Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 27, 2021

Covid-19 - Surfing The Third Wave

The second wave of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has receded and the people have had enough of restrictions. There is immense pressure to end the lockdowns and many politicians will do as their voters wish. But there will be a third wave and it is likely to become larger than the second one. Below I try to explain why that is the case and what it means for our societies. My conclusions may sound alarmist, and I may be all wrong, but the scenario is neither impossible nor am I the only one who thinks it is likely.

The Spanish Flu came in three waves spread over 18 month. By summer 1919 most populations had gained some immunity against it. During the winter flu season of 1919 the new disease was no longer a public danger.

Deaths per thousand people during the Spanish Flu


Here is the similar curve for the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The U.S. just finished what - in comparison to 1918/19 - is the second wave of the pandemic.

Source - bigger

The situation is similar in large parts of the world. The Covid-19 pandemic has just finished its second wave.

Number of new cases per day

Source - bigger

One or two weeks ago Europe and the U.S. reached the floor of the valley. From hereon it is another uphill climb. Despite continuing lockdown measures the rate of change of the number of new cases has already turned positive again. The number of new infections is growing again. The third wave has started.

Weekly rate of change of the number of new cases since Jan 1 2021

Source - bigger

What factors are at play now and how may they effect the shape of a third wave?

New variants of the virus, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical measures will each have certain effects. But the people's behavior will be the most important factor.

New variants:

In Europe as in the Americas the British B.1.1.7 variant of the virus is now becoming dominant. The strain is 50% more infectious and more deadly than the virus variants that have been circling so far. (There are additional variants of concern (VoC) which will become relevant in later phases, especially those which can infect people who are immune against the original virus.)

The numbers from Britain and Denmark show that it only takes a few weeks for a better adapted strain like B.1.1.7 to gain the upper hand.

Source - bigger

Pharmaceutical interventions:

We do not have proven medications which could help to suppress or heal Covid-19 infections. (Some candidates are still in development. Others, like Ivermectin, are still in trials.)

Luckily, and unlike in 1918/1919, we now have vaccines that work well at preventing serious illness and death. Studies from Israel (1, 2) and Scotland (1) show high vaccine effectiveness in the population. This stuff works.

But population wide vaccinations take time. At the current rate it is unlikely that vaccinations will be sufficient to suppress a third wave. They may dampen it a bit but that is all we can hope for.

The currently ongoing vaccination of priority groups, the people most endangered, will help to keep death within those groups down.

Non-pharmaceutical interventions:

Non-pharmaceutical measures like lockdowns and mask mandates have helped during the first and second wave to push the replication rate R below 1. But the next wave will come with a 50% more infectious variant of the virus. To keep the replication rate under 1 in the third wave would thus require stronger non-pharmaceutical measures to keep the virus under control.

The rate of increase of new cases in Denmark from week to week is now at 33%! This despite ongoing lockdown measures.

Weekly rate of change in the number of new cases since Jan 1 2021

Source - bigger


There is a growing share of the population that ignores lockdown and mask mandates. These are not all Covidiots. The people have just had enough of it.

Arash @thekarami - 15:26 UTC · Feb 27, 2021
Replying to @thekarami

These lockdowns are beginning to resemble the forever wars in that any time someone speaks against them you get a whole bunch of people screaming that we must continue until we reach an arbitrary and ever moving goal.

And for those of you who are new, I’m not a covid denier, I’m not anti-mask, my brother is a doctor at a hospital and impacted directly, I took this seriously for the first three months, six months, nine months but it’s been 12 months and they’re talking about 2022? 2022!? No.


The third wave will come with a stronger virus gaining dominance. In some countries (esp. eastern Europe) most people already ignore the lockdown measures. It is unlikely that the authorities will be able to press for even stronger ones. We will have to surf this wave without the effects of most of them.

At the end of the Spanish Flu pandemic the population had reached some kind of herd immunity. Enough people were immune against the virus to prevent further large outbreaks. A large part of that herd immunity was achieved during the second wave of that pandemic when many, many people got infected. The third wave was therefore smaller than the second one.

In Europe and the U.S. we are, even after the second wave, far away from herd immunity. Less than 10%-15% of the populations has had the disease and achieved immunity. Immunity can be reached through infection or through vaccination. Over the next weeks we will only have enough vaccination capacity to immunize the most endanger 10 or 20% of the population. The other 70 to 80% are still not immune and still endangered.

All this makes it likely that the third wave of this pandemic, with a stronger virus, less effective interventions, little herd immunity, will become much bigger than the second wave. Instead of 250,000 new cases per day in the U.S. during the top of the second wave we may see 2.5 million new cases per day during the third wave.

There is one factor that may prevent that. It will get warmer and seasonality does play a role in respiratory infections. But mid June to August 2020 saw a strong increase of cases in the U.S. and South America and South Africa were hit strongly even during their summer time. I am therefore skeptical that seasonality will be of much help.

One may think that larger numbers of infections will not matter much as the most vulnerable people will have been vaccinated and are protected, that the hospitals will not become overwhelmed and that the number of deaths will not increase that much.

But that would be wrong.

About a quarter to a third of the U.S. population has a condition (overweight, diabetes) that makes it vulnerable to Covid-19. Not as much as very old people but still to a significant degree. At ten times the infection numbers of the second wave we will certainly see many more people in need of professional medical help than we did see before.

But the old people will have been vaccinated. The ICUs will not be filled with them like they were during the first and second wave. Younger folks, getting infected at a rate ten times higher than through the second wave, will fill the ICUs.

There will no longer be grandpas or grandmas of age dying from Covid-19 but mothers or fathers in the best years of their lives. The sum of years of life lost (YLL) during the third wave will therefore likely exceed the sum of the second wave.

It is difficult to say how long it will take for the third wave to reach its peak. As soon as lockdown measures end or fail we will again see strong exponential growth that may well exceed the growth we saw during previous waves. My hunch for the U.S. is that by the end of March to mid April it will be see the strongest growth so far of new cases.

Then again - that's just a hunch and I may be all wrong. In fact I hope that I am all wrong.

Posted by b on February 27, 2021 at 20:28 UTC | Permalink

next page »

You are to be commended for doing your homework b

I hope you are wrong as well but will we ever know what really happened in the past year? How much of what about Covid that has been fed through the MSM has any connection to reality relative to the narratives being pushed?

If your scenario is correct, it should bring the collapse of the global private finance social order/empire of the West. China will insure that they are not impacted by a third wave and will emerge world leaders by default....that is my scenario building on yours

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 27 2021 20:55 utc | 1

The charts are a bit incongruous. The second wave peak for Spanish flu hit 25 death per thousand verus 5 deaths per thousand at first wave peak. A factor of five time greater. The Covid second wave peaked at 1 death per thousand from a peak of 0.7 death per thousand. A factor of 0.5 times greater. Not seeing the same amplitudes.

Posted by: arby | Feb 27 2021 21:02 utc | 2

Since ivermectin, vitamins C, D3 and zinc taken together in reasonable doses, seem to have a prophylactic effect and relatively few, if any, side effects and are all relatively* dirt cheap, it would seem logical to encourage the population as a whole to take them. As it seems very unlikely that the ptb are going to encourage this, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion, that ((they)) want to sell vaccines.

*Relative to catching Covid-19, that is.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 27 2021 21:06 utc | 3

“ We do not have proven medications which could help to suppress or heal Covid-19 infections.”

But we have proven vaccines.

Ok ...

Posted by: DG | Feb 27 2021 21:17 utc | 4

There are several points to the seasonality. I still assume that less people get infected and the R is lower during European summer than during European winter, but there's also the highly probable factor that the virus is weakened and causes overall lesser infections. And the 3rd wave won't start earlier than the 1st one, but possibly even a bit later. Portugal just got its 2nd huge wave, and I don't expect it'll see a 3rd one; most of Spain and Italy shouldn't have a big wave either. Central Europe is a different matter, obviously.
Still, I'm waiting to see the numbers of the next 2 weeks to check if this is a temporary blip like there was during the Christmas/New Year holidays or if it's the real deal.
Last but not least, the higher R for the new variants cannot be applied in all situations. You don't just add 0.5 or 1 to any R, it depends on the situation and current measures - and population compliance with measures. I'm convinced that a lot of the plateau or even slow rise we see is due to covid fatigue and more and more people who cease to follow measures, rather than a massively more contagious virus.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 27 2021 21:18 utc | 5

For how long are the vaccines effective? I know of no expert who thinks it is a lifetime protection. If effectiveness is relatively short (say 8-12 months), ee're in trouble, and I hear almost no onr talking about it.

Posted by: shargash | Feb 27 2021 21:30 utc | 6

Making predictions about this shit is a fool's errand. Imo.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 27 2021 21:39 utc | 7

Warm weather plays a role to allow people to stay more outside. Hot and humid weather draws the people inside under the badly filtered air conditioning..
Therefore countries with dry and warm weather seems to be less prone to contagion as long as people respect the distance.
In the contrary hot and humid weather will see a growth in infection because indoors distance can't be guaranteed and air conditioning spread further the virus...
Warning: a\c filters should be hepa and most are not! Air purifiers with hepa could help..

Posted by: Virgile | Feb 27 2021 21:50 utc | 8

... the people have had enough of restrictions. There is immense pressure to end the lockdowns ...

What is the evidence for this? I see a lot of bitching online but few protests.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 27 2021 21:51 utc | 9

Simply my observations. Just returned from a bike ride up Chicago’s North Shore. There is still a foot of snow on ground but today is warm and sunny, temps in mid 50s. Feels like spring.

In Evanston, home of political correctness, outdoor wearing of masks was total and universal. Except for a large drunken frat party near Northwestern University. Last spring or fall those students would have been sent home. I will suspect these kids know something. In Wilmette it was mixed, half and half. Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park a few had masks attached to ears but lowered to neck. Everyone else maskless. Sidewalk cafes completely jammed, no social distance and no masks. Waitstaff taking the cue from clients and maskless.

These are rich people. Even if you have a PMC job and a good income few have houses on North Shore without family money. Most have lots of family money. Until today have not seen so many exempting themselves from rules. Though this is the cohort that is never bound by any rules.

Again, just my observation.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 27 2021 22:10 utc | 10

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 27 2021 21:06 utc | 3

I've been taking v-c, v-d, and Zinc since this began. It's what the Chinese govt. was handing out to well people.

Ivermectin should only be taken when you get the virus 12mg for 5 days. Sadly in Amerika you can't buy it over the counter. I just received my order from somewhere on the planet. It's sold out in a lot on line stores. 12mg is only made in India.

I was tested last Tuesday for the virus and came back neg. Whatever I had didn't stay long but is hanging on for at lest 3 weeks now.

I'll wait on the vaccine until it's everywhere in Calli.

Stay safe every one.

Posted by: jo6pac | Feb 27 2021 22:20 utc | 11

Jackrabbit @ 10:

There have been protests in Europe over repeated lockdowns and the ways govts there have used, or not used, lockdowns to prepare hospitals and clinics to deal with COVID-19 patients effectively. In Italy, there are restaurants that are refusing to abide by nation-wide restrictions in what seems to be a coordinated protest move.

There should be no reason by now for entire nations, or even entire provinces or states within nations, to lockdown when there are a few cases in a small area that can be isolated and treated. Unfortunately it seems govts and public health experts are not learning much from past experience.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 27 2021 22:27 utc | 12

If all that the powers that be want is to sell vaccines, why do they keep telling us that even the vaccinated must continue to wear masks and practice distancing? They thus remove a powerful incentive for getting vaccinated. There must be more to their agenda than just selling vaccines.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 27 2021 23:09 utc | 13

One does wonder at the agenda in play. It certainly doesn't have to do with public health. The year-long fear narrative of an out of control dangerous, killing disease ravaging the planet and there is no way out but a vaccine, and anyone who disagrees is a conspiracy theorist, certainly does suggest the cure is more dangerous than the disease. On the other hand 'they' aren't planting depopulation chips in the vaccine because the depopulation project is well underway -

The bungling of the 'pandemic' is a window into a top-down class-based civilization of, for and by the 0.1%.

We don't know much more than we do know about this 'disease' that kills less, much less probably, than 1% of infected people, while the majority of people are either immune or asymptomatic.

On the other hand, if I catch the deadly version of this I will request the J&J vaccine as it apparently defeats even the worse cases of Covid 19 100% of the time.

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 27 2021 23:29 utc | 14

I am a 77 year old man and I haven't had even a cold in more than 18 months - and don't know anyone who has had Covid 19, and neither does anyone I know. Is this Covid a fictitious decease, promoted by the usual suspects, or, if genuine, where are all the bodies?
Strange, too, that we've had no flu season this winter.

Posted by: Sean | Feb 27 2021 23:39 utc | 15

@ Posted by: Sean | Feb 27 2021 23:39 utc | 20

Here we can observe a petit-bourgeois first worlder who can has had a good life from the cradle and never had to do a honest day work, wondering why the plebe keeps dying from diseases.

Posted by: vk | Feb 27 2021 23:42 utc | 16

Too bad vitamin D still isn't on b's radar.

Also missing from the analysis is the awkward possibility that the actual first COVID wave was named EVALI.

Posted by: Lurk | Feb 27 2021 23:54 utc | 17

@ vk | Feb 27 2021 23:42 utc | 21

No need for you to be that way.

Hey, Vk, did you hear the one about the reporter who asked an Amish man in Lancaster County PA, why so few were struck by Covid in his community?

Amish Man's answer: Well I guess it is because we don't have TVs.

PS: The Borg's Truth-Checkers vehemently deny this

Posted by: gm | Feb 28 2021 0:23 utc | 18

Wave? what wave... I had better wax up the surf board, fill the esky with vitamins + wormwood ale and head off to the sunny beach.

Pardon my cynicism.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 28 2021 0:57 utc | 19

Jen @Feb27 22:27 #14

Thanks Jen. I'm aware of some protests in Europe but they seemed to be infrequent and small. Occurring mostly when restrictions are placed back on after being relaxed.

Officials do seem to be scatter-brained. They can't make coherent policy and stick to it. Feature, not a bug? IMO they are driven by commercial interests to "open up" sooner than is advisable. Then "lock-down" fatigue turns to disgust as it is reapplied.

I'm looking forward to normalcy as much as anyone but those who hype government lockdown conspiracies seem farfetched. I blame government officials for the failure to lead, not for a desire to keep us all under their thumb.

Sadly b's prediction of a big third wave is probably correct. Made inevitable by the West's sick culture and neoliberal mania.

<> <> <> <> <>

Where I live in NYC suburbs, some people wear a mask all the time, others wear it only when they will be near others. Masks must be worn in all stores and when traveling on public transportation. It is not onerous. It is now normal practice.

Social activities and events are still curtailed or prohibited. Those who bitch about it like to forget that Trump and other government officials lied to us time and time again - and they set a goal of bending the curve instead of eradicating the virus. That guaranteed a big second wave. If rationality prevailed, we would take steps to avoid an even bigger third wave.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 28 2021 1:35 utc | 20

Valiant effort, b. But there are too many moving parts and too many competing priorities in this puzzle for anyone to make accurate predictions except, of course, with the benefit of hindsight, imo. So if your prediction proves to be 'wrong' there'll be no shortage of people in the same boat...

Oz dodged the Covid bullet and I'm keen to discover who talked our mendacious arch-villain PM, Scum Mo, into taking the Covid threat seriously and putting the Medical Experts in charge of quelling it.

The biggest problem with Covid is that even the Experts are on a steep learning curve. Oz has made a multitude of blunders during the pandemic but because the Experts have the full support and backing of the Govt, there have been NO coverups. As far as I'm aware NOBODY in Oz has been punished for doing Stupid Stuff. The result has been that people who realise they did something dopey can fess up without fearing the consequences.

Apart from heeding what the local Oz Experts were saying, I was listening to what DW's Covid TV Q & A expert was saying in response to viewer questions. And what struck me, mid 2020, was that almost every answer he gave was followed by the disclaimer "Of course that could change because there are still lots of things about Covid that we're still not certain about."

And that's a, and the, problem...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 28 2021 1:50 utc | 21

Hoarsewhisperer @26 ..."I'm keen to discover who talked our mendacious arch-villain PM, Scum Mo, into taking the Covid threat seriously"...

The bushfires in 2019-2020 talked him into it.

He was in full-on Scotty-from-Marketing mode during that episode, and he was badly, badly burnt by his dismissiveness towards his experts. So give him some (little) credit: he learnt from the experience and decided that there is no point spending all that time and money to train up your experts if you don't listen to their advice.

So this time around it was: well, what should we do? OK, then that's what we'll do.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 28 2021 2:13 utc | 22

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 28 2021 2:13 utc | 27

Yeah! Thanks!
I'd forgotten about that. He was indeed badly burned by his deafness towards his bushfire experts.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 28 2021 2:34 utc | 23

oh no.. another covid thread.... watch out! this is like a cat that has 9 lives!

Posted by: james | Feb 28 2021 3:10 utc | 24

those who berate others are a real piece of work.. oh well.. one more mountain to climb..

Posted by: james | Feb 28 2021 3:12 utc | 25

Old read but better yet

The Covidtocracy and Their Attack of Personal Liberty

Biden Gives $4 Billion to WHO and Bill Gates for Global COVID Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 28 2021 3:17 utc | 26

Horsewisperer (26): "there are too many moving parts and too many competing priorities in this puzzle to make accurate predictions...."
I find his lack of confidence refreshing concerning the situation. When men like virologist Didier Rauolt and epidemiologist Osterholm (see Osterholm Update 45) find this disease mind-boggling and impossible to confidently predict its fallout, I wonder about others who are so confident and cocky in their various and perfunctory takes and predictions (not b).
Also of interest is the focus on the overall death rate to the exclusion of considerations of the debilitation of lives that "Long Covid" (the longhaulers) entails. This can be either temporary or permanent debilitation. I've seen estimates of between 10 and 30% of symptomatic cases become longhaulers of varying severity, but nobody knows. At any rate, the number is many times more than the number of deaths from the disease. High absolute numbers, high misery and unavoidable debilitation of sectors of society. (For instance, is our healthcare system in the US falling apart if it hasn't already?)
However, there is good news. Vaccines are continuing to come and will continue to be efficatious and improved. Knowledge of the disease and immune system and theraputics is advancing relatively quickly. And by the way, enough reports of all kinds have been done on ivermectin which show it's the real deal! Too bad so many medical doctors are incapable of reading these papers critically, or disinclined.
Learn about vitamin D if you don't know already.

Posted by: JRem | Feb 28 2021 3:34 utc | 27

I disagree with Bernard.

There are proven treatments for COVID. Numerous studies show that Ivermectin is the most efficaceous against
COVID. It's mode of action has been identified and papers published which document this.

That said Dr. Zelenko's treatment / prophylaxis regimen uses Ivermectin together with Azithromycin, Zn+, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Quercitin. Quercitin is an ionophore acting similarly to HCQ, with no side effects.
The ionophore is needed to get Zn+ into the cell where it does it's job. Vit-D is essential for proper immune system function, and numerous studies have shown, including studies in Germany, that administering Vit-D markedly reduces COVID severity.

Go to and down load the source material your self.

I disagree that only a minority of the population has been infected. The USA system in particular is so leaky, that published numbers need be multiplied by 6 to get a true picture of those immune because they recovered from COVID, or ~ 180 million. Add to that ~ 50 million vaccinated and more than half the population has immunity. Daily cases are falling off because of that. We are going into spring. More daylight each and every day. Solar Vit-D production in the population is rising. That alone will reduce severity.

The authorities could nip the disease in the bud via the simple expedient of putting everyone on prophylaxis. Works in Bangladesh, Mexico, and India. What white people can't do the same??

For the record, my wife is an Infectious Disease MD. She treats COVID cases daily. Both of us are vaccinated. Neither of us had it. We take prophylaxis. I personally use Ivermectin, Zn+, Quercitin, Vit-D, Vit-C.

I am 74.



Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Feb 28 2021 4:09 utc | 28

james @ 32 -- More like a 'dead cat bounce' if you ask me.

I wonder if Sid Victor Catoni ever returned here to expand on his/her 2-strain bioweapon theory from Dec. 1, 2020 -- which was the most plausible conspiracy deduction/analysis I have yet read. If so, I must've missed it.

Following from that, what local authority would dare attempt to stop the head co-conspirators from seeding new variants against the masses in their continued plot to prolong the economic turmoil and rob us blind?

Each day the MSM offer up new consensual fear mongering and 'vaccine' promotional prose, as though multitudes are clamoring to get the jab so their lives will "return to normal." I don't buy any of it, including the putative 'waves' of deadly disease.

Posted by: norecovery | Feb 28 2021 6:51 utc | 29

Turkey's measures to contain the virus can be gleaned from this article advising the government to stay the course, as the government contemplates lifting restrictions gradually starting March 1 (The author is a somewhat pro-US, neo-liberal type)

In practice many restaurants have take out and delivery services. Tea houses are closed, but some still serve tea in paper ups as a take out, as do pastanes(cake and cookie joints, still allowed to be open without indoor seating). Since I have been outside Istanbul this winter, I am not sure how these restrictions have been implemented there, but in the seaside town I am now in the daily life is not that abnormal.

During weekdays, all shops but those mentioned as gathering places in the article are open. They close in early evening, usually around 7. On weekends only the food related shops are open from about 10-5. Thus, most people working are still working whether in construction or retail or most factories that I am familiar with, but on a reduced schedule confined to weekdays.

This may be one reason that the Turkish economy seems to have improved relative to other "Western" counties.

Thus in Turkey, people do get outside during the day time, even on weekends (to ostensibly get bread or provisions), they do tend to wear masks in crowded places outdoors, and in indoor shops. During the weekdays, people can be seen congregating, with masks, and often in small groups in the town center and walking by the sea. Of course, it isn't summer, so the numbers are lower, but people are out. It helps that people are not excessively hassled by the Jandarma for no good reason as appears to happen in Britain according to the British press (though the frequency of this may be a function of "news" rather than reality).

All in all, "lockdowns" can be less destructive of lives and the economy at large, when implemented in good faith rather than implemented for political spite or to help destroy an economy already on the down slide pre-Covid, so the financial oligarchy can redirect the blame to the disease rather than their greed.

The latter seems the primary reason that the virus has not been contained in the "West", though one cannot eliminate the Greed of Big Pharma to profit from it with their ineffective vaccines. We know they will not be effective given that upon their introduction, Britain, and some related former colonies, Australia, S. Africa, and I believe India, started to create a new hysteria around "mutations". It is as if they knew the "vaccines" were deficient in creating immunity to the virus, and a plausible excuse was needed to account for people becoming infected after getting the vaccine.

"This has been done before"

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Feb 28 2021 7:40 utc | 30

Posted by: albagen | Feb 28 2021 8:31 utc | 46

It isn't that Covid isn't a fact. It is. It is that many in the Western oligarchy have seen a disaster capitalism opportunity and are taking advantage of it to increase their power and wealth at humanity's expense. Thus they have done everything possible to keep the virus going, while avoiding the rap. Billy G. is a prime example of an unreliable source pushing vaccines on the MSM that he has substantial financial investments in, not to mention the bonanza he expects to reap through online work, isolated people depending on internet, an increasingly cashless society, vaccine passports and other financial perks.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Feb 28 2021 8:54 utc | 31

COVID Variants May Arise in People with Compromised Immune Systems

Scientists saw COVID mutating in patient after convalescent plasma

treatment as a breeding ground?

(plasma antibodies for mutation of covid virus)

Posted by: c | Feb 28 2021 9:57 utc | 32

B says "Despite continuing lockdown measures"
My foot!!!
Trucks are moving food and drivers (who hardly see the sun) without controls; many airports in Europe are still open; supposedly a less than 72 hours test is required but 1) that says something only about 72 hours before and 2) the self imposed quarantine following is not controled. Trains have been reduced but for people who have cars it is possible to go around almost everywhere.
Schools have been open here and close there. The military can circulate freely without test.
No temperature tests or blood tests yet (soon in UK and Austria) on a regular basis to detect clusters...
If the at risks had been self-isolating, helped in doing so by getting food and financial support, the virus could have gone into the youth and, possibly, weakened by now.
Where are the free distributions of vit. D ? (
And where are the public explanations to enhance immunity by reducing alcohol consumption?
But you can call it "lockdown measures"...

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 10:07 utc | 33

Excess deaths are a challenge in search of a dollar.

There are many great science topics to browse here including a really good look at the life of inventor of the PCR analytical system, Dr Kary Mullis, who has recently died. The host is a seriously good analyst and presenter. Take a good browse around.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 28 2021 10:09 utc | 34

@all -

Took a brush and cleaned up the comments.

Some 15(!) first time posters dropped nonsense in here. All now deleted and blocked.

Still wondering where those creeps come from whenever I post about Covid-19.

Posted by: b | Feb 28 2021 10:15 utc | 35

*This Just in*...from the BORG media who wants you to just get that Jab...Get it now!

"The coronavirus jab's most tantalising side effects? It may help fight cancer, chronic pain... and even Alzheimer's"

Posted by: gm | Feb 28 2021 10:22 utc | 36

2 additional remarks:
1) If you check out the soccer and rugby news of the last 12 months, you will find out that hundreds of players, including famous ones, have been positive. How come almost none of them has died?? good medical staff, good controls, top health condition...
Why then not letting the virus spread among the young and the healthy, since several states who have kept schools open apparently have considered safe?
2) Talks about "waves" are silly unless reported about a specific area. In fact, Spain reopened for tourism when the UK was just kicking with its peak in 2020 (Spain, France and Belgium were ahead of UK and the rest of northern Europe). Then during the summer 2020, Spain imported hundreds of cheap labour from Eastern Europe, were he epidemy was just starting. Major clusters in Spain last summer, after the numbers have dropped in May-June, were in farms.
And these people kept moving, since transportations functioned and "going on holidays" was encouraged to stimulate the economy. Each time a peak was achieved somewhere, people infected kept travelling somewhere else, provoking new clusters.

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 10:45 utc | 37

vk @ 16

Here we can observe a petit-bourgeois first worlder who can has had a good life from the cradle and never had to do a honest day work, wondering why the plebe keeps dying from diseases

Actually, if you'd peruse the data, and spare us your proletarian pretenses, you'd see that rich countries have been hit much harder than poor ones.
Go figure.

Posted by: john | Feb 28 2021 10:53 utc | 38

Mina 33

Here in England 4 months worth of free issue Vit D (400 iu) was distributed at the end of January to the 1.5 million of us who are regarded as being clinically vulnerable.

Almost nothing has been said here about this program other than announcing it at the end of last year. There has been little or no encouragement for others with low D at this time of year, basically the non-whites, to take it as a supplement.

Posted by: JohninMK | Feb 28 2021 11:00 utc | 39

About Moderna, I know someone in California who had the 2nd jab and got sick (flu-like symptoms, unable to move the arm where she got the shot) exactly 12 hours after she got it. She said all the people she knows who got it (working with at risk people) had this reaction. She is 35...
Europeans would be wise to wait and see what goes on in Israel (entirely "Pfizered") and in the UAE (almost entirely Sinovaxed), at least a few extra months, rather than vaccinate the elderly and have them run to their next cruise this summer while the impoverished youth turns to suicide because they have no "travel ausweiss".

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 11:32 utc | 40

Btw, about the efficacity of a test made in the last 72 hours at airports for intl travels, Germany is asking from workers commuting from behind the frontier (in Tyrol, Czech republic, soon French Moselle) to show a PCR test of less than 24 hours.
But they can't organize the tests at the borders? Welcome to the so-wealthy EU.

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 11:39 utc | 41


I take daily vit D 10,000 is as recommended by Dr Mercola and 2,000 mg of vit C. The daily recommendations of the U.K. govt are bullshit. Go to the experts like Hydroxychloriquine and Ivermectin are proven to work if you get symptoms. I have with me a nebuliser and hydrogen peroxide solution should I get a cold. God gave us these things, use them.

I am tested twice a week using the discredited pcr test. Negative all the time. In the first wave in the UAE I worked all the way through. The first time 14 of my crew (TV/Film) got tested positive, taken to hospital and thought they were going to die. Week later all tested, all negative, same again two days later. All back to work. There were three crew who were regularly tested positive, only to be retested negative.

Sorry but this Covid mullarkey is bollocks. A good immune system will beat it every time.

Posted by: PTD | Feb 28 2021 12:23 utc | 42

It´s just a subjective impression but I think you underestimate the influence of season. It was really curious last year how infection numbers immediately dropped in spring as soon as the weather became better only to climbe again when autumn set in.

A strong influence of weather would also explain why wealthier countries are harder hit since most of them are in the northern temperate zone. (The experience in the USA, South America and South Africa is in my opinion no disproof since non of the three had effective lockdown measures implemented.)

Posted by: m | Feb 28 2021 12:24 utc | 43

"The coronavirus jab's most tantalising side effects? It may help fight cancer, chronic pain... and even Alzheimer's"

Posted by: gm | Feb 28 2021 10:22 utc | 36

So it helps for Alzheimer's! But what is it, I can't remember the beginning of the sentence :-(

This can make a huge political impact, as the degree of cognitive impairment has a link with voting preferences. In two party countries, both major parties energetically cater to the impaired, now they will have to work on slogans that make sense. That can be tough.

In my YouTube observation, the last election was "Everybody deserves dignity. I blame Trump" vs "Biden is just to weak" background of marching Chinese soldiers".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 28 2021 12:28 utc | 44

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
“Even in a pandemic, public health policy needs to take into account people’s economic and social well-being,”, she also said “People need to keep a roof over their heads, they need to feed their families,and they need their dignity”

South Dakota never locked down!

Posted by: Xpilgrim | Feb 28 2021 12:52 utc | 45

Wave 3 will hit when the WHO reverses it's advise to double test asymptomatics, and to lower CT levels.

Better yet, might as well release another beast from the vault.

At 40 CTs like the NHS uses for its PCR tests, you get 70% false positives. Not using HCQ, zinc, Vit C and Vit D, you get 70% more deaths.

Were the authorities treating this as a disease, and not a tool to advance tyranny, Britain would have suffered about 10-15k deaths up till now, instead of the 40-50k that have actually happened (without the false positives).

The only newsworthy aspect of this whole event is that people have been propagandised to refuse to look at cheap effective medicines.

Posted by: Ilya G Poimandres | Feb 28 2021 12:55 utc | 46

Perhaps the best thing we could do to get a clear picture about "Covid" is to get rid of the "experts". They multiply faster than covid itself.

The sheer quantity and confusion of "advice", "guidance", orders, Models, etc, that are spewed out, are probably one of the major reasons that many people no longer comply.

One noted "expert" who prophesied massive numbers of cases, and who also had the ear of the UK Government, recently admitted he hadn't even an "A" level in biology. (Ferguson, I believe). So I am supposed to believe him ? What about that paragon of self-interest "Billy Goatees" and his advice as an expert? Whitty and Vallance; recipients of Gates's largesse?. etc. ..... officialdom is not a medical qualification.

The world is getting more like a scene from Moliere, "Le malade imaginaire". Too many "doctors" with too many opinions.

.... and I am not getting at b, who I appreciate.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 28 2021 13:00 utc | 47

Well, b did not like my characterization of "waves" as actually seasonal changes. In Turkey, cases are going down across the country except for the Eastern Black Sea region. The corona virus/influenza season is winding down. There may be some lagging and spikes here and there for another month or so, but generally it will decrease, as it did last year in the Northern hemisphere approaching summer, and until the next season, beginning mostly in September. This is obvious.

Perhaps, he disliked my prediction that the virus would most likely evolve into another mild form of coronavirus, similar to four other human corona viruses, or that we would likely only see another year at most of the more virulent strains. I do not know of course (no one does), but this prediction was based largely on the history of these types of viruses. Indeed, Mers, and the original Sars, have virtually disappeared.

The problem with graphs and charts, pre-US election, at least, is that they tend to take what the WHO has admitted as bad PCR testing practices into their data. This clearly inflates the numbers of "cases". Thus data prior to 2021 is not worth much as far as reliability is concerned. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 can also be inflated if incorrectly administered PCR tests identified people as testing positive for COVID when in fact they did not have it, and they subsequently died having the faulty positive on their record. We know, of course, that anyone dying with COVID, died of COVID.

As I have noted, this is a real virus and a real disease causing deaths, but the mishandling of tests and the questionable selection of data, often political, has made it very difficult to determine the actual facts of the case. The "West" has done a very good job of muddying the water, and I do not think it was entirely incompetence, as I noted in a post above.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Feb 28 2021 13:18 utc | 48

BM wrote:

"An asymptomatic infection is not a CASE by definition."

That is not true. The medical profession has been calling asymptomatic TB infection "cases of TB" for about 100 years.

Posted by: jinn | Feb 28 2021 13:19 utc | 49

The main victim of this pandemic will be Western medicine. Since we don't see pictures of pile of corpses in India and China, I guess Chinese medicine and Ayurveda just work fine...

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 13:22 utc | 50

Posted by someone on the wrong thread, this is a must read

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 13:25 utc | 51

Raw fish (another source of vit D) might function just as well..

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 14:22 utc | 52

Mina | Feb 28 2021 13:25 utc | 51

Thanks Mina for the two posts. I love the image of Netanayu. Fascinating figures! The large discrepancy between stated and later "found/declared" figures after Pfizer vaccines ---- oops, might explain the lockdowns in several countries? Insinuates that the Pfizer is responsible for the increases doesn't it?

re 2; The Japanese have "found" a "Spirulina +" which they have high hopes for. Why it is "plus" I have no idea, and why Spirulina (mainly iron natural source), should be anything other than a vegan dietary supplement is not clear either.
It seems that the overall level of a persons individual health, is a factor that is not easily correlated with "areas", (or even ages) of declared infections. ie. 80% of those who catch the virus are vitamin D deficient.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 28 2021 14:51 utc | 53

Posted by: arby | Feb 27 2021 21:02 utc | 2

arby, I have been using that name for sometime now so as to avoid confusion could you modify your handle?

One would think that the system should be able to point out that a name has already been taken.

Posted by: arby | Feb 27 2021 21:02 utc | 2

Posted by: arby | Feb 28 2021 15:00 utc | 54

The requirements for a successful vaccine candidate are, specifically, reduced death outcome and over 80% efficacy in doing so. All of the vaccines currently approved for emergency use are considered to be effective at greatly reducing the incidence of severe and moderate Covid 19, and so reduce death.
Infection with SARS2 can still occur to some extent in the vaccinated and viral replication and shedding at the infection site may still be possible. It is not yet known how viral shedding will be affected in the vaccinated, although there are indications that shedding is lessened and therefore reduced transmission is possible. What this means is that people who do contract the virus after vaccination will not get so sick and very few will die. Not a perfect outcome but definitely an improvement.
SARS2 will continue to circulate. This is why masks are still recommended for the time being until more is demonstrated re vaccine effect on transmission and duration of immunity to disease. This doesn't seem to be generally understood; belief that the vaccines confer sterilising immunity is common. Combine this misperception with the apparent periodicity of the US infection curve, certain types of business reopening plus compliance fatigue by the weak. Further wave(s) of infection are definitely going to occur.

Posted by: TDeL | Feb 28 2021 15:31 utc | 55

jinn @ 49

The symptom of latent tuberculosis is presence of a readily observable, simply identifiable bacteria.

Which is real different than an indirectly inferred virus discovered by complex processes.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 28 2021 15:32 utc | 56

No doubt there will be a third upsurge, whether from renewed-confidence or lockdown-fatigue, who knows. However, what can be sure is that health "authorities" and the media will use the opportunity to note that there are large swaths of the population that are not stepping up to get vaccinated. Until now, the media has used repeating ad nauseum the incredible demand of the vaccine, as if those wanting it were all trying to get a glance at the Beatles circa 1966. I don't buy it.

Vaccination rates are about to plummet and the government is going to be left with millions of dosages on ice with no takers. This will not stand.

The media will pounce, emphasizing that these willful unvaccinated are endangering everyone, as well as the economy, as our government reinstates lockdown mandates. At this point, families will be more divided by this tactic at any other time in American history.

This scenario is favorable in myriad ways:

1) more profit for pharma-gov alliance;
2) it reinforces the notion that there is a segment of the population which is to be entirely avoided, both physically and wrt dialogue;
3) and it reinforces the notion that the solution is with the government and its mandates, stripping the shackles and responsibility of liberty from its citizens (thus eroding the influence of the American conservative)

For these reasons, it seems very likely that this scenario will begin to play out in the coming months. It should be noted that summer is the perfect time to circle back to lockdowns without incurring major reactionary wrath: good weather means people can still be outside and enjoy urban aspects of life at least partially.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 28 2021 15:38 utc | 57

@ Posted by: john | Feb 28 2021 10:53 utc | 39

Thank you for reminding me not many people travel to Africa.

Besides, Brazil and India surely have more deaths and cases than the USA - it's just that they let a lot of deaths go unregistered because people die outside hospitals.

Also, the people dying in the First World countries are mostly from the proletariat. I know that, you know that, stop linking The New Yorker (the ultimate petty bourgeois American magazine) here.


@ Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 13:22 utc | 54

The biggest threat to Western Medicine is the Western people itself, who is degenerating to pseudo-science and mysticism.

Chinese white papers on its experience fighting the pandemic shows Chinese traditional medicine was ineffective. At the most, it was used to alleviate the suffering (lowering fever, anti-inflammatory etc.).


@ Posted by: Bluedotterel | Feb 28 2021 13:18 utc | 52

Seasonal hypothesis doesn't explain why the COVID-19 is laying waste at will in countries like Brazil and India.


@ Posted by: PTD | Feb 28 2021 12:23 utc | 45

Vitamin-D deficiency is a serious health problem that should always be treated, with or without a pandemic.

We should stop pretending Vitamin-D deficiency became an issue out of nowhere, as if it wasn't a problem before, just because a bunch of bourgeois want to send their peons back to work at any cost.

Posted by: vk | Feb 28 2021 15:42 utc | 58

The Spanish Flu is not currently believed to have been caused by a flu virus.

NIAID co-author and pathologist Jeffery Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D., examined lung tissue samples from 58 soldiers who died of influenza at various U. S. military bases in 1918 and 1919. The samples, preserved in paraffin blocks, were re-cut and stained to allow microscopic evaluation. Examination revealed a spectrum of tissue damage "ranging from changes characteristic of the primary viral pneumonia and evidence of tissue repair to evidence of severe, acute, secondary bacterial pneumonia," says Dr. Taubenberger. In most cases, he adds, the predominant disease at the time of death appeared to have been bacterial pneumonia. There also was evidence that the virus destroyed the cells lining the bronchial tubes, including cells with protective hair-like projections, or cilia. This loss made other kinds of cells throughout the entire respiratory tract — including cells deep in the lungs — vulnerable to attack by bacteria that migrated down the newly created pathway from the nose and throat.

According to a 2008 National Institute of Health paper, bacterial pneumonia was the killer in a minimum of 92.7% of the autopsies of those who died of so-called “Spanish flu” between 1918 and 1919.

Fourteen of the largest training camps had reported influenza outbreaks in March, April, or May, and recovered infected troops carried the virus with them aboard ships to France. As soldiers in the trenches became sick, the military evacuated them from the front lines and replaced them with healthy men. This process continuously brought the virus into contact with new hosts—young, healthy soldiers in which it could adapt, reproduce, and become extremely virulent without danger of burning out.

Doctors back then called it "influenza" as they were unaware that bacteria were at work killing these people.

Worth noting, troops going to Europe received a live experimental bacterial meningitis vaccine.

The following offers some interesting reading,

The Transmission of Influenza

J. P. Leake, M.D.
December 11, 1919

Posted by: Tom_12 | Feb 28 2021 15:55 utc | 59

vk @ 58

Thank you for reminding me not many people travel to Africa

Say what? 30 million a year.

Also, the people dying in the First World countries are mostly from the proletariat

The article is guilty of omission, and there's some highbrow patronizing, but it's otherwise interesting and informative. There's a lot more to this case than under-reporting, but of course you'd have to have read the whole article to know that.

..., stop linking The New Yorker (the ultimate petty bourgeois American magazine) here

Fuck off, and spare me your petty proletarian pretences.

Posted by: john | Feb 28 2021 16:19 utc | 60

I am not sure whether I see a third wave altogether, nor that it is anything like a third wave. For the United States it would rather be the fourth wave, see . South African scientists expect a third wave for June:

So far I fail to see any conclusive explanation why there was a decline of actlve cases starting in the second week of January, 2021 altogether, and why at all, it should or might be ending just now. As long as therea is no understanding of that phenomenon all speculation about third or whatever wave is just that, speculation and fortune telling.

And yes, I know, the new mutated variants. Strangely they fail to show much effect in the UK where they are told to stem from, and recent findings do not support that they are significantly faster spreading or more deadly.

Given the known parameters there is no conclusive explanation why all that ("the end or pause of the second wave") took place at all. Also there is no explanation why the country most lagging behind that trend, showing declines in the last 2 weeks only, is Israel, which is the country with the highest rate of vaccinations worldwide, now far above 50% of the populace, together with post covid cases (which can be assumed to be widely immune too) nearly 70% of them immunized assuming the jabs are working. This is indeed the most worrisome indicator.

The recent pause in covid decline may be a start of a new wave, but also just a pause, or the begin of a period of stagnant new cases.

Posted by: aquadraht | Feb 28 2021 16:43 utc | 61

can someone tell me how these variants are supposed to be stronger or more lethal? i always thought it mutated because it was less lethal... it seems like a lot of fear mongering on it all, either way... i looked at minas article on israel.... there numbers have remained pretty constant the past few months from what i was seeing.. not such why all the angst...

Posted by: james | Feb 28 2021 17:00 utc | 62

@ Posted by: james | Feb 28 2021 17:00 utc | 62

As a rule of thumb, less lethal viruses tend to be more infectious. But not necessarily.

Evolution is always random, there are many variables in play. Charles Darwin scientifically proved there is no God.

Posted by: vk | Feb 28 2021 17:17 utc | 63

Vk, on Indian and Chinese medicine, I meant as a prophylaxy. I have no doubt that were there piles of corpses in the latest 6 months, we would have seen pictures. These are the most populated countries, with some of the higher densities of population in the world.

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 17:25 utc | 64

It smells like we are forced to choose between lockdowns for ever or a bad spot with many deaths. What a s...ty choice!

I'm fed up.

Posted by: DidierF | Feb 28 2021 17:27 utc | 65

As of today, the UK has vaccinated 20 million citizens.
The curve there is going down, with "only" 6000 new cases today, and they praise the vaccination campaign. But that is after a very strict lockdown since early January (forbidden to go out unless necessary, forbidden to meet anyone outside:
So how do they get 6000 cases a day, under these strict conditions? Just with medical staff (and in-patients) and other essential workers?

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 17:36 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 17:25 utc | 64

In their white paper, the Chinese mention they used Western Medicine in combination with Chinese traditional medicine, but they clearly imply Chinese traditional medicine had a merely auxiliary function (mitigate the symptoms), not as treatment or prophylaxis.

I recommend you all to read the white paper. You can fell the desperation of the early weeks of the pandemic in Wuhan (it was just an epidemic back then). The Chinese doctors used more than 22 drugs to try to save the lives of the infected, in an act of absolute desperation. From that cocktail of more than 20 drugs the myths in the West were born (HCQ, redemsivir etc. etc.) - you can essentially trace all the conspiracy theories in the West on this pandemic from these early days of the pandemic (epidemic).

Posted by: vk | Feb 28 2021 17:40 utc | 67

aquadraht | Feb 28 2021 16:43 utc | 61

There was a change in mid January which explains quite clearly why the numbers decreased from then on.
WHO changed the guidelines for PCR testing to a lower figure, thus less people were classed as "infected".

"On January 13th the WHO published a memo regarding the problem of asymptomatic cases being discovered by PCR tests, and suggesting any asymptomatic positive tests be repeated.
This followed up their previous memo, instructing labs around the world to use lower cycle thresholds (CT values) for PCR tests, as values over 35 could produce false positives."

Noticable exception is Iran with 60'000 deaths."

What variant were they infected with?

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 28 2021 17:46 utc | 68

I have taken the liberty of editing, for clarity, the first sentence of your post to read
"As published in the The Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, the Spanish Flu is not currently believed by Jeffery Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D.,to have been caused by a flu virus".
Nowadays we have tech like electron microscopes and genomic sequencing that are used to classify viruses by common characteristics rather than by the diseases they may cause. The virus causing Spanish flu has been identified as N1H1.
Unlike Covid19, which is a disease leading to blood clotting pathologies, Spanish flu was haemorrhagic in action and accounts of the deathbed suffering of its victims make for gruesome reading.

Posted by: TDeL | Feb 28 2021 18:13 utc | 69

"" In Europe and the U.S. we are, even after the second wave, far away from herd immunity. Less than 10%-15% of the populations has had the disease and achieved immunity. ""
... based on what ? If you are basing your statment over the official numbers of people who got covid, then i shall remind you what many expert already said: the official number rapresent just a small % of the real number of people who got infected.

Logically, there are a vast majority of people who got the virus but who are not included into the official number.

Posted by: Daniele B. | Feb 28 2021 19:10 utc | 70

@Tom 12

Antibiotics were not used in Western medicine until ~1940 therefore people struck hard with the ‘Spanish’ influenza of 1918-19, a virus, often died from secondary bacterial infections of the lungs, pneumonia.

Look up Alexander Fleming and the “invention” of penicillin.

Posted by: suzan | Feb 28 2021 19:32 utc | 71

I don't share b's fear for the variants.

It is well known that viruses tend to become less dangerous over time. So that raises the question why Covid should be different.

The main mechanism that makes viruses less dangerous is caused by immunity. As lots of people get immune it becomes advantageous for the virus to develop variations that can at least partially evade that immunity.

There are always a lot of variations of a virus around. But as the initially dominant face immunity there will be other variations taking over. On the whole they will be less aggressive - otherwise they would have been dominant in the beginning.

The places where the new "dangerous" Covid variants come from (England, South Africa, Northern Brazil) are all corona hotspots.

The studies that show the British variant more contagious are test tube studies. That doesn't necessarily tell us how things will work out in real life where the virus must do other things to succeed besides of contaminating (like multiplying and fighting the immune system).

So my expectations are that those new variants will mainly be successful in corona hotspots. In areas where few people contacted the virus they won't go far.

The figures that show the British and other variants advancing while the "common" variant recedes should be taken with a grain of salt. They assume that people are contaminated with one strain of the virus and that when they show a variation that must have developed inside them. But we need a certain amount of virus to become sick and there is no reason why that couldn't have been provided by more than one person. And when a hundred units of the virus are needed to get sick that might also be provided by 50 units of the common virus and 50 units of the British variant. And in such cases the British variant is likely to become dominant when people already had some immunity against the common type.

Posted by: Wim | Feb 28 2021 19:37 utc | 72

James @ 62

Over time the average evolutionary direction will be towards reduced virulence. Individual mutations are random and can go in any direction.

This all came to our attention in January 2020. It is called COVID-19 because it is thought to have arisen in 2019. It may well have been with us since 2018. We don’t know. There is much we do not know. The amount we do know is surprisingly small. It is possible to sequence new variants very quickly. Or to believe we have sequenced new iterations of a virus that has not even yet been isolated. Pretending that we know all about variants that have been with us a matter of days is rubbish. That is the work of lede writers and scriptwriters.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 28 2021 19:40 utc | 73

Is there a correlation between the places were more contagious (targetting also the younger populations) variants appeared and where the vaccine trials were conducted?

Posted by: Mina | Feb 28 2021 19:46 utc | 74

The peer reviewed article at nejm cited by the jazz musician Atzmon who writes for Utz shows that it takes three weeks to develop good immune response after the 1st dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Some have reported that many people assumed they were immune and or protected from severe disease immediately after first jab and so did not continue with safety measures, creating a welcoming environment for virus mutation to occur as well as resulting in increased infections due to lack of caution. Data is not in yet on after 2nd jab. It could be a mutation arose due to ignorance as immediately after vaccination is when the virus parties.

The hype around younger people getting infected at higher rates compared to older people looks to be related to the fact that the older generations were first to be vaccinated.

It will take more time to gather data to understand effects of vaccine.

Posted by: suzan | Feb 28 2021 19:47 utc | 75

@ Mina (66) R: "So how do they get 6000 cases a day, under these strict conditions?"

The PCR test is known to produce a lot of false positives, the more tests they do the more 'cases' they have.

The number of Covid-19 deaths is also inflated. Consider the criteria for counting a Covid death in the UK, if a deceased person tested positive for Covid-19 anytime in the previous 28 days then (barring an obvious alternative) it is counted as a Covid death. Notice that symptoms are not required at any point using that criteria. Given that the average of a Covid victim is around 80 and that the chances of a person in that age range dying of natural causes are high anyway, this is obviously going to inflate the Covid death rate very considerably.

Using the 28 day criteria, literally anything could be touted as a cause of death, from eating a peanut to changing your brand of toothpaste. By my calculations something like 35,000 Britons from the 70-89 year age groups normally die from natural causes per month, can you imagine the number of totally bogus Covid-19 deaths that would be generated if you tested all of them on a monthly basis?

Posted by: MarkU | Feb 28 2021 20:05 utc | 76

Oldhippie, vk, James
Over time the average evolutionary direction will be towards reduced virulence"
That's what we see but it's not because a virus "wants" to be mild.
A very simple explanation is milder version of virus will cause less symptoms thus reducing or removing warning signs to not make contact with infected person. The longer it takes for a person to show symptoms (or none at all) the more chances the virus gets to spread. Thus "milder" viruses gain selection advantage over more severe versions. This takes time though.

Posted by: pppp | Feb 28 2021 20:06 utc | 77

Mina at 66.
Here in the UK the medical profession have estimated 40% of cases have been infected by the NHS themselves. The 2 people I know who have had Covid got it from the NHS.
I had the Oxford Astra jab 8 days ago, and it gave me a severe flu like illness, that put me in bed for 4 days, and I still feel somewhat weak. Just like the flu I have had a few times.
However, of more interest is that I damaged the nerve in my leg which has given me very severe pain for months, enough to make me feel faint and prevent me from driving. Whilst in the fever stage of the 'jab flu' my leg felt hot. By the time I was mobile (4 days) the nerve pain completely disappeared and I can drive again. I am staggered, believing I would never drive again.
VK please cut some slack for those from different areas of life!
Wit is better than acrimony and I like a laugh.
B you have an amazing range!

Posted by: Oldengineer | Feb 28 2021 20:40 utc | 78

The comparison of the two death graphs for 1918 Influenza and COVID-19 have to be done with care.

The Influenza graph is deaths per 1000 people. The COVID-19 graph is deaths per 100,000 people.

The peak death rate so far based on the latter graph is about 1 per 100,000.

The peak death rate in 1918 was 25 per 1,000 or 2500 per 100,000.

So the death rate at the 1918 peak was 2500 times the death rate at the peak of COVID in the US so far, if I'm reading the data right. (Anybody who cares to, please confirm/deny that I am correct.

I don't know if I should be surprised by that multiple, but I am. It's higher than I thought it would be. Not sure what that means.

B. says that herd immunity was achieved during the Influenza pandemic. I guess that was people couldn't work from home, had to interact, and consequently the death rate was much higher and her immunity was reached faster. And I guess the influenza was just deadlier.

COVID 19 is worth than the typical flu we get now, but a mere fraction of what happened in 1918

I'm glad B. made this comparison. I've been mystified as to why there is not more comparative analysis with 1918 and other disease instances going on in our media.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Feb 28 2021 22:43 utc | 79

I may be missing something, but I have counted three waves already in the US, each more intense than the previous one according to graphs: April 2020, July 2020, December 2020.

- Best regards, Shyaku

Posted by: Shyaku | Mar 1 2021 2:30 utc | 80

I think this fits here

"When I is replaced by We, even Illness becomes Wellness.” __Malcom X

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 1 2021 4:15 utc | 81

The virus causing Spanish flu has been identified as N1H1.

Well this might be one of those "Chicken before the egg" discussion as there was involvement of a flu virus in this event. Sort of like "Died from Covid or With Covid" situation we have today.

The deadly killer leading to such a huge number of people was a bacterium. Here's what others think about this with a link. By the way, the same observation was offered in one paper where Fauci was involved. He put it more in a boxing terminology where influenza was the first punch, but the knockout was the bacterial attack.

Medical and scientific experts now agree that bacteria, not influenza viruses, were the greatest cause of death during the 1918 flu pandemic.

Government efforts to gird for the next influenza pandemic – bird flu or otherwise – ought to take notice and stock up on antibiotics, says John Brundage, a medical microbiologist at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Brundage’s team culled first-hand accounts, medical records and infection patterns from 1918 and 1919. Although a nasty strain of flu virus swept around the world, bacterial pneumonia that came on the heels of mostly mild cases of flu killed the majority of the 20 to 100 million victims of the so-called Spanish flu, they conclude.

“We agree completely that bacterial pneumonia played a major role in the mortality of the 1918 pandemic,” says Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease in Bethesda, Maryland, and author of another journal article out next month that comes to a similar conclusion.


Posted by: Tom_12 | Mar 1 2021 7:47 utc | 82

I'm not sure what PPPP @ 77 is trying to explain but my understanding is that the reason the general evolutionary trend for viruses initially causing severe disease to become less virulent is that the survival of the virus, long enough to reproduce itself, depends on the host being alive for as long as possible.

If the virus were to kill the host too quickly, the virus does not have a chance to reproduce and to spread to new hosts. This in itself becomes a selection pressure that favours those individual virions that have a milder effect on their hosts' immune systems and allow the hosts to last longer for the virus to be able to reproduce and infect other hosts. This might mean, among other things, that the virus becomes less deadly in the short term - but over the long term cause other problems when the host's immunity system comes under stress.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 1 2021 10:39 utc | 83

The graph in this blog about the progress of the spanish flu appears to be a reconstruction of events done about the U. S. only long after the event by the CDC. It is about a different disease in a different set of conditions and for a different population. I am wary to use this one example to draw broad conclusions about the likely future for any particular place today. Other "pandemics", like AIDS, swine flu, Mers and the 1st Sars progressed differently and should be considered for what they teach. There is not enough information about SARS covid 19 to justify any draconian actions based on what is known. It is possible to overreact and cause harm, too.

Posted by: Brian | Mar 1 2021 12:17 utc | 84

For the COVID situation in the EU, there seem to be well organized mortality statistics, available here:

The headline graph shows approximately 15% increase in weekly deaths persisting unchanged since around Oct-Nov 2020.

After checking in on this data regularly for about 4 months now, I would add that the final 6 weeks tend to get repeatedly adjusted. So if observing an imminent decline at the tail, it is very possibly result of incomplete data collection.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 1 2021 12:48 utc | 85

I asked one of you CV19 believers why is it that the Flu magically disappeared last year & this year? Considering worldwide it used to kill hundreds of thousands. Their reply: "Don't you know its because everyone is washing their hands now!" My wife and I laughed at her at the same time! LOL
Stupid people can't see this agenda and how it ties in with the "Great Reset" the Davos crowd wants to intact. Shame on you B for going along with this Agenda 2030 Great Reset, your despicable!

Posted by: Big John | Mar 1 2021 14:22 utc | 86

Big John @86: On the sixth grade playground I once mentioned that my heroes were the Apollo astronauts because they walked on the Moon. A classmate gaffawed and claimed "No way! Your[sic] an idiot! Nobody can walk on the moon! It's no bigger than a quarter! [holds out US 25¢ piece next to where he sees the Moon in the afternoon sky]. "See? Your[sic] an idiot!"

I learned something that day, and it wasn't that the Moon was the size of a quarter.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 1 2021 14:54 utc | 87

Brian @Mar1 12:17 #84

There is not enough information about SARS covid 19 to justify any draconian actions ... It is possible to overreact and cause harm, too.

The only draconian action that I know of was the Wuhan lock-down. Other "lock-downs" have been mild in comparison. "Lock-down" is actually a misnomer used for scare-mongering. We don't call other types of safety measures "lock-downs" (speed limits, not yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, etc.).

There's now over 2 1/2 million people dead worldwide. Even the bungled response from Western governments has helped to save millions of lives.

Why is there no outrage at the leaders that lied about the pandemic and led an inept response? Trump said it was just a cold; BoJo advocated for herd immunity, etc.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 1 2021 14:55 utc | 88

Big John @Mar1 14:22 #86

Commentary from a flat-earther with a 'big' space between his ears.

Wm Gruff nails the maturity level of such comments @Mar1 14:54 #87: sixth grade playground.

Math is hard.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 1 2021 15:11 utc | 89

O.T. Whitney Webb wrote an investigative report last year on research having to do with biosynthesizing together a corona virus and anthrax in laboratory. Can someone point me to her article? I can’t find it now for some reason. Thanks.

Posted by: suzan | Mar 1 2021 15:18 utc | 90

@ norecovery | Feb 28 2021 6:51 utc | 29... thanks.. my position on covid is complicated....

@ 63 vk... thanks...

@73 old hippie.. thanks... that is sort of what i am thinking here..

@ suzan | Feb 28 2021 19:47 utc | 75.. thanks for that post, in response to the earlier comments from the jazz musician... i was questioning that as well.. also regarding your question @ 90 - you might find it here? -

@ pppp | Feb 28 2021 20:06 utc | 77... thanks pppp... what do you think of @ Jen | Mar 1 2021 10:39 utc | 83 response?? thanks jen!

@ Oscar Peterson | Feb 28 2021 22:43 utc | 79... thanks oscar... i was running that thru my head as well and while i appreciate the comparison, i don't know if it is a great comparison, but i appreciate b sharing all this with us..

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2021 16:18 utc | 91

a question for the scientists on board: the figures reported of ppl who received the vaccin and later tested positive, isnt it automatic that someone who has been vaccinated would test positive, or not with the mRNA ones? or does that mean all these ppl actually had covid symptoms?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 1 2021 17:02 utc | 92

b. was wrong with most things covid. The fact that he still claims masks worked, when they obviously didn't, tells you everything you need to know. Just compare to Florida to California, or Sweden to the UK (or the European average). Masks and lockdowns were useless.

Posted by: Michael M. | Mar 1 2021 17:20 utc | 93


PCR tests might give a false positive. Anti-body tests might show that your body has created anti-bodies to defend against the virus.

And it's still possible to actually get infected, especially days before or days after receiving the vaccine as it takes time for your body to build up a defense.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 1 2021 17:26 utc | 94

i understand what you say, but why would these ppl be tested if no complain? this means symptomatic. and why testing them if you know that because of the vaccine you are positive anyway?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 1 2021 17:34 utc | 95

Michael M. @@Mar1 17:20 #93

Masks and lockdowns were useless.

We know that's false because they worked to bend the curve in Spring 2020. As soon as the curve was bent, a astro-turfed libertarian mob begin demanding that the economy be "opened up". That led to the 'second wave' (read: lots of unnecessary deaths).

And the Swedish 'herd immunity' experiment is known to be a failure, though that doesn't stop libertarian propagandists from claiming otherwise.

Covid-19: Sweden's herd immunity strategy has failed, hospitals inundated


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 1 2021 17:38 utc | 96

We know that's false because they worked to bend the curve in Spring 2020.

Are you willing to entertain the hypothesis that the curve "bent" because flu season ended, lowering infection rates? The hypothesis that the curve rose in November because that is the beginning of flu season? Or is that kind of thinking verboten propaganda? Do you have anything to say about Belarus, which has had no issues even as it was subjected to another US color revolution in this time frame?

The article you linked is from NOVEMBER 2020, six months after your curve bend. Why didn't the curve fail to bend in Sweden in the spring? And why can't you find a story from Sweden itself, instead of something from far away NZ, which has been endlessly virtue signaling about its success?

To the article itself, after the usual inflammatory headline, the body of the text is pretty vague:

There were 6000 cases in a single day last week and hospitalisations are rising faster than anywhere else in Europe.

Cases are not infections, and infections are not hospitalizations. The article fails to deliver any facts. Why not give a hard number for hospitalizations instead of the vague BS "faster than anywhere else". Unless you follow the party line, the fear-mongering just screams at you.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 1 2021 18:02 utc | 97

@Jackrabbit 96: Nope. Lockdowns in spring came too late in most countries (after the peak) and had no impact, curves were bent by voluntary behavioural changes and most of all by spring. And Sweden never had a "herd immunity strategy", they simply followed the science (that is, no masks and no lockdowns), their hospitals didn't collapse, and their deaths are European average, much lower than many countries that had masks and multiple lockdowns. Average age of deaths in Sweden? About 84.

Jackrabbit: you were wrong. Acknowledge it.

Posted by: Michael M. | Mar 1 2021 18:38 utc | 98

@John Brester 97: very true. And by the way, New Zealand recently entered it's 4th of 5th lockdown. AND they are an island 1000 miles away from everything else. But folks like jackrabbit will never get it. Cognitive dissonance.

Posted by: Michael M. | Mar 1 2021 18:40 utc | 99

john brewster @Mar1 18:02 #97

Are you willing to entertain the hypothesis that the curve "bent" because flu season ended ...
No, what you propose is essential that Covid-19 is essentially a hoax that is virtually no different than the flue.

As has been explained numerous times, SARS-COV-2 is real. Multiple countries, many of them with no interest to play along with any Western-government hoax, have identified the pandemic as a real threat.

Why didn't the curve fail to bend in Sweden in the spring?

As I understand it, the Swedes were initially very careful. But their early success was deceptive. The disease spread in immigrant communities that weren't so careful. And later in the general population that had grown lax about preventative measures.

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Are YOU willing to entertain that the failure of Western countries to fight the virus effectively stem from a corrupt, exploitative system? Neoliberal governments prefer to spend money on weapons instead of old people, and seek to blame China for the pandemic.

There's a reason why some at moa have labeled the current Cold War conflict a 'Civilization War'. As they see it, the uncivilized West is trying to subdue the civilized East.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 1 2021 18:47 utc | 100

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