what’s all the fuss about”.

    229E alpha coronavirus.
    NL63 alpha coronavirus.
    OC43 beta coronavirus
    SARS 1 (Sudden or severe, Adult Respiratory Syndrome), 15% CFR (hard to catch)

    SARS cov-2 aka co. v. ID: 19 IFRl unknown but estimated 1% or lower, case fatality 1.5% (FYI named anon’ so as to prevent geographical prejudice!)

    MERS Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. CFR 30%, (hard to catch)

    Start @ 9:00 to see assumptions over time which will please those who STILL think infection fatality is very high or ASSUMED high.
    If you’re an individual that disagrees with the concept of vaccines for populations to prevent flu then you’ll never agree that anybody should be responsible for looking after anybody else regarding control of infection. Reducing the transmission by mitigating until finer infection control is viable, is simply the right clinical thing to do if infection control is the desired outcome.
    Those are the facts, some of them.
    As far as I’ve been following the numbers and the predictions, these have not altered since listening to clinical scientists’ evidence before select committee back in mid Jan Early Feb.

  33. gareth

    Briggs: FYI: acep’s response to my request for explanation:

    The groups only accept messages from people in their organization or on their allowed senders list, and your email address isn’t on the lists.

  34. Joy

    Good news:
    This morning an antibody test is now available with 100% accuracy.
    A random man got a hole in one on his first visit back to the golf course.

  35. It is almost self-evident that lockdowns and consequent unemployment and isolation will kill many more people than the virus would, even if models had been accurate in their predictions (which they plainly were not).

    Why? What is the most common cause of deaths, dwarfing any infectious disease? Cardiovascular death. Being temporarily unemployed (in a country with unemployment coverage) results in a 1.16 to 1.6 relative risk ratio of cardiovascular mortality. Keep in mind that, half the time, the presenting symptom of heart disease is death. In other words, it only matters a little bit that medical care is unavailable because of lockdowns; medical care won’t make a difference for a sizable number of decedents.

    Then add in cancer, TB, starvation…

    I cover this in more detail here and here

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