Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 01, 2020

China Did Not Deceive Us - Counting Death During An Epidemic Is Really Difficult

The anti-China campaign, which the Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger is running, presented its April fools joke. It leaked to Bloomberg that a secret U.S. Intelligence Report claims that China concealed the real numbers of its Covid-19 cases:

China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials.
...
While China eventually imposed a strict lockdown beyond those of less autocratic nations, there has been considerable skepticism of China’s reported numbers, both outside and within the country. The Chinese government has repeatedly revised its methodology for counting cases, for weeks excluding people without symptoms entirely, and only on Tuesday added more than 1,500 asymptomatic cases to its total.

Stacks of thousands of urns outside funeral homes in Hubei province have driven public doubt in Beijing’s reporting.

China did not conceal its number of Covid-19 cases. Nor did it hold back any information.

Reporting numbers during an outbreak of a new disease is actually very difficult.

When does one start to count? China only knew that it had a new virus epidemic in early January. By then those who died during the month before were already cremated. How could it count them?

Does one include co-morbids or not in the count? What about casualties of a car accident that also test positive for Covid-19 when they die? What about those who died with Covid-19 symptoms but could not be tested for lack of test kits? Are the tests really working reliably? At one point China included all pneumonia cases in the Covid-19 case count even after they tested negative for Covid-19. The Chinese epidemiologists thought that their test had been wrong and only later found out that that was not the case.

What about asymptomatic cases that test positive. Are these false positives or do these people really have the virus? One can only know that by testing them a month later for antibodies. If they developed antibody cells against the virus they must have had it. That may well be the reason why China only now added the 1.500 asymptomatic cases to its total count.

The most important number during an outbreak is the one that lets one plan for resources and model for countermeasures. That number is the Case Fatality Rate.


bigger

But that is the wrong number if one asks how likely one is to die of the disease:

You may have heard a term being used: the “case fatality rate”, or CFR. That is the number of deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases. When journalists talk about the “death rate”, that’s often what they are referring to. If a country has 10,000 confirmed cases and 100 deaths, then the CFR in that country is (100/10,000), or 1%.

That is not what we are looking for, and it is probably not even very close to what we are looking for.

Instead what we want is the “infection fatality rate”, or IFR. That is the number of deaths divided by the number of people who actually have the disease. The number of people who have tested positive for the disease is probably only a fraction of the total number who had it, because only a fraction of the population has actually been tested. 

Obviously, the IFR is much harder to determine accurately. The only people getting tested will be the people who are most ill, so your IFR is probably much lower than your CFR, because your denominator — the number you’re dividing by — is probably much bigger. 

So if your country has tested absolutely everyone and found all cases of the disease, then your IFR is the same as your CFR, or 1%. But if it has only found 10% of the people with the disease, then your 10,000 confirmed cases are just the tip of a 100,000-person iceberg. With those 100 deaths, your IFR would be (100/100,000) or 0.1%.

China, and everyone who followed its data, knew that the number of cases were different from the number of infections. But we did not know by how much. It was also clear that China was not counting all Covid-19 death. Italy shows how that problem arises:

As hospitals become overcrowded, patients are being asked to stay at home until they display the most serious symptoms. Many will die in their houses or nursing homes and may not even be counted as Covid-19 cases unless they’re tested post-mortem.

Last week, two researchers from northern Italy made this point forcefully when looking at Nembro, a small town near Bergamo that has been very severely hit by the outbreak. Writing in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera they found there had been 158 deaths in the town in 2020 so far, as opposed to 35 on average in the previous five years. They noted that Nembro had only counted 31 deaths from Covid-19, which looks like an underestimate.

In other towns nearby, including Bergamo itself, the trend seemed identical. The researchers made the point that the only reliable indicator in the end will be “excess deaths” — namely, how many more people have died in total compared to a “normal” year.

Death per month in Bergamo over the last ten years*

*The data refer to deaths until March 26th 
Source - bigger

The UK produces two different numbers. The Office for National Statistics says that it counts more Covid-19 death than the official GOV.UK site by the Department of Health and Social Care:

  • We include all deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, even if only suspected: the GOV.UK figures are only those deaths where the patient had a positive test result
  • We include deaths that happened anywhere in England and Wales, for example some might be in care homes: the GOV.UK figures are only those that happened in hospital.

The definition who to count can change over time and not only in China:

[C]ountries may have good reasons to change the way they collect data as circumstances change, but it apparently happens often enough that the World Health Organisation feels that they have to ask countries to notify them when they do it. Famously, China did so earlier in the epidemic, but others do too: in complying with the WHO’s request, Australia has noted that it has changed its definition of a Covid-19 “case” (and therefore a Covid-19 “death”) at least 12 times since 23 January. 

As for the number of urns delivered to funeral homes in Hubei after the quarantine was lifted one has also to consider the number of regular death. Hubei province has some sixty million inhabitants. The regular mortality rate in China is 726 per 100.000 inhabitants per year. The regular expected number of death from January 1 to March 31 in Hubei province without the epidemic was 108.900. In Wuhan, which has 14 million inhabitants, the expected number was 25.410. Photos that show the delivery of a few thousands of urns to large funeral homes in Wuhan are thereby not a sign for a higher Covid-19 death rate. To claim such is propaganda nonsense.

There is no reason to criticize China for publishing incomplete and a times confusing numbers. That is normal during any epidemic and the U.S. will certainly do likewise. The real problem with the various numbers flowing around lies elsewhere.

People do try to make predictions about how many will get infected and die from the virus. These models are needed to prepare ones resources. But prediction is extremely difficult to do as the various models are very sensitive to the input data. A model that works in country A may give the wrong results when it is used for country B. Cities and towns are different. Local circumstances can make huge differences. With the real infection numbers and the real death rate unknown during an outbreak we can only hope that our epidemiologists, who are trained to make and interpret such models, get it right.

To claim that China deceived the U.S. and the world about its numbers or that China tried to make it look as if the epidemic was not as serious as it is makes no sense at all.

China took extreme and drastic measures at high economic costs to prevent a larger outbreak. It did not do that to deceive anyone but because it saw the seriousness of the problem. It acted in the global interest and to defeat the virus.

China gave the world time to prepare for the pandemic. Unfortunately that time was not used well. One reason that the U.S. will now experience a very large outbreak is that it is not willing to follow China's example. If one declares that gun shops and shooting ranges are critical businesses that must stay open during a lockdown one is not serious about fighting the epidemic.

To blame China for that is simply nonsensical.

The real number of casualties the SARS-CoV-19 outbreak will cause will only be known when it is over and when we compare the new death statistics to those of previous years. One thing is assured. The "excess death" numbers will be lower in those countries that did use the time China gave them and prepared for what was coming at them.

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Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on April 1, 2020 at 18:45 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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karlof1 #104

And as with France, we'll likely see the Firemen side with the People while the police splinter.

Thanks karlof1, Yes and you can bet Biden will whip his hand out of some skirt, wipe his nose and praise big pharma for thinking of USA first. Given the vice grip big pharma has on the political media machinery in the USA (and elsewhere)there will be lotsa support to keep the creep in the lead.

I reckon big pharma and big oil and big banks will drive the repression of the strikers by police forces. Big pharma will likely promise police unions that they will get first access to their pharmaceutical needs before the peasants. They are probably handing out free cartons of immune booster pills and home test kits right now to all those deserving police and national guards. The union bosses will be getting pharma shares for their negotiating troubles.

Time will tell and reveal the depths of depravity of big pharma.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 2 2020 1:10 utc | 101

The world, one day, will thank China and Wuhan people for the sacrifice they did to save many in the world....how they shared information to all, how the faced it and how they managed it, anything different from that is pure ignorance what has indeed happened in there and in the world.
The world will never be the same anymore, welcome to a new era. Thank you China.

Posted by: Canthama | Apr 2 2020 1:28 utc | 102

I have been reading recently that asymptomatic carries do not spread coronoa virus. It is only when they start showing symptoms that they start spreading the virus. Perhaps this is correct or perhaps it will be proven wrong down the track.
In China Covid 19 was sometimes diagnosed by clinical symptoms or signs when SARS-CoV-2 did not show positive result in tests.
This occurs for many diseases and conditions. The only 100% sure method of identifying a pathogen is to put it under a microscope.
At the moment all numbers need to be taken at face value as being in the ballpark until more is known.
Confirmed numbers could be separated into countries that are tracking down any that come in contact with a confirmed case and countries that only test those coming forward with symptoms.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 1:34 utc | 103

Dr. Ai Fen vanishes after appearing on 60 Minutes

This has been making the rounds, I wonder if he will re-appear like so many of Kim's alleged victims in N.Korea end up reappearing after they 'vanish'. This is a common meme that seems to be reserved for Asians.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Apr 2 2020 1:39 utc | 104

Dr. Ai Fen vanishes after appearing on 60 Minutes

This has been making the rounds, I wonder if he will re-appear like so many of Kim's alleged victims in N.Korea end up reappearing after they 'vanish'. This is a common meme that seems to be reserved for Asians.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Apr 2 2020 1:39 utc | 110

The 'disappeared' Dr. Ai Fen was last seen today posting pictures of herself on Chinese social media.

The US mainstream journalists have been kicked out of China, so they must have incredible 'intelligence' to know so much about China from their cubicles in America.

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 2 2020 1:45 utc | 105

I always ignore posters who start right in with snotty remarks about the proprietor of the bar.

And also anybody who gets wrapped around the axle over people who disagree with their arguments.

Insults and snotty remarks are not much of an argument, either.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 2 2020 1:45 utc | 106

Whenever you see "intelligence community" as the source of a story, keep in mind Pompeo's boasting during a lecture at Texas A&M University on April 15, 2019, that when he ran the CIA "we lied, we cheated, we stole," which "reminds you of the glory of the American experiment."

Posted by: Paracletus | Apr 2 2020 1:50 utc | 107

William Gruff @2

Lol, spot on.

b. Thanks, good article.

Posted by: Debz | Apr 2 2020 2:10 utc | 108

LOL

it became so obvious that another media narrative is being peddled and repeated by US and their 5 eyes allies..

all over the social media including all those who got pro US website and Useful Idiots (like Solomon in SNAFU) instantly noticed increased uptick on the 'blame china' narrative. It become dangerous as US and it's vassal state trying to push china into war , a war they wont win and will be escalating to nuclear war. Their bluff will be called and not a single western country except US will want to go to war with China and Russia

as for those who cited Zero Hedge's constant sinophobic news , thats how you can gauge the pulse of the US media narrative peddling ..

Posted by: milomilo | Apr 2 2020 2:10 utc | 109

Bemildred #112

And also anybody who gets wrapped around the axle over people who disagree with their arguments.

Insults and snotty remarks are not much of an argument, either.

THANK YOU Bemildred, that 'wrapped around the axle' metaphore is too good. I will borrow that from time to time. Tequilas all round.

May the loony right have many more like these in their midst. And I trust some attend the fireside chats that the white militias will be holding in the woods over the coming nights as they exchange 'intelligence' on weaponry.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 2 2020 2:14 utc | 110

I see the US FDA has approved Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treatment of corona virus
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-31/us-fda-gives-approval-to-use-malaria-drugs-for-coronavirus/12105398

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 2:45 utc | 111

@ 112 bemildred... ditto your comment! thanks... and thanks to the many fine posters that bring some useful info here - peter au@109, a user, karlof1 uncle t and etc. etc..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2020 3:06 utc | 112

America's excuse for why there is such a royal f*ck up over its response to the COVID-19 pandemic boils down to this: It's all China's fault because it covered up this COVID-19 pandemic and thus America Didn't Know how much of a health threat it is!

This is a Pity Party alibi to rationalize America's criminal negligence in dealing with this disease, and it can be refuted with a very simple question:

How then do you explain the success of places like South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, or Russia (all of whom are much closer to China geographically and have significant interaction with China) in containing the COVID-19 pandemic--as compared to advanced First World Western nations like America, the United Kingdom, or Europe, who have failed to do so?

Also, the Trump Regime's alibi that COVID-19 was a surprise that it could not have foreseen is belied by a very curious pandemic exercise that was conducted by the USA throughout 2019 (before the COVID-19 outbreak) called Crimson Contagion:

"The exercise, code named “Crimson Contagion,” had eerie similarities to the current real-life coronavirus pandemic.

The exercise involved officials from more than a dozen federal agencies, several states and hospitals responding to a scenario in which a pandemic flu that began in China was spread by international tourists and was deemed a pandemic 47 days after the first outbreak. By then, in the scenario, 110 million Americans were expected to become ill.

The simulation that ran from January to August exposed problems that included funding shortfalls, muddled leadership roles, scarce resources, and a hodgepodge of responses from cities and states, according to the dunning assessment obtained by the Times.

It also became apparent that the U.S. was incapable of quickly manufacturing adequate equipment and medicines for such an emergency, according to the draft report.

[...]

While President Donald Trump has claimed that “nobody knew there would be a pandemic ... of this proportion,” that’s exactly the kind of possibility the exercise addressed."

Trump Administration Failed Dry Run ‘Crimson Contagion’ Pandemic Exercise
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/crimson-contagion-exercise-trump-administration-failures_n_5e744105c5b6eab7794560e6

Compared to the infamous Event 201 coronavirus pandemic drill hosted by Johns Hopkins University, the Bill Gates Foundation, and the World Economic Forum in Oct. 2019, the Crimson Contagion exercise is even more curious in that it was a much more expansive, multi-US governmental agency drill that focused on a flu pandemic that specifically originated in China and was transmitted by international travellers.

This is evocative of the Sept. 11th attack and the multitude of US government drills that either anticipated this New Pearl Harbor "surprise" attack or even occurred on 9-11 itself.

Americans must be Nostradamus.

Either that or they somehow had foreknowledge of what was to come in both events....

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 2 2020 3:16 utc | 113

B, I just read this article Whitney Webb just put up today.
I'm convinced that this virus is being deliberately hyped for darker agendas
Including Dark Winter.
I wish you could respond to this.

https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/top-news/all-roads-lead-dark-winter/

Posted by: Annie | Apr 2 2020 3:17 utc | 114

Zerohedge was a decent way to gain insight into the American libertarian mind-set, but it is now an unreadable xenophobic anti-Chinese platform. The comments section degraded to racist garbage years ago and the main articles have now followed. Itʻs anti-China agit-prop wall to wall over there right now. Doing their part to deflect blame over the massive US failure to prepare/respond I guess.

Posted by: sad canuck | Apr 2 2020 3:23 utc | 115

From memory, some definition criteria were being changed in China to allow more people to access free or insured health care services for testing etc. Highly responsible, imo. All this finger pointing by US interests looks more like desperate deflection from domestic issues by the 'exceptionals' than serious reporting. It's just as likely to have started by accidental escape from USA and found its way into various international domains. Nothing will be conclusively known until genetic analysis works back through the mutating strains to a source 'patient zero.'

The 1918 Spanish influenza started in the USA (Kansas) and only became known as the "Spanish flu" because Spain was one of a few countries that had free press then and readily reported it. The WW1 war zone were in media lock-down. Then as now it was all about naming rights and deflecting blame.

Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic? - with Peter Piot
172,705 views•Oct 24, 2018

https://youtu.be/en06PYwvpbI

Posted by: imo | Apr 2 2020 3:26 utc | 116

Posted by: sad canuck | Apr 2 2020 3:23 utc | 116

Right on, now a piece of trash. SCMP (South China Morning Post) too becomes another China basher. BTW SCMP own by Alibaba. I'm wondering why bites the hands that feed you?

Posted by: JC | Apr 2 2020 3:31 utc | 117

Peter AU1 @ 109

Asymptomactic and presymptomatic carriers are shedding and spreading the virus. This is one reason why the spread of this virus is so hard to control and why mask wearing in public may be the best public policy for now in many places. This has been discussed by Dr. John D. Campbell UK on several occasions (see his utube channel) after a review of recent available relevant medical literature. WHO has also mentioned the presence of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spreaders, as did Dr. Birx of the notorious WH corona task force.

Comparing graphs of the spread of Covid-19 in countries mandating mask wearing in public vs countries that do not mandate masks in public, the tracking diverges into two separate trajectory tendencies, one fast and one slowed. This could be a reflection of this unique characteristic of this virus — that it is widely spread by unwitting carriers. As low-quality affordable, accessible, masks can prevent spread but not infection, if most comply with mask wearing, spread is slowed. Grieved's link was one of the better mask making links I've seen, simple and effective with the use P2.5 HUVAC filtration material sandwiched in-between the folds of a handkerchief.

Thailand now has a quick fifteen-minute antibody test available that is done with a single finger blood droplet, reported on Campbell’s Apr 1 update report. This inexpensive test shows where the virus has been and may still be. While it may be cheap to do there, I don't have illusions that will hold here without turning over the table.

(small case susan)

Posted by: susan | Apr 2 2020 3:37 utc | 118

Did they really need to when, as per BBC, a simple piece of cloth will do. Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 1 2020 22:59 utc | 80

Actually, as I've posted several articles here on the subject, no one knows exactly what will prevent through-the-air transmission of the virus (or even *if* through the air is a demonstrated, let alone primary, method of transmission.) From experiments which have been done with ordinary cold viruses, basically every move away from N95-like properly fitted and sealed respirator cuts the effectiveness in half, ending up with bandanas and Trump's "scarf" which are next to useless (10-11% or less success in repelling droplets and aerosols.) And no one knows for sure how infectious any given droplet might be or how far they can spread depending on temperature, relative humidity and wind or air movement in open air vs enclosed structures.

Yes, the recommendations are "better any mask than no mask". But that's not going to cut it with this level of lethal virus. You can use that crap for a common cold (and probably should, as we're told the Japanese do), but I'd like something better than a bandana. The problem, of course, is that outside of China there aren't any to be had.

Are we taking Trump's tweets for medical advice now?

In my building I have a pack of *morons* standing around yelling at each other over various stupid arguments frequently during the day (and sometimes at night.) Occasionally I have to walk past these brain-dead soon-to-be corpses to get to the hall john to pee. I'm not happy about that. So on Friday I'm ordering some N95-equivalent from China. And maybe some food service disposable gloves so I don't have to touch anything in the process of taking a pee. I hope I get my order in before the rest of the world realizes China is now the only source of personal protective equipment. Because then China will sell out, too.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 3:45 utc | 119

@ karlof1

I sure hope you're right comrade. One statistic to keep an eye on would be the membership numbers of the Yankee Reds...

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 2 2020 3:53 utc | 120

"A new epidemiological study (preprint) concludes that the fatality of Covid19 even in the Chinese city of Wuhan was only 0.04% to 0.12% and thus rather lower than that of seasonal flu, which has a mortality rate of about 0.1%. As a reason for the overestimated fatality of Covid19, the researchers suspect that initially only a small number of cases were recorded in Wuhan, as the disease was probably asymptomatic or mild in many people." https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.12.20022434v2


"A Chinese study published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology in early March, which indicated the unreliability of the Covid19 virus tests (approx. 50% false-positive results in asymptomatic patients), has since been withdrawn. The lead author of the study, the dean of a medical school, did not want to give the reason for the withdrawal and spoke of a „sensitive matter„, which could indicate political pressure, as an NPR journalist noted. Independent of this study, however, the unreliability of so-called PCR virus tests has long been known: In 2006, for example, a mass infection in a Canadian nursing home with SARS corona viruses was „found“, which later turned out to be common cold corona viruses (which can also be fatal for risk groups)."

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

Posted by: Penelope | Apr 2 2020 4:08 utc | 121

Penelope
Could you give me the name of the swiss doctor. I cannot find it there.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 4:15 utc | 122

@ 120 richard steven hack... good luck with all that.. i have been following your posts of a personal nature.. all the best in all of that.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2020 4:19 utc | 123

susan

Understanding Sars-CoV-2 is a work in progress. It may or may not be transmitted by asymptomatic patients. A recent study suggests it is not. Perhaps that is right perhaps not.

Antibody tests are fast and cheap but do not reliably show early stages of infection if at all.
They have been available for some time. A few countries bought some from China and then complained because they did not show infection in its early stage which the tests are not designed for.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 4:35 utc | 124

...

True reality in front of MoA's audience

The amount of trolls infesting MoA indicates the current high gear narrative to blame china , which is all over the place on all media

the narrative peddlers been busy ruining comment section all over the social media

SNAFU solomon , the insane Col Lang from SST , Zero Hedge , Drudge Report even the indian trolls are enlisted to attack china , which is very visible due to their low intelligence trolling

Posted by: milomilo | Apr 2 2020 4:35 utc | 125

Game over for the Empire and FOX ... is leading the parade into hell and even realize it.

They have been crowing all day about our Intel Agencies proving that China is low balling their numbers. A lot more of them are dead than us; yippie, we are better than them commies. We should be screaming at the govt, 'Don't try to make us feel good, try giving us the intel when it mattered'. Nope, like trained seals barking for fish, our MSM is delighted with the news.

And why does this matter? We have 5,000 dead and rising, this should be enough motivation for us regardless of China says. Even on 1/27, WHO said, infections increased from 500 to 6,000 in 4 days. That indicates a very infectious disease, again, if the true number was actually twice that value why should that make a difference. Heck of a job agents, do you want to work on FOX or CNN.

These morons are destroying my country and calling me a traitor.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Apr 2 2020 4:38 utc | 126

Richard Steven Hack

Its all about reducing viral load. N95 - 95 means it blocks 95% of particles of a certain size. Combination of hygiene measures for reducing virus load is the best policy for anyone at risk.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 4:39 utc | 127

US military war against Venezuela is beginning. Perhaps it will be a yemen style blockade or perhaps something more.
https://sputniknews.com/latam/202004011078797444-us-launches-counter-narcotics-operations-to-halt-flow-of-illicit-drugs-amid-pandemic/

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 5:10 utc | 128

Venezuela

I agree w/you Peter. I think a blockade.
1. Trump's been yacking about a blockade rather than an invasion.
2. Drug interdiction can be used as a cover for seizing non-narcotic but sanctioned cargo, 'well we stopped the ship anyway, might as well seize the cargo'. This is 100% piracy.

This does risk a shooting war, the buffoons in his cabinet are oblivious to the idea that even weak countries will fight when backed into a corner. It happens all of the time yet it surprises bullies.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Apr 2 2020 5:18 utc | 129

vk @102

That is awesome connecting of dots by Whitney Webb & Raul Diego.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 2 2020 5:18 utc | 130

We’re all epidemiologists now.

Here are my yet unformed opinions and questions on CoV-2. Ignore this if you have coronavirus fatigue!
The Case Fatality Rate (CFR = Number of deaths/Number of confirmed cases) is 11% of in Italy, 7% in Spain, 4.7% globally, 1.7% in South Korea, 1% on the Diamond Princess, 0.06% in Germany, 0.06% in Iceland and 0% in the city of Vo in Italy. What’s going on?
Are the big differences due to variations in government intervention timing, or rather in data methodologies and reliability? Is the coronavirus growth really exponential, or more similar to typical flu season that has an early exponential stage, then peaks, and then declines without state intervention? It’s easy to underestimate the growth in the early linear growth phase, and overestimate it in the later exponential phase of any epidemic. The exponential phase is not sustained indefinitely even without interventions, though is affected by them. COVID-19 seems to have been sensitive to interventions (social distancing etc), but we don’t know for sure the size of this effect.
https://voxeu.org/article/it-s-not-exponential-economist-s-view-epidemiological-curve
Questions like these need good data, and in particular randomised testing of the general population. This informs other data like the overall death rate, how to best reorganise society, and forecasting. Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is just as, or more important than, CFR. IFR = Number of Deaths/Number of infected. If the infection rate is actually twice what we previously thought, then the IFR is half. As the denominator in this ratio increases because more people are diagnosed with the infection, then the percentage of death decreases. We need to know the denominator reliably, and that’s the missing part of the puzzle. This affects what kind of response we make. Data is missing mostly due to the limited number of test kits, as most are currently triaged towards active cases, so the important data that we need to make consequential, society-wide decisions is missing.

But which test kits? The antigen PRC test using a nasal swab, shows whether a person is infected, through direct detection. They have a reputation some false positives and up to 30% false negatives. The antibody test using a finger-prick blood sample, shows whether a person was infected, via their immune response. These kits take longer to manufacture, and their accuracy is not yet known. We need both kinds of tests to gauge the asymptomatic, illness and death rates, and make important comparisons. They are in the pipeline.
https://www.ft.com/content/0faf8e7a-d966-44a5-b4ee-8213841da688

The following may give some indicative data points for the most controlled populations to date:

The Diamond Princess tested everybody and had a 20% infection rate, and a 1% fatality rate. It was an aged cohort, so the death rate may be lower in a national population.

Iceland tested 4.2% of its population, both sick and healthy people who volunteered (not quite randomised but better than testing only the symptomatic), and found a 0.9% community infection rate, and a 0.06% fatality rate.

The Italian city of Vo tested everybody, and found a 3% community infection rate. Because the infected were identifiable, separating the sick from the well was effective, resulting in a zero death rate.

Seasonal flu in the US has about 35 million symptomatic cases typically with 35,000 deaths p.a., but in a bad year can be much more e.g. 59,000 in 2018. The current number of US coronavirus deaths is 3,700. New York is now the epicentre in the US, but I can’t find data on community infection rates, or symptomatic case rates. The current corona death rate is nearly 1,000, while the 2018 seasonal flu death rate for NYC was 4,749.
Each year, seasonal flu makes between 3% and 11% of the entire US population sick. The number of people who get infected, including non-symptomatic cases, can only be estimated because randomised testing is not carried out. It’s thought to be between 5% and 20%.
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/as-nyc-nears-1000-covid-19-deaths-how-does-it-compare-to-typical-flu-seasons/2352180/
https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/66/10/1511/4682599

Seasonal flu in Italy between 2014-17 resulted between 7,000 to 25,000 deaths p.a. … much higher than most countries. There were many contributing factors to its high coronavirus death rate e.g. early panic reducing their triage quality, high-age demographics (average fatality age 81 years), high percentage of smokers, relatively now number of ICU beds, and routinely 90% full, meaning little spare capacity. Note that their 10,000 corona deaths are still at the lower end of their seasonal flu death range.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971219303285

The Italian city Bergamo is an outlier. But about 10,000 people (1/3 of Bergamo’s population) attended a Champion’s League football match against Spain in Milan on 19 February, then partied on public transport returning home, centimetres apart. Others watched the match close together in bars and homes in Bergamo. Together this created a “biological bomb”. What is the community infection rate in Bergamo? 5%? 10%? 50%? We don’t know.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/coronavirus-italy-champions-league-atlanta-valencia-milan-bergamo-a9426616.html
South Korea is an interesting example. They tested only 0.8% of its population, but employed mostly test-and-track strategy, which was effective. However, I don’t think they did randomised testing of the broad population. If so, it’s 1.6% death rate is based only on confirmed symptomatic cases, not community-wide infections.

My instinct is that Covid-19 is more infectious than other coronaviruses (maybe because it’s airbourne, rather than just droplet transmission?), but with a lethality on a par with seasonal flu, except for the co-morbid aged for which it is sharply higher. There seems to be a higher death rate in the extreme cases, though we don’t know. Seasonal flu kills between 300,000 and 650,000 people per year (WHO). The Spanish Flu (which actually started in the US) was most lethal towards healthy young adults due to their stronger adverse immune reactions. Swine flu (which also started in the US) did not target the aged, and killed between 150,000 and 575,000 globally in its first year, according to the CDC. (How’s that for an error range?) But without good data we don’t know. Coronavirus scares me. But what is happening to our society right now really scares me. An economic depression, unemployment, poverty, spiking inequality, hunger, domestic violence and an overbearing police state could result in a higher death rate than coronavirus itself, if we are not wise. Hopefully the current lockdown is short, sharp, and effective, and buys us time to do those tests then make intelligent, informed, public-health decisions. Very soon.
https://www.pnas.org/content/115/5/1081
I’m interested if you have evidence that contradicts this analysis. The devil is in the data.

I found Professor John Ioannides of Stanford useful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=d6MZy-2fcBw&feature=emb_logo

Posted by: atomician | Apr 2 2020 5:25 utc | 131

PeterAU1, Christian J Chuba

See my comment @68.

IMO a wagging the dog distraction but also consistent with belligerence toward both Iran and Venezuela. I feel that they will eventually get the war they are hoping for.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 2 2020 5:31 utc | 132

atomician @133: Covid-19 ... lethality on a par with seasonal flu

It's strange how so many ignore Covid-19's "lung scarring" (pulmonary fibrosis)? Many of those who recover from Covid-19 will die from complications from pulmonary fibrosis. Most pulmonary fibrosis sufferers die within 5 years.

It eerily like MSM's focus on KIA during a war while mostly ignoring that many more are so severely injured that their lives are shattered.

Those who minimize this virus as similar to flu are, knowingly or unknowingly, excusing USA/West slow/inept response.

The disease is NOT like the flu an the lethality is ultimately likely to be much greater than the flu.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 2 2020 5:46 utc | 133

"Its all about reducing viral load. N95 - 95 means it blocks 95% of particles of a certain size. Combination of hygiene measures for reducing virus load is the best policy for anyone at risk. Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 4:39 utc | 129

Agreed.

For instance, I'm almost entirely ignoring the "don't touch your face" advice - except when I'm out of my room. Once the hands are thoroughly washed - and I don't do 20 seconds, I do more like 40-60 seconds with good lather - and follow up with Purelle if I've taken a dump - I'm not that concerned about transmission of random viral droplets from the limited touching I did at the john to open the door, and flush the toilet with one finger. Perhaps this is a mistake, but I find it next to impossible to not either rub eyes, touch nose even when blowing nose into a tissue, or touching my mouth when brushing teeth. I suppose methods could be employed to reduce the incidence, and I'm thinking about doing some of them. But I'm not that interested in wearing a mask inside my room all day.

I'm also *usually* self-isolated. I do nothing more in my building than say "hi" to someone in passing in the hall. I don't associate with *anyone* on a regular basis in person in the building. So my contact with possibly infected people is limited to whoever happens to be near me in line at the convenience store. The doctor I mentioned in New York who says most of the transmission is between people with extended contact who then touch eyes, nose or mouth may be correct. If he is, I'm avoiding the great bulk of that.

As an aside, I see the main Target store downtown here has little "X's" of tape all around the checkout counters to point out the six-foot "social distance". LOL

But when out and about, the actual risk seems to be reduced to either outright paranoia, or as I said before, a crapshoot. I would like to get a few masks just to deal with that possible transmission method, since the odds of my getting it directly from someone else is less than perhaps other people with families and the like (not to mention the morons standing in the hall yelling at each other in my building.)

Articles I've read indicate there is no real good way to disinfect N95 masks. Most of the methods suggested have one or more major problems. I did read an article, not sure whether it was linked here or from the Texas AG site, where the guy who invented these masks said the best approach is to buy four or five masks, wear one, then put it aside for four days, whereupon any virus loads picked up by it should be dried out and deactivated. Rotate the available masks. This seems to me to be a reasonable approach and I'll probably do it. It may not be 100% effective, but it's at least feasible, assuming that the virus actually doesn't remain active for too long in fabric, which is the apparent belief (based on what evidence or speculation, I don't know.)

I've read that they have developed a means of disinfecting masks en mass by putting them on a rack in a room and saturating the room with hydrogen peroxide vapor. This should at least help some of the front-line people who are having to reuse masks due to the shortage.

Watched the Pepe Escobar and Max Blumenthal video. Pepe made it clear that the evidence for the virus originating in the US as opposed to China is by no means clear. It's just a timeline of events. Pepe says that the Chinese are broaching that theory as retaliation for the US propaganda campaign against China being to blame. More importantly, Pepe thinks this is unusual for the Chinese diplomatic corps to be talking like this. He thinks China is getting fed up with Trump foreign policy and that they may be more assertive than was the previous norm for the Chinese.

So unlike some here who have declared the "biowarfare" scenario as proven fact, it appears there is no "smoking gun" yet. As I've said before, I couldn't care less. Until it's proven and there is some consequence - meaning someone goes down for it, or the Chinese or whoever do something about it - it's completely irrelevant to the progress of the crisis. It would be "nice" if it could be proven because there would be geopolitical consequences to the detriment of the US - which is long overdue - but I'm not holding my breath (to coin a phrase in this time of ventilators.) At this juncture, it's just a distraction.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 6:15 utc | 134

Jackrabbit @ 135

I agree that the war wounded may be a greater tragedy than those KIA. But does the analogy hold for COVID-19? Indeed there may be permanent lung scarring, like many flus, but we just don't know yet.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090717150302.htm
https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recovered-patients-have-partially-reduced-lung-function/a-52859671

"A small study of 12 patients discharged from hospital showed that two or three had reduced lung function. However, it is too early to confirm any long-term effects."

Posted by: atomician | Apr 2 2020 6:16 utc | 135

"@ 120 richard steven hack... good luck with all that.. i have been following your posts of a personal nature.. all the best in all of that.. cheers.." Posted by: james | Apr 2 2020 4:19 utc | 125

Thanks. Going to need some luck at age 71 if I get this thing.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 6:17 utc | 136

I agree that the lethality may turn out to be much greater than the flu. Twice?
Ten times? We don't know. The numbers matter.

We also have to balance it against the lethality of social collapse. How many will the protective measures kill? Ultimately likely a lot.

Posted by: atomician | Apr 2 2020 6:25 utc | 137

Step by little step toward .... a Bright New and Glorious Future.

A scene at the airport entry point.

"Good Day Citizen. Lets see if Citizen US_NY_2317347 has the latest Gates Foundation vaccine. Ohhhh.... looks like our system is not showing it. What? You think your chip is broken. Go to "Vaccs_Chip Dept" down the hall else you will not get on the next transport to Mars. Next !!!"

Gate's shooting off his mouth
The above scenario is an excellent way to reduce air travel so that the Super Class will have cleaner air for which Greta Thunberg is fighting so vigorously.

MIT
But don't worry. The technology is not for control.

Kevin McHugh, one of the lead authors of the “quantum dot dye” research paper, said, “The quantum dot dye technology is not a microchip or human-implantable capsule and to my knowledge there are no plans to use this for coronavirus.”

Reuters
Of course it is not for Corona. It will be for anything that the next critical moment ("live exercise") will deem it to be needed for. Now the sheep are already too agitated and need to be relaxed for the next 5 yrs. Hence, first bring in the scaffolding then scale the wall.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Apr 2 2020 6:42 utc | 138

atomician 139 "We also have to balance it against the lethality of social collapse. How many will the protective measures kill? Ultimately likely a lot."

China and South Korea have shown the way. There is no reason to have to choose one or the other.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 7:03 utc | 140

b: If one declares that gun shops and shooting ranges are critical businesses that must stay open during a lockdown one is not serious about fighting the epidemic. [...] The real number of casualties the SARS-CoV-19 outbreak will cause will only be known when it is over and when we compare the new death statistics to those of previous years. One thing is assured. The "excess death" numbers will be lower in those countries that did use the time China gave them and prepared for what was coming at them.

I'm impressed with the above, because it immediately brought to mind the following commentary :

"....we can see that, at the moment, Sweden has 10 deaths per million inhabitants, while Italy mourns 166 per million. Of course, this is only the beginning of the epidemic and these two countries are very different. However, Italy will probably have to deal with a second and then a third wave of infection, while Sweden will have acquired group immunity and will be protected from it."

https://www.voltairenet.org/article209572.html

Posted by: Dors | Apr 2 2020 7:05 utc | 141

@ancientarcher | Apr 1 2020 22:31 utc | 74

I expect everyone on this site to make their minds up for themselves!

Indeed, and your 'assistance' is therefore not required.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2020 7:17 utc | 142

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2020 7:17 utc | 144

Well said, hopefully Mr. b start delete, clean and banned these trolls.

Posted by: JC | Apr 2 2020 7:29 utc | 143

SPOT ON, mein guter Herrn "h".
As for numbers, there is a population of approximately 15 million in the triplet cities of Wŭhàn in Húbĕi province. Which shoul indicate a daily rate of more than a thousand deaths. Small wonder that there are stacks of urns here and there in those cities.

Old people in China used to tend to try to survive until they have enjoyed Chinese New Year (Spring festival). For one thing because of all the good food, but their also because one more year would be added to their official age and thus impart prestige (vide Robert van Güllik's China mystery and detective stories about imperial China -- Judge Dee -- published in the 1920ies to 1950ies).
And they would like to stash up urns or coffins as status symbols!

Posted by: Oū Sī / 區司/ Usman | Apr 2 2020 7:30 utc | 144


Hendrick Streeck is the director of the institute for virology at the university of Bonn, Germany. At the moment, he researches the spreading of the virus in the town of Heinsberg, which is the German hot spot. Here's what he has to say: (translation from German)


Bonn / Hamburg -

The Corona crisis hits the global economy with great violence: In Germany, too, restaurants and companies have to pause for weeks, tourism stands still, nothing works in public life anymore.

The number of advertisements for short-time work has skyrocketed to an unprecedented level, and the number of unemployed is also increasing: The Federal Employment Agency expects an increase of up to 200,000 unemployed in April.

And despite the government's aid measures, one thing is certain: the German economy will not be the same for the foreseeable future once the crisis is over. The existence of many citizens is under threat.

Hardly anyone had questioned these tough government measures, as it is about saving lives. But on Tuesday evening a well-known virologist for the first time openly raised doubts about the need for the shutdown at “Markus Lanz” (ZDF). Did our entrepreneurs have to shut down unnecessarily?

The virologist Hendrik Streeck from the University Hospital Bonn is currently carrying out a unique examination in the district of Heinsberg - the epicenter of the coronavirus. There, the expert collects both the number of infected people and the infection routes in a representative sample. The study is intended to provide answers to questions such as where the greatest sources of danger are. How exactly the virus is transmitted. How high the unreported number of infected people is. The research group around Streeck wants to publish the first results as early as next week.

The virologists had not succeeded in breeding Sars-Cov-2 in initial tests after swabbing various objects in apartments of highly infectious residents, sinks, doorknobs, but also pets such as cats. "For me it looks like the first results that a door handle can only be infectious if someone has coughed in the hand beforehand and then grabs the handle immediately." This suggests that there is no smear infection. Keeping a distance and washing hands is therefore a very effective tool.

However, the risk of infecting someone else while shopping is considered to be low. "We see how the infections took place. That was not in the supermarket or in the restaurant or at the butcher's. That was at the parties at the après ski in Ischgl, in the Berlin club, trumpet ’, at the carnival in Gangelt and at the exuberant football games in Bergamo.

In the current discussion about the “shutdown” and the “exit” strategies, which lead again from a standstill, such reliable facts are important. So that public life doesn't stand still for too long.

“We talk a lot about speculation and model calculations. With these, however, only one factor has to be wrong and the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. “That is why facts are so important to make effective decisions. He was therefore surprised that the Robert Koch Institute, as the highest federal authority for infectious diseases, had not previously carried out such an investigation. He sees such tests as a duty for virologists "to find answers for the citizens."

Did the shutdown come too quickly?

Streeck looks back at the various measures taken by the federal government, which have gradually restricted life: Larger events have been canceled, schools have been closed down to exit restrictions. "But I had already said in advance: We want to wait and see what happens. The virus doesn't obey any politician. ”

Measures that are now decided would only be visible in the statistics in two weeks at the earliest. "You have to give this virus time so that we can see and classify the results of the measures in the long term."

He had never heard of infections in hairdressing salons, said Streeck. But now they are closed. It is the same with supermarkets or the like. “We just don't know that infections have taken place there. I think it's important that we focus on what we really know - and what we don't. ”You have to find the nuances of when exactly an infection occurs. And this must also be the guideline for reducing certain measures.

A very good way to contain the virus effectively: do a lot of tests like South Korea did. "If they tested people positively and found a cluster, then they contained the area there," says Streeck. A nationwide curfew was not necessary there. “In my eyes, this is a very good strategy and also a strategy that is feasible in Germany. Because we have the options. "

The virus is really dangerous for the risk groups, so "when it comes to the hospital, nursing home and old people's home," said the doctor. It is therefore very important to effectively protect particularly vulnerable people, with weekly corona tests for medical and nursing staff, for example. Such pool procedures are already used in transfusion medicine to test blood. So you are not new.

“It is therefore important to develop exactly such ideas. However, many experts are involved in this development, and not just individual ones. ”It is a shame that the government approached the crisis“ rather monothematically ”. Unfortunately, there is no round table with a large number of virologists, in which China is also involved.
Streeck criticizes the lack of objectives in the fight against Corona

"I see what such a curfew does to people," explains the virologist. He himself has friends who wonder if they still have a job after the crisis. "In relation to other epidemics and viruses, I find these restrictions to be very drastic." Before taking such measures, Streeck would have liked to think carefully: "Where do we actually want to go?" He would lack the precise definition of the objective.

“Our limit is the capacity of the hospitals. Not the number of people infected. But we never heard where our guideline was. What is our goal? Are 1000 infections a day too much? Or 100? We have to listen to the intensive care physicians who tell us where their limits are. ”They could best assess which measures are the right ones.
Marcel Fratzscher: "A good health system needs a functioning economy"

Streeck therefore supports the fastest possible discussion about an exit strategy. Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research, explains how great the danger for the economy is at “Lanz”. He speaks of a "catastrophe" with a "rat tail of problems". Small businesses and the self-employed could only last a few weeks despite government aid.

Anyone who receives a salary of 60 or 70 percent in short-time work can hardly stay afloat in the long term. At the same time, the economist feels uncomfortable weighing human lives against the financial damage - as many in the discussion about an exit strategy do. "Because a good health system also needs a functioning economy."

One should not play both sides against each other, but rather find a solution that is acceptable to everyone. After six to eight weeks, the loss caused by the shutdown would become critical. And that must be avoided.

Posted by: mk | Apr 2 2020 8:15 utc | 145

Peter AU1 @ 142

Agreed that we need to both respond to the coronavirus, and keep our civilisation intact. It’s not either/or.

I’m saying that (1) coronavirus is not the only threat- social breakdown is too- and we need to balance them, and (2) this needs crucial randomised infection rate data to gauge the scale of the CoV-2 threat, but that this data is missing at the moment. Too slow in arriving, especially when compared to S Korea who were up and running with tests almost immediately. To me, that is the greatest failure of our western governments.

Posted by: atomician | Apr 2 2020 8:19 utc | 146

Posted by: ancientarcher | Apr 1 2020 22:02 utc | 65

Notice that since some days, your last comment with the same content, you could find 1 milligram of additional evidence for your suggestion. To discuss vague suggestions like this in the middle of a problem is a waste of time.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Apr 2 2020 8:46 utc | 148

below is blatantly ripped off form someone:

3 months ago:
China: Ok there's a new virus, from now on no one move around, if you go out you must wear a mask. Nationwide lockdown and quarantine policies implemented.

Rest of the world: Don't trust anything these fucking commies say! It's just a flu! They are trying to control everyone's life! There's no need for masks!

2 months ago:
China: Start building hospitals because the medical system is being overwhelmed.

Rest of the world: It's a concentration camp! They are murdering people out there! They are untrustworthy!

1 month ago:
China: We are experiencing a surge of patients and this virus is super infectious via air and physical contact. We are also experiencing shortage on medical supplies and medical practitioners. Pulling everything from the country to Wuhan.

Rest of the world: Look how backward they are, not even having enough PPE for their doctors and nurses. They are clearly wrong about the method of transmission that's why they are making everyone wearing masks. They've even locked down the country and stoped the economy. What a bunch of idiots.

2 weeks ago
China: Numbers are reducing in China. People slowly getting back to work now.

Rest of the world: Fucking lier! We are seeing numbers in Italy and it clearly doesn't match data from China! Millions of people must have died! It's still spreading!

Now
China: Dude why things getting out of control out there? Where are your hospitals and why are you not in total lockdown? Were you just sitting there pointing fingers at me for 3 months, and did nothing?

Rest of the world: You fucking commies never told us how dangerous this virus is! You've been given us the false data the whole time!!!

China: I don't understand. If you never trusted me and when I say it's a big deal, it's actually a small flu, why do you think there must be millions of people dead in China? If you think the number of deaths must be very high, doesn't that indicates it's a dangerous virus and you should be prepared? How could you believe millions of people have died on it, but at the same time not knowing it's dangerous?

Rest of the world: It's only a big deal in a backward country like you, where people are poor and unhygienic, where the medical system is still in 1950s, where the government covers up the figures and doesn't alarm people how dangerous it is! It shouldn't affect advanced countries like us!

China: But it is with you and killing your people now!!! Do something about it so you can still save lives!!!

Rest of the world: Not before we found everything we can blame on you!!! It's too late for us to do something now, people will just die and eventually we'll have herd immunity, but you must take the full responsibility for it!!!

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 2 2020 9:01 utc | 149

A.L. #150

Accurate if you replace “Rest of the world” with “the West”.

Posted by: S | Apr 2 2020 9:16 utc | 150

Zerohedge was a decent way to gain insight into the American libertarian mind-set, but it is now an unreadable xenophobic anti-Chinese platform.

Posted by: sad canuck | Apr 2 2020 3:23 utc | 116

I gave up on them since the CORONA coverage heated up. Something "reasonable" is very rare there. China/Russia/Iran/venezuela bashing is boring and annoying. I'm guessing grants from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty like sources must be flowing to them like manna from heaven.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Apr 2 2020 9:16 utc | 151

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 2 2020 9:01 utc | 150

Very well demonstrated the shifting mirage of Democratic Free Press.
Excellent work !!!!
Bravo

Posted by: Tom_LX | Apr 2 2020 9:19 utc | 152

Posted by: Mark | Apr 1 2020 22:46 utc | 78
"It is curious that only the US has all five known strains of the virus, while China has only one or perhaps two. Insisting it came from China is a little like suggesting the tree grew from the branch."

Yes, getting curiouser and curiouser.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Apr 2 2020 9:25 utc | 153

Posted by: S | Apr 2 2020 9:16 utc | 151
"Accurate if you replace “Rest of the world” with “the West”...."

I will second that. Excellent illustration of Western hypocrisy.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Apr 2 2020 9:27 utc | 154

Posted by: Jean-Marie L. | Apr 1 2020 22:34 utc | 76
"It is really an East vs. West difference. The West has lost its moral values; and it is telling."

"Lost" is a good word, as in bouncing off their self-imposed walls of hypocrisy, ignorance, greed, and selfish entitlement.

The East still remembers how to deploy personal discipline AND communal discipline, leading to societal cooperation to face common challenges.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Apr 2 2020 9:34 utc | 155

Posted by: EtTu | Apr 1 2020 21:02 utc | 45

McDonalds is disgusting, but it isn't causing global pandemics either, and people can always choose not to buy it.

That's completely wrong. If it turns out the origin was from China and was by "natural" transmission, that still would be an artificial origin driven by industrial agriculture which destroys all local food economies, drives deforestation, and therefore drives food producers to extremes like hunting for exotic animals in very remote regions in order to market these as a delicacy. The whole process is a machine designed to collect and disseminate every kind of pathogen residing in those remote areas.

So no matter what, bioweapon, exotic food market, or anything in between, it's an artificial US-driven origin.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 2 2020 9:41 utc | 156

Posted by: A User | Apr 2 2020 0:09 utc | 93

Next thing my daughter is going really ape cos although in person lectures are back, 2 of the foreign students arrived sick and had to be hospitalised for covid.

If I understand that right, you're saying they shut down in-person lectures and then reinstated them?

Posted by: Russ | Apr 2 2020 9:44 utc | 157

It has to be said that there are perfectly logical reasons why the West was slow in reacting. It isn't all about incompetence and blaming the Chinese. The moment the Chinese discovered the newly found disease was 'SARS-like' it was all hands on deck. They didn't know how bad it was yet. If it was really SARS like they had a huge problem. Gradually the picture became clearer and the disease was not as bad as it was feared. The Chinese had their momentum so they kept going and overall performed very well. The West still had to start and the threat assessment of the virus had already been lowered. Even now it is a reasonable topic of discussion how bad we should consider the virus to be. Together with concept of evidence based policies (epidemics require threat based policies) and less top down driven decision making it is simply harder to be effective.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 2 2020 9:47 utc | 158

@A.L. 150

Indeed, this is an excellent summary of the western hypocrisy (hypo-crazy).

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2020 9:48 utc | 159

thank you b for this article. After a couple of negative critical comments from my side, it is a relief for me being able to add this positive critical comment.

Determining the death cause is very difficult in general, not only in pandemic times*. For example, a natural death. What is a natural death? The person peacefully passed away in the sleep. What was the cause? Old age? So, if the determination of death cause is that difficult in such a case, how much more difficult is it in complicated cases? Like in hospitals where one can die from wrong treatment or resistant bacteria metabolites**? Or when a person suffers from a number of illnesses. Which one of those illnesses caused death? Or which two, or three of them?

We are accustomed to clearly determine cause and effect in every observation. In physics it is relatively easy, but as soon we enter the microcosm it gets difficult. In western medicine, we sometimes mix up cause with effect, and effect with cause. Another problem is that we tend to search for one single cause. It is, in nature, almost always multiple causes. A 'network' if you want, of causes. One must learn to understand this 'network', this multi-causality of nature, to be able to predict and determine disease, and death. Ayurveda and TCM are rather good in that area I think, but I don't know much about these ancient traditions. Combined with western medicine we have good tools at hand, I believe.

*that's why I would need much more, and precise data, until I can sincerely use the term pandemic for my studies. I use the term for the sake of understanding. I adapt my language to be able to hold a conversation with other people.
**bacteria don't attack sane tissue, only sick tissue, but bacteria metabolite can be poisonous and cause harm to sane tissue. A typical case where, in modern western medicine, cause and effect get mixed up.

I don't understand much about all this, about medicine, about cause and effect, about nature. I'm not happy with this comment. But I post it anyway. Maybe in 10 years I can do better, but for now my understanding is too limited.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 2 2020 9:51 utc | 160

B: "To claim that China deceived the U.S. and the world .... makes no sense at all.... To blame China for that is simply nonsensical."

That may be nonsensical to us normal deplorables applying normal human moral sense, but it is good politics for them.

When we see the entire Western MSM and Intel / political gangsters turn on a dime to fly in formation to suddenly begin to hurl the same accusations at an enemy you know that it is mis-direction.

The US need this anti-China propaganda to hide their covid19 debacle; but more, to distract from their sweetheart handouts to their friends in Wall Street.

And so, yes, I see malice aforethought.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Apr 2 2020 9:52 utc | 161

mk @ 146

Thank you for your constructive contribution. We need more data.

Let's fight this with science, and try to get ourselves back to "normal" as soon as practicable.

Posted by: atomician | Apr 2 2020 9:53 utc | 162

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/
Some of the links provided on this page are excellent, but it seems that honesty is eroding. One example, they claimed on March 30th that "of the list of 61 doctors who died in Italy" a lot of them were in their 80s (and could have died of anything else). On that day I checked and there were just 4 persons in this age range.
Today they come with a new link saying that the dates of birth have been hidden from the publication now (but provide the archived page) and now claim "a lot of the people on the list were in their 90s"...

It won't help.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2020 9:59 utc | 163

The reason why Italy got more cases may simply be the fact that with Tunisia/Turkey/Egypt having less tourism lately (security etc) a lot of the Europeans travel to Italy for holidays. Cheap flights, cheaper than northern Europe, good food. It would be interesting to know the exact number of flights and tourists for the last 6 months.
https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/30/covid19-yet-to-impact-europes-overall-mortality/

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2020 10:06 utc | 164

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 2 2020 9:01 utc | 150

Excellent summary. Kudos.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 10:12 utc | 165

about those empty hospitals: I guess there are just fewer car accidents, less accidents at building sites, less stupid accidents, and less gunfight victims.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 2 2020 10:24 utc | 166

Phil | Apr 2 2020 10:24 utc | 167

"less accidents at building sites"

I don't know about other places, but here in northern NJ there seems to be no slackening in outdoor work such as construction. If anything it seems stepped-up.

It puts in perspective the notion, for which there's zero evidence, that non-contact outdoor recreation could be a significant transmission vector.

Posted by:

Posted by: Russ | Apr 2 2020 10:30 utc | 167

Well, it seems b has been scking off China since this whole saga started. First by saying that this is irrelevant, then by saying that China is managing it well. Now saying that it doesn't matter if they don't give the right numbers because it is impossible to measure the number of deaths.

Do you see where this is going? Do you see the bias in b's analysis & reporting?

If someone like me, who hasn't drunk the China Koolaid wholesale, says somethings divergent from b's opinion there is suddenly a chorus of voices from the comments (no doubt paid by China or linked to China) to ban trolls. As if I am a troll for speaking my mind.

Answer one question b - what is the probability that the cause of the epidemic is natural if the epidemic started within a 20km radius of a BSL4 lab researching the same kind of viruses?

My calculations
* The epicentre of the epidemic was 20km from the only BSL4 lab in China. If you draw a circle around the BSL4 lab with a 20km radius, the area is 1256 sq km.
* Total area of China = 9.597 million sq km
* If the epidemic is natural then there would be an equal probability of the epicentre arising from anywhere in the country. Hence, the probability that it arose within a 20km radius of the BSL4 lab (remember that is only one in the country) is 1256/9597000 = 0.01%

If there had been 100 BSL4 labs in the country, then the answer would have been 100*0.01% = 1%. But as is the case here, the probability for an epidemic epicentre to be within a 20km radius of the only BSL4 lab in the country is 0.01% IF it is of NATURAL causes.

To the people who believe that the virus was naturally created, you are believing in a 0.01% probability event. Good for you! I can say the same thing to b - I didn't know you were so gullible!

b, would your reaction have been the same if a viral epidemic started close to any of the US's BSL4 labs?

And barflies, please.. don't muddle the issue here. Don't talk about the many BSL4 labs all over the world that are operated by different countries, including the US in ex-soviet republics. They are not relevant.

Posted by: ancientarcher | Apr 2 2020 10:33 utc | 168

Climate doom has been postponed. A new and more successful doom has replaced it. They are not unrelated.

UN postpones global climate summit in Glasgow until 2021

This year’s United Nations global climate summit will be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, host country Britain has said. The UK government said the meeting, due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, will now be held next year at a date still to be determined.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2020 10:36 utc | 169

Posted by: mk | Apr 2 2020 8:15 utc | 146

"Did our entrepreneurs have to shut down unnecessarily?" Right away, you see what the focus of this article is - the economy over lives.

"For me it looks like the first results that a door handle can only be infectious if someone has coughed in the hand beforehand and then grabs the handle immediately." This suggests that there is no smear infection. Keeping a distance and washing hands is therefore a very effective tool."

The doctor in New York I mentioned basically agrees with that. The problem is "first results". In other words, they *can't be sure*. They can't be "sure" of the primary mode of transmission, or to what degree a secondary mode exists.

"However, the risk of infecting someone else while shopping is considered to be low. "We see how the infections took place. That was not in the supermarket or in the restaurant or at the butcher's. That was at the parties at the après ski in Ischgl, in the Berlin club, trumpet ’, at the carnival in Gangelt and at the exuberant football games in Bergamo."

This is not proof of anything. It is speculation. "Considered to be low" - by whom? Based on what? His opinion? Based on what evidence?

"So that public life doesn't stand still for too long." Again, his motivation seems clear.

“We talk a lot about speculation and model calculations. With these, however, only one factor has to be wrong and the whole thing collapses like a house of cards." True.

"But I had already said in advance: We want to wait and see what happens. The virus doesn't obey any politician.” Nor does it wait for virologists to come to an opinion... The longer you wait, the more people might die. As they say, "better a bad plan executed now than a perfect plan executed too late."

"You have to give this virus time so that we can see and classify the results of the measures in the long term." Read that again - "give this virus time."

"He had never heard of infections in hairdressing salons, said Streeck. But now they are closed. It is the same with supermarkets or the like. “We just don't know that infections have taken place there. I think it's important that we focus on what we really know - and what we don't. ”You have to find the nuances of when exactly an infection occurs. And this must also be the guideline for reducing certain measures."

Again, *he's* never heard of it - so it can't happen. Yet he admits *he doesn't know.* So he's advocating reducing measures that he has *zero evidence* are either not working or aren't needed.

"A very good way to contain the virus effectively: do a lot of tests like South Korea did." That's likely true. Perhaps that is a very good question to ask the German government - and the US government.

"It is therefore very important to effectively protect particularly vulnerable people, with weekly corona tests for medical and nursing staff, for example. " Not everyone lives in a nursing home. And if, like the US, you don't have an effective test or the permission to conduct them, then what do you do? So what value is this criticism?

"I see what such a curfew does to people," explains the virologist. He himself has friends who wonder if they still have a job after the crisis." Once again, his focus is entirely on the economy. He couldn't care less who dies as long as the economy isn't "inconvenienced."

"In relation to other epidemics and viruses, I find these restrictions to be very drastic." Where was he for SARS, MERS, Ebola?

"Before taking such measures, Streeck would have liked to think carefully: "Where do we actually want to go?" He would lack the precise definition of the objective." How about taking immediate action to save lives? Or is that too quick for him?

“Our limit is the capacity of the hospitals. Not the number of people infected." What the hell does that mean?

"But we never heard where our guideline was. What is our goal? Are 1000 infections a day too much? Or 100? We have to listen to the intensive care physicians who tell us where their limits are. They could best assess which measures are the right ones." Bullcrap. They can only say what *their* limits are - not the limits of how many people could be infected and die while this clown dithers in his lab asking "nuanced questions".

"Marcel Fratzscher: 'A good health system needs a functioning economy'". And a functioning economy needs rather less than a few million people dead and an overwhelmed hospital system.

"Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research..." And sure, he's really worried about "small businesses and the unemployed" - my ass.

"At the same time, the economist feels uncomfortable weighing human lives against the financial damage - as many in the discussion about an exit strategy do." Like this discussion clearly does.

"One should not play both sides against each other, but rather find a solution that is acceptable to everyone. After six to eight weeks, the loss caused by the shutdown would become critical. And that must be avoided." So "finding a solution acceptable to everyone" means "that must be avoided." Regardless of how many has to die.

Bottom line: this article is another example of how you can get scientists - like everyone else - to say anything if you pay them enough. This virologist would be conducting experiments in the camps in 1943.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 10:36 utc | 170

@ancientarcher | Apr 2 2020 10:33 utc | 169

And barflies, please.. don't muddle the issue here. Don't talk about the many BSL4 labs all over the world that are operated by different countries, including the US in ex-soviet republics. They are not relevant.

You said @74 you expected (demanded, I would say) we think for ourselves. Just forget about trying to impose your propaganda, as you are arguing against yourself.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2020 10:43 utc | 171

Did the US do it?

To all the people who are running with the US did it theme.. Just to bring to your attention - all your so called PROOF is based on innuendos by one spokesman of the CCP without any proof whatsoever (he actually drew a wrong conclusion from the CDS interview he cited in his tweet) or one Taiwanese virologist's presentation where he CLAIMS that US had 5 different strains of the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Please can anyone post proof that they found proof for the presence of FIVE (5) strains of the Wuhan coronavirus when China only had one? And that too around the time that of the presentation of the Taiwanese scientist. That data is utter bullsht.

Please don't keep on repeating that the virus escaped from Fort Detrick or about the 5 strains or as some people have mentioned - all the BSL4 labs run by the US. These are either based on innuendo, rumour or just plain stupidity.

Posted by: ancientarcher | Apr 2 2020 10:48 utc | 172

@ Norwegian | 172

Is that the best you can come up with?

I will ask the question again - what is the probability that the cause of the epidemic is natural if the epidemic started within a 20km radius of a BSL4 lab researching the same kind of viruses?

If you can't add 2 + 2, I have given the results of my calculations to aid your thinking.

As far as I am concerned, you can very well think that the sun is a big round ball of cottage cheese. I am just bringing facts into the equation (very inconvenient for some, I know) to let you make up your own mind. You can still think the sun is a big ball of cottage cheese (or parmesan even). All the best!

Posted by: ancientarcher | Apr 2 2020 10:53 utc | 173

Saker has been offering a couple of alternative views on corona, I found the following very good: Corona and Galileo

If comfortable with the majority paradigm here, you wont like it.

Posted by: Rancid | Apr 2 2020 11:02 utc | 174

WHO chief praises, covers for China

Posted by: TJ | Apr 2 2020 11:06 utc | 175

Some good presentations of the EU demographic data,

Aging Europe

Posted by: Tom_LX | Apr 2 2020 11:16 utc | 176

Am I correct? Le Monde journalists are so ill informed of the real world that they believe snorkeling masks are used as "respirators" and not in order to replace mask+ googles? They claim a company is now producing these snorkeling masks to help fill in the lack of respirators! I think I have heard similar stories elsewhere where it was clear it was to protect the medical staff.
https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2020/04/02/coronavirus-comment-est-nee-l-idee-d-adapter-les-masques-de-snorkeling-decathlon-en-italie_6035244_3234.html

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2020 11:17 utc | 178

And The Saker claimed that death numbers of Nembro, Bergamo and Pesaro were "click baits".

Posted by: Frankie | Apr 2 2020 11:18 utc | 180

@Richard Steven Hack 171

Economy vs. lives? This is an ultra-simplistic view.

You are obviously not aware that the curves in Germany have strongly flattened over the last week, and there will most probably not one triage decision (who may survive) be necessary. Enough beds there.

And you are also not aware that, at least in Germany, many small businesses are going broke, and many free-lance artists, musicians and actors will have no income for the next three months or so. The shut down decision is a cultural and social catastrophe, and Streeck simply says that the underlying data don't support to close small shops and forbid small music events etc. For this you call him a Nazi -hm?


Posted by: mk | Apr 2 2020 11:30 utc | 181

I say stop all air traffic,and there will be no more pandemics.Not at this extent.I notice that the regions hit in the USA are all where a lot of rich people take planes on a regular basis.New York,California,Florida,Denver,New Orleans.If people want to fly,start with yoga,I still believe we could as an individual be able to fly,one day someone will find out.It is just not in our habits;

Posted by: willie | Apr 2 2020 11:38 utc | 182

https://tinyurl.com/wr5lzvo

Posted by: 433 | Apr 2 2020 11:49 utc | 183

TJ#

October last year the Global Health Security index stated that the United States are the world's best prepared country for a pandemia.I suppose you were sleeping on it.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/484613-usa-prepared-pandemic-coronavirus/

Posted by: willie | Apr 2 2020 11:50 utc | 184

The whole of USA talking point is nonsensical, and has been so for a long time. Only its gullible citizenry still pay attention to the idiocy regularly coming from its citadel of power.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 2 2020 12:03 utc | 185

The only good thing is now aLt-media has exposed itself as being controlled opposition. Still some nuggets of truth to differentiate itself from msm except for the important issues to the elite like climate change and covid frauds, etc. I knew something was up a couple of years ago when both pcr and b came out with absurd posts on climate change (for anyone knowing science) at the same time, and b not questioning the Khashoggi narrative at all. This followed prop or not when shortly thereafter b lost internet access for a time . Of course both defended Trump as being fought by the Deep State. Lol. He is a Deep State puppet pretending to be otherwise. Fake wrestling.

Anyways, COVID is simply bioterrorism orchestrated by those who have been conducting similar attacks for over 100 years as part of their eugenics, neomalthusian and social darwinism agenda to support their technocratic transhumanism religion. Not that most here (mostly astroturfers or religious china lovers ) will comprehend.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 2 2020 12:04 utc | 186

Pentagon Seeking 100,000 Body Bags for Civilians in Crisis
https://tinyurl.com/tjyz4da

China Reports 130 Asymptomatic Cases of Coronavirus in One Day
https://tinyurl.com/rtf7oae

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 12:22 utc | 187

Posted by: mk | Apr 2 2020 11:30 utc | 182

"Economy vs. lives? This is an ultra-simplistic view." That appears to be the virologist's view - and he clearly prefers the economy.

"You are obviously not aware that the curves in Germany have strongly flattened over the last week, and there will most probably not one triage decision (who may survive) be necessary. Enough beds there."

Which is not relevant to the points I made. In fact, I specifically stated that I agreed with his reference to South Korea.

"And you are also not aware that, at least in Germany, many small businesses are going broke, and many free-lance artists, musicians and actors will have no income for the next three months or so. The shut down decision is a cultural and social catastrophe, and Streeck simply says that the underlying data don't support to close small shops and forbid small music events etc. For this you call him a Nazi -hm?"

Yes, I do. You obviously are unaware of logic, as I annihilated his idiotic statements in my post. Your comment merely reiterates his notions. Clearly your opinion is the same as all those who are either 1) irritated at being inconvenienced by the lockdowns, and/or 2) prefer to emphasize business over lives and don't give a damn if some old person or a young child (or anyone in between) with respiratory problems dies due to inadequate handling of the crisis.

And don't even go on with the "co-morbidity" bullcrap as I've already disposed of that elsewhere. You people all have the same arguments - and they're ruminant evacuation.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 12:32 utc | 188

Do you believe the CIA or your lying eyes?
The doting fools in our MSM now believe that 40k+ Chinese are dead because our Intel guys claim the Chinese overreacted, starving their own population and even now don't have the epidemic under control (chortle-chortle).

The Hydroxychloroquine miracle
The Chinese were the first to use this therapy, so if this does end up being a miracle therapy then why wouldn't the first country to use it benefit the most from it? Nah ... it didn't exist until the French tested it and then DT mentioned it in a press conference.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Apr 2 2020 12:34 utc | 189

Before the first patient had died, the existence of this virus was making news in the United States. What does that tell you?

(a) China knew it was a bio-weapon that had escaped the lab;
(b) They were negligent in their subsequent actions and warnings;
(c) All of the above.

Posted by: bandindunito | Apr 2 2020 12:40 utc | 190

Posted by: ancientarcher | Apr 2 2020 10:33 utc | 169 " If the epidemic is natural then there would be an equal probability of the epicentre arising from anywhere in the country."

That statement is an assertion with zero evidence behind it. Which means your calculation becomes irrelevant.

Recall that the first presumption was that the virus originated from the "wet markets" which are also in the area. I don't recall reading anything recently which debunked that possibility. Given two likely possibilities, preferring one over the other is a matter of geopolitical agenda in the absence of proof.

The desperation with which people are trying to prove their personally preferred scenarios is simply pathetic - if not surprising. Until there is *actual* evidence, I suggest waiting for some and in the meantime concentrate on keeping your ass off a ventilator.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 12:44 utc | 191

An ancientarsehole demands concrete 100% vetted and unassailable evidence to discuss the possibility that the US did something entirely in character by escalating a fight that it started but is losing. At the same time the ancientarsehole is aggressively pushing circumstantial claptrap as if it proves that the apparently stupid and incompetent Chinese infected themselves.

That is narrative spinning. That is meme forcing. That is "water muddying". Since that same narrative is also the current top priority of the empire's "Operation Mockingbird"-guided mass media, I think it is safe to assume that the poster's efforts are part of that larger effort.

What is most interesting here is the question of why forcing this "The Chinese did it!" meme is such a high priority. One can say that western governments that failed to protect their citizens are now trying to deflect blame, but they could just as easily chalk their failure up to incompetence and western TV audiences would accept that. My concern is that there is more to it than that.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 2 2020 12:50 utc | 192

Re Masks: Even a simple handkerchief tied around your nose & mouth will at least slow down the little snotlets and reduce their range. Remember, it's not to protect you. That said, a better one is better.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 4:39 utc | 128
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 2 2020 6:15 utc | 135

"Its all about reducing viral load."
"Combination of hygiene measures for reducing virus load is the best policy for anyone at risk."

I want to support this view, if you have to deal with CV19, this can get you through, expectorating the snot and washing your nose and throat can knock the virus down for a while and buy time, at least it has worked for me. Work to keep your immune system up, get lots of rest, enough calories for the fight, and be gentle on your nose and throat as much as possible otherwise, sunshine and fresh air when you can, but always try to keep warm. I have used a heatpad, like I said too. I credit the Russian pulmonary specialist for putting me onto the idea. Ditto with obsessive cleaning of your quarters, it's your body you need to keep as clean as you can, and rested, and you ought not go out unless you must. A little petroleum jelly on the eyelids and nose helps a lot too. I use Carmex or the like around the nose. Best of luck.

The virus likes to "go exponential" too, try not to let it.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 2 2020 9:51 utc | 161

I agree with the general thrust of your exposition, science asks very precise questions in order to get very precise answers. Out in the real world context matters a lot, as any engineer can testify. And even engineers are known for being "a bit too literal minded" at times. Your intellectual humility and open mind will serve you well in the long run. Some problems do not have simple mechanical solutions, experience, knowledge, experiment and intuition all come into play. This is why AIs never quite live up to their billing.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 2 2020 12:54 utc | 193

"Before the first patient had died, the existence of this virus was making news in the United States. What does that tell you?"

(a) The West's Operation Mockingbird mass media knew it was an American bioweapon that was deliberately inflicted upon China because China was winning the trade war.
(b) The West's Operation Mockingbird mass media was trying to get a jump on managing the narrative about America's bioweapon before the Chinese could figure out what was happening.
(c) All of the above.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 2 2020 13:01 utc | 195

Ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem coughing on Policemen and calling them Nazis:

https://twitter.com/manniefabian/status/1245290354687041536

Posted by: Mao | Apr 2 2020 13:11 utc | 196

Posted by: Rancid | Apr 2 2020 11:02 utc | 175

Re: Corona & Galileo: I think he has a case, but somewhat overstates it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 2 2020 13:22 utc | 197

Ah ben voilà... l'origine du virus !

(humor)

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 2 2020 13:24 utc | 198

>We also have to balance it against the lethality of social collapse.
>How many will the protective measures kill? Ultimately likely a lot.
>Posted by: atomician | Apr 2 2020 6:25 utc | 138

This is already happening. I saw a report yesterday about a newly-unemployed worker who "talked to god" and shot his girlfriend then himself. She survived, he died.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 2 2020 13:33 utc | 199

@ Posted by: ancientarcher | Apr 2 2020 10:33 utc | 169

Is it theoretically possible? Of course it is.

But even if that's the case, it doesn't make the SARS CoV-2 a bioweapon. Not all viruses researched in those labs are bioweapons and, even if this specific virus was researched as such (which would be a bad bioweapon, given its high contagiousness and low mortality), it doesn't mean it got out on purpose.

I don't think all viruses inside those labs, even if being researched for military purposes, are destined to be bioweapons. My guess is most of them end up not being viable.

So, you have a situation where the virus - bioweapon or not - have a much greater possibility of not being a bioweapon. You like statistics, so do the math.

And the SARS CoV-2 is still mutating. It is only killing old people now - but it can kill younger people later. Total lockdown is still the most rational policy.

--//--

More news on the economic front of the COVID-19:

Weekly Jobless Claims Rise to 6.6 Million

Who knew that a USD 6 trillion total fiscal policy would dismantle the American social fabric, which is based on financial power and gig economy? The Senate certainly didn't; the Fed obviously didn't; those blowhards of the MMT school didn't and didn't want to know in the first place.

The USA may be going through its Gorbachev phase.

Posted by: vk | Apr 2 2020 13:36 utc | 200

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