Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 25, 2020

On The Coronavirus And Smoking, Infection Fatality Rates And More

On April 3 I had linked the chart below and remarked:

Interestingly smokers seem not to develop a cytokine storms during a Covid infection and are thereby less prone to end up in the ICU.

(A cytokine storm is an inappropriate inflammatory response by the immune system.)

Source - bigger

It was really curious that during a respiratory disease epidemic current and former smokers were less prone to end up in an ICU than people with other preconditions. (It was also a psychological relief for this chain smoking blogger but should be NO reason for anyone to start this otherwise dangerous habit.)

A French study has now confirmed this astonishing phenomenon:

In the study that two of us are reporting [1], the rates of current smoking remain below 5 % even when main confounders for tobacco consumption, i.e. age and sex, in- or outpatient status, were considered. Compared to the French general population, the Covid-19 population exhibited a significantly weaker current daily smoker rate by 80.3 % for outpatients and by 75.4 % for inpatients. Thus, current smoking status appears to be a protective factor against the infection by SARS-CoV-2.

The mechanism does not work through filling the lungs with smoke. Here nicotine works as a nerve agent. It is known to influence the process that regulates the number of ACE2 receptors on the cell surface. Current smokers do have less ACE2 receptors than non smokers. SARS-CoV-2 bonds to that receptor to enter a cell.

The study was led by Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux who is quite famous for his discovery of that general regulation process and other findings. He now plans to use nicotine patches on Covid-19 patients to see if it can help in current cases.


Other medications, especially those that U.S. President Donald Trump publicly pointed to, have proven to be rather worthless:

Financial Times @FinancialTimes - 19:00 UTC · Apr 23, 2020

Exclusive: The antiviral drug remdesivir, which many expected to be a good treatment against coronavirus, has flopped in its first randomised clinical trial, according to draft documents published accidentally by the WHO and seen by the FT

It turns out that study is already a month old and that Gilead, the company that sells remdesivir, had held it back while it continued to promote its useless drug. Someone at the WHO did not like that scheme and 'accidentally' published the results. Gilead's stock then took a 10% dive.

Trump also marketed hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as helpful against Covid-19. But both can have severe side effects like abnormal heart rhythms and the FDA is now urgently warning against their use:

FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.
Close supervision is strongly recommended

Bret Stephens is one of the super dumb columnists of the New York Times. In today's column he argues for lifting the lockdowns and writes:

Right now, there’s a lot of commentary coming from talking heads (many of them in New York) about the danger of lifting lockdowns in places like Tennessee. Perhaps the commentary needs to move in the opposite direction. Tennesseeans are within their rights to return to a semblance of normal life while demanding longer restrictions on New Yorkers.

I write this from New York, so it’s an argument against my personal interest. But I don’t see why people living in a Nashville suburb should not be allowed to return to their jobs because people like me choose to live, travel and work in urban sardine cans.

Just yesterday the Tennessean reported this:

Nashville saw its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases Thursday when the Metro Public Health Department reported 182 new positive test results over the previous 24 hours.
In total, Metro health reported Thursday 2,144 confirmed cases in Davidson County since testing began, up from 1,962 the day before. There were 1,046 active cases Thursday, according to the department.

New York has done some blood testing for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. These test are new and not yet very reliable:

The tests were particularly variable when looking for a transient antibody that comes up soon after infection, called IgM, and more consistent in identifying a subsequent antibody, called IgG, that may signal longer-term immunity.

Such tests should not be used to write "This person is immune" certificates. But they are good enough for epidemiological research.

The tests have found that some 20% of all people in New York City may already have had Covid-19 and have probably acquired some immunity. Considering the number of Covid-19 death in New York this points to an infection fatality rate (IFR) of ~1%. The infection fatality rate is heavily dependent on population demographics and the health care system.

Christian Drosten, a famous German coronavirus specialist (see his latest interview in German), has estimated the current IFR in Germany to be about 0.53. But the German number is now steadily increasing. The Covid-19 epidemic in Germany first appeared in young to medium age people who were infected during skiing and partying in Austria and Italy. It further developed within that age group and is only now entering assisted living and elderly care centers where it tends to wreak havoc. The IFR will therefore increase and we do yet know where it will end up.

New York City and Germany have well developed health care systems. Countries with less reliable systems are likely to see much higher IFRs of 2-3+%.

For the quite bad flu season of 2017-18 the CDC estimated 45 million infections which in total caused some 61,000 deaths. That gives an IFR of 0.13% for the flu which again proves the point that Covid-19 is not like one. The seasonal flue has an R0 of 1.2. SARS-CoV-2's R0 is 2 to 3. The virus is at least two times more infectious than the flu, only few have immunity against it and even in well developed countries Covid-19 is 4 to 8 times more deadly than the flu. We can thereby expect that the total death rate from Covid-19 will be 10-15 times higher than the number of deaths caused by the seasonal flu during a bad year.

Our health care systems are sized to keep up with a bad flu plus the other usual cases. They are not sized to take ten times the flu cases plus the other ones. It is therefore obvious that social distancing will have to continue.


A non-scientific study by Quillette has looked a super spreading events during which dozens or hundreds were infected at one time in one place. The result in short is that everything that is fun should now be prohibited:

When do COVID-19 SSEs happen? Based on the list I’ve assembled, the short answer is: Wherever and whenever people are up in each other’s faces, laughing, shouting, cheering, sobbing, singing, greeting, and praying.

A Chinese study found that more that 99% of all infections happen indoor:

Home outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%), followed by transport (108; 34.0%; note that many outbreaks involved more than one venue category). Most home outbreaks involved three to five cases. We identified only a single outbreak in an outdoor environment, which involved two cases. Conclusions: All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment, which confirms that sharing indoor space is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk.

The results may be skewed a bit as the Wuhan outbreak happened during the cold season in December to February. We can expect a slight relief during summer when more people open windows or are outside. But the next cold season will likely be the most difficult time for everyone.

I had earlier pointed out that the Chinese authorities stopped the home outbreaks by isolating the mildly sick and even people who had only had contact with a Covid-19 patient in special quarantine centers instead of leaving them at home with their families. That I urged to do similar here was the starting point of my conflict with Off-Guardian.

Italy now finds that the Chinese method is the right thing to do:

Italian households represent “the biggest reservoir of infections,” said Massimo Galli, the director of the infectious diseases department at Luigi Sacco University Hospital in Milan. He called the cases “the possible restarting point of the epidemic in case of a reopening.”

The family acts as a multiplier, said Andrea Crisanti, the top scientific consultant on the virus in the Veneto region. “This is a ticking time bomb,” he said.

The predicament of home infections is emerging not just in Italy but in hot spots across the globe, in Queens and the Paris suburbs, as well as the working-class neighborhoods of Rome and Milan.

Letting infected persons stay with their family is a great method to kill whole families and to help the the epidemic continue its course.

A two week quarantine in a hotel or public facility during which one is well provided for should be an acceptable sacrifice when it is know that it helps to save the lifes of others in one's community. It is hard to understand why some people continue to reject this.

Posted by b on April 25, 2020 at 19:00 UTC | Permalink

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James @ 67:

"... this is a question to those advocating opening everything up asap... how do you protect the health care workers from getting it and passing it on to those who are more vulnerable?? whether they get it via their kids, or friends and etc. etc. - how are they going to prevent the health care workers from passing it on to those in their care?? ..."

The issue of protecting healthcare workers from being infected with COVID-19 does not go away under lockdown. In Australia (where there hve been varying levels of lockdown, depending on the state or territory), lockdown has not prevented an outbreak of COVID-19 at Burnie Hospital in Tasmania. Protecting healthcare workers is not related to whether a state or city has instituted lockdown: the issue is one of valuing healthcare workers sufficiently in the first place, that the entire healthcare system as a whole rewards them sufficiently in the form of salaries that reflect the work they do and the qualifications, training, skills and experience they bring to their work, in their working conditions and in the number of people who are attracted to working in the healthcare sector, such that there are enough people working in the industry that hospitals and clinics do not have to worry about having enough people to care for patients, and workers never need to worry about being overworked or put in situations where they are exposed to huge viral loads for long periods of time.

In an ideal world, whether there is lockdown or not, the healthcare system would have enough well-paid and well-trained people able to obtain the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (be it masks, gowns, gloves, safety glasses or even top-2-toe hazmat suits where necessary) when they need it, and they would all be working regular shifts without the need to have to do overtime or becoming so exhausted that their own health is in peril.

A society with a well-run healthcare industry, with properly trained workers, and with the knowledge and resources to conduct testing and contact tracing of those who test positive to COVID-19, should not need to use lockdown or would use it as part of a package of measures that respond to the situation and change as it changes. If you are going to use lockdown, you had better use the time during which lockdown lasts wisely to support hospitals and healthcare workers, find out who are the most vulnerable groups in society, and ensure they are protected by limiting their contacts with those likely to infect them and educating them. A general lockdown with no end in sight as opposed to specific, temporary lockdowns (such as what China used) in countries is surely a sign of political incompetence and an inability to develop and plan a strategy to deal with the problem.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 26 2020 11:36 utc | 101

It was really curious that during a respiratory disease epidemic current and former smokers were less prone to end up in an ICU than people with other preconditions.

There are two important effects here. One is that smoking significantly reduces the likelihood of death from Covid-19. It is a real effect - it works. It does this because most Covid deaths are in people over 80. Smoking protects you from these deaths by killing you off before you reach the age where the risk of death from covid is high. However, there is a much more efficient method - Formula-1 racing, which tends to kill you off much earlier, therefore depresses the risk ov covid death even more.

As I say it is a real effect, it works in a significant proportion of cases; the bad news though is that if you are one of those unlucky smokers who survives into your 80's, the history of smoking will increase the probability of death from covid, as a result of the extensive damage to your lungs caused by decades of smoking.

The second effect is not so good news: it is a confounding of the negative effects of smoking and the probability of having pre-existing conditions. Smoking causes substantial damage throughout the body, and most smokers over 60 have one or more - usually more - therefore they are unlikely to make it into the elderly smokers without co-morbidities category. Better balanced studies than the one B cited have shown that most elderly smokers have several co-morbidities, and as a result a substantially increased chance of death from covid.

What is the moral of this story? It is that the majority of medical research these days is of such poor quality it should never have been accepted for publication. The medical research industry is overwhelmingly financed by Big Pharma, whose main concern is profit from the sale of chemicals, not the healing of patients. A few years ago a former editor of The Lancet - one of the two most prestigious medical research journals - published an article in which he admitted that he does not believe any modern medical research, because he said over 60% of published research is either lies, or research so badly conducted that the results are scientifically invalid. His criticism included the papers in his own journal.

If you want reliable medical research it is more productive to rely on Chinese or Russian research, which is significantly less distorted by Big Pharma and more likely to be aimed at curing patients instead of increasing profits.

Oh, and congratulations to Gregory for giving up smoking - keep it up, try to make it permanent!

@B - The hazards of wishful thinking, compounded by the negative effects of panic! When you are analysing the geopolitics of the Middle East you do very good analysis!

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 11:40 utc | 102

Cluster of COVID-19 in northern France: A retrospective closed cohort study studied everyone at or connected to a high school in a department in France heavily affected by Covid-19. "Between 30 March and 4 April 2020, we conducted a retrospective closed cohort study among pupils, their parents and siblings, as well as teachers and non-teaching staff of a high-school located in Oise." Number of participants was 661, median age was 37. The total infection attack rate (IAR) was 25.9%. I.e., 171 of the 661 had Covid-19 antibodies. Nobody died, so infection fatality rate was 0.0%.

Interestingly: "Smokers had a lower IAR compared to non-smokers (7.2% versus 28.0%, P <0.001)." That's a huge difference!

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 26 2020 11:55 utc | 103

In Germany, you need to vetilate a patient for 95 hours to get the insurance to pay the hospital Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Apr 26 2020 9:25 utc | 96

Oh my God, what a death sentence!

The psychopaths in the Western "medical industry" know no bounds. Thanks for helping to counteract the flood of misinformation, Paul.

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 12:16 utc | 104

Many patients received TCM and Western drugs as treatment. The Chinese also put ventilator patients prone. They did other procedures that helped even old patients survive.
Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 25 2020 20:14 utc | 11

Over 92% OF Covid-19 patients in Wuhan received TCM as well as other treatments, according to one paper I read (caveat - the wording was not all that precise though, that could be a misreading).

That is the difference between a health system that aims to improve the health of people, and a medical system that aims to make profits at all cost.

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 12:23 utc | 105

May I suggest you try drinking bleach to defeat the virus?
Trump advertised that too.
This selling of snake oil is dangerous.
Posted by: b | Apr 25 2020 20:33 utc | 18

Really B, you are getting completely irrational and hysterical these days! MMS is not bleach, and it is taken in very very tiny doses. I don't know what the effect of MMS on Covid is, but a beneficial effect I would find quite likely, and not only because it boosts the immune system. It has effects analogous in some ways to hydrogen peroxide, which the Chinese noted some benefits of. Suggesting people drink bleach is irresponsible.

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 12:29 utc | 106

The Chinese information suggesting that 99% of infections occur indoors ...
There may be a case for reintroducing some sports events ...
Posted by: Jen | Apr 25 2020 20:59 utc | 31

The Chinese information should be understood in the Chinese context. Parks and other outdoor recreational places were closed (not in all cases, but specifically those that were likely to lead to contacts). Therefore your argument is invalid. If you promote outdoor sports activities etc you are creating a totally different situation and the Chinese experience says nothing about that situation.

The studies you refer to measured the proportions of actual cases of infection in different locations, and that is critically dependent on the totality of the Chinese approach - closing public recreational activities, banning public events, banning restaurants from serving on premises, mask wearing, temperature reading wherever you go, highly systematic contact tracing, isolating and quarantining all cases and all their traced contacts, etc etc etc. It has to be viewed as a whole. The Chinese approach was totally integrated from bottom to top.

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 12:42 utc | 107

vk: 'banal coronavirus = SARS'. Wrong. There are 4 commonly circulating coronavirus in humans: OC43, HKU1,229E,NL63. These cause the common cold and are the reason for false positive results on the SARSCoV2 antibody test.
Non-banal coronavirus infections: SARS, MERS, COVID-19

William Kierath: 'it's not a lung disease, it's a blood disease'. We are still learning its effects, but COVID-19 kills primarily via pneumonia/ARDS. The virus directly infects alveolar pneumocytes and is found within them on immunostaining.

This is not so say that it doesn't cause numerous other effects, including endothelitis/clotting. But its primarily lethality is directly to the lungs.

Posted by: demo | Apr 26 2020 12:48 utc | 108

The Chinese and Wuhan gov. forced people off the streets with iron fists. No one was immune, incompetent gov. officials were removed. Videos welded doors, locked gate to prevent people coming out was posted in ZeroHedge and Youtube via Jennifer Zeng, Epoch Times, Gordon Guthrie Chang, New Tang Dynasty Television, SCMP and Paul Joseph Watson.
Posted by: JC | Apr 26 2020 1:38 utc | 65

Oh my God JC, you are not going to believe such dishonest sources, surely?

The most critical difference betwwen the Chinese government and the US government is that the Chinese government has a long-established record of caring for the welfare of the people, while the US government has a long-established record of disinterest in the welfare of the people, of lying to the people, and of caring for the deep pockets of the elites.

Do you think that makes a difference? Despite the moronic lies of Zero Hedge and Epoch Times and others, the Chinese government had no need whatsoever to weld gates. The overwhelming majority of the people complied with enthusiasm and rigour because they trusted their government. Anybody who trusts the US government has to be an ignorant idiot, by comparison.

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 12:53 utc | 109

Lockdown was done in China as an emergency move in a time of panic and confusion. It was not rational for us--we had weeks to prepare for the awful storm. It is certainly not appropriate now that we have seen how they have managed the virus in Taiwan, Korea, and Hong Kong.

On we see the account of how smart societies can beat the virus without lockdown

Posted by: Matt Janovic | Apr 26 2020 12:57 utc | 110

just some footnotes

Christian Drosten, a famous German coronavirus specialist (see his latest interview in German), has estimated the current IFR in Germany to be about 0.53.

I think you got this number from his podcast (#34/22 april) where he mentioned results from a model-based study for France. However Drosten said, most models for Germany found similar results and that fits his own estimate (0.3–0.7).

A Chinese study found that more that 99% of all infections happen indoor....

To my understanding this study provides arguments against outdoor transmission and for small clusters. It should be obvious that home is very suitable for infection (and not just SARS-CoV-2) still virus transmission inside households/families is not so easy as this sounds. Often it does not spread further inside the house and rarely it will catch all members. The numbers of quoted study seem to show this phenomen as well. Of course a low household secondary attack rate could have multiple reasons.

However to send suspected and infected people (+ healthy close contacts!) to temporary centers instead home like they did in china, makes quarantine at least more controllable.

Posted by: Georg | Apr 26 2020 13:06 utc | 111

People have to eat, no matter if they eat at restaurants or at home. Can't be a glut of food just because people are eating at home rather than at restaurants.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 26 2020 0:23 utc | 62

Peter, the point of Karl's statement was the distorted distribution system. The fact is (at least according to what I have read) that vast amounts of milk, meat, vegetables etc are being destroyed by farmers because they don't have the means to get it to the market.

I have to say that I am suspicious, though, that something else may also be at work here - that the farmers may be getting automatic financial compensation (including eg insurance) for what they are destroying. That is not mentioned in any article I have seem. In the absence of such recompense one would expect the farmer to go out of their way to seek alternative markets instead of destroying their production. Since massive shortages do exist, and since there are massive supermarket chains that ought to be able to get at least a significant proportion of their product to customers, these arguments do not line up.

If the farmers are destroying their production because of automatic compensation, causing food shortages, then I would be all in favour of criminalising those farmers to the hild, including forcing their well-deserved bankruptcy. Such farmers have no place in a civilised world.

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 13:08 utc | 112

Chris Cumo, who tested positve for COVID-19, said is wife Cristina used a bleach bath as a way to battle the virus.

This is what she writes on her blog:

"Dr. Linda Lancaster, who reminded me that this is an oxygen-depleting virus, she suggested I take a bath filled with 80 gallons of water and add 2 ounces of sodium hypochlorite in the form of Clorox, as a type of homeopathic bath. "Why the bath? To combat the radiation and metals in my system and oxygenate it. Household bleach is not chlorine. “We want to neutralize heavy metals because they slow up the electromagnetic frequency of our cells, which is our energy field, and we need a good flow of energy.” says Dr. Lancaster."

What can one say? Each to their own is the most charitable, I suppose.

Posted by: krypton | Apr 26 2020 13:27 utc | 113

Farmers dump the food because there was no pickup, and the milk spoiled.

As for the absurdity of the lockdown that causes transportation blocks that cause milk to be thrown away, compare 8 million people in New York with 7 million in Hong Kong:

Korea 52 million people. 240 dead
Taiwan 24 millions 6 dead
Hong Kong 7 millions 4 dead

Posted by: Matt Janovic | Apr 26 2020 13:27 utc | 114

BM | Apr 26 2020 12:53 utc | 114

Gate welding did happen every where. Most gated communities have more than one gate. All others were blocked except one left open, so volunteers only need to do screening in one place. Epoch Times intentionally spreads misinformation. Zero Hedge happily use them as a source due to their anti-China bias.

Posted by: OT | Apr 26 2020 13:28 utc | 115

Against the Corona Panic Pt. IV: What about New York City? A Case Study in Hysteria Pandemic vs. Virus Pandemic


MAJOR UPDATE (see the relevant section of this post for where this applies most directly)

The CDC latest info as of April 25 gives a firmer picture of deaths occurring for Jan. 26 to April 18, 2020, both corona-positive and total deaths:


— Average age of all the coronavirus-positive deaths in the US: age 77;
— Average age of non-infant coronavirus-negative deaths in US: age 76.

(The above is my calculation based on this latest CDC total-mortality data for deaths occurring in the period; they do not give a single “average age at death,” but a series of ranges, in Table 2, from we which we can calculate those average ages. Whatever the exact number is, corona-positive deaths are +1.1 years older than corona-negative deaths.)


— % of COVID19 deaths that occur at home (private residence): 17.5%;
— % of COVID19 deaths that occur at nursing homes: 15.5%;
— % of COVID19 deaths that occur in patients at healthcare facilities: 74.7%.

The “patients at healthcare facilities” will include previously hospitalized patients and new intakes who came down with this flu.


As for New York:

— Total deaths, all causes, in New York City, Feb. 1 to April 18: 25,978;
— Total deaths, all causes, NYC for the same period, expected: 13,120;
— (12,858 excess deaths over a non-peak-flu-event baseline);
— of NYC deaths in the period, total that were corona-positive: 8,073 (31% of all deaths were corona-positive)


Quantifying excess deaths caused by the Panic vs. excess deaths caused by the Virus in NYC:

We with data for New York City through April 18 (NYC proper, not metro area), we can “solve the equations” and say with some precision how many are in each category of death (see above) and what the true hit of the coronavirus is in New York City, and what the true hit of the loss of life to the Panic is.

Here are the four proposed categories again, proposed here to disentangle the corona problem and the significant muddying of the waters that occurs:

The CDC data for New York City, just released through April 18, can be used to calculate values for (1.), (2.), (3a.), (3b.), and (4.). With data to plug in, we are able to solve this as a math problem. There is going to be some uncertainty with exact values only for (3a.) and (3b.), so I will offer a range there.

Here we go:

— Expected deaths, NYC proper: 13,120 (CDC). This is (1.)+(2.);

— Excess deaths, corona-negative, NYC proper: 4,785 (CDC). This is (4.). So far, so good…

— Total corona-positive deaths, NYC proper: 8,073 (CDC). This is the sum of (1.)+(3.); of the 8,073, some large number are in the category “would have died anyway,” which is (2.). Others could be those who died of other excess deaths but that were not directly attributable to the virus’ direct effect, (3b.) here, as in a man who has a heart attack, stays home, dies, and at autopsy was found corona-positive (but no symptoms).

— The best-estimates range for “would have died anyway” corona-positive deaths: 1,975 to 5,250. This is (1.). The range is from if (low-end) 15% of expected-deaths [13,120] were positive at death vs. (high-end) up to 40% of expected deaths [13,120] were positive at death. The % can be assumed to be somewhat higher than than the total-population’s at this early point in the epidemic-arc (the midpoint of the measured period is early March), because of high spread in places with high near-near mortality such as hospitals and nursing homes; this is discussed in the main post and is uncontroversial;

— Having found (1.), we are ready to pull the trigger on calculating the range of true coronavirus-attributable deaths for NYC proper (not metro) for Jan. 26 to April 18: 2,825 to 6,100. This is (3a.) in the main post for NYC proper (not metro area). The fatality-rate of the virus is therefore <0.2%, and for an all-population sample it is probably down to 0.1% or even less. (This number of excess deaths attributable to a flu spike means deaths would be up +33% [ca. 13k to 17.5k], which is not much above several other flu spikes observed in the 2010s; see Against the Corona Panic Part III: Just The Flu Vindicated);

— This leaves us with finding the sum of Panic-caused deaths. Deaths that were corona-positive and for which there is an unclear, at-most-ambiguous relationship to the virus: 2,000 to 5,250. This is (3b.), simply the converse of (3a.), and applies to NYC proper (not metro area).

Now we can directly tackle the Virus Effect vs. the Panic Effect:
(4.) + (3b.) = ca. 8,500 (non-corona-attributable excess deaths)
(3a.) = ca. 4,000 (corona flu epidemic-attributable excess deaths)
= The Panic has likely caused at least 2x the number of deaths as the virus, based on CDC data.

This is very much in line with the contents of this post, which was based on tentative numbers and estimates.

How might we estimate “deaths with the virus” vs. “deaths from the virus”? Knowing that the typical victim is in his/her 70s/80s/90s (79% of corona-positive deaths were over age 65; 30% were over age 85), and knowing that the virus spread faster in nursing homes and hospitals, we know a large portion of these deaths, here as everywhere else, are going to be corona-positive but died of other causes.

By the way, only 2.8% of corona-positive deaths were below age 45 (presumably all or almost all with pre-existing conditions or people already terminal as in late-stage cancer patients); you may be surprised to learn that 5.9% of corona-negative deaths were below age 45 [excl. infants; rises to 6.4% with infant deaths]; see Table 2.

(The above paragraphs is an example of how the Corona Narrative tends to fall apart with context; the media never highlights things like this.)



This latest data release, summarized and gone through step-by-step above, strongly corroborates this post’s main conclusions on New York City:

(1) The spike in deaths is more attributable to the Panic than to the Virus (i.e., deaths at home of people too frightened by the media panic to seek help for a heart attack or other emergency);

(2) Given that we now know something up to or exceeding two million in NYC proper alone have had contact with the virus (from the initial study commissioned by Gov. Cuomo pegged to April 20), even in New York City, observed deaths are consistent with the 0.1% fatality-rate range found everywhere else. The true number depends on exactly what share are “deaths with” vs. “deaths from.”

(3) The seemingly higher number of New York coronavirus deaths can be fairly called an illusion, in that: (a.) New York City has a lot of people, and (b.) New York City is urban, which means the virus spread widely, as all flu viruses do. The thing about all those other flu epidemics is that none has ever been tracked in real time like this, none has been subject to saturation media-coverage, or a mass Panic driven by a a criminally irresponsible media.On NYC specifically, I would also add a point-(c.) for what’s behind the illusion of NYC being particularly hard hit: A lot of media is centered in NYC, so they pump up the coverage of this flu virus there; a lot of personality-types love the attention, and the media is full of them).

The NYC mystery is solved. It's over.

Article Here:

Posted by: Allen | Apr 26 2020 13:30 utc | 116

If the farmers are destroying their production because of automatic compensation, causing food shortages, then I would be all in favour of criminalising those farmers
The problem I think is the inflexibility of markets and supply chains. A great amount of potatoes are normally consumed as fast food french fries and the farmers that supply that market may have no alternative but to dump the potatoes if that market dries up.

Posted by: jinn | Apr 26 2020 13:30 utc | 117

Turkey seems to be having some success in treating patients immediately with chloroquine, azithromycin, favipiravir, and "lying patients with serious respiratory problems face down on their beds"

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 26 2020 13:33 utc | 118

Posted by: krypton | Apr 26 2020 13:37 utc | 119

With a total of 1470 cases, 14 deaths and R0 of .45 as of April 24, New Zealand's comprehensive strategy is proving to be extremely effective in reducing coronavirus infection rates. It has 4-level Alert System that specifies measures to be taken at each level. It is currently at the most stringent level 4 - Lockdown until April 27 when it is slated to go to Level 3.

CBC reporter Chris Brown describing how New Zealand is coping with the pandemic:

Interestingly, some lists show New Zealand at the top of the list of the most liberal, non-totalitarian countries in the world.

Posted by: krypton | Apr 26 2020 13:56 utc | 120

deaths at home of people too frightened by the media panic to seek help for a heart attack or other emergency

Your theory is they died of fright caused by the media.
But if they had sought help where would they go with the ER's overloaded with people seeking help for the Covid disease? Did you believe more people showing up at hospitals would reduce the death toll?

Or perhaps you are claiming that reports that hospitals were overwhelmed was fake news.

Posted by: jinn | Apr 26 2020 13:56 utc | 121

Peter AU1 @62: "People have to eat, no matter if they eat at restaurants or at home. Can't be a glut of food just because people are eating at home rather than at restaurants."

BM @117: "Peter, the point of Karl's statement was the distorted distribution system.... these arguments do not line up."

The problem is much more complicated than that. It isn't just about switching the shipments of potatoes from restaurants to supermarkets. The food service vs retail supply chains are vastly different. The processing plants are different. The packaging is different. Even the trucking companies and other shipping services are entirely different. The supply chains for the packaging are entirely different. Each stage of these totally divergent supply chains operates on "just-in-time" principals with the absolute minimum of excess capacity. That's how capitalism has been maximizing efficiency and profits for decades. Now throw in a pandemic to cut that capacity even closer to the bone and it should be no surprise that the supply chains to the supermarkets instantly max out in the crisis. There is no room in the system to quickly ramp up distribution. Keep in mind that the farmers' production is "just-in-time" also, and even more so than other parts of the process. If the farmer has a field of veggies that need to be harvested and the field prepped for the next crop, then he is locked into a schedule that cannot be changed. If there are no trucks available to haul away the harvest and no processing plants to haul that harvest to and no wholesalers for the processing plants to ship their products to; if that supply chain is stalled because the restaurants are not buying, then the farmer has no choice but to plow under the veggies and hope things are straightened out before the next harvest.

Of course, given time and some idea of how long the disruption will last, trucking companies and processing plants for food service products can rearrange schedules and retool for the retail market, but particularly for the processing plants that is not trivial and is in fact a huge expense. That is not an investment a capitalist will make unless there are some assurances that the new supply chains will be a relatively enduring feature of their business.

On top of all of that, there is the absolutely brain-dead decision to give the bailout cash directly to businesses rather than consumers, removing any incentive to retool, and you have the food service supply chains choosing to just sit tight in economic stasis and waiting for schools and restaurants to re-open. Why spend literally $millions for the machinery to package your spinach in 12oz bags with pretty pictures on them instead of 32lb bags that just say "SPINACH" when the old buyers might be re-opening in a month or so? Just lay off your workers, take the federal cash, and sit back for a bit. It's the capitalist way.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 26 2020 13:59 utc | 122

New Zealand rather rural, an island, quite isolated from Wuhan, a nation in house detention, 4M people, 14 deaths.

Hong Kong, very urban, five hours from Wuhan, 7M people, 4 dead, everybody out, 7M people, 4 deaths

Taiwan, very close commercial and personal ties to China, no problems, 23M people, 6 deaths

Posted by: matt janovic | Apr 26 2020 14:47 utc | 123

Cluster of COVID-19 in northern France: A retrospective closed cohort study studied everyone at or connected to a high school in a department in France heavily affected by Covid-19.
Posted by: fairleft | Apr 26 2020 11:55 utc | 108

The study is interesting, but as far as the smoking question is concerned it confounds smoking/non-smoking with inside?outside the school. Only about 10% of the participants were smokers, and looking at the data it is virtually certain that the overwhelming majority of the smokers were parents. There were only 53 teachers, and on average we expect only about half a dozen of those were likely to be smokers. 5 of the smokers were seropositive. The study found an infection rate of 43.4% among teachers and 59.3% among school staff, while only 11.4% among parents.

By contrast 166 non-smokers were seropositive, and on average we expect a majority of these to be school internals (pupils, teachers, staff). Pupil infection rate was 38.3%, school-external siblings 10.2%. This is likely to explain a major part of the apparent effect. Unfortunately the study failed to give a breakdown of the smokers, so this confounding is not resolved by the paper.

An additional problem may be that the serological assays may need to be differently calibrated for smokers, as the specificity of the antibody tests may very well be affected.

Contrary to B's fanciful wishful thinking, the study notes that a Chinese study found that amongst those who are infected by Covid-19, being a smoker substantially increases the risk of progression to a serious form Guan WJ, Ni ZY, Hu Y, Liang WH, et al. Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 28. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2002032.

I have seen other papers giving the exact same result for smokers. Being a smoker increases the severity of a Covid-19 infection and substantially increases the risk of progression to stage 2 in which the lungs are infected. this is not the least bit surprising!

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 14:48 utc | 124

she suggested I take a bath filled with 80 gallons of water and add 2 ounces of sodium hypochlorite in the form of Clorox, as a type of homeopathic bath.
Posted by: krypton | Apr 26 2020 13:27 utc | 119

Some people really insist on being idiots! Sodium hypochlorite is a toxin. "Homeopathic"? I disagree with the fundamental "principles" of homeopathy, but 2 ounces of sodium hypochlorite is not homeopathy! It is the opposite of homeopathy.

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 15:00 utc | 125

James @ 67

I perfectly well understand the concept of isolating the infected. I am not advocating for immediately opening up everything.

The is exactly one person in my circle who is isolating in a significant way. She is 92 years old and lives alone. She is healthy enough to reasonably do that. She also has family and friends in NYC and watches way too much television. She is utterly terrified. I bring her food. If you think there are either public or charitable organizations that would ensure she was fed you are dreaming.

Another friend lives in the epicenter of the outbreak in Chicago. Which is not the black West Side as the media would have it. The epicenter is the Orthodox community of West Rogers Park. If you think you might have any chance of enforcing anything on that community you are again dreaming. No one has any authority but the rabbi. That friend is 71, diabetic, very overweight, of limited intelligence. Doesn’t drive, normally walks to the nearest supermarket. Which is pushing and shoving like a rugby scrum. He has been knocked down, recently, while simply attempting to buy groceries. So now I am driving him out of that neighborhood to shop.

The only model the US has for isolation is a prison cell. Those are not healthy places. I am an American and have been there.

Absolutely none of the obvious basic public health measures that should be done automatically have occurred. Tests are still unavailable. I simply do not believe that here in Cook County 150,000 people have been tested. I don’t know one, neither does anyone else. Contact tracing is entirely absent, not attempted, not thought of. At the nearby nursing home where my parents died there is an outbreak and there have been deaths. They finally obtained tests by smuggling them. Still do not have enough tests to check the staff on any regular basis. All that is done is fear. Fear is the entire public health program. It is conspicuous that the President and the press corps are fearless, get their hair done daily, congregate daily in a tight little room with no personal protection.

Theoretical considerations about how best to manage a pandemic are just that, theoretical. The practical facts are we shall muddle through thoughtlessly. And in meantime there has been a brazen daylight heist of ten trillion or more. To be followed by universal vaccination and chipping. If it ever gets organized. Even that program is likely to fall away and only be chaos.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 26 2020 15:06 utc | 126

@b regarding #3
As I noted, the article is from an AEI talking head. However, this doesn't automatically disqualify the thesis.
In particular, we do know that South Korea has handled the nCOV situation very well despite not having a lockdown.
What Lyman Stone is saying is that it is contact tracing and quarantine which provides the majority of nCOV benefit. Lockdowns do confer some benefit but it is a much smaller impact - but the price of lockdowns is an economic depression of uncertain duration.
China did both strategies and has done better than South Korea, but at the price of devastating its economy.

The point being: in places where nCOV has gotten out of control like New York/New Jersey/Connecticut/Louisiana/Georgia - it may be that lockdowns *and* contact tracing+quarantines are necessary, but perhaps only contact tracing+quarantines are necessary for the majority of the US (and world).

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 15:09 utc | 127

China imposed lockdown only on a small part of the country. the other East Asian countries did not try lockdown and did incomparably better than the West

Posted by: matt janonovic | Apr 26 2020 15:14 utc | 128

Regarding the smoking thesis:
One study does not equate to reality.
If smoking really confers benefits against nCOV, why is the male/female ratio of nCOV deaths in Wuhan slightly worse to similar to rest of the world?
Unlike Europe, smoking is extremely heavily skewed male in China. The majority of Chinese men smoke, but a tiny minority of Chinese women smoke yet the nCOV deaths were 60/40 to 55/45 skewed male - much like everywhere else.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 15:14 utc | 129

@ Posted by: Rancid | Apr 26 2020 9:50 utc | 97

Your "quarantine=totalitarianism" narrative would only make sense if at least one of these factors were in place:

1) if quarantine didn't work;

2) if there was a reliable and cheap cure/vaccine;

3) if the pandemic wasn't that lethal.

But quarantines do work (it reduces R0; and it reduces it the more the harshest it is); there is not cure/vaccine yet (and there won't be one until, at least next year) and the pandemic is orders of magnitude above the common flu - even a particularly strong one - in mortality rate (it is likely at 1%-1.5%m between ten and fifteen times deadlier).

When 9/11 happened, some 3,000 Americans died and nobody blinked an eye when George W. Bush removed a lot of individual liberties with the Patriot Act. On the contrary, everybody supported it on the claim it would save more lives in the future.

The advantage of the quarantine is that it actually works, as it has scientific backing.

Posted by: vk | Apr 26 2020 15:17 utc | 130

@karlof1 #61
It isn't a glut of food but rather a major supply chain disruption in both legs of the US food supply system.
I've seen reports that 40% of food is consumed outside the home - restaurants and schools primarily. The lockdown has essentially killed this part of the ecosystem.
And as others have noted (and I myself), the commercial/restaurant/school supply chain is very different.
I actually shop at a couple of commercial supply grocery stores. The sizes are ginormous and absolutely impractical even for normal sized families: 25 and 50 pound sacks of flour. 5 to 25 lb sacks of fruit, or 100-200 count. 10 lbs of specific meats.
In fact, I am exploring a startup to use web/mobile technologies plus demand aggregation and supply based delivery to see if the commercial/retail gap can be bridged.
The existing food delivery setups are pretty much exclusively "personal shopper" add-ons to existing grocery stores or are pre-packaged products only. They don't take advantage of either demand aggregation or commercial pricing to enable affordable product; their audience is primarily PMC/wealthy.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 15:22 utc | 131

Quarantene means: you take positives who are fine and lock them up in hotel or connection centre
Lockdown means: you put entire society under house arrests, mark videos as dangerous, rob nations of their livelihood, arrest thousands, beat people, stun grenades on complaining nurses, massive transfer of national wealth.

Posted by: matt Janovic | Apr 26 2020 15:30 utc | 132

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 15:09 utc | 134

in places where nCOV has gotten out of control like New Jersey/Connecticut/Louisiana/Georgia - it may be that lockdowns *and* contact tracing+quarantines are necessary, but perhaps only contact tracing+quarantines are necessary for the majority of the US (and world).

Just what is "out of control" here in NJ other than the autocratic state regime and the deranged masses? I know a grand total of one person who's gotten sick. For her it was the flu, and she got over it and was fine after a few days.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 26 2020 15:33 utc | 133

If smoking really confers benefits against nCOV, why is the male/female ratio of nCOV deaths in Wuhan slightly worse to similar to rest of the world?
Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 15:14 utc | 136

Smoking confers no benefit against Covid-19. Studies show that smoking substantially increases the risk of a more serious infection, amongst those already infected.

You have been pushing the smoking hypothesis for months, but the male/female ratios have nothing to do with smoking and everything to do with age distributions. Women live longer than men. The average age of male covid deaths in Italy was from memory about 80, females significantly older. At 80 years old, males will on average be closer to death due to other causes than females of the same age, therefore Covid-19 is more likely to push them over the line.

Posted by: BM | Apr 26 2020 15:38 utc | 134

The price of oil has dropped to below $20 and the stock market as well has sunk 30% from the levels in January. On top of this, unemployment in the U.S. is reportedly at 25%. Yet the cost of living, including food, prescription drugs, rent, housing, insurance, as well as consumers goods such as cars and iphones remain firm. I wonder how long this situation can hold? Are we headed for a depression and period of deflation where wages and prices of everything will drop? The government's plan seems to be: do everything possible to get the economy back to where it was in January and keep wages and most prices where they are. That could explain, at least in part, the multi-trillion bailouts, most of which will go to banks and corporations. There's an argument that the corporate bailouts are necessary to keep the system more or less intact and functioning. The big public and private pension plans rely heavily on their holdings in the stock and bond markets to keep paying benefits to the pension plan holders. In that sense, the bailouts will likey be supported by the boomers. And given the tendency for the punditry to go to extremes whenever a crisis hits, it's conceivable that coronavirus is just another one of these "big events" that happens, in due course the problem will be dealt with and we'll all return to the status quo. Or this time, maybe not.

Posted by: krypton | Apr 26 2020 15:49 utc | 135

On the one hand you glibly accept the possibility that smoking of all things is a benefit for infected (how likely are elderly people with one or more serious underlying medical problems, i.e. vast majority of ICU victims, to be current smokers?). While simultaneously deriding chloroquine because it has some side-effects, i.e. the same thing every household medicine does (did you know 'haemorrhage' i listed as a common side-effect of ibuprofen, among many others).

This is part of an ongoing pattern of cherry-picking that utterly ignores the opposing side of the debate, or disingenuously mischaracterises it when referenced.

The closing statements take the cake, however, and I hope they are remembered by all: "Letting infected persons stay with their family is a great method to kill whole families and to help the the epidemic continue its course...It is hard to understand why some people continue to reject this.”

Was it only opposition to US imperialism that motivated prior analysis? It certainly doesn't seem to be any underlying humanistic values or belief in bedrock principles of human rights. The idea that forcefully separating parents from children or husbands from wives could be justified on practical grounds, is asinine, and on ethical grounds utterly craven.

There is no way that anyone living in close proximity to loved ones would not have already been fully exposed to (potential) infection them long before anyone in black shirts came to hammer their door down and drag them out of their own homes. Even if this was not the case, the choice to spend such time with your own family has to remain an inviolable right for every single person to choose for themselves. Quarantining them en masse would provide as much protection to the general populace but to suggest you would forcefully separate loved ones to 'protect people from themselves' is a whole other level of inhumane. All other excesses aside, the people advocating this particular policy need to be remembered when this finally subsides.

Posted by: Glagaire | Apr 26 2020 16:02 utc | 136

Posted by: matt Janovic | Apr 26 2020 15:30 utc | 139

Lockdown means: you put entire society under house arrests, mark videos as dangerous, rob nations of their livelihood, arrest thousands, beat people, stun grenades on complaining nurses, massive transfer of national wealth.

They do that in your country? Where is that?

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 26 2020 16:08 utc | 137

In South Africa, stun grenades on nurses protesting lack of PPE and rubber bullets on folks who stay too close on line.
In India, cops driving down the street on bikes, beating anyone out, spraying returning starving migrant workers with disinfectant.
In Europe, thousands of arrests.

I just began collecting such videos and photos in chapter "This is the police...the building is surrounded" of my site

If you have some story on this issue, please send it to me

Posted by: matt janovic | Apr 26 2020 16:33 utc | 138

Posted by: matt janovic | Apr 26 2020 14:47 utc | 129

"Hong Kong, very urban, five hours from Wuhan, 7M people, 4 dead, everybody out, 7M people, 4 deaths"
"Taiwan, very close commercial and personal ties to China, no problems, 23M people, 6 deaths"

That's interesting. What are your thoughts on why their numbers are so low?

Posted by: krypton | Apr 26 2020 16:33 utc | 139

Regarding: "(It was also a psychological relief for this chain smoking blogger but should be NO reason for anyone to start this otherwise dangerous habit.)"

I read Robert Proctor's book, Golden Holocaust, some years ago. In a rather circuitous way, it helped change my behaviour toward that "dangerous habit." I'd recommend it.

Also, it is possible that Proctor coined the very useful term "agnotology" to mean the study of the deliberate creation of ignorance. See this one:

I think one of the main themes of your blog is just that: how and why is ignorance created.

Thanks for the blog!

Posted by: Peter L. | Apr 26 2020 16:37 utc | 140

Posted by: matt janovic | Apr 26 2020 16:33 utc | 146
Police brutality in South Africa is nothing new. It has been like that in apartheid days and stayed pretty much the same after.
'Europe' is too vague. The situation in France and Finland are quite different I guess.
OK, I thought you were talking about lock-downs at your place. That you are not allowed to go out even if you are not sick.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 26 2020 16:50 utc | 141

All over East Asia they beat the Virus with massive outdoor testing, strict quarantine, arrest of violators, and mandatory masks. They are extremely lax with lockdown and social distancing, see photos of subway in Taipei, Seoul, one Kong, markets in Japan. In Hong Kong funny rule "no more than four customers per table" in restaurants. InKorea, no more than 50 people at weddings. Absurd, but it works. The key is masks.

Korea 52 million people. 240 dead
Taiwan 24 millions 6 dead
Hong Kong 7 millions 4 dead

Posted by: matt janovic | Apr 26 2020 16:52 utc | 142

@Russ #140
New Jersey has an NCOV mortality of 6530 - higher than its normal average monthly mortality from all causes.
Only Lombardy, New York and Emilia-Romagni have a worse rate.
As the deaths continue to build, it is likely the final nCOV mortality will be 50% above this rate.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 16:57 utc | 143

Lockdown means in France you are allowed to go out if you have reason to go out, necessity
IN Serbia, no one allowed out all weekend unless with your dog near your house. Older than 70? You can go shopping between 4 am and 7am. Most people shop at safe local outdoor markets, all put out of business in favour of unsafe supermarkets, per se dangerous for stuffy air.
in Cyprus you need permit to your phone by police if they want to give it to you.

General shepherding plan, no more tolerance of gilets jaunes, the yellow vests in France.
Our rulers obviously know that streets and subways are crowded in East Asia, that lockdown is useless, it must have some other purpose.

Posted by: matt janovic | Apr 26 2020 17:04 utc | 144

@BM #141
You said:

You have been pushing the smoking hypothesis for months, but the male/female ratios have nothing to do with smoking and everything to do with age distributions.

I made 2 or 3 postings, over a month ago. And they were that smoking might be a negative factor, not a protective factor as b and the French study theorize.

Your post above is therefore more than a bit incoherent.

You then said:

Women live longer than men.

This is true - but it would be nice to see something more definitive than speculation based on life expectancy. Whether life expectancy applies to nCOV deaths (and thus the ratio) is a lot less clear.

Among other things, the average age of an NCOV mortality is not 80 but more like 72 (from Worldmeter New York nCOV mortality data).
The Social Security life expectancy at 72 is 13 for males and 15 for females. Even if we assume the life expectancy is a direct % function of mortality rate, that yields a ratio far lower than 60/40 or 55/45. (1.15 F/M life expectancy vs. 1.5 or 1.22)

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 17:11 utc | 145

@matt janovic #129
Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea all have *not* had lockdowns, but are doing contact tracing and quarantines.
This discrepancy is exactly why the article I posted earlier is worth considering - note that the article said lockdowns do have a beneficial effect but it is a lot lower than contact tracing and quarantines.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 17:13 utc | 146

For fairleft:
The Stanford study apparently wasn't even random:
solicitation email from wife of Stanford professor

A Stanford University professor’s wife invited parents in a wealthy enclave of Northern California to sign up for her husband’s coronavirus antibody study this month, falsely claiming that an “FDA approved” test would tell them if they had immunity and could “return to work without fear,” according to an email obtained by BuzzFeed News.


Weeks later, early results from Bhattacharya’s team would conclude that, based on the tests, the area had 50 to 85 times more infections than reported cases. That finding, along with their claim that the coronavirus would therefore have a lower fatality rate than previously thought, made national headlines. But almost as immediately, the study came under fire from scientists, who said it was based on a heavily flawed data analysis that ignored questions about the antibody test’s false positive rate — as well as a problematic Facebook recruitment strategy.

The email reveals that the researchers did not disclose another way participants were recruited that could have further skewed the results. In addition to targeting a specific demographic of parents in a wealthy part of Silicon Valley — making it even less likely that the participants represented a random sample — the email falsely claimed that the study’s antibody test was FDA approved, and was worded in a way that might have disproportionately attracted people who had previously been sick. It also misrepresented what participants could learn about their health from the testing.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 17:17 utc | 147

As to some people being against having family members ripped from our homes and placed in quarantine, its because some of us don't like totalitarianism. Funny how media generated fear gets some people demanding the sound of jack boots marching down the street. This is almost the script to V for Vendetta.

Posted by: Rancid | Apr 26 2020 9:50 utc | 97

One size fits all leaves out many cases without solution. "Ripping from homes" is justified when families cannot spare a separate room for a sick person. There is also the question of air with droplets containing the virus moving through ventilation system, gaps under the doors etc. In NYT there is a story of a doctor (facial surgery) who got sick, and made self-quarantine at home. He wrote prescription for himself, had to struggle to get X-rays when he got bronchitis -- difficulties breathing -- at night. An interesting tidbit covers another story -- you need a gadget that measures oxygen absorption and react when it drops below some level, "silent hypoxia" is one of the reason that people get oxygen too late. And he got himself this gadget.

What I want to say is that a typical lower-to-middle class household in China (or in Poland when I was growing there) may lack conditions to accommodate a person with a contagious disease. Same for middle class in places like Boston and New York, rents for apartments with one bedroom are already very high. But in Singapore and Korea there was a big reliance on "self-quarantine" and widespread use of no-contact delivery.

In other words, proper quarantine should save people trauma and the state, precious capacity, by letting them isolation at their own home if they have proper conditions there.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 26 2020 17:26 utc | 148

@Truthsayer #157
The LA test was not random - it solicited people who thought they might have had nCOV.
As I already posted, the Stanford/Santa Clara test was also poorly done.

Nor are the antibody tests particularly accurate:

So the notion that:
1) nCOV is like regular flu in mortality - wrong.
2) nCOV is widespread - also wrong.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 26 2020 17:31 utc | 149

@ Posted by: Truthsayer | Apr 26 2020 17:26 utc | 157

The SARS-CoV-2 has an incubation period of 14 days. That fact alone invalidates all of your arguments.

Sweden is doing awfully. It is one of the top countries in terms of mortality and infection rates (to total population). I've already put the link here before, fell free to delve into my comments to find it because I'm not going to post it again.

Yes, natural immunity does exist - there are people that are naturally immune to HIV. Should we infect all the global population with HIV? Of course not - it's all a matter of proportionality: if a disease is too deadly, it is simply not rational to apply herd immunity. Besides, we still don't know if humans can develop a viable immunity to the SARS-CoV-2.

Posted by: vk | Apr 26 2020 17:42 utc | 150

For a laugh look up the CDC Coronavirus self-checker. It’s just a little box on their info page that leads you through a series of questions. I answered that I was over 70, had diabetes, was overweight, had contact with those who had COVID, was having common flu symptoms. Threw in that I’d lost sense of smell. The program told me nothing to worry about, no need for a test, no need to see my doctor.

The program doesn’t care about overweight unless you have a BMI over 40. Concerning symptoms would be loss of consciousness, turning blue, coughing up lots of blood. These are the people in charge. Think I’ll get my medical advice elsewhere.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 26 2020 18:55 utc | 152

Just great, I quit smoking four weeks ago because of coronavirus, and because it has become ridiculously expensive, now what do I do?
Posted by: Gregory Purcell | Apr 25 2020 20:30 utc | 16

This seems to have fetched a few responses already + my 2 cents

If you are after nicotine, and not the other 870 substances added to cigarettes, including cyanide, yes cyanide, may I recommend rolling your own.
Doober up dude, or something like that.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Apr 26 2020 20:36 utc | 153

'Trump also marketed hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as helpful against Covid-19. But both can have severe side effects like abnormal heart rhythms and the FDA is now urgently warning against their use:';

Moonofalabama...youve been had!
a NY doctor very familar with HCQ usage in Covid19 tweets this from the french doctor very familiar with HCQ:
The VA study has been reviewed by prof Raoult:

Dr Vladimir (Zev) Zelenko
Apr 25
Please read Dr. Didier Raoult's retort to that VA 'study' touted by the professional liars in the fake news"

IF Hydroxychloroquine had sever side effects why is it being used by LUPUS patients an has for decades?
the same people who claim HCQ is unsafe also worry it might not be availanle for Lupus concern is shown that theb drug is unsafe for them.

Youve been fooled by authority. Thats a shame

Posted by: brian | Apr 26 2020 21:46 utc | 154

While covid-19 is deadly in the aged and cardiovascular infirm (like flu but much more contagious), it is essentially the common cold in young healthy people, and antibody studies are showing there are 10- to 100-fold more people who have had the disease and recovered from it than suspected (my idiot Governor thinks the finding of more infected-- with no hospitalizations,and lots of asymptomatic cases-- means the virus is much more dangerous than thought because of this huge reservoir of diseased spreading the virus, although now recovered). The huge new cohorts of mild infections make sense given the ease of spread. The lack of immunity(?) and rather low number of people (except in two Italian towns) with antibodies is still a big concern. There is a nice, simple mathematical article by Christof Kuhbandner explaining that more testing will produce more "new" cases even if there is a decrease in real new cases. Also it is important to remember that preconditions need to be corrected for percentage of the population studied. If obese and diabetics make up 30% of the infected and 30% of the deaths, there is no major effect.

Two big cohorts to watch to understand covid-19 are the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier with now 840 confirmed PCR-positive out of ~4800, one death, four in the hospital, none in ICU. (The military claims 2800 positives across branches with two deaths-- fatality rate 0.07%, but will like drop as antibody results come in.) Singapore has over 80% of its cases among foreign workers living in dormitories 8-12 to a room; the more they test, the more they find. There are over 300,000 foreign workers in Singapore accounting for about 9000 cases, of which one committed suicide and a non-hospitalized 40 year old had a fatal heart attack. Singapore is quarantining almost all of this cohort, and making sure they are still being paid. Singapore's fatality rate is 0.1% but will go down with antibody testing; most Singaporean deaths are aged in their 60s-90s and have other conditions.

Posted by: michael888 | Apr 26 2020 22:12 utc | 155

'None of those alleged protections has a scientifically explained causation chain nor have there been any serious studies that prove what you claim.

May I suggest you try drinking bleach to defeat the virus?

Bs most ridicuous comment yet.

who ever mentioned bleach? not trump.

What is a 'serious study'
usually one than nukes promising treatments.

HCQ and zinc vs virus is a well known pathway. Videos of this pathway/causation chain it can be seen on youtube
here is a diagram

Posted by: brian | Apr 26 2020 22:19 utc | 156


'While covid-19 is deadly in the aged and cardiovascular infirm (like flu but much more contagious), it is essentially the common cold in young healthy people, '

not entirely. there are reports (zurich) of stokes occuring and 'systemic vascular inflamation' of endothelium: inner lining of blood vessels

'Dr. Hakan HANLI
Apr 24
A team of the University of Zurich found that COVID-19 is not attacking lungs, but endothelium, i.e. the inside of the blood vessels. That inflammation can reach the heart, lungs, brain or the digestive system.'

Posted by: brian | Apr 26 2020 22:59 utc | 157

I hope the study controlled for social distancing. This result could just mean that smokers are distanced by non-smokers.

In any case the tobacco industry will love this claim. Their lobbyists are probably swarming Capital Hill right now.

Posted by: Edward | Apr 26 2020 23:23 utc | 158

Brian @168 linked to a tweet about about research at University of Zurich. An article on it here.

Quite an interesting read and it seems the reason for multiple organ failures and also the increased severity in the aged and people with other specific health issues.

Varga has been able to use an electron microscope to verify for the first time that SARS-CoV-2 is present and causes cell necrosis in endothelial tissue.

Endothelial tissue is a cell layer that acts as a protective shield in blood vessels and regulates and balances out various processes in the microvessels. The disruption of this regulatory process can, for example, cause circulatory disorders in organs and body tissue, resulting in cellular necrosis and thus to the death of these organs or tissue...
... This means that the virus not only triggers the inflammation of the lungs, which then causes further complications, but is also directly responsible for systemic endotheliitis, an inflammation of all endothelial tissue in the body which affects all vessel beds – in heart, brain, lung and renal vessels as well as vessels in the intestinal tract....
...The endothelial tissue of younger patients is usually capable of coping well with the attacks launched by the virus. The situation is different for patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes, heart failure or coronary heart diseases, all of which have one thing in common – their endothelial function is markedly impaired. If patients such as these become infected with SARS-COV-2, they will be particularly at risk, as their already weakened endothelial function will diminish even further, especially during the phase in which the virus reproduces the most.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 26 2020 23:44 utc | 159

'If patients such as these become infected with SARS-COV-2, they will be particularly at risk, as their already weakened endothelial function will diminish even further, especially during the phase in which the virus reproduces the most. '

so treatment would need to be early while pr before virus replicates

Posted by: brian | Apr 27 2020 0:37 utc | 160

i had a lot of chainsaw work today and i did that before coming here.. thanks for your patience on the response time..

@ 90 russ... thanks for your post and elucidating the terms i was unfamiliar with.. i went and visited your site via the link you shared as well.. i liked the quote at the top of the post from april 26th and looked back to the previous post of april 17th and was surprised to read they closed state and county parks.. that is a shame and i understand a wee bit more why you are overly dramatic on all this.. i don't see why that had to happen and as i said previously, it hasn't happened here in b.c.

that's fine continuing with the focus on authoritarianism, not that you needed me to okay it!! my angle was the part of painting a lot of posters as authoritarian nazi types.. that seemed overly unkind/ungenerous.. people might not see things the same way, but labelling others in especially unfriendly ways isn't helpful.. the idea of authoritarian and debating that is a good thing.. i don't think about it too much, but maybe i need to more..

i think covid 19 is very much a political matter, but it seems certain places are giving the authority to the health professionals... i know that is the case here in canada.. looks like it is going differently in the usa..

@ 102 john... thanks for the link.. i found the article had some valid points! it is true many are giving their music away.. i can't say the same about myself! i don't use all the mediums discussed and am a bit old school in my involvement.. the last recording i made, the only way to get the music is via buying a hard copy cd.. i never put it up on youtube, or shared it via spotify and etc. etc.. regarding the comment you seemed curious for more info on - "difficulty processing change" - it's a generalization that has all the pitfalls of generalizations! but still i think it is true, especially for those who get old, or get old too young, and etc. i am not sure where i put myself in all that.. what are you thoughts?? the author the article makes many good points.. i am noticing this especially among younger musicians.. they are happy to give away the music.. i make money primarily thru live performance, but as i have said before the canuck gov't is giving anyone who is smart enough to file taxes - this will cut out a good few musicians, including myself when i was younger - a 2000 grand a month emergency fund.. that is more then i make in a month! i went and bought 3 songbooks from brazil thru lumiar editora publications..ivan lins, djavan and gilberto gil.. i am listening to free music now! - on a personal note, here is a live 1 mike recording that was shared earlier today.. skip to the last 3 minutes of the video.. i'm playing drums on it.. its free, lol! -

@105 fairleft.. i am guilty of not speaking in a clear manner.. i am sorry about that! my problem with opening up to everyone under 65 is the same...without more testing, many of the health care workers and those in their care, are going to get this covid 19... the choices seem stark.. open up and at the same time not have the tools to protect the vulnerable.. as it stands, it looks like it is going to go this route in the usa.. we can watch it as an experiment, but it seems like a shame to expose so many people to something that the gov't isn't capable of protecting these same people... if it was a war with some foreign country, would the usa be this unprepared?? i don't think so! so why are they so friggin unprepared with this?? the fact is they are... and it doesnt sound much different here in canada either, with the exception the gov't of canada is offering financial support to many... lets see how it plays out..

@ 106 jen... i live with an lpn, which is one step down from an rn.. they get paid fairly well here in canada.. of course there are many different types of health care, or hospital workers.. i agree with everything you say... but the countries, canada included are not prepared.. as i mentioned to fairleft - if this was a war - they would probably be much better prepared.. this is a war of a different type and the countries are generally really unprepared for this.. the lockdown measures seem like a cheap substitute, but lacking testing, PPE and etc. etc. - we are left to debate the best strategy.. it is kind of like having to cook a meal and not having the ingredients, or only having some of the ingredients... i don't know the answer here, but i agree with what you say..

@132 oldhippie.. thanks for sharing the personal stories on your kindness.. i know i'd get along with you in person and always enjoy what you have to say here at moa.. the ten trillion heist you mention - that is probably true. this is always happening in the usa and world.. it is being run by the wrong people for the wrong reasons.. democracy is a real sham.. if it wasn't covid, it would be something else where the kleptomaniacs would profit off it.. "universal vaccination and chipping".. i can't see how they pull that off.. but maybe the usa is a lot more fucked then i give it credit for... you mention the only usa model for isolation is a prison cell... unfortunately the penal system in the usa is the worst in the world as i see it.. funny how it works how the most ''free'' country in the world has the most draconian and unfree system of putting in people in vast numbers in prison.. the ''3 strikes and your out'', is a prime example of the insanity.. the prison industry is big biz in the usa.. sorry for the rant.. i got sidetracked... as you say - we will muddle along - same deal in canada with some other clear differences too.. happy trails and stay safe..

Posted by: james | Apr 27 2020 1:16 utc | 161

brian 171 "so treatment would need to be early while pr before virus replicates"

Yes. China I believe started treating all at risk patients with antivirals as soon as they were diagnosed.
For the severe cases they were trying to first eradicate the virus and then use strong anti inflammatories to stop or tone down the immune reaction.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 27 2020 1:26 utc | 162

@ 163 oldhippie.. that is bizarre!

Posted by: james | Apr 27 2020 1:38 utc | 163

BM @ 112:

This is what I said @ 31:

... The Chinese information suggesting that 99% of infections occur indoors should prompt builders, architects, engineers and [airconditioning] manufacturers to consider ways in which conventional airconditioning systems in enclosed environments might be adjusted or redesigned to [mix] fresh air with recycled and recycling air, so as to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19 and other contagions (like Legionnaire's) through internal systems.

There may be a case for reintroducing some sports events that are normally played outdoors, and even bringing professional indoor sports out into the open again. Basketball, netball and other sports using a ball and hoop could become completely outdoors in their professional formats like many other team sports, and might attract more fans. Gymnastics used to be an outdoor sport as well. No reason why major gymnastics events at regional, national and international levels can't be brought outdoors: special mats for floor exercises and for protection could be made and used for outdoor events.

What I said in the third paragraph is that there MAY be a case for reintroducing SOME sports events usually played outdoors. I left that paragraph in a general form as there could be scope for reintroducing outdoor sports events but with modifications to the way they were played or staged pre-COVID19. Some football matches for example could be staged but without a live audience, watched by fans online, and with fans in contact by Skype or Zoom to the match organisers in some way so their reactions can be broadcast on a screen but without influencing the game or giving some indication of sideline coaching. Football codes that involve very close contact in the form of scrums or scrimmages might have to limit the number of such forms of close contact, limit the amount of time that can spent in scrums or even the number of players in them.

Balls used and equipment including clothing and safety guards that have to be worn would need to be sanitised before and after any matches with UV scanners or anti-bacterial / anti-viral means. Mouth guards and helmets would have to be sanitised with UV light.

BTW the Chinese study did not include Hubei province (where the lockdown was in place).


Background: By early April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had infected nearly one million people and had spread to nearly all countries worldwide. It is essential to understand where and how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted.

Methods: Case reports were extracted from the local Municipal Health Commissions of 320 prefectural cities (municipalities) in China, not including Hubei province, between 4 January and 11 February 2020. We identified all outbreaks involving three or more cases and reviewed the major characteristics of the enclosed spaces in which the outbreaks were reported and associated indoor environmental issues.

Results: Three hundred and eighteen outbreaks with three or more cases were identified, involving 1245 confirmed cases in 120 prefectural cities. We divided the venues in which the outbreaks occurred into six categories: homes, transport, food, entertainment, shopping, and miscellaneous. Among the identified outbreaks, 53.8% involved three cases, 26.4% involved four cases, and only 1.6% involved ten or more cases. Home outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%), followed by transport (108; 34.0%; note that many outbreaks involved more than one venue category). Most home outbreaks involved three to five cases. We identified only a single outbreak in an outdoor environment, which involved two cases.

Conclusions: All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment, which confirms that sharing indoor space is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 27 2020 2:34 utc | 164

brian and Peter AU1

Thank you for the info about endotheliitis.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 27 2020 2:41 utc | 165

more on smokers and COVID19... this time negatie

'That also explained why smokers and people with pre-existing conditions who had a weakened endothelial function, or unhealthy blood vessels, were more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, he said'

Posted by: brian | Apr 27 2020 3:10 utc | 166

Primeiro, ressalto que a Embaixada da China no Brasil publicou um minucioso documento no qual estão descritos desde o layout das instalações médicas até pormenores do tratamento, que inclui explicitamente o uso de cloroquina nas fases iniciais, pós detecção.

Está também explicitado que o uso da substância não é recomendado em que estágios avançados.

Se o blogueiro insiste na racionalidade, por qual motivo lógico ignorar as práticas com as quais os chineses obtiveram os seus sucessos? Há racionalidade nessa atitude? O blogueiro consultou fontes oriente, especificamente chinesas?

Há uma clara incoerência do blogueiro, que não é escondida por sugestões pouco elegantes sobre água sanitária.

Segundo, o Nobel de Medicina Luc Montagnier veio a público confirmar que os artigos publicados pelos indianos antes estavam certos, o vírus foi fabricado e tem sequências de RNA do HIV.

A racionalidade não está apenas na Europa e, lembrando Didier Raoult, é insultante duvidar da capacidade de chineses e (acrescento) indianos.

Gosto muito das discussões aqui travadas, mas nesse ponto o blogueiro está dando voltas dentro de uma cela mental eurocêntrica, desconsiderando (apenas com base numa pseudo neutralidade científica) sem motivos lógicos uma prática que deu resultados na China.

No final, está apenas seguindo (nessa questão, friso) a trilha sinalizada por terceiros interessados.

PS. Não apóio Bolsonaro, mas aqui também presenciei o abandono da razão simplesmente porque ele defendeu a cloroquina.

Posted by: Clóvis Ribeiro Chave | Apr 27 2020 3:16 utc | 167

"... a Embaixada da China no Brasil publicou um documento..

"Está explicitamente informado que o uso do componente não recomendado nos estágios avançados."

Posted by: Clóvis Ribeiro Chave | Apr 27 2020 3:24 utc | 168

c1ue | Apr 26 2020 15:09 utc | 134

In the US, contact tracing and testing simply will not occur. Our government is too incompetent to do tracing and too incompetent and miserly to do adequate testing. What we can do is mostly wear masks and mostly do reasonable social distancing.

Another thing we Americans can do is get kicked out of our homes and starve under a bridge because we have no money in a dead economy. So, quarantine till there's a cheap and effective vaccine!

Or, we can face other realities: we have to have an economy so we can make money in order to buy food and pay rent. Again, the government is not handing out money other than that $1200 and/or unemployment compensation, and even that distribution has almost completely broken down. We can whine for more, but we sure shouldn't expect more.

And there's good news: One of the curiously under-reported emerging facts is that Covid-19 is not that dangerous to healthy people under 65 years of age. And that matches who needs to get back to work and support their families.

Another positive reality is that masks, washing hands, 1-meter social distancing get almost all the mitigation job done. Quarantining adds more, but not much more.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 27 2020 3:43 utc | 169

BM at 131: Thanks for taking apart that 'smoking is good for you' problematic result.

More important, for me, 171 of the 661 had Covid-19 antibodies but nobody died. The power of relative youth against Covid-19.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 27 2020 4:49 utc | 170

I have just read the Chinese study mentioned by BM. It tells us that “among our 7,324 identified cases with sufficient description, only one outdoor outbreak,” a young man got the illness in an outdoor conversation with a man returned from Wuhan.

The illness is spread indoors, and the 1-meter rule is a sham—unfortunately spread by the WHO. CDC gives us another lie, they say two meters.
A sneeze blows your coronas 7 meters.
No sneeze? No problem. I just say hi to the cashier lady, and my coronas fly off and float in the air, for you to breathe in hours later.
The store doors are closed most of the time, no fans blowing air out.
Closing the farmers’ market, that feed most people in most parts of the world, was a murderous act.
Possible motives: desire to crush small traders, desire to move trade to big stores that charge more, and ignorance/stupidity.

Posted by: matt janovic | Apr 27 2020 4:55 utc | 171

@far left said: masks, washing hands, 1-meter distancing will solve problem, quarantining adds more, but not much more.

Posted by: matt janovic | Apr 27 2020 4:58 utc | 172

Disabuseer | Apr 26 2020 16:01 utc | 143

Good question. What will happen in the US to vulnerable people

1. If/when the economy opens up again.

2. If the economy stays mostly closed.

1. The oligarchy will distribute nothing even close to adequate funding to nursing homes, retirement homes, alternative facilities to care for the vulnerable and very old during this crisis. So, if you have lots of money you'll find excellent care, careful quarantine procedures, and so on. If not, the old will rely on Medicare and get shoddy care, slipshod quarantining, poorly paid/trained, often "don't give a shit" workers. Those under 65 and vulnerable will get nothing and will just have to go back to work.

2. Same as 1., except those under 65 and vulnerable won't work, will run out of money and then endure all the misery that generates.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 27 2020 5:07 utc | 173

c1ue | Apr 26 2020 17:17 utc | 155

By Stanford study, you mean the Santa Clara County study. What about the LA County study, the Miami-Dade study, the NYC pregnancy study, the German small town study, the Iceland study? All the studies are imperfect. But all point to what was said by U of Oxford a couple weeks ago: a probable IFR of between 0.10 and 0.36%.

More important than the overall IFR, what is the IFR for under-65s, or healthy under-65s? That's what I wish we could discuss. But I can't find such results, just charts showing almost all the increased deaths are among over-70s.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 27 2020 5:13 utc | 174

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 27 2020 5:13 utc | 186

All studies don't all point to IFR 0,1 - 0,3, please stop manipulating other people. I saw that claim in other comments of yours too. I already sent you a link with several IFRs above 0,3 and i see that you continue to try to manipulate people about how all studies found IFRs between 0,1-0,3.

0,9 via WHO
0,3 to 1 via WHO
0,37 Germany
Lombardia 0.87% (lower limit)
0,6 & 0,5-0,7 - France and China

Several other with above 0,3 via Oxford U

There is no doubt that there are many many studies with pretty high IFR (0,5 is 25 times higher than the last influenza pandemic, the Swine Flu).

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 27 2020 5:13 utc | 186

There are several age estimated IFRs in the links, did you even try to search?.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 27 2020 11:15 utc | 175

Re: Posted by: Jen | Apr 26 2020 11:36 utc | 106

Jen, you bring up the viral outbreak centred on a hospital in Burnie, Tasmania.

That is easily answered.

Tasmania has a third world health system and the virus is wreaking havoc on the Apple Isle. As many as 10 people have died now because of the poor healthcare system in that state.

It's an absolute disaster.

Posted by: Julian | Apr 27 2020 11:24 utc | 176

Passer by at 187: You misunderstood. I said all the results point toward the following U of Oxford prediction: "Taking account of historical experience, trends in the data, increased number of infections in the population at largest, and potential impact of misclassification of deaths gives a presumed estimate for the COVID-19 IFR somewhere between 0.1% and 0.36%." All studies are imperfect and not all are within that range. Here are the ones I've found, which seem in line with the Oxford prediction:
NYC shopping center: 0.6%
Santa Clara County: 0.1 - 0.2%
LA County: 0.1 - 0.3%
France high school: 0.0%
Germany, Gangelt: 0.37%
Bergamo: 0.57%
Lombardio: 0.87%
Iceland: 0.05%
UK: 0.9%
China: 0.66%
Boston homeless shelter: 0.0%

I am not in competition with you. If you found data on the IFR of elderly people and didn't show it to the rest of us, well why not? You either don't think it's important data (why not?) or you think you're at war with me and don't wanna give me something that will help 'my side' win. I don't feel that way and I hope you change your approach.

In fact, the data is still weak, and we're basing huge, possibly tragically screwed up decisions on it. Peter Attia writes about the still uncertain data very well:

Go back in time to March 1: Knowing what we knew then, quarantine and extreme social distancing was absolutely the right thing to do because we didn’t even know what we didn’t know, and we needed to slow the clock down. It was like taking a timeout early in the first quarter after your opponent has just scored two lightning touchdowns in a rapid succession. It may have seemed unnecessary to some, but we needed to figure out what was going on.

The mistake was not taking the timeout. The mistake was not using our timeout to better understand our opponent. We failed to scale up testing and gather the essential information outlined here that would have helped us create better, more nuanced and hopefully more accurate models, rather than having to essentially guess at our data inputs (and hence at the outcomes). Now, six weeks later, we are still in the dark because we didn’t do the broad testing that we should have done back then. We still don’t know fully how many people contract this virus and come out relatively unscathed.

We still have time to reduce the health and economic damage done by this virus and our response to it, but we can’t waste another timeout sitting around looking at each other and guessing.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 27 2020 13:43 utc | 177

The LA study was already documented as skewed - it also advertised for people who had undergone flu-like symptoms and was drive-up.
The Iceland and German studies are 100% skewed by the initial populations: both countries had initial infections from a super-spreader giving it to 20-year olds in Switzerland. The infection population in both Iceland and Germany was thus skewed very young early.
Iceland also has a very low number of over 65s relative in its population: Iceland age demographics

Compare above with Italy's Italy age demographic

New York hospitals: given the huge numbers of nCOV dead and infected in New York - hospitals are certainly a likely vector for getting nCOV infections.

Most importantly - if nCOV mortality rates are truly 0.3% or less - then New York and Lombardy nCOV mortality rates are impossible...and they're clearly not.

If 0.1% - then New York and Lombardy would require over 100% of the population to be nCOV infected.

If 0.37% - then New York and Lombardy would require 30% and 37% of the entire population to be infected. Theoretically possible, but given that nCOV mortality continues to increase - the likely infection % will also increase to well over 50% levels.

All in all, it is 100% clear that you're skewing towards studies that confirm your desired result as opposed to the overall data set.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 27 2020 13:45 utc | 178

c1ue | Apr 27 2020 13:45 utc | 190

I wish people would stop with the accusatory, 'Twitter-damaged' way of communicating here.

Every study is skewed. There have been no random studies of adequately diverse populations. We need better data.

I think I've listed every actual scientific study. What exactly am I skewing? Or, instead of attacking my 'ulterior motives' why not just say what you think the IFR is and show your evidence? I agree with University of Oxford. Who do you have in your corner?

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 27 2020 13:52 utc | 179

"Trump also marketed hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as helpful against Covid-19. But both can have severe side effects like abnormal heart rhythms and the FDA is now urgently warning against their use:

FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.
Close supervision is strongly recommended"

That's all, B? Really?

How about the news out of Australia?

Something is off with your otherwise excellent geopolitical reporting. I get that you dislike Trump as is your perogative but something about some of your reporting on COVID-19 feels off...

Interesting times

Posted by: Skeletor | Apr 27 2020 16:05 utc | 180

"It was also a psychological relief for this chain smoking blogger..."

Sad to hear that you are a chain smoker, b. Please stay well.

Posted by: d dan | Apr 27 2020 17:23 utc | 181

Skeletor | Apr 27 2020 16:05 utc | 182

I feel the same. I cannot see any real reason why this topic of treatment with Chloroquin is so politicized. @krollchem helped a bit to understand the underlying mechanism, not given in any other blog that I know of.

Of course there is no reason to recommend to start smoking. ;-)

What are the experiences in Australia wiht Chloroquin in the meantime?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Apr 27 2020 18:14 utc | 182

@fairleft #181
The fact that you keep pushing the handful of studies that support your view is very clear indicator of bias - conscious or otherwise.
Nor have you looked into these studies in any detail, nor are you - even now - acknowledging that there are serious issues with many of them.

What I have been doing all along is posting information - both for and against various theses to show that there is a range of data and conclusions.

And furthermore, that there are ways to easily dismiss the least credible nonsense such as mortality rates of 0.1% (i.e. its just a regular flu).

As for Oxford: the Oxford model has not only been wrong, it continues to lag behind ongoing data to a serious extent.
Among the Oxford model's more obviously wrong conclusions: In March, the Oxford model estimated 68% of the population had been exposed to coronavirus.
But to be fair, the Oxford model has different scenarios for which the 68% nCOV exposure was the highest/worst case, but that there were a range of others including another version where a very small % of population was exposed.
To clearly communicate what any given number means, you have to also communicate the specific scenario underlying the result.
Failure to do so means conclusions will almost certainly be wrong, and focusing on the number which most closely fits prejudice is precisely how wrong conclusions are drawn and maintained.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 27 2020 19:37 utc | 183

To clearly communicate what any given number means, you have to also communicate the specific scenario underlying the result.
Failure to do so means conclusions will almost certainly be wrong, and focusing on the number which most closely fits prejudice is precisely how wrong conclusions are drawn and maintained.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 27 2020 19:37 utc | 185

Give it a rest troll/c1ue,

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
- Upton Sinclair

Your mastery of science is derisory.

Posted by: avid Lurker | Apr 27 2020 20:10 utc | 184

c1ue | Apr 27 2020 19:37 utc | 185

You never critique any of the studies that align w your position, only the ones that differ from it. For example the two Italy studies are obvously flawed. No comment from you. Why?

All the studies are flawed.

I will stick w the U of Oxford assessment despite the attraction of joining the c1ue assessment. Advice: Instead of relying on your own prestige, you need to align yourself w a famous scientist or group of scientists who've made an overall assessment (or review of studies) that disagrees with Oxford.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 28 2020 0:11 utc | 185

It seems quite clear to me - for an infectious disease one quarantines the sick if it is deadly. With this virus - isolate the vulnerable. One doesn't isolate everybody when healthy people under 65 rarely die and rarely even get sick enough to need to see a doctor. A big deal is made that there are asymptomatic people who are infected. they can spread the virus. So what if they don't come in contact with the vulnerable. the economy could have continued But the hospitals would be overwhelmed so the lockdown proponents say. This is not the pneumonic black plague resistant to tetracycline. It is not deadly for healthy people. How many poor people (there are billions who don't get enough to eat daily) who will suffer even more with a collapsed world economy caused by lockdowns. The virus didn't cause the world economy to collapse - the lockdowns are causing the world economy to collapse. Every malnourished child is handicapped for life if it continues. I would rather they have a fighting chance even if old people with pre-existing conditions "might" die a short while before their time.

Posted by: gepay | Apr 28 2020 1:28 utc | 186

They quaranteened each and everyone when they realized the deplorables on the public transportation started to infect the policemen, medical staff and soldiers who also took public transportation, not to mention the politicians themselves, who also have staff including from the deplorables.
When these strategic assets started to be infected in big figures they pressed the stop button.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 28 2020 7:52 utc | 187

Health officials have a job — public health. But life is full of tradeoffs. No doubt, there was wisdom to “flattening the curve” for a time to avoid overwhelming hospitals. But public health officials do not have the last word on destroying an economy and the lives, literally and figuratively, of working-class Americans and small-business owners who are the driving force behind job creation. It would be nice to hear some officials recognize the tragic nature of these tradeoffs and the need to face them squarely.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 28 2020 8:49 utc | 188

Fairleft, I stopped reading at "participating in televised Masses"...on top of that he claims that he wants to save the working class vs the elderly?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 28 2020 10:13 utc | 189

fairleft @Apr28 8:49

The people have a job — to service their debt. But life is full of tradeoffs. No doubt, there was wisdom to “flattening the curve” for a time to avoid overwhelming hospitals. But the people do not have the last word on destroying capital and the serenity, literally and figuratively, of wealthy Americans and public officials that serve them who are the driving force behind capitalism. It would be nice to hear some officials recognize the cull of the old and weak and the failure to serve the people squarely.



Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 28 2020 13:21 utc | 190

A whole raft of slams on the Santa Clara/Stanford study: OC Register article

Alan Cole @AlanMCole

I don't think there's a way to say this diplomatically, but I think it's important to tell the truth:

I have zero confidence in the Santa Clara serology study, and the recent work of Eran Bendavid generally.


“I think the authors owe us all an apology… not just to us, but to Stanford,” wrote Andrew Gelman, a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University, calling the conclusions “some numbers that were essentially the product of a statistical error.”


From the lab of Erik van Nimwegen of the University of Basel came this: “Loud sobbing reported from under Reverend Bayes’ grave stone,” referring to the famed statistician’s technique. “Seriously, I might use this as an example in my class to show how NOT to do statistics.”


Others noted that authors had agendas before going into the study. Back in March, Bhattacharya and Dr. Eran Bendavid wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal arguing that a universal quarantine may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health. Their colleague John Ioannidis has written that we lack the data to make such drastic economic sacrifices.


One major problem with the Santa Clara County study relates to test specificity. It used a kit purchased from Premier Biotech, based in Minneapolis with known performance data discrepancies of two “false positives” out of every 371 true negative samples.


Posted by: c1ue | Apr 28 2020 13:33 utc | 191

Really long article by an actual emergency room doctor.
Very worth reading.

It’s sobering that in just a couple of months — an era marked by unprecedented societal shutdown as a disease-control measure — COVID-19 has still already surpassed last year’s entire flu season death toll.


Like COVID-19, SARS also first appeared in China. A 64-year-old physician then traveled from there to Hong Kong, checked into a hotel, infected 16 other people, and 10 days later died. Many of the hotel guests he infected got onto international flights. One flew to Toronto. Another went to a local Hong Kong hospital for shortness of breath, and was treated with nebulized salbutamol (a bronchodilator to open up tight, wheezy airways, like the albuterol people across America use for asthma).

A nebulizer bubbles air through a medical fluid for the patient to inhale; unfortunately the patient also exhales, and this carried the SARS virus in a mist of droplets throughout a tightly packed Hong Kong emergency department. Over the next 2 weeks, some 138 people who’d been there that day ended up hospitalized with SARS, many of them healthcare workers.

Fifteen of those people died, and among survivors studied, even two years later, most had decreased lung function, exercise tolerance and overall health — all from just having been in the same emergency department as a SARS patient getting a neb. It’s no wonder that in the COVID-19 era, hospitals are afraid of nebulizers.

Lots more info on now intubations work, good and bad points, lots of other details.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 28 2020 13:52 utc | 192

Mina 191: So, you want the working class to starve to death.

Jackrabbit 192: So, you want the working class to starve to death.

Both of your responses are sociopathic and anti-working class.

Mina, televised masses are irrelevant to the quote. What do you think of the issue raised by the quote?? How do you feel about a lockdown that is "destroying an economy and the lives, literally and figuratively, of working-class Americans"?

Jackrabbit, begging for a society to make the difficult but real life/death cost/benefit decision the US is faced with, because the working class needs to live, is pro-working class, obviously. Reading anti-working-class into that is lunacy.

And then there's c1ue at 193 who says nothing about the flawed studies (y a w n, all of the studies are flawed) that support his position and only attacks the studies or surveys that go against his dream of what the truth must surely be. Still waiting for your critique of the Lombardia and Bergamo studies.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 28 2020 14:41 utc | 193

@fairleft #187
Each time you embrace Oxford because it confirms your bias, it only reinforces your intellectual tunnel vision.

I actually agree with this statement.
But unlike you, I am not saying "2 legs bad" by trying to paint nCOV as a minor health issue.
It is not. period.

Equally, the notion that lockdowns are never necessary: equally wrong. It is quite clear that lockdowns for New York and its area, Lombardy and its area were necessary.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 28 2020 15:14 utc | 194

fairleft @Apr28 14:41

You are excusing neo-liberal governments that threw the working class, and everyone that is not 1% under the bus many years ago.

'Herd immunity' for a new virus, however it's excused, represents failure. Why can't we hold our government accountable for that failure?

The ruling-class/establishment always portrays neo-liberal policies as beneficial to the working class/middle-class. It is generally only superficially so.

Neolib government policy:

socialize goods (like bailouts) among the wealthy and well-connected

socialize bads among the lower classes


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 28 2020 15:29 utc | 195

i have been pointing at the problems of harsh lockdowns ever since they have been imposed, but this guy has no credibility.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 28 2020 15:37 utc | 196

Here's an overview of Taiwan's response to nCOV.

No lockdown, but restrictions on incoming passengers from China to start with with all foreign nationals a month later.
14 day quarantines for anyone incoming.
Contact tracing.

Most of the documented Taiwan cases are from outside - 55 of 428 were "homegrown".

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 28 2020 17:05 utc | 197

c1ue @199


On 31 December 2019, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) implemented inspection measures for inbound flights from Wuhan, China in response to reports of an unidentified outbreak. The passengers of all such flights were inspected by health officials before disembarking. Taiwan's Central News Agency reported that Luo Yi-jun, deputy director for Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control, had been reading on PTT in the early hours of New Year's Eve when a thread about an unknown disease causing pneumonia in Wuhan caught his attention. He saw a post including screenshots from a group chat with Li Wenliang. He immediately emailed colleagues and put the country on alert.

A six-year-old passenger who transferred in Wuhan and developed a fever was closely monitored by the CDC. At this time, there were alleged to be 27 cases of the new pneumonia in Wuhan.

By 5 January 2020, the Taiwan CDC began monitoring all individuals who had travelled to Wuhan within fourteen days and exhibited a fever or symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. These people were screened for 26 known pathogens, including SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, and those testing positive were quarantined.[8]

On 20 January, the government deemed the risk posed by the outbreak sufficient to activate the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

. . .

After the first case of the coronavirus was reported on 21 January, the Taiwanese government announced a temporary ban on the export of face masks for a month on 24 January to secure a supply of masks for its own citizens. The ban was extended twice; on 13 February until the end of April, and on 13 April until the end of June....

On 2 February 2020, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center postponed the opening of primary and secondary schools until 25 February ...


Trump administration officials were briefed to the coronavirus outbreak in China on January 3, 2020.

In January 2020, President Trump disregarded warnings from his administration's officials about the threat the virus posed to the United States in favor of the country's economic considerations. He publicly downplayed the danger until mid-March, making numerous optimistic statements, including that the outbreak was "under control" and being overcome, or that the virus would somehow vanish... March 13, Trump declared the coronavirus to be a national emergency, freeing up $50 billion in federal funds to fight the outbreak.


On March 15, the Federal Reserve cut their target interest rate again to a range of 0% to 0.25% and announced a $700 billion quantitative easing program ...

On March 17, the Federal Reserve announced a program to buy as much as $1 trillion in corporate commercial paper to ensure credit continued flowing in the economy. The measure was backed by $10 billion in Treasury funds....

On March 23, the Federal Reserve announced large-scale expansion of quantitative easing, with no specific upper limit, and reactivation of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility.

On March 22 and 23, the $1.4 trillion package, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act), failed to pass in the Senate.The act was revised in the Senate, coming to $2 trillion, including $500 billion for loans to larger businesses such as airlines, $350 billion for small business loans, $250 billion for individuals, $250 billion for unemployment insurance, $150 billion for state and municipal governments, and $130 billion for hospitals. It passed unanimously in the Senate late the night of March 25. On March 27, the House approved the stimulus bill and it was signed into law by President Trump.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 28 2020 17:57 utc | 198

French PM just announced that they ll start contact tracing on May 11 and that even after that date, people will be allowed out their homes but no further than 100 km (unless proper reason and signed paper). At that date too, masks will be obligatory on public transportations and shops etc.
So the last 6 weeks of house arrest are just training and time to sew the masks.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 28 2020 18:29 utc | 199

Oh, i forgot, beaches and parks will remain close at least til 1st of June, but only the devil knows why.
If by then they have not completely killed the immunity of most of the population who don't enjoy a ranch or a villa, they will have to elaborate a b plan.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 28 2020 18:31 utc | 200

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